September 20, 2020

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I Asked 8 French Women to Spill the Contents of Their Beauty Vanities

I don’t hide my love and admiration for anything, everything, and anyone French—I blame my...

I don’t hide my love and admiration for anything, everything, and anyone French—I blame my stint studying abroad for this—and I would say a significant portion of the 1,139 people I follow on Instagram are either from or are based in France. From hairstylists and makeup artists to influencers, designers, and models, I’m constantly looking to my favorite French women for inspiration. And, not surprisingly, I always walk away with some fresh beauty or fashion wisdom. Whether it’s a new product recommendation or simply an extra skincare practice I want to incorporate into my regimen, I love immersing myself anyway I can.

Even though a “minimalist, less-is-more” approach is usually associated with the French beauty aesthetic, that assumption isn’t always accurate. In fact, some of my favorite French women actually stand for quite the opposite—eyelids loaded with glitter, lips saturated with gloss and ruby red lipstick—there’s far more to “French beauty” than Brigitte Bardot-inspired fringe or no-makeup makeup. So, seeking some beauty inspiration (because when am I not?) I reached out to eight ultra-chic French women to find out their most cherished beauty must-haves. (Aka—the items they always keep tucked inside their bags or on top of their vanities.) They’re spilling all the tea below, so keep scrolling!

Claire Most

Sanoflore Aqua Magnifica Skin Perfecting Botanical Essence ($30)

“I am obsessed with this toner. I apply it at night with a cotton pad, and my skin feels so fresh and clean afterward. It’s such a satisfying feeling.”

Boiron Homéostick—2 Pack ($19)

“I can’t live without lip balm, so I used to buy Homeoplasmine. This product wasn’t created for lips initially, but when I found out that they created an actual lip balm I was so happy, you have no idea!!”

SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque ($12)

“My hair needs intense hydration and moisture, and any time I try out another hair mask, I always end up coming back to this one almost immediately. I have been trying to use clean products, especially when it comes to my hair, and this one is clean!”

Chloé Atelier des Fleurs Verbena Eau de Parfum ($130)

“I can’t leave my house without my perfume! I bought this at the airport a few months ago—I usually never do that, but this ended up being a good decision! It’s super fresh and light, perfect for summer.”

Ilia Beauty Limitless Lash Mascara ($28)

“This is definitely my favorite mascara. It makes my lashes so long and voluminous, plus there are no flakes!”

Juny Breeze

Odacité Crystal Contour Gua Sha Green Aventurine Beauty Tool ($45)

“I always start and end my day by massaging my face with this Gua Sha tool from Odacité. It’s made from hand-crafted crystal, and I’ve found the lifting effect is better than anything cosmetics or skincare products can do.”

Odacité CaR Wild Carrot Vital Glow Serum Concentrate ($58)

“I use this wild carrot serum from Odacité as well which really gives a natural glow and plumping effect in combination with my gua sha massage. The smell is so relaxing too.”

Dr. Barbara Sturm Lip Balm ($55)

“The lip balm from Dr. Barabara Sturm is my favorite. It’s deeply hydrating, and it also has a glossy effect depending on how much product you use. I sometimes use it as a lip gloss over my lipstick.”

Nüssa Detox Mist ($38)

“The convenient size allows me to always carry this detox mist with me. It refreshes my skin and I also notice that it helps tighten the loof of my pores throughout the day.”

Real Techniques Lash Brow Groomer ($10)

“This eyebrow brush from Real Techniques is a must for me as I have big, wild brows. I love to brush them throughout the day—I can’t get enough—it’s an addiction!”

Christophe Robin Hair Oil with Lavender ($47)

“I use Christophe Robin’s lavender oil three times a week as a hair treatment. It gives my hair lots of shine and bounce, and it helps keep everything smooth while I brush. My hair is naturally very frizzy, so I can’t live without hair oil. I always keep this one with me since the size is easy to carry, and the smell is so flowery and beautiful.”

Hare Magic Moroccan Color-Changing Lipstick ($14)

“I love buying this iconic pH-reacting lipstick in Morroco whenever I have a chance to visit. I softly apply it on top of hydrated lips to complete my look with a natural touch of color!”

