There have been beauty products based on milk, honey, vegetables, flowers, gold, slime and placenta. Why not wine, then?

Caudalie was one of the first companies to use molecules extracted from grape seeds, stalks and sap to formulate their beauty products. Every two minutes in some part of the world a woman buys a Caudalie cream, and that means there must be some element of truth in the ingredients. The idea came to Mathilde Thomas, while she was working on her family estate. Her encounter with professor Vercauteren from the University of Montpellier in 1993 changed her life. Instead of dealing in wine, she decided to work with discarded grapes, stalks and seeds and turn them to beauty products. She hasn’t looked back since.

Viniferina, the grape sap, was used by women working in fields to brighten their skin and to iron out the imperfections in the pigmentation. It’s scientifically proven that its action is 62 times stronger than Vitamin C. Polyphenol, present in grapes seeds, is the strongest anti-oxidant product in nature. Resveratrol, produced by the grapevine stalks to protect themselves from insects and parasites, has the same anti-aging effect. Today they are combined with other agents to produce anti-wrinkle and anti-aging creams and serums, sold all over the world. Before the advent of Caudalie all these wonders were routinely disposed of. Isn’t it true then that beauty can be found in the smallest and humblest of things? Not only is wine good for your appearance (and improves your mood) but it also forms the basis for a line in beauty products and make-up. Clio Zammatteo, the Italian make-up blogger became a media sensation with her ClioMakeUp blog (1,4 million facebook followers) and is a firm believer in wine-inspired products.

“There has been a shift in the way we name our beauty products, says Clio, ‘we used to call them after flowers, or emotions, but now the names are stronger indicating that women are more independent and self-aware. “That is reflected in the choice of colours, as well - now they are bolder and more audacious. Wine-inspired products cover a whole range of items, from lipsticks, to blusher and even eye shadow. Reddish and brownish colours that suit every eye, from blue to green to brown, for the more discerning, and which need to be used in the right way in order to be flattering.

Would you choose a lipstick or eye shadow because of its name? “Yes, why not? In the last few years some brands have played a lot with naming, the sexier the better, and it’s fun to wear something with an inspiring name. When a mascara is called “better than sex” it attracts attention”.


What would you get your inspiration from if you had to name a product? “I’m a very shy person and I’d use nature or childhood-inspired names.

You live in New York. Do you spot differences in the way Italian and American women use make-up? “The Italians are much more daring with colours, while in New York, despite being a diverse and multicultural city, women tend to use very little make-up and keep a very clean and natural look. But they care about their skin much more than the Italians, who tend to favour make-up over skin care”.

Has someone named a lipstick after you yet? A Clio lipstick maybe? “Not yet. Do you think it would be a hit?”.

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