She must be at the top of her game
K-drama queen Song Hye Kyo is the leading lady among beauty ambassadors. The 35-year-old kick-started the year with an endorsement deal from Sulwhasoo. She spent a decade fronting its fellow AmorePacific Group brand Laneige. Her former role has been filled by up-and-comer Kim Yoo Jung.
The Descendants of the Sun (DOTS) star, who reportedly earns more than US$50,000 per TV episode, singlehandedly steered Laneige’s Two Tone Shadow Bar and Two Tone Lip Bar to skyrocketing sales in 2016 (make-up junkies even spotted a few close-ups). Portraying a surgeon stationed in a war-torn region, Song’s ethereal good looks illuminated the small-screen smash and remained the talk of town for months. Laneige even features in her own love life — in October, she married her DOTS co-star Song Joong Ki, who fronted the Homme line in 2013.
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She always puts her best face forward
Among Chanel’s roster of muses, Kristen Stewart has led the way with her rebel rocker-chic style. Since 2013, the Twilight actress has appeared in campaigns for the French luxury label’s Métiers d’Art collection, but began to peddle its beauty collection only in 2016, rocking must-haves from eyeshadow and lipsticks to fragrances.
At 27, Stewart’s approach to looking good comes down to one thing: nonchalance. She has no qualms pairing her beat-up Vans with slinky gowns or a smartly cut mannish suit. It is with the same confidence she wears her hair, from bleached buzzcuts and slicked-back pixies to choppy bobs. Opinion is divided on her style choices, but that’s what makes her so refreshing on the red carpet and in real life.
Into your nth tube of Diorshow Pump ‘n’ Volume? Blame it on Bella Hadid, whose first campaign for Dior Make Up (to specifically push this mascara) featured the supermodel getting ready for a big night out. Transformation is something the 21-year-old excels at — those who have caught her Dior Make Up Live videos can attest to that — whether she’s showing off her bare shoulders and cleavage in a lingerie-styled top, or all wrapped up in sophisticated plaid coats.
She makes us feel good about ourselves
Revlon’s new spokesmodel is Gal “Wonder Woman” Gadot, who in January received a #SeeHer prize at the Critics’ Choice Awards for “pushing boundaries” and “changing stereotypes”. In her acceptance speech, she highlighted the importance of standing for what’s right and promised that “[she] will never be silenced, [that] we will continue to band together to make strides, uniting for equality.” Gadot, whose US$1.4 billion-ticket sales made her Forbes’ highest-grossing actress in 2017, also got director Brett Ratner booted from the set of Justice League after he was accused of sexual harassment.
Gadot features in Revlon’s Live Boldly campaign, which brings women together around powerful conversations and shared experiences, and celebrates diverse beauty. And this is one role the 32-year-old relishes. “Anything that makes you feel more confident, more beautiful and better about yourself has to do with [feminism]. Feminism is not about hating men or burning bras or fighting anyone. It is first of all, equality, and it’s about freedom of choice. We’re in a beautiful moment and a very interesting era for women.”
We’re only into the first quarter of 2018, and Adwoa Aboah is already one of the most important names to know. After winning Model of the Year by The Fashion Awards 2017, she’s picked up pace with a Marc Jacobs Beauty campaign, placing her alongside fellow It girls such as Kaia Gerber and Edie Campbell. The Le Marc she sports for this assignment is touted as the “first-ever liquid lipstick in a crayon”. That said, modelling is Aboah’s profession but not her obsession. The 25-year-old helms Gurls Talk, a digital platform where women discuss mental health, sexual harassment, body positivity and other issues.
Another name to take note would be Natalie Portman, whose scathing “here are the all-male nominees” remark at this year’s Golden Globes served as a reminder to women to never compromise on sexism. The 36-year-old Harvard graduate, whose stellar performances in movies such as Black Swan and Jackie have earned her acclaim and admiration, lends clout to the Miss Dior scent she’s fronted since 2010.
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She has real concerns
When Victoria Beckham was younger, she struggled with bad skin and spent a lot of time covering up her blemishes. Although she insists she no longer worries about acne, she claims to be a control freak and wears a load of concealer.
So when the opportunity to co-conceive a capsule collection with Estée Lauder came round, she jumped on it. The first collection, which rolled out in 2016, offered a plethora of practical products, ranging from illuminators to finishing powders, categorised according to the cities of New York, London, Paris and Los Angeles. For the second, which launched last year, there was a new collection based on the fifth city, Miami.
To mirror Beckham’s different responsibilities — she is fashion designer, wife, and mother to four kids — the products were designed to multitask. For instance, an Eye Foil in Blonde Gold is a liquid eyeshadow that can be used on its own or over another to up shimmer and dimension. If it works for her, why not us?
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She brings value to the brand
From high jewellery to haute couture, anything Rihanna puts her name to, flies off the shelves. But all the Barbadian superstar wanted was to create an inclusive makeup line, one that culminated in 40 shades of foundation and a universally flattering red lip paint.
As such, in her Fenty Beauty by Rihanna collection, “there needs to be something for a dark-skinned girl; there needs to be something for a really pale girl; there needs to be something in between.” Her tenacity paid off as it was named one of Time’s 25 Best Innovations of 2017.
She’s one of the world’s most marketable celebrities — research in 2016 shows she trounced even Beyoncé — and with fans who are likely to purchase from her, @badgalriri has turned Fenty Beauty into an enterprise, rather than passion project. “I have 100 percent involvement in this process, which is what makes this so special and very fun. I have so much creative freedom from products to packaging, and that’s really the only way this brand will stay true to my vision for it,” she says.
On her Instagram, she doesn’t hesitate to engage with fans or clap back at trolls. There’s no stopping this aspiring beauty mogul, and her drive and determination convince us that, yes, we do need a lippie in navy blue, especially her Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Clapback.