Sunday, November 13, 2016

My Beauty Essentials for Paris

Hi guys!
It's been a busy few days over here in France, and I've had the pleasure of traveling a bit around Europe, as well. I visited London and Amsterdam last week and had an amazing time in both unique cities that are vastly different from Paris.

Discovering all of the fabulous products at Space NK in London! I was in beauty heaven.

A lot of you have asked me what beauty products I packed for these three months while I'm abroad, so I wanted to share my favorites, plus a few new discoveries that are officially on my wish list now.
Here's what I currently can't live without:

1) Iles Formula Shampoo, Conditioner and Finishing Serum

I met celeb hairstylist Wendy Iles in LA a few weeks before I moved to Paris, and became hooked on her new line of haircare products, that have changed my hair for the better. They are simple and minimalistic (I think I admire the packaging daily while I'm in the shower), and keep my locks smooth and shiny, even in this cold, windy weather.

2) Urban Skin RX Cleansing Bar

I was introduced to this line at Cosmoprof this summer, and immediately fell for this product because it's effective and efficiently packaged. I love that a face cleanser is in the form of a solid and the little sponge is genius for creating a lather on my face, so I always feel like every ounce of makeup and debris is completely removed from my face before I go to bed each night. The compact packaging is PERFECT for travel and it lasts forever, so I couldn't have asked for a better solution.

3) Thank You Farmer Miracle Age Serum

I was sent this Korean anti-aging brightening serum from right before I left the U.S., so I tossed it in my luggage and hoped for the best without really knowing if I would like it. I'm happy to report that it feels great on the skin and sinks right in upon application. It has the perfect consistency for layering under moisturizers and makeup, and often times, I'll just use it on its own before going to bed (but only because my skin is low maintenace like that.)

4) SprinJene Black Seed Oil Toothpaste

Maybe it's from being Kourtney Kardashian's editor over the last year, but I've made a conscious effort to transition a lot of my beauty products into natural, organic ones, including my toothpaste. SprinJene is officially my FAVORITE toothpaste because it's wonderfully refreshing and makes your entire mouth feel amazing (really!) after you brush, and it's vegan, gluten-free and kosher that's free of harsh abrasives that can wear your teeth enamel down. I brought full-size and travel-size SprinJene toothpastes to get me through my time in Europe and love brushing with this product. I'm hooked!

5) No. 4 Mighty Hairspray

When it comes to hairspray, I can be pretty picky. I curl my hair almost every day, so I need a product that will hold my curls without weighing them down or adding any sticky, crunchiness to the final effect. I absolutely love this hairspray, and even the small travel-sized can can last me a few months, which is great, because I only brought one here! The whole haircare line is actually quite fantastic, and their mini sizes are a terrific value because they really do last a while and have served me well.

6) Tarteist Contour Palette

Like many of you, I was a diehard addict of Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Palette, and I had already gone through two full palettes in the last year. I was having anxiety at the thought of it running out again while I was living in Paris, so I needed to find another option to bring as back-up. The Tarteist Contour palette quickly took over as my new go-to because it also comes with a flattering rosy pink blush, as well as all of the other essential shades I need to finish my face, so I've been toting this guy around all over Europe.

7) NARS Velvet Lip Glide

I don't own these gorgeous lip glides (yet!), but they're probably at the top of my beauty wish list right now. They feel fantastic on and the colors are absolutely perfect for this time of year. I am newly embracing darker berry-red shades while in Paris, and I recently fell in love with their "Unspeakable" shade. DYING FOR IT. But truthfully, they're all so good. There's a shade for everyone, I promise.

8) Acqua Di Parma Peonia Nobile Fragrance 

The latest scent from Acqua di Parma is fittingly inspired by my favorite flower ever, so I had a strong feeling I just might love this one. I was right. It's beautiful and feminine without being too flowery, and a little sexy, too. And of course, that iconic packaging...just so beautiful!

