In our celebrity-obsessed culture, celebrities sell beauty products - really well. Gone are the days (at least for now) when supermodels "owned" advertising for beauty products. Now celebrities do.
During Oscar week, beauty companies shower celebrities with free products and services. The very people who have the money to buy everything they want don't have to do anything except show up. Companies rent suites to attract celebrities with free stuff; the swag is amazing. "One brand name dropped at just the right time, even by a minor celebrity, can echo for months, translating into lucrative exposure for any beauty brand canny enough to be stationed within a mile of" the Academy Awards.1 While the Oscar arena is "choked" with beauty brands, some stand out.
The exposure pays. According to an issue of WWD's Beauty Biz, published five years ago, Revlon estimated that a small investment paid off in over $2 million in publicity. As a result, many celebrities are on the payroll of beauty and fashion companies, giving those companies year-round associations with beautiful woman. COVERGIRL has Taylor Swift, Lancôme has Julia Roberts (who has been airbrushed to feature-less "perfection"), Gucci has Jennifer Lopez and her children...the list is endless.
There is an enormous amount of attention, including from beauty bloggers (myself included), paid to what celebrity wore what makeup to the Academy Awards ceremony. Beauty companies send their top makeup artists to Los Angeles to cater to and prepare the nominees and presenters. I love looking at the fashion, but I've always got an eye on the makeup too.
At the Golden Globes, without even seeking the attention, Chantecaille became the lip gloss of choice when Angelina Jolie was seen touching up her lips on camera. What gloss was she wearing? Brilliant Gloss in Love. Angelina is also said to wear Charm, but it was Love she pulled out of her evening bag. The next day, Love sold out everywhere. You couldn't get your hands on Love anywhere. Chantecaille ran out, Neiman Marcus ran out - every source ran out. The run on Love was amazing, showing the power of Angelina Jolie to sell makeup - without really trying. I suspect, from what I've read about Jolie, that she finds Chantecaille's philanthropy as magnificent as I do. Even Brad Pitt uses Chantecaille products. Fact or fiction - I don't know the man - he's supposed to favor Future Skin foundation.
I didn't cover the news of Angelina's lip gloss selection right after the awards. There's the obvious question. "Do women really think a lip gloss will make them more like the ravishing celebrity?" However, I read it in the press with the rest of you (so disappointed that I didn't receive the press release - sob) that it was Love she was wearing.
Now, so that you can keep your eyes peeled for the next great, impossible-to-get product, I'm giving you the heads-up to watch tonight's ceremony. Then go online and order - quickly - if you want a tiny part of that celebrity experience! For those who were willing to wait, Chantecaille's Web site and Chantecaille counters have restocked Love. You can buy Angelina's lip gloss now. In DC, go see Alicia Cortes at Neiman Marcus Tysons.
So that you can see Angelina's fave lip glosses, I swatched them for you. My photo was taken outdoors during a momentary appearance by the sun. Love, shown at the top of my arm, is light pink. Charm, shown below, is nude. In my humble opinion, neither matches the shade squares shown online, which is why I'm showing them to you now.
Chantecaille's Brilliant Gloss ($28) is one of my favorites, and that has nothing to do with Angelina Jolie and the recent exposure. Brilliant Gloss feels good on the lips, looks good, and lasts a reasonable amount of time for a lip gloss. Just like Angelina, you'll need to re-apply it when you've been eating, drinking, or out on the town for the night. I know of no lip gloss that's truly long-wearing, and the thought of one actually scares me. Would it cling to your lips with magnetic attraction, picking up cat or dog fur? Or stray bits of grit on a windy day? [Shudder]
Now that's you've read to the end of this rambling feature, what do you think? Will you be swayed by what the stars wear tonight?
1Leslie Gornstein, Beauty Biz, April 14, 2006
Photo at top courtesy of NBC