Gucci Westman on Looking Beautiful and Faking Confidence

gucci westman

Photos courtesy of Gucci Westman

Makeup artist Gucci Westman doing her thing backstage at the Fall 2011 Rag & Bone show.

Makeup artist Gucci Westman gets a lot of attention for her fabulous lifestyle. She’s married to Rag & Bone’s David Neville, and her close friendships with Hollywood A-listers like Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore are well documented. But in our exclusive chat, we talked about more pressing matters, like how to fake perfect skin, which product is worth every penny, and how to bluff your way through Fashion Week.

If I had to describe your work, I would say it’s always feminine but rarely looks too “done.”

I think that’s something that’s really part of our generation—we love it when skin looks very fresh.

How do you create fresh-looking skin?

I really like evening out the skin tone by mixing a color corrector with a moisturizer. Then I use a pore minimizer on the T-zone (Clinique makes a great one) and follow by mixing Revlon Age Defying Spa Face Illuminator with foundation. If you don’t already, use a foundation brush—it makes blending so much easier and really does make the skin look flawless.

You have pretty amazing skin yourself. What’s your secret?

I exfoliate every day. You know how men’s skin looks so good as they age? I think it’s because they’re always shaving, so they’re always exfoliating. So I do the same. I like scrubs from Éminence. Then I use Ren Rose 012 Ultra-Moisture Serum, followed by Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream. At night I use Crème de la Mer.

Oh, you’re a La Mer user.

It’s worth it. It’s your skin—your largest organ! I think that’s a good place to invest your money.

In 2008, you were named Revlon global artistic director. Which products of theirs do you personally swear by?

I always use their CustomEyes Shadow & Liner in Naturally Glamorous, CustomEyes Mascara, and Cream Blush in Blushing Mauve. If I wear lip color, I’ll use the one I created for Fashion’s Night Out: ColorBurst Lipstick in Fashion’s Night Pout [a creamy nude].

I notice you rarely wear lipstick. Why is that?

I’m in the gloss generation—my girlfriends rarely wear it either. Lipstick is in, though. It’s been validated as safe [at the shows and by beauty companies]. It’s just taking time to catch on.

What do you think is the ultimate beauty confidence booster?

Dyeing your eyelashes. The contrast you see when you wake up in the morning [without mascara] is pretty great.

Clinique Pore Minimizer, Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream, Revlon Age Defying Spa Face Illuminator  Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream

Left to right: Clinique Pore Minimizer, $48; Amazon. Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream, $43; Dr. Hauschka. Revlon Age Defying Spa Face Illuminator, $14; Revlon. Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream, $135 for 1 oz; Crème de la Mer.

In addition to your celebrity and editorial work, you’ve become a backstage fixture at Fashion Week. What’s your earliest Fashion Week memory?

I was assisting Dick Page at the Gucci show, and he told me not to tell Tom Ford my name was Gucci. He told me to tell him my name was “Westman.” I was like, “Really?”

Were you annoyed?

Well, I think he was half joking, and whatever it was, I was fine with it. I was just happy to be there. I kept thinking, This is so cool!

What was the first show you did yourself?

My first experiences [during the show season] by myself were funny. I was at the makeup test for Carmen Marc Valvo, and they said to me, “You must be doing so many shows.” But really, I was only doing their show and Tommy [Hilfiger]. I just went with it and said, “Yeah, it’s so crazy!”

So you faked it.

Yeah. A similar thing happened at Tommy that season. I was working with [hairstylist] Orlando [Pita]. We had something like 45 models to put through hair and makeup, and I was nervous and sweating. Because Orlando and I are friends, I told him it was my first show—he couldn’t believe it! No one knew. I was playing it cool.

And we think "playing it cool suits" her perfectly.