Makeup Bag: Dior Beauty’s Dianne Vavra
“I first realized my love for color when I was five. My mom enrolled me in a class at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that focused on stained glass. I’m sure she thought that if I exerted my artistic talent in a controlled environment, I might stop coloring on the walls of the apartment. As a child, I was always fascinated with all different colors of glass. I would stare at it and zone out, most of the time squinting to make it look blurry, something I still find myself doing today. The teacher suggested to my mom that I get my eyes checked.
During the years to come, I spent many days in and around the Museum. Throughout high school, my friends and I would hang out on the steps, trying to guess which country the tourists were from based on their makeup and clothing. It was the 80’s and a great time for witnessing over-the-top fashion and beauty trends. While in college, I worked at Sotheby’s and had an internship at a fashion magazine. It was great to experience the two worlds I loved – art and fashion – from a business angle. I knew then that I wanted to end up in beauty. After all, makeup is art, it’s fashion, it’s attainable, it’s fantasy, it’s transforming.
After graduation I got a job at a PR agency and then landed a job at Estee Lauder. I was recruited by Dior Beauty 15 years ago and haven’t looked back. Today, as Senior Vice President of Press Relations, I’ve had extraordinary experiences and opportunities each and every day. Whether it’s meeting or traveling with celebrities like Charlize Theron, Naomi Watts, Emmy Rossum, Natalie Portman or Sharon Stone, working on projects with top makeup artists, or hopping a flight to LA, Paris, Barcelona, Venice or Cannes for an event.
One of the most memorable trips I went on while on the job was Murano, Italy where I got to meet, interview and watch the expert glass blowers in action. They were busy creating beautiful perfume bottles and when I peeked around a corner in one of rooms in the studio, I got a glimpse of some stained glass. It was, as they say, a full circle moment.
Working as a beauty publicist has afforded me the luxury of learning tips from some of the top pros in the industry. Here are some of my favorite tips that I use most often:
I always run a humidifier at night. It puts moisture into the air and I wake up with soft, hydrated skin. Especially important if, like me, you have the fireplace or wood stove burning.
In my job, I’ve had the pleasure to work and learn from top scientists and R+D people. One of the most valuable pieces on information that I learned was the importance of choosing the right night creme. Night is the most active time for cell rejuvenation, so getting this skin care product right for your skin type is key. Rich, oily products can block tear ducts leading to puffy eyes in the morning, so I tend to stay away from those types of creams.
I always feel awful recycling beautiful perfume bottles so a perfumer once suggested tucking the almost empty bottles in the back of my lingerie drawer. I do this and love it!
Celebrity manicurist, Tracey Lee, gave me a great nail polish tip. If polish becomes too thick, add a little top coat to thin it. Remover solvents are incompatible and can cause the polish to separate.
Luzinette, my facialist in NY, taught me to always exfoliate before appyling a mask to remove dead skin cells. They can act as a barrier to the active ingredients in the mask.
NY hair guru, Tarek , famous for his amazing extensions!, recommends Rosemary Oil as a deep conditioner once a week. I leave it in overnight and wear a shower cap – a chic one, of course! – to hydrate and rejuvenate my scalp. It’s fantastic.
I’ve had a small patch of brow that was mistakenly tweezed years ago and has never grown back. NYC brow expert Sania Vucetaj advised to avoid moisturizing that area. It can clog hair follicles, and prevent new growth. Voila, within 4 months, brows were back in business!
Now, onto the products. I use a Givenchy black makeup bag with small gold studs for everyday and the Louis Vuitton Vanity Case [pictured here] for travel.
Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence – It’s so refreshing as a treat around 3pm. I keep it at my desk.
Neutrogena Body Oil – I apply it in the shower before I towel-dry, because I’m too lazy to moisturize.
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray – I use it even on freshly washed hair to give texture. I’ve tried them all and I love this one because it sprays on clear and smells great.
Santa Maria degli Angeli – This is a line of skincare products I discovered while in Venice with a friend. It’s made of local ingredients by women in the local prison. You can’t purchase it anywhere, but I have an “in.” Don’t ask.
Egyptian Magic – DJ Harley Viera-Newton told me about it. It’s a cure all, especially necessary when you have kids. It comes in handy for burns, cuts, dry cuticles, chapped lips, etc.
Diorissimo by Christain Dior – I love the notes of lily of the valley, which Monsieur grew in his summer garden outside of Paris.
DiorShow Blackout- What can I say? THE best mascara ever.
Dior AirFlash – A celebrity makeup artist suggested I spray it on a brush and apply to my face. This avoids the eyelash/eyebrow fix up and gives the same flawless coverage.
Dermophil Lip Balm – I’m obsessed with these little lipbalms. I stock up when in Paris and offer them to house guests in a big candy dish at my front door. They’re so colorful and cheerful!
Face to Face Super Matte Anti-Shine – A celebrity that I was working with turned me onto this years ago. I like to apply a dab on my forehead and chin when heading out for the evening. I’m so bummed when I forget to apply, especially when there’s a photo opp!
Diorific Lipstick in Dolce Vita Red – The perfect red for every skintone. It’s so flattering and the texture/finish is true perfection. The packaging is divine as well.” –Dior Beauty SR VP of Press Relations, Dianne Vavra