[By Tasha Delano]
Our overseas beauty correspondant Tasha is currently taking a sabbatical to pursue her interest in digital fashion art &design in Paris, and nothing makes her happier than being mistaken for a sassy native French girl.
Be it screen legend Catherine Deneuve, Academy award winner Marion Cotillard, ex-supermodel turned First Lady Carla Bruni or the everyday madamoiselle strutting down Left Bank, there is just something about French ladies that sets them apart from other women. And for the lack of a better word, this unique brand of beauty is best described as distinctively ‘French’. If you would like to emulate their style to exude your own air of je ne sais quoi, here are 5 beauty secrets of French women that’ll promise to transform you from “Les Misérables” to “La Vie En Rose” if you follow through!
Good skincare is a necessity, not luxury
From a young age, French girls are taught by their mothers who are in turn taught by theirs, to take good care of their skin. Be it her complexion, body shape or hair, the true blue French lady is more interested in ways to set her foundation right to give her a good start, rather than rely on an endless arsenal of tricks and products to hide the flaws.A daily skin care regime, no matter how long it takes or how many products are needed, is a necessary part of her life. Similarly, she is committed to eating small potions of a varied diet to keep her weight and body shape in check, and maintains the condition of her coiffure in tip top condition to give you that achingly chic and effortless tousled mane that’s almost a trademark of theirs. Regular manicures and professional spa treatments are therefore viewed as legitimate pampering as every girl is entitled to have a beauty routine that makes her look and feel beautiful au naturale, inside out.
Choose quality over quantity
From the haute couture gowns created by Christian Lacroix and Yves Saint Laurent to the bespoke line of handcrafted leather goods from Maison Goyard, every other fashion city in the world is always trying to play catch up with the impeccable workmanship offered by the French artisans. Quality often presides over quantity as far as the French girl is concern. Instead of a wardrobe cramped full of disposable high street fashion, hers is more likely to be filled with well invested choice pieces that are high on quality, style and mileage, thoughtfully curated over the years. Likewise, it pays to consult a professional skincare specialist or aesthetician to have a proper assessment of your dermal needs to put together a beauty routine that serves your individual’s needs, avoiding blind rummages in bargain bins which can add up quickly to cost more in the long run.
When less is often more
Often acknowledged as the world’s most elegant woman, fashion icon Coco Chanel, who’s quintessentially French was said to have advised the following when dressing up with accessories— “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”
Less is often more and this mantra holds true when it comes to the use of makeup for French ladies. Most French girls would not dabble in heavy contouring that leaves their faces painted into unrecognizable alter egos. When you think of typical French makeup, you probably conjure an image of artfully smudged eyeliner and maybe a light swipe of red lipstick for that famous “done-but-not-done look”. Her emphasis is more on glowing, great-looking skin that shouldn’t be hidden under layers and layers of urban warpaint.
Rejuvenate, refine and even out your skin tone with the Brilliant Skin Program, engaging Fraxel Light, the laser-airbrush-of-choice to transform your skin to the perfect blank canvas for the “no-makeup” makeup look favored by the Mesdames from Marseilles to Paris. Utilizing premier Fraxel technology at individually tailored settings to harvest its benefits while keeping downtime to near zero, this lunchtime laser treatment is designed to refresh dull, fatigued complexions and radically correct skin discolouration and textural irregularities while stimulating collagen regeneration concurrently to delight even the snootiest of all French aristocrats!
Endorse facial idiosyncrasies
In French language, there’s an expression Jolie Laide, which can be loosely translated as “Ugly Beauty”. In a nation that recognises and celebrates individuality and uniqueness, unconventional physical traits which some might view as deformities are embraced under the notion of Jolie Laide. Be it her facial features, hair or body type, French girls work with these traits rather than against them to bring out the best of their unique selves.
“Instead of having a drastic overhaul to morph yourself into a standard cookie cutter beauty without a trace of originality, beautification procedures should rightfully serve to enhance your best features to give you a natural transformation into a better looking version of your own self.” Explains Dr. Tan Ying Chien, consultant plastic surgeon with The Sloane Clinic. “In accordance to this line of thought, the desirable end results should therefore come across as a refreshed look and not one that is obviously done.”
Embrace graceful aging
French women that come of age are not going to lose a lot of sleep over an extra wrinkle on her face or that few strands of white hair peeping through. It is also unlikely to find them making a beeline for facelifts and extreme makeovers, adopt makeup and hair trends that come across as “mutton dressed as lamb”. French women are more likely to embrace graceful aging, accepting the passage of youth as part and parcel of life, but still remained well put together to look her best at any given age. Thanks to her conscientious daily skincare routine from a young age, marks left behind by Father Time are less harsh and easier to dealt with gentler options to turn back the clock.
Dream Sculpture is a cutting edge technique of using Sculptra, a biocompatible and biodegradable compound made of Poly-L-lactic acid, to boost your skin’s own collagen reserves to allow it to stay young, supple and lifted for a longer period of time. The concept behind Sculptra is that it is a natural collagen stimulator, working in overdrive after being introduced as a ‘natural fertilizer’ to jump start collagenesis over the next 4 to 6 weeks. Unlike the effects of traditional Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers which are reversed once they get metabolised, collagen that is stimulated into production stays for a long time long after the Sculptura injected is gone. Depending on your age and the number of treatments you have undergone, results can last for 2 to 3 years.
In addition, there’s clearly a resurgence in the popularity of lasers and other modalities which harness one own skin’s own capability to rejuvenate with the appropriate stimuli. The Youth Revival Program is specially tailored for those seeking a natural looking ‘perk-me-up’ sans surgery. Combining the FDA approved Ulthera which utilizes ultrasound energy for intense facial lifting with a youth-enhancing long pulsed Light Lift treatment, one can achieve a ‘non-surgical facelift’ with tighter, smoother and more lifted skin without breaking a sweat.Très agréable!