I Wanted a French-Woman Beauty Routine—This Little-Known Brand Was the Key


(Image credit: @kaitlyn_mclintock)

Call it an interest or an obsession, but like so many other American women, I'm fixated on French beauty. What can I say? I'm intrigued by French women and how they approach their beauty routines. Sure, they're known for using effective products with cult followings—does La Roche-Posay, Nuxe, or Bioderma ring a bell? But they're also known for approaching beauty and aging with a certain effortlessness. It's this laissez-faire approach that I find particularly inspiring. 

So when I started seeing a French beauty brand all over TikTok, my interest was piqued. It was a brand I'd never tested, much less heard of, yet so many people said they loved its line-up of products. As any good beauty editor would do, I immediately got to work, seeking out the products to test them for myself. After a few weeks, I was sure I'd found something special. See the 11 products I tried below, and shop my favorite ones. 


I want to start with this cleansing milk because it's one of my favorite Typology products. As I said, I have dehydrated skin prone to redness, so finding a cleanser that removes makeup and sunscreen without stripping my skin is a must. This one does just that. It contains hyaluronic acid, chamomile extract, and coconut oil. The first ingredient hydrates the skin. The second ingredient offers anti-inflammatory benefits, and the third protects the skin with essential fatty acids. As for the texture, it's lightweight and milky, so don't expect it to lather up like a foaming cleanser. Instead, it melts makeup, sunscreen, and debris off the skin in a gentle way. I love it. 

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you might prefer the brand's Purifying Cleansing Gel with 2% Zinc PCA + Bamboo Extract ($30). It has zinc to calm inflammation and limit acne-causing bacteria. There's also bamboo extract to regulate oil production and eucalyptus essential oil to provide an antibacterial effect.

I love chemical exfoliants for smooth, even, and bright skin, so I wanted to try this product, but I had reservations. I was scared it would be too strong for my sensitive skin and cause excess redness. But, seeing as I'm a beauty editor and bravely testing products is my job, I forged ahead. 

As it turns out, this didn't irritate my skin or cause excess redness. Instead, it helped minimize the appearance of the blackheads around my nose. And I swear it lightened up some dark spots from sun damage on my cheekbones.

To be clear, I didn't use this every day. I used it about twice a week after cleansing and before applying serum and moisturizer. To apply it, I would pour a nickel-sized amount into my palm, press my hands together, and then gently press my hands to my skin. 

To me, this is a good no-frills vitamin C serum. I don't think I can attribute any changes in my skin to it (at least not yet), but I love the idea of it protecting my skin from free radicals throughout the day, so I used it every morning for about two weeks. Again, no significant, visible changes, but it also didn't cause any irritation or redness, and that's a win for me. 

I was so excited to try this moisturizer because it's made from only nine ingredients (it's not very often you find a nine-ingredient beauty product these days, so I was intrigued). That includes hyaluronic acid, organic coconut oil, purified water, vegetable glycerin, coconut cetyl alcohol, coconut cetyl phosphate, sodium hydroxide, sugar cane pentylene glycol, and O-cymen-5-ol. 

The texture is somewhere in between rich and light (aka the perfect match for my picky skin), and there's no irritating fragrance whatsoever. The formula melted into my skin and made it feel plump and hydrated. This is a moisturizer I'll keep around for a long, long time. 

Like the vitamin C serum, this was a product that I liked but didn't love. I was initially excited to use this sunscreen because it offers SPF 50, has a light fluid texture, and includes hyaluronic acid and aloe vera. 

But when it came time to use it, I noticed a few things. First, while it did melt easily into my skin without leaving a white cast (something I gave it a point for), it also pilled up (I deducted a point for that). I suspected the pilling happened because I didn't wait long enough for the moisturizer I applied it on top of to dry. The next day, I took some time between steps, and it definitely helped. 

The final skincare product I tested was this exfoliating lip product. It works like a lip scrub, except it uses chemical exfoliation with mandelic acid and pomegranate enzyme to remove dry, dead skin. 

I'll cut right to the chase and say I'm obsessed with this product. It made my lips feel smooth and comfortable, removing dry, rough skin so my lip balm could penetrate deeper. It also made my lip lines look less aggressive. I loved that it didn't have an offensive smell, irritate, or make my lips parched or sticky. This is, yet again, another product I'll be keeping on my vanity from here on out. 


I'll cut right to the chase. This tinted serum offers light coverage and a lot of dewiness. It's definitely not something you'll like if you're used to wearing full-coverage or matte makeup products. However, if light, dewy coverage is your thing, you might love it. 

It felt soft and breathable on my skin, which I loved. My only complaint was the Type 2, Light, shade I used was too yellow for my rosy undertones. It was nothing some concealer and blush couldn't correct, but it wasn't exactly undetectable on my skin. 

To be honest, I didn't think I'd like this concealer. I thought it would read too yellow on my cool-toned skin, and I didn't like that it doesn't come with a doe-foot applicator. 

I was wrong. The formula is creamy and easily blendable with just my fingers—although it also looks great when blended with a sponge. I used shade Type 2, Light, which matched my skin tone well, and the tiny squeeze tube was more convenient than I thought it would be. I've tossed it in my bag more times than I can count for on-the-go touchups. 

My skin can look a little oily after a few hours of sitting underneath makeup, so when I work with a satin-finish foundation, I like to reduce shine in my T-zone with translucent powder. This one does the job just fine. It tones down shine without looking cakey. 

I know I just said I used powder to reduce shine, but I still like to amp up the glow on the bridge of my nose, across my cheekbones, and on my cupid's bow. For that, I used this liquid highlighter infused with skin-loving ingredients like vitamin C and aloe vera. You can mix it with a foundation or moisturizer for a natural luminous finish or use it as a traditional highlighter, which was my preference. 

The finish is beautiful. It's smooth and silky, and the finely-milled shimmer particles give my skin an effortless "I'm a little dewy from walking around Paris" radiance. 

This lip oil is one of my all-time favorites. It's not thick or goopy like other formulas I've tried. In fact, it's quite the opposite. It feels like a cool liquid on the lips, imparts a wash of blurred color, and dries down to a comfortable, moisturizing finish. I'm in love. 

Shop Other Classic French Beauty Products I Love

Up next: I Tried the Lymphatic Drainage Tool That's All Over TikTok—Here's What Happened

Kaitlyn McLintock
Associate Beauty Editor

Kaitlyn McLintock is an Associate Beauty Editor at Who What Wear. Although she covers a wide range of topics across a variety of categories, she specializes in celebrity interviews and skincare and wellness content. Having lived in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, she recently relocated back to her home state of Michigan where she works remotely. Prior to Who What Wear, she freelanced for a variety of industry-leading digital publications, including InStyle, The Zoe Report, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and Coveteur. Before that, she held a long-term internship and subsequent contributor position at Byrdie. When she's not writing, researching, or testing the latest and greatest beauty products, she's working her way through an ever-growing book collection, swimming in the Great Lakes, or spending time with family.