Career & Beauty Advice From Terry De Gunzberg

TERRY DE GUNZBERG is the French beauty pioneer responsible for creating many iconic products, among them YSL’s Touche Éclat. She talks to SARAH HALLIWELL


Every great beauty idea you’ve ever heard of probably originated from Terry de Gunzburg. The French make-up artist, now in her late fifties, was creative director of beauty at Yves Saint Laurent for 15 years, working alongside the legendary designer.

She created the world’s best-known beauty product, Touche Éclat, in 1992. She went on to conceive her own brand, By Terry, in 2001, “a bespoke house of colour that’s very extravagant, with no limits for creativity and luxury”.

De Gunzburg has always been in the vanguard of what’s new in beauty and “in love with science”. “My father is a PHD scientist, I studied medicine before entering the world of beauty and my husband is in cancer and antibiotics research so science is a very big part of my life. I have always been fascinated with understanding every aspect of plants.”

Roses have always been at the core of By Terry skincare. “I have a passion for roses – my mother used to bathe me in rose water and in my teenage years, I used rose water as a tonic. I like their colours, textures, the velvet, dewy touch of their petals and the infinite potential of their active ingredients. I certainly consider myself to be a pioneer in exploring the essence of roses from skincare to make-up to fragrance. Having researched the field of botanical science for more than 20 years, I use every part of the flower – the petal, stem, extract and oil – to get the crème de la crème of their benefits, which include skin rejuvenating, hydrating, antioxidising and brightening properties.”


De Gunzburg’s Cellularose range is based on advanced botanical research, in which the star ingredients are rose native cells, the most powerful and naturally regenerating part of the flower. “With a unique bio-process we can fully reconstruct the cellular composition of active roses. In Liftessence, we use Ruby Rose, which offers exceptional and unprecedented firming and lifting potential; we use white and pastel roses for brightening and perfection in other lines.”

The just-launched Liftessence Global Serum and Oil Elixir are rich in fatty acids, lipids, proteins and antioxidants to help firm and sculpt facial contours. De Gunzburg’s eponymous fragrance line, launched in 2012, also celebrates the rose, such as the darkly beautiful Rose Infernale.

The beauty world has changed alot since de Gunzburg started out in the 1970s. “The definition of beauty has changed so much – now there are so many trends that everyone is homogenising and individuality has been lost. However, there are also amazing new discoveries and advanced technology which have brought a positive evolution to beauty and research. Social media is a very interesting new tool; it’s super-fun and very powerful but it does distort reality. All the filters on Instagram make it so easy to achieve a perfectly smooth complexion – but this is not real! We will definitely be returning to a more natural and spontaneous look. That’s why it is very important to take care of your skin.”

De Gunzburg’s signature look has always been skin that glows – that holy grail championed once again on the SS16 catwalks. “Glowing skin is much easier to achieve nowadays due to advanced technologies. In previous years, the only way to achieve it was using make-up, but now we can make it glow from within, thanks to advanced research. Your make-up should deliver enhancement, comfort, wellbeing, lightness, youthfulness and freshness. Cleanse, hydrate and feed the skin – that is fundamental. Follow by correcting and highlighting in the most natural way possible, and avoid concealing too much so you don’t look photoshopped.”

De Gunzberg has always created multi-tasking products, such as Light Expert Foundation, in a nifty click-to-go brush “to speed up the application and give you a flawless, healthy glow within minutes, since we’re all busy.” Her Hyaluronic Face Glow championed natural moisturiser  hyaluronic  acid in 2011, long before the current
trend for it took hold.

De Gunzburg’s own regime includes using a Clarisonic brush twice a week. “I also take a lot of food supplements including multivitamins, Q10 enzymes, green tea and charcoal tablets, vitamin C and calcium, and acai, as it’s the best antioxidant. Last, but definitely not least, drinking lots of water is a must. I eat no meat and very limited sugar, apart from natural fruits, as they really help boost the skin’s quality.” Her essential products include her own Baume De Rose and Terrybly Growth Booster Mascara, plus Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, sulphate-free Everlast shampoo and L’Oréal conditioner.

De Gunzburg is immensely proud that her daughter Marion Assuied is now the company’s CEO, but there’s no sense of de Gunzberg stepping back, or even slowing down. “Our biggest challenge is to be able to keep up with marketing trends without falling into their trap – I refuse to do something or to launch a product just because it’s the fashionable thing of the moment. With celebrities dictating beauty more than experts, we see trends pop up that don’t work for everyday women, and this is terrible – I detest seeing those women who have fallen into the contouring craze. Contouring is great if done properly but it is very hard to do unless you are an expert. And done badly, it is one of the worst things! For me, we are just at the beginning of a new cosmetic era, focusing on the natural rather than synthetic, from formulas to pigments and botanical extractions. Our R&D unit is working with some very advanced research on a product that is utterly beautiful and yet also the height of functionality – let’s say it will be the iPhone 7 of the cosmetics industry.”

By Terry is at SpaceNK

This article appeared in a previous issue, for more features like this, don’t miss our February issue, out Thursday February 4.

Love Sign up to our MAILING LIST  now for a roundup of the latest fashion, beauty, interiors and entertaining news from THE GLOSS MAGAZINE’s daily dispatches.

No Comments Yet

Comments are closed