Vasilisa Pavlova, Beauty Is Boring, Robin Black, Tom Ford Vasilisa Pavlova, Robin Black, Beauty Is Boring, Dior, Red

The official start of Spring 2017 is only a month away but somehow I am not quite ready for cheerful colors and boundless optimism – perhaps it’s the political situation or maybe just the weather. However, at the moment, intense pigments in rich shades and clashing finishes of lacquer paired with matte have my eye. And yes, Vasilisa’s neck and ears are painted a powdery white, inspired by traditional kabuki makeup.

MODEL// Vasilisa Pavlova
MAKEUP// Robin Black
HAIR// Ryan Taniguchi

PRODUCTS// Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Violet DuskLaura Mercier Kajal D’Orient in VinoKevyn Aucoin Diamond Eye GlossTom Ford Extreme MascaraTom Ford Lip Color in Black DahliaTom Ford Patent Finish Lip Color in Orchid FataleMakeup Forever Flash Color Pot in RedSisley Paris Mascara So IntenseDior Contour LipLiner in 999Rouge Dior Lipstick in 999Rouge Dior Brilliant Lipgloss in 999

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Sunghee Kim at the Nomad Hotel

Sung Hee in bed at the Nomad by Robin Black for Beauty Is Boring.

A suggestion for keeping your head warm in the cold weather… why not wear a brightly colored wig instead of a boring knit hat! As tested above by Sunghee Kim at the Nomad Hotel in NYC.

MODEL// Sunghee Kim

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Hannah & Sara

Hannah Vandermolen and Sara Cummings for Beauty Is Boring by Robin Black. Hannah Vandermolen and Sara Cummings for Beauty Is Boring by Robin Black. Hannah Vandermolen and Sara Cummings for Beauty Is Boring by Robin Black.

MODELS// Hannah Vandermolen, Sara Cummings
MAKEUP// Robin Black
HAIR// Sheridan Ward for L’Oreal Professional USA
WARDROBE// White tank by Calvin Klein, everything else is the model’s own.

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Regina and I met on social media, she was my second Instagram “date” (the first was brilliant art director @queenruba). We stalked each other’s images for several months before discovering that we lived about a mile apart. We decided to meet for coffee and although I wouldn’t refer to myself as a romantic person, it was creative love at first sight. Since then, Regina has been a fixture in the Beauty Is Boring Studio where she not only illustrates many of our looks but also acts as my sounding board, occasional hands on stylist/art director (see our recent Marie Antionette looks) and all around beauty partner. Read on for Regina’s thoughts on her beauty influences and her product recommendations for creating their iconic looks.


Brigitte Bardot, Regina Yazdi, Robin Black, Beauty Is Boring

Illustration by Regina Yazdi

Robin: What do you find inspiring about Brigitte Bardot’s signature beauty look?

Regina: The casual sultriness of it all – she’s the ultimate French bombshell but there’s something quite effortless and accessible about her look.

Robin: Is there a particular film or photoshoot of Bardot’s that made you fall in love with her look?

Regina: My favorite photographs of Bardot were shot by Guislain Dessert after her career ended – especially the series with her wearing sheer tights in 1975. For me they’re her most iconic images and capture the ‘femme fatale’ allure she exuded throughout her film career.

Robin: What modern products do you use to capture her look?

Regina: Bardot’s signature look is all about tousled hair and heavily kohled eyes. For eyes, I love to use Charlotte Tilbury’s Bedroom Black Rock N’ Kohl eyeliner to rim the lashline and waterline, I’ll also rub the liner on my finger and smear a dark creamy base onto the lids as a primer. I have 3 matte eyeshadow singles from Kevyn Aucoin that I mix to create the look – 110 Black, 105 Taupey Grey and 108 Faded Heather. I’ll diffuse the 3 shadows from dark to light with black at the base of the lids. For parties I love using these pigments wet for more depth and lasting power – it’s my watercolor smoky eye. To finish the eyes I use a slick of Sisley Paris So Intense Mascara in Deep Black. This brush is ideal for me, I can get the cleanest root to dip application and build up the volume to my liking. It gives you pinpoint flexibility and control!

