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Designer Skin

By Wendy Lewis
Posted On Apr 09, 2012

By: Melissa Schweiger

Fashion’s biggest names are getting into what’s underneath their clothes

Fashion houses have long dabbled in the beauty business. Traditionally, a big name design house will launch a fragrance to complement their collections. Now a growing crop of designers are putting skin into the beauty game by creating namesake skincare lines. Chanel, Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent are pioneers in this area, but newcomers such as Tom Ford and Burberry are following suit.

For most fashion houses, beauty is the next logical step for the brand. “I really started thinking about Burberry makeup when we were working on the show several years ago,” explains Burberry chief creative officer Christopher Bailey. “I was looking at all the different ways the Burberry girl expressed herself and it was the only element missing when you circled her world and her attitude.”

Lest you think that a beauty skincare line is merely an afterthought for a designer, YSL and Dior have put major muscle behind their new launches. YSL has been doing research in the field of glycobiology for their new Forever Youth line for almost 30 years. “For the first time, this new science is being applied to cosmetics, thanks to the work carried out by the YSL skin science committee,” says Anthony Potin of L’Oreal’s research and innovation team. YSL is now “fully dedicated to… assembling the top researchers in medical glycobiology, with skin experts, biologists, chemists and dermatologists,” he says.

Dior’s new L’Or de Vie line is built on antioxidants they discovered at the famed Chateua Yquem vineyard. “We have identified an unexpected and revolutionary ingredient—an incredible anti-aging molecule capable of reversing the skin aging process,” says Eric Perrier, director of research and development at Dior.

More designers are sure to follow, including a recently announced deal inked between Tory Burch and Estee Lauder. While some fashion trends may come and go, flawless skin will always be in style.

Tom Ford

The story: When the former head designer at Gucci launched his own label, he made sure to hold onto the overtly sexy aesthetic that made him a huge star. Ford’s foray into beauty began with a glamorous lipstick collection. Tom Ford Beauty now consists of a full range of makeup as well as some serious skincare. At the heart of the skincare line are the Tom Ford Purifying Complex and Infusing Complex; both energize and detoxify the skin with a combination of natural and high-tech ingredients. The range covers everything from rich crème cleanser to luxuriously whipped moisturizer.
Hero product: The Tom Ford Intensive Infusion Concentrate Extreme, an oil-based serum meant to be used under your moisturizer, is the concentrated form of Ford’s proprietary Infusing Complex. It left our skin looking dewy, radiant and smooth.
Price: $250
Where to buy: Bergdorf Goodman


The story: This iconic British brand, best known for its sharp trench coats, launched a beauty line to complete the innocent English rose look. All of the formulations are light and easy, meant to give women an effortless beauty.
Hero product: Burberry’s Fresh Glow is a hybrid skincare/makeup product that moisturizes with wild rose extract and enhances the skin with a fresh golden shimmer. It can be mixed with foundation to give the skin a major dose of luminescence. We loved how it looked on bare skin, as a glowing
alternative to makeup.
Price: $48
Where to buy: Saks Fifth Avenue


The story: The French fashion house has a long history of exceptional beauty products. Their popular Capture Totale line, which uses stem cells to regenerate aging skin, has been a pioneer in the anti-aging category for many years. Their new L’Or de Vie line, a collaboration with the legendary Chateau d’Yquem, features 11 active molecules derived from the Yquem vine. The newest molecule is Miyabenol C, which reverses skin’s aging process.
Hero product: La Crème Face & Neck Custom is a luxury skincare shopper’s dream. Your “skincare measurements” are taken at the Dior counter and sent to the lab in France, whereupon a one-of-akind formulation is made up and sent in an engraved Dior skincare couture creation.
Price: $600
Where to buy: Saks Fifth Avenue


The story: With a rich background in skincare, YSL breaks new ground with their debut of Forever Youth, an anti-aging line based on discoveries in glycobiology. Glycans, which are found naturally on the surface of cells, act like keys, locking onto receptors of nearby cells to trigger metabolic reactions including the growth and renewal of younger looking skin. With Glycanactif, their new age-defying complex, YSL appeals to the beauty addict and the science geek. Along with the help of their SkinScience committee, YSL has discovered a way to re-establish cellular communication between glycans and the cells needed to carry out youth-building processes.
Hero product: Forever Youth Liberator Serum contains the highest concentration of Glycanactif, which contains glycans to help regenerate the skin while promoting thickening of the epidermis. One dose leaves the skin more radiant and relaxed, while after one month, skin is completely resculpted and plumped (in a really good way).
Price: $200
Where to buy: www.yslbeautyus.com


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