An accomplished artist, spokes model, host, and dancer, Brittney Palmer is on top of the world. Circling the cage with World Extreme Cage Fighting on the regular, Brittney gets to be front and center for a sport that is blowing up worldwide. With an electrically exciting career with the UFC and having a hobby that blossomed into a thriving career with her painting, planning her wedding to the man of her dreams is just the icing on the cake for this multi-talented beauty. She speaks to Runway about her passion for art, how she became involved with the UFC, and dishes on the most important day of her life.
With all of your creative endeavors and accomplishments, you’ve been called a modern day Renaissance Woman. What inspired you to jump into the world of mixed martial arts?
I’ve always been into all types of art. I’m a painter, I’m a professional dancer, and I think mixed martial arts, and the UFC, are such beautiful art forms. I didn’t ever dream, or aspire, to be a spokes model for this sport, but once I got into, I’ve stayed loyal to the company and we’ve become a tight knit family.
Throughout your career as an Ultimate Fighting Championship Octagon Girl, you get to travel and see so many beautiful parts of the world. What has been your favorite place to visit?
Sydney, Australia. I have a soft spot for Australia, and my fiancées Australian.
A healthy and fit lifestyle is obviously high on your list of priorities. What is your favorite form of exercise?
I am an avid spinner. I spin probably 5 times a week. I’m a little intense about it, I love spinning. I love being in the class for an hour and I sit in front so I can’t slack off.
So many women want to know, what are your tips for getting a sexy, sculpted bikini body for the summer?
70% is what you put in your mouth, and the rest is cardio. A lot of girls try a lot of different types of workouts, strength training and aerobics, but if you do a lot of cardio you’ll burn fat. It’s that simple. But what you eat is what your body is going to use as fuel. If you eat a cheeseburger, you won’t get much fuel from that.
And do you stick to a specific diet when you are working on shoots and in the ring? Do you have a favorite “indulge” meal or treat?
I used to stick to specific diets. Now, I just watch what I eat. I eat when I’m hungry and I don’t eat until I’m full. When I eat something, I don’t over indulge. I know what to eat, I don’t eat carbs. If my fiancé and I go out to eat, we will just eat the crust of the bread in the breadbasket to save on carb intake. As far as a “cheat meal”, I kind of cheat every day, I’m not very strict. If I want ice cream, I’ll eat ice cream.
Speaking of getting in shape, we hear that you are getting married. Congratulations! Can you share some details about the big day and, we of course have to know, who designed your wedding gown?
Yes! First the dress, the dress designer is Galia Lahav. The dress is fantastic, it is the center piece of the wedding and it fits me like a glove. She flew from Israel for the fitting and she’s just amazing. And the wedding venue is the iconic Charles Laughton Estate, Marilyn Monroe took acting classes at this place, and the theme is magical garden. A garden theme in ivory and beige with chandeliers, candles and flowers galore. We plan on having around 150 guests including notables in the UFC world.
Not just a dancer, model and personality, you are also an exceptional artist. Your acrylics on canvas are beautiful. What inspires you to paint?
I’ve always been inspired to paint since a young age, my mom said I should have been a child of the 60s or 70s. Jimmy Hendrix was the first music icon I painted, and that’s what I mainly paint. Iconic rock stars from the 60s and 70s. I also do a lot of custom commissioned work as well. I started working as an artist when I was 22, and I’m turning 27 now, so I feel very blessed to be able to work doing things that I love.
Wearing so many hats, how do you find balance in juggling it all? And what is a typical day like in the life of Brittney Palmer?
A typical day for me would be to get up, go to the gym, walk my dogs, and depending on if I have a meeting or not, I will plan all of my work related tasks after noon so I can get to the gym and have all of my morning chores done. I mean, I paint from home, and I live in the Hollywood Hills, so I just stay in and paint through the night. It’s not hard to juggle everything because I love what I do, and I don’t mind being busy.
What is your typical weekend wear? And do you have a favorite designer?
My fiancé is more into fashion than I am. My style, I can find something casual and be happy. My favorite is cut-off shorts and converse. When we go out together, I’ll dress up, and I’m usually in Chanel and Dolce and Gabbana.
As a model and UFC personality, do you see yourself crossing over into the acting world?
That’s an interesting question, and living in Hollywood I’m around it all the time, I’m exposed to it. But, I’m a really bad liar, and I think actors are just horrible liars, so I could never be an actress. It’s just not for me, for me it’s cheesy, not the profession itself, but the thought of me as an actress. That’s what cheesy.
