French girls are a league of their own. There is something about them that makes them effortlessly beautiful and flawless. They are adored for their good looks and while we thank the genes for it, we know that also responsible for their smooth glowing skin is France’s beauty industry. For them, taking care of the skin is the first priority and make up comes after.
And we know how much you want to achieve their glow. Who doesn’t? Well, the good news is it is not impossible. Also, it is not anymore a secret. So we list down 27 French beauty, makeup and cosmetic brands you should know.
Guerlain cosmetics on display at a second flagship store of Rinascente in Rome, Italy. Photo Sorbis
First on the list is Guerlain, a French house that offers a variety of products including fragrances, cosmetics, and skincare. It was founded in 1828, one of the oldest houses in the world. It started its operation with its collection of perfumes having prominent personalities as its clients. Guerlain has then expanded to include makeup products that cater to women of different complexions. The brand, through its line, wishes to bring out the natural beauty of women in an inimitable French style.
68 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris, France
Contact: +33 1 45 62 52 57
With over 60 years of expertise, Embryolisse has successfully established an unparalleled reputation in the field of dermo-cosmetics. Embryolisses helps women in so many levels from nixing dryness to creating a primed base for makeup application, the brand has proved to be an effective brand that takes care of your face and body. Embryolisse invests in the use of progressive technology and up-to-date research for women who want to commit themselves to a true expert. Embryolisse creates products for all types of skins and has been passed on from one generation to the other.
French skincare brand, Collosol, traces its history to the 1950s in the beautiful city of Paris where actresses would visit pharmacies to look for a product that could remove makeup and fatigue after their performances. The pharmacist then created a solution made of half milk and half formula, which was inspired by ancient beauty rituals. It made the skin soft, clear, and smooth with a gentle scent. From then on, Collosol has been used on the face and in bath by many women. The brand is so popular it has been passed on to generations even without advertising.
Photo: Christophe Robin
Women and girls in France are envied by many because of their glorious hair. And when it comes to taking care of the skin, many turn to the established Christophe Robin. The brand is a namesake label of hair colorist and haircare expert, Christophe Robin, who started in his career at the age of 15 in 1985. The brand launched its first haircare collection in 1999 designed for colored and sensitive hair. His products are derived from ancient and elusive natural resources in order to effectively and safely nourish the hair and maintain its vibrant color.
16 Rue Bachaumont, 75002 Paris, France
Contact: +33 1 40 20 02 83
Le Couvent des Minimes
Inspired by the ancient traditions, a skincare brand was found in 2004. Le Couvent des Minimes was taken from a convent in Mane, which housed botanist monks of the order of Minims. The built was surrounded by herbs and flowers and the monks who resided there cultivated various plants used as food and treatment. And so in 2004, the brand took inspiration from that part of history incorporating simple and authentic skincare recipes. They blend traditional natural ingredients that actually yield results.
Diptyque had its humble beginning in 1964 when it was established by three friends and produced printed fabrics. Shortly thereafter, the brand launched their line of scented candles and fragrances. It has then ventured into skincare products that use essential oils from flowers, plants, and seeds through slow infusion thereby retaining the qualities of the ingredients. The face collection is suitable for all types of skin and is paraben, silicone, surfactant and mineral oil free.
Address (Saint Germain):
34, Boulevard Saint Germain, 75005
Contact: +33 (0)1 43 26 77 44
In 1933, some owners of a vineyard in Bordeaux founded Caudalie, a French skincare house that caters to individuals of different skin types. Their line consists of products that are free from parabens, phthalates, paraffin, mineral oil, and other artificial coloring. The brand utilizes natural products from the vines including grapes. In 1995, the company acquired the patent for extracting Polyphenols. It was also the first to use the natural active ingredient Resveratrol, which is key against skin ageing. They have likewise conducted series of studies that combine their three patents and the most effective molecules to address various skin issues.
