French women have a refreshingly natural take on beauty and grooming. If you are planning a trip to Paris take a cue from one or all of these low maintenance beauty looks and groom like a Parisian.
Le No Makeup Look
This natural look with regards to makeup is key when staying in France. French women highlight their features with very minimal makeup. The good news for you is you don’t have to spend hours in the morning getting ready! Simply even out your complexion with a tinted moisturizer or light powder, define those eyes with mascara (or if you’re feeling adventurous, eyeliner), swirl on some blush for that romantic look and dot some color on your lips.
Et voilà! You are polished and perfected for the day but no one will be able to tell you are actually wearing makeup (they’ll just think you look really good). So ditch the smoky eye, the heavily applied bronzer, the overly done lip. In France, the natural look is in, toujours!
[Picture credited to MadEmoiselle Sugar]
Take a cue from le no makeup look described above and sport a very effortless, easygoing hairstyle. A good blow dry will get you far in France. Just make sure your tresses are healthy and clean. No need for teasing, too much hairspray, crazy highlights or extensions. Medium to short hair, simply styled is key to fitting in.
Ditch the acrylics, and go au natural with short, filed nails. Parisians love to wear neutral shades on their hands and feet. (May I suggest Essie Mademoiselle? The ultimate French shade…) If you are feeling dramatic go for classic red. If you are pressed for time go for a clear top coat of polish. Grooming of one’s nails is imperative here- short, filed and with nary a hangnail or stray cuticle in sight. Make sure your hands are generously moisturized as well to highlight those pretty nails.
Clear, radiant skin is très important in France– perhaps more than anything else. This is what allows French women to pull off le no makeup look so well. Take the utmost care of your skin by drinking lots of water, using the best skincare you can afford, getting (or giving yourself) regular facials, moisturizing to perfection and always applying spf (yes darling, even when in St. Tropez!)
If you happen to get a blemish, apply a spot treatment (my favorite is Benedetta Control Crème blemish treatment), and conceal until healed. If you do have a breakout- don’t let it get you down. Attitude is everything in France- throw self consciousness out the window!
And lastly, no French woman is complete without her signature scent. Make sure yours is something you love that really speaks to the essence of who you are. Remember in France people greet each other by leaning in for a kiss on the cheek. In this situation your perfume of choice acts as your aromatic calling card!
Don’t over spray– just a hint on the right side of your neck and on your left wrist is enough. Spray the perfume in the air and walk into it if you must. Your signature scent should never be overpowering, just delicate enough to stir up faint emotions in whoever is lucky enough to greet you.
More lessons from Madame Chic
Jennifer L. Scott is the writer and editor of The Daily Connoisseur. She is also the author of the bestselling lifestyle book, Lessons from Madame Chic: The Top 20 Things I Learned While Living in Paris. To learn more visit www.jenniferlscott.com.
- To start reading Ms. Scott’s newest blog post on ForeignIQ, a three-part special on French fashion, go to Fitting in Fashionably in France – Part 1.
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