The Knocks on NYC’s DJ Scene, Not Producing for Rihanna, and Their New EP

The Knocks photographed by Justin Bridges for BlackBook.
JPatt wears leather trainer jacket by Coach. B-Roc wears waxed nylon aviator jacket by Coach. Styled by Alyssa Shapiro.

Ben “B-Roc” Ruttner and James “JPatt” Patterson of The Knocks are overflowing with kinetic energy. Now the producers are making a name for themselves.

Sitting in an East Village townhouse cluttered with art, the guys are as excited to tell their story as we are to hear it. A decade or so of running the DJ scene in downtown New York nightlife, writing for the aforementioned powerhouse performers, and releasing a thread of singles and remixes that have made their Internet presence nothing short of pervasive, Ruttner and Patterson are anxious for the release of their forthcoming EP, So Classic.  We talked to the duo about their humble, sometimes frustrating beginnings, the pros and cons of playing music for New Yorkers, and why their new work finally feels right.

How did you two meet and start playing music together?

B-Roc: We were each producers in our own right, making mainly Hip Hop music at the time — like in high school and early college days. We met through a mutual friend actually when I went to the New School, because JPatt had a friend that went there. At that point, we were both kind of new to being in New York City a lot and kind of just played each other beats and sent stuff back and forth on the Internet, stuff like that, just to kind of see what we were working on. And then we both needed roommates, so we moved into an apartment together in the East Village, actually Avenue C. We were still doing our own thing in our own rooms and slowly started to kind of work on projects together. The stuff that we were making was really cool and ended up taking off a little bit.

So you guys could literally hear what the other was working on through the walls?

B-Roc: Yeah, that’s actually how we got the name The Knocks. Because we used to have like a shitty little apartment where the walls were paper-thin and we each had studio-sized speakers in our rooms. We’d each be making beats really loudly and the neighbors would knock on the walls and the ceilings, and we called them “the knocks.” I’d be like, “I got the knocks. I have to stop playing.” I’d turn my speakers off and I’d go into his room basically until he got the knocks.

What kind of work were the two of you doing at the time?

JPatt: I think we were both at the time writing a lot of stuff for other people. We were doing the whole kind of L.A. base producer thing where they’re all sort of aiming for the same Pop record. And it’s kind of unfulfilling work in that you’re not really making anything that’s real, like that comes from any sort of real place. So I feel like we’re both artists…we both love what we do before…I mean we both want to make money off of it obviously, but at least for me I like the fulfillment of the music we make and being appreciated. Like, it coming from somewhere where someone can appreciate what I do, because it is me. So we were kind of like, fuck that. It was kind of an accident, we were just joking around, like jokingly made this dancer called “Can’t Shake Your Love” in our production room of our studio, not even in the main room.

B-Roc: This is like 2008 or 2009. The EDM thing hadn’t really hit.

JPatt: We did that and we literally just threw it up online to some bloggers that we knew and got the most feedback or like the best response of anything we had done up until that point. So then we were like, “Maybe we’re onto something.”

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The Knocks photographed by Justin Bridges for BlackBook

You guys have both been members of New York’s downtown music scene for a while. How has this affected your sound or style?

JPatt: We were both DJs, so we would go out and test stuff in the clubs, or see what people are reacting to so that when we get back into the studio, we could kind of just put that into our music and what we’re aiming for as far as  vibe, if we want to really get the crowd’s reaction. The New York scene is like the scene in my opinion, so it helps to be involved in it in that way.

Do you think it’s the scene for just music or for basically everything artistic?

JPatt: For music especially, because we do music, but really for everything. Like if you ask me, I feel like New York is the place to be but especially for the music, because there’s every kind of scene here and there are open format gigs where you have to play every kind of music in a three hour span, and a lot of DJs are House DJs or Hip Hop DJs, or ‘whatever’ DJs. You have to play to every kind of person while keeping the crowd unified. It’s a really unique skill set.

