Sunday, March 26, 2017

How to Style Your Hair When Wearing a Hat

As part of the “Hats Heard Round the World” Project, today we are getting some advice from experts on how to style your hair when wearing a hat! And as a quick aside, I would like to thank all the brilliant milliners who have sent their gorgeous hats so far…..including Maria Curcic and Trish Hirschkorn of Canada; Hania Bulczyńska of Poland; Denis Gulyaev of Russia; Yael Cohen of Israel; Steven’s Hats of Italy; Chris Van de Velde and Naomi Wuyts of Belgium; Majella Lennon of Ireland; and Ana Pribylova and Wendy Scully of Australia. You’ll be reading more about these gifted artists soon on BSSTW, so stay tuned!

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The big question when wearing a hat is how to style one’s hair. This can make or break your look, but oddly, the solution can be very simple. Remember that the hat is taking center stage, so a low bun or chic chignon, with little or no visible hair showing, is almost always a correct option. However, with the headwear craze in full force, I want to examine some other, more creative alternatives for you today.

When donning a hat, remember that you should always show the line of your face, according to Michigan’s Gena Conti of Gena Conti Millinery. “The hat should enhance you, blend with you, become an extension of you,” she says, “as a flattering hairstyle does.”

Just look at this striking hat custom designed by Gena for her favorite client and muse, co-owner of Hair Lab Detroit, Lauren Moser, below, pictured here with her fiancé Rodrick Samuels.


First of all, this is simply an exquisite hat. Furthermore, the structure of the face is clearly visible, enhancing Lauren’s killer cheekbones, and although Lauren is an award-winning hairstylist herself, and can enviably do most anything with the hair that you can imagine, she has opted with her coif for a simple updo. Pure elegance. You cannot go wrong. This is utter perfection.

Remember: simplicity is the key to brilliance. And for a low-down on how to create this look with utmost simplicity, we turn to stellar stylist Edward Tricomi of the perpetually-chic Warren Tricomi Salons.

Please note that you do not have to be an accomplished hairstylist like Lauren or Edward to create this effect. “Pull the hair back into a low ponytail with an elastic rubberband. Braid, twist into a bun and pin with discretion” so that your pins are not visible, Edward advises. Be sure to check the back of your coif in the mirror by holding a hand mirror to head level, while facing away from your full-length mirror. Use your hands to feel that there are no stray bobby pins. Smooth strands gently with a bit of hairspray misted onto your palm. Spraying directly onto the bun may result in an unattractive, lacquered effect.

The Short End of It

If you have short hair, a bun or chignon is not always possible. In these cases, sleek and simple always works. Remember, the hat is the focus. Neatly slick the hair back off the face for a tidy couture look.

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For a medium bob, pull hair back behind the ears if it’s attractive on you, in order to see the line of your jaw and your face, Gena recommends. A short Sassoon cut, like the one below, naturally enhances the bone structure and works fab with a hat, but the bangs can seem problematic until you play with them.

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Sometimes the client loves her bangs and must show them,” Gena states. In this case the hat should be either perched a bit back on the head as seen above, or pulled down low allowing the fringe to circle the face, she says. You can also wear the bangs sideswept, as seen below.

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It’s a Long Story

If you want to wear your hair loose and long, it all depends on the texture and your desired outcome. Curls and waves are more feminine and romantic; straight hair equals severe drama or it can look perfectly casual, and there’s even room for frizz, if done correctly. Let’s take a look.

Curly Cues

Curls or waves can add a distinctly coquettish slant to millinery, especially a summer sundress worn with a floppy semi-translucent hat or a feminine, oversized, floral-embellished straw creation on Easter, for example.

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Above however, the model is sporting soft curls with a masculine fedora, which is a great dichotomy and really works in this case. Very stylish. I love this classic look. It’s sexy as hell. Upon closer inspection it is clear that the model’s hair has been set for these rounded, barrel-style waves.

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The curls above appear to be natural. Millinery, in my opinion, looks better with a light setting. Natural curls often benefit from heat curling, if you have the time and inclination. It might seem odd, redundant and counter-intuitive to curl curly hair, but the outcome is often quite glorious and worth the bother. Your curl pattern and bounce are going to look different than freshly-washed natural curls. They’ll be more polished than a natural curl, which can appear sometimes straggly or fuzzy when topped with a hat, something you might not notice when you’re wearing more casual attire. A hat is usually going to elevate an outfit into a more couture moment. At that point, you will abruptly see that casual curls–aka your normal “street hair”–no longer seems quite appropriate, unless you are wearing a knit cap, baseball hat, or other similarly sporty creation.

Making Waves

Use a bit of heat to set the curl, then let the standing curls cool, after which you gently brush them out section by section with a boar bristle Mason Pearson for incredible shine and a polished look. And always remember, the smaller the set, the tighter the curl obviously.

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Setting the hair in standing pincurls with a setting lotion or lightweight gel mixed with water, spritzed onto the hair for hold, will create picture-perfect waves that look slightly more sophisticated than an untamed mane of feral curls.

Frizz Factor

Sometimes feral works for you, but I must admit this is a hit-or-miss, Grace Coddington-kind of moment that often looks better in a fashion editorial than it does in real life.

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If you’re going to put the forté on the frizz, be sure you style your ensemble appropriately and adjust your makeup so that it looks deliberate, and not like you ran out of product and got caught in a windstorm on the way to the party. It can be tricky to pull off this look, even with a mane like Nicole Kidman’s, below.

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Let’s Get Things Perfectly Straight

When opting for long and straight, it’s important that the hair is perfectly smooth and sleek, not flyaway or straggly or uneven at the ends.

