Blog Posts by Allure Daily Beauty Reporter

  • Behind the Line: RGB Cosmetics's Gina Carney

    By Sophia Panych, Allure magazine

    Gina Carney, RGB Cosmetics' cooler-than-cool founder and creator, recently stopped by Allure to show us her fall collection. I'm pretty familiar with her line of all-natural polishes, so I took the opportunity to learn more about Carney's story-and how her brand came to be a favorite of manicurists, celebrities, and fashionistas alike.

    So, how did you end up founding RGB?

    I was always mixing and layering colors because I could never find the exact shade I needed, and when I was working as a sales associate at Barney's in Chicago people would constantly compliment me on my nails. All the positive feedback on my color concoctions finally inspired me to create my own line of polishes, so I packed up and headed to Los Angeles in May 2008, and by June of 2009, RGB was launched.

    Why was it important for the line to be green?

    To me, being green isn't a fad, it's part of my lifestyle-so I always felt the line needed to reflect that. I didn't even approach

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  • Allure Exclusive: Blake Lively's Colorist Gives the Scoop on Her Hot New Red Hair

    By Victoria Land, Allure magazine

    The woman with the most coveted hair in the world-Blake Lively-has traded her signature blonde locks for a decidedly racier shade: Red. Lively debuted her new look at the Time 100 Gala in New York City on Tuesday evening, but Rona O'Conner of Lukaro Salon in Beverly Hills tells us she actually colored Blake's hair over three weeks ago and that it was a very well thought out change.

    "We did it for the role she is playing in the movie Hick and we planned it months ago," she says. To arrive at the precise shade, Blake even brought her niece and nephew, who are both red heads, to the salon for O'Conner to see what she wanted. Here, the whole scoop on her fiery new color:

    Why did Blake decide to trade in her coveted beach blonde locks for a bright red shade when she could have simply worn a wig during filming?

    "I love red and creating it and Blake thought a change would be fun. I knew I could layer in the red without damaging her hair and that was key as

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  • Are Tattoos Beautiful?

    By Sarah Wexler, Allure magazine

    There's no shortage of celebrities who have had ill-fated tattoos (Johnny Depp's ink for Winona and Angelina Jolie's for Billy Bob spring to mind). But even stars who mark themselves with seemingly classic images can have second thoughts. This week, the New York Daily News is reporting that Megan Fox is getting her Marilyn Monroe tattoo removed (she has the beauty icon's face on her inner arm).

    Though I don't personally think Fox's tattoo (or a generic butterfly or star outline) is particularly artful, I do think some tattoos are. I'm talking about the kind of gorgeous, fine-art level tattoos from Amanda Wachob or Anil Gupta. Yet I know that many people will disagree with me-my parents, for example, say they've never seen a tattoo that they'd consider beautiful.

    So, what do you think? Can tattoos be beautiful? And is it foolhardy to make such a long-lasting beauty decision?

    More from Allure:

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  • The Best Ways to Test Makeup—Safely

    By Sarah Wexler, Allure magazine

    When I was in junior high, you could find me and my friends cruising the mall makeup counters on most weekends. We'd swoop into department stores and jam our fingers into the cosmetic testers, hoping not to attract the attention of the saleswomen, who might pressure us to actually buy things, or, worse, inform us that teal eyeshadow might perhaps not be the most appropriate look for 13-year-olds. I cringe now thinking about the garish colors I wore, and also how I applied it-with my hands, straight from the grubby testers, without any regards to hygiene.

    So, are those in-store testers just kind of icky or can they actually be dangerous? To find out, I asked Elizabeth Brooks, a professor of biological science who ran a Rowan University study on makeup tester germs. Turns out, the news is not good: "More than half of all testers were contaminated, and we found staph, strep, and E. coli bacteria from feces," she says. Not only is that disgusting, but it

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  • Real Flowers That Last a Year? We Review

    By Heather Muir, Allure magazine

    Each day, I get around 10 to 12 beauty packages filled with makeup, skin, body, and hair products that aren't even on the market yet. A few weeks ago, I received a package that wasn't beauty-related, but I thought it was so genius, I had to share.

    Contained in a large cardboard box was a silver boat-shaped vase full of two dozen baby pink roses. They were gorg, but the note that read "Do not water" was what really caught my eye. They were from Heinau Flowers, a company that figured out a way to prolong the life of fresh-cut flowers for up to a year! Hard to believe, right? Here's how the process works:

    Fresh flowers are cut during their peak, then their sap is replaced with a glycerin-based moisturizer that preserves the flowers, which then absorb moisture from the air to keep their petals soft. The flowers come in varieties including hydrangeas, roses, gardenias, and orchids and range in price from $15 for a single rose to $545 for an elaborate

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  • RuPaul's Top 3 Drag Queens Share Their Beauty Tips

    By Christiana Molina, Allure magazine

    Hail to the queen! Drag queen, that is. Last night, Raja was crowned America's Next Drag Superstar during the finale of RuPaul's Drag Race. At the official finale preview party, I caught up with Raja and the finalists, who each shared their top beauty tips to, as RuPaul would say, "looking good, feeling gorgeous."

