Here’s The Low-Down On The Fashion Shows Happening Post-Lockdown | British Vogue

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t experiencing a bit of an identity crisis during this global pandemic. How does a style blogger and product junkie write about beauty and fashion when isolation is strongly encouraged and there’s nowhere to go? Where would I wear a yellow lace dress? Or a corset swimsuit? Why wear makeup if half of my face is covered and it’s just going to come off on the mask and create skin problems?

Until recently, I felt the idea of fashion shows was nothing short of sadistic; they were just a reminder of places I couldn’t go without the constant worry of catching COVID-19, or having my great mood stifled by the reality of temperature checks, discouraged socializing, or the lack of money to shop. I’m living in robes and sweats, so while I’m not an athleisure girl, I see the appeal now.

Apparently, my issues are poor peoples’ problems because fashion shows are still going on, albeit digitally, and Vogue is here to break down every show as they come in. 

Dreaming is still free…

Source: Here’s The Low-Down On The Fashion Shows Happening Post-Lockdown | British Vogue

Brushes, Fingers, or Sponges: Which Is Better For Foundation Application?

As I look at the sad state of my Beauty Blender sponges, I’m wondering whether I should go back to using a foundation brush or fork over another $20 plus for a new Beauty Blender. I bought two Beauty Blenders in September 2014 on Amazon for $24, choosing black (because I love black), and I didn’t like that foundation discolors the other colors, making them look dirty even when they aren’t. I thought that was a good thing until I started hearing reports of mold and bugs.  With a black sponge, it is difficult, if not impossible, to tell if the sponge is gathering mold or becoming a haven for bugs. I always make sure I store my sponges where they can air out completely and see no entry points for pests, but I can’t help being a little freaked out.  

Which makeup tool is best for for makeup application?
Image via Pinterest

I stopped using foundation brushes because the foundation was looking streaky even after cleaning. I have two that I rotated and tried to clean regularly, but I stopped getting the results I wanted. Instead of buying new ones, I bought the Beauty Blender sponges, and the rest is history. At the time, I didn’t consider that I may have switched foundation formulas and that may have affected the application or that the brush I was using wasn’t clean enough.  Now I find myself at the same crossroad, wondering whether I should continue using a makeup sponge or go back to a foundation brush.

It’s tough being a girl…

Foundation application is already a time-consuming process for me. I have varying degrees of hyperpigmentation so it can be a time-consuming process to get an even canvas, and sometimes I still miss the mark. What I have found is that while I love the way the foundation applies and blends with the Beauty Blender sponge, it is more for light or medium coverage and I need the full coverage capabilities of the foundation brush, which doesn’t, in my opinion, blend as well as the sponge. My mistake was switching from the Mac Studio Fix cream foundation which has better full coverage, to the Studio Fix liquid formula which has more of a light to medium coverage and doesn’t work as well with the brush as the cream formula does.

Which makeup tool is best for foundation application: Foundation brush, fingers or makeup sponge?
Image via Pinterest

Perhaps it’s not about one being better than the other, but knowing how and when to use them. Understanding the differences in each beauty tool is the key to knowing which is best for you. Makeup sponges, specifically the Beauty Blender, give you a better blended and more natural effect than a foundation brush would, especially if you have dry or flaky skin. Sponges will work better because they won’t to allow the product to sit on your face because it presses the foundation into the skin. Refinery29 has a fantastic article on Beauty Blender makeup application techniques for the face, eyes, cheeks, and lips.

Regarding foundation brush application, I found the following tips very helpful. If your foundation brush is streaky, it is most likely dirty and a good cleaning with a makeup brush cleaner (I use the Beauty Blender solid for my sponges and brushes) should take care of that annoying problem.

Foundation Brush Application Tips:

– Use a flat, synthetic foundation brush.

– Use a pea-size amount of product.

– Squeeze product onto the back of your hand to apply.

– Disperse to areas of your face before you blend.

– Use upward and back to apply.

