The New “BB” of French Cinema

You probably remember Bérénice Béjo as Peppy Miller in the movie The Artist (2011); a role that projected this talented actress onto the international stage with nominations for Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Oscars.

French/Argentinian Actress Bérénice Béjo actually started her successful acting career in the 1990s with many roles in French television and film productions. She later made her American film debut as Christiana in A Knight’s Tale (2001) before appearing in The Artist.

In December, you will see her again in a strong female leading role in Le Passé (The Past), a movie nominated for La Palme D’Or, which won her a César for Best Actress. The Past was directed by Asghar Farhadi, who also won many awards for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012 with A Separation.

After Brigitte Bardot, Bérénice Béjo could be on her way to becoming the new “BB” of French Cinema.

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A sneak preview from The Past coming out in the US in December 2013

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Fashion Week in Paris: Très Chic, Très Choc!

What happened during Fashion Week in Paris last week?  We’ve looked at what designers presented on the Parisian runways and found some outstanding outfits, as you might have guessed. In addition, many of these designers are giving us the trend for favorite 2014 hairstyles. In terms of hair color, ombré remains popular for another season and multidimensional highlights are now a confirmed trend. Regarding hairstyling, it looks like long side-part hairstyles are back this year with natural waves and soft layers.

The side part was big in the glamorous 1950s and made a come back recently with more natural looking hairstyles. Actually, did you know that parting your hair on the side adds elegance to your overall look by complimenting your facial features? In reality, a side part is easier to wear than the middle part because it flatters any face from any angle, softening harsh features, as opposed to the middle part, which accentuates and highlights facial features. So if your face is perfectly symmetrical like Halle Berry’s do not worry about what side your part is, otherwise follow the trend and flatter yourself!

Here are some of our favorite runway looks:

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And, some of our favorite Paris streets shots, definitely très chic, très choc!

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For more Paris street Fashion Street views click here

For a great hairstyle, you can wait for your next trip to Paris or you can visit Marianne Vera Salon

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French Envy- Part I.

French Envy- Part I..

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Sunkiss Your Hair The French Way

Sun-kiss Your Hair the French Way

Summer is here and while some of us ladies patiently wait for a day at the beach to get sun kissed, others would rather get it at the hair salon. After all, this is a much easier option  than waiting for a day at the beach. In addition, highlighting your hair at the salon offers a lot more options in terms of hues and nuances.  Typically, “American clients get a half-head or a full head of highlights, which drastically and evenly lighten the hair using foil paper,” says Caroline Lameda, Master Stylist and owner of Marianne Vera Salon in New York. This technique produces intense results but can sometimes appear un-natural and streaky. Large blonde streaks that contrast with the base color were also a popular style for a while. This summer, caramel and honey shades are popular as well as ombré, a technique that highlights the bottom part of the hair only. Among the young and the artsy, 3-5 inches roots are also popular this summer. “French clients, on the other hand, prefer a more subtle effect,” adds Caroline. So what is the difference between American-style highlights and French highlights?

When it comes to French style, it’s either extravagant and avant-garde or very natural looking. Typically, French women prefer a natural looking effect whether for hairstyle or make-up. While some women have no problem telling you, “It’s Maybelline, the French want you to believe they’re born with it.” This attitude applies very much to hair coloring as well and that’s when Balayage comes into play.

Balayage literally means, “sweep” in French. In hair coloring terminology, it is a highlighting technique performed with a brush instead of foil paper. French Master Hair colorist, Franck Provost has perfected the art of balayage using a brush and a sponge, rendering sublime results on all hair type and hair color. The technique of balayage allows for the blonde streaks to blend into the rest of the hair nicely, giving an overall natural effect as if you had gone to the beach. However, balayage is not for blondes only and is often performed on dark hair and red hair as well. Balayage is also performed on men as well.  Typically, the hair is lightened no more than two shades for a natural looking effect. The result: more depth, dimension and light into your hair, which reflects beautifully on your face. Balayage is a great solution to achieve a softer, subtle look without the harsh treatment of foil highlights. Most importantly, it will take a few years off your face and “it’s cheaper than Botox,” affirms Caroline Lameda at Marianne Vera Salon. So come and get your sun kiss and sweep away your dull hair color!


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Men’s Hairstyles

It looks like men are putting more thoughts and creativity into their hairstyles this year. Big hair is in, haircuts are structured and edgy, and to complement the haircut, facial hairstyles are also making a come back. Whether sleek, structured or disheveled, men’s hairstyles deserve an award this year for their creative and sexy allure.

Schwarzkopf and Masculin magazines report on the 2013 tendencies for Men’s hairstyles this Summer.

Take a look gentlemen and get inspired!  MV Salon is glad to offer you a complimentary scalp massage with your haircut until May 27.
Make a reservation at 212.472.7200 and mention the offer.

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All You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About French Men

Can you figure out what all these good-looking bad boys have in common?

