July 28 2014

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8 posts tagged "Sonia Kashuk"

Sonia Kashuk Tackles More Than Just Your Makeup Bag


Sonia Kashuk Apartment

Fifteen years ago, Sonia Kashuk set a new bar in the mass beauty category with her eponymous line of cosmetic brushes and makeup that looked and performed like products triple their price. Now, she’s setting out to “fill the void between Jo Malone and Bath & Body Works” with her 24-piece collection that includes eau de toilettes, lotions, shower gels, hand creams, body oils, and scrubs. Not to mention accompanying accessories all done in black—including an exfoliating mitten and shower cap. “I wanted a cool one,” Kashuk said of the terrycloth-lined hair cover. Fair enough. To see where the project started, we headed straight to the source: her bathroom (shown above). Kashuk’s favorites include Natura Bissé Facial Cleansing Gel, Shiseido Future Solution LX Total Regenerating Cream, Oribe Shine Spray, and Cindy Crawford Meaningful Beauty Lifting Eye Crème (a supermodel with whom she’s worked for so many years that they both stopped counting). “I shop high and low—I shop at Target and Bergdorf Goodman,” she explained. In other words, she took cues from the prestige lines she loves and infused aspects of them into her own (for under $20).


One of those hints came courtesy of Oribe, who works with Buero New York on packaging (a boutique design agency that boasts clients such as Valentino, Helmut Lang, and Givenchy). Kashuk partnered with the same firm to bring a “visual sense of what you’d be experiencing through scent” to her bottles, tubes, and jars. Illustrated by an artist in Vienna, the flowers that cover her products are not blooms found in nature, but instead were created to represent the four scents in the range—Pink Innocencia, Purple Seductia, Yellow Alluriana, and Red Promisia—concocted by perfumer Jérôme Epinette. (He’s the nose behind olfactory hits like Byredo Gypsy Water and Bal d’Afrique.) Kashuk’s thought process on this powerhouse team was simple: “The first thing that people are going to do is look, then they are going to lift up [the product] and smell it.” While execs told her that cucumber melon is a scent that sells, she responded to their advice by saying: “That’s exactly what I won’t be doing.” Instead, she opted for sophisticated notes, including tuberose (her personal favorite), magnolia, verbena, pomegranate, and musk.

After over a year in development, her labor of love is set to roll out in early November at Target and—not that this means the makeup artist will be taking a vacation (well, not exactly). When I spoke to her she was en route to the airport (wearing Red Promisia, a cozy sandalwood, jasmine, and vanilla blend that is reminiscent of a “cashmere blanket”) to catch a flight to Rajasthan, India, to source inspiration for her Fall 2014 collection. If her latest endeavor is any indication, I can’t wait to see what souvenirs she brings back—and eventually brings to the American market.

Photos: John Aquino; Courtesy of Buero New York

The Fab Five: Orange-Red Crush


As mentioned in the pages of the new issue of, I am a big fan of classic manicures. When I wasn’t painting on dark shades of red from Dior and & Other Stories, I wore Essie’s deep berry Bordeaux for much of the winter. But the shock of unexpected warm weather we got this week got me thinking about brightening up—specifically, with a color I typically reserve for spring and summer. Often called “tomato” or “fiery” red, the particular polish shade I’m referring to is an orange-tinged scarlet that offers up a lighter, sunny adaptation of more readily available blue-tinged crimsons. I’ve always sworn by RGB Cosmetics’ opaque crème Coral, but there’s a whole new crop of contenders that are now skirting the mandarin-scarlet divide. Here, my top five favorites.

Pitch Perfect
Sonia Kashuk Nail Colour in Fever Pitch
A lively dose of gingery pigments spruce up this dark rose base.

Sunny Disposition
Revlon ColorStay Nail Enamel in Sunburst
With a sheer, jelly-like consistency, this poppy hue has a wonderful lightweight finish that can be built up for a deeper color payoff. It veers more toward true tangerine than the others, but in a subtle way, thanks to its transparency.

Fire Starter
MAC Nail Lacquer in Ablaze
As part of MAC’s new Fashion Sets collection, this fuchsia-tinged flame color is also available in a corresponding Lipglass, Lipstick, and Lip Pencil. But the varnish is the standout of the bunch, as far as I’m concerned.

Flame Game
Le Vernis de Chanel in 647 Lilis, available May 2013 at
One of a handful of great colors in Chanel’s hotly anticipated summer range, this polish is nearly identical to MAC’s offering, albeit a bit more delicate.

Matte Madness
Givenchy Le Vernis 11 Croisiere, available May 2013 at
Delivering a flat matte finish, this clementine-skewed cerise is perhaps my favorite incarnation of the festive color, which happens to wear incredibly well sans glossy top coat.

