French Girl Beauty

Every time I go to Paris I’m struck down by how naturally beautiful French women are. Parisiennes don’t wear a lot of makeup, hair is always stylish, and they tend to stick to a uniform – and it’s usually black (in summer, simple smock dresses and in winter, skinny pants, form-fitting sweaters, boots and a giant scarf). And it all looks so effortless.

When I watched Amelie over the Christmas break I couldn’t help admiring how gorgeous Audrey Tautou is, as is Vanessa Paradis and Juliette Binoche, and further back, Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve, so here’s a quick guide to stealing their pretty Parisian look.

1. Bare lips

This is a staple of French girl beauty. The easiest way to achieve a polished bare lip look is to just use lip balm and dust over a little blush (the same blush you use on your cheeks – it really works!) For a nude lip dab a tiny amount of your liquid foundation into your lips using your fingertips. My new favourite foundation is Inika Liquid Foundation, an organic foundation that was a finalist in the 2010 Prix de marie claire de la Beauté Awards, is hydrating and stays radiant all day.

2. Cat eyes

The French way to offset nude lips is with a cat eye, flicking your eyeliner up at the corners of your eyes. But if you’ve never had a hand for liquid eyeliner, there’s a much easier way. Gel eyeliner, such as Bobbi Brown’s Gel Eyeliner, goes on effortlessly with a firm brush, allowing you to paint in the perfect line. For day go for a clean line on the upper lid; at night dare to flick out the liner like Bardot for sexy bedroom eyes.

3. Thick eyebrows

Another common feature on gorgeous French girls are heavier eyebrows. It’s a dramatic look but one that really makes your eyes pop. If you’ve over-plucked your brows in the past you can get this look with one of my favourite products, Clinique Superfine Liner for Brows, which is a super thin clickable pencil in the most natural shades. Just feather in soft lines following the natural growth of your brow hairs, but don’t go overboard, you still want to look like you!

4. A natural flush

You won’t see the latest makeup trends on Parisian girls. They like to keep it natural and radiant. So put aside bronzer and clownish colours – a dewy flush on the cheeks is the look to aim for. If you’re pale, look for cool pink shades, medium skintones should look for natural rose hues and darker skins look amazing with plum blushes. The secret is to use a large blush brush and buff the colour into the skin so there are no harsh lines, just a natural flush. Try Youngblood Loose Mineral Blush for their range of natural shades.

5. It’s all in the hair

French girls somehow have the best hair. And they seem to follow these 3 hairstyles: bedhair, the perfect ponytail or an edgy bob. Either way you’ll need a light-medium hold paste or spray. I’ve been using Instant Rockstar’s Dirty Rock Flexible Moulding Paste to set my chin-length bob that’s pinched straight from Amelie, but it’s also great for creating tousled locks.

Are you a fan of French girl beauty?