September 3 2014

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12 posts tagged "Frida Giannini"

EXCLUSIVE: Gucci’s Frida Giannini Talks Beauty, Botox, and Going Goth


frida-gianniniBackstage at Gucci, you can always expect a look—the iconic brand isn’t one to embrace the bare-face beauty that often runs rampant through New York fashion week. Makeup maestro Pat McGrath made that notion clear during the Spring 2013 season, stating, “This is Milan. We’re not going to bore you with no makeup anymore.” And it’s true, editors and onlookers alike are never bored. For Fall 2014 there were spectacular rows of ’60s-inspired false lashes, and last Spring McGrath smudged copper around catwalkers’ eyes for a “sporty” effect (or at least Gucci’s glamorous iteration of sporty). And come October—just in time to refresh your makeup bag for the cooler weather and holiday merriment ahead—is a 200-piece cosmetic collection developed by McGrath and the woman currently at the helm of the iconic Italian powerhouse, Frida Giannini. Here, the creative director divulges all the deets on designing makeup, her beauty must-haves, and the reason she’ll never get Botox.

Let’s start from the beginning. At what age did you start wearing makeup?

I started when I was a teenager, so 14 or 15. It was in the ’80s, so I had this passion for music and all the stars in this moment. I would always try to replicate Boy George’s makeup or Madonna’s with a long wing. There were a lot of disasters, but I had a lot of fun…I remember I had a moment where everything was black: I had black hair and black lipstick. Nice? No!

What is your makeup routine like now?

It’s much easier than it was in the ’80s! I have a very simple routine. I put on some cream because I have very sensitive skin, so I need to pay a lot of attention to it. And then I put on a base, like a foundation, and just some mascara. And then concealer, of course, because it helps a lot—especially when you’re tired, it opens up your eyes a bit. So this is [key]. If I have a special event or a dinner or something, I put more on. And if I have something very special, like an event where I have to take a lot of pictures, I call a makeup artist. I can do black liner, mascara, and moisturizer, but I can’t do more than that because I end up doing weird things!

How does makeup complete the Gucci woman?

I’m so enthusiastic about this project because to me it was something that was really missing in the Gucci aesthetic and the Gucci collection. Makeup is something that defines the look of a woman and defines a look of a catwalk, so to me it was really important to add this piece. It’s very important for [Gucci's] history. And when we were talking about the focus of this project and the campaign, we started with the eyes. [The face of the range], Charlotte [Casiraghi], has beautiful eyes. To me, the eyes are always the most important because with your eyes you can really interact with people. They’re very magnetic, so that’s why I love the eyes maybe more than anything else.

And judging by what I’ve seen backstage at your shows, sexy eye makeup is usually on the agenda. Why is that typically your focal point as opposed to a strong lip?

I think that from your eyes you can really exude confidence and sensuality. You can be very provocative, you can be very feminine, you can be very sweet, you can be very tough—[attitude] is always [conveyed] with your eyes.

Are you yourself a fan of a strong eye?

Yes, especially because I don’t have big lips. Every time I try to put a lipstick on my mouth, I’m always like, “Oh, my God!” It runs all over my face. So I always prefer to focus on eyes.

Is there a particular product in the collection that you love?

Well, the mascara is great because we have a new brush. It’s something we just trademarked—it’s new technology, so I’m very proud of it. [The formula] really gives [lashes] volume and intensity. So I think that mascara is one of my favorite things.

What else do you always keep in your bag?

Well, the mascara for sure, and powder.

That’s one of my favorites in the collection, too. I love the texture.

Powder is another difficult thing because I never found a very good product [before we made our own]. Everything is so heavy and it covers too much, so my skin doesn’t breathe and feels irritated when I remove it. This one is really light, and that’s what I love about it.

Do you have any tips you’ve picked up backstage for applying your own makeup?

I’ve worked with Pat [McGrath] for many years, so I’ve stolen [a few tricks] from her! For example, she taught me not just to apply mascara [horizontally], but to also go one by one vertically. And I learned to apply foundation with my fingers, not with a brush. But of course it depends because I don’t have “Pat’s touch”—sometimes I feel like I’m doing dots all over my face, so I prefer to go with the brushes. Brushes were very important to me to develop for this collection. I’m obsessed with brushes, especially with the quality of the hair, so I pushed a lot to have the best natural hair so you can keep it clean, and for a pouch, because I never like to put a brush in my beauty bag without a beautiful pouch. I put a lot of my own needs and [the answers to my own] complaints into this collection.

Now that you’ve created the solutions to your beauty problems, do you think makeup is all a woman needs? What are your feelings on plastic surgery and Botox?

I’m never in the position of judging anyone, so I always say that if you do it in the right and proper way and you feel better, why not? I’m really open to this and would probably do it on myself. The problem is that I hate injections and I have very delicate skin, so if you touch me I have black dots for two weeks. I cannot do it because I’m always working and always meeting people, so it’s quite tough for me! But honestly, if there is a woman who doesn’t accept herself because of her age and wrinkles and she can do something to feel better, then maybe. The important thing is never to do too much. I’ve seen some monsters—both men and women.

