Exclusive: Mario Testino Talks All Things Hair, Health And Pampering

Mario Testino’s career has been nothing short of stellar.

A royal favourite (Mario was requested by Lady Diana to shoot the now iconic 1997 Vanity Fair images and took Kate and Wills’ engagement photos) whose output is prolific, Testino has often been credited as being instrumental to Gisele’s discovery and is behind some of the most instantly recognisable photos of the past thirty years.

We caught up with him to get a look at his new campaign images for Schwarzkopf and discuss all things hair, health and pampering…

MC: Do you think hair is one of the most important elements in creating a beautiful image?
MT: ‘I think so – yeah! Hair is the most important part of a shoot. It determines how you communicate the look of the girl. Is she cool, sexy or edgy? Never underestimate the impact of a good hairstyle – it’s all about hair.’

MC: How do you feel about hairstyles for 2015? What is the modern twist on hair?
MT: ‘I think that the key to modern hair is not to try and look like someone else. You have to stay true to yourself. Many people want to follow a trend; a lot of trends out there are interesting. In our case with Schwarzkopf, if you look at the fashion collections, sharp bobs and fringes are in. At the same time you have long, romantic hair with soft pastel colours. There are so many trends around and it’s up to you how you would like to look. You have to decide what’s best for you.’

MC: What makes the images you’ve created for Schwarzkopf modern?
MT: ‘Schwarzkopf are very clever at creating dynamic looks that work for all types of women. Like I was saying, you can do the bob as a sharp look, but you can also style it messy – that way you have two different looks. The girl doesn’t want to appear too perfect. If you get inspired by a look, you can adjust it to better fit your hair-type and self-expression.’

MC: Where do you draw your inspirations from for your shoots?
MT: ‘I always have an eye on the trends of the season. I try to follow what fashion is doing so that the hair is going with the look fashion is proposing.’

MC: What is your vision of beauty? And how have you brought it to life in this shoot?
MT: ‘Beauty for me is always connected to the inner self of a person. I think beauty comes from within. You can decorate yourself but if what’s inside is not beautiful, it doesn’t really come out. In my shoots I always seek this inner beauty of people.’

MC: On a more personal note, are you an early riser?

MT: ‘Yes, I certainly am. I get up to go to the gym between 6:30 and 7:00am and then I work until 9pm in the evening. This is my daily schedule even when I’m not shooting.’

MC: What is your morning grooming routine?

MT: ‘I’m the laziest person you can imagine. I shower in two seconds, shave, brush my teeth and arrange my hair with my hands. I don’t use any products, no creams, nothing. But you never know – maybe now I will start.’

MC: Do you take vitamins or other supplements? 

MT: ‘I do sometimes, when I feel I could need a little extra. But at the moment I don’t take anything. No Vitamins, no minerals, no whatever.’

MC: Are you particularly strict with your diet on a day-to-day basis? How do you typically eat throughout the day?

MT: ‘It’s half-half. I’m strict on some days, but not every day. I try to eat well – good food like vegetables and fruits. But I’m not strict with my eating habits. Especially not with the amounts I eat.’

MC: What is your ideal breakfast, lunch and dinner?

MT: ‘I eat cereals in the morning with fruits. Some meat and vegetables at lunch or pasta and something light in the evening.’

MC: Are you particularly concerned with anti-ageing? Is it important to you to look youthful? 

MT: ‘I think age, beauty, vitality – all this is in our mind. It’s your energy that works for anti-ageing. That’s why I don’t take any pills or other things to slow ageing.’

MC: Do you occasionally have a beauty treatment such as a facial? 

MT: ‘No. Never. I don’t go for such pampering treatments. I just do sports, which I consider as active anti-ageing, and I try to eat healthy things.’

MC: How do you like to smell? Tell me about your favourite scent? 

MT: ‘I like to mix my favourite fragrances, so it’s always my personal scent.’

MC: When it comes to your fitness how do you like to work out? And what time in the day? 

MT: ‘I like to do half an hour of cardio training. That’s my favourite workout. In addition to that I do some other exercises like push-ups and sit-ups, but I’m more relaxed about that.’

MC: Does exercise mean more to you than keeping in shape and healthy? Is it perhaps a time to think and contemplate? 

MT: ‘There’s really only one reason for me to exercise. And that is to fit into my clothes. It’s as simple as that. And it works well, since I’m not changing sizes!’

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