12 French beauty secrets, tips and tricks

France, the land of style, fashion and some of the best cosmetics, has also given us the image of the effortlessly perfect French woman. Always impeccably dressed and made up, with flawless skin and hair, this image has caused a lot of envy. So, how do they do it? Of course, not all French women are this perfect – no nationality can boast all-perfect women or men – but there are some tips and tricks that are special to the ladies in France and help them maintain their good looks. Here are some of them:

1. Abundance of water

First one of important French beauty secrets is abundant hydration. Yes, we all know that hydration from within is essential for healthy, glowing skin and hair, but do we drink as much water as necessary? The French do. And they don’t just drink it, they also spray it on their faces. We’re talking about mineral water, of course, from the famed hot springs of France. Many cosmetics makers put mineral water in their products too.

2. Tradition

Girls grow up in France being taught grandma’s and mum’s beauty routine, so they develop as beauty-conscious and health-conscious individuals, which can only be beneficial, if done in moderation. “This was grandma’s favourite face mask…”, “Grandma always used to wash her face before she went to bed”, this sort of thing tends to stick.

3. Makeup rule of ‘less is best’

The French rule for doing makeup is ‘less is more’. It’s more important that you have healthy skin, albeit freckled, than acne-stricken skin hidden under a tonne of makeup. French ladies prefer the natural way, so they really tend to stop at the basics, when using makeup. A couple of coats of mascara and some lipstick is the usual choice.

4. Bedtime beauty routine

Having said that, we need noting that whatever little makeup they use, French women make sure they never go to bed without removing it and washing their face. However, using water on the face is also done in moderation – washing it too often, even with plain water and no soaps, tends to dry the skin eventually.

5. No hair driers 

In France hair driers are not the most popular consumer electronics. Leaving the hair to dry naturally, without even brushing it, while it’s wet, is another one of popular French beauty secrets, and there’s a good reason for it. Blowdrying does more than you need, it makes the hair too dry and brittle, and you don’t want that. Just let it dry in its own time.

6. Twice a week 

Speaking of hair, we need to say something about washing routines. Forget about shampoo every day, in France they do it twice a week, in order to retain the nourishing oils that the scalp releases into the hair. Disgusting? Au contraire! This is the healthy way to keep your hair strong and shiny, and, yes, clean.

7. No staring at the sun

Another one of important French beauty secrets is to avoid direct sun exposure. Vitamin D is all very good but direct exposure to the sun is not. French ladies know how harmful the sun rays can be and they do everything they can to avoid them, even if it means carrying an umbrella in the middle of a bright summer day. Knowing that it’s these sun rays that are culprit number one for premature skin ageing, they do have a point, no?

8. Gym? No, thanks!

Unlike other cultures, the French are not so obsessed with the image of the perfectly fit body. Many of them find gyms utterly boring, which is why they are not flocking there in their hundreds. Yet this doesn’t mean that they don’t exercise, they just do it as part of other activities. Walking, for example is a common way of keeping themselves fit, as well as getting from one place to another, of course.

9. Homemade masks 

Natural, homemade masks is a big part of French beauty secrets. Some say that every girl in Paris has her own beauty routine for which she uses the contents of her fridge and kitchen cupboards. These routines are often a continuation of the family tradition we mentioned earlier, of grandma’s masks. Honey, fruit, egg yolks, olive oil and vinegar are commonly used ingredients for facial and hair masks. There are also region-specific ones such as lavender or seaweed.

10. Cold shower

Cold shower is another one of French beauty secrets. Cold water can significantly improve your blood circulation, so after the usual routine with warm water, French girls like to turn the cold tap on. Then follows some rigorous wiping with the towel to add to the refreshing effect of cold water. This routine energizes not just the body but the mind as well and can be better than any amount of coffee in the morning.

11. Accessorise 

The right accessories can turn one single dress into several outfits. French women know how important accessorising is, and having a taste for it allows them to keep their clothes for longer, rather than changing their wardrobe every season, because, you know, that dress is no longer in.

12. Perfume is importnat 

Perfume plays a very important role in French beauty secrets. The perfume is part of who you are. Forget makeup; your favourite fragrance can do wonders for your self-confidence. This is, of course, supported by high-quality skin care, because, admittedly, you can only afford to go minimal with the make up if your skin looks OK. So, drink water, wear perfume and take good care of your skin to look French.

Do you know some other French beauty secrets, tips and tricks?

Stay happy!

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