Or…

I can revert to using my fingers, a method I find makeup gurus like Bobbi Brown and Wayne Goss using frequently instead of brushes and sponges. I used to use my fingers exclusively, but stopped because being my self-proclaimed ADD self, I would wonder off to get tea or switch the television channel and unwittingly get makeup all over the place. I recently incorporated it back into my regimen for trouble spots. I found the following tips on Brit + Co.

Which Makeup tool is best for foundation application?
Image via Cosmopolitan
Finger Method Foundation Application Tips:

– Use a dime-size amount of product.

– Squeeze product onto the back of your hand to apply.

– Disperse to areas of your face before you blend.

– Use a gentle touch — your ring and middle finger work best for this.

Brushes, Fingers, or Sponges: Which Is Better For Foundation Application?
Image via Pinterest

Then there is the matter of which tool is more wasteful, another reason I switched to using a sponge. I saw so much foundation being washed away when cleaning the brushes it made me feel like the brushes were absorbing too much product, but I have to wonder the same thing when using the Beauty Blender. Supposedly, the Beauty Blender sponge doesn’t absorb product like standard makeup sponges made of latex and synthetic makeup brushes are also designed not to absorb product. That wasn’t my experience so I’m out as far as  which is less wasteful.

In my case, I probably need all three methods, so I am off to Amazon to look for new Beauty Blender sponges and foundation brushes. I already have the fingers.

[Image via StylEnigma/Polyvore]

Beach Armor: My Influenster Beach Bag Must Haves

As a Colorado resident, there are no “real” beaches, we have reservoirs and so-so sushi. The first real beach I ever saw was when a guy I had a long distance relationship with whisked me to his home in a posh area in New Jersey. I don’t remember where, but I remember that his dad made all the woodwork in the house — the doors, dressers, floors, stairs, railings, the works — there was a lot of gorgeous carpentry in that house.

Bahamas-Beaches

He took me to Manhattan where we ate at the Russian Samovar, took a romantic walk around, and saw Cats. On the way back to his house, we decided to take a spontaneous trip to Atlantic City, my first experience with casinos and a beach. There was a lot of firsts experienced during that visit, and it was a fantastic rendezvous.  I wasn’t that impressed with the Atlantic City beach because it was so littered, but my Bahamas honeymoon was a different story; clean clear water that was so many shades of blue and gorgeous white sand.  By the time I left, my feet were absolutely gorgeous from walking around the beach. Thinking about that made me compile a list of things I would have in my beach bag on Influenster. Good times… 

Here is my Influenster list of the essentials I would pack for my next beach trip.

Burt's Bees Lip Balm ~ $3.29 - Beach Armor List Influenster

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm ~ $3.29

 

Burt’s Bees is my go to lip balm. I always put it on when I am preparing for makeup application as a foundation for my lip cosmetics, much in the way one would apply a moisturizer and/or primer. It’s so worth the money.

Curls Creme Brule Whipped Curl Cream - Beach Armor List Influenster

Curls Creme Brule Whipped Curl Cream ~ $10.99

 

I use this all of the time especially since I am not bothering with a relaxer this summer, just letting the natural curls fly. It is so moisturizing and keeps hair soft and curls intact with great definition. It has a slight scent so it doesn’t clash with other products.

Maybelline Lash Stiletto - Waterproof Ultimate Length Mascara - Beach Armor List Influenster

Maybelline Lash Stiletto – Waterproof Ultimate Length Mascara ~ 6.97

 

This is the best mascara ever no matter what formula you use. In situations where I might cry or am near water, Lash Stiletto is perfect. It is not coming off and it makes lashes incredibly long without clumping. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

M.A.C. Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation - Beach Armor List Influenster

M.A.C. Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation ~ $33

 

M.A.C. Pro Longwear Waterproof Foundation is the one you want because of the color options, high pigmentation, and staying power. It’s a bit more than a drugstore brand ($33) but it is worth it. Use along with a primer for extra armor against humidity.

