Q&A with the Pros

Q5 with Charlotte Tilbury

By on November 28, 2009

Q5 with Charlotte Tilbury

There are few people in the industry that can command the level of respect and admiration that comes so naturally to Charlotte Tilbury. She simply transcends titles and limitations.

And whilst Charlotte has become as recognizable as her celebrity clientele, she remains one of the most charming and accessible women you could hope to meet. She’s quick to share her insider tips/tricks, and admit that she’d rather be caught nude than head out the door without a proper coat of mascara and a little color on her cheeks.

I recently had the chance to interview this globetrotting superartist, for her expert advice on everything from beauty tools and the ultimate concealer, to the secret behind her flawless complexion…

Q1. Did you always long to be an artist, or did you stumble upon your talent by chance?

I always knew I wanted to do something involving the arts. My father is a painter and I knew I had his talents but I also felt drawn to the fashion industry, with a huge interest in clothes, shoes and trends. I was always styling my friends and doing their hair.

At the age of 13, I met makeup artist Mary Greenwell and she definitely inspired me in my choice of career. But it was when I was about 16 and met a different makeup artist, with whom I had a long conversation about what his job in the fashion industry involved. I instantly knew that this was what I wanted to do with my life. There was no turning back, I had made my mind up and I told my mum that same day that I was going to be a makeup artist!

Q2. What beauty trend is most exciting to you at the moment? Why?

One makeup look I am really into at the moment is a berry stain on the lips. It’s the most modern way to wear a lipstick, patted onto your lips with a finger. Don’t worry about the lip-line not being perfect it’s part of the look to leave it soft.

Q3. If a girl is going to invest in 5 makeup brushes, which do you feel are the most important to own?

I swear by the brushes by Paula Dorf. Try her concealer brush Total Camouflage, it blends the product perfectly into the skin.

For blending eyeshadow whether it’s cream or powder, Paula Dorf’s Smoke Lid is the perfect size for blending under the lower and along the top lashes. It’s amazingly soft and also works perfectly to smudge eye-pencil.

To blend on the eye-lid and/or in the socket Sheer Crease by Paula Dorf is ideal. You will have great control of the movement of the pigment.

Trish McEvoy also does a wonderful range of brushes. The Sheer Blush brush is so soft, feels amazing on the skin and blends products amazingly. You can use it to apply your blusher and/or bronzer.

The slightly smaller version, the Highlighter brush, is the perfect tool not only to apply highlighter but also to apply powder!

Q4. What brand/type of concealer is your favorite for camouflaging the effects of a late night out (under-eye circles, blemishes)?

I love Estee Lauder’s Maximum Cover and I use them religiously! Mix with a tiny bit of moisturizer for a texture that covers any blemishes and makes your complexion look dewy and glowing!

For an under eye “lift” try Bobbi Brown’s Eye Brightener. It will get rid of any dull shadows!

Q5. You’ve got a gorgeous complexion, who/what do you rely on to keep your skin so luminous?

I do look after my skin. I cleanse it morning and night plus I have regular facials.

But I also rely on amazing products!  I love all the products by Ila. Their skincare range is natural, organic and made of the best quality ingredients that are the purest available, sourced from around the world.

Their Face Oil for Glowing Radiance does exactly what it says in the name. Your skin will look rejuvenated and radiant and you will notice the difference instantly!

Ila also does a Body Oil For Vital Energy. It will help you restore your natural energy and help your body deal with everyday stress.

Hair Care & Styling | Q&A with the Pros

Q5 with Sally Hershberger

By on June 30, 2009

Q5 with Sally Hershberger

From her ability to create trendsetters out of celebrities, to the long list of award-winning products she’s helped to develop (think John Frieda’s Sheer BlondeBrilliant Brunette…), Sally Hershberger has become synonymous with innovative, papillon-like transformations, as well as lengthy wait lists and Manolo-priced haircuts. She’s simply that good.

I recently had the chance to interview Sally on her new product collection, the famous ‘shagg’, and how little we can really get away with trimming.

Q1: Do you think the average girl needs to splurge on high-priced hair care products, or are drugstore finds just as good?

