Beauty 101

Effortless French Beauty

Oh to be a French woman!  It’s not enough that these beauties have soft melodic accents, have mastered the art of portion controlled eating, they also seem to be masters of the “effortless beauty” look!

So what is it that makes our French sisters look so polished and feminine with what seems to be less makeup, less fussing with the hair and less overall bling?

Look at these French beauties and see what they all have in common…


Beautiful skin

Unlike many of us who are focused on the icing of beauty; makeup, French women are diligent and committed to great skin care.  Many visit their therapists weekly for beauty treatments and almost all consider their skin care regimen as important as their health regimen.  While we don’t all have the time and budget to visit a spa ever week we can take something from this and perhaps put more of our beauty budget on skin care and less on makeup and frills.  As Madame Korner, another great European beauty once said “you cannot build a castle on sand” any more than you can create a great makeup on poor skin.  And their skin care philosophy? Cleanse the skin thoroughly ever morning and evening, many of us do not do this as well as we could and debris in the skin causes sensitivity and premature skin ageing.  Protect your skin from the sun, one the most damaging and ageing aggressors to your skin and massage the skin regularly, preferable with a nourishing oil or balm.  This helps the skin to become oxygenated feeding the skin cells from within.

I love Clarins Lotus and Santal Oils for a daily massage before sleep. Inexpensive and so luxurious these oils help to balance the pH of the skin while you rest.  Simply apply to a cleansed face and massage for 5 minutes every night and see the remarkable difference.

The return of the Brow

All of these women have youthful, full brows and they are not perfect and overly defined but soft and feathery.  The brows frame the eyes and give the face a more balanced proportion.  If you have brows you generally need less makeup.  Don’t fret trying to get them exactly the same.  As some wise beauty Sage once said “brows should be sisters, not twins”.

For soft, natural brows try ELES Brow Sculpt with a soft angled brush, simply sweep it through the brows to fill any gaps.  If your brows have a mind of their own and won’t behave and fall in the same direction, take a brow brush, spray with hair spray and sweep through to tame them.

Bright eyes

Although none of these beauties are wearing a lot of eye makeup they do have bright, vibrant eyes.

Top tips for eyes; keep some lubricating eye drops with you at all times to help reduce eye redness and irritation.  This will also come in handy when your mascara begins to dry out, 4-5 drops in the vial will freshen it up like new.

Invest in a flesh coloured eye liner to line the water line of the eyes. Rimmel Scandaleyes in Nude is perfect for this.  This area becomes red when you are tired and the flesh colour helps to brighten the area.

Use an eyelash curler if you have straight lashes.  This makes your lashes look twice as long without the need for numerous clumpy coats of mascara.

Conceal beneath the eyes with a salmon/peachy coloured concealer. Try ELES Dual Action Concealer or Bobbi Brown Concealer Kit.  This counteracts the blue of dark under eye circles and makes the eye whites look brighter.

Soft pouty lips

While any colour seems to go in France the most popular shades are red and nude.  For the perfect nude look that will always suit you opt for a lip liner that perfectly matches your lip colour then shape and fill with the liner,  pop a touch of concealer on your fingertip and pat into the centre lips and finish with a balm or gloss.  I find some nude lip products can look cakey and thick whereas this looks soft and natural and lasts so much longer.  If you want some tips on how to look after your lips then read my LIP SERVICE post.

Messy hair

That’s right messy.  Pull it back, twist it up or go for the long wind swept look, French women prefer their hair to look natural and a little bit like a young girl who’s been playing outside with her friends.  The less fuss the better.  Though healthy hair is a must, over coiffed hair is out-dated.


For French women it’s all about accessories.  Often preferring simple but well cut clothing these style goddesses treat clothing like the canvas of fashion.  Simple is always more chic and teamed with a gorgeous designer bag, stylish jewellery, scarves and great shoes.

So will you give the effortless, French beauty style a try?  And who are your fashion icons?