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Learn French Phrases: French Makeup Terms

When you love French beauty, knowing the French words for certain makeup products can be quite helpful. They can come in handy if you’re planning to do some shopping in Paris, but it’s also useful for knowing what’s behind the names of your favorite French makeup products. 


Read our guide for some must-know French makeup vocabulary. You’ll learn what’s behind the names of some of Vivienne Sabó’s most iconic products, as well as the meanings of some products from other French makeup brands. 


From terms for different parts of the face to the names of products and tools, we cover it all!  

Parts of the face in French

Face chart for makeup artists and students

Le visage: the face. It sounds so elegant in French, so it’s no surprise that so many brands all over the world have incorporated the word into their naming schemes! 


La peau: the skin. 


La yeux: the eyes. 


Cils: eyelashes. 


Les sourcils: the eyebrows. You might notice a similarity between the French words for brows and for eyelashes! The French term sourcils comes from the Latin supercilium which translates to “above the eyelash.”


Les joues: the cheeks. 


Les lèvres: the lips. 

French makeup terms

Young lady applying makeup in a small mirror 

Le maquillage: makeup.


Fond de teint: foundation. Fond means base or foundation, while teint means tint, so literally, it’s a tinted base. It’s especially fitting because French women prefer a light tint over a full-coverage look. 


Base de teint: primer. 


La poudre: powder. 


Poudre de soleil: bronzer. The literal translation is “sun powder,” which is beautifully appropriate since bronzer is meant to give the skin the illusion that it’s been sunkissed. 


Fard: This term is a synonym for makeup, but it’s usually used to refer to specific products. 


Le fard à paupière: eyeshadow. It translates as “makeup for the eyelids.” 


Blush: blush. Contrary to popular belief, French women don’t use the word rouge to refer to blush. Instead, French makeup aficionados use the English term.  


Le fard à joues: blush. This is another commonly used term, although it’s less popular than simply saying “blush.” It literally translates as “makeup for the cheeks.”


Anticerne: concealer. 


Correcteur: corrector, a synonym for concealer. 


Le crayon: pencil. 


Crayon à lèvres: lip liner.  


Eyeliner: eyeliner. This is another one of those words that have been directly lifted from English to French. 


Eyeliner liquide: liquid eyeliner. 


Crayon yeux: eyeliner pencil. This is the term to use if you’re talking specifically about a kohl-style pencil, although it can also apply to retractable eyeliners. 


Feutre fin: felt tip, also known as our must-have eyeliner. This eyeliner won't let you down, and the design itself is ideal for drawing on a precise wing in seconds. 


Palette yeux: eyeshadow palette. 


Mascara: mascara. 

 

Mascara volumateur: volumizing mascara. We like our mascara to add some volume and amp up the drama, so this term is especially helpful. 


Mascara allongeant: lengthening mascara. 


Mascara waterproof: waterproof mascara. While the French word for waterproof is étanche, when it comes to makeup, the English term is used.   


Éclat: radiance or shine. The word is flexible, referring both to the delicate glow of the moon as well as to the brilliant radiance of a precious gem, which is why it’s so useful in makeup. 


Highlighter/illuminateur: highlighter. Most French makeup lovers use the English term for this glowy makeup product, but occasionally, the French word illuminateur is used instead. 


Le rouge à lèvres: lipstick. Most French women own a signature red lipstick, so it’s no surprise that a more literal translation would mean, “red for the lips.” However, in practice, the phrase applies to all lipsticks no matter the shade! 


Gloss à lèvres: Lip gloss. 

Other French beauty terms 

Makeup bag artfully spilling out 

Faux-cils: False eyelashes. 


Coffret: Box or kit. This is the term used for makeup sold in sets or bundles, as well. 


Éponge de maquillage: makeup sponge.   


Les pinceaux de maquillage: makeup brushes. 


Recourbe-cils: eyelash curler. 


Le vernis à ongles: nail polish. 


Trousse de maquillage: makeup bag. 


Démaquillant: makeup remover.


Sans cruauté: cruelty-free. This one is especially important for us since all Vivienne Sabó products are cruelty-free and never tested on animals.  

Nos amours, you’re ready for Paris! 

Armed with the most important French makeup terms, you’ll be able to shop at the small beauty boutiques and the large makeup stores with ease. Keep practicing as you do your makeup every morning, and you’ll become a French language and beauty pro in no-time. 

