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 I was in Côte d’Azur this week end. It was still warm and sunny, we ate outside, drank champagne and smoked sigarettes under the stars until late night (at least those happy few who still afford to drink champagne and smoke sigarettes until late, that is). We were under the impression that summer was not over yet. And of course we were wrong. I woke up today coughing and sneezing and the reflection of my face in the mirror almost scared the living daylight out of me: puffy eyes, dark circle, swollen nose and dull skin. And I need to be at my best by Friday.

Now: how can a 40something with a terrible flu and a face like a panzerotto succeed in looking stunningly gorgeous in a few days? She can’t. No way. But if there’s only a tiny chance to succeed that is Monsieur Malbert.

At no. 11 via Fratelli Ruffini in Milan, right beside the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie with its Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, in a chocolate-box like atelier very matter-of-factly named “studio 11” after its address, Monsieur Andrè Malbert handles the skin of the top of the crop of the Italian and foreign socialite.


Monsieur Malbert himself is worth the visit. He’s not a mere beautician, he’s the wrinke’s stylist, the Osho of the beauticians. His very life seems to come out from a Ludlum’s novel. Actually he could easily have been a spy. Son of a French diplomat in Indocina (the current Vietnam), he’s a former classic dancer who was forced to quit the ballet and has been working as a make up artists for all the most famous dancers ever since. He lived everywhere. He worked everywhere. And so he also happened to meet and work for the royal families and the most interesting and odd people worldwide (he used to be Monaco’s princess Grace’s beautician, to mention one). On your way in or out you may easily happen to bump into Colin Firth, or Franca Sozzani or another of those characters you usually spot in the magazines.

The waiting list is ATROCIOUS, but if you need to look stunning at least for one night call and manage to take an appointment. The miraculous treatment is Biologique Recherche’s “remodelling face” that – for a span of a few hours at least  – gives you back the gaze you had 10 years ago, but – unless you already have an even and bright skin by yourself – you will only be admitted to take a Remodelling after a couple of treatments with fruit acids (“look at this skin, how dull it is, I can’t even start working on such a smothered skin”: this what he told me with his strong French accent the first time I went there).

But most of all if he likes you and there will be an opportunity, you may be so lucky as to be told the most fascinating stories and possibly even some of Monsieur Malbert’s beauty tips that could really make your day.

Studio 11, Via Fratelli Ruffini 11, 20123 Milano, +39 02 48513621