Not Everyone’s Nude

DSC_1305-copy4The other day I was walking down the street behind a beautifully brown skinned woman wearing gorgeous cream-colored pants, looking wonderful in them even after Labor Day, and as I often wonder when I see people in white – my next thought jumped to, “What underwear does she wear with that?”

For me, a (very) ivory-skinned lady of Polish descent, the question would be pretty straight forward. I could choose white, or a range of pinky-yellow skin tones in the shade so frequently called “nude.” But that nude, while perfectly suited for my naked skin simply does not match or even start to come close to reflecting the rainbow of skin tones I see even on my subway ride to work in the morning. While there’s been some progress in creating a rainbow of foundation colors, and broadening our bandaid tones, doesn’t everyone deserve to have underthings that match their complexion sans clothes? The same right to bra straps and thongs that seamlessly disappear?

Now ladies of color won’t have as big of a struggle with not-so-nude tones, thanks to Nubian Skin. While finding the right panties to go with your white pants might seem like a small-time problem, it’s actually a big step towards saying our flesh tone represents everyone. Pinky-yellow isn’t everyone’s ideal. There’s a broader spectrum of items for people to choose from, and I’m happy to see another sector of the fashion industry taking notice and making an effort to fix it.

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Away with Advertorials

maybelline-1pp-advertorialFirst it was my magazines. They sported pages of content that looked like an article on the prettiest makeup products for fall. Then I noticed they were all the same brand, and a few font differences made it stand out from the other pages. Turns out it was really an advertisement styled like the magazine to trick readers into noticing before flipping the page. Then sponsored images started showing up in my Instagram feeds, and before I knew it I was reading ads for Royal Caribbean, wondering all the while which one of my gal pals was on a tropical vacation. Then I saw the sponsored “articles” on Slate, which straight up look like an editorial. While these advertorials as they’re now called had done their job – they snagged my attention, where I usually ignore them – I felt duped, annoyed, and (slightly) less likely to buy their products.

And it turns out I’m not the only one who’s annoyed! People tend to distrust sponsored content, and even the site that’s posting it. I expect the content I read to be (mostly) unbiased on my favorite sites, and the whole point of ads is to steer you in the direction of their products. When these impartial posts pose as true journalism, it can mislead consumers into thinking their information is coming from an unbiased source. The word advertisement or commercial clues readers in to the fact that the company selling it is trying to grab their business, but those communities are the ones who are the most interested in blending in, shrugging off labels to make their  merchandise more appealing. Even the FTC is in on the debate, wondering how much should be done to protect consumers from being duped. While, frankly, it gets on my nerves, and I’d rather not see it I have to tip my hat to the people that came up with it. In an industry driven by grabbing the most impressions and pageview, they definitely succeeded in making me take a second look.

Quizzes + Giveaways: What Could Be Better?

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If I have a few spare minutes on the internet, and I’ve read all the sites I usually frequent, there’s nothing I like better than taking a little quiz. It started way back when I read Seventeen and YM. Then there was the heyday of personality quiz sites. And now there is Buzzfeed answering every question we ever have about which Disney character we are, and where to get dinner. Even the NY Public Library is getting in on it with “What children’s book character are you?” (I got The Little Prince).

My second guilty pleasure is online sweepstakes. It’s like those scratch-off lottery tickets. You win a sampler of mascara and eye shadow primer once, and it keeps you coming back for more.

Now there’s a site that combines these two things. It’s called Poshly, and for each quiz you fill out you gain an entry into a sweepstakes of your choice. It connects beauty consumers with beauty producers through data. The more questions you answer, the more relevant they become to your personal beauty lifestyle. It was love at first click for me, but winning this Rouge Louboutin Nail Polish after a few tries made this what I’m sure will be a lasting relationship.

Rompers for Tall Girls

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I have wanted a romper for ages. Ever since the trend popped up a few summers ago, I have eyed people looking adorable in the little shorts onesies with envy. I have searched high and low, asked ladies where they got theirs, and tired on hundreds of them, only to find that the shorts are too short, and the waist hits my 5’6″ frame in a very awkward spot.

After a particularly disappointing run at Macy’s recently, I resigned myself to giving up rompers forever. While I think they are adorable, they are just not for me. Then I read this post on Self, and discovered that rompers for tall girls exist! So far the only brand I’ve found is Girls on Film, a London-based company that makes petites and extra long jumpsuits, but theirs are amazing enough to lure me back into the romper world for good!

In Praise of Shabby Gym Clothes

gymI have one pair of Lululemon running tights. They’re definitely the nicest piece of workout gear I own, and I could only justify their absurd expense because first, I had my last pair of running tights so long they  became transparent  from over wearing them (not because they were the defective lululemons), and second because I received them as a gift. Also, they do truly fabulous things for my butt. The rest of my gym clothes are, if you put it nicely, somewhat shabby. I have great sneakers and awesome ear buds, because those are the accessories that really matter to me-the tunes that keep me moving, and the sneakers that keep me from getting extreme shin splints. While I tried to fancy things up with some new t-shirts and stretch pants, the majority of my exercise gear consists of a bunch of beat up t-shirts I got for free at college events and some tank tops I used to wear in public until they got an irremovable stain.

When I read this piece on The Cut unapologetically defending gross gym clothes, all I could think was, “Preach sister!” Gyms in NYC can be scary, intimidating places (see this article on Gymtimidation). In this city they are full of attractive thin people (who are strangely muscular for their size), in extremely trendy clothes that somehow don’t sweat. For someone who is there because they want to get in shape (and thus may not be 100% loving the way they look), the feeling of competition to look hot while trying to get fitter to look hot can be a lot of pressure. If investing in cute gym-wear makes you more motivated just so you get to wear it, more power to you. But I am just going to second Maggie Lange’s notion, and say I’d rather wear my faded Ram Fan t-shirt and some mismatched socks any day because by the time I finish my butt and gut class I am just going to be a dirty sweaty mess anyhow.

Revlon and Marchesa Bringing High Fashion to Your Nails

revlonNail art is so hot right now, and unlike the acrylic tips that were popular when I was in high school, this trend doesn’t ruin your nails. People apply pretty designs by hand painting them onto nails using different polish colors, or use the pre-made nail stickers that last anywhere from 7-10 days. Now Revlon is teaming up with Marchesa to bring a little bit of the runway to your local drug store. Each design is inspired by one of Marchesa’s runway looks, and can be purchases for $9.99. Check out the features on them on Self and Elle!