Yesterday in the Thursday Styles Section of the New York Times, the Skin Deep column detailed the French trend of "Le no makeup" look. Apparently, French women cast their utmost disdain upon those unfortunate overdone souls in California and Catherine Deneuve (wow, apparently a little M.A.C. contract and a face lift is all it takes to draw your own nation's ire).
So the article delves into the obsession that French women have with looking natural, but beautiful at the same time. For them this means a perfect glowing complexion and beige lips. It does not mean looking like Nicole Ritchie or Britney Spears (thanks for singling out two of the worst examples of American culture, by the way).
And personally, I'm all for the no makeup look (actually, I usually have it going on because I have to run out of the house late in the morning without makeup, but I don't think that's what the French had in mind).
The embodiment of "le bare face" are actresses like Juliette Binoche and Audrey Tautou. Looking at pictures of them, like the Allure June cover of Tautou, I'm buying whatever they are selling. However, the article also points out that the quirky French healthcare system allows women to regularly indulge in creams, facials, and spa treatments while imputing 65% of the cost to the government. Vive la France, baby.
The article also has a list of cosmetics that the experts recommend to acheive le no makeup look.
Some of them are no surprise, like the YSL Touche Eclat, but some of the others will definitely make my list of things to try out the next time I'm in a department store including the Laura Mercier Moisturizing Foundation, the YSL Tinted Baume No. 6, and the Giorgio Armani eyeshadows nos. 10 and 36.
So the next time I stumble out of my apartment and someone asks if I forgot my makeup, I can say haughtily, "I prefer le bare face" in my best snotty accent. Eat it, Ritchie!
FYI, while the French take extreme pride in their language, there was a movement to purge all of the bastardizations of American words from the lexicon, like "le week-end." Evidendently it didn't take, at least not in magazine copy.