Back to articles

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

Mini fridge for skincare products on vanity shelf 

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

Woman applying cleansing micellar water on a cotton pad 

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

A happy young woman applying hydrating serum 

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

Woman washing hair showering in bathroom 

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

Cindy Bruna in chic white outfit  

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 

Young stylish woman in gray dress drinking coffee outdoors at the cafe in Paris 

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

Vivienne Sabo makeup bag artfully spilling over

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 

Young woman smiling and holding Matte Constance Lipstick 

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

Vivienne Sabo Provocation Mascara 

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

Next to read
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    27
11 Steps to the Perfect At-Home French Manicure
May 03, 2021
11 Steps to the Perfect At-Home French Manicure

One of the most important parts of French beauty is looking well put-together. On the one hand, you want to look effortless, but on the other hand, you also want to look intentional. Groomed nails are essential for striking this balance, especially if you opt for a natural-looking French manicure.  We’ve compiled a step-by-step guide to achieving perfect nails at home, so you can skip the nail salon. You can also adapt these tips to give yourself a relaxing pedicure! First, we’ll cover all the tools you need to have on-hand, and then dive straight into the how-to.    At-home manicure tools You don’t need fancy tools to create a DIY French manicure at home, but you do need some basic nail grooming essentials. Here’s our comprehensive list of all the things you’ll need!   Nail polish remover Emery or crystal nail file Cotton pads and cotton swabs  Cuticle pusher (optional)  Warm water and soap  Hand cream or cuticle oil Hand scrub (optional)  Clear base coat Clear topcoat Nude, pink, or colorful nail polish White nail polish  Thin synthetic brush (optional)  1. Remove old polish First, if you still have some remnants of old nail polish on your nails, make sure to scrub it away thoroughly with cotton pads and nail polish remover. Some colors tend to really get lodged along the edges of the nail, in which case, use a cotton swab dipped in remover to really get in there and clean things up.  2. Shape your nails    Next, file the tips of your nails to an even shape. There are all kinds of nail shapes you can choose from, but we prefer keeping it natural with an almond, oval, or rounded nail shape. When you file your nails, only go in one direction at a time, rather than filing back and forth. Go slowly, so you can control the shape you create and don’t accidentally over-do it.  3. At-home manicure soak If you plan to trim or push back your cuticles, it’s crucial that you soften them first with an at-home manicure soak. Fill up a shallow bowl of warm soapy water, and then dip your finger in, just up to the cuticle. Leave your fingers in the water for just 2-3 minutes, and take the moment to relax.  This will be long enough to soften the cuticles but not so long that it’ll saturate your nails with water, which can compromise the integrity of your nail polish later on. If you’re happy with the condition of your cuticles, you can skip this step altogether!  