I have a treat for all of you today: Peter Lamas is here and I know you will enjoy him as much as I do! Of the many people I've interviewed as a Beauty/Fashion editor, he is truly one of the nicest and kindest people I've ever encountered and my interview with him a few years back is still one of my all-time favorites. How could you not love someone who says that of all the great beauties he's met, he was most smitten by Diana Vreeland!
Peter is a legend in the beauty industry and one of the most recognized names in fashion houses both in the US and Europe for his runway hair and makeup. He's worked extensively with Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Glamour, not to mention fashion photography greats such as Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and Francesco Scavullo. His clients span some of the most beautiful faces in history: Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Diana Ross, Jacqueline Kennedy, Gloria Vanderbilt, Faye Dunaway, Beverly Johnson, and Goldie Hawn all the way to Britney and Tyra Banks.
Lamas Beauty, Peter's vegan, all-natural paraben-free line of beauty products was one of the first on the market and made me a believer. I think you'll enjoy his take on beauty and what he has to say about working on some of the world's top beauty icons. Enjoy!
I asked Peter to talk a little about some of the most beautiful faces that he's worked on and this is what he had to say:
peter lamas: Audrey Hepburn...Beautiful is not the word! She had a little issue with her nose, a little bump, it was a little wide, but it fit into the features of her peaks and valleys. She had very high cheekbones and a pronounced jaw structure. Her acqualine nose was perfect for the features she had. She emphasized her eyes and eyebrows and loved to pronounce them. She kept her eyebrows pronounced for most of her life and loved to line her eyes. Elegance is what makes things work--the presentation of the body. She felt very comfortable always and was the definition of elegance.
Grace Kelly had a Philadelphia Waspiness that you still see. She had a perfect profile. There are very few people who are as attractive in profile as when you look at them straight on. She had that, it was impeccable. She looked natural, sophisticated, and never would overdo the makeup. I did her makeup for the Truman Capote Black and White ball and then for an event at the U.N.
Diana Vreeland: There was something about her, she just took over when she walked into a room of thirty models. I would've asked her to marry me if she hadn't already been!
I met her many times for Vogue to discuss shoots. Her hair was always the same. She wore something similar to the pageboy, brushed back behind her ears and very finished and neat--a very neat approach to grooming the hair. She wore foundation and red lipstick to emphasize her lips--Russian Red before Madonna and Mac came out with it. She didn't have large eyes but emphasized the arch of her eyebrow and used an eyebrow pencil to give her eyes more dimension. She wore sweaters, skirts, belts, and liked accessories. Like French women know how to decorate to make themselves look more special--she used jewelry, a scarf, and always looked groomed. Looking groomed is looking like you took a little time, put a little attention into looking neat without exaggerating.
mj: What do you think makes a woman beautiful?
peter: Coming from a man, you never can have enough femininity when you're with a woman. Femininity is how you project to the world, having a feminine aura about you. I love women who smell nice. Just a little, not heavy-duty. The odd pieces...perfume and accessories add to the allure of a woman. Once you overdo it it becomes vulgar or too much. Style is knowing you have style. You can be wearing jeans, a simple sweater and pull your hair back. You either have it or you don't.
mj: What is the number one thing in terms of makeup that you'd recommend to a busy working woman who has maybe five or ten minutes to get ready in the morning?
peter: I think the most important thing is good healthy skin. I can't say enough about that. I'd rather have women use good skin care at night and then a good stain or colorful gloss on the lips. A little powder and tinted moisturizer to start with. Lip gloss or sheer lipstick or stains for daytime. I like the innocence of blush. A little mascara. Nice groomed eyebrows. If there's one part of the face to pay attention to it would be the eyebrows. Have a decent hair cut that works with the face and texture of the hair.
mj: what would your guideline be for finding the right look for yourself?
peter: Always look for two people to work work with: a hair stylist, someone who pays attention to who you are--the features of your face, texture of your hair, and your height and weight. Whatever they design will then work in unison with your entire structure. It isn't about the flavor of the month. The second thing is color, they should help you figure out what is complementary to your skin tone. Then you need to find a good makeup artist. You only need to do this once. Sit down for an hour. Are you warm, cool, or neutral? Most people are neutral. Learn what's good for daytime and what's good for nighttime. You'll also learn how to apply a makeup and intensify it in the evening. At least once in your life save enough money to see a reputable makeup artist and do this.
mj: What are some things you would recommend for a woman who has a casual lifestyle and wears little makeup to do for a big red carpet occasion?
peter: For a very special occasion, hire a makeup artist. Know what you'll be wearing for the evening because you don't want to look too washed out. Dress up your hair. I never like to see a formal gown with casual hair. Make it look dignified.
Thank you so much Peter for stopping by!
The TYS beauty tip of the day is to pick up Beauty Basics by Peter Lamas. Every woman, no matter what age should read this little book.