Back to articles

The Ultimate Lip Care Guide for a Nourished Pout

Our favorite look for low-effort glam calls for just a touch of mascara and a swipe of boldly colored lipstick. Focusing on the lips is a known French beauty hack, but for it to work well, our lips have to be in great shape! 


Lipstick can’t glide smoothly over chapped lips, which is why a good lip care routine is so important. Here are our tips for taking good care of your lips on the regular, along with some advice for special care when they get especially dry.

Use a richer lip balm at night

Woman with healthy skin applying Chapstick to her lips 

The lips can get incredibly dry at night, especially if the humidity in your room is low or if you tend to breathe from your mouth as you sleep. That’s why it’s best to apply a thicker lip balm before bed. If your lips are particularly chapped, using a rich balm will help to speed up their healing

Look for occlusive ingredients 

What on earth does occlusive mean, you ask? Occlusives are oily ingredients that are able to seal moisture in place and prevent evaporation. They’re essential for a truly healing lip balm. Our favorite occlusive ingredients for the lips are lanolin, squalane, shea butter, and petrolatum. A balm with these ingredients can create a protective seal over the lips that prevents moisture loss. 

Use lip balm as a barrier

Another important time to apply lip balm is before brushing your teeth or using potentially-drying skincare products like retinoids or acne treatments. The balm will act as a barrier against those products and prevent their drying effects from impacting your lips. 

Layer your lip moisturizers

When the situation is particularly dire, especially in winter, it can be beneficial to build up moisture in the lips with layers. First, start with a light layer of fragrance-free lotion or hydrating serum – once it sinks in, layer a heavy lip balm on top. That first layer will add hydration, while the second layer will lock the moisture in deeply.  

Opt for an SPF balm in the day

Sun protection cosmetic products and beach accessories on sandOur lips are just as susceptible to sun damage as the rest of our skin, so during the daytime, opt for an SPF lip balm. Apply it to your lips at least 20 minutes before going out in the sun, and make sure they’re thoroughly coated. If you’d like to wear lipstick or gloss, just add it over the lip balm, and you’ll actually end up with a smoother finish than if you were to apply it to bare lips. 

Avoid minty fragrances

We love a lip balm with a bit of flavor, but minty lip balms can actually cause some issues. Menthol is the key fragrance compound in mint essential oil, and it’s added to lip balms to give a cooling and stimulating effect. Unfortunately, those stimulating effects can also be drying and irritating, especially to already chapped lips.  


However, when your lips are well taken care of, you can actually benefit from the temporary stimulating effect of menthol because it can make the lips look plump and full. That’s why we do use a bit of menthol in our lip-plumping Polynesie Francaise glosses.  

Use a sulfate-free toothpaste

Gentle whitening toothpaste from tube being applied to soft-bristled toothbrush 

All toothpaste can be a little drying, but toothpaste made with sulfates is the worst by far. Sulfates (usually sodium lauryl sulfate) are the ingredients responsible for your toothpaste foaming up.

Unfortunately, they can also be quite drying and irritating, especially to the lips and gums. If you suffer from chronically dry lips, it’s very possible that your toothpaste is at fault, so switching to a non-foaming, sulfate-free toothpaste can make a big difference. 

Exfoliate your lips

The final aspect of keeping the lips luscious and smooth is exfoliating them regularly. Exfoliation removes the flaky buildup of dead skin over the lips and allows lip moisturizers to do their job more effectively. 


Exfoliation can be done as a dry lip treatment when they’re a little chapped or flakey, but if they’re so chapped that the skin is a little broken, it’s important to wait until they heal.

You also don’t want to over-exfoliate your lips. Once or twice a week is ideal, more often than that, and you risk irritating the skin and making things worse.  

Make a DIY lip scrub

Macro of homemade lip scrub 

While you can certainly purchase a lip scrub at the store, making your own natural blend is safe and easy! 


All you need is half a teaspoon of brown sugar and a few drops of coconut or olive oil. You can mix them up in a little jar or even in the palm of your hand. You can use honey instead of oil if your skin is acne-prone. 


With your finger, rub the blend over your lips for a few seconds until they feel smooth. Finally, wipe it off or rinse it away with some water. The oil will help moisturize your lips, while the sugar will slough away all of the flakiness! 


Just make sure to mix up a small amount every time you want to exfoliate. Unlike commercial products made with preservatives, whatever you make at home is liable to spoil after a few days. 

Always prep before lipstick

No matter which of our lip care tips you choose to adopt, always remember to take a few steps to pamper your lips before applying lipstick. You’ll need to make sure there are no flakey patches or dryness before starting your makeup, or else you’ll end up with patchy-looking lipstick. 


A coat of lip balm will be enough if the rest of your lip care routine is on-point, but sometimes you might need to do a full exfoliation routine to guarantee your lips are in tip-top shape. 

