The Jane Birkin Guide To Laissez-Faire Beauty


She’s an eternal style muse

It is no overstatement to call Jane Birkin one of the coolest women walking the planet. The fringe, those doe eyes, the hair and that androgynous and effortless approach to style: there’s a reason the likes of Alexa Chung consistently name-check Jane as their style inspiration.

With Serge Gainsbourg in 1969. Keystone-France/Getty Images

As a tomboyish youth, Birkin grew up feeling insecure and unattractive, and idolized another icon, Jean Shrimpton, with her voluminous blow dries and ’60s glam. It was only upon meeting Serge Gainsbourg in 1968 that she realized she “had her own kind of attractiveness”, she has said. Despite being born in Britain, Birkin embodies the pinnacle of French-girl style and beauty for many women eager to emulate her minimalistic approach. 

British Vogue breaks down Jane Birkin’s laissez-faire beauty rules below.

Pared-back skincare

Skinimalism may be one of the biggest trends in beauty right now, but Birkin has been doing it for decades. Preferring a minimalistic approach to skincare, she is a fan of two cult, multitasking products: Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream, and Embryolisse’s Lait-Crème Concentré. She has used the latter, a French-girl classic, since her early twenties on both face and body. 


To address puffiness and generally wake up her skin, Birkin splashes her face with cold water each day. While she previously said that she thinks “puffy eyes in the morning are rather beautiful”, she nonetheless enjoys the benefits of cryotherapy via cooling under-eye masks to awaken and revive the area.

Minimal make-up 


Her motto is “less is more”, so Birkin doesn’t always wear make-up. When she does, she harnesses the power of hybrid formulas that are quick and easy to apply. One of her go-to formulas is MAC’s Matte Lipstick in Soar, which she uses as a stain on her cheeks. She also likes Givenchy’s Mattisime foundation to help even out her skin tone. While a flick back through old photographs of her reveal a fan of fluttery eyelashes, now she “hate[s] mascara”. “I wear less and less make-up,” she says. “When you get older, it’s probably a mistake to put too much on.” 

Facial yoga

Birkin shuns injectables and more invasive facial treatments in favor of a holistic face-lifting technique. Face yoga involves a series of movements and exercises that manipulate the muscles, helping to lift, sculpt, drain toxins, and alleviate tension. 

DIY haircuts

She’s the woman who popularized “Birkin bangs”, a style that is always in demand. But nowadays especially, Birkin is far from precious about styling her hair. She still has her fringe, but previously revealed that she has cut her hair herself when she was “in a bad mood”. She does, however, get subtle highlights to prevent grey roots. 

This article was originally published on British Vogue

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