M.A.C Prep & Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF 35 - Beach Armor List Influenster

M.A.C Prep & Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF 35 ~ $31

 

To ensure your makeup doesn’t slide off at the beach a good primer underneath your waterproof foundation will give your makeup extra longevity. M.A.C.’s Beauty Balm is a BB cream so it blurs imperfections and controls oil plus it has SPF 35 just in case you forgot to apply a sunscreen to your face.

L'Oreal® Paris Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray - Beach Armor List Influenster

L’Oreal® Paris Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray ~ $13.66

 

I’ve used a few makeup setting sprays and L’Oreal is consistent and easy to find as well as being under $15. It sprays on evenly (something I’ve had a problem with other setters), dries quickly, and keeps makeup in place which is a necessity in humid, hot weather.

Maybelline Great Wear Waterproof Eyeliner - Beach Armor List Influenster

Maybelline Great Wear Waterproof Eyeliner ~ $4.79

 

This eyeliner works great with the Lash Stiletto mascara. It won’t budge and the pigment is good. It goes on easily, so there is no tugging.

e.l.f. Studio Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths - Beach Armor List Influenster

e.l.f. Studio Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths ~ $2.99

 

This stuff is so good and it’s so cheap! I tend to use Neutrogena but I went on an e.l.f. binge one day and bought it and it is fantastic. Don’t get me wrong, Neutrogena is great but is a bit oily, which is fine with me because I can skip a moisturizer and it does disappear into the skin, e.l.f. has a non-greasy finish that still feels hydrated. Great for getting off that waterproof makeup

Neutrogena Beach Defense SPF 30 Spray - Beach Armor List Influenster

Neutrogena Beach Defense SPF 30 Spray ~ $9.49

 

I love this stuff. It has a fine mist that offers good coverage and smells good but the scent isn’t overwhelming.

 

As I am writing I am still compiling a list in my head which would probably fit in a suitcase instead of a beach bag.

Source: Beach Armor by StylEnigma | Influenster

Selena Gomez Is Loyal To Louis: The Face Of Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2016 Campaign

Selena Gomez is the face of Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2016 collection as the face of the luxury brands Series.5 line. When I first heard the news, my eyebrows raised, because my view of the singer is still very innocent despite the fact that she is a grown ass woman. Even when she’s playing a villain (“Bad Blood”), there is something childish (in a good way) about her, and there’s nothing naive about Louis Vuitton. But as I look at some of her magazine covers and award show ensembles, this fashion house seems to be a go to for the 23-year-old. She’s been a walking advertisement for the brand for quite some time.

Loius Vuitton’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquiere and Selena released Instagram photos featuring her in the fall-winter 2016 campaign modeling pieces from the Series.5 collection.

I am loving Selena Gomez’s top and the asymmetrical skirts.

series.5-campaign
Image via Pinterest

Does this look innocent to you?

Selena Gomez in a tough black leather studded high-slit Louis Vuitton gown.:
Image via Pinterest

Selena Gomez Louis Vuitton Magazine Covers

Selena-Gomez-ELLE-Magazine-October-2015-Cover-Photoshoot02

Selena-Gomez-ELLE-Magazine-October-2015-Cover-Photoshoot01

Image via Fashion Gone Rouge

{sniff… She’s grown up so fast.}

Image via Fashion Gone Rogue

Image via Pinterest

What’s your thoughts on Selena Gomez as the face of Loius Vuitton’s Fall 2016 campaign?

The Undercut: Halle Berry Highlights A Summer Style Trend

The undercut hairstyle has been a hair trend for quite some time and actress Halle Berry recently jumped on the train and the crowd went wild. She recently posted an Instagram picture of her new summer style; an edgy nape undercut with a lotus etched in and her style choice highlights just how versatile the style can be.

 

It’s almost commonplace to see a man or woman with some version of the style and as with any fashion or hairstyle trend, undercuts are nothing new. The asymmetrical cut was a predominately male hairstyle that goes all the way back to the Edwardian era. It  was popular from 1920 through 1940 and re-emerged in the 1990s.

