A S I A N MOMENT
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