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If your ends are not blunt enough with a sufficient weightline, ie.–if they tend to look a little bit ‘see-through,’ this can be an unattractive menace and you might want to compensate with a synthetic ponytail or 3/4 wig beneath the hat for extra weight and volume, which can result in a truly spectacular, perfect look. There’s plenty of fake hair out there to go around so consult your local wig shop.

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The Power of The Pony

Personally, I adore a chic, low pony, wrapped in its own hair, as seen below with this uber-cool seamless sculpted cap by milliner Yael Cohen. You’ll be seeing more from Yael in our “Hats Heard Round the World” Project by the way, so stay tuned for more about her.


I happen to have this very cap, a cherished gift sent to me from Yael, owner and chief designer at Justine Hats in Tel Aviv, Israel. I wear this constantly–very similar to the model above–with a low pony.

A high, more perky ponytail is also another style to consider but only if the hat rides high on the back of the head. So be sure to experiment, consult your milliner if necessary and ask his or her opinion. Research great-looking shots of chic headwear in the magazines and online. Examine the hairstyles selected for the looks and practice them on yourself. You may even want to take a few selfies to perfect your look when wearing a complicated piece, in particular if you are going to be photographed or it’s a special occasion. In fact, I highly recommend this process, for realistic self-evaluation.

It’s a No-Show

Sometimes the best solution to a hair issue is to ignore it completely. Yes, slick it back or pile it up under the hat for a “No-Show.” You can almost never go wrong.

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Note these examples, where no news is good news, and the hair quietly takes second seat to the hat that adorns it.

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Above, the hair is tucked into the belly of the hat for a dramatic effect. And below, sleek and smooth, the hair again is practically a non-entity with this spotted topper.

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Pass the Accessories, Please…

Finally, you may want to combine accessories when wearing a hat. Use discretion. Below, all the hair is a “No-Show” concealed beneath a stylish scarf worn under that hat.

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And a rakish top hat takes on a dramatic yet feminine appearance when the model’s hair is slicked back and packed inside a snood at Dior. So timeless, so femme fatale!

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No matter your hair length or texture, there’s always a chic solution for every hat you may encounter, and now you know the industry secrets on how to style your hair when wearing a hat. Hats off to you!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Sequoia Emmanuelle Photography: Have Art, Will Travel

the dapifer

Hi guys! If you’re in my hood this week, meaning the San Francisco Bay Area, there’s an incredible treat waiting here for you! Sequoia Emmanuelle is in the house! Specifically, she’ll be at Beats Antique’s ShadowBox storefront Tuesday in Berkeley–her first appearance here in two years.

It’s a celebration of her newest, color-drenched masterpieces, and as a special gift she will also be available for book signing of her long-awaited, highly-anticipated tome titled “Duende,” a visually-juicy anthology of her illustrious career in fashion photography.

Sequoia began her career in the year 2000, after studying photography at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and has since lived in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, where she’s currently based. She unites her talents in fashion, set design, painting and graphic design in her beautifully bizarre portraits steeped in surrealism.

Inspired by and having worked with many of the unique talents of the West coast underground music, fashion, art and dance scene, her avant-garde captures have surfaced as album art and have been published in many a magazine, such as Italian Vogue, Dark Beauty, Giuseppina Magazine, and The Dapifer, pictured top.

If you have the loot, you can even book a shoot with Sequoia while she’s in town for a limited time, as spaces are filling up rapidly. Now take a look at some of my favorite works by Sequoia Emmanuelle.

oriental headdress

Ashley Joy Beck, above, looks divine in deVour Magazine, resplendent in nothing more than a massive Asian headdress by Bubbles and Frown Haberdashery Shoppe.

bea 1

The portraits above and below, of the visionary Hollywood stylist and costume designer Bea Akerlund, are hauntingly beautiful.

bea 2

The dynamic pairing of Sequoia and Bea yields some pretty impressive captures, darkly-themed and deliciously noir, during Bea’s film shoot “In the Closet” for Fuse TV.


I love the shot above, where Sequoia uses dramatic color and striking composition for maximum effect. It’s interesting, the way she integrates a playful sensuality into downright dangerous themes. Just look at that capture!

desert dune portrait

A myriad of sepia stone sets the backdrop for the shot above, Sequoia’s stark study in exoticism, with a raven-haired beauty wearing dramatic facial jewelry.


This photo takes glitter to a whole new level of glamour, with makeup by Debra Macki. Alive with brilliant color and texture, it’s simply flawless!

red velvet boots

Facial jewelry has never been so right. It’s amazing how Sequoia can make the bizarre look beautiful.

floral headpiece

Even a simple floral headdress looks sultry on this model. It’s innocence-with-an-edge.


The impeccable beauty, music artist Ivy Levan, looks authoritative and powerful sitting regally in a grand metallic chair in front of the lens of Sequoia Emmanuelle. So much mood in one defiant capture. I love the drama!

gem encrusted face 2

This model looks oddly vulnerable in Sequoia’s ‘Wildchild’ series. Glamorously punctuated with sparkling gems and dotted with body makeup, she is a fantastical vision. There’s something about the contrast in this piece that makes it rivetingly unique, and I love the playful lighting.

orange opulence

Overt in opulent orange, this shot speaks of decadent alienation.

kat von d beauty

Sequoia’s piece for Kat Von D Beauty is awash in beautiful blues, featuring a deep indigo lip on the feline-faced Ivy Levan.

blue velvet

‘Blue Velvet,’ above, is another spectacular vision in cyan. Loving the avant-garde hand jewelry and the dramatic turquoise topper! Moody lighting and slivers of shine make this photo more than memorable.

gold glitter freckles

I just love the risks Sequoia takes in her styling. As if vivid slashes of teal eyeshadow and a poppy-red mouth are not enough drama, Sequoia sees to it that the model above is adorned flirtatiously with a constellation of gilded freckles.

