No7 Launches Skincare with a Private Performance by Spokeswoman, Ballerina Alessandra Ferri

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UK-based beauty brand No7 is kicking off 2017 with its biggest skincare launch of the year and a fierce campaign to boot. Iconic Italian ballerina Alessandra Ferri—who recently un-retired from dancing and is reprising her famous role as Juliet in the ballet Romeo & Juliet in Londonfronts a series of ads and a one-of-a-kind video campaign for the new Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum. In the video, Ferri, 52, dances alongside a hologram of her 19-year-old self performing as Juliet. While the serum technically falls in the anti-aging category (it’s clinically proven to fight wrinkles and uneven skin tone), the campaign is more about helping your skin keep up with you as you “move through life.”  To unveil the product, No7 invited editors to a private performance at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in NYC, where Ferri performed Pas de Deux from Le Parc with American Ballet Theater principal dancer Herman Cornejo. After the performance, she filled us in on the partnership, what it’s like returning to ballet after retirement, her beauty indulgences, and her experience dancing alongside her own hologram.

What brought her back to ballet…
“You can retire from a job, but you can’t retire really from who you are. I think I started to contemplate the idea of being afraid. Afraid of failing, mainly as a ballerina. I didn’t want to get to the point where I would judge myself and not be who I was when I was dancing. So I felt I had to stop and turn a page. Then I realized that you can’t stop being who you are. You are who you are, and you can be as wonderful at whatever stage in your life. As an artist you don’t age, because you’re expressing yourself. In the world, you’re expressing your soul, and that is ageless, that is timeless. So don’t be afraid of the numbers, and don’t be afraid of life.”

Playing Juliet then versus now…
“The role changes with you, so of course my Juliet had the same evolution that I had in my life. It becomes more rich, and I understand it more, because the more life experience I have, my Juliet gains depth. Although I have to portray an adolescent girl, there’s a whole amazing inner world that this girl has. And that becomes richer and richer.”

Her beauty ritual…
“I take care of my skin, and I do what they tell me to do, always clean in the morning and the night, and hydrate. I tend to use a lot of oils on the body and the face and the hair. And I always have a lovely hot bath at night. That’s my ritual. That half hour refreshes me. I can’t live without a hot bath. If I can’t have a hot bath at night, I have a panic attack![Laughs] It’s a real ritual, though. I cut the whole world out and it’s a moment of meditation.”

Shooting the campaign with her hologram…
“It was a really exhausting experience, actually, but also wonderful [Laughs]. As I was dancing, the hologram was there, so I could see it. That was unbelievable, actually. It was like going back in time. For a moment the memory became tangible, of how I was at 19. She was really good! [Laughs] I was good! But I remembered how nervous I was in that performance, because it was filmed. I suddenly remember the nerves I had then. It was very sweet actually.”

Her advice for her 19-year-old self…
“Not to be afraid of being yourself, and to live life. Many times we don’t actually live life, we just exist. Do the things you love to do, love the people you want to love. Don’t judge. Experience. Don’t be afraid of loving or of being hurt. Don’t be afraid of pain. And as a dancer, don’t hold back. Live in the moment, fully. Don’t hold it for the future.”

How she stays in shape…
“I do a little Pilates in the morning, then I take ballet class, then I work in the gym, I do yoga, and rehearse. I work at least five hours a day. I’m not afraid of working. I know that it takes a lot of work and commitment, but I love it, so it’s a pleasure, really. I’m aware of what privilege I have to do what I love in life and to make a living doing it. Physically, it’s tiring, but it’s also an amazing gift.”

On the importance of choosing women who are 50-plus for beauty campaigns…
“When you have a brand that says, if you use this, your wrinkles will disappear in two weeks—first of all, it’s not true, and second of all, the idea that there is something wrong with wrinkles…why? Why are we promoting that beauty is wrinkle-less? There is beauty in every age and every face and every body. Life is beautiful. Unless we stop rejecting that the passing of age is part of life, then we’ll be unhappy. You can’t not age. So you’re creating unhappiness. We need the wrinkle movement! [Laughs]”

Kristen Heinzinger is the Senior Editor of The Daily Front Row/Daily Summer.

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