Beautiful and Handsome

There’s something about the French-girl aesthetic — le sigh — that effortless beauty that is so dreamy, yet simple. A crisp red lip, glowing skin, the undone, tousled hair, the smudgy, edgy eyeliner. And, despite the less-is-more mentality, they always look so undeniably cool and collected.

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The bottom line: French gals do it right. So, take a cue from two French women who are the epitome of très chic: Violette, Estée Lauder’s Global Beauty Director and Mathilde Thomas, founder of French beauty brand, Caudalie. Here, how they achieve the ultimate level of je ne sais quoi:

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Rule 1: Skin first, makeup second

“Good skin care is far better than hiding behind a mask of makeup,” says Thomas. Her routine is so much more than topical treatments: “Before you start to change your products and routines, you have to take a good look at how you treat your body, and it’s indelibly reflected in the quality of your skin.” Consider habits that can have an effect on your skin like diet, travel, and environmental factors first, and then apply your French pharmacy favorites, below.

Rule 2: Enhance your features

Be yourself! “In France we learn how to take care of what we have, what Mother Nature gave us,” says Violette. “We don’t do blow dryers or crazy hair, but we’ll do an incredible conditioner and hair mask,” she says.

When it comes to maintaining that signature glowing complexion, it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. Violette’s philosophy: “We don’t do tons of treatments and filler, but we will do a wonderful facial every week and eat healthy.”

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