Live Like a Heroine

Meet Michèle Evrard: Anti-Aging guru and founder of Cosmetics 27

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Michèle Evrard is an anti-aging skincare specialist and the founder of Cosmetics 27. Prepare to read an empowering interview on how to age gracefully without loosing focus on what's truly important.

You met her on IG Live during a heartfelt, inspiring one-to-one chat with our founder, Janine. Now it's time to get to know her better. Introducing one of our Muses, Michèle.
Hello Michèle, and welcome to Live Like a Heroine. We are very grateful to have you here. First thing first, we’d love to know the story behind your brand, Cosmetics 27. What led you to launch a skincare brand?
It’s been a journey and still is!!
I’ve worked my entire career in the beauty industry and, as a pharmacist, my passion, I should say obsession has been lab work and product development. I never really set myself out to launch a brand but I ended up doing so, after experiencing a knee injury, several operations, and a large scar that I wanted to erase. That's when I discovered the incredible healing properties of Centella Asiatica as well as the power of some alternative medicines and therapies such as Ayurveda and other holistic approaches. This started my first product venture, Baume 27, the skin regenerating, and repairing balm. I launched it as a single product with no real brand-building intention. After a few months, the sales and market response drove me to introduce more products and that was the start of Cosmetics 27, in 2010! Since it has been the same process for each new product, I launch a new product only when I think it has a real need to be and the formula is right, in its ingredient, texture, feel, and results. I thrive to keep the same freedom and way of working in a market that pushes all to overdo it, on all fronts! We do what we say and we say what we do that is all.
 
What is your approach to clean beauty? And what is the challenge of sustainable and natural beauty products?
Clean is a very marketed word today and includes many meanings. Clean is defined as [not dirty], not my favorite meaning of the term…because talking for the industry we support, there is such cosmetics on the market today …[fair, honest] is my definition of how clean applies to our skincare. I started working on this concept way before it was a trend and now a market key category. In 2008. My idea was to develop and bring to women (and men) high efficacy with a maximum of natural ingredients. The challenge was not to find the natural active ingredients but work with natural or biotech produced « excipients », aka all the « other ingredients » that make a formula (emulsifiers, emollients, stabilizers, preservatives, fragrance, excluding colorants). These ingredients, on average, represent more than 70% of a formula. They are nonactive, yet extremely important for the attributes consumers expect from their products, like, texture, feel, touch, penetration, finish, scent,..). In working on clean formulas, our challenge has turned into a real philosophy, working as much on actives as on the excipients. We thrive to reduce their number, track their origins & sustainability criteria to bring you what I feel are the clean, natural,  honest formulas. Good to the skin!
Where do you source ingredients from? What are your favorite botanical actives to work with?
 
Mainly from high reputation ingredient manufacturers. The natural ingredients industry has grown tremendously in the last 10 years. The regulations are growing stricter, ever more demanding, and constraining across the world and my priority is on quality, efficacy, and tracking. Ingredients will become, most likely, the biggest challenge of the industry as consumers grow more conscious and educated. I personally research and study all ingredients that I select for a given product. I  work with small or larger ingredients companies always prioritizing ingredient testing (test protocols ad results) and safety. My favorite? Centella Asiatica, originating from Madagascar. The most interesting in terms of ingredients sourcing and it is eco trade labeled, criteria that I prefer over many certifications. The plant is adaptogenic, meaning it has the capacity to adapt and survive in changing environments and conditions. It grows different ingredients concentrations depending on the origin (soil, climate, seasons,..), and the one growing in Madagascar is especially rich in the heterosides that I use. Our active ingredients comply with the ISO 16128, which sets international guidelines and technical data on natural & organic ingredients.
 
We know it’s almost impossible to choose, but do you have a favorite Cosmetics 27 product?
Tough one indeed, the one I cannot live without would be the question! Baume 27. Every day, year-round for the past ...11 years!
 
What is your self-care approach? 
Time. To me, time is my luxury! With time I can manage stress better and take care of myself. The key is also what you make of that time. Nothing would be a goal for me as I am a bit hyperactive! So after years of intensive sports and my knee injury, I discovered the benefits of walking, yoga, spending time at home cooking, reading. The hardest part is to stay away from my phone!
2 years ago, I did a silent retreat in a Monastery in Italy which was also a digital detox retreat (no network, no tablet, just books, and walking shoes) and it was literally a life-changing experience. I have to find time to do it once a year!
 
What are your views on aging? What advice would you give to someone who wishes to age gracefully?
Aging is about life. I do not understand the anti-aging concept so well - aging is my approach to time. Of course, it implies, physically, stages that we have to learn to cope and live with, but, mentally & spiritually, it means reaching maturity and experiences that we can pass on to the next generations. Aging is about experience and knowledge for me. I am not totally idealistic, I am, like most, concerned with the physical impacts. I decided that the skin would be my subject, helping women and men keep a good and healthy skin as long as possible! So my advice is not to fight aging but instead, working on making it better.
 Let’s talk about your beauty secrets. What is your daily beauty regimen?
Nothing beats sleeping. When it comes to my routine, it is invariably boring: cleansing, Mist 27 which is my skin awakener, then my preparation of Baume 27+Recovery27+Huile27. In the hot season, I switch for Essence27+Huile27. At night, I adapt right now I sleep with our new Mask 27! Hydrating, detox, and renewing. You wake up like with a baby face!
 
An expensive-but-worth-it beauty treatment?
A massage with Marie de Poulain, an exceptional facialist in Paris with miracle hands and her own techniques (must add that Marie is far from expensive but her time is so I am lucky when I can get an appointment!) or a week in the monastery retreat!
 
Are there any beauty secrets that your mother or grandmother passed down to you?
My mother’s natural way of taking care of herself. Little to no makeup.
  
And now, quickfire round. Name three beauty products that you always have in your handbag. 
-2 or 3 lip balms, I have extremely dry lips, year-round. I have been working on my own formula...
-Concealer, magic, and multipurpose.
And three desert island products?
Water
- Sun protection
 
What is the last thing you do before going to sleep?
Turn off my phone and think about a positive thing that happened during my day.
 
And the first thing you do in the morning?
Have an orange (not a juice!) and a coffee before listening to the news.
 
Your bathroom: more is more or Marie Kondo?
Beating Marie Kondo!
 
Favorite holiday destination?
A place without tourists and crowds where people speak another language! My favorite place is in the Baleares, unfortunately, it is no longer that secret,... but they speak another language!
 
Favorite meal.
Greens.
 
What is your favorite thing about being a woman?
Being a woman precisely, for all the things we are. Strong is the word that comes first. We are the future.
 
And finally: the most valuable piece of advice you would give to someone who is trying to shift into a life that they love?
Go, don’t overthink it, don’t be scared just do it, believe in yourself, trust yourself. It will open up a whole new horizon.
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Find Michèle on Instagram at @Cosmetics27.