Category:  inspiration


Inspired: Coachella

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Well, ladies, it looks like it’s Coachella time yet again. This coming weekend marks the first of two weekends full of music, desert heat and earthy fashion. So, how does one go from day to night while still looking fresh and fabulous? Makeup is minimal and hair and clothing should be breathable. Let’s take a look back at Coachella’s past for beauty and fashion inspiration and some must have products for creating this festival look.

Opt for a wide-brimmed hat like Vanessa Hudgens and Emma Roberts to keep unruly hair under wraps. Plus, it doubles as the perfect antidote to the intense desert sun. Try: Mar Y Sol Andia Wide Brimmed Floppy Hat.


A lip stain will give you the natural color you are after, without rubbing off on beer, boys or sweaty lip syncing. Try: By Terry Aqualip Jelly Tint (they call it a “tattoo finish” if you know what I mean…).

lip stain

Take a cue from Drew Barrymore and Rachel Bilson and give skin a flawless finish. Try a BB Cream – it offers coverage, sun protection, and decreases oil secretion. Dr. Jart’s Water Fuse Smart Gell BB has spf 50 and gives great coverage.


Music festivals are the ideal place to sport your oversized sunnies. And if past Coachella’s are any indication, Ray-Ban seems to have your eyes covered. Try the Original Polarized Aviator Sunglasses worn here by Kate Bosworth and boyfriend, director Michael Polish.


Diane Kruger does the side braid… and so should you. Great way to keep hair off your face (and neck) for the daylight hours, then, come evening, take out the braid, spritz in some beach spray, and you’ve got yourself the perfect bed head party hair. Try: Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Reactivating Mist.


Arm candy is key. Festival girls always seem to rock something hippy. An easy way to inject festival into your outfit is to add beads to your arms like Alessandra Ambrossio and Ashley Greene. Michael Kors Leather Beaded Bracelet will give you the hippy look with a bit of haute couture. Stack the bracelets – and colors – for ultimate hippy-chicness.

arm candy


And remember, SPF saves skin – so slather on continuously throughout the day!


Inspired: The Cat Eye

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The cat eye has become a beauty staple similar to that of a red lip or a flawless complexion. While there is no right or wrong way to channel your inner feline, there are a few essential tips to making the wing work. Celebrity makeup artist Kristofer Buckle gave these 5 steps for creating the cat eye. Basically, he suggests drawing a line with shadow and then going over it with a liquid or gel. The wing is the last step in his version of the perfect cat eye.

Refinery 29 Beauty Editor Megan McIntyre prefers a kitten wing (what she call’s “a teenage girls’ version of the cat eye.”). Says Megan, “I’ll do a kitten eye, a trick that I picked up backstage at Fashion Week from MAC makeup artist, Gregory Arlt. He called it a kitten eye because it’s just a little up-tip, instead of a full swoop. It’s . When doing a winged eyeliner, it’s important to go up before the shape of your eye goes down. Your eye has a natural high point before it goes down and at the very end, if you follow that line and keep going down, you’re going to drag your eye down and it’s going to make your eyes look droopy. Before the lash line ends, swoop it up so you don’t get that droopy-eye effect.

Friday’s inspiration comes in the form of these artistic and outside-of-the-box winged liner looks:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7


How do you wear your wing?

*images from here.



Inspired: Super Bowl Sunday

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Super bowl makeup

I don’t know much about sports. Full disclosure: I don’t even know who is playing in Sunday’s Super Bowl game (I do, however, know that the Super Bowl is for football – which the rest of the world has dubbed a completely different sport –  our version of soccer). But here’s the thing. Guys like sports and I like guys, so Sunday seems a good of time as any to go sports bar hopping — you with me?

While conquering your sporty attire is one that this post won’t help you with (although I can say that I choose – casual-chic with denim and a shirt that shows just enough of my décolletage), when it comes to hair and makeup, I’ve got a few tricks up my lacy sleeve. After all, a man’s eyes may only veer from the TV screen during those commercial breaks… make sure you catch his attention!

