SZA sizzles in GAP campaign

GAP may not be the first brand to come to mind when thinking of trendy streetwear, but it might be soon, thanks to a new ad campaign.

According to ELLE, singer SZA made her debut as the star of GAP’s new Logo Remix campaign, wearing “pieces that play into this season’s twin themes of ‘80s throwbacks and logo mania.” Celebrating the brand’s 50th anniversary, Vibe says the “Archive Reissue” collection that SZA and modeling counterparts Awkwafina and Sabrina Cloudio are showing off “highlights the evolution” of the GAP logo.

Also adding to the overall groove of the ad is the music and dancing; playing in the background is SZA’s version of the classic rock song “Hold Me Now,” says Vibe, while ELLE reports that the spot’s choreography come courtesy of Tanisha Scott, a Beyoncé choreographer.

Watch the new ad here.

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Blige becomes first to earn acting, songwriting Oscar nods in same year

There’s a first for everything, and for Mary J. Blige, her latest achievement is a major first.

According to Huffington Post, the R&B singer — who stars in the Netflix film “Mudbound,” which tells the story of two families living in Jim Crow-era Mississippi — earned two nominations for her contributions to the film. For her portrayal of Florence Jackson, HuffPost says Blige received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress; additionally, her song for the film, “Mighty River,” secured a nomination for Best Original Song.

With her two nominations come a place in history, says HuffPost, as she is now “the first person ever to receive an acting and songwriting nomination within the same year,” not to mention she is also “the first actor to be nominated for a film directed by a woman of color [Dee Rees].”

Also scoring a nomination for the film was Rachel Morrison, who was recognized for Best Achievement in Cinematography and scored another first, becoming the first female director of photography to be nominated in the Best Cinematography category.

Congratulations to these two talents!

 

Luxury hijabs hit high-fashion world

Sometimes, the best ideas are born from personal experiences. Such is the case with Melanie Elturk, CEO of Haute Hijab.

When she was growing up, Elturk “found it hard to find hijabs that made her feel confident,” according to ELLE, owning two hijabs that made her feel “anything but beautiful.” On a mission to make a change, ELLE says Elturk collected vintage silk scarves and by 2010, founded Haute Hijab, which is dedicated to offering stylish, beautiful hijabs for Muslim women.

With paisley, leopard and floral-printed hijabs — along with beautiful solid styles — presenting a selection of everyday hijabs for only $20, Elturk certainly accomplished her goal of providing beautiful, yet affordable hijab styles for Muslim women. But now, Elturk is taking that mission one step further with her brand-new luxury line.

ELLE reports that the five-piece collection features hand-crafted hijabs made from “100 percent silk, Swarovski crystals, hand-cut lace and other embellishments,” and retail between $250 and $325. With styles like the “Black Tie Lace” offering a silk construction with a tulle overlay and hand-embellished organza flowers, it’s hard not to notice the care and detail with which the line was crafted.

Most of all, however, it seems like the line speaks not only to Elturk’s original mission, but also her vision for the future.

“Our generation has the opportunity to redefine what it means to be Muslim-American,” she writes on her website, “and through your unique stories and successes, we’re contributing to a new mindset where hijab and American are not mutually exclusive but rather, exist in harmony as part of a greater American multicultural mosaic.”

To shop Haute Hijab, click here.

CVS to stop editing beauty ads

CVS Pharmacy wants us to look good and feel good naturally — that is, without the help of digital photo editing tools.

According to Glamour, the chain pharmacy recently announced new standards for altering the beauty imagery used online, in ads and in stores. In union with this effort comes their brand-new CVS Beauty Mark, says Glamour, a “atermark that will indicate images that haven’t been digitally altered, which it’s defining as ‘changing or enhancing a person’s shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, wrinkles or any other individual characteristics.'”

President of CVS Pharmacy and Executive Vice President of CVS Health Helena Foulkes called the new standards and watermark a response to recognizing the responsibility that comes with being a public-facing brand — and an influential one, at that.

