Why do they call you The Duchess?
What an impertinent question. It’s an inherited title, of course…
Actually, it originated on a misty morning in Vermont when I wore a pair of green wellies and a waxed cotton field coat to walk my aunt’s English Springer Spaniel through their meadow. When the dog and I returned to the house, my uncle joked that I looked like Her Majesty the Queen out with the hunting party at Balmoral. I don’t want the responsibility that comes with being Queen – I just want an invitation to a fancy dress party at the palace once or twice a year – so we decided that “Duchess” would be an acceptable title, and the nickname stuck.
The field coat does have a royal warrant or two.
What was the first item of makeup that you remember seeing as a child?
I think it was my mother’s Merle Norman face powder. It came in an opalescent jar that was too pretty for me to resist (according to their website, it is still sold in that jar). I am also sure that I used at least one tube of mom’s lipstick as a crayon.
Who did you admire as someone you thought was a role model for beauty?
I believe that 95% of the beauty allocated to the 20th century was given to Elizabeth Taylor. The rest of us had to share the 5% that was left over. She had violet eyes. Who else has violet eyes? I rest my case.
I think she was most stunning in “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof,” and I’m on a mission to find a modern version of the white Grecian-style dress she wore in that movie. Then I have to work with Titania on rocking red lipstick a-la Liz.
When were you allowed to purchase or apply your own makeup?
I was allowed to purchase make-up and wear it outside the house when I was 16 years old. I was allowed to apply it at slumber parties earlier in my teens, but I was supposed to take it off if we went out. I am sure that I went out wearing some mascara and lip gloss before the age of 16 once or twice. I also remember borrowing pink hair mousse from a friend in an attempt to shock my mother, but mom didn’t seem to mind since she knew it would wash out.
What is the worst beauty product you’ve ever used?
Sun-In. My hair turned orange, not blonde. It resulted in the worst (and shortest) haircut I’ve ever had to remove the orange ends.
What is your makeup manifesto?
Enhance the positives! (Is that my manifesto or my mantra?)
Also, good makeup begins with a good base, so “moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!”
What is the one product that, if you could, you would build a replicator to reproduce it and never run the risk of it leaving your beauty stash or being discontinued?
I would replicate SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser. It’s a cleansing milk that has worked well for my sensitive skin. I usually have at least one extra bottle of it in my closet at any given time because I am paranoid about it selling out or being discontinued. I am also becoming a devotee of the Fresh “Sugar” lip treatments. I keep a tube on my desk at work and a tube in my purse.
Why start a beauty blog?
It is a delightful break from one’s royal duties.Tweet