The Best French Makeup Brands - What to buy and where to find them (2023)

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It’s no secret that many tourists come to Paris in search of discovering the best French makeup brands. If you’ve ever visited France, you’ve probably noticed that most French women have something in common: luminous skin, subtle and elegant eye make-up and a perfect red lip.So, what are the best French makeup brands and where can you discover them? Below you’ll find our complete guide to French makeup and beauty including what’s inside a French girl’s makeup kit, where you can find the perfect red lipstick, and more INSIDR tips you won’t find anywhere else!

Most Popular French Makeup Brands


BY TERRY is a Premium skincare & makeup brand born in the heart of Paris in 1998. This brand was founded by Terry de Gunzburg, legendary French make-up artist who is known for having invented the best-selling YSL Touché Eclat concealer that was considered a game-changer in makeup. Since having left YSL Beauté, Gunzburg has launched her own successful brand, BY TERRY. “Beauty is not a stereotype, your personal style is your own signature to be expressed day by day” according to Gunzburg.

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BY TERRY brings innovative and luxurious products for all women, all ages, all beauty, to reveal their best face. TERRY constantly invents new techniques, successfully infusing skincare in all make-up products to radiantly enhance women’s beauty. What everybody loves about BY TERRY is their personalized approach to applying makeup. Visiting their boutique at Galerie Véro-Dodat, you’ll be able to choose the right shades for your skin-type with the help of their skin and makeup consultants.


Chanel makeup holds the same iconic status as the brand’s clothes, and for good reason. The beauty branch was founded in 1924 with the launch of their still-popular perfume, Chanel N°5. A face powder and lipsticks followed soon after, establishing Chanel Makeup as a leader and innovator in the global makeup game. Some of their most popular products today are the Huile de Jasmine beauty oil and of course their red lipsticks. Try the Rouge Allure Intense Long-Wear Lip Colour for that perfect Parisian red lip.

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Since its founding in 1969,Dior has long been considered as one of the best French makeup brands in the market. When they started, their mission was to create makeup in unique shades and colours for use in couture runway shows. Today, their best selling products are basics like mascara, eyeshadow, nail polish and lipstick. If you ask a make-up artist what is the best mascara out there, they’ll probably answer Diorshow. The mascara is a cult favorite and has been since the early 2000s.

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Lancôme is one of oldest french makeup brands in operation. What started out as a perfume company has grown to become one of the top luxury beauty companies in the world after they were acquired by L’Oréal in 1964. In January of 2015, Lancôme appointed the highly-respected makeup artist and YouTuber Lisa Eldridge as its Global Creative Director. This a great French makeup brand to check out if you want high quality makeup basics without the luxury price tag of companies like Chanel and Dior.

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What’s inside a French girl’s makeup kit

1 – concealer

The French girl’s makeup kit can be broken down into four must-haves. The first is concealer whichbrightens,color-corrects and gives you a natural finish. For a French girl look, combine your concealer with a lightweight foundation for a simple, dewy look. We love the Stylo-Expert Click Stick concealer from BY TERRY. It comes in an ergonomic applicator which makes it extremely easy to apply on top of foundation or on bare skin!

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2 – mascara

The second must-have is an awesome mascara. Luxury brands like Dior and Chanel both make great mascaras, but at a hefty price. For a more affordable option, try the Lash-Expert Twist Brush Volume & Length Mascara from BY TERRY. It’s actually a dual-action mascara that you can twist 2 different ways: one for volume and one for length. It’s particularly great for those who don’t have very lengthy lashes as it coats even the smallest and shortest lash hairs.

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3 – pencil eyeliner for a smoky eye

A touch of eyeliner can go a long way. For French girls, a light smokey eye or a well-blended line on the upper lid is a staple look for a night out on the town. Lancôme Crayon Khol is great for a smokey, smudged effect while their Grandiôse Line is best for a razor-sharp application. Equally well-ranked is the Dior Artliner and their felt-tipped Art Pen.

