Secrets of French-Girl Beauty From the Chicest French Makeup Artist We Know

In theory, classic "French girl" beauty should be one of the easier looks out there to re-create: a red lip, tousled hair, maybe a swipe of black eyeliner. But in practice, that next-level chicness, the general laid-back vibe, still eludes many of us. To demystify it, we asked our current French girl-crush, Paris-based Dior makeup artist Violette, to spill her hair and makeup secrets. Trained in classical painting at the École du Louvre (instead of conventionally, as a makeup-artist assistant), she creates some of the most incredible bold looks we’ve ever seen for her clients, but her own not-too-done approach is what we want to copy most. After speaking with her, we found that French beauty is much more of an attitude than a how-to. 

First, tell us about the differences between French and American women when it comes to beauty. 
“American women want to push their potential to the top—you have the hair, the eyelash extensions, the manicured nails. Think of Kim Kardashian—she has an amazing face and doesn’t need much makeup. But that done look is her thing, and I find that inspiring. It’s an amazing cultural difference! In France, we never push it. We don't like to change ourselves. So when putting on makeup, we just want to look fresher, but that's it. And we like to look the same when we take it all off. You brush your brows, you curl your lashes, you put on a little bit of mascara, a little bit of blush, maybe a little bit of concealer.”

How has the French icon changed? 
“She’s no longer the Brigitte Bardot archetype. We’ve changed. We’re much more rock ’n’ roll now…like Charlotte Gainsbourg, with an added twist of glamour.”

French hair always looks effortless and skin flawless. How do you do it? 
“It’s about a very chic attitude—the hair must be gorgeous but very natural, like relaxed, not trying too hard. Usually we treat our hair very well. In France, we need the men to touch our hair. We think about that a lot! Same with skin care; we try to really take care of our skin. I have the same skin care routine, no matter what. If it's 4 A.M. after a crazy night and I'm like, eh, I don't care, I still do it. It takes me five minutes, but I do it.”

How does your mood affect the makeup you wear? 
“I think there is a psychological part of your brain at work when you choose to wear makeup or not. I wear red lipstick when I feel happy and relaxed. It's liberating. When I’m feeling more focused and don't want to have any distractions, I stay with super-nude makeup. And when I know that it's going to be a hard day, I will dress like I just got off of a motorcycle—leather jeans, leather boots—and add black smoky eyes. It's about what you feel!”

We have to talk about the ultimate French beauty tip: red lipstick. 
“Lips are like the accessory, not necessarily another step. That's very French. But no lip liner, ever. We never do step-by-step—we don't have time.”

What are your makeup-kit must-haves? 
Black Diorshow mascaraDior black kohl eyeliner pencil: “I love the texture. You can use it as liner or to smoke out your eyes.” MAC Russian Red lipstick: “It’s my signature.”

How to Rock Metallic Makeup: Your Day-by-Day Glow Guide

If you make one beauty move in 2014, let it be this: metallic makeup. So flattering, sexy, and, yes, wearable night or day! But trust us: What works on Saturday nightwon’t on Monday morning! A few metallic rules:

11 A.M. on Sunday:
The trick for casual days: Use metallics subtly—done right, they can actually make you look more awake. To hide a lack of sleep, dab peach liquid highlighter at the corners of your eyes (we swear by Smashbox Under Eye Brightener, $20, Or fake an allover glow by sweeping an iridescent pressed powder like Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight ($44, across your hairline, brow bones, cheekbones, and chin.

9 A.M. on Monday:
There’s a time and place to channel Lady Gaga; the office is not it. But a small hit of sheen is a modern way to feel polished at work. How-to: Apply matte eyeshadow in any color, blend up from the crease, then layer a shimmering shadow in the same shade family only on the lids. You won’t see sparkle when your eyes are open, but a glimpse will flash when you blink. Add black liner and mascara, and keep the rest
of your face simple.

8 P.M. on Thursday:
Want a look that’s sexy but not full-on dance floor? Use metallics to shake up your go-to smoky eye, starting with liner: Trade black kohl for glittery burgundy or navy (try Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Ether and LSD, $19 each,, line eyes, then add shimmery shadows in the same palette, saving the lightest hue for the brow bone. Don’t worry if the lighter shadow falls onto your cheekbones; it’ll act as a highlighter (but do wipe away dark crumbles with a Q-tip).

