Caroline de Maigret


“I always loved music. When I was a kid I would go to rock concerts in Paris, in the same neighborhood that I live in now. And when I moved to New York to model, all my friends were musicians, and then I started helping bands tour. And then I wanted to help them get deals, because it’s hard to get a deal if it’s not super commercial. So I came back to Paris and I met my man, and we made the label, then we fell in love. We did the label first. [Laughs] So that’s just how it all happened. I used to have my own production label, but I stopped last year. Now, I just produce for represented artists independently. We discuss the sound, the image, everything.

My approach to beauty is pretty easy; I tend to look very natural. You’ll notice for French women that it’s bad if you have too much makeup or too much surgery. If everything is too much, it doesn’t work. I’ve actually been trying to understand why, culture-wise, women can’t show off. It’s a bit sad in a way because it’s fun when people go eccentric. You can’t have fun with makeup, in a way. I don’t know if I keep things simple because it’s cultural, or if it’s just because I don’t want to do more. I think that, at my age now, it’s just about what fits my face best.

I put on a lot of mascara every day. That’s the only thing I do really: mascara. I like the MAC and the... the one I really use I’m kind of ashamed to admit. [Laughs] I really use the mascara of Jacques Dessange; it’s from a hairdresser. They do this mascara and I’ve never found it besides in the hair salon. I like it because it’s very dirty—you know? It’s thick and goopy. I don’t like when the lashes look very well-combed. I like it packed on thick; it makes you forget the under-eye bags. [Laughs] I just use so much mascara. I try not to put too much on the bottom because at the end of the day it kind of melts and the bags get really sad. [Laughs] And then I put YSL Touche Éclat #2 under the eyes and around the nostrils. Instant-Glow by Shu Uemura is great too—you put it on the skin and it’s a great highlighter. And if I want to wear a little more, I’ll use Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long Lasting Eyeliner in 85, or Nars Sumatra Multiple—on cheeks and eyelids. It’s like cherry. I’ll do that around my eyes.

For skin, I have a tendency to buy everything that tells me I’m going to look younger, but it never works. [Laughs] Like this Lancôme Génifique—sometimes I use it when I’m bored. And this I use on the eye because the woman told me it was important to put it on the eye: the Shu Uemura Phyto-Black Lift Anti-Wrinkle Cream. Actually, I love the Shu Uemura mask for the face. It’s great for when you really feel like shit. You put it on your face and it’s a bit like coming out of a spa afterward—you glow. The one I use is black, and there are also red ones. It’s one per pack and I buy a ten pack. It’s amazing. I also love the Essential Exfoliator from La Prairie. But cleansing is the most important step in beauty for me; I use Chanel Douceur. It’s really strong. I love it. It’s so clean, you glow after. It’s nothing compared to when you do Créaline—it goes way deeper. My skin is dry. I’m a mix around my nose and mouth, but otherwise it’s quite dry. Chanel Sublimage La Crème Texture Suprême is my daily cream. It’s the first time I found something that’s really amazing. It changed my skin, because I’m so dry and this is so nourishing. It’s all about nourishing, anyway. It’s incredible, I mean really. It’s not just because it’s Chanel, it’s really incredible.

It’s already such a big step to take care of my skin that I don’t really take care of my hair. People will give me stuff, but I don’t have time to put a mask on. For some people it’s a treat, but for me I haven’t gone to that step yet. I only use shampoo—if I use conditioner, my hair will get flat. I use the L’Oréal Elseve. I go from that to Pantene, because I like Pantene’s smell. I use supermarket shampoo. [Laughs] It just doesn’t matter to me. I don’t ever brush my hair. I wash it every two days, because I don’t have a choice—I live in a city where you walk, so there’s a lot of pollution and it gets dirty. And I touch my hair a lot as well, especially the fringe. I even sometimes just wash the fringe in the morning when the texture of the rest of my hair is really good. It does make a nice texture when you put a dry shampoo. I use the one from René Furterer; it makes a really great texture. But you know you always have to be careful for the color because it’s white.

