Spring Cleaning for Your Skin

Hello, friends!

Spring is finally here, and while the change in season isn’t as dramatic in San Diego as it is in my home state of Wisconsin, it’s no less magical!  I’m in the process of reorganizing my closet to bring spring favorites front and center, and I know many of you are anxious to pack away your winter wardrobe (if you haven’t already).  Spring is also a great time to clean out your medicine cabinet and give your skin a fresh start after the long, cold winter!  And it’s the perfect time to get started on a journey towards better skin.

Skincare can be overwhelming.  Whether you’re shopping at CVS, Sephora, or Nordstrom, there are so many different types of products designed to cure different skin ailments, and it can be hard to figure out what combination or ingredients is best for you.  And even if you do find one product that you love, it can be tricky to figure out what else you need to maximize your results: mask? cleanser? toner? serum? treatment? SPF? night cream?  The options are endless and may leave you feeling lost and frustrated, or stuck with products you don’t love, don’t use, and can’t return.

dermrf product graveyard

Sound familiar?

I’ve mentioned Rodan + Fields, the new anti-aging skincare line by the Proactiv doctors, in a few of my posts.  I was very impressed by the company’s rapid growth and their business model, but the most amazing thing about Rodan + Fields is their products–which is why I didn’t hesitate to become a consultant.  The dermatology-based skincare focuses on safe and effective skin treatments that deliver clinically proven results.

Rodan + Fields is not a one sized fits all skincare company; there are four basic regimens that target the most common effects of aging (adult acne + post-acne scars, sun damage + age spots, wrinkles + oversized pores, and sensitivity).  You can read more about the company and products on my website, but I would love to help you find a customized set of products that takes the guess work out of skincare!  It only takes *five* minutes, and every single product comes with a 60 day no-questions-asked money back guarantee.

If you’ve read my blog or followed my Instagram, you know I’ve always had a thing for full coverage foundations.  What you may not know is that this preference was driven by necessity: the stress of my former career left me with bright red post-hormonal acne scars that felt like flashing neon lights on my very fair skin.  I spent years trying almost every product and brand at Sephora, as well as high end brands like La Mer and SK-II, to no avail.  But I have been using a combination of Rodan + Fields products for the past two months, and for the first time (dare I say?) ever, I felt comfortable wearing a thin layer of my favorite tinted moisturizer — sans foundation!

tinted moisturizer minimal makeup glowing skin beauty blog rodan + fields

It’s not an official “after” picture, since I am wearing makeup, but I didn’t do any editing or use any filters, and I’m only wearing a bit of tinted moisturizer, spot concealer, cream blush, and lip balm.  I’ve experienced significant progress in spot fading, but the biggest difference I’ve noticed is the overall texture and lit from within glow. My skin is softer than it’s ever been, and I jokingly tell people I’m taking the lawyer off my skin.  ;)  Plus I’ve been carded more in the past two months than the past five years — not bad at 35!

Helping people transform their skin is deeply personal, and I would be honored to be a part of your journey towards the best skin of your life.  And with a money back guarantee, you really have nothing to lose.  Please send me an email so we can get you on your way!  {jenn.m.french (at) gmail (dot) com}

As always, thank you so much for reading!

xoxo,
Jenn

“Beauty, to me, is  about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.”
~ Gwyneth Paltrow

Closet Remix: J.Crew Scattered/Optic Dot Dress

Hello friends!

In this first installment of my Closet Remix** series, I’m sharing this darling polka dot dress (with pockets!!).  Confession: I’ve purchased this dress twice.  In 2013, I bought the J.Crew Scattered Dot Shift Dress (item # 35551), in my usual size for J.Crew dresses at the time (size 6).  Here’s a picture from the J.Crew website, although it is no longer available:

J.Crew Scattered Dot Shift Dress 35551

I loved this dress but it was waaaaay too big, and sadly I had to return it.  (Insert rant about J.Crew’s crazy sizing here.) So I was delighted to find it pop back at J.Crew Factory last February (2014) as the Optic Dot Dress (item #A0116):

J.Crew Factory Optic Dot Dress  A0116

In case you can’t tell, the dresses are 100% identical–including the crazy sizing.  I’m wearing a 2 in the photos below, and this dress is swimming on me.  As fun as it sounds in theory to have a tiny size be too big, it makes shopping online quite a chore, because I can wear anything from a 0 to a 4 depending on the style.  (In contrast, I consistently wear a 4 in all Gap brands.)  It’s on my list of pieces I want to get tailored, but for now I’m in make-it-work mode.  And I included the style numbers and full names of both dresses in case you want to search for this lovely number on eBay or Poshmark!  But I would highly recommend sizing down.  I wasn’t able to find a perfect match, but here are a few cute options (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Here are four ways I’ve worn this dress, starting with the most recent.  I’ve included exact links if things are still available (e.g., J.Crew staples) and similar items when I could find them.

