As soon as I heard Lupita Nyong'o is the new face of Lancome, I thought of her goosebump-inducing speech on perceptions of beauty.
I knew I'd be the wrong person to cover the Banya phenomenon since my only readily available Russian references are my first drink (White Russian) and the Russian boxer in one of the "Rocky" films. Oh and my Russian-American homeboy from undergrad. Cool dude. So here's Shanna's take on Brooklyn Banya and its 10,000 sq. ft. of Russian Turkish awesomeness:
I knew I'd be the wrong person to cover the Banya phenomenon since my only readily available Russian references are my first drink (White Russian) and the Russian boxer in one of the "Rocky" films. Oh and my Russian-American homeboy from undergrad. Cool dude.
So here's Shanna's take on Brooklyn Banya and its 10,000 sq. ft. of Russian Turkish awesomeness:
A Little Background
The focus of the banya is the sauna. Some banyas have moist heat and dry heat, but it’s not a banya without a sauna.
The heat can go up to 200 degrees…there’s a chance you’ll begin to molt like a snake. And that’s a good thing. I saw many women using exfoliating gloves outside of the banya to wash themselves thoroughly from head to toe.
You’ll want to take the banya in doses; thankfully there are cold showers and a cold dunking pool, which are so refreshing after the heat.
The banya is a social scene. In between trips to the saunas groups of friends or family lounge in the restaurant over traditional food and beer.
It really was an escape where time slowed down. I saw very few people on their phones and I didn’t even miss mine.
By the time we left, I felt more relaxed and serene than I had felt in a while. Plus my skin was scarily smooth and every one kept commenting on how I was glowing. I'm hooked.
Like many people though, I feel like Basquiat "speaks to me" in a very special way.
So yeah, I get a little pissed when I see someone rocking a Basquiat tee and I assume they don't have the "relationship" that I have with him. The irony is, I'm more than a little enamored with this tee.
My feelings of "proprietary" grew even stronger as I heard about the turf war of sorts happening regarding Christie's now-controversial Basquiat auction. Google that ish.
At least I saw authentic (?) Basquiat items in person that I'd once seen in books. That's pretty dope. Unless they're fake...then that's wiggety wack.
As I viewed Olive Oyl (pic below), it reminded me of the dewy satisfaction that Jergens Shea Butter Oil ($8.99) gave me the other day.
A) You already know how I feel about the restorative powers of shea butter
B) This oil shaved off 3 minutes from my get-dressed-for-work routine*
C) It has a light fragrance (very light...you know I can't stand an oppressive perfume)
*How did it do so? While still in the shower, I applied it to my damp skin and then blotted my skin with the towel. Et voile...moisturized for the day.
Perhaps you've heard my rants on the Academy Awards being inferior to the Tony Awards.
You haven't though because I tend to keep my non-sensical biases to myself. Er...most of the time. This year, I embraced my hypocrisy and joined the mass hysteria that was Oscars anticipation.
So I joined my Glam brethren (sistren) at Soho House for an Oscars viewing party. I had a blast watching sitting in big, fluffy screening chairs with a drink in hand and snacks galore.
As we Travoltify our names for the gazillionth time, let's take a moment to discuss Idina Menzel's super-sleek hair.
I gotta tell you I was so impressed to see what celebrity hairstylist Roque did to keep Menzel's famously curled tresses straight (even in LA rain). Impressed? Yes. Surprised? No. The master of curlery, John Frieda, was of course at the root (sorry) of Menzel's gorgeously retro sleek waves. Wait? That was an oxymoron...but you know what I mean!
Here's how Roque created Menzel's look:
Naomi Watts gave amazing face tonight at the 86th Annual Academy Awards. Wanna know the beauty deets?
For a modern take on classic, makeup artist Matthew VanLeeuwen created a pearlescent, lilac eye and a sultry, plum lip to complement Naomi's light pearl Calvin Klein Collection gown.