B-Roc: I think it comes through in our music. You can’t listen to our music and be like, “Oh, they’re a House duo,” or whatever. You can hear a lot of influence from Hip Hop and you can hear a lot of influence from old Soul, and Classic Rock even. That’s kind of what we aim for. It’s like, we don’t corner ourselves …even when I met him, he wasn’t even DJing yet. It was my day job. I was DJing five nights a week at like all those clubs, whether it was like 1Oak or Darby, all those crappy bottle places, and you have to be on your toes and be able to mix a U2 record into a Jay-Z song, and I think seeing reactions and when people react to different parts of it, like “Oh this part of this U2 song always goes off so big in the club, and then this part of that Daft Punk song…” so were always in the studio using that. We’re like, “Oh, this breakdown sounds like Fleetwood Mac versus this breakdown, which sounds like Frankie Knuckles.”

It must be a great tool to be able to so regularly gauge how a live audience is reacting to you music.

B-Roc: At the same time it can be dangerous though, because New York is such a bubble. But it’s almost like running with weights on because New York audiences are even harder in a sense where they’ll just sit there and stare and then you’ll go do the same thing in Boston and everyone will be like, “Woah!” and freak out because they don’t see it all the time. In New York, everyone’s like, “I could go see this show or I could go see this other guy here.” There’s so much shit going on.

As you said, you guys used to be a part of that base producer songwriting process. Contrarily, you’ve fully collaborated with and helped to develop certain artists, like Alex Winston. Can you expand on that?

B-Roc: That’s how we started and that’s what we wanted to do. Like, we had this kid who got signed to Columbia Records at one point and then Winston…she was making us work on music and we made her move to New York and started producing this other kind of stuff for her…But then The Knocks stuff got so busy, and you can’t really balance it all; you have to focus.

But now that our album’s done I can definitely see us going back and doing more of that, but also our album is very collaborative. Like even when it was just production stuff, we worked with a lot of other producers, and whether it’s guitar players, horn players, musicians…Phoebe [Ryan] is featured on our album. We worked with a lot of artists like that. Most of the features are not just guys that we call up and pay. It’s basically people that we know through the scene here and friends, which always ends up being the best songs. Like “Classic” was totally just a collab with a friend. That song “Comfortable,” which is one of our bigger songs, was just a collab with our friend from X Ambassadors. Because we always kind of feel like underdogs. We’ve never been put in the studio with anyone huge, or it’s rare that we get thrown in with massive guys, so we kind of try to create our own path.

How does this type of collaborative work compare to what you were doing before?

JPatt: I didn’t mean writing with other people is unfulfilling. I meant there is like a specific style. It’s like, “So-and-so, a huge artist, needs a record. They want it to sound like these other five records. Go.” And then they send that call sheet out to like a million different producers and everyone sends in what they think will work, and then they end up going with Dr. Luke. That’s the kind of production work we were trying to get away from.

B-Roc: They’d be like, “We need a song like Britney Spears meets Courtney Love meets the Ying Yang Twins,” and you’re like, “What are you talking about?” I mean yeah, it looks good on paper, but it’s not the way music works.

Do you ever feel that people within the industry are trying to force a certain image onto The Knocks, or classify you in an inorganic way?

JPatt: For a while we were on this other label, I won’t even name any names, but we were on a label for a sec that was a little like the nightmare stories that you hear about labels, where they’re like, “You know, we like what you do, but why don’t you try this other thing that isn’t anything like what you do, at all?” It was just a constant struggle trying to prove our points to them. It was just a bunch of older guys who had no connection to current pop culture and just like hear the radio on the way to work and are like, “Oh, this is what kids are listening to.” And that’s what they try to force you into. So we were there for a second but luckily we were able to get out of that with a clean break. So, yeah, it’s hard for us to be put into those sorts of boxes.

B-Roc: [And that’s because] we already kind of built it up. And I’m super hands-on with administrative things, like the artwork and direction of stuff like that. I think as long as you know what you want and you have something secure…like working with a label like Atlantic’s been amazing because they just want to amplify it. They saw us already as a packaged thing, like they saw what we were already doing, and were like, “Yeah, we love this. Let’s just make it even bigger.”

Then in terms of your real style and appearance, what are you guys into?

JPatt: I like vintage stuff. I like old stuff. LPM is one of my favorite stores to go to. And I like the ‘90s era vintage, graphic cartoon tees, and troop jackets, and stuff like that. Mostly dark colors.

