Blog Posts by Jennifer Romolini, Shine editor in chief

  • Today in Retro Beauty: Sun-In is making a comeback

    Do you remember Sun In, the spray-in hair color that was supposed to make one's mane look sun-kissed, and pale blond, but instead turned it the color of burnt yolk? Remember how you'd spritz it on before laying out in your backyard and you'd hope upon hope that by the end of the day you'd be golden-tan and light-haired, like some kind of teenage Bo Derek?

    Then remember when the summer of fried hair and burnt skin was over and you had to grow out the Sun-In hair and it looked terrible, like a Halloween freak, all dark roots against crisp orange hair and maybe then you dyed it black and pretended you were goth? But the whole time you just felt really ugly and sad that things had not worked out and you were never thin enough, your hair never blond enough, and you were never going to look like Bo Derek because she had boobs and you didn't. The entire enterprise was therefore useless so you listened to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack and cried yourself to sleep. Oh, man, the joys of being a

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  • "What's wrong with looking like Susan Boyle?"

    Over the weekend, Scottish singing sensation (try saying that 5 times fast!) Susan Boyle was interviewed by The Times of London and asked a question that had nothing to do with her voice, talent, personal history, career, or even where she sees herself in 5 years. The British paper, like so many others the world over, wanted to know if the 47-year-old was considering a makeover. In fact, in the past week, ever since she appeared on the "Britain's Got Talent" stage wearing a less-than-sultry gold lace dress, belted out "I Dreamed a Dream," and made notoriously surly judge Simon Cowell swoon, this beauty business has become a dominant theme in The Susan Boyle story. Bloggers, entertainment shows, legitimate news outlets, and tabloid magazines alike have all dissected the issue ad nauseam, publishing exhaustive commentary, running reader polls and even performing their own unnerving virtual makeovers.

    Um, like this one, which originally ran on the Chicago Tribune's website and is a

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  • 20 pretty, stylish spring dresses—all under 50 bucks

    Seriously, are you dying for pretty spring dresses right now? Yeah, so am I...I want spring clothes so bad, I'm feeling a little like a crazy person. Behold! 20 pretty, versatile, warm-weather dress styles, many of which you can wear just about anywhere, all summer long.

  • Fashion that makes us sad: This $3,000 bikini

    I know. You're sick of hearing about rich people and their worthless, expensive stuff. And I'm sorry to do this to you, but...OH MY GOD. SERIOUSLY? This bathing suit, which to my eye resembles a combination sports bra/bedazzled jockstrap, will be sold by Selfridges in London for the low, low price of $2,986. It's designed by a company called Pistol Panties (sigh) and made from 5,000 Swarovski crystals. Also? You can't swim in it. So it's more of a lounging-around piece that's built from tiny rocks. It's a jewel-kini! Imagine how that feels on your butt!

    Given all of these facts, is it any surprise that there's a waiting list to buy these sparkly suits? That they're actually on backorder at Selfridges?

    Uggggghhhh. Stop the insanity, people. Splurge on a gilded $200 suit and give $2,800 to, like, world hunger or something. There's no way this glitter torture device is worth it.

    Source: The Cut

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  • Yay! French Elle's amazing no-makeup issue (and why American mags need to step it up)

    The April issue of French Elle features eight female European celebrities--including Eva Herzigova, Monica Bellucci, Sophie Marceau, and Charlotte Rampling--all without makeup and, perhaps even more revealing, all entirely without Photoshopping or retouching of any kind. The mag's headline "Stars Sans Fards" translates to "without rouge/makeup," but it's a French saying that also suggests a sense of "openness."

    Judging from the images that have been leaked so far (the entire issue hits newsstands later this week), this title could not be more apt. Model Herzigova, 36, and actresses Marceau, 42, and Bellucci, 44, all look refreshingly natural, relaxed, and vulnerable in a way American stars are seldom seen.

    In fact, what might be most striking about French Elle's pictorial is how it actually appears to embrace and celebrate the organic beauty of these famous faces (even if the lighting is super, super flattering and the women are all unbelievably gorgeous to begin with). In the U.S.,

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  • UGH. Dior creates its most expensive watch yet

    Ladies and gentleman, the item of jewelry to your left costs $1.3 million. It is made of 66 rare Siam rubies from a mine in Thailand; some kind of especially special, magnificantly wonderful diamonds; and, possibly, unicorn's tears.

