There is something that is so alluring about the notorious “French girl” look. Their outfits, hair, and makeup are understated yet edgy at the same time. Is their smudged eyeliner purposeful or was that left over from the night before? We don’t know, but it’s effortless and enviably cool nonetheless.
Spoiler alert: the “French girl” beauty look is not as simple as it appears. What varies is not the amount of steps in their routines, but the mindset that French women have when they’re getting ready in front of their mirrors.
Skincare is their biggest concern. They spend a lot of money and time making sure that their first — and most important layer — is clear, clean, and supple; the perfect canvas for makeup. This practice is the main reason why French women look so natural even with makeup on. The belief that if the face is blemish-free and moisturized, there’s no need to use a lot of product to correct any “imperfections.” They use concealer and foundation sparingly, only where any redness or blemishes appear.
As opposed to American beauty standards, the French don’t seem to be overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the heavy contour trend. Their reasoning? It changes the appearance of your face and its features. The French believe makeup should enhance, not change, one’s facial features. Contouring, they believe, is like changing one’s identity, and that’s too drastic of an alteration that many French women are not willing to make. They’re on board with highlighting, as this practice draws the eye to the natural features of the face.
For their eyebrows, the thicker and less-precise the better — think Cara Delevingne. Overly manicured or darkly penciled eyebrows are not as common in France, instead they use tinted or regular eyebrow gel to keep them in place and fill in sparser areas. French women really like products that can serve multiple purposes — who doesn’t?— and so they use eyeshadow sticks not only for their eyelids, but also as eyeliner. They apply the eyeshadow to their upper and lower lashline and then smudge it, creating a hazy effect.
If you haven’t noticed, the less-than-perfect look is the aim for the French, and that approach also applies to their hair. French women rarely ever use heat styling tools, they prefer to let it air dry for maximum texture and volume. Typically, French women will get a blowout two days before an event, so their hair looks “lived in” for their date, party, and so on.
How To Get French Girl Beauty:
1) Invest in good skincare products and stick to a routine.
2) Use concealer and foundation sparingly (less is more)
3) Step away from the contour palette
4) Skip a few eyebrow waxing appointments and let them grow!
5) Pass on the heat styling tools. Instead, air dry hair and use a product that adds texture
6) Ditch the precise cat eyeliner for some smudged liner
Overall, the main principle that underlies “French girl” beauty is that makeup should be considered an accessory, not the main focus.