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Living Like A Parisian

Don't leave your red lipstick at home! Channel Vanessa Paradis rouge attitude

Don’t leave your red lipstick at home! Channel Vanessa Paradis rouge attitude

I recently returned from a gloriously long vacation in Europe.  It was the kind of trip that continued so long, I lost track of time and dates.  Back in my university days, Paris failed to live up to the hype of its image.  But I rediscovered Paris, charmed by the grandeur of Haussman’s boulevards, twinkling lights shining brightly on the Champs Elysee and the surprising kindness and nouveau joie de vie that greeted me upon my return.  I knew I was demurely blending in as I was often stopped for directions (by the French, no less)!

Should you find yourself in need of an impromptu mini-break, Paris is always a good idea.

La Louvre is worth it – I spent 4 hours in The Louvre and I didn’t even see all of it. Go early to avoid the massive lineups.  While many of the galleries will be rammed with tourists (particularly the Italian and Renaissance), you can still take in the art in relative quiet in the lesser frequented rooms on the 2nd floor.  You can also have a dejeuner at Angelina; there is a great view of the central courtyard to people watch.

Only Beyoncé & Jay-Z can take a selfie this close to the Mona Lisa because in real life, your access to it is 12 Asian tourists deep holding up those stupid selfie rods behind a red velvet rope.  True story. Leonardo is turning in his grave.

Only Beyoncé & Jay-Z can take a selfie this close to the Mona Lisa because in real life, your access to it is 12 Asian tourists deep holding up those stupid selfie rods behind a red velvet rope. True story. Leonardo is turning in his grave.

Wear black head-to-toe – Understated cool and lots of leather.  A black wardrobe is a true French staple.  That and those Petit Bateau striped knit tops.  Parisian style is iconic – chic, cool, effortless.  You can also get a taste of that ‘je ne sais quoi’ at Sandro, Maje, Comptoir des Cotonniers or at their grands magasins (department stores) Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.

Red Lips Don’t Care – Bright red or crimson lips are also a MUST – check out my classic-LC beauty post for a tutorial on The Perfect Red Pout.  Obviously, the Parisian classic is of the Chanel variety – Try Rouge Allure Velvet in La Fascinante.  And for the Brigitte Bardot in you, black eyeliner and mascara is welcome too.

Bourjois is like the French equivalent of Maybelline.  A heavy dose of eyeliner and mascara does the trick!

Bourjois is like the French equivalent of Maybelline. A heavy dose of eyeliner and mascara does the trick!

Even though Sky Ferreira is a West Coast gal, there is something about her look that recalls French style. Here she wears American Apparel, all noir bien sur.

Even though Sky Ferreira is a West Coast gal, there is something about her look that recalls French style. Here she wears American Apparel, all noir bien sur.

Éclair is the New Macaron – Parisians are over the macaron.  I’m not over it but just to let you know, it’s so last season.  Novelty eclairs are the ‘it’ patisserie du jour.  I would have brought some home but undoubtedly they would have been squished in my suitcase seeing how I had to sit on said luggage to close it.  Even if you want an après-midi, sugar fix Laduree and Fauchon are not the only macaron games in town. You can hit up any corner boulangerie (bakery) and there will be macarons aplenty.  Just visit a busy one with lots of Frenchies and you know it’s good.  Trust.

Heads up, the trendiest spot in town to get your éclair on is in Le Marais at L'eclair de genie.

Heads up, the trendiest spot in town to get your éclair on is in Le Marais at L’eclair de genie.

Ines de la Fressange covers Paris Vogue this month. Forever stylish in her Roger Vivier flats (aka the Faberge of footwear).

Ines de la Fressange covers Paris Vogue this month. Forever stylish in her Roger Vivier flats (aka the Faberge of footwear).

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January 11, 2015   No Comments

Sweater Coziness: Channelling The Holiday

Cameron Diaz in The Holiday. Sherling coats and leather driving gloves. I also need a drink.

Cameron Diaz in The Holiday. Sherling coats and leather driving gloves. I also need a drink.

So don’t make me watch a rom-com, unless the fashion is good. Maybe I can handle a 1/2 hour but then promise me, we can switch to a zombie dramedy.  You swear? Right now, I’m building a winter cozy wardrobe reminiscent of Cameron Diaz in The Holiday (2006).  The premise is that Cameron Diaz’s character longs for a change of scenery from LA and switches homes with English Kate Winslet during holiday season.  Trading in the sunny palms of West Coast for the quaintness of cottage life in the English countryside, shenanies ensue.  I don’t remember the rest.  At some point, she also hooks up with  hottie mchotterson Jude Law (pre-nanny scandal).

But I digress. My interpretation of channelling Cammy in The Holiday… aka Chalet Chic-y.

Blanket brilliance: That ubiquitous Burberry blanket cape monogrammed if you are fameuse or too lucky.

Blanket brilliance: That ubiquitous Burberry blanket cape monogrammed if you are fameuse or too lucky.

