New York City

French Beauty Rules of Conduct

30 September 2008

This is a continuation of my interview with Cecile Tiramani, our intern from Paris. I talked with her about French beauty and makeup. Click on a picture to see the source.

TheVogueCity (TVC): Women everywhere vary on what they’ll pay most attention to when applying makeup, but I think that in NYC women are very drawn to dramatic black mascaras. Is there one specific feature that most French females seem to always emphasize? (Eyes, Lips, or cheeks?)

Cecile (C): French woman always emphasize their eyes first as they believe it’s the first thing that men notice. Therefore eye makeup is very important. A lot of French woman use fake eye lashes when they are going out for the evening to dress up for the occasion.

The smokey eye is always in fashion. To get the look they underline and smudge the eyes with kohl or shadow, a few coats of mascara to finish the look is a must for the maximum impact, which just gorgeous.


In today’s market we have so many choices, however French women tend to stick to classic established brands which are known for quality and prestige such as Chanel, Dior and Mac. Shiseido is also a very popular brand with women who can afford it. They want the feeling of security and luxury that comes with buying a product that feels and looks amazing. It depends on age, class and style.

Younger French woman tend to use a lot more makeup. However, as they grow older the makeup they use is not so obvious more discreet looking. They will still always use well-known brands. Women ages 50+ up apply their make up to mask sign of aging.They often apply lipstick above their natural lip line to make lips appear fuller. Women of all ages most frequently highlight their mouths by using nude color in the day and ruby red in the evening.


TVC: I’ve heard of older women who swear their faces look good today because they washed their face nightly in milk, or always slept with Vaseline on their faces. Are there any popular French urban legends about how to best ward off wrinkles?

C: There are no urban legends, French woman will go with what’s on the luxury market. They use regenerating cream, wrinkle lifting serum, corrector for wrinkles as well. Peeling is also popular.

TVC: In America, Botox is a popular trend. Are French women also considerably preoccupied with dealing with wrinkles and getting Botox?

C: Most French women in their 40’s, if they have the money, would have a face lift. Since nowadays it’s trendy to use Botox, lots of women use Botox as well.

TVC: In your opinion, what is the hair color that most women in France crave?

C: A lot of women in France like to go blonde and chestnut brown. Above all they want to be natural.


TVC: Which is the preferred nail style in France: long/short/round/squarish?

C: In France, a short and squarish nail style is the most popular. The preferred nail style is ‘French Manicure’. It’s more natural, but to change lots of French women usually paint their nails with colored nail polish. Last winter, red nail polish was in fashion as well as flashy colors during this summer. Nevertheless, it is to be noted that “French manicure” is the most appreciated style on a day-to-day basis.

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Posted by Mirela Gluck at 06:00 AM

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