August 29 2014

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6 posts tagged "Carolyn Murphy"

Carolyn Murphy Talks About Her Stance on Selfies and Pleasing Her Toughest Critic


carolyn-murphy-1When it comes to making a red-carpet appearance, Carolyn Murphy knows what she wants and whom she likes, and for this year’s Met Gala the routine and glam squad were no different. (After all, she was a member of the “insular crowd” attending the ball long before Beyoncé and Jay Z ever received an invite.) Romy Soleimani, her makeup artist of “many, many years,” was on hand, defining the catwalker’s already-chiseled cheekbones with Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Insatiable Ivory, and dabbing a bespoke blend of this particular nude and Potent (a peachy pink hue) on her pout. Her radiant complexion can be attributed to a recent trip to Mexico, along with the help of Estée Lauder Double Wear Brush-On Glow BB, and a few drops of Advanced Night Repair serum mixed with a vanilla pigment from the PureColor EyeShadow Trio in Gilded Chocolates. “We can pop the eye and do a really bare lip, or do a really great lip and a bare eye—never the two together,” said Murphy. “Some people might call it boring or playing it safe, but at least I feel good this way and that’s all that matters.”

Well, not all that mattered. Her 13-year-old daughter, Dylan, had big expectations—including selfies with the likes of Rihanna, Karlie Kloss, and Taylor Swift. And although Murphy is obviously comfortable in front of the camera (appearing on countless covers over the past fourteen years), taking her own photo is another thing entirely. “I almost put ‘If you’re looking for selfies, don’t expect them here’ in my [Instagram] bio,” she quipped. But her personal stance on the subject of self-promotion was put on hold for the evening, as the pressure to be viewed as “cool” by her middle schooler took precedence. (For the record, Murphy grammed one pic from an after-party, posing next to none other than Erykah Badu.)

Before selfies can be snapped, however, there was a lot of prepping involved: “This afternoon I did fifteen minutes on the treadmill to get the blood flowing, and then the StairMaster. I came back up [to my room], took a quick shower, put deep conditioner in my hair, and then took a hot bath with sea salt, [followed by] a cold shower to rinse everything off,” noted Murphy. “I also did a Triad facial yesterday. I chopped off my hair last Thursday—I forgot about that! I chopped it off and went blonder.” The super explained that her strands were orange after a recent photo shoot, sending her running to Corinne Adams at Serge Normant to undo the damage in time for the big night at the museum. Her one-of-a-kind Roberto Capucci gown was also a game-time decision: “My original dress was opposite of the theme,” Murphy revealed. “We always set out in a certain direction and usually we’re really prepared, but this year there were some last-minute changes.”

When the total package was finally put together and accessorized with Fred Leighton jewels, you’d never be able to tell Murphy’s look wasn’t meticulously planned for months. While the verdict is still out on whether this supermodel mom scored points with her most ardent critic back home, if she had posted a selfie in her “Estée Lauder-blue” gown, I would have undoubtedly hit like.






Photos: Ibra Ake

Tom Pecheux’s Lips Are Sealed No Longer



Tom Pecheux, backstage fixture and creative makeup director for Estée Lauder, could hardly contain his excitement last season at Anthony Vaccarello when he described the packaging that was in the works for a mysterious new line of lipsticks. He discreetly referred to the more architectural look and magnetic closures, but considering these types of secrets are strictly confidential in the corporate beauty world, that’s all he could share…until now. The cosmetics giant is launching twenty shades of Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick, a formula that boasts time-released hyaluronic acid and multifaceted pigments (available February 24 at In this exclusive, the pro reveals all—including the shades he hand-selected to suit the many model faces of the brand.

How would you describe the new Pure Color Envy collection?
When I look at the collection, the first thing I think is the packaging is absolutely divine. Richard Ferretti did an amazing job with the case. For me, twenty colors is the perfect amount. The range captures every woman’s desire. The shades and formula are [traditional] in that they have the high coverage you expect from a lipstick and include a pure red and a perfect nude, but the new technology gives the line a modern twist. It’s like a classic wool dress that is made in cashmere. The new texture and formula make Envy extremely luxurious.

What are your favorite shades in the collection?
As a makeup artist, I cannot limit myself to one favorite shade. It will be the one that fits the person that I am working with on that day.

What do you think a lipstick says about a woman?
Lipstick tells us so many things about a woman. It tells us about her personality. For example, a woman wearing a strong lipstick—bright red—suggests she wants to express a certain power.

