A blonde bombshell with a pixie-esque quality, Diane Kruger is renowned for her ethereal beauty. Her angular features, wide-set eyes, perfect proportions, and flawless skin have won over both the film and fashion world (she is a favorite among Karl Lagerfeld’s muses). Perhaps her stint as a ballerina is to thank for her poise, which caught the attention of model scouts when she was just a young girl living in Paris. Before trying her hand at acting, Kruger fronted campaigns for Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, and Christian Dior, to name a few. With notable onscreen appearances including Helen of Sparta in Troy, her latest is as the beauty heroine for the Chanel skincare line: Le Jour, La Nuit, and Le Weekend De Chanel.
Here, the 37-year-old beauty icon reveals her perceptions on what it means to be beautiful.
What is your philosophy of beauty?
When I was a little girl, my beauty ideal reflected the traditional norms—slimness, perfection, and other inaccessible objectives were characteristic of this image. With experience and traveling all over the world, I became more open-minded. I learned that there is no such thing as perfection and my career as an actress has taught me that flaws make us more interesting.
How do you feel about being referenced as a beauty icon?
I think that we’re beautiful in other people’s eyes. It wasn’t until I became a model that I started paying more attention to my face. Before then, I studied classical dance at the Royal Ballet School in London, where the body and grace were what mattered most. Today, I just need to know that the man I love thinks I’m beautiful.
How important is the role of skincare in your beauty regimen?
Beauty begins with beautiful skin. I am very strict about protecting my skin, which (for my job) is covered in so much makeup. In practical terms, I need a toner to revive the radiance of my face, then a moisturizing cream and an eye contour cream to lighten my dark circles. I’m very careful about not exposing my skin to the sun anymore. I never go out without my anti-UV cream—even in the city.
As a model, actress, and brand ambassador, you are constantly traveling. How do you combat skin suffering from jet lag?
I often have the impression that my dehydrated skin literally “drinks up” the cream that I apply. I always make sure to get some sleep and moisturize my skin and hands. I know that my makeup holds better when my skin is well moisturized.
From fashion shoots, to film roles, and wearing Haute Couture, you have to keep your body in check. How do you maintain your svelte figure?
I’m not really athletic. I hate going to the gym. Exercising only makes sense if I get pleasure out of it. But pleasure comes from real life, so whenever I get the chance, I go hiking. Sometimes I can walk 50 kilometers in four days. Since I sold my car, whenever I’m in Paris, I get around on foot, on a bike, and sometimes on the metro.
Who do you trust to do your makeup before a red carpet appearance?
My experience as a model taught me the right tips and tricks to enhance my features, so I prefer to do my own makeup. Today, I want to look like myself above all.
As a fashion ambassadress for Chanel and now the face of its skincare line, how has your relationship with the fashion house evolved?
I’ve had a bond with this House since I was 15. My first shoot as a model was for Karl Lagerfeld! I immediately fell under the charm of his kindness and humor. Our German roots brought us closer, of course.
We are inundated with a plethora of moisturizers promising miracles. How do you go about choosing yours?
The texture of a skincare product is what gets my attention first. I adore creamy, caressing textures. I travel a lot, so comfort is a priority, even in terms of my face cream. For my eye contour, a particularly delicate area, I tend to prefer velvety textures to gels. However, I don’t like products that smell too strong. I’m careful about this, because my skin is very sensitive.
How does the Chanel skincare line fit in with your own beauty mantra?
The skincare products are focused on sensorial pleasure—the desire to care for your skin without constraints. They are designed to enhance your own beauty and this suits me perfectly. I chose to be an actress, to use my flaws and make them part of my strength onscreen. I no longer try to hide; I want to show who I really am.
A last word?
To be the most beautiful, the most touching or the most fascinating, you don’t have to be the youngest.
The Le Jour, La Nuit, and Le Weekend De Chanel skincare line is available at Chanel counters at Harvey Nichols in Dubai, Kuwait, and Doha.