Makeup in French: unveiling the secrets of iconic French makeup style

Makeup in French: unveiling the secrets of iconic French makeup style

  • Le naturalisme
  • La simplicité et l’élégance
  • La subtilité et le raffinement
French girl making up - The french words are 'Une fille française est en train de se maquiller'.
  • Naturalism
  • Simplicity and elegance
  • Subtlety and refinement
Le naturalisme
French make-up emphasizes simple, natural facial features. The approach is to create a complexion that gives the impression of healthy, well-maintained skin. Naturalness is achieved with soft color nuances, among other things.

La simplicité et l’élégance
Elegance is a central point in French make-up. Women value quality over quantity.

La subtilité et le raffinement
Subtlety translates into gentle transitions between colors and textures. This creates balance and harmony.

  • La simplicité
  • The aim is to create a style that looks almost makeup-free, highlighting natural features. This implies the minimal use of products.

  • Le teint naturel (the natural complexion)
  • Use light foundations. The complexion is evened out, leaving a few imperfections to reveal the skin’s natural texture.

  • Les yeux au naturel (eyes au naturel)
  • Don’t wear too much eye makeup. A simple stroke of eyeliner and sometimes a little mascara are enough to highlight the eyes.

  • Lips subtly highlighted
  • In general, French women use light lipsticks. Highlight lips with a little color, but without losing their natural look.

  • Multi-use products
  • The idea is to reduce the number of products, for example a lipstick that doubles as a blush.

  • Putting skin care first
  • By taking care of their skin on a daily basis, French women don’t need to apply a lot of make-up afterwards.

  • Les eaux micellaires (Micellar waters)
  • These are gentle, moisturizing solutions for removing make-up.

  • Les BB crèmes et les CC crèmes
  • French women often prefer products to achieve a light complexion. BB creams (Blemish Balm) and CC creams (Color Correcting) give a natural, luminous, even complexion.

  • Les rouges à lèvres (Lipsticks)
  • French women’s favorite lipsticks come in nude, pink or classic red tones.

  • Les mascaras
  • Some mascaras are prized for their ability to dramatically lengthen, volumize and curl lashes.

  • Les poudres translucides (Translucent powders)
  • Translucent powders set make-up. These light, fine powders are used to control skin shine.

  • Les parfums (Fragrances)
  • Fragrances are not part of make-up, but add a touch of sophistication.

  • Pre-make-up care products
  • These are used to prepare the skin before applying make-up. Moisturizing creams, for example.

    To remember
    • The essentials of French makeup style
      • Naturalism
      • Simplicity and elegance
      • Subtlety and refinement
    French woman - French beauty / The French words are 'Une femme française' - 'Une beauté française'

    How to achieve the perfect French makeup look?

    1. Préparation de la peau (Preparing your skin)
    2. 1 – Cleanse your face to remove impurities.
      2 – Apply a moisturizing cream to keep skin as smooth as possible.

    3. Un fond de teint léger (Light foundation)
    4. Choose a light, natural foundation. Apply evenly, stretching from the center of the face outwards.

    5. Correcteur et cache-cernes (Concealer)
    6. For imperfections and dark circles.

    7. Les sourcils définis (Defined eyebrows)
    8. Brush brows and fill in light areas with eyebrow pencil or powder. Remember to keep a natural look.

    9. Fards à paupières neutres (Neutral eye shadow)
    10. Put a light shade on the eyelid, add a dark shade in the crease for depth. To keep the French style, keep it simple.

    11. Eyliner
    12. Draw a thin line of eyeliner along the lash line.

    13. Du mascara
    14. Mascara lengthens and curls lashes. Keep the quantity low to maintain the style of French make-up.

    15. Du blush rose pâle (Pale pink blush)
    16. A pale pink blush to add a touch of brightness to your cheeks. Apply to the top of cheekbones for a natural look.

    17. Du rouge à lèvres nude (Nude lipstick)
    18. Choose a nude lipstick or a soft pink lipstick.

    19. La fixation du maquillage (Setting make-up)
    20. Set your make-up with a setting mist to make it last all day.

    • Choosing the right foundation
    • Preparing the skin
    • Applying foundation
    Choosing the right foundation
    Use a natural, lightweight foundation. Liquid or powder foundations generally don’t create an overloaded look.

    Make sure the shade perfectly matches your skin tone. The aim is to harmonize your make-up with your skin rather than to lighten or darken your complexion.

    Use one with a moisturizing texture to create subtlety and keep make-up from being too visible.

    Preparing the skin
    Foundation adheres better and looks more natural on well-moisturized and exfoliated skin. It’s important to look after your skin on a regular basis.

    Applying foundation
    It’s easier to add product than to remove it, so start with a small amount and work your way up.Use a brush, sponge or fingers to apply light layers. Tap gently instead of spreading, to achieve a more natural look.

    Apply to the areas you need, not the whole face.

    Set foundation with a light, transparent powder to avoid too much shine, and at the same time preserve the skin’s natural appearance.

    • Enhancing the eyes
    • Enhancing lips
    • Maintaining balance
    Enhancing the eyes
    Use eyebrow pencil, powder or gel to follow the natural curve of your eyebrows. The idea is to achieve eyebrows that frame the gaze.

    Choose shades that enhance your eye color. Neutral or slightly iridescent shades are perfect for an everyday look.

    Define your eyes with eyeliner: a thin line close to the lashes for a light look.

    A good mascara to enhance eyes and lashes.

    Enhance lips
    Remove dead skin from your lips and apply a moisturizing balm.

    Choose a lipstick that goes well with your complexion and matches your eyes.

    Maintaining balance
    If the lips stand out a lot, be more sober on the eyes, to produce a balanced effect, and vice versa.

    Get to know your features and identify what works best for you. Some people may prefer to emphasize the eyes, while others may favor the lips.


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    To remember
    • 6 tips
      • Choosing the right foundation
      • Preparing the skin
      • Applying foundation
      • Enhancing the eyes
      • Enhancing lips
      • Maintaining balance
    Luxury French woman and makeup / The French words are 'Femme française de luxe et maquillage'
    • A luminous, natural complexion
    • Minimalist makeup
    • A natural look
    • A bold lipstick
    • Natural eyebrows
    • Multifunctional make-up products
  • Neutral, earthy hues
  • Palettes feature hues such as warm browns, taupes and terracotta tones. French beauty icons often opt for shades of brown to highlight their eyes.

  • Powder pink and peach tones
  • These shades are used a lot. French beauty icons often use them to create light, natural looks.

  • Bold lipsticks
  • Classic red, burgundy and bright orange-red. French beauty icons don’t hesitate to wear intense lipstick for a touch of glamour.

  • Subtle pastels
  • Like lavender, light blue and soft pink. French beauty icons use pastel shades on eyelids or blushes in soft tones.

  • Environmentally-friendly products
  • Companies are developing products that are biodegradable, paraben-free, sulfate-free, and with natural ingredients. They also make sustainable packaging.

  • Improved foundations
  • Long-lasting foundations that adapt to skin tone. Some also protect against the sun.

  • Connected make-up and augmented reality
  • Virtual make-up applications and smart mirrors enable users to virtually see themselves wearing a particular make-up product before making a purchase. It’s an interactive shopping experience.

  • Make-up customization
  • Companies are offering consumers the opportunity to create their own products. This allows them to create their own unique style.


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    Write in a few sentences (in the comments below) what improvements you would make to make-up products. I’ll correct your French.

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  • FAQ for makingup in France


    What is the French word for 'makeup'?


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