Jeremy Scott on Aging, Acne, and His Experiments With Eyeshadow

Jeremy Scott in a pink car, carrying his Furturna Skin collector's edition set
Courtesy of Furturna Skin

Back in 1999, Jeremy Scott cast the model Agatha Luczo in his fifth-ever fashion show. Little did he know it at the time, but years later, the pair would become the godparents of his longtime muse Devon Aoki’s daughter. At that point, Luczo had moved on to the beauty industry with a “clean” line named Furtuna Skin that’s based in Sicily. And naturally, when they decided to collaborate, Scott dressed up her minimalist products in the most maximalist way possible: The Micellar Essence, Face & Eye Serum, Replenishing Balm, and Biphase Moisturizing Oil that make up their new collector’s edition set come packaged in a bright pink furry case with a strap that Scott hopes customers will be bold enough to also use as a handbag. (In keeping with her eco-conscious ethos, Luczo has made the move to offset all of the sets’ carbon footprints.)

The Biphase Moisturizing Oil, a two-in-one bioactive blend that provides moisture, antioxidant protection, barrier repair, and vitamin C for collagen synthesis is one of Scott’s favorites in his beauty arsenal, and that’s quite the endorsement: The number of products he uses on a daily basis are next to none. Before jetting off to Milan Fashion Week—where, true to form, he staged a truly over-the-top Moschino presentation—the 46-year-old designer shared his beauty routine and opened up about his thoughts on cosmetic surgery and aging.

I read that you used to wear eyeshadow up to your hairline, and was very disappointed not to find any photos.

That was before people were taking my photo. [Laughs.] The easiest way to see some is this Longchamp bag I did with all these old Polaroids of me. I definitely played with eyeshadow in high school, and even mascara. I have exceptionally long eyelashes, so when I use mascara, it becomes, like, a thing.

I mainly found photos of some truly wild hairstyles.

I’ve always played with my hair. Even in the fifth grade, I tried to bleach my hair and be blonde, and it messed up because I didn’t know how to do it. I used a blonde hair dye on brown and it turned penny copper orange, and my mom wouldn’t let me dye it back. She was like, “No, you have to suffer this,” so my fifth grade picture is with the orangey penny copper hair. I remember having to go to school and one of my teachers saying, “Oh, wow, you dyed your hair.” And I was like, “No, no—it’s just the sun.” I was so nervous about being perceived as gay. Now I’ve had my hair almost every color imaginable, at times multiple colors going on at once.

Jeremy Scott at Olympus Fashion Week fall 2004 in New York City.

Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

What’s the first thing you do in the morning, beauty-wise, these days?

I’m very minimal. I’m all about drinking a lot of water, so I have a hot lemon water. I’m naturally more of an oily skin type, so I don’t need to moisturize so much. [I use] sunscreen because I live in L.A. and love the sun and am just trying to be really careful about not over-sizzling my skin, because I think that’s probably the most damaging thing you can do [to it]. I do sometimes use a little bit of the Furtuna olive oil, especially after I’ve washed my face. I mean, also, as I’m a dude, I generally shave every day, and I feel like that’s super exfoliating. I really think [it’s about] exfoliation, letting your skin breathe, nutrients from within, taking your vitamins and fish oil pills.

Apart from your new Furtuna products, what are some of your everyday go-tos? What brand of sunscreen do you use?

I want to say it’s Goop, but that’s the website, so I don’t think it’s Goop. Okay, it’s called Supergoop, so I’m not wrong…

So not Gwyneth Paltrow.

Yeah, it’s a little confusing. And then I’ve been using the Humanrace stuff from Pharrell, his new skincare line. This is the rice powder cleanser—you just pour out the little rice powder and put water on it. I love a rice powder cleanser. I used a Shiseido [product,] but I couldn’t find it again, and Pharrell had sent me this. I was like, “Oh, I’ll try it,” and then I was like, “Oh my god, I love it.” I’m a very big proponent of getting facials often, and my facialist has this product RevealU. It’s a lightweight gel moisturizer with 24-karat gold flakes. After I wash my face and come out of the shower, I usually put a little bit of this on and think, “Oh, I’m just feeding my skin.” Because it’s not sticky and nasty and it’s the minerals that we deplete naturally out of our body, so it’s just like putting them back in.

I also grabbed this Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence. If I feel like I’m greasy and I wanted to take that down, I would use this. Then there’s this Neutrogena Fast-Absorbing Hand Cream because as we all have noticed with so much washing our hands, they’ve gotten really dry. What’s really great about that one is it’s super fast—you put it on and it’s gone. I’m just not used to using moisturizer, even on my hands, and when I tried some, it seemed to always continuously be there—a little bit much for me, like a dog wearing shoes. My main thing with a skincare regime is facials, a big hat when I’m hiking, and sunscreen.

