What I’m Using: April 2019

Well we’ve gotten almost five inches of snowfall today, Tiger has had the comeback of the century (so far), there’s some show with its final season or something debuting tonight, and a little influencer music festival is wrapping up its first weekend somewhere in a desert, far, far away. I’d say this has been a pretty swingin’ April so far! It’s been a good month for beauty, too, with a fresh haircut, nail growth, and lots of other good stuff.

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The new take on nighttime moisture: Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

My sis-in-law gave me this Korean sleeping mask as a gift, and it’s light enough for a springtime moisture treatment but still packs a serious punch. My skin is definitely plump and glowy the morning after using it, but the one catch is you’ve got to rinse it off when you wake up. The mask is pretty much fully absorbed after I sleep, but I went one day without rinsing off my face and there was a little bit of pilling that I could feel around mid-morning. So that said, be sure to rinse your face off after using! The scent is very relaxing and perfect for a nighttime product, and I love that it’s a gel-cream. Such a luxurious texture!

The eye makeup extra that’s just different enough: Glossier Play Colorslide technogel eye pencil in Disaster Class

As soon as I got a look at the shade range of these new Glossier Play liners, I knew this was the color for me. It’s this perfect, shimmer-free wine color that’s just different enough from brown or black to accent my eyes in a special way; it’s the easiest way to feel like I’ve actually “done” my makeup. Also key: these liners grip and slide super easily. There’s no tugging at your eyelid or skidding. Can’t wait to pair some Lemonhead Spacepaste in Mulholland with this eyeliner! I’m wearing Disaster Class here, along with my new hair chop!

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The unexpected drugstore win: L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise mascara

I’ve never had luck with L’Oreal mascaras, ever. I could never do the Voluminous stuff, and I could never do Maybelline Great Lash either. Cult formulas have never taken well to my lashes (until they met the CoverGirl Lash Blast line). But my mom tried a tube of the Lash Paradise and wasn’t a fan so she handed it over to me. I figured I wouldn’t care for it much, but I was pleasantly proven wrong! Good consistency, not too liquid-y, great brush, builds really well (most important in my book), and not much smudge. I tend to still use two mascaras at a time but the fact that I’ll be including this as one of them is a pretty strong vote of confidence. To this day, the only mascaras I’ve repurchased are a couple of the CoverGirl Lash Blast, and BeneFit’s They’re Real! That’s it. Thrilled to find another winner at long last.

The healer: Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil

I can tell you the exact date I started biting my nails again- Sunday October 7, 2018. Around lunchtime, in fact! My husband and I had a conversation that day that ushered in a season of transition; it was clear that change was on the horizon, but what that would look like was entirely undetermined. And my go-to, super productive method for dealing with change and anxiety is the always reliable exercise of praying meditating sleeping trusting hard core nail biting.

I bit my nails for a solid six months beginning that day, down to the painful point where there’s just nothing left to bite. There was no stopping me. But once plans for the future officially fell into place around March, I felt free and excited to start the process of growth again. I’ve been using this cuticle oil to condition my nail beds and nourish them into healthy growth. Plus, it smells amazing. I’ll just brush a little bit on to my cuticles while I’m watching T.V. Within less than two weeks my nails were long enough to paint.

Bonus! The best green juice smoothie to welcome official spring weather: The Hippie Chic from True Juice

These blended juices from a little place up the street from my work cost almost ten dollars with tip, so they’re a major splurge. However, they’re undeniably delectable. My favorite one for warm weather is the Hippie Chic, and I think I’ve memorized the ingredients: kale, lime, pineapple, mint, coconut water, banana, and hemp seeds. The mint and lime give it that whole mojito vibe that’s as refreshing as an actual mojito on a sunny, happy hour patio.

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Best of the 2019 Academy Awards

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Wow. Wow! Color! Ruffles! Sequins! Feathers! A sea of pastels! Big risk taking tonight! I’m so impressed! This was one of the better Oscars red carpets in a long while and I’m loving most everything I’m seeing, simply for the fact that everyone jumped on board the fashion train or did something different, even if it didn’t quite pay off (I wasn’t into Charlize’s look for the time in ages, but it’s not like she looks bad because she’s still Charlize). There were a lot of “Why Not?!” moments and I’m living for it.

A note: I feel like the lighting must’ve been bad on the red carpet arrivals this year because most of the photos I’ve found either appear to be too dark and in the shadows, or overly bright and washed out. I don’t edit the photos I find (and I always credit at the bottom, by the way), so know the color and texture of the gowns may not be popping quite as much.

