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Val

Decor, Lifestyle

Lady Gaga’s Stylist Launches Line With Ikea to Make Your Space Look Glamorous — And I Want Everything!

via Ikea.com

You may not know Bea Åkerlund, but you’ve definitely seen her work before. The fashion activist and costume designer has added her decadent touch to create some of the most memorable looks of our favorite stars. We’re talking Beyoncé‘s iconic Lemonade-yellow dress from the “Hold Up” video (as well as half of the clips from her eponymous visual album); Madonna‘s Mark-Antony-meets-Cleopatra-inspired ensemble for her 2012 Super Bowl Halftime Show; Katy Perry’s Katy Kat CoverGirl collection commercial (and her Harper’s Bazaar Icons NYFW performance that I got to witness first-hand ); and even Lady Gaga‘s eye-popping “Paparazzi” video.

But now the stylist is adding her signature blend of gothic glamor not to your wardrobe but everywhere else in your apartment with an exclusive Ikea collection that is not only Instagrammable but also brings a bit of the red carpet home with you. Called OMEDELBAR (which is “immediate” in Swedish), the collection features home accents and accessories, like a gilded clothing rack and valet stand to put your prettiest pieces on display as well as a Birkin-inspired lighting fixture, all designed to allow you to get imaginative with your interiors and transform your space into the decadent dressing room of your dreams.

“’B. WHO YOU ARE’ is about embracing yourself, no matter what the world thinks of you. It’s about individuality and creativity – two important cornerstones of OMEDELBAR,” she said of the collection in a press release.

While the collection hit shelves on February 14th — yup, while we were drowning in red hearts, lipstick, chocolate, and all things amoré — the great thing is that everything is very affordable. The most expensive pieces are the armchair, the ottoman, and the clothes rack, which are priced at $249 and $129, respectively. Not to mention that the collection is available for purchase at almost all locations, save for IKEA Grand Prairie or IKEA Jacksonville.

And as much as I want to snap up everything, regardless of the lack of room in my house, I decided to sift through everything to narrow down it down to a few favorites I’m planning to purchase before everything disappears. Read more to see what I’m adding to my shopping list.

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Beauty, Makeup

Rihanna Celebrates Her “Dirty Thirty” With A New Killawatt Highlighter

Rihanna might’ve lamented the end of her 20s on the eve of her birthday (honestly I am too!), but the beauty mogul is celebrating the start of her new decade by helping everyone else shine bright — like a Trophy Wife, not a diamond.

Fenty Beauty has just released a hyper-limited edition version of the cult favorite Killawatt Highlighter in Trophy Wife, which comes embossed with a triple X in homage to the bad gal’s big birthday. But don’t worry; the 3D hyper-metallic gold shade still features the same cream-powder hybrid formulation that melts into skin for that glow-from-within effect anywhere.

“You can use this on any part of your face — your eyes, your cheeks, your nose bridge, your collarbone,” she said of the beauty buy. “I like to use it on my body as well because it’s such a high sheen.”

The idea for the limited edition luxury first formed after brand gifted Riri with a custom blinged-out version of the cosmetic compact that the brand shared on Instagram, instantly inspiring some serious FOMO. Though I wish the Swarovski-encrusted version was available for everyone — maybe it’ll appear as part of an upcoming holiday collection — I still might have to get my hands on it before I hit the big 3-0 myself.

Are you planning to pick up this covetable cosmetic? It’s expected to fly off of FentyBeauty.com’s shelves soon. So if you, let me know what you think in the comments below!

Beauty, Makeup

Amy Deanna Becomes The First CoverGirl Model With Vitiligo

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You might not know Amy Deanna yet, but she’s bound to become a household name after this! The Texas native was just named the new face of CoverGirl‘s #IAmWhatIMakeUp campaign for its TruBlend foundations, making her the brand’s first spokesperson with vitiligo.

Though you might have seen her featured in spreads for Atlas Magazine, it’s a huge opportunity for the up-and-coming model to help make the beauty industry more inclusive, starting with the first video ad which was unveiled Tuesday morning. In the clip, Deanna is featured not covering up her spots but instead using two of the brand’s foundations to make both of her skin’s hues look absolutely flawless.

“Inclusivity is important—not just for people of different backgrounds and ethnicities, but also people of all sizes,” she told People. “That’s why I was so excited to partner with CoverGirl on this project. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, etc. Let’s face it, together we are a mosaic—that in itself is beautiful. We should celebrate that.”

Though the mega model in the making is helping to further break down beauty barriers, she notes that the industry still has a ways to go when it comes to diversity. “I believe that inclusiveness will challenge unrealistic beauty standards within the beauty industry and in humanity,” she told the glossy. “I remember seeing Queen Latifah on TV as a CoverGirl when I was young. That was so inspiring.”

