French Look versus American Look

July 5, 2012

Report by Valeria Safonova

Model: Erin Ostler

It is rather uncommon to see a lot of heavily made up women on the streets of Paris. Those who are wearing brighter shades coupled with a pair of stilettos can be easily spotted as tourists – Parisian pavements are rather difficult to navigate around wearing heels, and many women opt for All Star converse shoes. French perspective on beauty and fashion is different from that of North America – instead of striving for perfection, women try to maintain their youthful glow. Their make-up looks focus on a simple rule – wearing a lot makes you look older. In maquillage, less is more.

Currently based in Paris, I have created this make-up tutorial that features a simple everyday French look for the summer. Since this issue is themed as The American Issue, I’m also including an American look for comparison.

The French Look: classic elegance

The colours used are greys, light blues and blacks – nothing too extravagant. The make-up is minimal, with some definition around the eyes, lip gloss and a pale blush to highlight the cheekbones.

The French Look.

Eyes. They are the focal point here. Line them with a shimmery silver eyeshadow and add black with an angled brush for a soft definition. Forego the eyeliner, opting for a more natural, softer look. Add a shimmery white in the teardrop area and below the brow, and voilà, the eyes are done!

Cheeks. French women do not wear heavy foundation with a lot of blush and bronzer on a daily basis. Lightly define the cheekbones with a blush, keeping the look as natural as possible. The trick here is to give an impression of having nothing on your face.

Lips. A light pink gloss is perfect for an everyday summer look.

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The American Look: colourful and playful

In North America, brighter shades of make-up are not uncommon. Summer 2012 collections bring a lot of vibrant colours and feminine silhouettes – something we are capturing with our tutorial. In this look, green and coral shades predominate and work great together.

The American Look.

Eyes. We start by defining the inner corner with golden eyeliner and the outer corner with a green one. Add silver all over the eyelid, blending it with the liner to create a soft definition around the eye. To spice up the colours, add a shimmery purple on the crease and a punch of coral right above it to bring out the eyes. Last step is finishing off the look with black liquid eyeliner and mascara.

Cheeks. Pick a vibrant coral blush – same shade as the coral used for the crease of the eye. Generously – but carefully – apply it on the apples of the cheeks for a fresh, summery look.

Lips. Use a bright coral lipstick, which goes well with the blush, and top it off with a transparent gloss.

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