Skater subculture and hipsters are credited with bringing it back in 2010, and women quickly clamped onto the style. Soon creative interpretations of the cut emerged such as engraving designs or symbols (known as “hair tattoos”) into the hair, and even glittering it up.

Halle Berry isn’t the only high-profile person to submit; Scarlett Johansson, Cassie, Rihanna, Tilda Swinton, and Natalie Dormer have or are currently wearing this trend. My favorite looks are interpretations created by everyday people who are their own stylist.

Berry’s version (the nape undercut) is a great summer style and highly versatile — she can pull it up into a ponytail or a bun to add some edge or contrast to an otherwise conservative outfit, or cover it up with her longer tresses when she has to be a professional.

Dormer’s look (the side undercut) is a little more in your face and requires more maintenance, although she can always sweep her hair to the side to cover the shaven part. In other words; it’s a commitment. Celebrity hairstylist and Mizani global artistic director Cesar Ramirez told PeopleStyle that achieving the desired result requires a professional.

“This technique takes a lot of skill and talent. After buzzing the area a straight razor is used to etch out the pattern. A stencil can be used or the pattern can be drawn on the scalp with a eyeliner pencil to get a really clean outcome.”

Until recently, elaborate nail designs and lengths were a favorite way to accessorize, but less flamboyant nails are trending and non-traditional hair color choices and varying versions of the undercut are huge. It’s what I would consider punk inspired (but what isn’t lately?) and an attention magnet, so if you aren’t into calling attention to yourself, this style isn’t for you.

black and white music video rihanna riri rihanna stay

 

 

 

 

Beyoncé’s CFDA Speech And That Givenchy Suit

I completely forgot about the Council of Fashion Designer of America (CFDA) until my half-listening to Wendy Williams caught her going off about Beyoncé’s Givenchy suit — she wasn’t a fan. Queen Bey was crowned the CFDA Fashion Icon and according to Vogue, many were speculating that Michelle Obama would get the honors this being her last year as First Lady and all, but the honor went to Beyoncé and she took to the stage in a bejeweled pinstripe Givenchy suit and a wide-brimmed hat. (Is it me, or is she really into wide-brimmed hats and Givenchy lately?) Before we get to the suit, let’s talk about her speech.

Beyonce's speech at the CFDA's
Image via Vogue

Her speech was, in my opinion,  an eloquent “How ya like me now” to all the high-end designers that shunned Destiny’s Child back in the day, and wouldn’t dress them for high-profile events. Her mother (Tina Knowles) and her uncle made their outfits, and she made sure the audience was in on the fact that without their struggles, sacrifices, and determination, she wouldn’t be where she is today professionally and fashionably.

Beyoncé’s grandmother was a seamstress and fashion is in her blood. It would be interesting to see her actually design a line. I know she co-designed House of Deréon with her mom in 2004,  and she sells Miss Tina by Tina Knowles at Walmart, but I would love to see Beyoncé pull a Victoria Beckham.

I digress…

The Carter's in Givenchy - Image via Vogue.
The Carter’s in Givenchy – Image via Vogue.

Was Givenchy one of the fashion houses that rejected Destiny’s Child? If so, this would be a serious case of turn the other cheek. Riccardo Tisci, the creative director for Givenchy has dressed Beyoncé for a while; the majority of her Met Gala appearances are courtesy of Givenchy, and the rest of the Carter’s (Blue Ivy and Jay Z) were dressed in Givenchy at the CFDA event. And while they can afford it, I doubt she pays anything when “rocking her Givenchy dress,” so all I can say is “My, how things have changed.”

My take on the suit Mrs. Wendy was dogging? [crickets…]

Refinery29 Shares How ColourPop Makes Eyeshadow And Lipstick

Image Source: Refinery29
Image Source: Refinery29

If you are a fan of Refinery29, you are well aware of their recent ColourPop series; a trip to ColourPop’s L.A. headquarter’s culminated into an entire series about the brand, including an interview with founders Laura and John Nelson, a look at how they make their cosmetics, and why it’s so inexpensive (not that we are complaining, and I love Laura’s answer).

