Estee Lauder Lipstick Smell
Estee Lauder Pure Color Love Lipstick in Pret-a-Party and Pure Color Envy Lipstick in Infamous

Estee Lauder’s prestigious heritage hasn’t translated into sales with modern consumers, even though the 72-year-old brand has an enduring reputation for creating quality products. So, what happened? If you ask me, it’s all in the nose.

I have a very long history with Estee Lauder, the heritage cosmetic brand that is persistently trying to find it’s way into the heart of millennial customers. Growing up, there was a sustained period of time where all my mom wore was Estee Lauder. After Jean Nate, after Halston, she had a nearly a decade-long commitment to Estee Lauder Beautiful, leading to the point that her quintessential Christmas gift was the blockbuster GWP available during every holiday season.

As a result of my mother’s obsession, I began wearing Estee Lauder Pleasures throughout high school & college, not to mention the GWP items I (not so) subtlety siphoned from my mom’s bathroom counter. This was my first true experimentation with lip color, as my mainstay CoverGirl Lipslicks didn’t pack quite the same punch. A few shades remained with me as I began to fully embrace my love of beauty, and it wasn’t long until I worked at the local department store Lancome counter. Although my heart was with the MAC team, my eyes (and wallet) often wandered over to Clarins, Estee Lauder, and Origins. Still to this day I have my favorite long since discontinued ridged gold tube of raspberry lipstick tucked away in a box, waiting for the day when I can have a shade recreated with the same saturation, depth, and luminosity. That is one special color.

The scent of Estee Lauder lipsticks was never my favorite, but as I began to try more formulas from more brands, the scent eventually began to turn my stomach. Lauder’s fragrance choice wasn’t the only scent I felt this way about; Lancome, Dior, and L’Oreal are all offenders. My singular Chanel lipstick doesn’t smell the greatest, neither do my tubes of YSL, but Lauder and Lancome have always stood far above the competition in the Bad Lipstick Fragrance Olympics©.

Tom Ford for Estee Lauder Azurēe Soleil Collection

Imagine my surprise when I recently tried two of Estee Lauder’s newer formulas, Pure Color Love and Pure Color Envy, and discovered that the unappealing fragrance had been replaced by what can only be described as a sweet, vaguely vanilla scent. The packaging is enticing and the formulas are splendid. This feels like the Estee Lauder I’ve been waiting for. I still remember the excitement I felt on the morning of Tom Ford’s first Estee Lauder collection launch. It was right after he left his tenure at Gucci and a harbinger of products to come, not only for Tom Ford, but for Estee Lauder.  The success of these collections led to the partnership that is Tom Ford Beauty as it exists today and paved the way for Estee Lauder’s extremely successful Bronze Goddess collection and collaborations with luminaries like Victoria Beckham and Violette. I wouldn’t be surprised if Victoria Beckham emerges with a beauty line a la Tom Ford after the blockbuster success of her collaborations.

Although I loved so many products in the now discontinued The Estee Edit line, I was disappointed in the lipstick formula that I tried. The color, though beautiful, wore off in a way that can only be described as patchy. Although I am adamant that The Estee Edit didn’t receive the chance it truly deserved, I am happy to see Estee Lauder investing in their core business by making these small, but necessary changes to modernize. I can’t wait to see what comes next!

If you have a favorite Estee Lauder product, please tell me about it in the comments below! We’re already Advanced Night Repair and Double Wear devotees in this house, so I’m excited to learn about some hidden gems.

Sarah Conley is a veteran content creator and marketing consultant from Fayetteville, Arkansas. After publishing her first blog, Style It, for over 10 years, she launched Rascal Honey in early 2018 to offer a fresh perspective on style. Her writing has appeared on Time, Teen Vogue, The Huffington Post, Glamour, and Lucky. She's also appeared in tv interviews on CNBC, Fox News, Great Day Washington, The Huffington Post Live, and People Now. She's worked as a social media consultant for the past nine years, helping fashion & beauty brands like MAC Cosmetics, NARS, Prescriptives, Origins, David Yurman, ELOQUII, ellos, Nine West, Clé de Peau Beauté, Diane von Furstenberg, and many more create meaningful communities online. When she's not writing about style or shopping for makeup at Sephora, she's cheering on the Arkansas Razorbacks and perfecting her guacamole recipe.

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