Our intrepid heroine braves the jungles of NYC, and emerges
triumphant with some trophies and scars.
Part I - The Quest for T. LeClerc
T. LeClerc loose powder in Banane, a light yellow color, is "The
favorite of stars and top models" according to descriptions on the
web. It is not widely available - none of the major web cosmetics
retailers or even Sephora carry
it. An initial web search turned up Four
Seasons, a Florida retailer of specialty cosmetics brands. From
their web site I learned that there are also other products in the
line, such as concealers, eyeshadows, and lipsticks.
But surely it had to be available somewhere in New York City, fashion
capital of the U.S.? Another web search turned up www.blissworld.com
which is the web site for Bliss Spa in New York City. With the aid
of MapBlast! I discovered Bliss's
location on E 57th Street was within walking distance of the hotel
in which I would be staying. Have I died and gone to heaven? I could
walk there, purchase the products, and arrange for a facial appointment,
all at the same time!
The astute reader may surmise at this point that actual events did
not proceed so smoothly. Yes, I managed to find 57th Street, but I
forgot to write down the actual street address on my Palm Pilot IIIxe.
Being a simple country girl from the Washington D.C. suburbs, I had
assumed there would be a sign for the store visible from the street.
I walked and walked on 57th avenue, across 5th Avenue, across Madison
Avenue, across Park Avenue, but no sign of Bliss. I passed Bergdorf
Goodman and Christian Dior and Celine. I stopped in Otto Tootsi Plohound
to rest my aching feet a bit. While slightly distracted by the shoes,
nevertheless I was starting to feel a bit desperate.
I decided my best course of action was to return to the hotel. Back
in my room, leafing through a New York City shopping guide conveniently
placed on the desk, I discovered the peculiarly New York City phenomenon
of drug stores that sell imported high-end cosmetics in addition to
the usual aspirins and vitamins. The next day, I bravely set out on
Madison Avenue towards Boyd's. Alas, they did not carry any T. LeClerc.
But, a very helpful sales clerk told me I should try Windsor Pharmacy,
which turned out to be even closer to my hotel than my previous targets.
Hallelujah! Windsor Pharmacy indeed had the T. LeClerc face powders.
But those were the only T. LeClerc products they carried. The concealers
and lip glosses would have to wait for another day. I tried on the
aforementioned Banane, and Nacre, which was almost white in color.
The sales associate and I agreed that Banane would be the better choice.
I decided to go with the loose instead of the pressed powder, which
then led to another decision - which size container to buy? The loose
powder comes in 35 g, 50 g, and 115 g sizes. The 35 g size (as well
as the 155 g size) comes in a lovely metal container that looks straight
out of the vanity table of a belle of 1881, the year Théophile LeClerc
established his namesake pharmacy in Paris. Lovely but flimsy, and
the sales associate and I agreed it might not be the best choice for
the trip back to Washington, D.C. The 50 g (1.69 oz) size, or "Voyage
Box," comes in a sturdy and attractive double-lidded plastic container,
complete with a sifter and a velour puff. This, then was the obvious
I have to give props to the extremely helpful sales associate at
Windsor Pharmacy. As well as instructing me on the proper application
method for the loose powder, she gave me the helpful tip to not tear
off the plastic film inside the container, but instead, use a pin
to prick holes in it. This way, I would not end up with a mess every
time I opened the box. Only later was I to discover that Windsor Pharmacy
is also the home of a makeup line called New
According to makeup guru Bobbi
Brown, light yellow powder is the most flattering color for the
majority of women. It tones down redness, makes the skin glow, and
is also useful for toning down foundation too pink for one's skin
(a fault of many drug store foundations). So far I can attest to the
first two properties of T. LeClerc loose powder, not having yet tried
it with foundation. This is because the powder is also intended to
be an alternative to foundation, when worn directly over moisturizer.
The powder has been remarkably effective in keeping shine down, and
a little goes a long way.
As an aside, given current exchange rates, it is significantly cheaper
to purchase T. LeClerc in Europe rather than the U.S. Looking at www.beautycenter.fr,
prices are less than half of those in the U.S.
Next: Sephora Rockefeller Center, with a side trip to H&M