My hair is really dry because I always let it be, you know. I get my hair colored at Stephane Pous. He’s a really amazing guy; he does all the French, Parisian girls. [Laughs] I don’t know what I call my color…Stephane will always do the right thing. He won’t do it if it doesn’t look good. For 15 years I’ve gone in and asked for blond, but he won’t do it. He knows it would be shit. [Laughs] Stephane first dyes the whole head to make it clean again, as I will start to have white hair sometimes, so I have to color most of it. And then he puts some lighter color around the face to frame it. I’ve had bangs for about ten years. I like the bangs; it’s nice. First of all, I think I kind of have a big face, so it kind of balances it all…and it hides my lines. Where girls do Botox, I put a fringe instead! [Laughs]”

—as told to ITG

Caroline de Maigret wears a Blk Dnm leather jacket [1,2] and an Equipment shirt and Blk Dnm jeans [4,7]. Photographed by Emily Weiss in Paris on September 25th, 2012.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Lila

    I love her approach to beauty, very natural and down to earth.

    • Victoria

      I wouldn't call it down to earth.. her daily cream (Chanel Sublimage) costs $400 :)

  • Andreeapopa6

    nice parisian tips! :) j'aime bien!

  • Gail Jimenez

    Love the photos!!

    xx The Expert Dreamer

  • Valeria Alvarez

    Great interview!! she seems a fun girl!

    <3 Val

  • Florence

    She is soooo cool. Love her atittude, I also do bangs instead of botox.

  • Gaufrette

    A Top shelf day is always a great day!
    She's tapped into an interesting question regarding French style and their lauded preference for a 'natural' look...from a cultural standpoint it's something i'd really love hearing more about

  • Messamet serdane

    She is so french ! Love her !

  • Amelie

    Anyone know what that dark taupe-ish Chanel nail polish is? Thanks!

  • SCouto

    Can ITG address a very prosaic matter: deodorant. My favorite equipment shirt had two circles in a fashionable pale lemon since I started using this paraben-free deodorant... We can't have that happening, but the market is flooded with those antiperspirants that are a bit creepy. Since many of us don't wear perfume during the day (isn't that for teenage girls?) it should smell nice. Any thoughts? Suggestions?

    • IntoTheGloss

      Veryyyy interesting you would bring up deodorant, Scouto. We are busy working away on a special feature for tomorrow. Check back in the AM; deodorant's getting some serious airtime (har har har). xE

    • AsphodelJones

      I'm a huge fan of Donna Karan Cashmere Mist deodorant. The scent is underwhelming as a perfume (you're right, it's for teenage girls), but as a body product, it's gorgeous. It also has the distinction of being the only antiperspirant that has ever kept me dry, which is why I'll spring for a high-end product.

      • Gaufrette

        Cannot stress enough, DK Cashmere mist deodorant is an outstanding product

    • AIS

      I'm surprised to hear that you've been getting yellow spots in your clothing since you've been using natural deodrant. In fact, it's actually anti-perspirant that has the chemicals (aluminum combined with sweat) that make your shirt pits yellow. I just found this site, I haven't been able to find any kind of deodorant that's not an anti-perspirant that really works. We're not suppose to clog our sweat glands with anti-perspirant. Hopefully tomorrow's feature will be helpful.

      • Heather

        I am fairly certain that discoloration on the armpits of shirts has a lot to do with your body's Ph levels or something. No matter what kind of deodorant or antiperspirant I use, I get stains.

    • skos

      Philosophy's pure grace deodorant is also divine!!! xx

    • Emma

      Since when is wearing perfume during the day for teenage girls? Inquiring minds need to know.

      • Couteau

        Teenagers - girls and boys - tend to overdo it with perfume. Instead of trying to smell lovely or strong or unusual or whatever smell is intended, they get caught up in marketing. Boys literally bathe in Axe and girls will ritualistically apply perfumes that were only ever meant to look good on the shelf. Even when they are not that into smelling like grownups, perfume is always an easy gift.

