Monthly Archives

June 2016

Beauty, Makeup

Oribe’s Going All Out with a Big Brand Expansion!



Oribe is making every beauty buff’s wish come true by expanding his brand far beyond hair by dipping a toe into hair tools and accessories, color cosmetics, skincare, body care, and even nails!

Yup, you heard that right. It’s a veritable takeover of the beauty counter, as the stylist’s line has long been beloved by red carpet regulars, industry insiders, and mane mavens for years will introduce 21 new SKUs across hair, skin, body, and makeup that is available for pre-order now and will hit shelves in July. The skincare range focuses on hydration and brightness with luxe ingredients like caviar lime, which gently exfoliates the skin for a luminous look, and gold to amplify skin’s natural luster. Its Youth-Restoring is formulated with Edelweiss Flower, Evening Primrose & Sweet Almond Oil to hydrate and revitalize skin to its deepest layer.

The color cosmetics are clearly not for the faint of heart or fans of the no-makeup makeup look. The brand boasts matching lipsticks and nail polishes in a series of red, nude, and violet shades that pump up the pigmentation to 11. Both are formulated to leave a lasting impression as the luxe lacquers use shade-lock technology that lays down opaque color and doesn’t chip while the lipsticks use White Lily and Myrrh Extract to keep pouts at their most plush.

Last, but certainly not least, bolstered his home base of hair with his own hair dryer that uses a ceramic grill, and ion technology to 6 speed and heat settings that make styling super easy. He also added his gilded touch to barrettes, ponytail holders, and hair sticks that speak more to the haute hair accessories that Jen Atkin sought to bring to her fans at a more affordable price point.

I kind of saw this coming after everyone, editors and beauty buffs alike, lost their mind when the brand bottled the signature scent of its stylers, releasing two fragrances back in 2014. The notes for the fine fragrances were inspired by Jennifer Lopez’s aroma that the super stylist caught a whiff of during the shoot for her On the 6 album, which was right around the outset of his line. The super stylist dipped his toe into another end of the beauty pool by releasing two fragrances (modeled after that signature scent) back in 2014, , making the new beauty buys a natural progression for the brand.

While the prices are a bit much to snap them up as everyday essentials, it wouldn’t be too much to ask for a piece or two from the collection for a birthday or during the holidays—you (or someone else) have to treat yourself sometimes!

Get up close and personal with all of the new options below.

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Beauty, Body

#ManiMonday: Butter London Links Up with Shoes of Prey


Courtesy of Butter London

Butter London‘s looking to perfect your pedicure with the perfect partnership with none other than Shoes of Prey.

The collaboration includes six shades inspired by the shoe line’s fall array of lush fabric options paired with names of the shoe styles available for customization on the site. The colors include

“We feel the partnership is directly in tune with our brands’ mutual mission to inspire women to embrace their individual style, authentic selves and have some fun,” Butter London President, Sarina Godin shared in a press release. Jodie Fox, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of Shoes of Prey shared the same sentiment, stating, “We’re so excited to give our customers the unique opportunity to add another dimension to their fall outfits by colour coordinating their shoes and manicures and pedicures with our curated trend colours for the season.”

Aside from the fact these chic shades are on trend to be a big sensation this fall, according to Pantone — earthy tones of taupe, dusty cedar, potter’s clay, and lush meadows will be everywhere in a variety of textures and finishes, customization (albeit on the fashion side this time) has become a big driver of the beauty market. It began appearing a few years ago in the form of palettes that allowed you to pick the shadow shades housed within from the likes of Buxom, Urban Decay, and more and have evolved to incorporate other parts of the beauty counter, like Cover FX and Dr. Dennis Gross offering skincare boosters that could be combined with your established skincare routine. And it shows no signs of slowing down, as custom complexion products may lead to higher profiles for companies who can customize nail shades to suit any swatch you serve up and more.

The collection will be available exclusively on Nordstrom beauty counters and online during the retailer’s annual Anniversary Sale where mani mavens can snap up the shades in a set for $39 as early as July 14th for those with early access. Those not part of Nordstrom’s inner circle won’t have to worry, as it will be ready for purchase for everyone else on the 22nd. Mark your calendars now, so you can avoid the mani madness later!

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Beauty, Hair

#OnMyVanity: Aquis Quick-Dry Hair Towel


I receive a slew of samples, and when I find something I like, I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

When you have as much hair as I do, it takes forever for my strands to dry, especially when I regularly rock a top knot to keep my curls tight. The problem is that my hair is still damp once I let my hair down (even after a night’s sleep and a commute into the city), leaving my curls prone to stretching and breakage. A regular towel is fine enough when you’re about to heat style your strands into submission but can cause serious frizzing if you’re letting your locks air dry.

