Paris

This and That…..

July 20, 2013

This is a wandering post, just a few thoughts and updates on my last few days in Paris.

France Saturday 01

Château de Chenonceau

One nice thing that we did during our time was a day trip to the Loire Valley. Before we left, we bought tickets to the TGV fast railway to Tours, France as our hub. From there, we hired a service which took us to see four castles on an all-day mini-van ride. We had an hour or two at each one, which was quick but manageable for our limited purposes. If I were to do it again, I would have spent the night in Tours. As it was, we took an evening TGV back to Paris. I’d highly recommend a bit of time outside of Paris if you choose to visit.  It’s wonderful to see a bit of the French countryside–it’s so beautiful.

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A few months before our trip, we bought tickets to two ballets. One was the Opera Garnier, which is an interesting historic piece of architecture which inspired The Phantom of the Opera.  To see the building at its best, it’s best to go during a performance in my opinion.

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 Fortunately (and contrary to the plot of the Phantom), the chandelier looked quite solidly attached below the ceiling painted by Marc Chagall.

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This year, the Opera season was finishing up with La Sylphide, which is a dream forest second half, full of fairies, witches, and ill-fated love.  The Paris Opera is, of course, world class.

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The entrance staircase (inside):

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Part of the grand staircase, below:

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Of course, we saw our share of Parisian museums and historic sites as well.

I was unable to resisting picking up some Guerlain nail polish while I was here, chosing Rouge D’Enfer and the Gel top coat. I can’t wait to try it out. The photo below is not very color accurate–for Temptalia’s swatches, look here).  It’s not a good idea to buy U.S.-available makeup in France, the price is usually lower in the U.S. due to the exchange rates and high VAT tax (although duty-free can be an exception). This purchase was breaking my own rules.

France Saturday 03

Happily, the Guerlain artist gave me a sample of the new Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Foundation with my purchase.

France Saturday 04

This must have just arrived, I was told the other day that no samples existed. Maybe.  Anyway, inside the brochure, you can see how limited the shade range is (just four shades):

France Saturday 05

Here is the ingredient list (click to enlarge):

France Saturday 06

I also wandered up to the second floor of Printemps, and picked up a few more items, including this Caudalie Zeste de Vigne shower gel (about 9 euros). It smells lovely.

France Saturday 09

This cute balm and moisturizer set from Caudalie (about 7.50 euros):

France Saturday 07

I picked up this nail remover to go with the Guerlain polish from Une, a bio-friendly line that’s in many of the department stores here. By the way, this was not particularly effective for me.

France Saturday 08

Also, I encountered this L’Oreal Mousse Absolue hair coloring mousse to touch up my hair just as I’m about to return. This was a terrible experience. Although the concept is good–the color mixes with the mousse during application–and the container can be capped for re-use in a few weeks. There must have been something wrong with mine–this left absolutely no color in my hair whatsoever. So, thumbs down on that one. 

France Saturday 02

I picked up a few other items, but as they are gifts and I don’t want to spoil anyone’s surprises by writing about them here, those will have to be invisible for the present time.

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  • Beauty Professor July 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    As one whose love of foundation knows no end, the Guerlain foundation you speak of invariably has piqued my interest. Yes, the price point (as mentioned in your previous post) is rather insane, but given both your positive experience and the undeniable transformational ability of a truly good foundation, I am definitely intrigued!! Wish it was coming stateside…

    Have a lovely rest of your trip…xo.

  • Eve July 20, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    That is so strange.I purchased the same product last week, and I had the exact same experience. The colour just didnt seem to take.
    I love your blog. So elegant and descriptive.

  • Sabrina July 21, 2013 at 8:20 am

    I love love love this Amy! Beautiful photos, sounds like you had an amazing time. I’m so glad they gave you a sample of the Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Foundation to try. I’ll be anxious to hear your thoughts/review 🙂 I’m dying over the opera house, it’s breathtakingly gorgeous. Must have been amazing to visit!

  • cewek July 21, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    We’re currently planning a trip to Paris – are you able to divulge which tour company did you use for your daytrip to the Loire Valley?

    Thanks!

    • Amy July 21, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      Sure-we used Acco-Dispo. I read a bit about them on the Fodor’s travel forums. Buy your train tickets ahead of time (they sell out). Also, bring a bit of cash on the tour because the entrance fees to the chateaux are not included (about 30-40 euros per person should be fine).

  • Ava July 21, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Stunning photos!

  • Caitlin Confidential July 22, 2013 at 10:26 am

    That Guerlain nail color looks like a dream. Paris looks beautiful, I must get back soon.

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