        With time we figure out what kind of scent works for us. The gift then becomes "your perfume". We might a couple for different occasions. Day and night are classics. Also you learn not to drench yourself in perfume. You might just walk through the mist after spritzing the air, like Fanny Ardant in Ridicule. The point is to charm, not overwhelm.

        So nothing wrong with perfume in daytime, but no need to shout "me".

  • Cady Childs

    great interview!
    "I put on a lot of mascara every day." #wordstoliveby

  • Sam

    All woman. <3

  • Cay

    I just love the French approach to beauty. It's so effortless, and she just seems really cool. You should do Camille Rowe!

  • Caroline Dehaye

    The Chanel nail polish is "particulière" (505) i think

  • Azrakun

    I wonder how old is she. Her complexion seems so fresh; i want to try out few of these items...

    • Sandra

      37 :)

    • Biz

      37 , 38 in January. She's the member of both an aristocratic and noble families

  • AsphodelJones

    Oh God she's so *French,* I am in love with this. Also, there's nothing on earth more attractive on a woman than a black leather jacket. Brb, shrugging into my Schott Perfecto...

  • Lindsay Sue

    She is seriously such a babe. I love her look and her place. Super chic and cool.

  • Geraldine

    Great! I love her and her style:) I'd like to see a feature on Hanneli Mustaparta.

  • Kristin @ Haute Talk

    Love that hair cut, so effortless and so quintessentially French. Maybe if we didn't have 15 lb. of coarse locks we'd try it ourselves...

  • Bird

    i feel like a lot of the girls ITG features say that their approach to beauty is nonchalant, but then we see tons of products stocking their shelves, along with a thousand techniques to go with them -even if they favor minimalism. caroline is refreshing due to her true effortlessness. her home is also SO beautiful!

    • luna

      Totally agree with this! Always think that every time I read ITG.

      • Juliette_leroux

        this is sooooo true! everytime I read ITG top shelf articles i'm like : why do they lie? aha

  • Alexandra

    She is amazing!!! I love her look and her natural approach to beauty. And your photos of her are gorgeous!!

  • Sandra

    Love her home, her book shelves, and her attitude. I prefer minimalism as well. Thanks for sharing!

  • sara

    she's gorgeous! i love her attitude. emily, you should do a "top shelf" with maryam nassir zadeh. she's the coolest! or joanna newsom. . .

  • TinaOurWonderLust

    I LOVE her leather jacket. It looks really similiar to my new Mackage:
    BUT....I like her shoulder details better!!!! ENVY :)

  • Fairytalesandcoffee

    I like the color of her hair. I can't believe she only uses shampoo if her hair is so dry - unless, it's one of those cleansing cream shampoos that doubles as a conditioner. A litte envious since conditioners do make my hair flat, which I don't like, but without it my hair is a untangleabe, dry hay mess.

    • Ona_in_Barcelona

      Most Europeans don't use conditioner very often, it's a funny little difference. I feel like you can always find about seven different shampoos in a European house, but no conditioner!

      • Sandra

        Yep. I am a European living in the USA, and I never use a conditioner (and I have long hair). No need for it.

      • Gaufrette

        I'm a European who's never encountered a fellow European woman who doesn't condition (men usually don't). Not necessarily a European quirk from my experience

      • Josef Šlaich

        I've never met an European who doesn't use conditioner. haha

  • Mckennarishmawy

    I appreciate her critical approach to French beauty, noting that it would be nice to be able to play around with "eccentricity" a bit more. I, too, am fascinated by the simplicity of French beauty, but I'd prefer not to idolize their approach as the "ultimate". I like that our culture allows us to go a little crazy with color, to have fun with primping and going the extra mile. While I've loved beauty in French culture for giving me the freedom to just not care and not try so hard, I love beauty in our culture allows for me to go all-out when I want to!

    • Heather

      I just got back from Paris and I thought the women there definitely try harder than the women in least on a day-to-day basis (I don't know about for fancy evenings). I noticed that the Parisian girls had all sorts of cute braids and interesting yet casual updos, and that their manicures were as prevalent if not more so than in NYC, where there is a nail salon on every block....not to mention they obviously put way more emphasis on skin care.

