By  on September 14, 2007

Pop superstar Nelly Furtado has had a helluva year. Her album Loose went platinum or gold in 28 countries, making her the biggest-selling female recording artist of the last 12 months. She toured Europe and America, worked the red carpet like a seasoned veteran and, in between everything, fell in love and got engaged as well.

But that only partly explains why she’s on the cover of this issue, our comprehensive guide to the most important beauty trends and products for fall. We asked Furtado to sit for us because she also happens to have an absolutely exceptional face for makeup. And this season, makeup is back in a big way. Credit the bold colors, rich textures and architectural shapes that dominate fall fashion. With clothing this strong, a nearly-bare face just doesn’t cut it. A smoky eye, a crimson lip, the nude (not naked) visage—they’re this season’s most important color trends and Furtado pulls them off with aplomb in “Femme Fatale”.

Happily, beauty companies have done their part as well, introducing a slew of products designed to help us mere mortals achieve the looks as well. Bobbi Brown has created the quintessential neutral palette, MAC a flatter-than-flat matte eye shadow, Dior a long-wearing foundation that protects against harsh weather conditions. These and many, many more of the season’s best new makeup items are in “A Study In Contrasts”.

Of course, a picture is only as good as its canvas, so skin care companies, too, have risen to the challenge. Increasingly sophisticated technology has enabled researchers to target ever more precisely the physiological needs of skin year by year. The result is products that are as specific as they are efficacious. L’Oréal, Chanel and Estée Lauder all have entries geared toward twentysomething skin, for example, while Dr. Olivier Courtin (of Clarins family fame) is introducing a 62-product range called MyBlend, with items formulated for every stage of a woman’s life. See a decade-by-decade roundup in “Skin Savvy”.

In a beauty season this strong, it’s hardly surprising that fragrance marketers, too, are displaying their mojo. The celebrity scent deluge has slowed to a trickle, but there’s a steady stream of news from designers like Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Marc Jacobs, whose Daisy was a cult favorite among fashionistas even before it hit shelves. We’ve got them all in “Mood Swings”.

If it sounds like there’s a lot to be excited about this fall, there is, as WWD’s editors discovered when we sorted through literally thousands of new products while putting this issue together. Like Nelly Furtado, it seems that beauty is having a multiplatinum year. And that’s definitely worth singing about.

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