Here we go:

Gemma Chan in Valentino

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A girl’s fantasy. I mean, really. Everybody say it with me … And it has pOcKeTs! I love how Gemma and Michelle Yeoh have spared relatively no ounce of glamour- none. Also, can you imagine how comfortable this dress probably is? No skintight thing you have to wiggle in; which, is a great look in itself, but if you have the choice, by all means go with the massive hot pink sundress that you can hide snacks or a small child in. Makeup by Monika Blunder, hair by Clariss Anya Rubinestein.

Rachel Weisz in Givenchy Couture

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Get weird! Get bright red patent leather mini-cape weird! I found an up-close detail shot of the floral appliqués on Rachel’s dress and it looks beautiful, like a real work of art. The headband with the cape and color lends a sort of Red Riding Hood vibe to the look, and I can’t say I hate it. I’m also just super into Rachel’s hair and makeup lately. Her dark hair color with her brows is such a striking combination and a great makeup canvas. She’s what I like to think I look like when I’m in a really good mood and have just exfoliated or something. Makeup by Kay Montano, hair by Mark Townsend.

Yalitza Aparicio in Rodarte

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Newcomer of the year here! What a beauty, and what a perfect and memorable choice as your first big ceremony dress. I’d started eyeing Yalitza a few months ago when Roma began making the rounds at different festivals and I was like ope … she’s going to be a thing. I wasn’t wrong. And I love a good seafoam green, man- especially when styled with her hair like a shiny, crystal black sheet. Whew. Makeup by Carissa Ferreri, hair by Matilde Campos.

Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton

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Alright so I keep hoping for more color on this gal, but brown– or bronze? copper? – was at least a highly unexpected choice. It suits Emma’s hair and complexion beautifully. And the graphic eye makeup is like, thee thing this year. Lucy Boynton’s had graphic liner all but tattooed on her eyelids this season but I prefer a smokier look using color like we see on Emma. Also, I’m so ready for the bold shoulder looks circa Balenciaga 2008 to come back? The more Judy Jetson, the better. Makeup by Rachel Goodwin, hair by Mara Roszak.

Regina King in Oscar de la Renta

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She’s already won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress as I write this, but what a perfect look to win in- classically glamorous, looking like the absolute best version of yourself. Which one of us wouldn’t mind wearing this and looking like this? I love a white gown, too; I find white gowns almost more alluring and elegant than black because there’s a striking modernity to them that black can’t quite capture. And Regina’s hair is the haircut of the era- we’ll remember the midlength bob as the definitive cut of the 2000-teens. Makeup by Ashunta Sheriff, hair by Angela Parrantes.

Linda Cardellini in Christian Siriano

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I screamed when I first saw this and yelled, “THANK YOU!” This is your grand “Why Not?!” moment. I feel like “best dressed” and “worst dressed” lists aren’t even relevant here because you clearly don’t care about that- you’re in it for the fun. If it’s available to you, why not wear something this insane? Why not wear something this over the top? Who cares if you look like a cake or an exploding ribbon factory or whatever stuff people will say. You obviously know you’re not exactly going to be able to hide when you walk out in this, so own it. I love it. Also, that bun with the long center-part bangs is just the cutest. Makeup by Hinako, hair by Dave Stanwell.

And … because apparently someone had to be fashionably late and did NOT walk the red carpet … here’s a bootleg shot of Lupita Nyong’O, who surely will make my official list once the full gown appears because FEATHERS DUH:

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Alright now go off: Which were your faves? Who did you miss? LMK! xo, MR

Image credits in order of appearance: Steve Granitz/WireImage, Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock, Getty Images, Steve Granitz/WireImage, Getty Images, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Dan MacMedan-USA TODAY, Instagram @lupitanyongo

What I’m Using: January 2019

I hadn’t planned on creating this post but the 2019 Polar Vortex practically made me do it. And when I think about it, it’s been a month of heavy product usage in order to combat dryness among other things, so it’s worth sharing!

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The dry skin saver: Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich

I’m just about out of this stuff, and it’s been a huge lifesaver for my skin in near sub-zero January temps. While currently out of stock (will probably be replenished in February), Priming Moisturizer Rich is maybe one of the best recommendations I can give for those in need of a serious grandma-style face cream. It lives up to its name: it’s incredibly rich, and my skin just drinks it up at night and still feels soft and supple in the morning. It’s got a wee bit of lavender oil in it so ensure you don’t have sensitivities to it before using.