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Lipstick Colors and What Statements They Make
February 15, 2021
Lipstick Colors and What Statements They Make

The color of your lipstick or lip gloss says a lot about you. Your perfect lip color can make you seem seductive, creative, cheerful, flirty, or any combination of traits. As long as you choose a color that fits your attitude on any given day, you can’t really go wrong with your lipstick style.  We’ve put together a list of all the most popular lipstick colors, with explanations of exactly what kind of statements they make. Whether you’re looking to find your perfect lip gloss or you’re more into the matte look, keep reading to figure out what shade will give you your most confident lipstick look, no matter what that means to you!   Red  Red is the most classic and sexiest lipstick color there is. No shade can compare when you want to exude confidence and sensuality in a classy, timeless manner. A woman in red lipstick is ready to face any challenge that life throws at her! It’s a bold color that never goes unnoticed or out of style.  While perfecting a red pout can take a bit of work (and a great red lip liner), once you master it, it becomes a huge time-saver! You can look completely made-up and put together even when you’re only wearing red lipstick and some mascara — it’s the ultimate French girl makeup trick.  Nude  Nude lipstick is a simple yet elegant choice. It gives a polished finish to your look but still allows you to feel comfortable in your own skin. It won’t be obvious to those who look, but you’ll know it’s there, making your lips look smoother and fuller while leaving everybody else guessing.  It’s one of the best everyday lipsticks for every occasion because it goes on easily and it’s always flattering. With bold lipstick shades, you have to be very careful to keep a neat lip line, but a nude lipstick blends into your skin and looks like a natural lip color.  A quick swipe, even without a lip liner, will always look great. It looks amazing with any makeup style, offering the ideal balance for dark eyeshadow or for bronzed makeup looks.  Purple berry   A purple berry lipstick is eye-catching in a very chic way. It’s a great shade for a confident lipstick look because it has the same intensity and depth as a red lipstick but with a modern twist. It’s the perfect lip color for the modern woman!  Oh, and did we mention that it somehow always makes the teeth look whiter? The best time to rock a purple statement lip is when you want to make a lasting impression, especially if you’re in a creative environment. Art gallery openings and fashion shows are the natural environments for a woman who wears a berry lip.  Burgundy  A burgundy lipstick is as sultry as a red one, but with an underlying darkness that adds mystery to your look. This lipstick shade brings to mind the gorgeous sirens of 1920s silent films with its seductive depth.  It can give your look a moody twist or come off as totally mature, depending on how you style it. You can wear it along with dark eyeshadow for a gothic look, or use it to add an edge to a natural makeup style.  As with red lipstick, lining the lips and taking your time is essential! We highly recommend slightly over-drawing the lip line, since such a dark shade can make the lips look a little smaller.   Soft pink  Soft pink lipstick is nude lipstick’s demure sibling. It has a delicate charm that’s particularly flattering to those with cool undertones. It’s a lovely lipstick style to choose when you’re in a feminine, relaxed mood and you want to exude an image of serenity.  Soft pink lipstick is perfect for dates, but it’s also appropriate to wear to class or the office. It’s a nice companion to more intense eye makeup since it’s softness will add balance to your look. Just make sure to choose a pink lipstick that’s at least a shade darker than your skin tone, to avoid looking washed out.  Fuchsia   Fuchsia is vivid and vivacious, with a feminine twist. This bright shade is at the meeting point between hot pink and bright purple. It’s the best lipstick color when you want to feel flirtatious and playful but also independent and strong.  While it might be a little too much for a day at the office, it’s great for wild nights out on the town. It’ll immediately put you in an energetic mood, guaranteeing that you’ll have a fun time no matter where you end up. Because it’s so vibrant, your lips will instantly become the focus of your look, but since it’s not too dark it still works in combination with heavier eye makeup.  Coral Coral lipstick is ideal for those days when you want to express a fiery passion with a cheerful twist! It’s a warm and vibrant color that brings to mind the joys of a vacation to tropical locales. If your skin has naturally golden undertones, it’s even better! It’ll give you the image of a daring, spontaneous woman who’s filled with joie de vivre. You can’t go wrong with coral lipstick, especially for parties or fun dates! While the shade itself feels more fitting in summer, the kind of woman who wears coral lipstick can rock it all-year-round if she so wishes.  Bisous (kisses)! There’s a lot you can say with just a small change in lipstick shade. You can go soft and calm with a natural lip color one day, and transform yourself into a passionate diva in a bold lipstick the next. As long as you feel confident in your lipstick, there are no wrong choices!

9 Makeup Tips That Will Make Your Morning Routine Infinitely Easier
February 08, 2021
9 Makeup Tips That Will Make Your Morning Routine Infinitely Easier

