Monday, 1 August 2011

Paris Poodle hands over....

Poodle lovers, Paris lovers and beauty perfectionists, I've not been poodling of late as I've been busy pursuing the heady heights of beauty journalism.

No longer living in Paris it's not fair to call myself the Paris Poodle anymore, and so for all your beauty needs, be they french, fancy or otherwise, please head to - it's a dedicated beauty site I can't rate highly enough! But then I would say that, being a major contributor to this new site!

Let me know your thoughts on - I look forward to hearing from you!

Poodle love xxxx

Sunday, 15 August 2010

The new way to propose: Lavin's Marry Me

Marry Me - the new fragrance from Lavin is the Poodle's latest beauty lust item. Attending its launch event, in the discreet and beautiful Lavin showroom, surrounded by dainty silk wedding dresses - vintage style slips and chiffon creations 'perfect for any city weddings' (the PR's assured me) I knew that whatever I was about to smell was going to be floral, romantic with an urban twist.

Their latest fragrance creation, which launches this month is supposed to encapsulate the impulsive love rush emotion-explosion felt when you want to propose 'Marry me!' or rather, this is what those two words actually smell like - intriguing non?

Well, I was intrigued, and it turns out that Lavin's sparkling, feminine fragrance with it's initial top notes of Tunisian bitter orange, jasmine and rose do go some way in expressing that youthful exclaimation. And it's certainly a head turner - I was asked 3 times what I was wearing in one morning. The warm undertones of white cedar, amber and musk make offer a comforting finish - perhaps, that is what marriage offers too? Comfort with musk.

Nonetheless it is a fresh and uplifting fragrance which I spritz whenever I want to smell deliciously girly. The advert for the fragrance fulfils my Parisian ideals perfectly too - a young and gorgeous couple smiling white smiles together, in the Jardin du Luxembourg sharing a very French looking bicycle and looking very much in love. La vie est belle in Paris it's true. But heuresement in London we still have Lavin - praise be!

Th Poodle is sure that this launch will provoke rose and bitter orange scented marriage proposals left right and center, making it a difficult one for your man to buy if you just want the fragrance and aren't really looking for a ring... hmmm problematic - that could interfere with sales. We'll see!

Lavin - Marry Me, available at Harvey Nichols from September 11th for £32, but goes nationwide in October. Lovestruck ladies - forward him this post now!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Paris fashion - the essence of elegance

Mardi Jeudi do accidental chic

London and grey have long been friends. As have London and rain. Whilst I was tapping away in the office, the clouds thundered, the rain poured and the cool grey lighting scheme that London favours over all sunshine, reigned the skies. I'd like to say it was all very Dickensian but in fact it was just a bit depressing. (I had to shut the windows and change my (skinny) frappucino to a cappucino). Luckily something pinged into my inbox from Paris that made me realise that grey doesn't have to mean all doom and gloom... grey is the new gay darling.

Just look at this gorgeous smokey smock dress that says 'between seasons' with style:

Designed by Parisian boutique Mardi Jeudi, this French brand has captured to a T the perfect effortless sexy chic of French women who don't try to look sexy, but who are actually jaw droppingly, heart racingly sexy in a I-can't-take-my-eyes-off-of-you of a way.

I think the word this Poodle is looking for is allure. Mardi Jeudi are definately taking some inspiration from our home grown Alexa Chung, with their toussle-haired models and thick woollen tights. She really should model for them - the craft of Paris's designers and the Chung celeb de Londres would be a match made in fashion heaven.

Mardi Jeudi use high quality materials, their knitwear range for Autumn/Winter 2010 uses a mix of angora, cashmere and mohair - and their commitment to relaxed shapes and thick tights really makes knitwear wearable and sexy - the elusive combination. And of course, their A/W colour pallette revamps grey into delicious oyster, matt silver, smoke and stone as well as blemishes of dark navy, dark tartan and camel browns.