B-Roc: I’m into vintage stuff also. I’m a little bit more into the rocker side of things, all the ‘90s grunge, and I grew up as a punk rocker in middle school. That was my whole thing, so it’s funny to now come back [to that]. I wish I had a lot of those old clothes I wore, but I got rid of all of them for like, my Rocawear suits in high school (laughs). I’m big on leather jackets, and I have a vintage Marilyn Manson tee that’s like my favorite shirt of all time.

Can you tell me about the new EP?

B-Roc: The EP is a taste of what we have to come with the album. It definitely is a new sound, but at the same time we feel like it’s finally the right sound. We feel like, you know, a lot of these bands nowadays with the Internet, like you put out a song and overnight it gets big and all of a sudden we’re playing these shows. And we we’re touring with only having like, four songs, and we had to play a lot of live remixes because we didn’t have enough material. I felt like these past five or whatever years that we’ve been on the road a lot and just running around, we haven’t had time to really sit down and develop our sound. We’d just kind of been running with whatever we were doing. And it just felt like over this time, slowly, we’ve been building, and like when we made “Classic” and a couple of these other new songs, everything seemed to kind of click in this way that was like, “Okay, now this is what we’ve been meant to make.”

JPatt: It’s a good showcase of everything that we’ve been through up until now, and everything we’ve learned, all of our influences, you can really hear them and it’s not like muddy in that it’s two-layered.

How does this work feel to you compared to what you used to produce?

JPatt: It doesn’t feel forced at all. Like even with the old label, by the end, we had reached sort of a weird compromise with them and then they folded, but even with the music that we made in lieu of that compromise, still to me felt a little bit forced, like we were trying to please someone else.

B-Roc: It feels right, and it feels good to have that. Because we definitely had a whole album done that was like cool and a good album but like I feel way better about this one. When we were with the last label, we scrapped a whole album and went and made a whole new record, and it was such a blessing in disguise because we’re super proud of this, and it just feels like something that no one’s ever done before.

Grooming by Ashley Rebecca

Lenka on Her New Album, the Selfie Stick, and the Key to Happiness

Lenka wears Coach fluff jacket and Coach leather mod skirt designed by Stuart Vevers

Decked out in Stuart Vevers-designed Coach for this exclusive interview and photo shoot, singer/songwriter Lenka talks about her cheerful new album.

Whether you know it or not, singer/songwriter Lenka’s music has likely graced your ears numerous times. The Australian sensation’s whimsical, cup-half-full attitude fueled the international hit “The Show” from her eponymous debut album, with her music continuing to gain traction with tracks like “Everything at Once.” The irresistibly catchy optimism of her sound is an advertiser’s dream, helping her land music in giant commercials for the likes of Coca Cola, Windows, and Old Navy—not to mention TV features on prevalent shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Ugly Betty.”

After taking time to focus on her growing family, Lenka is back to spread the jubilant vibes with her fourth studio album, The Bright Side. We talked to the multifaceted artist about her musical evolution, working with husband James Gulliver Hancock, and the wonders of exploring fashion via social media while she happily tried on pieces from Stuart Vevers’s sunny spring collection for Coach, including a t-shirt designed in collaboration with artist Gary Baseman, to whom Lenka just happens to have a personal connection.

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Lenka wears Coach x Gary Baseman Emmanuel Hare Ray t-shirt, Coach fluff jacket and Coach leather mod skirt designed by Stuart Vevers

You’ve been both an actress and a singer. Which passion came first?

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a dancer, and then that changed when I was a teenager. I decided I wanted to be an actor and my mom helped me out getting an agent, and I started acting quite early at about twelve, thirteen. So I was like a professional teen actress, which was really fun, being in high school and getting to leave school and go for acting and stuff.

And how did the shift to singing come about? 

I think maybe I was a little bit burnt out from that career choice already by about the age of nineteen (laughs). I don’t know, I just knew that I wasn’t going to be 100% committed to the life of an actor, as my mentors were. Like my teacher at acting school was Cate Blanchett. She’s like, 150% an actor–she just lives and breathes it, and I knew I wasn’t like that. I went to art school and studied sculpture, performance art and video, and that didn’t feel like the quite right fit.

