I hope it is shaping up to be a warm and pleasant spring for you, my northern hemisphere friends. Today I and my fellow beauty bloggers unveil the newest spring collection from Ji Baek of Rescue Beauty Lounge. To read the full blog post in its entirety, click here. The following is an excerpt, the descriptions of the colors will have you convinced you were magically just transplanted in Paris.
As soon as I arrived in Paris, without even unpacking one suitcase, my husband took me to a farmer’s market. Yes, we’re truly food- obsessed beings and we wanted to experience things like the locals, especially cooking with their fabled produce. Ah, the language barrier reality crashed hard when we realized not everyone spoke English at the market—there was loads of miming and pointing going on.
We quickly learned the rules. You don’t touch the fruits and vegetables that are gingerly displayed. Instead, you have to ask for assistance and the stand owner will pick for you. They place the goods in a bag as if it’s their own children they are sending off.
The egg yolks are the color of marigold, and the butter—OMG, the butter—is unparalleled. I can live on crusty baguettes and French butter. You can smell the ocean walking by the fish stalls. Each stand has their own specialty and fans line up weekly. We applied our principle—follow the long lines. It is such a cliché how the French take pride in their produce, they have love, respect, and compassion for that perfect cut of cote du boeuf. They select and trim off the fat, inspect every single egg to make sure there are no cracks, they wrap herbs like they were a bouquet of flowers and always give you the fragile things last to place near the top of your cart. Yes—the food cart, it’s essential, the wicker basket bicycle fantasy? Poof—gone—SO not practical. We also learned that although the stalls are friendly to each other, they are also competitors. Be aware you don’t get busted cheating on them like we did—it took us a while to avoid their stern stares and cold shoulders. The French do take these affairs seriously! They’re also not ALL grumpy old farmers. There are loads of young, winsome men with relaxed smiles and affectionate greetings.
Parisians often declare, “We don’t leave our neighborhood, we stay within only a four-block radius.” Their loyalty to local businesses ensures that this city is studded with artisanal shops.
The Paris open market resembles a raucous fair. Families and foodie tourists munch on samples of cheese from the fromagerie or delicious crêpes prepared by a handsome Frenchman. Parisians navigate the market with warm baked pitas smeared with hummus and tabbouleh on cold, wet, wintry mornings. The air is thick with mountains of flowers, freshly baked crusty breads, classic French cheeses, and the faint sea air of a poissonerie.
December in Paris is all about truffles. They are everywhere— in soft Brie cheese, in mortadella (the craziest, most delicious thing on earth), and in the fresh eggs, which are kept enclosed in glass cake stands along with the sweets. It’s also oyster season, which is celebrated accompanying crabs, shrimp, fresh sea urchins (I will never have frozen ones again) and lobsters. They also enjoy chestnuts and fresh lychees at the end of the year. January and February are all about root vegetables, bunches of carrots that are covered in the dirt and sand that had been pulled just that morning. Roast them for a true dirt candy—so sweet. March and April is for celebrating tiny, purple artichokes, fresh greens, flowers, and chives. And the berries! Strawberries and raspberries that are so juicy and sweet that they taste almost like their bubble gum flavors. May and June is a special time in Paris, especially after the cold and constant rain (I now have a new understanding for dark, dramatically romantic French literature—yes, it is still beautiful here before spring, but the overshadowing grayness along with its brooding clouds, not to mention the Parisian heating system—let’s just say it can be a cold place).
The French purchase Lilies of The Valley (my favorite) on the first of May. In fact, there are so many holidays in May that there is a saying: “In May? You do as you wish!” And since May is the peak season for vegetables, you don’t even need to cook, just grab a few tomatoes and eat them the way you would an apple, with its sweet juices running down your chin. You’ll also want to tear off some tarragon and pair it with French ham, sliced so paper-thin it’s almost transparent. The nature’s bounty doesn’t stop until November, when you start reaching for imported produce.
