The Best Beauty Events of Fashion’s Night Out

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.

Rococo Nail Apparel to Launch All-Nude Line

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, “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.”

Dry Shampoo, Not Just for Lazy People Anymore

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.

London Favorite Nails Inc. Arrives Stateside

Just when you thought the nail polish market was at full capacity, along comes London cult-favorite Nails Inc, which just landed in over 50 Sephora stores in the US. With 42 polish shades, the line celebrates London life with colors named after the some of the city’s lesser-known destinations: Basil Street (pale soft toffee), Chelsea Embankment (gold glitter), Devonshire Row (vibrant lilac). Nails Inc is known for its bright shades, crystal colors, and special-effects 3D glitter. But it’s not all about the shine.

The lacquers are formulated for long-lasting wear, and the brand also offers treatment products like Electric Lane Holographic Base Coat, Kensington Caviar Hand Cream, and Westminster Bridge Matte top coat. Nails Inc. creator Thea Green is a former fashion editor at Tatler, and custom blends for London runway shows for the likes of Issa and Julien Macdonald. The line is a must for nail art followers, and luckily, Green’s plan for US invasion is just getting started. “We’d love to open nail bars here,” she tells of us Yanks.

Three Superfoods to Boost Your Skin’s Natural Glow

It’s no secret that certain foodstuffs will help your skin glow from the inside out (probably brighter than any ruby-and-diamond blasting could ever hope to achieve). Here are three superfoods that will turbo-charge any dull dermis. While the days are still relatively lazy—and farmer’s markets aplenty—try incorporating these three downright delectable ingredients into your diet for healthy, naturally radiant skin.

Fish and Wine: According to a story in Allure, “The antioxidants in wine and the omega-3 fatty acids in certain fish may help combat the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation, explains lead study author Maricel B. Hughes of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.” The two essential fatty acids that you want are Omega 3 and 6. Omega 6 has the most beneficial effects on the skin and hair. Omega 3 reduces the body’s production of inflammatory agents that can damage the skin. Because the body can’t make either acid on its own, sources such as oily fish – sardines and salmon are the most environmentally-friendly options – are a must. Other sources to keep in mind are organic eggs, sesame, rapeseed, walnut, soya bean, and flax oils. Blueberries are the superfood that some believe to have the highest source of antioxidants, which, along with other nutrients, neutralize damaging free radicals, and thereby reduce cell damage. When skin is protected from free radicals, it can stay younger for longer.

Green Tea is another gem rich in antioxidants that will reduce inflammation and protect cell membranes. It’s been proven to reduce the damage of sunburns and exposure to ultra violet light. According to Hasan Mukhtar, professor of dermatology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, “There is evidence that drinking at least two, and preferable four, cups of green tea each day may protect against skin cancers and reverse the effects of sun damage by promoting cell regrowth.”

Behind Mila Kunis’ 7K Ruby & Diamond Facial

More than most industries, the beauty biz relies on hype to create a life for products and services. A few days ago, news of a $7000 diamond-and-ruby facial that Mila Kunis supposedly paid for to prep for her Friends with Benefits premiers surfaced, and I brushed it off as the PR machine doing its job. But then I wondered to myself, what if she had actually gone in for the treatment? What would having one’s face blasted with precious gems entail, and who would indulge in a luxury akin to burning a pile of Benjamins to warm one’s hands? Here’s what I found.

Not only did Ms. Kunis receive the ruby treatment, but it wasn’t her first time—she got it before the Golden Globes in January.

The man behind the treatment is aesthetician-to-the-stars Scott-Vincent Borba. The official name is the HD Diamond and Ruby Peel, and it uses precious stones (um, rubies and diamonds) that work as antioxidants for the skin to create a “lustrous sheen,” Mr. Borba told the Daily Mail. After getting your face scrubbed with the crushed stones, he applies a lactic acid peel to stimulate cell turnover, followed by ultra-sonic hot and cold wands and a blast of LED red light.

Kunis was given an ice cube to suck on (presumably it’s included in the price) in order to counter the puffiness that attends the facial. According to an editor at Allure who underwent a 20-minute version of the facial, “the cold galvanic wand really did feel amazing. Even better, my complexion looked more even after the facial.” I mean, that’s the least you could ask for a 7k treatment. The same Allure story asked Jeannette Garf, a clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, to weigh in. “Since the wands are heated and cooled to particular temperatures that won’t burn the skin, they can help with lymphatic drainage and circulation. Red LED light is good for collagen production. But there is no data or study that I have found that state precious gems are better than any other type of exfoliation.” Luxury hype at its best. Or worst.

Introducing FITiST, New York’s New Online Fitness Program (Join Here!)

