News, Culture & Society

The REAL Emily in Paris: American woman living in French capital lifts lid on what it’s really like

An American woman who is living in Paris has lifted the lid on what the lifestyle is really like.

In 2019, Victoria Petersen, who is originally from Connecticut, said goodbye to her life in America and moved all the way across the world to the French capital.

After settling into her new lifestyle in the city of lights, Victoria began documenting her daily activities on her blog, which is entitled French Girl Daily, and posting photos to her Instagram account – where it quickly took off. 

Now, with nearly 250,000 followers, the blog is described as a ‘digital destination for women who love French style, beauty, and culture.’  

An American woman who is living in Paris has lifted the lid on what the lifestyle is really like

In 2019, Victoria Petersen, who is originally from Connecticut, said goodbye to her life in America and moved all the way across the world to the French capital

In 2019, Victoria Petersen, who is originally from Connecticut, said goodbye to her life in America and moved all the way across the world to the French capital

After settling into her new lifestyle in the city of lights, Victoria began documenting her daily activities on her blog, which is entitled French Girl Daily, and it quickly took off

After settling into her new lifestyle in the city of lights, Victoria began documenting her daily activities on her blog, which is entitled French Girl Daily, and it quickly took off

Through the blog, Victoria shows off common French fashion trends and shares beauty tips and makeup hacks that she’s learned from living in Paris. 

‘I believe style should give everyone confidence and help them present the best version of themselves,’ she wrote on her blog.

‘I hope this blog will inspire you to build a robust casual-chic wardrobe that takes you through all of life’s moments.’ 

The idea for the blog first came to her in 2018, when she decided it was time her wardrobe got a makeover.

‘I had been wearing the same clothing since college and I felt I needed a serious wardrobe refresh,’ she recalled.

‘I started researching and came across the French wardrobe philosophy that resonated with me.

‘I decided to share my process and inspiration on this site and on Instagram.’

She has now fully embraced the French lifestyle - which includes enjoying long dinners, entertaining often, and jetting off to luxurious destinations like Mallorca, Spain (pictured)

She has now fully embraced the French lifestyle - which includes enjoying long dinners, entertaining often, and jetting off to luxurious destinations like Mallorca, Spain (pictured)

She has now fully embraced the French lifestyle – which includes enjoying long dinners, entertaining often, and jetting off to luxurious destinations like Mallorca, Spain (pictured)

From how to achieve the perfect French hairstyle to what Parisian women really wear, Victoria has given us an inside look at what it's really like to live in the city

From how to achieve the perfect French hairstyle to what Parisian women really wear, Victoria has given us an inside look at what it’s really like to live in the city

According to Victoria, she had dreamed of living in France for more than 10 years, after spending time there during high school; she decided to finally make the move after visiting again in 2017.

‘I had always wanted to return to the country as an independent adult,’ she explained.

She has now fully learned to embrace the French lifestyle – which according to Victoria, includes ‘enjoying long dinners,’ ‘entertaining often,’ and jetting off to nearby luxurious destinations like Mallorca, Spain.

From how to achieve the perfect French hairstyle to what Parisian women really wear, Victoria has given us an inside look at what it’s really like to live in the city.

French fashion: Do Parisian women really wear berets and trench coats? 

According to Victoria, trench coats are an 'essential part of the French wardrobe' and can be 'seen on women all across the country'

According to Victoria, trench coats are an ‘essential part of the French wardrobe’ and can be ‘seen on women all across the country’

She also said striped shirts and silk scarves are all a yes when it comes to French fashion

She also said striped shirts and silk scarves are all a yes when it comes to French fashion

In one recent blog post, Victoria addressed 10 different French fashion clichés, and she dished on whether or not Parisians actually wear them.

And according to Victoria, no one really dons berets or carries Chanel bags around the city. 

‘Not every French woman owns a Chanel bag, or any other French designer bag for that matter,’ she wrote.

She said contrary to belief, most French women don't own a Chanel bag. She dished: 'Luxury bags are still too expensive for most people, so the French prefer to buy a quality leather bag from a contemporary handbag designer'

She said contrary to belief, most French women don’t own a Chanel bag. She dished: ‘Luxury bags are still too expensive for most people, so the French prefer to buy a quality leather bag from a contemporary handbag designer’

‘Luxury bags are still too expensive for most people, so the French prefer to buy a quality leather bag from a contemporary handbag designer.’

