Category

Beauty

Actualidad, Beauty

Andreja Is the First Transgender Model to Sign a Beauty Contract

Tucked nonchalantly into a massive feature was a little sentence containing a huge piece of news: This year, Andreja Pejic will become one of the first transgender models to star in a major beauty campaign.

Tabloid in long-form, Anger details the scandals of Tinseltown’s very first stars (including Rudolph Valentino, Roscoe Arbuckle, and Clara Bow) against the backdrop of a city charged by rampant debauchery and high glamour.

Whereas Hollywood Babylon deals mostly with the era’s nightlife, the workday habits of early film stars were pretty wild too. For our purposes, it’s all about the prep. Hence a little history lesson today, particularly about how one might get ready for a period moving picture.

Early movies were shot on orthochromatic film, which was not sensitive to yellow-red wavelengths (so colors on that end of the spectrum became almost black). Blue and purple tones, in turn, showed up pale and whitish. The unfortunate on-screen effects of this were myriad—actors with ruddy skin looked dirty, and blue eyes would turn blank and spooky. The latter pitfall almost foiled the ambitions of eventual Academy Award winner Norma Shearer when she was told by D.W. Griffith, The Birth of a Nation director, that her eyes were “far too blue” to have any success in cinema.

In order to create an impactful (and hopefully, natural) look under such conditions in the 1910s and ’20s, most actors were tasked with applying their own makeup (A common press photo set-up was very Top Shelf-like and featured the starlet at her vanity.), and studios would distribute guides for proper use of color. Blue-toned greasepaint was applied as a foundation and contouring shade, while lips were painted yellow. In real life, actors must have looked truly bizarre when they arrived at the studio. Early greasepaint was texturally problematic. Since it was applied with a heavy hand, the surface layer would often crack when the actor’s expression changed (not great for a medium that relied so heavily on overly dramatic, silent expression). It could also be hazardous—as was in the case of Dolores Costello (Drew Barrymore’s paternal grandmother), whose complexion and career were both damaged beyond repair by early film makeup. In 1914, Max Factor, a wig and cosmetic shop owner in Los Angeles, developed a solution in the form of Flexible Greasepaint. After its invention, he became the most sought-after makeup artist in Hollywood and the leading figure in cosmetic development for the industry.

Factor’s personalized approach to makeup artistry cemented a few specific, studio-endorsed “looks.” For Clara Bow, he drew her sharply peaked cupid’s bow; Joan Crawford’s signature “smeared” lip (extending far beyond her natural line) assuaged the actress’ thin-lipped insecurities and was all thanks to Factor. Industry standards also required actors’ eyes to look deep-set and moody by shadowing them from lash line to socket, and eyebrows were drawn straight, bold, and very, very long (think Louise Brooks).

When orthochromatic film gave way to panchromatic in the 1920s, shiny hair and eyelids captured the glow of incandescent bulbs used on-set to great effect. Factor kept pace, developing specific light-refracting hair dyes to suit this technical shift—even sprinkling gold dust on to Marlene Dietrich’s wigs when asked. He couldn’t rest on his laurels for long though—Technicolor was on the horizon, and with it came a new set of cosmetic challenges.

A final note: In the early ‘30s, still riding the panchromatic “high shine” wave, Factor created a slick lip coat for his famous clients. The formula would go on to become commercially sold as “X-Rated,” the world’s very first lip gloss. Something I think we’re all still kind of into.

—Lauren Maas

Actualidad, Beauty

Most Famous Brides of all time: Priscilla Presley

Whoever decided May and June primetime for nuptials was a marketing genius—though a fair amount of credit is probably due to the brides who decided they just weren’t into the whole.

“Today I was asked when I realized I was in the wrong body. As much as it took me a really long time to come to terms with it, I think I have known since I can remember—since I could even think about gender or notice it. I was thinking about when I was in pre-K ,and I would dress up as Cinderella and do girl things. If I decided to wear a dress or roleplay as a princess, my teachers would tell me I couldn’t do it because I was a boy. So when you have everyone in your life telling you that you’re a boy, you kind of start to believe it, even though none of it comes naturally to you.

Make no mistake, this is not no-makeup makeup.

Make no mistake, this is not no-makeup makeup.

My transition has been a very gradual, very cerebral process. For a lot of people, it’s very easy to reduce gender to bodies, and that’s terrible. So to answer that question that I was asked today, I realized I was a woman after I was already living as a woman for about a year or so. Before that, I had this platinum blond hair, acrylics, and would dress in skirts, and wear purses—but I still identified as male. I was open-minded enough, growing up, to think that even if my outward appearance was female, I could still be male. If you read enough queer theory, you realize any sort of conjunction is possible. There are boys who want experience life as women but still be boys, and that’s valid.

I never understood why people would think that men couldn’t be as beautiful as women, so for a long time I didn’t have a word for myself. I was like, ‘I’m not a boy but I can’t let myself be a woman.’ So at the time I was like, ‘OK, I’ll be something else.’ It was weird for me, and in some ways, my thinking allowed me to keep putting off how I felt inside by just covering it up with this cerebral explanation.

There is a lot of psychological tension in trying to discuss anything with gender identity.

I used to wear a lot more makeup. I fucking love Boy George, and I would put on that amount of makeup—like Boy George amounts of makeup. My eyeliner would like reach my hairline. I would go really crazy with it. I would try to overcompensate. Now I’m much more toned down, but I feel like all girls have that phase when experimenting with makeup for the first time. Though, if I started off putting on the amount of makeup I wear now, I knew I would just look like who I really am, and I think I was just not ready for that.

