French Chic and Elegant Style on a Budget

Some women can still look scruffy having spent the household budget on one dress, yet others exude slick luxury when they have spent hardly any money at all. Stylish women tend to look polished and effortlessly chic at all times and French women in particular epitomise refined elegance.

The elegance of Audrey Tautou or Juliette Binoche (rather than that of Jessica Rabbit) is always subtle, discreet and quietly sophisticated. This quintessential French look is within every woman’s reach, if they follow this simple advice:

An Elegant Woman and Tips on Hair, Nails, Skin and Make-up

If searching for an elegant style in hair, obvious dyes should be avoided and, better still, hair should be kept as close to its natural hair colour as possible. What matters is that it always looks freshly clean and, if the hair length allows it, a low ponytail speaks volumes for understated elegance.

Nails look most stylish if they are kept short and filed to a gentle square or oval shape, and when buffed once a week till shiny. They look more sophisticated when painted with clear nail varnish rather than the too obvious French manicure or tips.

Looking polished equals good, clean skin. Moisturising, exfoliating, avoiding obvious fake tan and drinking plenty of fluids helps. Picking spots can result in pores like craters or, even worse, scarring. Elsewhere on the body, the aim is to be completely hairless or the look is ruined. The obvious exception here are the eyebrows, which need to be regularly tweezed and neither too thin nor too wild.

The less is more when it comes to stylish women and make-up. A good, near-invisible foundation or concealer, red lipstick, hint of a blusher and lashings of black mascara are all that is needed, all perfectly applied. Discreet perfume is a must but nothing beats the smell of cleanliness.

A Stylish Woman and Tips on Clothes, Shoes, and Accessories

Every woman’s wardrobe needs auditing once or twice a year and anything that looks scruffy, has holes in it, or generally looks worn out should be disposed of. A list of seven complete outfits (one for every day of the week) comes handy in the morning so no time is wasted on wrong choices.

When shopping, it never fails to keep “classic” stylish clothes in mind: one can’t go wrong with a great pair of dark jeans, a long jacket/blazer, a skirt that just meets the knee and T-shirts in neutral shades. Stylish wear often involves colour but too much colour is best left for accessories.

Stylish shoes do not have to be expensive but should always be clean and re-heeled regularly. Ballet pumps are comfortable stylish shoes and every wardrobe’s staple. In black or neutral, they never go out of fashion.

Costume jewelry does not scream elegance, nor does anything that is on a large scale unless the woman’s physique allows it. Classic silver and gold pieces or their good imitations equal quiet and effortless chic.

A great handbag does not have to cost a fortune but it should look classic and luxurious. It-bags or the latest fashion statements are one season wonders. A brown or a black handbag is best for autumn/winter and one in a neutral colour for warmer months.

And, finally, two bonus tips on the necessary beauty appointments. They can be scheduled in the lunch hour so that weekends are left for quality time. Also, to look groomed at all times, it pays to diarise the appointments ahead and to always book the next appointment before leaving the salon.

Emma

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