Sharing is caring: the makeup artist on her go-to lotions and potions
Text Stacey Streshinsky Photography Mikael Jansson
A beauty product is good when it can do one job well and great when it can do two …or more. And while you may associate multi-purpose cosmetics with the many iterations of the 2-in-1 lipstick-blush, there are plenty of products in your bathroom cabinet that work a different kind of multitasking magic by doubling as wonder potions in your horse’s grooming kit. Recently, while trolling around horse forums online, we found that Tangle Teezers are hailed as the most effective in dealing with the tails of the ponies that take pleasure in the occasional mud bath; this got us thinking about other products we could potentially be sharing or already share with our horses, aside from the ones we already rely on. For example, our Editor-in-Chief, Susanne Madsen, swears by L’Oréal Professionnel purple shampoo for blondes to get gleaming white socks and Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream for equine scrapes and sores.
To get the full lowdown on human-to-horse products, we turned to makeup artist extraordinaire and fellow equestrian Lynsey Alexander, whose work you might know from the Gucci Pre-Fall 2016 lookbook and the (insane!) cover of the SS16 issue of Man About Town. When Lynsey – seen here doing Edie Campbell’s makeup while shooting an editorial on safari in Kenya for WSJ Magazine earlier this year – isn’t working her magic for titles like i-D, LOVE, Vogue Paris or AnOther Magazine and in her role as Estée Lauder’s UK makeup ambassador, she’s usually at the yard riding Harvey, her gorgeous new horse and future eventing star, who often appears in all his glossy bay glory on her Instagram (@lynseyalexander). Here, Lynsey shares her treasure trove of human x horse beauty products, useful tips, and equine beauty secrets.
Typically, baby oil is mineral oil with a little bit of fragrance added to it. Despite the bad rap that mineral oil used to have, it is entirely noncomedogenic to human skin (basically, it won’t clog up your pores). Another fun fact about baby oil: the molecules in mineral oil are so large that the oil doesn’t penetrate the skin creating a protective layer instead, which helps retain moisture. The use of baby oil can only be limited by your imagination, with many utilising it as eye makeup remover, to smooth parched hair ends or simply all over the body to soften the skin. Lynsey says she uses it on her horse “for the shiniest of coats in the summer months.” You can’t go wrong with classic Johnson & Johnson baby oil, or the fancier Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Nourishing Baby Oil.
Since the early aughts, you may have been reluctant to dip your hand into a tub of hair gel, and there are plenty of reasons why. For one, there’s the whole There’s Something About Mary thing or the alpine terrains the gooey substance was used to create on the heads of virtually every boy band member ever. But fear no more – the key is to use the product sparingly. Using hair gel is a simple way to create textured looks, or ultra slick ponies or chignons if the occasion calls for it. If you’re still not convinced, though, there still is something that you can do with that old tub you have in the back of your cabinet: Lynsey recommends using it when braiding your four-legged friend’s mane to keep the braids neat.
Lynsey compares the pomade to Vaseline, but “more natural and hydrating”. While Vaseline is 100% petroleum jelly, which clogs up pores and aggravates acne, Homeoplasmine – which can be purchased in French pharmacies – is the more holistic alternative consisting mostly of plant oils and Boric acid, which is a mild antiseptic. Lynsey cites it as a favourite in her makeup kit for sore lips or dry patches of skin, but also great for cracked horse mouths.
Mane & Tail Shampoo/Conditioner
No list of horse-to-human crossover products is complete without this classic shampoo. “I have it in my shower, and Harvey has it in his tack box,” says Lynsey – and no wonder: if it can make coarse horse hair look shiny and healthy, it will help human hair in need of some TLC.
Did you forget to slap on some SPF this morning? Well, consider this a reminder that sun cream is essential in the prevention of premature aging and reducing the risk of skin cancer. Lynsey also suggests using it on horses with pink noses, so they won’t have to endure the pain of a sunburn. We recommend Jurlique’s Sun Specialist High Protection Cream SPF40.
Australian Bush Flower Essence Remedy
Lynsey also shares a tip for those us who (or whose horse) have no chill: “I use a lot of natural Australian Bush flower essence remedy in my makeup kit to spritz on fresh faces or to use on my horse’s coat. It has lovely calming effect and helps to rebalance anxiety or nerves naturally.”
Tea Tree Oil
Another Australian staple is tea tree oil, which when diluted with water or even witch hazel oil is arguably the best quick fix for pesky pimples or cold sores. But, as it turns out, this essential oil is also a fantastic insect repellent. Lynsey puts a few drops into a spray bottle filled with water and sprays Harvey to prevent him from getting pestered by summer’s little flying devils.