You know the look. Fresh-faced and dewy, seemingly sans makeup. If macquillage is present, it’s a hypnotically rouge pout or the artfully smudged remnants of last night’s smokey eye. Hair is tousled and textured, with just the right amount of ‘rolled out of bed’ insouciance. Wherever she goes, the seductive scent of musks and florals linger in her wake. Mais oui bien sûr, these are the markers of the famous ‘French Girl’ aesthetic!
It’s supposedly effortless, but make no mistake, it’s hardly as simple as it looks and for the rest of us non-French folk that don’t possess their otherworldly irreverence-meets-elegance, a little effort is required to look like you’ve made none at all. Much like the ‘no makeup, makeup‘ look, mimicing this style requires good quality prods. Of course, you don’t need a whole lot to channel your inner Parisienne and if you’re looking for a cheat sheet, our lazy girl’s guide to ‘French Girl’ beauty has got you covered:
Good skin and minimal makeup are perhaps the most quintessential elements of French beauty. As the famous French makeup artist Violette told Vogue, “But for the French, it’s very particular: What we want is to be ourselves—not a better version of ourselves. We feel like it’s better to be used to something than to try to change it. So we think: What style can I have with this face, and with this hair? That mentality is 100 percent French.”
With French girls favouring pharmacy skincare brands over cosmetics ones, it all starts with taking good care of the skin. That means a micellar water for cleansing, a light but ultra-hydrating moisturiser and a dewy balm in lieu of foundation. Makeup wise, it remains quite minimal, with key items including a good brow pencil, an amazing black eyeliner that transforms into an about-last-night smokey eye and an arrestingly red lipstick. Oh, and thou shalt not contour – thou shalt only illuminate!
French girl hair is unfussed. It has that annoyingly perfect “I woke up like” this effect. The true secret behind waking up like that? There is very little, if any, heat-styling involved which results in less long-term damage from stripping the hair of its natural oils and moisture. According to renowned Paris-based hairstylist David Mallet, French girls don’t do blow-dries, they wash their hair every 5-7 days (yep!) and they are not into any kind of straight, flat-ironed hair.
Much like the skin, it’s all about looking after your natural hair, exactly as it is. That being said, dry shampoo, sea salt spray and volume powder are French girl staples when it comes to maintaining sexily tousled locks.
The legendary Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel once said, “A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” A bit dramatic, to say the least, but such is the French passion for fragrance! One’s scent is more than an ancessory, but a true extension of the self. No guide to French beauty would be complete without referencing some of the most iconic French fragrances by the world’s leading parfumiers, Frédéric Malle and Serge Lutens – and Chanel herself.
Main image credit: Pinterest