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Life-Changing Skin Care Tips Inspired by French Beauty

The modern skincare world can seem incredibly complicated, with a ton of different products and so much advice. The French skincare routine is much easier compared to some of the 10-step routines we’ve been seeing online! 

In reality, there are a few different ways to achieve healthy skin, so our goal is to help you with simple yet life-changing advice. When it comes to French beauty, it’s not only about your specific products but also how you use them! 

With these easy skin care tips, you’ll be able to make the most out of your beauty routine. 

French pharmacy brands

Scientist developing cosmetic product in laboratory

In France, most women buy their skincare products at the pharmacy, and French pharmacy brands are an important staple in most French skincare routines. These brands are renowned for formulating gentle products that are suitable for sensitive skin, and for investing a lot of money in clinical research. 

While French pharmacy brands put a large emphasis on science, their products still contain a lot of lovely natural skin care ingredients that have their own nourishing effects on the skin. 

Be consistent

French skincare comes at all kinds of price points, and contrary to popular belief, more expensive doesn’t always mean better. That’s why another one of our most important tips for great skin is to be consistent, no matter what products you decide to use. 

Cultivate skincare as a habit that you do every day, without changing up your products too much from day-to-day. Remove your makeup and moisturize every night, and wear sunscreen every morning. This consistency will pay off in the long term, by keeping your skin at optimal health for years to come.  

Cleansing should be gentle

One of the most important French beauty secrets to healthy skin is gentle cleansing, no matter your skin type. In many countries, those with oily skin resort to scrubbing their face with harsh, stripping cleansers that throw their skin off balance, leading to irritation, breakouts, and more oiliness. 

However, in the best French skincare routines, cleansing is gentle and usually done with creamy milk cleansers. These days, oil cleansers and micellar water are also incredibly popular, but the key is to avoid any harsh, foaming cleansers. 

Moisturize damp skin

Another easy skincare tip that makes a big difference is to apply moisturizer to the skin when it’s damp. This also applies to serums, essences, and any other hydrating skincare steps, although in French beauty, it’s okay to keep things minimal. 

Water makes the skin more permeable, so moisturizing agents sink in more deeply instead of sitting in a layer on top of the skin. The result is bouncy, more hydrated skin that feels soft to the touch but never greasy. 

Don’t neglect the neck and decolletage

Happy woman applying lotion on neck 

The skin doesn’t stop at the face! The French skincare routine extends from the face to the neck and chest, since those areas are all actually quite similar when it comes to skin thickness and level of exposure to the elements. Make sure to use your cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen from the face all the way down to your decolletage. 

It’s particularly important if you rely on your skincare routine to prevent premature signs of aging. If you forget to care for your neck, it’ll be an instant giveaway. 

Nurture your body with oils

The rest of the body also deserves some attention, although it doesn’t necessarily need the same products as the delicate skin on the face and neck.

The skin on the body is a little thicker and it’s usually less prone to acne, which is why French women love to nurture it with body oils rich in beneficial fatty acids and regenerative antioxidants.

Just as with the face, the body is also most ready to accept moisture when it’s damp. The best time to use body oil is immediately after the shower when the skin is totally saturated with water. Using oil immediately after will help to prevent that water from evaporating, which will leave the skin hydrated and soft. 

Skincare can be aromatherapeutic 

Lavender oil and lavender flowers on wooden table 

This skincare tip won’t work for everyone, but for many French women, it’s what makes their beauty routine so fun. France has a centuries-old tradition of perfumery, essential oil production, and aromatherapy, which also touches into the skincare world. 

While the benefits that essential oils have for the skin are debatable, it’s undeniable that they can have a beneficial effect on the mood. Lavender is incredibly calming while rose essential oil can make you more cheerful. 

Using natural skincare with essential oils can have a positive impact on your mental health, and it can also simply make the skincare experience more sensorial and enjoyable! If your skin is sensitive to fragrances, try lighting a scented candle while doing your beauty routine, instead. 

