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9 Beauty Ideas to Steal from French Girls

Look as effortless as a Parisian woman with these simple beauty tricks.

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Don’t over-style your hair

Put down the hair dryer and flat iron—and even the hairbrush. French hair is all about looking natural and lived-in. Let it air-dry after you shampoo, and wash it only every other day. Keep your tousled hair looking intentional rather than neglected by committing to regular cuts that will keep your hair healthy and shiny. These are the worst hair mistakes you probably make.

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Skip the shower

And bathe instead. A soak in the tub is relaxing, but American women too often just hop in and out of the shower. Throw coconut or jojoba oil in the tub for an extra luxurious experience. Don’t miss these reasons you can shower less often.

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Glow without makeup

The trick to beautiful skin is getting it to glow au naturel, without caking your complexion with makeup. Put your efforts into the skin care routine that happens before you pick up any heavy foundation instead. Essential oils like wild-carrot seed and rosehip will give you a healthy glow. These are morning habits of people with great skin.

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Keep eyes simple

A bold cat eye might scream “beauté française,” but for everyday makeup, French girls tend to keep their eyes much subtler. Smudge a bit of brown or gray eyeliner along your upper lash, add a couple coats of mascara, and leave it at that.

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iStock/&#169 Leah Marshall

Even bold eyes can be lazy

Here’s how those who love “no-makeup makeup” do bold. Grab just one black eye pencil, and rim your entire eye without worrying about getting the line clean. Now use your finger to blend it out for a sultry, smoky look. Skip the eye shadow and finish with mascara. Here are more eye makeup tips that pop.

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Let your lips do the talking

Where you would normally skimp on the rest of your makeup, balance out with a bold lip, red being the go-to in France. Treat it like an accessory and keep your makeup and outfit simple so don’t look overdone. These makeup tips make your lips look fuller.

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Let there be light

Rather than contouring your face with shadowy bronzer, accentuate your cheeks with a sweep of highlighter over your cheekbones. If your face is soft and round, take a cue from the French and embrace your uniqueness rather than trying to fake your way to high cheekbones. Light up your favorite features instead, like by adding a touch of highlighter to your Cupid’s bow to accentuate your lips.

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Never fear fragrance

Don’t lock your fragrance away until date night—add perfume to your everyday beauty routine. Still, you don’t want people to smell you before they see you. Find a scent you love, then see if you can find shampoo, body wash, and perfume that all work together for a lasting layered effect that isn’t overwhelming. Keep your signature scent around even longer by stashing a cotton handkerchief spritzed with your fragrance in your bag.

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Opt for natural-looking nails

Bright, bold nails can make a statement, but for a more subdued look that never goes out of style, opt for a classic French manicure (which actually gained popularity in Hollywood but got its name after the trend took off on Pairs runways). To get the look at home, start with a nude or pink base, then use the end of a plastic bandage to create a crisp white line. Don’t miss these ways to keep nails chip-free longer.


Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.