French girls are the height of chicness, known for their trend-setting abilities in the realms of both makeup and fashion, so it’s only natural to be intrigued by the classic French makeup look. The perfect example of minimal yet flawless makeup and skin that glows, the beauty goal for French women is to look like they woke up like that. Basically, they’re the OG no makeup, makeup inspiration. And thankfully, you don’t have to board a flight to channel your inner-Parisian. Instead, we’re sharing 10 French makeup tips you can easily add to your routine for an upgrade.
TIP #1: ALWAYS CLEANSE YOUR SKIN
Despite this being an article on French makeup, the truth is, French women don’t rely heavily on makeup. Instead, they like to enhance their natural features, starting with skin. So, before you can create a French-inspired look, it’s a must to take care of your skin. Kick things off with a gentle cleanser like the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types.
TIP #2: APPLY MOISTURIZER BEFORE YOUR MAKEUP
After cleansing is out of the way, always prep your skin for makeup with a lightweight moisturizer, like the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care – Normal/Dry Skin, L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care – Normal/Oily Skin, or the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care – Extra Dry Skin, all of which are formulated with aloe vera water and hyaluronic acid and provide long-lasting hydration. This step is key for getting that beautiful French girl look. How else do you think they get their skin to look so perfectly dewy?
If you have mature skin, a moisturizer like the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Cell Renewal Rosy Tone Moisturizer is also a prime pick. The pink-hued moisturizer helps revive skin, revealing a natural, healthy-looking flush that’s perfect for this look.
Editor’s tip: Once a week, use a moisturizing overnight mask like the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Intensive Overnight Mask to give your skin a little extra TLC.
TIP #3: PRIME, PRIME, PRIME
If you want your French makeup look to go the distance, you should always use a makeup primer. Primer works wonders to create an even base that makes smooth application possible. We love the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Lock Makeup Primer, which helps to smooth and blur imperfections and locks in a matte finish. Consistent skin care and a primer can work together so well that you may even choose to skip wearing foundation, which is actually part of the classic French girl look.
TIP #4: OPT FOR LIGHTWEIGHT COVERAGE
French makeup is never overdone, and heavy, cakey face makeup is certainly not part of the look. So, if you need a little bit of coverage for blemishes or dark circles, stick with applying a lightweight concealer or foundation on top of your primer.
For a really natural look, try a powder foundation like the L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Compact Makeup that won’t completely hide your skin. Follow up with the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Concealer under your eyes for a subtle finish.
TIP #5: GROOM YOUR BROWS
While most makeup looks call for a sculpted brow, the French makeup aesthetic is all about sporting a clean, groomed look. Instead of reaching for your eyebrow pencils and pomades, keep it simple with a few coats of eyebrow mascara, like the L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Boost & Set Brow Mascara in Clear. Apply the brow mascara in short, upward motions for a natural-looking set of brows.
TIP #6: ACCENTUATE YOUR FEATURES WITH HIGHLIGHTER
The French use their makeup to bring light to their faces, rather than creating shadows. They opt out of the contouring trend because it appears to change the shape of your face. Like we said before, they’re all about flaunting what you’ve already got. To do just that, apply a highlighter (try L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Lumi Powder Glow Illuminator in Rose) to your cheekbones and cupid’s bow. This will draw subtle attention to your naturally gorgeous features.
TIP #7: JUST A TOUCH OF BLUSH
A light dusting of blush is all you need to accentuate a glowing French face. After all, you don’t want your makeup look to fall flat. Just like the rest of this makeup routine, be careful not to go overboard. Just a touch of L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Blush in Baby Blossom on the apples of your cheeks will give you a soft, natural-looking glow.
TIP #8: APPLY MASCARA
Skip the eyeliner and go straight for mascara to create that wide-eyed look that will go oh so perfectly with the Parisian lip color we’re about to recommend. Try the L’Oréal Paris Bambi Eye Washable Mascara, Lasting Volume to give dimension to your eyes without having to wear a ton of eye makeup.
TIP #9: PUT ON YOUR RED LIP
This tip is what makes a makeup look really, classically French. Red lips look best when paired with neutral clothing, toned down makeup, and tousled hair—basically anything that won’t distract from the pop of red on your pout. Line and fill your lips with the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Lip Crayon, Lasting Wear, Smudge Resistant in Caramel Rebel to seal the deal.
TIP #10: LOCK IT IN
Last but certainly not least, French makeup shouldn’t leave you beholden to the need for touch-ups, so make sure to finish things off with a makeup setting spray. Pick up the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray and Set Make-Up Oil-Free Setting Spray, and mist over your face in an ‘X’ and ‘T’ motion to keep your makeup in place.
Next up: Now that you know all about French makeup, it’s time to level up with hairstyles to match. Head on over to our article, 3 French Girl Hairstyles, to complete your beauty look.
Discover more tips & tricks
Keep your skin happy
Shop Featured Skin Care products