Blog Posts by Allure Daily Beauty Reporter

  • A Brief Defense of Makeup

    By Kate Sullivan, Allure magazine

    Over on Jezebel, they have a re-post from the blog Rabbit Write, encouraging a No Makeup Week. The concept is not new, and in Allure's October issue, we examine No Makeup Days in our Year in Beauty round-up, including Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb's bare-faced shenanigans on The Today Show in May.

    The experiment is a fine idea in the sense that it would be great if we were all more comfortable in our skin and nothing else. But we don't believe that women out of makeup are more "real" than those in it. In a previous post, we said that no woman should feel like a slave to grooming, that products and treatments are about choice. For most of my post-pubescent life, using makeup has been my choice. I've used it as a means of self-expression (today, I'm wearing Revlon Moon Drops Creme Lipstick in Orange Flip), but also, yes, I have used makeup as a crutch. And I'm not sorry for it. (Read on before judging, please.)

    Related: 7 Bold New Makeup

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  • Hair Ideas: The 6 Best Looks from New York Fashion Week!

    By Heather Muir, Allure magazine

    On days when you're in the mood to do a little something different with your hair, let these looks (hot off the spring 2011 runway!) inspire you. They're sparking a lot of story ideas all over our office...

    Rodarte: The show's '70s-inspired swoop-pinned with a gold, jeweled clip-made the school-girl look sexy all over again. Hairstylist Odile Gilbert sprayed the models' roots with Aveda Air Control Hair Spray before blow-drying, then created a deep side part and pinned the front section back with one of several different Rodarte-designed clips. We're thinking of sporting it in the office or on an afternoon date.

    Related: 7 Bold New Makeup Colors That Flatter Everyone

    Anna Sui: Ok, so you might look a little odd walking down the street with a floral crown on your head. But we still love the romantic vibe of this loosely waved look, above, created by hairstylist Garren. For everyday, skip the halo of flowers (or sub in a simple floral headband

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  • Hey, Lauryn Hill! Here Are Quick Manicure Tips

    By Alison Caporimo, Allure magazine

    A recent Lauryn Hill concert in Washington, D.C. was a nail biter (and not just because the singer is finally returning to the music scene). Fans waited three hours for the show to start....reportedly because Hill was waiting for her fresh manicure and pedicure to dry. Yikes! We wish we'd been there to save the day with these quickie manicure pointers.

    Related: The Best Way to Do a Dark Manicure
    If you ever find yourself in need of a serious manicure time-saver, cut nails with a clipper to shorten them and then do a quick file to smooth them down. After applying a coat of polish, aim a nozzle-free blow-dryer set on cold about 12 inches from the nails. Make sure not to use warm or hot air (as heat can make nail polish expand and hasten chipping). Also, keep in mind that flaws in dark shades are particularly noticeable. Keep the color light and your nails will look as smooth as if you stepped out of the salon.


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  • Makeup Ideas: The Best Colors for Redheads

    By Elizabeth Angell, Allure magazine

    We noticed a major trend at the MTV Video Music Awards: red hair. Evan Rachel Wood, Hayley Williams, and Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine all went for deep reds, not to mention Rihanna's flame-red. All this makes us think of the naturally ginger haired women out there! Makeup artist Troy Surrat, who has worked with Jennifer Lopez and Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, gave us a few tips on their absolute best makeup shades:

    To balance out the visual impact of red hair, Surrat recommends "classic, full-on, attention-getting red lips." He notes that redheads tend to have fair skin with cool undertones, and that blue-toned shades look best. He recommends Chanel Rouge Coco in Paris or M.A.C. lipstick in Ruby Woo.

    Related: Insiders' Guide: How to Wear Red Lipstick

    Redheads often have fair eyelashes and eyebrows, and it's crucial to define them, says Surrat. The tricky part is finding an auburn or chestnut-colored pencil; Surrat swears by Kevyn Aucoin

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  • Why Sexy Dance Moves Matter

    By Sarah Wexler, Allure magazine

    When you bring a guy you're dating to a wedding, you never know if he'll hit the dance floor like Usher...or do the spastic "Elaine dance" from Seinfeld. Personally, I don't mind bad dancing as long as it's enthusiastic, which is always preferable to a guy who flat-out refuses to take a go-and leaves you to jokingly slow-dance with a lonely bridesmaid.

    Related: 9 Ways to Look Sexy-Instantly

    Well, psychologists at the University of Northumbria (U.K.) actually thought to study the subject and men on the dance floor, and say that a guy's moves, or lack thereof, "may send out more subtle clues about his potential as a mate." They've also determined exactly what makes a guy's moves sexy (a variety of poses that involve tilting and twisting the torso and neck) or not sexy (repetitive motions restricted to just the arms and legs.

    Related: Allure's Guide to Looking Better Naked

    Check out the difference in their 30-second video). However, this doesn't factor

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  • Can a Man Wearing Makeup Be Sexy?