And this whole time, you know, I liked music and I could do a little bit of music, and my dad’s a musician, but I never was thinking that it would be a career, probably because of my dad. I just wanted to rebel against the whole notion of doing the same thing. But I was singing in a play when I was about 22, 23, you know, like an Off-Broadway, fringe theater thing, and my director sang a song, and that was the moment where I totally flopped over and I realized that I was enjoying singing more and I was getting more out of it, and it felt like the audience was getting more out of it. People kept saying to me, “You should do more music.” So that was when I sort of shifted focus and spent my time brushing up my music theory and writing songs. And then I joined a band so it kind of quickly became my life.

It’s funny how you end up falling into the things that wind up being your strongest passions.

I know, and sometimes I regret a little bit that I didn’t know earlier because I was actually 30 by the time that my first album came out, because I was in the band for a few years and then I started doing solo stuff, and then it takes a few years to sort of get people to believe in you and give you the money to make an album. So I’m like, “Shit, if I started at 15, I would have had so much more time to do all that experimenting and everything. I’d be touring and be 23, which would be more fun I think because now I’m like married and I have a kid and my life doesn’t feel that “Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

You and your husband, visual artist James Gulliver Hancock, have worked quite a bit together. Can you talk about being a creative team?

He’s an illustrator and a visual artist…if you’re a New Yorker, you’ve probably seen his work on the subway. And from the very beginning, when I started to do solo music, he was really there for the visual side of building up my identity as a singer/songwriter. This sort of whimsical, childlike thing I have going on is partly developed by his style as well. We’d actually just started dating as well, so really the joining of us together romantically was the joining of us together creatively as well, and that was quite exciting. We were like, “Yeah! We have lots of stuff that we can do together.” And we wanted to help each other’s careers move along in a parallel path.

We don’t work together as much now. I tend to hire more people. But he’s always there as a kind of production designer or at least another pair of eyes to help out, and he still does all the layout and everything for all my albums and merch. He’s gotten a little busier; he’s fulltime now, doing books and things, but yeah, we’re lucky because I think you want to have a partner that has a similar career to you, but I don’t know though if I would want my guitarist or someone to be my partner or something like that.

The Bright Side is going to be your fourth studio album. Can you talk to me about the musical evolution you’ve experienced since the beginning of your career?

Well this album, it’s a little bit of a return to what I feel like is my strength as a songwriter, with sort of optimistic, kind of happy songs that I had departed from for a little while. But my mood in my life right now warranted me to revisit, so I’ve just made those happy tunes again. And also, I have a toddler who wants to dance, so he was really responding to me making things with a more up-tempo, upbeat kind of feel to them. I mean I’ve been striving to try and be very happy in my life and I feel like I’m at that point [now], and I just wanted to bottle it. This album is basically a capsule of my happiness. I want to be able to look back on it and say, “That was a good time in my life.”

Where did your inspiration for the songs come from this time around?

A fair few of the songs were born from briefs for film and TV writing. I’ve been sort of taking a bit of time off, having a baby and stuff, but still doing a little bit of writing. So, you know, sometimes they’ll be like, “This is the character, these are the themes in the show. Can you write a song along those lines?” And I’m allowed to use those songs whether or not they’ve been used in that project, so I’m still able to put them on a record or something if I want to. So I’ve sort of had this collection of songs that I loved and they made up about half of the record and then I sort of rounded it out with the last few tracks.

So some of the songs are about your own life, and some are about characters that were described to you?

Yeah, but the thing is that the characters that I’m given to write about are usually young, joyful girls, so it’s kind of the same vibe anyway because that’s what I’m known for. So the two are intertwined. It’s like, “Oh, perfect! This is exactly how I feel right now. I can easily write a song like that.”

Where does the album stand at this moment?

It’s totally finished. The vinyl is getting printed as we speak and it’s slated to release on June 16th, so I think that’s probably enough time to get it all ready. I’m sure we’ll release a new song before then, too. I’m not sure which one; it sort of depends on which one I want to make a video for.

So the visual component plays a factor in which singles get released. Do you have any ideas yet?

There’s one video that I want to do that [my husband] wouldn’t be involved in, because it isn’t going to be that pretty, but there’s this one song called “Unique” and I want to do it with fans, get them to send in videos of themselves, and I bought a selfie stick. I was so embarrassed by it–I was like, “This is for a video. I’m allowed to do this.” But I’ve used it so many times, it’s so much fun. I mean, it’s amazing! I’ve got a new iPhone and the camera is amazing and I just sort of want to take it with my life a little bit and do one of those sort of behind the scenes, just walking along the streets kind of videos. It won’t be all that artistic, but I think it will suit the song.

