August 30 2014

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8 posts tagged "Mathilde Thomas"

Grape Escape: Caudalíe Enters the Sunshine State



In an endless quest to save face, Angelenos have become quite demanding when it comes to their antiaging products and treatments. Here to serve this newly discerning audience is the vinotherapy skincare line Caudalíe, opening their first West Coast retail flagship and spa this week on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. Since launching in 1995, Caudalíe’s founders, Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas, have been recognized for their formula innovations—finding transformative antioxidant power in the polyphenols in leftover grape skins and seeds at the family château in France. Since then, they’ve been one of the pioneers in the green skincare market, developing products where parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, and phlalates are noticeably absent.

Set in this seaside enclave, Caudalíe’s new home is equal parts laid-back living and natural glamour. Inside the 1,000-square-foot space, customers can discover products at the Beauty Barrel Bar and experience the range through custom treatments—among them, five different types of facials, two body treatments, a body scrub, and manicures and pedicures using Kure Bazaar polish. Designed in purple to stem back to the heart of the brand (the grape), the Venice location will also feature exclusive items in store (dubbed Les Introuvables), including organic herbal tea, shampoo, and a spa candle. Not to mention, there’s French wine from the Caudalíe vineyard to sip after you de-stress.

1416 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, CA, (310) 450-3560

Reminiscing With…Caudalíe’s Mathilde Thomas


hei-poaBeauty Nostalgia is a column on Beauty Counter in which we ask influencers, tastemakers, and some of our favorite industry experts to wax poetic on the sticks, salves, and sprays that helped shape who they are today.

The pro: Mathilde Thomas, co-founder of Caudalíe skincare

The product: “When I was a teenager in the eighties, I would go sailing with my parents in the Mediterranean near Capri. During these trips, I remember my mother putting Hei Poa Pur Monoï Tahiti on her hair and body to moisturize in the evening. The perfumed oil is made from soaking Tahitian gardenias in a semi-wax coconut oil. You can actually see the flower in the bottle. I love the scent because it reminds me of climbing the Stromboli volcano off the Italian coast, eating the most delicious gelato in Capri, visiting the Pompeii ruins, going to Panarea, and having the best pizza in Napoli. I would use the oil just like she did—warming it between my fingers and applying it on the ends of my hair and on my legs. I’ve bought many bottles since those days, and it inspired me to create my own Divine Oil (a blend of grapeseed, argan, hibiscus, shea butter, and sesame oils with antioxidant polyphenols). It [captures] the scent of the beaches in Saint-Tropez and summer holidays.”

The Love-Fest Between Beauty and Designers Continues With Caudalíe


LWrenScottLimitedEditionBeautyElixir-2Make room on your vanity for yet another beauty and fashion mash-up—French skincare maker Caudalíe is getting into the collaboration game with a new limited-edition version of Beauty Elixir, a toner-serum hybrid that first launched in 1996. Beginning next month, fans can get the invigorating mist, which Caudalíe founder Mathilde Thomas describes as “Starbucks coffee for the skin,” in a chic bottle designed by L’Wren Scott. The partnership may not seem like an obvious one to devotees of the brand, but it’s actually a no-brainer. Thomas tapped Scott for the project because of her well-documented appreciation of the spray. “I have been a big fan of this product since I first discovered it in a French pharmacy in 1997. Mathilde had read in more than one publication about my love of [Beauty Elixir]. She reached out and asked if we could meet up for tea. From there, the idea of my designing the bottle came to fruition,” says Scott.

The women’s mutual admiration for each other made for a smooth creative process, and it didn’t take long for the duo to nail down a new concept for the bottle. The packaging is inspired by the mosaic patterns Scott used in her Fall 2013 collection, and it alludes to the curves of the female form. “The first [sketch] [Scott] showed me was the best. Then we went back and forth on the color before we opted for matte black. It’s very modern, graphic, and super-feminine all at the same time,” says Thomas. One thing it isn’t: permanent. Only 5,000 designer bottles will be available Stateside. We have a feeling they won’t be on shelves for long.

