The French Je Ne Sais Quoi

The women of France aren’t fixated on gym workouts, calories in and out, and fad beauty treatments. They definitely don’t do the daily wash of the hair and they've demonstrated that dieting is deplorable. Naturel nails, toning tonics, home made masks – these ladies know how to care for their corps. Below, you’ll find our guide to going femme free, for barely any bucks.

The Basics


Hair Clarifying Tonic


Apple cider vinegar will help restore your hair’s pH value.  It seals the cuticles, making each strand shinier and stronger, and will remove the buildup of commercial shampoos. 1 part apple cider vinegar 1 part water Pour mixture into hair after shampooing. Allow the concoction sit for several minutes before rinsing thoroughly. There is no reason to condition, as this treatment will leave your hair lovely and smooth.

Moisture Mask


Eggs are rich in protein. Protein helps to strengthen the hair, and alleviates brittleness that leads to split ends. 2 Whole Eggs (preferably pasture raised) Crack at least two eggs in a bowl and whisk together. If you have dry or brittle hair, use egg whites to moisturize your hair. Use ½ cup of any egg mixture (egg white, entire egg) and apply to clean, damp hair. Leave it for 20 minutes and rinse with cool water.

Brushing


Flip your head over, and looking at you belly, brush your hair in long sweeping strokes (6-10, don’t overdo it), stimulating the scalp, and distributing natural oils. This is great for your scalp health and when done gently will promote hair growth.

Massage


Massaging the scalp is something humans have been doing since the beginning of time.. The Indians have Shirodhara, the Chinese have Qi Gong head massage, and in the Middle East it’s simply expected when visiting the barber. In Traditional Chinese medicine, there are pressure points all over your head that correspond to your internal organs as well as eyes, ears, nose, arms and legs. So, basically your entire body. You can incorporate massage into your daily routine – use circular massage-like motions when washing hair, before bed, and after your brushing routine.

How To: Scalp Massage


  1. Remove hair tie and part hair.
  2. Looking down, massage your temples in a clockwise motion with your index and middle fingers, working your way up to the top of your forehead and back down to your temples.
  3. Keeping your knuckles close to your scalp, gently tug your hair (and head) from side-to-side several times. Start at the front of your hairline and work your way to the back of your head.
  4. Massage your scalp using your thumbs in clockwise (right thumb) and counterclockwise (left thumb) motions, while your other fingers rest on top of your head, holding in place.
  5. Tap lightly on scalp using fingertips. In Traditional Chinese Medecine (TCM) this is refered to as tapping but the French call this pianotage, which is much more elegant.

How To: Facial Massage


Below is a traditional French facial massage, using the principles of lymphatic drainage. It's simple, quick, and detoxifying. Your skin will glow.
  1. Place five dots of facial moisturizer (almond oil, coconut oil, or the SW Basics Shea butter moisturizer) around your face: one at the base of your neck, one on your chin, one on each cheek, and one on your forehead.
  2. Using your finger tips, gently sweep your hands up your neck alternating between both hands in a gentle caressing motions. I usually do at least 20 strokes.
  3. Now caress your chin and cheeks, starting at the chin and moving outward toward the ears, and then starting at the nose and moving across the cheeks toward the brow area. Do each stroke about ten times. This helps with lymphatic drainage, which in turn gives you that thing we’re always talking about — a great glow.
  4. Smooth out your forehead by placing both palms in the middle and moving outward in opposite directions. Vary that with upward strokes, one palm at a time, from the middle of your nose to your hairline. Bellis does the whole routine two to three times.
  5. Wake up your lovely face with pianotage, lightly tapping your fingers all over your face and neck as though you’re playing a piano. This helps with circulation and lets the moisturizer penetrate your skin better.
  6. Finish off the facial moisturizing segment by pressing your palms gently against your cheeks, temples, and necks.
  7. Now, it’s time for eye cream: Dab a bit on the outer corner of each eye and beneath each eye. Any extra? Dab along your upper lip, which is also a very delicate area.
  8. Place a finger against your upper eyelid, right by the tear duct. (Do both eyes at once.) Using very, very gentle strokes, move your finger along the crease of the upper eyelid and down around your eye, following the shape of the eye. You’ll end up by the tear duct again, but on the opposite side. Go around the eye four or five times, remembering to be extremely careful with this fragile skin.
  9. Massage any leftover eye cream onto your upper lip as though you’re stroking your mustache.
  10. Finish up with a bit of upper lip pianotaage. - Zoe Twitt