Collectors are passionate people. Amassing a collection of anything is a labour of love—and desire.
Lisa Eldridge, the international pro-celebrity makeup artist, Lancôme Creative Director, author, creator of a jewellery-and lipstick- line and a highly successful YouTube channel, is also an ardent collector of vintage makeup.
Spanning 20 years, her collection is impressive and so large it is archived and stored outside her home. But the pièce de résistance of her vintage beauty collection is a one-of-a-kind piece that was a once-in-a-lifetime find: a custom-made Cartier lipstick holder belonging to Audrey Hepburn.
Of reeded cylindrical form, the lid cushion shaped cabochon sapphire thumbpiece opening to reveal the lipstick, the base with engraved initials A.F., French mark,
Signed Cartier Paris and numbered indistinctly O1427
~ Christie’s, Lot 43, Audrey Hepburn: The Personal Collection,
London, September 2017
In an uncharacteristically personal and emotional YouTube video, Eldridge recently recounted her mad and mind-blowing acquisition of this rare and exquisite item.
Cartier gifted Audry Hepburn with the custom-made makeup accessory in 1954. The matching gold and sapphire powder compact was also sold at the 2017 Christie’s auction and purchased by a US buyer.
TIMELINE: Audrey was 25 when she received the Cartier compact. She had won acclaim for her role in Roman Holiday (1953), her first movie in the US. The film was a smashing success and she won an Oscar as Best Actress. She starred in Sabrina in 1954, which co-starred Bogart. The film made her the highest-paid actress in the world, and she received another Academy Award nomination.
On September 25, 1954, she married actor Mel Ferrer. The initials AF on the holder reflect this.
After a fierce bidding war, Eldrige paid—although she doesn’t state the price, Goggle and Christie’s do— £56,250 / $71,398 USD/ $93,698 CAD which exceeded its pre-sale estimate almost 19 times.
The dramatic act of throwing caution and common sense to the wind in order to win is a fascinating account rife with obsession—
Audrey Hepburn’s lipstick holder should be owned by one person on this earth, and that is me.
~ Lisa Eldridge
As for Audrey Hepburn’s lipstick case, when I went to collect it from Christie’s, to my total surprise the sugarloaf sapphire clasp sprung back to reveal half a lipstick still inside, with wonderful coral-pink smears. The fact that I have the very colour Hepburn applied is worth more than anything to me. It looks just like the hue she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. And chances are it is: the case would have been in her handbag throughout the late Fifties and early Sixties, when it was filmed. I plan to take a tiny bit of the pigment and copy the colour, bringing it back to life.
~ Lisa Eldridge, Tatler, September 2018
And indeed, this is exactly what Eldridge has done. She shows a pot of the replicated hue and applies the stunning shade in the video above. The name of Audrey’s lipstick in the holder, now discontinued states Eldridge, will never be known as she vowed to take that bit of beauty history “to her grave.”
After launching True Velvet a 3-shade, red lipstick line last year which sold out lickety-split, can we expect the Audrey dupe next?
We can only hope.
NEWS FLASH: Lisa Eldridge’s new summer lipsticks are launching next week! Watermelon and Glow Look (Insanely Saturated Lip Sneak Peek!)
***** UPDATE***** One of the colours in the Summer Pinks collection is GO LIGHTLY, a salmon pink that is most certainly the dupe. See my post: GO LIGHTLY for all the details. Lisa has left clues.