How to Create the Classic French Look Makeup... à la Vegan!

For summer makeup looks that never go out of style, our Vancouver-based vegan and cruelty free makeup brand picked a timeless classic: the French look.

What is French look makeup and how to create it?

When makeup artists refer to a French look, it is one that puts most of the emphasis on an evened-out skin tone, a well-defined mouth (usually red) and light eye makeup with various styles of dark eyeliner, quite often emphasizing the top line.

Here is how SAPPHO Makeup Artist Cristina Campoy created a classic French makeup look, with a very 2022 twist... totally vegan!

More About the French Makeup Look

This look actually dates back to the 1700s and has persisted in its own way, always with the current looks of the day having some effect. For example, in the 2000s, eyeliner was very thick and not nearly as defined as today, and the usual color of the eyelid would have been a light bisque.

In this version, Cristina chose a softer, slightly blended eyeliner. Keep reading to see how. 

Makeup Artist Cristina applying soft blended eyeshadow to create a modern french look makeup on Asian model Kate

Steps for Creating This French Look Makeup

1. Foundation 

Cristina combined the Essential Foundation with the Skin Perfecting Primer as her model’s skin was quite oily but yet had even skin tone so she needed less foundation. You can use your favorite moisturizer or sunscreen in the same way,
(light coverage) or the traditional way using moisturizer and then applying the base with a buffer brush (medium coverage). 

Model with French makeup look holding a bottle of Essential Foundation in shade Lisa used to create a vegan makeup base

2. Concealer

Blend the Cream Concealer out and up with the Concealer Buffing Brush to treat the delicate skin under the eyes properly and to camouflage any under eye darkness.

3. Setting Powder

Starting at the center of the face, apply setting powder with your brush in small circles, evenly and softly over the whole face. Here she used the loose Silky Setting Powder and our Blush & Powder Brush.

4. Brow Pomade

Using a sturdy Angle Brush with a bit of Brow Pomade can give eyebrows a clean, groomed look without overdoing it. Perhaps an underrated yet crucial step in creating this look, we advise not to overlook it!

5. Eyeshadow

Face close up of model with French look makeup especially to show vegan eyeshadow with soft blended eyeliner

Deep Dianne: With an Eyeshadow Buffing Brush, apply this color from the lash line all the way up to the brow, as a base, so that the eyeshadows on top will blend effectively.

Raven: Using the upper lash line as a guide, apply with an Angle Brush, keeping the color very close to the lashes, and flick the liner upwards at the very end.

You can do this look with more drama using Raven on a wet brush (try organic aloe gel, helps it to last!) and then you can sculpt the line into a stronger look, if that's what you prefer.

Laura: For a soft, blended look, smudge, and then blend Laura bronze eyeshadow along the lash line.

6. Mascara

Apply 2-3 coats of the Maximum Intensity Vegan Mascara, let it dry, and repeat as needed. Keep the outer corners in mind and add a little extra at the end.

Close up vegan mascara wand applying to outer lashes on Asian model for French look makeup

7. Blush

Make sure to color your cheekbones, just above the bone rather than below the hollow. We love using our Blush & Powder Brush for placement that is soft yet precise.

For the French look a bit of pink is always a classic, placed in the middle of the cheek above the bone. Cristina chose to give it a fresh, summery feel using peach blush Natalie for a modern touch that works great on all skin tones.

8. Lips

Close up of model's lips wearing vegan red lip gloss for classic French look makeup

Lip gloss wands give you a lot of control over the lines you draw, so you can create perfect red lips more easily. Try using our Speak Volumes Lip Gloss in Chelle for a cruelty free red lip gloss, with a slightly blue tint. It gives a bold lip that stays put for hours.

Et voilà, the classy French look!

Prefer watching video? Check out Cristina's Youtube tutorial on our channel: