Cate Blanchett has shaved her hairline and her entire head, and worn many a wig (think back to her role in Elizabeth: The Golden Age), but off duty she keeps things far less dramatic—focusing more on what lies beneath all the theatrics. I’m not so good at doing my makeup, although I’ve gotten better,” she said. But with a complexion as flawless as Blanchett’s (care of SK-II, a brand for which she is a global ambassador), why even bother with foundation? Read this month’s Beauty Essentials to find out this recent Golden Globe nominee’s biggest blunder (hint: It involves a mishap with an eyelash curler) and how she’s earned the title of skincare “geisha” in a house full of boys.
“A woman’s glamour war paint is an absolute necessity.”
Some view cosmetics as a frivolous luxury, but putting on your game face—whether you’re entering the boardroom or heading home for the holidays—is crucial. It completes a look, helps erase the stress, and can even give you an edge. A study financed by Procter & Gamble, led by Nancy Etcoff, clinical professor of psychology at Harvard, found that women who wore makeup (albeit not too much) were considered more “competent” than women who wore none at all. Since every day, especially during this hectic season, feels like a game of survival, we’ll take any advantage we can get. Lipstick doesn’t come in bullet form for nothing.
For New England-bred twin sisters Dawn and Samantha Goldworm, scent isn’t merely an accessory, it’s a lifestyle. It’s upon that credo that the platinum-maned pair have built 12.29, their olfactive branding company that has, since its launch in 2009, been busily creating custom scents for luxury boutiques, private homes, and a slew of runways—Rodarte, Jason Wu, and Prabal Gurung among them. And as of November, the sisters Goldworm have a home fragrance collection to call their own. The five new 12.29 candles (available at onlyscentremains.com) have dreamy scents and equally dreamy names—like A Vivid and Wild Beauty, a blend of milky florals and earth and fresh green notes—and a distinctly elegant presentation: Each is housed in fine porcelain courtesy of Limoges. Here, the fragrance-focused duo share their beauty favorites and, naturally, preferred scents.
THE WELL-SCENTED SALON: Whittemore House
“We followed Victoria and Larry from Bumble and Bumble to their own chic West Village salon, Whittemore House, years ago. We love the cucumber water they offer upon arrival, and Victoria is the queen of balayage. The salon also smells lovely, with a custom 12.29 scent that wafts throughout the space.”
45 Grove St., (212) 242-8880; whittemorehousesalon.com.
THE BEST BET FOR BLONDS: Oribe
“We are in love with the newly designed line of Oribe hair products. Not only is the packaging modern and chic, but the formulas smell delicious. We use the Oribe Ultra Gentle Conditioner and Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil.”
THE ARTFUL NAIL SPOT: Sakura
“I am a big fan of Japanese nail art, and Sakura is my go-to salon in NYC. It takes approximately two hours for a session, but the results are well worth it.” —Samantha
THE POLISHES OF CHOICE
“Although not super well known for its nail products, NARS has the best color and quality polishes. I am currently obsessed with a deep Purple called Fury. My other go-tos are OPI Big Apple Red and Essie Ballet Slippers.” —Dawn
THE FRENCH SKINCARE REGIMEN
“I swear by Amore Pacific skincare. All the products have a beautiful texture, and my skin is left smooth and luminous.” —Samantha
“I use a combination of Lancôme Absolue Premium Bx, La Roche-Posay Hydraphase, and Bioderma Créaline H20. My years in Paris changed my regimen. The French really know skincare best.” —Dawn
THE MINIMAL MAKEUP
“Neither of us wears a lot of makeup. Our mother always had a fresh, clean, natural face, and so we [gravitate] toward the same. However, we never leave the house without mascara: Lancôme Ôscillation or Definicils. And for Samantha, a touch of lipstick: MAC Ruby Woo or Lady Danger.”
THE SPA RETREAT
“The Mandarin Oriental Spa at the Time Warner Center in New York is the ultimate for a massage and relaxation.”
THE FACIAL GETAWAY
“For the most luxurious facial, I love The Guerlain Spa on the Champs-Elysées in Paris. You can curate your session by choosing a Guerlain perfume to scent the entire experience. So decadent!” —Dawn
THE SCENT SCHEME
“I am loyal to the 1992 Purple Perfume by 12.29.” —Samantha
“The only scented product I wear on my person is my perfume. It is an animalic Oriental with a touch of spice; very sexy, deep, and personal. And I scent all of our family homes with amber, and of course the 12.29 candle collection.” —Dawn
“Samantha and I regularly do juice detoxes when the seasons change to give our bodies a rest and rejuvenate. We also try to drink a fresh juice every morning. Our favorite juice spots in the city are Juice Press on East 10th Street and Organic Avenue on Third Avenue for its coconut water. In Paris, Bob’s Juice Bar in the Marais has great fresh juice and super-yummy food.”
See juicepress.com; organicavenue.com; and bobsjuicebar.com.
THE WELL-BALANCED WORKOUT: Yoga
“Yoga is our meditation. We have both been practicing it for years—it is our exercise, our discipline, and our balance. Our teachers are Lady Ruth Lauer-Manenti and Rima Rabbath at Jivamukti Yoga Center. The Jiva Cafe also has an amazing selection of vegan food.”
Beauty Nostalgia is a column on Beauty Counter in which we ask influencers, tastemakers, and some of our favorite industry experts to wax poetic on the sticks, salves, and sprays that helped shape who they are today.
The Pro: Alex Chantecaille, vice president of sales for Chantecaille Beauté
The Product: “That little black bottle of Fracas by Robert Piguet brings back memories for me. My mother had the original concentrate from Paris on her bathroom vanity. I recall her telling me it was the most [potent] of all perfumes—pure tuberose. I think a miniature flacon of it sold for the astronomical price of $100; to an 8-year-old that sounded like a million dollars. I would always open the fragrance’s pearl-like topper very gingerly, dabbing only a small amount on my wrists or behind my ears. That felt endlessly more [glamorous] and feminine than an overwhelming spritz. Other times, I’d merely sniff it, breathing in the sweet aroma. Once, I fumbled and spilled the bottle in my mother’s sink, lacquering the bathroom with its exuberant scent. I felt as if I had dropped holy water! I think my mother kept the empty [flacon] for years afterward. It was a symbol of bygone elegance and awkward adolescence.”
“It’s not about doing fantastical hair anymore—it’s about simple parts and color,” said Guido Palau about the trend for Spring 2014 at an industry event last night. But there was one exception to the rule, he explained: Dolce & Gabbana. It was there that romance and Romanesque updos reigned supreme—adorning them with everything from almond tree blossoms to antique coins. The final look, he described, is “all the things a girl wants to be at some point.” When the models finally hit the runway to music by Nino Rota from various Frederico Fellini films, and blush-colored petals gently cascaded down from the ceiling in the background, it was, in a word, enchanting.
For all the behind-the-scenes beauty details, read this month’s Backstage Confidential.