Lancôme Color Design 5 Pan Eyeshadow Palette in Plum Splendor - Matthew applied the base shade all over, then layered the palest lilac on top, blending the beige and lilac shades to create a pale lid. He then dotted the dark plum liner in between each lash to add depth. Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl in Black Coffee Lancôme Cils Booster XL Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara
Matthew prepped Naomi's skin with Giorgio Armani Crema Nera Extrema Serum NEW Lancôme Le Correcteur Pro in 300 Bisque Giorgio Armani Maestro Cream Compact Foundation #4 Giorgio Armani Sheer Blush #10
Giorgio Armani #7 Smooth Silk Lip Pencil Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipstick in #502 Scarlatto
As we not-so-patiently await everyone's new girl crush, Lupita Nyong'o, her assumingly stunning Oscars gown (and dope 'fro remix) tomorrow, check out the Best Actress Oscar Gowns Since 1929 & choose your favorite! Barbara Streisand in Arnold Scassi (1969) steals my sartorial heart. I love boy-meets-girl style!
As we not-so-patiently await everyone's new girl crush, Lupita Nyong'o, her assumingly stunning Oscars gown (and dope 'fro remix) tomorrow, check out the Best Actress Oscar Gowns Since 1929 & choose your favorite!
Barbara Streisand in Arnold Scassi (1969) steals my sartorial heart. I love boy-meets-girl style!
Follow me on Twitter & get ready to rap "red carpet" with me tomorrow starting at 6PM.
One of the easiest things to do as an East Coaster is complain about winter weather.
The work week mantra was "Is it Friday yet?". That has been replaced with "Is it April yet?".
We're grumpier. We're more tense. Our senses of humor are gone with the mind-numbing wind. Plus, it wrecks havoc on our skin.
Biore Self Heating Mask ($6.49) is the arctic-tundra-turned-spring (*fingers crossed*) antidote.
As charcoal sucks out impurities, the mask heats up and offers tingling coolness simultaneously. I warn you: you will be in awe and want to investigate this skincare sorcery.
Unfortunately, you won't have enough time to crack the code...the mask takes only ONE MINUTE to do its thing. And it removes 2.5 time more oil and dirt than typical cleansers!
You'll want to sing. You'll want to make you leap. You'll want to tweet tweet this heat.
Thank you for my new favorite catchphrase, Nick Cannon!
As pitches to ghost write my blog roll in, mama (um, me) realized she needed to make a Jay-Z-style comeback.
The word "raw" conjures references aplenty (like my new raw oyster addiction and Eddie Murphy's "Raw" comedy concert), but for now let's focus on "raw" beauty.
My latest crush is on CRÈME ANCIENNE ULTIMATE NOURISHING HONEY MASK ($130) from Fresh. You can use it up to four times a week on cleansed skin to lend lubrication to the skin. Sure, I could've used another word there, but that one was much more satisfying.
It is made from hydrating shea butter, Vitamin E, and pure honey to help attract and seal in moisture. I used it once this week and my skin (prone to dryness as soon as summer's humidity dissipates) looked moisturized even without moisturizer. Old dirty dog ain't no liar!
True dat: It's pricey, but you honestly only need to apply a thin layer to your grillpiece. Until next time, I leave you with this ditty...from Dirty:
Curiously my TV has seen quite a bit of the NBA Finals.
Curiously my TV has seen quite a bit of the NBA Finals.My sofa has experienced impassioned yelps and abundant profanity.
In short, my apartment is experiencing an NBA takeover; so maybe it's time for my NBA makeover. See what I did there?
Fact: I am a native New Yorker
A) Despite that, I anticipate a Spike Lee sighting more than an actual Knicks' game
B) The above statement leads me to...
Fact: I have no allegiance to any team. I base my cheers purely on...
A) The team who is working together ("hustling"?) better
B) The player that I find most attractive
As you can imagine, those facts brought me nowhere closer to my NBA Finals makeover; but this NBA Fashion page did! I think of my friend Crystal and her penchant for off-the-shoulder sweatshirts when I see this Knicks Andrews Top ($44.99). She of course, would rock her home team, the 76ers.
