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April 20 2014

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Sonia Kashuk Tackles More Than Just Your Makeup Bag

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Sonia Kashuk Apartment

Fifteen years ago, Sonia Kashuk set a new bar in the mass beauty category with her eponymous line of cosmetic brushes and makeup that looked and performed like products triple their price. Now, she’s setting out to “fill the void between Jo Malone and Bath & Body Works” with her 24-piece collection that includes eau de toilettes, lotions, shower gels, hand creams, body oils, and scrubs. Not to mention accompanying accessories all done in black—including an exfoliating mitten and shower cap. “I wanted a cool one,” Kashuk said of the terrycloth-lined hair cover. Fair enough. To see where the project started, we headed straight to the source: her bathroom (shown above). Kashuk’s favorites include Natura Bissé Facial Cleansing Gel, Shiseido Future Solution LX Total Regenerating Cream, Oribe Shine Spray, and Cindy Crawford Meaningful Beauty Lifting Eye Crème (a supermodel with whom she’s worked for so many years that they both stopped counting). “I shop high and low—I shop at Target and Bergdorf Goodman,” she explained. In other words, she took cues from the prestige lines she loves and infused aspects of them into her own (for under $20).

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One of those hints came courtesy of Oribe, who works with Buero New York on packaging (a boutique design agency that boasts clients such as Valentino, Helmut Lang, and Givenchy). Kashuk partnered with the same firm to bring a “visual sense of what you’d be experiencing through scent” to her bottles, tubes, and jars. Illustrated by an artist in Vienna, the flowers that cover her products are not blooms found in nature, but instead were created to represent the four scents in the range—Pink Innocencia, Purple Seductia, Yellow Alluriana, and Red Promisia—concocted by perfumer Jérôme Epinette. (He’s the nose behind olfactory hits like Byredo Gypsy Water and Bal d’Afrique.) Kashuk’s thought process on this powerhouse team was simple: “The first thing that people are going to do is look, then they are going to lift up [the product] and smell it.” While execs told her that cucumber melon is a scent that sells, she responded to their advice by saying: “That’s exactly what I won’t be doing.” Instead, she opted for sophisticated notes, including tuberose (her personal favorite), magnolia, verbena, pomegranate, and musk.

After over a year in development, her labor of love is set to roll out in early November at Target and Target.com—not that this means the makeup artist will be taking a vacation (well, not exactly). When I spoke to her she was en route to the airport (wearing Red Promisia, a cozy sandalwood, jasmine, and vanilla blend that is reminiscent of a “cashmere blanket”) to catch a flight to Rajasthan, India, to source inspiration for her Fall 2014 collection. If her latest endeavor is any indication, I can’t wait to see what souvenirs she brings back—and eventually brings to the American market.

Photos: John Aquino; Courtesy of Buero New York

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