THE BEAUTY EXPERT Jennifer Aniston “I don’t have anything to hide at this point.”
December 2022 BEAUTY REPORTER 17 Blue, bottled 18 Editors’ Favorites 20 Hair bows two ways 22 Vanilla scents get a new twist 24 The Michelangelo of nails 30 Behind the glittering scenes of Babylon 32 Actor Jodie Comer on skin-care minimalism, bathtime maximalism NEWS & TRENDS 11 Overheard. Memory Lane. We made the world’s first beauty magazine—and we had fun doing it. 34 Background Beauty. Pricks of the Trade. Inside the rise of prosthetic penises. 41 Talking Beauty. Symone won RuPaul’s Drag Race—and our hearts—with her style and grace. 50 Modern Wellness. Getting to Yes. Coordinating onscreen sex scenes is a full-time job. 55 Making News. The Year in Beauty. We’re raising a glass to the most memorable beauty moments of 2022. 62 WORK IN PROGRESS ZOEY GROSSMAN For years, Jennifer Aniston stayed quiet while rumors swirled about her private life. But she’s got nothing to hide about her new state of being. Gucci spring 1997 logo G-string provided by El Cycèr Vintage. Saint Laurent skirt. 2 ALLURE DECEMBER 2022
41 START YOUR ENGINES RuPaul’s Drag Race star Symone created her own lane. Now she’s speeding down it. Area top and skirt. Jimmy Choo heels. ON THE COVER Chanel spring 1996 micro bikini top provided by El Cycèr Vintage, Gucci spring 1997 logo G-string provided by El Cycèr Vintage. Saint Laurent skirt. Bulgari bracelet. To create a similar makeup look: Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Noir Intense, Les 4 Ombres in Blurry Grey, Joues Contraste in Rose Ruban, and Rouge Coco Gloss in Rose Pulpe by Chanel. Photographed by Zoey Grossman. Fashion stylist: Shibon Kennedy. Hair: Chris McMillan. Makeup: Gucci Westman. Manicure: Kim Truong and Diem Truong. Set design: Jeremy Reimnitz/Spencer Vrooman Studio. Production: Viewfinders. Statement Required by 39 U.S.C. 3685 showing the Ownership, Management and Circulation of Allure, published Monthly, with combined issues in June/July and Dec/Jan (10 issues) for October 1, 2022. Publication No. 006-904. Annual subscription price $16.00. 1. Location of known office of Publication is One World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007. 2. Location of the Headquarters or General Business Offices of the Publisher is One World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007. 3. The names and addresses of the Chief Business Officer, Editor and Managing Editor are: Chief Business Officer, Jennifer Mormile, One World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007. Editor, Jessica Cruel, One World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007. Managing Editor, Eilish Morley, One World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007. 4. The owner is: Advance Magazine Publishers Inc., published through its Condé Nast division, One World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007. 76 Strokes of Stockholder: Directly or indirectly through intermediate corporations to FEATURES Genius. When the REGULARS the ultimate corporate parent, Advance Publications, Inc., 950 Fingerboard only plan is to be 62 Phoenix Rising. spontaneous, 7 Letter From the Road, Staten Island, NY 10305. makeup magic After a challenging happens. By Jenny Editor 5. Known bondholders, mortgagees and other security holders owning or time, Jennifer Aniston Bailly felt broken. Now she’s 46 Me, My Shelf & I. holding 1 percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages or other picked up the pieces 84 Blonde As to become a The beauty staples securities are: None. beautiful mosaic. By Metaphor. The face on the set of Black Danielle Pergament of the blonde Panther: Wakanda 6. Extent and nature of circulation bombshell is Forever 72 The Sweet Smell changing—but you Average No. Copies Single Issue can’t separate the 48 The Face Chart. of the Set. To get shade from its past. each issue during nearest to inside the heads of By Arabelle Sicardi Rosie Huntington- characters, some Whiteley plays MUA. preceding 12 months filing date actors use their noses. By Jennifer G. 90 A Look We Love. a. Total No. Copies 1,175,116 1,141,441 Sullivan Makeup gets down b. Paid Circulation to earth (1) Mailed Outside-County 1,110,030 1,086,461 Paid Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541 (2) Mailed In-County Paid 0 0 Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541 (3) Paid Distribution Outside the 8,537 8,154 Mails Including Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, and Other Paid Distribution Outside USPS® (4) Paid Distribution by Other 0 0 Classes of Mail Through the USPS c. Total Paid Distribution 1,118,567 1,094,616 d. Free or Nominal Rate Distribution (1) Free or Nominal Rate 31,385 29,969 Outside-County Copies included on PS Form 3541 (2) Free or Nominal Rate 0 0 ALLURE IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ADVANCE MAGAZINE PUBLISHERS INC. 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evolutionTHEORY OFCRUEL: HUNTER ABRAMS. ARTWORK FROM LEFT: KEVIN CREMENS; GRAHAM POLLACK. ALLURE’S FIRST ISSUE: SANTE D’ORAZIO. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about democratization has allowed many my grandmother and the way she LETTER FROM THE EDITORphone to shop an expansive shademore skin tones, hair types, and shopped for beauty. She would go range, and it gets delivered the next body shapes to become appreciated. to a department store, head straight day. All in five clicks or less. Yet the need for beauty journalism is to the one makeup counter that had deeper than ever. Quantity does not sales associates who looked like her But one thing that has stayed the equal quality and misinformation has (Fashion Fair Cosmetics) and same is the need for a voice to a way of spreading faster than good purchase everything she needed. represent the consumer in all of this. advice. That’s where we come in. For skin care, she relied on her local During a recent conversation with Mary Kay saleswoman. Linda Wells, the founding editor of This will be Allure’s last print Allure, she recognized the evolution issue. While the conversation that Decades later, when it came time of beauty journalism—a concept that Allure started in 1991 has grown for me to wear makeup, my was really born with this magazine. exponentially in scope, we will experience was pretty similar. My “When I started Allure, nobody was remain at the center of it. You can mother drove me to the nearest mall doing this sort of thing in the world still read our amazing content on with a MAC counter (by that time, of beauty,” says Wells. “Now, you allure.com, get our favorite beauty MAC had become the one brand open The Atlantic, The New York brands delivered to your home that every Black woman under 40 Times, The Wall Street Journal, through our Allure Beauty Box, if relied on for foundation) to get my you’re in New