“Growing up, I didn’t wear a lot of makeup or get dressed up, really. I was an athlete, my mom was pretty much a hippie, and I went to college in Colorado… So, it was a cultural thing. But I always loved fashion as an observer, and I always loved reading about it and looking at it and seeing it. When I was in sixth grade, I bought this hat that almost looked exactly like those new Saint Laurent hats—a big, wide-brimmed black hat. I wore that hat everywhere, and it was very unusual in my town to wear that. And I would save all my money to go out and buy things that were some approximation of what I had seen in a magazine. Then, in my later teenage years and my early 20s, I was very stripped-down, very Colorado. My look was sort of what it is now, actually—very narrow, dark, kind of slim.
I would also wear really, really dark, almost black, lipsticks. I know that look is back again, but everything cycles through. It’s true in beauty and it’s true in fashion. If you can hang onto it long enough—I mean, you can’t hang onto your beauty products like you can hang onto your platform sandals—it all comes back. But it’s always a bit different. I’ve been doing this for 15 years, sitting in the front row, and when someone comes up with something new, you’re like, 'That’s amazing.’ I remember seeing those Alexander McQueen shows where it was more about theater than it was about merchandise, and being so grateful, so excited to see something you hadn’t seen before—and that carries over to beauty, too. I think many women look at pictures from the runway and say, ‘I could never do to that’— the hair and the makeup and the clothes. Our job at Elle is to break that down for them, to say, ‘Well, you could, and this is how you do it.’ Nobody’s saying that your hair has to be like this and you need purple eyelashes—it’s an idea.
I don’t have time to fuss over my makeup, or my hair. I say, you figure out something that you’re comfortable with, and you go with it. My husband never comments, except that he likes my hair up. I mean, he doesn’t not like it down, but when we’re going out… He says it’s my signature.
I’ve been doing my hair like this for around 15 years. It's the ‘Pebbles’ style—remember, from The Flintstones? The daughter, Pebbles, wore a high ponytail and put a bone right here. Before this, I had more of a layered bob, but I don’t like having my hair on my face—I was a diver in high school and college, so I wore my hair really, really short for years. It was easy! Now, I’ll wear it down once in a while, but I have no time. I have a 10 and a 12 year-old and I have a job, so I have zero time to do anything. Putting it up takes literally a minute. All it is is a ponytail that I tie up the back with straight pins, to give the illusion of a whole tucked-in thing. So, I blow-dry it, brush it back, tease it a little with a plastic comb, put it up with two bobby pins, and use some hairspray—that’s it.
I have a lot of different products for my hair. I use John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Flawless Finishing Crème, Verb Detangle + Defrizz Conditioning Leave-in Mist, and Verb Ghost Oil. I love Verb’s products, but, you know, it’s family business—my sister and brother-in-law have a barbershop business in Austin, Texas, and just launched a line of products. Their concept at first was to bring in local musicians to play in the barbershop—you listen to music, have a free beer, and get a mohawk or whatever haircut you want. Now, they have five stores and these products, which my husband and I love, and the kids use them—and the kids are the first to reject anything they don’t like.
I get my color done by Rita Hazan. She’s great, she’s funny, and she’s fast. I never obsessed over my hair because, when I was diving, I'd dive four hours a day—two in the morning and two at night—and you can’t deal with your hair, so you just get used to doing things very quickly.
For my skin, I use a bunch of different dermatologists’ products. I’m a believer—I believe in dermatology. Dr. Macrene’s 37 Extreme Actives line is really good, especially the Cleanser and the Anti-Aging Cream. I’ll use Chanel Sublimage sometimes, too. I love a thick face cream, especially in the winter. Oh, and this is the best stuff ever: Dr. Dennis Gross’ Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel—it’s amazing. I do it every other night. It’s pretty gentle and doesn’t make you red, but the key is not to leave it on too long, just for a minute, and then you wipe it off immediately. It evens out your skin tone. I have combination skin, and I’m telling you, Dr. Gross—I swear by his products.
Other than that, I use Dr. Brandt Flexitone BB Cream. I just like the way it goes on, and it adjusts nicely to your skin and has high SPF. I’m big on SPF. If you’re going to do lasers at the dermatologist’s office, you might as well not go and get it all undone with sun damage. There are so many kinds of lasers, but mostly, lasers even out your skin tone, and minimize pores and all manners of disasters and imperfections. I rely on the doctor to tell me which ones to do—they say, ‘This is going to be great!' and I’m like, ‘Ok.’ As long as it’s not invasive, as long as it’s not surgery, you can experiment on me. And I’ve had some things go a little haywire with lasers, but it doesn’t scare me at all to get them, not at all. By the time it reaches the doctor’s office, it’s been pretty well-vetted and studied.
Here’s the problem with makeup at work, and I tell this to people in my office: if you start wearing makeup when you’re young, you’re going to be wedded to it. You get used to seeing your face that way and then you feel naked without it. Me, I don’t feel the most myself with makeup on, but that’s my uniform for going out into the world. I don’t necessarily think that’s the most me. But, I do wear makeup every day…not so much on the weekends, maybe just Dr. Gross’ All-in-One Tinted Moisturizer with SPF and lip gloss.
It’s interesting—the fashion business takes women who wear no makeup very seriously, which I think is kind of great. If you look at what you’d call the more ‘senior’ members of the fashion class, they don’t wear a ton of makeup. So... do you have to wear makeup to be taken more seriously? No. It’s just a matter of what your look is and how you feel about it.
I was about 25 when I started wearing makeup. I remember I was working in New York at a magazine and I went into the beauty closet and I got a red lipstick. And I put this red lipstick on—I think it was Bobbi Brown—and, for some reason, it changed everything. I felt different with this red lipstick on. I felt dressed up. After that, I just wore lipstick every day. I didn’t really start wearing tinted moisturizer and things like that in earnest until about 10 years ago.
Now, for lipstick, I like a sheer, typically lighter-pink color. I use Napoleon Perdis’, because I know him and he’s done my makeup. His DeVine Goddess Lipstick in Nymphe is really pretty. Or I’ll do the Vincent Longo Duo Lip Pencil in Passion/Spring Rose, fill in my lips with that, and put lip gloss over it. I use whatever gloss my hand reaches first.
Makeup artists have told me so many things over the years, but mostly that it’s all about the skin. A lot of women think the key is putting on eye makeup, but it’s actually about evening out the skin. That said, if I was lost on a beauty desert island, and I could bring one thing with me, besides sunscreen, it would be fake eyelashes. I don’t care whether they're individual or strip—I can do both. I have them on now—these are from an event two nights ago. If they stay on, I let them stay on. Ardell 301s are genius; it’s so easy to do. Otherwise, on my eyes, I use Laura Mercier Faux Lash Mascara and Bobbi Brown Rich Brown Eye Shadow, which I also run along the lower lash line with a brush.
I walk and I ride the bike at the gym for exercise…so slowly that I can do my work. I’ll edit something while I’m biking. [Laughs] And I only do 20 minutes, because that’s all the time I have! I miss working out from when I was an athlete. I try to counteract my [eating habits] at the gym—I basically exist on sugar, pasta, and pizza. It’s not good. I need to be more mindful of what I’m eating because it’s typically on-the-go. So, I’m working on that.”
—as told to ITG
Robbie Myers photographed by Emily Weiss in New York on May 10, 2013.