As high-top fades and Gumbys are in full effect (again), wouldn't you say it's time for a little '80s-inspired sweatshirt action? Speaking of action, if my crew were challenged to a b-ball game, I’d totally wear the Andrews Top. I'm pretty sure we'd look like the clip below (because I’m b-ball challenged):
During a particularly cathartic " Buddha" moment, I gave away one of my mom's amazing '70s hand-me-downs. It was an indigo-denim dress with a fitted top, long sleeves and an amazing flared skirt. It also happened to be the maternity dress she wore with ME in her belly. As much as I try to "que sera sera" that decision, it truly is a "que pena" moment (shout out to my Spanish teacher, Ms. Gliatta). So yeah, I have tacitly vowed to replicate the flyness that was that dress for the past 15 years. Seemingly impossible (it was dope plus it had sentimental value), I found my faith renewed when eShakti contacted me.
eShakti has a website chock full of styles to satisfy even the most finicky palates. How? You find a design you like and make it one you love (by altering aspects like the neckline, sleeves, length, and pockets even!); the cost to make changes is only $7.95. For the Queen of Picky Eaters (er, me), it was a movable feast of fashion once I picked my complimentary design.
I chose the Retro Chambray Shirtdress ($64.95). I shortened it to knee length and changed the sleeves from three-quarter to long. The neckline was perfect as is and of course, I kept the pockets intact; mama needs a place to put her hands. Its structured shoulders and soft chambray fabrication were chic edits to my mom's dress.
Until March 25th, Temple of Glam readers will receive $25 off orders with promo code TEMPLEFGLM46.
As you'll see below, I completed my homage to '70s glamour with my brown knee-high boots (I forget the designer, but they're beyond) and my new fluffy hair:
Raise your hand if you had the pleasure of gaining the "Freshman 15". Never the bandwagon-jumper, I gained the lbs. during my senior year. Blimey, I'm a rebel!
I went through the obligatory emotions: denial, bewilderment, and full-blown obsession about the new-found junk in my very-spacious trunk.
What does that have to do with Valentine's Day? No idea. I consider this a safe space so don't mess that up by judging me now.
As my co-workers discuss taking the entire week off this year to avoid the mushy-lovie-dovieness of Valentine's Day, I thought about a perfect gift for gals in and out of coupledom.
The Petit Four Lip Balm Set ($14) offers four (obvi) plastic petits four, which hold a lip-smoothing balm. So yeah, whether you're puckering up to your loved one or giving yourself an arm hickey, your lips will be soft.
And honestly, isn't that what Valentine's Day is all about...arm hickeys?
Look. I keep my makeup pretty simple on most days: mascara, lip gloss, and blush. Sometimes though, especially if I'm working a more androgynous outfit, I turn it up with a winged liner or heap on a massive amount of blush for a babydoll effect.
The other day I worked my "Annie Hall"-inspired look so I decided to turn up my eyes with some liner. I did this ignoring the fact that I had an eye doctor appointment: dilated pupils, glaucoma test, teary eyes. Let's just say I lack far sight and foresight from time to time.
Luckily, L'Oreal sent me the new The Super-Slim by Infallible ($8.99). First, it goes so close to the lash line! Second, as I found myself wiping away black makeup throughout the multiple eye-ball, my mascara was gone and my liner was still intact. As I felt my way around the city (you know, dilated pupils and all), I knew my lids were covered...infallibly. Not sold yet? J-Lo wore Super-Slim at this year's Golden Globes...BOOM.
EXCLUSIVE TEMPLE OF GLAM GIVEAWAY!
One Temple of Glam reader will win a signed copy of Jillian Michaels' new book, Slim for Life & a month's supply of popchips (including the delish new tortilla chips)! Just "Like" Temple of Glam on Facebook to be automatically entered...easy peasy!