    The Dior Christal tourbillion, as it is formally known, debuted last week at the Baselworld watch fair in Switzerland. It was designed by John Galliano and is the most expensive timepiece ever created by Dior. It was part of an event that included loads of similarly-priced items (a $750,000 pocket watch anyone?) and seemed like a sea of scary, unnecessary, downright gawdy extravagance.

    To be fair, it must be a strange time to be a luxury watch maker. The number of people rolling around on their thousand-dollar bill collections shrinks every day, and the audience for a fancy-schmancy watch that basically screams to the world "I'm rich" is so small it might not even include Donald Trump. Even wealthy people don't want to seem wealthy right now.


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  • Do you have a style security blanket?

    Over the past two weeks, I have written a lot about Michelle Obama, I've looked at tons of pictures of her outfits, and I've read commentary about everything from her heel height to her eyelashes. Sometimes, this is a weird job.

    One thing I keep thinking about is how Mrs. Obama seems a tad addicted to one item in her wardrobe (can a person become addicted to accessories? Do old people like pigeons?): MO favors her studded black Azzedine Alaïa belt the way President Obama likes hope. She's been wearing it everywhere since last summer and she pairs it with basically everything, even when it doesn't look great. (Remember the bow outfit? Yeah, yeah.)

    But Michelle Obama is not alone in her over-love for a belt or a shoe or a coat. She's suffering from a common fashion phenomenon I call the "styleThe security blanket belt. Perhaps inspired by Sex and the City?The security blanket belt. Perhaps inspired by Sex and the City? security blanket." It's what happens when we become attached (often misguidedly) to an item or makeup technique that for some reason makes us feel confident and secure and maybe once garnered

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  • Will you buy Rihanna's new perfume?

    This week, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Kanye West, and a "well established" female artist (they're keeping it a secret but everyone's pretty sure it's Beyoncé) signed a zillion dollar fragrance deal with Parlux Fragrances Inc. The details of the agreement kind of make my brain hurt, but it seems like an unusual arrangement; instead of a contract fee, the singers will be paid in royalties, profit shares, and some kind of stock in the company. Basically, they'll all get much, much richer than they already are. Jay-Z will buy seven yachts, Kanye will pick up 15,000 pairs of weird sunglasses and a new girlfriend, Beyoncé will splurge on $7 million worth of clothes in 13 minutes-you know the drill.

    The deal itself is not all that surprising, it's actually more shocking that none of these super-famous performers has a name-branded scent already. (What were they waiting for? Diddy has been doing it for years! So has Hilary Duff! And Mariah! And every other person you can think of!) However, what is

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  • Michelle Obama's grand European tour: The fashion week in review

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesThe first lady of the United States of America had an amazing, whirlwind week. She traveled through multiple European countries, met heads of state, attended official dinners and concerts, sat with the sick, gave inspiring speeches to children, embraced the Queen, AND she wore many, many different outfits. Lots and lots of people wrote about those outfits-some folks were extraordinarily angry about her sartorial choices. Others raved and wept and basically declared that Mrs. Obama was the best thing that's ever happened to fashion. So, what does it all mean? Why is it important?

    The truth is, Michelle Obama, through her words, actions-and, yes, her clothes-is setting a new standard for what we think of as an American first lady. She's approachable, she's warm, she's highly educated, she's African American, and what she wears is unlike anything you'd expect from someone in such a prominent position. Mrs. Obama (much to the chagrin of luxury labels like Oscar de La Renta and others in

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  • Spring's coolest, sleekest rain gear (all under $100)

    Oh, man. I have to admit it, spring's cold, damp, allergy-sinus weather is not my favorite of the year. I do not like getting rained on, but more importantly, I hate sitting in wet clothes waiting for my whole body to dry. Thus, I need rain gear. But I don't want anything too cutesy, girly, mountain-man-looking or expensive. Just a few stylish, affordable pieces to get me through the next month (and the occasion summer T-storm).


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