I don't hide my love and admiration for all things French. I blame my stint studying abroad for this, and I would say a significant portion of the 1139 people I follow on Instagram are either from or based in France. From hairstylists and makeup artists to influencers, designers, and models, I'm constantly looking to my favorite French women for inspiration. Not surprisingly, I always walk away with some fresh beauty or fashion wisdom. Whether it's a new product recommendation or simply an extra skincare practice I want to incorporate into my regimen, I love immersing myself anyway I can.
Even though a minimalist, less-is-more approach is usually associated with the French beauty aesthetic, that assumption isn't always accurate. In fact, some of my favorite French women actually stand for quite the opposite—eyelids loaded with glitter, lips saturated with gloss and ruby-red… There's far more to "French beauty" than Brigitte Bardot–inspired fringe or no-makeup makeup. So in seeking some beauty inspiration (because when am I not?), I reached out to eight ultra-chic French women to find out their most cherished beauty must-haves (aka, the items they always keep tucked inside their bags or on top of their vanities). They're spilling all the tea below, so keep scrolling!
"I can't live without lip balm, so I used to buy Homeoplasmine. This product wasn't created for lips initially, but when I found out that they created an actual lip balm, I was so happy. You have no idea!"
"My hair needs intense hydration and moisture, and any time I try out another hair mask, I always end up coming back to this one almost immediately. I have been trying to use clean products, especially when it comes to my hair, and this one is clean!"
"I can't leave my house without my perfume! I bought this at the airport a few months ago. I usually never do that, but this ended up being a good decision! It's super fresh and light, perfect for summer."
"I always start and end my day by massaging my face with this gua sha tool from Odacité. It's made from handcrafted crystal, and I've found the lifting effect is better than anything cosmetic or skincare products can do."
"I use Christophe Robin's lavender oil three times a week as a hair treatment. It gives my hair lots of shine and bounce, and it helps keep everything smooth while I brush. My hair is naturally very frizzy, so I can't live without hair oil. I always keep this one with me since the size is easy to carry, and the smell is so flowery and beautiful."
"I use this black eye kohl tube from Egypt to intensify and deepen my look. I love how it evolves throughout the day. It’s tiny, so I always have it in my bag in case I end up in a more sophisticated spot than expected!"
"To take care of my hair, I love to use products from the brand Les Secrets de Loly, which is specifically for curly hair. I've been prioritizing natural hair products with safe compositions for about seven years now, and I love this brand because the formulas deeply hydrate the hair fiber and really define my curl!"
"I’m so picky when it comes to my choice of fragrance. It's so hard to find the perfect scent that captures your personality! However, I do like woody and vanilla smells, and I find that I like most scents from Serge Lutens."
"Accessories! I'm never without accessories, because they really finish off a look and can lend a unique personality! Bags, rings, necklaces, hats—I love brands like Monki, ASOS Design, Stellar Paris. It's very important to me. I love to mix and match to create a unique beauty and fashion moment."
"For glowy and healthy skin, I take daily two organic pills from Aime Skincare in the morning. The pills are fantastic. They are totally vegan and organic. I love them. It’s a French brand, and they have the secret to making my skin look perfect!"
"I always have this spray from Bumble and Bumble in my bag. That way, if I don't have time to get home before a party or a dinner, I can just spray a little of the product on my hair, and I’m ready to dance!"
"This is my all-time favorite. I've been using it for years, and I can't get enough! This spray is great to use, especially during summer, with or without makeup. It gives your skin a glow, refreshes your makeup, and it smells pretty amazing. It also tightens the appearance of pores. It's my first step after washing my face, and I also use it during the day whenever I feel like I need to refresh my skin."
"This is the perfume I wear most often and have had the longest. Every time I wear it, people around me always ask me about it. It smells like joy, freedom. It's super fresh and has peony, essential rose, cocoa bean, and musk!"
"I'm always looking to nourish and hydrate my skin as much as possible, and I've been obsessed with this skin butter ever since I first tried it. It not only makes my skin significantly softer, but it also gives it a beautiful shine and glow. It's what I use before going to the beach or when I'm taking pictures showing lots of skin. It gives my skin the radiance I need."
"This has been my best beauty discovery this summer. I use it every day if I'm going out or even when I'm staying home because it protects your skin from the sun, but it also protects you from the blue light which comes from screens. It automatically gives your skin a glow, and I use it right before I put on my primer or as the last step of my skincare routine when I'm not applying any makeup."
"I discovered Filorga thanks to my mum. Its products are really, really good, and my absolute favorite is this Oxygen-GLow Super Perfecting Radiance Cream. My skin loves it so much. It really helps improve your skin texture and glow in the long-term, too!"
"I love face masks. I think they're really important, especially in the long-term if you want to preserve your skin, and I really like this one, in particular, from Fresh, which contains tons of vitamins and fruits. You're supposed to leave it for 10 minutes before removing it with warm water, but I like to keep it on longer, and I always love how my skin feels afterward."
"I give a lot of importance to skincare, especially my skin prep before I apply makeup. I always make sure to remove my makeup (even on days when I have barely anything on) by using Bioderma's micellar water."
"This is such a refreshing toner, and I use this to prep my complexion before applying my other skincare products. It purifies the skin, and it also helps remove any leftover makeup residue or impurities. I like that 99% of the ingredients are natural origin, and furthermore, it reduces the appearance of imperfections while also tightening your pores and refining skin texture. I like to gently apply it using reusable cotton pads."
"I apply two drops of this booster into my morning and night creams. It's highly concentrated and formulated with plant extracts. I use it during the summer, in particular, after my skin has been exposed to a lot of sun since it helps repair any damage."
"I am a big fan of this foundation because it feels so light and improves the look of your complexion at the same time. It has a silky texture, which creates a very fresh and dewy finish. And it stays on all day without any retouching necessary!
"I use both of my fingers or a foundation brush to apply it. I softly tap the product onto my face with the brush, and if I want more coverage, I let it dry and add another layer of product. Of course, this is light coverage, but French women love it because it's perfect for creating that no-makeup-makeup effect."
"I can’t go anywhere without a good highlighter! I feel like it's the ultimate finishing touch for any makeup look. This one is particularly great because even though it's a powder, it feels very light and doesn’t look heavy or cakey on top of the skin. It is super bright, so you can use a small amount of product to create a maximum glow. I apply it with a medium-size fluffy brush on my cheekbones, on my nose, eyelids, and inner eye corners to brighten up my eyes."
"I play with almost all of the Lip Glow colors depending on the look I create and my daily mood. Some days, I go pink, and on others, more orange! The nice thing about this product is your lips will always get moisturized and will have a really nice, sexy glow. You should select a color depending on your complexion and the natural tone of your lips, but the shades I personally use the most are 001 Pink Glow, 004 Coral, and 005 Lilac."
"This is a great option for damaged or dry hair, and I love to use it after I wash my hair to help with repair. I apply a small amount of product in my palm, and I spread it on my wet hair before I dry it. Whenever I use this cream, I notice that the texture of my strands feels much healthier."
"I love this fragrance, and I have been using it for years. I find it fresh and strong at the same time, and I can wear it in the summer just as much as I do in winter. I like getting the twist and spray version (which has smaller packaging), so I can take it with me anywhere when I travel."