Juliette Lévy, Oh My Cream!
The beautiful Juliette Lévy opens the door to her chic boutique in St Germain and shares her fountain of knowledge and French beauty secrets in this month’s inside guide.
Tell me about the inspiration behind Oh My Cream?
I have always been passionate about beauty and cosmetics from a very young age. My love affair for beauty and niche products grew from working in the beauty department of Le Bon Marché. After university, I did an internship in finance, but I then decided to turn my career interests to beauty. I was watching the cosmetic market in the US and UK and looking to the beauty concept store in London Space NK (I love Space NK). I saw that a lot of the niche brands were doing so well in the UK but those brands were relatively unknown in France. These products were also doing great on the beauty blogs in UK and US.
I realised that there was a space for a new place in Paris dedicated to those great beauty products. I wanted to concentrate on the most expert beauty brands mostly niche and confidential brands but not exclusively. I don’t believe that niche brands are better than big famous brands but I wanted to help those little brands become famous. It doesn’t matter where the products come from, whether they are cosmetic, organic, natural, niche, famous. We just take the ones we love and the products with the best results.
How did it all start?
I started working on the concept alone in my office and selecting the products (a little bit scared of course). Then I brought in a few investors and then my two colleagues Marion and Fleur. We were the founding team of Oh My Cream (without the two of them, I wouldn’t be anywhere now!). We created the boutique here on Rue Tournon first and then the Oh My Cream E-boutique. It’s been an amazing year and we are living a great adventure every day.
Image © Oh My Cream eBoutique
The online shopping culture in Paris isn’t as popular as UK or US for example, how did you overcome this challenge?
I think things are really changing here and I see this as a real opportunity! For sure, it’s true, Parisians do not buy cosmetics online. But why? I am a beauty addict and I buy everything online. For example, when I read a great article on Into the Gloss, I just wanted to buy all the products! The problem is there is no great shoppable online beauty blog/magazine in France. So I saw this is an opportunity and I think things are really quickly catching on now in Paris. I thought, lets take it a step further and do both! A boutique and a monthly online magazine/blog where you can buy all our products. A little like Net-A-Porter.
Don’t you think having both the boutique in St Germain and the online boutique makes Oh My Cream distinct from Net-A-Porter?
We hope that when clients visit Oh My Cream whether it’s online or the boutique, they will discover a whole new world of beauty. We are all beauty addicts and passionate about great skin care. Our friends are always asking us about the latest products to try and asking for tips and how to deal with skin challenges. I see Oh My Cream as like visiting your best friends who know about beauty. We hope that the online boutique is an extension of this. What’s great about having both is that clients can come here, then go online, read an interview with a beauty expert, take notes and then come back and buy the product. There is a great connection between the online and offline experience.
Can you tell me a little more about the beauty consultancy and services you offer in the boutique?
Sure. One of the things that I felt was missing from the French perfumeries and beauty stores was the lack of advice in store. The driving philosophy behind Oh My Cream is expert advice. Our beauticians and sales assistants have had extensive beauty training and are true beauty experts. We offer a free diagnosis of your skin and we then recommend a prescription based on your skins needs. We really believe in great advice and sampling.We have great products but we know that sometimes it’s hard to find products to suit your skin. If a client is hesitating between two products or would just like to try before they commit to buying we have little pots, which we can give to the client to try at home first. We also do facials, make up and we have a nail bar in our boutique.
You have the perfect ‘I woke up like this’ type of skin! Can you share your beauty secrets with us?
Honestly, I really think the key to good skin is a little bit of everything! Of course genetics plays a part but I really think lifestyle is key. I try to be as healthy as possible. Bikram yoga has been a revelation! I try to do it as often as possible. I also try to eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables! Sometimes I like to do a cleansing juice detox. I think getting as much beauty sleep is really important too.
What is your skin care routine?
There are no absolute rules in beauty – I am strongly convinced about that. Skin should test, try and see. However, there are a few basics in skin routine that I really believe in. These are the basics rules we tell our clients.
Cleaning your face the right way. Double cleansing: starting with an oil cleanser and then use a milk cleanser or a gel depending on your skin type. (The oil will melt down all the pollution and make-up, impurities even the water-proof mascara. I think it’s the best gesture for your skin at night.)
Next a gentle exfoliator, I believe exfoliation is key to great skin.
Then hydrating your skin with a really good moisturizer
Then an oil. Not every night and it depends on your skin type. Even oily skin types should have an oil in their vanity kit!
Then a protection. SPF.
What are your beauty essentials?
My problem is that I am a beauty junky! I am constantly trying new products, however I have a few basics that I really try to stick to every day. I always make sure there are no harmful ingredients in the skin care and make up.
I do the double cleansing (as above) which in my opinion is the most important. Then I use a cleansing gel. I use the gels from Ren as in my opinion they are the best. They smell amazing too. There are no foaming agents so they are really gentle on the skin. I then use a moisturizer. I switch between Dermologica, Ren and Aurelia.
I love glowy natural looks and I don’t like to use a lot of make up. I love mascara!
This morning I put RMS mascara, it’s my favourite make-up brand. It really is an amazing product by make up artist Rose-May Swift in New York. It’s 100% natural made with coconut oil and mineral pigments. The make-up comes in these tiny little pots. It’s creamy and goes on effortlessly and gives a glowy natural look. I use a blush that goes from lip to cheek and a concealer that I use as a foundation. So I always have those two little pots, a mascara and that’s it. They are wonderful for traveling too!
Tips for summer skin care?
I always have a spray, a floral water or ultra calming mist. I tend to get red and this really calms and cools my skin down. I put less make up when it’s hot and that’s why I love the RMS little pots for a unified complexion. SPF is really key in the summer. I find some SPFs really greasy and make my skin shiny but this SPF from Dermalogica is so light and perfect in the summer.
Favourite beauty digital reads?
Favourite Paris beauty address (apart from Oh My Cream)?
I am in love with the new Buly store! Victoire de Taillac has a wonderful sense of beauty. She is a real expert. We interviewed her for our emagazine and she gave wonderful tips. I am in love with ‘Le Lait Virginale’ and I love the apothecary packaging.
The secrets of French beauty and looking effortlessly chic?
It’s a lot of back office work to look effortless! French women put a lot of effort into their skincare routine and they know the basics! They don’t put a lot of make up but I think a lot of work goes into really taking care of their skin and lifestyle.
Your favourite simple summer pleasures?
Walking through le Jardin des Tuileries at night, after a nice diner on a terrace Place du Marche St Honoré ! Or buying tons and tons of cakes at Mori Yoshida (to have an afternoon snack with my girl friends on the lawn at Invalides). They are so “light” you don’t even feel like you’re getting fat!
If not in Paris: my favorite thing ever is to spend a few days at my grand-parents’ house in the South of France, sur la côte d’azur. We join there in the summer with all my cousins, aunts and uncles (for as long as I can remember): I take cooking lessons from my grandma, spend the day at the beach down the house, and then spend the evening with dozens of people at the diner table, talking until late at night!