Five Ways to Achieve Autumn Spa Nirvana

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Summer seems so far away now; and September and October have been particularly work-stressed. Thankfully, those nurturing souls over at Gilt City feel your pain – and so we’ve collaborated with them to present these exclusive autumn spa offers, to help you rejuvenate your body and rediscover your Zen.

 

NEW YORK

LE YORK SPA SOHO

5000 square feet of soothing earth-tones and overstuffed leather chairs for post-treatment relaxation await. Facials and massages are a specialty, but who could resist something called a Caviar Collagen Eye Treatment?

Get 59% off a Deep-Tissue Massage with Aromatherapy & Mini-Facial or 50% off a Vitamin C Facial & RF Rejuvenation Neck or Eye Treatment at GiltCity.com.

 

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CHICAGO

SAVON SPA

What could be more delectable than Cocoluscious or Chocolate Mint body butter? Or an Eminence Organic Back Treatment scented with Old World spices? Follow with a glass of bubbly for the ultimate decadence.

Get 41% off select services, or 43% off a Couples Massage & Champagne for Two at GiltCity.com.

 

LOS ANGELES

EUROPEAN SKIN & MASSAGE STUDIO

This intimate Santa Monica spa specializes in the celeb-fave Oxygen Facial, which will give you that instant red carpet glow. Aromatherapy massages are customized to each client.

Get 31% off an Oxygen Facial, or 32% off an Anti-Aging & Sun Damage Facial Treatment at GiltCity.com.

 

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D.C.

AURA SPA

Affiliated with the fashionable VIDA Fitness brand, Aura offers luxurious treatments in an exotically stylish environment. There are two convenient locations: at The Yards and at The Renaissance Hotel.

Get 43% off a Brazilian Wax or 41% off a Custom Nourishing Facial at GiltCity.com.

 

MIAMI

RITZ CARLTON SPA FORT LAUDERDALE

What could be more indulgent than a spa session at The Ritz? At this lavish oceanfront five-star, your mani and pedi comes with bay views and champagne.

Get 44% off an Age-Defying Facial or 43& off a Couple’s Massage at GiltCity.com. 

 

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How to Wear a Summer Ponytail as Effortlessly as Gigi Hadid

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Photo: The Vault on Instagram

Summer: the season of a million creative ways to keep your hair off your neck. Sometimes a sleek ponytail will cut it, and sometimes you want something just as simple but way more easygoing (it is the season of pool parties, beach days and rooftop hangs, after all).

Gigi Hadid traveled to Australia this week for the launch of the Guess spring 2015 collection in Sydney. At the launch event, Hadid posed in an easy, va va voom LBD, embellished only by a side zipper unzipped to show off the model’s toned and tanned legs. Mirroring the ease and sexy simplicity of the dress was Hadid’s hair, natural waves intact, gathered into a mussed-up pony. Whether or not you have the loose layers Gigi sports, this pony is equal parts pulled together and easy going, making it an ideal go-to for summer events. It just takes beach spray, a hair tie and some tactful backcombing.

Complete the look with simple black eyeliner and a swipe of punchy red lipstick for a look that’s equal parts fun and sophisticated.

Want to sneak a manicure in at work without getting caught? Here’s how to do it.

Trying to look younger pretty much instantly? We figured it out for you.

How to Sneak a Manicure at Your Desk Without Getting Caught

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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.
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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.
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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.

How to Look Like Gigi Hadid in 3 Steps

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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

How to Cheat Botox: The Best Tricks and Treatments for Smooth and Plump Skin

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Maybe you’re scared of needles, maybe you’d rather go a more natural route, or maybe you just want your dermatologist to think you’re creeping on the side. Whatever your reason, we’ve pulled together a wealth of luxurious topical solutions — creams, serums, balms and treatments — to smooth and plump, mimicking the best effects of Botox and fillers without any of the pins and pricks. By the time you’re through, you’ll look like you just came back from a nice, relaxing vacation

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Individually Packaged Miracles
Dr. Jart Dermask Collection

