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Archive for July 24th, 2021

Genevive Chamblee: The Beauty in Writing — It’s Not What You Think
Saturday, July 24th, 2021

I have a love of romance. Most romance writers do. Not only do I love writing it, I love reading it. I also love watching it—big screen, little screen, streaming… it doesn’t matter. If it’s romance, I’m all there for it. However, I will see that reading romance is slightly different than watching it on television. Reading, I tend to relate to characters more realistically than on screen. What I mean is when I read about a character rolling out of bed, I don’t envision her as being all put together with a perfect face of makeup and not a hair out of place. Hollywood shoves it in your face. I remember watching movies like The Princess Diaries, Losing Isaiah, Sabrina, The Devil Wears Prada, Moonstruck, and Miss Congeniality. (Yes, I realize most of these movies only had romantic subplots and were not true romances.) These movies come to mind for their “makeover” scenes of beautiful actresses who when dressed down still looked stunning. Granted, the “unattractive” pre-makeover character mostly consisted of baggy clothes and oversized glasses with some hair frizz. But then again, big glasses concealed Clark Kent’s identity as Superman. That’s not the point, though. When I think romance, I think beauty—not just outer beauty but inner, as well.

Now, what on earth does writing romance have to do with beauty you may be asking? Nothing, for a lot of people. For me, there is definitely a connection. When I sit to write, like many writers, I need to feel inspired and in the moment. Many years ago, I noticed that a major distraction for me was my nails. When I would sit to write, if my polish was chipped or nails uneven, I found myself reaching more for nail polish remover or an emery board more than typing. I wouldn’t be content to write until my nails looked presentable.

But it wasn’t just for my nails that I did this. If my lips were dry, I’d fumble through my purse until I found a lip balm or gloss. If my foundation was beginning to break down, I would either have to repair it or remove it. Since I tend to write a lot late at night, I often do so while treating myself a facial. Feeling pretty makes me feel good and happy and puts me in a state of mind ready to embrace writing romance. Maybe that association came from seeing such physically gorgeous people in movie romances. Or maybe not.

Makeup has always struck me as another level of creativity, expression, and art. I adore playing with colors, formulas, and application methods. And over the last several years, the beauty industry has blown up. There are so many options and brands now. Next to writing and sports, makeup is one of my favorite pastimes. Now, as anyone who knows me, they already know how much I enjoy playing mix ‘n’ match with my hobbies and passions. After all, it was a blending of my love for hockey and writing that led me to write my first sports romance. So, it’s not that unusual for me to blog about makeup, beauty, and pampering oneself.

As mentioned previously, when I’m writing, not only am I looking at the screen, but I’m glancing at my hands. If I want to stay focused on writing, I do a bit of hand-prepping before I begin a writing session. I thought today’s post would be fun to share some of the hand products that are in or on my writing desk.