This is a show not to be missed! Hope I see you Tuesday…Ciao for now, from your favorite fashionista!

Peace. Love. Beauty.


Friday, July 29, 2016

Strobing: How & Where to Add Shimmer & The Best Products For It

lede shot for strobing

While there’s no substitute for flawless skin, there is an elusive element nowadays that you will see on the most beautiful faces in print and film–a modern characteristic which every woman covets, but few know how to master–and that is: The Glow.

Strobing, as it’s known in the biz, is all the rage these days, and it’s the technique for creating that enviable look of perfect, vibrant healthy skin. There are a billion products out there to get that luminous glow and just about as many theories on how to do it. Here’s a little guide to strobing, with advice from one makeup artist pro who is definitely in-the-know about going-for-the-glow! Welcome my dear friend from Down Under, Australia’s very own Susan Markovic, pictured below.


No one could be more demanding than a bride on her big day, and Susan is a gifted makeup artist and educator who specializes in bridal hair and makeup.

As owner of Makeup Mode Masterclass, an incredibly successful and respected makeup artistry school in Sydney, Susan expertly caters to this most discerning population while teaching other artists how to make women look their most beautiful.

Here, Susan gives us the low-down on laying the glow down! Pay attention!

“Bronzers, highlighters, illuminators–these are the products that give the face its glow,” Susan said. “When applying this to the face, think of all the areas that protrude forward and there you have the placement of highlighters. This product is multi-dimensional, enhancing bone structure and brightening the face.”

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Location, Location, Location

As in real estate, location is everything when you’re going for the glow. Examining the model’s face above, you can clearly identify the areas that benefit from strobing: just under the browbone, the inner corners of the eyes, on top of the cheekbone (without going into the under-eye area where concealer is applied), the top center of the lip, known as the Cupid’s bow, the chin, and down the center of the face, especially the bridge of the nose.

Real Glow-Getters: Products & Tools

Highlighting products come in liquid, cream and powder consistencies. Here are some stellar strobing products and glow-enhancing goodies for adding luminosity.

Liquids & Creams & Powders & Other Things

Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal Rebel is a mainstay in Susan’s kit, along with MAC Lustre Drops in Sun Rush and Pink.

Liquids can have a moist finish, leaving a wet or dewy look on the skin, or they can be water-based and, once applied, dry to a powdery but shimmering finish. They are very practical for a wedding or an event requiring long wear. “Liquids provide the lightest of applications and have a sheer veil effect,” Susan stated.

I adore SeneGence’s Pearlizer, which I have written about before. Check out my full review on this awesome product, which is made by a truly innovative company. It’s a liquid highlighter that’s perfect for brides, affordably-priced…and it’s also great for your skin!

Makeup artist Pat McGrath’s Skin Fetish 003, by Pat McGrath Labs, is now sold-out nationwide at Sephora, and I must say that this little collection is a full-on game-changer, and truly amazing for creating luminosity, dewiness and radiance. It came in two tones–Nude, or my favorite, Gold–and was worth every cent! The brush is brilliant, and the double-ended stick, with highlighting cream on one side and a dew-inducing balm on the other, is nothing short of genius.


Kevyn Aucoin’s eyeshadow single in Whisper is a gorgeous fleshy nude frost that can create the most wonderful shimmery glow, and I also love Giella’s Eye M Glam, which now comes in four colors and is custom-blended by Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist, the brilliant Mario Dedivanovic.

kim k

Originally, Eye M Glam was the only color of the Eye M Glam highlighter squad. It’s the deep, peachy-bronze copper that you see gilding Kim Kardashian’s exquisite face and ideal for darker complexions. But now, Dedivanovic has created Rose Glam, a soft, warm, incandescent pink; M Glam, a golden shade; and Strobe, a bright shimmery white. Try ‘layering’ your strobe with Giella’s Eye M Glam pigments. That is, sweep the cheekbone in a crescent-like shape with your base highlighter–either Eye M Glam for dark skin, Rose Glam for lighter complexions, or M Glam for Asian beauties and those with yellow undertones. Then dot the highest pinnacle of the cheek with just a speck of Strobe, the white shimmer, on each side of the face. You can use Strobe to illuminate the innermost corners of the eyes and the peaks of the brow bones, too…just a hint beneath your eyebrows, ever-so-sparingly, to create a multi-dimensional sparkle.

A delicate fan brush works for the cheeks, but you can never go wrong by simply using your hands. The greatest makeup artists count their own fingers as their top tools. Be prepared to blend, evaluate, and blend again. Remember, this is artistry. Your face is the canvas and you are the painter. It may take time at first, but soon you will understand your own face, your products, and how they work.

Oh, Guerlain!

Guerlain has a brilliant lip pencil called ‘Cupidon’ which is the most effective way to highlight the Cupid’s bow, without a doubt. This lipliner goes distinctly outside the lipline, and the color is the most beautiful pearly-pink you’ve ever seen.

guerlain cupidon

Because it comes in a slim pencil, you get the benefit of ultimate control in placement and can draw the highlight precisely where you want it. This pencil is a favorite of Pamela Anderson and her makeup team. Just a flick of Cupidon flirting along your lipline will look so very lovely. Thanks, Guerlain!

Keeping it Consistent

Remember to keep your consistencies consistent when adding shimmer or highlight. That is, liquids and creams go over other liquids and creams. Once you powder down, you should only top with powders thereafter or you might end up with a clumpy, caked-on mess.

