BeautyView: Anne Pouillot, Director of European Operations, Alchimie Forever

Leading our Swiss office and European operations is the quiet and shy Anne Pouillot. Don’t let her calm or the fact that she appears so young (must be the skin care products…) mislead you, she is a force to be reckoned with, and an absolutely essential part of the Alchimie Forever team, as without her, products would remain ideas and formulae.

AP: What city were you born in? AnneP: Troyes, a city in Champagne in France.

AP: What city to do you live in? AnneP: Evian, after champagne, water….

AP: What is your middle name? AnneP: I have two middle names: Catherine, my Mom’s first name, and Charlotte, my godmother’s first name.

AP: What is your astrological sign? AnneP: Gemini, and Gemini ascendant, dual personality.

AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? AnneP: Every weekend I read L’Equipe, a French sports newspaper featuring soccer, rugby, tennis, swimming, fencing, athletics, and more. I love it!

AP: What is your most prized possession? AnneP: The people I love and who love me.

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? AnneP: My 4 grandparents who are no longer of this world.

AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum. AnneP: Classic and unique.

AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? AnneP: Yes, a Burberry watch,  the glass face has been broken for a long time, but I still wear it.

AP: Diamonds or pearls? AnneP: Diamonds, just diamonds.

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? AnneP: Genes! My mom has perfect skin and a nice smile, my Dad gave me my eyes! Also, never forget the upper lip area when you apply your day or night cream. I love the Alchimie Forever rejuvenating eye balm for the eye contour and this area!

AP: What fragrance do you wear? AnneP: Herba Fresca from Guerlain. It smells of green tea and freshly cut grass, like Alchimie Forever. I love it!

AP: Botox or not? AnneP: Not.

AP: Hair color: natural or not? AnneP: Natural, but I do get straightening treatments for my curly hair.

AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? AnneP: Have fun!

AP: What do you do for exercise? AnneP: I am not a fan of exercise… but every Sunday, I swim for 45 minutes. I prefer to watch those who are good at sports!

AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge? AnneP: Sausage, cheese, white wine!

AP: What is your cocktail of choice? AnneP: I prefer champagne and wine to cocktails. My favorite champagne is Louis Roederer, my white wine choice is Chablis, and my favorite red wine as Irancy (a Burgundy wine).

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? AnneP: Take pleasure in both! And always keep in mind that the work enriches our personal life and vice versa!

AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average? AnneP: Not many, I don’t like to fly. Instead, I love driving my car to drive from Geneva to Brittany twice per year to see the sea.

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? AnneP: 1. Wear comfortable clothes. 2. Set your watch to the time of arrival upon stepping on the plane. 3. Have positive thoughts during the flight.

AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. AnneP: Relax by Mika, Demain by Thomas Dutronc (a song about procrastination) and Moins vite by Benabar (a song for all children who grow up too fast and I dedicate this song to my goddaughter Sasha Polla).

AP: What book are you reading right now? AnneP: Magellan by Stefan Zweig. I like the historic biographies.

AP: Quote to live by. AnneP: Do not do to others what you would not want done to you.

AP: What is your worst pet peeve? AnneP:  Anything vulgar: words, people, makeup…

AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? AnneP: I wake up at 5:50am. I need a lot of sleep to feel good and try to get at least 8 hours!

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? AnneP: To find the miracle in the jar!

AP: Least favorite thing. AnneP: The bad press about parabens.

AP: Who is your mentor? AnneP: I am still looking for one…

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. AnneP: Be curious.

BeautyView: Renee Shakour, Executive Vice President, Essential Salon Products

There were many signs that suggested I would love Renee the first time we met, a few years ago… she is a beautiful woman in the beauty industry; she works in family business; she is from the Boston area, which I still think of as my first American hometown; she loves champagne. What is there not to love? In reading her answers below, I now have uncovered her secret use of Botox, and know to bring her Peanut Butter Cups the next time our paths cross…

AP: What city were you born in? RS: Worcester, MA.

AP: What city to do you live in? RS: Boylston, Massachusetts (45 minutes west of Boston).

AP: What is your middle name? RS: Gabrielle, after my Grandfather.

AP: What is your astrological sign? RS: Virgo.

APWhat is your most prized possession? RS: My family.

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? RS: The Dalai Lama.

AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum. RS: Classic, Contemporary, Designer, and ever evolving…

AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? RS: Yes, a Rolex.

AP: Diamonds or pearls? RS: Diamonds.

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? RS: Alchimie Forever Age Defying Serums of course!!

AP: What fragrance do you wear? RS: I am infatuated with Jo Malone and the endless possibilities of combining fragrances, it is reminiscent of being a kid in a candy store…

AP: Botox or not? RS: Ada…that’s my best-kept secret! Starting with my feet!!!!!! The Cat is out of the bag now.

AP: Hair color: natural or not? RS: Not… but my stylists are so good only they know for sure!

AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? RS: Freshology helps me to bring my life back into balance. It is so difficult when you are on the road as often as I am to eat right.

AP: What do you do for exercise? RS: Taking my 2 rescue dogs for walks along the trails behind my house, spending time at the lake swimming.

AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge? RS: Fruit infused sparkling water, cucumbers, and my favorite indulgence, Peanut Butter Cups.

AP: What is your cocktail of choice? RS: Champagne.

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? RS: That’s still a work in progress!! I do my best to follow in my father’s footsteps and completely unplug from  work and all technology when I get home. It is important for me to keep them separate and recharge my mind, body and soul. I have learned through experience to put aside work when you get home and enjoy the fruits of my labor with family and friends.

AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average? RS: 150,000+

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? RS: 1. Carry on everything you can, over prepare for any situation good or bad! 2. Never drink before or during the flight no matter what! 3. Be kind to all when traveling….Life is a journey not a race. That should be the #1 tip for travel.  It would make everyone’s trip much more enjoyable.

AP: 3 songs on your iPod right now. RS: Dave Matthew’s version of Sweet Caroline, my niece Kassie’s version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, and the Eagles Hotel California.

AP: What book are you reading right now? RS: Practice Perfect by Doug Lemov & Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

AP: Quote to live by. RS: These are the magic years… and therefore magic days… and therefore magic moments. Anonymous.

AP: What is your worst pet peeve? RS: Pettiness.

AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? RS: I never get enough sleep.  Does there have to be a specific?  I am a nighttime girl, I’m usually up until 1-2 am then I get up about 8 am. I enjoy the weekend days.

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? RS: Everything!  This industry is one of the most inspiring, fast paced, ever evolving places to be.  I love what I do every day!!

AP: Least favorite thing. RS: Dishonesty.

AP: Who is your mentor? RS: My father.

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. RS: Find a mentor. A mentor who understands the challenges that you are faced with will be able to guide you in a positive direction. This is invaluable, whether it is a life situation or professional one, knowing you are able to reach out to someone to bounce ideas off or just check in and chat, is a comfort in the business world today. Listen to your heart and follow your passion. Listening to your heart will help you to sleep better at night and following your passion makes it a lot easier.

BeautyView: Catherine Littlefield, Director of Branding and Public Relations, Alchimie Forever

My life would not be possible, or fun, without Catherine Littlefield. She has been by my side, growing Alchimie Forever right there along with me, since 2007. I think of her as my happy pill: when she is around, I laugh, smile, and giggle more. When she is around, I am nicer to be around. She is smart, gorgeous, kind, delicate, and funny. Somehow she balances out the “German soldier” in me (a term she coined once when I made her walk miles to meetings with heavy bags instead of taking a cab). Working together for so long means we have gotten to know each other really well… as this recent video interview shows. Still, in her answers below, I learned a couple new things about her, namely never to use her brush or be mean to her goldfish.

AP: What city were you born in?  CL: New York City.

AP: What city to do you live in?  CL: New York City.

AP: What is your middle name?  CL: Healy.

AP: What is your astrological sign?  CL: Aquarius to the core.

AP: What is something about you most people don’t know?   CL: I have a four year old goldfish. He has an attitude and begs for food even when he’s just been fed. I swear he thinks he is a dog. I love him.

AP: What is your most prized possession?  CL: I save all the birthday cards and important notes I’ve gotten. I love getting mail.

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be?  CL: I’m a major Bill Clinton fan.

AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum.  CL:  Classic, American, Sportswear.

AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model?  CL: No watch for me, I tried once with a Swatch and it ticked too loudly for my sanity.

AP: Diamonds or pearls?  CL: I mean, if we’re getting to choose, diamonds. I lived in Texas for four years and it definitely taught me to throw subtlety out the window.

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret?  CL: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, Kantic+ twice a day for the past 7 years (the best), learn how to tight-line your eyes (they will teach you at the Laura Mercier counter), keep my face out of the sun!!

AP: What fragrance do you wear?  CL: I mix Kai and Miracle by Lancome together.

AP: Botox or not?  CL: I work for the best dermatologist in Switzerland (maybe in the world), so when I’m in Geneva,  of course.

AP: Hair color: natural or not?  CL: I don’t think I’ve seen my natural hair color since sixth grade. My mother has held onto her vision of me as a chick-white blonde baby and I like to let her keep up her dream. I see Marie at Marie Robinson for highlights.

AP: What are your special diet tips, if any?  CL: You can eat basically whatever you like as long as you don’t eat a lot of it. Also, eat the yolk of your egg, it is good for you. Lots of arugula, ginger, and green juice whenever I can remember. Also, and this is debatable, but for me, I weigh myself regularly so I can keep track of things before they get hard to reign back in.

AP: What do you do for exercise?  CL: Yoga. I love everything about it.

AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge?  CL: Sparkling water, butter, white wine.

AP: What is your cocktail of choice?  CL: Ketel One and soda with a lime. Also, I am not afraid of a shot of tequila.

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance?   CL: Keep a positive attitude.

AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average?  CL: Not as many as I’d like to. Serious case of wanderlust.

