French beauty as told by Caroline de Maigret


An excerpt from How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits

Au naturel

It is almost impossible to resolve the great mystery of what is natural. Because, in fact, nothing is
natural. Parisiennes will have you believe that they are born with perfect skin and delightfully messy
hair. That from the cradle onward they exude a scent worthy of Chanel N°5. That these “natural”
attributes are a heritage that cannot be explained.

They are all lying.

Au naturel is the fruit of hard labor, meticulously passed down from generation to generation. What
follows is a series of unusual tips that could be summed up as follows: how to take care of yourself
while giving the impression that you don’t take care of yourself. It is the art of beauty—the Parisian


Skin should look natural. Freckles can appear in spring along with the first rays of sunshine.
Sometimes your cheekbones blush when you lie, and your whole face flushes when you are
intimidated. You must not stifle the stories behind the natural coloring of your skin. For this reason, it
must be shown, revealed, exposed.

HOW: Frenchwomen avoid using foundation, which merely serves as a shroud and therefore

There is a whole range of invisible artifices that can be used instead. Invisible and yet convincing—it
is all about the varnish. In the same way as painters would “prepare” their canvas before adding any
color (these preparations were kept secret and their recipe would disappear with the artist at his
death), the skin of your face must be treated as a canvas.
Start with a moisturizer to smooth your skin, which professionals swear by. Then hide any
imperfections (bags under your eyes, the sides of your nose, pimples) with concealers (such as Yves
Saint Laurent’s Touche Éclat) or a BB cream. If you really can’t live without your foundation, then
mix it with a touch of moisturizer to mute its effect. And a few strokes of mascara (Hypnôse by
Lancôme)—be generous on your top and bottom lashes, to accentuate your look and disguise any bags
under your eyes—and bright red lipstick (Dior Addict) will not go amiss for a night out.

And this is how ladies I decided to convert myself to Parisianism, the worshipping of parisian women and the endless quest to be one.

Au revoir!

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