Growing up with the good fortune of having a Parisian mother, I learned a thing or two about French culture: Wine with meals verges on essential; always serve a salad with said meal; it's never too late in the day for an espresso; and you must take care of your skin (but no one needs to know about it).
My mother is fastidious, nay religious, about her skin care regimen and always has been. From removing her makeup every night without fail before bed, to her bi-weekly face-mask rituals and her love of serums from Sisley, this is something that she has instilled in me. Confidante and colleague Mathilde Lacombe, editorial director of Birchbox in France and blogger at La Vie en Blonde, she concurs: "Less is more when it comes to French beauty. We love taking care of ourselves, but we don't want it to show. We are not looking for perfection, but we are just trying to be the best version of ourselves."
When Caroline de Maigret's tome How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are launched, it served as the zeitgeist's benchmark about "how to take care of yourself while giving the impression that you don't take care of yourself. It is the art of beauty—the Parisian way," says Mathilde. And that's exactly it...to look like you have a certain je ne sais quoi, you actually need to put a fair amount of time and effort into it. Here, excerpts from Caroline's brilliant book that decree how look to after your skin like a true Parisienne: