Olivia Palermo’s Beauty Secrets

The style icon reveals her all-time favourite skincare heroes, her love of a weekly mani and why Mum always know best…

When Olivia Palermo bursts into the Ciaté offices after a transatlantic flight and couple of hours stuck in traffic jams en route from Heathrow, she looks composed. Wait – that’s not emphatic enough – she looks Olivia Palermo composed: her hair is glossy, her skin is glowing, and her outfit is chic, cosy and looks remarkably unwrinkled. Hell: she’s even wearing heels.

Half an hour later, I’m not so surprised by her pristine appearance – it turns out Olivia Palermo has a well practised formula to looking this good. Fortunately for us, she ‘s willing to share her secrets…

If you want to see more of Olivia Palermo’s all-time greatest looks check out her beauty evolution.

Talk us through your skincare regime…

My skincare is always the same regardless of whether I have anywhere to be or not – I’ve gone to see my dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross since I was 14 years old so I swear by his skincare products. My favourites are the All-In-One Cleanser With Toner and the Hyaluronic Moisture Cushion. If I need more of a deep cleanse, I’m faithful to my Clarisonic, which helps to clear out any dead cells, and remove dirt and grime.

 Dr Dennis Gross Olivia Palermo

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

I would never just wake up and run out of the house. Before I go anywhere, I leave myself at least an hour, to an hour and a half to get ready. I’m very diligent with my beauty. I learned that from my mother. She looks about 20 years younger than her age and always taught me that getting ready in the morning is precious time to yourself. My everyday make-up look is a smoky eye – I use a soft brown by Bobbi Brown – and a pink lip like Pillow Talk by Charlotte Tilbury. I usually pluck my brows myself, use Charlotte Tilbury’s Rita Brow Lift to fill in sparse areas, then finish off with a clear brow gel.

Olivia Palermo Charlotte Tilbury pillowtalk

What if your skin needs a little more TLC?

Sheet masks are my saviours if my skin needs some TLC. Whenever I have time, I see Joanna Vargas for an oxygen facial, which is great for boosting collagen. Otherwise I use her Twilight Face Masks – they give an amazing glow and leave skin really soft. SK-II has some great sheet masks, too.

Is your skincare regime different at night?

No matter how tired I am or how far I’ve travelled, I would never fall asleep with my make-up on. I’ve discovered that the easiest way to take off eye make-up – even tricky waterproof stuff – is with simple products like Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution and a bit of Vaseline. For a boost of night-time hydration, I love Sisley’s Black Rose Precious Face Oil. Sisley’s Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream is key after a flight, too.

Olivia Palermo Sisley facial oil

What’s the secret to keeping your hair looking healthy?

The most important thing is to work with people you trust, that are knowledgeable – Andre Davis has cut my hair for 11 years and his right hand woman Abby Haliti has done my colour for 5 and they’re both so good and everything’s collaborative. I have my hair cut every three weeks, I colour it once a month and wash it every day.  It’s a regime I’ve kept all my life and it’s the reason my hair always looks healthy. At home, I use a clarifying shampoo like Phyto Clarifying Detox Shampoo after a shoot and also a lot of Kerastase and L’Oreal products. A great trick I’ve learned is to wet hair with normal water before going in the sea or pool, as this fills the hair shaft with normal water so it’ll stop colour change through oxidisation.

What is your go-to hairstyle?

A chic low bun or a tousled wave are my signature styles. A bun is very demure and easy to create. All you need is some Elnett hairspray and bobby pins – I always keep them and a comb in my bag for touch-ups. If I’m styling my own hair, Hershesons Ionic Professional hairdryer is the best – it’s powerful but easy to control. For the soft bend of a tousled wave, I use a flat iron and spritz in Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray.

Why did you decide to partner with Ciate?

When Ciaté approached me about a partnership I thought it was the right time to branch out into beauty – nails are the perfect accessory to good hair and make-up that helps to tell the story of how you feel that day. I’m religious about having a mani every 4-5 days and have been going to Plaza M in New York for ages. I love it. It’s super chic and you see a lot of fashion editors in there. While I’m having my manicure, I switch off my phone and use the time to relax and recharge. When I travel, I still go for my manicures, I’ve hunted out the best places all over the world! Creating a collection with Ciaté just felt so right to me, nails are the perfect accessory for everyday and I love being experimental and trying out fun colours.
Ciate geology paint pot

Five products wouldn’t you leave the house without?

What do you do to keep fit?

When I’m at home, I start every morning with an invigorating workout. I train with my personal trainer Tracey Anderson, about five times a week. We mainly do body sculpting, using your own body weight to work out with boxes and mats. It’s the best way to get lean. The workouts were pretty intense. Depending on how sore I am, I often try to have a massage or combine it with acupuncture to relieve tension and pressure. Plus it’s one of the best ways to relax. I’ve been doing Bikram yoga since I was 18 too and also do FlyBarre, which is really fun.

Do you wear make-up when you exercise?

Never – that I don’t understand. Not only does full make-up on an Elliptical look ridiculous, but you’d need to go to a dermatologist the next day.

Favourite sport?

Definitely skiing. I go a couple of times a year, usually to Courchevel in France. It’s tricky with my schedule and the changing seasons now as the snow hasn’t been so good the last few years but I always make time to go.

How do you make yourself feel at home when you’re travelling?

I’m often spend time in hotel rooms for work and they can smell a bit… hotel roomy-ish, so I’ll pack a Jo Malone or Diptyque candle or room spray. Orange blossom scents are my favourite.

Olivia Palermo beauty

Jo Malone Scented Candle

Do you have an in-flight beauty regime?

‘I’m not a face mask on the plane sort of person – I get on the flight with my make-up on and touch it up when I get off. If I can’t sleep, I read magazines and do some work – I have loads of ideas during long haul flights and can really focus on the creative side of my job.

Luxury is…

Time. My best friend and I recently started playing Mario Kart as a distraction. I’m not wired for it, but it’s fun and really helps me switch off!

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Olivia Palermo’s Beauty Secrets

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