"I’m from Cremona, Italy, but I live in Milan now. I started my blog [The Blonde Salad] in October 2009, because I was posting photos on sites like Loobook.nu and Flickr, and I had big followings there, and I loved sharing my photos. Starting my own thing seemed like the next step. I came up with the name 'Blonde Salad' because I wanted something that represented me. At the time I was even blonder, like blonde blonde. And I wanted my blog to be a mixture of everything, like a salad: fashion, lifestyle, my travels, my friends, all of my experiences. For the first year, I did everything myself, but then once it started growing, I asked for advice and help from my friends. Now I have visitors from all over the world, and 12 million page views a month. It's exciting. I try to post every day—it’s very personal, so no one else can do it for me—so I just always make the time, usually before bed or early in the morning.
I’ve always been a huge fan of beauty. I love makeup so much, but I’m very bad at doing my own makeup. Italian girls don’t wear very much, so when I do put on makeup it’s just very, very natural. Even a smoky eye is difficult for me to do. We’ve started a little section on The Blonde Salad with a friend of mine who’s a makeup artist, and she teaches me techniques, so I've been getting a little better, but I still have a lot to learn. When you see me with very beautiful makeup on it’s because someone else did it for me. [Laughs] Today, though, I did it myself.
I do have some tricks, I guess. I always use YSL Touche Éclat on the tops of my cheeks and around my nose. For me, it’s more of a highlighter than a concealer. Sometimes, when I have large dark circles, I use MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter Bright Forecast under my eyes. Then, I put on foundation. My favorite blush is Chanel #99 Rose Petal. I’m very, very pale, so it gives a bit of color. Without it, I’d look like I was green or something.
On my eyes, I love the cat-eye look, with a little mascara. Right now, I just prefer a top-line cat eye using Clarins 3-Dot Liner, with nothing on the bottom lash line. I think it looks more natural and better in photos—eyeliner on the lower lash line is fun for night, but during the day, it can look too dark. In terms of mascara, I’m a big fan of Sublime de Chanel Waterproof Mascara in Deep Black. But actually, they recently opened a Benefit store in Milan, and when I went there to get my eyebrows done, they suggested that I try They’re Real!mascara. It’s so good because it makes your lashes look very, very long, as if you’re wearing fake eyelashes. I also think it makes your lashes grow; it looks like mine have actually gotten longer.
I also picked up the Light Brow Zings Brow Shaping Kit from Benefit, which is good for filling in and defining their shape. My eyebrows are naturally dark blonde, but recently makeup artists have been trying to make them darker. So I just decided, ‘Okay, I’m going to go for it.’ And now I prefer them this way.
On my lips, I’m wearing Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Gloss. It’s one of my favorites because, even though I like a natural lip, a little bit of pink makes my lips pop. I like to wear pink on my face—not really for my clothes. Otherwise, I have been wearing clear, simple gloss since I was fourteen. I like lipstick, and I’ve tried so many, but I haven’t found one to wear every day. Rouge Dior 565 Trafalgar Pink is very pink, but it can be good on occasion, when I’m wearing a basic outfit. And sometimes I’ll wear a nude lipstick, like Rouge Dior Nude 169 or Rouge Dior Nude 618. For a night out, Chanel Rouge Allure #9 Lover is one of my favorites. I’ve had it for a long time—it feels romantic and French.
I’m definitely more of a makeup person than a skincare person. I'd love someone to teach me exactly what to do with my skin, but then again, I am also lazy. [Laughs] I could probably be more proactive. But one thing I know for certain is that sleep is the best skin cure ever. I notice such a difference, especially during fashion-week season, when I don’t get a lot of sleep. My skin gets progressively worse, it turns another color, and you can really see my dark circles. I have difficult skin, because it’s never completely clear, and for photo shoots they put on a lot of makeup, take it off, and put it on again. You can see when my skin is stressed—I get pimples and everything. So, I really have to focus on my skin and try to get seven or eight hours of sleep when I can. It’s the best for me.
Every night I take off my makeup with Elizabeth Arden Millenium Hydrating Cleanser or Ceramide Purifying Cream Cleanser. Otherwise, I don’t have many things that I do all the time. I just went to Korea last November, where everybody told me to try masks. So I’ve been doing the Innisfree It’s Real Soya Milk masks twice a week, before I go to bed. They’re so great for my skin. I have tried a lot of masks, but none have ever moisturized my face so much—you can see how well they work the morning after. The Collagen Dream by Nature Republic Hydrogel Eye Patches are very good, as well.
After that, I moisturize my eyes with Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Plump Perfect Ultra Lift and Moisture Cream SPF 30 and then Elizabeth Arden Prevage Eye. For my face, I’m kind of addicted to all of the Guerlain creams. They work for me.
I have five tattoos. The one that says ‘Ode alla vita’ is a poem that means 'Ode to life.' It’s a beautiful poem. My favorite one I got done on my last night in L.A. after Coachella by Dr. Woo, who is super good, and it’s in my handwriting; I just wrote it on paper. I want to do another, bigger one when I go back to L.A...
For my hair, I’ve never really used a lot of products because, most of the time, I get it done by a hairdresser. But I do like Shu Uemura oil, and recently I tried a Redken oil, after I did a collaboration with them, and I really saw a difference. I’m not even saying that because I worked with them—my hair is a lot softer. To give my hair volume and shine, I will put Redken’s Diamond Oil Shatterproof Shine into my hands and scrunch my dry hair.
I used to get a lot of highlights, but the longer my hair grows, the more I want it to look natural and simple. When I was younger, I was like, ‘Oh, I want to be blonder. I want to wear more makeup.’ But the more I grow up, the more I want to simplify. When I see the first photos of The Blonde Salad, I say, ‘Oh my god. I was so blonde!’ It doesn’t look good. Right now, I could never have that hair. Now, I really like it this way because it’s natural, it’s simple. It’s still blonde, but I don’t have to go to a hairdresser all the time... I was thinking that if I stopped being blonde it would be a problem with the blog. [Laughs] People would be like, ‘Oh you’re brunette. Why is it called The Blonde Salad?!’ I would like to try something else at some point. I’ve tried wigs and different cool colors for photo shoots, but for all the shades I’ve tried, I like this one the best. But who knows, maybe in the future I will try something else and become 'The Brunette Salad' or 'The Ginger Salad.' [Laughs] "
—as told to ITG
Chiara Ferragni photographed by Emily Weiss in New York on February 6, 2013.