8 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75003 Paris, France
Contact: +33 1 44 78 11 61
Source: a certain romance
Vichy is another skincare brand known for its line of quality products that effectively keep the skin healthy. Vichy is a remarkable brand for its use of thermal water and other natural active ingredients that help retain moisture and nutrients in the skin. The line offers skincare products for both men and women. It was founded in 1931 and since then, it brought to the table groundbreaking products that benefit individuals with sensitive skin. Moreover, Vichy is guided by their philosophy of accurately diagnosing problems before proceeding into any treatment.
Bourjois is a French cosmetics brand owned by Coty Inc., but was originally created by actor Joseph-Albert Ponsin in 1863. He would create fragrance and makeup for his fellow actors. In 1868, he entrusted the company to Alexandre-Napoléon Bourjois and that was when the company went international. The brand encouraged women to express their style and creativity by creating tasteful products that are accessible to them.
For women who have committed themselves into everything organic, then Melvita makes a great brand for you. It is a French retailer of body and face products that are 100 percent organic and made from all-natural ingredients. Melvita was created by biologist and beekeeper Bernard Chevilliat in 1983. Mel means bee, while vita means life. Experts from the brand work hand-in-hand with the producers to ensure the quality of their products, a partnership built on trust. Melvita is proud of its eco-friendly factory and use of eco-friendly packaging.
Coming from a job as a financial analyst for a pharmaceutical company, Aliza Jabe returned to France and bought a small lab. Aliza founded Nuxe, from the terms “nature” and “luxe”. Nuxe lives by its philosophy that beauty comes from instinct, it undertakes an instinctive yet sensory approach towards beauty and skincare. Its range of products is produced from natural ingredients like plant extracts including rose petals and essential oils. They also smell fresh because of ingredients like liquorice and honey. By addressing skincare issues through natural products, women tend to feel more natural and reconnect with their inner nature.
Another French skincare brand is Biotherm, which was established in 1952. Now a part of L’Oreal group, Biotherm offers a wide range of skincare products and treatments primarily made up of thermal plankton. It is an element that is usually found in thermal spring waters. This element is known to rejuvenate the skin keeping it healthy and hydrated.
If you ask French girls or women about the skincare products they use, you would probably hear a lot of Avène. It is a calming product that keeps the skin smooth and healthy. This is so because all its products are derived from thermal spring known to sooth the skin. The brand features its line of skincare items that fights irritated and allergic skin. Other products are used to address problems like eczema, psoriasis, burns, and atopic dermatitis.
Lancome is a luxury fragrance and cosmetic house owned by L’Oreal group. The brand combines scientific expertise and full understanding of women’s needs. It recognizes that happiness is what makes a woman beautiful. Through their line of makeup and skincare products, they wish to see more women love their life for who they are as they embody a radiant and confident outlook in life.
Taking care of the crowning glory of women is PhytoSpecific. The brand has broad selection of hair products from shampoo, conditioner, to treatment, and oil and serums. The brand fuses botanicals and oils by extraction to create hair formulas. Each product is carefully put together to address the needs of a specific type of hair. PhytoSpecific, therefore, caters to different types of hair, each of which prescribes a specific type of care and treatment.
Another branch of L’Oreal group that produces exceptional skincare products is Decléor. It was founded in 1974 by Solange Dessimoulie who was fascinated by the nature’s powers. She then joined forces with an aromatherapist with a belief that essential oils have positive effects to the skin cells. They incorporated botanical elements, especially essential oil, to address the varying needs of the skin. For over 40 years, the brand is leading the world of aromatherapy grounded on its three core values: Naturalness, Sensoriality and Effectiveness. The brand also observes stringent quality assurance process to ensure the quality and effectiveness of their products.
The House of Orlane has been in the beauty industry since 1967 offering quality and effective skincare and makeup products. The brand was founded by a pharmacist who was intrigued about plants and nature. From there, the development of beauty products started through a scientific approach. A series of studies was conducted and is still being conducted with the most advanced technology and experts for the creation of Orlane products. Using natural and biotechnological elements, Orlane worked to create products that benefit the skin.
Terry de Gunzburg quit her studies in medicine to a live a creative and colorful life as she became a renowned makeup artist to supermodels. She was involved with Yves Saint Laurent as its makeup designer for 15 years until she introduced her eponymous label makeup. By Terry features a line of quality makeup and makeup tools. Her makeup line is made up of active ingredients and pure pigments. With the help of advanced technology, she had come up with makeup that gives a flawless complexion.
