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Catherine Deneuve

Catherine Deneuve


Terms like "diva" and "style icon" get bandied about far too freely. But one legend who deserves both labels is Catherine Deneuve--actress, muse, and fashion goddess. The fabulous face of Deneuve, 62, graces a stunning new line of cosmetics from MAC. During a recent visit to a Los Angeles MAC boutique, she shared some dish.

You and other French actresses of your generation have aged gracefully while remaining beautiful. It seems American actresses pursue more extreme methods to stay young, and it often doesn't read as well. The problem, I think, is society's problem more than the actresses'. It's only the reflection of a major problem in the States--that youth is the virtue above everything. People are not allowed to get old--women are not allowed to get old. You can't just tell young stories; you don't believe the same things at 20 that you do at 50. But it's true, in Europe, when you turn 40, you aren't thought of as an old woman; you are a nice mature woman.

Are you the kind of woman who puts on makeup every day? When I'm not working, I don't...well, always a little makeup, because it's very good protection for the skin from the sun. Even if I don't put on makeup, I will always do my brows and my lips. But I don't spend much time doing my makeup anymore.

In lending your name to this line of cosmetics, how involved were you in the creation of it? Completely involved! With the colors, with the products, with the design of the powder case--I was involved with everything. I told them that I really wanted to have my say on the colors. I wanted basic, simple things--something for the day, something for the night. Something for blonds and brunets. I came to the States twice to work on the foundation because I wanted a real beige, which is a very difficult color to do, a real, true beige.

The last time you spoke to The Advocate, 8 Women had not yet come out in this country. Since then your amorous tussle with Fanny Ardant has cemented your already impressive cult status among lesbians. Is that a segment of your fan base that makes itself known to you? [Rolls eyes] No. I did an interview with a magazine just before I left--you know Tetu [a Paris-based gay magazine]? It's the first time I've been in the magazine. But it just happens to be like that--it's part of my life. I have a lot of homosexual friends, but for me, it's just a natural thing.

And this is the silly question we ask every woman on this page--what advice would you have for a drag queen who's impersonating you? I know it's difficult because to be a drag queen, you have to caricature, and it's not easy to caricature me because I'm sort of soft around the edges. I saw a man who did me once, and he put his hands up on the side of his face, like the Avedon photos we did for Chanel. That was quite funny. Otherwise...I don't know. [Laughs] You have to dress well!

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