September 19, 2017

Janina Nectara: her beauty rules

janina nectara fashion avec passion

Interview published by Glamour magazine.

With diplomas in fashion design & marketing policies, Janina Nectara launched FashionAvecPassion in 2009, a fashion and beauty blog. 

Over the years she has interviewed some of the most important people in the industry and far beyond its limits. From Pierre Cardin, Claudia Schiffer, Giambattista Valli to Pharell Williams, Natalia Vodianova and Boy George.

Now the pleasure was ours to ask her a few questions. We’ve found out about the beauty rules Janina goes by on a daily basis.

   What is your beauty ritual? In the fashion industry, the great personalities change their wardrobe a lot, yet their hair and make-up sticks to the same uniform. Everybody finds the winning formula for their facial features and then stick to it. You won’t ever see Anna Wintour differently than wearing her famous bob and a low key make-up. The same goes for Carla Sozzani, Diana Vreeland, Coco Chanel, Diane Von Furstenberg, Sonia Rykiel and even the eccentric Anna Dello Russo, anyway the list has no end… They’ve all pinned down unmistakable looks that they’ve never strayed away from.

I think my routine focuses on this recipe: eyes discretely put into focus, strongly emphasized lips, translucid skin, high volume hair. There are, of course, variations, but nothing that truly matters.

   What sport do you practice in order to keep fit? Often times my friends tell me that I could have been an Olympic runner if I would have kept at it. Why do they keep telling me this? Because they can barely keep up with me. I walk extremely fast, even on a walk in the park. I’ve never been the sporty type, and Pluto seems nearer to me than even the thought of any Olympic. This doesn’t mean, though, that there is no movement in my life! I more than make up for it with a highly fast paced life that most certainly equates the benefits of sport. 

Thanks to my job, I have to be present to up to 8 fashion presentation seasons a year. Such a time can encompass events for 2 up to 4 weeks, and a day looks pretty much like this: from 8 in the morning to 8 in the evening, every hour sees a show in a different location, sometimes across town from each other. As a consequence, I walk a lot. Often, when the schedule requires it – and it tends to do so a lot – I even run not to miss the runway shows. And you should know that running in heels is far more arduous that running in sport shoes. Somewhat of a cardio workout! Only not widely regarded as such.

With all of this off-the-clock exercising, I’ve still had the bad luck of missing important catwalks. For instance, at my first Chanel show, it was raining, the traffic a nightmare and even if I was late just 5 minutes, the doors closed just in front of me when I arrived. Even if French, Chanel is famous for the Swiss clockwork punctuality of its events. At the same time with me, various other ladies had arrived to the same sight of closing doors. Wives of sheiks, fashion magazine editors, I had even seen the Russian PM’s wife… all stupefied to see they had been left out.

One of them even had a reaction worthy of the totalitarian regime of the country she came from. She told the bodyguard, waving her invitation under his nose: ’’What? I can’t come in? Do you know who I am? By tomorrow morning you won’t be having this job any longer!’’ So, I figured that even running can’t guarantee you’ll find an open door once you get there. A kind of running I find to be far more satisfying is running after sales. On heels also!

   3 beauty rules you never stray from: I don’t think there’s a rule that has so far convinced me to stay faithful to its principle. Given I go to many fashion shows, I also get to see the backstage, where the hair & make-up preparations are going on. This is how I am in permanent contact with the most reputed specialists, that give away all sort of tricks that can make for truly spectacular transformations.

This is how I realised that beauty is not just a winning ticket to a genetic lottery. Beauty is today a construct of make-up artists, of hair stylists, of stylists, photographers, photo editors, not just relying on genes or the work of estheticians.

Just that beauty is a volatile concept, one that constantly changes in tune with the latest trends. And as their due date is less generous than even that of any grocery product, it’s difficult to stay faithful, to not change a thing. Especially since people keep on educating their perceptions with regard to what is and isn’t beautiful. It’s a matter of fashion as well.

   The fail-proof make-up trick for a party or event: I am going to share with you a highly valuable piece of information, a trick I’ve learnt from Pat McGrath, the world’s most influential make-up artist, according to Vogue magazine. I was backstage at a Dolce & Gabbana show and while she was applying make-up on the models about to go out on the catwalk, she mentioned a detail that eludes many.

No matter the type of make-up you choose, don’t apply the products 10 minutes before a shooting or even going out the door towards an important event. Your face is going to look far better if it isn’t that freshly made up. The cosmetics need time to gently interact with the outer layer of the skin. Otherwise, the powder runs the risk of clearly showing against your skin (regardless of the products you’ve used), and the colours are going to look far more beautifully blended together an hour later. So, start your make-up at least an hour, even two beforehand. Just before the event you can, of course, do some touch ups, should your skin shine, but a make-up done just before won’t ever be as flattering as one that has had time to settle.

