Beauty


Chloé fragrance ads boast some impressive alumna. There’s indie royalty like Chloe Sevigny, model bombshells like Anja Rubik, and Tri-Wizard Tournament star Fleur de la Coeur. The newest addition to the roster is Haley Bennett. She’s an actress (Girl on the Train, The Magnificent Seven), a photography enthusiast, and a self-proclaimed “sunscreen connoisseur,” which happens when—like Bennett—you’re freckled and Floridian.

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Bennett’s Chloé gig includes a series of commercials and print ads for the house’s latest scent, Absolu de Parfum. It’s an adults-only riff on Chloé’s signature sweetness, with patchouli, vanilla, and the concentrated essence of Rose Centrifolia for more depth. And to ensure we got the memo that this new Chloé fragrance is scented shorthand for French-Girl-Cool, we spoke with Bennett in Paris—where the brand was born and raised—about her new job.

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So Chloé says you’re their new girl because you “live life to the fullest.”

Oh, I love that! But how did they know?! Are they following me around? But I guess it’s true. There’s something Oscar Wilde said: It’s important to live; most people just exist. Something to that effect—not exactly! And I do try to live by those terms.

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In the ads, you’re speeding through a field in a vintage car. It looks like you’re definitely pushing the life of that car to the fullest…

I was.

I’m jealous. How fast did you get to off-road?

Fast. They were very concerned about my need for speed. Probably because there was so much dirt!

You’d never know from the campaign images.

Luckily it’s black-and-white, monochrome. At the time I was thinking to myself, “This is such a pity they’re shooting in black-and-white.” Because I’d brought my camera with me, my Leica, and the colors on set were so rich and so stunning—a similar palette that you’d imagine for Chloe—the wheat fields, the sky, very natural, very organic. And I’m going, “Oh my gosh, this is breathtaking. I can’t believe we don’t get to show this to everyone in color.” But a little ways into the shoot, I realized it was a great decision for them to shoot in black-and-white, because I had at least three layers of dirt on my face and my clothes. And because it’s in black-and-white, you can’t see that my face is covered in soot.

You were covered in dirt?

Covered. It was everywhere—in my mouth, in my eyes. It’s amazing I could even drive the car. You can see a single teardrop in one of the shots, and it looks like I’m just overtaken with emotion. But really, the truth is, it’s because my eyes had so much dirt in them! And it was so windy! I’m grateful it worked out that way, though, because I look so wistful and emotional, you know.

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I guess a mud mask was out of the question after the shoot.

I really enjoy face massages. One of my favorite makeup artists is Alice Lane and she gives the best Vintner’s Daughter face massages ever. I love the glow that it gives you and the plumpness… I guess you can do it to yourself, but it’s like somebody tickling your hand—you tickle your own hand and you don’t really feel it. But I do love the Japanese approach to beauty, and facial massage is a core benefit of their beauty culture.

Are you more of a skincare junkie than a makeup person?

Exactly. The reason I don’t really wear makeup is because if you take care of your skin, why hide your face with makeup? And on me, I look more fresh without any… SPF is the only thing I wear every day besides Chloe. The Shisheido and the Neutrogena spray-ons are the best versions. Aveeno makes a really good one, too. [Laughing] I’m a sunscreen expert. I can tell you about all of them.

This year, you’ve been on some major red carpets, including at the Met Ball. Who makes you starstruck?

Meryl Streep. She asked me my name once, and I could barely get out “Haley.” She’s like, “Oh, I almost named my first daughter Haley. Are you named after the comet?” And I said, “Yes, I’m named after the comet,” but then I told her, “Do you know it’s actually pronounced Hallie’s comet?”… Afterwards, I was thinking, “Really Haley?”

No, that’s a cool fact. I never knew that!

Ugh. I couldn’t even come up with a single word to Cate Blanchett, Cate the Great, if I ever met her.

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You had four movies come out last year, and two this year. What’s it like when you turn on HBO or a random movie channel, and all of a sudden you see yourself?

It’s an interesting experience, because when you first see a film with an audience, you’re just thinking about your experience on set. When you’re filming a movie, there are so many different takes. It’s so nerve wracking, and you’re wondering, “Which one is making it into the movie? How did they craft this film?” And you’re thinking about all the other actors and what they were doing when you weren’t there—all the scenes they’re in that you’re not in.

Girl on the Train was showing on my plane…

Mine too! My stylist, Jessica Paster, said, “LOOK!” And she started telling everybody on the plane. She was like, “Did you see Haley in this movie? Did you see her in this other movie?” Everybody says “yes,” but I look so different in every role. If they really did see all those movies—which I doubt—they were probably staring at me, like, “Wait. Are you sure? That’s her?”

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