Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Some gems I found digging thru Euro-trash...

Bonjour, Hola, and What it is Y'all!!!
Ladies, mama's back from her glamorous, sexy, heady European vacay!! I missed all of you terribly...for about five minutes. No, I'm kidding. As I Dior'ed and Chanel'ed down Paris' glitzy Rue Honore and bared boob on the balmy beaches of Barcelona (say it fast, three times)--I thought often of my fellow makeup mamas, hoping against hope that you were Shaking Your Beauty in my absence. I missed my frothy little blog! Seriously, I love finding hot stuff for you and reading your fab comments--and that you allow me to jabber on about, lets face it, nothing much. Thats why during my travels, I stayed on top of my game for you, keeping an eye out for interesting, uniquely European products you might find fascinating. I just don't understand why Adam, who had to buy an extra duffle bag to schlep my loot around from city to city, wasn't moved by my dedication.

But about the trip! We spent three days each in Paris, Cannes, Barcelona, and finally, Seville--and it was BEYOND, yo. Each city had its own special, wonderful thing happening. A quick breakdown:

PARIS: First of all, thanks to Lauren, my expatriate baby sister and Le Cordon Bleu (world-famous culinary institute) student, for putting us up in her adorably "FRANSH" studio apartment. Since you were such a gracious host, I won't mention your kooky school uniform--is your cooking somehow enhanced by the special hat? Anyway, Paris is all about great shopping, insane bread, the extremely literate ghosts of Hemmingway/Fitzgerald/Baldwin looming over chic cafe's, moody-sexy rain, and waiters so inattentive one must practically erect a flag to get their attention.

CANNES: Major jetsetting ritziness. Think yachts the size of the Lincoln Center; ancient, portly millionaires in Speedos and the siliconed twelve-year-olds who love them; sunbathing in nothing but fully contoured, smoky eyes; lots of gold jewelry; and the famous restaurant Foucets (yes, pronounced Fuck It's) whose steak with homeade frites should be bronzed.

BARCELONA: Oh, Barcelona! Your standard bustling, dynamic major European city--but with 19th century architect Gaudi's woozy, curvy "Alice in Wonderland" architecture, and beaches featuring golden-skinned, black-eyed men who boldly stare and mumble things like "Ah que linda, morenita!" despite the seething man holding your hand. Oh, and gazpacho!!

SEVILLE: My home for six months in 2001! I got to show my Adam where I lived, the exact spot on my bed where I wrote THE ACCIDENTAL DIVA, my favorite restaurants, the club where I won "Miss International" (that's a different post), and everything. The highlight was a heart-thumpingly passionate flamenco show where this time, Adam was object of affection—oh, the fiery eyes that slithering, stomping, clapping male dancer threw at my mortified hubbie!

One of my favorite things about Europe is how things are similar--but just different enough to be exotic. The grocery stores sell shriimp, but with heads and feet and tails. McDonalds still carries the yummy fried apple pies from the 80's, before the current soggy baked ones. Likewise, Europe has many of the same beauty brands, but the lines are tweaked to specifically target each country's market--so, say, Revlon's packaging might be a tad different or Loreal hair products might carry stuff that hasn't launched in the US, yet. (for example, Loreal's Kerastase line was sold in Europe years before coming here). And then there are specifically Spanish, French, Italian, etc. brands that you can only get there. So everytime I visit Europe, the first thing I do is take inventory of new, different beauty stuff. I was devastated to find that some of my must-haves weren't available here--but these six were!