How Colour-pop lipstick
Image Source: Refinery29

A division of Seed Cosmetics, also founded by the Nelson’s, ColourPop has made quite an impact on the cosmetics world in the two short years it has been on the scene. The brains behind the brand that produces Kylie Jenner’s and Kim Im’s  cosmetics lines, the Nelson siblings were generous with their time and secrets, sharing how they make their eyeshadows and lipsticks.

There is one thing that confuses me about this company; why don’t they have international shipping? In almost every Instagram picture I see there are requests and inquisitions from all over the world about the company’s failure to ship internationally. It is massively popular for many reasons — it’s inexpensive and it has high-profile celebrities and beauty influencers behind it.  It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but I’m not running ColourPop, and seeing as the Nelson siblings seem to be smart and sane people, I’m sure there is a method to their madness.

Follow the links and take a peek at how they make their cosmetics. It’s fascinating.

 

 

I Want: Naja Nude For All Lingerie – REAL Nude Colored Underwear

Naja nude toned color range
Naja nude color swatches. Photo: Naja

I know, I’m a bad mommy. I have been focusing on passing a writing internship and my blog has severely suffered. Now that I have accomplished that task — proud author at Inquisitr News — I can breathe and let my mind wonder about such things as beauty product reviews, red carpet looks, and baffling trends.

There were many things going on that I wanted to write about — skin lightening, lampshading, and those trying to have it all no matter who is inconvenienced — but the news that Naja just released a lingerie line that understands that the traditional nude tone does not fit all peaked my interest. I too believe that “Nude” is a matter of perspective.

Soon New York subways will help promote Naja’s #NudeForAll diversity campaign featuring real women with varying body types and occupations wearing the LA-based lingerie brand’s multi-toned underwear. Up until now, nude underwear was a one-size-fits-all affair and everybody had the choice of the standard nude hue, black or white.

Catalina Girald, Naja’s CEO and creative director and a Stanford business graduate, got the idea to produce a wider variety of nude tones after she noticed how the nude ankle wraps Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas wore drastically differed from her skin tone.

One of the reasons other brands have not stepped up to the plate is because of limitations. Girald’s business savvy and connections have allowed her to bypass order minimums that prevent other brands from producing a wider range of nude tones. It’s an innovation that is desperately needed. A company statement explains:

“Naja’s super-fast supply chain can produce in one month instead of 12 months, with minimum order quantities at 200 units per style instead of 10,000.”

Naja's eco-friendly bra and panty set
Naja’s eco-friendly bra and panty set. Photo: Naja

Naja was developed by Girald in 2013, and actress Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) joined in 2015, and they have built a company that empowers women, and is socially and environmentally conscious. One of their passions is helping women in Latin American countries support their families by paying them fair wages for sewing the lingerie bags the bras arrive in. Health benefits and education stipends for their children are also included. Also, Naja has an eco-friendly collection made from recycled plastic bottles.

The brand has paired each of its colors with a major makeup brand’s foundation shade to determine which nude shade is best; foundation colors from Nars, Bobby Brown, Mac, and L’Oreal are listed. The collection includes three styles of underwear, in sizes XS to XXL, and one memory foam cup underwire bra, in sizes 32 to 40 and cups A to DDD. The bra sells for $39 and the underwear range from $15 to $18, and the plan is to introduce more styles and colors in the future.

Naja Lingerie's Subway Campaign
Photo: Naja

The result is a high-quality product that is made with hand-harvested Peruvian cotton, bonded and seamless bra straps, and breathable memory foam cups, that are nestled inside varying colors and unexpected prints that are stylish and trendy.

The Nude For All campaign can be seen online and at the Bedford L stop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and the collection will be available May 30.

Photo: Naja Instagram

 

Must Haves: Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask

It’s time for another product review from the Valentia skin care. I was sent a jar of the Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask through Brandbacker and the first thing I noticed was the smell. It was unlike any clay mask I have ever used which is typically St. Ives Timeless Skin Mineral Clay Firming Mask or Freeman Avocado & Oatmeal Clay Mask. Typically, clay masks smell like clay;  earthy, fresh and clean and the texture is cool and smooth.

