August 23 2014

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3 posts tagged "Escentric Molecules"

The 411: Karen Walker


Effortless. It’s a word that’s thrown around a lot in style circles, but in New Zealand designer Karen Walker’s case, it has always fit. Walker launched her eponymous womenswear line in 2002 and over the course of the past decade or so has expanded into jewelry, eyewear, makeup (via collaborations with Clinique and Boots), a less spendy diffusion line called Hi There (available in the U.S. at your local Anthropologie), and even, rather amazingly, house paint (we’re particularly fond of Smoky Green and Fuscous Grey shades). But what Walker remains most recognized for are her signature, offbeat sartorial creations that toe the masculine feminine divide without ever veering into too-fussy territory. Here, the woman known for her singularly cool style sensibility, shares some beauty wisdom.

The All-in-One Skin Saver: Sans Activator 7 Body + Hair + Face Oil
“My essential for legs and arms, this little baby does magic things to the skin and smells sensational to boot.”
Available at

The Longterm Complexion Relationship: Osmosis
“I’ve been using Osmosis as my primary skincare for years and nothing beats it. I especially love the gently exfoliating Purify Cleanser. And even on the grayest of days I always take care to block out the sun using Osmosis Shelter.”
Available at

The Scrub Love: Aesop Purifying Facial Exfoliant
“When you need that extra bit of luminosity, [their] Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste with fine river-bed quartz is unbeatable.”
Available at

The Lip Colors of Choice: Topshop
“Topshop manages to create all the best colors as well as the best consistencies—the lipsticks and the lip crayons are unbeatable. The ones I always have in my purse are the Lipstick in Desert for the perfect flesh color, and the Lip Crayon in Hedonist for an amazing acid orange.”
Available at

The Eye Palette: MAC
“Who does color better than MAC? I love them, especially for their eye colors, but they also do a great mascara.”
Available at

The Hair Essential: Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray
“I adore everything these guys put out and we’re delighted to have had Bumble and bumble as part of our show team for 14 seasons, but it’s their Surf Spray that I go to again and again. I used it almost daily when I had long hair and find that now that I have short hair, it’s just as good.”
Available at

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The 411: Ilia Beauty’s Sasha Plavsic


When Vancouver-born Sasha Plavsic set out to create a responsible lipstick, she wanted it to be both naturally minded and capable of holding court with the MACs and NARSes of the world. Suffice it to say, mission accomplished. Ilia Beauty, her 85 percent organic collection of lip conditioners infused with jojoba oil and cocoa butter, feels like a hybrid of balm, gloss, and a pure pigment lipstick, which is presumably why they’ve had an overwhelming response with retailers; cool-kid boutiques like Ten Over Six, Colette, and Woodley & Bunny have all rushed to add the line to their shelves. A lifelong naturalist, Plavsic started her career in graphic design, logging time in London and Southern California before moving over to branding and marketing, a stint that gave her plenty of know-how when she decided to take the leap and start her own line. Here, the pout perfector shares some of her health and beauty must-haves.

The Morning Routine: Intelligent Nutrients Body Oils

“Some people get a kick out of coffee in the morning; I enjoy a great shower with some fun product. There’s one I am using now that was given by a friend from Holland. It’s packed with sea salt and citrus, which smells amazing! Afterwards the body needs a good moisturizer and I like the oils from Intelligent Nutrients. Taking a quarter-size drop for each leg, arm, tummy, etc., I work the oil into the skin in a circular motion to help drain the lymphs and get circulation going.”

Intelligent Nutrients Organic Total Body Elixirs, $30 each,

The Makeup Must-Haves: Natural Solutions

“Since starting Ilia, my beauty regime hasn’t changed much, and it’s nice to keep it to five minutes. To start, I work in a combination of concealers, Jane Iredale’s Disappear in Medium Light, and RMS Beauty’s “Un”cover up in #11. Ilia will be launching a series of new Multi-Sticks and two Illuminators that aren’t too “pearly” in the spring, and I’m especially addicted to a warm sienna hue called Cheek to Cheek that I run along the cheekbones as a blush and lips for a touch of color. The illuminator, Polka Dots & Moonbeams, helps brighten the entire face, from cheekbones to brow bones, inner corners of the eyes, and even the pout of the bottom lip. Then a touch of mascara from 100% Pure, and a dab of Ilia’s Bang Bang and I am good to go!”

Available at,,, and

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Scent Of A Smart Woman


Celebrity fragrance. It’s always seemed like an oxymoron to me. Did Britney Spears really spend time in the laboratory working on Fantasy? Renowned perfumer Geza Schoen, the nose behind Escentric Molecules, a pair of cult-hit perfumes that stars actually do wear (Beyoncé and Jay-Z included), is turning the celebrity-fragrance concept on its head with his new project, The Beautiful Mind. Instead of enlisting the Paris Hiltons of the world, who are really only famous for being famous, he’s recruiting brainy beauties to collaborate on scents. First up is Christiane Stenger, a fellow German, who in her early teens became a Grandmaster of Memory and the Champion at the Junior World Memory Championships. Given that our olfactory sense can trigger more memories than the other four combined, the 22-year-old university student was a fitting choice. Over the course of a month, the pair came up with a scent that Schoen describes as “an ode to summer and its memories.” It includes notes of magnolia bud, mandarin, rose oil, and hints of tiare absolute extracted from a rare and expensive Tahitian flower, which are rounded out by a base of cedar, sandalwood, and musk. To me, it smells warm, spicy, rich, even a little mysterious—everything I imagine Britney’s Fantasy is not. London’s Me Company designed the packaging. Inside a transparent red plastic box, the bottle is wrapped in a lenticular foil depicting Stenger’s face morphing into abstraction. The red seems obvious; it stands for heat, life. “The movement of the foil,” Schoen explains, “is intended to evoke the flow of axons in our brain while we’re thinking. The Beautiful Mind is meant to remind us that a smart woman is a sexy woman.”

The Beautiful Mind is available in the U.S. at Aedes de Venustas in New York and Lucky Scents in L.A.

Photo: Courtesy of The Beautiful Mind