From the MET Gala to Cannes, like you, I’m used to seeing Blake Lively on the red carpet looking naturally bronzed, blonde and seemingly perfect. After meeting the star, I have to tell you, perfection doesn’t seem too far from the truth. She’s stunning, like s-t-u-n-n-i-n-g, kind, compassionate, and to round it all out, extremely intelligent and well spoken. What’s even better, she’s using her brains, beauty and heart to help change lives. Together, we’re teaming up to not only support CHIME FOR CHANGE, but to help connect you with the cause simply by shopping for your fave Gucci fragrance!
After kicking off the campaign in Macy’s Gucci Boutique at Herald Square, I had the incredible opportunity to sit down with S, err Blake, and chat more about CHIME FOR CHANGE, Gucci scents, and ask the one beauty question on everyone’s mind … Does she actually know how to do her own envy-inducing fishtail braid? Don’t worry loves, I’ve got you, but before I dish on Blake’s beauty tips, here’s what she had to say during the launch event pictured and the skinny on CHIME FOR CHANGE.
“I am so pleased to support Gucci Parfums and CHIME FOR CHANGE. It is immensely important for me to stand behind causes I believe in, and the three pillars of CHIME FOR CHANGE — Education, Health and Justice — reflect my personal values for women’s empowerment. As an ambassador for Gucci Première, I am truly grateful to give back through an organization that provides programs for women and girls to prosper. I look forward to seeing the difference we all can make.”
In case you’re not familiar, CHIME FOR CHANGE was founded in 2013 by Gucci and three hugely successful and inspiring women – Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini, Salma Hayek Pinault, and Beyonce Knowles-Carter – with the purpose of raising funds and awareness for girls’ and women’s rights globally. What’s unique is that when you “Chime In” (a.k.a. make a donation), you choose a focus that’s important to you, whether that’s helping women through Education, Health, or Justice Projects, connect with a community and track the results along the way. Cool, right! Now here’s that shopping part – while supplies last, with your purchase of a qualifying Gucci fragrance online and in Macy’s stores, you’ll receive a $5 donation code so you can Chime In to help change lives. It’s so easy! I’ve Chimed twice now. Just follow the steps pictured below, and don’t forgot that even after the special $5 donation codes are gone, you can always visit CHIME FOR CHANGE to get involved. In fact for me, whenever I see a Gucci Fragrance now, it acts as a reminder to Chime In.
Okay, okay, now for my chat with the lovely Lively! And sorry, not sorry it’s sooooo long. We had a lot to talk about, some serious and some not so much.
TEM: First, the question I ask anyone who is the face of a fragrance. I’ve heard that you really wear Gucci Premiere. Is that true? And your mom wears it too?
BL: I do! Yes, my mom wears it too. It always makes a great Christmas present for her!
TEM: Do you wear a different fragrance in the day, or do you layer Premiere with anything?
BL: I normally just apply it differently. For daytime, I just spray and then step into it so it’s a little lighter. But now the Eau de Toilette is coming out in the Fall, so that will solve that, because you know sometimes you step in and only get one side and it can be a little disastrous (laughs). At nighttime I apply it directly because you can carry a heavier scent.
TEM: What do you think of Made to Measure, the counterpart for Premiere? It’s my favorite men’s scent at the moment. Do you like it?
BL: Yeah. I feel like the team that creates the scents for Gucci, they’re called Noses actually, are very much in line with my nose. I really like what they create.
TEM: So speaking of Gucci fragrances, I think it’s amazing Gucci is pledging $1 million to CHIME through this fragrance campaign! Last night they started things off in a big way by donating $75,000 to Pillar projects supported on your behalf. How did you choose?
BL: Yes! I chose all three pillars actually, so $25,000 was given to each pillar for Health, Education and Justice. I have a hard time picking any one issue that I Chime for because they all feed into the other. In these third world countries, there’s no chance for survival if you’re born into disease or the mother dies in childbirth, so you need Health. Education is needed for midwives to be able to deliver babies into a healthy environment, to teach young girls about diseases, and to teach a mother about keeping a child healthy. With that education then comes the awareness that they don’t have Justice, that there’s a better life out there, and that they can empower themselves. Of course Education also gives them job opportunities and an awareness that what they’ve been forced to accept isn’t the way it should be. Then, Justice, well, it’s one of the most key pillars and rights. So, I do feel they all feed into each other in such a strong way that it’s really just about saying, “Okay, this is what I’m going to fight for today, understanding that they’re all equally important.”
TEM: I totally agree. I liked that it broke the information down very specifically, like 60 girls in India would be able to continue their education and 75 women in Guatemala would be provided with safe cookstoves. In fact, Girl2B, one of the organizations helped by your donation commented on our Instagram photo last night, saying thanks for selecting us.
BL: That’s really nice to hear. What’s great is that direct connection, and you do get specific answers. You know, this many women will be given an education, or this many woman will be given a health care program. I connect with that in a much better way than saying, here’s a huge problem at hand, you made a donation and it’s going somewhere to help. You don’t ever really know how or why or what happened. This gives you an intimate relationship with the cause that you’re fighting for. For me, that’s what makes me want to get more involved, want to do more, when you form that personal connection.
