I briefly lived in Paris many years ago and have a lot of French friends. I also have a huge collection on French novels, Style tips, French mannerisms, and more. I thought this would be a great topic to talk about.
DISCLAIMER: OBVIOUSLY NOT ALL FRENCH AND AMERICAN GIRLS DO THIS AS A MAKEUP ROUTINE, BUT THE MAJORITY DO FROM MY OBSERVATION AND TALKING TO MY FRENCH friends.
When it comes to French women, they tend to wear a lot less makeup than Americans. Nowadays in American, people tend to wear a full face of makeup, from huge coverage foundation, a bunch of eye shadow colors, a lot of contouring, fake lashes everyday, etc. (I sometimes do this too, except for maybe the contouring which I only do on some photoshoots.)
French Girls are different. They would rather spend their money on skincare, the best they can afford to make sure their skin looks the best without covering it up with a lot of makeup.
The French girl’s philosophy is to enhance their natural features, (which has a very retro and vintage flair about it which you all know I love,) that give them their “joie de vivre.”
Here’s a typical routine most French Girls have with their skincare and makeup:
For skincare they use gentle cleansers that work for their specific skin type. They apply their eye cream, and they prime the skin. But when they do prime the skin, it’s usually a primer that doubles as a moisturizer such as BOBBI BROWN’S FACE BASE. Unless their skin needs a lot of coverage, they usually will use a BB or CC cream with some sunscreen instead of foundation. Like I said before when it comes to French makeup, the ladies are more interested in naturally glowing from within.
When it comes to applying concealer, the like to use it under their eyes for brightening and on any blemishes or imperfections. A lot of Americans love applying the concealer every where to brighten their whole face which can feel heavy on the skin and/or clog your pores. After the French apply their concealer, the use either loose or compact setting powder to set their makeup by gently pressing it into the skin with the concealer, either with a beauty blender a powder puff, or a kabuki style brush. They don’t tend to swirl the powder around the face for fear they might wipe off some of their concealer, foundation, or BB/CC cream.
When it comes to eye makeup, there are different ways French ladies do this look. The first way is to just curl your lashes and apply a beautiful mascara. The second way is for French women to use eyeshadow but it usually tends to be a neutral color, a pastel color all over the lids. Then curl their lashes and apply mascara. Very subtle and chic. The last way French women tend to their eye makeup is to do the above steps but add a little eyeliner to the top only and even bring it out to a little wing. (Of course this is my favorite look because it’s the most my style and has a very retro and vintage look to it.
For Brows, instead of changing the shape of their brows like some American girls do, French girls keep their natural shape and usually just fill in with a pencil if they need to.
For Blush, they add so a hint of blush just to give a nice healthy flush to the apples of their cheeks. Some French girls also use highlighter on their cheekbones but’s a subtle highlighter and they don’t really high light any other part of their face, except for sometimes the Cupid’s bow.
And for Lipstick, French ladies stick to classic colors. It’s usually no lipstick or a gloss, a light pink or nude color, or the classic French signature red lip.
Another cool thing about the French and how they do their makeup is that when they are going out in the evening they usually don’t have to reapply their whole face. They’ll just out dark eyeliner or dark shadow on top of what they already have for a smoky eye look, make a little shadow or liner underneath, and a darker lip shade.
Here’s me with my French Style Makeup Look of Today:
The Makeup I used in this French inspired look:
Bobbi Brown Face Base
Lorea’l Pro-Matte foundation
Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in FAIR
Laura Mercier translucent powder
Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder for under eyes
Eye Shadow: “Reflection” from the Urban Decay, “Through the Looking Glass,” palette.
Eyeliners: Revlon luxurious color eyeliner in Black, smudged and Clinique Pretty Easy liquid eyelining pen in black.
Anastasia of Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil in Dark Brown
Shiseido eye lash curler
Soap and Glory Thick and Fast Mascara in Black
Highlight: Urban Decay Afterglow in “No Angel” and “Wicked.”
Blush: Stila convertible color dual lip and cheek cream in “Petunia.”
Lipstick: Meet Matt(e) Hughes, long lasting liquid lipstick in “Sincere” by TheBalm
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