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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 diverseInstagram photo by @itstiffaniedavis

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

Jeanne Damas in jeans and blazer 

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 

Vivienne Sabo model holding the Matte Constance lipstick 

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 

=Young woman with a bottle of perfume in hand 

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

Instagram photo by @scheenadonia


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.

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How to Get Your Makeup to Enhance Your Eye Color
June 20, 2021
How to Get Your Makeup to Enhance Your Eye Color

If you’ve ever wondered how to brighten your eyes with your makeup, this article is for you.  We’ll be covering everything from the best eyeshadow for blue eyes to the best eyeliner for green or brown eyes and how to make your eyes pop.  We always like to emphasize that when it comes to makeup, there are no rules. Makeup should be an expression of who you are and how you feel on any given day. That being said, there are certain tips and tricks that will enhance our beautiful natural features.  Your eyes are the window to your soul. They’re often the first thing that anyone will notice about you. So, when it comes to makeup, what can you do to enhance your natural eye color and make it sing? Don’t match your eyeshadow to your eye color There’s a common myth circulating the globe that matching your eye color to your makeup is the way to go (i.e., wearing blue eyeshadow with blue eyes, or green eyeliner with green eyes, brown mascara with brown eyes.)  But in fact, the opposite is true when it comes to making your eyes pop. Blue makeup doesn’t enhance your blue eyes; it will make them appear less blue and striking and lead to them disappearing into your face. The same is true for all eye colors—it’s best to avoid matching your makeup to your eye color if you want to draw attention to your eyes. But what if you have blue eyes, and you love your blue makeup? If you can’t bear the thought of completely swapping out your favorite color yet, try switching to a different shade—for example, a pastel blue eyeshadow, a turquoise eyeliner, or a midnight blue mascara.   The color wheel is your friend   You may have briefly checked out a basic version of the color wheel while you were doing an art class at school. But if you haven’t taken a look in awhile, it’s time to get reacquainted with it. Colors that are side by side on the wheel are known as analogous colors, while colors opposite each other are known as complementary colors.  To make your eyes pop, you want to choose shades that are opposite (or close to opposite) your natural eye color.  However, it’s important to note that most people’s irises are not just one color. There are usually different flecks and hues within that one color.  For example, you might have hazel eyes with hints of honey in them. You might have green eyes with hints of teal or mustard. Take a close look at your eyes in both the daylight and at night.  And when it comes to makeup, the color wheel should be used as a starting guide, but not taken literally. There are so many shades and tones of each color, all of which will show up differently depending on your eye color and skin tone.  The best approach is to try different colors out and see what works for you and what you like most.  Blue eyes Keep it simple Blue eyes on their own can be really bright and striking, which is why you want to try and not over-do your makeup. This can leave your eyes and skin looking washed out. The best approach? Keep it simple. Less is more.  Eyeshadow The best eyeshadow for blue eyes is anything with an orange base. That means warm copper, gold, apricots, peaches and brown tones. The warmth in these colors will help make your eyes pop and stand out, and highlight any warmer flecks in your eyes.  Purple is another shade that can be quite striking with blue eyes. All shades from lavender through to plum can work to help your eyes appear even bluer and brighter.  Highlight Subtle highlighting around your eyes can help frame them without the need for eyeliner. It can also prevent them from looking too icy.  Apply a highlighter across your brow bone (just under the brow), as well as the inner corners of your eyes. Opt for a shimmery highlighter rather than a glittery one to keep this look subtle. Neutral and champagne shades will work best. Liner Keep your eyeliner minimal and apply it in a thin line. You can also keep your liner to your upper lash line and skip the lower lash line because blue eyes are strong enough to not disappear into your face. This can actually leave them looking bigger and brighter! Grey eyes Which color is most prominent in your eyes? Grey eyes can contain many flecks of color including green, gold, blue and brown tones.  The first step for you is to decide which color is most prominent in your eyes. You can then pick complementary colors accordingly. Winning colors To enhance the green in your eyes, choose shades with pink undertones like rich plums and purples. To enhance the blue, go for shades with orange or peach undertones.  Green eyes Don’t head for red You’d be right in thinking that red is opposite green on the color wheel. But red is a difficult shade of eyeshadow to pull off. The tones will usually end up making you look sickly. The best eyeshadow for green eyes is within the red spectrum, but opt for reddish browns or plum shades, or even pink.  These tones will help make your green eyes the star of the show.  Soft blush on the cheeks Add some subtle, soft blush on the apple of your cheeks in a pinky shade. This is a gorgeous feminine look for both work and play. Liner The best eyeliner for green eyes is something in a copper or violet shade. But if you prefer a more classic look, black goes with everything and is a staple for creating both simple and more dramatic makeup looks.  A swoosh of liner and a plain, glossy lid is a simple but sexy look.  Let your green eyes do the talking If you really want your green eyes to stand out, keep everything else natural. Think voluminous lush lashes (try this mascara), glowing cheeks, and a glossy lip. Gorgeous! Hazel eyes Green or brown? Did you know there’s no such thing as pure hazel eyes? You’re likely to have a mix of tones and flecks in your eyes, ranging from shades of brown to green. Depending on which color you want to accentuate, you can mix up your makeup accordingly.  To bring out the green, follow what green-eyed girls do and go for red and purple-toned eye makeup. To enhance the brown, opt for blue or copper tones.  Want more drama? If you’re looking for a bolder look, try a smokey eye, a mix of dark metallic and coppery green tones.  Liner For a natural look, use brown eyeliner to give your hazel eyes a little more oomph. And for a more radiant, glowing look, try a gold liner. Brown eyes Concealer is your friend Did you know that dark circles can steal attention away from your beautiful, brown eyes? Before you do anything, find the right concealer for your skin tone and spot it lightly under your eyes as needed. This is a crucial step before you go any further.  Brown eyes suit almost any eye makeup color! Great news, you can get away with wearing almost any color you like!  If you want to make your brown eyes pop, then contrast is key. Think baby blues, turquoise, and metallic greens. Pink is also a great contrasting color to brown.  But as a general rule, you have free reign here to try out all the colors of the rainbow! Metallics are a must Shimmery shades will create a lovely striking contrast against your brown eyes and make them glow. Reserve metallic eyeshadow or liner for those special occasions when you want to make a serious impact.  Don’t overlook the neutrals Neutrals might seem boring from the outset, but they can create a really sexy, effortless look while also bringing out the natural color of your eyes. Plus, you can’t ever go wrong with a nude color with brown eyes. Think neutral eye shadows, some brown bronzer, or even a nude lip. Liner Classic brown and black eyeliners will always work against your brown eyes. But if you’re looking for an extra-special look, try a blue or purple eyeliner. Most eye colors can’t pull this off, but you can! Complete the look with mascara for extra volume Mascara is a must regardless of your eye color. Brown can work well for blue eyes, but black will suit every eye color. Apply some lash primer, one or two coats of classic French mascara, and get ready for your eyes to pop! Getting your makeup to enhance your eye color is all about knowing which colors suit you and which ones to steer clear of. So get experimenting and try out these tips today!