(Editor’s note: Breeze’s choice Hare Magic Moroccan Color-Changing Lipstick is extremely hard to find—you can buy it on eBay or try Lipstick Queen’s similar product, here!)

Rani Kohl Kajal High Quality Black Eyeliner Tube ($7)

“I use this black eye kohl tube from Egypt to intensify and deepen my look. I love how it evolves throughout the day. It’s tiny, so I always have it in my bag in case I end up in a more sophisticated spot than expected!”

Diptyque Olene Eau de Toilette ($140)

“And my look would never be complete without a spring fragrance for daytime. I love this Diptyque’s Olene Eau de Toilette—it’s very airy and a pretty.”

Nawel Moummad

Les Secrets de Loly Boost Curl Gelée Hydratante ($22)

“To take care of my hair, I love to use products from the brand Les Secrets de Loly which is specifically for curly hair. I’ve been prioritizing natural hair products with safe compositions for about seven years now, and I love this brand because the formulas deeply hydrate the hair fiber and really define my curl!”

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum ($24)

“I’ve recently fallen in love with skincare from Ole Henriksen. The brand’s Truth range is especially amazing, and my skin has never looked so hydrated, plump, and luminous!”

Laneige Cream Skin Milk Oil Cleanser ($34)

“Sometimes I’ll also alternate my routine and use skincare products from Laneige, as well.”

Nars Exposed Cheek Palette ($41)

“I have too many favorite makeup brands!”

Pat McGrath Labs Dark Star Volumizing Mascara ($30)

“I regularly work with products from Nars, Pat McGrath Labs…

Glossier Futuredew ($24)

“Glossier, NYX Professional Makeup, Fenty Beauty, and more!”

NYX Professional makeup Vivid Brights Crème Color ($8)

“I like creamy textures for a glowy and glossy look.”

Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer ($32)

I love playing with colors, textures, and contrast—it’s my signature makeup aesthetic!”

Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille Eau de Parfum ($150)

“I’m so picky when it comes to my choice of fragrance—it’s so hard to find the perfect scent that captures your personality! However, I do like woody and vanilla smells, and I find that I like most scents from Serge Lutens.”

ASOS Design Turn Back Bucket Hat in Gingham ($19)

“Accessories! I’m never without accessories because they really finish off a look and can lend a unique personality! Bags, rings, necklaces, hats, I love brands like Monki, ASOS Design, Stellar Paris…it’s very important to me. I love to mix-and-match to create a unique beauty and fashion moment.”

Lina Ose

Seed to Skin The Midnight Miracle Cell Recovery Night Oil ($159)

“I used this brand for the first time this summer, and love to apply it now in the evenings after the beach. I like the soothing and softening effect it gives my skin.”

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream ($52)

“I’ve been loving skincare products from Sunday Riley.”

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil ($84)

“I use the vitamin C cream in the daytime and keep the Luna Sleeping Night Oil for nighttime.”

Curls Blueberry & Mint Tea Scalp Treatment ($12)

“This scalp treatment from Curls is an essential for my natural hair.”

Le Petit Marseillais Apricot Radiance Exfoliating Cleansing Jelly ($5)

For a radiant complexion, Ose swears by this apricot-infused jelly cleanser which also lends beautifying exfoliating perks.

Loewe Paula’s Ibiza Eau de Toilette ($79)

“C’est la fraîcheur! This is a scent that takes you on a journey, and it’s perfect for summer. You imagine yourself at the edge of the beach as soon as you spray it.”

Laurie Zanoletti

Typology Paris 9-Ingredient Face Moisturiser ($20)

“For my everyday routine, I usually use products from Typology Paris—the 9 Ingredient Face Moisturiser and the Hydrolate Organic Orange Blossom.”

Typology Paris Hydrolate Organic Orange Blossom ($10)

“It’s the perfect combo to keep my skin hydrated and comfy, especially when I need to be fresh for a long day on set.”