4. Push back the cuticles (gently!) Pull your nails out of the water, and dry them with a soft towel. Then, use the cuticle pusher tool to gently press against your cuticles and push them back a little. If pushing on your cuticles is painful at all, it’s a sign you’re overdoing it, so make sure to ease up on the pressure.  In general, we don’t recommend trimming the cuticles at home unless you already have a bit of professional experience. It’s easy to damage cuticles when trimming them, which may lead to infections or cause the skin to grow back thicker.  5. Exfoliate and moisturize  Next, it’s time to give your hands and cuticles a nice treatment! For maximum pampering, exfoliate your hands by rubbing them with a scrub. You can even make your own! If your scrub is moisturizing enough, you can then just rinse your hands and move on to the next step. If you skipped scrubbing, then take a moment to rub your hands and nails with hand cream, or apply a designated cuticle oil to the nails. Wait a few minutes to allow your nails to absorb as much of the oil as possible.  For simple groomed nails, you can stop here! Moisturized, well-shaped nails are already enough for simple French beauty. However, to take your nails to the next level, you’ll want to add some polish.  6. Remove excess moisture Next, dip a cotton swab in nail polish remover, and carefully wipe it only over your nail, being careful to avoid the cuticles. This will remove any excess moisture or oil from the nails to guarantee that the polish adheres well. Let the remover evaporate entirely before moving to the next step.  7. Lay down your base coat A base coat of polish is essential for protecting your nails from yellowing and creating an even base for the polish. Apply the base coat carefully to each nail, making sure to only use a minimal amount so that it dries quickly.  8. Apply your color  Once your base coat has thoroughly dried, you can apply your colorful nail polish! Pink, peach, and nude are the classic choices for a French manicure, but other colors are perfectly acceptable as well.  Apply the polish in thin layers, starting about a millimeter away from the cuticle, and painting it on in strips. Once your first coat fully dries, apply the second coat, and wait for it to dry, as well.   9. DIY nail tips  Turn your classic mani into an ultra-chic French manicure. Dip an old eyeliner brush or a dedicated nail brush into some white nail polish. Then, carefully paint the tips (i.e., top 2-3 millimeters) of your nails. If your hand is a little shaky, you can lay down some sticky tape over the bottom of the nail first to guarantee a clean line.  10. Finish with a top-coat Once your polish is totally dry, finish things off with an ultra-thin layer of topcoat. This will help seal in all of your hard work, add some sheen, and prevent your nail polish from chipping. 11. Clean up the edges  Once your topcoat is fully dry, it’s time to fix mistakes! Even the pros sometimes smudge a bit of polish over the cuticle, but thankfully, it’s easy to clean up. Just soak a cotton swab in some nail polish remover and use it to erase any smudges.  Nailed it! It takes a bit of time and maybe even practice, but achieving the perfect manicure at home is totally doable. Don’t be afraid to skip the nail salon next time you want to treat yourself to a French manicure! 