When it comes to the stereotypical French hat, she admitted, ‘The rare berets I see on the streets of Paris are worn by much older couples, not young French women.’ 

However, according to Victoria, trench coats, striped shirts, and silk scarves are all a yes when it comes to French fashion.

‘French women really do wear beautiful silk scarves, even if they aren’t all by Hermès,’ she explained.

‘I see colorful silk scarves on the streets of Paris very often. While French women don’t wear them every day, this is one trend that I don’t see going away any time soon.’

She added the trench coats are an ‘essential part of the French wardrobe’ and can be ‘seen on women all across the country.’ 

She dished: ‘These waterproof beige coats are practical for rainy Parisian days and go very well with most outfits. This is one outerwear cliché that’s real!’ 

Achieving the perfect French hairstyle: embrace the all-natural look

According to Victoria, French women have a very 'laid-back approach' when it comes to their hair and tend to leave it 'mostly natural'

According to Victoria, French women have a very ‘laid-back approach’ when it comes to their hair and tend to leave it ‘mostly natural’

She claimed that most French women don't wash their hair every day - in fact, she insisted that they only wash their hair two to three times a week

She claimed that most French women don’t wash their hair every day – in fact, she insisted that they only wash their hair two to three times a week

In another post, Victoria shared some tips on achieving what she feels is the perfect French hairstyle.

‘French women take a laid-back approach to their haircare,’ she wrote. ‘There’s something very liberating about letting your hair do its thing.

‘French women use simple yet effective haircare products to keep their hair healthy, but other than that, they leave their hair mostly natural.

‘Since [I moved to Paris], I’ve stopped using all the harsh products on my hair recommended by American beauty “experts.”

She also said it's common in France to perform hair masks once a week, and put hair oil in your tips on the night before you plan to wash it

She also said it’s common in France to perform hair masks once a week, and put hair oil in your tips on the night before you plan to wash it

‘I’ve learned that the French approach to haircare involves having a low-maintenance routine but not getting bent out of shape if your hair isn’t perfectly tousled all the time.’

She claimed that most French women don’t wash their hair every day – in fact, she insisted that they only wash their hair two to three times a week – but when they do, she said they use the ‘highest quality of shampoo they can afford.’

‘French girls wash their hair far less than us Americans. Twice or three times a week is standard,’ she said.

‘The tricky part is that during the early stages of doing this, your hair will be greasy the longer you go without washing it.

‘It takes a few months for the hair to adjust to being washed less, but after a while, your hair will adjust.

‘You see, the scalp produces oil in response to the shampoo removing it. The more we shampoo our hair, the more oil our body produces.’

Her favorite shampoo brands are Leonor Greyl Paris, Klorane, and Phyto. And for the days you don’t feel like washing it, she said dry shampoo is a ‘French girl favorite.’

For conditioner, she recommended Leonor Greyl Paris, Kérastase, and Hair Rituel by Sisley.

‘French girls sometimes use a leave-in conditioner or hair cream in the winter when hair gets extra dry. I have become obsessed with leave-in hair creams because they make my hair smell divine,’ she gushed. 

She also said it’s common in France to perform hair masks once a week, and put hair oil in your tips on the night before you plan to wash it. 

Mastering the perfect red lip: A must-have during a night-out in France

Although Victoria said that French women often take a 'minimalist approach' to their everyday makeup, they love to use 'bold' colors when it's time for a night out

Although Victoria said that French women often take a 'minimalist approach' to their everyday makeup, they love to use 'bold' colors when it's time for a night out

Although Victoria said that French women often take a ‘minimalist approach’ to their everyday makeup, they love to use ‘bold’ colors when it’s time for a night out

Although Victoria said that French women often take a ‘minimalist approach’ to their everyday makeup, they love to use ‘bold’ colors when it’s time for a night out.

While comparing French and American beauty standards, she explained, 'French women aren’t as obsessed with physical imperfections the way that Americans are'

While comparing French and American beauty standards, she explained, ‘French women aren’t as obsessed with physical imperfections the way that Americans are’

‘While daytime French girl makeup is often pared down and simple, French nighttime makeup can be much more interesting and playful,’ she dished in one post. 

She added in another post that French women usually apply their lipstick with their finger.

‘Just dab some on your index or middle finger and lightly pat it onto your lips. You can even go above the edges a little bit for a fuller look,’ she said. ‘This will give your lips a color that looks more natural.’