I was 14 years old when I got my first taste of makeup. I was in a band as the lead singer and we were playing one of our first shows. At that point all I could get away with was straightening my hair maybe once a month. So yeah, I was at my first show, and I remember finding a Revlon retractable black eyeliner in the bathroom. I put it on my waterline, not even thinking about the fact that I could get an eye infection as I picked it up off the floor—it was disgusting. I guess the cool thing about being in a band is that there is so much more freedom. There’s the classic ‘Dude (Looks Like A Lady)‘-feel. I felt like I could wear the eyeliner, and no one would care because I was at a rock show. Then I wore it again to a crowd that was more of a hardcore scene, and it wasn’t a cool experience. They were screaming at me to get off the stage and calling me the F word. I was just like, ‘Wow, OK.’ I was 15 at that point. It was a terrible wake up call to me, all because I was wearing eyeliner—it’s not that big of a deal, and yet, people are already policing me for not performing this gender that I’m pretending to be. Obviously I was doing a shitty job at performing male. Sometimes I tell people that I really feel like I was in drag for over a decade, in the sense of performing male gender roles. I’d end the night and make sure to wipe off my eyeliner before I got home.

priscilla-presley-wedding-beauty-2-613x409

I had really bad acne in high school, so I’d get away with wearing coverall and that’s it. Still, my mother would look at me from her bed—I did, and still do, my makeup in her room because it has the best lighting—and be like, ‘What are you doing?’ I used to tell my mom like, ‘Don’t worry! I’ll never wear mascara!’ But it all happens…100 YouTube tutorials later you emerge in full face [Laughs].

I always admired makeup. I’d watch my grandma doing her makeup, and she’d always be put together. She would tell me that photos are forever, you can’t take it lightly, and you have to perfect it. Little things like that really stuck with me. Without my mother’s permission, I dyed my hair platinum blonde as a teenager. Having white hair changes your life, regardless of gender identity. It is a really crazy experience. You learn about so many different sides of people and how they perceive you—it’s crazy. It was motivation, I guess, and it was the first instance of feeling like I can’t hide myself.

I was really obsessed with Final Fantasy at the time, especially the Final Fantasy villains. If you really look at a Final Fantasy villain and analyze it, it’s a female head on a male body. I felt connected to the possibility of being really pretty, even if my body didn’t match up—there was a chance for the head portion to be on-point and consistent with how I view myself. After that, I started really diving into makeup as identity. Beauty can be a big deal for all girls, but beauty for a trans girl could be life-or-death. There’s moments when you could be placed in danger for not passing as a woman convincingly enough. One time I was walking with my friend and a guy was trying to holler at me, then he took out a knife. Makeup is much more serious to trans women. Even cis girls can relate—they get attacked and bullied in schools, growing up, because they’re not pretty enough.

I really feel bad for a lot of trans people and trans women who don’t have the experience [with makeup] before they come into themselves and have to learn to do their makeup in no time. They’re 35, they have kids, and they need to transition then—that’s the bravest thing ever. That’s not to say that I think people transitioning later in life necessarily need to wear makeup to be who they are. I just identified with it. The way I did it was just like how every girl picks up makeup skills—where your mom is like, ‘You can only put on lipgloss.’ You need time to practice, so it looks good. I used to just have these Zen three-hour makeup sessions. Of course, during the day I just wear tinted moisturizer, concealer, and maybe mascara. Sometimes I’ll do a wing, but just a little bit on the outer edge. But at night…at night is when I’d really take my time. I’d do my makeup from 7pm to 10pm and go out at midnight.

Actualidad, Beauty

Fashion People Are Already Requesting The Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs’ Fall 2014 collection was a study in tonality, and so were the wigs, individually dyed to match the pinks, creams, beiges, and brown shades of the clothes.

Wear it dry, and you’ve got your standard dusting of color—classic and predictable (in a good way). But wet! Wearing it wet opens a whole new world of opportunity. “What you’re doing is bringing out the pigmented nature of the shadow,” makeup artist Vincent Oquendo says. “Whenever I wet an eye shadow, it’s when I really want it to pop—but it really has to be a special kind of product to be able to blend after it sets. Because a lot of the times when it sets, you get streaking.” Nobody wants that. In order to avoid any wet shadow mishaps, follow these guidelines:

Product

Marc Jacobs' Fall 2014 collection was a study in tonality, and so were the wigs.

Marc Jacobs’ Fall 2014 collection was a study in tonality, and so were the wigs.

First, go with the obvious: any eye shadow labeled wet-to-dry. The Nars Dual-Intensity line is the standout—the singles come in 12 different shimmery shades, and there’s a corresponding brush (then there’s the newly released Dual Intensity Blush line, which was all over Fashion Week—but that’s a product for another post). Burberry also makes a few very versatile shades specifically for this in their Wet & Dry Silk Shadows. And the technique-specific eye shadow category isn’t just a ploy to get you to buy more product. “You can’t just use any eye shadow for this,” Vincent says. “Certain ones will harden up on top and become unusable because they’re not made for this.”

Baked shadows are also fair game—we’re fans of Laura Mercier’s Baked Eye Colour Wet/Dry and Lorac’s Starry-Eyed Baked Eye Shadow Trio in particular.

For more advanced players, Vincent suggests moving on to straight pigment (MAC or even OCC’s Pure Cosmetic Pigments). With the added moisture, they’ll become easier to layer with other products. For a look with more depth, try using a cream shadow as a based before swiping with a wet powder shadow. “It’s like insurance,” Vincent says. “You’re doubling your wearability.

Brush
This all depends on exactly what you want to do. “Mind the resistance,” Vincent says, particularly if you’re looking for uniform color across the lid. “I tend to recommend a blender brush, which is the brush that looks like a feather duster. If you do it with a stiff brush, you’re defeating yourself before you even start. The joy of a wet-to-dry is you have to get it right amount of product loaded up, and then it blends itself. If the brush is too stiff, it will leave the shadow streaky and then much harder to control.”

However, if tightlining or waterlining is in the cards, a much thinner brush is required accordingly.

Liquid
Do not, repeat, do not put eye drops, water, or any other sort of liquid directly on your eye shadow. This’ll screw up your product for later use. “Lately, I’ve been wetting the brush with the Glossier Soothing Face Mist, but Evian Mineral Water Spray is good for sensitive eyes,” Vincent says. If the top of your powder does get a little hardened by wet application, there’s a trick to remove it: Get a clean mascara spoolie and “exfoliate” your compact, Vincent recommends. This won’t crack the compact and will make it ready to go once more.

