I would like to tell you that I am a planned person when it comes to French Essence… that I know what I will be writing and showing you on any given day… But, I am not.
I didn’t create French Essence with any one particular purpose… it was a place to share my love of France and to ‘talk’ with like-minded friends who are as enamoured with France as I am… I never really think too much ahead about my content… I love that French Essence flows in and out…rambles about, that it diverges and that it changes with my moods, my experiences and your feedback. It’s organic that way… not a set piece… Any experts on blogging would tell you that I have it all wrong… that there are too many words, not enough keywords… that I don’t pander enough to the search engines… and I am sure that’s true… but I can’t change now. A labour of love has to be spontaneous… and I think this is what French Essence is… it must be, for we have been together for nearly five years.
As I reflected on my Christmas and New Year in Provence and shared my feelings with you about, ‘beauty’… I realised that this year I am committed to living life with ‘beauty’… in all it’s obvious, not so obvious and clandestine forms. So this year French Essence has a theme… a directed purpose… ‘Beauty’… in the way we live, in how we view ourselves, in the way we share our lives and in the way we view the world. I don’t know as yet where it will take us… and that is the joy of the unplanned.
I want to celebrate, explore and expand on our lives as women. For many of us entering into and enjoying our 50’s this is a magical time. I feel that our age bracket has been neglected… in fashion particularly. We are engaged, we are gorgeous and we are mostly independent. Our children are more than ever doing their own thing, our careers are established or we are embarking on new and exciting adventures… Women of our age have a new freedom that they had forgotten… time… What better decade to enjoy the ‘beauty’ that is available to us. I want to share with you my love of fashion… for it was my first love… and when it comes to fashion, there is no better place than France for inspiration. French women get it… I think we all accept that… This year I want to be more observant and truly find that inner ‘French’ beauty. I want to focus on what we wear and how to wear it at the same time. Fashion is about style, personal style… not trends, not fads… style is not intrinsic for everyone… but it can be learned and it can be emulated… Finding style is the gateway to fashionable beauty.
One of the reasons I enjoy French Essence is our engaged conversations… This year I hope that French Essence becomes more of a forum where we can chat ‘beauty’ issues… share our discoveries together… I want to discuss the hair, the make-up and the treatments that suit us. Too often I read magazine articles and feel that it is all well and good if I were twenty… How do I create this look when my eyes aren’t quite as smooth as they were, my skin not quite as translucent or my hair not as thick and luscious? We are at the most beautiful stage and age of our lives… but we need to adapt the information and make it work for us… There is no generation gap anymore… age is irrelevant… just the need for simple translation and a key to decipher the information. I believe we can do that together. Many of the women I admire and respect, both close friends and celebrities, are older than me… but I desire to follow their lead… not the path of those who are younger.
In this year of French Essence, I must travel more to Paris… discover her secrets… understand better her allure, both the city and the women… I hope to explore more of Provence, hold that magical elixir close to my heart and show you her inner beauty. I want to write more, photograph more and communicate more… Do I sound exhausting? I’m sorry… my enthusiasm is running away with me this morning.
With France as my mentor and you as my companions I think ‘beauty’ is our destination. xv
images carla coulson and vicki archer exclusively for living4media