Foreword: this post is sponsored by Return To Glory
If you want to look French, you have to get your make-up right. And, if, like me, you are not very patient, well, it can be a bit of a challenge. That said, fear not, we French women are very good at using a minimalist approach as far as make-up is concerned. It is all about looking fresh and natural, and less is definitively more. For instance, it is either the lips or the eyes. Not both. I told you already. And I rarely spend more than ten minutes on my make-up. My excuse is that I don’t want to overdo it…and I am sticking to it!
That said, if you go for the eyes, then you have no choice but to master the smokey eyes. Nothing looks more French than a good smokey eyes. The beauty of the smokey eyes is that I find it incredibly easy, especially compared to other very defined alternatives. And if the result appears a bit messy, well, it is all part of the dramatic effect that you want to create. What’s not to like?
So, here is how I do it…And it has got me a lot of attention. A bit too much sometimes, if you ask me. I hope it will work for you too. Keep me posted!
I have passed yet another milestone in my journey to middle age. What am I talking about? I know that you aren’t supposed to talk about these things but do you know what? Sod it, I think that we should. And I am in a foul mood anyway. So what happened? I had my first mammogram. There is it.
To cut a long story short, I was advised to have one every 18 months to two years between 40 and 50, and one every year after that. I have seen too many friends and relatives suffering from breast cancer, and I took my doctor’s advice very seriously. Even if my insurance only reimburses the cost of a mammogram after 45, which means that I will have to cover the costs for now, I thought that it was money well spent. Obviously it doesn’t mean that I liked the whole experience. But I did what I had to do.
I was incredibly grumpy. When does being a woman get any easier? On top of (in no particular order) having our periods, bikini waxes, hurting like mad when we give birth, being less paid than our male colleagues even when more qualified, taking care of the family and (last but not least) not being able to pee while standing, we have to have our boobs flattened between two plastic sheet? Damn it. So unfair.
I know that it is a first-world problem, and I know that I am lucky to be able to have great healthcare on tap. But I couldn’t help feeling a bit, well, miffed.
It’s a post about boobs. What did you expect? Continue Reading
Whatever our nationality, we women usually have a much tougher deal than men. Seriously, why do we have so much pressure on our shoulders? And how are we supposed to do everything we have to do (kids, house, looking good, working, cooking…) without being overwhelmed? I simply don’t know. In fact, I must admit that I am exhausted most of the time.
Yes, I look this good all the time, I promise…
Take for instance the fact that we have to look good when we go out, and pretend that we did it effortlessly. What a nightmare! I might be French, but I am not good at preparing myself. I could sort of manage in my twenties because I didn’t need to do much, but now I just can’t. It’s just too much hassle. I don’t have the patience, and I happen to be a bit of a tomboy. If you bumped into me on the street, I would probably be wearing my black running gear or my torn jeans. Not very French, I know! That’s just me.
Me on a regular day
Some things are simply universal. Chocolate is one of them. I prefer mine dark, and I like to dip it in my coffee. That said, I love milk and white chocolate too. And in case of an emotional emergency (you know what I am talking about, right?), I swear by a spoonful of Nutella. It usually does the trick. And I don’t think I am the only one. Friends of mine even have had the whole pot, but that’s a tad too much for me. But hey, who am I to judge? We all have different ways of coping.
Being French, I must admit that I had rarely seen men wearing cufflinks in my home country. Don’t get me wrong, it must have happened a few times, but it was for special occasions only. And it was the epitome of chic -some French friends were even saying that it was a tad too much. I remember thinking that it was a bit like jewellery for men. In fact, I was very impressed. And I quickly forgot about it.
Little did I know that, over here, cufflinks are just replacements for shirt buttons; you can get shirts without buttons, purposely made for cufflinks, everywhere -in fact, come to think of it, most formal shirts are supposed to be worn with cufflinks. It is a nice touch, it looks elegant and smarter. All you need to do is to put the cufflinks through and turn the thing at the end so it forms a T-shape. Voila!
Everybody wears cufflinks over here. No need for a special occasion. No need to be a banker. It’s everywhere. Some even wear them with jeans and nobody bats an eyelid. It came to a surprise to me.
It was all over the press, and I read about it this morning. Apparently, women were barred from the Cannes festival for not wearing high heels. The irony was that, while reading all the articles -and despite being French- I was wearing my black leggings that I bought on sale, my old trainers that I can’t manage to throw away, and my torn T-shirt. Nowadays I seem to be living in my running gear. Except if I have to go out, that is. Obviously if I have to go somewhere posh I will adapt myself. If not, well, I live in London now, and my neighbour bought his morning newspapers in his bathrobe yesterday anyway. So what’s wrong with my running gear again? Nothing, right? And fear not, it’s not flashy. It’s just, well, black. See, I am still (a bit) French.
In London, things can easily get too intense. We just never stop. I am sometimes so busy that I forget to have lunch. Believe me, this would never happen in France (As a matter of fact, it has never happened to me in France). I wonder where this social pressure is coming from. I suppose it what makes London, well, what it is. That said, I must admit that I needed a break. It must have been karma, because shortly afterwards I received an invitation to try out Spa London‘s Signature treatment: Cleopatra Milk & Honey Ritual. I had to accept. You see, it was research. It was work. At least that was my excuse.
I love going to spas, but somehow I never find the time. Don’t get me wrong, I have tried many, many times. But, you see, I am a simple girl. I hate places that are too clinical, where they talk slowly, and take themselves far too seriously. I also hate products that smell like artificial sweets, and have complicated names. I once laughed at the face of the therapist who wanted to put a stinking cream with some caviar in it on my face (please!). The thought of having fish eggs on my face was just too much.
As a result, I usually go the the cheapest option around, and only for the most basic treatments (waxing anyone?). This means that I often end up in the basement of a hairdresser or a nail salon for a few minutes of torture (yes, even threading bloody hurts).
Don’t lecture me about methodology. After all, even the best experts of the UK had predicted the result of the General Election completely wrong. They were way off the mark. So here it is: I have irrefutable evidence that French women don’t age. Why? How? Hear me out, and take note please.
I recently discovered this site How Old Do I Look?, and of course I have given it a try (Ahem: more than one try, if you must know. A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do. And it was all in the name of research anyway. At least that’s my excuse).
I tried it first with this picture:
Next week, it will be the start of the Cannes film festival. Are you going to climb the red steps? I would love to….But no, my excuse is that I am stuck in London, taking care of the kids/the house/the business/take your pick. I wish I could go…One day maybe.
The Cannes festival got me thinking: as you know, we French are different. We have our own movie stars. We have our own stories. So what are the differences between Cannes and the Oscars? Look at the infographic I found, thanks to Skylight…
If you read the papers over here, there is a good chance that you will find at least one article about child obesity. The irony is that, in France, we don’t talk about this issue much. That said, I understood more about the issue last week when I saw teenage girls in school uniforms queuing at a local restaurant to get a takeaway for their lunches. Guess what the lunch consisted of: a huge portion of fries (like, a whole paper plate), with dollops of mayonnaise (or ketchup) on top of it. I couldn’t believe it. The owner even had a special deal for them, and was calling them sweetheart and darling. They were clearly regulars. My lunch never ever consisted of a huge portion of fries. It is just something that a French person wouldn’t do, you see. If you are in a rush, you have a salad or a sandwich, or even a kebab. Never just fries. It simply wouldn’t cross my mind.