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Beauty & Well-Being During A Lockdown FIAF:Talks LIVE

In this period of confinement, we need to take care of the people around us, but let’s not neglect ourselves either. Here are some of Clémence’s best tips & favorite products for ageless beauty. 

Let me start by saying that self-care is not about vanity; it is about self-confidence. Beauty is an attitude—a way of taking care of yourself.

I always live by these sayings from my mother, as quoted in Ageless Beauty the French Way: “As French women, we are perhaps more accepting about growing old, because aging intelligently means accepting one’s weaknesses and carrying on nonetheless. Keeping up with the pace of those around you is an act of discipline and helps above all to promote a positive image of the passage of time to younger generations.

Beauty, when viewed from this angle—with all that it encompasses in terms of care and artifice—isn’t the least bit superficial. It is a necessity.

Now, let’s get to the necessities!

At-Home Manicure

Hydrating our hands is crucial these days, and it might not be easy without a trip to the salon.

My first advice is to avoid scratching or filing your polish off before completely removing it. Instead, put a couple of drops of natural polish remover – no acetone – on a few thin cotton squares. Apply the cotton square on your nail with some pressure and leave on for a few seconds. Then, remove the pad vertically to avoid leaving some polish on your skin. Repeat until all nails are polish-free, then wash your hands with mild soap.

After washing your hands, make sure to apply a hydrating and nourishing cream as often as you can. This is the only way you will repair the lipidic hydro film of the skin.

Quarantine Pro Tip: If you do not feel like using any nail polish, use a buffer! It will make your nails shine like diamonds!

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At-Home Pedicure

Start by removing your old nail polish. During a warm shower or bath, scrub your feet with a body scrub and massage them well with your hands. Using a rotation movement, pay particular attention to sore or damaged areas. Don’t be too vigorous! Then, dry your feet thoroughly, especially between your toes and your nails.

Once the warm water has softened the skin, apply cuticle oil and massage it in for a minute. Then use a cuticle stick to gently push back the cuticles. You can use an old electric toothbrush to brush the crease between the toenail and the skin. If you need to cut your nails, wait until they are perfectly dry. I only use large nail clippers and avoid cutting nails into a round shape. It’s best to make a few small cuts straight across, making sure you are not cutting them too short. This helps prevent ingrown toenails, which can hurt a lot! When filing, don’t drag the file or emery board!

Using a specialized foot cream, massage the foot, toes, and dry areas, such as the heels. Massaging brings back suppleness and relieves tensions accumulated during the day (especially if you wore high heels to a meeting or dinner). I always start with the toes, then move to the arch of the foot, and finally, the heel. I finish up with a quick massage around my ankle, always keeping an upward movement.

Quarantine Pro-Tip: Bastien Gonzalez recommends to file/buff the top of the nail with a chamois nail buffer or a regular buffer to bring back the natural pinkish color to your toenails.

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Dry Brushing

Daily body massage with a dry, stiff-bristled has many benefits:

  • Exfoliates dry skin
  • Helps detoxify by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymphatic flow/drainage
  • Stimulates your nervous system
  • Helps you feel invigorated (great for the morning)

You want to use a natural stiff-bristled brush, preferably with a long handle. The long handle helps you reach your back. Always start from the feet/ankles and work your way upward in long fluid strokes on limbs and circular motions on torso and back. It can be sensitive on the abdomen and décollete, so lighten up pressure as needed.

Finish your shower with cold water. This will invigorate you, stimulate circulation and boost your immune system.

Quarantine Pro-Tip: Be sure to apply lotion or body oil afterward to put moisture back into your skin!

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We have more time! Let’s make the most of it. With less pollution and less makeup, our skin is breathing! It is time to repair and rebuild.

Morning Ritual:

  • Layer your serum underneath your moisturizer and don’t forget the eye contour! Now that it is finally spring, this is a good time to finish your winter moisturizer and get a lighter one for the new season.
  • When you wake up, you can use a gentle toner just to remove any excess sebum and add your moisturizer after.
  • Depending on your new routine and organization at home, you can otherwise start the morning with a face mask if you have more time these days.
  • If you are confined but have easy access to the outdoors, do not forget to wear an SPF before a long walk or hike!
  • Treat yourself to the small details, vital for self-care. A little self-tan and a touch of mascara can go a long way. Look good and feel good!

Evening ritual

  • Cleanse; make it double — if you need to! I am a big advocate of double-cleansing, but if you did not wear any makeup at all, washing your face once and applying toner with a cotton pad is enough.
  • Use thermal water to add hydration.
  • Apply a product on your eyelashes like Revitalash to strengthen them.
  • Facial massage, the French Way! We need French facial massages now more than ever, and I make sure to massage every week. Regular massaging miraculously improves the quality of your face. It tones the skin, improves circulation, activates the production of collagen and minimizes lines. And best of all, it’s free! You can learn more about the specific techniques in my book.

Quarantine Pro-Tip: Take some time to do a big cleanse of all your beauty products and reorganize them! Clean brushes with warm, soapy water (a gentle shampoo for example), rinse, remove excess water, and air dry.

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Hair Care

Now is the best time to take care of your hair and avoid any unnecessary styling or coloring. Leave your hair alone! Washing it once or twice a week should be more than enough, and make sure to apply a good mask at least once a week. For more tips on hydrating, moisturizing, and keeping up with your color, check out our interview with Parisian hair stylist Christophe Robin for some pro advice like this:

  • If you don’t have a hair mask, use a plant oil. For example, Christophe Robin recommends a sweet almond oil because of its fine texture and ability to penetrate the hair. You can either leave it on for an hour or sleep with it before washing it out.
  • These days there are home kits, which are more comprehensive than ever.
  • For a semi long-lasting option that will cover grays, try Christophe Robin’s Temporary Color Gel! This clean gel blends with your natural color and washes out in 5-7 shampoos, so it’s not permanent.
  • Always opt for a color slightly lighter than your own hair color.
  • Always apply a very thick greasy product along your hairline and temples to avoid staining the skin or hair that is not being colored.
  • If you are worried about trying a coloring product at home, use a mineral powder specific for hair to cover the roots. It only stays until the next shampoo.

Mistakes To Avoid:

  • For hair colors, stick to the exact time they give you! 40 min is 40 min – not 45!
  • Take a break from all the heat tools. Time to repair and rebuild the hair!
  • Time to wash your hair brush as well with warm, soapy water. Remove excess water and let air dry.

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Don’t be too hard on yourself. Even the smallest changes to your beauty routine can make a difference, and are something worthy of feeling good about.

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