Why French Women Don't Contour

Contouring is well on its way to being the next beloved American pastime, right behind cross-country road trips and baseball. But while American women and girls of all ages are addicted to the new makeup trend, French women do not contour. In a recent interview with The Cut, one French makeup artist dishes as to why.

French editorial makeup artist Violette (one name, how cool is that?) told The Cut that French women are more interested in highlighting what they have instead of creating what they don't. "Contouring is not our thing because the main beauty philosophy in France is to accept who you are. That’s what makes the French look so specific. We just do a little. We want to keep it simple. Even if we don’t have the best cheekbones, we put the focus on our lips or lashes. Changing our face doesn’t appeal to us," Violette said, according to The Cut.

Not only is contouring not part of the French woman's makeup philosophy, it's not even in their vocabulary! Violette told The Cut, "It doesn’t even exist. We use the English word. The reason we can’t do contouring is because contouring needs fixer, foundation, blush, highlighter, you need many products. Frenchwomen — we almost don’t wear foundation. We don’t want you to see that we have anything on the skin."


Although you won't see Violette contouring anytime soon, she did have some nice things to say about American women and their love of going glam.

"For many years, being glamorous wasn’t that cool. America is really inspiring us in a good way. In the past few years, we’ve seen these glamorous American women on the red carpet. Now you see French actresses trying to make some effort and blow-dry their hair and wear a nice dress. Before, it was kind of a rock-and-roll attitude and messy hair. In America, it’s about enjoying being a woman and celebrating it." Touche, mademoiselle.

To read the rest of the interview, head over to