Are there any future projects you can let our Runway readers know about?
They can always visit my website to keep up with what’s going on, www.brittneypalmer.com. And my fitness blog is on there as well, and we are launching
a lot of great things there soon!
Interview by Mandi Pimental for RUNWAY / Summer 2014
Out with the old and in with the new.
Such a powerful statement, one that, for some, brings a rush of excitement for new possibilities and an excuse to shop. However, for others it is a paralyzing realization that things need to change. That the things we’ve become attached to or accustomed to will no longer be a part of our lives. You need to cut the ties and move on.
I am here to help.
When the seasons change, transition is natural. The leaves fall, the weather shifts, even our menus start to reflect the chillier weather with hearty stews and seasonal favorites. These changes mean it is only natural for us to venture into the depths of our closets and remove what needn’t be there anymore.
I am not talking your basics. There are going to be items that you will want to hold on to and we will get to those, but in any chaotic or overwhelming situation, we just need to take a deep breath and start somewhere. So let us start with the winter wardrobe you already have.
For some of us, your current winter selection is still hanging in your closet. Maybe it’s in the very back, deep behind all of your summer and fall dresses, light cardigans and capris. Maybe it’s mixed in with various seasonal pieces, or maybe, like me, they are in labeled winter bins in a hall closet. Let us open those, shall we? There are pieces that will work from year to year. Basic denim, vintage coats and black leggings are all pieces that can be kept and worn year after year. However, prints that are no longer in style, old tattered pieces that don’t hold any specific sentimental value, anything that looks like it’s been worn for decades, or should have been worn decades ago, needs to go.
For your spring, summer and fall pieces the same rules apply. If they are styles you believe will still work in the following year, are vintage collection pieces, are simple pieces that mix well with new trends or can be layered upon, those you will want to hang on to. The rest, you guessed it, needs to go. I promise it gets better from here. I can see you hesitating, clutching an old favorite, raggedy tee with a tear in your eye. Take a deep breath and put it in the bag. Like ripping off a band-aid.
Back to the basics. As I touched on earlier, you will want to keep your denim, your basic solid tee’s, your leggings and other separates that can be layered upon when ushering in your new winter pieces. It allows you to mix and match, create various outfits and stretch what you buy, so that you don’t end up maxing out your credit card on clothes, leaving you with no funds to go anywhere exciting to show them off.
Once your closet is organized and the old pieces have been donated or thrown away, it’s time to shop for the new. I told you it gets better. Just like the process of sorting through the old, you want to be mindful of what you are bringing home. Impulse shopping, rushed mall trips or not taking the time to try on the clothing is not the way to mindfully grow your wardrobe. To avoid having to throw away clothes every season, keep your eyes open for pieces that will work year-round, or at the very least, two seasons. If your purging left you without a decent winter coat, this is where you will want to splurge. A quality coat that presents both style and comfort is an important staple. Another tip when choosing your winter coat: make sure it compliments your winter holiday event cocktail attire. Scarves are a fun accessory item, but do look for basic prints or solids that will work with various outfits. If you scored a great pair of boots for fall those can work in winter as well, so shoe purchases can be limited so that you can focus more on sweaters, jumpers, coats and pants to fill out your own personal winter collection.
Change doesn’t have to be a negative experience. Just as you gave life to last year’s wardrobe, you can do so once again for 2015. Changing up your look can build confidence and allow you to utilize your creativity. Two very important contributors to health and happiness.
And isn’t that what New Year’s Resolutions are all about?
By Mandi Pimental
Romantic songs, sappy love stories and cinematic fairytale endings. All of these items are the juiciest ingredients of what forms our ideas of love as children. And while swooning over the leading man in the most recent Nicholas Spark’s movie may inspire you to find your own “true love”, there is much more that goes into lasting romance than the intention of happily ever after, or a well-written script.
If you break down the nitty-gritty, not so sexy, science-driven side of love, you can see that our brain is the one responsible for those butterflies, more so than our heart. Before you write me off as a cynical anti-romantic, look at the facts. I myself love, love. Who doesn’t adore the fluttering of the butterflies or an exhilarating first kiss? And although so much mystery lies in the beginning of a relationship, what is most interesting is how our bodies get past the feeling of ‘like’ to ‘infatuation’, and eventually, to love.
