We admire Stella McCartney so much, we'd take her advice on anything—entrepreneurship, how to dress for work, and of course, all things beauty-related. In other words, she’s mega knowledgeable. Now, the fashion-designer-turned-beauty-mogul is the brainchild behind STELLA by Stella McCartney, a refillable skincare collection that’s clean, sustainable, and pared-down, giving us another reason to adore her. The line is based on McCartney’s philosophy of using "only what you need," and consists of three essential and refillable products: reset cleanser, alter-care serum, and restore cream.
That, along with an earthy yet sweet scent developed by perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, make for a unique skincare brand that we can't get enough of. Personally, I tried the serum and cream and after a few weeks, my skin displayed full-on radiance. You know—that I-just-received-a-facial-glow or that sunkissed shimmer you can only get after a few hours luxuriating on the beach. Yes, that's the one.
With her vegan and cruelty-free principles at the core of the collection, McCartney is committing herself to making the beauty world more sustainable. She hopes to offer an alternative to luxury skincare that supports caring for ourselves and Mother Earth in perfect harmony. “Similarly to my vision for my fashion house, my aim was to find another way of creating skincare, a way that was better for both people and the planet,” says McCartney.
Curious to know more about STELLA by Stella McCartney? Keep reading.
Marie Claire: What was your inspiration behind STELLA by Stella McCartney?
Stella McCartney: Skincare has always been a passion of mine. When I started this project a few years ago, I knew a change in the industry was needed—I hoped to create an alternative luxury skincare range that I couldn’t find in the marketplace. Partnering with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton provided me with the opportunity and the support network to make my vision a reality. I was able to create a range that works in harmony with nature without compromising efficacy.
MC: How important was it to use consciously-selected active ingredients in your line?
SM: It was incredibly important, and a key philosophy behind the range. I have high standards—the formulas had to be vegan, cruelty-free, natural, essential, effective, in harmony with the skin, and of course, with nature. It took a long time to get a perfect formula matching my requirements. We banned almost 2000 ingredients, but I’m proud that the ingredients in the formulas are 99 percent natural origin ingredients.
MC: The entire line consists of a cleanser, a serum, and a moisturizing cream, which is very simplistic. What does a having a minimalist skincare routine mean to you?
SM: I’ve always felt there is a beauty to effortlessness and this range is a reflection of that. When creating this range, the objective was to develop products that people need, and I wanted to keep them essential, allowing you to naturally glow and shine. Personally, I always look for products that are multi-functional and simple. When creating this range, I looked to mirror my routine around essentials.
I think there is a need to simplify our routines—to pare it down to the essentials. Our skin is very good at looking after itself. It has a built-in eco-system, just like nature does.
MC: What skin concerns does the line address?
SM: I've noticed that people over-complicate and over-consume skincare; they are looking for a quick fix. Our products promote long-term skin beauty and vitality, what we call skin sustainability. It supports skin regeneration and protection functions, but it doesn’t overstimulate the skin or only treat visible skin concerns.
We have some real superstar ingredients in our formulas. For example, we use wild harvested dulse algae extract in our formulas which is rich in polysaccharides and helps to reduce the appearance of dark circles and restore an even skin tone. And, our olive squalene is naturally derived from olives and helps to reinforce the skin’s protective barrier. All of these elements work together to create products that are effective and reflect my values and commitment to living in harmony with nature.
MC: Who is STELLA by Stella McCartney for?
SM: If you’re like me and hate anything greasy but still need that moisture surge then this is for you. When creating this range, I also didn’t want to compromise on results. Our clinical results are really impressive, and I wouldn’t use anything else on my skin now. Within the range there is a 2-in-1 cleanser that melts away makeup and also cleanses the skin of impurities. A high-performance serum that transformed my skin. I honestly was so impressed by the results that I don’t even need to use an eye cream now. The third product is a lightweight, restorative moisturizer with the most amazing texture.
MC: What skincare trends are you most into?
SM: I’m not really into trends, just like what I do through my fashion house, I’m hopeful that this range will help you feel and look like the best version of yourself. I love innovating and finding alternative ways of creating. My commitment to not causing harm to animals and to reducing the impact on the planet guided the creation of my skincare range.
Shop STELLA by Stella McCartney
“The wild organic birch sap in the cleanser helps to hydrate and restore visible firmness with minerals, sugars, and vitamin C,” says McCartney.
“We use biotechnological lingonberry extract in this serum, which is a superfood skincare ingredient with polyphenols to help restore an even complexion, support elasticity and visible firmness,” says McCartney.
Deena Campbell is the Beauty Director of Marie Claire where she oversees beauty and health content on all platforms. Deena joined Marie Claire after a decade-long career as an editor in print and digital media. Before joining the brand, she managed editorial content for L’Oréal owned Makeup.com and Skincare.com. In 2015, she launched Essence.com’s hair channel where she received Time Inc.'s Henry R. Luce Award, shortly before joining Allure.com’s staff as Senior Beauty Editor. Along with her editorial positions, she also consulted on content and marketing strategies for beauty companies including DevaCurl and Dove, and has appeared at various speaking events and live television segments.
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