  • jennie hwang

    you can see more of her and her apartment from the madewell video:

  • Dinner

    OMG! This person has my clock and also the bamboo footstool that my grandmother used to have. I'm a bit like this person except I don't go crazy with the mascara, for me it's brows. I'm also really lazy about my hair. BTW, what a terrifc book case. I love all the white -- the walls, that window. Thanks for bringing us TopShelf. I always look forward to reading one.

  • Becca @ The Beauty Sample

    I LOVE that Caudalie S.O.S Thirst-Quenching serum!

  • Pop Neo

    YES! I finally found this web page! I’ve been looking just for this article for so long!!

  • Yogini78

    Really happy to see this post. I literally JUST cut bangs for the same reason at 34. Ha! I wonder if she ever trims them herself, I'm noticing mine grow super fast and need a trim just about every 2-3 weeks. More often than I want to get a cut. I'm afraid to take to them myself...

  • Makeupart9

    If they told me i'm only allowed to read one beauty blog, i wouldn't mind, because there's intothegloss!

  • Andrea

    she is beautiful!

  • Adeola Naomi Aderemi

    Beautiful dress!!!

  • Renaphuah

    yay for Shu Uemura Instant Glow!

  • mindo

    I don’t ever brush my hair. I wash it every two days, because I don’t have a choice—I live in a city where you walk, so there’s a lot of pollution and it gets dirty. And I touch my hair a lot as well, especially the fringe. I even sometimes just wash the fringe in the morning when the texture of the rest of my hair is really good. It does make a nice texture when you put a dry shampoo.

    CAROLINE YOU ARE GREAT!!! and also beaty that is enought

  • Tania Alencar01

    I can't believe she doesn't wear perfume...

  • Marlene

    I get a bit annoyed with all this idolising of French style. I'm Parisian and I feel stifled by the sameness and the fact that people (read tourists etc) are being looked at weirdly if they dress/style a bit more funky/colorful etc. for a metropolitan city, that's shocking.

  • Charlotte

    The DESSANGE mascara is amazing and there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of! It has been quite a few years since DESSANGE has extended its luxury hair industry into the cosmetology field with a full make up line, skin and body care products. Along with its permanent make up line, DESSANGE comes out with 2 seasonal collections a year. The new Fall Winter Make Up collection 2012-13 should be available in our USA DESSANGE salons by next week!
    The new FW makeup collection "Smoky Blue"has the same DESSANGE Fantastic Mascara in a new dark blue color!! One of my favorite make up tips is to use the DESSANGE Black Fantastic mascara all over the lashes and then add the New Fantastic blue mascara on the tips of the upper lashes to give you this extra lengthening effect...making you forget the under eyes bag even more :)!

    You can discover the DESSANGE Make up at the following USA locations:

    Tel: 512-327-6555

    Tel: 713-457-8800

    DESSANGE Tysons Corner VA (DC metropolitan area)
    Tel: 703-761-3135

    DESSANGE Chevy Chase (DC metropolitan area)
    Tel: 301-913-9373

    DESSANGE Ann Arbor
    Tel: 734-996-5585

    DESSANGE Nashville
    Tel: 615-269-5121
    *Carrying the Seasonal Make up collection only

  • Mouthfulofstyle

    Ha her blonde hair routine is the same as mine. My colorist is on the verge of not letting me go blonder!

    Check out my blog - style insights and fashion business learnings.

  • Wtfedina

    Nars Sumatra multiple has been discontinued for years and years. I wish I could find it again! It was the best color!

  • Sophia White

    The woman is the most perfect doll that I have dressed with delight and admiration.
    IT Support East London

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  • Shanna

    I'd love to see you interview Kristen Noel Gipson!

  • S.

    GREAT! I loved reading this. Girl after my own heart. I'm the same way except I can't afford the cream she uses. i looked it up!

  • Erica | The Scoop List

    coolest woman in the entire world.