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 nearly all 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 referred to as the outcomes a “spectacular increase.”
Spectacular, sure, and likewise 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 might be taught from. Well, I do know I might.
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 more moderen 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 improper. By the time I had found Sade – a peerless pink lip wearer who might maintain her personal towards any French girl – alas, my very own teenaged behavior of going properly over my lip-line was entrenched. With lip fillers and different beauty enhancements but to turn 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 might 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 artistic director of Guerlain, Violette Serratt, French girls like to mix the sides 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 approach.
Too nervous to make use of a finger when my dexterity with a lipstick already leaves so much 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, world vice-president of Sisley, who turned up for the shoot already sporting the model’s in style Rose Bolshoi shade. Expecting to the touch up her make-up, White was stunned to notice that D’Ornano demurred, saying that she most popular 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 strategy ever since.
How will we do that 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 not less than, my very own – on our love of lip balm, a devotion which appears to start out at main faculty and which we by no means fairly appear to shed, irrespective of how outdated or subtle we turn into. Show me a British girl with no tin of Vaseline rattling away of their purse and I’ll present you a girl with French genes.
In her rehabilitation of the standard lip balm, White is unquestionably 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 realize 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 count on to be kissing by lunchtime. Or not less than, appear to be I’ve been.