Coralie Jouhier, Model

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"I'm not a typical model. I do commercial work, a little editorial, and no runway. I did a Benetton campaign a few years ago, which was cast by Brice Compagnon, the founder of WAD magazine. He also has this agency that specializes in unique beauty. Benetton is such an iconic brand, so that was a big deal for me. But in France, it can still be hard to get commercial work when you have such a specific look. People assume I get more work because of it, but it's not true. I'm still dreaming of a Gap gig! [Laughs] My passion is actually this project I started with my boyfriend—it's a food cart on a bike called Le Tricycle. We make vegan hotdogs and sell them during special events. It's going so well that we started doing private catering, too.

I am very low maintenance when it comes to beauty; I've always been like that. It's probably something I have inherited from my mother, who has dreadlocks and never wears any makeup. Her ultimate beauty tip is the sun. She always said that being in Martinique, where she is from, is the best cure for everything—and it's true because women there have incredible skin and hair. So my mom is from Martinique and my dad from Senegal, which makes me a redhead with crazy curly hair and a very specific skin tone. I'm actually a little ashamed to say it, but I never spend any money on products. I like the basics that I can get at Monoprix when I go grocery shopping: Dove soap, deodorant and Nivea Creme. I only have one lipstick in my bathroom—a friend gave me the Rihanna RiRi Woo from MAC, saying it would look perfect on me. I'll put that on if I have a party or something. Some would say I'm lazy but I feel like I just put my energy into other things.

Even though my hair is a big part of who I am and I could not imagine myself without it, it was really challenging when I was younger. There are a lot of clichés about redheads in the black community, crazy stories about sorcery or curses... My family and I were always moving around and we'd always settle into small towns where I was 'the odd one.' Kids and sometimes even parents would pick on me. At 13, I went through a phase when I wanted to dye my hair and have it straight—thank God my mom always told me that I should be proud of who I am. When we moved to Paris a couple years later, there were a lot of mixed-race people and I started to get compliments about my 'look.'

Today more and more girls want to have natural hair—some of them are even sending me messages on Facebook asking for tips! I am always a bit embarrassed because I don't have much of a routine for it. I wash my hair once a week and let it air dry. I try to avoid heat as much as possible—making my hair straight has the tendency to mess up my curl pattern. When I do editorial work, sometimes the photographer will ask the hair team to do that, but I usually wash it right after the shoot to get my curls back. Every now and then I make a mask at home with what I have in the kitchen—avocado, honey, you name it. Then for everyday, I like to wear it open, or in a bun when I'm working. Braiding actually helps my hair grow and stay healthy, so I'll braid it before going to bed. That also helps me not wake up with it looking too crazy!"

—as told to ITG

Coralie Jouhier photographed by Mathieu Vilasco at her home in Paris. Interview by Lyna Ahanda of Lurve magazine

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  • Molly

    She is STUNNING!!! And it's so refreshing to hear someone describe themselves as low maintenance and then actually be that. Love her.

  • sashi

    ah, yes. THIS is how my hair looks if I do nothing to it, as suggested yesterday, on the girl with pretend-curly hair. But I tame mine because I work in accounting and I have to see! Also, it's nice to see someone appreciating the sun's benefits rather than demonizing every ray of light that touches skin. It is summer, after all.

    • H

      A little bit of sun (20 minutes) is good for you, and probably necessary, but beyond that, one needs to be careful. Skin cancer is very real and serious.

      • Guest

        So true. And skin cancer is very real for people of color, too. I am of mixed race with skin darker than Ms. Jouhier's. And I have had melanoma. Going into the sun without sunscreen is as foolish as smoking. Always err on the side of science, people!

  • http://www.atdorsia.com/ Eliza

    How can it be a Top Shelf if there are no products on the shelf?! Haha I think there should be a separate category (interviews?) for these cool, low-maintainece people, since I thought the Top Shelf was for people who like and use makeup and skincare! Adore ITG but as a product junkie I'm starting to feel like a lone wolf on here

    • Lizzy

      Exactly! I come on here for beauty/product/makeup tips and lately it seems like every top shelf/shelfie is a "natural" girl who uses no products and wears ONE lipstick.

    • Vicki

      I completely agree with you!! I love her minimal routine, I think there is a chic-quality to using so little but at the same time, I want to see some products!! I want recommendations and things to lust after!! :) Nivea creme is great but throw me a bone!!

      • http://www.atdorsia.com/ Eliza

        Lizzy/Vicki, glad to see fellow makeup lovers haha--I have more products on the edge of my shower than in this whole girl's Top Shelf.

        To each their own, but for a beauty website, I want to see people with a jam-packed vanity who are passionate about great products (so that I can go and buy all of them!)

        • Vicki

          Agree. Agree. Agree! :)

    • http://badoutfitgreatlipstick.blogspot.com Nae

      I get the feeling that Coralie also loves her skincare--those pots of shea butter and Nivea are clearly dipped in to with gusto. She just uses less of it. :) I also consider myself a product junkie who loves to try new things, and seeing that somebody has really gotten good use out of a product is just as exciting as a shelf full of barely-touched creams.

      Also, speaking as somebody who once owned over 200 lipsticks (seriously, I have pictures) and now has a relatively small collection, but loves makeup just as much, I'd want my collection to be featured in the same kind of interview regardless of its size.

