The beauty challenge: Parisian-inspired beauty looks in 5 days

Our beauty editor gets a French beauty makeover

Beauty Crew Beauty Editor / May 25 2017

Over the last few years, I’ve managed to streamline my beauty routine to about five products in the morning for makeup and hair - I don’t like to experiment with new colours or styles in the morning simply because I’m usually strapped for time, and I prefer the extra three minutes in bed rather than rustling through my drawers to find a new colour or accessory to try. For that reason, the team recently tasked me with the challenge to try a different Parisian-inspired makeup and hair look every day for a week, using products I’d never used before and trying hairstyles that I wouldn’t usually attempt during the work week. Here’s how I went....

Day 1 / Winged eyeliner

It was no surprise that I was running late on the first day of my beauty challenge, just to make things harder for myself. Out of the five looks, I chose the one that was the easiest for me: a winged eyeliner look with lots of mascara – it’s something that Parisian women turn to time and time again. I had approximately three minutes to get my makeup done and pick a presentable outfit; so I reached for Bourjois Slim Felt Tip Liner. I opened the lid and it suddenly struck me that I had never used the product before, and because not all liners are created equal, I realised I could be in for more of a challenge than I originally thought. I had my liner in one hand and a cotton tip soaked in micellar water in the other, ready to clean up any mistakes if necessary. To my surprise, the tip of Bourjois’ liner was super spongy, with just enough resistance to etch a perfect winged shape in one go. I didn’t even need the cotton tip to emphasise the wing’s shape. What a win! Next, I went with Bourjois Volume Glamour Effet Push Up Black Serum Mascara to define my lashes. This product was a real time-saver as the formula can intensify, push up and fan out my lashes without the need to reach for a lash curler. To really make my eyes pop, I added an extra coat to the lashes at the outer corner of my eyes.

I threw on the rest of my outfit and ran out the door, ready to take on the real challenge of the day… finding street parking near the office.

Day 2 / Loose tousled hair

On Tuesday morning I was lucky enough to score a blow-dry at The Blow Bar Co in Waverley, which I visited on my way to work. The challenge for the day was loose, tousled ‘just-rolled-out-of-bed’ hair (think Clemence Poesy), which I was hesitant to try and achieve at home (my go-to through the work week is sleek and straight), so I knew I had to leave this hairstyle to an expert. After a wash and in almost no time at all, my hairdresser twirled and blow-dried large sections of my hair to create loose waves without the need for a straightener or tong. To finish the look, my hairdresser tilted my head back and roughed up the look with his hands, and decided to forgo hairspray. The end result? Done but not over the top, which was just perfect.

Day 3 / Glowing skin

Radiant skin is something that French women have seriously mastered in their beauty routines, and I wanted to emulate that lit-from-within glow for this challenge. Armed with a handful of eyeshadows, I used them to accentuate my eyes and cheeks. First up, I applied Bourjois Little Round Pot Eyeshadow in Brun de Folie over my lids as a base, then I used a soft wash of Little Round Pot Eyeshadow in L’Eau de Rose over the top to brighten my eyes, and lastly I blended Little Round Pot Eyeshadow in Originale with a fan brush over my cheekbones as an illuminator. Although it was a bit much for the office, I did feel fabulous, like I’d scored an extra few hours of sleep instantly. It’s incredible what a little shimmer can do for your complexion.

Day 4 / Ballerina bun

Embarrassing fact - I hadn’t washed my hair since Tuesday, but luckily I was left with one more hair challenge - a low ballerina-inspired bun that the French wear day in and day out. With my long hair, I tied it all back into a ponytail then twisted and wrapped the length around itself to hide the first elastic band. Voila, a low-slung bun that looked very neat. This challenge hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be.

Day 5 / Red lipstick


I was probably most scared about this challenge more than the others because I never wear lipstick, especially not a colour as sharp as red. But it’s a look the French do exceptionally well. Also, I had a long day ahead of me with a few meetings, a lunch with a client, followed by a beauty function in the afternoon and drinks with the girls in the evening. I needed something that was going to last through the day, so I opted for Bourjois Rouge Edition 12H Lipstick in Cherry my Chérie, and paired it with Bourjois Volume Glamour Effet Push Up Black Serum Mascara on my falsies. Impressively, the lip colour lasted all afternoon, right through to my beauty function that was held over drinks, and for the entire day I only touched up my lips once, around my cupid’s bow.

Afterwards, my friends and I headed to another bar, where the bartender complimented me on my red lip and shouted our table a free round of Aperol Spritzes. Note to self: wear red lipstick more often on a Friday night…

The final verdict

This week was full of mixed emotions - excitement for trying something new, and also quite stressful having to venture into new beauty territory. I’m not sure I’d do the glowing skin trick with eyeshadows again for the office, but I’m looking forward to more ballerina buns and red lipstick making an appearance in my work-week beauty routine.

Iantha is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor, and has been part of the team since the site launched in 2016. Besides pinky-nude nail polish and wispy false lashes, she has a healthy obsession with face masks and skin care ingredients. Her previous work can be found in Virgin Australia Voyeur, Women's Health, and SHOP Til You Drop.