A few days ago, I changed my profile picture on Facebook.
The picture was taken on a particularly marvelous hair day and I hadn’t even thought twice about it. My makeup looked great, my skin was behaving, the lighting cooperated nicely. Whatever.
So why did I feel so weird posting it?
Well, friends, for the sake of disclosure…
It was a selfie.
Now you all see where I’m coming from, right? The stigma associated with that horrible ‘S’ word has justified my insecurities.
Maybe you’re rolling your eyes, like the girl in my Sociology class who made the argument that selfies were narcissistic. Maybe you’re cheering me on for having such candor, in which case I appreciate your support, but I really don’t think this is a praise-worthy confession (because, really, nothing I’ve ever done on Facebook has largely benefited humanity). Maybe you’re on the fence about selfies and what they convey about our society at large. Maybe you haven’t analyzed it that deeply and don’t care to. Maybe you’ve stopped reading because using an entire article to discuss the selfie stigma seems superfluous to you. And maybe, you’re right.
But if you’re like me, and you enjoy feeling and looking nice, this discussion has broader implications. In my opinion, there isn’t anything superficial or narcissistic about taking pride in your appearance. In fact, confidence in how you look is important, whether we want to say so or not. So why are we ashamed of looking and feeling “pretty” and wanting to present ourselves accordingly?
Girls are taught a million horribly contradicting maxims their whole lives (through parents, the opposite sex, the media, etc.). “Be innocent, but sexy!” “Look young, but mature!”. Not to get totally ridiculous here, but if I were to conform to every one of societies suggested ‘girl’ tropes, I would be sporty, thin, intellectual, unassuming, curvy, unintimidating, sexy, powerful, muted, passive, dangerous, outspoken and easily coerced. I would actually have to simultaneously deal with multiple personalities, body types and levels of sexual experience to be the ‘perfect girl’ defined in Generation Y.
“Okay, neat. Cool feminist rant about male oppression and cultural flaws. What does this have to do with your stupid selfie problem?”
Everything, darlings. This has everything to do with the selfie problem.
If we’re always told to be all of these things, in just the right measures, how can we ever actually enjoy feeling attractive? The minute we admit to feeling aesthetically pleasing we’re being overconfident. So, whether we’re having a day when the face is our last priority, or if we’re having a Tyra Banks approved “good-god-I’m-hot” moment, we feel like we’re doing something wrong. We cannot win. This is why the selfie has long been condemned… it perpetuates the idea that women shouldn’t put any stock in their physical facade. Meanwhile, dressing down and not messing with our eyeliner renders us “uggos” who really should have considered everyone else’s impression of us when getting ready this morning.
I’ve never seen the shame in feeling good about how you look. Never has walking down the street loving my outfit made me less intelligent, less driven, more inwardly focused, or big headed. Never has strutting a little bit made me feel cheap, or like I was setting back the female empowerment movement. No amount of makeup has ended Women’s suffrage and, as far as I can tell, taking an occasional selfie certainly hasn’t lessened a ladies pay any further.
I take pride in my appearance, (most days… I mean, I’m not above occasionally leaving the house with toothpaste smeared on my face and rats nests congealing in my hair) and I don’t see why we should all be raised to fear that ‘pretty’ feeling.
Girls of every age, race, size, credo, sexuality, ambition and ‘look’ should enjoy feeling attractive the same way as men should, and celebrating this with a picture taken by yourself is a perfectly healthy way to tell the world that “I look good. I know it… and maybe I want Facebook to know it.”
So, live on, dear selfie. You give usefulness to the screen-side iPhone camera and you’re fun on a Wednesday night at 11 pm when my side-part looks inexplicably fabulous. You’ll always have a place in my camera roll.
If ever there was a super lady who knew how to rock a red lip it’s Wonder Woman. #SummerOfKryolan kicks off with me sitting Bonks, comic book writer and Co-Founder of Sugar Gamers, down and turning her into a powerful Amazon. Check out the video tutorial below by our Chicago Makeup Vixen Kat DeJesus. A written breakdown of all the steps are below.