I Love You With My Whole… Brain.
There are primarily three sections of our brain that help us to interpret affection, to recognize reward and feel accepted. These include the hippocampus, the medial insula and the anterior cingulate. Other parts of our brain that contribute to how we feel within a relationship include the pituitary gland, which regulates our hormones, the amygdala which moderates our fear and stress levels, and the hypothalamus that produces the happy chemicals that make it possible to “fall in love”.
The Drug That Is Love.
If we break down the chemicals released into the body, we can see how the process works. The hypothalamus releases dopamine, and as dopamine increases, serotonin decreases. Which is why being “lovesick” causes loss of appetite, improved mood or feelings of obsessive infatuation. The body also produces a substance known as NGF, or Nerve Growth Factor. The higher the amount of NGF, the more intense your feelings will be at the onset, and throughout, your relationship. As couples move from the stages of puppy love into a deeper connection, the oxytocin and vasopressin take over. Stored in the pituitary gland, these hormones, when present together in high amounts, have been proven to contribute to the success of long-term relationships.
Too Much Of A Good Thing
The intense feelings of falling in love is usually short-lived. Rarely lasting longer than a year, most people’s brains cannot sustain this euphoric feeling because one’s brain can become overloaded in this blissful state. As silly as that sounds, it is quite easy to explain. When we are falling in love, activity in our frontal cortex decreases, making us not as sharp to make wise decisions. The amygdala also shuts down when you’re head over heels, masking your fear. This explains why couples are more adventurous when trying to impress their new partner, doing things they normally wouldn’t do, or making decisions they normally wouldn’t make. Las Vegas impulse weddings are the first thing that comes to mind, followed by first dates that include daredevil activities such as skydiving or tattooing your significant others name to various body parts. It is in the brain’s best interest not to remain in this state for too long, if only for self-preservation.
Love At First Sight… Fact or Fiction?
In a study conducted by Dr. Helen Fisher, PhD, only 11% of couples polled said they had found love at first sight. With the rush of chemicals, and high levels of brain activity, it is possible to see why couples would feel as if it was instantaneous, soul-mate level love. Especially if their relationship started out during an exciting event or time in their lives, as an adrenaline rush can create a bond between people. And although I am not ruling out that magical, cosmic possibility, it’s best advised that couples take the time to really get to know one another, to bond over similarities in life goals, their character traits and their priorities, more so than basing their relationship future solely on fleeting chemical reactions.
By Mandi Pimental
When women are seeking to find their look for the new season, they look to the Hollywood trendsetters and what is hot on the runway. Though it may feel that in doing so you are just following the latest “fad”, it’s actually quite the opposite from the truth. The top industry make-up artists and “in the know” stylists work hard to research what compliments the seasons changing wardrobe styles and color palette, giving us looks that are effortless, beautiful, and easily adaptable to any skin tone. And that is not an easy feat. By presenting their research on the prettiest A-List faces, we get to see a broader range of hairstyles, skin tones and looks to help us navigate through the endless options when creating our own makeup arsenal for the chillier months.
In make-up, trends for winter 2014 are seeing a drastic shift from the dewy finishes and rich hues of summer and pre-fall. Muted lips are popular now. Where we saw deep berry hues last year, we are seeing soft nudes. To avoid the look of the undead, choose a nude lipstick two to three shades darker than your natural skin tone and brush a light gloss over top to reflect light. Although the trend is to downplay the lip, you don’t want them disappearing entirely. Star favorites include Lea Michele’s top pick in Clarins Rouge Prodige Lipstick in Nude, while JLO’s always-perfect pout prefers Clinique’s Long Last Glosswear in Knockout Nude. Another popular hue that we saw plenty of during Fashion Week was ballerina pink. If you aren’t a fan of the nude lip, or have a smaller pout that you would like to accentuate, try a light pink that best compliments your skin tone. A couple of favorites include Dolce & Gabbana’s Cool Classic Pink or Dior Addict Lipstick in Sheer Bubblegum Pink.
The downplay of the lip brings us to winter’s highlighted feature, the eyes. Played up eyes are making this seasons make-up looks fun and extremely versatile. From thick, rich mascaras (try Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara) to metallic creamy lids that pop with color, the look is smoky, bold and sexy. This season when smoking the eyes, line the bottom lid and finish with eye shadow below as well. The look is more dramatic and opens up the eye. Make-up artists this season aren’t just using black this year either, the trend of smoking eyes with rich browns and greys are becoming increasingly popular. Try Bobbi Brown’s Dark Ash Brown or Dark Grey to play with different color options.
