Each season of Emily in Paris has brought the drama — both in the plot lines and the characters’ fashion and beauty looks. After a year-long couture-less void, season 3 has finally arrived on Netflix, and like show’s epic Parisian fashion, the makeup also helps tell the story.
The end of season 2 left fans wondering whether or not Emily Cooper, played by Lily Collins, chooses to advance at The Gilbert Group and move back to Chicago, or stay in Paris and join her former boss Sylvie Grateau’s new fashion marketing firm.
As Emily further cements her life in Paris, she’s no longer seeing the city through rose-colored glasses, and is forced to make tough, life-changing decisions. And like many who find themselves facing a crossroad, Emily dealt with the uncertainty by getting a dramatic haircut — a set of soft, textured bangs. And thus, her makeup in season 3 starts to reflect her personal evolution (and her new look).
“The character [Emily] is facing situations that she never did before, and when you have something in your life you want to change, you often want to change something in your appearance,” Aurélie Payen, the show’s lead makeup artist tells TZR. “Sometimes it's a haircut or sometime it's only the makeup. For Emily, it was bangs so she could have a cool French attitude. And with bangs, you can't wear too much makeup on the eyes if you’re wearing a lip — there has to be a choice between the two.”
Because Emily’s looks in season 1 and 2 centered around the lips, Payen kept lipstick as the focal point of her makeup, but switched up how the character wears various shades. The Parisian makeup artist looked to her observations of when and how French women wear strong lip colors for inspiration.
“I noticed that French women always wore bold red lips during the day while at work, so I wanted to inject this French perspective into the character,” Payen reveals. “That’s why I chose to have Emily wear a vibrant red lipstick during the day instead of at night. Emily is very focused on work and I wanted her lip to reflect that.”
While Emily does wear other bright lipstick colors — like strawberry and orange — throughout the season, they’re also reflective of the time of day and her mood. However, a red undertone is always the common thread. And when she does wear a nude shade, Payen says it’s intentionally more pigmented than past seasons.
As for what lip colors Emily is wearing, Payen shares that she built her lipstick wardrobe with shades of Lancôme’s L'Absolu Rouge Drama Matte Lipstick. “I would choose the color and then I would give one or two choices to Lily to see if she will pick the same colors that I already chose,” Payen shares. “And we were always on the same page because we always chose the same colors.”
Don’t expect Emily to ditch her signature bold lip, but she does foray into eye makeup towards the end of the season. Another move that hints at what’s to come next in her story. “At the end of the season, I played more with the eyes because I want to open to something different for season 4,” Payen says.
And Emily isn’t the only character that’s gotten into eye makeup in season 3. Her fashionable Parisian friend Camille’s graphic eyeliner and disco-inspired eyeshadow are two makeup trends that have dominated TikTok and Instagram throughout 2022.
“She represents the modern, fashion-forward French girl, and all of the beauty trends they’re following right now,” Payen says. The makeup artist shares that she relied on a kohl eyeliner pencil by Le Rouge Français, a cult-favorite, luxury French vegan makeup brand, when creating Camille’s eyeliner looks.
Colorful makeup accents aside, great skin is the cornerstone of the effortless (and elusive) French girl beauty look. So Payen says she focused a lot on skin prep when doing the cast’s makeup on set so they all had a great foundation for a natural base. Her goal was to always have their actual skin showing through, rather than a layer of heavy foundation.
“I have one hour of makeup, I will use half an hour of my time doing skin prep,” the makeup artist shares. Her routine consisted of the CurrentBody LED Face Mask (a beauty industry favorite), and a handful of skin care products from iconic French brands, including Payot’s Quartz Roller and Talika’s Eye Therapy Patches.
Payen also swore by Payot’s Soft Tonic Mist to refresh the skin and makeup throughout the sweltering Parisian summer shoots. “With a mist, you can apply your eyeliner pencil, then mist the face and redo the foundation, the blush, and then re-apply any powders,” she says. “I would do this throughout the 12-hour shoot days.”
With each episode serving a visual fashion and beauty feast for the eyes, it’s understandably easy to binge in one sitting. Once you take it all in, shop the products that helped make the memorable makeup looks come to life.