Tomoko Ogura, Senior Fashion Director, Barneys New York

Tomoko Ogura

“I’m turning 30 this year—this was essentially my first job out of college. I started as an assistant in the Barneys fashion office and now I’m the fashion director. We’re always trying to find new, cool things, or developing special projects, working with designers on exclusives and helping to nurture and develop their businesses. When I started out as an assistant, I didn’t even know if I wanted to do fashion buying, or what I wanted to do. I always appreciated really good design, and what it entails, creatively, to be a fashion designer.

I’m Japanese, but I grew up in Jersey until I was 11 or 12. As a kid, my mom’s whole thing was always just to wash your face every day, which has stuck with me. She uses regular soap that she buys at the drugstore. I think Japan is a culture that really appreciates quality, so it’s never about buying something that’s inexpensive just because it’s inexpensive, or something that’s more expensive just because it’s more expensive—there has to be a value to what you’re paying for. My skincare regimen is basically washing my face and putting moisturizer on every day. And for me, everything is dry—my hands, my whole body, my face—so I feel like I always want to have a lot of moisture. That’s one of the things I’m always thinking about. It’s not necessarily a problem, it’s just something that’s always on my mind. I like Crème de la Mer, but I don’t use it all the time because it is quite heavy. We’re actually getting their new Moisturizing Soft Cream [at Barneys], which is a lighter version. A lot of the time, people feel that La Mer is a little bit too heavy—you have to sort of soften it up in your fingers before putting it on your face—but I just tried the new one, and it’s amazing. It’s so light and it goes very smoothly onto your skin. Aside from that, I’d say my splurge is probably the ReVive Moisturizing Renewal Cream. I use it three times a week—as soon as you put it on, it feels like your face is starting to exfoliate; it re-texturizes your skin.

I don’t do that much with makeup. I’m wearing Nars Gaiety blush and a tinted primer by Sunday Riley right now. I don’t always wear them, but if I have to show my face to someone a little more important, or do press or something, then I’ll do it. Gaiety is a very light pink, which I use when I’m a little tan. But moving into fall, I’ll pick up something a little more peach-y—I think the color’s called Lovejoy. Actually, recently I was showing my makeup to someone, and she was like, ‘That is a really old color, you need to update!’ On my eyes, I just wear Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara—it puts tubes on your lashes. I love it! It stays on really well but it’s also easy to take off, just by washing your face. Then, of course, the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, which Barneys stopped carrying—that is one thing that, when I go home to Japan, I always stock up on because they often don’t sell it here. I know everybody says so, but it really is the best one."

—as told to ITG

Tomoko Ogura photographed by Emily Weiss at Barneys New York on August 1st, 2012. 

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  • ClosetCravings

    I can't live without my Shu Uemura eyelash curler. =)

  • Kmodesto27

    OMG love her... if you could id her shirt {a little stripe obsessed} that would be fabulous!!

  • Kristy

    Can someone explain to me how eyelash curlers work? I understand their function but do you have to repurchase a brand new curler every time the rubber band wears out or...? i've never committed to an eyelash curler nor have I bothered to check out the much-raved about Shu Uemura ones so I apologise if I sound utterly clueless.

    FYI: the last 2 curlers i owned were plastic and i'll chuck them when they cracked when i applied too much pressure. I know, my lash prep is atrocious.

    • Capitalist Pancake

      Some brands sell just the refill pads. I used to use a fat small plastic Japonesque curler but Shu is definitely superior. I just buy mine from ebay but they've always come with an extra pad.

    • Christine

      they sell replacement pads for eyelash curlers. once your current one wears out, you can just take it off and put a new one in!

    • andrea

      If you have deep set eyes like I do, you may have trouble curling your lashes with the Shu Uemura. I recently bought the Kevin Aucoin eyelash curler, on the advice of someone at Barneys and I can use it without any problem! It is much better. Something about its shape.

    • murt

      Whether or not you like the Shu Uemura curler depends on your eye-shape -- it's - in profile - a flatter shape, not as convex, so if you've got more almond shaped eyes, it works better. If you've got round eyes or more deep set eyes, it might not work for you - you might need a more curved curler.

  • ashleigh @ Jolie Jouel

    Ohhh a new La Mer! Lovely article.

    My jewelry blog:

  • Lindsay

    I had the fortune of meeting Eva Chen last night, who also loves Sunday Riley! I’d love to hear more about the brand… am definitely going to try it!

  • Fairytalesandcoffee

    I enjoyed this...always interested in how women who grew up with parents from other cultures handle their skin (even if from NJ).

  • larissa

    great interview, she's such a natural beauty!

  • Daul Be

    I've always loved the Japanese approach when it comes to beauty and skincare.

  • gaowmichelle

    i have got to say that La Mer is such a gimick! there are so many other better overpriced creams out there.. and of course, isabelle bellis told me that La Mer is "vaseline." so there you go.

  • Jordette Singleton

    Great insight, Moms are funny they all have their little treats they pass along to their cubs. Name That Dress and win $50 with CopperEtiquette

  • Becca @ The Beauty Sample

    She's gorgeous. I've been wanting to try the Sunday Riley primer for a while now--I always hear so many good things about it!

    • Jess

      I was so excited to get the Sunday Riley primer, but I've used it for almost a week now, and I'm not all that thrilled with it. I have pretty good skin, so I thought I could use it in place of a tinted moisturizer. It is very light coverage, which I expected, but I just don't feel like my skin looks exceptionally great afterwards. It is very matte, so if you don't like the tm's with sparkle, shine, or sheen, this would be a good pick. Today I used it under foundation, and it didn't really serve the primary purpose I use a primer for: to make the foundation glide on more smoothly. Plus, it doesn't have SPF in it, so I have to layer sunscreen over it. Overall, I don't hate it, but I don't think I will be buying it again.

      • murt

        Thanks for this review - I've been wanting to try the Sunday Riley primer too, but I don't know if I'd like the matte texture because my skin is very dry - I'll probably get a sample first.

      • Beatriz

        I feel the same way about the SR primer; plus every time I use it it squirts all over my clothes... The company should try to address this problem. I wonder also if it is a consistent product since for me it doesn't go on matte as you described but rather thin, liquid and a bit oily (are we talking about the same product?!?) I found a practical use for it during the summer months by mixing it with foundation but, just like you, I won't be buying it again.

      • Katiehpr

        I agree that it doesn't have any coverage to helps my redness A LITTLE. But I feel unless you have perfect's only good as a primer. And the pump is annoying/even if I shake it like crazy sometimes it doesn't come out the right consistency!

  • Isa

    Excellent Article (I think)? Your mom must have saved a lot of cash by using bar soap to wash her face, yes?

  • Dinah

    She looks great! I love seeing minimalist looks. Anyone know what brand of shirt that might be? I have a weakness for Breton stripes.

  • Amy Dickey

    DYING to try this new LaMer. I know it has no real actives....but it feels great.

  • Michelle Lee
  • Amy

    Amazing. Went to school with Tomoko in Tokyo...she had the most amazing skin then....nothing has changed! Living in Australia now, and opened up ITG this morning to see her pretty face. A sweet start to a rainy Monday.