Courtesy of Chrissy Callahan Makeup beauty tips.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been saying "je t’aime" to all things French. It started with a language love affair in junior high, and then I made our relationship official in college with a French major. Two trips to the City of Light later, I’ve fallen pretty hard for Paris. I’ve also developed a grand appreciation for the French',s effortless elegance and laissez-faire approach to beauty.
While many cultures tout extensive routines as the route to glamour (like the popular 10-step Korean skin-care regimen ), the French prefer a hands-off approach that embraces natural beauty. It’s an approach I learned more about as I researched the francophile lifestyle for The Paris Bath &, Beauty Book (out this November), and it',s something I’ve come to truly appreciate. I had dabbled in certain French beauty tips before, but I decided to fully commit to a French beauty regimen for a week. The results? Voilà!
Typically I',m intimidated by a red lip, but it',s a staple in the French beauty routine. So, I wore rouge like a BOSS.
Courtesy of Chrissy Callahan
When it comes to makeup in France, minimal is the norm—not just a trend. Parisians avoid heavy foundations and emphasize skin care over makeup. “We are taught to care for our skin very young and the focus is more on maintaining a clean and healthy canvas rather than covering it up,” explains Ingrid Jackel, the French CEO of Yes To. Of course, women also love their signature rouge lips.
My experience: In general, I consider my look pretty Parisian already. So this week, it was easy to keep my makeup simple. I only applied concealer around my eyes, mascara, and CC cream where I needed it. I did have to swap my favorite colorful eyeliner hues for plain black, though—I typically gravitate toward purples and greens to highlight my hazel eyes.
But the real challenge was the red lipstick. I have been intimidated by the shade for years. My lipstick color of choice is a hot pink or fuchsia, an admittedly bold color, but I’ve always felt it flattered my skin tone better than a red. I was surprised to see how quickly I fell for reds. In the photo above, I',m wearing By Terry Liquid Lipstick in Ingu Rouge ($47, ). The color made me feel polished. And I really didn’t need much other makeup. The red lipstick required careful application to avoid looking like the Joker in Suicide Squad , but it seemed like a small price to pay for the renewed pep in my step.
Beauty tips eye makeup
I also reduced my shampoo routine to only twice a week.
Courtesy of Chrissy Callahan
Most French femmes only wash their hair two or three times a week to avoid damage, since the sudsy sulfates in most shampoo formulas can strip the hair of natural oils. “Our French hands-off approach comes also from our general taste for a natural look,” Jackel says. “I wash my hair once or twice a week, use a shampoo and a mask, and let my hair dry naturally.”
My experience: Initially, my inner germophobe was grossed out by the concept of washing my hair only twice a week (wouldn',t my strands look greasy and limp, especially in the summer heat?). I was accustomed to washing my curly hair every other day, then air-drying to let my natural waves form. But I was actually surprised by the results. I shampooed with Clear Intense Hydration Nourishing Shampoo ($8, ) and then treated my hair to Kérastase Paris Résistance Masque Thérapiste ($63, ) to provide lasting moisture. To prevent a greasy mess, I avoided heavy styling products and took the time to comb my hair thoroughly to distribute the natural oils from the roots to the ends, per Jackel’s suggestion.
I was impressed with how my hair withstood several 90+ degree days without turning excessively greasy. And I think I’ll keep up this routine—with the exception of unbearably hot days. Washing my hair twice a week equals more free time, which suits my laid-back approach to hair care.
I gave up ALL my antiaging products and stuck to the traditional three-step French skin-care routine.
Courtesy of Chrissy Callahan
To make their skin look très belle , Parisians seek out natural products and often stick to a simple three-step routine: cleanse, tone, moisturize. “The routine is simple but what’s key to its successful results is the daily consistency and the early start in life,” Jackel reveals.
My experience: Before I swapped to this three-step method, my routine was very much focused on antiaging and acne prevention. I have combination skin and a bit of rosacea, so I’m always focusing on fighting redness and blemishes. Every night, I usually use an antiaging serum on my face and neck, but this week I went back to the French basics.
I replaced my typical cleanser with Caudalie’s Micellar Cleansing Water ($28, ). Micellar water is super popular in French pharmacies because it is one product that acts as a cleanser and makeup remover. And you don',t need to use any water. Typically, I like a squeaky-clean cleanse, so I thought I’d feel gross sans water and lather. But I was pleasantly surprised by the fresh feeling micellar water left behind. It took much less time than cleansing, and it made my skin glow without leaving it tight. I don’t think I’ll swear off cleanser anytime soon, but I’ll definitely use micellar water to wipe up stubborn makeup on lazy nights.
Next, I toned with Yes To Tomatoes Acne Clearing Facial Toner ($10, ). It went on without stinging or drying and calmed down my mild case of rosacea, so it’s a keeper! I ended my routine by moisturizing. I used SPF in the morning and the First Aid Beauty’s Skin Rescue Daily Face Cream ($20, ) at night. It was the perfect end to a simple and effective routine!
And finally, I tried the gommage exfoliation method from head to toe.
French beauties rely on gommage exfoliants to make their face and body glow. Gommage means "to erase" in French. And what makes these exfoliants unique is that the dead skin LITERALLY rolls away as you massage the product in. Gommage products typically have some type of enzyme or chemical exfoliant, and sometimes a mechanical exfoliant (granules you can feel) is also included. “[The exfoliants] are aimed at removing dead cells and impurities to reveal a fresher brighter-looking skin and to prepare skin for a more even absorption of active ingredients from other treatments,” Jackel says.
My experience: Abrasive scrubs are typically my kryptonite since my skin is so sensitive. But for my first run at a gommage, I wanted the full experience, so I tried IXXI Elixir Gommage Douceur Express Scrub ($21, ). As I massaged the product over my face, I experienced some burning, but that disappeared once I washed it off. My rosacea flared up a bit the following day, so I’m not sure if I’ll go back to a gommage formula on my face, but I was pleasantly surprised by how soft my skin felt after (and during) the scrub.
French ladies also love to exfoliate their bodies to help minimize cellulite. I stopped worrying about this badge of honor a long time ago (we’ve all got it!), but I was ready to see what the body gommage was all about. I tested Orlane’s Aqua Svelte Slimming Scrub with Algae and Salt ($65, ) and loved the spa-like smell. The exfoliating/slimming scrub targets cellulite. While you can’t eliminate cellulite in a week, it did leave my skin soft and smooth, so I’ll definitely use it again.
Natural beauty tips no-makeup
I’ve always admired French beauty routine from afar, but I’ve never attempted to try it on my own until I decided to write a book on the subject. And I’m really glad I did because doing so has reinforced my own belief that less is more when it comes to beauty. Washing my hair less, wearing a bold red lip (with a bare face), and occasionally swapping my laborious cleansing routine for micellar water are French beauty tips I’ll definitely be adopting—with my own twist, of course.
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