8 Beauty Tricks We Learned from the French

Wine, cheese, croissants and couture…there’s no denying that the French do many things right. And while we can’t quite figure out how they eat and drink the way they do without gaining weight (we’re told it’s “moderation”), we have cracked the code on their beauty secrets.

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Skip the Face Wash
Fact: Tap water in many cities can be drying and irritating to your skin—which is why the French rely on micellar water to “wash” their faces. A cleanser and makeup remover in one, it’s a much easier (and gentler) way to get the job done without ever having to make your way to the sink. Just saturate a cotton round and swipe it across your face and neck to clean everything off.

Simplify Your Skin-Care Routine
All you really need is a cleanser, a moisturizer and, if you have any extra money to spend, a serum. When it comes to maintaining good skin, it’s less about trying the latest and greatest products and more about consistency.

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Embrace the Air Dry
Step away from the hair dryer. The key to tousled texture à la Clémence here is to get a good night’s sleep in it. Well, that and some leave-in conditioner or oil. Wash your hair before bed, apply your leave-in of choice from mid-lengths to ends and let it settle overnight. Et voilà! Chic waves.

Take Better Care of Your Hair
On that note, since you’re styling less, it’s even more important to keep your strands in good condition. This way your hair looks purposefully undone—not unkempt. Get a trim every six to eight weeks to prevent split ends and maintain some shape.

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Minimize Your Makeup Routine
Stick to the one or two things you want to focus on and forget the rest. Have blotchy skin? Tap on some tinted moisturizer to even things out. Need some color? Cream blush will do just the trick. And if you need to amp things up for a special occasion, that’s when you add a smoky eye or red lip to the mix.

Always Keep a Red Lipstick on Hand
On the subject of picking one focal point: Red lipstick is the ultimate (and most reliable) accessory because it instantly dresses up anything you wear it with—whether that’s a T-shirt and jeans or your artfully disheveled ’do.

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Never Forget Fragrance
The trick to always smelling good but never having it be too overpowering is to vary where you spray. Think beyond your pulse points and add a spritz to your hair—or the inside of your jacket. (One French woman we know even sprays the inside of her purse.)

Enjoy the Process
Take a cue from our French friends and try adopting a more leisurely approach to beauty. One that involves actually taking time to pamper yourself every day (and not just rushing through the motions). A glass of wine might help with that—just saying.

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Jenny Jin

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...
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