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Beauty

Gucci’s New Mascara Is Whatever You Want It To Be

Since taking the creative helm of Gucci in 2015, Alessandro Michele has created a singular visual identity for the house. One that’s exuberantly twisted, where disembodied heads make runway appearances, gender is fluid (See: Harry Styles in pearls), and the soundtrack is often Lana Del Rey.

It’s in this bizarro dimension that Thomas De Kluyver thrives. As the global makeup artist for Gucci Beauty, he’s framed smiles—full of missing teeth—with bright red lipstick and hand-painted mascara tears on fall 2020’s runway models. That mascara—Mascara L’Obscur—is now available for $35 at Sephora. How you choose to wear it—thick and layered or just a light swipe—is totally up to you.

On the eve of its launch, De Kluyver spoke with ELLE.com about his progressive approach to beauty:

You’ve been fundamental in ushering in this new wave of experimental beauty. What’s been your inspiration?

It’s all my friends and the people around me. So much of my work focuses on gender identity and self-expression and makeup that can be worn like a fascinating accessory rather than to cover up things.

My friends will be wearing makeup or lipstick, and I’ll take a picture of them, and I’ll use that as inspiration for a campaign. There’s nothing like surrounding yourself with people who are passionate and inspirational who and have always pushed boundaries. We’ve been wearing makeup like this for years, it’s so nice that now it’s speaking to everyone.

How can we all be pushing beauty boundaries in 2020?

Just be yourself and do what it is that you feel beautiful doing. I never do things that are the trendiest thing at the moment, I do things that feel natural. I’ve always wanted to be an individual. I remember as a kid I always wanted to be different and not like everyone else.

What are you inspired by right now?

I spot flowers and I have this app on my phone that can see colors and show the Pantone color of the flowers. It’s really fun because I can spot colors and take that influence into makeup.

What’s it like working with Alessandro Michele?

Alessandro is so incredible because he has this understanding of makeup and attention to detail. He gives you so much inspiration, but he also gives you space to take that and run with it.

He’s almost like a magpie with references. He loves everything from popular culture references to 15th-century art. It’s really crazy. He knows so much about everything. You can show him a picture of something and he’ll know the details. I wish I had that encyclopedic knowledge.

You use your fingers when you apply makeup and this past season you sent models down the runway with mascara-filled tears. What are you doing right now to experiment further?

I always like using products in ways that are different than what they are expected to be. The runway show was quite difficult because the new mascara is long wear, so it doesn’t run. I made paint by mixing up the mascara with a few drops of water. Even though it looks like they are dripping down the face, we actually painted them on. I am really interested in little things and appliqués at the moment. I’ve been using lots of foils and stuff in my work. I found all these colored foils from these Japanese websites and I’ve been using those. I might be over those in a bit, though.

BY CHLOE HALL

Categories
Beauty

I Was Told Laser Hair Removal ‘Couldn’t Accommodate My Skin Tone.’ Now It Can.

Laser hair removal is a godsend for those who want to eliminate fuzz permanently, but it can be complicated for people of color. A common misconception is that laser hair removal is not safe for skin with high levels of melanin. I personally never thought I could benefit from laser hair removal. I was told by two facilities that they could not accommodate my skin tone because the advancements in the industry had not been updated to serve people of color. This was in 2009. According to Christian Karavolas, the owner of Romeo and Juliette Laser Hair Removal in NYC, and Andrea Young, the founder and owner of Beam Laser Spa, the laser game has significantly changed since then.

Karavolas reiterated that a number of his patients have assumed laser was not safe for people of color. Young added that the myth stems from a time when patients of color would be treated with the Alexandrite laser and would encounter adverse reactions and side effects—like hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation—from being treated with the incorrect wavelength.

Here, Karavolas and Young break down what to look for, how to prepare, and the perfect lasers for all people of color, including multiracial and albino individuals.

What to look for in your laser hair removal provider:

People of color should look for a certain laser called the Nd:YAG. “For women or men of color interested in doing laser hair removal, the most important thing is to make sure they are getting treatments with a YAG laser,” says Young. Karavolas explains that the laser operates differently to make it safe for people of color. “Nd:YAG lasers have a long pulse wavelength and bypasses the epidermis. Since it bypasses the epidermis, it does not hurt the epidermis, meaning it does not burn the skin,” explains Karavolas. “With that laser you are able to effectively disable the reproductive cycle of the hair within the follicle meaning you can effectively remove hair without hurting the skin.”

A good specialist will test your skin tone:

When in doubt, get tested. Because skin tones can differ from person to person, it’s important that the setting is chosen specifically for your skin tone. Karavolas at Romeo and Juliette Laser Hair Removal uses the Fitzpatrick skin typing test to determine the patient’s skin color and the appropriate laser. The patient will receive a score from one to thirty-six to determine what wavelength laser to use.

The results of the Fitzpatrick skin test decide which laser to use, but it’s also important to notice the settings. “Once you decide which laser to use, obviously the darker the person you have to make the settings a little gentler to not burn the skin,” says Karavolas.

Prepare your body for laser:

Just like any treatment or procedure it’s important to prep the area that’s about to get blasted. “Make sure the area that will be lasered has not been waxed, threaded, plucked or used any other method of hair removal that pulls out the root for at least 8 weeks,” Young notes. “Abstain from using any harsh products on the area to be lasered for at least two weeks before getting lasered and subsequently after the treatments. These include retinols, alpha, beta and glycolic acids, or topical acne medications.”

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Beauty

How Beauty And Wellness Brands Are Responding To COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, beauty and wellness businesses have suspended services and in-person shopping for consumers across the globe. Retailers like Glossier, Sephora, and The Wing are taking cautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease, with all releasing statements this week on their plans moving forward.

Glossier

Glossier announced today that it will be temporarily closing all retail locations in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and London for at least two weeks. The brand is also postponing the opening of Glossier Arizona, initially slated for next week. In an open letter, founder and CEO Emily Weiss addressed the temporary closing.

“We’re not alarmists, we’re realists,” Weiss wrote. “While this may not be the right decision for every company, it’s the one where we feel we can make an impact. To our customers and community, remember the power of adaptability. Stay present, be responsible, and try to lean into warmth and openness when you want to close off and pull down the shades. This is a time for us to remember our humanity.” Despite the shutdown, employees will be compensated.

Sephora

Sephora has decided to suspend all paid in-store services, including makeup applications, classes, and skincare services. In a statement posted to the company’s website earlier this week, Sephora stores remain open but will implement enhanced safety measures like increased access to hand sanitizer and disinfecting surfaces with hospital-grade cleaner.

“We are prepared to navigate these challenging circumstances with everyone’s safety in mind,” the company wrote. “While our stores currently remain open for business, we recognize you may choose to shop from home.” To facilitate online shoppers, Sephora is waiving shipping fees through the end of March. Quarantined employees will also be compensated.

The Wing

Starting tomorrow, The Wing will be closing all workspace locations globally through the end of March. Co-founder and COO Lauren Kassan said in a press release, “Protecting the health and safety of our both The Wing and wider community is our number one priority. With over 12,000 members globally and spaces in 7 major metropolitan cities, we have a responsibility to do our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping our employees and members safe.” Employees will be compensated without depleting accrued time off.

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Beauty LifeStyle

The Best Makeup Moments Of The Week

You’re scrolling through Instagram and there it is: the most beautiful face beat of any and all face beats. If you’re like us, this happens daily and at times, hourly. From ASMR foundation applications to wings so perfectly drawn you think a protractor was involved, here are the best beauty moments of the week.

1 Caramel Macchiato

J. Lo’s latest makeup look is as toasty and warm as a grande cup of coffee at the crack of dawn. The star of the show is easily the lips, a soft brown hue, that complements her bronzed cheeks and smokey brown eyes.

The Muse: Jennifer Lopez

The Artist: Scott Barnes

The Timestamp: March 13, 2020

The Tools: Scott Barnes Snatural N1 Palette, $84; scottbarnes.com

2 Candy Girl

Winter minimalist makeup had its moment, but now it’s spring’s time to shine! Here, Sir John shows us how to experiment with colors by painting the model’s eyes in bubble gum pink outside of the lid and cotton candy blue on the waterline.

The Muse: Thalia Crone

The Artist: Sir John

The Timestamp: March 12, 2020

The Tools: Beauty Blender Glass Glow Highlighter, $25; sephora.com

3 Seeing Red

Red is the go-to color for lips but oft-overlooked when it comes to the eyes. But makeup artist Marika D’Auteuil’s latest look shows us that it’s time we stop sleeping on the sultry crimson shade. Instead of just washing the lids with the color, D’Auteuil created an abstract design around the lids to bring the drama to the eyes and a blotted red lip.

The Muse: Jade

The Artist: Marika D’Auteuil

The Timestamp: March 12, 2020

The Tools: MAC Cosmetics Paint Stick Palette, $70; maccosmetics.com

4 Stupid Love

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“STUPID LOVE” 2/28, midnight ET ❣️ #LG6

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Lady Gaga has given us the gift of new music, a new video, and the ultimate pink glam. The singer and actress used her very own Haus Laboratories to create the perfect pink alien look. We are in stupid love.

The Muse: Lady Gaga

The Artist: Sarah Tanno

The Timestamp: February 28, 2020

The Tools: Haus Laboratories Monster Matte Lip, $18; amazon.com

5 The Prettiest

This is what makeup dreams are made of. It’s soft, it’s glam, it’s everything. Also in love with Harrier’s twists, but that’s a topic for another day.

The Muse: Laura Harrier

The Artist: Dana Delaney

The Timestamp: February 28, 2020

BY CHLOE HALL AND NERISHA PENROSE