Monthly Archives

March 2011


Paris Moments

March 28, 2011

Thank you to everyone who has been so kindly commenting on my Paris posts.  Here are a few more that I thought you might enjoy.

An antique shop window that looks like a blend of magic and science:

Souvenir and home decor shop window (which belongs perhaps in London, not Paris).  And, yes the raised hands are attached by springs that wave back and forth in the royal way:

I wonder whether they have any lipstick in those purses?

This is a bridge that leads across the Seine from the Louvre Museum.

The grated sides are covered with locks, proclamations of love from those who’ve visited the bridge over the years.

These seem to be from all over the world.

I wonder where the big, red heart-shaped one is from?

The lovers write their name and sometimes the date on the locks:

A street vendor sells extra locks:

A typical French flower stand.  These are always so beautifully arranged.  I miss them when I’m not here.

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Les Macarons de Paris

March 25, 2011

Those lovely light, creamy confections are everywhere–usually in two sizes. These are the larger–

Some of the most prominent sources:

  • Laduree – Most of their locations seem to have both an enormous selection, as well as a restaurant for tea or for a girly lunch.  Very “white tablecloth.”  I always love to see the gorgeous scarves, handbags and the little dogs that the ladies bring.
  • Paul – These are scattered throughout Paris.  They have wonderful breads, quick sandwiches (on tiny baguettes), quick little quiches and various desserts.  Their macarons are usually sold out by mid-afternoon.
  • Pierre Herme – Their confections are perfection.  Elevating the taste of a macaron with an impeccable presentation.
  • Lenotre – Extremely fine gourmet food source.  Yes, they have macarons, sure.  Their food goes well beyond desserts to gourmet meals.  Some of it looks like fine architecture.

Aside from these larger sources, on any given day you can pass by a dozen small bakeries with gorgeous things inside.  You can see that things have been made by human beings.  Here’s a secret about those little bakeries–they are a source of incredible “fast food”–for about 5 euros you can get an amazingly large sandwich (half is way too much), using amazing cheeses and meat on a fresh little baguette in under a minute.  Add a little more for water, and you begin to question why fried fast food exists.  If you see a line outside one of these, get into that line.

These macarons are from Angelina, an historic restaurant on the Rue de Rivoli in central Paris.  I’ve heard that Coco Chanel used to drop by for tea, as it is just down the street from her shop on the Rue Cambon.  Recall that one of Chanel’s Rouge Coco lipsticks is named for Rivoli?  Yes, this is that Rivoli!   Although the meals are not much different from standard cafe fare, the desserts are noteworthy.  Angelina is best known for its Mont Blanc dessert (reviewed here), but that’s insanely large. Here are their macarons (here, the small size):

I found Laduree’s dessert cookbook in a bookstore, and found several macaron recipes inside:

The recipes are in French and the measurements are in metric.  I don’t care–I will learn!

Some challenges are worth it.

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Chanel Mascara

Sublime de Chanel Mascara Review

March 24, 2011

Sublime de Chanel (29 euros/) is a new mascara released in France, designed for “infinite length and curl.”  Like Guerlain’s Le 2 mascara, Sublime de Chanel delivers a very clean, intensely curled, combed, and nicely lengthened lash.  In fact, the Guerlain is the only other mascara that I’ve tried that delivers such an instantly curled lash (no curler required).

The packaging is very similar to the Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss–a square tube with a gold “CC” top, although the mascara packaging does not feel as heavy.  Part of the miracle of Sublime de Chanel is the performance without clumps.  Once opened, the brush is very sharply swiped by the tube.  Although the brush is far from dry, the mascara forms a good, thin film on the brush without any clumping.  Honestly, you’d have to work at it to get this mascara to clump.  I certainly wasn’t able to.  Here’s a picture of a freshly pulled-out Sublime de Chanel brush:

As you can tell, the brush is a series of combs that keep the lashes very clean.  The effect on the lashes is very much like the model in the picture.  I have a hunch that the model in that picture has some pretty nice lashes to start with.  Now I’m going to go out on a limb and guess–I think those lashes in that picture aren’t photoshopped.  That’s pretty much the effect you get–long, separated, curled, clean lashes. Of course, if your lashes are shorter to start with, you won’t get that length, especially without a few layers.

