“Beauty Is For Everyone” Harris Reed’s MAC Cosmetics Collab Is Rethinking MakeUp

Just as Harris Reed’s clothing offers an important voice in the conversation around the way we define masculinity and gender identity in fashion, a limited-edition collaboration with MAC Cosmetics created by the 24-year-old British-American designer is set to redefine the way we approach makeup. 

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #37 series on my blog.

“Beauty is fluid, beauty is for everyone and I can’t wait to see how people are going to use this collection to show their version of self-expression and fluidity,” Harris told Vogue, practically shrieking down the phone with excitement. “That’s what I’m super excited about.”

“My first experiences with makeup were with my friends at a MAC store getting ready for prom and it was the brand that I first saw putting make-up on ‘boys’’, they explain, citing MAC as the perfect partner. “For it to even trust me, and take on my strong-ass message of fighting for fluidity, I have to say, has just felt like the most beautiful partnership.”

One of Harris’s personal highlights to come from the collaboration is that it will enable their hundreds of thousands of followers the opportunity to own their own part of the Harris Reed brand and feel included in its wider message. “It’s such an emotional thing for me. I’ve been so incredibly lucky that millions of people have seen the things I’ve worked on and have been a part of, but have maybe until now they’ve not been able to buy into it. This is now something that anyone can get their hands on and be a part of. It doesn’t feel real, it feels crazy.” 

The millennial-pink packaged collection is made up of four products, each of which offers a plethora of possibilities to play around with. A smudge of one shade into your hairline could work mixed with another swept over your eyelids for a trip to the shop – just as Harris did when creating the palettes. Though MAC has a history of being used by professionals, this collection has a level of tactility to it that the least acquainted with makeup can become quickly familiar with. The fact that there are no application brushes is deliberate – Harris prefers the human touch.

“It is very much about a playfulness and the joy of makeup,” Harris continues. “As someone who makes clothes that take a couple of weeks to produce, if I want to make a statement with makeup, it literally takes me seconds with a good lipstick or eyeshadow. As I have pushed this idea of a more fluid space in a more fluid world, I’ve really loved that makeup can always be that gorgeous icing on top. It doesn’t only complete the look but, it also completes the message, acting as that extra ounce of light to help radiate what I stand for.”

Much like their clothing, the inspiration behind the colours and products is a major meeting of eras and aesthetics, resulting in an overall “glam-luxe romanticism gone non-binary,” they say. “It is a mix between Studio 54 and rococo, but also think a full renaissance party. You can start with this very beautiful, very whimsical approach and then by the end you can end up with this Studio-54-inspired gold eyeshadow all over your face, even pushing up to the hairline.” Their hero product? A trio of lipsticks called ‘From Harris, With Love’ that reminds them of their first forays into makeup and looking at lipsticks with their mum as a child. “I know those are the ones that I will keep on me at a party, applying, applying and applying.”

Harris’s own approach to beauty and using makeup for themselves has shifted as their sense of self has grown — most notably after they started at Central Saint Martins, emerged in London’s creative scene. Yet they weren’t always so comfortable and forthcoming with using products for themselves. “Being around fabulously flamboyant people really pushed me in the way that I wanted to express myself in terms of my gender identity and being creative across so many areas,” they said.

“[Wearing makeup] has made me have a much more honest approach to my identity. Like anything, it can be scary if you’re not familiar with it. The minute I thought of makeup as a tool to use to send a message and spark a story, was when I started having a way more playful approach. It gave me a space to feel that everything was okay. It definitely was a journey and now I realise that you write your own rulebook.”

The four-piece collection is a small but mighty push for us all to rethink how we use and approach makeup. Harris doesn’t see using cosmetics any differently to employing a fabulous fashion accessory when putting an outfit together. “I think if I, and this collection, can be of any influence to make people look at makeup as a tool to be who you want to be, then that’s job done,” they said.

“Try and not think of makeup as something that makes you look ‘pretty’ and try and not look at it as something that you use to make yourself better, but to explore and enhance something within you. Use makeup as a tool to be your most authentic self.” 

VOGUE article

If You Have Dry Skin, You Need to Try This Influencer-Approved Cream Blush

It’s infused with rosehip and jojoba oils for maximum hydration.

If dry skin has ever kept you from wearing makeup, skincare CEO Charlotte Parler promises you’ll meet your match with the Kosas Color & Light Cream Palette. 

