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August 1 2014

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Bleached Brows And Spring Water: “It’s Just A Fashion Thing”

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Last night, while we were online-stalking a few of the shows here in Paris (sometimes poring over pictures from the presentations —in addition to attending them in person—is a must), we noticed something interesting. While most models have had their their brows dyed back after Pat McGrath’s bleaching spree in Milan—some by McGrath herself backstage at Dolce & Gabbanna—Aymeline Valade has opted to stay the brow-less course. Even as Martine Sitbon’s side-parted gaggle of girls worked their way down the Rue du Mail runway last night, arches intact, Aymeline opted to go all-forehead.

“It’s a technical issue,” the French beauty told us this morning at Balmain, where she let Tom Pecheux redraw her brows (more on that in a bit). “When you bleach them and then color them and then you have to bleach them back, the concentration of chemicals is very bad for the skin and the hairs—they fall off! I have very fragile hair that’s easily broken, so as soon as they bleach them, I just leave them like that until the very end of fashion week.” It’s a stance that Valade stays strong on, too; not only does she choose to not recolor her brows during the shows, she doesn’t recolor them afterwards either. “I prefer to let them grow in naturally and the color comes back [by itself]. It usually takes two months.” It’s a question of quality as well. “If I color them back, I won’t get the perfect shape because you end up coloring the baby hairs, the blond ones. I did it one season—color, bleach, color, bleach—and since then, the density of my eyebrows is a lot less. And I like thick eyebrows because they fit my style.” As far as the risk of a patchy grow-out phase is concerned, Aymeline isn’t that worried. “I don’t really care. It’s funny; I see the reaction of people in the street—a lot of people ask me, ‘Is it normal?’ And I’m like, ‘No, it’s just a fashion thing.’ “

The androgynous stunner is fairly nonchalant about her beauty look in general. “Outside of the shows, I don’t make myself up at all. It’s just easier that way because if you always make yourself up, and then you need to do something more, what can you do? I prefer to keep it cool and when I have to do something, I just put on a little mascara,” she explains of her less-is-more approach, which is a reference to the laid-back stylings of her countrywoman and beauty icon, Charlotte Gainsbourg. “You know, very natural,” she emphasizes. The catwalker is more specific about skincare, though, and has one face-saving tip that even blew our mind. “I wash my face a lot and the last step is always clear water—not from the tap, from the bottle.” Quoi? “It’s the purest water I can find,” she says of the bottled spring water she pours onto a cotton pad and then glides over her enviable cheekbones. Does Aymeline have a specific brand that she prefers to others? She sure does. “Volvic is the best—Volvic and Evian.” Commence nationwide Volvic shortage right about…now.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri / Go Runway.com

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