“The first red carpet I went to was for Studio 54. Ford Models was throwing a party in honor of my first Sports Illustrated calendar. It was quite a moment. The whole red carpet was lined with red lockers, and a different page of the calendar was hung inside each of them. My mom went with me, and so did my best friend Maury Hopson, who was a big hairdresser at the time. He still does hair—he was always Elizabeth Taylor’s choice, Sigourney Weaver, etc. So Hop said, ‘I’ll do your hair,’ and Sandy Linter would do my makeup. My mom and I went shopping and got some clothes. I like classic pieces, but also utilitarian pieces, or things that you can break apart and use in different ways. I like separates, and I like them to be comfortable, and I like them to have a classic kind of feel. I think there’s too much pressure—sometimes I’d love to go [out], but I don’t want to go through a red carpet moment. For a while the scrutiny was getting a little out of hand. I guess it’s sort of on me to not care. Obviously I care to a certain extent, but I like that we’re trending more towards being comfortable—at heart, I’m casual.
I’m pretty good at hair and makeup, but I’m not consistent. My big trick now is that I do a little [fake] eyelash that gives me that instant professional look. I’m still seeking the perfect lash, though—I know what I want. I want it to have a very thin base, and easily curve to the eye. For the rest of the space around my eyes, I have two eyeshadow palettes, and they’re really great. They’re very easy for people who are not professional to get the look. So I’ll put on some concealer first and get rid of the shadows and stuff. Then I put the light powder from one of my boxes on the inner corner, and I line the eye with a pencil usually, or with my darkest powder, which helps set the glue. And then I just put the lash on. That’s my reliable nighttime eye. When I open my eye after, I find that it needs very little shading. And then my Blonde eyebrow pencil from my line, just to define my brows. That gives it the finishing touch.
You know those little [undereye] concealer pads? I’m using them now. It’s like a little piece of paper, and they’re designed to peel off when you put it under your eye. I don’t actually stick it on, because I don’t think that’s good for the skin, but I hold it there and do my powder, and it keeps the line. It gives it an angle and a direction. It’s like painter’s tape for your face. When you do the undereye shadow, it slants the end up and gives you that shape. Then you tend to use less undereye stuff, which, at my age, you don’t want to use a lot of anyway because it acts against the wrinkles and fine lines.
Once a year I do an Ultherapy—I’m a spokesperson for them, and I really think that it’s a great thing. Ultherapy is a machine that has a wand that goes across your face, and it sends ultrasound waves to the inner layer of your skin. It slightly heats it up, and then the skin responds by creating more collagen and elastin. It’s very natural, and after you do the treatment you look younger for six months. I also love Dr. Hauschka’s Intensive Treatment for menopausal skin. It is a nice moisturizing spray that works great to set the makeup—and by the way, you don’t have to be menopausal to use it.
A thing I want to try is SK-II—that’s with that beautiful actress, Cate Blanchett, in the ads. She’s always so beautiful and luminous. And then I would love to try more of Charlotte Tilbury’s products. My favorite is her Lip Cheat. I love it. It’s bar none the best pencil. I could throw away all my other pencils now, because I love that Lip Cheat pencil so much. I can fill in my whole lip and just use a gloss on top, or I could cheat it around the edges and use any other lipstick. It looks great with everything, really. I only have three lipstick colors in my line, and when I use them with her pencil, I’ll get people accusing me of having too much filler. I’m like… Lip Cheat!
A lot of women my age complain about hair thinning, and I get that because my hair is thinner than it used to be as well. I’m big on extensions. They’re so easy to put in—clip in, one two three, just a piece of cake. And I can use one of my extensions to make a ponytail. You know how usually ponytail extensions have one strand that you wrap around to hide the rubber band? I have one that’s very good, and I like to use it as a half-up-half-down—it has a pincher in it, and the hair covers the whole pincher. It’s very Jean Shrimpton, or you can clip it low and it’s easy and chic. But my favorite is to take my hair extensions, and instead of spreading them out across the back of my head, I’ll clip the middle clip [in the middle of my head], take the side clip and fold it over, and clip it right on top so I have three clips together, and then I pull my hair back around it, and my ponytail will be thick and bouncy. It’s so good—it’s like night and day. That’s a go-to hairdo for me. I also love combs—I don’t know what I would do without those little drugstore hair combs. Sometimes I take Rita Hazan’s Root Concealer Spray and use it to touch up my roots, or to make the edge of my extension invisible and match my own hair. And then I love Jen Atkin’s Volumizing Hairspray. Sometimes I just want to have my own hair and let it blow around, so I’ll use it then. My hair’s naturally stick straight, so I’ll take it and lift it up, and spray the under layer, the middle layer, and then one more on top. My hair looks like twice the amount of hair I actually have.”
—as told to ITG
Christie Brinkley photographed by Tom Newton in New York at The Plaza Hotel on November 14, 2018.