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It’s no secret that many tourists come to Paris in search of discovering the best French makeup brands. If you’ve ever visited France, you’ve probably noticed that most French women have something in common: luminous skin, subtle and elegant eye make-up and a perfect red lip. So, what are the best French makeup brands and where can you discover them? Below you’ll find our complete guide to French makeup and beauty including what’s inside a French girl’s makeup kit, where you can find the perfect red lipstick, and more INSIDR tips you won’t find anywhere else!
What you’ll find in this article:
– top products to buy from local pharmacies
– best beauty boutiques in Paris
– top department stores in Paris for 1-stop shopping
– Paris exclusive Beauty Passport including gift vouchers so you can receive free skincare sets from La Mer, Sisley, La Prairie and Clarins!
Most Popular French Makeup Brands
Sisley is a French luxury skincare brand known for its high-quality, plant-based products that use natural ingredients to provide effective results. The brand has a strong commitment to sustainability and ethical sourcing, using only the highest-quality ingredients that are responsibly sourced and produced.
The brand has a wide range of products, including moisturizers, cleansers, serums, and masks, designed to address specific skincare concerns. Sisley’s products are formulated using the latest scientific research and innovative technologies to ensure their effectiveness.
Sisley’s iconic products include the Ecological Compound, a moisturizing and revitalizing treatment that is ideal for all skin types, and the Black Rose Cream Mask, a luxurious mask that hydrates, plumps, and illuminates the skin.
Sisley’s skincare products are available at high-end retailers, department stores such as Galeries Lafayette and Le Bon Marché, and Sisley boutiques. Also, just for INSIDR travelers, you can benefit from a personalised beauty diagnostic at Sisley corner located on the ground floor of Galeries Lafayette.
Chanel makeup holds the same iconic status as the brand’s clothes, and for good reason. The beauty branch was founded in 1924 with the launch of their still-popular perfume, Chanel N°5. A face powder and lipsticks followed soon after, establishing Chanel Makeup as a leader and innovator in the global makeup game. Some of their most popular products today are the Huile de Jasmine beauty oil and of course their red lipsticks. Try the Rouge Allure Intense Long-Wear Lip Colour for that perfect Parisian red lip.
Since its founding in 1969, Dior has long been considered as one of the best French makeup brands in the market. When they started, their mission was to create makeup in unique shades and colours for use in couture runway shows. Today, their best selling products are basics like mascara, eyeshadow, nail polish and lipstick. If you ask a make-up artist what is the best mascara out there, they’ll probably answer Diorshow. The mascara is a cult favorite and has been since the early 2000s.
La Prairie is a luxury skincare brand that is known for its high-quality products and exceptional packaging. La Prairie only uses high-quality and rare ingredients, such as caviar extract, platinum, gold, and rare plant extracts. These ingredients are carefully selected for their effectiveness in improving skin health.
La Prairie invests heavily in research and development, creating innovative formulas and technologies to enhance the effectiveness of its products. For example, the brand uses a unique Cellular Complex in its products, which is designed to improve skin vitality and renewal.
La Prairie products are available in high-end department stores and specialty boutiques such as Galeries Lafayette.
Just for INSIDR travelers, you can benefit from a set of travel size La Prairie Product when shopping at Galeries Lafayette.
Lancôme is one of oldest french makeup brands in operation. What started out as a perfume company has grown to become one of the top luxury beauty companies in the world after they were acquired by L’Oréal in 1964. In January of 2015, Lancôme appointed the highly-respected makeup artist and YouTuber Lisa Eldridge as its Global Creative Director. This a great French makeup brand to check out if you want high quality makeup basics without the luxury price tag of companies like Chanel and Dior.
Clarins is a French beauty brand known for its plant-based skincare products and has a strong commitment to sustainability and responsible sourcing. Clarins has a wide range of products, including skincare, makeup, and fragrance, that are designed to address various skin concerns.
Clarins’ most popular products include the Double Serum, a powerful anti-aging serum that targets fine lines and wrinkles, and the Beauty Flash Balm, a cult-favorite primer that hydrates and brightens the skin. Other popular products include the Gentle Foaming Cleanser, the Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate, and the Joli Rouge Lipstick.
Clarins’ products are available at local pharmacy, high-end retailers, department stores such as Galeries Lafayette and Le Bon Marché. Also, just for INSIDR travelers, you can benefit from a complimentary Clarins travel kit.
What’s inside a French girl’s makeup kit
1 – concealer
The French girl’s makeup kit can be broken down into four must-haves. The first is concealer which brightens, color-corrects and gives you a natural finish. For a French girl look, combine your concealer with a lightweight foundation for a simple, dewy look. We love the Stylo-Expert Click Stick concealer from BY TERRY. It comes in an ergonomic applicator which makes it extremely easy to apply on top of foundation or on bare skin!
Another incredible product is La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Concealer Foundation is a two-in-one product that combines a concealer with a foundation. It is formulated with caviar extract to provide nourishing and anti-aging benefits to the skin. The concealer is designed to camouflage imperfections and dark circles, while the foundation provides a natural-looking, semi-matte finish.
