Home Decor Trend to DIY: Kokedama Hanging Plants

April 28, 2015 @ 6:30 pm

Great news, apartment dwellers: The latest gardening trend doesn’t require a yard! The enchanting kokedamas only need a semi-sunny spot and a little love to thrive.

Kokedamas, which literally means, “moss ball” in Japanese, are charming, hanging plants that showcase a beautiful sphere of lush moss with a pretty houseplant growing from within. We’ve spotted the technique everywhere lately, but it wasn’t until the new book from the experts at Sprout Home, that we realized how easy they are to make ourselves.

This gorgeous green kokedama DIY comes from Tara Heibel and Tassy de Give’s Rooted in Design: Sprout Home’s Guide to Creative Indoor Planting ($ 16, amazon.com). “Kokedama is a free-form planting method that derives from bonsai,” the authors write. “Kokedamas are designed to dangle; by suspending them in the air with colorful twine, you can create a hanging garden for inside your home or even outdoors in the warmer season.”

Ready to get your hands dirty? Read on for exactly how to make your own kokedama garden and how to care for it. 

What Does It Really Mean to Have pH-Balanced Skin?

Ever since deodorant companies started using it in advertisements—“strong enough for someone else, but pH-balanced for you”—we were curious about pH. But truth be told, we were never gave it too much thought, until we discovered the pH of your skin can be an important factor outside of the underarm area.

If you’ve ever noticed that your complexion is looking slightly worse for wear, or is more dry or oily than usual, the pH (short for power of hydrogen) of your skin has probably been knocked off its kilter from environmental aspects, diet, or simply picking the wrong product. “Healthy, radiant skin with the proper pH has an even color and tone, very little to no redness, and no dry patches or flakes,” says Marisa Vara Arredondo, who founded Phace Bioactive after searching for a remedy when her own skin had become inflamed. As it turns out, the pH was the culprit, and Arredondo launched her line to fill the need for products that balanced both the acidic and alkaline levels in her skin.

“Skin, or at least the outermost layer of it, is slightly acidic. The acidic layer helps retain moisture, serve as a protective barrier, and inhibits inflammation from harmful chemicals and bacteria,” she explains. “If you use a soap that’s too alkaline, it will break up the acid in your skin, causing dryness and inflammation.” This could speed up signs of aging, so a product close to your skin’s own pH level of 4 to 5.5 is ideal.

RELATED: Why Your Skin Could Be In Need of a Serious Detox

Unless you’re already using the Phace Bioactive line, most products don’t have the pH listed on the bottle, but many will have the term “pH optimized” printed somewhere on the label. If not, either grab litmus papers to test the exact levels in the products you use now, or ditch your current face wash for a cleanser that isn’t too harsh. Products that burn your skin are too acidic, ones that are overly-drying are too alkaline, and you’ll want to avoid anything that lists detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate, or emulsifiers like DEA, TEA, and MEA on the ingredient list.

Arredondo suggests that another easy way to achieve balance is to amp up your sun protection, perhaps by slathering on a day cream with SPF, like the Phace Bioactive Soothing Day Cream + Primer ($ 86; phacebioactive.com). Sun isn’t the only damaging culprit though.  Arredondo notes stress, lack of sleep, acidic food consumption and lack of exercise can all throw pH off track. It’s not just what goes on the face that matters, she claims. Per Arrendondo, go for foods “like leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fruits, and avoid acid-forming villains like caffeine, sugar, dairy, meat, processed grains, yeast, and alcohol.” Balance here we come.

PHOTOS: Best Beauty Buys: The Best Skin Care Products of 2015

It’s a Love Story: Kim Kardashian Carries a Clutch Featuring Her Famous Wedding Photo

This might just take the cake for most personalized wedding gift ever. Kim Kardashian hit the red carpet at Variety’s Power of Women event in New York City today, where she carried a clutch baring a very familiar image—a stunning photo from her May 2014 wedding to Kanye West.

The custom Olympia Le-Tan accessory featured the phrase “Mr & Mrs West, A Love Story,” along with an intricate and embroidered portrait of Kim and Kanye kissing in front of a wall of white flowers during their nuptials.

RELATED: Kim Kardashian’s Latest Beauty Look Is Surprisingly Easy to Recreate

But her clutch wasn’t the only thing that caught our eye: Mrs. West herself wowed in a sleeveless ivory coat, silk top, and chic wide-leg pants all by Narciso Rodriguez that she paired with metallic Giambattista Valli shoes. Kardashian was one of five ladies honored at the luncheon, being recognized for her work with the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

PHOTOS: The Best Moments from Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s Wedding Weekend

Another Day, Another Stunning Outfit for Blake Lively

April 22, 2015 @ 6:30 pm

The constant in Blake Lively‘s upcoming film? Eternal youth. The constant in Blake Lively’s wardrobe? Absolutely nothing.

