My 15 Favorite Products & Discoveries of 2015

2015 was such a full year for me! I struggled a lot with my job at school. I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree. I spent the summer traveling all across the United States, including visiting 8 states for the first time (Alaska, Washington, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky,  and Tennessee). I attended the first funerals I’ve been to since I was 9, and unfortunately that was funerals in the plural. This means I’ve been so, so incredibly lucky not to have lost anyone close to me since then, but it made this particular year really rough. I started graduate school and managed a 3.82 GPA last semester.

It was so hard to develop my “best of” list for this past year. In 2014 I discovered a lot about the basics of beauty, but while I did learn a lot in 2015, this year was more about delving in and figuring out what I liked most. I still don’t have any true holy grails (I haven’t tried quite enough products for that!), but I’m getting there. After all, isn’t that what this whole process is about?

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1. Serums & Oils

This year was the year I discovered the wide world of serums and oils. My interest in serum-type products started back in the summer of 2014 when I purchased the Nutriganics Drops of Youth Concentrate, but this year I expanded the number of serums I own by a huge amount through sampling and started using serums regularly in my routine. Now I have too many serums, and am struggling to get through them at a fast enough pace. Oops!

In March I received an oil from Paula’s Choice in my Birchbox and liked it so much I ordered a full size. Then I tried out a rosehip oil and a serum-in-oil, as well as transitioning to using a body oil and starting to test out hair oils. I even started using a cleansing oil!

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Yves Rocher 12H Foot Deodorant Cream Review

Although I haven’t talked about it before on this blog, last spring I studied abroad in Paris. I was directly enrolled in La Sorbonne, taking history and poetry classes with Parisian students. I also took classical dance lessons in the Marais, going to class 2-4 times a week to have my inflexible body pummeled into proper dance form.

I’d never done ballet before, and so I acquired a pair of demi-pointes at the famed Repetto store. However, I soon encountered a problem: my shoes smelled. Gradually, I realized it wasn’t a problem with my shoes, but in fact with my feet. Never before had I encountered problems with my feet smelling, but here they were, ruining my lovely new shoes.

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I bought this foot deodorant in desperation. On my way home from class, I stopped by the Yves Rocher shop on Rue de Rivoli to browse and spotted this product in the foot care section. It was on sale, so I decided “why not?” And I have certainly not regretted that decision.

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Valentine’s Day Outfit Ideas

This Saturday is Valentine’s Day, which is traditionally a day spent with your partner. However, there are plenty of other great ways to spend it — with friends, on a first date, curled up reading a good book, at a party… My goal today is to bring you looks suitable for any of these situations.

My first look is for attending a party with friends — I focused it around a short lacy dress and bright red accents. The second look is meant as something you could wear to a fancy dinner with someone you’ve been going out with a while — a stunning long dress and classic makeup. Next up, an outfit for a stroll through the woods or hanging out in the park; this outfit is a basic sweater and jeans, with red-tinted lip balm as the makeup focal point. My final outfit is for a more casual dinner with your date (this is closest to my own Valentine’s Day plans!).

Regardless of what your Valentine’s Day looks like, you can never go wrong with a great scent. From romping through a field to going ice skating to a fancy dinner, perfume is something that is appropriate for every situation. My current favorite, and one especially suited for Valentine’s Day, is Chloé Love Story. Another current floral and feminine favorite is Yves Rocher Comme Une Evidence.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?