Ballerina pink isn’t just for the lips; the confectionary color is also showing up on eyelids. Balance is always key when using bright colors on the eyes. Keep the lips simple, this is where a light nude gloss would work to compliment and balance the more festive eye. Light brows are also a big trend, and though this look doesn’t work for every occasion, or everyone, it is a fun look to experiment with. To do so you will want to find a brow pencil that is a couple of shades lighter than your natural hair color, shape your brows and then fill in completely. For a more subtle look, opt for a light eye shadow.
Remember in winter to keep the face matte with just a hint of highlight. Winter weather tends to dry our skin, so opt for a good moisturizer in favor of your dewy foundations, save those for spring. A complimentary blush is always a welcomed addition, unless the winter chill naturally gives you the coveted rosy pink cheeks, the skip the blush and go natural.
For hair, this season is all about ease of style and no-fuss cuts. With all of our holiday shopping, work parties and social engagements, we women like to look and feel great without having to take hours, or paying a professional, to do so. It is more about how to simply style your chosen cut. If you opt for the newly revived bob trend, like the adorable Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting or the always-trendy Jennifer Lawrence, a little styling product goes a long way to give it personality. Opting for a side part can make the cut feel modern and sophisticated. Side parts are popular for all lengths, as are sweeping fringe bangs. Wearing your bangs long and swept to one side is an elegant look, as are the more voluminous bun styles that are a red carpet favorite now.
To change up your look, opt for an occasional fishtail braid, a favorite of Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland. Not your average kiddie braid, the fishtail style is refined and grown-up. A glossy ponytail, high or low, is a look that can be worn casually or for cocktail hour. Jennifer Lopez is the queen of making this look effortless and chic.
The beauty of the season lies in the simplicity of this years trends. A little goes a long way if you utilize the right products and respect what styles will and won’t work for you. Natural beauty is a foundation in which artists build upon, and this winter, the foundation is getting a chance to shine.
BY Mandi Pimental
L.A. Fashion Week took place in mid-October in multiple locations throughout Los Angeles, California. Numerous events hosted hundreds of designers, both established and aspiring, throughout the week. One event in particular was the Art Hearts Foundation, hosting shows from October 10th-14th, benefitting AIDS research. The Concept L.A. event also featured some of the hottest up and coming names in the fashion industry, as well as Runway’s Rock That Fashion event, Style Week LA and a handful of other various events throughout Los Angeles.
The fashion styles for S/S 2015 were quite diverse. From lingerie and swimwear presentations to edgy street wear and elegant gown collections, there was something for everyone to fall in love with.
Design house Tumbler & Tipsy presented a street wear collection that was fun, feminine and flirty. Tipsy logo hats accessorized cropped tops, short shorts and day dresses in a palette of neon hues and animal prints. The dresses were more avant-garde than classic resort wear, embellished with items such as 3D lily pads, leaves and frogs to name a few. Zhang JingJing presented a collection that was less street, more sleek. The designer put forth, once again, a collection of gowns that stunned. The palette was soft in nude, blush and icy blues while pearl and stone embellishments sparkled under the lights. Open back draping and fitted bodices added tasteful sensuality.
Dance and musical performances broke up the shows throughout the city, adding a unique, and very Californian, vibe to fashion week.
Maya Hansen presented a collection that was futuristic and powerful. Reminiscent of a female warrior, her designs included corsets, swimwear and gowns all accented with studded metal embellishments. Facemasks also adorned a handful of models, and while the creations were innovative and colorful, they felt more Hollywood red carpet than every day wear.
Jun Escario’s gown collection, though red carpet ready, is very wearable. The classic collection infused a modern edge through fabric choice, metallic accessories and drastic sweeping necklines and open backs. The champagne and gold mermaid style gown was a favorite of attendees.
The cute and confident sleepwear brand by Crystal Hefner presented a wide range of loungewear and sleepwear items. The bra and pantie sets were sporty and comfortable in a palette of nudes and pale pink, and the sleepwear was fun and flirty. A plum robe and nightgown both featured black lace edging, while a two-piece sleepwear ensemble in charcoal was accented with feminine ruffles and pale pink headwear.
