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Gucci Beauty: So Much More Than Lipstick

The fashion buzzbrand since Alessandro Michele’s appointment as Creative Director back in 2015, Gucci is now making waves in the beauty world again, too. Michele’s first foray into make-up for the fashion house brings 58 brilliant shades of lipstick, in satin, sheer and balm textures – all with a distinct vintage violet scent. Handpicked by Michele to bring the collection to life, Global Make-Up Artist Thomas de Kluvyer is known for pioneering, boundary-breaking beauty looks – we caught up with him at the worldwide launch of the new-look Gucci Beauty to find out more.

Lipstick Snake

"Alessandro has put his heart and soul into these lipsticks," says de Kluvyer, but if he wants you to know one thing about the Gucci Beauty collection, it’s that it was born out of 'perfection' and 'fitting into a box' being a thing of the past. "I find so much beauty in imperfections – there’s so much personality and charm to something that’s not perfect," he says. "I’ve always approached make-up as a form of self-expression and identity. I think women look the most beautiful when they look like themselves – whether that’s with absolutely no make-up or full make-up – and they’re owning it. #MeToo has changed beauty so much; on the catwalk, beauty was quite one-dimensional with everyone wearing the same colour, but now we have so many different looks and different colours, we do what suits each model. Now people have the opportunity to be themselves: if you love red, wear red. Just want to wear a clear lip balm? Fantastic. And remember: it doesn’t need to take hours and hours, you can do something quickly and it can be really impactful."

The Satins

"The pigment is insane, yet they wear beautifully on the lips," says de Kluyver. The Rouge à Lèvres Satin lipsticks contain the most amount of pigment possible in a lipstick (70% – most lipsticks contain between 10-15%).  While the star of the show is 25* Goldie Red, Michele’s favourite, and inspired by leading ladies of Hollywood’s Golden Era, one of de Kluyver’s favourites is a dark brownish-red called Janet Rush. "It’s timeless – there’s something quite ‘90s about it, but at the same time something 1940s."

Application tip: "I’ve been applying straight from the bullet but I’ve also found if you warm them up in your finger a little bit, the texture gets a little more emollient, and then you can dab it on. The colour payoff is still amazing."

Rouge à Lèvres Satin 25* 'Goldie Red' on lips; 700 'Crystal Black' on eyes

The Sheers

"I usually think of sheer lipsticks as being wonderful for an everyday woman – typically they are lovely but 30 minutes after you’ve applied you think, 'hang on a minute, where is it?'. The Rouge à Lèvres Voile lipsticks have a little more punch than your classic sheer; I’m using them a lot on shoots and they stay on really well."

Application tip: "I love the Rouge à Lèvres Voile lipsticks for the cheeks – they have a lovely gloss so make a beautiful blush. I’ve been putting Mae Coral on my cheeks. For the lips, I layer a satin with balm over the top to give a really nice shine."

Rouge à Lèvres Satin 402 'Vantine Fuchsia', 700 'Crystal Black' and 103 'Carol Beige' on eyes; Rouge à Lèvres Voile 25* 'Goldie Red' on lips

  • The Colour Choice

    "A lot of people ask me to just look at their face and tell them a colour, but in reality, it’s all about trying things on," says de Kluyver. "Of course, there are things you can look at like skin tone and eye colour, but when I’m working I am forever taking things on and off and on and off – I try hundreds of colours. Often people will buy a lipstick their best friend is wearing, who has a totally different complexion [and it doesn’t work as well on them]. It’s about taking a step back, looking at yourself and thinking 'does this really look good on me?'."

  • Rouge à Levres Voile 402 'Vantine Fuchsia' on eyes, Rouge à Levres Satin 25* 'Goldie Red' on cheeks and Baume à Lèvres 4 'Penelope Plum' on lips

  • Baume à Lèvres shade 2 'No More Orchids' on lips

  • "Play – tip out your make-up bag and experiment. I think you can create something really unique."
    Thomas de Kluyver

The Eye Edit

Eight of the lipsticks are specially formulated to use on lips, cheeks and eyes (including Crystal Black, which might just replace your trusty eyeliner). Make-up artists have been using lipsticks on eyes backstage and on shoots for years. Get creative with these eye-safe shades.

By Olivia de Courcy