24 Hours In Provence With Bastide’s Shirin von Wulffen
In fact, time spent at their home, or bastide, in the South of France is how the brand’s skincare range was born. “It was very much inspired by the way my French girlfriends take care of their skin,” says von Wulffen. “Just as they eat seasonally and fresh from the garden, they also listen to their skin and ‘feed’ it according to season and need using highly potent natural ingredients.” This research resulted in a purifying clay mask and nourishing face oil that have seemingly solved the sensitive skin issues von Wulffen previously experienced no matter where she was in the world. “I have lived in many places and tried so many different things on my skin, but I have never found it so nourished and happy as when I am feeding it with the oils and extracts that we source in Provence,” she says.
While von Wulffen says she never “feels as alive” as she does bustling around the streets of New York City, her home base where “you can get so much done in no time at all,” there’s something to be said for slowing down in the South of France. Here, she reveals where to go, what to eat, and the products she packs for a trip to Provence.
“My greatest guilty pleasure is sleeping in late, so sometimes it’s closer to 9 a.m. or even 10 a.m. Frédéric and I usually have coffee together in the mornings, so one of us makes oat milk lattes with our Nespresso machine and milk frother. I usually don’t eat breakfast, but sometimes I will have a slice or two of pain allemande, which is a German-style multigrain bread made by this amazing organic bakery in Aix called Fabrique À Pain. As Frédéric likes to say, ‘It’s the best bread in the world!’”
“I take our golden retriever, Gypsie, for a hike. Directly behind our house is a path that leads uphill through the woods and into a national state park. Walking on trails with the smell of warm, dry pine needles is heavenly! My kids have started going on the walk with me and they love seeing insects and smelling all the plants. Mostly, they love to see how happy Gypsie is on her walk when all of us are together.”
“I take a quick shower with Bastide’s Miel de Lavande Body Wash. Then, I like to mix a bit of the Huile Seche Epatante Brilliant Dry Oil Mist and the Corps-a-Corps Body Cream to really hydrate skin all over, especially my arms and legs. I wash my face with water and then use the Biologique Recherche P50V lotion before applying a few drops of Elixir II Nourishing Oil Face & Décolleté on my face. I top everything off with Medical Beauty Research sunscreen. I always use a bit of liquid eyeliner (Tom Ford) and mascara (Chanel), as well as an eyebrow pencil from Chantecaille. I am currently wearing our Verveine du Sud Eau de Toilette, so I spritz on a bit right before I leave the house. It gives me a great boost of energy and happiness throughout the day.”
“I squeeze the juice from half a lemon into a one-liter bottle of water and head into town. Luckily, we live just outside of Aix-en-Provence so it’s only a 10 minute drive by car into the center of town, where our Bastide store and office is.”
“I arrive in town and always walk through the market to pick up fresh flowers or fruit for the day.”
“I arrive at Bastide. I love spending time in our store and chatting with the people who stop by. I’ve met clients from all over the world and it’s wonderful to see their reactions to the products or to share favorite places to visit in the South of France. I also love merchandising the store, so I spend time framing images, watering plants, or rearranging products.”
“Lunch, which I take sitting down, at Le Chastel or Le Grillon. Another thing I learned in Provence is that you always have to sit down in order to digest well. My favorites are ratatouille, fresh tomato salad, onion tarte, or fried aubergines. Sometimes I have a glass of cold rosé with lunch, but only on days when I have time for a quick siesta!”
3 - 5 p.m.
“I take a quick une sieste at home. Late nights of drinking rosé mixed with the heat and bright sun in the South of France makes these naps almost obligatory! Sleeping in a cool, shady spot makes me feel so refreshed and regenerated. I’m also convinced it makes my eyes and skin look better too. Otherwise, I head back to the store or the office to check in with New York. On my way, I grab a latte at La Brulerie or a frozen yogurt with mini M&M’s at California Bliss. Life is all about little pleasures in moderation!”
5:30 - 6 p.m.
“I stop by Monoprix to pick up any last minute groceries and then head home for an afternoon swim with the kids.”
6:30 - 7 p.m.
“I try to do a bit of yoga and ten minutes of meditation afterwards to stretch my muscles and calm the mind.”
“We usually have dinner at home on our terrace with friends and lots of kids. We have a small soccer setup on the lawn, so there is often an impromptu soccer match between the kids and adults right before dinner. I love having all generations together at one table and hearing everyone’s stories. We serve buffet-style so everyone can have whatever they like, which I find is a no-pressure way for my kids to try new foods. We almost always drink rosé with ice cubes, a.k.a. à la piscine. After dinner we serve dark chocolate from Lindt and After Eight, as well as verveine tea from our vegetable garden. Halfway through dinner, we scoop up our kids who have fallen asleep and bring them to their beds.”
“We typically finish around midnight, close all the shutters, wash the dishes, and go to bed. If we have time, we watch something on Netflix. Frédéric religiously mists our pillows with lavender spray before we fall asleep.”
Written by Amber Kallor
Photos Courtesy of Bastide