What is the best way to apply lip color? Fingertips, brush, or straight from the bullet?
There is no recipe. It depends on the result you want to create. A bullet is the best application because it’s fast, precise, and gives nice coverage. Fingertips create a transparent finish with no precision—more like a stain. A brush is for when you want perfection and a high-quality finish, particularly when you apply a red lipstick.

What are your tricks for making lips appear fuller? Does lip liner help?
Lip liner can help, but for me, a liner only works if it’s a nude or a color that matches the color of the lip. To make them fuller, you can go slightly outside the lip line.

If you have small lips, avoid a dark shade. The darker the shade, the more intense your lips look, but on smaller lips it can give you a mean, severe look. Also avoid very pale lipsticks if you want a fuller-looking mouth.

What is your favorite lip look?
It depends on the woman. But I am totally in love with red as much as I am with nude. I love women who play with makeup to emphasize a quality of their personality or character. That’s why in terms of lipstick, I love colors that have something to say—so either a pale nude, a true red, a dark plum, or a bright color. When it comes to a gentle pink, I understand why women want to wear it, but as a makeup artist, it doesn’t reflect a personality so well.

Which shade in the collection would you choose for each of these Estée Lauder spokesmodels?

Carolyn Murphy:
Envious. She loves a red lipstick.

Constance Jablonski:
I love it when she focuses on her eyes, so a nude color like Insatiable Ivory works on her lips.

Joan Smalls:
I love her in a dark burgundy like Insolent Plum.

Liu Wen: I would go more pink, [one that's] powerful and dynamic. A shade like Dominant would suit.

Arizona Muse:
I love her in a red as well, so Vengeful Red.

What do you think makes a woman enviable?

I think Carolyn Murphy pretty much embodies that—gotta love a bad bitch on a bike who knows how to make a serious statement by slicking on some lipstick and revving up her engine.

Glamour on the Go


harley-viera-newtonWhen Lauren Remington Platt stopped by the offices to update me on Vênsette—a website that offers door-to-door hair and makeup services in 90 minutes or less by pros Platt screens herself—I wish she had brought along a member of her team. With two evening events on my plate and zero time, my game plan was to run a brush through my hair, apply lipstick in the cab, and call it a night out. So goes my typical routine—and that of millions of other women in New York. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that her business has taken off—an app is in the works and the principal engineer of Gilt Groupe was recently brought on board to completely redesign the site. And starting Monday, you’ll find photo diaries from some of the brand’s high-profile clients (including Harley Viera Newton, Linda Fargo, Carolyn Murphy, Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs of Cushnie Et Ochs, among others) that document them getting ready for the slew of seasonal parties that fill their iCals this time of year. Whether you’re seeking inspiration to DIY your own holiday look (or need to find a reason to hire someone to create it for you), Vênsette provides.

Shop Talk: Wooed by Jason Wu


Jason Wu for Lancome

Last night, I sat down with Jason Wu to chat about his new 15-piece collection for Lancôme. There were rumors of a collaboration backstage at his Fall 2013 show, but now the designer finally divulges all the deets:

Out of all the beauty brands to choose from, why partner with Lancôme?

Lancôme makes some of the most luxurious and beautiful products in the world. I’ve made it no secret that I’m a beauty junkie and I love makeup. It’s always been such an important part of my shows, and I felt like this was a really natural progression for me.

The eye-shadow palettes are completely customized and the shades were chosen by you and are exclusive to your collection. Where did your inspiration for the colors come from?

My inspiration came from, literally, my career. I’ve always loved to use color in many different ways—sometimes subtle, sometimes really bold. I took a collection of my favorite colors and put them into makeup in a way that was wearable, sophisticated, and a statement all at the same time.

There’s a bit of a beauty backstory to the final look from your Fall 2013 show. Let’s talk about that.

We were still in development with the makeup during the last show, and the purple [now available in the Violet Streak palette] was one of the first colors [I chose]. It actually inspired the colors for my [Fall] collection, because we were thinking about using it on every girl’s eyelids. And I said: “Why don’t we put a purple dress at the end?” It just felt so right. Actually, incorporating the makeup colors into the palette of the collection was really interesting to me.

Why did you choose navy mascara over black?

Who doesn’t want navy mascara? Navy is a color that looks good on everyone, and I use it all the time [for my runway collections]. To me, it’s the chicer cousin to black. It just felt like something women would want and all the girls I work with will want. It’s a really interesting twist on a classic.

I noticed there are a lot of variations of red in the line—three crimson-colored lipsticks and three nail polishes.

