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The Fascinating Difference Between French and American Beauty

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There’s just something about French women. They have a certain chic, classy, and cool vibe that American women have long been trying to emulate. The two countries have vastly different approaches to beauty, and Mathilde Thomas, co-founder of French beauty brand Caudalie, will explain the subject once and for all in her forthcoming book, The French Beauty Solution. According to Yahoo Beauty, Thomas said the key to French beauty is the belief that “beauty is something to give you pleasure. Because when you feel good, you look good.”

When she moved from France to New York City in 2010 to expand her brand, she traveled all over the country meeting customers to find the American concept of beauty was more about pain than pleasure. She said many of the women confessed to making their beauty choices based on “the erroneous notion of no pain/no gain.” Women would tell her about crash diets and irritating skin products because they thought they had to suffer to be beautiful, Thomas said. On the other hand, she and French women believe the notion of beauty should be pleasing to you.

Thomas’s book discusses how American women are all about the “quick fix,” meaning they’ll try an elusive product or procedure that will instantly solve a nagging beauty problem, even if it hurts, is expensive, or is damaging in the long run (whoops, guilty as charged). That’s quite different from the French view of beauty, which Thomas describes as an essential and pleasurable part of the day, and a lifelong and active investment that makes you look and feel good.

In the book, Thomas says, “For the French, our beauty routine is predicated on prevention and upkeep and is regarded as an essential, ongoing investment. What I saw here, however, was much more of a tendency toward the quick solution… And while millions of American women consider beauty a priority in their daily routine, many of their habits are either too complicated, too expensive, too painful, or simply not effective.”

If you want to be more like the French (and who doesn’t), this book is sure to show you the way. It comes out in July but you can pre-order a copy here.

This article originally appeared on MIMI

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