Thursday, 29 April 2010

A Lille bit of loveliness

Just call us human pinballs, ricocheting between beauty pit-stops at the moment. Our latest stopover: Lille, where shopping in the Old Town doesn’t disappoint, and where we happened upon blue-shuttered Ombres Portées - one of the most glorious ‘beautiques’ we’ve ever discovered. (Actually, we’d quite like to move in.) Run by Sébastien Duchateau and Frédéric Bourre, the shop has a fireplace, tables, dressing tables and armoires making the most sympatique environment for browsing, and a great showcase for many of the most notable brands in skincare, make-up and fragrance. You'll find Diptyque, Penhaligon’s, Frederic Malle, as well as our home-grown Miller Harris and Penhaligon’s on the scent side; REN, Kiehl’s, the fabulous Aesop range, Dr. Hauschka and the capsule collection by Odile Lecoin which is the secret of many a smooth-complexioned French beauty, plus make-up by Paul & Joe, OPI (plus Ellis Faas, see below).
But here are our favourite discoveries: first, Astier di Villatte’s amazing candles and their Crème Suisse (which has rocketed to the top of our fave hand cream chart); AdV are known for their fragile-looking white china and this is our first encounter with their glorious scented goodies. Secondly: a range of make-up from Holland called Ellis Faas: silver pen-style applicators for everything for blusher to the most divine, super-long-lasting lipgloss (L303 is a sublime dark cherry shade). Wish we’d bought more, actually. And last but not least, we were able to stock up on what we personally feel is the greatest hair mask ever created, Christophe Robin’s Masque au Germe de Blé – the most strenghtening, shine-boosting treatment on the planet. (In our humble, and boy have we slathered our way through gallons of hair masks.) For shots of the interior, see their website below. With Lille only an hour and a half from St. Pancras on Eurostar, do you need much more of an excuse to check it out yourself…? (But like much of France, it’s closed Sunday!)

Ombres Portées, 4 Rue Masurel, Lille/00-33-3-20-31-71-90