If Estée Lauder Were Alive, She Would Love the Millennials

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The Estee Edit
The Estee EditPhoto: Estee Lauder

When do 82 items constitute an edit? When you’re Estée Edit, a new line clearly not intended for Marie Kondo and her ilk. (By the way, Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up could’ve used a little edit itself. One sentence: Throw out your ugly clothes.)

The Estée Edit products are fun and clever, which makes sense given that they’re designed for millennials and fronted by Kendall Jenner and Irene Kim. The Edit is organized into three categories — Barest, Edgiest, and Guest Editor Glow — and sold at Sephora.

In videos that explain the products, Jenner and Kim give easy instructions and jump around a lot, as millennials tend to do. Explaining her love of the Edit Eyeshadow Palette ($48) that bears her signature on the mirror, Jenner says, “My name is on it, so you know it’s real and not a joke.”

Making a cameo in the video is Estée Lauder herself, who wears a proper hat and appears on a black-and-white TV that Jenner pushes around on a cart. The Jenner-Lauder pairing makes total sense, when you think about it. If Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest had existed back in her day, Lauder would’ve been all over them, competing with Jenner for followers. But Lauder had her own versions of social media, which she recited every chance she got: “Telephone, telegram, tell a woman.” Get it? It was the favorite line of a woman with a surplus of catchphrases and marketing tricks: She once intentionally spilled a bottle of Youth Dew on the floor of a department store that refused to carry it so shoppers would smell the powerful bath oil and ask where they could buy it. Her motto was “If you can’t smell it, you can’t sell it.”

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Kendall Jenner for the Estee EditPhoto: Capture Delves/Estee Lauder

The Edgiest Up & Out Double Mascara ($24) is one of my favorite products in the bunch. It has a bristle brush on one end that deposits a hefty dose of mascara, and a molded plastic brush on the other lifts the lashes almost as well as an eyelash curler. I carry around two mascaras in my makeup bag at all times (that’s a lie; I carry around four) because one is simply not enough. This might change my habits (hello, Marie Kondo!).

Flash Photo Gloss ($20): This pearl-white lip gloss looks slightly blue in the tube, and that’s not an accident. The blue tint presumably makes your teeth look whiter, “like Tide,” says Sarah Creal, the lead product developer of the line. The difference is subtle at best, but the gloss is nice and shiny without being too sticky, and it smells faintly of vanilla.

It’s hard to get excited about pressed powder, but Flash Photo Powder ($32) might even make a non-millennial jump up and down. Rather than coating your skin in a thick layer of dust, this powder just cuts the shine and makes your skin look a little brighter. Like the lip gloss, it’s white with a trace of blue.

Beam Team Hydrate + Glow ($50) is like a tinted moisturizer with quality skin-care ingredients; in other words, perfectly lovely but not revolutionary. What makes this product special is the secret compartment under the cap, which holds a creamy highlighter that you can rub on your cheekbones.

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The Estee EditPhoto: Estee Lauder

I’m slightly eyeliner obsessed and have been loyal to Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof eyeliner for as long as a Hollywood marriage. The Edgiest Kohl Shadowstick ($22) is going to make me a polygamist. It works even on the waterline and, like my beloved Smashbox one, is waterproof. My favorite shade is Grounded.

I’ll never wear Metallishadow Crème + Powder ($25), and that’s okay; I’m too boring for this intense cream shadow and shimmery powder. It comes in one neat tub that has two compartments. Each product can be worn alone or layered, powder over shadow. The Scarlet Eclipse is a deep red, which can lend a sickly effect when worn on the eyelids and needs the tempering of its accompanying gold powder. I prefer Aquanova, a dark mossy green.

Estée Lauder once said, “When the world approves, self-respect is a little bit easier. The pursuit of beauty is honorable.” That should make anyone feel noble about snapping up the Estée Edit products.