French women have a particular idea of what beauty is. We don’t rely on makeup but instead, we want makeup to enhance our natural features. And, that’s it. French makeup isn’t over-sculpted or too transformative. Indeed, you will rarely see a woman in the streets of Paris wearing a full face of makeup with foundation, contouring, smoky eyes and lipstick.
First, you need to know that French makeup always starts with healthy skin. To have an effortless and natural makeup you’ll need to pair it with a good French skincare routine. French women emphasize skincare over makeup, that’s why French makeup is all about minimalism and discretion.
How To Do French Makeup
My French makeup look is very minimalist and simple and doesn’t need too many products. Usually, French women use makeup just to give a natural glow and to emphasize the eyes. But first, you need to focus on skincare in order to get a healthy and good looking skin.
1. Get Glowing Skin Like A French Woman
Cleanse Like The French Do
Always cleanse your skin in the evening to remove makeup and impurities. Not doing so can damage your skin, cause breakouts and can accelerate the aging process. Double cleanse is the best thing to do according to French Guru Joelle Ciocco. First, use micellar water (like Bioderma Crealine H2O) to remove the makeup. Then, use a cleansing gel to remove all impurities like pollution, dead skin cells.
Moisturizer Is Key
Hydration is key to keep your skin healthy and radiant, as well as to prepare your skin for makeup. Indeed, the healthier your skin is the less makeup you need to use. Currently, I’m using the Multi-Active Day Cream by Clarins and the Beauty Flash Balm. Sometimes, I swap my daily moisturizer for the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil. This face oil is specially formulated for oily skin and made from 100% pure plant extracts.
French women consider masks and serums as a necessity. It’s essential to use targeted treatments to clear the pores of impurities and toxins. As well as to revitalize and invigorate the complexion. Once a week, I use the Caudalie Glycolic Peel Mask to active cell renewal, or the Instant Detox Mask to eliminate toxins, tighten pores and to smooth out features. Then, use a serum to hydrate, regenerate and protect the skin. I like the Clarins Double Serum, an amazing anti-aging treatment enriched with more than 21 active plant extracts.
Adopt The French Diet
Diet plays a very important role in beauty. It doesn’t matter how effective your beauty products are if you don’t have a healthy diet. Basically, to get a healthy skin you need to reduce your sugar, fat, alcohol, gluten, and lactose intake. One of the biggest problems for the skin is sugar. Excessive consumption of sugar, not only encourage acne-causing bacteria but also break down collagen and accelerate the aging process by affecting the skin’s density and firmness. So remember to have a healthy diet and to enjoy sugar in moderation.
Visit your esthetician
French women are very committed to their estheticians. I love to visit a skin-care specialist on a regular basis (like once a month) for deep facial cleansing. I’m always amazed by the result and the softness of my skin after the facial. I think regular visits to the esthetician are a must if you want to enhance your skincare routine.
2. Complexion: A Thin Layer Of Foundation
First, use a concealer where necessary (under the eyes, around the nose, on blemishes). I’m using Laura Mercier’s Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Concealer which is the perfect lightweight concealer that hydrates and blurs all imperfections.
If you need a little bit of coverage, treat your face to a tinted moisturizer, foundation or a BB cream. I like to apply a thin layer of the Clinique Superbalanced Makeup foundation. It’s a balancing and oil absorbing foundation, perfect for combination skin. Or I’m using Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer which is a sheer coverage multi-tasker for a healthy, no-makeup look with a natural dewy finish. I always carefully blend my foundation with my fingers for a very natural look.
3. Use Both Blush And Bronzer Powder
I typically use a little bit of blush on the cheeks to give a fresh and healthy look. I like the L’Oreal True Match Blusher, Rosewood 145. Then, I apply with a kabuki brush a bronzing powder from the forehead to the cheekbones and then from the cheekbones to the chin.
I like the Guerlain Terracotta Light in Light Warm 01 or the Sephora Bronzer Powder for summer only, as Sephora’s one is much darker. I really like the combination of blush and bronzing powder as it gives a natural healthy sun-kissed look to the face.
4. Eyebrow Gel And Mascara
French girls usually keep their brows full, boyish and never overly filled in. To achieve this look, I’m using Benefit’s Gimme Brow or Glossier’s Boy Brow by following the natural shape of my eyebrows. Nothing dramatic, nothing too structured. I like to use this product as it defines and plumps my eyebrows by intensifying both brow’s color and shape.
For the eyes, I apply an eyelash primer before using any mascaras in order to leave lashes soft and supple and to boost the look of mascara. I like to use the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara Primer. Then, I just apply a layer of mascara like the L’Oreal’s Million Lashes or Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara. And voila!
To add a little bit of Parisian chic to this French makeup look, wear your favorite red lipstick. If it’s a daytime look keep your overall makeup simple and natural (see how to wear red lipstick every day). For the evening you can go for a smoky eye AND red lip (as it is quite a statement). But I think that keeping everything else very minimal will brighten your face and open up your eyes.