Francesco Clark, the super-inspiring founder of Clark’s Botanicals and author of Walking Papers, started his his truly amazing skincare line (ok, skincare plus some pretty incredible lip glosses) out of necessity. In search of a treatment for his chronically irritated skin (a side effect of losing the ability to both walk and sweat after a tragic diving accident), Clark began developing all-natural, botanically derived solutions of his own. Not only will Francesco be guest-blogging for us all week (he’s interviewing everyone from Rosie to Peter Som), but this month only, Clarksbotanicals.com is offering an exclusive 35 percent off to Lucky readers with the code "LUCKYBREAKS2".
There is always that one person you look up to, who becomes a mentor. For me, Jeanine Lobell is just that. We were introduced after an unexpected phone call: I had e-mailed Linda Wells, editor-in-chief of Allure magazine, a work-related question, and within minutes, unexpectedly, I got a response, which was also very unexpected: "Call me." And so I did. I mean, I’d have called Linda immediately if my dentist was midway through removing three molars without Novocain, but anyway … we had a lengthy and heartfelt talk about beauty. (My teeth are fine, by the way.)
The last question she asked me was: "Who do you want to meet in the world of beauty? It can be anyone." What was I supposed to say to that? "Anyone?" I said. I started to think out loud of all of these people I’d only wished I could meet, but never thought I actually could, and by the time I was nearly out of breath, I ended with: "…but my number-one pick would have to be Jeanine Lobell. She is such a talent and has the know-how in the industry, with her experience starting Stila, and all her projects since then."
Not five minutes since hanging up the phone my e-mail in-box flashed a new message with the subject line "An Introduction," and there was the beginning of what would become a very close friendship, and mentorship, between Jeanine and me. She came to my house a couple of days later, and we met for three hours, going over everything. We got along immediately: It felt like someone had just given me the answers to the final exam. Our perspectives on beauty are different: I pay attention to the look before makeup enters the picture, and she picks up the reins when working with a clean face to make them look like pure–but not over-the-top–glamour.
Francesco: You’ve done it all in beauty: From having started Stila to your new role as chief creative director of Kevyn Aucoin Beauty, working with A-list celebrities like Natalie Portman, Uma Thurman and Michelle Williams. What still excites you about the beauty industry?
Jeanine: I love my job and the variety I get to experience. Making someone look beautiful is extra fun and when I make a color that is awesome or come up with a cool packaging idea I get very excited. The part of having a picture of a product in my mind and in a few months seeing it in front of me on my desk never stops amazing me.
Francesco: We’ve become very good friends since I launched Clark’s Botanicals; I remember when we first met, I was still filling jars in our kitchen. What’s one crazy story you have? Did you ever bake your own blushes or cut your own lipsticks?
Jeanine: I make all the colors myself–I have hundreds of pigments and bases that I use to create colors, so yes my kitchen is messy!
Francesco: Where do you stand on the plastic surgery debate? What about Botox and injectables?
Jeanine: I leave that up to the individual to decide what works for them. That photo of Audrey Hepburn in Ethiopia smiling with tons of wrinkles with a baby on her back always reminds me that age is beautiful.
Francesco: What’s your favorite beauty trick? What’s a quick way to go from shammy to glammy in five minutes?
Jeanine: In terms of skincare, I am addicted to using the Clarisonic with your Clark’s Botanicals Soothing Herbal Face Wash. It’s perfect for taking off makeup. When applying makeup, I think pick one feature and play it up … I either throw on a ton of thickening mascara and smudge my eyes with a black pencil or I throw on a great red or fuchsia lip. Just focusing on one feature seems to do the most quickly.
Francesco: Your worst hair-perming story! Spill.
Jeanine: OMG, I had a scary perm when I was 15! I looked like a total mutt–fried and shaggy. Everyone at Toni would not have approved!
More from interviews from Francesco Clark:
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