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

Snow Date

January 16, 2013 • FranceGeneva

last weekend was one of the first in a while i got to spend alone with my guy. i love having friends over in geneva – in fact, i live for those moments shared with them – but nothing beats quality time with my love. we went skiing on saturday (very first time it was just the two us!) and for sunday, we made plans for a different kind of snow date. we went snowshoewalking in la givrine, watched adorable toddlers skiing on baby slopes, fell backwards and forwards into the deep snow, found a few magical places, shot amazing photos and i made my first snow angel. it was all aces. and yup, that’s me instagrammin’ in there. but if you’ve been following, i didn’t have to tell you that.

what kept me warm and cozy in the snow: loungelife hat // spyder coat // peak performance pants // columbia boots (they are ah-mazing) // ray-ban glasses


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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.


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