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Beauty, Body, Skin

Volition Beauty Brings Product Power to the People


via Volition Beauty

Have you ever searched the shelves for the right formula for you but end up empty-handed? Ever have a favorite product of your end up in the trash because of a formula change? Now you can skip the wishful thinking and do something about it—create your own with the help of Volition Beauty.

Inspired by the many gaps in the beauty market, founders Brandy Hoffman and Patricia Santos banded together to create a community of beauty buffs to craft the everyday essentials they couldn’t find at their local Sephora without waiting years for big brands to give them what they need. “I think when Brandy and I were coming up with the concept, we had an idea that this would work, and we thought, ‘We believe in democratizing beauty. We believe in empowering women. We believe women can solve their own problems. We believe they’re smart and creative.’ And that’s where all of the product ideas should start. But we had no idea what would happen when we built the platform,” Santos explained during the brand’s press event on Tuesday.

So what happened? It exploded! Not literally, but thousands of women signed up for the platform back in September to submit their ideas for cool and innovative products and shipped the first batch in November. Users can easily submit their ideas and, depending on the difficulty of the formula (and whether they have to patent new technologies), you could see your idea come to life in anywhere between three weeks to a year as a prototype that you and your friends can test-drive to ensure the formula is just right and safe to use. Next, the brand posts the product as a campaign on the website where it’s voted on by the community. If a campaign wins, it’s only 3 to 6 weeks to ship to you in small batches, instead of the two years it typically takes big brands to debut a new buy, always keeping the brand on the edge of the next discovery. “I think what’s key is that it’s not just trends, it’s innovation,” Santos said. “It’s not only an outlet for creative women. I think it’s been an outlet for the underserved in the beauty industry.”

It may be in its infancy, but the platform already boasts a dozen SKUs for skin and body with more coming down the pipeline soon. And you’ll be able to get your hands on them without leaving your couch, as the brand will debut on QVC in August, so keep a look out!

Though I got a preview of some of the skincare essentials that will hit shelves soon, the one item that blew me (and everyone else) away was the Pamona: Custom Gel Mask. It works like an Easy-Bake Oven but for your face. Simply add water with fruit juices that cater to your skin’s specific needs (like berries for added antioxidants, citrus for brightening, cucumber for hydration, etc.), drop in one of the gel tabs, push a button, and five minutes later you have a mask made fresh just for you. I know editors and beauty techies will snap this up super fast for their own use, but it could easily provide a bit of pampering with your pals (Hello, spa-worthy bachelorette weekend!). Needless to say, this is a brand I’ll be keeping a close eye on!


Rachel Antonoff Assembles Pretty Plus Size Picks for Gwynnie Bee


via Refinery 29

Rachel Antonoff is taking her penchant for fun and fresh prints and giving them a plus-size remix with Gwynnie Bee.

Antonoff’s collaboration is really something to celebrate, as it’s the latest in a line of designers who have linked up with the plus-size clothing subscription service. Antonoff’s signature aesthetic of quirky prints inspired by the every day and flattering silhouettes for women of different sizes and shapes has become the style blueprint for shows like Girls, even recruiting Lena Dunham herself to showcase the line in a short fashion film back in 2013. To see the line open itself up to a larger market—pun not intended—is amazing to see as Antonoff herself mentioned a plus size line is already in the works, creating a more inclusive space in an industry known for being straight and narrow (in many senses).

“Fashion has so many wonderful things about it, but there’s this aspect that it feels exclusionary, can be somewhat elitist, and make you feel like you’re supposed to look different than you do, or make you want to be something that you’re not,” she explained to Refinery29. “I’ve always felt like clothes should just be part of celebrating who you are and enhancing your day, whether it’s just because you’re more comfortable or you feel good in them, and I think the plus-size market is so important and not necessarily getting the attention it deserves yet. I think it’s starting to, but it’s not all the way there. But it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

And to celebrate the partnership, plus size fashionistas will be privy to some of the brand’s greatest hits in the seven pieces collection, including the dissected frog, florals, parrots, and a fruit salad prints. They arrived on Sunday, June 19th in the form of flowy tops and frocks fit for a summer filled with road trips, fun fêtes, and all-night excursions that will create memories to last a lifetime, regardless of your dress size. “I’m a fan of Gwynnie Bee, but in general, my approach to fashion has always been that it should be fun, it should be inclusive, and your clothing should be more of an accessory for an adventure or a good time than something that’s stressful.” Well, I’m always up for an adventure!

Head over to Refinery29 to check out the rest of the pretty, printed pieces that just hit shelves on Sunday to nab them now before they disappear!