Go all-out with the occasional treatment

While consistency is important, treating yourself to some extra self-care can also be beneficial! In general, it’s not great to surprise the skin with new products, but a few times a week, you should exfoliate or mask your skin and give yourself a longer-than-normal massage. 

While these added treatments aren’t mandatory for healthy skin (it’s what you do every day that really matters), they’re still an easy way to amp up your glow and to feel pampered. 

It’s not all or nothing

Simple picture of makeup removing tools on small wooden tray

Since consistency is so important, we also want to reinforce that skin care is not all or nothing! While a multi-step routine with double cleansing, toning, multiple serums and creams can be nice, you’re also allowed to keep things basic and even to take shortcuts. 

Having a few pre-planned shortcuts, like a bottle of micellar water in a cupboard for easy makeup removal or a bottle of face lotion near your bed can go a long way towards helping you maintain your consistency on nights when you’re too tired to go all-out. 

Simple skin care success 

Skin care is highly individual since each person has a different skin type and slightly different concerns. However, our tips for great skin are universal, because no matter who you are or what your budget is, you deserve to have healthy, well-cared-for skin!

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6 Pro Tips for Simplistic Makeup
March 09, 2021
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  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.  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.  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! 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

Queen’s Gambit Makeup and Fashion
March 03, 2021
Queen’s Gambit Makeup and Fashion