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4 – red lipstick

Last but certainly not least is an iconic red lipstick. Afantastic option is the Rouje Paris Lip Palette. It has four multipurpose shades that can be used as lipstick, blush and cream eyeshadow. Le Rouje de Paris was founded by French it-girl Jeanne Damas so you know you’ll walk away with that perfect Parisian ‘je ne sais quoi’.

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Where to find French makeup brands


A great place to get many of the products we recommended in this article is: Marionnaud. They have a huge selection of skincare and makeup products in their stores! You can get your hands on the best products in French skincare and have access to high-end makeup brands like YSL, Dior and more! Best part about Marrionaud is that they have over 200 stores in Paris and its surrounding areas so it won’t be hard to find them! They have stores on popular streets like Rue de Rivoli and Avenue Champs-Élysées! Marionnaud is your one stop shop for all your make-up, perfume and skincare needs!

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By Terry at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

BY TERRY has become an increasingly popular luxury French beauty brand across the world. Beauty-lovers visiting Paris shouldn’t miss the chance to pop-by its beautiful boutique in the equally gorgeous Galerie Véro-Dodat which is one of Paris’ oldest shopping arcades. While BY TERRY products are available at many department stores in Paris like Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, their boutique in Paris is where you can really enjoy the brand’s full range of services.

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BY TERRY at their Galerie Vero-Dodat boutique (now closed)

Major Department stores in Paris

Major department stores in Paris offer a huge selection of national and foreign beauty brands. They also enjoy exclusive partnerships with many beauty companies meaning they almost-always carry limited-edition products and deals that are not available anywhere else. Large department stores like Galeries Lafayette Haussmann also offer complimentary makeup services for their customers.This is also where you’ll find exclusive seasonal makeup collections. Plus, if you’re visiting from outside of the EU, at Galeries Lafayette you can get an instant tax refund in Paris on any purchase you make in-store. Besides Galeries Lafayette, other French department stores accessible in Paris include Le BHV Marais and Le Bon Marché. Our Top Paris Shopping Guide shares all the important shopping details

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Oh my cream!

Oh my cream! is a French beauty concept store with locations across the country. Their skilled team cherry picks amazing, clean beauty products and aims to educate and demystify the customer about the beauty industry. They carry a wide range of lesser-known beauty products including makeup and skin care lines. If you’re tired of the ordinary makeup shopping experience, Oh my Cream is for you. You can visit one of their Paris locations at 17 rue Debelleyme, 3 rue de Tournon, 104 rue du Bac, 2 rue Guichard, and 4 rue des Abbesses.The Best French Makeup Brands - What to buy and where to find them (16)

Top tips from French makeup experts

Terry de Gunzburg

BY TERRY‘s founder Terry de Gunzburg has been dubbed the “Steve Jobs of beauty” for her ability to create beauty products that grow a cult-following. She’s the brilliant mind behind the revolutionary YSL Touché Eclat that launched several other highlighter pens from multiple beauty brands. Terry de Gunzburg’s signature look is all about having perfect skin, rosy lips, and expertly curled ebony lashes. According to the beauty maven, “There is nothing like a classic red lip to make me feel beautiful” which is why she is never without her BY TERRY Rouge Expert Click Stick in 17-My Red.

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Jeanne Damas

Jeanne Damas is a makeup guru in her own right. She’s one of those responsible for putting ‘French girl chic‘ in the spotlight with her classic and effortless style that you can actually shop at her clothing label, Rouje. Even with much success in fashion, it’s no surprise she has branched out to beauty. Her recently released Rouje lip palette is just the tip of the iceberg. In a recent Vogue interview, Damas took fans through her entire makeup routine. Her signature look is as simple as natural skin, thick, gelled brows, and a dab of rouge on the lips and cheeks. While it doesn’t take much to look stunning when you’re Jeanne Damas, some of us might need a little extra help.

