No one can deny that formaldehyde, used in Keratin and Brazilian Blow Out formula, does magic for straightening even the frizziest of hair, freeing women from short-lived blowouts and straightening irons. However, as users are becoming more aware of the potentially harmful effects of the toxic chemical—there’s a reason why people who apply the treatment wear a gas mask, and it’s toxic—brands are beginning to take note, coming up with less dangerous, alternative versions.
Bumble and Bumble and L’Oreal Professional will both be launching in-salon, formaldehyde-free hair smoothing treatments this fall, as reported at Beauty High.
In October, Bumble and Bumble will debut Concen-Straight Pro Treatment, which promises to last up to 30 treatments and can be customized to match clients’ preferred level of straightness. Fadi Mourad, the lines product developer, told WWD that they are using “a technology that consists of a gemstone blend designed to vibrate and loosen the hair’s inner S-bonds, which give it a natural curve.” An at-home treatment is also being released, called Bumble and Bumble Straight, which will include a shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in styler.
L’Oreal’s answer to the frizz dilemma is called Xtenso Moisturist. The brands director of marketing, Laurie Lam, says “We don’t compare ourselves to keratin, because keratin is a surface treatment, where you don’t change the hair. Xtenso Moisturist is indeed a chemical service.” The verdict is still out as to whether these new options will give the same super-shiny straight results as the Brazilian. But at last, it will be guilt free.
A year ago, the Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf Astoria shuttered its doors for major revamping. This week it finally re-opened, now with a promise to take the luxury day-spa experience to the next level: the Art Deco-inspired interior remains pristine and elegant as ever (it’s worth the trip just to hang out in the space); the service and quality of treatments have been re-created to match the highest level of pampering; the new management team is from the Mandarin Oriental and the chef is from the Four Seasons. But most importantly, the classic French beauty line is being used by expert aestheticians for innovative treatments, like the two-hour Waldorf Imperiale.
The Imperiale includes a full-body massage and facial – all in one session – using Guerlain’s Orchidee Imperial line. The Abeille Royal Expert Treatment, their firming, lifting and anti-aging facial, is 90 minutes of massage, masks, peels, foot rubbing, and exfoliating to leave the skin smooth and glowing. This is not the place for a quickie pore cleansing — or a deal: facials range from 180.00 to 360.00. But it is the place if you want to disappear for a day and indulge.
As New York Fashion Week inches closer, beauty brands are revealing which designers they’ll be collaborating with for the shows. Alexander Wang announced that he’ll be joining forces with the old school queen of nail polish, Sally Hansen. As of late, nail lacquers have become a popular way for designers to dip into the world of beauty.
Jason Wu and Victoria Beckham have done custom shades in the past, and more recently, Roland Mouret’s Nude Collection with Rococo made a splash. This will be the first beauty venture for Wang, (perhaps to test out the waters for future products?). Hansen has done collaborations in past seasons with Tracy Reese and Probal Gurung. Other fashion week beauty collaborations that have been announced are Rachel Zoe teaming up with Maybelline for her second runway show, and Rodarte announced that they’ll be changing things up by working with Nars after five seasons with MAC.
As we reported this week, Chanel have created exclusive nail colors for Fashion’s Night Out. The three denim-inspired hues, dubbed Les Jeans de Chanel, are available until the end of September, so stock up while you can. They come in Blue Rebel, Coco Blue and Blue Boy.
In other news, Style.com reported on the September issue of French Vogue’s big beauty story. The rag asked three of the best beauticians in the industry to create their vision of French beauty on model Isabeli Fontana. One look was from Tom Pecheux, the creative makeup director of Estee Lauder. “It’s very sensual, very cool and very sexual”, he tells the site of his smoky eye and pale lip creation. The other looks, from Lloyd Simmonds of Yves Saint Laurent and Aaron de Mey at Lancome, show something more avant-garde. All are dramatic, seductive, and yes, French.
Beauty titan Marcia Kilgore’s bath and body line Soap & Glory has been a massive hit in the UK since she first launched it back in 2006—her Righteous Butter Body Butter was voted Britain’s Best Body Butter. Now, after a short-lived initial run at Target stores in the US, the products, which combine Kilgore’s trademark humor and high quality, are finally back in the States. Kilgore also founded the hugely popular Bliss Spa, so Soap & Glory’s cheekily-named offerings will come as a welcome addition to the fans who already covet the Bliss phenomenon.
Soap & Glory is aimed at women who don’t take their toilette so seriously. As she tells the HuffingtonPost, “while beauty absolutely matters, it doesn’t matter absolutely.” To wit: Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Plump, Hand Food Hand Cream, and Glow Job Daily Radiance Moisture Lotion. “Besides there being three times more beauty-loving people in America as there are in Great Britain and that being the opportunity that it is, I’d simply love to make a big success of it in America, and spread my new brand of bubbly back where I first cut my teeth in the world of cosmetics” says Kilgore. Soap & Glory is available exclusively at Sephora.com and in stores in September.
