I have been suffering recently from a bad attack of what my friend M calls “Angry Monkey Face”. That is where for reasons you are entirely unable to divine, your face turns against you, becoming as angry and red and raw as a baboon’s bottom. No amount of clean living, evening primrose oil, or fruit is going to impress an angry monkey face, at least in the short term. Angry monkey face laughs in the face (ho ho) of your of your puny attempts to pacify it with avocados and water. It will continue to break out, redden and peel, simply because that is what it wants to do, and it hates you. If you are really stupid like me, you will further anger the gods of angry monkey face by picking at it absent-mindedly when you are feeling tense (this is all the time), which leads to full on FURIOUS GORILLA FACE. That is where I had got to recently. I have had to construct an elaborate Kabuki mask of powder and concealer whenever I leave the house, which is thankfully rare. My family recoil involuntarily when they see me without my powdery carapace, and I have to run to the bathroom in the mornings to dust myself with mineral powder just to deal with eating breakfast without bursting into tears. It is getting ridiculous. When that happens, it’s time for a trip to La Feuille.
La Feuille is an “organic” cosmetic and beauty boutique on one of the chichi, leafy streets just off Ambassador’s Wife’s Paradise Square (Place Brugmann). I have employed the inverted commas, because “organic” is a bit of a crappy, abused term in beauty, and tiny percentages of organic ingredients are sufficient to allow a product to be labelled all whale loving and righteous. At La Feuille, Laurent Chemda, the owner, only stocks brands with a proven track record and proper organic credentials: better still, nothing gets shelf space without thorough, stern tryout from his panel of testers. Laurent’s grandparents were organic pioneers, and he’s doing them proud: he stocks brands like REN, Iroisie, Gatte Fossé and Bio Effet for beauty, and RMS for make up and they are all Good Stuff and it is all nicely displayed in non-intimidating, easy to poke at, way.
There are products for chaps (I saw some beautifully packaged graphic soaps today which would be excellent stocking fillers for grown ups) and products for babies and children and there is a treatment room too, and once a week a brilliant lady comes and does massages and treatments, and although I still haven’t managed to try her out, I have talked to people who have, and their eyes glaze over in bliss as they recall it. I really must go.
The most brilliant thing about La Feuille, though, is the advice. I dragged my hideous, angry, monkey face over to Laurent this afternoon and displayed it to him, poor man. This requires an act of significant courage, because Laurent himself is ludicrously handsome.
“MAKE MY FACE BETTER” I wailed. “EVEN THE DOG IS SCARED OF ME AND HE REGULARLY EATS SHIT”.
“I can see that” said Laurent, though not unkindly. Then he told me what to buy in very firm, convincing terms and even though I couldn’t actually afford, it, I did exactly what he said. I love this. I am the most dithery, indecisive, feeble creature and I love it when someone else has strong ideas about what is good for me. Laurent is like this. He is like your mum, if your mum were an incredibly hot, muscular gay guy, which I admit is unlikely. ANYWAY. Laurent tells you what to use and not use, when, what to eat and drink (I am trying something he recommended right now. Apparently it is called “water”). And he’s right: the last time he recommended anything for me it was straight up brilliant and within days it had improved my face from ‘angry monkey’ to peaceful, er, hamster? Koi carp? You get the idea. He knows his stuff. He gives loads of free samples. He’ll bitchslap you into drinking “water”. I venerate him. Save your pennies and take your angry simian faces down La Feuille.
La Feuille, 199 Rue Berkendael, 02 343 9600
(Try the Iroisie Gel Cleanser, which is, as the young people say, the “bomb”.)