Talk of Town

Vamp(ire) Lips On The Red Carpet

Joan-Smalls-blue-lipstick-braid-Met-Gala-2014

The Met Gala is probably the biggest and most important New York social event of the year benefitting the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute. And since it's all about about costumes, this is where celebrities dress up in the wildest and boldest fashions out there that often border costume more than couture.

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Apart form the wild and amazing fashion statements, beauty fans got their fix as well. One of the things that stood out most this year was the color of the ladies' lips, which were predominantly red or simply nude. But model Joan Smalls and Queen B Beyoncé both pushed the envelope on lip color. Joan Smalls wore a purplish plum shade on her gorgeous kisser and Beyoncé went for a deep burgundy shade. Both looks stirred the waters - Smalls more than Beyoncé - but I think they looked great with the unusual nuances. It was a little more vampire than vamp, but with absolutely no goth in sight - they both looked elegant and chic.

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If you want to try vamp(ire) up your lips, try these two shades: YSL Rouge Volupté Shine Deep Raspberry and Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Vibrant Orchid.

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Lupita And Maison Lancôme

Just days ago it was revealed that the next spokesperson for French luxury cosmetics company Lancôme will be actress and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o. Personally, I am thrilled about the choice first and foremost, because Lupita has won over the hearts of millions not only because of her stunning performance in 12 Years A Slave, but also because she is already considered a major style icon and the epitome of beauty. She has simply taken the world by storm.

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And it is such a strong statement for Lancôme to choose a spokesperson with Kenyan roots and Mexican heritage even though Lancôme was among the other major cosmetics companies to introduce 'global skincare', which was created from the unifying notion that women all over the world - no matter ethnicity - share the same skin concerns. This also meant that Lancôme (along with Estee Lauder) was among the first to introduce marketing material featuring models of different ethnic backgrounds in the same ads.

"I am truly honored to join the Maison Lancôme, a brand with such a prestigious history and that I have always loved. I am particularly proud to represent its unique vision for women and the idea that beauty should not be dictated, but should instead be an expression of a woman's freedom to be herself,” Lupita said in the official press release.

Lupita Nyong'o will join Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Penélope Cruz and the recently appointed young actress Lily Collins in the Lancôme line-up of beautiful women, and her campaign for the cosmetics and fragrance giant will be out in late summer.

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Something To Be Thrilled About!

Recently, I was asked by Berlin-based gallery MM Kunst to participate in their new lifestyle publication for international distribution. Of course, it is always flattering when your work is recognized - especially internationally - and when I received the finished magazine just days ago, I was even more thrilled to see how my words about bathing rituals had been transformed into a beautiful feature. So, thank you Federico, Daniele and MM Kunst for this opportunity! You can see the result below and under the photo I have included parts of the article, which guides you to taking the time to make your bath more of a ritual rather than a routine. Enjoy!

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Prep
Before even immersing into the wet element, prepare your skin so that it is both freed of the very outer layer of dead skin cells and invigorated to soak up the warmth of the water. The shortcut is to use a body scrub to gently enliven the skin, but if you want to really treat your skin, go for a dry brush. Smoothly brush from the feet up towards the heart to align with your body’s natural lymphatic flow - your skin will feel as if it is breathing, and it will be glowing from the stimulation of the blood flow in the skin’s surface. Purify the pores of your face with a facial mask, which will draw out impurities and also eliminate toxins in the skin surface.

Immerse
If you have access to a bathtub, fill it up with hot water and dissolve a handful of bath salt in the water. Bath salt, as opposed to a foamy bath gel, will not strip your skin of natural skin oils, but rather prevent the skin from soaking up too much water. Also, a bath salt will soften the skin aiding natural exfoliation of dead skin cells. If you take a shower, go for a mild shower gel, which will not strip your skin of natural oils. Scent is imperative for a truly immersive experience so choose a product with a scent that will please your senses and not throw you off balance (if it is too feminine for example). Let the warm water relax you for about 15-20 minutes and then finish the bathing part of the ritual by washing and conditioning your hair.

Soothe
Stepping out of the bath (you may need to rinse off the salted bath water in the shower), pat the skin dry with a soft towel - don’t rub it dry as the friction could irritate the warm and supple skin. If you have never tried a Turkish cotton towel, it is highly recommended. It doesn’t have the thickness of a plush towel, but it is extremely absorbent and very soft to the touch. Immediately following the toweling off massage a body oil into the skin, while it’s still moistened from the warm water. A so-called dry body oil is preferable because its chemical structure is so finely laced that it won’t leave an oily residue on the skin’s surface. And as for any oil: a little goes a long way so be careful not to overdose.