9) Juliette Has a Gun "Mmmm" Fragrance

This French line is hard to come across in the U.S., and I actually forgot about it after I went through a bottle of their "Not a Perfume" scent a few years ago and couldn't replace it. I loved that scent, by the way, it was so unusually beautiful, and I even had one guy follow me out of an elevator one time to ask me what I was wearing because it's one of those rare fragrances that just draws people in.
I just discovered their new "Mmmm" scent this month in Paris, and I like it so much better because the warm notes of vanilla and neroli really speak to me. Sweet and a little sexy, mmmm, indeed!
I will be bringing this one back to L.A. for sure.

'Til next time!
xx Jenn

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Jenn Chan Travels: Palais Garnier Opera House in Paris

I've written about this before, but I truly believe that traveling alone is one of the most liberating and empowering things you can do in your life. A lot of people ask me how I do it, given that I'm a young woman, I only speak English and my sense of direction is, well, average at best; but even with those odds, I honestly love it.

I love waking up in Paris not knowing exactly what I'll stumble upon each day and I love the feeling of not needing to consult anyone but myself on all decisions of the day.

Of course, it's not for everyone--but if you're independent (or, as my dad calls it, "gutsy") with a love of adventure and exploration, there's no greater feeling than wandering around a foreign city with an iPhone for taking photos and Google maps to navigate you wherever your heart desires.

I've lived in big cities (Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Florence, Washington D.C. and now Paris) my whole life, so I am inherently very accustomed to watching my back, weaving in and out of crowds, keeping my guard up for safety and listening to my instincts when traveling alone--and once you've got that down, you're good to go!

One problem with traveling alone: selfies get old. It's always nice to have a built-in companion and photographer to capture these moments! 

On the flip side, of course it's nice to have someone to explore cities with, to take pictures with and to share meals with; but there's also the divine freedom of doing whatever you please whenever you please when you're flying solo, too. In this chapter of life, I'm flapping my wings as a solo traveler and really soaking up the experience.

The other day I inadvertently found myself just outside of the Palais Garnier Opera House here in Paris after an afternoon of leisurely shopping (saving that for another post!) It was a Friday at 4PM, and I had nowhere to be (which literally never happens in LA, so needless to say, I am loving this relaxed schedule!), so I waltzed in and did a self-guided tour of one of the most beautiful spaces I've ever seen with my own eyes.

It was stunning and gorgeous and everything I had hoped it would be.
And in that instant, only one thought came to mind, "This is why I came to Paris."

To experience and appreciate the beauty of the world, to discover new things daily that make my heart sing, to get out of the grueling everyday rut and stress of what my life was accustomed to, and to take time to just enjoy. Because after all, life is short, and there's so much to treat ourselves to. So with that, I leave you with some stunning images I snapped while I visited Palais Garnier with my jaw pretty much completely open in utter awe.

Paris, I love you.

xx Jenn

Monday, October 24, 2016

Paris Packing Tips

Bonjour loves!
It's been just over two weeks in Paris, and I'm really starting to feel like local now. I explore the city (via Metro and on foot) just about every day and have been enjoying plenty of fun adventures, meeting new people and acclimating to the French way of life (note: it's MUCH different than the American way of life!)

One thing I've learned in just a short amount of time is to simply appreciate each minute, each hour, each day of life. There's not a huge rush to do things as we are accustomed to in America. In fact, the French really know how to relax (they don't actually work as hard, it seems) and they go on holiday regularly. So I am taking a page from their book and that's precisely why I am here--to ENJOY this moment in life. To savor it, to spoil myself and to bask in the freedom that I have right now and only now.

In terms of dining, I'm fascinated how the French savor their meals (a dinner can easily last four or five hours), they indulge in rich foods, hot coffee and sinful (at least from an LA point of view) pastries almost daily and yet everyone walks so much here that it's completely acceptable. I am so used to eating quickly (while eliminating a number of food groups at that) and racing off to my next obligation without really enjoying too many meals.

 I've really had to teach myself to slow down and take time to breathe, to enjoy and take in my surroundings. Luckily for me, my surroundings in Paris are pretty fabulous!

There are gardens and beautiful discoveries at every corner, so each day is filled with appreciation and gratitude and wonder. In short, I am learning a lot about myself and the city and what makes me the happiest.

