Welcome to the second post in Around The World in 80(ish) Products. Today, we’re going to talk about French beauty. I’ve always had a love for France especially when it comes to products, just tell me something is French and I automatically love it. French beauty is all about being subtle. It doesn’t try to create something that isn’t there so much as enhances what you already have. French style is sophisticated, yet simple. French women never look like they are trying too hard, which is the exact opposite of how many American women approach beauty. Here are some of my favorite French products and brands.
Paul & Joe Beaute
Did you know that French clothing brand Paul & Joe has the most wonderful makeup line? I’m obsessed with their foundations because they feel light and provide just enough sheer coverage. If you are one of those people who spends 45 minutes making it look like you spent five, Paul & Joe will change your life, or at least your routine, so that’s close enough.
One of the most unique products is the Gel Foundation N, which comes in a compact with its own blender, so you can apply it faster than you can say “La tour Eiffel.” I love this for travel or if I want to touch up on the go.
I also like the Moisturizing Fluid Foundation for a bit more coverage. Like the gel, the liquid is super light, but has SPF 25, making it a good choice for those warm days when you plan to sip rosé at an outdoor café for hours.
I also can’t not talk about Paul & Joe’s gorgeous packaging. My favorite is the foundation bottle. It’s so pretty, I feel like it belongs on the vanity of a princess. The Gel Foundation and Powder cases will also make you feel like royalty and they come with extra karma points because they’re refillable. Pro tip: avoid touching up in a public place because you will be continuously be approached by people complimenting your French style.
Bioderma is a French skincare brand that has lots of affordable products. You might have heard of the brand before because they put Micellar Water on the map. But, my personal hero products are the Atoderm Shower Gel and Atoderm Shower Oil.
I personally find many American shower gels and oils to be overly scented and drying. Both of these products have a light ocean-like scent that won’t interfere with your perfume or other products.
If you hate using shaving cream like I do, swapping it out for the shower oil will help your razor glide. It also rinses off easily, so you don’t have to worry about slipping in the bathtub, which is a terrifying thought if there is a razor in your hand. Don’t ask…
L’Occitane is one of my favorite brands of all time. As someone with super dry hands, their Shea Butter Hand Cream is the only hand cream I ever use (EVER). Not to be gross, but my hands literally crack and bleed in the winter, staining any kind of winter white, so this product is pretty much a medical necessity for me. It’s available in a range of scents including Vanilla (très yummy), Cherry Blossom, Peony and Verbena.
Nars is my go-to brand for makeup. I’ve been wearing their Orgasm blush forever and yes, I still feel awkward asking for it at store. I also love the Cruella Velvet Matte Lip Pencil because it is literally the perfect shade of red. Haven’t we all been looking for the perfect red lipstick since forever? Once you find Cruella, your search is over.
Bourjois is a French brand that has been around since 1863. It used to be owned by Chanel and made in the same factory, but it was bought out by American company Coty in 2015. While it’s not available in US stores anymore (or at least I haven’t been able to find it), you can still buy it online. Coty people, if you are reading this, BRING BACK BOURJOIS, s'il vous plaît!
I first discovered Bourjois at the Sephora on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. In retrospect, it’s kind of cheesy, but this makeup brand somehow remains close to my heart. When I lived in England, I used to buy it at my favorite drugstore, Boots, all of the time.
One of the brand’s most iconic products is the Little Round Eyeshadow Pot. It has the most perfect crème to powder finish and blends so easily.
If you can’t afford a Birkin or Kelly bag, Hèrmes Kelly Calèche perfume might be the next best thing. Just one spritz makes you feel like a rich, Parisian supermodel. Whenever I wear it people always come up to me and ask what perfume I’m wearing. It’s annoying, but they can’t help it. I totally understand.
Sisley Paris Kohl Star can’t be compared to any other eyeliner. It’s a classic black pencil that has glittery flecks that bring out your eyes like magic. While I’m not always a fan of glitter, this pencil is understated and underrated. You can wear it to the office or date night. It goes on smooth and stays beautifully. I’ve tried other eyeliners that have glitter, but nothing compares to what Sisley can do. Trust me, it’s worth the price!
By Terry Terrybly Densiliss Sun Glow is one of the best multitaskers. It’s like a BB Cream, CC Cream and bronzer all rolled into one like a delicious croissant, but for your skin. It blurs your imperfections, gives you a pretty tan that’s not fakey-looking and contains anti-aging ingredients. Only the French would find a way to simplify all of these steps into one. Sometimes, I don’t use it on my entire face, but apply as a highlighter or liquid bronzer instead.