Giovanna Campagna Garcés : We're actually cousins...
Cloclo Echavarria : ...but this is the first time we're living in the same city! And now that we're in London, it's really interesting seeing the difference between cultures.
Gioavanna : Our family is Colombian, but I grew up in New York. And through our company, Creo Consulting, we represent Latin American fashion brands internationally. We operate sort of like an incubator—we do sales, PR, help with branding...all that stuff. So we see a whole spectrum of how people relate to beauty and can kind of take what we want from it all.
Cloclo : Colombians are very into presenting and preserving themselves. Our great aunt is 99, and she’ll always tell you, “I haven’t gained a kilo since I was 15.” I mean, one of our aunts is 83, and I swear she looks 40. My mom even got stopped at the airport one time because she didn’t look her age…
Giovanna : There’s an expression in Spanish that translates to “Ugly women don’t exist—only women who don’t take care of themselves.” It's a little out-of-touch, but I take it to mean that all women are beautiful, and it’s all about learning how you feel best—and sometimes that means learning different beauty tricks and putting some effort into it. Although, I think because we grew up abroad, we were a little behind the typical Colombian girl.
Cloclo : I’ve never been that into makeup, but I’m super into skincare and watching what I eat because I find it makes a big difference to my skin.
Giovanna : What we eat is a big thing for both of us—since I moved to London, I’ve found that I cook at home a lot more. In New York, people go out to eat so much or order in, but it’s so nice to know exactly what you’re putting in your body.
Cloclo : Really knowing what I'm using started with my skincare, and now it’s moved into my cleaning products. I just make sure that I trust what I'm buying. I only use Biologique Recherche on my face—I try not even to use water depending on where I am in the world because you never know what’s in it. I used to live in Switzerland, and I actually started losing my hair because of the water. So now, I just use Biologique Recherche’s Solution Démaquillante pour les Yeux, Lotion P50W, Émulsion Végétale Grand Millésime, Masque Crème Biofixine, and their Préparation U.V. sunblock. I have this really good Indian toothpaste called Patanjali, which I have my friend send over. It's brown, which is kind of gross to think about, but it really works.
Giovanna : Growing up, I danced at the School of American Ballet, so we used to wear so much crazy makeup there…my mom took me to MAC to get my colors done and everything. By the time I got to boarding school, I was done with it all. I was disheveled and listening to Grateful Dead all the time. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to pay more attention to makeup again…my flatmate watches Lisa Eldridge's videos and has become a total pro. But, day to day, I wear minimal makeup.
I use SkinCeuticals' Gentle Cleanser, and then I put an antioxidant cream on before I put on my makeup in the morning. Every three days, I use their Retinol 0.5 at night, and I love La Prairie’s Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Eye Cream. Someone sent it to my boss when I worked at W Magazine, and I’ve been hooked on it ever since. Then I'll use By Terry Sheer Expert. It’s really light and translucent—I think it’s the best. I also love Nars Blush in Orgasm and Clé de Peau Beauté Enriched Lip Luminizer in the shade Mulled Wine 213. That's also pretty sheer, so it doesn’t look too heavy. I also use Chanel's Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner and Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base. Someone once told me that you should wear bronzer where the sun would hit your face, so I go with that. For perfume, I’m really into Frédéric Malle. Clo wears Carnal Flower, and I wear Lys Mediterranee. I like to stick with one scent, so that turns into a fragrance that reminds people of me.
Cloclo : I’m really into the Laura Mercier Crème Cheek Color. I have it in two different colors, one for summer and one for winter. I’m pretty inept, so I need something that is kind of basic to use. Then for lipstick, I really like Chanel Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour in 434 Mademoiselle. I don’t use mascara because my eyelashes are long, so I end up with mascara all down my face. But I do use the Brow Perfector from Shavata Brow Studio, which is the place where I get my eyebrows done, too. Then, I use coconut oil for everything else, from oil pulling to cooking to mixing it with sugar to make a body scrub…
Giovanna : Our grandmother had all sorts of great natural beauty tips. She used to mix up egg whites and make a face mask out of them. She said that it helped with collagen production and making your skin more even. And my mom was really into making a hair mask out of the yolks to help with shine because the protein in the eggs helps to strengthen hair. There’s this really popular hair mask that you can buy in Colombia that’s made from duck embryo called LuzyColor Embrión de Pato Tratamiento Profundo—I think that works on the same principle.
Cloclo : And there’s this amazing woman called Gloria Hincapié who’s really famous. When I lived in Colombia, I would go to her for like two hours every day. Everything that she does is centered around pineapples. First, she gives you pineapple tea, and then she massages you with pineapple cream in this special way that apparently breaks up your fat. After two weeks of it, you can literally feel your fat breaking up into little pieces. It’s gross but very funny because there are pictures of her all over her studio of her massaging these famous celebrities and holding a pineapple. The whole thing is very strange, but it works!
Giovanna : Yeah, and lots of women make tea from the pineapple rinds.
Cloclo :There’s also celery tea for weight loss and vitamin D injections for your butt. Apparently, they make your butt firm.
Giovanna : There’s a lot of things that people do there that are definitely not FDA approved.
Cloclo : When I was living there, I was the most fit I’ve ever been. I’d go to the gym at 6am, and it would be packed, then I’d go to Gloria for two hours when I got off work. I didn’t have a social life. Here, I go to a circuit training class, and it’s a walk in the park by comparison. In Colombia, it’s all about the body.
—as told to ITG
Cloclo Echavarria & Giovanna Campagna Garcés interviewed by Olivia J. Singer and photographed by Olivia Richardson. Read more of the daily routines of women in The Face, including Raquel Berrios' lessons learned from growing up in Puerto Rico.