The Beauty Products Black French Girls Are Buying Now

When you think of French girls, you probably envision flawless red lips and perfectly-imperfect lobs. We praise French girls for their effortlessly-chic style and carefree approach to beauty, but let's be real, Black French girls are rarely included in that narrative — until now.

"Thanks to the internet, blogs, Instagram, and YouTube, women who were once ignored have the power to redefine what French girl beauty is," Scheena Donia says. She's among the Parisian influencers who are showing an alternative side of Gallic beauty — and it's so refreshing to see. Contrary to what the media might have led you to believe, not every women walking down Rue Bonaparte is a carbon copy of Jane Birkin in style or attitude.

Instead, natural curls and kinks, royal blue lipstick, and locs are popping up on the feeds of our friends in Europe — and the women who possess them have a strong sense of inner-beauty, too. "We must learn to love ourselves in the first place and not wait for people to validate our well-being," Donia adds. "If you feel beautiful and confident, you can accomplish everything!" Of course, a mean skin-care routine doesn't hurt, either.

Ahead, five French Black girls share the products that they swear by to express themselves in the city of lights.

Photo courtesy of Tiffanie Davis.
Tiffanie Davis (@theburgundyblazer)

What Does "French Girl Beauty" Mean To You? "As a Black woman living in Paris, I would define French girl beauty as being effortless, minimalistic, and chic. It gives me all the 'I woke up like this' vibes. With that said, I do think that the French have a universal view of beauty, which I really appreciate. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stopped by people who admire my hair and features, which are unlike that of your typical Parisian woman."
"One of my beauty-obsessed friends suggested that I try this balm — and I fell in love. My lips get super chapped and flaky in the winter, especially with my constant use of matte lipstick. This little jar does the trick!"

Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm, $19, available at Jet.
"When I moved to France, I was in dire need of a skin-care regimen that would work well with my oily and sensitive skin without completely drying it out (hello, eczema). I came across La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar line and haven’t looked back!"

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Gel Cleanser, $19, available at La Roche-Posay.
Photo: Via @blackbeautybag.
Fatou N'diaye (@blackbeautybag)

What Does "French Girl Beauty" Mean To You? "It's a plural meaning. It includes all women, regardless of their skin color, religion, size, or sexual preference. Today, we live in a world where there is only one type of beauty that is represented, and it is often white beauty. Unfortunately, magazines are still struggling to convey a positive and diverse image of the components of society. French beauty is multiple."
"I started using this serum on the advice of my dermatologist, who has been taking care of my skin for more than 15 years. I love these products and I could never do without them because they make my skin look beautiful and young. For me, it's one of the best products in the world and I see the results when I use it. Whether I'm abroad, on the plane, or even at home, I use it morning and evening. And when my skin is very tired, just a few drops to look brighter, hydrated, and plumped."

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Complex, $92, available at Sephora.
"The micellar water by Bioderma removes my makeup and leaves my skin soft and hydrated. I discovered it thanks to my cousin, who's a makeup artist. When I take care of my skin, it also contributes to my well-being. Beautiful skin is for me a sign of good health and a great beauty routine."

Bioderma Sensibio H2O, $14.90, available at Dermstore.
Photo: @djulicious.
Julie Beljio (@djulicious)

What Does "French Girl Beauty" Mean To You? "As a Black girl, I don't think of it as 'French' beauty. I am a makeup artist and YouTuber, and do beauty however I want. Today I can be extra, tomorrow I can go very light — it's more of a state of mind. I try to teach to my followers to do the same and be who they want to be. That's why I created my brand — for people to feel free to do whatever they want and be who they want, to create what they want without the fear of what other people think."
"I use my own makeup brand the most. I'm so happy and so proud of the brand, and my customers in France love it, too. We shop worldwide, obviously!"

Djulicious Cosmetics DulceMatte Lipstick, $9.80, available at Djulicious.
"In France, girls don't wear too much foundation — we value skin care and love mascara and lipstick. Plus, it's not easy to find dark shades. Things have improved these last two years, but there are still brands that we can only order in the US or in the UK. Or we'll have the brand, but not all the shades. That's why we were so happy about the launches of NYX's foundation drops, Lancôme's big range, and Huda's new foundation. And Fenty — I wear shade 450."

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, $34.00, available at Sephora.
Photo courtesy of Lina Ose.
Lina (@linaose)

What Does "French Girl Beauty" Mean To You? "For me, the French woman always chooses quality beauty products. She is a chic woman who prefers elegance before everything. She has a preference for nude makeup but uses red or burgundy lipsticks to give a flash."
"I've used Nivea cream since I was a teenager. We always had it at home, but I just discovered Topicrem cream for dry skin on the advice of Canadian friends who use it during the winter. I love it! It's very moisturizing and doesn't discolor my skin."

Topicrem Soins Quotidens Ultra -Hydratant Corps, $33.36, available at Jet.
"I wouldn't change my face powder for anything in the world! I've used it for many years now. I've tried other brands but have always been dissatisfied. I wear shade 18, Sand."

Clinique Beyond Perfecting Powder Foundation + Concealer, $28, available at Clinique.
"This is another favorite, which I've used for about a year. I don’t like fragrances that are fruity or too vanilla, and have a preference for ones with character and cologne notes. It's almost like a personalized fragrance, because I know very few women who use it. I love its smell, too, with a note of truffle and black orchid. It's very sensual."

Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Parfum Spray, $122.00, available at Sephora.
Photo courtesy of Scheena Donia.
Scheena Donia (@scheenadonia)

What Does "French Girl Beauty" Mean To You? "Six words: Less is more, simple is better."
"This lotion is probably the equivalent to the Johnson's Baby Oil that Black families use in the US and UK. I've been using it since I was a child. I love it because as a Black woman, my skin get dry in the winter and Mixa is perfect for smoothing and nourishing the skin. Plus, the smell sends me back to my childhood. I feel beautiful every time my skin behaves and doesn't show any signs of dryness on my feet, elbows, or hands. #BlackGirlProbs."

Mixa Intense Nourishment Nourishing Body Milk for Very Dry Skin, $9.19, available at Notino.
"This is something you'll find in every makeup artist's bag and in every French girl's bathroom. I was talked into using it by my makeup professor a few years ago. It's a must-have to remove makeup and clean the skin daily."

Bioderma Sensibio H2O, $14.90, available at Dermstore.
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!
Load more...