At the moment you'll have to head to Paris to get hold of their collection - and if going to Paris fait expres pour faire du shopping isn't a good enough reason, then what is?

Luckily, Mardi Jeudi are coming to London for Spring Summer 2011, with another irresistable collection of silks and light jersey materials, in more Parisian understated styles - the Paris Poodle can't wait!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Paris in London blog

OK. I am a bad, bad, BAD blogging Poodle for not blogging nearly enough lately and for letting my Poodle friends down. I hate to think of you looking elsewhere for your usual fashion and beauty blog fix!

But I am here to fix that, c'est clair. Indeed.

So....where to start? It's been a hectic time for the Poodle and unbeknown to you, I've been finding a new job in a new city, and although it breaks my heart not to be permanently in Paris, I am dealing well with this new situation.

Yes, I have moved. To the city of London! (Cue cockney accent) From this side of the Channel life looks considerably more dreary and wearing, less romantic and more red brick...but the British eccentricity and forward thinking fashion are present on every street to remind me that being back in Blighty aint all bad.

Besides, I love my new journalism job which involves frequent trips to Paris - the headquarters are on the Champs Elysees no less - so there really is no time to shed tears... (maybe just one - Paris is heartbreakingly beautiful after all).

Short lived as my Paris days were, it's actually nice to be able to drink tea at any time of day, in huge quantities and not have anyone raise an eyebrow when you add milk.

And there is also the advantage that my beloved X Factor will be enjoyed in full this year.

London has so much to offer a beauty and fashion obsessed pooch like me - fabulous markets, vintage stores and pop up shops. There's never a dull moment and there are of course great perks to being a journalist - cue goody bags laden with Lavin fragrances. Oui, la vie est encore belle.

I feel I must also address the small detail of my blog title too, now that I'm only a part time Parisian.

As a London Poodle, it's clear that the alliteration I so love to adhere to, is completely lost, so for the purposes of perfection, I'm keeping my Paris Poodle title, as in my heart I'll always be a Frenchie. C'est vrai. (Let's face it- this fashion and beauty blog isn't going to work with 'British Bulldog').

So....where I have been being a lousy blogger in the last month, you're gonna have to cut me some slack. I have acquired real life things in the real life world, as oppose to my virtual blogspot bubble. I now have a new job, a new flatshare (and as my new flatmates are Scottish and Californian I'm confident I'll have some new stories to share with you all pretty soon) and a new summer trench coat - cheers Bay Trading!

Life is sweet once more - and with plenty of French fashion shows, beauty launch events and Maison du chocolat tastings to attend, I'm searching out whatever Paris there is to be had in little old London and will be reporting back to you! It's Paris, but not as we know it.

I for one am looking forward to the results! Watch this space ...

With love,

The Poodle

Monday, 28 June 2010

Heatwave Handbag Essentials

The Poodle knows....there has been a blog post famine for the past couple of weeks, but let's be honest - if you've been in London or Paris lately the chances are that you haven't been online so much anyway! That's because it's been hot hot HOT! And when the grey skies of Paris and London reveal clear blue and sunshine, the only thing to do is get out there and enjoy it!

So I know you'll forgive the Poodle for neglecting the net for the real world for a couple of weeks!

The sunshine has also given me a chance to just get to grips with heatwave city essentials that are going to keep you fresh on the metro/tube and keep you looking, smelling and feeling fresh... So where I may have been a little quiet, the truth is that the Poodle is forever undergoing intensive research trials in the quest to bring you the must buys of right now.

The Poodle's guide to How to be a hottie, not a hot mess!
My findings:
City heat and the sardine effect on the metro can only lead to sweating en masse with your fellow commuters and city sharers, so the Poodle has put together a heat wave handbag list that will keep you sorted throughout a city summer!

1. First things first, to freshen up make sure your handbag is equipped with Dove's Body Wipes which will banish any beads of perspiration. Lightly fragranced and extremely refreshing, Dove's Body Wipes also care for your skin, so it refreshes perfectly without drying your skin.