In fact, many of CoverGirl’s famous faces, including Queen Latifah, Rihanna, Issa Rae, and Zendaya, are stars she looked up to as she began her modeling career and is now following in their footsteps. Not to mention joining the likes of fellow model Winnie Harlow and the legendary Michel Jackson who have shared their struggles with vitiligo, a disease that causes the loss of skin color in blotches that can occur all over the body as well as the hair and the inside of the mouth, according to The Mayo Clinic.

“At the end of the day I am just like everyone else, I just happen to have spots. It’s a part of my identity, but it doesn’t define who I am … For there to be so many of us and so little representation, it’s truly disheartening,” Deanna said. “I work with CoverGirl; I’m a black woman; I have vitiligo. That is empowering.” And that is a badass way to put it — congrats Amy!

Beauty, Makeup

#OnMyVanity: 7 Mascaras That Will Make You Forget About Falsies

A post shared by Val’s Vanity (@valsvanity) on

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

When it comes to the pursuit of long, lush lashes, most of us can’t leave home without applying a little bit of mascara or even applying a pair of false lashes before leaving the house. While they’re great for dramatic effect and a slew of selfies, faux lashes aren’t a fit for everyone’s daily routine whether it’s due to waiting for the glue to dry, getting the strip to sit close to your lashline, handling the heavier load on your lashes, or just having your lengthier lashes pressed against your glasses all day (like me). So finding a formula that mimics the look of false lashes without the extra steps (and the aggravation that can come with it) has become a big priority for me in order for my lashes to be visible behind my frames.

And with National Lash Day here, I decided to dig through the drawers of my vanity to share some of my favorite formulas that get me the lust-worthy lashes without transforming them into spider legs or sticking to my glasses. These mascara not only fatten up your lashes but ensures that they reach new heights — no falsies necessary.

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Beauty, Makeup

Bite Beauty’s Latest Astrology Lipstick Offers a Pretty Neutral Pout for Pisces

Courtesy of Bite Beauty.

It’s almost Pisces season, and according to Bite Beauty, it’s time to pucker up!

The brand is expanding its limited edition Horoscope collection of its popular Amouse Bouche lipstick with inventive takes on each horoscope’s attributes. While the first lipstick in the line offered a deep a rich take on the airy and inventive Aquarius, Pisces is a fresh and juicy take on a neutral in the form of what the brand calls a “pitch-perfect peach.”

Some astrology afficoinados might scratch their heads wondering why a pretty pastel like a lavender or mint green wasn’t picked to represent the romantic and whimsical aspects of a Pisces, but the neutral hue makes a lot of sense! Pisces is the sign of “artists, visionaries, and dreamy creative types,” like Nina Simone, Steve JobsChelsea Handler, Elizabeth Taylor, and the bad gal of beauty herself, Rihanna (just to name a few), according to astrologer Tara Greene, who was tapped by the brand to help select the shades. While they’re considered the most spiritual and compassionate sign of the zodiac, Pisces are also known for working their magic behind the scenes, swimming from social circle to social circle seamlessly to help bring their visions to life — just like a good neutral goes well with anything in your wardrobe or on your vanity.

Or as Greene put in in a press release about the hue, “Pisces are soulful, and like water they ‘go with the flow,’ blending in and out of different environments. Find them painting a masterpiece, writing an original song, or volunteering at an animal rescue organization.”

So don’t sleep on this shade — snap it up ASAP before it sells out! Besides, as a Pisces myself, I would be remiss to miss out on snagging this shade! As much as I love the idea of owning a shade associated with my sign, the fresh hue could also be a great way to transition my makeup from winter to spring without skipping a beat. Plus it could be fun to mix with some of the other shades in the astrology-inspired collection — I’m an Aries rising, after all.

Beauty, Makeup

Erdem and NARS’s Collaboration Redefines “Garden Variety”

Photo via Women’s Wear Daily.

Erdem Maralioglu is bringing his siganture romance from the runway to the beauty counter in its first color collaboration with NARS.

But the London-based designer wasn’t satisfied with simply selecting a few shades from one of his previous collections and calling it a day. Rather, he used the team-up opportunity to explore his aesthetic and develop a sercret garden of fresh pigments and palettes that “push different elements through color and product,” as he explained to Women’s Wear Daily.

“You can tell a story as much with what you’re wearing on your face as what you’re wearing on your body,” Maralioglu told Vogue.

The result is Strange Flowers, a 13-picece capsule collection wrapped in “weird” floral motifs of spiky dahlia and lilys, which made its debut backstage at his Fall 2018 show Monday morning after two years of development. The collaboration really plays up the pout with not only six lipsticks and balms in varying hues of red, plum, and mauve but also a powder lip palette inspired by the saturated pigments used to mattify the models’ mouths at one of his early runway shows. “There was a lot of time spent talking about the idea of using products or textures that you normally would associate with certain parts of the face, in different ways,” he said.