Photographed by Tom Newton.

Actualidad, Beauty

Big, Curly Hair: How To Manage God-Given Volume

Kate Branch has a great head of hair—we’re talking signature volume and texture. Which is why, when she told us that she’d spent most of her lifetime in an epic battle against it, we pressed her on what changed her mind. Her response involved Sally Singer, Solange, and blowdrying only the top fourth of her hair, so we thought her journey.

Your eye color is suddenly translucent, cheeks are flushed, there is soft rosy halo around your lash line, and your lips…your lips deepen as blood rushes through them and creates a beautiful, tragic look. This lip happens to work well for day or evening and doesn’t require you to cry! This method allows you to wear any lip color in a very natural and believable way.

The secret to this look is creating a soft halo around your lip line. Start by taking your favorite lipstick, stain, or chubby lip pencil and saturating the color just on the center of your lips. Then, take your finger and blend the color over your lips as if you are rubbing

I can’t wait for you to try the crying lip. It’s so beautiful, it will bring you to tears.

Once the color starts dissolving into your lips, drag your finger right on top of your lip line, bleeding the color into your lip—especially over your cupid’s bow. It’s like finger painting on a sensual canvas, leading to the perfect stain that will last for hours.

This technique will also allow you to use those beautiful pops of color you’re always eyeing but never dare to buy, since the method will only capture the color’s essence. My favorite three colors to use for the tragic lip are a coral red, a classic mauve, and a deep wine. The first color I used in the pictures is YSL’s Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain in 8 Orange De Chine (which also made an appearance in this week’s lip stain roundup!)—the perfect orange-coral stain, but you must work quickly with blending as it sets quick. The second look is the rosy-mauve Clé de Peau Beauté Extra Rich Lipstick in 106. This creamy formula feels so heavenly on the lips and imparts the perfect “you-could-never-go-wrong” color, giving you a super-natural, yet flattering look. The third color is the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu. Swipe this vampy color dead-center on lips and give it a good rub down to transform your mouth into a deadly weapon that kills silently.

I grew up in the north suburbs outside of Chicago, surrounded by friends who were all beautiful, and funny, and smart.

I grew up in the north suburbs outside of Chicago, surrounded by friends who were all beautiful, and funny, and smart.

It was at T that I was fortunate enough to meet my hair stylist, Mike Viggue. He cut his teeth at Sally Hershberger’s salon and now occasionally assistants the legendary Anthony Turner on set and during fashion weeks. The first time I went to him, I asked for the good stuff: a keratin treatment. Six months later, I needed another fix, but he wouldn’t give it to me. “Your texture is too interesting to ruin,” he said. Interesting? For the next few years he cut and styled my interesting hair with his very capable hands, and a touch of Shu Uemura Yokan Craft hair wax, until I was ready for the ultimate test: a bob. I have been told by countless hairdressers that I would never be able to have bangs or short hair like my peers. Physics just wouldn’t allow for it, they’d say. But Mike did it for me, sans bangs, and taught me a few tricks to keep it from, well, not being wider than long.

Actualidad, Beauty

Try This Cleansing Cream

As dumb luck would have it, I stumbled into the hair equivalent of an e-cigarette entirely by accident.

Tabloid in long-form, Anger details the scandals of Tinseltown’s very first stars (including Rudolph Valentino, Roscoe Arbuckle, and Clara Bow) against the backdrop of a city charged by rampant debauchery and high glamour.

Whereas Hollywood Babylon deals mostly with the era’s nightlife, the workday habits of early film stars were pretty wild too. For our purposes, it’s all about the prep. Hence a little history lesson today, particularly about how one might get ready for a period moving picture.

Early movies were shot on orthochromatic film, which was not sensitive to yellow-red wavelengths (so colors on that end of the spectrum became almost black). Blue and purple tones, in turn, showed up pale and whitish. The unfortunate on-screen effects of this were myriad—actors with ruddy skin looked dirty, and blue eyes would turn blank and spooky. The latter pitfall almost foiled the ambitions of eventual Academy Award winner Norma Shearer when she was told by D.W. Griffith, The Birth of a Nation director, that her eyes were “far too blue” to have any success in cinema.

In order to create an impactful (and hopefully, natural) look under such conditions in the 1910s and ’20s, most actors were tasked with applying their own makeup (A common press photo set-up was very Top Shelf-like and featured the starlet at her vanity.), and studios would distribute guides for proper use of color. Blue-toned greasepaint was applied as a foundation and contouring shade, while lips were painted yellow. In real life, actors must have looked truly bizarre when they arrived at the studio. Early greasepaint was texturally problematic. Since it was applied with a heavy hand, the surface layer would often crack when the actor’s expression changed (not great for a medium that relied so heavily on overly dramatic, silent expression). It could also be hazardous—as was in the case of Dolores Costello (Drew Barrymore’s paternal grandmother), whose complexion and career were both damaged beyond repair by early film makeup. In 1914, Max Factor, a wig and cosmetic shop owner in Los Angeles, developed a solution in the form of Flexible Greasepaint. After its invention, he became the most sought-after makeup artist in Hollywood and the leading figure in cosmetic development for the industry.

Factor’s personalized approach to makeup artistry cemented a few specific, studio-endorsed “looks.” For Clara Bow, he drew her sharply peaked cupid’s bow; Joan Crawford’s signature “smeared” lip (extending far beyond her natural line) assuaged the actress’ thin-lipped insecurities and was all thanks to Factor. Industry standards also required actors’ eyes to look deep-set and moody by shadowing them from lash line to socket, and eyebrows were drawn straight, bold, and very, very long (think Louise Brooks).

When orthochromatic film gave way to panchromatic in the 1920s, shiny hair and eyelids captured the glow of incandescent bulbs used on-set to great effect. Factor kept pace, developing specific light-refracting hair dyes to suit this technical shift—even sprinkling gold dust on to Marlene Dietrich’s wigs when asked. He couldn’t rest on his laurels for long though—Technicolor was on the horizon, and with it came a new set of cosmetic challenges.

