Backstage beauty: How to achieve the ultimate French girl glow according to Chanel

By Josefin Forsberg

Photo: Chanel

Vogue Scandinavia steps backstage at Chanel for an intimate peek at the spring/summer '24 show. Ever wonder how to achieve the Maison’s signature ‘French girl glow’? The mystery unravels in the step-by-step below


Perfect a fresh-faced complexion

It may be redundant to note that the ‘French girl glow’ is all about a fabulously fresh base. At Chanel, this meant a light layer of foundation, concealer only where needed and a dab of powder in the T-zone.


According to the brand, the exact way to recreate the look (once you’ve properly prepped your skin with moisture) is to reach for Les Beiges Water-Fresh Complexion Touch in your shade and apply with the 2-in-1 N°101 brush for both fluid and powder foundation. Next, dab on the Le Correcteur de Chanel concealer and blend with the brand’s retractable dual-tip N°105 concealer brush where needed. Sweep a light layer of Powder Universelle Libre where you usually experience some shine and finally add a touch of freshness with Joues Contraste in Pink Explosion on the apple of the cheeks and on the temples with a dense round blush brush, dusting the excess on to the middle of the forehead.


Frame the face

Eyebrows are like the often the under-appreciated supporting act to the flashy show of a smokey eye or sharp lip. Well-groomed brows brushed just so can often make or break your look, and for the 'French girl glow' it is all about a natural allure.

The soft arches at Chanel were achieved in three steps: first brush the brows with dual-ended N°207 brow brush. Next, fill in any gaps with a waterproof Stylo Sourcils that match the colour of your eyebrow hairs (an added Vogue Scandinavia tip is to use two colours, one lighter and one darker, to replicate the shifting shades of your natural brow). Finally, set the hair in place and add some dimension with the transparent Gel Sourcils.


Intensify your eyes

The key behind the alluring je ne sais quoi of Chanel’s ‘French girl glow’ is the subtle shading along the lash line. Reach for the Style Ombre and Contour in shade 12 (Contour Clair) or 04 (Electric brown) depending on your skin tone. Swipe the eyeliner along the outside of the lower lash line and smudge it out with a dense eyeshadow brush – N°200, for example.

Next add a light touch of ‘Sienna Pink Button’ to the inside crease of the eye and blend. (The shade can be found in the top right corner of the Les 4 Ombres Byzance 308 Parure Imeriale palette.) Finally, apply either brown or black mascara on the upper lashes to give a light definition.


Sculpt a subtle lip

While we’re letting the skin and eyes do most of the talking with this look, your lips will also need some TLC. Backstage at Chanel, this first meant a quick coat of lip balm to soften the skin before applying either 31 Le Rouge Rouge Beige or 31 Le Rouge 2.55 all over the lips depending on skin tone. While we’re all for a just-kissed care-free smudge, Chanel opted for a more refined method when applying the lips, carving them out with the brand’s dual-ended N° 300 lip brush.


Finally, nail it

If you’re thorough, nails should be included when recreating Chanel’s curated look. The brand passed on current trends, falling black on a truly classic Chanel shade: the 111 Ballerina. A royal favourite, the soft pink leaves any nail tip-top. Begin your at-home manicure with a coat of the brand’s base shade Camélia before applying the 111 Ballerina in two or three coats depending on the amount of coverage you desire. Finally, lock in your polish with a gel top coat and soften up your cuticles with the brand’s iconic La Crème Main.