6 European Summer Wardrobe Staples

Here are a few of the items that are worth investing in for summer if you want to achieve an easygoing, gal from across the ocean vibe:

1. Wrap around skirt. Featured by Rouje in the image. The wrap dress was made iconic by DVF, but the wrap skirt gives a little more ease to the refined look. You can easily wear a casual or romantic top and embrace any vibe you want to achieve in one simple yet elegant piece.

2. Net bag. You can by a net bag from Amazon for $3, but the net bag has worked its way up the ladder toward more high end reproductions. The bag above is from Pixie Market. Fill your net bag with colorful groceries or magazines that will pop among the neutral tones of the net.

3. A scarf. This scarf is by Loewe. You can transform any outfit with a beautiful scarf. Options include wrapping it around your bag strap, ponytail, a low bun, neck, wrist, interior decoration etc. There are endless ways to be creative with this simple item.

4. Platform kitten heel. Here the Kate Spade kitten heel can be worn easily from day to night with a variety of looks. It gives a lovely lift to the legs with the stability of a flat sole for walking on grass or cobblestone.

5. Gold jewelry. If you collect gold jewelry there comes a moment when all of your jewelry beautifully goes together, and it is a wonderful thing! However, no matter your style, gold pendants, coins, rings, hoops, and designs collecting can keep
you busy for an entire summer. Featured above by Céndre.

6. 90s glasses. Small frames reminiscent of The Matrix are everywhere. If you have a wider face, try to find frames that stretch out and upwards of the face creating an elongating effect. A smaller shaped face will be able to wear more classic shapes easily.

Have a great summer. 😉

How to Blend in with the French

(Okay, no, I don’t exactly suggest a béret).

Now I cannot say I am an expert, or perfect at blending in while in France, but I do have a lot of experience from living there for long stretches and dating a french for a couple of years. These are not meant to be hard facts, but simply observations and things I have learned from interactions in France. Of course there will be exceptions, but I do happen to remember what I was wearing anytime someone asked me for directions, then was shocked I wasn’t french!

Clothing: Even I can spot most Americans while in France. The french have an easier way about their outfits, even if they are elaborate. Part of it is how they wear their clothes with their own personality. I would say it is true in general that french people dress more in basic staple pieces and opt for more simple palettes. However, I have seen many of the younger generation wear more trendy, almost American styles. Many younger french teenagers are holding Zara, H&M, and similar stores bags on both hands. It’s a bit of a disappointment honestly when fast fashion has grown so much in the country with the best historic sense of a style (in my opinion). Also know that Parisian clothing isn’t necessarily the same as the rest of France. The north, south, and Paris are completely different subcultures inside France. In Paris I’d say roll out your best chic look and complacent glare. In the south, dressing simple and fresh is a lot more appropriate. Overall, I would say dress in basics with elegant accessories (gold earrings, a beautiful bag, a dainty necklace) anything with poor fabrics, tacky designs, brand names, and cheap silhouettes isn’t so becoming there. Also, men wear their shorts a bit shorter and many carry leather bags with them wherever they go. It’s also worth mentioning I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pair of flip flops in France.

Accessories: What I have observed are minimal and feminine pieces. A simple necklace, a quality purse, a leather notebook. I don’t see a lot of dazzling pieces in the north or south on the average day.

Hair: None of my french friends, or any girls I’ve met or seen style their hair. Even for parties their hair is relaxed and natural. I think curling irons, hairspray, or over styled locks is a giveaway that they probably are not from France.

Makeup: Most girls seem to wear a natural look. Maybe they will wear eyeliner and mascara, but a full face of makeup or contouring is usually a bit rare in France from what I have experienced. I wouldn’t bother packing more than one eyeshadow kit and maybe a red lipstick, every time I bring more I feel silly wearing it. Even to parties none of the girls had made up faces, so I learned to stay simple and relaxed when I wanted (frees up my schedule!).

Attitude: I love the attitude of french women. At parties I never observed them looking around comparing themselves to other girls or seeming to wonder what people were thinking. They seemed to be grounded and confident in themselves. Naturally, there will be women who differ from this, but overall I felt french women had a sense of inner dependence I would love to acquire. I really believe they focus more on charm than obtaining perfect features. When they believe in their own charm, everyone else does too. I think every woman knows she can be beautiful in her own way and stage of life there, at least a little more than other Western countries. Oh, and please oh please don't talk too loud, or exaggerate in France if you're trying to blend in i.e.: This meal is the best. It is soo delicious. I adore your jacket. They normally don't do that, trust me. If a meal is fabulous my boyfriend and his family say, "It's okay, but did it really have enough salt?" I simply don't understand it.

When in doubt a sexy white T-shirt, well fitted black pants, and a pair of sunglasses always has people asking me for the directions!

Bisou.

Five French Skincare Products That Changed My Skin

I have spent the past two summers in the South of France, and during my days I made sure to research and try skincare products that aren't available or known in the US. My skin is prone to all sorts of reactions, so saying these products are life changing is no exaggeration!

1. Biafine. This appears to be a cult favorite of the French. I have no idea how I had never heard someone mention this product. They use it in France for cuts, scrapes, burns, and many types of inflammatory skin issues. It generally costs about $5! I use it after exfoliating, or after derma-rolling because it aids in rebuilding of skin tissue. This cream is famous for being used in the hospitals in France because research shows it helps rebuild the skin of burned skin victims. If you don't try any other product, I highly suggest this one!

2. Avenue Cicalfate. I have red-tinted skin. (I'm sensitive!) when I get out of the shower at night after removing dirt and makeup this redness is the most noticeable. This cream is said to help both redness and skin issues (such as breakouts) and wow! It removes all of my redness from my face within a minute and heals any small or medium spots I may have by the morning significantly. If you have irritated or reddish skin naturally or by sunburn this is a good staple for your skincare!

3. Embryolisse Lait-crème Concentré . This is used by models world wide. This moisturizer is an ultra-hydrating cream. I use it over any essences or serums. It's a bit oily for me during the day, but I can't imagine not having this on my shelves for at night especially during the winter or when my skin feels rough from swimming all day in the ocean.

4. Caudalie Beauty Elixir. A little goes a long way. I've had my tiny bottle bought in Avignon for four months! This product makes you look like you have an internal glow and makes the skin look and feel very healthy. If you have oily skin (like me) you may need to blot a little bit of the mist off your face with tissue. I like to use this when I'm in cities with pollution or during a long day at work.

5. Yves Rocher hommage à mixer. Not everyone should use harsh scrubs. If you are sensitive I wouldn't try this on your face. However, I have oily skin that can take a little bit of scrubbing, so I use this on my face and body once every week or two and it feels absolutely refreshing. I've never had a product get the old epidermis off my skin so easily! I layer biafine on my skin after for a renewing effect.

Bonus:

6. Reviva skincare products. I found these in the US in a health food store. They are a French brand and extremely affordable! (Talking $5-15). One study showed it has the exact same ingredients in many high end skincare products!Sometimes we buy brands without realizing we are paying for the pretty packaging. I know I have many times. Everything in this line I have used is gentle and natural, and I have recently switched my expensive cleanser for their organic milk cleanser and I am enjoying it!

I hope one or more of these products works for you! Feel free to let me know your thoughts below!