NASA opens research center in honor of ‘Hidden Figures’ inspiration

A hero finally had her place in history cemented — literally.

According to Refinery29, NASA honored Katherine Johnson, a “mathematician whose contributions to NASA’s early space missions were instrumental to its success” and the inspiration behind 2016’s Hidden Figures film, by placing her name on their research center. Called the Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility, Entertainment Weekly says the new building is part of NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and was officially opened in a ceremony this past weekend.

In a pre-taped video, Refinery29 says Johnson shared how she felt about having a building named in her honor.

“You want my honest answer? I think they’re crazy,”  she said. “I was excited at something new, always liked something new, but give credit to everybody who helped. I didn’t do anything alone but try to go to the root of the question and succeeded there.”

Known as “the human computer” and a mathematician vital to launching John Glenn into space in 1962, Entertainment Weekly reports that Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe offered that while Johnson is not alone in her achievements, she is certainly a pioneer.

“You have been a trailblazer,” he said at the ceremony. “When I think of Virginia and the history of what we’ve gone through … you’re at the top of that list.”

Johnson’s work and those of her counterparts Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson were further immortalized in the film Hidden Figuresin which Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe portrayed the all-black, all-female mathematicians who shaped the trajectory of NASA’s space program.

 

 

Henson goes ‘glam’ for MAC

There was never any question that Taraji P. Henson was one glamorous diva, but now, her status is all but confirmed, thanks to a new MAC Cosmetics line.

According to PopSugar, the Empire star and fellow cast mate Jussie Smollett are the faces of MAC Cosmetics’ Viva Glam collection, a makeup line in which 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to the MAC AIDS Fund. The organization, says PopSugar, “addresses the link between poverty and HIV/AIDS by supporting a wide range of international groups and providing services to those living with the illness.”

Essence says that the line includes only two pieces: “a shimmery fuschia lip glass” and a “matte fuschia lipstick,” and both of the shades are “encased in pretty pink applicators, adorned with the Henson’s signature.”

The collection was launched on Feb. 2, and judging by the last time Henson released a collection with MAC — PopSugar said it sold out so fast, Henson’s own mom couldn’t even purchase a piece! — you may want to act quickly.

You can purchase a piece of the Viva Glam collection in stores or online at maccosmetics.com.

Obama tackles discrimination

When a group of female students visited the White House for a screening of the new movie Hidden FiguresMichelle Obama took a moment to acknowledge how “ridiculous” gender and racial discrimination are.

At the event, which centered around STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, The Cut reports that the outgoing first lady “spoke of the adversity she faced while on the campaign trail. ‘We were supposed to be hidden. People didn’t even want to believe we were real. But here we are,’ she said.”

Speaking from her own experience while also referencing Hidden Figures — which “tells the true story of three black women whose brilliant work as NASA mathematicians went largely unrecognized, according to The Cut — Obama continued to impart her words of wisdom to the students in attendance.

“Skin color, gender, is the most ridiculous defining trait that we cling to. It doesn’t matter,” she said, according to The Cut. “What matters is you believe in your own potential. Because people will try to tear you down, I guarantee you that. There will never be a point when people will 100 percent be cheering you on.”

Thank you, Mrs. Obama, for cheering on these students — and students all around the country.

Taraji takes M.A.C by storm

Just as fall ushers in new clothing styles for the season, it also seems to bring new makeup looks and collections to the fore.

Cue Empire star Taraji P. Henson, who ELLE says is collaborating with M.A.C Cosmetics to create a new line of makeup that reflects her powerful personality and impeccable style.

Due out in September, ELLE reports that the #MACTaraji line “will include a bronzer, highlighter, eyeliner, mascara, and makeup brush.”

The inspiration for the line: Henson’s “”fearless performances, powerhouse confidence, and charismatic spark,” according to ELLE.

Sound like a line you have to get your hands on? Be sure to check M.A.C’s website for Henson collaboration — and stay tuned to THL for more updates!

The ‘Hidden Figures’ that launched NASA

Women can do anything — from holding successful careers to solving complex problems to competing in sports or raising a family, women can do whatever they set their minds to. And with the impending release of a new film, audiences around the United States (and around the world) get to witness just how historically true this is.

