October 14, 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've 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 color 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 coloring), 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 Fertilizer ($18). Same tingly feeling, similar magic.)
Virginie didn't have to be compelled to pick her favorite 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."