The world of haute couture (or “high fashion” for the uninitiated) is often out of reach and alienating for the vast majority of women. Thanks to Parisian beauty guru Terry de Gunzburg, such is not the case anymore—at least where luxury makeup is concerned.
Prior to launching BY TERRY, her namesake cosmetic line, Terry carved an unconventional path to success. When she realized she was more drawn to art and beauty, she gave up medical school and studied makeup artistry instead. During a summer session in the prestigious school of the Carita sisters, a last-minute change of plan sent Terry on the set of a Vogue photoshoot. What seemed like a stroke of luck became her entry point into the lavish world of beautifully crafted, made-to-measure fashion. Soon, she was working side by side with Yves Saint Laurent as the brand’s international creative director.
Fifteen years later, she left Yves Saint Laurent to start her own signature line of makeup, skin care and fragrance. Her aim was to apply the same exacting standard found in haute couture on beauty products and make these available to more women. The result is BY TERRY, a luxurious line of cosmetics that are elegantly formulated, beautifully encased and surprisingly effortless to use.
To help you get to know this Hollywood-favorite brand more, we sat down with the beauty guru herself. Here she talked about the inspiration behind her signature line, the top five products you have to try and some tips and tricks on how to use them like a pro!
DERMSTORE: Take us to that moment you decided you wanted to start a makeup line. What was the situation back then?
TERRY DE GUNZBURG: Back then, I was the Creative Director of Yves Saint Laurent Beaute for many years. After Mr. Saint Laurent retired, I decided to start my own brand with a unique concept and service, which we still offer today in our freestanding stores in Paris called Haute Colour. We provided the ultimate made-to-measure makeup products that were innovative and of the best quality. Haute Colour required an in-person consultation as the makeup and formulas had to be created from scratch. Many of our clients wanted ready-to-wear products to take during vacations, business trips and short getaways, so I created a full ready-to-wear collection range of makeup tools that were multitasking and anti-aging.
What was lacking in the industry that you wanted to fill with BY TERRY?
As I am sure you may know, I created, while working with Mr. Saint Laurent, the notorious Touche Eclat. It revolutionized the world of makeup due to its success and popularity, but also because it was a multitasking tool, easy to transport and effortless to use. I felt the industry needed more innovative tools that were as efficient and effective as the Touche Eclat while providing anti-aging benefits.
What was the inspiration behind the brand? What is the brand’s beauty philosophy?
Part of my inspiration has always been to provide the world a much easier and effective way to apply and use makeup. The BY TERRY philosophy is quality, innovation and integrity.
Describe the BY TERRY woman—what is she like?
The BY TERRY woman is all women looking for innovative multitasking tools that are easy to use, effortless, effective and of the utmost quality.
For someone who is new to the brand, which BY TERRY products should they absolutely try first?
This is a very hard question since I love all my products, but I would say to the new client to BY TERRY to try these products:
Why I love it: “I was looking for a very light pink, anti-aging glaze for the lips. My scientist in our lab made a mistake and added 50 percent more of the anti-aging elements in the original formula. I was attracted to the color and the rest is history. It became a cult favorite as it’s very effective.”
How to use it: “Use under or over lipstick. It can also be used on the cuticles.”
Why I love it: “I wanted to create a lipstick that was an all-in-one tool for women. This is how Rouge-Expert Click Stick was born. Rouge-Expert has a unique water-droplet shape tip that perfectly fills the contours of the lips with pencil precision. I worked on developing a formula that gave women a high-impact long-lasting pigment that also conditions the lips like a balm. The effect is a creamy, velvety veil of texture that feels like silk on the lips.
Of course, my favorite shade is number 17 “My Red.” This is the perfect red for every woman. A bold red always makes me feel confident.”
Why I love it: “I wanted to create a collection that provides a great deal of benefits without requiring any particular expertise. The objective was to attain flawless skin that doesn’t require photo touch-ups but appears just as perfect and clear as it does in real life. This hybrid matte and glow powder allows for mattifying, illuminating, sculpting, strobing. Each powder brings a gorgeous golden warmth to the complexion and the iridescent highlight in the center of the compact allows you to customize your look.
What makes this compact so innovative is the unique texture of the powder. It begins as a liquid and is heated to dry. The result is that the powder instantly adheres to your skin, blends flawlessly, and continues to stay all day, without creasing or settling into fine lines.”
How to use it: “You can blend the colors together to your liking or use the powders separately to achieve your look.”
Why I love it: “I wanted to create an ultra-creamy, ultra-lightweight formula that could meet every need, in the smallest tool possible! This dreamy, matte, velvet texture is perfect for covering dark circles and camouflaging imperfections, but also perfect for sculpting the face using contouring and highlighting techniques. I also incorporated macadamia oil into the formula to hydrate and take care of the skin.”
How to use it: “Pat the product onto the areas that need correcting, as if you were making polka dots, and then blend into the skin with the fingertips or a sponge or brush.”
Why I love it: “My Liftessence is created from the essence of ruby rose native cells. We use a very scientific, innovative method to extract this from the rose to make sure that all of the benefits of the rose native cells are preserved. This concentrated essence regenerates the skin from within, firming and lifting the skin. With the creation of the Liftessence Neck Cream, I have added red algae extract for its restructuring capabilities, as well as multi-corrective matte pearls to create a perfect veil with smoothing, unifying effects.
I use this every day and night. It is my secret weapon.”
Why I love it: “I imagined a fragrance that was like a tea created from my garden and then travelled on a magnificent journey through the French Riviera. The energizing spiced wood and citrus always remind me of the pure pleasure and relaxation of summer. I love to wear The Glace all year—it is magnetic!”
Why I love it: “I was looking for a lightweight, brightening foundation. This is like the Touche Eclat, but with a larger brush to make it easy to apply on the entire face. It has our iconic click mechanism making it very easy to transport.”
Why I love it: “I wanted a luminous and radiant shadow that was easy to carry, so I created my cream shadows in a retractable pencil format. I also added the Tahitian crush black pearl for anti-aging benefits.”
How to use it: “You can apply directly with the crayon onto the eyelids and blend with either a brush or fingers.”
Why I love it: “Over the years I always heard clients saying they did not have full or great lashes, so I created our mascara collection with the growth-booster formula. This is very popular as it thickens, lengthens, defines lashes while making them grow naturally.”
How to use it: “Applying a colorful shade over a dark shade always makes the eyes pop.”