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Parisian by choice, creative by nature, celebrated blogger Elsa Muse loves nothing better than designing and making objects that are inspired by the people she’s met. Her motto? “create while having fun”. Muse opens her home and studio to Lancôme in this exclusive interview.
If Paris were a DIY project what would it be?
Without a moment’s hesitation, it would have to be an article of clothing because Paris is a fashion capital. More specifically, an irresistible, frivolous little dress. I’d make it from a mix of vintage fabrics and modern textiles, all sewn together with solid stitching. Then, I would decorate each part with an array of the gems I’ve brought back from my travels, like a printed wax cloth for the lining and Indian charms. What better way to symbolize diversity?
Which places illustrate the Paris you love?
I love the village feel around Rue de Lévi near my house. It’s a pedestrian street lined with small businesses, including a baker, butcher, florist and greengrocer. I have a few favorites in the area. Neighborhood life is important to me. Secondly, there’s the Bon Marché department store with La Grande Épicerie food hall. Wandering around is a delight, even if it isn’t easy on the wallet. I look at the clothes and accessories and the other people wandering the displays. I get inspiration there. Finally, there’s Saint-Pierre, at the foot of Montmartre. I’ll find everything I need for crafting in the adjacent streets, except, perhaps paper. For that I go to the Marais, close to my studio. My two favorite spots are BHV and Rougier & Plé. While working on my capsule collection of jewelry for Helmut Paris, I discovered something about the Marais I didn’t know before. Tucked behind all the boutiques and fashionable restaurants in the area there are dozens of artisans such as guilders. It all makes for a truly timeless spot populated by a cast of colorful characters.
Le BHV, 52 Rue de Rivoli, 75004 Paris.
Rougier & Plé, 13-15 Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire, 75003 Paris.
Describe a particularly special memory of Paris
I grew up in Picardie, but my parents had close friends in Paris. From a very young age, we’d come to visit every year. One evening my parents took the opportunity to take me to the Trocadéro. I was seven and I remember arriving at the top of the steps to see the Eiffel Tower all illuminated. I felt so much emotion that I exclaimed “this is the best day of my life!” I still have the image in my mind of all the golden lights reflecting across the Trocadéro pools. Everything seemed magical.
How would you describe the typical Parisienne?
As someone who puts a lot of effort into looking like she hasn’t made any! She boasts a keen sense of style and knows how to bring together basics, vintage pieces and designer clothes without looking like a fashion victim. Parisiennes master good taste all while living life at breakneck speed, juggling work, a love life, friends, evenings out and hobbies. When it comes to lifestyle, she knows it’s important to eat well, so she’s into the latest food trends like matcha bowls, avocado toast and gluten-free eating. All the same, Parisians are still food lovers who can’t resist pre-dinner drinks on the terrace.
Describe your beauty routine. In what way is it very Parisian?
I have a very full routine. In the morning, I spritz my face with thermal water and follow with a lotion. Then, I apply serum followed by a day cream and eye cream. Then, to give my routine an urban edge, I never forget a protective anti-pollution treatment with an SPF 50. In the evening, I conscientiously take off all my makeup using cleansing milk or micellar water followed by a cleansing bar. Just before I switch off the lights I apply lip balm and hand cream. As for my look, I would say it is very Parisian with short hair and thick eyebrows.
Describe your top beauty dares or no-no’s
A no-go: plucking my eyebrows like I did ten years ago. I took so much off there was only a little line of brow left. I’ve been lucky that they grew back.
What little things make you smile on a daily basis?
Watching children on the metro.
Do you have any beauty tips?
Face masks. It’s not just an occasional thing, I’m crazy about them, no matter whether they are hydrating, cleansing, brightening or anti-aging. I do about three a week and my skin loves it.
What beauty advice has changed your life?
Joëlle Ciocco’s advice, who I was lucky enough to meet last year. During an interview, she shared the fact that she occasionally eats cod liver. How? Mashed onto a piece of toasted bread with a little lemon. It’s both delicious and filled with omegas, 3 and 6. Plus it’s a treat for the skin, nourishing it from the inside out and a good way to look great.
Name your favorite Paris addresses
When I’m at the office and I need a little break, I run into Hôtel Providence next door for a coffee, tea or a hot chocolate, depending on my mood. For lunch with friends I go to Season; I love the way it’s decorated somewhere between coffee shop, juice bar trendy bistro. The menu is by an English chef and naturopath who specializes in gluten-free cooking. Everything is delicious. For an outing with my love, there’s nothing like hiring a boat on the bassin de la Villette when it’s nice.
L’Hôtel Providence, 90 Rue René Boulanger, 75010 Paris.
Season, 1 Rue Dupuis 75003 Paris.