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A family business that will not be hurried

Luxury French cosmetics brand Sisley was founded in 1976 by husband-and-wife team Hubert and Isabelle d'Ornano.

The family was no stranger to the beauty industry, or success. Hubert's father Guillaume had co-founded Lancôme with an old colleague, while Hubert and his brother set up the Orlane brand when they were in their twenties.

As the brand grew, their father sold his shares in Lancôme and joined them at Orlane.

The D'Ornanos sold Orlane in 1969 and in 1975 Hubert bought Sisley, a struggling beauty company set up by an old employee.

This new skincare brand was to be something different. At a time when the use of plant extracts and aromatherapy in beauty products was a highly innovative concept, D'Ornano focused on phytocosmetology (using plant extracts in beauty products). The brand was centred on using the best of ingredients to create the best skincare.


Even today, Sisley is not a brand to launch lots of new products every year, as research and testing on any new launches can take years. It is still very much a family business, too.

Hubert and Isabelle are still involved (the latter is in charge of 'creation' and coming up with the solutions to women's skincare problems) and two of their children also work with the company.

The Sisley brand is now sold in more than 90 countries and employs several thousand people worldwide. The product range includes skincare, sun care, fragrance and a make-up range that offers skincare benefits.

If you buy just one product: It's very pricey, at €246, but All Day All Year is the 'must buy' of the range. It protects the skin from UV rays for up to eight hours a day and is a big celebrity favourite. Currently at Brown Thomas, if you buy All Day All Year you can get a free gift worth €100 (while stocks last). And the brilliant Radiant Glow Express Mask (€76) is also worth a go if your wallet won't quite stretch to All Day All Year.

The fans: Donna Air, Rachel Stevens, Jade Jagger and Lisa Snowdon.

Price: Sisley skincare starts at €44.50 while the make-up range starts at €24.

Where to get it: Brown Thomas.

More info: www.sisley-cosmetics.com