On Beauty

A Parisian Editor’s Best Natural Beauty Advice for Spring

Clémence von Mueffling
Credit...Pamela Berkovic

Clémence von Mueffling, 37, is a third generation beauty editor. Born in Paris, she was introduced to body creams, toners and fragrances at an early age — both her mother and grandmother served as beauty editors at Vogue Paris from the late ‘50s through the early ‘90s. “I remember them telling me that there was a code among the women who worked there — they were all incredibly elegant and polished,” says von Mueffling. Still, she didn’t immediately pursue the same career path: Instead she spent nearly five years on the marketing and communications side at brands like Clarins and Dior before moving to New York in 2007 and assuming the beauty editor role at Casas & Gente, an interiors and lifestyle magazine that’s since folded. But her six-year stint there sparked the idea to start a magazine-like website, Beauty and Well Being, which von Mueffling launched in 2014.

With a deep appreciation for all things non-toxic and natural, holistic views on fitness and motherhood (von Mueffling has 5-year-old twins, Lucas and Anaïs), and profiles of influencers and the products they love, the site is a bit like a French version of Goop meets Into the Gloss. Here, von Mueffling shares her best advice on spring beauty, along with some time-honored tips passed down in her family.

Get ready for athleisure beauty

“Women now want beauty products that go with their active lifestyle. A CC cream like Erborian’s is good for women on the run: you put a drop on and it’s white, but when you rub it in, it becomes tinted, and it has a good SPF. I also like lip color and moisturizer in one product. Tata Harper has a great one called Be Adored that I keep in my handbag. It’s a tinted lip treatment that’s a very light pink.”

Clean up your nail game

“I like to have my nails done; I find that it’s such a finishing touch. You can wear blue jeans, flat shoes, a shirt and have your nails done and be ready for work. I only use one brand, Kure Bazaar; it’s a non-toxic nail polish that has 85 percent natural ingredients in it. My favorite shade for spring is Clean. It’s completely transparent, so it’s like you have nothing on but your nails look polished.”

Mind your legs

“My grandmother taught me how to keep beautiful legs: a lot of French women use compression stockings and do lymphatic drainage massage as an exercise to increase circulation. My grandmother also takes advantage of any relaxing moment on holiday to put her feet up. I always see her doing this when reading.”

Recharge your skin

“I see Carmel at the Renew Spa; she does like a light micro-current to tone the skin that’s great for firmness. After you do two or three treatments, you see the results, and then depending on your age, you don’t have to do it so often. When my mother comes to New York, she will see her once or twice a week but I only see her once a month. I also go to Caudalie in The Plaza for a facial massage. I’m a strong believer in massage as a natural way to keep your skin toned, and improve elasticity and circulation.”

Start grooming habits early

“When I was 13 or 14, I went away to summer camp in the U.S. and my mother put inside my bag Estée by Estée Lauder fragrance, a Lierac stretch mark cream and a Clarins Eau Dynamisante body moisturizer that had a very strong smell. I remember arriving and realizing that my things were not the same as everyone else’s! But it’s important to have a good routine.”

Leave your eyebrows alone

“My mother also taught me never to touch the lines of your eyebrows. Or your brows will never grow back the same way. French girls around me growing up would only remove something in the middle of their brows, if it didn’t look feminine or was very obvious. And still today, I see that my French friends have more to their brows. In New York, a lot of women shape theirs, which can be very feminine and help open up your face. But if there is one thing I will tell my daughter, it’s not to touch your brows for as long as possible.”

Embrace natural deodorant

“I recently interviewed the model Carol Alt and she convinced me to start using natural deodorant. You put it so close to your lymph nodes that you should prefer something very clean there. We tried all the ones on the market for a piece on Being and Well Being, and my two favorites are Soapwalla’s Deodorant Cream and Lavanila’s The Healthy Deodorant. I have busy days, taking care of the children, rushing to work, exercising, and, trust me, these work.”

Consider more plant-based cuisine

“Reducing the amount of animal protein we eat is not a fad, or something only for vegetarian restaurants. At Alain Ducasse’s new restaurant in the Plaza Anthénée, he redid his menu with absolutely no meat. It was a big statement, and he still got multiple Michelin stars. Changing the proportion of how much meat to vegetables we put on our plates is good for our bodies and the planet.”

Work out your body — and your mind

“I do cardio dance with Katherine Greiner — she’s very inspiring. She doesn’t only know about cardio dance, she knows about sleep, diet, yoga, stretching. When I train, we end up exercising but also asking each other, did you read that book “Gut”? Did you hear about that cook who does those amazing roux dishes? I like training with someone who has a very wide range of health knowledge. And when time permits, I take my bicycle to Central Park. It’s a leisure tour. I’m not trying to be the fastest, I like enjoying the moment. It’s a good time to be present, and a great way to enjoy the city.”

Let your skin glow, but not too much

“I love self tanners from Clarins. My recipe is to mix self tanner with my body moisturizer so that tanning effect is a little subtler. And if I make a mistake, it’s not that noticeable.”

Ease into a greener beauty regime

“I’m not for drastic, 200 percent changes to your routine, unless it’s because of a health condition. Instead, I think it’s about balancing and making smart choices. Maybe you’re not into organic makeup but you can buy a natural body moisturizer. I want people to feel good about any change they make, no matter how small. It’s good to do things little by little. If you just make one or two changes, and you feel great, then you want to add more.”