Olivia Palermo’s beauty secrets

The style icon reveals all from her favourite beach hair trick to how she chooses her nail polish.

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 recipe to looking polished. Fortunately for us, she was willing to share it…
Olivia Palermo beauty

Olivia Palermo reveals her beauty secrets

Let’s start with nails – after all, we’re surrounded by your Ciaté collection. What made you want to get involved?

‘When Ciaté approached me I thought it was the right time to branch out into beauty – it’s the perfect accessory as you need hair and make-up to help tell the story of how you feel that day. And I noticed that there was a gap in the market for weekly nail polishes that have a really great formula. Every time I travel around the world I’m always buying them to make sure the quality is consistent and my manicure ladies and I test them together and talk about everything – the brush, the bottle, that little ball at the bottom; quality is really important to me.’

So do you do your own nails at home?

‘Very rarely – but if I have to I’m really good at it and nobody can tell! I go to have a manicure 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 editors and fashion editors in there. While I’m having my manicure, I switch off my phone and use the time to relax and recharge my batteries. When I travel, I still go for my manicures – I’ve hunted out the best places all over the world.’
Olivia Palermo beauty

Ciaté by Olivia Palermo

Your nails are deep blue today – are you a fan of zanier nail colours?

‘Right now I’m into blues, but I choose my nail colour based on my mood. I stick to red most the time, as does my mum – Hutch is named after her for that reason: it’s perfect mother Hutchings red [Olivia’s mother is Lynn Hutchings]. It’s classic and goes with everything.’

Talk us through an off-duty Olivia Palermo day in beauty…

‘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 use his skincare products. I always do my hair and make-up for myself in the morning – it makes me feel good. Every day is a new day so I like to start with a fresh face, fresh hair, fresh everything.’

Do you find that has a positive impact on how you feel?

‘It really does – if you feel fresh when you look in the mirror it sets the tone for the day. By getting dressed and feeling put together it puts your mindset in a better place to be a bit more motivated.’

Olivia Palermo beauty

Dr Dennis Gross

Let’s chat hair. Yours is currently bronde but you change it a fair bit. What are your secrets?

‘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 so everything’s collaborative. The key to having healthy hair is to get a trim every 4-5 weeks – just a little dusting off the ends to help it grow. 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.’

On to the quick fire beauty questions… What’s the best hair tip you’ve ever heard?

Wet your hair with normal water before you go in salt water or chlorine – the hair shaft absorbs it so it’ll stop colour from changing through oxidisation.
Olivia Palermo beauty

Ciaté Cheekbone Cheat Blusher Bronzer Duo

Name five products you wouldn’t leave the house without

My Ciaté Cheekbone Cheat Blusher Bronzer Duo, concealer, a mini nail polish, lipstick and Elnett.

Cardio or yoga?

‘Both – I’ve been doing Bikram since I was 18 and also do FlyBarre and the Tracy Anderson work out.’

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.’

Do you take supplements?

‘Every once in a while I’ll take something my dermatologist recommends, but I’m not a pill-taker. I just stick to water.’
Olivia Palermo beauty

Jo Malone Scented Candle

How about aromatherapy? Yay/nay?

‘I’m often in hotel rooms and they can smell a bit… hotel roomy-ish, so I pack some Jo Malone or Diptyque. I really like Orange Blossom scents.’

What do you do on a flight?

‘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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