The new launch: Kristin Ess In-Shower Gloss

This woman’s line of hair products, tools, and accessories at Target is like catnip for me. Her products look and feel professional (she is, after all, a celeb hairstylist), but they come at little more than $15 a pop and address a wide range of needs and styling desires. She deliver things like bubbling scalp masks, similar to Bumble and Bumble’s Scalp Detox, for half the price of legacy brands. Her latest launch- the In-Shower Gloss- was an easy pick-up for me (especially as an indoors activity idea on a frigid day). I chose Chocolate Cosmo to add some overall shine and warmth to my midlengths and ends as my color’s fairly grown out. Loved the results!

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The glow giver: Sephora Pro Angled Blush #49

I’m not entirely sure how others do it, but I can’t seem to apply blush without an angled brush. I have to have that angle for everything. I use an angled brush for contouring, bronzer, and highlighter too. This one in particular I’ve been loving for blush. Tip: Don’t “sweep” or “swipe” on your blush as that can leave a streaky, harsh look on the face. I like to tap on my blush while smiling (smile big!) so the apples of my cheeks are really prominent, where you flush naturally.

The yummy excuse for a double cleanse: Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm

I was gifted this by a friend and wow– this stuff is all the motivation I need to put on makeup, just so I can take it off. It melts from a solid balm in a jar to an oily cleanser in your hands, and removes virtually all makeup. And according to Sephora’s Clean Seal, it has less than one percent of synthetic ingredients. Oh aaaand it smells like heaven. I like to do a double cleanse with this and Glossier Milky Jelly for a yummy, extra moisturizing experience.

Bonus! The winter cabin fever fix: Yoga with Adriene’s “Yoga for a Dull Moment”

Adriene’s yoga videos are comforting year round (the sleepy time ones! the ones for stress!), but I love a 15-minute little pick-me-up that I can do in my living room even when I’m just having a moment of boredom. Going through one of her routines feels so much better than doing a random bunch of jumping jacks just to get my blood pumping. I still end my Adriene with some sweat, but also feeling stretched and content.

Best of the 2019 SAG Awards

Alright, so Critics Choice didn’t have that much going on and I for sure won’t be blogging the Grammys, so SAGs it is! It’s kinda weird to see the nominations all jumbled compared to the Golden Globes and then jumbled up again with the Academy Award nominations. No Crazy Rich Asians Oscar noms? Really?! But anyhow, like I’ve said before, this is why I’m strictly here for the gowns. Things get too frustrating otherwise. So here we go!

Yara Shahidi in Fendi Couture

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Is this the most fun dress … or pant thing … or just, garment in general I’ve seen in my life? Maybe. I mean, it has sparkly pants, and it has a Peter Pan collar. And like, you can take the beautiful tulle cape thingy off and still be left with an insane sequined jumpsuit. It’s just too good. And yet, it’s still young, which I love. Makeup by Emily Cheng, hair by Nai’vasha.

Lucy Boynton in Erdem

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You really have to find a closeup of Lucy’s makeup- she’s got the whole graphic eyeliner thing going on, with a singular, curved black line placed just below each brow bone. And she’s doing the super bleached out hair- v trendy. Apparently her makeup artist was sponsored by Victoria’s Secret makeup? Interesting; I’ve not really been drawn to their makeup in years. I guess a sponsored post is how you get people back on the bandwagon, though. But I love the overall Victorian Goth vibe we’re doing here. Lucy’s clearly been going the FASHUN route as she’s gained more exposure, which I admit I appreciate more than the forever-playing-it-safe route a’la Amy Adams. Makeup by Jo Baker, hair by Jenny Cho.

Michelle Yeoh in Elie Saab Haute Couture

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So classically beautiful and Hollywood. We don’t get nearly enough of Michelle in the States, so I’m thrilled to have her around these days thanks to Crazy Rich Asians. Michelle’s been having Daniel Martin do her makeup during this awards season, who happens to be the artist responsible for the Duchess of Sussex’s makeup on her wedding day. Gotta love an artist that insists on keeping things natural and pretty, even on days when you’d have every excuse to go over the top. Also, if you can manage to find a closeup of her earrings, they’re crazy. I’m sure they’re worth a small fortune. Makeup by Daniel Martin, hair by Bertrand Delacourt.

Emily Blunt in custom Michael Kors

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I’m loving Emily in some serious color, but the style of this dress I love even more. This  reminds me of a Spanish dancer- you know, the really beautiful sea slug? Watch Blue Planet if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Emily’s matched her makeup to her dress as well, which is like, a cute thing to do these days. Her makeup’s been on point these past few months. Makeup by Jenn Streicher, hair unknown.

Mandy Moore in Jason Wu

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Well, this was pretty magnificent. Talk about fitting like a glove, and such drama! I’m not sure Mandy’s ever looked better (and I hate to say it but I prefer this look by a long shot to her recent wedding look, but hey- that’s not really a look up for public scrutiny anyhow). I loved Mandy’s look last year in the strappy cobalt Ralph Lauren gown, but this here is kind of like, “peak” beauty. And you know I’m a sucker for a sleek pony, so. Makeup by Kindra Mann, hair by Ashley Streicher.