A final note: In the early ‘30s, still riding the panchromatic “high shine” wave, Factor created a slick lip coat for his famous clients. The formula would go on to become commercially sold as “X-Rated,” the world’s very first lip gloss. Something I think we’re all still kind of into.

—Lauren Maas

Actualidad, Beauty

Out With The Bob, In With The Twisted Bun

Marlyn Alarm is a singer from Miami, Fla., undergoing formal gender transition after living a full year living as a woman. But her struggle with identity is not a new one.

“Today I was asked when I realized I was in the wrong body. As much as it took me a really long time to come to terms with it, I think I have known since I can remember—since I could even think about gender or notice it. I was thinking about when I was in pre-K ,and I would dress up as Cinderella and do girl things. If I decided to wear a dress or roleplay as a princess, my teachers would tell me I couldn’t do it because I was a boy. So when you have everyone in your life telling you that you’re a boy, you kind of start to believe it, even though none of it comes naturally to you.

My transition has been a very gradual, very cerebral process. For a lot of people, it’s very easy to reduce gender to bodies, and that’s terrible. So to answer that question that I was asked today, I realized I was a woman after I was already living as a woman for about a year or so. Before that, I had this platinum blond hair, acrylics, and would dress in skirts, and wear purses—but I still identified as male. I was open-minded enough, growing up, to think that even if my outward appearance was female, I could still be male. If you read enough queer theory, you realize any sort of conjunction is possible. There are boys who want experience life as women but still be boys, and that’s valid.

I never understood why people would think that men couldn’t be as beautiful as women, so for a long time I didn’t have a word for myself. I was like, ‘I’m not a boy but I can’t let myself be a woman.’ So at the time I was like, ‘OK, I’ll be something else.’ It was weird for me, and in some ways, my thinking allowed me to keep putting off how I felt inside by just covering it up with this cerebral explanation.

There is a lot of psychological tension in trying to discuss anything with gender identity.

I used to wear a lot more makeup. I fucking love Boy George, and I would put on that amount of makeup—like Boy George amounts of makeup. My eyeliner would like reach my hairline. I would go really crazy with it. I would try to overcompensate. Now I’m much more toned down, but I feel like all girls have that phase when experimenting with makeup for the first time. Though, if I started off putting on the amount of makeup I wear now, I knew I would just look like who I really am, and I think I was just not ready for that.

I was 14 years old when I got my first taste of makeup. I was in a band as the lead singer and we were playing one of our first shows. At that point all I could get away with was straightening my hair maybe once a month. So yeah, I was at my first show, and I remember finding a Revlon retractable black eyeliner in the bathroom. I put it on my waterline, not even thinking about the fact that I could get an eye infection as I picked it up off the floor—it was disgusting. I guess the cool thing about being in a band is that there is so much more freedom. There’s the classic ‘Dude (Looks Like A Lady)‘-feel. I felt like I could wear the eyeliner, and no one would care because I was at a rock show. Then I wore it again to a crowd that was more of a hardcore scene, and it wasn’t a cool experience. They were screaming at me to get off the stage and calling me the F word. I was just like, ‘Wow, OK.’ I was 15 at that point. It was a terrible wake up call to me, all because I was wearing eyeliner—it’s not that big of a deal, and yet, people are already policing me for not performing this gender that I’m pretending to be. Obviously I was doing a shitty job at performing male. Sometimes I tell people that I really feel like I was in drag for over a decade, in the sense of performing male gender roles. I’d end the night and make sure to wipe off my eyeliner before I got home.

Habits-Stylish-Women

I had really bad acne in high school, so I’d get away with wearing coverall and that’s it. Still, my mother would look at me from her bed—I did, and still do, my makeup in her room because it has the best lighting—and be like, ‘What are you doing?’ I used to tell my mom like, ‘Don’t worry! I’ll never wear mascara!’ But it all happens…100 YouTube tutorials later you emerge in full face [Laughs].

I always admired makeup. I’d watch my grandma doing her makeup, and she’d always be put together. She would tell me that photos are forever, you can’t take it lightly, and you have to perfect it. Little things like that really stuck with me. Without my mother’s permission, I dyed my hair platinum blonde as a teenager. Having white hair changes your life, regardless of gender identity. It is a really crazy experience. You learn about so many different sides of people and how they perceive you—it’s crazy. It was motivation, I guess, and it was the first instance of feeling like I can’t hide myself.

I was really obsessed with Final Fantasy at the time, especially the Final Fantasy villains. If you really look at a Final Fantasy villain and analyze it, it’s a female head on a male body. I felt connected to the possibility of being really pretty, even if my body didn’t match up—there was a chance for the head portion to be on-point and consistent with how I view myself. After that, I started really diving into makeup as identity. Beauty can be a big deal for all girls, but beauty for a trans girl could be life-or-death. There’s moments when you could be placed in danger for not passing as a woman convincingly enough. One time I was walking with my friend and a guy was trying to holler at me, then he took out a knife. Makeup is much more serious to trans women. Even cis girls can relate—they get attacked and bullied in schools, growing up, because they’re not pretty enough.

I really feel bad for a lot of trans people and trans women who don’t have the experience [with makeup] before they come into themselves and have to learn to do their makeup in no time. They’re 35, they have kids, and they need to transition then—that’s the bravest thing ever. That’s not to say that I think people transitioning later in life necessarily need to wear makeup to be who they are. I just identified with it. The way I did it was just like how every girl picks up makeup skills—where your mom is like, ‘You can only put on lipgloss.’ You need time to practice, so it looks good. I used to just have these Zen three-hour makeup sessions. Of course, during the day I just wear tinted moisturizer, concealer, and maybe mascara. Sometimes I’ll do a wing, but just a little bit on the outer edge. But at night…at night is when I’d really take my time. I’d do my makeup from 7pm to 10pm and go out at midnight.

Actualidad, Beauty

Citi Bike Is The New Blowout

Ride a Citi Bike every day—to my office, cross-town for after work drinks, to Brooklyn to visit my brother.

