Much to Copain's chagrin, I haven't highlighted my hair since September 2010.  That's almost a full year sans highlights after over 15 years of blond.  C'est fou n'est pas?

I've always been annoyed by the never-ending root issue and the obligation to shell out 80 to 100 Euros every 3 months, but what really got me thinking was the effortless française.  Somehow French women have mastered the art of effortless - breezy, chic, pulled together with what looks like very little effort. Makeup is minimal,  hair is fairly natural and clothes are subdued, elegant. Moi aussi, je veux être comme ça!

During a massage my desire for effortless was really driven home when the masseuse told me that where my blond hair may look cheap, at least I didn't have wrinkles. Yay for the glass being half-full.

That was it, I thought - plus de balayage! Plus de blond! Effortless would be mine. Unfortunately, I'm still waiting for effortless because my blond has yet to completely grow out (I'm currently sporting the two-tone look), but I do feel like I am on my way.  En plus, this effortless thing does not come naturally to me - which is supposed to be the point n'est pas? Can you blame me though? I grew up in Southern California, home of Botox and boob jobs.

The big beauty difference was made clearer to me during my recent trip to the land of highlights and acrylic nails. I don't know one French person with acrylic nails, and while some of my friends do color their hair, very few choose blond. Take a trip to Cali, however, and you are in blondie-acrylic-nail central. Nail salons located on every corner (and in every mall) offer 10 massage chairs to anyone and everyone needing a mani/pedi toute de suite. 

Okay, perhaps more like 20 chairs 
(merci to my oh-so-sly partner in crime who "posed" for our awkward nail salon photo)

Just one of many...

Perhaps I'm stereotyping and generalizing but.... ehhh, well...

Cleavage is another phenomenon that is presque non-existant in France. Bare breasts are okay for the beach but les françaises keep them elegantly hidden in their soutien gorges at all other times. Fly into LAX however, and you are basically boobified from the runway. I know I sound like a grand mère when I say this, but after almost 7 years here in France, the site of cleavage anywhere but la plage shocks me quite frankly.

French fashion and elegance has been talked about for ages (and let's be real, the Frenchies also have their fair share of tacky country bumpkins), but overall, there is a certain je ne sais quoi here in France.  Something that les françaises have mastered (for my Frenchie readers, as a fairly recent française, I'm certainly open to pointers :-).

About two more haircuts and I'll be that much closer to effortless - which unfortunately has taken me a good amount of effort to achieve...(On multiple occasions I've literally had to talk myself away from the home hair coloring kits sold at Monoprix. NEVER a good idea FCC. NEVER a good idea.).

All is not lost however...when I came home from California with a French manicure (suggested by the nail lady who did the manicures for the women at my brother's wedding), Copain took one look at it and asked me, "why did you do that?!" - which is exactly what I was (guiltily) thinking while the woman was doing it.  I thought that I was being snotty, but it turns out I was just being française.

My very American nails - why do they call it a French manicure anyways??

1 comment:

  1. I used to be an adept of relative effortless: no hair color, nude make-up. But then my worst enemies came: white hairsssssss. Too many to go unnoticed, so I started dying my hair at the salon, then at home considering that the cost of hiding grey hair is a budget on its own... Now, I can say I am between blondish, yellowish, orang-ish, something-ish but at least no white-ish on my hair, ah ah!
    Sometimes I wish I could afford to go to the salon again and have this "old people's problem" taken care of with more discretion than what l'Oréal does, but hey, it's not so bad for a 12 euros color...

    So, courage, and until the white hairs show up, enjoy effortless.


Salut! Comments may take a moment to appear on French Cannes Cannes. Thanks for reading - à bientôt!