A Word (Or Two) of Caution

Although strobing works well with many skins types, one time to definitely avoid it is with problematic skin, according to Susan. Remember, highlights draw attention to an area, so if you have large pores or breakouts, avoid highlighting that area. Ditto for wrinkles or crow’s feet.

Discretion: Foiled Again!

The key to effective highlighting is to only highlight a few areas. Use discretion and care in placement.

Susan cautions against over-highlighting the ball of the nose because sometimes it turns downward. “This creates the illusion of a broader nose and gives the impression that the client has a runny nose,” she stated.

And don’t overuse the product or you may end up looking oily, sweaty, or like you fell in a tub of shimmer, especially in photographs.

In fact, if you are going to an event where you will be photographed, make sure that you take some pictures of yourself in similar lighting well in advance, and with the type of makeup that you will be wearing, so that you are prepared to make adjustments. We don’t always photograph the way we look in-person, and there’s nothing worse than getting all dolled-up, only to see the horrifying aftermath of yourself with an unflattering reflective glare all over your face because you were unaware of the lighting and how your products ‘read’ on film.

Now you are set to strobe with the greatest of glow. On your marks, get set…..Glow!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Beauty Binge: A Sweet Surrender to Sisley

Many people know me as a fashion analyst, but are not aware that I also have my aesthetician’s license, after completing intense study here in California. This knowledge broadens my capabilities as a writer–on many levels–and the experience, knowledge and training that I have accumulated enables me to very accurately and poignantly disclose to you my best in beauty products and cosmetics.

It goes without saying that I have a complicated, and sometimes dangerous affair with makeup. Nowadays, I get so much free product that I nearly never have to buy a single stitch of it myself…..until I pass the Sisley Paris cosmetics counter. Few things can make my heart race as fast as when approaching that counter, which for me is nestled inside the bright Saks Fifth Avenue in San Francisco’s Union Square. And my lovely long-term liaison with Sisley artist Richard Winser is a relationship that I have treasured for around 20 years now.

Me and richard at sisley

Above, Richard applies a new Sisley pencil to my eyes. I will tell you all about this great product, but first I just want to say that every change of season I pop in to say hi to Richard and see what Sisley is up to. I have Richard assess my face and we discuss any concerns that I may have with regard to skin condition or anything like that. But most importantly, I love it when Richard quickly applies a little makeup on top of what I’m already wearing, to give me a few ideas about the newest emerging trends and how my face has changed, or, remarkably, not. Time is a luxury for me, and Richard understand this. He is so deft with the powder brush that he can do his thing stat-quick, while making me feel special and pretty, and also giving me some ideas about application and fresh colors. Richard makes staying current a snap. I don’t know what I’d do without him. I think that everyone should have a Richard. So, the moral of the story is: Try to develop your own local relationship with a ‘Richard’ because it really is so invaluable! It’s great to have a skilled set of objective eyes that you can trust when evaluating your appearance.

And now I’m really happy to report to you on a few of my new Sisley finds during last weekend’s beauty binge. You will love them.

First up is this great chunky pencil for eyes. It’s the Phyto-Eye Twist, $50, a giant waterproof crayon that glides on silky smooth and deposits a nice opaque line, thick or thin, you choose. Buff it, smudge it, or leave the line crisp. I love this pencil, especially in colors Havana, a sparkling burgundy great for dark eyes, below….

Phyto pencil

….or Lagoon, below, a tantalizing turquoise, which is great used as your spring 2015 statement eyeliner.


Richard shaded my upper lash line and the crease of my eye, creating a V-shape on the lid, with this jumbo stick, in the photo. It adds depth for a sultry yet simple summer eye. I loved the result. These pencils are great—I want to collect them all—and the performance is stellar, truly impressive and waterproof. It’s almost all you need in a single pencil! The coverage is buildable, so you can easily give more depth to a tone, more opacity, with every swipe. The color twists up, so you need not sharpen. Just throw it in your beach bag or purse, and you’re set for a weekend away, no messy eyeshadow required. And did I mention that the brilliant people over at Sisley have incorporated yummy skin-care ingredients into this über stick?!?! They think of everything! I love their ‘treatment cosmetics,’ which nurture your skin while acting as a smart cosmetic! This powerhouse of a pencil is packed with Green Tea, White Lily and Camellia, all of which are potent anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants that are going to treat your skin–actually protecting and repairing–while you’re making up. Brilliant.

White eyeliner

Next up, for the white eyeliner trend that’s got me and countless other beauty aficionados all crazy this summer, you must, must, MUST try Sisley’s Phyto-Khol Perfect liner in Snow, $57. Wow. And it is so perfect! Perfectly firm, yet soft, so it buffs a pearly white pigment onto the lid, or the waterline, with an effortlessness that is both comfortable and welcome. No tugging, no tearing. And the luminous white is very flattering. I adore this pencil, and I love the way Richard applied it. Use the liner on the top lid only, and create a subtle cat eye with the white kohl. This will lift the corners and create an innocent yet sexy, provocative doe-eyed look! This is the ideal pearly white crayon liner for the white eyeliner trend. (Remember to further invest in a white liquid for a different and more haute look. See my story all about white eyeliner, featuring our favorite reader, the gorgeous model Cara Delevingne, here!)


Last up, you are going to need mascara, and Sisley’s is the best…..Specifically, their So Intense Mascara, $67, and this time you have to get it in black. I love Deep Blue, which is a rich, complex indigo that flatters all eye shades, from brown to cool-toned and kaleidoscope eyes. But with a white lid or line, you want to wear black mascara. It makes the contrast pop.


