Sept. 23, 2017
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Illustrations By Thea Milinairé

Three Parisian Style Tips

January 11, 2017, 12:00 am

In the third grade my class made a time capsule. My contribution was a video fashion show in which my best friends modeled what I considered popular fashions of the time. My point? I’ve always had a thing for fashion. Beyond natural affinity, style has been my armor and my form of expression. Good outfits can cheer me up and I save them for special occasions (or particularly bad ones).

Before writing for SFR, I was a buyer at Buffalo Exchange in Albuquerque, where I spent eight hours a day digging for treasure in other peoples’ used clothing and learning about vintage items, trends and construction. My aesthetic tendencies are only rivaled by my love of writing, so I am—in no uncertain terms—living the dream right now.

I am not a person who thinks they have the prescription for perfection, or who knows every detail of every runway show this year. I am someone with a real-life relationship with and daily admiration for fashion and styling of all kinds. In this column I plan to write about local shops, easy and effective products and environmentally conscious labels, about locals with rad style and local designers. I’ll make best-of lists and detail where you can find the items on them whether in town or on the interwebs. In the future, I may contradict myself and change my mind because I am human and messy, and so is my style.

Recently, I spent two beautifully wondrous weeks in Paris. It was holiday time, and the City of Lights was romantically overcast with its streets sparkling in colored bulbs, the architecture casting heavy silhouettes tipped by hundreds of tiny chimneys in the winter fog.

But what stood out to a fashion-phile like me? Parisian style: effortless and perfectly put-together. French citizens of all ages walk the streets in drool-worthy ensembles, completed by rich wool jackets or down-filled parkas and the finest display of billowing and blanketing scarves one will ever see. While I can’t anymore capture the inexplicably French je ne c’est quoi style the world eternally seeks to replicate, I can name three products Parisians rely on year-round.

 Take a step into some international tennis shoes: Adidas’ Stan Smith sneakers

In the US, there are skate shoes and Converse aplenty. In Paris, a large portion of the population lives in Adidas’ Stan Smiths. Created in 1963, the first leather tennis shoe was named after the French tennis player Robert Halliet until 1971, when its name was changed to the Stan Smith for the famous American player. Maybe Parisian loyalty lies with the shoes’ original title, but I am betting it’s their classic and simple style that makes them a dependable staple in French wardrobes. The $75 pair can be worn with everything from jeans to dresses, as I saw everyone from toddlers to their babely dads rocking them daily in France. Wear the ankle-bearing sneakers with chunky socks and enjoy them even on colder days.

Worship your skin, ditch your contour stick: Facial Oil

Skin is sexy is Paris. Most wear minimal, if any, makeup. You would be hard-pressed to find a Parisian walking around with a full Kardashian contour. Highlighting your cheeks and brows is a sure way to make the best of your bone structure and, unlike contour sticks—which cake make up into your pores—facial oils keep your skin moisturized and highlighted at the same time. There is an exhaustingly huge selection to choose from when it comes to facial oil, and locally, your options are no different. Head to La Montañita Co-op (913 W Alameda St., 984-2852), which has shelves upon shelves of oils ranging in price from around $9 to around $60. Try the Jemez Pueblo-made Eye Nutrient by maxandjane ($30). It’s clearer than the same brand’s oil, making a perfect highlighting gloss. Just a dab on your brow and cheek bones and you’re ready to go.

Let your brows do their thing: Boy Brow

Part of what is classically beautiful about French women is that they accept their natural beauty, and simply enhance it. Caterpillar-brow glory is a true thing in Paris. Ditching your tweezing habit may be harder than you expect at first, but accepting your natural brow shape will pay off in the end. Think about it. It’s not hard to think of a super-babe with bushy brows—Brooke Shields, Solange Knowles and Cara Delevigne, to name a few. (If you need some inspiration to get you through the awkward grow-out phase, check out @kactye—17-year-old model Natalia Castellar—on Instagram.) The hands-down best product this bushy-browed lady has found is Glossier’s Boy Brow. The $16 tube comes in three colors and somehow controls and accentuates your expression-makers perfectly.


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