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Beauty, Body

#ManiMonday: 4 Tough-As-Nails Top Coats

A photo posted by Val’s Vanity (@valsvanity) on

Most manis never last long on me. Having soft nails that easily bend and break, most top coats don’t stand a chance of lasting more than a day before I’ve either chipped or ripped off half of my nail. While I am a fan of gel manicures, my wallet doesn’t share my affections unless there’s an occasion that calls for a long-lasting look. Thankfully, the industry gets my — and many other’s— predicament and has answered the call with a series of top coats designed to mimic the lustrous look and long wear of the salon service, no lamps necessary. These are the top coats that ensure my nails stay in tip top shape!

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Beauty, Hair

A Song of Fire & Ice: Decoding Summer’s Hottest Hair Hues

via Christina Aguilera's Instagram

via Christina Aguilera’s Instagram

It doesn’t take much for me to change up my hair color, but the summer usually inspires everyone to break out of their color comfort zone. And this year anything goes as Austin R. Medearis, colorist at Ted Gibson, explained, “[There’s been] a universal shift into ‘exploring one’s individuality.’ We’ve moved into a time where we’re constantly hearing ‘love you,’ ‘be you,’ and ‘do you.’ This shift is allowing people to try things that they’ve never tried before. I, personally, don’t believe that any two women should have the same hair color.” But while the colorist is all about customization, two trends seemed to rise to surface that are worthy of closer examination: the red tide versus the icy white-out. He not only shared his take on the trends but also offered ways to get the look with minimal damage.

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Beauty, Entertainment

Gina Rodriguez Partners with Clinique to Inspire & Empower

via People.com

via People.com

Gina Rodriguez’s strands are set to stun thanks to John Frieda, but the star’s newest beauty campaign is looking inward to empower others.

The Jane the Virgin actress joins five other inspirational women as part of Clinique’s new Difference Maker campaign, which is aimed at inspiring confidence and empowering women to create change that affects their lives and their communities. The group also supports charities that focus on women’s healthcare and education through the brand’s Clinique Difference Initiative, continuing the conversation with the hashtag #DifferenceMaker. Rodriguez looked to her Chicago roots to help the youth turn education into empowerment by partnering with the brand for a special video.

In it, Rodriguez describes the scope of her upbringing in a “gang-infested” neighborhood with limited means of breaking the cycle of “can’t and won’t.” She notes that she had the “unfair” advantage of her family, who appear alongside her in the clip, pushed her to pursue her dreams, even with the many racial, economic, and social challenges she faced to break into the industry—all by giving her the ticket to success: education. “It pains me because I feel really lucky and thank God I had giants around me to stop that view of life, otherwise my life wouldn’t look as beautiful as it is today. I don’t want to be the only one living that though, ” she explains in the powerful video. And her parents are right! My mom taught me the same lesson from an early age, and it’s helped push me to where I am today and keep striving for tomorrow.

And it’s prompted her to talk to young people who still face those challenges and turn education into empowerment. “There’s a difference between my passion, which is acting, and my life’s purpose.My life’s purpose is to free someone from those invisible shackles because they are invisible; they are an illusion,” she points out. “What do you do? You go back, and you change it. I go and I talk to high school students, grammar school students, I go to universities and talk. We need people to say, ‘listen, I know what you’re going through, I know what you went through. I went through it too, and it sucks.’ Education is the only way to get out. It’s about confidence and self-worth. You can, and you will.”

And it doesn’t take a high-profile to shake up the systems of oppression and make positive changes for the future. “All of us are capable of being difference-makers,” she told the glossy. “All of us have that power. It’s the small stuff that makes the great amount of change. Our voices are so powerful, and I think that’s something we can start giving to our youth.”

Head over to People.com to check out the video clip but keep those tissues handy.

Beauty, Makeup

6 Long-Lasting Lippies for International Kissing Day

Image via StyleCraze

Image via StyleCraze

Forget the spring fling! If our horoscope is any indication, we’re all primed for a little summer love this week, mainly because today’s International Kissing Day! I know, right? So whether you’ve been going steady with your sweetie for a while or snuggling up to someone new, no one wants to walk away with lipstick smeared all over your face or collar. So as such, I dug through my cosmetic case to share a few of my favorite formulas that will keep up with your romantic rendezvous without moving an inch, regardless of your beauty budget.  Pucker up!

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Beauty, Makeup

Waterproof Wonders: Makeup Musts for the Fourth of July and Beyond

waterproof-makeup-top

via T:Two Photography

I’m the first to admit that I sweat at the drop of a hat, which makes commuting a much dirtier job in the summer. Aside from refreshing myself with a cleansing wipe or two as soon as I get to my destination, it’s still hard to look put together after enduring the swelter of the subway.

Some looks need more than just a little concealer and mascara though we all try to lighten the makeup load during this time of year. And sure, primers are a great option to keep your look in place, but unfortunately, not all can stand up to oilier skin types when it mixes with sweat. There have so many times where visible rivulets of sweat have carved through my contour and transformed me into a cross between a zombie and a drowned witch—and it was not Halloween. So whether you’re putting together a spectacular Fourth of July look or searching for beauty buys that won’t budge amidst the sun, surf, and sweat of the season, I’ve pulled together some of the most fabulous formulas (with a patriotic twist of course) you need to add to your cart ASAP!

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Beauty, Makeup

Totally Diggin’ NARS’ Fall 2016 Collection

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Sure, we’ve all got vacation on the brain with the Fourth of July nearly here, but it never hurts to think ahead, as NARS is giving everyone a peek at what’s going to be chic for fall.

The sights of Studio 54 are alive and well with an array of natural tones to sculpt the cheekbones you wish you were born with, shimmering shadows in hues of white, rose gold, and rich indigo while the matte lip trend continues in classic, romantic shades of garnet and bordeaux. But the stand-outs are the eyeliners, which range from the bright white of Las Pozas to the smoky haze of Darklight, allowing disco darlings to go bold no matter which shade is selected. The new makeup musts will hit NARS boutiques and its eponymous site on July 15th before rolling out to other retailers in August—just in time for back-to-school season (these do count as school supplies, right?).

But I can’t get over the campaign that features model Aya Jones, who you’ve recently seen rocking Marc Jacobs’s Resort 2017 runway, channeling the pure glamor of the disco era in the new age with a sparkling neutral palette, gorgeously glowing skin, and a cool reverse cat-eye I can’t wait to try. Jones is the perfect face of the campaign, given the brand’s penchant for featuring an eclectic cast of muses and the model’s recent Vogue Spain cover. Plus she joins the ranks of Naomi Campbell, Charlotte Rampling, and Daphne Guinness, further diversifying the newsstands and ad spaces we’re all meant to share. Can you dig it?

Check out the full collection below!

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Beauty, Makeup

#OnMyVanity: Shiseido’s Rouge Rouge Kiss Lipstick

 

omv-shiseido-top-final

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

Before the bold blues, the nearly nudes, and the pretty pinks, there was red. The color of passion and action, it’s the hue that beauty buffs from across the globe for the last 5,000 years (you know, just using gemstones or, in some cases, crushed bugs to achieve the look)! It’s also one of the trickiest to coordinate with your complexion. But Shiseido is serving up a slew of solutions with its new Rouge Rouge Kiss line, a collection of 16 shades suited to your skin tone and mood.

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Beauty, Makeup

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

 

oribe-beauty-final

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

butter-london-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

omv-aquis-towel-1

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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