As founder and creative director of the AERIN beauty line that she launched this fall, Aerin Lauder, 42, the glamorous granddaughter of the late cosmetics dynamo Estée Lauder, learned her business through 20 years of serving in product development, advertising and creative services at the family’s New York headquarters. Retaining the title of creative consultant as well as style and image director for Estée Lauder, she is selling her AERIN collection alongside the flagshiop brand. (In Naples, find them both at Saks Fifth Avenue.) The elegantly edited collection includes compact makeup, bronze illuminating powder, lip conditioner, color for lips and cheeks, eye shadow and body creme. Down the road, she will add fashion accessories and home decor. Lauder talks to NI about her work, her personal life and how she stays looking great.
NI: Why did you decide to start your own company?
LAUDER: I am fortunate to have learned so much from a lifetime in beauty. I have taken those lessons and reinterpreted them, pursuing my own vision from my own perspective.
What is your creative concept and inspiration behind AERIN?
The line is all about effortless beauty. I know how important beauty is in a woman’s life and also how hard it can be sometimes to look beautiful and stylish. I am inspired by my everyday life. Flowers, which make me smile, travel, art, the beach, fashion, fabric, even my children’s toys. Anything I find interesting helps to inspire me.
Describe what you mean by simplicity in your products.
I believe you don’t need dozens of products or a complicated beauty routine to look beautiful. Like most women, I only have a limited amount of time to devote to getting ready, but I also want to look my best. My AERIN line takes the same approach to beauty.
Of the products you've developed, do you have a favorite?
I love the AERIN Pretty Bronze Illuminating Powder. It is one of my secret weapons to looking pulled together.
Who are the AERIN clientele?
Women who live multifaceted lives yet want to look natural, feel refreshed and be on trend.
How do you balance being a mom and wife with your work?
It’s very hard to balance everything; it’s one of my biggest challenges. I do feel that one should always try to take time for yourself. If you are happy, everyone around you will be happy.
What did you learn at Estée Lauder that you will apply to your new product line?
I learned many things at Estée Lauder—the importance of passion and hard work with a talented team as well as understanding who the consumer is. I have taken these lessons and applied them to my new venture.
Tell us about your fun family time.
I like to spend time with my husband (Eric Zinterhofer) and our children, either in New York City or on Long Island. With two young boys, my leisure time is very sporty.
What secrets did you learn from your grandmother Estée about running a beauty empire?
My grandmother always said, “You only have one face; take care of it.” In terms of work, her secrets were: “Whatever you do, do it well” and, “Work hard and love what you do.”