Video: The Definitive Strong Brow Tutorial

Anybody with a laptop, internet connection, and face can produce a YouTube beauty tutorial, but it's not often that we're caught off-guard. Such was the case with the inherent talent of newcomer Emmy Blotnick. How long will it be until you see her name quoted as the makeup artist on an ITG Backstage post? Watch her "How to Really Get Pretty, Strong Eyebrows" tutorial [above], and see for yourself.

Naomi Campbell Is Psychic (Also, A Novelist)

Naomi Campbell is clearly a telepathic elf princess. Consider the facts:
1. She looks good in everything.
2. She's dated De Niro, Depp, and DiCaprio.
3. She's survived more scandals than Olivia Pope.
4. Oh, and she can tell the damn future through Young Adult Fiction.

Naomi's always been my favorite probable immortal—sorry, Pharrell—but reading Swan, the Nostradamus-worthy novel she coauthored back in 1994, really sealed the deal.

Swan is about a supermodel who mentors a group of five aspiring catwalkers called the New Faces (Funny coincidence: The second season of Naomi's show, The Face, premieres tomorrow). Why is she mentoring them? As "luck" would have it, there's this competition where one girl will win a huge cosmetics contract and become America's next... well, you know.

Even if, for some unfathomable reason, you don't care that Naomi Campbell accurately foretold the 1999 YSL spring ad campaign a half decade early—Inspired by famous paintings! Starring Kate Moss! On page 93!—there's still Swan's amazing writing. It's like Daphne du Maurier watched Unzipped, got buzzed off half a Zima, and decided to make Rebecca a dishy roman à clef.

And it's not like Naomi is shy about her powers, either. One of the characters, Amy (as in "sounds like Naomi"), is a devastatingly gorgeous Jamaican-British model who has clairvoyant dreams. She told us all right there, and we, foolish mortals, just didn't notice. Lots of other characters are either real people—Kate, Linda, and Christy all get shout-outs—or have super transparent names, like "Water Detroit" (aka River Phoenix).

In all 360 pages, I could only find one discrepancy: "Zimmerman. Not a good name for a model," on page 74. Although... Raquel Zimmermann's name does have two 'n's, so maybe Naomi was just being precise. In fact, let's go with that explanation and never, ever question her again. She clearly knows what she's talking about. And there's a 75% chance she's The Highlander.

—Lacey Gattis

Photos by Elizabeth Brockway.

How To Wear Red Blush

There’s a lot of real estate on your cheeks, and you've probably noticed that the shades meant for the hollows have no business on the apples. The success of perfect cheekbones or that flush that feigns coyness very much relies on placement. But since the system failed us by not making blush application part of the standard junior-high curriculum, we asked makeup artist Suzy Gerstein to help us make a hard-and-fast guide to where to put what colors—and why. Today we're talking reds.

The Effect: Red blush gives the impression of innocence, health, and romance. It doesn’t look sophisticated, mature, or cosmopolitan. It mimics the effect of running in the cold, or the way you look after making out with someone—it’s like bringing blood to your face.

The Placement: Concentrate the color on the apples of your cheeks and blend it out toward the edges of your face. The boundaries will depend on your face shape. If you have really high cheekbones, you can blend the color a little lower, but it should really stop an inch above the jawline. I always recommend looking at yourself in profile, because it shouldn’t go all the way to the perimeter of your face. You can also apply it on the tip of the nose so it sort of looks like you ran around the block. You can use your fingers or a big, fluffy brush to get a more diffused look. Even when I’m using a powder blush, I’ll finish the application with my fingers to kind of bring the makeup back to life.

The Products: In the case of such a bright blush, cream colors can be more forgiving because they don’t streak, and you can blend them away with your fingers. RMS Lip 2 Cheek in Rapture and Shiseido Orchid are really good reds.

—Suzy Gerstein

You can follow Suzy on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Here's her website. Illustrations by Suzy Gerstein.

Twin Peaks + Blue Velvet = Kenzo Fall ’14

Anthony Turner (L'Oreal Professional): "So this collection is a collaboration between David Lynch and [designers] Humberto and Carol. It feels a little bit Twin Peaks-y, so we wanted to do something with the hair that felt very classic. We’re kind of referencing the ‘90s, and whenever I reference the ‘90s I think of a ponytail. And we wanted the hair to be away—it couldn’t be down because of the proportions of the clothes. But how do you do a ponytail but make it David Lynch-y? What can you do to have it feel a little odd? For us, that meant doing this really strong center part with the ponytail attached in the middle at the back of the head—really severe. And then wrapping hair extensions around the ponytail. The oddness comes in with the fact that we’re chopping the ponytail really blunt at the bottom. I don’t see girls with that kind of severe blunt hair anymore; it’s all layered and kind of piecey. This season is all straight and blunt with a kind of rebellion against layers. It’s very finished, there’s a polish, a richness. The Kenzo designers are very known for their downtown girl, but this time we’re bringing her uptown. She’s a bit more finished. It’s a rebellion against the grunge thing that we’ve seen over the past few seasons."