2. Next up, you're going to need a handbag friendly fragrance that smells just great in summer. For an instant spritz of floral freshness the Poodle suggests Gucci's Flora eau de toilette with its citrus top notes and peony and rose heart, it's a breezy, easy fragrance that isn't overpowering. It also comes as a deodrant for only £24 which the Poodle thinks is just great - when it comes to fragrance, matchy matchy is always more pleasing!
3. You are definately going to need water, but we all know that plastic water bottles are just helping to clutter up the planet, so go for a reuseable, stylish, refillable wottle instead which is eco friendly and in the water bottle stakes, far superior to the average evian screw top, after all it is designed by Orla Kiely! And if the green sixties leaf print doesn't go with your Furla, then try the streamlined SIGG travel water bottle in red, from £9.95 at :
Made from a single piece of aluminium, its durable, cooling and looks pretty cool too!
Last but not least, to survive summer in the city, the Poodle believes that floaty dresses, short shorts, playsuits and flat sandals are all essential for heatwave happiness. Fashion can be your friend in summer, but the more you expose, the more grooming you're going to need to do, so invest in a full leg wax and some nourishing body oil so that whatever you bare, you can make sure it's beautiful...

Introducing your new friend:

Usiku Body Oil by Jo Wood Organics, is a multi award winner and at only £10 you can't go wrong - your skin will love you for it! With organic calendula, echinacea and vitamin E, this is a melody of lovely, natural, essential oils and plant extracts to slaver on your sun parched pins! Enjoy!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Summer Hair Survival

Where is summer?

Ergh. It's raining, its June, it sucks! It really is a Poodle hair 'mare trying to keep your locks under control in temperamental weather conditions. My mane has been going through a whole spectrum of disasters in recent days, from sun frazzled to rain frizzed to wind beaten lank! I've had enough, and have decided to sniff out the products that will get me through an undependable summer... hopefully these will also bring you some hair happiness too!

First things first, what summer hair requires is control. I like to slick my hair back for work days to keep smart and groomed but to ensure hair style endurance you will need L’Oreal’s Elnett which you can get online via Boots at a reduced bargain price of £4.89. This is the ultimate in hair sprays and it doesn't have such a good press for nothing! It is simply one of the most reliable, firm holding, easy to brush out, overall amazing hair miracles.

Another good one is Aussie’s Dual Personality Hairspray - Hi Shine +Hi Hold, which is good value and adds brilliant shine whilst holding your locks in place for a good few hours – see it online at

Next up, is conditioner, as hair in good condition will be easier to manage, maintain and will undoubtedly behave itself much better! Which conditioner is best for your hair will depend on a few factors… your hair type, its current condition and if you have coloured your hair at all. A brilliant all rounder that works wonders on flat hair is Charles Worthington’s Full Volume Conditioner from £4.55, whilst curly hair will ring with health after this daily conditioner for curls from John Frieda – Curl Around, promises to help protect hair from frizz producing weather conditions, with its magical silicone formula Frieda promises you soft, smooth, defined curls – check it out here

Finally, a summer shearing is always a good idea. I’m soon booking in for a new relooking as the French say. A trim off the ends will make your hair feel and look a thousand times more healthy and will take some of the weight off that can make your hair look flat, dull and lifeless. Whenever I get my locks lopped in Paris, I head for Camille Albane where the staff are always polite and the cuts are always just right, but if you’re Thames-side, I thoroughly recommend celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton’s own salon in Covent Garden’s Henrietta Street . I believe that Chanel once said that a woman who has a hair cut is about to make important changes in her life. So whether those important changes relate to your shampoo and conditioner or your career or even your love life, a little snippy snippy can make a whole lot of life changing wow!

