What comes to mind when you think of “French beauty”? Perhaps the classic red lips? A carefree smile? A radiance that seems to glow from within?

For me, it is all of these things and more. I have been inspired by the French beauty method for quite some time now, and it’s deeper than a simply appealing aesthetic. Rather, the foundations of French beauty are what have captured and held my adoration the most: taking care of yourself both inside and out, and loving the features that you have. As beauty guru Violette said best, “the main beauty philosophy in France is to accept who you are.

This is a concept that’s often easier said than done — but it’s one that is worth giving a try. Whether you’re a master makeup artist, a contouring wizard, or maybe someone who never quite matches her eyeliner wings, the French approach to beauty is one that can inspire a greater appreciation of your natural features. And really, what could be wrong with that?

My own beauty routine has changed drastically since I began researching more about various beauty methods (and settling on French-inspired)! It became less about covering up my “flaws” or making certain features look bigger/smaller, and more of a “work with what you’ve got” approach. Nowadays, I like to keep an eye on what I put into my body; drinks lots of water; and prioritize skincare.

While I usually start my days with a splash of cold water to wake up my face, my preference at night is to gently cleanse with a  2-in-1 makeup remover and cleanser, such as Garnier’s Micellar water or Ole Henriksen’s Wonderfeel Double Cleanser. Both of these methods are followed by Kopari Coconut Rose toner; Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C facial oil; and Origins GinZing eye cream. Depending on whether it is day or night, I finish with either Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion (for daytime) or Burt’s Bees Royal Jelly Skin Nourishment cream (for nighttime).

My day-to-day makeup look has also been simplified significantly. When I note the difference in how I get ready now, compared to recent years, it feels like I have been two different people! Historically, I felt the need to have a full face of foundation and concealer, mascara (at the very least), some kind of lip color, and eyebrows filled in — all of this before I could feel presentable to the world. Never mind if I felt like doing blush, contour, etc. that day!

Thankfully, my everyday makeup routine has been scaled down and now it includes just a few key products:

– Origins GinZing Tinted Moisturizer: This stuff is amazing! I learned about it from YouTube’s Christen Dominique in her “American VS French Makeup Tutorial” video, and have sworn by it ever since. It goes on white, but as you distribute it onto your face it begins to even out your skin tone and give a very subtle glow!

– Glossier Boy Brow in Brown: If you haven’t heard of Glossier, I highly recommend checking it out. The brand’s philosophy is “Skin First, Makeup Second, Smile Always”, and their makeup products follow the idea of lightly enhancing versus covering. Hence, their brow “gel” (more of a wax, really) which gives some amazing hold and natural color to brows.

– Glossier Haloscope in Quartz: Glossier again! Their Haloscope highlight sticks are awesome for giving a very slight highlight wherever you choose to apply them. I like to highlight the tops of my cheekbones, the bridge and tip of my nose, my cupid’s bow, and the inner corners of my eyes – all with a light touch, of course!

– NARS Audacious lipstick in Audrey or MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo: Like the quintessential “French girl”, I love a good red lip! And these two lipsticks give me two different effects: I go for the NARS Audrey when I want a deep, sophisticated, and creamy red; while I choose MAC’s Ruby Woo when I want my pout to stand out in a sexy and classic way. Either are great options, although it’s good to keep in mind that Ruby Woo is more matte than Audrey!

Optional touches:

– Chanel Le Volume Mascara in Noir: Although I sometimes choose to forego any eye makeup in my daily routine, sometimes I like just a touch of mascara to emphasize my eyes. My absolute favorite is Chanel’s Le Volume, because it makes my average, thin lashes look long and luscious!

– NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger: I am very prone to dark under-eye circles, so on days when they are especially prominent (such as if I don’t get enough sleep) I like to dab a bit of brightening concealer underneath to wake up my face. NARS is my absolute favorite so far, because it isn’t drying; it doesn’t cake or get caught in fine lines; and it truly brightens my eye area!

In summary, I think I’ll be hooked on the French beauty method for quite some time! Of course, every now and then I like to glam it up a bit and choose a more dramatic way to apply my makeup — and there’s nothing wrong with doing it that way too! But for me, those times are much less frequent than they used to be. And, since this method has inspired me to begin accepting my features just the way they are, I would say that it’s been a pretty great change overall!

This guest post was written by Chelsea. A lifestyle blogger at Wit & Wishes