Sofía Sanchez Barrenechea, Creative Director


“I’m a creative director, and I also have a company that represents Argentinean designers and sells their wares online. It’s called The idea behind the website was that every time I used to travel and wear something that wasn’t from New York, people were always like, ‘Oh! Where is that from?!’ and I’m always like, ‘Oh... Buenos Aires,’ where I’m from, or, ‘It’s from a friend who sells it in her house.’ So eventually I decided to help my friends out.

I’ve changed my whole body a lot since the beginning of the year. I’ve always worked out, but you know, once a week, twice a week, kind of randomly. I’ve always been pretty skinny—when I was young, my friends used to call me ‘Mr. Burns,’ you know, from The Simpsons. That’s how nice they were to me. [Laughs] And what was the name of the grasshopper in Pinocchio? Him too, because of my big eyes. Anyway, in January, I went back home and my mom had a personal trainer, who I ended up training with during the holidays, and now I go to this gym called Clay, on 14th street—I’m obsessed with the Zumba classes. So, I'm trying to get healthier.

I normally don’t use makeup if I don’t have anything after work. If I have a client meeting, maybe, but otherwise I’m just behind a computer. The thing with makeup is the afterwards—I never fall asleep with my makeup on. Even if I’m drunk, I’m like, ‘Oh! Hold on! Give me a moment,’ and then I take off my makeup right there. I always take off my makeup, which is a part of the reason I’m lazy to do my makeup…because I know at 1 AM I’ll have to take it all off. I’m a bit of a freak. But I love makeup, so when I do it, I do it—if I’m going out, or to a meeting, or if I have a big party.

Right now, I’m using these Transformers Band-Aids to cover my face because I got a little burned during a facial. I have them everywhere, even in my wallet. I’ll wear them on my chin on sunny days and then use a ton of sunscreen, too. I mean, if you’re going to put something on your face, better those than the regular ones. In terms of makeup, when I do it, I’ll put on Chanel Correcteur Perfection Concealer. I put it down [the bridge of] my nose, on my eyes, and if I have anything else to cover up. It’s really light and soft. I normally don’t wear foundation, but if I do, I’ll wear Chanel Perfection Lumière. I get so many compliments—actually, my boyfriend will tell me, ‘Oh, you’re too ‘done,’' but a friend told me, ‘You’re glowing today.’ Then, I wear some blush by Bare Minerals—I actually fell in love with this brand; a makeup artist told me about it. She said it’s the one brand that doesn’t send her free stuff, but she buys it anyway, and that made me trust her, in a way. I really like their Original Foundation and the Ready Bronzer in The Skinny Dip, too. Or I’ll use the Touch Up Veil powder in the winter, which gives you a nice glow.

For eyes, I like Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eye Liner in Black Ebony. You use a brush and paint it on, and it’s so dark and it just stays. I use black or gray eyeliner only. I don’t really use eye shadow—it’s always hard to get the second eye the same. When I was younger, I hated my big eyes, but then I realized it was an asset and not a bad thing, so I slowly started loving them—same with my eyebrows, because my sister had perfect, beautifully rounded ones. But I learned to love them, too, and now I fill them in so they’re much stronger. It makes them look weirder, but I like like being weird. I got my eyebrow pencil at the Duty Free shop at JFK. [Laughs] I was like, ‘I need one, I want one,’ and the saleswoman gave me this one, from Shiseido. I don’t spend hours hunting; I trust people’s opinions, in general, more than an ad.

The only nail polish I really use is Chanel Peridot, or a simple, pale white. And when I don’t paint my nails, I like to buff them. I was in a shopping mall and this guy was doing a demonstration and showed me how to do it. In Buenos Aires, everything that’s imported is ridiculously expensive, but after his demonstration, I found myself spending, like, $80 on all these things, like cuticle cream and a four-sided buffing tool from Sephora—but my nails were glowing. It’s so good, it’s sort of like a drug. You don’t need some toxic thing on your nails, you know? Let them breathe for the month and do this. I actually told the guy in the mall, ‘No, I’m not buying it. Thank you.’ I kept shopping and just could not stop touching my nails until finally I decided to go back and buy it. I’ve done it to everyone—my dad, my sister, and they’re all like, ‘I want it, I want it!’

