How To Bring That French Girl Je Ne Sais Quoi Into Your Beauty Routine.
I’ve been obsessed with all things French since forever, spanning the range from the culinary delights (buttery croissants!), the beverages (pour me a bubbly, please) to the dreamy charm of the adorable films (Amélie !).
But the one thing I’m head over heels in love with?
Their beauty secrets.
That French-girl chic, that air of sophistication, that inimitable elegance?
I’m a sucker for it.
Women all over the world have created, refined and perfected beauty rituals drawing deeply from their cultural heritage, such as the rooted in Ayurveda skincare secrets of India, or the simplistic minimalism of the Scandinavian.
But the French are in a league of their own.
There’s just something about that country that conjures up visions of perfect chignons, perfectly tailored dresses and a bold red lip.
And while it might not always be possible to hop on a flight to Paris (the dream!), there’s always tips and tricks to bring that alluring Je Ne Sais Quoi into your own life, by way of something you probably already know a lot about: your beauty routine.
Let’s take it from the top, and work our way downwards.
French Girl Beauty Secret 1- An Enchantingly Fragrant Hair Masque
French women aren’t a fan of complex hair styling tools, heat-powered appliances or artificial hair care products, by far preferring to opt for natural, no fuss rituals.
Keeping in mind this overarching Parisienne theme of nature over man-made, they typically eschew chemical laden treatments in favor of organic ingredients such as fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and oils.
One such homespun beauty concoction that the French swear by is this intensely nourishing hair mask made of lavender and coconut.
Every beauty maven knows the many, many wonders of coconut- shimmering body balms, restorative hair oils, lip salve and so much more.
For this beauty recipe, French women call upon both coconut oil and coconut milk, the oil for the moisturizing properties and the milk for the massive dose of hydration.
The oil and milk work in tandem to coat your strands in moisture, seeping into the roots and replenishing lost hydration caused by harsh shampoos and the like.
Boosting the hair’s natural elasticity, the coconut softens and strengthens, revitalizing dull, lifeless locks.
As for the lavender, this soft-hued flower from the balmy fields of Provence is so much more than just something pretty to plant on your windowsill.
Lavender is chock full of medicinal and healing elements, including potent anti-inflammatories, antiseptics and stimulation of new skin cell formation.
Along with the wide array of remedies backed by science, lavender is fantastic for soothing angry, inflamed skin caused by rashes, sunburn, cuts and scrapes, nourishing dry areas such as the elbows, knees and hands as well as bestowing a subtle shimmer to the skin.
French women blended these two powerful ingredients together in a double whammy to detoxify and deep cleanse their hair, removing product buildup, gently exfoliating the scalp and lending hair a swishy, glossy sheen.
To reap the benefits of this combo, all you need to do is mix one tablespoon of pure lavender oil with two tablespoons of coconut oil and milk respectively.
Here’s a bonus beauty secret- instead of simply spreading the mixture through your hair, flip your hair over your head and thoroughly massage the masque throughout, taking care to cover the roots and tips.
This lets you distribute the mask evenly through your hair, and as an added perk, increases blood circulation and encourages faster and stronger hair growth.
Plus, the masque has an absolutely divine scent!
French Girl Beauty Secret 2- The Face Mask Marie Antoinette Used On The Reg
Mask it like Marie: other than her infamous ‘Let them eat cake!’ declaration, the 18th century French royal Marie Antoinette was known for her signature face mask, a creme made of cognac, egg whites, lemon juice and milk.
That might not sound very enticing, but hear me out; if a French woman made legend for her glamorous lifestyle and devotion to luxury was a firm believer of this mask’s transformative properties, you know it’s gotta be good.
And what’s really fascinating about this mask is the fact that centuries later, women in France still use this very concoction to rejuvenate their skin and look years younger.
Simple: because everything that this mask is composed of includes heavy duty, powerhouse ingredients with anti-aging properties.
Cognac, for one, is host to a plethora of skin cell renewing polyphenols that help to increase blood circulation, smooth over open pores and even out the complexion.
Eggs are a staple when it comes to your protein intake; but they’re equally effective when applied topically.
Combining the strengthening qualities of protein with the magnesium content, egg whites go a long way towards halting premature aging and reversing the skin progression on your face, leaving you with soft, supple skin.
Lastly, the mask calls upon the usage of lemon for its mild bleaching and exfoliating effects, to banish those pesky dark spots, getting rid of dead skin cells bunched up on the top layer of your face, and spreading an overall brightening glow.
French Girl Beauty Secret 3- Soft Skin Like You Won’t Believe, Courtesy Of The Humble Grape.
I love me some grapes, preferably in a tall glass with a classy charcuterie board and a Parisian skyline to go with it.
Even if a glass of French Cabernet wine isn’t always an option, this ridiculously refreshing scented scrub is the next best thing.
Made with an intoxicating blend of crushed grape seeds, sugar and honey, this indulgent body scrub uses this trifecta of potent organic ingredients to pack a powerful punch for the skin.
Crushed Cabernet grape seeds gently buff away dead skin cells, clearing away the grime accumulated throughout the day.
Brown, white or cane sugar exfoliates the top layer of the epidermis, revealing the smoother skin underneath.
Honey, preferably Manuka if you can get it, delivers a much needed dose of deep hydration and moisturization to soothe the dry-as-the-Sahara rough skin on your knees, elbows, knuckles and hands.
After using this scrub in the shower, carefully pat your skin dry with a non-abrasive towel and follow up with a creamy body butter.
French Girl Beauty Secret 4- Less Is More, Mon Cherie.
The French are staunch believers in the philosophy of ‘less is more’, especially when it comes to their beauty routines, opting for simplistic, no-fuss rituals rather than complicated, multiple step skincare routines with several products with ingredients you can barely pronounce.
Following that line of thinking, the ever-so-chic women of France have developed a certain beauty process, such as taking a deep dive into the basics rather than messing around with the artificial angle.
French women take great care of their hair, skin and health through organic and preventative methods; such as favoring rich, moisture laden hair masques rather than expensive salon treatments and the like.
Self-care is an important concept in France, as women understand it means so much more than just swiping on a coat of lipstick and calling it a day.
Instead, they choose to switch off from their busy lives, light a fragrant candle for some calming aromatherapy, run a warm bubble bath with a heavenly potpourri of floral petals and curl up with a good book or movie and pour themselves a flute of champagne.
Last But Not Least, Here’s Some Rapid fire French beauty tips:
Lightly spritz your decolletage with cold water to stimulate blood flow and encourage circulation in this delicate region.
Remove makeup with oils rather than harsh wipes or cleansers, such as sweet almond oil or sunflower oil.
Infuse water with cucumbers, fresh berries and sprigs of mint to increase water consumption-plus the fruits and veggies impart some goodness as well!
Mix a cup of sea salt with three tablespoons of olive oil for a decadent hand and foot scrub. For an added splash of scent, try a few drops of geranium essential oil.
Opt for exclusively using French milled soaps- they’re miles better for your skin!
Tie some Eucalyptus to your showerhead for a clarifying, decongesting bathing experience.
And that, ladies, is the fascinating Je Ne Sais Quoi of the French Girl- which of these Parisienne rituals do you plan to try out?