Sister: "You look like a grandma" Moi: "Oh yeah, the baggier the better." Trust. Zara Oversize Cable Cardi

Sister: “You look like a grandma” Moi: “Oh yeah, the baggier the better.” Trust. Zara Oversize Cable Cardi

I'm so fancy, you already know: J. Crew cashmere sweater in camel

I’m so fancy, you already know: J. Crew cashmere sweater in camel

Even though Cam wouldn't necessarily wear this hat, I would keep my head warm in Beyoncé's double pom pom

Even though Cam wouldn’t necessarily wear this hat, I would keep my head warm in Beyoncé’s double pom pom

Chillin' Pop Dylan: Cam lounging about in her creamy cable knit sweater. That looks like fun.

Cam lounging about in her creamy cable knit sweater.

And if you’re looking to trade places this holiday season, flash-forward 2014 and we’ve got Airbnb.

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November 6, 2014   No Comments

New York State of Mind

I like reading Conde Nast Traveler while I'm on vacay, so I can think about my next vacay. haha.

I like reading Conde Nast Traveler while I’m on vacay, so I can think about my next vacay. haha.

Sometimes I can’t help myself.  I can be self indulgent and impulsive — both common traits of Geminis.  Though I am planning a holiday trip, I could not resist a Fall mini-break to New York with my sister.  This travel compulsion trumps any chocolate addiction.  I can often lure a few friends to tag along because they know I love to plan a) brunches/dinners b) shopping c) activities involving champagne spritzers/Riesling and in general I up the ante on my comedy game.  More fun? Yes please!

I dreamed of New York

I dreamed of New York

I was feeling nostalgic so the theme of our trip was throwback.  I tried to mix in a little of this and little of that, some places that we used to haunt and some new ones to keep it fresh.

Cafeteria (119 7th Ave.) – We were just babies when we used to come here. Do you remember China Club? Carrie loved it. Still open 24 hours, good for brunch mimosas, great for after the bar comfort food. Mac n’ Cheese is still on the menu.

Cafeteria in the heart of Chelsea is open 24 hours. So you can #nomnomnom anytime

Cafeteria in the heart of Chelsea is open 24 hours. So you can #nomnomnom anytime

Nobu NY (105 Hudson St.) – There’s a reason people come back for chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s new style Japanese cuisine. Spaces are warm, subdued and elegant. The Tribeca location is the original (famously backed by Robert de Niro) which opened in 2004.  With imaginative dishes and high quality sushi I’m like ‘whoa.’  This is saying a lot coming from a vegetarian who detests raw things.

Ladurée (398 West Broadway, Soho)  – A Parisian tea room with a glass case of patisserie and candy-coloured rainbow of macarons await.

Decadent delights: I shared the macarons this time. They come in the most beautiful little boites, non?

Decadent delights: I shared the macarons this time. They come in the most beautiful little boites, non?

Stanton Social (99 Stanton St.) – My friend S said, “Lower East Side is the new Meatpacking.” That makes me giggle.  There’s still a bit of grungey edge to LES but I like when the sketch intermingles with trendy spots.  Keeping it real.  Celebrity chef Chris Santos’s menu is a mashup of ethnic tapas from Kobe beef sliders to Nori Spice Tuna Wonton and Summer Squash Ravioli. Try Monday nights if you want a downtown crowd.

Stanton Social plays good hip hop while you are noshing on your gourmet eats.

Stanton Social plays good hip hop while you are noshing on your gourmet eats.

Wayback playback: Supermodels at Indochine.  FIN.

Wayback playback: Supermodels at Indochine. FIN.

 

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October 4, 2014   No Comments

A Weekend Made INN Vermont

Burlington is the largest city in the state of Vermont. Downtown city kids, just so you know it takes an hour to get a taxi.

Burlington is the largest city in the state of Vermont. Downtown city kids, just so you know it takes an hour to get a taxi.

My cool blonde friend C who reminds me of Mad Men’s Betty Draper recently got hitched in her hometown of Burlington, Vermont.  A bevy of East Coast It Girls descended on this truly postcard picturesque college town.  There we found a cobblestone pedestrian street, heritage buildings, boutique shopping and a plethora of restaurants serving delicious farm to table food.  The city hosts a weekend Farmer’s Market which is not to be missed.  I arrived a day early and I was busted by friends retail therapy in session.  Try the boutique Stella Mae (96 Church St.) for young contemporary brands like Ark & Co, Mink Pink, Chaser and funky shoes from Jeffrey Campbell and Dolce Vita.  To indulge your love of vintage, check out Old Gold (180 Main St.) which houses costumes, kitschy accessories, vintage dresses, denim cutoffs and trendy fast-fashion.  I bought so much there, they thanked me.  Bahahaha.  Noooo, thank you!

Cool like a cucumber: My friend C channels Betty Draper. And sidenote, I'm catching up on Mad Men. Don Draper is reallyx3 screwed up.

Cool like a cucumber: My friend C channels Betty Draper. And sidenote, I’m catching up on Mad Men. Don Draper is reallyx3 screwed up.

