Clémence von Mueffling lives and breathes beauty. The founder and editor of Beauty and Well-Being comes from a line of French beauty experts (both grandmother and mother are respected editors), worked at prestigious companies such as Dior, Puig, and Clarins, and is now launching a tell-all of insider secrets for ageless beauty, the French way.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
The women in my life inspire me. I listen when my friends share their beauty concerns, and I like to try to find solutions for them. Most of all, I am inspired by my mother and grandmother, whom I have watched taking such great care of themselves and age so gracefully. As beauty editors themselves, they still love to try new products and share their discoveries with me.
I always say that it is better to look your age than no age at all. By that I mean it is best to embrace where you are in life and focus on looking your best, rather than trying to look much younger than you are.
How would you describe your work?
With Beauty and Well-Being, I curate a carefully edited space that features effective beauty products, innovative wellness solutions, interviews with renowned experts, and tips on nutrition and exercise. The launch of my book, Ageless Beauty the French Way, is the ultimate guide to French beauty secrets, products, and practices, informed by three generations of French beauty editors. My book weaves together wisdom from three generations of French beauty editors along with insider tips from top beauty experts. It is an unparalleled collection of meaningful advice on how to take care of your skin, hair, and body at any age.
What are your best beauty tips for travel?
I avoid exfoliation (or peels) a few days before I know I am going to be spending a lot of time in the sun. If the skin is over sensitized, it may get sunspots. When I travel, my skin is bare and well-hydrated. I don’t wear any make up as it can have a very drying effect. I apply makeup right before I land and I love the Dior Capture Totale Perfect Skin Cushion SPF50. I also carry an in-flight beauty kit that has travel sized hand sanitizer, moisturizer, a nail file, as well as a lip balm, some herbal teas, and some healthy snacks such as, almonds and 85% to 90% dark chocolate from Alter Eco. I also make sure to wear compression stockings, which help improve the circulation in your legs (excellent for cellulite and/or varicose veins). I make sure to bring a good moisturizing mask for the face and eyes after I land. I love the Chantecaille Gold Energizing Recovery Mask.
What is your exercise routine?
I do a mix of low impact sports. I take classes in yoga and pilates, and participate in a 30m cardio dance class. When I can, I go for a swim and do some laps, which is so relaxing. I might also take my bike to Central Park, which I love especially this time of the year.
What do you think is the main difference between how Americans and the French approach beauty and wellness?
In both starting my online magazine Beauty and Well-Being and writing my book, Ageless Beauty the French Way, I really had the opportunity to take a dive into the world of beauty and see differences between one side of the Atlantic and the other. In France, women don’t fight their age, but rather try to become the best possible version of themselves. Instead of trying to look younger, they take measures to look their best for where they are in life. French women are a bit kinder to themselves. They believe in maturing gracefully and tend to be more accepting of their age. French women are not looking for perfect skin, just great skin. In America I see more of a quest for perfection, and that can be unattainable and frustrating. French women just want to enhance their best features. French women know that it is about the whole package, about feeling your best self, and that is what I want to teach everyone. Everyone has something they are proud of, and my book can teach you how to best work with what you’ve got.
You come from a long line of beauty experts. What is the most important thing you have learned from them?
To this day, we all share the new beauty tips we’re trying with each other. My mother and grandmother taught me that there is a certain discipline required for beauty. Self care needs to become a ritual and a regular part of your life. And this is not about vanity. If you look good, you feel good, and in turn have more self-confidence in your everyday life, in everything from your work to your relationships. I learned that good skin is the result of good hygiene, whether that means cleansing your face well at night, staying away from heavy foundations that clog pores, sleeping well, and eating healthy (and if you can add a smile to it, even better!)
What is your best beauty insider tip?
Could I share a few? It is too difficult to share only 1!
Think of treating the skin on your face as you would your favorite silk blouse: treat it delicately like a precious, sensitive object. Don’t over scrub or exfoliate too much. It makes your skin worse in the long run. Why would you burn, dry, and peel when you could nourish and maintain healthy skin. You only have one face, and you should treat it with great care in the most delicate way you can.
People underestimate the power of a facial massage. You would be amazed at how much you can improve the quality of your face by massaging it yourself regularly. It will tone the skin, improve circulation and minimize lines. Best of all, it’s free! You can also improve your skin’s appearance on other parts of the body by massaging them: your legs, your feet, and your décolleté.
In my book, I teach a tried and true beauty ritual that will guarantee your skin will glow like it never has before: Double cleanse your face. The ritual doesn’t have to be a chore. Think of it as a relaxing nightly treat for yourself, especially if you find products with a fragrance you love.
Lastly, 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.