Beauty & Health, First Blush

First Blush – April

There are few cultures whose women garner more attention than the sexy, moody, natural nonchalance of French women. Perfectly imperfect locks, fresh, minimal makeup, luminescent skin, and an almost military-strict skin care routine that is as French as brie and Beaujolais all combine to create the alluring mystique of the femme fatale.

It’s a disciplined lifestyle that fosters a beauty and style that is as coveted as it is timeless. Some say when French girls finally become teenagers they get their first visit to the dermatologist to learn how to properly care for their skin. But what are those of us to do who haven’t been blessed with a personal aesthetician since high school? If you haven’t before, you know you’re now wondering what they’re doing over there to get that certain … je ne sais quoi. Although every woman possesses a wealth of natural beauty and allure, it’s a combination of time-honored traditions, techniques, and rituals, along with that uniquely Gallic and enlightened attitude that make French women the envy of women worldwide. Read on to discover what it takes to steal the look of an entire sexy nation for yourself. Bon chance!

Adopt a different wrinkle attitude!

Here in America we are quick to jump into extreme and invasive procedures like Botox or facelifts at the first sign of what we think of as imperfection. The French have adopted a much gentler and more therapeutic approach to caring for the delicate skin on your face, as well as a much more enlightened attitude when it comes to aging. Next time you apply your daily moisturizer, instead of slapping it on willy nilly as you run out the door, take the time to sit back, relax, and give yourself a facial massage.

Opt for a richer, more decadent face cream and work it into drained skin with a deep massaging motion. It’s just like working out your body for more fit, firmer, toned muscles, but for your face! Start with kneading the heels of your palms along your jawline, up toward the ears, over the temples, and from the brows and hairline down to your nasal and sinus passages. You’ll glow and feel surprisingly refreshed—seriously! Short of slowing down and making facial care more of an enjoyable task, adopt the Gallic attitude that wrinkles are the mark of an experienced, worldly woman who lives life fully and has a deeper, more knowing attitude.

Keep it Simple and Look to the Pharmacie
This year Paris Fashion Week honored all of us drugstore junkies by utilizing the best of what French pharmacies have to offer. It’s worth doing a bit of research to see where you can find these gems, but if you do you’ll not only look great but feel très chic when you casually bust out these products in front of your girlfriends.

Bioderma is a repeat fashion week favorite for its all encompassing beauty powers. It will clean your makeup brushes or remove a face full of product in a flash without a slick of grease in sight. For all your makeup removal needs, this is your new best friend.

If you’re the type that likes to go au naturale, give this homeopathic salve a try on chapped lips. It’s not at all greasy, so it’s perfect for layering pigment or product without worrying it will slide right off. Best part? The matte finish and the fact that it doubles as a healing ointment for itchy skin or those mysterious weekend scrapes (last Saturday night, anyone?).

This is a French pharmacy all-star that works as both the perfect lightweight moisturizer and the ultimate go-to for creating dewy makeup looks on eyes and cheeks. Simply dab onto lids with your favorite powder product for an edgy glossy eye or feminine glowing cheek.

Mask It
The French are all about enjoying life’s little pleasures and hair and skin masks, equated with relaxation and indulgence, are no exception.  Whether you find the ingredients in your fridge for a homemade concoction or try a store bought product, masks should be a part of every woman’s routine to hydrate and brighten skin and hair. True to form, French women take this to a whole other level.  Simply put, they grow up knowing to do a mask at least a few times a week, and to make your own if you can’t afford to buy a commercial preparation. But unlike most French beauty rituals, this is no time to sit around. French women make the most of their time by wearing their masks during their morning coffee or while they tidy their flats. Try Caudalie (a French obsession) Moisturizing Cream Mask for a great  dry-skin remedy or as a night cream for sensitive skin. Diminished pores, plumper complexion, et voila!

Written by: Genvieve LeFranc

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