York City, visit us at the first set of makeup (foundation, The New Yorker, and these very Allure Store, and let our Best of mascara, blush, and my very own respected outlets are focusing on Beauty seal guide you to the most Chestnut lip liner and Lipglass something we focused on from the effective products in the beauty combo). For skin care, I headed to a beginning. Beauty is an important aisle. Everything you love about nearby drugstore and for hair care to business. It’s an important form of Allure is thriving and getting closer the local beauty supply store. expression, of identity.” to you, with more experiences and interactive moments to come. And In the 15 years since, the beauty In addition, the way people our devotion to you—the reader, the industry has grown significantly consume beauty content has beauty consumer—will never waver. more than it did in the 50 years changed—and quickly. This time last between the Silent Generation and year, I wasn’t saying TikTok in Jessica Cruel, millennials. Today, a 16-year-old sees meetings nearly as much. We no Editor in Chief an amazing product tutorial on longer look exclusively to fashion TikTok, heads to a retailer via their runways and red carpets for beauty @jcruel trends, but turn to our favorite creators on social media too. This SEE YOU @allure @Allure_magazine ON SOCIAL! @allure @Allure DECEMBER 2022 ALLURE 7
LETTER FROM THE EDITORQ+A ORIGIN STORY represent every human being and A conversation between Allure FRANZ WALDERDORFFeditor in chief Jessica Cruel and founding editor Linda Wells. every different hair color, hair type, skin color, skin type, age, weight. JC: As I’m thinking about Allure, I You can’t do it. No matter what you keep coming back to the word products and sell them online, do, it’s limiting because the page “evolution.” Not only the evolution of that opened up the whole industry. itself as a physical object is limited. beauty journalism, but also of our JC: So much of the beauty JC: I think there’s this belief that industry and the culture of beauty. conversation is on social now— when print publications go away, LW: [When we started Allure], the BeReal, Flip, TikTok, Instagram—a new quality disintegrates. But we are still industry was shocked that we were platform emerges almost daily. TikTok creating amazing journalism and asking questions about the safety has really disrupted our industry. visuals. That challenge excites me: and efficacy of products, about the LW: Social media’s been blamed for How do we stop the scroll? way we look and why is it important, a lot of ills in terms of self-image and LW: Journalism is not synonymous [as well as] the uglier side of beauty. confidence and everything else, but with paper. Journalism can exist on We were staking out our territory, it’s also opened up a conversation a lot of different mediums and the but also letting readers know that we and a confessional that didn’t exist. mediums will continue to change. have their interests at heart and are As an individual, it’s hard when your They always do. someone they can trust. image is out there and judged. But JC: What we’re responsible for is JC: Today, Allure stands in that gap on the other hand, people are much telling a story and providing a of being a watchdog for an industry more accepting. I feel like we, as a service. that doesn’t have one. The FDA culture, hid a lot and internalized a LW: [Allure] stands for trust. We isn’t there. I like to believe that the lot and suffered in silence in some want to make the readers’ lives reporting we do has made the ways. Now it’s all out there—and it better and easier. industry better. should be out there. JC: I’m excited for the future. The LW: I think the products have gotten JC: Social media has democratized science of beauty is getting better a whole lot better. I also love the fact beauty in a big way. It’s allowed every year. This wave of founders that there’s this burgeoning of new brands and publications like Allure and executives coming up, I get brands, thanks to direct to to include more stories that speak to excited seeing faces like mine and consumer. When we started Allure, the different segments of our knowing that there are going to be there were very few cosmetics audience. more people considered in product companies because the industry LW: Right. You can’t do that in a development. was very tied to retail. Then, all of a print magazine because there are LW: The business just keeps getting sudden, when people could make not enough pages in the world to better—the products, the creators, everyone becomes more responsible, more thoughtful. The challenge is that there’s a lot of judgment that goes along with the beauty choices people make. This notion of aging gracefully is a trap and a burden. Joan Kron, [the former Allure editor who] invented the plastic surgery beat, believes in aging disgracefully. It’s a very tender area, personal appearance. It’s loaded with emotion and feelings of inadequacy. I think it would be really lovely if we were all a little more generous. Wells interviews hairstylist Orlando Pita backstage at a 2002 Celine runway show in Paris. 8 ALLURE DECEMBER 2022
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memory lane Making a magazine like Allure involves late nights, celebrity encounters, and tons of laughter. As we look forward to our next all-digital chapter, we asked some of the editors who’ve made these glossy pages shine over the last 31 years to share their favorite Allure moments. “I always think about the wanted, but the atmosphere, the strictness allowed us to camaraderie. There was produce really good such great joy in working work. When you’re at Allure. I was always working with a laughing. The staff was supermodel like Cindy fabulous. The music Crawford on set, would be blaring in the everything looks great. fashion closet. We But can we one-up it? wanted to produce a Can we make it better? great magazine and I Can we make an image think you felt that we you’re going to were all in this together. remember? We can do a Linda and I were both nice image, but what we strict about what we want is to make a lasting image.” —PAUL CAVACO, FORMER CREATIVE DIRECTOR CRAWFORD: MICHAEL THOMPSON. BEST OF BEAUTY: SØLVE SUNDSBØ. For the April 2009 issue, Cavaco and his team used shaving cream and soap suds to create one of Allure’s most iconic images to date. “My first year as an overwhelming. One day, “I was standing on the her October. A puzzled assistant, I was in charge five people from the mail subway platform, heavily expression crossed her of organizing the testing room arrived at my desk. pregnant, holding two face. ‘That’s nice,’ she process for the Best of ‘We just wanted to meet overflowing bags of responded. ‘But what I Beauty Awards. It you,’ they said with a products to test for the actually said is, “What do involved calling in 3,000 laugh. ‘You’re Sophia annual Best of Beauty you do?”’ and she products from nearly Panych, the person who issue. A woman standing indicated the bags of every brand in the US, receives the most next to me leaned over riches in my hands. We logging them, and packages out of anyone and asked, ‘When are you exchanged a look and handing them out to at Condé Nast.’” —SOPHIA due?’ I flashed the then broke into laughter.” editors. The amount of obligatory smile and told —LIANA SCHAFFNER, packages I received was PANYCH, FORMER DIGITAL CONTRIBUTING EDITOR DEPUTY BEAUTY DIRECTOR DECEMBER 2022 ALLURE 11