For cheeks I use Boudoir Rouge from Besame Cosmetics in 703 Sun Kissed. It’s a neutral blusher suited for contour with a shimmer-less satin finish which gives your cheeks that retro 60’s look.

My favorite thing is to wear nude liner all over my lips as lipstick, it lasts forever and you can give your lips its most beautiful shape. And it’s ideal for Bardot’s look because her lips were quite matte and a bit overdrawn in those days. My current obsessions are Sienna by Smashbox and Pillow Talk by Charlotte Tilbury. I always have these two handy in my purse.

To get the tousled  hair I use L’Oreal’s Elnette hairspray and a Denman hairbrush to blow out the ends. My natural hair texture is like copper wire and can hold shape pretty well. It’s very coarse, dry and frizzy and it’ll basically do whatever heat styling wants it to do. The only downside is that it takes ages because I have too much of it!


Anna Karina, Regina Yazdi, Robin Black, Beauty Is Boring

Illustration by Regina Yazdi

Robin: When did you first discover Anna Karina?

Regina: After watching Jean-Luc Godard’s Une femme est une femme.

Robin: Is there a particular film of Anna Karina’s that made you fall in love with her look?

Regina: Probably the 60’s Godard films she did – so many of her iconic looks came out of that era and have been copied and reinterpreted in fashion for generations. The sailor blouse, the red jumpers and tights, the ribbons in the hair, the boater hats, the coquettish lingerie and of course the signature blue eye makeup!

Robin: What inspires you about her beauty look?

Regina: I always find elements of opposition interesting in fashion – and her look is a bit of a paradox: sophisticated yet playful and fresh. I find her so beautiful and there’s a real timelessness to her style – I think Chanel gave her the blessing to be a fashion icon when she renamed her “Anna Karina” .

Robin: I have often seen you wear that iconic shade of blue eyeshadow. What products do you use to create her look?

Regina: To get her signature blue shadow I love Ellis Faas Cream Eyes E118 – which is  the most beautiful robin’s egg blue. To set the cream I follow up with MAKE matte eyeshadow in Celeste on top. I love that these blues have a muted cast to them they really capture how her blue shadow looked on screen.

For the cat liner L’Oreal Paris Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner in Blackest Black always does the job. It’s my favorite gel liner, the formula is forgiving and easy to manipulate and doesn’t budge once it sets. I apply it with a long handle liner brush to get the perfect wing. To finish the eyes I use Charlotte Tilbury’s Legendary Lashes Mascara in Black and Velour’s The Extra ‘Oomph’ demi lashes to play up the graphic shape of the kitten eye.

For lips Kevyn Aucoin’s Flesh Tone Lip Pencil in Peche is the perfect 60’s color and pairs beautifully with the pale blue shadow. I always think of Anna Karina’s makeup as the 60’s evolution of Dovima’s makeup.


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It happens every Fashion Week: a handful of ambitious new models flock to Manhattan and are chosen—or maybe invoked, spirit-at-a-séance-style—to represent the season’s best looks. They open and close the city’s biggest, buzziest runway shows. They Snap, still in their latest show makeup, at the celebrity-filled after-parties. They get called “muses” and “rising stars”. They get ad campaigns, a street style following, and perhaps a charity spokesperson role. They’re coming soon to a fashion show near you… and they’re ready to (literally) face the world.

Check out the women who graced our BEAUTY IS BORING studio in between designer castings this week. Each model has her own unique, individual street style – a striking originality that defines a modern, global beauty. For their portraits, they chose their own clothes, hair and makeup looks. We chatted with them to get a sense of the real women behind the pretty faces – their backgrounds, their career aspirations, and, of course, their beauty obsessions.


NYFW. Role Models. Nicole for Beauty Is Boring and Elle.com by Robin Black.

Agent: Wilhelmina
IG: @nicoleatieno

Home: Germany, by way of Kenya.

Big Break: Last season, she was a Gucci exclusive handpicked by Alessandro Michele. Now Nicole is walking her first full “fashion month” this season.

MVP Beauty Product: NARS and Estee Lauder Foundations

Backstage Pet Peeve: “I wish more makeup artists backstage knew how to mix foundation shades for women of color! Sometimes we look gray after they’re done with us. We all have different undertones. Some of us have red undertones. Some of us have orange… and so if you don’t pay attention to our unique coloring, we look dead.”

