Relax with a pampering Parisian spa day!
French women are known around the world for their flawless, radiant skin and chic sense of style—and now you can borrow their best beauty secrets to look simply stunning!
Keep skin soft with French lavender oil!
“Lavender is grown in the south of France, and it’s traditionally been used to soothe and calm,” reveals Naomi Whittel, author of Glow15, who adds that it’s an honored ingredient in many of her French grandmother’s beauty recipes! The antioxidant-rich herb acts as an anti-inflammatory to baby rough, parched skin, while moisturizing almond oil softens from head to toe. n DIY it! Add 1 cup sweet almond oil and 40 drops lavender essential oil to lidded glass bottle. Shake well. Add a few sprigs of dried lavender, if desired. Smooth small amount on damp skin after shower. Keeps 1 month.
Prevent wrinkles with a red wine face mask!
In Paris, wine is popular for drinking and beauty! Its potent resveratrol targets free radicals and prevents collagen breakdown and loss of elasticity. Celebrity facialist Graceanne Svendsen suggests mixing wine with soothing oats and hydrating honey for a youthful complexion. ■ DIY it! Combine 1/4 cup red wine, 1/4 cup oats and 2 Tbs. raw honey. Smooth over clean skin. Relax 20 minutes; remove with a gentle cleanser.
Get glowing with gommage!
Gommage is a gentle way to exfoliate: Smooth on a paste, let the enzymes dissolve dead cells as it dries, then rub it off. A French favorite? Mixing exfoliating pumpkin and yogurt with humectant honey, then buffing it off with salt! ■ DIY it! Combine 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup pumpkin purée and 2 Tbs. raw honey. Smooth onto clean skin, avoiding eye area. Relax 15 minutes. Dip fingertips into 1 Tbs. finely ground sea salt; gently rub off mask. Rinse well.
Boost your mood with perfume!
Research proves wearing your favorite fragrance not only lifts your spirits, it ups your confidence, too— which is why perfume is a beauty staple in France! “My French grandmother never left the house without a little makeup, jewelry— and perfume,” says Whittel. In fact, Parisian women are so big on fragrance that after they add it to their neck and wrists, they spritz perfume on a cotton handkerchief and keep it in their purse. Every time they open their bag, they get a mood-boosting burst of scent!
Whisk away makeup the French way!
Micellar water—tiny balls of cleansing oil suspended in soft water—was invented in France to counteract the drying effects of hard water. “Hard water strips natural lipids from skin, causing dehydration and crepiness,” Svendsen says. But micellar waters cleanse and moisturize at the same time to keep skin healthy! Simply add micellar water to a cotton round and smooth over your face each evening to whisk away makeup and leave skin nourished—no rinsing required! ■ One to try: Garnier Skinactive Micellar Cleansing Water, $ 6.99 at Target.
Slow signs of aging with a French fruit parfait!
Meaning “perfect” in French, parfaits are an anti-aging treat! “Fruit is very important in a French diet, and dessert will typically include berries,” says Whittel, who suggests layering antioxidant-rich blueberries, strawberries and blackberries with nutty granola, which is loaded with skin-nourishing vitamin E, and protein-packed yogurt to slow signs of aging. ■ Try it! Layer 5 oz. plain yogurt with 1/2 cup granola and 1 cup mixed berries in tall glass. Sweeten with honey to taste, if desired.