We Tried It

We Tried It: A Lip Mask That Cures Dry Winter Lips

Feb/05/2016 at 09:00 AM ET

What It Is: A lip-shaped patch that promises to cure even the most weather-beaten pout.

Who Tried It: Sarah Kinonen, Style & Beauty Editorial Assistant

Why We Tried It: I suffer from severely chapped lips, and while I use a lip scrub and balm to slough off dry skin regularly, I’ve been in the market for something a little more powerful.

Level of Difficulty: 1

We Tried It: Lip Patches Sarah KinonenBrian Nichols/People.com

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We Tried It: 3 Apps That Do Your Makeup For You

Jan/29/2016 at 04:06 PM ET

What It Is: Apps that claim to do your makeup better than you ever could (assuming that you don’t have a team of pros at your disposal, à la Kylie Jenner

Who Tried It: Jillian Ruffo, Associate Beauty Editor

Why We Tried It: A Kardashian-quality selfie has many requirements: The right lighting, a team of beauty pros, and a lifetime of skin-perfecting laser treatments. Don’t have those things? Neither do we — but luckily, there’s an app for that.

Even the most new-to-the-medium selfie-taker is familiar with the benefits of a filter, or even the FaceTune app. But we’re not just talking about smoothing wrinkles, removing blemishes, or whitening teeth — these new apps do all that, and then they’ll actually apply makeup to your selfie. What a time to be alive. Sadly, though, this method of applying makeup to your Instagram photo is not always believable — so I tried them, to find out which ones I can use to fool my friends.

Level of Difficulty: 2

Perfect 365Jillian Ruffo

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We Tried It: Trunk Club, a Service That Shops For You and Lets You Try Everything on at Home

Jan/14/2016 at 06:00 PM ET

What Is It: Trunk Club, service that employs a stylist to pick out your clothes based on your preferences then mails them right to you.

Who Tried It: Alex Apatoff, Senior Style Editor

Why We Did It: I needed a New Year’s wardrobe refresh, but I really hate online shopping. So if someone was willing to do it for me, who was I to argue?

Difficulty Level: A 1/10 for the whole process, but a 4/10 for trying clothes on, because trying clothes on is Le Worst.

Trunk Club reviewCourtesy

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True Life: I Got Glammed by Kylie Jenner's Makeup Artist

Jan/14/2016 at 02:48 PM ET

Brittany x Hrush AchemyanHrush Achemyan


“Come live with me Hrush!!!!!”– Kylie Jenner’s Instagram plea to her glam god Hrush Achemyan

Hrush Achemyan is the makeup mastermind behind some of the KarJenner’s most show-stopping looks. (Think contoured cheekbones, bold brows and bronzed skin.) You’ve seen her work all over the red carpet and the Internet. She’s a resident beauty pro for Kylie’s website and app (catch her latest video shoot with Kylizzle here), and she’s solidified her spot as a member of not only the KarJenner glam squad, but also the famous family’s inner circle.

So who is the woman behind all those flawlessly contoured selfies of Kylie and Ko.? I found out on a visit to her L.A.-based studio. What started out as an informal meet-up, led to a full-on glam session. As far as my Kardashian-adjacent work experiences go, this ranks at No. 2., mainly because my only other real experience was attending Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 2 show, which lands at No. 1 for obvious reasons: I was breathing the same air as North West and I had a third row seat to Kim’s pregnancy cleavage.

Below, my candid interview with Hrush — and some photos of the “everyday glam” look (we took inspo from Kim and Kylie) she created during our chat. (Note: All the products used are listed in the photo captions!)

Brittany Talarico x Hrush Achemyan makeupBEFORE/AFTER (PHOTOS: Brittany Talarico/Hrush Achemyan)

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We Tried It: 3 Popular Korean Face Masks, From Beginner to Advanced

Dec/10/2015 at 05:42 PM ET

What Is It: Three very different, but very cool, face masks from Korean beauty brands Glow Recipe, Too Cool For School and Miss Spa.

Who Tried It: Sarah Kinonen, Style & Beauty Editorial Assistant

Why We Did It: Because in case you haven’t noticed, Korean beauty is having a major moment in the American beauty scene right now. Besides, I’ll try any beauty product that hits my desk.

We Tried It: Korean Face Masks by Sarah KinonenDavid Carr

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We Tried It: Pat McGrath's Gold 001 Pigment Used 21 Ways

Nov/20/2015 at 05:44 PM ET

It’s been three weeks since makeup mega-guru Pat McGrath released 1,000 of her Gold 001 pigments into the hands of makeup addicts everywhere, and we’re still freaking out over it. The product, which is McGrath’s first, comes straight from Pat McGrath Labs — and not to hyperbolize, but it’s a dome of gold magic. But if your first thought was “What on earth am I supposed to do with pure gold pigment?” Below, here are 21 (easy!) ways I’ve tried it in the past few weeks.

Pat-McGrath-Gold-001-ideasCourtesy Jillian Ruffo

It arrived in a bag with Mehron mixing liquid, a spatula, a mixing pot and a whole lot of sequins, can be applied sheer or opaque, wet or dry, and literally anywhere. It’s also beyond easy to use — the instructions read “Dig in and play fearlessly,” but be advised: I’m still covered in glitter days later.

