Makeup and Beauty Blog Interviews MAC Viva Glam Spokesperson Dita Von Teese
Last night was my interview with Dita Von Teese and I’m happy to report that it all went well!
Dita was really beautiful in person and lots of fun to speak with. She totally focuses on you when she speaks to you and there were a few moments when I felt like a deer-in-the headlights, because she’d look so intensely at me and I felt like I couldn’t focus on anything else! It was akin to being two feet away from a *massive sonic boom* of beauty. She has amazing skin; it’s so milky and porcelain and just perfect.
I got to peek in her dressing room before the show and saw her costumes, some show props (a big ole’ strawberry sponge and a bottle of what appeared to be a bottle Cristalle.) I am sad to report that there was no harem of hot shirtless oiled up men fanning her with peacock feathers. I wish!
And her performance was frickin’ hot! She did the one where she first pops the champagne open, pours it all over her body and then dances around in the life-sized champagne glass.
Here’s the transcript from our interview. Enjoy!
Makeup and Beauty Blog: So what MAC makeup are you wearing today?
Dita Von Teese: Well, let’s see…I hope I can remember! I think my cheek color is called Dame. My lip color is Russian Red with a Lip Lacquer called Fan Plastico over that. And I have liquid liner, MAC false lashes (of course!). I have Vapor eyeshadow, and MAC mineralize powder on.
MBB: Absolutely beautiful!
DVT: Thank you!
MBB: I was lucky enough to pick up your Favorite things! Dubonnet is my new favorite red.
DVT: It’s a great one.
MBB: It’s really good and that Cremestick liner is amazing.
DVT: They have so many great products. I’ve been a long time fan of MAC cosmetics, so it was really exciting for me to be a Viva Glam Spokesperson. It’s a cause I really believe it and I’ve supported since it was launched with RuPaul. So it’s great. I love talking about lipstick, and how much this lipstick has done with people living with HIV and aids. It’s really been great.
MBB: What inspired you to sign on as Viva Glam spokesperson?
DVT: Well, I remember when it was first launched under RuPaul, and I remember being so excited by the idea that a cosmetics company would put RuPaul looking fabulous … and a drag queen in a cosmetics campaign is amazing!
I didn’t know what I could do to really help people with HIV and AIDS. I didn’t have a lot of money and I was thinking, “What can I really do to help?” and so I could certainly afford to buy a lipstick. And it felt really good know that 100% of the selling price wsa actually going to help people living with HIV and AIDS. And now they’re reaching the 100 million dollar mark, and so it’s really incredible. It just makes me happy to be able to have a voice about this campaign and I’m so proud of what they’ve done.
MBB: What is your most stand-out moment so far as Viva Glam spokesperson?
DVT: A few things. I’m really not much of a public speaker. It makes me really nervous and I’ve had to conquer my fear of that by giving speeches, speaking in front of colleges, and presentations all around the world.
Also it’s been really exciting because MAC cosmetics let me create a burlesque show to bring more attention to Viva Glam. I ride a giant, nine-foot long mechanical lipstick. And it’s really great that they let me have that opportunity to bring my own personal touches to the campaign.
MBB: Whose idea was it to have the mechanical lipstick?
DVT: (laughs) It was mine! Well, I had a few different ideas. I work with my best friend, who makes all of my costumes. We were working together, and we were coming up with different ideas for a show. There were three ideas: one was safe, one was in the middle, and one was outrageous. And of course riding the lipstick was outrageous – obviously the most expensive, the most risqué, but the most fun, and MAC is a really adventurous company and so they let me go along with it and it was really exciting to make it happen.
MBB: That’s so cool that you work with your best friend! How long have you guys been friends?
DVT: I guess about 10 or 11 years.
MBB: What is her name?
DVT: Her name is Catherine D’Lish. She also a burlesque performer. We met because it was sort of a rivalry in a way. We had the same manager and we were both doing classic burlesque, and there weren’t many people performing burlesque at that time. And certainly not in the circuit that we were in.
So a lot of people said that we had to meet. We were really meant to be either the greatest rivals or greatest friends. Fortunately we banded together, and it’s been really exciting to make these shows bigger and better and more opulent and extravagant.
She’s there to push me and make it happen. The costumes she makes are extraordinary. The one I’m wearing tonight weighs about 70 pounds and it’s covered in about 250,000 Swarovski crystals so we’re always trying to raise the bar.
MBB: That’s so fantantic. It’s really great that you have someone to push you and inspire you.
