Prête-Moi Paris: Beauty is all in the 'detaille'
One Parisian countess's attempt to protect her skin while driving an early motorised (windowless) vehicle turned into a makeup boutique that has lasted more than 100 years.
The wealthy countess of Presle was one of the first women in Paris to acquire a motorised vehicle. She loved to drive, but like any self respecting Parisienne at the time (or now for that matter), took great care to preserve her beauty while remaining fantastically wild as one of the only women to drive a car around Paris. And in those days for a jolie automobilist, some beauty preservation was indeed urgently needed. Cars did not have a roof let alone a windshield. They looked something more like this :
So to brave the whipping wind as she careened (I'm imagining now) around the corners of the cobblestone streets of the French capital without damaging her looks, she asked her friend and chemist Marcellin Berthelot to create a protective and moisturising cream that would keep her skin from the destructive elements due to driving a shieldless and roofless car. The first product was dully named: Baume Automobile.
This gave way to her starting a line of cosmetics and beauty brand: Maison Detaille (her husband was the brother of painter Edouard Detaille), that the countess would go on to sell to her friends and then to clients from around the world. Madame Detaille's connections within the royal courts of Europe also helped bring about a grand success of her products and the creation of new ones. The ordering notebooks were filled with the names of queens and princesses from around the world.
The Maison Detaille has created lotions, powders for ladies, maquillage, balms and creams, and so many things to pamper yourself with for over 100 years.
I have tested their make-up powders, which are so fine, soft and light that I may just give up my Caron powder addiction for them. They are made out of extremely fine rice powder. It stays all day, and gives me an even look without a lot of product (I put it over a BB cream). I use two shades, one that is green (yes! green! It attenuates the red splotchiness that my skin tends to have and the result is really quite stunning) and the 'Rachel' shade which is a translucent powder. Occasionally I will touch up the powder at midday, but I don't necessarily need to. It lasts all day! I do touch up if I am heading out right after work.
Beyond skin creams and make-up powder, the house also makes perfumes, eau de toilette, eau de cologne (for the gentlemen) and scented candles. The scents are all distinct, have that vintage appeal undertone yet hold their own against more modern perfumes.
And then there are all the fun things that come along with such a brand – the accessories! Like these amazing lightweight down puffs!
The boutique that is still standing today on the rue Saint Lazare is not the original address but has been around for the majority of the brand's lifespan. It is a unique experience to find a single boutique of one brand that has a fabulous history behind it, and owners who are willing to invest in its preservation and future. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable about all of the products, the history and has a great passion for this special brand.
Do go visit the shop and find a unique gift that can only be found in Paris for a special someone. Or for a delightful experience for yourself... You will not be disappointed.
10 rue Saint Lazare 75009 Paris ☎ 01.48.78.68.50.
Melissa Ladd of Prête-Moi Paris is an American who came to Paris in 2002 for just 10 months. Years later, she has completely integrated into the city of lights. She shares her love of Paris, French culture, trends and more through her blog, as well as via twitter, facebook, flickr, and Vimeo. The blog began in 2009, and has grown in depth, content and audience ever since. Prête-Moi Paris is for people who love Paris, whether they live there or not, have visited before, plan on visiting or merely dream of an escape to the city of love.
Photo credit: Trostle (hot photo).
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