When it comes to fashion, do you think about what you wear on stage heavily?

I do think about it heavily. I spend a lot of timing trolling vintage markets and things like that because I do love ‘50s Mod and kind of vintage looks. At the moment, I’ve been doing a lot of blue, like “Blue Skies,” almost like a bit Normcore and suburban, just black and white and blue. And then I’m obsessed with polka dots at the moment…I love graphic prints and unusual color combinations so my eye is usually caught by things like that.

Is there anyone you look toward as a fashion icon?

As far as icons, I don’t know who it would be. I feel like it would be vintage-y people too. I should look at my Pinterest right now. It’s been a really big tool for me when I have to communicate with stylists. It’s great. I can just be like, “If you want to see what kind of stuff I like, have a look at this.” Or you can make an album specifically for a particular shoot, like that’s what we did with my album cover shoot.

I like Mary Quant, 1960s stuff. There’s a lot of Mary Quant in here. I often really like what Taylor Swift is wearing. I’ll see her walking down the street and be like “Hmm, I think we have the same Pinterest board.”

How do you find a lot of your inspiration?

That’s a lot of Pinterest too. You do find that if you start to follow people or you get on a thread, it sort of learns what you like. Like it knows that I like bold patterns, so it will just show me people’s latest runway looks that have lots of crazy patters.

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Lenka photographed by Justin Bridges for BlackBook. Styled by Alyssa Shapiro. Hair and makeup by Ashley Rebecca.

Lenka wears Coach x Gary Baseman Emmanuel Hare Ray t-shirt, Coach fluff jacket and Coach leather mod skirt designed by Stuart Vevers

The Fashion We Loved from 2014: The Year’s Top 10 Moments

Start the countdown…

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10. Weather wise, this men’s sweater story shot by Rémi Lamandé still feels apropos.
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9. Consider new ways to wear an all-time favorite: denim. Photos by Jaesung Lee.
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8. Ben Rosenzweig captured social media heartthrob Jessey Stevens in the coolest leather looks.
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7. Cozy up with the warmest winter outerwear, shot by Adeline Mai at The Ludlow in NYC.
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6. 2014 was the year of athleisure, and Justin Bridges shot a few street-ready looks you can wear to the gym.justinbridgesdknyportrait1

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5. We love a pop of electric blue. Ben Rosenzweig captures the boldest fur accessories of the early fall.
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4. The Fifth Harmony girls have incredible, adorable style. See their exclusive photos for BlackBook, shot by Justin Bridges.
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3. Glitter in the daylight? Hell yeah. Rodolfo Martinez shoots the sequins to wear before the sun goes down.
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2. It’s the middle of winter, so we’re looking at Logan Jackson’s depictions of the brightest, hottest summer beauty to warm up.
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1. Jaesung Lee captured all the best spring 2015 beauty — our favorite look, right this way.
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How to Get Cry-Proof Eye Makeup, No Matter What Your Sister Says

Ella Petrushko (Marilyn) wears L.L. Bean vintage cable turtleneck and ball necklace by Efva AttlingPhotographer: Justin Bridges. Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist: Ashley Rebecca. Fashion/Beauty Editor: Alyssa Shapiro.

‘Happy Holidays’ is perhaps a misnomer of sorts. Presents are happy. Cheer is happy (in moderation), but what can more often be a source of greater stress than excitement and merriment is a week+ home with one’s parents, extended family, nosy aunts, overbearing grandmas… you get the picture.

Between “when might I have a grandchild,” the ticking clock of hours to go, obligations to fulfill, it’s enough to make any girl succumb to tears. This season, though, tears won’t mean streaky inky Pollock-esque face paintings. Endless testing of liners and mascaras later I can promise you that you can storm off to your childhood bedroom, dig your teary face into your pillow and still look like the beautiful snowflake you are when you’ve calmed down, no reapplying required.