How to Have the Perfect Bath
April 25, 2021
How to Have the Perfect Bath

The best way to show yourself love is to take time out of your day and do something that is wholly and completely for you. A bath certainly counts! It feels divine as it relaxes the muscles and helps you unwind. It’s also a wonderful chance to pamper yourself with skin treatments, bath salts, and scented oils.  We’ve put together this guide to help you learn how to take a luxurious bath like no other. We’ll help you set up a relaxing bath routine, with tips on how to run the perfect bath temperature and advice as to what kind of accessories you’ll need to have a great time.  Even if you don’t have a bath, give this a read, ‘cause we cap things off with some relaxing shower tips. Dive in!  Set the scene Ambiance is everything, darling. Turn your bathroom into an environment where you can unwind. Instead of harsh electric light, opt for some scented candles, and queue up the dreamiest playlist. Any music or soundscape that helps you relax will do; you can try tree.fm’s forest soundscapes, some guided meditation, or even a spa playlist on Spotify. Perfect the temperature The question of how to run the perfect bath temperature is a tough one. On the one hand, you want the water to stay hot for as long as possible, but on the other hand, you still want it to be pleasant right from the start.  Filling up the bathtub can take a while, so turn on the tap early. Twist the tap to a position where it’s just a little hotter than you would normally shower or bathe in, but not cranked all the way up.  There is some debate as to what the ideal bath temperature is, but most of us don’t keep thermometers on hand to check the precise temperature, anyway. You’ll know you’ve landed on the correct temperature when you can dip your foot in the water and leave it in for 5 seconds without any issues.  Waterproof your entertainment A book or a TV-show can be pleasant bathtub companions, but bringing paper or tech devices into the water with you requires some planning. You can choose a cheap paperback, so it won’t be a great loss if it falls in, or simply waterproof your devices.  For the best luxury bubble baths, consider buying a waterproof case or even a waterproof device.  Consider a beverage  The next little treat for your relaxing bath routine is a beverage. Wine is the classic choice for a luxury bath, but don’t feel constrained. Tea, hot chocolate, and even juice are equally suitable companions.  If you do opt for an alcoholic beverage, make sure to also have some water on hand. It’s easy to get dehydrated or overheated in the bath, and alcohol will compound that, so staying hydrated is essential.  Start with a pre-bath rinse Before getting into the bath, rinse yourself off, especially if you’ve had a long and grueling day. If you have both a shower and a bath, you can do this while the bath is filling up! Otherwise, you can do this before starting to fill up the tub. Keep the water lukewarm, and soap yourself up quickly—there’s no need to go overboard.  A bath pillow is essential  Unfortunately, even the most luxurious bathtubs are designed out of rock-hard porcelain, so resting your head on the lip of the tub isn’t the most comfortable. You can fold-up a small towel to cushion your head as you lie back, but if you really want to take your bathing experience to the next level, purchase a dedicated waterproof bath pillow.  Consider your bath additives There are a few lovely options for additives that you can add to your bathtub. Luxury bubble baths can be a lot of fun, but the detergent-laden blends aren’t great for the skin, so here’s what we recommend.  Natural bath bombs are amazing because they fizz, sparkle, and smell gorgeous. It’s even better if you learn how to make your own! Epsom salts can be a simple, affordable addition that’ll help your muscles unwind.  To nourish your skin, pour in some bath oil or even just a spoonful of coconut oil. Just remember that oil will make the bathtub a little slippery when it’s time to get out.  Finally, a few drops of your favorite essential oil will turn the entire bath into an excellent aromatherapy experience. Be sure to always be mindful of what oils you allow to come in contact with your skin and always test on a small area of your body before putting anything in the tub.  Enjoy a skin treatment  How can you take a luxurious bath without adding in some face treatments? We don’t think it’s possible. Steamy bath time is ideal for face treatments! You’ll have time to lie back while the added steam helps nourishing ingredients penetrate into the skin. Try a purifying clay mask, apply a Korean sheet mask, or go with your favorite facial skincare treatment! Guarantee a cozy finish  Eventually, even if you’ve run the perfect bath temperature or put on your favorite soundtrack, you’ll still need to get out of the bathtub. Don’t let the luxurious experience end in disappointment with a scratchy, threadbare towel. Instead, prepare your fluffiest towel or bathrobe well in advance, so you can feel pampered right up until the end.  What if you don’t have a bathtub? Unfortunately, not every home is fitted with a bathtub, especially if you live in a big city apartment. We’ve gathered some tips so you can have a relaxing shower, instead.  While it might be hard to enjoy candles through the shower curtain, you can still dim the lights for a calming environment.  Waterproof Bluetooth speakers will allow you to enjoy some music despite the noise of the showerhead.  It’s harder to relax when you’re standing upright, so consider placing a plastic stool in your shower, so you can sit back under the warm spray.  While bath oils or salts won’t work in the shower, you can pamper your skin with an exfoliating salt and oil scrub.  Placing a bath bomb by the shower drain will create just as dramatic an aromatherapy experience as it does in the bath. As the warm water melts it away, it will release the fragrance, enveloping you in relaxation.  And off to bed  After a relaxing shower or a luxury bubble bath, you’ll be ready for bed! The bath routine is designed to promote calmness and relaxation. It’s ideal to save the pampering for the end of the day when you need to unwind. By the time your bath is over, you’ll want nothing more than to sleep deeply and soundly. Bonne nuit!  

The Marie Kondo Method Meets French Beauty
April 15, 2021
The Marie Kondo Method Meets French Beauty

