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Outgrowing My Baseless Obsession With Foundation

“Full coverage, please,” I parroted to the makeup artist during a free five-minute color-matching consultation. To be completely honest, I didn’t really know what that meant, but I tried to play it off like I did. My friends had begun to dabble in makeup that summer before our senior year of high school, and after so many trips to the mall cluelessly waiting for them in Sephora as I would my mom in Whole Foods, I decided to dabble, too.

“You have such nice skin!” the makeup artist said, asking me if I was sure I wanted such heavy makeup. I wasn't, but because I felt like a fish out of water, I mimicked the same routine as my acne-prone teenage friends. She tested a few shades of foundation against the back of my hand and brushed one of them across my face. It was cold and creamy — I felt like a small child getting my face painted at a carnival. But it was what I thought I should be doing, so I went with it.

The thing is, though, I didn’t even need it — any of it, from the heavy foundation and color corrector to the HD concealer. My mom has always had seemingly perfect skin — few wrinkles, virtually no pores, and absolutely no blemishes — and I was lucky enough to inherit the same situation. Even as I swung through puberty (and to this day), my skin was always keen on cooperating with me. That was one of the biggest reasons I didn’t wear makeup until I was 16. The other reason was that I just didn’t care to, especially considering this was before the YouTube makeup tutorial era and kids in high school were all still unanimously ugly. (In exchange for my skin, I remained the chubby friend with inconsistently straightened hair for four years.)  

I kept up this unnecessary routine for years, even through the surge of BB creams and the “barely there” foundations that all mass-cosmetics giants seemed to be turning out at the same time. I felt naked without a full face on, and I’d somehow convinced myself over the years that I really did need it. For years I had this totally false view of myself, this severe self-consciousness that I’ll never honestly know the root of. Looking back, it was pretty dramatic: I’d cancel plans if I ran out of foundation.

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A lot has obviously happened in the eight years since that first consultation, both to me and to beauty in general. New trends, brands, formulas, and, of course, new ways to find out about them very literally changed everything. (Unfortunately for teenage me, the Instagram Explore page wasn’t a thing, and people weren’t quitting their Real Jobs to make beauty tutorials on YouTube.) As I’ve gotten older alongside it all, a more streamlined, minimal routine has become more and more attractive.

When Glossier launched in the fall of 2014, it was the first time the whole dewy, “no makeup” makeup thing felt authentic enough for me to want in. (Obviously the infamous branding and newness of millennial pink helped, too.) I bought the entire product line, aside from the skin tint, an ultra-thin wash of color that brings you as close to bare skin as possible. Definitely wasn’t ready for that.

Milk Makeup followed at the very beginning of 2016, with tons of similar young, buzzy brands before and after. Models that looked like my friends and my coworkers — largely because most of them weren’t models, but Regular People scouted on Instagram — were posing for up-close and very personal shots of their nearly bare skin. Pores and scars and glow, all together. (I want to note that I’m completely aware that 1) this sounds like a corny testimonial, and 2) this response is literally the goal of advertising.) Regardless of the actual products, which I do love, those images changed my perspective. I didn’t feel like I had to be doing anything anymore.

I spent the entirety of last summer floating between different skin tints and dewy highlighters, trying out new face masks every other night, watching YouTube tutorials on Korean skincare routines, and trying to figure out the difference between essences and toners. I was hyper-focused on making up for lost time with my skin, so excited to let it breathe. Now when I head home to visit my family, I bring dozens of new products for my mom and I to try together. She’s asking me questions now.

Skin tints are now my go-to, even through the winter, and I just ran out of the last bit yesterday. When this happens now, I don’t freak out, and I don’t stay inside. Some days, I even choose (!) to go without it — just a bit of de-puffing eye cream and moisturizer, and we’re good to go. Tanisha Pina, associate market editor

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Deal of the Day

Rent the Runway just lowered the rental prices on tons of spring dresses by 25%, like this pink Jay Godfrey gown, this Elizabeth and James black column dress, this red Theia off-the-shoulder midi, and this gold-embellished Marchesa Notte sheath.

