A Quick Bite With Gucci Westman, Revlon’s Global Artistic Director

A Quick Bite With Gucci Westman, Revlon’s Global Artistic Director

In what now feels like a past life, I used to be the beauty director of FASHION magazine. I do still dip my toe into the beauty waters every once in awhile (you can check out my latest story, Dot Matrix, in the Winter issue of FASHION magazine) but it’s usually just me and you hanging and chatting about what healthy meal we can get into the kids today. However, in my old life, I used to talk to seriously amazing makeup artist Gucci Westman all the time. If you happen to follow fashion or beauty or both then you know this woman is a creative force to be reckoned with behind the scenes of fashion shows like Rag & Bone (her husband David Neville is half of the design duo), Oscar de la Renta and Diane von Furstenberg. She’s also intimate with the planes and pores of such famous faces like Gwyneth Paltrow, Drew Barrymore and Natalie Portman. In addition, she is in the Revlon labs developing some of the company’s most popular products as their Global Artistic Director. Gucci’s eye for colour and fashion world expertise were essential in developing such star products as Revlon’s ColorStay 16 Hour Shadows and the PhotoReady Sculpting Blush.

However, two of her most shining accomplishments are her children, Dash (4) and Gray (2), and the delicate balance she strikes between an accomplished career and motherhood. Not to mention she’s a bad ass in the kitchen, especially when it comes to Swedish baking. Born in California but raised in Sweden, Gucci’s parents believed in wholesome, homemade foods, making most of the family’s staples themselves. Today, Gucci’s approach to feeding her young family is very similar to her parents’ maverick thinking. She sat down with SPC’s dear friend and FASHION Magazine‘s current beauty director, Lesa Hannah, to talk about her son’s love of kale, her daughter’s addiction to ice cream and her love of home cooking. Maybe one day we can get a recipe out of her too, or a lesson in a smoky eye. Hey, an old beauty girl can dream, right? – L.K.

SPC: What’s your earliest food memory?

Gucci Westman: My mom teaching me how to make a quesadilla, when we lived in Claremont California. And I think I was maybe four. And I made a damn good one. I also remember my parents were crazy, crazy healthy even more so then now. Everything had to be organic even back then, and no sugar, nothing refined. I remember never having unhealthy stuff ever, and that brought me back to being super healthy later in life. I have my parents to thank for all of that and they cooked everything. They made every single thing that we had in our house was homemade. Like the bread, milk came from the cow up the street, I mean ice cream they made, the butter, the cheese. Everything we had, they made. And all of our vegetables came from our garden. It was pretty cool.

SPC: When you have a family meal together who does the cooking?

Gucci: Me. I learned to cook from my mom and dad. But my husband does not. He helps me rinse the basil or whatever, he cuts the radishes super fine. I mean he could actually cook for me if I was really sick, but he’s done it twice in nine years. And the first time maybe he bought take out.

SPC: Do you try and get your children involved in the cooking process? And what’s their favourite task in the kitchen?

Gucci: Yes. Breaking things, breaking eggs, pouring stuff into bowls. We do some Swedish traditions. So for Santa Lucia, we make saffron buns and bring them to school, and ginger bread cookies, and then for Christmas we make a gingerbread house. Everybody gets really involved with, and my son eats all the sweets off the house. I try not to be rigid with them about sweets as… I mean my son is great because he actually doesn’t have a sweet tooth. But my daughter has a big sweet tooth, and she wakes up and wants ice cream. She’s terrible, terrible. And I’ve lost complete control of her. She just wakes up and wants sweets.

SPC: What are your kid’s favourite meals?

Gucci: Gray will say ice cream, any time of the day. And her focus is extraordinary. As soon as she gets that ice cream she is like dead quiet. She’s so happy.  Dash loves to eat raw kale. We make kale chips all the time, but if you ask him what he wants for dinner he’ll say fish and chips or pizza. He’s a very healthy kid.  He likes healthy food, he eats brown rice, he eats all of his vegetables, and he loves fava beans. If I take him for lunch and it’s in season he’ll say “fava bean salad, can we have a fava bean salad?” And people freak out; he’s been like that since he was two.

SPC: Do you cook family recipes?

Gucci: We have family meal once a week on a Saturday or Sunday where we sit together, and they stay up later.  Um, I make a really nice fish dish with herbs and a lot of basil and cherry tomatoes, garlic, brocollini, olive oil, in the oven and it’s delicious. And that’s actually from David’s mom but I sort of switch it up, with the veggies. And we have that with the quinoa pasta or brown rice, and salad.

SPC: Is there a favourite dish that you grew up eating and that you still love to make now?

Gucci: Macaroni and cheese, although now we don’t eat cheese. I’m really good at baking. I probably could have had a baking shop. Anything Swedish, I mean I used to bake different things all the time: candies, sweet buns, bread, everything.

SPC: Is there something you wish your kids would eat but they won’t touch?

Gucci: My daughter won’t eat cheese, or eggs, or have milk, I wish she would. My son, he’s really good actually. I mean sometimes he loves the idea of having like junk and he’ll have a bite but doesn’t, he’ll say “can you save this for later.” And he doesn’t have it. He’s really, really good like that, our daughter I’m worried about though.

SPC: Because you travel all the time, when you are travelling with your kids how do you manage their endless need for snacks? Do you bring something on a flight, or what do you carry in your bag?

Gucci: Totally; we have Mary’s Gone Crackers Sticks and Twigs (it’s like pretzels but it’s made out of flax). We have Pirate Booty, have roll up fruit, everything is organic. Kale chips, carrots, celery, raisins, nuts. They love nuts, um, everything is healthy, basically.

SPC: As a working mom with a crazy schedule, how do you make family meals a part of your routine?

Gucci: We try and sit down all of us once a week. I mean it’s really important, but usually it ends up being late, and my son ends up having a melt down. But I still feel like it’s so important.

SPC: As a makeup artist you rely on creativity, so cooking along kids in the kitchen also takes a certain amount of creativity. So how do you get your children involved in nutrition?

Gucci: Um, you know its kind of like explaining to them it gives you energy, and how you have that it makes you grow and feel good. And especially our son has low blood sugar, and I say to him “you’re going to freak out if you don’t have a little bit of protein for breakfast.” And he woke up a few weeks ago because he didn’t want to have dinner or lunch, and he said “I have such a tummy ache” and I said “you know what, I think you haven’t eaten in too long.” And he said “my head hurts” and then he ate, and then he said “gosh I feel so much better,” and I said “see it’s almost like you put petrol in the car”. And your fuel is food and sleep and you have to listen to your body. And he says, “is this a protein?” and he asks a lot about those things.

SPC: What’s the one makeup tip a busy mom should always remember?

Gucci: A makeup tip busy moms should always remember, oh to carry like… oh, I mean that’s kind of a boring tip though…I was going to say it’s great to have like, you know if it’s an eyeshadow palette, where you have something that can easily go from like casual to something a little bit more if you want to dress yourself up. And I would say it’s nice to maybe have eyeliner, mascara, but it’s good to have a few things if you don’t know where you’re going to end up after work. Just to step it up.

SPC: If you’re running late and you only have time for one makeup product, what is it?

Gucci: In the winter it would be a black eyeliner, and I would say one of Revlon’s lip in Sugar Frosting because they are a lip balm and my lipstick.

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1 Comment

  1. Lesa
    November 24, 20:35 Reply

    I’d argue you spoke to your boyfriend Tom Pecheux WAY more.

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