Lana Turner was a dame who understood the power of the pout. In The Postman Always Rings Twice, her lipstick case rattles along a café floor toward a rugged John Garfield. Her manner poised and hand outstretched, Turner waits for Garfield to bring it over; when he doesn’t, she saunters by, grabs the case from his hand, applies her lipstick, then hits the road.

When you’re as famous for your looks—sun-streaked locks, perfect tan—as for your marriage to a star quarterback, anything you say about beauty is bound to be scrutinized. It took supermodel Gisele Bündchen two sentences to turn sunscreen into front-page news. “I cannot put this poison on my skin. I do not use anything synthetic,” the Brazilian bombshell declared.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: One of the world’s most influential hair stylists, Oribe (pronounced OR-bay) has earned his single-name moniker. Oribe launched an eponymous line of products in 2008, intent on bringing his A-list allure to vanity tables worldwide. Other celebrity hair artists—Sally Hershberger, Orlando Pita, Serge Normant—have transformed their credibility into shampoos, conditioners, and sprays, but what sets Oribe apart is his commitment to what he calls the “total experience” of hair.

Picture this ad: a soft-focus shot of a naked woman sleeping on a rock, framed by hibiscus, and equally flowery promises courtesy of a pink jar with a curly gold font. “Helga of Russia” is what Jane Wurwand laughingly calls that category of beauty campaign, which, when she founded Dermalogica in California in 1986, was the mass depiction of skin care.

In the summer months, Nantucket resembles a well-bred beauty playing host to the good life: gorgeous families—collars popped, ice cream cones in hand—wandering through cobblestone streets; the tang of salt water and Polo Sport commingling with the unmistakable aura of old money. Once autumn arrives, however, the host slips off her sunglasses and assumes a quieter pace.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: A woman’s nails often act as visual shorthand, offering clues to her character through length, colour, and shape. Think of Humbert Humbert delicately daubing scarlet polish on Lolita’s toes in the opening scene of Stanley Kubrick’s film, or of Joan Crawford’s femme fatale fingernails—long, crimson, and razor-sharp.

Today, Korres is among the most respected natural beauty brands in the world, smashing innovation boundaries by using technology inspired by Nobel Prize–winning discoveries in chemistry, and earning international acclaim for everything from its eco-friendly products to its contemporary packaging.

Kakuyasu Uchiide, the international artistic director of Shu Uemura and one of the world’s most visionary makeup artists, sees things differently. In addition to overseeing the brand’s product line, Uchiide is integral in creating the annual Tokyo Lash Bar collections—ultracreative sets of false eyelashes—that challenge the definition of what cosmetics can be.

A different kind of perfumery is emerging. Call it boutique, niche, or indie—fragrance that defines itself against mainstream houses and tastes. A few leaders of the evolution? Frédéric Malle, Serge Lutens, and, more recently, Le Labo, a brand created by Fabrice Penot and Eddie Roschi, who say that their mission is to “make life more beautiful” using fragrance.