Aaron de Mey (MAC): "We’re making a statement about David Lynch, since he’s the inspiration, and he did the set and the music. So I’m referencing Blue Velvet, because that’s one of my favorites. Humberto wanted the models to look really cinematic, but super young. And the set's really, really dark, so I’m trying to keep the kids looking cool, and refreshed, but also a little awkward. So I’m doing an arched eyebrow to give the look some strength, and then I’m giving them an electric blue gel liner. I’m making it really pointy, and really graphic. Then everything else is really easy—dewy skin and a beige lip. No blush, because I want everything to be about the eyes. I think blush looks too innocent—it takes things into a different world and I wanted them to look a bit cold. And I love how they look very creamy and the only color is the electric blue. It is MAC Chromaline, which is genius—the color's Marine Ultra. I love it because it reminds me of Yves Klein blue."

Xiao Wen Ju photographed by Emily Weiss backstage at Kenzo Fall 2014 in Paris, France on March 2, 2013.


Were you a slow transitioner or a Big Chopper & why? (tell us your natural hair journey)
I was a slow transitioner. Momentarily, I considered the big chop, but, decided to just transition. My journey was interesting.  I was already thinking about going natural, when the last two relaxers used burned like mad and I could not figure out why.  I had begun using kid relaxers to get away from a high volume of chemicals, but found no difference.  Almost as soon as I applied it, I had to hurry and wash it out. The chemicals left such a burn mark and the sensation in my scalp kept me so uncomfortable all night.   This was the turning point to going natural.  There was no way that I would subject myself to this again.  Fortunately, I had performed loads of research on natural hair and transitioning, so, I was very o.k. with it. 

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Had you always embraced your texture?
I can not say that I ever really knew my texture before becoming natural.  I pressed my hair up to around my sophomore year of college before relaxing.  However, I can now say, yes indeed, I embrace and love my texture!!!!!!!  It is so versatile, I am in love. 
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? How did they react to the new you? What was your response to them?
Well, a couple of family members are adjusting and giving compliments.  They were use to my hair being straight and in clean line styles. In the beginning, I was testing the waters with various styles and at times, shall I say, some of my styles needed a little work. I did my best to rock natural styles.  Overall, my family was/is supportive.  My niece Essence was natural long before me.  She has been supportive from day one.  Oh wow, my cousin Jackie, who is like my sister is so excited for me.  She is natural and we talk natural hair all the time.
My friends love it, they often ask questions and a couple are considering going natural.
My response, pretty much was that I am just me, still me, no more chemicals.  I really want to embrace me for real from head to toe.  I am enjoying this.
Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
My hair is highly porous, yet, can be very dry. It takes quite a while for it to dry. If I do bantu knots, it can take up to three days.  I always let styles air dry. So, I must be ready to rock the bantu knots as they are or put them under a hat prior to taking them down, both work. The way that I would describe my hair is soft with medium thickness. 
What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? favorite products! Deets!
I co-wash my hair every (2) weeks with Herbal Essence Fructis Conditioner. There are times that I co-wash once a week.  When the weather becomes warm, it is once a week.  Every time that I wash my hair, I condition with extra virgin olive oil and Herbal Essence Fructis then rinse.  Other times, I will do a hot oil treatment with a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil.  Whenever my hair is washed, I put it in a style.  I may re-style a week old, pin up twist out into a high puff.
I credit you Nikki, for my use of Henna.  When I was transitioning your information on Henna was so informative.  I continued to read and consider it and one day, did it.  My hair enjoys henna and it is a great conditioner as well.  My hair has grown and thickened; henna played a part in it.  I try to henna once a month.  
Lately, after co-washing, I put not too much Herbal Essence Fructis in my hair and style along with Cantu Shea Butter Curling Cream, Eco Styler Gel (Argon Oil) and extra virgin olive oil. My hair is about 80% dry when styling.
How do you maintain your hair at night?
I get my little applicator bottle of extra virgin olive oil, run it through my scalp and massage.  Some nights, a  spritz of water mixed with a small amount of conditioner and argon oil.  There are times, I re-twist some areas and put on a satin or silk scarf.  It is usually in a pin up style.  Therefore, the scarf goes around not all over.
How do you maintain healthy length?
I truly believe that my length is maintained through keeping my scalp healthy, using henna, dusting the ends from time to time, not often at all and keeping my hair moisturized.
What's the best thing about being curly?
Getting to know and love another part of me.  When I transitioned, there was an overall change, a new way of thinking, feeling and being.  It is like self discovery.  This is the only way that I can describe the best thing for me about being natural.  Of course, various styles and seeing my hair wavy and curly is awesome.

Where can folks find you on the web?
Inspirational blog at trueyouness.blogspot.com
New inspirational Youtube Channel - True Youness
Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/TrueYouness
Twitter - https://twitter.com/trueyouness