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Intelligent Beauty

Can You Bottle French Girl Flawlessness?

Verity Douglas
Writer and expert8 years ago
View Verity Douglas's profile

There's something about French women that makes the world want to be with them or to be them. Their (seemingly) low-key approach to {make up} and {skin care} is enviably 'I woke up like this' - insouciant and believable in a world where we're consistently compelled to suspend disbelief (babe, you definitely did not just #wakeuplikethat). Plus, less time spent 'ombré-ing' one's {eyebrows} means more time for baguettes and cigarettes and moped-ing around the narrow streets of Montemartre - which is obviously #lerêve.

Because French girls would always much rather be brunching, lunching, dancing or bisous-ing, daily beauty rituals are streamlined - which means their products have to work for bathroom real estate.

A good micellar water is essential. Formulated to gently cleanse and hydrate in one simple step, the shelves of French pharmacies are loaded with 'eau micellaire' - conditioning elixirs which dissolve make up and oil without upsetting the skin's status quo. A French skin care secret, Resultime by Collin's {Micellar Radiance Cleansing Water} is enriched with skin-brightening fruit acids to exfoliate and brighten. Just follow with a quick spritz of bestselling {Eau de Beauté} to infuse skin with moisture and must-have minerals. Et voila!

Dewy, youthful luminosity is of the essence, and 'real skin' finishes (complete with laughter lines and freckles) are totally en vogue. French skin care is developed to delay the ageing process and promote plumpness without attempting to dupe anybody - it's all about growing older gracefully. By Terry's {Liftessence Oil Elixir} is perfect for counteracting dehydration - flooding cells with precious moisture to promote firmness and 'bounce' (and it smells of rose petals) - while Caudalie's {Resveratrol Lift Face Lifting Moisturiser} is packed with protective antioxidants, SPF 20 and micro, light-reflective particles to grant that 'French girl' glow.

Foundation is not very French. Instead, use concealer strategically to brighten dark circles and disguise 'les zits'. Try By Terry's {Terrybly Densiliss Concealer} - an ultra-creamy cover-up which blends almost completely undetectably - or try Payot's {Pate Gris Cover Stick} which is infused with shale extract to battle blemishes while hiding them from view.

Finish with a smudge of sooty eyeliner and mascara - Surratt's {Smokey Eye Baton} is ideal for creating that 'perfectly imperfect' slept-in look. Or, opt for a statement scarlet lip - Jouer's {Long-Wear Lip Crème Liquid Lipstick} in 'Fraise Bonbon' is the perfect, blue-toned red - and it's totally canapé-, cocktail- and kiss-resistant.

Keep a lip balm in your pocket - Nuxe's {Rêve de Miel} is the pharmacy favourite - and shove a tress-taming, frizz-fighting balm in your handbag to keep your locks on 'lock down'. Leonor Greyl's {Nourishing Styling Cream} looks suitably chic and smells delectable. Or, say 'ouai' to OUAI Haircare's {Texturising Spray} - the offspring of dry shampoo and hair lacquer, this styling spritz is the key to maintaining 'coiffé-decoiffé'.

Verity Douglas
Writer and expert
View Verity Douglas's profile
Cult Beauty’s Content Editor and a Cult Beauty OG, Verity loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm. A quintessential Libran, she’s a self-professed magpie for luxury ‘must-haves' and always pursuing the new and the niche — from the boujee-est skin care to cutting-edge tech. Balancing an urge to stop the clock with her desire to embrace the ageing process (and set a positive example for her daughter), Verity's a retinol obsessive and will gladly share her thoughts about the time-defying gadgets, masks and treatments worth the splurge...