Reality Obsession: “If I could be on any TV show, I would go on Ru Paul’s Drag Race. If I met Ru Paul, I think I would honestly die. Like, oh my god. I wouldn’t even be able to talk!”

Future Goal: “I think Angela Merkel, the president of my country, is doing a lot of things right. I love that she’s letting refugees in from Syria. I love that she’s down to earth. I think it’s great that she’s allowing other people to come in, and she’s setting a good example. Eventually, I want to go back to Kenya and build something there, a school or a home for kids who live on the streets. THE GREAT THING ABOUT THE EXPOSURE YOU GET FROM MODELING IS IT GIVES YOU A PLATFORM TO USE FOR BIGGER ISSUES.”

Products: Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color in AmethystNARS Velvet Eyeliner in Black MoonSisley Mascara So IntenseClarins HydraQuench Moisture Replenishing Lip BalmKoh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation in 303

Photographer+Makeup// Robin Black
Hair// Kiyo Garashi
Wardrobe// Model’s own.


NYFW. Role Models. Christina for Beauty Is Boring and Elle.com by Robin Black.

Agent: Wilhelmina

Home: Copenhagen, Denmark

MVP Beauty Product: “I always keep Bioderma face cream in my bag. My skin is so sensitive that it reacts to products really easily. This helps calm it down. I also love a sparkle eye shadow, at least at night.”

Skin Lesson: “I’m very pale. It’s part of my look, I guess. But this summer, I was at St Tropez for a few days. I came back to my agency and they gasped and said, ‘Agh! You got tanned!’ Like I did something wrong! So now I apply sunscreen all the time. I thought I was good about it before but now I’m obsessive.”

Future Goal:I WANT TO GO INTO ECONOMICS. I do love the subject – I love everything to do with math! But for work, management, how companies are structured—EVENTUALLY, I WANT TO RUN A COMPANY MYSELF.“

Products: Tarte Tarteist Metallic Shadow in Shake DownTata Harper Very BronzingTata Harper Very IlluminatingTom Ford Lip Color in Nude VanilleTom Ford Traceless Stick Foundation in Cream

Photographer+Makeup// Robin Black
Hair// Kiyo Garashi
Wardrobe// Model’s own.


NYFW. Role Models. Pritika for Beauty Is Boring and Elle.com by Robin Black.

Agent: Women 360 Management
IG: @pritikaswarup

Home: Virginia, USA

MVP Beauty Product: “Giorgio Armani concealer is the best concealer I’ve ever had. It’s perfect for my skin tone. It does what it needs to do. There’s a Tom Ford highlighter that I always use, too, and I love Dior Brow Pencil in brown.”

DIY Skin Secret: “I put Vitamin E in my eye cream. My mom does that too because she’s very into Aryuvedic medicine. So she’s taught me a lot. There’s one face mask she makes with chickpea flour. It’s really hard to do, but it works, so we make it at home in Virginia together. It’s like our bonding time.”

Family Matters: “My dad and I were really excited for me to model. My mom’s more conservative, and it took her a while to support me. She has nine brothers and sisters in her family, and they’re so traditional. Everyone in India, where she’s from, becomes doctors or lawyers. And so I’m doing things a little differently. But I’m simultaneously getting my undergrad degree at Columbia University, so she’s happy.”

Shopping Spree: “The last things I bought were school books and Yves Saint Laurent block heels. I’m obsessed with them.”

Life Changer: “Since childhood I’ve been involved in Operation Smile, it was founded at my school – North Academy – and I went on a bunch of mission trips. It’s amazing to be there with the children before their surgeries, to play with them, help them relax, and then to see the transformation….it’s so huge because it’s not just superficial, it really impacts their lives. It impacts their confidence to realize their full potential. If you can feel good about yourself – anything is possible.”

Products: NARS Velvet Eyeliner in KalisteMarc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume MascaraKevyn Aucoin The Sensual Lip Stain in CashmereMarc Jacobs Glow Stick Glistening IlluminatorKoh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation in 123

Photographer+Makeup// Robin Black
Hair// Kiyo Garashi
Wardrobe// Model’s own.