Sometimes, I’ll use lip gloss, but very rarely. I’m more of an eye girl, or red lips. I do hide Lancôme Baume Baiser lip balm in my purse—I think it was a limited-edition thing—because I like the packaging. I am also really about the packaging. I studied packaging and graphic design in university and I was actually a typography teacher back in Buenos Aires. The reason I like C.O. Bigelow shampoo and conditioner is for their packaging— I don’t use them every day, but I also don’t do my hair that much.

I love skincare—that, I never miss. I’ll use a mask every now and again, like the Pure Empreinte Masque by Lancôme with white clay. And then Bare Minerals Intensive Glow Pads for exfoliating and La Mer Moisturizing Cream for my neck and chin, but not on my face. For that, I’ll mix Clarins Instant Smooth Golden Glow self-tanner, which is super light, with some moisturizer: Clinique All About Eyes or Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief, which is like putting silk on your skin—it’s a pleasure to put on. Also a few months ago, I read about retinol in Vogue, and I thought, Why not try it? So I’ve been using Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion AM Moisturizer, which just sinks in, and then Retinol Fusion PM at night. And sometimes I’ll drink Borba Clarifying Skin Balance Crystalline drink mix. You can get in the pharmacy, and it hydrates your skin. I don’t do that much moisturizing on my body, but I tried this and it’s tasty and so I’ll take it to the gym or work.

My perfume is called Halloween—it’s really embarrassing. But I get compliments of people telling me I smell like heaven. It’s by Jesús del Pozo, which was a big fashion house in the late ’80s in Spain, and they still make this perfume. I got it back when I was 15 from this guy who was obsessed with scent and perfumes. Now, it’s a part of me and it smells great. When people like it, they really like it. Halloween… very chic name. [Laughs]

—as told to ITG

Sofía Sanchez Barrenechea photographed by Emily Weiss in New York on July 19th, 2012. 

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Anuschka

    I don't understand, she covers her face with band aids when she goes out in the sun?

    • Becca @ The Beauty Sample

      LOL I didn't really understand that part either...but besides that, she is a beautiful, beautiful woman. Very naturally pretty--it's no wonder her boyfriend prefers her with less makeup. She's positively radiant!

    • SF City Editor

      She covers up skin issues with band-aids, especially when she's out in the sun, I want that hair comb! She had a smaller version in the video posted on and I want one!!

  • Miss K

    She looks amazingly beautiful.

  • Messamet serdane

    She is so original because she has her own view about beauty. I love !

  • Skimz9

    One of the best Top Shelfs so far!

  • VotreAmie

    Adorable, sweet and bright - She's lovely! I'm in need of some time off from nail polish - the buff and shine routine sounds perfect!

  • JennySueMakeup

    Love that she wears a fragrance called Halloween, hilarious. I use that Thomas Roth moisturizer as well, so good to hear another recommendation of this stuff.

    • Rachel

      Retinol makes skin more sensitive to the sun ( might be why her chemical peel took longer to recover. Best saved for night.

  • beeswaxnoneofyour

    Have to say I prefer the buffed look too. I always feel funny on the odd occasion I've worn polish.

  • Ally

    loved this one! she seemed very sincere and i loved that she confessed her secrets - like choosing products strictly on the packaging! i'm a designer and we all do that!

  • Lauren Ashley

    Great suggestions, you really can't go wrong with La Mer, Clarins, and Laura - she might have inspired me to try Zumba too. :-)

  • MyDearGirl

    I NEED the wide tooth comb!!! Is it mother of pearl?

  • Ayemazz

    Real argentinian beauty! Natural!!
    Felicitaciones de otra argentina!

