They might seem spontaneous and carefree at all times, but when it comes to beauty, French girls do have a few rules they live by. After speaking to a few Frenchies at the Lancôme Philippines office and scanning the web to corroborate my research, here are 5 guidelines à la Françaises I’ve personally decided to add to my everyday beauty routine.

RULE NO. 1: BLOW-DRY A DAY BEFORE.

French women prefer tousled, undone hair over a prim-and-proper blowout any day. To get achieve this, avoid heading to the salon the day of a big event. Instead, schedule your appointment a day before and sleep on your hair to get that lived-in look. Your hair will be just as bouncy and fresh in the morning—minus that stiff, Stepford-wife shape.

RULE NO. 2: HAVE A SIGNATURE SCENT.

France is the land of perfume, so naturally, every French woman boasts of at least one personal fragrance blend. Perfume is more than a mere step in their beauty routine—it is a signature, an integral part of their identity. Some iconic French perfumeries include Chanel, Dior, Hermès, and of course, Lancôme! Whichever you pick, wear the scent regularly so it becomes truly yours.

RULE NO. 3: SAY NO TO CONTOURING.

French women don’t contour! Apparently, trying to change your face shape and structure is not the French way at all. Instead, women opt to highlight their features, adding dimension to their face through the reflection of light. This is more popularly known as strobing. There are tons of strobing techniques out there, but the basics are pretty easy and straightforward. Just stroke your highlighting powder above the cheeks, at your brow bones, and right over your Cupid’s bow. This will be enough catch the natural light.

RULE NO. 4: SAY YES TO SMOKY (NOT SMOKING).

Admittedly, the French (particularly, the Parisians) are stereotyped as holding a cigarette in hand. Now, we don’t promote smoking on Bonjour, but we do promote a great smoky eye. This is perfect for adding a bit of drama and Parisian flair at night. To achieve the effortless French smoky effect, my favorite products are:

  • A good gel eyeliner
  • Brown and black eye shadows
  • A thick volumizing mascara

    HOW TO: With your finger or a brush, blend the brown eye shadow over your eyelid. Don’t overthink this; the messy look will work in your favor! Then, with a slanted brush, line your eyes with the black shadow (both the upper and lower lash lines). Follow this with gel eyeliner for more definition. Finally, finish off with several coats of black mascara to open up the eyes. You should definitely experiment with different eye shadow textures to produce a smokin’ smoky eye! After which, all you’ll need is a touch of highlighter, a dab of nude lipstick, and you’re pretty much Parisian.

    Last, but certainly not the least…

RULE NO. 5: LESS IS MORE.

In line with being effortless, the French woman does not overthink, nor does she overdo. When it comes to hair, the unfussy bedhead is the standard. For the face, flawless, glowing skin with sun protection is enough. Maybe just a bit of clear brow gel to frame the face and a smudge of red lipstick to get that just-bitten finish—but that’s it. In a Daily Mail interview, Lancôme muse Caroline de Maigret even declared, “French women have given up on being perfect.”

So the next time you’re in a rush to get ready, rethink all that powder, lip liner, and hairspray—and simply do as the French would do.

Photos courtesy of Lancôme