Sunday, 13 February 2011

Beauty And The Bank

Beauty and the Bank..

It would be easy to assume that celebrity beauty comes with a hefty price tag. Or that one would need the requisite holy trinity of personal stylist, hair and make-up artist in order to get that elusive A-List glow. But rest assured, great expense is no guarantee of efficacy. When asked what she wore to bed, Marilyn Monroe famously replied; "What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel No.5, of course". Though she had a fondness for scenting her body with fine perfume, when it came to her night cream of choice, she relied on something far more modest, Vaseline.

A host of modern day celebrity icons have adopted Marilyn's frugal approach to beauty, eschewing prestige skin care in favour of affordable niche brands. Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova (pictured above), seems to have taken over from Kim Basinger in the arena of unconventional beauty habits.

When Basinger was at the peak of her fame, she was alleged to have insisted her film contracts contain a special clause. Namely, that she would have a limitless supply of Evian mineral water with which to wash her A-List locks (and people wonder why Los Angeles is referred to as La La Land).

Vodianova meanwhile, has ditched tap water in her daily face-washing routine, opting instead for Eau Thermale Avene Spring Water Spray. With a face that has earned her millions in modelling revenue (she has starred in high profile campaigns for Chanel, Guerlain and Calvin Klein), one would think she knows a good beauty product when she sees one.

British supermodel Sophie Dahl (pictured above) is another high profile fan. To ensure her flawless porcelain skin remains hydrated in-flight, she travels with Avene Water Spray (it comes in a nifty travel size).

Founded in 1990, Avene is a French dermo-cosmetic brand, catering specifically to sensitive, intolerant and allergic skin types (gentle enough to be used by all). Avene Thermal Spring Water is recommended by dermatologists and noted for its soothing and healing properties. This natural active is central to the Avene range of products.

For Gwyneth Paltrow (pictured above), no visit to France is complete without the purchase of some of her favourite French beauty products, Avene Spring Water Spray and Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oatmilk. About the former she says: "a soothing water spray for irritated skin. It's also good as a quick refresher on a hot day. I know lots of make-up artists who use it, as it helps set make-up".

For her glossy and bouncy Hollywood mane, Paltrow credits Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oatmilk (pictured above): "This stuff's great when your hair needs a little spiffing up, especially when it's starting to get a little greasy. If you want to maintain a blow dry or don't have time to do a full wash and blow out, this really does the trick. It gets right to the roots, brings back volume and makes your hair less oily".

Julia Restoin Roitfeld (pictured above) is the daughter of style icon Carine Roitfeld (the recently departed editor-in-chief of French Vogue). With mega-watt fashion blue blood coursing through her veins, it's no wonder her natural, youthful beauty has already notched up prestigious advertising campaigns for Lancome, Tom Ford and Mango.

However, when it comes to protecting her honeyed skin in the sunshine, it is not Lancome she turns to. In fact, she favours Eau Thermale Avene High Protection Emulsion SPF 20 (pictured above).

Hollywood beauty Diane Kruger (pictured above) ought to be a dab hand at all things beauty by now. After all, her glittering modelling career saw those piercing blue eyes gazing out seductively from an international Armani Aqua Di Gio fragrance campaign, and this was all before her Hollywood career had even started. With the world's leading designers all courting her red carpet power, one could mistakenly assume that she'd look only to La Prairie, Creme de la Mer or Sisley for beauty inspiration.

However, when it comes to preserving the delicate skin around the eye area, Kruger's favoured product is Eau Thermale Avene Ystheal+ Eye Contour Cream. Avene Dermatalogical Laboratories have specially developed the Ystheal+ product with Retinaldehyde, a potent "Vitamin A" derivative, the "latest" wrinkle-reducer on the market. It effectively fights against the very first signs of cell ageing and notably these first few wrinkles. If you need an extra pick-me-up, try keeping this in the fridge. When applied cool, it will instantly soothe the under eye area, shrinking capillaries, to banish dark circles and puffiness.

Avene has another high profile fan in British supermodel Erin O'Connor (pictured above). This girl definitely puts the "super" into model. A muse to many a catwalk designer, especially for couture, O'Connor can expect to have her hair and make-up changed four times a day during the catwalk season. This must wreak havoc with the model's complexions, not to mention their energy levels. Not surprising then, that like her A-List chums, O'Connor has a penchant for Avene. When it comes to soothing her show-schedule ravaged skin, her first point of call is Eau Thermale Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser.

Winner of a Life&Style 2010 Beauty Award, it seems the beauty Press can't get enough of Avene's Extremely Gentle Cleanser either.

That's not the only award-winner in the range, Stylist magazine voted Avene's Gentle Purifying Scrub "Best Exfoliating Scrub", saying: "this fresh-smelling exfoliator leaves skin "smooth" and "incredibly clean", according to our panel, but is "gentle enough to use several times a week". The quality ingredients include mineral-rich water and jojoba extracts".

Last but not least, Avene's Gentle Toner won an Essentials "Best Beauty Buys of 2010" award, in the category "Daily Cleansing and Toning". They said of the product: "The no-sting formula makes your skin feel well-cleansed and fresh - great for all skin types".

Eau Thermale Avene Spring Water Spray - £6.50
Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oatmilk - £7.50
Eau Thermale Avene High Protection Emulsion SPF 20 - £9.98
Eau Thermale Avene Ystheal+ Eye Contour Cream - £18
Eau Thermale Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser - £8.00

To stock up on the celebrities' favourite Avene and Klorane products, shop online at:


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