Monday, October 18, 2010



East 72nd Street, NYC

Words/Imges Judith Ecochard

No arm-twisting was necessary for a voyage to Manhattan’s upper eastside…where an event hosting several  high-end beauty products---all French born and bred...were there for sampling.

The festive atmosphere, fueled by bubbly (Champagne, of course)…was full of editors who had been whisked from the Lincoln Center venue of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week…by town car to this temporary emporium that clearly was divinely inspired.

We began our visit with two ‘signature’ Parisian treatment collections that we know absolutely,  from our many trips to Paris…to be European favorites.

And are currently available stateside at premium outlets.

PAYOT (depuis 1927) is very popular in the City of Lights…as French women and men, renown for their skin care regimes… ‘get’ the importance of daily facial and body treatment rituals that are ultimately worth every Euro.

CASE IN POINT: While we thought we remembered PAYOT's products at Saks Fifth Avenue NYC---a while ago, the brand has certainly arrived now. ..with a large assortment of “beauty prescriptions” for individual needs for both men and women.

Only a handful of the massive line for the face and body--- was on display…but we learned how Payot Laboratories bases part of their extensive anti-aging products of serums and creams --- on the exclusive patented complex peptides Oriza-Calcium that “improves communication among cells,” ---with a view that “…calcium in particular is the ‘architect’ of the epidermis…and when combined with other active ingredients (rice extracts, essential fatty acids)… visibly all soothe and restore elasticity to the skin. 

The DESIGN LIFT targeted program focuses on the vulnerable eye, lip, neck and cleavage areas (yes, French women still tan, too)… 

With regular use, Payot aims for the ‘fitness’ and “ultra-lifting” positive effects so skin can gradually restored.

SAMPAR URBAN ACTIVE is a Parisian skincare line targeting city based women--- who let’s face it (pun intended)…are forced to reckon with environmental extremes that damage the skin’s natural protection against skin wrecking free radicals. Think-second-hand smoke, pollution, stress…

Sampar was founded by Patrick Sounigo…who has over 20 years experience in the plant based phyto-aromatics industry…a knowledge base he sourced to develop this collection of skincare---that is tech advanced and loaded with aromatic essential oils/ natural ingredients --- all synergistic.

In particular, the Urban Active assortment utilizes, shea butter extract, mint leaf extract and plant sugar and lactate extract to detoxify, soothe, and protect skin…plus stimulate cell regenerative properties for that youthful glow.
We’ve been using the SAMPAR MOUSSE FRAICHEUR VITALE/Daily Dose Foaming Cleanser (about $26) from the Pure Perfection group--- to easily slog off accumulated gunk. With just a dab on our palm, mixed with a bit of water…we spread it all over---including our peepers…and all but waterproof eye make-up gets rinsed away.
The cleanser smells great---courtesy of eight essential oils. Sage is particularly noticed...and we learned it helps curb the oily sebaceous glands as well as "strengthens" the skin's beneficial bacteria...and zaps the parasitistical ones...unlike other cleansers that we were told, strip off all natural defenses we come equipped with.

WHAT ELSE: Pretty pink packaging.

VOTRE VU is a skin/body care lifestyle brand--- owned by Americans…but with most of its products made by a small, privately owned, botanically driven lab just outside Paris.
 We’ve written up some of this line a few months back…but since then the Votre Vu has even gotten BIGGER.
Specifically targeting men--- the mildly fruity tasting new health & energy “slam” drink TEN GAUGE (a high performance formula of B vitamins, sea buckthorn, selenium and zinc PLUS green tea panax ginseng and yerba mate extracts), was quickly inhaled by us during New York’s run around the city Fashion Week. Very low in caffeine and calories (YES!)…We felt good to go after sampling---am easy lift-up without the rapid heartbeats, /headaches that other energy drinks give us.

At the event, we tried the new OH LIGHTEN UP! INTENSIF TREATMENT SPOT CRÈME ---part of the Spa group of anti-aging target products.

With active botanical brighteners (kojic acid and heather plant extracts) plus soothers like shea butter ---this easily absorbed spot cream is gentle enough to use everyday--- on the face and body--- to reduce/prevent age spots---  without the toxic effects of prescription lighteners.
FYI: Votre Vu has Holiday gifts at the ready for the day of (Amour D’Ore Multi-Vitamin Oil for Face, Body and Hair and Tarte d’Amande Rich Soufflé for the Body) ---and day after (Tout Le Monde Antioxidant Eye Gel, SpécialEyes Intensive Eye Treatment, À Votre Santé Elixir Essential, & SnapDragon Beauty Beverage.)---Those festive moments. (Suggested Retail $49)

TALIKA is known as “the expert in specialist care” that seeks out “peaceful” “effective and simple solutions”---that FYI really took boatloads of research and testing before anything is brought to the public.
We raved about the LIPOCILS EXPERT® -a colorless/odorless eyelash gel that stimulates growth, lengthens and darkens eyelashes.

We ran out of the GENTLE EYE CLEANSER that we learned we were using incorrectly (yikes)…as in no rinse necessary---just apply on the eyelids/lashes gently and massage in with a cotton pad- soaked in one or two pumps. Results: soothes sensitive eye areas and gets off the stay-on mascara without a battle.

LEONOR GREYL hair care products clean and nourish the most stylish locks around the world. A cult fav, the Masque de Fleurs de Jasmin (about $57) that’s good for all hair types…smells divine. We sampled some by the handful---slapping it on our locks after a chlorine laden 2 hour swim practice that left our skin oozing chlorine all day. But our hair did just fine---soft, shiny and with a faint aroma that we didn’t mind at all.

We quickly went through a sample of the multi-tasking Sérum De Soie Sublimateur (around $42) on our hair ends…about a dime size. This treatment is silicon and paraban free (won’t weight down hair with that greasy look that seems to plague fine hair)--- snd it protects vs. the heat of blow dryers and tames the frizz in humid weather conditions.

We liked the organically based French skin care and fragrance collection, Patyka when we attended the line's 
stateside debut. 

With a new owner- Cyril Jamot (formerly of Gucci) injecting some new vigor---Patyka, thankfully still sources its organic materials from exclusive supplier fields.

 We sniffed a whole lot of amazing scented products at this affair…and we tried, the ABSOLIS MANDARIN BODY WASH ($45 @ New London Pharmacy)  Thoughts---love the gentle lather---not artificial soap bubble stuff--- we mixed a quarter size with some water---and we felt our skin cleaned but not stripped. Best though is the intoxicating aroma---it’s simply transporting, in a good way.