With love from

The Poodle

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Sex and The City 2

So, I guess it's time to talk honestly about Sex and the City 2. The ultimate chick flick movie we have been counting down to. The hype grew to epic proportions with the sneak preview pics of Miranda's 80's hair nightmare, the shots of Carrie not wearing a wedding ring, the scenes caused by Samantha as she walked around NYC in a wedding dress (gasp!)?! The storyline speculation went through the roof!!! So... I braved the cinema, with sky high heels, a tribute-to-Carrie crop top, tight and light demin jeans and my very own name necklace and sat in the cinema bar with cocktails, friends and let the hysteria take over!!!

Not a good look for Miranda

The excitement caused by the ritual of going to see SATC2 was probably more exciting that the film overall. Although it was utterly fabulous in terms of fashion, the story line forgot that the film was supposed to be about the series Sex and the City and the friendships, hardships and female issues our famous four face together. As soon as the girls left the sanity of New York for the sun of Abu Dhari, the characters and the plot seemed to loose it in the heat of the Middle East. The script barely had time to squeeze in conversations between Miranda and Charlotte on the trials of parenting, and Samantha's menopause mania made her into a caricature that didn't look too convincing or empowering...Yam paste on face? Hmmm. Not a good look. Or message.

The SATC girls - in the story line desert...

Ultimately the girls or women as they now are, were all on form in terms of trend, harem pants, maxi dresses, statement shoulders and tropical textiles, but the story line lacked the depth to keep its fans animated. We didn't really feel that convinced by the Aiden kiss- as Samantha says, 'it was just a kiss' it wasn't important. Yes Carrie felt bored, yes she had a kiss, felt bad, cried, had a moment of realization, but it did feel like they were just avoiding the real issue in all of our heads... Are Big and Carrie going to have babies??? Where was the pregnancy scare?
Where was Charlotte's parenting break down?
Why didn't they cause a scene with the braless nanny?

Where was Miranda's cynicism?
What happened to Samantha and Smith?
Why the hell wasn't there more of (topless) Smith Gerrard altogether?

So... the SATC fans are a demanding bunch. We want fashion, drama, tears, tantrums, disasters and most of all, happy endings. But in this film there was monogamy and monotony, cack-handed dealings with muslim traditions and Samantha's bag of condoms. I still love the girls and I take my Poodle hat off to them for their devotion to style, but we wanted more than a fashion show, and a luxury holiday to SATC land, we wanted a taste of their reality and the real issues facing women in their 40's; not Irish boob fluff and yam paste.

As the movie drew to a close, I couldn't help but wonder if SATC should have stuck to the small screen....?

What do you think? The Poodle wants your thoughts???


Images from

Saturday, 15 May 2010

T Shirt Talk

This is the Poodle reporting for Blogger duty. Being in England at the moment has its problems when it comes to blogging about Paris... or so I thought it would when I boarded the eurostar. However, all across England it seems that Paris has been splashed across T-shirts and magazines, as far as the eye can see. Every shop I go into welcomes me with a 'Paris je t'aime' slogan emblazoned across the chest, or a 'Je suis la plus belle' written in swirly letters. Some keep it simple and state PARIS next to an Eiffel Tower image that is decorated with glitzy gemstones. Its so English. Of course, I get it, it is trying to be French, but in the most English, insanely obvious, LOOK AT ME fashion, that is the trend this side of the channel. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the British eccentricity and outlandish approach to dressing, its just even more apparent when trying to be chic involves screaming 'J'adore Paris' across handbags, dresses, tops and jewellery. And that is the difference between us Brits and ze French. I think subtle is the key word here.

The Poodle's super quick, tres vite guide to identifying the English and ze French is as follows:

French Style: Typified by classy, subtle interpretations of the cat walk and pret a porter collections

New Look £14.00 say it loud and clear

Of course, even the Poodle has indulged herself in the odd statement T shirt in the past. These include the following:

- Love, Peace & Lipgloss (turns out, it's not suitable for an office environment)

- Love Surf since 1985 (not strictly true as I hadn't been created then)

- Femme Fatale (as if the hot pink of the Tshirt didn't give it away)

- J'adore (I clearly couldn't afford the J'adore Dior version)

So out of these, two statements are french, and it seems that splashing the French language across our chests is once again all the rage. And why, not, it is a beautiful language. Just don't expect anyone French to be wearing one!