Motus et bouche cousue (our lips are sealed)

Achieving plump, healthy lips isn’t difficult. It’s just a matter of adding lip care to your regular routine, especially before bed. Whether you go all out with exfoliation or just switch out your minty lip balm for a healthier alternative, we know you’ll discover smoother, happier, and more kissable lips.

Next to read
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    25
Why You Should Always Wet Your Makeup Sponge
May 06, 2021
Why You Should Always Wet Your Makeup Sponge

When the Beauty Blender was first released, it shook the makeup world from top to bottom. Before it came around, we were using flat brushes and dry, triangle-shaped sponges. These tools worked, but applying foundation would take ages.  Nowadays, these egg-shaped makeup blenders are the ideal tool for applying a natural-looking layer of foundation or blending out concealer. Reusable makeup sponges give the skin a natural finish, and they’re oh so simple to use.  There are a few key tricks to making a Beauty Blender work, which we’ll explain in this post. The most important amongst them? You have to use your makeup sponge wet. Keep reading to learn why!  Why should you wet makeup sponges?    Using a wet makeup sponge makes a major difference, so here are the reasons why we recommend it so strongly.  Less product waste First of all, using a damp makeup sponge can save you a lot of time and money in the long term, because it wastes less product. When your sponge is dry, it absorbs a ton of foundation right into its center. If you’ve ever found yourself dispensing more and more foundation, but getting no coverage, that’s the reason why.  On the other hand, when the sponge is damp, the water takes up all of the space in the sponge, and there’s no room for the foundation to soak in. Instead, it stays on the surface, so you can stipple it over your skin with no product waste.  Flawless finish  The second reason to use a damp makeup sponge is that it makes your foundation or concealer look so much better. Some of the water in the sponge infuses with the foundation, which gives the skin a more luminous and healthy finish. Because the sponge is expanded, it also leaves less of an imprint on the skin, which leads to a much smoother and more blended finish.  How to use a wet makeup sponge  Whether you’re using a wet makeup sponge to apply or blend your foundation, here’s the most fool-proof way to prep and then use it.    First, run the tap and place your reusable makeup sponge under the stream.  Let the sponge get saturated with water, and then squeeze it a few times. As the sponge takes in the water, it’ll expand to twice or triple its original size.  Turn off the tap, and squeeze the sponge to remove excess water. It should be damp rather than soaking wet.  Then, you can use the sponge to either apply or blend your foundation. Applying your foundation directly with the sponge will give a more sheer application.  If you like full coverage, apply your foundation with a brush or fingers, and then use the sponge to blend it out.  Whether you’re blending or applying, the main trick is to bounce the sponge over your skin. The bouncing motion helps the foundation glide over pores and it blurs away any brush streaks.  Use the tip of the sponge for blending out or applying concealer under the eyes or along the side of the nose. Stick to the same bouncing motions as you apply it to those smaller areas.  Once your foundation is perfected, you can finish off the rest of your makeup!  More tips for using a makeup blender  Using a Beauty Blender the classic way is great, but we have a few more hacks that will allow you to get the most out of your reusable makeup sponge!  If you don’t like getting your hands dirty, you can use your Beauty Blender to apply moisturizer and primer before you do your makeup.  If your skin is especially dehydrated, you can saturate your Beauty Blender with a moisturizing toner, which will hydrate the skin even more dramatically.  For days when you really need your makeup to last, saturate your reusable makeup sponge with a setting spray, instead. It’ll help lock your foundation in place as you apply it.  If your skin is oily or you’d like to waterproof your makeup, you can use a damp makeup blender to press translucent powder into your skin to set your base. While this technique can make dry skin look drier, it works well for those with oily skin, helping to make your foundation incredibly budge-proof.  If you make any mistakes winging out your eyeliner or you want your eye makeup to have a sharper line, put a bit of foundation along the side of the pointy end of your sponge. Then use it to clean up the lines along the outer corner of the eye.  A Beauty Blender is perfect for applying and blending out cream blush, highlighter, or contour! Use the pointy end to add those contour lines, or blend out your blush with the rounded end for a very natural flush of color.   Don’t forget to wash it  Finally, once you finish your makeup, always remember to wash your sponge with soap and water! Otherwise, Beauty Blenders can harbor bacteria if they’re left dirty or damp.  To clean your sponge, hold it under the running tap, and then add some soap. Squeeze it a few times so it foams up well, and finally, rinse it clean. Squeeze it to get as much of the water out, and then place it somewhere clean and safe to air dry. This will keep your reusable makeup sponge in top shape for up to 6 months.  Flawless foundation every time Considering how simple of a trick it is, using a wet makeup sponge has an amazing impact! There is no better way to guarantee a seamless and natural-looking foundation application. Give this trick a try to stop wasting foundation and to perfect your base. 