Have fun, Hera commands it! – See more at: Sugar Gamers #SummerofKryolan
Prep the face with HD Primer concentrating on the T-Zone. Then Prep the eyes with Eyeshadow Primer. Only use a very small amount a little goes a long way!!!
Products used: Kryolan HD Face Primer, Kryolan Eye Shadow Primer
Place peach tone eyeshadow on the eyelid using a small eyeshadow brush. Next, using a tapered fluffy tapered crease brush blend a lighter than skin tone eyeshadow onto your brow bone and in the inner corner of the eye. With the same brush, sweep a medium brown (contour color) into the crease. Then, with the same brush, place darkest brown eyeshadow into the outer V of your eye. (Remember the “Outer V” is the outside corner of the eye where your lashes meet your crease. Sweep the shadow in a small V shape in that corner)
Pour a drop of eyeliner sealer onto your cake liner and mix. Start lining the eye, with a super thin eyeliner brush, near the inner corner of the eye till the end of the eyelid. Try to get as close to your eyelashes as you can. To wing the eye, start by placing a tiny dot where you want your eyeliner to end. Draw a line toward your eye as if your were connecting it to your bottom lashes stopping as soon as you reach your top lashes and connect it to the eyeliner on the top of your eyelid.
Using a pea sized amount of an HD Matifying Liquid, apply to the the face is short, even strokes to the face with a flat tapered foundation brush. Make sure the foundation looks blended. There should not be any brush strokes visible. With a concealer brush, place a small amount of la concealer a shade or two lighter than your skin tone under your eyes and blend into your foundation. Using a concealer that matches your skintone cover any blemished that you might need extra coverage.
Next place a light pink blush on the apples of the cheeks with a blush brush and blend till you don’t see any lines. Set makeup and concealer with a translucent loose powder.
Products used: Kryolan HD Micro Foundation Matifying Liquid 110, Kryolan HD Micro Foundation Cream in 200 and 340 (for concealer), Kryolan Blusher in TO, Kryolan MicroSilk Translucent Powder in MSP 11
Line and fill in lips with a blue red lip liner. Lip liner gives the perfect definition to a red lip. Then fill in lips with your favorite red lipstick.
Curl lashes with a lash curler BEFORE applying 2 coats of mascara. Finally fill in brows with a shadow the same color as your hair color for added definition.
Products used: Illamasqua Eyelash Curler Illamasqua Mascara in Raven
Now go look in a mirror and flex those Super Hero Muscles! You look fabulous!!!
Kryolan Professional Make-up is proud to announce their partnership with Sugar Gamers, a Chicago-based community of trend-setting female gamers in the world of tech, fashion, beauty and above all, gaming. The world of beauty has been an enigma to geek-friendly folks for far too long. That’s why the Sugar Gamers were chosen to teach the Chicago geek chic community to be their own make-up pro in the #SummerOfKryolan. They will spend the summer dropping online tutorials, events, giveaways, and in person how-to’s to show you how dramatic make-up can fit into your day to day life in a simple and fun way.
If you have never heard of KRYOLAN, then let me blow your mind. Kryolan is probably the nerdiest of all makeup brands. They have been the official make-up used for movies like “Star Trek Into Darkness” (check out behind the scenes here) as well as Pirates of the Carribean and Cloud Atlas. Kryolan is high quality, professional grade make-up that takes it a step further than other international brands such as Mac and Makeup Forever by making their pro quality cosmetics readily available to the public, at affordable prices. You don’t need to be a make-up artist to get access to their best stuff. Kryolan totally shares the love.
Even though Kryolan is known for being used to create eye-catching theatrical make-up, they have a wide versatile selection of products that can be used for everyday looks.
BUT! Here’s the kicker- they currently don’t sell products online. But if you are local to Chicago you can visit KRYOLAN CITY CHICAGO AT 2034 NORTH HALSTED STREET. Ulrike, Clara, Lane, or Paula will assist you in helping you find the make up that’s right for you.
I’ve been reading some horrifying statistics lately. Really scary, stuff, ya know?