   A heavenly relaxing therapy: Petting an animal.

   A multi-task product: Mascara! If it’s in shades of brown, we can use it as much for accentuating the lashes as for drawing a definite line for the brows, if we happen not to have the especially-made product at hand. The brush will be able to contour the eyebrows, leveling out the little hairs and the product on it will enhance their colouring, filling out any gaps.

And should emergencies arise, with a white hair coming about, we can also solve this situation with a little colour from the mascara tube. Of course, the brunettes are going to use black for all of these tricks, but if you are chestnut, blonde even a redhead, you need brown. This is why a mascara in the right shade of brown is always good to have in your purse.

  Your favourite manicure: Nothing beats the elegance of a classic, monochrome manicure. I usually choose black, caramel and dark red as, no matter the look, these choices won’t ever look out of place.

   Your favourite feature: I love and take great care of my hair. I can wear no make-up at all and fell wonderful when I look in the mirror, but if I have a bad hair day, the mood of that day is compromised. Working in fashion, I understand all too well the importance of hair for someone’s visual identity. Still, we need to encourage people to look beyond hairstyle, skin or clothing…

This is why last year I decided to cut it short and give away my hair to the Brave Cut campaign, in order to have it made into a wig for a woman diagnosed with cancer. I urge all the readers of GLAMOUR to do the same. You can find all of the details on my website, Fashion Avec Passion.

    Your instant mood enhancing product: Perfume.

   A beauty icon you look up to: Charlotte Casiraghi, the Princess of Monaco (granddaughter of the legendary Grace Kelly) and ambassador of Gucci’s line of exclusive cosmetics, who I had the honour of interviewing in Milan for Fashion Avec Passion, next to international magazines such as Vanity Fair or Vogue.

She is of a rare beauty, extremely sophisticated, refined, just like Gucci.

   The minutes you put into beauty care on a daily basis: being constantly surrounded by designers, make-up artists, hair stylists, I had the opportunity to learn how to put it all together in record time and in not exactly the best of circumstances. For example, I’ve reached the professional level of getting ready in just 5-10 minutes no matter where I’m going, under any conditions. I should somehow be featured in the Guinness Book of World Records.

What’s more, I’ve developed special abilities for applying make-up even in a moving car. I think I can write a book about it. I know many women who would buy it!

   The products you’d take with you on a deserted island: What wouldn’t I take?! Especially on a place where I couldn’t have access to basically anything! Just that I don’t know what I could actually use them for since the island would be DESERTED…

   The food that keeps you going: Fruits.

   Three beauty products you can’t part ways with: As far as cosmetics go, I’m very lucky because many brands send me in advance the products they are about to launch. So, I have the opportunity to test countless products. Still, I’ve been lastingly impressed by just a few.

I recommend any Armani foundation – believe me, your skin is going to thank me if you give these products a try -, Guerlain tanning or highlighting powders – they add sophistication, that final touch of perfection that any make-up longs for -, and Gucci mascara for sensational length and volume.

   Your signature lipstick: I absolutely love the colours and textures of the Dolce & Gabbana lipsticks. As a matter of fact, I have a special relationship with the Dolce & Gabbana lipsticks.

At Milan Fashion Week, the brand launched a new make-up line, the star of which being a Sofia Loren lipstick that Dolce & Gabbana Beauty chose to promote in an outstanding way, creating an exclusive event for just 4 international bloggers: Zanita Whittington (Australia), Negin Mirsalehi (the Netherlands), Sandra Violante (Italia), and I had the honour of being the fourth. For each of the 4 bloggers, Dolce & Gabbana organised a private make-up and beauty tricks session with the very official make-up artist of the brand, Massimiliano Della Maggesa.

The lipstick of the famous Italian actress has become the most sought after make-up product of the year, and its launch saw such a success that the entire stock was sold out at the end of the very first day. You should try it! I’m sure you are going to want to have it in every shade!

   Your favourite fragrance: I’m quite simply in love with fragrances. But who isn’t?!… I also have a personal recipe for mixing them together. At the famous department store Harrods London their in-house specialist showed me a few strategies for creating my own perfume identity.

Ever since I’ve never worn a single perfume again, so I will never leave the same olfactory impression as another person. After all, her perfume is a woman’s signature… Currently, my magic potion includes in varying proportions (depending on the time of the day): Tom Ford Rose & Coffee, Marc Jacobs Decadence, Gucci Bamboo, Dolce & Gabbana Rosa Excelsa, Chloe Eau de Parfum, Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire and a further secret ingredient I keep to myself.


Story published by Glamour magazine.

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