Beauty & Baubles

Brian + MW cruelty-free and paraben-free skincare products for radiance & firming. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

While we’re staying at home, let’s take a moment to indulge in a little pampering and some pretty things, shall we?

We’ve been doing our best to support local businesses during the shutdown, so I thought I’d give a shout-out to a couple of my favorite local businesses. Both offer quality products that are made in the USA.

Cruelty-free, paraben-free beauty products

My friend Brian is a professional hair and makeup artist, who has done lots of red carpet and commercial work. He teaches his makeup techniques via his Makeover Workshop parties and classes. He’s developed his own makeup and skincare line, Brian + MW. Here are some of my favorites from his cruelty-free, paraben-free skincare line:

  • Super Radiance Exfoliating Freshener. This is a gentle but effective exfoliating toner that reduces dullness and improves radiance. Use after cleansing, before moisturizing.
  • Illuminate & Contour Eye Treatment. This is one of my must-haves! It smoothes and plumps the skin around the eye. And I’ve found it’s especially effective for reducing that crepe-y texture.
  • Firming Neck & Throat Creme. I started using this a couple of years ago, and saw a noticeable improvement in the firmness and texture of the skin on my neck.
  • Re-Creation Lip Treatment. I’ll never stop singing the praises of this lip product! It moisturizes, smoothes, and plumps, and has eliminated the flakiness I used to constantly experience. Lipstick goes on and stays on SO much better!
  • Re-Creation Skin Firming Serum. This is especially good when used in combination with the Exfoliating Freshener. You can feel it firming, but it’s not drying.

And if you’re looking for some moisturizing and natural-looking lipsticks, check out the Sheer Moisture Lipstick line.

Paris-inspired, LA-made jewelry

Favorites from French Kande Hotel de Ville II collection for Spring/Summer 2020. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Regular readers may know that I’m a huge fan of French Kande jewelry. It’s an LA-based, family-run brand, and all of the pieces are designed and manufactured here. The line was born when Kande found some vintage medallions at a Paris flea market, and was inspired to add them to necklaces. I love the Paris-meets-LA vibe!

They just released a new collection earlier this week, and it’s one of my favorites yet! Here are a few of my picks from the Hotel de Ville II collection. Starting at top left:

I have those first three pieces on order. 😉 There’s lots more in this collection, so do go have a look!

Local Boosters…

We’ve been trying to support our local businesses in whatever ways we can. Here are a few ideas:

  • Order takeout/delivery from your favorite local restaurant.
  • A couple of our local restaurants are also offering fresh produce boxes for pickup or delivery. This not only supports the restaurant, but local produce suppliers.
  • If you have a gardener, housekeeper, hair stylist, manicurist, etc. who is unable to work right now and you can afford to do so, please continue to pay them, or purchase gift certificates for future service.
  • Donate to regional food banks or shelters

Please feel free to share any ideas or tips for supporting your local businesses.

Stay in touch.

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  1. April 2, 2020 / 7:15 am

    I love French Kande jewelry and have a couple of necklaces. Problem is, every time I go to their website I love *so many things* that it’s hard to make a decision!

  2. sue
    April 2, 2020 / 9:46 am

    Most local independent bookstores are finding ways to get books into the hands of their customers while keeping health risks to a bare minimum. If you want them to be around when this is all over…check out your own local bookseller and support them.

    Also…share book recommendations with your friends!

  3. Maryann
    April 2, 2020 / 7:10 pm

    I like a lot of the French Kande jewellery but when I add the cost of sending it to Australia into the mix it become unaffordable. I will just have to enjoy it from afar. Maryann

  4. Janet D.
    April 2, 2020 / 9:57 pm

    I do love jewelry & have been heard to complain more than once about having only two ears, two wrists, one neck & ten fingers (& thumbs!) to adorn (I add an ankle & a toe or two in summer, mind you). But I buy very little commercially produced jewelry, preferring one-of-a-kind treasures from artists & artisans I find locally & on Etsy & the like. Not only do you get a handcrafted piece (& often even customed-designed to express your own unique style & taste), but you’re supporting independent artists & craftspeople.

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