“It’s probably my favorite cosmetic product right now,” said Parler, the founder of Dieux Skin, in a recent viral TikTok. “If you have dry skin, this highlighter and cream blush duo is going to make you look dewy.”

Kosas clearly had dry skin in mind when creating this palette, which is formulated with apricot kernel, rosehip, and jojoba seed oils to soothe and brighten skin. The blend of oils also makes for an incredibly blendable product, and the infused pigments are buildable and offer major staying power. To seal the deal, the blush and highlighter are cruelty-free and boast a shelf life of a whopping 18 months. 

The Color & Light palette is available in four complementary color combinations, all of which are also sold in a high-intensity variation containing double the pigment. And these shades have range — shoppers can choose from the peach and cream Velvet Melon, the cool pinks of 8th Muse, the burnt orange and mauve in Helios, and the vibrant bronze hues of the Tropic Equinox duo

Buy on their website $44

More than 300 shoppers have supported Parler’s claims about this palette in the form of a five-star review on Kosas’ website. “During the winter when my skin is naturally drier, this allows me to keep my skin hydrated while having a dewy looking glow,” one customer wrote. “It’s exactly what I was looking for!”

“I love the glow this gives on my dry skin,” said another. “I find myself grabbing it almost daily.”

The Kosas Color & Light Cream Palette can be yours for $34, which isn’t so bad when you consider that it contains two high-quality formulations in a single pan. Plus, if you sign up for the brand’s mailing list, you’ll receive 10% off your first order. No matter your skin tone or texture, it’s a foolproof path to a hydrated flush during the driest season of the year.

INSTYLE article

This Clean Brand Wants People With Sensitive Skin to Have Fun With Makeup Too

You’ve probably seen Tower 28’s sunny, beach-inspired products on your Instagram feed. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #24 series on my blog.

After dealing with embarrassing flare-ups throughout her career, while working for some of the biggest brands in the beauty industry, Liu wanted to create makeup products that people with sensitive, compromised skin would feel good about using.

In under two years, Tower 28 has become known for its clean formulas, beach-inspired shades, colorful packaging, and accessible price points.

However, while Tower 28’s cult-favorite SOS Daily Rescue Spray has the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance, the brand’s products aren’t just for people with eczema or other chronic skin conditions.

“My hope is the products aren’t just for people who suffer from eczema or have problem skin like mine,” Liu tells InStyle. “It’s been fascinating because if you were to look at the people who tag us on Instagram, there’s everything from beauty guru full makeup looks to people who are more into skincare. It makes me so happy because I wanted this brand to be for everyone.”

Find out how Liu broke into the beauty industry, her thoughts on the future of the clean beauty movement, and so much more.

How did you wind up working in the beauty industry? 

My first job out of college was consulting. I didn’t feel an attachment to the work I was doing because once I was done a project somewhere I would leave. I went through what I call my quarter life crisis, and went to business school with the intention of changing careers. I don’t consider myself to be a super glam person or a beauty junkie, but the way people engage with beauty products and the psychology of beauty products has always fascinated me. Putting on makeup can be a confidence boost, and as someone who’s aging and has had compromised skin, I understand that experience. So, I went to USC for business school and did my first internship at L’Oréal with Maybelline. Then I worked at brands like Smashbox and Kate Somerville. All the while, I always knew I wanted to do my own thing but I’m quite a risk-adverse person. The idea of walking away from a job with a decent salary and raising money to start a brand was really scary. In the end, I ended up raising money from friends and family and that’s how I started Tower 28.

What is the inspiration behind Tower 28? 

I’ve had compromised, inconsistent, eczema-prone skin since I was in college. You see it addressed in skincare, but not really in makeup. I really wanted to wear makeup when I had flare-ups, but my biggest fear was making it worse by using products. I also felt self-conscious at work when I was presenting products to people and my hands had eczema on it. I’m sure part of it was in my own head because no one ever said anything to me, but it made me want to create something that could help people with compromised skin who felt guilty or bad about wearing products.

My parents immigrating to America from Taiwan is the second thing that’s inspired the brand. I was born in the U.S., grew up in California, and felt very American, but I still felt a little bit on the outside because I didn’t fit into what was considered the typical standards of beauty. That’s part of the reason why the brand has a beach theme to it. I’ve lived in Southern California near the beach for so long and you don’t just see blue eyes and blonde hair. Tower 28 is a real place on the edge of Santa Monica and Venice, and you could not find a more diverse group of people there. I wanted to tell a different story about the beach, and bring clean beauty to a larger group of people.