The brush in this mascara is bomb–perfect for alternately building and separating…..But the formula is also pretty dope, because it’s enriched with peptides and rice phyto-ceramides that are going to give you more beautiful lashes as a result of using it! Gotta love that! Thanks, Sisley….I adore you! xxx

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Hippest of Hands: All About the White Manicure

Gold tipped white mani

Backstage at New York Fashion Week for Spring 2015, an interesting trend emerged: The White Manicure. Clean and neat and decidedly different than darks, white nail polish is making a comeback and looks great on any skin tone, nail length, and nail shape.

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I personally love the look of opaque white nail polish tidily swept, simply, onto long, almond-shaped nails, above, as well as on the more dramatic stiletto manicure, sans any additional embellishment. Know that you can wear this look and remain perfectly on-trend. It’s clean and modern and luxe. However, here are some adaptations of the Great White, straight from the runways of New York Fashion Week……

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Above, the model compliments her white eyeliner with a matching mani, although the slight derivation here on the nail here is merely a darker tip. You are going to be seeing this look a lot–the white eyeliner and matching mani will infiltrate fashion with powerful and enduring force.

White lines manicure

If you have the patience for nail art–and I don’t–then here are some additional adaptations to play with. This sparse white mani is a fresh take on the natural nail and on white polish. Beautiful.

Silver french mani

A silver French mani takes white to new height! Holly Falcone created it for the Alon Livne show.

White linen mani

With a look that is reminiscent of linen, this textured white mani was created by Rita Remark for Essie at Wes Gordon’s collection.

White mani with vertical lines

A single natural stripe down the center of the nail is left unpainted at Nonoo.

White stripes mani

Prabal Gurung implemented a similar tactic.

Single stripe mani

At Kate Spade New York, models wore a blunt white mani with a single black strip.

Blue and white stripes

Capitalizing on fashion’s new blue trend, this blue and white mani was designed by Ann Yee and created by Inni for Ann Yee.

Graphic black and white mani

I love the uniqueness of this mani for Kye’s spring 2015 collection. Bold, graphic, avant garde.

Great White Sightings…..

Aubrey plaza

Aubrey Plaza wears a similarly graphic black and white mani on the cover of Nylon magazine…..a publication which clearly is a fan of the white mani!

Alexa chung

Here, Alexa Chung models it with black graph lines…..

Leighton meester

And Leighton Meester does the white mani straight up…..

Rihanna for elle in white mani

… does Rihanna, looking haute for Elle…..

Tyra banks

…..and Tyra, seeming as equally as urban.

J lo

J. Lo wears her stiletto nails white as snow, no doubt to match her pure white Cavalli couture.

Kylie jenner

Kylie Jenner likes them long, long, long…..

Short white mani on cara

…..but Cara Delevingne keeps it short and sweet…..

Kim k

…..just like Kim.

Hands and feet

White nails look appropriate on executive women, above, and are spot-on for all-white fashions. They also work with couture, below…..

Couture white nail polish

…..avant garde styling…..

White mani with iridescent eyeshadow

… well as Boho chic! Could one nail varnish be any more versatile?

White polish and crochet dress

Oh, and don’t forget your toes. Wear a white pedi on the beach with foot jewelry.

With foot jewelry

Nonoo made matchy with fingers and toes at their spring 2015 show, below. See how great white polish looks with a tan??? Fresh and current.

White pedi at nonoo spring 2015

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And finally, as a quick aside, if you’re like me, and the thought of nail art is either just a little too cheesy, or simply mind-numbingly tiresome–or both!–check out the fingernail armor by my friend and jeweler, Marianna Harutunian, as shown here on a white mani on Scandinavian star Laleh in her video “Colors,” styled and directed by Bea Åkerlund. Hot! Just a tad more sophisticated than nail art, don’t you think?

For the hippest of hands (and feet!), buy a bottle of white and let your imagination run wild…..It looks great on everyone, and in any which way you choose. Worn with the new white eyeliner trend, the look is quite striking indeed.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Where It’s At: White Lines

Cara it s shan talking to you through the computer


There were many gorgeous themes going on regarding backstage beauty at Fashion Week, but the one that prevailed for me was bold statement eyeliner. I love the look, and I’ll be showing you my favorite picks from the shows later this week. Modern makeup artists are challenging black eyeliner and producing atypical and stunning results. At Saint Laurent, it was as bold as it gets….ditto for Cusnie et Ochs, and at Prada, too. But my favorite favorite *favorite* most fashionable makeup trend is one you won’t see on the pages of any magazine…..yet. And that’s because no one is doing it…..yet.

It is: White Eyeliner. I’m experimenting with all kinds of white eye makeup, in fact: white liners, powders, even white mascara. And I just love what white eyeliner does to the eyes and to the face, and come spring, it’s all you’ll see me sporting with a bright lip and a face full of freckles! There’s something about it that is so fresh, and it makes your eyes look huge and wide awake, even if you’re at the end of a four-day bender. With a white manicure? Are you kidding me? You’re stylin’!


Cara can u see the secret message


I love white eyeliner on model Cara Delevingne, pictured above and top. It gives her an uncharacteristic innocence and an ethereal other-worldliness, while making her lashes look positively epic! ((Cara, incidentally, is a fan of Beauty Shall Save the World and she tells me she thinks this blog is “cool.” Ditto, Cara. We think you’re pretty cool, too.  😉 ))


But back to the white liners. Prestige or NYX or Rimmel London make great white eyeliner pencils which can be found at the drug store on-the-cheap, and since they don’t break the bank, you can also afford to pick up Stila’s wonderful white in a liquid, which is truly opaque and smudge-free. (Don’t you just love the way I can rationalize a purchase, btw?!?) Seriously though, it’s a good idea to have at least one of each, a pencil and a liquid, in your kit for the white eyeliner trend that hasn’t happened yet….but is sure to come. You might want to also buy a sparkly white powder if you don’t already have one. I love the custom blended powders by Giella. They’re blended by makeup artist extraordinaire, Mario Dedivanovic! Armed with an arsenal of summer whites, you will be able to cop any one of the many white-eyed looks shown here. I’m obsessed!  

