How to Sneak a Manicure at Your Desk Without Getting Caught

Chanel-inspired manicure by Julie Kandalec. Hand modeling by yours truly (contact me directly for bookings. JK. But maybe).

Ooh girl, you’re goin’ out tonight! Even if you’re not, take a look at your hands. How are those nails doing? Healthy? Polished? Soft? Not exactly? Not a big deal.

There’s a short window between the work day ending and the salon closing for the night, especially when you have yoga/305/core fusion. And yes, it’s way too tight to sneak out at lunch for a mani and make it back for the conference call. You’re busy, I get it, me too!—we still deserve shiny, healthy, happy nails (and cuticles).

As for technique, Deborah Lippmann, manicure and nail care guru, weighed in on the sneaky desk manicure:

“To execute this quick, no-fuss manicure, try my special DIY trick: Start by laying your opposite hand flat on a table (or desk!) and angle it so your arm is parallel to your body. When you’re polishing, once you put the brush down, just pull it straight. Don’t try to curve it. To get into the nooks, crannies, and curves of your nails, put a little more pressure on the brush so that it widens, creating a curve. There’s enough bristles on the brush for it to do the job for you.”

Even with a hawk-like boss, you can still sneak in a manicure during work hours. The other trick is bringing everything you need with you, no hooky required. Here’s what’s what.

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PLAY THE LONG GAME

Nail health is gonna make this process so much easier and prettier, so get in the habit of moisturizing (all the time) with a rich hand cream. Go the extra mile with some cuticle oil. I’m a big fan of Byredo‘s hand cream (which is luscious and smells like you fell into a field in Holland, if you go the La Tulipe route), and I keep a cuticle oil pen in every handbag I own. The pen part makes it easy and completely mess free. You live and you learn and you become addicted to cuticle oil. Get it here and here.
hand_Cream_cuticle_oil

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TAKE IT OFF, TAKE IT ALL OFF

In the moment and feeling ready to go for it? Take it all off and keep the mess contained with this wonderful invention from Deborah Lippmann, the Stripper To Go lacquer remover. These little textured mitts “come in a travel-friendly packet and removes all 10 nails of polish with one mitt, making it discrete and mess-free,” says Lippmann. They are perfectly sized and shaped to take off any remaining polish from previous manicures, sans spills and noxious fumes—these babies are lavender scented. Get them here.

 

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GET YOUR SHAPE RIGHT

When it’s time to file, reach for the Deborah Lippmann Smooth Operator 4-Way Nail Buffer, which also offers everything you need for a polish-free mani. It’s “the ultimate multi-tasker since you’re able to shape, smooth, buff and shine your nails all in one,” says Lippmann. Get it here.
smoothoperator

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COLOR YOUR WORLD

After applying your favorite base coat (Deborah Lippman All About That Base is good, like a CC cream for your nails. Also great, Deborah Lippmann Hard Rock, which works as a strengthening base coat and topcoat in one), choose something quick drying. You do have to get back to typing, you know. But did you also know that Marc Jacobs Beauty makes the fastest drying nail polish of all time? … is what I’ve discovered doing my own research. I’ve painted my nails with it and promptly forgotten, proceeding to wash my hair 15 minutes later and emerging NAILS INTACT. Manicure miracles do happen. Get it here.
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TOP IT OFF

Go for the quick dry. Marc Jacobs Beauty in Shiny works in a pinch, and you can get it here. OR, go crazy, and try out something like Pacifica’s just launched Rainbow Gloss 7-Free Top Coat. This swirling, shining sealer isn’t quite glitter, but it adds enough oomph that you can skip out on multiple coats of color (thereby saving time). For all the animal lovers out there, the brush is 100% vegan. Get it here.
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Trying to look younger pretty much instantly? We made a guide for that.

PETA Infiltrates Hermès by Buying a Stake in the Company

The Hermès Birkin croco bag

The saga of Jane Birkin, PETA and Hermès is just getting started. In the news now: PETA has purchased a small stake of Hermès in order to have access to shareholder meetings and in the hopes that as a new shareholder, it’ll have a say on the exotic skins Hermès uses to create bags, i.e. PETA hopes to be able to stop the use of exotic skins in accessories — permanently.

According to WWD, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals now owns a single share in the French luxury leather goods house. PETA by way of its U.K. director Mimi Bekhechi, told WWD:

“As a shareholder, PETA U.S. will work from inside to demand a permanent ban on accessories made from exotic animal skins, including crocodile skin bags and alligator skin watch bands.”

