Vibrant fuchsia. Creamy teal. Mermaid green. Lilac-tinged gray. Just a few of the colors that have graced my nails this summer and fall. But after many months of polish changes, I’m officially tapped—or, ahem, tipped—out. Right now, nothing seems more appealing than a naked nail, but truth be told, when mine have nothing on them, they look a little lackluster. Nail artist Jenna Hipp’s latest collaboration with perennially cool lacquer brand RGB officially solves that conundrum. Liquid Buff imparts the shiny, healthy effect of a buffed nail—minus any actual buffing, which, according to Hipp, can be detrimental to your nails. Not to be confused with RGB’s Buff, a nude polish, this new innovation is not a color, but an effect. And a special one at that.
Hipp x RGB Liquid Buff, $20, available at Olive & June, Beverly Hills.
That time-honored advice to wash your hands is, without question, an effective way to ward off winter germs and viruses. But it’s also a surefire way to wind up with extremely dry skin. With a number of cold strains already passed my way (having two kids is great!), I have recently stepped up my hand-washing game, scrubbing almost every hour. At this point, my hands resemble those of a professional dishwasher or fishmonger: They’re beaten down and raw. So after some deep research on remedies, here is what I’ve learned and put to good use: First, pat your hands really, really dry after lathering up. Any dampness left behind will evaporate, pulling precious moisture from your skin along with it. (Note: Be sure to slide off any rings, since water can get trapped under them and lead to chapped skin.) Second, you’ll need a nourishing cream. Preferably one that delivers long-lasting hydration, absorbs quickly, and doesn’t make you feel slathered in butter. For me, it’s actually not a hand lotion but a body cream that did the trick. Le Couvent des Minimes Loving Care Body Balm Lotion is blended with Galen’s wax—the old-world equivalent of beeswax—along with calendula to relieve inflammation, and mallow extract to soothe dry patches. Given that it’s meant for limbs, you’d think it would be too greasy for hands, but the texture is amazingly fluid yet not too slippery. Plus, the bottle looks pretty sitting on the sink, right in your line of sight, which is exactly where you should store your moisturizer for a foolproof way to ensure you’ll use it (and often!).
While the fashion world has been expressing its love for felines by emblazoning lions and tigers onto T-shirts, sweaters, loafers, you name it (Kenzo’s catty Spring 2013 collection and Karl Lagerfeld’s line of Choupette-inspired accessories, anyone?), The Body Shop Foundation is trying to draw attention to a cause that makes sure these creatures of the wild stay happy and safe. One hundred percent of the net profits from the organization’s Dragon Fruit Lip Butter benefit The Body Shop Foundation and three national charities, including Big Cat Rescue, a sprawling animal sanctuary in Tampa, Florida. The lush, green space is home to more than 100 big cat species, including lions, tigers, bobcats, and leopards. The animals were saved from fur farms, circuses, mercenary breeders, and well-meaning owners who mistakenly thought the animals would make good pets. The support from The Body Shop helps the nonprofit maintain and expand the property, provides proper care for the cats, and aids with their continuous efforts to educate the public on the cruelties of the exotic animal trade. Giving back is as easy as adding some meow to your holiday gift mix.
The Body Shop Foundation Dragon Fruit Lip Butter, $6; thebodyshop-usa.com.
When we talk about smoky eyes (seen this season at Jill Stuart and Just Cavalli), we tend to give credit to the backstage makeup artists responsible for smudging models’ lids to perfection. Reality check: Middle Eastern women have been working the kohl-rimmed look for centuries. To help ladies on this side of the Atlantic achieve that exotic effect, Bobbi Brown, L’Oréal Paris, Guerlain, and Revlon have launched new liners this year that boast super-pigmented, inky-black formulas.
The desire to exude an air of exotic mystery is also reflected in the latest fragrance launch from Tom Ford, Sahara Noir. The bold, incense-based scent includes sexy notes like bitter orange, cinnamon, cedar, frankincense resin, and vanilla for what Ford says is a “deep and substantial perfume” that is a nod to “the untamed beauty of the Arabian Peninsula.” One whiff and we felt transported.
Tom Ford Sahara Noir, $150, neimanmarcus.com
Revlon Photoready Kajal Intense Eyeliner + Brightener in Carbon Cleopatra, $8.99, revlon.com
Guerlain Kôhl Me Kajal Eyeliner, $37, nordstrom.com
L‘Oréal Voluminous Smoldering Liner in Black, $8.95, lorealparisusa.com
Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Kajal Liner in Noir, $24, bobbibrowncosmetics.com
When Chanel launches a new shade of nail polish, it’s not unlike a magician’s prop in that it seemingly vanishes before your eyes. The new duo that appeared on chanel.com today is likely to perform the same disappearing act as the many bottles of limited-edition colors (like the elusive Jade) that came before it. Magic, an indigo, and Cosmic, a black lacquer laced with blue and silver pearl, are both designed with the night sky in mind. Reminiscent of the house’s Fall 2013 collection, the onyx hue evokes the glittery tweeds sent down the runway, and the cerulean tone is similar to the blue fur hats fitted on select models’ heads, or the double-breasted jacket worn by Cara Delevingne. Karl Lagerfeld and makeup artist Peter Philips intended the celestial lids dotted with jumbo silver sparkles (created for this season) to be seen from the last row at the Grand Palais, but these subtle yet festive varnishes are to be viewed at cocktail-party range—subtly catching the light as you tip back your flute of champagne.
$27 each, chanel.com