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Allure February 2020

Allure, the first and only magazine devoted to beauty, is an insider's guide to a woman's total image. Allure investigates and celebrates beauty and fashion with objectivity and candor, and places appearance in a larger cultural context.

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United States
Conde Nast US
11 Issues

in this issue

2 min
art appreciation

We’ve long celebrated the creativity of beauty here, from Guido Palau’s iconic, gravity-defying hair sculptures to Pat McGrath’s paradigm-shifting makeup looks to the simple art of you, the individual, defining and owning your unique look. Today, there’s been an incredible democratization of artistry, with muses and creators found across the globe. So we hereby dedicate this issue to the inspiring, ever-shifting art of beauty. Great art connects emotionally. It makes you think. It takes risks. One person who seems like the living embodiment of that is our cover star, Billy Porter. In all of its 29 years and 345 issues, Allure has never featured a man on its cover—until today. So I’m thrilled to have the Pose star as our first. After decades of performing, the trailblazing actor is now a household name…

1 min
smooth as silk?

According to urban myth, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria owned a bulletproof vest woven from silk. Unfortunately, he wasn’t wearing it when he was fatally shot, in 1914, thereby throwing the world into World War I. It has since been shown that this silk would have halted a bullet of the era. Silk may be marred by a few drops of salad dressing, but weak it is not. This surprising resilience has not gone unnoticed by skin-care brands. “There are two proteins in silk with supposed benefits: sericin and fibroin,” says Morgan Rabach, a clinical instructor of dermatology at Mount Sinai in NYC. “Sericin forms a layer of protection over the skin and may help promote hydration. Fibroin may help repair skin cells and balance moisture levels.” Tatcha’s silk products weave…

2 min
cleo your mind

On staying present: “Take five minutes for yourself in the morning. A lot of the time we jump into the energy of other people by going straight to our phones. That dictates our energy for the day rather than how we are actually feeling. Be in control; be the boss of your day.” On waking up: “I don’t feel ready to get into the world until I’ve splashed some water on my face. Then I like to cleanse with Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil.” On drinking water: “I often say if self-love means I love you, then self-care says prove it. We can practice self-love through self-care, even if that’s just drinking water or going on a walk.” On face-cream gratitude: “I am usually more of an oil person than a moisturizer person. But…

2 min
state of the (nail) art

JACKSON POLLOCK Elevate your metallic paint job with an element of abstract expressionism. “Jackson Pollock was one of the first artists I was inspired by when I came to New York,” says nail artist Mei Kawajiri. The painter’s “drip” canvases have a splatter effect that Kawajiri finds translates well to manicures. For this look, start with a silver base, like Essie nail polish in Après-Chic, and let it dry. Then use a detailer brush to dot and drag a darker shade (here, black) in jagged movements over the nail. Repeat with two gradually lighter and brighter shades, like red and white, making sure each layer is dry before adding the next. YAYOI KUSAMA How do you make neon even more arresting? By adding inspiration from Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, aka the princess of…

2 min
time travel

1912: The heart-shaped stopper on Guerlain L’Heure Bleue is meant to conjure the romance of Paris before the First World War. Internally, Baccarat artisans call their design the “gendarme stopper” because it resembles a soldier’s hat. 1948: The original Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps depicts a rising sun and a single dove to symbolize the dawning of peace. Three years later, Marc Lalique re-creates the bottle with entwined doves (above) to send a somewhat lighter message. 1953: Because it’s considered too risqué for a woman to buy her own perfume, Estée Lauder markets Youth Dew as a bath oil. Designed for pouring, the bottle encourages women to soak up their scent. 1978: With its porcelain whiteness, Cacharel Anais Anais harks back to the Victorian vanity table—and sends a subliminal message of innocence. It’s…

3 min
color theory

We put a lot of responsibility on colors. We foist personality on them—the onus of making us feel a certain way. Seeing red is one thing. Being green-eyed is entirely something else. A black heart withers, hardens, feels nothing; a heart of gold inspires. White knuckles. Silver tongues. They all mean what we have collectively, reasonably or unreasonably, decided that they mean. And then there’s blue. Somehow blue is in a class all its own. You never hear someone say, “I’m purple today.” Or “I always get green on Sunday.” Blue is so much more. Blue is an entire mood—one that is slow to grow but spreads with a measured pace and encompasses everything it touches. To dismiss blue as a synonym for sad would be to grossly misunderstand it. We venture…