Enjoy your souveniers and a big "MWAH" on both cheeks,

1.) ROGERS & GALLET GINGER LONG-LASTING FRAGRANT DEODORANT IN GINGER: Can I just tell you, it was like 108 degrees in Paris? I usually don't like to say I perspire--"I'm glowing" is so much nicer--but whatever, I was SWEATING. I popped into the cutest drugstore one morning and was immediately struck by what I thought was an insanely glamorous eau de toilette. It wasn't until I'd sprayed my entire body with this spicy, musky, sparkling ginger scent that I realized it was a deoderant spray. Even better. Not only did it keep me dry the rest of the trip, I smelled exactly the way I imagine Anais Nin would've. Sadly, the deodorant isn't sold Stateside, but try the rest of the Ginger collection!
2.) YVES ROCHER PURE AROMATICS RELAXING AROMATHERAPY STICK: I love my husband so much I could stick him in a blender and slurp him up in smoothie-form, but we have different, well, travel styles. I'm of the vacation-means-poolside-chilling, Adam's of the we're-on-a-schedule-hurry-we-have-three-more-cathedrals-left-to-see school. In a word, he ran me ragged. Blended with lavander, vetiver, and something called petitgrain paraguay, this pocket-size aromatherapy roll-on stick releases tension like nobody's business when rubbed onto temples.
3.) YSL PALETTE JAIPUR COLLECTOR POWDER FOR EYES AND COMPLEXION: I bought this in Paris, but when I got home I found that you guys can buy it exclusively at Saks! Good thing, because this chic, paisley-printed powder sexifies eyes like you wouldn't believe. Just swipe with a finger, blending the shimmering swirl of golds, roses, silvers, and bronzes into a luminous sheen—add mascara and go.
4.) GIVENCHY POP GLOSS LIP GLOSS IN TONIC BROWN: I've never seen this shade until vacay, and discovering it changed my life. Oh, its so light, so luscious--just a simple coat of sparkly, sheer honey glaze that makes lips look ridiculously pump. Very "come heah, my deah."
5.) COMODYNES BEAUTY FLASH RADIANT EFFECT: Ohhh, girls. Everyone woman should own this. I bought it in Barcelona to combat jet-lag (i.e., droopy eyes, sallow skin, bags), but its perfect if you've overslept, or whenever you need to look awake in two seconds. One spritz of this invigorating serum allover your face somehow wakes up your skin, revives dead eyes, and gives a general radiant suppleness. And you can skip moisturizer. Lots of adjectives, but it WORKS.
6.) FRUITS & PASSION CUCINA FRAGRANT BOTTLES IN CORIANDER & OLIVE TREE: I saw this very rustic-chic set of three kitchen fragrances in Barcelona, thinking they'd be just the thing for my sister the budding chef. Modeled after Mediterranean olive oil bottles (and containing sweetly festive berries and herbs), the lightly fragrant oils mix with cooking aromas to freshen the kitchen or dining room. So, so glamorous--great for a hostess gift, or your own decor. In fact, I suspect I'll be keeping these for myself.


Blogger Schanina said...

Shake On Sista’, Shake On!

Thanks for dishing on your fabulous European escape. My friend and I are planning a European trip in the Summer of 2006. I went to Spain in high school but the trip sucketh in comparison to yours. My loco Spanish teacher wouldn’t let us go to a bullfight; instead we ended up at a nude beach. We were 17. I did enjoy Seville. We spent a good 3 days there but were only allowed 1 day in Barcelona. I know who goes to Barcelona for a day? Oh I can’t forget to tell you how a palm reader chased us around through the streets and told all my female classmates that they were expecting. My friend gave them 40 pesetas to leave her alone. Yep, gypsies gypped us. Sure the trip was memorable but my friend and I are going for a more glamorous vacation this time around.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Sid said...

SQUEEEEEEEEE! Ginger deodorant?
Yay! Wait, it's only available abroad? Dammit! This was a wonderful post though, sounds divine!

8:47 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

Whassup Tia!!!! Welcome back! I'm glad you had a blast. I peeped the Bergdorf Blondes reference, the book was way beyond (smile)

9:59 PM  
Blogger Funkeedva said...

Glad you made it home safely. When you were gone, I snapped a job as a freelance makeup artist! You'd be so proud :) LOVE IT LOVE IT!

8:33 AM  
Blogger VADamsel said...

I'm so glad you're back! I couldn't wait to read your new blog posting, sounds like you and your husband had a great vacay. Question for you...when you lived in the DC Metro Area anyone special you went to for eyebrow waxing? my brows are very unruly and I have yet to find someone that understands them, just thought you might know! oh and by the way I can't wait to try the Givenchy gloss you tried while on vacation.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Tisha said...

Hey Tia!! I'm from Europe (Belgium exactly). So I was able to buy the Roger & Gallet deodorant.... and I don't regret it!!! ummmmmmm smell so goood, so freshhh!! Oh, and I tried Iman's Luxury Liquid Bronzer! Very useful for Ms Snow White when she wants to become Ms Miami Diva! and it smells fresh too :) Can't wait to read your next post!! Oh and, one question, what do you do to have white teeth like the ones on your wedding picture?? Damnit! I'd really like to get that "Colgate" smile too, help me! ;)

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell us about your experience as a teacher in Spain!!!!!

9:58 PM  
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