    • Carlos

      Yes, she is an Argentinian beauty for sure, you can see she has great genetics. mi hija..........

  • angie h.-

    She is so so beautiful! and funny! Pepe Grillo!! Viva Buenos Aires!

  • Joy Of Stranger Sensibilities

    Cute interview! Odd ball here but it's refreshing.

  • erin

    she is so naturally beautiful love her modest collection! x

  • M.

    Halloween is indeed quite famous here in Spain! It's been out like forever. Even santa bought me one some years ago... but not my scent, I prefer Burberry The Beat :)

  • FloM

    Anuschka´s comment was pretty funny!!
    Beautiful woman Sofia!
    Miss your Halloween ;)

  • Lindsay Sue

    We work in the same office. She's always fresh and glowing!

  • Maddy

    Jiminy Cricket!

  • Beauty Idealist

    She had me at transformers bandaid! lol

    I love how she mixes her products, I want to be brave enough to try that. I know Emily mixes a few AESOPs products but when I do it, it is never a graceful composition.

  • ashleigh

    My mom love halloween perfume. Its the one she always has to have.

  • Maeve

    Hi Emily!This was a wonderful post....simple and effortless.
    Quick question if you get a chance!
    I see in one of the pictures she uses an eyeliner pencil... do you happen to know which one this is? Grey is an interesting color choice that I may need to test out when buying my next liner pencil.
    Thanks so much!

  • Nikig

    I discovered buffed nails about a year ago. Loathe nail polish. Buffing rules. As for band aids on face... okay???
    I like this one. An interesting mix of some great products.

  • Amanda

    She's a peach. I enjoyed this Top Shelf a lot.

  • uniqlos

    I love typography too, haha.

  • molly_maureen

    I can totally totally relate to the part about taking off makeup. That's honestly why I never wear makeup because I DESPISE taking it off. It never comes off nicely. She is very relatable and has a very normal routine. Much like mine!

    • Guest

      My pet hate is removing mascara, though eyeliner I kind of like when it settles into the lash line after being 'removed'. Some better removers - Lush Ultrabland cleanser, Aesop Cream cleanser - even just olive oil, lightly patted over a steamed face and removed with a cloth or cotton pads X

  • Marta E
  • Maryk

    True Confessions Part 2?
    Now seriously: it would be interesting to find out who burned her beautiful face!

  • The Beauty Philosopher

    I love the Laura Mercier cake liner too. I only ever tight line my eyes now, as I find normal eyeliner too heavy on my fair skin.

  • Daul Be

    Another great interview! I love how naturally pretty she looks! Lovely hair too.


  • marcela prado

    Loved it, she's really funny! I literally just discovered the magic of these nail buffers, and it's incredible, the same thing happened to me - I was in a mall and they stopped me so they could demonstrate it. After its done, you swear there's some top coat or something, because it glows so much. I'm totally addicted to it now too!

  • SF City Editor

    I just discovered her on Lifestylemirror and lover her! I don't understand why she can't have her blog?


Chanel Correcteur Perfection Long Lasting Concealer
Chanel Perfection Lumiere Long-Wear Flawless Fluid Makeup
bareMinerals 'READY' Powder Blush
bareMinerals Original Foundation
bareMinerals 'READY' Powder Bronzer
bareMinerals Mineral Veil
Laura Mercier
Laura Mercier ‘Tightline’ Cake Eyeliner
Shiseido 'The Makeup' Natural Eyebrow Pencil
Lancome 'Pure Empreinte Masque' Purifying Mineral Mask
bareMinerals 'Intensive Glow Pads' Brightening Treatment
Clarins 'Delicious' Self-Tanning Cream
Clinique All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage
Clinique 'Moisture Surge' Extended Thirst Relief
Peter Thomas Roth
Peter Thomas Roth 'Retinol Fusion AM' Moisturizer SPF 30
Peter Thomas Roth
Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM