What Is the French Girl Look?

Updated on October 18, 2019
Classic French Elegance: The French twist highlights facial bone structure and eyes, leaving a soft, sexy neckline.
Classic French Elegance: The French twist highlights facial bone structure and eyes, leaving a soft, sexy neckline.

The French Girl look is chic, subtly sexy, natural, relaxed and yet casually elegant. The eyes are accentuated with both the hair and makeup. The lips are natural and smooth with enough color to enhance the lips just a little, nothing overpowering.

The French girl look is about being comfortable and confident about who you are as a woman, yet realizing that a certain amount of effort is necessary to look tres jolie, very pretty. Besides looking and feeling so, so chic, the French Girl look is hot, hot, hot.

While visiting Paris, I couldn't help but notice the beauty of the French women. This article covers tips of how to achieve that French girl look.

We may not be French, but we can cheat a little bit to get that look. Let's start with the face.

Olivia Wilde wears the French Girl look perfectly, and she is not French
Olivia Wilde wears the French Girl look perfectly, and she is not French | Source

The Face

It starts with squeaky clean skin. The French women spend a large chunk of their paycheck on beauty products (and lingerie). Make sure you're using a great skin care product and follow the regimen religiously.

Once the face is clean and moisturized, it's time to give your face a very natural, healthy looking glow. The perfect fashion cannot make up for an unhealthy looking face. Spending time at the beauty counter of a department store or Sephora can be helpful in determining your skin type and what products work best for your skin type. Don't be afraid to ask questions or tell them what you don't like.

  • A smooth, matte foundation gives a nice, finished, natural glow.
  • Use a hint of color with blush, or an illuminator fluid that smooths on and gives instant subtle light and color to the face. Nars offers the Copacabana Illuminator and Laguna Bronzing Powder, both of which were used on Olivia Wilde for her French Girl look at the Golden Globes.
  • Define the eyes with black eyeliner, starting at the lash line. Smolder eyeshadow on the eyelids if you're going out. Use black mascara, and don't forget to define the brow with an eyebrow pencil, not too dark if your hair is light.
  • Lips will look natural and beautiful with a neutral, peachy beige matte lipstick (Nars Madre pure matte). Finish with a sheer pink, velvety gloss such as Nars Super Orgasm

Don't forget the most important step with your facial beauty regimen, a clean, smooth face.

The finished look should look natural but glowing, with the accent on the eyes and lips.

OOH LA LA. You look beautiful!

CHANEL Beauty Talks: Episode 5 “The Little Black Palette” with Ellie Bamber

The Hair

Backstage at 2014 Spring/Summer Paris Fashion Week
Backstage at 2014 Spring/Summer Paris Fashion Week

The look is effortless, natural and healthy, not overly processed. If the hair looks untouchable, it is not the French girl look. The French are known for wanting to look as natural as possible and yet not boring. Hair care products with less detergents and chemicals will help the hair grow strong and healthy. Frequent cuts/trims help keep the style of the hair and reduce split ends; every four to five weeks.

  • Long, straight hair with a touch of shine and Kerastase Volumactive Mousse looks free flowing and goddess-like. A round brush can be used at the ends to give a more natural, feminine look after washing and drying.
  • Tousled yet smooth and natural looking is chic and easy to maintain, which is a vital French girl prerequisite. A touch of your favorite hair gloss gives texture and shine. Rub a small amount on your finger-tips and lightly run it through bangs, sides that frame your face, and viola!
  • If in a rush, and yet you want to look fresh and elegant, a simple French twist or chignon will do the trick. For a more formal occasion, use vintage combs/pins/feathers/lace to give a chic French twist.
  • Remember, it's not supposed to look perfect, just perfect for you! Whatever the occasion, the French girl look fits who you are and looks fabulous.

French Twist Hair Tutorial

French Women Find a Great Stylist to Take Care of their Hair

There are salons everywhere in Paris because they are in high demand. Find one in your area that you trust, and use a stylist who knows you.

Diet affects our hair. French women drink a lot of water and eat foods which contain water, like fresh fruits and veggies.

Ask your stylist for the best hair products for your hair type. Hair doesn't need to be washed daily. My stylist suggests every two to three days.

Use a great conditioner and a weekly hot oil treatment if you use styling tools.

Long hair flows backstage at Isabel Murant: Cool, smooth and fabulous
Long hair flows backstage at Isabel Murant: Cool, smooth and fabulous | Source


The French girl look requires some basic classic pieces that never fade from fashion, creativity, and a sense of self-expression. This look is about communication. The eyes, the lips, the hair, are all ways in which a woman communicates. Fashion with style is not only about function and looking well, but is another way in which we communicate our inner self to the outer world.

