A lot of very real, very important news has occurred in the last few days. When something as internationally significant and horrifying as the attacks in Paris and Beirut happen, calling anything even slightly less momentous "news" feels pretty wonky, especially when you're reporting on the mostly fluffy world o' beauty.
But at the same time, when things feel so scary and sad, it's nice—and natural—to think/read/write about less intense stuff to give your brain a break from saying "Oh no!" on a loop.
However, one mean lady in England just had to go and drag beauty into this past week's tragic events by being a racist jerkface.
The owner of an eyelash-extension salon announced that she's banning Muslim customers, but she swears she's not a "racialist"
April Major owns Blinks of Bicester, but the name of her salon is not the only example of her questionable judgment. Presumably in response to the terror attacks in Paris, the British beautician took to her business's Facebook page to make a very unfortunate announcement last Friday (and then share it almost immediately after posting it, with an extra remark):
Then, in an attempt to make even less sense, she left the following comments on the post: "Those that want to call me a racialist, think on," and, "My life is with ragga and patowoire language with Trinidad."
Hold up—is she trying to say she's not a racist because she speaks Trinidadian patois? Hoooooo boy...
In addition to being ignorant about Muslims, Major is apparently also ignorant of her country's 2010 Equalities Act, which states businesses cannot refuse service on the basis of religion, and section 19 of the Public Order Act, which declares "use of words or behaviour/display of written material intended to stir up religious hatred" are grounds for being arrested.
And that's exactly what happened. Thames Valley Police arrested Major on Monday; she's out on bail until the end of this month.
Speaking of eyelashes and bad ideas...
Women in Korea are reportedly cutting off the ends of Q-tips, heating the remaining stick with a lighter, and then curling their lashes with it.
Listen, I'm one of those lucky weirdos who doesn't have to curl her eyelashes, but even if I woke up one day with straight lashes, there is no level of desperation I can fathom that would push me to the point of putting a hot paper stick near my eye. If you want to try this technique and report back, be my guest, but I'm going on the record as saying this is the one K-beauty trick you probably shouldn't try.
This Kickstarter for a 48-hour freckle stencil might actually reach its financing goal
Have you ever tried to draw on fake freckles, only to be disappointed by the unrealistic pattern you created and the way they smudged when you touched your face?
I'm guessing not too many of you are shouting, "YES!" at your computer screen, but just in case, there's a Kickstarter for a new semi-permanent freckle stencil system that could give you the look you've been going for more easily and long-lastingly.
"There is nothing more beautiful to me than fair skin and fresh freckles," says Freck Yourself founder Remi Brixton, probably unaware that that sounds a teensy bit racialist.
They're looking for $215,000 in the next 21 days, and they've actually made a really decent dent in their goal. Who knew so many people were willing and eager to pay to wear fake freckles?
"The kit comes with 72 self-adhesive stencils and a rollerball of formula that is similar in formulation to sunless tanner," the Kickstarter page says. "The freckle patterns look natural and last 2 days. Users who apply Freck Yourself every morning have several layers of faded frecks"—please stop saying freck and/or frecks—"which produces incredibly realistic results for four to six weeks."
Claire Danes wears blush and plucks her eyebrows and I'm just including this because I needed some sanity in this week's beauty news
Claire Danes and I were born on the exact same day here in New York City, just a couple hours and miles apart, so it comes as no surprise to me that she's the voice of reason in this Shitshow Edition of the weekly beauty news. We're soul sisters.
Allure's December covergirl answered a slew of beauty questions, and she seems exceedingly relatable and not at all like someone I'd cross the street to get away from.
For example, what's in Claire's makeup bag? "Tinted moisturizer, a light foundation, a blush, a lip stain or gloss." Totes normal! And when Allure asked her what one beauty ritual she must do before a date (presumably with her husband, Hugh Dancy), she said, "Pluck my eyebrows. I love plucking. I'm quite fastidious about that. I get very anxious when there's a rogue hair." OMG, ME, TOO! Marci + Claire = twinsies!
So yeah. Claire Danes: totally not weird in a bad way.
But back to more WTF news.
Your Aunt Liz just discovered keratin treatments and she wants you to know how slimming it is
The Telegraph is one of the top-three British newspaper websites, which is why I am delightedly confused that they published this article, in which a woman named Liz writes in the first person (just like us!) about her first time getting a hair treatment she seems to think is new: a Brazilian blowout.
"Tired of old-lady hair? I certainly was," Liz starts the story. "It’s not an exaggeration to say that for me, every day was a bad hair day." But she goes on to reveal that everything has changed with her new "Brazilian blow-dry."
(This is adorable. Why is this in a major UK newspaper?)
"The magic ingredient is keratin, the protein that forms the basis of hair, feathers, nails and horns," Liz explains, "and which has now been made available for use on human hair."
(Liz, you're making me feel like a keratin hipster!)
She was hesitant after she heard that some people have gotten nauseated by the treatment and that Jennifer Aniston's hair was reportedly damaged by a Brazilian blowout, "But I have two friends at the gym who have been having these blow-dries for years and their hair always looks great, even after a sweaty spin session."
(Aw, Liz. My hardened beauty-editor heart can't help but read this like it's an Onion article.)
Well, she was thrilled with her results, especially after "my fashionista daughter-in-law said, 'You look very trim. Have you been on a stringent diet?' No – it was the straight shiny hair that gave this flattering optical illusion."
And that's presumably why The Telegraph misleadingly named Liz's article "This hair treatment will make you look thinner." GROAN.
Cut's new "100 Years of Beauty" makes Ethiopia in the '80s look way more fun that it actually was
As a kid of the '80s, I heard early and often that Ethiopia was suffering from a horrible famine. Between 1983 and 1985, approximately half a million people died in the sub-Saharan country, and my peers and I were more aware of this than a kindergartener arguably should be, thanks to songs like "Do They Know Its Christmas?" and "We Are The World," which brought together pop musicians to raise awareness and money for those suffering.
So you'll have to excuse me if I'm like, "Exsqueeze me? Baking powder?" while watching Cut's new video of 100 years of Ethiopian beauty. Is it an awesome retrospective featuring a gorgeous model in a variety of fabulous looks? Yes. But it literally glosses over the whole fatal drought/civil war/diaspora thing and makes 1980s Ethiopia look like everyone was going to prom.
- Would you try the semi-permanent freckle stencil? How about the decapitated Q-tip eyelash curler hack?
- Should we try to get Liz to write for xoVain?
- Has recent news got you down? Can you tell I'm in a grumpy mood?