The Elegant Originals:
Six Exceptional Beauty Products
Photographed by Hanna Tveite
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but a handful of beauty products are deserving of nearly universal acclaim. These are the items passed among friends, the ones that form the foundation rather than the finishing touches of a daily routine, and, having proven their worthiness across settings and seasons, tend to inspire lifelong devotion. Take a moment to discover profiles of six such standouts renowned for their nourishing formulas, extraordinary staying power, and valuable versatility.
The Ultimate Lash Booster
As the varieties of mascara continue to multiply—volumizing, curling, false-lash-imitating—Serge Lutens keeps it refreshingly simple with a multi-tasking formula that is served up by a uniquely effective comb applicator: a lash-by-lash tool that extends, refines, and shapes. Resistant to water, it builds up even the finest lashes with the help of nourishing macadamia oil, and wax imparts instant curl.
The Luscious Berry Lip Stain
Years of trying “every ‘great’ new beauty product” led stylist Linda Rodin to create a special regimen of her own. In expanding to color cosmetics earlier this year, she started with a personal signature: pigment-rich lipstick. The violet berry of Billie on the Bike was inspired by a home movie, explains Rodin: “I found a clip of my mother—Beatrice, a.k.a. Billie—riding her bike down our lane, and she was wearing this beautiful color!” The creamy formula imparts a matte finish that wears to a long-lasting stain.
The Engimatic Vanilla
Often overlooked in favor of cloying, cupcake-evoking scents, the nuances of vanilla are celebrated in Tihota. It means “sugar” in the Eastern Polynesian language of Rapa Nui, but the eau de parfum is raw in its sweetness, created by Francis Kurkdjian as an exotic, sensual fusion of vanilla pods and musks. Rich and enduring, it fulfills Indult Paris’s vision of perfume: a luxurious pleasure composed of rare natural extracts and free of colorants and additives.
Inspired by films of the 1950s, the blush-toned beige of JINsoon’s Nostalgia “is one of the best classic colors, since it will elongate the shape of your hands,” says Jin Soon Choi.
The Polished Polish
Flattering to a broad range of skin tones, JINsoon’s Nostalgia is the ultimate neutral. The high-gloss nail lacquer dries quickly to a long-lasting, chip-proof finish, and the double-patented “five-free” (of chemicals toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and camphor) formula delivers lustrous color in a single, streak-free coat.
The Smoothing Shine Serum
“It took four years and twenty-seven tries to get it right,” says Paris-based hairstylist David Mallett of why the sleek black bottle of his coveted hair serum is marked “#DM027.” Lightweight yet highly concentrated, it smooths split ends, tames frizz, and imparts glossy shine in just a few drops. Powered by macadamia nut oil, the formula absorbs quickly to nourish and protect hair, leaving behind a light scent of ylang ylang and sweet almond oil rather than a heavy layer of product.
The Essential Face Oil
Linda Rodin whipped up the first batches of her cult-favorite face oil in her Manhattan apartment kitchen, combining 11 favorite essential oils derived from flowers and other botanicals, and gave it away in little bottles to makeup artists, models, and celebrity clients, who soon spread the word about its skin-enhancing properties and fresh scent of jasmine and neroli. The original multi-tasking elixir was recently joined by a new lavender-scented version, which Rodin describes as “calming, but definitely not obvious.”
Styling Vanessa Traina
Hair Jordan M at Susan Price
Makeup Daniel Martin at The Wall Group
Model Caroline Brasch Nielsen