Other standouts of from the upcoming collection include an icy, pink-toned highlighting pencil to add irridesnce to the inner corners of the eye or anywhere else on your face, even when you’re on to the go. Plus there’s a batch of blotting papers, an unexpected but delightful addition that’s a major must-have for those (like me) who battle against serious shine during the spring and summer.

I’m already head over heels for Erdem’s aesthetic thanks to his penchant for contrast and contradiction, which he says he played with for the cosmetic collaboration, but the idea of using darker hues during a season when brights and neons tend to take center stage. Not to mention, I’m dying to get my hands on that lip powder palette — a surprising beauty buy that I have a feeling we’ll see more of as makeup mavens, novice and pro alike, continue to toy with textures on their lips, lids, and anywhere else.

While there’s no word yet on how much it will cost stateside, you can mark your calendars for May 1st when the capsule collection is slated to hit shelves nationwide. In the meatime, you can head over to Vogue.com if you want to get a closer look at the pretty products.

What are you planning to add to cart? Let me know in the comments below!

Fashion

Plus Size Models Take to The Streets of London Fashion Week

Embed from Getty Images

Plus-size fashion has incresingly become part of the style spotlight in New York with the likes of Ashley Graham, Candice Huffine, Marquita PringIskra Lawrence, and many more becoming a runway regulars this season. But there are still plenty of places where the plus-size set are squeezing themselves in just to be seen by the industry, like London Fashion Week.

Hayley Hasselhoff yup, you guessed it, David Hasselhoff’s daughter — joined a crowd of fellow curvy models, diversity activists, and influencers, including Megan Jayne CrabbeSonny Turner, and Callie Thorpe, for a protest during London Fashion Week early Friday morning. The group, which was organized byplus-size fashion retailer Simply Be (which caters to sizes 12-32), stood outside of the LFW show area in their skivvies, holding signs calling out the UK fashion industry for its lack of size inclusivity with phrases like “LFW —Where Are the Curves?” and “Curves Shouldn’t Mean Compromise.”

It isn’t the first time that the retailer has used its platform to protest at London Fashion Week. Last year, Simply Be not only took to the streets but also kicked off the fashion festivities by hosting its own Curve Catwalk that featured a mix of models and influencers and became the U.K.’s most size diverse runway. But this time around, the brand sought to use the protest to make the industry more accessible after discovering that while the average dress size in the U.K. is a size 16, according to research it had commissioned, 89% of participants didn’t feel their size was represented on the runway or in ads.

“We want the fashion industry to change the way it represents body shapes,” Angela Spindler, chief executive N Brown Group plc, which owns Simply Be, told The Evening Standard. “This isn’t about ‘skinny shaming’ we, think that shape should be celebrated irrespective of size and it’s time that the industry became more diverse — after all, fashion is for everyone.”

Hasselhoff echoed the same statements as the group also posed in denim jackets painted with phrases like “Flaunt it, Support It” and “Your size, No compromise” at Oxford Circus. “We want to give women everywhere the confidence to be who they are,” she explained. “This is only achieved by showing a wide variety of models irrespective of size. By tearing up the ‘one size’ fits fashion rule book we hope to encourage any woman, whatever her size, to feel fabulous in their skin.”

Hopefully this continues the conversation and leads to bigger changes and more visibility for diverse body shapes, sizes, and abilities!

Beauty, Makeup

You Can Now Score Pat McGrath’s Latest Eye Palettes For Less!

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We’ve all ooohed and ahhed over the sultry and shimmering shadow swatches of Pat McGrath’s eponymous Mothership Eye Shadow Palettes. But as much as we’ve lusted after the precious pigments, most of us balked at the $125 price tag for 10 shades, choosing to love the line from afar.

But the Mother of Makeup announced via Instagram on Thursday that she is making things easier for those who can’t always treat ourselves to her little luxuries by unleashing a new plethora of moderately priced palettes that will be availble exclusively on McGrath’s site starting March 7th. The three palettes, aptly called MTHRSHP, will feature six all-new shades each (but the same ultra-pigmented formula) in three color schemes named Sublime, Subversive, and Subliminal. Each will come housed in a small mirrored compacts, making them easy to toss into your carry on or your work tote. But best of all: each of the brand new palettes will be priced at $55 each — less than half the price of the originals — or about the same price as the latest Naked palette.

Also coming to shelves soon: a new fine-tipped liquid eye liner with a thin, tapered brush for “exquisite control for elegant contours and pristine definition,” McGrath told Fashionista, noting that it will include a more intense and opaque formula. Sounds like it might be perfect for getting those thin Lana del Rey type of feline flicks or super sharp lines for a more decadent and detailed makeup look.