Other comments include:

Margot looked beautiful as usual, but I’m longing to see her in some color. She wore so much neutral during last year’s awards season; I was bummed to see her in more white.

Constance Wu’s makeup by Patrick Ta … WOW.

I feel like we’ve seen Emma Stone do the gold and/or fancy-pant thing a couple times. I’m ready for more gowns and color.

Absolutely loved Rachel Weisz’s dress, but wasn’t too jazzed about her makeup. Seemed to be such a strong emphasis on the brow and it needed a little pop elsewhere to balance out all the dark elements of her look.

The suits these men are wearing … Henry Golding in a gold jacket, Darren Criss’s silver amazingness … might just force me to start listing men in these lineups of mine. Same with Idris’s green suit at the Golden Globes.

Tell me what you loved!!! xo, MR

 

Photo credits in order of appearance: Getty/Steve Granitz, Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images, John Shearer/Getty, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Rob Latour/Shutterstock

Best of the 2019 Golden Globes

Besides the smattering of celeb appearances that have already occurred this week – the Palm Springs Film Festival, Art of Elysium Gala, and BAFTA LA tea party – the Globes are kind of the first real REAL “back to work” moment for a lot of celeb hair/makeup artists and stylists. And I’m always keeping closer tabs on them than the celebs they work on, so cheers to a great 2019 for all the glam teams! Bang up job as always.

I’ll admit I’ve seen pretty much zero of the films and shows nominated for tonight’s awards (well, two movies and two TV shows to be exact) so in case you need any reminders, I am here for the red carpet. Here we go!

1. Anne Hathaway in Elie Saab

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This was just fun to me. The print, the length- and there’s a high slit up the front that makes it super fun! And I love Anne back in a long-term relationship with her long hair. It made me sort of sad that she went through her whole special Les Misérables awards season with her short hair, but oh well- no short hair, no face-melting Fantine moment to earn an Oscar. But here we are now, doing Miranda Priestly very proud I’m sure. Makeup by Beau Nelson, hair by Lacy Redway.

2. Rosamund Pike in Givenchy

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Rosamund’s grandma can officially *not* give her grief for going out without a jacket. She took a jacket with her, Grandma. She’s fine (though her hair may or may not be wet- the other reason grandmas cite as responsible for an early death). Also, love a severe look with severe brows and a severe center part. All about that. Well done. Hair by Bryce Scarlett, makeup by Mélanie Inglessis.

3. Constance Wu in Vera Wang

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So unexpected! Love the nude/orange combination. I anticipate seriously great things from Constance and her team this whole awards season. The whole cast of Crazy Rich Asians, I’m sure, will knock it out of the park (I mean, Michelle Yeoh? Please. Been obsessed since Memoirs of a Geisha). The CRA press and premiere circuits were dazzling just like the film, and I imagine there will be more looks that give a nod and a wink to the movie’s over-the-time opulence. Bring it. Makeup by Molly Greenwald, hair by Marissa Marino.

4. Rachel Weisz in Céline

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At first glance the dress was not my fave (and it’s now the controversial Hedi Slimane at the helm for Céline, who’s managed to justifiably raise some eyebrows with his new … “interpretation” of the brand), but it’s always in the details for me. The delicate Cartier art deco choker, the deep chocolate hair, the strong brow, the blotted lip- the dress brings the little details together in a way that makes sense. Also, it’s really hard to make Rachel Weisz look bad. Hair by Kevin Ryan, makeup unknown.

5. Danai Gurira in Rodarte

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And now for something completely different. I’ve been watching Planet Earth II and I can’t help but be reminded of all the electric-hued tropical birds we see in the jungle when I behold color and texture like this. Or Danai looks like she could jump in the ocean and turn into some sort of beautiful fish. And I loved the contrast of her red-orange with Lupita’s cobalt blue gown. You know I gotta say it … Wakanda forever! Makeup by Tym Buacharern, hair by Larry Sims.

6. Charlize Theron in Dior

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I mean, duh. I promise my inclusion of Charlize on all my lists is never obligatory. I really, truly look forward to her looks probably the most consistently out of anyone (besides Jennifer Connelly, who we barely see these days anyhow). Charlize is such a giant golden goddess Olympian statue that basically anything – avant gardé, classic, glamorous – is executed with perfect ease by herself and her team. I’ve yet to see anything on her (and granted, it’s mostly been Dior) that’s left a bad taste in my mouth. If anything, I’ve felt that her team could perhaps just push the envelope with her a bit (and again, that would probably mean stepping out of the Dior contract). But anyhow, all that to say, yes, I love Charlize’s look. Again. Hair by Adir Abergel, makeup by Kate Lee.

