In an industry powered on “newness”, with the exception of certain perfumes there are very few beauty products that stand the test of time. Formulations evolve and change as technologies mill powders ever finer and make lacquers ever shinier. But look inside the make-up pouch of pretty much any beauty connoisseur (and a good number of beauty novices) and you will fine that golden tube.
Twenty five years ago this month, the make-up artist Terry de Gunzburg who was then working as the creative director at Yves Saint Laurent Beauté (and who is now at the helm of her own brand By Terry) launched the Touche Éclat. And the rumour goes that today one of these is sold every ten seconds across the world. Back in 1992, Touche Éclat came in only one shade (now it comes in 11) and it launched in a world of heavy matte powders, sponge applicators, when “highlighting” just referred to stripy platinum hair. This illuminator developed because De Gunzburg had been experimenting on set with her own blend of foundation, moisturiser and toner, applied with a tiny brush under the eyes to achieve a healthy, glowing luminescence. Which is where the iconic packaging struck (literally and figuratively) gold: by combining a product and brush in one compact pen-like form, women were able to control the application of their make-up in a way that had never been conceived of before.
Today where the terms “glow”, “illuminating” and “dewy” are ubiquitous, we’d be forgiven for forgetting how revolutionary the Touche Éclat was. It has since spawned myriad copies which often use the very same click-pen packaging as the original. But few are as recognisable, or as effective, as the first. Applied to the highest plane of the cheekbones it gives glowing ethereal skin, dabbed around the cupid’s bow and lips it stops lipstick bleeding, spotted on the inner corners of the eye it makes you look wide awake, well-slept, like a 25 year old.
Happy birthday YSL Touche Éclat!
YSL Touche Éclat cost £25.50 each from Selfridges.