Mireille Guiliano first came to our attention when she famously invited Oprah to come stay with her to learn the secrets of why “French Women Don’t Get Fat.” This former CEO of Veuve Clicquot, the LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned Champagne house, launched a new genre of French ‘savoir faire.’
Subsequent publications included the “French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook”, “French Women For All Seasons” and her business sense and sensibility guide, “Women, Work & The Art of Savoir Faire.”
Guiliano shares her time between Manhattan, Paris and Provence. The 60-something writer attributes the youthful staying power of the French to their individualistic style and attitude. She says, “The difference is the U.S. is a ‘youth’ culture. France is not. Literally, here you are old after 30 and not in France. There is still respect for women in their 50’s.”
She writes, “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.”
A few tips from her book: 1. Attitude is key – Mireille calls attitude ‘the magic pill’ responsible for the major difference in youthful appearance of French women. Love and laughter save the day. 2. Dress for the age you are now. She says “Girlish looks for matue women are not something French women are keen on. With today’s choices, one does not have to dress old at any age.” 3. Less is more for makeup. “Once your face has noticeable wrinkles, don’t even think about makeup and moisturizers with glittery particles that draw attention. C’est tout.” 4. Eat “face friendly” food. This includes lots of vegetables, good protein, honey and a little bit of what you fancy; including chocolate and a glass of champagne. 5. Respect your skin. Moisturise religiously. France is a country of creams and treatments, often bought from the local chemist. Use preventative measures like UV protection to slow down the clock.
“French Women Don’t Get Facelifts” is published by Grand Central Publishing on 24 December 2013. It has already been named a Wall Street Journal best book of the year.