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6 Pro Tips for Simplistic Makeup

When it comes to a simple makeup look that will work for your busy everyday life, no one does it quite like the French. The French look is all about classic beauty, which appears to be effortless and chic all at the same time. 

A staple of the French look is minimalist makeup. For the French woman, less truly is more — they choose to enhance their natural features and embrace their imperfections rather than painting on a new face with excessive contouring. 

Following the French philosophy and embracing a minimalist makeup routine leaves you with more time to enjoy life. 

 

Read on for seven tips on how to find an everyday makeup routine that you can stick to. 

1. Declutter 

Paris themed makeup accessory kit

It’s safe to say that most women have more makeup than they need or even use. A cluttered vanity and makeup bag quietly eat your time as they cause you to search for the item you need or pause and think about what shade to use that day.

Unless makeup is your profession, there is no need for a makeup arsenal fully stocked with every shade. 

Decluttering your makeup bag will make your chic yet simple makeup look easier to achieve on a daily basis and will save you time each day. 

If you find that you don’t need a full coverage foundation, switching to a tinted moisturizer or BB cream can simplify your makeup routine because it does double duty by acting as a moisturizer and providing light coverage. 


Paring down your makeup arsenal can make applying your makeup less daunting, and you will find yourself becoming a master at using the cosmetics you keep. 


So, where to start when you first decide to declutter? Following a few simple guidelines will get you set in the right direction. The first step to decluttering is an essential one: carefully check each product’s expiration date and dispose of anything that is past its expiration. 

You should also throw out anything where the texture, consistency, or smell is off — old makeup is a notorious breeding ground for bacteria that can damage your skin and cause breakouts.

Organizing

Once you have disposed of your expired makeup, you can categorize everything and tackle each category separately. 

Pick out the items you regularly use as well as the items that you love so much you can’t bear to get rid of — these items can go back into your makeup bag or drawer. Any remaining makeup can be given away or tossed. 


Spilling makeup bag on white background

2. Prep your skin

To achieve the effortless French look, you must prep your skin! Prepping your skin will provide you with a clean palette and smooth complexion, which is a must for a natural look. A smooth complexion will allow you to use fewer cosmetics, eliminating the risk of a caked look. 

Cleansing and moisturizing are the two most essential steps to any skincare routine. By taking the time to care for your skin with intentional, natural treatments, you’ll achieve a complexion and glow that may not need any help from foundation at all!

Daily cleansing helps rid your face of dirt, oils, and other impurities and sets your skin up for success. Regular facial moisturizing gives your skin that extra boost it needs and can help bring a dewy and more youthful look. 


Woman with full eyelashes applying face cream

3. Use lighting to your advantage

When applying your makeup, it is best to use natural light. We’ve all been there — you find yourself in a poorly lit room or a bathroom with yellowish light, and you really take your time getting ready, only to find when you step outside that you have unblended patches, causing you to feel like a clown. 

The best way to avoid this cringe-worthy scenario is to apply your makeup in natural lighting. 

Both yellow and fluorescent lighting tend to make you look pale, which often results in the application of too much bronzer or blush. Lights with blue, green, or pink hues are also common culprits in makeup mishaps. 

Natural light alternatives

While a large, naturally lit bathroom or vanity table is ideal, that is not always possible. A good alternative to true natural light is “natural” white light bulbs placed on each side of your mirror to ensure that your face is evenly lit.

The placement of lighting is nearly as important as the color of the bulbs. When investing in vanity lights, it is important to place lights on each side of the mirror and not just above. Lighting only above the mirror may save space but will cast shadows on your face and make it more difficult to apply your makeup evenly. 

For best results, lights should be installed at a full 270° around your mirror – this will not only yield better results with your makeup, but you will also feel more glamorous, giving you a confidence boost that will follow you out the door!

Well lit makeup vanity

4. Use the correct tools for the job

It’s always so tempting to take shortcuts in life that may not provide the best outcome. This is especially true when it comes to makeup. Using the wrong tools to apply your makeup is like trying to file your taxes on your phone; it may get the job done but will leave you frustrated and with lackluster results. 

For example, if you rely solely on your fingers to apply and blend your cosmetics, you will end up with uneven patches rather than achieving a finished and put-together look. 

While it is true that you can go overboard on makeup brushes, they do have their place in your collection, and if you have not invested in a set of brushes, it may be time to do so.

If you already have a brush set, make sure to take the time and get acquainted with it – learn each brush’s purpose and how to use it properly. If you use the wrong brush for the job, it won’t give you the result you are looking for.

