French Yé-yé was a music movement that emerged in the 60’s. The name derives itself from American and British wave 60’s music like The Beatles and their refrain of “yeah! yeah!” (Fun, right?)
The French pop singers were largely beautiful women who embraced mod clothing and strong cat eye makeup. Romance flicks often feature a Yé-yé tune during meet cute scenes, so you’ve probably heard the tunes and just never bothered to identify them.
Françoise Hardy, France Gall, Chantal Goya, and Jacqueline Taieb (Scott’s recommendation) are amongst my favorite Yé-yé singers. Serge Gainsbourg, Brigitte Bardot, and Sylvie Vartan are just a few others.
I’m no expert, but these vocalists all seem to talk more than they sing. Granted, they talk in a very alluring way– the French language is incredibly attractive to an American ear, especially on vinyl.
I created a Spotify playlist of French pop that you can listen to here.
I also noticed, in my research, that many of the music videos feature the singer looking directly into the camera, either seductively or with a cutesy smile. I won’t be doing that in my tutorial, as I am neither seductive or cutesy (apologies in advance).
The women all sport a similar, mod look; they all have sleek, straight hair; and, at some point or another, they all had blunt bangs. Blunt bangs are a bit of a commitment for a blog post, but I wanted to recreate the thick cat eye and otherwise minimal look that these women so often wore.
This is my pink-toned, French girl-inspired makeup look…
For the skin, you want it to look pretty flat, not too luminous or dewy. I tend to use concealer where I need it, but never a full face of foundation. That being said, wear as much or as little base makeup as you see fit for your skin. Add a light pink pinched cheek (Glossier Cloud Paint, Puff) and, if you feel like it, a fake mole underneath your eye (like France Gall, right) to complete the skin.
To fake a mole, use an eyebrow pencil and lightly dot a freckle on the face where desired, then just dab with the finger to make it look more natural.
The first love letters are written with the Eyes.
That’s a French proverb that works well for our purposes. Strong eyes are the focal point of any mod makeup look, but the for the women featured in this post, a thick cat eye that covers the eye lid is a must. If you look at images of Francoise Hardy, it looked like the only thing she wore was eye makeup.
For this, you’ll need a liquid liner. I find that the easiest way to draw a cat eye is to use the bottom lash line as a guide and draw the flick upward. Another tip is to look directly ahead. But honestly, if you’re reading this blog, then you probably already know how to draw a cat eye.
If you were Chantal Goya or France Gall, you probably threw on lip balm and walked out the door. But for the purpose of making this post a makeup look, I’m going to shake it up a bit. If you saw my previous Tuesday Lipstick edit, you’ll have already seen this