“In 2007, I traveled to LA to interview BritneyOVERHEARD Spears for her big comeback. We had beautiful photos from the shoot. What we SPEARS: MICHAEL THOMPSON. JOHNSON: PETRA COLLINS. SWIPE: GETTY IMAGES. didn’t have was Britney. Every day her publicist had me drive to a different place for the interview and every day I was told, ‘Maybe tomorrow.’ From the emails I sent to [then executive editor] Susan Kittenplan: ‘I am not having a good feeling about this.’ ‘As much as I love sitting in this hotel room, do we know what’s going on?’ ‘My husband is alone with the kids. He is losing his shit and I have to get back.’ When I tracked Britney down at a photo shoot for a product she was advertising, they wouldn’t let me in. The guy didn’t tell me to fuck off, exactly. What he actually said was, ‘You’ve got to get the fuck out of here. This [shoot] is costing me $400,000 and it’s already three hours late.’ I turned in the story without a single quote or interaction with our cover subject. What else was I supposed to do? It worked, though, because it had to. We had no choice. Of course, my exasperation at the time softened quickly after we realized that Spears wasn’t being an attention-seeking brat—she was living with a mental health condition. And she paid a great price. Today, post the Controlling Britney Spears documentary, post the #FreeBritney movement, I often think, She doesn’t have to run anymore.” —JUDITH NEWMAN, FORMER CONTRIBUTING EDITOR “Dakota Johnson randomly called me at my desk.” “I started working at toward my cubicle with a Allure in late 2017, and broadsheet newspaper. It 15 minutes later was was Drew Barrymore, thrust into my very first handing out press kits for A-list celebrity her brand Flower Beauty encounter: a phone in a sort of grassroots interview with Dakota campaign on the Allure Johnson that had been floor. Seeing me on the delayed one million phone, she silently times. I was less than mouthed, ‘I’m so sorry. completely prepared I’m just going to leave when she randomly this here,’ and very called me at my desk one gingerly placed a paper afternoon in November, on my desk, then moved but I handled the on to the next row of situation (figured out the cubicles. I didn’t know recorder thing and how how to convey this to hook it up to the to Dakota, who was on phone) and things were the phone the whole going smoothly. Halfway time, so the interview into the interview, a simply proceeded.” woman turned the corner near my desk and jogged —BRENNAN KILBANE, Dakota Johnson for our CONTRIBUTING EDITOR February 2018 cover story. 12 ALLURE DECEMBER 2022
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PROP STYLIST: AMY ELISE WILSON BEAUTY REPORTER Rhapsody in Blue What we call “twilight,” Guerlain calls L’Heure Bleue. We don’t know precisely when perfumer Jacques Guerlain first beheld the fragile minutes after the sun has just set, when the still-warm indigo sky glows like velvet and it’s not yet “night.” But we do know it was 110 years ago that he attempted to bottle the moment with a mix of tuberose and rose that settles in a powdery iris finish. Now, the house has reissued the big, blue hour in a very big, blue bottle that’s velvety to the touch, finished in matte International Klein Blue, as if dip-dyed into the twilit sky itself. (This ultramarine color was trademarked in 1957 by French artist Yves Klein, who created a famous monochrome painting with the shade.) The one-and-a-half-liter size, the volume of 20 regular-size bottles, provides a lifetime of nights. At $17,000, that’s not a bad price per wear. —BRENNAN KILBANE PHOTOGRAPHED BY CHELSEA KYLE DECEMBER 2022 ALLURE 17
BEAUTY REPORTER 1. Oribe Beautiful They call it the season of giving, but they never really Color Travel Set. The specified to whom. This holiday, we’ll be treating same color-safe shampoo ourselves (and, sure, some loved ones) to these luxuries. and conditioner you love, now in minis that might 2 even earn a nod of approval from TSA 12 agents. 2. Diptyque 34 Boulevard Saint Germain Hourglass Diffuser. We can’t recommend telling time by this hourglass, but we can recommend flipping it over when you want to be enveloped in a cloud of black currant and spices. 3. Chanel Le Vernis in Super Lune. This brick-red polish is way more elegant than a Starbucks card, but just as universally appealing. 4. Cartier Pétales Candle. The logo says Fifth Avenue, but the fragrance says countryside flower stand. 5. Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Sublime Skin Highlighter in Lunar Nude. If you wear this metallic highlighter to a New Year’s Eve party, you might just be mistaken for the Times Square ball—it’s that luminous. 6. Hourglass Cosmetics Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Palette in Tiger. There may be a tiger on this palette, but you’ll never be left looking stripe-y; finely milled powders melt seamlessly into skin. 7. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 Rouge à l’Or Shimmering Body Oil. You may think your sister-in-law has everything, but does she have a jasmine- scented body oil containing 24-karat gold powder? Yeah, we didn’t think so. 18 ALLURE DECEMBER 2022
4 8. Kristin Ess Hair The Metallic Pony 14 Baubles. It’s just as easy to throw your hair in a half-up using these embellished ties as it is to use a regular elastic— but the end result looks a thousand times more festive. 9. GHD Grand-Luxe Limited-Edition Platinum+ Styler. For the friend who treats their flatiron with the sanctity of a scepter, you might consider this golden Best of Beauty winner. 10. Henry Jacques Rose Snow de HJ. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet— but the name Rose Snow, which evokes the same powderiness as the perfume, is pretty spot-on. 11. Lancôme x [email protected] Advanced Génifique Face Serum & L’Absolu Rouge Lipstick. The grown-up version of getting a toy with your Happy Meal is scoring this collectible [email protected] figurine with a special-edition serum or lipstick. 12. Bulgari Le Gemme Tygar. Gifting fragrance isn’t risky with this option: Notes of grapefruit, ginger, and musk offer a little something for everyone. about how cool SWIPE: IMAGEHUB88/GETTY IMAGES. REMAINING IMAGES: JOSEPHINE SCHIELE.