I’m all over it. I soon discovered that in addition to being my favored form of public transportation, riding a Citi Bike (or any bike) is also the perfect opportunity for a low-maintenance beauty person like myself to fake the look of “doing my hair.”

Here’s what I do: I wash and condition my hair, and then, while it’s still wet, I take a wide tooth comb and run it through. I have naturally curly hair, but if I comb it, the curls turn into waves. Then I twirl my hair (still wet) up into a bun and clip it. At this point, I let my hair dry naturally. Sometimes I do this at night, sometimes early in the morning. Once it’s dry (enough) I take it out of the bun and I use one product: Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. I spray it over my head, pretty liberally, and then work it through with my fingers. I get on my bike, and let the ride do the rest. Sometimes it works better than others, it all depends on humidity and which way the wind blows. I find that east-to-west rides are the best for getting that full, vaguely permed—but not too ’80s—look that I love.

—Danielle Mastrangelo

Danielle Mastrangelo photographed by Tom Newton.

Actualidad, Beauty

Nix Clumpy Lashes & Make Lips Pop

To say we’re more obsessed with bareMinerals’ founder Leslie Blodgett than we are with the product itself would be a lie, so we like to say we love both equally.

She’s a sun-kissed blonde, straight-across—no muss, no fuss. She came into the office wearing a red cardigan and ate Sour Patch Kids waiting for hairstylist Didier Malige to give her a haircut. Not necessarily something drastic—but something new. Spring may have arrived with a hefty dose of snow this year, but once the seasons change, it’s hard not to feel like a little personal change is in order.

He takes Louise's hair and begins to cut long layers at the ends with scissors.

He takes Louise’s hair and begins to cut long layers at the ends with scissors.

Eventually Didier walks in and there’s Louise, hunched over, playing with her split ends. Maybe expecting someone with layered, voluminous head of hair ready for experimentation, instead he got the epitome of Midwest simplicity. She recently graduated with a degree in photography (eventually she plans on working as a photojournalist) and made it through the four years of school cutting her hair maybe once. Her daily routine consists of washing and leaving her hair to air dry without brushing, in hopes of keeping any waves.

You should be a bit more wild,” Didier tells her. When she says at this stage, she already feels “too old for that now,” he responds: “Are you crazy? You haven’t even discovered life yet!” Haircuts are best served with a side of sage advice, we find.

Didier is known to be scissor happy—he’s comes from the school of hairstylists in the ’60s and ’70s who made sex hair a thing. “I’m not attracted to very neat hair. I think it’s an American thing to smooth and tame. Now, you don’t see any more pictures of models with little hairs sticking out. It’s all Photoshopped out.”

He takes Louise’s hair and begins to cut long layers at the ends with scissors. “Do you want to look?” He asks her. “No, I trust you,” Louise says. It couldn’t really be called a full-blown haircut, but rather a few stylized, strategic snips to give it more body. He then soaked Louise’s hair in L’Oréal Wild Stylers by Techni.Art Beach Waves for some matte, subtle texture. Soaked isn’t an exaggeration—he kept forewarning Louise that he was really going to wet it. Windblown effects can be attributed to hosting the photoshoot part of the gathering on the roof.

“I think I’ll keep it,” she says as she looks at the photos—just before Didier sweeps it up into a different look, this one more cockatiel cum black tie updo. Inspired by Louise’s vintage Celine secretary blouse, Didier went with the 1940s feel to create the rebellious Euro counterpart to the doughnut-ified American top-knot. It’s wild looking, but at least half of the fun comes from knowing you’ve got bangs, without actually having to get bangs. Maybe next time, Didier.

Louise Parker (The Society) wears a vintage Celine top, Isabel Marant Étoile skirt, and Saint Laurent Boots. Photographed by Tom Newton.

Actualidad, Beauty

Hair Made For A Rainy Day

Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger’s 1959 book about the film industry’s formative years, is so juicy it’s easy to forget that most of the stories in it are half-true, at best.

Tabloid in long-form, Anger details the scandals of Tinseltown’s very first stars (including Rudolph Valentino, Roscoe Arbuckle, and Clara Bow) against the backdrop of a city charged by rampant debauchery and high glamour.

Whereas Hollywood Babylon deals mostly with the era’s nightlife, the workday habits of early film stars were pretty wild too. For our purposes, it’s all about the prep. Hence a little history lesson today, particularly about how one might get ready for a period moving picture.

Early movies were shot on orthochromatic film, which was not sensitive to yellow-red wavelengths (so colors on that end of the spectrum became almost black). Blue and purple tones, in turn, showed up pale and whitish. The unfortunate on-screen effects of this were myriad—actors with ruddy skin looked dirty, and blue eyes would turn blank and spooky. The latter pitfall almost foiled the ambitions of eventual Academy Award winner Norma Shearer when she was told by D.W. Griffith, The Birth of a Nation director, that her eyes were “far too blue” to have any success in cinema.

In order to create an impactful (and hopefully, natural) look under such conditions in the 1910s and ’20s, most actors were tasked with applying their own makeup (A common press photo set-up was very Top Shelf-like and featured the starlet at her vanity.), and studios would distribute guides for proper use of color. Blue-toned greasepaint was applied as a foundation and contouring shade, while lips were painted yellow. In real life, actors must have looked truly bizarre when they arrived at the studio. Early greasepaint was texturally problematic. Since it was applied with a heavy hand, the surface layer would often crack when the actor’s expression changed (not great for a medium that relied so heavily on overly dramatic, silent expression). It could also be hazardous—as was in the case of Dolores Costello (Drew Barrymore’s paternal grandmother), whose complexion and career were both damaged beyond repair by early film makeup. In 1914, Max Factor, a wig and cosmetic shop owner in Los Angeles, developed a solution in the form of Flexible Greasepaint. After its invention, he became the most sought-after makeup artist in Hollywood and the leading figure in cosmetic development for the industry.