A simple question; do you feel equally the same about yourself if you do or do not put effort into your looks? I know what the answer is for myself. Even if I'm settling in to work at home for the day, I feel better when I take some time to put myself together. Here are some basic French girl fashion essentials.

  • at least one little black dress, two or three is even better
  • a great fitting spring/summer dress
  • 2 pencil skirts, black, taupe or neutral shade
  • 2 or 3 soft, silky blouses
  • one great tailored white shirt
  • great fitting jeans (no mom jeans, you'll never wear them again once you find a great fit)
  • a blazer or jacket for spring/summer, fall/winter
  • two nice fitting slacks
  • a few cotton t-shirts to accessorize with scarves, jackets, sweaters
  • ballet flats, pumps/heels, a great pair of boots
  • scarves and belts

We tend to buy more clothes than we need. These basic, quality pieces will last for many years and never go out of style. Accessories and jewelry can change and update the look. Great place to find affordable quality clothing are vintage apparel shops, department store sales, specialty shops, like Mod Cloth and Anthropologie.

Don't feel like you have to pay enormous amounts of money, because it's not necessary. Quality classic pieces can be found at affordable prices with just a little bit of time and effort. You are worth the time and investment,

French Essense

My French Life
My French Life
The author also has a fabulous website, FrenchEssense. This is one of those delightful books that is hard to put down.

Now You've Got The Look!

Of course, we can't forget the right bag for the occasion, sunglasses, the jewelry or no jewelry, tights, scarves, belts, lingerie, a light jacket, or the perfect trench coat.

Slide a few hair pins or hair jewelry into your beautiful locks.

The perfect scent and a healthy dose of confidence and self-awareness complete the French girl look.

C'est magnifique!

Chanel 2019/20 Fall-Winter Ready-to-Wear Show

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Merci Beaucoup!

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    • Faith A Mullen profile image

      Faith A Mullen 

      7 years ago

      I love this look! So ladylike, yet natural. Thanks for sharing!

    • vibesites profile image


      7 years ago from United States

      Hahaha, that's really fun! I would like to try for some time and look like I'm stepping out of the fashion magazines. Thanks for your uncomplicated tips. Up, useful, awesome, and a following. :)

    • rebekahELLE profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Thank you, Frenchie. Yes, there is something so captivating and natural about the Parisian look. It's nice to see the hub gets favorable attention!

      Thank you and your friend! I hope you watched the Chanel video, it's fabulous and always nice to hear Chromatics. x

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love this hub !! I am a french girl who went to London a few month ago, and when my friend told me about this hub I was sooo exited !! This represents perfedtly the Parisian style and everybody ADORE !! I just want to say : Merci beaucoup !! J'aime cet article !!! Vive les françaises !!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      Vespa Woolf 

      8 years ago from Peru, South America

      This is a beautiful hub. I love the way you've formatted it and the photos you've chosen. I also fell in love with Paris. Even my husband, who wasn't necessarily looking forward to the trip, was enchanted. I've always admired French women for their confidence and look. They don't worry about "flaws" and instead focus on what's best for them. I've marked this for future reference. Of course, I could never aspire to look like Olivia Wilde but it doesn't hurt to dream! Voted up and shared. Thank you!

    • rebekahELLE profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Thanks Letitia! Lucky you, living in Paris. I would love to read your review of her book. I'm sure it would be informative and fun to read.

    • LetitiaFT profile image


      8 years ago from Paris via California

      You've got it spot on. Even living here in Paris I can use the reminder. Funny, I was actually thinking of doing a review of Ines de la Fressange's book...

    • Rehana Stormme profile image

      Rehana Stormme 

      8 years ago

      Ah, I've been wondering about this for a while now. I like to go all natural and I do love the fresh faced look.

    • pooilum profile image


      8 years ago from Malaysia

      This is good. voted up and followed

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      8 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Oh I could look at women all day every day and never get bored with it. Gosh, but don't those French women just have something that some others seem to lack?!

      I think so!

    • rebekahELLE profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Une fille francaise, sorry I missed your comment! Thanks for your advice and taking the time to read how to get that look you French girls have with seemingly very little effort. I like the attitude and naturalness of the look!

    • profile image

      Une fille fran├žaise 

      8 years ago

      Bonjour, I'm french and I'm very happy to see all the comments and that american people want to know what the french girl look is. Les FF (femmes françaises)try just to be classic and so become chic. But it's not only in the look, it actually with the attitude too. But we admire american look too, there's more fantasy. Merci beaucoup en tout cas !

