- Interview -
Terry de Gunzburg,
The "Haute-Couture" of beauty
At the age of 20, Terry de Gunzburg gave up her medical studies to enroll at art school. Meanwhile, she spent some time with the Carita sisters doing a make-up internship... and her fate was sealed. Between the many studios and catwalks, she met Yves Saint Laurent with whom she worked for 15 years. In 1998, she created her own brand, By Terry, an international reference in the world of make-up.
Did you already have a passion for make-up when you were a little girl?
I was fascinated by my mother’s and grandmother’s lipstick, powder and creams, but my vocation really started at the Carita sisters. They recognized in me a certain “sophisticated minimalist” style and one evening, they sent me off the cuff to a shoot session for Vogue magazine. It all snowballed from there.
Your own style of beauty is highly personal. What are your basics?
I love color, used with discipline and precision, and I hate excessive makeup. My basics are a perfect complexion, which reveals the skin’s vibrations and texture; impeccably made-up lips; eyelashes that are worked on one by one in order to open up the gaze; well- marked eyebrows; and a touch of blush for a fresh, healthy look. My key word is “éclat”, a French word variously translated as glow, radiance and sparkle. I love it when textures and colors, even bright colors, blend in perfectly with the face and do not look like foreign bodies. Or else one must wear them like fashion accessories. I love that kind of extravagance too.
Do you ever give “beauty” tips in private life?
Rarely, because I know the extent to which make-up can be a kind of protection or armor. But it is true that sometimes, I can’t stop myself from “undressing” a face and suggesting that a woman wear less blush or foundation.
Do you think make-up has the power to make every woman beautiful?
It would be a mistake to think that. There is great inequality with regard to beauty but anyone can nd their own style, which is far more important. Yves Saint Laurent liked to repeat that the most important thing is to “cultivate one’s own style, without worrying about the demands of fashion”.
Your brand, “By Terry”, has developed a kind of “couture” approach to beauty.
I invented the “Haute Couleur” concept, which is to beauty what haute couture is to fashion. And every eight weeks, I bring out a collection of my chromatic inspirations in a very limited series: this is my very own “haute couture” fashion parade! For clients who so request, I also make customized cosmetics, adapting to the nearest micron the texture and color that suits their skin tone, their skin type and their faces. It’s an incredible luxury... and such a pleasure!
Your new space at the Galerie Véro-Dodat reflects your love of cosmetics and color, as well as interior design... It’s like my house. I designed it in a “lifestyle” spirit. It has my furniture, my collections, objects, accessories, and favorite jewelry such as the “Preciosity” sautoir necklaces by Loulou de la Falaise. I dreamed of a place where I could express all my passions and every aspect of femininity around the theme of color.
Based on an interview by Michèle Wouters
Terry de Gunzburg