Posts by Ellen Miller

Ellen Miller

Beauty update: Visible bobby pins

From top left: Refinery 29, A little bit of blonde, Pinterest, Honey Kennedy, The fashion medley, Glamour, Free People blog,,


Once merely a tool meant to invisibly provide architecture to updos, the bobby pin has come out of hiding. Whether you haphazardly let pins peek out of your messy bun or take it a step further and use them to create geometric designs, it’s a look that’s worth experimenting with. To try this trend, start by gathering these pro-approved tools:


1. Comb, GHD. 2. Dry Shampoo, Dove. 3. Bobby pins, Conair. 4. Texturizing Spray, Oribe.


1. The tail of a fine-tooth comb creates precise parts; use the teeth to lightly tease hair at the crown for extra volume.

2. Mark Townsend, celebrity stylist for Dove, spritzes bobby pins with dry shampoo to give them extra grip. (This tip is a lifesaver if you have super-soft or super-fine strands.)

3. Right now I love the utilitarian look of lots of drugstore bobby pins stacked together, but it’s fun to experiment with jeweled or colored options, too.

4. Before you start twisting and pinning, mist hair all over with a generous amount of texturizing spray. For the unfamiliar, this genius product is part hairspray, part dry shampoo, and is key to getting that intentionally messy look.




If you’re the crafty type, check out this tutorial from Lines Across. Instead of springing for a collection of colored pins, try painting the ones in your drawer with your favorite shade of nail polish. For a more sophisticated take on the trend, give your drugstore bobby pins a makeover with a few coats of silver or rose gold.


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Categories: Style Spotters | Tags:
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Ellen Miller

Fall fashion: How to wear petal pink

It’s time for the great closet swap—that seemingly monumental task of switching your summer wardrobe out for the fall one. Saying goodbye to warmer weather is sad—and, if you’re anything like me, a sea of boring black, gray and navy in your closet is ever sadder. Enter petal pink, a surprising addition to the fall color palette. I’ve already saved up and splurged on a pink coat to cheer me up on the snowy days ahead (check it out here), but you can also use the color in smaller ways to punch up neutral looks. The trick: Look for pieces in rich fall fabrics and add accessories in one at time to avoid overdoing it. Check out some of my favorite pink picks below—everything is under $200.

1. Coat, Benetton // 2. Polish, Jin Soon // 3. Bag, Cambridge Satchel Company // 4. Sneakers, Levi’s // 5. Sweater, H&M

Ellen Miller

Get inspired: Totally pinnable nail polish (and nail art!) ideas for fall

Kiss those corals goodbye and tuck away that bottle of tangerine—until next summer, that is. To help you give your manicure a fall makeover, I asked Eleanor Langston, former beauty editor and founder of Paintbox, a new boutique nail salon in New York City, for her best polish picks for the season.

Owner Eleanor Langston (@EleanorLangston), left, with Creative Director Julie Kandalec (@Julieknailsnyc) at Paintbox (@paintboxnails) in New York City


Q: Facing that wall of nail polishes in the nail salon is always so overwhelming. Help us out: What color trends are you seeing for fall?

A: Think smoky neutrals, colored metallics, and strong, saturated jewel tones like amber, ruby, and dark teal. Some of my favorites: Essie Take It Outside (smoky neutral with gray undertones), Zoya Flynn (amber-based tan), 3.1 Phillip Lim for NARS in Hell-Bent (a dark ruby with subtle burnt orange tones), Estée Lauder in Arm Candy (a gorgeous matte metallic), Dior Carre Bleu (dark teal), Chanel Orage (a sandy navy), and Deborah Lippmann Harlem Nocturne (a periwinkle matte metallic).

Q: Nail art’s been around for a while. Why is it still in for fall?  And, how the heck do you decide what design to get?

A: Nail art can reflect your mood, express your individuality, give you a sense of style, and become a true accessory. At Paintbox, we create seasonal look books we use to showcase my favorite brands and colors, as well as mild-to-wild design options. There’s no suffering from decision fatigue—we’ve done the homework for you by selecting of-the-moment designs, trends, and colors that suit every style and personality. Here’s a sneak peek at our fall/winter looks:



 Q: So what do you do if you’re still not sure about this whole nail art thing? How do you dip your toe into the trend?