Now, I listen to these facts with a figurative grain of salt, (can you listen with a grain of salt? No? Whatever.) because I highly doubt that the people spreading these INCREDIBLY shocking bits of information actually have any knowledge of genealogy… but still: red-heads are dying.
Wait, I’ll rephrase that. Put down the phone. Don’t dial your ginger neighbor Lisa’s number… she’s not dying. Well, I don’t know that. If she is, boy am I sorry. Wow, I’ve really dug myself a hole here.
What I meant is, the “redhead” gene is slowly becoming extinct. It’s estimated that about 2% of the world’s population naturally has red hair. As a ginger, this makes me sad. I can hear the mournful cries of Ariel from the depths of her daddy’s underwater palace. And Ron Weasley is probably working on a spell to correct this RIGHT now… (gingeras repairus? No? Whatever) bless his fair-skinned heart. So, if the recessive red hair gene is so limited in the human population, the chance of it being passed down through future generations is diminished. Science, ya know?
Luckily, this isn’t all gloom and doom, friends. There’s hope! Red hair is the number one most popular at-home hair dye color for women! It’s okay that it’s not natural, cause really ginger-dom is a state of mind anyway. That’s probably a stretch, but I would be seriously bummed if my everyday redhead sightings diminished.
In honor of the potential red-heads that will never be, I’ve compiled a list of my top three favorite crimson-topped ladies, as portrayed in real life and in the movies:
1.) Christina Hendricks.
Christina is so totally beautiful, first of all. She’s the type of woman whose silhouette gets tattooed on the backs of burly men. But she’s also one classy human being. Basically all the literature we read online today about the gorgeous ‘Mad Men’ actress has to do with her weight. Not her talent, her charitable involvement with the Make-A-Wish Foundation or her future as an actress… instead, it’s her breast, waist and thigh measurements. You know, the real hard-hitting stuff… (currently resisting the 90’s-child urge to insert a “NOT!” here.) She meets rumors of weight loss goals with a simple and definitive: “I love my body” and moves on. Right on, Ms. Hendricks. RIGHT. ON.
2.) Merida- that sassy little girl from Pixar’s ‘Brave’.
First of all, Merida might be the ONLY princess to come out of a Disney film without having snatched up a man. Oh and that gorgeous little lady had options all right. In fact, she was about to be set up with one of three less than desirable young suitors when she decided horseback riding, archery and following her destiny was far superior to betrothal. Can’t say I blame a sister, it wouldn’t be easy riding horseback with a dude constantly bitching about her luscious locks of red hair flying in his face. Who run the world? (Ginger) Girls.
3.) Florence Welch of Florence and the Machines.
Florence. Welch. We all know home girl has pipes to be reckoned with. But that unparalleled crazy cool style, though. Can we collectively sigh over that? Can we take a look at how effortlessly she pulls off crazy homeless lady, European royalty, female Christ figure and freaky leather rock star goddess? Plus, her hat and shoe collection, of course. I really could go on and on. Recap: her music is epic, her clothes are fierce, her hair is red. Is it natural? I don’t know, and I don’t care. This woman has magical, sorcerer ginger hair.
So there we have it, girls and boys. Red heads are just too cool. BUT NOT TOO COOL TO CONTINUE REPRODUCING AND MAKING BEAUTIFUL GINGER BABIES.
I implore you. Go out, hug a ginger, admire glorious red tendrils, and get a little jealous maybe? No? Whatever.
is a Communication Studies major and a starry eyed collector of fine (and not so fine) clothing. Addicted to Nutella, fashion, design and cats, she is a Boston native in love with life. Twitter: @abbylt22
We all look better bronze but find ourselves pasty white when December rolls around. There’s no way we are patient enough to wait for summer to come around to get our bronze on. We were rather giddy when we found this intriguing recipe on crunchybetty.com for homemade bronzer. It works, is customizable to your desired lever of bronzification, looks natural, and if you have a craving for something cinnamon-y, you just figure out a way to lick your face.
