Caroline Issa, Fashion Director, Tank


"I had a pixie cut when I moved to London. At the time, I was a management consultant—I'd worked on everything from Nordstrom's petite and plus-size business strategy in Seattle, to Dr. Pepper/Seven Up's acquisition of Snapple, and then corporate strategy for Boots in London. They were amazing experiences, but I also realized I was not meant to do that for the rest of my life. In London, I met Masoud [Golsorkhi], the founder of Tank, and he offered me a partnership in the magazine. So, I gave up a really well-paying job to become a fashion publishing entrepreneur, and I haven’t looked back since. That was 10 years ago.

When I started working at Tank, I decided to let my hair grow out. It was a bad phase; I had this little mushroom on my head. Literally nobody saw me for my first two years at Tank because I was just like, ‘There’s no way I’m being introduced to anybody looking like this,’ until it grew out into a normal place. Now I have loads of hair, and I don’t deal with it very well. I’ve been using Super Sleek Smoothing Shampoo from Ojon; it has macadamia nut and other oils in it. And my hair stylist Angelo Seminara turned me onto this amazing organic oil, OI from Davines, which I put on when my hair is wet. And then I’ll do a bun or a braid, and slick back all the frizzies with L’Oréal Paris gel. Right now, I’m growing my hair out because I’ve decided what my September look is going to be: stick-straight and really long. When I get to New York for fashion week—because it’s really a very New York thing—I’ll get a normal New York blow dry, which you just can’t get in London—there are no blow-dry bars. And then I’ll probably cut it in October.

This is as much makeup as I can handle: mascara, eyeliner, and a red lip. I don’t have anything on my skin. Yes, I’m totally lucky, but the thing is, I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my entire life, I don’t drink huge amounts of alcohol, and I have a Chinese mother—that, I think, is my advantage. My mom does not look a day over 45, and she’s 65. Asian skin is amazing. My dad is Lebanese-Iranian, so the mix of all these crazy cultures together has been really helpful. I mean, I have a glass of wine every night, but because I’m half-Chinese I just can’t hold my alcohol very well, which means I’m a really cheap date, but I think it probably helps the skin situation.

The beauty aesthetic for Tank is sort of whatever works for the shoot. It’s not all minimal, or all smoky eyes. If you look at the cover of Tank now, she’s not your typical supermodel—she’s a young Dutch girl, probably just started modeling, not super-super skinny, but she just has an incredibly interesting face. And then we're shooting a Chinese girl in Greece now. If there’s any guiding principle, we try to at least have some ethnic diversity.

Only recently have I become a little more adventurous with makeup. I launched an online magazine two years ago called Kay Montano, who’s this amazing makeup artist, does beauty tutorials for us, and because I don’t know how to put makeup on myself, I was like, ‘You have to put me in a video, so you can teach me four different looks, like, how to do a smoky eye…’ So, now I’m wearing Korres Abyssinia Oil Mascara in Cobalt Blue, and I’m doing a bit of a cat eye. I like to use Dior Intense Liquid Eyeliner. My lipstick is Tom Ford Lip Color in Cherry Lush—I collect loads of red lipsticks and then never use them. And that’s as courageous as I get, really.

For my skin, I use Dior Capture Totale One Essential Skin Boosting Super Serum and then either Radical Skincare Anti-Aging Restorative Moisture cream or Embryolisse, which you can only find in Paris drugstores. Whenever I’m there, I stock up on the one for super-dry skin. I also have this Agent Provocateur Maitresse Silk Stockings balm. It’s so good. You know that silicone gel that makes your skin feel really smooth? It’s the same thing, but for your legs. It literally feels like a silk stocking. And then I use a lot of nighttime oils: the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, and Vaishaly Night Nourisher, which is so good. Vaishaly is a facialist who has a clinic on Paddington Street. I’ve only had one of her facials because she is ₤450. But, honestly, your skin is like a baby’s bottom when you leave."

—as told to ITG

Photographed by Rachel Chandler Guinness in London on June 27th 2012.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • bee

    The red lip suits her striking look, very beautiful. Emily, the site looks amazing!

