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 iconic 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 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.”
I am forever on the lookout for a noninvasive beauty treatment that can aid in the prevention of fine lines and also help with my pigmentation issues—a lovely reminder of my college years spent in sunny Florida. So when our beauty editor walked over one day and mentioned microneedling, I jumped (sorry, leapt!) at the opportunity to guinea pig a Circ-Cell Transdermal Treatment. It promised “unparalleled antiaging results,” and so I did what I do best: signed up, and then started Googling what the heck “needling” was.
All my research turned up fairly similar results: Pioneered by renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Des Fernandes in 1992; great alternative to microdermabrasion; no downtime; improves skin’s elasticity; and helps to improve skin density. But as I strolled into Dangene in midtown Manhattan, I could feel my heart pounding—I did have to run back to the office for afternoon meetings, after all. What will needling actually do to me? (If the results looked anything like Kim Kardashian’s vampire facial, I definitely didn’t want in.)
Well, scratch all that unnecessary Instagram- and reality-TV-induced anxiety. It’s simply amazing, and here’s why: Circ-Cell’s patented Transdermal Delivery System uses tiny surgical-grade needles (0.5 mm, to be exact) to penetrate and “gently injure” the epidermis, while simultaneously infusing skin with antiaging peptides. The skinny needles create pathways where the active topicals can penetrate the skin in a more effective way. There was no pain, and I would even go as far as to say it was enjoyable—in that forced way when you know something seriously incredible is happening. Post-procedure, my complexion looked dewy and plump, with no redness whatsoever. Plus, the treatment was entirely nonabrasive and actually far gentler than my previous microdermabrasion experiences. Taking that one step further, I was told that licensed doctor’s offices are using the same treatment on different parts of the body—most notably, the derriere, which utilizes longer needles (3.0 mm) for deeper penetration. Bikini season, people.
The verdict? I’m several days in with no breakouts, and my skin has maintained its glow and plumpness. I’ve starting supplementing my normal antiaging serum with Circ-Cell’s more boldly titled Blood Serum, and have become a believer. It’s about building the skin up versus tearing it down—and that’s a mantra I can definitely get behind.
Visit circell.com for more information and to find a location near you.
This column reveals the personal beauty recipes, homegrown remedies, and family concoctions that the industry’s trusted pros rely on for staying radiant.
From the Kitchen of: Blair Wagoner, cofounder of the newly opened Fig & Flower natural beauty boutique.
“I was inspired to make this on a day when I ran out of an all-natural coffee scrub we sell in our shop. I didn’t want to go without it, so I just decided to whip up my own. Now I use this version every morning—besides the skin-softening benefits, the scent of this recipe really wakes me up! I like to use organic, fair-trade ingredients free of pesticides, and usually prefer the aromatic qualities of medium- to dark-roasted beans. The caffeine in the coffee grounds tightens skin and increases circulation to temporarily decrease the appearance of cellulite, while the sugar and coconut oil exfoliate and moisturize any dry patches. The recipe is actually quite simple, but this combination really does promote healthy, glowing skin.”
One for the Recipe Box: Bikini-Ready Body Scrub
1/4 cup coarsely ground organic coffee beans
1/4 cup turbinado sugar (Note: “This variety is coarser than regular sugar, which I find makes for a better—and softer—exfoliator.”)
2 tablespoons warmed coconut oil (“You can adjust the amount for a more or less thick scrub.”)
Mix the coffee grounds and sugar in a small bowl. Slowly add in the coconut oil while combining with your fingers or a small spatula until well-blended.
No one does elegant citrus scents quite like Atelier Cologne. The Paris-based fragrance company conceived in New York is forever re-imagining traditional zesty colognes with modern, quirky ingredients, such as basil and rum. The resulting blends are so completely hypnotic that you might want to bathe in them…and now you can. The maison recently introduced its Orange Sanguine Treatment Line composed of a Body and Hair Shower Gel, Moisturizing Body Lotion, and soap. Scented with the same luscious assortment of notes found in its cult favorite Orange Sanguine Cologne—Italian blood orange and red mandarin, Egyptian jasmine, and sandalwood among them—the nourishing range contains natural botanical glycerin to hydrate the skin, while the lotion is further boosted with vitamin-rich apricot kernel oil to defend against free-radical damage. As temperatures soar, consider these refreshing, fruity creations the sensory equivalent of hiking the Amalfi Coast—minus the backpack and blisters.
“It’s Ophelia,” said makeup pro Pat McGrath of the “serenely beautiful, ethereal girls” at Valentino. The overall effect was centered on pale, highlighted skin and deft contouring. McGrath used light gray shades around the eyes and a white hue on the lids, sweeping brown mascara through lashes as a finishing touch. A tiny bit of concealer to perfect complexions, a dash of lip balm, and it was done. “It’s about sculpting with light and shade,” she noted.
To make hair appear wet, Guido Palau misted Redken Shine Flash all over before crafting waves with a series of clips—ultimately leaving strands down save for a small section twisted around the length like a loose ponytail holder. (We suggest you steal this move straight off the runway and whip it out next time you find yourself missing an elastic or simply want to pull back curls without creating a dent.) “The beauty of the Valentino woman is very well defined: She’s always very serene and feminine,” Palau explained of the finished package.