Interviews

Laura Mercier–one of the biggest names in the beauty world–guides us on a trip to Paris, gives us a peek into her handbag and answers the one question she gets asked the most about makeup.

Laura Mercier interview

What makes the perfect lipstick?
For me, it’s all about the formula. It must feel comfortable to the point where you forget that you are wearing lipstick, must wear all day and must not bleed. Choose a color that is in tune with your mood and personality, truly making it a signature accent to your look.

What three beauty products do you never leave home without?
Secret Camouflage, Primer Radiance and Infusion de Rose Nourishing Oil.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Love yourself before you can love anybody else.

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Moms know best, so we asked some of the coolest ones we know to give us the skinny on personal style, what motherhood means to them and, of course, what’s on their wish list as May 10 approaches. See all the featured moms in our series on The Thread.

 

Aerin-Lauder-Mothers-Day-1 As the founder and creative director of AERIN and the style and image director at Estée Lauder, Aerin Lauder wears a lot of hats. Oh, let’s throw wife and mother of two into the mix. We’re not quite sure how she manages all of that with such stylish aplomb, but she did take a few minutes away from it all to give The Thread a glimpse into her life as a mom who’s long on to-dos and short on time (read: every mom out there)—and what makes it all worthwhile.

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Katies Hughes possesses one of the coolest-sounding job titles: Global Colour Ambassador for butter LONDON. She took a little time away from her diplomatic mission to save the world one gorgeous manicure at a time and answered a few questions for our 5Ws series.

SHOP: butter LONDON

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Following the lead of our sister fashion blog, we’re starting a 5 Ws video series here on the beauty blog. Quick and candid, our first micro-interview features one of our favorite celeb makeup artists, Charlotte Tilbury. She tells us who she idolizes and how anyone can look like Kate Moss—all in just two minutes, no less!

SHOP: Charlotte Tilbury

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On your mark, get set… party! The winter holidays are here, which means Secret Santas, cocktail soirees, family gatherings, and if you’re lucky, an event requiring an evening gown. Tis the season for merrymaking, and when it comes to makeup, you might need to pull off a party look in a pinch. We asked Australian beauty authority Napoleon Perdis about the latest and greatest of this season’s makeup trends, as well as better-than-best tips for selfies, glitter, and that time-honored holiday classic—the bold red lip.

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London-based makeup artist and mother of 1.5 (son Flynn, pictured above, is 4; baby #2 is due in June), Charlotte Tilbury has long been on the industry’s short list for styling top-tier cover shoots, fashion editorials and ad campaigns around the world. A flame-haired beauty herself, Charlotte counts Kate Moss, Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow among her loyal clients and friends, relationships bolstered no doubt by a common bond of having young children. In honor of Mother’s Day, we caught up with the endlessly energetic, effervescent industry star to get her refreshingly honest—and uniquely British—take on being a modern mum.

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Here & Now: Tory Burch Beauty

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Iconic designer Tory Burch’s approach to beauty reflects her fashion philosophy of understated chic. Feminine and tomboy. Clean and polished. Glowing skin, a hint of color, a modern yet classic scent. With Tory’s collection of makeup, bath and body products and fragrance now available at Nordstrom, we wanted to connect with the busy entrepreneur and style maven for a few quick questions:

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Supermodel, tsunami survivor and founder of the Happy Hearts Fund Petra Nemcova has partnered with Clinique to help children around the world. Together they’re promoting a limited-edition Clinique Happy Heart Perfume Spray and A Different Nail Enamel in ‘Happy’, with a portion of the proceeds for both going toward rebuilding schools in communities devastated by natural disasters.

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A leader in luxury home fragrance, Antica Farmacista blends the finest essential oils and natural ingredients to create one-of-kind fragrances for the home and body. We find Seattle-based best friends and the co-creators of the brand, Shelley Callaghan and Susanne Pruitt, in conversation, as Shelley finds out about Susanne’s favorite holiday scents and how she gets ready for the holidays.

