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5 minutes with caudalie co-founder mathilde thomas


As the co-founder of French skincare company Caudalie, Mathilde Thomas is accustomed to bringing happiness to women the world over in the form of prized products like her Premier Cru moisturizer and Beauty Elixir (Glow editors are obsessed with this miracle spritz), but now she’s also sharing her best beauty tips and tricks in her new book, The French Beauty Solution: Time-Tested Secrets to Feel and Look Beautiful Inside and Out, out this month. When it comes to beauty, French women have it figured out, and much has been written about their tousled hair and perfect crimson pouts, but Thomas insists that looking great can be easy—and it starts with your skin. We chatted with her about her personal beauty routine, her love of facials and skincare faux pas.

– By Nicole Keen

Skincare can be easy… really!
“I really discovered this country [the U.S.] five years ago when I arrived in New York and met probably 5,000 women who were American but also Canadian. And they all wanted the same thing: To have beautiful skin quickly and simply. But they said that skincare was complex. They didn’t get it. They said it was easier to invest in makeup. So I wanted to explain to them that skincare is essential and skincare is easy.”

Your biggest skin sins
“I was shocked that some women don’t remove their makeup. They say, ‘I’m tired so I go to bed with my makeup on.’ That was a big shock. And there were women putting makeup directly on the skin [without using moisturizer first], saying, ‘Why would I need a moisturizer when this makeup is already a cream?’ That’s not good.”

Grapes, they’re not just for making merlot
“Grapes contain incredible molecules. Medical researchers studied them long before we launched them in skincare. According to Harvard Medical School, resveratrol is probably the most effective anti-aging molecule that will enhance the life span of the cell and that will rebuild the fibres of the collagen elastin in the skin. Those are molecules that the grapevine produces to protect itself—it’s the natural defence of the plant.”

Take a cold shower… your skin will thank you
“My grandfather would always take a quick shower and at the end he would do what he called a ‘reaction.’ He would turn off the heat, and it would be super cold. It wakes you up and firms the tissues of the body.”

Mathilde’s beauty secrets
“I’m always in a rush, so in the morning the first thing I do is clean my skin with my Instant Foaming Cleanser and water. And then I will spritz my Beauty Elixir to shrink my pores and to wake me up because it’s loaded with rosemary and [lemon] balm, and then I will apply my Premier Cru moisturizer. On top of that I will put some tinted moisturizer to give a sun-kissed effect to my skin and then a little bit of bronzing power. Also, eye cream. That’s important. Eye cream, 360° around the eyes. And then concealer around the eyes. A little bit of mascara. A little bit of blush.”

1. Beauty Elixir / 2. Instant Foaming Cleanser / 3. Polyphenol C-15 Anti-Wrinkle Eye & Lip Cream / 4. Vinoperfect Radiance Tinted Moisturizer in Light / 5. Premier Cru The Cream

Why she hearts facials

“For me, a facial is like a massage. We have hectic, crazy lives, so sometimes we need to unwind and take an hour for ourselves and just relax and spend time in the hands of a professional. Plus, a [facial] massage is good, it stimulates cell renewal, and it makes your cheeks rosy. A good facial can take five years off your face.”

How to stop wrinkles in their tracks
“If you only do three things, the first one would be to remove your makeup at night. You can use micellar water. We have been doing that for years in France. It’s like a magnet that will attract not only makeup, but also dirt and the oil. Twenty seconds and you’re done. You can just leave it on your bedside table. Secondly, wear an antioxidant moisturizer daily. Oxidation is what is going to make you age. It’s generated by free radicals and they are responsible for four out of five wrinkles. Last but not least, use a sunscreen either in your moisturizer or in your foundation or tinted moisturizer.”

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