5 Beauty Habits I've Learned From French Women

Parisian Style

When I started this blog I envisioned a few of my favorite French fashion icons, Anna Karina and Jane Birkin, with their effortless glow and imperfectly (yet so perfectly) tousled locks and thought: if there were ever a style that was so me, well, oui! it's that of the French women.

I visited Paris for the first time when I was just starting college. My dad was working for a French company - he traveled there often (still does) - and I would be joining him for a week or so. We'd stay in a boutique French hotel and have sunny carefree adventures. We'd do the tourist things, like taking a boat ride on the Seine after too many bubbles from the night before, spend hours combing the museums and gardens, and then we'd take a train out to the countryside for a few days. That particular trip changed my approach to fashion & beauty forever. 

Many years later I started this blog: with the intention of incorporating travel and style inspiration from the girls I'd meet while traipsing around the world collecting perspective. I'd channel their fashion sense and put their beauty tips to the test too. Fast forward a bit: years later the French approach to beauty: breezy and low maintenance, optimistically glamorous, with clever signature accents - it's a style I can't look away from.

My best friend moved to Paris a few years ago and I finally was able to spend time there like a real Parisian girl when I visited her. I combed through her beauty cabinet and wardrobe and studied the girls we spent days at the cafés with and here's 5 lessons I learned from those joyful bon vivants:

Luxembourg Garden Blogger

1. Skip the blowout:

French women are brilliantly uncomplicated. They go to the salon for haircuts, sometimes to enhance their hair color, however, they never go to get that stick straight blowout or even the perfect waves. They embrace their natural texture and know that second (and even third) day hair just slightly mussed up by combing their fingers through it is the best approach. On my travels I found myself either wrapping my hair in a low chignon during the day and then shaking it out at night for a bit of volume, or tying it up in loose braids and then doing the same shake out for evening va-voom. A sprinkle of hair powder was truly the only product I needed. 

Luxembourg Garden Flowers

2. Avoid the sun worship: 

French girls all seem to have a creamy sun-kissed glow, it's subtle (and most definitely from a bottle). They're rarely caught luxuriating beneath the UV rays. If they're traveling to the Riviera they're packing the widest brimmed hats, and oversized sunnies, scarves and SPF. They understand the reality of what sun damage can do and besides, a glowing complexion was something they were hip to maybe even before the wellness gurus of LA. 

French girls love Vitamin D, but they don't get it by basking in the rays.

Sunny French days

3. Skincare as makeup:

Mornings are unfussy.  The routine is a splash of water on the face (French girls love water!), followed by a BB cream or moisturizer, a cheek tint to give that look as if you've just come from hot yoga, plus an application of mascara and a rose-flavored lip balm. As the day turns to evening add a bright red lip to polish up the look.

Nars Lipcolor

4. Speaking of signatures:

Whether it's a lip color, a statement accessory or the way her eyelids glow at night, French girls have a je ne sais quoi way of pulling things together. I remember standing outside of a café while some of the loveliest girls I'd seen made their way to a table. Each had one standout feature: one had her hair piled on top of her head and tied loosely with a vintage ribbon, another had the dewiest eye makeup application: it was as if she'd taken glitter and mixed it with her kohl liner and then dabbed it on without a mirror (somehow it worked!), the third had the most beautiful red lip color that just barely settled in as she sipped her espresso. Now as I get ready in the mornings I think: what's my signature for today?

Cafe Culture Paris

5. Find delight in your own confidence: 

In my last few days on my visit to Paris I realized that one thing that had NEVER happened for the duration of my time there: no self deprecation! Literally every girl I be-friended had an air of innate confidence and exuded graceful celebration. When we ordered a cheese plate no one said a thing about needing to hit the gym or that she just really shouldn't. When we stayed out a tad late the next day over coffee, everyone laughed and swapped stories, but no one commented on their under eye circles. Think of how often we sit around as American women commenting on all the things that are wrong with us! Try it even for a day: no negative words about yourself (or anyone else for that matter) and see how it feels!

I'd love to hear from you girls! What's your favorite beauty tip from your own travels? Or what's one tip you'll adopt from this little lesson! Share with me in the comments below.

Wanderfully yours,

Andi

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Andi Eaton

Andi Eaton is a creative director, author, entrepreneur, and cultural influencer in a variety of media. She produces Oui We (ouiwegirl.com) the modern bohemian's guide to everything from travel and style to beauty and holistic wellness. Andi and her projects have been featured on Domino, Glitter Guide, A Beautiful Mess, Southern Living, SELF, Hello Giggles, Refinery 29, WWD, Elle Canada and more; in 2017 she wrapped a year of road tripping throughout the U.S. photographing and documenting travel, style and culture stories available in her new book: "Wanderful: The Modern Bohemian's Guide to Traveling in Style".