California just passed the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act. As a clean beauty brand founder, how do you think this bill will affect the industry? 

In general, as a wide statement, most businesses will not change unless there’s a real threat to their business. However, I’m happy that it’s happened and I hope it’s the tip of the iceberg. I think the consumer and the demand for clean products what will ultimately change the industry. I don’t think people think this new legislation is strict enough, especially if they’re already using clean products.

What Tower 28 product are you most proud of? 

The product I’m most proud of and personally reliant on, is our SOS Spray. We recently announced that we’re launching a jumbo size on Instagram and all of the comments were from people saying how excited they are. I’ve had this skin problem so long and started the brand not knowing I’d make something that really helps me, and then so many other people. It’s exactly all of the things I wanted to get out of creating a brand. Outside of that, I also think it’s cool that we don’t just have one hero product. We only have a few SKUs, but they’re all pretty productive.

You created Tower 28’s Clean Beauty Summer School Program to support Black-owned beauty brands. Why was this initiative important to you? 

I hope to provide access to mentorship and education at a time where so many Black founders are suddenly being seen and there’s an influx of demand. Since I’ve worked in the beauty industry for 17 years, I’m able to help people connect the dots, find mentors, and hopefully leverage this moment. A huge part of the success I’ve had in my career is due to my network and community in the industry, which in itself is a privilege.

Product Highlights:

Bronzino Illuminating Cream Bronzer

For a natural, streak-free glow, a cream bronzer is your best bet. Tower 28’s buildable formula blends like a dream, thanks to skin-conditioning ingredients like mango butter and calming green tea extract. It comes in two shades” West Coast is a medium bronze with neutral undertones, while Best Coast is a deep bronze with red undertones.

Buy on their website $20

ShineOn Lip Jelly

What do you get when you combine everything you love about your favorite lip balm and gloss? Tower 28’s ShineOn Lip Jelly. The six translucent shades (including this red) offer high shine and hydrate lips — without any stickiness.

Buy on their website $14

SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray

This isn’t your average refreshing facial mist, the cult-favorite spray is formulated with hypochlorous acid, an ingredient that helps reduce bacteria and inflammation, which in turn, can soothe compromised skin and prevent acne.

Buy on their website $28

BeachPlease Luminous Tinted Balm

There’s no right or wrong way to use this tinted balm. Dab it on your eyelids, lips, and cheeks for a luminous, sheer wash of color. The three available shades are inspired by the warm tones of a Santa Monica sunset.

Buy on their website $20

ShineOn Milky Lip Jelly

Available in four shades inspired by alternative milks, the milky edition of ShineOn Lip Jelly is a level up from the original. It’s infused with apricot kernel and raspberry seed oils to nourish and protect lips from free radicals and environmental aggressors.

Buy on their website $14

INSTYLE article

5 Easy Steps To The Prettiest English Rose Make-Up Look

Wind-flushed cheeks; flawless skin; and just-bitten lips: all hallmarks of the “English Rose”, the term used to describe a delicate kind of beauty long regarded as classically English. The likes of Keira Knightley, Kate Winslet, Ella Balinska, Emma Watson and now, newcomer Emma Corrin – who appears on British Vogue’s October cover as her The Crown character Princess Diana (another famous English Rose) – all share a certain innocent appeal.

“The quintessential English Rose look comprises berry-stained plump lips, ruddy, flushed cheeks and a dewy, invisibly-perfect complexion,” says make-up artist Neil Young. “The complexion should feel real and translucent, so as to reveal all the natural undertones of the skin.” Here, Young shares exactly how to achieve the look for yourself with the assistance of some cleverly applied make-up.

Keep skin fresh

To create a luminous and dewy effect, Young loves a tinted moisturiser or lightweight foundation that will allow the skin’s natural undertones to shine through. “This allows you to further enhance what’s already there with your subsequent products,” he says. Try IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation for a radiant second skin finish; Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation, which does exactly what it says on the tin; or Smashbox’s Halo Healthy Glow All-In-One Tinted Moisturiser, another lightweight wonder.

