Alexandra Golovanoff, Journalist & TV Host


I have been doing the French fashion channel for maybe seven or eight years. My father is Russian, but my mother is half eastern European—Romanian—and half French. I grew up in Paris. I love beauty products, especially creams and nail polishes. I’m very good at trying things; I meet a lot of people, a lot of makeup artists, so I know what is good. I love trying anything. I recommend things to my friends. There are things I am testing, they are boxes, so I have things everywhere, and makeup everywhere. I’m crazy about hair, shampoo, I have some everywhere. But I like to be clean and organized.

My stepmother was in beauty, she was an editor of Marie Claire, and she told me about Joëlle Ciocco. She is a French woman, she is around fifty-five years old, and she invented a job—she called it Epidermology. It’s not only about the skin, it’s about under the skin. She treats both. If I don’t see her then I see her assistant Farnaz. The process is your own process, they only give you what you need. I use her products she prescribed for my skin every single day. I have lotion, a serum, a cream, and a gel—all layered, but it's a fast process! I have dark spots, so I do laser, LED light. Joëlle gave me a special treatment. You know, it is very very expensive, the products and the time you spend at her institute. But she is famous here. For eyes I also really like SkinCeuticals Eye Gel AOX; it fights signs of fatigue. Talika Lipocils is an eyelash serum that you have to wear every day, twice a day for twenty-eight days, and it works.

Usually I don’t like to wear perfume, but I like to put it on my husband. I love the Serge Lutens—I love the bottle, and the smells. For the first time, I wore the Prada Candy. It’s light which I like; I don’t smell it all day long.

With makeup, sometimes I do it myself and sometimes other people do it for me. I do it not so badly, but it’s usually too light for television. I’m as experimental with makeup as I am with skincare. This little Chanel bag came with some makeup; I have tons of them. This is an ‘everything’ concealer, with powder underneath: Laura Mercier Undercover Pot in number two. It’s top secret. I use the YSL Touche Éclat for under the eyes and on the dark spots. I’ll do Dior Forever Foundation, or Chanel, or Shiseido—always a very light foundation that is fluid and transparent. And then I like the Taupe Grisé Chanel eye shadow. Or, this is new, and I find it very very clever—this is Smoky Eyes by Dior. The packaging slides like a cell phone; they are very proud of it, they told me. [Laughs] I don’t use the sparkly color—I like a very matte eye color—so I use the dark grey and the pale grey. You can do it with your finger, and it lasts for a very long time. I also like very much color for the cheek; for me it is very important. If I had to keep one thing it would be blush. In very ‘old lady’ pink. I can just put it on the cheek and under the eyebrow, and I just feel more awake and fresh. And I’m always looking for the perfect lip conditioner, so I try everything. At the moment I like Fresh Sugar.

For me I guess, hair is more important than makeup. I am blond, I used to have a show on TV called La Blonde et Moi—the blonde and I. So people identify with my hair. I cut it last year because I was fed up with it, all the attention to my hair—I used to have it very curly and very long. So I cut everything, and now it grows. It feels easier to have short hair. I wash it every five days, six days; it is impossible for me to wash it every day, it takes too long. It is a bit fluffy; the texture. My hairstylist’s name is Fred, I have had him for years now, and he does everything—cut, and color. But now I have to share him with Melanie Laurent, and Vanessa Paradis. He works on films and I never get to see him, but we manage. He comes here; it’s very funny because we organize a hair afternoon, with all my friends and their children. He has started this blog now called Cut by Fred. He is so nice, and so cute, and very handsome. And young and everything. He does everything with my hair. We are always trying to find something new, ‘Have you tried this, you should see that…’

This is really nice, Superbly Smoothing Argan Conditioner by Kiehl’s. I like Kiehl’s a lot for hair, and Aveda. And I have things for the sun, and every moment of the year! [Laughs] To put texture in my hair, I used to bring some water from the Mediterranean Sea and put it in a spray bottle. But I haven’t been for a while so I don’t have it anymore! This is for the sun—Korres Red Vine Year-Round Sun Protection which I put on if I’m going to be outside a lot.

These photographs are a gift from Karl Lagerfeld; they were taken last June. It’s very strange to have my face in the room, but my husband loved the photos, so he said, ‘Yeah, I want to have the photos on the wall.’

—as told to ITG

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Marie-Thérèse

    always again amusing - loving the insight top shelf stories. probably my favorite.

    wintery greets from vienna, MT

  • Janel

    Excellent interview! I really appreciate it when you include influential international faces in The Top Shelf or The Professional. Thanks so much!

  • elise

    My heart started beating too fast when I saw that CHANEL snowglobe. waouh!

    • LisaC

      Right? As RZ would say, "I die!"

  • Chloe

    I always love these posts!

  • Alexis

    Unbelievably glamorous! Mediterranean water in a spray bottle and that SL bell jar, ugh these items are only found in my dreams. This woman is fabulous...tremendously LOVED this post!

  • Jackie

    love how everything is so neat and compartmentalized.

  • LuckyD

    This is a Top Shelf I'll need to print out and keep with me for a makeup shopping day.
    Love it ~ Love her ~ Love the photos.
    Thanks Emily!