Yesterday, a new friend here commented how drastic the move for me must have been, coming from LA to Paris. I hadn't put much thought into it until then, but it's absolutely true. Essentially my lifestyle here is completely opposite of what it was in LA, and I'm not complaining, I'm simply adjusting quickly!

If I could have packed my bags all over again for this experience, I could have easily left out several pairs of shoes (heels really not necessary except for MAYBE a nice dinner or event, but that's not a daily situation for me like it was in LA), and focused more on durable (but chic) boots, plenty of cute coats and outerwear, and that's about it! I could have definitely edited down my clothes even more, even though I was pretty proud of what I packed to start with.

For anyone visiting or traveling for some time, here's what I recommend packing to survive Paris (including several basic items I really wish I had known to bring from home so I didn't have to fork over some hefty euros here!) For starters, you can't go wrong with all black everything.

My fall/winter wardrobe for any city is mostly monochrome black, but that's even more true in Paris. It's versatile and chic and always looks polished. Pack lightly (think leggings, skinny jeans, tops for layering, and add in a few accessories like a floppy hat, statement necklace or choker necklace to add a little interest without taking up space in your luggage.

I would recommend a handbag or purse that's not too big and not too small (you'll want to bring a portable battery pack or phone charger with you at all times) with a long shoulder strap. Brand, color and style is entirely up to you, but make sure it's a versatile bag that can carry the essentials with ease. Make sure it has a zipper or some sort of closure, of course, because nobody is trying to get pick pocketed out here!

Also don't forget:

1) A sturdy umbrella. It rains a lot here, usually in the late afternoon when you least expect it, and you just have to be prepared for this! Pick one that is compact and lightweight, but sturdy enough to withstand strong winds and heavy downpour. It should be able to fit in your handbag (see above), and I would recommend just leaving it there daily. You will need it more times than not. I got mine at Monoprix and it's a bronzey-chocolate color and gets the job done.

2) Waterproof Boots, Ankle Boots, Flat Boots, All Kinds of Boots. I honestly don't think you need any other shoes other than boots here, at least in the fall and winter. They keep you warm and protected from the elements and easily go with jeans, leggings, dresses, tights, everything. Forget pumps, forget ballet flats, all you need are boots. Make sure you can walk MILES in them, and bonus points if they are waterproof and cute, too. I am so glad I ordered these over-the-knee Blondo boots from Nordstrom before I moved here. They go with all of my all-black outfits and repel water perfectly. I also live in my trusty Sorel boots. They zip on and off easily, and are indestructible.

3) Coats of All Kinds. Coming from LA, I didn't have a huge outerwear wardrobe to work with, but I'm seeing the necessity for some variety here in Paris. Some days are totally frigid, some are just windy and brisk, and on rare occasions, it's even been actually kind of warm. As mentioned above, it rains almost every day, so there's that, too.

I'd recommend a few basics to get through the seasons: a chic black moto jacket (I have two: one from BLANK NYC, one from Zara), a winter wool coat (I tried on about 200 different styles here, and finally settled on one from MANGO), a sporty/casual coat with a hood and maybe a vest and plenty of scarves to layer on.

4) Shu Uemura Urban Moisture Hydro-Nourishing Double Serum. This brand new product from the brand's newest line has been a lifesaver for me. I almost completely out of the full-size bottle that I started with just two and half weeks ago, but that's because my hair drinks it up. The wind and colder climate makes my hair ultra-tangly by the end of the day, so after a hot shower, I'll spritz this on all over my locks to give it some shine and manageability before I do anything else. I love it! It doesn't make your hair greasy or oily, and it truly is a godsend for city girls like me.

5) HUE Shaping Tights. Everyone has their own bias when it comes to winter tights, but I think I've just found the best brand out there for a reasonable price. HUE introduced opaque shaping tights to their collection this fall, and I got my hands on a pair just in time for Paris. I absolutely love how they look and feel, and they definitely deliver on their promises. I'll be stocking up on these every winter.

