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From crayola-inspired colors to weather-withstanding products, spring’s standout items will have you looking on the bright side of beauty.
This story first appeared in the March 14, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Spring makeup calls to mind a box of Crayola’s 64, with eye-popping colors bedecking nails, lips and eyes. “The colors are so strong on the runway,” says Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Ji Baek, who was inspired by the bright dresses at Lanvin and floral patterns at Prada, Balenciaga and Dries Van Noten when creating her four spring shades. Baek’s creations are red, purple, yellow and green, but her philosophy holds true for all of the season’s rainbow brights. “These colors are easy to wear with patterns and solids and add a hint of counterpoint. You don’t need to look head-to-toe tea party.” Adds Baek of the technicolor trend, “It’s bright, it’s happy. In this economic and political climate we could all use that.”
Makeup Forever Flash Color in 5, 20, 13, $17 each, sephora.com; Nicole by OPI Nic’s Sticks Paint & Go Nail Lacquer in Orange You Fast, $6.99, mass retailers; Rescue Beauty Lounge Nail Polish in Purple Haze, Chinoise, $18 each, rescuebeauty.com; China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Shower Together, $6.50, chinaglaze.com; Tracy Reese for Sally Hansen Salon Nail Lacquer in Feverish Rose, $6, mass retailers.
Talk about up close and personal. In today’s high-tech age, HD and digital cameras see every (open pored) flaw. Happily, some companies are responding with new technologies to counterbalance the unforgiving lenses. Both Cargo and Dior have developed new types of light reflecting pigments to give skin a natural look instead of a telltale heavier finish. “A flawless look always meant a heavy-handed, overly made-up look,” says Hana Zalzal, president of Cargo. “HD has made us rethink that premise. The greatest challenge for a makeup artist creating a face that will be filmed in HD is to have a face that looks natural.” The brand’s new Blu_Ray collection features photochromatic pigments that are said to keep their shade consistent in all types of lighting. On the skin care front, Borba founder Scott Vincent Borba’s latest offering, the two part HD-Illuminating Plasma Infused Crystals set, mimics the technology of plasma TVs and applies it to the skin. “The concept for this was the whole technology platform for plasma TV and how crystal-clear that made the shows,” says Borba. “We turned that into technology that provides you with a picture-perfect canvas.” Step one of the system is a leave-on mechanical exfoliator that features large chunks of diamond dust and the brand’s proprietary TiO2 technology—plasma crystal fragments encapsulated in titanium and suspended in liquid plasma. Step two consists of a liquid plasma and lactic acid serum that’s layered on over the exfoliator and acts as a catalyst for the encapsulated crystals. The mixture is massaged into skin then washed off, leaving the crystals and dust fragments behind to minimize pores and optically reflect light. “From camcorders to digital cameras, everything the consumer is buying is HD,” says Borba. “Why wouldn’t they want to have that same clarity with the products they use for their skin and makeup?”
Borba HD-Illuminating Plasma Infused Crystals, $59, borba.com, qvc.com, sephora.com; Cargo Blu_Ray Pressed Powder, Blush/Highlighter, High Definition Mattifier, lipgloss $30, $27, $24, $29, Sephora, sephora.com; Dior Capture Totale Foundation, $75, Dior counters.
History has proven that you don’t mess with Mother Nature. And with the current climate crisis, the weather is more difficult than ever to predict. From humidity to sudden rain, all it takes is one miscalculation to take you from polished to drowned rat. For spring, a barrage of weather-proofing products is evening the odds. “Environmentally we’re not where we used to be,” says Harry Josh, creative consultant for the John Frieda Collection. “There’s no predicting what’s going to happen. These types of products are a safety net.” John Frieda’s new star is the static and frizz preventing Weather-Proofing Style Sealant Creme, which blocks out humidity and moisture; Aveda’s latest, Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother, uses certified organic tapioca starch to keep humidity at bay. Clarins hits the weather in two categories: A waterproof seal for mascara and HydraQuench skin care, which has been formulated specifically for hot or cold climes. On the makeup front, Mally Beauty’s 24/7 Professional Eye Lining System features a setting powder to keep eyeliner from smudging or sweating off and N.Y.C. Cosmetics includes a waterproof seal with its mineral eye shadows. Granted, these products won’t cure global warming. But at least you’ll stand a fighting chance should Mother Nature choose to pick a fight.
Mally Beauty 24/7 Professional Eye Lining System in Neat Navy, $25, QVC; Aveda Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother, $24, Aveda salons, spas & stores; John Frieda Weather Works Weather-Proofing Sealant Creme, $5.99, mass retailers; Clarins HydraQuench Rich Cream, $48, and Double Fix Mascara, $20, Clarins counters; N.Y.C. Cosmetics Smooth Mineral Loose Eye Powder Kit, $6.99, mass retailers.
While shelling out hundreds of dollars for face creams has become de rigueur, body care products haven’t hit such lofty heights. Until now. This spring sees a spate of launches in the luxury body care sector with price tags in the triple digits. “There was a time seven to 10 years ago when bath and body was a big part of the market, but it was about fun and play and scent,” says The NPD Group’s senior beauty industry analyst Karen Grant. “Then antiaging took over and the face was the focus of our attention.” Now, brands such as Amorepacific and Elemis are taking antiaging technology and adapting it for the body. Amorepacific’s $220 Time Response Body Renewal Cream uses green tea seed, rye seed and licorice root to hydrate, protect and firm skin and remove age spots, while Elemis’ $175 Pro-Collagen cream is a lipid-based girdlelike moisturizer that creates a firming “mesh” around sagging skin to lift and contour. Isomers cashes in on the peptide boom with the $150 Matrixyl 3000 Body Serum and Clinica Ivo Pitanguy draws inspiration from its Brazilian roots, utilizing maracuja and babassu in its $200 Revitalizing Formula. Rounding out the ka-ching group are Chanel’s $120 purple bengle firming body serum and the staggering $300 guarana and green coffee tightening and cellulite busting Firming Body Cream from The Organic Pharmacy.
Isomers Matrixyl 3000 Body Serum, $150, isomers.ca; The Organic Pharmacy Firming Body Cream, $300, theorganicpharmacy.com; Amorepacific Time Response Body Renewal Creme, $220, Bergdorf Goodman; Elemis Pro-Collagen Radiantly Smooth Body Cream, $175, Bergdorf Goodman; Clinica Ivo Pitanguy Bodycare Revitalizing Formula, $200, Bergdorf Goodman; Chanel Body Excellence Firming and Refining Serum, $120,
Illuminating makeup has come a long way since the days of disco’s chunky glitter. Today’s Space Age pigments are all about manipulating light to create radiant and refreshed skin that accentuates the positives instead of drowning out the negatives. Optical blurrers, micronized mica and refracting and reflecting capabilities hide flaws with high-tech trompe l’oeil. “Illuminating pigments are a matter of smoke and mirrors,” says MAC senior artist Victor Cembellin. “Light reflects off the tiny particles of sheen to create the illusion of lighter, brighter, clearer skin quality.” MAC’s new Strobe Liquid is a lightweight moisturizer that uses iridescent pigments to give skin a glow and mask minor imperfections. Gucci Westman looked to shells for her final Lancôme collection. Called L.U.C.I., it features photonic, pigmentless color that looks white at first, but refracts light to create an ever-changing halo of tones in rose, blue, coral and green. Finally, Thierry Mugler’s new Mirror Collection features ultraluminous blue pigments, comprising titanium, blue mica and ultramarine, that are said to reflect light and illuminate the complexion. Says Nick Gavrelis, MAC’s executive director of global product development, “At the end of the day, we all just want to look more luminous, rested and more visibly perfect without giving the effect of more and more makeup.”
Lancome Color Fever Shine in Luminous, $25, Lancome counters; Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Luna, $40, Chanel counters; Lancome Color Fever Gloss in Sunray, $23; Thierry Mugler Cooling Effect Concealer, $45, select Bloomingdale’s; Lancome Photonic Illuminating Powder Brush, Ombre Glacee Cooling Gel Illuminator in Chameleon, $40, $22; Chanel Le Blanc de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base, $45; Thierry Mugler Radiant Fluid Makeup Base, $65; MAC Strobe Liquid, $29.50, MAC counters.