    Manila Luzon

    First runner-up Luzon is a New York native whose style is as creative as it is endearingly kitschy.

    1. Load on mascara. "Just when you think that you have put too much mascara on and you look like Tammy Faye Bakker-God rest her soul-just put another tube on. I always use Maybelline Great Lash Mascara. It's a classic and it does a great job."

    2. The bigger the hair, the better. "If a girl is feeling a little fat, if a girl is feeling short, if a girl is just not feeling right about herself, all she needs to do is jack out her hair. It will make the proportions of your body look so much better if you have bigger hair. You

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  • What Beauty Chore Do You Find Relaxing?

    By Alison Caporimo, Allure magazine

    Whether its tweezing our brows or applying the perfect set of smoky eyes, there are some beauty practices that take a little more TLC than, say, slapping on a lip balm. For these more demanding tasks, we apply a steadier hand and a little bit more thought, but is is possible that these beauty chores can be somewhat relaxing?

    For Emily Schroeder, a stylist at Timothy John's Salon in New York City, it is. "I find giving blow outs extremely relaxing," she told me as she straightened my naturally wavy locks last Friday. "The whole process of brushing through the warm air is very calming. And then there's the instant gratification of seeing the style take shape as you move around the head." For me, I would say my weekly exfoliation adds a much-needed dose of Zen. Rubbed in circular motions around my forehead and cheeks and left to sit for a minute to two, the Cosmedicine Medi-Morphosis Exfoliator can become my own version of a mini-vacation.

    What about

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  • Could Kate Middleton and Lauren Conrad Be Twins?

    By Kate Sullivan, Allure magazine

    Katy Perry and Zooey Deschanel look like long-lost twins (and Emily Blunt could be their sister). Jessica Alba and Vanessa Minnillo are at least cousins. There's something Cindy Crawford-ish about Eva Mendes's eyebrows and smile. And Shia LaBeouf looks exactly like a Young Albert Einstein. (Brains and looks?! Damnnn, Einstein.) Well, now add these celeb lookalikes to the official list:

    For weeks, I've been telling coworkers that royal bride Kate Middleton looks exactly like our cover star Lauren Conrad-if Middleton got California girl caramel highlights. (Turns out, I'm not the only one who thinks so.) But another editor countered: "No! Miley Cyrus looks like Lauren Conrad-if Lauren Conrad had longer, curlier hair." True, enough. But you know who doesn't look like Miley Cyrus? Kate Middleton. So, how can two people look like Lauren Conrad and not look like each other? With the slightest of facial differences and hair differences. (Case in point:

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  • A Genius New Trick for Finding Your Perfect Red Lipstick

    By Heather Muir, Allure magazine

    Just last week I blogged about my preference for glossy pink lipstick as opposed to bold red. But this weekend, all of that changed when I lip-locked with Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Lipstick in 401, a vibrant orange-red. I was one of ten bridesmaids in a wedding (that's me, here) where the bride requested we wear red lips.

    I have to admit, I didn't love the idea-that is, until makeup artist Tim Quinn (who works with celebrities like Megan Fox) said, "I have the perfect shade for you," and pulled out the aforementioned 401. The color complemented my bronzed, spray-tanned skin and, surprisingly, looked great with my brown smoky eye makeup. How come I hadn't discovered this hue before? "Most women base their shade of red lipstick on their skin tone only," Quinn says. The problem? "Skin tone often changes-with bronzers and spray tans-especially for big events like weddings." A better guideline, Quinn explains, is your eye color-not only does it always

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  • Scary New Diet Pills

    By Elizabeth Angell, Allure magazine

    If someone handed you a pill and said "take two of these and you'll lose all the weight you want to," would you be tempted? If you answered anything other than yes, I don't believe you. We all want a magic bullet for our problems, and a new breed of diet pills has many people believing they can take the easy route to substantial weight loss. In our May issue, Hallie Levine Sklar documents how these new pills-widely available over the internet-have proven both to be both addictive and dangerous.

    One person, a New York City-based hairstylist, told Sklar that at first the pills were wildly successful. He lost 25 pounds in two months. "The weight loss was pretty much effortless-I just stopped thinking about food," he said. But soon, he experienced periods where his heart would race and his mood was wildly unpredictable. He no longer felt like himself. Terrified, he stopped taking the pills and within weeks, he was gaining the weight back.

    The FDA has

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