My Favorite Beauty Products: It Doesn’t Have to be All or Nothing

My approach to using skincare and beauty products has always been fairly minimal and to-the-point: a layer of sunscreen, moisturizer and maybe a cat-eye. While my grandmother Marie-Christine swears by the every-day look of a wine red lip and lined eye, I’ve always felt my most genuine self when I’ve kept it simple. Au natural. And besides, I’m an all-or-nothing kind of girl. Either go all out or nothing at all (not just in skincare, but all aspects of life! I am continuously trying to break my extreme tendencies and find balance).

While I’m still a girl that is very much inclined to keep things simple and fresh, my appreciation and excitement for makeup and skincare products have grown exponentially within the past year.  My initial intrigue came when I was left continuously dumbfounded upon learning that my friends’ “gorgeous, makeup-free looks” were, in fact, gorgeous, but not so product-free after all. Their eyes would widen and they would immediately and excitedly explain their regimens and personal skincare secrets to me. Their joy was contagious! It is for this reason that I owe this newly-found joy to my girlfriends who have inspired me both in who they are as women and in their pure excitement towards another form of self-love. Allow me to reiterate the coolest part: These women weren’t using products to hide behind anything per se (at least that wasn’t ever the perspective that they had), but rather, they took joy in becoming their best selves, enhancing their own natural beauty, and treating themselves to the love, attention, and care they deserve.

As I am discovering this new form of self-love and self-pampering (in the form of skincare and beauty products), I thought it’d be fun to share, like my friends shared with me, a few of my favorite beauty products I’ve come to love. (Some of the products in the shots are used and almost empty, which is an ode or testament to how good they really are.)

(Nothing is sponsored unless I say so, and anything that I do sponsor is something that I actually use or love.)

1. Boy Brow — I was late on the Glossier train, but now that I’ve tried a few of their products, I wonder why I ever took my time! (Just kidding; I know why. I am definitely a skeptic when it comes to trends, and like to wait and see if a product lives up to its hype. In this case, Glossier takes the cake!) My first order from Glossier was in the form of Boy Brow, a light gel (optionally colored in clear, blonde or brown) that is combed through the eyebrow in an upwards motion. I wouldn’t say my eyebrows are inexistent, but they certainly taper towards the ends and are light in color. I’ve been using the Blonde shade of Boy Brow and love it!


2. Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria in “Pamplelune” — Whenever I wear this perfume, people always ask what it is! The Guerlain site describes this scent as having “citrusy notes of vibrant and velvety grapefruit accompanied by bergamot. Its energetic heart features the unusual pairing of neroli and petitgrain married with blackcurrant bud”. The scent is fresh, citrusy, beautiful, and has been my “scent” ever since I was a little girl. I was probably around eight when my grandma first gave me this perfume while on vacation for the summer in the South of France. It reminds me of youth, summertime, and sensuality (more so the innocent kind). It doesn’t hurt that the bottle is as beautiful as the inside!


3. Darphin’s Revitalizing Oil (for face, body, and hair) — OKAY . . . I had a tiny sample bottle of this oil and used it over the next few months like it was liquid gold — because it really is liquid gold. As someone that has very dry skin, it’s important for me to constantly be keeping moisture on my face, whether through rose mists, cream (I’ll get to that) or face oil. I love this oil because it goes on lightly, meaning you only need a tiny drop to spread the moisture onto your entire face. Not only does it keep my skin bouncy and hydrated, it serves a double purpose giving me a dewy, healthy glow (in the most natural, subtle way). I also love to use this oil on the ends and tips of my equally-dry, colored hair. The oil helps to prep my hair for heat, but also gives it a nice texture and helps me get that “I just went to the beach” look without the crunchiness that salt water or texturizing sprays give. I apply this throughout the day and take it with me wherever I go — even for castings! (You never know when you need to oil up those dry legs. Miracle oil!)


4. Embryolisse — It is exactly what the bottle says it is, which I will translate for you: A concentrated, nutritionally hydrating and multifunctional cream that can be used as a moisturizer, makeup primer, hydrating mask or even makeup remover. Not only is this cream a staple in what seems like every makeup artist’s kit, but it also is a staple in mine, as you can tell by the look of the bottle. Ha-ha! I like to put a generous amount on after washing my face at night and in the morning before I put any makeup on. It isn’t oily, which is great for sleeping and using underneath makeup. Also, I love that the ingredients are fairly natural without any parabens (chemical preservatives). This product is primarily sold in French pharmacies however, it can also be found in professional beauty stores or boutiques like Salon Benjamin!


5. Caudalie’s Eau de Beauté or Beauty Elixir — I love this mist because it’s refreshing, smells delightful (made with grape, rose, rosemary, peppermint, orange extracts, etc.), hydrates, tightens, and uses 100 percent natural ingredients!!! Mists are great to use as hydrating spritzers throughout the day, and what I love is that they moisturize without moving the makeup you’re already wearing. Although Caudalie is one of my favorites, I think that any mist with natural ingredients and essential oils is a great option (like this Poppy and Someday toner mist).


6. Chanel Rouge Coco “Mademoiselle” — Last but not least, un petit rouge! This lipstick is currently my favorite, both for the color and hydrating qualities. The texture is smooth, hydrating, and blend-able, which is great because I love to put a little on my finger and tap the color onto the insides of my top and bottom lips, lightly extending the tapping outwardly, towards the outer lips (and sometimes going past my natural lip to give the “I just kissed someone” look!). Using this technique gives lipstick a more effortless, natural look, which is great for an all-day little pop of color.

I hope you enjoyed this post! I’ve wanted to share some of my favorite beauty products for a while now, and I can’t wait to keep discovering little treasures and sharing them with you here. For now here are a few of my favorites, which are perfect for summertime hydration, glow, and color.

As my friend, Jihan would say, “INVEST in yourself!”

With that said, some products can be expensive. A clean, washed face is the best skincare regimen I’ve ever had, above any products! It’s all about self-love, self-care, intent, knowledge and spending money on quality rather than quantity.