During my tenure as a beauty editor, I’ve seen many scrawl a quick flick on the outer corners of the eyes, and I have even attempted the technique on myself (armed with a bottle of makeup remover and pointy Q-tips to fix the amateur imperfections, of course). But I’ve never witnessed someone craft the perfect cat-eye quite like Kakuyasu Uchiide, international artistic director for Shu Uemura. Using the brand’s new liquid liner pen, Calligraph:ink—modeled after a traditional Japanese calligraphy brush—he sculpted a flawless wing. Uchiide studied the art as a child, and he took what he learned in the classroom and under the tutelage of the Mr. Shu Uemura and developed an ultra-precise tool and waterproof formula. “We obsessed over the selection of the [bristles], the length of the handle, the materials—everything,” he said. In addition to a pen, the collection also includes five shadows—ranging from basic beige to bright vermilion—that were inspired by the colors used to accent this ancient form of writing (done almost exclusively in black ink). To emphasize the eyes even further, the cosmetic label partnered with Paperself, the London-based company that specializes in crafting everything from merry-go-rounds to rose gardens in delicate paper lash form, to create two sets of falsies. The first pair boasts the phrase “Love Forever,” while the other features tiny cherubs floating across your fringe. After all, the language of love is a dialect everyone understands.
Available at shuuemura.com
Images of spring typically conjure up the usual tropes of muted pastels and cashmere-soft bunnies, but not so for edgy makeup brand Illamasqua. For their latest collection, Glamore, they’re going bold with vibrant lipsticks and gritty glitter polishes.
Launching today at Bloomingdales and Sephora, Glamore celebrates the determined instead of the demure. Three new super-saturated lipsticks ($26) in traffic cone orange, candy pink, and daring magenta have been formulated with luxe satiny finishes, while the shattered-like lacquers ($17) in cool champagne, fiery persimmon, and deep rose are chock-full of retina-searing sparkles.
Above, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the brand’s latest campaign.
When you ask a music star with an eclectic style and sound to create a makeup collection, the end result is likely to be, well, colorful. That’s exactly the kind of limited-edition line Smashbox got by partnering with Santigold, a.k.a. Santi White, an singer-songwriter known for her hard-to-categorize music and bold aesthetic (she doesn’t shy away from hair streaks, loud colors, or extreme pattern-mixing). Santigold’s résumé boasts collaborations with a wide range of artists like Mark Ronson, Pharrell Williams, and Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. She’s channeled her diverse influences into The Santigolden Age, a range that stands out in a sea of celebrity-backed beauty products. Take the eye shadow palette, for instance. The five colors inside are designed to resemble a serpent’s head—the shades are even embossed with a snakeskin-like texture. And the collage that covers the compact? Santigold made the art herself.
The wear and intensity of all eleven pieces was just as important to Santigold as the design. “I like makeup that pops on stage and stays on,” she said. As someone who describes herself as “an eye person,” the musician paid special attention to her dual-ended eyeliners, making sure that the pigments were as rich and bright as possible. The eleven-piece line also includes a lipstick ring decked with Swarovski crystals (“I just wanted to have a toy”) and sparkly nail appliqués (“Glitter is like a party on the nails”)—both firsts for Smashbox. But the collection, which launches April 1, isn’t the only special delivery Santigold is waiting for this spring—she’s expecting her first child in March.
It will be weeks before Santigold hears what the public thinks of her second “baby,” but she hopes that customers find it inclusive. “As a brown-skinned woman, there’s a lot of makeup out there that doesn’t work for me,” she said. “This collection might not be everyone’s taste, but it works for everyone.”
The Santigolden Age by Santigold for Smashbox Cosmetics, $20-$49; smashbox.com
With a following that includes the Lady Madge and a balm cleanser that’s legendary amongst editors, it is a wonder that Eve Lom didn’t branch out from skincare earlier. The good news? It’s worth the wait. The British cult favorite has begun 2014 with a bang, launching the ambitious Radiance Perfect cosmetics range, comprised of a primer, two foundations (liquid and powder), tinted moisturizer, two concealers, setting powder, bronzer, and four sleek synthetic brushes. In keeping with the brand’s pared-back approach, it all comes sans bells and whistles, and many formulas do double duty–like the Radiance Primer, which can stand in as a moisturizer, and even eye cream in a pinch. Amandine Isnard, Head of Product Development at Eve Lom, laughs: “I’m not going to tell people to sleep with [the cosmetics on], because I still want them to go to bed with clean skin, but it’s not going to harm you.” The collection’s hero component is BerryFlux Vita, an antioxidant-rich complex that stimulates hyaluronic acid production, and enlivens weary faces. But don’t hold your breath for a slew of good-for-you lipsticks and eye shadows; at least now the plan is to focus on those purely perfected complexions that have made the brand famous: “We wanted to basically continue to have a beautiful advanced skincare product,” says Isnard, “but to be able to actually to add color to it.” Mission accomplished.
The brand’s bougies have a cult following, but the French company is quickly becoming a head-to-toe experience. Body care was launched approximately four years ago, but starting next month you can extend the luxe experience to your face with L’Art Du Soin, a five-piece collection of skin products that boasts damask rose as its hero ingredient. Included in the range are two cleansers: Poudre Puretée, a powder that foams up with the help of a small, ball-like sponge and water, and Pommade Démaquillante, a balm laced with sweet almond oil and three floral waxes (ylang-ylang, mimosa, and geranium) that melts upon contact with skin. For deeper exfoliation, Argile De Gommage (a multipurpose clay) contains marble, rice, and oat powders to gently slough away dry patches, and can also be painted on with a makeup brush and used as a mask to draw out impurities. Completing the set is a facial water (composed of 84 percent damask rose hydrolate to refresh and tone) and a moisturizing lotion (which hydrates with white lily and calendula extracts, while brightening via grape extract). Needless to say, these rich formulas smell as divine as the candles that came before them—your complexion and senses will rejoice.
Ranging from $55 to $72; diptyqueparis.com for store locations