By Dr. Kaycee Reyes
Move over Melania. France’s new first lady may know more than just a thing or two about style and aging well. If you haven’t heard about Brigitte Trogneux, she is the other half of the newly-elected French President, 39 year-old Emmanuel Macron. She is the quintessential French woman: slim, elegant, smart, and chic. And oh, did I mention she is 64? Well, one thing is for sure, she must be doing something right.
It turns out that France’s first lady isn’t the only one with a certain je ne sais quoi. French actors Juliette Binoche (aged 50), Julie Delpy (aged 47), and Olivier Martinez (aged 47), all look better with age. Audrey Tautou and Marion Cotillard, now both in their late 30s, seem to have time on their side as well. So what are the French doing differently?
1. Pampering is a pastime. In France, beauty is taken seriously. Compared to other countries where skin care is a chore, the French make it a part of who they are and their everyday life. They diligently wear sunscreen as young as they are, and according to a survey by research company Mintel, roughly 1/3 of French women start wearing anti-aging creams in their teens. Skincare regimen is best when you start young, even for skin prevention is better than cure. With the use of sunscreens, cosmeceuticals, and non invasive intense procedures, there is less chance of doing drastic surgical interventions.
Recommended daytime skin regimen:
a) Cleanse face with favorite cleanser
b) Hydrate and degrease face with toner
c) Apply antioxidants serum
d) Apply moisturizer that will smoothen and hydrate the skin
e) Apply sunscreen
f) Apply eye cream
Recommended night time skin regimen:
a) Remove eye make up
b) Cleanse face
c) Hydrate and degrease face with toner
d) Exfoliate skin at least once a week using alpha and beta hydroxy acids
e) Apply antioxidants serum
f) Apply moisturizer
g) Apply eye cream
For the body you can use a mixture of baking sodas with water and rub it on the skin then rinse with warm water. This gets rid of dead skin cells.
And do not forget taking care of your neck and hands. French women are well aware of this. What you do to the face, you do to your hand and neck.
2. Nothing in excess. Always so svelte and slim, a lot of people believe they are born this way—they’re not. The French do not have special diets; in fact, they eat anything they want to, but not in copious amounts. Most of them do not have gym memberships either—they walk every day, however—and this lifestyle of keeping things in moderation is what keeps them fit.
3. Keep it au naturel. French women are not fans of thick makeup; to them, looking natural is the name of the game. This is why they do not spend as much on the latest bronzer or make-up palette; instead, they splurge on skin care. Creams, lotions, serums, gels, oils, and balms that soothe, hydrate, and moisturize the skin are a hit among the French, and seldom will you find soaps on their beauty arsenal. As for cosmetic surgery, the French are not reluctant to it; however, they only do it to enhance their natural look, rather than changing how they look like altogether.
Recommended make up routine:
a) Tinted moisturizer
b) Prep eyes with eyeliner and mascara. Dark circles might require a bit concealer
c) Prep cheeks with a subtle skin tone blush
d) Use mineral bronzer for that extra glow
e) Powder the T-zone area
f) Prep lips with lip pencil then lip gloss on top
4. Style and sexiness, is ageless. One must dress well no matter how old you are, according to the French. Dressing well doesn’t mean wearing what’s new; rather, they focus on wearing what fits well. Age is not an excuse to lack style either, just like France’s first lady who isn’t afraid to wear skin-tight jeans, high heels, or short dresses. And do not forget to wear perfume. Even King Louis XIV’s love affair with perfume is well known.
5. Let it go. The French love to celebrate life. Age is never a hindrance to try something, to learn something, or to keep doing something, such as discovering a new hobby or even falling in love. They never fret on things that they cannot change, such as having a perfect body or a perfect job. And since they worry less, this may be the reason why they still look good, or even look better, as they get older.
The French are not afraid to grow old. They do not fight against time; instead, they walk tall and embrace it. Maybe this is what sets them apart from the others. They accept how they look like and celebrate their differences rather than hide them or change it. They age with confidence, just like Brigitte Trogneux and the others, and this is what the French does differently.