First tell us about your collaboration with Lancôme. A make-up collection designed like a decorative object?
Yes, I really wanted to turn this make-up palette into a decorative object. An object that you’re proud to leave out in the bathroom, have in your bag, that exists in and of itself, that you’re not trying to hide. I even think that you actually want to show it off, draw attention to it, so I’m very happy with the result. The idea was to make it like a journey log, a sort of personal diary, because I feel this make-up clutch is just that, very personal. For me, it’s the make-up essentials. I really put everything into it that I thought was indispensable in a woman’s make-up palette. It has what you need to go to work, to go out in the evening and feel sexier. It also contains the basics you’d want for the weekend. And I liked the idea of making it like a little notebook where you can write things down based on where you are, what you hear, etc. I’m very proud of this object. It’s really the essence of a woman, and in this case, a Parisian woman. It’s that little extra that you add to your personality to make you more beautiful.

It’s a fall collection. Is that a season for which you have a certain affection?
Fall has a special quality. It’s the end of summer, holidays, heat – which I love, family outings, the effervescence of children running around everywhere. It’s full of promises and at the same time a very gentle period because it’s the end of summer, and the colours on the trees are totally magical, all the ochres, the browns and others. This period is also one of seeking work, in the way that it’s when children go back to school… Until the age of 18, I was raised based on a model in which the fall was a beginning to a year, so for me it’s a season of renewal. In my opinion, it’s also a very stylish month, and that’s why I really wanted to create a fall palette with Lancôme. These are the exact shades that I love and apply to my face all year. And also the textures that I love. I really wanted to develop products that you can apply with your fingers because that’s how I put my make-up on.

Is texture very important for you in choosing a make-up product?
It’s essential. I wanted to have relatively soft textures that glide on the skin. What’s important for me is a certain amount of shine to erase that powdered look, which can age the skin, and add a light touch of shimmer – not too much to avoid looking overly made up, but enough to illuminate the face. We had to strike that delicate balance between pearl shades and pigments. That was a lot of fun because I was on a quest for that woman that I wanted to be, the one who really tries to take care of herself but without letting it show too much.

Did Lancôme grant you access to its make-up laboratories?
Yes, it’s actually the first time that I’ve had the opportunity to come to a make-up laboratory. I was fascinated by all the palettes of colours. It was like being in the middle of a sort of giant colour spectrum. I could play with the textures, pearl particles and oils. It was amazing to see how all those products that I apply to my face are developed. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by women, experienced scientists who gave me their full attention. It’s an incredible luxury to be able to share things. We tried to adjust colours and textures to get exactly what I’d imagined in the essential palette of the Parisian woman. I’m extremely moved and proud to share everything that I love in make-up and the little secrets that I’ve picked up over time. Those little secrets… There are several of them in the clutch that I’ve made with Lancôme. For example, the blush. It’s a dream come true. It’s really amazing.

Your book came out last year and it’s already a worldwide success. Were you and your co-writers expecting such an incredible reaction?
No! I have just signed off the 28th translation, which means it’s now available in about thirty countries! It’s huge and it’s just crazy. We were expecting women to like it: when we first started writing, we sent the first fifty pages to various publishers in the US… and they all wanted it. That’s when we realised we had something new. But we never thought it would win over so many countries.

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Why do you think it has become such a phenomenon?
It’s a new angle on a much-loved subject: we’re finally saying that it’s ok not to strive for perfection, and that’s something positive for women. We also talk about feminism in a new way, showing how it can be compatible with femininity. I think it’s reassuring for women to see that they can uphold their identity and freedom without seeing men as the enemy.

You travelled the world promoting your book, doing countless interviews and appearances, particularly in the US, the UK and Russia, supported by Lancôme. How did you find the experience?
It’s both intense and exciting. I’m lucky enough to have created something that women love, so each and every encounter is a moving, happy experience.

Which country best embraced the book?
The United States, probably because of American women’s attitude towards the quest for perfection. It does them good to read that imperfection has its own kind of charm. They have grown up with clichéd views of La Parisienne on all fronts, this amazing cook, career woman, model mother… And we’re just subverting that superwoman myth a little! I think it’s important to cultivate a kind of “healthy selfishness.” My man and my son are happy when I am… Even if that means having leftovers from the back of the fridge for dinner!