DVT: It’s great because she actually puts the costumes on and knows how it feels whereas a lot of people don’t understand really the suffering involved in wearing 70 pounds worth of costume and being corseted down! And she’s right there with me to feel it and knows how it all works.
MBB: So the other day I was flipping through the channels on TV and I saw an interview with on IFC on sex and the cinema. And the reason why I knew it was you was because I saw your red lips.
MBB: The public obviously knows you for the red lip, black eyeliner, look. On your days off, what’s your makeup like?
DVT: Well there are varying degrees and I’m rarely seen without my red lip. But I have to say that you’re not going to walk in on my yoga class or my pilates class and I’m not going to be wearing a cat eye and a red lip!
I always have a very retro style, whether it is very little makeup; my clothing doesn’t change, I don’t put on a pair of jeans and t-shirt and a beige lip on my off days. This is something that I truly love and I believe in and it makes me feel good. So I make a point to make myself feel good every day.
MBB: Have you always been a red lip kind of girl, or was there a time when you were a teenager or when you were first experimenting with makeup when you wore a different look?
DVT: Not some much when I was a teenager. I would sneak the red lipstick when I was 13, 14! I’ve strayed from the red lip a few times, unfortunately …when I first started out people would say, “Oh, you have to look normal,” and they’d try to “normalize” me for a magazine and I’ve learned since then never to let that happen to me again.
I’m very insistent about my look, and in fact the hair and makeup people that I do use for a magazine is very specific. It’s the same way all the time, I really insist on it. But I do my own hair and makeup for events and a lot of photo shoots and I pride myself in my self-styling.
MBB: So when you are doing your makeup yourself, what are your favorite tricks and tips?
DVT: My number one tip is you have to practice. A lot of people ask me “How can I do my hair in 40s style or 30s style like you do, and how can I get this look?” And I think that really you have to sit in the mirror and you have to practice. You have to want it really bad. You have to have patience and you have to understand that’s the only way to really achieve it there’s no shortcut. You just really have to practice.
MBB: Do you have a favorite MAC product that you cannot live without?
DVT: Yes! Of course my Russian Red lipstick – I can’t live without. And I really love the MAC Mineralize Powders, they’re so easy to wear, and a quick foundation before you go. It’s light and any woman can wear it and it’s a really wonderful quick fix.
MBB: So, I dance too. I’m not a burlesque dancer, though, I do hip hop. I’m dying to know, because I read that you’re a trained ballerina –
DVT: Not a very good one! Well I danced ballet all my life. I wanted to be a ballerina. I tried and tried and you have to really face it sometimes that you’re not meant to be professional. Or you can work really hard at something and you can definitely learn a lot from it. I have a lifetime of ballet training but I have to say I was never meant to be a great ballerina. A lot of my shoes I perform en pointe, but you know I’m not going out there performing 42 pirouettes.
MBB: Do you have a favorite genre of dance in addition to burlesque?
DVT: I feel like ballet is my favorite. It’s the most beautiful, most challenging dance. And I’m just a big fan of the beauty of ballet, and the fact that it’s so feminine. There isn’t one ugly move in ballet. If you snap a picture anywhere you’re going to have perfect body lines, really feminine, beautiful body shapes so that definitely has to be my favorite.
MBB: Do you have a favorite show?
DVT: Usually my newest show is my favorite. I have a show right now that I’m about to debut. I have a ten-foot tall sparkling black swan fountain and it’s a very sort of funny twist on Swan Lake, so that brings me back to the ballet, but I wanted to do this sort of playful, Swan Lake thing. It’s a little bit funny, as burlesque often is. But I’m really excited about this show, because we’re making really wonderful, original music for it.
Usually my new shows are favorite. A lot of people know me for doing the champagne glass and the martini glass, but I do have 15 other numbers that are more dramatic.
MBB: So what’s next up for Dita?
DVT: Well, I’m writing a beauty book for eccentrics, for people who want to look different, for people who want to break the rules of makeup and hair and fashion.
I’m writing a book on how I do it step-by-step. I have a lot of female fans, and their biggest question is “How can I do my hair like this, show me,” so I really wanted to write this book. And also I wanted to write a book that encourages women to be individual and unique. When you look at beauty magazines, beauty advice is so many cut rules. They say, “Don’t wear blue eyeshadow, don’t wear green eyeshadow, don’t wear a heavy eye and a heavy lip,” and I’m hear to say, “You should wear what you want, and it’s okay to break the rules.”
Source: Makeup and Beauty Blog