“Morning: The most important things for beauty, aside from products is your hapiness because that is what shows in your face. You can use as many products and as much makeup, but if you’re a miserable person, nothing is going to work. The other thing is stress. Stress really affects your skin. That’s also part of choosing very good products. We live in Manhattan, for example, in a really stressful city. You want to have a good regime and try to minimize your stress.
I wanted to be a dermatologist at one point in my life, when I was really young. All my life i’ve been reading all these different studies and I’ve gone to the best dermatologists in the world. I really believe in dermatology and I’ve developed beauty lines for 10 years, so I’ve had to do a lot of research.
Cleansers that are very expensive are a waste of money, they don’t penetrate the skin, they aren’t left on the skin long enough. It’s better to use something really effective and inexpensive. I use CeraVe Foaming Cleanser, it’s a few dollars from the drugstore. Every dermatologist recommends it. After that I use the Tata Harper toner that I helped to develop. What I really love is that it adds moisture without clogging your pores and it has a lot of Vitamin C so it’s great for brightening. I keep it in the refrigerator so it’s nice and cold and it feels wonderful.
After that I follow with SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic. It’s the top free radical barrier for your skin. They are one of the things that contribute the most to wrinkles. It has a lot of Vitamin C which is good for dark spots and acne. It’s really multipurpose. For the free radicals, it’s really important that you have something protecting your skin from free radicals. I follow that with CeraVe moisturizer, it’s gentle and hydrating. It’s so important to wear a great sunscreen everyday because if you don’t, all that brightening is usless, the sun will wreck it. The sun is the worst thing for wrinkles. Sunscreen everyday is mandatory. The one I really love is only sold in Japan, so I have my friends from Japan send it to me. It’s like a Chanel whitening base with a SPF 40. I like to be really white and I love it beacuse it lightens your skin tone one or two shades and it protects you from the sun. For people who are not buying things in Japan, the best equivalent is La Roche Posay Ultralight Mineral. A mineral sunscreen is great because it has less chemicals and is very effective.
Then I put on my favorite lip balm, it’s called In Fiore Veloutée. It’s really thick, so you just put a little bit but your lips are absolutely protected and moisturized. I don’t buy eye cream, I take my SPF and I put it everywhere. I put my creams everywhere, my eyes, my lips. I don’t really believe in eye creams. I think what ever you are doing for your skin is okay for your eyes. I smear everything everywhere.
I love makeup. I think it’s years and years of developing makeup and skincare and my grandmother wore amazing makeup. I’ve loved makeup for forever, I’m not one of these tinted moisturizer, lip gloss girls. My biggest makeup inspiration is geishas. I start with the lip balm because it’s a great base for lipstick. I have a makeup artist that mixes a custom red lipstick for me. I’m really specific about the exact shade I want. I like the MAC Clear Lipglass, you don’t need a lot because it’s sticky but it gives you incredible shine.
My favorite foundation is Armani Luminous Silk, but I think what is really important is what you apply it with. I helped in developing the company Artisse and they make the most amazing brushes in the world. I use Artisse brush #8 to apply my foundation. It looks completely air brushed. I usually go a few shades lighter. I also really like a doll faced look, so I like really rosy cheeks. I use the #6 brush to put on the Armani Blushing Fabric in Scarlotto. It’s really vibrant red and I use the brush because a little goes a long way. It’s really sheer, it’s the most amazing formula because it makes you look flush from the inside out, like you’ve just been to the gym.
I’m obsessed with long dark lashes. I’ve been blessed by the universe in having crazy long ones. I don’t belive in expensive mascaras because the ones in the drugstore are incredible. The best one that I’ve found is Maybelline Illegal Length mascara. It makes them really dark, really long and really fluttery. It’s not overly volumnizing. I like something that coats the lashes and really separates them, I think that opens the eye more. A little bit of black eyeliner along the lash line really helps to make them look really black and voluminious. Any thin tipped liquid eyeliner at the drugstore works.
In terms of eyebrows, I really believe they frame your face. I’m a really big believer in taking care of your eyebrows. My hair is naturally Japanese black, but the pencils that are made in the US are all kind of ashy brown. I buy Japanese eyebrow pencils and the labs that make the best eyebrow pencils are all in Japan. I buy my pencils at Sunrise Mart, the Japanese market. I can get a rice bowl and an eyebrow pencil at the same time, it’s great!
Powder is important because it sets your makeup, so it makes it last longer throughout the day. You need your makeup to stay put. If you apply too much, it cakes and if you have any lines or wrinkles, it settles into your lines and wrinkles and makes you look older. My trick with powder is to find something that is milled to be ultra fine so it doesnt cake and is also luminizing, so your skin doesnt look ashy. The best I’ve found is Chanel’s Poudre Crystalline.
I am also really devoted to lasers. I think Fraxel is the most genius thing every invented. It’s strong but it’s not like so strong that you look like a burn victim. With Fraxel, in 3 days you’re okay. In three months you see your dark spots disappear, any acne you have is gone, your skin become so plump and hydrated, it produces a lot of collagen. You look like you have baby skin. I do it once a year. I think everyone is different depending on wrinkles, sun damage, dark spots, but for me one fraxel a year is great.
I have the most amazing hair dresser named Danilo. He used to do crazy wigs for Mugler, he’s one of the most respected people in the industry. He is so creative and we’ll do anything. He gives me, what a lot of people think are really ugly haircuts and I think they’re great. We always laugh because we’re like ugliest means the most and the most is the best, whether it’s good or bad. Lately we’ve been really into shaving, so we do different shapes and different cuts. And we always incorporate different geometrics. I go about once a month.
For hair, there is a brand called Phylia de M. that really focuses on the scalp and the root of the hair. It uses a host of natural and organic ingredients to feed the hair. Your hair becomes so thick and healthy, it’s amazing. They even make a supplement you can take. The other products that I really like are Oribe, I think they smell amazing. I use a lot of their styling products, their shampoo and conditioner. The quality is incredible. I don’t have time for a lot of styling, I’ve trained myself to do everything quickly. I’m not good at doing complicated hair styles so I want it cut in a way that is cool but that I can do in five seconds.
Day: I’m really into scent, so in terms of what’s in my handbag, I carry M/Mink by Byredo and a small vile of Tom Ford Santal Blush. I carry my lipstick, my Tatcha Rice Paper and that’s pretty much it.
Night: I will stress one thing, I’m very adamant about products that have a lot of science behind them and really work in terms of anti-aging. At night I remove my makeup with olive oil. It really takes everything off. Then I wash that off with CeraVe Foaming Cleanser and then I use Retin-A Micro. I’m a big big believer in Retin-A. It’s a pain because you peel like crazy at the beginning but then afterwards your skin is incredible. It’s the one thing that has the most proof behind it to produce collagen and prevent aging. There is literally no other product in the world that will prevent aging better than Retin-A. You have to be really, really devoted to wearing sunscreen when you’re using this. On the nights when I don’t use the Retin-A, I use the CeraVe moisturizer.”
– Michelle Harper