Helene Kuhn, Actress

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"I studied acting at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts when I moved to New York. I was 19. I was born in Detroit, where my dad’s family is from—he’s French-American and my mother French, but I only lived there for two years before we moved to Paris, where I live now. My first year in school in New York was hard—it slapped me in the face. [Laughs]

When I started getting booked for job after job in Paris, I had to make the move back. And coming back after so long made me unconsciously change the way I put myself together.  I think it was about reconnecting with myself, my family and my history. I didn’t want to impose myself, i needed to start from scratch. Wearing make up here felt like i was lying to myself. The look in Paris is more classic, anyway. When I first moved to New York, it was pleasure to wear some lipstick or blush—you’re playing, being many different women. Wearing dark matte red lipstick puts me in this mood—it’s a feeling, an emotion. It made me feel powerful. You take more risks in New York, and listen to yourself more; you dress up because it’s pure fun. There’s a real exchange on the street in terms of beauty—people are really enjoying what you’re wearing and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a very unique vibe and totally different than in Paris.

I got back to basics here, even with skincare. There are three products that you should always have in your house : jojoba oil, honey, and lemon. Honey face masks feed and smooth out your skin; it’s antibacterial and balances your pH. And I will do lemon peeling once in a while—apply it on a cotton pad and wash it off with cold water after a couple minutes—and finish with an Evian facial spray. I use Melvita Floral Water sometimes, too. I put it on cotton balls, apply in on my eyes, lay down and breathe...

Now I don’t put on any cream. Instead, I use oil—borage, jojoba, and argan. Borage is a really good plant for cell renewal and wrinkles. You can use it as a food complement, too. I just like how it feels and it’s good for you. I always use sun-protection cream for the face. I also do yoga here, which, like any sport, is good for the skin. That's my normal regimen, but when I'm filming and my skin get upset from the makeup, I use Egyptian Magic Cream on my face, hands, and hair. Of course what I eat affects my skin, too. I drink a lot of herbal tea and mineral water—there’s a lot of potassium and magnesium in it. And I eat fish—I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m getting there—I just love fish too much. Naps are good, too! [Laughs] I wish I could take them every day... Just take time for yourself and meditate. Life is too crazy.

I don’t wear much makeup-makeup. I just keep my lips moisturized with Rosebud Salve. When I do wear makeup, I take it off with Bioderma Créaline.

For fragrance, I have been using amber rocks since I was 17. I crush them, and smell them if I just want to relax. It’s part of my life—I always have one on me. I get them from my friends whenever they go to Marrakesh—they get it from this three-story spice store in the Medina. And I just got Roger and Gallet Jean spray, which smells really good.

Another thing that I got from visiting northern African countries is the practice of going to a Hamam regularly. It’s the best treat you can give your body and mind. The best way to do it is to get a black soap scrub and finish with a massage and mint tea...

We’re starting to get more nail bars in Paris—the French are Americanizing. But I usually do it myself—Chanel Beige Petale [Ed. note: shade discontinued], or a super dark blue."

—as told to ITG

Helene Kuhn photographed by Emily Weiss in Paris, France on September 29, 2013.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • http://www.clevergirlreviews.com Clever Girl Reviews

    I can attest to the goodness of lemon juice, you just have to not use it everyday. It's too strong for that!

  • Charlotte

    these photos are really beautiful! and that cat is too cute

  • beeswaxnoneofyour

    She might also use R&G's Jean Marie Farina, but what's shown in her pic of stuff above is their Gingembre (Ginger) spray.

  • LD
  • Neelam

    I'm going to have to try the lemon juice a little bit, and the borage oil. She is very pretty and fresh faced. Very Parisian.

    • LD

      Please don't try the lemon. It's really not good for your skin and causes inflammation, which in turn accelerates aging. Even unseen inflammation is destructive to the skin.

      • beeswaxnoneofyour

        Yep. Also, citrus rind oils cause photosensitivity, so you really, really wouldn't want any of that getting on your face or skin and then going into the sun. I think a little lemon juice in honey and yogurt as an occasional mask wouldn't hurt, but too much of a harsh astringent like lemon juice is not going to be good as an everyday thing. Especially since she doesn't mention wearing spf. She looks great now, but she's definitely doing unseen damage to her skin!

        • Neelam

          Thanks for letting me know!

      • Neelam

        I wouldn't have put it on without doing some research first but thank you so much for letting me know!

        • LD

          You're welcome. It's easy to look at her and be like, "put her face stuff ALLLL over my face!" because her skin is gorgeous, but I wouldn't be taking skincare tips from her on this topic.

  • Kim DVS

    ugh, her skin! so beautiful.

  • dawn

    It's funny that she mentioned the non-makeup look from Paris. My husband is French and doesn't understand why I need makeup. I don't need it. I want it. Makeup's the only lie that I use, so it's not so bad. I do think a red velvet lip can brighten a gray day or gray mood. Plus it's fun. For sure I'm going to try the lemon, honey, oil method! If it works, I'll have more money to spend on lipstick!

  • pam

    That hair!! What does she do to her hair?? I have a similar curl type but am lost completely! Every product seems to be too heavy or too light...

    • ais

      a couple years back there was a feature on her and for her hair they said she used: Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo. this girl i babysit for uses it too, i asked her because she has the shiniest hair i've ever seen.

      • pam

        Thank you for the info. definitely will try this out!

  • Lulu

    But what shampoo does she use?! Her hair is amazing!

  • Emmi

    umm how does one wash their face and hair with honey without turning into a sticky mess?

    • Anon

      Put a small spoonful of honey on dry hands. Add a little water, just a few drops. Mix together with your hands and apply to face. Massage your face with this and add water as necessary. Rinse with water. The honey comes off quickly and easily with just water. There should be tons of YouTube videos, but it's a pretty easy process.

  • hollygoeslightly22

    Please elaborate on the washing of the face with honey. I don't quite understand how that would work.

  • http://www.vibrantbeautyblog.com/ Jennifer Monforton

    Loving her natural, minimalistic take on skin care. Don't know if I'd ever be able to pare down my routine like that, but something to aspire to :)

    http://www.vibrantbeautyblog.com

  • larasophia

    loving her routine. a big fan of oils my dry skin just reacts better to them than creams. some great products mentioned that I need to give a try!

    xx
    chicandsequined.com

  • Lana

    I've fallen in love with Ms. Kuhn's personality. So lovely.

  • corina

    She looks beautiful! I am on the same page with her simple, natural beauty/skincare routine but I am completely dependent on under eye concealer. If that's all I put on, I sometimes look in the mirror thinking I look great - only to wash my face later, revealing dark blue and purple shadows under my eyes :( I disagree with those who are saying to never use lemon juice on your face... I think Paula's statement is being taken out of context. First of all, as long as you dont smear a half-lemon's worth of juice on your face before you sunbathe, you're probably okay. Second, it should be fine in small doses, especially when mixed/diluted with other, gentle substances.

  • corina

    Oh, also, I second, third, fiftieth on the what is she using on her hair?!

  • Anna

    She looks so simple and classy. Love this kind of approach, though lenin might still seem dangerous

    http://affecteepar.com

  • Anna Maria V Turcato

    Very pretty!!! Amazing skin!!!

PRODUCTS MENTIONED

Weleda
Weleda Refining Toner
Umac Marine Phytoplankton
Health From the Sun Borage Oil
Josie Maran
Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil
Josie Maran
Egyptian Magic
Josie Maran
Smith's Rosebud Salve
Cosme-De.com
Bioderma Créaline
Roger&Gallet
Roger&Gallet Jean-Marie Farina Eau de Cologne Spray
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