Stella McCartney on the launch of her eponymous skin care line for the second time

Stella McCartney on the launch of her eponymous skin care line for the second time

Stella McCartney on the launch of her eponymous skin care line for the second time

Photo credit: Stella by Stella McCartney

Photo credit: Stella by Stella McCartney

By definition, Stella McCartney is a minimalist. She is known for her vegan, animal-free skin and classic, simple yet elevated silhouettes, and she has raised the bar in sustainable fashion. Now, the stylist is reserving the same treatment to the beauty world when she introduces her simple line of skincare products, STELLA, which embodies her eco-conscious ethos of hers.

“I want to provide uncompromising products that stand shoulder to shoulder with all the other products out there that aren’t taking the same [sustainability] measures that we are, “says McCartney

In collaboration with LVMH, McCartney presented three products: Reset Cleanser, Alter-Care Serum and Restore Cream. The formulas, equipped with a refill system, come in reusable recyclable glass bottles that look chic on a bathroom shelf.

Photo credit: Stella by Stella McCartney

Photo credit: Stella by Stella McCartney

But the luxury doesn’t stop there. McCartney enlisted the help of master perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, whose eponymous brand, Maison Francis Kurkdjian is an industry favorite, to create a custom perfume for the line.

We caught up with the stylist turned skincare entrepreneur to discuss the evolution from her original line to her current one, her desire for a better cleanser and why her parents, yes, the iconic Paul McCartney, would have given up on deodorant.

How has your approach to skincare changed in the 14 years since you launched your first skin care brand? Done this experience impact the management of STELLA?

Not much has changed: I have always loved skin care and I wanted to create my own line. I feel so privileged and lucky to be able to do it again. When I did it before, it was way ahead of its time and people didn’t understand what I was doing. Creating your own line of skin care products was unheard of and for my entire career, up until the last two years, I have had to fight, push and challenge. It is only now that I feel I have landed at a point where I feel comfortable asking questions such as what is the origin of this ingredient or fabric. I don’t want to interact with anyone who won’t ask themselves or the industry these questions. It was a crazy journey, but the way I approached skincare is the same way I approached fashion; They come from the same place, but they couldn’t be more different. My core value system comes from living in harmony with nature and challenging sustainability. Until now, 14 years later, it has been a completely different experience. I have more ingredients and sources to play with and a lot more information.

Which product did you decide to create from the start?

I have a problem with the cleaners that are out there. I think it is a difficult product to find. Personally, if I want to clean my skin after wearing makeup, I never want to have to invest in a makeup remover. I find it redundant and it makes my eyes water for hours. And I don’t like one-sided cleaners. I also found the cream cleansers too creamy and require a cotton ball to remove. So I made this a perfect mix of [foamy] and creamy. It makes the skin perfectly clean, but not taut and free of natural oils.

Why did you choose not to have a separate eye cream? Did you decide to create a multitasker or was the effectiveness of the serum around the eyes a happy surprise?

It is so interesting. I start my work from an instinctive place and I am not a spring chicken. I have a 15 year old daughter and I think this product goes through every genre and every generation because it’s so simple and delivers. I didn’t want to add the extra step of using an eye cream and tapping it. I want to have something that I could put anywhere, and it doesn’t sting my eyes or feel sticky and greasy. I am quite fussy about my skin care.

Photo credit: Stella by Stella McCartney

Photo credit: Stella by Stella McCartney

Why did you decide to include a fragrance in the line and was there a conversation about the sustainability of that component?

Yes, we talked about it openly and the fragrance element was a bit subdued. I kept saying no fragrance, no fragrance, no fragrance. This is old and French. To my team, they were fine, we hear you. They showed me the products without the fragrance. And when I smelled the base, it was a blast. It is not a desirable perfume. The cleaner was a little soapy. There was no way to change the basic formula, because we had arrived at the best of the best. Then I said we can add some perfume. We’ve included the least amount, but it’s the most natural scent with the least ingredients I fought tooth and nail for the lightest fragrance possible. We loved the challenge of finding a wonderful scent without falling into the trap of the classic fragrance way. When we came to Francis Kurkdjian, he gave him a long list of things he couldn’t use, and he came back with a super essential fragrance. He only has 12 ingredients.

I love that you collaborated with him. Have you guys been in a relationship before?

No, and I was so excited to work with him. I love fragrances, you know. I just want to make the best and cleanest product. My approach is if I can do it and there, I will. If I can’t get it clean, and it’s harmful, I won’t touch it. The fragrance is not the cleanest. I mean, Greta Thunberg probably doesn’t wear perfume and I respect that. I also explored the oils, but she then she made the products greasy. But being able to work with Francis was an amazing experience. The way I saw and smelled the fragrance was so honest and pure. She brought back so many personal experiences and memories. My 11 year old thinks it is addictive. And Francis said he changed his way of creating fragrances.

It is not an easy undertaking. Can you remember an early memory related to caring for your skin?

My mother and father didn’t use much of it. They were very pure, radical and pioneering in this sense. They weren’t wearing deodorant. They never stank, but they were just very clean and always in nature. My mum [Linda McCartney] she wore very little makeup and was probably the most beautiful woman on earth. You should check her out: she is super cool. But her skincare routine was nonexistent, really. I know she used products, but she was as clean as possible. She would make her oils her from our roses and things in our garden. I remember when I was about 13, my mom gave me a cleanser and I was thinking, what is that? That will always stand out as main memory for me. It has never been a family full of disorder and products. It’s funny because my eldest daughter loves all of those things, and I’ve drifted apart and become more like my mom as I got older. I am a little sad because I feel so bad and like a terrible mother like I have to take her beauty shopping. I can’t deliver it to him, but I can deliver this line of skin care products to him.

Stella by Stella McCartney will be available for purchase in early September at

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