Kerry Diamond, PR Exec & Restaurateur

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“I’ve spent much of my career in beauty, which I fell into by mistake, but I think it was destiny at work because I was always obsessed with makeup and makeup artists and models, etc., etc. Originally, I wanted to be a serious journalist, so I interned at the Village Voice and Spin, and then I worked at a small newspaper in Staten Island. The fashion editor there, a lovely woman named Elaine Boies, got Women’s Wear Daily delivered every day, and the fact that there was a daily newspaper for fashion just blew my mind. [Laughs] Eventually I wound up harassing the editor-in-chief of Women’s Wear Daily until he agreed to see me. I wanted a fashion job and he said, ‘All we have available is a beauty job, would you be interested?’ I thought, ‘Ooh, I’ll get in the back door that way.’ [Laughs] When I interviewed with Pete Born, who would become my boss, he said, ‘You better not be one of these people who really wants a fashion job,’ and I thought, ‘How did he know?’ Anyway, I became the luxury news editor for the beauty section at WWD, and it changed my life. There were already some very good reporters on the beauty desk, covering the Lauder brands, and L’Oreal, and Coty, so I had to find my own beat. I wrote about the indie brands: Stila, Urban Decay, Tony & Tina, Hard Candy—I just loved these people who were doing their own thing. I wound up launching Beauty Biz under WWD, which is now called Beauty Inc. Next, I went to Harper’s Bazaar as the Beauty Director for four years, then I went to Lancôme to do PR. I was there for six years and it was like a dream job: I had tons of creative freedom, and worked with amazing makeup artists like Gucci Westman and Aaron De Mey. My legacy will probably be signing Michelle Phan, the self-taught makeup artist from Florida who does how-to videos. She’s now Lancôme’s Global Video Makeup Artist and the most popular woman on YouTube. I had a great time working with her. A lot of my job then—and now, in PR at Coach—was thinking about what’s next, and video was the next big thing. I’ve always been a champion of web—bloggers, vloggers, etc. The online world has changed the beauty industry. Makeup can intimidate a lot of people. I learned how to do my makeup reading Seventeen magazine; now the whole world of beauty can come alive online, and I think smart companies are taking advantage of that.

When I could finally afford it, I guess I was around 13, I bought Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion—DDML, as everyone in the beauty industry calls it. I was very into the 3-Step thing—I’d save my money and wait until gift-with-purchase time. That was my gateway drug into beauty. A few years later, I started buying Lancôme; Lancôme was right next to the Clinique counter. It was during the time of Isabella Rossellini and you couldn’t help but get swept up in those ads back then. I am a die-hard Lancôme user; even when I was a beauty editor, a lot of what I was using was Lancôme. That’s why I took the job—because I was so comfortable with the product. Otherwise I’d have to turn around and pitch something I didn’t believe in to my editor friends, which I would never do. Unfortunately, Lancôme just discontinued my favorite moisturizer, but they have not discontinued my favorite serum yet, thank goodness—it’s called Collaser and every time I run out of it, my skin just does not look the same. I love the stuff—I use it day and night, under my new moisturizer, which is Absolue lotion. Sandy Linter, the makeup artist, suggested I use it. It’s very light and works beautifully under makeup—it layers very well, so if you’re using sunscreen and eye cream and serum and then the lotion, it doesn’t feel too heavy. I was very lucky because I had a mom who was very into sunscreen from early on. She wasn’t as fair as I am, but she was always chasing us around with it. So I stayed out of the sun, always used sunscreen…I wear sunscreen every day of the year. The worst sunburn I ever got was on a cloudy day when I wasn’t wearing any SPF.