The final steps of your bathing ritual is to equip you to re-enter the world outside of your ritualized bubble: A few strokes of deodorant will have you smelling good, a couple of sprays of fragrance to your torso will make you smell even greater, and a nice face cream will get your face ready to meet the world, which by now is less plagued by dreary routine.

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Madonna’s Good Genes

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Photo: PR

Around this time last year Madonna launched her first signature scent 'Truth or Dare', and now she upping her beauty game even more with a new skincare regimen named MDNA Skin. The three products - a chrome clay mask, a skin rejuvinator and a serum - are a state-of-the-art treatment system created by Madonna in collaboration with Japanese top skincare manufacturer MTG.

The three products have yet to debut outside of Japan where they were launched at an exclusive pop-up store in February. When they will come to the U.S. or Europe has yet to be determined, but the launch of the products is moving forward with a newly released advertisement video for MDNA Skin.

Granted, the clip is somewhat corny playing on all (dated) beauty cliches about the miracles of these products (and whispered teasers like 'creation', 'infinity' and 'immortal'), but it seems that Japanese beauty ads are still widely prone to that kind of exaggeration. Add to that an undeniable 'Justify My Love' vibe along with a few glimpses of the three products (that look amazing btw...), and you're left wanting more. Because no matter how you look at it, at 55, and even though the queen of pop has obviously had help beyond skincare to look youthful, Madonna still has great-looking skin. Take a look at the clip, and tell me what you think.

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Whatever Kaiser Karl Does Must Smell Right

Back in the 80's and 90's fragrances by Karl Lagerfeld were considered the best of the best. The Original Lagerfeld (1978), the KL line for men and women (1983/1986), Lagerfeld Photo (1990), Sun Moon Stars (1994) and Jako (1998) were all international fragrance hits. Lagerfeld Men (2003) and Kapsule Kollektion (2008) not so much. The latter were also launched at a time where Lagerfeld's own image and brand with the high-collared dress shirt, the tight and white ponytail and sunglasses was waning - people just seemed to be somewhat over the dictates from 'Kaiser' (emperor) Karl.

He didn't change a thing, though, and has kept his image the exact same for about 40 years give or take 40 pounds. And now it seems he's coming back full force - and that at age 80. He's still the creative mind behind Chanel, which just showcased another stunning collection in Paris, he is succesfully re-launching and re-vamping his own Karl Lagefeld clothing brand, and now the designer is re-entering the world of fragrance with two new scents: Karl Lagerfeld For Him and Her both bearing not only his name, but his memorable profile.

Karl Lagerfeld for Her is a fresh citrus, fruit and flowers on a woody-musky base. It opens with accords of lemon and peach, with a floral heart of magnolia, rose and frangipani. All of this is soothed by the base of amber wood and musk.

KARL for Her

Karl Lagerfeld for Him is an aromatic-fougere fragrance that begins with fresh mandarin and lavender oil. Its heart of green apple and violet is laid on the base of amber and sandalwood.KARL for Him

Both will be launching end of March, and it'll be exciting to see whether or not Karl Lagerfeld will be able to reclaim the throne of fine perfumery yet again. But based on the look of the fragrances along with the (albeit not very accurate) sniffs of various magazine inserts, I am very optimistic about these two incarnations of the world of Karl...

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Effortless Oscars Hairstyles

Now that the stardust has settled some after last week's Oscars, it's time to look at some of the trends. You can take a look here, where I have compiled some of the best Oscar looks when it comes to the male leads of the awards ceremony. But today it's going to be about hair on the leading ladies of the Oscars.

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As usual the stars came dressed to a tee, but looking at hair and makeup one trend seems to be prevailing: the makeup is natural (almost not a hot red lip in sight!), and the hairstyles were effortlessly glamorous. Not that the hairstyles looked unkempt or messy - far from it - but generally speaking they were less perfect and a little more laissez-faire than usual - like a really neat hairstyle has gotten a good gush of wind. Which of course looks stunning. I'm not saying that any of the stars depicted here have used the new Toni & Guy Glamour 3D Volumizer, but if you wanted to achieve that full-bodied and sexy look, this product will get you there! Used in dry hair, but before the actual styling, it will give the hair a voluminous boost while adding plenty of shine. 

Oh, and notice how the side-swept hair is another big trend as seen on Sandra Bullock, Emma Watson, Kate Hudson and somewhat Julia Roberts.