Picture me, diligently applying face masks (two or three a day!) all for you. I’m not complaining — Dr. Jart has the sheet mask game on lock, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to guinea pig myself here. Because the instructions even order you to “relax” as one of the final steps, and doing so — with intensive hydrators, wrinkle diminishing serums, contouring and lifting hydrogel patches — is sincerely fabulous. Fillers, injections and lasers are the inspirations behind this series of masks. There are nine total: Vital Hydra Solution and Soothing Hydra Solution to mimic hyaluronic acid injections; Brightening Solution and Clearing Solution to mimic laser peels; Firming Solution and Wrinkless Solution to mimic INTRAcel; Cheek & Eye Lift, Neck & Chin Lift, Laught Line Lift to mimic Botox. Plus they’re just $6-$12 each. DO THESE NOW and thank me later.

Buy them here.

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Botox in a Jar
111 Skin Celestial Black Diamond Eye Cream

For those concerned with pesky crows feet, here’s a super simple solution, easier than anything else to add to your skincare routine. This eye cream contains Argireline, a topical ingredient often touted as Botox in a jar, which inhibits muscle contractions. Fewer muscle contractions means fewer wrinkles. Give it just a week to start seeing results — it’s honestly amazing.

Buy it here.

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When You Still Want Someone Else To Do All The Work
Trump Soho Alternative to Injectables Facial

At $395 (that’s on a weekday; on the weekend it goes up to $410), Botox might actually be cheaper BUT there’s something to be said for the beauty that relaxation induces all over your face. A 90-minute facial will do that for you. The Trump Soho’s Alternative to Injectables Facial will definitely do that to you, plus fill in any existing expression lines and wrinkles with a lipofiller, and relax any facial contractions with Inhibit, a complex formed with Natura Bissé’s Octamioxyl ingredient, massaged in on pressure points and traditional injection sites for real results.

Book it here.

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Better Than Going Full Kylie Jenner
Lip Plumping Serums from DuWop, Fusion Beauty and Too Faced

Option 1: LipFusion XXL Advanced Smoothing Contouring Primer 
Who doesn’t want big, juicy lips? This is not a one size fits all category. For instance, if you hate burning feelings, and you wear lots of lip color, try this primer to plump up, volumize and contour lips before swiping on some lipstick. Bonus: hydration.

Buy it here.

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Option two: Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme
If you love a good burn and are into gloss, this one’s for you. This one gives visible results upon application that amplify (to a point) with continued use. Trick: wear it overnight to wake up with a bee-stung pout.

Buy it here.

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Option three: DuWop Prime Venom
For when you’ve outgrown gloss, there’s the familiar cinnamon-mint sting you remember from your Lip Venom days of yore. It’s nearly matte/balm-shiny, which means discrete, and the burn is tolerable. It’s moisturizing too, so use it as you would a regular lip balm.

Buy it here.

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The Vampire Solution
Rodial Dragon’s Blood XXL Advanced Sculpting Serum

If, unlike Kim Kardashian West, using your own blood to prolong your youth is unappealing, there’s this serum from Rodial containing dragon’s blood — not sourced from Khaleesi’s babies, but from a plant. It’s a blood-free alternative to the Vampire facial Kimmy popularized (or at least made its existence known). Tetrepeptides and a dragon’s blood complex plump up the skin, filling in wrinkles and increasing circulation in the skin. That means you’ll be glowing (just not red).

Buy it here.

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Wanna look younger fast? Here’s how to get carded tonight. 

How to Get Carded: 5 Fast Ways to Look Under 21

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Anni (Marilyn) photographed by Ben Rosenzweig for BlackBook in 2014. Styled by Alyssa Shapiro.

Is there any greater confidence boost than being carded at the bar? (That is, if you’re over 25 — if you’re younger, bookmark this post for a later date.) Just because you’ve passed the mark of 21 doesn’t mean your youthful glow should be even slightly diminished — we’ve got access to the best dermatologists, treatments and products out there, and we fully intend to stay looking young forever. Here are five relaxing, uplifting, moisturizing and fun ways to look younger fast. When the younger love interests start to court, just don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Want something better than Botox? Click here and find out how to cheat your dermatologist. 

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INSTANT LIFT BAR at LING
12 East 16th Street, New York, NY

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What it is: For 30 minutes, a Ling esthetician uses a tourmaline gemstone device to deliver far-infrared energy to your skin. First, beneficial serums are patted onto your skin, then the warmed-up device goes into action. It is heavenly and very relaxing. Just note that for the express treatment you’ll be at the front of the store and not in a treatment room, but you’ll be so zonked out, it won’t bother you.

Why you want it: Reduces pores, plumps up the skin (think instant face lift and contour), helps to drain your lymphatic system, and induces major relaxation — those far-infrared rays are like whoah. For the skeptics out there: have your facialist do one side of your face first and then show you the glowing results before moving on. Seeing is believing, and your spirit and your face will be lifted — you will look five years younger, no joke.

How much it costs: $40 for first timers, $50 after that. (And there will be “after that”.) Book it by calling 212-989-8833.

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JOANNA VARGAS EXFOLIATING MASK

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What it is: Celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas’s gentle resurfacing treatment that gives you a glow — at home and overnight. It has volcanic ash to draw out impurities, fruit enzymes to brighten the skin and boost cell turnover, acids to target dead skin cells, bacteria and age spots, and a few other goodies, all working to make you look radiantly younger.

Why you want it: Celebs use it the night before big red carpet events for a reason. Vargas says, “It’s awesome for bringing that glow back to the skin, and it will really flatten any breakouts that you might have. For me, I also love that it events out pigment in the skin so you look even and fresh in the a.m.”

How much it costs: $75. Buy it here.

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THE FRENCH BEAUTY SOLUTION 

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What it is: A book by Mathilde Thomas, founder of French skincare brand Caudalie, complete with dermatologist interviews, info on determining your skin type, an aristocratic 3-day grape cleanse (fancy!), and recipes (four ingredients max) for skincare you can whip up at home, like an oil and honey face wash (really).

Why you want it: Because French women enjoy caring for their skin, and you can too. Plus: DIY is fun, and fun keeps you young.

How much it costs: $26.95 for the book. (Ingredients extra). Buy it here.

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111 SKIN BIO CELLULOSE FACIAL TREATMENT MASK

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What it is: A pack of sheet masks made with lots of good stuff, like the antioxidant given to astronauts in space to protect their skin against the harshest elements. On earth, it’s brightening, tightening, and moisturizing (read: it’s a youth serum). Plus, it’s paraben, sulphate and paraffin free.

Why you want it: These rejuvenating sheet masks are full of potent antioxidants, like Escin (which promotes collagen production and increases blood circulation), Vitamin C and NAC. This mask puts a pause on aging, and stimulates the repair system already present in the body. One use and you’ll see a hydrated, glowing difference.

How much it costs: $160 for a pack of five. Buy it here.

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KEEP IT HYDRATED ON THE DAILY (We love LING DUAL MOISTURE EMULSION and ERNO LASZLO HYDRA-THERAPY REFRESH INFUSION)

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What it is: Hydration is he fastest way to keep skin plump, firm and youthful. Ling’s emulsion has hyaluronic acid and squalene oil. Massage it into skin at night for improved circulation, too. Erno Laszlo’s serum plumps and smooths with bioactive nutrients, probiotic complexes, rose oil and more.

Why you want it: Because moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty.

How much it costs: $68 for Ling Dual Moisture Emulsion (buy it here) and $100 for Erno Laszlo Hydra-Therapy Refresh Infusion (buy it here).

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Summer Hair Ideas Stolen From Models Like Joan Smalls, Chrissy Teigen and Cara Delevingne

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Supermodels have access to the best of the best — we know this. Makeup, hair, clothes… all seemingly just happen to the blessed people in this profession. In their daily lives they set the standard of what it means to be stylish, right off the runway.

