Photo: Courtesy of Aerin LLC.
Aerin Lauder’s last name is, of course, a veritable beauty dynasty, but her first name has swiftly become one as well. The University of Pennsylvania graduate is the founder and creative director of global luxury lifestyle brand Aerin, all while maintaining her post as Style and Image Director for Estée Lauder. She began her career with The Estée Lauder Companies in 1992, working in various positions in product development, advertising and creative before launching her eponymous brand in 2012. This mom of two teenaged sons has much knowledge to impart: Here, she shares the early ‘80s beauty and fashion trends in which she indulged, her definition of success, and a dating disaster to avoid.
We moved a lot when I was younger; my father was in politics and we lived in Europe [in Vienna, Austria] and relocated a lot before settling back in New York City when I was a senior in high school. Adapting to new environments and friends was challenging, but it was a great experience. We traveled and were exposed to new cultures, museums, and cities.
I’ve learned a lot about confidence since my 20s. Now, I try new things versus participating in lots of trends. In the ‘80s, I constantly wore oversized jackets with slim pants, a popular look at the time. Now I don a lot of fitted blazers, probably because I spent all too much of the ‘80s in giant ones. Beauty-wise, I loved an opal Estée Lauder gloss in the early ’80s. It was all about pearlescent shadows with pearlized lipsticks worn simultaneously. Now, I’ll wear a pearlized lipstick, but I’ll pair it with bronze tones in the summer and I’ll skip the shimmery lids. Colored mascara was also popular and now, I tend to stick to black and brown versions.
Photo: Courtesy of Aerin Lauder.
Clinique was one of the first skin-care brands I used. I used the soap that came in the green container and Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. I’m a longtime fan of [Estée Lauder] Advanced Night Repair, which I still apply three or four times throughout the day. A makeup artist taught me to put it on over my makeup for a dewy, fresh look. I also love my Lip Conditioner. It’s portable and smells wonderful.
I’d tell 20-somethings today to remember that success is about loving what you do. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother Estée poring over international magazines she always had around and it was so inspiring. I loved beauty and accessories; I was always passionate about them. My first day working at Prescriptives, I remember seeing my boss sitting at her desk, drinking an iced coffee and wearing an Armani pantsuit and being struck by how put-together she seemed. And today, I look at myself now, in my office at Aerin, in a similar suit, drinking the iced coffee and it’s amazing that it’s all come full-circle. I’d advise following your passion and developing a great team you trust.
I got married at 26, but one piece of advice I’ll share: Don’t date your good friend’s brother. I did this in my early 20s and luckily, my friend and I worked it out. We’re still good friends to this day, in fact.