TEM: Absolutely. I think that’s unique. At least it seems unique to me to see such specifics. I feel like you donate because you want to help, you’re connected or you’ve been impacted in some way, but you just have to trust the money went somewhere to help someone, because you don’t always know. I like the connection and maybe it’s the details that CHIME FOR CHANGE provides. That’s really nice.
Okay, I know most of the focus is on helping in third world countries, and rightly so, but I also feel like there are a lot of problems right here. The Justice Pillar you donated to supports an event in NYC helping to educate and grow leaders in these communities, but what do you think about the situation here?
BL: There are huge issues in the US. I think here Education is the most important thing, which is why people don’t focus on us as much as third world countries. You’re right, in third world countries there are more obvious issues to tackle, like if someone doesn’t have clean water. You can’t deny them that, or they don’t have shoes. You can do something to give a person clean drinking water for a certain number of days, but then what? Instead, you give them a well and they’ll have clean water for a lifetime, but that also means you need Education to teach these people how to get a well, how to actually build a program or go to someone and even say, “This is what we need”. In our country it’s kind of the same thing. We have clean water, but without an Education, people can’t empower themselves. You look at the crime rate of people who are able to get an education and those who aren’t, and it’s quite eye-opening.
Still, the biggest issue I know of or have been exposed to in the United States is sex trafficking because these young women aren’t educated and don’t know a different life. Or, it may not be here that they don’t know a different life, because they see it all around them, but they are brainwashed, they are kidnapped, they don’t know how to get out of it, and they’re not able to identify when it’s happening. I always thought in this country there was no such thing as sex trafficking because here you have a choice. Then I spent time with these women through My Life My Choice. It’s an organization that I think started in Boston, but the women there are survivors, so they’re able to connect with these young girls in a way that a lot of others can’t. Okay, it’s my turn to ask a question. How many people do you think are missing in the United States?
TEM: I honestly have no idea, but I am aware it’s a problem. I’m from Michigan and I saw a piece about sex trafficking in Detroit that was really alarming. I’d guess something like 100,000.
BL: That’s so much more than I guessed! But you look at the news and think I know most of the people that are missing – Elizabeth Smart, Jonbenet Ramsey, so I was like 10 maybe, because you think of what the big news stories were that year. It’s 300,000! 300,000 are taken and usually into sex trafficking in the United States a year. That’s something I think most of us are just completely unaware of. It’s really heartbreaking, but yes, there are definitely issues in the US that we need to work on.
TEM: Well, hopefully this interview will raise some awareness! We’ve covered some pretty serious topics, so let’s lighten things up a little with some beauty talk, actually a confession. I have serious hair envy! I mean, your MET look was so gorgeous. I just posted a hair how-to from Rod Ortega. Do you use T3 products at home or is that just what he used?
BL: Oh boy, thank you. Honestly, I wasn’t paying much attention to the exact products. I was just focused on the getting an overall 40s feel.
TEM: Got it! Well, and last night, I tweeted about having fishtail braid envy.
BL: I just learned how to do that recently!
TEM: That’s exactly what I was going to ask you. If you really know how to do that perfect messy braid you wear so well?
BL: Yeah, I actually do my own hair and makeup for a lot of events. I’m so lucky because I get to learn from the best is the industry, so I watch them, I watch what they’re doing and I ask a lot of questions about how they’re doing it and what exactly they’re doing so I’ll know. But I did just learn the fishtail recently. Normally, I do a crazy messy, haphazard braid, which I really like. I mean, you really just grab random, haphazard pieces and braid them together. There’s not much more to it.
TEM: I know in theory a fishtail is supposed to be so easy. It’s only two pieces, but my niece tried to teach me last summer and I swear I can’t do it. This is the same niece by the way that texted me last night in all caps, “OMG, WHY WHAT HOW?” about posting a pic of you. She loves you and I said I’d pass that along.
BL: Awe, cute. That’s so sweet. You should have told her you did my hair last night! (laughs) Tell her thank you, and I’m sure you can do a fishtail braid! Just take the two pieces and start grabbing little chunks and crossing them over each other. It’s really easy. I promise.
TEM: Alright, well, it’s now an official summer to do! By fall I should be a fishtail pro. One more question. Do you have any beauty or skincare must-haves?
BL: I’m pretty easy, just a good moisturizer. I think that helps you to keep that glow. And ever since I went to the L’Oreal labs … It was so amazing. It looks like something out of a superhero movie. They’ve recreated skin, like the dermis and the epidermis. You know when you see something in a commercial and think there’s no way that actually happens, but then when you’re touching and seeing the difference, it’s amazing. That’s kind of like my main must have. It’s not like there’s only one eyeliner or mascara I have to have, just good moisturizer.
Last but not least, Lively being the sweetheart that she is, said we needed to snap a pic for my niece. So Katie, this one’s for you! xx