Shiona Turini Stars In New La Mer Campaign
Courtesy of La Mer

If you don’t know the name Shiona Turini, you know the work of her treasured eye. The stylist and costume designer has worked with some of our most beloved melanin queens, such as Beyoncé, Kerry Washington, Solange Knowles and Thandie Newton. She’s also touched some of your favorite magazines, including Variety, Marie Claire, Cultured, Elle and more.

But since 2019 she’s been more widely known as the costume designer behind the unforgettable looks in the film Queen & Slim. And if you’re part of the glitterati, you’re likely checking her Instagram page several times a day to see if she’s posted a new look for you to be inspired by.

Now the fashion It girl is giving us another reason to Stan for her. She’s tapping into her beauty goddess side through a new campaign with La Mer for the brand’s New Eye Concentrate. It’s a new iteration to its cult favorite Eye Concentrate, heralded for its ability to reduce the appearance of dark circles and smooth the look of lines and wrinkles in just three weeks.

ESSENCE sat down with Turini to talk about why La Mer was the right brand to collaborate with, the myth of Black don’t crack, what brides should consider for wedding season and the best beauty advice she ever received.

You ended 2019 on a high note with Queen & Slim, and now it’s 2020 and you’re in this campaign with La Mer. Do your cheeks hurt from smiling?

I’m such a perfectionist that I’m always thinking of the next thing or wanting to work on the next thing. But yeah, when I do actually take the time to take a step back and look at everything it does feel incredible. And even with this La Mer My Moment of Clarity campaign to support the new Eye Concentrate, it was such a dream for me. I had always wanted to work with La Mer because I’ve just been such a huge fan of the brand and I’m super passionate about this product in particular. So it was just the perfect collaboration.

(Courtesy of La Mer)

Luxury all the way, baby!

La Mer is one of the few brands where I visibly notice a difference in my skin’s overall texture. I never want to meet someone and they say ‘she looks different online.’ I always want to look authentically like myself and I know that’s important to everyone that’s taking part in this project, and La Mer, just highlighting the beauty of your natural skin. I’m proud to be part of this collaboration and to be a partner in this campaign because a lot of times there’s a false narrative that certain brands or certain products are just not for us and not for our skin and it’s completely untrue.

We love to say ‘Black don’t crack,’ but sometimes we need a little help here and there.

The [Eye Concentrate] was revolutionary to my routine because after I finished Queen & Slim. I didn’t look like myself. I hadn’t been taking care of myself. I had really long hours. It was my first movie, so I was trying to go above and beyond. And I don’t wear a lot of makeup, so skin care has to be such a focus for me. I still get breakouts and acne and so, without relying on my concealer and covering it up, I have to invest the time and energy into making my skin look as best it can.

How does beauty tie into fashion when you’re creating a look overall?

I see some people on the red carpet sometimes and no matter how much makeup they have caked on, I can still see the texture and the breakouts. And I think that that’s unfortunate because it’s the base. Your makeup is not going to look good if your skin isn’t starting from a healthy place. Overall I definitely skew, in editorial and red carpet, for my work with makeup that doesn’t compete with the clothing, and also just making sure that someone’s natural beauty is being highlighted and enhanced, not covered up.

Shiona Turini with Twenties star Christina Elmore

Do you have any advice for brides now that it’s wedding season?

Don’t go overboard. Because you don’t want to look back on photos and it feel too trendy and you always want it to look classic and beautiful. Also, do makeup tests in advance, start the skin care regime well in advance, and don’t wait till the last minute so that [your skin] is in the best shape it possibly could be. I actually weirdly have become the go-to when it comes to friends’ weddings. I actually really like it. I love to be a part of someone’s happiest day.

What is the best skin care advice that you ever received?

I’m going to admit that I went through a period where I did not wash my face every night. I am no longer ashamed. I was super lazy. I like a minimal routine, and I was getting so busy and had such long hours that I would just want to pass out. And a really good friend of mine who worked on Queen & Slim was just like, ‘No matter what you do, make sure you wash your face at night.’ All of the dirt and the grime from the day, you’re sleeping with that. It gets settled on your skin. And I did in fact follow it and I saw a dramatic difference and I was like, Oh, I could have looked like this all this time. I’m so pleased that I now have my eye concentrate that that is super effective and helpful. I’ve really streamlined my process with two simple steps.

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