EXCLUSIVE: Estée Lauder X Mad Men
In today’s world of big screen-to-beauty counter collaborations, it’s a wonder how AMC’s Mad Men has gone four seasons without a makeup range spin-off. The drama’s costume designer, Janie Bryant, teamed up with Nailtini to launch a four-piece collection of lacquers in 2010, but for a show that owns retro glamor (you could argue that the Spring runways’ obsession with cat-eyes stemmed directly from January Jones’ and Christina Hendricks’ on-set winged liner), it seems like a crime that someone hasn’t capitalized on the opportunity to create something at the retail level inspired by the sixties-era drama; even Twilight has a full beauty line, after all. But perhaps the show’s creator, Matthew Weiner, was just waiting for the right partner, which he has found in Estée Lauder.
“Quite frankly, we’re crazy for the show,” says Jane Hertzmark Hudis, global brand president of Estée Lauder. “We’ve always felt like there’s a connection between Mad Men and the Estée Lauder brand and Estée herself; the sixties were our heyday as well,” Hertzmark Hudis explains, pointing out that the storied New York beauty brand was interested in collaborating with Weiner because they could do it in “an authentic way. We were there in the sixties—it’s not creating something inspired by the sixties; we have stuff from the sixties!” Stuff, like, say the gilded compact with turquoise detail that holds the new limited-edition Estée Lauder Mad Men Collection Crème Rouge in Evening Rose, a delectably blendable cream blush with a medium pink finish. Or the fluted gold mini bullet of Estée Lauder Mad Men Collection Signature Lipstick in Cherry, which comes packaged in a gold pouch. Both products will launch next month in time for the debut of the show’s fifth season, and another limited-edition collection for season six is already in the works. “The product and the packaging were inspired by a concept that we call ‘handbag elegance’—beautiful things you take out of your purse,” says Hertzmark Hudis.
There will be more beautiful things to look at when the Craig McDean-lensed ad campaign for the collection, which stars Constance Jablonski, hits Estée Lauder and Bloomingdale’s Web sites next month, where the products will be sold exclusively. Jablonski sports a hair set that super-stylist Orlando Pita transformed into a side-parted faux bob, as well as matte velvet skin, a warm flush, and a bold crimson lip courtesy of Estée Lauder creative director of makeup Tom Pecheux. “The sixties basically had everything in the way of femininity,” Pecheux says of the decade in which Mad Men takes place, which prompted him to fill in Jablonski’s brows, dust her lids with a cream-colored eye shadow from Lauder’s Blue Dahlia palette, line her upper lash lines, and apply the new Crème Rouge a bit lower, underneath the apples of her cheeks. “It’s the perfect balance between a forties contour and a healthy glow,” he explains of the placement. As for the bold, cherry red mouth, Pecheux has one proviso before breaking out the demure, miniature tube: “Moisturize your lips at night,” he advises, to ensure a smooth, perfect pout every time.