last weekend we escaped the grey weather in geneva by hopping on a train to avignon. in around three hours, we arrived at a state of the art train station and were whisked away by my lovely parents-in-law to the beautiful HÔTEL DE LA BASTIDE DE BOULBON about fifteen minutes from avignon. it is run by a belgian couple, and their classy style is evident in the smallest details, inside and outside. we fell in love with the gorgeous garden, terrace, swimming pool and facade of the building, and spent some lovely moments lounging in the sun, a bottle of viognier near.

last weekend was the first little bite of summer i have had all year, so i made sure to pack plenty of spf. last year i was introduced to the wonderful spf 30 uv protecting fluid by LA MER, which i used all summer long up to my wedding (and on the big day itself underneath my make-up!) this year, la mer introduced an ever safer update version of the product in SPF 50. the texture is a little heavier, which is understandable, given the protection it gives to your skin. it is also white, contrary to the light green shade the spf 30 version had.

the best part about this product is that the bottle is small enough to fit into any kind of purse or beach bag, so i have it with me always. it’s not supposed to hydrate as it is purely spf, and because of that i find that it makes my skin a lot less oily than most other sunscreens. i much prefer this manner of protecting my skin against the sun, combining the spf with my own face lotion or cream of choice.

as for the upgrade to spf 50 from 30, i really don’t mind it, as the skin on my face is prone to pigmentation and not in the cute, freckly kind of way. tanning is becoming less and less important to me, as i grow weary of the devastatingly damaging effects the sun has on skin. i do believe, however, that with the right use of the right products, you can still get a healthy glow in a safe and responsible way. and if it makes me smell as good as a la mer product, well that’s just an added bonus.

photos by stephanie duval // taken at the HÔTEL DE LA BASTIDE DE BOULBON in boulbon // this blog post is a collaboration with LA MER, but of course all opinions are my own // shop for la mer online or in antwerp at PARFUMA or in brussels at SENTEURS D’AILLEURS

2 Responses

  1. Kelly says:

    What a beautiful place. I’ll admit it: I just saved it somewhere in my travel bookmarks, in case we end up near Avignon some day. :)
    I agree with you on the tanning, haven’t done it in the recent years, because of the same reasons. I’d rather have a healthy than a damaged skin.

    • Stephanie Duval says:

      so good to have places like that in your bookmarks, right? you never know when you’ll end up where :) and fist bump for the non-tanning policy!

Leave a Reply


Filter through posts by category.

The Road Less Taken

Travel through posts by city.


my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


site by —
matthias deckx