The Pedram Couture SS2015 collection presented at Style Fashion Week in L.A. was breathtaking and ethereal. Designer Pedram Pasha Taheri put forth a gown collection that was feminine, elegant and a little provocative. A sheer, low-cut floor length gown in nude was a star in its simplicity, while other designs were more vibrant and strong, including a satin, strapless baby blue and floral print and a metallic gold painted pantsuit.
From daring to the demure, Los Angeles Fashion Week had it all. The weather was beautiful, the entertainers possessed true star power and the events are ones that will be remembered even after the stages have cleared and the champagne runs dry.
To see live footage from Rock That Fashion, visit http://www.RunwayTV.com
For more information on Art Hearts Fashion, visit: http://www.artheartsfashion.com/
For more information on Concept L.A., visit: http://conceptshows.com/losangeles
By Mandi Pimental
Currently starring in the critically acclaimed new Tyler Perry series, The Have and The Have Nots, actress Allison McAtee shines brighter than ever in her role as Maggie Day. As a professionally trained theatre actress, McAtee is a natural on the OWN Network’s stage play television series. We spoke to this blonde beauty about fashion, her charitable nature and of course, her time spent as a superhero.
You are currently starring in the Tyler Perry series, The Have and The Have Nots, can you tell us a little bit about your character Maggie Day?
Maggie is tough. She's a no nonsense, take charge kind of woman- blunt and direct. Driven by her own motives and personal goals; she'll stop at nothing to get Jim Cryer (played by John Schneider) and David Harrington (played by Peter Parros) elected to the Governor’s office.
Having studied theater, this project sounds like a perfect fit for you. Was there anything that drew you to this project in particular?
In every show, (whether it stage or screen) the cast and crew develop a familial sense with each other. I think it is the product of putting all creative efforts together, and working toward a common goal. This show is nice because most of the cast is based in LA but we shoot in Atlanta, so when away filming we don't have many outside distractions and the sense of "comradery" is even more apparent. It is also the most intense shooting schedule (shooting one episode per day vs. one per week in all other network and cable prime-time shows.) The whole structure makes for a "boot-camp" of sorts. I love it!
When looking over scripts, what do you look for when choosing a new role?
A story that speaks to me in some way. Either the story itself or a character that I identify with
Are there any other projects in the works that you can let the Runway readers know about?
I've been developing a series with some friends. It is still in the beginning stages, but the working title is Erin’s House. It has the feel of a classic noir.
We love your sense of fashion. From on-screen to the red carpet, you always look flawless. Do you have a favorite designer or designers you gravitate to when choosing looks for your events?
Thanks! I love Helmut Lange and as for dresses, Herve Leger is a staple. My favorite new designer is Oscar Garcia-Lopez. I adore his work!
It has been said you are skilled in boxing, fencing, and dance and are a fan of pilates. What is your typical workout when getting fit for summer?
Yes, I do Pilates weekly and LOVE hot yoga! To kick it up a notch I run. Summertime (or even spring in LA) means great beach weather, and I love nothing more than running along the shore in the sand. If you wear a bathing suit underneath when you get too hot and sweaty, you can just jump in.
What are three summertime beauty must-haves in your makeup bag or cabinet?
I love Smashbox Camera Ready CC cream; as it has a high SPF and works to heal skin, (Sara McNamara’s Miracle Skin Transformer is great too.) Add a little Benetint from Benefit to your cheeks and lips, and some Maybelline Falsies Volume Express waterproof mascara, and you are good to go.
When you appeared on NCIS, you got to have a little fun with wardrobe and dress up as a superhero. If you could have one superpower, what it would be? And would you use your powers for good or evil?
That was the best! The first show I did Off-Broadway I also played a superhero. I'd love a film role as such someday. I think I'd want the power to preemptively sense danger or disaster and be able to freeze time (but so that I could still move to stop it). And, of course to fly.
In the past you teamed up with The Polaris Project, a non-profit organization that is working toward combating human trafficking, serving both U.S. citizens and foreign national victims. Are you currently working with any other charities or is there a specific cause that you are passionate about?
It is crazy that 'women's rights' are still such a big issue in our society. I'm most passionate about bridging the gap in gender equality. The Somaly Mam Foundation is another incredible anti-human trafficking organization. They rescue young girls who are victims of the sex trade industry, and with a focus on education and empowerment, give them refuge and a chance to start anew.
