With all the racist crap we seem to be bombarded with in popular culture lately (we’re talking to you, Katy Perry), here’s something that gave us hope.
It all started with Gap’s holiday ads with the theme of “Make Love.” One of the ads features actor and jewelry designer Waris Ahluwalia, who happens to be Sikh. When New York photographer Robert Gerhardt forwarded a photo of the Gap poster outside a New York City subway that had been defaced with “Please stop driving taxis” and “Make bombs” instead of “Make Love” to Arsalan Iftikhar, senior editor at the IslamicMonthly, Iftikhar tweeted the photo and it went viral.
Soon enough, the Gap took notice and not only replied to the tweet (“Hi there. Thanks for informing us. Can you please follow & DM (direct message) us? We’d like to know the location of this.”), it also immediately changed its Twitter banner photo to the Ahluwalia ad. A new Facebook page even popped up — “GAP, Thank you for featuring a Sikh model in your ‘Make Love’ campaign” — with hundreds of comments in support. One person tweeted, “Hey @Gap I just holiday shopped w/you because of yr anti-racist support of #Sikh model Waris Ahluwalia!”
“As the year 2014 inches closer to us, I want to live in an America where a fashion model can be a handsome, bearded brown dude in a turban,” Iftikhar wrote in an article on the Daily Beast yesterday. Amen.
Vanessa Hudgens has come a long way since her High School Musical days. Working hard to shed her “good girl” image (see Spring Breakers), the Filipina takes on another gritty role in Roadside Attractions’ Gimme Shelter, due out in theaters January 24. Based on a true story, the film follows Agnes “Apple” Bailey, played by Hudgens, who is abused by her mother (Rosario Dawson) and abandoned by her Wall Street father (Brendan Fraser). Pregnant and alone, Apple ultimately finds compassion in a stranger (James Earl Jones), who takes her in at a suburban shelter for homeless teenagers.
Following in the footsteps of other actresses who have undergone major physical transformations for roles that garnered critical acclaim, Hudgens dons shorn hair and is virtually unrecognizable in the film. She reportedly lived for weeks in pregnancy shelters, interacting with the young, homeless mothers who also appear in the movie, to prepare for her role. Will this be the making of Hudgens as a serious actress? Check out the trailer here or click here.
We’ve gone through a lot of BB creams here at Audrey, just to bring you our Ultimate Guide to BB Cream. There are a lot of BB creams listed there, so in case you want the short version, here are our editor’s picks of BB cream favorites and why you should run out and get these today.
1. Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream
One of my all-time favorites. Seriously, this BB cream by Japanese brand Shiseido has it all: a super silky texture without feeling suffocating, a perfectly glowy finish without it looking like you just took an oil bath, and two shades that are great for yellow-based skin tones. It also gives me just enough coverage so that I actually dare to step out of my house without foundation or concealer. (Just a dab of powder on my oily T-zone and I’m good.) It doesn’t get better than that. Details 2 shades, (Medium, Dark), $33, shiseido.com.
2. Amarté Natural Finish BB Cream
A newbie to the American cosmetics industry, Amarte was founded in Korea and brought to the U.S. in partnership with an American dermatologist. The entire skincare line is great, but the BB cream is extra special, with a cool airless pump to prevent contamination (think backwash), caviar extract and argan oil. Amarte claims you can sleep with their BB cream on and it won’t block pores thanks to its natural pigments and state-of-the-art protective moisturizing base. I haven’t tested that claim (this freaked me out too much to even try), but what I do know is the light, creamy texture goes on smoothly, blends easily and imparts a nice healthy glow that is not at all masky. Another plus is that both shades are more yellow-based so you don’t get that weird ashy or white look. Details 2 shades (Light, Natural), $49, amarteskincare.com.