  1. Pamper Luxe Ultra-Rich Hand & Nail Cream (Sea Mist + White Flower). I have not run across a product that has been more appropriately named than this. First, it is lux—like placing your hands in a cocoon of silk. Ingredients include aloe, keratin, peptides, shea butter, and vitamins. It’s nongreasy and smells amazing—light, fresh, and clean. It is like being seaside…just wonderful. What isn’t so great is that I’m not sure that this product is being made anymore. I purchased it at Ulta Beauty for about $3.00 for a 3-ounce squeeze tube. I’ve not been able to find it there again. Last year, I was able to order one from Amazon, and the cost was around $17.00 plus S&H. Since then, I’ve not been able to find it anywhere on the internet. I have found the Body Cleansing Oil Sea Mist + White Flower for sale on Amazon for $45.00 and images of the Pamper Luxe Ultra-Rich Hand & Nail Cream Coconut + Almond Milk version (neither of which I’ve tried). If you do come across the Sea Mist + White Flower hand cream at a reasonable price, it is a very good investment. It did wonders for my dry skin.
  2. Flowery Scented Cuticle Oil. This is a new discovery for me, and I’ve only been using it for about two to three months, but I’ve noticed an improvement in my cuticles. Aside from writing, I’m in a profession that requires frequent handwashing and using hand sanitizer. In addition to not being able to go to the nail salon, this past year has been rough on my hands and nails. I invested in two versions of this oil: the rose and the lavender. As the names suggest, these oils are both lightly scented and they smell delightful. The scents aren’t overpowering, and it lasts. In addition to smelling astonishing, the visual appeal is magnificent. There is actual rose and lavender bits in the bottles. They display beautifully. I don’t have any complaints. However, I’ve read some reviews about this product that it is overpriced for the amount. I paid around $8.00 a for 0.5-ounce bottle. But here’s the rub. Not much of this product is needed to do the job. I use it multiple times a day, and the bottles still look nearly full. Plus, I purchased mine during a buy one, get one half price sale. I also will say that I’ve seen other cuticle oils with the same amount of product priced around the same.
  3. The Body Shop Hemp Hard-working Hand Protector. I don’t have much to say about this product as I found it just okay. As the name suggests, it is enriched with hemp seed oil (cannabis sativa oil). I didn’t feel any extra (more than other hand creams) hydration, as this is billed to be for “very dry” hands, which I felt I probably should have with the $20.00 price tag. I bought this as a “treat-myself” moment and because of the hype surrounding it at the time. I don’t hate it. It’s just not my favorite.
  4. Good Vibes Only Hand Cream (from Bath & Body Works). I’m not going to be fair to this one, I know, but I’m going to try. I didn’t care for this one at all, and that is mainly because of the smell. I have the Vanilla Coconut, and I don’t’ care much for either of those. So, why would I purchase it? I didn’t. I believe it may have a gift or even a freebie gift with purchase. I don’t recall how it ended up on my desk, but I can honestly say it has been there for the longest because I only reach for it as a last resort. It’s a tannish color, and it takes a little to work into the skin. It does leave my hands soft, but the smell… The packaging is rather basic (a tube with gold metallic and chunky lettering). It’s affordable, around $4.00.
  5. Soap & Glory Hand Food. Yes, yes, yes. This is one of my favorites. Unlike the previous that had two of my least favorite scents, the Soap & Glory has some of my favorites: rose, peach, jasmine, bergamot, and strawberry for a heavenly blend. However, I will admit that some users may find the smell quite strong. But I don’t think it can be that bad since it frequently is sold out when I go to order. Ingredients include macadamia oil, shea butter, and marshmallow. It applies smoothly without leaving a grease residue. I think the regular price is around $8.00 at Ulta but it goes on sale often.
  6. Caudalíe Hand and Nail Cream. I call this my bougie hand cream because I find it a bit on the pricy side and question if I shell out that type of money for it. As it happens, I came about this as a GWP, and I must say I don’t mind this at all. However, if you’re a person who does not like fragrance, stay away from this one. The best part that I noticed about this product is that it does not completely wash away when I wash my hands which is great. I wash my hands more than two dozen times a day, and in between those washings apply hand sanitizer at least a half dozen times. This causes me to go through hand products like water. With the Caudalíe, I continue to feel its effects after washing my hands and do not need to reapply as frequently as I do with other hand creams and lotions. For that reason alone, it may be well worth the price.
  7. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. I purchased this lotion simply because of the Aveeno name and that it has oats as an ingredient. Am I blown away by this lotion? No. But on days that I write outside, this lotion seems to keep me cooler. Now, I’ve never seen it advertised as such, and I’m fairly certain that it does not contain SPF. All I can say is that my skin enjoys this product, it’s readily available at most local stores, and the price is not outrageous. For users who do not favor fragrances in their lotions, they will be happy to note that the Aveeno is available in a fragrance-free formula.
  8. Jergens Cherry Almond Moisturizer Original Scent. This is my go-to oldie. I love the scent of this because it brings back childhood memories, like that of my great grandmother who died when I had just turned five. I find this to be not only a good hand cream but an excellent all-over body lotion. Many times when I write in the park, this is the lotion I throw in my writing backpack. The park tables are wooden and tend to scratch and scuff my forearms. The Jergens smooths all of that away. The best part is that it melts into my skin and doesn’t pick up the dirt and macro debris off the table. The scent is faint enough that it does not seem to attract insects (e.g., bees, ants, wasps, etc.).
  9. Ella + Mila Soy Nail Polish Remover Lavender Scented. What initially drew me to this product is that it contains essential oils that help not dry out my nails. Not only am I afflicted with dry skin, but I also have brittle nails. Any tap will cause them to break; therefore, I don’t need else to worsen the problem. Many polish removers strip my nails, even the ones that claim they won’t. This remover (when used as directed) takes off my polish and actually leaves them feeling nurtured. It’s lavender scented; thus, it’s missing that harsh chemical smell most removers have. (It comes in unscented, too.) Furthermore, it contains vitamins A, C, and E, and is vegan. The biggest drawback with this product is that the bottle is small, and the price not so cheap.
  10. A. Colors Color Craze Gel. When it comes to nail polish, I’m still on the search for the perfect one. This is why I tend not to invest more than a few bucks into a bottle. I find that no matter the cost, whether a $1.00 or $15.00, the store-bought polishes that I’ve used have all lasted about the same length of time—one to five days, regardless of using base and top coats. I’ve had a few off-brands only to hold up a few hours before peeling off. I began going to nail salons during my time in graduate school because I failed to find a polish that would last any decent amount of time. However, my nails are completely wrecked after wearing acrylics, gels, or overlays after a few weeks. Therefore, I have to limit how often I go to the salon. Of course, COVID took care of that problem last year. Now, I’m back to doing my nails myself. The current L.A. Colors polishes that I’m rocking are the shades Undressed and Ravish.