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For the Parisian makeup artist and Estée Lauder’s new Global Beauty Director simply known as ‘Violette’, makeup is all about accentuating what’s already there. For her, as she says for many French women, every beauty routine starts with the ‘base’ by which she means, great hair and ever better skin. She uses a potent cocktail of French pharmacy staples on her skin to prep, then adds a few dramatizing touches like a bit of smudged eyeliner and a red lip. Another rule? Violette is absolutely against contour. She prefers adding a bit of highlighter to create dimension rather than weighing the skin down with bronzers and concealer. If you wanna know the basics about French skincare, we have a guide on the Top 20 Products!

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What is the most popular makeup brand in France? ›

Ranking of leading cosmetic brands in France in 2022, by brand value (in million U.S. dollars)
CharacteristicBrand value in million U.S. dollars
L'Oréal Paris11,217$
May 10, 2022

What is the number 1 skincare brand in France? ›

Best French Skincare Brands 2022 (Our Top 10 Picks)
  • Best French Skincare Brands. #1 — Avene. ...
  • #2 — La Roche Posay. ...
  • #3 — Clarins. ...
  • #4 — Yves Rocher. ...
  • #5 — Lancome. ...
  • #6 — L'Occitane. ...
  • #7 — Caudalie. ...
  • #9 — Nuxe.
Jul 3, 2021

What is the highest rated makeup brand? ›

L'Oréal tops the list, followed by Estée Lauder, Gillette, Nivea and Guerlain, which make up the top five. They are followed by Clinique, Dove, Pantene, Lancôme and Garnier - rounding out the top ten.

What is France's largest cosmetic company? ›

L'Oréal. Every woman knows the multinational French makeup brand L'Oréal! L'Oréal is always my go-to solution for affordable French makeup whenever I need a good product but I don't want to spend a lot of money.

Is Chanel makeup cheaper in Paris? ›

Some of the most popular brands that will be cheaper in Paris include, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Balmain, Christian Louboutin, Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent (YSL), Roger Vivier, Thierry Mugler, Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Hermès, Lanvin, Chloé, Rochas, and Céline.

Which country has best makeup products? ›

According to one survey, the highest-quality beauty products come from Japan, the United States, and France (in that order). In this survey, 65 percent of those who used a wide variety of beauty products from different countries placed Japanese products in the number one spot.

Do French people use Clarins? ›

Clarins, A luxury Parisian skincare brand

He built up quite a fanbase from his salon in Paris, he counted in his clientele some French celebrities of the time. First sold only in Paris, Clarins became the top-selling luxury skincare in France in the 1980s, and then a world-renowned brand.

Is La Roche-Posay actually French? ›

Discovered centuries ago in the town of La Roche-Posay, France, it has been recognized by the scientific community for its skin care properties thanks to its high concentration of Selenium, a rare and powerful natural antioxidant. This water is used as a key ingredient in many of La Roche-Posay's skin care formulas.

Which is better Vichy or La Roche-Posay? ›

La Roche Posay is very much focused on healing and resolving skin concerns, whereas Vichy as a brand prioritises perfecting and beautifying. Further to that point, the La Roche Posay spring water is often hailed as 'the healing water' whereas the Vichy spring water is generally referred to as 'the beautifying water'.

What makeup brands are worth the money? ›

Makeup Brands That Are Actually Worth Your Money - YouTube

What makeup brands do celebrities use? ›

15 Celebrity Beauty Products That Are Actually Worth It
  • 1 Pharrell Williams: Humanrace. ...
  • 2 Jonathan Van Ness: JVN. ...
  • 3 Rihanna: Fenty Beauty. ...
  • 4 Jessica Alba: Honest Beauty. ...
  • 5 Tracee Ellis Ross: Pattern Beauty. ...
  • 6 Selena Gomez: Rare Beauty. ...
  • 7 Alicia Keys: Keys SoulCare. ...
  • 8 Gwyneth Paltrow: Goop.
Feb 8, 2022

Is L Occitane a luxury? ›

vɑ̃s] "the Occitan woman (in Provence)," commonly known as L'Occitane, is a French luxury retailer of body, face, hair, fragrances, and home products based in Manosque, France. Founded in 1976 by Olivier Baussan, with the purpose to create a company that celebrates and preserves the traditions of his native Provence.

