Not a lot gets me excited before about 10am but two weeks ago I sat in Claridges, watching as several slim gold cases were pushed towards me across the breakfast table, feeling really quite interested in the proceedings.
That’s because I was getting a one-on-one sneak peak over the teacups of the new AERIN collection, the shiny new luxury lifestyle brand from Estee Lauder’s grand-daughter Aerin Lauder, which launches in the UK this week. I clearly wasn’t the only one who was excited: when I published a photo on Twitter & Instagram of a pile of the gold cases there was a rush of interest.
First up is makeup; accessories will follow and then homewear. It’s important to note that the range isn’t intended to compete with Estee Lauder – Aerin remains an integral part of the company as Style & Image Director – so the makeup will sit alongside Estee Lauder on beauty counters.
The idea behind the cosmetics is to provide a capsule collection of everyday essentials that a woman can carry around with her. That’s why the afore-mentioned gold compacts are lighter than one would expect, the brushes have shorter handles and come in a travel case, and why two of the key pieces from the capsule Fall Colour Collection are flat multi-tasking palettes, one for weekdays and one – as above – called Weekend.
There is a Bronzer in two shades (£34), a delicious Rose Hand and Body Cream (£36), which I found sinks in quickly and didn’t leave a greasy film, and a Rose Lip Conditioner (£20). In particular, I’m desperate to get my hands on the Fresh Skin Compact Foundation (£37), which also comes in a flat compact, and which I’ve tested on my wrist. The texture is sublime, the coverage seems effective without being mask-like, and it looks like it will work well as a touch up concealer too.
The brand livery emphasises the pretty – Aerin is on record as saying that whilst she feels the Estee Lauder brand is ‘beautiful’, her brand aims for ‘pretty’. The compacts all come in little pale pink alcantara drawstring pouches – perfect for re-purposing for jewellery when travelling, and the print for this season is a pale pink Batik. (I’m not sure I can bear to throw away the lovely dark grey card bag with its indulgent blush ribbon bow.)
The entire collection was still so new when I saw it that only the Weekend Palette from the Colour Collection for AW12 (£45), and the Rose Lip Conditioner (£20) from the Essentials Collection were available for me to takeaway to trial. The palette contains the Limited Edition Fall colours: two complementary eye shadow shades, a blusher and a highlighter, in well-pigmented shades that sat effectively on my pale Caucasian skin. I particularly liked the inclusion of a cream highlighter: as I get older, I’m really starting to appreciate its contouring power. The blusher gave me a good flushed un-made up look, and I’m adding the palette to my travel essentials kit.