Among the countless beauty items I never planned on having (all-purpose balms, stress-relieving body washes, more than 10 kinds of primer), one I often skimp on is fancy eye makeup remover. But with the products selected here, it’s kind of a necessity. I found my long-forgotten Bioderma (for the refined French woman I surely have inside of me,) a necessity as I conducted my experiment.

Here are the liners and mascaras up to the Herculean task of a cryproof Christmas, NYE, holiday season…

LINERS

For a sultry cateye, Burberry’s Effortless liquid liner, is in fact as effortless as a liquid liner can be. Its no-nonsense applicator is precise and won’t budge. Pen-like liquid liners are much easier to use than those that need to be painted on. Another precise, long-wearing, and more budget friendly option is Eyeko’s Eye Do which comes with the invaluable Alexa Chung seal of approval.

For the lower lid, or just a smudgy, non-cateye look, liners with a gel formula work wonders and once dry, stay in place.

For a jet black, pick…Trish McEvoy Intense Gel Eye Liner.

For a smudgy gray, pick…Urban Decay’s 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil in Lure

For a classic charcoal, pick…Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in Charcoal

For a bold blue, pickEstée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Eye Pencil in Electric Cobalt

MASCARAS

For mascaras that can stand up to the toughest holiday battles, sibling fights, or just a teary viewing of an old favorite movie, try Urban Decay Cannonball or Eyeko Sport.

We wish you as few tears as possible, but if it happens, you’ll be all good in the makeup department. Promise!

9 Products You NEED for Perfect, Glowing Skin This Winter

Ella Petrushko (Marilyn) in cashmere Prada top and hat, available at select Prada boutiques, and Eddie Borgo bell necklace.

Are you having issues with “winter skin”? Has your nose gone the way of Rudolph? Makeup can work miracles, surely, but it needs a good base so it and you can look your best. Let us paint a picture: dabbing foundation onto flaky winter skin will hardly get rid of flakes.

Yes, there’s wind, cold, and a little snow — no matter the conditions, we’re moving ahead with the goal of seeing happy, healthy, hydrated, beautiful skin. Here’s how to avoid a red nose and chapped cheeks, because we can’t all pull off the same glowing colors as some reindeer we know.

HOW TO WINTER-PROOF YOUR SKIN

So–all about that base.

In the winter our skin needs some assistance with hydration. This mandates a bit of vigor when it comes to a moisturizing routine. Adding extra steps can seem stressful, but here’s a pleasant one. We like to start with an actual hydrator–a product you may not have thought to include in your regimen. Boscia’s cool blue hydration essence is a highly concentrated and light gel formula containing skin boosting ingredients like sake and caffeine. Consider it an external drink of water for your skin.

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Of course, endless moisturizers exist to address innumerable concerns, but if you’ve been hesitating to try a face oil, Boscia’s Tsubaki oil is lightweight enough for face oil beginners.

IN A PINCH

For a an extra hydration boost to flaky skin on a when-you-need-it-basis, grab a Dr. Jart Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask. This is a perfect (and enjoyable) extra step to make sure your base is smooth, calm, and healthy before adding any color cosmetics.

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If redness is more of an issue than dryness, try Boscia’s aloe packed cool blue calming mask.

PRIMED FOR PERFECTION

Keeping in theme with the added sources of hydration for the skin, we like Dr. Jart’s Pore Medic Pore Minish Primer, a product packed with hyaluronic acid, another moisture-boosting ingredient.

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PROBLEM-SOLVING

Now that your base is #flawless (and primed), we can move on to any additional cover up required.

FACE PAINT (THE GOOD KIND)

Tom Ford’s Traceless foundation is light enough to barely feel like foundation at all while still providing coverage.

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LIGHT, GLOWY COVERAGE

But, if the thought of foundation (period) makes you cringe, try a lighter coverage with a teensy, but subtle glow, like Urban Decay’s illuminating BB cream.

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HEAVY-DUTY CREAMY CONCEALER FOR PROBLEM SPOTS

Add extra coverage to any spots with concealer. Conceal any blemishes or dark under-eye spots with Eve Lom’s creamy concealer.

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SMOOTH OUT THE EDGES

Finally, for any stubborn dry patches, and soft, kissable lips (we’ll come back to this soon!) keep like 12 of Glossier’s all-purpose balm dotcom around. One in every bag and pocket is a safe bet.

Get more holiday beauty tips and tricks here.

