Rachel Roy on Birthday Celebrations, Donations, and the Secret to Not Wearing Makeup

Rachel Roy is celebrating her 39th birthday a little differently this year. Instead of "spending money on a dinner or a party or presents," as Rachel told us, she is asking friends, family, fans, and everyone who can, to "help someone else have a bit of an easier life" and donate to her Charity Water Campaign. Inspired by her recent trip to India, she is determined to raise money to give clean water to those in need.

In turn, we were inspired by Rachel's mission, and decided to pick her brain on this recent endeavor, and all things birthday related. But of course, in commemoration of being one year older, and of course wiser, we couldn't help but ask her how she stays looking so young and gorgeous. Check out our chat with Rachel below.

StyleList (SL): What inspired you to get involved with Charity Water?

Rachel Roy (RR): "I actually heard about it closer to my 35th birthday. And the way that it is created and set up is just so easy it makes for really simple charitable giving. You can donate quite little, or a larger amount, and all of it goes directly to developing the well. All you have to do is just click on a few different links, and you've donated, and the same thing goes for setting up your own link [campaign]. So when something is done so easy, so clean, and so effortlessly, it's like, how can you not?"

SL: Why did you decide to have your birthday as the milestone for this effort?

RR: "A lot of times people ask what they can do for you on your birthday, and what do you want to do, and do you want to have a dinner [etc.]. We live such blessed lives where we can do dinners all the time, and in New York City some of the best restaurants in the world are here. What would be a milestone for me, or to make me feel like I am living a life worth living, is to help someone else have a bit of an easier life. I think a better way to celebrate my life is to help someone else's life."

SL: Is there any other way you are celebrating your birthday this year?

RR: "The nice thing about having children is that you have these built in cheerleaders, no matter what. I am always going to do something because they get excited [about my birthday]. My daughter has a ballet recital, and I am going to make a big deal out of that for her."

SL: Besides having people donate to your Charity Water campaign, what in general would you say are the best birthday presents to receive?

RR: "I guess it depends on who is giving it. I am a sucker for a story. So if I got a poem, or a love story, or something that I know was written, designed, or made for me because I inspired that [gift], then that's for me. That's something I have always liked. I think being someone's muse is quite romantic. I like very heartfelt things, but I like to think that me being alive matters, so for me to feel that way, I would have to make a difference in someone else's life."

SL: What is the best birthday present you have ever received?

RR: "I like when people donate to different places in my name, I like that I have 2 wells [with Charity Water] with my name on it."

SL: With such a busy schedule all the time, what are some of your secrets tricks for looking young and beautiful?

RR: "Since my skin is darker, I have had an easier time with the sun ... but I am a little bit older now, so I maybe throw a hat on once in a while. I also like to get my eyebrows arched because I feel like it takes a few years off. I get my eyebrows threaded by this woman that charges $7. She is like an artist. I prefer threading over waxing... [you] can get a better line and really draw that arch with the thread, allow your brow to be thick but get that arch. With an eyelash extension, eyebrows done, and a tan, you will never need makeup."

SL: When it comes around to birthday season, do you have a go-to gift that you always give?

RR: "It really depends on the person, just because I like to receive a donation in my name doesn't mean that everyone does. So I really like to think about the person I am giving the gift to. If I have received a compliment on something I am wearing over the years, on my clothing or jewelry or shoes, a lot of times I will gift someone that exact thing. I do try and pay attention to the details. If someone has mentioned a certain wine or book that they like, I try to give someone what they want, but is still a representation of me. Recently a girlfriend of mine really wanted this bathing suit, so I gave her this Missoni bathing suit that was really hard to find. It's not always about the cost, but more about how rare the gift is too."

SL: What are some of the best outfits to wear for a birthday party?

RR: "I like the idea of the birthday individual standing out and looking a year wiser and a year more lived and hopefully because of that, smarter. But I don't like for the person to look too excited, or overtly giddy. You still want to look pulled together and chic. It's about knowing your body and what works on you. I love jumpsuits, and I think they are very flatting and super elongating and 'slendering.' Jumpsuits are my go-to. But it depends on the individual. And how smart and sexy it could make them look."

SL: Any advice on things to avoid when going to someone else's birthday party?

RR: "My brother is the Film Curator of the MOMA - super smart guy - and when it comes to birthdays, he appreciates the effort [put in by others]. The birthday before last, he had a dinner party at the MOMA, and I came in a sequin dress, and he loved the effort I made! And I never would have worn that same sequin dress on my birthday. I don't necessarily want all those eyes on me in the same way, but when it's not my birthday, I think it's very respectful to make the effort. If someone is doing a dinner party at their home, and you go as subtle as possible [with your outfit], it's almost a let down. Here's someone who has cooked for you, cleaned their home, ordered their flowers, and you show up half heartedly. I think they appreciate it when you put in the effort."

Photo Credit: Rachel Roy

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