A Rare Sydney Penthouse Takes Luxury To New Heights
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A Rare Sydney Penthouse Takes Luxury To New Heights

Boasting incredible panoramic views of Sydney Harbour.

By Terry Christodoulou
Fri, Jun 3, 2022 1:00pmGrey Clock 2 min

Penthouses, by nature, draw on lofty notions of living (literally) taken to new luxurious heights.

The penthouse of the Harrington Collection in the heart of Sydney’s The Rocks illustrates such ascendant notions perfectly, boastings some of the most intimate views across city rooftops, to the icons of Sydney Harbour and beyond.

The 483sqm 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom, 3-car parking residence spans two levels and sees a heightened level of design by international design firm FJMT and while the meticulous interiors were curated by Australian designer David Hicks, with close attention paid to the heritage elements of the Harrington Street site.

Within, expect a stunning interplay of light and space through floor to ceiling windows combined with a light palette of timber joinery, herringbone oak floors and the Harrington Collection’s signature monolithic stone featured throughout.

The expansive living zone features an open fireplace and is complemented by an entertainer’s kitchen and butler’s pantry — fitted with premium Wolf appliances, including gas cooktop, wall oven, steam oven, warming drawer, Miele integrated dishwasher, Subzero integrated fridge, freezer and wine fridge. The butler’s pantry is also appointed with a second Miele dishwasher and Subzero under bench wine fridge.

Complementing the living zone is an expansive 139sqm terrace that includes a spa, integrated barbecue and landscaped garden beds — ideal for entertaining and enjoying the panoramic harbour views.

Further, the residence sees three-bedroom sanctuaries — each with a sumptuous ensuite fitted with marble tiling — with the master also boasting a walk-in robe and dressing room. A fourth bedroom or home office is fitted with a bathroom, wet bar and Subzero wine fridge.

As part of the Harrington Collection, the residence sees a full-time concierge alongside a common entertainer’s rooftop terrace, lounge area, kitchen and bar.

The property is with David Highland (+61 405 735 735) of Highland Double Bay, with a price guide of $40 million. Highlandproperty.com.au

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The Lipstick Index Is Back

Sales of the cosmetic product are a bright spot in an otherwise bleak discretionary-goods environment

By JINJOO LEE
Fri, Nov 25, 2022 2 min

Masks off, lipstick index on.

In a gloomy economy, consumers might cut back on other discretionary purchases but will keep shelling out for small luxuries such as lipstick—or so goes the theory. “When lipstick sales go up, people don’t want to buy dresses,” Leonard Lauder, then-chairman of Estée Lauder who is widely credited for coming up with the so-called “lipstick index,” told The Wall Street Journal in 2001.

L’Oréal Chief Executive Nicolas Hieronimus called this out during the company’s earnings call in October, noting that a luxury lipstick or mascara is only €30, making it an “affordable treat.” Sales at L’Oréal rose 9.1% in the third quarter compared with a year earlier despite slower sales in China due to Covid-related lockdowns. Coty, maker of CoverGirl makeup, said organic sales grew 9% over the same period.

Beauty sales have also been a rare bright spot for retailers: Target said beauty category sales grew roughly 15% in its quarter ended Oct. 29 compared with a year earlier, with Ulta Beauty shops in Target tripling their total sales volume over that period.

While Macy’s namesake stores saw comparable-store sales decline last quarter, its beauty-focused Bluemercury chain saw same-store sales grow 14% last quarter compared with a year earlier. Kohl’s locations with Sephora are outperforming the rest of the department-store chain.

Of the 14 discretionary categories that market research firm NPD Group tracks, prestige beauty—products you might find at a department store or a Sephora—is the only category that is seeing unit sales growth year to date. And lipstick, which suffered during the masked-up pandemic, is making up for lost time.

Lipstick sales have grown 37% through October this year compared with a year earlier, according to Larissa Jensen, beauty industry analyst at NPD Group. That is an acceleration from the 31% growth seen during the same period last year. Lip product is the only major category within prestige beauty where sales are actually up compared with pre-pandemic levels, according to Ms. Jensen.

Cosmetic companies have also called out strong sales in fragrances, calling it the “fragrance index.” Demand has been so robust that there is an industrywide fragrance component shortage, Coty said in a press release announcing third-quarter earnings earlier this month. CEO Sue Nabi said during the call that Coty hasn’t seen any kind of trade-down or slowdown, also noting that consumers are shifting away from gifting perfume to buying it for themselves.

“A big piece of it is just a shift in what wellness means to consumers,” NPD Group’s Ms. Jensen said. “Beauty is one of the few industries that are positioned to meet [consumers’] emotional need. It makes them feel good.”

While the lipstick effect could be observed in the recession in the early 2000s, that wasn’t the case during the 2007-09 recession, during which lipstick sales declined alongside other discretionary purchases. Part of this might have had to do with category-specific dynamics.

There was a lot of newness in the cosmetic industry in 2001, including lip gloss, a relatively nascent category back then. That tailwind simply wasn’t there starting in 2008, though nail polish turned out to be consumers’ small indulgence of choice in that period. This time around, consumers may be eager to show off a part of their face that was hidden behind a mask for so long during the pandemic.

In an otherwise bleak environment for companies selling discretionary goods, those in the business of selling cosmetics look well poised to come out of the holiday season looking freshened up.

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