Right before I moved to Zurich, I met with a fellow expat, Clémence von Mueffling. The French beauty is a professional who has an amazing track record in the industry. Her resume boasts names like Clarins and Dior, but once you know her, this comes as no surprise. She was simply following in the family footsteps.
Both Mueffling’s mother and grandmother were beauty editors at THE French Vogue. Now she lives with her husband and twins in New York and is the Founder & Editor of newly launched beauty site Beauty and Well Being. She’s got a wealth of beauty knowledge that’s filtered through the lens of her classic French POV. During our meeting, I legit wanted to ask her one million questions, but of course I tried to contain myself.
Lucky for me, she was kind enough to spill her well kept secrets. You’re going to want to savor this one, girls. Here is my interview with the ever so sweet Clémence.
In France, each neighborhood has its own café, bakery and pharmacy. So at a young age you start to buy your skincare products from pharmacists. These are usually very ‘clean’ pharmaceuticals brands that are super effective and not too expensive. This is how we start good habits by buying ‘clean’ beauty products.
Glowing skin or matte?
The older I get, the more I want some glow!
As beauty editors, we are able to try so many different brands and products. What skin products or brands do you always come back to?
Avène, La Roche-Posay, Bioderma, A-Derma, Esterderm for Sun protection, Joëlle Ciocco, Clarins, Embryolisse and Filorga.Which American beauty brands would you consider your favorites?Aerin, Supergoop!, Soapwalla Kitchen, Rahua, SkinCeuticals, Kiehl’s.
The French are known for being really into scents. Tell me about your favorite yummy smelling perfumes, body oils and shower gels.
Just yesterday I used the Mediterranean Honeysuckle Body Cream by Aerin. It has the nicest fragrance that remained all day. It reminded me of the summer and its shimmering beaches.
I love body oils too, usually in the evening after I shower. Some of my favorites include: Joëlle Ciocco, Soapwalla body oil, Nuxe and the incredible Leonor Greyl Huile Secret de Beauté.
I always have Clarins Eau Dynamisante, which I use like a cologne. It has been a staple in my bathroom for 20 years!
For shower gels, depending on my mood, I will use Dr Bronner’s shower gel with the Almond scent. When I need to be very energized I use Clarins Tonic Body Oil, and when I want to feel glamorous I use Frederic Malle Eau de Magnolia’s shower gel.
What are your favorite skin devices for at home use?
I have been faithful to Nu Skin for years. Both my mother and grandmother use it too! This at-home spa treatment revives and invigorates your skin, and smoothes lines and wrinkles.
A few days ago I was introduced to Foreo’s LUNA, a Facial Cleansing Brush & Anti-Aging Device.
I go to Renew Spa in NY as well as Caudalie Spa.
Do you believe in botox/fillers?
I believe in non-invasive techniques, such as micro current.
Who is your dermatologist?
He is in Paris… but I try to see him twice a year! His name is Philippe Simonin.
What is your skincare routine?
A toner in the morning, some Avène thermal water and an eye contour (these days I am trying BioEffect). Depending on the ‘mood’ of my skin, I may or may not use a serum, then a moisturizer such as Caudalie, Filorga or Avène. I will use an SPF only if I know that I will be in the sun.
In the evening I like to double cleanse. It is my relaxing moment. I use products with lovely textures and scents. Such as Joelle Ciocco cleansing milk, Tata Harper cleansing oil, or de Mamiel cleansing balm.
Then I use a micellar lotion and my Avène thermal water. Sometimes I just finish with that spritz of water if my skin feels hydrated enough. In the winter I may feel the need to add a cream such as Nuxe Crème Fraiche or an oil such as Marisa Berenson’s prickly pear oil. These days I am loving a night serum by Bio Effect.
Is that Mason Pearson brush all that it’s cracked up to be?
My mother would always buy a Mason Pearson for my sister and me. And I have to say that there is no equivalent in terms of quality. They are expensive, but so worth the price. Clean them regularly and you will keep them for years!
For hair care I love Christophe Robin, David Mallet and Leonor Greyl. I also use Rahua and sometimes Klorane or Furturer.
What are some of the most important lessons that you learned from your mom and grandmother?
To be feminine at all times! And the older you get, the more disciplined you have to be with your beauty and wellness routine.
What is your definition of beauty?
Beauty comes from a woman’s femininity and elegance. It is also the glow that comes from her skin, her smile.
Let’s talk makeup. What are your essentials?
By Terry for foundation, Guerlain for blushes and YSL for the eyes! What products are currently in your handbag?
Aerin’s rose hand cream, a Bioderma lip balm, Eau de Magnolia perfume in its traveling size, a nail file and a Shiseido Pureness compact blush.What skincare products give you the best life-changing results?
These days I have been very impressed with Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 (despite the not-so-nice smell), Bio Effect night Serum and Marisa Berenson’s face oil.
For better skin texture, which products would you recommend?
More important than products, I would recommend a good cleansing routine, as well as regular skin massages and a healthy diet.
#1 beauty secret is… the face massage.
Tell me a little about your diet and skincare routine…
My diet is a very simple, balanced diet. I still love my croissants, and I eat tons of dark chocolate every day. However, I did stop eating processed foods and sodas and I have become a ‘flexitarian.’ According to the author of the ‘Omnivore’s Dilemma,’ Michael Pollan, it means someone who does eat some meat – but only sometimes.
Beauty trend that you completely dislike?