A revelation that I had recently regarded neck cream. [Laughs] When I was an editor, I thought neck cream was malarkey to the 10th degree—I was like, ‘There is no way you invented something that knows this is neck skin, versus face skin.’ I think for most people, you take whatever moisturizer that’s left on your hands and smooth it on your neck as an afterthought, but the genius of neck cream is that it makes you pay attention to your neck. Just the fact that you’re paying attention to that body part will make it look better. I also love Clarisonic—I was a late convert to Clarisonic, I didn’t think I needed it—and my skin’s a little sensitive, I can’t use a washcloth on my face, but when I use this a few times a month, it’s astounding. Even my boyfriend will come home and say, ‘What did you do to your skin today?’ It’s that noticeable. If I had oily skin, or normal skin, I’d use it every day. And I use the cleanser that comes with it—they have a creamy cleanser that’s really good that I use every day with or without the Clarisonic. I do use face scrub a few times a month. My boyfriend, who is a big product junkie, turned me on to Fresh’s Sugar Face Polish, which is one of the nicest products I’ve ever used. Please, Fresh, don’t ever discontinue that product. And I use Tracie Martyn’s Enzyme Exfoliant, which I love. In my next life, I’d like to come back as someone who can afford to go to Tracie Martyn and get her facial every week. I also have the Rodin face oil, which I like very much, I’m just trying to figure out how to incorporate it into my skin care routine because I do like serums. There’s an awful lot of technology that goes into big brands’ skin care. And some people might think it’s fake science, but I’ve spent enough time around it to know otherwise. I see the difference it makes in my skin. That said, I think natural products are great too—I love Dr. Hauschka, I love Weleda, I love Rose-Marie Swift’s makeup. I do think there’s a place for technology and natural ingredients, and I think it just comes down to personal preference. However, I’d like to see the big brands incorporate more naturals into their products. I do see the day coming where we’ll see more skin care science combined with naturals—I think that might be the next wave, where you see these things being married. Sadly, as much as I love skincare, now that I have two restaurants, my skin care routine has gone to hell. I went from age 13 to 41 taking care of my skin meticulously, never going to bed with makeup on, to crawling to bed and being lucky to have brushed my teeth. So, skin care has not been the biggest priority over the past year. I’ve learned that the most important things for your skin are not the products you use, but that you have a consistent routine, stay out of the sun, get enough sleep, limit the stress in your life, eat right, drink enough water, all of those things.

When it comes to makeup, I use lots of different things. I’ve been very lucky to have worked with so many great makeup artists, so I learned a lot. I love nothing more than that moment when the makeup artist or their assistant puts all the product out on a table, and you can see what they really love, and what they grab the most. I still do use a lot of Lancôme. [Laughs] The Teint Miracle foundation, the one with Julia Roberts in the ads, that’s a beautiful product if you’re afraid of foundation. It’s light and buildable, and it has a lot of luminosity to it, which is nice. Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer—this is a fantastic product. Kevyn developed this and it’s been in the line since the beginning. It’s a cross between a concealer and a foundation; it’s really thick and you use it very sparingly with a brush. I’m really good about washing my brushes; that’s a biggie. One of the biggest mistakes women make is not washing their makeup brushes, and I thought everybody knew this until I said it to a girlfriend once and she said, ‘I’ve never washed mine.’ You have to wash them once a week! With any gentle shampoo or even Ivory soap, and you swirl them on your palm with lukewarm water and lay them flat on a towel. Your makeup application will be a thousand times better if you’re using clean brushes. Natural brushes take a long time to dry, but synthetic brushes dry overnight.

The older you get, the more makeup you need, I find. Especially if you’re not getting enough sleep, or you go out and have a few drinks, all those things—you see it more in your face than when you’re 25. I don’t wear that much makeup, but I love nothing more than a little concealer, eyebrow pencil, blush and lip gloss. The Kevyn Aucoin is always my undereye concealer, and then the Lancôme foundation I’ll use here and there where I have redness—but I’ll never do a full face of foundation. Then I set my makeup with my Laura Mercier matte translucent powder; I have three of these compacts—one for home, one for work and one for my makeup bag. I love Laura Mercier—she’s a fantastic makeup artist, and her base makeup products are beautiful: her foundations, powders, concealers, tinted moisturizer…they’re really popular for a good reason. A problem I’ve always had is my concealer bunching up under my eye—and Laura Mercier makes this great thing called Secret Brightening Powder, and you just put it on a little brush and dab it under your eye, and it sets your concealer. And another really good trick is if the inside rims of your eyes are reddish, you use this flesh colored pencil and it really brightens—Flawless Fix pencil. NARS makes some of the best blush around, and I have NARS Orgasm blush, like probably half of the planet. Lancôme makes the best lip glosses, hands down, and the best mascara. You cannot go wrong with it—if you don’t have a lot of money, and you’d like to buy luxury beauty products, your money will be well spent on Lancôme mascara. It’s great stuff. And I know a lot of people thought that vibrating mascara was silly, but it really is the best thing in the world. If you can get the hang of it, you can get lashes like Kim Kardashian. I over-plucked my eyebrows when I was younger; I don’t have many regrets in life but one of them is definitely over-plucking my eyebrows, so I fill them in with a retractable pencil; Anastasia makes a great one. I’ve got my YSL blue eyeliner for when I’m tired—I’ll line my waterline with blue. And lip balm, I’m a big lip balm junkie. I like the lip balms from Clarks Botanicals, Eve Lom and Fresh.

I changed my job a few months ago and I cut my hair, because I’m obsessed with Arizona Muse’s hair [Laughs], but it’s been growing out. When we opened the restaurant that’s the other thing that went out the window. I used to get my hair cut every few months, and get it colored every time the grays started to appear again…and now, Clairol Root Touch-Up is my best friend. [Laughs] If you are busy, and need to do something in between your professional hair color appointments, it’s a great product. I’ve cut my hair a lot myself these past few years, much to the horror of my friends and the person who actually does cut my hair. I literally just put my hair in a ponytail and took my boyfriend’s scissors to the bathroom, and when I walked out of the bathroom, he said, ‘Wasn’t your hair longer a minute ago?’ [Laughs] I don’t recommend that for curly hair. My routine depends on how much time I have—I wash it every other day; right now I’m using Serge Normant’s shampoo and conditioner, which I like very much. I love those beach sprays. They are great if your hair is fine because it builds it up. And my friend Ruben at Sally Hershberger turned me on to Shu Uemura Ample Angora mousse, which is really great. I comb it through and then twist chunks of hair, and either let it air-dry or else use a diffuser and break it up with my fingers. And then on the second day I’ll sometimes take out a large-barrel curling iron. But the ponytail is my friend…thank goodness for ponytails.

Let’s talk about nails because I love nail polish. I think the reason I love nail polish and makeup so much is because I went to Catholic high school, and we were not allowed to wear a stitch of makeup or nail polish. If you even showed up with clear nail polish, they would take it off. They kept nail polish remover in the closet. I think I went a little bananas when I got out of high school because of all the freedom. I have very weak nails and I always have my whole life, and the best product I’ve ever used is Nailtiques. Nailtiques works like a charm. I don’t know how it works, but if you use that for a few weeks as a basecoat, or just alone, you’ll be floored. And my new discovery is Karma Organic lavender nail polish remover, made from soybean oil. I saw this at my friend Jessica’s store, Shen, and I said, ‘There’s no way this works,’ and she said, ‘I swear it does.’ So I bought a bottle for twelve dollars, which is a lot of money when you’re used to spending three bucks on nail polish remover. It works so well, it doesn’t smell toxic; there’s nothing worse than that smell of nail polish remover—in your bathroom, on your hands. And it leaves this nice moisturizing residue on your fingernails. I love the nail polish trend right now. I love that people of all ages can wear all sorts of crazy colors. I even like chipped nail polish, because it takes a little pressure off of you to have a perfect manicure all the time. I know some people think it’s awful but I do think, in a weird way, it looks modern. Butter London has fantastic colors; I’ve met the founder, Nonie, a few times backstage. I’ve been lucky to be around so many great beauty people—almost every product is use is because of something I learned from someone along the way.”

—as told to ITG

Kerry and her adorable boyfriend Rob run Seersucker and Smith Canteen, two of my favorite restaurants in Brooklyn. The fried chicken will knock your socks off.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • http://lacoquettedumode.wordpress.com/ Kathryn

    What a stunning collection of nail polish! I love this feature :)

    XX Kathryn

    http://lacoquettedelamode.wordpress.com/

  • http://www.alittlemuse.com/ Annemarie @ a little muse

    Great article! Effortless!

  • Helena

    41? you are kidding me. she has taken beautiful care of her skin.

    • Elizabeth

      It's so funny that people think anyone over 30 is ancient. It really isn't shocking that someone looks good at 41 if they've taken care of their skin.

      • Jasmine

        Thank you so much. The Shock & Awe at anyone over 40 looking decrepit is itself getting old. I don't even know that there's always much effort required to look good at 41. Don't abuse yourself and you'll be fine.