It’s rainy day hair. This is how she looks when she’s running to take the subway

Factor’s personalized approach to makeup artistry cemented a few specific, studio-endorsed “looks.” For Clara Bow, he drew her sharply peaked cupid’s bow; Joan Crawford’s signature “smeared” lip (extending far beyond her natural line) assuaged the actress’ thin-lipped insecurities and was all thanks to Factor. Industry standards also required actors’ eyes to look deep-set and moody by shadowing them from lash line to socket, and eyebrows were drawn straight, bold, and very, very long (think Louise Brooks).

When orthochromatic film gave way to panchromatic in the 1920s, shiny hair and eyelids captured the glow of incandescent bulbs used on-set to great effect. Factor kept pace, developing specific light-refracting hair dyes to suit this technical shift—even sprinkling gold dust on to Marlene Dietrich’s wigs when asked. He couldn’t rest on his laurels for long though—Technicolor was on the horizon, and with it came a new set of cosmetic challenges.

A final note: In the early ‘30s, still riding the panchromatic “high shine” wave, Factor created a slick lip coat for his famous clients. The formula would go on to become commercially sold as “X-Rated,” the world’s very first lip gloss. Something I think we’re all still kind of into.

—Lauren Maas

Actualidad, Beauty

Look Like A Silent Film Star

Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger’s 1959 book about the film industry’s formative years, is so juicy it’s easy to forget that most of the stories in it are half-true, at best.

Tabloid in long-form, Anger details the scandals of Tinseltown’s very first stars (including Rudolph Valentino, Roscoe Arbuckle, and Clara Bow) against the backdrop of a city charged by rampant debauchery and high glamour.

Whereas Hollywood Babylon deals mostly with the era’s nightlife, the workday habits of early film stars were pretty wild too. For our purposes, it’s all about the prep. Hence a little history lesson today, particularly about how one might get ready for a period moving picture.

Early movies were shot on orthochromatic film, which was not sensitive to yellow-red wavelengths (so colors on that end of the spectrum became almost black). Blue and purple tones, in turn, showed up pale and whitish. The unfortunate on-screen effects of this were myriad—actors with ruddy skin looked dirty, and blue eyes would turn blank and spooky. The latter pitfall almost foiled the ambitions of eventual Academy Award winner Norma Shearer when she was told by D.W. Griffith, The Birth of a Nation director, that her eyes were “far too blue” to have any success in cinema.

In order to create an impactful (and hopefully, natural) look under such conditions in the 1910s and ’20s, most actors were tasked with applying their own makeup (A common press photo set-up was very Top Shelf-like and featured the starlet at her vanity.), and studios would distribute guides for proper use of color. Blue-toned greasepaint was applied as a foundation and contouring shade, while lips were painted yellow. In real life, actors must have looked truly bizarre when they arrived at the studio. Early greasepaint was texturally problematic. Since it was applied with a heavy hand, the surface layer would often crack when the actor’s expression changed (not great for a medium that relied so heavily on overly dramatic, silent expression). It could also be hazardous—as was in the case of Dolores Costello (Drew Barrymore’s paternal grandmother), whose complexion and career were both damaged beyond repair by early film makeup. In 1914, Max Factor, a wig and cosmetic shop owner in Los Angeles, developed a solution in the form of Flexible Greasepaint. After its invention, he became the most sought-after makeup artist in Hollywood and the leading figure in cosmetic development for the industry.

Factor’s personalized approach to makeup artistry cemented a few specific, studio-endorsed “looks.” For Clara Bow, he drew her sharply peaked cupid’s bow; Joan Crawford’s signature “smeared” lip (extending far beyond her natural line) assuaged the actress’ thin-lipped insecurities and was all thanks to Factor. Industry standards also required actors’ eyes to look deep-set and moody by shadowing them from lash line to socket, and eyebrows were drawn straight, bold, and very, very long (think Louise Brooks).

When orthochromatic film gave way to panchromatic in the 1920s, shiny hair and eyelids captured the glow of incandescent bulbs used on-set to great effect. Factor kept pace, developing specific light-refracting hair dyes to suit this technical shift—even sprinkling gold dust on to Marlene Dietrich’s wigs when asked. He couldn’t rest on his laurels for long though—Technicolor was on the horizon, and with it came a new set of cosmetic challenges.

A final note: In the early ‘30s, still riding the panchromatic “high shine” wave, Factor created a slick lip coat for his famous clients. The formula would go on to become commercially sold as “X-Rated,” the world’s very first lip gloss. Something I think we’re all still kind of into.

—Lauren Maas

Actualidad, Beauty

Makeup & Male-To-Female Transition: A Look At How Beauty And Gender Coincide

Marlyn Alarm is a singer from Miami, Fla., undergoing formal gender transition after living a full year living as a woman. But her struggle with identity is not a new one.

“Today I was asked when I realized I was in the wrong body. As much as it took me a really long time to come to terms with it, I think I have known since I can remember—since I could even think about gender or notice it. I was thinking about when I was in pre-K ,and I would dress up as Cinderella and do girl things. If I decided to wear a dress or roleplay as a princess, my teachers would tell me I couldn’t do it because I was a boy. So when you have everyone in your life telling you that you’re a boy, you kind of start to believe it, even though none of it comes naturally to you.

 It's been a journey in many ways impacted by her experience with and use of makeup along the way.

It’s been a journey in many ways impacted by her experience with and use of makeup along the way.

My transition has been a very gradual, very cerebral process. For a lot of people, it’s very easy to reduce gender to bodies, and that’s terrible. So to answer that question that I was asked today, I realized I was a woman after I was already living as a woman for about a year or so. Before that, I had this platinum blond hair, acrylics, and would dress in skirts, and wear purses—but I still identified as male. I was open-minded enough, growing up, to think that even if my outward appearance was female, I could still be male. If you read enough queer theory, you realize any sort of conjunction is possible. There are boys who want experience life as women but still be boys, and that’s valid.

I never understood why people would think that men couldn’t be as beautiful as women, so for a long time I didn’t have a word for myself. I was like, ‘I’m not a boy but I can’t let myself be a woman.’ So at the time I was like, ‘OK, I’ll be something else.’ It was weird for me, and in some ways, my thinking allowed me to keep putting off how I felt inside by just covering it up with this cerebral explanation.