6) A Tote Bag. Now here's something I totally didn't think of packing. A simple everyday tote is essential for daily life in Paris. It's necessary to toss your umbrella, scarf, assorted items you purchase throughout the day, groceries, etc. in and makes schlepping your belongings a lot easier than a bunch of small bags. A tote solves so many problems and will easily and efficiently stow your items as you go about your day walking or running to Metro stops, navigating about town, etc. without worry of a paper or plastic bag that won't hold up. I own about 327 tote bags in LA, but didn't pack a single one.
I broke down and picked up two from Galleries Lafayette and they are saving my life on the daily. See below when it started raining and I protected my Zac Posen leather purse from the elements thanks to my handy tote bag.

7) Sneakers. In Paris, I am easily walking 15-20K steps a day, and on more ambitious days, I neared 29K without even noticing. How'd I do it? Well a curious spirit that leads me to explore the city from day to night, Google maps on my phone to navigate me everywhere I could ever want to go and an insanely comfortable pair of slip-on sneakers by Skechers. Their GoWalk 4 shoes absorb absolutely EVERYTHING and make you feel like you're walking on clouds, I swear. I have powered through museums, city streets, endless flights of stairs and more in these babies, and I am so grateful for them. I actually left my trusted Nikes at home, and don't regret it one bit. When you're feeling sporty, slip these on, ladies.

8) Pil-ookie Pillow. If you take your skincare seriously (and you should!) make some room in your luggage for a Pil-ookie pillow by Dr. Cheryl Huang. This innovative pillow helps prevent lines and wrinkles thanks to its innovative design and allows oxygenation and circulation to the skin, while also decreasing swelling and puffiness every time you lay your head down after an exhausting day of sightseeing.

9) Skincare from I stashed several facial sheet masks in my luggage on a whim and am so glad I did! These brilliant masks are portable and so easy to use, and really relax me when I need to unwind from a long day of sightseeing. carries the BEST of Korean skincare with some amazing brands to discover, and I've loved everything I've tried so far. I'm looking at you, Thank You Farmer Miracle Age Repair Serum.

10) Herban Essentials Towelettes. I love these portable wipes that smell so refreshing! They are infused with incredible essential oils (I love peppermint and lavender) and I throw a few into my purse every day to keep my hands refreshed and sanitized while being out in the city all day.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Ain't No Sunshine

Well my first few days in Paris have flown by, and I'm (finally!) starting to recognize the streets and routes around me without getting lost (although that will still probably happen.) I've already covered a lot of the different neighborhoods simply by wandering and strolling for hours and hours, and I'll never tire of gazing at the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. They're just so gorgeous!

Sorry LA, Paris wins. 

Luckily for me, I walk past at least one of them daily and it's so magical to see these landmarks in all of their glory up close and personal. It makes living in Paris so surreal.

Today I was waiting for friends at the Trocadero when an unexpected downpour started in the late afternoon and continued well into the night. It was cold and dreary, but also romantic and beautiful, too.  I was totally not dressed for the weather in my flowing floral maxi dress (a parting gift from my girl Breanna in LA!), but made the most of it with my moto jacket and cashmere scarf.

xx Jenn

Thursday, October 6, 2016

With Love, From Paris

If you've been following me on Instagram (@jennchanglam) or on Facebook, you know by now that I have successfully relocated to Paris for the next few months. I just arrived last night, and since I am still very much jetlagged, I thought it was only fitting to do a little re-cap for all of you!

HOW IT HAPPENED: From beginning to end, the idea and execution took a matter of weeks. It wasn't a big elaborate plan that I had been mulling over, it was simply an 'a-ha!' moment I had in late August that I literally made happen with a few clicks of a button. First of all, ever since I was a little girl growing up in Houston, I always had this deep desire to be anywhere (more) exciting and glamorous. I told myself I would live in LA, New York and Paris and I would work in the fashion and beauty industry.

Funny how things happen when you really put your mind to it! It dawned on me this summer (especially after I left my last full-time job as Senior Editor with the Kardashians) that I had achieved a lot of major milestones I had set out for myself, and living in Paris was still on the bucket list.

I also realized that I am more free right now in this moment than I ever will be for the rest of my life. I don't have a house, or a spouse, kids, pets or any true responsibilities holding me down in one particular place. Almost everyone I know is getting married, having babies or buying houses and settling down as you do in your 30s. I'm not there yet personally, so I decided to take full advantage of my freedom and live this dream while I can!

