Oscar-winning actress and the face of skincare giant L’Oréal, Dame Helen Mirren, has sensationally admitted that using moisturiser “probably does f— all”.
Dame Helen dropped the bombshell while appearing on a panel at an event in France, astonishingly, while acting as a brand ambassador for L’Oréal.
“I’m not setting standards for others. All I can do is be who I am. I’ve always loved make-up,” she said.
“I’m an eternal optimist – I know that when I put my moisturiser on it probably does f— all, but it just makes me feel better. I’ve always said to L’Oréal as well that I will only do what makes me feel better.”
Dame Helen, 72, is the oldest of L’Oréal’s celebrity brand ambassadors, fronting the skincare company’s Age Perfect moisturiser range.
Dame Helen has also always insisted that the ads in which she appears are not digitally enhanced to lessen the appearance of wrinkles – something which she negotiated when she took up the role.
British media have compared Dame Helen’s explosive remarks to those of British jewellery entrepreneur Gerald Ratner.
In 1991, Mr Ratner gave a speech in which he said: “People say, ‘How can you sell this for such a low price?’ I say, ‘Because it’s total crap’.”
Ratner went on to say that one of the earrings in his range were “cheaper than an M&S [department store Marks & Spencer] prawn sandwich, but probably wouldn’t last as long”.
His comments sent the company into a plunge, with the value of the company slumping by about £500 million [$A825 million] and going perilously close to collapse.
The incident gave rise to the term “the Ratner effect” in the United Kingdom.
The UK’s Independent newspaper noted, however, that “L’Oréal is unlikely to meet a similar fate” with global sales in 2016 of €25.8 billion [$A34.5 billion].
Dame Helen also spoke of her frustration at the images used by some cosmetics brands.
“It used to drive me crazy that the ads promoting skin products were using pictures of 15-, and 16-year-old girls,” she said in a speech reported by Campaign magazine.
“As a 30-year-old, I used to look at that and think, what the f— are you talking about? It was ridiculous. Pissed me off majorly. Advertisers are only just coming out of that, and it’s taken them a long time.”
The New Daily has contacted L’Oréal Australia for comment.