Messy Makeup: How The French Embrace Imperfection For A Natural Glow

The French girl aesthetic embodies effortless elegance. As such, the trend continues to thrill the fashion world and social media. Contrary to popular belief, the French girl aesthetic has nothing to do with berets or striped shirts. The typical French and Parisian style involves wearing basics and neutral colors. Staples include a pair of nice jeans, a little black dress, and a blazer. Morgane Sezalory, the founder of the French clothing brand Sézane, told The Zoe Report, "If you walk the streets of Paris, you will see that there is a strong sense of individualism, an embracing of cultures and a very subtle touch of spirit and eccentricity."

But at the heart of it all, the French girl aesthetic is about not taking yourself too seriously. French influencer and blogger Camille Charriere explained to Vogue why this trend is so captivating. She explained, "People love the nonchalance of the French girl aesthetic. It's the girl who looks like she's just rolled out of bed and doesn't care what people say about her." This attitude, however, extends to how the French do their makeup routine. While American makeup focuses on an immaculate appearance, French makeup is the antithesis of this belief. The French believe that perfection is overrated. In their eyes, less is more.

The French focus on enhancing features

A typical American makeup look involves a high-coverage foundation, bold eyebrows and eyeshadow, and a pouty lip. In addition, contouring, which can change the shape of the face, is also a standard step in an American beauty routine. The French, on the other hand, prefer to keep things simple. They do not want a full-blown transformation, nor do they want to look younger; they want to look understated and natural. French actress Mona Walravens explained this notion in Harper's Bazaar. She said, "I feel that Americans have a more standardized approach to beauty, whereas the strength of French women lies in their physical uniqueness."

Walravens continued, "We accept imperfections and manage to emphasize the unique aspect of beauty instead of trying to modify and change it and move towards a standard of beauty, like having full lips and a small nose." In a TikTok, @manonlagreve, who is French, recreated a French girl makeup look. @manonlagreve has naturally flushed cheeks. Instead of covering them with foundation, she added pink blush to bring out the redness in her cheeks even more. Moreover, she accentuated her natural features using concealer, bronzer, and highlighter. The result is a look that she described as natural and glowy for every day.

Tips on how how to achieve a French girl makeup look

Nailing the French girl look is relatively easy. Because the use of foundation is not encouraged, a thorough skincare routine and a balanced diet are a must to allow your skin to be the best it can be without the use of cosmetics. French makeup experts recommend using BB cream or a tinted moisturizer instead of foundation. Furthermore, they note that concealer is for brightening the face and less for camouflaging flaws. SPF to protect your skin from the sun is also encouraged. Another tip? Do either a bold lip or a dramatic eye but never both.

Keep the eyebrows simple and in place with an eyebrow gel. Mascara should lengthen your lashes without overwhelming them. Likewise, opt for a subtle blush shade in a cream finish. One classic French makeup look you can easily recreate involves pairing a red lip with a minimalistic visage. Your natural features will add definition to this rich color. French makeup artist Patrick de Fontbrune told Byrdie that French girl makeup takes a no-frills approach and centers on a glowy finish.

He explained, "Do a smoky eye by using a pencil and blend it with your finger. Make it not so perfect and more lived-in. Your face shouldn't be over-sculpted, and over-shading is too transformative for an everyday French look. Instead, use highlights and bronzers to capture ambient light and bring your features forward. It's all about a more natural and healthy look."