Early this week, Jane Birkin asked PETA to remove her name from the Birkin crocodile bag after PETA released an investigation report that claimed farms in Texas and Zimbabwe that supply Hermès were sawing open live crocodiles. Which is horrific. Hermès politely declined the request, stating these farms don’t supply the house. Catch up on those stories here and here.

Keep your enemies close?

Dreamy Pop Vocalist Tamaryn’s Guide to Vintage Shopping in NYC

Tamaryn wears vintage Agent Provocateur on tour on the west coast this past week. Photo by Eric Tra, courtesy of Tamaryn.

Aside from being a musician we love, Tamaryn also has a great eye for vintage fashion. When we shot the singer this past spring, she showed up in a vintage Agent Provocateur see-through perspex trench coat — the kind of piece you wish you’d been the one to find. (You can see Tamaryn wearing it in the tour photo above.) Below she shares with us her favorite vintage gems to shop in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Tamaryn’s album ‘Cranekiss’ is out from Mexican Summer on August 28.

I’ve been haunting the same spots for years and although ebay and online shopping seemed to have shut down quite a few of my favorite shops (RIP Frock), some gems still remain. Here is my list of enduring New York vintage warriors that I love.

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Angela’s Vintage Boutique
26 2nd Avenue, New York, NY

My long time #1 go to for all things ‘20s and ‘30s, sparkles and cocktail. Angela and her son are Russian coveters of all things silk and sequined. I’ve been buying from her since she was on East 10th Street and visit her at least once a month. She has plenty of odds and ends from all eras, but really specializes glitzy glamour.

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Resurrection
217 Mott Street, New York, NY

I worked at this high-end hub for all things designer ‘70s to ‘90s when I was 18! I spent three years learning about the history of fashion and how it relates to music, cinema and culture in general. If I could afford to outfit myself in Alaia, YSL, Gaultier or Versace daily this is where I would go. I can’t, but if you can there is no better place.

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Cobblestones
314 E 9th Street, New York, NY

This is one of a string of stores that have been open for ages in the East Village on 9th Street. I have no idea how these store owners manage to stay in business through all the changes the neighborhood has gone through since I moved here in the early 2000s! Cobblestones is my favorite of them all because the owner is a really wonderful woman who always greets me with a “hello young lady” and without fail always sings along to the music in the store with an incredibly distinct Ethel Merman affect. They carry ‘30s through ‘70s, but at times it’s a real dig. Don’t be shy to head to the very back and ask what’s in the garment bags.

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Search and Destroy
25 St Marks Place, New York, NY

Classic St. Marks Japanese punk rock vintage store. I used to think this place was overpriced and silly when I was a teenager, but it’s endured through the years and now a knockoff SEX shirt for $50 seems like a deal. This place just rules. So many amazing t-shirts and studded jackets, bondage pants, furs and glittery cheer skirts. They also have a mechanical dildo that greets you as you walk in the door. Undoubtedly an essential New York vintage experience.

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Grand Street Bakery
602 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY

For more casual fare I like to check in here and poke around through their extensive selection of vintage denim, day dresses and even vintage beach towels and blankets. Their prices are affordable but the store feels very curated nonetheless. One of the few new vintage boutiques I frequent.

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Beacon’s Closet
74 Guernsey Street, Brooklyn, NY

Can’t have a list like this without Beacon’s. A hub for artists who work and dress there, and it has been for the past 15 years or so. I’ve shopped all its ever-changing locations and never leave disappointed. It’s also a great spot because many stylists and models (or whomever else gets gifted free designer clothes) sell there, so the racks are seemingly always littered with last season or this season’s runway threads.

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In Los Angeles? Check out our favorite west coast vintage stores.

Hermès to Jane Birkin: Sorry, We’re Keeping Your Name on the Bag, XOXO

Photos of Hermès Birkin bags via Khloe Kardashian and Kim Kardashian West on Instagram

On Tuesday Jane Birkin demanded, politely, that Hermès take her name off the iconic bag baptized in her name over 30 years ago when Jean-Louis Dumas (late chairman of Hermès) sat next to Birkin (the icon) on a plane, inspiring him to make Birkin (the bag).

Birkin made the request after learning of horrible animal cruelty from a PETA investigation report. Read her statement (and PETA’s) here.

Now Hermès has issued a response, stating,

Jane Birkin has expressed her concerns regarding practices for slaughtering crocodiles. Her comments do not in any way influence the friendship and confidence that we have shared for many years. Hermès respects and shares her emotions and was also shocked by the images recently broadcast.

