August Musings On September Issues

I’ll be honest- August is one of my least favorite months. I don’t know why but weird, not-so-awesome things always seem to happen in August, or the month has routinely carried the weight of transition for me. I moved during August (two years to the date!), school frequently starts up again in August, the calendar starts to get too busy in August, and summer movies are never quite as good in August. It could be the looming start of a new school year and the existential reminder that all good Rosé seasons must come to an end, or it could just be me.

So over the years I’ve tried to find little ways to take back this month and be intentional about enjoying it, and for nearly ten years now one of those ways has involved getting really, really, reeeeeeeeally excited for September issues. If you know me, you know this. The annual crowning achievement of every fashion magazine editor is their September issue, and while the magazine industry seems to be in upheaval now right alongside retail, we can bet that no matter what happens there will forever and always be excitement surrounding the inaugural weeks of fall fashion. I’m not sure why people don’t get this excited for spring fashion in February. It must be the pumpkin-spice-loving, Ugg-boots-wearing, Bath-and-Body-Works-obsessing white girl in all of us.

So let’s look at a couple September covers, though we’ll be sans Vogue today because they have to be all queenie and make a grand entrance after everyone else. However, we WILL make some speculative guesses!

Blake Lively for Glamour

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I like this cover. It’s cheerful. It reads a little more March than September to me, but it’s still very beautiful. I’m not a huge fan of the large flower on Blake’s neck, but the soft focus on her face is easily the first thing you notice anyhow. Glamour has really been playing with its cover design the past couple years and the playful font lends a decidedly millennial feel to this one, clearly reaching out to younger readers. Lively apparently spends a great deal of her interview discussing the Child Rescue Coalition, an organization that “provides law enforcement with technology to track and prosecute child predators.” It might be heavy subject matter for a September issue, but I have to say it’s great to hear a celebrity pushing the focus outward instead of talking about their latest reinvention of themselves.

Alicia Vikander for Elle

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This, in stark contrast to Glamour‘s, is actually the kind of cover I prefer. It may be a little boring to some but I like that it makes a plain, straightforward statement. The bold fonts combined with Vikander’s dress and shoulder-y stance give off a kind of eighties vibe. Speaking of Alicia Vikander, it isn’t as interesting to see who is chosen for a September cover as much as it is to discover why. I like trying to predict September covers based on who has projects coming up that month. Alicia probably snagged the cover in anticipation of her late-August movie Tulip Fever, and to ramp up buzz for her Tomb Raider remake in March.

For Vogue, rumor has it that a certain actress in an upcoming Darren Aronofsky film will be taking their September cover. If this proves true I’ll be a little disappointed beings that she had this coveted cover just four years ago AND she was on Vogue‘s cover this past December, less than a year ago! Give it a rest, Ms. Wintour. And a second prediction- Rihanna will almost certainly grab a September cover somewhere, be it with Allure or Marie Claire, due to the launch of Fenty Beauty on September 8. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for this launch. You know there’s bound to be some top-of-the-line lipstick in any beauty launch that Rihanna’s responsible for.

Selena Gomez for InStyle

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Ah, and now for the one that I subscribe to and don’t just pick up on occasion. This magazine has been undergoing a nonstop overhaul since Laura Brown replaced Ariel Foxman as editor-in-chief last November. Some of the changes I’ve loved, others not as much. The covers that Brown has overseen have been consistently fresh and eye-catching nonetheless. She really has done a bang-up job.

It’s seemed the entire print mag industry has been trying to get its sea legs as it adjusts to constant change these years. Some have shuttered completely (RIP Lucky, Self, and probably People StyleWatch, or whatever it’s called now, very soon). Waning relevance thanks to social media and online content, a struggling retail industry (affecting fashion in general), and a political climate in upheaval have made it a challenge for fashion magazines to keep up readership and relatability. It’s been good to see InStyle as one of the few print periodicals that has taken the bull by the horns and leaned in to the maelstrom of change these days. And Selena, the woman with the most Instagram followers in the world at 124 million, is having her moment with a Coach partnership and a new album out probably sooner than later.

