Christine Valmy (1926-2015)

Esthetics pioneer Christine Valmy died on January 18 at the age of 88. The Romania-born Valmy’s contributions to the development of skincare esthetics earned her the nickname “Cosmetics Queen”, but this versatile achiever also had a law degree from the University of Bucharest in addition to her cosmetology degree from the city’s Medical School.

Valmy’s eponymous “method” focused on revealing healthy skin’s natural beauty, as opposed to concealing flaws, and captured the loyalty of clients in the United States, to which she emigrated in 1961. In 1966, she founded the Christine Valmy International Cosmetics School in New York. Today, that institution is represented in the U.S. and in 17 other countries around the world.

“Christine Valmy caused a sensation in March of 1972, when she became the first exhibitor to rent a booth for ‘esthetic skin care’ at the International Beauty Show in New York City,” recalls Joel Gerson, master esthetician/educator, author, and close friend and colleague of Valmy’s. “For three days, crowds of hairdressers and salon owners pressed close to see ‘scientific facial treatments’ with machines being done for the first time. This was the beginning of the concept ‘full service salon’.”

Perhaps the truest indication of Valmy’s impact on the beauty world is reflected in the deep respect she evoked from her skincare colleagues and fellow leaders. “My first impression of Christine Valmy was at the CIDESCO show in 1982 in New York at the Sheraton Hotel,” shares Lydia Sarfati, founder and CEO of Repêchage. “She truly exemplified what the beauty professional should be: glamorous, elegant and sophisticated. The industry has lost an icon.”

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