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Beauty Inc issue 09/07/2012

This fall, velvet is the dominant texture for makeup, ushering in a new era of sensuality and femininity and offering a marked contrast to summer’s shiny finishes. “Velvet, with its subtle sophistication, has a strong connotation of erotic femininity,” says Valerie Steele, curator and director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. “Translated to cosmetics, it acquires a different meaning, but with the idea of a velvet touch, you can’t escape the eroticism.” To that end, deep, rich colors and a plush finish dominate makeup artists’ offerings, from lushly opaque liquid lipsticks in deep hues, like those by Hourglass and Shiseido, to Ciaté’s textural nail lacquer. “Glossy can be quite overt since it looks wet,” says Steele. “The velvet surface has a greater tactile eroticism.”

This story first appeared in the September 7, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.