Have you ever wondered what you would eat for your last meal? Melanie Dunea has. When she’s not interviewing people for her blog My Last Supper, she spends her time as a freelance portrait photographer and casual instagramer. And this week, Melanie is sharing her favorite beauty, food, and photography tips on the Birchbox blog.
J’aime Paris. No, really. I love, love, love Paris. My first impressions of the city came from Ludwig Bemelmans’ Madeline books. I was enamored of that cheeky little girl, scared of Ms. Clavel, the teacher, and had a mad crush on Pepito, the Spanish Ambassador’s son who lived next door. But, mostly, I lingered over the drawings of Paris and dreamed of sitting in a café eating, drinking, and just being Parisian.
Fast forward to the late 1970’s. I found myself in a restaurant in Paris sitting in an overstuffed chair, perusing an oversize menu and feeling très Madeline-esque when the waiter came over and served us a plate of Gougères. I was surprised, as we hadn’t ordered anything yet. I looked at my parents who encouraged me to try the cheesy puffs and explained that they were compliments of the house. Free food? Paris was getting better by the minute. I popped one in my mouth and savored the warm gem as its flavor exploded on my tastebuds. I have never forgotten my first Gougères.
Many years and many Gougères later, I began baking my own. I’m always ready to slap on my apron to make a triple batch. I love to have them on hand for when visitors drop in unexpectedly. I have experimented with many recipes over the years and I think this one is the best. Pop open a bottle of cold champagne, cue up some Serge Gainsbourg, close your eyes. The taste of a warm Gougères will transport you.
SPF Myths, How to Pick Your Bridesmaid Dress, French Style icons, and More: Reading List
We know you don’t have oodles of time to browse through everything on the Birchbox blog and in the magazine each week. Here’s a short list of the top blog posts, articles, videos, and news you need to read this weekend.
- Birchbox Agenda: April 2013: We know you’re totally busy. So we found all the latest and greatest things to eat, see, and try in April and put it into a single reference guide. From Mad Men to an exclusive Physique 57 code, here’s what we’ll be up to this month.
- Roger Ebert’s Twenty Best Reviews: In honor of the passing of our favorite film critic, enjoy this list of Roger Ebert’s twenty best reviews of the best and worst movies.
Feeling out of the loop on the latest news? Catch up on everything you need to know with our morning must reads.
Operations Associate, Loren, has a thing for nails—and we can’t blame her. We love reading about new finishes and fun techniques, so we thought we’d give her a weekly slot on our blog to wax poetic about all things manicure (and pedicure!) related. Check back regularly for Nailing It, Birchbox’s dedicated polish series.
Crystal is wearing Tenoverten Elizabeth.
This week, the Operations Team has been obsessed with Tennoverten Nail Polish. The lacquer line, created by the chic New York salon of the same name, includes some of our favorite colors to play with for fall, like eye-catching berry and dark-hued taupe. Take a peek after the jump to see how the Ops ladies are rocking these pretty polishes:
We’re guilty of sticking with the same hair cut for years — if it’s not broke, why fix it? — but that can be a little boring. But not everyone has our issue. Paulina, one of our amazing operations associates, is always eyeing new cuts and styles. She’ll be sharing her tress inspiration and tips every other week here via her feature Hairistocracy.
This week on Hairistocracy we’re celebrating our oh-so-recent news (Have you heard?!)
with some inspiration from our brand-new French counterparts.
It started this past weekend at the Birchbox Sample Stop
. Little miss Whitney, my beloved Ops Associate, volunteered to help our team with the event and had the lucky opportunity to get her hair done by the Fekkai
team. She walked out with a killer up-do that happened to be one of the most unique I have ever seen. Even though I immediately assumed this look came from one of those stylists with magic hands (you know, an up-do that’s absolutely impossible to replicate yourself), I asked Whitney how they created it anyway.
We are sworn Francophiles for more reasons that just our love for the language (English sure as heck doesn’t sound as pretty) and the food (baguettes, steak frittes, crème brûlée — we love it all) and Paris (the city is just so ooh la la). In fact, we are even obsessed with French beauty products, especially NUXE, a natural line found in many luxury pharmacies. In the early ’90s, Aliza Jabès founded the brand by turning a private lab that specialized in aromatherapy and phytotherapy into a super-successful beauty company. We caught up with the busy CEO to chat with her about the NUXE philosophy, the best beauty advice she’s ever received, and her absolute favorite product.
1. How does being a French company affect your philosophy and approach?
The fact that NUXE is the leading brand of natural cosmetic products in French pharmacies is very demonstrative of the French cosmetic market as a whole. Women here look for products that are both beautiful and good for their health. Using our products is an enjoyable experience beyond their efficacy because everything we create is sensual and elegant, from the textures of our formulas to their fragrances.
2. If you had to choose only one Nuxe product, what is your favorite?
I love them all, but I have a special connection with Huile Prodigieuse®, my first NUXE baby. Twenty years after its creation, it’s still our number one product. This multi-purpose dry oil nourishes, repairs, and protects skin and hair thanks to its unique concentration of six precious oils and vitamin E in a silicon-free formula. Fun fact: we sell one Huile Prodigieuse® every seven seconds in the world!
3. What are some of the benefits to using a dry oil?
A dry oil created from plant oils, like ours, will really nourish skin because it contains special fatty acids that are natural components of skin cells and it has lots of vitamins and antioxidants. One major benefit to using a dry oil is that it’s lighter and easier to spread than a lotion.
4. What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever received?
My grandmother and mother taught me that it is important for a woman to look after her skin and to never skip cleansing, moisturizing, and SPF. A beautiful woman is a woman with a radiant complexion. Even if you have the best makeup or most expensive clothing, if your skin (or hair) doesn’t look nice, nothing else matters.
5. Where would you like to see NUXE in five years?
I’d like to see NUXE as the worldwide leader in natural cosmetology in pharmacies.
For more NUXE products, take a look at our Birchbox Shop.