FACE – It’s true what people say, men aren’t into a mask of makeup – and they definitely aren’t big on red lips. Not because red isn’t the color of seduction (is that even true?), but because when a dude sees your mouth covered in a crimson hue, all he’s thinking about is having that shit end up all over his face (and other parts of the body). He’s seeing a mess. So sub a bold lip with a glossy natural sheer pink one like this from Dior. A hint of pink reminds a man of your innocence (and we can all use a little of that!).

Make no mistake, flawless skin wins every time. But caky foundation is a guaranteed turn-off. OVERHEARD: A man asking a woman in  a bar” “What are you hiding under there?” EEKS. Try a tinted moisturizer, and add a dollop of liquid illuminizer for an all-over natural glow. My favorite is this one from Burberry.

As for eyes, keep them clean and inviting. You want him to focus on you, not your cat eye (most dudes think a cat eye is just that, a cat’s eye. Don’t ruin it for them). A natural shadow (I like matte when dealing with men) like this one by Illamasqua swept over the lids, followed by a lengthening mascara is just enough to keep you recognizable.

The key to a sport’s bar look is to seem as low maintenance as humanly possible. Your makeup needs to reflect this fib. While a little flush permeating from your cheeks can make a guy go gaga, too much pink is a problem. Opt for a peachy cream blush. Peach works well with all skin tones, while the cream consistency will give the blushing a more natural and sheer appeal. My favorite creamy peach shade is by Stila.

HAIR – Sure a pony would be practical and sporty, but unless you’re wearing a backless shirt (and that’s just plain desperate for a sports bar), but I’m a big fan of long, natural, wavy hair (and so are the dudes). I’m not giving you permission to pull out the curlers and get to work creating the perfect prom queen coif, but a little bend doesn’t hurt (in fact, it rather helps!). To get some movement, add a beach spray like Charlotte Ronson’s. It reminds your crush how sexxxy your bed-head hair will be.


Inspired: Jean Shrimpton

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As a child of London’s Swinging 60s, model Jean Shrimpton personified the look of the decade. Considered by some to be the world’s first supermodel, Jean’s iconic face was more celebrated than any other during the height of her career. With covers of Vogue and Harper’s and editorials in every major magazine, Jean Shrimpton became a household name, perhaps the first of the celebrity models in her day. Her looks are undeniable: bobbed chestnut hair and large, blue doe-eyes with a mouth that forms into the most perfect cupid’s bow. Photographer and lover David Bailey is credited with discovering Jean; the two had a very sympatico teacher/ muse relationship which helped boost both of their careers.

While Jean’s aesthetic never changed drastically, it’s her classic feminine look that gave her success and still inspires today. She had an air of sophistication, or as the Brits dub it – poshness, that made her someone you aspire to be – this is not the girl next door. And what I’d do for those full, perfectly arched eyebrows!

Here are some of my favorite Shrimpton shots:


All photos from here. Follow Beauty Banter on Pinterest!


Inspired: Choosing Your Look

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It all starts with an inspiration, perhaps a color like perfumer Francis Kurkdjian’s newest scent and the orange box that served as the impetus for the fragrance. Or it’s an editorial image torn out of one of your favorite magazines. Or maybe it’s even a piece of music that makes you nostalgic for simpler times, happier times… the 1990s when black rimmed eyes and lip liner were considered “rad.” Wherever you gather your inspiration, know this: your subconscious is finding it somewhere. You don’t blankly look into the mirror and decide to pull your hair back into a bun or throw a shade of classic red onto your lips. You’ve seen this somewhere, stored it in your mind, and now you’re using it. You can chalk your everyday look up to laziness but even laziness comes from somewhere (“I’m perfect just the way I am,” which is usually code for “I feel super insecure so I will pretend that I don’t give a shit.”). However, if you are reading this post, chances are you do care and you might even be looking here for your daily dose of inspiration.

I love Pinterest (if you’re not on it, now is the time to join!) because it gives me the ability to make vision boards of inspiration images that I find around the web and it keeps them categorized in a clean and coherent way. I have one for beauty, one for hair, one for classic faces that inspire, and even one for food that I would cook if I knew how to cook! Follow me here.