5 TIPS FROM JILLIAN MICHAELS:
Make A Resolution…And Keep It
Resolutions don't have to begin and end at the start of a new year; resolve to do it and start now!
It’s All About Balance
Eat three balanced meals (every four hours) with a snack between lunch and dinner. That's key! Reach for a healthful snack like carrot sticks and hummus, fresh fruit, or almonds and dried cranberries.
Just Because It’s Not Fried Doesn’t Mean It’s Not Delicious
When you're in the mood to nosh, replace fried potato chips with a more healthful alternative that satisfies your salty craving. popchips are a great and my favorite snack option! They're delicious and one single-serving bag has less than half the fat of fried chips (and only 100 calories)!
Cook Healthful Alternatives
Opt for cooking methods that use little or no fat such as steaming, grilling, baking, popping, broiling or roasting. Have a weakness for fried chicken? Instead take skinless chicken breast cutlets, cover them in egg whites and a crushed up cereal like cornflakes and bake. You'll get the same great taste and more than half the calories and fat!
Grab A Buddy
You will achieve greater success when you have support. So get your friends together. Here's to a healthier you in 2013!
J-Lo looked amazing at last night's 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Here's the rundown from celebrity makeup artist, Mary Phillips!
STEP 1: Mary prepped Jennifer’s skin with L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Miracle Blur ($24.99).
STEP 2: She warmed up Jennifer’s skin using L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Makeup in Caramel Beige ($10.95).
STEP 3: She used L’Oréal Paris Super-Blendable True Match Crayon Concealer in Fair/Light Warm ($8.95) to brighten up the under-eye area and illuminate the cheek bones.
STEP 4: Mary used a small amount of L’Oréal Paris Visible Lift Color Lift Blush in Nude Lift ($12.95) on Jennifer’s cheeks for a hint of color and sheen.
STEP 5: She used several colors of the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Eye Shadow Quads ($7.95): Cupa Joe as a base and Black Pump around the outer corners.
STEP 6: She added L’Oréal Paris Infallible Eye Shadow in Eternal Black ($7.95) toward the lash line to create depth and sculpt the eyes around the crease.
STEP 7: Mary used the L’Oréal Paris Super Slim Liner by Infallible ($8.95) on the top lids to further define the eyes.
STEP 8: She then used the L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Shocking Extensions Mascara ($9.95) on the top and bottom lashes to complete the smoky-eye look.
STEP 9: Mary kept the lips very warm and neutral with a nude lip using L’Oréal Paris Colour Caresse Shine Stain in Eternally Nude ($9.99).
WHAT: Free Manicures in LA & NYC
WHEN: Today, January 11 5-8PM
WHERE: Any of these nail salons/spas
HOW: Simply choose your manicure shade from the Debborah Lippmann GIRLS collection (in picture below) inspired by the characters of HBO's "Girls" and take the bottle (and fresh-to-death Nails by Incoco nail appiques) home.
Image courtesy of runway.blogs.nytimes.com
MY EXPERIENCE: I walked down the street yesterday and was asked, "do you want a free manicure?". I quickly wondered if this was some kidney-harvesting ploy, but decided since she stopped me in front of Spa Belles, it was probably legit. As the concept was explained to me (each shade represents Hannah (hunter green), Jessa (burgundy), Shoshanna (violet) & Marnie (pink)), I studied each one. As I selected my shade I began to quietly chant, "Don't pick Hannah. Don't pick Hannah. For the love of Pop Tarts, don't pick effing Hannah!" Of course I picked Hannah.
Whatevs. I love that hunter green. I even happened to wear a Hannah-esque vintage dress yesterday. Dagnabbit, I can't escape her.
There are several iconic movies that we can quote ad infinitum. "What's Love Got to Do with It" is definitely one of those films. Well, at least for me. As much as it brought the drama (limo-fight scene anyone?), it also created comedy in the least likely places (limo-fight scene anyone?).
