Sorry to be such an inevitable cliché, but French beauty products have a certain je ne sais quoi that simply can't be ignored. Beautiful ingredients, clean formulations, gorgeous packaging, try as we might, our obsession runs deep. And it doesn't help that our favorite celebrities, makeup artists, and all-around beauty icons encourage said obsession by consistently favoring beloved brands like Bioderma, Caudalie, Leonor Greyl, Talika, Darphin, By Terry, and so many more.
What with it being the season of gifting and showing our love, we decided to compile the ultimate French beauty capsule chock full of the best French brands—and the top-selling formulas from each—we know you'll try and instantly fall head over heels for. Oh, and just in case you're wanting to get ahead of the shopping curve, they also make amazing gifts. Ahead, 15 cult-loved French hair, skin, and makeup staples every beauty lover should try in their lifetime. Keep scrolling!
The Soothing Cleansing Oil
Little did you know that this lesser-known cleansing oil is actually one of the best in all the land. Plus, since it's fragrance- and soap-free, it's a great option for those with extremely sensitive skin or ongoing conditions like atopic dermatitis or eczema. The nourishing formula plunges deep into pores for optimal cleanout.
The Holy-Grail Micellar Water
This one probably doesn't come as a surprise—Bioderma's cult-loved micellar water is one of the most iconic skincare products maybe ever. Alas, nothing beats the hydrating formula when it comes to cleaning and perfecting your complexion in just one swipe.
The Complexion-Enhancing Toner
Delicate, lovely, and steeped in calming agents like soothing chamomile extracts, this limited-edition toner from Darphin is on every beauty editor and celebrity's It list. It keeps the pH of your skin in check (which can easily get thrown off balance!) and also reduces any kind of redness or inflammation that might creep up this season. We're also convinced it makes our makeup application look about 10 times better.
The Radiance-Boosting Serum
The name of this fan-favorite serum doesn't lie—it really does perk a lackluster complexion up with instantaneous radiance. It's filled with unique ingredients like Viniferine (a natural compound found in vine sap patented by the brand in 2004), olive squalane, organic chamomile, and organic grape water, and no other serum quite compares.
The Party Pre-Game Mask
Talika's bio-enzymes masks are legend, and this brightening one is our extra-special favorite. Saturated with luxe ingredients like vitamin C, aloe, grapefruit, and chamomile, it's the perfect thing to pre-game your face with before a night out or special occasion.
The Affordable Face Cream That Should Be $200
Everyone from celebrities to makeup artists to beauty editors keep this bottle of tubed magic stashed close by at all times. It's rich, thick, luxurious, and an immediate antidote to parched, thirsty skin.
The Botox-in-a-Bottle Eye Cream
People can't stop buzzing about this powerhouse of an eye cream from French skincare brand Filorga. Brimming with the latest and greatest medical techniques, the formula utilizes key things like peptides, proteins, plumping spheres, and a unique lifting complex which helps fight the look of sagging, fine lines, and wrinkles.
The Only Hand Cream Worth Having
Yes, your hands deserve just as much love and attention as your face and hair—especially right now during the onset of bone-chilling temps, winds, and all other chap-causing environmental factors. Luckily, L'Occitane's lush hand cream has your back this season. In fact, it's such a hot ticket item, the brand says one tube is sold every three seconds around the world.
The Award-Winning Mineral Sunscreen
This epic sunscreen formula wins award after award and is probably the best mineral sunscreen formula hands down—even beyond the French beauty realm. It's lightweight, non-greasy, water-resistant, non-comedogenic, fast-absorbing and blissfully free of parabens and fragrance.
The Straw-to-Silk Hair Oil Treatment
It's almost impossible to pick just one favorite product from iconic French haircare line Leonor Greyl, but this pre-shampoo treatment (the most beautiful blend of botanicals oils) has to be our all-time favorite, and one of the first products to fly from our mouths when someone is seeking some serious hair TLC.
The Shampoo that's a Parisian Legend
René Furterer is a Parisian legend within the haircare industry, and it just so happens this shampoo is one of the brand's must-have, best-selling formulas. Great for all hair types, it's saturated with nutritious antioxidants, vitamins, and all other things your strands are likely craving right now.
And the Best Mask to Go With It
For the ultimate shiny, healthy hair ritual, follow the above shampoo with this highly restorative mask. Creamy and rich, it remarkably rejuvenates strands with moisture and strength without weighing them down. We swear—your hair will actually feel lighter and bouncier.
The Dry Shampoo that Won't Suck-Dry Your Hair
Enriched with nourishing oat milk, this French dry shampoo star not only zaps up excess oil and debris but bathes hair in softening, natural ingredients to boot.
The Serum for Lush Lashes
French brand Vichy might date back to 1934, but that doesn't mean the brand lacks exciting innovation—this game-changing serum boasts a clinically advanced formula to help tighten and plump the skin around your eyes almost instantaneously—in 10 minutes to be precise. Plus, if you're good about regular application, it will even boost the volume and shine of lashes; $35 multi-tasking at its finest!
The Serum-CC Cream Hybrid That Makes Your Skin Glow
Meet THE dark horse product for a glowing and subtly sunkissed complexion. By Terry makes some of the most beautiful makeup and skincare formulas, but it's this stunning CC-serum and luminizer hybrid that's had our hearts forever and always.
Up next, these are the best french beauty products you can buy at the drugstore.
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.
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.
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