  • Christa Marzan

    I went to Catholic school and experienced the same nail polish drama, haha. Great profile!

  • http://thesparkle.net/ erin

    i see a lot of my faves there! great article.
    x

    http://thesparkle.net

  • Diannaks

    An unbelievably beautiful woman - those eyes! And I love her narrative - thanks for the great post!

  • Jill

    Oh she is so much fun! What a great attitude; it comes through in everything she says. And I love that Clarisonic - I have oily skin and use it nightly. And it's fantastic.

  • mlle p

    This makes me want to run out and try a bunch of the products! I, too, am obsessed with nail polish and went to Catholic grade school for 8 years - maybe there is some connection....

  • Erin

    has anyone tried the tracie martyn shakti resculpting body cream that i spy in her medicine cabinet? i remember tory burch said she she used it in her top shelf. i've been thinking of buying some myself, but at $155 for a 6 oz. bottle, it better be worth it...

    and yes, she looks amazing, 41 or not!

  • http://www.theblossomshed.blogspot.com/ The Blossom Shed

    That nail polish box is adorable:)

    The Blossom Shed Beauty Blog

  • Serdane-elie

    She is really clever ! I love her universe with the fact that she became better than the beginning ! It is good knowing you could improve yourself with a job even if you are not qualified for this !!

    http://www.younglington.wordpress.com

  • ArizonaGigi

    One of my favorite Top Shelfs so far! Kerry is so gorgeous she could be a Lancome model. I don't know which I'm more envious of, her beauty or her amazing career in the beuaty industry (and she's only 41)! Thanks ITG

  • Guest

    This is my new favorite Top Shelf post. I love her philosophy as well as her perspective. It's refreshing to read about people high up in the beauty industry who understand that there are a lot of people who have to save up for their luxury products.

  • victoria

    Can you share where her shirt is from? The fit looks gorgeous.

    • Guest

      I'm pretty sure her shirt is from GAP, I have the same shirt and it's a spitting image to the one she's wearing. Not sure if it's still available though...

  • Sashi

    Hello, will you please ask which shade of the Kevyn Aucion SSE works so well for her? I am intrigued by the product SO much, and believed it was gone the way of the dino since no longer seeing it in Sephora. I am just the same fair shade as Kerry and would love to know which one to try. Thanks a million!

    • Capitalist Pancake

      You can still buy this online at beauty.com, and I believe straight off the Kevyn Aucoin site (there is, or was last time I looked - a webshop).

      • Sashi

        Ah, thanks CP for the information. What does it mean- Capitalist Pancake? Just curious!

        • Capitalist Pancake

          Oh, absolutely nothing. Just thrown together because I thought it sounded funny!

  • http://www.xoxotrishelle.blogspot.com/ trishelle

    Love your blogand all your TOP Shelf posts.
    http://www.xoxotrishelle.blogspot.com
    :o)

  • http://www.heavensalon.com/ Anita

    I'm so crazy! I saw the pictures and got so excited! Love, love your pictures of beauty products!!!! I especially love seeing products I use, like Serge Normandt and La Roche-Posay. I'm also not into too main stream cosmetic brands, I favor hard to find beauty essentials.

    Xxxxx
    Anita

  • http://virtuallystunning.blogspot.com/ David

    NARS! My favorite brand! :D

    xo

  • http://thebeautyphilosopher.com/ Thebeautyphilosopher

    Love her hair. And her (Lancome) brand loyalty. It seems rarer these days for people to be loyal to one brand- or at least partially loyal.

  • Lisa C

    This is the first person I've seen on ITG whom I've wanted to be! She is beautiful and I want to try everything she mentioned. (Ah, perhaps she's a professional PR for a reason!) Also, I'm SO GLAD to hear someone singing the sunscreen gospel: I can't believe how many Top Shelf gals neglect this daily essential.

  • Guest

    My favorite Top Shelf!!! nothing else to say :)

  • Maria

    How inspiring. PR in beauty- that's my DREAM JOB!!! Love her, I could just die!

  • lilla

    I'd like to ask if you know anything about those dermablend products which make you tattoo invisible? I'm thinking about to buy one but I'm not sure it's actually working or just has a good campaign. thanks!

    http://31west54thstreet.blogspot.com/

  • Meera Innes

    Her career is so inspirational! And PREACH - wash your brushes!! Girls, I cannot agree with her enough!

