Mademoiselle Agnès

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"I’m Mademoiselle Agnès. I’m working for French TV. I used to be a host of a different show—I still have one on Canal Plus called Habillé(e)s pour L’Hiver or Habillé(e)s pour l’été—it’s about fashion week twice a year. And I’m a producer for different shows on TV, one on Paris Première called La Mode, La Mode, La Mode with Alexandra Golovanoff, and some documentaries. We just finished three documentaries about thirty years of fashion: the eighties, the nineties, and two thousand. I love the last one—it’s more about business and globalization—but I like the nineties one also, with people like Yohji Yamamoto. It’s not the funniest, but poetic, with a lot of emotion. The last one is more bling bling—there’s a lot of money everywhere. We just finished this, and now I’m doing some videos for some brands. I did one with Vogue and Emmanuelle Alt, Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go. I was Andrew [Ridgeley], she was George [Michael], and I’m playing guitar, and we are dancing in cool sweatshirts.

I’m born in Pau, in the south-west of France, but I arrived in Paris twenty-five years ago. I still have the same hair. I did a big mistake one day: I was fourteen or fifteen and I wanted to cut my hair. This awful hairdresser said to me, ‘You should do what we call the mini vague,' or a permanante [perm]. It’s for if you have straight hair and you want to have curly hair, you do this. So imagine, with curly hair, the permanante. I looked like a sheep during two years; it was a big mistake. And it’s really depressing, when you do something bad with your hair, you don’t want to go out—no school.

I would like to change my hair, but I can’t imagine myself with short hair. I can play with my hair straight or curly, but I can wear also a little chignon to be more sophisticated sometimes. But it’s naturally curly. I never use a hair dryer—I just wash and let them dry off. The best is the sun on the beach. I have a good towel, too. I keep it on about ten minutes—not so long—and it’s a really absorbent material, like a sponge, and then, voilà! Dry shampoo can be cool sometimes, and some cream just for the end of the hair. I use the shampoos of Leonor Greyl. Also, Bain de Terre oil. I keep on all night long, and then I wash my hair. If not, Kérastase has a good line for curly hair, also. You can find it everywhere.

My beauty is very natural—that means I do the minimum. I really care about my eyebrows. I go to a small place in the quartier of Montorgueil in Paris. It’s a Turkish woman, and she uses a fil, a thread. She puts it in her mouth, she does something and pshew! I think it’s a special Oriental technique; it’s very pricey. In the morning I have a makeup artist, he can waste half an hour on my lashes because he uses this torture instrument. He puts a curler under a hairdryer to make it extremely hot; the problem with my eyelashes is they’re straight. Now you have the Diorshow Heat Curl Heating Lash Curler, but it’s a lot of work. I have a lot of makeup, but I never use it. I have a beautiful red lipstick from Saint Laurent, and I like Chanel Rouge Coco because it’s quite natural. Also, MAC lip pencil in Spice—very natural. If not, the best lipstick for me is Homeoplasmine, which you buy in the pharmacy—it’s more for irritation of the skin. This is the one for all the makeup artists—Tom Pecheux uses Homeoplasmine everywhere. I like Serge Lutens powder; it’s like Guerlain Terracotta. It’s very matte—no sparkle, no gold things inside. Also, my favorite is the Chanel Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil. You have one for blonde and another one for brunette. I don’t know how to make up myself in a good way, so I go with the finger, and it works, I think.

Des autres are maniacs with makeup; I am always a skin person—it’s very important to me to have beautiful skin and beautiful hair. So, I use the products of a woman named Joëlle Ciocco—she’s a very careful woman but also really, really expensive. I have to say, crazy expensive. But I know her now maybe fifteen years, and she saved my skin when I was twenty-two and had a little problem. Since then, I always used her product. But it’s kind of a protocol: you have to follow the instructions, and by the end you’ll have ten or twelve different products for the morning, evening, sun, cold weather….But if I see her twice a year, it’s enough—the best is four, once each season. She can clean your skin, and you stay two or three hours with her—no aggressive stuff, just massage. The bank is not happy, but I am.

And this is my perfume. C’est twenty years that I have the same one. My old friends, if I don’t see them for five years, they [sniffs], ‘Oh Agnes, you have the same perfume still!’ They can recognize me. It’s Ambre by Reminiscence, which is a shop for jewels actually, but they’ve had this perfume for a long time. As you can see, the bottle is not beautiful, but I really like the smell.The things I can’t live without are ma cheriemon amour—and, I cannot live without my perfume, because I feel naked if I go out without a bit of perfume. But in general, I think the French women have good genes. We have to be careful also not to be too, too, too natural—it’s good when you’re twenty years-old, twenty-five, but after you need a little effort to look natural."