NYFW. Role Models. Avie for Beauty Is Boring and Elle.com by Robin Black.

AVIE, 19
Agent: Wilhelmina
IG: @avie.acosta

Home: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

Hello, My Name Is… “My name is Ay-vie. Sometimes people call me “Ahh-vie” and that’s fine; I don’t care. But I guess I care a little bit! It’s Ay-vie.”

MVP Makeup Product: Aesop Leaf tea tree exfoliator.

Change Is Good: “When I started hormone therapy [for gender transition], my skin changed for the better. It got so clear, so beautiful, and so soft. It’s very flushy. My goal now is a skincare campaign. [Laughing.] It’s true!”

Style Secrets of the Panhandle: “Actually, I miss the Oklahoma Good Will. All of the t-shirts are 99 cents and the denim is great… and I left this one pair of Marc Jacobs trousers in Oklahoma and I miss them. I want them back so badly.”

Avie Ink: “I have three tattoos. I have “Allison,” which is the name I would have been assigned female at birth. This heart on my thigh, it’s where I injected my first [hormone]. And right above my pubic region, it says “sorry” with a frown. It’s a joke, like, a pre-apology for anything I do, but also, like, I have a dick, so… but it’s my last apology. I don’t have any more ‘sorries’ to give.”

Wonder Woman: “Besides modeling, I write as well. I didn’t go to school or anything after high school, but I went to a summer camp through the Oklahoma Arts Institute. They select 15 people for creative writing, and my senior year, I got picked. It’s a really big deal in Oklahoma; everyone knows about it. And it’s a two-week extensive course. I WRITE MOSTLY POETRY BUT I WANT TO WRITE A SCREENPLAY AND MAYBE A TV SHOW. I WANT TO ACT AS WELL. I WANT TO DO IT ALL!

Products: NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Infatuated Red (on eyes and lips!), Marc Jacobs Brow Tamer Grooming GelDior Glow Maximizer PrimerDior Capture Totale Dreamskin Perfect Skin Cushion Broad Spectrum SPF 50Dior Fix It Colour in #400 Green

Photographer+Makeup// Robin Black
Hair// Kiyo Garashi
Wardrobe// Model’s own.


NYFW. Role Models. Alice for Beauty Is Boring and Elle.com by Robin Black.

Agent: Trump Models
IG: @alicegilbert

Home: Kent, England, UK

MVP Beauty Product: “I hate the feeling of makeup on my skin. I always take it off as soon as I can! And my mom always told me not to bother with lots of cleansing—natural soap and water works fine. So that’s what I use. That and Moroccan Oil, which I use every day because it makes my hair really shiny.”

Wanderlust: “I think I would go on any reality show that would take me around the world. Any of those travel programs where you go exploring. Traveling is one of my favorite things to do, and getting to explore an island somewhere—sign me up!”

What About Brexit? “We need to stay in the EU, not leave. I’m devastated and of course I voted to stay … I don’t know how it’ll affect my career, or anyone’s career, because its effects haven’t been felt yet, but I’m so sad. We need to stay.”

Baking With Alice: “My favorite TV show ever is The Great British Bake Off. If I went on it, well… I don’t know how I’d do. I’m good at baking, but I think a lot of the French dishes and the biscuits, those recipes I’d need to practice a lot. I’ve got cakes down. And my favorite thing to bake is brownies. I can do those no problem.”

Products: Sisley Paris Phyto-Eye Twist in #7 HavanaSisley Mascara So IntenseStila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color in Light AshClarins Daily Energizer Lovely Lip BalmKevyn Aucoin The Celestial Skin Liquid Lighting

Photographer+Makeup// Robin Black
Hair// Kiyo Garashi
Wardrobe// Model’s own.


NYFW. Role Models. Kyle for Beauty Is Boring and Elle.com by Robin Black.

KYLE, 20
Agent: Muse
IG: @kkelloggxo

Home: Matteson, Illinois, USA

Big Break: “Everyone always thought I played basketball or modeled. I’m not coordinated, so I was like, ‘Guess I’ll try modeling!’ So I sent my pictures to agencies in New York, and [my agent] called me the next day.”

