Weekend Bag Beauty

I am no beauty blogger, nor do I know much about the beauty world, but I always wish I did (or alternatively have someone do my makeup every morning) Growing up I was never really interested in makeup, I spent most of my childhood sat on a horse or in the middle of a field somewhere, I wouldn't have been able to tell you what mascara was.

Then I turned 15, the hormones kicked in and suddenly there was NO way in hell I could be seen by the outside world with no mascara. I always kept it to a strict minimum, but the minimum was essential to my being, which thinking about it now was completely ridiculous.

My mother never really cared for anything beauty either, but she did instill in us the importance of taking care of your skin, protecting it from the sun and hydrating hydrating hydrating. Typically French really, taking care of your skin first instead of trying to hide it behind layers of makeup, which I completely agree and beleive in.

Talking about the French, recently I've seen so many articles floating around the web about 'How French Women Do It Better' - which I find fascinating. Being half French myself, and having lived in France most of my life I just can't see what all the fuss is about. I do agree that the French generally embrace their 'natural beauty' more, they know what works for them. They are good at working with what they have instead of trying to transform their bodies into something they're not. But then again so do a lot of women around the world.

Then comes the food, which I must say, a lot of thought and importance is put on eating well in France, by well I mean eating good quality food, it's never so much about restriction but more about eating fresh and seasonal produce in reasonable quantities. Eating quality produce is not hard to do in France, it's not particularly expensive either (compared to other countries). Most villages have their own weekly markets. Eating well is of course, in my opinion, the foundation to feeling good and looking good, it helps when the country you come from is all about good food. Saying that I am sure France is not the only country that prioritises good food, or is it?

I thought I'd share a few of my current essentials that made it into my weekend bag when I left to the countryside a couple of weeks ago...

First thing first, the ever so magical L52 - if you don't know about this little potion, you will love me forever - I basically grew up drinking bottles of the stuff. It's homeopathy's golden pot that will keep the flu and colds away or will kick their little behind if they managed to attack already. As of recently you couldn't find it anywhere in the UK but I've got a feeling some Boots stock it now (don't quote me on this) and I've found it here online. (I stock up in France like a drug dealer - oscillococcinum is also the best in flu season!) It's my best friend all Winter.

This SenSpa lotion smells like an aromatic herbs garden - which if you ask me is the very best, lavender in particular, can't get enough of it. I wash my sensitive face every morning and every evening with the Amazing Face Cleanser from Aesop, it makes my skin feel clean and moisturised instead of feeling like cardboard you know? 

This primer (Hourglass, Veil) is my newest discovery, it's photoshop in a bottle, it makes your skin feel so smooth pre-makeup it's quite magical. It must be said that prior to a few weeks ago, I had never used a primer in my life (shocking!) - I don't bother every day either, but before a night out WHY NOT GO WILD.

My trusty Clinique Even Better foundation is my all time best friend, but we definitely go through phases when we don't see each other much, it's often replaced by my other best friend concealer (I have a few beauty best friends..) Oh and this beauty is on my wrist most days, saves me from obssessively looking at my phone (kinda).

Bathroom - Joy Felicity Jane
Weekend Bag Beauty - Joy Felicity Jane

Talking about primers, never used a serum either (which I've heard is the best thing since sliced bread) well this little red bottle (Shiseido Ultimune Infusing Concentrate) is - if I understand it well - a pre-serum liquid gold that's supposed to make your skin look and feel like a million bucks. 

Hoola every damn day, because I don't think there's anything better. Tom Ford lipsticks just in case I need to step it up. Newest nail discovery: Nailberry - free from 4 of the nasty chemicals they normally put in varnish - and they're French!

Weekend Bag Beauty - Joy Felicity Jane
Weekend Bag Beauty - Joy Felicity Jane

I forgot a few more essentials such as mascara, my face cream and my signature scent but here's the pretty view from the bathtub instead!

What can't you live without in terms of beauty products? I'm a little clueless, so I'm always curious to discover new essentials!

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Fresh countryside air

About two weeks ago now I packed a small bag, jumped on a train and off I went to visit my grandparents on the border of Hampshire. I used to only visit them at Christmas when all the family would be reunited, we would fly over from France and spend the week at their house with all my cousins. We would run around the muddy fields, build numerous forts in the garden or the attic, eating way too many mince pies along the way and sneakily stealing all the Pringles and chocolate bars we could find in the drinks cabinet when my grandad was asleep (any family members reading this - you better NOT say anything!!)

books - Joy Felicity Jane
books - Joy Felicity Jane
Garden - Joy Felicity Jane
- Joy Felicity Jane

Their house has a soul. It makes me happy. It makes everyone that stays over happy. It's welcoming and warm but also has a slight edge to it, something mysterious, the kind of mysterious that would give us chills when we were kids. As soon as you open the front door, you can feel the warmth coming from the Aga, and smell old wood and freshly cooked bread - that's it - you're home. 

So many memories, and so many more to come. Some of my favourites being the numerous charades games we played in the drawing room, laughing hysterically - especially to the dads, wiggling about, making all sorts of noises. All those times we pretended to be asleep while waiting for 'father christmas' to fill up our stockings.. The overwhelming fear that comes with going down to the cellar to get whatever was needed, walking slowly down the steps, checking for monsters on the way, picking whatever is needed so fast you're not sure you grabbed the right thing, and running as fast as your legs can take you all the way up the stairs hoping that one of your 'evil' little/big cousin hasn't shut the door before you made it (we still do that every time - Mel & I normally go down as a pair, because we would obviously be stronger if something attacked us downstairs) 

It makes me so happy to know that now that I live in London I can just pop over for a weekend and enjoy their company while breathing in the fresh countryside air that I miss so much being in the city. Sunday evening is always bitter sweet, sitting on the packed train back to London, promising myself to come back the following month withouth the shadow of a doubt.

When Soph is in London we eat

Soph & George were in town for 2 weeks to visit G's familly here in London. It was almost surreal to have them here with me when just a few months ago we were all in sunny Sydney on the other side of the world! 2 weeks obviously went in a flash, but if you remember we all met up with the girls and had the most scrumptious hot chocolate? This is what happened post-chocolate coma...

First we visited Adam and Molly at his office (sadly he had to work so he couldn't joing us..!) We played with Mols for a bit, and told her how beautiful her new haircut was. Then we made our way to Antidote for wine, cheese and cured meats because that's naturally what you do after filling yourself up with liquid chocolate & bruschetta (covered in melted cheese.. I think I forgot to mention it last time).. duh. They had one delicious saucisson, it tasted like France - if you ask me that deserves a 10/10.

After a few x-rated conversations and laughing fits we decided it was time for coffee. So we walked to Monocle - purely for the reason that it looked SO good in this photo... we were a little disapointed when on arrival the whole building was covered in scaffolding, but hey the coffee was good! 

A few days later, it was already time for Soph to head home *sad face* so we met up for a boozy mexican lunch, of course. We decided to give La Bodega Negra a go, and it did not disapoint!

Mexican is always a good idea, but I was really surprised with La Bodega Negra, and I can't wait to go try their restaurant downstairs (we were in the 'cafe' bit at the top). It was already time for goodbyes, I'm not good at those.. Crossing all my fingers and toes that they'll be able to come visit again come Christmas and that I'll manage to make it back to Sydney for a holiday next year. Someone invent teleportation ASAP!