BEAUTY REPORTER THE LOWDOWN Take all the elegance of a ballerina bun and multiply it by 1,000 when you nestle a simple black bow on top, like at Brandon Maxwell’s fall show (right). (Add a little French braid if you’re really feeling ambitious.) This math holds for low ponytails too. Hairstylist Sunnie Brook likes Jennifer Behr’s bow clips or simply tying ribbon to a bobby pin prepped with hairspray. this orthat Just in time for a packed calendar of holiday parties, bows are a festive—and IMAX TREE foolproof—way to package any hairstyle. BY ELIZABETH SIEGEL ON THE BRIGHT SIDE No bun skills? No problem. Find inspiration from Sandy Liang’s spring show (left): Take the small section of hair that’s in front of your ear and pull it back with a bow, says Brook, “or the bow can play peekaboo if you pull your hair to one side and secure it almost at the middle-back [of your head]. First, for more grip, spray a little hairspray onto the section of hair.” 20 ALLURE DECEMBER 2022
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so vanilla BEAUTY REPORTER To transport you into a cozy, Niche fragrance houses, Shapiro, founder of Ellis Brooklyn. It’s homey place this winter, accessory FRAGRANCES: JOSEPHINE SCHIELE. BACKGROUND: PHILIPPE INTRALIGI/EYEEM/GETTY IMAGES.usually arbiters of the cool,proof that vanilla doesn’t always havedesigner Jennifer Fisher blended unexpected, and a little bit to smell like a cupcake—it can even vanilla and coconut for her first strange, suddenly want us to verge on risqué. In fact, vanilla was fragrance, My Scent. “I want anyone smell like fresh-baked cookies. once used in so many love potions wearing it to feel sexy and to smell What gives? BY ELIZABETH SIEGEL that its sale was banned in Medieval like a fresh-baked cookie,” says Europe. And its scent has been Fisher. By/Rosie Jane Dulce is “a true It’s the stuff of birthday cakes and shown to work as an aphrodisiac on vanilla, straight up. A tiny amount of ’90s perfumes: Vanilla is nostalgia rats. How’s that for sexy? Hinoki wood [makes it] elevated, but bottled, and this winter there are it’s still just undeniable vanilla,” says many ways to spritz on sentimentality. These new vanillas are a natural Johnston, who most definitely is not Indie fragrance houses like Ellis extension of the ’90s redux fashion exaggerating. Misting it on gives you Brooklyn and By/Rosie Jane are trend (faded bootcuts, anyone?). that same warm-as-a-hug vibe you putting vanilla front and center in Although, to be clear, vanilla scents get from a sniff of vanilla extract. Ellis their launches. “You’d think we got never entirely disappeared from our Brooklyn Vanilla Milk doubles down together and were like, ‘Hey, let’s all lives (unlike those bootcuts). Line on the snuggly perfume trend by do vanilla,’” says Rosie Jane Johnston, up three of your favorite fragrances, blending vanilla with a creamy milk the perfumer behind her namesake and odds are good that there’s some accord. “Milks are having a huge brand. “But everyone gravitates vanilla in at least one because it’s moment as well [for their] comfort emotionally toward the same things.” one of perfumery’s most universally level,” says McCurtin, the nose behind comforting scents. “It’s in foods the scent. Right now, that’s one big olfactive we’ve associated with treats since yearning for the days of mall childhood, such as ice cream,” says These are not complex, hangouts and baking with mom. Meabh McCurtin, a perfumer at multifaceted perfumes because “With the chaos over the last three International Flavors & Fragrances. maybe, just maybe, that’s not years, I wanted something completely “It’s strongly linked to our memories what we all need right now. They uncomplicated; the ’90s were a and a signal for pleasure. It’s hard are the fragrance equivalent of more innocent time for me,” says not to feel happy when you smell it.” the perfect cashmere sweater and Johnston. “Everyone was wearing There’s a reason why people have jeans, something you can throw vanilla and everything smelled like cookies baking when they’re trying to on without thinking about it and it: The Body Shop, candles, vanilla- sell a house, adds Johnston. feel good wearing. They are joy and simplicity, and that in itself is something to smile about—like a big plate of sugar cookies. Clockwise from top: By/Rosie Jane Dulce, Jennifer Fisher My Scent, and Ellis Brooklyn Vanilla Milk 22 ALLURE DECEMBER 2022
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BEAUTY REPORTER talent show London-based nail artist Sophie Parkinson (@soph_builds_nails) creates intricate 3D nail art with builder gel, a UV light, and boundless ingenuity. AS TOLD TO TALIA GUTIERREZ Clockwise from top: Parkinson has turned home-reno supplies, a pendulum, and an average morning scene into nail art. I’ve always been a creative person move. I live in Camden Town and and loved nail art since I was little. there are so many cranes because But I never got to go to the salon. I’ll new buildings are being built. When find photos from when I was 12 to 15 I looked outside and saw one, it of my badly done nails—and at the came into my mind and I stayed up time, I thought it was so good. until six in the morning making the nail [featuring a moving crane]— [When I was 18], I enrolled in just chopping up teeny, tiny bits a fine arts course at Central Saint of wire and melding them to each Martins UAL in Kings Cross, London, other in a crisscross way. specializing in sculpture. It’s mainly a fashion school and everyone is When I’m looking for things to dressed in their own designs. A few make, I think, What do I have around of my friends had amazing nails. I’d me? The vanity mirror [left] is literally never seen gems and mirror powder a tiny mirror. Everyday life is what on nails and I wanted beautiful, I use as inspiration for most of my nail sculptures. Whether that be a long nails too. So I bought a polygel street scene, a bathroom, or small COURTESY OF SUBJECT kit from Amazon and got good at hardware we don’t usually notice. building a really nice-looking nail. The mundane things we do as humans and the very normal, almost When the pandemic started I had unseen textures that we ignore, I like nothing to do, so I created cartoon to magnify that beauty in my art. nails. By the end of 2020 I thought, How can I take this to the next level? I had seen bottles of sriracha on nails but they weren’t functional…and I saw aquarium nails with liquid inside. The light bulb went off right there. I thought, What happens if I combine the two? The first 3D nail I made was a bottle of Fairy liquid dish soap. My imagination has been running wild with it since. I wanted to do things that could 24 ALLURE DECEMBER 2022
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BEAUTY REPORTER MOOD BOARD FROM THE HAIRSTYLIST GROUP IMAGE: SCOTT GARFIELD. SWIPE: JOSEPHINE SCHIELE.Hollywood, land of dreams—and When you think of the ’20s, it’s the REMAINING IMAGES: COURTESY OF PARAMOUNT PICTURES. lots of drama. Babylon, a film bob and finger waves, [but Chazelle] directed by Damien Chazelle, wanted to stay away from the clichés. premiering on December 23, If a character had a bob, it would in the 1920s. It’s a complicated be a little worn—there was frizz and story, a bit raw at times, but of fluff. [Robbie] was our wild child and I course, glamorous too. We got had Robert Plant in mind with her. a window into the months of The texture and the bigness and the planning and unexpected rock and roll of it. When you see her inspiration behind these 188 dancing, her hair is flying around minutes of brilliant, beautiful and whipping. I worked closely with chaos. —AS TOLD TO PAIGE STABLES wigmaker Robert Pickens to create the fluff, the lightness. Finally seeing DESIGNER her from head to toe and in action with the choreography and the From top: Makeup scenes that she was doing, I was artist Heba just like, “Wow! This is perfect.” Thorisdottir used kabuki makeup as —JAIME LEIGH MCINTOSH inspiration for Li Jun Li’s double- eyeliner look; Byredo Lipstick in China Plum; Margot Robbie as Nellie LaRoy.
