Jessica Diehl


"I would say my personal style is probably understated. I like buying things where not everybody knows, ‘Oh, is that Balenciaga? Oh, is that the Céline coat? Oh, is that this…’ I do, though, feel the desire to constantly update my look. When I was an assistant, I had my Ann Demeulemeester phase, and then I had a ‘lady’ phase, a grunge phase. If metallic was a trend, then suddenly I had metallic everything, which is probably why I am renting this apartment and don’t own one, because all my trends cost me lots of money. [Laughs] Now, my closet is divided into capsule collections, basically—I have different capsules of different moods, but they’re never really trend-related. I’m not going to buy an electric-blue skirt because it’s a trend; I’m just not doing it. I’ll probably buy a yellow skirt just because everyone else bought blue.

I just chopped off at least four inches of my hair, and I did that thing that I think is really dorky: I ripped a page from a magazine and brought it to my salon. The picture was of Daria Werbowy in the Céline ad; it’s my favorite hair right now—that sort of glamourous bob. My hairdresser is named River [Lloyd] and he’s at Serge Normant—he’s fabulous and knows me really well. When I came in, he said he knew I was going to be ready for a change and then said, ‘But I want to show you something else’ and pulled up a picture of last season’s Céline ad on his iPad, and said, ‘That’s what you’re actually going to look like, because you are not going to do your hair every day. To look like that is about 45 minutes of work.’ Right now I can be in and out of the shower and the house looking relatively presentable in less than 30 minutes with my hair dry.

I still want to cut more, but I can’t decide—it comes down to maintenance. Now, I feel like I’ll ‘do’ it to a certain point, but I still need it to be long enough to have the option to put it up. Odile [Gilbert] and I were playing around with wigs on a shoot recently and I put on a wig that was kind of a messy bob and Mario [Testino] said, ‘Oh! It’s amazing! Cut your hair!’ And all of the straight male photo assistants said, ‘Don’t cut it.’ It was really like a straight-man-versus-girl battle. My favorite thing was that all of the straight guys kept saying, ‘You know, you’re so tall, so all people are going to see is your head’ and I thought, ‘Is that so bad? That people are looking at my face?’ [Laughs]

I go through hair-color phases, too. I get it colored at Serge Normant—there’s a woman there named Renee [Patronik] and she’s that person who is so good at her job because she is just so passionate about it. I came to her and I told her I wanted to go darker and she said, ‘I’m not going to do it. We can test it, but I’m not just making it brown.’ She and River are great. I value their opinions, especially because I have to make these decisions all the time for work, but I find it really difficult to make them about myself.

In terms of products, I have to vary what I use for my hair because it’s so fine. I use Phylia de M. and Christophe Robin Volumizing Shampoo with Rose Extracts. But actually, if I use volumizing shampoos too often, they weigh my hair down, so I also use normal Neutrogena shampoo, though I'm not supposed to; Renee told me it strips the color. Otherwise, I just use the Phylia de M. Connect Spray at the roots and blow-dry it with a round brush and that’s it.

Skincare is my favorite, and one of my biggest splurges. It’s the one thing that my mother always said—no matter what it takes, facials and creams are maintenance you have to do. She calls it ‘the gym for the face.’  And for me it’s all about Biologique Recherche; it’s the best thing that I ever found in my life. I do the entire series. I go to this woman called Aida Bicaj for facials—she’s a full, major, master technician. She only uses Biologique, so I’ll do the face wash, the P50 Lotion, then there are two serums, a cream, and another serum on top of it. Her products have helped minimize pores, get color into the face, and there is nothing chemical-y or gross in them. I can’t go to Aida that often because it’s really expensive. Before I got married, I went every two-and-a-half weeks for a facial, but then I realized how much it cost, so I stopped. Also, when I got married, I thought, ‘Whatever, he’s stuck with me now.’ [Laughs]

Valmont is the other line I use: the Renewing Pack is the best face mask ever, and they have a Regenerating Mask with collagen that makes such a difference. If you do it before an event, it’s a full glow, and it smoothes out the fine lines. I’m lucky—I actually don’t have that many fine lines, but I have the frown line, which is annoying. I could never do Botox, though; I’m a total hypochondriac, and I would be too worried. I don’t judge anyone that does get it; I think it’s fabulous, I just can’t reconcile that it’s botulism.

