There's a lot of hype about French women beauty secrets... Do we expats believe the hype?
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There's a lot of hype about French women beauty secrets, French women style, French women hairstyles, makeup and fashion. Do we expats believe the hype?
In this video an English and a New Zealand expat living in Paris, we focus in on Paris fashion and Parisian beauty secrets - the haircut, the hairstyle, the make up, the nails, the fashion, the body shape and more.
Are you French? Do you have any French women style secrets to share? French style tips? Or do you have an opinion on the French beauty rituals? Let us know down below!
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Thanks for the video, I have a question, almost at the end the other girl says "I miss that so much".. . So, what happens if you just weir that sequined jumpsuit or some colorful dress? Something kinda Carrie Bradshaw....
Personally, I believe this Parisian style is really overrated. I really dislike the hypocrisy of spending money, buying plenty of products for haircare and then pretending they don't care and sport a messy style. The obsession of bare skin, fake natural look and the tyranny of red lipstick bother me too. It's not the style that bothers me, don't get me wrong, it's just the arrogant way of boasting about being natural whereas they are actually controlling it and staging it so hard. I really don't like the heavy instagram makeup and layers of foundation, but I do like a more polished and sophisticated look on some occasions. Also Parisian women seem obsessed by looking like eternal teenagers, either wearing jeans, looking extremely skinny, messed up hair or only looking feminine in a girly way, with a little floral print dress etc. Actually I prefer the way Italian women dress, they are not afraid of looking more mature and sophisticated. They also look less neurotic, less aggressive and more relaxed.
I must say, the nail business in the US is big, as a Frenchmen I never could understand it, I find it rather cheesy, it's like cleavage, damn , go to a wedding and the display of boobs is overwhelming haha... many women are overweight but that doesn't deter them from wearing, "skinny" jeans or leggings, big butts everywhere right in your face...nothing sexy in that , I tell you hehe...
I spend much more money on skin care than I do on makeup; I learnt that habit from my mother.
On the not-so-good side, the years we lived in Paris had a negative effect in that our mother really “pestered’ my older sister about her weight. My older sister was not fat - BMI about 23, rather than the BMI 20 our mother thought she should be.
Of course, my sister gained weight (though not too much) as soon as she got out from under our mother’s rule.
Interesting perspective about weight. I’m African-American and heavier, as well as a bit taller than French women. I’ve never been treated in a negative way. My nephew’s mother might ask me how have I been eating or exercise, but I’m also told my skin is great and that I’m pretty. Maybe, since I’m not French, and seem otherwise healthy, I’m acceptable? When I was young, French people had a higher level of casual dress. That was true for younger people as well. They would never wear tennis shoes. Now, that level is for people in their 40’s and above.
I'm an American and I agree with the girl centric approach to make up and hair. We love it!! And we do it for other girls. But I will say we use and are obsessed with skin care just as much over here, most women spend a lot of time and money on skin care they go hand in hand. Great video/topic ladies.❤🇺🇸 I love France and learning more about the French.
As an American I actually love the French way, as people here are so OBSESSED with heavy makeup and fashion trends.
I am actually of Irish heritage, but I didn't realize how naturally "French" my style was until I spent time in Paris! People thought I was French until I spoke or held the door for people! They remarked how I was so nice and polite! LOL! Then they knew I was American!
I guess I ALWAYS thought it made more sense to by classic well made clothing that I could wear for many years. I love makeup but have ALWAYS focused more on skincare, and I have naturally curly hair that I don't have the patience to straighten or blow out! LOL
I tend save my trendy pieces for jewelry or a cute summer wardrobe, because it gets very hot here in Virginia and summer clothes are cheap and disposable! I went to Paris in Spring so I looked very French with my Spring/Winter wardrobe!
I would say we have a different idea of elegance, as a french something sober and well fit that looks effortless is way more elegant and attractive than the « star look » (short dress super tight and high heels), It makes me feel weird and it’s like the person is trying to hard.
The French nail is actually French, but it is not the fake nails we see today. Instead, it was a manicure in which the nails were soaked in oil, buffed until they glowed, the cuticles trimmed, the hands exfoliated, moisturized and massaged. The reason the nail tips were white is that the nails were soaked in a mild bleach solution and scrubbed with a brush, then an orange stick was used to shape the underside of the nail into those tidy little crescents. That is a REAL French manicure. It takes over an hour to do it, but it looks amazing.