Who is your facialist?

Marianne Kehoe, who is a one-woman show who runs her salon by herself. She doesn’t even have a front desk person. Sometimes in L.A., the best sushi restaurants are in some strip mall you would drive by, you know what I mean? It’s like that. She’s in a little strip mall above a laundromat here in the Valley. It’s not glamorous at all. I’ve seen her for almost 15 years. The curse of oily skin is that I need to get facials often. I’m always like, “Why am I getting a pimple at this age? None of the other designers have acne—what’s going on?” And she always points out, “But that’s why you look and will keep looking like a baby. Don’t forget, you’ll be really happy when you look so much younger because your skin’s always all hydrated.”

Photo by Chris Weeks/FilmMagic

Is there any treatment that you’re afraid to try?

I would never do an acid peel—I feel like it’s very scary and difficult for your pigment. I did microdermabrasion back in Bliss Spa’s heyday, when they got bought by LVMH in the early 2000s and they were pumping. Everyone’s skin is different, but I will never do it again. I had a reaction where after that I would wash my face in the morning and the warm water would make the exact places it had been on so red. I was petrified when I realized it was the exact same pattern. I’ve also done PRP, which I like.

Isn’t that the “vampire facial”?

Yeah, some people call it that. They take your blood, mix it around, and basically poke your skin with a little prick machine, a little stamper tool, and then blood helps heal it. You’re damaging your skin of course, but you’re using your own blood so it’s more minimal. Anyway, I’m a bit skin-obsessed if you hadn’t noticed.

Do you worry about how aging will affect your appearance?

Yes, of course I worry about my appearance. I do worry about aging because I want to look my best, like I would think everyone would. I want to look good, and I am very obsessed with good skin—it’s something I value personally. I’m aware of every literal bump on my body. If something new appears I’m like, “Wait, where’d you come from? How did you get there?” Maybe it’s psychotic, maybe it’s obsessive, maybe it’s just natural. Who knows?

When you do get wrinkles, would you ever get any preventative procedures or cosmetic surgery?

I don’t know. I keep thinking maybe one day, all that plastic surgery stuff will be so futur[istically] advanced that they’re not cutting you anymore. I never would say never, but I’m apprehensive, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t want to distort how I look. I don’t want to not look like me. I just want to look like the best version of me. And that doesn’t mean altering my nose or doing these things, which isn’t a judgment call—that’s fine for other people. I’ve accepted the way I look. I think a lot of people feel awkward about not liking something about themselves. And I don’t really care about that. I’m not one of the world’s greatest beauties—that’s not my goal, and that’s not what I’m known for. I think I look good, especially because I take good care of myself. I just look like me. And that’s perfectly great and fine.

Courtesy of Furturna Skin

I wish I had gotten to that place of acceptance when I was younger. I spent so long being like, “I hate my nose,” etc.

I think that’s a pretty common hate. I hated my nose for a long time—I wanted some little ski jump nose and all these things that would not look right on me at all. After growing up, I don’t even think I have that big of a nose…. Everyone doesn’t like something, which puts you a little more at ease about it all.

Who immediately comes to mind when you think of the words “beauty icon”?

I think of Peggy Moffitt, the model from the ’60s who created all her own makeup looks. This was back when models had to do their own makeup and have their own wig kits and things. I think she did such unbelievably inspiring things that we all now identify as “’60s.” Since she had a platform, she had visibility, so she inspired a lot of people. But if I think about just good beauty and looking good, not makeup, I don’t have to tell you: Madonna looks amazing. I know she had a fight with people online about her using filters on the Instagram, and was like, “Who fucking cares? Everyone uses filters. Leave me alone.” I was like, “Yeah, let her do what she wants to do.” But I’ll tell you, she doesn’t need it. In real life, it’s like, Oh wow, okay. It’s not like the filter comes off and then, you know, some rotten apple comes in. Whatever she’s doing, she’s making really great moves.

Last thing: What’s your favorite form of self care?

Going on hikes. I love to go on hikes, especially here in Los Angeles, and listen to podcasts. A very granola, nerdy aspect of my life that probably most people do not know is that I love the Daily, the New York Times podcast. Michael Barbaro is in my ear nearly every day.

I’m the same way with podcasts. It’s so weird how you develop a relationship with these people in your head.

Oh, my god, I know. Every one of Michael Barbaro’s sighs… I feel like I know him so well. I feel like a stalker. I get so sad when he’s not on there and there’s a guest. I miss hearing his voice!