Friday, March 26, 2010

Dear Cherie. . .

Another whirlwind week, invitations piling up, shopping, Cherie needs a new bag (or two), appointments to be scheduled for a full body spring cleaning from med-ped to tress trim and decisions to be made about what to do with that vast area between the two points. 

The regime has hit a plateau, as promised by Dr. Dukan in his tome, but it makes Cherie cranky nonetheless. One can reasonably expect, effort in equals kilos off, mais c'est la vie. It couldn't possibly have been that one big vodka last weekend? Non.

Last minute pick-up: Cherie must advise and accompany You-Know-Who (YKW) in search of the perfect gift for Edith's birthday tomorrow. That will be a chore -- trying to spend quality time with YKW that is. Cherie quite likes Edith even though she seems to prefer YKW. Very odd.

Alrighty then, moving along to your riveting questions -- at least one can hope they're interesting. Let's plunge right in.

Q: Mme. D.: Dear Cherie, Hair cuts, color, care and so forth are always such a problem for me. Should I cut, should I color, should I condition and if so how, when, well you know the drill. What do French women do? Are there "in" styles and "out" styles?

A: Dear Mme. D: First off, quite frankly, Cherie does not know the drill. Cherie, like all French women with great style and elegance has found her signature color and cut and sticks with it. As for care, that varies with Cherie's mercurial temperament -- for which she is famous, but let's not go there. 

Cherie does not believe a woman should look for the "ins" and "outs" of hairstyles and color. Leave that game to the girls. A chic femme knows what works best for her and with a tweak here and a snip there, a move up to a slightly lighter tint she will be forever envied by her insecure friends and enemies. What more could a women desire?

Note examples herewith: Ines de la Fressange, Marissa Berenson, Nathalie Baye, Fanny Ardant, Catherine Deneuve and Isabelle Huppert -- with only the slightest adjustments all have stayed with their signature styles for decades.

Do you see the one detail each style has in common? They all move, a great cut always appears natural, touchable.

Q: Mme. J: Chere Cherie, It's that time of year again when we're all thinking about what to wear to "occasions." I find this very difficult. What do you suggest we choose for weddings, graduations and other major summer events? Please don't tell me flowers.

A: Mme. J: Cherie must ask for your indulgence. Among all the dressing dilemmas, she considers weddings in particular to be one of the most challenging. Therefore, she asks that you give her sufficient time to delve into not only her own closet for ideas -- where she always finds answers to everything -- but also to see what's up in a few Paris boutiques. And just for you, Mme. J., Cherie will be back with a complete post (or two) on the subject of "special occasion" dressing. 

Don't fret, Cherie is the last person who will suggest flower prints -- probably.

Q: Mme. E and Mme. D: Help (!) Cherie, We're doing the best we can trying to memorize and implement all the rules and regulations for good manners, politesse and all the rest with which You-Know-Who has been burdening us the past two weeks, but we're of two minds: we're fed up and we want you to tell us if you can't say "Santé" when a toast is given, what are we supposed to say?

A: Mes cheres Madames: Cherie is pleased you have turned to her for clarification. YKW can be exasperating, no one knows that better than Cherie. If you wish to keep it simple one could say: A vous or à nous or -- this one's from YKW's Reason-For-Living-In-France -- à vos amours.

Personally, Cherie prefers being toasted with a sultry deep stare into her eyes and a whispered: à toi, ma chere Cherie. That seems normal and correct under any circumstances, even at someone else's wedding. 

Motto: It's always all about Cherie.

Q: Mme. B: Have you any beauty advice or tips for us this week Cherie?

A: Dear Mme. B, How many times does Cherie have to tell you her raison d'etre is to perpetuate beauty and style in the world, no matter how small her corner of the monde may be?  Sorry, if Cherie seems testy it's because of the regime plateau. But to answer your question: obviously Cherie has tips and tricks. If she didn't, she wouldn't be Cherie.

Cherie will now divulge an unrelated two-fer: Elnet and Freshcomplexion by Cover Girl.

First the Elnet, the only thing that makes this cheap hairspray chic is that everybody uses it. The hottest hair people in Paris and backstage at all the collections. One can barely breathe during the ready-to-wear shows. You choose the holding power: swingy or solid.