There is a lot of psychological tension in trying to discuss anything with gender identity.

I used to wear a lot more makeup. I fucking love Boy George, and I would put on that amount of makeup—like Boy George amounts of makeup. My eyeliner would like reach my hairline. I would go really crazy with it. I would try to overcompensate. Now I’m much more toned down, but I feel like all girls have that phase when experimenting with makeup for the first time. Though, if I started off putting on the amount of makeup I wear now, I knew I would just look like who I really am, and I think I was just not ready for that.

I was 14 years old when I got my first taste of makeup. I was in a band as the lead singer and we were playing one of our first shows. At that point all I could get away with was straightening my hair maybe once a month. So yeah, I was at my first show, and I remember finding a Revlon retractable black eyeliner in the bathroom. I put it on my waterline, not even thinking about the fact that I could get an eye infection as I picked it up off the floor—it was disgusting. I guess the cool thing about being in a band is that there is so much more freedom. There’s the classic ‘Dude (Looks Like A Lady)‘-feel. I felt like I could wear the eyeliner, and no one would care because I was at a rock show. Then I wore it again to a crowd that was more of a hardcore scene, and it wasn’t a cool experience. They were screaming at me to get off the stage and calling me the F word. I was just like, ‘Wow, OK.’ I was 15 at that point. It was a terrible wake up call to me, all because I was wearing eyeliner—it’s not that big of a deal, and yet, people are already policing me for not performing this gender that I’m pretending to be. Obviously I was doing a shitty job at performing male. Sometimes I tell people that I really feel like I was in drag for over a decade, in the sense of performing male gender roles. I’d end the night and make sure to wipe off my eyeliner before I got home.

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I had really bad acne in high school, so I’d get away with wearing coverall and that’s it. Still, my mother would look at me from her bed—I did, and still do, my makeup in her room because it has the best lighting—and be like, ‘What are you doing?’ I used to tell my mom like, ‘Don’t worry! I’ll never wear mascara!’ But it all happens…100 YouTube tutorials later you emerge in full face [Laughs].

I always admired makeup. I’d watch my grandma doing her makeup, and she’d always be put together. She would tell me that photos are forever, you can’t take it lightly, and you have to perfect it. Little things like that really stuck with me. Without my mother’s permission, I dyed my hair platinum blonde as a teenager. Having white hair changes your life, regardless of gender identity. It is a really crazy experience. You learn about so many different sides of people and how they perceive you—it’s crazy. It was motivation, I guess, and it was the first instance of feeling like I can’t hide myself.

I was really obsessed with Final Fantasy at the time, especially the Final Fantasy villains. If you really look at a Final Fantasy villain and analyze it, it’s a female head on a male body. I felt connected to the possibility of being really pretty, even if my body didn’t match up—there was a chance for the head portion to be on-point and consistent with how I view myself. After that, I started really diving into makeup as identity. Beauty can be a big deal for all girls, but beauty for a trans girl could be life-or-death. There’s moments when you could be placed in danger for not passing as a woman convincingly enough. One time I was walking with my friend and a guy was trying to holler at me, then he took out a knife. Makeup is much more serious to trans women. Even cis girls can relate—they get attacked and bullied in schools, growing up, because they’re not pretty enough.

I really feel bad for a lot of trans people and trans women who don’t have the experience [with makeup] before they come into themselves and have to learn to do their makeup in no time. They’re 35, they have kids, and they need to transition then—that’s the bravest thing ever. That’s not to say that I think people transitioning later in life necessarily need to wear makeup to be who they are. I just identified with it. The way I did it was just like how every girl picks up makeup skills—where your mom is like, ‘You can only put on lipgloss.’ You need time to practice, so it looks good. I used to just have these Zen three-hour makeup sessions. Of course, during the day I just wear tinted moisturizer, concealer, and maybe mascara. Sometimes I’ll do a wing, but just a little bit on the outer edge. But at night…at night is when I’d really take my time. I’d do my makeup from 7pm to 10pm and go out at midnight.

Actualidad, Beauty

The Crying Lip

Have you ever cried in your car, or wherever, and happen to catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and notice how pretty you look? I know you have.

Your eye color is suddenly translucent, cheeks are flushed, there is soft rosy halo around your lash line, and your lips…your lips deepen as blood rushes through them and creates a beautiful, tragic look. This lip happens to work well for day or evening and doesn’t require you to cry! This method allows you to wear any lip color in a very natural and believable way.

The secret to this look is creating a soft halo around your lip line. Start by taking your favorite lipstick, stain, or chubby lip pencil and saturating the color just on the center of your lips. Then, take your finger and blend the color over your lips as if you are rubbing

I can’t wait for you to try the crying lip. It’s so beautiful, it will bring you to tears.

Once the color starts dissolving into your lips, drag your finger right on top of your lip line, bleeding the color into your lip—especially over your cupid’s bow. It’s like finger painting on a sensual canvas, leading to the perfect stain that will last for hours.

This technique will also allow you to use those beautiful pops of color you’re always eyeing but never dare to buy, since the method will only capture the color’s essence. My favorite three colors to use for the tragic lip are a coral red, a classic mauve, and a deep wine. The first color I used in the pictures is YSL’s Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain in 8 Orange De Chine (which also made an appearance in this week’s lip stain roundup!)—the perfect orange-coral stain, but you must work quickly with blending as it sets quick. The second look is the rosy-mauve Clé de Peau Beauté Extra Rich Lipstick in 106. This creamy formula feels so heavenly on the lips and imparts the perfect “you-could-never-go-wrong” color, giving you a super-natural, yet flattering look. The third color is the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu. Swipe this vampy color dead-center on lips and give it a good rub down to transform your mouth into a deadly weapon that kills silently.

The Selfie is a weekend makeup look, courtesy of Stacey Nishimoto and her iPhone. For more of Stacey's tutorials, click here.

The Selfie is a weekend makeup look, courtesy of Stacey Nishimoto and her iPhone. For more of Stacey’s tutorials, click here.

