Today’s stop on our directors desk tour was Alice du Parcq from Easy Living. Her light and bright workspace was filled with daytime essentials (if you missed it, take a peek here). We caught up with the motorcycle-loving beauty queen to bring you an exclusive Q&A you don’t want to miss – it’s safe to say we’ll never dismiss our armpits as a beauty tool again…
My big break… It happened last Monday! I started as Beauty & Health Director at Easy Living, which is a dream role. I have a fantastic editor who I’ve worked for before at my previous magazine, Condé Nast Brides, where she pushed me to become a confident writer, delegator and copy editor, and how to open my mind and think laterally to produce original ideas. I’ll be joining the magazine after its relaunch so the pressure’s on to maintain its new kudos (but it’s a good kind of pressure!) I’ll miss Brides though: working on a niche title forces you to be as creative as possible and raise your standards, plus the current editor is inspiring and exciting.
My beauty icon… I’m drawn to ‘chameleon’ models that can work within any brief and Natalia Vodianova embodies that. She can look 14 one minute, then 30 the next. Severe and cold, then fresh and sunny. Without wearing a shred of make-up she can still be utterly captivating and beautiful. That’s pretty iconic.
My formative beauty moment… My grandmother played a major part in my interest in beauty products. She was all Lauder lipsticks, Giorgio Beverly Hills perfume and Arden compacts, but the product I remember most vividly is her pot of Guerlain Météorites>. At the age of eight I was obsessed with those little pastel balls scented with Parma Violets – I even tried eating one to check if they tasted as good as they smelt.
Eavesdropped from an MUA… It was from Frederic Letailleur, now the International make-up artist for YSL and before that Giorgio Armani. I was moaning about my favourite mascara becoming stiff and dry, and he said: ‘Mascara performs better when it’s warm so give it a 15 second blast with your hairdryer or put it under your armpit while you’re doing the rest of your make-up.’ It really works – it gives the formula more silky ‘playtime’ so you can layer it up in smooth coats.
Balm, lipstick or gloss… Balm. I don’t think I suit colour on my lips and often rub a little foundation onto them to knock out their natural redness. The stickiness of gloss actually makes me feel quite claustrophobic. I’m partial to a tinted balm with a pale nude/pink tone – Revlon’s new Lip Butter and L’Oreal’s Caresse give a freshly moisturised look. On other people though, I LOVE a hot punchy lipstick.
My default face… I ride to work on a motorcycle so I put on my make-up at my desk between eating breakfast and typing emails. It’s become a bit of a ritual! The first step is a small amount of Hourglass Illusion Tinted Moisturiser. Next is a light dose of Guerlain Terracotta Light bronzing powder in Sun Blondes, and a dot or two of MAC Cream Colour Base in Shell on the tops of the cheekbones, down the nose and in the inner corners of the eyes. I’ve got dozens of eyeshadow palettes on the go, all the same shimmery fudgy caramels and bronzes. Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Golden Mink is flavour of the month right now. Depending on my mood, I might ramp up the eyes with a black eyeliner in the inner rims, and recently I’ve been really impressed with Bobbi Brown’s new Longwear Eye Pencil in Jet. Finally, mascara: I’m a blinker when I get tired so I curl my lashes and use a long-lasting mascara like Estee Lauder Sumptuous Waterproof.
Always in my bathroom… I’m obsessed with flossing and I’ve just received a Philips Sonicare Airfloss so I reckon that’s going to be one of them! It’s hair masks galore in the bathroom cupboard (Kérastase, Ojon, Matrix and Aveda on weekly rotation). Apart from the obvious washy things like cleansers, exfoliators and shampoos, there’s my Miller Harris L’Air de Rien candle (I often wear the perfume). It’s soft and skin-like and not overly floral, which is why it works well in a bathroom. My husband always pesters me to light ‘that candle that smells of you’.
My beauty shame… Loads! I fiddle with my cuticles, I forget to use body lotion, I pick at anything semi-permanent (like eyelash extensions or gel nail polish), I squeeze my blackheads and (shock horror!) I love the feeling of sunshine on my face.
My fantasy trolley dash… Probably MAC or Illamasqua for all their crazy colours, textures, risks and originality. In my back-up “money no object” fantasy I’d be working in an Art shop so I guess there are strong similarities there. Or B&Q: I’m a classic Gemini with a tomboy alter-ego!