Sarah Harris, Fashion Features Director, British Vogue

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"I’m from Winchester in Hampshire originally, and then moved to London to go to the London College of Fashion and I’ve stayed in London ever since! I studied what was called Fashion Promotion back then, but I think it’s now called Fashion Journalism. There was a big dissertation and we had to produce a magazine, and I interned at Tatler at the time. I graduated in 2000, and from there I went to Women's Wear Daily at the London office, then W, and then started at Vogue as a fashion features writer, then editor, and now director. I've been with Vogue for 10 years now.

I was 16 or 17 when my hair first started going silver. I was pretty mortified at that age, but my mum was completely silver when she was young. She used to always dye it. I remember the root re-growth used to come through once every four weeks. It was insane, she’d always be at the hairdressers, dyeing it brown, dyeing it brown again...but it never lasted for long. She did it for three or four years and then she just stopped and went full-on silver, so she’s been grey for a long time. Although I thought it would happen to me, I didn’t think it would happen when I was 16. But it’s gotten a lot more grey recently, I look at pictures of myself from even three or four years ago and it was a lot darker than it is now. And suddenly it's become its own thing! It’s funny. So often I have young girls come up to me in the street and they’re like, 'Who’s your hairdresser? What dye do you use?' I’m like, 'What dye?!' And not many people believe me—unless it’s a hairdresser who’s like, 'Yeah, you can’t get that color out of a bottle.' I've only ever dyed it for fun. I'd use those at-home wash-in-wash-out dye kits that you’d get from Boots on a Saturday afternoon with my two best girlfriends. We used to do that from when we were about 14 to 17—it was always some hideous shade of copper, I’ve never dyed it properly to get rid of the grey.

I've always just used whatever shampoo I have at home, it’s stuff that I pick up at beauty sales. We have them once every six weeks, they’re always great for picking up new things. At the moment I’m using Unite U Luxury shampoo and conditioner, but sometimes I'll use whatever my husband’s using at the time. My hairdresser says that I’m quite lucky because most people with grey or silver hair will have changes to their texture, and it will get really coarse and dry. He said it might change as I get older but it might not. Actually, my mum’s got very soft, grey hair and she’s in her sixties. She’s never had that wiry, coarse thing that some people get with grey hair. So hopefully it’ll stay soft, but who knows?  I wear it down a lot. My hair always looks its best when I’ve had a blow dry, but it's really at its best the day after the blow dry, after a night sleeping on it.

I loved the hair at Chanel's Autumn/Winter show. Those kind of ponytails which were full of rags and plaits—I loved that. And it's Céline for clothes—such a friggin’ cliché! But, yeah, I love what she [Phoebe Philo] does, it's the one that really gets my heart racing. So I have certain style icons, but I don’t think I really have beauty icons. My mum does nothing. She washes her face with soap and water and uses a moisturizer. That’s it, that’s all she does. She’s probably never had a facial in her life; she’s not a beauty addict. And the same with my grandmother, she’s exactly the same. I’m a bit like that to a certain extent but I like to do a mask, or I'll have a facial. The only thing I have never done is go to bed with my makeup on. Never! Even when I get home at 4am—not that I get home at 4am anymore—but even when I used to, I would always properly take off my makeup and moisturize and then go to bed. I don’t use that much makeup anyway, but products, I’m a little bit obsessed with. I like nice products, I always have since I was really young. I have a great facialist who I see probably not quite as often as I should but her name’s Ferre. She works out of Neville Salon on Pont Street. I like her whole take on anti-aging, and she never does anything invasive. It’s a very natural approach. I like to see her once every six months or so.

As far as my everyday routine goes, I get up in the morning and wash my face usually with Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish. That’s probably my favorite cleanser. Then first thing I do after I brush my teeth is put on lip balm. It can be anything from Vaseline to Sisley Nutritive Lip Balm, or the one from Crème de la Mer—from one extreme to the next! I’m not fussy, Vaseline is fine. Then I moisturize. At the moment I’m using Úna Brennan's Superfacialist Tea Flower Deep Clean Mattifying Moisturizer, which I really like. Úna’s a great facialist, too. Then I'll do makeup. I don’t often really love foundations but there’s this one that I’m using called Rodial BB Venom Skin Tint in St. Barths and it’s really nice. I don’t know what it’s got in it—venom or something!—but it makes your skin feel quite dewy and moisturized. I’m not mad on that kind of matte, flat look. I prefer a dewy look to powder; it feels fresher. Sometimes I put on a bit of Bare Minerals bronzer or blush, then Sublime De Chanel Mascara and that’s it. Chanel and MAC mascaras are my favorites.  I don’t curl my lashes. I don’t know, maybe I should, but I hate that little contraption! I feel like it’s going to pull my eye out or something. If I wear eyeliner, I use a black eyeshadow from Chanel—it's the Irreelle Silky Eye Shadow Duo in 80 [ed note: discontinued], but I never use the gold one, just the black. I take a brush and just draw a line. I’m not very loyal to any brands otherwise, unless I find something that I’m completely in love with. Working at Vogue I see so many new products all the time that I like to always stay open to trying new stuff. For going out in the evenings it’s exactly the same routine, probably just a bit more application. A bit more foundation, a bit more bronzer, a bit more eyeliner.

