May 14, 2009

Dolce & Gabbana - the MAKEUP

MILAN — Dolce & Gabbana will make its long-awaited entry into color cosmetics early next month.

The move into makeup is seen as a springboard that could transform Dolce & Gabbana into a full-fledged beauty house and make it a brand to be reckoned with on the counter. Industry sources’ estimates of the line’s first-year sales range as high as $50 million in retail volume.

In an interview with WWD, Stefano Gabbana confessed that he and Domenico Dolce have wanted to do makeup for years. “It’s a new pathway for us, and it’s not like fragrance,” he said, sitting on a velvet divan in the richly decorated drawing room of his offices here.

“We see makeup as another thing for women, like a dress. We worked on the makeup line like we work on a clothing collection — you can change makeup like you can change your clothes, depending on your mood,” Gabbana added.

Asked if he envisioned a skin care expansion for the beauty brand, Gabbana said, “There will be time for skin care in the future, but first we have to consolidate the market with our makeup.”

Dipping into Dolce & Gabbana’s familiar inspiration sources, colors in the collection include intense blues for the Mediterranean; black and gold for the volcanic island Stromboli — where the designers spend their summer vacation — and a deep burgundy that recalls the color of one of Gabbana’s favorite flowers, the dahlia.

The line’s packaging — weighty metal glossy gold with rounded edges and slipped into black velvet pouches — underscores the designers’ desire to create a beautiful, feminine object. “It’s luxury, but it’s not too extravagant, and it’s something that will last forever,” Gabbana said.

Among the initial 110 stockkeeping units are lipsticks perfumed with a trademark rose scent and mascara with a peppery olfactory note.

“We noticed that lipsticks on the market took away their fragrance, but we wanted to create makeup with a scent. Domenico and I remember when we were children and opened our mother’s handbags — the scent of her lipstick trailed out. I observed that when women open makeup, they smell it first,” said Gabbana. “I don’t use makeup, but we are fascinated with the attitude of women when they apply makeup.”

Lipstick, noted Gabbana, was the core piece of the collection. “For me, lipstick is one of the most important things. When I see a woman made-up, I look straight to the lips,” he said.

Along with licensee holders Procter & Gamble Prestige Products, the pair also enlisted makeup artist Pat McGrath to collaborate on colors and formulations. Gabbana observed, “We speak about a certain type of blue, and Pat knows the blue that we like. She’s in tune with us. We trusted her to select the mix of colors, even the bolder colors. She understands makeup.”

McGrath said women would really enjoy the feminine, glamorous elements of the line, as well as the innovative, silky touch of the formulations, which include high-quality pigmentation. “The fact that glamour in makeup is truly back means it will resonate with women. In today’s climate, it’s going to be about more, and these products really answer to that,” McGrath said.

McGrath developed three looks that epitomize the line: “Lustful Lips,” inspired by a silver screen siren with dark ruby colored lips and nails; “Provocative Eyes,” a smoky eye and pale lip, and “Sensually Natural,” a pared-back look of neutral hues.

Traditionally, when a high-profile designer enters the color cosmetics arena, it can have a transformative effect on the brand. But it is a process that has proven difficult in the past for some companies, due to the high cost of inventory and the expensive need for space and demonstration in the stores. For instance, ck Calvin Klein’s beauty brand was relaunched with Markwins last year, which is the design house’s third attempt at cracking the category. Versace’s line recently faded from shelves, and Ralph Lauren is preparing its second attempt at makeup, with a launch reportedly planned for fall.

Giorgio Armani has proven to be one of the recent successes in the color market, at least in terms of building sales. Historically, Chanel has been a standard bearer in fashion color. Also, YSL Beauté, Dior and Givenchy also have achieved varying degrees of success.

One factor that could dampen Dolce & Gabbana’s reception in the color market is a decline in consumer spending, stemming from the current economic crisis.

Carrie Lennard, a cosmetics and toiletries analyst for Euromonitor, said despite the overall shaky retail picture, the firm predicted sales growth for high-end color cosmetics in Italy and the U.K. over the next five years.

“The fact that the line has Procter & Gamble behind it would be enough to weather the economic times we have at the moment,” said Lennard.

Euromonitor’s preliminary data, excluding inflation, forecasts premium color cosmetics will grow at an annual compound rate of 3 percent in the U.K. and 1 percent in Italy.

Markus Strobel, vice president of licensee Procter & Gamble Prestige Products, said the approach for the beauty line was “slow and steady.”

Distribution will be highly selective, and Strobel named only three doors for its initial launch strategy, adding points of sales would total under 100 by 2010. Starting with Italian luxury department store La Rinascente’s Milan flagship at the end of January, the line will be unveiled in two other key retailers in March: Selfridges of London and Saks Fifth Avenue. Beyond those sales points, Strobel said he was unable to elaborate on the rollout plan. “Our strategy initially is to be in the best cities and in the best doors,” he said, outlining Paris, Madrid, Moscow and Barcelona as target locales.