J.Crew Scattered dot optic doc shift dress pink belt seville wedge espadrilles 1

Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses (similar)
J.Crew Seville Wedge Espadrilles (buy)
Coach bag | J.Crew skinny patent belt
J.Crew denim jacket (similar | similar)

J.Crew Scattered dot optic doc shift dress pink belt seville wedge espadrilles 2

*          *          *          *         *

J.Crew Scattered dot optic doc shift dress oxford shirt kiel james patrick Scarlett O'Hara bow bracelet KATE SPADE Kellan LEOPARD Haircalf Hudson Street handbag

J.Crew solid opaque tights (buy in black/navy)
Ivanka Trump Carra pump in dark red patent (buy)
Kiel James Patrick Scarlett O’Hara Vickers Bow bracelet (buy)
American Eagle short sleeve button down (similar here | here)
Kate Spade NY Hudson Street leopard calf half bag (via eBay!) (similar here | here)

J.Crew Scattered dot optic doc shift dress striped turtleneck black tights hot pink enzo angiolini heels

J.Crew solid opaque tights
Enzo Angiolini patent leather heels (similar)
Gap striped turtleneck sweater (similar)

J.Crew Scattered dot optic doc shift dress striped turtleneck

She was so happy to get her birthday picture taken.

J.Crew Scattered dot optic doc shift dress steve madden bow ravesh kate spade mount perry rumor satchel scarf boy blazer

Gifted scarf (similar) | J.Crew solid opaque tights
Steven by Steve Madden Ravesh pump in blush (similar, sans bow)
Kate Spade NY Mt. Perry Rumor Satchel
J.Crew Factory classic blazer (similar)

Whether you’re in a style rut or just looking for some ways to bring spring dresses and skirts into less than springy weather, I hope this post helps inspire you to find new ways to style some of your favorite pieces!  I love how little details like adding a belt or a scarf, or a bright shoe, transform an outfit.  What are your favorite ways to remix?

As always, thank you so very much for stopping by.  And happy Friday!

xoxo,
Jenn

** For more info on why I’m Closet Remixing (aka, confessions of a recovering shopaholic), you’ll need a password to this very personal post.  Please send me an email if you’re interested: blondieesquire (at) gmail.  **

Reality Check: Adios Crow’s Feet 

Blondie, Esquire:

Hello friends!

I’m working on some closet remix posts, and another episode in my Holy Grail Foundation series, but I wanted to share this story with you. As I mentioned last week, I recently became a consultant with Rodan + Fields, the new anti-aging skincare line by the Proactiv doctors. I know there are a lot of people talking about skincare and makeup products (especially on Facebook!), but R+F is unique; the products are dermatology based and clinically proven to deliver serious results (like the ones in this before + after story).

If you’ve had or are considering Botox or fillers to address your stubborn expression lines, I would love for you to read Fiona’s full story in the post I’m sharing, below.  Forbes Magazine included the Rodan + Fields Acute Care patches as one of the most innovative beauty products in 2014, and for good reason. These little patches literally erase expression lines and crow’s feet with *no* needles. Many people (myself included) notice a difference after just one application, but you’ll want to use a full box to get the clinically proven (amazing) results, like the ones pictured here. {And if you are not 100% happy with Acute Care (or any other R+F product), you can return for a full refund in 60 days–no questions asked.}

Acute Care is available for purchase either on its own or bundled with any of the Rodan + Fields regimens. The brave woman who shared her before and after pictures also uses another of my favorite products, the Night Renewing Serum. I would love for you to give this a try and will happily send you a mini facial kit if you promise to let me know what you think!  ;)  Please send me an email if you’d like more info about trying Rodan + Fields or how you can get a discount off all retail prices {jenn.m.french (at) gmail}.

As always, thanks so much for reading!

xo,
Jenn

Originally posted on Derm RF - Rodan + Fields:

06_Reality-Check_Header

This feature highlights the transformative effects Rodan + Fields® products can have on people’s skin. This month, Preferred Customer Fiona McKenna shares the stories behind her expression lines and her solution for losing the wrinkles.