High quality makeup brush set

5. Choose one star of the show 

For an easy natural makeup look, choose one feature to emphasize with your makeup. The best way to highlight one element is to stick with your favorite facial feature. The most obvious choices are your eyes or lips. 

Highlight your eyes

To emphasize your eyes, do not go over the top with colored shadows and liners — stick to a nude or neutral shadow with a slight shimmer, and go with some simple eyeliner that can be smudged for a night-out look. 

Most women tend to pass by the brown eyeliner in favor of black, but brown eyeliner is an excellent choice for a simple makeup look as it looks great on most skin tones and blends better with your lash line, giving the illusion of longer lashes. 

Your lashes are equally important if you want your eyes to pop. Just a light coat of quality mascara, and you’re ready to go!

When choosing mascara, don’t be afraid to go with brown over the traditional black. Brown mascara will provide a more natural look as it blends better with your lashes.

Closeup on eye with natural colored makeup

Highlight your lips

Lips are most easily emphasized by the use of a bold lip color, but it requires a little more than a quick swipe of your favorite shade. 

To make your lips stand out, you should always start with a sharp line drawn with a lip pencil — just inside your natural lip line for a daytime look and just outside your lip line for an evening look. 

Once you have your lips defined, you can apply and blend your favorite shade of lipstick, lip gloss, or even tinted lip balm!

For some extra definition around your lips, you can use a little concealer or foundation powder to make your lip color appear bolder

If you covet the confident red-lipped look of the French, don’t be afraid to try it out for yourself! There is no need to feel self-conscious about the color of your teeth; if you choose a red lipstick with a blue undertone, it can help cancel out any yellowness on your teeth.

Chic model with bold lipstick and sunglasses

Whichever feature you choose to make the star of your face, it’s important that everything else be minimal. When choosing a blush color, pick one that most closely matches your face's natural flush after exercise. 

If you choose to emphasize your eyes, go with a more natural look for your lips by using a nude lipstick or a color that is two shades darker than your natural lips. You should also avoid any temptation to overdo your eyebrows — leave them naturally full as it will give your eyes a more open look without any added makeup.

6. Don’t overdo it

If you are aiming for a simple and natural makeup look, the biggest mistake you can make is being too heavy-handed. Too much foundation, blush, or even lipstick and eyeliner can make you look far from natural. 

Applying too much foundation can also suck the moisture out of your face, leaving you with a cakey appearance, or worse yet, the appearance of crepe paper skin! 

If you find yourself in a situation when you have applied too much foundation, first try blending again, and if that does not correct it, try wetting a beauty sponge and dabbing it on your face to remove some of the excess. 

If you feel comfortable in your own skin, don’t be afraid to skip the foundation altogether or go with a BB cream or tinted moisturizer instead. You can also choose to use foundation in trouble areas only — be sure to thoroughly blend the edges if you go this route.

Fashionable French woman wearing trendy sunglasses

When you sit down to do your makeup for the day, the most important thing to remember is that your makeup should not be used as a mask to cover yourself up. It should be about highlighting your individuality and uniqueness — an expression of yourself. A natural makeup look is timeless. Stick to neutral colors; with simple eyeliner and a neutral color palette, you cannot go wrong!

However you choose to apply your makeup, take a step back, and look at yourself. You are beautiful as you are. Be confident! Believe in your own magic and beauty, and the rest of the world will too.

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How to Use a Makeup Sponge
June 05, 2021
How to Use a Makeup Sponge

