While most girls growing up would get their beauty and fitness advice from their mothers or grandmothers, Jenna Courtin-Clarins received tips on how to stay moisturised, healthy and toned from her grandfather.
But that is not surprising; given that he is Jacques, founder of the French beauty company Clarins, who started out as a masseur selling body treatment oils from his salon in 1954.
Trained in design and photography in Paris, Jenna took on the role of Prospective and New Concepts Manager at Clarins in 2015.
“It is so difficult for me to work for anyone else; it is impossible because I’m incredibly proud of Clarins,” said the affable and athletic heiress who was in Singapore to officially launch the brand’s new boutique at Ion Orchard last Friday.
The Beauty Gazette sat down with Jenna – decked out in a sexy monochromatic slit-dress by the Clarins-owned Mugler, no less – for a quick tete-a-tete on her role at Clarins, and tried-and-tested beauty regime.
Tell us about your earliest memories of your grandfather.
My sister and cousins, the four of us would meet him every Sunday for lunch in Paris. And we would spend our summers together in his house in the South of France. He would teach us everything about beauty; how we have to wear hats and sun cream when in the sun. How to apply products for the best results. He also taught us how to swim as the family home is next to the sea. He was all for a healthy lifestyle; right down to the food we eat and the sports we played.
What is that one beauty tip that you learnt from him and still practise today?
I never leave the house without day cream, and I apply it on the face using the signature Clarins way with a gentle pressure. And after a shower, I would apply the Tonic Body Treatment Oil all over my body; followed by a very cold blast of water to get the circulation going. This helps to firm the skin and get rid of cellulite.
When you were younger, how involved were you in the development of the Clarins products?
During those summer days in the South of France, my grandfather would always ask us to try the creams; and give him feedback on the textures, smells, and how we feel. We were young, and for us it was like a game. He always told us that the four of us were his best feedback team, because we were spontaneous.
How do you feel about taking on an official role in the Clarins Group?
I am really proud of my grandfather’s brand. He always paid attention to the consumer, so we continue to base our retail concept on that. We have family meetings in the office, and we are part of all decisions. From the products to visual communications and packaging. It is part of our DNA. We mix family and business, but we can’t help it.
What are your favourite Clarins products?
For the face, I love the Double Serum and its scent; as well as the Multi-Active Cream because it is lightweight. I also like to blend the UV Plus with the foundation for extra sun protection. The Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in Honey is my favourite because it is sparkly, nourishes and I like the taste and smell; it’s like candy. And if there is only one thing that I could put on my face before I go out, that would be mascara. The Clarins one helps the eyelashes to grow. We also have a new Velvet Lipstick that does not dry the lips; and it will be launching soon. For the body, I always use the Tonic Oil, Bust Beauty Firming Lotion, Moisture Rich, and Body Fit.
If you only have five minutes to look presentable before getting out of the house, what would you do?
I’ll put my hair up in a loose bun with an elastic; apply Beauty Flash Balm, and mascara. Then I’ll slick on some nude praline-shade lipstick, put on my sunglasses and I’m done.
Text: ©The Beauty Gazette