This Is the Difference Between a French and an American Makeup Routine


(Image credit: @lesliedumeix.mua)

When it comes to the lives, routines, and product collections of makeup artists, we're intrigued—or, to be more accurate, entranced. After all, these are the artistic professionals who spend their days and nights prepping all of the industry's most fabulous names for fashion shows, editorial shoots, red carpets, film sets, ad campaigns, and so, so much more. Not only do they have access to the world's most beautiful faces any given day, but they also have access to the world's most covetable skincare and makeup products. A safe assumption? They know what's what within the beauty product realm and only use the crème de la crème formulas, colors, and brands. Not only on their A-list clients, mind you, but on their own faces as well.


(Image credit: @christinecherbonnier)

In honor of our own recent July 4 celebrations and today being Bastille Day—the French National Day and the anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789—we decided to do a little game of French versus American beauty. We asked two celebrity makeup artists, one French and one American, to not only share their go-to summer skincare and makeup routines (because we're dying to know!) but some background as to how their French and American roots have inspired their individual approach to beauty. Keep scrolling, your ultimate French- and American-inspired product inspiration awaits.


(Image credit: @lesliedumeix.mua)

Parisian Makeup Artist, Leslie Dumeix


(Image credit: @lesliedumeix.mua)

"All the women I grew up with would wear very little makeup and would focus on their skincare routine instead. For French women, the secret is to treat your base as well as you can so you don't have much else to do! That's why I have always been so interested in skincare.

"Also, food is a major part of my skincare routine. Eating healthy and organic food does affect your skin, and maintaining a workout routine is just as important in order to release all the toxins!

"My French origins have definitely influenced my makeup routine, and I always try to ensure my makeup looks effortless. I do wear makeup every day, but the goal is undetectability. It should look natural, not overdone. French women prefer to wear fewer products—we love mascara and a nice lip color! The French-way of beauty influences my work, and I try to highlight natural features as much as I can without going too far!"

The Parisian Skincare Routine:

Step 1: Face Mist

Step 2: Serum + Eye Cream

Step 3: Moisturizer + Facial Oils

The Parisian Makeup Routine:

Step 1: Foundation + Concealer

Step 2: Blush + Bronzer

Step 3: Eyes

Step 4: Lips + Highlighter

American Makeup Artist, Christine Cherbonnier


(Image credit: @christinecherbonnier)

"I grew up in Austin, Texas, and was lucky to learn about holistic health care growing up. There was a big hippy culture in Austin, especially in the '90s, so I had access to natural skincare brands from a young age.

"As far as ingredients, I learned very young that aloe vera was a miracle. My grandmother always had an aloe plant in the house. I use mine at home to blend my own facial serums and use it for sunburns after being outdoors in the summer. Sun protection is a key element to my skincare routine. I fried my skin as a young person in Texas, not having much education about the risks of sunburn and sun damage. I am currently using the MDSolarSciences MD Creme Mineral Balm SPF 50 ($39). I can just throw it on when I'm on a location job without a mirror and not worry about a white residue being left behind."

"Lastly you have to educate yourself about ingredients! There is little to no regulation of American skincare and makeup. There are hundreds of chemicals in American beauty products that are banned in Europe. It is worth the time to google ingredients and learn about what’s going on top of your skin."

The American Skincare Routine: 

Step 1: Cleanse

Step 2: Exfoliation

Step 3: CBD Serum

Step 4: Moisturize

Step 5: Lip Oil

The American Makeup Routine:

Step 1: Foundation

Step 2: Brows

Step 3: Eyes

Step 4: Lips

Beauty Director

Erin has been writing a mix of beauty and wellness content for Who What Wear for over four years. Prior to that, she spent two and half years writing for Byrdie. She now calls Santa Monica home but grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and studied writing, rhetoric, and communication at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and spent a summer in L.A. interning with the Byrdie and Who What Wear family. After graduating from UW, she spent one year in San Francisco, where she worked as a writer for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen before moving down to L.A. to begin her career as a beauty editor. She considers her day-to-day beauty aesthetic very low-maintenance and relies on staples like clear brow serum (from Kimiko!), Lawless's Lip Plumping Mask in Cherry Vanilla, and an eyelash curler. For special occasions or days when she's taking more meetings or has an event, she'll wear anything and everything from Charlotte Tilbury (the foundations are game-changing), some shimmer on her lids (Stila and Róen do it best), and a few coats of the best mascara-type product on earth, Surratt's Noir Lash Tint.