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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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7 Reasons Your Eyeshadow Isn't Working For You
August 17, 2021
7 Reasons Your Eyeshadow Isn't Working For You

Eyeshadow is one of the most tricky parts of the makeup routine, but it allows you to get the most creative. There are a few common pitfalls beginners often make with their eyeshadow, from having the wrong technique to using the wrong eyeshadow palette.  We’ve collected our best eyeshadow tips to help you solve your eyeshadow woes. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering why your eyeshadow looks dull or why it keeps creasing, we've got some suggestions based on our effortless, beginner-friendly approach to makeup.  Here are seven reasons why your eyeshadow may not be working for you.  1. Trying to do too much   Complex eyeshadow can be beautiful to look at, but it takes a long time to create, especially if you’re new to makeup. In French beauty, the goal is maximum impact with minimal effort. This means that we like to use our eyeshadows sparingly to bring out what we already have.  There’s nothing wrong with getting creative and using unusual colors, but most days, it’s better to do a “quick look” with just a couple of eyeshadows — a lighter tone on the lid and a slightly deeper tone on the crease to make the eyes pop.   2. Lack of eyeshadow primer  If your eyeshadow fades away quickly, settles into creases, or looks dull, chances are you’re forgetting to use primer. Powder eyeshadows don’t like to stick to bare skin — they need a bit of help to look vibrant and to stay in place.  When doing your eye makeup, make sure to start with a thin layer of eyeshadow primer, and when you apply your eyeshadow on top, it’ll look brighter and last a lot longer.  If you don’t have an eyeshadow primer on hand, you can use a concealer or cream eyeshadow instead. Your eyeshadow may still crease a little more quickly than with a primer, especially if your lids are oily, but it will look much better than if you go without.   3. Poor eyeshadow shape  Eye makeup rarely looks great when you layer it on without an action plan, so before starting to put on your eyeshadow, it’s imperative to consider eyeshadow shapes. By keeping your eye and lid shape in mind, you can guarantee that you’ll apply your shadow in a shape that flatters.  Shapes to try out First, consider the basics: darker eyeshadow acts like contour, pushing features back and making them look more hollow, while lighter shadows bring features forward to make them seem larger and more prominent.  To open up the eye, opt for a classic look with a brighter lid and a darker shade in the outer corner and crease.  Keeping the lid darker will give you a smoky look that’s a little sultrier and also helps de-emphasize a prominent lid.  The angle of your shadow in the outer corner will also have an impact. You can angle it up more to give the eyes an upturned look or keep it rounded for a softer look.  4. Using the wrong colors  From trying to wear blue eyeshadow with blue eyes to attempting to make yellow-gold shadow work against your cool skin tone… it’s very possible that your eyeshadow isn’t looking good because you’re wearing shades that don’t flatter your natural coloring.  Here are some tips to help you choose the best shades of eyeshadow for different eye colors and skin undertones:   For pinkish, cool-toned skin, avoid very warm yellow or green-based shades, and instead opt for neutral, red-based, or cool tones.   If your skin is warm with a yellow undertone, skip the blue and indigo shades, and try to stick to warmer shades, instead.  For blue eyes, orange-based shades like peach, copper, and rose gold are going to have the most impact.  If your eyes are green, mauves, bronzes, and red-based browns will bring out your green tones most dramatically.  If your eyes are brown, you’re in luck! Your eyes are a neutral color, so you can combine them with just about anything.  Finally, no matter your eye color or skin tone, remember that everyone looks good in neutrals. Browns, smokes, and beige shades (and their metallic versions like gunmetal and champagne) can be used to add depth to the eye without necessarily adding color.  5. You’re “brushing” your eyeshadow on  Another reason why your eyeshadow looks dull or muddy might be that your application technique is a little off. Even though they’re called brushes, you’re not actually supposed to brush eyeshadow on to the eyes.  When you try to apply your eyeshadow with a wiping or blending motion, you end up smudging it as you apply it, which reduces color pay-off and looks messy. Instead, you should always press the eyeshadow on at first, using the side of a flat brush. This way, you can deposit a maximum amount of vibrant eyeshadow directly on your lid!  7. Not blending correctly If your eyeshadow looks too harsh or blunt, chances are you’re not blending it enough. After you’ve deposited your eyeshadow, you should always transition to a fluffy brush for blending. Use it only to blend the areas where you want the eyeshadow to look smokier and less intense, and make sure to take your time with it until everything looks soft and seamless.   If you want to combine a few different eyeshadow colors, it can help to first dip your blending brush into a transition shade that's somewhere in between the main colors you’re using. That middle shade will help the shadows blend easily, without looking muddy.  Finishing touches  There are no rules in makeup, only guidelines! Please take our best eyeshadow tips as intended, to make your life easier and help you problem-solve. Our suggestions will help you get the most out of your eyeshadow palettes, but what you create is totally up to you. 

