La Rentrée


It’s the rentrée, a moment on the French calendar at the end of August and start of September that somehow carries excitement that vacation is over and work, school, and schedules are beginning again. Bring on the rentrée concerts, rentrée sales, and rentrée events. I guess with one month vacations there is a bit of excitement to get back to your home, your bed; and I know as a kid I was always excited for the end of August with back to school shopping, buying new school supplies, and the subtle changes in the air, trees, and wind…fall was approaching! And, really, who doesn’t love the fall?

This year has felt like a really special rentrée, the third year in France and we finally feel like we really get it, being back to our place after two months away, lots of opportunities on the horizon, and a growing list of followers on the blog (I’m flattered, thanks!).

So, much like the French who make the rentrée a way of life and a proper noun in their daily life, I’m embracing the the “new” year with optimism. And, I’m making some resolutions (January just doesn’t cut it for me.). First, eating clean*. I’m super inspired by the science behind the Beauty Detox book, seriously crazy interesting stuff about how our bodies work and a great reason to get to local market every week. Second: get into a fitness habit. The app Runkeeper is amazing to track my progess and routes and the ladies over at Tone it Up have great workouts and yummy recipes to keep me going. Thanks for the tips Mickey!

What about you, are you excited to get back into the fall grind? Are you making any “new year” resolutions in September?

Besos, Dianne

*Don’t worry, I’ll still occasionally indulge in the cheeses, pastries, breads and other treats in la France, how could I not!

Little (beauty) Luxuries from the French Pharmacy

   One thing I’ve come to love about French culture is the respect they have for aging gracefully. While I’m sure there are many women who do go under the knife, most of the women I see on a daily basis at work are not afraid to say their age and have the lines of life on their faces to prove it; the lines add grace to their simple style and attitude toward life. While they are not afraid to age, I’m guessing they also aren’t afraid to spend a pretty penny on the hundreds of products they can pick up to indulge themselves with in the French pharmacy. There’s no miracle to aging, except joy, sleep, and some special care, so inspired by GP’s list, and tried and tested by yours truly, here are a few of my (affordable) favorites from the French pharmacy.

1. Savon de Marseille: A block of natural soap from Marseille is simple and natural. My mom and I carried a bag of 10 bars of this soap around Italy for a week after our stop in the south of France this summer, and it was totally worth it. Or,the uber stylish bottles of liquid soap look oh so pretty in a kitchen or bathroom and they all smell so good-but you’ll have to go to a store for these the eastiest bet is at Gallery Lafayette.

2. Dry Oil:  by Nuxe or Lierac. OIL? Yes, oil. Where have you been all my life? Contrary to what I though, this dry oil absorbs quickly (I use it before I dry off from the shower) and leaves my skin soft and smelling like summer. I use it on my face (yes!), body, and hair (really!) year round. For 20 euros a bottle, mine has lasted more than 6 months. A little goes a long way. Nuxe also makes face cleanser and moisturizer too. I love Aroma-Perfection purifying cleansing gel to wash my face before bed.

3. Roger and Gallet-soap, oil, perfume or lotion-such pretty packaging and smells. The scents last all day and not only smell good but offer the benefits of aromatherapy too! I love Ginger, Orange Blossom, Lemon and Cedar, and the new Fig scent.

4. Uraige– Hyseac Mat pore minimizer- I tried this as a teeny sample and made it last as long as possible after seeing the results. A little dab leaves your skin perfectly primed and your pores invisible for the day.

5. Bioderma -Anything! I love everything I’ve tried from this brand- tinted sunscreen, daily body cream, face cleaner to lip moisturizer. Easy on the skin and the wallet.

6. Avene – Anything!  The first time I used Avene thermal water was on a tour bus in Spain with 10 high schoolers who my friend and I were chaperoning around the Iberian Peninsula for ten days. Our local guide was a cool girl who was reading Kerouac, using blue Dior eyeliner, and cooling off with Avene spray. Nothing like some French thermal spring water to calm you down on a crazy day with teenagers. I try to keep a little bottle in my bag at all times-its the perfect skin pick me up after a long day at work. I also love their daily moisturizer and just recently discovered the Avene soothing moisturising mask-a creamy mask that soaks into your skin in about 10 minutes and leaves you soft and moisturized.

7. Caudelie: Living in wine country it makes sense to use wine products on the skin too. Hand cream, face moisturizer or grape seed scrub. They smell wonderful and feel great on your skin.

8. Dermophile Indien: I saw that Garance Dore had this on her list from the pharmacy. I picked as stick up the other day and have to agree with her. A simple utilitarian look, no fuss, no frills, but it leaves your lips super soft for 3.50 euros.

Any products you’d add?