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Hi Jean !

In Amerloque's experience, one doesn't see French women a) pulling out a compact and putting on lipstick in public or b) walking around in haircurlers in public. (smile)

He would tend to add "French women appear to use far less apparent makeup that American women". This, from practice (being married to French women, not bigamously) and many years of attentive observation. (wider smile)

Great to see you blogging again. Illegitimi Non Carborundum, as they say.


ms. miami

i think that the difference has a lot to do with the value of self-care. i don't know why so many american women, especially those with children, feel guilty when they focus on taking care of themselves.

although i can't afford the expensive brands, i have always spent more money on skin care products than make-up.

i get carded on a regular basis despite the fact that i am well past 21... i think i'll stick with my current regime!


I love your economy of means in formulating this statement: "French women appear to use far less apparent makeup that American women"
And francofile is relieved to know that you are not a bigamist :-)

ms. miami,
You are right that women should not feel guilty about taking care of themselves. It's a quality of life issue.


Hmmm... c'est un post pour les filles ça il me semble... Il n'empêche, L'Amerloque a trouvé moyen d'en placer une... (smile). Peut-être ceci pourrait-il faire l'affaire: DECIPIMUR SPECIE RECTI... (wide smile)



What a complicated story. A recent commercial on TV here says "on n'empêche pas des femmes et l'envie d'être belle." French women certainly don't have fewer complexes than their American counterparts with their "envie d'être belle." I think this desire for subtle beauty is grounded not only in French subtlety itself but also in the relationships French women have with each other. French women don't have girlfriends the same way as American women do; instead of commiserating about the trials of womanhood, they seem to be in competition with each other. They seem to rely much more on themselves than perhaps American women do. Why paint their faces when it will only draw more attention to them and to their vulnerability--this inescapable "envie"--in the eyes of other women? (Just an observation! I could continue but it probably wouldn't be prudent.)


I know for sure that while I "played" with makeup in high school and college, I never learned anything about proper skin care and non-garish makeup application until I spent time in France. French women don't leave the house unless they look fantastic. American women are totally different -- we don't have the cultural pressure, for one, and there are so many people who are overweight here that anyone wearing flattering clothes that are a little bit daring gets attention.

But you know what else is different? Men in France have permission to look at women in France. Men here have been trained out of appreciating the beauty of a beautiful woman, and that kinda takes the fun out of dressing attractively and putting on a fancy face.

Or maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.



Je ne peux, bien entendu, donner ici qu'un avis purement masculin sur la question, mais j'avoue qu'une femme "maquillée comme un arbre de noël" (expression bien française) aurait plutôt tendance à me faire fuir...

Un maquillage discret me paraît largement préférable, et toute la subtilité sera alors pour vous mesdames de savoir jouer de votre regard ou de votre sourire.

Exercice difficile, mais très intéressant à observer...




Very interesting, indeed, to have a few men's opinions on this topic.

I do agree that French women tend to look a lot more "natural" than American women do. I am not a make up wearer - I think that the last time I wore make up was at my niece's wedding, close to two years ago. But I take very good care of my skin and, due to this, possibly, I probably look easily 15 years younger than I am.

Re. men's "appreciation" of a woman's beauty, I am not 100% sure that French men are better able to appreciate the beauty of a beautiful woman (I was looking yesterday at the cover of a CD released by a female Algerian singer that I gave my boyfriend, and I made a comment about her beauty - his response was that she was "easy on the eye," which I found interesting.)

I absolutely adore the concept of being able to apply make-up in such a way that it looks like one is not wearing any. This represents the ultimate mastery of the artificial, and makes me think about the passage about Des Esseintes' bedroom in "A Rebours," which, entirely decorated with extremely expensive materials, is made to look like a very humble monk's cell.


It was good to get some masculine responses to what might have seemed to be a "chick" post. The image of Didier dodging a woman "made up like a Christmas tree" is a glorious one. Obvious artifice is NOT enticing. (I still reserve, in a little corner of my being, the right to be annoyed when men salivate over women whom they imagine are natural beauties, but who rely on every known artifice to look that way.) Didier also makes a good point that the physical manifestation of a smile or a certain gaze is a part of attractiveness that cannot be purchased at any drugstore or "grand magasin". So true.