Photo: Courtesy of

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Brings Forties-Era Glamour To The Stage


Eating a flaky croissant in front of a store window never looked as chic as it did in the 1960s cinematic production of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This month, the iconic story, penned by Truman Capote, will be staged on Broadway, and while the characters will be recognizably familiar, the makeup might not be. Taking on the role Audrey Hepburn made famous, Emilia Clarke—she of Game of Thrones fame—stars as the gamine Holly Golightly. But don’t expect sixties-era cat-eyes and nude lips, says makeup maestro and Target beauty design partner Sonia Kashuk, who designed the looks for the production that began previews this week and opens on March 20. “The makeup is a lot different,” she reveals. Here, Kashuk chats with about creating a retro-modern look for the big screen’s most iconic characters, the beauty of a well-defined brow, and how a classic red lip “holds the stage.”

So why go against previously held cosmetics conventions with the Broadway production of this famous film?
At first, I had all these playful thoughts in my head of the movie and those iconic Audrey Hepburn looks. But the play is more based on the original novella [by Truman Capote], which takes place in the forties. So in terms of establishing Emilia’s look, it’s anti-winged-eyeliner, a complete 360 from where I thought we were going.

How did that impact Holly Golightly’s character onstage?
It was about creating dimension. Emilia has a great face, even without a stitch of makeup. So we just used a little bit of cream bronzer, which becomes one with the skin and creates contours under the lights on the stage. Her skin is fantastic, so we focused on adding luminosity and radiance—just lifting and playing with the planes of the face. In the forties, there was more of a matte finish given to the face, no sparkle. I looked at old Vogues and Bazaars to research the makeup.

Can we still expect to see her in some of her former glamorous glory?
Yes! But for the party scene, we didn’t do big lashes and obvious eyeliner—if anything, the clear voice I had from the director [Sean Mathias] was, “It’s not Audrey Hepburn.” So I just created definition at the lash line with my Sonia Kashuk Instructional Eye Shadow Palette in Eye in Neutral and contoured the eyes into the crease with Monochrome Eye Quad in Textured Cocoa. We did false lashes, but it wasn’t about adding a lot of length, just volume and fullness to the eyes.

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Beauty Nostalgia: Reminiscing With…Sonia Kashuk


Beauty Nostalgia is a new, weekly column on Beauty Counter in which we ask influencers, tastemakers, and some of our favorite industry experts to wax poetic on the sticks, salves, and sprays that helped shape who they are today.

The Pro: Sonia Kashuk, makeup artist and founder of Sonia Kashuk Beauty

The Product: “When I look back on my makeup artist career, there are certain products that you could always find in my makeup kit. The first was a foundation stick by Inouï, a division of Shiseido. It had the most incredible luminosity and glide, leaving the skin with this beautiful radiance. I remember using it on Cindy [Crawford] for a rodeo shot in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for Vogue in 1989. At the time, you could only get the foundation sticks in Japan, so they were really coveted goods. Whenever Cindy would travel to Japan, I would have her load up on these sticks for me so I could always have them on hand. I actually found the last one hiding in my cabinet about two years ago. Of course, I had to throw it away, but it felt like I was tossing gold! The stick delivery was portable and convenient for a makeup artist carrying around tons of product, but the real genius of it was the performance, not the form. The way it created flawless, radiant, beautiful skin was what was so incredibly revolutionary. As a makeup creator, I haven’t done a foundation stick yet— mostly because I have been unable to re-create this amazing formula—but it’s always one of those things I keep in the back of my mind for the future.”

Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./ WireImage

Beauty Throwdown: Battle Hairbrush


The Mason Pearson mixed-bristle brush just may be one of the most name-checked products in beauty history. Beloved by stylists and real women alike, it’s pretty much the gold standard against which all other hairbrushes are compared. But as special as the classic MP is, its design is easy to mimic—or rather, easy to try to mimic. And a great many brands have tried over the years. The latest contender to step into the ring is bargain queen Sonia Kashuk, a woman whose name has become synonymous with quality for less thanks to her Target line. After a thorough test drive, here’s how they stack up:

The Physical Form: Both brushes qualify as true lightweights, though Kashuk is slightly more slender. Pearson’s handle sticks to a classic form, while Kashuk goes the ergonomic route, molding to your hand’s natural grip—a feature that’s pretty sweet, particularly during long and laborious styling sessions, but would be better suited to a handle as long as Pearson’s. The bristles, a multi-sized blend of natural boar and heat-resistant varieties, look and feel nearly identical on both brushes.

The Peak Performance: We’ve always appreciated Pearson’s ability to massage the scalp while styling, thanks to its ideal bristle mix, and we’re happy to report that Kashuk’s performs in the same way as the original. The slightly longer handle on the Pearson does make it easier to maneuver, however, and we can attest to its lasting ability; we’ve owned ours for nearly a decade, and after daily use during that period it’s experienced minimal bristle loss.

The Bottom Line: We can’t report on Kashuk’s longevity after only a few weeks of use, but with a price tag this low, perhaps it’s a beauty risk worth taking before you invest in the classic Pearson.

Photo: Courtesy of