—as told to ITG

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  • Anouck

    What a sublime post Emily! I adore the insouciance of Agnès' attitude; the emphasis on gorgeous skin and hair as the essential foundation for everything 'else'. It's inspiring that she does not blow-dry her curly hair but allows it to dry naturally. That is one trick I have not yet mastered. Of course, another chic French woman devoted to Joëlle Ciocco - why am I not surprised? I've had a consultation but the products are impossible to replenish readily in Australia and it's a very high maintenance regime. I find Endota (an organic Australian line) to be just as efficacious, supplemented with my beloved Evan Healy plant-distilled hydrosols, masks and oils. And a lot more affordable too... Glad to read threading is gaining appreciation around the world. I will never trust my brows to anything other than the expert hand of an Indian-trained therapist, and a wisp of cotton. THE PERFECT FINISH. Another inspiring post, and a positive antidote to the notion that more is more. Yes, as one gets older, 'natural' is harder to achieve (reminds me of Ines' interview!) but that's still the desired effect, no? Nice to see REAL examples of women who are stylish, unaffected and take care of themselves, without being unappealingly high-maintenance (Lauren Santo Domingo, please take note). p.s. Divine cheekbones!

    • Joanna

      I'm obsessed with Evan Healy and her natural, holistic skincare line. The hydrosols, the green tea clay mask, the gorgeous patchouli shea butter - I love it all! My skin looks so clean and clear and dewy after using her products (and you can't beat the price!). So happy to see more enthusiasts out there! :-)

      • Wendell

        Anouck and Joanna, I adore Evan Healy products also. The patchouli shea butter is tremendously effective and smells divine; the Sea Buckthorn oil is great as a night serum. BTW, if you're in the States, another small batch, natural brand is Sprout Skincare. The owner makes a really simple cream with only olive oil, shea butter and coconut oil that's good all over. It's a little pricey but the jar can last 5-6 months. Cheers,

      • http://twitter.com/SpilledMilkStyl Audrey

        Here's a third for Evan Healy products! The Blue Face kit is divine, definitely calmed my complexion. And I love the Green Tea clay, works great for hormonal breakouts. Super affordable is always a plus too!

        http://www.SpilledMilkStyle.com
        A Fashion Blog for the Style Obsessed Mom!

    • JC8

      Evan Healy is great though she tends to run out of her hydrosols pretty frequently. When my Immortelle Facial Tonic ran out a couple of months ago and I couldn't reorder I went on a manic search because my skin was not happy and I ended up finding YULI Skincare. I ended up trying the Panacea Elixir and I actually like it better. Now I just hope they don't run out. Ugh. Typing this is making me want to stockpile products...

      • Joyce

        JC8, I was in the same boat as you, I wanted to step my hydrosols up a notch and tried out YULI's Cocoon Elixir, it has done wonders for my skin. I didn't realize how much I loved it until I ran low - it is the only beauty product I've reordered over 5 times (that is saying a lot for me cause I switch it up all the time!).

      • Joyce

        JC8, I was in the same boat as you, I wanted to step my hydrosols up a notch and tried out YULI's Cocoon Elixir, it has done wonders for my skin. I didn't realize how much I loved it until I ran low - it is the only beauty product I've reordered over 5 times (that is saying a lot for me cause I switch it up all the time!).

    • Cece

      For anyone interested in the joelle ciocco range,i've ordered the lait onctueux(cleansing milk) a few days ago...It was delivered to me this very morning,and i must say,i'm a little bit skeptical about the ingredients used...Here they are as listed----INGREDIENTS:Deionized aqua;orange flower water;shea butter;sweet almond oil;calendula extract;arnica montana extract;common horsetail;essentiel oil neroli;jojoba oil;polysorbate 60;sorbitan stearate;stearic acid;myreth-3 myristate;mineral oil;carbomer;allantoin;isopropyl myristate;tocopherol;parfum;benzyl alcohol methylchloroisothiazolinone methylisothiazolinone;TEA.
      Now i most certainly don't claim to be an expert in organic skincare-something i believe this range claims itself to be-but i personally thought that people should try to avoid mineral oil in skincare and alcohol.Same with tocopherol-which has been found to cause tumors...i'm also a little bit suspicious as to what exactly "parfum" means-as some fragrances aren't necesarily beneficial to skin when applied.....
      Now i also understand that since these products are mentioned within the last few rows their consistency isnt as high...so,this being said i shall give it a try tonight and hope for the best :/

      • Wendell

        Hi Cece, thank for sharing Joelle Ciocco ingredient list with us. What concerns me is they don't follow INCI ingredient labelling guidelines that are used in Europ; e.g., using an ingredient's established scientific name. Also, the methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone preservatives can cause allergic reactions, which is why they tend to be used more in rinse off products like cleansers. So yes, I understand your skepticism. Best of luck though. Let us know how you like the product. Cheers,

