French Women Don't Get Facelifts.

Just last week,
Tyler & I were talking about
the wrinkles we've acquired
over the past year.

Whether it's getting older
(hello, 30, I see you, too!),
having a baby,
loosing a baby,
or a combination of them all-
for the first time,
I look in the mirror
and see someone noticeable older
looking back at me.

Tyler & I both poke at 
our random grey hairs
and eye wrinkles
with fascination and shock.

But we don't really mind.

In fact, we both wear them proudly...

Somehow it would feel cheap
to have gone through life
without them...

So, here we sit,
at 31 (him) and nearly 30 (moi).

I've splurged on some fancy skin cream
to slow down the process, 
but at the same time-
it's made me start to think 
about what it means to age
and how I feel about it.

And guess what?

I feel good about it.
I like the idea of being 40... 50... 60-
and not just that,
I like the idea of looking like that, too.

I don't want to always pretend like I'm 21...
or dress like that.

(Somehow I should toss in a not-Forever-21-line,
but I'm lazy and... well, you get the jist anyway.)

As we discussed what it meant
to own our ages,
I told Tyler I'll be happy to be 40...
"but a French forty."

Because somehow French women act their age
while also looking completely relevant & attractive.

So with this topic on my mind,
I was really excited to see
that this book is out.

This is the sequel to the famous
"Why French Women Don't Get Fat,"
Mireille Guiliano wrote a new book addressing 
how women in France
balance ageing and beauty.

While I'm not committing
to 100% of everything Giuliano says,
I think there is something really beautiful
(and normal!)
about owning your age.

(Book available here.)

*  *  *

Here are some highlights from the book
(via InStyle's clever review)
to give you a taste:

1. See the “you” now.
In order to “manage your aging,” Guiliano says it’s important to see yourself as you truly are now– on the inside and outside. Instead of living in the past and seeing the younger (and probably slimmer) you, Guiliano advises women to “stop kidding themselves” and starting seeing the you now.
In her signature tell-it-like-it-is tone, Guiliano writes: “Realistically projecting, assessing the options, then shaping what we can and should be doing during the various later stages of life’s road is the powerful mental medicine that can cure some of our ills and enhance our pleasures through life.”
“Certainly in France, a woman in her forties and fifties is still alluring and seen as an object of desire and acts the part. She feels it and acts it, but doesn’t pretend she is ageless.”
2. Think like a French woman.
What we really love about French Women Don’t Get Facelifts is Guiliano’s ability to make aging gracefully seem fun and easy. It’s clear that Guiliano enjoys life and living it to the fullest. In her book, she encourages women to do the same by adopting a French woman’s attitude. She writes: “And French women, if they are anything, are individualistic in how they present themselves. Their outer package is infused with inner style and beauty and an ‘I don’t give a damn posture (which half the time they don’t, but they still dress to buy the morning’s baguette).’”
3. A little goes a long way. 
Throughout Guiliano’s book, she reminds us of the ineffectiveness of crash-dieting and extreme cosmetic procedures, such as facelifts. In a why-torture-yourself tone, Guiliano talks about the importance of daily activity that’s not necessarily strenuous, the power of a great haircut, dressing your age, having the right shoes, and other lifestyle adjustments to make as you grow older.
“Through your decades you can evolve with the times without losing your established identity,” she writes. “You can refresh your brand without going for a complete makeover and attempting to become some new person. That’s a bit like a crash diet, and such diets don’t work.”
4. Listen to your body. 
Guiliano also stresses the importance of recognizing the “five-pound alert.” She says that if you don’t take action after gaining five pounds, then you will just keep gaining and it will become harder to lose the weight. Guiliano’s secret to maintaining consistent numbers on the scale lies in her dietary choices. In one chapter called, “An Anti-Aging Food Prescription,” Guiliano includes 15 recipes that she says have been part of her nutritional plan since her fifties, and some recipes since much earlier.
 5. Attitude is key.
At the end of the day, Guiliano believes attitude is most effective in appearing and feeling younger. Referring to attitude as a “magic pill” to looking younger, Guiliano says French women approach aging with a different mindset than women from most cultures, and that is what makes the difference – not grooming, clothing, nutrition or face and skin care. It is attitude, she says.
And along with this anti-aging attitude come two elements that save us in life. Guiliano writes: “…according to Indian journalist and novelist Tarun J. Tejpal, [they are] love and laughter. If you have one of the two, all is well. If you have both, you are invincible. Now there’s an attitude.”


  1. Are you having a big birthday party to celebrate the big 3-oh? Any excuse to head over to London town…hint hint xx

  2. I loved the first book and the second one sounds right up my alley! Thanks for the overview!!! I have 40 in my not too distant future. Yikes.

  3. love this! i have always admired my grandma and i look forward to aging gracefully like she has :) xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  4. So interesting! Aging gracefully is one of the most impressive and admirable things... I think the craziest thing about life is how inevitably quickly we go through it!

  5. Amen. Love the French.
    xx Katy, an almost 30-year-old

  6. Good stuff!
    I'm turning 26 this year and I'm totally dreading it for some reason.
    This helps...some. :)

    Manda from Eat Cake

  7. Alright LK, let me know what you are trying for your eye cream (and if you like it)! I am using some stuff from Dr. Brandt -- it has some shimmer in it so it boosts your under-eyes too. I am in the same boat. I would like to slow the wrinkle process down, but I appreciate the ones I have -- the fine lines lend a little bit of maturity and experience to your appearance. Woot-woot for the soon-to-be 3-0!

  8. I love the five pound rule. Sometimes I'm like a child who likes to tests boundaries. Except instead of boundaries I like seeing how much I can eat before I can gain weight. But really, if i don't want to gain weight then I should just listen to my body. Which is good because I threw away my scale last week.

  9. I am sorry to say that they do get face lifts, but GOOD ones! Some of the best European plastic surgeons live in Paris actually. Catherine Deneuve or Carole Bouquet would be good examples of this. They enhance their beauty instead of trying to look like 30 year olds.

  10. I completely agree. At 29, I'm starting to see the first few lines, and I'm embracing it! With age comes wisdom, and "gray hair is a crown of splendor" (although I'm a fan of hair color on top of the grays). ;) I'm looking forward to aging gracefully, and I'll hold tightly to my Clarisonic brush and retinoids in the meantime! Can't wait to flip through this book!

  11. I agree that we should age gracefully and live beautiful lives no matter what. It all starts by loving ourselves first and accepting ourselves as we are.

  12. Love this post. I've never been particularly bothered about looking older but if I can do it as gracefully as the French I'll be happy ;)

  13. I just now found Your blog,I'm Your newest follower.I don't follow many younger women,most are My own age,but since Your speaking of being happy with being elderly.....I am. I'm not French and I don't dream of France but I am so happy growing older in style.Yes, Your right it is a choice and I choose with style.

  14. This post, like the rest of your blog, is lovely. I am of the belief that growing older is a privilege, and that all of the baggage that comes along with it (laugh lines, crow's feet, wrinkles, whatever) are simply evidence that you're lucky. I hope to be one of those women who ages really gracefully, and without fear. I think too often we lose track of what it really *means* to grow older -- it's a happy thing, a measure of good fortune. And as women living in an age-ist society, I think it's really important for us to treat aging as a source of empowerment (wisdom, experience, etc.) than as a burden.

  15. having just begrudgingly turned 41, I think I need this book! or maybe I should just move to france. I like that idea better.

    Hope you're having a texas-sized great time here! xo


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