How To Look Like a French Pop Star From the 60's

Here's how to get a kick-ass bob.
Publish date:
October 1, 2013
shoppables, beauty, beauty tutorial, France, 60s

Yay more French glamour!

If you caught my last tutorial, you can tell that I’m a big fan of sweet Parisian sixties style. From film to music, the French have got it down.

Current obsession? France Gall and her adorable yé-yé vibe. Yé-yé was a style of pop music that came about in the early 1960s with super chic famous names like Françoise Hardy, Brigitte Bardot, Gillian Hills (Zou Bisou Bisou anyone?) and, of course, France Gall.

Out of the all the French pop gals, Gall is definitely my favorite. My boyfriend even used her song in a short film of our time in Montreal. It made perfect “traipsing around French Canada” music. She has this completely adorable voice, perfect French bob and enviably sweet style that you can’t help but love. At least I can't.

This video gives a glimpse at her fabulous eye makeup and brows.

And the song also makes a hella fantastic Belle and Sebastian cover.

So let’s get to recreating! I thought a morning shower would work best since her bangs are so specific—even though it meant extra blow-dry time. I have to mold mine while they’re wet and Gall’s bangs were always straight across, but parted in the middle.

Sidebar bang confession: I’ve had bangs since high school and, at this point, they’re an essential part of my style. I remember initial hesitation though since I’ve always had a weird hairline with a widow's peak that I call my "Eddie Munster" and a random bald spot on the right side of my head. I was born prematurely and apparently had a tube in that side of my brain.... and well, that spot just stayed there and, although nearly invisible, still makes one side of my hair jump a little higher.

That was a complicated way of saying that my bangs have a life of their own, which is why I insist on molding them while wet. In general, I almost never blow-dry, which for me and my hairline leads to flatness or an overhead 80‘s wave. But others may be able to just dry theirs straight down much more easily than I can.

After my shower, I parted my hair down the middle and then combed my bangs downward with a fine-tooth comb. Next, I molded them to part in the middle using my widow’s peak as a guide.

I added mousse to the rest of my hair and dried it while I was standing upright. Normally I’d say to flip your head upside down as your blow drying, but I didn’t want to mess up my bangs. I combed my hair out with a wide-tooth comb, and moved on to makeup.

Once again, these are my basics and it's a pretty great starting palette for any look.

Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer With SPF 15

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Skin Perfector with SPF 30

Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation in Classic Ivory

Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder in Fair

Her eyebrows were thin, almost straight across with a hint of arch. I combed my eyebrows downward and filled them in with a pencial giving them a straight look.

In most photos, Gall is wearing almost no blush and just a hint of a shiny lip. This is a chic, simple approach to beauty and definitely different than my normal routine. In a few photos, she had some color to her cheeks so I added a tiny hint of gel blush using Pixi Sheer Cheek Gel.

For lips, she had a very neutral shine with natural peachy-pink undertones. I used a hint of a coral color called Rosehip from Beauty Without Cruelty with a clear gloss over it.

Her eyes are my favorite part of her whole beauty look: a softly dramatic cat eye that extends to the inner corners of her eyes. Oh, how the French love a good cat eye! She kept the lines thin and the rest of her makeup simple so it gave her a stage-worthy look that was also natural and innocent at the same time.

I start by lining my lower eyes very lightly with a black eyeliner. If it gets a little messy or you use too much, just take a Q-tip with makeup remover to clean it up a bit. I used a Soft Smudge Black Eyeliner Pencil by Estee Lauder. It always works really well.

Next I used my trusty L’Oreal Liquid Liner to create the cat eye. I started at the inner corner of my eye, connecting the top and bottom points together. Then I finish the line across, filling in any empty space as I go till I get to the end. There I create a small flick upward and make sure it all looks smooth. Usually if I mess up, the pointed edge just gets bigger and bigger so, in this case, I went through very carefully to keep the cat eye relatively small.

Lastly I added Gall’s beauty mark right under my eye with a black pencil and liquid eye liner. I stuck the pencil on and moved it around in a circular fashion. Then I just added a few dabs of liquid liner.

The rest of the hair look is pretty simple. I used a curling iron to curl the ends of my hair inward for a strong bob shape. I do this in sections with the bottom layers of hair first, then moving on to the top. Make sure that the clip part of the iron is facing away from your face so you don’t end up with that weird crunch-shaped curl.

This is how it should look once all that is complete.

You could leave your hair like that for subtle French vibes, but no yé-yé bob is complete without a bit of teasing. It’s easy to create the small bouffant in the back. I use my bristle brush to concentrate teasing in the back of my hair.

Ooh la la! Normally, I tease the front crown section for an sexy sixties bouffant, but teasing the back creates a small, more innocent hair bump.

Now if only I could sing...

Follow Kristina’s style at or on twitter at @tweevalleyhigh.