French Girl Beauty is a Fantasy, Says This Iconic Parisian Makeup Artist

Updated 04/27/19
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Just like fashion, the beauty world is filled with legends, and Terry de Gunzburg is one of them. The classic French icon enrolled in a beauty course in her 20s, serendipitously attended a Vogue cover shoot, and the rest is history.

Gunzburg worked as the product developer at Yves Saint Laurent for many years (where she created cult product Touche Éclat, no less) before she ventured out on her own and launched By Terry. The now-cult brand is stocked at Mecca Cosmetica, and continues to grow and grow in popularity.

When I received a call asking if I wanted to chat with Gunzburg on her last-ever press trip to Australia, naturally I cancelled all plans and compiled a list of hard-hitting questions. Held at the Mecca store in Sydney's iconic Strand Arcade, the interview quickly turned into an impromptu makeover that left me with the glowiest 10-minute touch-up of my life. While she swished powders across my face, I quizzed Gunzburg on French-girl beauty, her favourite products, and her best beauty advice. When she was done, I was floored.

My face was glowing and she only used three products (that you can shop below) to achieve the look. Her hack? It turns out I've been using the wrong shade of concealer under my eyes my whole life. 

Keep scrolling for her life-changing advice, and a quick comparison of my before-and-after beauty look. 

Byrdie Australia: How do you find Australian women's approach to beauty?

Terry de Gunzberg: "I love it because it's very healthy and glowy—it’s joyful. It's not a crazy or dramatic approach. I think Australian women are more about glow than full coverage. It never looks fake or cakey, it's interesting. I also like the fact that Australian women are really keen on protecting their skin from the climate, sun, and pollution."

B: You’re Parisian, what do you think about our obsession with French-girl beauty? 

TG: "It's so funny because I think it's like a fantasy—I don't think it's true. It's effortless yes, but to the point of being a bit negligent. Many French women don’t give enough attention to beauty."

B: But French women always look so great. Do you think they just have a certain confidence about them?  

TG: "I think maybe it's because of the weather, the food, the eating, and drinking, it’s a very laid-back lifestyle. Although, they’re often smoking, so I really don't know! French women are very natural yes, and they’re very effortless, but it’s because they don’t care. You can’t convince a Parisienne woman to buy or wear something because it’s trendy. I think it’s this attitude that gives them an air of confidence that everyone is so fascinated by."

B: What beauty routine do you follow yourself?

TG: "I’m disciplined, and I’m obsessed with cleansing, hydrating, and protecting. I prefer layering serums, I find it’s extremely brightening and hydrating. They protect my skin from dehydration, pollution, and free radicals. I like to use the Terrybly Densiliss Foundation ($158) as it has an anti-wrinkle formulation. I buff it in with a brush and if I need more during the day, I retouch. I also use the Stylo-Expert Click Stick ($56) as it gives beautiful, creamy coverage. I use it on uneven spots and under the eyes."

B: Any concealer hacks you can share? 

TG: "The Click-Stylo Click Stick concealer ($56) is hydrating and designed to fill in fine lines, so it’s great for under the eyes. I use my finger to press it in. One tip I’ll share is too choose a pinky, apricot shade for under the eyes, no matter what your skin tone. It will brighten and illuminate the area, making you look fresh and much more awake."

B: What about travelling? Anything you love to use on your skin?

TG: "I use the BY Terry Hydra Eclat Mask ($111) as a cream. I even put it on my arms, legs, cuticles, and feet. I love it so much. It’s amazing."

B: Do you have a single favourite By Terry product?

TG: "That’s like asking me my favourite child. But if I had to say, it's the Baume De Rose ($82). It's in my DNA, for sure."

B: What is your day-to-day makeup routine?

TG: "I can do simple, or I can do the whole layering, contouring thing. I like to play with the Stylo concealer ($56). I’ll use a darker shade as a contour. For events or when time permits, I love to play up my complexion and my eyes." 

B: Is that something you learnt during your time at Yves Saint Laurent?

TG: "The single most important thing I learnt from working with him was to use a touch of rose beige in every single shade. It makes the skin look alive."

B: What are your thoughts on the Touche Éclat now?

TG: "No one wanted it at first, and no one understood its purpose. The formula has changed a lot now since I invented it, but the click-to-go mechanism is still there. It’s that technology that allows women to correct and refresh herself at anytime, anywhere."

B: Do you miss working as a makeup artist all the time now that you’re so busy with product development?

TG: "Yes, I adore applying makeup. I just do it in our advertising or promotional material now. Other than that, I don’t have the time."

B: Do you have a piece of makeup advice you’d like to leave us with?

TG: "Try to look fresh and glowy rather than perfect. I prefer women who look natural. Skin that is the wrong texture and colour is never a good look. If you want to feel done or glamorous, put on some red lipstick. It’s like putting on high heels-instant confidence. I really believe in that."

Shop Terry's picks below

By Terry Stylo-Expert Click Stick $56
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By Terry Baume De Rose $82
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By Terry Compact Expert Dual Powder $75
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