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Gucci Westman

Published on 07 May 2020

The influential celebrity makeup artist and cosmetic designer behind Westman Atelier.

Gucci Westman is a full-on force. She's graced the faces of countless high-profile celebrities with her magic touch (think Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, etc), impacting cosmetic culture from Hollywood to runways to magazine covers and more.

The beauty maven built her career and made her name as a makeup artist, getting her start doing commercials and music videos with Spike Jonze — she then went on to work with photographers such as Bruce Weber and Annie Leibowitz and assist other makeup artists, which finally led her to the editorial world. Her breakout moment was for the cover of Harper’s Bazaar with Cameron Diaz and Patrick Demarchelier followed by a cover for Vanity Fair with Annie Leibovitz, which led her to working with Grace Coddington. Grace swept her into the world of Vogue, and from there she was off to the races.

Westman spent five years developing product for Lancôme before becoming the creative director of Revlon for nearly a decade. Turning down a professional line for Ulta led Westman to finally launch her namesake product line, Westman Atelier, along with her husband (Rag & Bone cofounder) David Neville.

We popped in on Gucci to see how she and her new Orior Palm Desk were getting along at her Central Park West apartment, and talked shop about down-to-the-details design — both in the home and in her line of work.

Q: How was Westman Atelier was born?

A: As a makeup artist, I saw an opportunity in the market to create a line that bridged the gap between natural and luxury. I wanted to replace my favorite products in my makeup kit with clean, performing, luxurious alternatives. It was always very clear to me that if I ever had my own line of products, I would want to do something that was as natural and as consciously-crafted as possible. I’m so aware of what I eat — I grew up vegetarian with a hyper-awareness to wellness — so I guess just having that kind of philosophy (in regards to how I live, and working as a make-up artist)... it felt right to me that products should be about wellness too. I also didn’t just want to create clean products — I wanted to create clean products that would meet my standards in terms of performance. I believe there’s definitely space in the market for a luxury beauty brand that also speaks to wellness and integrity. I feel like there’s some sort of unspoken notion that if products are considered "luxury," they've compromised on the ingredients. It almost feels as if luxury and clean ingredients are contradicting terms, and I just don’t believe that.

Q: Who inspires you?

A: To name just a few: Skultuna, Jacques Grange, Les Lalanne, Ilse Crawford, Skye Gyngell, Hedi Slimane, JJ Martin of La Double J, vintage Hermes.

I’m really drawn to craftsmanship and quality — when you can see that in a person/brand, you know they’re not going to let you down or cut corners. I’m drawn to those that strive for excellence and think of every little detail.

Q: How has our Palm Desk integrated into your home?

A: It feels like it’s always been a part of our home! It’s really transformed the entire room it’s in — almost like it gave the room a little facelift! The desk is so chic. I love the leather detail on the top too. It doesn’t even need a chair! It’s just as pretty bare and unadorned as it is with a vase of flowers.

Q: How does design impact your life?

A: Design adds so much value to your day-to-day life in multiple ways. As a makeup artist, I’m aesthetically driven and design is huge source of inspiration. I really appreciate how much hard work is put into workmanship and artistry. Design in the home is so personal and unique. It’s something you really spend time looking at, sitting on, gathering around and enjoying.

This interview was conducted in January 2020.