I wanted to celebrate this moment of freedom and live abroad for a few months to get a different perspective on life and see more of the world. After all, what doesn't challenge you, doesn't change you; and I wanted to end 2016 in the best way I could think of. So many women I have talked to in the last month have said they wished they could have done this/never had the courage to/will never be able to/maybe one day will find a way to live abroad...and I heard every single one of those comments loud and clear. I'm doing it for all of us! As women, we carry SO much on our shoulders and are responsible for so many things and people that we often put ourselves and our own happiness last. Right here in this moment, I'm putting myself first because it may be one of the few opportunities I can really do that and not feel bad about it.

Once my mind was made up, all I had to do was execute a plan. And thanks to the ease of AirBnB and online travel booking, I had all of my logistics for Paris squared away in no time at all.

HOW I SPREAD THE NEWS: I did a fun photoshoot at Greystone Mansion with my good friend and fellow blogger Rachel (of Lovely in LA) to create the perfect image to announce it on social media. I wore a full-length silk slip from Naked Princess and absolutely loved how these images came out.

My Big Sis Maxine (of Vanity Girl Hollywood) and I filmed a Facebook Live video at Can Can Parleur to share the news and answer questions about moving to Paris (she did the same thing seven years ago!) and it has over 1.3K views as of today.

I moved out of my entire West Hollywood apartment just a few days ago and downsized my possessions considerably. I hosted a clothing drive for the Downtown Women's Shelter and donated a ton of clothes and accessories that I've been holding on to for years, but haven't really worn. I went to Crossroads and Wasteland about eight times in one month to sell more and more clothes I no longer need, and also put a few designer items up for sale on The Real Real (update: they have almost ALL sold already!)

At this point in my life, I'm much more about experiences than tangible things, so every time I sold a jacket or a pair of shoes that had been collecting dust in my closet, I thought, 'That's a train ticket to somewhere!' or 'That's a cooking class!', which was a great approach to preparing myself mentally for this new adventure.

Before I knew it, everything was packed up and I was well on my way to Paris. Huge thanks to Clutter for making the moving process seamless (they moved everything out in a few hours and will be storing my belongings while I am away) and to my friends who stopped by and hauled random items away from me that I couldn't throw away, but wouldn't fit in my storage unit! You guys are the best.

(My entire life's possessions fit in that van right there)

I couldn't leave LA without a proper Bon Voyage party, and it was certainly one for the books!
The Hills Penthouse in West Hollywood generously hosted my event for all of my friends, and I got dolled up by BeGlammed (for hair), Can Can Parleur (for nails) and makeup by my friend and makeup artist, @MakeupByEdder. I wore a chic black-and-white ensemble and invited my LA loves to toast this town of ours one more time.

HUGE incredible thanks to Cafe D'Etoile in West Hollywood for catering delicious French baguette sandwiches and fruit for my guests to nosh on, and to my adorable friend Renee for baking a six-layer pink ombre cake for the occasion! Carolann (my "adopted mama" from Can Can Parleur) brilliantly decorated dozens and dozens of macarons for my party, which made the entire affair extra special. Diabolo sparkling water kept us hydrated and bubbly all night, and Veuve Clicquot champagne and white wine made for perfect party beverages, as well.

As if that weren't special enough, I had my very own Snapchat filter designed by the awesome guys at and also had a selfie station by Vanity Girl Hollywood for optimal lighting and picture taking throughout the night.

Thanks to, I had my own Snapchat filter all night long!!!

THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to EVERYONE who have showered me with love and support during this exciting time. I can't wait to take on Paris and will be blogging and posting on my social platforms (especially Snapchat!) as much as humanly possible to stay connected.

And a giant shout-out from the rooftops to my "rocks" who got me through this whole process: Maxine, Rachel, Carolann, Breanna, Renee, Jody, ladies sure know how to make a lady feel loved. THANK YOU.

P.S. Many of you have asked me what I brought to Paris.
Here it is: two large duffel bags that I checked in, one carry-on and one tote. Voila! All a girl needs to survive a few months in Paris (in the winter!)

Au Revoir for now!

With love,
Jenn xo