Saturday, April 30, 2016

Peggy Siegal: The Power of Being Well Groomed

Peggy Siegal. Photo: Paris Match
by Delia von Neuschatz

It took several tries to get a sit-down with power publicist Peggy Siegal. A typical schedule involves several continents in as many days. To wit: one early spring week found Peggy in New York, London, Vienna and St. Petersburg. Between meeting up with bold-faced names for lunches, dinners, to-die-for shopping sprees, opera, ballet and theater outings, she helped organize a dinner hosted by Cate Blanchett in support of the UN Refugee Agency.

An agenda like this would flatten a person half her age. But not Peggy. The no-holds-barred film industry PR guru has energy to spare. Not only does the 68-year-old continue to occupy the nexus of Hollywood power and New York society where she has been enthroned for the last three decades, but she looks the part. Whippet-thin, smooth-skinned, thick maned and chicly garbed, the NY Times-dubbed “spin doctor, salonista, celebrity confidante” reveals how she maintains her knockout form.
Peggy with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.
Clockwise from above, left: Peggy and Naomi Watts at a 2016 Oscars party. A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1986, Peggy publishes an annual Oscar Diary. Read her latest account here. “I have entertained, romanced and fed all 6,000 Academy members,” she reveals; Peggy and Mick Jagger in Cannes; Peggy with art collector Jean Pigozzi on the left.
Peggy with Cate Blanchett.
Peggy at two New York City Ballet Spring Galas. The PR impresario alludes to matters of wealth with customary bluntness: “My father made it. My mother spent it and I inherited it.”
Peggy Siegal with George Clooney, Jean Dujardin, Henning Molfenter and Hugh Bonneville on the far left. Peggy, who once worked as an accessories designer, left the fashion world because “fashion was really boring,” she says. “It was culturally myopic.” Drawn to public relations because “industry events reflect the city’s social movements,” Peggy eventually focused on film for “everything I was attracted to was glorified and magnified in film.”
At Peggy's 60th birthday celebration with Billy Jean King, Martha Stewart, Barbara Walters, and Liz Smith.
With Michael Douglas in L.A. after he won an Oscar for "Wall Street," 1988.
Peggy with Alec Baldwin, Claudia Cohen, and Ron Perelman.
Peggy at three years old with her brother Gary; and a few years later at camp.
10-year-old Peggy with her mom Annette, dad Martin, and brother Gary. Peggy "the twirler" at Fort Lee High School  at age 17.
Peggy, at age 26, with Santa.
Peggy with her mom, dad, and brother at a relatives' wedding in Long Island.
Peggy with her dad at his 60th.
Peggy with Wilhelmina McFadden in Southampton.
Skin Care

I love Dr. Perricone’s cosmeceuticals. Paul Wilmot once sent me a bag filled with his products and I’ve used them ever since. In the morning, I cleanse my skin with his Nutritive Cleanser and a warm washcloth. I then dab on the Blue Plasma Cleansing Treatment. Afterwards, I apply the Vitamin C Ester toner and the High Potency Face Firming Activator followed by the Acyl-Glutathione Face Finishing Moisturizer.
Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Serum Perricone MD High Potency Face Firming Activator
At night, I take my makeup off with Almay’s makeup remover pads. Again, I cleanse my skin with the Nutritive Cleanser and a warm washcloth. I keep a big basket of washcloths and use a fresh one each time. Then I put on Perricone’s Deep Crease Serum and a night cream which I switch around. In addition to Dr. Perricone’s line, I also like Dr. Obaji’s products and those from vbeauté by Julie Macklowe. I’ve used her under-eye cream, her serum and moisturizers. Dr. Brandt’s products are very good too. My body lotion is from Lubriderm.

In addition, there’s a mask that I like to use: the Post-Treatment Collagen Mask from Endermologie. I get this from a small spa in St. Barth's every Christmas. I get a few boxes that I store in my refrigerator for the year. I use it once a week. It’s very hydrating.
Post-Treatment Collagen Mask from Endermologie

I line my top and bottom eye lids with L’Oréal’s Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner and use a brush to smudge the lid line so as to create a smoky eye. I also apply black eyeliner to the inside of my eyelids on the top and the bottom and I then clean up the excess with a Q-tip. My mascara is always Chanel. It’s the best for me. It doesn’t cake or flake. I use the Inimitable Intense Original Mascara in dark brown.

I then apply the Terry Touche Veloutée Highlighting Concealer as a foundation and concealer, patting it under my eyes and around my nose and mouth.