As many times as my crew and I beg one another to "eat the cake", I implore myself every fall to "moisturize the hands". I make a half-hearted vow to use moisturizing gloves every fall/winter. But let's be real. Who really has the wherewith all to use them consistently?
Sure, during winter months we tend to wear gloves, but some of us need to start earlier in the season. And by "some of us", I mean um, me.
This is where Nivea Extended Moisture Hand Cream ($4.99) comes in. It's made for very dry, rough hands. I used it once and almost didn't recognize my hands. Soft, soft, soft but not greasy, greasy, greasy (like "Ike's" hair in the clip below).
Perhaps you are familiar with Dr. Miracle's commercials. If you have never watched BET, there's a good chance you have never seen one. Lucky you.
Dr. Miracle's commercials are what nightmares are made of. There's often a pretty brown lady with dehydrated (read: crazy looking) hair. Out of nowhere an omnipotent voice (God, is that you?) and a detached arm appear. The bellowing voice offers snarky beauty advice and taunts her a little; then "the hand" presents her with a Dr. Miracle's product. Now I'm all over camp, but there's something way too I Know What You Did Last Summer about the commercials. Can a be-hooked hand be too far behind?
Rant over. I received a box of Dr. Miracle's products and after meticulously checking for dismembered limbs, I tried them out. Since it's summertime, I was very happy to use the Day Treatment Facial Moisturizer ($8). It boasts ingredients like soy, shea butter, and Vitamins A, C & E. Also, it has SPF 15. Plus, it features their signature "Feel It" formula, which means there's an awesome cooling-tingle thingie. My skin looked instantly hydrated, felt cool, and was protected from the sun. Score.
Watch at your own risk...you've been warned!
Recently reminiscing about my first trip to London, a few "episodes" came to mind: my almost-unspeakable bohemian phase (socks with sandals anyone?), ballooning up two dress sizes, and of course exploring the city on a 50 pound/week stipend (I ate a lot of frozen Hawaiian pizza...don't ask).
Then there's my Heathrow Airport experience, but I'll avoid that air pocket-paved trip down memory lane.
I remember walking through Brixton where I stumbled upon Electric Avenue. I chanted the '80s classic as if my own private meditative mantra and continued on my vintage-shop quest. Though I found the perfect surrogate grandma and a beef patty in Brixton, my perfect-vintage-shop search continued throughout London.
My love of vintage and (well-done) vintage-inspired tees was only enhanced by my trip to England.
Here are some great vintage-inspired tees with a decidedly English state of mind.
Queen In Concert ($25)
Sex Pistols "Rotten" ($20)
Ziggy Stardust ($20)
If you've been unlucky enough to be with me in a nail spa/salon when a man saunters in, you've inevitably heard me mumble and grumble about the "intrusion".
Mumbles include colorful variations of "GAH! Can't a girl wear a mini skirt while pedicuring without having to cover up?". Followed by the whiny query, "why can't they find their own spot?"
Enter NYC's BBRAXTON. Its tagline, "Exceptional Grooming. For Exceptional Men.", truly says it all, but fine if you need more, here you go.
Founded by the beautiful (Tony Award-nominated) Brenda Braxton, it boasts an impressive menu of services, including: Hair cuts, hair care, and spa treatments (*ahem* like manicures).
Look at that...just in time for Father's Day. Boys, give it a try...and keep out of our salons. K? Love ya. Mean it.
Image courtesy of Shedelle Holmes
Before Styled by June. Before her turban line. Before something else monumental, I loved June Ambrose.
Perhaps you remember when I met her at a fashion event last fall. I totally bartered with the Essence magazine photographer: "You can totally take a pic of me...um, but will you introduce me to June? I like, love her."
Minutes later it happened. She took a look at me in my vintage coat and said, "Girrrrrrl, you got me tonight. I spit on you...puh". True story.
When I found out that my super-talented, celebrity hair stylist friend, Shedelle Holmes, created June's luscious waves for the CFDA awards this week, I had to get the scoop for us:
Shedelle's inspiration: "June is, of course, a trendsetter and I wanted her to be the 'eye catcher' of the night so that meant her hair had to make a statement. My inspiration behind June's voluminous waves was the late Donna Summer.