How have women reacted to the book, generally speaking?
The book seems to have moved women. They bring it up in conversation spontaneously. They tell me their own stories and connections with the book. They ask me for advice about their romantic or mother-child relationships. Some even see me as a kind of guru! Before, people just used to ask me for beauty or fashion tips. Today, they ask me different kinds of questions. And that’s how I like to look at women, holistically.

Have you noticed different reactions from women depending on the country?
American women are inspired by our renewed vision of perfection. Scandinavian women, who live in such an advanced culture of feminism, come to realize
that they’ve lost something of their womanhood along the way, and the ability to find a place for men in their lives. Chinese women are fascinated
by the idea of a free and independent woman, who refuses to choose between her career and family life. Today’s young Chinese women choose one or the other, but not yet both.

Do French women have a different reaction from women from other countries?
Those who have read the book in English – we are not bringing out a French version – see themselves in this de-mythified woman who accepts who she is, flaws, virtues and all the rest.

Do women identify with the idea of effortless Parisian chic?
I’ve had so much positive feedback on this issue. Women aspire to look after themselves in a holistic manner, but they don’t want to become slaves to the quest for a perfect body. The idea of effortless chic helps them make peace with their faces and bodies, but also with the fact that beauty is about more than just appearances. It becomes real when we live it intensely, through our experiences and the lives we lead as women.

Does the book reinforce or lay to rest Parisian stereotypes?
It definitely debunks them. This notion of the perfect woman that has weighed on the Parisian’s shoulders for so long is simply out of date. I think it’s useful, and very healthy, to point out that this imaginary woman is far from perfect. Today, the Parisian fires women’s imaginations because she lives life to the 360° maximum. That’s what makes her so intriguing.

What has the book’s success done for you on a professional level?
It has raised my profile. People now understand me more easily when I talk about what I want to create.

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And personally?
Because I love the work I do, my personal life is simply happier and more fulfilled as a result.

Are you planning a follow-up to “How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are. Love, Style and Bad Habits”?
Not for the moment. But I have several other very exciting projects coming up! Lancôme’s credo is to make women’s lives more beautiful.

What brings beauty to your life?
It might sound a little clichéd, but my family is what makes my life beautiful. I also have the luxury of doing work that I love and, of course, that fulfils me all the more.

Lancôme is a brand that cultivates happiness. How would you define happiness?
My freedom. Living in Paris and enjoying the incredible cultural life my capital has to offer makes me happy too.

In 2015, Lancôme is celebrating its 80th birthday as a brand. What is your role in this celebration?
I recorded the voice-over for the film. The experience of telling Lancôme’s 80-year story in a recording studio really taught me a lot – it was such a fun creative process.

What does Lancôme mean for you today, particularly on this special anniversary year?
As a girl, I discovered the brand through some of its ambassadresses like Isabella Rossellini and Inès Sastre, as well as the products that my mother and grandmother used. But it was only later that I came to understand the way Lancôme has very respectfully supported women for the past 80 years. That’s what won me over when the brand approached me. It brings me so much joy to celebrate women as complete beings, who live, laugh and cry. Not just perfect images printed on glossy paper.

Has your perception of the brand changed since becoming one of its ambassadresses?
By working with Lancôme, I’ve realized that it is a constantly evolving brand, always on the lookout for new ideas. It moves with the times and takes risks – two areas where we match up. That’s what makes our collaboration so wonderful.

Which Lancôme product makes you feel your most beautiful?
Because I have very dry skin, I am a true devotee of Rénergie Multi-Lift Crème Riche. For me, it’s both skincare and make-up. It gives me a fresh, healthy glow that I just love.

What are your favourite new products from Lancôme?
I love the texture of Visionnaire Nuit Beauty Sleep Perfector. It’s so effective, smoothing my skin and leaving it radiant when I wake up. In the morning, when I feel like treating myself, I apply Absolue l’Extrait Essence Ultime. It’s my “haute couture” skincare. So rich and silky… it’s the epitome of luxury!