I live in Melbourne Australia. A lot of girls here wear thick layer of makeup which makes their skin look plastic. Honestly not only they don’t look good, but also it can’t be good for their skin right?
Honestly, all this is much ado about nothing! The chic French women are truly chic, but most of the average working women, in France, are too busy working & bringing the bacon home to just bother with their exterior appearance. Parisian savoire faire is pretty much a myth. In general Parisian women, are pretty much boring.
This is interesting. I am old enough to be the Mom of both of you, but I visited both London and Paris 2 years ago. I found London (which I loved) to be polite, and sometimes a bit stuffy in the way they dressed and what was expected. (Especially popping into a restaurant after a day of site-seeing in the rain without going back to the hotel to change or freshen up.) London was also very fast paced. Like, move fast or I'll run you over to get on the subway. However, the village people I found to be very friendly and relaxed, which I loved more. Paris...which is what your video is about, I found to be very relaxed and seemed what I would call Bohemian. Very laid back, casual, kind of anything goes. But, if you pronounce a French word not very well, they'll be sure to correct you in a restaurant. People were not ever what I would call rude to us though. Would you say women in their mid 50's would follow your rules for dress, say at just a regular restaurant for n evening meal? Getting ready to visit again with my daughters this time! Girls trip!
Well spotted... But Funny to see how you guys are fantasizing and getting into the standards as well. You should not feel obligated to follow a style if it is not what you are. As a French person, used to leave abroad, if I can give insight... First, the most important thing for French people is being appropriate.
So if you go to a country side house, you would get dress with practical things. Otherwise you could hold the group from some activities. Example going for a little walk in the forest or village nearby.
To help prevent being inappropriate, the best thing is always to ask. There is no problem with that.
Also being appropriate would be wearing things that suits your body. That might be a tricky part, because believes in that matter might be different depending on culture.
Which leads to the second most valuable point.
keep carry your culture with you. If you like to paint your nails, wear fancy make up and dress ... Whatever... It will always be accepted by other people if you are being comfortable with the image you are giving. Even by French people. And even if you are heavy weight.
Im a Parisian girl that has been living in London 8 years now and my style has changed so much ! Im dressing up on Saturdays and wear dresses and hills ! but im still very boring comparing to English girls I don't wear much make up and still don't really brush my hair 🤣
So I come from California, USA. Ive never died my hair and don't like to wear make up or wear heels. Especially being in management in the wine industry back home- it's very "lazy" and "unprofessional" to just be my natural self. I am now living in the Jura mountains in France (getting married to a French/Swiss man that I met during my working holiday in New Zealand)and oh my it is soooo nice to be accepted as I am. Another thing is the natural and holistic care for the body (other than the excessive smoking here) I've always been consided a hippie because I like to use essential oils and organic care, now I'm here and it is so much more of the typical lifestyle ! But you know what they say- different strokes for different folks! I'm happy with my new home ❤
Totally agrée. Would like to add that french young ladies o ver 40 Fred simple but very pretty . They put a lot of effort into dressing but it looks effortless chic. They dont dress up even for weddings that has Bern a gréât surprise i dent to 2 weddings and many were dresses like in ordinario d’ail y cloches. When i celebrared my wedding i had a about 8 french people coming down ftom France to central America ...they stood out for looking underdressed !
I dis not notice it that Day but the french pepople told me thé following Day .
But i love how they dress on a daily basis .
I lived with a French family when was a young girl of 20 years. After a couple of months, I had put on about ten pounds, and my French “mother” commented to me, “Il faut garder la ligne.” As you say, it was helpful and not offensive, the way she said it to me, and I got the message and cut back on the patisseries! And lost the weight.
Personally, I like to dress up but I don't want to get street / public transport harassment or be touched while dancing and it already happens even if I just put on red lipstick so it's more 'casual for my safety' than to 'play it cool' you know?
As for the originality part, I think it's mostly because when you start doing your own clothing choices as a teen, people tends to look down on what's different so you either suck it up and own it or try to fit in to have friends. I got a lot of different haircolors before it started trending in France (it was ok but in other countries -I saw it on Instagram Tumblr etc- or ok if I was just hanging with people from the alternative culture) and I got my share of "weird looks" as I wasn't living in a big city.