DermRF-RealityCheck-031815

Fiona McKenna never gave much thought to her expression lines, but upon turning 67 this month, she began to notice the fine, vertical lines above her lips and the crow’s feet around her eyes.

So when her daughter, Rodan + Fields Consultant Brianna Dusseault, told her about REDEFINE ACUTE CARE™ Skincare for Expression Lines, she didn’t hesitate to try the latest breakthrough treatment. Now, she applies ACUTE CARE under her eyes and one above her lips before going to bed.

“I’ve seen the biggest change in the area around my lips. In fact, I saw a change in the appearance of my lips after one application,” says McKenna. “After a few weeks, there was a…

View original 124 more words

I Believe in Wearing Lipstick

Hello, friends!

As much fun as I’ve been having with the nude makeup trend, I prefer the way my face looks when I’m wearing a bright or dark lipstick.  Maybe I’m subconsciously trying to balance out my eyebrows?  On that front, I am overdue for some professional guidance.  I basically just let them run wild after slightly filling in the gaps with this or this.  But I could use some shaping to be on fleek. ;)  [Couldn’t resist; thank you, google and urban dictionary.]  But I digress.  More often than not, I plan my makeup (and sometimes my outfits) around lipstick.  My perfect (as possible) pout has five steps: exfoliation, moisture, base, liner, and lipstick.  It might seem like a lot, but let’s not kid ourselves, ladies; this is not exactly a low maintenance look.

bright lipstick beauty blog review selfie

Exfoliation is key, especially with long lasting formulas and darker colors.  If you skip this step, the lipstick will cling to dry patches and settle into fine lines, which is no bueno, especially when the focus is on your lips.  I had been searching for a new exfoliator ever since tarte discontinued my beloved FRXtion.  (I tried its replacement, but I don’t love the packaging.)  So you can only imagine my delight when I discovered this little gem,** which I love even more than the FRXtion!

by terry Baume de Rose Crystal lip micro dermabrasion prep prime lip

The Lip Micro-Dermabrasion comes in a narrow tube that fits perfectly on my lips and whisks away dead skin in a flash.  It’s the last step of my skincare routine and the first step for makeup (even before primer and foundation) because I want plenty of time for my lips to absorb the moisture in step two.  I just bought my second tube of the amazing By Terry lip balm, and I also love this one (both contain SPF 15).  And the fresh grapefruit scent and SPF 25 have me swooning over this lip treatment, which my husband also loves.  If I time things right, my lip balm is almost completely absorbed before step three (prime/neutralize).  My favorites are from M·A·C (pictured above) and Guerlain, but this Stila one is on my wish list.

colour pop lippie stix pencil LBB

Today I’m wearing Colour Pop’s lippie stix and liner in the shade LBB, a “rich plum wine in a matte finish.”  I use the liner all over my lips for added staying power and finish with a healthy dose of lipstick.

colour pop lippie stix pencil LBB swatches

Guys, I cannot rave enough about Colour Pop!!  The products are all made here in Southern California (Los Angeles, to be exact), and all the lip products are just $5!!  The packaging is very simple, but the products perform far better than any other at this price point (and better than many expensive brands!).  Lippie stix apply like a dream; they are highly pigmented, last forever, and do not dry out my lips at all.  There is a slight vanilla scent but it fades quickly.  And while I do get some color transfer when eating or drinking, it leaves a lip stain that tides me over until the next touch up.  I have four colors and I’m dying to add a bright pink or two to my collection.  Plus the color descriptions are helpful, accurate, and include swatches on different skin tones–brilliant!  Whether you are a lipstick addict or just venturing into the world of bright lips, you can’t go wrong with Colour Pop.

Have you tried any of these products?  I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Thank you so much for stopping by.

xoxo,
jenn

** I am an independent consultant for Rodan + Fields, the new anti-aging company founded by the Proactiv doctors, but this is not a sponsored post.  I buy and use R+F products because I love them, and these are my personal opinions.  I’ll be posting more about this in the future, but if you are still on the hunt for the best skin of your life, please email me (jenn.m.french at gmail).  This VIB Rouge tried everything twice before finally finding the products that are reinventing my skin.

Holy Grail Foundation #1

Hello, friends!

