Two Generations of French Beauty with Julie and Jocelyne
Since I travelled to Paris in my twenties, I have been obsessed with everything French — style, culture, cuisine, fashion, and architecture. When I first met the stunning francophone, Julie Therrien, I was immediately drawn to her vivacious energy and effortless style.
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Julie’s gracious and elegant mother, Jocelyne. It quickly dawned on me from whom Julie inherited her magnetic and mesmerizing nature. Both mother and daughter ooze that elusive je ne sais quoi that French women seem to possess by birthright. I couldn’t wait to ask them how I could attain some of this French chicness for myself.
A lot has been written about French women and their envious style. As a francophone, what do you think it is about French women that appeal to so many people?
As a French-Canadian, I think we take on a little bit of the European-French culture with the laissez-faire attitude towards beauty. I think French women have an effortlessly chic vibe that a lot of women and men can really appreciate. Every time I am in Paris, I see so many women walking around with seemingly no makeup and hair that is naturally perfect. I think it might have been Parisian women, who are so effortlessly chic, that inspired Beyoncé’s famous line, ‘I woke up like this’.
Do you incorporate any of these cultural beauty secrets in your life?
I definitely believe that less is more with my beauty routine, which is similar to my perception of the typical French woman’s beauty approach. It is rare for my hair to be styled during the week. Luckily, I have naturally wavy hair, so I normally let it air-dry overnight and simply throw on a little Moroccan oil to tame any unruly bits. For my makeup, I typically focus on my skin to ensure everything looks even and throw on a little eye shadow, liner, and mascara, and call it a day.
Skincare, on the other hand, I take more seriously. In the mornings, I will always wash my face, use a toner, and put on a moisturizer with a minimum 25 SPF. My mom has been very influential in ensuring I always use sunscreen to protect my skin throughout the day. For my nightly routine, similar to my daily routine, I cleanse, tone, and finally moisturize my skin. I am currently using a very hydrating night cream that is actually a mask, which a beauty-guru friend recommended, and I absolutely love it for our harsh Canadian winter months.
How has your mother influenced your style and beauty routine growing up?
When I was younger, we had different styles. My mother was very trendy and I was very tame with my style. Growing up, I was often one of the tallest people in the room, so I always tried to find ways to blend in as much as possible. I was also a competitive swimmer, so between my two practices a day, comfort was always a priority. I think with time, I have started to take after my mother and am willing to try new things. I have always been envious of her ability to rock whatever clothing item she wants without doubting herself. Mind you, she shouldn’t… because she always looks great!
For beauty routine, my mom has always been adamant on proper skincare. I remember when I had my first pimple; she immediately took me to the nearest department store to pick-up a Clinique skincare package. She has also influenced me to limit my time in the sun, stay away from tanning beds, and always wear sunscreen. I thought this was a little extreme when I was in high school, but now I really appreciate her advice and am actually following it.
What is the best piece of advice you have received from your mother?
My mom is my best friend and has given me so much amazing advice throughout the years. From advice about outfits for interviews, presentations for school, boyfriends, sports — she has always been there to provide her excellent guidance. I think her best advice; however, is not advice she has given me explicitly. My mom has an infectious personality that people genuinely can’t help but fall in love with. She is so kind, loving, genuine, and generous… So, if I have to pick one piece of advice that I have learned from my mother, it is be the best person you can – be kind, loving, patient, and forgiving.
If you could steal any piece of clothing or jewellery from your mom’s closet, what would you take?
My mom’s engagement ring – it is a stunning marquise diamond on a gold band. The cut is so timeless and beautiful, and the significance behind the jewellery is special knowing how in love my parents are.
What advice would you give your 15 year-old self?
CHILL OUT! Everything will be okay, and try to socialize a little more.
Julie (left) and Jocelyne (right)
How would you describe your style and how has it changed over the years?
Back in the day, I was most concerned about keeping up with the latest trend. So, I would focus more on purchasing statement pieces that quickly became dated. Today, my style revolves around timeless pieces, such as a nice pair of denim jeans that can be quickly taken from day to night by simply changing your shoes and top. I believe the basis of style is the understanding of not only who you are but also what you want to represent. Your look is what sets you apart from everyone else.
What are some of the biggest beauty mistakes that you see women make?
I enjoy wearing makeup but I think a person can easily overdo it. I prefer the more natural healthy look. Back in the day we would worship the sun, lather up the baby oil, and sit in the sun for hours. Everyone would comment on your beautiful tan. We weren't as educated as we are today. We now understand that sun is better in moderation.
What are some of your top beauty tips for aging gracefully?
I believe a healthy diet, adequate hydration, exercising, and getting enough sleep are essential to aging gracefully. I am also an advocate for using sunscreen daily. It protects your skin from the harsh UV rays.
If you could bring back any fashion trend from history, what would it be?
I enjoyed the 80s for the big carefree hair. I have big curly hair and find it difficult to manage, so this trend really worked for me.
Looking back, what was your favourite outfit or memory attached to an outfit?
I remember in my younger years going to a disco when I was living in Germany as a teen. I was wearing a shiny baby blue jacket with a pair of black leather pants. Back in the day, this outfit was as trendy and cool as it gets!
If you could give your daughter one piece of life or beauty advice, what would it be?
Be true to yourself. Julie has always been extremely disciplined. She sets goals for herself and always gives 110 per cent. She's hard working, intelligent, and is a very kind person. Julie is a beautiful young woman inside and out. I am very proud of who she is.
What would your last meal be?
Jocelyne — Greek food
Julie —chicken souvlaki, pizza, poutine, etc. I love food. All of it.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Jocelyne — brush my teeth
Julie — check my phone
What’s something on your bucket list?
Jocelyne — travel, own a cottage
Julie — travel to Greece
What is the other person’s best feature?
Jocelyne — infectious personality
Julie — joie de vivre!
What’s one thing in your purse that you cannot leave the house without?
Jocelyne — sunglasses
Julie —lip balm
*photos courtesy of Julie Therrien