June 2, 2017

Francophile Friday (n°5): un brin de maquillage

Learning the intricacies of French grammar is one of my favorite parts of attending my weekly class, but I also love picking up new vocabulary and phrases. Last week in class we were reading a short passage that used the phrase un brin de maquillage. A little bit of makeup or literally, a strand of makeup. I've been thinking a lot about healthy beauty lately as I look to edit and update my medicine cabinet and daily beauty routine. I've also been thinking about packing for our European adventures (this month!!!) and what I want to include in my makeup bag. 

Un brin expresses just a little bit. Not too much. I aspire to this idea of simplicity in many aspects of my life. I'm very intrigued by the idea of a capsule wardrobe, capsule make up collection, capsule skin care routine, etc. I love the idea of having thoughtfully curated items that are high quality, work well together, and feel amazing. I love the idea of investing in less, getting more out of it, and simplifying. 

Today's post follows up on my last beauty post, La Bonne Beauté. Here I will include a little more research on healthy beauty products, as well as information from my reading on beauty with a little French flair. 

Beauty and the French Girl

How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are was one of my first francophile reads, and they spend a brief section of the book discussing beauty au naturel. It makes sense. It's short because French women do so little in regards to their beauty routine, right? According to the authors, "au naturel is [actually] the fruit of hard labor", and the French girl takes meticulous care of herself while also honoring imperfections that "allow her to feel beautiful without being perfect." Their recommended makeup routine is as follows. They keep it simple.

-conceal/BB cream
-swipe of mascara
-red lip (especially for a night on the town) 

Foundation is not a part of this, however for me, a light foundation (I use Bare Minerals Original Foundation SPF 15) evens out my skin and provides a better base for the rest of my look. I also like a quick sweep of blush on my cheeks to brighten up my face. 

Next up, "le no makeup look" with Madame Chic. She was the second stop on my francophile book journey and someone I often return to. Author Jennifer L. Scott describes the au naturel makeup look in almost exactly the same way as above. The only things she adds are a light foundation, a neutral lip color for day, and optional eyebrow color (I do this and feel that it makes a huge different in bringing definition to mon visage). Jennifer's ultimate advice:"No matter what state your skin is in, strive to be comfortable in it. Doing so will make you most attractive." Confidence and loving yourself are key. :) 

"Beauty grows as we grow into ourselves." Garance Doré echoes this idea that we must embrace our imperfections, find comfort in our own skin, and strive to be the best version of ourselves we can be to allow our truest beauty to shine. She does agree, though, that un brin de maquillage can enhance our features and provide a little confidence boost. Her essentials: the red lip, bronzer and blush for an added glow. 

Healthy Beauty

We know from the French that the makeup routine can be fairly simple, but with all of the products and tutorials out there knowing where to start can be incredibly overwhelming. I know it was for me, and I am still trying to wade through to find a simple and healthy routine that fits me best. 

Researching cruelty free products got me interested in healthy beauty, but I have since found that while cruelty free can be synonymous with healthier ingredients, it isn't always a given. I wanted to increase my awareness of what's inside my products, so I turned to Lauren Conrad Beauty and No More Dirty Looks. Both books outline ingredients to avoid in your cosmetics. I began reading the labels of my products and was, again, overwhelmed. I found it helpful to create a short list of ingredients I would easily remember to avoid so that I can begin to make more informed decisions without driving myself crazy. Here are a few I am trying to avoid consistently:

-formaldehyde (Yes, that formaldehyde.)
-parabens (which is really easy as paraben free is a huge trend in cosmetics)

Lucky for us, Petit Vour has made shopping for healthy cosmetics a little easier. (Again, I am only spreading my love of Petit Vour out of a desire to share healthy beauty with you, nothing else!) They list restricted ingredients on their site which include all of the above and then some. You can shop with confidence as all products on their site are free of these. If you are interested in healthy beauty, sampling through their subscription box might be a good place to start. I recently signed up and am eagerly awaiting my first box which will arrive this month. In the mean time, I placed an order for this blush and lip color. I will let you know how I like them! 

(Follow @frenchwords on Instagram!)

All of this said, Coco Chanel says it best: "Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself." We can use these healthy products to enhance, but starting with love for ourselves and giving ourselves permission to follow our passions make for the most beautiful life. 

I hope you enjoyed today's beauty post, and if you have any tips for simple and healthy beauty I would love to hear from you in the comments! Have a beautiful Friday and weekend.

Warm wishes from me to you,

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