I Spy Beauty – My Beauty Shopping List

Friday March 1, 2013 | Beauty

March already! And this is my beauty shopping list for this month. Ok, you’re right.

This is probably more like a wish list…

I Spy Beauty - My Beauty Shopping List

First up on the list are two skin care products by Mad Hippie. A brand whose name made me jump up and say “Hey, I’m a Mad Hippie!” You’d think that this little infatuation of mine is nothing but branding and marketing. You would think that. But no. It’s not just about the name which stirs something in every secret hippies’ hearts. These skin care products are serious. And they are packed with crazy amazing ingredients.

The next pair on the list is a makeup stipling brush by Makeup Geek and a makeup highlighter by Benefit Cosmetics. If you know me, then you know that I am still feeling my way around when it comes to makeup. I’ve really been eager to play around with highlighting and contouring.  But these two products can be easily replaced if I can find a better alternative for them.

Next up is Secret de Nuit by Phyto. This is a hair serum that you leave on overnight. It’s supposed to moisturize and regenerate your hair fibre in order to leave the hair feeling very soft. I am really looking forward to trying this one.

I think I am just into any product that has the word Magic in it. Egyptian Magic‘s All Purpose Skin Cream is one of those cult beauty products that I’m so curious to try. And just as it says, you can use it to moisturize anything. The skin on your face, your eyes, your lips, your hair, your nails. From what I’ve read, this is actually more like a balm than a cream. And the ingredients list is so basic: Olive Oil, Beeswax, Honey, Propolis, Bee Pollen, Royal Jelly.

Now my questions for you are:
1) Have you tried any of these products?
2) Do you have suggestions for better alternatives?
3) What is your beauty shopping list like for this month?


Vide-Dressing by Parisian Fashionistas

Monday February 25, 2013 | Culture Style


Yesterday I went and visited a vide-dressing.

The best english translation I can come up with for this is “Closet Clean Out.” But that sounds incredibly tacky. So let’s just stick with the french term for it. A vide-dressing.

In yesterday’s case, the vide-dressing was seven fashion bloggers who organized themselves together to sell clothes, shoes, jewelry and other little trinkets from their own closets. 

If you are a life-long fan of thrift store shopping (like me), then you already know why this idea is GREAT.

A few fashionable girls getting together to sell their very fashionable clothing at a very affordable price. What could be more brilliant?!

For me, the best part about all of this is how you know the stuff that’s gonna be there is going to be wickedly stylish. And in good condition. And since these fashion bloggers have their own websites showcasing their individual styles, you have the chance beforehand to form an idea of what the collection of different styles is going to be like.

What’s more, if you’re the type who seeks out brand names, these fashion bloggers tend to have different brands that they like. So you can check beforehand the names of the shops where they tend to buy their clothes.

I found clothes by brands like Agnès B., The Kooples, Topshop, etc. as well as more everyday names like H&M, Promod and Jennyfer.

But when I’m shopping for second-hand clothes, my main concern is not the name of the brand but the quality of the material. I can always look at something and tell how long it’s going to last.

My second concern is the price. When I found something that was a little pricier than I’d expected, I wasn’t afraid to bargain a bit for it. And the girls already knew the game. Which was great because negotiating is what makes it all so fun! Of course, as long as everyone is being nice about it =)

At the end of the day, what makes a vide dressing a pleasant experience is its relaxed and shopper friendly atmosphere.

The address to the vide-dressing was not widely distributed and I think this helped to avoid a flood of shoppers. There was also a room set up so that you could try on clothes and see how they fit on you. And the girls running it were all super nice and approachable so that you could talk to any one them and ask them questions.

I had a brief chat with Mahayanna from Le blog mode de Mahayanna, whose name is as remarkable as the ankh necklace that she was wearing.

On the subject of how long they’d been doing this, she told me that they’ve organized vide-dressings regularly. Once every three months for the past four years.

On my way out, I also had a brief chat with Leeloo from Le dressing de Leeloo, a fashion blogger I follow. Her fashion style is very unique and feminine. And she is as lovely in person as you would imagine from her photos.