Beauty, Skin

#OnMyVanity: Ole Henriksen’s POWER Bright Kit



I receive a slew of samples, and when I find something I like, I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

There are day trips to the beach, weekends in the Hamptons, a week down the shore, or a few hour spent sitting by a rooftop pool are just a few of the ways we’re all trying to soak up the sun. But even with sunscreen slathered on every two hours, skin can still be damaged, further darkening any spots on the skin, dulling the complexion, and causing pre-mature aging, so brightening is essential to maintaining a clear complexion. But while moisturizers and serums can up to four weeks to begin to see results, Ole Henriksen has just given me everything needed for a gorgeous glow in just half an hour!

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Fashion, Hair

Recreate Rihanna’s Sparkling Style with These Haute Hair Accessories

via YouTube

via YouTube


Shine bright like a diamond!  Rihanna looks dazzling in the “This Is What You Came For” video that just dropped. In the clip, the star plays directly to the camera in a glittering onesie and a high ponytail, but it was the array of brilliant hair accessories that really caught my eye. The sparkling spread of pearls and crystals looks like a fresh take on Blair Waldorf’s famous headbands, adding a formal/red carpet polish to the party. And if you had enough pieces of varying sizes, you can easily arrange them like a custom crown that’s all your own. I figured I wasn’t the only one who would want to recreate the style, so I searched the shelves for the perfect pieces to pick up to really rock this look for any upcoming summer soiree.

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Beauty, Makeup

What a Doll! Ariana Grande Teams Up with MAC Again

Courtesy of MAC Cosmetics

Courtesy of MAC Cosmetics

Ariana Grande’s indulging her inner moppet for her second stint with MAC.

The songstress shared a snap of herself on Thursday posing alongside the vibrant pink ad that features the star in full babydoll mode, complete with a giant pink bow, matching streaks of hair color, ruffled socks in platform Mary Janes and an array of doll furniture and fixtures.

The Viva Glam ambassador’s first foray for the MAC counter unleashed a dangerous woman in the form of a matte plum lipstick and sheer pink shimmer LipGlass. This time around, Grande’s “playing nice and charming” with a matte deep bubblegum lip color and a more neutral pink LipGlass that will hit shelves in September. As always, every penny of the proceeds will benefit the MAC AIDS Fund, which funds programs to assist those affected by HIV/AIDS.

Talk about sugar, spice, and everything nice!

Beauty, Body

Star Wars: The Fragrance Awakens



When it comes to Star Wars, there is no such thing as too much merch if 2015 was any indication. And the train shows no slowing down with a collection of fragrances hitting beauty counters in a galaxy far, far away (actually, it’s Europe).

German fragrance house Lifestyle Perfumes has just released a series of three scents inspired by the iconic film franchise with two scents for men, modeled after the light and dark side of the force, and one for women—all housed in bottles shaped like lightsabers! This seems to be fleshing out the blockbuster’s hold on the beauty counter, as it previously partnered with CoverGirl for a collection of makeup musts to celebrate the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Jedi is light and bright with fresh notes of mandarin, water lily, and amber while Empire is a spicier affair with notes of cardamom, clove, and patchouli. While specific notes aren’t listed for Amidala, judging by the image the brand shared on Instagram, it appears to be very sweet thanks to tangerine, chocolate, and vanilla in the image and housed in a bottle that matches the color scheme of her Elizabethan-inspired ensemble the Queen wore on her picnic with Anakin on Naboo. There’s a lot of citrus throughout the collection, according to io9. But given its release in June (prime citrus season) and the recent installment, the company could’ve focused their setting on the more lush planets in the galaxy like Endor, D’Qar, and the aforementioned Naboo.

Well if I had known about this sooner, I would’ve just snapped this up for my dad for Father’s Day! Unfortunately, the collection is only available in Europe with no word on if/when it will hit shelves stateside. Now’s the time to get in touch with your forum friends across the pond and see if they can ship you the cool cosmetic collectibles.

Beauty, Body, Hair, Skin

The Father’s Day Grooming Gifts That Will Be Used Immediately

A photo posted by @valsvanity on

As a beauty editor, I’m blessed with a slew of products to test-drive on the daily. I’m happy to share the extra lippies, liners, and other beauty buys amongst family and friends, which means I can’t arrive at a party empty-handed. On the rare occassion a men’s grooming product come across my vanity, I immediately hand it over to my dad. He covets the samples I share, saving them for special occasions. But honestly, what’s the point? They’re meant to be used! So instead of searching for value sets he may hold onto for months, I decided to search for a slew of grooming goodies that I won’t be able to pry from his hands until they’re empty. The great thing is you can bundle a bunch of these buys and create a cute basket (or pack into a nice toiletries bag) to deliver to dear old dad on his big day. But be sure to order soon to ensure it arrives on time!

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