What are you doing right now cara


Makeup artist Pat McGrath used white eyeliner in the March 2015 issue of Teen Vogue to create a custom design on the eye that is perfect for easy summer days. What a dramatic, bold and whimsical statement to reveal as you remove your shades! This look is great for the beach, the poolside, or even a fancier affair, in my opinion, for those who have the moxie. I love the wit and the irreverence of it. If you’ve got the time and the talent, go for it! It’s a young and hip way to wear white lines!


Or should i say WHO are you doing right now


Megan Fox knows what’s up. The tantalizing screen siren uses white lines herself. It may not be as outwardly overt as Pat McGrath’s Teen Vogue example, but if you examine her makeup very very closely… will see……


Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha


…..white lines in her waterline! Yes, to open the eye and really make her blue peepers pop, Megan knows that white eyeliner is the correct choice.


Bet you didn t see that one coming cara


I love the look of the top lid lined in thick white, worn with bare skin and a nude lip. As seen above, it works with a tan, left, and also on paler skins.


But seriously shouldn t you be doing something productive


White lines also read well with a dark-complected gal, and I love the way it rims her entire eye, including the waterline. White lines, when teamed with false lashes and a glossy coral lip equal undeniable glamour!


Ha ha ha look who s talking right


You can make the coveted cat-eye even more dramatic when you surround the black lines with the opposite counterpart—white lines.


Guess we re both just wasting time


Make it mod, as seen above……I adore that 1960s sensation……


I seeeeee you cara


……Or pencil in the inner corners only–follow the ‘V’-shape near the nose–to broaden the gap between your eyes and make them look wider-set and instantly, infinitely more alert! You can dot a bit of white sparkly powder over the V shape to add a bit of glamour and shine, if you choose. Just play with it, and see what happens.



Are you still in Hong Kong cara


I love white lines any which way. Even on a bare lid with just a hint of bright blush and a poppy-red lip……looks so outrageously French! Ooh la la.


Seriously i ve gotta get back to work luv u cara


White lines can look playful, trendy, or drop-dead sexy. Go thick or thin, it doesn’t matter. Smudge it or streak it, it’s up to you. Winged-out or waterlined, it’s all good. Just remember that white lines look great on all complexions and with any lip color. Now slick back that hair, shimmy into a Zeugari kaftan, and settle down for a relaxing day by the pool……Oh, who am I kidding??? Get back to work, Slackers!!!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Haute Couture Hair: Hairstyles for The Rise of the Avant Garde

The Rise of The Avant Garde

Significant changes are brewing in the fashion world as we speak. Since the 2010 suicide death of the influential fashion designer Alexander McQueen, the fashion community has witnessed a landslide of his iconic ideas, tidily sweeping away the banal, and replacing it with brilliance. It’s The Rise of The Avant Garde….and it has yielded endless unique and exquisite ways to adorn yourself, coming from the grave of a visionary. I am especially fond of embellishing ‘from the neck up,’ ie.–the head and the face….whether it be with fabulous Face Lace or exotic facial jewelry, dramatic feathered lashes, or my favorite trend, the headwear craze….

Haute Couture Hair

But today we’re going to talk about hair. Your hairdo is critical and can make or break your look, as evidenced in the photos in this article. Here I will show you my top picks for some fabulous “Haute Couture Hair,” as I call it, and advise you on how to achieve it. Enjoy.


Heart shaped updo


Desperately Seeking Drama

The first thing to aspire to, when trying to achieve memorable, haute couture hair, is…..Drama. High-fashion clothing needs to be matched with an equally epic hairstyle, and you’ll definitely want an exaggerated effect….how much depends on just how much chutzpah you have. Consider your event or the activity that you will be doing, and strategize for the clothing ensemble so the look is cohesive. After all, an updo can look very average…..dowdy and matronly, even….or it can stop people dead in their tracks, like the one above, a fanning, heart-shaped display with a dramatic white streak and thick blunt bangs. I adore this do! It is so unique and awe-inspiring….sexy, yes….a sublime confection that will definitely not go unnoticed!

Drama in your hairdo exists through many factors, including texture; length and volume; cut and proportions; the silhouette; and finally, color. It is important to remain realistic and realize that you will never be able to re-create some of these looks–even if you are a talented hairdresser–without the use of fake hair and other materials, so you might need to familiarize yourself with both a wig shop and an art supply. According to expert stylist Edward Tricomi of the prestigious Warren-Tricomi Salon in New York City, an art supply is a great place to score materials for creative hairstyles. “You can find pastel chalk to color the hair and all kinds of other interesting things, like aluminum wire. You can create updos with that,” he explained.



Giant hair bow

The giant hair bow above is a custom piece made with wire and synthetic hair. If we were to see the model’s head from the back, we would probably notice that her own hair was tucked into the center “bellybutton” of the bow, and this bow is a custom hairpiece created by a talented stylist or perruquier, also known as a wigmaker. So if you are dying to recreate this style, set forth to interview a few experts in the field to find out who is capable of creating a giant hair bow like this one, which would be engineered to easily slide on and off a high ponytail/bun with little gripping combs built into the structure of the hairpiece. It would probably also include a drawstring tie to anchor such weight securely on your head. I would make it a little smaller for the real world, but not by much. Keep it oversized. The size is exaggerated for the fashion editorial, but in real life, you would need to scale it down a bit. I think this look is elegant yet edgy, and that stark contrast makes it memorable—this is a true couture coif. And now let’s examine some other styles and discuss.


