Ask any beauty editor her secret to smooth, radiant skin, and chances are she’s using a Clarisonic. The oscillating brush has long been a desert-island essential for deep cleaning (the bristles move 200 to 350 times per second and remove six times more dirt than your hands), shrinking pores, preventing breakouts, and imparting a luminous glow. The brand offers a brush head and cleanser for every skin type, whether yours is sensitive, dry, or acne-prone, but omitted one crucial antiaging concern: hyper-pigmentation. At least until now.
The new Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution promises to reduce the appearance of dark spots (i.e, that smattering of freckles you earned at the beach) in as little as two weeks. The kit includes the cult-favorite Aria body design with densely packed, super-soft bristles that “buff” pigment at the skin’s surface and fade excess melanin. Meant to be used twice daily, the Sonic Radiance Solution comes with a gentle, milky morning cleanser and a more intense Skin Renewing Peel Wash for night laced with LHA (an acid that gently resurfaces skin) and gylcolic acid, to improve texture and tone. The Brightening Activator Serum, which should be applied directly after cleansing, is packed with potent ellagic acid and phenylethyl resorcinol to minimize the damage you incurred during those long summer days in the sun.
Considering the number of underwhelming “glow-inducing” products out there, I was skeptical, but after using the system for a few days, I noticed a difference. The pillowy brush and antioxidant-rich products felt luxurious, and my complexion looked radiant after each scrubbing session. Any redness was diminished, and the overall tone was considerably more even—almost like a soft-blur effect. I might not be in the market for an extreme antiaging regimen (yet), but there isn’t a demographic on earth who doesn’t want to brighten up.
Nicolas Ghesquière’s final Balenciaga collection (Spring ’13, left) may feel like a distant memory in light of his new role at Louis Vuitton, but it will always be one of our all-time favorites. In addition to the striking silhouettes, high-tech fabrics, and a bra top that spurred a thousand copies (see Look 1), the hair was particularly on point: Each model’s imperfect ‘do was topped off with a gilded half-moon barrette. I’ve been dreaming about the minimal accessory ever since, and was willing to pay top dollar for one of my own—or at least a really good substitute. I’d all but given up when I stumbled upon this clip at Urban Outfitters for $12. I’m stocking up in the rare chance they sell out or get lost in the depths of my bag. The flash of gold will instantly elevate my denim-heavy uniform, not to mention messy second-day hair. It might just be the easiest DIY runway trend I’ve come across yet.
It’s hard to imagine that Deborah Lippmann’s dazzling career as one of fashion’s top manicurists actually started as a day job to support what was supposed to be her true calling as a jazz singer. Even her future husband, Jude Severin, a former manager at Birdland, a landmark jazz club in New York City, did not realize Lippmann could belt a tune until their second date, when she took him to a Knicks game…and then opened it by singing the National Anthem.
“I was the world’s worst waitress, so I figured if I went to cosmetology school, I could sit down all day and hold hands with people, then stand up and sing in clubs at night,” she reminisced during an appearance at Colette in Paris, before accepting an impromptu request to sing a few bars of her recent composition, “Until Your Dreams Come True,” for a small gathering of editors. (More on that song in a moment.) Fast-forward fifteen years: Lippmann counts Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o among her clients, and she’s tagged along on the Lady Gaga “rocketship” more times than she can remember. “She pushed me beyond what I ever thought I would do with a nail,” Lippmann laughed of the over-the-top pop star. When polish pro launched her eponymous nail color line, in 1999, she named her twenty-seven debut colors after favorite songs. Treatment products soon followed. (The Cure cuticle cream and Rich Girl hand cream are consistent top sellers.)
But back to that song: To celebrate her brand’s 15th anniversary, the manicurist put fifteen of her favorite shades into a black lacquered music box ($250, fifty available at Barneys in September), with the pro herself providing the vocals for the limited-edition coffer (when you open the lid, that same tune Lippmann sang on the beauty floor at Colette, “Until Your Dreams Come True,” starts playing). The lineup includes a smattering of glitters for which Lippmann became famous (“almost accidentally,” she notes), house classics, new colors, and her latest “matteen” Chrome finish. “My true calling is to help smart women be as smart and demanding about their nails as they are about their hair and face,” she said. Mission accomplished.
This spring brought us two jewel-toned lip looks that were seriously striking: Joan Smalls’ amethyst pout at the Met ball in Manhattan (seen below) and Rihanna’s emerald mouth at the iHeartRadio Music Awards in L.A. Ever since, my seatmate, fellow lipstick lover, and Style.com’s social media editor, Rachel Walgrove, and I have tried tracking down similar tubes to no avail. Today, however, we discovered the holy grail of offbeat, opaque colors: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics “Unknown Pleasures” Lip Tars. Our favorites from the range that dropped online today: Vain (a dark indigo with green undertones reminiscent of RiRi); Technopagan (a metallic purple bordering on navy that’s the closest thing we’ve found to Smalls’ shocking violet); Pagan (a blackened plum comparable to another makeup move the model and Style.com/Print cover girl made last year); Covet (a camel color that has normcore written all over it); and Manhunter (a glittery red that is the next best thing to Saint Laurent’s ruby slippers). Commitment-phobes, be warned, these matte, liquid formulas have serious staying power and pack a major punch of pigment that practically requires paint solvent to take off, but our motto when it comes to mouthing off: Go big or go home.
$18 each; occmakeup.com
“When I’ve done nails for shows, I’ve never done anything with them,” reminisced designer Tess Giberson. “I’ve always been like, ‘Oh, I’ll just do nude.’” When she met polish pro Jin Soon Choi two seasons ago, however, her philosophy took a dramatic turn. For Fall 2014, the duo developed a “monochromatic French manicure” using gunmental at the base and white at the tip. And similar to how Giberson twisted the “L.L.Bean classics” she grew up with in New Hampshire—like a puffer jacket and farmer check shirt—and turned them into something women would want to wear now, so did Choi with traditional Fall shades like forest green, eggplant, and slate. “I wanted to transform these colors and add a fun, glamorous, or sophisticated dimension,” Choi explained. She did this by incorporating textures that mimicked those found on the runway—like the sheen of a silk dress or nubby finish of a chunky knit. The result? The lineup in her latest collection (seen here, from left): Nocturne (a burnished black-gray); Pastiche (a shimmery apricot); Heirloom (a metallic turquoise); Mélange (a silver laced with dark gray speckles); and Farrago (a purple flecked with gold). As for Giberson’s former theory on nude nails, consider it colorfully updated. Choi said she didn’t have to do any convincing when it came to these rich hues. She didn’t have to twist my arm either—when sweater season rolls around again, you better believe I’ll be pairing my pullover with this paint palette…and fingerless gloves.
JINsoon Tess Giberson Collection, $18 each, available this month at jinsoon.com