An investigation is underway at the Texas farm which was implicated in the video. Any breach of rules will be rectified and sanctioned. Hermès specifies that this farm does not belong to them and that the crocodile skins supplied are not used for the fabrication of Birkin bags.

Hermès imposes on its partners the highest standards in the ethical treatment of crocodiles. For more than 10 years, we have organized monthly visits to our suppliers. We control their practices and their conformity with slaughter standards established by veterinary experts and by the Fish and Wildlife (a federal American organization for the protection of nature) and with the rules established under the aegis of the U.N.O, by the Washington Convention of 1973 which defines the protection of endangered species.

Which roughly translates to no dice, Jane. Hermès Birkin 4eva.

Balenciaga Fires Alexander Wang

Photo courtesy of Alexander Wang on Instagram

After leaving Balenciaga, can Alexander Wang get his mojo back?

When Kering appointed Alexander Wang creative director of Balenciaga in 2012, he replaced the beloved Nicolas Ghesquière who’d held the position for 15 years. The thinking was that he would bring the youth and vibrancy of his own collection (which by the way, appeals to the exact same customer as Ghesquière does), and bring it to the storied house of Balenciaga. Well, it didn’t work.

Just about three years later, Wang is out. Kering won’t renew his contract, and his spring collection, showing this September in Paris, will be his last.

Ghesquière’s departure from the Paris-based house upset a lot of loyal followers. These fans were thrilled when Ghesquière took over at Louis Vuitton, there were no doubts regarding his abilities. Not so true for Wang, whose appointment brought questions as to whether then 29-year-old Alexander Wang was ready, experienced enough, to take the reigns at Balenciaga which in 2017 will celebrate its centenary—especially while simultaneously continuing to design his eponymous collection.

Time has proved, unfortunately for Wang, that he’s not capable of maintaining the standards set by Cristobal Balenciaga, continued by Ghesquière. Despite legions of red carpet mainstays frequenting his front rows, his own brand has suffered, and as for his designs at Balenciaga, well, they never quite got in step with the codes and standards of the house. Balenciaga under Wang lacked the innovation that Ghesquière had brought. Littering the Balenciaga front row with celebrities like Kim Kardashian West, Kanye West, Lady Gaga and Jared Leto merely served as a distraction.

On Tuesday, Kering, the group that owns Balenciaga, reported a drop in earnings for the first half of 2015 that hit 13% (sales jumped up nearly 23% in the second quarter, largely due to the success of Alessandro Michele at Gucci—a worthwhile risk of an appointment).

Here’s hoping that Wang will take the opportunity to refocus on his own brand, bringing it back to the innovative standard some singular attention could make possible.

 

Alexander Wang and Lady Gaga #BalenciagaFW15 #@LadyGaga #Balenciaga #PFW

A photo posted by Balenciaga (@balenciaga) on

Orlando Bloom’s Girlfriend Stars in New Brazilian Jewelry Campaign

Fernando Jorgo “Stream” collection campaign photographed by Alessio Boni. Images courtesy of Fernando Jorge

Brazilian actress (and Orlando Bloom love interest) Luisa Moraes stars in the latest Fernando Jorge jewelry collection campaign, photographed by Alessio Boni, with art direction by Framework. Ketevan Gvaramadze styled the Brazilian beauty in a sensual selection of knits to accompany the jewels, which were inspired by the curving paths of “liquid streams finding their way over smooth surfaces,” according to the brand. Sexy.

The “Stream” collection, likewise, is totally relaxed, corporeal and languid, bringing together a mix of metals and stones for a fall jewelry collection we can’t get out of our heads.

Moraes might look familiar—aside from her mega star dating record, you might’ve seen her covering L’Officiel, in a selection of Brazilian films, or in the thriller Solace, also starring Colin Farrell and Anthony Hopkins.

Into the jewelry designs you see in the collection campaign below? You can shop Fernando Jorge here.

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Want more fall inspiration? Check out the Ellery campaign photos featuring the gorgeous Malgosia Bela here.

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Photography: Alessio Boni
Talent: Luisa Moraes
Styling: Ketevan Gvaramadze
Art Direction: Framework
Hair: Tetsuya Yamaka
Make Up: Asami Matsuda

Collection photos courtesy of Fernando Jorge

Jane Birkin Demands Hermès Drop Her Name from Iconic Bag

Upon learning the horrifying news that “live reptiles are sawn open on farms that supply” French luxury brand Hermès (this according to a PETA press release on Tuesday), iconic model and singer Jane Birkin has publicly demanded that the Hermès Birkin bag, so named for her, be renamed — at least until better farming practices are put into place. She learned of these practices after the release of a PETA US investigation report, released recently.