“The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established,” she said. “As a purpose-led company, we strive to do our best to assure all of the messages we are sending to our customers reflect our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”

While the Beauty Mark will only appear on CVS-produced images, Glamour reports that the pharmacy is working with drugstore beauty brands to develop industry-wide retouching guidelines and transparency standards, with the goal of having other brands’ ads on board by 2020.

 

Bell, Teigen offer to pay fine for former U.S. gymnast

With over 140 women and girls accusing former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse, many of his victims have stood before him in court to share the pain they have carried with them for years. But one victim and former Olympian may face a fine for facing her abuser yet again.

According to Entertainment Weeklybecause gold medal winner McKayla Maroney settled a lawsuit against USA Gymnastics in 2016, she is “unable to publicly discuss Nassar” and could face a $100,000 fine if she does, including if she gave a victim impact statement in his recent court proceedings.

But two of Hollywood’s best and brightest have offered to help Maroney, should she decide to speak up and be hit with a fine; model and author Chrissy Teigen was first to take to Twitter to offer to foot the bill for Maroney, writing that she would be “absolutely honored” to do so.

A few minutes later, EW says Parks and Recreation creator Mike Schur and actor Kristen Bell chimed in, offering to split the payment on behalf of the gymnast.

If that’s not women (and men) supporting women, we don’t know what is.

 

L’Oreal model brings hijab into mainstream advertising

The beauty industry has hit another major milestone, thanks to L’Oreal.

In the global beauty brand’s ad campaign for their Elvive line, L’Oreal is featuring British beauty blogger Amena Khan, who, by starring in the ad, is making history as the ” first hijab-wearing woman to be featured in a major mainstream hair ad,” according to Glamour.

But beyond making history, Glamour reports that Khan helps the beauty industry challenge the misconception that women whose hair is covered don’t take care of it. In fact, Khan told Vogue UK it is quite the opposite.

“You have to wonder—why is it presumed that women who don’t show their hair don’t look after it?” she said. “The opposite of that would be that everyone that does show their hair only looks after it for the sake of showing it to others. And that mindset strips us of our autonomy and our sense of independence. Hair is a big part of self-care.”

Portraying an expanded definition of beauty, destroying misconceptions and giving a platform to those who are normally underportrayed in the media — all of these things, Khan said, are implicit in her ad spot for L’Oreal.

“How many brands are doing things like this? Not many,” she asserted. “They’re literally putting a girl in a headscarf—whose hair you can’t see—in a hair campaign. Because what they’re really valuing through the campaign is the voices that we have.”

 

Pompeo punches back for equal pay

After years of being paid less than her male counterpart, actor Ellen Pompeo has finally secured the pay she deserves for playing the title character on the hit Shonda Rhimes-created show “Grey’s Anatomy.”

According to Mashable, Pompeo shared her struggle to speak up and ask for payment equal to that of her male co-star Patrick Dempsey in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. At one point in her 14-year tenure on the show, Pompeo asked to be paid even just $5,000 more than Dempsey, as she is the series’ main character; however, as Mashable reports, her request was denied.

“At one point, I asked for $5,000 more than him just on principle, because the show is Grey’s Anatomy and I’m Meredith Grey. They wouldn’t give it to me,” she said. “And I could have walked away, so why didn’t I? It’s my show; I’m the number one. I’m sure I felt what a lot of these other actresses feel: Why should I walk away from a great part because of a guy? You feel conflicted but then you figure, “I’m not going to let a guy drive me out of my own house.”

So how did Pompeo find the courage to ask again for the pay she deserved? Mashable says she in part found inspiration in Rhimes, who Pompeo said empowered her as the showrunner herself was “finding her power and becoming more comfortable with her power.”

Now the “highest-paid actress on a primetime drama series, with a contract earning her about $20 million a year,” Mashable says Pompeo not only believes in the power of asking for what she deserves, she also believes in the power of her own talents.

