If there’s one beauty book you choose to read in your lifetime, it should be The French Beauty Solution by Caudalie founder, Mathilde Thomas. This book by far exceeds the expectations you’d hold in a beauty book. Mathilde discusses beauty from the French perspective: subtle and simple, yet sophisticated and elegant. She covers topics such as nutrition, skincare, makeup, and everything in between. The book is sprinkled with practical information and advice, as well as tips, French beauty secrets, and tidbits of French history related to beauty.
Beauty should not be a chore
I used to think skincare and makeup had to be a whole long process, and at times I wouldn’t even bother trying. Mathilde explains that instead of viewing your beauty routine as a chore, you should customize it so that your routine makes you feel and look good at the same time. You have to love and take pleasure in the products you use, as your products should be potent and effective and those which are best for you, not just because someone else liked or recommended them. Create a beauty routine for your own sake, not to impress other people. If you’re interested in finding the best possible products for you, I would recommend trying samples from Sephora, as well as researching the web. Our last blog post on skincare is a great place to start, too.
Skincare > Makeup
The timing with which this book entered my life couldn’t have been better. Lately I’ve been researching and sampling different skincare and beauty products in an attempt to find sustainable ways to streamline my beauty regimen on a daily basis. I don’t like to use too much makeup – I’ll admit I’m too lazy for that feat. Instead I’ve been focusing on finding skincare products that minimize my breakouts and keep my skin hydrated so that my complexion looks natural and polished, leaving little need for much makeup. Mathilde highlights the French emphasis on achieving a radiant complexion through good nutrition, massages and facials, and effective skincare products over masking any imperfections with heavy makeup. In short, the French base their beauty routines on prevention and upkeep, instead of finding quick solutions to flaws or insecurities.
You cannot reverse sun damage
I’ve never been a great tanner, as my skin tends to burn instead of bronze. I’ve always been one of the palest girls among my girlfriends growing up, but now I’m thankful that I took a hindered approach to sun tanning when I was younger. In her book, Mathilde warns of the harmful effects of UV radiation and sun damage. A sun-kissed, tanned body may look great in the present, but in the long run the sun damage to your skin could be fatal. Mathilde defines UVA and UVB radiation- UVA penetrates into the deepest layers of your skin where it damages your DNA, collagen, and elastin and causes hyperpigmentation, while UVB burns the surface of skin, destroying cellular DNA and releasing free radicals. Mathilde also explains how you can prevent sun damage and protect your skin with different types of sunscreen (she also explains SPF), protective clothing, and opting for self tanners for that sun-kissed glow without the harmful effects of UV rays.
Pay attention to those skincare ingredients
I’ve never cared to read through the long list of ingredients listed on the back of the majority of beauty products, and I’m sure you haven’t either. Mathilde makes it easy by listing the best and worst skincare ingredients to look out for in products. After reading through her lists and explanations, I was shocked at how many of the products I had [now previously] owned were detrimental to my skin and health. Many companies often opt for certain ingredients, especially chemicals, that are more cost-effective in the production and effectiveness of their products, but potentially harmful to you. Once you read through Mathilde’s list, it’ll be much easier for you to select good products and stay away from those with bad ingredients.
Less is more
Mathilde devotes an entire chapter to her favorite natural recipes for masks and scrubs for the face, body, and hair. She includes 17 recipes with natural ingredients such as yogurt, honey, avocado, natural oils, and egg whites. She emphasizes the simplicity of these ingredients in her recipes, and shows that it doesn’t take much to refresh your skin and hair. She takes a similar approach when she discusses the makeup routines of French women, favoring the “no makeup, makeup look.” French women use makeup in subtle ways to enhance their features instead of applying heavy makeup that will change the shape of their face. They keep it simple with products such as tinted moisturizer, eyeliner or a light coat of mascara, a bit of blush, and a go-to lipstick shade. Their need for minimal makeup stems from their emphasis on skincare, and they use just enough makeup that will leave them feeling polished and professional, while still feeling like themselves.
The French Beauty Solution changed the way I perceive beauty and helped me relax my approach to make it more comfortable and enjoyable. If you’re interested in reading up on all of Mathilde Thomas’s helpful information and advice, or if you’re just obsessed with French culture and that je ne sais quoi that the French possess, then you’ll definitely enjoy this book.
Born in Ukraine and raised in Chicago, Iryna takes pride in her Ukrainian roots. She loves writing, cooking (and eating) all kinds of food, pursuing new fitness trends, and exploring all things related to personal growth. She hopes this blog brings you value in one way or another and helps you to become a better version of you.