Adriana Lima, The Weeknd, and Irina Shayk for Harper’s Bazaar

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And now for the wildcard. Selena and her boyfriend must be high-fiving each other over both claiming September covers this year- not something you’d expect to find on any male celebrity’s resume (save for the obvious i.e. GQ). I have to admit that I laughed out loud when I first saw this. The expressions on their faces somehow read super Zoolander to me. I’m pleased, however, that Adriana and Irina are the only models on the September cover lineup so far. The rest are musicians or actors. I have to say that I’m pretty burned out with the resurgence of the supermodel. I know for a while we all complained that the world of fashion had been given over to the celebrity and there was not enough respect being given to the model, the original and true muse of the industry. However, we’ve turned on the supermodel firehose these days with an endless barrage of Gigi, Kendall, Joan, Bella, Hailey, Kaia, Emily, Cara, and Karlie. Their omnipresence on our social media feeds has had a numbing effect on me personally, and I’ve struggled to relate one little bit to today’s supermodels. But I guess the point of a supermodel isn’t exactly relatability, is it?  And the day I do relate to one, well, that probably means I’ve somehow become one in some alternate universe.

Any covers you especially love? Or any predictions for those yet seen? Do tell, and first and foremost, try to enjoy your August! xo, MR

Photo credits by order of appearance: Nathaniel Goldberg/Glamour magazine, David Bellemere/ELLE, Phil Poynter/InStyle, Brigitte LaCombe

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Best Of The 2016 Academy Awards

Alright, kids.  It’s that time!  I think the first thing I should note is that there were so many people missing tonight!  No Lupita Nyong’O, no Jennifer Lopez, no Emma Stone, no Gwyneth Paltrow, no Halle Berry, no Jennifer Aniston, no Amy Adams, no Viola Davis, no Angelina Jolie, no Kate Hudson, no Beyoncé, no Nicole Kidman – and those are just the regulars that I feel we see on most every Oscars red carpet.  So, that kind of bummed me out as I always look forward to seeing what I would classify as the heavy-hitters.  However, there are always the after parties so we’ll see what those bring.

Bear in mind that I take into consideration the entire look when determining my favorites.  This means I like the hair, the jewelry, the makeup, everything (and not just the dress).  So, here are the four from tonight’s Oscars red carpet that I absolutely adored!

Best Fantasy Moment

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So, I’ve seen stuff on the internet about this dress saying things like, “Step away from the glue gun, Cate”, and that it looks too crafty.  Um, I’m sorry, but have you ever made a craft that looks as good as this dress?!  I mean, COME ON.  Cate looks like the epitome of a fairy princess in the best possible way wearing this gorgeous Armani Privé gown.  With her dainty, elven face, gowns like this are a perfect match for her.  Feminine, flowery, and in a shade that I’d describe as robin’s-egg-blue (with crystal details and what looks like little purply bits found in the flower appliqués), this was the first look I saw tonight that made me squeal.  It’s that every-little-girl’s-fantasy kind of dress.  The silhouette is incredibly flattering, too, with the exaggerated shoulders and deep v-neck.  Simple beautiful.

Best Moment of SHUT THE FRONT DOOR YOU IS LOOKIN’ HOT!

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Yeah, Kate Winslet is aging backwards.  I mean, the woman just doesn’t age (though a contract with Lancome does help- Genifique, anyone?).  Her face has evolved into one that evokes Old Hollywood glamour and sophistication, and her red carpet styling always lends itself quite well to that aesthetic.  This particular look, however, took a bit of a sidestep away from the stately sophistication and veered more into HOT MAMA territory.  I mean, wow.  The loose waves coupled with the shiny texture of this Ralph Lauren gown amounts to a look that is at once futuristic/edgy and timeless/simple.  I am crazy about the liquid feel of this silk lame.  And her standing next to Leo?  Twitter just about lost its mind.

Best Moment of Redemption

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Confession- I have felt for a long, long time that the partnership between Jennifer Lawrence and Dior has been a huge mistake.  I just don’t really find that Dior suits Jennifer.  She’s a young, cool girl with an edge of crass to her, and Dior is the pinnacle of ladylike sophistication seen on the likes of statuesque, elegant actresses such as Marion Cotillard and Charlize Theron.  It just doesn’t jive for me, and the gowns and clothes that Dior has had Jennifer wear always seem to end up wearing her instead.