Before bed I like the Carita Fluide de Beauté 14, or I use one from my friend's line called Pearl of Opale Anti-Aging Face Oil. I prefer face oils more so than creams, especially for the evening. You can get it in Monaco in Paris in all of those French pharmacies. I’m a real junkie for a French pharmacy! I love those places, all of that stuff. It’s things you can’t often get over here—quite inexpensive, a lot of it, but it’s good, nice stuff.

For nails, I always do the Leighton Denny Nail and Cuticle Oil before I get into bed. When I have the time I get manicures; it’s the biggest treat ever. I like the manicurist at Daniel Hersheson on Conduit Street and the salon Harvey Nichols. Neville and the spa at The Dorchester are great for manicures, too. But I find it quite relaxing doing it myself on a Sunday evening. I love nudes; Nails Inc. The Perfect Nude is a pretty one. I love either that or Essie Mademoiselle, which I always have on my toes.

I’ve tried lots of perfumes along the way. I like Chanel Jersey, and also really like the Mor Perfume Oil—the Snow Gardenia is lovely. But I'll always wear Yves Saint Laurent Cinéma perfume. It's the one that I’ve had the longest, and it's still my favorite. I started wearing it when I was 16 or 17, as soon as I started wearing perfume. It was always that one; I don’t know how I came across it, but I really do love it."

—as told to ITG

Sarah Harris photographed by Laura Allard-Fleischl at her home in London. Interview by Alexandra Rhodes.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • femme_noir

    She has amazing hair, really beautiful. And that is dream bathroom material right there.

  • amber

    Aw I love Sarah Harris! I think that she's beautiful and elegant, and doesn't take herself too seriously. I also really appreciate that she wears her silver hair au naturel. As a 30-year-old who is probably 10% grey so far, I don't have many style icons of a similar age rocking the natural look. I dye my little pixie cut religiously (I have naturally very dark brown hair), but part of me would love to let it go silver. Maybe when it's longer!

  • http://theglowedit.com Kate Rooney

    Perhaps I have my priorities all wrong, but I can't even handle how much I want a marble bathroom right now. (As if I didn't want one enough already….) Sarah's beauty picks are pretty darn lovely, I must admit I adore Chanel mascaras too - it's such a shame they're so underrated online.

  • http://www.atdorsia.com/ Eliza

    Amazing hair. And I'm right there with her on the eyelash curlers.

  • Bella

    I love this woman, this is my favourite Top Shelf in recent times. She's absolutely beautiful, I want the outfit she is wearing, and I didn't for a second think that her hair colour was natural when I first saw the pictures! I like that she's not "precious" about beauty, that she takes care of things and has fun. And her work is nothing short of inspirational.

  • Brynn

    I also started getting silver hairs at 16 (thanks Grandma!), and 10 years later it's definitely getting more and more silver, but I haven't dyed it for almost a year because I also hate the rat-race of keeping up with the roots. I now find my natural hair color, medium brown with some silver highlights and blondish highlights from the sun, a lot more interesting and healthier than what I'd get from any box dye. It's so so refreshing to see more young women under 40 who are already going silver choosing to just go with their natural hair color. This is the kind of inspiration I'm constantly searching for these days!

  • luxleesg

    just GORGEOUS, wow. and that marble bathroom is too good.

  • http://www.clevergirlreviews.com/ Clever Girl Reviews

    She's very lovely! So is the styling in her place! I fully agree on Cinéma, I just wish it wasn't so hard to find in the US!

  • deb

    i always find it so amazing that the people who are surrounded by beauty products, and whose careers are dedicated to selling it to others, seemed the least affected and addicted, to it!

  • charmystique

    OMG that marble bathroom, I've no words.

    http://charmystique.blogspot.com/

  • Aubrey Green

    I can't get over how beautiful she is. She literally glows.

  • Lily

    She's stunning, and so chill. I wish I had both her hair (got my first white hair at 13 but it's still mostly black) and her attitude.