Yes, I think we’ve all encountered a few plastic surgery monsters who made us think twice. Do you think you might go deeper into skincare after this?

I think so, yes.

What is your go-to face moisturizer at the moment?

I use creams that come from the dermatologist because I have a lot of allergies, so I need to be very careful…I suffer from dermatitis because of stress and sometimes because my skin is very sensitive. I inherited this from my mom, but fortunately my daughter seems to have stronger skin.

Speaking of that, how has your beauty routine changed since becoming a mother?

Honestly, it didn’t change a lot. Of course I have less time and I don’t want to spend an hour in the toilet doing my makeup because I prefer to play with [my daughter] before leaving for the office. Honestly, though, I wore the same makeup before [she was born]. She changed my life in other [ways], but not with makeup!

Have you discovered any baby products that you love using on yourself?

Yes. There is a body cream I use on her that has the smell of baby powder that I really love—it’s really hydrating. Sometimes I put it on myself as well. It’s a very niche, Italian brand: Fiocci di Riso …I think it’s from a small factory, and I’ve only found it one place in Rome. When I’m traveling, I try to keep it with me because [the scent] reminds me of [my daughter].

Fragrance is also an important part of the makeup collection, which is interesting. The lipsticks smell like “blue chocolate,” while the foundation is more floral, like a lily. Why did you decide on those scents in particular?

First of all, the deal I gave to the team—so to Pat [McGrath] and Procter & Gamble—was that I didn’t want the makeup to have a strong scent because it’s something I hate personally. So I really wanted something soft. But they explained to me that you can’t have something that smells like a pharmaceutical product, so we decided to have these little touches of flavors. We tried many different essences—it’s like when you do a fragrance. Of course, the idea of the chocolate I loved a lot, because if you can put something on your lips that reminds you of chocolate, it’s like a dream. Especially if you don’t eat chocolate!

And from what I understand, there was a lot of thought put into the colors in the collection—some were even pulled from the Gucci archives.

Yes, there were some colors that were coming from the Gucci archive or the colors from the collection, so we just needed to edit. In the beginning, I put together walls full of color palettes and things from the archive. The ottanio color was frequently done in the ’60s and ’70s—there were a lot of pieces in calf fur and leather. And then, of course, the bronze and the gold, which are colors that were used in the past, but again are very Gucci colors. I insisted on finding the right formula to have the shimmery gold that was very contemporary and very modern, so not the gold from the ’70s. Also, the rusty, brick colors. Those are very iconic [shades] that we brought back from the past but I still [use] very frequently in the collection. There are some colors—like the reds and blues—that are always going in every single collection.

Is there a color a woman should never wear past a certain age?

I don’t think so. For example, my mom has beautiful blue eyes, and when she puts blue on, her eyes [look like they did] in the ’70s. I think she’s still very beautiful. I would never wear the blue because every time I try it on myself, I say, “Oh, my God, I don’t recognize myself.”

Is there one makeup move that a Gucci woman would never make?

No, a Gucci woman always takes a risk.

Gucci Cosmetics are available in October at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Gucci Boutiques. Prices range from $29 to $79.


Charlotte Casiraghi Reigns as the Face of Gucci Beauty



Charlotte Casiraghi, fifth in line to the throne of Monaco and granddaughter to Grace Kelly, may not wear the crown of the sovereign city-state (yet), but Gucci has a prime role for the equestrian-loving princess in the meantime: She will serve as the face for the house’s highly anticipated cosmetics range due out in September, reports WWD. It’s not Casiraghi’s first gig with the Italian label, as she previously joined forces with creative director Frida Giannini to develop a riding collection exclusively for her horseback-riding endeavors and fronted its Forever Now campaign, where she posed with well-groomed ponies and glossy golden retrievers. Here’s hoping the royal shares the spotlight with more baby animals in the brand’s new beauty ads.

Photo: Courtesy of Gucci

Blake Lively Talks Hair, Overcoming Her Fear of the Red Carpet, and Where She Partied Post-Met Ball


The Metropolitan Museum of Art's COSTUME INSTITUTE Benefit Celebrating the Opening of Charles James: Beyond Fashion and the Anna Wintour Costume Center - Red Carpet ArrivalsBlake Lively knows how to make an entrance—one flip of her honey-colored hair has the power to set off hundreds of flashbulbs simultaneously. But walking a red carpet isn’t a “comfortable” place for the blond bombshell (having husband Ryan Reynolds as Gucci-clad arm candy, however, certainly boosted her confidence at Monday’s Met ball—as it would any woman on this planet). “It’s always easier with help. I’ll get my sisters out there. I’ll bring my high school mascot if I need to! It’s always such an intimidating experience,” Lively explained. Last year, she and “dear friend” Florence Welch braced the wall of paparazzi together: “We said, ‘We’re like the kid at prom who doesn’t have a date, we have to go together.’ We were trying to only take pictures together on the red carpet so people knew we had a friend. But then they said, ‘You have to take pictures separately—stop that!’”