However, tonight was a welcomed exception.  This dress felt cool.  This dress felt edgy.  This dress felt young.  And the overall styling was fantastic.  I love that Jennifer’s been going more platinum with her hair these days.  That icy white platinum look?  Ooh, I love it.  I’d do it myself if I knew my hair wouldn’t literally snap off in heaps after three weeks.  I’d need a bucket of Olaplex to survive.  But anyhow, hats off to the JLaw team tonight.  She looked stunning, and I’m thinking she and Dior may have turned a new corner in their relationship.

Best Moment of Color

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A silhouette like this typically isn’t my favorite because we’ve seen it so much, but for some reason, this outstanding shade of vermillion makes it all okay.  I think it also may be the fact that we never see Charlize in this color.  We’ve seen her look stunning in gold, white, black, and baby pink, but I don’t think we’ve seen her choose serious color for the Academy Awards since 2010 when she wore her lilac bustier gown (which everyone hated but me).

My most favorite look of Charlize’s is actually the forest green Dior gown she wore to the 2006 Oscars, back when John Galliano was still at the helm.  It was so dramatic with that giant bow, and the color was so unexpected.  I guess that’s what I love Charlize for- she can wear absolutely anything, so unusual silhouettes and bright colors are always a delight on her.  And I have to say, if Imperator Furiosa had to walk a red carpet and couldn’t choose to wear black, it may as well be this uncompromising shade of red.  My mom loved it, too!

Other honorable mentions include Naomi Watts’ gown that reminded of the Rainbow Fish, Margot Robbie’s I-am-literally-a-golden-Oscar-statue moment, and Saoirse Ronan’s gorgeous shade of green that made me think of a mermaid.  I also liked the architecture of Olivia Munn’s gown.  Alicia Vikander’s dress was beautiful too, but the whole look was definitely a bit too inspired by Belle, all the way down to the half-bun.  Daisy Ridley’s was pretty but I would’ve preferred a full-length gown, and Julianne’s was nothing special to me.

Rachel McAdams’ was a bit of a yawn for me too, and while Brie Larson’s gown was really pretty her hair styling sort of ruined the look for me.  I’m not much for pulling back hair that way with a flowy gown that has lots of movement.  I would’ve loved to see some loose waves, or contrast the gown with a sleek chignon.  And Rooney Mara has become as predictable as ever!  I don’t expect to ever see her in bright pink or anything like that, but there’s got to be some way of changing things up while sticking to her general elegant-goth aesthetic.

Well that just about wraps it up for me, and now its time to dig for some extra details on the makeup- my very favorite part!  Give me your thoughts and let me know what you think.  And now, it’s time to start the countdown to the Met Ball!  xo, MR

Photo credits in order of appearance to: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, Jason Merritt/Getty, George Pimentel/WireImage, and Unknown on Theron image.

Winter Makeup Inspiration

So, if you follow me in my various social media outlets, you know the SAG Awards were a relative disappointment to me.  I think my favorite dress honestly may have been Brie Larson’s thanks to its unexpected details, but beyond that, I was considerably underwhelmed.  Again.  However, what the SAG Awards were lacking in dresses, the month of January certainly made up for in awesome celebrity makeup.

This is the kind of makeup that I find so inspiring, mostly because it actually seems accessible and real and like something I could repeat on myself.  I love makeup that is still beautiful but doesn’t exist for the sake of itself, and doesn’t insist on completely transforming its subject.  Ironically, red carpet celebrity makeup is much less intimidating to me than anything like what I see on YouTube or Instagram with all the palettes and powders and contour creams, however fun that all may be.

So the following three looks are ones that had me gasping and reaching for my own makeup brushes this past month.  The subjects all happen to look extremely alike, so you’ll need to forgive me for my unintentional-but-glaringly-obvious lack of diversity in this post.  However, it is beautiful makeup nonetheless, and I think everyone can appreciate that.