There were so many other gorgeous looks, but I was missing the Margot Robbie magic tonight. Surely we’ll see her soon. Let me know your faves! xo, MR

 

Photo credits in order: Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock, Jon Kapoloff/Getty Images, Jon Kapoloff/Getty Images, REX/Shutterstock, Shutterstock, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Party Season Looks You Haven’t Tried

I thought I’d committed to a once-a-month post, but turns out I literally couldn’t get through party season without a round-up of some current favorite going-out looks. And beings that this week I’m running the holiday party gauntlet (and you may be too), it’s the perfect opportunity to share some serious get-ready inspo. Bring on all the color, glitter, and texture!

If you’re craving a retro moment …

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While the Gucci gown is really what keeps this look centered on the 1960s (and of course we’d all love to wear it to our next party), Dakota Johnson’s hair and makeup here are the perfect inspiration for a retro beauty look. She’s probably got some extensions going on to beef up her ponytail; the outcome is glorious and something I aspire to in all my retro lounge dreams. The smokey cat-eye paired with a bare lip is textbook, as well. Hair by Mark Townsend, makeup by Mélanie Inglessis.

If you’re tired of eyeshadow but don’t want a lip-forward look …

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This look on model Woan Ni was created by Kara Yoshimoto Bua using Shiseido’s newly revamped makeup line. White eyeliner was never a look I cared for much, but I think it’s because I’ve never seen it balanced out well with the rest of the face. This look is so beautifully balanced with a good brow, a shimmery, rosy cheek and a stained, blurry lip. So natural but still so party ready, right?

If you’re feeling classic Christmas but, like, extra …

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Oh, snap! Like, Merry Christmas Batman right?!? And of course, it’s Pati Dubroff (THEE queen makeup artist) for Margot Robbie on her way to the UK premiere of Mary Queen of Scots. The Pati-Margot duo was already blowing me away last year during awards season for I, Tonya and Margot’s premiere looks for Goodbye Christopher Robin. I love just the pat of glitter on the center of the lids- so modern. Pati hasn’t listed what she used yet so everyone’s guess is as good as mine, but who cares?! Go crazy! Use whatever! Recreate your own version.

If you want to focus all your energy on makeup and just get hair over with …

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Over at IntoTheGloss, Tom Newton took some fabulous photos of EmRata featuring some quick, lovely updos by Jennifer Yepez. This one using a claw clip was my favorite; a curly/kinky version would be workable and just as romantic, if not more so. As told on ITG: “Start with a middle part. Leave a few pieces out in the front, and gather the rest into a low bun, leaving the ends out for a more modern feel. Clasp it with your clip and bobby pin as needed to prevent strays from popping out. And then make sure it stays in place all night by giving it a healthy spritz of hairspray (Jennifer used Laque Couture). If you have curls, don’t worry about straightening all of your hair. Just focus on the front pieces by blow drying them straight, followed by a quick run with a flat iron.”

If you’re still bored …

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Don’t let boredom or lack of creativity force that red lip on you (or at least, a red lip with no other interesting details)! What’s a color you’d never associate with this time of year? Got an idea in your head? Good, now find a way to wear it! Or take Katie Jane Hughes’ countless colorful, glossy, glittery looks as a treasure trove of inspo, including this stunning lavender glossed lid. This is literally lip gloss (or anywhere gloss, really) on top of eyeshadow. And how do you keep it from creasing, you ask? You don’t! That’s part of the fun. It creases; just let it. Reapply if you want but enough with the set-in-stone, gotta-last-48-hours makeup. Let texture and skin be the real showstoppers.

If you’re still stumped on the hair question …

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Space buns! Like it’s 2002! I mean, how good is this? And people just don’t really do this anymore so it’s like the cutest Spice Girls throwback and a guaranteed conversation starter. The face framing pieces on Constance provide perfect balance, but I think you could even get away without them. And bonus: this look can probably be pulled off with any hair texture. Hair by Molly Greenwald.

