A French Make-Up Artist Shares Her Beauty Rules
A French Make-Up Artist Shares Her Beauty Rules

A French Make-Up Artist Shares Her Beauty Rules

A red lip, groomed brows, fresh skin – French beauty is simple and classic. To find out how to recreate the coveted look, we asked French make-up artist and content creator Leslie Dumeix to share her advice...
By Sapna Rao


Start With A Strong Skincare Routine 

Radiant, healthy-looking skin is a priority for French women, so skincare is vital. A beautiful complexion is the foundation of any natural make-up look – plus applying your base onto dry skin is never a good idea. I always do a full skincare routine before applying any make-up. This usually involves a mist or a lotion, followed by a serum and then a cream. My top tip is to keep up with this routine daily to see long-term results. 

Create A Natural Base

To me, a classic French make-up look is understated – it’s all about celebrating your natural features. It’s that ‘your skin but better’ look, where you can’t really tell if someone is wearing make-up or not. My tip is to go in with a light hand and focus mainly on creating glow. You can then work on covering up imperfections with a concealer, and even use a colour-correcting product to address specific skin concerns such as dark circles or redness. Be sure to blend everything in carefully to avoid any harsh lines or patches. Next, apply your foundation – the most important thing is finding the right shade. The best thing to do is to test the product on your jawline rather than your wrist or hand to get an accurate match. To set your make-up, most French women avoid using too much powder, as it can give a heavy or cakey look. Try using a specifically translucent or lightweight powder instead. 

Use The Right Tools

The way your foundation looks, feels and lasts really depends on the tool you use to apply it. While you can use a brush, sponge or even your fingers, it’s worth experimenting to find out what works for your skin. For me, it’s always been brushes – which I use to apply my foundation in light layers. I then build up the coverage only where it’s needed to prevent things from looking too heavy.


Perfect Your Blush 

French beauty is all about a subtle touch of colour on the cheeks. Like foundation, choosing the right shade and formula makes all the difference, so opt for soft pink or peach undertones if you have fair skin, and warmer, golden undertones if you have a more medium skin tone. On darker skin tones, a deep shade of red or orange looks lovely. Also, choose a formula that works best for your skin type. Powder blushers and bronzers are better for oily skin, while cream and liquids are ideal for dry skin. I find it easier to use powder, since it’s faster to apply. 

Avoid Contouring

Since French women prefer that ‘no make-up make-up’ look, I’d always suggest bronzing to add a subtle glow rather than contouring. Application is everything, so use a large fluffy brush to sweep it across your forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin – basically everywhere the sun would naturally hit your face. Make sure to blend it really well and build the colour up gradually. Remember, the French look is all about enhancing your natural beauty and embracing your unique features, so keep it simple, subtle and elegant.

Emphasise Your Eyes 

French women focus on their eyes by using mascara, eyeliner or eyeshadow to create a subtle and elegant look. Use natural, earthy tones or soft pastels, and don’t let the colours overpower your overall look. I typically use a matte shadow in the crease and slightly shimmery ones on the lid to create a pretty highlight. For perfect application, use a fluffy brush and avoid using your fingers. To add definition, go in with an eye kohl in either brown or black, but keep the line thin and close to the lash for a more natural-looking finish. Then, use mascara to open up the eyes and enhance your natural lashes. 

Add A Subtle Brow

A signature French-girl eyebrow look is full and well groomed. The idea is to enhance them without making them look too perfect or overdone. Use a light touch and focus on grooming and defining rather than completely altering the shape. Keeping your brows properly groomed will mean you don’t have to use much product to sharpen them up. I mostly use a brow gel, pencil or a powder to fill in the sparser areas. Choose a shade slightly lighter than your natural hair colour for a good match. Avoid harsh lines; instead, focus on creating a gently curved arch that complements your natural shape. Finish with a bit of highlighter on the brow bone to give them a more lifted look.


Go For Romance

French women often keep their lips simple and natural by using a sheer lip balm or a nude lipstick. My favourites are the Chantecaille ‘Wild Meadows’ Lip Chic if you’re on the fairer side, and Charlotte Tilbury’s ‘Pillow Talk’ which suits a range of skin tones. Use a lip liner to define your lips and prevent the lipstick from bleeding. For an effortless finish, add a touch of gloss to the centre of your lips. The Dior Lip Maximizer is my favourite. If you do want to go bold, a red is a classic French-girl go-to and the YSL Slim Rouge 01 is my personal favourite. 

Keep Things Simple 

There are three make-up products I can’t live without: my Shiseido foundation, an illuminating concealer from Sensai and fresh pink blush from RMS Beauty. It also helps to have products that are multipurpose – for me it’s the Rare Beauty blushers. They’re pigmented and have a blendable cream texture. I’m also trying to use cleaner make-up products – so brands like Typology, Ilia and RMS Beauty are great.

Finally, Invest In Reliable French Brands

Right now, I’m loving La Bouche Rouge  – not just the quality of the products, but its environmental efforts. Sisley has long been a favourite of mine and finally, I would also recommend Guerlain’s Terracotta range and its Abeille Royale skincare line, too.

Follow @LeslieDumeix.MUA


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