Kimberly Taylor, author of our summer beauty diary and this week’s beauty adventure.
by Tiffany Etessami
Viviane Vidal’s Beauty Adventure made us curious about the process of the Brazilian manicure. We were able to speak to Fernanda Lacerda, owner of Maria Bonita Salon & Spa (the salon that Viviane swears by). She took us through the steps of this impeccable mani.
At Maria Bonita, the entire process takes about forty-five minutes – it is meticulously done, and worth the extra time. The treatment begins with a paraffin immersion (during the colder months) or a cooling masque (during the Summer). This is followed by exfoliation, and an intense hand massage.
Here’s the part that makes this manicure so unique: every single inner and exposed cuticle will be removed. Following that, your nails will be painted all over, leaving absolutely no corner behind. It is going to look sloppy at first – polish will go on your skin – but this is intentional. They want to make sure the entire nail is covered with lacquer. Finally, they will remove the excess polish with acetone remover.
In the end, your hands will feel smoother, and your nails will have a beautiful, lustrous finish!
By Tiffany Etessami
Typically, the term “supermodel” is associated with perfection: perfect hair, perfect face, perfect body. That being said, Kate Moss is undeniably one of the most iconic models of our time. Think about it: is she perfect? No. She is short by modeling standards (5’7’’), waif-thin and flat-chested. What she is, though, is revolutionary.
When the modeling world was ruled by Amazonian beauties like Claudia Schiffer, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, this lanky British girl stepped onto the scene and completely changed the conventions of what is beautiful. She ushered in an entirely new look – heroin chic – that took the fashion world by storm and transformed the runway. She used features that others would see as imperfections, and made them the key components of what makes her stunning.
Over the past twenty years, the modeling world has drastically changed. Now, many of the top models have a slight imperfection that makes them unique and even more gorgeous. Take Lara Stone, the face of Calvin Klein. The Dutch beauty’s signature feature is the large gap between her front teeth. Most people would get braces and fix it. Stone embraced this quirk, and she is now regarded as one of the top fashion models in the world, according to Models.com. Another model who is really working her gap is Georgia May Jagger. The Rolling Stones offspring is currently the face of Rimmel London, and her recognizable pout is the focal point of their latest lipstick campaign. Even today’s biggest supermodel, Gisele Bundchen, has flaws. The Brazilian star’s nose has often come under scrutiny for being on the large side, but her refusal to get a rhinoplasty only adds to her appeal. There is nothing sexier or more beautiful than being comfortable in your own skin.
Take Jennifer Grey, star of mega-blockbuster Dirty Dancing. After the success of her film, she underwent two rhinoplasty procedures and became virtually unrecognizable. Her career never recovered. Nowadays, many actresses are embracing their imperfections. Glee’s Lea Michele is very short and has a large nose. By the typical conventions of society, she is not a beauty. Her talent, confidence and refusal to alter her appearance have made her a huge star and role model to girls.
Imperfections make people special. Be it a mole, a gap or even a scar, beauty can always be found in these so-called “flaws”. Embrace the features that make you unique – it’s what makes you irreplaceable.
Swiss photographer Reto Caduff celebrates the beauty of girls with freckles in a limited edition photography book called “Freckles.” The book features fifty portraits of young women with various amounts of freckles with no make-up artist involved. Photographed in natural light, the gorgeous images are printed in toned black and white.
In the words of the author:
“We live in strange times: I noticed that often in today’s photography, models with freckles have them either covered by make up or removed in post production. Just search for freckles online and most results are for ways to get rid of them. I want to pay homage to these spots that make a face so unique and fascinating.”
The book’s foreword is written by dermatologist and professor Jonathan Rees who is credited in discovering the gene MC1R, responsible for freckles.
To learn more about Freckles: Freckledbeauties.com
To buy in the US: amazon.com
Photo from “Freckles” by Reto Caduff
Not all embrace imperfections. The cosmetic surgery trend is still growing for both men and women, with 13.8 million procedures in 2011, a 5% increase from 2010.
The top cosmetic procedures are breast augmentations, nose reshapings, liposuction, eyelid surgery and facelifts, which is back in the top five for the first time since 2004, replacing tummy tucks. Other procedures with increasing popularity are: chin augmentations (+71%), lip augmentations (+49%), buttocks implants (43%) and buttock lifts (38%). Botox is still the favorite minimally invasive cosmetic procedure, followed by fillers, chemical peels, laser hair removal and microdermabrasion.
Even if more men are going under the knife (+6%), most cosmetic procedures are done on women (91%)
Data from American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Image: Photo of Andy Warhol’s painting Before and After at the Metropolitan Museum
In recent years, magazines are showing all types of models, from different nationalities, shapes, sizes and ages. Different has become beautiful. Crooked smiles, moles, scars, athletic builds all have their place in beauty. How refreshing this all is, especially for our children.
However, certain “flaws” are not flattering on anyone, who would want to highlight a pimple or dark circles under your eyes? Here some tricks to camouflage when necessary:
- I hide my dark circles and blemishes with a bit of liquid foundation (a shade that blends in perfectly) and my favorite concealer from Cle de Peau (a magic stick).
- I use Proactiv for my acne, it truly has been a miracle worker for me.
- I use L’Oreal Sublime Bronze self tanner mixed with Nivea Q 10 lotion to make my less than smooth legs appear silky.
- My hair remains it’s natural color and I use products like Morroccan Oil and Leonor Greyl Mask Orchidee to keep it looking its best.
We all have our little helpers, and there is nothing wrong with it. Confidence after all is always the most attractive feature.
The woman that made the unibrow appealing, Frida Kahlo.
Image: Frida Kahlo Self Portrait 1926
by Carole Hallac
Michael Phelps has to face great challenges in this coming Olympics. Will he still be number one, beating his fierce competitor Ryan Lochte? Will he win at least three medals, beating gymnast Larissa Latynina’s record of a whopping eighteen medals?
Maybe a bit shallow on our part, but we can’t help but wonder about another challenge he must face every day spending hours training in the pool: how does he protect his hair from harsh chlorine and keep his skin moisturized? The champ swears by Head & Shoulders, the popular dandruff shampoo that he became a spokeperson for in a recent media campaign.
However, for real beauty secrets, probably always better to ask a woman. When it comes to moisturizer, his female colleague, and five time olympian, Dara Torres uses AmLactin® Ultra Hydrating Body Cream, which just tapped the gorgeous athlete as a sponsor: ”I approach all aspects of my life with the same intensity as my training, including how I take care of my skin. AmLactin® Ultra Hydrating Body Cream works wonders to restore my skin’s softness after a long day in the pool, so it fits well into my daily health and beauty routine”.
In a recent interview for the LATimes, Torres shared more of her beauty regiment: La Mer and Sisley as face moisturizers, and WEN shampoo. She advises to rotate shampoo and doesn’t use any chlorine-removing branded products because they can remove the natural moisture and make the hair more susceptible to damage. She suggests to swimmers that are not competing at the Olympics to put conditioner under their swim cap.
Definitely great advice for our summer days by the pool, however very doubtful that we will be wearing the cap…
Amazing Serena, winning Wimbledon and shooting for gold at the Olympics. Believe it or not, being the best tennis player in the world is not her only talent. She is also an awesome manicurist! Serena is known to be obsessed with her nails, getting a manicure every four days and a pedicure once a week. Then, two years ago, she had the brilliant idea to become a certified nail technician. Would you like to see her in action? Check this vintage video of Serena giving Oprah a pedicure.
Photo from Wimbledon 2012.