The Great Allure

What inspired you to love beauty?

I’ll start: when I was 14, I discovered Allure magazine by way of my best friend’s (Toni) mother, Tina, who was a hairdresser at the time. Tina brought home the used, outdated magazines from the salon she worked for. Whilst listening to Nirvana, we ooo’ed and ah’ed over the brilliance of the pages; the magazine being larger in scale at the time, with Isabella Rossellini gracing the cover, sporting a pixi haircut and makeup artistry by a man named Kevyn Aucoin. I had recognized Isabella from her Lancôme ads and was delighted—or more: ecstatic!—to see there was now a magazine devoted to makeup. It was incredible for my 14 year old self about to attend Fashion High School—that is a real high school—in Manhattan.

I wanted my life to BE the pages of Allure! That magazine became a dream-maker and an obsession. I wanted to work there under 3 legends: editor-in-chief Linda Wells, fashion stylist/legend Polly Allen Mellon and writer Christian Wright—but more so, I wanted to befriend Kevyn Aucoin.

That magazine was my lighthouse. I fell in love with Allure. I believed everything they wrote and I ate it up, dreamt it, listed products onto wishlists, collected every issue without a subscription because my parents didn’t approve of magazines, or any excesses, that occupied shelves and floor space—or anything that contributed to hoarding, like the mysterious, growing piles of magazines I had—thanks to my big sister being ten years my senior me and a working, makeup-loving, non-parental adult.

Allure magazine was before beauty blogs, or vlogs, on YouTube; Kevyn came before the (awesome) Pixiwoo ladies—and the inspirations and influence early 90’s Allure and Kevyn created, live on! We see it in the artistry of ads, in music videos, and in the photos of known Instagrammers. They were the resource, and guiding light sharing their principles and wisdom.

It may not be all too obvious but reference their works and you’ll see the impact and impression they made on the newer generation of makeup artists, stylists and art directors across a spectrum of beauty, fashion, and visual communications.

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