Emma headshot

I took French in school, starting when I was 12.

It won’t shock you to know that I don’t use those language skills that often in my present day situation.

(I should say that these days, when I say, “pardon my French,” it’s not REALLY referring to the language of love. It’s probably in reference to a different 4-letter word.)

I took grammar classes, composition courses, culture and politics classes, basically the entire 9 yards, and I learned that, apparently, the French are tastemakers. They expect the whole world to look to them for guidance in the realms of food, fashion and beauty.

And, for the most part, we do. I just read an article that was titled, “Beauty Secrets French Women Swear By,” and since both a) French women and b) swearing are 2 topics that are very dear to me, I figured I’d share what I learned.

I learned that French women stick to simple skincare products.

Well, score 1 for Emma. I am the queen of simple skincare, and that’s mainly because I refuse to spend a ton of money on froufy soaps, toners, scrubs and serums that probably won’t work for my skin, which somehow is both oily and dry…? How exactly does that work? Is that the genetic skin jackpot or what?

Another tip from ze French: “Find a signature scent.”

How are we feeling about perfume these days? The ole toilet water scenario? Honestly, I could actually get on board with this tip. I have a preferred perfume scent, actually, that I’ve been trying to find for ages, and I’d probably splurge on it if I found it.

(In case anyone cares, it’s Celine Dion’s “Pure Brilliance” perfume. I usually have an issue with every celebrity thinking that they need to come out with a perfume line, but hers is actually good. And I will stand by that.)

Right now, I’m channeling my inner high-school Emma and wearing some cheap body spray I probably found in a clearance bin at the Romney Rite Aid (before it switched to Walgreens, of course). So, I could use a signature scent. As my mother would so eloquently say, “I’ll take it under advisement.”

Apparently, in the beauty world, the French only emphasize 1 facial feature when they do their makeup. Like, just the eyes, or just the lips. Well, with a mask covering most of my face these days, a swipe of mascara is all you people are going to get.

The article also said that French girls swear by micellar water.

To be quite franc, I don’t even know what that is. Maybe I’ll Google it. Maybe I won’t. It sounds expensive, doesn’t it?  

The last tip was a laugh and a half for yours truly: “air dry your hair.”

MY curls? This mop on the top of my head? If you think I’ll be walking around with the wind blowing in my hair, with the end result being anything other than tragique, you have another thing coming, France.

Beauty is an interesting concept. I guess those French gals have a reputation for being effortlessly beautiful, but it seems like there’s more effort behind their look than they might have you believe.  

Interesting. Why didn’t my college ever offer a course on “je ne sais quoi”? I could have gotten a head start.

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