An (Actually) Honest Review of the Kylie Lip Kit and Gloss

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The three products tested. | Lauren McGrath.

Secret talent alert: I’m a low-key makeup artist, with years of experience glamming women up for weddings, proms and big events, and I’m always in search of the best products to use on my clients. All the mania surrounding Kylie Jenner’s debut cosmetics line definitely had me intrigued — and I wasn’t alone. Every restock since the first Kylie Lip Kit release back in November of last year has sold out lightening-fast; her latest product release earlier this week allegedly “broke Google” (and also leaked buyers’ personal information). People are so desperate to get their hands on the makeup,they’re even buying used lip kits on Ebay and Poshmark for two to three times the original price of $29. (First of all: What?! Secondly: Ew.) 

With the help of my gracious coworker Ginny, a proud owner of not one but three Kylie Cosmetics products, I volunteered as tribute to find out if all the hype around the Kylie makeup is actually founded. Here’s how a few days in the life of Kylie-lipped me went down (after I stopped rolling my eyes at her gloss reveal music video):
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Shop Talk: 12 Makeup Mistakes You’re Definitely Making

  • If you’re not soaking your beauty blender in warm water before using it to apply foundation, I hate to break it to you, but you’re using it wrong. Find out the other eleven common makeup mistakes you’re probably making. (Guilty as charged.) [The Zoe Report]
  • If you live in an urban area, you should know what free radicals are and how to avoid them. Read this guide to bolstering up your skin’s protection against city air—and why you should care about it in the first place. [Into The Gloss] Read more »

Shop Talk: How to Make Your Lipstick Last All Day Long

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Wear your boldest shade worry free. | iStock/Rohappy.

  • If you don’t know, here it is: The easiest way to update your beauty from cold weather vibes to springtime sunniness is a bright, bold floral-toned lip. Here’s how to make your lipstick last all day so that you don’t have to worry about the constant upkeep. [The Zoe Report]
  • Got some hairline flaking issues? Put down the Head & Shoulders if you want to save your highlights. Instead, try this at-home dandruff solution that’s perfectly safe for color treated hair. [Pure Wow]
  • Nothing says ‘Happy spring’ quite like scraping ice and snow off your windshield in the a.m., am I right? To get you in the mood for warmer weather, check out what some of the nation’s coolest boutiques are stoked to carry in stores this spring. [Style Caster]

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ICYMI: How to Use Those Untouched Colors in Your Eyeshadow Palette

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So many reasons to stop neglecting the fun colors in your palette. | Images via iStock.

  • When you purchase eyeshadow palettes, there’s always a shade or two (or seven if you own any of the Naked palettes) that goes untouched. Here’s a comprehensive guide to actually using those untouched shadow shades without looking scary. Really, it is possible! [Byrdie]
  • Guess what? NYFW is wrapping up, and after some much-needed criticism about fashion’s lack of body diversity, one designer is stepping up. Zac Posen sent mostly models of color down the runway for his NYFW show, and his show has the fashion world abuzz. [Harper’s Bazaar]
  • Hey Muslim gals: Uniqlo is pairing with muslim designer Hana Tajima to create modest and (actually) fashionable clothes and traditional Islamic garments including hijabs. The modest wear line launches February 26  and includes cute clothes offering full coverage, all made using Uniqlo’s signature breathable fabrics. Plus, it’s all priced between $10 and $60. [Huffington Post]

Plus: Stella McCartney for men?

5 Ways to Do Your Makeup in No Time at All

Because sometimes you just have to touch up your lipstick at a red light. |

Because sometimes you just have to touch up your lipstick at a red light. |

Between the low-key makeup-phobics and the fanatical makeup-queens lies a fairly large demographic that doesn’t get enough consideration: those who love makeup, yet have no time for it. I belong to that category. Whether it’s back-to-back meetings, long commutes across the city, or just hitting the snooze button repeatedly until you only have 30 minutes to get ready (totally not something I do, cough), being a self-proclaimed Busy Girl can really take a toll on your beauty regime, which can leave you feeling less than 100 percent.

My fellow girls-on-the-go needn’t fret, however. We asked some of Philly’s top makeup artists for their advice on how to look your best for less time spent in the mirror.

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If You Can Never Find Your Foundation Color, Sephora Is About to Solve All Your Problems


Expert help at navigating the makeup aisle. | Images via black|Up.

