If you had to distil French girl beauty down to a single word it would be: effortless. It’s not really about technique or a specific product, but rather an attitude with which French girls, or rather, French women wear their hair and make-up. It’s a term that emulates a kind of carefree nonchalance; one that blurs the boundary between perfection and undone beauty.
It’s messy, just-woke-up-like-this hair and minimal make-up—a sultry feline flick here, a just bitten red lip there. Skin looks flawless, but without looking too done. It’s an approach that French beauty editor and influencer Camille Yolaine has been perfecting since the age of 13, when she tried on her very first product: a lip gloss that smelled of raspberries.
These days, she’s more into lipstick, and is always mixing different colours to get just the right shade, a lesson she learnt from her painter father. “Make-up should be fun,” she says. “I believe it should be very instinctive.”
In fact, she’s so obsessed with lipstick that she decided to launch her very own lipstick line called Yolaine. So far the line comprises three painter’s tubes of red, which you can mix until you find a shade that works for you. “It has this very childish thing of inviting people to have fun with the colours, either in a precise or very messy way,” she adds. Team this with a lick of mascara, and voila! French girl beauty. Still not convinced? Below, Yolaine shares her ultimate guide.
Step 1: Drink lots of water
Growing up, my mum would ask me about 15 times a day, “Have you drunk enough water?” At the time I would roll my eyes at her. But now I have to thank her. Staying hydrated is key; not only is it good for your skin, but also your hair and nails. And it doesn’t even require much effort.
Step 2: Use dry shampoo
One of the first things that comes to mind when you think about French girl beauty is the carefree bedhead look. To achieve this, I like to use some dry shampoo and then just ruffle my hair. I use Klorane Oat Dry Shampoo; it’s the best.
Step 3: Keep it simple
When it comes to make-up, less is more. That doesn’t mean you can’t rock a bold eye or a statement lip. You can, just not at the same time. Pick which area you want to accentuate and go with that. For instance, if I do a smokey eye I won’t rock a bright red lip and vice versa.
Step 4: Stick to what suits you and only you
Beyond products and technique, French girl beauty is an attitude; it reflects an inner confidence that only comes from being comfortable in your skin. For so long I admired people with fringes, but my hairdresser advised me against it. In the end I got one to look like those people I admired but it didn’t suit me, because it wasn’t authentic.
Step 5: Wear SPF
Just because French girl beauty looks carefree and effortless doesn’t mean we don’t pay attention to taking care of our skin. SPF is a must, even when it’s rainy and/or you’re feeling lazy.
Step 6: Use your lipstick as a blush
An easy tip? Try rubbing some lipstick on the apples of your cheeks for a fresh feel. It creates harmony in your face and it’s less products to carry in your bag. You can also put some on your nose to give your skin that healthy, outdoorsy look.
Step 7: Scrub your lips
Before you get to the lipstick phase, it’s important to make sure your canvas is in the best possible shape, which is why I always use a lip scrub and why we have created one in our Yolaine line. Scrub your way to a healthy and plump pout. In need of an extra boost? Try the Yolaine lip balm. I apply it every night.
Step 8: Don’t aim for perfection
French girl beauty isn’t about perfection, it’s about being true to who you are. For instance, I love a blurred lip look because it feels more natural. I always apply my lipstick and then tap it with my fingers so it looks a bit messy.
Step 9: Throw caution to the wind
Sometimes, it’s good to forget all of the above because c’est la vie, and beauty should be about having fun.