What French Women Know About Beauty: Simone France Skincare Shares Its Secrets
By Audrey Stefanik (@CremesComeTrue)
A hidden address, secret ingredients, and a select client list.
The story of Simone France is nothing short of mysterious…and glamorous.
While living in Manhattan, Simone France developed a “cult” following of beauty insiders—the top makeup artists, models and stylists in the fashion world. Names like Laura Mercier, Francois Nars, and Sonia Kashuk trusted their skin to her. She always worked alone in a modest atelier on east 58th Street and you could only get an appointment if you knew someone.
Vogue has called Simone France “Manhattan’s Last Beauty Secret.” Well, the secret is out. Three sisters-in-law now run what has turned into a skincare company, and Simone’s secrets are available to everyone.
What is it about French skincare?
What do French women know that the rest of the world does not? I asked Penny Kjellberg of Simone France to spill the beans.
Audrey: French women have long been admired for their skincare rituals. What’s their secret?
Penny: If we’re talking French beauty secrets, we’re it! Key points about French
— French women have a simple daily routine they faithfully perform every day. They don’t mind spending a few minutes in the morning and again in the evening. Our system is just as much about the daily ritual, the correct layering of products, as it is about the ingredients in the products.
— French Women like richer products. Even the formulas for oily skin are usually not “oil-free.”
— Americans tend to think that if something is good, then more of it is better. French women understand balance. They know that skincare is like fine French cuisine—a careful and delicate balance of ingredients. A pinch of this, a hint of that, and a little butter is OK! It’s all about the balance of ingredients, not the all-ornothing approach that is more prevalent in the USA.
— French women find what works for them and they stick with it—they don’t follow trends or get tempted by advertising and promotions. At Simone France, we remain true to Simone’s formulas and technique— we don’t change as ingredient and other trends come and go. As a former beauty editor, no one knows better than I do how those trends keep coming!
Audrey: Sticking with products and not chasing the trends sounds easy, but finding the right products can be difficult.
How does Simone France find what works for individual skin types?
Penny: We offer an online quiz to determine a person’s skin type. The quiz gives you advice and direction on which products to choose so someone who is new to our products can find out exactly what they should get for their skin type. They can also click on the advice boxes and read more about her own skin issues and get a better understanding of why she is having certain problems and how to avoid them in the future.
The quiz is important because it’s not just product recommendations—it’s a wealth of information and advice. The information empowers women to make smarter choices about their skincare—even if they choose to buy from another company.
In addition to the quiz, we’ve made it easy to get individual advice directly from Simone France skincare specialists. We want to make sure all your questions are answered. At any given time, the experts will be a family member, one of the three sisters-in-law (Me, Sally, Jean) or Sally’s daughter Emily, all of whom have been personally trained by Simone. There is a live chat option on our website, or you can make an appointment for a free 20-minute phone or Skype consultation with me. For people who prefer to email, they can fill out a form and we will get back to them within 24 hours.
Audrey: In your years as a beauty editor at Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and Seventeen, you’ve
seen it all when it comes to skincare. What do you think are the most common skincare
mistakes people make?
— Not cleaning skin at night. Also, many women don’t remove impurities thoroughly—
all they do is rinse. One of Simone’s most famous quotes is “What you take off your skin
is just as important as what you put on it.”
— Going from being proactive about healthy skincare, to being too aggressive on skin.
Think “zapping zits, and fighting wrinkles.” Many women reach for the products with
high concentrations of strong, often harsh, ingredients. That’s not always the best
— Not using common sense—one of the main ingredients for healthy skin. Which
reminds me of another famous Simone France quote, “Most skin problems are self created,
therefore they can be self-corrected.”
Read Audrey’s product review of Simone France