How To Get The “French Girl Look” When You Are Over 40

It’s no surprise that so many women have been fascinated with the “French girl” or “French woman” look over the years – that je nais se quoi or casual insouciance is pretty compelling. But that effortless sophistication does strike a note with women of all ages and we can’t deny that we find it inspiring. Plus, with “Emily In Paris” trending on Netflix we’re leaning into that inspiration!  

The French Girl Look

Now everyone always hears about French girl style and the charisma of French women, but it’s more than just red lipstick, striped shirts, scarves, berets and expensive neutral pieces that make up a capsule wardrobe. It’s finding the products and pieces that make you feel great.  It starts with a good foundation that includes gorgeous underpinnings and polished skin. 

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Good Lingerie

We’re not talking about standard foundation garments here, but something black and lacy perhaps, or a beautiful silk robe like this magical La Perla one (alternatively, this Turquaz Linen Store robe available via Amazon is a great deal). These might not be for everyday – although we certainly wish that we wore La Perla daily – but for special occasions. That said, even your more basic lingerie pieces can and should be a little bit special, even if only you see them. We love Chantelle for that. Just look how elegant the Orangerie smooth contour bra is and it would add a little oomph to your day.   

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Natural Haircare

Leonor Greyl was the first natural hair care brand founded in France and uses botanical formulas. It has earned an official Leaping Bunny seal, ensuring that no animal testing occurred during any stage of the company’s green shampoo and conditioner development. It’s still one of the best smelling hair care lines out there. French girls adore Leonor Greyl Paris Bamboo Shampoo and Éclat Naturel styling cream.

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French Girl Perfect Skincare

We all know that French women – or anyone – doesn’t get that make-up free look and glowing skin without some effort involved, including cleansing and moisturizing and more than the occasional spa treatments.  

Most French women use like cleansers, we like a micellar water. And if you are a current French woman you will use one that can remove all the impurities and pollution from your skin, like Talika Moisturizing Face and Eye Micellar Water or Bioderma Sensibo H20 Micellar Water. Never use an overly harsh cleanser especially as you get older – it’ll tug and may damage your skin. 

Next is a moisturizer, naturally. Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre is rich while still being light enough for everyday. And it gives your skin a satin finish and includes soy proteins to diminish fine lines, which is always a good thing when you’re over 40.   

And never skip out on the sunscreen at any age. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultralight SPF50 is a cult classic for a reason, but any high SPF sunscreen is a key aspect of what keeps French women looking the way they do. 

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Lipstick

Last but not least, lipstick. You don’t have to go with the classic red, but you definitely can if it works for you. We are fans of the Guerlain Rouge G customizable tube and incredible range of colors including a variety of reds so you can discover the one that works for you.

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French Girl Fragrance

This might be the most important component. Finding a signature fragrance – whether you chose one for life or for just a particular time in your life – is definitely a personal choice. 

And we think a truly special perfume is well worth the effort – something like Krigler Pleasure Gardenia will take you to foreign lands a tantalizing base of jasmine, vanilla and mimosa with Japanese gardenia petals and musk, while Cote’Azur by Oribe will transport you to the South of France with Silician Orange and White Butterfly Jasmine. And Le Labo Santal 33 is an intriguing unisex fragrance with notes of irish, leather and cedar. 

French women know that a good fragrance will linger in people’s minds long after you leave the room and take advantage of it. 

Shop The French Girl Look

Let us know in the comments or in our Growing Younger Facebook group! 

–Jaqueline Zenn

You may like to read more of Jacqueline’s styling posts like How To Decide If An Online Purchase Is Worth It and How To Dress for Cool Versus Warm Skin Tones.

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