WINE : the French woman’s secret beauty elixir
I just have to share this fabulous article with you. I am obsessed with French women and their beauty secrets. Mathilde Thomas may have some of the best I have ever read. Including drinking more red wine. Take note modern mamans and have a fruitful Friday. x
As the cofounder (with her husband, Bertrand) of luxe skin-care line Caudalie, Mathilde Thomas has perhaps the most beautiful inspiration board on earth: her parents’ Château Smith Haut Lafitte vineyard. The 600-year-old winery in Bordeaux, France, is home to the original Caudalie spa—a chic aerie above a picturesque outdoor pool—where many of the company’s products are used as treatments. Since securing its first patent in 1995, Caudalie has been steadily discovering new ways that ingredients derived from grapes can beautify the skin. “I was raised with the idea that wine can be a beauty elixir,” Thomas says. Santé!
Are French women more accepting than American women of aging?
Americans have more pressure from the media—many on TV have a lot of Botox. We do have a few French celebrities who are letting themselves age, so the standard is a little different. But it’s not that French women don’t do anything at all. Mireille Guiliano [the author of French Women Don’t Get Fat] has a new book called French Women Don’t Get Facelifts. That’s not true. They just do things more subtly.
Do you stick to a French diet?
I try to eat a healthy Mediterranean diet, and every harvest season I eat only grapes for three days. In the nineteenth century, European women would go to special places called uvariums, where they would eat grapes for two months to lose weight. It gives me beautiful skin and makes me feel very energized.
What’s your daily routine?
I use tips from my spas. They blend one pump of the Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser with two pumps of the Gentle Cleansing Milk, because it gives a texture that is foamy but also extremely creamy. I do that at night. In the morning, I just put foaming cleanser on a Clarisonic brush. Afterward, I spray on my Beauty Elixir, then apply serum, eye cream and moisturizer.
Do you do any special at-home treatments?
For my hair, I use a mixture of egg yolk, rum, and olive oil. It’s a grandma recipe, very French. You put that awful mixture on your head for an hour and then shampoo. It makes your hair very shiny, with a lot of body. I do it when I’m on holiday. For the face, it’s nice to do a mask with honey and lemon juice. You put it on for 10 minutes to brighten and soften the skin.
You travel a lot. How do you arrive refreshed?
A friend of mine who used to work for Sisley told me that if you put moisturizer on your whole body before a flight, you will recover from jet lag faster, because you will hold in moisture on the plane. Then I take my in-flight sleeping mask and slide it on my face so that it bends my lashes upward. It works like an eyelash curler. When I wake up, my eyes look more open.
This article appeared in the March 2014 issue of ELLE by April Long.