“She’s settled in France now, but she’s still an American, and we don’t have to forget that,” makeup artist Aurélie Payen says of Emily Cooper, the titular character of Emily in Paris, played by Lily Collins. Ahead of the new season, out on Netflix today, the pro is discussing her onscreen French-girl makeup tricks for storytelling, like how a Parisian red lip exudes Emily’s new sense of confidence. “Emily knows what she wants, and she has to make choices in her profession and her personal life, so she’s wearing bold lips,” says Payen.
Of course, crafting each character’s makeup look hinges on telling a larger story about who they are. Take Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu’s breakout character, Sylvie (Emily’s boss-but-not-boss who viewers dream of starring in a spinoff), for example. Payen views her as “the perfect elegant Parisian woman—someone who can live by herself, she doesn’t need anyone, she has her own rules,” says Payen. Makeup-wise, this translates to “simple, natural, classy” rosewood tones, balmy skin, and imperceptible faux lashes. But for Ashley Park’s character Mindy Chen, a performer who’s perpetually ready for the spotlight, it’s more extreme, colorful beauty codes that infiltrate scenes. “It’s really a balance,” says Payen of mixing up her Parisian instincts and keeping a finger on the pulse of new products, like Face Lace decals and high-wattage eye paints. “Everything is good; it’s just a question of how you use it,” she says.
Here, 5 French-girl makeup tricks to steal from the Emily in Paris set.