The Beauty Ritual To Transcend Time
When I was a little girl, I'd play for what seemed like hours in my grandmother's bathroom. It was beaming, the vanity lit from the glow of high-wattage bulbs. The countertops were white marble, the sink basins ivory porcelain, and the faucets an I-Dream-of-Genie gold. But most inthralling, in a tall white cabinet to the right of her sink, was a treasure trove of cosmetics and creams.
Lined up like an army of soldiers--Clinique, Estée, Elizabeth--were her lipsticks, worn down from the press of her lips like the slopes of a canyon. Then there was the Chanel No. 5. And finally, the assembly of pots stacked on top of one another: large circular jars of cold cream and the small vessels of moisturizer, square plastic pots of translucent powders, and pump-bottles filled with clear serums. These cosmetics were the greatest kind of mystery to a little girl. They were the luxuries of movie stars, leading ladies, and best all, my grandmother.
So you can imagine the wave of nostalgia that came washing over me the first time I tried Orlane Paris Crème Royal. The packaging alone sent me back to my grandmother's beauty cabinet, but the smell... One whiff of the powdery scent and it was almost as though I'd transcended time.
This milky cream is a throwback to the days of cold creams, the thick, cold, white creams that women used to slather over their faces to remove their makeup. My Lebanese aunts did this, which is probably where my grandmother picked it up.
The difference between cold creams and Crème Royale is that the latter turns into oil on the skin. After rubbing it in with smooth, circular motions, it gradually turns, lifting makeup, dirt, and oil. After rinsing with warm water, skin is remarkably soft.
What I realized while using Crème Royale, however, was that it wasn't just the scent of the stuff, or the luxurious packaging. It was the ritual of it all. Sure, I'm a sucker for luxury, but an essential element of luxury is time. I know, it's counterintuitive to the needs of most women. Time?! What time?! Aren't we all catapulting through the day at the speed of light, our reprieve only the moment our heads hit the pillow?
But we all deserve to take a T.O., and mine comes in the form of a languid, luxurious nighttime beauty regime. Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure I came by it naturally.
*photo by Brett Moen