3. Too Faced Air Buffed BB Creme Complete Coverage Makeup
For full coverage, it doesn’t get better than Too Faced’s BB creme. The cream-to-powder formulation is made even better with their pop-off “Teddy Bear” hair brush, a dense flat top brush that buffs on the BB cream perfectly. It’s a cream in the tub, which turns into a powder on the face, leaving a very matte, very Photoshopped finish. Just swirl with the brush onto your face, pressing or stippling on areas that may need more coverage. This is the only product that not only controls my very oily T-zone, but simultaneously provides enough coverage to hide my sunspots, all without feeling tight or heavy. And three of the five shades are perfect for a broad range of Asian skin tones. Details 5 shades (porcelain pink-based to warm with golden undertones), $39, toofaced.com.
4. Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream
Love mineral makeup? Then you’ll love Jane Iredale’s mineral BB cream. I actually love this BB cream as a treatment concealer. The formulation is quite thick, so a little goes a long way. Dab some on trouble spots, dust some loose powder over it all, and go. There’s a great range of shades, too, so practically every skin tone is covered. And the best part are all the botanical extracts that baby your skin: white tea leaf extract, green tea, grapefruit extract, apple extract, aloe leaf juice and sunflower seed oil. It practically is skincare in your makeup. Details 6 shades,$48,janeiredale.com.
While there are many relief efforts out there to help the Philippines recover from the devastating Typhoon Haiyan, Filipina American Ruby Verdiano of Glamourbaby Diaries shares her trusted platforms, spearheaded by people she personally knows. Check out the below links to help the people of the Philippines.
Donate to GK and help fund a food pack consisting of bottled water, canned goods and rice for a family of 4. It will last them for 3 days when they need it most. GK’s relief teams are on the ground now clearing roads to get the food packs in the devastated areas. 98% of all donations we’ll go to the victims and their donations are 100% tax-deductible. DONATE HERE.
Anyone who’s tried to get a taste of those amazing soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung‘s Arcadia, Calif., location knows good things come to those who wait … and wait. But now with the famed award-winning Taiwanese restaurant open at The Americana at Brand in Glendale, Calif., you may be slurping your way to goodness in no time at all.
From left, Rick Caruso, Frank Yang, and Joanne Yang at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Din Tai Fung at The Americana at Brand.
Din Tai Fung owners Frank and Joanne Yang, along with Rick Caruso of Caruso Affiliated, the company behind The Americana at Brand, appeared at the ribbon cutting for the restaurant’s newest location this morning. Inside the 6,800-square-foot restaurant, with its floor-to-ceiling glass and wood screen decor (an homage to the original design of the restaurant’s Xinyi location in Taiwan, which opened in 1967), Caruso talked about how he pursued the Yangs to convince them to open a Din Tai Fung at The Americana after trying their soup dumplings. “Most people west of Arcadia don’t know about Din Tai Fung,” he said.
In the signature glass kitchen, half a dozen cooks were already busy rolling, pulling, flattening and wrapping juicy soup dumplings with perfect efficiency. Meanwhile, the petite, ever-smiling Joanne Yang was running around like a mother hen, making sure everything was running smoothly, greeting guests and thanking them for coming. One could hardly guess that Din Tai Fung now has more than 80 branches around the world and is arguably the most successful Taiwanese restaurant chain ever. In fact, quality control seemed to be the buzzword at the opening, with several reporters attesting to the consistency of the flavors at the various Din Tai Fung restaurants in Arcadia, Shanghai, Taiwan and Seoul.
In addition to the usual goodies that have earned Din Tai Fung their Michelin Star in 2010 — Pork dumplings, Veggie and Shrimp and Pork Shao Mai, Noodle with Minced Pork Sauce, Shanghai Rice Cake with Chicken and Shrimp, and Pork Wonton in Spicy Sauce (ranging from $7 to $12) — The Americana location boasts an exclusive item, the Truffle Dumpling, traditionally reserved for VIPs in Taiwan, as well as a full bar of traditional and specialty cocktails. Add to that boba drinks, slushies and their paper-thin red bean dumpling for dessert, and you’ve got the makings for a pretty good night out.
