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Breakups, Bleach, and the Beauty of Clichés

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“Break up or divorce?” This question came from the first stylist I consulted about dyeing my dark hair platinum blonde. It was a break up and, yes, I was aware of the cliché. Or the “strope,” as I’d taken to calling it. Strope: (noun) a self-aware trope. Like, say, venturing to midtown in the hopes of  transforming your appearance after your three-year relationship came to an abrupt end. 

The day prior, I’d sent one of my grad school classmates a photo of myself curled fetally, a weighted heating pad shelling me like a depressed turtle. We were on winter break, which meant I’d been able to dedicate approximately 75% of the last fourteen days to perfecting this precise activity. 

He texted back promptly: “I love how break-ups turn everyone into an 80-year-old NFL player.”

I was, by all accounts, inconsolable. The only thing that helped was being distracted. And a great distraction was researching hair bleaching and going platinum blonde; something I’d always found intriguing but had brushed off as being too frivolous, too costly, and too time-consuming to ever actually try. A week into deep Google searching, I shared my newfound fixation with my mother and she—a woman who can’t apply eyeliner and banned my sister and me from talking about looks while growing up, proclaiming that they had “no bearing on life”—was alarmingly supportive. 

“I have a consultation with a stylist in two weeks,” I typed.

“Can they do it sooner??” she asked.

***

I ended up booking multiple consults. Some took place over the phone, others in hair salons with gaudy chandeliers and floating mirrors, a few over text and Instagram DMs. At one point, I ventured to a warehouse-turned-salon a few blocks from my ex’s apartment, going the long way so I wouldn’t run into him even though he was supposedly 8,000 miles away on the tropical family vacation I’d purchased a plane ticket to join months earlier. I tried not to pity myself as I skirted 18-wheelers and scrapyards, wrapped in two jackets to ward off the sub-zero Brooklyn chill. 

Most stylists, it seemed, were deterred by the potentially combustible duet of my tenuous emotional state and the vastness of the task: taking my virgin hair from a two (“darkest brown”) to a nine (like the inside of a banana peel, I was told). I might not like the result, they warned, and walk away even more distraught, possibly even mirror-avoidant. I couldn’t get a straight answer how long it would take or the exact price tag. 

“It’ll be a real project,” one stylist said. “Plus, the chemicals will probably kill your curls and make your hair brittle.” 

At an establishment where feathery, bang-heavy mullets abounded—a trend that I had gleaned from my December 2021 Salon Tour was very in right now—the stylist caught me staring at her own business-in-the-front, party-in-the-back cut and mentioned she could give me that for a mere $120; a much cheaper and less risky move. 

I don’t know about less risky, I didn’t say.

Another professional tried to steer me in a different direction, literally. “You could go on vacation for the amount of money it would take to turn you blonde,” he said as if I didn’t understand how money worked. “You could buy a plane ticket to Miami and get a tan and natural highlights instead.”

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Hailey Bieber Uses This Make-Up Artist Trick for Subtle Festive Shine

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When it comes to holiday makeup, how best to nod to the festivities via your beauty? Red lipstick and metallic eyeshadow are always a popular choice, but for Hailey Bieber, it’s all about a nod to shimmer and shine with the help of a make-up artist favorite: eye gloss.

Just look at that shimmer: 

@haileybieber

An easy way to create natural luminosity on the face, eye gloss is beloved by the pros because it’s super versatile. It’s clear, so you can wear it on eyelids to catch the light and create a healthy, post-spa glow. But it also works well when worn atop eyeliner or eyeshadow for a smudgy, sultry and lived-in effect. Not to mention, it can also be used as a dewy highlighter on upper cheekbones and temples.  

Hailey Bieber wears hers here on top of a neutral taupe eyeshadow. Paired with fresh and natural skin and a lick of mascara, it’s the perfect look to add to your moodboard for party season and beyond. To recreate the look this Christmas, try the Guerlain Gel Gloss Mirror-Effect Top Coat or Gucci Éclat De Beauté Effet Lumière Gel Face Gloss. Add this multi-purpose wonder to basket, stat. 

This post was originally published on British Vogue.


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Taylor Russell Nails the Y2K-Era Jeans and Strappy Sandals Combo

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Taylor Russell gave us a blast from the past on the Gotham Awards red carpet today. The actor, who stars with Timothée Chalamet in the film Bones and All, appeared wearing a white fur chubby jacket: a Tom Ford-era Gucci archival piece from the spring 2004 show. To balance the megawatt Hollywood effect, the actor wore light-wash jeans and strappy heels, which instantly brought us back to the 2000s.  

Russell’s look is reminiscent of Mariah Carey, who popularized the strappy-sandal-and-denim combo on the red carpet. At the time, the singer often paired going-out shoes with low-rise, light-wash flares–sometimes with the waistband sheared off. Other celebrities who championed the ensemble included noughties red carpet darling Cameron Diaz and singer Janet Jackson. 

There’s a self-styled charm that comes from wearing sexy stiletto sandals and jeans with a high glam piece, such as Russell’s white jacket. (From her Instagram stories, it seems that she purchased the chubby herself from a vintage shop.) The overall look feels natural but playful, all while checking the boxes of a standout red carpet look. 

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This Pregnancy Loss Recovery Kit Is a Game-Changer

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It wasn’t until Frida founder Chelsea Hirschhorn experienced multiple pregnancy losses that she realized there was a gap in the promise her company made to serve women in every stage of postpartum. While Hirschhorn, a mother of four, already knew what recovery from birth looked and felt like, she was surprised to find that she dealt with similar pain and bleeding during and after her miscarriages. So she decided to do something about it. “There’s nothing political about what a woman’s body goes through, regardless of how they arrived at the situation,” Hirschhorn tells Vogue of the decision to expand the brand’s recovery kits to cover all stages of necessary care, including after a miscarriage or abortion with its new Frida Recovery Kit for Incomplete Pregnancies. “These are physical needs that they have, and we are in a position to help them support those needs.” 

Since launching her company in 2019, Hirschhorn has designed solutions to help mothers navigate the raw physicalities of childbirth, from C-section recovery bands to abdonimal binders. “As holistic and comprehensive as that was, we were still neglecting to address the 2 million women who still experience some form of physical transition with their bodies during pregnancy loss even though it doesn’t end with a baby,” says Hirschhorn. That’s changed with the launch of the Frida Recovery Kit, which is curated to address what she calls “basically the entire bathroom experience.” Within the discreetly labeled shipping box, there’s 1 upside-down peri bottle, 4 pairs of disposable underwear, and 6 ultra-absorbent maxi pads. “In pregnancy loss, there is a spectrum of experiences that women can have,” explains Hirschhorn. “If it’s an early stage, it may just be an extremely heavy menstrual period. Still, it will be a shock for women who are accustomed to using tampons or menstrual cups to hear from their OB-GYN that those aren’t permitted in the pregnancy loss healing process.” The kit also includes a personal note from Hirschhorn, which shares her experience with pregnancy loss. It’s meant to provide immediate “emotional handholding” gesture so that anyone reading it knows they aren’t alone. 

Frida Postpartum Recovery Essentials Kit

Frida’s latest launch marks yet another opportunity to break taboos in the maternal health space, a mission the brand has championed since its global launch with a banned postpartum recovery-themed commercial at the Oscars and a first-of-its-kind primetime ad showing a breastfeeding mother during the Golden Globes. “Now we’ve lived up to our promise to support women through all phases of recovery, regardless of how their journey ended,” says Hirschhorn. “And we feel really good about that.”

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