Gucci Westman On Westman Atelier, Jennifer Aniston And Locking Down That All-American Glow

Westman discusses her acclaimed make-up line Westman Atelier and her recipe for beauty success

Gucci Westman

by Annie Vischer |
Updated on

Gucci Westman is one of the most renowned names in the make-up business. Born in California and raised in Sweden, she's akin to royalty in the beauty sphere. After making a name for herself as an editorial make-up artist, Westman went on to become a highly trusted friend and pro to the A-list likes of Jennifer Aniston (who rarely commits to a magazine cover shoot without making sure Westman will also be on set), Anne Hathaway, Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon.

Westman launched her eponymous make-up range, Westman Atelier, in the spring of 2018 and it has since become one of the most coveted offerings in the cosmetics arena. Famed for its weighty packaging (you know when something just feels luxe?) and high-tech formulas, Westman Atelier is prestige make-up at its finest. If you're in the market for a bronzed-up glow worth of a Ralph Lauren look book and second-skin finishes, look no further.

Grazia caught up with the beauty doyenne to talk all things Westman Atelier and make-up tips.

Gucci Westman on her origins story

'I wasn't allowed to wear make-up as a kid, which is perhaps what inspired the intrigue for me. I remember years later working as an au pair in Switzerland and the mother of the family worked in fashion as a journalist. Se got sent a lot of make-up and barely wore any of it, so she gave me a lot. It was like I had died and gone to heaven. There were boxes of Dior and Chanel, it was crazy.'

'That entry point into make-up really inspired me and I ended up going to make-up school in Paris. I was toying with a few very different ideas - being a translator, being a professional show jumper (I was really into horses), but in the end make-up won out. After completing that course I knew I had to be in LA if I wanted to work in movies. I moved there, did another much shorter course and got myself out there meeting people. I met filmmaker and producer Spike Jonze through a friend, managed to somehow impress him and before I knew it I was working on pretty much every commercial and music video with him, before eventually being hired for Being John Malkovich. That's why I think I'm known for my skin work - if you have roots in the movie business it's one of the first things you learn to finesse.'

'As for fashion, my route into that world came by way of New York. I moved there and landed an interview with Grace Coddington at Vogue. Initially she didn't seem at all impressed with me, but a few months later I was hired to work on a shoot with Stella Tenant and Bruce Weber. The pace on set was fast and the work was intricate - I worked hard. They day passed in a blur and when we parted ways at the airport she took my hand and said, "I haven't seen talent like this since I discovered Pat McGrath". You can imagine how seminal that moment was for me. The work rolled in from that moment on and the rest is history.'

On launching Westman Atelier

'After so many years in the industry I felt like there wasn't a single make-up brand out there that spoke to both the luxury category and conscious cosmetics. I was very curious about organic make-up. I spent about eight months trying to formulate organic make-up products that performed to the level I needed for my work as a make-up artist and in the end I sat down with the guys at the lab and said, "this is a total bust". I educated myself on synthetics, hired green chemists and prioritised conscious ingredients that could deliver high performance make-up with a skincare element. That's when things really started happening.'

'As for deciding what specific products to tackle first, I was keen to take a no-frills approach to make-up. These products aren't frivolous, each one has a solid purpose and is in the line-up for a reason. Westman Atelier is designed to enhance what you have, not mask or conceal it and as a result I get people coming up to me all the time telling me how confident they feel both using and wearing my products.'


On the secret to a natural-looking glow

'It all starts with your skincare. Take your time with that before blending on your foundation. After that, colour placement is critical. Everyone always cites natural-looking bronzer as my speciality - the trick is using this across the areas of your face that the sun would colour naturally, rather than using it to contour. The final, crucial step is making sure to finish with some blusher. If your skin warms in the sun naturally, it always does so with a bit of a blush, that's what keeps your glow looking natural. Blend it across your cheeks, the bridge of your nose and your lips if you're after a pro-level finish that looks natural, not contrived. You'll be left with a fresh, healthy glow.' It's a finish Westman's longtime client Aniston made her signature. 'Jen loves to create the look of bronzed skin without going in the sun - a girl after my own heart' says Westman, 'so she's a huge fan of my Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick in Truffle, £44.'

The Westman Atelier Make-Up Heroes To Make A Play For Now

New this month, it comes in brown and black.

Westman Atelier MascaraWestman Atelier

Already being hailed as a one-stop-shop for soft, fluffy-looking lashes, this mascara is Instagram-able and then some.

Wear on its own or under foundation.

Westman Atelier IlluminatorWestman Atelier

Brimming with vitamin C and anti-oxidants, this veil of glow not only delivers radiance instantly on application, but brightens your skin with continued use too.

One of the originals, this is a Westman Atelier mainstay.

Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush StickWestman Atelier

Westman says you should always add a touch of blush to your look if you want your glow to look uncontrived.

Lauded for its second-skin finish, this foundation stick is a must-try for anyone looking for a glow-giver that stays put.

Westman Atelier Foundation StickWestman Atelier

Made with antioxidants specifically formulated to calm irritation and temper redness, this foundation offers far more than coverage.

A single eyeshadow shade that adds lustre and resists creases - what's not to love?

Westman Atelier Eye PodWestman Atelier

Leave it to longtime make-up pro Gucci Westman to deliver an eyeshadow of the highest quality. A neutral shade like Tabac (pictured) ticks boxes.

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