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Perfect presents for the eager millennial in your life. By Kay Wicker

Washington is a veritable mecca for fresh-from-college career hunters. They land their first position in the big city, move into their own digs, and, according their Instagram, they’re as busy as the day is long and feeling very #blessed. Make sure they stay sharp on the job with these must-haves for the young professional.

Posted at 11:46 AM/ET, 12/22/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The fashion news we’re reading this week. By Kay Wicker
Photograph by Vikacita/Shutterstock.

Kendall Jenner is no longer just Kim K’s little sis. The budding fashion icon, fresh off her second Vogue shoot, is topping the Dazed 100 list and grabbing a cover while she’s at it.

Red lips are making a comeback, according to the Telegraph's fashion coverage, which noted that red lipstick sales have been soaring by the millions since 2012. According to Lenoard Lauder’s lipstick index, during a time of recession, women turn to red lips as a powerful symbol of confidence.

A few weeks after Kate Middleton took New York, she was spotted wearing a black zip-up sweatshirt, a stark break from her usual wrap dresses and nude pumps. She still looks amazing—are we really surprised?

It’s official—leggings are not pants, according to Montana state legislators. The Cut reports that the eyebrow-raising new dress code guidelines for 2015 include statements such as: Ladies should be “be sensitive to skirt length and necklines.”

American Apparel’s controversial CEO Dov Charney finally got the boot for misconduct, according to the Washington Post. The brand placed Charney on suspension mid-summer, soon before naming their first female board member in history. Now, swooping in to save the day is the brand’s new CEO, Paula Schneider—yep, a woman.

Posted at 01:20 PM/ET, 12/19/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The daughter of a legendary Redskins owner talks fashion, family, and football. By Kate Bennett
Images courtesy of Jacqueline Cooke.

Growing up as the daughter of local sports legend Jack Kent Cooke, you might think Jacqueline Cooke would have more jerseys than Jimmy Choos in her closet. But Cooke has become a savvy fashionista, and she shared with us how she came into her own in the fashion industry.

Where did your interest in fashion originate?

Growing up, I was primarily influenced by my late grandmother, who always dressed with elegance. Whether she was going to the supermarket or out to dinner she always had a beautiful outfit paired with her signature red lipstick.

How would you describe your style?

I am inspired by a broad range of designers and usually drawn towards unique pieces that have a bit of an edge to them. I also tend to think practically, purchasing classic pieces that can be worn again and again. I also enjoy finding low-end items to mix with high-end accessories, as it is more economical.

What do you do in the fashion industry?

I am the director of PR and marketing at Isa Tapia, an emerging shoe designer and currently part of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) incubator. It’s great being a part of a growing brand because you get to learn so many things along the way. I most recently did a preview inviting head editors from Condé Nast and Hearst to showcase our pre-fall collection.

Living in New York now, do you still consider yourself a Washingtonian?

I consider myself a Washingtonian as I was born in DC and went to middle school there. I still come to DC for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation events as often as possible. I really enjoy meeting the alumni and current scholars—it’s wonderful to see how much their lives have been affected by my father’s generosity. I don’t have as many friends who currently reside in DC, as most of them have moved to New York or other cities. I think everyone should experience a different city at least once in their life, especially when in your twenties, but I can see myself moving back to DC—it’s an ideal place to raise a family.

Any thoughts on the Redskins naming controversy?

I do not think it's up for me to weigh in on this issue. I just hope they start to win again, regardless of the name.

What are some “can’t-live-without” pieces in your closet?

My Proenza Schouler black military boots—I can pair them with almost anything in my closet. My A.L.C black leather dress, as it’s a classic silhouette that can be worn day or night, and my Zara perforated brown leather handbag, which I take to work everyday. Last but not least, my gold heart and diamond necklace my dad gave me that says “Jacqueline” on the front and “love always, daddy” on the back. I wear it nearly all the time to remind me of him.

