This Is What 49 Looks Like

Susan Akkad, a senior vice president at Estée Lauder, says working in beauty has benefits (e.g., no more dark circles)

As told to Nikki Ostasiewski
Susan Akkad estee lauder
Photograph: Ari Michelson

On her unlikely career
“In college, I planned to join the Peace Corps. But then I met my now-husband and decided to stay Stateside. I interviewed with magazines and public relations firms and got two offers: editorial assistant at Vogue and PR assistant at Estée Lauder. The Lauder job offered $500 more a year. So that was that.”

On being a little bit country
“I grew up near the Blue Ridge Mountains wielding a pitchfork and cleaning out horse stalls. While I love designers like Junya Watanabe, I’m equally happy in jeans and barn boots.”

On refusing to be anti about aging
“I enjoy the way I look and try to enhance the positive.”

On her dark-circle trick
“I have under-eye shadows but can’t wear traditional concealer because it turns my skin gray. Bobbi Brown Corrector in Peach [$24;] cancels the purple but looks natural.”

Next: This is What 40+ Looks Like

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First published in the February 2014 issue

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