If you’re sick of sequined sweaters …

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This whole shoot of Taraji P. Henson for the latest issue of InStyle is genius. Rip a literal page out of this mag (on newsstands now) and go with a direct Mary Tyler Moore reference for your party outfits. Short jumpers, miniskirts, graphic prints, power suits, flared pants, silk neckties- Moore’s playbook provides the right amount of inspiration for both dressing sharp and using color creatively. Because the holidays deserve so much more than just red and black sparkly sweaters.

xo, MR

All images are screenshots from Instagram except for the image from IntoTheGloss, taken by Tom Newton. In order of appearance: @melaniemakeup, @woanster, @patidubroff, Tom Newton, @katiejanehughes, @constancewu, @instylemagazine

What I’m Using: December 2018

It’s December! It’s party season! Aren’t you so excited?! All the dressing up, all the food, all the calendared events, all the traveling, all the extraverting, all the schedule maneuvering, all the multiple-party-consulting … oh wait. Maybe you want to hide under a blanket for a month. With a bag over your head. While wearing earplugs. In a cave.

Well, no matter what kind of mood you’re in this season, you must be sure to indulge in our generation’s latest coping mechanism for existential dread some “self care” to ensure that your makeup is properly on fleek and your skin is properly slaying and your hair is properly on point. NO PROBLEM.

But seriously have fun. Getting ready for parties is fun. Here’s what I’m using this month to help.

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The new skincare staple: Honest Beauty Organic Facial Oil

New fave ritual- Wash face, spray on toner, maybe add essence, and finish with this face oil (particularly if I’m prepping for makeup). It’s THEE BEST if you’re in a colder and/or drier climate. There’s something very assuring about patting an oil on to your face that you know won’t just be cheaply absorbed in four seconds flat. Also, this one is yummy because it’s actually USDA-certified organic and not just like “Oh I’m natural and kinda green I swear!” like so many products out there. Hydrating, luxurious, and completely clean- oooohh.

The thing that made an actual difference: Ouai Memory Mist

I frequently wash my hair in the evening. I’ll let it air-dry while watching the billionth episode of Forensic Files late at night but unless I want it to look like the rabid child of Jane and Tarzan the next morning, I have to be sure to put some waves in it that evening with a curling iron. However, I used to run into the problem of putting those waves in my hair at night only to have them go wonky and flat after a night’s sleep (which, is an obvious and very first-world problem). Enter Ouai Memory Mist, which not only claims to protect hair against extreme heat but also to maintain its texture and shape from whence you styled it (‘whence’ … very likely I’m misusing the term).

Well, I’ve used the Memory Mist about six times now and it actually works. I spray it on my hair in sections and then find that my hair really does look relatively the same the next morning. Not an easy thing to pull of, especially after a night’s sleep. In the past there has always been need for touch-ups the morning after waving my hair, but maybe four out of the six times I’ve used this stuff, I’ve just shaken my hair a bit and walked out the door. Wild.

The use-for-every-color liner: Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Liner in Toast

In November and December, I have a stereotypical tendency to do more lip-forward looks with a wine- or red-hued lip. However, I’ve never liked using red liner with red lipstick because few things drive me crazier than that lipstick fading and leaving behind a weird red outline. Makes me feel clowny and like I’m some Edward Scissorhands extra. This lip liner is not only cheap, but it’s also a peachy nude that will do the job of keeping lipstick from running without leaving behind a weird lip line should that lipstick fade. It would probably work for a majority of lip shades. Also, it’s a great color to use all over the lips should you fancy that. I actually think I bought it because I saw it used on Gigi Hadid and I thought it looked good. I know. I’m a sell-out.

The canvas: Yves Saint Laurent Touche Èclat Le Teint Radiance Awakening Foundation SPF 22

I’ve run out of my BareMinerals Complexion Rescue, and that stuff was the real business. So, in the meantime, I’ve got this to go through. I like it– I’m not loving it –but it’s making me more creative in experimenting with different methods of foundation application. So for instance, I’ll use a much thinner layer and apply with a beauty blender, or I’ll mix in a bit of liquid highlighter (NARSxCharlotte Gainsbourg Hydrating Glow Tint) for a luminous finish. I think they changed the formula so it’s not quite the perfect foundation it used to be, but I’m still an overall satisfied customer. And it smells nice!

Bonus! The recipe: kale chicken pesto pizza

Spread Trader Joe’s Pesto all Genovese all over Trader Joe’s pizza dough. Dump Trader Joe’s mozzarella cheese all over that. Cover in fresh chopped curly kale with a little olive oil (do NOT use the bagged Trader Joe’s pre-chopped kale- they can’t do everything right and it smells like the Plague). Add cooked chicken (maybe precooked in Italian herbs and balsamic hmmm?). Sprinkle on some red pepper flakes … maybe a lot if you’ve got firemouth like me. Stick in oven at 375-F for 15-ish minutes. Take out. Shove in your face. Get self-righteous about eating kale.

What I’m Using: November 2018

Hi, hello! It’s been a minute.

