“I had an aunt who worked at the Shiseido counter in Hong Kong, and when she moved to the United States, she worked in San Francisco. I remember—and this was the eighties—that I was totally fascinated by how artistic her eyelids looked. There were probably four different colors and [all were] shaded. It was over the top, [especially] because my mother wore no makeup and was very simple and very clean. And this aunt, she was young and beautiful—it was definitely that whole era of excess. The big hair, the three-tone eyelid, the heavy contour—and that’s kind of fantastical.”
We pay homage to Lam’s childhood beauty memory with a look from his Spring 2010 show. And though his recent collaboration with Estée Lauder and Tom Pecheux is decidedly more muted, perhaps, according to our interview with the designer, more colorful things lie ahead.
It could be said that Indie Lee’s eponymous natural beauty brand is an actual brainchild—the idea for it was born after Lee underwent brain surgery to remove a life-threatening tumor. More aware than ever of the dangerous effects of environmental toxins on the body, she was determined after recovering to create a sophisticated, entirely natural beauty line. Thus was born Indie Lee. First launched in 2010, the company got a very elegant makeover in early 2013. And the products—we are particularly fond of the Blemish Lotion, Brightening Cleanser, and Squalane Facial Cream—are definitely beautiful inside and out. Here, the inspiring woman behind the brand shares some of her own beauty, style, and relaxation go-tos.
THE SPA DESTINATION: Las Vegas
“While I don’t gamble, I do love Las Vegas. To be more specific, I love the Encore Spa at the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel. I’m happy to go enjoy a number of treatments, hike at Red Rock Canyon and…then enjoy some more treatments poolside!”
THE HOMEBASE SPA: La Vie Zen Day Spa
“La Vie Zen Spa in New York is like heaven. The atmosphere is so relaxing, and the space just got a mini facelift after two sons took it over to pay homage to their mother, who loved and ran the spa for many years. You wouldn’t even believe it is in midtown once you walk in and realize how serene it is.”
THE DESIGNER FAVORITES
“My favorite has to be Tory Burch. With such classic and feminine designs, her line is just perfect. It’s so easy to look effortlessly chic when you have her clothes on.
Then, when I am looking for something whimsical yet wearable, I’ll stop into Cynthia Rowley.”
THE GOURMET ADDRESS: Plum Plums
“As far as food goes, I love to shop at local farmers’ markets when in season, and I also have a greenhouse just outside of Indie Lee Inc., where I grow different items seasonally, both for skincare and for nourishment. My favorite shop is a gourmet cheese store called Plum Plums, in Pound Ridge, New York. I can spend a half hour at the counter talking about and tasting different cheeses. The owners, Audrey and Adam, are just a delight.”
“I spent many years traveling when I worked in finance. Paris is a favorite spot of mine; I always come home truly inspired by the culture and the fashion. We’re expanding internationally in 2014, and I can’t wait to get back. I also love to ski, so Aspen is another favorite. Book me a suite at the Viceroy, Snowmass, and I’m a very happy woman.”
THE HAIR HELPERS: Cutler Soho
“Hands down, I’m a Cutler Soho gal. I have been going to Rachel for highlights and Heather for haircuts for about four years. I can’t imagine going anywhere else.”
THE OUT-OF-TOWN APOTHECARIES
“LUX Beauty Boutique in Edmonton, Canada, is such a gem of a shopping spot. The international selection of brands and products is great for beauty junkies searching for a hard-to-find item or advice on something new to try. And Love You Inc. in Southlake, Texas, carries amazing natural and organic skincare lines as well as organic lifestyle products.”
THE SKINCARE ROUTINE
“I get asked this question all the time, and the truth is I really only use Indie Lee products. Every day I start off with the Brightening Cleanser to remove any impurities left over from the night before. I follow this with the CoQ10 Toner to seal my pores, and Squalane Facial Oil to keep my skin smooth and hydrated. I finish my routine with the Swiss Apple Facial Serum and Calendula Eye Balm to fight off those dreaded wrinkles. Both of these products are packed with antiaging ingredients and really give you an amazing glow.”
