A S I A N MO­MENT

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Beauty -

Château Smith Haut Lafitte red wine at the house­warm­ing party of resveratrol, a supreme anti-age­ing com­po­nent found in the grapevine stalks.

“The vine and grape ex­tracts used for our pa­tents come from the vine­yards of Bordeaux, Cham­pagne, and Bur­gundy,” says Thomas. “We are the pi­o­neer and we re­main the au­thor­ity be­cause we have been study­ing it since 1997, and we work with the ex­perts. We are the only one with a sta­bilised resveratrol that pen­e­trate the skin,” Thomas as­cer­tains with con­fi­dence. This patented break­through was made pos­si­ble with the help of a pro­fes­sor of ge­net­ics at Har­vard Med­i­cal School, David Sin­clair. This re­sulted in the for­mu­la­tion of Caudalie’s lat­est of­fer­ing, the Resveratrol [Lift] range. In 2015, the Thomases up­rooted again. This time, for Hong Kong. The two-storey bun­ga­low is about an hour’s drive from the buzzing city. A spa­cious front yard leads the way to the back, where a wa­ter­front presents a panoramic view of Deep Wa­ter Bay, a much cov­eted land­mark in Hong Kong. “I was very lucky. I was on a ski trip in a French house, and some­one told me a lady was leav­ing Hong Kong soon for St-Tropez,” Thomas con­fides. “I came to see it, and I was im­me­di­ately sold. This kind of house doesn’t come into the mar­ket of­ten.”

This was, in­deed, a huge move, and a strong in­di­ca­tion that Asia is where the op­por­tu­ni­ties and fo­cus will be for the brand for the next few years.

F R ENC H S E C R E T

“We were taught to wear skin­care and al­ways re­move make-up,” Thomas elab­o­rates. She re­veals that she is in­trigued by the way Asian women per­ceive beauty and the con­comi­tant rituals. Will there be a prod­uct soon enough that will in­cor­po­rate an Asian in­gre­di­ent, per­haps? Thomas de­murs: “I am very im­pressed with their essence, am­poules, tex­tures that feel like wa­ter and pen­e­trate into the skin. Asian brands typ­i­cally use Chi­nese medicine in­gre­di­ents, but we have our own in­gre­di­ents that we know by heart and are su­per pow­er­ful, like the polyphe­nol. I am more in­spired by their tex­ture.”

The love is mu­tual. Caudalie’s pop­u­lar­ity in Asia is on a me­te­oric rise, with a re­cent open­ing in Seoul. Nev­er­the­less, Thomas is adamant that they re­main 100 per­cent in­de­pen­dent. “We want to main­tain that in­tegrity of a fam­ily-owned brand.” This means beauty prod­ucts and rou­tines that “give you plea­sure”. Thomas ex­plains, “I have main­tained a strict com­mit­ment I call Cosm-ethics, to make prod­ucts us­ing the max­i­mum amount of nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents that re­spect the en­vi­ron­ment. Be­cause when you feel good, you look good.”

Back to na­ture. Back to ba­sics. “Here’s to French beauty,” Thomas says, as she picks up her Smith Haut Lafitte and we clink glasses. Sa­lut!

The cake- cut­ting cer­e­mony brought the house­warm­ing party to a beau­ti­ful close

Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa can­dles in­fuse liv­ing spa­ces

with its re­lax­ing scent

Mathilde Thomas flanked by her daugh­ters

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