The Updo



The beehive above is the result of a sleek blowout in the salon, after which the hair would be ironed straight with a flatiron, then anchored on the very top of the crown of the head in a high centered pony….and finally, it is alternately teased and then smoothed until it reaches new heights as a perfectly conical beehive….it’s created almost like the cotton candy you’d get at a carnival. The model is probably wearing a hairpiece for height and structure. The hairpiece is most likely a faux ponytail that was attached at the crown, and then mixed with her own hair to achieve that super high, narrow shape. The beehive was popular in the 1960s, a decade ripe with sexy hairstyles that require a lot of time and patience, and of course a lot of hairspray!!!

Awesome updo


Here is another updo, a bit more casual than its ancestors. I would imagine that this model is using at least one hairpiece, maybe more, and probably a hair rat or two. You can find hair rats in your specific color on Amazon online. Note the fringy tendrils that were cut to frame the face for this particular look. An experienced stylist would be able to recreate this updo. But you should always book a trial appointment with your stylist to ensure that you will be satisfied with the end product. And for every trial with a hairstylist comes the bill. They are not going to give it to you free. This can really eat up both time and money, but there’s no greater buzzkill than to be entirely prepared for a lovely event or beautiful engagement, just to find out that your hairstylist is a newbie–green cosmetology graduate–or that they simply don’t know what the hell they’re doing, which is often the case. I’m not going to lie to you—finding a talented hairdresser is no easy feat. And when you do find one, you had better treasure that relationship. It was actress Joan Crawford who said, “I think that the most important thing a woman can have–next to talent, of course–is her hairdresser.” Touché, Joan. Touché!

I’m continually shocked by the lack of mastery that lurks in many a salon these days. So please, do your research. The best way to find an amazing hairstylist is by referral—that is, word of mouth….of course, however, you must be listening to the right mouth! So find the savviest fashionista in your circle, or ask a well-heeled woman whose look you admire. You can also do some detective work online and interview your prospective hairstylist prior to the appointment. Ask poignant questions, and it wouldn’t hurt to see a portfolio of their work, if they have one.

It is an empowering feeling to be armed with knowledge, and knowledge is something that no one can strip from you. So challenge yourself and do your homework! It will pay off in the end.


Braided updo

Another useful tip is to check out some books from the library on hair from different eras….For every time in history, there are different looks which reflect the society and its people. I love the hair from the 1960s, it is so sexy and big, and it’s making a comeback.

You can also look at cosmetology industry magazines–hair journals, that is–that focus on all kinds of different styles. Look online by doing a google search, and pick a hairstyle that is completely unique. It might even have step-by-step instructions on how to create the look.  

Cute topknot with white eyeshadow

And remember, even if there are instructions, you should still schedule at least one trial before the “big day,” whatever that may be—the wedding, a fundraiser, a gala, New Year’s, a special night out, or your ex-bf’s funeral.  😉

She Bangs

Black bangs

Another haute couture hair element is severe bangs. Bangs often signify youth and are very flattering on many face shapes, but they are extremely high-maintenance and if you have one ounce of natural curl, you are going to regret making the cut.

Blunt blonde bangs

It really is best to work with Mother Nature, because, my darlings, she will always win. To maintain a perfectly straight, thick curtain of bangs like the ones on Cara Delevingne, above, you must have compliant and naturally straight hair. 


Blunt blonde geisha cut

This is the biggest mistake that I see women making in their beauty routines: don’t fight Mother Nature. Work with what you have, not against it. Besides, there are plenty of sources for clip-in synthetic bangs, or wigs with bangs, that would supply you with the look you are trying to achieve without the growing pains of a regrettable haircut.


When Short is Chic

 Short but chic

The styles are always changing, and one year short hair my be in and the next year, it may be out. If you are hankering to make the cut, there are still many options for shorter haute couture hair. Remember that for your daily do, you want something that works with your natural texture, not against it…..something more low-maintenance. We all have too much to do in this complicated world than to worry about waging a war on our hair every day. Special occasions are different, but if you are not sure what you want, and are feeling undecided, I strongly urge you not to chop off your hair on a whim, because you will regret it. 

Choppy short do

Hair grows at an abysmal rate of a half-inch per month……that’s only six inches in a year! Talk about a long-term commitment. There is nothing more frustrating than those awkward stages of hair growth in between layers or bangs.

Short bob with bangs

The drama in a short cut is usually attributed to its overall silhouette. I love the geometric lines of a Sassoon cut, above, but again, only those with naturally straight, smooth hair need apply. Don’t be fooled by how another woman’s hair may look. You have to work with your characteristics and lifestyle, not hers. So curly girls, this look is not for you. One drop of rain–or five minutes outside in humid air–will cause your curls to kink up and revolt against Vidal Sassoon, who would most certainly roll over in his grave, the poor man.


  Such a Tease

Sexy 1960s hair

Backcombing, or teasing, as it is affectionately called in the industry, is a great way to build volume and create a sexy silhouette like the photos above and below. It’s also a great way to break the hair and destroy the healthy smooth cuticle on your strands. For this reason, I do not recommend teasing your hair every day, or soon you will have very little hair to work with. For an elegant night out, however, I am so fond of these looks.

Braided teased mess

They’re both half-up, half-down hairstyles with a slightly disheveled look that I like to call “Bedroom Hair.” You want it to look like you just took a tumble with someone and almost got caught. A little dirty, yes, but that’s what makes it so drop-dead sexy!!! Live a little!