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They’re French!
Frenchmen are said to be grumpy but they also have the reputation of being good lovers, romantic, artsy, stylish and sexy. Does the stereotype actually live up to reality? We asked female clients at Marianne Vera Salon to tell us about their experiences with French men and this is what they said:

“French men are into you”
“They love women and admire them”
“They’re not afraid to look at a woman”
“They’re edgy and fashionable”
“They embrace life”
“They’re charismatic and know how to carry themselves”
“They’re insistent with women”

To my surprise, none of the interviewees corroborated the stereotype of the romantic lover man. Could it be that Frenchmen lost their rank to fall behind the Italians or Brazilians, or that the stereotype has been nothing more than a cliché with no real foundation? As a French/American woman, I can affirm that not all French men are romantic. In fact, the French are considered romantic from an American standpoint but they don’t really consider themselves romantic, quite the opposite. In France and from a French standpoint, the French are rather down to earth, practical and realistic. Nonetheless, they are undeniably passionate about life and they do take the time to socialize with the people they like. Frenchmen love women that’s true but they’re not all womanizers and cheaters. If you go on a date with a French man, it is unlikely that the conversation revolve around work and money. In fact, the French don’t define people by their work but rather by their personality, their conversations and the way they live their lives in general. In short, the French work to live; they don’t live to work and for this reason, they also have the reputation of disliking work. Let’s not forget that most French employee enjoy an average of six weeks paid vacation per year in addition to numerous holidays. So what’s wrong with that? “Nothing at all,” the French will say. Life is to be enjoyed, and to do just that, one needs time off. In fact, our two-week yearly vacation time seems quite inhuman and cruel to the French. So yes, French men definitely love life, and what also distinguishes them is that they have a strong interest in other cultures and arts in general.

Not every French man is artsy, that’s part of the stereotype, but every French man has some knowledge of art, cooking, music, painting or literature. French have conversations, so ladies, if you have a date with a French man, be ready to talk about anything and everything but work. The good news is that your evening will feel like you’re spending time with a friend as opposed to being in a formal date. One of the things I enjoy about the French is that they see character flaws as a thing of life. After all, we’re humans and therefore imperfect, so it’s really no use trying to hide and wanting to appear perfect. Clearly, if you’ve just come out of rehab, you might want to keep that for a later time but if you have no heavy stuff in your life, just be yourself and be real! Don’t be afraid to show your good stuff and your not-so-good stuff. For the French, the way to really know someone and create intimacy is to discuss essential topics. French hate phonies and superficiality. So if you want your French date to take you seriously, be yourself and play no games. Remember, French men appreciate women and they like to be the man.

During our informal interview, some women said that, “French men are not afraid to look at women.” Many women claim that they feel alive when in France. They exist, because men take the time to acknowledge them. French men look at women in their own subtle, respectful manner. In addition, random acts of gallantry reflect French men’s good manners but it also gives them the chance to stop to their surroundings. Furthermore, French men are very attentive to details. While some men only notice the protruding parts of women, the French notice every detail and every part of a woman’s body, the hair, the hands, the clothes, the perfume and the make-up. This practice also applies in bed. French men will give attention to every part of your body. Making love is about spending time with another person so while climax is important; it is not the primary goal from the get-go for the French. Some people are nervous in bed because they see lovemaking as a mission to procure an orgasm to their partner. When you’re making love with a French man, don’t rush and don’t be so eager to satisfy him or be satisfied. Simply enjoy the moment and go with the flow.

With regards to dating, French men don’t have rules so you can discard all the conventions and etiquette of American dating. French men simply follow their guts and feelings. They call when they feel like it, even if it’s three times a day. There are no rules regarding waiting to initiate a second date, giving space to the other person, or needing to look detached. These rules make no sense whatsoever to the French. If they like someone, they just go for it! From my experience and observation, French men like to be in a relationship. Some relationships might even appear somewhat co-dependent from an American perspective. In fact, the French don’t seem to need their space as much as Americans do when in a relationship. However, as much as they love to be in a relationship, they also leave or wander elsewhere, if it doesn’t work out. The good news is that you are likely to know where you stand in your relationship with your French man from early on. Americans it seems, take a lot more time to commit to someone. But again, this is a generalization that doesn’t apply to all individuals.

Stereotypes play a major role in shaping our own opinions and often times, they perpetuates stigma and misinform rather than inform. In fact, as curious as you are about French men, so are French men about American women. If French men have the reputation of bad boys who cheat, American women have the reputation of being sexually loose. Although this might have been the case in France with some tourists wanting to taste the local flavors, we know this is not the absolute truth. This takes us back to the importance of being you. Don’t force yourself to look overly happy, positive and cheery if this is not how you feel at the moment, as this may be interpreted the wrong way. Don’t drink too much and behave like lady. If you drink beer, you should always use a glass.

These are just general reflections about observed French behavior, which can be taken as guidelines or interesting conversation topics. In any case, remember that each individual is different, bringing his or her own experience and personality to the equation. In effect, your perception of a person might be different for someone else. In addition, a French man does not behave the same way in New York as he does in France or other countries. While we enjoy observing the cultural traits that have made up the French man stereotype, we also look at each person individually. Remember, not every French man is alike.

Have you dated a French man? Let us know how your experience was!

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Coming Up: All You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About French Men


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