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August 30 2014

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9 posts tagged "beauty"

Art Imitates Beauty: How a Makeup Maven Celebrates 15 Years in the Biz

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Some people toast a major milestone with champagne or a star-studded party in Ibiza, while others, like makeup artist and founder of her own eponymous line Sonia Kashuk, commissions an entire gallery’s worth of art. In what has become a trend of late, beauty companies like Dior and Creed are partnering with creative types to produce original, on-brand pieces. Kashuk has taken the concept one step further by joining forces with not just one, but seven up-and-coming artists to commemorate her 15-year anniversary with Target. “In high school I had a freelance display business, which then led me to enroll in art school. I’ve always had a very visual eye,” said Kashuk. “In my home and work environments, I’m surrounded by artwork and photography that I’ve collected for the last 30 years. I think of makeup as an art, both in its application and in its form.” And while these works that spotlight some of Kashuk’s biggest hits—like her beloved brushes, bronzers, and lipsticks—won’t be hanging in an actual museum, she plans to share them with her customers via a virtual gallery on her website and social channels. Seeing as Kashuk has painted some of fashion’s most famous faces (like Cindy Crawford, for starters), it makes sense that she’d skip the crystal (the traditional anniversary gift) and even the Cristal, and celebrate with a myriad of makeup masterpieces instead. Click here to take a private tour of Kashuk’s collection.

The Best of Korean Beauty Delivered to Your Doorstep

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“There’s an app for that.” Everyone knows the Apple-invented phrase the world over, but I’d like to put my own spin on the notorious tagline: “There’s a box for that.” What I’m talking about is the overwhelming number of beauty subscription services that send deluxe samples to your door each month in hopes that you’ll get hooked and return to buy the full-sized bottle or tube. There are packages for curly girls, brides-to-be, manicure mavens, and more. But as cute as those miniature vials of perfume and bottles of shampoo are, I’m frankly a bit over the whole thing—after all, Birchbox began in September 2010 and has since become an empire with its own freestanding store in New York City. What set this original sampling service apart was the aspect of “discovery,” a word founders Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna have used in numerous interviews. But with so many mail-order options and Sephora stores popping up as frequently as Starbucks, the opportunity to bring a never-before-seen product to the masses is quickly disappearing. That is, until Memebox entered the highly competitive space.

With Korean beauty quickly becoming a buzzed-about topic, it makes sense that founder Hyungseok Dino Ha created a way to satisfy American consumers’ curiosity. “Our goal is to deliver Korea’s cult favorite beauty products globally,” he explained. “We work with our in-house beauty aficionados to identify the hottest trends and ship them straight from Korea.” The squeal-inducing boxes come brimming with adorable Asian cosmetics not yet available on the mainstream market in the U.S. Similar to other services, Memebox has formed partnerships with YouTube stars (CutiePieMarzia, top) and bloggers (The Pink Diary, bottom) to customize its offerings. And for those who aren’t fluent in Korean, each box comes with a breakdown of what’s inside and how to use it. My two favorite finds thus far: Babyface Volumer Essence (a gel laced with skin-plumping hyaluronic acid) and Pure Smile Gelee Labo Strawberry (a single-use fruity face mask that comes packaged like an individual serving of Smucker’s jam). As a jaded beauty editor, it’s tough to surprise me, but these international delights have me expecting the unexpected.

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A Couture Makeup Bag Exists—and It’s Worth Adding to Your Wish List

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Alexandre Vauthier sent multiple slinky gowns down his recent Couture runway—some with details so elaborate (like a jewel-encrusted dress dripping with ruby-colored stones) that they required 1,850 hours of work. Naturally, these exceptional pieces come at quite the expense (typically in the six-figure price range), so the fact that you can snap up one of this designer’s accessories for $1,500 is, in comparison, a bargain.

The fashion protégé, who once worked in the studios of Thierry Mugler and Jean Paul Gaultier, was given carte blanche by beauty giant Lancôme (along with two other Paris-based designers, Yiqing Yin and Jacquemus) to create a luxury cosmetics case to house three staple products—L’Absolu Rouge Lipcolor, Hypnôse Star Mascara, and a Hypnôse Eye Palette—as part of a collaboration dubbed Nouvelle Vague. Vauthier’s sleek, black envelope bag that doubles as a clutch beats out the plastic Ziploc we’re currently using to hold our makeup (by a long shot). And with a designated spot for each item, it’s a whole lot more organized, too. Here, Vauthier explains how you can tell a lot about a woman from the inside of her purse.

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I see that you incorporated your signature gold bar across the front, but what inspired the unique foldout design of this clutch?
I wanted to have something that opened up like this, very technical. I’m very crazy and obsessed by horlogerie [the practice of clock-making], as well as the precision of haute joaillerie [fine jewelry], like when you cut a diamond. I want to have something that represents this kind of work. I wanted to have something really cool and original.

