For those who aren’t familiar with Jeanne Damas, she is a Parisian-born blogger who’s amassed such a following that she now has her own fashion line called Rouje. If you are as obsessed as we are by the idea of French women, well, Damas epitomises that. She is a puzzle of personalities; she has an “I don’t give a fuck” attitude but is warm and elegant at the same time. Damas is eloquent even when she’s not speaking her native tongue. Oh, and did we mention that she’s gorgeous?
When I think of Damas, I think of her pillowy, pouty red lips, so it’s little surprise that her first move away from fashion would be toward beauty. Today, Damas has launched four lipsticks and a lipstick palette that encapsulates all the French-girl shades. Rouje’s lipsticks encourage the user to apply the product with the fingers—something Damas does herself. This instantly gives you that blurred, stained effect that’s so damn sultry.
The line contains shades such as a rosy nude (Emilie), a rich deep red (Lamia), a warm brown (Camille) and a true red (called Jeanne, of course). Last week, in the heart of London’s Covent Garden, I met with Damas in a little room upstairs in Balthazaar. It had décor that wouldn’t have looked out of place in 1920s Paris, which is most likely why she chose it. The new beauty line with its etched gold packaging has a timeless quality.
I spent my time chatting with Damas, trying to soak up as much je ne sais quoi as I could. Not only that, but I also discovered a new makeup look I’m now dying to try and the best places to shop for beauty in Paris. Plus, she shared with me the secret to her perfect, effortless hair…
So you’re launching with four lipsticks and a palette. Do you have a favourite?
I like the palette because I like to mix. I like when it’s not perfect. I like when I can put it on my cheeks and eyes sometimes. I like to play with my makeup. After this launch, one new shade will be coming each month after. [Ed. note: There’s an orange-red shade coming later that’s perfect for summer.]
What’s your skincare routine like?
I’ve used Joëlle Ciocco for a long time. I love oil. You understand when you grow up that it is really important. When you’re 20, you’re like, “What the fuck?” but when you get to 25, your skin changes. Also, I quit the pill a year ago, and now my skin is different. I have to really take care of it. At night, every night, I take my makeup off. Also, with the sun, I put some SPF 50 on. Me, I don’t like to put foundation on my face if I don’t have to—just some concealer and blush with my lipstick. I like to see the skin, the imperfection, the freckles… everything. I think it’s cute. It’s charming.
In winter, how do you keep your skin hydrated?
I love Joelle Ciocco Elixir Nutritif. It smells so good, and you can use it to massage. It’s the best, I think. But for something less expensive, you can use coconut oil. You can find it in an organic store or wherever. It’s really greasy and good for your body and hair. Plus, you can eat it!
How do you apply lipstick?
I don’t like when lipstick is perfect. I like when it’s blurry, so I use my fingers. I like to use a lot, and when I’m done, I take a cotton bud and tidy around the edges. I don’t wear mascara—I just use gel in my brows and put lipstick on my cheeks.
Us Brits are obsessed with French women. We think French women are so chic. How do you view British beauty?
Us, we love British beauty. My icons are British: Kate Moss, Vivienne Westwood… Women who can eat, drink, live, you know, and are not too perfect. But French women are like that—we are quite similar. For me, the British have more fun. They want to be unique, whereas, in France, everybody wants to be alike. So maybe that’s the difference? You really have some humour—you don’t take yourselves too seriously.
How do you get your hair looking tousled?
I wash it every day. I know it’s not good, but it gets flat if I don’t do that. After that, I have a technique: I don’t blow-dry, so when it is naturally dry, I put serum from David Mallet. I scrunch that into my mid-lengths and ends so that I have a little movement. If I don’t do that, pfft.
If I was going to go to Paris, where should I go shopping for beauty?
I love Oh My Cream! in Paris. It’s all organic products, but only good ones. I love to go to the pharmacy for sunscreen and shampoo like Klorane. But if I want a new lipstick or new thing, I like bigger stores like Galeries Lafayette or Le Bon Marché because there is everything.
Coming into party season, do you tend to do a red lip?
For me, I have no rules. A big red lip can be worn on Sunday with my pyjamas. For a party, I can have nude lipstick. I am not so into Christmas and everything, but for a party, you know, it’s always lipstick for me. A little eyeliner too. I also love brown lipstick with a brown liner. [Ed. note: Trying this ASAP.]
Keep scrolling to shop the new Rouje lipsticks below.