    By Kate Sullivan, Allure magazine

    Recently, a male acquaintance approached us at a party and asked about makeup. For himself.

    He's young, handsome, and while definitely the type of metro-hipster who wears his pants so tight that he's got to slap his thigh to get a quarter out of his pocket-he's also straight. He has no interest in trans-style false eyelashes, but is curious about concealer. Unhelpfully, we immediately launched into a story about how our brother dabbed some concealer under his eyes before his prom back in the late nineties, and did such an awful job at it, that we thought our mother would never stop laughing.

    But this local trend story out of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida shows that man-makeup and swanky skin-care purchases are now spreading beyond major cities. Not that we needed a reminder: A joint survey between Allure and GQ found that the average man uses 11 grooming products a day. American men spent close to $5 billion on products last year (and that's

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  • Backstage Beauty: Bright Lips and Ballerina Buns at the Diane von Furstenberg Spring 2011 Show

    It may have been rainy and gray in the city yesterday, but backstage at Diane von Furstenberg things were bright and cheery. Not only were the models and makeup artists upbeat (we chatted with model Shena about tattoos and got a smile from It-girl Tao Okamoto as she snacked on a wrap)-the makeup itself nearly lit up the room. Inspired by Andy Warhol's 1974 silkscreens of the designer wearing lipsticks in colorful shades (Warhol seems to be a popular inspiration so far this fashion week), makeup artist James Kaliardos gave the models a shocking shade he described as "orchid-fuchsia." "We wanted to do something simple that would reflect Diane's image as well as the clothes from the collection," Kaliardos explained. "It's a great collection. I actually think this may be a turning point in her career, returning to the classic-Diane of years ago." He created the vivid hue and matte texture by lining and filling in the lips with M.A.C. Pro Chromagraphic Pencil in Process Magenta, then

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  • Fashion's Night Out: The Best Beauty Freebies and Events!

    By Heather Muir, Allure magazine

    Tonight, NYC is celebrating Fashion's Night Out and almost every store is hosting special shopping events. Here are the seven beauty hot spots you will definitely want to stop by:

    Where: Sephora, 555 Broadway (SoHo)
    When: As soon as you can get there-people are already lined up!
    What: Gwen Stefani is signing 100 bottles of her newest Harajuku Lovers fragrance. You can also enter to win tickets to the L.A.M.B. runway show!

    Where: Chanel, 139 Spring St. (SoHo)
    When: 6 PM to 11 PM
    What: Be the first to get your hands on Chanel's newest nail polish collection, Les Khakis de Chanel, three limited edition shades ($25 each) created for Fashion's Night Out.

    Related: 7 Bold New Makeup Colors That Flatter Everyone

    Where: M.A.C. Cosmetics, 113 Spring St. (SoHo)
    When: 8 PM
    What: Crack up over the hilarious Sarah Silverman's performance and get a signed copy of her new, The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee.


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  • Are You a Beauty B---- ?

    By Elizabeth Angell, Allure magazine

    Beauty bitchery pops up in the most unexpected places. I recently had a long conversation with a friend about the demise of one of her closest relationships. Her one-time BFF was no longer the loyal, supportive, funny woman she remembered and their relationship was functionally over. I'd been nodding along sympathetically until she said, "She's just a bad friend, and anyway she's always been fat and I never said anything." I was a little shocked-the comment seemed so ad hominem, so bitchy! But when we're angry or hurt, is there nothing more cutting than a harsh physical critique?

    Related: The Real Housewives' Beauty Lessons

    All this came to mind when I read about Real Housewives of New Jersey's Danielle Staub's choice words for castmate Teresa Giudice: "She reminds me of Cornelius from Planet of the Apes. Could you imagine if her face is that hairy what her body hair must be like?" After all the rumors about mob ties and the

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  • Do You Wear Men's Scents?

    By Heather Muir, Allure magazine

    Although I am a certifiable beauty junkie, few products have the privilege of calling my nightstand home. But Chanel's newest men's fragrance, Bleu de Chanel-a mix of grapefruit, peppermint, cedar, and vetiver-now holds a permanent residence there. Is it my boyfriend's? Nope. It's mine. Maybe the warm, watery scent makes me feel comforted, like I'm in a man's arms (sigh)? Who knows-but I'm addicted to it. I spray it on in the morning before work (I use the spritz-and-walk-through method to avoid overdosing, since it's stronger than my typical women's fragrances) and before bed (I actually mist it on my sheets lightly). Chanel claims the new scent is "rugged and intensely masculine" (the opposite of me-I swear).

    Related: Allure's Best of Beauty: Scents

    So why do I love it so much? When women choose a masculine fragrance, says perfumer Frédéric Malle, "it's like wearing your boyfriend's shirt or his Rolex. The paradox is that it makes a woman more

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