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!!

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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!

So you have probably heard of a salon de thé, but what about a salon de café? While coffee in your regular Parisian bistro is usually rather good (in comparison to American coffee which the French have tastefully labeled jus de chaussette, or sock juice) there is a place in Paris that is specialized in the art of coffee. It’s called La Caféothèque, or also known as Soluna Café.

I went awhile ago with my friend Tenke (who is a coffee freak), and who before arriving in Paris from Geneva, had researched the best places to get an expresso. Never without her coffee high, we began a coffee crawl that led us to La Caféothèque where we decided to promptly end the crawl and indulge in the myriad of choices there.

Located on along the Seine, it can be easy to miss, as there isn’t a big sign and no tables outside. Once you step inside though, you know you have arrived as the smell of coffee greets the nostrils. Coffee is everywhere in every sense. Grinding coffee can be heard, roasting coffee can be seen etc.. With the occasional live music and a small library, La Caféothèque is a relaxing place to enjoy great coffee from the four corners of the earth.

We ended up buying a bag of coffee, a very special kind for the coffee connoisseurs, called Jacu bird coffee. The owner, a fascinating elderly man that was full of stories, let us have a free cup before purchasing it, which obvious sealed the deal. Jacu bird coffee needs some convincing… considering that the beans were predigested by the Jacu Bird before being pooped out and then picked up or “harvested” to make our coffee….

Again, a must for coffee aficionados!!

La Caféothèque

52, rue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville
75004  Paris

Deauville beach

Nothing announces the arrival of summer like a trip to the beach!! While Paris might seem rather isolated from any swimmable bodies of water (the Seine should not be considered swimmable, and neither should the Canal St. Martin though I have seen a brave drunk soul in the latter), Paris is only a two hour train ride away from large sandy Atlantic beaches.

Deauville-Trouville,  twin coastline towns in Normandy,  are absolutely  fabulous destinations for those looking to get out of the city for the weekend or even the day.  Trains go out of Paris’s Gare St. Lazare every hour so you can easily get there early to enjoy a full day at the beach, and then come back at a reasonable hour after you have enjoyed a nice seafood dinner. (for a SNCF train schedule click here) The Deauville-Trouville train station is about a fifteen minute walk form the beach, and walk is really nice because it leads you through the charming town of Deauville where you can peek into darling little boutiques along the way.

Deauville's twin town, Trouville.

Deauville’s beach is a classic with all its multi-colored umbrellas, beach front cafés, and of course the “changing rooms” of the rich and famous. The boardwalk offers public restrooms, ice cream stands, sandwich places and the odd beach store selling hats, sunscreen, towels….and anything else you might have forgotten. Just don’t expect it to be cheap! The water temperature in summer is refreshing and warm, okay, so not Mediterranean warm, but warm enough for enjoyable swimming and splashing around.

I have made it a yearly tradition to go with friends, and I have yet to be disappointed! It is truly a mini-vacation where you’ve thoroughly escaped the hustle and bustle of Paris, and entered that “endless” summer vacation zone!

Deauville's signature umbrellas

Okay okay, so yes I am aware that McDonald’s owns Chipotle, I am aware that the blogosphere is a great community that has recently informed me that McDonald’s does NOT own Chipotle! So no damper on my excitement regarding the opening of the first Chipotle in Paris, I am ready to enjoy its deliciousness in all its glory.

As soon as it opens, I will let you know if the burritos are just as enormous and the choices of fillings are the same. Located quite close to my work, I can foresee myself frequenting Chipotle more than I’d like to…

As for the date of the grand opening, I am not sure, but it will be located on 20 Boulevard Montmartre in the ninth arrondissement, right next to a McDonald’s. Coincidence?

Outside of the Taqueria Candeleria

Longing for the taste of some creamy refried beans? Crunchy tortilla chips and guacamole? Tostadas, tacos , maybe a cold Modelo or Corona? Well, thanks to Guiri’s research and “dégustations,” you won’t have to travel all the way to Mexico (or the US) to get your share of delicious Mexican food!!

Recently, I devoured some savory Mexican at a brand new joint called Candeleria. Tucked away on a side street in the haute Marais, Candeleria has been open for about a month, and is packed every evening without fail!

Delicious imported salsa

Started by a group of friends with Mexican and American origins, it offers homemade and genuinely authentic Mexican cuisine which is prepared right in front of you (tortillas included). The menu changes daily, but the standard fare is tostadas, tacos, chips and salsa, and small salads. The salsa is spicy but addictive and so are the Modelo Negos!

Candeleria, like most places in the Marais, is on the small side. The taqueria can fit about 20 maximum, and the bar area about 25-30. In the evenings, be prepared to wait a bit, and the stand, as the table area is very limited. Despite its drawbacks, the food is truly worth, so definitely do check it out!!

