Jeanine Recckio is highlighted in the NEW YORK TIMES

SKIN DEEP; Stop, Look and (Even) Listen

THAT little voice you keep hearing isn’t always in your head. Just ask Stila’s makeup artist, Margaret Easley, whose voice is encapsulated in the Smoky Eye shadow kit ($38). Press a button on the flip top and for 49.5 seconds Ms. Easley talks you through the motions while advising you on which brushes to use.

”We asked customers what their biggest problem was, and most said not knowing how to achieve a perfect smoky eye,” said Laurie McCartney, Stila’s chief creative officer. ”We wanted to make an artist available to our customers at any time while letting her be part of the education process. And we wanted to have a sense of humor.”

The eye shadow, a Sephora exclusive, sold out 15,000 units within two weeks. There is now a waiting list.

Stila is just one of several beauty companies adding fashionable features and funky functionalities. Elena George, a makeup artist who created Go Light on My Lips, and ModelCo, an Australian company that migrated to the United States in May, both offer lip glosses that light up.

With the click of a button or the twist of a top, each gloss produces a sizable amount of light purposely positioned to illuminate perfectly pouty lips. There is even a mirror attached to one side.

Six weeks ago, QVC UK sold more than 1,000 ModelCo Lip Lights ($23) in a minute. The product is now available at Henri Bendel and Sephora and more than 5,000 women are able to glam up in dark lounges, the backseats of cars and at movie theaters. The company has projected sales of 30,000 by October. Go Light lip glosses sell for $19 at

Perhaps you want your makeup to show off even more. For $38, Go Light will monogram your gloss with one initial. For another, say, $100-plus, it can be encrusted in Swarovski crystals.

Beneath all the bells and whistles is surprisingly high-quality makeup. The glosses are thick and shiny, the shadows colorful and long lasting.

But once your light goes out, that is it. They are not rechargeable.

Bourjois fused two essentials together to make a lip-gloss cellphone charm. At $9, the tiny gloss packs a strong color punch and is always by your side — and mouth. For that innovation, the company recently won a Cosmetic Executive Women Beauty award — one of 32 given out among 621 entries.

”Makeup is supposed to be fun and convenient to use,” said Carlotta Jacobson, president of Cosmetic Executive Women. ”No one else had done it.”

Jeanine Recckio of Mirror Mirror Imagination Group, which forecasts beauty trends, said that not every new gimmick works. ”Dangling stuff is cute and I like the Stila palette,” she said, ”but Hallmark’s been doing talking cards for years.”

Still, even Ms. Recckio said she is looking for more: ”I’m waiting for the product that tells me when to reapply my lipstick, and will clean my makeup mirror.”

Here’s the full article: Jeanine Recckio In The New York Times

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