MVP Makeup Product: “Skincare products! I bought Kiehls, which is my favorite skincare brand. I was on Glossier for a while, but I just bought more Kiehls cleanser, serum, moisturizer, and under-eye cream.”

Mom’s Big Advice: “My mom looks a lot younger than she is, and she always told me, ‘There’s nothing wrong with makeup, but healthy skin is the most important thing to have when you’re older. You don’t want to be scared to leave the house without makeup. Don’t get trapped in that.” And I did. I used to take 30 minutes a day for makeup, and wouldn’t even go to the gas station without powder and foundation. But who wants to live like that?”

Memo to Obama: “Racial tension is really high right now. Things need to simmer down. I don’t think Donald Trump can do anything positive for our country, but if Hillary Clinton gets elected—and I hope she does—I hope she pays special attention to race relations in our country. WE NEED MORE UNDERSTANDING AND EMPATHY, ALL AROUND. AND LESS GUNS.”

Products: BITE Beauty The Multishtick in Almond (on eyes, cheeks and lips), Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara (only on the top lashes), Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in CaramelHourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick (used as concealer), Tata Harper Very Illuminating

Photographer+Makeup// Robin Black
Hair// Kiyo Garashi
Wardrobe// Model’s own.


NYFW. Role Models. Maggie for Beauty Is Boring and Elle.com by Robin Black.

Agent: Wilhelmina
IG: @maggierosemizner

Home: Chicago, Illinois, USA

MVP Beauty Product: “I love a red lip. I wear it with a completely bare face. It’s so easy. It’s like, you’re not wearing makeup, but you are.”

Second Job: “I work in an ‘80s theme bar on the Upper East Side. It’s called Ethyl’s Alcohol and Food. We play punk rock with a DJ and we have go-go dancers. It’s actually really fun!”

Baby Bangs: “When Wilhelmina showed me pictures of the haircut I have now, I was like, ‘No. That’s awful. I’m going to look awful. Why would you want to do this to me?’ But it’s my job to be flexible. And then it turns out, I was wrong! It’s a great haircut! It’s a little edgy for back home, but I love it. My best friends haven’t said anything about it, which is shocking. I’m waiting for them to say something. My family—if they don’t like it, they won’t tell me. They’re so supportive.”

Coolest Job: “My last photo shoot was on an island near Bali. I was surrounded by a whole herd of Water Buffalo, about 30 of them. I was super excited about them, but the first herd was a bit, uh, aggressive so I couldn’t interact with them as much. The second ones were much nicer.”

Products: Tom Ford Lip Color Matte in FlameTom Ford Brow Sculptor in EspressoTom Ford Shade and Illuminate in Intensity TwoKoh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation in 112Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-3

Photographer+Makeup// Robin Black
Hair// Kiyo Garashi
Wardrobe// Model’s own.


NYFW. Role Models. Xiara for Beauty Is Boring and Elle.com by Robin Black.

Agent: Fusion Models
IG: @xiarawaller

Home: Miami, Florida, USA

MVP Beauty Product: “Those oil blotting sheets save my life on the subway. They stop me from looking sweaty and shiny. Right now, I have the ones from Neutrogena.”

Keeping Up With the Wallises: “I grew up in a household of nine. I have five siblings. I have three dogs. I’m the oldest. And now another grandmother moved in with us. I have a very high tolerance for lots of people around. Literally, my family could have its own reality show.”

Captain Planet: “If I can raise awareness for something through my modeling, it’s that I want to see our wildlife protected. I WANT TO HAVE AN ELEPHANT SANCTUARY ONE DAY. I love them. I want to go to Thailand for my 21st birthday and be with baby elephants on a sanctuary.”

Products: Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in HeroineMarc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume MascaraUrban Decay Brow Tamer in ClearUrban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation in 9.0Marc Jacobs #Instamarc Light-Filtering Contour Powder in Hi-Fi 60

Photographer+Makeup// Robin Black
Hair// Kiyo Garashi
Wardrobe// Model’s own.

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Annie in blue

Annie Montgomery by Robin Black for Beauty Is Boring

MODEL// Annie Montgomery
MAKEUP// Robin Black
HAIR// Bobby Eliot

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