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In the News
The DKNY Revival Is Dead

DKNY and Macy’s relationship status is officially “exclusive.” After a series of major changes at the brand that popularized the bodysuit in the ’80s, DKNY announced today that as of next February, the department store will be the only retailer to carry its women’s line outside of its own stores and website.

Just two short years ago, DKNY seemed like it was on the cusp of a high-fashion resurgence, a dream that has apparently sputtered out. Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, the designers behind the buzzy young brand Public School, came on board as co-creative directors in April 2015 to much excitement; that June, Donna Karan herself stepped down from the brand. Then DKNY’s owner, the French luxury conglomerate LVMH, decided to sell it to G-III, which makes Ivanka Trump’s clothing, Jessica Simpson’s outerwear, and some Calvin Klein lines. Once that deal closed, the Public School guys departed, too. Now DKNY has fully aligned itself with the mass market.

It’s no secret that mall chains have been struggling recently, including Macy’s. The company’s sales dropped 4.8 percent last year (from $27.08 billion in 2015 to $25.78 billion in 2016), and it closed 66 stores, with plans to shutter another 34 on the horizon. I’ll leave you with this question: Is clinging to one another really the best way to survive a sinking ship? Eliza Brooke, senior reporter

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Feature
Designers Are Hacking Women’s Health With Wearable Tech
Makeup

In the future, your panties might help you achieve stronger orgasms while your bra pinpoints the best way to sweat out a hangover. Right now, the wearable industry is undergoing a transformation, and women are at the crux of this shift.

The wearable tech industry is facing a sort of midlife crisis. Although there is growing market for wearables, stocks for industry leaders like Fitbit have taken a sharp downturn. Studies seem to disprove the idea that fitness devices consistently help people lose weight. However, there is a sector of the industry that is still attracting new pools of customers: wearables for women’s health.

“A lot of our users never had a wearable device before,” says Urska Srsen, co-founder of the technology brand Bellabeat. “They bought it because it was beautifully designed and it spoke to them.” Bellabeat, the company behind Leaf Urban jewelry, was founded in 2013 and now has over 2.5 million users worldwide. It has sold around 700,000 pieces of jewelry.

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Just One Thing
The Dress That Breaks All the ‘Curvy’ Dressing Rules
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Universal Standard Geneva Dress, $120

The first time I bought this dress, it didn't fit. It was too big and too long, and I was devastated. After reading this article about Universal Standard, I was chomping at the bit to buy from them. The clothes are fashion-y but not weird, simple but not boring. And it all comes in my size.

I returned the dress and moped a little, not sure if I wanted to try again or just write off the brand as yet another company not meant for me. But then I got the dress a size down as a gift from my soon-to-be mother-in-law, and I can say with certainty: It's the single most wearable thing in my closet.

The most surprising thing about the Geneva dress is that it doesn't have a waistline seam. I have never been thin and, as literally every sales associate, episode of What Not to Wear, and magazine article will tell you, that means I am supposed to wear clothes with built-in structure. These garments, and only these garments, will "flatter" me.

This dress proves them all wrong. I'm naturally hourglass-y, and even without a seam, you can tell I'm not some waistless monster. Even without a V-neck (another favorite "rules of dressing your curvy frame"), my body looks sleek and my chest looks good. Even though I'm short-ish, my body looks long. And even though gray is unequivocally the best color, I keep adding and deleting the black version from my shopping cart. —Hillary Dixler, senior editor at Eater

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We Ask, You Tell
What Ridiculous clothing Items Have You Seen on the Internet Lately?

Lately, we've spotted some of our favorite retailers really pushing the boundaries of what constitutes "clothing." There was the "extreme crop top" that sent one editor into a minor existential crisis, and then there was the band T-shirt/tutu hybrid that just left us wondering: Why? 

What are some of the most ridiculous pieces of clothing you've seen on the internet lately? Email stephanie.talmadge@racked.com with a screenshot and link to the product, plus a sentence or two describing the feelings said item awakens in you. We'll share your best in the newsletter this Friday!

wait, what's that about a Levi's Gift Card?

Yep, we're still giving away five $100 Levi's gift cards as a thank you to our new menswear newsletter subscribers. Sign up for your chance to win one! (See here for Official Rules and complete details.)


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