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Luxury Beauty – What’s In A Name?

January 1 | 3 minute read

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Words by Christie Sinclair

Originally published on | February 28

What is luxury to you? For some, it’s 1,000+ thread counts and room service. For others, it’s simply a night of uninterrupted sleep. Whichever category you belong to, ‘luxury’ can be a highly subjective – and at times divisive – topic. In the beauty world, however, we can universally agree that the word ‘luxury’ carries with it a sense of exclusivity, indulgence and excellence – in the design, in the experience and, above all, in the results.

Customers today are better able to recognise and appreciate the detail and uniqueness of beauty in the luxury space and have higher expectations than ever, observes Rae Morris – one of Australia’s most prolific professional makeup artists, with her own line of exquisitely crafted artistry tools.

“As a makeup artist, where I see the value is brands that are led by experts in their field. For example, I am always attracted to makeup brands founded by artists, and skincare founded by doctors or dermatologists. And also brands that are very transparent about how things are done and what they use.”

“I think when something is handmade, especially in Japan where the level of craftsmanship and care is second-to-none, you are definitely assured of quality”

Rae Morris

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“When it comes to tools, my brushes are all handmade in Japan and everything is designed personally by me,” she explains. “I think when something is handmade, especially in Japan where the level of craftsmanship and care is second-to-none, you are definitely assured of quality.”

As in fashion, for Morris, luxury is about investing in the items you really love – that will earn back their ‘cost-per-wear’ through premium quality: “I look at makeup brushes like knives; I could buy a knife from a discount department store or I could buy something that will last a lifetime (with proper care, of course).”

In the skincare world, ‘quiet luxury’ – or perhaps, more accurately, ‘quiet efficacy’ – is the watchword. Every application is to experience cutting-edge technology and innovative ingredients whose performance is proven in countless years of research and clinical trials – or decades in RéVive’s case.

“Our blend of high-quality ingredients and science-backed research is extremely effective,” explains the skincare brand’s founder Dr Gregory Brown, who, as a renowned plastic and reconstructive surgeon, knows the value of science.

Reducing premature signs of skin ageing as fast as possible is at the centre of RéVive’s philosophy, with formulas that feature unique, highly active ingredients that are frequently first to market, combined with “our signature Nobel Prize-inspired Bio-Renewal Peptide Technology”.

Perhaps what is most valuable to the consumer is the impact Dr Brown’s skincare has on the need for more intensive interventions: “[For some] it means delaying the need for a first medical treatment or clinical procedure when they are using RéVive,” he explains, adding, “For others, this can be lengthening the time period between treatments, or using the product as post-treatment support.”

Results and craftsmanship count for a lot when you consider our expectation of a luxury beauty product today. However, a deeper examination reveals more to the story; a story of transformative experiences extending beyond the tangible that their mainstream counterparts simply could never achieve – or dupe.

“You can have an amazing product, but the overall brand experience isn’t great,” explains Morris, adding, “And you can have an amazing experience, and the product’s not great. If you can get the two together, that’s when the magic really happens.”

Maison Crivelli is a brand that gets the magic: “When I think about life in general, luxury is about somehow connecting with what’s around you,” says Thibaud Crivelli, founder of the luxury French fragrance house, whose focus is on ultra-sensorial encounters with perfume.

“What we do is help people remember moments – we bring happiness, and make people connect emotionally with the present times, with the past, with family members.”

An obsession with details that transcend the physical is the hallmark of Maison Crivelli – one that encourages its wearers to be more conscious and present in the everyday.

“Taking time for yourself and enjoying some silence when you choose to – on your own terms – that’s real luxury,” Crivelli adds.

And if we can tap into that – simply with the spritz of a fragrance or the swipe of a beautifully crafted makeup brush – then the value speaks for itself.

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