When it comes to beauty, I’m most passionate about sharing what products I use and love; I enjoy learning about what others are using as well. And so I’ve decided, after taking some serious time off from this blog, that I’m going to return to it with the vision of focusing specifically on what products I’m currently using with a monthly post. These posts may be punctuated with the red carpet season craziness that we all know and love, but the primary intent with this writing project is to simply share what I’m using, once a month.

And so, here we are! November. And snow will very soon arrive to put the, um, “no” in November. Temperatures are steadily dropping, dryness abounds, and hair begins to get that oily-on-top-but-parched-on-the-ends awkwardness. But these are merely seasonal woes. There are other, more peculiar long-term challenges that I’m interested in tackling: namely, the creases on my forehead. Expression lines, as I like to call them- makes me sound so elegant! Scroll down for my current products in rotation.

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The retin-something: Ole Henriksen Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Créme

At age 28, I got my first pair of glasses. I also found my first grey hair. I also noticed for the first time the faint creases cropping up on my forehead. I wasn’t alarmed, exactly; I was more just interested in seeing if the decades of anti-wrinkle research I’d been reading and hearing about all my life was actually going to pay off in the form of a truly effective treatment other than an injectable. I mean, think about how long our scientists have been going after fine lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet, whatever. Defying the symptoms of impending death (you bristled …… am I wrong?) is the very raison d’être for the skincare industry and they’ve been working at it forever. And now, the options are just about as endless as a Dostoyevsky novel. So what’s one to do other than do a little research, pick something that seems right for you, and dive forehead-first into the vast waters known as the anti-aging industry?

Retinol- a topical derivative of vitamin A- has long been regarded as the “breakthrough” ingredient to returning a youthful look to the skin by stimulating collagen production and cellular renewal, but there are so many options that it’s hard to know where to begin. Retinol is far best suited for night and so I wanted something that I’d only be tempted to use at night, like a cream. I tried a retinol suspended in oil for a while, but it really was too oily and nonabsorbent to be comfortable at night. I also am only using this about twice a week as retinol can have a sensitizing effect on your skin; you have to give it time to see how your skin reacts and adjusts. Ole Henriksen’s Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Créme seemed like a new formula that was worth a shot. It features bakuchiol, a plant-based ingredient that supposedly works as a retinol alternative (so maybe not as sensitizing?). It smells lovely, absorbs well, and the texture and dullness of my skin is noticeably improved overnight. The fine lines? Still there, but slightly more faint. I’ll have to get through the whole jar and see where we’re at by then.

The second-in-command: MAC Upward Lash

Why second in command? So the way I work with mascara is this: I always have a CoverGirl LashBlast formula on hand. Always. I feel like they are THEE best. But, I always need a second formula to sort of give my lashes that final “bump”. The CoverGirl ones are amazing but I can’t ever seem to work on one formula alone. And so, things get really exciting when I play around with different “second-in-command” mascaras as I like to call them. I usually choose something with an inkier consistency and a smaller, more precise brush. MAC’s Upward Lash does the job expertly.

The old fave: Glossier Super Bounce serum

Seriously amazing for dry skin. I don’t reach for Super Bounce much from about May through September because my skin seems to rebalance, but wow- as soon as the chill starts up again I’m going through about two bottles in six months or less. I love it right after toner and essence, but before moisturizer. It really does give my skin that bit of plump and coolness when I feel tight and awful after I’ve eaten too much cheddar popcorn the night before. I also love it for makeup prep and find it does a beautiful job at soothing redness.

The (very) intense conditioner: Davines Melu conditioner

I think if I had to select one product I weirdly hoard or am always tempted to buy more of, it’s hair conditioner. I promise, every time I step into Target you will find me wandering down the haircare aisle opening up those tubs of thick, buttermilk-textured conditioner that smell like all kinds of delectable desserts or yummy bubble tea (don’t you think?!?). I’m not particularly inclined to eat the Davines Melu conditioner, but I will tell you that it is rich. Meant to hydrate dry ends and prevent breakage so long hair can sustain itself, it feels more like a hair mask than anything and it makes my hair so soft. The fragrance is more floral and sophisticated, which is a nice thing because let’s face it- our noses must graduate from the fruit cocktail explosions of Bath and Body Works at some point.

Bonus! The espionage read: I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

Wow. Right? I feel like every other person I’ve mentioned this book to has read it. And I can’t believe I didn’t know it’s being brought to film (the news broke last April- I feel like I should’ve known this already but apparently I don’t follow enough fun people on Twitter)! And if you’re unfamiliar with this work, you should jump on the train before it magically turns into a bandwagon and your mom and your brother and your cat are all there, saying how much they love it too. I will only reveal what IMDb reveals about the storyline: “A former spy is called up out of retirement to assist in an unusual investigation.” Seriously. It is GOOD.

