Created in the seventies by two visionaries, Hubert and Isabelle d’Ornano, Sisley quickly positioned itself in the high end segment of the cosmetics industry and became a reference for products based in plants and essential oils. Now represented in 90 countries by thousands of businesses, this family venture is a real success story. Since the death of their father, Hubert, Christine and her brother Philippe have taken over the company. I had the pleasure of meeting Christine, the global vice president of SISLEY over a cup of soymilk coffee, and she agreed to share some of her “beauty and well being” secrets. With a luminous complexion, and an elegantly natural kind of beauty, she is indeed the perfect image for her brand.
BWB: Sisley is a beautiful family story. What values have been transmitted in your family from generation to generation?
My parents have always been a good example for me. From my father, I learned to be persistent, have tenacity, and search for quality. He aimed for perfection even in the tiniest details.
My mother was a very active woman yet she always found the time to take care of herself, even if it was only for a few minutes a day.
What impressed me the most about my mother was her natural beauty and elegance. For me, she is the image of the French woman who takes care of herself, but never in an excessive manner. My mother was a very active woman yet she always found the time to take care of herself, even if it was only for a few minutes a day. I travel a lot for Sisley, but I always find some time to take care of my skin every day.
BWB: What beauty advice do you have for women in their forties?
Following this idea of spending some time to take care of yourself, my advice would be to have some beauty rituals. For example, once a week, after a long day, apply the Sisley Black Rose Mask and take a bath. I follow this routine when I have to go out at night, it relaxes my face and my skin seems refreshed afterwards.
Once a month, like many of my French friends, I get a facial. The experience is both pleasant and beneficial for your skin. Since I live in London, I go to Sisley at the Claridge’s or at Josh Wood’s (an amazing hair salon in Notting Hill that also provides Sisley treatments). These days, my favorite is the Supremÿa treatment along with a relaxing face massage. I apply the Night cream Supremÿa every night.
BWB: Your daily beauty ritual?
Like most women in their forties, I protect my skin from the sun and the pollution. Even though we do need sunlight for Vitamin D, it’s important for me to rely on good products for sun protection. I use my day-cream, All Day All Year, since it contains a solar filter and stays at the surface of the skin. It also protects from the UVA rays, which are as bad for the skin as the UVB. I also alternate between different creams, using them for a while then switching to another so that my skin doesn’t get used to one product only.
Once a week, I get an exfoliating treatment then a mask at home. Every night, I clean my face with Lyslait cleansing milk, then I use the Floral Toning Lotion. When they were 10 years old, my daughters would ask me to teach them how to clean their face with the Sage Cleansing Milk and the Grapefruit Toning Lotion, both of which are more adapted to oily skin. Often, before they go to bed, my daughters love to apply the restorative cream.
Essential oils have an anti-bacterial effect that allows us to use fewer preservatives in our products, so they have less toxicity.
BWB: Your brand is based in high quality products and high standards. What standard is the most important for your brand?
It is true that the Sisley philosophy was to research for the best possible formula for our products. My father had already inherited the Lancôme brand (from his father) and Orlane, which was creating high-end plant-based products based on plants. It was very innovative for the time. We were the first ones to harness essential oils, which work very well for our products. For example, essential oils have an anti-bacterial effect that allows us to use fewer preservatives in our products, so they have less toxicity.
My father also taught us to never follow trends but to keep focused on searching for quality in the plants we were using, such as by choosing the best method of plant extraction.
BWB: Because you travel a lot for your work, what are your secrets for always being so elegant and radiant?
In order to avoid dehydration on the plane, I always carry a little bag with a few essential products. These include Lyslait, which I use as soon as I am on the plane, a toning lotion and, most importantly, an eye contour gel mask.
BWB: What beauty secrets has your mother taught you that you will, in turn, teach to your daughters?
Women in my family are not obsessed with their looks but try to maintain a natural beauty.
BWB: Do you have a morning ritual that helps you keep in shape all day long?
I swim three times a week, in the morning from 8:15am until 9:15 am. Then I work and avoid going out for lunch. I spend time with my children after 5:00pm whenever I am not travelling.
BWB: What is your definition of elegance?
I find that elegant are elegant in the way they behave. They know how to find the right balance between sophistication and naturalness. They can live with their wrinkles but know how to keep their shine, like Meryl Streep for example.
BWB: What is your favorite sport?
I enjoy swimming, horseback riding with my daughters in the countryside, and golf.
BWB: What is your favorite place to shop for a gift for a friend?
BWB: Do you have well-being rituals that you can share with our readers?
I take food supplements 3-6-9 and capsules of natural collagen. As far as food is concerned, I avoid sugar and processed foods. I like brown rice, and I often have a craving for dark chocolate.
Marie-Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre is a journalist and author.
«La médecine personnalisée, retrouver et garder la santé» (Odile Jacob) was published in March 2012 after two years of investigation and research with general practitioner Dr. Jean-Claude Lapraz.
«Se soigner toute l’année au Naturel» (Prat) was published in 2012 and has sold 160 000 copies. Her latest book «Etre en Bonne santé toute l’année : 20 cures alimentaires» was launched in April 2015.