That's why there's such a cliché about 'art students' here, if it's colorful / gothy / thrifted etc it's different so it must be someone artsy :')
Here in Brazil we have to wear a lot of make up, like people ask you if you are not wearing it. My grandma always complains because I really don't like to wear makeup. And the hair is always ironed or with lot of products.If you go to a night out, for sure girls will dress for a party. Maybe this explain why we are always late... it is not good but we are not pontual. It is funny how different we are from french woman.
hi girls ! you forgot to mention that French people in general dress in black. They don't dare putting on bright colors. As a French person, it is what strikes me the most apart from what you just said.
hahaha Woso nailed it. I have the misfortune to know a french woman, an insatiable bully of all sorts with a particular specialisation on weight. bullying is not a french thing any more than it is a British thing or Taiwanese trait but this French bullying expertise on issues of weight is remarkable.
I find them extremely boring and on the old, closed minded judgmental side rather it became such a ridiculous cliché. Clones of the same looks and restricted in every way projecting a je-m’en-fous kind of airs undone hair natural dressed down toned down but they do actually care what others think of them. I think a woman is really beautiful only when she s free from trends / fashion / critics worries. Dont get restricted to a specific style just what makes one look and feel good what boosts confidence! Hate the unglamorous underdressed ways of clubbing and celebrating! Cant go to work and appero and party with the same clothes and make up!
Thank you, ladies! Very insightful! Both of you are wearing plain solid-colored tops with jeans. Would you wear that on a casual shopping Saturday in Paris or just at home? (Asked with a humble tone, don’t mean this sarcastically or judgmentally at all, from a middle-aged American woman).
I don't like all those "social rules" in France. I feel like here in Berlin you can do, wear, behave etc, whatever you want to and express yourself. Diversity is normal and accepted here in every context. When I'm with French people, I often feel uncomfortable because I'm afraid to do a mistake and be considered weird, uncool/unfashionable/loser or badly behaved. I remember feeling like a loser during a student exchange in Paris because I was the only one who didn't smoke. They treated me like a uncool weirdo because I didn't want to smoke. In my class in Germany, there were 3 pupils who smoked, in France it was literally *everybody* .
As a born and raised parisian who has lived in the UK... Can so relate!! It is hard readapting coming back home... Although I must say I find Brit girls a bit too extra for me!! Especially the nail craziness! Love the artistic take on it but it's so inconvenient
About the weight thing: huge problem in Paris... The anorexia rate is outrageous... So healthy.. Not so much
I'm French and this summer I was in London for the first time in my life. I was shocked how much people don't care how you dress! You have more freedom, people do not judge you, it's awesome! it's a pity that in France we are not the same mentality.
Haha funny the way you see french woman
Concerning the nail part, I kind of disagree cause I’m french and I wear flashy colours all the time and I have friends that are doing the same.
For the french manucure it was “a la mode” in the 90’s and everybody was wearing it
We bought the nail polish with tape to make the perfect french manicure
But now it’s over but the name remains
I'm french girl, and personally, I'm not really skinny, but very muscled, because of sport. So I have unfortunately problems to dress me. The big problem in France, or at least, near of Paris, is that there nothing beautiful or which makes you feeling great to wear which is over the size 40,... I have wide shoulders so the only size i can wear is 46 for the top, and the only thing I can wear is shirt or tank top.. So yes, it doesn't allow me fun clothes. It's very sad, because I love style from UK or USA, but the french obsession of weight is really constraining.
Being a french girl who grew up in south of france, in a little village, i can totally relate to your experience in paris... parisians are so normative when it comes to fashion and it s so hard to fit into the one and only ideal of the effortless stylish skinny red lips parisian girl... oh and i totally went through the same experience at a countryside family house party, wearing small heels and too much make up while people all wore wool pull overs and slippers. Really like your videos girls !