RELATED: How to Get Blake Lively’s Timeless Makeup From The Age of Adaline Premiere

After seamlessly transitioning through 10 outfits within one day, The Age of Adaline star once more hit the streets of New York in a look that would require hours of primping for most of us to pull off. This time, she played with both color and texture by wearing a green-and-silver graphic dress beneath a peach Jenny Packham coat awash in crystal embellishments. Lively paired the pieces with strappy heels matched to her earrings.

We all know that Hollywood’s A-list turns to multiple designers when embarking on a press tour—but the roster of designers Lively sports reads like a fashion-history course (Marc Jacobs, John Galliano, and Balmain, to name a few). And we doubt we’ll see her repeat any of this week’s looks ever again.

PHOTOS: Blake Lively’s Changing Looks

The Foolproof Technique to Trim Your Bangs Between Salon Appointments

Though any new set of bangs should definitely be cut by a professional, we understand the pain of not having time for a touch-up trim, especially when your fringe gets so long it starts reaching for your cheekbones. After catching up with hairstylist John Barrett on the right bangs to fit every face shape, we just had to ask—how can you keep your fringe in check when you can’t make it to the salon? The answer: faith, trust, and a steady hand holding a pair of scissors, of course. “Take hair from the very center of your bang, pull it [downward between] two fingers, rest your fingers on your eyebrow or tip of your nose, then cut whatever is going out over the top,” Barrett advises. “That will keep you going until you can get to the salon.”

RELATED: The Best Bangs for Every Face Shape

Because you’re gathering your strands between two of your fingers, you’ll prevent the length from being too short, which Barrett says is one of the most common things people hate about getting bangs. “When people cut their own bangs, they tend to cut them too short, but the two fingers add an extra quarter of an inch,” he adds. Of course, this trick should only be used if you already have bangs. A brand-new set should be tailored for you specifically. Aim lower if you’re in doubt—or unexpected Bettie Page fringe might be what you end up with. “After you pull the hair through your two fingers, rest them a bit low on your eyebrows or top of your nose, and don’t cut above them,” says Barrett. “Because it’s bent over your fingers, your bangs will also fall in a soft, sexy way.”

PHOTOS: Salon Inspiration—The Best Celebrity Bangs

Your Sunday Strategy for Shopping the Lilly Pulitzer for Target Collection

April 18, 2015 @ 8:50 pm

Judging from the throngs of people parked outside NYC’s Bryant Park Grill at 5:30 am yesterday for the Lilly Pulitzer for Target preview sale, getting your hands on a giraffe printed shift dress this Sunday could get dicey if you don’t plan ahead. As fans of the Palm Beach-prepster brand are well aware by now, the 250 piece collection, which includes everything from gold-plated swizzle sticks to jumpsuits emblazoned with palm fronds, will be available online and in all Target stores starting in the early morning hours on Sunday (April 19) . Here’s how to maximize your chances for getting some of the cheery loot before it all sells out:

1. Do your homework. It’s a good idea to check out the entire Lilly Pulitzer for Target Lookbook before Sunday. Figure out what you need, what you want, and which items are your top priority (and most likely to sell out quickly). Print up the pictures and bring them with you as a focus object. The last thing you need is to get distracted by $ 1 Hello Kitty socks at the front of the store.

2. Think brick and mortar. Sure, all the merch is available online but do you remember what happened the last time they had one of these rabidly anticipated launches? In 2011, demand for the Missoni for Target collections caused such a frenzy, the site crashed multiple times. I don’t know about you but nothing frustrates me more than an unconsummated online shopping experience. Your best bet, IMHO, is to pile in your car with three of your best girlfriends and hit up a store that’s slightly off the beaten path. When the 3.1 Phillip Lim collection launched in 2013, I traveled to the Southington, CT store and cleaned house.

3. Do not stop at Starbucks. Seriously, how much do you really need that Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte? Enough to miss out on a $ 38 floral sheath that usually fetches $ 180? Or a Lilly beach chair that costs just $ 60? Most Target stores open around 8 am and the early birds gets the swizzle sticks. Did I mention the home goods are my favorite part of the collection? The ceramic mugs on the gold caddy are adorbs.

4. Set your alarm. No Target for 100 miles? If you have no other choice but to shop online, make sure you set up a Target charge account well before Sunday so that all of your mailing info and credit card numbers are good to go before game day. The collection becomes available in the “early morning hours” according to Target spokeswoman Stephanie Celenza.

