How to wear red lipstick like a French girl

For this makeup look, I’ve decided to do a video as I thought it would be easier for you to follow step by step which products I’m using, and how I’m doing this very French classic makeup look. As I grew up in France, I’ve always been used to seeing very chic women wearing red lipstick, it’s probably not something that we wear every day but most of the time for special days and nights out.

In France, we’re used to going for no makeup or very minimal foundation, smoky eyes, or red lipstick. When we go for red lipstick, usually the complexion needs to remain very natural, which allows us to wear very intense and bold red lips. It doesn’t matter if your skin is not flawless, as you can see I’m still dealing with some breakouts around the chin, acne scars and redness (no photoshop or filters on this blog), even if my skin has improved by using probiotics. With red lipstick, the focus is on the lip and as the red color attracts attention, all your imperfection will be less visible. In this look -and in all French makeup looks-, the key is to find a balance between glam and natural.

10 shades of red lipsticks French girls always use

I have a very fair skin, platinum blond hair and kind of brown/green eyes and bright reds really wake up my face. I really love to play with different shades of red. The lip for me is the only part of my face that I can enhance: as you can see my eyelids are inexistent, so eyeshadows are useless on my eyes. I love as well to use darker shades of red lipstick, which creates a very mysterious and dramatic look. Regarding the textures, if I’m wearing a bright red lipstick I’ll go for a matte texture, however, if I’m wearing a darker shade I’ll prefer to use a creamy rich lipstick formula as it will bring light and soften my features.

My favorite bright red lipsticks

  1. MAC Matte Lipstick – Chili
  2. Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolor – Feel So Grand
  3. Chanel Le Rouge Crayon – Subversion 265
  4. Tom Ford Boys & Girls – Frederico 98
  5. Le Marc Lip Creme – Oh Miley 200

My favorite dark red lipsticks

  1. MAC – Diva
  2. Chanel Rouge Allure – Elegante 149
  3. Tom Ford Lipcolor Satin Matte – Stiletto 19
  4. Tom Ford Lipcolor Satin Matted – Baby Boy 09
  5. Rouge Dior – Sophisticated matte 861

How to wear a red lipstick a la French

Prep your skin

As most of the French girls go bare skin or use very few makeup products for the face, it’s very important to take care of your skin. You only get one face so make sure you care for it with cleansing, moisturizing, serums as well as maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. When I wear red lipstick, I usually do not use too many makeup products for the rest of the face: a little bit of concealer and BB cream to conceal redness and imperfections, mascara, brow gel, and blush. I really want it to look like I’m wearing nothing but the lipstick.

Prep your lips

I moisturize my lips with the ultra-nourishing Lip Balm Reve de Miel by Nuxe, I do it at night before going to bed as it’s part of my skincare routine. I apply it as well to prep the lips before applying any matte lipsticks, as these textures tend to dry out your lips. If your lips are dry, matte colors won’t look nice even with the best lipstick formula. For extra care in winter, I’m using the Avene Cold Cream Lip Cream when it’s very cold.

How to apply red lipstick like a French girl

The secret is to not spend 10 minutes with lipliner, primer or a lip brush. Start on the bottom lip with one continuous swipe of lipstick from one side to another. Then use your fingers to diffuse the color all over your lips. Once it’s done, you can intensify the color by tapping the lipstick on your lips. If I want to wear this look for the day, I will soften the color with my fingers (you can use as well an eye shadow fluff brush) without adding more lipstick; the idea is just to give a little bit of color on the lips without doing something too sophisticated. However, if I want to wear this look for the night, I will intensify the color to make this look more dramatic and chic. Once I have the color desired, I’m setting the lipstick with a tissue in order to avoid having lipstick on my teeth. Et voila!

Match your nails and lips

I love to match my nails and lips! Maybe you will find this idea very old school, but I think it’s very chic. In this video, I’m using La Laque Couture YSL Rouge Over Noir 74 but I love as well the Rouge Pop Art 1 and the Rouge Dada 6. For me, YSL Laque Couture is the best nail polish I’ve tried. The colors are amazing and very pigmented; I just need to apply one layer to get the color desired. And with only one layer of Laque Couture and one layer of OPI Start To Finish, my nails can last up to 2 weeks.

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