Aime French Glow ($36)

“For glowy and healthy skin, I take daily two organic pills from Aime Skincare in the morning. The pills are fantastic—they are totally vegan and organic—I love them. It’s a French brand, and they have the secret to making my skin look perfect!”

Lancôme Blush Subtil ($32)

“I don’t really wear makeup, but when I need to have something on, I love this blush from Lancôme.”

Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara ($25)

“This mascara is also incredible.”

Dior Lip Glow Lip Balm & Lip Maximizer Plumping Gloss Set ($54)

“I’m always wearing something from Dior on my lips—this set looks so natural.”

Mflorens No. 2 Rejuvenate & Regenerate ($130)

“I use this hair oil on my roots twice a week, and I also leave it on my hair while I sleep.”

Shu Uemura Ultimate Reset Mask Treatment ($69)

“Whenever my hair gets dry, I always reach for Shu Uemura’s reparative line called Ultimate Reset.”

Kérastase Discipline Oleo Relax Anti-Frizz Oil Serum ($37)

“Of course, another must-have for me is this anti-frizz oil serum from Kérastase which I apply right before I blowdry my hair.”

Color Wow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray ($28)

“For the final touch, I apply the Color Wow’s Dream Coat Supernatural Spray—it’s perfect for keeping your hair healthy and shiny.”

Dyson Airwrap Styler ($549)

“For a natural Frenchy blow dry, there’s nothing better than the Dyson Airwrap. It’s always with me when I travel or am on set.”

Bumble and Bumble Surf Infusion ($29)

“I always have this spray from Bumble and Bumble in my bag. That way, if I don’t have time to get home before a party or a dinner, I can just spray a little of the product on my hair and I’m ready to dance!”

Byredo Gypsy Water Eau de Parfum ($265)

“My everyday fragrance is Gypsy Water from Byredo. It’s floral, subtle, and terribly captivating. I feel sexy the instant I spritz it on.”

Oriane Adjibi

Caudalíe Beauty Elixir ($14)

“This is my all-time favorite—I’ve been using it for years, and I can’t get enough! This spray is great to use, especially during summer, with or without makeup. It gives your skin a glow, refreshes your makeup, and it smells pretty amazing. It also tightens the appearance of pores. It’s my first step after washing my face, and I also use it during the day whenever I feel like I need to refresh my skin.”

Givenchy Live Irrésistible Blossom Crush Eau de Toilette ($78)

“This is the perfume I wear most often and have had the longest. Every time I wear it, people around me always ask me about it. It smells like joy, freedom…it’s super-fresh and has peony, essential rose, cocoa bean, and musk!”

Cocokind Skin Butter ($14)

“I’m always looking to nourish and hydrate my skin as much as possible, and I’ve been obsessed with this skin butter ever since I first tried it. It not only makes my skin significantly softer, but it also gives it a beautiful shine and glow. It’s what I use before going to the beach or when I’m taking pictures showing lots of skin, it gives my skin the radiance I need.”

Cocokind Watermelon Hemp Oil ($14)

“I live for face oils! I think they’re great for adding hydration to the skin and also reducing the appearance of imperfections and scars.”

Tula Protect + Glow Daily Sunscreen Gel Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($36)

“This has been my best beauty discovery this summer. I use it every day—if I’m going out or even when I’m staying home because it protects your skin from the sun, but it also protects you from the blue light which comes from our screens. It automatically gives your skin a glow, and I use it right before I put on my primer or as the last step of my skincare routine when I’m not applying any makeup.”

Filorga Paris Oxygen-Glow Cream Super-Perfecting Radiance Cream ($45)

“I discovered Filorga thanks to my mum. Their products are really, really good, and my absolute favorite is this Oxygen-GLow Super Perfecting Radiance Cream—my skin loves it so much. It really helps improve your skin texture and glow in the long-term, too!”

Fresh Vitamin C Glow Face Mask ($62)

“I love face masks. I think they’re really important, especially in the long term if you want to preserve your skin, and I really like this one, in particular, from Fresh which contains tons of vitamins and fruits. You’re supposed to leave it for 10 minutes before removing it with warm water, but I like to keep it on longer, and I always love how my skin feels afterward.”

