Beauty / In Profile

Terry de Gunzburg knows less is more

“It really influenced the way I look at beauty and femininity, always with a twist of a little bit of rebellion.” RUSSH spoke with By Terry founder Terry de Gunzburg on Yves Saint Laurent, her start in medicine and the industry she’s made her career in.

I wanted to start with how you got into the beauty industry, because I know you studied medicine originally?
Yes, and I was very scientifically oriented … but I didn’t like the ambience of the medical studies and I didn’t project myself as a doctor. So I decided to take a summer course of cosmetics and makeup at Carita School, and after those four weeks of summer school they sent me to Vogue to do a photo shoot.

What influences your outlook on beauty and how you approach it?
What influences me is [wanting] to bring … new tools to achieve perfect glowing, perfect makeup … to the market and to everyday women. My philosophy is less is more.

“When I started I used to be completely backstage with the photographer, fashion shows, celebrity, red carpet – but today what I like the most is being in real life.”

What do you find the most frustrating aspect of the beauty industry?
What’s very frustrating is sometimes you are in advance with your innovation and the market doesn’t give you the opportunity to take the place because next season is something new, and next month is something new with someone else.

Do you think studying medicine has helped you in making products?
Yes for sure, because I understand the scientific language. It’s not so foreign and I like to put a lot of science even in very glamorous products because science and technology brings the products to another level.

 When did you meet Yves Saint Laurent?
In 1985, and it was like a magical moment. Then to work with him for 15 years, you know the master of colour, of style, of elegance, Parisian chic, of everything, so it’s really influenced the way I look at beauty and femininity, always with a twist of a little bit of rebellion.