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BFFs in Business: Susanne Pruitt (left) and Shelley Callaghan launched Antica Farmacista in 2003. The pair attributes their success to laughs and friendship.

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Beauty Connections: Serge Normant

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If Hollywood handed out awards for best hair, Julia Roberts, Sarah Jessica Parker and Julianne Moore would need to prepare acceptance speeches. We imagine they’d first thank their parents for the genes that coded their luscious locks, then give all remaining credit to their mane man: hairstylist Serge Normant.

Born and raised outside of Paris, and a New York City resident since 1988, Serge is adored by all of his celebrity clients. Not only does he make them look like goddesses, they call him a trusted friend. After meeting the iconic stylist at a local appearance to promote his eagerly awaited Serge Normant Hair Care Collection, we quickly understood why. Warm, philosophical and suave in a très français (translate: authentic) kind of way, Serge charmed—and sometimes surprised—us with his ideas about beauty, style, success and serendipity…

American beauties or French belles?
There’s this perception that Europeans think American women are over the top with beauty, but actually we are fascinated by how American women pay attention to looking beautiful, to enhancing and celebrating the fact that they’re women. Sometimes French women go too far the other way, wearing absolutely no makeup or looking disheveled because they think it’s cool. What’s beautiful to me, whether you are French or American, is subtle glamour: taking care of yourself and making an effort to play with style. I think French actresses like Charlotte Gainsbourg and Marian Cotillard embody that effortless chic in the same way Julia and Sarah Jessica do.

Long hair or short?
Hair length is not a question of age—it’s about style, personality. I have a friend who’s 70, and she has had the same long hairstyle for 50 years. She should never cut her hair short—it just wouldn’t look like her. Look, I’ll admit it: I love working with a gorgeous, extravagant head of hair like Julia’s, but I’m not saying that a woman has to have long hair to be beautiful. What’s important is how a woman feels about her hair, not what society dictates she should look like. Hair is such a great accessory—you can make mistakes and it grows back! You have to have fun with your hair, to enjoy it. Fashion changes, taste changes, play with your hair.

Hair apparent: Serge styled Julia Roberts for the cover of his book Metamorphosis (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2004) and Sarah Jessica Parker for the Harper’s Bazaar September 2013 issue.
(Images courtesy of sergenormant.com)

Timing or talent?
Early on, I got introduced to the right people at the right time. I never forced anything; I never had a career plan—all I wanted was to do great work, to be part of a great team creating great moments, great photographs. Things just happened for me: I met Julia on the set of her first Vanity Fair shoot with Herb Ritts. I met Sarah Jessica on a shoot in Los Angeles. As a hairstylist, you’re in so many different intimate situations with your celebrity clients—you fly together, you eat together, you’re in a small room at 6am to get ready together. To sustain these relationships, you have to connect on a personal level.

Image or inspiration?
At the end of the day, I am a hairdresser, providing a service. When a client walks the red carpet, I don’t want her wearing ‘Serge Normant.’ She needs to be herself first, and my job is to enhance her. I am so inspired by women—I was inspired by my mom when I was growing up, and I’ve continued to be inspired by all the women I meet. The problem with being too focused on yourself is that whenever you do anything in the spotlight, you’re always judged. So I’m only as good as my last haircut, which keeps me grounded!


No bad hair days: Watch Serge work his magic using his incredible ‘Meta Revive’ Dry Shampoo.

Serge created his hair care line using products he has relied on for his entire career to create hair that looks luscious, healthy and gorgeous. Along with luxurious shampoos, conditioners, volumizers, styling and finishing products, Serge recently introduced ‘Avah’ Eau de Parfum, an exotic fragrance you can mist on your body and your hair. Shop our complete Serge Normant collection to add a little ‘Serge glamour’ to your life.

—Stefanie Frank

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