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After a decade, fashion designer Jason Wu is heading back to Target. In 2011, his mass-market fashion collection sold out within hours and kicked off years and years of limited-edition designer collaborations for fast-fashion stores. Now, Wu is bringing his luxe products to 400 Target stores in January — this time, in the form of a permanent beauty collection. Jason Wu Beauty is the beloved couturier's first time dipping into the category, but he's not doing it alone. Wu collaborated with Nyx founder Toni Ko and her Bespoke Brand Brands incubator program.
The duo met at dinner in New York City last year with a mutual friend. "Immediately, I was like, 'Jason, we have to do a beauty line together," Ko tells Allure. "Jason is a fashion designer, but he's very entrepreneurial. This is basically two entrepreneurs with two different skill sets coming together."
Wu is the "creative genius" behind all the products, Ko says, and she's the "workhorse." Wu, however, disagrees, later calling Ko, "the beauty queen" and "an industry leader."
They weren't planning on launching the line right in the middle of a pandemic, but putting it off didn't feel right either. If they held off, they'd have to wait another full year, Ko admits. "We never know what's going to happen, so we're just going to go for it," she adds.
The duo set out to make a brand that appeals to all ages without overly trendy items and shades. This aspect is what makes the venture most exciting to Wu. "It's unprecedented for me to have a product that works on anybody: any skin tone, any size, any ethnicity, any gender," he tells Allure. A nod to this is even in the various shades of nude on the brand's packing.
Nude is Wu company's signature color, he says, but the multiple hues is Jason Wu Beauty's way of standing out from "all the black-and-white brands" in stores. "This is a beauty line for everybody, a clean beauty line that's inclusive," he adds. That's right: Jason Wu Beauty is cruelty-free and follows the Target Clean Beauty program standards.
Some of the brand's makeup may feel very of-the-moment, but the inspiration for the line was pulled straight from Wu's fashion shows. "We're trying to bring Jason Wu's creative ingenuity from his runways to the aisles," Ko says. For example, Wu's latest collection featured models wearing faux freckles, so of course, Jason the Freckled Boy ($14), a mini liquid liner (seen below) specifically for speckling on sunless spots, had to be a part of the line.
Ko is especially proud of the multi-use products, including the neutral range of Hot Fluff ($12) hues for blending onto cheeks, eyes, and lips, as well as the Brows Before Boys ($14), a multi-use powder made for filling in sparse brows or covering a graying hairline.
Jason Wu Beauty’s Hot Fluff shade range
Ko and Wu want the beauty collection, with its cream shadows called Celestial Lust ($12), Free-Da Brow, aka eyebrow mascaras ($12), and Opal Stick($12), which is a cream highlighter, to encourage people to have fun with makeup and maybe take it easy on harsh contouring. Instead of hiding under heavy makeup, he hopes customers reveal themselves.
"That's what my job is as a fashion designer," Wu explains. "It's about enriching people's lives. It's going to be something people are really going to enjoy because everybody can be a part of my world."
Swatches of Celestial Lust
With all the products ringing up under $25, Wu believes price and longevity aren't mutually exclusive. "I'’s about great design, and it should be timeless, no matter what the price," he says. That's Wu's brand ethos and something he thinks about when he's designing.
"Just like when I did my Target collaboration many years ago, it's that one opportunity for people to experience the brand," Wu continues. "This is our chance to deliver a Jason Wu product at the same level of quality and craftsmanship and the same attention to detail but be able to offer it at this amazing price point."
Although both Wu and Ko are thankful to be launching in Target stores due to its "dedication to beauty," they're clear Jason Wu Beauty isn't a collaboration with the retailer, and the collection will eventually be sold at other places, too. In the meantime, you'll be able to shop Jason Wu Beauty starting January 14 at Target and jasonwubeauty.com.
All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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