Amid the media’s obsession with Millennials and Baby Boomers, the X in Generation X sometimes feels as if it stands for crossed out. Maybe that’s no surprise since the term Generation X was coined by photographer Robert Capa, who described men and women growing up after World War II as the “unknown generation.” Pre-Facebook and post-Vietnam, what Generation X might be most known for is an enduring love for John Hughes’ movies, experiencing Winona Ryder’s heyday, reveling in Madonna before the beefed-up arms and a moonwalking Michael Jackson before the molestation accusations, and living through the Anita Hill and Monica Lewinsky controversies, and the First Iraq War, the one that ended in victory within months. Even if the Eighties and Nineties, our coming-of-age decades, are largely remembered for bad fashion, hair, television and music (a complete fiction, by the way), Generation X shouldn’t be ignored. We are not, as Pew Research Center has dubbed Generation X, merely “America’s neglected middle child.” Thirty-five to 50-year-old X’ers are raising kids, ascending corporations, spending money and running states like Wyoming, New Jersey and Wisconsin. Thankfully, a few emerging makeup brands understand the power of X. Here is a look at four of them responding to the needs of the women of Winona’s era:
Started in 2013 by former Estée Lauder executive Katherine “Annie” Finch, Katherine Cosmetics is a classier sibling of Avon and Mary Kay. Finch told C Magazine she created the luxury direct-sales brand for “real women on the go. I wanted makeup to bring out your best.” Katherine Cosmetics marries cosmetics with skin care ingredients so customers can, for example, diminish lines while drawing them on their faces. Its bestselling Everyday Eyeliner contains hyaluronic acid for hydration, vitamin C for smoothing and Defensil, an anti-inflammatory skin-conditioning agent. Another popular item, K-Sport Lip Protection Gloss, boasts UVA/UVB 20, calming aloe extract and skin protecting vitamin E as well as a natural pop of color. “Women 40 and over have different concerns. We have lines. We have wrinkles. We have spots we want to cover. If we are going to put on makeup and scientists have a way to make those makeup products better to help with those issues, I felt I needed to do that,” asserted Finch in an article published in Women’s Wear Daily.
At 30-years-old, fashion model Lindsay Ellingson may have missed the Generation X cutoff, but her new brand Wander Beauty is aimed squarely at busy X’ers eager to streamline their beauty routines. Launched on QVC in April, Wander Beauty focused on one product, On the Glow Blush & Illuminator, which replaces up to eight products in a women’s beauty stash, including lipstick, blush, highlighter, concealer and eye shadow. “Last year on my honeymoon, as far as makeup goes, all I packed was this and a mascara and I was set. The blush delivers natural color to lips and cheeks, while the highlighter adds beautiful sheen and dimension to your face and body,” Ellingson told QVC. The versatile On the Glow Blush & Illuminator works on a variety of skin tones, and Wander Beauty demonstrates that versatility on its website with images of women from six different ethnic backgrounds wearing it. Beauty products formulated for a range of skin colors are crucial for Generation X because nearly 40 percent of X’ers are not Caucasian, according to the Pew Research Center. Wander Beauty will soon be expanding its product portfolio with additional universal, multitasking wonders. We are excited to see where it wanders next.
Age shouldn’t be limiting – and GlossiGirl is making sure it isn’t, at least in terms of beauty. Founded earlier this year by makeup artist Stephen Dimmick, whose impressive celebrity client roster spans Cate Blanchett and the Kardashians, GlossiGirl gives Generation X a girl power moment. “The women who follow me on social media are between 28 and 55. They are strong, powerful women, and no one is catering to them, saying, ‘I get that you still want to be sassy or sometimes you’d like to be goddamn sexy,’” Dimmick told Women’s Wear Daily. “No one seems to be hitting that arena in the market. That is where I’m entrenched.” GlossiGirl made its debut with an array of lipsticks that cover bright and neutral shades, and matte and cream preparations. “They’re rich without being drying,” said Dimmick. “I wanted to create a formula that can pack a lot of color for a statement look, but feels comfortable and hydrating on the lips.” One of the fiercest shades is the vivid fuchsia Kick’n Ass. Dimmick crafted the color for a friend named Marie diagnosed with breast cancer. “The day she went to shave her head was the day I took her lipstick to her,” Dimmick recounted to Yahoo Beauty. “Her four-year-old daughter also puts on Kick’n Ass. One time, she came up to me and she crawled up on my lap and said, ‘I want to thank you for making my mom look so pretty. And that’s all I want—for my mom, Marie, and the women who follow me on Instagram to feel good.” You better believe they are feeling good and kicking some serious ass, too.
It may be a mere coincidence Bravon Pascua’s name is spelled similarly to the word ‘brave,’ but it shouldn’t be. The long-time global master artist for Bare Escentuals is encouraging women to make bold makeup choices with his new eponymous brand centered upon highly pigmented, professional-grade products. Afraid of a bright red mouth? Don’t be, declares Pascua. His broad range of lip products – tints, shimmers, glosses, matte crèmes and two lipstick options (moisture and liquid) – will help you find exactly the right red shade for you. Intimidated by contouring? Pascua stresses it should be fun, not forbidding. He recommends practicing the dimensional makeup application with Bravon’s products Dual Nature Contouring Bronzer and Illuminant Contouring Highlighter, and its brushes Contour Blush Brush and Deluxe Shadow Brush. Are you having fun yet? If not, the enjoyment doesn’t stop at contouring and crimson lips. Bravon also allows women to customize their own eye shadow compacts by choosing from among 28 shadow shades. We have a hunch we are going to be getting our brave-on pretty soon.