  • Info

    Oh my, Caroline's skin tone is absolutely beautiful. What a great, creamy complexion. I love your top shelf posts.


  • Stills

    Love her make-up!

  • Fashion Territory

    I love your outfit so nice so simply and so elegant!!!

  • Denisa

    thank you!! and this is before I even read the post :)

  • SimonaLaroche

    oh wow, I have just looked at those makeup tutorials and they are magnificant!♥

  • marcela

    She reaaly has great skin, no wonder she does not need anything on it. I love that fact that she is growing her hair so that she can have the New York look for September fashin week, and that after that she will cut it, amazing, I could never do anything like that.
    Love the post, I will probably by the Embryolisse Cream, because everywhere I turn I only get great recomendations for it.

  • ROKderm

    Love the new site! and love this post, as always.

  • Adeola Naomi Aderemi

    Beautiful lip!


    i use that Davines oil as well and i love it!

  • mickharper

    I think she means that it's expensive.

  • Kathy @ Beauty Palette

    I love her makeup philosophy - you can never go wrong with a perfect red lip (or hot pink..or coral...)!

  • Anu

    Pounds = British currency.
    GBP 450 is expensive for a facial.

  • claire

    This is one of my favorite posts as of recent . Very eloquent and to the point!

  • Jackie Kim
  • Sarahdee

    I love her reasoning behind why her skin is so good! So much truth behind it :)

    Xoxo Sarah

  • Rebecca

    Embyrolisse is fantastic and available at Screenface on Monmouth Street in London.

  • Disneyrollergirl

    Lovely lady inside and out. Go Caroline!

  • Becca @ The Beauty Sample

    oooh love her neat little lipstick stash! :D I also use the Neutrogena Oil-Free eye makeup remover and I think it works great! I wanted to love the Jurlique Herbal Recovery Gel, but it was WAAAAY to scented for my tastes and it had too high an alcohol-content :/

  • SF City Editor

    Love! This is my favorite part and love your new layout....inspires me to update my blog.

  • Rui Nie

    Ugh, her skin is insanely gorgeous. I love the minimalist look, but I can't ever resist putting blush on! I also love hearing about career paths. It seems like most interesting people have gone through several seemingly random stages to get to where they are. Caroline's consulting projects sound cool, but I am sure fashion publishing is way more fun and preferable!!

  • Iggy

    She didn't go out because she didn't like her hair? Well that's depressing. Lipstick is awesome, but my self confidence doesn't depend on whether I look 'good' or 'bad'.

  • Aya

    She's unbelievable. Always radiant and natural. What a beauty.

  • Ivy

    I always think she is very gorgeous!!!! And her skin is amazing!!!! I am Chinese too so I completely understand what she means by Asian skin!

  • VogueSky

    It would have been interesting to include some price points in the article

  • Hannah Byrd

    Into the Gloss is fantastic. I love every post, and I've been here since its inception. Carolina Issa is one of my favorite street style subjects- absolutely stunning!

  • Mrs Singh

    Damn she is beautiful (and that is coming from a woman!)

  • Kathleen

    You are beautiful, and you are incredibly blessed with beautiful skin. I've heard good things of Embryolisse. Hopefully I can pick some up when I head to Paris this fall.
    All the best

  • Vaishaly Customer Care

    The Vaishaly signature facial costs £250 (not £450) when performed by Vaishaly herself.

    If it is performed by one of her highly trained therapists then the cost is £100.

    This article needs to be corrected to reflect that.

  • Lisa

    You can get Embryolisse outside of Paris- I buy it on Amazon.

  • Christine Kim

    you guys should do these guides for women who work at cool start-ups in NYC! like Polyvore :)

  • Jinna

    I love her background. And her attitude! Truly, a global beauty.


Ojon Super Sleek Smoothing Shampoo
Dior 'Style Liner' Intense Liquid Eyeliner
Tom Ford
Tom Ford Beauty Lip Color Cherry Lush
Dior 'Capture Totale One Essential' Skin Boosting Super Serum
Radical Skincare
Radical Skincare Anti-Aging Restorative Moisture
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè