The terms “French girl” is French style have been overused in the past 12 months to talk about makeup, hair or clothing. And to be honest, in the last few weeks they have popped up in mine newsfeed a lot of articles on the “French girl look”, which, however, talked about very different things: how to get the disheveled look (from the series: ‘”I just woke up”), the helmet perfect, or the Françoise Hardy fringe; how to recreate a trick au naturel or minimal, or else a make-up more strong – fire red lips e eyeliner with the “tail”. Impossible to understand what the term refers to exactly.

To complicate matters further, there seems to be some kind of inherent contradiction: a natural look that, he says Clare Varga, head of beauty di WGSN, “It hides the fact that French girls invest a lot of time, money and work in their look”. So, what exactly are the French style and the aesthetics of French girl? And to what extent do the French identify with this look? This is the umpteenth selusive and unquantifiable beauty standard, or just a synonym for great self-confidence?

To find out, we asked five French women, all valued for their unique approach to style, what this term means to them.

1. Caroline de Maigret, model and writer

What does “French girl beauty” mean to you?
“A natural look, achieved without much effort, but only in appearance “.

Who best embodies the French girl aesthetic, in your opinion?
“Difficult to choose just one person. Let’s say Simone de Beauvoir, because beauty is at 360 ° “.

What is the charm of the “French girl look” for you?
“It is seen as a form of nonchalance, and it’s probably that kind of freedom that people like so much “.

Tell us about your approach to beauty …
“It’s natural and simple. I take great care of my skin, because beautiful skin is 75 percent of my makeup. I feed her and do Kobido facial massages. Then I apply a light makeup: black mascara, eyeliner and a cream blush cherry color “.

Is “French girl beauty” something you relate to or reject?
“I don’t know, I just followed what the girls were doing people older than me. In the end, however, the fact that I don’t like wearing a lot of makeup, or having my hair too ‘arranged’, is something that is part of me, perhaps also because I am lazy from this point of view”.

2. Léna Situations, vlogger

What does “French girl beauty” mean to you?
“The aesthetics of French girl should be embodied by a white girl who doesn’t use much makeup. Must have i straight and perfect hair, or maybe just a little wavy. A natural beauty. But it isn’t. No one wakes up in the morning already like this. And in this sense I think it is an aesthetic harmful, can create insecurity in many French girls who do not match that image. In real life, you can be French and not be white“.

Do you identify with the “French girl look”?
“It’s a bit complicated, I don’t have the classic hair of the French girl. I am of origin Algerian, but I’m French. As a child, my curls weren’t in style. They were my biggest complex and source of insecurity, I was constantly stretching them, that’s why they are now like this ruined“.

And the makeup?
“In France it’s not okay to wear a lot of makeup, and I say it’s a shame, because make-up is a form of expression. I really like to see girls with a little makeup crazy people, I really like the drag queen, and also see the guys wearing make-up. It is funny!”.

Where do you think the ‘French girl look’ comes from?
“It’s weird, because the first thing we learn in school is what rulers like Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette they were icons of beauty, but they wore wigs and wore a lot of makeup. What happened between that moment and today? The look of the French girl is something that was created by the industry of cinema and advertising, and from magazines, all sectors in the hands of men for a very long time. So it is the woman seen through the gaze male. That’s what men think is beautiful ”.

3. Joséphine de La Baume, actress and singer

What is “French girl beauty” for you?
“I think the idea of ​​the French girl has been crystallized over time by the Nouvelle Vague in the cinema, with the actresses who starred in those iconic films. I don’t think the same archetype is that relevant today, especially as it represented only one type of woman at the time, and much more cared for. But his is still relevant, perhaps romance, and that slightly fickle attitude. Beauty is more a matter of how you move, rather than features ”.

Who best embodies the look?
“None in particular, there is a lot of diversity and there are many types of beauty in France. If I had to name a name, however, I liked it very much Jeanne Moreau as a young man, she was not a typical beauty. I liked how she moved, she was small in stature, but acted like she was the tallest of all. A very strong woman, a bit of a tomboy, a real tough guy, and an extraordinary actress ”.

How does the “French girl look” influence your approach to beauty?
“I never think about it, but I am aware that it is a real one mania. I probably do the opposite of what I should, honestly: I was smoking, I just quit a couple of weeks ago. Let’s see how it goes, but I think this is also a very French thing, right ”?

4. Camille Charrière, influencer, writer and broadcaster

Tell us about your approach to beauty
“I would say it is quite minimalist. Although I must say that the lockdown made me rediscover beauty products as a way to lift my mood. I have always proudly kept away from the English approach to make-up, that is’more is more‘, choosing instead the French approach, a natural look.

“Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but I feel more confident and in my needle with my femininity, or maybe it’s because I’ve lived in England for 10 years, but today I like it to experiment more with makeup. I’m more open to the idea that you can use the make-up to transform, maybe for just one night, before my obsession was always having the same look, always being equal to myself, but now I have more fun, so, I think, I am becoming less French ”.

Why is the French girl look so popular?
“People love the nonchalance of the French girl look, of the girl who looks like she just rolled out of bed, the girl who doesn’t care what people think of her. And this is an aspect in which I identify a lot, my look is that of someone who has spent very little time in front of the mirror when I have to go somewhere “.

How did the French girl’s aesthetic influence your idea of ​​beauty?
“In France if you care too much about your appearance they make you feel guilty, or ashamed if you do things differently. The downside is that it’s a timeless look, there is something about it liberating in this kind of aesthetic, ‘come as you are’. I think it’s a very positive message. I’m not the kind of person who has to wear makeup when leaving the house, even if I’m going to an important event, and that’s something that really pleases me. Even though I appreciate the power of make-up, I’m happy not to be a slave to it ”.

“Having said that, I’m glad I am freed from beauty standards that were imposed on me in France when I was little. I think the important thing is to find a balance, what is right for you ”.

5. Omaima Salem, stylist and style director of Marfa

Left Omaima Salem

© Darren Gerrish

What does “French girl beauty” mean to you?
French girl beauty to me it means having a look natural which is achieved without effort, which does not necessarily mean that there is not all a work behind it, because it is, and the French know it well, but they don’t want it to be seen ”.

Why are we all obsessed with the “French girl look”?
“I really don’t understand why everyone is so obsessed. Maybe it has to do with the desire to be more natural, safer, more free “.

What does beauty mean for you?
“Beauty is something that makes me feel good when I look at it. Just like good music it makes me feel good when I listen to it. In recent times the beauty in people for me has more to do with theattitude, movements, small details insignificant that I notice: how they frown, how they look up, smile or laugh ”.

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