French girls have always been heralded as the goddesses of all that is fashion and beauty. Their phrases make us sound sophisticated and their pastries expand our haute coutured waistlines. What is it about French girls that makes them such icons? After some analyzing, the verdict was that it’s the easy and effortless way they look, dress and act. Femininity is not forced, their etiquette is not learned and beauty is kept simple. Here are eight tips for that undeniable je ne sais quoi.
When I think posture, I think of my mother poking me in the back to stand up straight. French girl posture isn’t a rigidly straight back and eyes that stare straight ahead. Their backs are straightened by confidence, not arrogance. There’s an easy way arms swing at their sides and their heads are bent ever so slightly giving off a friendly cool-girl vibe.
All our beauty products have French on them. From L’Oreal to La Mer, French words are all over. Actual French girls, however, keep it quite simple. Wash and moisturize in the evening and go easy on the makeup. Their number one secret came to the US a little while ago, and now micellar water is all the rage. It’s an easy solution to the grime that collects on our face. Simply pour the water onto a cotton pad and wipe the yuck away. The trick to flawless skin is to keep it clean and as makeup-free as you can
We are only realizing now what they knew a long time ago. Natural beauty is the best beauty. Highlights, contours and full coverage are giving way to glowing, healthy looking skin. Color correct where it’s needed but other than that, leave your face alone! Add a swipe of blush to your cheeks and use the leftovers on your nose for that windswept look. With eyeliner, make sure it’s close to the lashline and keep it thin. Line the bottom with a brown or less severe black to keep the look clean. You can also go sans liner if you dare. A red lip is essential but know when to use pigment. A lip stain may be better in some occasions than a bold cherry color.
Beat the heat. Leave aside the curling irons, straightening irons, diffusers and all manner of hot hair mania. The essence of a French girl’s hair is health. Use a hair mask to get rid of split ends and nourish your hair to the point where it beams. Once hair is healthy, it will look good effortlessly. You can tousle it with some sea salt spray, cut it into a no-maintenance bob or leave it straight and parted down the middle. Overly done up hair in perfect beachy waves are a thing of the past.
Other than its name, French manicures have nothing to do with France. French girls generally don’t get their nails done. Nails are kept bare or lightly colored, adding to their effortless chic. Fake and long nails are considered quite un-chic and they opt for shorter, rounded more natural looking nails.
A confident girl knows when to wear flats. Shoes are made for walking and if you’re going more than a few blocks in stilettos, you will look silly. Chic is defined by confidence and flats can be just as complimentary to an outfit as heels can. There’s this notion that the higher the heel the more fashionable you are. In France, the city of the fashionable, flats and heels have equal merit. The test of your fashion sense comes when you make the choice.
Our culture has always been one of breaking rules and defying boundaries. “Ironic” is the word being used to describe it. There have been graphic tees with ball gown skirts, high tops with party dresses and complete structures a la Comme des Garcons. In France, they dress for the occasion. You go to the gym in sweats and to lunch in a dress. There is great fun in “switching it up” but there is also something refreshing to keeping with tradition.
Everyone has their favorite scent. The one you don’t even smell anymore because it’s just there all the time. Aside from dressing for the occasion, French girls put on perfume for the occasion as well. You don’t need more than two or three fragrances. A fresh floral, a sweet and flirty and a warmer sultry scent are the ones I’d choose. It’s what people subconsciously remember as it arrives before you and leaves after you do. Don’t be heavy handed, though. If placed strategically you’ll get the “she comes that way” vibe instead of a cloyingly overpowering scent. Heat activates the scent so dab some in areas like the bottom of your neck, behind your ears, in the crook of your arm and even behind your knee.
Easy is alluring so stop spending two hours perfecting your features, and work with the fabulous ones you have. It’s what makes you different, unique and so very French.