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7AYBG6P7COFXJLIF66PXEEUPUU S

    I've actually missed this kind of posts! I cant get enough of them to be honest:-P
    I see some very favourite products and some others I really want to try soon!
    I ♥ chanel makeup bag and Mademoiselle's amazing style!

    http://beautyincrisis.blogspot.gr/

  • http://twitter.com/Mirror_Reality Phil

    Do you have any more info on this 'fil' / 'special Oriental technique'?
    Does she mean threading or is this something else completely?
    You've gotten me curious about it now :)

    http://www.mirror-reality.com/

    • Farah

      It's threading which is an Indian method of removing facial hair. Threading derives from south Asia

      • Julia

        If you go to an Indian beauty salon in Paris for example, it's NOT expensive at all, much cheaper than waxing. 7 euros to do my eyebrows and I'm very very happy (it pulls out even the tiniest hairs that wax can't do-)

  • http://kitchenafternoon.blogspot.com/ Kitchen afternoon

    How wonderful to wake up to French girl talk with my coffee! I am in the wilderness, so it the page loaded very slowly, making her photo look like a portrait, very cool. Bon journee!

  • Meagan

    Great post! I just got back from Paris and am excited to have picked up a few products that she has pictured (although I'm bummed I didn't get any Homeoplasmine).

  • iLaktionova

    The pics are awesome!

    ilaktionova.blogspot.com

  • Anonymous

    What a classic beauty!!
    x
    http://www.iloveublank.blogspot.com

  • Lulu

    What are those blonde extensions for?! Are we missing out on some secret French trick!

  • Joanna

    Very curious to check out that perfume of hers. As always, another great Top Shelf post. These are my favorites by far!

  • Ninee

    I maintain my eyebrows by going to a threading beauty salon in Paris too, but I am surprised Mademoiselle Agnès finds it pricey. Near La Chappelle, it is 7 euros and always perfect. ;-)

  • Love Letters

    Oh, I love her messy drawer!

  • Lou

    I love this post and photos (as all your others too). The photo of the book is lovely and if my hair looked that good when I didn't blow dry it!

    Lou
    http://www.thekeypieces.co.uk

  • Fatima

    She s adorable! I just realised I kinda missed these posts!
    I'm curious about that towel...just a good plain towel or a special one?

  • http://twitter.com/EmergencyBucks Emergency Bucks

    Is "fil" like threading?

  • Daniel W

    I've been hoping since day 1 of ITG for a post about Agnes and I'm so over the moon there is one now! Had a sneaky suspicion she would be a cult follower of Joelle Ciocco, but it's still so exciting to see inside her beauty cabinet. Thank you! If only Joelle sold products in London *hint* x

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1033981551 Adeola Naomi Aderemi

    Great post!!!!

  • http://www.alefthandedlife.com/ Lee Ferguson

    I adore this! I have the same photo of Kate Moss (that she has on her dressing table) in my closet!!! I love how detailed she is about her beauty products & her beauty regimen, particularly for her hair (I have the same hair she does). Thank you for a wonderful post!

  • Bellecosimaa

    Love this!

  • http://thesomethingfabulous.blogspot.com/ Kate {Something Fabulous}

    She is such a natural beauty! x

    Kate {Something Fabulous}
    http://thesomethingfabulous.blogspot.com

  • SF City Editor

    I want to know what the blue tube is, inside the toothbrush holder? Is it toothpaste or another product I can't wait to try? Beauty Tip: I've been applying Homeoplasmine on my lips before my lipstick and in the evenings and I have to say that I don't suffer as much from dry lips : ) I massage it in for a few minutes so that it can absorb.

  • Krystal Schlegel

    I love that center vanity! Such cool photos!
    Krystal

    http://www.krystalschlegel.com

  • http://d2gapparel.com/ Brynn Snow

    I switch it up all of the it comes to beauty products, everything just seems to stop working after a while, or maybe i just have beauty product ADD. but ill give Evan Healy a go and hopefully will only have to reorder.

    <3,

    D2G Apparel

  • Liz Douglas

    I adore Mademoiselle Agnes, as well as Cine'moi. She's beautiful
    and so so funny!!! Your site here is wonderful! Thank you!!! Elizabeth Douglas, KY, USA.

  • T L Miller

    I just discovered Mlle Agnes on CineMoi, and she is a RIOT! If she's not spoofing the designers or tennis players (THAT CRACKED ME UP!!!), she's trying to swipe some swag! LOL! Sometimes the commentary on the fashion shows is more fun than the fashions!!

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