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Sandra Bullock with big soft curls (not too perfect though) swept to the side
Photo: PR

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Kate Hudson with a soft side sweep and soft, locky waves - again not too perfect.
Photo: PR

Julia

Julia Roberts wears a relaxed up-do with soft locks falling to the side.

Jennifer

Jennifer Lawrence has her hair swept backwards, but it's not too tight-looking, neither too proper.

Emma

Emma Watson's hair looks like she just pinned it up in a hurry - which of course is far from the case!

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RuPaul Works it – Again!

Every Year on December 1st the World Aids Day is marked around the globe with countless initiatives to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. Although many things have changed since the disease was discovered in the early eighties one fact remains the same - there still is no cure for HIV/AIDS. So we may give the dreaded disease some extra thought on World Aids Day, but in effect the other 364 days are just as important because we shouldn't loose focus on this disease until a cure is found.

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Photo: MAC PR

One of the major players in supporting and raising money for the cause is MAC Cosmetics who started the Viva Glam initiative back in 1994. The concept has remained unchanged for two decades: Every cent cent from sales of the Viva Glam lipsticks goes to the MAC Aids Fund, which supports global HIV/AIDS projects for research and for people living with HIV/AIDS. So far the MAC Aids Fund has raised a staggering $270 million so if anything this charity really works!

This year the original Viva Glam spokesperson is back - and it is the wonderful RuPaul! The imagery speaks for itself - just look at that pose for the M! - and if you want to get a little more behind the scenes vibes check out the short video clip below.

And of course you don't need to buy a lipstick or gloss to support the cause (even though this one is a really great one!). There are plenty of other initiatives that support the battle against HIV/AIDS - so get out there and make those other 364 days of the year matter too!

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Yes Yes Yes!

I have always been a huge fan of Armani's fragrances. I started with the classic Armani Pour Homme (at a way too young age!),  had my run with the ever-lasting top fragrance Acqua di Gio in the nineties and right now I enjoy the warm subtlety of Bois d'Encens and Vétiver Babylone - both from the unique Armani Privé collection.

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Photo: Armani PR

And even though the latest fragrance from the master is not for men, I am sure I will enjoy very much too! Si is - according to Giorgio Armani himself - a celebration of a modern femininity, which combines feminine grace and beauty with elements of profound strength and elegance. Translated into fragrance that means a floral woody scent with notes crushed mint leaves, lemon and water jasmine for aquatic freshness. The fragrance gains depth with notes of brown sugar and cedar leaf, which will compliment the floral with a drier impression.

Cate Blanchett for Giorgio Armani Si Perfume (2)

Photo: Armani PR

Cate Blanchett is the stunningly beautiful face of the fragrance who is also the perfect embodiment of a strong, modern woman. There is really nothing else to say about this fragrance than yes, yes, YES!!!

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A Fresh New Face For Lancôme

Maison Lancôme has always been famous for selecting not only the very hottest but the most 'up-and-coming' ambassadors for their brand. Their winning streak, which includes stars like Julia Roberts, Emma Watson, Daria Verbowy and Kate Winslet, does not seem to end with the latest addition: Lily Collins.

Photo: Lancôme PR

Photo: Lancôme PR

You may not have her clear in her  mind, but her career has been going strength by strength so far with her 2009 debut in The Blind Side and her role in Mirror Mirror (where she played alongside Julia Roberts). She is no doubt a star on the rise, which the keen eyes of Lancôme luxury house has recognized.

Lily Collins will debut as a face of Lancôme in 2014 where her first campaign will be for the Spring French Ballerine collection.

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A Modern Muse

I remember working in a department store in Copenhagen (first heading sunglasses and later men's fragrances) around the time in the mid nineties where Estée Lauder Pleasures was launched. To this day the fragrance takes me those nearly twenty years back and still remains one of the scents that has made the biggest impression on me (not surpassed by my mother wearing YSL Opium when I was a kid, naturally).

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Photo: PR

The latest fragrance from Estée Lauder is as promising as that delicate floral musk that was and is Pleasures. It is called Modern Muse and is the first major fragrance launch since Beyond Paradise in 2003 - in the meantime the house of Lauder has focused on skincare and makeup and has only done re-launches of existing fragrances.

Modern Muse is a combination of two major scent accords where one is floral and the second is woody. The result is an elegant fragrance, which is ultra feminine but has some delicious depth to it, so it will wow you at first and then pull you closer for the more mysterious layers of it. The aim is to propel Estée Lauder back in the game of fragrances - and I frankly think that they will succeed! This is a wonderful fragrance!

Another fun fact is that the model for Modern Muse is the beautiful Arizona Muse who couldn't be named any better for her stint with Lauder.

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