Elegantly Eco

Eco-Friendly Beauty, Fashion, Reviews, and Info

Book Review: Mireille Guiliano, French Women Don't Get Facelifts

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About the author:

Mireille Guiliano was the spokesperson for Champagne Veuve Clicquot and former President and CEO of Clicquot, Inc. (LVMH). She has been recognized as “an ambassador of France and its art of living,” by the French daily Le Figaro, USA Today further dubbed her “the high priestess of French lady wisdom.” One of the few women who have reached the top echelon of the wine and spirits as well as luxury goods industry, Mireille has been called a champion of women in business and works with groups promoting business opportunities and education for women. A native of France, she grew up amidst cooks, chefs and restaurateurs in provincial France and was educated in Paris, where she studied French and English literature at the Sorbonne and languages at the Institut Supérieur d’Interprétariat et de Traduction. Mireille holds the French equivalent of a master’s degree in English and German and certification as a translator/interpreter. She also has a command of Italian and several other languages.
Excerpts from bio page

Book Review:

This is another book that isn’t about being eco-friendly per se. It’s about beauty and wellness in general. The title of this book really intrigued me, that’s why I picked it up. Plus I wanted to read about the French woman’s perspective on aging well and beautifully. Guiliano has a kind of quirky writing style. Most of her book comprises of personal stories and anecdotes to give examples about her perspective. Each chapter has a humourous title. Chapter one for example is called assessing gravity. Guiliano notes that American women seem to have an all or nothing attitude about beauty. Some women either give up on taking care of themselves after a certain age, or get obsessed with maintaining youthful looks by artificial means. But in her opinion there is a way to still look your age and be well groomed. In the minds of French women, being old doesn’t start until after 80 and hence most French women are more comfortable with their age.

In each chapter Guiliano gives advice, some recipes and personal rules that she follows. The style is quite informal and she often repeats her advice. Grooming is a topic she touches often on. To sum up her ideas on grooming: it’s a good idea to have a great hairstylist, dress well for your age and body type, use natural skincare as much as possible, avoid extreme colours, and wear less makeup as you age. Her ideas about health are related to grooming because you cannot look your best if you’re not healthy. So her health advice is to keep good nutrition and sleep habits, drink lots of water, spend 15-30 minutes outdoors daily, breathe properly, and get some daily activity.

She also intersperses her favourite recipes throughout the book, mostly at the ends of a chapter. Guiliano has some good points about aging well. Most people don’t think about these things in a coherent whole throughout their life. I do agree with her opinion about things like supplements. Don’t take them unless needed. The way you eat can always be adjusted to meet any deficiencies in vitamins after you get a blood test from your doctor. I also agree that instead of life expectancy we should talk about remaining life expectancy and remaining years of healthful expectancy. After all, no one wants to live to 100 if they are in constant pain.

Overall I would say this book gives some good general advice. It’s a funny, quirky book. When I read this book I felt more like I was sitting down talking to Mireille Guiliano about each topic. It’s not very organized and it meanders as a conversation does. In terms of usefulness it wasn’t incredibly useful to me because I have already put several of her recommended practices in use before reading this. It was definitely interesting to read Guiliano perspective as a French woman and how it compares to American ideals. She lives in New York with her husband currently, but was born, raised and lived in France most of her life. I would say though that this book is suited to an older audience. Perhaps it would suit those in their 60s. I felt a bit young to be reading about things like Botox and cosmetic surgery. J

Rating: 3/5

Have you ever read Mireille Guiliano’s French Women Don’t Get Facelifts? What did you think of it?


Author: Hazel

Unrepentant blogger of eco beauty, fashion and info living in Toronto, Canada. Blogging and reviews about eco-friendly organic brands, beauty, fashion, cosmetics, skincare, haircare, body care, DIY recipes, home, wellness, and lifestyle products that are available in Canada.

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