At the fabulous age of 90, Iris Apfel, self-described “geriatric starlet” and fashion icon, is taking on the world of make-up. The Iris Apfel for MAC Collection is a 20-piece line – an apt showcase of Apfel’s knack for color and unique style full of bold and splashy lip shades and nail lacquers. Colors range from dark grey and blue-teals to opaque coral, bright orange and matte magenta. “It’s a color collection inspired by a rare bird who has always been ahead of her time,” says the MAC press release.
Into The Gloss featured an interview with Apfel recently. Here are a few of our favorite quotes:
“Getting older ain’t for sissies, I’ll tell you. It’s very funny. I have a dear friend whose mother’s gone, but she was very funny. When I’d say ‘Yuda, how do you feel?’ she’d say, ‘Oh—when I get up in the morning, everything I have two of, one hurts’. You have to push yourself when you’re older, because it’s very easy to fall into the trap. You start to fall apart—you just have to do your best to paste yourself together. I think doing things and being active is very important. When your mind is busy, you don’t hurt so much. Thank God I love to do things. I feel blessed that I have all these opportunities at this stage in my life. I was always very busy with all kinds of stuff, and I’m very used to it—but at ninety, I have all these new careers—a makeup collection with MAC, working on glasses for Eye-Bobs, I’m on Home Shopping and on YOOX, and I do a big program with the fashion school at the University of Texas at Austin—they made me a professor.”
“I walk around all day in jeans—it’s very rare that I wear a dress. This is a rare occasion. I just happened to see this dress and fell in love with it. I love the colors, and I love to hide my turkey neck, so that was good.”
“I don’t do very much for beauty. I use very simple things on my skin. I haven’t got time. I would always get facials, and then come home laden with product, and pay a lot of money and never use it. Anyway, one day a dermatologist told me to use Cetaphil to clean my face, and as a moisturizer, and that’s what I do. I used to wear—when I was younger—heavy heavy eye makeup and a very bright mouth. One day, I fell into the hands of my friend’s sister who was a very glamorous fashion model. She took me by the hand and in the other hand she had a tube of black mustache wax. She took a spoon and struck a match, and the wax melted, then she took a brush on the eyes and they beaded—I looked like Miss Piggy. On my eyelashes—very heavy—it was like heavy, heavy, heavy mascara. I had very long lashes, so it was very striking.”
“I’m not good at putting on makeup, but you have to be a moron not to be able to put on lipstick. Now since I’m older, I don’t do my eyes anymore because when you’re older, your eyelids wrinkle. If you use blue or green, and you’re not really expert, you end up looking like a turtle.”
“Aging gracefully is about no heavy makeup, and not too much powder because it gets into the wrinkles, and you know, to not get turtle eyelids, and to not try to look young. You don’t have to look like an old fuddy-duddy, but I believe it was Chanel who said, ‘Nothing makes a woman look so old as trying desperately hard to look young’. I think you can be attractive at any age. I think trying to look like a spring chicken when you’re not makes you look ridiculous. I’m very opposed to plastic surgery. I think if—God forbid—you’re in an accident, or if you were cursed with a nose like Pinocchio, you’d have to go and get it fixed. But just to get nipped and tucked, I think it’s very painful, very expensive, and having been in hospitals as much as I have, subjecting yourself to surgery when you don’t need it is not a smart thing to do. But what do I know? I mean, almost everybody does it. I think if women put some more of the time and money they put on their heads in their heads, they’d be better off. I mean, nobody’s going to think you’re thirty-two, so what’s the point?”