Being French, in this article, I’ll share with you all my tips and tricks to help you achieve that perfect French girl makeup look. French women are known for their effortless approach to beauty. Makeup is minimal, discrete, and mainly used to enhance one’s natural features rather than cover them up. All makeup products are used in moderation, and contouring is not a thing in France.
The good news is that the French girl makeup look is simple and easy to re-create! You’ll only need a few makeup products, like a tinted moisturizer, a concealer, blush, bronzer, and mascara. Whether red or nude, lipstick is optional as the French don’t wear bold lipstick daily. Keep scrolling below to read my step-by-step guide to French makeup.
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1. Use a lightweight foundation
First, to even out your complexion and blur imperfections with a natural finish, opt for a lightweight foundation, a BB/CC cream, or a tinted moisturizer. To create a fresh, dewy glow, prefer a liquid formula with the most natural finish and avoid any heavy or matte formulas.
I’m using the iconic Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 (in color 1W1 Porcelain) or the Sisley Phyto-Teint Nude Foundation (in color 2N Ivory Beige). Also, I recommend these BB Crème and CC Crème from the French-Korean beauty brand Erborian which are very popular in France.
If your foundation is too heavy, mix it with a little bit of moisturizer to get a more natural base. It will dial down the coverage and give skin a dewier, natural finish. Also, use your fingers to apply your foundation and blend it, particularly around your hairline, brows, and jaw.
2. Apply concealer sparingly to problem areas
Apply the tiniest amount of concealer sparingly to problem areas: under the eyes and elsewhere to cover blemishes or pigmentations. Just blend with your fingers as the warmth of your skin makes the product melt right in, so the application looks seamless against the rest of the skin. My favorite concealers are the Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Concealer and the Sisley Phyto-Cernes Éclat Eye Concealer.
3. Use a little bit of blush
Then, add a bit of blush exactly where you would naturally flush: to the apples of your cheeks, up onto your temples, and right on the bridge of your nose. Blend until you have a very subtle color and natural finish. I recommend using powder blushes, which have the best natural finish and are the easiest to apply. I love this Sisley L’Orchidée Highlighter Blush (in color Corail).
4. Add definition with bronzer powder
French women like to use bronzer powders to give their faces a natural, healthy, sun-kissed look. I recommend opting for the cult Guerlain Terracotta Light Healthy Glow Bronzer. With a kabuki brush, apply your favorite bronzer from the forehead to the cheekbones, then from the cheekbones to the chin, and also on the bridge of the nose.
5. Keep your brows full
French women generally keep their brows full, boyish, and never overly filled in. I must confess that I like to keep my eyebrows as natural as possible, and I don’t pluck and trim them ;). However, I like using a brow gel like the Chanel Le Gel Sourcils to slightly intensify my eyebrows’ color and shape. Et voilà! Nothing dramatic, nothing too structured.
6. Apply a thin layer of mascara
Then, apply a soft light brown eyeshadow on your eyelids, like the Chanel Ombre Première in color 802 Undertone or the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eyeshadow in Rose Gold. They are so easy to apply! Just use your fingers to dab some color on your eyes.
Curl your eyelashes and apply a maximum of two coats of mascara to each eye (I love to use the Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara). Then, use a cotton bud with a little makeup remover to remove some excess mascara.
7. Hydrate your lips
Use a lip balm to hydrate and protect your lips (see my favorite French lip balms here). I love to use the Sisley Paris Nutritive lip balm and the Nuxe Lip Balm Rêve de Miel. Then, apply your favorite nude lipstick (mine is the Chanel Rouge Coco in 434 Mademoiselle). Dampen a small fluffy makeup brush, and use the brush to buff the color into your lips, creating a diffused, long-lasting lip stain.
If you feel extra ambitious, you can opt for bright red lips! I love the Violette_fr Petal Bouche Matte in Amour Fou and the Chanel Rouge Coco in color 444 Gabrielle. Learn more on how to wear your red lipstick like the French here.
Et voilà! I hope you enjoyed reading this article and that it will help you achieve that perfect French girl makeup look. Please, let me know in the comments below if you have any questions.
Bonjour! I’m Leonce, a French native and the founding editor of Leonce Chenal, a modern lifestyle platform for lovers of everything French. With my previous experience working for top tech companies in London and Paris, I created this platform in 2018 to offer discerning Francophiles an authentic experience through carefully curated content about French fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Merci for visiting, and à bientôt!