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The Business of Beauty Haul of Fame: Holiday Beauty, It’s Giving Exhausted

A new slogan prevails and more in this week’s beauty news.
Holiday beauty campaigns have begun making the rounds on social media urging consumers to shop brand's seasonal items.
Holiday beauty campaigns have begun making the rounds on social media urging consumers to shop brand's seasonal items. (BoF Team)

Welcome to Haul of Fame, the weekly roundup of product launches, emerging trends, and cultural landmarks changing what we think is beautiful — or at least, what we’ll buy to prove we’re pretty.

In this issue: Harry Styles, Tory Burch, Jasmina Vico, Christian Siriano, Kate Moss Valentino, Jennifer Aniston, Dove, Roblox, E.l.f. Beauty, Salt Air, Salty Face, CBD Hair Stuff and Cherry Coke.

But first …

It’s Giving Too Much

Holiday beauty ads are already inescapable, and so is one clever phrase: “It’s giving.” The TikTok friendly term came initially from 1990s Black ballroom culture, invaded high school hallways via Snapchat and now it’s on the Calvin Klein billboard on Houston street in Manhattan (“It’s giving … Kendall Jenner”) along with ad copy for Smashbox (“It’s giving Friendsgiving”), Grown Alchemist (“It’s giving holiday beauty”) and Olay’s new Christian Siriano collaboration, which has slippers and serums tagged as “It’s giving comfy.”


What’s funny is “about half of all gift sets are actually designed as a self-gift situation,” said Elana Drell-Szyfer, chief executive officer of ReVive Skincare. “The industry markets them as a holiday present, but really, people really love buying beautifully packaged skincare sets for themselves.” Drell-Szyfer noted that self-gifting is especially the move for “corrective” products like luxury anti-aging creams or neck wrinkle masks that might seem like a coded insult when given to others. “If it’s someone you’re really close with, and they love a certain luxury skin cream, of course get it for them. But if it’s a present for a colleague or a hostess gift, or someone you’re just getting to know, stick with a really nice candle or hand cream.”

And if they’re a hypebeast? The brand new, branded Jacquemus x Guirlande soap bars hit Ssense on Monday. They’re $35, and just small enough to cram into a tiny Jacquemus bag, if that’s still your thing. I’m a little more into the Chanel lipstick case that Sotheby’s is auctioning for $2,900. It’s giving “Troop Beverly Hills.”

What Else Is New …

Celebrity esthetician Jasmina Vico helped create Margot Robbie’s super-smooth Barbie skin for the movie. On Nov. 9, the facialist, who’s also behind the glowy complexions of Nicola Coughlan and Jodie Comer, launched a new skincare serum called Screen Star to doll-ify the rest of us.

Speaking of the lingering effects of Barbiecore, Valentino’s limited-edition Eye2Cheek palette debuted the same day with the shade Pink Is Punk, an ode to designer Pierpaolo Piccioli’s fuchsia-drenched runway from 2022. You can even get the palette engraved with a personal message at the Nordstrom on 57th Street.

One more #BarbiecoreLives moment: Pink by PINK, the newest fragrance from parent company Victoria’s Secret, dropped on Nov. 15. It’s got a base of apple and jasmine, and comes in a blush-colored bottle with a bubblegum pink topper. It’s adorable … but it’s weird that it doesn’t say Victoria’s Secret, or at least VS, on the bottle! Could this be a test of new branding, like how we all forget that COS is owned by H&M? Discuss.

On Nov. 13, Elizabeth Arden debuted a repackaged version of their historic 8 Hour Cream in a comic book tube. If only “Riverdale” were still going …

Elsewhere, Harry Styles launched his first three Pleasing fragrances on Nov. 13. They’re packaged “with a distinctive bowed-bottom silhouette that allows each fragrance to gently rock” which apparently “symbolises the perpetual motion and boundless energy of The Performer,” at least according to the Pleasing website. Is it pretentious to call Styles “The Performer”? Of course. But it’s really lovely that the bottles are also stimming devices for anxious or neuroatypical fans, some of whom may not enjoy the sensory experience of perfume, but still want to participate in Mr. Styles’ expanding world.

In other Harry Styles news, a random haircare site called PriceListo found that online searches for “buzzcut hair” spiked 158 percent worldwide after the pop star shaved his scalp. (Extreme Carrie Bradshaw Voice: “I couldn’t help but wonder, would Britney Spears’ shears have gone viral if Google Trends had existed back then?”)


Also in haircare, I’m really digging the LolaVie campaign which dropped on Instagram on Nov. 13. Instead of starring the brand’s super-famous founder Jennifer Aniston, it features the meme-happy @GirlWithASign with a sign (!) reading “You know the beauty product is good when you can’t pronounce the name.” In related news, I think you say it, like, “Lola Vee?” @JenniferAniston, please call me to confirm.

On Nov. 15, Leaf + Flower launched their CBD Tame & Fix Flyaway Stick, which looks like a giant mascara wand and reportedly “controls flyaways, frizz, new hair growth and wiry grays, imparting a long-lasting polished finish.” CBD skin care sales have fallen dramatically this year, with leading category brands like Lord Jones closing altogether. It’ll be interesting to see if CBD haircare proves the exception. My guess: no, but sometimes I’m wrong!

As of Nov. 15, you can finally buy Kate Moss’ “luxurious golden antioxidant oil” in the US, along with the rest of her woo-woo Cosmoss collection of tinctures, teas and an “aura mist.” I would invest thousands into a hangover pill or cigarette stain remover if Moss created them; I don’t know if I would buy a $28 book of love letters, though.

Saltyface debuted a liquid bronzer on Nov. 14 with the same hyaluronic acid, niaciamide and aloe leaf extract as many facial serums. The idea that tanning formulas should double as skincare products is a good one, adjacent to all the “skin tint serums” we’re seeing at the moment.

Meanwhile Salt Air’s first three candles, based on their best-selling body care fragrances, hit shelves Nov. 15. Despite the brand’s name, none of their scented candles actually smell like salt, instead going for “Island Orchid” and “Santal Bloom.”

For those of you looking for your next big job, Tory Burch is searching for a Product Development Director of Fragrance and Beauty, which could be an indication the brand will lean deeper into beauty offerings in the future. If you end up getting the gig, please consider reviving their vastly underrated 2014 lipstick line. Remember these?

In the gaming space, Dove has teamed with Open Source Afro Hair Library to make video game avatars more inclusive with “15 original hair sculpts.” including twist-outs, afros and fades. E.l.f. Beauty also recently hit the metaverse, debuting a Roblox scheme called “E.l.f. Up!” including a virtual recording studio. It’s about time for a new “My Lip Gloss Is Poppin” anthem, isn’t it?

And finally, while we’re on the subject of iconic lip gloss … #BlackCherry and #CherryCola beauty continues to reign on TikTok. OG brand Lip Smacker, introduced Cherry Coke Lip Balm on Nov. 12. It comes in a limited-edition tin for $5.99 with an official guarantee of being “Lip Smackin’ Good.”

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