Gaëlle Prudencio

As I Am Leave-In Conditioner ($10)

“I have been wearing my natural hair for a decade now—it’s been an amazing journey, and I have really learned how to embrace my hair and treat it like a crown.”

Phyto Specific Baobab Oil Botanical Blend Oil ($40)

“Therefore, my hair routine is very simple; water, a great leave-in conditioner like the one from As I Am, plus baobab oil from Phytospecific.”

Bioderma Sensibio H2O ($12)

“I give a lot of importance to skincare, especially my skin prep before I apply makeup. I always make sure to remove my makeup (even on days when I have barely anything on) by using Bioderma’s micellar water.”

Nuhanciam Gentle Cleansing Foam ($21)

“Then to cleanse, I use this Nuhanciam Gentle Cleansing Foam.”

MAC Cosmetics MAC Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo ($19)

“I am a lipstick lover, and I want to normalize bright colors on big lips like mine. The Ruby Woo shade from MAC Cosmetics never lets me down.”

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer ($19)

“All day, every day, I like to shine bright like a diamond.”

Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter ($36)

“So, Fenty Beauty’s Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer and Killawatt Highlighter are always good ideas.”

Givenchy Eaudemoiselle Eau de Toilette ($62)

This perfume from Givenchy has been my go-to for the past 10 years. It’s my favorite during any season!”

Leslie Dumeix

Caudalíe Vinopure Natural Salicylic Acid Pore Minimizing Toner ($28)

“This is such a refreshing toner, and I use this to prep my complexion before applying my other skincare products. It purifies the skin, and it also helps remove any leftover makeup residue or impurities. I like that 99% of the ingredients are natural origin, and furthermore, it reduces the appearance of imperfections while also tightening your pores and refining skin texture. I like to gently apply it using reusable cotton pads.”

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster ($32)

“I apply two drops of this booster into my morning and night cream. It’s highly concentrated and formulated with plant extracts—I use it during the summer, in particular, after my skin has been exposed to a lot of sun since it helps repair any damage.”

MAC Cosmetics MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation ($31)

“I am a big fan of this foundation because it feels so light and improves the look of your complexion at the same time. It has a silky texture which creates a very fresh and dewy finish. And it stays on all day without any retouching necessary!

“I use both of my fingers or a foundation brush to apply it. I softly tap the product onto my face with the brush, and if I want more coverage I let it dry and add another layer of product. Of course, this is light coverage, but French women love it because it’s perfect for creating that ‘no-makeup-makeup’ effect.”

Tom Ford Sheer Highlighting Duo in Reflect Gilt ($84)

“I can’t go anywhere without a good highlighter! I feel like it’s the ultimate finishing touch for any makeup look. This one is particularly great because even though it’s a powder, it feels very light and doesn’t look heavy or cakey on top of the skin. It is super bright, so you can use a small amount of product to create a maximum glow. I apply it with a medium-size fluffy brush on my cheekbones, on my nose, eyelids, and inner eye corners to brighten up my eyes.”

Dior Dior Lip Glow ($34)

“I play with almost all of the Lip Glow colors depending on the look I create and my daily mood. Some days I go pink, and on others, more orange! The nice thing about this product is your lips will always get moisturized and will have a really nice, sexy glow. You should select a color depending on your complexion and the natural tone of your lips, but the shades I personally use the most are 001 Pink Glow, 004 Coral, and 005 Lilac.”

René Furterer Absolue Kératine Sublime Renewal Leave-In Cream ($40)

“This is a great option for damaged or dry hair, and I love to use it after I wash my hair to help with repair. I apply a small amount of product in my palm, and I spread it on my wet hair before I dry it. Whenever I use this cream I notice that the texture of my strands feels much healthier.”

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum ($105)

“I love this fragrance, and I have been using it for years. I find it fresh and strong at the same time, and I can wear it in the summer just as much as I do in winter. I like getting the twist and spray version (which has smaller packaging), so I can take it with me anywhere when I travel.”

Up next, The French Fragrance Capsule: 16 Perfume Brands That Will Always Be Iconic

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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