1 A.M. on Saturday
For a go-big-or-go-home metallic makeup look, some advice: Choose one area (eyes, cheekbones, hair...) so you can maximize the impact. We love the artistry of gold leaf (get it at a local art store); “it can look like liquid metal,” says makeup artist Justine Purdue, who created the looks here. To apply, use a small stiff brush to transfer a little bit of leafing to skin, and pat into place. Define eyes with dark liner, and enjoy! In the words of Paris Hilton, “Some girls are just born with glitter in their veins.”

Gluten Free Lemonades Girl Scout Cookies Copycat Recipe

What is essential, though, is standing up for what’s right. And although the Girl Scouts have other things on their minds (like tying a proper knot and perhaps getting a merit badge by helping an old lady like me across the street), I have one thing on my mind: making sure Team Gluten Free has Girl Scout Cookies. Here’s how:

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: 24 sandwich cookies


For the Cookies
1 1/2 cups gluten-free cake flour (or you can use an equal amount by weight of another high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour)

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/2 cup (58 g) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 packets (0.24 g) True Lemon lemon crystallized lemons
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg (60 g, without the shell) at room temperature, beaten

For the Filling
8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 packets (0.16 g) True Lemon lemon crystallized lemons
2 cups (230 g) confectioners’ sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 to 3 teaspoons milk, at room temperature


  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper, and set them aside.
  • Make the Cookie Dough. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, confectioners’ sugar, salt and True Lemon crystals, and whisk to combine well. Add the lemon zest, and whisk again to combine, breaking up any clumps in the lemon zest, which tends to stick to itself. Add the butter and then the egg, and mixing to combine after each addition. The dough will come together and should be smooth and relatively thick. Place the dough between two sheets of unbleached parchment paper and roll into a rectangle a bit more than 1/8 inch thick. Place the dough on a flat surface and place in the freezer until firm (5 to 7 minutes).
  • Make the Filling. While the dough is chilling, make the filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the butter and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the salt, True Lemon crystals and confectioners’ sugar, and mix on low speed until the sugar is absorbed. Turn the mixer to medium speed and mix until the filling comes together (3 to 4 minutes). It will be very thick. Add the lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons milk, and mix on medium speed until the filling becomes smoother and creamier, but still thick. Add more milk if necessary to reach the desired consistency. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a medium-sized piping tip (I used a #104 tip in an effort to make a flat layer of filling), and set it aside.
  • Bake the Cookies. Once the cookie dough is chilled, cut out rounds using a 2 1/4 inch round cookie cutter. Place the cutouts on the prepared baking sheets less than an inch apart from one another (they will not spread during baking). On half of the cookie cutouts, press another round cookie cutter that is slightly smaller than 2 inches about 1/4 inch in from the edge of each cookie and press firmly but gently to create an indentation in the dough. Be careful not to press all the way through the dough. These will be the tops of your sandwich cookies. Place the baking sheets, one at a time, in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once, until just beginning to brown around the edges (about 10 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Assemble the Cookies.  Turn over the half of the cookies without the indentation, and pipe a generous amount of filling in a single layer on each overturned cookie. Top with the remaining cookies (those with the indentation, facing up) to create sandwiches, pressing down gently to force the filling to the very edge of the cookies. Allow to sit at room temperature (or in the refrigerator) until the filling is set. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Fear of Commitment? The Hairstyle for Swingers

Eight steps to mastering the faux bob

Every time I see a photo of a celeb with newly-chopped short hair, I immediately think, "I need to cut my hair NOW." Sadly, following through on that threat has never ended well for me. Anyone remember Ashley Olsen's angled bob? Yeah, I got that haircut. I loved it for, oh, about two weeks ... until I realized my long hair would take forever and three years to grow back. I vowed I would never get a short haircut again (Ditto: bangs. That was an even bigger disaster). But then Karlie Kloss had to go and get the cutest, chicest bob ever (Why, Karlie? Why are you tempting me to do something I know won't end well for me?). The last straw was Claire Danes' straight-up perfect bob at the Emmys. I was on the verge of heading to my hairstylist when I found out it was faux. 

