"Image is always something that I’ve been aware of. Even before I was acting, as a young girl with sisters and a father who always took photos, we were aware of our physical appearance—makeup came later. We were raised in the country and always very careful of the sun. My mother told us it wasn’t very good for skin and so I protected my face very much. I’m quite pleased, too, because after so many years, my skin is still in a good shape. My mother, too…she’s 105. She’s incredible. She was an actress too, but on stage. I’m sure that training helped her learn how to take care of her skin.
I still work quite a lot and I find I really need some air, especially on weekends, so it’s nice to go back to the country and be close to the water. Obviously I dress differently when I’m working or in public, but my makeup is pretty much the same even in the country. Maybe I don’t wear a red lip, but I’ll still do my eyebrows and wear something on my lips. And always perfume. It’s something that’s really a part of me.
Every morning I drink lemon juice. It’s not so much that it cleanses anything, but I do think it’s very good for your skin and the whites of your eyes. Then I use the Cleansing Milk from Clarins, and then I moisturize with either Clarins or Darphin. At night I moisturize, too, but not every day. The person who has been taking care of my skin says that the collagen in the face has to work on stimulating itself, not having a cream replace it. A few nights a week, I use the Darphin 8-Flower Nectar that’s really delicious.
Once a month, I go to Françoise Morice for a facial because they have a very special way of manipulating the face that they invented—it’s incredible the light it brings to the skin. If I feel tired, I take 15 minutes to lie down and put a mask on. I love the one from SK-II because it helps with collagen and stays on your face. The Guerlain one is also very good and I've used it for my whole life. After a 15 minutes break, if I'm too tired when I get up and have to do something, I take vitamin C to give me a little pep.
I’ve always worn very little, very light makeup. Less is more and the more you grow older, the better it is to have light makeup. For my face, I like to have a good primer. I do think it's good that women wear makeup, because I feel like it acts as a barrier between the skin and the pollution in the air. I’ll use the Dr. Brandt Pores No More Primer with foundation from Shiseido or Guerlain. Sometimes I mix them. But even if I don’t want to wear makeup, I will always put on lipstick and eyebrows. Eyebrows are indispensible. I think actually in a film I always sit with my makeup person and talk about how the most important part of the look is the eyebrow. Much more important than the eyes themselves.
And then of course I use a Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil and her lipstick in Healthy Lips. It’s strong, but it’s not too shiny—it gives the appearance of natural color. She does really good colors, as does François Nars. Armani also makes very nice lipsticks. They’re very pigmented, so for special occasions, it’s very nice. Because, you know, when you’re going to a dinner, you have to be careful about what lipstick you wear. It has to be very matte in order to stay. For an appearance, I don’t like matte, but you have to use it if you’re going to eat. For lashes, I use Armani mascara too, called Eyes To Kill.
The other thing that is very important is powder, because if you’re going to put it on your skin all day, it has to be good. I like a MAC powder that doesn’t have any color, but helps mattify everything. And I use Cle de Peau’s translucent powder, which is hard to find. I have friends bring it back for me when they travel because we don’t have it in France anymore. They make really wonderful products.
When I start a film, I like to have a special fragrance to wear for it. So, I’m starting a film tomorrow and I’m going to wear Frederic Malle’s Eau de Magnolia—I like it because with every perfume, he works with a different person to do something special. After the film, I keep the perfume, and when I wear it I remember the experience. It’s not something I’ve always done, but I’ve been doing it for a few years. And also I like very much the perfume of Francis Kurkdjian, becaue he’s very special. He’s the one who did the first perfume of Jean Paul Gaultier but now he’s doing perfume for himself. I like his nose.
In the summer, I love to wear jasmine. It's a very natural, floral scent, but at the same time, has something a little deeper. There's a musk from Frederic Malle—Carnal Flower—that he also makes as a Hair Mist which I love. Also orange blossom—that's lovely.
Not being a natural blonde, I've always taken care of my hair. I've used Christophe Robin's products for 15 years because they're very, very good—he develops them himself with natural ingredients that are very gentle. He has a Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt that I use once every three weeks to clean the scalp. When I'm working, I only wash my hair twice a week because it's very thick and it will get too fluffy. But when I do wash it, I use the Christophe Robin Cleansing Mask with Lemon as a shampoo—it's really incredible for blond hair because it gives it so much shine. And then there's this product he makes that I can't live without called the Intense Regenerating Balm. It's actually very light, not greasy at all. You can put it on all the little hairs in the font of your face to smooth them. That's always in my bag."
—as told to ITG
Catherine Deneuve photographed by Virginie Khateeb at Le Meurice in Paris, France, on March 30, 2016. Interview by Marie-Cybele Muysers. Makeup by Régine Bedot. Hair by Jean Claude Gallon.