For women of color, finding the perfect foundation shade can be a nearly impossible task. True, there’s long-time drugstore brands like Black Radiance and Black Opal, but most upscale lines just don’t offer a wide enough range of textures and colors suited specifically for darker skin tones. It’s not just everyday women who have to struggle — not too long ago, model Nykhor Paul claimed she had to bring her own makeup to runway shows because the backstage makeup artists weren’t supplied with the cosmetics to accommodate her skin color. One word: unacceptable.

Starting tomorrow, Philly’s beauties of color might be getting the answer they’ve been waiting for: Paris-based black|Up Cosmetics is at Sephora’s Center City today through Saturday to introduce the luxury line. The brand has quickly become known for it’s range of paraben-free, professional-quality makeup developed to meet the specific needs of medium to darker complected women with complex undertones. I’m also talking rich jewel-tone eyeshadows and highly pigmented lip colors that actually complement rather than contrast.  Read more »

The 5-Product Makeup Routine That’ll Get You Out the Door in 5 Minutes

5 Step Makeup

Run from the gym to the office with a fresh face in mere seconds. | Photography by Claudia Gavin.

In my constant quest to pare down the makeup kit I bring everywhere, I’ve gotten things down to a science – or as close to one as ever. While I always want to look put-together and professional, I simply don’t have the time in the mornings to apply a full face. (Hello, that’s what train rides are for.) I also don’t want to give myself scoliosis by lugging around my whole kit every morning. If necessity is the mother of invention, then laziness and SEPTA are my muses. I’ve perfected the five-minute, five-product makeup routine that leaves me looking fresh, awake, and ready to tackle the day. Here’s how >>

Learn to Contour Like (Ugh, Fine) Kim Kardashian



Images via Kevyn Aucoin.

Love her or hate her, Kim Kardashian has taken contouring – you know, when you strategically paint your face with various splotches of brown/taupe/white/bronze to create faux angles, shadows and highlights – and made it into something of an art form. But, take note: When done incorrectly, the end result can be pretty jarring. (Exhibit A.) How to avoid these clownish fates? Head to The Rittenhouse Spa tonight at 5:30pm for a makeup tutorial with the spa’s leading artist, Irina Kravchenko.

Here’s the deal: You’ll learn step-by-step contouring techniques (hello, sharper cheekbones!), and you’ll get a peek at Kevyn Aucoin’s newest contouring palette. The session is open and completely free to the public, but if you RSPV in advance by email with your name and number, you’ll be entered to win the same contouring palette that you’ll use in the workshop (which will save you $59 if you happen to fall in love and want your own). Don’t win? Attendees still get 20 percent off all makeup and salon products, including Aucoin’s line. To sweeten the deal, the spa will be serving up complimentary refreshments and specialty drinks from the The Rittenhouse’s Library Bar. We’ll see you there. Read more »

What Happens When a Non-Makeup Wearer and a Makeup Diva Swap Routines


A medley of befores and afters. | Photos by Lauren McGrath.

In our office, there are two sets of women: Those who wear makeup every single day, and those who don’t ever wear a stitch. I happen to fall into the former group – full face, every day – and our copyeditor, Rachel Chernaskey (she of the impossibly high cheekbones and poreless skin), sits strictly in the latter. What would happen, I wondered, if we switched cosmetic routines for a day? Surely, the world would spin off its axis; our coworkers would look at my ruddy chin and un-lined eyelids and I’d immediately be fired; Rachel would be spotted on the street and become the next Kendall Jenner.

After some pleading with Rachel and personal soul-searching (could I really post a makeup-free photo on the blog for all to see?), we shook on it: I’d go sans makeup; Rachel would let our assistant lifestyle editor (and talented makeup artist in her own right) Lauren McGrath apply a full face. We’d wear our new looks around for one full work day and see who noticed, who commented, who turned away in horror, and how it felt to trade faces. Turns out, not at all like we expected.   Read more »

13 Killer (And Doable!) Halloween Looks from Philly Makeup Artists

Shoppist Halloween

Not your average pumpkin costume. | xplicit_artistry and domo_speca.

We asked, and Philly makeup mavens responded in droves: We present the 13 most ghoulish, gory, and gorgeous Halloween looks that our city talent has to offer. Whether you’re looking for some doable costume inspiration or merely want to ogle at their insane, untouchable skills, this post features the best of the best in Philly makeup artistry. Give the looks a try and their creators a follow, because makeup this good doesn’t just happen. Happy (almost) #ShoppistHalloween! Read more »

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