Beauty behemoth Estée Lauder took over Navy, a cozy restaurant in Soho, last night to celebrate the launch of The Estée Edit, a new editorial channel on its website. Navy was the perfect location for the event, and not just because of the warm atmosphere and chic address—the name served as a nod to the brand’s iconic packaging color. And if that weren’t enough, the bar area was filled with the scent of tuberose, a note found in classic scents like Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia.
The Estée Edit features interviews with influencers in beauty, food, and fashion, as well as how-tos and original photo shoots. Guests at the soiree included many of the contributors to the channel, like street-style photographer Garrance Doré, who shot fellow French native and Estée Lauder spokesmodel Constance Jablonski for the site, and the company’s style and image director Aerin Lauder, who gives viewers a glimpse of her favorite flower shopping destination in Manhattan (that would be Zezé). Of course, The Edit also includes stories of the brand’s rich history, and the result is a well-executed blend of the past and the present.
During the intimate, dimly lit dinner, Karen Graham, the first face of Estée Lauder, shared stories with the captive audience around her, including Jablonski and current spokesmodel Liu Wen. Graham, who worked with the brand from 1969 to 2001, chatted about everything from her decision to quit modeling at age 40 for fly-fishing to growing out her silver, shoulder-length bob. “It took me a while to decide if I wanted to stop dyeing it. I had to work up the nerve, and then I just did it,” she said. On the other end of the table, Doré discussed the pop of color she was wearing on her lips. “I wear very simple clothes, like white T-shirts, so for me red lipstick is like an accessory,” she noted.
Just before dessert was served (chocolate-covered marshmallows, Estée’s favorite), bowls filled with Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick and mini powder and fragrance compacts were placed on the table for the guests to swipe. “This is so Estée,” said Graham. “She was a firm believer in every woman having a compact.”
John Nollet, French hairstylist to the stars (he counts Uma Thurman, Marion Cotillard, and Nicole Kidman as clients), has been quietly designing handmade, couture-level hair accessories since 2009. His pieces have always been available through his salons at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme and the Hotel Cheval Blanc Courchevel, but after being picked up by Colette, his presence in the fashion industry will no doubt triple in size. Just in time for the couture shows, Nollet has unveiled his newest collection, which was inspired by feathers. (Vanessa Paradis wore the feathered butterfly, above, for a recent performance in Lyon, France.) Colette has installed a window display of the jeweled crowns, feathered pins, and braided headbands, plus a darkly romantic video by Blanca Li. The film captures the imperfect elegance that has become Nollet’s signature; as the graceful dancers move and toss their hair, the delicate feathers seem to effortlessly fall into place. The mesmerizing film makes its online debut exclusively here on Beauty Counter.
We’ve studied French-girl style for years, but short of living and breathing that Left Bank air, it’s mostly a mystery. So we were pleasantly surprised to see that Lancôme tapped model and music producer Caroline de Maigret for its latest collaboration. Her nonchalant attitude, multiple talents, and laid-back aesthetic—often favoring flats and undone hair over the latest trends—have made her today’s poster girl for effortless glamour. (FYI, she’s also a Style Map contributor here on Style.com.) In addition to following De Maigret around the globe for her book release, How to Be a Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits, Lancôme will develop a makeup collection with the muse next year. Parisian chic captured in a compact? We’re already sold.
It’s been three and a half years since Willow Smith released the global frenzy that is “Whip My Hair,” but Giles’ latest Resort collection might just bring it back. The lookbook featuring Natalie Westling and her fire-engine-red strands instantly called to mind the 2010 chart-topper. Maybe there was some head-banging rock ‘n’ roll playing in the photo studio, or perhaps the designer is just as enamored with hair color as we are.
Rihanna is not safe for children—at least that’s what the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority thinks. The CFDA fashion icon’s campaign for Rogue, her latest fragrance, where she’s depicted propped up against the champagne-colored bottle wearing only underwear and high heels, has been deemed “sexually suggestive” and, reports WWD, should only “appear with placement restriction.” In other words, bad girl RiRi won’t be making appearances in the general vicinity of a playground anytime soon. This isn’t the first time her ads have sparked controversy—in the Middle East, the boundary-pushing star’s sternum-baring pink satin robe in the image for Reb’l Fleur was photoshopped closed for Kuwaiti newspapers. But in Rihanna’s defense, isn’t being “sexually suggestive” a prerequisite for any perfume ad? Recalling scents that aren’t fronted by a half-naked female poses a significant challenge. Somehow, I just can’t imagine a woman who hit the red carpet recently wearing nothing but fishnet and Swarovski crystals hawking her eau in a turtleneck.