The opening dates of beloved Australian beauty line Aesop’s three new upcoming stores in downtown New York – two of which were slated to open in early August – are still TBD. So until the brand from Oz completes its long-awaited invasion of the NYC beauty scene, you’ll have to make do with the Aesop kiosk that opened this summer in Grand Central Station. The kiosk is built by the design team at Tacklebox, and takes inspiration from its commuter location by creating structures using 1,200 back issues of the New York Times. The brand’s Nolita store will have a similar design. The other new shop locations are on University Place and a Bleecker Street flagship that will open in December.
The line has always been straight-forward in its design and ingredients, while also remaining high quality and low-key. There’s never a gimmick or miracle elixir being pushed in the organic- and chemical-free line, which was established in 1987. And if the New York City stores look anything like the highly-designed Aesop spots around the world (one Adelaide store has a ceiling made of bottles; a Singapore location has a ceiling draped in string), it will be a refreshing addition to the often sterile-looking Manhattan retail scene. Here are two stand-out Aesop products that I’ve been devoted to for years. You might want to try them out, as it looks like we’re going to be seeing a lot more of Aesop in NY.
Rose Hair and Scalp Moisturizing Mask – A thick and intense mask that perfect for end-of-summer hydration. Great for dry scalps as well.
Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste – Also great for getting skin ready for fall by removing dead skin surface. And deeply cleanses to allow for more moisture to absorb.
On September 8, Fashion’s Night Out will once again transform New York into one giant block party celebrating commerce. The lineup of events has just been released on a new and improved site that allows you to navigate and plan for what could easily turn into an overwhelming haul. I’ve cherry-picked a few of the top beauty events to check out, from fun giveaways to stellar appearances by luminaries of the beauty industry. Locations and events are still being added, so make sure to double back for updates.
All Chanel Stores will be giving complementary mini-manicures with the line’s exclusive FNO Nail Colour Collection.
The NARS store on Bleecker Street will host Mr. Nars himself to introduce two products that have been exclusively created for FNO.
Maybelline will set up shop at Ganesvoort Plaza on Little West 12th Street and 9th Avenue, giving away tubes of cult-classic favorite Great Lash mascara, as well as offering mini-makeovers.
New York City’s ultimate beauty resource, Ricky’s is celebrating 20 years by serving cocktails at their 87th Street store and doing free blow outs and makeovers with a Ricky’s purchase.
Sephora’s 119 Fifth Ave. location will have DDF’s creator, Dr. Howard Sobel, in store to do consultations. From 6-11pm.
Nail polish staple Essie will team up with Teen Vogue on Bleeker Street and West 11th Street from 6-10pm to do nails with celebrity manicurist Elle Gerstein, who will give her take on tips, tricks, and trends.
Meet Ange and Vernice Walker, the sisters behind Rococo Nail Apparel. The duo got their start in nail salons as manicurists, and two years ago created a polish line that now counts Alexa Chung and Agyness Deyn as followers. Since then, the duo has created shades for runway, red carpet, and editorial. And next month, the sisters will launch a collection solely devoted to nude tones, entitled “Nude Wardrobe.” One of the many colors created for the line (or recreated, in this case) is a shade first worn in Roland Mouret’s fall 2011 runway show, called Lab Nude 3.0. Mouret’s memo was to create a shade that was “chic” and “expensive” looking.
The sisters told Elle.com, “We knew it had to be a surreal nude, luxurious but natural to suit all skin tones and the beautiful collection.” The result is a sheer soft pink with a hint of beige, which perfectly paired with the violet, emerald green, and beiges Mouret showed for Fall 2011. With nail polish trends ranging lately from neon to swirling crackled glitter, a line of nude shades is a breath of much-needed simplicity.
The line sells exclusively at beauty addicts’ dream apothecary, Space NK, which will be hosting events with the Walker sisters in their New York and LA stores during the launch of “Nude Wardrobe.”
Go on, tell yourself dry shampoo is only for camping trips and long-haul flights. But let’s be real: it’s also is god’s gift to lazy people (some days, even standing under warm, sudsy water is too much to ask). In fact, considering its benefits, I’d say we’re not using dry shampoo enough. Aside from sucking up excess oil, it refreshes, brightens, and removes product build-up, and increases volume and texture.
You also save your hair from over-washing and stripping away natural oils, so it’s perfect for chemically treated and colored hair. Just lift sections of hair randomly and spray the roots. Fluff and brush, and you’re done. Here are three of our favorite dry shampoos, not just for the laziest of days.
Psssssst: The original dry shampoo from the ’70s, it’s supposedly a secret weapon for stylists everywhere for adding body and texture to hair. Just remember to use it sparingly on dark hair, as it’s a white powder that will only absorb once it’s worked through. There’s nothing natural about the formula, but it’s the most budget friendly of the bunch.
Bumble and Bumble: To avoid the white powder issue altogether, Bumble and Bumble has created a dry shampoo in five different colors: black, blonde, brown, red, and white. it contains oat flour and cornstarch. Remember to protect yourself and your clothes while applying.
Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Extract: This is the most natural formula, and a personal favorite as it most closely approximates the feeling of clean hair. It’s weightless and has a subtle scent. It won’t leave buildup, which helps since the clean hair effect will only last about one day. So for those extra busy and lazy days, you can apply a few days in row.