The heart of French allure

The heart of French allure

Biologique Recherche’s products are so beloved by celebrities that they endorse it without being asked to

FRENCH beauty brand Biologique Recherche’s client list reads like the most coveted guest list in the world: according to Vogue India, Kim Kardashian is a fan, and so is Madonna, and Jennifer Lopez. Page Six, meanwhile, lists down the Olsen twins and Brad Pitt. Biologique Recherche (BR) APAC Director Raphaëlle Faure, during a tea at the Raffles in Makati on Dec. 5, was asked for confirmation about the brand’s well-known users. “You want pictures?,” she asked, while grabbing her phone.

During an interview with BusinessWorld, Ms. Faure scrolled through her phone, showing us photos of their celebrity clients. We got a few more pleasant surprises, such as former pop star and fashion designer Victoria Beckham. “We would never share information that they will not share themselves,” she emphasized. She also corrected us by saying that they don’t just do facials for Kim Kardashian, but also for all her alliteratively named sisters, and even their mother.

Ms. Faure then showed photos of Jennifer Aniston with their products. “They’re doing that for free. Imagine how much it costs for Jennifer Aniston to do a post for you. We don’t have that kind of money,” she said about endorsements. She even discussed a celebrity (whose name we won’t mention), who launched a skincare line — only for fans to point out that BR products were all over their shelves. “It’s not something we advertise because we don’t pay them,” Ms. Faure said.

Since 2021, Filipinos have been able to get these same treatments from the Maison de Beaute clinic at Serendra in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig. These products aren’t one-size-fits-all solutions: customers’ faces are first analyzed to know what they need.

“My skin is different than yours. What you need right now is different from what I need. We need to understand your needs in order to give it to you,” explained Ms. Faure.

There is a whole stash of products used in the treatments, which one can also use at home: there are at least 10 creams, everything from anti-wrinkle cream to sebum regulating balms, and we haven’t even gotten to the serums yet. One of the main products, however, is Lotion P50, which exfoliates and restores balance to the skin.

Futhermore, treatments from BR are supposed to be applied with special massages, invented by their co-founder, physiotherapist Josette Allouche, in order to increase the efficacy of the facial products made by her husband, Yvan Allouche, in the 1970s. Ms. Faure said that Mr. Allouche had been frustrated with the products in the market, citing active ingredients that should work in theory, but failed to do so in practice.

“What makes it efficient is that we look for multiple active ingredients, and we concentrate the formula at the highest level,” Ms. Faure said.

To this day, all the products are made in their factory in France: “Our products are highly concentrated in actives. We can’t rely on anybody else to manufacture our product. Our formula is complicated. Not only in terms of the number of active ingredients, but the way that we’re fabricating these: the pressure, the rotations, the temperature… we prefer to control (production) 100%.” While the company had been acquired by Rupert Schmid and Pierre-Louis Delapalme in the early 2000s, the Allouche couple’s son Philippe, a doctor, is still one of the company’s executives.

Discussing the French approach to beauty, and how BR addresses these needs, Ms. Faure said, “As a Frenchwoman, it’s difficult for me to answer. You don’t really intellectualize the way that you’ve been taught. Now that I’ve worked enough internationally, I see the difference.” According to her, compared to Americans, French beauty takes a more minimalistic approach. “Health and elegance. We all talk about French makeup brands. French makeup is really light. It’s good skin, red lipstick; that’s basic,” she said. “All about elegance and lines, and with a touch of red. But these only work if you have great skin.”

However, it’s not just having great skin: at the heart of it all is a desire to cultivate confidence. “The way that you convey yourself; which at the end means confidence in yourself. We’re all about being confident enough to be yourself, but with a twist.”

Biologique Recherche products and services can be found at Maison de Beaute at the Piazza at Serendra in BGC, Taguig. Out-of-town locations such as in Shangri-la Boracay are also listed at their Instagram, @biologique_recherche_ph. — Joseph L. Garcia