But the English love a bargain and if it mean's buying a piece of Paris for £6.00 then we anglophones are all ears! Thank Britain for Asos!

Ce n'est pas tres cher, mais quand meme, c'est chic!

Monday, 10 May 2010

An Education

The Poodle is back in the UK at present and in order to continue to feel Parisian in Blighty, last night I settled down to watch a DVD I had been meaning to see for a while - An Education. Starring Carey Mulligan and Olivia Williams and Peter Sarsgaard, it is mostly set in Twickenham, Oxford and London's West End, so I was a little disappointed. I had been expecting more scenes of 60's Paris. Nonetheless, the dialogue had the occasional French mot, chanson or phrase, and of course included a short lived romantic weekend away in gay Paris.

The story line was sold to me as a romantic poignant story of first love and coming of age. Which it was. It was also the age old story of "nice young girl gives nasty smarmy older man benefit of the doubt along with her virginity, only to regret not studying harder".

Jenny is a vulnerable, albeit clever 16 year schoolgirl who has hopes of attending Oxford (if only she can pass her Latin classes) who is seduced by an older, dishonest, disconcertingly charming man with a sports car and a large wallet (David). Naive, she is taken in by his flashy lifestyle and Pre-Raphaelite loving friends. Nonetheless, she soon realizes that her older man is in fact a serial bastard, with a wife, child and a history of illicit affairs. Quelle tragedie! By this point she has lost her 'innocence' but luckily, is not in the 'family way' as one might say in the 1960's.

During their brief doomed affair they visit the Poodle's spiritual home and enjoy a Seine side snog with a bottle of red, and wander through its charming cobbled streets. I couldn't help but notice that today's Paris doesn't look all that different from the chic and sleek Paris of yester year.

The 1960's Paris presented in An Education could have been from yesterday, as ladies are still wearing coiffured chignons, cinched waisted dresses and classic stilettos. It made me wonder if Paris is actually stuck in a timeless time warp?? In some ways perhaps it is - the buildings are traditional, there are no Gherkin's, Millennium Wheels or Oxo Towers to be seen, and the fashion is elegant, classic... there's a je ne sais quoi about the place. That is Paris magic! It offers time travel without the butterfly effect and who doesn't want to go back in time?!

In terms of what Paris has given the Poodle as far as 'education' goes, it is without doubt the perfect location to learn, think, reflect and debate. And also the best place to get a quality French manicure, along with the world's finest fragrances. (Chanel' Coco Mademoiselle)!

To conclude my musings on the film in question, I would say that this is definitely worth a look, if only to remark upon how lovely and smart school girls in the 60's used to be, and the gorgeous vintage cars, dresses and impossibly perfect hairstyles that all used to be an everyday 60's occurrence. The moral of the film is of course, to try harder with your Latin homework.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Here comes the sun - so lighten up!

With summer creeping around the corner and blue skies becoming more of a regular feature, everyone around me seems to be right on cue, brightening up their hair with sunshine loving highlights.