For my first collection—my first of many collections—with Lancôme, I decided that I wanted to do the three basic reds that every woman should have in her arsenal: a bright red, a medium red, and a burgundy. [Red] is something that’s so glamorous, I had to make it for my collection.

When should you ideally wear each shade? Is it seasonal? Or is it more of a day-to-night concept?

Bright red is really good for spring/summer because…it’s just chic. And burgundy is a great wine color, so why wouldn’t you want it for fall/winter?

What about the shade in the middle?

There’s always a place for red lips! For that mood, and that mood, and every mood in between [points his finger three separate times] there’s a red. Wouldn’t you agree?

Definitely. Are you for wearing a bold lip and eye together?

I like to play up one feature, but I think it’s always about the balance. When you accentuate the lip, it’s about a more subtle eye. And when it’s a major eye, it’s about a subtle lip. I think balance is quite modern.

Which piece in the line are you most proud of?

That’s a hard one, but the navy mascara. I think it’s so special and Lancôme doesn’t [carry it in its existing range], so they dug it out of their archives to make it available for this collection.

I heard you designed two gorgeous lace makeup bags to hold all of your new cosmetics.

Oh, my God, it’s going to be so chic. We had a transparent lace raincoat in the Fall collection, and I thought it would be the perfect beauty bag, so it became one.

Will customers receive one when they buy your products?

Yes, and we vow for it to be the chicest gift-with-purchase you’ll ever see!

Who was your muse for the line?

Martha Hunt. She opened my show for Fall. She’s the only girl I asked to come with me tonight for this event. I felt like the second I met her she [became] one of my muses. She just wears makeup so incredibly well. In fact, she did the hair and makeup test for this collection and looked good in everything. I felt so comfortable with [Hunt] that we finalized the collection on her.

From all of your shows, do you have a favorite beauty look?

Yes, Spring 2013: the dual-toned red lip with a defined brow on Carolyn Murphy. Best thing ever. It’s so glamorous you can’t stand it. Who could resist that?

Where do you find the time between designing for your own label and acting as artistic director for Hugo Boss womenswear to create an entire range of makeup?

I try to sleep as little as possible. That’s the secret. I just really love what I do. I’m really passionate about it. I need to do things. I need to create all the time. That’s what keeps me going.

But there must be some caffeine in the mix. What’s your Starbucks order?

Iced black coffee. Nothing else. Very simple.

You always have a true look at your shows—it’s never a bare face. Do you know what you’re doing for Spring 2014?

I absolutely do and it involves this collection, but I’m not going to tell you what it is! But it’s going to be a statement. Expect another look.

I can’t wait.

Jason Wu for Lancôme launches in September exclusively at Nordstrom and Bergdorf Goodman.

Photo: Courtesy of Lancôme

Talking Surf Hair And Sunscreen With Carolyn Murphy


As August transitions into September and models return from their respective vacations (“I’ve been in Hawaii!” a glowing Alana Zimmer told us backstage at Richard Chai), a lot of girls are sporting gorgeous, naturally bronzed complexions at the Spring shows. But there was one summer tan that stood out from the crowd as we scanned the room at Jason Wu yesterday, our eyes coming to a firm stop on Carolyn Murphy. “Jason and I are actually friends,” Murphy said of Wu, who asked her to open his presentation yesterday. “I don’t really like to walk in shows,” the nineties supe admitted, “but I adore him. I really, really love his work and there’s a personal admiration there.” As Odile Gilbert coiffed Murphy’s almost corn-silk-streaked strands into a sleek braided updo, conversation turned to surfing. “I did look in the mirror the other day and think, ‘Oh my God—I’m too tan and too blond,” the longtime Estée Lauder face joked—the happy aftereffect of two months spent riding waves in Montauk, where Murphy has a fail-safe for keeping her hair and skin healthy while exposing herself to the elements. “The trick for me is to wet my hair first [before I get in the ocean]. Then I put a conditioner on it, like coconut oil or olive oil”—or Kérastase Chronologiste Essential Restorative Concentrate, if Gilbert has anything to say about it. “That’s the one we have to give to you,” the super stylist chimed in as she finished the show look. For sun protection, Murphy swears by SPF 50 or higher, like Coppertone’s Water Babies, but recognizes getting a little color is unavoidable. “I’m not going to wear one of those visors with a string around my chin. It’s just not gonna happen.”

So, is this the beginning of Murphy’s catwalk comeback? “Maybe,” she says coyly, pointing out that Wu will definitely be her only stop in New York—both on the runway and in the front row. “I kind of feel like being selective is a little more chic,” she says about show-hopping. “I’ve paid my dues after 20 years in the business.”

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /