Send Your Lips to Rehab: How to Get an Extra Kissable Pout in Time for Spring

It’s been a brutal winter/spring (!?)…there are in fact rumored reports of snow this coming Saturday. While we rush to repair our wind-chapped faces though, let’s not forget our delicate lips!  To combat that rough, dry feeling, we all know and hate (not to mention the icky appearance of peeling lips), we’ve curated a complete set of lip treats: masks and scrubs to exfoliate the lips and get them smooth, oils and antioxidant repair creams to restore moisture to ensure your plumpest pout and finally soothing balms to complete the lip rehab experience.

Kaplan MD Lip 20 Mask Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 1.36.47 PM   Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 2.02.54 PM   Hourglass No. 28 Lip Treatment Oil Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 2.04.14 PM Fresh Sugar Rosé Extreme Lip Treatment Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 2.05.57 PM   Charlotte Tilbury Love Your Lips Lip Love Scrub & Lip Magic Balm Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 2.09.29 PM   Skinceuticals Antioxidant Lip Repair skinceuticals     La Roche-Posay Ceralip Lip Repair Cream Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 2.17.21 PM

A Smudge-Free Glittery Eye to Ring in The New Year

The end of 2014 is fast-approaching and we can think of no better way than to express our optimism for the 15th year of the millenium than to ring it in with gleaming, glittery eyes. Sparkly makeup as metaphor–what a concept!

However, we’ll keep the glitz to our eyes because glitter dripping down our face, or stuck to our clothes, etc. etc. is not so cute.

K, let’s go.

Step One: Prime

Have some fun (because it’s just the base) applying eyeshadow primer.

primer eye

Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden is good for a bit of illumination underneath everything else and Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base is good for staying power. You could even combine the two to reap all the benefits.

Now, for the fun part…

In our holiday beauty series, we’ve discussed eyeliners that can handle tears, lipsticks made for making out, and skin that glows no matter how low the temperature drops–but our NYE eye installment is our most artistic yet. Think of your eyelids as little canvases with an infinite number of possibilities. Dark and smokey, bright and colorful, or pure, pure glitz. All are a GO for this particular debaucherous evening.

Step Two: A Smooth, Shimmery Lid

No matter how many layers and colors you plan to pile on (it’s fine, the more the merrier for this evening) you need a solid shimmery base. The options are countless, so I’ve picked favorites based on application method, because once you find what works for you, it’s smooth sailing forward.

Here are some of our favorites:

You can see (below) just how creamy Tom Ford’s Platinum Cream Color is, making it a perfect base.

tom ford

If powders are more your game, then there are endless palettes to play with. Plus, nothing like a gorgeous palette in hand to make you rock being your own glam squad.

gold 2

Estée Lauder’s Pure Color Envy Sculpting Eyeshadow 5-Color Palette in “Infamous Sky” has a perfect light base shade as well as two darker metallics.

esteeChanel’s Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow in 226 TISSÉ RIVOLI also has 4 super shimmery neutrals, any of which can stand alone or work as a dramatic first layer.


Step Three: Add Depth, Smoke, or Color

Of course, both above palettes have darker colors for adding depth but because more palettes=more fun, here are my favorites for adding the smoke-factor.

charlotte burberry

Charlotte Tilbury’s Fallen Angel palette is star-studded (literally) and clutch-sized. If you’re going for the tawny side of smoky, Tilbury’s palette is a perfect pick.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 9.59.19 AM

Burberry’s Smokey Eye palette is classic smokeshow–the kind of palette I like to imagine Alexa Chung keeps on hand. It ranges from that illuminating neutral to its deep but shimmery grey and matte black.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 1.17.49 PM

…If Powders and Creams Aren’t Doing it For You

One of my favorite makeup discoveries of the last year has been the almost foolproof dual-use eyeshadow/liner sticks made best by ByTerry and Trish McEvoy. I’ve been hoarding these and they’ve made me feel far more capable of the multi-colored looks seen in glossies for nights that call for our most skilled makeup artistry.

I love these things:


Depending on the shade you pick, these can be used as a base or a detail.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 1.27.13 PM

ByTerry’s Ombre Blackstar in Frozen Quartz is an easy base color, but the addition of a quick stripe of the same product in Blue Obsession takes the look instantly into nighttime territory.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 9.59.01 AM

Trish McEvoy’s 24-Hour Eye Shadow and Liner in Crystal Grey is one of the easiest and fastest routes to a more complicated looking smokey eye I’ve discovered.

…And for the Glitter Girls

If all of the above seems downright tame for you, hold tight, because we’ve got you covered too.

For those of you who’ve committed to sparkle tomorrow night, the obvious choice is Urban Decay’s Moondust eyeshadow (pictured here in MOONSPOON) for unadulterated glam (what we’ve come to expect from the brand).

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 1.41.26 PM


For a touch of glitter in it’s purest form, try Urban Decay’s classic Heavy Metal glitter liners.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 1.45.40 PM

OK–flick on some mascara, bat your eyes, purse your lips, and get ready for the ball to drop! Happy 2015! 

Photographer: Justin Bridges

Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist: Ashley Rebecca

Fashion/Beauty Editor: Alyssa Shapiro

Location: Ammon Carver Studio

10 Lipsticks That Last under the Mistletoe

Ella Petrusko (Marilyn) wears Chinti and Parker intarsia hugs and kisses sweater. Photographed by Justin Bridges. Hair and makeup by Ashley Rebecca. Styled by Alyssa Shapiro.


The Premise

A few weeks ago, two unlikely events coincided in a way that suggests near cinematic serendipity.

I met a boy, who, when I told him what I do for work, made an off-the-cuff remark about my job sounding like something out of a romantic comedy. Little did he (or I for that matter) realize just how much that would please me.

I think, (subconsciously, at least), there’s nothing more exciting to me than to imagine myself a heroine in some sort of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, 13 Going on 30The Devil Wears Prada, that is in fact, just my real life.

Around the same time, our Senior Style Editor, Alyssa, who so gorgeously styled Ella in the above photographs, told me matter-of-factly that “could I please go on some dates, kiss some boys, and report back as to which red lipsticks stayed put.”

You can imagine the look on my mother’s face when I told her about my latest adventure. I was thoroughly entertained by the proposition and then failed to do my job until the day before this piece here was due. Having gone on a number of dates in pink stains or bare-lipped, I’d totally shirked my serious duties.

This negligence resulted in the following text to aforementioned boy: “Hi, so. remember that red lipstick article I was telling you about? What are you doing tonight? It’s due tomorrow….” I can assure you the waiting period on a reply was excruciating.

Special thanks to this anonymous gentleman for being super game. (Although it’d be pretty offensive if he weren’t, right?) As for me, it’s a tough life but…someone’s gotta do it right? 😉


Seeking A True Red 


A photo posted by Sara (@sarajanenyc) on

For every five red lipsticks I examined for this story, about two were what one might consider a true red. The other three were disregarded. The following reds are legit, hues that evoke classic screen sirens—the Marilyn Monroes of yesteryear to the Taylor Swifts of today. “Too pink,” or “too orange” or “too wine” or “too berry,” were all eliminated.


I’m going to call my co-tester, A, (for anonymous). We decide to consider a number of factors: how much lipstick is on his face, how much lipstick stays on my lips, and, to a lesser degree smell/taste and other guy-friendly matters.

lipsticks 1Everything but the mistletoe!

Best Practices

The best thing lipstick-wearing ladies can do is let our lips dry, refrain from eating, drinking, and talking and let the lipstick set. (Shutting up was a challenge for me). Begin with a primer. I used Make’s as much as I could, to provide a smooth foundation for the lipstick to cover. Even the best options need some drying time before you hop under the mistletoe.

Two other helpful tools:

As many Bite Lush Lip Wipes as you can possibly hoard. I didn’t have nearly enough and my skin was worse for it.

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Lip Pencil which basically creates invisible lines to draw within when applying.

The Winners

1. Estée Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick in Scarlet Siren is a true classic red that made it through a chai latte in the afternoon and a kiss in the evening. That’s not to say there were no traces to be found on A’s lips but my look remained in tact. It’s also less drying than most longwear formulas.


so. many. selfies.


2. Maybelline’s Super Stay 14Hr Lipstick in Ravishing Rouge is a super affordable option with a fruity scent that A appreciates and also stands some tea drinking tests. Another of the less drying formulas. A calls this “sturdy.”

3. MAC’s Matte Ruby Woo is a time-tested, mass-approved favorite. If given time to set, this baby won’t budge. Shopping before the kissing appointment (seriously, though), I notice the cashier’s solidly in-place red lip. Sure enough, it’s Ruby Woo.

4. Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G. in Love Bite is a favorite for color. Its old Hollywood-esque packaging is also a draw.

5. Gucci in Iconic Red is an accessory on its own thanks to its sleek black case and internal Gucci-logo detailing. It is actually deserving of it’s name (unlike many so-called reds!)

6. Butter London in Come to Bed Red is a moisturizing, brighter classic red with a matte finish (a plus for longlasting potential).

7. Bite Cashmere Lip Cream in Rioja is a liquid lipstick (so the application experience is different). It’s not guaranteed to leave the lucky recipient of your kiss color free, but it is pigmented enough to keep your lips stained with its gorgeous, deep red color post-kiss.

8. Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon is a classic shade, but definitely a darker one. This will set like a stain—a major pro for long-lastingness, but I would use primer so it doesn’t sink into a liner-only look.

9. Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in F-Bomb is a moisturizing formula from a brand I’ve always found reliable for professional-level cosmetics. I prefer lipstick with a pointed tip as it’s easier to line the edges of the lips neatly, but this is still a solid pick. 

10. Topshop in Hazard is one of a number of solid reds from Topshop. There’s definitely a red for everyone in Topshop’s varied selection of cute black-and-white striped cases.

lipsticks 2With special gratitude to the curtained booths at The Breslin–a BlackBook approved location for a makeout sesh. 

My Life Lesson/ Non-Beauty Related Takeaway

Here’s the thing about a solid red lip: any partner worth your time is willing to pay the price of some lipstick on their face in the name of a good kiss. When A asks me if I “understand male psychology at all?” the point is made abundantly clear. (Yes, I do understand, thank you!) The making out part overrules anything and everything else. As it should. 

P.S. Fellow beauty junkies tweet us @blackbook and let me know your faves. 



How Charlotte Tilbury is Helping Kate Moss Put Charlotte Tilbury Out of a Job

Charlotte Tilbury. Image courtesy of HL Group.

It’s been a busy week for Charlotte Tilbury. When the September 2nd launch of her line in America came, her famous “Magic Cream” sold out almost instantly. This week, she’ll be working backstage with MAC at NYFW on a number of shows. Luckily, she found a few minutes to chat with us about the many inspirations, celeb experiences, and how-to tips that make her line particularly one-of-a-kind.

I think American girls in the know are pretty psyched on this launch. What about British beauty would you impart to us on this side of the pond?

My key advice to any woman is that beauty is not an exclusive club — everyone can feel and look good. Beauty is powerful — it’s transformative — not only for your face but for your confidence and state of mind.Give a woman the right makeup and she can conquer the world! Not enough women really reap the awards of looking and feeling good. You always want to play your best card in life and put your best foot forward.

You have a major celebrity fan-base. Who inspires what for you? Are there any celebs who are the actual impetus behind certain pieces in your line? Any fun stories there?

Kate Moss is such a chameleon and can embody so many looks. She has these perfect heart-shaped lips and gorgeous feline eyes. She inspired my Rock Chick look, which epitomizes her unique rock chick cool. I used to mix concealers with lipstick to get the perfect shade of nude, so when I came up with the range, I made K.I.S.S.I.N.G. in Nude Kate which matched that bespoke color. She loves it and wears it all the time — I’m actually taking myself out of a job!

My Brow Lift is in homage to the strikingly beautiful queen of brows, Cara Delevingne. Eyebrows are the pillars of the face and she really kick-started the trend for full, groomed and youthful-looking brows. Cara has a fresh-faced, unique look and is such fun to work with.

Penelope Cruz is the iconic Dolce Vita — gorgeous skin with dark, sultry features. The Dolce Vita is all about that sexy, glamorous Mediterranean beauty — a molten copper smoky eye, feline flick and a perfect alluring pout.

The instructional element is really going to set this line apart, but I’m wondering what, to you, are the defining marks that make CT makeup line different from others?

CT: Throughout my 20 years as a makeup artist and through the product development I have done for many high-end brands (such as Helena Rubenstein, Mac, Armani, MyFace) I have always strived to find the perfect product. Even though I worked with the best VIP formulas before they come to market, I always wanted more: perfection. I never found a foundation that I fell in love with (I used concealers mixed with creams), I was always looking for the Holy Grail of mascaras (I used to mix five to get the result I want), and I have been mixing my own Magic Cream for the past 20 years.

