Friday, 18 December 2009

I love Paris in the wintertime...

I was so looking forward to going home, back to England, where the fields are green, the wine mulled, the mince pies hot and the holly and the ivy plentiful. With it's frosty mornings, open fires, endless tea and milk, carol singers and it's houses distastefully smothered in flashing festive lights... I could not wait to take my plane!
But then it snowed. It snowed in Paris... And suddenly it became SO beautiful, perfect and wonderfully magical, that this Paris Pup had to revise whether or not to return to London, when gay Paris was suddenly adorned with all the Christmas charm one could hope for!

Effortlessly decorated by mother nature in lashings of fluffy neige, with sparkling frost on the windows, rooftops and balconies...(of course Paris waits for the real thing -much more classy than spray snow afterall)! Christmas has never been more Christmassy - so here is my Paris Xmas Hit List if you are lucky enough to be in the city of lights this festive season...

1. Hotel de Ville Ice Skating
Ice skating is always a wonderfully wintery thing to do with friends and my pick of Paris's patinoires has to be Hotel de Ville where the ice rink is admittedly very busy but this has the added advantage of being in the heart of the city, in front of one of Paris's most stunning building. What's more afterwards you can spend TIME in BHV and in the numerous boutiques, shops and commercial havens in the Hotel de Ville vincinity! Parfait! Alternatively why not check out the Eiffel Tower Ice Skating Rink on the 1st floor which is free once you have entry to the tower itself - what could be more quintessentially romantic?

2. Champs Elysees
Another festive must do is the Champs Elysees Market near to Place de la Concorde where you can see the Eiffel Tower, Tour Montparnasse and Invalides all at once! The market itself is again, crowded, but there are cutesome stalls, vin chaud and roasted chestnuts a plenty and lots of cute jewellery finds to be discovered, alongside animal figurines carved out of vegetable ivory and pashima venders. Be sure to take a few turns on La Grande Roue - Paris's answer to the Millenium Wheel which gives a terrific view over Paris's twinkly lights.

Outside Rue Mouffetard! Tres FESTIVE!
3. Rue Mouffetard
Being in my quartier, Rue Mouffetard is naturally often frequented by the Poodle, and at Christmas it really is something special - the well known vivacious street, with its cobbled stones and cutesy boutiques and bars, this is one road where you can meander with friends and enjoy the open air food market where you can buy the freshest of oysters to the most delicious strawberries! Further up the road and there are some very reasonable gift shops, clothes stores and shoe shops too - one of my favourite Mouffetard shops is Anoki who sell earrings from 3euros to scarves and wallets from 20euros - a great place to go to stock up on gifts or presents to self!
Let the Poodle know what your favourite festive things to do are! Wherever you are....!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Style for the Season

Christmas is the time of year when 'il faut' wear a beautiful party dress! For all those nights out during your Christmas vacation, for staff parties and girls nights out and the pinnacle Christmas eve soirees...

This winter it is the reign of Sequins and Shimmer when it comes to having a gorgeous dress (no matter what the colour! With so much dazzling sparkle, this is the season to be the centre of attention!) The Paris Poodle, has sniffed out the top 3 places online to find the perfect dress or dresses to enjoy the season in...

Find Me A Dress -Firstly...this new website is frankly THE one stop shop for finding the perfect dress...100% dedicated to dresses, not only does it have the best selection of dresses from Luella to New Look, from Debenhams to Diane Von Furstenburg, it also has a section dedicated to finding out what styles suit your body shape in its' "Figure me out" section. This is so helpful! And I wonder why not all clothing websites have this feature! It really does help you decide which dresses are going to be most wonderfully perfect for you - it's like having an online Gok best friend to tell you what will or won't look good. With its interview section with my favourite girl banders from Sugababes and The Saturdays, (I think the Paris Poodle should be next)! This shopping site also has all the essential girly extras which are 100% necessary inbetween browsing their infinite selection of dresses. It's also very simple to use, select a category (PARTY DRESS!) and then you can chose the size, colours, style, dress length and price that you are looking for and it does all the hard work for you - this really does take the pain out of dress shopping! I found this gorgeous satiny grecian Lipsy number thanks to their site!
Next up is a budget dependable classic favourite - is basically Asos but cheaper and with less fancier packaging. They have a great choice of dresses and I have many a cutesome dress for under £20 from there. With their quick delivery and amazing choice of purse friendly fashion there'll be no boohooing about them! At the moment they are doing a 50% off pre Christmas sale - how amazingly fabulous of them!

