Man with a Plan
By Melissa Miller
As a general rule, men donít understand cosmetics. When I drag
my beau through stores and force him to smell or sample
anything, he usually proclaims that it "smells just like
something you already have," then adds, "Iím hungry. Letís go
to the food court." Not helpful.
But I had the pleasure
recently of chatting with two men who do get the whole beauty
thing, and have created their own brilliant bath and body
Life after Kiehl's
Stephen Musumeci is the founder of an intriguing line called
Stephen est. 1985 (www.stephen1985.com),
which I stumbled across at Henry Bendel and felt compelled to
Musumeci is perhaps best known as the man who created most of
the Kiehlís products. Before that, he worked as a chemist, as
well as in product research and development, for Estee Lauder
and Avon, and he also helped create the original Bobbi Brown
Perfect 10 Lipsticks.
When Kiehlís was sold to LíOreal, Musumeci left the company,
intent on using his knowledge and expertise to create his own
line of unique products.
Musumeciís formulations are gentle, soothing and moisturizing;
his shampoos and body washes donít contain harsh sudsing agents
and donít strip the skin of oils. His Foaming Body Wash with
Glycerin ($21 for 8oz) is a sudsy body cleanser that will
leave your skin super-clean and silky.
It is available in Lavender, Grapefruit, Cucumber, Ylang Ylang,
Eucalyptus and Mango. My favorite scent is the crisp and clean
Cucumber, ideal for those I-canít-haul-myself-outta-bed
Stephen est. 1985ís Grapefruit Body Wash with Glycerin, which
smells just like a freshly-cut, sweet and tart yellow
grapefruit, is flying off the shelves at Henri Bendel.
One of Musumeciís most inspired creations is Oil Based Body
Wash ($16 for 4oz, $24.50 for 8oz), which contains
nourishing safflower oil. This soothing body cleanser helps the
skin maintain its natural moisture balanceówhat a wonder to
emerge from the shower feeling soft, smooth and not the least
This body wash is a must for those with eczema, psoriasis or
irritated skin. Oil Based Body Wash is available in the same
scents as the Body Wash with Glycerin scents; I favor the
soothing, soft Lavender and invigorating Eucalyptus aromas.
Stephen est. 1985 makes only one body cream, and what a body
cream it is! Musmeciís rich Moisturizing Body Cream ($30
for 8oz) contains a high percentage of hydrating and reparative
squalane. It absorbs immediately, leaving the skin satiny and
This is one of the most moisturizing and least greasy body
treatments Iíve ever used; the moisture and softness lasts until
my next shower. It is unscented and works beautifully on even
the most sensitive skin.
The Stephen est. 1985 line also contains natural shampoos,
conditioners, facial skin care, lipsticks, lip glosses and
ComplimenToners that change the color of your lipstick to better
suit your coloring.
These are available through the companyís web site
"I am the Owner"
When I attended the opening of the stunning new Tipton
in New Yorkís West Village, I looked forward to meeting the
companyís owner and creator, Christopher Stanley, who has
created over 300 natural-based products.
I approached a very young, good-looking guy, who I assumed was
an assistant, and asked, "Is the owner here?" He replied
"I am the owner" (I'd assumed that the creator of such an
extensive line would be much older; so much for assumptions).
Stanleyís background, he told me, is in finance and the beauty
industry. He began the Tipton Charles lineówhich is named after
Stanleyís great-grandfatheróby importing Dead Sea salts, because
he wasnít pleased with the quality available in the US market.
But the company quickly expanded to encompass a wide range of
facial, bath, body and hair care products and home fragrances.
Of the Tipton Charles bath
and body products that I have sampled, my favorite is the
gentle, sodium laurel sulfate-free
Apothecary Shower Gel ($8.25 for 4oz, $16 for 8oz), in
the irresistibly creamy Orange-Vanilla scent.
Iím also smitten with the beguiling Basil-Nectarine scent, which
won me over with its perfect fusion of spicy herb and juicy
It is a fabulous option for Tipton Charlesís Apothecary Body
Lotion ($11 for 4oz, $19 for 8oz), an emollient but light
emulsion packaged in an aluminum pump bottle.
Ocean fragrance is one of the best marine scents Iíve foundó
brisk, clean and exotic. I sampled it in the Body Butter
($13.20 for 2oz), a blend of mango and shea butters that works
wonders on my hands, elbows, and feet.
Apothecary Hand Wash ($9 for 6oz) in Grapefruit is a
top-selling item. Brightly colored with natural vegetable dye,
this is cleansing and softening with a fragrant burst of
And the all-natural Moroccan Hammam Olive Soap ($20 for
8oz) is a unique find, a cream soap rich in olive oil. It looks
like thick green mud, but who cares? It leaves the skin feeling
like silk, without the need for a moisturizer.
Authentic Spa Moisturizing Mists ($8 for 4oz) can be used on
the body or as a home fragrance spray. Try it in energizing
Tipton Charles products are available online at
TiptonCharles.com, in boutiques,
spas and resorts throughout the world. Top-selling
scents include Grapefruit, Basil-Nectarine, Orange-Vanilla and
their uniquely floral Sandalwood. New scents include
Mandarin-Guava, Ocean, Fairway, Cucumber, and