  • NeenaJ

    I love the silver cups and would maim for that skincare collection but, my favorite part is the comb with the broken tooth. It's so carefree and wabi-sabi. Like, the comb still works, why would I throw it away, lol?!?

  • anita rivas

    Oh My God, I love her! Love her bathroom shelves - inspirational. I already went out and bought special trays for my beauty products because of your amazing photos! You should turn your Topshelf into a book! I would buy it! I use Talika Lipocils and it is the best, affordable and it delivers gorgeous lashes in 28 days or less.

  • Stills

    Great interview! Love those nail polishes!

  • Hanne –

    Loved this post a lot, really amusing to read! French women really do know beauty and skincare! :)


  • Alineteston

    I love Kiehl's products too, there are great!
    really excellent products.

    xoxo Ally

  • Dianna

    Emily- lovely post, thanks so much and keep them coming! Could you tell what her perfumes are?

    • Christina

      Fascinating article and she has great taste in perfume too! From what I can tell:
      BACK ROW: Balenciaga Paris by Balenciaga, not sure about the second (maybe a Guerlain?) and can't make out the name on the third bottle by Serge Lutens.
      FRONT ROW: Candy by Prada, Fleurs d'Oranger by Serge Lutens and De profundis by Serge Lutens.

      • Anonymous

        The round bottom at the back looks like Bal a Versailles, maybe?
        I love that she has de Profundis. I think it's such a special perfume.

        • Christina

          Oh yes, well spotted!!

        • Scheer

          Yes, Bal a Versailles.

  • Charlotte Delon

    so jealous of her nail polish collection!
    I also love the way she organizes all her products. great top shelf! I love reading about the chic French women's routines

  • Laura

    She seems so cool! Love this post!

  • Manhakins

    Love the Chanel Snowglobe :)! xx

  • Jules

    UGH those french are too chic for me! and her hairstylist's blog is the bananas. this woman is gorgeous. and yes yes yes on the blush. livens any one's face up

  • Nik111

    Cut by Fred blog is in English headlines and copy in French. WTF. haha! Kind of surreal.
    These posts are full on amusing with enlightenment thrown in.

    • Fred

      soon in english Nik ! just trying to get someone to translate it very well...not easy...

  • amelia

    the three silver cups with the brushes in them- so gorgeous! constant organisation inspiration from these posts!

  • Fred

    Yes my blog has an english name but it's in french... Sorry girls... You CAN watch the tutorials anyway...
    Next year In english too i promiss... Xx

    • lena

      great site, loved all the tutorials, especially the braids. Dont understand a word of french, but it doesnt matter, bookmarking it.

  • Anonymous
  • dana antoria tenant

    she is stunning!

  • ili

    I LOVE top shelf posts!! Honestly! And i want to get in the picture and steal chanel globe...ohhh isnt it too good to be true?! ♥♥♥
    I want to try Smoky Eyes by Dior too so it may have to go in my xmas list;-)

  • ili

    I LOVE top shelf posts!! Honestly! And i want to get in the picture and steal chanel globe...ohhh isnt it too good to be true?! ♥♥♥
    I want to try Smoky Eyes by Dior too so it may have to go in my xmas list;-)

  • Sashi

    YES Dana, I really want any curly advices I can get, well anything but how to straighten it. What's worse than a makeover show where the woman gets her curly hair "fixed" and blown out. I always think that proves the stylist has no idea what else to do! Let's see a girl with gorgeous curls on ITG! p.s. Alexandra's hair is not curly enough

  • RR

    My favorite Top Shelf photos yet. The cups are probably stainless steel and can easily be bought at an Indian grocery store. Is Touche Eclat really worth trying? Many people have mentioned it. And also...I'm going to continue lobbying for an Indian woman to be featured on Top Shelf. Lakshmi Menon would be fabulous!

    • mimi

      honestly, i think the YSL touche eclat is overrated and overpriced. i think estee lauder does much better concealers. im not an expert, and i know people rave about it, but id save your pennies and try something else :)

    • Heather

      I agree with Mimi. I just don't get the fuss over Touche Eclat. I actually find it kind of dry and hard to blend under my eyes, resulting in a cakey look.

  • Anonymous

    What a fantastic interview. So fun to read. Love reading what other women -- successful and beautiful ones, in fact -- do, wear and pay attention to. This girl is obviously fabulous.

  • Little Red Book

    So many great looking French women use Korres, which is making me consider to start using it as well. Perhaps my beauty resolution for 2012?

  • Thebeautyphilosopher

    Love the Chanel snow globe. Good to see another Skinceuticals fan too. She is gorgeous!

  • Thelittleworldoffashion

    I love this woman ;) I saw her to the last parisian Fashion week, so beautiful!


TALIKA 'Lipocils Expert' 3-in-1 Lash Treatment
Prada Candy Eau de Parfum
Laura Mercier
Laura Mercier Undercover Pot
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat
Diorskin Forever Fluid Flawless Perfection Fusion Wear Makeup SPF 25
Dior '3 Couleurs' Smoky Eye Palette
Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment