On the opening day of the Toronto International Film Festival, Guerlain hosted a presentation by Paris-based creative director, Olivier Échaudemaison at TIFF Bell Lightbox (headquarters for the festival). The venue atmosphere was, as one would anticipate, hopping. As was Échaudemaison, who was sharply dressed in gray and black, with lace-up black leather shoes accented with studs. Passionate about his job, which involves developing innovative products for this storied luxury beauty brand, and working on the advertising campaigns with the likes of model Natalia Vodianova and photographer Paolo Roversi, the makeup pro was emphatic from start to finish. "Guerlain is so, so French. So Parisian!" Here, a crash course in French allure.
"Makeup is not necessary. But it makes you happier with yourself."
"A woman without lipstick takes a risk not to be recognized."
For Échaudemaison, lipstick is not just about colour and texture. It’s the entire experience of taking it out of your purse and applying it. He created the sculptural KissKiss, the rather mysterious and heavy Rouge G with flip-up mirror, and the new Rouge Automatique, pictured above. The latter ingeniously slides up’no cap’in a smooth one-handed push, and was inspired by Guerlain’s very first (historic) lipstick.
Wear a light natural lipstick during the day; segue to medium toned late in the day. "At night your lipstick should be intense."
"I hate foundation," says Échaudemaison. “At least, I hate to see foundation. Men hate seeing it. Foundation should be like lingerie’it’s your secret.” And so, the foundation name Lingerie de Peau. His latest pride and joy is a capacious mirrored compact foundation that promises a hydrating invisible finish, and which includes a concealer. Reportedly, it’s such a hit that it’s sold out in many venues.
When it comes to nail polish, now "you don’t have to match" fingers and toes. Currently, Guerlain is not doing nail polish, but that did not stop this maestro from laying down the law. Women today like to change up their colour frequently, he acknowledged. His taste takes him to suggest that one confine the off-beat colours to the feet, though. "Sometimes it’s difficult to have strange colours on your nails and hands."
"I like classic red," he says. Moi aussi.