1.  What is fraîchelook?

It’s quite literally my own, “fresh look” (see what I did there?) at beauty products that I’ve tried.

2.  Why fraîchelook?

I always look at reviews before buying a new product.  Such is the blessing the Internet: come out with something wonderful and the glowing buzz will go ’round the world once over before avid blog readers, Twitter followers, and YouTube viewers can even flock to their local Sephora to pick up their own little vial of that Holy Grail.

But everyone is different: different skin tones, different skin types, different sensitivities, different priorities, different budgets.  And so, every reviewer adds to the story of a product.  “Holy swiss cheese.  This was the best thing my fair, sensitive skin has ever touched.  Including the time I washed my face with liquified platinum.”  “Do. Not. Buy.  Unless you want your combination skin to be turned into the new Exxon oil spill.”  “This cream smells like feet.  So unless you intend to use it on your feet, I’d suggest you stay away.  In fact, even if you intend to use it on your feet, do us all a favor and don’t.”

The ultimate end goal is for any Jane Doe out there to follow as many of these story threads as she needs in order to figure out: will this work for me?  (“Why yes,” Jane said, “I want my face to smell like feet.”)

3.  So…what’s your skin tone, skin type, and budget? What are your priorities and sensitivities?

Thank you for dialing 4-1-1.

Skin tone: medium with mostly yellow undertones, with a tinge of olive.

Skin type: combination, but of the utmost annoying variety.  My T-zone tends to get oily…but get this: my forehead also gets dry patches!  Thus, if I don’t moisturize my forehead enough, it will get flaky.  But if I use a overly rich moisturizer, I’ll break out.  This is so. much. fun.  (Sarcasm font, where art thou?) I tan easily and rarely burn. I don’t have much in the way of wrinkles, but I have noticed fine lines under my eyes. Gulp.

Priorities: I love my sleep.  Thus, I can’t be bothered to wake up early for the express purpose of dolling myself up.  For a special occasion? Sure.  But for everyday?  Excuse me while I catch more Z’s.  My requirements for every day products, therefore, are: easy to use, built-in SPF, multi-tasking if possible.  It is also unsurprising that I tend to prize skincare products over cosmetics.  (Nobody will look, gasp, and point at some “horridly applied moisturizer!” but they might point at your hurriedly-applied eyeliner that looks like a three year-old was taught to color outside the lines.)  But let’s not kid ourselves. I also like pretty things.  Even pretty,  impractical things.  That’s just how our XX chromosomes roll.

Budget: I try not splurge if I don’t need to.  Read: if you are not selling me your holiest of Grails, my credit card need not meet your cash register.  She’s kind of anti-social that way.  But I am more willing to splurge on skincare products since those products tend to have more long-term, skin-deep benefits.  In sum, the optimal price : quality ratio I strive for is “best bang for my hard earned buck.”  I don’t necessarily mind shelling out investing a lot of “bucks” provided that the accompanying “bang” is proportionally jaw-dropping.

Sensitivities: My T-zone is acne-prone in the sense that a pore-clogging, oily product will tend to make it break out.  Otherwise, regular cleansing can very well keep breakouts at bay.  (I don’t need to use cleansers with AHAs and BHAs but I often like to for their anti-aging properties.)  I prefer lightly scented products since I’m not sensitive to scents and because I find “unscented” products to usually have an unpleasant scent.  You know…that “unscentend” scent?

4.  What’s up with the “cotton balls”?

For those who don’t care about the finer things in life, such as leisurely blog reading, and really only want to know what the “bottom line” is, I figured that a quick rating system to sum up my reviews would be useful.  I wanted something that had to do with beauty products so I settled for the reliably fluffy, jack-of-all-trades applicator: the cotton ball.  Plus, it looks so cute in pink.

5.  What else do I need to know about your site?

Nothing.  Except….keep in mind that a sense of humor is the best cosmetic.