My favorite products have often been things I find at the drugstore. But I also think it’s OK to splurge on luxury items every once and a while, too. The most important thing is to find products that work well and have high quality ingredients, and those come from both the drugstore and a high-end boutique or salon. Regardless of where you buy the product, if the ingredients are cheap, you’ll be able to tell in the performance of the product. That’s why it was really important to me when developing my new haircare line, Supreme Head, to only use the best ingredients, even if it cost a little more.  In the end, I was able to produce products that are affordable for all women and available at your local drugstore, but that still deliver great style.

Q2: As you’re the leading source for all things ‘shagg’, do you feel it’s a look that anyone can wear?

Yeah, for the most part I think a very layered haircut, long or short, is a great look for most people… It adds an easy sexiness to your style, and I love that. It’s probably not ideal for an aristocrat or the first lady – no one in a conservative position — but otherwise I think its a great look for most women, and even some men!

Q3: Many women leave their salon in a tizzy because their stylist decided to trim-off more length than desired. If someone is trying to grow their hair, or keep it long, what’s the absolute minimum you feel can be taken off ?

Generally speaking, an 1/8 of an inch should keep hair healthy without taking off a noticeable amount of length.  If your hair is really damaged, you may want to take off a little more than that.

Q4: Which facet of your career is the most exciting at the moment?

Developing products is definitely one of my most exciting projects at the moment… I really love coming up with new ideas for products and testing them out and all that. I developed products for years with John Frieda, working on both the Sheer Blonde and Brilliant Brunette lines, so it’s nice to be able to do it for myself now and have complete control over the finished product.  I’m also working on opening two new salons — one on the Upper East Side here in NY, and one in Los Angeles — so that’s also very exciting.

Q5: What’s the one haircare tool you simply can’t live without?

Definitely a blowdryer! I tend to use my hands a lot why styling, but having a blowdryer is an absolute must to get out any kinks or reshape small sections.


For additional information on the Supreme Head haircare collection, Sally’s salons, or to view her fabulous ‘how-to’ instructional videos, visit SallyHershberger.com.

Beauty News

D&G; to Launch Cosmetics Collection

By on January 26, 2009

D&G; to Launch Cosmetics Collection

It was only a matter of time until Dolce & Gabbana joined their competitors in the prestige beauty business. Under the direction of legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath, the duo will be launching a full range of cosmetics for Spring ’09.

“We see makeup as another thing for women, like a dress. We worked on the makeup line like we work on a clothing collection — you can change makeup like you can change your clothes, depending on your mood,” says Stefano Gabbana.

As for the products, the packaging will be gold (a la YSL, Chanel…), the shades bold and bright, and the lipsticks scented with a hint of rose. “We wanted to create makeup with a scent. Domenico and I remember when we were children and opened our mother’s handbags — the scent of her lipstick trailed out. I observed that when women open makeup, they smell it first.”

Expect to see the premiere collection of D&G Cosmetics in stores as early as next month.

Beauty News

Longer Lashes, No Extensions Required

By on January 22, 2009

Longer Lashes, No Extensions Required

If the latest innovations in mascara and faux cils haven’t satisfied your lash-lengthening needs, the FDA has just approved the first-ever medical growth treatment for at-home use.

“LATISSE fulfills a significant and previously unmet need in the medical aesthetic marketplace with a product approved by the FDA that increases the growth of eyelashes, making them longer, thicker and darker,” said Scott Whitcup, M.D., Allergan’s Executive Vice President of Research and Development. “As the global
leader in medical aesthetics, LATISSE exemplifies our continuing commitment to developing innovative treatments that are studied in well-controlled clinical trials, manufactured to pharmaceutical standards, appropriately labeled for use, and available to consumers as a prescription product.”

Available only through a doctor, LATISSE is a once-daily prescription treatment applied to the base of the upper eyelashes with a sterile, single-use-per-eye disposable applicator. Users can expect to experience longer, fuller and darker eyelashes in as little as eight weeks, with full results in 16 weeks. To maintain effect, continued treatment with LATISSE is required. If use of LATISSE is discontinued, eyelashes will gradually return to where they were prior to treatment over a period of weeks to months (average eyelash hair cycle).

Based on their recent FDA approval, Allergan expects to launch the product nationwide in Spring 2009.

For additional information visit Latisse.com.

