Get The French It-Girl Look

07.14.2015

This Bastille Day, we're celebrating the smoldering, sexy, glamour of French It-Girls—think Brigitte Bardot's voluminous hair, smudgy black eyeliner, and perfect skin. Or the effortless style of Marion Cotillard, Catherine Deneuve, and Inès de La Fressange. The look is incredibly self-assured, come-hither, and never high-maintenance, the kind of beauty that seems like you just woke up after the best night of your life. We combed the coolest French companies for authentic products to get the style stateside. Here's how to put together a chic, classic French look—a baguette jauntily poking out of your bicycle basket is optional.

 

Textured, high-volume hair: Forget flat-ironed smoothness—the key is tousled hair with lots of height at the roots. Start pumping up the volume in the shower with Leonor Greyl Shampooing au Miel Gentle Volumizing Shampoo, which uses Acacia honey and rose extracts to add shine and volume. Once hair is dry, hit it with a few blasts of Klorane Dry Shampoo With Oat Milk (the naturally oil-absorbing oat milk plant is of course cultivated in France) on your roots to add texture without chalkiness, then rough it up with your fingers. 

 

 

Moisturized, touchable skin: The French aren't afraid to show a little skin (hello, flirty skirts and topless beaches), so banish dryness. Make collarbones glow by rubbing in a few spritzes of the Parisian oil NUXE Huile Prodigieuse OR Multi-Usage Dry Oil Shimmer on your decolletage, which lends a subtle gold shimmer. Keeps hands soft with Le Couvent des Minimes Nourishing Hand Cream, Honey & Shea, which has a straight-from-the-hive honey scent.

 

 

Flawless, glowing face: Start with a very thin layer of Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentré, a makeup artist favorite since 1950 for its power to prime the skin pre-makeup and keep it incredibly soft with shea butter and aloe vera (surprising bonus: you can use it later as a makeup remover, too). Cover blemishes and prevent shine with La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur, which feels airy going on yet absorbs 150 times its weight in oil, so all day your skin stays camera-ready (for your Jean-Luc Godard close-up, of course). Last, apply a quick spritz of mineral-packed Avène Thermal Spring Water to set your makeup; you can also do a few sprays as a pick-me-up during afternoon energy slumps (it works almost as well as a chocolate croissant). 

 

 

Sultry, smudgy eyes: Black eyeliner is probably the most crucial part of the look, and we love the pigment-packed, blackest-black By Terry Eye Powder Kajal. Unlike a tricky liquid liner or a pokey pencil, you just swipe on a line of the mineral kohl powder, smudge it with a Q-tip or your finger, and then apply a swipe of glossy, flake-proof By Terry Mascara Terrybly Waterproof that can stay on through a Paris downpour without budging.

 

 

Soft, matte lips: The heavy black eyeliner you just applied plus red lips would quickly read Vegas showgirl, not French It-Girl. Why? The difference is all about nude, barely-there lipcolor. Start by smoothing lips with the non-sticky Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm by Nuxe, made with shea butter. Then apply a nude lipstick; the pale pink of By Terry Hyaluronic Sheer Nude in Nude Pulp flatters many skin tones and fills in tiny wrinkles thanks to hyaluronic acid microspheres. Totally French-kiss-ready!

 

 

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