Tortilla making at Candeleria



Candeleria

52 rue Saintonge

75003, Paris

http://www.candelariaparis.com/




The other place I also sampled about a week ago is place called Cactus in the 9th arrondissement. Catering mostly to the lunch crowd, it resembles a Chipotle (if you are from the States, you know what I am talking about). Cactus has a bit of a fast-food feel , with the trays etc, but the food is fresh and quite tasty. Burritos are the main thing to get there, and you are able to customize your burrito by choosing from a selection of different kinds of beans, veggies, rice, and meats. The burritos are on the larger side, so if your eyes are bigger than your stomach (like mine) you might not need to get the whole menu deal!

Cactus also has a coupon card, so if you are in the area and can get over there enough, you can get a free taco after scarfing down ten of them!

Cactus

48 rue Laffitte

75009, Paris

http://www.cactus-restaurant.fr/

Ok, so I’ve noticed that lately all I have been writing about is FOOD!! Clearly it demonstrates my priorities during my free time…but I swear that eating out is not all I do!

I also do a a lot of fashion. An equally damaging obsession that well, I just can’t help. Recently, I went to check out an expo that showcased some of Paris’s up and coming designers, and fell in love with the creations of Rose la Biche. 100% hand-sewn and designed by Lucy Baluteig-Gomes, Rose la Biche literally means ‘Rose the Doe’ and was started by Baluteig-Gomes in San Francisco in 2005.

Love the sleeves on this one!

What attracted me immediately to Baluteig-Gomes’s clothing was the playful yet structured nature of the line, demonstrated particularly in her spring jackets. Capturing the romantic yet edgy fashion of Parisian chic, her newest line is worth an online browse on her Etsy web site named after her label.

Baluteig-Gomes told me that originally her line was geared to an American public, however following her move back to Paris, she discovered that Parisians really enjoyed the American simplicity of a jacket and tee, so she abstained from deviating too far from her original designs. I found her clothing to be a great balance between casual and alternative, making them perfect for almost every occasion. When I tried on several magnificent pieces, which happen to all be too big for me, she offered right away to fit me at her studio in order to get the fit just right.

The shoulders sold me!

In her own words, “Creating this apparel line came out of my urge for elegant yet edgy basics as a refreshing alternative to trendy look-alike mass produced pieces. I design each new piece with the idea of a balance between ‘wow factor’ and everyday ‘wearable.’ Unexpected shapes plus sober colors for a clean finish to wear up or down: that’s what Rose la Biche is about.”

I couldn’t agree more, and I highly suggest checking out her line out to freshen up your wardrobe this spring!!

The Cupcakes!!

So with stunningly sunny weekends lately here in Paris, I have found myself taking really long walks all over the city leading me to discover more exciting treasures than usual. My most recent find? Miss Cupcake!!!

A tiny little cupcake shop nestled on the winding street of rue la Vieuville in Montmartre, I didn’t even think twice before going in and promptly buying a cupcake, a coffee and more. Who said that cupcakes are an American thing? Frenchies also do them quite well, I must say. Throw in some Kusmi tea, an adorably pink setting, and well, Miss Cupcake will be the “icing on your cake” of a day!

This guy knows where its at!




Cupcakes can be taken to go, or eaten “sur place,” the latter of which I highly recommend. Cupcakes are in between 2.50 to 3.50 euros a piece, tea is about 4 euros , and a smoothie is 4, 50 euros. They only take cash, and unfortunately it is not a great place to make a “pit stop” because they are no restrooms! The only drawback for what is otherwise a very pleasant and tasty cupcake experience.




Miss Cupcake

22 rue la Vieuville

75018,  Paris

Metro: Abbesses

http://www.misscupcake.fr

Sésame, 51, quai de Valmy, 75010, Paris

So as I mentioned in my last post, a lazy Sunday isn’t complete without a deliciously late brunch. A brunch where I can sit outside (preferably on a sunny “terrasse”) and watch life go by as I sip a café crème. The Canal St.Martin is perfect for this preferred activity of mine, and since I have become rather routine about it, I have sampled a great number of restaurants along the canal that are MUST TRYS if you haven’t done so already…

Sésame – A very cute but small restaurant that serves a proper brunch with all the bells and whistles. Eggs, toast with different kinds of spreading options like jams, honey, and nutella, salads, smoothies, great coffee all for the great price of about 20 euros.  The hippie-like ambiance comes with the meal. Bonus: All fresh produce is organic!!

51, quai de Valmy, 75010, Paris

http://www.au-sesame.com/

Canal St. Martin

Chez Prune – Grunge-like atmosphere à la Brooklyn before it got all hipster. Lots of tables outside for people watching, and the food is solid French brunch fare. Stops serving at 2pm so make sure to go before the kitchen closes.

36, rue Beaurepaire, 7501,0 Paris

La Marine – They have a killer goat cheese salad, but they are also know for their fish and seafood, hence their name “La Marine.” Their spacious interior is nice as it makes it easier to get a table on weekends when it is the most busy. It has the old French bistro thing going on, but for the prices (which are reasonably) you get a great meal overlooking the canal.