Daily Rant

Attention Fragrance Fanatics

By on December 16, 2008

Attention Fragrance Fanatics

If you’re in the NYC area tomorrow, you must stop by the new Chanel Fragrance and Beauté counter at Saks Fifth Avenue for a beauty event unlike any other.

Between the hours of 11:00-1:00pm, 2:00-4:00pm, and 5:00-7:00pm, a Chanel artisan will be showcasing the delicate craft of Baudruchage LIVE for all to see.

If you’re not familiar with Baudruchage, it’s the art of applying the iconic ‘CC’ seal that graces each authentic bottle of Chanel parfum. But Baudruchage is also as functional as it is luxurious, helping to preserve the scent so you’re able to enjoy it at its peak.

Should you be inspired by watching this cinematic process, be sure to explore their Olfactive Bar— It’s unlike anything you’ve ever experienced within the walls of a department store. Utilizing a new, patented ceramic blotter system, this table houses the 43 fragrance concentrates that encompass the entire range of CHANEL perfumery.  Intimidated? Don’t be, there’s also an on-site fragrance expert that can help guide your interactive journey.

Hope to see you there!

Chanel Fragrance and Beauté at Saks Fifth Avenue, 12 E 49th StNew YorkNY‎.
For additional information ring +1 212 940 5305.

Daily Rant

Diamonds are a Boy’s Best Friend

By on

Diamonds are a Boy's Best Friend

Just hours ago, armed robbers lifted upwards of $100 million in precious gems from Harry Winston on Avenue Montaigne, according to reports.

Dressed in drag, these well-prepared thieves were (supposedly) able to complete one of ‘Europe’s biggest heists of all time’ in under a minute.

The robbery happened just one year after a similar raid on the same store, when more than $25 million in baubles were stolen. 

Is it just me, or can you see this appearing on the silver screen next year (with Brad and George in push-up bras and pumps)?

Daily Rant

BeautyMaverick in The New York Times

By on August 23, 2008

BeautyMaverick in The New York Times

Exciting news!

A recent interview I’d done with Natasha Singer, a lovely editor at the NY Times, has been included in her latest piece entitled ‘En Garde! The Great Mascara Duel’.

From today’s Style Section:

CALL it the Battle of the Battery-Operated Mascaras.

On July 17, Estée Lauder introduced TurboLash, a mascara with a battery-operated vibrating brush, at Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The night before, the company’s Web site, esteelauder.com/turbolash, sold out of its stock of about 1,000 mascaras, said Elana Drell Szyfer, the senior vice president for marketing at Estée Lauder.

On July 31, Lancôme, which had been scheduled to trot out its own battery-powered wand in November, fired back with a one-day advance sale of the mascara, called Ôscillation, in a handful of stores nationwide.

By the end of the day, more than 5,000 mascaras had sold out at outlets like Bergdorf Goodman in Manhattan, Neiman Marcus in Houston and sephora.com, said Kerry Diamond, the vice president for communications at Lancôme USA.

Both companies said the purpose of an electronic mascara wand is to better separate and more evenly coat lashes than a traditional brush would.

Estée Lauder said TurboLash, $30, produces 7,500 vibrations per minute.

Lancôme said Ôscillation, $34, produces 7,000 “micro-oscillations,” or pulses, per minute.

“It has been a question of who would get to market fastest,” said Karen Young, the chief executive of the Young Group, a beauty marketing firm in Manhattan, who has worked at both companies. “It is the mascara wars.”

The battle is so intense that manufacturers are borrowing the promotional weaponry of cellphone companies. They compete over technological iterations, stoke expectations by favoring certain bloggers with advance information, and tightly control initial distribution so that people who pride themselves as being early adopters can buy the product first. Beautymaverick.com, a blog written by a former cosmetics publicist, referred to the Lancôme mascara as “possibly the iPhone 3G of the beauty realm.”

“If you miss the boat, you are unable to be one of the people who have the It product, who are in the know,” Lily Nima, who started the blog 18 months ago, said last week in a phone interview.

“If a mass-market brand were to put a vibrating mascara on the shelf, it would look more like a novelty you would expect a drugstore to do,” she said. “The limited edition at the beginning makes it cooler, unattainable and more glamorous.”

