There are so many French makeup brands out there —and not to mention so many new products launching daily! So to make the search somewhat easier for you, I rounded up la crème de la crème of French makeup brands. You know, the ones that I go back to time and time again, and the ones that I know will deliver on their promises every single time.
Whether you want to refresh your makeup bag, or you’re in the market to treat yourself, you’ve come to the right place. In today’s article, being French, I’ve rounded up the very best French makeup brands I rely on, use every single day, and trust implicitly.
Keep reading to learn more about my full edit of the best French makeup brands —both iconic and lesser-known, plus which of their products is an absolute must-have.
Founded in 1837, Hermès is constantly reinventing itself. In 1951, the French luxury brand made its first steps into beauty with the launch of its perfume line. In 2014, Hermès added a bath product line featuring shower gels, body creams, and face care products with scents of its perfumes.
And it was in 2020 that the Parisian label launched its first-ever makeup line with lipsticks called Rouge Hermès, followed by blushes and nail colors. Hermès Beauty collection has now expanded with the introduction of the Plein Air Natural Balancing Complexion Balms and glow and matte powders.
Best Hermès makeup products
- Rouge Hermès Satin Lipstick (64 Rouge Casaque is my favorite)
- Rose Hermès Silky Blush Powder
- Plein Air Radiant Glow Powder
- Plein Air Complexion Balm SPF 30
Founded in 1910 by Coco Chanel in Paris, the brand is specialized in women’s ready-to-wear, luxury goods, and accessories. Chanel is well known for its iconic N°5 Eau de Parfum.
Chanel’s first cosmetics line dates back to 1924. Its first makeup collection was comprised of face powders and lipsticks. Nowadays, the brand offers a full range of makeup for the face, eyes, and lips, and the perfect nail polish color.
With its chic packaging, lightweight, and easy-to-use formulas, Chanel is one of my favorite French makeup brands! I love their powders, eye makeup palettes, and blushes in limited editions. Also, do not miss its limited edition Holiday makeup collection the brand releases each year!
Best Chanel makeup products
- Rouge Coco (I love the color Gabrielle)
- Vitalumière Aqua ultra-light skin perfecting SPF 15
- Les 4 Ombres multi-effect quadra eyeshadow
- Le Vernis
The Maison Dior, founded in 1946, changed the face of ladies’ style forever when its New Look was unveiled in the halls of 30 Avenue Montaigne on February 12, 1947. Shortly after, Monsieur Dior launched its first and now iconic perfume: Miss Dior.
Then, Dior Beauty quickly expanded to include luxury makeup and skincare. They first started with lipstick and mascara, two essential products of the 1950s. Iconic stars like Marlène Dietrich, Joséphine Baker, and Grace Kelly were known to be big fans of Rouge Dior lipsticks.
Best Dior makeup products
- Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara
- Rouge Dior Lipstick (shade 999 in satin or velvet is iconic)
- Dior Forever Skin Correct Concealer
- Addict Lip Glow Balm
It all began with Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain in 1828. A perfumer, chemist, inventor, and researcher, the House’s founder set up his first boutique in the heart of Paris, at 42, rue de Rivoli.
The House’s reputation at the courts of Europe peaked when in 1853, for the marriage of Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie, Pierre-François-Pascal created his Eau de Cologne Impériale, which he gave to the young bride as a wedding present.
Guerlain was the first to create scientifically based skincare, kohl eyeliner, and mascara. Then in 1840, Guerlain introduced the very first lipsticks. Nowadays, some of its classic products (like the iconic Terracotta) have proved timeless over the years.
Best Guerlain makeup products
- KissKiss Shine Bloom Lipstick Balm (I just bought the shade 775 Poppy Kiss)
- Terracotta Light Healthy Glow Bronzer
- The Terracotta Bronzing Powder
5. Sisley Paris
In 1976, Hubert d’Ornano launched Sisley with his wife Isabelle. The Parisian label develops luxury skincare, haircare, and makeup products based on active ingredients derived from plants (the “phyto-cosmetology”) for different skin types and different uses.
The objective of Sisley’s research is to explore the plant world for unique molecules and then extract their pith and marrow. All Sisley care products are designed, developed, and manufactured in France.
Best Sisley makeup products
- Phyto-Teint Nude (one of the best tinted moisturizers that I’ve tried)
- Phyto-Rouge Shine Lipstick (I love the shade 31 Sheer Chili)
- Ombre Eclat Liquide Eyeshadow
6. Laura Mercier
Laura Mercier is a world-renowned French makeup artist, the pioneer of the “Flawless Face”, the “no makeup,” healthy, radiant glow —or bonne mine in French.
During her career as a celebrity makeup artist, Laura began to observe that several products —particularly in the face category— were missing from the traditional cosmetics marketplace.
In 1996, she launched Laura Mercier Cosmetics. And as an innovator, Laura changed the makeup industry forever with her introduction of the first foundation primer to create the perfect canvas for makeup application. Many Laura Mercier products are lauded throughout the industry and have won numerous awards.