This sexy little number is only £10! What are you waiting for!?!

Dress Me Joyce is the answer to fashion that women have been waiting for! A totally bespoke dress making service, this website really strikes a high note with me for its use of real women to model the dresses, as the website claims "None of the women pictured on this website are professional models, but strong, modern women who represent the Dress Me Joyce ethos...Know your shape.Understand your style.Look your best." The Poodle loves! This feminista website offers its customers a choice of dresses which you can then have made especially for you in your perfect size, colour and with any alterations or extras you make want. For the festive season their "Audrey" shift dress in red satin - it's striking and daring and utterly feminine- so Joyce!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Screw the Scrunchie

It looks like France is catching on to the 'SAY NO TO SCRUNCHIES' movement Carrie Bradshaw and I are advocating. Look at this abandoned red number I found in the Marais!!!

That's one hair accessory well worth loosing! How proud I was to see that at least one frenchie is following my Poodle advice. I like to think it was ripped from a high pony tail after the wearer heard news of the PP blog - or on finally realising that it's 2009, not 1989!

This being said, I was rudely affronted by a yellow floral scrunchie on the metro today, with no where to move, it was forced into my personal space... so it seems that the Poodle has more scunchie campaigning to do...

Also, whilst being scrunched together on the metro, I noticed the plea from another exasperated campaigner who, like me is trying to eliminate any traces of bad french taste, (so that they really can live up to their flawlessly chic reputation) a poster, in the middle of the carriage proclaiming "I don't eat horses" - ou "je ne mange pas de chevals"- another worthy cause which is strongly supported by Brigitte Bardot.

Bardot and Connery - Horse lovers

At times like these I can't help but feel somewhat superior to some of the Frenchies, (which is often shamefully difficult when one is English!) Nonetheless, I can happily declare, that I, the Paris Poodle, do not eat horses, I don't wear scrunchies!

I look forward to the day when the French stop placing stuffed real animals in their shop windows (and stop wearing them too for that matter!)

I couldn't believe it when I saw this!

These reminents of poor french taste continue, but hopefully not for long... being of the animal kingdom, I have already found my local Animal Rights centre. But as for crimes against hair accessories - I think I'll soon have no choice but to call in Carrie and the girls if this scandelous scrunchie behaviour continues... Watch this space...

Friday, 4 December 2009

Tis the season to be sparkly...

and that mean's jewels galore, sequins, sparkles, diamonds, silver and gold! It's the same every December and the Poodle LOVES it! 2009 has certainly been a year for all things sequin, particularly this years AW collections, which always embrace the winter as a season of friviolity and festivity.

Jean Paul Gaultier knows how to do couture glamour!

The Poodle finds that there is no better way to adorn oneself to seasonal splendor than to get bejewelled to bedazzel! Nothing makes one feel instantly more glamourous and girly, or festively fickle than excessive jewels - be it statement pieces, vintage vamp or sensational sparkles. What's more jewels and jewellery make a great present - for yourself! So why not splash out on some outfit transforming pieces or invest in some year round me me me must haves?

I've been on the look out for the most glitterai and most gorgeous pieces for this months' nights out and have come up with my own little shortlist of the best bijoux's around, from Paris and Londres alike...

This Charming Girl

First up this vintage online jewellery stall specialises in all jewels kitch and cute, plus it has the most 'charmant' name - my french friends love it as much as my Brit chicks - which means anything from here is a fail safe purchase! This is a treasure trove of darling finds which have tiny prices but big reactions! Plus all their jewellery is delivered with sequin hearts inside- as if their cutesome creations weren't enough already! (

Check out their OUI necklace - me love!

