According to the well-known e book of the identical title, French girls don’t get fats – however they do put on lipstick, and by no means extra devotedly than now. As quickly because the nation lifted the vast majority of its mask-related coronavirus restrictions, gross sales of status lipstick elevated by 35 per cent when in comparison with the prior seven day interval, in response to market analysis firm The NPD Group, who known as the outcomes a “spectacular increase.”
Spectacular, sure, and in addition indicative of simply how wedded the French are to their rouge a levres. Even the phrases sound extra seductive in French. There is scant chance of the French ever abbreviating rouge a levres to “lippy”, because the British are wont to do. Where am I going with this? Why, I’m going with the concept that French girls put on lipstick with a panache and fanaticism that the remainder of us may be taught from. Well, I do know I may.
Think of French girls in lipstick and pink is indubitably the primary color that springs to thoughts. The movie world is fecund with photos of French girls with good pink lips. The eighties had Catherine Deneuve in The Hunger (1983); the nineties had Isabella Rossellini in Death Becomes Her (1992), the early aughts had Eva Green in Casino Royale (2006), whereas in newer years, pink lips have been worn with seductive conviction by Marion Cotillard and Lea Seydoux, each in movie and on the pink carpet. Both actresses favour an ultra-matte pink lip which seems indisputably French. Cotillard usually wears Chanel’s Intense Matte Lip Colour in “Rouge Obscur”, a deep pink shade, whereas Seydoux’s go-to is Lancome’s “Rouge in Love”, a tomato pink hue.
Contrast these sirens with my very own pink lippy position mannequin, rising up – The Cure’s Robert Smith – and I can start to see the place I’m going incorrect. By the time I had found Sade – a peerless pink lip wearer who may maintain her personal towards any French lady – alas, my very own teenaged behavior of going effectively over my lip-line was entrenched. With lip fillers and different beauty enhancements but to develop into as commonplace as facials, the one approach to obtain fuller lips was by advantage of your individual shaky hand, and your willingness to exit trying as if you’d uncared for to wipe your mouth after consuming a jam sandwich.
Cack-handed and dire as my very own strategies had been, it seems that they could not have been fairly as off-beam as I imagined. For, in response to a slew of consultants, the key to reaching that good pink lip so beloved of the French is definitely to embrace a soupcon of imperfection. According to the inventive director of Guerlain, Violette Serratt, French girls like to mix the perimeters of their lipstick with their finger, so as to add a barely blurred edge. Her Instagram feed (discover her @violette_fr) proves that she herself is a powerful commercial for the method.
Too nervous to make use of a finger when my dexterity with a lipstick already leaves quite a bit to be desired, I requested the make-up artist Florrie White for extra pointers. White, who has tended to the faces of Rosamund Pike, Emily Blunt and Blake Lively, recalled a current journey to Paris, throughout which she labored with Christine D’Ornano, international vice-president of Sisley, who turned up for the shoot already carrying the model’s fashionable Rose Bolshoi shade. Expecting to the touch up her make-up, White was stunned to notice that D’Ornano demurred, saying that she most well-liked it to look extra like a stain than as if it had been freshly utilized. “She looked nonchalantly beautiful – perfectly French,” notes White, including that she has copied this method ever since.
How can we do this at house? White says there are two methods. “Either take a highly pigmented lipstick, apply it just to the top or the bottom of your lips, rub your lips together, then kiss the back of your hand so your lips are stained with a nuance of the shade but without obvious product showing on your lips. I then use the residue of the lipstick on my hand to add a matching blush to the apples of my cheeks. Otherwise, another favourite quick trick is to apply lip balm then draw out the colour of your lips with a lip pencil. Tease out the shape of your lips with the point of the pencil, and the balm will make sure you avoid any harsh lines. Your lips will look pronounced, yet not obviously painted – like you’ve just been kissing, or drinking red wine in a brasserie, ideally with a lover.”
Was a extra French sentiment ever spoken? Immediately, I reassess my very own lifelong relationship with lip balm. While I’ve no scientific or statistical proof to again it up, I blame British girls’s relative reticence with lipstick – or no less than, my very own – on our love of lip balm, a devotion which appears to start out at major college and which we by no means fairly appear to shed, regardless of how previous or subtle we develop into. Show me a British lady with out a tin of Vaseline rattling away of their purse and I’ll present you a girl with French genes.
In her rehabilitation of the common-or-garden lip balm, White is certainly on to one thing. The make-up artist Christophe Danchaud, who works with Marion Cotillard, additionally makes use of cult Aussie lip balm product Lucas’ Pawpaw ointment on the actress’s lips to create what he calls “a sexy texture”. Is this the way in which for British girls to attain stylish French lips: by combining their beloved Vaseline with their favorite pink lipstick? “I like to believe that all French women carry their favourite shade of red lipstick with them at all times,” says White. I don’t doubt it. The subsequent time I pack my purse, I’ll pop Mac’s Ruby Woo in with my Carmex and anticipate to be kissing by lunchtime. Or no less than, seem like I’ve been.