Carin Olsson, Photographer

When your blog is titled ‘Paris in Four Months’ you have set quite the chic bar. It's the ultimate read for anyone coveting a life by the Champs-Elysees – so, everyone. But, where most might fear not doing this most-beloved city justice, Swedish-born Carin Olsson tackled it with gusto. She quite literally, packed her bags and camera and set off for Paris, for four months. Documenting her everyday activities in the city of love and lights, Carin – far exceeding her four-month intensions to four years – has since secured herself as one of the most in demand photographers and digital influencers. Her eye for immaculate imagery coupled with a quirky writing style about her adventures and challenges has led brands such as Dior, Gucci and Elie Saab vying for her attention. And we're equally hooked. 

 
 

Photographer Grace Alyssa Kyo (AKA Besotted Grace) shot Carin in her beautiful Parisian abode, showing that her creative and chic aesthetic extends beyond her blog pages. If you're as obsessed with French-girl style as much as we are, you’ll be lusting after the beauty products, home décor tips and secret French patisseries Carin shares with her Francophile fans.  

 
CARIN'S CAREER TOOK OFF WHEN SHE DECIDED TO PURSUE HER DREAM OF LIVING IN PARIS

CARIN'S CAREER TOOK OFF WHEN SHE DECIDED TO PURSUE HER DREAM OF LIVING IN PARIS

“I always knew that I wanted to see more of the world than just Stockholm.

At first I had my mind set on Italy but after yet another weekend trip to Paris in 2011 I decided that Paris was the place for me. I moved because I wanted a change in my life, I wanted a challenge and I wanted to experience and see something completely new. I moved to Paris in February of 2012 [for] four months (yes, that’s how the name came to be) to study French. After my four months were up and I went back to Stockholm, [but] I couldn’t get Paris out of my head and decided to move back in January 2013.

 
CARIN OPENED THE DOORS TO HER BEAUTIFUL PARISIAN ABODE

CARIN OPENED THE DOORS TO HER BEAUTIFUL PARISIAN ABODE

I didn’t know a single word of French…

… I needed to learn the language! So while in Paris the first time I went to the Accord language school, which suited me perfectly. You’re placed in a group according to your own level (which for me was super, super beginner) so that you can learn as much as possible. After a while you can go up a level when the teacher feels you’re ready. I learned so much, in such a short amount of time and my experience with the school was better than I ever could imagine. 

 

I get a lot of questions about beauty tips…

… and what my make-up routine looks like. I’ve been using bareMinerals’ powder for as long as I can remember and I don’t intend to stop. One of my favourite products is the Shimmer Brick Compact by Bobbi Brown. To make my eyes pop I use the Naked2 eye shadow palette from Urban Decay and the mascara called Clump Defy by Max Factor.

I don’t like when a lip gloss feels sticky or looks too sparkly so I’m really happy that I’ve finally found one that doesn’t, ultra plush lip gloss in the Colour Icebreaker by Benefit is my new favourite (or a classic lipstick from Chanel in a lighter pinkish colour will always do). I am also a big fan of Dior's Addict Lip Glow. 

DIOR, CHANEL AND BOBBI BROWN ARE AMONG SOME OF CARIN'S BEAUTY FAVOURITES

DIOR, CHANEL AND BOBBI BROWN ARE AMONG SOME OF CARIN'S BEAUTY FAVOURITES

 
CARIN'S BEAUTY ESSENTIALS CAN BE FOUND AROUND HER APARTMENT 

CARIN'S BEAUTY ESSENTIALS CAN BE FOUND AROUND HER APARTMENT 

My scent varies between a couple every now and then…

…but a few favourites that I keep coming back to are Chanel’s Chance Eau Fraîche and Un Jardin sur le Toit by Hermès.

 

I really need to feel that the apartment is a cosy and warm place for me to be. 

Perhaps it’s just me but I really like that feeling! Beautiful candles, fresh flowers and a stocked fridge and pantry are all things that give me that cosy/homey feeling. A little stack of my favourite magazines, scented candles in the bathroom and the bed made up with my own sheets are also things that make me feel more at home. One of the most important things to me was to make “my” apartment a place where I wanted to be, where I felt safe and at home when I first arrived. I think this is a good tip if you’re afraid of feeling lonely or getting homesick. It’s much easier to be comfortable and feel at home in your new place if you make it your own. For me this meant unpacking all of my things so that I could see a part of me in the apartment. 

"YOU HAVE ONE LIFE SO WHY NOT MAKE THE MOST OF IT?"  WE COULDN'T AGREE MORE

"YOU HAVE ONE LIFE SO WHY NOT MAKE THE MOST OF IT?"  WE COULDN'T AGREE MORE

 
SHE'S JUST LIKE THE REST OF US; CARIN ADMITS SHE FINDS IT DIFFICULT TO RESIST PARISIAN SWEETS

SHE'S JUST LIKE THE REST OF US; CARIN ADMITS SHE FINDS IT DIFFICULT TO RESIST PARISIAN SWEETS

People also ask me how I stay fit in Paris. My honest answer? I don’t…

There’s too many new things to taste and there’s so many things that I just want to keep eating over and over again. Yes, I do a lot of walking here in Paris, but that’s not going to keep those macarons and pastries completely off. I need to find a balance since I’m never giving up on my dear sweets! Sadahuru Aoki (for their unbelievable caramel tart, cream filled choux and their caramel and raspberry macarons), Café Pouchkine (for their amazing vanilla croissant and macarons), Hugo & Victor (for their macarons), Laduree (for their French toast and cute boxes and, Carette (for their raspberry tart and their macarons).

 

In Paris basic and classic pieces are the key to any Parisian’s wardrobe. 

IN TRUE PARISIAN FORM, CARIN EXERCISES A MINIMALIST APPROACH WHEN IT COMES TO STYLE

IN TRUE PARISIAN FORM, CARIN EXERCISES A MINIMALIST APPROACH WHEN IT COMES TO STYLE

Ever since moving to Paris I have to admit that my wardrobe has gotten rid of the little colour that it once had before moving. I tend to wear mostly black, whites and greys with a few accessories to add some colour (if I can choose they’re most of the time in dusty pinks). I can’t live without a good t-shirt and a nice pair of simple yet elegant Louboutin heels for evening events.

Even though the whole city is currently sporting Stan Smiths I haven’t given into that temptation just yet and clinging on to my classic black Chanel flats instead (although I did give in just a tiny bit and invested in a pair of floral YSL sneakers – something I never thought would happen a few years ago since I’ve never been a sneakers-kind-of-girl). I still admire the French women for their impeccable style and for looking like they just woke up and rolled out of bed and into their Isabel Marant boots and red lips. One day I’ll learn their trick!

 
Story by Stephanie Russo and Rikki Hodge-Smith; Photography by Grace Alyssa Kyo; Styling by Carin Olsson; Some quotes sourced from Paris In Four Months