The Secret Luxury of a NYC Socialite
Meet Val. Inside her home she possesses an uncommon luxury which has not yet made a big splash in the U.S. market. She is one of few people who possess this product outside of France and Asia.
Val is sitting on a refurbished Victorian love seat in her living room in the Upper East Side of New York City. She is wearing a flowy skirt with black pointed-toe heels and a bold statement necklace. Her French bulldog, Cabot, is sitting beside her on the velvet cushion. It’s 9:15am and we are drinking chamomile tea together out of her new gold-embossed chinaware. There is a beautiful arrangement of fresh pink roses and sweet smelling macarons from the Ladurée shop around the corner placed in between us on her pristine coffee table.
Val is 28 years old and lives here on her own in her luxe apartment on the 12th floor. Her sophisticated personal style and bubbly personality are reflected through her interior décor which is bright, feminine and elegant. Twin bookcases separated by the marble fireplace are lined with leather bound books. When I point out Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, she claims it is one of her most treasured books. From the many pastel hued paintings that cover her walls, her guests can deduce that she clearly has a strong appreciation for art and enjoys Parisian styles.
The night before, Val hosted a group of close friends for their weekly get together, a tradition which she initiated several years ago. “I’m the party planner of my friend group. I love when it is my turn in the rotation to host my friends at my place. It’s a lot of work to entertain but I’ll take any excuse to get all dressed up, do my hair and makeup, and decorate the apartment!” says Val. She is a NYC socialite who enjoys exploring the latest hot spots in the city, getting lost in the Museum of Modern Art, and reading a book in Central Park to unwind.
By day, Val is the Sr. Beauty Director at Elle, the women’s fashion & beauty magazine. She is a self-proclaimed “beauty junkie.”
Val goes on to say, “Ever since I was little, I have always loved to experiment with makeup. Admittedly, my experiments have gotten better with age.” She smiles and laughs at herself a little as she reminisces on her blue eye shadow and bright orange blush phase in her early teen years. When asked about her beauty routine now, Val claims that she likes to try bold trends throughout the week. It makes her feel feminine and empowered to push the boundaries a little and put on a bold lipstick. She is comfortable with herself and treats makeup application as an art form.
Glass boxes filled with makeup top her vanity area. There are 10 of them, each containing various shades and colors of lipstick, blush, and eye shadow. Her most prized possession of them all is a unique looking sphere in the center of her vanity. She gently removes the lid to reveal rose petals. But these aren’t just any rose petals. They are actually individual palettes of pressed blush. I watch in awe as she picks up a thick white makeup brush with gold embellishment and gently swirls it over the petals before stroking it onto her left cheek. It’s a lovely rose color and complements her slightly tanned skin well.
She is proud of the rose petal blush. She explains that her family enjoys traveling across Europe together and discovered this brand of makeup called Les Merveilleuses in Paris. She fell in love with the white and gold compact cases and the various bold color offerings. For her 18th birthday, she received a bright pink pressed blush in a white and gold oval compact. It was the most sophisticated item she had ever been given up to that point. It made her feel like royalty. To this day she has received the makeup brand every year for her birthday.
This past year was different. For her 28th birthday, she upgraded to one of the brand’s more lush product offerings — the rose petal blush. This unique blush is her greatest luxury in her beauty routine. “There is nothing quite like it and it makes me feel marvelous when I put it on in the morning.”
Les Merveilleuses derives from Paris, France. It is currently not available in the United States, although Val insists this little luxury is worth shipping across the pond.
This post was created as part of the Global Luxury Management Program at the NC State Jenkins School of Management. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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