Supermodel and sexagenarian Christie Brinkley on why she’s not hiding anything she does in the name of vanity.
When Christie Brinkley signed on as a spokesperson for cosmetic-enhancement treatments Ultherapy and Xeomin last October, the 64-year-old model took issue with how the company, Merz, originally framed the announcement. “They were handling it as if I’d been caught doing something wrong,” she says, seated in a booth at Avra Madison restaurant in New York City. “Even in the first release, they used the word ‘reveal.’” She requested that it be reworded, insisting that they allow women the right to do what they want.
Secrecy surrounding beauty activities is something Brinkley says dates back to the 1960s, when women would keep whether they coloured their hair under wraps, slipping in the back door of the salon. “The thing was ‘Does she or doesn’t she? Only her hairdresser knows for sure!’” she recalls. “I don’t understand why. It’s not hurting anybody.” For Brinkley, she sees speaking on behalf of treatments she likes as no different from the products she has paid lip service to throughout her career. “I’ve been sharing my beauty tips for over 40 years,” she says. “When I find something that works, I generally talk about it.”
The one we’re discussing today is Ultherapy, a procedure that sends focused ultrasound energy deep into the skin to jump-start the production of collagen and elastin and results in a lifting and tightening effect. Brinkley wanted to try it after seeing it demoed on Today. “It’s something you do once and you’re good to go for the next year or 18 months,” she says. As for Xeomin, the injectable toxin she also endorses, Brinkley says she decided to try it because she had a marionette line on the side of her face that looked like a fork in a road that she couldn’t let go. But the first time she went for the treatment, it was all “very hush-hush.” “I thought, ‘This is so ridiculous.’ Women shouldn’t have to feel like that,” she says, adding that if something is going to make you feel better about yourself, why be ashamed? “It should be about you and your personal reasons.”