We’re heading to Montreal today for a chat with this week’s Babe in the Biz, Kim Vallée. If you’re into design, home decor and entertaining, you’re likely to be already familiar with Kim’s site, At Home with Kim Vallée. And if you’re more of a web geek type, you may know that she also produces On the Web with Kim Vallée, a site dedicated to blogging and social media. Talk about multitasking! And she does it well—in 2009, she was named one of the top 25 web stars in Quebec. (Kim came in at number five!)
Kim’s also a part of the Style Collective, the independent Canadian web publishers collective (BeautyEditor.ca is a member too). And because sometimes the best beauty gems come from women who aren’t living and breathing beauty 24/7 like I am, I thought I’d seek out Kim for some insight into the beauty products and tips that she loves most:
Beauty Insider Credentials My mother, who owned a successful beauty salon, raised me to be a beauty insider. She used to bring me at trade conventions and shows. When I was four years old, I would go to her salon after she closed her shop to wash and style the hair of all my dolls. I did that every week for a long time. I selected design (Web design, interior design and event design) as a career. I went to design because you use your creativity but it also requires excellent analytical skills and synthesis. Since 2007, I am the editor of At Home with Kim Vallée, a blog on stylish living and entertaining. I just launched a new company called Media Sidekick. We are a new breed of ad network for bloggers and influencers that goes beyond the traditional banners.
Beauty Icon I do not have a beauty icon per se. [But] elegance, happiness and assurance are essential characteristics.
Top Five Beauty Products There are so many that it is hard to only select five. But I did it!
The first one can seem strange but it is Dove. I’ve used Dove to wash my body since university. I have dry skin and I found it works the best for me. I sometimes switch to a traditional Savon de Marseille, but it is an indulgence.
I wear perfume every day even regardless of what my plans are for the day.
Sens’eyes Waterproof Sensitive Eyes Cleanser by Make Up For Ever. It is the fastest way to completely remove your eye makeup, including waterproof mascara and pencils. Fast and easy is what I look for with my cleansers before I go to bed late at night. The formula of Sens’eyes comes handy when I travel since you use a tissue to remove it.
My Clarins moisturizing creams. I tried several brands over the years but I always go back to Clarins. It performs well. I like their smell and textures on my skin. You will find many Clarins facial products inside my bathroom cabinet.
Lastly, I could not be my mother’s daughter if I did not mention professional hair products. It may sound like an ad but it’s true: beauty hair starts with healthy hair.
Beauty Splurge I believe that we must splurge on the facial products that we put on to protect our skin. I do not want to take chances with those.
Beauty Bargain You can scrimp on makeup products because it is the way you apply your makeup that makes the biggest difference.
First Fragrance I think it was Anaïs Anaïs by Cacharel. I was probably 15 years old.
Biggest Beauty Fail When I look at some old photos, it’s evident that I am wearing the wrong colour of foundation. Too pink, or too pale… I learned my lesson. Now, I only buy my foundation from brands with lots of shades and hues. I will try it first, go home, and take a few pictures indoors and outdoors to validate the look. Then, I will buy it if it feels right.
Beauty Pet Peeve Waste in packaging. I stopped buying Chanel eye pencils and lips pencils because they include a sharpener in every box. No one needs a new sharpener every time she buys a pencil. I complained many times and decided that my best action as a customer was to bring my business elsewhere.
Best Beauty Tip Wear what suits you, considering your body type and complexion. Then, see how you could integrate what is fashionable at the time. I learned that we should not follow all trends, regardless of how popular it is or how adorable it seems on others.
Career Advice I am happy to be an entrepreneur. It drives me to go further. If you are looking to become one, find something that you are passionate about and that you excel at, work towards excellence, surround yourself with talented people, and lastly, aim to innovate and reinvent your field.
Hope you enjoyed Kim’s very French take on beauty! Next week, it’s off to Vancouver for a chat with The Style Spy founder Erica Lam!