FROM THE MAKEUP ARTIST Clockwise from top left: Jean Smart as Elinor St. John; silent film After I read the script, my thought was I star Clara Bow, whose biography want gritty and dirty. And lots of sweat. inspired costume designer [Chazelle] didn’t want the [’20s] skinny Zophres; Robbie; Robert Plant, the eyebrows and little bow lips. [In party unlikely inspiration for Robbie’s scenes], Margot had the Studio 54 look hair; slick hair inspiration from as if it happened in the ’20s. Character- McIntosh’s mood board. wise, she didn’t know how to do makeup, but she might have lipstick. [Thorisdottir mixed Charlotte Tilbury Scarlet Spell with Smashbox Bawse (left) for Robbie’s look.] Even though she looks a little more modern than the 1920s, the background and everything that’s going on around her kept her in that period. —HEBA THORISDOTTIR CALVA: SCOTT GARFIELD. PLANT, SWIPE: GETTY IMAGES. REMAINING IMAGES: COURTESY OF PARAMOUNT PICTURES. DECEMBER 2022 ALLURE 31
starBEAUTY REPORTER quality TOM CRAIG/TRUNK ARCHIVE. SWIPE: JOSEPHINE SCHIELE. Jodie Comer and I are both from Liverpool. She’s from the one in the northwest of England, home of the Beatles, and I am from the one in the center of New York State, near multiple shopping malls. Both towns offer accents routinely mocked by their larger-city counterparts, which may be the reason I feel an instant connection with the 29-year-old Emmy- and BAFTA-winning star. Although our day jobs are slightly different—Comer has a Benedict Cumberbatch-produced apocalypse film, The End We Start From, in the works, and a production of Prima Facie coming to Broadway—we both appreciate the power of a good tub and the right cocktail of essential oils. Really, the similarities are endless. BY SAM ESCOBAR On her first-ever red carpet: “I had On the lingering impact of scent: parallels to our world] when you see no reason to be [at that awards “I had a colleague once who I’d so much in the media about the show] other than I got an invite from always know where she’d been reality of climate change—and we’re my publicist. I remember just being because I smelled her—I could smell seeing the results of that in full terrified. I remember my knees her perfume in the elevator or effect right now. [Roles like this shaking aggressively, because it was the corridor. Sometimes [Killing make me] reflect on society or so strange.” Eve costar Sandra Oh] knew where particular circumstances that we’re I’d been because she’d smell experiencing as a collective. It On paring down: “I used to get so my perfume.” forces you to really think about how embarrassed when I’d open my you’re living your life or the choices bathroom cabinet, because I had On lighting a fire: “I like to burn you’re making.” endless mountains of products that Ilapothecary Beat the Blues candles I’d been told to get and hadn’t quite before bed. They’re strong, but not On soaking it in: “Something I really finished, and they just collected in an overwhelming way. They’re prioritize is a good bath. That’s high dust. So I love that now, I have a really lovely. I’m a bit of a sucker for on my beauty regimen list. A bath really minimal three-, four-step big tea candles. I get all the wax out after a day’s work just to unwind, put routine that I know works. I definitely and then use the glass as a makeup- in some Epsom salts, your essential encourage a good sunscreen. My brush holder.” oils, incense. I really go to town on favorite is Avène Cleanance Sun that kind of stuff.” Cream SPF50+—it’s in that lovely On The End We Start From’s orange bottle. I wash my face, subject matter, ecological disaster: maybe use a cryoball [facial “I think it’s impossible not to [find massager] from the freezer. The Noble Panacea Chronobiology Sleep Mask, I like to use if I have an event and want extra moisture for the next day. In the morning you feel like you have a head start.” (Comer is a spokesperson for Noble Panacea.) 32 ALLURE DECEMBER 2022
BACKGROUND BEAUTY pricks of the trade MARCEL/STOCKSY As full-frontal male nudity becomes increasingly commonplace on film and TV screens, the prosthetic penis has evolved into a new Hollywood art form. Kirbie Johnson investigates how the sausage gets made. 34 ALLURE DECEMBER 2022
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BACKGROUND BEAUTY Much like makeup can convey Viewers may not realize that Ultimately, it comes down to the a character’s emotions or help makeup department heads aren’t intended purpose. “If the penis has drive a story without a word being just creating glitter tears and to function in some way, it needs to uttered, nudity itself is becoming historically accurate eye shadow be fake,” says Euphoria’s Davy. “Part a character on television—both looks for their shows. Artists like of that is because in non-porn sets, literally and figuratively. Take Pam Herbert and Donni Davy, the head you don’t do erect penises and real & Tommy, the limited series based makeup designer for Euphoria, sex. There’s a sock over the penis. in part on the 2014 Rolling Stone handle makeup for the entire body, There’s an intimacy coordinator that article about Pamela Anderson and including prosthetics and wig handles all this. It’s a very protected Tommy Lee’s stolen sex tape. Before application for areas beyond the thing.” In Euphoria, Cal, played the premiere, chatter revolved scalp, like merkins. Herbert says her by Eric Dane, is seen urinating in around Lily James’s uncanny job on Minx ran the gamut: body his front entryway using a penis resemblance to Pam. After critics bronzing, corrective makeup to prosthetic. In an earlier episode, were able to preview the show, cover tattoos, traditional makeup however, there are shots of a young however, Tommy’s talking, er, Little like eye shadow and foundation, Cal showering in a locker room and Tommy became the focus. And the application of facial hair and multiple real penises are on display. forthcoming phallus walked us right merkins, and, yes, prosthetic into the penissance of 2022. genitalia. There were at least 50 While makeup heads like Herbert penises shown throughout the and Davy work on application of the That level of humanization series, says Herbert, and about prosthetics, they aren’t responsible (several penis puppeteers were four or five of them were custom for crafting appendages. That work involved) is an extreme example of prosthetics. happens behind the peens—and this new cinematic era. But just as there’s one man who many consider New York was almost a character in Why go faux? First and foremost, best in class. When I started Sex and the City, nudity is taking on actor comfort. Second, fewer reporting this story, he seemed to more of a supporting role in many complications: Using a prosthetic be a mythical creature, spoken of productions—there not merely for means you don’t have to stop but never seen. “Do you know the pearl-clutching purposes but to filming for any unscripted changes penis man?” I would ask my sources. actually help tell the story. in the organ’s size or shape over As it turns out, Davy and Herbert the course of hours-long shoots. If you haven’t yet watched Pam The appearance of this particular & Tommy, perhaps you’ve done appendage also plays into character a double take during Euphoria design. With a prosthetic, you can, or Minx, which centers on Joyce quite simply, “control what it looks Prigger, a woman hoping to spread like,” says Herbert. “Have it a little the feminist gospel in the early ’70s. bigger, a little smaller.” She sets out to create a magazine for women that doesn’t focus on “THERE’S getting their “Mrs. Degree,” and after many failed attempts gets NOWHERE an offer from an unlikely avenue— TO HIDE. Bottom Dollar (porn) Publications. There’s no wardrobe “One of my favorite things is covering the seams.” when Joyce walks into Bottom Dollar and passes one of the models, and she’s standing there fully nude—not giving a shit—just smoking cigarettes with this badass merkin on,” says Carleigh Herbert, Minx’s makeup department head, of a pubic wig worn in the show. “The nudity isn’t there for shock value. Well, it is a little shocking here and there.” 36 ALLURE DECEMBER 2022