To me, beauty is truly an art form. It comes from training your eye to see things from a different perspective. I love film and photography for that very same reason. I enjoy finding beauty in bleak scenarios. Hair and makeup is the same. It’s a true testament of skill. What can I do with what I have in front of me? Sometimes I turn to tumblr, other time to pinterest or blogs, but most often I just look inside my mind to where I’ve been that day: in my dreams and in my reality. A patch of flowers that caught my attention, a color that stood out in a crowded room, a cat eye that I glanced over while walking down Broadway… and then I let my hands do the talking.

Here are the images that inspire me today. I urge you to keep a folder on your computer and title it “Today’s Inspirations,” try and put at least 5 images a day in it. I promise, you will grow your mind in ways that go fat beyond the beauty of hair and makeup.

*all images from here. follow me on pinterest!


Inspiration: Dior Vernis + Holton Rower

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Last Thursday, Dior Beauty teamed up with the Hole Gallery for a dinner and pour (more on that later) to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Dior Vernis and artist Holton Rower’s solo show at the gallery. Art and beauty are two of my most beloved passions so naturally I was honored to be included. The dinner was beautiful as was to be expected from Dior: White candles that melted into multicolored drippings, the most phenomenal flower table dressings, and even DIY dessert pours (to mirror the pour paintings of Holton Rower, on display in the gallery).

After dinner, guests like Harley Viera-Netwon, Charlotte Ronson,  Julian Schnabel, and Dior’s Dianne Vavra gathered into an adjacent room to watch Holton make an original pour painting – from start to finish. He used 5 Dior Vernis bottles to create the shape of the pour (see images) and approximately 5,000 unique colors for the painting: Holton pours cups of paint onto a piece of material, layering each color over the other while the paint colors flow and weave into a beautiful and intricate shape on the canvas. Five of the colors used to create this piece were chosen by Holton and matched with Dior Vernis shades: Red Royalty #999, Gris Montaigne #707,Psychedelic Orange #545, Flapper Pink #453 and Nirvana #704.

How it begins – Holton, the wood, paint, and the Dior Vernis bottles.

The Process: Pouring

Dior Vernis pour 1: Flapper Pink

Dior Vernis pour 2: Psychedelic Orange

Dior Vernis pour 3: Red Royalty

Dior Vernis pour4: Gris Montaigne

Dior Vernis pour 5: Nirvana

The finished pour painting

*Beauty Fact: “In 1962, Dior was the very first Couture House to launch its own brand name nail lacquer to match its already iconic lipsticks. A Dior slogan from the period captures the popularity of the new product: “Today, the four shimmering letters of Dior have come to the tips of your ten fingers.”

*Holton Rower Pour Painting on display at The Hole from April 28 – May 26th, 2012.

Empty paint cups

A new color and type of flower was sprinkled on the table every 10 minutes throughout the meal.

Ali Wise and Charlotte Ronson

Interview Magazine’s Lauren Tabach-Bank, Logan Horne and Ali Wise’s Beauty Editor, Celia Ellinberg



Inspiration: The Sisters of Downton Abbey

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If you’re like me (and just about everyone else in America and the better part of the U.K.), then you are probably having quite the love affair with the PBS period-piece soap opera, Downton Abbey. The story lines are ripe with family drama, betrayal, love affairs and – at one point – an unexplainable cured paraplegic (if you’re thinking this has all the makings of Dynasty or some other 80s television melodrama, you’d be correct).

And then there are those costumes. Amidst the backdrop of the English countryside the three affluent Crowley sisters have two jobs: to look good and marry well. Their clothing is indicative of the times (early 1900s) with ornate hats, intricate gowns in deep hues and fabulously textured fabrics, and those funny pointed booties. Jewelry is simple yet elegant – pearls and gold adorn neck lines and ears. As for beauty, hair is always pulled up and back (unless sleeping when it is, almost always, down and braided), skin is left pale as if has never seen the rays of the sun, and makeup is minimal: eyebrows groomed, eyes rather natural and lips have a slight hue.

In fact, here’s an interesting bit of television info: I’ve heard that the actresses that play the sisters – Lady Mary, Sybil and Edith – are made to stay out of the sunlight to keep their skin as naturally colorless as possible (as was the case in the 1900s – perhaps that’s why the women kept their young complexion?) and they are asked not to workout so to keep their bodies naturally curvy as would be the case for women living in the early part of the 20th Century (makes sense – Core Fusion had yet to be developed).