Is Sephora cheaper in France? ›

SALES!!! Sephora France's sales by far outweigh any of those proposed by Sephora USA. As opposed to the US marketplace, Sephora France offers sales and discounts nearly every two months for almost all brands.

What company sells the most makeup? ›

Today's best-selling cosmetics are mixture of established and newer brands. Maybelline is still the world's top-selling brand, with a commanding 7.4% global market share, and is unlikely to be threatened any time soon by a premium brand.

Is Dior cheaper in Paris than London? ›

Bottom Line. It is substantially cheaper to buy luxury products from brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior, or Gucci in Paris, their prices being on average between 30% and 40% cheaper in France than in other countries, especially those outside the European Union.

Is it cheaper to buy a Chanel handbag in France? ›

Before 2020, you could travel to Paris and the price of a Chanel bag would be cheaper in Paris than in the USA. With the price increase due to Covid, the truth is there isn't much of a difference anymore anymore in Chanel boutiques in the USA Vs Europe.

Is it cheaper to shop in Paris or London? ›

While London has a lot of high-end brands and big stores located far from each other, Paris has both chic fashion in boutiques and street trends in one neighborhood. And prices? Well, shopping is definitely a bit cheaper in Paris than in London.

Which country has best skin in the world? ›

People in countries like Denmark, Finland, and Norway tend to look at beauty as deeper than what you put on your skin.

Which country has flawless skin? ›

When it comes to this last field, the impact has been so big that we even have the term “K-Beauty”, which is used to categorize all skincare products made in South Korea and more than that: their philosophy of improving the skin inside out to maintain a youthful, natural look.

Why is Clarins so good? ›

Clarins uses over 250 natural plant extracts in its formulas. All are carefully selected for their effectiveness and are delivered in an optimal formula to reveal the beauty of every woman. Each ingredient is sourced with the utmost care for the environment to protect our planet's biodiversity.

Is Clarins a high end brand? ›

Clarins operates in over 150 countries with the Clarins and My Blend brands, and is a major luxury skincare brand in Europe. Although more than 95% of its products are exported worldwide, they are formulated and designed in Clarins Laboratories in France.

Is Clarins made in China? ›

Today, Clarins continues to design and produce its products in France and remains faithful to its original philosophy—listening to women to truly understand their needs and developing safe, naturally-derived, highly-effective skincare products.

What is better than La Roche-Posay? ›

Best cleanser for normal to dry skin

The CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser boasts practically identical qualities, with the only surface-level difference being that it contains hyaluronic acid in place of La Roche Posay's glycerin + niacinamide combo.

Which is better La Roche-Posay or Avene? ›

However, one important distinction is that La Roche Posay's cream has a tendency to pill easily; we can only recommend it to those with naturally smooth and problem-free skin. Avene's Hydrating Emulsion, on the other hand, applies gloriously well on all skin types. A lightweight moisturizer in the form of an emulsion.

Is La Roche-Posay worth it? ›

While bottling the spring's revered water in various formulas may not be as effective as soaking in it, La Roche-Posay remains one of the most dermatologist-recommended brands out there due to their mild formulas and special attention to skin conditions such as eczema, dryness, and acne.

What is the French makeup brand? ›

Chanel. Founded by Coco Chanel in 1910, French highness Chanel has grown to be one of the most iconic fashion houses of all time. And while we fawn over its ready-to-wear, leather goods, and accessories, so too, do we get googly eyes for its beauty products.

Is Loreal popular in France? ›

People in France, the US, the UK and Brazil don't have the same expectations when it comes to cosmetics, and aren't necessarily into the same brands.

Is Yves Rocher popular in France? ›

The number one beauty company in France

It is Yves Rocher that takes first place in France and in many other countries around the world. Yves Rocher is present in 88 countries and has more than 650 stores in France.

How the French do their makeup? ›

When it comes to French makeup rules, it's all about striking the right balance. A heavily-colored lip is balanced by neutral eyes, while dark eyeshadow is paired with a neutral lip color. French women like to keep it classy, and their goal is to achieve a healthy, natural-looking glow.

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