Monday, March 23, 2015

S & F Series--What's Age Got to Do with It?

I am reading Tish Jett's Forever Chic: Frenchwomen's Secrets for Timeless Beauty, Style and Substance, and so far I have mixed reviews to give you. The book starts out strong, telling us that in France age has nothing to do with beauty. I already knew this about the French, and of course I wildly applaud it. A woman of a certain age, la femme Francaise d 'un certain age, is considered to be sexy and alluring. She has that elusive mystique that comes from a combination of confidence, intelligence, charm, and personal style. An especially insightful idea from Tish is that the outward appearance cannot be separated from the inner substance of a woman. Therefore, the immense effort that a Frenchwoman puts forth to look stunning on the outside is part and parcel of her overall character. It isn't just empty vanity. And the Frenchwoman above all desires to look natural, to look like herself. Frenchwomen like themselves.

This is all wonderful stuff, but the "secrets" of the French allure include an arsenal of estheticians, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons, plus a giant slew of anti-aging products used at home. I once read that French women spend most of their money on skin care and lingerie, and apparently the first part of that is true! It's all well and good that French women wish to look natural and so do not go overboard with invasive treatments like face lifts and botox, but to me there is just something fundamentally insecure about having all of this work done in order to maintain the forty-year-old face until age 70. It reflects the same societal pressure that American women encounter to look forever young and smokin' hot.

 la femme francoise d' un certain age, Juliette Binoche

Tish does have French friends who prefer to forgo the plastic surgery and age truly naturally, relying instead on healthy lifestyles, including religiously wearing sunscreen, taking good care of their skin, exercising, eating well, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. The women who employ the help of plastic surgeons also do these things. They all have excellent habits. And I certainly agree with Tish's advice to have a yearly appointment with a dermatologist in order to have one's skin thoroughly checked. Skin cancer is one of the most deadly kinds.

Lucky for you all, I am a licensed esthetician. I worked in a prominent day spa in Columbus for several years, and I can give you the scoop on what you really need to maintain radiant, youthful skin, without breaking the bank.

My plan is to post a new article every Monday, although I may do so more often. The next topic up will focus on good skin care habits, because you must have this foundation set before you worry about makeup and everything else. Your skin is your largest organ, after all! So please sign up as a blog follower and to receive updates via email, and I would be delighted to hear of your own progress to simplify and Frenchify in the comments below.

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