LONDON — In a first for both brands, Dundas and Anastasia Beverly Hills have developed a gender-neutral makeup collection aimed at enhancing, rather than covering up, the skin. Called Dundas Enhancers, the initial products will launch in early 2023, with new products dropping regularly throughout next year.
Enhancers is the first product launch from Dundas Beauty, which is being made under license by Anastasia Beverly Hills. It marks the first time that ABH has made products for a third party under license.
Peter Dundas and Evangelo Bousis, who cofounded Dundas, said during a joint interview that while there is no shortage of unisex, or men’s makeup — Harry Styles launched Pleasing last year, while Tom Ford and Jean Paul Gaultier have also waded into the space — this collection has a specific focus.
The brand’s image director Bousis said he’s been wearing makeup since he was a teenager, having learned how to apply it when he worked as a model. He regularly does his and Dundas’ makeup for events, and the two were convinced that they could better what was already on the market.
Bousis said the offer today is “more about expressional makeup than makeup to just make you look fresh and good.” In addition, he felt there was a dearth of unisex products that could work on male and female skin.
He wants Dundas Enhancers to be “for everyone, including my generation and future generations. The products aim to enhance your natural beauty almost like the filters used on social media. Inclusivity has always been a huge part of Dundas and the range will be suited to all skin colors,” he said.
Bousis added: “You’d be surprised at the [men] who actually wear makeup — and don’t talk about it. A lot more people are open to it now, from the fashion boys to the super alpha male ones. And then obviously, women. We wanted to offer the best to both worlds.”
He said he expects the new line to fuel the brand’s growth “significantly” over the next 12 months.
Dundas said his approach to makeup in his fashion shows has always been to “enhance rather than transform or cover up, so it is very exciting to introduce this as part of the brand.”
He added that his collections “always play with gender codes — and with more and more people wearing my designs no matter what gender they identify with, it feels timely to propose beauty products that correspond with this and complete the look.”
Asked why they turned to Anastasia Beverly Hills to develop the collection, Bousis was quick to answer. He said he tried a bronzer by the brand and was immediately hooked.
“It was like the best product ever, and we said to ourselves ‘This is what we need.’ We live in a culture that is so obsessed with phones, filters and social media and we wanted to bring the filter to life and make people feel their best — without altering their natural selves.
“It was a long journey — with makeup, things take forever. We worked really closely with Anastasia’s daughter Claudia [Soare] on building the formulas. We really wanted to align with ABH and partner on this,” he said.
ABH founder and chairwoman Anastasia Soare said that “when the boys came to us three years ago with the gender fluid project, it was a novel concept needing unique care and marketing. With the halt in development of the collection due to the pandemic, I think the relevance is now greater than ever. My daughter Claudia and I could not be more thrilled to create such an amazing product and market opportunity together with Dundas.”
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Asked why she partnered with Dundas and Bousis, Soare said she was “excited about their vision for genderless makeup. It’s innovative and progressive and ABH has always been an inclusive brand, so this made sense.”
Soare said the product development required a different approach from the ABH products, as the collection “is not about pigment. Rather, it’s about hybrid products that work for anyone who doesn’t want to look like they have makeup on. This line is 100 percent their vision and it’s been a pleasure to develop it with them.”
Asked whether ABH plans to forge more licenses with different brands, she replied: “I’m not sure what the future holds. For now, we are very excited and focused on making Dundas Beauty a success.”
Price points will be similar to those of ABH and the launch products are being marketed as cosmetics, while one of them is a skin care-cosmetic hybrid. Dundas and Bousis said they would reveal details around packaging and distribution closer to the launch.
Of the packaging, Bousis said they wanted something that men and women were comfortable having in their bathrooms or in their bags, “something that had like a cool, sporty look. We haven’t seen anything out in the market like it, especially from a packaging point of view.”
Distribution, too, will mirror that of ABH, which sells in the U.S. at stores including Macy’s and Dillard’s, and in 40 countries worldwide.