This time around, Lively wore a Gucci dress accented by Gucci’s Première fragrance—which she mists and walks through to create an “aura of scent.” And her punky ponytail (seen at the 2013 ball) gave way to a forties-inspired “one-sided victory roll” to show off her Lorraine Schwartz earrings. “Both sides is a little much and a little too on the nose,” she noted of her hairstyle choice. But getting primped, donning custom ruby drops, and breathing the same air as Beyoncé was no match for the exclusive after-party to which only Lively, Reynolds, Welch, and her agent were invited. “The whole Met ball, we were like, ‘OK, we’re going to get hot fudge sundaes and frozen hot chocolate. That was a pretty great midnight snack and [it was fun] to walk into Serendipity in ball gowns. They actually had to kick us out because we were there for so long. The [staff] was like, ‘We do need to go home now,’” she said, laughing. “That was the highlight of the evening for me in a sense.”

But ice cream wasn’t the only crowning moment for Lively this week—the cherry on top was championing Gucci’s Chime for Change project, an initiative co-founded by Frida Giannini, Salma Hayek, and Beyoncé that supports multiple women’s charities and projects dedicated to health, education, and justice. “Women you look up to are giving voices to women who don’t have that,” she said of the power trio. “People’s value is so much greater than the monetary amount they can donate; their awareness and their investment in following the cause, seeing the outcome, and sharing it with other people can exponentially increase the productivity of these grassroots charities.” With the sale of five select Gucci fragrances—Flora, Guilty Pour Femme and Pour Homme, Première, and Made to Measure—consumers will receive a code that can be redeemed on the Chime for Change website and donated to the cause of their choice. (For example: One code can provide two days of education, food, and health care for a student in Kenya.) Lively might lack self-confidence on the crimson carpet, but making an impact both on and off it has never been an issue.

Photo: Courtesy of

Tell Me About It, Stud



Fun fact: Frida Giannini, Gucci’s creative director, owns approximately 8,000 vinyl records. If you look at the house’s heritage and relationship to the music world, her extensive personal collection shouldn’t come as much of a surprise: Everyone from Rod Stewart and Eric Clapton to Beyoncé and Bruno Mars have donned the Italian label. The Fall 2014 collection that came down the runway today, however, was certainly more dolly bird than dark and dramatic rock goddess. There was plenty of leather involved, but it came in the form of swingy minidresses and flat Chelsea boots. Never fear, the brand hasn’t entirely abandoned its guitar-smashing spirit in favor of the London look: Launching this month is Gucci Guilty Stud, a limited-edition flacon emblazoned with—what else?—gold and silver studs (four hundred per bottle, to be precise). Inside, the oriental floral eau (Pour Femme) and spicy blend laced with patchouli, lavender, and lemon (Pour Homme) remain unchanged; it’s simply the exterior that’s received an edgy update. If you decide to swap out your black bomber jacket for a tailored, pastel peacoat (like the one worn by Kasia Struss in look nine), consider contrasting that piece of candy-colored perfection with a fragrance that boasts a bit more bite.

Gucci Guilty Stud Pour Femme, $80, Pour Homme, $88;

Sporty But Still Smoldering, Backstage At Gucci



Sex appeal is always expected backstage at Gucci, but this season, creative director Frida Giannini requested that face painter Pat McGrath and hair guru Luigi Murenu take a more athletic approach. “She wanted something sporty but still made up,” McGrath explained. In lieu of harsh pencils, a shimmery, golden-brown shadow was gently wrapped around the eyes—with the outer corners intensified in a sideways “V” shape for definition. To incorporate the copper shade that was threaded throughout the collection, McGrath added the same hue to the center of lids, working the pigment from the lash line up toward the crease. The top lashes were curled and coated with black-brown mascara, arches were filled in, and lips were left natural, with the exception of a clear balm for moisture. To add warmth, the makeup artist opted for a foundation—instead of often heavy and cake-y bronzers—one to two shades darker than each model’s complexion, blending it from apple to temple. A combo of cream and powder highlighters placed on cheekbones and brow bones lent a dewy effect to skin, and a touch of Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream was applied to lids right before the models hit the runway for extra sheen.

Murenu created a style that played on the theme but was still “glam and exceptional.” To give hair oomph, he applied Kérastase Lift Vertige to roots and Mousse Bouffant throughout before blow-drying—using either a round brush or his fingers to add volume from forehead to crown. Once strands were dry, he wrapped small sections from the mid-length down around a curling iron to form loose waves. Murenu scraped the hair off the face with Elixir Ultime for Colour Treated Hair and worked it through to the ends for texture and shine that didn’t appear wet, greasy, or limp. “In my mind, I imagined Lauren Hutton going for a jog in the seventies,” he said. A few spritzes of Gloss Appeal were misted over top to finish. I might be more inclined to exercise if, at the end of it, I walked away looking as fabulous as a Gucci girl.