French Girl Beauty Guide
June 11, 2021
French Girl Beauty Guide

There’s a reason why Paris is the world’s capital of fashion. French women have mastered the art of looking cool and chic at all times!    The secret behind French girl beauty is sheer cleverness. It’s not about special French beauty products (although they can help) or spending hours in front of the mirror. Instead, it’s about practicing restraint and focusing your energy on the things that matter most.  The French beauty routine can be split into three components. First, there’s the skincare routine, then hairstyling, and last, but certainly not least, makeup. That classy French vibe comes from how these three components merge into a singular, effortless look.  Let’s discover how that’s done, shall we?  Skin on point  Our skin is the most precious canvas, so the French skincare routine is often more consistent than makeup, even though it’s not necessarily too involved or complex.  Consistent skincare routine   Consistency is more important than the specific products you use! By doing your beauty routine every morning and night, you can keep your skin firm and healthy for the years to come.  For most French girls, the secret to ensuring consistency is not to have an overly long routine. We use our staple French beauty products, and we don’t mind cutting the occasional corner. If you struggle to stick to your skincare routine, we have an entire post dedicated to life-changing French skincare tips.  Gentle cleanse   One crucial element in the French skincare routine is cleansing the skin as gently as possible. Removing makeup every night is imperative, of course, but in the morning, a splash of water is often enough.  For actual makeup removal, micellar water has become the go-to French beauty product for most women. It’s quick and easy to use, but it’s also very gentle on the skin. Many French women also love the old-school approach of using an ultra-moisturizing cleansing milk.  Hydration hydration hydration   After cleansing, the next step is to load the skin up with moisture. We avoid intense multi-step routines, but many French girls still layer a hydrating serum under their face cream for added moisture.  When the skin is well-hydrated, it’s stronger, softer, and most importantly, it achieves that delicious glow. That’s why French girls will readily skip foundation, but moisturizer is always a must!  French hair, don’t care From Brigitte Bardot in the ‘70s to Cindy Bruna and Jeanne Damas today, French women are known for keeping their hair tousled and natural. Here’s how you, too, can achieve such hair! Never over-wash   Much like the face, your hair doesn’t benefit from over washing. To avoid drying out the hair, we try to wash our hair as little as possible. Once or twice a week is plenty for dry scalps, while those with oily hair should shampoo every other day at most.  The shampoo itself also matters! French women stick to gentle, sulfate-free shampoos, as those are less likely to strip the hair of its natural, beneficial oils. Finally, we also use a little bit of conditioner on the hair’s end to add some moisture and ensure manageability.  All about texture    That French tousled hair look is a classic day-to-day choice that always seems effortlessly chic. The secret to achieving the look is to find ways to texturize the hair. French women generally eschew the hair straightener, but even the blow dryer and curling iron are optional!  Instead, we let our hair air dry so that it can achieve a natural wave or curl. Then, we amp it up with a texturizing salt spray or dry shampoo to make the hair look even more piecey and tousled.  Go-to hairstyles    For day-to-day, natural-looking tousled hair rules, but French girls also know how to turn up the glam for date nights and special events. Instead of trying an elaborate updo or spending a fortune at the salon, try to master a few simple but impressive-looking hairstyles.  A high ponytail is especially chic these days, but a messy bun is a classic when paired with some soft-glam makeup. For the full low-down, check out our guide for how to achieve the essential French girl hairstyles.   Easy French girl makeup French makeup takes a clever approach. It’s all about maximum impact through minimal effort, which is why French women take no time to get ready in the morning, yet they always look stunning.   Have a signature makeup kit When it comes to makeup, repetition breeds perfection and speed. That’s why French girls like to stick to a small but carefully curated makeup kit with just a few essentials. The must-have French girl makeup products are usually the following:  Volumizing mascara Concealer with a natural finish A brow grooming product  Easy-to-use eyeliner  Red lipstick, of course!  The red lip    It’s not a myth but a fact: French women swear by red lipstick. Red lips are timelessly seductive, and they offer a low-effort trick to looking incredibly glamorous. For some French girls, it’s literally the only makeup product they’ll use!  Nowadays, many French women choose non-feathering matte lipsticks like our Matte Constance lipstick since they don’t require lip liner and they don’t fade throughout the day.  If you still prefer old-school bullet lipsticks, it’s important to first perfect the lip line with the help of a matching liner, like our Classic Red Le Grand Volume pencil.  Keep the eyes soft   When the lips are the focus, it’s best to keep the eyes soft. The next most important French girl makeup product is mascara, which is all you’ll need if you’ve already settled on a red lip.  In general, French girls prefer volumizing mascaras that make the lashes look lush — but if your lashes are already voluminous and prone to clumping, you might like a lengthening and lash-separating mascara instead.   On days when you do decide to put a bit more effort into your eye makeup, it’s better to keep the lips natural with just a dab of nude gloss.  All of our secrets revealed There’s a lot of thought behind the French girl beauty routine, but mercifully, it doesn’t require much effort. French skincare is at the center, while we keep our hair tousled and our French makeup minimal yet punchy. There you have it, mes amours! 

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!