The $250 Product That Changed Linda Evangelista’s Skin
"I wanted to meet the founder because I thought whoever did this, they are genius."
Model Linda Evangelista famously said she doesn’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day—and the price of her favourite skincare product, Erasa XEP-30, seemingly reflects that lifestyle. But break it down, and the price becomes cost-effective when you consider the number of ingredients elegantly jam-packed into a single formulation.
Jules Zecchino, the man behind BioMimetic Laboratories, which created Erasa Skincare, spent decades developing some of Estee Lauder’s greatest skincare innovations (Estee Lauder Idealist, Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules, Clinique’s revamp, etc.) and wanted to tackle the various issues, like pigmentation and anti-aging, usually relegated to separate product lines within a single product.
In Erasa XEP-30 ($250, at holtrenfew.com), the patented neurotoxin that gives the product its name is a synthetic version of a naturally-occurring substance that works to relax wrinkles. Niacinamide (vitamin B3) improves texture, and galabridin, a pricey anti-inflammatory ingredient from licorice root extract that is popular in Asian skincare, works to brighten melasma.
“I use a magnifying mirror when I tweeze my brows, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing—[the improvement in] my melasma and my pores,” Evangelista, who is creative director for the brand, told us during a meeting with Zecchino.
Here is an edited version of our conversation.
ELLE: So you found Erasa through your facialist, Georgia Louise?
Linda Evangelista: Her husband, not her. Her knew someone [at Erasa] and asked me to try the product and give him feedback. And I was like, why would I? I get so many products handed to me, I can’t get through them. I had such a huge skincare protocol that eventually I got sick of doing it, or didn’t even do it. I put it next to my bed because I wanted to look it up that night. Before I go to bed, I put my two humidifiers on, my hand cream, my lip balm. That was sitting there, so I was like, ‘Oh let me put it on too.’ It wasn’t ‘till I went to tweeze my eyebrows in the mirror that I noticed the effects. After two weeks, I got really ecstatic about what I saw. I was so impressed, I wanted to meet [the founder] because I thought whoever did this, they are genius. And we hit it off.
ELLE: Has this product replaced everything else you were doing, anti-aging wise?
Linda: Everything. I don’t use retinols anymore, and rarely do I exfoliate. I said to [Jules], why do I need to, when I don’t have to?
Jules Zecchino: Her dermatologist doesn’t like her anymore.
Linda: My dermatologist that I went to for lasers for my melasma stuff, I hadn’t seen him in over a year. Once I started using Erasa he said, ‘Well, obviously you’re seeing someone else.’ And I said ‘No, I’m not.’ And he said, ‘But your melasma!’ Then I told him about this, and he couldn’t believe it either.
ELLE: Because with melasma, usually it’s only treatable with lasers, right?
Linda: Which makes you more sensitive to the sun anyway.
Jules: It’s a circle.
ELLE: What else are you using on your skin, just a cleanser?
Linda: I’m trying all the stuff from the lab. But cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen—that’s it. I stopped exfoliated. Georgia does microcurrent on me maybe twice a month. I have a machine I don’t really use.
ELLE: How else do you go about finding new products? I read you’re a big Amazon shopper.
Linda: Oh I’m a big Amazon shopper. I know you’re not supposed to be, but whatever, it’s making my life better. I still shop in my neighbourhood at the local places too. I found a silicone mask—and I hope it’s silicone—on Amazon. I find that when you put on whatever product you’re loving and seal it with that, it keeps it moist and you don’t need a sheet mask. I hope to make a medical version, fingers crossed.
ELLE: So as creative director, you go to the lab, and they present new ideas to you? How does that process work?
Linda: We talk about needs. The first time I went to the lab, I was like, diamond dust. I want the diamond dust. And Jules is like, ‘Why?’ And I said like, ‘Because it’s expensive.’ And he said, ‘It’s not expensive.’ And he said, ‘Bring her some,’ and they bring it…
Jules: It’s industrial diamond dust.
Linda: And they put a kilo in front of me and they opened it up and it was like grey cement. And I was like, ‘Why isn’t it sparkly?’ Silly me, they didn’t have to answer the question because I studied gemology and I know a diamond has to be faceted to reflect the light. As soon as I said it, I knew the answer. I almost cried.
ELLE: But you found some better ingredients.
Jules: Well that’s the bottom line. Some people, they want to hear the nice stuff but sometimes it’s not what really works. Two to three weeks in of using [our product], someone’s going to come up to you and say, ‘Hey your skin looks great. What are you doing?’”
Linda: Which is true, but I did not need someone to tell me.
Jules: Well not everyone sees themselves in their magnifying mirror.
ELLE: I’m looking at my camera phone often enough. I’m sure I’d notice.