Dispelling French Beauty Myths
August 05, 2021
Dispelling French Beauty Myths

The world is obsessed with French style, and for a good reason. Paris is one of the world’s fashion capitals, where new wardrobe and makeup trends are introduced every year. It’s no surprise that the French girl has become such a powerful image that women all over the world want to emulate.  However, there are also a lot of misconceptions about French beauty standards that lead to confusion and can make some beauty lovers feel excluded. Today, we’ll bust those myths and share real beauty facts about French style to help you figure out how to make it your own.  French girl beauty is diverse The first image that comes to mind for many when they hear the phrase “French girl” is a pretty blonde actress, like Brigitte Bardot or Catherine Deneuve, with tousled hair and full lips.  While the tousled hair and full lips are often true to French beauty, being blonde or even white is certainly not a prerequisite for having French style. France is an incredibly diverse country, and Paris itself is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. No matter your skin tone, hair color, or cultural background, you can embody the inherently cool, effortless vibe of French beauty.  You don’t have to be skinny  Much like the misconception about skin tone, there’s also the idea that French women are all impossibly waifish, which is another idea that can be incredibly harmful. The truth is that the streets of Paris are teeming with gorgeous women of all shapes and sizes. Online, models like Clémentine Desseaux and influencers like Gaëlle Prudencio are proving that French style has very little to do with size.  It’s not always ultra-feminine   There’s a bit of duality when it comes to French beauty and gender. On the one hand, there’s this idea of an ultra-feminine woman in a flowy floral dress, while on the other hand there’s the image of Jeanne Damas in a blazer and loose-fitting jeans.  French femininity is, in itself, complex, but having some masculine elements in your look is still seen as beautiful.  In a city like Paris, anything goes, as long as it fits you well. You can shop in the menswear section, stick to totally gender-neutral outfits, rock a hyper-femme outfit, or mix everything into your wardrobe, and your style can still fit into French beauty standards.  Red isn’t the only lipstick color    Red lipstick is not a total myth, but we do think its popularity as part of Parisian style has been slightly blown out of proportion. While almost all French women do own red lipstick, it’s not necessarily a daily staple for everyone.  In fact, most days of the week, French women prefer to wear a natural-looking pink lipstick or even just a sheer layer of nude gloss. Red lipstick, on the other hand, is worn to add a touch of drama just once in a while, sometimes during the week and other times for special events.  No one douses themselves in perfume    You might have heard the term “a French bath” in reference to a person soaking themselves in perfume or cologne in lieu of bathing, but that idea seems to come from the English-speaking world. In reality, no one understands perfume as well as the French, which also means that they know how to apply just the right amount.  The cloud method There are two approaches to applying perfume. The first is great if you have a stronger perfume: Spray a cloud of the perfume in front of you, and then walk through it. This will cover you (and especially your hair) in a delicate mist of fragrance that won’t be overpowering.  The strategic method The second method is great for a more gentle perfume or eau de toilette. With this method, you spray the perfume directly on your wrists, and then gently tap them over strategic points, like behind the ears or on your neck’s pulse points. If you’re wearing a skirt, you can add a spritz behind the knees.  This gives a targeted application, so your fragrance will be strongly felt at specific times, like when someone kisses you on the cheek, but the rest of the time it’ll be subtle. If you choose this method, be careful to never rub the perfume, as that will cause it to dissipate more quickly.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money We often associate French style with expensive brands like Chanel and Givenchy, but following French beauty standards doesn’t have to cost much. Sure, many French women have a few basic essentials from luxury brands, whether it be their signature perfume or a pair of Chanel two-tone slingbacks, but they’re just as likely to buy from affordable but trusted brands.  It’s not unusual to see a French woman carry a Saint Laurent handbag along with a thrifted outfit from one of the vintage stores in Montmartre or Le Marais. The same premise applies to beauty products. For instance, most French women buy their skincare specifically from the pharmacy, where the prices are very reasonable. No matter your budget, you can absolutely find high-quality and affordable products that will help you feel beautiful, like the products here at Vivienne Sabó.  There’s room for creativity While French beauty can seem a little uniform with its staples, it’s not meant to be restrictive. In fact, a large part of French beauty is not caring about what others think, and just doing your own thing.  There are some beauty staples, sure, but creativity is still encouraged, especially if you’re aiming for Parisian style. Paris is a big city, so it has its artists and fashion lovers who love to break rules, especially during Fashion Week. If you want to wear unusual lipstick, try something new with your hair, or mix prints in your outfit... it might not be classically French, but it can still be chic.  Make French beauty your own  To truly rock French style, it’s important to know the beauty facts from the myths. While French beauty can seem unattainable, the truth is that it’s very inclusive, so every person who likes the aesthetic can make it their own.