Who is the woman you had in mind when you created this bag—perhaps Beyoncé, Rihanna, or another member of your celebrity fan club?
I dress a lot of celebrities, but I’m very happy to see the diversity of my clients. Of course, they can do a red carpet, with beautiful gowns. But I take a lot of pleasure in tailoring, day dresses, all of these kinds of things. My client doesn’t live only in the evening—she’s got morning, lunch, she works. I’m really attentive to a woman’s desire. I listen to them say what they want, so I don’t really have one [inspiration].

So what do your clients tell you that they want? Sex appeal? Edginess?
It depends on the person I dress, in fact. It could be a 22- or 25-year-old single American, or it could be a French actress. But they always want to be at their avantage [best].

Naturally. Beyoncé or not, I think all women want to feel that way. But if you had to pick one person, who would you say is your beauty icon?
Daria [Werbowy]. No, really, I was a huge fan of Daria because I love the girl. She’s been with Lancôme since the beginning, and she’s like an icon for me. I love her beauty, but I also love her allure. She can be sophisticated, she can be natural—she has the ability to [take on] different [personas]. I love [her as a] person, really. It’s not only a question of beauty, it’s a question of attitude.

What was your introduction to beauty?
I remember when I was young, à la maison [at the house], there were a lot of fashion magazines, and I was crazy about the advertising for makeup. There were beautiful photos for Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, and Christian Dior [cosmetics]. And this kind of femininity was very chic, very sophisticated, and I loved the colors. You don’t always see it in my collections, but I love color. I love lipstick. You know what? I love these objects [holds up a tube of lipstick]—I think there is something feminine in putting them on. The geste and attitude [associated with applying beauty products] is so feminine. I was always completely fascinated by that. And the smell [of the lipstick], it’s a little vanilla, but not too [strong]. I’m obsessed by fragrance, and Lancôme was my first contact with cosmetics. It was the night cream my mama wore when she kissed me. And the first perfume I remember from my father was Sagamore from Lancôme.

Do you remember what your mother would pack in her evening bag?
It is very interesting that you say that because there was a smell inside her bag—there was the smell of maroquinerie [leather goods], but there was also [the scent] of lipstick, perfume, and paper money…You can read a woman by the fragrance of her handbag.

Alexandre Vauthier for Lancôme, $1,500, available July 28 on net-a-porter.com.

Prefer a sculptural accessory (like Yiqing Yin’s basket-like bag) or ergonomic pouch (like Jacquemus’ bubblegum fanny pack)? Check out the designer trio’s interpretations below.

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Eat Better, Look Better: A Post-Fashion Month Manual We Can Get Behind

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eat-prettyIt’s so easy to let good food habits slip. A few too many late nights, glasses of Veuve, and indulgent trays of Ladurée macarons later, and au revoir to your intention to eat sensibly. Getting back on track post-fashion month, or just post-party time, is easier with the aid of a motivational read, such as Eat Pretty. The new mind-body manual from health coach (and former beauty editor) Jolene Hart approaches food from the very refreshing point of view that it’s here to make you more beautiful. By eliminating or limiting options that put stress on your looks—like processed junk, sugar, caffeine, red meat, and pesticide-sprayed produce—and focusing on choices that impart benefits, such as protein-rich fish, wholesome grains, organic fruits and vegetables, nut milks, and other foods you can easily identify in nature, you’ll be more likely to glow. Granted, you might have heard some of this advice before, but Hart breaks down all the science without turning preachy, and takes a realistic stance on creating balance—like, you might not entirely give up alcohol, which can dull your complexion, but you can scale back, right? I particularly enjoyed the chart on page 46, which lists all the beauty perks of certain nutrients (who knew vitamin B6 supports healthy hair color, or that zinc fights skin inflammation and redness?) and the best sources for each. Hart’s simple but delicious seasonal recipes (pumpkin-spice pudding, anyone?) also inspired me to use the stove for more than storage, and shop the farmers’ market with purpose. Pretty radical, huh?

Summer’s Natural Souvenirs

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gisele-bundchen-h&mGisele Bündchen provided a sneak peek of her latest H&M campaign last night via Instagram. The Brazilian bombshell was more covered up than we’re used to seeing her, in a cozy vest (not even showing a hint of tawny cleavage or a shot of her famous bum), letting her natural freckles take center stage instead. The image feels reminiscent of a young Farrah Fawcett: fresh-faced but undeniably sexy. Bündchen inspires us to cancel our post-summer laser treatments and lay off the skin-brightening serums (at least for a little while!), and embrace those sweet little spots instead.

Photo: Instagram