According to the well-known e-book of the identical title, French ladies 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 keeping with 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 risk 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 French ladies 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 ladies in lipstick and crimson is indubitably the primary color that springs to thoughts. The movie world is fecund with pictures of French ladies with good crimson 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, crimson lips have been worn with seductive conviction by Marion Cotillard and Lea Seydoux, each in movie and on the crimson carpet. Both actresses favour an ultra-matte crimson lip which seems indisputably French. Cotillard usually wears Chanel’s Intense Matte Lip Colour in “Rouge Obscur”, a deep crimson shade, whereas Seydoux’s go-to is Lancome’s “Rouge in Love”, a tomato crimson hue.
Contrast these sirens with my very own crimson lippy position mannequin, rising up – The Cure’s Robert Smith – and I can start to see the place I’m going mistaken. By the time I had found Sade – a peerless crimson lip wearer who might maintain her personal in opposition to any French girl – alas, my very own teenaged behavior of going nicely over my lip-line was entrenched. With lip fillers and different beauty enhancements but to change into as commonplace as facials, the one method to obtain fuller lips was by advantage of your personal shaky hand, and your willingness to exit wanting 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 keeping with a slew of specialists, the key to reaching that good crimson lip so beloved of the French is definitely to embrace a soupcon of imperfection. According to the inventive director of Guerlain, Violette Serratt, French ladies 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 method.
Too nervous to make use of a finger when my dexterity with a lipstick already leaves loads 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 latest journey to Paris, throughout which she labored with Christine D’Ornano, world vice-president of Sisley, who turned up for the shoot already carrying 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 can we do this at dwelling? 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 ladies’s relative reticence with lipstick – or a minimum of, my very own – on our love of lip balm, a devotion which appears to begin at major college and which we by no means fairly appear to shed, regardless of how outdated or subtle we change into. Show me a British girl with out a tin of Vaseline rattling away of their purse and I’ll present you a lady 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 best way for British ladies to realize stylish French lips: by combining their beloved Vaseline with their favorite crimson 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 a minimum of, seem like I’ve been.