Friday 23 March 2018

Jenna Courtin Clarins: 'We like women who look real. We don't care about lines on your face - they are part of your life'

Jenna Courtin Clarins (30) is the brand ambassador for Clarins and the granddaughter of Jacques Courtin Clarins, the founder of Clarins. She was born in Paris and still lives there, in Saint-Germain-des-Pres

Jenna Courtin Clarins, granddaughter of Jacques Courtin-Clarins, founder of the Clarins skin-care company. Photo: Fergal Phillips
Jenna Courtin Clarins, granddaughter of Jacques Courtin-Clarins, founder of the Clarins skin-care company. Photo: Fergal Phillips

Ciara Dwyer

I live in Saint-Germain-des-Pres, in the sixth arrondissement of Paris, next to the Cafe de Flore. The philosopher Sartre used to have coffee there. It's a famous literary area and a very nice place to live. There are lots of coffee places with terraces. I live on my own, in an apartment. It's very difficult to live in a house in Paris. You'd have to live in a neighbourhood. I prefer to live in the centre, where there are a lot of people and bars. I like to have shops at my doorstep.

I was born in Paris and I have always lived here. I never tire of it. Even when I come back from travelling and discovering other cultures, I still admire its beauty.

My hours depend on my working day. I wake up around 7am. I might have a meeting very early in the office. I'm a morning person. I love doing sports before going to work. Usually I do a 30-minute run in Jardin du Luxembourg. It's a garden which is very close to my place. It's very beautiful.

I've always done this. It's for my body but for my head also. It's very important that you don't think about anything. It clears your head. I don't listen to music. I always try to run in parks. I like to hear the sounds of people and birds and nature. It's important for me. That's between 7am and 8am. Then I take a quick shower.

The most important thing after a big run is to put a lot of cold water all over my body. You are really warm, so this wakens you up a little bit more. My grandfather used to say that this was his first competitor for the firmness of the skin. He was Jacques Courtin Clarins who built the Clarins brand.

Every morning, I have a beauty routine. It's quite a lot. I know exactly what I put on my face. It depends on the needs of my skin and if I have sun or not. Before putting on my clothes, I always put cream all over my body in the morning. And then I put cream on my face too. Our Beauty Flash Balm is my favourite when you are in a hurry and you don't have time to put something on. If I wake up and want to run downstairs to buy some croissants, I'll put that on. I often go out with no make-up but never without cream. In Dublin the air is pure, but in Paris there is a lot of pollution. At the end of the day, you can feel that your skin is dirty.

I have avocado toast for breakfast and then I get dressed. Some days I have a lot of meetings. I take my car - a tiny two-seater Smart car. It's ideal for me because it is easy to park in my neighbourhood. A lot of people live there.

I work as the brand ambassador for Clarins. For this, I travel a lot and I talk about the products but also we have a lot of meetings in the office to discuss future projects. We make the decisions with the family. Also, it's important for us to be aware of what our competitors are doing.

For our advertising campaigns, we like to use women who look real. It's not about perfection. We don't care about lines. They are part of your life. If you want to get Botox, that's fine, but we believe that women should be happy. They should take care of themselves and be healthy. I don't care about getting old.

My first memory of Clarins is my grandfather testing products on us when we were younger. It was in our house in the south of France. He would give us creams to rub on our faces and ask us about the smell and the texture. And he'd ask our opinion on colours for make-up. Even though we were really young, he wanted to know a woman's opinion. It wasn't work. It was play, it was fun. Clarins has always been part of my life. As we say, it's in our DNA.

A few years ago, I decided that I wanted to see more things. So, I studied photography and graphic design and I did some internships. I wanted to be nourished by other things but I always knew that I would come back to Clarins. I enjoy it. For French women, the most important thing is to have luminous skin without a lot of make-up. If you have the base right, you can go without make-up. For us, it's really important to clean your face properly.

The Clarins group is like a really big family. I work with my father and my uncle and my sister and cousin. The men know that it is important to listen to the women. They value our opinions, especially on things like make-up.

I work until 5pm or 6pm. If I don't have a run in the morning, I go to a yoga or a Pilates session in the evening. I usually go by bike. There are a lot of people on bikes in Paris because the traffic can be very bad. Then I usually join my friends for a drink. It is typically French to go for a drink - a glass of wine or beer on the terrace before you go to have dinner.

There is no romance in my life at the moment. I don't have the time. In Paris, the life is on the street. I love to walk around my neighbourhood, across the river and go to have dinner in different places. French people have dinner very late. It is never before 9pm.

Sometimes I go to the cinema or the opera. When I get home, I take off my make-up. Sleep is very important to me. When I go to bed, I really go to bed. I turn off the light and I am gone. I am very happy with my life. During the week, I'm asleep by midnight but at weekends, it could be any time, especially if there is a party. I never go to bed without putting anti-cellulite oil all over my body. It's a lot of work but I think it is very important. I do this every night, even if a man is with me. He just has to wait!

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