I asked celebrity makeup artist Desirae Cherman to explore the three looks and offer a few quick steps on achieving each. Whether you are more regal like Lady Mary, romantic like Sybil or unique like Edith, with a few simple steps you can have a piece of aristocratic beauty, the Downton way.

Lady Mary: Lady Mary’s makeup look is soft and serene yet powerful and strong much like her character. Her lips are kept soft and light with just a hint of a pink undertone. Cheeks look as if they have just barely been pinched by her fingers to let the blood flow to the surface and create a natural flush. Her brows are strong, large, and very well defined with a high arch. These brows give her eyes strength and intensity, commanding that you take notice when she walks in a room. Lady Mary’s look differs from her sisters with her strong brows  and soft pink lips. She always looks a little more polished and groomed. You can easily achieve this look with tinted moisturizer, a natural looking matte lip stain and a hint of a cream blush. Make sure to fill in brows and brush hairs up, seal brows with a little hair spray on a brow brush.
Desirae’s Picks: I love Tarte Smooth Operator. For lips, I recommend Tarte Lipsurgence in Hope  and Stila Convertible color in Lillium for a cream blush.

Sybil: Sybil’s look is very young, fresh, and romantic. She is unknowingly sexy and demure without screaming “look at me.” With big full lips that are accentuated with a just-bitten rosy stain, and big round eyes, she’s almost like a living doll. Her brows are full and more unkept, making her eyes look softer and more inviting. Her makeup is different from her sisters in that there is a more youthful rosy flush to her cheeks and lips. This look can be achieved with a little bit of concealer in the areas that are needed (under eyes, blemishes, etc), a curl to the lashes to give you that “doll-eyed” effect, then use a multi function cheek and lip stain in a rosy hue.
Desirae’s Picks: I like Stila Lip & Cheek Stain.

Edith: Edith’s look is very natural and minimal. She is a classic beauty without trying too hard or even realizing her own unique beauty. She has perfect porcelain skin that is clearly kept out of the sun. Brows are groomed but not filled in and very light. This look is about making her eyes really pop since they are a beautiful brown that contrast with the lightness in her skin, brows, and blond lashes. Her lips are where we see a bit of effort, almost like she threw on a little balm and kissed a terra cotta colored pot. The best way to achieve this look is to remember to keep it MINIMAL!  Spot coverage with concealer where needed, brush brows up, and use a tinted lip balm.
Desirae’s Picks: Try Laura Mercier Hydra Tint SPF 15 in Apricot.



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After watching the Golden Globes this past Sunday and noticing the increasing number of light lips that accompanied the makeup looks – from dark eye to cat eye to bare eye – I became slightly obsessed with the idea of a winter filled with lovely nudes, pale pinks and mauves. While I’m still a major fan of a bold lip (love a nice fuchsia) and a bright red pout, it’s the fair lip that has me inspired this week (and from what we saw on the runways for S/S 2012, the pale lip is sizing up to be the trend du jour).

glossy and natural

matte and nude

natural and matte

mauve and matte

muted and matte

glossy and pale pink
(photo by Vincent Lappartient)

*all images from S/S 2012 runway shows, from (unless otherwise noted). follow us on tumblr.



By | inspiration | 4 Comments

We all love a little bling from time to time (some more than others, perhaps). But, how about bling on your face? No, we’re not talking about lip, brow, nose, chin piercings (although a certain beauty writer may or may not have had both an eyebrow and tongue pierce in college). The bling we’re referring to is one of sparkles, sequins and Swarovski crystals. With the holiday’s rapidly approaching, a bit of face bling feels perfectly festive and fitting. How much you wear and where you wear it is entirely up to you.

Here, some photos to get you inspired:

Not interested in fancying up your face? Try the new Dior adhesive eyeliner patches emblazoned with crystals. Obsessed.

The question begs to be asked: would you rock the face bling?

*all images from here.


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Beauty Banter was launched in July of 2006 as a comprehensive beauty blog covering trends, tips and tricks, insider secrets, and weekly must-haves. Beauty Banter has a reputation of being on the cutting edge of emerging trends and product launches so our readers are always the first to know what’s hot and what’s just not.