Living that French Lifestyle

French Lifestyle secrets you can´t help but love

I came across an article about French lifestyle habits a while ago, at first they didn’t seem like such a big deal. But I decided to try some of them out, just for the hell of it. Some were easy, some were difficult, and some I definitely could not implement. Even the smallest changes can make quite a difference in the way you go about your day, and in the long term it can definitely change how you live your life.

Their eating habits – I have always had trouble controlling myself when it comes to food. Then I read about some interesting habits that the French implement on a daily basis.

The French sit down for every meal. How often have you bought something while to eat while you were walking around the shopping centre, or bought a take away coffee and drank it on the go.

I decided to give this a try, I sit down for most of my meals, but I decided to make it a conscious decision. Next, I tried sitting down and enjoying a cappuccino instead of getting one to go while I run my errands. It felt strange at first, going to sit at a restaurant just to have a coffee. Not to play on my phone, meet someone for a catch up or order something to eat. I ordered my coffee, and just sat and enjoyed it. I am telling you, this is where the magic happens. This is where you find inspiration, where you calm down, take stock of your day, and just…be. Since that day I have never ever ordered coffee in a take away cup again. I cannot imagine not sitting down and savouring my coffee.

They eat fresh, home cooked meals. The French are famous for their food, but not only that, they are in the habit of going to a market several times a week and buying fresh produce to cook on the day. They do not have big fridges and stand-alone deep freezers full of ready-made meals.

They don’t eat diet foods. The French steer clear of low fat, fat free, sugar free and low carb foods. They are famous for eating everything, full fat cheeses and yoghurt, pastries and wine. This ties in with their sitting down for each meal philosophy, when you sit down and savour your meal without any dictations, you are eating more mindfully. The eat everything, in moderation. When you are not eating on the go or, scarfing down your meal while you binge watch e new Netflix series, you are much more aware of how much you’re eating, and you will definitely be aware of the quality of your meal.

They drink wine every day. Need I say more?

They don´t snack. The French eat three meals a day, no more, no less. This makes your mail meals so much more anticipated. If they do feel like something to munch on, it will be fruit or nuts around 4pm. This is called Le Gouter.

Their beauty habits

Skincare is essential. French women are famous for their no make-up make up looks, their glowing skin and their red lips. This is one of my favourite habits of theirs; less is more when it comes to make up. French women all have a signature look, whether it be a red lip, a smoky eye or Bambi-eye lashes. Their trick is to emphasize one element, while downplaying the rest, If you’re wearing a bold lip colour, leave your eyes neutral. If you’re wearing a smoky black eye, go with a nude lip. It is all about balance.

When it comes to skin care, we south Africans tend to think of it as a treat, buying a fancy face mask a Clicks, having a glass of vino and doing a Sunday spa day. The French think of these habits as essential, not as treats on special occasions. Their skin care routines are also notoriously simple, cleanse your face, put some cream on, bam, you’re done. The secret is in the constant routine and the quality of the products. The French are not known for quick fixes, they implement long term sustainable plans into their routines, as opposed to slathering on some extra concealer when they have a pimple.

Another habit of theirs that I have recently adopted is to have plain, natural nails. I used to spend hours in a nail salon having my nails soaked off and reapplied. Not only was this expensive in the times of covid, but also damaging my nails long term. A few months ago, I did my nails for the last time. Since soaking them off, I have fallen in love with a simple, polished look. I still take very good care of my nails, but this has also become part of my beauty routine. French women are effortless and sitting in a nail salon and having acrylic nails put onto your own nails does not tie in with effortless. Side note, I also now love being able to say ´´these are my own nails´´, I am all about being natural (not that there is ANYTHING wrong with wearing make-up or having acrylic nails, it just not or me any more).

They apply lipstick with their fingertips. A habit I also quickly adopted, smear your finger over your lipstick and then apply it to your lips. It gives your lips so much more texture because the lipstick is not that thick. It also makes your lips look very natural. Give it a try!

They don’t blow-dry their hair and sleep with it wet. Another tip I loved to implement into my own routine, sleeping with damp hair and saying au revoir to my hair dryer. After washing my hair, I run some leave in conditioner through my not so luscious locks; I clip my hair on top of my head with a large hair clip, and go to sleep. When I wake up, my hear is perfectly tousled and even a little poofy.

Jeanne Damas

Fashion Habits

When you think fashion, you think French. Something that I personally suck at is fashion. I have a tendency to buy the wrong clothes for my body type; I fall for all sales, even buying things I don’t need. And sadly, I buy cheap, ill-fitting clothes.

French buy quality clothing. Not necessarily expensive, but always made of good quality, long lasting fabrics.

The French wear fitted clothing. There´s nothing worse that wearing an outfit that does not suit your body and shows parts of you that you would rather hide.

The French are known for capsule wardrobes. The buy what they call staples, and stick to them. These include neutral tank tops and t-shirts, well-fitting jeans, a blazer, a trench coat for winters, a classic white button shirt and classic shoes.

Investing in a capsule wardrobe has made my life easier. Instead of staring at my clothes and wondering what I will be wearing on the couch today, I have got the basics down. Good fitting jeans and neutral shirts. Putting on a good pair of jeans paired with a nice t-shirt and a bold lip colour has been my go to. I look put together every day without having to spend aeons on deciding what to wear.

If you are looking for some great fashion or lifestyle inspiration; follow some great Frenchies on Instagram

Jeanne Damas

Sabina Socol


I would also like to mention Carolyn, whose blog My Chic Obsession is the reason I am writing this article. Her fantastic posts on Pinterest are what got me obsessed with the French way of live all these years ago.

What’s your favourite thing about our friends across the pond?

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