When it comes to beauté, the French definitely know how to create enduring icons that are coveted by the stylish and discerning world over. In honour of Bastille Day (Champagne, s'il vous plaît?), we’ve put together this list of French cult classic products that every woman should own. From the serum and dry shampoo, to the perfume and lipstick that just begs to be worn in the courtyard at Hotel Costes. We won’t lie; it wasn’t easy trying to narrow it down to only eleven, but we tried our very best.  Read on to find out exactly which beauty must-haves made the cut…


The Perfume – Chanel No.5

Marilyn Monroe was once famously quoted as saying that it was the only thing she would wear to bed; “Five drops of No.5” were her exact words to be precise (talk about a killer celebrity endorsement). And while it’s been over ninety years since Coco Chanel and master perfumer Ernest Beaux first created Chanel No.5, the scent, imbued with jasmine, sandalwood, rose and vanilla, remains to this day the world’s most iconic perfume.

The Mascara – Diorshow Mascara

Warning: may cause serious lash-envy among girlfriends. Such is the va-va-voom power of Dior’s best selling Diorshow Mascara. With a buildable formula that means you can apply coat upon coat to your heart’s content, it makes for some seriously dramatic lashes.

The Lip Balm – ByTerry Baume De Rose

Baume de Rose is one of those beauty products that once you’ve tried, makes you wonder what you ever did without it. Delicately rose-scented and super creamy without being sticky, it is the ultimate in luxury lip protectants. It’s so popular in fact, that in celebration of its tenth anniversary this year, ByTerry have released a special edition.

The Lipstick – L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Made For Me Intense Lipstick in ‘Perfect Red’

What could be more quintessentially French than a red lip?  Enter L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Made For Me Intense Lipstick in their best selling shade, ‘Perfect Red’.  The name practically says it all, really.

The Highlighter – Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat

How else to describe YSL’s ‘Radiant Touch’ but as a little gold pen of magic? Not only is it brilliant for concealing dark circles, but with the right application it can instantly create an all-over illuminated and flawless complexion that will have you looking like you’ve just had the best night’s sleep of your life.

The Serum – Lancôme Génifique Youth Activator

There’s supposedly one sold around the world every minute, and for good reason. Lancôme Génifique Youth Activator serum helps to turn back the clock by improving the appearance signs that characterise a youthful-looking skin.

The Makeup Remover – Bioderma Crealine Makeup Remover

Bioderma Crealine Makeup Remover has long been a makeup artist’s secret weapon.  Ideal for those with sensitive skin or prone to redness, it gently cleans and removes even the most stubborn waterproof mascara.

The Spritz – Avène Eau Thermale

Great for when you need that refreshing pick-me-up, Avène’s ‘Thermal Spring Water’ is a fine mist that soothes and calms skin by restoring its natural pH balance. It’s perfect for those times when you’ve just stepped off a long haul flight or post-big night out.

The Dry Shampoo – Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

Klorane’s Dry Shampoo is proof that exceptional quality hair care doesn’t necessarily have to cost a fortune.  With softening oat milk extract, this dry shampoo is both hypoallergenic and ultra gentle, not to mention a core staple behind the grooming routines of French women.

The All in One – Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

If a radiant, glowing complexion is what you’re seeking and you’re yet to discover Clarins best-selling Beauty Flash Balm, now is the time to get discovering. A multi-tasking balm, it works as a moisturizer, hydrating mask and primer in one, refining pores, brightening skin tone and minimising the appearance of fine lines.

Story by Madeleine Boyd. 

Comment (0)

  1. July 14, 2014

    Agree- Klorane is by far the best dry shampoo. No weird scents, and no powdery residue.
    The Lancome Hypnose Mascara is also a good alternative to Diorshow.

    Great article!

  2. April 8, 2015

    I never travel without Clarins beauty flash balm- it’s such a fabulous skin pick-me-up. Along with the make-up genius of YSL Touche Éclat I highly recommend!

  3. April 9, 2015
    Kate Evans

    Lisa – I’ve tried so many dry shampoos but I always go back to Klorane too. By far the best

  4. April 9, 2015

    I always stock up on the bioderma make-up remover when I’m in Paris. It’s really cheap over there and heaps of the pharmacies sell it. Why is it so hard to find in melbourne?!

  5. April 9, 2015

    In officially inspired to try Baume de rose- thanks!