Posted at 12:36 PM/ET, 12/19/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
A collection of gifts with twice the giving power. By Emma Foehringer Merchant

Double your gift-giving mojo by making your presents count for two times the holiday cheer. These items spread goodwill beyond their initial recipients by contributing to communities around the world, supporting causes as diverse as artisan training programs, vaccinations, and dog rescue. Click through our slideshow of ideas for the humanitarian do-gooder in your life.

Posted at 11:22 AM/ET, 12/19/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
From a hotel gala to cocktails with your girls, we've got your looks covered. By Caroline Cunningham

Anything goes on New Year's Eve, but no matter where you’re going, you’ll want to dress the part. Whether you’re knocking back cocktails with your girlfriends, headed to a chic get-together, or hitting the town at a hot New Year’s gala, you’ll be dressed for success in any one of these looks.

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Posted at 10:00 AM/ET, 12/19/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Dress to impress, no matter your plans on December 31. By Kay Wicker

You’ve finally decided on your New Year’s Eve plans—now, what to wear? Whether you’re spending the last night of 2014 bar-hopping with your boys, sipping wine with your main squeeze, or impressing your boss at a black-tie event, we’ve got you covered on attire with expert suggestions from menswear brand Ledbury’s retail manager Audie McDougall.

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Posted at 08:30 AM/ET, 12/19/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Fuel the wanderlust of your favorite traveler with these great gifts. By Caroline Cunningham, Emma Foehringer Merchant

Whether he's partying in Paris or sunning in Spain, he's the modern Ernest Hemingway, and the planet is his playground. She hasn't been home in months, but she has been to every continent—in the past year. They're always on the move, so their tastes are a little tricky to nail down. Fuel their wanderlust with one of the gifts in our slideshow that are sure to entrance your favorite traveler.

Posted at 05:10 PM/ET, 12/16/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
A younger-looking face may only be a cream, patch, or laser away. By Kate Bennett
Photograph of Neotensil by Richard Pierce; Belotero by Joe Gibbs; Collagen P.I.N. by Justin Inscoe.

You want tighter skin? There’s now a patch for that. How about a little collagen boost? A laser might do it. Banish under-eye baggage? That could be as simple as applying a double dose of cream.

These days, when it comes to anti-aging, there are more quick and (relatively) painless options than ever.

1. Neotensil

The idea that a blend of topical creams could erase wrinkles and bags under the eyes in an at-home treatment sounds almost too good to be true. But with the arrival of Neotensil, a product unveiled earlier this year by Living Proof, some became believers.

The easy-to-apply Neotensil pack comes with two tubes of gel-like creams, which you apply one on top of the other. When combined, they form an invisible, firming layer, which fans have dubbed “Spanx for your eyes.” For the next 16 hours, while Neotensil is on, you’ll look well rested and free of tiny wrinkles.

A bonus is the moisturizing effect Neotensil has on this sensitive part of the skin. I slept in my Neotensil, woke up, peeled it off, and had the softest skin I’d felt in months.

Cost: About $475 for a seven-week supply, at Amazon.

2. Clear & Brilliant

While lasers such as Fraxel are often used for major skin resurfacing, Clear & Brilliant is now considered a good choice for those not quite ready to bust out the big guns.

It relies on the same concept as more intense lasers—using heat to stimulate collagen growth as well as to slough off dead cells, resurface skin, and treat sun damage—but is said to be far gentler. Some patients feel just slight discomfort after the 30-minute treatment, similar to a minor sunburn, and there’s a lot less peeling than what happens with more powerful laser treatments.

Also good news: Though dermatologists generally recommend a series of at least four Clear & Brilliant procedures—one every four weeks—the results of the first are immediate. Patients rave about an instant glow.

Cost: Approximately $300 and up for one session in a dermatologist’s office.

3. Belotero Balance

One of the newer dermal fillers on the market, Belotero Balance promises a significant reduction in nasolabial folds, the lines that can extend from the outer edge of the nose to the mouth, as well as other deep to very deep wrinkles around the mouth.

Unlike popular filler injections such as Juvéderm and Restylane, Belotero Balance is also able to penetrate shallower surface areas and very fine lines—so wrinkles that present a “feathering” pattern can be tackled with more precision.

