Color Cosmetics

Jeanne Damas Rebrands and Relaunches Rouje Beauty Line

Jeanne Damas Rebrands and Relaunches Rouje Beauty Line

PARIS — French fashion brand Rouje is rebranding and relaunching its beauty offering as it prepares to expand into skin care.The Rouje Beauté line, launched in 2018 and consisting mostly of lipsticks inspired by founder Jeanne Damas’ trademark red pout, will be renamed Les Filles en Rouje, starting with the introduction of its first face palette on May 8. It plans to gradually expand into other color cosmetics categories through 2023.
“I wanted to separate them and launch a new site and a new identity, because I want to give [the beauty collection] more space,” Damas said at a launch event, held in her new office at the Rouje headquarters in Paris. “At Rouje, lipstick was originally designed as an accessory, like a bag or shoes. Now we want to develop a full range of makeup.”

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The name of the line loosely translates as Girls in Red, though Damas has customized the French word for the color, “rouge,” with her own initial.

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“It was an expression we used internally to talk about people who follow the brand,” she said. “Initially, I was afraid that it might be a bit long for a brand name, but in the end, I thought it worked because it opens up a whole world of possibilities — the ‘girls’ are not just me, it’s everyone.”

A campaign image for Les Filles en Rouje’s face palette.
Courtesy of Les Filles en Rouje.

She’s keen to point out there’s nothing girly about the range itself, which comes in brightly colored packaging with a graphic new logo. “The brand may be called Les Filles en Rouje, but in fact, it’s for all generations,” she said. “This makeup is designed to reveal your natural beauty and allows you to be playful.”
Nonetheless, Damas — who rose to fame as a teenager as the embodiment of French Girl Style — remains the principal muse for the collection and its retro-style packaging. For her debut complexion offer, housed in a tortoiseshell-patterned compact, she wanted something light with creamy formulations.
Priced at 49 euros, the palette contains three shades of highlighter, containing cocoa butter and jojoba, and three blush colors, enriched with castor oil, designed to work with different skin tones. “I never use foundation, but I like to wear a little light and color,” she explained. “It’s not designed to hide the skin.”

Les Filles en Rouje’s first face palette.

In September, the 30-year-old plans to release a full skin care line.
“During confinement, there was not much opportunity to wear makeup, apart for oneself. Skin care took on a more important place in our lives. That got me interested in launching my own line,” she said. “I’ve always used only 100 percent natural products, so I really wanted to create it with natural ingredients.”
While she plans to launch the collection with glass packaging designed to be displayed on bathroom shelves, she wants to introduce refillable formats later down the line.
Damas hopes to open a separate beauty boutique near her office and store on Rue Bachaumont, if a space opens up. “I’d like to have another store just for beauty, to offer a different experience, because the two can coexist, but they can also speak to two different customers,” she said.
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The Best Eyeliner Brand According to Stacey Bendet, Queen of the Black Smokey Eye

The Best Eyeliner Brand According to Stacey Bendet, Queen of the Black Smokey Eye

“I call Inglot the ride or die eyeliner,” said Stacey Bendet. The Alice + Olivia chief executive officer and creative director has on her signature beauty look, a dewy face and jet black smokey eye.She’s been perfecting the routine since her teenage years, and for the last five years, Inglot — the Polish cosmetics company — has been her go-to. She uses the brand’s black eyeliner, black gel pot and black pencil.
“It’s the best eyeliner and the best black for the lid that you can literally have on all day,” she went on. “I’ll outline with the Inglot pencil but then fill it in with the pot. Once you use the pot, that black is not moving. And same thing with underneath. I’ll do a little bit of the liquid or the pot underneath and then fill in with the pencil. The pencil is excellent.”

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She should know; the 46-year-old has practically tried it all at this point. (Powder shadow to smoke the eye out is a big no-no, she said, “it drops no matter what.”) As her choice of products changed, so did the shape of the look, and it’s had variations through the years.

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Stacey Bendet
Weston Wells/WWD

“First, it was just mascara and the black underneath, and then I started doing the line on top, and then it turned into black sparkle,” she said of her teen years. “I used to sit there and just play, for hours, with makeup….It was always something that made me feel a little mysterious, and it was a little glamorous.”
It was all her own, though she remembers being inspired by ’90s “It” girls Kate Moss and Gwyneth Paltrow: “I thought they just had the chicest, most elegant style. They were elegant but also had this edge.”
At one point, she opted for a winged cat-eye shape, but these days, she describes the form as round and doll-like.
“Sometimes, I’ll do it lighter with a soft sparkle over it,” Bendet continued. Her favorite glitter to layer on the black has been a white shade by MAC Cosmetics. “It’s evil if it explodes in your bag, but it’s great to dab.”
It creates a softer look, one she developed for video calls during the pandemic.
“I found that through Zooms, it almost looks like your eyes are closed when it’s so dark,” she explained. “It’s almost a half version of it that has a little bit of a pale sparkle lid. It just felt more open.”
She calls it “the medium,” while her original, edgier look is “the big.”
The routine typically takes 20 minutes, starting with a MAC primer, followed by MAC’s ultra-light face and body foundation — which is sometimes mixed with either a Kevyn Aucoin or Charlotte Tilbury foundation — and set with a facial spray. Bendet then adds a YSL Beauty lip stain on her cheeks as blush, while keeping her lips bare.
“I feel like COVID-19 killed lipstick,” she said. “Like, I really rarely do my red lip ever anymore, because all you end up doing is ending up with lipstick all over your face when you put a mask on.”
The focus is on the eyes, and before she begins layering and shading (with pencil), she applies Peter Thomas Roth under eye gels.

Stacey Bendet
Weston Wells/WWD

“While you’re doing your makeup, you put those on, and it cools, and then it also protects that area, so it doesn’t get dark,” Bendet said. When the eye look is complete, she adds strip lashes and concealer. “I think I have a lifetime supply of Kevyn Aucoin’s number six, because it’s the best thing under your eyes, and I’m like that can’t ever leave my existence.”

When it’s time to remove it all, she swears by Pond’s “Cold Cream.”
“It’s old school,” she added. “It’s the best. It’s gone in one swipe.”
For the lashes though, which are harder to take off, she rubs a Tata Harper face oil. “I love their oils.”
She has a love for skin care, lighting up while explaining her favorite products, which currently include Furtuna Skincare, SK-II for masks and U Beauty’s “Resurfacing Compound” (“you have to be willing to peel a little bit”).
She wore much less makeup during the pandemic, she said, focusing on skin (and sunscreen) while living on the beach in Malibu for over a year. Her days began barefaced while practicing morning yoga.
“I’m, like, hair in a bun, no makeup at all,” she said.
When she did doll up — for a Zoom or evening out — the look stayed the same in California, jet black eyes and all. However, her hair went through a transformation, going from black to blonde.
“I was like, ‘Is this my Malibu life crisis?’” she joked, now back in New York. “The black hair just felt so harsh in that world. It didn’t feel right.”
Her natural hair color is a “brownish blonde,” she continued: “When I was in Malibu, I couldn’t get my roots dyed, and it just started growing out and then I was like, you know, ‘I’m going to just dye it.’ It just felt kind of fresh and different, but I’ll probably go back to dark at some point.”
Beauty, like fashion, has been a tool for self-expression, she said.
“It’s funny, when I have no makeup on, people will be like, ‘I like you with no makeup.’ And I’m like, ‘That’s nice,’ you know. But for me, when I have my dark eye and have my ’70s hair, whether it’s blonde or black, that’s when I feel like me.”

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