Good morning guys !
Today I’m writing kind of a special article since it’s an interview I did with a French cosmetic brand called Avril. I chose to interview them because a few years ago, when they started their company, I won a competition and got offered a coupon to order their products online. I bought lipsticks, nail polish, foundation, mascara, eyeliner… Everything, really, and I was not disappointed by the quality of their products despite the very low price – which is even more surprising as some of their products are organic ! So without further ado, here’s my interview.
When did you launch Avril ? And why this name ?
What helped you make this choice, to dive into the organic cosmetic world ? Has this always been your formation ?
Alexis Dhellemmes, the founder, did not originally have a formation in cosmetics. He worked in the Hygiene and Beauty section of Auchan for 10 years, and realized that what makes the price of a beauty products is directly related to the publicity and other communication operations with it. So he decided to create his own brand at very affordable prices, with a zero communication budget. He started to produce both non-organic and organic products. But non-organic products were eventually dropped, since what made Avril’s success was the organic beauty products.
Speaking of organic, can you explain what the Ecocert certification means exactly ? Are all your products 100% organic ?
Now all our cosmetics are organic. The Ecocert certification is the proof that we respect some ecological standards, such as:
- Our packagings are biodegradable or recyclable.
- Our products do not contain GMO (Genetically Modifiable Organism), nor parabens, phenoxyethanol, nano particles, silicons, PEG, synthetic fragrances and colorants. They do not contain either ingredients derived from animals, except products naturally produced such as milk, honey, beeswax…
- At least 95% of the ingredients of a product are from natural origin, and at least 10% of the ingredients are organic. 10% of organic ingredients may seem low, but it is important to know that the main component of a product is often water, and there are also mineral ingredients (so not derived from agriculture) in cosmetics. It is actually 95% of vegetal ingredients that have to be organic.
I saw on your website that your products are not tested on animals. Could you tell us more about that ? Does that mean that they all are vegan ?
We follow very closely the production of our products: for each one of them, we have a technical file with an inventory of every quality control that has been made. So we have the guarantee that none of our ingredients and products are tested on animals. This means some of our products are vegan, but not all of them. in order to be vegan, a product has to not be tested on animals AND not to contain anything from or made by animals. As previously mentioned, some of our products such as our mascara, countains beeswax.
Where are your products made ?
Most of our products are made in France (on our website there is a logo that indicates when a product was made in France). Some cosmetics, such as blushes and eyeshadows, are made in Italy, and our toothpaste is made in Spain. Accessories are made in Asia, with a very strict control in order to respect our quality specifications. So they have a control as demanding as production in France.
How are you able to have such low prices compared to other brands ?
Our packagings are minimalist, and we do not use extra plastic or cardboard to envelop our products in! Most importantly, we do not make advertising and we do not have a “face” to represent Avril. As we found out, it is possible to sell quality products at very affordable prices when you don’t pay for commercials and communication campaigns!
Do you ship anywhere in the world ?
We ship in most European countries, but we do not ship overseas (including French regions). But we do have some distributors in the USA or in St-Pierre et Miquelon, for instance! And we expect to keep our number of distributors growing!
Can we buy your products in some shops, or is it just online for the moment ?
We have many sellpoints in the world now! Most of them are in France, but we have also a lot of them in Italy, Spain, Portugal. You can find the nearest stores selling Avril cosmetics here, so if you’re not comfortable buying online, you can go try our products in store!
What’s your clientele like ?
We have a majority of women in our clientele (especially since we don’t sell male products) but there is not really one specific age. We have customers ranging from 20 to 50 years old! So it may be safe to say that all women can buy Avril cosmetics.
What’s your hit of the moment ? And your favorite product ?
Our hit has now been for a while our Black Mascara. It is the favourite of many of our customers. Personally, I love the mascara, but also the lip pencils (tints Violine and Châtaigne), and the cleansing gel.
What are the plans for Avril’s future ? Any big changes coming ? Any wishes ?
We do have a very exciting plan on the way: the opening of the very first Avril store in Lille, rue Esquermoise! It will be an incredible change since for the first time, we will have a store of our own and sales assistants that will be experts on our brands. Our wish is to make our Avril community grow more and more, and show people the way to choose an ecological and affordable alternative to conventional cosmetics.
Do you have any advice to give to people who’d like to adopt a more natural and ethical beauty routine ?
Take time to actually understand what is your beauty rountine and what kind of products you are putting on your face. I started searching my beauty products’ ingredients on the Web. Little by little, I learned about them and understood what was actually in cosmetics and what ingredients I didn’t want to use anymore (that can be carcinogenic or harmful for the planet). Now I check the ingredients before buying a product. It may seem like a long process, but I believe knowledge is power!
Try also to choose beauty products with certifications such as Ecocert, Cosmebio, Natrue or BDIH, it already makes a difference in the quality of the composition.
Last but not least, have fun ! Natural beauty routine can be as pleasant and cocooning as conventional products. Try everything to find what brand and what type of products you like!
Anything to add?
Thank you for your interest in Avril, I hope I brought a satisfying answer to all your questions ! And well done for your conversion to more ethical and natural products, both in beauty and food !
This is not a sponsored post, all views are my own. All pictures are from Avril’s instagram page.