When it comes to French women and the notion of French beauty practices, effortlessly chic is a phrase that gets thrown around quite often. French women are generally thought of in a whimsical sense here in America, their beauty perceived as being both a bit ethereal and sensual. And while we may contour our makeup or layer foundation in order to achieve defined features and flawless complexions, our efforts to mimic the sensuality of French beauty couldn't be farther from actual French practices. Many French women shy away from the use of foundations and apply very minimal makeup, relying on their skincare routines and eating habits to provide them with clear, radiant skin.
If less foundation and minimal makeup sound appealing to you, this may be the perfect time to consider switching to more French oriented beauty practices. And luckily, with the July release of The French Beauty Solution by Mathilde Thomas, founder of the French beauty brand Caudalie, you'll be privy to many of the recipes and beauty practices that help French women highlight their natural exuberance. Because truly, French beauty practices are about highlighting your inherent attributes, and allowing the notion of beauty to be more of a verb — a practice of enjoyment, and movement through life experiencing loveliness in the form of personal respect and pampering. As Mathilde Thomas has said, "Beauty is something to give you pleasure. Because when you feel good, you look good."
The pursuit of pleasure in beauty may go against the grain for some Americans, which goes to show just how deeply rooted the differences in American and French culture can be. But if achieving beauty is to be a daily part of our existence, then why not embrace the concept that we don't have to chase it, and instead, we can relax a bit, and allow it to shine naturally from within as we go about appreciating our lives and the world around us? For me, that core value is more than reason enough to embrace French beauty practices, but if you're still not convinced, here are a few more points to consider.
1. It's Good For Your Health
Since incredible hair and skin are the basis of French beauty, you'll want to ensure you're consuming lots of water and fresh, unprocessed foods. As we know, doing so, generally speaking, leads to clearer skin, brighter eyes, and healthier hair growth. And, according to Violette, a Paris-based editorial makeup artist, in a recent interview with Vogue, "French women try to eat organic as much as possible — and as little sugar as possible."
2. Wanna Drink More Red Wine?
Me too! In French culture, drinking red wine goes beyond simple pleasure. It's a lifestyle, and the benefits extend into the realm of beauty. At moderate levels, drinking red wine can harden your teeth's enamel, for pearlier, stronger whites, boost your skin's natural radiance with plenty of antioxidants, and help you get better beauty sleep by boosting your melatonin levels.
3. You Can Revel In Red Lipstick
Yes, French women tend to wear less makeup. However, that means they depend on the makeup they do wear to make a statement. And what makes a bolder statement than voluptuous red lips? Red lipstick is a staple of French beauty, and should be worn often. It may just help you get in touch with your fearless side — to live life courageously and with great, beautiful, vigor. (The red wine will help, too.)
4. More Massage!
What's more enjoyable than a massage? Very little, my friends. And that's another reason to love French beauty practices. French women take time to enjoy their beauty regimens, and while applying their cleansers and moisturizers, many pamper themselves with a relaxing and purposeful facial massage. For a quick tutorial, watch epidermatologist Isabelle Bellis perform a facial massage on Into the Gloss.
5. Forget About No Pain, No Gain: French Beauty Is Totally Body Positive
Since French beauty revolves around being yourself, not a different version of yourself, it's totally in line with the body positive movement that's taking the United States by storm right now. And amen to that!
I have complete and total respect for the French attitude that every woman is beautiful, sexy, and alluring in her own way, without needing to alter herself. She could strive to assimilate to someone else's style if she wanted to, but why would she, when she is already so inherently lovely as she is?
Again, according to Violette, most French women don't ascribe to obsessive gym culture. French women sincerely believe in activities being participated in for pleasure, not for pain, or for the pursuit of standardized perfection.
6. You'll Spend Less On Makeup
Although baring your skin without foundation means focusing on cleaner eating and spending some worthwhile bucks up front for a reliable skincare line, some things you can strike off of your beauty list are extensive concealers, dark shadows, and bronzers. Without having to buy foundations regularly, think of how much money you'll be able to invest in worthwhile pastimes, like conservation, aiding youth groups... or buying more coffee/tea to offset your invigorated red wine ingestion.
7. Enjoy Your Time On Earth
OK, this goes back to that original core value again, but it's worth reiterating. Generally speaking, we only have about eight or nine decades here on Earth, if we're lucky, and regardless of what you believe about when happens after we pass, isn't it worth enjoying the time that we're given? To live a life fully is to relish the experiences we're presented with, and nothing is more beautiful than a person fully immersed in the enjoyment of an experience. So, let that joie de vivre be your blush and the light that gives radiance and warmth to your eyes.
Images: PEA Predozioni Europee; Giphy (8)