Bioderma is a French pharmaceutical company that undertakes a scientific approach to taking care of your skin. It was founded in the 1970s that employs biology in advancing dermatology. It takes time in fully studying and understanding the skin and from that it selects active ingredients that may restore, activate, or preserve the skin. The brand is known for its line of products that protects the skin and activates its resistance from environmental factors, but still gentle especially to the most sensitive skin.
Long before the ‘bio’ trend, there was a mutual vision between Leoner and Jean-Marie Greyl to create natural hair care products. Leonor was an enthusiast for hair care, while Jean-Marie was an engineer and a botanist. The brand was born and offered haircare products including shampoos and scalp care or treatment products. These products naturally add shine to the hair, strengthening them, and take care of the scalp without the use of parabens, sodium laureth, coal tar and silicone.
Klorane is another French skincare brand that was founded more than 50 years ago. Klorane features the marriage between plant heritage and science to create quality products. As it focuses on quality, Klorane limits its products to shampoos, dry shampoos, conditioners, and makeup removers. Its products were formulated through plant-based ingredients such as mango, peony, almond, nettle, pomegranate, oat, citrus, and chamomile. They only use the purest plant extracts and all the products do not contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which is known to irritate the skin and scalp.
Created in 1959 by French entrepreneur Yves Rocher, a beauty brand in his namesake has become one of the most popular cosmetic labels not only in France, but also to the rest of the world. A botanist, Yves turned his passion for plants into a plant-based beauty brand that shows respect to both women and nature. The brand uses organic ingredients by getting involved in the entire cycle of the plant from the field to the skin. A group of experts have been conducting studies for the brand in order to answer to every need of the skin. The brand is certified by Ecocert and carries a Cosmebio label.
Women in France have undeniably one of the best hairs in the world. Among the reasons is Rene Furterer, a stylist who first opened a hair spa in 1957. Later on, the business grew and as a botanical expert, he was the first to create plant-based hair products. He carefully selected rare essential oils, which were key ingredients to his products. Each of the essential oils offers a distinct sensory experience.
L’Occitane en Provence
L’Occitane en Provence, or simply L’Occitane, is an international brand that retails face and body products, among others. This France-residing company was founded in 1976 by Olivier Baussan. Baussan started from distilling rosemary essential oils, and then later expanded to soap and cream. The brand did a lot of research in their very own state-of-the-art research lab focusing on plant extraction, analytical chemistry, and molecular biology. L’Occitane en Provence is inspired by the ingredients found in Provence, in the south of France. The brand uses natural, high quality, and traceable ingredients, which are carefully selected to ensure effectiveness and ability to give your skin maximum benefits. They use over 200 botanicals that include almond, cherry blossom, lavender, shea butter, peony, and rose, among others.
Another hair expert found in the heart of Paris is David Mallett, a hairstylist and hair expert who glammed up some of the world’s most beautiful including Penelope Cruz, Naomi Campbell, Diane Kruger, Demi Moore, and Kate Winslet. Outside his work as a hairstylit, David launched his own selection of hair products that give the hair moisture, volume, and health. They are made from four primary ingredients, to wit: Keravis, macadamia nut oil, Japanese nori red algae, and Murray River salt. The brand employed skin-friendly formulas to address skin sensitivity and allergy.
Born in 1948, Talika is a cosmetic specialist that offers eye care, skincare, and bodycare products, as well as, beauty devices. Talika is a product of one’s interests in rituals and know-how as each of its product has a story to tell about the encounter between a man and nature. It takes inspiration from nature’s vital energy and biological mechanism using natural ingredients to boost the cellular functions.
Recommended by over 25,000 dermatologists, capping off the list is the phenomenal La Roche-Posay. The brand uses antioxidant thermal spring water known to calms and soothes the skin keeping it healthy. La Roche-Posay works for all skin types, but it does magic for people with sensitive skin. Many people who have problems with skin irritation and hair loss find relief from this brand.