both do—and I was able to visit his to 15 percent of his business. “We that are a combination of both. Los Angeles shop. started getting calls from people Sometimes, “there are caverns, if [after] we did Euphoria,” he says. you will, that allow it to pull on like Jason Collins owns Autonomous “[Productions] know that I can do a sock,” says Collins. After the penis F/X, which has produced special that and I know the methodology to is applied, makeup is used to blend makeup and character effects for get it done.” the piece to the body. projects including Westworld, The Affair, and Mindhunter. He also Prosthetic penises are made in “There’s nowhere to hide,” Collins created the aforementioned penises a similar way as facial prosthetics, says of his biggest challenge. for Euphoria, Minx, and Pam & with the exception of how much “There’s no wardrobe [covering] the Tommy. The shop, nestled in the plasticizer—an oil added for seams.” San Fernando Valley, appears to be flexibility—is in the silicon-based a basic office building from the formula. If it’s erect and doesn’t It’s a lot of effort, he adds, for a outside. Inside is another story: require much movement, less relatively brief amount of footage. Behind a security gate and a door plasticizer is used; if it’s supposed But if the recent surge in penises lies what can only be compared to be soft, the plasticizer-to-silicone on our screens is any indication, to Victor Frankenstein’s lab, where ratio is substantially higher. From it may soon become an on-set artists bring characters to life. start to finish, the process takes norm—particularly when filming for about three weeks, beginning with streaming networks, which tend to As I make my way back to the creation of a life cast or a three- take a more lax approach to FCC Collins’s office to chat, I clock two dimensional copy of the actor’s regulations that govern nudity on artists working on corpses. There’s groin and leg area. network television. a man in another room that is filled with shelves of realistic-looking To be clear: Actors do not get “It was always a lopsided thing: newborn babies. (Upon closer their actual genitalia cast. You’re You can see a woman fully naked, inspection, they appear more like probably not seeing an accurate but heaven forbid we see a man’s demons; their fake eyeballs have representation of their real-life penis,” Collins says. “You can do a not yet been applied.) Two others anatomy onscreen. But casting scene where you shoot 10 people’s are sculpting facial prosthetics— the groin area allows artists to brains out, but don’t show a penis! one to look like television host Phil adhere and blend the prosthetic, Whether it’s TV or cinema, it’s the Donahue. Across the shop, there making it appear to be a real last frontier.” are many shelving units, one of appendage. which holds the pregnant belly and breast appliance Lily James used in For productions that don’t Pam & Tommy. Nearby, a woman at require a customized prosthetic, a table punches pubic hair onto a Collins has approximately 12 prosthetic scrotum. different penis molds to which details like veins can later be added. Collins clearly has range, but, he (Collins notes that a majority of estimates, over the past two years the ones he works on for American phalluses have accounted for up productions are circumcised.) In many cases, the non-custom molds and finished prosthetics can be reused on production after production. “Unless something is specifically indicated somewhere or an actor may feel like, ‘I want my penis to look like this,’ there’s no real reason to get into sculpting more and more penises,” says Collins. “You could have 20 or 30 molds, but at the end of the day, you’re gonna see it for a few frames. A penis is a penis is a penis.” Once it’s ready to go, there are a few ways to attach the prosthetic. It can be glued onto the actor, it can be worn with a belt or strap-on device, and there are techniques
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The RuPaul’s Drag Race season 13 winner explains how she created her glowing, glamorous, and graceful persona. A dollop of Rihanna, a dash of Lil’ Kim, and a big helping of Naomi Campbell. And, of course, mad makeup skills. — AS TOLD TO NICOLA DALL’ASEN To create a similar makeup look: Face Gems in Iridescent Sparkle and Mouth Cloud in Edward’s Fantasy by Half Magic. These pages: Fashion stylist, Ian McRae. Hair: Malcolm Marquez. Makeup: Cedric Jolivet. On-set producer: Aiden Lee. SymoneTALKING BEAUTY WITH PHOTOGRAPHED BY KEITH OSHIRO
My mom, she always loved to dressTA L K I N G BEAUTYBlack creators. At the time, there I didn’t put too much pressure on up, and she was a very big were, like, two or three foundation myself when I first started because I proponent of if you leave the house, LOCATION: MR. C BEVERLY HILLS.colors that worked for my skin.realized there was no one around you try to look your best. We would who looked like me. I knew I wasn’t always end up being late because I wouldn’t say I had a mastery of going to look like the other girls. I she spent so much time getting developing a character until well knew my face wasn’t built to have ready. I started paying attention into college [at the University of the dramatic, heavy contour and big when I six or seven years old. I Arkansas at Little Rock]. At the time, eyes. Instead of looking at queens, I remember she would put on RuPaul’s Drag Race was a big thing, would look at people in pop culture foundation and she’d always look so but I was surrounded by pageantry, and ask, “What can I take from them beautiful. That carried over when I so I thought that’s the lane I had to and learn in terms of developing my started doing drag because I always go down. I didn’t realize until my own character?” focus on the skin the most. sophomore year that I could forge my own thing and carve out what I People always ask me, “Who is Becoming Symone took a while enjoyed, which is more of the Symone?” I give them a little bit of because when I started doing fashion side. At this point, I was the recipe: There’s one part Rihanna; makeup at about 16 years old, I performing at the club. I was, as we there’s Lil’ Kim in there; there’s Diana didn’t really know what I was doing. called it, “in rotation.” I would Ross. Whitney Houston, of course. There wasn’t YouTube. Well, there practice almost every weekend and Tina Turner is in there. The big one, was YouTube, but it was nowhere watch the other girls get ready Naomi Campbell. And RuPaul, near what it would be a couple of behind the stage. I wouldn’t ask obviously. She’s the one I saw first. years later, as far as beauty goes. I questions, but I would observe All of those people mixed together would watch people put makeup on, everyone and see, okay, she’s doing make up who I am and I hold them in but it was a lot of white people. that. That’s the product she’s using. There were nowhere near as many Let me go get that. Let me look that Saint Laurent dress, shoes, up on the internet. I can remember and jewelry. To create a one time thinking, Oh, my God! I’m similar makeup look: Eye actually making progress…. I am Shadow in If It Ain’t Baroque, beautiful! This is the face. We’re on Powder Blush in Burnt the right path here. Pepper, and Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Burnt Spice by MAC.
