Unsurprisingly, the Vogue Creative Director has some strong opinions on fragrance, skincare, and wearing too much makeup

By Emily Kirkpatrick
Updated May 09, 2016 07:28 PM
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Calling Grace Coddington an industry veteran would be putting it mildly. Long before the ginger-haired creative was responsible for defining Vogue‘s editorial aesthetic, she found herself on the other side of those pages, modeling for brands throughout the ’60s. Over the course of her long, illustrious career, Grace has picked up more than a handful of beauty secrets from her time spent posing both in front of the camera and directing models from behind it, spilling them all in her most recent interview with Into The Gloss.


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The 60s muse turned Vogue impresario broke down her beauty advice into four helpful sections, starting with fragrance, a category she’s all set in after launching her own eponymous scent last month, “Grace by Grace Coddington,” in collaboration with Comme des Garçons. Vogue‘s Creative Director at Large said she wanted something, “that’s fresh, but still smelled of roses,” briefly touching upon her fragrance history; which includes scents like Floris, Calvin Klein’s first fragrance, and Hermés Rose Ikebana, before she finally developed her own. But she warns, “I wouldn’t say I’m driven by scent… I mean, I’m very aware of smells — usually bad ones! I choke on candles. Air fresheners are the worst!”

In terms of makeup, Coddington started out on casual terms with the stuff, despite the fact that modeling was very DIY at the time, as she told Into The Gloss, “For shoots and shows, you did your own hair, you did your own makeup, so you were taught how to do a chignon and how to curl your hair, how to backcomb your hair. And then for advertising, you brought your own shoes and jewelry and stuff like that. And I was quite popular because I always had the latest Paco Rabanne earrings or whatever.” But once she gave up her career in glossies, her relationship to wearing makeup became, “as little as I can get away with,” sticking largely with Chanel foundation and concealer.

She does, however, credit a certain tube of pink lipstick for landing her her first kiss. According to Coddington, when she had her first boyfriend at 14, her sister said, “‘Well, you know, if you make yourself more attractive, I’m sure he’ll kiss you. You should put some lipstick on.’ So she lent me her lipstick. It was probably 1955, something like that. So the color might have been something like a pearlized pink. Anyway, I put this lipstick on, and my boyfriend arrived at the door, and I got my first kiss…lipstick did the trick for me, obviously!” But despite the good luck that color brought her, she admitted she now prefers darker stains such as Dolce & Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick in Ultra.

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For skincare, she confessed she’s only just recently started paying any attention to it at all. She noted that as she’s aged her skin has gotten drier and she’s also recently suffered from a bout with Rosacea which she’s used lasers to treat with middling results. But for Grace, her fair skin routine is really all about big hats, sunscreen, and lots of it.

As for that famous head of hair that was once exclusively coiffed by Vidal Sassoon (he even tested out the five-point cut on her before giving it to Peggy Moffitt!), it’s all natural for the most part with just a bit of help from Louis Licari to keep some of the white strands at bay. “I’ve thought about letting it go white,” she says, “but the process of growing it out is kind of torturous. I’d have to hide for a year. Or I guess I could wear a hat again.” Though her look is pretty low maintenance, washing it and letting it air dry once a week, the best thing about Coddington’s mop of bright red hair? “You can’t destroy it,” she boasts.

What do you think of Grace Coddington’s beauty advice? Sound off below!

–Emily Kirkpatrick