A PEEK INTO THE LIFE OF PR SUPERSTAR HANNAH LANDAU FROM PARIS, BASED IN AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
Both charismatic yet pragmatic in her approach to life, Hannah Landau aims to be satisfied with herself always. Leaving the beautiful city of Paris, France for a more freeing and environmentally-friendly life in little New Zealand, she was more than capable for the challenge.
Out surfing or taking a hike among our stunning natural landscape every weekend, the bona fide French it-girl prefers intelligent conversation and sites her success in the PR industry to her love for communication. Honest and opinionated, the PR manager has the kind of aura you can’t help but want to be around.
Her sensibility for sustainable and ecological beauty products has got us hooked; as well as her secret recommendations for vintage shopping back in Paris - so Sauce took the chance to get to know our muse a little better.
Tell us a little something about your work. How did you get into PR?
To be honest 10 years ago I didn’t even know what PR was and I had never thought that would be my dream job. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to be successful (laughs) and I wanted a career overseas!
One of my friends started to study Communications after high school (while I was doing Business back then) and convinced me I was meant to follow the same path. A year later I had listened to him and was falling in love with Communications as a field and a science, well before knowing what kind of job I would do. I found the idea of delivering a message fascinating: what one wants to say, what people think you said, what do they understand, how do you ensure the message remain exact to what was intended to be said… It’s way more complex that we think! And I’m convinced that many things that go wrong on this planet are due to a lot of misunderstanding and lack of comprehension. That’s probably why I’m so honest and opinionated. (laughs)
I kept studying and discover that Public Relations was what I was meant to be doing - help people, brands, communities, organisations getting their messaging right and delivered to the right people.
Why move from Paris to NZ?
Haha. I guess this is very intriguing for New Zealanders because this is the most frequent question I’ve been asked for the past two years.
I know Paris is beautiful and I agree. However it is very stressful and I guess the recent geo-political climate didn’t help Parisians relax over the last few years. I needed a more laid back environment and I’m also obsessed with Nature. New Zealand is so beautiful with its mountains, beaches and volcanos. The choice was easy. Moreover that Auckland had been ranked in the 10 most liveable cities for years, I really wanted to enjoy this way of life!
Can you share some of the biggest challenges that are involved in working in PR in this changing landscape
As many other field, Communications has been highly impacted by our digital era. In Paris I had been offered positions where being a PR manager meant being a Social Media/Community Manager which are completely different jobs but it seams that there is a lot of confusion about what publicists are supposed to do now that print is less important and social media so big. Brands are communicating more and more directly to their audience via different channels that did not exist in the past. But I think these are new opportunities that any PR agency should be leveraging to innovate and communicate differently. I think PR is not dead, I’m very excited for what is to come and what PR could become.
Work hacks that you swear by
Can’t survive a day without my To Do List. I think having an agenda and a to-do list up to date save you a lot of time and really help prioritise your day. I have never tried try to remember information that isn’t crucial or overload my brain with appointments, meeting details etc. I try to remember what matters, for the rest there are tools for that.
How would you describe your relationship to beauty and self-care?
I think you definitely need to feel good to be happy and just focus on what you want to achieve in life! So I always try to be relatively satisfied with myself.
My approach to beauty is more sensible now, but I used to be obsessed with beauty products, skincare and cosmetics. When I was a kid I went through lots of skin diseases. My main doctor was a dermatologist and I would always have a range of various creams to take care of my sensitive skin. I had to spend a lot of time taking care of myself to get better. I guess it remained like this.
Although since I’m grown up I try to reduce overconsumption and I don’t want to participate in this ecological disaster where some brands sacrifice either animals or the planet over beauty and self-care.
Top products in your beauty cabinet
I’m a huge Aesop fan. Not only I love their products but I’m also fascinated by the brand itself, their business model and the way they approach design.
I love Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil, it’s perfect to remove make up and dirt after a long day and it leaves the skin really soft and nourished.
A DIY skincare hack that you swear by?
I’m actually very into DIY skincare. I do my own coffee scrub with pink Himalayan salt, reused coffee ground and coconut oil. Not sure it’s very French, but it’s a great exfoliant providing antioxidants to the skin.
A French tip would be to always have a Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse handy and apply the oil in my hair during the summer season to make sure it remains nourished even after a long day at the beach. I would also use it on a regular basis to repair my hair leaving it overnight when it gets too dry or damaged.
Your morning routine
I used to be very disorganised when it came to morning preparations back in Paris. In the morning I would always do everything in the house but get ready.
Since I’m in NZ I’m much more efficient for some reason. After reading all my WhatsApp messages received during the night (a consequence of the time difference with Europe), drinking dark coffee and listening to the news I start getting ready.
Each morning I clean my face with my favourite Aesop cleanser then apply Micellar Water and finish with Aesop Perfect Facial Hydrating Cream. Cleanser – toner - moisturiser, the three basics to start the day.
To cover any blemish I apply my YSL concealer prior to applying my Diorskin Nude Air Powder.
To me having a good complexion and healthy looking skin in the most important part. I also use Kiko’s Radiant Touch as a highlighter and a bit of Mac bronzer on my cheeks to finish a perfect glow.
The second important part are my eyes starting with my brows and using Mac’s Spiked Eyebrow Pencil and Lancome Doll Eyes Mascara.
Depending on my outfit I will grab whatever lipsticks that work. In doubt I’ll grab two. Usually by the end of the week I have ten lipstick in my handbag!
Your nighttime routine
It probably looks like my morning routine where I would clean my face again with the same cleanser and toner.
If it was a busy day I would usually indulge a really quiet shower, with candles only to light up the bathroom and do a gentle scrub to feel super clean.
Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Scrub is from far my favourite. Then I would spend a decent amount of time soothing my entire body. Nothing helps more than the perfume of flowers. I particularly love Evelyn Rose Body Lotion – such a delicious smell.
My favourite part! I love hair - curly, wavy, straight – every type! I do not like this dictatorship of straight hair, I find it sad. No matter what your hair looks like you should enjoy it the way it is!
Currently I use Aesop Calming shampoo and Nurturing conditioner. One of the most exciting part of moving overseas was to discover new brands and cosmetics that I wouldn’t use in France. Here I started to use Angel en Provence Helichrysum Hair Mask and their Morocco Silky oil which both leave my hair nourished and shiny.
I also use Eleven Australia’s Miracle Hair Treatment – amazing formulation – and Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie to help define the curls as much as I can.
Self-care for the soul
I go surfing or for a hike almost every weekend and I believe this is the best thing you can do to your body – practice a physical activity while enjoying the beauty of NZ’s landscape!
Your top on-the-go products
No hesitation I’ll grab my red lipstick #1 Pur Couture from Yves Saint Laurent. If I have another option I would get my Terracotta from Guerlain.
Best beauty indulgence
A long day at the spa + massage. So far the best I’ve done in New Zealand were the Polynesian Spa in Rotorua and Onsen Hot Pools in Queenstown. The dream!
Best kept secret in Paris
So many little boutiques, cool brands and hidden bars… I can’t think of one. Maybe one of my favourite spot is Le Comptoir General for its cool bars, groovy music, human projects, free film screening, African kitchen and vintage shop – it does it all!
See more from Hannah on instagram here
Photography | Wono Kim
Interview & Direction | Zeenat Wilkinson
Intro | Aasha Nimo