  • Emi & Kimi

    wow i love this and the marble bathroom!

    http://emiandkimi.blogspot.com

  • http://kittnoir.com/ Kitt Noir

    Wonderful style

  • Haiku Jew

    "Silver is new blonde"
    it's quietly confident
    dump your drugstore dye.

  • Guest

    Beautiful! Of course, when you are young and fabulous anyway, it's probably no big deal to have silver hair. No doubt being British helps, too. But in American society, I don't think it works. People don't accept women getting older here. While I have no desire to let my hair go gray, I feel that I couldn't even if I wanted to. I'm in my late forties, see clients daily, and compete with much younger women in my profession. The last thing I need is to be seen as "old." I do spend a lot of time coloring my hair, but probably no more so that the platinum blondes that The New York Times spent so many paragraphs fawning over today. It's all about survival...

    • Elizabeth

      What grim generalizations! What industry do you work in?

  • Audrey

    Especially great. She seems really lovely! (Of course it's only after reading her ultra-British take that I use a word like 'lovely'. Being American I would usually default to 'awesome'.)

    Anyhow, she rocks, this interview was especially refreshing, and can I please get in on one of those Vogue beauty sales sometime soon?!

  • Isabel

    That hair.... And the bathroom inspo! Amaze-balls

  • Angela_E

    I'm weirdly curious if her eyebrows are also going silver. I was fine with a few silver hairs on my head, but when I spotted white and silver hairs in my eyebrows, I started freaking out.

  • Patrizia Saolini

    This woman knows how to enhance her beauty talents: love her confidence...please go do that Chanel's braids!

  • m

    Yeah silver hair! My silvers have really started coming in (I have dark brown hair), and while I did freak out at first, I've come to love my streaks. I actually get compliments on them! Sometimes I even part my hair so they're more prominent, not less. Dyeing was never really an option for me. I have a TON of super thick hair, and even if I had all the money in the world, I don't have time to deal with roots. (Plus, white roots on dark hair = skunk stripe, terrible).

  • Georgia A

    That feeling you get when you see women that are comfortable in their own skin! I find it very inspiring....

  • The Witz

    What a gorgeous, classy woman. Why don't I work at the London office of Vogue?

  • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

    This Top Shelf was so refreshing. I've always admired her hair, especially in unison with her youthful face. It's something she has that sets her apart, and that enhances her sharp, beautiful features.

  • Siobhan

    Sarah Harris was one of the main inspirations for me when I was debating about stopping dying my hair. Looking at photos of her I realised grey hair can be beautiful, fashionable and even cool! So I grew it out, and I now love my hair colour more than I ever have done. Not only that but it's healthy and shiny now too. I work freelance in the travel industry and I don't feel it penalises me, in fact I feel it makes me stand out more if anything! I also feel strongly that women should be able to hold their heads up high whatever colour their hair.

    http://parishereandthere.wordpress.com

    • London

      My gray's really starting coming through a couple of years ago at the age of 29, which is when I started dying my hair. The trauma of seeing gray roots against yellowing brown dye every 4 weeks was too much so I stopped. I am 8 months into the mission silver fox and nearly at the stage where I can cut out the hair dye altogether. Sarah definitely inspired the decision, she looks so other worldly and beautiful.

  • notjustaprettyface

    The MOR perfume oils are so underrated, they all smell fab!

  • http://loganhollanddesign.com Kelly Williams

    Looking to purchase the U Luxury shampoo/conditioner http://www.pinterest.com/loganholland1/beauty-products/
    in NYC. No luck with the shops listed on the UNITE site.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks,
    kelly@loganhollanddesign.com

  • Ona_in_Barcelona

    Talk about glowing skin, wow! She is lovely. And her natural silver hair is so chic.

PRODUCTS MENTIONED

Unite
U Luxury Shampoo
Unite
U Luxury Conditioner
Birchbox
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
Vaseline
Vaseline
Sisley-Paris
Sisley Paris 'Confort Extreme Levres' Nutritive Lip Balm
Crème de la Mer
La Mer The Lip Balm
RODIAL
Rodial BB Venom Skin Tint
bareMinerals
bareMinerals 'READY' Powder Bronzer
bareMinerals
bareMinerals Vintage Peach Blush
CHANEL
Chanel – Sublime De Chanel Mascara
Carita USA
Carita Fluide de Beaute
LEIGHTON DENNY
Leighton Denny Slick Tips Nail & Cuticle Oil
nails.inc
nails inc. The Perfect Nude
essie
Essie Nail Polish
CHANEL
Chanel Jersey
Cosme-De.com
MOR Little Luxuries Perfume Oil
YSL
Cinema Eau De Parfum Spray
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