October 15, 2012
Claire & Virginie Courtin-Clarins
There are four Clarins brand ambassadors: sisters Virginie and Claire and their cousins, Jenna and Prisca, each of whom is tall, striking, and very French. Their style's been endlessly chronicled. But their beauty routine? They Have learned a lot from the family business, but they're by no means beholden to Clarins.
Claire is the most low-maintenance of the Courtin-Clarins. She barely wears makeup, instead focusing on a healthy routine for a head-to-toe glow. "I love Frederic Fekkai's Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo ($25)," she says. "It removes all the things you put in your hair and the smell is amazing."
Since she's not obsessed with makeup--though she does say Clarins' Everlasting Compact Foundation ($36) changed her life--Claire devotes her time to skincare. "Beauty Flash Balm ($45) actually activates the blood circulation," she says. "So if you don't sleep a lot and wake up in the morning looking, how do you say, not fresh? It gives you natural colour and is very efficient."
Virginie's shiny blonde locks cause a stir every time she walks into a hair salon. "I like very long hair and if you want to keep it long, it's hard work," she says. So she whips up a potent mixture of moisturizing products: "Three nights a week for two weeks (after colouring), I make an overnight masque with Leonor Greyl's Masque Quintessence ($141) and their L'Huile de Palme ($50)," she says. "The next morning my hair is so soft."
"I am very loyal to only one fragrance," Virginie says. "I've worn Flora de Kenzo ($58) for almost ten years and I have had the same boyfriend for ten years and he doesn't want me to change. Every time I try to change it he says 'No!'"
"Oh I have a nail secret," whispers Virginie. She's devoted to strengthening her naturally weak nails and has discovered Herome, a revered Swiss formula readily available at Sephoras across Europe, that goes on like clear nail polish. "It's honestly a magical product. It hurts a little bit, especially if you have weak nails, but then your nails grow stronger and thicker and they never break again." (If a trip to Paris isn't in your future, try butter London's Nail Fertiliser ($18). Same tingly feeling, similar magic.)
Virginie didn't have to be compelled to pick her favourite Clarins product: the Eyebrow Kit Pro Palette ($35) won hands down. "I use the wax because I have big eyes and I want my brows to be structured," she says. "I think it gives you a deeper look so I always--even when I don't wear makeup during the day--put a little bit of wax on my eyebrows to keep them in place."