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The Business of Beauty Haul of Fame: Personally Victimised by Regina George

Will SponCon work if you’re a Mean Girl?
A women's lower face. She is wearing bright pink lipstick and has ring that read "mean girls."
E.l.f. released a “Mean Girls-”inspired makeup set online called Every Day We Wear Pink, including 5 of the line’s rosy best sellers. E.l.f. is also the only beauty label to appear on screen, and even gets mentioned by name in a pivotal moment. (Paramount Pictures)

Welcome back to Haul of Fame, the weekly beauty roundup of new products, new ideas and the joys of being a mouse, duh.

Included in today’s issue: A$AP Rocky, Augustinus Bader, Babe Originals, Barbara Sturm, Bathhouse, Glamnetic, Glossier, Halsey, Hotel Chelsea, Huda Beauty, Laura Mercier, Lemme, Live Tinted, Pixi, Prequel, Revlon, Seadrop, Shani Darden, The Rootist, Ursa Major, vampires and super-cute pandas! But first…

I had a blast watching the new “Mean Girls” movie. Actress and pop minx Reneé Rapp owns every scene, but someone else owns the brand sponsorship: E.l.f. Cosmetics.

E.l.f. is the only beauty label to appear on screen, and even gets mentioned by name in a pivotal moment. (E.l.f. also released a “Mean Girls”-inspired makeup set online called “Every Day We Wear Pink,” including five of the line’s rosy best sellers.) The brand’s onscreen mention was obvious enough that some teens sitting behind me giggled during the viewing. Still, you couldn’t deny that the pink-tinted lip oil looked so sweet on Rapp’s masterful Regina George and her fellow Plastics, even as they committed girl-on-girl crime.

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The brazen #sponcon reminded me, more than a bit, of the beauty content that came out of The Golden Globes on Jan. 7. Yes, beauty brands have long paid for red carpet gold, but this season’s placements were pretty blatant product ads. Some were even helmed by independent creative directors who accompanied talent to document their “Golden Globes journey,” turning the awards show into its multiple little commercials.

Take L’Oréal’s partnership with Elle Fanning. Makeup artist Erin Ayanian Monroe didn’t just post pics of her fresh-faced look, she also included stories holding the brand’s Infallible Blush and Elnett hairspray next to Fanning’s face. It should have been cloying, but Fanning is so endearing that the whole thing felt fun, like friends shooting a TikTok during a sleepover. Florence Pugh and makeup artist Alex Babsky did the same type of thing for Valentino Beauty, with visible celeb-using-the-product shots (blush, again!) for his Instagram grid. Jennifer Lopez matched her stunning pink Nicole + Felicia gown to JLo Beauty’s new Glow + Get It Nutrient-Rich Hydrating Mist, which launched (for non-movie stars) on Jan. 10. And Charles Melton and his grooming artist, Candice Birns, held up a Very Good Light lip milk on camera, even though the product doesn’t even drop until Jan. 17.

On the stylised end of the spectrum was Natasha Lyonne, whose outstanding hair by Vernon François and makeup by James Kaliardos with Lashify was captured by stylist Cristina Ehrlich, with photos so good, they could be their own magazine cover. Rachel Brosnahan’s perfect ponytail created by Danielle Priano, with Sexy Hair and Edrée, was documented by filmmaker Damien Blue, whose commercial portfolio includes Nike and Levi’s. And Fanning was trailed by the creative director Chloe Rosey, whose clients include Gucci and Madewell.

As awards season rolls into March, we’ll see more of this image-making from celebrities and beauty brands, both DIY-style and professionally framed. Because though beloved filmmaker Nora Ephron once said “Everything is copy,” when it comes to Hollywood glamour, everything — from “Mean Girls” to movie award looks — is, on some level, #sponcon.

But at least, to quote Regina George, we all agree: It’s really pretty.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW...

PLACES TO GO

On Jan. 11, Bathhouse opened its second location in the Flatiron District of Manhattan. Located in a former parking garage, it boasts six pools, three saunas, an in-house restaurant for “clean food” and the hub’s famous/infamous pools that are heated by energy from bitcoin mining. Co-founder Travis Talmadge declined to share the revenue that Bathhouse makes from e-cash (alas!) but did tell me lots of other good stuff, including his dedication to the Aufguss, a sauna ritual using essential oil snowballs and towel choreography to create deeper communal wellness. “It’s basically a hipster sweat lodge,” he joked.

Talmadge also revealed that some people experience Bathhouse’s signature cold plunge pools on a date, which is blowing my Millennial mind. I was always okay posting a bikini pic to Raya or Bumble as long as it was already on my Instagram. But showing up to a date in a swimsuit? That’s a next level Gen-Z move, and I’m here for it. If you’d rather not date-and-detox, Talmadge recommends bringing a friend to the new Bathhouse instead. “It’s meant to be a deeply social experience,” he said. “Part of well-being is staying connected to others, and making it fun.”