Best Laura Mercier makeup products
- Tinted Moisturizer Oil-Free Natural Skin Perfector SPF 20
- Translucent Loose Setting Powder
- Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector SPF
- Caviar Stick Eyeshadow
7. By Terry
By Terry is an international luxury makeup brand founded in 2000 by Terry de Gunzburg in Paris. Before creating her eponymous brand, de Gunzburg was an in-demand studio makeup artist working across runway and editorial with some of the biggest names in fashion.
But it was her collaboration with Yves Saint Laurent that would leave an indelible mark on beauty history. Indeed, as the International Makeup Designer of YSL Beauté for 15 years, Terry invented countless products and formulas, including the iconic Touché Eclat in 1992.
And it’s in 1998 she decided to launch her own collection of products and open its first flagship store in the heart of Paris in Galerie Véro-Dodat.
Best By Terry makeup products
- Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder Palette
- Hyaluronic Tinted Hydra-Powder
- Stylo-Expert Hybrid Foundation Concealer
- Hyaluronic Hydra-Foundation SPF30
8. Yves Saint Laurent Beauté
Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent, referred to as Yves Saint-Laurent or YSL, was a French fashion designer who, in 1962, founded his eponymous fashion label with his partner Pierre Bergé. YSL is known for its modern and iconic pieces, such as its tuxedo jackets for women, but also for having popularized women’s trousers for all occasions.
YSL has also made a name for itself in the world of luxury beauty. And especially with iconic makeup products like the Touche Eclat All-Over Brightening Pen, created in 1992 by Terry de Gunzburg. It said that it was inspired by the fact that the designer thought women looked best under the runway’s gold lights.
Best Yves Saint Laurent makeup products
- Touche Eclat All-Over Brightening Pen
- Touche Eclat High Cover Radiant Concealer
- Sequin Crush Mono Eyeshadow (I love the shade 8 Louder Blu)
- Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick (my favorite color is the 127 Rouge Studio)
Chantecaille, the preeminent botanical beauty brand known for natural, luxurious skincare, fragrance, and beautifying cosmetics was founded in 1997 by French-born beauty pioneer Sylvie Chantecaille.
The line stands out for the uniquely high concentration of naturals and botanicals found in each groundbreaking formula and is also distinguished by the exceptional purity of its ingredients. It’s definitely one of my favorite French makeup brands!
Best Chantecaille makeup products
Originally a fragrance house, Lancôme was founded by the French Armand Petitjean back in 1935. His five perfumes were an immediate success and he soon moved on to skincare. The first product, a multi-tasking repair cream called Nutrix, was launched in 1936 and is still available today.
Two years later he expanded into cosmetics with a pinky-red lipstick scented with roses that remained a bestseller for the following 30 years. L’Oréal acquired Lancôme in 1964, and it is now known as one of the largest luxury skincare companies in the world.
Best Lancôme makeup products
- L’Absolu Rouge Hydrating Lipstick
- Definicils High-Definition Mascara
- Teint Idole Ultra Liquid 24H Longwear Foundation
- Artliner Precision Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner
Hubert de Givenchy’s storied ascent to the famed couturier began in 1952 when he opened the doors to his eponymous Parisian couture house. Born of aristocratic roots, Givenchy had an appreciation of tradition and a tendency for irreverence.
In 1953, when Givenchy met Audrey Hepburn, he fell for her irresistible charm and youthful spirit. And she inspired him to create his first fragrance: L’Interdit. The fragrance was released to the public in 1957.
In 1989, the luxury brand debuted both skincare and makeup lines. The makeup line was launched with Le Prisme Visage, a revolutionary four-in-one face powder that gave women full sculpting freedom.
Best Givenchy makeup products
- Prisme Libre Loose Powder
- Prisme Libre Matte Foundation
- Le Rouge Interdit
- Rose Perfecto Plumping Lip Balm 24H Hydration
12. La Bouche Rouge
The French makeup brand La Bouche Rouge was created by L’Oréal veteran Nicolas Gerlier in 2017, with the ambition to marry luxury and sustainability.
The biggest feature of the brand is sustainable manufacturing. Indeed, La Bouche Rouge creates sophisticated and 100% microplastic-free formulas housed in refillable cases that use almost no plastic. The lip body is refilled in a leather case, which also uses scraps from the production process of luxury bags.
Best La Bouche Rouge makeup products
- Satin Lipstick Refill (my favorite color is Selfservice Satin)
- Leather Lipstick Case
- Le Serum Noir Mascara
Disclaimer: I independently select all products featured on Leonce Chenal. If you buy something through my links, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. I only recommend products I genuinely love.
Bonjour and bienvenue (welcome) to Leonce Chenal, a modern lifestyle platform created and curated by a French woman for lovers of everything French. My name is Leonce, and I’m originally from Annecy, France. I created Leonce Chenal to share my love for France and the French art de vivre (the art of living) with you. I genuinely hope my enthusiasm for this beautiful country encourages you to experience its wonders for yourself. Merci for visiting. Bien à vous, Leonce.