Paris Travel Diary: Part 2 | Amélie's Paris

Amélie has a strange feeling of absolute harmony. It's a perfect moment. A soft light, a scent in the air, the quiet murmur of the city. A surge of love, an urge to help mankind overcomes her. - from Amélie (2001) 

Gosh I just love that movie...

I mean, c'mon what girl doesn't want to spend her days in the streets of Montmartre like Amélie?

A painting of Sacré-Cœur, the big beautiful basilica, and the Montmartre neighborhood behind it hung on my wall as a child. The painting was a gift from my dad, he's traveled to Paris often having worked here and in several other French cities over the last 20 or so years. It's a place I've dreamed of since my first childhood visit.

I woke up the other morning and decided it was the day I would visit a few of my favorite destinations, and well, those that were so beautifully depicted in the film as well. 

I took the Metro to the Rue Des Abbesses station and wandered behind Sacré-Cœur to the cobblestone street in which the bluebottle buzzes along as the film opens. From there I made my way down to Le Grenier à Pain, the 2015 winner of "Best Baguette" in Paris. I loaded up my bag with a salmon and spinach quiche, and a baguette (of course) and ventured along to have a little morning picnic on the hilltop in front of the cathedral. 

A bit later in the afternoon I asked the girls to meet me at another of Amélie's spots: Canal Saint-Martin. In the film she skips stones from the Canal bridge as Yann Tiersen's soundtrack plays in the background... It's a truly gorgeous scene. 

Chelle and Hailee met me and we walked all along the Canal, watched a ship named Sandra work all the way down the locks, and then bought a bottle of rosé to toast to another amazing Parisian day. 

It's been so nice keeping notes about these days to share with you guys. I've got museums and cemeteries to share, and a few other special little secret spots too. Thanks for reading you, it truly means the world to me! Bisous!

xoxo,

Andi

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Andi Eaton

Andi Eaton is a creative director, author, entrepreneur, and cultural influencer in a variety of media. She produces Oui We (ouiwegirl.com) the modern bohemian's guide to everything from travel and style to beauty and holistic wellness. Andi and her projects have been featured on Domino, Glitter Guide, A Beautiful Mess, Southern Living, SELF, Hello Giggles, Refinery 29, WWD, Elle Canada and more; in 2017 she wrapped a year of road tripping throughout the U.S. photographing and documenting travel, style and culture stories available in her new book: "Wanderful: The Modern Bohemian's Guide to Traveling in Style".

Paris Travel Diary: Part 1 | Bonjour from Paris!

Bonjour! 

Hello bebes! It's official. I'm in Paris. I arrived just a few days ago after a whirlwind few days of U.S. traveling.

As miss Hepburn once said, this place is always a good idea, and truly! I believe it is. It's been quite some time since I've been here, however, Hailee, one of my soul sister friends from New Orleans moved here several years ago, and Chelle studied here too. So, between the two of them they've got lists of cafés, museums, gardens and hidden little restaurants that we're committed to spending the next week living in. 

When we arrived the weather was drizzly, maybe 60 or so... typical Parisian afternoon I suppose. And from that day on the sun has twirled in and out as quickly as the horses on the carousel whirl by. 

It's ok though... here it rains - you dash along, tuck in under an awning at a café and wait... and sip coffee, and wine, and daydream... and eventually the rain subsides and it's time to move along again.

Hailee's apartment is a short walk to the Eiffel Tower, so of course, before I could even think of doing a single other thing, I went straight for the twinkling lights and the carousel. 

We spent our first full day touring the Luxembourg Garden (the chairs, the flowers, the hot chocolate around the corner at Angelina! Le swoon!) and then yesterday I strolled for hours along the Seine, wandering the quiet Sunday streets, arriving in the Tuileries Garden for a solo picnic. A great afternoon of solitude, which I find to be so important to gain a connection to a place. 

I wore this chic little chiffon dress and added my white converse (because since last fall, the Parisian style is basically elevated lunch lady) and being able to twirl along the cobblestone streets is important to a girl, oui?!

More to come - including my packing guide and a travel guide, which I fully decided I'll only share if what I traveled with proves to be the right choices! These Parisian girls are hard to keep up with, wish me luck!

Bonne nuit!

xo,

Andi

p.s. Bisou bisou to GG Boutique for dressing me for my first day here!

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Andi Eaton

Andi Eaton is a creative director, author, entrepreneur, and cultural influencer in a variety of media. She produces Oui We (ouiwegirl.com) the modern bohemian's guide to everything from travel and style to beauty and holistic wellness. Andi and her projects have been featured on Domino, Glitter Guide, A Beautiful Mess, Southern Living, SELF, Hello Giggles, Refinery 29, WWD, Elle Canada and more; in 2017 she wrapped a year of road tripping throughout the U.S. photographing and documenting travel, style and culture stories available in her new book: "Wanderful: The Modern Bohemian's Guide to Traveling in Style".