All these comments about smoking... Well it is certainly in decline. 15 years ago queuing for the ski lift, you had 1 person out of 4 smoking, now it is 1 out of 25 or 30. As for fashion, fashion is finding your style and what suits you - which is why French girls/women do not follow the trends as much - although of course unless you are a seamstress or can afford one, you are still dependent on what you can find in stores ( and second hand are rare). French females ( middle class certainly - in my experience by the way black girls are very sharp dressers ) on the whole, not all the time but most of the time, aspire to be classy or to at least wear something that makes them look good as opposed to something that they like but that does not like them and they have a pretty good talent in selecting what suits them.
i just move to UK country side.. from asian country that is obsessed with beauty and appearance. in my country they always say im not feminine enough because i like to dress in basic colors (save money, invest in few quality pieces neutral color, always look good and classics accessories). In my first year living in UK I was shocked and got depressed because i dont want to look overdressed but when i try to dress like the locals to blend in (i dont like attention) i feel so sad. I feel like im wasting myself and as a result i always try to find an excuse to go somewhere nice where i can dress up. Then i went to a countryside in France. Lo and behold, the older women there dress so nice, chic, neat, its not branded, its not flashy, its not trendy but they are pleasant to look at. Im impressed and it motivates me to take good care of myself. The french women do have class
im also very impressed that the french in general are more slim than the british. I think for health reason british women need to watch their diet. the NHS is not that dependable you know... French has better health care :P
I know it is the culture, but I believe the root cause may be because they criticize each other a lot, it is connected to their education system; so this reflects on their clothing choices, which is usually very conservative and colorless. They like to keep the attention away from themselves almost. Moreover, the pay gap and females being significantly underpaid in one of the most expensive cities in the world, Paris, would create a large demographics who cannot afford expensive clothing, so it is cheaper to have a closet that is matching in colors and styles and would allow to do the maximum out of the items you have. Also, rich shaming is an actual thing in France, probably because of the history. I would appreciate if anyone helps to give more info x
French women seem very plain Jane boring looking and I find it funny that they're so focused on size bc the French girls I met at University were all bigger than me. Like size 8-12 with flabby skin, untoned arms or legs, mini gut and never exercised but smoked like a chimney. They look boring and dirty and just slather on red lipstick like a street walker... bizarre
You said "everyone's aiming at similar looks and it's a shame because they're fighting for the same beauty ideal". But being similar is the purpose. originality isn't encouraged. you're expected to blend in.
As for beauty ideal, you're not expected to fight to reach it. Beauty is what nature gave you. People have to accept you the way you were made. Some were born beautiful, some weren't. You won't fool anyone with make up and even if you do fool someone, deception isn't appreciated.
if there are as many beauty ideals as there are people, what's the point of a beauty ideal? Is it a ladder you climb ? You make up in the morning, look in the mirror and say "I' m one step closer to my beauty ideal. I've almost succeeded in my life"? Is it a personnal achievement or a way to compare with other people. And if you do want to compare, thus entering a competition, you all need the same ideal
I don't agree that it's a health thing. French are definitely a lot more mono-ethnic and and smaller build that other nationalities. Spanish women are just over the border and are naturally curvy. Plus they smoke a lot for people concerned about health.
I don’t think American culture fits neatly with what you are describing as Anglo cultures. While people in the film and TV industry as will wear fake eyelashes, fake tans, and all the rest, that is rare in the United States. In real life, virtually no one wears highlighter, contour, false lashes, or spray tan. But it seems like these products are really common among every day folks in the UK, and other English-speaking places. From your description, it sounds like the United States for the most part it’s much more like Paris than the rest of the English-speaking world.
I totally agree about the whole dressing up situtation (makeup and clothes). Im french and lived in Australia. Just a simple saturday night out was the occasion to wear the most dressed up shortest pieces of clothing and i was just hanging out in my jeans most of the time 😂
J habite pas à Paris mais je pense qu' il ne faut pas se retenir de porter ce que l on souhaite, et de se mettre des barrières, je trouve ça dommage de vois entendre dire que vous vous retenez de porter ce qui vous fait du bien.
