Birthday swap with Joyce, my birthday Twin!

It’s NOT my birthday yet, but neither Joyce nor myself could wait to post this, so we’re showing our swap a week and one day before our actual birthdays. Yes, Joyce of local girl foreign Land and I share a birthday!  It’s next Tuesday July 11th!  Here’s a glimpse at what Joyce sent:

I’m so excited to dig into everything! Let’s have a closer look:

Firstly, this idea was drummed up back in February – I had this crazy idea for the two of us to swap / gift each other birthday presents – this gave us five full months to plan!  Joyce lives in Paris, France while I live in Toronto, Canada so this was an opportunity for us to try out items that may not otherwise be readily available locally.  I sent my usual list of questions to her to gauge what type of items she would like to receive, and I also provided her my responses. What’s challenging with French brands is that many of them are available in Canada already!  But Joyce managed to score new-to-me items:

• Diadermine Lift+ Hydratant Jour Cream
• Diadermine PH5 Hydratant Protecteur Soin de Jour
Both of these are day creams but one contains SPF (but it doesn’t indicate what factor).  I’ve never heard of this brand before until Joyce alerted me of it!  The packaging reminds me a bit of L’Oreal. I can’t wait to try them.

• Monoprix Masque Auto-Chauffant
• Monoprix Masque Hydratant
That purple mask translated to “auto heat up mask”! I haven’t used one of those heat up masks in years – they’re so fun. I noted that these are both “Fabriqué Au Corée du Sud” (made in South Korea, which is interesting they needed to distinguish that… I mean, have you ever come across anything exported from North Korea?!)  Monoprix is a French department store (I think similar to mark & Spencers where they sell clothing, food and household items) and this is their own brand of skincare.

• Le Petit Marseillais Deodorant Bille extra Doux Lait de Vanille
• Le Petit Marseillais Lip Balm Nourrissant
• Le Petit Marseillais Savon 72% extra Pur à L’huile D’olive
Interesting about this brand – prior to a couple of months ago, I had not heard of it but I started seeing the body washes appearing on shelves here and then blogs started to showcase them (see my pal Maria of BestDayBlogger’s post here). So far, we only have the body washes available here which is a limited offering of Le Petit Marseillais’ full line up. I’m very excited to try them all!

• secrets de Provence Shampoing Solide
• Melvita 3 Honey Nectar Balm
A solid shampoo! I’ve only ever tried LUSH’s Godiva Shampoo bar, which I quite liked. I’m looking forward to trying this! and Melvita is a brand that I’ve heard a lot about – they do have a Canadian website but I wished I could play and test the products in person before committing. I’m a lip balm addict so I welcome this to my stash – this would make a terrific nighttime balm, methinks.

• A313 (Avibon) Vitamin A Cream
I specifically asked for this item! I had googled “French pharmacy must haves” and came across this article – most of the items shown on the list are readily available in Canadian drugstores, but I’d never heard of Avibon before but there were reams of reviews on how effective it is (made famous by Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP apparently). Vitamin A is also known as retinol – fingers crossed that my skin will like this!

It’s so strange that all the labeling are solely in French – being in Canada, we’re used to seeing both French on packaging, alongside English.  I found myself turning the boxes over to see the English side but there are none!

• sleek Highlighting palette in Cleopatra’s Kiss
Remember when Joyce was my guest writer and reviewed the Solstice version of this palette? I’ve had my eye on this ever since!

• Kiko long lasting Eyeshadow Stick in 05 Rosy brown and 38 golden Taupe
• Kiko Water Eyeshadow in 228 Taupe and 219 Flamingo Pink
Ever since getting a taste of Kiko cosmetics, I’ve been pining for more.  I heard about the long lasting Eyeshadow Sticks from Maaike over at Floating in dreams and I had to try them! My ultimate weakness are eye makeup products and I’m itching to slap all of these onto my eyeballs right now!

• L’oreal nude Magique cushion foundation in 03 Vanilla (EU version)
• Byterry precision waterproof Khol 15
Haha, I laughed so hard when I found the L’Oreal Lumi cushion foundation in the parcel! Here’s what Joyce said, “because you hate it I really want you to try this though…” If you don’t know, I did a whole rant on cushion compacts. and now I count three cushion compacts in my collection – including the Physicians formula one I recently received – how did this happen?! But, I will try this L’Oreal one – apparently the EU version is different! (the North American version is called true match Lumi and the casing is gold) Joyce included the ByTerry eyeliner as an extra.

• Etude house Slim Air Puff
• Etude house double lasting foundation in Vanilla, Petal, and Beige
• Etude house face Blur SPF33 PA++
• Primavista long keep Base UV
More extras!  The Air Puff is to use with my cushion compacts. The Etude house foundation sample is to see if I’ll like it since I wrote about wanting to try it here.  And that Primavista primer is one that she recommended to me but I could not get in Japan because it was sold out everywhere! She also included the cute “My little Box” drawstring pouch for me! Joyce does an unboxing of all of her MLB on a monthly basis here.

• La mere Poulard Sables biscuits
• Franprix Pralines aux Amandes Extra
Sweet snacks! I am so proud of myself that I haven’t dug into these yet. I’m attempting to wait until my actual birthday to open them…

All the loot:

Funny story: Joyce’s parcel arrived to me about a week earlier than mine to her, so I waited patiently… I did not open the box until mine arrived to her! Joyce messaged me as soon as she received my parcel and we did a live unboxing together! We sent little videos back and forth to each other, hehe. want to see what I sent to Joyce? Head over to her blog here for the details!  Also, get to know Joyce here, she was a guest on Cat’s podcast back in March.  You can’t think of how excited I am to try everything! thank you Joyce!!!

Have you tried any of the items I received?

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