And their 'Fly me to the sky' hot air balloon necklace is sickly sweet!

Regarde! The little pearl is being carried in the basket!
Next up is French jewellery boutique Saoya ( who have my nose pressed to their delightful window displays several times a week! Their nature and fantasy inspired collections all contain flowers one way or another and their unusual pieces are really quite special.

I love their Accroche Coeur collection -shown above (Kiss Curl) it's super sparkly and sophisticated and I adore the the topaz/fuschia combination -ultra sophisticated and ultra special, this collection has a vintage feel but doesn't take itself too seriously!

Their Divine Hellebore collection is also really something - with flowers shaped from mother of pearl and twinkly swarskovsky crystals this is baroque vintage chic with a touch of the bohemian!

Divine Hellebore! Divine!

Agatha ( is a typically chic french jewellery boutique which specialises in Scotty Dog terriers on wallet, purses and umbrellas and everywhere else you wouldn't expect to find one! But aside from this oddity they also do some great chunky, funky, classic jewels, bangles, rings and braclets like this one here- look at the size of them crystals!
Frey Wille
Last but by no means least is Frey Wille who do the most retro chic, coolio, look at me outlandish pieces for money burning prices! Prices aside, their jewellery is unique and rock and roll and artistique and not afraid to shout out LOOK AT ME, I AM FREY WILLE. I will leave you with some images of their incredible collections:

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

A decorative December...

It’s officially December and that means CHRISTMAS IS COMING!! That means presents, lots of food, lots of parties and so much fun!! In recent days, the Paris Poodle has been learning how the French do Christmas. Through my decoration observation studies in Galaries Layfayette, Printemps and along Les Champs Elysées, it turns out that the tourist hot spots have had the most commercial X-mas Factor ploughed into them – the vitrines (shop windows) at Printemps alone have enough magic, mechanics and cuteness to keep you occupied for a good 45 minutes! Each one has a set of small steps and a platform so that the kiddies can get a better view- the moving teddy bears and puppets are accompanied by sinister music (presummably Christmassy), which for the Poodle, made the cutesome scenes of festive joy transform into something like The Nightmare Before Christmas! The little ones didn’t seem to mind though!

Cute or creepy?

Check out these pics of my festive fenetre favourites:

Aside from these grand gestures to be extra Christmassy for the kids, I have found that elsewhere the Christmas displays are much more discrete. Where are the marketing signs of pre Christmas offers? Where are the complementary mince pies and mulled wine when you go into shops? Where’s the holly and the ivy? And why don’t the French go Christmas carolling? They don’t even seem to like playing Christmas songs in the shops for fear that they will devalue their stock. In fact so far, the only shop I have had the pleasure of ‘I wish it could be Christmas every day’ and ‘ Santa Clause is coming to town’ was in the 4th arrondisement when I was browsing in a sex shop. Somewhere in between the ‘How to control a man remote control’ and the ‘ring for sex’ bell I momentarily understood why the French don’t play these songs as incessently as they do in England... but it is only the 4th so I’m holding out for more to come...

The French may be less OTT in their approach to Christmas but they really cant help it - they’re not allowed to be overtly commercial and in your face. It’s a matter of ‘class’, of ‘sophistication’ the eternal understatedness that reigns in Paris. Nonetheless the Christmas markets and the hot roast chestnut stands are still in check here...and what’s more, I still have the outdoor ice rink at Hotel de Ville and the classical music concerts in various Paris cathedrals to look forward to – its still twinkly sparkly pretty in shop windows and main streets!

Although, the Poodle must confess, part of me is desperately longing to decorate my balcony with blown up illuminated snowmen just to add the retro to the oh-so-chic ness of my avenue des Gobelins Paris palace!

Paris Excess and Finesse

The Paris Poodle apologises for the late posting but I have been glamourously galavanting around Paris with my gorgeous girlfriends, frequenting Paris’s most famously fabulous haunts! After all, even in these ‘crunch’ ridden times if you can't have the odd blow out in Paris at Christmas, then where and when can you!?

