Since the release of her book last fall How to be Parisian (read my book review here!), in less than a calendar year, model and muse Caroline de Maigret has sky rocketed into an international icon. From every fashion magazine cataloging her effortless style, to her role as Ambassadress for Lancôme (where she will be creating her own beauty collection inspired by her favorites), Caroline is taking names in the beauty and fashion world. Luckily I was able to catch her and her author cohorts on summer holiday last year before her life got hectic to answer a few questions for JNSQ readers. Noted are some of Caroline and co's beauty secrets; from how Caroline styles her signature messy mane to how the authors indulge themselves. Come to find out French women aren't much different than us. Tres refreshing! Read on... Caroline even reveals a secret address for the first time, ever! 1. Does it bother you that American women idolize French women? Who does it bother to be idolized?! No, more seriously though, we really don't think Americans idolize French women. Both our cultures are interested in one another. The American lifestyle is a big influence in our daily lives.
2. When spending time in NYC, do you find yourself following any of our workout, health /wellness / beauty trends? If so, what? Many health trends are now followed in France: the organic trend, gluten free food, juice cleanses... we copy a lot, actually! So when we're in NY or in the US, it's not that different from home.
3. Who is in charge of Caroline's cool girl mane in the US? No one! I wash my own hair in the morning and just let it dry (no conditioner -- it makes it too smooth!!). I then try to be a good girl on the weekends and do a hair mask (Leonor Greyl’s Fleurs de Jasmin).
4. Thing you do to unwind? Drink a good glass of Bordeaux with our girlfriends, and most importantly: laugh!
5. I notice French women don't carry handbags like American women. Is this true and what is your explanation? Parisian women are always suspicious and cautious about everything that is too "show-offy" or "bling". It’s considered good taste in Paris to wear a Chanel bag to meet your boyfriend for lunch, and at night, to carry either a simple bag, or, yes, sometimes no bag at all. It makes you feel free -- and is considered very rebellious chic!
6. Are you concerned about chemicals or ingredients in your skincare ? Unlike for organic food for example, we probably don’t know enough about the ingredients in skincare yet, and should be better informed.
7. Biggest indulgences? Anything that could make you feel that a normal day is special: drink champagne because it's Monday… Wear delicate lingerie one night when you're alone... Light candles around the bathtub to make it feel like a hotel room. And, as often as possible, treat yourself. How to Be Parisian, Diptyque Lait Frais, Chanel Rouge Noir #18, Leonor Greyl’s Fleurs de Jasmin, Lancôme Grandiose Mascara, YSL Touché Eclat, Lancôme Micellar Water.
8. How does a French girl deal with a hangover? Or do you even get them? Drink a bottle of water before going to bed - it will fight the alcohol while you sleep! And don’t forget to clean your skin (it has nothing to do with the hangover, but it's good for the skin, and thus good for morale).
9. Favorite beauty products? Grandiose Mascara from Lancôme- adds mystery to your eyes, Touché Eclat from YSL -- to remove imperfections, and a body cream by Diptyque called Le Lait Frais (fresh milk); makes your skin feel like a baby’s.
10. Heels, flats, or in between? Very high heels, or flat ballet shoes. Parisians don't go halfway!
11. I notice French women don't wear earrings, and read it's a "thing" to not have your ears pierced. This wasn't brought up in the book, is it true? For the older generations, sometimes it was not well perceived to have your ears pierced. Today, almost everyone has their ears pierced, but it is true that Parisians wear very discreet earrings. Only on very special occasions do they put their hair up and break the rule with bigger ones!
12. Nails - do you do your own? When in Paris I can't track down a single nail salon. Yes, same as with the hairdresser, we mostly do it ourselves. For evenings, we recommend the famous Chanel "Rouge Noir" Number 18!
13. Where do you purchase your beauty products when in the US? Ricky's on Broadway in NYC!
14. How do you deal with stress? We breathe deeply, and think of all the worst situations that we could be living through. We relativize the problems, and then focus on finding solutions to them.
15. Caroline, what brand is the stripe tees you are wearing on the Instagram pic? In France (and probably in other countries) there is always a shop for sailors in harbors where they sell all kind of stuff for boats or fishing. They also have a few basic clothes for sailors and that's where I get all my stripe tees or jumpers. They're perfect and really cheap. The one on the pic though is from Anne Arbreiz, 73 rue Blanche 75009 Paris. It's a sailor shop and was my secret address until now!
-As told to Melissa Middleton Lanman for JNSQ. My favorite everyday looks on Caroline de Maigret. Photos from CdM's Insta.