This summer, aside from fashion, the heat is the driving factor dictating what we wear, the makeup we apply, and how we do our hair. This being said, not even the summer heat can taint these five supermodels’ appearances. Cara Delevingne, Joan Smalls, Miranda Kerr, Chrissy Teigen and Bella Hadid showcase (on Instagram, where else?) five ways to style your hair for summer wear. From half up, half down to slicked high ponys, these girls know how to beat the heat.

Click here to get 3 (and a half) hot summer hair styles, with step by step instructions. Keep that hair off your face, girl!

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Best of Both Worlds — Half Up, Half Down

CaraHair_BBookPhoto: Cara Delevingne on Instagram

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Natural Air Dry — Let Those Curls Shine

Joan_BBookPhoto: Joan Smalls on Instagram

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The High Pony — Classic

MirandaHair_BBookPhoto: Miranda Kerr on Instagram

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The Chicer/More Sophisticated Skrillex (No Shaving Necessary — Just Grab a Hair Clip)

LongSideSwoop_BBookPhoto: Chrissy Teigen via Jen Atkin on Instagram

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Ballerina Bun — The Ultimate Chic

BellaHair_BBookPhoto: Bella Hadid on Instagram

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Get That Sweaty Mess Out of Your Face: 3 1/2 Chic Ways to Style Your Hair This Summer

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After today, there’s no more denying that summer is here. Heat is tough enough; humidity is another thing entirely. The heat waves are here, y’all, and you need some ways to style your hair for summer, some tricks to keep in your back pocket to keep you feeling cool (and cute). Ladies, no one looks chic with hair matted to her forehead — these styles are the solutions.

Check out these three (and a half) hairstyles for inspiration, and click through for extensive instructions on how to get each look.

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Pretty-Cool Braids, Any Way You Like ‘Em

Braid it back in a few different sections — however is flattering to your face. Change it up with a silk scarf for the 1/2 (sometimes a girl just needs a half).

Find everything you need (plus step by step instructions) here.

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The Swoop

There’s nothing cooler, and nothing easier. Start with wet hair, swoop it, set it. Get more details and gather everything you need here.

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Go Raver-Girl Day to Night

Three little buns that’ll take you from sidewalk walking to out dancing. Just section, twist, and add serum for shine. Get the full how-to here.

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Sandra Rieder (Muse) and Chloe Wheatcroft (Muse) photographed by Jaesung Lee in NYC. Styled by Alyssa Shapiro. Hair by Jason Murillo. Makeup by Dana Rae.

HBD Frida Kahlo! 8 Beauty Looks Inspired by the Queen of Self-Portraiture

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Frida Kahlo inspired millions — she still does — not only with her work and art, but also with her iconic look. She immortalized her own beauty via a bevy of self portraits. Who knew we’d be into the unibrow in 2015? She makes us want to pull it off — models, make up artists, and the normal gals (us) today are still striving to embrace and mimic her non-normative beauty.

From bold brows to flower crowns and middle parts, her look still inspires the fashion and Instagram world. Like her self portraits, Kahlo-beauty is pervasive. Thank you for showing us the way Frida and happy, would be 108th birthday!

Hello!

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Photo: Pat McGrath on Instagram 

Flower crowns and middle parts done right on Gigi Hadid and Karlie Kloss.

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Photo: Pat McGrath on Instagram

Lily Collins: eyebrow queen.

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Photo: Lisa Eldridge on Instagram 

Cara Delevingne, the eyebrow queen! They might not be in unibrow form, but they sure are bold (and lovely).

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Photo: Cara Delevigne on Instagram 

All that Dolce perfection, done by makeup artist Pat McGrath

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Photo: Pat McGrath on Instagram 

Kendall Jenner does Dolce & Gabbana via Frida.

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Photo: Pat McGrath on Instagram 

Hello brows, hello lips. Simple, easy, and nearly natural.

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Photo: Stacey Nishimoto on Instagram 

Woodland nympth flower crown style at the Versace couture show

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Photo: Karlie Kloss on Instagram