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Well, it took my long enough to finally find this fashion/interior deco mecca, but la Grisette found it, and boy did she ever! For someone who could live in an Anthropologie store, it was tough not having an equivalent in Paris… until Merci.

A concept store that resembles a trendy oversized loft, Merci houses what I would love to be my closet, full of Isabel Marant, Stella McCartney, YSL, and purses by Jérôme Dreyfuss.  The lower level has sections dedicated to men’s and women’s wear, including  a small jewelry section with up and coming designers, and a perfume counter. I recently got my hands on a wonderful new Annick Goutal for Merci scent called “Eau du Sud”, I love it because it’s incredibly fresh and not just a rehashed sickeningly sweet designer scent! The place is a vrai regal for the Parisian fashionista!

But then, it gets better with its upstairs level featuring amazing furniture and furnishings that range from a very organic style to a more colder modern feel.  Light fixtures, couches, tables, shelving, you name they have it, and you’ll probably want it. The only holding you (said me) back…are the prices. But that said, Merci is “charity store” in that it donates %100 of the profit to a charity that helps women and children in Madagascar, a country that suffers from intense poverty. So NO GUILT on the purchases!!

Going just go for the experience is definitely worth it, even if you don’t plan on buying anything. They have a really cozy café with all kinds of fancy teas and cocktails, which you can enjoy while getting your daily dose of people watching !



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So today’s beauty feature on La Grisette is consecrated to a mascara that keeps its promises. Yves Saint Laurent’s Faux Cils in high density black isn’t dry, doesn’t get all crumbly underneath your eyes like Dior’s DiorShow mascara, and provides length and volume like it says it does. And NO CLUMPING. Hallelujah!

I was a bit hesitant to buy it at first after having had a disappointing bout with DiorShow. I was thinking, well, luxury brand…drug store brand…is there a huge difference? I would say when it comes to YSL’s Faux Cils, there definitely is. Not only is it long lasting (and I am not even using the waterproof version) but it comes off easily when I am in a hurry to wash my face and hop into bed after a grueling day.

I know I might be sounding like a commercial right about now, but this week is dedicated to describing all the good beauty stuff I use daily after having gone through some trial and error in order to figure out what really works. This is just my honest two cents on mascaras (for this posting) and beauty products in general that are currently on the market!

My last word on mascara is Nivea. If you are scraping the barrel this month and don’t want to shell out the extra moola for the pricey Frenchie stuff, check out Nivea’s Extension Nanodefinition mascara. It provides great separation and length, and if you add another layer you can get pretty decent volume. I was using it before I took the plunge to try YSL, and I had my boss asking me what mascara I used! Definitely worth trying!!

So this week is beauty week on La Grisette! I have been meaning to go girly and report on my latest beauty finds that have proven they are worth their price tag, every single euro of them!

I am starting out with the small stuff today, but you know, the little details like a sweet new nail polish can do wonders if you are having a bad day and just don’t have the means to get yourself a new outfit. I know that retail therapy isn’t always the answer, but it can’t hurt either!!

So today’s feature is Essie’s nail polish in Geranium. Perfect on toes and fingers, it’s a must have summer accessory that brightens up any outfit. The coral tint makes it less serious than a red, but not as girly as a pink. Goes on smooth and dries fast, I am not only tickled by the color, but also the quality of the nail polish.

Available at any Sephora, and at Target if you are located in the States. It’s a steal!

Hitting kiosks today is the new pocket size Madame Figaro, a widely read women’s magazine supplement to the French newspaper Le Figaro, much like the T Magazine is to the New York Times. After seeing the success of recent almost tabloid-esque magazines such as Grazia and Be, Madame Figaro has decided to downsize literally the size of its magazine in order to most likely save on production costs and put itself in a better position to compete. Starting at 1 euro, and eventually going up to the regular price of 1,30 euros, the new miniature Madame Figaro has picked a perfect time to launch…smack dab in the middle of Paris Fashion Week.

While magazine sales are suffering for the most part in other countries, notably the U.S., magazines, especially small cheap ones, are still going strong in France. For example, Elle magazine has actually increased sales over the past five years, whereas other magazines have had to pull their shutters. Time will tell whether the move to create a pocket size Madame Figaro will render the magazine more competitive…for the moment it seems like a desperate measure to cut costs and appeal to France’s slimming wallets. Especially when they say something as cutesy/cheesy as “Madame Figaro pocket – Le style à prix mini.” It’s like saying “Payless – Dress for Less” for a magazine…

Natura store display

Thanks to my lovely half Brazilian friend Maira, I have recently discovered a wonderful new line of eco-friendly beauty products called Natura, which hail straight from the below the equator. The boutique, located at 2 place Michel Debré in the 6th arrondissement, whisks one into the tropics with its rainforest decor and fresh smells. With a wide range of products, ranging from shampoos to body oil, and from hand creams to make up, all the products have one thing in common. They are all made from fair trade ingredients (most of them unique to the rainforest and surrounding region) that are a result of Natura’s commitment to preserving the Brazilian environment and supporting its local communities. In addition, every product has a refill option which not only saves on packaging, but also makes it cheaper to buy.

A line of Natura products

My first purchase was modest…I went just with a simple hand cream enriched with Maracuja oil that smells heavenly thinking…well, even if my hands stay impossibly dry, as they tend to so, at least they’ll smell good! Turns out, not only does the product work, but it had the added bonus of strengthening my nails so I could keep them long and healthy. I will now be anticipating further surprise results from other products in the near future…

As far as I know, Natura has unfortunately yet to make it to the States. =( But for those who are not based in Paris, or Brazil, you can certainly order products online – though I admit their website is not nearly as appealing as the effect of setting foot into one of their shops! The day I went in, Natura had a charming guitarist playing classical acoustic guitar at the coffee/bar level and of course I had to stop for some free brazilian candies just to check him out!

Natura

2 place Michel Debré

Paris, 75006

Hours: 10:30 – 19:30

01 42 22 12 59

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