Marc Jacobs wrap, sweater, jumpsuit, skirt, and shoes. To create a similar makeup look: Shimmer Brick Compact in Bronze and Luxe Lipstick in Soho Sizzle by Bobbi Brown. very high regard. If I’m ever at a loss contour, which is usually cream. For favorite part—I do my lips. I I’m like, Let me look up at one of my me it’s cheekbones, cheekbones, overdraw the top because I love big, people and see what they’ve done. cheekbones! Lower the forehead, luscious lips. I’ll put on gloss to accentuate the cheekbones. I’ll set make them really shine and pop. The I used to say Symone is who I my face with powder—Laura Mercier OG Fenty Gloss Bomb, that’s always really am, and Reggie [Gavin] is the Translucent powder is what I use. on my lips. If I’m feeling real cute guard, but lately I’ve been able to and fancy, I’ll put on a plumper to have more confidence out of drag. Then, I draw on my eyebrows make them really big. I started drag partly because it frantically. And then, patiently, eye helped me have a voice and express makeup. I go back and wipe away I set everything, then I put on the myself. I learned to take that and the powders. I put on my blush and wig, body oils, clothes, heels. Then I use it outside of drag, to be more highlight. Then, finally—this is my douse myself in perfume, whatever confident in my decisions, and be is closest, and sometimes it depends able to say how I feel. It ebbs and on my mood. But my go-to is the flows. You sometimes go back into old habits. It’s just life. But Symone has taught me to be okay with myself outside of drag, allow people to get to know me, and let down the walls, so to speak. Some people use the makeup as a mask and some people use it to reveal themselves. For me, it’s definitely a pulling back and standing in the light. Key aspects of the Symone face? Stunning skin. Lips are huge. And the cheekbones, darling. I have to take a shower before I get in drag. It’s my decompression. I shave, and I always, no matter what, use some type of lotion. I get out, dry off, and put on all of my skin care, which is at least six products. It can go up to eight or 10, but at least six products. Sometimes I’ll do a mask, just depends how much time I have. I’ll tone my skin; I’ll go in with a moisturizer, sometimes two, then I’ll apply an oil to really get the hydration going before I put on makeup. I tried a new face oil from Elemis called the Superfood Facial Oil. It’s a 10/10 recommend from me. I like to look as dewy as possible. After skin care, I put in my colored contacts. That’s very important because I feel like it softens the makeup. Then I’ll go in with a primer and start my face makeup. I always start with foundation because it helps me map out my face. Foundations? I have tried many. Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation is my tried-and-true. Then concealer and DECEMBER 2022 ALLURE 43
TA L K I N G BEAUTY Fenty Eau de Parfum, and I’ll walk I think the message I want to “Be yourself. out the door. I always, always have convey with Symone is be yourself. on a baby oil or body oil, especially For a long time, that was a hard For a long if I’m showing skin; I want to look like thing for me, being okay with who I time, that I’m glowing. It’s always Johnson & am and being unapologetic about it. was hard Johnson’s Baby Oil. That’s what I I used Symone to get there. for me. grew up with; that was always what I used was in the house. I also use the body And have fun! Do what you want Symone to oil from Tata Harper. to do. It doesn’t necessarily have to get there.” be drag. Just be the person you Girls have told me how I’ve want to be. Be inspired by people, of helped them be okay with the kind course, and learn from other people of drag they want to do, be around you, but don’t feel like you confident in what they want to do. have to be that person. Take that I’ve gotten to see my influence. It and make it individualistic. feels amazing and very humbling because when I went into drag, Balenciaga coat, pantaleggings, that’s not what I was thinking about. boot bag, and gloves. Laura I was thinking, Do your best and Lombardi earrings. Saint Laurent have a good time. So when people rings. come up to me and say, “Seeing you has helped me and has inspired my drag,” that is one of the best compliments ever. I cry now thinking about it because what an honor. Going on Drag Race, I didn’t know if I was going to be liked. Through the process, it was just me. I couldn’t call anyone. I couldn’t ask anyone outside of who was on set or the girls around for help. I had to rely on myself and trust my decisions, so there was a lot of self- evaluation and self-confidence that had to be built. Being put through that really helped me be like, I got this. And after this I can put the mindset that I have here and apply it to the rest of my life. Artistically, I pretty much knew what I wanted to do on the show. After that, I trusted myself to say, “Going forward, do what you want to do.” I’ve really wanted to start getting into acting. I have a movie that came out called Bros. My character’s name is Marty [not in drag] and I’m in a throuple. Yes, you read it right! A throuple! I want to do television and more film. I want to put together my own tour with visuals and tracks and a whole concept. 44 ALLURE DECEMBER 2022
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WAKANDAME, MY SHELF & I 11 2 1 FOREVERBlack Panther: 10 Creating the hair and makeup PROP STYLIST: AMY ELISE WILSON. ADDITIONAL IMAGE: COURTESY OF MARVEL. looks for the highly anticipated sequel to Black Panther would be a tall order on any day. But filming in Atlanta during the humid days of summer presented a particularly challenging set of circumstances for hair department head Camille Friend and key makeup Kimberly Felix-Burke. Another challenge? Many of the film’s pivotal scenes take place underwater, which required shooting in tanks. “We’d have to get in there and do touch-ups [on the actors],” says Felix-Burke, who notes that the citizens of the underwater kingdom of Talokan were painted head to toe in blue. (It was makeup department head Joel Harlow’s idea to use paint rollers to streamline the process.) Of course, the final looks (including Lupita Nyong’o’s locs and the colorful patterns painted on Danai Gurira’s bald head) incorporate some movie magic. “I love working hand in hand with special effects; we meet them in the middle,” says hairstylist Friend. “What they do helps us create characters— and that’s the part I love.” —TALIA GUTIERREZ 46 ALLURE DECEMBER 2022
4 5 “To prep the skin for foundation, I’ll apply 3 6 Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Hyaluronic Marine Oil-Free Moisture Cushion  7 with a makeup brush, patting it in with a sponge,” says Felix-Burke. “The actors’ 8 skin tones range from medium to very 9 dark. MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation  has a wide selection of shades and buildable coverage.” “To remove excess oil without taking off makeup, I put Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers  up against the [actor’s] face and press down with a brush,” says Felix-Burke. “I used Caudalie Beauty Elixir  as a midday refresher and again at the end of the night after cleansing their faces.” “For a strong cat-eye look, we used MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Fluidline Eye Liner and Brow Gel in Blacktrack . Kiss Strip Lash Adhesive  helped keep false eyelashes from floating off when [the actors] were in the water tanks,” says Felix-Burke. “Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Curl Enhancing Mousse  protects against humidity,” says Friend. “For medium to strong hold, I used Prose Custom Styling Gel . You can reactivate it [with water] instead of adding more and more product. Shine-N-Jam Magic Fingers Edge Control  is great for laying and holding those baby hairs down. It really held well in the humidity, too.” “Unite 7Seconds Detangler  works on all hair textures. It was great for when people were in and out of the water with hairpieces on and we needed to detangle quickly. I think we went through at least 10 cases,” says Friend. “At the end of the day, after taking off [an actor’s] wig or hairpiece, I’d rub Better Not Younger Superpower Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum  on their scalp and send them on their way.” PHOTOGRAPHED BY CHELSEA KYLE
