The French Girl Beauty Routine Demystified

Have you noticed how French girls seem to have taken over our social feeds? I have too, but I don’t mind it. Their nonchalance somehow always manifests in perfectly composed aesthetics. Yet this effortless nature is as refined as a glass of good wine and well-groomed from the generations of chic French women before them. I, on the other hand, look like a hippie living out of a van in Venice if I’m given the option to look nonchalant and effortless. I may forever struggle with the je ne sais quoi of the French, but I sure will snap up their beauty tips.

Which leads me to the darling Marie-Laure Dumon… The coolest of the COOLS crew, ML is unofficially responsible for anything that resides in the “oh shit” category, but officially, she is the Head of Merchandising. On any given morning, you can find her running (a touch) late, with a croissant and latte in hand, all smiles, and looking so damn put together. She is French through and through and brings suitcases of French pharmacy products back from Paris annually. After some relentless questioning on my part, she sweetly invited me to her home so I could get the low-down on her routine.


COOLS: Let’s start with the basics, what is the core of your beauty routine?

ML: In general, I pay much more attention to my skincare routine rather than to makeup and I’ve been using a lot of products that my mother also uses, and most of them are French skincare staples. Because I’ve been living in the US for more than 5 years now, I’ve incorporated non-French skincare products but I still have very much of the French influence in my routine.

COOLS: Let’s dive into those products, what do you use daily?

ML: Every morning in the shower, I clean my face with Caudalie’s Instant Foaming Cleanser: the texture feels like you’re washing your face in a cloud. I love that it’s made at 98% from naturally derived ingredients. I kind of always examine my face for any blackheads and don’t hesitate to use two Q-tips to get rid of some when I they’re “ready”. I prefer Q-tips so much more than a tissue and my fingers, I feel much more in control. After I’ve purged a bit, I always make sure to triple moisturize, which I guess is quite a lot.

The French Girl Beauty Routine Demystified

Avène Hydrance Optimale

First, with The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 – it feels really moisturizing and penetrates my skin instantly. I like tapping my face with my fingers to deeply moisturize and activate the product. It also helps me wake up in the morning – like mini gently slaps in the face. Weird, mmmm I know. Then, a spritz or two of Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir, it helps to tighten pores, it’s super refreshing to help me wake up in the morning, and I love the natural smell. Finally, always a moisturizer with SPF and one of my favorite is Avene’s Hydrance Optimale with SPF, summer or winter, I always leave the house with some kind of SPF protection on my face. I heard we’re supposed to have SPF on our hands too but I’ve still haven’t gotten into the habit. In winter, I use Avene’s Anti Redness cream with SPF too, it’s extra moisturizing and extra soothing. Just can’t wear this one in New York’s summer humidity.

COOLS: Do you do anything differently in the evenings?

ML: And then at night, I clean my face with a cotton pad (or 2 or 3) soaked with Bioderma’s Sensibio Makeup remover. It’s super efficient while it doesn’t create any redness on my skin and soft enough to be used on my eyes. It’s also super refreshing, it’s what my mum uses too and I always stock up when I go home to Paris, it’s so much cheaper than in the US. To get rid of excess oil and try to minimize my pores on the T zone, I sleep a whole night with Peace Out Pore Treatment Strips on my face, available exclusively at Sephora. Weirdly comfortable and soothing. You take it out the next morning and it has sucked in all the excess oil and removes the tiny impurities in your pores. Love this new discovery!


The French Girl Beauty Routine Demystified 1

Bioderma Sensibio Créaline H2O


I only exfoliate once a week just because I kind of forget and I don’t want to irritate my skin too much. I’ve been using Caudalie’s Glycolic Peel Mask, I love that it exfoliates gently and doesn’t itch or create redness on my face. And then to counteract, I try to do a moisturizing mask once a week (or at least twice a month): my favorite is REN’s Evercalm Ultra-Comforting Rescue Mask. It’s instantly soothing as soon as you apply it and smells divine. I also love that REN has 100% recyclable packaging, refillable solutions and bottles with reclaimed ocean plastic.

The French Girl Beauty Routine Demystified 2

Caudalie Glycolic Peel

COOLS: What are your beauty indulgences?

ML: Ha! So, once a month, I go to Skinspa or Heyday for a deep cleansing facial of my pores and intense hydration. I’ve gone into that routine in the past year or so, unfortunately, needed more high maintenance than I used to. And here I thought zits were only for puberty…

COOLS: Tell me about your makeup routine?

ML: Usually, by the time I finish my skincare routine, I’m running late, and I also don’t really like wearing a lot of makeup as it doesn’t feel like “me”. So I only add 2 layers of mascara, maybe concealer if I have time, lip balm and I’m ready to go!



Sensibio H2O 500 ml



Evercalm(TM) Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask 1.7 oz/ 50 mL



Spf25 Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Cream, 40ml - Colorless



Glycolic Peel



Dry Shampoo with Nettle



Beauty Elixir, Size 3.4 oz


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