Sunday, March 4, 2012

Estée Lauder Mad Men Collection

Shade, Stir, Seduce

Estée Lauder's Mad Men Collection is a limited-edition makeup collection inspired by the award-winning AMC drama Mad Men. In an exclusive partnership with the Mad Men show, Estée Lauder has introduced two limited-edition makeup collections. The first Estée Lauder Mad Men Collection just debuted, timed to coincide with the premiere of Season Five (March 25 at 9:00 pm/8:00 pm CT), and the second collection will launch with Season Six in 2013.

Set in 1960s New York, the sexy, stylized, and provocative Mad Men drama follows the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising firm Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, an ego-driven world where key players make an art of the sell. Because I don't subscribe to cable television (when would I watch it?), I haven't seen the glamorous show. I'm sure I'll be able to buy a season or two on DVD for much less than daily cable would cost me.

The first of the two makeup collections features two classic makeup items inspired by the look of the women featured in Mad Men’s 1960s New York City setting. Bold, red lips and creamy, rouged cheeks defined this iconic age. Estée Lauder softened the colors to make them appealing to today's women.

Estée Lauder Mad Men Lipstick in Cherry ($25) features smooth, rich color in a cream-satin, moisturizing finish. Estée Lauder Mad Men Creme Rouge in Evening Rose ($40) is an easily blendable and buildable formula in a perky rose shade that highlights the cheeks with a dewy, smooth, and naturally flushed finish - the way women might have blushed when approached by a tall, handsome stranger in a bar.

The advertising for Estée Lauder's Mad Men Collection was shot by world-renowned photographer Craig McDean and features Estée Lauder model Constance Jablonski. The outer cartons for the collection are custom designs inspired by the Estée Lauder packaging from the 1960s. The boxes are gorgeous; they made me reminisce.

Cherry Lipstick is packaged in a fluted golden case housed in a leather-like gold pouch within the fancy box. My only complaint is its size. Barely bigger than a deluxe lipstick sample, I wondered why I had paid $25 for it. Please don't misunderstand. It's gorgeous. It's just tiny.

The Creme Rouge in Evening Rose is a must-have for cream blush addicts. Also housed in a fluted golden compact and leather-like pouch, it comes in a generous size. The inner rim of the compact features an embossed stamp signifying the name of the limited-edition collection, which is a nice touch.

I took my swatch photos in full, glorious sunshine. Cherry Lipstick is shown at the top of my arm, and Evening Rose is featured below. I was surprised when I tried Cherry at Bloomingdale's. In the tester tube, it looked dark. On the skin, it's a bright cherry rose - very pretty. Evening Rose offers buildable color so you'll never look like Raggedy Ann. I think the shade is drop-dead gorgeous. It's lively, feminine, and flirty.

Although the shades are not matchy-matchy, they pair beautifully for a rosy pop of color. Not too cool and not too warm, the shades should please everyone. I apply the cream blush with a synthetic foundation brush for a light wash of rose color (even though the company recommends fingertips), and as is my habit, I apply the lipstick directly from the tube.

The Estée Lauder Mad Men Collection will be available for a limited time exclusively at Bloomingdale’s stores nationwide,, and I bought mine at Bloomingdale's. I wasn't paying close attention to the exclusivity of the collection and called Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom before I went back to the press release to see that it was exclusive to Bloomingdale's and the Estée Lauder Web site. Don't waste time like I did. Go directly to one of those sources to order.

If you can only have one piece, I'd recommend the Evening Rose Creme Rouge (blush). It's a better value than the lipstick, and the compact is gorgeous.

Photo at top courtesy of Estée Lauder; other photos by Best Things in Beauty


Clarisse said...

Hi Charlestongirl! What a lovely review! EL lauches the collection in France at the moment and I'm attracted by the Crème Rouge too , it's gorgeous! There are lots of dupes for the lipstick I imagine though I admit the case is great:-)

Leticia - Cosmetics Aficionado said...

Great review! I just ordered them. :)

Nemo said...

Hubba Hubba.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Clarisse!

I must write you today, my friend. After my nap. :)

You will love the Crème Rouge. I was surprised that EL didn't use the accent mark in the name here. I was so tempted to add it myself. You said it right!

Yes, the lipstick isn't unique, just pretty. It's too small!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Leticia,

Thank you, my friend. I think you'll love them. Just be prepared for the small size of the lipstick. The blush makes up for it. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Laughing, Nemo. Hubba Hubba indeed!

Were your ears burning? Loula and I were just talking about you. She was so impressed (and thrilled) to hear from you. Did you call or did your sweetie?

Evelyn said...

I just got mine in the mail on Friday and have been fussing with the blush all weekend. The color is really great and such a cute compact. I definitely don't have anything like it.

Dovey said...

I've been waiting to see these swatches :) I just started watching Mad Men on netflix streaming after hearing about the collection.

I'm so very tempted by the creme rouge--- I love the casing and color :)

BooBooNinja said...

You know what would be awesome? If the blush pan were removable so we could pop our favourite makeup product inside for on-the-go touch ups. I've recently started looking for a vintage refillable compact, and this EL blusher compact looks fab. The product looks great for my colouring too.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Evelyn,

Isn't the blush stunning?

Charlestongirl said...

Dovey, I think it's worth every penny of the $40.

Charlestongirl said...


Doesn't EL make an assortment of refillable compacts every holiday season?

Evelyn said...

Absolutely Charlestongirl! I even convinced my friend that she needs one too. I am a very bad influence on her but since she hadn't bought the Chanel or Dior spring blushes she definitely needed something pretty. :-)

BooBooNinja said...

Thanks for the heads up. I'm not familiar with them. I'll have to look into them. Do they hold standard 58mm blush/powder pans?