A Wednesday ramble: Tom Pecheux at Estée Lauder, Molton Brown Aroma Rocks, and the elusive Erika F

Have I told you about my enormous crush on Tom Pecheux? Or, more specifically, on his talent? (Hint: the answer is yes; I talk about my unhealthy Pecheux-fixation on a fairly frequent basis.)

Pecheux, who had initially intended to be a pastry chef (seriously!) started out doing fashion shows, then moved onto celebrity/celeb editorial makeup, and finally ended up working for L’Oreal, Shiseido (did you know that he devised the Shiseido The Makeup line?) and–currently–is at the forefront of the Estée Lauder makeup line.

“I want young girls to be able to say, ‘My mother loves it, my grandmother loves it, and I love Estée Lauder, too,'”

– Tom Pecheux (as quoted in)

I’m crazy about a lot of things, from cartoon whales to neuroanatomy, but rebranding is close to the top of the list. Since they signed Pecheux in 2009 as their new Creative Makeup Director, the brand has had such a drastic revival. And, while I still (!) haven’t gotten around to really giving their new products a spin, I’m thoroughly enjoying watching the rebranding in real time.

(And herein lies the origins of this ramble: have you seen this fall’s Violet Underground palette? Gah.)

Other things that have been knocking around in my brain this past week: things in unexpected formats. I briefly mentioned Donna Karan’s Cashmere Mist ‘Pearl Essence’ Bath Beads earlier this week, and Tatcha’s Rice Enzyme Powder the week before that, but I’ve been keeping an eye out for innovative formulas ever since.

I did find some interesting textures, but in the last place I’d have expected: Molton Brown, a brand that focuses mainly on home and personal fragrance. How cool are these Cedrus Room Aroma Rocks? Made of acacia tree sap, Moroccan cedrus tree oil, and Bulgarian lavender oil, they’re one of the last things I’d have expected to run into at the start of the week.

(And as a sleep aid; how cool is that!)

Finally, we have Lancome Erika F, because things are best done in threes, and I’ve really only gone over two topics so far this morning. I need your opinions, my dear readers: is it a must-have? Because I’m not one for cult products most of the time, but everyone seems to be crazy about it, and… the recurring frenzy kind of makes me want to search it out.

I don’t even like silvery-greens most of the time, you guys. Make it stop! 

(Image via the gorgeous Xiao, at Messy Wands — read her ode to Erika F here.)


Note: This post contains a few sponsored links, but the content — you should know by now; that nonsensical ramble’s all mine! 

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  • Wow, thanks for the deets about Tom Pecheux. I knew he was working with Estee Lauder and that he's an icon in the beauty industry but thanks for the additional background information! I always associated EL with the older generation up until recently and I love it when a brand makes a comeback. The EL pure color blushes look incredible and I've been lemming for some for awhile. Might be time to check them out….
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    • Np, Kar! I've been watching the brand's transformation really closely the last few years, so I thought I'd share — I can't be the only beauty addict paying attention, after all! ;)

  • projectswatch

    I'm really interested in this rebranding as well – especially since I am, myself, gradually going from totally disinterested to sort-of intrigued by EL. I still don't own anything from the brand; it will be interesting to see how my ideas of the brand progress over the next few years.

    Question: What do you mean by sponsored link – you're paid to link to a specific page?
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    • Re: the sponsored link — yep, that's how they generally work. The content, topics, etc. are still all mine, though! :)

  • mostlysunnybunny

    I just laid my hands on Violet Underground today (and had a super crazy colorful smokey look done with it mwahaha)! It's a genius palette in terms of color combination and the execution is top-notch!

    Erika F. Hmm. I have swatched it, but it's a little too glittery for me and the color manages to look like bruise on my skin tone. I'm not saying it's not a good shade. It's just not for me. If you decide to get it though I have easy access here. Just let me know :)
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  • I have Erika F and never use it. I love green silvers. In the pan. On me they look awful. I think I haven't touched it in 2 years.
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    • Lol!! I have a couple of silvers, but I don't use them as much as I used to — I've found myself reaching more for your mauve-undertoned shades recently, y'know?

  • I want Violet Underground. Badly. :D Can't wait to see it with my own eyes and to swatch it. I bet it will be really expensive here in Croatia but I don't mind :D

    Erika F… hmm, I have it and well, it's eye catching. I think it would look good on you. :) At least try it :)
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    • Yeah, you guys' markups are generally pretty bad :s A palette like that ought to be worth it, though!

      (And I'll keep an eye out for Erika F over here! :))

  • cocoatsecretindulgence

    EL is definitely getting better lately. My mom is a big fan of EL…hm, makes me associate this brand with older woman. But well, this brand seems to have energy now. Their recent seasons are fantastic!
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    • Exactly! They're still the sort of brand that kind of makes you think of your mom, but there's a lot more colour and vitality in the makeup line, now, to0.

  • fieran

    I really like some EL products – especially the vibrating mascara (Turbolash, I think) and the black eyeliner (Pure Color Intense Kajal). I recently started using EL's Matte Perfecting Primer and the Invisible Fluid Makeup. They are both really good. The primer keeps me so much less shiny, and the foundation is so nice even though I have irritatingly oily skin. It blends beautifully and at the end of the day, my pores don't look parched.

    • Thanks for adding your two cents, Fieran! I hear quite good things about the EL foundations — Invisible Fluid & the Double Wear line both seem to be quite popular. (With my silicone sensitivities, though, I've yet to try either, I'm afraid!)

  • niche

    Yup I love EL lately. I have bought a lot of products from their last few seasonal lines. You have to try their products, its amazing stuff. I love using the eyeshadows wet which I had never done prior to the palettes. I also love the lipglosses but only if you are into shimmer. I want to try the nail polish but its hard for me to justify more than $10 for a nail polish. I also associated EL with my mom, particularly in the 90s for makeup. She still uses their skincare.

    • I'll get around to it eventually, I'm sure! ;) Save for the polishes — $25/bottle (up here in Canada) is a lot to be paying, no matter how gorgeous the shades are.

  • Joining you for the TP love-in. The man deserves an award for the way he turned the Lauder brand around. I just got the new palette and it's FREAKIN PHENOMENAL. No jokes.

    I do wonder how their customer base is adapting to the rebranding, though.
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    • Same here. I think AERIN was a good move, on her/their part, though — the frag/skincare parts of the EL brand seem to be staying more or less the same, and I feel like (hope that!) the super-change-resistent consumers will feel pretty comfortable moving to Aerin, you know? It seems quite similar to the (old) Estee brand.

  • So HE'S the one responsible for Estee Lauder's recent revamp! I recently saw Violet Underground when it first came out in the blogosphere, and my first thought was WOW. The presentation and the choice of shades is excellent, and its so obvious that people are going to be completely captivated by it. Probably more so than anything else Estee Lauder has come out with so far, as I think their brand is generally associated with BORING and not at the top of people's lists!

    • Yep, he's the one! The Estée aesthetic has changed so much over the past few seasons — I've been absolutely blown away with the amount of innovation & risk that they're taking. It's such a far cry from boring!