With her insouciant style and ethereal beauty, French acting ingénue and new face of Lancome, Alma Jodorowsky is destined to become a household name. Here she talks exclusively to Emirates Woman about stealing mascara, eyeliner detoxes and her Parisian beauty muse, Catherine Deneuve.

Let’s face it: When it comes to effortless style, French women have it down to an art. Whether it’s the coquettish allure of Brigitte Bardot or the gamine innocence of Audrey Tautou, they possess an undeniable je ne sais quoi that makes us wish we were born in the fourth arrondissement. And with her nonchalant off-duty model style, tousled bed-hair waves and husky Gallic lilt, rising star Alma Jodorowsky is the epitome of understated chic.

Alma Jodorowsky new face of Lancome

“With French women there is always a little trick… something that stands out,” the doe-eyed Parisian explains. “A certain refinement when it comes to detail, whether it’s the choice of a hat or earring.” With Alma, it’s a slick of crimson red lipstick; added to her otherwise minimally made-up look, it means all eyes are on her (naturally, no fillers here please) pillowly pout.

It comes as no surprise then that the 23-year-old beauty has been chosen as the new face of Lancôme and star of its spring/summer 2015 French Innocence Collection campaign, shot by legendary duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. Already a multi-talented slashie – actor-model-singer-songwriter – Alma is joining the ranks of Julia Roberts and Kate Winslet as the brand’s new ambassador. It’s a role she says she was surprised and flattered to get. “It’s extraordinary to have the opportunity to work with such a prestigious brand at such an early stage in my career,” she says. “I never wanted to do too many collaborations because I don’t see myself as a model, but the timing is perfect. I’m an actress first and foremost. I don’t remember ever wanting to do anything else.”

Alma Jodorowsky new face of Lancome

Growing up in a thespian family – her grandfather is surrealist filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky and both her parents are theatre actors – it was a natural step for Alma to go down the acting route. “Artistic professions often make people a bit frightened and so it’s nice to feel supported and understood by a family who are in the same business,” she says. “Without pushing me, my parents have always encouraged me.”

It was backstage with her mother that she first experimented with beauty products. “When I was little I often went on tour with her,” she says. “I used to pinch her Lancôme mascaras to play with. They were the first mascaras I used and I’ve never stopped wearing them. Hypnôse is perfect for thickening to get the clearly defined, sixties baby doll-style lashes I love.” It’s a look also favoured by her beauty icons… All French women who share her own inimitable style. They are women who were muses during the sixties: Françoise Hardy, Ana Karina, Françoise Dorléac and Catherine Deneuve.”

Alma Jodorowsky new face of Lancome

This season, she plans to go easier on the dark eyeliner, while adding a dash of colour to her spring beauty arsenal. “Eyeliner was my signature make-up for a long time, I’ve been wearing it since I was thirteen, but then I had to detox because I couldn’t see myself without it,” she laughs. “I love sea-green and turquoise blue, so I’m a big fan of Lancôme nail polish in Vert Tuileries, while the kohl in the same shade is perfect for adding a twist to a little black dress on a warm summer’s night.”

After studying acting in Paris and New York, Alma’s breakthrough role came in Abdellatif Kechiche’s provocative drama Blue Is the Warmest Colour, winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. “I didn’t have a huge role but I’m extremely proud of being part of the experience,” she says. “We shot in Lille and there was something of a holiday camp atmosphere. I became great friends with [French co-star] Adèle Exarchopoulos during the shoot. She has a real freshness; she is very open and generous.” She followed this with the lead role in the hotly anticipated British film Kids in Love, alongside Will Poulter and Cara Delevingne. “We filmed over three days in a country house outside London,” she says. “We were supposed to film hockey scenes and spent an entire afternoon practising. I was terrible and in the end we had to fake the scene because I was still unable to score!”

What Alma lacks in talent on the hockey field, she more than makes up for in the music studio. One half of the folk-pop duo Burning Peacocks, the band released their debut self-titled EP in October 2014. True to form, the dreamy EP oozes laidback cool, with Alma’s breathy vocals drawing comparisons to Lana Del Rey. Her savvy fashion sense is also getting her increasingly noticed on the international style circuit; she has starred in campaigns for Opening Ceremony and Chaumet, was selected by Karl Lagerfeld to appear in The Little Black Jacket exhibition, is a regular fixture FROW at Chanel and made the 2015 BAFTA best dressed lists in a striking black Stella McCartney gown offset with her trademark red lip and undone locks.

Having achieved so much for someone still in her early 20s, what’s next for Alma? “I’ve always wanted to be an actress, but when you’re an artist it’s interesting to be able to apply your sensibilities to different art forms,” she says. “I am in the midst of writing a film and as long as I’ve the time and the inclination, I’ll continue to do as many things as possible.” Style maven, muse and beauty icon in the making… Is there anything the multi-talented Parisian can’t do?

Alma’s Parisian secrets

FRENCH BEAUTY IS… A certain refinement when it comes to detail. There is always a little trick, something that stands out.

THE STREET CAFÉ TO SOAK UP THE FIRST RAYS OF SUN… An outdoor table at Le Floréal (73 Rue du Faubourg du Temple).

THE WAY TO GET AROUND… Bike. I practically only use Vélib’ to get around now (velib.paris.fr)

THE PERFECT OUTFIT… A light blouse with high-waisted shorts and espadrilles with a slight wedge.

THE UNMISSABLE EVENT… The yearly music festival Villette Sonique often has a good programme (villettesonique.com)

THE RESTAURANT FOR A ROMANTIC TÊTE-À-TÊTE… Bohemian restaurant Ave Maria (1 Rue Jacquard, Paris)