Cosmetics contracts are the crown jewels of a model’s portfolio and have become just as big a deal for the increasing number of actresses taking on the role of spokesperson. Though these high profile contracts represent a milestone for the recipients, beauty contracts typically go to women 35 and under; think 26 year old Freja Beha for Maybelline, or 24 year old Sui He as the face of Shiseido. Twenty-somethings serving as the face of major brands is nothing new, but the current drive for a more inclusive, representative vision of what beauty is- has resulted in a series of exciting appointments that challenge the industry’s obsession with youth.
The most recent women selected to represent beauty’s cutting edge lines have all been over 40. At 45 Stephanie Seymour joins Estee Lauder‘s illustrious line up with a special campaign befitting her supermodel status. Shot by Mario Sorrenti (Art Partner) the stylized ads reflect Seymour’s reputation as a bonafide beauty icon. When asked what led to Seymour’s selection, Estee’s global brand president, Jane Hertzmark Hudis nodded to her accomplishments in and out of fashion and ability to connect with modern women. Similarly when Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana selected supermodel Linda Evangelista as the face of Dolce & Gabbana beauty’s latest offerings the fashion crowd took notice. Models starring in ads is exciting but MAC Cosmetics took the movement one step further, enlisting Brooke Shields to collaborate on an expansive makeup collection inspired by the original full-browed beauty’s timeless appeal.
Celebrated actresses (and former models) Charlotte Rampling and Jessica Lange have gotten in on the game too, making headlines after being named the faces of NARS and Marc Jacobs Beauty respectively. While both women have been heralded for their enduring influence on fashion as a whole, this marks the first time either has headlined beauty ads. What this trend means in the long run remains to be seen, but it represents an encouraging step in the right direction.