By Honey Good
In the States, there’s a mystique attached to all things European, especially when it comes to beauty and fashion. I've traveled to Europe many times darlings and here's what I've discovered about what is making news in style and beauty "across the pond," as they say.
Paris is Quite Flat.
After reading several stories about how French women do everything in heels one would think that these graceful creatures viewed the world from a 4-inch perch. I did spot one uber-chic woman riding a bike in heels just off the Champs-Élysées but for the most part, ballerina flats and gladiator sandals seemed to be de rigueur for French women.
The trend continues in London where I saw barely a woman in heels, perhaps because the city’s vast territory is best navigated via tube or by foot. To prove the point, I headed to the popular British chain Topshop, where rows of Ballerina flats were plucked up by locals.
Ines via Elle, Tumbler and Man Repeller above.
In Paris, we never once were served butter with our bread baskets, and the desserts weren’t terribly sweet. That must be why, as Mireille Guiliano so succinctly put it in her best-selling book, French Women Don’t Get Fat. Plus, walking and biking are preferred modes of transportation, with bike rentals available on main streets.
I saw much of the same in London, where bike rentals are also big news. If you travel to London and want to keep up your own fitness routine, you must head to the Reebok Sports Club at Canary Wharf, where men and women in business suits travel in droves to the 100,000-square-foot facility replete with power plates, a ballroom dance studio, 42-foot climbing wall, restaurant, spa and bar.
Images via reebokclub.co.uk
Spas like U.S.
In Paris I saw “Institut de Beauté” signs on every corner, including the Revlon Institut de Beauté located on the corner of Rue De Kepler, a hop and a skip from the Champs and right near my hotel. Not surprisingly, facials are popular in Paris, along with bronzing and detox offerings.
London, home to Toni & Guy, is the city of "cool" hair, so salons abound in Greater London where short choppy ’dos and ultra-layered locks are in demand. Toni & Guy actually launches a seasonal collection of hair styles and even names their styles, like the Atomic, Roxy and Korbin (shown below). While certainly many of the styles are not right for me, I found some of the details in color and shape inspiring. The Korbin (third image below) puts a whole new spin on the idea of a blue-haired little old lady, no ;)
The strangest trend I spied in England was the salons and spas that lined the storefronts at an indoor flea market -- yes, flea market -- of sorts in Sheffield, a city in South Yorkshire, England. The flea market is one place I can't imagine going to for my next day of beauty but I love that beauty and style offerings are accessible to women of all budgets. After all, taking care of ourselves is a right not a privilege!
Images via toniandguy.com
The Feeling is Mutual.
Americans may be enamored with European style, but the truth is, Europeans think we’re just fabulous too, darlings. From movies to celebrities to stores (think GAP, Target and Starbucks), all things American are popular in Europe, as well.
No need to even mention how polite the English are… remember the bicyclist in European Vacation? In London, walking past Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, where wax likenesses of Michael Jackson, Jim Carrey and President Obama created bottlenecks, was enough to prove that they like us, they really like us.