A mass-market wand has been on the shelves at stores like Target and CVS since March.  Called  Spinlash (spinlash.com), the battery-powered gizmo costs about $14.99; more than 100,000 have been sold, a company spokeswoman said.

But, whatever the price, will women embrace a device that requires greater meticulousness to use than a manually operated mascara, and which emits a hum as annoying as a vibrating cellphone?

Beauty companies are positioning the power mascara and the power-free mascara as the difference between automatic and stick-shift.

But even beauty bloggers predict the electric mascara may find only a niche audience.

“An electric battery-operated mascara can be a tricky thing to apply in the back of a cab or on the go,” Ms. Nima said. “The beauty junkies may take to it, but the average beauty consumers may have a harder time with it.”

Still, Jennifer Nobriga of Woodbridge, Va., one of a pair of self-described average beauty consumers and stay-at-home moms behind the blog Beauty in Real Life (beautyinreallife.blogspot.com), said she had already tested Spinlash and was eager to try its higher-end competitors.

“Once we get our own hands on them,” she said, “we are going to be doing a comparison.”

TurboLash is available at Saks; Lauder is working seven days a week to produce more, Ms. Szyfer said. For those who must have Ôscillation, there’s a waiting list at Lancôme counters.

Q&A with the Pros

Q5 with Pat McGrath

By on February 20, 2008

Q5 with Pat McGrath

Pat McGrath is a sui generis superartist, one whose influence on the beauty industry spans much farther than any runway or red carpet. Of course, such talent doesn’t go unnoticed; This brilliant Brit’s now added to her resume the title of Global Color Cosmetics Creative Design Director for Procter & Gamble (now that’s a tongue-twister!).

I recently had the honor of quizzing Ms. McGrath on her source of inspiration, the need for primer, and what she just can’t travel without.

Q1: What initially inspired you to become a makeup artist?

My mother was obsessed with both fashion and makeup. We would spend hours researching makeup for black skin.

Q2: When creating looks for the runway, do you prefer to let your creativity run wild or do you try to create looks that the average women could wear?

When creating looks for the runway, I always collaborate with the designers to develop the look. They usually have an idea of the makeup they want for the show, but they look to me to create makeup that’s unique and represents the designer’s aesthetic. Some makeup looks are more daring than others, but they all involve a great deal of creativity and help shape future beauty trends.

Q3: Using makeup to contour can be a bit tricky for most of us. Would you have any tips or tricks for enhancing or softening certain features?

Avoid using contour powder along the cheekbones as it can look too harsh, particularly in the daytime, but use a soft brown shadow in the eye crease to give subtle depth and dimension. Use a loose shimmer powder, such as Benefit Show Offs in Miss Moon, to accentuate the cheekbones, inner corners of the eye, Cupid’s bow and brow bone.

Q4: Do you think the use of primer is necessary for the average girl, or is it more for professional use?

Primer is great to use if your skin is normal to oily or when wearing foundation. It’s great for controlling shine and helps foundation last longer. You can even use it in place of foundation to give the skin a soft focus look that diminishes the appearance of imperfections and wrinkles. YSL Matt Touch is a great primer.

Q5: What beauty products do you always carry with you when traveling? Why?

MAX Factor Volume Couture and CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascara- These mascaras pump up my lashes and make them look full with lots of definition. They give my lashes a nice lift too.

CoverGirl Amazemint Lip Gloss is very fresh and great when traveling. Every time I press my lips together when I wear this gloss, I get a cool mint flavor that’s refreshing. It makes my lips feel smooth for hours.

SKII Air Touch Foundation (custom blended for my skin). I love the way it makes my skin appear flawless, yet you can’t see any foundation. It’s also very easy to use and carry with me. I wear it when I’m on camera backstage and when I go out in the evenings.

Aromatherapy Associates Essential Oils bring a wonderful smell to hotel rooms and combat jet lag. I love applying it to my pulse points (wrists, temples) because it releases a relaxing scent all day, and before I go to sleep at night.

MAX Factor ColorGenius Blush in Spices– This blush is a wonderful shade for deeper complexions, as it gives that hint of peachy rose color that’s so pretty.

