Beauty Crew book club: Paris Dreaming

A view of Paris through the eyes of a beauty editor

Besides the fact that most of the world’s top pharmacy and luxury beauty brands hail from this gorgeous city, Paris is also widely renowned as a place that boasts the perfect balance of ancient stories, art, romance and delicious food. Altogether, there’s a lot to love about the French capital, and it’s a must-visit if you haven’t headed there yet.

Someone that knows the city well - everything from its colourful history to its intricate geography - is beauty editor Katrina Lawrence, who has visited and even lived in the place a countless number of times. Katrina has two decades of beauty editing experience and a slew of awards, including the highly-recognised Jasmine Awards for excellence in fragrance journalism, under her belt.

With that in mind, it was only a matter of time before she penned her own book about her two passions - beauty and the city of love. Paris Dreaming is a deep-dive into all things beautiful, and is built from hard facts (such as how blush wearing can be traced back to the 18th century all thanks to one of Louis XV’s mistresses, Madame de Pompadour), and personal experiences, including details of her lifelong obsession with the French city since she the tender age of five and her early memories of discovering the iconic Parisian beauty, Brigitte Bardot.

After reading the book from cover to cover, we couldn’t help but ask Katrina for her favourite French beauty buys of all time. Here’s what topped her list:

#1 / Guerlain L’Heure Bleue

“I’ve been going back to this classic perfume for years now. Dating from 1912, it was concocted to capture the alluringly moody, misty essence of Paris at twilight (‘blue hour’), and has an exquisite powder-soft sparkle to it, with a musky sillage (fragrance trail) that takes you well into the wee hours.”

#2 / Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

“Long before we started obsessing over highlighting and strobing, this finishing lotion was the sole go-to for igniting a facial glow. I still think it’s the crème de la crème because it gives you a healthy, dewy style of illumination, rather than the faux sparkly kind.”

#3 / Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré

“Makeup artist Elsa Morgan got me onto this moisturiser when she began doing the Paris shows — it was all anyone used for prepping the models’ skin for makeup. And as a makeup base it’s incredibly efficient, yes, but I also love how it delivers a gorgeous dose of hydration that keeps skin feeling pampered and plumped-up all day long.”

#4 / Sisley Paris Black Rose Cream Mask

“This divine mask, which is both soothing and anti-ageing, is a splurge, sure, but it leaves your skin looking as luxuriously luminous as you’d expect.”

#5 / Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution

“I’ve been hooked on this cleansing water since a soignée, perfect-skinned Parisienne let me in on her beauty secret, long before I’d heard the now-common term ‘micellar water’. It thoroughly cleans my rosacea-prone skin, without any fuss or flare-ups.”

Guerlain L’Heure Bleue

Sisley Paris Black Rose Cream Mask

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution

Purchase your copy here.

Heading to the French city? Don’t forget to read our guide on where to relax, shop and more.

Have you tried these French products before? Let us know your personal faves in the comments below.

Main image credit: Instagram @theparisdreamer

Iantha is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor, and has been part of the team since the site launched in 2016. Besides pinot noir, she has a healthy obsession with fake tan smell, wispy false lashes and CND Shellac in the shade Romantique. Her words and styling can also be found in previous issues of SHOP Til You Drop, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health.