Do you have any words of inspiration or advice for those trying to break into acting or those considering majoring in theater?
Do some research and find out who the top University level acting schools in the country are. They'll have good artistry program and a reputation that can help you open doors when starting out. But do keep in mind; the most important thing is to develop a strong, solid craft, wherever you study. Determination and perseverance are key. Aim high. I think in any field when you combine skill with focus and drive you can often achieve more than you could have initially imagined. One of my favorite quotes as a kid was, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." by Brian Thomas Littrell and Les Brown.
For more on Allison McAtee, visit http://www.allisonmcatee.com/
For more on The Somaly Mam Foundation, visit http://www.somaly.org
by Mandi Pimental
Adam Levine – Adam Levine
For the girl who likes to rock as well as be romanced, this fragrance offers an intoxicating blend of woody, floral notes mixed with spicy Indian Jasmine, rose and creamy vanilla. $59.00/3.4 oz.
Beyonce - Rise
A symphony of Italian bergamot, jasmine, cashmere musk and freesia. A decadent scent that is perfect for evening. $44.00/1.7 oz.
Britney Spears – Fantasy Twist
A mystical duo that offers two scents for girls who like to switch it up. Midnight offers a blend of black cherry, plum, musk and vanilla for a darker, richer scent as opposed to Fantasy, which mixes feminine florals such as jasmine petals with sweet scents such as white chocolate and exotic kiwi. $47.00/1.7 oz.
Katy Perry – Killer Queen
Sexy and sophisticated with top notes of dark plum and wild berry, opening to jasmine, plumeria and liquid praline. A playful and seductive scent fit for royalty. $59.00/3.4 oz.
Lady GaGa - Fame
A dark and sensual mix of incense, honey, saffron, apricot and tiger orchid. A scent that truly deserves our applause. $49.00/1.7 oz.
Madonna – Truth or Dare
Creating a striking contrast of dark and light, the Queen of Pop herself designed a fragrance with notes of gardenia and tuberose. She blends these feminine top notes with jasmine, white lily, vanilla and caramelized amber. $59.00/3.4 oz.
Nicki Minaj – Nicki Minajasty
Fruity and fresh, a perfect scent to make any woman feel powerful on her throne. Spring florals blend with vanilla and musk for a sensual feminine fragrance. $59.50/3.4 oz.
One Direction – Our Moment
An ultra-feminine fragrance that opens with seasonal florals, pink grapefruit, wild berries and finishes with warm musk undertones and patchouli. 59.50/3.4 oz.
Rihanna - Nude
Inspired by her native Barbados, Rihanna creates a scent with layers of guava nectar, mandarin and pear, opening to orange blossoms, gardenia and hints of vanilla orchid. The perfect fragrance for summertime by the water. 59.00/3.4 oz.
Selena Gomez – Selena Gomez
Top notes of raspberry, peach and pineapple. A fruity bouquet that blends with hints of purple freesia and musk, finishing with chocolate and amber. A scent as youthful and sweet as the starlet herself. $59.00/3.4 oz.
Shakira - Elixir
A spicy and exotic blend of peony, freesia, white pepper and sugarcane, finishing with notes of white cedar and apricot. A sizzling and enticing fragrance experience. $36.00/1.7 oz.
Taylor Swift – Taylor
Swift tells another Love Story with this fresh and fruity blend of sparkling tangerine, apricot nectar, vanilla orchid and hydrangea. $49.50/1.7 oz.
by Mandi Pimental
Emily Bett Rickards, star of the CW’s Arrow is as charming as she is beautiful. The down-to-earth Canadian actress currently plays Felicity Smoak in the comic-book series, a loyal and endearing IT Tech and love interest of billionaire playboy Oliver Queen. RUNWAY delves into the depths of fashion, romance and photography with Rickards who is set to star in the film Brooklyn, in 2015.
You are currently starring in the CW series Arrow as the charming Felicity Smoak. If you had to describe Felicity in three words, which words would you choose?
Ingenious. Discerning. Authentic.
Your character, aside from being a tech wiz, is a curiously brave girl, always pushing the envelope. In what ways are you like her? And which of her traits would you say is least like you?
We are both deeply in love with literature. We both create and dance out of the awkward situations we make for ourselves and we both crave information. I admire her honesty and bravery above anything. I adore her spark and quick wit. Unlike her I can't get technology to cooperate with me - I could use some of her magic touch in my daily life.