If you love beauty as much as we do, it can be easy to get into a mindset that “more is more.” But after a while, we find ourselves overwhelmed by a large, disorganized makeup collection, with more items than we can ever dream of using!  For French beauty enthusiasts, having too much stuff just isn’t helpful, since the French approach to makeup is simplified and precise.  It turns out that by organizing your makeup collection according to the tips of Japanese tidying guru Marie Kondo, it’s much easier to achieve an effortless French beauty routine!  Follow our guide to learn about the KonMari organizing method and how to apply it to your makeup storage.  The basic elements of KonMari organizing In her book, The Art of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo outlines both her philosophy and methodology for tidying homes. The basic principles of KonMari are fascinating and incredibly helpful.  Tidying is a special event As Marie Kondo explains, tidying is a special event and you should only do it once in your lifetime (or, at least the very least, extremely infrequently), as a total reset. She views it as a life-changing and joyful experience with a spiritual element.  Before beginning the process, she also recommends taking a moment to visualize your ideal life in as much detail as possible. This will help direct and guide you through the process of organizing and decluttering your life.  Working in categories KonMari organizing is done in categories of items, not room by room or drawer by drawer. The categories are precise, but within them, there are more loose subcategories. It’s important to go through them in the order she outlines:  1) Clothes: Tops, bottoms, items that hang, socks, etc.  2) Books: Pleasure reads, practical books, etc.  3) Papers: Documents, receipts, bills, etc.  4) Komono or miscellaneous items: Electronics, office supplies, skincare, makeup, and more. 5) Sentimental items: Photos, keepsakes, love letters, etc.  Discard what doesn’t spark joy Now the tidying really begins! Working in categories (starting with clothes), make a large pile of all of the items within that category that are in your house (as well as in your bag, car, or garage).  One-by-one, take each item, examine it briefly, and see if it “sparks joy.” That’s the only criterion by which you decide whether to keep or discard something. This way, at the end of the process, you’ll feel calm knowing that you only own objects that bring you joy. If you decide to discard something, take a moment to thank it for its service.  Afterward, as a separate process, you can sort through the discarded items to see what you’ll toss, what you’ll recycle, and what you’ll donate.   A place for each item Once you’re left only with objects that spark joy, you need to decide where to store them. While Marie Kondo isn’t a fan of fancy storage solutions, she does emphasize that each object should have its place, usually in a drawer or even an open shoebox.  Knowing where each item belongs simplifies life in two ways: You’ll always know where to find an object, and you’ll always know where to put it once you’re done with it. This is the simple beauty of KonMari organizing  Another one of Marie Kondo’s tips is to store all related items together, like-with-like. Shirts in one drawer, socks in another, pens together, etc. When it comes specifically to clothes, the KonMari folding method is its own organizing marvel.     She doesn’t recommend “flow planning” methods of organization, primarily because they make returning things to the place where they belong a little harder.  Organizing your makeup collection Now that you understand the basics of KonMari organizing, let’s apply it to the task of organizing your makeup collection. Makeup is part of the ‘komono’ category, which includes miscellaneous items you can collect over your lifetime. While you can apply Marie Kondo’s tips just to your makeup bag, it’s better to do the entire process at once.  Visualizing your beauty routine Visualization is especially helpful when it comes to makeup. Before you start gathering everything, take a moment to consider what your ideal makeup routine looks like and how you want to look. This will help you through the whole process. Decluttering your makeup Collect all of the makeup you own (including the lipstick that hides in your car and the pressed powder that lives in your purse), and put it on the floor or counter, to sort through and figure out what sparks joy.  When you do this, also consider how long you’ve owned each product and whether it might be expired. Put all the makeup products that don’t spark joy in a bag or bin, to either discard or donate.  Makeup storage and vanity organization  Finally, make sure to store the items in a way that makes sense, so that products with similar functions are all in the same location. Never pile products one on top of the other. Instead, store them in such a way so that you can see everything at once and quickly find whatever you want to use.  Vertical storage (much like books on a bookcase) is ideal for palettes, foundation bottles can stand upright, while lipsticks and eyeliners can be stored either upside down (so you can see the colors at a glance), or lying down flat.    Keep them all in one vanity or bathroom cabinet. If you don’t have dedicated makeup storage, a transparent drawer set can be incredibly helpful.  Marie Kondo your makeup bag After you’ve whittled down your collection to only include makeup that sparks joy, you can decide which products will go in your makeup bag.  According to KonMari, your purse shouldn’t be another storage space. Instead, she recommends that every morning (or at least every few mornings), you should repack your handbag. We think that should also apply to your makeup bag.  Every morning, after you finish doing your makeup, consider which items you’d like to bring with you, and put them in a dedicated makeup pouch. Once the day ends, take them out and put them back where they belong in your organized makeup vanity.  Goodbye, makeup clutter! KonMari isn’t necessarily a minimalist or anti-consumerist philosophy. It’s not about getting rid of all of your earthly possessions — instead, it’s about ensuring that you truly love everything you own. By organizing your makeup according to Marie Kondo’s tips, you guarantee that your beauty routine will always spark joy.