2 – mascara
The second must-have is an awesome mascara. Luxury brands like Dior and Chanel both make great mascaras, but at a hefty price. For a more affordable option, try the Lash-Expert Twist Brush Volume & Length Mascara from BY TERRY. It’s actually a dual-action mascara that you can twist 2 different ways: one for volume and one for length. It’s particularly great for those who don’t have very lengthy lashes as it coats even the smallest and shortest lash hairs.
3 – pencil eyeliner for a smoky eye
A touch of eyeliner can go a long way. For French girls, a light smokey eye or a well-blended line on the upper lid is a staple look for a night out on the town. Lancôme Crayon Khol is great for a smokey, smudged effect while their Grandiôse Line is best for a razor-sharp application. Equally well-ranked is the Dior Artliner and their felt-tipped Art Pen.
4 – red lipstick
Last but certainly not least is an iconic red lipstick. A fantastic option is the Rouje Paris Lip Palette. It has four multipurpose shades that can be used as lipstick, blush and cream eyeshadow. Le Rouje de Paris was founded by French it-girl Jeanne Damas so you know you’ll walk away with that perfect Parisian ‘je ne sais quoi’.
Where to find French makeup brands
Galeries Lafayette Haussmann Wellness Galerie
The Wellness Galerie is a dedicated space within the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann department store in Paris, France, that is focused on health, wellness, and beauty. Inaugurated in 2021, it has quickly become a popular destination for those seeking to enhance their well-being and beauty routines.
The Wellness Galerie features a carefully curated selection of products, including skincare, makeup, supplements, and wellness accessories, from both established and emerging brands. Some of the brands available at the Wellness Galerie include Tata Harper, Grown Alchemist, Kosas, and The Nue Co.
In addition to offering a wide variety of products, the Wellness Galerie also hosts events and workshops focused on topics such as mindfulness, nutrition, and fitness. The space includes a cafe that serves healthy food and drinks, as well as a meditation room and a space for fitness classes.
INSIDR Tips: we’re giving away our latest INSIDR Passports that grant access to exclusive offers and activities to our travelers! Enjoy beauty activities like a FREE beauty diagnostic or flash make up, and beauty shopping discounts! Just click here to download!
Major Department stores in Paris
Major department stores in Paris offer a huge selection of national and foreign beauty brands. They also enjoy exclusive partnerships with many beauty companies meaning they almost-always carry limited-edition products and deals that are not available anywhere else. Large department stores like Galeries Lafayette Haussmann also offer complimentary makeup services for their customers. This is also where you’ll find exclusive seasonal makeup collections. Plus, if you’re visiting from outside of the EU, at Galeries Lafayette you can get an instant tax refund in Paris on any purchase you make in-store. Besides Galeries Lafayette, other French department stores accessible in Paris include Le BHV Marais and Le Bon Marché. Our Top Paris Shopping Guide shares all the important shopping details
Oh my cream!
Oh my cream! is a French beauty concept store with locations across the country. Their skilled team cherry picks amazing, clean beauty products and aims to educate and demystify the customer about the beauty industry. They carry a wide range of lesser-known beauty products including makeup and skin care lines. If you’re tired of the ordinary makeup shopping experience, Oh my Cream is for you. You can visit one of their Paris locations at 17 rue Debelleyme, 3 rue de Tournon, 104 rue du Bac, 2 rue Guichard, and 4 rue des Abbesses.
Top tips from French makeup experts
Terry de Gunzburg
BY TERRY‘s founder Terry de Gunzburg has been dubbed the “Steve Jobs of beauty” for her ability to create beauty products that grow a cult-following. She’s the brilliant mind behind the revolutionary YSL Touché Eclat that launched several other highlighter pens from multiple beauty brands. Terry de Gunzburg’s signature look is all about having perfect skin, rosy lips, and expertly curled ebony lashes. According to the beauty maven, “There is nothing like a classic red lip to make me feel beautiful” which is why she is never without her BY TERRY Rouge Expert Click Stick in 17-My Red.
Jeanne Damas is a makeup guru in her own right. She’s one of those responsible for putting ‘French girl chic‘ in the spotlight with her classic and effortless style that you can actually shop at her clothing label, Rouje. Even with much success in fashion, it’s no surprise she has branched out to beauty. Her recently released Rouje lip palette is just the tip of the iceberg. In a recent Vogue interview, Damas took fans through her entire makeup routine. Her signature look is as simple as natural skin, thick, gelled brows, and a dab of rouge on the lips and cheeks. While it doesn’t take much to look stunning when you’re Jeanne Damas, some of us might need a little extra help.
For the Parisian makeup artist and Estée Lauder’s new Global Beauty Director simply known as ‘Violette’, makeup is all about accentuating what’s already there. For her, as she says for many French women, every beauty routine starts with the ‘base’ by which she means, great hair and ever better skin. She uses a potent cocktail of French pharmacy staples on her skin to prep, then adds a few dramatizing touches like a bit of smudged eyeliner and a red lip. Another rule? Violette is absolutely against contour. She prefers adding a bit of highlighter to create dimension rather than weighing the skin down with bronzers and concealer. If you wanna know the basics about French skincare, we have a guide on the Top 20 Products!
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