THIS Is Why French Women Look So Good

Photo: REX/Shutterstock.
French women will always inspire us with their beauty. The lit-from-within skin, the rumpled hair, the je ne sais quoi — they're things we all covet (and have reported on at length). But there are still some beauty secrets from the banks of the Seine that might surprise you. So we asked the chicest French ladies we know to dish about their routines in hopes of making some much-needed changes to ours. Unsurprisingly, their answers were très magnifique.

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Watch Your Water
We’ll clue you in on a little secret: The fountain of youth does not exist in your bathroom sink. “Most cities have harsh tap water that’s usually very drying and irritating,” says facialist Isabelle Bellis. Instead, she mists on spring water and wipes it clean with facial tissues or a cotton pad — a secret she learned from her French upbringing. (Check out her entire covetable routine here.)
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Swap Polish For Treatments
As manicures in every color, shape, and texture rage stateside, in France, women continue to keep things simple. Céline Kaplan, a French publicist based in New York City, keeps her tips glowing by massaging them weekly with lemon juice and jasmine oil. The lemon acts as an astringent to clean and disinfect, while jasmine oil smooths dry patches to leave nails strong, conditioned, and shiny.

Darphin Jasmine Aromatic Care, $110, available at Darphin.
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Opt For Oils
“French women are all about skin care, not makeup,” says Valérie Grandury, the founder of Odacité. As a child, Grandury watched both of her grandmothers slather their faces with pure essential oils like rosehip and wild-carrot seed — ingredients she still swears by in her formulas today. "You get this fresh, healthy complexion that glows even without a touch of makeup almost immediately,” she says. “I don’t go a day without it.”

Odacité Wild Carrot Serum Concentrate, $55, available at Odacité.
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Double Down On Fragrance
Many American women live in fear of being that person on the elevator who leaves a trail of fragrance in her wake. The French do not share that concern. But that doesn't mean they overdo it. Instead, they get creative.

For example, Kaplan mists her suitcase with her favorite scent before zipping it shut, and she carries a tiny travel vial to spritz on her airplane seat as well. After a weekend run, Sylvie Ganter, the cofounder of Atelier Cologne, showers with the energizing Orange Sanguine Body and Hair Shower Gel and then layers on the perfume of the same scent. “You have a base of the scent that helps it last, but it’s not overpowering,” she says.

Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine Body and Hair Shower Gel, $40, available at Sephora.
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Get The Most Out Of Your Bath
No one’s arguing that bubble baths aren’t great. But French women like their baths to work more like treatments and less like foam parties. New York City-based publicist Marie-Laure Fournier plops raw, dry seaweed into hers to detox; a single-serving pack of flaked algae, like Thalgo Micronized Marine Algae, will also do the trick. And if you’ve got some essential oils — or any oils (coconut, olive, jojoba), for that matter — feel free to throw them in as well.

Thalgo Micronized Marine Algae, $49, available at SkinStore.
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Turn Off The Heat
As the tangle of cords under your sink may suggest, American women are all about heat-styling. French women, au contraire, are all about taking care of their hair. “I make a point not to dry my hair too much,” says Kaplan. “Otherwise, it starts looking brittle.”

Fournier does the same, adding that she avoids plastic brushes and opts for creamy treatment masks. If you color your hair, or if it’s naturally dry, sleeping with a few drops of a lightweight oil worked through your strands is also a good bet.

Leonor Greyl Masque à L'Orchidée, $65, available at Leonor Greyl USA.
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Find Your Signature Lip Look
Maybe your lipstick collection resembles a box of Crayola crayons. And, girl, you do you. But if you want to simplify your routine (and your vanity), make like a French girl and invest in two powerhouse shades that will become your signatures. Ganter swears by Marc Jacobs Beauty New Nudes Sheer Gel Lipstick in Role Play, which happens to match the natural color of her lips exactly. As your second lippie, pick up one that's bright and fun but also easy to wear, like this one by Chanel.

Chanel Rouge Allure Lip Colour in Excentrique, $36, available at Chanel.
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