How to become the president of a massive cosmetics company
Clarins president Natalie Bader on her impressive career history, rules for success and beauty favourites.
“Clarins is a very eco-aware company. One of the challenges we have is how to create a beautiful product and have the external packaging look nice but still be kind to the planet. We are prioritizing our actions; we use recycled or recyclable cardboard and glass instead of plastic, where possible, and our My Blend containers are refillable: A customer can order online and mix them herself at home.
We’re known for our skincare—the Multi-Active creams, our latest launch, are for women in their 30s who are very busy with hectic lifestyles and routines that constantly change—but we are also experts in wellness, body care and makeup; we have a specific lab for colour and innovations, like Be Long mascara [an ELLE Canada Beauty Grand Prix winner].
“I’ve learned something at every job I’ve had. I started at Yves Rocher and then moved on to Chanel, which is like a school for long-term strategy and maintaining a cohesive brand image. At Sephora, I learned about developing retail at a very fast pace. I also worked for Prada, where I learned how the needs and desires of women in Monaco are different from those of women in Paris or Toronto. What can I say? I like a challenge, and I’m not very patient! If I stayed in one place, it would be less tiring. [Laughs]
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“My rules for success start with courage. People like to stick with what is comfortable, but I always try to be creative and think differently. I’m always thinking about what is coming next, and one industry or sector can inspire me to the next—I’ll go to supermarkets and get ideas. I was in Dubai once with my team and we passed a toy store. You had to take a toboggan to get to the lower floor. They thought I wanted to buy something for my kids, but I just wanted to look around! You innovate by having curiosity. Everything can be inspiring.”
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