The Best French Beauty Imports—and Their Famous Devotees
No overseas flight needed for that guaranteed je ne sais quoi.
Published Aug 26, 2017 8:35 AM
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The absolute bestFrench beauty
brands you can now grab stateside, prepare to say “J’Adore mon amour.”
French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg (and NBD, just the daughter of actress Jane Birkin and French singer/songwriter Serge Gainsbourg) created an entire line with NARS. And, bien sûr, the muse created the most perfect, effortless berry tint for lips and cheeks called “Jeannette,” named after her mother. “I didn’t want to call it Jane. But Jeannette—my father would call her that,” Gainsbourg told The Cut.
Model, author, and designer (and forever French muse) Inès de la Fressange is a fan of Biafine cream, which is traditionally meant to heal as a burn cream, but is used by many as a rich moisturizer to combat dryness. She once said, “It treats wounds and burns, but is also great if you’ve had too much sun.”
Charlotte Gainsbourg told The Cut in April that her incredible mother, Jane Birkin, used only one beauty product—Embryolisse. Amazing choice as always, Jane, as it’s known as a “miracle cream” because of its universality—moisturizer, shaving cream and makeup remover—it can do it all. Restes fidèle à ce qui marche.
French model, singer, and actress Lou Doillon (and, yep, daughter of Jane Birkin and half-sister to Charlotte Gainsbourg) told T Magazine that “I always wear a lipstick, kind of reddish, that I put on and take away—that was my mother’s technique. And what’s left on your finger, you put on your cheeks.” I bet this Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in Rouge Rebelle is so lovely on Lou.
Legendary French actress Catherine Deneuve is a client and friend of Domino favorite Christophe Robin, and one of her must-have products is the Shade Variation Care mask that keeps her blonde bright and shiny.
We hear Academy Award-winning actress and Parisian Marion Cotillard is a fan of Darphin’s classic 8-Flower Nectar. For good reason, the oil is rich in antioxidants, and helps smooth the look of lines and wrinkles, giving skin a resilience and youthful radiance.
French street style star and model Jeanne Damas told Atelier Dore that she uses Bioderma Sensibio H2O nightly to remove her makeup. (She also loves French favorites Klorane, Nuxe and Avène.) Photographer, author, and illustrator Garance Dore uses Bioderma religiously, too.
French actress and model Clémence Poésy told Vogue that “Anything from La Roche-Posay and Avène is good and does the job. I also like Nuxe a lot because the scent makes me happy.” Trouves un parfum qui te fais sourire!
“My bathtub is very big, so I use a full bottle of Collosol every day,” said Chanel’s longtime creative director Karl Lagerfeld to Elle. “But for one bath, it is one full bottle. I have good skin, but you have to work to keep it.”
Good enough for the Kaiser, good enough for us! Launched in the US in just May, the milky cleanser can also be used to remove makeup and gently cleanse and hydrate skin. Actress Clémence Poésy is a fan too. “It’s a cleanser for baby bottoms, but it’s good for any type of sensitive skin,” said the actress to Allure. “You can use it to wash, tone, and hydrate.”
A makeup artist favorite for all their famous French actresses, this brand is brilliant. Created nearly 70 years ago to soothe burns on the skin, Talika is now known for its natural innovation and effective beauty remedies.
And the brand new US launched Eye Decompress is the perfect example of their innovation: packaged in two separate chambers to maximize product efficacy—one side contains the treatment liquid, while the other has a dry, folded-up sheet mask rolled into a neat little ball. Press the liquid capsule firmly and it’ll seep into the sheet mask capsule, infusing the mask.
Then, there is a QR code on the box that you scan, which will take you to an exclusive relaxation podcast by yoga professor Arnaud Caby. Relax through the 10-minute meditation and breathing exercises, while the eye mask rehydrate, smooth, and significantly reduce puffiness and dark circles.
“We use this oil on our hair, in our bath, on our body, and under makeup,” said famed French perfumer Camille Goutal to Allure. This cult dry oil can be used on the face, body and hair, repairing and softening. One of France’s bestselling pharmacy brands, Nuxe was developed in the early 1990s by a research pharmacist looking to utilise the natural skin benefits of plants.
Google Sofia Boutella. Yep. And she swears by Homeoplasmine for needed moisture on planes and everyday life. With plant extracts and an antiseptic, this homeopathic ointment is a favorite cure-all for scratches, cracked skin, bruises, dry noses and chapped lips. Consider it Vaseline for Francophiles.