Netflix launched a limited series in October called The Queen’s Gambit, and we are obsessed with the hair, makeup, and fashion! The show is based on Walter Tevis’ novel, and tells the story of chess genius, Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy). We share her highs, lows, addictions, successes, and everything in between.  But if there’s one thing we can't get enough of it’s her impeccable ‘50s & ‘60s inspired style. Beth finds herself in a field dominated by men wearing classic white shirts paired with thick-framed glasses. Suddenly, she’s a style icon, managing to seamlessly blend the starkly contrasting chess and fashion worlds together.  Here are some of the most iconic looks from the show.  Classic Makeup Beth Harmon’s makeup follows a natural evolution throughout the show, as she grows up and finds her own unique sense of style. Her signature look is usually ‘60s inspired with perfect winged eyeliner and a bold lip. We all know how difficult it is to get those wings right, which is why Beth’s makeup has us mesmerized. There’s only one moment where she veers away from this classic look and channels a wild child style.  Insider secret: The Queen's Gambit makeup artists had to go against their natural urges and apply her makeup badly on purpose for these scenes! Get Beth’s Classic ‘60s Look: Use a black liquid eyeliner to perfect those wings (we’ve got a step-by-step guide for you below).   Apply some classic French mascara for a natural, feminine look.  Try our long-lasting matte lipstick in your favorite shade to complete the look.  Bold Bangs A younger Beth models some of the boldest cropped bangs we’ve ever seen. A little harsh on the eye, but very common for children in orphanages at the time. Every child would get the same cut because it was practical and easy to manage.  Although the look is severe, there’s a soft charm to it that draws you in. While it’s not for everybody, this hairstyle combined with the fiery red color creates a real statement look.  Tea-length Dress In the show, the first item of clothing Beth is able to buy with her own money is a checked, tea-length dress. It’s full-skirted, totally retro, and oh-so feminine.  If you’re looking for one of these dresses, the best place to head is your local vintage shop. You can pair it over a blouse like Beth does, or wear it on its own and show a little more skin. Throw a modern sweater or jacket on top for an eclectic look.  Embrace Straight Lines The ‘50s were all about the hourglass figure, with Christian Dior popularizing the “New Look” for women. But the ‘60s saw a backlash with anti-hourglass silhouettes being most desired.  Think straight-cut dresses, jackets, and sweaters. While it's not inherently feminine, this silhouette can be oh-so-flattering. Beth shows us this with her simple-yet-stylish mini dresses. Queen's Gambit Makeup: Perfect Winged Eyeliner If there’s one thing Beth is famous for, it’s wearing winged eyeliner throughout the Queen's Gambit. But how do you get this look? First thing’s first, you’ll need a black liquid eyeliner with a fine point. If you’re new to this, use the dot to dot approach by marking out the line of the wing you want to create. The goal here is to go upwards and outwards. Check you’re happy with the symmetry on both eyes, then lightly connect the dots.  Leave it to dry before adding voluminous mascara to your lashes for a glamorous ‘60s look.  And if you really struggle to keep a steady hand, you can try a winged eyeliner stamp to help you. Chessboard Chic Taking inspiration from Edie Sedgwick, Jean Seberg, and Pierre Cardin, Beth dazzles in outfits filled with striking geometric patterns, subtly mirroring the chessboard. A whopping 12 of her on-screen outfits feature geometric print! A simple, sleeveless checkered dress and square printed shirt were standout looks. Beth’s style is fitting for the time, yet filled with her desire to break out of the box and find her own way.  To recreate this look, choose one item of clothing to work the geometric pattern in, and keep everything else simple. You don’t want to look like a walking chessboard!  Monochrome Magic As a further nod to her deep love of chess, we see Beth in a multitude of monochrome outfits.  Her black and white shift dress was perhaps the most striking black and white outfit of all. So elegant and sophisticated, but with a cheeky element of fun thrown in.   Black and white are timeless and will never go out of style. You can go all black, all white, or mix and match as you like! Luxe Loungewear Even when she’s relaxing on the sofa at home, Anya Taylor-Joy’s character looks effortlessly chic.  Think pale blue cashmere PJs, a dusty pink cardigan, soft cozy sweaters, and plain black slacks. Each piece can be worked into her going out wardrobe, taking her from night to day. To get Beth’s luxe lounge look, go for pieces that are multi-functional. Think practical, comfy, and pretty.  If only we could look this good vegging out on the sofa! Vintage Accessories Aside from geo patterns and monochrome colors, you can count on Beth to be rocking a Peter Pan collar or a silk scarf.  The round collar features everywhere: from dresses all the way to a buttoned vest. It’s a lovely feminine style with a vintage nod.  When it comes to scarves, Beth often ties them around her head, but they work just as well around the neck to brighten up any outfit.  The Final Episode: Classic 1950s And '60s Makeup We couldn’t do a roundup of the Queen's Gambit makeup and fashion without mentioning Beth’s iconic all-white look in the final episode.  This is the most confident and feminine Beth looks throughout the entire season—proving that you don’t have to choose one or the other. Her hair is sleek to create a more mature, sophisticated look, and her classic ‘60s makeup is immaculate. Her red lips look striking against her white coat and hat, and she looks super sexy.    We didn’t want the show to end. But if it had to, we’re glad Beth went out looking like this.       All Images are property of Netflix

