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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.

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

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

The Best Makeup Gifts to Give to a Friend
April 09, 2021
The Best Makeup Gifts to Give to a Friend

If you have a friend or loved one who loves makeup, it only makes sense to buy them a makeup gift. The best gift is one that’ll be used, after all.  When buying gifts for makeup lovers, you still have to put a bit of thought into your purchase. Some products, like foundations and concealers, require very precise color matching, so they can’t be bought on a whim. That’s why we’ve put together this gift guide with the best makeup products to give as gifts, whether for small occasions or for bigger celebrations.  We’ve put together a range of beauty gift ideas, including simple crowd-pleasers and thoughtful bundles. With the help of our list, we know that your friend will love what you give her!  Vivienne Sabó Mascara Mascara is a universal makeup gift that’s always appreciated. It’s an unskippable part of every makeup routine, but it’s also one of those products that have to be replaced frequently, so you know that your gift will serve its purpose. There is zero chance that it will sit in the makeup drawer unused!  When choosing the best mascara for your friend, consider her tastes. Is she the kind of person who leads an active life and needs waterproof mascara? Maybe she likes a dramatic look, in which case our Provocation mascara will give her lashes instant volume. On the other hand, if she keeps things subtle but defined, the Cabaret Première is a classic choice that keeps the lashes full yet separated.  You can even give her a mascara gift set with a few different options, so she can customize her look based on her needs for any specific day.  Matte Constance Lipstick Lipstick is the kind of beauty gift that requires a bit more consideration, but it also means that it can be very thoughtful. If you just pick a color at random, chances are your gift may not land too well. However, if you make sure to select a lipstick that will suit your friend’s personality and aesthetic, nothing could make her happier. If she has a more natural, polished style, then a nude lipstick will work best, while if she’s a classic beauty with a fiery side, opt for a red.  If you’re still not sure, check out our guide to the meaning behind different lipstick colors, which will surely point you in the right direction.  Feutre Fin Eyeliner   Like mascara, eyeliner is another staple that gets used up with some regularity and needs replacing fairly often. Whether liquid liner is one of your friend’s staple looks or it’s something she’s still working to perfect, the Vivienne Sabó Feutre Fin eyeliner is a wonderful makeup gift. It offers the precision that makeup lovers crave but it’s easy to use so even those new to makeup will quickly get the hang of it.  Brow Arcade Eyebrow Pencil Eyebrow pencils might not be as glamorous as mascara or lipstick, but they’re still an important part of the makeup routine. For that very reason, the Brow Arcade certainly deserves a spot on our list of makeup gifts for her.  We think it works best as a gift for a friend that is very pragmatic and doesn’t care about sentimentality as much. It’s a good makeup gift that she’ll be sure to use. Just make sure to select a shade that’s a touch lighter than her hair color but with the same undertone.  Le Grand Volume Lip Gloss   Lip gloss is perfect for days out with its fun and playful look, making it an excellent summertime gift! And if you have a younger friend or family member with a playful style or who’s a little newer to makeup, lip gloss makes for the best makeup gift. It doesn’t have the intensity or maturity of lipstick. Instead, it gives the lips a youthful sheen without much color, so it’s the kind of makeup product that parents will also approve of easily.  Cabaret Première Mascara Primer  What do you give to makeup lovers that seem to own everything already? We think the Cabaret Première primer is a great choice, especially for lash enthusiasts. A lash primer helps to build a base layer of length and volume, so the lashes look extra dramatic. Most importantly, it’s the one product your friend probably doesn’t have in her arsenal yet!  Makeup gift bundle   Individual items work well as “just because” gifts for makeup lovers. However, when there’s a special occasion and you need to impress, a large, customized makeup gift set can be a wonderful gift. The key to creating a gorgeous beauty bundle is to pair products that make sense together.  For an eye-focus, put together a set of eyeliner, mascara, mascara primer, and maybe even an eyebrow pencil.   For a lip set, give your dear friend lipstick, gloss, and lip liner.  You can also customize a French beauty set with beloved staples, like red lipstick, a liquid eyeliner, and volumizing mascara.  Make sure to package everything nicely, and even consider putting it all in a makeup bag, which will become another part of the gift.  Makeup subscription A makeup subscription is one of the best makeup gifts we can think of, which is why we’ve saved it for last. It’s particularly useful if you’d like to give something to a friend who lives far away and that you don’t get to see often.  Pick a product that you know is a staple for them, like mascara, eyeliner, or brow pencil. Then, set up a subscription where they can receive a new package every few months, depending on how often they go through the specific item.  A subscription beauty gift will remind them of you periodically and cheer them up if they’re going through a hard time. That’s one of the reasons why we have this option available for all Vivienne Sabó products. L'art de faire un cadeau  In France, l'art de faire un cadeau  (the art of giving a gift) is cherished. The best gifts are personal and thoughtful. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to give something meaningful—you just need to consider the person to whom you’re giving a gift.  For that friend who loves makeup, a thoughtful beauty gift is an easy choice that will show them that you know and love them.    