“I’m 48 now, so I’ve finally gotten to the place where I’m OK asking for what I deserve, which is something that comes only with age. Because I’m not the most “relevant” actress out there,” she told THR. “I know that’s the industry perception because I’ve been this character for 14 years. But the truth is, anybody can be good on a show season one and two. Can you be good 14 years later? Now, that’s a fuckin’ skill.”

To read the interview in its entirety, click here.

Youtube star releases ultra-bright highlight palette

If you’re looking for something to brighten up your life in these dreary winter months, a brand-new highlight palette is here to make sure your days are never dull again.

According to Elite Daily, Youtube beauty star Natasha Denona has added to her beauty collection with brand-new Diamond & Blush palettes, which feature “ridiculously blinding illuminators” that catch and balance light as much as a real diamond.

Retailing for $89, Elite Daily says the palettes are available in two colors: “Darya, which contains pinky peach shades of blush and highlighter, perfect for light to medium skin tones, and Citrus, containing bronze and bright pink hues, ideal for medium to deep skin tones, as well as a totally unpredictable bright lime-tinted yellow hue.”

As far as what’s included in the “giant, six-panned palettes,” Elite Daily reports that they contain a “glow cream, a diamond powder, a cream blush, a powder blush, a duo chrome highlighter, and what Denona refers to as ‘Extreme Glow.'”

So where is this shiny wonder available? At Sephora, of course! Click here to shop the look now.

New Target brand to offer inclusive denim options

We’ve all seen the memes about Target: shoppers go in for one thing and leave with more than they thought they needed. But when it comes to clothing, the superstore is about to unveil a line we always knew we needed but never had.

According to Bustle, Target’s new in-house clothing brand Universal Thread — which is replacing their beloved Mossimo line — will be a “size-inclusive denim-focused brand” that will feature bags, tops, shoes and, most importantly, denim ranging in sizes 00 to 26W. Moved to create the brand out of women’s disdain for denim shopping, Bustle says  Target Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer Mark Tritton offered that the line attempts to solve the common problems women face when trying on jeans.

“Whether the rise was too long or the inseam was too short or the pair of jeans they wanted didn’t come in their size—finding the perfect fit for their body type was just too challenging,” Tritton said of a survey of 1,000 women. “That’s a problem we wanted to solve. So, our design team rolled up their sleeves and got to work creating a line that caters to all women, with multiple fits, silhouettes, lengths, rises and sizes.”

But beyond offering range of sizes to accommodate the figures of all women, Bustle reports that the line also aims to be an affordable alternative to traditionally pricey mainstream denim brands, costing up to 10 percent less than Target’s current denim offerings.

With cost and fit under control, Universal Thread seems to tick all the boxes on the list of what comprises an accessible denim line. However, the brand goes the extra mile, according to Bustle, offering an adaptive collection that is “filled with back pocket-less jeans and shirts without tags in them,” making their sensory-friendly pieces “perfect for people on the spectrum or for people with other touch-sensitive disabilities.”

Debuting online and in-store on Feb. 4, Universal Thread will even include a handful of eco-friendly offerings, so Target shoppers can find even more of what they want — or didn’t even know they wanted! — the next time they grab one of those iconic red shopping carts.

Lakshmi and MAC collaborate on capsule collection

What do you get when you pair a world-famous model, TV host and author with a popular makeup brand?

According to InStylethe result is a luxurious capsule collaboration between Padma Lakshmi and MAC Cosmetics. The pair’s first collection will feature “brushes, rich lip hues in gloss and traditional bullet form, an eyeshadow quad and warm blush shades,” says InStyle, all in a rich gold packaging that makes the collection just as elegant as it is beautiful.

Despite the luxe look, InStyle reports that the line’s price range is comparable to MAC’s regular prices, with items ranging from $22 to $43.50.

However, the collection won’t be standard fare for the brand; InStyle says that while Lakshmi’s line will go on sale on March 15, it will be phased out by April, so fans will have to scurry to snag their products.