That was interesting as a French person. I think one reason we don't dress up as much is also a heritage of the French feminism. We fought to wear trousers, to not bear the makeup pressure, to be comfortable. So being super girly seems superficial. I agree it is a shame we are a bit judgemental when people dress up even classy and not sexy though. :)
Wow, sounds like the Germans are much more stylish (they have a lot of style like the Japanese Oska)! No leather slacks, with slinky Italian cashmere sweater...? No skirts..? Ironically, not THAT long ago the way you knew a foreign. girl in Paris was the SHE wore jeans., because Fench girls did not..m
I lime your comment about body tuoes, it's true that French women are all physically alike, you don't find much difference in body structure... So their one-soze-fits-all does fit all since they are all alike... I am 5'8" and I personally always feel like a mountain. besides my French friend,s who are all 5'2 to 5'5...
I find it really sad that French girls will. not wear skirts or dresses: the French are supposed to be a bastion of femininity, but it sounds like they all dress like men.
What a shame! And I watched the video about how sort of sad and lightly depressed the French are, which is ALSO sad ... They never were before, just the opposite! I think they are losing their identity. God, I hope not.
I'm from Norway, but part French. What you say about dressing up is the same in Norway. From a guy's perspective I actually find the makeup, all the fakeness (tan, nails, etc even silicone, fake lips is getting out of hand here) to be quite vulgar and not attractive. Plus I think most girls look kind of the same when they're behind all that. And the amount of effort, time and money girls put into these things is offputting when there's no occation, it feels so insecure and yeah.. fake.
So imo it's the complete opposite. I find that natural nonchalent look French girls have often more attractive, and they always seem to have this certain je ne sais qoui. It's a matter of taste though of course, so I hope I'm not offending anyone.
Your video reminds me of a something I have experienced as a french young woman. I have studied in UK in the uni of Durham. One evening, my college organized a special dinner where collegians had to come dressed in another country outfit. However I did not know about that so I came like it was a regular diner and obviously I came with my favorite black dress ...
when I arrived there i felt like I didn’t respect the theme of the evening. Suddenly a girl came to me and ask me “what is your costume ? What nationality you wanted to copy ? Oh let me guess .... you are dressed like a french girl, right ?
We both laughed when I said “well I AM FRENCH and I just didn’t know I had to wear a costume”
There were a lot guys dressed with marinière, béret carrying a baguette. Very stereotypical but I love stereotypes like that !
Anyway good video ! I am always very interested about how foreigners see us ;)
I had a bit of a culture shock as well when I came to the UK. I'm from Hungary and we usually dress more casually and wear less make-up as well. Actually, there is a term for one who wears a lot of shiny makeup and very tight and short dress, the plaza-girl and it is not a flattering one. I think we are also more direct in making comments but people are not very health-conscious and a lot of them are overweighted or obese. I was the most shocked to see girls in the UK wearing skirts and sandals without tights during winter. That's something hard to wrap my head around.
Several years ago I went out with a french guy for 2 years. His sister once asked me “pourquoi est-ce que les anglaises sont des putes? I was like ummmm I’m English and I don’t think I’m a “pute.” And she said well “vous portez des jupes au bar!” We wore skirts and they were in pumas and long sleeve shirts. So the clothing discussion was definitely spot on.
I am 51 and go to Nice quite often and I love the style there for women of my age. I love the dresses just above the knee and this time I noticed French women are obsessed with jeans that taper in above the ankle and show a lot of ankle, finished with trainers and NO socks. If you dressed like that here in the UK people would laugh because they would say your trousers weren't long enough! But there if the trousers are took long they will actually turn them up to ensure enough ankle is revealed! Also minimal make up and a healthy tan, which I much prefer. BUT the thing I can't understand is the same matching hairstyle, which is short and slightly wavy but stays brushed back off their faces. How do they DO that? It's a mystery to me frankly. Think Ines de Fressange.
Hi ! I'm french andL'm not agree for something in your video :french manucure come from USA, it was created for Hollywood's stars. . french manucure isn't french.
What you say about Mode is maybe true for a part of the population, but there is lot of differents style. Go to Les Galeries Lafayette and you can see that mode is not a Jean and simple grey pull-over all the time ! Now mode is bright colors like orange, yellow and green. . with fluid fabric
I’m french but I think I might be english inside 😂
Every time you compare french culture to USA or new zeland or england ... I’m like “ I’m not like this. I’m more like you”
Even in make up and dress up : I’M ALWAYS OVERDRESSED ! In every situation ! But now everyone is use to it and actually like it. But every time I met someone new we have this moment where he is weird about it 😂
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