Beauty How-To

The Chicest French Beauty Secrets to Obsess Over

From skincare to fragrance to the classic red lippie, here are the seven rules to mastering Parisian beauty and the effortlessly chic je ne sais quoi that goes with it

DO: Obsess over skincare

“I love shopping in French pharmacies,” Lancôme creative director Lisa Eldridge tells Hello! “They have an Old World charm about them and are full of amazing skincare products.” Stacked with fragrance-free formulas that focus on skin health, these pharmacy  brands are a must-have for celebrity makeup artists. Micellar water, which works to cleanse skin and remove makeup, dirt and impurities without disturbing the skin’s natural moisture barrier, is the hottest item from France since Ladurée macarons. “These waters are great for sensitive skin, especially for models or celebrities who tend to wear a lot of makeup,” she says.

Cleansers to give your skin the Parisian glow

Bioderma Sensibio H2O, $25,; La Roche Posay Physiological Micellar Solution, $20,

DON’T: Share your secrets

“For a French woman, beauty products are like a private secret, it’s very intimate,” street-style star and author of bestselling book Love, Style, Life Garance Doré tells Hello! “[The shade of lipstick] you wear is the kind of personal detail you maybe tell your best friend, but no one else.” In addition to guarding the identity of your beauty products like they’re rare gems, French women tend to use the same products year after year. “I’ve used the same products for years,” Garance says. “It’s very French, I suppose, to develop a signature look and have a sort of consistency.”

DO: Wear rouge

“No Parisian look would be complete without a statement red lip!” Lisa says. To get a low-maintenance stain, apply colour with a lip brush, blot off colour with a tissue and reapply your favourite shade on top.

Lancome L'Absolu Rouge Lipstick in Souvenir is essential for a Parisian beauty look

Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Lipstick in Souvenir, $39,

DO: A quick change

Just like their wardrobe—which can be worn from the office to dinner and dancing afterwards—the key to Parisian beauty is consistency and versatility. “In North America, there are more extremes when it comes to style and beauty. You spend the day in sweatpants and a ponytail then get all glam in an ultra-sophisticated dress,” Garance explains. “[French women] are more consistent in their beauty approach. It’s never too casual but also never too dressy. A red lip or maybe a smoky eye and a pair of heels is all you need for a night out dancing.”

DON’T: Use heat tools

Natural, undone and air-dried hair texture is a hallmark of French beauty. To create a natural wave, Parisian tastemakers like model Caroline de Maigret sleep with their hair in a braid and use dry shampoo to add a gritty, lived-in texture.

Klorane Dry Shampoo is essential for a Parisian beauty look

Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat extract, $16,

DO: Exude confidence

“The key is to always look like you’re gazing at the most beautiful sunset,” muses Caroline. “It’s an attitude, an outlook; like you’re living this beautiful life and always thinking about something inspiring.”

DO: Have a signature scent

“Find ‘your’ perfume before you turn 30. Wear it for the next 30 years.” —How to Be Parisian by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret & Sophie Mas

Chanel No 5 is an essential scent for any Parisian beauty

Chanel No 5 L’Eau, $119,

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