I’ve always had a slight fascination with French Girl Beauty, but it has turned into a complete obsession lately. Perhaps because it’s the antithesis of the Instagram makeup that we see so much of now. It’s remained classic, fresh, modern and always beautiful. There is a timeless quality to it that I love - each of these images were taken in decades spanning from the 1960s to the 1990s yet to me they look covetable and contemporary .
The French beauty aesthetic is often a little undone which I resonate with, the glamour element is almost always there, but it has a nonchalance to it which might be what makes it so editorial and modern.
With this in mind, I have compiled a Capsule Beauty Collection (is this a thing? It should be...) Remember that the French have a strong emphasis on quality over quantity. Buy as little as possible, but buy well.
Impeccable skincare is something that is taught to French girls from a young age. French pharmacy brands are world renowned. You just cannot go wrong with Avene or Vichy and the price point is very affordable.
Since nature has recently thrown me the curve ball of both hormonal breakouts and the first signs of ageing (oh joy) my favourite products to use include La Roche Posey Serozinc and Redermic Treatment ( an excellent retinoid).
I hesitated on using this word as it seems to have acquired a different meaning in a few short months. It no longer brings to mind a luminous glow, but has become an essential part of heavy makeup styles. Do not let this put you off . Its really important, but you need subtlety, no chunks of glitter . Becca Skin finish is one of my favourites. I only have it in moonstone as, to me, it is the most beautiful shade and suits most skin tones from Asian to pale caucasian.
There’s a reason I’ve skipped foundation in this edit. We’re not going to use it. That right, your skincare is going to be so impeccably executed that all you will need is the lightest touch of an excellent concealer that is an exact match to your skin in order to create a skin that looks like it has nothing there.
French women take great care of there skin - why on earth would they want to cover it up? It’s considered very high status to wear as little skin makeup as possible in order to show off your time and effort that you have invested into your beauty regime
On every makeup artist’s forum I am a member of there is a mascara that comes up time and time again, Loreal Volumous in Carbon Black. I personally don't believe in expensive mascaras. When you have shelled out £25 for a pretty from Dior it is far too tempting to keep it for longer than the recommended 3 months, which puts you at risk from infection. I believe in buying cheap and replacing often, but in this case cheap doesn't mean sacrificinging quality- this is an amazing mascara.
The French have not embraced the heavy brow trend in the same way as the English have in recent years, in fact I’m fairly sure they would describebe them as ‘de trop’.
However, they also didn't pluck them out in 2000 trying to look like Gwen Stefani (guilty). In order to fake that French girl nonchalance you’re going to need to fake the fullness a bit. Keep it soft pale and feathery. I use Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade in Blonde on almost every client as I favour the illusion of shadow to create depth rather than deep colour which I feel is too obvious.
A red lip
One word: Chanel. OK two: Coco Rouge. Keep the rest of your makeup simple and it is just perfection.
Do you have any French beauty products you particularly love? Tell me about your favourites in the comments.