Is a makeup sponge part of your beauty toolkit? For us, it’s a must-have! Makeup blenders, in particular, are a fairly recent innovation that has had a big impact.  French girls have totally fallen in love with makeup blender sponges because, when used damp, they give a glowy finish that’s integral for achieving natural-looking makeup in seconds.  Whether you only apply a touch of concealer once in a while or you like a full foundation and contour makeup look, using a makeup sponge correctly will help up your makeup game. In this post, we’ll focus on a more French approach to using a makeup blender, with tips for simplistic makeup that’ll help your skin look naturally radiant.  First, we’ll give you a quick overview of the different types of makeup sponges, and then we’ll provide tips for using them depending on the products you like.  Types of makeup sponges There are two major types of makeup sponges to choose from, so let’s quickly summarize the details you should know about them.  Makeup blender sponges   When we hear the word makeup sponge, the first thing that comes to mind is a round, reusable sponge, much like the original Beauty Blender and the other sponges inspired by it. These sponges are meant to be used damp to apply and blend complexion makeup. You wash them with soap and water after every use. You can use the same sponge again the next time you do your makeup.  These reusable sponges are fantastic for complexion makeup. They blend away streaks and harsh lines, and because they’re damp, they don’t absorb your foundation. The water in the sponge helps add more moisture and glow to the foundation, contributing to a healthier and more natural finish.    Disposable sponges   Before blenders became standard in all of our makeup kits, many women were using disposable sponges to do their makeup. They were usually wedge shapes, but occasionally you could also come across flat sponges. They were never especially popular in French beauty since French women preferred to use their fingers to apply their makeup.  Some brands market their wedge sponges as reusable. In practice, they’re usually flimsier and more likely to harbor bacteria compared to makeup blender sponges, so while you might be able to wash and reuse them, we don’t recommend keeping them around for long.  These days, many makeup artists still use disposable wedges. They can just throw them away instead of having to carefully sanitize a reusable sponge for their next client. They work well in a pinch, although their smaller size and straight edges mean that getting a seamless blend takes a little longer.  How to use a makeup sponge for foundation makeup   This is the French approach to using a makeup blender for natural-looking makeup. It works whether you use a foundation or a product with lighter coverage like tinted moisturizers or BB cream.  Always start with clean and very well-moisturized skin. If you want, you can even use your sponge to apply your skincare steps!  Next, soak your sponge with water until it doubles in size, and then wring out the excess, so it’s damp but not dripping.  Dispense your cream or liquid foundation makeup on the back of your hand. The heat from your skin will help warm it up so it’ll glide more easily.  Dip the sponge into the makeup on your hand.  Start with the area of your face where you would like the most coverage, and gently bounce the sponge over your skin.  Never drag the sponge over your skin since that can leave visible streaks.  Use overlapping bouncing motions to spread your foundation and to give your skin a seamless, poreless blend.  If it looks like you’ve overapplied makeup to any part of your face, use one of the sponge’s clean sides to blot away the excess and to prevent a cakey look.  Applying concealer with a sponge   Many French women use concealer instead of foundation since they can just dab it where they’d like to even out their skin tone a little. Getting a concealer to blend into bare skin isn’t always easy, but with a makeup sponge, it’s a piece of cake! It’s best to apply concealer directly to the area that needs the added coverage, either with a brush, a finger, or the applicator that comes with your concealer. Then, use the clean, pointed end of your damp sponge to blend out the concealer into the rest of the skin so it becomes truly undetectable.   Using a makeup sponge for blush and contour   Powders aren’t especially popular in French beauty because they can leave the skin looking too matte and dry. Instead, cream blushes, bronzers, highlighters, and contour makeup are much more common.  Using a sponge blends out those colorful, precise complexion products in a way that gives them a skin-like finish.  As with concealer, it’s best to first dab the product on the skin, concentrating on the areas where you want it to be more saturated.  For blush, that means the apples of the cheeks, while for contour or bronzer, it usually means below the cheekbone and along the temples.  Using a clean side of the sponge, gently tap over them to blend, and add a bit of a dragging motion if you also want to distribute the product further out.  Finally, if you think your blush or contour is a little too dark or vibrant, you can actually dip the sponge into a bit of your foundation and concealer and then bounce it over the makeup. It’ll help to soften the blush, as though it’s emanating from within your skin.   Soak it up When you use it correctly, a sponge is the ultimate makeup aid. No other tool can blend things quite so seamlessly for natural-looking makeup every time. Use it damp, and that added moisture will help you realize all of your French beauty fantasies! 