55, bis quai de Valmy, 75010, Paris

L’Atmosphère – Small bistro with outside tables that are splashed with sunlight and the glimmering reflections off the canal’s murky waters. Right next to the charming Antoine and Lili shops, it serves some delicious French dishes, but doesn’t necessarily have that traditional brunch of eggs, bacon and potatoes etc.

49, rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010, Paris

And last but not least….

Les Enfants Perdus,

Les Enfants Perdus – I HEART this place. Both a bar and a restaurant, they have a sweet courtyard in the back that is great for an afternoon beer or enjoying a late brunch. The place is a bit hidden, so when you go in, you really feel like you’ve discovered a kind of secret garden (with alcohol and food!). They are happy to let you linger over a Mariage Frères tea, and they have an selection of magazines and books you can browse through.

Food, well I will have to let the menu speak for itself. Click here to review it. It is hands down delicious! A wee bit pricey, but worth it. Whether it is a filet de Bar with provencal butter and fresh veggies, or braised lamb with honey and cumin and a broccoli gratin with almonds, everything is done just right and with a unique twist you won’t soon forget! My official Grisette rating is three Yums up!!

9, rue des Récollets, 75010, Paris

http://les-enfants-perdus.com/

Rue Beaurepaire in the 10th arrondissement

Oh lazy Sundays… the kind of days where you just want to stroll in the streets, eat a late brunch, and well do a little shopping. A little retail therapy  to cheer you up from some back to work blues…pourquoi pas?

Why not? Well first off most shops are closed on Sunday in Paris, as well as in most of France. Then, should you be looking to get food around 1pm or later, it also gets difficult as most Parisian restaurants aren’t too keen on serving  late into the afternoon. All in all, it kind of  ruins the whole lazy Sunday I look forward to at the end of my week… until I discovered RUE BEAUREPAIRE.

Rue Beaurepaire in the 10th arrondissement is glorious little Sunday haven I escape to now that the sun is shining bright and spring has arrived. Branching off from Place de la Republique and winding down to the canal St. Martin, this street has it all. Whether is a trendy shop (THAT IS OPEN) or a cool  neighborhood bistro to grab some brunch, the charm and relaxed atmosphere is everything I am craving on a Sunday. And did I mention that it isn’t hardly as crowded as the Marais, and that beautiful bobo chic peeps are everywhere?

Here is a short list of the places open for business on Sunday:

American Apparel – great for trendy basics and old-school vintage redone with a modern edge. http://americanapparel.net/

10, rue Beaurepaire, 75010, Paris

Bazar Ethnique – has a great selection of clothing and accessories that are made of organic fabrics and materials. Distributes brands such as Lola Bon’Heure

25, rue Beaurepaire, 75010, Paris

Bel Air - 22, rue Beaurepaire, 75010



Bel Air Not the Fresh Prince, just Bel Air. A hip and stylish joint that echoes the LA/Santa Monica fashion I grow up on. Bel Air makes some killer leather bags and satchels, and doesn’t completely empty your wallet!  http://www.belair-paris.fr/

22, rue Beaurepaire, 75010, Paris


Boutique Liza Korn – Liza Korn is a stylist who styles to the likes of Vogue and now has her own boutique. She mixes soft romantic themse likes Liberty with a harder rocker flair. http://www.liza-korn.com/

19, rue Beaurepaire, 75010, Paris

Cotélac – a very chic shop that resembles a mix of Zara, Maje, Sandro rolled in one. Very bobo, very French.  http://www.cotelac.fr/

30, rue Beaurepaire, 75010, Paris

Ekyog – ORGANIC, ethically produced and great ! Women’s and Children’s fashion http://www.ekyog.com/

33, rue Beaurepaire, 75010, Paris

Liza Korn - 19, rue Beaurepaire, 75010

Frivoli – vintage and gently used clothing and accessories, features brands such as Gucci, YSL, and more.

26 Rue Beaurepaire, 75010, Paris

Ikks – Fun mix of wearable casual chic clothes, lots of leather, silk, and cotton. This season has a nice splash of floral tops and dresses. (this goes for men and women, minus the floral dresses) http://www.ikks.com/

34, rue Beaurepaire, 75010,Paris

The Kooples – You’ve probably seen the ads with the hot (or not) couples, wearing mostly somber outfits that give off a punk/rock vibe. Pieces contain lace, studs, skulls, leopard print, and many shades of black! You get a free cloth bag with purchase, you’ve probably seen a handful of women toting their lunch and other miscellaneous items inside… http://www.thekooples.com/

32, rue Beaurepaire, 75010, Paris

Renhsen – Great selection of ultra-flattering  jeans, and very stylish accessories! http://www.renhsen.com/

22, rue Beaurepaire, 75010, Paris

Canal St. Martin, just off rue Beaurepaire

As this posting got a bit long, my brunch short list will be the next blog posting, so stay tuned !!