How to Get Wedding-Ready Like a French Girl

Hair & Beauty
Brigitte Bardot Wedding Photo

Photo: Getty Images

If anyone's keeping score, "getting married" can now be added to the list of things that French women do (seemingly) effortlessly. At the launch party for her new book, The French Beauty Solution, Mathilde Thomas, co-founder of the French beauty brand Caudalie, told us how to infuse a little of that je ne sais quoi into your pre-wedding beauty regimen.

1. Keep makeup minimal.
"I didn't wear foundation for my 1996 wedding," Thomas says. "Get your skin in great shape six months beforehand by concentrating on your skin-care regimen. Then you'll be able to do a no-makeup, makeup look with waterproof mascara and blush." If you need to even out your skin tone, try concealer or a gradual sunless tanner, she says, which will give you a nice little glow.

2. Don't forget the skin below your neck.
An important step in your routine, Thomas says, should be exfoliating from head to toe with a good scrub. One of our faves: Her brand's Crushed Cabernet Scrub, $38, which contains grape seed oil and brown sugar to moisturize while sloughing off dead skin cells.

See more: 6 Beauty Essentials for Your Honeymoon

3. Get in shape, but don't go crazy.
"I wore a little ivory dress — it was very sexy and my husband was super happy," Thomas jokes. "So while I wanted to be fit and trim, it doesn't have to be extreme. Maybe do a bit of ab work, hike, swim, bike, and walk. You just want to look like your best self."

4. Try the "grape detox."
"In the 19th century, it was very trendy for women to go to south of France and stay in a spa called a uvarium, where they would eat only grapes for three days," Thomas says. "I do it once a year during harvest season. Your skin tone gets more even, you glow, you lose weight, and your energy increases. It's really a great reset for your body. Of course, you shouldn't eat a Ladurée macaron right after, otherwise you'll gain everything back right away! But it's one of the best secrets."

5. That said, you don't have to suffer to be gorgeous.
"That's a main difference between French women and American women," Thomas says. We allow ourselves pleasures and don't believe in the 'no pain, no gain' philosophy." You're only going to get married once — right? So let yourself enjoy it!

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from