There’s something about French women and how they approach beauty that makes them so undeniably cool.
With their tousled hair, glowing skin and minimal makeup, they appear put together and impossibly effortless at the same time – something we try to achieve but can’t quite master.
We spoke to Emilie Roberson, the Marketing Development Manager for French Beauty Co. and Embryolisse, to hear about the unexpected beauty rules French women follow so we can take notes.
Here’s what she had to say.
1. They don’t change their skincare routine often.
Speaking to Mamamia, Emilie explained that unlike many Australian women who trial new skincare products often, the French are creatures of habit.
“I think French women, in general, are quite conservative with their approach [to skincare],” Emilie said. “Once they find a routine that works for them, they love to stick to it. Because we often believe that you need to be very consistent if you want to see the results.”
There’s also one cleansing product (that’s sold every six seconds around the world) many of them swear by.
“I’m a huge fan of micellar water, the Bioderma Sensibio H2O. I think for me it’s the best micellar water you can find,” she told Mamamia.
“People don’t really understand micellar water,” she said.
“People see it more like you’re removing your makeup and the impurities but there are so many studies with cleansing and micellar water [that it] actually really helps to take all the pollution away.”
“I think it’s really seeing the long-term results,” she said.
2. They favour affordable skincare.
French women know that expensive skincare doesn’t always equal quality. Many favour dermatologist-recommended brands you can find in any French pharmacy (and chemists over here).
“We always shop at pharmacies,” Emilie said. “So the soap-free, fragrance-free [product] is not an issue. We’ve always been used to it.”
“I know Australian women like when it’s scented and smells beautiful but we actually like the more medical approach.
“So I tend to go for a different brand but stay within the derma area – Avene, La Roche Posay and Uriage tend to be the brands I go for.”
Emilie also mentioned the product French women, including herself, can’t live without.
“The Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré,” she said. “I think if you have to talk about French beauty, that’s the best product to represent the concept. Because this is a multipurpose product – a moisturiser and primer that helps you have glowing skin.”
“So you don’t really have to do much more; your skin will be glowing and look healthy and then you don’t have to put on much makeup afterwards,” she said.
3. Skincare includes the body, always.
“When we talk about a skincare routine in Australia, people think about face care, whereas I would think that body care, for me, is super important,” Emilie said. “I moisturise my body twice a day.”
“You can have this great wrinkle-free face but if your body [isn’t moisturised] it’s not going to work,” she said.
There are two products Emilie always reaches for.
“So daily hydration I would use the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil. [I] absolutely love it,” she said.
“Also, I invest a lot in treatment serums. So I love the Somatoline product (Slimming 7 Nights Ultra Intensive Fresh Gel) – I think it’s the number one seller in French pharmacies,” she said.
“We’re not talking about slimming, we’re talking about having firmer skin. So you don’t really need to fake tan or do that much when your skin’s looking really good already.”
4. Makeup is minimal.
Much like their approach to skincare, makeup is pretty minimal.
“My approach to makeup would be pretty similar to skincare. Again that less is more approach,” Emilie said. “I mean, if your skin’s already looking glowing and healthy you really don’t need much makeup.”
Here’s what she uses daily.
“So my [every day] approach would be the no-makeup look – so just investing in a good BB cream or liquid foundation.
“I would say it’s more about highlighting your skin; I mean, the French don’t contour,” she laughed. “I don’t think contouring ever worked.”
“I would just have a good base, a bit of concealer… Makeup should not be a distraction. It’s more about beautifying your skin,” she said.
5. Dry shampoo isn’t used to fix oily hair.
While dry shampoo is designed to absorb excess oil, French women use it for styling.
“Day one, you wash your hair and don’t do too much. Day two is when you actually style your hair and do a little more. Day three would be your dry shampoo.
“Dry shampoo is huge,” Emilie said.
“I use it for so many things. Not just to clean your hair, but to add volume,” she said.
“I mean, a lot of people don’t know that you have to put it on, [then] you need to leave it for a good 10 minutes. You really need to let it set first.
“So you know, put it on [the dry shampoo], put your hair up and do your makeup. And then at the end, you can put your hair towards the floor, use your hairdryer to warm it a bit to make sure the powder goes everywhere and then you can brush [it]. That’s when you get the best result.
“We use it for styling over the oil part,” Emilie said.