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Q & A with Jane Larkworthy

Best known for her imprint as the Beauty Editor of W Magazine for nearly two decades, Jane Larkworthy is recognized as one of the beauty industry’s grande dames and is a go-to source for navigating the complicated lands of being a woman. From W to Coveteur, Larkworthy has kept us connected through her provocative commentary and expertise. Her voice is distinct and personal and goes beyond just informational, it’s vanguard. With changes on the horizon, we had a moment to catch up with her and can tell you, she has our attention.


You cover topics that in the past, may have been considered taboo subjects. How have you built the courage to be real and authentic both as a writer and in day-to-day life?

I think I've found that authenticity and self deprecation have tended to work in my favor. It started with my page in W, but it's become even more encouraging to see people's reactions to my posts about crying or "Angry shy." They come out of the woodwork and say, "Oh my god, I know so many people like that!" I feel like I've only just scratched the surface. That said, I'm not sure I'm ready for–or skilled at–tackling the more serious issues. Mine tend to be more on the lighter side.


Do you feel that you can take more risks in your 50’s than you did in your 30’s? 40’s?

Yes. Probably. Because although I keep hearing myself using phrases like, "When you get to be my age," or "Now that I'm on in my years," which I said the other night on a panel, and my inner voice is like, “SHUT THE FUCK UP! You're acting like you're well into your Seventies! Stop saying you're old!” Because, frankly, with the exception of a weird arthritic thing that happens to my right thumb when I wake up in the morning, I feel exactly the way I felt when I was 30. Just less oily.


You have access to thousands of beauty brands and products. What are your views on the emergence of Indie skincare brands that are aiming to carve out their own space in the market?

I LOVE THEM! I was having a conversation with one of my editors about the latest trend in skin care founders not having chemistry or beauty backgrounds but educating themselves, and she said, "Isn't that true for just about every aspect these days? Look at Trump." Good point.


You have been a wonderful supporter of January Labs. What advice would you give to me as an Indie brand?

Authenticity is the name of the game these days, and showing what takes place behind the curtain is also what followers crave. But it all goes back to authenticity.


What are you most excited about right now? In general, indie brands that deliver. I remember years ago, the only indie brands were goopy, smelly and were sold by women who usually wore too much patchouli and might not be showering enough. Today, I love how ubiquitously accepted they are.


What are your go-to, keep-on-hand, no-matter-what essentials?

SPF EVERY DAY. And lip balm.


Is there a current beauty trend you can’t get yourself to be on board with and why?

Those painted on feathered brows. When I see that look on someone, it makes me MENTAL. Especially if it's on someone who actually has their own healthy brows. I'm like, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? I do have much sympathy for those who are brow challenged. Despite having no brow arch, I am grateful that I never over tweezed back in my teens.

How does it feel to be the parent of a supermodel pup? 

We are very proud of our Remy and her soaring career (we try not to call her a supermodel; don't want it to go to her head...) Like many parents of famous models, we always tell her she can quit any time it stops being fun. Oh, wait. That's what I say to myself. I know she doesn't necessarily ENJOY modeling for my shots, but I swear an entire shoot takes, like, 30 seconds. We've yet to actually get a hired gig, but we're holding out hope!

If you could sit down with anyone for an hour to pick their brain, who would it be and why?

What a great question. And the reason it’s taken me this long to send these answers back. I guess Tina Fey. I want to do what she’s done. Maybe I’m a little late. Who knows?


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