- Chantez et vous trouverez votre chanson -

Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.
     -George Bernard Shaw

It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves- in finding themselves.
      -Andre Gide

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Euro Beauty and Fashion Finds

Can I just be European already?  Euro girls always look so fashionable and put together.  I love their nonchalant, au natural yet still looks perfect long hair, and even their short cropped coifs that only the likes of Vicky B and Anna from the O.C. (2003/2004 reference) can pull off without looking like a boy, butch, or both.  No matter how cute I thinkkk I look, I always feel frumpy around French girls.

So in my travels and attempts to gain a European sense of style, I've figured out a few things along the way...

French pharmacies are cute... shops with blinking neon green crosses dotting each corner with every product imaginable for complete health, beauty and well-being.  The pharmacies carry expensive French beauty brands, holistic heath products, and in addition, they sell medicines over the counter that in the States we need prescriptions for (score!).  One cool product I picked up is a citrus scented shampoo/shower gel combo by Rene Furterer Paris.  Why don't more companies make products like that?  It's so convenient!  This one is called Initia, Gel douche tonique cheveux & corps.  It's soap-free, smells fresh and lemony, and since I'm a multi-tasking traveler, I'm able to use it as my shampoo, body wash anddd shaving cream.  Not bad for a 12 euro set of two bottles.

Paris has their fair share of H&M's and stores we have in the U.S., but while poking around in St-Germain-des-Pres, I found a French shopping chain that I absolutely looove.  It's called Sinequanone.  It's far above the price level of an H&M, but not terribly expensive, and their clothes are tailored, hang nice and make use of interesting patterns.  In my opinion, the clothes there are perfect for the twenty-something set just getting into the working world.  I bought myself a high waisted cream silk skirt with splashes of navy and black cropped and tapered leg pants with a bow tie high waist.  Both will be perfect work attire (even though I don't currently have a job when I return, haha).  Also, side tidbit: I had no idea how to even pronounce the store name let alone know it's meaning, but I recently found out that "sinequanone" is a French term that means ideal.  If you ever want to look smart and savvy you can say, "C'est une situation sinequanone."  Like if you decided months in advance that you wanted to run a race and you practiced regularly, for you, the race will be "une situation sinequanone."  It's the best case scenario.

This last one is going to give a little credit to the Dutch: For high, flat Fall leather boots, Sacha is awesome.  Everywhere I went in Amsterdam, women were wearing flat leather boots to die for in every shade of brown, black and the rest of the rainbow.  They all looked so...warm.  Unfortunately, during my trip to Amsterdam, it was freezing, rainy and windy, so I was super jeal of the boots I was seeing everywhere until I was window shopping and came across Sacha. The store was closed at the time, but my boots were glowing in the window.  Love. at. first. sight.  They were smooth green leather, flat heel, rounded toe and almost knee length.  I ran back to the store the next day to try them on and it was a done deal.  They're wide enough to slip over my jeans perfectly, but still look great with a simple dress and tights or leggings and a sweater, and the shade of green goes with (almost) anything.  I've worn them every day since I bought them, no joke.  And Amsterdam had a great selection of boots and plenty of shoe stores, but one thing to note is that a lot of them were extraordinarily expensive.  Sacha wasn't cheap by any means, but I was okay with paying 109 euro for these puppies.

So, that sums up my spectacular beauty/fashion finds from the past month or so in Europe ;).

Things I've seen a lot here are leather bomber jackets, scarves for every occasion, boots boots and more boots, and a lot of cream, violet and navy shades.  What's the fashion scene like back home now??  I feel so out of touch...