A Swiss Stylist’s Guide to French Beauty

Salut! I’m Victoria Steiner, a fashion and still-life stylist by day, and student of natural cosmetics by night. I live in Lucerne, Switzerland with my fiancé and my beloved dog. It’s a beautiful little city perched on a glassy lake which freezes over in winter and reflects golden light from the medieval buildings on the waterfront in the summer. I love it here, though I’ve got to admit that my all time favorite city is Paris. The city inspires me like no other and I’ve built a lot of beautiful memories there. Arguably, the best memory of all was last year, when Luca proposed in the Jardin des Tuileries.

While I’m coming out with my low-key obsession with all things French (pharmacies included, but I’ll get to that in a second) the Sud de France is one of my favorite places in the world. I love the sea, the food, the language…I really could go on all day.

I love to try new beauty products, which you’ll also find out in a second, and I’m always on the lookout for new beauty discoveries in France. I have super sensitive, dehydrated skin, so in a last-ditch attempt to calm it down, I’ve been transitioning my entire beauty routine to more natural products free of toxins and other hidden nasties. Spoiler alert: it’s working!

  • My Signature Scent, Exclusive to Paris

    Launched in Paris 2007, Vanille 44 is part of Le Labo’s city exclusive collection. Exclusive as a place on the list at Silencio on a Friday night, mind you, which means you can only get this sensual, woody fragrance in Paris. But once you actually have the bottle, you can get it refilled at Le Labo flagship stores all over the world. For me, it’s a very modern and well balanced vanilla scent: gentle, feminine and delicious but not too sweet. I use it every day and unfortunately, my bottle is soon to be empty. Time to make a trip to 203 Rue St Honoré!

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    This Lip Balm Never Leaves My Side

    Dr. Barbara Sturm Lip Balm is always in my bag. I got it some time ago and since then I have used it EVERYDAY! It gives you a silky, soft glow finish and nourishes the lips like nothing else (even in the middle of winter) thanks to a master blend of shea butter, coconut oil, lanolin and beeswax. I’ve become a huge fan of Dr. Barbara Sturm in recent months and have started using her Glow Drops morning and night. Watch this space…

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    The Secret To My Scandi Blonde Locks

    I use Christophe Robin Shade Variation Care in the shade Baby Blond once a week and leave it on for 25 minutes. It’s my #1 wonder weapon when it comes to keeping my color eternally fresh. Left to its own devices, my hair tends to develop a brassy yellow tinge (I’m sure many of you out there will relate to this) and this ultra-hydrating mask brings my color back to a soft, shimmering shade of Scandi blonde. And don’t even get me started on the silicone-free shine! I really can’t recommend this more highly for all of the light blonde ladies out there.

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    The Original Parisian Pharmacy Must-Have

    First of all, L’Officine Universelle Buly is one of the most beautiful stores in Paris. It’s a unique old-fashioned pharmacy with tons of natural oils and amazing skin products.  The organic Peach Kernel Healthy Glow Oil has some amazing moisturizing properties, is packed full of vitamin C and E, and is perfect for sensitive skin like mine. Sometimes I’ll even do a facial massage or simply mix a few drops into my face cream for a natural glow.

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    Sunday (aka Mask Day)

    Circumference has a really nice range of skincare products, but for me, the In-Depth Hydration Mask was love at first sight application. Here’s my ritual, an absolute non-negotiable when it comes to winding down after a long week: every Sunday morning I try to take some time out on my own to drink coffee with a face mask on. I leave this creamy mask on for 2o minutes. It’s packed full of botanical oils and concentrated plant extracts, which leaves my face feeling soooo soft and smooth.

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    A 2-in-1 Miracle Balm

    Probiotic skincare is having a huge moment right now. Apart from being a literal skin miracle for me, this Miracle Balm is an incredible 2-in-1 product and has fast become one of my favorite things to come out of the probiotic craze. I first stumbled upon Aureila at a small concept store in Paris called Oh My Cream! in Paris (100% worth checking out on your next visit, by the way). You can use it as an enzyme mask or an instant exfoliator, though I prefer to leave it for 5 minutes and allow the active fruit enzymes to work away at removing dead skin cells. Bonus: it does not irritate my sensitive skin at all. After the five minutes, I’ll massage in circular motions to boost circulation, then I’ll add some warm water, which emulsifies the balm to a gentle milky liquid. Cue impossibly fresh, impossibly radiant skin.