“I’m not a huge fragrance gal…not to be a bummer, but most fragrances typically contain phthalates, a known hormone disrupter. If I do indulge in a little spritz (and only on my clothes), I use Histoires de Parfums 1804; I love the hint of grapefruit. I also use the Patchouli Sandalwood Moisturizing Body Oil from my line. The smooth texture doesn’t leave any residue and the scent is subtle and earthy.”
THE MAKEUP MUSTS
“I don’t wear a lot of makeup, but I do not leave the house without Ilia mascara and Sephora waterproof eyeliner; it’s the only thing that lasts on me. Recently, I’ve developed a love of lipstick. You can usually find three in my bag on any given day. Among the naturals, I love Ilia because it has great staying power and is moisturizing. For the non-naturals (yes, I do use them), I adore YSL lip products. And I’m absolutely obsessed with the new collection of Wayne Goss makeup brushes; the bristles are super soft and the entire set is worth the price tag.”
THE NATURAL FOR NAILS: LVX
“I absolutely love LVX nail polish. The formulation is extremely smooth, making it ideal for a perfect at-home manicure. Each season, [the company] comes out with a new set of trendy colors, and they are certified vegan and cruelty free.”
Asia seems to be the breeding ground for the next big developments in skin care—producing hits like BB and CC creams. And though it often takes time for these beauty innovations to reach our shores, once they finally do arrive, it seems that every brand jumps on the bandwagon. Such is the case with the Far East’s interpretation of lotion. In the States, a lotion is typically an oil-in-water emulsion that is creamy in consistency. In countries such as Korea, China, and Japan, however, the lotion label is applied to products that are more akin to the American concept of toner—minus the drying or stripping side effects. These weightless, water-like formulas are designed to be patted into your complexion post-cleanse but before applying a thicker moisturizer. Think of them as a “face conditioner,” said aesthetician Kate Somerville (who launched one under her namesake label in September). Companies like L’Occitane, Artistry, Shiseido, Dr. Jart, and Hada Labo Tokyo (which sells a bottle every two seconds in Japan) brought versions to market in the past year, and a slew of others (including Chanel) are scheduled to follow suit in 2014.
To take a look back at more of 2013′s biggest beauty hits, read 2013: The Year In Beauty.
Beauty Nostalgia is a column on Beauty Counter in which we ask influencers, tastemakers, and some of our favorite industry experts to wax poetic on the sticks, salves, and sprays that helped shape who they are today.
The Pro: Mindy Yang, vice president and curator for MiN New York Haute Perfumery
The Product: “My journey into the world of scents began at a very young age. I fell down the rabbit hole, so to speak, when I was a little girl of about 4 or 5 years old. Growing up in Taipei, I remember that my mother would display all of her favorite perfumes on her massive vanity. I was forbidden to play with any of her beauty products, but, of course, the second she was away, I did just that. Chanel No. 5 has always been—and still is—my mother’s signature scent. I still remember the moment I sprayed it for the first time. It was so different from any flowers I’d smelled before, and I wondered how a fragrance could actually smell like powder [on my skin]. I was deep in thought, with my nose buried in the scent, when I heard the sound of her heels approaching the room. I knew it was time to run, but I immediately tripped—and broke my arm! These days, I’m surrounded by an extensive collection of very niche and extremely interesting perfumes. I don’t really wear Chanel No. 5 anymore—as the curator, I never stick to just one fragrance—but I still have a fondness for that powdery aldehyde.”
Cate Blanchett has shaved her hairline and her entire head, and worn many a wig (think back to her role in Elizabeth: The Golden Age), but off duty she keeps things far less dramatic—focusing more on what lies beneath all the theatrics. I’m not so good at doing my makeup, although I’ve gotten better,” she said. But with a complexion as flawless as Blanchett’s (care of SK-II, a brand for which she is a global ambassador), why even bother with foundation? Read this month’s Beauty Essentials to find out this recent Golden Globe nominee’s biggest blunder (hint: It involves a mishap with an eyelash curler) and how she’s earned the title of skincare “geisha” in a house full of boys.