Beauty Insider: Laetitia Ayache
She is the brand manager for Christian Dior Parfums & Beauty in India. Don't get taken in by her milky complexion and and hands-span waist, because Laetitia is one tough cookie. When she got to India she braved public transport in Delhi and local trains in Mumbai. This French-Syrian girl has now made this her home, learnt our language and being an excellent cook, can also whip up a full Indian meal. (Her breakfast posts are my favourite.) She epitomises Dior’s beauty ethic with her perfect makeup and tumbling waves. You may think that her role may be easy, but she carries everything - marketing, PR, merchandising and retail related operations - on her slim shoulders. Here are her thoughts on beauty.
What have you learnt about beauty on the job?
I would say it is like fashion, but beauty follows trends while fashion leads them. Secondly, it is culturally relative. Every country, market, culture has different standards of beauty and also different ways of expressing beauty. Finally, I have learnt that beauty should be about pampering yourself, more than trying to please anyone or even ‘the society’ per se. The very moment you decide to get ready and put on some hot red lipstick because you feel good about it and makes you feel confident, then I believe you understand beauty already pretty well. It's not about how many products you apply or how many steps your beauty regime has, it's really about how you make yourself feel good and confident at any point of time.
What has been the most unforgettable experience in your job?
Strangely I would not say anything related to the glamorous aspect of my job; yes we do meet extraordinary people and do sometimes very unique work. But what I love the most is interacting with my sales people, our beauty consultants. They are from so many different backgrounds, for most of them they come to our counters/stores leaving behind lots of heavy family responsibilities or even issues. They stand all day, smile to every customer and try to give the best service possible to every single client. They are the true ambassadors of our brand, and for most of them they have discovered beauty or luxury at the very exact moment they have joined the brand. I love listening to them, learning from them and their experiences. If a marketing person needs to understand her market better, I believe she should start on the floor, with the sales people themselves.
What is your skincare like?
I believe less is more - this is a very French belief. We just don’t like to layer too much and keep our skincare regime pretty simple. I would never step out without a sun protection, this is the essential product one has to use no matter what. Unfortunately under-eyes are areas that call for a special care, so a good under-eye moisturiser is a must. At night I also use a rich moisturiser to nourish my skin after a long day of stress, hectic work and fatigue. My other skincare recommendations are not products but lifestyle related. I would always recommend long hours of sleep and healthy food habits. Nothing can beat this.
What is your diet like? Is there anything you do for great skin and hair?
Lots of fruits! I am a complete fruit junkie and I would always go for cut-fruits rather than juices! I try to eat healthy most of the time and keep some days for full indulgence because frustration doesn’t make anyone beautiful. I make sure I don’t have too much salt and oil; and my Syrian roots have taught me how to cook ONLY with pure virgin olive oil, even my daily Indian meals. Finally a great workout is a blessing. While stress would really make your skin (and hair) look dull and tired, a great session at the gym would correct all of this and make you feel fresh and relaxed instantly.
What is your favourite beauty treatment?
I don’t do it a lot but I love the idea of applying masks. It's like giving to your face a spa treatment. I am a true believer of ‘happy girls are the prettiest’. So if you have any kind of pampering treatment that makes you feel good, just go for it! Indulge!
What is the best beauty advice that you’ve ever got?
Sleep more! Nothing and no one can challenge that. And eat lots of fruits.
You must travel a lot. How do you look fresh after a flight?
I always have with me the Dior Addict Lip Glow, it’s a fabulous lip balm that keeps my lips supple anywhere I am. And if I want to do a quick touch up before landing, I use this Dior Flash Luminizer, it does wake up some key features of your face... you would look much fresher :).
As a beauty insider what is your advice to women?
Be yourself! I know it’s a very expected answer but there is nothing more attractive and beautiful than a woman who is confident about herself, a woman who accepts and loves the way she is and the way she looks.
What is the biggest beauty mistake that women make?
Something I fight very, very often in India: when women pick up a too-light shade of foundation. It’s never a good idea. Stick to your correct complexion shade and play maybe with the undertones for more radiance. The second one would be too much makeup. Its always a question of balance. Even if colour blocking is big in fashion right now, for makeup, never go overboard. Dramatic eyes or very bright lips, you've got to make a choice, you definitely can't do both!
What are your beauty essentials.
1. Eight hours of sleep
2. A light and comfortable UV protection (I personally use Dior One Essential City Defence, which is so right for Mumbai). Anytime my skincare essential!
3. A natural but deep eye makeup. I feel naked without some black drama on my eyes. The Parisienne side of me made me believe in the beauty of applying mascara while my Syrian roots got me addicted to Arabic khol since my teenage years.
4. A lip balm, just to enhance the natural pink of your lips and make them look supple.
5. Lots of water...this is still the best way to keep your skin hydrated all through the day and fight the first signs of ageing.