Vanessa Seward, Designer

Vanessa Seward
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Vanessa Seward
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Vanessa Seward
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'I’m from Argentina and in my family, presentation and appearance—those things were very important. Maybe that’s a universal thing, but for us, it was a big deal. My mother spent her life at the hairdresser. She lived to go out—and my two sisters and I were in total admiration of her. I design for my own line and I think my style is an extension of that. When I design, I’m trying to enhance beauty…aesthetic is more important than trend. And subconsciously I think I’m very inspired by my mother in those years. And it’s funny because I’m actually quite a shy person, and she’s very extroverted. But I think there is something in me that comes out in my work which is related to her.

SKINCARE & BODY

My husband, my five year old, and I live in Paris now—I’ve been here for 32 years now. In the morning, I use Christian Dior Purifying Toning Lotion with Crystal Iris Extract with a cotton pad on my face, just to get rid of the night. More recently I’ve started putting drops in my eyes to wake up. I’ve got sensitive eyes so that feels quite good. My biggest indulgence is my bath every morning with Laura Mercier Creme Brûlée Honey Bath. I need that time on my own to do nothing. When you’re a creative, I think you need an excuse to find time to have ideas. So without that moment, I unravel. And it’s so easy to be busy—there are days when you feel so interrupted, especially if my daughter is home from school and my husband is working from home too. But you can be creative in those moments, even when washing the dishes. For me, inspiration is a state of mind and a creative mood can be any time. Sometimes I design when I’m still in my pajamas. I’ve thought about not working from home, but it wouldn’t be the same. I actually really do enjoy it. When I get out of the tub, I use the Clarins Extra-Firming Body Cream and move on with my day.

I’m 46 and, for the moment, I don't want to do any injections or anything. I’m trying to resist. But I've amassed a lot of money in creams—prevention! So, I have the Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Gel Cream, and I’m using it as a day cream and in the evening, too. There are other products in the line that are supposed to renew and regenerate…so check in with me in a month and see what I look like. The price is kind of killer though, so I have the Boots No. 7 Moisturizer that I’ve been using for a while. I like that one better in the summer—when it starts to be winter, I like something a bit more lavish. If I have any redness, I use Guerlain Crème Camphréa when I wake up. Oh, magic Guerlain…I use their fragrance, too. Guerlain Eau de Cologne Imperiale is so fresh. At night, I can wear Shalimar.

Once or twice a week, I like to do a peel with Carita Paris Progressif Micro Peel. Because I’ve got mixed skin, then I put this Clinique Pore-Refining Charcoal Mask [on the t-zone]. Voila! And then I put a mask on over—usually the Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask.

MAKEUP

For makeup, I use Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer with SPF with a sponge. Then I put on the Laura Mercier Crème Cheek Colour in Blaze. And I keep a pressed powder with me in my bag. I’ve got this old-fashioned thing because I don’t like it when I shine.

My tweezer is my enemy because I have very bushy eyebrows. My eyebrow brush has become very important to me—it’s Shu Uemura. Then I just use a pencil to fill in some of the holes. For my eyes, I use black eyeliner and black mascara—both from Laura Mercier. Sometimes I use a pencil on my lips, something neutral like Chanel in No. 34. But I also have Sisley in Sheer Burgundy. In the evening though, it’s Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet. And also Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl or Cruella. If I’m not wearing any color on my lips, I just use Homeoplasmine!

HAIR

For my hair, I’ve been using Leonor Greyl forever. And I also go to their salon on Rue Tronchet. I use Huile de Leonor Greyl because I’ve got quite dry hair. After I shampoo, I like to leave it on for an hour. You don't even have to put that much in. Then I rinse it out and the Sérum de Soie Sublimateur.

HEALTH

I tried to do [training sessions] once a week, but I could never fit those into my schedule. What I try to do now—especially days when I work—is ride my bicycle for 30 minutes. And, you know, some abs, and I try to do that twice a week. I don't worry about the weight—it's not a question of being slim. It's a question of being healthy and fit. But I work, I'm a mom, I'm running around, so that keeps you fit! My husband has Type 1 diabetes, which actually makes us all eat very healthy. Lots of vegetables, less carbohydrates. I cook sometimes—but then it's very French.”

—as told to ITG

Vanessa Seward photographed by Bruno Werzinski in Paris on November 6, 2015. Interview by Marie-Cybele Muysers. If you're in New York, stop by the A.P.C. store on W 4th St. to shop the Vanessa Seward pop-up shop—open now through December 8th.

Beauty by design: read about how Donna Karan achieved her signature look, the skincare habits of Tory Burch, or Tamara Mellon's favorite nail polishes. And read more of The Top Shelf.