If there is one nation who understands a thing or two about living well and all that that entails, it’s the French. Not only have they mastered the art of going about their daily lives with an innate sense of style. But because they manage to make their lifestyle look so good, the world inevitably looks to the French for the best tips on living well and making the most out of life. After studying the habits of the French girl and her alluringly laid-back attitudes, we discovered that there are a few principles that these women are taught from birth. Because of these principles, French girls enjoy a supreme level of wellness and beauty – and it’s surprisingly easy!
1. The inside is as important as the out
As soon as she can feed herself, every French girl learns to be conscientious about what she puts into her body. She believes in the concept that beauty starts from the inside. As a nation, the French traditionally live according to the principles of the Mediterranean diet.
This diet focuses on whole grains and plant-based meals, olive oil and fresh produce, fish, and lean meat. Then they finish it off with loads of water. French model and Instagram star Jeanne Damas says she also enjoys herbal tea and mineral water. Buckets of it. Other nourishment principles that are part of the French lifestyle:
- Most of their food is produced locally
- Meals are made fresh each day
- Special attention is given to ingredients
- Mealtimes are considered sacred
- Processed foods aren’t eaten regularly
- Rich-in-resveratrol red wine is enjoyed approximately once a day with meals
This lifestyle aspect results not only in amazing vitality and feel-good but also in great skin. Speaking of which…
2. Skincare gets more attention than makeup
These women live in their skin in a way that’s a bit different from the rest of the world. Also, skincare is an important part of how they are raised. But what is their prime secret on how to get that coveted lit-from-the-inside glow?
From a young age, they focus on wearing SPF, drinking lots of water, eating well, and working to have skin that’s as perfect as they can get it. With this foundation, they don’t need to put in so much effort with makeup. In the end, this is the only way to enjoy healthy, hydrated skin throughout your lifetime, and it’s the best insurance against aging.
On top of that, regular facials and beauty treatments are considered essential rituals. Instead of being seen as an indulgence. And of course, French pharmacies are legendary for having some of the best skincare products in the world. Founder of the cult skincare brand Caudalie, Mathilde Thomas, explains to MindBodyGreen that for a French girl, a little bit of pampering isn’t just a luxury. “It is about choosing only the best and understanding that you are entitled to have a beauty regime that makes you look and feel beautiful at the same time.”
2. French girls understood mindfulness long before it was a thing
In the book My French Life – written by Vickie Archur – the author tells a story of how she was visiting a Parisian friend of hers. She suggests they get takeaway coffee. The friend looks at her in confusion, and can’t understand why she would want to do that. In the story, Archer sheds light on an important element of the French girl. She explains that something like takeaway coffee, for the French, defeats the purpose of enjoying a good cup of coffee. Especially when it’s shared with a friend.
That’s because it’s something that requires attention, focus, and true enjoyment. In other words, what we know today as mindfulness. You need to be able to sit down, serve the coffee in a cappuccino cup and saucer, and savor the experience.
After all, that’s what makes it worthwhile. The exception here is that you would never need to teach a French girl how to practice mindfulness. It is part and parcel of how they operate anyway. They understand the value of enjoying the simple parts of their day, and they have the ability to truly be in the moment.
3. They stay slim throughout their lifetimes
Ever wonder why French women enjoy slender physiques at all ages, despite the rich foods that make up their diet? This is something the world has marveled at for years, and there are a few components at play here. We already mentioned how they focus their attention fully on what they put in their mouths. They enjoy meals that are made by hand, using fresh produce and quality ingredients. On top of that, they commit to small serving sizes and eat slowly. This results in fewer calories and better satiety.
In his book, The French Diet: The Secrets of Why French Women Don’t Get Fat, author Michel Montignac explains that pairing low-GI foods with good fats (such as olive oil) and applying a consistent order with their foods is one habit that has kept the French lean for centuries.
Now while gym culture has never really hit it off in France, as much as it did in the rest of the world. French girls stay fit too. Their trick is to walk everywhere they go and keep a brisk pace for at least half an hour every day.
Speaking to Byrdie, Caroline de Maigret says that she arranges her day in order to optimize this. “For example, if I have an appointment and I go by car, I park 20 minutes [away]. Paris is a city where you walk a lot. Sometimes I just walk for an hour, if I have time, which is the same hour you would have gone to the gym – my mind is happier that way.”
4. They pick one feature and give it all the attention.
Red lips and bare eyes. Or smokey eyes and a bare face. Usually, when going out, a French girl commits to highlighting one aspect of her appearance. Be it her tousled hair paired with a statement headband or statement red lips. This way, there’s no competition between different features. Her look is all about elegance and confidence.
5. Imperfections are okay and simplicity is key
One of the biggest secrets of French girls? Their look is usually a bit undone – not quite perfect. They embrace their little imperfections and make them part of their look.
For example, applying their eyeshadow and then smudging it a little to give it that lived-in feel. Instead of piling on layer and layer of foundation. They will prep their skin well and apply just a dab of concealer, mascara, and red lipstick. And while the world was anxiously buying various different contouring kits and drawing brown lines to sketch the illusion of cheekbones, that trend never really made it over the Atlantic, as French girls still prefer to use light instead of dark pigments on their skin.
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