Yesterday Estée Lauder held an event to introduce its new campaign titled, “Every Woman Can Be Beautiful.” The event started with a few videos documenting Lauder campaigns through the years and Estée’s (the person) belief that all women are beautiful. One of her fantastic quotes? “There are no ugly women, just lazy women.” In other words, use some products! (Obviously Mrs. Lauder had some ulterior motives, but we like her spunkiness regardless.)
The company–and a very chic Aerin Lauder–presented some demographics related to skincare in the US: increased diversity, a huge Hispanic population, and the fact that 40% of women buying skincare in the 18-44 age bracket are women of color seems to finally be making an impact on cosmetics and skincare companies.
To this end, Estée Lauder is launching their new skin care line, Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator, and using three “global beauties” in their campaign. Constance Jablonski, Joan Smalls, and Liu Wen are featured in the ads, which will start appearing in June.
There are two products in the new Idealist line: Even Skintone Illuminator and Cooling Eye Illuminator. The first addresses skin tone issues that are present in all ethnicities, like redness, blotchiness, discoloration, and acne scars. In addition to active ingredients which will supposedly help these issues in two weeks, you get an immediate radiance boost when you put it on–optics in the formula disguise redness and give you a glow. I can vouch for this effect, if not the two-week claim.
The Cooling Eye Illuminator is applied with a ceramic applicator tip, which yes, is cooling. No need to stick this cream in the fridge. The product is meant to tackle dark circles and puffiness.
We were then all released into a room to mingle in a veritable supermodel convention: Hilary Rhoda, Carolyn Murphy, Liu Wen, Constance Jablonski, and Joan Smalls were all there. Even in my 4+-inch heels, I felt like a stumpy little weed amidst the willows. But they were incredibly friendly and talked to me about life backstage.
Joan Smalls, who could not have been sweeter, had no idea how many shows she walked this past month, but said her mom kept track and she thinks it was about 40. The craziest look she had to endure? The red face at Viktor & Rolf. It was a bit of a marathon to remove it, but the team stayed backstage until after the show to help everyone get clean-faced.
And when asked if Joan was mocked for her looks growing up, she told me how she was called “garza,” which is a heron-like bird in Puerto Rico with long legs and a long neck. She’s very gracious about this now, and of course heron-like looks will get you a lot of gigs on high-fashion runways.
Liu Wen was next, and she is absolutely stunning in real life. She gushed about Tom Pecheux (a makeup artist and Creative Director at Estée Lauder) telling me, “He’s very nice because he’s from France.” She also loves his romantic makeup style and said he appreciates how to do an Asian eye. Liu’s favorite runway beauty looks this past season were Derek Lam and the freckles they gave her at Chloe.