5.  Bring your daughter. Let’s be honest: It’s a bold move for anyone over 12 to wear a bright green jumpsuit covered in palm fronds. A 6-year-old, on the other hand, looks nothing if not adorable in a full body assault of Pulitzer. Since you only have 14 days to return items from this collection (Target’s normal return policy is 30 days) bring along your child to make sure you get the right sizes.

RELATED: InStyle’s Favorite Pieces from the Massive Lilly Pulitzer for Target Collection

The Future Is Now: You Can Get a 3D Printed Model of Your Selfie

Paging Kim Kardashian—your selfie-filled book rolling out today just might have some competition: In a move that could possibly one-up the star’s Instagram game, you now have the ability to create a 3D-printed model of your own selfie. Computer vision companies Dacuda and Volumental have partnered to develop an app that will capture a three-dimensional rendering of your face, which will then be printed and transformed into a head model that can fit into the palm of your hand. Pretty cool, and only slightly creepy, right?

After taking a video of a 360-view of your face, the app plots out a depth cloud of the shape, then maps the texture and coloring accordingly. Right away, you’ll get a digital model to use as an avatar or for games, which can then be 3D printed.

RELATED: Fun Fact: If You Wear Red Lipstick, You’re More Likely to Post Selfies

As of right now, the app is still in its developmental phase, and its creators have more in mind for it than creating an IRL feed of your most double-tapped shots. “Imagine purchasing perfectly-fitting eyeglasses or helmets from home, or starring in your favorite computer game, all as a result of a 3D head model that you captured on your tablet,” says Caroline Walerud, Volumental CEO. “As this app becomes available on tablets, we will see a number of customizable products that vastly demonstrate how 3D technology can change the products we use every day.”

The concept is pretty cool, but to be honest, we’re not completely sure what we’d do with a 3D printed rendering of our own face—aside from displaying it on our mantle, or maybe swapping it with the head on an old Barbie doll. Scroll down to see what a 3D version of your face looks like, and check out the video on vimeo.com to see the technology in action.

RELATED: Your Selfie Skills Can Score You a Custom-Fitted Lash Curler

PHOTOS: Celebrities’ Best No-Makeup Selfies

Vanessa Hudgens Is Owning the Overall Trend

April 14, 2015 @ 6:25 pm

Spring’s hottest trend might be all about denim—but before you purchase a new pair of skinnies or that chambray shirt, you should check out the latest Vanessa Hudgens street-style sighting.

The High School Musical star made us forget all about those typical denim items, as she gave us major weekend inspiration with her laid-back overalls. Dismiss all memories of your OshKosh days, because these modern overalls are totally adult-approved. Hudgen’s revealed a tad bit of skin, pairing the piece with a stripped crop top and chunky knit sweater. A crossbody bag, metallic slides, layered necklaces, and sunnies added the perfect finishing touches to the off-duty look.

RELATED: #HowToWearIt: Office to Off-Duty Style

We’re glad to see Hudgens taking a stroll in N.Y.C., because we certainly miss seeing photos of the 26-year-old posing at Coachella. The busy actress is missing out on this year’s festivities as she’s headlining the Broadway musical Gigi.

PHOTOS: Runway-Inspired Ways to Wear Denim This Spring

See Which Film Won Movie of the Year at the MTV Movie Awards

April 12, 2015 @ 10:34 pm

After an extremely eventful night filled with Vin Diesels’s Paul Walker tribute, Robert Downey Jr.s’ Generation Award acceptance speech, and more, the biggest moment of the 2015 MTV Movie Awards came when Dwayne Johnson—aka The Rock—presented the Movie of the Year award to the cast of The Fault in Our Stars. The heart wrenching film, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, beat out American Sniper, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, Guardians of the Galaxy, Gone Girl, Boyhood, Whiplash, and Selma.

RELATED: Vin Diesel Makes a Tribute to Paul Walker at the MTV Movie Awards

It was a big night for The Fault in Our Stars, which is based on John Green’s young-adult novel, as Woodley took home two other popcorn awards for the film: one for Best Female Performance and the other for Best Kiss, which she shared with Ansel Elgort who was noticeably absent from the ceremony. But Elgort took to Twitter to let his fans know he was tuned in! The actor tweeted “Watching the MTV movie awards from providence because I’m filming tomorrow at 6am. Wish I could be there :( Rooting for u shai!! #tfios.”

Congrats to the cast!

PHOTOS: See All of the Red Carpet Looks from the 2015 MTV Movie Awards