The Poodle opted for a 3 course dinner on Saturday night with gorgeous girls and great company, at Les Deux Canards, with its typically French interior and quirky French cuisine- the restaurant is located in the back streets of the 10th arrondisement and you must book ahead or be beautifully rich to make sure you have a table.
The food and wine is utterly first class and beginning the evening with their cherry or orange wine is a great way to start! I finished with their cremalicious crème brulee which was burnt to perfection in theatrical fashion in front of my own eyes. This was enough to leave me feeling 100% satisfied, thirst quenched and well fed...until we found ourselves in THE Paris Four Seasons Hotel, George V – think Ritz and Glitz!

The sparkling rose champagne by Cuvée Louise Rosé was divinely delicious and the ambience of their marble floors, plush sofas, soft lighting and excellent service (every glass came with a selection of chocolates, nuts, olives and nougart) made this Poodle temporarily feel that excess is best...but as the bubbles kept bubbling I couldn’t help but feel that having drunk nearly 100 euros of champagne in only a couple of glasses that maybe DIY at home Glam could just be my new plan.... it has to be – I’ve used up my annual visit allowance to George V until next year! (January is only one month away!)

Thursday, 19 November 2009

The Kitsch Benefit...

Will the French ever be as in love with Kitsch as the Yankees and the Brits? It's questionable. This week, the Les Gobelins Brocante (flea market) had more antique mirrors and matching regal candlesticks than you could shake a stick at – and although very français, the whole market lacked the Kitsch factor of London’s Portabello Road or Ladbroke Grove market. Nonetheless I poodled around to see if I could better understand the French flea market mentality...

My French friends insist that for flea markets (Brocantes) people empty their cupboards and take to the streets in a car boot sale fashion to flog their unwanted collections of silverwear or fur coats. There were some beautiful ornate and intricate finds to be found- the jewellery was granny chic adorable and the French mirriors really were quite impressive. It was all very typically French, so much so that it was almost kitsch – but to be kitsch you have to know it!

Thankfully my San Fransico make up friends at Benefit Cosmetics are doing business in Paris and introducing the concept of kitsch to Sephoras nationwide in France. Soon kitsch will catch on – as soon as les français embrace the concept – that NAFF is CHIC and OTT is never enough!
Benefit are one of my favourite, very American, very Darrhhhling brands and their latest face powder is just fabulous. ‘One Hot Minute’ is a rose gold finishing powder that you sweep over your finished face to give your make up an extra sexy sparkly shimmer that instantly gives you a superstar glow of gorgeousness.
For the party season I recommend moisturising your arms and décolletage with a light body milk like French eco beauty brand Nuxe’s Rêve Miel, waiting for it to dry somewhat, then take 60 seconds to brush Benefits One Hot Minute along your décolletage, lightly dusting along your arms and shoulders, for a sexy party shimmer that’s ready to dominate the dance floor.
It costs £23.50 so it’s a reasonably priced present to self and as it suits all skin shades its perfect for sprinkling on your friends at home during pre party drinks! J’aime beaucoup!

And if you are feeling really playfully kitsch then why not indulge in a small bottle of one of Benefits new Crescent Row fragrances- you can chose from 3 appealing scents Lee Lee, Sofia or Gina – each one is housed in their little box which opens up to reveal the bottle in situe in the maison de Lee Lee, Sofia or Gina. My Poodle favourite is Something about Sofia – for its mango and vanilla tones and oriental blossom but also for the cringeworthly kitsch poem its marketed with:

She lives in a dream
More dazzling than fiction
Imaginary but real
She defies all prediction
An incredible girl
She draws you right in
To where the everyday ends
And magic begins...

Now who wouldn’t want to smell like that!!
Merci Benefit – for helping make Paris a more kitschfabulous place to be beautiful in!

