Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Musings : A few thoughts on beauty routines

With all the recent talk about #bareface, almost and no-make up looks and a general tendency towards  going natural, I thought it was time I give you guys a piece of my mind about the whole deal, as big little-to-no-makeup user.

I've been meaning to do a post on beauty for a while now, especially skincare, which seems like such an elusive subject.

I've been battling acne for the longest time possible, trying different gels and oily skincare products, until reading this post by Garance which caused a major change in my routine - I traded cleansing gels for cleansing milk. Which proved to be a great improvement - I have very few breakouts and my skin is generally happy and pretty even.

Except for a very brief time in 7th grade when every girl in middle school was obsessed with Avon products, I was never much of make up user. Probably the fact that my excessive use of eyeliner lead to some pretty severe conjunctivitis is also part of my reduced use of make up.

I do have naturally dark brows and eyelashes, so I never plucked them or used mascara really. My skin is fair and easily flustered, so blush was never on my list either.

What I do use now is a bit of concealer for the redness around my nose and chin and occasional breakout, coupled with either red lipstick or lip gloss, but usually just a very greasy lip balm.

I bought my first Sephora lipstick (Make Up Forever) some two years ago and it expired long before I even got to use it properly (you can see the tube is pretty much full). I had to throw away my expired almost-full bottle of foundation for the same reason.

I don't use make up on a daily basis, unless I go out to some party or opening or I have to take photos for the blog/shop.

My first ''adult'' make up cost me about 50 euros (70$) at Sephora for a tube of lipstick and foundation (the aforementioned one).

Like why are these things so pricey?? 

For a while I was making do with this little foundation/concealer combo a friend from the States gave me (called RedPoint )  which I really liked texture-wise and was pretty much the right amount I needed in like a year of use, except that the shade was much darker than my skin tone (which you can tell in older close up photos) but pretty much was doing the trick on shoots.

So next time I had a shoot scheduled, I just said fuck it, I'm just gonna buy drugstore shit! How bad can it be??

So I bought this Maybelline concealer stick ( FIT me) in the lightest shade I could find; I still spent a hefty 10 euros (15$) on it, which is pretty ridiculous to me. I mean I could get Sephora brands for just double the price!

While I was happy with the shade, the quality is pretty poor - it's very dry and no matter how much moisturizer I use as primer, it still bunches up weirdly within a couple of minutes. Was much happier with my old MakeUp Forever foundation, then again I don't wanna spend 30 euros on a bottle I'm just gonna use 1/4 of.

I went for another Maybelline lipstick at about the same price range, but I couldn't test it in store ( oh Sephora!). Compared to my old lipstick, the texture is much lighter (I wanted a matte crimson shade), covers you less and needs to be frequently re-applied.

As for the gloss, I just use an American Apparel one I bought on clearance that works pretty well but doesn't smell that nice (my 14 year old strawberry flavored gloss user still rules over this topic).

I haven't done any extensive gloss research (unlike my frequent Sephora lipstick sampling), but I would like a nice red that smells like berries also and doesn't have glitter in it - does that even exist??

As for my skincare routine, I use a gentle milk cleanser, either L'Oreal or Nivea, combined with a Nivea tonic water and whatever eau thermale spray is on sale at the pharmacy.

My biggest frustration is in terms of eye cream and moisturizer - I'm 26, I don't smoke, I don't have bags or lines under my eyes, all I need is a damn eye cream that will nourish my skin and prevent dark circles without fighting wrinkles OR having some tinted anti-dark circles action. Is that too much to ask??

So far i couldn't find the perfect anti-dark circles cream that's NOT tinted (probably because that doesn't exist), but I've been fairly happy with my La Roche-Posey moisturizer.

As for a general moisturizer, upon using various samples from the pharmacy, this A-derma Rheacalm has been pretty great. It's very rich and soothing.

I'm also pretty lazy when it comes to sticking to it, but I would like to start using an SPF cream during the day, try more homemade facial scrubs and natural ingredients masks at least once a week.

My plan now is to get a different day moisturizer with SPF that's NOT a BB cream - you can't imagine how hard that is! Is like everyone is trying to get you to put more stuff on your skin! Like I don't want to use foundation AND still take care of my skin, thank you very much.

This one from Kiehl's sounds pretty good, but I haven't tried it yet. Maybe I should just ask for some samples before taking he buy plunge?

What are your beauty routines? Where do you stand on this whole beauty industry mirage? Are you a make up addict or subscribe to the #bareface?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Film&Fashion Fridays : Carlos Saura's Cria Cuervos

Oh wow, it's been a while since my last Film&Fashion Fridays post! It's not like I haven't been seeing movies lately (I go to the cinema at least once a week), or that I ran out of notable films (that would never happen), but rather I couldn't seem to organize myself to do these posts when they're supposed to be done (aka Fridays!). Or at least schedule them.