Kristen Stewart at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival premiere of “Certain Women”

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K-Stew is my jam when it comes to a smokey eye.  She frequently wears a smokey eye and it seems to fit her supposedly moody disposition (though this smile would say otherwise), but I absolutely love the look and am always thinking of either her or Keira Knightley when trying to replicate it on myself.  Friends know this tends to be my go-to look when I really want to “do my makeup” – a smokey, smudged-out eye paired with little else, hence the nearly-bare lips.  Good stuff.  And just yesterday, Kristen was announced as the new face of Chanel cosmetics so I’m pretty sure we have a lot more smokey awesomeness coming down the pipeline.

Makeup artist Jamie Greenberg was responsible for this look, and you can check out her blog for the exact routine and products she used on Kristen (which are almost all Chanel, of course).  And what a fun surprise- Greenberg used Burt’s Bees Lip Crayon in Sedona Sands on her lips.  That little guy is sitting in my makeup bag at this very moment!  I knew that paired well with tons of eyeliner.

Alicia Vikander at the 2016 SAG Awards

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This is the kind of makeup we call “timeless”.  Makeup like this, on any skin tone, on any woman, for any occasion, will never not be beautiful.  Look like this at Prom, look like this on your wedding day, look like this at work – it will never be an issue.  I know it helps to have otherworldly skin like Vikander, but honestly, even if you have acne or some type of skin insecurity, the color features of this look will still work for you.  Yes, they will.  Why?  Because it sticks with the very best strategies for flattering anyone’s features- a rosy-ish lip that looks like it’s just come in from the cold, glittering eyes surrounded by an earth-toned shimmer, full, voluminous lashes, groomed eyebrows, and gently sun-kissed skin.  Even if you don’t have pristine skin (and I’m sure a bit of makeup was involved in giving that illusion, too), your features will still be nothing but enhanced with makeup like this.  You would just vary the choice of shades depending on your skintone.

Charlotte Tilbury created this look to complement Alicia’s stunning Louis Vuitton sequined gown.  The Australian edition of PopSugar did a full feature on the look here, complete with a run-down of every single product used.  Remember that the prices for the mentioned products are translated into Australian dollars, so they don’t cost quite that much stateside.

Natalie Portman at the New York City premiere of “Jane Got A Gun”

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Good ol’ Natalie Portman.  I think the first high-end product I ever purchased as a teen was Stila’s lipstick that they’d made just for her back in the day, appropriately named Natalie.  It was sheer, a berry color with purple-ish undertones from what I remember.  Of course it’s now discontinued and who knows what happened to mine, but I remember thinking as a fifteen-year-old girl that I would finally look like Padme once I got my hands on that lipstick.  Padme isn’t exactly the worst film character to look like, but her choices are pretty questionable and I’m not sure how much the lipstick actually helped my cause.  I managed to date someone similar in character to Anakin Skywalker, so I guess the goal was met?  Minus the whole awesome space opera part that made it actually worth it?

Fast forward some ten-odd years later and here’s Natalie again, still looking gorgeous as ever with a deep, crimson lip.  There’s something so fragile and feminine about Portman’s features that makes a dramatic lip stand out on her in ways that may not be the case with others.  I love her nearly porcelain skin here.  When I try to let my skin lose its color, I find it doesn’t give off a Snow White etherealness so much as it does a yellow-green Tales from the Crypt vibe.  It’s all about those undertones, man.  They’ll get ya.

As the face of Dior beauty, you can count on every product used here on Natalie to be Dior.  Lipstick Lifestyle did a great feature on the whole look recounting all of makeup artist Pati Dubroff’s steps.  I’m eyeing the eyeshadow and liner duo used that’s to be released as part of Dior’s spring makeup collection, but I’m certain it’ll be a little out of my reasonable price range (especially considering my lame empties challenge, which I guess I’m continuing with indefinitely).  I’ll just need to shop what I own.

And now I’m looking forward to seeing what beauty awesomeness (and hopefully gown awesomeness) the Oscars will hold for us.  Hopefully there’s some Leo awesomeness involved in that, too, because if there isn’t there will probably be some type of bear-attacking-you-in-nineteenth-century-Canadian-wilderness hell to pay.  xo, MR

Image credits (in order of appearance) to: Vanity Fair, Getty Images, Mike Coppola for Getty Images