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The Business of Beauty Haul of Fame: Her Hair Is Full of Secrets

How women are claiming their space… and their blow dry routines.
Marc Jacobs Spring Summer 2024
As fashion silhouettes are slimming back down, hair is getting a literal boost. (Spotlight/Launchmetrics.com)

Welcome back to Haul of Fame, the weekly beauty roundup of new products, new ideas, and one Elliot Page encounter.

Included in today’s issue: Dieux Skincare, Donna Karan, Elemis, Glossier, Hermès, Huda Beauty, It Cosmetics, Make Up for Ever, Morphe, Smashbox, Skylar and going to therapy (or not).

But first…

A few years ago, fashion started taking up more space. Simone Rocha and Molly Goddard inflated the humble circle skirt; Valentino and Cecilie Bahnsen made sleeves into statements; Luar and Saint Laurent jet-packed their power shoulders. The trend was an apt reaction to lockdown anxiety — “six feet apart” and all that — but now that shapes are slimming back down, hair is getting a literal boost.

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In recent weeks, Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus have emerged with barrel curls and bouffants, and Janet Jackson and Becky G. have sported high-flying space buns. On the New York runways, Thom Browne and hair stylist James Pecis turned hair braids into menacing antlers while Sergio Hudson and Brandon Maxwell went for full ‘80s hair commercial vibes, with locks of hair that bounced as models walked. Even slicker hair stories, like the strict side parts at Tory Burch, came with extra-long plaits down the back.

It’s no coincidence — or at least it shouldn’t be — that these looks are converging with legal protection for all hairstyles. That’s thanks to The Crown Act, a national movement to ban race-based hair discrimination in the workplace that’s been passed in 23 states. In November, New York took it further, passing a law that all cosmetology schools must teach their students how to style “all hair types and textures, including, but not limited to, various curl or wave patterns, hair strand thicknesses, and volumes of hair.”

The market is already beginning to react. Spenders are flocking to Drybar, which sold out of its new hot roller set on Feb. 14. (Sephora still has a few, along with Amika’s curl-boosting Blowout Babe brush.) Nordstrom put Shark’s volumising hair tools on the very top of its homepage this week, above any clothes or accessories. And on Feb. 8, BondiBoost debuted the Infrared Bounce Brush to ensure “all-day volume.”

Why do we care? Because for anyone who’s been told their hair is “too much” by a stylist (or even a middle school classmate), this trend is more than a relief — it feels a bit like beauty justice. So does the visibility of bigger, bouncier hair on style icons like Lana del Rey and natural coils on starlets like Ice Spice. (Even Olivia Rodrigo’s once-goth strands had a nice big wave on the Grammy red carpet.) The fact is, when our hair is given breathing room, our psyches are, too — and maybe, just maybe, our beauty budgets loosen up as a result.

Product development teams, you’ve been warned.

What Else Is New?

Skincare

On Feb. 11, IT Cosmetics introduced its Bye Bye Redness serum, which is “clinically proven to reduce redness and improve clarity, skin texture, and tone evenness in just one week.” But you still have to drink your eight glasses of water a day.

Feb. 13 saw the launch of Rationale’s Décolletage creme, a neck-and-boob formula that further solidifies “body care” as the term of 2024.

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On Feb. 14, John Legend’s skincare line LOVED01 (Get it? “Loved one?”) dropped at Amazon Beauty for the first time.

Congrats to Dieux Skincare, the beloved internet brand that landed on real-life Sephora shelves on Feb. 13! They celebrated with a big dinner and cake. Two days later, Elemis launched their own skincare line there. And on Feb. 16, Kate McLeod’s water-free Daily Stone moisturiser appeared for the first time in Sephora stores.

Cosmetics

Huda Beauty launched her new Creamy Obsessions eyeshadow palette the old fashioned way: She put it in every single gift bag at the LaQuan Smith show on Feb. 12. Let’s hope front row guests like actress Kiki Layne and dancer Misty Copeland enjoy it!

Also at New York Fashion Week, Jason Wu’s ombre manicures were a simple standout, thanks to nail artist Jin Soon Choi, who used a makeup sponge to dab a deep maroon shade onto the nail beds for an airbrushed effect.

Make Up For Ever launched their HD Skin setting powder on Feb. 10. It’s got the same skin-blurring qualities as a good primer, but in powder form.

Speaking of good primers, Smashbox’s Photo Finish primer has enlisted Pam Anderson as its new face. Anderson is also a co-owner of Sonsie Skin, but I appreciate the bombshell admitting, and celebrating, the fact that she still wears makeup, too.

On Feb. 13, Glossier premiered their Cloud Paint Bronzer, an extension of their creamy blush pigments meant for a buildable sunkissed glow.

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The new glitter tubes from af94 that you’ve likely spotted at Sephora? They’re Swirl’d liquid marble eyeshadow, and they officially dropped Feb. 13. Elsewhere in the Gen Z space, Freck Beauty launched their Makeout Club Nude Muse lip liner on Feb. 14.

Morphe’s Lightform Extended Hydration foundation debuted Feb. 15. It claims to “improve skin barrier function at 12 hours and one week.” (I would like my foundation to just make me prettier, but sure, let’s multitask!)

Fragrance

Skylar turned their best-selling Boardwalk fragrance, which smells like cotton candy and coconut, into a hair and body mist on Feb. 8.

Meanwhile, Hermès dropped a new fragrance called Oud Alezan that was “motivated by [creative director] Christine Nagel’s desire to overcome her innate fear of horses.” Sniffing it will not make you less terrified of going full gallop, but its “petal-like” rose hydrosol and rose oxide will make you smell quietly perfect.

And in the zombie beauty space, Donna Karan’s Cashmere Collection fragrances have risen from the licensing dead, with very pretty new packaging. This is the same week that Donna Karan’s ready-to-wear collection has reemerged with a campaign starring classic supermodels like Amber Valetta and Liya Kebede.

And Finally...

Are we obsessed with protecting our skin barriers because we still haven’t mastered personal boundaries, and this feels like a baby step? Discuss.

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