Meet the women who helped launch the first astronauts into space: Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughn, whose stories will be portrayed on the silver screen by Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe and Octavia Spencer respectively in the upcoming film Hidden Figures.

Glamour reports that the film finally sheds light on the unsung heroes and brilliant mathematicians who not only “helped launch astronaut John Glenn into orbit back in 1962,” but also “battled the pervasive sexism and racism of the era at the same time.”

Based on the book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Racewhich will go on sale on Sept. 6the film will hit theaters in January 2017, according to IMDb.

If you can’t wait to get your hands on the book or watch the film, you can preorder the title here and watch the trailer here.

She Leads, You Follow: Golden Globes Edition

Awards season has officially begun, and at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, the red carpet was rolled out for the finest actors and actresses to be honored at the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards. The Jan. 10 awards brought out Hollywood’s best, and they certainly dressed their best for awards season’s kickoff event.

First to impress us with her white-hot ensemble was none other than Empire‘s Taraji P. Henson. Channeling Cookie Lyon’s fierce persona, Henson rocked the red carpet in this stunning white gown with a Watteau train, which she accented with Kimberly McDonald jewelry.

Glimmering down the red carpet was How to Get Away With Murder star Viola Davis, who wore a tulle Marchesa gown covered in beading, according to The Huffington Post. She added a little more sparkle to her look with a Jacob & Co. ring and drop earrings.

Bringing some color into our lives was Jennifer Lawrence, who opted for a bright red Dior number, says E! Online. The Joy actress’ gown was replete with cutouts, featuring two at the sides and one at the back . She topped off her look with a neat updo and a jaw-dropping statement necklace.

Although these ladies are dressed for the kickoff event to the 2016 awards season, there are some things we can take away from their looks to apply to the way we dress every day:

White is far from boring – Henson’s stunning gown shows us just how exciting white can be; its sleek silhouette and dramatic train combine to create a sexy, yet elegant look that makes us pay less attention to the (lack of) color and more attention to the style of the gown — not to mention how gorgeous she is. Henson wasn’t the only leading lady to take to the red carpet in a white gown. Others like Orange is The New Black‘s Laverne Cox and Brooklyn‘s Saoirse Ronan wore white in completely different ways; Cox’s gown gave us a more regal vibe with its high neckline and dramatic train, while Ronan’s gown delivered an ethereal, yet elegant look with its deep v-neckline, its soft skirt and its goddess-like shoulder train. All three women show us that it’s not the color but the cut that makes the gown.

Use cutouts to your advantage – Take a cue from JLaw and use well-placed cutouts to your advantage. Her side cutouts not only accentuate her waist, they also create a curve on her hips in an otherwise column-like gown. The quasi-croptop style of the top of her gown also exaggerates the effect of her cutouts, adding width to her bust while making her waist appear even smaller. If you want to try cutouts in a dress, start with smaller cutouts at the sides of your waist; this will have a similar effect to Lawrence’s cutouts without showing so much skin on your first attempt with the style.

Try a gem tone – Although Davis’ gown is covered in sparkly beading, it is also a gem tone. Her navy-sapphire dress delivers a rich, deep color that warms up all skin tones. Gem tones seemed to be a big trend on the red carpet this year, with everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Lola Kirke to America Ferrera wearing the same yellow garnet shade to attend the Globes. Colors such as these are universally flattering to all skin tones and generally pair well with other colors and neutrals, so when you are shopping for a dress, a blouse or even accessories, try to look for pieces in colors like sapphire blue, yellow garnet, amethyst purple and ruby red — these are sure to be versatile, yet flattering pieces that will only benefit your wardrobe.

Happy Awards Season, everyone!

Take Her Look [For Less]

Taraji P. Henson is pretty fierce as Empire’s Cookie Lyon, but at the Fox Summer Television Critics Association week-long press event, Henson didn’t need to be in costume to look just as fierce as her character.

Yahoo Style reported that the actress attended the TCAs in an over-the-top sexy little black dress by Cushnie et Ochs, featuring a wide-open plunging neckline. She styled her sassy look with silver sandals and a black and white striped clutch, while letting her hair fall into loose, sultry waves.