Is it me or did this week fly by?  It’s interesting how your perspective changes when you make the switch from employee to entrepreneur.  There really is something empowering about being in charge of your schedule, especially if you’ve worked in law or another field where someone’s poor planning becomes your emergency (i.e., your late night or weekend in the office).  I am still adjusting to my new life but these days my inner monologue has switched from “it’s only Wednesday???” to “it’s already Wednesday?!!” and I couldn’t be happier.  :)

Zelens Age ControlSpeaking of happy, if you love makeup, you understand the joy that comes from finding your holy grail foundation: that magical product that matches your skin tone, leaves your face looking flawless, lasts all day, and, as an added bonus, leaves your skin looking better than it did the day before.  The first holy grail foundation I’m sharing with you all is actually my most recent acquisition–mainly because I can’t stop wearing it!  It’s the Zelens Age Control foundation, which you can purchase at Barneys.  I knew this would be my next foundation purchase after reading the glowing reviews from the lovely ladies at Café Makeup and the Beauty Professor, and I couldn’t be happier!  I wear the shade Cameo, but if you’re not sure which shade is best for you, I highly recommend visiting Rachel Anise, the Beauty Professor.

Barneys says the following about this glorious foundation (but please disregard the typos!): “A skin-perfecting treatment foundation providing long-lasting natural-looking medium to full coverage.  The moisture-enhancing formulate helps restore firmness and elasticity with a complex of 17 active ingredients including peptides and antioxidants.  Photo-luminescent diamond spheres optically veil imperfections, helm minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  Oil-free. Dermatologist-tested.”

I used to be a die hard fan of applying foundation with my fingers, but I finally figured out how to use my beautyblender, and I can’t stop!  (Side note: I have the white one but I’d recommend you go with the standard pink–even with daily washing it is so hard to keep the white one white!)  If you’re like me and this puppy sat unused for months while you pondered its use, kindly watch this video.  I do still prefer applying more liquid-y foundations with my fingers (e.g., YSL fusion ink), but for thicker liquids and creams, the beautyblender delivers an airbrushed, flawless finish.

After priming my skin with one pump of By Terry Terrybly Densiliss primer (which you can purchase herehere, or here), I put one pump of foundation on the back of my hand.  It’s more than enough for my whole face, and almost too much if I use my fingers instead of the beautyblender.  Here are a few unfiltered pictures I took this morning, although the vanity globe bulbs add their own charming tinge…

IMG_9201                        IMG_9203

As I do with most foundations, I mixed in a bit of Charlotte Tilbury’s Wonder Glow (here).  This product is the epitome of je ne sais quoi; I honestly can’t describe it other than to say that it just makes your skin look amazing.  I’ve been using it almost every day for months and have barely made a dent.  Absolutely one of my favorite Charlotte Tilbury products!  I mixed these together and applied with a damp beautyblender, and voilá!  Perfect canvas.  (Also, don’t get discouraged if you aren’t sure about the coverage immediately after application.  I find the foundation looks better and better over time, so you might even want to hold off on concealer while it settles into your skin.)  I also tried one of the the new Colour Pop blushes in Thumper for the prettiest pink glow.  Guys, this $8 cream to powder blush trumps every single expensive blush in my collection!!  Plus they don’t test on animals, and all the products are made right here in sunny California.  I am obsessed with this brand!

IMG_9204

IMG_9206

Here’s my full makeup look in natural light (which I would kill for in my bathroom…) and without any photo editing or filters.  I am just loving the nude trend for Spring, especially since my skin is finally cooperating!

IMG_9229

IMG_9227

I find that this foundation has incredible lasting power, and I only need a slight touch up with powder when my nose gets a bit shiny after literally hours of wear.  (Check out this picture for a glimpse into the magic of this product!)  It doesn’t separate, oxidize, slide around, or cling to dry patches.  While it is on the more expensive end of foundations, it’s also got added skincare benefits that makes it more than just base color.  If you have a bit more to spend on makeup, I cannot recommend this foundation enough!

Here’s one more picture, this time with indirect natural light.

IMG_9224

Please let me know if you have any questions about this lovely foundation, and I’d love to hear about your holy grail products!

As always, thank you so much for reading.

xoxo,
Jenn

Marching Along

Hello friends,

Friday, we meet again.  I’m still pondering the direction of this blog, but this was a busy week that didn’t allow as much time for blogging as I had hoped.  So far the best part about being a Girl Boss is the time I’ve had (and taken) to reconnect with friends and family.  I had such a great conversation with one of my DG sisters this morning, and it set the tone for a wonderful day.  It’s also very encouraging to see how many of my friends and colleagues are taking life by the cojones and forging their own paths, despite their successes in the 9 to 5 world.  ;)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  Thank you for stopping by.

xoxo,
Jenn