    • gottaloveit profile image


      8 years ago from MD

      Excellent hub! Love the ideas and the pictures. I'm afraid that having the French girl look is outside my realm at this age but it sure looks good on those models.

    • Anaya M. Baker profile image

      Anaya M. Baker 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Love the look! Especially the whole part about looking natural and comfortable, not caked on and sprayed on!

    • rebekahELLE profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Tampa Bay

      hummingbird, you'll have the time of your life. enjoy!

      funomontrealgirl, thanks! redo's are always fun and exciting!

      We need that little 'umpf' it gives us. Glad you liked it!

    • funmontrealgirl profile image


      8 years ago from Montreal

      I like it! I want to redo my French girl look. :)

    • hummingbird211 profile image


      8 years ago from Delhi,India

      rebekahELLE; I'm visiting Paris in winters for three weeks, and I have one week on my own. I have noted down all the places that you've mentioned. I'm really excited. Thanks again :D

    • rebekahELLE profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Tampa Bay

      hummingbird, You've going to love Paris, and be sure to budget some clothes shopping $$. One of my favorite things to do while I was in Paris was to people watch, especially if you spend time in the fashion district or along Avenue des Champs d'Elysses. I have a few hubs about my trip, you may enjoy them. I'm happy you found this hub helpful. Enjoy your trip. OOH LA LA!

    • hummingbird211 profile image


      8 years ago from Delhi,India

      I'm planning a trip to Paris and I have been so worried about my wardrobe. This is just the article I was looking for. Can't thank you enough :D

    • thejovial profile image


      9 years ago from United States

      Subtle sexy and natural. Love that look without all the maintenance.

    • TheMonk profile image


      9 years ago from Brazil

      Beautiful hub! I love to see french films just because of the french girls. They have something going that keeps me coming back for more. Thanks for this! Voted up!

    • Janell Rhiannon profile image

      Janell Rhiannon 

      9 years ago from CA, USA

      what a wonderful article. I love the French girl look...honestly didn't know that's what it was called. my daughter has this look down and it's fabulous. Thanks for putting together such an infoprmative and entertaining hub!

    • rebekahELLE profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Thanks winged! I'm glad you found it charming, what a nice compliment! Yes, a true French woman is stunning. There is an element we simply can't replicate, but we can try. ;)

      Dr. Amilia, thanks for stopping by!

      Tom, thanks so much for reading! I appreciate your time and critique! So glad you enjoyed it.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      Well written, nice pictures, thoroughly enjoyable. :)

    • Dr. Amilia profile image

      Dr. Amilia 

      9 years ago

      Ahhh le French... :P

      Voted up!

    • wingedcentaur profile image

      William Thomas 

      9 years ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

      You know, rebekahELLE, somehow I found this hub rather charming. Thank you for this peek behind the veil, as it were, as to how the classic "French girl" look is achieved. Marion Coittlard is stunning, and the movie "Inception" wasn't bad either.

    • rebekahELLE profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Hi Winsome, It's so nice to see my friend from the other coast stopping in to read about the French girl look. It's hard not to love the look, it's so chic and feminine. I'll never forget having lunch with a female Parisian friend while in Paris. The naturalness of her beauty and her intelligence and wit was so refreshing.

      I love the link, beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

      I think the French phase is part of me, I have some French blood. :D ooh la la~~

      I hope all is well with you. xo

    • Winsome profile image


      9 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Hi Rebekah, I must admit I did not read most of what I know was a stellar girl friendly article, but I do find that you and I have yet another thing in common--I love the French girl look--well OK maybe just the French girls.

      Some of my favorites are Eva Green (Ma Vie en Rose and agent Vesper in Casino Royale,) Julie Ormond as Sabrina, Juliette Binoche, and Marion Cotillard. Here is a cool "French look" for her:


      Nice to follow your French phase. =:)

    • rebekahELLE profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Thanks for the comments guys! Nice to see you here. ;)

      Tracy, thank you for reading. Well, there you go; I like that, French by lunch time. OOH LA LA! I love the look, it's so feminine, yet very natural and alluring at the same time. I'm glad you enjoyed the song. Isn't it beautiful? Enjoy the fun!

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 

      9 years ago from Virginia, USA

      Little did I know when I woke up this morning that I could be more French by lunch time. I have always thought of exactly what you have written about but never knew what to call it. I also love that this look involves a natural approach. Really great hub! I am voting up.

      Love the L'Amour song, what a great touch!!! I will share on fb. By dinner time I might be speaking French and no one will understand me.

    • crystolite profile image


      9 years ago from Houston TX

      Lovely hub that has pretty hot pics in it.

