Fashion / Beauty

Five Minutes with Aerin Lauder — Beauty Tycoon Talks Dogs, Junk TV, Board Games, Palm Beach and More

Advice From a Style Icon

BY // 12.04.19

Aerin Lauder — founder of Aerin, the cosmetic, perfume, fashion, and furniture company, and style and image director for her late grandmother’s namesake company, Estée Lauder — is equal parts grace, style and substance.

Lauder touched down in Houston recently to sign her latest book, Palm Beach (Assouline), at Longoria Collection, which carries her beautiful home and fashion accessories and furniture.

During her appearance, I sat down with my style icon and fellow Brittany dog lover, to ask a few pressing questions.

Now I’m off to research Palm Beach flights to scope out vintage furniture and Spanish Colonial Revival architecture.

Go-to Palm Beach vintage furniture shop. Circa Who.

Inspiring architect. Addison Mizner.

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Bedside reading. The Bunny Mellon biography [Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend by Meryl Gordon]. I love interiors, and she was so creative. She had breakfast every day on a tray (shaped like) a butterfly. Estée had this quote: “Everything can be beautiful if you take the time.”

That was very much Bunny’s vision as well. I love her baskets, the whole thing. I think it’s fabulous. Scents that evoke memories. Gardenias — I wore gardenias in my hair when I got married. I carried a lily-of–the-valley bouquet, so those two scents have wonderful meaning to me.

Beauty rituals. I start every morning and end every day with Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair, which is a product that was launched many, many years ago, and it’s still my favorite. I love Estée Lauder Re-Nutriv cream, and I always wear foundation and bronzer.

Inspiring you right now. Probably travel. I think the power of Instagram is that even if you are not able to go to Morocco or Capri, you can still experience what it has to offer by these incredible photos and images. All our candles are named after destinations, and my newest book is about Palm Beach.

On her Brittany dogs. I love them to death. They have a ton of energy. I’ve got two — one is 14, and one is three. They are a fabulous breed.

Vices. My parents, whom I speak to seven times a day. I love junky television. I could watch hours of The Crown. I love to escape — that’s what I love to do when I travel. I get on the plane and just watch something for a long time.

Advice to your younger self. Whatever you do, do it well and with passion. Best advice from Estée. Estée used to talk about the importance about being authentic and true to who you are. She always said that anything with her name on the package has to be the best it could possibly be. I really believe in that vision, and I think about that every day.

What you enjoy most about your business. Probably meeting customers and seeing them respond to the products we have worked so passionately on.

Interiors or fashion. Interiors.

Favorite board game. Candy Land. I still love the graphics. Even after so many years, it’s just so charming.

Are your sons interested in the family biz. They are. They’ve worked in the company every summer. They are both at Wharton business school in Philadelphia. My whole family has gone to Penn — some to Wharton, some not.

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