The best thing about summer is that for blonds, it really is their season to come into the spot light and work that sunkissed beauty look aka Brigitte Bardot. In Paris, blond femmes are seen strutting importantly with pastel Furla handbags, and beige Phobe Philo skirts, with a waterfall of silky natural looking blond, shimmering over their designer clad backs.
Over here, if your highlights aren't well maintained, and at least somewhat natural looking, it truly is a cardinal sin. Especially so now that Toni & Guy are in the neighbourhood; no one is going to forgive you for brassy highlights, haystack ends or chunky roots. Of course, in Paris, traditionalist as ever, the blond is still seen as something to be approached with caution. They are associated with all the usual blond stereotypes: the man-eater, air head, or femme fatale. Because of this, French blonds take extra care to emulate classy light haired lovelies such as Vanessa Paradis and Gwynth Paltrow. Subtle is the buzz word.
Fortunately, in Paris, the blond brigade are offered a lot of extra caring products to keep the bleached to death look at bay. The Poodle may not be blond, but according to my fair headed friends, and hairdressers in the know, the best things to use to protect your summer barnet are as follows:
Shampooing Blond Lumière Dessange

This blonding shampoo uses light reflective mother of pearl extract to give blond locks more lustre and shine, whilst the secret formula of nutritional agents helps to ensure hair is kept soft, and the colour fresh looking. Dessange are a reliable French brand who excel in affordable hair care- a 250ml bottle is only 4,93 euros.
Voile Nuit Kérastase Noctogenist
An intensive night time treatment should be used on coloured blond hair once a week to stop it from drying out. Night Veil by Kerastase is deeply nourishing and can be a great pick me up treatment for holiday frazzled hair too. Rich in vitamin E, after a night time together, your hair will be shiny, soft and satisfied. 32,50 € for 100 ml.
Frizz-Ease 100% Shine Glossing Mist

On a day to day basis, finish styling your goldilocks with a small dose of shine enhancing Frizz-Ease 100% Shine Glossing Mist. This way your hair can glisten with health and flyaway ends are kept under control.

With these key three products, you have everything you need to avoid looking like Cousin It! Blondettes from London to Paris can get ready to have the thick summer lovin', shiny locks they dream of! Even the Poodle is thinking it could be time to lighten up!

What are your blond perfecting must haves?

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Vote for a brighter future! For the country - and your skin!

The Poodle must make an important decision.

There's an election on, and all across England men and women are talking about what they believe in, which policies they agree with and who they'll be voting for. Little known parties have started posting leaflets through letterboxes with programs and manifestos whilst the men in white shirts all promise results that will change the face of the country.

Call me hopeless, but as I have been researching the different policies and listening to the various election arguments, I couldn't help but draw a similarity between this, and the way in which women choose their cosmetics.

Each beauty brand has a different perspective and philosophy whether it is a dedication to ethical, animal friendly products (Body Shop), a dislike of all things preservative (The Organic Pharmacy) or a passion for science (Skinceuticals). Each one promises radical results and change (Botox), or promises to make you feel differently (Aromatherapy Associates). They are all campaigning against each other, promoting their ingredients policies as the most failsafe (Liz Earle) or their figures the most reliable (Boots Protect and Perfect anyone?). But who are we to believe when it comes to the state of our skin?

There are so many conflicting points of view, whether you believe in the power of plant oils, or prefer results proven formulas developed in the lab. Whether you prefer your skincare to be straightforward or fancy or expensive or cheap. Some women believe that, like the 3 main parties in England, that all the skincare creams and brands are practically the same thing, just in different packaging. It's no wonder we spend so long trying to figure out what makes one bottle of serum better than another. They all promise to fight against the signs of aging, free radicals and fine lines (which are probably all caused by high taxes, pollution and not enough holidays), and equip themselves with the tools required for the job - antioxidants, dermatologist jargon and celebrity supporters.

Of course, the only way to find out what works best, is to try. Which is where choosing a skincare system becomes a lot easier. Unlike political elections, when you choose a certain skincare brand over another, you don't run the risk of having to commit to it for 5 years to see if anything will really change. You can simply keep trying different products until you find your winner who you can stand behind with confidence, knowing that your chosen brand perfectly delivers the results you are looking for. Here's a hint - it's probably Botox!

As for the Poodle, I am still looking for my perfect match in skincare, but aside from that, I know who I'm voting for come May 6th. Do you?

Who would you vote for when it comes to your skin? Tell the Poodle!