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French women are experts on how to look effortless and chic. To them, it seems almost second nature. Today, I’ll dive into how you can create a simple, yet elegant makeup look. And: the best thing about it is that if you use makeup already, you will probably have all the items it takes to make a French makeup look.
Less is more
In almost all instances you can “frenchify” your life by thinking “less is more”. What I mean by this is that French women have tuned in on what is important to them and removed everything that’s unimportant.
French women use makeup to enhance their features, not hide them away or alter them in any big way. That’s why you will rarely see a woman with full contour and smokey eyes on the streets of Paris. It’s all about looking like the best version of yourself, not turning into someone else.
So let’s dive into what makes French makeup so effortless and “I woke up like this” chic.
8 steps to create a French makeup look
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It all starts with skincare
To make the most out of your canvas, you should always prep it. French women prep their skin by taking care of it. If you need some tips on how to best take care of your skin, you can read my article on French skincare.
And if you just want to jump right in: always let a moisturizer be the first step in your makeup routine.
Skip the foundation
Remember, less is more. French makeup is all about discretion. So you won’t see French women wear a ton of foundation. What they’ll do is dab a little concealer on, or maybe use a BB-cream. A BB-cream is perfect for a French makeup look as it is a three-in-one product. A BB-cream will moisturize, give you light coverage and, most importantly, has SPF.
French makeup is basically there to enhance. The idea is that no one should notice the makeup before they notice the woman.
A hint of blush
French women love to glow and accentuate their healthy skin. In order to get this look, you need a good blush. However, it should never be too bright.
You can brighten up the face by applying a touch of rose or pink coloured blush to the apples of your cheeks.
Cream blushes are more popular because they are easier to blend to get a natural look.
Tip: to make your look even fresher and more sunkissed, you can throw a little bit of bronzer into the mix. Just be careful to not use too much.
Keep your brows full
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You’ll find no perfectly sculpted brows in a French makeup look. Rather, the brows will be kept full, and never overly filled in. The French look is all about looking clean and groomed, but not overly polished. Stay away from eyebrow pencils and pomades. Keep it simple with some eyebrow mascara.
For a natural brow, apply the mascara in short upward strokes. Make sure to follow the natural curve of your eyebrows.
Just a touch of mascara
If you want a French makeup look, you should keep your eye makeup simple. Give your lashes a good curl, treat them with a good lash conditioner and add just a hint of mascara.
Skip the eyeliner and focus your attention on a good mascara that will give your eyes dimension.
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Most French women will not wear a lot of eye shadow on an everyday basis, but if you want to add some colour to your eyes, go for neutral tones. To achieve a French makeup look you should dab on a minimal amount. It does not have to look perfect, but it should be well blended with no sharp edges.
The signature red lip
To go with the very simple eye makeup you can add the staple of any French makeup look “la pièce de résistance” if you wish: the bold red lip. The red lip can be worn with any outfit, whether it is a t-shirt and jeans or an evening gown. The red lip will add drama where you need it.
Just remember that the french will most often wear this bold colour with the rest of the makeup being very minimal.
When you wear a red lip, nothing should steal attention away from it.
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Focus on one feature
If you want one simple piece of advice you can take away from this, it is to keep it simple. Focus on one feature at the time. If you wear a red lipstick, make everything else discrete. If you wear a bold eye makeup look, keep the lips natural.
Focusing on one feature at the time will make your face look brighter and fresher.
Keep it relaxed
Casual makeup application has become a popular trend which emphasizes French women’s relaxed approach to makeup. The point of this type of application is to make it less perfect and more lived in.
Do a smokey eye by blending out your eyeliner with your finger or use your fingertip to apply lipstick by dabbing it on (only with clean hands of course!)
This helps you achieve a more natural less polished look. Just like French women!
Did you like this article? Then you might also like my article on French skincare.
I'd love to hear from you, so if you want to leave a comment below, I'll be thrilled! Also feel free to share this article with anyone else who might be interested in it.
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French women always seem to have great skin, don’t they? Well, there’s a reason for that: they do skincare … well … the French way. French skincare is different to skincare in America, or even in different European countries. So, if you want great skin, try simplifying your skincare routine by adopting French skincare.
HOW IS FRENCH SKINCARE DIFFERENT FROM OTHER
TYPE OF SKIN CARE?
Well, for a start: French skincare is more relaxed and intentional. It’s also quite minimal. Typically, a French skincare routine will have 3 steps. The key factors are a mild cleanser, a toner and a good moisturizer.
You can compare that to an average skincare routine in other countries (where you’ll often find recommendations for doing an elaborate routine both in the morning AND evening).
A typical skincare routine in other countries may look something like this:
Do not mistake the relaxed attitude
In a French skincare routine you know what each step does. And a French woman will certainly not freak out over a pimple. She’ll simply let it run it’s course, because there are more important things in life. I think we can all learn something from French women here. It’s our imperfections that make us who we are, and honestly, we should all learn to love those imperfections!
However, this relaxed attitude must not be mistaken for not caring for their skin. It’s just that the focus is different. A simple, yet effective routine leaves time to enjoy other aspects of life. Like a good cup of coffee in the morning.
French skincare is just as much about prevention and having good skin in the future as it is about having good skin right now.
Additional steps to the basic routine
In addition to the 3 key steps, a French woman will use a gentle exfoliant once or twice a week. There is no need to use it more often, and your skin needs to rest. If you exfoliate too often, your skin will be stripped of it’s natural barrier and you might end up with dry skin that breaks out.
In addition to a simple routine, French women tend to start getting facials at quite a young age. Typically, they’ll get a facial maybe once a month.
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How can I replicate a French skincare routine
1. Reduce the number of products.
First, go through your products. Most likely you’ll do well to reduce the amount of products you use. You especially need to get rid of any harsh cleansers or exfoliants.
Any soapy cleansers are no use in a French skincare routine, as soap can disturb your skin’s pH balance and strips away natural bacteria (that are good for your skin). Instead, opt for mild cleansers that remove makeup gently.
2. Stick to your products
Another thing French women do, is they stick to the same products. They find some products that work for their skin, whether that’s oily, dry or normal skin. And you should too!
When you buy products, buy with intention. And when you find something that works for you, stick with it! You may change between a lighter and heavier moisturizer depending on the season, but other than that, your skin will thank you for not overloading it with new products all the time. That way you save your money and you save your skin.
3. Buy few, but high-quality skin products
As I touched upon just now, you want to buy only a few products. But the products you buy should be high quality. So stay away from the superstore value pack moisturizer and do like French women: go to the pharmacy.
French women don’t buy their skincare products just anywhere. They prefer buying them at the pharmacy, where they can also get expert help to find the best products for their skin.
When you’re shopping for new products, you should never be afraid to ask for help.
How you can benefit from a French
If you struggle with your skin, I think you could definitely benefit from simplifying your routine and adopt French skincare!
Less is more, and with an effortless routine you can enjoy the rest of your day with less stress.
If you choose to adopt a French skincare routine, I also think you’ll find that you slowly will get a more relaxed relationship to your skin.
I hope this blog post has been of value to you. If you liked it, you might also be interested in my article about 12 Ways You Can Become Slim & Chic Like A French Woman Without Even Breaking A Sweat.
If you enjoyed this blog post, feel free to leave a comment below and also share it with someone else who might enjoy it, too!