We’re having whatever they’re having
The Filipino’s general idea of beauty has always been more is more. We’re always looking for something new, something better, whether we’re talking makeup or skincare. But while I myself am never too shy to swipe on a colored lip or try a multi-step skincare routine, I subscribe mostly to French beauty: simple, straightforward and never tries too hard.
“What we want is to be ourselves—not a better version of ourselves. We feel like it’s better to be used to something than to try to change it. So we think: What style can I have with this face, and with this hair? That mentality is 100 percent French” —Violette, Parisian Makeup Artist tells Vogue
My everyday routine is no more than four steps. I don’t wear makeup primer (tossed out my primer because just found out it’s comedogenic) or foundation; just groomed brows, curled lashes and some blush. It’s not exactly, French, but French in philosophy. After all, their covetable casual cool is founded on great skin, minimal makeup and mussed-up hair. So herewith, French-girl beauty lessons to live by if you covet the same cool-girl vibe:
Make Your Neck and Décolletage Part of Your Routine
Sure, you’ve heard this before. But do you really pay attention to these areas? Nuxe International Trainer Anaïs Persigan, with whom we had the opportunity to meet and sit down with for lunch, says it’s the neck area that’ll give away your age. So, do as the French and treat these areas with extra care; slather them with SPF during the day and whatever anti-aging potion you’re using at night.
Get Your Hands on Some Dry Oil
Speaking of potions, my beauty routine has never involved anything else but dry oils and serums. I find gel-based moisturizers and creams too heavy for Manila heat. The French, likewise, prefer dry oils because they contain fewer artificial ingredients, and penetrate deeper into skin and moisturize longer than water-based lotions.
If you’ve yet to get into dry oils, try Nuxe’s Huile Prodigieuse. It’s been a mainstay in my vanity for years because it’s a natural and hardworking product; you can use it for the face, body and hair. All you really need is a drop or single spritz to help lighten stretch marks or add bounce and shine to dry, limp hair. And the new edition, the Plumetis designed by Mademoisselle Stef, makes it a little bit harder to resist during the holidays.
Focus on Skincare, Not Makeup
“French women treat their ‘base’ as best as they can—so we try to have amazing skin, and an amazing body, and amazing hair, so we don't have to do too much else”—Violette
Ask any makeup artist and they will tell you that a natural-looking, fresh-faced glow (also known as the no makeup makeup look) is not easy to achieve. You will still need a good base or canvas to work with. So put the focus on basic needs, like cleansers and makeup removers. Nuxe’s latest line, Aquabella, has my attention because it’s designed for young men and women with combination skin. The three-step skincare features:
Once you have the basics covered, pair with preventive skincare (SPF!), anti-aging and eye treatments that protect and nourish skin.
It’s Also What You Eat
Great skin is not just about what we put onto skin but what we eat. French women are fully aware of that so they try to eat organic or whole foods and consume as little sugar as possible.
Yes, To Healthy, Shiny Hair
Find a cut and style that suits your face and lifestyle, and commit to regular trims to keep hair healthy and shiny. Besides, if you have great hair, you won’t need as many product or treatments to keep it looking great. But for days when tresses need a little boost, Nuxe’s Mlle. Anaïs suggests spritzing your comb or brush with some dry oil before using on damp hair and then letting it air dry.
Find Your Scent and Stick To It
If there’s one thing other than skincare that French women spend their money on, it’s fragrance. Fragrance that represents and embraces the kind of woman you are. Besides, there’s something a little more attractive about a (man or) woman that smells really, really good.
As for makeup, when you have a great base, there’s very little that you need. Perhaps a coat or two of mascara or a French red lip—but just for days when you’re feeling a little extra. Trust me, it’s a liberating feeling to wear close to nothing on your face.
Art Alexandra Lara