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

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

New Obsession: Bluemercury

This morning I stopped in to toast the brand new Bluemercury store on Larchmont, and had the best time checking out all of the incredible brands they stock. Being a beauty editor and expert for years, I have quite a bit of history and knowledge when it comes to almost every makeup, skincare and haircare brand on the market, but I was happy to discover a number of new items this morning that certainly piqued my interest.

I was delighted to discover Bluemercury's own private label brand, Lune +Aster, and can't wait to try out their Moonrise Glow & Contour palette, ther CC cream (with SPF 50!) and their RealGlow Primer. The ingredients in this line are gluten and paraben-free and also not tested on animals. That's what I like to hear!

Of course, I couldn't leave the store without doing a little shopping myself and picked up some new essentials to take me into fall. I snapped up some RMS Organic Beauty products including their cover up concealer, luminizer highlighter and cheek & lip stain (in Sacred, a poppy pinky red), a bottle of NARS eye makeup remover and Bumble & Bumble's dry finishing hair oil.

I also indulged in a mini facial with Kristen of Darphin Paris, and absolutely fell in LOVE with their flower nectar face oil! They have seven (count 'em, seven!) different oils, and after doing a thorough sniff test to see which one spoke to me, it was evident that the Flower Nectar oil (also the most expensive one!) was my perfect match. It smells heavenly. The entire product line is unbelievably gorgeous and I learned so much about each product that proved to be both luxe and effective, which is really all I want when it comes to skincare. I have officially added "get a Darphin Paris facial in Paris" on my beauty bucket list.

Adorable treats to celebrate the new store location! Blueberry cupcakes for breakfast? Don't mind if I do! 
Had the best time playing with products and catching up with my favorite beauty gals in town, like Emily Loftiss. 

Can't wait to test everything out and report back! Be sure to follow my Snapchat @TheJenniferChan for all of the action!


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Review: Microblading Brows by Tiana Fox

I write this post with utter excitement. You see, I have never known what it's like to have incredible brows. Admittedly, you could say I lucked out in the skin department or even in the hair department, but when it comes to brows, I totally hang my head down low. Until now.

I was recently referred to a permanent makeup artist and brow guru named Tiana Fox in Studio City, and did not hesitate to contact her right away to see what could be done about my sparse, thin brows that desperately needed pencil or powder at all times.

I figured I would always be a slave to a brow pencil for the rest of my life, and I can't tell you how many times I've run out of a gym or a fitness studio hoping no one would see how my brows have disappeared after an intense sweat session, lol. They were truly my biggest insecurity, and I had no idea that microblading could solve all of my troubles in just a few hours.

I made an appointment not knowing what to expect, but hoping that Tiana could deliver.
And boy, did she!

After an in-depth consultation about my brow hopes and desires (let them be visible, let them be permanent, let them be fabulous!) she got to work on creating the perfect shape and arch for my face shape. She was methodical and diligent in making sure they were precisely perfect and symmetrical (but still natural-looking, so not too perfect) and that the color we selected was just right, as well.

When it came time to lay back on her table and let the blade do its thing (essentially cutting the skin and depositing permanent color into the open pores), I have to admit it was painful during the first pass. I didn't bleed (whew!) but I was wincing and tearing up as I got used to the blade grazing over my brows. I've never had a tattoo or anything like that, so this was a first for me.

The pain definitely got better as we went on and the area was gradually numbed as the process went on. Before I knew it, we were all done and I was ecstatic with the end result.

My brows turned out to be everything I've ever wanted them to be, and it's been surreal to wake up and not have to worry about what they look like. I am still in amazement, and I am still getting compliments about my brows everywhere I go!
Before and After: What a huge difference! Thank you, Tiana!

 In terms of after care, you simply have to keep them out of water and sweat and sun completely for 10 days, which was a little tricky for me, but I am on day eight, and doing just fine. My brows still look great, and they gently scabbed over and peeled off, but it was totally easy to deal with and not at all unsightly.

Moments after the microblading process! Excuse my smudged eye makeup and messy hair. My brows were a little red right after the initial treatment, but returned to a normal brown shade in the next day or so.
Is this real life? I have BROWS now! Photo taken moments after I got up from Tiana's table and couldn't stop staring at my brows in the mirror.
Ladies, take my recommendation and go see Tiana Fox right away! She has the sweetest spirit ever, and you'll emerge with beautiful brows in no time. I can't stop raving about the whole experience.

SO so grateful and so thrilled with microblading and Tiana's incredible talent for this art.

Five stars all around and totally 100% #JennChanApproved!