The proper way to kiss French style

It is true the French use a kiss to greet friends and it is usually on both cheeks. Often times between those that do not know one another very well it amounts to an air kiss but close friends will make contact. And it all depends on the region as to whether there will be two, three or possibly four kisses.
If you are meeting a big crowd it may take sometime to get on with things since the greetings may last a while. Also when the evening is over, kisses are traditional. So men will kiss women and women will kiss women but it is quite rare to see men kiss men. And the traditional greeting for a man or woman if they are strangers is a handshake while kissing seems to remain for just friends.
Nevertheless kisses are not just for close friends, even casual acquaintances kiss but not strangers. If you approach a French person, for the first time and attempt to kiss them you probably will be thought of as forward and quite possibly rude. The French are quite polite but it is much like any new or foreign culture knowing the rules is not easy. One good rule of thumb is to be observant and watch what others do.
A safe way alternative is if in doubt do not pucker up, reach out with you hand. French people always shake hands making it commonplace in the country. In France it is a gesture of kindness to shake the hand of your mechanic at the garage or the repairman that comes to the house or even someone providing other services. Just remember not to kiss them, regardless of how nice they may look.
Often times you run into people you know more than once the same day. The rule to follow is to just kiss them the first time you see them and a hello is sufficient thereafter for that same day. Another custom not well known is that upon leaving a bar you usually do not kiss or shake hands, but you would do that if you were having dinner at someone’s house.
Just remember to watch others and learn from them. For instance let’s say you may not know a person at the start of a party so the formal handshake was used. But by the end of the evening you may feel comfortable with them and then a kiss may be appropriate to say good night.