'Ballet was a very important part of most of my childhood and was the first part of my professional career. It actually taught me a lot about makeup! We all had our own little tricks for applying lashes and eyeliner. But because I had this outlet for makeup on stage, I was never particularly drawn to being made up in real life. Occasionally I’d go to class wearing stage makeup if there wasn’t time to take it off, but that’s it. I took a break from dancing to go to Princeton, and then I went back to the Finnish National Ballet after graduating. Eventually, I got injured and went looking for a part time job. I ended up as Anna Wintour’s assistant unexpectedly, which was the best training I could have hoped for. Then, I went to business school to understand how to think strategically in a different way, which led to me joining Moda Operandi.
While I was overseeing Moda’s trunk show business—I’d identify which designers to carry and how to grow their businesses—Delpozo relaunched. I was curious because it was a heritage brand, but they had a new creative director in Josep Font. I went to their show in Madrid and got goosebumps. It was so fresh and different from anything I’d seen. From a personal standpoint, I think it really tied back into this first love of fashion in ballet costumes, as it was ethereal, magical, and whimsical. There was a femininity there that really resonated with me, so I brought the brand on to Moda and worked with them closely on the retail side. By March 2013, they asked me to come onboard as the president of the brand, and to help grow the business in the US across all the various departments while working closely with the team back in Spain. And, yeah, that’s where I am today.
I have very sensitive skin, so in all my products I try to be very gentle and use minimal ingredients. CeraVe is nice and simple—I’ve used both the Moisturizing Lotion and the Hydrating Cleanser for year and years. That plus some Bioderma Créaline removes everything from the day. I also love the Tracie Martyn Enzyme Exfoliant as a mask because it isn’t too abrasive. Then I’ll use the Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Gel—it’s complexion calming, so I’ll put it wherever I feel like I need something extra. In the winter I get redness across my cheeks and nose, so I’ll put it on under my moisturizer, and it’ll calm it down.
La Mer Eye Balm Intense is something I can’t seem to stop applying. I think part of it is the applicators—they control how much you use, and they de-puff! You put it on with little circular motions. I’ll use La Mer's The Moisturizing Soft Cream on occasion because I find it very intense. Sometimes I’ll put Sunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil on underneath as a serum, but only if I’m very dehydrated. Really, the CeraVe is enough for my daily moisturizer. And then when I’m traveling, I like to use the Dr. Jart Water Fuse Water-Full Hydrogel Mask because it’s super hydrating. What I really like are the eye masks that cover your eyes—I have a few different ones depending on the occasion. My Aromatherapy Associates Relax Eye Mask smells like lavender which is nice. You have to put the Imak Eye Pillow Pain Relief Mask to feel it working, but if you have headaches this one is supposed to relieve it.
I have always used a lot of Maybelline Great Lash Mascara. I had Caboodles full of it! But five years ago, I found L’Oréal Paris Double Extend Waterproof Mascara. I love this one because I have deep set eyes, and I can’t wear mascaras that run or rub off easily. You also don’t need to use a lot of eye makeup remover to get it off. I also use the Giorgio Armani's Maestro Fusion Makeup in 5—it looks like your skin but better. I know that I need concealer under my eyes in order to look like I had a good night’s sleep, so I use the Clé De Peau Beauté Concealer in Beige. With these three things I’d be OK on a deserted island.
I love having lip color options. I very rarely wear any lipstick or lip gloss by day—just Smith's Rosebud Salve. The scent is so fresh and the color of your natural lip but enhanced. But for evenings, I need something with more color—even a Chubby Stick that’s subtle. Another great find for me was Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres Glossy Stain in 13 Rose Tempura—you just put it on and it really stays and keeps the gloss to them. I also have their Rouge Pur Couture SPF15 Pure Color Satiny Radiance Lipsticks in 13 Le Orange and Le Fucshia, but those aren't ones to throw into your clutch and apply in the car on the way over—you need a mirror.
Back when I was still doing stage makeup, I would always extend my eyeliner out a bit past my eye. I’m still obsessed with a little flick for an evening look. If I’m really going all out—which is still not very much—then I do heavy top liner with a flick and mascara. I do love the Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayons—they don’t smudge or run. To me that’s ideal—when it’s on, it's on, but when you need it off, it’ll come off easily. I also love the colors. They're subtle, so I can put on a blue and it looks like a black because I have very fair skin. If you run it just along the eyelash line, then it almost has a little glow to it. I have to be very confident to use the Marc Jacobs Magic Marc'er Precision Pen Waterproof Eyeliner, as you need a steady hand. It really pulls out my old skills there! I cannot be in a hurry, and I’m usually in a hurry.
I can’t live without hairspray because I need a little oomph— L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray is a drugstore staple that I also keep around. Until about two or three years ago, I had really long hair. I think it came down to the fact that I always thought of myself as somebody with the personality of someone with long hair, but in my vision of that was thick and flowing locks. I never thought of myself as a short-haired person, but I came to terms with that change. I go to Ryan Trygstad at Sally Hershberger for cuts and then Aura [Friedman] for my color. I send people there a lot.
There are a couple of oils I use. The Darphin 8-Flower Nectar is my favorite. I wear it as a perfume actually. It has a lingering scent, but it’s not so heavily fragranced that it gives me headache or anything. I’ve been using Avon's Skin So Soft Original Bath Oil Spray since I was a child. It’s a bath oil but I use it as a mosquito repellant, too, because it works. Now, I put it on before a shower, and it seeps in and is very moisturizing. It’s very old school.
And Kiehl’s—I love Kiehl’s. I have the Grapefruit Bath and Shower Liquid Body Cleanser and the Deluxe Hand and Body Lotion With Aloe Vera and Oatmeal in Coriander . I've been been using them for years off-and-on. Most of the time, I end up using a little bit less scented body washes—I have the California Baby Calming Shampoo and Body Wash, but sometimes it feels indulgent to have more scented ones, even though my skin often doesn’t like them.
My polish is usually clear, actually. If I do pick a color, I use Dior Vernis Gel Shine and Long Wear Nail Lacquer in Incognito, a nude-pink. It’s a natural tone that I haven’t found as successfully elsewhere. I’ve definitely had moments where I’ve gone to a nail salon and asked for a coral pink because I’m in that mood, it’s summer, and I’m going to a barbecue—but usually it’s a nude. I get manicures once every week, or two if I’m keeping a plain polish.
Because of ballet, I didn't develop much of a fitness routine—running, treadmills, and stationary bikes were sort of counterintuitive to me, so I like when I find exercises that remind me of the work I used to do. I love Ballet Beautiful—it’s by Mary Helen Bowers, who is a former soloist at New York City Ballet. She uses ballet technique and language, but it’s not ballet. Most of it is on the floor doing mat exercises to develop a strong core. That’s the extent of my ballet dancing now. I’ve tried to go to the studio a few times since I stopped dancing, but the expectations I had of myself are not the reality of what I see in the mirror of someone who hasn’t danced in years. I know where my leg used to be, and then when I see it so low, I’m like maybe I should go back to the mat exercises. [Laughs] It’s hard to let go and not carry the expectations with me, for myself.”
—as told to ITG
Indre Rockefeller photographed on November 13, 2014, in New York by Tom Newton. To read more of The Top Shelf, click here.