Yes, the french love to appear undone, but this messy look takes some work ! And the hardest part is probably making it look like it didn’t take any effort to achieve. If you’re into this whole Parisian vibe, you probably read Caroline De Maigret’s book about « how to be Parisian » and I think she explains this « technique » pretty well and in a funny way. It’s all about looking natural in a « woke up like this » way, but who wakes up like that ?
Before we dig into the real stuff, let me just underline the fact that the tricks I’m about to give you are high maintenance to me, french girl who used to only wear concealer before I hit my mid twenties, so it might not be to you. Or maybe it will. Who knows ?
Here are a few steps to follow to master the perfect « I woke up like this » french girl look.
Not blow drying your hair doesn’t mean that achieving this perfect wavy effect is not high maintenance. First of all, the hair has to look flaw-less, and that means masks twice a week and trips to the hairdresser once a month (the hyped Parisian women go to David Mallet) to maintain that « curtain » bangs. After I wash my hair, I use a sculpting cream from Bumble and Bumble. I tie it in a bun while it’s still wet and let it dry like that for a while. After that, I untie it and spray some Bumble and Bumble Surf spray on it to keep the waves for more than one hour. Ok, I have to agree that it’s the only thing I do, so it’s probably not that high maintenance. But still. I did not « wake up like this ».
I’m not going to speak for everyone here, as skincare is super personal. But. I’ve noticed an evolution. When I was younger (hurts to write that), in my early twenties, I didn’t really care about that stuff. But as I’m approaching my thirties, I started developing my daily routine a LOT, and talking about it with my friends, who seem to be following the same path. Here is mine : I cleanse my skin in the morning and at night (with a Bioderma or Kiehl’s cleanser). Then, in the morning I use a hydrating serum and pore minimizer cream from Kiehl’s, and at night I use the Midnight repair oil and eye cream, also from Kiehl’s. Twice a week I’ll do a hydrating or detox mask, from Glossier or the Dior Life line. Is this a low maintenance skincare routine ? No.
Same as for the skincare, make-up evolves ! One thing that’s true though, is that you rarely see super done girls wondering the streets of Paris. That whole Kylie Jenner contour vibe is not really trendy here. Historically, french women are not as educated as american are when it comes to make-up, and, I believe, prefer more natural looks. Which doesn’t mean they’re not high maintenance ! Here’s what I, and my girlfriends, do for a fresh natural make up :
- The skin has to be flawless, but I really dislike foundation, so I only apply concealer (from Glossier or Mac) under my eyes, around my nose and on my blemishes if I have any.
- I use the Wowder powder from Glossier to « contour » (if you can call it that) my face, so I apply it under my cheeks, on my forehead, and on my eyelids.
- HIGHLIGHTER is my new passion. Under my brows and on my cheekbones.
- Some blush, to look fresh of course
- And last but not least, a touch of dark lipstick that I blend with my finger for a bitten lip effect (love the Generation G in Jam from Glossier)
Oh my, do we pretend to be naturally skinny ! Let everyone be reassured, no women on earth (except some rare lucky aliens) who’s passed 25 can eat camembert and drink red wine everyday without gaining wait. While it’s true that the french are probably less into all of that healthy stuff than maybe the americans (or is that a cliché ?), we still take care of our figures by eating healthy and working out (running and soul cycling have been particularly trendy in Paris for a few years). You can see organic food stores popping at every corner and it’s not at all rare to come across a women in leggings holding a green juice of some sorts. Is Paris slowly mutating into New York? « A healthy mind in a healthy body », they said.