      Besides, if you started trying to separate interviews based on how "low maintenance" people are, it could get tricky. Just how many products actually defines low maintenance? What if you only have one lipstick, like Coralie, but you use it RELIGIOUSLY? Is 10 products enough for a Top Shelf? 15? 20?

      I think ItG has done a pretty good job of giving us a mix of people with different-sized collections. A few are huge, a few are incredibly bare bones, and most are in between. It's not for everybody, but I kinda dig a beauty website that shows skincare and makeup in all their shapes, forms, and sizes.

    • Lisa

      Agreed...from another product junkie!

    • http://wanderandglow.com/ Shann Oliver

      I think Top Shelf/Shelfie is about showing real women/men across the "famous" spectrum, and what their approach to beauty is - which includes their routines and what products they may (or may not) use.

      Although I'm a product junkie myself, I actually prefer these posts, as they have routines so different than mine and therefore are far more interesting. And it's always nice to learn about products across the maintenance spectrum. =)

  • http://vanitytalkbeauty.blogspot.com Addison Cain

    I'm always jealous of people who have routines as simple as hers and still manage to look so beautiful!

  • Melly

    So beautiful

  • fancies&beauty

    She is lovely. What a natural beauty!

  • Francesca

    The Top Shelf is without a doubt my favorite part of ITG, but the articles over the past few weeks have been lacking. I think there's something really special about Emily's Top Shelf interviews and photographs, and it's missing in profiles generated by other writers and photographers.

  • Guest

    is this a good place to ask brand recommendations of best shea butters? Raw vs. refined? Much appreciated

    • http://intothegloss.com/ ITG Annie

      Thanks for the comment, I'll keep this in mind for our next Q&A. xAnnie

  • http://www.GirlsBestFriendandcoBlog.com/ GirlsBestFriendandCo

    You look like my daughter, and I thought the same thing about her being cast because of her looks. When we go to casting there are always two or three other girls that look like you guys. My daughter kind of have gotten discourage. She always receives positive compliments about her appears, which I think makes her feel bad when she is rejected. I will say just push forward!

  • http://thehorticult.com/ The Horticult

    Beauty! And the colors in these photos (blue shirt/blue wall, red Murakami) are so wonderfully considered...Also excited to see her Petit Marseillais shea milk/honey conditioner is on Amazon (Prime!). #ooh #la #la

  • Bella

    I think I can see both sides of the coin. On the one hand, I really enjoy seeing someone with such striking and unusual natural beauty, and it gives me a thrill that it's all genetics. On the other, I am a complete product junkie myself and I love reading about other people's routines, favourite products, trouble shooting and not unimportantly, a nose around the bathroom. Give us more of the full on full on!

    • Haiku Jew

      Bella, I agree
      product junkies want fixes
      and some samples, too.

      • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager

        hahahah you're the best

  • Genevieve

    Gorgeous! I love the low-maintenance girls (as well as the ones with every jar of priceless incredible goop possible)!

  • connie

    she is lovely and her hair could benefit from WEN stuff

    • Guest

      Is that you, Chaz Dean? There is absolutely nothing wrong with her hair. Clearly, whatever she's using on it is working!

  • Shirin

    wow, that last photo and her hands and facial expression. I'm inspired to draw her!

  • http://badoutfitgreatlipstick.blogspot.com Nae

    God, I love her hair. And she strikes me as one of those rare people who claims to be low maintenance and actually IS.

  • http://badoutfitgreatlipstick.blogspot.com Nae

    I agree with you wholeheartedly, as per usual. I'm an adjunct professor, so I'm constantly broke, and having a huge collection isn't a viable option for me. But what I DO have is, in my opinion, well-curated and well-loved, and I'm just as obsessed with beauty as anybody else. And it's representative of my lifestyle. I love seeing people with products flooding their bags and bathrooms, but some of us can't afford that, and that should be represented as well.

    I mean, the skincare rules my mom and I have used for decades were passed down by a woman who used nothing but Dove soap and Oil of Olay for most of her life. Still a representation of both beauty AND her lifestyle, in my opinion.

    • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager

      I feel this. What you choose is a direct representation of you, you know? Nice to a few more personal things. X

  • Fatima

    I love the articles written by emily, nick and alessandra codinho (did she leave ITG?). The three of you have a certain chic air to you that made this site so different from others. With all due respect to the other team members, it s just a matter of personal taste. I m more drawn to insiders articles and top shelf of chic women or industry insiders and not so drawn to sites like for instance xovain, i like do like edgy but in a chic way.

  • http://www.clevergirlreviews.com/ Clever Girl Reviews

    OMG, Stunning!

  • Nina

    Wow! What a beautiful girl! Her hair is incredibly beautiful. She looks very comfortable with herself and her unusual look. That's what truly makes her beautiful!

  • gatsbysmeow

    she seems super chill.

  • biancarichards

    One of my favourite interviews from because it's simple and sincere. I like it because she speaks also of how people in other cultures consider redheads. I had a really good time reading it because of the person she is and not only for what she represents on images. Everywomen has her routine that suits her, some like a lot of product others less but at the end i juste feel how a beautiful person she is.

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