Why We’re So Fascinated By French Girl Beauty 

It’s practically a cliché.

We know what they say about assuming things, but we’re going to go ahead anyway. Think French girl beauty and what pops into your head? We’re guessing curtain bangs, matte red lipstick, bare and glowing skin, full eyebrows… are we on the right track?

But that’s the thing, clichés become clichés because they are true. Australian women like their skin glossy and bronzed, New York women are sleek and polished, and the French look effortlessly elegant. And while some clichés don’t hold up (we’ve never seen a Breton-top-and-beret wearing woman bicycling through Paris with baguettes under her arm), the beauty one certainly does. And it can be boiled down to couple of key points. 

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Model wears: Max Mara turtleneck and Scanlon & Theodore Jacket.

Skin is king

French women know that everything begins with good skin. It’s very much a cultural thing, and girls start the process early in life, investing time and money in proper skincare products and treatments (it’s why they can skip the foundation). 

Quality, not quantity

The French diet focus is low-sugar, not low-fat, and they consume everything in moderation. So, yes, they will eat croissants for breakfast and drink red wine with dinner, but they remember that what goes inside shows up on the outside. 

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[LEFT]: Model wears KITX Bodysuit, Max Mara Turtleneck and Boots, Voodoo Totally Tights Hosiery, and Clyde Hat. [RIGHT]: Scanlon & Theodore Coat. 

Makeup is fun

With good skin (see above), makeup becomes an accessory. A red lip is not essential, but it sure looks glamorous with glowing skin. And they love a multitasker: one tint that can be used on eyes, lips and cheeks, is the ideal. 

Leave hair alone

The less French women have to worry about their hair, the better. That means air-drying, not blow-drying, hydrating hair masks, and stretching out colourist appointments. They like their fringes slightly grown-out, and messy ballerina buns when they need to get shit done.

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Model wears: Max Mara turtleneck, Scanlon & Theodore Jacket and Skirt, and Furla Bag. 

Perfection is overrated

Authenticity is the name of the game, so if your smoky eye is less than precise, or your hair is not bending the right way, c’est excellent. And French women are not obsessed with fighting the ageing process or looking younger – they would much rather age gracefully and look good at all stages of life. 

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[LEFT]: Model wears Ellery Coat, Max Mara Turtleneck, Pants and Bag. [RIGHT]: Clyde Hat and Scanlon & Theodore Coat.

Want to inject a little of that French je ne sais quoi into your beauty routine? Here are five ways to start:

Bioderma Sensibo H2O

The product that brought micellar water to the masses, it was first spotted backstage, then name checked by all the big models. It cleans skin without stripping, makes easy work of waterproof makeup, and is gentle enough for sensitive types. 


Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentrate

Another fashion week must-have, this cult cream works as a primer, a super-rich moisturiser, makeup remover, or mask. Dermatologists love the plant extract, fatty acid and vitamin-packed formula, while makeup artists love the satin finish. 


Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil

Remember what we said about French girls loving multitaskers? This lightweight, fast-absorbing elixir is made of six plant oils (including macadamia, hazelnut and sweet almond) and can be used on the face, body and hair. All glow, no grease. 


David Mallett Mask No 1 L’Hydratation

OK, so this one is a halfie. David Mallett was born in Perth but he lives in Paris, so we’re calling it a cult French beauty buy. The moisturising mask nourishes hair without weighing it down, so it does that cool, French-girl-texture thing all on its own. 


Juliette Has A Gun Not A Perfume

Romano Ricci is the nose behind this niche brand, and he’s well versed in fragrance (his great-grandmother: Nina Ricci). All the scents are heaven, but if we had to pick one, it’s the clean, musky-amber Not A Perfume, a game changing scent composed of a single note, cetalox. 


 Tell us, what are your favourite French beauty products?


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