THE FACE CHART WITH rosie huntington- whiteley The model has been in the makeup chair since she was a teen and picked up a trick or two along the way— so much so that she’s done her own glam for past events. “I love the time to myself,” says Huntington-Whiteley. These days, her vanity also serves as a testing ground for Rose Inc, the makeup line she launched last year. Before the products come to life, though, Huntington-Whiteley often puts her ideas on paper, so it’s no wonder she knew exactly what to do when we sent a blank face chart in her likeness. “A soft, feline flick is my signature,” she says, adding that a wash of brown shadow on the outer corners of lids and beneath the lower lash line helps with definition. A dab of highlighter at the center of lips creates the illusion of (even more) fullness. GET Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in De La Créme, Victoria Beckham Beauty Satin THE Kajal Liner in Cocoa, Eyebrow Queen Brow Palette in Bronde, Rose Inc Cream Blush in Anemone, Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlight Stick in Brûlée, LOOK Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Liner in Parchment, and Rose Inc Satin Lip Color in Poetic. 48 ALLURE DECEMBER 2022 ILLUSTRATION BY SAMANTHA HAHN
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MODERN WELLNESS getting to yes
OLIVIA MALONE/TRUNK ARCHIVE Intimacy coordinators help signed up for Foundations of when #MeToo laid bare the stage film and TV’s Intimacy, a remote (due to COVID) prevalence of sexual assault, workshop that took place over four harassment, and exploitation in steamiest scenes with weeks in three-hour class segments. Hollywood, producers scrambled to safety and consent in hire intimacy professionals. mind. One Allure editor Shows like Euphoria, Insecure, learns how they do it, and and Sex Education all have intimacy These professionals are in the how their methods can coordinators on set. (When the business of agency, of putting benefit off-camera life. professional works for onstage autonomy in the hands of cast and productions, not those onscreen, crew on a stage or set. For my own BY ALAINA DEMOPOULOS they are referred to as intimacy narrative, in the scenes of my work directors.) And some of them have and personal life, I wanted to teach My homework for the week was to outsize reputations: Ita O’Brien has myself how to demand more. say no—and I couldn’t stop been lauded for her work staging apologizing for it. “No, I don’t want realistic hookups between Paradoxically, demanding more to listen to your sad-boy music,” I inexperienced teens in Normal starts with saying yes to less, says told my boyfriend as he picked up People, and all that Bridgerton Jessica Steinrock, PhD, an intimacy our car’s aux cord. “I’m the driver, bodice-ripping stayed safe thanks to coordinator and CEO of IDC. “There and I want to listen to Dua Lipa.” coordinator Lizzy Talbot. is a historical expectation that (Sorry.) “No, I can’t use my last seven women have to manage the PTO days to go on a trip with you,” I If you consider the 130-plus years emotions of the people around told my mom on the phone. (My of film history, it’s a relatively new them,” she explains. “There’s a bad.) And when the editor of this job. Only this past summer did SAG- hosting mentality where it’s our story asked if my draft was ready, I AFTRA, the union that represents responsibility to make sure that Slacked back, “Nope, not yet. I need film and TV performers, open its everyone is having a nice time.” a few more days.” (Okay, in this case membership to about 40 intimacy I actually was sorry.) I know that no coordinators. But there have always It is possible to escape this trap. means no. No is, as Instagram been behind-the-scenes Dr. Steinrock says she’s become infographics have informed us for advocates—they just weren’t always much better at asserting boundaries years, a full sentence. So why did I getting paid for it. through considering consent. She’s feel so bad about saying it? found that saying no to the things “People have been doing this Answering that question led me work unofficially for a long time on No is a full to seek out Intimacy Directors and TV and film sets and in rehearsal sentence. So Coordinators (IDC), a two-year-old rooms,” says Karim Muasher, a New why did I feel organization that teaches and York-based intimacy director for two so bad about educates individuals and institutions years, who started his career as an saying it? in the ways intimacy is presented in actor and theater educator. “It may live performance, television, and have been someone in wardrobe film. Though there is no formal path making sure an actor had a robe to required to become an intimacy put on between takes of filming a coordinator or director (yet), IDC sex scene, a fight director being provides a certification program for asked to choreograph a scene of behind-the-scenes choreographers sexual violence, or a stage manager who ensure that actors are able to checking in with an actor after consent to performing staged acts rehearsal to make sure they’re really during intimate scenes. The group comfortable with the partial nudity offers four levels, all of which are being requested by the director.” required for certification, and one- off workshops like Decolonization & But, Muasher adds, many point to Care in Intimacy Choreography and Tonia Sina’s 2006 graduate thesis Digging Deeper Into Boundaries. I “Intimacy Encounters: Staging Intimacy and Sensuality,” which applied the principles of fight choreography to staging safer sex scenes, as being pivotal for turning this helping position into a legitimate career choice. Especially DECEMBER 2022 ALLURE 51
MODERN WELLNESS create a “mutual space,” or a place where consent can be freely given, she simply doesn’t want to do can denied, or revoked. We recalled moments of my life have not exactly be an act of kindness to others, even times we had power in our own life been congenial. After all, we were if they don’t realize it at first. “It and regretted when we didn’t use it going to bed, not a UN conference. helps me be conscious and to lift others with us. Things were awkward, reckless. courteous,” she says. “I can protect Weird sounds were made. But I was myself and set boundaries for how I Many of us came to class with able to go there only because I want to be treated.” the best intentions. We wanted to could openly communicate with the keep people “comfortable.” That’s a person I was with. And would you My IDC class consisted of me and mistake, our teacher said. So often look at that: Communication is a a few dozen folks getting together producers hire intimacy pillar of consent! on Thursday nights. We learned the professionals to make sure pillars of consent: context (everyone “everyone’s comfortable” on set, but Maybe I took this class to trust must understand the story they are as our teacher noted, good art myself a bit more or, at least, to trust asked to perform); communication doesn’t come from a place of in my nos more absolutely. I’m (between directors, actors, and an comfort. An intimacy professional’s getting better at saying them. It’s intimacy coordinator/director); job is to make sure that even if almost like learning to speak for a consent (which is given freely and people are a little uncomfortable, second time. Sometimes, I drag out can be taken away at any time); they never feel unsafe. “The biggest the o in the word as if I’m thinking of choreography (every scene of misconception is that intimacy changing my mind, but I haven’t intimacy must be performed the directors and coordinators are the done that in a while. And you know same way for each take); and closure sex police,” Muasher tells me. “We what? I’m not sorry. (a small exercise, like breath work, are not here to say no to everything performers try at the end of a and censor content. Our goal is to rehearsal to signify moving on). find a way to get to yes while working within everyone’s The class was mostly actors, but boundaries.” a few directors, college professors, and mental health professionals had There are many ways to tell a signed up too. The instructors were story—and sex scenes are part of all working intimacy directors and stories—without violating a person’s coordinators. We listened to their sense of autonomy. Intimacy lectures and also worked in small professionals, I learned, are the groups to talk about our experiences facilitators between a performer’s with consent in our lives and in the boundaries and a director’s vision. workplace. We played games that revolved around saying no. One was Of the words I’d use to describe like tag, where the “it” person had to intimate scenes that may play out in go around and ask classmates if my own real sex life, I wouldn’t waste they’d like to take over. We learned one on “comfortable.” The steamiest how to be patient, going around and around respecting the nos until There are many ways to someone decided (freely and tell a story—and sex scenes without pressure) to take over. We took notes. We learned the basics of are part of stories— what an intimacy professional does: without violating a person’s advocate, liaise, and choreograph. We mused on past experiences in sense of autonomy. which we could have done more to 52 ALLURE DECEMBER 2022
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