Warm Weather Makeup Essentials
May 30, 2021
Warm Weather Makeup Essentials

Everyone looks forward to the summer, don’t they? It’s the time of ditching all those winter layers, heading off on vacation, lazing by the pool, soaking up the sunshine, eating ice cream, and watching the sunset in all its glorious colors.  But if there’s one thing we don’t love about the warmer weather, it’s what it does to our makeup! Finding the right makeup for hot weather can be a real struggle. If you don’t know what products to use, the high temperatures and humidity will make applying your makeup a challenge. To top things off, it can quickly melt off your face in minutes once you walk out the door.  While you can’t control the weather, you can control the makeup you put on your face. And there are plenty of tips to help you look your best during the warmer weather.  Here are some great summer makeup tips you need to know, so you can be ten steps ahead when the sunshine finally says hey. Prep is key When the weather is hot, it’s essential that you properly prep your skin before even thinking of putting makeup anywhere near it. This is because when you have the right base, your makeup will sit nicely on your skin and last longer. So, what do you need to do? Be sure to thoroughly cleanse your face and neck in the morning with your favorite cleanser. This will help remove any oil or perspiration before you start applying your skincare and makeup. And remember, prep really begins the night before. Make sure you’re removing your makeup at the end of the day, cleansing and toning your face, and applying a good night cream to replenish and nourish your skin while you sleep.  This way, you’ll wake up with less work to do and set yourself up for success.   Use an oil-free moisturizer There are two main types of moisturizers out there: 1. Water-based moisturizers2. Oil-based moisturizers Oil-based moisturizers are great for people who tend to suffer from dry skin. However, even if that’s you, when it’s warm, your body will perspire and produce more oils than it usually does. Chances are, you won’t need as much hydration as you do in the colder months.  This means you can swap out your oil-based moisturizer for a water-based one. This will reduce the amount of oil and shine on your face, and help your makeup stay firmly in place throughout the day.   Add SPF Of all the summer makeup tips on the list, this one is paramount.  Aside from sunburn, the sun can do real long-lasting damage to our skin over time if we don’t protect it properly. That means wearing SPF (at least factor 25) every day underneath your makeup is the best thing to do.  And try not to let this slide once the weather cools down again. Ideally, you should be wearing SPF every time your outside for long, because even if you can’t see the sun, it’s still there! Many women skip sunscreen because it adds another step to their already hectic morning routine. But the great news is, there are so many skincare products on the market today that have SPF added into them, so you can save time and protect your skin.  So if you’re looking to save time and create a simpler summer makeup routine, look out for products like this.  Invest in a primer Primer is a must for the warmer weather. It’s light, easy to apply, and will really help your makeup stay in place the whole day. Apply a thin layer of your favorite primer after your moisturizer, and before you add any makeup.  Wear less makeup If you want to completely avoid your makeup from creasing, caking, and sliding in the warmer weather, you’re better off wearing as little makeup as possible! We can give you all the tips in the world to help your makeup stay in place, but there’s only so much you can do to prevent this from happening. So if you want to avoid the hassle altogether, try stripping down your makeup routine to the bare essentials.  When it’s hot, you don’t want to cover your face in products because your skin will struggle to breathe. If you still want some coverage, try a BB or CC cream or a tinted moisturizer. If you have stubborn dark circles or pigmentation, and you just can’t ditch your concealer, opt for a waterproof version instead.  Less is more ladies! Use a waterproof version of your favorite mascara If there’s one thing we can’t leave the house without, it’s a coat of mascara. But the last thing you want is to have panda eyes by lunchtime! That’s why waterproof mascara is one of the makeup essentials for summer. It won’t smudge or budge an inch and will keep you looking fresh-faced and bright-eyed all day long. Plus, it’s the perfect companion if you enjoy swimming or dipping in the ocean while on vacay.  The only snag is it’s a little more difficult to remove at the end of the day, but the right makeup remover will do the trick, and if you ask us, it’s totally worth it!  Less shine, more glow When it’s hot and humid, your t-zone is likely to take the brunt of it. But a greasy, shiny forehead is not a look any of us want!  This is where blotting papers become your new best friend. They’re inexpensive and super simple to use. Keep a small pack of them in your handbag, so you can eliminate shine throughout the day. If you want to re-apply your makeup, blot your face first, then go for it.  Swap lipstick for a lighter lip gloss The summer months call for a more subtle, dewy look, so why not try swapping your regular matte lipstick for a lighter shaded gloss? This will add moisture and just a hint of color which you can layer up as you like.  We swear by this volumizing lip gloss for soft, plump & kissable lips.  Invest in a mist with SPF Did you know that you’re meant to reapply SPF every 2 hours if you’re continually out in the sun? Nobody has time (or the patience) for that. Plus, reapplying sunscreen on top of your makeup is a recipe for disaster.  Don’t worry, we’ve found a workaround! Stock up on a refreshing setting spray or mist that comes with the SPF you’re looking for.  One spritz and you’re beach ready. Remember: less is more!  Of all the summer makeup tips out there, the most important one is to remember that less really is more.  And the less time you spend applying your makeup, the more time you’ll have to sunbathe at the beach and soak up the gorgeous rays!