Oh and here I am stepping and repeating with Ms. Ambrose last fall. No biggie.
Things I love? "Sailing" by Christopher Cross and old episodes of "Martin". There are more things, of course, but for the purpose of this piece, I'm going to stop right there.
I attended the Things We Love Summer Sail the other day and I cannot (well, I can, but I won't) stop raving about the fun I had.
First, I had the greatest table mates. Image courtesy of The Glamazon Diaries.
Second, upon boarding Atlantica yacht we were greeted with Bahama Mamas (and Papas?). In keeping with the Caribbean theme, we enjoyed a Mexican lunch and dessert (customized ice cream sandwiches from CoolHaus).
Third, we received a massive Lands' End tote that was, like its contents, perfect for beach-y adventures. It was so heavy, in fact, it tipped over more than a couple of chairs when we went upstairs for dessert.
1. Dove Clear Tone Skin Renew Clinical Protection Deodorant, Available at Drugstore.com for $7.99
2. Echo Design Bikini Bags, Available at Zappos.com for $20
3. Ettika adjustable Neon Satin Cord with gold Faceted Beads, Available at Ettika.com for $40
4. Fekkai Summer Hair After Sun Daily Mask, Available at Fekkai.com for $25
5. Flywheel Giftcards, Available at Flysports.com for $30
6. Goody Quik Style Paddle Brush, Available at Target.com for $11.99
7. Hawaiian Tropic Shimmer Effect Coconut Papaya After Sun Lotion, Available at Ulta.com for $6.79
8. Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen SPF 50, Available at Walgreens.com for $10.99
9. Lands’ End Natural Zip Totes in Melon, Available at LandsEnd.com for $35
10. Nest Fragrances Votive Candles, Available at Shop.NestFragrances.com for $14
11. OPI Holland Collection Polishes, Available at Amazon.com for $6.99
12. Philip B Katira Hair Masque, Available at PhilipB.com for $40
13. Reach Toothbrushes from the Jeff Lewis & Shoshanna Gruss Collections, Available at Amazon.com for $6.12
14. Sanuk Women’s Ibiza Stitch Sandals, Available at Sanuk.com for $20
15. Schick Hydro Silk for Women Razor, Available at Soap.com for $11.49
16. Sonia Kashuk Assorted Cosmetic Bags, Available at Target.com for $5.99-$24.99
17. Starbucks Refreshers Sparkling Green Coffee Energy Beverage, Available at Grocery stores nationwide for $1.99
18. Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balms, Available at Target.com for $16
19. Tarte Amazonian Clay Bronzer, Available at TarteCosmetics.com for $37
20. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Pencil, Available at UrbanDecay.com for $19
Right after we disembarked, we hung out at Chelsea Piers where Makeda cracked open her Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration™ Lotion Sunscreen. Available in SPF 15, 30, and 50 (yes, 50), we slathered it on and the raving began. It moisturizes and glides on to the skin (brown girls, we've all experienced chalk-colored sunscreen that just sits atop the skin). So that's major. Plus, it contains all-natural shea butter.
Almost as soon as I walked into my apartment, I unzipped the tote and found a NEST Fragrances votive candle. The grapefruit scent was so intoxicating, I (literally) ran into my bedroom and placed it on my nightstand.
Here's a pic of the Fekkai Hair Mask, Tarte Bronzer & Etrika bracelet (I slapped it on as soon as I saw its neon goodness).
Finally since outfit of the day seems to be "a thing" now, here's how I rocked the boat (Yup, another Aaliyah reference).
While you're here, enjoy the tranquil and melodic stylings of Mr. Christopher Cross. Love him.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Hawaiian Tropic® Sun Care via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Hawaiian Tropic. Hawaiian Tropic is a trademark of Tanning Research Laboratories, LLC.