What really drives me is sharing the power of make-up with every woman. As I said, beauty is not an exclusive club — there are no unattractive women, just some that don’t know understand the power of make-up. I was shocked to find out that 50% of women do not engage with make-up and the reasons are:

  • They don’t know how to use it
  • They don’t know what suits them
  • They don’t have the time

I believe a big part of this is the beauty retail environment; it is outdated, overwhelming and isolates these women. Even as a professional makeup artist, I walk onto the beauty floor and want to run in the opposite direction. There’s so much choice and so little direction, help, or problem solving, and I wanted to set my brand apart from this.

My brand is all about easy to choose, easy to use products — makeup made easy. The artistry is in the products themselves, from the Cheek to Chic blushers which show you where to swish and pop color to the Luxury Palettes which give you a step by step to the perfect smoky eye — I’m practically taking myself out of a job! We’ve sourced the most couture formulas and put them in ready-to-wear formats.

It’s also a highly edited collection for get-it-at-a-glance women who don’t have the time, inclination, or expertise to figure it out for themselves. You can simply choose one of my 10 iconic looks and go. It’s so easy, even a man could shop it!

Which top three products would you recommend for every girl to have in her bag?

It’s too hard to pick one — it’s like trying to ask a mother to choose her favorite child! My Magic Cream is a miracle-working moisturizer. I’ve been using and perfecting it for years backstage at shoots and shows. It literally floods the skin with moisture and is the magic dew of youth and luminosity — I call it a push-up bra in a jar!

My Rock ‘n Kohl Liquid Eye Pencils are amazing too. It’s a revolutionary formula that doesn’t move for 12 hours and glides on like a liquid but smokes up like a pencil. All my products treat and transform, so they have skin benefits whilst making you look beautiful.

Makeup Artist to Kate Moss Charlotte Tilbury’s Line Available in the States Today

Makeup departments are far from empty. Every product in every color imaginable line the shelves of stores from Duane Reade to the proverbial ones at Net-a-Porter. But British makeup artist to the stars Charlotte Tilbury knows simply selling a good product isn’t enough in such an oversaturated market. Tilbury’s catchphrase is a case-in-point: “Give a woman the right make-up and she can conquer the world!” And lucky for us American girls, today’s the day we can get our hands on CT’s own line of truly world-conquering makeup.

Since moving back to NYC after a year living in London, I’ve devoted an unseemly amount of time to nursing my anglophile obsessions. There’s just something about the other side of the pond–British glamour is practical, unfussy, and extremely IDGAF-motivated. Tilbury’s line checks all those boxes; it is at once glamorous and practical. But, most importantly, it comes equipped with Charlotte’s know-how, a must for busy women everywhere.

Tilbury’s focus on ease is what sets her collection apart.

The tutorial based approach is printed onto the packaging itself, so you’re not left scrambling or googling long after you’ve thrown away the box. When I open my Filmstar Bronze and Glow Palette, I’m greeted with a tantalizing memo: “This is a secret that silver screen sirens have kept to themselves for years,” but not left without my own instructions telling me exactly where to bronze and where to glow. The Swish & Pop Blusher, as Charlotte notes, is meant to be as easy to apply “in the back of a taxi as it is in your bathroom mirror.”

The looks created by the 100+ items in the collection are categorized and inspired by 10 styles ranging from “The Ingenue” (see Alexa Chung) and “The Rock Chick” (for the Kate Moss/Cara Delevingne inclined), to “The Dolce Vita” (for Bey-hivers) to “The Bombshell” (for Rosie Huntington-Whiteley/Scarlett Johansson infused glamour).

‘Scuse me while I add the entire rest of the collection to my cart.

Kate Moss, She’s Just Being Miley, Versace goes M.I.A., and other Fashion News You Need to Know 10/7

Kick off your week with the latest happenings in fashion and beauty.

Confirmed! M.I.A. will collaborate with the house of Versace Versace Versace Versace. The design of the 19-piece collection will be based on counterfeits and other street finds.

Another collab to look forward to: Kate Moss is coming back to Topshop. The super is working on a collection slated to hit stores in April. 

Color cosmetics company Inglot is stepping into the skin care market for the first time… all the better to prep your skin for makeup, my dear.

Beauty trends don’t matter anymore, according to the FT, and considering the timing of the shows and product launches. Do you agree?

ICYMI: Miley Cyrus was ever the lady in her shoot with raunchy photog Terry Richardson.

Worth a read: all about makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury.

Zing! Tamara Mellon calls Jimmy Choo a "cobbler".