    • Bronson_Hub profile image


      9 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Elles sont tres belles! J'aime les femmes francais mais elles n'aiment jamais les hommes americaines :(

      (Those chicks are hot! I love the french girls but they never like american guys :()

      Closing that parentheses looks like the Paul Frank monkey thing. Just needs one of these now :(|)


      French style is indeed hot. And there's one other thing that makes friend women so hot - they speak french! :)

    • rebekahELLE profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Hi lilyfly, I can see that group of guys clapping. I noticed that also in Paris. The men don't have any qualms about letting a woman know he is staring at her. My French friend told me it was expected and that a woman expects to be flirted with openly. They also clap if they see you kissing at a stoplight! Thanks for reading!

      Thanks dressmeperfect. I'm glad you enjoyed.

    • dressmeperfect profile image


      9 years ago from Great Britain

      nice hub ! lots of time and effort great

    • lilyfly profile image

      Lillian K. Staats 

      9 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

      Thank you for this: when I was in Paris, I was sitting next to a group of guys who where clapping when a great looking woman went by. For the fun of it, I also told them which had fake breasts and who did not. I admire Frewnch women more than I can say. Every attribute is boldened, and every fault is minimized. Thanks again! lilyfly

    • rebekahELLE profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Thanks for reading sgupta, I'm glad you enjoy the French fashion. WElcome to HP.

      Hi miss_jkim, It's nice to see you. thanks for reading and I understand it takes a while to get around HubPages! I can never read all that I want, so I do appreciate your time! :]

    • miss_jkim profile image


      9 years ago

      I am just now getting to read this hub, and I am wondering what took me so long. Great hub with good ideas and information. Loved it!

    • rebekahELLE profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Tampa Bay

      thanks kmcmichael. It is a great looks, isn't it. It takes some effort, but sure is worth it.

      thanks for reading Aviago, and thanks for taking time to comment! :]

    • Aviago1115 profile image


      9 years ago

      very good hub! i like french women myself! u should check out my hubs!

    • kmcmichael profile image


      9 years ago from Athens, Georgia

      great hub! i love the easy, natural look. so chic.

    • rebekahELLE profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Hi Katie, thanks for stopping by. I think most of the fashion trends do come from Paris and we see them sooner or later.. not knowing where they came from, but Chic is always in style! :]

      @ J Sunhawk, there you go, viva la France, oui! thanks for reading!

      @adegenna, I think it depends on the face and the personality for the straight bang look. Some girls can pull it off, on others it just doesn't look right. Personally, I don't like the heavy bang look on Sandra Bullock, it doesn't fit her personality IMO. oh well, wear it well, ladies or sweep the bangs to the side.

      no mohawks for me! thanks for reading, adegenna. ;)

    • adegenna profile image


      9 years ago

      hahaha the guide to the french girl look! Bangs are so in but I feel like only the celebrities pull it off. When are pretty girls going to stop ruining their swag with the awful straight bang look. Wonder what the next hair trend will be???? MOHAWKS FOR EVERYONE!

    • J Sunhawk profile image

      J Sunhawk 

      9 years ago from South Carolina

      Don't know a thing about illuminators or blanches but it works for me with these ladies.

      Viva la France, yes?

    • katiem2 profile image

      Katie McMurray 

      9 years ago from Westerville

      Thanks for the guide as to what is the french girl look, I've been doing that without knowing I was being chic! I love it thanks for keeping us in the fashion trends know. :) Katie

    • rebekahELLE profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Thank you so much Docmo. I forgot how charming it is to be greeted this way! I wish I had more room to post more photos of the classic French women you have named. I think this is very much going to need a part deux! Or perhaps I can add a few more photos. merci,merci.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 

      9 years ago from UK

      Enchanté, ma cherie.

      This is a great hub with a thorough breakdown of French chic.

      Having been to Paris and spent countless hours on sidewalk cafes/ I am an admirer of the chic sophistication of the la femme francaise. The great line up of Catherine Deneuve and Brigitte Bardot is now carried by Marion Cotillard and Audrey Tatou to name a few. voted up! C'est magnifique!

    • rebekahELLE profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Hi Prasetio, You're always so sweet with your comments. I hope you meet the girl of your dreams! Thanks for reading. :)

      Nice to see you Green Lotus, thanks so much for your comment! You are so right, it is a 'je ne sais quoi', it must be the French within them. Whatever it is, it's beautiful. xo

    • Green Lotus profile image


      9 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      This is brilliant! So sophisticated and so "spot on". I will always remember your "Parisian Woman" hub too with affection, and recommend it highly to all. There's a certain "je ne sais quoi" that sets French women above the rest.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      9 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I liked this hub and I love French girl looks. Thanks for writing this. Beautiful hub, I wish I could meet French girl in person. Vote up.


