When it comes to French women, Americans always seem to want to know one thing: how do they always manage to look so effortlessly cool? When walking the streets of Paris, it’s impossible not to marvel at French beauty; between the perfectly tousled hair, the no-makeup makeup look that just works, and the general glamour that seems to come naturally to them. That’s not to say that Americans are doing everything wrong when it comes to makeup and skincare but there’s no denying that there’s a big difference between American and French women’s beauty routines.
In fact, an entire industry has basically been built on these differences. The idea of French beauty is extremely profitable here in the US. There are best-selling books on the subject, a product line that is literally called French Girl Organics, and thousands of Google search results on how to master the art of getting ready like a French woman.
Below are the biggest differences between American and French women’s beauty routines that could inspire you to switch up your own.
American women are more interested in quick solutions.
The Dreaming Lily/Flickr
Think about the marketing for American beauty products and procedures: most things revolve around quick solutions and fast results. In the US, we’re more impatient about seeing a change in how we look, especially when it comes to beauty. It seems to be the opposite for French women. Mathilde Thomas, the founder of iconic French beauty brand Caudalie, discusses this difference in her book, “The French Beauty Solution.”
Thomas writes about the differences she noticed in French and American culture when in the US, saying, “For the French, our beauty routine is predicated on prevention and upkeep and is regarded as an essential, ongoing investment. What I saw here, however, was much more of a tendency toward the quick solution.”
French women don’t have a goal of looking “perfect.”
American beauty is often about looking “flawless.” French women, on the other hand, have a much more relaxed approach. Garance Doré, a French style blogger, photographer, illustrator, and author of “Love Style Life,” told Allure, “In New York, women will spend hours getting their hair and nails done before a party and show up looking perfect and pristine, but that’s totally against a French woman’s style. You would never see that there. Nobody would be at a party talking about how they just got a blowout because French fashion doesn’t have that sense of shiny perfection. The coolest French girl is the one who makes people think she’s not trying too hard – and, honestly, she probably isn’t.”
French actress Mona Walravens said something similar in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, stating, “I feel that Americans have a more standardized approach to beauty, whereas the strength of French women lies in their physical uniqueness. We accept imperfections and manage to emphasize the unique aspect of beauty instead of trying to modify and change it and move towards a standard of beauty, like having full lips and a small nose.”
French women are more likely to stick with products they love.
One thing many French women are known for is their tendency to find a product they love and use it forever. Here in America, beauty is a huge industry where many people are constantly trying something new. In her interview with Allure, Doré said, “We tend to wear the same makeup when we’re 14 as we do when we’re 94. The nightmare of a French girl is a product getting discontinued. It’s not uncommon to hear your friends buying dozens of their favorite perfumes or lipsticks, even before they’re discontinued.”
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