Second, Cherie has a friend, French of course, who always requests Cover Girl cosmetics when Cherie travels to New York for personal appearances. One of her favorite products is Cover Girl's concealer. Never mind the glamour quotient, it's great. No, it isn't as sexy looking on the outside as YSL's Touche Eclat and instead of a brush it has a teeny foam rubber applicator, but it definitely works and leaves lots more change leftover to buy other glam goodies.


BigLittleWolf said...

"BIG Vodka?"

Hmm. As we head into the weekend, I'm liking the sound of that...

As for the rest of this delicious post, j'adore all the photos of the most elegant and talented actresses that continue to charm us. I have always loved these women, and they just seem to grow more beautiful and more talented as I watch them.

Fanny Ardant - that odd, irresistible, creamy tone to her voice.

Who pays attention to their hair? They just ooze confidence. And maybe that's the secret.

Lovely post, comme d'habitude.

Duchesse said...

Fanny Ardant is Le Duc's dream woman, his goddess, his ultimate. Finding their cut and colour, French women seem less interested in going grey than their North American counterparts.

re toasts, If not toasting one's lover, we often say cin-cin to toast (what do you think of that?) but my French friends often beg me to revive my father's 1920's-era American toasts like "Here's mud in your eye" for their amusement.

Metropolitan Mum said...

And where would I put in my question? Are questions still being taken? There is something I need to know!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

My Spring cleaning begins next week. My tresses are trimmed on Tuesday. Cannot wait!

And Fanny Ardant! What a face!

Marsi said...

Amusing as always, Cherie. My condolences on your regime plateau. It happens to the best of us ... obviously. ;o)

I'm due for a little spring cleaning myself. We've had two big snowstorms in less than a week, and the cold has made me lazy in some of my upkeep. Haircut next week; mani-pedi, head-to-toe exfoliation, and a facial mask are in order for this weekend.

That is my favorite picture of Fanny. She and I have similar coloring and face shape, so I look to her as a role model.

Elnett is fab; I'm so glad it's finally available stateside. As for the CG concealer, I will try it. My favorite is Cle de Peau, but it's so super-spendy.

Bon week-end!


myletterstoemily said...

great advice, as always.

Jadie said...

i love that french women keep their hair the original color. i have quite chic american friends who have gone grey, and really, it is aging, despite the cute cuts. having always been a "dishwater blonde", it's kinda fun to stay with the look, even at 50+.

aaonce said...

Hi Cherie, thank you for considering a topic on what to wear during weddings, it should be very informative. Please wish Edith happy birthday, are there any special things (meaning different) we should know about wishing a French woman Happy birthday? Any gifts that would be welcome over here, but considered very poor taste over on your side of the Atlantic?
Please let YKW that I am saddened to hear about her plateau, hopefully this overcome quickly.

Semi Expat said...

Wonderful Cherie - mille mercis - great tip regarding the Cover Girl especially... and looking forward to the special occasion dressing feature later on. x

sharon said...

Hi, Saturday morning I should be doing loads of things but am so glad to have revisited your blog, I - inexplicably - hadn't been over for a while. Love your post, love the way you write, it's on my list to come by regularly from now on.

Parthenope said...

Marisa Berenson always looks so elegant and beautiful. I loved the relaxed embroidered cardigan she wore, I think at the Venice Film Festival. She's 64 ! What an inspiration.


Cherie, you rock, girl!!
Love those French women, especially Catherine, who has managed to look regal, young & brilliant her entire life. Of course, like all of us. Merci X10,

knitpurl said...

Cherie, this was informative per usual. YKW should persevere in her regime. All will be well soonest. (Just ask someone who threw her regime away this month in the guise of a vacation.)

Someone mentioned above the fact that greying hair is aging. I've gone from dishwater blonde to grey fast this past year, but still have very light highlights put in. With some shampoos, like L'Oreal's EverPure, I think grey plus highlights looks good on the post-60 crowd. Does Cherie have any comments?

Looking forward to heading back to the north country next week so I can indulge in a bunch of beauty treatments. (My reward for enduring a long car trip.) Bon weekend and xoxo to YKW.

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