Summertime Makeup Ideas
May 19, 2021
Summertime Makeup Ideas

  As the weather starts getting warmer, we’re ready to change up our look! For us, timeless summer looks have to be a little lighter and softer, as opposed to the darker colors we favored in the winter.  However, just because we prefer a more natural summer makeup look, doesn’t mean we’re giving up on any of the beauty or glamour. Makeup for hot weather shouldn’t feel heavy, but it can still pack a punch.  That’s why we’ve selected our favorite summer makeup looks for 2021. Have a look at the photos to get inspired, and then follow our tips so you can try these makeup looks for yourself.  Glowy and natural    To start, let’s talk about natural summer makeup looks that help you feel cool and refreshed no matter how hot it gets outside. This stunning look is ideal for daytime, with a focus on healthy, glowy skin and bright, vivacious eyes.  To achieve this look, start with a good canvas of well-prepped skin. Don’t skimp on moisturizer and sunscreen, especially if you’ll be spending any time under the sun. Use just a hint of tinted moisturizer to even out the skin tone, and then build up layers of bronzer and highlighter for that sunkissed, glowy look. If you don’t have a liquid highlighter on hand, a dab of shimmery gloss can totally do the trick!   To make the eyes pop, frame them with a lengthening Vivienne Sabó mascara. The newest addition to our mascara collection, the Polynésie Francaise is ideal, because it offers natural length with water-resistant and non-flaking formula. Finally, fill in your brows, and then brush them up for that fluffy look. Our Brow Arcade pencil comes with a comb on the end, so it’s perfect for the job.  Feeling pink    If you’d like to have a bit of fun with your eye makeup without necessarily spending ages on eyeshadow, get inspired by this makeup look! Pops of color are going to be everywhere in 2021. A swipe of pink along the lash line is a great way to rock the trend without feeling silly or overdone. This look isn’t quite as glowy as the previous one we showcased, but otherwise, the two are quite similar, with a more natural vibe. Just use a slightly more dramatic Vivienne Sabó mascara, like the volumizing Provocation. Finish things off with a dose of a more pigmented pink lip gloss, like our Le Grand Volume in Raspberry, to match the eyes.  Nude glam This is one of those timeless summer looks for the evening. It’s elegant and polished, with a refined glamour that’s never in danger of looking like too much. This kind of nude glam look is fitting for any occasion, including a day at the office or a night at the opera.  Because the colors used in this look are natural, it’s possible to slightly amp up the intensity of both the eyes and the lips. For the eyes, a shimmery champagne shade is ideal for the lids while brown eyeshadow helps to contour the crease. Finally, a soft Feutre Fin wing is essential for framing the eyes, along with a few coats of mascara.  To give the lips that glossy fullness, the secret is to first use a warm nude lip pencil to contour the lips. Then, a coating of our Polynesie Francais gloss in Tahiti completes the look with a radiant sheen.  Soft and smokey    If you want smoldering makeup for hot weather, a soft smokey eye is our favorite. It’s an alluring and irresistible look with a lot of sex appeal. Because it relies on brown eyeshadows, it doesn’t have the heaviness of a black smokey eye. As with all of our favorite summer makeup looks for 2021, the base here is also natural, soft, and incredibly glowy. The eyes are the focus, of course, so apply a soft, shimmery brown to bring out the lids.  Then, in the crease, apply a medium brown shade that’s just a little darker than your skin tone. Use that same color all along your lower lash line, to create that smokey effect. Finally, use a darker brown shade to deepen the outer corner of the eye and the crease.  To finish things off, apply your liquid liner in a very thin line, right along both the top and bottom lash lines. Finally, apply a generous coat of Vivienne Sabó mascara, and a light dab of nude gloss on the lips.  Peachy keen   A softer way of adding color to your summer eye makeup is to use peach! The vibrant color looks incredibly natural against the skin and adds a touch of warmth that’s perfect for the season. It’s universally flattering, and because of its orange base, it really makes blue eyes pop.  This monochrome look is a great way of making this color work! There’s no need for eyeliner—just a swipe of peach over the lids and across the cheekbones. A coat or two of mascara and a touch of warm lipstick like our Matte Constance in Warm Pink finish the look.  Summer night glam    Red lipstick fits every season. It’s elegant and eye-catching, so it’s perfect for a classy summer soirée or romantic dinner date. In true French beauty fashion, this timeless summer look also features a subtle black wing and perfectly groomed brows.  To make this work for you, choose a red lipstick with rich depth, like our Matte Constance in Classic Red. A dab of gloss only at the center of the lips adds a reflective touch that makes the lips look a little bigger and fits in well with summer 2021 trends.  Bringing the heat The best season of the year is just around the corner, and with these makeup looks, we’ll be bringing the heat! Sure, there’s no reason why you can’t wear these timeless summer looks during other seasons, but to us, they perfectly capture everything Vivienne Sabó loves about the warmest season. They’re light, fresh, and timelessly beautiful.