As the founder and creative director of luxury lifestyle brand AERIN, and granddaughter of none other than Estée Lauder herself, it’s safe to say Aerin Lauder knows her beauty products – in fact, she used to sneak them to school to show her friends.
Surrounded since birth by all things beautiful (and beauty industry-oriented), Aerin is infinitely qualified to continue the Lauder legacy. She blends business acumen and beauty nous as effortlessly as her eponymous label’s signature rose scents. One minute, she’s reflecting on a particular pearl of wisdom passed on by her grandmother; the next, she’s revealing her own genius hack for travelling with perfume.
So naturally, we were dying to know all her secrets. Below, the perennially chic Aerin shares her personal beauty routine and private indulgences, and gives an insight into what life as a Lauder is really like (hint: it involves owning a ‘wardrobe of fragrances’).
Your grandmother is the inimitable Estée Lauder – what’s the best beauty lesson you learnt from her?
My grandmother always said, “You only have one face; take care of it”. No matter how tired you are, cleanse and moisturise, stay out of the sun and drink water. She also loved fragrance and told me to never leave home without it.
What’s your first beauty memory?
There were always new beauty products around while I was growing up and I loved to bring them to school and show my friends. I have many memories of us sneaking into the bathroom to try the latest lipstick.
Can you talk us through your current beauty routine?
It’s pretty simple and I like to keep it to a few key essentials. I wash my skin with Re-Nutriv Intensive Hydrating Skin Cleanser and follow with Re-Nutriv Intensive Age-Renewal Face and Eye Crèmes. I keep my look very natural – a small amount of Double Wear Light foundation and bronzer to give my skin a beautiful sun-kissed glow. I always carry AERIN Rose Lip Conditioner – it’s a pretty universal, nude shade that works alone or adds an extra polished look over any lipstick. It has a beautiful light rose scent and is super moisturising.
What little beauty rituals couldn’t you live without?
My favourite, must-have skincare product is Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair. I’ve been using it for years and really see a difference – it goes with me everywhere and I use it every day. I like to dab a little around my cheeks and mouth after I put my make-up on and it gives this amazing dewy finish.
For fragrance, I like to put a small amount on in the morning and reapply when I go out in the evening. Sometimes it’s the same scent, other times it’s different depending on the season or event. I also like to spray fragrance into my hairbrush and running it though my hair a few times. It's an easy, light way to wear fragrance. When traveling, I spray fragrance in my suitcase – when I arrive at my destination my clothing smells amazing.
Do you have a signature scent?
I love Rose de Grasse because the rose is one of my favourite flowers and evokes personal memories and emotions. For me personally, being surrounded by fragrance my entire life, it’s hard to choose just one signature scent – I have a wardrobe of fragrances I use for my changing moods and styles.
Which Estée Lauder or AERIN product means the most to you, and why?
Estée Lauder Beautiful. My grandmother Estée created this fragrance. It was one of her favourite fragrances and some of my earliest memories are of her wearing it. It’s feminine, romantic and part of my heritage – I even wore this fragrance for my wedding day.
Is there a mantra or philosophy that you live by?
Estée was an incredible role model. She taught me the importance of passion, style, hard work, family and, of course, all things beautiful. In terms of work, her secrets were: "Whatever you do, do it well” and “Work hard and love what you do.”
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I think in life—whether it’s in a career world or being a mother—the idea of having a role model is really important. I think that my mother was an incredible one and she taught me all the importance of being a good mother. She has always told me: “You only have one chance to be a good mother. Try your hardest.” That’s something I strive for, particularly when I’m juggling work and family.
What do you do when you want to treat yourself?
With such a busy schedule, it’s important for me to take time for myself. To escape, I love to go for a walk – even if only for a few minutes. In the city, I love Central Park for the scenery, or if I’m in the Hamptons, along the beach or on a country road with wild flowers. Nothing is more peaceful and invigorating than a walk in the fresh air. I never listen to music; I like to just think and be inspired by my surroundings.
You’ve recently launched a collection of Rose Colognes - what inspired you to create three rose colognes versus just one?
There are so many varieties of roses, each with their own scent and unique beauty. I was excited by the possibility of developing a collection of colognes that could capture different facets. Each is tied to a very specific memory and I experience each memory every time I smell each cologne.
Do you have a favourite in the collection?
I love them all, however Linen Rose is special as it reminds me of family time and memories at our home at the beach. It’s such a timeless, summery scent that it immediately transports you to the ocean and a time of year that is carefree and relaxed.