Loving to research travel, I insisted that we stay at Tripadvisor’s #1 Rated B&B Made Inn Vermont (204 S. Willard).  Designed in a Victorian Gothic Paris Vogue meets Rockstar, there were quirky details aplenty to feast your curiosity.  Like if Keith Richards opened up a B&B, this would be it.  Rooms are adorned in a cozy whimsical style with electric guitars and drums (instruments can be played until 10pm) and chalkboards for guests to leave their love notes or drawings.  The owner Linda insisted on making us her famous Sangria so we could chillax pre-cocktail party in the tiki backyard HT (hottt tub, oh yes this was the cincher).  When we told our friends, they said, “we got lemonade at our B&B??!!” I just advised that next time they should talk to me.  Such a fun mini-vacay! Highly recommended.

Peekaboo! A grand entrance

Peekaboo! A grand entrance

The sitting room where you could cozy up and read a book

The sitting room where you could cozy up and read a book

Coffee Table Books and a giant Hand (just because)

Coffee Table Books and a giant Hand (just because)

This is my dream: floor to ceiling shelves of books. Say no to Kobo!

This is my dream: floor to ceiling shelves of books. Say no to Kobo!

Moody art and a reading nook

Moody art and a reading nook

Breakfast is served. Nothing makes my life like fresh juice and fruit. General rule: I break detox for croissants.

Breakfast is served. Nothing makes my life like fresh juice and fruit. General rule: I break detox for croissants.

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July 2, 2014   No Comments

Summer Beach Dreams

Dolce Vita Romper

I never gave up on the romper. I love a good romper/gladiator sandal combo. That’s my drinks on a patio outfit. Loving the cool blues on this Dolce Vita Romper

A girl needs to dream.  A girl needs to dream about a bright sunshine-y day without rain or sleet or snow.  A day without salt stained boots and static-y flyaway hair.  Of turquoise waters and itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny bikinis.  Having gone on a warm December vacation, my hopes were high for a quick segue way into Spring.  Since that hasn’t been the case, I’ll settle for Summer Beach Dreams.

I have already planned out my travels for the next year (because a girl has got to see the world).  Well, if you’re a follower of the LC, you know how I feel about a gypset wardrobe. If it were tropical here, I would be wearing a caftan walking down the sidewalk.  Some summer loves to keep you daydreaming… *lesigh

Bright bikini babes in H&M Swimwear

Bright bikini babes in H&M Swimwear

Psychedelic dreamers: I really need more Mara Hoffman Resort in my life right now.

Psychedelic dreamers: I really need more Mara Hoffman Resort in my life right now.

Vix St. Marten caftan because you know how I like to channel Morocco.

Vix St. Marten caftan because you know how I like to channel Morocco.

Daria in Gucci Macramé. I actually read this copy of Elle Spain while in Salamanca. Fun fact.

Daria in Gucci Macramé. I actually read this copy of Elle Spain while in Salamanca. Fun fact.

 

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April 8, 2014   No Comments

Beauty Trends: Oils Are My Secret

 

Vogue Beauty: We all aspire to younger more beautiful skin. Sometimes less is more!

Vogue Beauty: We all aspire to younger more beautiful skin. Sometimes less is more!

There a long-standing joke that I age backwards, so I refer to myself as Benjamin Button.  In my current arsenal of age-defying beauty secrets are Oils.  With their numerous minerals and natural properties, oils are fast becoming a trending alternative to common products.  I test a variety of products to see what works best for my hair and skin type but here are a few of my faves.

Ojon Rare Blend Oil - I brought this with me to Costa Rica and would apply it to my wet hair in the afternoons. Obsessed with the fragrant smell and moisture boost which made my locks lustrous.

Ojon Rare Blend Oil – I brought this with me to Costa Rica and would apply it to my wet hair in the afternoons. Obsessed with the fragrant smell and moisture boost which made my locks lustrous.

Morroccan Oil - I also love the tiny travel size. You only need a dime size dollop which you can run through your hair, focusing on ends for maximum shine. Be careful not to apply too much as you can get a greasy effect.

Morroccan Oil – I also love the tiny travel size. You only need a dime size dollop which you can run through your hair, focusing on ends for maximum shine. Be careful not to apply too much as you can get a greasy effect.

Julep Bare Face Oil - I typically wear makeup so I use this facial oil after a green tea scrub. It removes excess makeup and leaves my skin with radiant glow. There is also a subtle hint of citrus which I enjoy.

Julep Bare Face Oil – I typically wear makeup so I use this facial oil after a green tea scrub. It removes excess makeup and leaves my skin with radiant glow. There is also a subtle hint of citrus which I enjoy.

The biggest thing I noticed about using oils is that they feel fresh and natural.  With my skin when it’s behaving nicely, I don’t need to wear much makeup.  Do you use any beauty oils that you think are the bomb-diggity?  I would love to know. xo

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February 22, 2014   No Comments