Pat-McGrath-Gold-001-ideasCourtesy Jillian Ruffo

1. Create a crazy cat eye (pictured above)
I dipped a thin makeup brush in the mixing liquid and combined it with a small fleck of pigment, then applied multiple layers in a cat eye shape.

2. Or work it into a smoky eye
A sheer wash of pigment all over my lids before applying brown shadow left me the perfect smoky metallic look.

Pat-McGrath-Gold-001-ideasCourtesy Jillian Ruffo

3. Use it to accentuate your lips
If you’re looking for an instant holiday pick-me-up, use your finger to dab pigment over any lipstick, just in the center of your lips.

4. Or as full-blown gold lipstick
Apply a thick layer over blotted lip balm.

5. It’s the prettiest gilded eyeliner
Use a thin eyeliner brush dipped into mixing liquid and pigment to draw a gold line above and below your lash lines.

6. And makes the most luminous body lotion
Just a fleck of pigment mixed into body lotion added the perfect amount of shine—and it’s great for any night out.

Pat-McGrath-Gold-001-ideasCourtesy Jillian Ruffo

7. Make a custom temporary tattoos
Paint it on your arm in any shape you want, because why not?

8. You can use it to highlight your cheekbones
Buff a tiny bit into your skin, just above your cheek bones.

9. And your Cupid’s bow
Use your ring finger to apply a touch of powder above the center of your top lip.

10. Or contour the bridge of your nose
Swipe it down the center of your nose for instant contour.

RELATED PHOTOS: Having A Moment: Nail Art

11. Make the tips of your lashes sparkle
Just apply to mascara-ed lashes with a fluffy eyeshadow brush.

12. And accentuate your brows
Brush it over your brow gel to make your brows stand out.

13. Use it as nail polish
Pick up a fleck of pigment with a clear nail polish brush, and blend it onto your nails.

Pat-McGrath-Gold-001-ideasCourtesy Jillian Ruffo

14. Or for super easy nail art
Mix it into clear nail polish. Apply it at the tips of your nails first, working your way down the nail as the glitter thins out.

15. Draw on faux earrings
Use a tiny brush and mixing liquid, and dab a circle of pigment onto your ear lobes.

16. Or bracelets
Paint rows of gold on your wrists.

17. Want to redirect to your hair? Make literal highlights
I picked up some pigment with a fluffy powder brush and applied a few coats on a small section of hair.

Pat-McGrath-Gold-001-ideasCourtesy Jillian Ruffo

19. Or on one strand of a braid
And added an extra coat to get an opaque layer on that same strand before weaving it into a braid for a fun touch.

20. Liven up your part
Use your finger to dab it all the way through a lightly spritzed part.

21. Or to glam up your ponytail holder.
Just brush damp pigment around the band.

What’s your favorite way to use it? Tell us your ideas below.

— Jillian Ruffo


We Tried It: A (Halloween-Appropriate) Pumpkin Enzyme Mask

Oct/30/2015 at 01:58 PM ET

What Is It: Peter Thomas Roth’s Pumpkin Enzyme Mask, a treatment that uses pumpkin enzyme, alpha hydroxy acid and aluminum oxide to exfoliate, peel and polish skin.

Who Tried It: Lydia Price, Features Editorial Assistant

Why We Did It: I’ve searched high and low for the perfect products to handle my breakout-prone skin, so even though I don’t think “beauty secret” when I hear “pumpkin,” I thought it was worth seeing what fall’s most festive fruit has to offer in the skincare department.

Pumpkin Enzyme maskCourtesy


Opening the jar for the first time, I was immediately hit with that classic pumpkin smell. The mask literally smells exactly like pumpkin pie, and it’s a strong scent to boot. It was a little weird to apply at first because of this. I thought maybe the beauty industry had finally tricked me into just rubbing food on my face. And obviously I got a mean craving for pie.

Ignoring my stomach’s pleas for dessert, I gently massaged the mask into my face to get the aluminum oxide powder working. I started feeling the burn right away. My cheeks and chin were especially getting that fiery sensation. Personally, I don’t mind when products have a little kick because it feels like they are actually doing something, and that certainly seems to be the case with the pumpkin mask.

RELATED PHOTOS: 13 products to pumpkin spice up your beauty routine!

I loved the texture of this mask; it’s a bit jelly-like and feels much lighter than products I’ve traditionally used, making it quick and easy to apply and take off. I rinsed it off after about six minutes (the instructions suggest leaving it on for three to seven). The benefits of the mask were apparent instantly; I didn’t get that dried-up, stiff feeling on my face like I do with many masks, and my skin was distinctly brighter and healthier-looking after I rinsed it off.

Verdict: Believe in the power of pumpkin! Although it costs $58, unlike many masks you actually get a pretty hefty amount of the product, and because you only need to use a thin layer at a time, you’ll definitely get your fair share of uses from every jar. I used it three times in about a week and a half and had a noticeable reduction in breakouts. Plus, I love that you only have to leave it on for a few minutes, because I’ve tried masks that can take upwards of 20 (although that does leave you with more time to go eat pumpkin spice treats). And even though the mask burned a bit, my skin wasn’t at all irritated after rinsing, and my face looked and felt fresh and glowy!


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