Valentia Detoxifying Clay Mask
Valentia Detoxifying Clay Mask

The Valentia Skin Detoxifying Mask has a stronger scent, although not overwhelming and the closest I can come to describing the smell would be fruity and flowery blossoms, but you can still smell the clay.  It has a slightly gritty texture, due to the Hibiscus and Cranberry Fibers in the mixture that exfoliates the skin in addition to lending their anti-aging properties. Kaolin Clay is naturally detoxifying and draws out impurities allowing the pores to shrink. Stem cells are increasingly being used in beauty and health products and this mask contains Plant Stem Cells which reduces the level of pro-aging toxins in the skin while soothing the skin and evening skin tone.

valentia-CM-4-WM
Up close view of the Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask.

I used it twice in a five-day period and I liked it not just because it smelled nice, but because I could tell the pores were smaller after both uses. The second time I used a facial sauna to open the pores even more (I don’t know why I didn’t think of that when I used the Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask) to really allow the product to get in there and draw out the dirt, oil, and makeup. I am incredibly happy with the results.

Valentia Detoxifying Clay Mask
Valentia Detoxifying Clay Mask

I came away impressed with it primarily because of the reduced pore size and firmness. It is also a product that makes sense because it doesn’t claim to take out impurities while containing ingredients that are not pure. Valentia products are organic, alcohol and paraben free, and cruelty-free. After each use of the Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask, I used the Valentia Clear Lift Serum or the Royal Rose Hydrating Serum, and Valentia True Glow Eye Cream and the combination of products made my face feel deeply cleansed and dewy.

Powered by Brandbacker

 

I Barely Recognized Kristen Stewart At The 2016 Met Gala: ‘Manus x Machina’ Event

There were a few outstanding looks at the 2016 Met Gala: Manus x Machina event, but I really liked Kristen Stewart’s look; there was something provocative about it and I barely recognized her. Kristen Stewart’s interpretation of the Manus x Machina theme was really more focused on her hair and makeup.  Participants were asked to embrace fashion and technology; the future of fashion. I’m not sure she embraced the technical aspect of the challenge, but she doesn’t look like she took any fashion steps backward.

Kristen Stewart in Chanel at the Met Gala 2016 event.
Kristen Stewart at the Met Gala 2016 ~ Image via The Cut.

She’s what I consider an enigma; there is something so confident yet panicked about her. She’s one of those rare celebrities that isn’t desperate for attention. While scrolling through the Gala photos on The Cut, I had to stop and stare because it didn’t look like her, but I could see her in her outfit if that makes any sense. In other words, she pulled it off, and she did it in Chanel, but a lot of the attendees did. Chanel was a prominent fixture.

kristen-stewart-model
Kristen Stewart and a model wearing a dress from the Chanel Fall 2016 RTW collection ~ Images via The Cut and Vogue.

Stewart wore a dress from the Chanel Fall 2016 RTW collection (actually my favorite dress from that collection) but it goes beyond her dress; it was the whole package. It was minimalist; barely-there lips, one earring (she doesn’t seem to wear earrings), the necklaces she wore were hidden beneath her dress, and her hair was haphazard. Her makeup featured silver graphic eye shadow and dark liner. Her presentation wasn’t overdone or cartoon-ish, it was still fashion-forward. She could have easily pulled this look together herself without a stylist.

Kristen Stewart wearing a look from the Chanel
Kristen Stewart wearing a look from the Chanel 2015/16 Cruise collection.

She seems to favor Chanel, she wore it to the Met Gala in 2013, she skipped the Met Gala in 2015 in favor of a Chanel show in Seoul, where she wore a look from the Chanel 2015/16 Cruise collection, and again for this year’s Met Gala. I understand her Chanel obsession and personally, the look from the Seoul show would have worked at the 2016 Met Gala, perhaps better than the one she wore.

Feature Image by Dimitrios Kambouris