If your goal of whipping yourself into shape for bikini season has fallen by the wayside like so many hours of True Blood, worry not. There’s every reason to get back on track for fall, including the new and excellent fitness site FITiST, which feels like a combination of a personal trainer, a workout buddy, and a nutrition expert rolled into one easy-to-use online buddy.

What’s offered are ten different workout plans curated by a team of fitness and nutrition experts (including sweat guru David Kirsh), who’ve culled from top New York classes, studios, and trainers to bring you a perfect cross-training workout. Choose a plan (the 26.3, the Slim, the New Mom, the Rookie), book classes (the Slim plan, at $500 a month, offers 18 classes: 6 cycle classes, 4 core pilates, 4 performance, and 4 yoga classes), and manage your schedule, all from the FITiST site. FITiST members also have access to last-minute classes at a discounted rate, and can browse tips like how often you need to work out in order to loose weight, and what the four best bike-able destinations are in New York (an LA site is in the works and coming soon in September).

Fitist has a deal for September called September Body. For women ($430) it includes two cycling classes, two pilates/core classes, one personal training session at Aerospace gym, two performance classes, and a one-on-one session with Sharon Richter to hatch an eating plan. Men ($525) get four flight classes, four performance classes, one personal training day at Aerospce, and nutrition counseling. Aerospace, if you have not heard, is the super-sleek, machine-free studio created by celeb trainer Michael Olajide. September, although it might not be bikini season anymore, is for back-to-school beginnings. Or perhaps, back to the grind.

To make things easier, the invite-only site has offered BlackBook readers membership.

Perfect Score: Tribeca Salon TenOverTen Nails It

Finding the perfect mani/pedi in a city damn near overrun with nail salons ain’t easy – especially when you take price and convenience into account. (We’d all be fabulous with big budgets and no day jobs.) TenOverTen nail spa in Tribeca was created by two friends who realized how mundane the typical mani/pedi experience can be. “Waiting for your nails to dry is boring, and those machines remind us of production lines,” co-owner Adair Ilyinsky, a fashion financial analyst, told Marie Claire magazine.

Ilyinsky and partner Nadine Ferber set out to create a luxe experience with reasonable prices — think $20 for a basic manicure — for the over-worked and time-starved customer in need of R&R. “We felt it should be a moment of luxury not hectic and gross,” says Ferber of TenOverTen, which stays open, appropriately, until 10pm.

Each station has an iPad (perfect for drying nails), and customers can leave a credit card and favorite nail shades on file to avoid annoying mid-mani payment shuffles. Think cozy home environment with vintage lighting, hand painted walls, linen upholstered manicure chairs, and limestone tables on the second floor of a historic building. Another major plus are the high-end polishes they stock: Nars, Chanel, and RGB. It’s worth going before wearing sandals outside goes the way of your AC unit.

The Beauty Horizon: 5 Labels to Get Excited About For Fall

If you’re feeling the dog days of beauty—roughly the entire month of August until the leaves start falling from the trees—then it might be a good time to check out some new gems coming up on the cosmetics horizon (slathering your face with suntan lotion and calling it quits is getting old, right?), from established brands to labels you’ve probably never heard of. Here’s a mix of exciting companies that either have products available now, or that give you something to look forward to (besides being able to wear makeup again) come autumn.

Snowberry Beauty – This New Zealand-based line is created by a cosmetician who saw a need for “authentic skin care” that used bio active ingredients, but did’t compromise in quality. The packaging is beautiful and the products use more 160 ingredients in total. Coming to the states soon.

Natu Hair Care – Natu is all about reminding us how badly we treat our hair though color, bleach, over washing and conditioning, ironing, processing, and general abuse. The formula is 96.8% – 99.5 % natural, with the key ingredients being natural proteins, lipids, amino acids, nutrients, and vitamins. Of course there are no sulfates, parabens, artificial colors, fragrances, resins, or animal products, either.

Birchbox – This is not a new line, but it’s a genius one nonetheless. For ten dollars a month, you get 4 or 5 hand-picked samples delivered to you. Each month you pick new products from up-and-coming niche brands, clinical lines, or more established names. It’s a beauty junkie’s dream. Some of the diverse lines to pick from include Benefit, Weleda, Bulgari, Stila, Nars, Sue Devitt, Pureology, Kiehls, and Erno Lazlo.

Elizabeth Dehn – Dehn has done her share of testing as a beauty blogger for and as a former magazine beauty editor. This clean line is all about simplicity. From the understated yet pretty packaging to the 100 % natural ingredients free of fillers and water to the refreshingly uncomplicated products. There are three. A cream, face spray and serum. Sometimes less is bliss.

Inglot – This Polish cosmetics line is over 25 years old and known for their highly pigmented shades and pro-level quality, all at reasonable prices. The Freedom System Palette is a custom made selection of face, lips and eyes. Most recently, they have developed the first ever Breathable Nail Enamel.