Clémence von Mueffling has beauty in her genes. Her grandmother and mother were both former French Vogue beauty editors, with Clémence herself earning her stripes in the industry from working for brands like Clarins, Puig and Dior before becoming a beauty journalist at Casas & Gente magazine.
Naturally, you can imagine our excitement when we got the opportunity to pick her brain (What do you look for when you purchase products! What’s your favourite beauty tool? What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?).
As a true embodiment of French beauty, with her minimalist makeup looks; radiant, bare skin, and a general à la française way in the effortless manner she carries herself, Clémence’s consciousness on what it means to be feminine, elegant and graceful is inspiring. Taking an all-round approach to how she lives her daily life and her attitude towards health and wellness, she launched her website, Beauty and Well Being. Wanting to share her expertise and passion to women of all ages — with the philosophy that how we look is largely dependent on what we eat, our fitness, sleep and more — a read through BWB’s features reflect Clémence’s belief that beauty is perfectly imperfect.
She embraces the reality that skin can be beautiful without being flawless, for one. And that it’s better to leave white hairs in your brows and have them dyed, than cutting them out. “I believe that beauty is an attitude, and that a healthy lifestyle is a way of being in the world, in harmony with one’s environment,” Clémence said in an interview.
With a realistic approach to conscious beauty and living as infectiously good and wholesome as this, it’s one we hope to emulate too.
Your mother and grandmother were both former beauty editors at French Vogue, so that makes you a third generation beauty editor. What was the best beauty advice each of them gave you, and what advice will you give your children?
My mother taught me to never leave the house without perfume and my grandmother taught me to never be ‘négligée’. Looking ‘au naturel’ is one thing but you still want to look feminine.
As for my children, I want to teach them to not be influenced by social media with all the images. For a young girl, you have to understand that many images are fake and you have to be conscious of everything you see.
Clémence’s mother and grandmother, who were both former French Vogue beauty editors
What are the first three things you look for in a beauty product and why?
The most important thing for me are ingredients, especially for a product that I use in large quantities. I’m more cautious with the ingredients of my body cream, sunscreen and deodorant than I am for my mascara or eye cream because their quantities are so much smaller.
The qualities that I look for are texture and smell. A product that has a delicious scent and lovely texture will transform my beauty routine into a wonderful experience.
Tell us about your morning and night skincare regimes, as well as your daily makeup routine.
In the morning, I use a gentle toner on my face and neck. For toners I use Filorga and Joëlle Ciocco. Then I spray some thermal water such as Avène. Once it’s absorbed, I apply my Filorga or Avène moisturisers. This part of my routine varies depending on the season. In the winter, I apply a moisturising serum followed by a cream. But in the summer, I apply a light cream directly.
In the evening, I start by cleansing my face twice. Either with the same cleanser or sometimes I use two different ones. For cleansers, I love Omorovicza and Pai. Then I use a cleansing oil followed by a cleansing milk. For cleansing oils, I use Caudalie or Kiehl’s. These are textures that work well for me as my skin gets dry from the cold weather and the long hours at the office. Then I apply a toner. I finish with a spray of thermal water.
After that step, if my skin feels hydrated, I don’t add anything else. However, if it still feels tight or tired, I will apply a night cream. Usually Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair serum, or a face oil such as the Midnight Oil from Alexandra Soveral or Rodin.
For makeup, I like a look that is feminine and sophisticated yet natural. I enjoy using all-in-one products such as Erborian CC Crème HD with SPF or Dior Capture Totale DreamSkin Advanced which create a nice finish on my skin. Then I usually mix my foundation from By Terry with another product such as the Sisley Instant Glow Primer. It creates the perfect colour for my skin and the perfect glow. If I add a touch of powder, I love the ones from Guerlain such as their Terracotta. For the eyes, I apply just a little bit of black mascara, usually Chanel’s Le Volume de Chanel, et voila!
Tell us about your favourite beauty tool, sheet mask and neck care product.
My favourite beauty tools are from the company Nuskin. I use their ageLOC LumiSpa device at night with my face cleanser. It massages the skin and helps to tone and de-stress while cleansing deeply. I also love their Nu Skin® Facial Spa that uses microcurrent technology. This mini device stimulates and tones the skin.
When I travel, I always pack an Estée Lauder sheet mask and a Talika Eye Decompress. They are individually packed so they are easy to throw into my carry-on.
Taking care of your neck is as important as your face. When you massage your face cream on, you should always spread the product gently to your neck too. Whether it is my Filorga moisturiser of a face oil, I always allow extra for that area.
“French beauty is all about accepting your age. It is also about being kind to your skin: no harsh dermatological treatments.”
What are three beauty hacks every mom should know?
Before a long night out, use a serum instead of a heavy moisturiser. It will help makeup last longer.
If you do not have enough time for your beauty routine, try the Nuskin ageLOC device to clean your face while taking your shower. This device has a battery that will last months and you can leave it in your shower.
In order to look like you just came back from a nice holiday even if you are actually tired from the routine between work and children, I recommend using a little self-tanner once in a while. In the winter if I look pale, I mix some of it with my moisturiser. It gives me a subtle glow.
Dark circles and effective eye care are one of the most prevalent and hardest complexion issues. What do you recommend?
Please share with us some of your well-being secrets and daily self-care practices.
The first thing I do in the morning is stretch in my bed. Just a few seconds is all I need to feel good.
In general, my wellness secret is eating clean. I try to make wise choices: eat a little meat and avoid industrial food, as well as sweet beverages and juices. However, I love to splurge with baked croissants and dark chocolate!
In general, if I decide to make changes in my routine, I always start with small changes instead of drastic ones that are difficult to maintain.
What are some secrets of French beauty, and what are three brands you want people to know more about?
French beauty is all about accepting your age. It is also about being kind to your skin: no harsh dermatological treatments.
French women follow a good cleansing routine and prefer natural makeup rather then a look that is overdone.
I love French pharma brands such as Avène, La Roche-Posay and Filorga.
Name one skincare, makeup and haircare tip that you’d like to share with women.
For skincare, my advice is to avoid harsh treatments and over-exfoliating as it actually leaves your skin so weak and prone to sun spots.
For haircare, my advice is to invest in a high quality hair brush such as Mason Pearson, and to regularly wash it!
For makeup, my favourite makeup product is Chanel’s Le Volume de Chanel. It creates amazing results!
What does conscious living mean to you?
Be kind to yourself, the environment and the planet.
“My mother taught me to never leave the house without perfume and my grandmother taught me to never be ‘négligée’. Looking ‘au naturel’ is one thing but you still want to look feminine.”
Images courtesy of Pamela Berkovic