It’s nearly impossible to do any kind of research into beauty products without being bombarded with the myth of French beauty. The concept has been an industry staple for the better part of the past decade — and it’s for good reason. It’s easy to be drawn to the allure of the French woman and her beauty staples. She has clear skin, unfussy hair, and a nonchalant perspective.
“French beauty is an attitude — this apparent freedom, the rejection of social constraints — in the way to lead your own life and to be beautiful,” says Aurore Manac’h, Director of Marketing for Collosol Eau de Lait®. And truly, doesn’t that just sound perfect?
Skincare comes first when we’re talking French beauty, because the French woman recognizes that gorgeous, well-cared-for skin is the foundation of any beauty look. This “trend” is therefore trendless and timeless.
“French women stick to their style,” Manac’h says. “They don’t really care about new beauty trends, which makes them mysterious.” Makeup is more about revealing instead of hiding, and any true French woman understands that the devil is in the details. “They’ve mastered the art of the tousled look,” Manac’h says. “It’s a bit neglected. It’s a rosy and fresh face — without effort.”
That said, it should come as no surprise that the majority of cult-favorite French beauty out there is skincare based. So if you’re looking to overhaul your beauty routine, it’s a good idea to go the French route. Ahead, find the best of the best of French beauty. You’ll be saying ooh-la-la in no time.
Bioderma® Sensibio® H2O
There is no beauty product so quintessentially French as micellar water — a soap-free cleanser that gobbles up dirt and oil without rinsing. And if we’re talking French micellar water, we’re talking Bioderma. The brand’s Sensibio H2O ($15) has been heralded by skincare pros and beauty influencers for its ability to cleanse skin gently. It keeps things clean without drying, and expertly wicks away makeup in just one swipe — even your waterproof formulas that never seem to budge.
Klorane® Dry Shampoo
When you think of French women, you think of their perfectly mussed, kinked hair, right? Well, for the perfect amount of body, you’ll want to pick up Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk ($20). It sops up grease and oil around your scalp while adding volume. And since it’s formulated with oat, it also moisturizes — a feat not many dry shampoos can claim. So you can extend your perfect French girl hair that much longer.
La Roche-Posay® Anthelios® Sunscreen
Good skincare starts with sunscreen, which is a step that no self-respecting French woman would go without. And the ideal sunscreen, for both your face and your body, is La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen ($26). It’s so lightweight that you can use it regardless of your skin type, but it’s moisturizing enough that it won’t pill or dry you out. It dries totally matte, so there will be no grease slick. And with an SPF of 60, it’s pretty much the most flawless sunscreen you can use.
Embryolisse® Concentrated Lait Cream
Makeup artists and beauty connoisseurs alike are constantly raving about Embryolisse Concentrated Lait Cream ($28). This moisturizer shows up on list after list that champions the best beauty products, and it’s because of its near-perfect formula. The lightweight cream melts into your skin, infusing it with hydration that’s unmatched. Aloe vera and shea butter moisturize, leaving your skin looking plump and glowing. But instead of a greasy finish, it dries glowy yet matte. Talk about a win!
Vichy® Mineral 89™ Daily Skin Booster Serum And Moisturizer
The French love a good thermal water — mostly because of its hydrating properties (and hydration is a big theme in French skincare). With that in mind, say hello to Vichy Mineral 89 Daily Skin Booster Serum and Moisturizer ($30), which is practically a hydration bomb for your skin. It has the afformented thermal water, along with hyaluronic acid, which slurps moisture from the atmosphere and holds it against your skin. It can be used as a serum for super dry skin, and as a serum and moisturizer for regular skin types.
Collosol Eau De Lait®
If your Bioderma could exfoliate, then it would be Collosol ($18). This silky, creamy fluid uses milk extracts to buff and cleanse your skin, leaving behind a soft and polished visage. Karl Lagerfeld apparently bathes in the stuff, and other French influencers love how velvety and clean their faces are after using it. You will, too.
Some products were gifted to the author for the purpose of writing this article.
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