I first had the chance to meet Sasha at a friend’s house for a barbecue. I was immediately drawn to her, mainly because of her last name, Rainbow and also because that’s what she really is – a rainbow! Full of colour, and this great, contagious energy. You might not know her name or her face, but you’ve likely seen some of her work as an ad film director for Giorgio Armani, Lancome, and the uber cool Hunger magazine. She’s incredibly cool, but she’s also super approachable. She’s girly and feminine and strong and opinionated; she has this fun, quirky style and she’s one of the few women I know who can work a red lip during the day.
I sat down with Sasha recently at the Rose Bakery (the city’s favourite organic British bakery at 46 Rue Des Martyrs, Paris. Best cakes to try: the cheesecake, carrot cake, pistachio cake), to talk a little bit about her ideas of beauty and why makeup for reel life is completely different than makeup for real life.
Smita Lasrado: Hey Sasha! What’s up?
Sasha Rainbow: Everything is great! I'm working on a music video that I'm shooting this weekend, so I’m very excited about that. Aren’t the cakes here great?
SL: Yup! The best carrot cake I’ve had in Paris. So let’s get right down to it. Beauty, a definition.
SR: Confidence and personality and being happy with yourself. Knowing your face so you know how to enhance your best features. I like a bit of boldness, a bit of a strong look.
SL: Any women that match this definition?
SR: Plenty! Uma Thurman for her elegance, Bianca Jagger for her sense of boldness and Charlotte Rampling for her ageless beauty. Even as an older woman, she's the most beautiful of them all.
SL: What’re you currently into, makeup wise?
SR: I love this whole no makeup, glowy skin thing happening right now, and I've noticed that French women are the masters of it. Even though I’m a pretty big fan of makeup, I love to see a woman who looks like her skin is totally bare.
SL: One trend that you'd like to shut the door on?
SR: This one isn’t a trend per se, but I really wish women would get to know their faces better. That whole vampy lip thing, for example; I know it’s not something that I can pull off or that works for me, so even if it looks great in an editorial, I know that that’s where it should stay. It’s really about knowing what works best for you.
SL: Since you’re such a huge fan of bare skin, what are you currently using on yours?
SR: All About Eyes by Clinique is my thing! And I use a lot of Weleda’s products; the Wild Rose Smoothing Facial Lotion, the Almond Soothing Cleansing Lotion and the Oat Replenishing Shampoo and Conditioner. Weleda is really easily available in France and they’re quite natural, which I love. I’m also really into organic coconut oil at the moment. I use it everywhere! As a moisturiser for my skin, to soften my cuticles, and on my hair as a pre-conditioning ritual before the shower.
SL: And when it comes to face paint?
SR: Ah! Now we're talking. I love makeup! I don't wear a lot but I guess you could say I like to make a few bold choices. For the day I use Lancome’s Hypnose mascara and a little lip colour – any colour by Dior. I follow that with a little bit of eye liner – I’m constantly switching eyeliners because there are so many new ones to try but for right now, I’m pretty happy with Dior’s Diorshow Art Pen. It stays put, but it’s also really easy to wipe off mistakes when you’re putting it on.
I go heavier for the night – I love Armani Eye & Brow Maestro. It’s pretty spectacular for contouring the eye as well as an eyeshadow. I finish with Clinique’s Blushing Brush Powder Blush and some Rouge Dior in 999 on my lips. And I’d just like to add, I never use foundation. I find it really ages you!
SL: What’s the one makeup product you’ll find in your bag 20 years from now?
SR: Red lipstick! It changes my face and brightens my day.
SL: You’re a beauty film director, so you’re always working with makeup on screen. What’s the difference between real makeup and reel makeup?
SR: When you’re on camera your makeup has to be completely different. You can get away with so much more; for example, you can really contour the face for film or photographs, but if you went that extreme in real life, you’d just look like you drew sharp brown lines all over your face. What works on screen doesn’t always work in reality.
SL: Last words?
SR: I work in an industry that’s filled with the highest levels of beauty, with women who won the jackpot, beauty-wise. But for some girls, their beauty transcends just how they look because they are beautiful from the inner depths of their soul. I know it sounds like a cliché but I’ve really found this to be true – you can’t eat your makeup, so there’s nothing that can hide ugliness on the inside.
Watch Sasha's latest ad for Lancome below.