How to be a Parisian (10 Step French Makeover)

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Along with the rest of instagram, I read the book “How to be a Parisian” this year and fell in love. The title alone had sold me the book within a matter of seconds, but the content only grew my love for France and all things French (to the point of obsession). If you haven’t read the book already, I can strongly recommend it as a great read but also just a staple bookshelf resident that will stay with you for years to come. Below are some of my favourite lessons from the book in how to be a Parisian (i.e. how to be as sophisticated yet unnervingly cool as French women). I hope you enjoy!

How to be a Parisian

Step one: Play it cool

French women are sophisticated, yet without the effort of being so. They are effortless, self aware, complex but simple on the surface.

Memorable line from the book: “no one should ever see your gums when you talk or laugh”.


Step two:  Don’t try to be perfect

Being a Parisian is all about being an anti-perfectionist. You’re stylish but with your own quirks, your hair is natural and follows its own orders, your face has flaws but you wear them with pride.

Memorable line from the book: “She buys very expensive shoes but never polishes them.”


Step three: Master your outfits

Two words: Simple. Chic. Your every day outfit consists of jeans, comfortable shoes, a cashmere sweater & shades in the summer time.

Memorable line from the book: “The white shirt. It’s iconic and timeless”. 


Step four: Black, Grey, White are your new favourite “colours”

Sure, they’re technically shades. But a Parisian would never overuse colour. Ever. Why? That’s just plain blasphemy!

Memorable line from the book: “Less is more.”


Step five: Be independent

A Parisian would never think twice about heading to the bakery or supermarché alone. In fact, what better way to spend some time to yourself!

Memorable line from the book: “The Parisienne never gives too much away.”


Step six: Find your signature Scent

Because to break down a man, you’ll need a hypnotic poison (which can quite literally be arranged thanks to Christian Dior!)

Memorable line from the book: “Rule number one: DENY, DENY, DENY.”


Step seven: Never commit a Faux Pas

Overusing teeth whitener, overplucking your eyebrows, altering your natural beauty permanently… these are all considered to be fax pas (that is, a blunder in conduct).

Memorable line from the book: “The Parisienne is particularly strict about her set of codes. These faux pas whether they be intellectual or sartorial, are to be avoided at all costs…”.


Step eight: Be well versed in French Classics

That be of the French recipe classics – crepes, creme brûlée, mayonnaise… you get the drill. One should never serve a store bought classic when one can display her culinary skills.

Memorable line from the book: “[A Parisienne]… has a few tricks up her sleeves that she never shares with anyone”.


Step nine: Wear less make up, the right way

Parisians have a very minimal approach to make-up, but the cosmetics products they do wear are applied with such precision and expertise that they merely act to enhance their natural beauty, not chance their look entirely.

Memorable line from the book: “She goes to great lengths for a pedicure but wear mismatched underwear”.


Step ten: Eat Croissants

Croissant eating is a cliché that just so happens to be true. So true that you have the given right to eat croissants at any time of day, any day of the week, every day of the year if you so wish!

Memorable line from the book: “The Parisienne loves to eat those crescent-shaped pastries that ooze butter and leave tiny flakes all over your face”.

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    February 12, 2016 at 5:57 am

    haha ! I didn’t expect so much truth from this book… I’m French and from Paris and… a lot of this is actually quite accurate !! Especially the make up part

    Miles of Happiness - Marie
    February 11, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Step 10 is very, very important.

    February 11, 2016 at 3:17 am

    Sounds like a cute book! How about Love x Style x Life – by Garance Dore? I heard it’s equally good or better. I was never into the “French Chic” style until my French bf. I was more of a “Scandinavian minimalistic” kinda gal.

    Asli Bildirici
    February 10, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    I have been so excited to read this book but I haven’t been able to find a copy yet. It is so nice that you shared a little bit of it. Thanks.

    February 10, 2016 at 2:32 pm


    x Carina // Running White Horses

    February 9, 2016 at 10:39 am

    I also loved this book, if only I could be as chic as them. One thing I can not do is the whole walking across the street wherever you want. I am a chicken and need to obey the road rules. hahaha

    February 9, 2016 at 6:43 am

    Haha way to cliché for me who live in this city but it can still be something nice to read. 🙂

    Kenza from

    February 9, 2016 at 5:38 am

    I’ve been living in Paris for many months now and the thing I noticed straight away is how different the Parisian women’s approach to makeup is! They really do keep things minimal and natural, a winged liner or heavy foundation is rare to see.

    February 9, 2016 at 3:32 am

    This was such a great book, simply beautifully made!

    Miss Free Spirit
    February 9, 2016 at 12:09 am

    I saw that book on book sale! I was about to buy that book! gossh! I gotta find it again!

    February 8, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    I feel very Parisian whenever I eat a croissant! Hahaha.

    February 8, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    I’m not a Parisian, but I love so much Caroline De Maigret’s effortless style! Want to read the book, hope to be able to buy it soon.
    Ps: how great is the french accent when speaking english! I tried to read the whole post with this accent (and it was fun!)

    Hannie Blaise
    February 8, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    Oh I love this! I should read the book 🙂

    Dianne Tho
    February 8, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    aw, such a cool post, thank you for sharing 😀
    i’m taking notes, hehe

    February 8, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    I loved this book and took my lessons of it 🙂 I love the Parisian way of living

    Abbie E.
    February 8, 2016 at 11:41 am

    haha I love this! I’m more parisian than I thought.
    Abbie E.

    February 8, 2016 at 10:51 am

    This is so cute! I love that you included memorable lines from the book. I am definitely picking this one up soon. I think everyone is reading it haha.

    February 8, 2016 at 9:11 am

    I’ll definitely have to check this book out! I dream of living in France one day.

    February 8, 2016 at 8:51 am

    I love this! I am currently reading the book! 🙂

    Gabi @ Books & Trips
    February 8, 2016 at 8:13 am

    This sounds like a book I should be reading! Love this post!

    February 8, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Your tips made me smile as I am a woman who lives in the Bavarian country 🙂
    from Bavaria/Germany, Rena