Evelyn Lauder: A Beauty Legend Remembered

The beauty industry lost one of its most radiant stars this past weekend. Evelyn Lauder, Estée Lauder's daughter-in-law, Leonard Lauder’s wife of 52 years, and the company’s senior corporate vice president and head of fragrance...


In 2002, for a piece on her second photo book, “Seasons Observed,” we photographed her near her home in Aspen. She led the way up Woody Creek in her chambray shirt, khaki pants, and hiking boots and found the perfect spot for our photographer. Her good nature mixed with motherly concern (she tried, in vain, to nudge the handsome California-based photographer toward me) made it a memorable trip and sealed our friendship. From then on, every time I saw her, she wanted an update on all aspects of my life and always came out with a memorable line. And don’t think we didn’t take advantage of that editorially. In 2008, we did a piece called “Waist Not, Want Not,” about women whose trim figures belied their gastronomic passions. She was prominent in the story, but my favorite quote was the one that didn’t make it in: “Whenever a waiter asks me if I’d like dessert, I tell him, ‘I can’t. I’m suffering from a condition called Fatonmythighs.’” If you say it fast—and without any breaks—it does sound downright medical.

The moment I’ll cherish the most, though, was when I happily informed Evelyn that her matchmaking services were no longer required. I introduced her to my husband, beaming with pride that I’d found such a great catch on line. She raised her eyebrows and inquired, “Did you meet on C-date?”

Like “fatonmythighs,” it took me a moment to realize that she was guessing what the non-Jewish version of J-Date would be. Sensing our puzzlement, she shifted gears, patted my husband on the arm and said, “You’re a very lucky man.”

As everyone who knew Evelyn Lauder is thinking today, we were the lucky ones.

Photo: CNP Montrose