Now I’m sure you’re all curious as to what I actually ended up buying at the vide-dressing.

Alright, I’ll tell you! I managed to come out of it with a classic gray pencil skirt, a pink ruffled shirt, a gray scooped-neck top and a blue nail polish.

And I would have managed to leave and spend only 20 euros had I not at the last minute decided to ask about this large, warm, colorado ski-lodge style cardigan that made me think of something worn by Marilyn Monroe.

At the last minute, j’ai complètement craqué! 

I gave in. But, in my defense, it really is a warm cardigan. And I’m sure if taken care of properly, it can last for a while. And oh yeah, it’s by Topshop. But who cares about that.

I’ll put up photos of the clothes I got later on. Maybe…

But first, photos from the vide-dressing!

Starting with a photo of my friend Rachel. In this photo, she’s sporting a black hoodie she found that happened to be the exact same as mine! But she paid only five percent of the price that I paid.

Which made feel like a bit of a fool =)


Vide-Dressing Jennyfer

Vide-Dressing Paris Fashion Bloggers

Mahayanna Vide-Dressing

Parisian Vide-Dressing

Parisian Vide-Dressing

Parisian Vide-Dressing

Parisian Vide-Dressing

Parisian Vide-Dressing

Parisian Vide-Dressing

Leeloo from Leeloo's Dressing

Have you been to something like a vide-dressing before? And if so, what were your experiences?

Let’s Talk Budget

Friday February 22, 2013 | Lifestyle Other

Money is not a subject that many beauty bloggers talk about.

And I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s still one of those taboo subjects. Maybe people don’t talk about it because they continue to carry on this pretense that money ain’t no thang. Not important to think about. And certainly too petty of a subject to be talked about.

But we need to talk about it. Because whether we like to admit or not, we’re all consumers. And as consumers, we need to be more savvy about our spending habits.

Before we get deeper into this subject, I’d like my readers to understand a couple of things about me.

First of all, I’m not some rich person who can buy things willy nilly. I don’t regularly receive products from companies. And if I do, I would inform my readers about it. And were I to receive a product for testing and review, I think I would become even more brutally honest with my reviews.

Second of all, I have some real reasons for buying beauty products. Either I have a specific concern or I just want to try something new.

The point is, I usually think ahead before I buy a beauty product. This means I do my research and I read what other people have to say about a product. I also keep my eyes out for any promotions and reductions.

But in order to be a truly smart spender, I also make use of a very powerful tool…

The budget. 

If you want to be smart about your money, then you have to keep a budget.

The budget is important because it will help you:

  • Avoid spending money that you don’t have.
  • Analyze your spending habits.
  • Free up more money to spend on the things that you like.

I won’t get too detailed about how to set up and maintain a budget. For our purposes, I’ll just explain the basic gist of it.

The Simplest Way to Create a Budget:  

1) Go by the Month. You can pick any timeframe you want, but a monthly budget has that sweet combination of being both short-term and long-term.

2) Write down your Balance. This is the total amount of money that you have to spend for that month.

3) Categorize your Expenses. Rent, food, transportation, BEAUTY products, cat food, etc. Categorize all your expenses.

4) Estimate your Expenses. You already know how much you pay for rent monthly. Estimate what you spend on the other things like food, transportation, luxury, etc.

5) Total expenses < Your Balance. When you total up all your estimated expenses, they should be less than the total amount of money that you have to spend that month.

That’s it. That is the most basic, stripped down version of how to create a budget. It’s really not as complicated as you think. And it doesn’t require a math genius.

Now this is the part where you stop me and say, “Hold up, Kareen. Why the heck as a beauty blogger did you just drag in the subject of personal finance?”

Because! I’m on your side.
Because! I want you to be smarter about your money.
Because! I feel like money is a subject that is not talked about enough. EVEN THOUGH. It is a very real and palpable part of our lives.

I know it was a bit of a tangent. But if you do this, I promise it will help you keep better control of where your money is going. Which means, you will be able to buy more of the things that you love.

Like beauty products! Or whatever may be your cup of tea.

Personal finance, people. Learn it. Practice it.