Makeup, I switch up a lot. Now I’ve found two things I really love. One is Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation because it’s less than three ounces… I like everything under three ounces, for flying. Then, the Givenchy Photo’Perfexion Fluid Foundation is really good. I don’t wear foundation every day, and not on the whole face—just on and around my nose and under my eyes, because I have really sensitive skin and because of this hot yoga I’m doing. Extreme hot and cold temperatures are really bad for my complexion. Then, the only other thing I use is powder because I’m like a teenager—I have a full T-zone situation. I like the Koh Gen Do Natural Lighting Powder, but having said that, I use the Chanel pressed powder and I like that, too. And because I’m trying to train my eyebrows not to be over-plucked, I do use that Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Ash Blonde. It comes with a little brush.

For an event, I may do a smoky eye with this Chanel quad I have, Les Ombres #38 Premier Regard. Then I have a bunch of these Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadows that are amazing—you just shove them in your bag and you’re done. I like the one called Not Just Nude. For a fancy event, I will use the Chanel shadow powder, but for something mellower, I will just do a smoky eye with the Revlon. I will put one color at the base of the lid and one in the crease and then I’m done. Under my eyes, I’ll use a bit of the Givenchy Mister Light Corrective Pen. It de-puffs and de-darkens and it’s really good. And their mascara, Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Effet Extension is also major. You really get every single lash so it doesn’t look like you’re caking on stuff. Even though it looks complicated because of the brush, it’s not. I love eye makeup, but I hate lipstick—I never wear anything on my lips.

I have a perfume obsession. I got really into Serge Lutens at some point—I’m also all about his packaging. My favorite is Feminite du Bois. I love the Rodin Olio Lusso Perfume, too. But my daily perfume though is a mix: Frédéric Malle’s Portrait of a Lady mixed with Carnal Flower. Recently, though, I also started getting into my mother’s perfume, which is Youth Dew by Estée Lauder. When I mix, I don’t mix all of them on top of each other. I will put one behind my ears and the other on my wrist so that they just converge. It also really depends on my mood, or the weather. Like Daim Blond by Serge Lutens is really nice when it’s hot out; it’s very light. There’s nothing grosser than traffic fumes, heat, and someone with perfume on.”

—as told to ITG

Jessica Diehl photographed by Emily Weiss in New York City on April 19, 2013.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Catherine

    BR is the best, although there is phenol in the P50 lotion.

    • jackie cohen

      just before I read your comment, i just went on a search for this line and read about the phenol! I'm looking for something completely natural and completely effective .... I think I'm going to have to figure out how to make my own skincare!

      • Em

        Check out Audra James Botanicals! Completely natural/organic, reasonably priced and custom made for your skin! I swear Audra has saved my face!

        • jackie cohen

          looked at the website ...looks amazing! but the shipping costs kill me!

      • nicolecontrol

        I will say that my understanding is that there is just a teeny amount of phenol in the original formula... but your concern is understandable.

        There are two other formulas without phenol. I think they are P50v & P50w. They are for sensitive/very sensitive skin, and so are less effective.

        Caroline Hirons writes about P50, and she says that Pixi and Clarins have exfoliating toners that are similar.

        Good luck!

      • c linc

        If you want natural and effective- try evanhealy! I'm using her rose treatment line and its amazing and affordable... for me.

        • jackie cohen

          This line looks great, thanks.

        • jackie cohen

          hi, i picked up the rose serum yesterday at Whole Foods ... thanks!