Here is the how-to, try it out and let me know how it works:
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp nutmeg powder
2 tsp cornstarch
15 drops rose otto, lavender, or rosemary essential oil
A few tips on the color: Cinnamon = glow, cocoa = depth and darkness, and nutmeg = a sunkissed brown. Cornstarch spreads it all out and lightens it. Essential oil keeps it together and thickens. If you want just a loose powder, leave out the essential oil.
Adjust the levels of ingredients to your shade and mix well in a small bowl, and break up any clumps until it’s smooth. Place the powder in a clean, empty compact and pack it in firmly
Brushes are a key element in executing a flawless makeup look. They are JUST as important as the makeup products themselves! Imagine wanting to paint a wall in your home. You purchase the best quality paint in a colour that you adore… and then paint the walls with your hands. YEAH RIGHT! Of course you want to use the proper brushes! The fantastic thing about makeup brushes is that if you purchase a good quality brush (you WILL pay more for a quality makeup brush), with proper care they will last for years. And I do mean YEARS. I own brushes that are 20 years old that I use daily. Really. So, here’s a basic overview of common brushes used for makeup application and how they work. Generally speaking, brushes are made from synthetic fibres mixed with natural hair like pony, goat, sable or squirrel. The stiffer the brush, the more product it will pick up and deposit on the skin. Softer brushes impart a softer application of colour. Paddle shaped brushes (depending on the size) are great for applying eyeshadow all over the lid, applying creamy concealer anywhere on the face, or working with creamy eyeshadows. The product is picked up on the flat side of the brush and applied using small strokes or a patting motion. A definite must-have. Angle brushes are magic, and can be used to fill in eyebrows with eyeshadow, or apply a soft eyeliner using powder shadow, or a defined line using Gel or Liquid eyeliner. Pick up product with the edge of the brush and line away! These babies do all the work for you if you are doing a defined crease, or even a smoky eye. They are created to not only deposit colour on the eyelid but also to BLEND. They have a teardrop shape, and only the tip of the brush is used, both to pick up powder eyeshadow and to place that brush in the deepest part of the crease of the eye. Use a gentle back-and –forth or tiny circular motion to deposit the colour where desired. The name says it all: large powder brushes are used to set makeup and tone down shine using a pressed or loose powder. Many people also use them to apply bronzer. The rounder, softer brushes are best for imparting a rosy glow to the apples of the cheeks, while the more stiffly-packed or angled blush brushes are best for contouring the cheekbones.
It’s preferred that brushes are washed daily, but if you are using the brushes only for yourself on your own face, a weekly washing should suffice. Wash your brushes using a gentle shampoo, like a baby shampoo. On occasion I will use a 2-in-1 with conditioner to keep the brushes soft, but too many washes with conditioner will cause your brushes to become limp. I usually use a coffee mug filled half way with warm water, with a squirt of shampoo. Don’t let the water go above the ferrell (the metal part of the brush that holds the bristles) as you don’t want water damage to the handle of the brush, which is usually made of wood. Swish the brushes around until you see the product coming out of the bristles, then rinse under the tap. Again, don’t let water go above the ferrell. Squeeze the excess water out of the brush from the ferrell downward, and re-shape the brush so it sort of looks like it does when it’s dry. ALWAYS ALWAYS lay brushes on a FLAT surface on a paper towel or towel to dry. If you put them bristles up to dry, the excess water will run back into the ferrell and loosen the glue that holds the bristles and will eventually destroy the brush! The brush will be dry the next day, so I always wash my brushes in the evening so they are ready to go in the morning.
Love and false lashes,
I have always associated lipstick with womanhood. Watching my mother apply it before a night out meant she was officially ‘ready.’ Today, young women, including myself, rock a colored lip for occasions as low-key as a grocery store run. For those fearless enough to embrace a non-traditional color, I have a few tips you should consider.
No doubt, every woman can wear lipstick (yes, even ladies with large lips!). But, finding a hue and color variation that matches your skin tone is an overlooked step in the selection process. If you want red, yes you can have red. But, there is a “right” red for you. To avoid being washed out, or appearing clownish, find hues that compliment you. Unless you’re on the catwalk, darker women should go for hues with berry or darker undertones. Women with lighter skin should avoid colors too “matchy” or similar to their skin tone.
