The first question to consider about Gwen Stefani’s brand new makeup line called GXVE Beauty: What took her so long?
The Anaheim-born platinum blond pop singer is as iconic for her signature look and clothes as she is for her voice and songs. Turns out, Gwen’s very first job was doing hair and makeup in a local Anaheim mall—and her love of it never wavered. Still, it took four years to develop GXVE. “I know it took longer than it should have,” she admitted at the official launch lunch, which cozily took place in her hometown of Anaheim. “But the journey was incredible, today is surreal. After my life fell apart during my divorce (from Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale in 2016), I wanted to do something that was truly me. I don’t think of myself as a celebrity. I am ME, a girl from Anaheim. I’ve been playing with makeup since I was a kid. I could talk about makeup all day long! This is as real for me as it gets!”
The collection, based on the way Stefani signs her name (the X represents “kiss”), includes two neutral four color eyeshadow palettes, several shades of eyebrow pencil, easy-to-use gel eyeliner (for that perfect Stefani cat eye) and three formulations of her famously red lipstick: one matte, one shiny, one liquid matte. One of the many GVXE staffers at the launch, swears it won’t come off —no matter what you’re eating or drinking—until you want it to. “Look at Gwen,” the staffer noted, spying Stefani at a booth across the room. “She’s eating pepperoni pizza and her lipstick’s still perfect.”
Her scarlet smacker was all the more prominent against the background of Gwen’s all white outfit: White bejeweled Dsquared jeans, white v-neck bodysuit, blingy high-heeled white boots—and enough real bling around her neck and arms to sink a cruise ship.
Even during a multi-course lunch at Gwen’s favorite old school Italian restaurant Mamma Cozza’s in an Anaheim strip mall, her lipstick didn’t budge, smudge or diminish. “This is where my parents had their first date,” Stefani told Los Angeles.
It was the perfect taste test, in the midst of about 30 well-dressed women chowing down on Italian bread, pizza, rigatoni, shrimp scampi, salad and a chocolate Nutella pizza for dessert. Not to mention champagne and raspberries. The L.A. based journos were transported down by two busses, blasting Stefani and No Doubt tracks.
The lunch and a special surprise mini-concert took place in the restaurant’s large back room, with OG Italian décor of black and white gingham tablecloths, melted red wax candles in wicker baskets and Gwen pictures strewn on the walls. The front room with bar and several booths were set with GXVE makeup tableaus and photos of Stefani as child and teen.
Yes, there were more Stefani tracks—these being live. She performed four (“Underneath It All,” ”Just a Girl,” “Don’t Speak,” “Hollaback Girl”) of her most famous songs accompanied by a guitar and a bass player on a little makeshift stage as the pizzas made their way down one long table.
On the way out the door to the buses, the beauty editorial ladies were let loose to choose their favorite items from the collection, just launched last week at Sephora. It was hard to tell what they relished more: the yummy multi-course carbs or the glam sleek cosmetics. “Luckily,” one staffer laughed, “They didn’t have to choose. That red lip, even with red sauce, just stays on forever. I don’t know of any other red lipstick that defies Mamma Cozza’s Tomato Sauce.”
Days later, this reporter can attest: GXVE’s matte red lipstick and black gel eyeliner not only give you that perfect Gwen pout and winged eye look, but they’re already “hero products” flying off the shelves at Sephora. They miraculously don’t smudge and the application is ultra easy. 10 out of 10!
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