Before Leah and I (and everyone else) popped over to the Hôtel Salomon de Rothchild Tuesday night to fete the launch of Carine Roitfeld’s highly anticipated MAC collection, I spent an hour with the fierce fifty-something French fashionista in the salon (a.k.a. the living room) of her picturesque Paris apartment. As you can just about guess—I damn near died.
There’s something extra special about Roitfeld–she’s not only a style icon—her signature sexy, sooty beauty look is just as coveted.
There are three things about CR’s look you should know: 1) She actually cultivated her highly sought after smoky eye the rock ‘n roll way—by routinely sleeping in her eye makeup; 2) She’s so low maintenance with her application technique that she just uses her fingers to apply her eyeshadow, and 3) She Botoxes her jaws to minimize headaches and indulges in inner-mouth massages to relax her face. Two words: Kick ass.
Dying for more? (Of course you are!) Read on:
When did you first start wearing makeup?
Not young—I started late. Now all the girls start so young wearing makeup and putting polish on their nails…I wasn’t even a teenager. I actually got my start playing with makeup by putting eyeliner on my mom! I was maybe 25. Not before.
What were the first products you started with?
Tweezers, eyelash curlers, and black pencil. Back in the 70s, we plucked our eyebrows! And I cannot live without black pencil—it’s one of the easiest things to use.
What’s your daily makeup regimen?
Black [eye] makeup and big eyebrows; it’s my signature and it’s very French. I use my fingers for everything. I like that it looks not-so-fresh, not-so done. It’s the personality of my makeup. Black pencil—everyday. Eyebrows—everyday. Eyelash curler—everyday. Mascara—everyday. [It takes] 5 minutes. I have no time!
Tell us about your MAC Collection.
It’s very classic, almost boring makeup in comparison to everything that MAC usually does, but the collection is really me. This is my palette—everything I actually use is in here. It’s all so useful to me. Nothing extra! Well, except the star stencils. It’s like a beauty mark; you can play with it. It’s like good luck—we can all use a little good luck!
Are there any makeup looks you can’t pull off?
Black eyes and a red mouth! It’s too much; it doesn’t look cool to me. I like red lipstick with nothing. I don’t like it when makeup looks very try-too-hard. I like it when makeup looks like you have more important things to do than to look at yourself. Like you have other things to do than your makeup! On the other hand, you have to try different looks. If you don’t try you’ll never know! My friend Tom Pecheux tried electric green eyes on me and I hated it, so now I know.
What about your hair? Any hair care secrets?
One time Tom Ford told me, when you get older, you get blonder because it makes you look softer. So I tried it, but it’s not me anymore. I went back to my natural brunette color—this is really me. I don’t have great hair, so I put it in my face. I don’t have great ears, so I hide them. I have great eyebrows!
Have you passed on any beauty secrets to your daughter Julia?
I was a bad girl forever with makeup—for years I slept in it—and sunscreen protection—I bathed in the sun. I tried to protect my daughter, but she still has a few freckles. But my granddaughter? She’ll never go out without sunscreen. The sun is getting worse and worse. Always protect your skin—it’s the best advice I can share.