The more time I spent with French femmes, the more I realized they don't spend the inordinate amount of time grooming that American women do. Most let their hair air dry, wear little makeup, and skimp on hair removal. And honestly, they look better for it: more natural, more nonchalantly gorgeous.
When I began cutting down on prep time, Monsieur X was appreciative. He could finally smell "me" and not my deodorant and shampoo, he murmured, nuzzling my neck. I'll admit the comment made me want to sprint to the shower. But there was something so liberating about letting go of my Californian Ivory Girl sensibilities. I didn't need to be depilated and exfoliated to a shine to be attractive. Americans make much of the sophistication of French women, but the truth is, when it comes to beauty, these swans are fairly rock 'n' roll. Yes, they eat sensibly (no snacking) and pay attention to their skin, but they also engage in a healthy abandon we sometimes lack.