As creative director for Yves Saint Laurent Beauty in 1992 she invented the iconic Touche Éclat, a ‘magic wand’ famous for combining a brightening concealer in a click-top pen that’s still a best-seller.
On leaving the brand she established her own line, By Terry, which is now beloved by those seeking a chic, uncontrived approach to makeup and skincare. A master of modern texture, colour and innovative formulation, the luxe French line carried at MECCA celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
How did you come up with the famous Touché Eclat?
Monsieur Yves Saint Laurent was the Master of Haute Couture, a true visionary when it came to redefining style and innovation. He taught me to push boundaries, to have a creative outlook on classics, but more importantly, to understand the importance of style over trend.
Creating the Touche Éclat in 1992 taught me that there is no reward without risk, and one of the biggest risks I took in my career turned out to be one of the most rewarding and life- altering moments to date.
It took me three years to bring [Touche Éclat ] to market, I was truly blown away by the positive reception as it was so new and ahead of its time.
One shade, a click pen-like dispenser and hybrid product all in one. It was a replica of what I used to do with my own little brushes as a makeup artist.
I even remember doing it for the first time on Linda Evangelista. I could not stand the dry matte look, in those days there was no photoshop so every look needed to turn out flawless. It was then I decided to mix a drop of foundation with moisturiser and apply this mixture to where skin looked dull and tired. This product changed my life!
What was your goal with By Terry?
I wanted to create the ‘Haute Couleur’ of cosmetics, as there is ‘Haute Couture’ for fashion, to express my creativity, curiosity, and ability to use the most unique ingredients in order to create the most luxurious products that catered to everyone.
I have always had a bespoke approach to beauty: from the way I applied foundation on my clients using flat brushes over sponges, to opting for more hydrating and radiant looks, more pigment, which were all methods that just were not as common at the time.
Convincing Yves Saint Laurent that the Touche Éclat would be a success made me realise how capable I was to innovate the beauty industry, and that playing it safe would never get me anywhere. I wanted to create a name for myself, and so when the time was right, I took a chance on building my brand.
How involved are you these days with creating new products?
I am proud to say that I never stop creating and exploring new product ideas and innovations.
I work extremely closely with our team in Paris and London. My work never stops no matter where I am. I am the CEO of By Terry and it is my duty to lead my brand and team on a daily basis.
I love science, it is my passion and heritage, and I like to push the boundaries of my knowledge and maintain my brand integrity, so I am involved all along the way. The future in cosmetics is embedded in scientific innovation, as consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of a skincare-first, makeup-second approach.
With that in mind, you have been enthusiastic with your use of hyaluronic acid in By Terry products?
I fell in love with Hyaluronic Acid when I was studying the sciences before it boomed on the skincare scene. I spent a lot of time in labs to look for a skin-loving ingredient that pairs well with premium cosmetics for a flawless base, which is key.
Hyaluronic Acid is a multi-use ingredient that delivers exceptional moisture, skin replenishment and rejuvenation, improves skin’s firmness, fills and smooths wrinkles and fine lines and more.
I pioneered Hyaluronic Acid infused makeup by launching the iconic Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder over 15 years ago, and today By Terry is the only brand with a full hyaluronic routine across both skincare and makeup.
I recently launched two fantastic products, Hyaluronic Global Serum, and Hyaluronic Global Eye Serum with eight different types of Hyaluronic Acids in 3 molecular weights.
How should our skincare and makeup change with the season?
No matter what the season, skin comes first. I always say this, and I will continue reminding everyone again and again, cleanse your face properly, moisturize, and wear SPF daily. It is a simple routine that is my holy grail and considered the best anti-ageing method. Prepping the skin properly with good skincare products makes makeup look even better.
What are you excited about in terms of where makeup trends are moving?
The return to the essence of my brand, which is about ‘less is more’, a simple and more natural look. I like to think of it as the ‘no foundation, foundation’ effect where you can be the most natural and radiant version of yourself. My technique is to start with a little foundation, blend into your skin little by little. Then only add from there on to precise zones where it is needed.
What are your favourite products right now?
I cannot live without my Hyaluronic Routine [including serums, foundation, concealer and powder] It is the perfect blend of makeup and skincare.I am also obsessed with my Densiliss range, in particular the concealer. Iit’s a magic blend between skincare and sheer coverage!