As someone who has used makeup to hide insecurities, or to conform to strict standards of beauty, I have seen my makeup routine dramatically change in the past five months since I moved to France. As my makeup routine has decreased, my confidence has increased. While I still love doing a full face every now and then to go out, I now embrace a different look, the French look if you will. Therefore I have listed for you the top five French beauty tips I now live by:
Focus on skin first
French women know that the secret to great makeup starts at the base, your skin. This is why French pharmacy skincare is one of the best-kept secrets of the French women. The majority of a French woman’s morning and night routines are dedicated to skincare, not makeup. I can personally vouch for Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentré – a dual moisturizer and makeup primer, & Bioderma Sensibio H2O – a makeup remover/cleanser suitable for even the most sensitive skin. You can order both on Amazon in the states!
Keep it simple
I would coin this as the number one rule in French beauty. French women are obsessed with never looking like they are trying too hard, and this is especially true for their makeup. For day-to-day makeup, choose either your eyes or your lips to accentuate, but never both. As night rolls around we have a different story; here is the time to rock the smoky eye AND the lip color.
Never underestimate the power of a red lip
The first thing I noticed about French women and makeup is how much they love a red lip over here, a slightly smudged red lip paired with a fresh face to be exact! Whether running to the grocery store, heading to class, or going out for drinks, the red lip takes you from class to cocktails. In the past five months living here, I must admit I’ve fallen under the red lip spell. My go to look these days is barely there makeup, messy hair, and a red lip to top it off. It is just so damn chic.
Be a little messy
Smudge the eyeliner! Lip liner… what’s that? The way in which the French embrace a little imperfection in their beauty routine is one of my favorite parts of French beauty. There is nothing more French than a woman who can apply a red lip on a moving metro or slightly smudged eyeliner in the back of a cab. I’ve seen it done many a times, and it never becomes less impressive.
French women have this natural glow about them, and it has taken me nearly my entire time abroad to pin it down in one word. CONFIDENCE. Whether rocking no makeup, a red lip, or a full face, they do it with such confidence. They don’t look to makeup as a way to hide, but rather as a way to accentuate & express!
Above all, the thing I have learned from French beauty these past five months is simply to be comfortable and confident in your own skin. If a full face is your thing, own it and rock it. However, never feel like you need to cover or hide your natural beauty in order to meet the harsh standards of beauty that society puts forth. I find French women to be incredibly beautiful because they embrace their individual beauty fiercely and unapologetically. They don’t hide.