The subject of healthy hair will always be a topic of conversation among women of color.  Recently, I was contacted by the editor of Un_Ruly.com  about an exciting, upcoming project.  They're currently hosting a casting call for women with relaxed hair living in New York or Los Angeles.

Those selected will participate in a video series on the topic of our hair.  I'm excited about the project and look forward to seeing the open dialogue featuring diverse women of all hair types textures.

 Previous Hair Story articles have highlighted the journeys of Naomi Campbell, Taraji P Henson, Viola Davis and many more.

The casting is open from now until December 22, 2017.  Let's help spread the word.  They're seeking women with relaxed hair to add diversity to the conversation. If you or anyone you know live in  NY or LA, and would like to be a part of this project, head over to un_ruly.com  to sign up.

It Was A Wig!

When a famous person gets a dramatic haircut, the world notices. When said famous person is Gigi Hadid, the world stops on its axis. But last night at the American Music Awards, the world simply paused. Gigi, turns out, did not hack off a foot of hair. If it looks like a bob and tastes like a bob...that doesn't necessarily mean it's a bob. Of course she alluded to this at the time, suggesting coyly to E! that they check up on her today and see whether the short cut was in fact still short. Just to confirm that everything was still in tact, we called up hairstylist Bryce Scarlett, who made the whole thing possible:

"Gigi knew about the dress before we had even talked about the hair, and because of the high neckline of the dress, she wanted the style to be off of her face and slick...but she had done so many styles like that, so she was like, 'What if we do a wig?' So it's a faux bob—a partial wig that we placed on the back of her head, and then we pulled her natural hair back behind it. [All of her natural hair] is there. For styling we used all Matrix products—we put Matrix Height Riser on the roots and brushed it through. Then we added Matrix Gloss Booster to give it a finish. [The inspiration] was all the dress, and Gigi. It was such a sexy dress that I wanted the hair to look a little more sophisticated—and also easy."

Photo via Getty. For more of Gigi and that gorgeous hair, check out her Top Shelf and Top Shelf After Dark.

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Win A Free Paintbox Manicure (+ Glossier, Too)!

Our friendly neighborhood gel manicure spot, Paintbox, is offering a variety of #glossierpink nail designs this month. To celebrate, we're giving some away! Five lucky winners will get a free Paintbox gel manicure—plus a Mask Duo Set because it's officially the holidays and an extra gift never hurt anyone.

But back to the main event: that gel mani. Oh, the things you can do after a gel manicure (that you can't do after a regular manicure). Things like:

- Opening a can of soda without help
- Immediately unbuttoning your pants
- Fishing your subway card out of your pocket because you're running late
- Scratching off a lot of lottery tickets because your lucky winning streak should continue
- Opening a key ring because your significant other gave you a set to their apartment
- Doing your dishes—JK you weren't going to do those regardless

Enter your email below—winners will be announced in a week. Bonne chance!

ITG, Glossier, Paintbox

Type your email address in the box below for a chance to win a limited edition Glossier Mask Duo Set, plus a gift certificate for a Paintbox manicure. One entry per email, US residents only. Just enter by November 23rd. We’ll announce the winners on November 24th. Good luck!

Photo via Paintbox.

Speaking of celebrations, the holiday season is upon us—discover Glossier's very giftable Mask Duo Set (and watch the video!) here

The post Win A Free Paintbox Manicure (+ Glossier, Too)! appeared first on Into The Gloss.

How Bacteria-Infested Are My Beauty Products?

If the beauty industry had its own horror film, it might go something like this: A pretty girl walks into her bathroom, scoops out some moisturizer with her fingers, and applies it to her face. When she walks away, a minefield of flesh-eating bacteria begins to fester in her moisturizer jar. The next day, when she applies her moisturizer again, her skin is literally eaten alive by the bacteria, all because she dipped her grubby hands into the jar.

The moral of the story? Don’t touch your cosmetics. It’s hygiene advice that seems timeless, sort of like “wash your hands after you use the restroom.” But so many things come in jars—and who can keep track of those mini spoons?

A researcher named Elizabeth Brooks wanted to know too. Her two-year study, presented in 2004, took cultures from tester bottles in department stores to see what was growing inside. Ready for it? (Sit down.) She found staph, strep, and E. coli bacteria growing inside most of them. When she tested the samples on Saturdays, the day department stores have the highest foot traffic, the contamination rate was 100 percent. Every. Single. Bottle was contaminated with some kind of bacteria.

In another study, published by the International Journal of Cosmetic Sciences, two Brazilian universities tested 40 mascara samples from women and found that 79 percent were contaminated with staph.

So, maybe stay away from testers. But public contamination is very different from private contamination. Who knows what people browsing through Sephora have touched pre-entering Sephora? Most likely lots of not-clean things.

In your own bathroom, you have a lot of control over what grows in your products, according to John F. Krowka, a senior microbiologist with the Personal Care Products Council, a trade organization that monitors the safety and health of personal care products. And as long as you’re following common sense hygiene rules, he says you should be fine: “Wash hands before applying cosmetics, close cases or jars after use, read cosmetic labels carefully and replace as directed, replace applicators frequently, or use disposable makeup applicators.”

Krowka added that most cosmetics use preservative ingredients as a safeguard against bacterial growth. Among the most common preservatives are parabens, which are effective in keeping bacteria, yeast, and fungus at bay. (Plus, they’re really not as dangerous as people tend to think—for an explainer, see here.) If you’re using a homemade or ultra-natural product without preservatives, you have less of a shelf life before the product could become a breeding ground for bacteria.

Big lesson to learn here: Check the product’s expiration date. Also good to do: sterilize brushes, sponges, and cloths after each use.

When in doubt, save the tiny spoon! Dr. Annie Chiu, a dermatologist with The Derm Institute, confers, since dipping your fingers in product and exposing it to the air ups the likelihood of contamination.

Alternatively: opt for products that come in tubes or an airless pump. You can also buy your own airless pump and transfer your favorite jar products. Sounds like a great weekend project.

—Arielle Pardes

Know your products better with this handy guide to sulfates.

The post How Bacteria-Infested Are My Beauty Products? appeared first on Into The Gloss.

The Hannah Editorial Team via Hannahmag.com
It's been really nice seeing the faces of Beyonce, Rihanna and Lupita gracing the covers of Vogue and other major fashion magazines.  Being recognized as beauty icons in the world high fashion is extremely noteworthy.  Sometimes I wish we had an entire magazine dedicated to the celebration of the diversity that exists within the black culture.

Sure, we have Ebony and Essence. But, honestly, I can't tell you when the last time I flipped through one of their issues.  It just doesn't speak to me.  These magazines have a strong reader base and they pioneered the representation of black women in beauty and fashion. I respect what they do, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.  There's so much more to be said about the modern woman of color which is why I welcome new voices in this important conversation.
Enter Hannah mag.  An online space that celebrates the multi- faceted nature of the black woman.  Hannah brings such a beautiful aesthetic to the stories they share.  Their vision is to bring that striking aesthetic to a print book/magazine published biannually.  Hannah needed funding in order to become a reality, so they took to Kickstarter to garner the support of the community to help fund the launch.  On October 5, 2015, the Hannah team announced the successful completion of the campaign after receiving $7,000 above their established goal amount, thanks to the generous donation of eager supporters.

I'm really excited and look forward to the launch.  I'm not certain about their distribution strategy, but at the very least, I'm sure the first issue will be available on their website for purchase the minute it launches.  To get a sneak peak of their work, and to learn more about the upcoming launch, be sure to check out Hannahmag.com.