While comparing French and American beauty standards, she explained, ‘French women aren’t as obsessed with physical imperfections the way that Americans are. What I love about France is how open the French are to different types of beauty.’

She also claimed that contouring isn’t as popular there, and that eyeliner is only used for a night out. 

As for her skincare routine, she said she starts with a cleanse before adding eye cream to tackle her puffy eyes.

She then adds a thin layer of serum all over her face before following up with facial moisturizer – and Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré is her favorite.

‘I also use a French body lotion after showering as the Parisian water tends to strip my skin of oils, making it super dry,’ she added, citing La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+ Intense Repair Body Lotion as her go-to. 

The French lifestyle: learning to take pleasure in the small things

When it comes to the most important things she's learned from making the move, she said in another post that living in France has really taught her to 'take pleasure in the small things'

When it comes to the most important things she’s learned from making the move, she said in another post that living in France has really taught her to ‘take pleasure in the small things’

She wrote that the French lifestyle involves 'entertaining often,' 'enjoying long dinners,' and 'supporting the arts'

She wrote that the French lifestyle involves ‘entertaining often,’ ‘enjoying long dinners,’ and ‘supporting the arts’

'Lunch and dinner can be very long affairs in France,' she revealed. 'They are a time for gathering around friends and family and discussing everything from politics to personal news'

‘Lunch and dinner can be very long affairs in France,’ she revealed. ‘They are a time for gathering around friends and family and discussing everything from politics to personal news’

In a different post, Victoria shared some of the things that she loves to do around the city, along with her recommendations for Paris tourists – including shopping in French department stores like Le Bon Marché, La Samaritaine, and Galeries Lafayete Champs Elysées, taking a cooking class, attending a wine tasting, and visiting the ‘smaller’ Parisian museums like the Musée Rodin or Jacquemart-André.

‘They are much less overwhelming than the expansive and touristy Louvre and Orsay museums,’ she shared.

According to Victoria, the French 'highly value education and knowledge,' so it's important to 'take the time to read the news, brush up on history, and know about key culture figures'

According to Victoria, the French ‘highly value education and knowledge,’ so it’s important to ‘take the time to read the news, brush up on history, and know about key culture figures’

She also said seeing a show at the Comédie Française is ‘a must’ if you ‘love theater and performing arts.’

And most importantly, you have to pick up some fresh macaroons from Pierre Hermé. 

When it comes to the most important things she’s learned from making the move, she said in another post that living in France has really taught her to ‘take pleasure in the small things.’

‘The first thing I noticed about the French way of living is that French people tend to take great pleasure in the small and ordinary parts of daily life,’ said Victoria. 

‘Everything from making coffee in the morning, to reading a book, to folding laundry should be done with pleasure.

‘Flâneur is one of my favorite French words. It doesn’t have an exact translation in English, but it means someone who strolls around aimlessly. 

‘One of the easiest ways to adopt the French lifestyle is to become a flâneur. Spend some time walking around your neighborhood without a particular path in mind.

‘Go where you feel like going and discover places you might not have seen before.’

She also said it forced her to learn to ‘invest in herself.’

She also said she has learned to 'invest in herself.' 'Whether it’s a feminine lingerie set or a new luxury perfume, the French are not shy about investing in themselves,' she dished

She also said she has learned to ‘invest in herself.’ ‘Whether it’s a feminine lingerie set or a new luxury perfume, the French are not shy about investing in themselves,’ she dished

‘Whether it’s a feminine lingerie set that only you will see or a new luxury perfume, the French are not shy about investing in themselves,’ she dished.

‘Far too often we buy things to impress other people, but why not buy something that is just for us?

‘French women take the time to buy things that perhaps no one else will see or notice, but they do it because it makes them happy. What better reason is there?’ 

She wrote that the French lifestyle involves ‘entertaining often,’ ‘enjoying long dinners,’ and ‘supporting the arts.’

‘Lunch and dinner can be very long affairs in France,’ she revealed. ‘They are a time for gathering around friends and family and discussing everything from politics to personal news.

‘The French also love to host dinners at home, probably much more often than eating at a restaurant. They invite friends over and swap stories over a bottle of wine and a great cheese plate!’

According to Victoria, the French ‘highly value education and knowledge,’ so it’s important to ‘take the time to read the news, brush up on history, and know about key culture figures if you want to impress a French person.’ 



***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk