Beauty snippets: Boys in blusher, Marc Cain X Uslu Airlines, the problem with product placement, summer scents, YSL Forever Light Creator

Saint-Laurent-Men-ss14 x Saint-Laurent-Men-ss14

The big beauty buzz for me during the last few weeks has been around men’s beauty and grooming. With the news of Tom Ford’s imminent grooming line (due this autumn) and Marc Jacobs Beauty’s unisex products (coming to a Sephora near you soon), it seems men’s luxury makeup is tipping into the mainstream. Pushing things further, Hedi Slimane’s models at Saint Laurent wore full-on eyeliner and lipstick for the SS14 shows in Paris. If anyone understands youth culture it’s Slimane so I’m keen to see if the cool young indie set take this aesthetic to its natural conclusion. Having grown up on Nick Rhodes, Adam Ant and David Sylvian, I hope they do.



I’ve hardly worn any of my traditional summery scents so far this year. All I want to do is douse myself in exotic notes of sandalwood and incense rather than light florals. I’m currently dripping in Frederic Malle’s Dries Van Noten EDP (delicious but not cloying vanilla, saffron and sandalwood notes) alternated with Tom Ford Noir (an elegant masculine oriental). If I could afford it, I would splash out on Pardon by Nasomatto (£108), an interesting niche brand based on emotion and ‘sensory response’ rather than ingredients. Also delicious is Jo Malone London’s new Saffron Cologne Intense, a combination of incense and pepper with a saffron heart and blond wood base. The unisex cologne comes in a masculine dark bottle and looks suitably chic alongside the macho Ford.



Just arrived in the post is this AW13 collab between German fashion brand Marc Cain and beauty innovators Uslu Airlines. I love Uslu Airlines nail colours but this is the first time I have used their products. Wow. Not only is this hot pink (called London City) the exact finger-popping shade I go for (there’s also the ultimate tomato red and rose-beige), but the application is perfect with a short, flat, rounded brush. I’ve always preferred longer brushes but this seems to give much better control. Highly recommended. Buy it here.



YSL has a new skincare product it wants to shout about. Continuing its quest for ultimate lit-from-within skin radiance, it has launched Forever Light Creator. A skintone correcting serum designed to improve colour, tone, pigmentation and overall skin quality, this looks like quite a big deal. I haven’t tried it yet but there’s a Facebook app that lets early birds sign up to a free 7-day trial before the national launch on July 10th. Click here to sign up for your free trial.

There’s a new Janelle Monae video out accompanied by a natty bit of beauty product placement. The golden eye looks featured in ‘Dance Apocalyptic’ come courtesy of Cover Girl according to Vibe Vixen. As Monae is the face of Cover Girl, it makes sense to sync things up so that the ad campaigns and videos spell out the same message – and fans can buy the look.

I get that but I love and hate this in equal measures. On one hand it makes absolute commercial sense and reflects what’s been going on in fashion for a few years. Consumers now get as excited by runway beauty looks as fashion trends, led of course by Chanel and its hotly anticipated seasonal innovations. Fashion brands are also worming their way into pop videos in a more official way (think Gaga in Versace mode for Edge of Glory – the jury’s still out as to whether this was a paid arrangement). Yet it bugs me that musicians (especially brilliant female ones like Monae) are reduced to such obvious product machines. These days it seems the music itself comes way down the pecking order, several notches after branding and merchandising.

[Catwalk images/Now Fashion via FashionGPS]