    • rebekahELLE profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Hi debbiesdailyviews! thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, this is a fun topic and can be adapted to any age. French women seem to enjoy their age, whatever it may be and don't try to look like a teenager if they're of a 'certain' age.. have fun with it!

      @Pamela, thanks for reading. It is a fresh, youthful look, isn't it? I'm always happy to see you! :]

      @Ladyface, thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed the article. I may be writing another with more examples of putting clothes together! It was fun writing and I'm very happy to hear that it is helpful.

      @daravuthz, thanks! I'm thrilled to hear it is inspirational. enjoy! :]

    • daravuthz profile image


      9 years ago from Cambodia

      Fantastic hub. Very motivational. Thank you. :)

    • profile image

      L a d y f a c e 

      9 years ago

      Being the fashion-impaired plain ladyface that I am, I am excited about this article. Well written, to the point, well explained. Thank you for giving examples and ample description! Now if only I could steal you for a shopping day...

      Totally voting up.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I really enjoyed this hub. That look is so fresh and distinctive. Great hub, rated up.

    • debbiesdailyviews profile image


      9 years ago

      You pick a faaaaabuous category to hub about, and you obviously live what you write.

      As I am an older Lady with style, even if I say so myself heehee

      I intend to take this on board. Albeit somewhat adapted for my crevasses, ( i mean laugh lines )

      There is no excuse for letting yourself go, at any age.

      Great Hub, and voting UP !

    • rebekahELLE profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Stan, as they say in France, Enchante', or enchanted to see you, meet you. While we say, "pleased to see you", or "nice to meet you", they have this simple, beautiful word, enchante'. The French girl look is both classic and alluring. And so much fun. You're more than welcome here! ;)

    • Stan Fletcher profile image

      Stan Fletcher 

      9 years ago from Nashville, TN

      I'm all about this look on women. Now I know what to call it. Hope you didn't mind a guy reading this ladyhub.

    • rebekahELLE profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Hi darski, it's nice to see you here and thanks for reading. I think effort and time to look and feel good is always a plus. I know for myself, it helps me be myself more openly because I feel more confident and able to contribute in a genuine manner. Yes, I will be over to read your hub later today! be well, enjoy the new year!

      Bonjour europewalker! It's impossible not to notice them while visiting, isn't it? I have heard that their bathroom shelves are lined with jars, tubes, bottle of beauty products. I don't know if it's still tabu, but it used to be rather off limits to use the 'salle de bain' in another home. :=

      Thanks Ingenira for reading. Sitting at a cafe is the way to enjoy the French culture, even the French love this pastime, and it is very much part of their lifestyle. I write about one of my experiences sitting at a cafe in the link above about the Parisian woman looking so effortlessly chic. If you haven't read it, you may enjoy reading it. It was one of those learning experiences for me and it is forever ingrained into my psyche! I'm so glad you enjoyed reading this hub! :]

    • rebekahELLE profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Hi Sylvia, Thanks for reading and being the first to leave a comment. I know the feeling about not looking forward to shopping. I'm not a shopping fanatic either. It helps to find stores with knowledgeable sales people. I had to find a great pair of black trousers this past year and told the sales woman what I was looking for, She knew immediately by looking at me and knowing her inventory what would look best. I bought them on the spot after trying them on. They fit perfectly. It also helps to look through magazines that you can check out at the library or online clothing/fashion sites. I hope you enjoy your shopping, make a list and remember, it's for you. :]

    • Ingenira profile image


      9 years ago

      Very nice. I wish I can sit in a cafe in Paris and observe how the French women dress up. That's not immediately possible. Glad that you put a write-up here for me to imagine.....

    • europewalker profile image


      9 years ago

      Refreshing hub. I also took notice of the stylish French women while I was in Paris. Updated my style when I got back home. Great tips RebekahELLE :)

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      9 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Yes this is an interesting hub, and I did enjoy it very much. It feels good to look fresh and pretty, and make it look like there was not a lot of effort to look this way. Yet, there is effort and time on our personal beauty inside and out....thumbs up great hub, visit mine...Love & peace darski

    • Sylvia Leong profile image

      Sylvia Leong 

      9 years ago from North Vancouver (Canada)

      Love this Hub! This is exactly the look for me. And I need to buy some outfits sooo bad. However, I'm one of the few women in the world who actually despises shopping. I wish I could take you shopping with me for some pointers.

      P.S. I voted this up & shared it on my Fb page.



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