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Guerlain presents 10 things to know about Natalia Vodianova

Celebrating Natalia Vodianova's 10 years of partnership with Guerlain, here's an exclusive insider look at the supermodel beauty journey.
Reading time 7 minutes

2018 is a big year for the house of Guerlain, one of the oldest beauty brands in the world, as it celebrates its 190th anniversary but that's not all. This year also marks Guerlain's 10th year of partnership with supermodel Natalia Vodianova, who began her Guerlain journey in 2008 as the face of the Guerlain's Legend of Shalimar. And in celebration of Natalia's 10 years with Guerlain, we bring you an exclusive interview with the supermodel right here.

10 things to know about Natalia Vodianova

Photo: Natalia for Guerlain Shalimar Souffle de Parfum Campaign, 2016)

What does it mean to you to be the muse of Guerlain for a decade?

It has been such a privilege working with the team, especially with Olivier Echaudemaison, Guerlain’s Creative Director. It’s been fun, filled with lots of great memories, wonderful trips and laughter – always positive. I’m so excited for the next 10 years to come!


You were applauded like a rock star by 1200 employees during Guerlain’s 190th-anniversary celebration party last June. How can you define your special bond with the Maison?

I was so happy to be part of this celebration alongside the Guerlain family – there was such a positive and energetic atmosphere. I felt like I was part of the Guerlain family.

I imagine that all the employees of Guerlain also feel the same way I do about the brand – it’s more than a job for me as it is for them. It’s not just an ordinary job, it’s a true passion we share for the brand. 

(Photo: Natalia 10 ans Birthday Cake by Benjamin de Lapparent)

Is it important for you to share the same values?

Absolutely! I always strive to be my best and put so much time and effort into my work. It’s even more special when it’s reciprocated. And with Guerlain, it really has been like this.

The Guerlain team, Laurent Boillot (CEO) and Olivier Echaudemaison (Creative Director) have always been very supportive of all my crazy ideas from my actions for the Naked Heart Foundation to the annual runs to the Christmas make-up collection last year.


Did you find the conception and the creation of the makeup collection difficult or fun?

I really enjoyed creating the Shalimar-themed makeup collection. I was so inspired by my trip to India, when we shot the legendary Shalimar commercial. It’s all the beautiful colours of India that Shalimar represents.

Blue, gold and sapphire gemstones are everywhere in India. I said to Laurent, “Why don’t we transmit this into a beauty collection and not just in perfume?” That’s how the collection came together.

It’s was one of my crazy ideas that was supported by Laurent and the Guerlain team. This collection means so much to me especially since the profits from the collection go to the Naked Heart Foundation.


Did you expect that the collection will be sold out in a blink?

Of course, not! I was very proud. We worked very hard on this project. I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to create. I’m glad people really enjoyed this collection. I also wanted to design something colourful, fun and unique for Guerlain.

Natalia Vodianova for Guerlain 10th Year Anniversary by Benjamin de Lapparent

You have played different roles for Guerlain for the past 10 years. How do you prepare yourself to embody all these facets of a Guerlain woman?

There is no special preparation on my side, it’s all about the team that works with me. It’s about the stylist, hair and glam squad and of course, the transformation looks. Once that happens, it really takes over me, and I’m the character I play.

It’s wonderful! I love my job because you can really be whoever you want to be and work of course with an amazing team of professionals. It gives you the confidence in delivering the role you need to play.


How far have you been for Guerlain?

Over the dunes in India, behind the walls of la Muralla Roja Spain, Jaipur India, China, but also in many Parisian studios and apartments.

Natalia Vodianova for Guerlain's Legend of Shalimar campaign

What is the craziest thing you have done for Guerlain?

Well, I must say, the production of the Shalimar commercial in just 3 days with Bruno Aveillan, when it was supposed to be 10 days. That was quite crazy; we worked very long hours. It was my decision really because I had to go back to Paris.

I had an event with a group of autistic children visiting Disneyland that was organized in advance. Unfortunately, we realized too late that the agenda didn’t match. You can imagine that, of course, Guerlain had already booked the photoshoot and everything was ready.

It was crazy, we worked very long hours, slept very little, but everyone was there for me. We had about 100 people working on the shoot but everyone gave their
best to make it happen. It was one of the most challenging projects I have ever worked on. It was just beautiful, I remember the feeling of the incredible energy and feeling so positive. That’s how I made the Taj Mahal reappear from the water, it was divine.

Are you ready for the next ten years?

I should be! With lipsticks, mascara and terracotta ... I can tell you I’m ready.


Last but not least, what are your biggest secrets for a fantastic natural makeup look?

For me, it’s very much about understanding how to enhance yourself and trying not to replicate what someone else does already.

You must treat your face as a sculpture. In a sculpture, we would like chip off something and highlight certain features. Make-up is the same.

With the eyes, for me it’s very much about eyeshadows and working around the eyes rather than putting a lot of mascara, even if I love mascara.

For the lip, it’s the way you apply lipstick. I never ever put lipstick exactly on the
contour of my lips. I always apply my lipstick using my finger, it is more like a
work of impressionism, then a controlled movement.

For eyebrows, I never contour at the bottom of the eyebrow. I only contour the
top, so it lifts the brows and opens the eyes. You know it’s the small little details
that make the difference.

I love the Météorites. It’s a perfect product because women love the porcelain glow, it’s so in fashion now.

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