That’s all I got for today. What are some of your favorite hand products? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comment section. If you like this post, please click the like button and share it. If you’re not following me on Creole Bayou blog, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou. Stop by for a bit of southern hospitality.

Penalty Kill

If you haven’t heard, my best-selling hockey romance series, Locker Room Love. Book 4, Penalty Kill, releases this August. >>>

When the scandal of a double homicide threatens to destroy his career, this billionaire hockey player hires an ambitious sports agent to improve his public image. It’s time to let the puckery begin.

Timothée Croneau is that jock—the bad boy superstar with the naughty reputation. He’s handsome, arrogant, and a billionaire. He’s also the number one person-of-interest in a double homicide and recently traded to a losing team who is showing him no love. And wouldn’t it be just his luck that his career splashed in the toilet six months after his long-time agent kicked the bucket? Now, he’s stuck with Ryker Kitsch. An agent is supposed to fix his life, though, not break his heart.

Speaking of breaks, ex-athlete Ryker Kitsch wants his in the sports agency realm. He sees his chance to make a name for himself by helping rebrand his agency’s newly acquired hockey star, Timothée Croneau. The guy needs every lick of positive PR he can get. So, why is the devilishly gorgeous forward fighting him at every step and leaving Ryker to wonder if he’s been hired for a babysitting gig?

The mess Timothée is stirring was never in any contact Ryker was hired to handle. One thing’s for sure. Whether it’s a forecheck or backcheck, collision is inevitable.

Preorder your copy at:
Other book sellers:

Missed the three in my hockey romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box (book #1), where it is one minute in the box or a lifetime out, is available at It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit

Defending the Net (book #2) can be ordered at or Crossing the line could cost the game.

Ice Gladiators (book #3) is the third book in my Locker Room Love series. When the gloves come off, the games begin. Available at or

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors or BookBub.

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Until next time, happy reading and much romance. Laissez le bon temps rouler.