Friday Five: Here Comes the Sun

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAs a child, spring cleaning meant a trip to my grandma’s house to help her clean the baseboards, dust her beautiful tea service, and shine my Easter Sunday shoes into sparkling white submission. As an adult, spring cleaning has taken on a dual meaning–yes, definitely baseboard cleaning, but also taking time to overhaul my beauty routine for the change in seasons. I use spring as a primer for summer, a time to repair my winter weather beaten skin, hair, and sun and prepare them for the coming of (sometimes fleeting) warm weather months here in Seattle. Here are the five products that help me shift into high gear for the return of the sun.

  • Caudalie Eau de Beaute ($18 for a 1 oz bottle, $49 for a 3.4 oz bottle) This darling of the beauty blogger world is actually all it is cracked up to be. I like to think of it as a combo toner/liquid version of the smelling salts fancy ladies use in movies about the Victorian era. It’s filled with essential oils and the soothing smells of mint and lavender, and leaves your skin feeling refreshed, while adding a wonderful glow to your skin. After a winter of loading my skin up with moisturizer, it’s nice to use something so lightweight.
  • The Body Shop Almond Body Butter ($20 for a 6.75 oz tub) I wandered into The Body Shop one day a couple weeks ago–I hadn’t set foot in a store for years and years, but the smell of an Almond Body Butter sample being distributed out front drew me in. Despite the name, this will not clog up your pores. I use it after I shower–it doesn’t leave a greasy film and it’s actually lighter in weight and texture than the body moisturizer I use in the winter. I think the scent is a good spring scent–light, bright, refreshing.
  • The Body Shop Shea Body Scrub ($20 for a 7.9 oz tub) I recently read some horrible statistic on Twitter (one of those accounts that has “facts” without sources, so I definitely should’ve taken it with a grain of salt) about the amount of dead skin cells that make a sort of layer of filth on top of your actual alive skin. That, coupled with my increasingly gray winter pallor, creeped me out on a level I’m not totally comfortable with, so when I saw that body scrubs were on sale during my trip to The Body Shop, I snatched one up immediately in the hopes that I could make my skin feel totally clean and new again. This scrub does the dirty work of essentially dusting (exfoliating) your skin, but also rehydrating it, and boosting it with Vitamin A and E. Perfect for the spring cleaning your skin so desperately needs post winter weather.
  • Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil ($36 for a 1.7 fl. oz travel-sized bottle, $48 for a 3.4 fl. oz bottle) During the winter, I generally use one of Oribe’s Leave-In Conditioners as my hair moisturizer. But in the spring and summer months in Seattle, when the moist, humid, marine air returns, the leave-in conditioner becomes too heavy and leaves my hair a little greasier than I’d like. So I switch to Oribe’s Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil–it’s lightweight but packs a heavy punch in terms of protecting your hair from heat damage (I love my flat iron) and also keeping your hair shiny and healthy looking, without being too heavy. It’s not cheap, but I only need to use a pea-sized amount for my thick, curly hair.
  • Julep Nail Kit (Free With Julep Manicure) I am not really a mani/pedi kind of girl. I categorically loathe not just all feet, but mine in particular, and because I am incredibly clutzy and hard on my hands, nail polish chips away in record time (yes, I have tried Shellac manicures. EVEN THOSE CHIP.). But I still see the importance of well-groomed nails, so I recently stopped into a Julep Salon for the first time. The whole experience was blog post worthy, so I might save that for another time, but one of the things I loved most about the service was that they send you home with some of the tools the technician used on your paws–a nail buffer, nail brush, and nail file. After a few months of shoving your hands deep into gloves and pockets for warmth, your cuticles and nail beds could probably use some love. And this mini kit sets you up nicely with all you need to make your hands worthy of warms rays of early spring sun.
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Sweetness: Euro Beauty Haul

I used to have really good skin. Like, pretty much perfect (aside from the freckles). People constantly complimented me on it and I always felt a sort of guilt–I didn’t do anything to deserve it, besides inherit my mom’s genetics. If I noticed my skin getting dry, I’d drink more water. If that didn’t work, I’d apply lotion. Any kind of lotion. I frequently fell asleep without washing makeup off my face, and my entire skin care routine involved Dove Body Wash and a wash cloth.

But now, as my 20s draw to an end, those carefree days are a thing of the past. No sunscreen? Serious sunburn. Forget to wash my face at the end of the day? A field of tiny, braille-like bumps will crop up across my face. Happy Hour that’s too happy? That’ll be two rolling suitcases the color of granite underneath my eyes. The final straw came in December when I got my first real zit (yep). It was an angry red and resistant to any of the home remedies that I found on the Internet. I tried to cover it with concealer, but nothing worked. So for a week or so, I walked around with 28 years worth of lazy skincare karma beaming from my chin. I invested in Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer, and my skin began a gradual recovery. I mean, it was by no means perfect, but I didn’t have any Mount Vesuvius clones popping up on my face.

As I prepped for my trip, I remembered that during previous Transatlantic flights, my skin grew grey and pallid, and I knew that if that had occurred when my skin was good, something shocking might occur in my old age. I began scouring YouTube for in-flight beauty routines, and stumbled across the treasure trove of magic that is Lisa Eldridge’s in-flight beauty routine. But the real gem I uncovered was her French Pharmacy video. I decided that one of my main goals in Europe would be to acquire these holy grail products she spoke so highly of. And when I walked into CityPharma in Paris 6th arrondissement, I seriously doubted whether any skin cream could be worth throwing elbows with the City of Light’s bright young things.

Turns out, it absolutely was.

During my 20 minute stint in beauty wonderland, I picked up a wide array of magical beauty products that I am now wishing I’d purchased more of.

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