10 American Beauty Tips - from a French Perspective

I'm sure you've all seen an article or two listing "French" beauty tips, the secrets that explain how French women are able to maintain an effortlessly chic style, flawless skin, and lose weight. I'll probably address some of those topics in later posts, but today I thought it would be fun to hear what the French have to say about American beauty.

I found this article on L'Express, a popular French newspaper online. It was written by Valentine Pétry, but I've translated all of my favorite bits (okay, almost the whole thing!) to share with you.

Belle comme une New-yorkaise
(As Beautiful as a New Yorker)

New York I love you is out in theaters. Sure, we love the Big Apple and it's inhabitants, but their beauty rituals leave us scratching our heads. Are they worth copying? The answer in 10 points. 

They wash their hair everyday 

...while in France, we compete with our girlfriends to see who washes their hair the least, American women are not ashamed to declare that they shampoo their hair everyday in order to be really clean. That's where the huge bottles, much bigger than ours, that take over the space in the shower come from.

Copy it? NON. But if you happen to be a hopeless shampoo-addict, the least you can do is respect this one rule: Pick a nourishing shampoo, take really good care of your scalp, and avoid over drying your hair with a super hot blow dryer.

They define the It-girl haircut
Copy it? We don't really have a choice. Even the stars here in the hexagon copy the Americans!  

They are obsessed with whitening their teeth

You simply need to visit an American bathroom to figure this out for yourself. There you'll find a huge bottle of mouth wash, an electric toothbrush, and dental floss. To put it simply, the Americans don't kid around with dental hygiene.   

Copy it? Oui! However you can totally skip the strips or the tooth "paint," what a pain. Nothing's quite as good as a simple cleaning from the dentist.

They let fish eat the dead skin off their feet

This is where the fish spa first became popular. It's a sort of pedicure, rather special since little fish nibble the dead skin off your feet. 

Copy it? NON! Having said that, risk-takers can try it in Paris, at the salon Rufafish. But be aware that the state of New York banned it for hygienic reasons. 

They handle the self-bronzer with more confidence than us
Copy it? NON! But if your turnip-tinted skin bothers you, at least ask a willing (and precise) girlfriend  to spray you. Not glam', but efficient.  

They don't think twice about putting rhinestones on... Everywhere
Jennifer Love Hewitt is the self-proclaimed standard-bearer of vajazzling, a new trend that consists of glueing rhinestones to one's pre-shaved pubic area. 
Copy it? NON! Remember that France is the country of Catherine Deneuve and good taste, there is no "but" here. 

They use sun protection all year long
It's these women that made foundation with built-in SPF popular. They wear it all year long to fight against the enemy - wrinkles.
Copy it? Oui! If you want adopt a "NYC attitude", we recommend Clinique products. Their quality is impeccable. 

There is a nail salon on every corner
You can find a salon, the American movie cliché, every 3 blocks in NYC. The advantage: Manicures become affordable and everyone has clean nails.  
Copy it? Oui, but sparingly... For pity's sake, forget about a french manucure on your feet! 

They have a healthier relation with their gym
... Simply put, the United States, land of contrasts, is also the home of the hardcore gym...
Copy it? NON. We prefer eating croissants for breakfast while enjoying the best-seller French women don't get fat.  

They aren't afraid to be perfect
Copy it? NON! Considering our worn in jeans and wavy locks are seductive, why make more of an effort? American women are always praising the je-ne-sais-quoi of French women, who prefer a natural look (think Charlotte Gainsbourg), rather than something over the top (think Demi Moore).  

*This article is an unofficial abridged translation by Patricia Baret of the article Belle comme une New-Yorkaise that originally appeared in the journal L'Express

So what do you think? How accurate is this list? Is there anything you think should be added?


  1. This was really great! I'm really enjoying your blog!

  2. Thanks for your comment on my blog today! I really enjoyed this post, and I tend to agree more with the French perspective. I think beauty should be effortless and natural. You should take care of yourself, but I think as Americans we often tend to go to the extreme. I mean vajazzaling? Really? So weird.

    I'm following you on bloglovin now! I'm excited to get to know you better and read more. :)

    Jana @ life could be a dream

  3. e prefer eating croissants for breakfast while enjoying the best-seller French women don't get fat.

    This line made my life. I love this blog!

  4. This was fun, I wish Swedes would feel the same about bronzer as there is a serious epidemic of cheeto colored girls here!

  5. This was a fun read! I didn't realize beauty regimines were different in France! I especially like the putting rhinestones on everything- totally guilty with glittering everything!

  6. haha what a fun thing to read! honestly i kinda wish the US was more like France when it comes to hair washing.. i HATE feeling like i have to wash my hair everyday! im too lazy :D

  7. Wow! It's so funny to read it from their perspective.

  8. Well I wouldn't be able to help it with the teeth thing, but otherwise I could live in France! TALU!

  9. Love it!! You are my new favorite blog! I think I should move to France.... I'll still be hardcore for the gym, but only so I can eat more crossaints for breakfast :o) And the just say no to french tipped toes was the icing on the cake. TALU :o)


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