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A little further west in Manhattan, the Hotel Chelsea opened its rooftop spa on Jan. 9. The spa boasts six treatment rooms, a traditional Swedish sauna, aromatic steam showers and deep tubs for hot soaks or ice dunks; the facial treatments offered are collaborations with Dr. Barbara Sturm and Votary. What’s more intriguing to me is the space’s rooftop garden, which grows “medicinal plants and herbs.” Trusted spa-to-skin brands like Caudalie, Clarins and Naturopathica have been blending their own garden harvests into formulas for years. But to see it happening on a Manhattan roof deck feels significant for the herbal healing movement. Hopefully more urban spas, and even office buildings with empty rooftops, can follow suit.

SKINCARE

Ursa Major is a brand to watch; it seems that everyone swears by its Golden Hour Recovery Cream after long flights (or several flights of martinis). On Jan. 9 it launched Lunar Bloom Retinal Serum, which connects the power of night-blooming flowers with the efficacy of overnight skincare. I don’t know if “beauty sleep” needs to get that deep, but I appreciate the cool plant facts.

Glossier officially debuted its new Full Orbit Eye Cream on Jan. 11. (It was supposed to be much later, but Reddit spies did their thing and saw it at Sephora last week.)

Seadrop Skincare launched a Hydrating Seafoam Cleanser on Jan. 8 that comes in tiny dry pebbles — you grab one and add water yourself.

The Girl Scouts of America have partnered with Native on limited edition body washes, shampoos and more, which hit select Target stores on Jan. 8. Thin Mint conditioner and Trefoils deodorant, coming soon to a junior high party near you.

Babe Original dropped two gummy vitamins: Good Morning, Babe and Good Night, Babe on Jan. 4. They’re $29 each and claim to help mood, skin, sleep and hair. Also in the supplement space, Lemme debuted its gummies at Target on Jan. 5. Cue Kourtney Kardashian Barker on a grocery aisle livestream in 3…2…?

Shani Darden dropped her Moisture Boost Plumping Serum on Jan. 10. Its formula has tremella mushroom, otherwise known as “snow mushroom,” the vegan molecule that holds up to 5x more water than hyaluronic acid. Tremella has become a buzzy ingredient lately, and with good reason: It feels great on skin.

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Live Tinted debuted its Superbright 15% Vitamin C Serum Stick on Jan. 9. They’re calling it “like sunshine in a stick,” which is very cute … but also kind of wild, considering the discolouration that Vitamin C helps fight is often caused by sun damage. Too literal? I know, I know. If you’re looking for new SPF protection, though, Prequel made its Sun Barrier Mineral Sunscreen available on Jan. 11.

On Jan. 6, Tower 28 revealed a “Kung Fu Panda 4″ collaboration, including a bottle of SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray with Po doing a high kick across the front. It’s hysterical and adorable and I must have it; I don’t even care what the product inside does. (Apparently it “calms skin and supports the skin barrier.” Great.)

COSMETICS

It’s a big month for complexion. On Jan. 10, Kosas debuted new shades of its Revealer Concealer at Sephora. On Jan. 5, Bare Minerals revamped its BarePro Foundation and Laura Mercier unveiled its Real Flawless Weightless Perfecting Concealer. Halsey’s makeup line, About Face, just introduced The Performer, a new foundation in 45 shades. On Jan. 9, Pixi revealed its new On the Glow Superglow stick, a tinted highlighter. And on Jan. 12, Fenty Beauty will launch the We’re Even Hydrating Concealer, with a more serum-y finish than its full coverage SKU.

Elsewhere in Fenty-land, A$AP Rocky created his first product for the line, Fenty Skin Lux Balm. Rocky calls it “the baddest lip balm out there” and it might be — but I was always pining for an A$AP x Aesop collaboration, just for the pun. Sigh!

Huda Beauty debuted a new shade of #FauxFilter Color Corrector on Jan. 9 called Lychee, designed to bring out a pink flush in darker skin tones.

The actress Madelyn Cline is the new face of Revlon. Cline is undeniably beautiful, and seems genuinely fun and cool. (She is also dating Pete Davidson, which itself seems fun and cool, if a little chaotic.) At fashion parties, I’ve had editors explicitly ask me to interview Cline instead of other mega-stars in attendance, which speaks to her SEO and social media value. Revlon is smart to harness Cline’s online star power, given its flagging relevance. Plus, it will be fun to see the actress join the beauty game in a bigger way.

NAILS

On Jan. 11, Glamnetic dropped a Catching Feelings collection of Valentine’s Day inspired press-on nails. Sephora will get an exclusive Aphrodite design that’s a cool pink marble, plus a Candy Core version that’s pink with a mirror glaze finish. But if you’re collecting Ulta Beauty Rewards points instead, expect Pink Quartz and Prism exclusives that look basically the same.

HAIR CARE

On Jan. 11, The Rootist debuted at Sephora. Created by Farmacy Beauty founder David Chung, it uses science-based compounds like peptides and fermented biotics — usually found in skincare — to fuel hair growth and strength.

ABSOLUTE INSANITY

Today, Colourpop drops a “Twilight”-themed range, including lip oils in navy blue (“Team Edward”), black (“Team Jacob”) and blood red for Bella. I want to hate this collection so badly, because a 104-year-old vampire breaking into a teenage girl’s room to watch her sleep is … just … no. But I’ve never seen a navy lip oil before, and the rosy glimmer it gives is undeniably chic.

In This Article

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The Business of Beauty Global Awards - Deadline 30 April 2024