AP: What are your three top tips for travel?   CL: 1. Know which friends and loved ones you travel well with because a wonderful partner really elevates a trip to the next level. 2. Wear your hotel bathrobe as much as possible. 3. Most important, walking everywhere and eating your way through any city is a pretty wonderful way to experience a place.

AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now.  CL:  Marathon by Tennis, Dear Believer by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Stay by Rihanna.

AP: What book are you reading right now?  CL: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris.

AP: Quote to live by.  CL: “Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.” Henry Miller.

AP: What is your worst pet peeve?  CL: I don’t like when people use my hair brush.

AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get?  CL: I try to get as many hours as possible, I love sleep! I wake up around 7:30/8 usually.

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry?  CL:  That everyone is dying to share their favorite products, tips and experts that make them feel their best. The whole notion of “I heard about this product from a friend, my mom, my sister, my boss” everyone is just trying to help everyone and the second they experience something they feel works they can’t wait to tell their friends so they can feel and look great too. It’s all about sharing and helping, I love that.

AP: Least favorite thing?  CL: Doctors who go overboard with fillers. Nothing ruins beauty faster in my mind.

AP: Who is your mentor?  CL: Ada Polla. No question, she is the most hard working, honest, loyal, cute human on the planet I think. My other mentor just for life as a whole is my mom, she is very disciplined, organized, incredibly hard working and she sets her hair every morning with rollers before work and always has perfect hair and outfits. She is a total lady, so pretty and just the best person.

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today.   CL: Start interning as soon as possible, be creative, don’t be scared to change paths. Always act professionally. Have good posture and make to-do lists.

BeautyView: Cyrille Polla, PR Director, Forever Laser Institut

 

The next three BeautyViews I am going to publish are of my three favorite women – my three sisters. While this is requiring me to slightly bend the rule about BeautyViews (two of them are no longer directly involved in the beauty industry), after all, I made that rule up so I can bend it, right? I decided to go about it in chronological order, so as to avoid any questions about preferences, so below are the answers crafted by my sister Cyrille, who is 2.5 years younger than me. She is the PR Director of Forever Laser Institut, and a significant part of her work involves writing (including writing my father’s blog). And when I read her answers, I am reminded that she really was born to write… song lyrics or otherwise. She is artsy, funny, genuine, and a rebel. And while I have known Cyrille since the day she was born, I still learned so much about her through this interview. Maybe it’s because I am more emotionally tied to her than to other interviewees, or maybe it’s because she actually answered a question with a swear word (which I did not edit…), or maybe it’s because her answers are so filled with dreams… reading them gave me goosebumps. I hope you will get goosebumps too. 

AP: What city were you born in? CP: I was born in a perfect place inhabited by my amazing crazy intelligent parents and my crazy caring loving big sister.

AP: What city to do you live in? CP: I live on an imaginary boat with my Sailor and our son.

AP: What is your middle name? CP: Zoe.

AP: What is your astrological sign? CP: Milky way.

AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? CP: I write song lyrics and dream of being a star and going on tour with the two men of my life.

AP: What is your most prized possession? CP: Everything I inherited from my two Grandmothers.

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? CP: My mom, but only if we share a bottle of wine and some of our secrets.

AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum. CP: Free. Unique. Unpredictable.

AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? CP: Once a month I wear a vintage Tissot.

AP: Diamonds or pearls? CP: One diamond on my finger, a few pearls in my treasure chest.

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? CP: A great set of genes (works even better that a cute pair of jeans).

AP: What fragrance do you wear? CP: I never wear perfume. The only fragrances I’m permeable to are those of coffee, petit-LU (My baby boy’s butter-cookies) and love.

AP: Botox or not? CP: Absolutely, but only because I happen to be the daughter of the best injector in the world.

AP: Hair color: natural or not? CP: I always wanted to be a curly red-head. I once tried black and pink. Never again.

AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? CP: I’m the worst person to ask that question to.

AP: What do you do for exercise? CP: I carry my son around.

AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge? CP: Pickles, organic plain yogurt, sparkling water.

AP: What is your cocktail of choice? CP: Champagne or Martini Bianco on the rocks.

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? CP: I always put life first.

AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average? CP: I fly mostly in my dreams.

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? CP: 1. Travel seldom but travel well. 2. Have a couple of crease-resistant dresses that you can just throw in the suitcase under your 3 pairs of shoes. 3. Leave space in your bag for the shopping you’ll bring back home.

AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. CP: I have no ipod. At the moment I am listening to Khatia Buniatishvili playing Liszt piano pieces. My Man and I went to her concert last Sunday.

AP: What book are you reading right now? CP: I read “Il était un petit navire” to my son.

AP: Quote to live by. CP: Love, Love, Love.

AP: What is your worst pet peeve? CP: Administrative paper work shit.

AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? CP: This is a sore subject at the moment. I wake up at 6am and get an average 6 hours sleep. I would like to order 3 extras, please!

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? CP: It’s my family business.

AP: Least favorite thing. CP: You always have to look pampered. Sometimes I prefer the “flea market-careless-scruffy-wild” look!

AP: Who is your mentor? CP: No one.

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. CP: Choose your co-workers with care. The people around you make or break your day.