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Cosmetics are my drugs!

Donatella Versace frankly speaks about her passion

for make-up, on which she daily squanders thousands of dollars.



“You need

a lot of techniques and tricks to look natural,” says Donatella

Versace, having lifted her thin plucked eyebrow. It may be a banal remark,

but when Versace says it, it is perceived in a new way. Look into her

Milan bathroom, for example: gold hangers, a tiled mosaic in Magritt spirit,

padded stools made from snake leather – exclamation marks would

not suffice! Her bathtub is surrounded by a multitude of shampoos from

all over the world. She has cabinets full of creams, ready to renew the

youthfulness of a woman’s skin, and perfumes made of all possible

flowers and fruits. Donatella places her vials alphabetically similar

to the way a “mad professor” would. “I am a bit off

my head,” she says in a shrew voice, “it is both laughter

and sin.”



Beauty maniacs differ from us. They buy without any hesitation, usually

in a bigger way than is necessary. They never consider thoughts such as,

“how much does it cost and where should I put all this?” Each

bottle they purchase holds false hopes of becoming fresher, smoother,

and more beautiful.



Since she is located in New York, Versace usually stops by Zitomer (one

of her favorite boutiques) accompanied by many bodyguards. She follows

her stop at Zitomer with trips to stores such Henri Bendel and Donatella.

“Ah, what dandies,” sighs the local observer Kreig Jessup,

“a real fashion show!”



“Our clients have more money than they know what to do with,”

says a saleswoman from Zitomer. “Why wouldn’t they squander

their money? Some spend large amounts on cars and yachts, and others spend

their money on beauty.” Her male colleague moves his twisted eyelashes

in agreement. “One lady buys new eyebrow pencils every three weeks.

It wouldn’t surprise me if she chews them up and spits them out.”



Cher is also known for her insatiability in cosmetics. During one shopping

spree, she bought everything that was on a counter in Henri Bendel. “And

she did not put on make-up herself,” Jessup said surprisingly. That

can’t be said about Michael Jackson. Last year the lawsuit-exhausted

singer shopped at the department store Barneys and asked to purchase “all

his favorite make-up for friends and family.” His bill approached

thirty thousand dollars!



Fans of blush and powders are especially interested in novelties, leaving

behind the suggestions of the beauty industry. “They want something

that has not been put on the market yet…they want to have everything

before everybody else,” confirms Carlo Gerasi, the commodity researcher

of Barneys. “They are pushy about exclusives. There is probably

a chemical in cosmetics that causes this, similar to a sweet-tooth desiring




Donatella Versace knows how the situation works. She orders and chooses

everything herself and even opens new orders upon their arrival. “I

manage to process three boxes a day,” she says. “I check the

content immediately and if I don’t like it, I call at once and demand




There is no need to go too far, however. Cosmetic "drug addict"

Versace took a real narcotics treatment course last summer. “I do

not have a dependence,” she emphasizes, “but there is an obsession.”




Donatella’s skin is ideally pure. She has been using clearing face

milk and humidifying cream since she was six years old. When she was fourteen,

she went to school with the make-up queen Kleopatra. “Foundation

cream, powder, Indian ink, red lips – everything like in Egypt.”

Due to her choice of style she was discharged from the lessons. Now she

operates more modestly, leaving colors more silent and shines deeper.

Nevertheless, the full make-up, suntan, and white hair are constant. “Such

a look is developing on its own, and in its basis there is an inclination

to introspection. I look at myself and see what I don’t like,”

says Donatella. “I am a dumpling; I know that my legs are not long.

My skin is olive and without sunburn it is absolutely ugly. My body requires

a lot of time in the sun, while other people need only a little bronze

powder.” She once had her hair cut shortly, but in four hours she

had long hair back again. “Boyish looks are not her style,”

she considers. “My hair is a symbol of femininity itself. Look at

how it touches my back and how sensual it is.”



Versace has her own agenda and her line of cosmetics proves this with

its bright, golden colors. “I have always looked for the color which

demands a mixture of four or five shades.” Going against the many

fashion designers for whom perfume is just another way to find a profit,

Versace tirelessly noses out new aromas, mixing oils, essences and spraying

them on each potential customer. “The beauty is my hobby, rescued

from all troubles” declares Donatella. Behind the wall music rattles,

mobile phones call, assistants occasionally scurry about, couriers run

by in a panic. How many styles must be represented and how many boxes

must be unpacked, smelt, spread, and sprinkled! Versace looks at herself

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