Posts by Ellen Miller
1. You don’t (always) need fancy brushes!
Brushes can help you achieve a super-smooth finish for foundation and are best if it’s important that you place product precisely—say if you’re creating a dramatic smoky eye or red lip. But, if you’re short on time for everyday looks, your fingers are the perfect tool for applying creamy lip, cheek, and eye colors. Mary Helen Bowers, the subject of our “In Person” interview, is a time-crunched new mom and creator of Ballet Beautiful, a ballet-based workout you can do in person or online. She loves these pots from RMS Beauty ($25-38; rmsbeauty.com) because you can smudge them onto skin in seconds.
2. The best sunscreen is the one you’ll actually use!
Truth: The sun causes 90% of skin aging. Translation? You can’t complain about dark spots, dullness, lines, and wrinkles if you’re not wearing SPF 30 each and every day, rain or shine. To find a product you’re willing to slather on daily, you may have to experiment with a few different formulas. If you’re sensitive like me, sunscreens with physical (rather than chemical) blockers are your best bet. These options from Safe Harbor ($9.99 each; walmart.com) are effective, but not expensive.
3. Store fragrances in a cool, dry spot.
Sure, those pricey perfume bottles look gorgeous when they’re lined up on your vanity. But, exposing your signature scent to sunlight and moisture can limit its shelf life. To protect your investment, carefully place your favorite fragrance in a cabinet or drawer in the bedroom instead of the bathroom. If you’re in the market for a new spring spritz, soft florals are trending. A personal favorite: Michael Kors White ($88 for 1.7 oz; michaelkors.com), which has notes of tuberose and freesia.
You probably keep separate Pinterest boards for your home and your closet—right? But, something exciting is happening in the home and fashion markets right now—the design worlds are merging in a big way, which means trending colors in decor are popping up in designer clothing and vice versa. That’s why it was such a fun creative challenge to collaborate with East Coast editor Eddie Ross and style director Jessica Thomas on a fashion page in BHG’s Color Palette of the Year feature for our March issue. (You can check out the full palette here, too!) Stylist Alexis Wolfe and I set to work to interpret their bold color scheme in an affordable way for your wardrobe. Check out the look that appeared in the issue:
While jungle green may be a cool new neutral for a couch, admittedly the color can be a tad tricky for some women to wear next to their skin. If that’s the case “try it in an abstract pattern,” says Wolfe. Jumpsuits like the Maggy London version shown above are absolutely everywhere for spring, but if that’s a bit of a bold move for you, opt for a fun print on a top, dress, or skirt. (Love it? Maggy London has generously offered readers a discount for their entire site when you enter BHG20 at checkout from March 9-March 16.) Next up: Berry. This is a shade lots of women already have in their wardrobes, but it’s so feminine that it can be tough to wear from head-to-toe. “This season, stick to pops of bright pink like these pointy toe pumps,” says Wolfe.
We based a bonus look around a pair of high-waisted, paisley pants that incorporate some of the more subdued shades in the palette. The star? A pretty teal that everyone can wear. “Always place flattering tones like this one closest to your complexion,” says Wolfe. The runner-up, though, is blush, which is a favorite neutral to swap in instead of navy, black, or white this season. We chose a bag and shoes in the shade, but you could also give it a try “in an unexpected way like a light spring coat or trench,” says Wolfe.
So, what do you think? Let us know how you’ll shop for spring colors in the comments below. And, for more inspiration, check out our slideshow with tons of fashion and beauty picks in this year’s palette.
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. 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.
More from BHG.com:
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.
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.
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.
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.