 

Actualidad, Beauty

Wet-To-Dry Eye Shadow: A Guide

Wet-to-dry eye shadows need not be complicated. While it might sound like yet another technique one must master in order to navigate a makeup counter, perhaps it’s better to think of it as a two-for-one deal.

Wear it dry, and you’ve got your standard dusting of color—classic and predictable (in a good way). But wet! Wearing it wet opens a whole new world of opportunity. “What you’re doing is bringing out the pigmented nature of the shadow,” makeup artist Vincent Oquendo says. “Whenever I wet an eye shadow, it’s when I really want it to pop—but it really has to be a special kind of product to be able to blend after it sets. Because a lot of the times when it sets, you get streaking.” Nobody wants that. In order to avoid any wet shadow mishaps, follow these guidelines:

Product

It's like insurance, Vincent says. "You're doubling your wearability."

It’s like insurance, Vincent says. “You’re doubling your wearability.”

First, go with the obvious: any eye shadow labeled wet-to-dry. The Nars Dual-Intensity line is the standout—the singles come in 12 different shimmery shades, and there’s a corresponding brush (then there’s the newly released Dual Intensity Blush line, which was all over Fashion Week—but that’s a product for another post). Burberry also makes a few very versatile shades specifically for this in their Wet & Dry Silk Shadows. And the technique-specific eye shadow category isn’t just a ploy to get you to buy more product. “You can’t just use any eye shadow for this,” Vincent says. “Certain ones will harden up on top and become unusable because they’re not made for this.”

Baked shadows are also fair game—we’re fans of Laura Mercier’s Baked Eye Colour Wet/Dry and Lorac’s Starry-Eyed Baked Eye Shadow Trio in particular.

For more advanced players, Vincent suggests moving on to straight pigment (MAC or even OCC’s Pure Cosmetic Pigments). With the added moisture, they’ll become easier to layer with other products. For a look with more depth, try using a cream shadow as a based before swiping with a wet powder shadow. “It’s like insurance,” Vincent says. “You’re doubling your wearability.

Brush
This all depends on exactly what you want to do. “Mind the resistance,” Vincent says, particularly if you’re looking for uniform color across the lid. “I tend to recommend a blender brush, which is the brush that looks like a feather duster. If you do it with a stiff brush, you’re defeating yourself before you even start. The joy of a wet-to-dry is you have to get it right amount of product loaded up, and then it blends itself. If the brush is too stiff, it will leave the shadow streaky and then much harder to control.”

However, if tightlining or waterlining is in the cards, a much thinner brush is required accordingly.

Liquid
Do not, repeat, do not put eye drops, water, or any other sort of liquid directly on your eye shadow. This’ll screw up your product for later use. “Lately, I’ve been wetting the brush with the Glossier Soothing Face Mist, but Evian Mineral Water Spray is good for sensitive eyes,” Vincent says. If the top of your powder does get a little hardened by wet application, there’s a trick to remove it: Get a clean mascara spoolie and “exfoliate” your compact, Vincent recommends. This won’t crack the compact and will make it ready to go once more.

Photographed by Tom Newton.

Actualidad, Beauty

The Best Drugstore Mascaras

Here’s a fun thing to do: Buy a whole basket full of drugstore mascaras, dump them on a table, and stare at them through a kaleidoscope.

For one, the packaging is crazy—like an explosion at the neon plastic factory, resulting in a bunch of really great, tactile pieces you can’t stop picking up and dropping in your purse. That’s at least half the fun. The other half of the fun? Being able to afford three different tubes for three different lash looks (which, quite frankly, are just as good as what you’ll find at a department store makeup counter) that you can pull out at will. Many applications later, here’s what’s worth your time—”just OK” contenders weeded out—no matter what lash type you’re looking to suit. (But just in case we missed any or some new “technological breakthrough” in mascara came out today, please drop us a line below.)

Best for short lashes: Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Mascara
The marriage of the rubberized bristles on a thicker, football-shaped wand makes it easier to reach all lashes, no matter how flat they might seem. Good for making the most of what you’ve got and also for not irritating eyes if they tend toward sensitivity.

Good for your run-of-the-mill, average lashes: Covergirl Lashblast Clump Crusher
It’s all in the name—the classic, squishy, plastic bristles of the Covergirl Lashblast line in tandem with a slightly curved wand design makes the formula go on effortlessly and, quite truly, sans clumping. The formula is not goopy, rather light but goes on dark and coats your lashes evenly and, because of the aforementioned wand, leaves you with full-looking, feathery lashes.

You’ve got length, but you want curl: Maybelline Volum’ Express The Colossal Washable Mascara
Maybelline could provide answers for each and every category here as their offerings are the most widespread and universally pleasing, but the thick yellow tube has so much going for it, it can’t be willfully ignored. The brush is along the lines of your classic bristle varietal but with a little more heft, and the product distributes in a way best described as feathery.

Sparse lashes looking for company: L’Oréal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara
This brush is the most technological of the bunch (but sans battery-powered, eye-endangering vibrational ability). It’s an architectural work of art—there’s so many bristle types and twists and turns. It’s a fiber mascara, meaning the formula coats your lashes without tubing or looking false. In fact, the little fibers are so tiny, you cant even see them even when they stretch your lashes out farther than you’d expect.

The marriage of the rubberized bristles on a thicker, football-shaped wand makes it easier to reach all lashes, no matter how flat they might seem.

The marriage of the rubberized bristles on a thicker, football-shaped wand makes it easier to reach all lashes, no matter how flat they might seem.

Best for lashes dealing with decision fatigue: NYX Provocateur
This tube is from NYX’s Boudoir Mascara Collection, which as you can imagine is designed in mind to give you bedroom eyes. It gives you two lash options from a single mascara brush. Pull out Level One for gloopier, heavier lashes, or use Level Two, which really just involves pulling that same brush through a tube that cleans a lot of excess product off (saving you the trouble of wiping on the mouth of the tube and making a mess), to help separate lashes. The effect is certainly woodland-animal fantasy lashes that don’t flake off or irritate your eyes. Plus, it only comes in one shade, saving you from making one more decision while standing in the makeup aisle.

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