It's a normal Tuesday morning, and I've arrived at our Russell Square townhouse for work and walk in to find Jeanne Damas sat in our office with one gold Michael Vivien sandal–adorned leg perched on a desk. She's leant back in her chair on a call and is sounding beautifully poetic thanks to her thick French accent. She could be discussing what she's having for dinner that evening for all I know, but it sounds far more romantic.
Paris-born Damas has visited Byrdie HQ because she's shooting a fashion story with our sister site, Who What Wear. For those of you who recognise those doe eyes and tousled typically French hair but don't know more than that, Damas is a model turned influencer turned designer. There's something quite alluring about Damas, so much so that I urgently whisper to Who What Wear's editorial director, Hannah Almassi, moments before she's about to interview the star that I need all the beauty goss.
According to Almassi, Damas has actually picked up more beauty advice than fashion know-how from her mother—and now we're passing her wisdom onto you. From the one thing she never does to her skin to the simple way she achieves those effortless waves, keep scrolling for some very French beauty tips.
"I go to Joelle Ciocco—you know her?" asks Damas. "She's like the guru of skin in Paris. I love her; she's so funny and [has a] strong personality, and she does my skin. She taught me how to keep my skin beautiful. She makes me change a lot of things—like in the morning, I used to wash my skin.
"I don't know why I was washing before [applying] my cream, and she said 'You stop that' because in the morning, you don't have to touch your skin except for water—not a gel, nothing—just your cream. When you sleep, there's a natural thing that appears on your skin to protect it all day, and if you do that [motions rubbing cleanser on and off] or wash it, you take it away, and all the pollution and makeup [gets into your skin] and you know what? You then have pimples. So you have to stop cleansing it in the morning; just put some cream on."
Ciocco told Beauty and Wellbeing that cleansing the skin leaves it vulnerable: "You need the natural protection that will help you combat daily stressors and maintain balance." She recommends cleansing with mineral water, floral water—"any eau you want"—before following with your serum or day cream. Come nighttime, Damas uses a milk cleanser. "You have to wash your face twice—the first cleanse is for taking off all the shit, and the second one is for washing. "After the second wash, you can put your cream on et voilá! The most important thing is to wash [your skin twice] at the end of the day before bed."
As for her enviable hair, Damas washes it every two days. "The day I wash [my hair], I do nothing. The day after I put some water on it, [motions to a spray to spritz water on and makes the noise 'pshh-pshh'], and I do like that for five minutes, scrunch and it becomes wavy."
To read the full interview, see the shoot in full and find out why Damas thinks Brits are more stylish, head over to Who What Wear now.