Leave it to the French to hit upon the formula of "done-up undone-ness." What is more seductive than not seeming to want (or need) to please at all? Women are drawn to men who appear not to be concerned about pleasing them (but who may very well be obsessed with their appearance, truth be known). Let's face it--whether you are a mature man or a mature woman, if you really don't attend to your appearance at all, or more importantly to your health, you are not going to have much visual appeal. But vanity and narcissism, like neediness, quickly become tiresome, or even grotesque.

Cait has made a good point about female competition and vulnerability. I also sensed while living in France that French women didn't tend to let it all hang out with their girlfriends the way American women often do. Michele is right that the context is different in the US, and especially here in the "breadbasket" of the US, where any attempt to assume one's femininity can be seen as flamboyant, or out of place, since men have received so many mixed messages about whether acknowledging it is desirable, or some kind of heinous crime.

I had not thought of Huysmans's _A Rebours_ (_Against the Grain_) as an exemplar of elevating the mastery of the artificial to an art form, but of course Elisabeth has nailed it. This is a neglected work I must re-read!


Francofile: just came across your blog. Love it. Je suis Canadienne, mais j'adore la France aussi...

To go back to the surface for a minute: I am a redhead and, like you, feel that I need a little something around the eyes to make me feel pretty. At the same time, I look ridiculous when too made up (because of aforementioned redheadedness). Might I suggest eyelash tinting? Take it from me, it makes a world of difference, looks extremely natural, is done using natural dyes, and you don't need to wear any eye makeup.

Just a little enhancement secret a la francaise...


A wonderful case of Emperors New Clothes, I feel. Have you read the book about how french women don't get fat - apparently by eating.

Found you via Chez Mistral - stay in touch!


May I speak French (just like Didier) ?
Je viens justement du blog de Didier (merci à lui). Bien que je n'ai pas encore tout lu, I find your blog very interesting ! I'll come back.
Talking about make up, have you already seen that blog :
There's a post "Celebrities Without Makeup". A gauche la photo de la star sans maquillage et à droite la même star mais, cette fois, maquillée. plutôt édifiant !
N'importe qui pourrait être une star avec un bon maquillage et un bon photographe :)


Oh I forgot, Je suis totalement d'accord avec monsieur Yves Saint Laurent. Belle citation que je ne connaissais pas. Merci.


This BLOGS are very fine and all the parts are very good.
So i also give a segation-


my funny story

A man walks into his local pub with a big grin on his face.

"What are you so happy about?" asks the barman.

"Well, I'll tell you," replies the man. "You know, I live by the railroad tracks. Well, on my way home last night, I noticed a young woman tied to the tracks, like in the films.

I, of course, went and cut her free and took her back to my place.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I scored big time! We made love all night, all over the house. We did everything, me on top, sometimes her on top, every position imaginable!"

"Fantastic!" exclaimed the barman. "You lucky bd. Was she pretty?"

"Dunno... never found the head!"

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heey!!:) I want to find the sexy boys!
Im just a nice girl looking for a nice guy!:)

see my profile sugar baby


Good evening francofile.blogs.com!.. It's pitty, but I'am fat a little:) Iwanted to start a new diet tohse evening, and when I search for it i found this low carb diet food list site... than I read about this diet on another sites and it looks to be true.. why i'am here? - cause I visit your site yesterday and saw a theme about diets, but I can't find it now.. emm.. sorry for offtopic..
I want just to know is it grue that I can lose weight a little more rapoidly & for a for a 4 month with this
low carb diet or another diet..
oh.. please say that it's true... thankz & have anyone a story or diet loss tip weighf like this, the main question is how to loss weight faster without trainings?
ps. yeah, I'am blondy :) So long!


Loved reading your blog here about French chic, they certainly have it and it's interesting to hear and read about what how the French woman thinks. I also write about France over at Hubpages if you're interested in reading about my travels. I will certainly be back here and will link to your blog.

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French women appear to use far less apparent makeup that American women

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Is it ...What a stat...great to know of it.


Late...but this is a load of BS. I am in france now and in paris see wo,en wearing tons of makeup. I dont wear much at all....i feel under-done in fact.


oh and also...I've seen a ton of overweight women here. not as many as back home, but many nonetheless. also, the thin ones are not as in shape as they are in say, California.


I prefer subtle look and admire such makeup in women no matter where they are from..

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