August 30 2014

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2 posts tagged "Ken Downing"

Nest’s Triple Play



Diana Vreeland wrote in a memo to a member of her Vogue staff: “By far and away the most important fragrance is the fragrance of a house as it is the ambiance of the owner.” I certainly concur with the legendary EIC and it seems that Laura Slatkin, the founder, CEO, and visionary behind Nest Fragrances, also agrees. She partnered with not just one but three notables from three very different worlds—fashion, beauty, and music—to create scented candles that embody each individual’s take on the festive season that is fast approaching.

For Ken Downing, SVP and fashion director at Neiman Marcus, this obviously entails opulence—the name of his new Nest candle launching exclusively at the department store in late October. Instead of your classic balsam fir fragrance done in shades of green and red, Downing incorporated exotic notes of black orchid, sandalwood, Malaysian patchouli leaf, and Mirabelle plum. The glass vessel is decorated in a magenta and gold pattern inspired by William Morris (a nineteenth-century artist and designer known for his prints).

To play off Aerin Lauder’s personal collection of Venetian glass, Slatkin created a hand-blown, brushed-gold vessel to hold the Fireside & Fir fragranced wax. Comprising Mediterranean cypress, fir balsam, black amber, and white birch, this eau smells smoky but soft. Even better, the sophisticated scent and packaging allow you to burn the fragrance far after the tree has been put on the curb or the menorah packed away.

And for Sir Elton John, one would expect his abode to be scented with nothing other than Fireside, a smoky vanilla and juniper berry blend that is reminiscent of an old English estate laden with leather-bound books, blazing hearths, and, of course, a grand piano. Even better, 20 percent of the proceeds from the sale of his candle are donated to his AIDS foundation.

There really is no place like home for the holidays—especially when it smells as divine as one of these distinctive creations.

Opulence by Ken Downing, $40,; Aerin Fireside & Fir, $68, available in November at; Sir Elton John’s Fireside, $38,

Photo: Courtesy of Nest

LMDB Does Summer Makeup, Two Ways


To make sure its loyal customer base is ready for whatever the summer party scene may bring, Le Métier de Beauté is covering all of its bases. For statement lips and tips devotees, the brand has enlisted the creative talents of Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director of Neiman Marcus, to create an exclusive, limited-edition product duo featuring one of the season’s most standout shades, coral. But Mr. Downing’s coral isn’t your average pinky-orange hue. His bullet of LMDB’s Colour Core Moisture Stain Lipstick with its corresponding bottle of nail lacquer veers toward the red end of the spectrum with a peachy undertone that makes it that much more vibrant and juicy.

If it’s more of a subtle glow you’re after, the brand is also unleashing a new Kaleidoscope Lip Kit exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman. The Écumes d’Or compact features four palettes of rich, pearly pigment to build the perfect nude mouth. While each color can be used on its own, they’re meant to be layered, beginning with Calm Phoenix, a berry base, topped off with Deep Sea, a lavender for contrast, and Morning Light, a pure gold to add warmth. The final step is a coat of Soft Dew, which imparts a lovely nude highlight (and happens to look just as pretty dotted along cheekbones).

Le Métier de Beauté Colour Core Moisture Stain Lipstick in Ken’s Kissable Koral, $32, and Nail Lacquer in Ken’s Kontagious Koral, $18, available June 2011 at Neiman Marcus; Écumes d’Or Kaleidoscope Lip Kit, $95, available June 2011 at Bergdorf Goodman.