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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

Tidy and well-folded clothes

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

Woman cleaning out a makeup drawerNow 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!

Simply organized makeup collectionKonMari 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. 

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Learn French Phrases: French Makeup Terms
July 08, 2021
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 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   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    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. 

How to Know if Your Beauty Products Have Gone Bad
June 23, 2021
How to Know if Your Beauty Products Have Gone Bad

We’ve all opened a moisturizer or applied a lip gloss and had that feeling that something doesn’t look quite right. The color has changed, the consistency is off, or you actually find your skin being irritated after you apply it. But you can’t bear to throw it away!  The jar is still half-full, or it’s your favorite lipstick, and even though your intuition is telling you something’s off, you dismiss that thought.  Surely it’s better to keep using this product until it’s finished instead of wasting it?  So, do makeup products actually have an expiry date? How do you know if your beauty products have gone bad? Do unopened makeup products expire? How can you check the expiry dates of your products? And is there any harm in using an expired product? All great questions, and we’ll be answering them all in this article! Here’s everything you need to know about makeup expiry dates.  How long do beauty products last? There is no definitive blanket answer, but here’s a general guide for how long different types of beauty products last. Makeup that you use around your eyes Mascaras and liquid liners have the shortest shelf life and will generally last between three and six months before they need replacing. It’s really important you adhere to this to avoid any nasty eye infections. Pencil eyeliners have a longer shelf life and can last up to a year. Sharpening your liners regularly will shave off any bacteria that has built up and help you avoid eye infections.  Liquid foundation Water-based foundations can last up to a year while oil-based foundations have a slightly longer shelf-life lasting up to 18 months. Moisturizers Depending on how fresh the ingredients are, moisturizers can last between six months to a year after being opened.  Eye creams, face masks & serums These will all last between six months and a year. Lip products A solid lipstick texture will last between one and two years, while liquid lipstick and lip gloss will generally last between six months to a year. A lip liner can last up to a year and should be regularly sharpened the same way as an eyeliner. Cream-based makeup Cream concealers and blushes can usually last between six months to a year. Powder products Bronzers, powder blushes, powder foundations, and setting powder can all last up to two years.  Nail polish Nail polish will last indefinitely if it’s unopened. But once opened, it will usually have a shelf life of two years. Around this time (or sooner) certain ingredients will begin to evaporate which will cause it to thicken.  Makeup brushes Brushes can last a long time as long as they’re properly looked after. That means washing them every month to remove bacteria and build up.  How to check the expiry date of cosmetics The best way to figure out if a beauty product is expired is to use your common sense.  Ask yourself the following questions: Does it look right? Does it smell right? Has the texture changed? And check the expiration date—every tube or jar will have this clearly written on it.  What you’re looking for is the “period after opening” number. This will be written as “6M” or “12M” on the product somewhere. This essentially tells you how long you can use this product safely after you open it.  Usually, it will be fairly obvious if a product has gone off. For example, mascara will clog. Pencils will dry out. Creams and moisturizers will change in consistency or color and may even change in smell.  What to do with expired beauty products: If in doubt, throw it out!  Do unopened makeup products expire, or is this just an urban myth? Most products on the market have a shelf life of over 30 months when left unopened. But this really depends on the product in question. As mentioned already, some products have active, unstable ingredients in them that go off quicker than other ingredients. So you’d be wise to still practice caution before going ahead and using any product that has been hanging around in your beauty drawer for a while.  How to extend the shelf life of your beauty products Did you know that the way you store your beauty products can actually extend their shelf life? Yes! So, are you storing and looking after them the right way? Here’s what NOT to do: Keep your makeup products somewhere humid (i.e. on a shelf in the bathroom) Keep them somewhere warm or in direct sunlight (on a windowsill) Dip dirty fingers, brushes, and sponges into your makeup pots Share your makeup with anyone else This will encourage bacteria and mold to thrive, and wreak havoc with formulas. Here’s what you should be doing to extend the life of your makeup: Keep your products somewhere cool, dark, and dry (not in the fridge though!) Clean your makeup tools regularly Use a tool to scoop out product instead of your fingers Wipe your lipstick after each use to remove bacteria Close lids and tops securely after using them Go for smaller product sizes if you find you’re not getting through them How to keep your beauty products organized As discussed, the period after opening symbol (PAO) is a great indication of how long a product will last before going bad. But sometimes, this will be located on a box and not on the actual product. On top of this, it’s difficult to remember when you bought and opened all your products! To stay on top of things, add a small sticker to each product with a date on it for when you probably need to throw it out and replace it.  Can I still use expired beauty products? What happens if you use expired makeup? You might think there’s no harm in using an expired product, but you’d be wrong. But the worst-case scenario is you can break out in spots, have an allergic reaction, or give yourself an infection.  A 2013 study found 70% of women used some type of expired product in their makeup routine—mostly eye makeup (mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow). The researchers sampled the eye makeup for contamination, and found that 67% of the products were contaminated!  Yikes. It’s really not worth the risk ladies. Set aside a budget for investing in makeup as and when you need it and release the guilt of throwing away a half-used product.  Need a handy reminder when it’s time to replace your makeup? Let’s be honest, life is hectic. In a perfect world, we’d all add expiry dates to our makeup products, and we’d always remember to replace them. But most of us have so much going on that best practices like this get forgotten. That’s why we’ve created a handy subscribe and save makeup subscription option for all our products. You’ll save money on our makeup, and we’ll deliver a replacement product automatically at the time increments you choose!    

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!