2012 October 26
Beauty Beat: Looking Expensive With Andrea Pomerantz Lustig
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(NEW YORK) Those of us angling to look like our superlative selves without going bankrupt in the process have long deserved a tome of our own—and now, thanks to veteran beauty editrix Andrea Pomerantz Lustig, it's all ours. How to Look Expensive: A Beauty Editor's Secrets for Getting Gorgeous Without Breaking the Bank is comprised of decades' worth of insider knowledge that not only promises, but delivers the tapis rouge look quickly, easily, and utterly on the cheap. On the eve of her book party at Milly's Madison Avenue flagship, which was hosted by designer Michelle Smith, The Daily dug deeper.
BY ASHLEY BAKER
How long have you been researching this tome?
The book was about two years in the making, from the time I came up with the idea, sold it in proposal, and published it. It came to me one night as I was watching an awards ceremony on TV. I was getting all these calls and emails from experts about which products and techniques the celebrities were using. At the time, I was blogging for Glamour, and I was thinking, I want to write this all down in one place! After 20 years as a beauty editor, my brain as well as my inbox is filled with a lot of expensive advice and first-hand experience that would cost real women a fortune to get. Thanks to hair and makeup teams, celebrities now go to the supermarket looking gorgeous, but I have the tools to help all women look as great as they want to look, all the time. Around the time this was happening, the economy was in a bad place—a tank of gas cost $150!—and the idea of collecting all this very useful information in one place seemed like it could create real value for women.
What's the book's most important message?
There's an important self-help angle. I worked for Helen Gurley Brown for years, and I developed her "you-go-for-it" attitude. I wanted to impart the message that beauty is power. If you look like a million bucks, you feel like it, and if you feel like a million bucks, you have the power to go after whatever you want in life.
What was the most surprising revelation you encoutered during resarch?
All the self-tanning advice! The male celebrities in particular would have their tan done before an overnight flight so they'd arrive ready for morning TV. Also, the idea of layering one's tan, which became really popular after Pippa Middleton debuted her bronze glow at her sister's wedding.
How have readers responded to the book?
I've been contacted by women from all over the world—I've read tweets from Holland and Australia from women who had been waiting weeks and were finally able to get their hands on a copy. It's been shocking to learn how much it appeals to women of all ages, as well. One woman called it the must-have book for every twentysomething, but many readers are buying it for their mothers, grandmothers, daughters, and more.
So despite the thousands of tricks and tips in the book, how long does it take you to get ready every day?
Very little time! I can put it all on if I need to, but on a basic day, I get ready in under 15 minutes. I have a philosophy of less is more—all of my go-to products really work, and I don't clutter up my makeup routine with those that don't. And I'm definitely all about the cheap blow-dry. Every woman should have an expensive salon for her cut and color, and an inexpensive option for the quickie blow-dry. Lately, I've been going to DS Studio on 79th between Park and Lexington, and it's a really cute, secret hideout that can take me whenever I need a refresher.
What are your everyday essentials?
I'm a big fan of ByTerry makeup, especially the ombré blackstar colorstay eyeshadow. And I use bronze eyeliner, beacuse it's not boring like brown, it's mistake-proof, and it doesn't look heavy. Right now, I'm addicted to an inexpensive one from Sonia Kashuk. As for mascara? Trish McEvoy. It's the tubing kind that just won't run, ever—it just comes off in pieces. I'm not a big eye makeup remover person, because the scrubbing gives me bags under my eyes.
What about skincare?
I use Tracie Martyn's Amla cleanser, and I use Dr. Colbert's products, especially the Heal & Soothe night cream. If I don't use it, I have a very different morning. My biggest lifesaver at the moment is the Dior Hydra Life BB Creme - it has skincare properties, but it also offers coverage. I apply it with a foundation brush, and my skin looks amazing in two seconds. For my hair, Oribé dry texturizing spray is one of my core products - it's like a hairdresser in a bottle.
Which beauty impresarios have emerged during your career?
When I was the beauty director at Cosmo, Jin Soon Choi wrote me a letter, asking to come to my house and do my nails. She was just a manicurist at a salon downtown at the time. She came over, we became friends, and one day, she asked about doing nails for magazine stories, and I hooked her up with an agent. Within weeks, she was doing nails for celebrities. Now, she owns three salons, and she just launched her own line of polishes.
Do you have any plans to follow up the book?
I'd like to do another one, because every day, something new has been happening! I am also working on projects like my YouTube channel, and my website, HowtoLookExpensive.com. This book has really been what women need right now, so I'm going to wait for another inspiration!
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