Friday, 13 November 2009

The Best Bits of Budget Beautiful

The Paris Poodle loves a bargain – a budget buy is always a bit of a hit or miss. But when you buy a hair spray for 1 euro 10 and it actually delivers the same fab reliable results as your usual Elnett Laquer you feel so much more grateful for your little budget buy in its unfancy packaging with its dodgy smell, because it was so unassuming – it didn’t promise you the world it just delivered. Its a bit like finding that the godawful date you are wasting your time on suddenly turns into ‘the one’, which, granted doesn’t happen often but when it does it is a great day – in pocket, in love and a great hairstyle held dearly in place by your budget can of budget hairspray.
With the recession still grinding on, it’s always sensible to be sensible and what better way to be sensible than to buy sensible beauty and fashion products at sensible prices – I don’t think you could get more sensible than that!

The Paris Poodle has already done the research for you when it comes to saving the pennies this winter and has come up with a shortlist of the best budget ideas to be beautiful and branchée (trendy) throughout the winter months.

Bargain Boujois Beauty
Bourjois Mini’s – I love the Boujours mini collections – they are just too cute. Their lip gloss phone charms may be a little passé but the teensy crème blush compact is a real bargain at £2.69 and with a peachy array of colours to chose from you can buy a couple for a little over £5!

Designer Arm Candy
In Paris they love a label and the majority of the time this comes in the shape of an IT bag or IT pair of shoes. Unfortunately as a Paris Poodle of modest means I can’t constantly buy the latest designer arm armour –which is why I am so delighted to have discovered! This handbag hire site has a great collection of handbag rentals from classic totes and IT bags to more trendy, chic understatements from the likes of Dolce & Gabbana, Dior and Chloe. C’est genial. You can update your look, with a fabulous bag for as little as £10 a month. Plus they have great deals and voucher offers which are make extra special Christmas gifts for your Poodle pals!

Rimmel Kohl
Rimmel has just made it to Paris and although it is a lot more expensive over here, whenever I need a decent make up pick me up I know I can rely on this Brit teen essential for colourful nail varnish, golden bronzers or magnifying mascaras. One classic budget buy from the Rimmel range is their Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil in Black – you can use this on the inside of your eyes as well as the outside and it leaves dense dark colour making your eyes the centre of attention. For smokey sexy party eyes its a must – and from £1.99 you can’t complain!

Festive Red & utterly Sparkly! Are these the perfect Christmas shoes?!

Cinderella Me Shoes
A woman has a right to shoes! And that includes expensive, designer, red soled Christian Louboutins, Jimmy Choos and Gucci. And especially at this more festive time of year – if you cant wear Louboutins at Bon Marche in rue de Sèvres to do your Christmas shopping in then when can you? Cinderella-me shoes ( is a new company which launched earlier this year – they hire out designer heels to Bradshaw wannabes for a fraction of the price making designer shoe shopping completely guilt free for the first time! Each pair of shoes is only hired out for a maximum of 8 times and they are extremely tight on hygiene – this sure aint no bowling shoe hire! You can have killer heels with out killing yourself, designer footwear without the debt – Cinderella Me shoes is a Paris Poodle godsend – budget has never felt so indulgent!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

The Secret Maths of Bad French Taste

Whereas Carrie Bradshaw fell in Dior, I the Paris Poodle had Dior fall on me! You may think this is the better way round – a luxurious shower of quilted handbags and Diorette rings falling into my outstretched hands! But no. Dior, in my case, was a 6ft Amazonian check out worker at Monoprix who happened to trip up onto me in the cheese aisle.

The glamour of it. I know. With her stock of chevre (goats cheese) flying partout (everywhere) and my jus d’orange splattering colourfully on the floor this was one Paris moment this Poodle is keen to forget –how I felt for Carrie Bradshaw. Yet, at least when she fell over, her vintage clutch fell open like a Pandora’s box of lipsticks and credit cards; when Dior fell, her goats cheese smeared onto my coat in the process. I’m sure Carrie would have felt worse for me. I detest goats cheese.

