When Lauren Remington Platt stopped by the Style.com offices to update me on Vênsette—a website that offers door-to-door hair and makeup services in 90 minutes or less by pros Platt screens herself—I wish she had brought along a member of her team. With two evening events on my plate and zero time, my game plan was to run a brush through my hair, apply lipstick in the cab, and call it a night out. So goes my typical routine—and that of millions of other women in New York. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that her business has taken off—an app is in the works and the principal engineer of Gilt Groupe was recently brought on board to completely redesign the site. And starting Monday, you’ll find photo diaries from some of the brand’s high-profile clients (including Harley Viera Newton, Linda Fargo, Carolyn Murphy, Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs of Cushnie Et Ochs, among others) that document them getting ready for the slew of seasonal parties that fill their iCals this time of year. Whether you’re seeking inspiration to DIY your own holiday look (or need to find a reason to hire someone to create it for you), Vênsette provides.
VFiles, an all-encompassing digital destination that encourages its users to curate without inhibition, has blended three distinct eaux of its own: Femme, Homme, and Sport. All are unisex, and the descriptions are as cheeky and entertaining as the company’s community platform. Femme uses notes of carnation, lily, and mahogany to entice—leaving anyone who smells it (guy or girl) in a “flurry of unquenched ardor.” Sport, with a hint of eucalyptus, is meant to recall the “abiding aroma of a sensual steamroom,” rather than zingy, citrus-infused spritzes marketed by men surfing or doing some other “sexy” activity. Homme isn’t just for the boys either—this combo of salty carbonated water and sweet white rose swings both ways. In the digital era of oversharing, perhaps this trio is right on point.
“A woman’s glamour war paint is an absolute necessity.”
Some view cosmetics as a frivolous luxury, but putting on your game face—whether you’re entering the boardroom or heading home for the holidays—is crucial. It completes a look, helps erase the stress, and can even give you an edge. A study financed by Procter & Gamble, led by Nancy Etcoff, clinical professor of psychology at Harvard, found that women who wore makeup (albeit not too much) were considered more “competent” than women who wore none at all. Since every day, especially during this hectic season, feels like a game of survival, we’ll take any advantage we can get. Lipstick doesn’t come in bullet form for nothing.
Joan Smalls and Selena Gomez were recently seen sporting black lipstick, but Rooney Mara’s deep merlot mouth, which she wore to the Oxfam charity gala in Dubai last night, was just as dramatic (and a lot more wearable). The diffused perimeter—an effect that appeared at both Mary Katrantzou and Helmut Lang for Spring 2014—made this strong shade look slightly softer. Break out your blending brush along with a berry-hued bullet (such as CK One Color Shine Lipstick in Naughty), and you’re pretty much holiday-party ready.
Of all the sensory experiences that define the holidays (seeing the falling snow, feeling the heat emit from a crackling fire, and hearing those tireless Christmas jingles), it’s the smells of December that are perhaps the most lasting. Just in time for the season of giving (and getting), fragrance icon Frédéric Malle launched his Joyeux Noël candle last night with a dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s Sidebar in Beverly Hills. Puck’s wife, Gelila Puck, assumed hosting duties alongside Barneys New York (with whom he’s partnered with for thirteen years)—drawing the likes of China Chow, artist Tierney Gearon, Co’s Stephanie Danan and Justin Kern, and Parabellum’s Jason Jones and Gabriela Artigas.
Working together with nose Dominique Ropion, whom Malle calls “the greatest living perfumer today,” the candle’s fragrance originated from a scent he created many years ago for a charity at the Centre Pompidou. Inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny & Alexander, a film that also resonated with Ropion, the festive blend features notes of pine, cinnamon, and cotton candy for an unexpected boost. The limited-edition bougie is presented in a box designed by artist Konstantin Kakanias, a longtime collaborator with Malle. “All of the illustrations are really down to earth—exact renditions of the way we see the atmosphere,” he explained of Kakanias’ contemporary caricatures.
And for those of us who barely have time to shop, let alone wrap, consider eighteen of Malle’s classic scents—all boxed up in Liberty of London prints (marking the five-year relationship between the brand and the British retailer). If these limited-edition launches are any indication, this perfumer is quite the team player.