For my lips, I like Laura Mercier’s chestnut lip liner and Chanel’s Rouge Coco Stylo Complete Care Lipshine #218. I also use the Baume de Rose by Terry which is the best lip nourishment balm.
L’Oreal Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner Chanel Inimitable Intense Original Mascara Multi-Dimensionnel Sophistiqué Terry Touche Veloutée Highlighting Concealer
Laura Mercier Lip Pencil in Chestnut Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo Complete Care Lipshine #218

My shampoo and conditioner are from Frederic Fekkai – the Protein Rx Reparative Shampoo and the PrX Reparatives Conditioner. I have known Frederic since the year he came to American from France 35 years ago and was learning to speak English. He instantly became the hottest hair stylist and gorgeous single guy in New York, a bit like Warren Beatty's character in Shampoo. I encouraged him years ago to open a shop in Palm Beach, where he replaced traditional "hat hair" with casual windblown styles. I am lucky enough to be invited to his country estate near Aix-en-Provence where he trucked in an orchard of hundred-year old olive trees from Spain to create a dramatic entrance. Frederic has always been a great friend.
For my cut, I used to go downtown to Sally Hershberger for a spiky do – what I call my “wash ‘n wear” hair. But I stopped going because it took me forever and a day to get there. I now get my hair done at Yves Durif at the Carlyle Hotel. Yves cuts it and David Johnstone colors it.

To style, after I shampoo, I put on Shu Uemura’s Kengo Feather Cream. Then, I use Sally Hershberger’s 24K Root Envy root lifter, followed by her 24K Superiority Complex Texturizing Paste. It’s the greatest paste. You rub a little on your hands and run through you hair. It gives it great body and shape. You can also feather the ends with your fingertips. I finish with a dash of hairspray – L’Oréal’s Elnett (light hold) which I buy by the dozen in the small size so I can travel with it.
Fekkai Protein Rx Reparative Shampoo Fekkai PrX Reparatives Conditioner Top: Sally Hershberger 24K- Root EnvyUltimate Root Boost

Bottom: Sally Hershberger 24K Superiority Complex Texturizing Paste
Diet and Fitness

I don’t really exercise. In the summer, I play tennis with a group of women on the weekends. Ten of us have played women’s doubles for the last 15 years with the long suffering pro, Marko, the “Croatian Sensation.” Perri Peltz’s manicured acres are the “home court” and Tory Burch’s estate, around the corner, is the “away court.” There are only two rules: no gossiping – no saying an unkind word about anybody – and you have to wear white.

In the winter, we eat. But, I’m busy. I walk around a lot. I go to bed at 2:00 am and wake up at 7:00 am. You could say I have severe sleep deprivation.

As for diet, I stay away from alcohol and desserts. If you do that, you won’t blow up. My biggest tip for skincare also is to avoid alcohol because it’s so dehydrating. But of course, I’ll have dessert once in a while and if someone has a $1,000 dollar bottle of wine, I’ll have a glass of wine! But I stick to protein – usually chicken or fish – and vegetables. My Achilles heel is bread and butter.

Other services

Peggy's plastic surgeon, Dr. Gerald Imber.
Peggy's dermatolgist, Dr. Janet Prystowsky.
I get my manicures and pedicures at Iris Nails. I don’t get that many facials, but I’m a believer in them if they’re good. When I do get them it’s usually in a hotel as I think they help your skin acclimate to travel and aid with jet lag.

My plastic surgeon is Dr. Gerald Imber. He’s done my neck, face and eyes. Dr. Imber gave me a new neck on my 59th and 66th birthdays. It all begins and ends with him. His nickname is Ponce de Leon.

Dr. Marc Lowenberg is the dentist who gave me my veneers. I’m on my third set. He’s the best. He’s a genius.

My chiropractor, Dr. Ilan Bohm, really keeps me young by strengthening my neck and spine. I see him twice a week.

Dr. Janet Prystowsky is my dermatologist. She is a serious skin doctor. She is the best.

I’ve had my eyebrows, eyeliner and lip liner tattooed on. That was at the Vida Emanuel European Day Spa in LA. Vida takes care of me. She does a little at a time to get the shaping and coloring just right.

Good tailoring is very important when it comes to one’s appearance. I get clothes made and altered at Nataliya Kogan’s design studio. With a little cut and stitch of Nataliya’s genius, she makes every Zara dress look like an Oscar de la Renta.

If you’re well-groomed, slim and clean, people will listen to you. They won’t be distracted by a slovenly appearance and it gives you instant respect – an aura of authority. And this doesn’t have to come from a price tag. It comes from fit. I buy fabrics at B&J and have Nataliya make things for me. I’m at her atelier practically every day.

Ultimately, women have an obligation to be well-groomed because there’s so much gender and age discrimination in the work place especially in the entertainment, fashion and media industries. And the only way to combat being dismissed and discarded is to knock them dead when you enter the room.
Expert tip: Peggy advises matching your eyebrow color to your hair color to achieve a softer, more flattering look. Her eyebrow tint of choice is a liquid in a warm brown shade that comes in a bottle with a brush which she buys at the Yves Durif Salon.
For more beauty tips and information, follow Delia on Instagram: @chasingbeautywithdvn.