This is day 2 of this little series of minimalist beauty posts. Yesterday I gave a run down of my 5 main cosmetics that fit into a total make-up collection of 10 items. Today I want to talk about beauty products! I do feel better about my beauty products than I feel about my make-up, because last winter I was able to invest in some vegan, organic skin care products that I had really been wanting to try. But I do still have some exploring to do. I’d like to try some more affordable products.
As I said in my previous post, minimizing our beauty regimens can save us time and money. It can also bring some peace and alleviate stress from our daily routines. But long before I ever learned about minimalism, there was Paris. For quite some time now I have had a love for all things Paris, France. I read about French cooking, French parenting, French fashion….all of it. I am so in love with the art, the history, and the je ne sais quoi about the entire Parisian way. I have dabbled in learning to speak French, and I really hope to visit some day. As I began to learn about minimalism I was excited to see how much French style embodies minimalist ideals. It’s all about stylish simplicity and quality over quantity.
So lets take a moment to look at one of my favorite books, How to Be A Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas. One thing this book, as well as pretty much every other French beauty book I’ve ever referenced, really emphasizes is SKIN. Basically, as I understand it, in French style you can get by wearing nothing but a white shirt and jeans every single day if you carry yourself well, are intelligent, and have good skin. This was a somewhat daunting requirement for me because my skin has never been that great.
Thankfully, I have definitely noticed a difference in my skin when I made the switch to more natural, organic products. Also the healthier lifestyle choices I make with my diet, exercise, and mental health – the better my skin gets.
Given my affinity for the French, it makes sense that my current line of beauty products are called French Girl. While Christmas shopping last year I discovered Cat Bird: a jewelry company in NYC that makes gorgeous products with fair-trade gold and all stones are conflict-free. All the beauty products they sell are cruelty-free. I had never invested in high-quality beauty products before. So I decided to go for it and order some of the French Girl items they carry. I also bought some of their Lula Organics patchouli rose hair powder. I was definitely not disappointed.
These are labeled as luxury skin care products, and they definitely felt that way. I really felt like I was treating myself. They all smell so good. The ingredients are minimal and that really does translate to the scent and the way they feel on my skin. My absolute favorite of these products is the Moonlight Lumiere body oil. I absolutely adore the scent, and it gives your skin a pearlescent glow. They have a variety of different body oils, including a bronzer.
I use baby wipes to remove my make up each night. I follow that up with the floral toner, which makes my face smell like roses, and then the crème lumiere. I usually use the rose lip polish and body oil right after a bath or shower. I repeat the toner and moisturizer in the mornings. And of course I dust on the hair powder when my hair gets oily.
As I mentioned in the beginning, I still have some shopping around to do. I would love to continue using the French Girl products regularly, but they are kind of expensive. They are called luxury skin care after all. They’re totally worth it, but I’m living on an artist’s income! And it’s hard to spend so much on skin care when it’s so tempting to just make your own stuff. I’ve also done that in the past. So when my moonlight body oil ran out I really wanted to find a cheaper lotion to use until I decided on something else to try.
I picked up this lavendar and aloe lotion at Sprouts and it’s great! It smells amazing, and I can actually feel the essential oils tingling on my skin as it goes on. It’s very refreshing and relaxing. And it was under $5 in the store.
Coming back to the How to Be Parisian book, one of the aphorisms to be repeated every night before bed is “Find ‘your’ perfume before you turn thirty. Wear it for the next thirty years.” French style is big on having signature items: a signature look, a signature dish, a signature scent. I love the idea, and fell in love with Yves Saint Laurent’s Black Opium right before my 30th birthday. It is a splurge, but I usually get it for holidays and make it last. However, I got a sample of this Splash scent from Catbird NYC, and really loved it. I am considering getting a bottle of that to use on some days. Maybe for spring and summer. After all, How to Be Parisian also advices to cheat on your signature perfume from time to time. 😉
It all sits nice and pretty on top of my dresser for easy access each morning and night. I’ll keep some products in my bathroom if I use them after bathing.
I’m going to be using every last drop of my moisturizer and toner before I try anything else! And I might even end up splurging on another bottle of that moonlight body oil. I love it so!
So this is still a work in progress. What do all of you use? What do you recommend?
Take care of that skin! ~Mai