Without further ado, here's a strange coincidence that happened this week - I still home ready to go  my obligatory Spanish class in school and I was playing 45s - you ever do that ''one more song and then I'm REALLY going'' thing? Well, my song this time was the intoxicating Porque te vas.

...and just when I get to my class, guess what the teacher does? She invites us to watch Cria Cuervos (which has this song as its theme) instead of having our regular class! Now how cool/strange is that?!

I remember watching it about 8 years ago and really liking it; and, of course, obsessing over Porque te vas 
 ever since. I didn't remember much of the film, except that I was really shocked to discover all the political undertones upon reading some essays (it was made the year Franco died; yep, I'm pretty much a history/politics ignoramus).

Upon watching it again... the story was almost more clear, even though we watched it with Spanish subs (doh). What was more shocking to me now I guess was how sensual and disturbing the film was.

Oh, and the outfits!! I mean Anna Torrent's costumes are pretty much to die for ! I know this sounds very disturbing, especially if you consider she was like 8 at the time and they're pretty much standard schoolgirl things like pleated skirts with pan collar shirts and cardigans, or a turtleneck instead. I mean - doesn't that sound pretty much like a vintage blogger's uniform?

There's also a pretty swoon amount of 70s classy elegance and 40s-inspired dresses.

But I think what really steals the film is Geraldine Chaplin playing both grown up Anna and her deceased mother. In Spanish! Which my teacher confirmed it was really her voice as she was married to the director and loved Spanish culture. Her accent is pretty mind-boggling. Or she might actually have her facts wrong as everywhere on the internet the critics say her voice as ''older Anna'' was dubbed by a Spanish actress.

It's truly a classic, pretty much film student entry level classic even, but in case you haven't seen it yet - well, you better see it!

And not because it's foreign and set in the 70s with amazing cinematography and a sweet soundtrack - but because it's this cruel tender story of three little girls who just lost their parents living in this big old mansion in the middle of Madrid in their little garden enclave with their maid/nanny and aunt, it's a story about living in the past, about coming on age and ultimately, change.

There's a beautiful Criterion release (and a great essay), but it must be amazing to see in theaters (especially on film)!


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Shop Update : Blissed Out 90s


This past week has been pretty crazy with school and other projects, but I'm happy I finally managed to photograph and list a few items I've been keeping around for a while.

It's been a fruitful thrifting period, I keep finding cool shoes in my size (including a pair of Dieppa Restrepo ankle booties ! probably biggest score ever besides this Sonia Rykiel skirt).

Paris has been rainy, stormy and moody, with cold days of sunshine in between.

Also, my external harddrive that had outfit photos and some artwork documentation among other important things just died on my yesterday! I guess I learned an important lesson in file backup... aka copy things in multiple places! Which I never do cuz I never have enough space...

So enjoy these cool 90s maxi dresses (very on trend right now) alongside Wes Anderson-worthy separates and the ultimate Moonrise Kingdom/ French New Wave coat.

All now in the shop

Conte d'hiver sweater

 Welcome to the Dollhouse cardigan

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Fancy Florals - ranunculus and supermarket roses

I always had a thing for floral arangements; well, maybe not so much for arrangements as for flowers in general.

I never liked the neat, long stemmed flowers, neigther the standard half-dead roses - I was more into wild flowers or stolen garden roses with short stems I would put in jars and tiny old milk bottles.

From what I see on Pinterest now, this type of floral style is gaining quite some popularity; I always wanted to document my bouquets outside my art projects, so setting up the "studio room" for a new vintage goodies shoot (more on that soon) seemes like a good opportunity.

As much as everyone in Europe likes showing contempt towards Valentine's Day, last evening going into Dia (the cheapest ghetto grocery store in France; tho they have good plants) after a thrifting session to get icecream, I ended up buying roses - two bouquets for the price of one! Now that's what I call effective capitalism!

At least the cashier lady was nice enough to shout at my absent-minded-disco-blasting-in-my-headphones self about the offer. I also ended up buying an air plant! (or rather rescuing it, considering the poor thing was GLUED to this fugly ceramic claw-like structure -who does that??)

Funny thing is that right as I went up I realized I had forgotten my thrift store bag, then ran down and stood in a big line at Picard among local couples stocking up on gourmet frozen food; I guess I wasn't the only one having Picard for V-day dinner, not that I really cared.

So having all this flowers super-motivated me to take photos today; I'm pretty happy with the result, although I think this little setup might be the best thing about it. Also I had the ranunculus for 2 weeks already, crazy how two of these guys are still alive!

Enjoy these for now and who knows, I might actually turn this into a regular thing!