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Au Naturel Beauty Looks À La Française

Effortless French girl style.

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For decades – centuries, even – the French have epitomized chic, effortless beauty and style. Unfortunately, we can’t all be born in France, but the je ne sais quoi look is attainable and, even though it turns out you do have to make an effort to look effortless, it’s easier than you might think. 

Whether you subscribe to the all-eyes-on-me Brigitte Bardot style of bouffant hair and statement eyes, or the more pared-back, barely there beauty looks of contemporary bloggers like Jeanne Damas, here’s what French girls prioritize in their makeup bags and how to get that enviable aura.  

Ditch the Hot Tools

French girls are decidedly in the bedhead camp, so put your blowdryer, straightener and curling iron in storage. For perfectly imperfect hair, use a deep conditioner, oil, texturizer or wave spray for a beautifully messy mane. Want a little more body? Sleep in loose buns or braids for a woke-up-like-this beach hair effect. 
Image: via @louisefollain on Instagram
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MoroccanOil Original Treatment - $34
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Dove Advanced Hair Series Quench Absolute Detangler - $7
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Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray - $46
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Groom Your Brows

Effortless doesn’t mean lazy: often, it’s a look that requires more attention than most. But, for whatever reason, we all want to look like we’re not trying and your average Parisian gives the impression that she spends approximately five seconds in front of the mirror each morning. One way to always appear put-together with minimal effort is to maintain your brows. Waxing, threading, tweezing – the choice is up to you. Fill in sparse areas with a pencil or pomade, or keep your arches in place with gel. Well-shaped brows sculpt your entire face, so you can completely forgo makeup and still look ready for whatever fabulous event you have in your planner. 
Image: via @adelinerapon on Instagram 
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Glossier Boy Brow - $16
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Dior Diorshow Brow Styler Ultra-Fine Precision Brow Pencil - $29
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Anastasia Beverly Hills DIPBROW™ Pomade - $18
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Prioritize Skincare Over Makeup


One of the best ways to embrace the bare-faced French beauty style is to keep your skin as healthy and glowing as possible – after all, if it looks good, you won’t want or need to cover it up! Follow the cardinal rules of skincare: never go to sleep without washing your face (particularly if you've been wearing makeup), hydrate regularly and slather on the SPF.
Image: via @bonjourclem on Instagram
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Belif Creamy Deep Moist Moisturizer - $38
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Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Cleansing Water - $9
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La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid - $30
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Carry a Red Lipstick

Perhaps the makeup most associated with Parisian chic is red lipstick, especially on an otherwise un-made-up face. Find your perfect shade and carry it with you everywhere – you never know when you’ll need a little pick-me-up, and nothing is more empowering than the perfect rouge. 
Image: via @jeannedamas on Instagram 
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Chanel Rouge Allure Intense Long-Wear Lip Colour ‘Rouge Rebelle’  - $37
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MAC Cosmetics ‘Ruby Woo’ Lipstick - $17.50
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SEPHORA COLLECTION Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in ’01 Always Red’ - $14
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Highlight One Feature

You’ll rarely see a French girl wearing heavy makeup. They tend to emphasize one feature, like their lips, brows or eyes, and let that be their defining characteristic. Take a page out of Brigitte Bardot’s book and play up your doe eyes with messy eyeliner and mascara, or get bangs à la Jane Birkin. If you want to show off your pout, use a lip scrub to exfoliate before moisturizing for maximum plumpness. 
Image: via @cuillereaabsinthe on Instagram 
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French Girl Organics Rose Lip Polish - $15
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TooFaced Better Than Sex Mascara - $23
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Maybelline New York Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner - $9
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Buy French

Gone are the days when we could only purchase products in their country of origin. Now with the advent of the Internet, we have access to brands we otherwise would’ve had to fly to buy. You can find Vichy and La Roche-Posay at most drugstores. Amazon and Target both carry cult French brands like Embryolisse and Avene, so put your Prime membership to good use and stock up. You’ll be feeling French in no time.
Image: via @aveneusa on Instagram
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Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentre - $16
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Eau Thermale Avène Skin Recovery Cream - from $35
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Nuxe Paris Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil - $19
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Cover image: via @bonjourclem on Instagram
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