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  • Why This Is the Year to Ditch Boring Makeup

    When it came to beauty in my twenties, I always kept things simple. Having spent high school and college immersing myself in every off-kilter product imaginable, I left the glitter, candy colors, and my sense of cosmetic adventure behind for new ways to look polished but never done. It’s the only way to go once you hit adulthood, I thought. But, the amount of product and effort it took to fake “no-makeup makeup” is not nearly as fun as the alternative, so once 2018 rolled around, I found myself eager to leave the basics behind.

    Enter Fenty Beauty: In Rihanna’s world, where a wide range of swirling shades and colors belong, mixing textures and “going for it” is actively encouraged. Who can look at the blingy gold Trophy Wife highlighter or the vibrant crimson Stunna Lip Paint without wanting to play? Her latest, Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick, keeps the unapologetically bold vibe going with Crayola-worthy hues like periwinkle Ya Dig?! and terracotta Freckle Fiesta. Never one to shy away from the unexpected, Rihanna has experienced the full rainbow of lip color. As for the rest of us who aren’t pop royalty? I wasn’t so sure.

    So, I tested out my first lip shade, the blinding orange Saw-C and was immediately taken aback by my reflection in the mirror: a mouth full of matte tangerine that screamed, “Look at me!” It was not anything like my go-to shade, Rouge Dior’s rosy brown Saint Germain, that sits firmly on my vanity. Though I’d only intended to wear it in my parent’s house, I found myself second-guessing the choice. For me, it’s easier to layer on ten bright eyeshadows, which I can smartly shield behind my thick-framed spectacles, than walk about in a statement lipstick. Screw it, I thought (another Bad Gal–approved mantra), and I swiped the equally vibrant Chili Mango Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick onto my cheeks and lids before walking out the door.

    What followed was a crash course in makeup-as-a-conversation-starter. After years of taupes and nudes and the occasional purple manicure, I had forgotten how much of a reaction makeup can provoke. Suddenly, it seemed as though everyone had an opinion. “Whoa there, Rainbow Brite!” screamed a neighbor upon seeing me in the monochromatic mandarin. “I like it!” (I smiled, in spite of the ’80s cartoon reference.) The next day, the hot fuchsia Candy Venom prompted my Uber driver to say I looked “dope,” while the bruise brown PMS, a hue that plays well with a layer of bronzer and winged black liner, got me kudos from a friend who is also a makeup artist. The reviews weren’t all positive. The frosty lilac One of the Boyz made my sister blurt out, on Christmas Eve no less, “You look like you’re wearing sidewalk chalk on your lips.” The minty Midnight Wasabi? “I mean, I don’t hate it,” announced a skeptical acquaintance midway through a holiday party. “You’re reminding me to eat my vegetables, so that’s a plus.”

    No longer able to blend into the crowd, my lipstick choices were forcing me to engage with the world around me. I found myself chatting with strangers about eyeshadow techniques, application processes—once I even returned the thumbs-up sign to a band of mall goths who approved of my inky navy Clapback. My trial took me online, too: In search of fresh ideas, I found myself heading down a rabbit hole of YouTube tutorials and Reddit forums, and becoming a part of the beauty community in a way I hadn’t been since my collegiate days on Makeupalley.

    After a week of playing in Rih’s world, I feel different. Emboldened by the varied responses, I find myself reaching for all makeup brands with newfound energy. Call it the Rihanna Effect or a colorful variation on the “new year, new you” mantra many are singing this month. Either way, I am ready to have some fun in 2018. Because isn’t that what being an adult is all about?Read more at: |

  • Olympian Nathan Adrian Tells Us His Romantic Proposal Story and Wedding Details

    Making a splash is certainly what Nathan Adrian does best in the pool, but the Olympic swimmer is relatively private when it comes to his personal life—something his fiancee Hallie Ivester has known since they first met at a game night six years ago.

    “It was a friend-of-a-friend thing,” Adrian tells The Knot in an exclusive interview. “I lived in a big house in Berkeley in the Hills with a couple of other swimmers and athletes. We were all post-grad and we had finished our degrees at Cal… Hallie ended up coming over [and] I don’t even know what we played.”

    Ivester adds, “It’s funny because I went to Stanford and Nathan went to Cal, and I was on the diving team and Nathan was on the swimming team. So our worlds ran parallel, but we never actually met through that and I was always like, ‘I’m not going to date anyone from Cal’—joking—but our schools are enemies. And then of course, I go to a game night and we ended up falling in love.”

    The couple’s relationship evolved from dating casually to dating with marriage in mind. “It takes time to really understand if your personalities meld well together and we dated for several years,” Ivester tells us. “And I realized it really was a perfect match. We balance each other out well. He’s very easy going and calm and never raises his voice. He’s always fun to be around. We never argue. There are just things that came together over time that made me realize it.”

    For Adrian, his future with Ivester was solidified within those quiet moments in their relationship. “There was certainly a point where we had to make that decision to go all in,” he says. “There’s dating and having a good time and that’s great. It takes a while to truly get to know somebody and to get to a point where you’re sitting and it’s okay to be quiet. I think that’s a really good example of when you’re comfortable with somebody. it’s not uncomfortable silence. It’s just silence. It got to a point where it was time to go further. And then, you get to a point where you just decide to go in. And your lives merge and it becomes not, ‘What am I doing next week?’ or ‘What am I doing next year?’ It’s ‘What are we doing next week?’ and ‘What are we doing next year or in five years?’”