A: For nail art newbies, I’d suggest an accent nail with some adornment with a nail stud (we source ours on special buying trips to Japan) or a touch of metallic foil or glitter—simultaneously chic but statement-making. Negative space nail art—when a bit of your bare nail peeks through—is also a very chic way to step into the nail art space.  When you wear negative space at the bottom with a design on the top part of the nail, the bonus is that it also helps disguise any regrowth.



The full fall/winter look book will debut at Paintbox on September 13th. Not heading to NYC anytime soon? Show us how you’ve incorporated Eleanor’s advice into your fall manicure by tweeting me a pic @EllenMillerBty with the hashtag #BHGBeauty.






Ellen Miller

Never buy the wrong shade of lipstick again!

I love a good drugstore beauty find (check out page 120 in the August issue for some of my favorites), but—it must be said—it’s a serious drawback that you can’t try before you buy. L’Oreal Paris is working to change that with Makeup Genius, a free app that’s available for download right now on the iTunes store. The app transforms the front-facing camera of your iPhone or iPad into a virtual mirror, allowing you to test out individual shades and full-on runway looks in 3D. Love what you see? Tweet me a screenshot at @EllenMillerBty.

Categories: Fashion & Beauty, Get the Look | Tags:
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Ellen Miller

Can you believe it? Birkenstocks are back!

Image created via Polyvore

I’m shocked, mystified—and maybe just a little bit excited. Sales of Birkenstocks have spiked, and once again, the German orthopedic sandals have stepped into the sartorial zeitgeist. Since spring, the two-strap version called the Arizona has been popping up on fashion blogs and city streets, and now the style is frequently selling out at retailers like J.Crew, Zappos, and ASOS. Introduced by the company in 1973, you may also recall that the shoe cycled back into closets in the 90s. I saved up my babysitting money and—cringe—proudly wore mine with flannel shirts, baggy jeans, and baby T’s. Full disclosure: These fashion flashbacks have kept me from actually opening my wallet the second time around, though I’m close to caving. Here’s my justification: While I’m still not sold on the way the super-chunky Arizonas look with dresses, they feel fresh with distressed jeans and a white T-shirt. And, unlike strappy sandals, ballet flats, or flip flops—this summer shoe is actually good for your feet. What do you think? Is this comfy trend worth trying?


Ellen Miller

Five Award-Winning Beauty Products That Are Really (Truly!) Worth It

On Friday afternoon, I was honored to be a presenter on behalf of Better Homes and Gardens and Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) at the 20th annual Beauty Insiders’ Choice Awards. Industry experts recognized 39 products for innovation among the more than 750 entries. Head to for a full list of winners, but here are a few favorites that have already made it into my beauty regimen. Give them a try, and let me know what you think!


Category: Sun product

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid ($29.99;

This SPF feels light and liquid-y (not heavy and creamy), which makes it the perfect year-round protector to apply pre-makeup.


Category: Anti-Aging, Mass

L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Miracle Blur ($24.99;

This clear gel is like an Instagram filter for your face. To use, apply your moisturizer, let it sink in for at least a minute, then slather this on top—and watch pores, redness, and lines practically disappear.


Category: Bath and Body, Mass

Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer Total Moisture ($6.62;

Sure, I know you’re supposed to apply a layer of body lotion daily, but who’s got the time? Application only take seconds with this first-ever aerosol version. Now I keep an extra at my desk just in case my legs look dry on dress days.


Category: Face Product, Mass

Sonia Kashuk for Target Chic Luminosity Bronzer/Blush Duo ($12.99;

To fake a sun-kissed glow, use a fluffy brush to dust bronzer in the shape of the number “3″ across your forehead, onto each cheekbone, and down your jawline. Finish with a pop of pink blush on the apples of your cheeks only. The luminizing particles in this formula look extra-pretty in photos.


Category: Face Product, Prestige

bareMinerals Ready To Go Complexion Perfection Palette ($49.99;

Clutches, slim backpacks, and smaller cross-body bags are replacing giant, heavy totes as the purse du jour. I’ve streamlined my daily makeup bag with this product, which packs foundation, powder, bronzer, blush, and concealer into one tiny palette.