It’s clear from this humiliating incident that:

Carrie Bradshaw + Fall in Dior x Credit Cards = Amusing albeit embarrassing anecdote


(Dior ÷ Monoprix checkout girl) + Goats Cheese x Paris Poodle = Messy supermarket disaster with no happy ending
This mortifying episode got the Poodle pondering, how ironically, the French who are soooo renowned for their good taste, elegance and plain smug sophistication can simultaneously do things in exceedingly bad taste. Like call their someone Dior as a prenom. Or even Chanel – another common mistake – I believe I also saw a vendeuse (shop assistant) called Fanta?! No joke.

At the end of all this I do feel worst for Dior (and especially poor Fanta too). After all, having a name such as Dior can only make one feel depressed if your circumstances are anything less than riches, finesse and fortune. Whilst I imagine being called Fanta can only be a negative equation.

Fanta = Lifelong hatred of parents

Paris Hilton’s Chihuahua’s are all named after designers in true tongue in cheek Paris fashion.

Chihuahua x Celebrity owner Paris Hilton + Prada = Cute puppy dog

However, actually being a person named Dior, living in Paris, and working at a Supermarket? That’s just not a kitsch combination.

Aside from such unfortunate names..the Poodle has noted other bad Paris choices which were presumably chosen with tasteful intentions, but how very wrong they were...

For example:

This week alone, I have encountered 3 women wearing real fur. I honestly don’t know how they get around. If this were London they would all 3 of them be beaten to a pulp by the Knightsbridge Harrods protestors. However, it seems that fur, here in Paris, where it isn’t even that cold, and where there is an infinite choice of shops, that fur is still acceptable. I mean! Uniqlo has just opened a branch here for goodness sake – even their awful Parkas are more tasteful!
I have also found that the scrunchie (cue Carrie Bradshaw/Burger argument) is also still an acceptable hair accessory here. Provocatively placed around pony tails and half pony tails, proudly wrapped around buns and semi chignons, I have been flabbergasted to see the scrunchie in shades of sparkling pink, velvet black and 90’s inspired floral print. I even saw one scrunchie teamed with a fur coat – that was TOO much! Je ne sais pas pourquoi the French have failed to throw out their scrunchies but they continue to exist. As soon as I find the offending shops that continue to sell these I will make a formal complaint!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Limited Edition Lust List

Although there are still 8 weeks til Christmas I have started to think about which gorgeous gifts my glam girlfriends might like to receive... for the Paris Poodle’s pals’ there is nothing better than a unique, thoughtful, original gift that is cutesy, glamorous and beautifying.
Here’s the top 3 of the Paris Poodle’s Limited Edition Lust List...

Bourjois Limited Edition Paris Collection
Perfect for gifting to Francophiles (it sounds like such a dirty word doesn’t it) these Bourjois Eye Shadows and blushers are part of the ‘Rendez-Vous A Paris’ collection where French artiste Nathalie Lete has decorated the packaging with the most cutesy images of Paris living. Just having these in your make up bag makes you instantly more chic! With the iridescent eyeshadows and cheek colours they are a quick route to looking ravishingly radiant! Available from in mid November...

Elizabeth Arden’s Limited Edition Eight Hour Cream
This fluro –fabulous limited edition 80’s inspired packaging is toooo hideous not to love! Its clashing neon colours are outrageously outlandish! It’s great to see Elizabeth Arden have some fun with their packaging – and this colourful recreation has taken its inspiration from Versace, Gucci and Marc Jacobs AW shows. The magic of the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream always works wonders in winter and with this new limited edition look you’ll find it hard not to make it to House of Fraser (from 16th November) to get yours before they go go go!
Liz Earle Limited Edition Cleanse & Polish
From one Liz to another....Paris Poodle Readers will know that I love a Liz Earle product or two and this Holiday season they have excelled themselves making THE most glamorous packaging for their multi purpose cream cleanser – Cleanse & Polish. With its winter wonderful white and silver swirling design, it’s new design ideas like these which make Christmas shopping all the more exciting. With 150ml’s of the worlds best make up remover/skin cleanser/miracle worker in a pump to be proud of, for only £16.00, this one’s a definitely a Poodle lust have!