9 Mascara Mistakes That You Need to Stop Making
February 19, 2021
9 Mascara Mistakes That You Need to Stop Making

Mascara is that special touch that ties every makeup look together. Without its darkening, lengthening effect on the lashes, eyes can look bare and small, so it’s key in nearly every beauty look.  However, applying mascara poorly is worse than not applying it at all. Clumpy lashes and smudgy lids can ruin an entire look, and there are even some mascara mistakes that can lead to eye infections.  That’s why you shouldn’t play games when it comes to mascara. We’ve collected our best mascara tips to help you avoid the most common mascara mistakes, so you can always bat your lashes with confidence.  1. Leaving too much mascara on the wand If you want to learn how to apply mascara without clumping, remember to always wipe down your mascara wand. This crucial step is often forgotten. It’s easy to miss in the excited rush to lengthen those lashes. However, a mascara wand that’s too saturated is guaranteed to cause clumping.  From now on, immediately after unscrewing your mascara cap, gently wipe the wand over the lip of the tube. Pay special attention to the tip because that’s where mascara really tends to collect, and if the wand seems especially clogged up, you can wipe it down with a tissue. This way, when it’s time to apply, you won’t need to worry about big globs of mascara clumping your lashes together.  2. Pumping the wand In films, whenever a character goes to put on mascara, she’ll first pump the mascara up and down a few times in the tube. Women all over the world started believing that this was the right way to go about putting on mascara, when in reality, it’s one of the worst mascara mistakes you can make. In the short-term, it has no benefits. If anything, it just loads up your wand with a massive, clump-causing amount of mascara. In the long-term, it introduces air and bacteria into the precious tube, which significantly shortens the life of your mascara.  3. Using old mascara Of all the most common makeup products, mascara has the shortest shelf-life. If you use your mascara after its use-by date, you can run into all kinds of issues. It will get dry, which leads to clumpy lashes, and it may also start harboring bacteria, which can cause styes and painful infections.  Most mascara should be replaced 3-6 months after opening. If you’re worried about forgetting, we’ve set up an auto-subscription system that will send you a new tube of our best-selling Cabaret Premiere mascara every few months. 4. Forgetting to wiggle Always remember to give your mascara a wiggle! This classic mascara tip guarantees that your lashes will look both voluminous and separated every time.  When you apply your mascara, give it a small wiggle as it comes in contact with the base of your lashes. This will allow the bristles of the wand to really wedge themselves in between your lashes, coating them thoroughly without clumping them together. Then, as you pull the wand up to coat the length of the lashes, move it in a slight zig-zag motion to keep that momentum going. 5. Only coating one side This mascara hack is especially for the blondes and redheads out there, because brunettes can sometimes get away with making this little mistake. When you apply your mascara, you only see the underside of your lashes, so you might forget the top. If you leave the top bare, the second you blink, the natural color of your lashes will be visible, and it’ll take away from the consistency of your makeup.  To cover the top part of the lashes, use the tip of your mascara wand and carefully color it in, especially close to the lashline. Don’t try to build up volume or length from above since it can weigh the lashes down; just focus on coloring things in.  6. Blinking too quickly It can be tempting to blink immediately after putting your mascara on, but unfortunately, it often results in black smudges on the eyelid ruining your eyeshadow. Not blinking may sound like a tall order, but if you just close your eyes after applying mascara, the issue will be solved. Just wait a few seconds so that when you finally open your eyes, the mascara will be dry and won’t smudge. 7. Applying too many coats It can be tempting to add coat after coat of mascara, but it rarely works well in reality. Yes, 5-6 coats of mascara will make your lashes look longer and thicker. However, it’s also going to make them look uniformly thick from root to tip, leading to a “spidery” look.  To avoid having your mascara look spidery, you need to exercise restraint. Don’t apply more than three coats to your lashes, and if that doesn’t give you the effect you want, you may just need to switch to a more volumizing mascara. 8. Forgetting to remove it at night  Sleeping with mascara on is never a good idea. In the best-case scenario, forgetting to remove it at night will just dry out your lashes, cause a few to fall out, and leave a few marks on your pillow. But it can also lead to eye irritation and even eye infections. This is another serious mascara mistake, so make sure to remove your eye makeup thoroughly every night with a high-quality makeup remover.  9. Using the same mascara for all occasions Wearing the same mascara all the time isn’t the biggest mascara mistake you could make, but it can get boring. Tailor your mascara choice to each event!  A lengthening and separating mascara is best for day-to-day. Waterproof mascara is a must-have for beach-side vacations or rainy days.  For date nights and parties, emphasize your eyes with a volumizing mascara. For upscale evening events, when you want maximum drama, double up! Start with a coat of waterproof mascara for a separated, waterproof base, and then add a coat of volumizing mascara for a false-lash effect.  Now that you know all of our favorite mascara tips, no more faux pas!