French Beauty Routine? 5 Rules

« They woke up like this », « They barely wash their hair and never do brushing », « They never look old », « Love is their rejuvenative treatment »… as they are spread over blogs and magazines, we, French women, are getting used and amused to read about all these clichés…

So leaving the beaten tracks of these funny statements, let’s focus upon 5 beauty rules we have in the real life.

1/ We take skincare as a serious matter

Everything starts with a good and healthy complexion. The goal is to get a healthy skin that’s at the same time fresh and natural looking.

 

Light makeup, glowing complexion, French actress Juliette Binoche as she appears most often

 

I’m not going to make a full description of an usual « French woman beauty routine » here. First, I’m sure, it’s not because we’re French that we do have all the same one ;) Some of us will be very involved into beauty, others not. Some will buy their products in pharmacies, others in departement stores, perfumeries or organic shop, etc.

Then, in France, the minimum routine will be :

  • Cleaning your face twice a day (no soap: cleansing milk or micellar water)
  • Moisturize it twice a day (anti-aging cream + serum). Don’t forget hands and neck and décolleté.
  • Using anti-UV face cream every day during Summer time. Even when you’re not at the beach…
  • Exfoliating and then applying a mask at least once in the week
  • Visiting your favorite esthetician for a special treat, once in a while (more or less often depending on your incomes…)
  • Doing natural anti-aging treatments, as facial massages or« Jacquet pinches »
  • Consulting a dermatologist when you have a serious skin concern

 

2/ We don’t put efficiency ahead at all costs

I’m not really an « organic ayatollah » but since few years, I pay attention to the composition list of beauty products. I have an easy-to-go skin (not sensitive, no allergy) but I try to avoid the ones that contain paraben, too many perfumes, chemical coloring and silicones. About silicones, that’s not always easy as they are very frequently used in all kind of products from skincare to haircare.

(I digress a little but even a mainstream brand as L’Oreal tries to improve their products avoiding silicones. I recently found a haircare line not too expensive called Botanicals that use natural origin ingredients combine to very good textures).

To name a few, the skincare brands I personally use and trust are not always worldwide famous: Welleda, dr hauschka, Argan Lift, Saint-Gervais, Jonzac, Sanoflore…

Picture from dr. Hauschka

 

 

3/ We value what we are paying for

I avoid buying way too expensive skincare products, even the one from luxury brands. I may surprise some of you, but in my opinion, in that field, a high price isn’t a systematic synonym of quality, especially when it comes to the ingredients list (you know the INCI list)…

For having to work with the marketing services of cosmetic high brands, I know that they don’t always use such good (neither expensive) ingredients… What you may pay has a lot more to do with luxurious packaging, addictive texture and perfume and the vertiginous advertising costs (just think about how much famous brand muses ask for a commercial…).

But I won’t tell neither that real cheap products are certain to be good. I just mean to check what your are paying for: good formulation with high quality ingredients or good marketing?

Besides, you may know that most of the skincare brands belong to a few international groups (L’Oreal, Lauder, Coty, Beiersdorf, Sisheido…). To develop the new products of their different brands (mass market or luxury ones), they share the same R&D center and the same production units… So, very expensive or not, you might find more or less the same formulations among them…

So before buying anything, reading the ingredients list is a must do! (not always that easy when it comes in Arial 8 and you forgot your reading glasses at home ;). It really tends to become a main concern here, in France, knowing that many consumer organizations alert people about the risks of endocrine disruptor, allergies, skin cancer and so on…

beauty app
Some smartphone apps can help to have a clearer opinion among these barbaric terminologies. We have one in France, very useful call « Clean Beauty ».  It’s also available in English, German, Italian and Spanish.

 

4/ We don’t wait for really radical results

In general, getting old doesn’t frighten us that much. As far as we can maintain a healthy glow complexion, we know that wrinkles lines, aging marks or dark spots are part of the process. Of course, sometimes, we’ll cheat – just like other women – doing botox or hyaluronic acid injections to refresh a tired face. But we will always ask for a very natural result. I mean something that may look imperfect, just as if we haven’t done anything… Kind of weird?… May be!

French woman beautyBorn in 1953, French actress Isabelle Huppert has certainly already done few medical cosmetic treatments. But who can really tell?

Besides, all the dermatologists and specialized doctors I met, always told me not to wait too much from skincare products. Because, whatever its price a skincare cream will never penetrate the dermis (second layer of the skin). In other words, a good quality cream will do a good job (moisturize and protect the skin from UV, free radicals…) but it will never do any miracle!

We are also aware that external factors will do the difference as: healthy food, reasonable sun exposure, no cigarettes…

So before buying anything, reading the ingredient list is a must do! (not always that easy when it comes in Arial 8 and you forgot your reading glasses at home ;). It really tends to become a main concern here, in France knowing that we have many consumer organizations that alert people about the risks of endocrine disruptor, allergies, skin cancer and so on…

 

5/ We don’t hide behind makeup « masks »

We generally do our make up to highligh or lowlight certain areas of our faces. We want to look like we have a healthy, discrete, elegant tan. We don’t try to conform to any standards other than our own. We don’t try to look like this famous personality, singer or actress… The principle is to hightlight what’s making you special. It’s about highlighting your personality.

In general, a day to day makeup won’t take more than 5-6 minutes – that’s why may be that’s seem to be so « effortless » :)

Well, I’m not a fan about doing tutorials videos on myself. As you already know this blog is about sharing tips and advices, not about me. But, in fact videos can be useful sometimes… So here it is (a lot of grammatical faults in it, so sorry)

 

The brands I quoted in the video are:

Creamy concealer: Perfect Match from L’Oreal Paris

Foundation: CC Cream from So Bio étic or Natural Foam foundation from Lavera (Honey 03)

Blush: Nars The Multiple (Orgasm color)

Eye powder: Sephora Colorful (strawberry macaroon n°259)

Eye liner: lash-hugging gel liner pen from Benefit (in brown)

Lipstick: Une (an organic brand that dispareared…)

I never use primer: never found one without silicones (if you know one, please tell me) and since I get 50 (few years ago now…) I don’t use powder foundation anymore. Powder stays in the fold of the wrinkles and underlines them more than a creamy foundation.

Except with a light neutral color (beige or fresh pink), I don’t do my eyelids either. No smoky eyes anymore… just to avoid unwanted dark marks lines in the wrinkle folds…

Another make-up tip we have in France: never emphasize the lips and the eyes both at the same time. As usual, less is more..

I give you an exemple here,

picture from L’Oreal

PS: I didn’t mean to advertise any brands here. The ones I may quote are the ones I use on a regular basis and (unfortunatly :)) ) they don’t pay me for this…

I will write about haircare routines in an other post. Meanwhile, I’m sure you have tons of interesting beauty tips to share and I’ll be very interested to discover them in your comments below ;)

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5 Comments

  1. Hallo Cecil!Thank you very much for your informations about french style. I love simplicity in life -fashion, food, nature… I am really happy I met you in this virtual world. Your posts are sun in my heart.

  2. I love all your tips, Cecile, and I’m happy to say I follow a lot of them already after years of stalking French women in blogs and articles and books. You put it together really nicely and succinctly.

    By the way, I’ve been trying the pince jacquets since your last blog. Too soon to see any change in muscle or tone, but I do notice the exfoliation and the skin seems brighter and my color better. I will keep doing it!

    Your blog is so much fun. Thank you! Bisous

    • Thank you Shannon! Very sweet of you. About the « pincements » Jacquet, keep on the good job. As for all natural techniques, it takes some times to see the difference but that really worths it to spend few minutes/a day to do it. A bientôt! Bises from France

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