In a statement to the AFP Birkin said,

“Having been alerted to the cruel practices endured by crocodiles during their slaughter for the production of Hermès bags carrying my name … I have asked Hermès Group to rename the Birkin until better practices responding to international norms can be implemented for the production of this bag.”

Birkin hasn’t yet gone naked rather than wear fur (unlike celebs like Khloe Kardashian, Taraji P. Henson, Waka Flocka Flame, Pink and Olivia Munn…) but this sort of means more than selling animal friendliness via sex. After all, that Birkin bag is iconic, it defines luxury and owning it means “making it” for so many people, including lots of the celebs who’ve posed nude for PETA.

PETA responded to Birkin in kind, with founder Ingrid Newkirk stating,

“PETA, on behalf of all kind souls in the world, thanks Ms Birkin for ending her association with Hermès, which makes grotesque handbags that were revealed in a PETA exposé to be constructed from the skins of factory-farmed and cruelly slaughtered crocodiles. We call on Hermès to stop plundering wildlife, factory-farming crocodiles and alligators and slaughtering them for their skins. Once, Birkin bags marked people as celebrities or at least members of the super-rich, but soon, no one will want to be caught dead carrying one, and animal advocates will then breathe a sigh of relief”.

No word yet from Hermès.

OliviaMunnFur1 PETApinkFURad72 WakaFlakaFlameFuckFur

How to Wear Vintage Like a Rock Star — Ask Florence Welch

Photos courtesy of Florence Welch on Instagram

Florence Welch has her look down pat. She’s at home anywhere in the 1960s and ’70s; prairie dresses, shearling coats and peasant tops are her jam—no one wears the vintage look quite like the Florence and the Machine front woman. Until you came along.

There’s no harm in styling a mix of old and new to achieve “vintage” perfection, just check out guide below for some essential rules to follow. If you’re stuck for what stores to shop, check out our favorite vintage stores in L.A. and NYC. Trust, you will find gold.

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Rule #1 — Bring On the Colorful Prints

Look as bright and sunny as your personality.

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From left: Purple and blue cotton Indian dress; Acne Studios in Bed with Peter Schlesinger printed silk jacket

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Rule #2 — Accessories: Pile ‘Em On

Go for John Lennon sunnies and plenty of antique silver jewelry.

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Clockwise from top: Vintage 1930s Navajo cuff; Native American 1950s sterling and green turquoise ring; Garrett Leight Wilson sunglasses; Signed Navajo Arts and Crafts cuff

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Rule #3 — Find Your Inner Penny Lane

All you really need is some lip balm, cash and a shearling.

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From top: Eugenia Kim camel-felt cap; Tomas Maier reversible shearling coat; Gianvito Rossi suede ankle boots

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Rule #4 — Peasant Tops Are Your Friend

The more relaxed the cut, the chiller the gal.

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Clockwise from top: Melissa Odabash embroidered voile top; Hungarian cream vintage embroidered blouse; Michael Kors crepe peasant blouse

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How to Look Like Gigi Hadid in 3 Steps

Gigi Hadid, goddess and model, has just been announced as the face of Topshop AND MaxMara. She’s stunning pretty much always, but it’s the super’s ’90s-perfect look from the Topshop ad that we’re gunning for. Easy hair, simple black liner, and that particular shade of lipstick which is so very Bobbi Brown Rum Raisin… makes me wanna score a vintage tube real bad. Fortunately, there’s no ebay scouring required. This is how to get Gigi Hadid’s Topshop look.

Step 1

First, grow out your roots. Then, wash your hair, and let it air dry after turning upside down and spritzing in some surf spray. We’re really into David Mallett’s Australian Salt Spray, which incorporates gourmet-worthy Murray River Salt from South Wales, Australia (yes, it’s fancy). Scrunch like you did in the ’90s and shake it out. Rest assured that your hair will dry sans stickiness or crunch (’90s textures we’ll gladly leave in the dust). This style gets better with a few days worth of wear.

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Step 2

Ladies of the ’90s, you remember Bobbi Brown’s cult shade of lipstick. For those of you who aren’t already intimately acquainted with Black Honey, consider this your formal introduction. Did the makeup artist on Gigi’s Topshop shoot swipe Black Honey on? We’re inclined to believe yes, but either way, it’s pretty exact.

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Step 3

Grab yourself some liquid eyeliner — we like Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Jet Black. Subtle cat eye optional.

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Now go land yourself an ad campaign or two, girl!

Photos of Gigi Hadid in the Topshop fall 2015 campaign courtesy of Topshop