  • Heather

    loving her Tiffany Elsa Peretti cuff.

  • Melanie

    Forty-one! Yea! She looks amazing, reinforces the importance of the simple basics of skincare... Great post.

  • Lindsay

    I'd also love to know where her shirt is from!

  • Tommybuckett

    effortless beauty..... what a fantastic story!

  • Renaphuah

    adore her! she is the real working girl, unlike socialites who get to work in the industry because they are a socialite xx

  • Brittanae

    head to http://www.rmsbeauty.com for her natural products; her personal page is http://www.beautytruth.net.
    hope that helps!

  • Dawn Adams

    Kerri great article with lots of good information, You look great, and are so happy for all your new endevours. I have heard great things about the restaurants. Just wish we were closer to visit them.
    xoxox Nana says hey! love yall, Dawn

  • Ivy

    Wait. I'm confused. So the Lancome Collaser has silicone in it. As Sunday Riley has pointed out, when a product is full of silicone, your skin looks instantly flawless and all imperfections are filled in . . . and then your skin begins to suffer, as the silicone suffocates your pores and they begin to react. Can anyone comment on this? I would tend to trust Kerry's knowledge on the subject, but I also trust Sunday, so I'm quite bewildered at this point.

  • http://twitter.com/caseycrowe casey crowe

    This is such an awesome, interesting, and well written post. Thank you so much for taking the time to write and post it!

    http://wordfrombird.wordpress.com/

  • Lou

    I am loving and very jealous of all of the items in these photos.

    Great post!

    Lou x
    http://www.thekeypieces.co.uk

  • http://thebeautyedit.blogspot.com/ Thebeautyedit

    As usual a great post and I loved finding out about Kerry's beauty stuff - I loved what she did on the Lancome blog and am in awe, not that she's 41, but how she manages to do so much - can you let us in on that too?!

  • Capitalist Pancake

    I'm so glad someone else has owned up to cutting their own hair. I am so guilty of doing this when I am bored!

  • Anonymous

    LOVE the hair color tip!!! Kerry epitomises effortless beauty. She's also equally beautiful on the inside.
    This is my second-favorite Top Shelf (heh heh heh...)

  • http://discoveringblog.com/ Sharon @ Discovering Blog

    I've had my hair cut by Ruben at Sally Hershberger's many times! He is amazing. Love this interview!

  • Kath

    I adore this little white Monk figurine. Does anyone know, where I can get my hands on one of those?
    I reeeeaally need to know!!!!

  • Anna

    When will we see a Top Shelf feature on Carolina Herrera or her daughter Patricia? Both have the most amazing skin!

  • Lisa

    Great Topshelf! Love her tips and the products she uses.

  • http://www.mischobeauty.com/ Mischo Beauty

    Love Kerry! Great feature.

  • http://igorandandre.blogspot.com/ David Roberts

    Kerry is the best! Also, it was so good meeting you last night at Seersucker :)

  • May Chiu

    Love this story. It's funny how things work out. And she looks fantastic at 41!

    http://www.lavieenmay.blogspot.com

PRODUCTS MENTIONED

Clinique
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
Lancôme
Lancome 'Absolue' Premium Absolute Replenishing Lotion
Fresh
Fresh Sugar Face Polish
Tracie Martyn
Tracie Martyn Enzyme Exfoliant
Lancôme
Lancome Teint Miracle Foundation
Kevyn Aucoin
Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer
Ivory
Ivory Bar Soap Original
Laura Mercier
Laura Mercier 'Smooth Focus' Pressed Setting Powder Matte Translucent
Laura Mercier
Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder
Lancôme
Lancôme Ôscillation Power Mascara
Anastasia Beverly Hills
Anastasia Beverly Hills 'Brow Wiz' Mechanical Brow Pencil Medium Ash
Eve Lom
EVE LOM 'Kiss Mix' Lip Treatment
Fresh
Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment
Serge Normant
Serge Normant Meta Silk Shampoo
Serge Normant
Serge Normant Meta Velour Conditioner
shu uemura art of hair
Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Ample Angora
Nailtiques
Nailtiques Kit
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