If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that French women totally kill it when it comes to beauty. With their effortless hair, perfect pouts, and flawless skin, it’s no surprise that Americans are obsessed with emulating their chic, less-is-more look. If you, too, are dying to achieve that same je ne sais quoi, then you’ve come to the right place. Using our proprietary algorithm that factors in social buzz, beauty blogger faves, and real user reviews, we’ve rounded up a list of the Top 10 under-the-radar French brands and the best products from each one. From featherweight foundations to bronzers to that promise a post-vacation glow, the unbiased list below details exactly what you need to nail the French-girl beauty look. Keep scrolling to check out the brands that French women swear by and the products you should snag from each one. Opening image: @byterryofficial
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February 19, 2020
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Yves Rocher France Youthful Glow Foundation
THE BRAND: Yves Rocher operates an organic farm in La Gacilly, where it creates a variety of formulas that benefit both the skin and the environment. Not only does it steer clear of any middlemen (the company owns all of its flower fields, manufacturing facilities, and retail stores), but it also guarantees that all products are 100% natural and organic.
WHAT TO BUY: The first thing you'll notice about this foundation is its unique texture thanks to the addition of pearls and rose wax—both of which offer an instant youth-boosting effect. Besides blurring imperfections and the signs of aging, it also leaves the skin with a satiny-smooth finish that feels comfortable all day long.
Bourjois Fond de Teint Healthy Mix Extension Serum Foundation
THE BRAND: Owned by Coty Inc. (the same company that owns Rimmel, CoverGirl, and OPI), this culty brand is the French-girl go-to when it comes to drugstore buys. Originally made famous for their pot eyeshadows, chocolate bronzer, and this foundation, Bourjois is the ideal choice when you're looking to stock up on affordable but high-quality makeup finds.
WHAT TO BUY: Healthy Mix Foundation is one of the brand's most well-known products, and for good reason. With skin-loving ingredients like litchi, pomegranate, and goji extracts, it's the epitome of French beauty—one part skincare, one part makeup.
Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Moisturizing Stick
THE BRAND: Combining the words "nature" and "luxe," Nuxe is exactly that: ultra-natural and ultra-luxurious. The products are highly regarded for their subtle but seductive scents, and—just like the concept of the brand—their multifaceted features.
WHAT TO BUY: This must-have lip moisturizer is just the thing you need to revive your chapped pout during the dry winter weather. Formulated with nourishing oils, shea butter, honey, and vitamin E, it leaves lips feeling soft, soothed, and satiny-smooth.
Vichy Dermafinish Liquid Foundation With SPF 30
THE BRAND: You'll probably recognize this one since you can find it in most US drugstores, but Vichy was indeed developed in France. Named after the famous thermal spa town, this brand is incredibly unique thanks to its use of spring water as an ingredient—it's a core component in all of Vichy's products, and it's clinically proven to rebalance, strengthen, and regenerate the skin.
WHAT TO BUY: No blemish, spot, or scar can compete with this cult-favorite foundation. It expertly conceals flaws for up to 16 hours, and best of all, it feels like wearing nothing at all.
Talika Lipocils Expert Eyelash Conditioning Gel
THE BRAND: While Talika also specializes in skincare, body care, and beauty devices, what it truly stands out for is its eyecare products. Lashes, brows, undereye bags—you name it—this is your one-stop-shop for all things eyes.
WHAT TO BUY: Inspired by restorative techniques, this conditioning gel is famous for its ability to drastically improve eyelashes in just one month. When used daily both morning and night, lashes will appear denser, glossier, longer, and healthier.
Caudalie Lip Conditioner
THE BRAND: There are few things wine can't fix, including your skin. Founded by vineyard owners in Bordeaux, this French brand uses polyphenols (AKA the antioxidants found in grapes) in its products, which just so happen to be an excellent anti-ager.
WHAT TO BUY: Packed with nourishing grapeseed oil and an array of antioxidants, Caudalie's Lip Conditioner leaves lips soft, repaired, and protected in one single swipe. The best part? It leaves behind zero greasy residue, and it actually lasts.
Sisley Paris Le Phyto-Rouge Lipstick
THE BRAND: There's a reason Sisley is such a mainstay in French girls' makeup bags. Combining the benefits of skincare with the pleasure of playing with color, the brand's products are both glam and good for the complexion.
WHAT TO BUY: Meet the most hydrating lipstick on the market. It provides the beautiful, bold pout that French girls are famous for, but since it's chock-full of nourishing ingredients, it does so without drying out the lips.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur With SPF 20
THE BRAND: There's a reason dermatologists consistently recommend this French brand. Each of its products contains antioxidant thermal spring water that not only anti-ages but calms and soothes irritation too. While it works wonders on all skin types, it's particularly beneficial for those with sensitive skin.
WHAT TO BUY: Alphabet creams tend to work best for those blessed with fabulous skin since they usually provide minimal coverage, however, this miracle-worker is different. It blurs every last blemish and imperfection and leaves skin even and matte like a high-coverage product would, but it feels as light as a feather. It's the best of both worlds.
Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder
THE BRAND: Founded in 1828, Guerlain is one of the oldest beauty brands in the world. While it began its collection with just perfumes, it now sells everything from makeup staples to skincare essentials—all of which contain natural ingredients extracted from plants.
WHAT TO BUY: This iconic bronzer is loved for its ability to emulate a post-vacation glow in a few sweeps. Formulated with moisturizing ingredients that won't dry out the skin, it's the key to getting a good dose of sunshine even in the dead of winter.
By Terry Baume de Rose
THE BRAND: Founded in 1998 by beauty expert Terry de Gunzberg, By Terry's innovative products are suitable for both beginners and experts alike. Terry often says that luxury fashion inspires her approach to makeup—she refers to herself as a "beauty designer"—as well as anti-aging skincare ingredients.
WHAT TO BUY: This may be one of the priciest lip balms on the market, but the benefits are well worth it. Its intensive, highly concentrated formula repairs dry, damaged lips and can even help regenerate contours. According to Kate Winslet, it's something you shouldn't live without.
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