    • Jessica

      Not anymore! They have removed it from the new versions.

  • Sara

    Wow, what an exquisite perfume collection! Although not the perfumes I personally love (I have tested them all) except Daim Blonde, I must say that the collection is wonderful!

    Jessica, Du hast wirklich eine super Duftkollektion. Deine Wohnung ist auch sehr schoen und geschmackvoll!

    • Suzanne

      She does have a great collection, but the idea of wearing Portrait of a Lady & Carnal Flower together is a little horrifying. ;)

  • heatheradair

    yay for a little hi-lo love in the Revlon vs Valmont department.....(and oh dear -- when I got married I realized how P-R-I-C-E-Y my beauty routines are -- my medicine cabinet has at least a pay check's worth of stuff that I use "intermittently." which my husband is gracious enough to be amused by, but we'll see how long that holds out.....).

  • nicolecontrol

    Yes! My favorite Top Shelf so far. Totally relate to all of this. And BR rules. I cannot live without P50.

  • Jessica

    Why didn't ITG feature any of the Biologique Recherche products in the "Get the Products" bit??

  • anita rivas

    I love her bathroom and that she's into skincare, skincare is the future! Love that she uses valmont and Biologique - two amazing skincare brands that are hard-to-find.
    Thank you for the jpegs, i need pretty things to look at throughout the day.

  • KathS

    I still don't really get what p50 is...?

    • sara

      seriously! i am always wondering that. my facialist is always trying to get me to get it and I just cannot understand what it does

      • Lucy

        It's a liquid exfoliant. So it exfoliates your skin without damaging it the way hard grain manual exfoliant a do.

        • Kattttt

          Liquid exfoliants can lead to skin damage, too - overly thin skin, and sun damage if you don't keep it up with the sun screen. It doesn't cause flaking and broken capillaries like physical exfoliants, though, so with moderation, I agree they are far better. I use a less aggressive one by Clarins, and it has done wonders.

  • Katherine

    I love how she admits to having many different styles & "looks", not many women will. Such a great top shelf article!


  • Laura

    Does Jessica need a new assistant??

  • Beatriz

    ..and here I was thinking I had indecisive disorder when I layered perfumes...

  • Lori Santos

    She's fantastic!!! Love her!!!

  • Georgie

    I've already rearranged my shelf as if it's about to be photographed for Top Shelf - maybe one day I'll give myself a mini interview about what products I use. Okay, so that makes me sound insane, but I think it'll help me to realise what I need to change or reconsider about my beauty routine.

  • hellestorm

    She's great! I love how she says, 'I'm trying to train my eyebrows to not be over-plucked' - like it's the eyebrows fault. lol.


Givenchy Mister Light Instant Light Corrective Pen
Koh Gen Do
Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation
Biologique Recherche
The Biologique Recherche Line
Phylia de M.
Phylia de M. Connect Treatment for Follicles
AHAlife Holdings Inc.
Phylia de M. Clean Shampoo
AHAlife Holdings Inc.
Phylia de M. Conditioner Cream
Christophe Robin
Christophe Robin Delicate Volumizing Shampoo With Rose Extracts
Valmont Renewing Pack Mask
Valmont Regenerating Mask
Givenchy Photo'Perfexion Fluid Foundation SPF 20
Koh Gen Do
Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Natural Lighting Powder
Chanel Poudre Universelle Compacte Natural Finish Pressed Powder
Anastasia Beverly Hills
Anastasia Beverly Hills Duo Brow Powder Ash Blonde
Revlon Illuminance
Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadow 4 Shades Not Just Nudes
Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes Effect Extension
Serge Lutens
Serge Lutens Feminite Du Bois Fragrance Eau De Parfum
Frederic Malle
Frederic Malle Portrait Of A Lady
Frederic Malle
Frederic Malle Carnal Flower
Estee Lauder
Estee Lauder Youth Dew
Serge Lutens
Serge Lutens Daim Blond Eau De Parfum