Hourglass Cosmetics has found its perfect lighting with Mark Seliger. The beauty brand and renowned photographer are set to launch a new ad campaign for the cult favorite, Ambient Lighting Powders. Seliger directed and scored a short film for the beauty brand, which will be released on sephora.com on Feb. 23. WWD has acquired an exclusive look at the film.
While the formula of the products will remain unchanged, the new campaign centers around the theme, “Create Your Perfect Light.” The ads will run in fashion and beauty print and digital outlets this spring and there will be a complementary social campaign, kicking off in February. Hourglass will host in-store events across the globe to tie to the campaign.
Seliger is no stranger to fashion editorial and portraiture. His black and white portraits include a diverse set — the Dalai Lama, The Rolling Stones, Nelson Mandela, Sir Paul McCartney, President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen.
“It was a real nice balance for me to use something technical in terms of creating a language. This isn’t a traditional beauty campaign — it’s elevated. The portraiture became the beauty [campaign] and that’s a comfortable place for me to go to,” said Seliger.
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Ambient Lighting Powders are a hero product for Hourglass. They use Photoluminescent Technology to re-create six different forms of light sources, from dim to ethereal light. Instead of selecting by shade or skin tone, the consumer may choose the type of light they want to be surrounded in. Hourglass boasts, “It’s like having a personal lighting technician, all the time.”
The Ambient Lighting Powders are available in Ethereal, Dim, Luminous, Diffused, Mood and Radiant Light, each priced at $45. Added to the line in January, the Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder is available in Incandescent, Iridescent, Euphoric and Brilliant Strobe Light, each priced at $38.
In order to capture the idea, Seliger shot one model in the six different lights — demonstrating the effect each powder has on the skin.
“It was two-fold in terms of how we developed and focused on each product in the line. We looked at the technicalities of each type of light and developing each kind of light,” said Seliger. “Then we looked at each light with the makeup and how it changed and developed the character per situation. Each had its own mood and storyline, and then through the application of makeup and artistry — it was clear what that character was. The differentiation of each character’s story was through lighting and attitude.”
In terms of the choice to go with Seliger, founder and chief executive officer of Hourglass, Carisa Janes said the decision was easy since the two have been friends for years and his work speaks for itself.
“He [Seliger] really is considered a master of portrait photo and I love the cinematic quality of work,” said Janes. “We really wanted to take the print campaign and bring to life by creating a beauty experience, like the emotional, poetic experience [felt] in film.”
The company launched in 2004 as a next-generation luxury beauty brand. The privately held company is available in over 500 stores worldwide including Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Sephora, Nordstrom and Space NK.
Industry sources suggest that the Ambient Collection could reach nearly $40 million in global retail in 2016 and that the collection could contribute to a 60 percent growth in retail sales globally.