Caudalíe L’Wren Scott Limited Edition Beauty Elixir, $49, available November 1 at

Photo: Courtesy of Caudalie

Beauty Etiquetter: Putting On The Pressure During A Massage


Beauty Etiquetter is a new column on Beauty Counter in which we address your beauty protocol predicaments with candid advice from industry experts and those in the know. To submit a question, email

The Quandary: What’s a nice way to tell the spa masseuse that she’s not using enough, or too much, pressure during a massage?

The Expert in Residence: Mathilde Thomas, founder of Caudalie skincare and Vinothérapie spas

The Advice: “Even though you might feel awkward telling the masseuse to change her pressure, she really does want to know what you’re thinking. A good masseuse should ask you how deep you’d like to go at the start of the treatment, before you get undressed. Try to give her a specific guideline, such as, ‘I’d like the pressure to be a four on a scale from one to ten.’ Then she should check in with you after the first one to two minutes of the massage. If she hasn’t, speak up then—I find it’s easier to say something sooner rather than later. Just keep it casual with a comment like, ‘Can you put in a bit more (or less) pressure?’ Don’t explain or apologize, as that will make things awkward. Also, if you find yourself in a situation in which the technique isn’t to your liking time and time again, you might be booking the wrong types of treatments—deep-tissue-inspired massages, for example, will always be a bit firm, whereas Swedish-style ones tend to be gentler. So ask the receptionist to give you the details before you book. And if you simply don’t feel comfortable saying anything after the treatment is under way, you can ask the front desk on the way out to put a note in your file for the masseuse to use more or less force the next time. That way, you can get exactly what you want without any worry of being impolite.”

Photo: Courtesy of Caudalie

A Caudalie Flagship Grows In The West Village


Since being exposed to the antioxidant treasure trove found in the grapeseeds that were being discarded every season during her family’s wine harvest in Bordeaux, Mathilde Thomas has built an empire on the power of polyphenols. Her skincare line, Caudalie, launched in France in 1995 and quickly became known as “a solution-solver brand,” according to Thomas, who skyrocketed to renown on the back of the range’s original best-seller, Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, which brought to market the long-held tradition of slathering pruned-grapevine sap onto the skin to even out tone. There have been many revolutions—and revelations—since, including the creation of Vinothérapie spa destinations; a line of fine fragrances; the Vinexpert antiaging line, which combines a stabilized form of resveratrol with oleaic acid; and the heavenly scented Huille Divine dry oil, which Thomas worked on with a pre-Louis Vuitton-enlisted Jacques Cavallier.

A flagship store has remained the one notch missing from Thomas’ belt, but that all changes this winter. “It’s not just the first store in the U.S., it’s the first store in the world,” she boasts of Caudalie’s new home in New York’s West Village, which is set to open its doors tomorrow. Every single product in the brand’s arsenal will be available at the Bleecker Street outpost, which Thomas describes as having “good vibes”—and good neighbors; Marc Jacobs, NARS, and Jo Malone have all recently set up shop on the stretch of prime real estate. Inspired by the iconic Les Source de Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa in Bordeaux and Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, the 600-square-foot space will offer Instant Beauty Facials (a ten-minute “refresher”) for walk-ins and will ultimately include two or three treatment rooms for more in-depth services. There will also be a Fresh Crushed Cabernet bar, where guests will have the chance to devise their own scrubs using grapeseeds from Bordeaux, brown sugar, honey from Gironde, and a blend of six organic essential oils, including lemongrass, lemon, cypress, juniper, rosemary, and geranium.

But the real treat will be the opportunity to chat with Mathilde herself, who has all intentions of popping by the store with regularity—as she has been doing at its smaller, sister location that just opened on 74th and Lexington. It’s an opportunity for people who don’t know anything about the brand to come in and discover it, she explains—a business plan that seems to be working. One such customer wandered in, attracted by the new bright, airy space, while we paid Thomas a visit there last week, and after trying her first Caudalie product, she was hooked. “You must try this, too,” Thomas offerred with marked excitement, grabbing a bottle of Premier Cru The Eye Cream. Service doesn’t get more personal than that.

Caudalie, 315 Bleecker St., NYC,