Suddenly everything clicked. Why not just fake a bob? No commitment. And no agonizing two weeks later when I realize I hate my hair short. Full disclosure: I am severely challenged in the hairstyling department. I can create all kinds of makeup looks blindfolded (yep, I did this makeup), but hair? Not so much. I thought the faux bob would be too complicated, but I was surprised by how easy it was. Scroll to the bottom to see how to fake a short style in eight easy steps. 

Step 1: Create the Curls 

Mist a heat protecting spray onto dry hair, then curl 1- to 2-inch sections of your hair using a 1 ¼-inch barrel curling iron. Make sure to hold the iron vertically, curling away from your face as you go. You need these all-over curls to add body and texture to the look.

Step 2: Divide and Tease 

Once all of your hair is curled, horizontally divide the bottom 3-inch section of your hair at the nape of your neck. Clip the top portion out of the way, then tease the bottom section gently at the roots. 

Step 3: Secure the Base

Next, divide the bottom portion vertically into two even sections. Secure one of the sections at your roots with a clear elastic. Tease the ends using a fine-tooth comb, then wrap it loosely around the base of the elastic to form a bun. Secure with a mini bobby pin. Repeat with the opposite side. 

Step 4: Let Loose

Unclip the top portion of your hair, allowing it to fall loosely over the buns you've just created. 

Step 5: Tuck and Roll 

Wrap a section of the top portion of your hair around your finger to prep before pinning. Make sure to wrap loosely and evenly, creating a even fold before you pin it to the buns formed underneath. If your hair is really long, tease each piece before wrapping it around your finger.

Step 6: Pin It

Once your roll is formed, use a bobby pin to secure it at the base of the bun formed at the nape of your neck. Slide the bobby pin up and then reverse it down, twisting to ensure secureness. 

Step 7: Repeat 

Continue wrapping, tucking, and securing pieces of your hair with bobby pins at your roots to form the bob, leaving a few face-framing pieces loose. Use the buns as leverage for securing your bobby pins as you go. Then, tug on the bob loosely to create a tousled, slightly unkempt look. 

Step 8: Voila!

Re-curl any face-framing pieces as necessary to add volume and definition to the front of your style. Finally, finish by misting with a strong-hold hairspray.

Thought the Ice Cream Cleanse Was Too Good to be True? How About Trying the Tequila Diet?

A new study found that sugars used to make the potent potable can promote weight loss and help diabetes patients

If you'd asked me a few hours ago whether I thought tequila could help you lose weight, I'd have thought for a minute and then said, "Sure, because it makes you throw up." I'm witty that way. 

Turns out that getting sick from six one shot too many is not the sole reason the nectar from the blue agave plant can help you shed pounds. 

According to a new study conducted by Mexican researchers (you gettin' this, Alanis?), agavins, the natural sugars used to make tequila, don't raise blood sugar. This is exciting news for folks with type 2 diabetes and anyone who struggles with excess weight. 

In the lab, scientists fed mice a regular diet and added agavins to only some of the water dishes. They found that the rodents who'd drunk the fortified water "ate less overall and had lower blood glucose levels." What's more, they also generated an insulin-producing hormone called GLP-1 that also keeps the stomach full longer. 

Not to be confused with agave syrup, a heavily-marketed sweetener so high in fructose that its been vilified by many in the health sector, agavins are fructans, which means they don't have the same blood-sugar raising effects as iffy fructose-based sweeteners. 

Mercedes G. Lopez, who led the study, finds only one potential downside to pursuing the use of agavins as a sugar alternative: "[They] are not quite as sweet as their artificial counterparts," says Lopez. Not much of a drawback if you consider the health and waistline benefits. 

Now, before you run out and get rip-roaring drunk in the name of weight loss, there's one slight bummer factor that Lopez mentioned towards the end of her speech at the Biotechnology convention in Guanajuato, Mexico. "[Because in the production of tequila] agavins are converted to ethanol, agavins are not found in the finished product."