Brad Pitt launches skincare line
Here, Pitt reveals his “little simple diet,” how Gwyneth Paltrow influenced her early skincare habits and why self-love may be the best secret to aging well.
How was the Le Domaine project born?
Brad Pitt: We had been talking about it for so long that I can’t remember how it originally started. I remember reading about the health properties of grape skins that we wanted to study. But the initial idea, right from the start, comes back to this place. It’s just infused with creativity and it’s so fertile. Here we make olive oil, truffles and honey. Reinforced concrete started here. Reinforced concrete! That’s crazy! In the 1840s, Joseph-Louis Lambot invented ferro-cement, a precursor to reinforced concrete, and made a concrete boat that was eventually removed from the pond here and now resides in a museum in Brignoles. We had pillars – trial pillars – in the yard. He went on to make the first two reinforced concrete buildings, and now of course everything is built that way. It is quite extraordinary.
And was skincare supposed to be part of that creativity? If you had been secretly thinking this whole time, “I to have to have a skincare brand?“
No, and honestly, we wouldn’t have if we didn’t feel there was something worthwhile here, something original, something that worked. I get stuff all the time and… Ugh. It’s all the same for me. But this last year we tested Le Domaine and I was really surprised by the results, and for me, it was worth going for it.
Have you always had a good skin care routine?
[Very long pause]. No.
I was so sure that you were going to say yes, because we imagine that we would take good care of you…
Well when I’m taken care of, I do [have a good skincare routine]. I just wanna keep it simple, you know what I mean? That said, I’m really thorough now. I got shaped by my dear makeup artist friend – we started together 30 years ago – black jeans. She is quite special. So every time we’re on a movie, she keeps me healthy, and then she’s like, “try this” and “try that.”
Anyway, you look like you have great skin. I can’t imagine it takes a lot!
No, not really, I don’t, but now… I mean, I have my simple little diet.
So what are you doing? Guasha?
I don’t even know what it is.
Rarely. I get nervous.
Have you ever imagined yourself a beauty baron?
[Laughs]. I don’t know what a beauty baron is…
It’s as if you had to reach Estée Lauder’s level of success.
If Le Domaine succeeds, do you get baron status? Yeah, no, I didn’t [imagine that]. Landing here – at Château Miraval – opened up a lot of ideas for me that I wouldn’t normally have thought of. And a big part of that is sustainability, that idea of zero waste is something that’s really important to this field and important to me. But look, when we got here, I mean, I never thought about having a cellar either! I just wanted a nice base in this area and there happened to be a winery. And it turned out to be a hemorrhage of tons of cash. So we had to go to work. And then we went looking and found Marc [Perrin] and his family.
A clever idea. You have a degree in journalism, I read…
I did it, I didn’t graduate, but I did it.
Do you wish you had followed this career path?
[Laughs]. I think I’m pretty happy with where things landed! I wouldn’t have opposed it, but I feel good in my daily work.
What do you think of business ventures with movie stars in general?
When I started, it seemed shameful to advertise, for some reason. You have been called a sellout. I really think the hip-hop guys changed all that. They made it nice – even cool – to spread your wings a bit, to try other things. And now it’s really exciting that you can, you know, explore other corners [of your creativity] like the old Renaissance artists in a way. And I love what Gwyneth did [with Goop]. She’s still a very dear friend and she built this empire. She’s always had that in her as a curator, and it’s been a nice creative outlet for her. In fact, come to think of it, she was probably the first to have me wash my face twice a day…maybe.
What pressures have you personally felt around aging in the film industry?
I don’t want to run away from aging. It’s a concept we can’t escape, and I’d like to see our culture embrace it a little more, talk about it in those terms. Something we discussed [in founding Le Domaine] was that title of “anti-aging.” It’s ridiculous. It’s a fairy tale. But what is real is treating your skin in a healthy way. And that’s something I’ve learned to do for my business, but it makes you feel better. I grew up with a country mentality, sort of you know, dial the soap once a day, then move on. And I think we’re learning that if we love each other, if we treat each other a little better, then there are lasting benefits to that. So age healthy, age healthy.
Speaking of which, I watched Benjamin Button last night. Was it strange watching you grow old in this role?
No, no, it wasn’t at all, I was a little fascinated by it, really. And by the way ? All those prostheses, six hours of prostheses? Torn my skin. They destroyed my skin!
How and why is it important for you that the Domaine’s approach be gender-neutral?
Again, I don’t know if it’s fair that I believe in being all inclusive as much as possible? Or maybe it’s us guys who need help from others to figure out how to better treat our skin? I mean, I’ve probably gotten more from my female partners in the past. We kept the smell very neutral, very fresh and very, very subtle. I mean, I’m the type of person who will change hotel rooms if I can smell the cologne of the last person who stayed there! It’s too much! It’s too strong! Keep it subtle. Let people come to you. Don’t impose it on others. That’s my feeling (laughs). For the smells, I mean. I’m sticking with that for the smells!
Do you have any particular memories of Miraval?
This past spring was special. We had a good five or six weeks here. The stories you hear about Provence in the spring, why people come here. Well, it’s real. And I can’t quite describe it, other than the coolness of the air, the light, the… I don’t know, it’s just a real sense of peace and harmony and the nights are so soothing. In summer you get the symphony of frogs, they rock you. I have a lot of artist friends from different disciplines, and they were there this spring, we had a good laugh. One was working on his music [at Studio Miraval], one was painting, the other was designing a clothing line, and so on. They would go to their respective corners to work on their respective businesses, then we would come back here to bump into each other over a meal or a game of petanque, to where we are sitting now. Creating a community of artists has always been the idea here, and it’s really nice to see that happen.
What does the future look like for you?
The older I get, the more I think about quality of life and spending time, and I would certainly like to steer it more in that direction. I think post-lockdown it seemed to be on a lot of people’s minds, like, how do we spend our time, why do we grind so much, what do we dedicate our lives to? And I think family and friends at the end of the day are all that matters.