Christine Clais: French Complexion

The French facialist on a mission to make us fall in love with our skin, Ashleigh Sharman talks slow beauty with Christine Clais.

‘Do what French women do: their skincare priority is always to keep their skin well-moisturised and nourished’. And so introduces French Complexion: The Secret to Beautiful Skin at Any Age, the first book from skin expert and beauty therapist Christine Clais that is far more than just any skincare guide, rather an introduction to the eco –system you never knew you had.

Melbourne-based French-born Christine, aka the French Facialist, shares not only the secrets to achieving healthy, glowing skin but a philosophy that puts her knowledge, beliefs and very heart on the line — and she tells it straight.

“The way we learned about skin at beauty school was very systematic, black and white. It was a great scientific foundation but over time, working with skin, I’ve seen how so many factors from the environment to people’s personal lives impact on the skin. It has evolved my philosophy,” Christine explains.

French Facial STORY 2“I’ve gained maturity. I know myself well, I walk the talk – what is in the book – and know that when you learn something, in theory, you need to go away and practise, armed with your own culture.”

It is this holistic view of beauty that Christine impresses most upon her clients and readers of her book, citing skincare routines and rituals handed down from grandmother to mother, mother to daughter. Perhaps none as important as the French concept of être soi-même or ‘believing in an individualistic expression of beauty’.

“I want to be an independent voice,” says Christine.

“There is so much information out there, most people writing it aren’t qualified and our clients are reading it!

“I know I can educate my clients, in what limited time our session allows, but there are a lot of women who don’t come and see me so I thought to put it all down on paper. It’s about good information but expressed in a simple way, utilising my skills as a former teacher of beauty therapy.”

Christine advises on how to manage acne, reduce under-eye dark circles and delivers her top dietary guidelines to supercharge skin yet her key takeaway strikes more than just skin deep — encouraging women to make time for themselves; to pamper, boost, rest, relax and practise self-love.

“Walking, Pilates, personal training, eating well, everything I do is in moderation and I’ve worked hard to have harmonious relationships around me.

“I know who I am, I try to be a good person, but you know, as you get older, life gets simpler and I’ve found that my work has gone much deeper, there’s a healing quality now,” says Christine adding that we can learn to slow our beauty down, much like the French who understand that things don’t happen overnight.

“Respect your skin, look after it! That’s the message I want you to take away and hopefully I will save some people’s skin!”

French Facial STORY“The skin is a barometer of your self-worth. You have to be kind, have to love your skin and if you can be a catalyst for people to love themselves, then that’s really special”.

C’est cela l’amour.

French Complexion: The Secrets to Beautiful Skin at any Age is published by Penguin Books Australia and is available now, RRP $39.99. (Main Image: Simon Strong, Photographer)


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