This leaves my lashes feeling pliable but still curled throughout the day.  No smudges, no flaking.  It performs like a great high-end mascara.  I love it more than Chanel Inimitable.

Here’s a delightful little video at’s French website–> watch it, it’s adorable.

My thanks to Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book, who located this video from Vogue Russia. If you go about 1 minute it, you’ll see how the makeup artist applies Sublime de Chanel with a slight wiggle motion.  If you go to the end, you’ll see the final effect with this mascara.  Although the video is in Russian, I suspect that most Chanel makeup lovers will follow along just fine:







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Chanel Lipstick

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine- More Swatches

March 24, 2011

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks ($32 each) are due to release in the U.S. soon.  You can see my reviews of some of the colors (Boy is here, and Bel Ami is here).  Along with my wanderings in Paris, I picked up two more shades (Monte Carlo and Bonheur), plus a sample card of the shades that are most heavily promoted here in France– in addition to Monte Carlo and Boy, Liberte and Adventure.


Based on playing with these so far, my favorite picks for my NC15/Chanel Cameo coloring are Adventure and Bonheur.  For my warm coloring with mauve undertones, Bonheur is really quite nice.  I suspect that Liz would strongly prefer Adventure.

Here are more thoughts:

  • Monte Carlo– a sheer, shiny red-coral.  It looks awesome with Chanel Tweed Duo blush in Corail, by the way.
  • Boy- A very sheer, soft blue-pink.
  • Liberte- A soft, orangey-peach
  • Adventure– A medium-toned, crowd-pleasing pink.  You can’t go wrong with this color.
  • Bel Ami- A sheer grape with a touch of brown.
  • Bonheur– A soft red with a touch of mauve.  This one packs a little more color than the others.

All from this formula are sheer and balmy.  Boy is the sheerest.  Of the ones that I’ve played with, Monte Carlo and Bonheur have more pigmentation than some of the others, with Monte Carlo coming in a close third.  This line is not intended to  give the pigmentation or have the lasting power of the other Chanel lipsticks (Rouge Allure or Rouge Coco), rather these are easy, casual colors that can be swept on for a touch of shine and moisture.

Swatches in sunshine (yes, don’t hate me but it’s sunny in Paris today):



In shade:

By the way, check out this sweet gift with purchase at a Parisian department store.  In addition to the swatching card, I got a Chanel No. 5 perfume sample and a good sized Sublimage Creme, the new formula.  Now, that’s a gift with purchase….

By the way, the fabric you see in the background is an enormous scarf I got for around 10 euros.  I swear, you can get such big, gorgeous scarfs so inexpensively here.

All images are mine, please link to this entire post. Do not copy or hotlink the images. Thank you for your continued support and understanding.

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Lipstick Paris Serge Lutens

Serge Lutens Lipsticks

March 23, 2011

At Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royale, I purchased a lipstick in #6, Mauve de Swann ($70).  I tried on another color, a deep red, and was very tempted, but decided to go with this neutral instead.

The bullet is encased in a deep red-brown hexagon, and refills can be purchased separately ($55).  The line has a range of ten colors:

My wonderful contacts at the boutique were kind enough to provide this sample card to me, which includes six of the shades to swatch for you:

As you can see, these six shades include three reds and three neutrals:

  • Mise a Mort:  A warm red
  • Roman Rouge:  A deep, cool red
  • Pourpre Maure:  A deep plum
  • Or Perle: A sheer gold cream that is very moisturizing
  • Rose des Glaces:  A soft cream-rose
  • Mauve de Swann:  A soft mauve-pink

To see the swatches, click “continue reading”….

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