"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Monday, July 23, 2012

Beaute: Unexpected

"To meet is so unexpected." - Hyde

After 10 years of longing and 5 years of serious searching (with several hits and misses along the way), I've finally found the perfect beach cottage to rent for our annual summer family getaway. Not one of those ridiculous pretentious McMansions. A little cottage in the woods, with room enough for my fantastic four, ma mere divine, my elderly cat Henri, my beloved Coco and I - and a washer and dryer! But the best part is that the back yard is an empty beach with Lake Michigan beyond. I rented it sight unseen - going on a few photos, an excellent recommendation and hope - talk about a leap of faith!

The cottage was better than the pictures and, after about 30 seconds, 
I knew that I was in heaven and that we had found our 'place.'

But, as we unpacked and settled in, I realized that, other than my purse makeup bag and Elizabeth Arden Prevage Serum (NEVER leave home without it!) I had forgotten to pack any Beaute products (hair, face, or body (EEK!). The population of 'our' town is 250, so we had to go the nearest largest town for me to find some Beaute provisions (that town's population is 1,900). Of course, that meant that I got to explore the local drugstore cosmetic counter (in this case one tiny shelf) - turns out that forgetting all of my 'stuff' at home was the best thing I could have done. This unexpected adventure turned out to be a treasure hunt. I found some keepers and you know that I have to share my finds with you (I checked, every product in this post is available at the mecca of drugstore cosmetic counters - Walgreens)...

Lubriderm Daily Moisturizer w/ Sunscreen - SPF 15 ($8)

I actually found this moisturizer on the vanity in the cottage's upstairs bathroom. Spending every day, all day on the beach, means major skin exposure to intense sun, sand, wind and water (and all of their negative aspects). I found that Lubriderm not only gave me effective sunscreen, it made my skin feel and look like butter! Of course you've got to re-apply is several times throughout the day - which is a good thing. It's non-greasy but very emollient, gives great coverage, smells light and fresh but won't clash with your perfume, feels great on every part of your bod - but I would not use it on my face. 

Basis Sensitive Skin Bar ($3)

I've recently begun using the combination of Elizabeth Arden's Prevage Serum and Ceramide Premiere Action Cream to deal with my 40something face & eyes. *For the mature ladies - this stuff is fanfuckingtabulous! My skin has never looked better and I highly recommend it. Yeah, I'll write an in-depth post about it soon. In the meantime, take a looksee at Cafe Makeup's review. Even so, I still had not found a face cleansing product that works as well for me as Proactiv does - that is until now.

The tiny neighborhood mom-&-pop pharmacy had a small but impressive selection. After careful consideration, I decided to try my luck with this Basis cleansing bar. I figured that since its for sensitive skin, how bad could it be? After nearly two weeks of twice-a-day use, I'm a believer.

A little context: I wore very little makeup during our trip - only mascarra, a bit of undereye concealer, blush, lipliner and gloss in the evening (no luminizer, base, and/or powder ever); only a bit of blush, lipliner and gloss during the day (but never on the beach) - so I don't know how this would work removing a full face of makeup (I use Lanisoh wipes for that anyway). But, Basis worked really well in removing the days grime; the lather was gentle and silky (yeah, silky turned out to be an unexpected recurring theme); its unscented and left my face feeling smooth, soft, tight and only dried my face out a tiny bit (of course the Prevage and Ceramide took care of that ;-} 

Vaseline Lip Therapy - Cherry ($1.50)

Makeup on a hot, sunny, windy beach is uncomfortable and impractical. Being a summer Diva is all about a clean, sunbrowned face. The Ceramide has SPF 30 and keeps your face moisturized and glowing all day long. And while you know that I love me some Aquaphor, it really is better suited for winter weather. Vaseline Lip Therapy is lighter weight than Aquaphor but moisturizes your lips just as well (for summer weather anyway); works great under gloss, and the cherry flavor is pretty yummy too.

Aussie Sun Touched Shine Gel ($5)

Of everything I left at home, not having my Happy to Be Nappy hair products caused me the most distress. And, after two days on the beach, I had a freshly washed and conditioned head of Nappy hair before I realized that I only had Olive Oil to tame my tresses - definately not enough! In desperation, I frantically searched through the cottage's upstairs bathroom's linen closet for some gel. I was so desperate I was willing to try anything! There were two gels, I chose the purple one (Purple Rain, Prince and all that ;-}

This stuff is pretty amazing. I slicked it, then some Olive Oil into my sopping wet hair then let it air dry, hand scrunching periodically. A couple of nights I slicked the Aussie and some Olive Oil through sopping wet hair and diffused. The results? Oooh La La! Defined, shiny, kinky curls. But the best part was that the shine and definition lasted for nearly 3 days at a time - I didn't have to start from scratch every day (like I have to do when using my usual products). The gel is also great for a Sade-do. And, for the first time, I was able to go from a Sade to my gloriously fully kinky mop with little effort (just wet hair, apply Aussie & Olive Oil then defuse - the whole process took @ 30 minutes)  Of course, I bought another tube and left the original. I'm digging this Aussie gel so much that I'm going to try their other sistah-friendly products. Starting with the leave-in condtioner - I'll let you know my results.

My unexpected, on the road, on the fly drugstore cosmetic counter adventure yielded some treasures indeed. If you have the yen, give them a whirl and let me know what you think, how well they work for you.

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


  1. Thanks! One question: what luminizer do you recommend?
    By the way, that new photo of you and Mr. Gorgeous on the Pont Neuf is spectacular!

    1. Hi Patricia,

      Check out my posts: "Brown Skin Illuminated" (all about Illuminizers) and "Concealer" (both under my Beaute label). And please keep the questions coming ;-}

      Thank you for the photo compliment. I'm working on a post about my Paris photoshoot adventure and I hope to have it posted tonight so stay tuned.

      Be well my friend...


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