Henson’s bare-it-all LBD, the Cushnie et Ochs Flap Edge Dress, is certainly a stunning look. But what’s quite possibly more stunning is its $1,595 price tag! All hope is not lost, however, if you wish to take Henson’s look for yourself — we believe that you don’t have to spend like a star to look like one, so we went out in search of all the pieces necessary to recreate her sexy style from head to toe for under $200. Read on to see the results!

First up on our shopping list was a black dress with a deep, plunging neckline to rival Henson’s Cushnie et Ochs number. Lulu’s came through for us with their Finders Keepers Next in Line to Take a Bow Black Dress, which features an equally deep v-neckline. And if that’s not enough sexy for you, it also has an open back! This dress also has a very similar construction to Henson’s designer dress, both made with a thick band at the waist and angled flaps at the hip. The only significant difference between this dress and the Cushnie et Ochs frock is the price — the Finders Keepers dress is only $141, a price difference of $1,454!

The Finders Keepers Next In Line to Take a Bow Black Dress, found on Lulus.com.

The Finders Keepers Next In Line to Take a Bow Black Dress, found on Lulus.com.

Lulu’s also checked off another item on our shopping list — silver strappy heels. These metallic sandals could easily pass for Henson’s heels, but the Glam Squad Silver Ankle Strap Heels will only set you back $22.

The Glam Squad Silver Ankle Strap Heels, found on Lulus.com.

The Glam Squad Silver Ankle Strap Heels, found on Lulus.com.

A black and white striped clutch completes our look for less, and T.J. Maxx had the perfect style to round out our look-alike ensemble. The Striped Hardcase Clutch by La Regale is a dead ringer for Henson’s clutch with its shiny, faux-shell embossed exterior. But this clutch probably doesn’t match the price of Henson’s clutch, coming in at only $29.99.

The La Regale Striped Hardcase Clutch, found on TJMaxx.tjx.com.

The La Regale Striped Hardcase Clutch, found on TJMaxx.tjx.com.

If you loved Taraji P. Henson’s $1,595 Cushnie et Ochs ensemble, you’ll be able to take her look for exactly $1,402.01 less, because our look-alike outfit costs only $192.99!

Happy Shopping!

She Leads, You Follow: Taraji P. Henson

Have you ever seen an outfit on a celebrity that you just wanted to copy from head to toe? That’s how we felt about this red-hot ensemble that Taraji P. Henson wore to the American Black Film Festival. On June 11, 2015, Henson turned heads on the red carpet of the premiere of Dope at the SVA Theater in New York City in a stunning strapless dress and snakeskin sandals.

Not only is the color of her orange-red dress gorgeous on her skin tone, the cut of the dress is also very flattering; the sweetheart neckline opens up her neckline, while the seaming at the waist emphasizes her natural waistline. Because the neckline is more open, having the hem of the dress sit just below the knee allows for only one feature (her neckline) to be the focal point. Her heels add just a little bit of toughness and texture to the outfit.

If you love this look, then you are in luck! Turns out this look is pretty easy to achieve for yourself. Lulu’s offers a strikingly similar dress to Henson’s, complete with a modified peplum. The Just Watch Red Strapless dress mimics Henson’s dress, but is a tad bit sexier, as it boasts a notched neckline and shorter hemline. This dress is available at Lulus.com for $84.

Screenshot of the Just Watch Red Strapless dress from Lulus.com.

Screenshot of the Just Watch Red Strapless dress from Lulus.com.

To complete the look-alike look, all you need is a killer snakeskin heel. And Aldo has just the perfect pair! The Leinan High-Heel sandal comes in a similar snakeskin to Henson’s heels while also mimicking the strap pattern of her heels, but it has added shine with the gold-tone bars on the straps. These heels are available at Aldoshoes.com in natural (shown), black and bone, and are $80.

Screenshot of the Leinan High-Heel sandal from Aldoshoes.com

Screenshot of the Leinan High-Heel sandal from Aldoshoes.com

So if you loved Taraji P. Henson’s red carpet look, now you have all the pieces necessary to recreate the look for your life’s ‘red carpet moments,’ whether it’s worn to attend a summer wedding, a night on the town or even a dressy date!