Life-Changing Skin Care Tips Inspired by French Beauty
April 30, 2021
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 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   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    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 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!

The Five-Piece French Wardrobe, Explained
April 20, 2021
The Five-Piece French Wardrobe, Explained

Have you heard of the 5-Piece French wardrobe?  This is not just any wardrobe. It’s the secret to attaining that effortlessly chic Paris style we all swoon over. Plus, it’s the best way to build a capsule wardrobe that is both fun and functional, and helps you get the most out of every piece you purchase.  Have you ever woken up in the morning, stared at a huge closet packed with clothes, and thought, “I’ve got nothing to wear?!” Do you keep buying more stuff each season, and need a way to curb those bank-draining spending habits? If you find yourself nodding your head, this French wardrobe philosophy might be a match made in heaven for you.  Don’t panic over the whole “five-piece” scenario. It’s not a wardrobe built of just five pieces—that would be crazy.    All will be revealed in this article. The ins and outs of a five-piece French wardrobe Minimalist French style is all about investing in fewer pieces that are higher in quality, and will hopefully last you a long time. It’s focused on longevity rather than trends. And this is exactly where this French wardrobe philosophy stems from.  There isn’t a set number of pieces or a timetable to follow.  To start, you build a solid collection of basic pieces. Things like plain t-shirts, black tailored pants, and a classic white shirt—simple items that can be mixed and matched with everything in your wardrobe. If you find any gaps, fill these in with new staples.  Each season (four times per year), you’re allowed to purchase 5 new investment pieces to help you build your collection. These should be non-basic pieces. You can take as much time as you like choosing these—there’s no rush! The point of this is to refresh your look with each passing season, but to also focus on investing in pieces you truly love and will wear for years to come.  Five might not sound like much, but trust us on this one; coupled with your trusty basics, this will give you endless outfit combos that will embody that French I-just-woke-up-like-this look. The rules: The 5-piece French wardrobe can be a little tricky to understand at first. So, here are some of the rules you need to know before you get started. Basics don’t count towards your five pieces, and can always be replaced. Makeup doesn’t count. Accessories, socks, and underwear don’t count (unless they’re particularly pricey purchases.) Shoes do count. And everything else that’s not mentioned above counts.  How to get started creating your 5-piece French wardrobe The secret to rolling out of bed and looking like one of those impeccably dressed French women you see on Instagram is focusing on fit.  The reason these women look so good in simple clothing like jeans and a plain white tee is because of the fit. They wear flattering cuts and silhouettes. Instead of following the trends, they stick to what works for their unique shape.  So the message is, it’s not what you buy, it’s how it fits you. Remember, you’ll only be purchasing 20 new non-basic items each year, so choose wisely.  Out with the old Get started by clearing out your wardrobe. Donate anything that no longer fits you, or that you haven’t worn in the past year. Chances are if you haven’t worn it by now, you never will! Hold on to any basics that fit you well, and part ways with the rest. Be ruthless through this process.  If you notice any gaps, make a list of what you need and start shopping. Don’t rush to buy everything at once. Take your time, be considerate, and choose quality items that feel good against your skin. Because when you feel good, you will look good.   Back to basics We touched on basic pieces a little earlier, but what exactly is a “basic” item of clothing?  Generally, it’s a functional piece of clothing that you don’t need to spend a ton of money on. Basics will generally be plain or block colored, practical, and go with those fancier, statement pieces in your wardrobe.  French outfit essentials: Items every woman should have in her wardrobe Here are some of the pieces you should think about stocking up on to make sure your wardrobe game is on fire.  Tops: block colored t-shirts, button-up white shirts, silk camis. Pants: well-fitting straight-leg jeans, tailored pants Skirts: pencil skirt, white linen skirt, block colored mini skirts Dresses: a little black dress Shorts: jean shorts, linen shorts Sweaters: cashmere sweaters, oversized wool sweaters, cozy cardigans Outerwear: a trench coat, a classic blazer, a leather jacket Shoes: ballet pumps, brown/black heeled boots, sandals, court shoes. Make your shopping list for this season. The great thing about the 5-piece French wardrobe is that each season you get to make a wish list of things you want to add to your collection. What have you had your eye on for a while? What are you noticeably missing right now that would take your wardrobe to the next level? Set yourself a reasonable budget each season for your 5 pieces. It’s okay to spend more on these items than you usually would, because the focus is on quality pieces that last longer. So don’t scrimp, but don’t blow more than you can afford. And that’s how to create a 5-piece French wardrobe! The only other rule is to have fun creating your capsule collection. It won’t be long before you have a beautifully sustainable and ethical wardrobe that makes getting dressed each morning a joy. Why not use these principles and apply them to your other purchases too?  For example, focus on investing in good makeup: a quality mascara, a classic red lipstick, and the perfect shade and texture of foundation for your skin.  Follow these steps, and you’ll be Paris-ready in no time.