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Getting Dressed With Laura Dern

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The Violet Files

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An evening with the wildly talented actress before she walks the red carpet for the Twin Peaks premiere.

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While getting her hair and makeup done before the premiere of Twin Peaks, Laura Dern stops for a second and calls attention to the song that is playing (“Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak). “Isn’t this from Wild at Heart?” she asks, referring to the film she made more than 27 years ago with David Lynch. The moment is appropo, almost serendipitous, given that she is due to join Lynch on the red carpet two hours later for her first appearance in his ‘90s cult classic series, Twin Peaks. “Some people who don’t know the whole series assume I’ve always been in it because I’ve done so much with David,” she says.

And although Dern wasn’t part of the original cast, she vividly remembers the culture that surrounded the series. “Remembering it is so amazing. Friends would get together that night and have parties every week to watch Twin Peaks,” she says. “I recently started getting texts from my friends who are getting their menus together for the premiere.” Before taking to the red carpet, Dern took the time to talk to VIOLET GREY about her recent skincare discoveries, storied relationship with David Lynch, and obsession with The Verve.

SUBJECT: Laura Dern | @lauradern
OCCASION: LA premiere of Twin Peaks TEAM: Simone Siegl (makeup), Richard Marin (hair), Cristina Ehrlich (styling)
VENUE: Laura’s home in Brentwood
THE LOOK: Dress and shoes by Rodarte, rings by Bvlgari

laura dern

You have a long history with David Lynch. What made you want to be a part of the Twin Peaks revival?
I’ll start by saying—given our relationship—I go wherever David Lynch tells me. I don’t think about what it is first. I just say, “Oh, yay, we get to go home again.” Twin Peaks is such a huge part of David’s story and life that I finally get to be a part of.

Did you watch Twin Peaks when it first aired?
I did, and I saw the pilot. I always watch everything that David makes. But in terms of the revival I find it so beautiful to have something that you love that you don’t binge watch. It makes you want to see it so much more, which is rare now.

How many episodes are you in?
I don’t know. I have no idea how [Lynch] cut it together. The cast just knows it’s 18 hours of content. He shot it as one giant film production and edits himself. I can’t tell you anything about my character, but I can once I’m introduced. I don’t even know if I’m in the first episode [spoiler: she’s not]. I know, very boring. I’ve been literally sworn with blood to secrecy.

When was the last time you worked with costar Kyle MacLachlan?
I haven’t been in anything with him since Blue Velvet. Being around him was great. Kyle, David, and I really feel like family. So it was quite a reunion for all of us to be together.

If you’ve never seen Twin Peaks, but you want to watch this revival, what should you know?
Even if people watch six episodes then you kind of know the world. But maybe you should watch the beginning and the end so you not only know the world, but also the story of Laura Palmer.

laura dern
laura dern

Are you into beauty when you’re not on set?
I love skincare. My makeup artist, Simone Siegl, and I have become obsessed with our side job of finding our favorite products. I’ve always been quite natural, but I care a lot about skin health. For a long time it seemed the most beautiful way to take care of my skin was to be as simple as possible and use coconut oil, which I still use a lot. But all these amazing companies have advanced with such incredible things, especially face oils, which are now my obsession. Currently I’m loving Sisley, Dayle Breault, and iS Clinical.

Where’s your favorite place in LA?
I worshipped my grandmother, and I spent many years in Santa Monica. I like when it’s broken and beautiful, and I love the landmarks that haven’t left. It means a lot to me to have the places that remind me of my childhood. The area is so pretty and nostalgic to me.

What’s your getting-ready soundtrack?
I love music and scents. What I want to wear and what I want to listen to change constantly. In general for press, whatever gives us a nice mood for the workday. I am what I would deem an alternative rock fan. We were just listening to The Verve and there’s never a time where I’m not excited to listen to The Verve when I’m getting ready.

Ideal dinner date?
The best time I can ever have is with my kids because no one makes me laugh harder. But if a really funny and amazing gentleman was taking me to dinner I would also be quite pleased.

Pre-game beverage?
Matcha green tea. I was working in London and I met these amazing women: one is from Japan and one went to Kyoto to study ceremonial tea. They taught me how to make it, and now I get so into the preparation.

laura dern

“My inspiration for this look revolves around the dress. It’s super cool, edgy, and busy, so I wanted to keep her skin fresh, clean, and simple. For me, the most important thing is her skin, and prep is number one. I started with the Sisley Black Rose Mask. Then I use a little bit of the Sisley Black Rose Oil and worked in the La Mer Crème de La Mer with my hands to warm up everything and get the moisture in.

I used the Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Fluid Foundation all over to give her a really fresh, clean complexion. I love a little bit of shimmer on the apples of cheeks, so I applied the Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic in Ecstasy.

On the eyes I did a bit of shading and highlighting with my Viserat palette. I also like to contour her eyes with a little bit of a liner to give it a frame. Then I finished off the lashes with the Chanel Inimitable Mascara. On the lips, I used the La Mer Lip Balm to plump and then I applied a light pink Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in Bitch Perfect.”—SIMONE SIEGL

“I started strictly from the dress because it has a lot going on. There are beads and sparkles and feathers, so Laura and I decided together that it should be less hair. Her hair was already blown out straight from work yesterday, so I added a sea salt spray to give it some texture. I’m currently crazy about this organic one called O Way. It’s botanical-based and synthetic- and fragrance-free. After I sprayed that in, I blow-dried that texture. Then I used two different Remington irons. First the conical wave, which is a teardrop shape, and then I bent her hair with a straight iron so that I had different textures. Afterward I sprayed it with some Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. It’s supposed to look like perfect beach hair that nobody ever really has at the beach. It’s really hot out, so before she gets dressed I’m going to throw it in a ponytail.”—RICHARD MARIN