    Such questions eventually paved the way to the proposal, which took place in May on a romantic beach. First, Adrian stealthily tapped Ivester’s mother to investigate her ring preferences. The Olympic gold medalist concealed the finished product for several months before popping the question in May off the coast of Northern California. “I started shopping like any millennial these days by doing a a lot of online research,” Adrian says. “Her mom was really helpful in giving me the vision of what the ring would look like, and I wanted to go out and make that happen… I’m lucky. Swimming isn’t something that would help you get connections—but one of the guys who runs sound for NBC for our swim meets also owns a jewelry shop down in Sunnyvale. So I coordinated with him and said, ‘Hey, we’re looking for a diamond this size’ and I showed him a picture. And he was like, ‘Oh yeah, of course! We can make that happen.’ And I was like, ‘This is the best diamond buying experience ever.’”

    The Olympic gold medalist devised an elaborate plan to take Ivester out to dinner after he proposed—where their families were on hand to toast to the couple at the famed Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. En route to the celebratory meal—which Adrian concealed under the guise of a Speedo dinner (his main sponsor)—the swimmer pulled over and said he wanted to take a walk along the beach. “You go around this little corner and everything opens up,” he recalls of the magical alcove. “At the end, I got on one knee. I didn’t have a long sweet proposal in mind. I said, ‘I just know I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?’”

    “You were like, ‘I’ve been trying to find the perfect words. I love you, I want to spend the rest of my life with you,’” Ivester elaborates. “And then, he got down on one knee and then proposed. He was so nervous that the ring [box] was backwards.” The moment came as a complete surprise, she adds with a laugh. “The entire proposal was so sweet. It really was the perfect day.”

    It just so happened to work out that the couple was enjoying a Roman holiday of their own when their wedding photographer, Bre Thurston, was in town. “I had a world championship meet in Budapest and I thought it would be really cool to double up with our summer vacation,” Adrian says. “I thought it would be fun for Hallie to come out to Italy. Luckily, she was in New York before so luckily it was short flight over the Atlantic. And that’s how we were in Rome this summer.”

    The timing, meanwhile, was impeccable. “We were trying to set up engagement photo sessions… And she said she would also be in Europe. It wasn’t like we went to Rome for our engagement photos, but it just so worked out that way,” says Ivester. Together, the group chose iconic Eternal City spots like the Colosseum and the Spanish Steps at magic hour. The concept was black tie and the couple appropriately dressed the part with Adrian in a black suit and Ivester in an eye-catching red gown with a high-high slit. She accessorized her outfit with Alexandre Birman sandals and a low ballerina bun.

    Thurston will also capture the couple when they wed next September in Napa Valley. Like their engagement session concept, the couple’s wedding will be black tie—and most of it is already covered thanks to the bride’s due diligence. “One of the things I love about Hallie is how independent and how successful she is,” Adrian tells us. “She’s working in merchandising at Banana Republic and in all sorts of walks of life, she has a vision and executes it. We’re opposite. I overthink things. and she knows what she wants and she does it. I think that’s why we have planned everything the way it is now. Day after day I was so impressed.”

    “My secret ingredient is my mom,” the bride-to-be humbly adds. “I have a full-time job, so both our parents are very supportive. We went to all the venues to look at it with us. I keep a very detailed Excel sheet of all the vendors, costs, what we’ve booked, and it’s a time-consuming process so it’s been a lot. But I’m glad the big things are all booked.”Read more at:black bridesmaid dresses | bridesmaid dresses melbourne

  • They were horsing around at the wedding

    LAUREN and Zac Jackson (pictured) wear their hearts on their sleeves — and keep their saddles on their horses.

    So when the Seymour couple married in Tallarook it seemed a given that their trusty steeds would share the occasion.

    An occasion that also coincided with the storms of biblical proportions forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology for the weekend of December 2 and 3.

    But Mr and Mrs Jackson weren’t going to let anything rain on their parade and incredibly, on what was the wettest day of the year (and of most years), Lauren, Zac and 140 surprisingly dry guests got through the ceremony with barely a drop falling on them.

    You could not have asked for a more rustic setting, on the banks of the Goulburn. It was so in keeping with the country lifestyle of the couple.

    ‘‘I thought we were going to be rained out because on the Friday all the paddocks and the garden were under water,’’ Lauren said. ‘‘We were putting the marquee up and there was a little river running right through it. We thought it was going to be a disaster.’’

    They were never going to pull the pin, however, deciding instead that everyone could wear gumboots or ditch shoes altogether if the river flooded.

    But just before the clock struck two, the rain eased and Lauren was able to ride her trusty steed, a stock horse stallion named Dennys Acres, down the aisle without an umbrella.

    The happy couple reckoned Zac’s late grandmother, Shirley, who died just four days before the wedding, might have had a hand in their good fortune.

    ‘‘We reckon grandma was up there looking after us,’’ Lauren said.

    She said despite the dire weather predictions and a somewhat soggy garden ceremony, ‘‘it was the best day of our lives’’.

    The 24-year-old dental nurse and personal trainer said she started riding at her Gippsland home when she was eight and Zac, 27, who runs an engineering business in Shepparton, making horse floats and trucks, has been doing it even longer.

    ‘‘Horses and camp drafting are so much a part of our lives it would not have been right to have our wedding without involving our horses,’’ Lauren said.

    As soon as the service was over the guests got to kick back and watch Lauren put Dennys Acres through its paces (above) in an adjoining paddock, complete with cattle, for some of the most original wedding pictures.

    Once their fairytale occasion was over the horses were put back in their own paddocks, the guests all went home and the happy couple were back at work on the Monday.Read more at:black bridesmaid dresses | bridesmaid dresses melbourne