Kate Oldham, vice president and divisional merchandise manager for cosmetics and fragrances at Saks, confirmed the chain has the U.S. exclusive for spring and that the line will be premiered in two doors: Fifth Avenue and Beverly Hills. It is expected to rank in the top 10, and Saks is planning to add more doors for fall.

Industry sources estimate that a high-end color line like Dolce & Gabbana The Makeup can range from $1 million annually per door to $2.5 million or $3 million for a premium flagship like Saks on Fifth Avenue.

Strobel explained that since overtaking the brand’s fragrance business two-and-a-half years ago, its turnover has grown threefold.

“Dolce & Gabbana is a top luxury brand, and if we reflect on the strength of our fragrance business, which is growing at double digits, it shows the brand has huge potential to be a total beauty player,” he added.

“Makeup is just so right for this brand — it’s the way the brand makes you feel. It has those aspects that lend themselves so well to color,” Strobel said.

Dubbed “luxury lounges,” Dolce & Gabbana The Makeup’s in-store spaces are designed by Ferruccio Laviani, who shapes the Dolce & Gabbana boutique interiors. The areas will be customized according to every store’s layout but will be outfitted with Dolce & Gabbana interior motifs: black glossy furniture with gold accents, mirrors and chandeliers. Some spaces will be closed and all will feature an area dedicated to personalized makeup consultancies.

Positioned close to La Rinascente’s main doors, Dolce & Gabbana The Makeup will be one of the luxury department store’s most important launches of 2009. The flagship, located opposite Milan’s Duomo cathedral, registered record sales in its beauty department last year.

Dolce & Gabbana The Makeup’s price positioning is high: from nail lacquer for $20; mascara for $28; lipsticks for $30, and eye shadow duos for $36, up to perfect finish powder foundation for $59. Other categories include bronzing powder, blush, eye and lip pencils, and lip gloss.

Strobel said the initial assortment would be backed by a steady flow of new products. “We have great innovation in the pipeline, the sku’s will grow very quickly with seasonal, technological and one-off products,” he said.

My point of view : Doesnt this sound interesting ? Every other brand has a cosmetic line like Dior, Chanel, YSL, Giorgio Armani, etc. Now D&G finally gives it a try. Especially they have the help from the legendary makeup artist Path Mcgrath... Shes so talented and good at what she does. So i bet this line will be a big hit ! Just a little pricey but the quality is amazing and worth the money for sure. Have fun exploring them !


When it comes to makeup, Brushes play such an important part to complete the look. To create a perfect face, you need good brushes to help you do that. Here are a few brushes that you need to have in your case
  1. Large powder brush
  2. Foundation brush
  3. Blush brush
  4. Concealer brush
  5. Eye shadow brush
  6. Blending brush
  7. Liner brush
  8. Lip brush
Beside those, there are still a lot of different other brushes for different uses, depend on how you want to use them. I would remember MAC brushes which are very good quality. They can be quite pricey if you have to buy them in singles . MAC usually has brush sets for only holiday lines, but the handle is quite short so its uncomfortable for some people to use. And most of them arent hand-made . Only the normal ones are hand-made.

If you dont want to buy MAC, you can try the Sigma brushes, they're very similar and much cheaper. You can buy the professional set which includes 12 brushes, only costs $64 or with $79 you can get a brush roll with the brushes. So thats a good deal . You can check them out @

For those who arent looking at good quality brushes, just some decent cheap brushes, you can take a look at Coastal Scents 13 pc Brush set which only costs $16.95. Wat a steal !

May 12, 2009

InStyle Beauty tips

Smokey Eyes

Intense , versatile and low-maintenance - this classic look never gets old. Follow these simple steps to ensure your shadow looks soft and sooty but never slept in.

  1. Trace the upper lid with a soft black pencil to define the shape and add intensity to the lash line. Then gently smudge it with your fingertip to diffuse the line
  2. Using a medium-size domed brush, apply inky powder to the crease of the eye. Then blend it downward for a wash of color over the entire lid
  3. With a smaller brush that has firm bristles , press a gunmetal shade into the lower lash line. Apply a silver powder to the inner corners to lighten the overall effect
  4. Piles on the mascara. Stiles (MUA) prefers a small , easy-to-maneuver wand. Instead of heavy lip color, choose a glossy or balm-like neutral for a "slightly less finished mouth"

Four easy to blend shades, Chanel Quadra eye shadow in smokey eye, $56;

Durable synthetic and natural bristles, MAC brush #217, $23;

Stiff and dense for maximum control, Kevyn Aucoin Beauty Small eye-shadow soft round tip brush, $29;

A pencil that's easy to swipe on and smudge. MAC eye kohl in smolder , $17;

Coats every lash, Maybelline Lash discovery mascara in Very Black, $7; at Wal-mart

Pale pink with bold shine. CK Calvin Klein Beauty Delicious Pout lip glass in Sparkle, $13; at Sephora

May 11, 2009

Put on your PARTY FACE !

You've found the perfect dress, practiced your icebreaker and chilled the bubbly. Now starts the primping. This is your guide for flawless, pretty makeup. Here are some tips from Instyle Beauty


Add a showstopping accessory to that LBD? Go for an elegant pop of color. Here, tips for picking the right shade and making it last through cocktails.