Find your colour

To create a harmonious balance of colour on the face, Young recommends using a multi-use lip and cheek product. “Creams and gels lend themselves to this look as they melt into the skin, creating a believable pink undertone to the lip and cheek – think royal flush and berry-bitten lips. Deeper complexions should opt for darker red and fuchsia tones,” he says. Look to Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge creams – there’s a shade for everyone – or Westman Atelier’s Baby Cheeks Blush Sticks for an ultra-natural, dewy finish.

Use your fingers

To create that natural, just-been-outside flush, use your fingers to apply your blush. “It pushes the cream formula into the apples of the cheeks, which makes it look like the colour is radiating through the skin, rather than floating on top like a powder blusher,” explains Young. “If your complexion is combination to oily, then a powder blush [like Hourglass’s Ambient Lighting Blush] with light-reflecting particles will achieve the same effect.”

Where to apply

The aim is to make your flush look totally natural, as if it hasn’t been applied, so mimic where you would naturally redden: “Apply to the apples of the cheeks and pull down towards the jawline for a flushed appearance,” advises Young. “If you’re using a powder, sweep across the apples of cheeks and pull the brush down towards the jawline to create a ruddy effect.”

A light touch on the lips

For a lip colour that looks natural but won’t budge, try a lip stain. YSL’s new Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres Water Glossy Lip Stain leaves lips looking plump and reddened and, crucially, stays put; Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Lip Stains are another great option. You can also apply them to cheeks for a lit-from-within blush.

VOGUE article

5 Simple Ways To Heat-Proof Your Make-Up

Heat, humidity and sweat; three of make-up’s biggest enemies. Or so you might think. It doesn’t have to be that way, since nifty products and clever application techniques can help your make-up stay put through thick and thin – and that’s with a mask on, too. Here find five make-up artist-approved tips to harness when it’s hot.

Prep the skin

How you tend to your skin before you apply make-up is key to enhancing the longevity of base formulas. “Cleanse and then apply a good serum and moisturiser,” says make-up artist Cher Webb. “Then use a primer. It makes a huge difference and will keep your base on for longer.” Look to lightweight, antioxidant-rich moisturisers like QMS Medicosmetics Epigen Pollution Defence Day Cream, a good summer option, then ensure you apply an SPF, like Beauty Pie’s Featherlight SPF 50. As for primer, look no further than Elemis’s new Superfood Glow Priming Moisturiser, which imparts a radiant sheen over skin while also keeping subsequent base products in place.

Choose the right foundation

Finding the right foundation is essential if you want to wear it all day – and it’s not as difficult as you might think. Those who prefer a barely-there finish should opt for BB or CC creams – Kevyn Aucoin’s Stripped Nude Skin Tint is second to none for a glowy summer finish. For those who like medium coverage and upwards, look for products labelled “long wear”. “These will have been tested by a panel of people to ensure they can perform in such a manner,” says Debbie Finnegan, MAC’s global senior artist. MAC’s Studio Fix Foundation is one such formula and promises to last for up to 24 hours on skin. Meanwhile, Laura Mercier’s Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation and Urban Decay’s Stay Naked 24-Hour Foundation are both excellent options when temperatures rise.

Set your base

Whether you use a spray or a powder, setting your make-up is key. “The Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray has been one of my make-up kit essentials for so many years now, as it sets and holds make-up in place for up to 16 hours,” says Webb. “It prevents make-up melting with its built-in temperature control formula, and I also spray it on top my brushes before make-up application for added longevity.” Mists are a great option during summer (we also love Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray), since they also hydrate and refresh the face – needed when temperatures are sky high – but powders are particularly good for those with oily skin. Look for finely-milled, translucent formulas, like Morphe’s Bake And Set Powder.

Consistency is key

To heat-proof your make-up look, switch creamy consistencies for powder textures instead. “In the heat, I would recommend making the most of your eye make-up, and add a matte bronzer and powder blush as these will last the duration,” advises Webb. “Cream and gel textures may move slightly over time, so go for matte products.” You’ll love getting Gucci Beauté’s Éclat Soleil Bronzing Powder out of your bag, such is its beautiful packaging and flattering matte bronze, while Chanel’s Joues Contraste Powder Blush comes in an array of flattering hues, ideal for sun-flushed skin.

Waterproof your eyes

If the heat all gets a bit much and your mascara simply won’t stay put, swap your normal mascara for a waterproof number. Rimmel’s Scandaleyes Volume on Demand Waterproof Mascara delivers a full and fluttery finish that stays put, no matter what you throw at it. 

VOGUE article