Makeup is an art form like no other that allows you to connect deeply with yourself while sparking your creativity. On weekends and before special events, it can be wonderfully centering to create a complex makeup look.  But during the week, there’s rarely the time for that! Most days, you need a quick and easy morning makeup routine that will transform you into the best version of yourself with minimal effort. We’ve collected our favorite easy makeup tips for effortless French beauty so that you can have more time to live your busy life.  Our advice runs the gamut, from how to get organized to specific eye makeup tips, so you can put your best face forward every day.    1. Determine your 5 essentials  If you were stuck on a desert island, which five makeup products would you want with you? By narrowing your look down to 5 staples, you can simplify your morning makeup routine without compromising your unique touches.  It’s up to you which products you focus on! Maybe you need flawless foundation and just a bit of mascara to feel polished, while someone else might be happy with a hint of powder but more eye makeup.   You can even try the KonMari method, by going through your makeup item by item to consider what sparks joy! While you don’t have to restrict yourself to 5 things every time you do your makeup, this is a good exercise that will put you in the right mindset to scale back your morning makeup look.  2. Practice makes perfect While we do want you to get creative and have fun with your makeup, there’s not much room for that when it comes to your basic makeup routine. Whether you’re an old pro or a beginner, the best makeup hack for doing things quickly is to repeat the same look over and over again.  It’s not the most exciting, but this is the best way to build muscle memory. This way, even if you want your daily makeup look to be a little dramatic, you’ll be able to do it quickly, even if you’re half-asleep.  3. Organize your space How simple can your morning makeup routine be if you have a cluttered makeup collection? It’s easy to lose track of time when searching for particular products amidst the chaos.  Having an organized vanity or bag where each item has its place may seem like an obvious and easy makeup tip, but it’s by far the best way to speed up your morning routine. No matter what kind of workspace you have, you can find a suitable organizer. There are all kinds of options, including plastic drawer sets, multi-pocket makeup bags, and hanging organizers for your wall or bathroom door.   The key is to organize things in a way that’s optimized for your routine. Your everyday essentials should be the most accessible, while the items that you only use once in a while can be tucked away.  Another trick is to organize products according to how they’re used in your routine. For example, your powder and powder brush can be placed together, as can your lip liner and signature lipstick.  4. Multi-use products It’s surprising how much time you can save when you don’t have to reach for a new product every few minutes! This makeup hack makes narrowing down your routine to five essentials a little easier and speeds things up significantly.  For example, instead of rummaging around for the right blush, you can dot a bit of Le Grand Volume lip gloss over the apples of your cheeks and then blend it in with a finger or a sponge. The result? Glowy and natural everyday makeup, with a blush that’s perfectly matched to your lips.  5. Easy on the mascara  Your eyeshadow looks perfect, you’ve curled your lashes, and all you have left is to apply that finishing touch of your favorite mascara. But then, disaster strikes! Maybe your lashes end up clumping together, or perhaps you blink and end up with a smudge of mascara on your lid.  While we do include a tip that makes clean-up a little easier, later on, it’s better to achieve perfect lashes on the first try. We have a simple mascara tip that guarantees separated, natural-looking lashes without any smudging!  Before applying your mascara, wipe the wand down on the tube’s lip, so it’s not too saturated with product. Then, when you wiggle the mascara over your lashes, there won’t be any excess product on the wand, so they will look extra separated and fanned out. 6. Celebrate one feature  French beauty lends itself well to a minimalist, basic makeup routine because it tends to focus on just one quality at a time. Whether that’s your lips, eyes, brows, or cheekbones is totally up to you. Of course, the most classic look is clean skin, a hint of mascara, and a bold layer of vibrant lipstick like our Matte Constance in Classic Red! If you’re bored of doing the same look over and over again, this is a great way to get creative without compromising much of your speed.  7. Prep your skin  With French beauty, less is more when it comes to makeup, but more is more when it comes to hydration. You can greatly improve your natural everyday makeup by optimizing your canvas.  When your skin is properly moisturized, your foundation will glide on easily in the short term, while in the long term, your complexion will look better and require less foundation.  While no skin care routine is one-size-fits-all, there are a few things that can make your life way more comfortable. Removing your makeup at the end of the night with a gentle cleanser, using a moisturizer twice a day, and packing on the sunscreen before you go outside will go a long way towards giving your complexion a natural glow.   8. Speedy eyeliner tip  Liquid eyeliner is a French girl staple, but it’s not always the best product for when you’re in a rush. If it’s part of your signature look, opt for felt-tip eyeliner like the Feutre Fin, which will give you more control for a quick, perfect wing.  9. Cotton swab makeup hack In a perfect world, you’d never make mistakes, especially not on rushed mornings! Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, so this eye makeup tip is helpful to know. All you need for it is a cotton swab and some concealer or liquid foundation.  Dip the cotton swab in your product of choice, and it’ll become a precision eraser! Use it to gently wipe away small smudges and to clean up lines around the eyes or lips. Unlike a makeup remover, which takes off layers of makeup and requires major touch-ups, this makeup hack leaves behind perfect looking skin and allows you to make small fixes in seconds.   You’re ready to go With a bit of planning, practice, and just a few easy makeup tips, you can transform your morning makeup routine into something that’s easy, quick, and incredibly flattering. Très magnifique!

Emily in Paris is Full of French Beauty Secrets
January 29, 2021
Emily in Paris is Full of French Beauty Secrets

Netflix's Emily in Paris is filled with strong female friendships, coffee and croissants, twinkling romance, dreams come true, and of course, some incredible French makeup tips and beauty secrets.