Photographer: Justin Bridges

Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist: Ashley Rebecca

Fashion/Beauty Editor: Alyssa Shapiro

Location: Ammon Carver Studio

A Holiday Manicure That Won’t Chip off in the Turkey

It’s happened to all of us. No matter how pristine your manicure before you head home for the holidays, it’s as if you never even tried as soon as someone asks for your help in the kitchen. Gone is the shiny top coat, and then it’s only a matter of time before your mother points out the chipping. So what’s a helpful gal to do this time of year?

We know that sometimes the only times in your schedule to get a manicure are the off hours the salons aren’t open, so to replicate the strength and long-lasting effects of a gel mani at home, we’re reaching for Deborah Lippmann’s Gel Lab, a base and top coat that seals in shine and gives you the strength and durability your hardworking hands need.

No UV light needed, no weird remover required. And it works with whatever color you want.

Just one more thing to be thankful for.

Get Deborah Lippmann’s Gel Lab here.

Photographer: Justin Bridges
Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist/Manicurist: Ashley Rebecca
Model: Ella Petrushko (Marilyn)
Fashion/Beauty Editor: Alyssa Shapiro
Location: Ammon Carver Studio

Lipstick Pairings to Get You through Several Glasses of Wine at Thanksgiving

Ella (Marilyn) in Eddie Borgo Gemstone Pyramid Drop earrings and For Love & Lemons sweater

It’s an interesting conundrum; the more wine you drink, the less you tend to care what your makeup looks like. But sober you would tell a different story, so why not start the night off on the right foot? Our advice: begin the evening with a wine-colored lip before you move on to drinking the stuff. Accidental purple-mouthed embarrassment avoided; purposeful, holiday-appropriate sultriness achieved.

Some of our favorite pairings:

For the cabernet sauvingnon sipper: Tom Ford lip color matte in Black Dahlia

For the fan of a petite sirah: Nars Audacious lipstick in Ingrid

For the pour of pinot noir: MAKE matte lipstick in Jakarta

For the barolo afficianado: MAKE silk satin lipstick in Beetroot

Photographer: Justin Bridges
Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist: Ashley Rebecca
Model: Ella Petrushko (Marilyn)
Fashion/Beauty Editor: Alyssa Shapiro
Fashion Assistant: Emily Ovaert
Location: Ammon Carver Studio

Style Like A$AP Rocky and Moves Like Usher: Meet Jacob Latimore

Jacob Latimore photographed for BlackBook by Justin Bridges

He may have a Disney teen star past, but eighteen-year-old artist Jacob Latimore has grown into a full-blown Hip-Hop phenom (Drake, sound familiar?). His beats are clean and catchy without sacrificing the swagger, in part thanks to collaborations with the likes of T-Pain. (We’ll mention his Justin Bieber friendship without comment). And it’s not just the music world he’s slaying; he’s got acting chops too. His next role will be his biggest: starring in The Maze Runner next month…a film that promises to crash down on us with Hunger Games-like pop culture weight. With moves like Usher and style like A$AP, our recent photo shoot pretty much proves that for Latimore, the world is his oyster.

Click on the images to see photos full screen.

 

See Justin Bridges’ BlackBook photos of Fifth Harmony here, then check out this interview with Wiz Khalifa.

Photos by Justin Bridges for BlackBook

Man Up and Get Sexy with Suiting

By the beautiful August we’re having, you’d be forgiven for forgetting to get your fall shopping in order. But here’s a hint to get you started: No cooler weather wardrobe would be complete without simple suiting– think of Helmut Newton’s models wearing Le Smoking — is there anything chicer?

Sure, you can show up in black, but borrowing a few more details from the boys’ll draw even more eyes. Herringbone and houndstooth looked good this season on the men at Saint Laurent and Valentino, and it’ll look just as good on you in this iteration from Tommy Hilfiger.

justinbridgestommyhilfiger

A print this subtle’ll draw all the right eyes just a little closer, so make sure you’re ready for the extra interest.

Kat (Marilyn) wears Tommy Hilfiger women’s houndstooth blazer and pant.

Photographer: Justin Bridges
Hair/makeup: Margina Dennis
Fashion editor: Alyssa Shapiro

Special thanks to Pamela Bell