When it comes to romance, what do you think Felicity is truly seeking?
Aside from your success with Arrow, you’ve also starred in the series Soldiers of the Apocalypse and the film Dakota’s Summer. If you could share one lesson each experience taught you to grow as an actor what would they be?
Absorb as many stories from as many different people as possible. On a set you get to work with a monumental number of people - your day is abundant with life. Grasp the opportunity to collect the stories and appreciate the openness everyone offers.
Do you have a favorite moment in your career thus far?
Today I get to work with David Ramsey and Colton Haynes and they're singing West Side Story. This could be it.
When you land a role or an audition goes well, do you have a special way of celebrating?
I usually call my friend Fanta and we talk about the character. Then that usually transforms into talking about food and then getting food with a side of laughs.
Time to delve into fashion. From events to photo shoots, we’ve noticed your style is feminine and youthful. Do you have a favorite dress designer?
I'll always have a soft spot for Valentino and Tom Ford. But there is a fresh LOVE for Balmain and Christian Siriano.
We’ve seen your character wear an array of hairstyles. What’s your favorite hairstyle to wear when you have a day off?
Down and under a toque!
What is your winter beauty regiment and how does it differ from the other seasons?
More moisture!! I love a good facemask. I recently started using argon oil as a moisturizer substitute a few times a week along with a rejuvenating toner to help equalize and balance the skin.
How do you spend your time off? Are you adventurous with your down time or more of a homebody?
A little of both. Winter is coming so I shall frolic with the pup up to the mountains, do some yoga and listen to music accompanied by hot cups of different elixirs.
Touching on social media, you are very active on Twitter and your Instagram feed is very artistic. Do you dabble in photography?
I have always loved photographs. I clustered my childhood bedroom with photos and every room that I could call my own since then has been a gallery.
In addition to "Arrow" what other projects would you like to mention that you have coming up.
Last hiatus I shot this film Brooklyn, starring Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters and Emory Cohen. John Crowley directed. It’s in post right now. I hope to have a release date soon.
By Mandi Pimental
If ever you find yourself roaming the charming streets of Berlin, Germany you will want to take this guide along. Nestled throughout the city are hidden gems, such as boutiques and department stores, with some of the most fabulous fashion finds available.
Individualism and innovation are nurtured here, which allows indie boutiques to bloom alongside mainstream shops and thrive. Lala Berlin, a boutique that started as a knitwear and scarf producer, sells trendy separates, while Starstyling, a boutique that features photos of their clientele wearing their purchases, offers more artistic and eccentric pieces. The Weinmeister Strasse shopping plaza is rich with fashion that would appeal to the retro hipster type, while Rosen Hoefe and KaDeWe cater more to the modern fashionistas, featuring stores such as MAC, Chanel and high end German designer Kilian Kerner. In addition to new collections hitting the quaint storefronts, the vintage fashion movement has exploded in the European city. Vintage stores such as Stiefelkombinat and Aladdin’s Cave are highly sought after by locals and tourists alike.
Aside from guiding you to the top shops, we also got a sneak peek during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at the trends that will be popular this year, so you can pack accordingly and arrive in style. Highlights included new collections by Laurels, Dawid Tomaszewski and Malaikaraiss. Fashion in Berlin this season is very clean and features simplistic lines, a dominance of muted palettes and exquisite tailoring.
Laurels chief designer, Elisabeth Schwaiger, brought forth a retro sixties vibe in her new line, incorporating black leather, biker boots and studs. If you are wanting to incorporate this style into your personal wardrobe, opt for a blend of rocker chic accessories on delicate fabrics. A soft t-shirt dress paired with a leather cuff, chain embellished handbag or black booties would be a good starting point.
Designer Malaika Raiss presented a line that was charming and delicate. The designs were simplistic, yet did not bore. The details and original layering allow the line to feel fresh and unique with off-the-shoulder maxi dresses, short-sleeved sweaters, and knits worn over satin dresses. Inspired by the world of botany, Raiss said moss, algae and rocks inspired the palette of green and brown with an infusion of silvery blue nuances. It is a collection for the demure woman who favors youthful fashion.
