“My husband Bertrand and I created Caudalie back in ‘93 after we met Professor Vercauteren from the University of Pharmacy in Bordeaux. We were touring my family vineyard, and he told us that we were growing the best part of the vine. He let us know about the French paradox, how French people drink more wine than anyone else in the world but have the least cardiovascular disease, even though they eat a lot of foie gras and good cheese (laughs). It is because the polyphenols found in red wine strengthen your blood vessels and prevent cardiovascular disease. Those polyphenols are extremely efficient at fighting free radicals, which are responsible for four out of five wrinkles. But they were extremely unstable and turned creams red. So we met with him the next day and learned that he was patenting a way to stabilize these extracts. We convinced him not to sell his patent to a big skin care company but to work with us.
We were living in Paris and two years ago we decided to move the family to New York. We love it here; and always say we have a crush on New York like all the French (laughs). It’s an exciting time for us, we are opening our first worldwide boutique in December. We wanted to open it here in the city. The flagship will be on Bleecker and Grove in the West Village, I love the area.
When I get up in the morning I use Micellar Water, which attracts the dust and leaves my skin fresh. Then I wash my face. Right now I am trying my new cleanser that will be launched in early 2013. I am redoing my cleansing line because I found some new recycled packaging, and want to make it even greener. Then I use my Vine Expert Firming Serum and layer Premier Cru over that as my moisturizer. Under my eyes I put the Premier Cru Eye Cream underneath the Eye serum. I put a lot of layers on like the Korean women do.
Right now I am trying a BB Cream that we are launching in a few months, but otherwise I use the tinted moisturizer. I use Bobbi Brown dark eyeliner on my eyes, Lancôme Hypnôse mascara and NARS Orgasm blush on my cheeks. If I need to mattify my T-zone I use some Trish McEvoy white finishing powder. I don’t use a lot of makeup.
When I arrived here I had lunch with those Upper East Side girls and they all had beige nails. With my dark polish I felt like a gothic, crazy, rock and roll person (laughs). I was eating at Cipriani and at Cipriani it’s all beige.
One of our most popular products is the Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, which is used for brightening the skin and a clearer complexion. When we launched it, it was not a big hit, but then we had two French journalists who made the difference. One was a very heavy smoker and was using it morning and night and her complexion turned rosier and less grey. It became a sensation because all the French women smoke (laughs). The second journalist brought the serum to Saint Tropez during her holiday and she put it on underneath her sunscreen and wrote that her suntan lasted longer with no brown spots. It’s such a great product and after that it became huge.”
-As told to The Formula / Photos by Aimee Blaut in New York