This month we are talking to Claire Jones, from Vata Beauty who offer SkinBase facials in France. We thought this was also the ideal opportunity to find out some French beauty secrets! Thanks for talking to us today Claire. First off…

Tell us how you came to be running your beauty business in France?

I have lived in France for 10 years, firstly in Paris and then a few years later I moved to the more tranquil setting of the Poitou-Charentes in South West France. Having undergone some research into beauty services available within the area it became apparent that an additional (bi-lingual) beauty business could be accommodated. I had a vision of opening a salon in my new area and being able to offer a full beauty menu to clients in the area. Within three months I had secured a treatment room where clients could come and relax and throw off the stresses of daily life for a while. I was fortunate to build my reputation and client base very quickly and today am in larger premises where more beauty services are offered and where my client list continues to grow.

How does the French’s attitude to skincare differ from our own?

French women have long been revered for their dedication to not only their bodies but also their skincare. This is most certainly the case in the larger cities, e.g., Paris, but in the more rural, agricultural parts of France not so much these days. However, in every French Pharmacy, there is always an array of beautifully packaged French skincare from Avene to La Roche Posay.  This means that there really is no excuse for anyone of any nationality resident here in la belle France not to at least try to follow some sort of skincare regimen.  Most French ladies take some care of their skin, hair and nails and, with at least two beauty salons in most towns (even the smallest) there is definitely no denying that beauty does come up quite high on a French lady’s list of priorities. I now am the official stockist of Deciem’s The Ordinary skincare range in France and I am finding that it has universal appeal to all. Skincare is still alive and well here even in deepest rural France.

Have you picked up any beauty tips from the French?

  • Eat little and often

Eat little and often with the main meal at lunchtime. French people take lunchtime, in fact, any meal time quite seriously and stopping to eat at the table for at last an hour and a half is important. This might seem strange as we grab a pre-packed sandwich in front of our computer screens but it’s actually very sensible. A main meal taken in the middle of the day keeps us from eating too heavily in the evening and piling on the pounds.

  • Keep well hydrated

The French also drink a lot of water which is great for all our internal organs as well as our skin (the largest organ in our body).  In addition, it stimulates our metabolism and keeps us from eating too much at any time of the day.  As most French people in the South West of France live to well past 80 years of age I reckon that all of this is worth incorporating into our daily regime.  A well-hydrated body promotes a healthy and youthful appearance so the locals seem to be on to something.

Claire, you do lots of bridal makeup, what’s your top tip for the Bride-to-Be in the run up to the wedding?

I do love my bridal makeup work as it takes me all over France and Europe during the wedding season.

  • Skincare routine

As a skin therapist, I ensure that I talk to all my brides at the point of booking to discuss a skincare routine that will make sure that their skin is in tip top condition on their wedding day. It makes my life so much easier if a bride has flawless skin as it ensures that her make up not only applies well but looks amazing in her wedding photos.

  • SkinBase microdermabrasion facials

I can’t tell you how often I recommend a course of microdermabrasion to my brides as it really is the best way to even out skin tone, reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines and wrinkles and also deals spectacularly well with acne and acne scarring.  Those who follow my recommendations are smitten by microdermabrasion and thrilled with the results and often commit to regular monthly maintenance treatments long after their wedding day.  As most of my brides travel to France for their destination wedding and because I offer Skinbase Microdermabrasion I am able to refer them to the Skinbase website where they can find a therapist local to them by using their postcode to find a therapist. This makes my life as a bridal make up artist so much easier in the long run.

If you could offer just one skincare tip to your clients what would it be?

Oh, this is such a difficult question to answer… really, just one?! Well, the skin is the largest organ we have and needs so much care and attention. I want to say keep hydrated but if I have to choose just one skincare tip it would be to apply a good broad spectrum, high factor SPF every day (even in the winter months) on any exposed skin, this includes hands and feet.  UVA and UVB rays are so damaging and at the core of the early onset of fine lines and wrinkles and skin pigmentation not to mention melanoma.

What skin complaint do you most commonly treat with your SkinBase machine?

Mostly my clients come to me because they feel a bit grey and need a boost. Once a client has had just one session not only are they thrilled with their rejuvenated, glowy skin but are amazed by how their skin tone is improved. Lately, however, I have been treating a number of ladies for acne and acne scarring and the results have been wonderful and these clients are amazed at how different their skin feels and looks. One client came to me as a last resort before taking heavy duty medication. Five weeks on from her first treatment she no longer is seeking medication and has stopped wearing makeup to hide her complexion. Another client told me that her husband, who normally notices nothing, commented that he knew his wife would possibly look fresher but hadn’t realised how truly different her skin would look post microdermabrasion. She tells me he is very encouraging of her visits for treatment. These things make me a very happy therapist.

What part of your job would people find most surprising?

I imagine it would be the hours spent outside of normal working hours researching and reading around my chosen profession.  I do know that it causes surprise to some that my alarm clock is often set for 3am so that I can get to a wedding venue in good time for wedding prep.  France is a very large country and this means that I do a lot of mileage travelling to wedding venues.  I also believe that most people would be very surprised to know how in depth a beauty therapist’s knowledge of the body’s anatomy and physiology needs to be and how we need to keep that knowledge up to date to keep all of our clients safe in our care.

Vata Beauty is located at:

Vata Beauty
3 Allée des Charmilles

86400 St Gaudent
Tel +33 (0)681143378
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