Best Of The 2018 SAG Awards

Alright, the color is back in full force this round. I was most, most pleased with this red carpet. Some seriously stunning choices, and of course, I was all the more happy with the incredible hair make makeup styling at this year’s SAG Awards. The glam teams were bringing nothing less than their best work. Here we go!

 

Saoirse Ronan in custom Louis Vuitton-
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I would wear this. I would totally wear this! Such beautiful art deco inspiration I’m seeing here, and such a cheerful shade of pastel, millennial pink. And I do love a modest silhouette contrasted with two marvelous slits up the side. And Saoirse’s (pronounced SER-shuh) minimalist styling is the right choice, as I don’t believe her face is one that could take “a lot” of makeup if you know what I mean. Her features are so delicate and fairylike, and dark or harsh makeup choices would just overwhelm her. Or at least, those are my thoughts. I could proven wrong, though!

 

Mandy Moore in Ralph Lauren-
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This is the kind of look that makes me want to go on vacation. The ease of the strappy silhouette that makes you want to pack a weekend getaway bag, the dreamy shade of shimmery cobalt that makes you want to dive into a perfectly blue pool after sipping on a Mai Tai beneath your cabana …

Think I’m living in the MidWest in the middle of January? Maybe. Just maybe. Some daydreaming problems over here.

But truly, this styling is fabulous and I can’t wait for a closeup of Mandy’s makeup, too, as I’ve detected a bit of aqua on her lower lids. Oooohhh…

 

Olivia Munn in Oscar de la Renta-

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Ohhhhh sequins! Luscious luscious sequins. And beautious floral appliqués. While this is overall a safe choice- and I’ve appreciated Olivia in the past for bolder choices when it would be quite easy for her to ride on her bombshell looks- the center-parted hair that’s like a shiny black sheet combined with the glowy, rosy makeup makes this a win. It might be safe, but it’s so good that the lack of risk doesn’t matter to me. And check those metallic talon nails! Daaaayyyuuuum.

 

Lupita Nyong’O in Ralph and Russo-

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Mmmmm more metallic perfection. And feathers! Who doesn’t appreciate some good bird now? I used to think I’d know that I’ve “made it” by the fact that I was wearing a sequined dress on a red carpet somewhere, but I’ve since changed my mind. I now know that it’s when I’m wearing a dress with feathers on a red carpet somewhere that I’ll know I’ve made it. Feathers are just so extra, so Marie Antoinette. So unnecessary-but-why-wouldn’t-you.

And does Lupita’s skin have a shimmery finish?! I can’t tell, but I have to find out. It’s positively luminous.

 

Brie Larson in Gucci-

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If you’re not wearing Gucci these days, what are you even doing with your life?! I’ll tell you what you’re doing- you’re wearing knockoff Gucci. Like me. From Target. But don’t blame a girl- sequins and details and jewel-encrusted bows and so many colors and eeeeeeeverything you think of when you think of a fantasy dress- that’s Gucci. Remember Nicole Kidman’s green sequined parrot amazingness from last year’s SAG Awards? Yep, Gucci.

Also, digging the stunning shimmery blue shadows on Brie. So lovely, especially on brown eyes. In other news, Captain Marvel allegedly begins production … tomorrow!

And now, for the obvious-yet-still-too-good-to-be-ignored choice …

 

Margot Robbie in Miu Miu-

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Ladies and gentlemen, another round of applause for feathers! See? I’m telling you, they’re quite fetching and irresistible. I can’t tell at this point if this dress is white or a very light shade of blush. I’m thinking the latter when I see it against the red carpet, and oh, how I love a good rosé as my white girl self should.

I’ve noticed that each of Kate Young’s choices for Margot have all had that bit of figure skating extra-ness as a nod to I, Tonya, whether it’s a touch of sparkle or something like a ribbon and feathers to create the movement that’s so important in figure skating outfits. Makes for a fun press tour, no? But I have to note that it’s the hair and makeup team that’ve really astounded me with Margot on this tour of hers- Pati Dubroff and Bryce Scarlett have been absolute heroes with the hair and makeup game. And I don’t care how beautiful she is naturally! Having a team behind you that consistently takes you from plebeian to goddess is irreplaceable as a celebrity, even for someone as pretty as Margot.

Let me know what you think, and do tell me if you think I’ve forgotten anyone especially deserving! Cheers! xo, MR

 

Photo credits in order of appearance: Steve Granitz/WireImage, Frazer Harrison/Getty, John Shearer/Getty, John Salangsang/Shutterstock, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty, Frazer Harrison/Getty