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Vision Quest: In Paris with Jennifer Balbier

On a recent trip to Paris, Jennifer Balbier toteld along her camera for WWD Beauty Biz.

Jennifer Balbier, senior vice president of global product development for artistry brands at the Estée Lauder Cos., has helped create some of makeup’s most memorable launches. Balbier, whose exuberance is matched only by her talent, takes her inspiration from everywhere. On a recent trip to Paris, she toted along her camera for WWD Beauty Biz, taking notes when something caught her fancy—and recording her impressions. “I love visiting Paris,” says Balbier. “I love watching how the French live their lives. Whether it’s a piece of chocolate or a window display or people having coffee in the street, everything they do has such flair.” The same could be said of Balbier herself. Here, Paris from her unique point of view.

Kenzo Retrospective


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“I love big dramatic spectacles like the Kenzo retrospective at the Cirque d’Hiver. It was truly art.”

Galeries Lafayette



“Lunch at Café Ruc for fashion street-watching and delicious cheeseburgers! Food is a big inspiration because I look at a cupcake and think about how it was made—the mixing and the baking—to see if there are any techniques we can apply to makeup.”

Galerie Alexandre Leadouze



“I was fascinated by Richard Orlinski’s crocodile sculptures. Fantastic! Wild beauty! I wish I had one in my garden at Bridgehampton! The sculptures got me thinking about finishes and glazes, which can dramatically change the way a color is interpreted. Finish is often just as important as the pigment used to create a shade. For spring and summer, we’re experimenting with this idea and how it can alter smoky and matte finishes.”




“My favorite homemade mustard shop, where the colors of the vinegars and imagery is totally Provence. I love this store because they create custom mustard blends for you! Chablis moutard is my favorite. The personalized touches here have inspired me a great deal with our Mineralize products, whose detailed, marbleized effect is done by hand by pulling the mica-based pearls through the ‘dough,’ which is then baked on terra-cotta tiles.”

Jeff Koons at Galerie Jerome de Noirmont



“Jeff Koons grew up in Pennsylvania and so did I, so I love his work. He embodies Pop Art, and MAC is essentially a Pop Art makeup brand. This show is an inspiration to any person with a job that requires visualization. The colors represent the “clear color” trend that we’ll be seeing for spring.”