Quick: Name two pop stars who turned their girl-group past into a lucrative fashion career. If you can’t, that’s because there’s only one—and it’s obviously Victoria Beckham. You’d think that after basically achieving world domination as part of the Spice Girls in the early 2000s, Beckham might spend a few years taking it easy. Not so—shortly after her pop quintet disbanded, Beckham founded an eponymous label and soon became the darling of New York Fashion Week (trust me when I say that there are few shows editors will wake up at the crack of dawn to see on a weekend, and hers is one of them).
When I meet with her at the penthouse of the Greenwich Hotel to learn about her second makeup collection with Estée Lauder, I am a bit nervous. Everything about Victoria Beckham’s public image is just, well, posh, for lack of a less overused word—from her sleek, understated style to her signature smolder versus smile into the camera to her sky-high cheekbones and iconic chin-grazing haircut. I repeat: posh. But the woman in a perfectly tailored white button-down and mint-green skirt who stands up to greet me is surprisingly soft-spoken and warm, with no airs to be found whatsoever.
As Beckham walks me through every item in her new cosmetics collection—inspired by London, Paris, New York, and Miami (her favorite cities)—it’s like watching a mother lovingly beam as her child sings a solo in the school play. “I think I’m a bit different from other celebrities who collaborate with makeup brands,” she muses. “Those women are usually actresses or singers. I’m not. I’m a designer, and this is what I do, so I really was involved every step of the way and feel so strongly about each of the products included.”
This second collection is a luxurious set of glow-giving creams, shimmery mousses, and of-the-moment shades ranging from cobalt blue to plum—and, of course, various shades of Beckham’s signature nude lipstick. You can feel the care that was put into every product from the moment you pick it up (the packaging is weighty, with a mix of matte black and gilded gold) to when you swish it across your skin. In short, it’s modern yet timeless—just like Victoria Beckham herself.
Keep scrolling to learn more about the collection, as well as some of Beckham’s own beauty tips, in her own words.
Courtesy of Estée Lauder
BYRDIE: What’s the one product from your new collection that you think everyone should try?
VICTORIA BECKHAM: Modern Mercury Highlighter ($75)—I think this is something anyone can use. I would normally put this on the top part of my cheeks, down the center of my nose, sometimes I even put it here on the bow of my lips. You can use it on your eyes; I’ll take a big brush if I’m wearing a strapless top and dust it on my collar bone. Also the bronzers—there’s a lighter shade with this collection and a darker one in the first collection. Actually, I think most people can use everything in this collection.
BYRDIE: As you were looking to all these cities for beauty inspiration and color insight, was there one beauty trend you saw that spanned across all of them?
VB: I think that would kind of be the Signature Look of the collection—that youthful, fresh, glowing skin that’s making you look awake and fresh. So there are a few products that go with every single city: The Morning Aura Illuminating Cream ($95), the Skin Perfecting Powder ($85), Eye Ink Mascara ($45), the Aura Gloss ($45).
BYRDIE: If you could give your 20-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
VB: Sleep as much as you can because once you have children, you’re never going to get that much sleep again. [Laughs.] You know, why is it that when you’re young, you stay up late? And it’s like, no, I would love for somebody to tell me, you need to go to bed—you don’t need to tell me more than once. I’m off! Sleep while you have the opportunity.
Courtesy of Victoria Beckham
BYRDIE: Are there any skincare products that you’re currently using and loving, have loved for a long time, or newly discovered?
VB: Sarah Chapman, who is a facialist in London, has incredible beauty products. I use all of her beauty products. If I’m putting a face mask on, I love the Estée Lauder Power Foil Mask ($22), which is really incredible.
BYRDIE: In your opinion, what’s the one beauty look that any woman can pull off whether she’s 20 years old or 60?
VB: Groomed, easy, fresh—a look that enhances your natural features and bone structure. My signature look does just that. It’s all about glowing skin, full, long lashes and glossy highlights. I think that’s a totally timeless look that suits anyone at any age.
BYRDIE: What is the most important beauty lesson that you hope your daughter, Harper, learns as she grows older?
VB: I just hope that she is confident enough to try different things. I think that most young girls should maybe think less is more, but we’ve all been there. I mean, I was in the Spice Girls, you know? Sometimes you’ve got to figure these things out yourself, and that’s part of growing up. There’s something really nice about that. We all look back and think, did you really have to do that? But I think that it’s important that you go through that and experiment.
Courtesy of Victoria Beckham
BYRDIE: Is there a beauty trend you’d never try or are tired of seeing?
VB: I just don’t like too much. You know, I think it’s great to contour—everybody loves a bit of contour—but I think it’s quite a trend to hyper-sculpt now. … I just don’t like anything too fake. Look, I’m a woman, and I love makeup, and I love getting dressed up, and I’m very, very girly, but there is a trend right now of “a lot.” It’s just not my thing. I think that’s why people like my new collection because it does feel new, and it feels fresh. You can’t get formulas like this anywhere else, and it was never about me copying something someone else is doing. I have a point of view, and I think it’s different to what most people are doing.
BYRDIE: The formula for the Eye Foils is incredible.
VB: I love those. If I had those in the Spice Girl days when I was on the stage—you know? When the light hits it, it’s just incredible. There’s nothing like it, and it’s just the right size.
BYRDIE: One of your signature looks is a nude lip—which one are you wearing from the collection?
VB: I’m wearing the Victoria ($50) shade. I’ve got the lip liner on, a little bit on the inside, and the Aura Gloss just dabbed on the top. I’ve had it on since first thing this morning.
BYRDIE: How do you find the perfect shade of nude?
VB: Most nudes are too mauve or they’re too pale, and I think what’s great about these colors is that I learned a lot by seeing photographs of myself—I’ve worn lipstick in the past, and it looks like I don’t have lips, and that’s too nude. So it’s just finding that balance. This is like a little collection of the perfect nudes. The Burnished Rose ($50) is perfect for me because it’s quite pink—like a modern take of a nude. It’s like a new young fresh nude.
Click here to shop the brand-new Victoria Beckham x Estée Lauder collection.