Doctors also say that the gel consistency of this hyaluronic acid means it’s less apt to form lumps under the skin, which can be one of the unpleasant side effects of fillers. Results last about six months.

Cost: About $600 and up per syringe; one syringe is usually enough to achieve the desired effect. Available at most dermatologists’ offices that offer filler treatments.

4. Micro-Needling

Most of the newer treatments in anti-aging are based on the idea that gently damaging the skin causes it to create new cells in order to heal—resulting in a fresher, more youthful face. This is the notion behind micro-needling, in which a dermatologist uses an instrument, often the Collagen P.I.N.—or percutaneous induction needling device—to make tiny wounds or pricks in the skin’s surface in an effort to stimulate new growth. Doctors sometimes call this practice “controlled injury.”

While it might seem counterproductive to visit a physician’s office to be “injured,” many dermatologists now offer micro-needling to combat the signs of aging.

Cost: About $500; patients generally get a series of procedures.

5. Furlesse

If having a dermatologist micro-needle or laser your face isn’t your idea of a good time, you might consider Furlesse—patches designed to smooth skin and keep it taut.

First, you use your hands to smooth out wrinkled areas—around the mouth, under the eyes, above and between the brows. Then, while the area is smoothed, you peel off a patch and apply it to your skin. The patches are translucent but not invisible, so nighttime use is suggested—you can sleep with them on.

Fans claim that, over time, their skin becomes smoother where the patches are applied, but there’s no good science to back up that assertion.

Cost: $19.99 for a box of 30 patches, at Amazon.

6. Roloxin Lift

Roloxin Lift is a new cream-to-powder treatment that comes in packets and promises to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and pores. Allure magazine gave Roloxin Lift a 2014 Beauty Breakthrough Award for innovation in quick-fix, youth-inducing skin care.

Users massage one of the packets for ten seconds, then open it and apply the contents to the face. At first it feels like a lotion, but the thin layer morphs into a drier, powdery substance. You leave it on for about seven minutes and rinse off. Skin should feel tighter, thanks to a blend of silica and glycolate. Alas, the results, like Cinderella’s, wear off—in this case, in about 12 hours.

Cost: $110 for a box of ten packets, at roloxin.com.

7. Contours Rx Lids by Design

There are several new tape-based, anti-wrinkle products now out—one of them, Contours Rx, is marketed as “instant eye-lift tape.”

You carefully apply a tiny strip of contoured, medical-grade clear tape, with included tweezers—generally to the upper crease of the eyelid—ostensibly taping smooth any sagging or drooping. The strips keep the excess skin taped into the crease, which creates the appearance of a more youthful, tighter eyelid. While the tape isn’t invisible, it is hard to detect. You can also apply makeup over the strips for extra camouflage.

Cost: $29.99 for a box of 80 strips, at contoursrx.com.


This article appears in the December 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 11:07 AM/ET, 12/16/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Get creative with our curated list of gifts. By Kay Wicker

Though they're tasked with one of the world’s most important jobs—sculpting the minds of the future—teachers don't always get the credit they deserve. They wake up before the sun, stay up well into the wee hours fine-tuning their lesson plans and grading papers, and respond to even the most mundane of questions with an encouraging smile. Skip the Starbucks gift card and click through the slideshow for 14 creative gift ideas for the excellent educators you know.

Posted at 11:51 AM/ET, 12/15/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Must-haves for the socialite who’s hitting up all the festivities this year. By Caroline Cunningham

One night she’s at seeing a show at the Kennedy Center, the next she’s knocking back gin and tonics with her girlfriends. She’s on the invite list for all the best parties in town, and being the social darling that she is, she’s going to hit them all—looking fabulous every stilettoed step of the way. You want to make sure your gift is something she’ll love, but she’s too busy live-tweeting to text you her wish list. Click through our slideshow of must-haves for inspiration for the holiday party hopper in your life.

For more great gift ideas, follow Shop Around on Twitter at @shoparoundblog.

Posted at 10:20 AM/ET, 12/12/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()