This past weekend I read The French Beauty Solution by Mathilde Thomas (founder of Caudalie). This book was just released on July 15th and is definitely worth picking up a copy. Though I finished it in a weekend (I’ve always been a fast reader) it is easily a book I can see picking up time and again to reread various sections that I’ve bookmarked and underlined – in other words a worthy addition to my health/beauty library.
Pictured here with my favorite makeup remover I’ve tried so far, the Caudalie Make-up Remover Cleansing Water.
I enjoyed learning about Mathilde Thomas’s childhood in France, growing up on her family vineyard of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, and how she came to co-found the natural Vinotherapie skincare brand Caudalie. Makes me wish I grew up in the French countryside! Though I grew up mostly in rural New Hampshire which is also quite beautiful. I’ve always had an interest in everything French, in part because I am part French (on my father’s mother’s side). Come to find out, according to this book, my approach to beauty is very French and I just didn’t realize it. I’ve always tended to go for a natural makeup look the majority of the time, I don’t fuss over styling my hair too much, I seek pleasure not pain from my skincare/beauty routines, I typically don’t wear mascara on my lower lashes, and I always prefer a tinted moisturizer over a full face of foundation, to name a few traits.
There are five parts and 11 chapters in the book which cover the essence of French beauty according to Mathilde Thomas, how to eat like the French for a gorgeous glow, relaxation a la française, how your skin ages, ingredients to avoid and ingredients to love, how to best take care of your skin and some of the author’s favorite at-home recipes, how to do your makeup and hair like the French, and finally all about the three-day grape cleanse.
Sprinkled throughout are little sidebars which are either anecdotes and tips or “french beauty secrets” as she calls them. I found this book to be chock full of information and even if you aren’t a novice to skincare you’ll probably learn a thing or two and if you are a novice you will learn a lot! There is info about how to eat healthy for beautiful skin (what vitamins your skin needs and which foods have the highest levels, what polyphenols are and which fruits and veggies you can find them in), as well as how to determine which skin type you are and how to choose skincare for that type.
There is also a fair amount of info on resveratrols throughout (a natural antioxidant found in grapes) and how to incorporate them into your diet as well as topically in your skincare routine. Though there were a few mentions of Caudalie products it was not overly promotional which I appreciated.
Thomas shares more than a dozen super simple skincare recipes that anyone can make at home and I will certainly give some of them a try. I was very interested to read her lists of “best” and “worst” ingredients. She only includes about nine ingredients on the worst list and I was happy she made sure to include parabens on there, but then she recommends NARS blush I think twice in the book…which contains parabens (also triclosan which is horrible for you). So a little contradictory there. For the most part though her recommendations are great.
I’m thinking about trying the three-day grape detox (perhaps this fall, as she said autumn is the best time). I’m not one for extreme dieting…or much dieting at all, and as she mentions several times in the book, diets don’t work. But a healthy detox is different and this one seems more fun than others because you at least get to eat grapes for three days instead of just a liquid diet. As it is a mono-diet supposedly it gives your body’s digestive system a good rest and thus you gain more energy, get better sleep, and improved skin. If I ever try it I’ll let you know how it goes! Now knowing how many great vitamins and minerals are in grapes I’ll certainly be snacking on them throughout the week. As soon as I finished this book, I texted my husband who was on his way home from work and said “Grapes! I need grapes!” He brought them home from the store and was like, “what do you need all these grapes for?” : )
Have you tried the grape detox? If so I’d love to know about your experience with it, and if you do end up reading this book I’d love to know what your favorite part was or something that surprised you/something you learned in the comments below! Happy reading xo – Naomi
*Special thanks to Avery for sending me a copy!