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Ivanka Trump's Brand Gets Bigger

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Muji Is a Wildly Underrated Beauty Brand

Muji, Japan’s great housewares chain, has started to make inroads in the US, with stores proliferating on both coasts. Defined by its minimalist designs and ubiquity, Muji’s closest amalgam might be Ikea, but with way, way less furniture and way nicer housewares, plus clothes and books. But unlike a trip to Ikea’s mouse-maze warehouse, a sweep through Muji — with its calming earth tones and the dreamy hiss of glowing aroma diffusers — is more meditation than mental ward.

While less celebrated in the US than some of the store’s organizational products and clothes, its affordable skincare selection is equally zen, not to mention wildly popular in Japan. Think of it as Marie Kondo-ing your beauty cabinet. Here, a list of six of the best items worth integrating into your daily routine. —Mari Uyehara, Racked contributor

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Photo: Muji

Sensitive Skin Cleansing Oil, $15.50: This is the cleansing oil for those still scared of cleansing oils. It is light, emulsifies easily, and washes off well.

Toning Water, $22: This soothing water product — considered an essential step in Japanese skincare — is great for adding hydration for sensitive skin types.

Cut Cotton, $3.50: These cotton pads are soft, fluffy, and generously portioned, and they don’t leave cotton bits on your face. Use them for removing makeup, or do as the Japanese do and soak them with a hydrating toning water for a DIY “sheet” mask.

Black Cotton Swabs, $5.25: Like the cotton pads, these swabs don’t pill, and their tightly wound texture makes them a favorite for precisely applying makeup like eyeliner or concealer.

Eyelash Curler, $7.50: It effectively curls lashes and it’s well under $10. What else do you need?

Travel Containers, from $1.25: The brand offers a range of mini bottles, jars, and spray bottles that are perfect for miniaturizing your skincare routine from a bazillion unwieldy bottles into a neat little TSA-friendly kit.

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Deal of the Day

Got your eye on a big-ticket purchase? Shopbop basically just put its entire site (sale stuff included) on markdown: Use code EOTS17 for 20% off orders under $500, or 25% off for $500+. This is a good deal if you’ve got your eye on fancy full-price bags and shoes, like a 3.1 Phillip Lim pink Pashli or Stuart Weitzman over-the-knee boots, but if you’re not trying to spend that much, check out the site’s under-$100 sale picks.

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Ivanka Trump Goes Direct-to-Consumer

While Ivanka Trump (the person) has come under new scrutiny for reportedly using a personal email account to conduct government business, Ivanka Trump (the brand) is only expanding its footprint. As of this week, customers can now buy products directly from the brand’s website.

The company confirmed to Racked that the site is only selling handbags for now and would not share if or when it will sell Ivanka Trump clothing or shoes. This follows the news that the brand will open its first full-fledged store this fall — inside New York City’s Trump Tower.

Earlier this year, companies like Nordstrom, Belk, and Burlington stopped carrying Ivanka Trump online, in stores, or both. They blamed weak sales or gave vague product assortment-related reasons, although a very public boycott likely had something to do with it. Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Dillard’s, Zappos, and Amazon still carry the line.

Brand president Abigail Klem has said the Ivanka Trump label saw “some of the best performing weeks in the history of the brand” since January, but it makes sense it would want to have more control over its distribution, especially as the brand faces ongoing criticism. For more than a year, reporters have been uncovering dismal labor conditions at some of the factories that make both its shoes and clothing. Just yesterday, the Associated Press reported it may have found ties between the company and a Chinese government-owned export company, with former White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter remarking that the company is “putting our trade policy in a very awkward situation.”  —Chavie Lieber, senior reporter

 

Beauty
Madonna’s Skincare Line, Reviewed by a Superfan
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The first album I bought with my own money was Madonna’s Like a Virgin. I’ve dressed up as that woman on more Halloweens than I can count, and I almost exclusively sing her songs at karaoke. Skincare is also my drug of choice, and the singer just dropped quite the collection here in the US. Perfect synergy for all of my relevant interests.

Madonna’s MDNA Skin line has been available in Asia since 2014, but as of yesterday, you can buy it here in the States exclusively at Barneys. There are six main products along with a few accessories. Prices range from $50 to $600, so we’re firmly in “Material Girl” territory here. The star ingredients come from the spa town of Montecatini, Italy — the line utilizes the thermal mineral water, volcanic clay, and olive oil from the region. It’s manufactured by the Japanese company MTG. It will soon launch in China and Europe, but no word yet on whether it will expand to other retailers here in the US.

Madonna had a little meet-and-greet for beauty-industry types in New York City yesterday to introduce the line, where she spoke for a good 20 minutes dressed in an amazing leather pussy bow dress with an attached apron. The brand gave us the entire collection to try at home, which I did in earnest last night and this morning.

Click through for each product, rated by Madonna song >>
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