Orange hair tucked in

The look above is serious haute couture hair…..Notice the way the fashion stylist for this shoot put the model’s hair underneath the garment to peek out. I love this technique because it is very unusual. I’ve actually never seen another woman do it, other than myself. It’s kind of like you’re playing with the clothes and challenging traditional notions of how to dress oneself. I think it’s very creative. You can do this with jewelry in lieu of the fabric—especially if you have a gorgeous large statement necklace. It just looks so cool and unique to tuck the hair beneath the necklace or weave it in between the gems, something like that. Very avant garde. 

Heavily teased beehive

And finally, the French twist above gets its own twist when you backcomb it for a bigger end result. I love the look of a French twist, and many women can do them on themselves, so give it a try and practice teasing the hair before you assemble. Check online for tutorials. They’re all over the internet. 

Elegantly Wasted

 Messy mess

Sometimes, the best solution for a problem is the opposite of what you might have expected. Such is the case with “Elegantly Wasted” hair. The contrast looks so hot, I think. It’s young and hip and modern. Just look at our striking model above. Her messy hair looks great when worn with sooty rockstar eyeliner and a shiny nude lip….pure seduction! 

Giant teased mass

I also like “Elegantly Wasted” updos. They look great with couture.

Blonde mess with roses

Add an Accessory

Integrating hair accessories into your coif is a great way to make your style even more dramatic and memorable. I love the bevy of blooms in the “Elegantly Wasted” updo above. Hair accessories don’t have to cost a fortune, either. Synthetic flowers like the ones above are not costly, and neither are chopsticks, below.

Chop sticks and flower

I highly recommend getting a few hair accessories to jazz things up. Chopsticks look great in a simple topknot or back bun, and a flower behind the ear is always fresh and pretty in the summertime.


Pink ribbon

I also love a little ribbon from the fabric store. This type of trim is cheap, cheap, cheap, but as you can see, it looks so sweet and lovely above.


Hair jewelry

Hair gems and jeweled sticks are two more cool accessories that I love playing with, and as you can see, the sticks look downright elegant in a modern geisha updo.

Working With a Hat or Fascinator


Black lace veil

The headwear craze is surging through fashion right now at a feverish pace, and I could not be any more thrilled. I’ve always loved hats, and the new creations, by so many talented milliners, are so creative, wildly imagined, and artistically executed. Headwear always elevates an ensemble to newer, more avant garde heights, but if you are not sure how to wear your headpiece, here are some tips.


Slicked back with leather hat

When wearing a hat or fascinator, you usually cannot go wrong with a simple bun or elegant chignon at the nape of the neck. Sweep the rest of the hair back for a smooth look, and then put on your headpiece.


Slicked with fascinator

As you can see, the hat or headpiece takes center stage and a bad hair day is nullified.


Floral fascinator

You can also perch your headpiece atop a French twist…



Red mink fascinator

…or wear it rakishly on one side with a high pony!


Christian lacroix 2

I love to see creativity in dressing. It makes the ultimate imago more memorable, so try integrating the hair with the headpiece, as shown above on the catwalk at Christian Lacroix.

Christian lacroix

And remember that you can combine elements for a really beautiful outcome. Wear a long synthetic ponytail with some ribbon or a flower, or both! Hair accessories integrate faux hair with your own hair seamlessly and make the partnership even more believable.

Keeping Track of Trends

Long loose braid

Keeping track of trends insures that your hairstyle will look cool and current and cutting-edge. Fashion is forever changing. And if 2014 was the year of the braid, above, then 2015 is primed to promote the pony!!!


All ponytails

The runways at Fashion Week were positively permeated with the popular pony!!! Above, from left to right, the pony appeared, in different incarnations, at: Monique L’huillier, Herve Leger, Fendi, Carmen Marc Valvo, and Chanel!

The pony popped up at both Dior and Carolina Herrera as well. At Dior it was a sultry rendition by stylist Guido Palau, and at Herrera, Orlando Pita styled the pony low and sleek and wrapped with silver leather!!!

The Power of the Pony


Formal ponytail

I positively adore the look of a ponytail with couture. You’re challenging conventions and redefining elegance. Rules are meant to be broken. Trust me, life is way more interesting that way. So the next time you contemplate your hairstyle for an haute couture moment, consider a high pony like the one above. You can buy the synthetic ponytail at wig shops on the cheap, so they are an attractive option for Haute Couture Hair on a budget. In addition, they are easy-peezy to put in, and instantly transform hair from drab to drama! I like to use my own hair to wrap around the base of the ponytail for a similar effect to what we saw at Dior.




Chic pony

The color or colors of your coif will definitely factor into the final look. Bright colors and unusual colors are widely accepted nowadays, and I must admit, I think I have a crush on cherry red, above. If you can find a synthetic pony like the one above, there’s no need to even damage your own hair in the curious quest for color.

Pink knots

Do you see how the bright colors above work with couture? I think it looks unique and fabulous, but experiment and find your signature style.

Cruella 3

Personallly, I’m slightly obsessed with the notion of opposites, and I’m digging this photo editorial above, sourced by my fashionable friend Lexee of Lexee Couture. The model is a witty nod to Cruella Deville. Love it. I’d like to try this in reverse: my black hair with a single, brilliant white skunk stripe! Talk about drama!!!

If All Else Fails….

Slicked with chopsticks


If you’ve run out of money, time, or options, or if the hairdresser screws it up, simply slick your hair back in a tight bun, puncture it with a pair of chopsticks, and call it a day……a Bad Hair Day. See you around. xxx