Needless to say, I’m already saving up my pennies for at least one palette (maaaaaaybe two if I can swing it). Would you put down the dough for these new Pat McGrath palettes? (I don’t blame you, the formulas are fantastic!) Let me know in the comments below!

Beauty, Body

Lush Launches A Campaign to Champion Trans Rights

via TeenVogue.com

Lush might be best known for its eco-friendly approach to the beauty and body care, not to mention its array of eye-catching bath bombs. But the brand has a long histroy of using its platform to advocate for social change. And its latest campaign is lending a hand in the fight to secure trans rights.

via Lush.com

As part of its 14-day #TransRightsAreHumanRights initiative, Lush has released an exclusive bath melt called Inner Truth that comes in the shape of a blue and pink heart, meant to evoke the complexities of gender, that swirl together in the bathwater into a beautiful shade of purple that has come to represent LGBT+ equality. The bath buy retails for $5.95 with 100% of the proceeds (save for taxes, of course) benefitting the National Center for Transgender Equality and the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity in the hopes of raising $450,000 for the organizations. And according to Bustle, the funds will be used to support high school-based race and gender justice training for teens in the U.S. while the donations in Canada will fund resiliency training and community-building camps for trans youth.

The brand, which was recently named one of Forbes’s  Best Employers for Diversity, saw the campaign as an opportunity to amplify the voices of employees and colleagues who shared the discrimination they face. “We are a diverse group of people with one thing in common — advocating for human rights,” Carleen Pickard, Ethical Campaigns Specialist at Lush Cosmetics North America, told Teen Vogue“As an inclusive employer that champions equality, we simply couldn’t stand by. We needed to shed light on these daily discriminations and work to advance and secure their basic rights.”

And they’re not stopping there! Lush is also looking raise awareness by swapping out the vibrant bath and body buys in their stores’ windows for quotes and stories about gender identity, which come courtesy of its staff’s own experiences. Some of those stories are included in a recently released video about the campaign, which is part of a series of documentaries that feature trans allies discussing how to build a more accepting society. Plus, it plans to hand out 75,000 “How to Be an Ally” manuals to cisgender shoppers, host community events at 16 select shops in the United States and Canada, and use its Snapchat to share tips and resources for trans and questioning youth throughout the campaign though it will also mainatain a Trans Rights hub on its site an additional resource.

“What’s really special about this campaign is that our transgender and non-binary colleagues have genuinely impacted every aspect of it, from providing guidance and sharing personal experiences to educating us on how to become better allies to the community, ultimately creating a safer and more inclusive environment for all, ” Pickard said.

And that includes securing some of the most basic elements of life: freedom from harassment and violence, a safe place to live, and a secure job. One of the problems is that many trans people are faced with privacy violations, harassment, and even physical and sexual violence on the job — if they’re even able to get one, as some are refused employment because of their gender identity, which lead many to turn to sex and drug work to make ends meet.According to United States Transgender Survey (USTS), one in three trans people become homeless at some point in their lives because of violence, discrimination, and even rejection by their own family. One in four trans people have dealt with housing instability or discrimination, like getting being evicted from their homes or denied housing altogether. Worst of all, the survey found 300 reported cases of transgender people were killed by violent means, including at least 26 in North America. And the thing is these rates are much higher for trans people of color!

So if a bath melt can help open up eyes and educate others to join the fight for equality, all I can say is power to the purple and to the people!

Beauty, Body

The Sexiest Scents to Spritz for Your Valentine’s Day Date

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While most would consider either sight or touch as the sexiest sense, I say it’s all about smell. Afterall, as humans, we naturally secrete pheromones through our sweat that on a subliminal level can attract potential partners via scent. In fact, Bustle discovered one famous study that found participants rated the smell of the sweat of people ovulating to be sweeter and more attractive than those who weren’t ovulating. Hell, I once caught a whiff of a guy walking by who smelled so good that I had to ask what he was wearing — it was John Varvatos’ eponymous cologne, btw. So with scent and sex going hand in hand, especially around Valentine’s Day, it makes sense to spice up your perfume wardrobe if you have a hot date tonight!

And when it comes to sultry scents, I’m not talking about bouquets of fresh florals. When I’m in the mood for love, I tend to reach for notes that blend a bit of the masculine, like spicy and warm notes of cardamom, pepper, oud, and leather, with the feminine, like oriental notes of jasmine, honeysuckle, and citrus, to get the best of both worlds. But I’m always pleasantly surprised to find notes that blend together to make something mysterious, intriguing, and utterly irresistible. As such, I wanted to share a few of my favorite sultry scents that are sure to set the mood with just a spritz. And don’t worry if you can’t add to cart immediately, either. If you can’t get your hands on one of the bottles before your big date, swing by your local beauty counter on your way over for a sample spritz-down.

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