Guess what, Millennials. Because of your city life, sleep deficit, junky diet, and social-media anxiety, your skin is distressed. You might be beyond the ravages of acne, but your skin is unable to glow the way it should at your young 20-something years.
But worry not, for Shiseido is here with skin salvation. Called Ibuki ("new breath" in Japanese), it's centered around Shiseido's new Shape Memorizing Cell Technology, fancy-speak for anti-sag. There are seven skincare products in all, each with PhytoResist Complex, promising to cleanse, moisturize, and soften your ailing epidermis. Basically, it resists the visible signs of partying and restores the skin to selfie-readiness.
€28-50 per product at Shiseido stores
Face wipes are pretty gross. They're packed with chemicals and they collect gunk from your face that you'd rather not know was there, like the good kind of parasites in your body. Then there's that name: wipes. (The word "pad" was apparently nixed by brand marketers long ago, wisely.)
But there is hope. Based in Vermont, the men's skincare line Ursa Major has released a high-end wipe (sorry) they call "r-o-b-u-s-t" — hyphens included. Having tried it, we can attest to the promised robustness, yet the process went down without incident. They got the job done without stripping our skin of moisture, throwing its Ph balance into disarray, or leaving a sickly filmy substance. The effect was calming, not ew-ick — probably because there are no parabens, sulfates, or synthetic fragrances. Plus they smell great, owing to their essential oils of orange, fir, and lavender.
Lastly, while Ursa Major is for men, we're wholeheartedly endorsing it for women. Because, in addition to all its other celestial benefits, it removes makeup like a champ.
$24 for a pack of 20 at Ursa Major
Bottling the contradiction inherent in the label, Comme des Garçons has released Blue Invasion, a trio of scents combining a sizzling cold and frosty aggression. Incense, cedarwood, and sandalwood swirl and struggle in unexpected ways. If anyone can assault the senses in the most exquisite way possible, it's Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons Parfums.
$125 for 100 ml spray, available now at the Dover Street Market New York e-shop, orJuly 17 at Comme des Garçons, 520 W. 22nd St, NYC
Scented-candle aficionados looking for more than pleasantly aromatic wax with a wick will fancy a tactile new collaboration between Joya Studios and the artist Oliver Ruuger. The limited-edition candle and engraved leather case are made by hand in New York and London, respectively, with the latter produced from British saddle hide branded with artwork, an ancient Latin palindrome. The candle, called is hand-poured at the Joya Studio using soy, vegetable oil, beeswax, and of course the fragrance, a combination of woodsmoke, fire and juniper oil.
$450 for 12.5 oz at Barneys New York (Madison Ave) and Joya Studios
Taking the concept of luxury to an exotic extreme, Comme des Garçons has produced two new fragrances, Patchouli and Champaca, in one bottle, LUXE. They say no expense has been spared—certainly they've gone to the ends of the earth. The patchouli part is derived from the finest variety anywhere, which grows in Sumatra. It's so exquisite that CdG hopes the "misunderstood fragrance will be rehabilitated and placed in its rightful position as one of the great smells of all time." Champaca, meanwhile, is related to the magnolia. The best champaca flowers can be found in a small region of India, where the scent has been used for centuries in Hindu ceremonies and by Balinese dancers.
LUXE Comme des Garçons eaux de toilette, $155, from May 2013 at all CdG shops.
Foot fetishists intimately involved with Pierre Hardy are about to reach a whole new level of intimacy. The colorful French cobbler has partnered with NARS on a range of nail polishes, featuring six pairs (like shoes, get it?) inspired by his spring 2013 shoe collection and packaged in miniature shoe boxes, complete with a little dust bag. Technically, there are also two blushes, for the face, but really it's about the nail polish. Pedicures suddenly got very interesting.
$29 per pair of polishes, in stores May 1
Black is many things. One of those things is a positive number on a balance sheet, the opposite of red. That may be the thinking behind BLACK, Comme des Garçons' fragrance started in 2009 "in response to the general negativity engendered by the recession and to counter the feeling of things being blocked or stopped because of the crisis."
This year marks the latest iteration of BLACK, which Rei Kawakubo, never one to shy away from literalism, has infused with Madagascar black pepper and Somalian incense, with essences of leather, licorice, birch tar and pepperwood.
BLACK eau de toilette, 100ml, $100, exclusively in BLACK stores from April 2 - 15 and Comme des Garçons shops from April 16.
If you're going to do a floral fragrance, you might as well take it to the extreme. That's the thinking behind Byredo founder/nose Ben Gorham's latest eau de parfum, Inflorescence, a vernal rave of rose, pink freesia, magnolia, lily of the valley, and jasmine. Glow sticks not included.
$220 for 100 ml at Byredo
If Carolina Cansiglioni's combat boots didn't tip us off that her new Marni fragrance would stand out from the crowd, her punk attitude sure did. "Everybody is doing flowery fragrances and we hate these kinds of fragrances," she said with a giggle at the New York launch of Marni. "But we had to have a flower, so we wanted to find a special one, not too girly. We went with black rose."
Together with Marni_Lab, the Italian house's workshop, as well as the Milan-based creative agency Rise:on, Carolina and her mother Consuelo spent two years sifting through a hundred or so ingredients to find just the right balance of sugar and spice—with an emphasis on spice. Along with black rose, tomboyish notes of black pepper, ginger, and incense make it clear that wallflowers need not apply.
$155 for 4 oz at Marni