They really don’t.
1. The lie in question.
Beauvoir didn’t provide insight of her own here, it’s a paraphrase of certain arguments from Fantasia of the Unconscious by D. H. Lawrence:
Better Anna Karenin and Vronsky a thousand times than Natasha and that
porpoise of a Pierre. This pretty, slightly sordid couple tried so
hard to kid themselves that the ...
Whether the translation given,
a hair-dresser’s assistant,
a shopkeeper fresh from the barber's
which Andra gives, the meaning is that he is dressed like someone in a job inside a shop (protecting him from weather), that pays well (allowing him to dress well), and whose customers are probably (at least in part) well-off and expect service from people ...
It's an incorrect translation. Originally it is
как приказчик от парикмахера
and, for example, a site for learning English using parallel texts offers the following translation:
like a shopkeeper fresh from the barber's (*)
For me it seems OK, but I'm not a native speaker of either of these two languages.
(*) As far as I can find, the site provides no ...