  1. To create a flawless canvas and prevent fading, prep your pout with a creamy primer. press the concealer-like formula into your lips to fill lines and help anchor the color.
  2. Trace your natural lip line with a clear waxy pencil. A transparent one give definition and protects against feathering without the risk of looking fake or severe.
  3. Once you've found your perfect shade of crimson - crisp and blue-based for fair skin, orangey for olive, and Burgundy for dark complexions - apply color directly from the tube, not with a lip brush. Press the color in with your fingertip.
  4. Complete the look with glowing skin and two coats of black mascara

Fair skin - A cool crimson shade : Clinique Long Last lipstick in Party Red, $14;
Medium skin - Warm fire-engine red : Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick in Dazzling, $30;
Dark skin - Glossy burgundy : Neutrogena Moisture Shine Soothing lip sheers in Ruby Bliss, $9;

Smooths with beewax , Smashbox lip and lid primer, $24; at Sephora

Keeps lashes extra soft. Neutrogena Healthy Volume mascara, $8;

Eyeshadow TRICKS

(Some tips from an expert)

MASTERING EYESHADOW CAN BE TRICKY BUSINESS... If it’s not applied, and blended correctly you could end up looking like a kickback from the days of disco. Here’s the inside info on getting it right...

1. FIRST PRIME YOUR LIDS with a translucent powder to help control oiliness and set the colour. Despite what you may have heard before, never use concealer on your eyelids - it gunks up your eyeshadow.

2. CHOOSE THREE SHADES OF EYESHADOW – a light, dark and medium shade. It’s best if they’re in the same colour family – like nude, taupe and dark brown as you’re going to be layering them. Powdered eyeshadow is the easiest to apply and blends the best!

3. DUST THE LIGHTEST SHADE on the entire lid from the brow to the lash line. This is the shade which will open up the entire eye area.

4. APPLY YOUR MEDIUM SHADE from the lashes to a point just past the crease – this helps avoid that wrinkly, creasey eyeshadow look – then blend lightly. This colour is going to bring out the colour of your eye, so look for shades that are subtly contrasting. Purples are great for blue eyes and mochas great for green – otherwise go for an all round flattering shade like white, gray or brown. The shade itself should be darker or paler than the eye to get the maximum impact.

5. USE A HIGHLIGHTER on any part of your eye area you want to bring out. Try putting a dot on the inner corner of your eye to make your eyes look big and awake, or dab a little under the arch of the brow to define and emphasise the brows. Just remember not to go overboard, the idea is to highlight your good features not the entire eye, bad features and all!

6. LINE YOUR LASHES using the darkest colour and a small brush. Dampen the brush and put it into a little of the powder. Next make a smudgy line around the lashes; it’s important to get as close to the lash line as you can. You can line the top and bottom lash line or just the top only – if you apply to the bottom only it’s going to draw attention to any bags and make you look tired.

7. SWEEP AWAY ANY STRAY POWDER that has fallen onto your cheeks by using a large, fluffy brush.

8. APPLY MASCARA by first wiping off any excess mascara from the wand, then sweeping the brush through the lashes to the eyes outer corner. Next, while holding the wand horizontally, brush the lashes from the roots to the tips. If you want extra definition, apply a second coat while the lashes are still wet – otherwise they’ll end up crusty.

9. IF YOU’RE IN A HURRY you can opt for just a single colour – just make sure it’s not a dark shade. Spread it over the entire eye from lash line to the brow. You can even use your fingers. Then apply your mascara.

10. ALWAYS CARRY A COTTON BUD in your make-up bag to re-blend shadow or fix any globs, which can occur due to your eye producing natural oils.


MAKE-UP MUST-HAVES FOR SUMMER... Make-up artist Charlotte Blakeney shares what you should have on your make-up bag shopping list to prevent make-up melt-downs…

Illuminator: Mix your foundation with an illuminating product for a sheer glowing base - or opt for a light foundation or tinted moisturiser that contains illuminating spheres.

Translucent powder/blotting papers: A light dusting of powder before you go out will control any shine and blotting papers will keep the excess shine under control while you’re on the go.

Cream blush: Powders tend to go cakey in the heat, while cream blushers blend easily and look more like your skin. Choose rose or coral shade to brighten and give you a healthy glow.

Golden brown bronzer: You can't go past Nars Laguna bronzer for an all-over bronze. Use a large powder brush and gradually build up the intensity on the face to create the depth you desire.

Powder eyeshadow: In summer cream eyeshadows tend to crease in the eye so opt for a light dusting of shimmery eyeshadow on the lids for definition. To open the eye, curl your lashes and apply a few strokes of mascara. To make your eyes look really bright, use a white or skin coloured eyepencil on the inside eye line.

Lipgloss: Use a moisturising lipgloss that’s sheer with a hint of rose or coral. Remember, the stickier the gloss, the more drying on the lips.

Teeth whitening toothpaste: White teeth can brighten up your whole complexion. It’s also good to have handy to remove any unwanted or built-up fake tan.