Take a Break From Foundation
July 15, 2021
Take a Break From Foundation

We all have that one girlfriend who never wears foundation, and is blessed with immaculate, glowing skin. But we’re not all that lucky, right? Foundation is a key makeup must-have in most women’s toolkit.  Why? Because it creates a seamless base to then apply the rest of our makeup. Not to mention it covers a multitude of problem areas including spots and acne, uneven skin tone and hyper-pigmentation.  But what if we told you that the less cover-up you wear, the less you’ll need to cover up? It’s like a vicious cycle. If you keep on wearing foundation, you’ll need to keep wearing it... until you finally wean yourself off of it. And yes, flawless skin really is possible without foundation. But it’s easy to talk about ditching foundation for good, and a whole other ball game actually going through with it.  Whether you want to give foundation up for good, or just take a short break from it, there are some great alternatives to achieving the look you want without caking your face in makeup. So, if you’re ready to embrace that natural French beauty look and channel the less is more mentality, keep reading.   What are the benefits of no foundation makeup? Have you noticed your makeup looking fab in the morning, but by lunchtime it starts to look a little patchy, and by the afternoon it’s looking seriously greasy?  We’ve all been there.  This is because most foundations are high in pore-clogging ingredients like mineral oil or silicones. This is what gives them that great texture. But it’s not good news for your skin, unless congested pores, inflammation, and breakouts are what you’re looking for... We don’t think so! So, by using less foundation (or removing it from your makeup routine altogether) you’ll gift your skin a much-needed break. Even if you only do this once or twice a week, or every other day.  There’s no guarantee that your skin will look amazing all the time (there are so many other factors involved) but it will definitely help it look fresh and healthier. So, here are some alternatives to help you achieve flawless skin without so much makeup.  Up your skincare game Chances are, you wear foundation because it makes you feel more confident in your appearance, right? It covers your perceived imperfections. It’s probably not because you enjoy that oily/cakey texture that stops your skin from breathing and stains all your beautiful white clothes! So, if you didn’t have those “imperfections,” and had gorgeous glowing skin like a runway model, would you bother wearing foundation? Probably not. Well, a lot of your skincare qualms can usually be solved by upping your skincare game. Most women aren’t using the right products, or aren’t using them consistently to see an improvement. That means committing to removing your makeup each night, cleansing and moisturizing, which will let your skin breathe. And in the morning, cleansing, moisturizing, maybe applying some face oil, and definitely some SPF. Plus, exfoliating once or twice a week.  Doing this religiously every day or night should energize your skin, help it renew itself, and glow with or without makeup. What if I have uneven skin tone or hyper-pigmentation? Great point. Many women with darker skin suffer from hyper-pigmentation, and the struggle is real. Foundation is a miracle base to even things out. So, is there an alternative? Yes! There are many brightening and illuminating products out there specifically designed to target uneven skin tone, hyper-pigmentation, and even scarring. Plus, there are concealer-like products to target specific problem areas. Different tones of blemishes each have a corresponding product designed to target them. Take a look at what’s on the market right now. We guarantee there is a product designed specifically for your skin and area of concern.  The great thing about many of these brightening and illuminating products is they’re rich in vitamins and minerals which are brilliant for repairing cells and creating a protective barrier for your skin.   No base makeup is looking pretty achievable right now, isn’t it?  Use a tinted moisturizer instead We adore the natural look and would love nothing more than to see every woman covering up less and embracing their natural beauty more.  That being said, we understand it’s challenging and a little scary—especially at first!So, if the thought of replacing foundation with skincare is daunting, don’t worry. Take it in baby steps.  How about trying a tinted moisturizer like a BB cream instead? These are little tubes of magic, and particularly great for adding light coverage that won’t melt off your face on those warmer days. Not only will it smooth your skin tone and cover imperfections, but it will also help your skin breathe. Add a tiny bit of bronzer or highlighter on your cheekbones for some extra glow, and you’ll forget all about that thing called foundation.  Try a sheer concealer-powder Concealer makes a great substitute for foundation, and you’d be surprised how little of it you need. After you’ve completed your skincare routine, just dab a bit of concealer under your eyes and over any other small blemishes. A creamier texture is easier to blend than a powdered one, especially on this area of the face.  Next, apply a thin layer of concealer powder to even everything out.  You’re still wearing makeup, but a much lighter base. That means way less time in front of the mirror for you, plus healthier and happier skin. A winning combo! Embrace the natural look! It’s no secret that French women are all about minimal makeup. They manage to look both chic and effortless.  Their secret? Minimal foundation, if any.  Yes! French women steer clear of that cakey look opting for a little swoosh of concealer or powder, then bronzer or highlighter to contour with. Natural skin paired with a swipe of sexy eyeliner is très chic, don’t you think?  Don’t feel pressured to throw out your foundation right away. How about trying one of the suggestions above for just one day, and see how you look and feel? If you like it, try it for a few more days, and go from there.   If you’re extra self-conscious, try this out on the weekends or holidays when you know you won’t be running into too many people. Give yourself the time and space to adjust and feel comfortable in your skin again.