As well as appearing in front of the camera, you were also involved in writing the screenplay. How did you find the experience?
It was great! I fell in love with the idea of making a film to redefine the concept of ‘effortless’. The story is built around a palette that works for me personally.

Tell me about your collaboration on the screenplay with Bertrand Lepluard. Have you worked with him on other projects?
We make a great team and it’s a very healthy partnership. Bertrand is highly cultured and totally crazy at the same time! We are perfectly compatible and have worked together on projects for the English magazine ID, H&M and Lancôme before with Alma Jodorowsky. And there’s more to come!

What inspired you to write the screenplay?
The idea of ‘effortless’ was my point of departure, but I also wanted to show that it’s not limited to beauty. For the Parisian woman, it’s more like a multitude of super-smart hints and tips in different areas, which conceal all the work that goes on behind the scenes.

How was your experience of acting in the film?
It was a really fun, enjoyable experience. It’s how I operate in general. I always try to talk to women with a degree of detachment to help me distance myself from preconceived ideas.

Do you see yourself in the role you play? In what way?
Yes, it’s totally me! Her humour, her detachment and her hidden meanings.

Would you like to take on more writing projects?
Yes, absolutely, and always with an eye on speaking to women in a new way, my way. I’m also delighted to see how Lancôme is adopting the same approach.

Has the experience made you want to act in films?
I get approached with roles from time to time… And I think it’s good to say yes to projects that take me out of my comfort zone. The kind of project that makes you feel amazing, even if you get serious butterflies in your tummy!

How does the Instagram network help you professionally?
It’s a fantastic promotional tool. In 2015, it’s no longer possible to work in the field of style or beauty without making use of social networks.

What do you post on your account?
The truth is that a model’s work can be very lonely. When I’m travelling, I see so much, but I see it alone. That’s why I share the places I discover through my work with my followers on Instagram. It makes me feel like I’m taking them with me and firing their imaginations. That’s the warm, emotional side of Instagram. I also post things I fall in love with and my collaborations with clients.

How do you keep your work separate from your personal life on Instagram? Do you set limits on how much you’re willing to show of yourself?
Actually I don’t post anything from my private life. For example, you’ll never see photos of my son or dinner parties with friends.

Has your number of followers changed since the book came out? How many do you have at the moment?
I don’t know whether it’s directly linked to the book, but it’s always rising. Currently I have about 280,000 followers.

Do women talk to you a lot on social networks? How do you respond?
I’d say it’s more that I talk to them. Because, over and above the Parisian phenomenon, I think they need to follow the lives of women who really do things – instead of just looking at pictures of young models with perfect figures.

How do you feel about your role as worldwide Instagram ambassadress for French Effortless Chic?
I feel great! The truth is that Instagram has become a very effective marketing tool, somewhat in spite of myself. I started out in fashion around the time of the explosion of street styles and bloggers. It was American women who decided that I was the embodiment of La Parisienne, before starting to analyse my hair, make-up and all the rest on my account.

On that note, what are the beauty products that keep you Insta-ready in your everyday life?
I am a big fan of Grandiôse mascara, which I wear on my upper and lower lashes. It instantly opens up the eyes, leaving them bright and intense. That’s important because Instagram images are small. I also love the pink blush from my Lancôme palette. I apply it with my fingertips in a few seconds flat and it instantly creates a fresh complexion, as though I’d just been out for a long walk. Lastly, I apply a little Lip Lover balm to my lips. It’s so nourishing and gives my lips a perfect touch of light.

You have been very much in demand since your book came out. Do you manage to find time for yourself?
Wednesdays are set aside for my son and I try not to work weekends. I also set certain rules for myself: I exercise at my home twice a week with my trainer. I switch my phone off for an hour every evening between 6 and 7pm to look after my son. Smartphones are great work tools, but sometimes you need to learn to put them down and live in the present. It’s a way of resting the mind.

Do you have time to dedicate to your other passion, music?
Absolutely! I set time aside to go to concerts and I also produce music for films and ads.

What are your other professional projects?
I create content for several brands. In parallel to that, I am the ambassadress of an NGO called CARE. I am set to work on a documentary promoting the education of young girls with them. Another project to promote women! I am going to film my first documentary in India on an education technique for young girls. It’s a project I’m working on with CARE and the Teva group.