Japonesque has long been (25 years to be exact) the go-to brand of many a professional makeup artist for the brushes and accessories that fill their kits. And even those of us whose face-painting skills are limited to only our own visages have reached for their superior contouring brushes and top-notch eyelash curlers that give fringe that just-right bend. Now the household name in beauty accouterments is branching out into actual product with an extensive color cosmetic collection that sticks to its performance-driven roots. The Velvet Touch finishing powder is superfine and super-silky, creating a lightweight luminous veil atop the skin (and really, who doesn’t want that?); the Pro Performance lipstick imparts intense pigment without feeling heavy; and the slender-brushed Lash Lengthening mascara does exactly as the name suggests with a mere stroke or two. The artistry also extends to the packaging: Standouts include the streamlined black lacquered compacts that boast tie-dye-like swirls—making them easy to spot at the bottom of your cosmetic bag. While they say you can’t judge a book (or in this case, makeup) by it’s cover, the formulas in this collection live up to their impressive exterior.
You use what, where? is one of my most-loved responses when someone compliments me on a particular product I’m wearing. Similar to an off-label prescription, a product meant for one thing can often shine somewhere else entirely. A recent launch from RMS Beauty, Buriti Bronzer, is a perfect example. Made with buriti oil, which is derived from the pressed nuts of Brazil’s moriche palm tree, this natural ingredient contains high concentrations of vitamin A (a fine-line fighter) and beta-carotene (an antioxidant). The color is also so right on—not too pink or the least bit orange, and no ruddy-brown finish—that I felt a bit wrong layering it under my blush. Little did I realize, it’s meant for so much more. A couple slicks on my lids proved a revelation. Not only did it brighten the whites of my eyes, but it left the rest of my complexion looking luminous. Plus the natural formula boasts a raw-coconut oil base, meaning you can use it all over for a light boost of moisture. How’s that for a cold-weather pick-me-up?
Kiehl’s, a New York City staple for more than 160 years, is famous for its no-frills products designed to pamper and protect from head to toe. Now, just in time for the holidays, the brand is coming to the rescue once again, this time by answering the age-old question of what to buy for the man in your life. Enter the Dopp Kit: a limited-edition travel set produced in collaboration with Ruffian design duo Brian Wolk and Claude Morais. The kit contains a refreshing facial mist, a purifying hand treatment, and eucalyptus lip relief—all specially developed to safeguard against harsh in-flight conditions that can wreak havoc on his delicate skin. And if that isn’t enough indulgence, after more than a decade in the biz, the Ruffians are reprising one of the first products they ever introduced: a special-edition silk moirétie. Handmade in NYC, the neckwear is stamped with the label’s signature crest (which is composed entirely out of Swarovski crystals).
And if your guy is looking less than dapper during party season, send him straight to the beauty brand’s first full-service barbershop and store in Hell’s Kitchen, where this item is retailing exclusively. Opening today, midtown’s newest gentlemen’s quarters features two chairs designed by artist and motorcycle builder Paul Cox and a Skin Profile Diagnostic device (a machine that assesses everything from sebum levels to pore size via 3-D imagery technology).
$100; available at 678 Ninth Ave., New York, NY, (212) 956-2891.
It’s getting harder and harder to ignore the signs that orange just might be the new number one bright shade in the lipstick world (sorry, red). The fiery color dominated the spring 2014 runways at shows like Rag & Bone, DKNY, and Prabal Garung, and red carpet darlings like Lupita Nyong’o and Olivia Munn have boldly sported tangerine pouts at recent events. To thrust orange, a shade that not long ago was considered shocking, further into the spotlight, FACE Stockholm has created a mini-collection of orange lipsticks to flatter women of all skin tones. “Orange is warm, spontaneous, unexpected and fun,” says Martina Arfwidson, co-owner of the brand. If you’re an orange lipstick newbie, “Don’t be afraid! You will be pleasantly surprised when you find your [shade],” Arfwidson adds. And there’s no need to wait until spring—a sparkly holiday dress paired with flaming coral lips makes for one hot combo.
FACE Stockholm Lipstick in Hjarta, Spicy and Matte Orange, $22 each; facestockholm.com.
Vibrant fuchsia. Creamy teal. Mermaid green. Lilac-tinged gray. Just a few of the colors that have graced my nails this summer and fall. But after many months of polish changes, I’m officially tapped—or, ahem, tipped—out. Right now, nothing seems more appealing than a naked nail, but truth be told, when mine have nothing on them, they look a little lackluster. Nail artist Jenna Hipp’s latest collaboration with perennially cool lacquer brand RGB officially solves that conundrum. Liquid Buff imparts the shiny, healthy effect of a buffed nail—minus any actual buffing, which, according to Hipp, can be detrimental to your nails. Not to be confused with RGB’s Buff, a nude polish, this new innovation is not a color, but an effect. And a special one at that.
Hipp x RGB Liquid Buff, $20, available at Olive & June, Beverly Hills.