Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Aristocractic Elegance

People will always be inspired by that which is aesthetically pleasing, beautiful, pretty etc.  Women in particular are inspired by that natural beauty, allure and mystique that the French know as 'je ne sais quoi'.  What is 'je ne sais quois' exactly?  Well, the dictory describes it as an: "intangible quality that makes something distinctive or attractive".  I often wonder by the rich and aristocractic have this allure?  AND, How do French women know how to channel it so well?  We live in a society that is overwhelmed by trends, whats 'in' and what 'sells'.  I think that many people in seeking the ultimate beauty, over-do it.  Plastic Survery, botox, hair extentions and everything else that is 'fake' has overtaken our vision of what is beautiful.  To prove my point, what emotions come to mind when you this woman:

I see simplicity, natural beauty, colours that harmonize, a sensual yet innocent appeal.   I think that the artist who captured this woman knew about colour harmony and wanted to express that natural flush and beauty that this woman has 'naturally'.  Reading about style, particularily of women who are aristocratic, there is a common theme of a look that is elegant, sophisticated and attractive.  I don't know if you've ever noticed this or not, but aristocratic and very well put together women always seem to have that natural and elegant makeup look.  The colours they wear harmonize and suit them, the application is feminine and alluring, the over-all effect is 'natural elegance'.  French women know how to channel this same elegance.  They know that the most attractive look is natural, sensual with the slightest hint of tomboyish appeal.  Their makeup is never over-done, only perhaps a little more defined and smokey for evening.  Here are some of my favourite looks that have that aristocratic, french, je ne sais quois effect:

I love the classic softness that this woman possesses - her makeup is elegant, her accessories are simple yet classic and her hair is pulled back and well-groomed.  This woman is attractive, timeless, sensual and classic.  I am really inspired by her look and makeup in this photo!

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy really knows how to channel that European allure.  If you've ever noticed her 'look', her clothes are always elegant, simple and chic.  Her makeup is always elegant, minimal and pretty.  She always seems to have that alluring harmony about her and she knows how to carry herself.  Beauty essentially is not always about your exterior beauty, but how you carry yourself and present yourself to the outside world.  If you walk with an alluring confidence, you will present that aura to others.  Its important not just to have your makeup work for you, but to walk strait and with good posture, have a well groomed hair-cut and know you are worthy!

Laura Smet is a French Actress that also seems to possess that alluring appeal.  Once again, she has a certain softness and poise about her.  Her makeup is not about false eyelashes, bright pink blush or tangerine lips - her look is soft, harmonious with her colouring and elegant.  I think that if more young women went for this type of look, there would be a return to 'elegance'.  I often think the same should ring true for young men - its always so nice to see a young man put on a suit or channel that sophisticated suave look!

When Nicole Kidman was part of the Chanel No.5 ads and commercials, I loved her look - she seems so alluring and natural - her nair isn't stick straight and overly processed blonde.  Instead, she returned to her more natural strawberry-blonde, curly mane.  Her makeup suits her spring colouring so well - the light peaches just blend into her skintone, harmonizing and creating that pure and pleasant 'peaches and cream' complexion.  There really is something to be said about a woman who knows herself and her colours, she really shines and has that effortless beauty appeal.

I recall reading in an article once that a real aristocratic woman doesn't flash her money or possessions.  Instead, she looks naturally graceful and composed.  As soon as I saw this photo, I thought of that natural composition.  This woman looks classic and timeless - her hair is long and flowing, her makeup is clean and fresh and again, the colours she is wearing seem to harmonize so well.  She looks healthy and happy - the true mark of someone who is wealthy, regardless of how much money is in the bank account!

When talking about alluring elegance, I thought it was important to include an 'evening/glam' photo.  What is an alluring evening look?  Its much more dramatic, but not less classy or simple.  Here you see that added pizzaz with accessories, a little glitz, a classic red lipstick, a elegant up-do, a subtle smokiness to the eyes.  However, what you don't see is something over-done.  There is still a poise, mystery, allure - something left to the imagination!!!

One of my all time favourite french actresses is Isabelle Adjani.  She personifies elegant beauty to me.  Her look is striking, elegant and very feminine and sensual.  Her look in this photo is captivating.  She has that cool and crisp colouring, very inspirational to a 'winter' colour type, yet her presence can handle the defined eyes and feminine pinkish lips and cheeks.  I think that if an artist painted her today and captured her beauty, the effect would be regal and captivating!!!

Its inpiring to know that in a world of trends and fakeness, there are still women who know and want to channel that elegant allure.  There is truth to the saying "simplicity is elegance".  Chanel knew this concept and made it part of her entire empire.  She went for that natural appeal vs the over-done flashy fashion that was 'in' then.  I think that we are currently in the same situation - are we going to join the botox injecting, trendy, fake world of fashion?  Or are we going to be guided by simple elegance, finding colours that are harmonious and natural, leaving the imprint of sophistication and grace??? 


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