Baume à Levres lip balm shades from the new Gucci Beauty collection, $38 each.
Much like his faux-cyborg, head-toting runway presentations and his high-camp red-carpet looks, Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele’s newly unveiled Gucci Beauty has a singular perspective that celebrates self-expression. “Makeup is something poetic and fleeting that you can add to your face—changing or highlighting something about yourself,” he says. For his debut makeup collection, Michele begins with the lips. Fifty-eight shades of violet-perfumed lipstick come in three finishes: a satin finish Rouge à Lèvres Satin (36 shades), a sheer finish Rouge à Lèvres Voile (18 shades) and a translucent balm finish Baume à Lèvres (four shades). Branded in the house motifs with a mix of vintage florals and glamorous gilding, the lipsticks were inspired by golden age Hollywood icons such as Jean Harlow, Maureen O’Hara and Bette Davis. “Lipstick is the most beautiful object you can find inside a handbag,” Michele says. But it’s the campaign—shot by Martin Parr, with art direction by Christopher Simmonds—where Michele’s message becomes most clear, as a diverse group of models demonstrates that his intent is more than mere lip service. His manifesto is that an authentic, beautifully imperfect look over a perfectly painted pout is the ideal. Bravo to that. Saks Fifth Avenue, 384 Post St.