The Joy of Becoming “Forever Chic”

August 4, 2014  |  featured, inspiration

Recently I found Forever Chic, Frenchwomen’s Secrets for Timeless Beauty, Style and Substance by Tish Jett at my local library, and I decided to give it a try. Although the target audience is women above forty or even fifty – les femmes d’un certain âge – women of all ages will find some valuable advice that applies to their lives, like wearing sunscreen on your décolleté. I got stressed out when I read this because I haven’t been diligent about applying sunscreen on my precious décolleté, and I am glad that somebody reminded me to do so. And no less that 20 SPF, s’il vous plaît!

The book is divided into small chapters, each developing its own theme – like skin, hair, make-up, exercise, food, even accessories and clothing. Tish Jette carefully investigated each subject by gathering the opinions of many experts, jet set beauty consultants, and close friends. She is a journalist who has lived in France for 25 years, and she blogs about fashion and beauty under the title “Une femme d’un certain âge.”

If I had to choose one quote from the book to describe its essence, it would be this: “ “Every woman has her own personality. Why then, would she want to look like someone else?” Antoniotti mused. “Frenchwomen are the original versions of themselves.” ” The book really focuses on what it means to be a French woman comfortable in her own skin, how she presents and lives her uniqueness in care, beauty and style. Yes, Frenchwomen take time to pamper themselves, to dress well, and they strive to be the most natural best they can be. This is what they are known and revered for. And it all comes down to self-respect and love. Do you put some make-up on as soon as you get up? To celebrate yourself, bien sûr!

I noticed that the French women interviewed in the book haven’t caught up yet with the natural products craze we have here in the States, at least in California. American women consult dermatologists for botox shots and Restylane® fillers, but not face creams. In France it seems that dermatologists rule over skin products, and the products they recommend are big brands. Nevertheless, you have the right to make choices about what you put on your face, and you are free to bring beauty and style to your life in your own way.

I learned how to make my own scrub – gommage – by mixing almond oil and fine sea salt or sugar. I love that this is so natural and you can make it yourself. It can be applied to your face, hands, and your whole body. After gommage, we are advised to use sunscreens to avoid brown spots and aging. I had never before heard of liquid nitrogen, cryotherapy, for removing dark spots, but I guess this is the inexpensive version of the laser. According to the book, it works wonders.

Next time I am in France, I will schedule beauté des pieds. The cost is around 30 euros. The author says that it is a much more satisfying and lasting experience than a pedicure and that the French do it beautifully.

The trick about applying eyeliner is: “The comma should be applied before the eye is lined so it does not become a thick extension, but rather a light lift.” This is interesting indeed, and it works.  And I was surprised to read that dark circles under the eyes were prized during the 19th century, are considerate natural even today by make-up experts, and having them means that you lead an interesting life… So, Mesdames, don’t cover them up!

Instead of telling you all the secrets contained in the book, order your own copy and read it with amusement. I am hoping that by following the advice, you could achieve the highest score possible of becoming “Forever Chic” – in your own eyes, as Frenchwomen do!

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