Market visits can serve as French lessons. Even with just a few words under your belt, you will still have a chance to converse in French. In fact, it is the place my husband and I feel the most like local residents, perhaps even 1% Parisian? Recently, our jam vendor actually said, “Hey, you speak French now!” It was just a “Ça va?” exchange, but nevertheless. He’s always happy to see us as we are to see him, especially in August after he’s spent a few months in Provence foraging for fruits and berries to make his jams. He lovingly labels every single tiny jar. Our butcher will wink and casually sneak a few slices of bacon into my parcel because he knows what I love.
The market is the best place to observe Parisians, you’ll see a mélange of people in every social caste: a young mother walking with her child, madams in their minks, elderly gentlemen clutching their wives’ market lists with gigantic bouquets of flowers tucked away in their carts. There are sympa (nice or cool) bo-bos (bohemian, bourgeois hipsters) who line up in front of Vietnamese food stalls. Parisian women use their beat-up Hermés Birkin bags as their produce sacks. Their bags are so filthy and well-worn, it’s way too sampa. The women are the mainstay at the market, carefully knitting together their menus for massive Sunday family lunches. For me, it’s a beautiful way of life. ...
Introducing: Je t’aime, Je’ t’aime! A collection shaped by my love of Parisian farmer’s markets.
BONNE JOURNEE: Have a good day is how we should all take leave of anyone—this is a happy rose pink with blue undertones and a hint of copper. The shimmery satin finish will put a smile on your face and spread happiness because it works with all sorts of skin colors. This formula just glides on. Pink has never been this good. (Three coats).
C’EST TOUT: This color is a rivalry between gunmetal and green, for sometimes it appears to be a dark gray with blue undertones and in another moment, you will see a green with micro shimmers of pink, blue, and gold. If you are ever asked, “Avec sa?” You should answer with a resounding, “That’s all!”
PARDONNE MOI: This phrase somehow sounds more chic than “excuse me” when you’re bumping into people in the market. This color is a satin finish of an exceptional indigo, blue overcast with iris purple. Flashes of a beautifully generous shimmer gleams with stunning sparkles.
AH, OUI: “Ah, yes?!” Just keep saying this if you don’t understand a thing anyone is saying—I’ve fooled so many peeps saying this while exhaling, “Pfttt!” This color epitomizes Parisian chic. It’s not blue, not purple, not gray; just picture a perfect, cloudless Parisian powdery periwinkle sky. This polish is a glasslike periwinkle cream-jelly (I’ve only a few to go to complete my rainbow of crème jellies), transparent in one coat with an exceptionally smooth application; you can even add another coat on the tips of your nails for an easy gradient effect. (Three coats)
COMBIEN?: Possibly the most important French word to ask when you shop—it means: “How Much?!” Elegant and neutral, this beige gold with a slight rose cast is not too shy to ask how much. This color is jammed-packed with sugary shimmer, but dries down to a matte for a tasteful bling-ness. Add a swipe of topcoat to amp up the bling factor. Ani 2.0 anyone? (*coming soon pre-order mid-April*)
TROIS OIGNONS ROUGES: This was the first French phrase I strung together. Like the inside of red onions, this color is a cross between magenta and a toned-down fuchsia that dries to a chic matte. This application is so easy that you might want to try all of our other crème jellies. For ultra shine, use our legendary topcoat. (*coming soon pre-order mid-April*)My favorite of these four has to be Ah, Oui. I've worn it the last few days and have had so many compliments from people that say that it is absolutely perfect for spring (and I happen to agree). The touch of jelly squishiness that it has sets it apart from any other pastel periwinkle that I have, and to it is already a very underutilized nail color that looks good on pretty much every skin tone. If you haven't already decided to pick it up during the presale, I hope I've persuaded you!
Here are the remaining two colors from the Je t'aime! Je t'aime! Collection.
Possibly the most important French word to ask when you shop—it means: “How Much?!” Elegant and neutral, this beige gold with a slight rose cast is not too shy to ask how much. This color is jammed-packed with sugary shimmer, but dries down to a matte for a tasteful bling-ness. Add a swipe of topcoat to amp up the bling factor. Ani 2.0 anyone? (Three thin coats)
Check swatches from my fellow bloggers:
Peachy Polish - Manicurator - Fashion Polish - Kellie Gonzo - NailsandNoms - Warm Vanilla Sugar - Refined & Polished