Hair Care & Styling | Q&A with the Pros

Q5 with Rita Hazan

By on January 25, 2008

Q5 with Rita Hazan

With a lengthy client list that includes the beautiful locks of Jennifer Lopez and Jessica Biel (even Oprah’s a fan…), it’s no wonder why Rita Hazan is quickly becoming one of America’s most sought-after colorists.

Check out our Q5 session below for Rita’s thoughts on (intentionally) visible roots, common color mistakes, and who can really go red.

Q1: What do you find to be the most common mistakes women make with hair color?

Doing color to the extreme. Going from light to dark or not lightening the base enough.

Q2: Do you have any general tips/tricks for extending color between visits?

Use a shampoo for color treated hair and stay away from cleansing shampoos. Try not to shampoo too much and use a shine serum, this will make the hair appear more healthy.

Q3: Can anyone go red or do you feel that color works best with certain skin tones/hair types?

Not everyone can be a redhead. Red only works for light, pale, freckled skin with light eyes.

Q4: What are your thoughts on the current trend of showing a little more regrowth?

Hate it. Roots are never sexy, it just looks unkept and unmaintained. I love fresh bright color.

Q5: Are you currently addicted to any at-home conditioning treatments? 

Phyto Phytonectar Oil. I love it! You put it on dry hair and leave it for 30 minutes, or even overnight.

Hair Care & Styling | Q&A with the Pros

Q5 with Erin Anderson

By on October 12, 2007

Q5 with Erin Anderson

Based in New York, Erin Anderson is best known for styling some of Hollywood’s most enviable tresses. Her extensive client list includes the likes of Mischa Barton and Rachel Weisz, both of which rely on Erin’s experience and expertise to highlight their best features and keep their style current.

I recently had the opportunity to quiz Erin on summer haircare, how to achieve the perfect fringe, and what styling products she turns to as a professional.

Q1: Our hair can be brutally abused by the elements in the summertime, what do you recommend to protect/repair the hair?

Protection is key to address first, hopefully to avoid the need to repair! Protection methods I recommend are: wearing a hat, always wetting the hair down with fresh water before going in swimming pools and rinsing right after, and/or using a sun protection sprays such as Phyto Plage Protective Beach Spraw/olive oil for dryer hair types or Phyto Plage Protective Sun Veil w/ sunflower extract for oilier hair types.  If your hair does become damaged by sun, chlorine, and/or salt water exposure, a weekly masque or treatment is necessary.

Q2: Can you recommend any simple at-home styling tips/tricks to achieve the tousled, wavy (‘Gisele’) look?

To achieve that wavy tousled ‘Gisele’ look, you can use beach sprays such as Bumble and bumble Surf Spray or John Frieda Ocean Waves.  Depending on the texture of your hair, I recommend different methods for using the product. For thicker/drier types, I recommend using a leave in conditioner underneath and for oilier finer types, its fine on its own.  You can also let hair dry naturally encouraging movement. Once your hair is dry, try using an inch, or larger, curling iron, wrapping sections around the wand freestyle.  NO WINDING! This way you get a wave and not a curl.  Finish off by using a pomade, such as V05 Reworkable Putty, to separate and give a ‘lived in’ appearance.

Q3: Do you feel anyone can go blonde or should the look be reserved for certain skin tones/hair types?

Anyone can go blond!  The key is finding the right SHADE of blonde to suit your skin tone and hair type.

Q4: Some of us have learned, the hard way, that bangs can be a bit overwhelming to the wrong facial structure. How do create such flattering bangs for clients, like Mischa Barton, who have a round or square facial shape? Is it in the cut or in the styling techniques?

Deciding to cut bangs is a great way to change up a ‘stale’ style.  The key is consulting with your stylist to figure out what style of bangs will be most flattering to your face and what will work into your existing haircut.  For round and square face shapes, I recommend keeping the bangs on the longer side side swept with soft ends.  That way you create soft angles to bring out facial features like eyes and cheekbones. I also recommend a long  ‘V’ shape, that way you can style to either side and achieve different looks.

Q5: What are the top three styling products you’re addicted to at the moment?

The top 3 styling products I’m addicted to at the moment are:

  1. Spray Wax by SachaJuan
  2. Vo5 Heat Defense
  3. Bumble and bumble Does It All Styling Spray