Using Mascara on Lash Extensions
March 30, 2021
Using Mascara on Lash Extensions

Maybe you’ve got your very first set of lash extensions, or perhaps you’re thinking about getting some. But you’re wondering, “can you put mascara on lash extensions?” Great question. And if you’re going to invest money in lash extensions (along with sitting still for that long), you want to make sure you’re taking care of them the right way.  Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this post, we’ll be answering all your burning questions. By the end of it, you’ll be a lash extension and mascara pro.  Can you put mascara on lash extensions? So, should you wear mascara with eyelash extensions? Or is it a total no-go? You can wear mascara on lash extensions. When your lashes are fresh, you won’t have a huge need for mascara, but towards the end, you may want to reach for it! That being said, if you prefer to wear mascara with your lash extensions from the start, you can definitely do so! Estheticians recommend to avoid applying it to the base, as this can create a clumpy look. So keep it to the tips, and you’ll be golden. It’s worth pointing out that if you’re opting for volume lashes (the 2D, 3D, or custom-made fans), you probably won’t need mascara. Adding it will likely cause the fans to close and ruin the effect. Why wear mascara with lash extensions? Mascara will help darken and add volume to both the upper and lower lashes.  Synthetic lashes are thicker than your natural eyelashes, whereas silk extensions taper out at the ends. Mascara helps give you that extra impact all the way to the tips — perfect for a more dramatic look.     Many women also choose lash extensions that match their natural lash color. Adding a darker shade of mascara allows you to deepen the color as you like.  And like we mentioned above, when your fake lashes are on their last legs and begin to shed, you can fill in the gaps with mascara. They’ll look as good as new! Which type of mascara should I avoid? Be careful; if you use the wrong kind of mascara, you’ll ruin your lash extensions.  Here’s what to avoid:   Waterproof mascara Waterproof mascara is designed to stay put through extreme conditions. You know, like thunderstorms and balling your eyes out on your wedding day. It’s great when you need it, but it’s a no-go when it comes to lash extensions.  It can make your lashes brittle, and it’s extra tough to remove. You need an oil-based makeup remover, which can pull off flares, sometimes your lashes, and the glue holding your extensions in place.   Tube mascara Although tube mascara can be removed with water, it’s not suitable for lash extensions. Why? Because it will stick to them like glue, and water will not be sufficient to get them off once that happens. Fiber mascara Like waterproof and tube mascara, fiber mascara is also difficult to remove. Plus, the purpose of fiber mascara is to add length to your natural lashes. If you’ve got extensions already, you probably don’t need it.    Mascara you can use with extensions Oil-free mascara is best for lash extensions. That means the best mascara for lash extensions is a water-based formula. This is the only safe choice and will keep your lashes in tip-top condition. And it’s perfect for all types of falsies.  If you have sensitive eyes or wear contact lenses, opting for an oil-free mascara is always the best choice. This will prevent unwanted irritation.     What you want is a mascara that glides flawlessly across your lashes and comes off with minimal effort at the end of the day.  When it comes to consistency, you want a mascara that is not too thick or too dry. A thick mascara can cause tension on the lashes, tangling, and clumping.    Choose your brush wisely, and make sure it doesn’t grip your lashes too tightly.  How to safely remove your makeup when wearing lash extensions Choosing the right mascara isn’t the only thing to consider. If you choose the wrong makeup remover, you can still end up damaging your lashes. There are many makeup removers and cleansers that contain oil, which you don’t want. A water-based product is what you’re after here again. The best way to remove your makeup while wearing eyelash extensions is to use a water-based wipe or lash shampoo with a charcoal brush. Avoid cotton pads or balls because they may get lint on your lashes!     Remember, when you take care of your lash extensions and keep them clean, they’ll last longer and look better. So it’s in your best interests to pick the right products and treat your lashes with the love they deserve.