In contrast to Raiss’ ultra-feminine line, designer Dawid Tomaszewski showed pieces that presented a more masculine side. Tomaszewski stated before the show, “The Tomaszewski woman is changing, she is more masculine (this season).” Shying away from some of the playful designs we have seen in the past, he used more classic cuts, a darker palette and more traditional tailoring. What we adore about this new collection is that, although we witnessed a new serious side in the assemblage of pantsuits, cardigans and wool coats, they were designed in lux fabrics upping their glam appeal. Cashmere, silk and Swarovski stone embellishments allowed the line to feel luxurious and unique. Highlights of the line included an embroidered black sheer blazer and grey cashmere trouser set, and a gray silk evening gown, worn with a black goatskin jacket that would be perfect for an after show gala.
Overall, the fashion was diverse and offered a multitude of options.
By Mandi Pimental
Say goodbye to beachy waves and bed head, this summer it is all about hair straightened to perfection. Runways around the world are featuring designers who are opting for this classic look for summer 2014, and with the tools and products available today, you no longer need to visit the salon to attain smooth strands. Before we introduce you to the new must-haves in your beauty arsenal, there are a few tips to ensure hair health.
Straightening hair on a consistent basis can lead to damage, so we recommend only washing your hair every other day to leave some natural protective oils intact. Using the recommended products below, along with the heating tools, will not only elongate the life of the tools, but of your hair as well. Now, onto this quick and easy process with our new beauty BFF’s.
It all starts with a little lather. Your shampoo and conditioner choices start the foundation for the perfect end result. Using a smoothing shampoo that cleanses, while weightlessly smoothing frizzy hair, with help to improve texture and leave your hair manageable. A good choice is EverSleek Intense Smoothing Shampoo.
After your shower, towel dry your hair to ready it for your ultimate frizz fighter. We recommend going one of two ways. First, you can opt for a smoothing balm such as Hemp Straightening Balm. When applied to problem areas throughout the hair, it helps tame frizz. The alternative is an oil base serum such as Moroccan Oil’s Glimmer Shine Spray. When applied to damp hair, this weather-resistant formula helps keep hair smooth and sleek in damp or dry environments. It makes a great choice for when you are traveling and are unsure of weather conditions.
With both these products, you will want to apply a little at a time, so you do not weigh your hair down, and you will want to brush through your tamed, damp locks with a good brush. Not all brushes are created equal, just as if you would use a round brush to create volume, you will want to opt for a good paddle brush for straight locks. The TIGI Professional large paddle brush is a great choice. Its tourmaline-infused pins emit ions that seal each cuticle for stronger, shiner and static-resistant hair. Any product or tool that can cut down on static is crucial in hair straightening 101.
Next, you are ready to dry. The CHI Air Pro Expert Ceramic Hair Dryer is a good choice with its infrared heat technology. Again, this simply means that it produces negative ions to prevent humidity and the aforementioned dreaded static. Its ceramic coils also keep the temperature regulated at all times for even styling. Use your paddle brush, along with your blow dryer, to dry hair completely.
Before using your straightener, you need to prep and protect your hair from heat damage. To do so, choose a flat iron spray that is made for extreme heat protection. Our choice is the Giovanni 2Chic Brazilian Keratin & Argan Oil Flat Iron Styling Mist. It is a dual-smoothing complex made from plant-sourced protein so it is gentle on your tresses.
Now that you are protected, it is time to straighten up! Using a ceramic plated straightener piece out hair in small sections so that you are not raking over strands multiple times. For fine hair, it is recommended to straighten one-inch sections, and for thicker hair, half-inch sections. The TRESemme Salon Professional Ceramic Styler heats to over 200 degrees for salon quality performance and features three heat settings for various hair types. It also features an auto shut off after 72 minutes, which is a great feature for any girl who is rushed in the mornings.
To top off the look, we recommend a good finishing spray. A high-shine glossing mist will help keep fly-aways at bay, and will deliver a reflective, lightweight veil, boosting your shine factor. You can apply by lightly misting over hair, or by spraying into palms and detail with your fingertips. We love the shine factor of Bumble and Bumble’s BB Shine On Spray.
Last but not least, a good product to have on hand is a long-lasting hair masque. Not for everyday use, this masque can be applied from time to time to help tame hair and control frizz. The Keratase Relax Slim Masque reduces hair volume by 50%, eases detangling and provides nutrition and softness to hair. It is a good investment for those who have thick, unruly hair and are seeking silky smooth straight locks for summer.
Now that your beauty cabinet is stocked with the right tools, you can be confident in styling your hair, and saving time and money, without visiting the salon.