Pictures don’t lie. The easiest way to tell if a color works for you is to take a quick photo of yourself. You’ll know right away if a lipstick is too bright, or does nothing to accentuate your features.
Don’t forget to explore! There are more shades of lipstick than you can imagine. Brands with great variations include Nars, and the Lipbar. Still need convincing? Check out photos of your favorite celebs rocking daring lip wear.
I have always associated lipstick with womanhood. Watching my mother apply it before a night out meant she was officially ‘ready.’ Today, young women, including myself, rock a colored lip for occasions as low-key as a grocery store run. For those fearless enough to embrace a non-traditional color, I have a few tips you should consider. No doubt, every woman can wear lipstick (yes, even ladies with large lips!). But, finding a hue and color variation that matches your skin tone is an overlooked step in the selection process. If you want red, yes you can have red. But, there is a “right” red for you. To avoid being washed out, or appearing clownish, find hues that compliment you. Unless you’re on the catwalk, darker women should go for hues with berry or darker undertones. Women with lighter skin should avoid colors too “matchy” or similar to their skin tone. Pictures don’t lie. The easiest way to tell if a color works for you is to take a quick photo of yourself. You’ll know right away if a lipstick is too bright, or does nothing to accentuate your features. Don’t forget to explore! There are more shades of lipstick than you can imagine. Brands with great variations include Nars, and the Lipbar. Still need convincing? Check out photos of your favorite celebs rocking daring lip wear.
Hymn to the Immortal Wind – Sydney-based photographer Mikael Wardhana captures Katerina Chang in a tranquil story of nature and style shot for our most recent exclusive. Wearing a wardrobe consisting of all pieces from Natalia Grzybowski’s Hybrid collection, Katerina finds solace in the outdoors while sporting the designer’s floral prints and origami-like silhouettes. Undone hair and barely there makeup by beauty artist Steph Laiperfect the ethereal ensembles.
Scandinavia, Europe, Asia—no matter where you travel, you’re sure to encounter some of the most interesting thermal and hydro-therapy from beauty traditions unknown to the west.Widely celebrated as places of learning, healing, and socializing, spa and bathing rituals have a place of importance in most global cultures. Greek Laconica and Roman Thermae were important ancient meeting spots for education, philosophy, and politics, while Turkish Hammam and Korean Jjimjilbang are still world-famous for their scrub-till-you’re-raw exfoliating treatments.
Every culture has its own spin on the spa, but were most intrigued by the practices from Russia and the Middle East —the wellness menu at an urban Banya (Russian for sauna) is anything but ordinary, and above all else emphasizes the detox of the body through rapid heat and cold. When we got the invite to stop by San Francisco’s multicultural bathhouse, Archimedes Banya, we already knew which treatment was top of our to-try list: Venik Platza, a Russian hot massage. But unlike the kneading hands of your typical Swedish and Shiatsu techniques, you’re rustled with birch branches instead.
For generations, Russians have swatted themselves with a venik, a fragrant bundle of birch, oak, or eucalyptus twigs, while together in a wet sauna. The potent branches aid in digestion, respiratory breathing, and all sorts of immune-related health issues. We were, of course, most curious about the effects on the skin. Turns out, the essential oils from these leaves contain natural astringents which open up your pores, stimulate circulation, and exfoliate dead skin—all when vaporized in super high heat and humidity. A fan of tea tree oil for rogue pimples? Think of the experience like a natural acne spot treatment for your body, in overdrive.
After being patted and swathed by the branches in almost 200 degrees (it’s more comfortable than imagined), you’re asked to dive into an arctic-freezing pool for five to ten seconds. The immediate after-effects are unlike anything you’ve ever felt, and the adrenaline rush on your skin is palpable. Your heart-rate picks up, responding to the abrupt polarity in temperature, and your body is left tingling, detoxed, and practically anew. After that, you can go back to the sauna for a few more rounds of fire and ice, but be prepared for a clothing-optional crew.
Venik Platza, $30, available at Archimedes Banya SF, banyasf.com.