Find out more about Din Tai Fung here and The Americana at Brand here.
Benefits: SPF 50; Green Tea Treatment Complex™ brightens, prevents skin irritation, and provides antioxidant protection; hydrating bamboo sap formula replaces traditional water in oil base for deep moisturization. Their exclusive Long-Lasting Complex™ proprietary skin technology fills micro lines and ensures color builds into fine even layers.
Review: This CC compact comes in liquid form that turns into an emulsion on skin. It comes with its own specially designed anti-microbial “ruby-cell” puff which helps enhance the cooling feature of the sponge. You press the puff into the sponge, and liquid squeezes out. I like to swipe it on in short little strokes, rather than pat it on as recommended; I feel like I get more coverage that way. I tried the 204, which is Tan Gold — it sounds much darker than it actually is. The shade was fine for my light to medium Asian skin tone. However, the formula is very, very sheer, and I felt I needed to swipe on at least several layers to get any sort of coverage. It’s great for warm weather when a cream would feel suffocating on skin, or for oily skin that can’t take a cream. The finish is quite shiny, though, so make sure you dust on some powder.
Benefits: SPF 20, cream-to-powder formulation with built-in Air-Buff brush. Primes, mattifies and moisturizes with buildable coverage. Vegan-friendly, paraben-free, cruelty-free.
Review: We tried the Linen Glow shade, which is a medium beige with golden undertones. First off, the design of the packaging is pretty genius. The cap comes with its own pop-off “Teddy Bear” hair brush, a dense flat top brush that buffs on the BB cream perfectly. It’s a cream in the tub, which turns into a powder on the face, leaving a very matte, very Photoshopped finish. Just swirl with the brush onto your face, pressing or stippling on areas that may need more coverage. This really does give a flawless, full coverage finish, without feeling heavy. I didn’t need any makeup, or any powder for that matter, after I was done. Just apply and go. For my light to medium Asian skin tone, the Linen Glow was perfect. If you’re very pale, go with Cream Glow. For deeper skin tones, Nude Glow would work.
Glamorous stars, stunning (sometimes shocking) fashion, blinding lights and a seemingly mile-long red carpet.
The Oscars? Cannes? Nope, it’s Opening Night at the Busan International Film Festival. And this time, the stars garnering the screams from fans are some of the most beautiful people from all around Asia.
Since its inception in 1996, the Busan International Film Festival (formerly, Pusan) has grown into arguably the biggest, most important film festival in all of Asia. Located in the seaside city of Busan, about 200 miles south of South Korea’s capital of Seoul, the film festival (also known as BIFF) draws thousands of film execs, media and international stars from around the world.
Aaron Kwok in a Longines ad.
This year, the 18th annual BIFF, sponsored by prestige cosmetics line Artistry, kicks off this Thursday, October 3, with a red carpet screening of Vara: A Blessing, the third feature film by director and Bhutan priest Khyentse Norbu. Taiwanese mega-star Aaron Kwok is set to moderate the opening ceremony, and throughout the 10-day festival, we can expect to see luminaries like Ken Watanabe, who’ll be starring in Japan’s version of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven; and Vietnamese American actor Dustin Nguyen, whose film Once Upon a Time in Vietnam, which he directed, with have its international premiere.
Other highly anticipated films screening at BIFF include Joon-ho Bong‘s Snowpiercer, starring Kang-ho Song, Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton and Ed Harris; the controversial film Moebius by Ki-duk Kim; Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate about Julian Assange; and The Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis.
I grew up in an age where the women in power believed in a 1970s sort of feminism: be hard-core, don’t let a man control you, fight back at every turn. Under their tutelage, I believed that was the only way to be a feminist. Thankfully, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to accept that feminism is not so … difficult. I embrace being an equal professionally, regardless of gender, while at the same time, embracing the joys of not having to be a man. In fact, sometimes being a girl just feels damn good.
Looking to get your girl power on? Be inspired with these recommendations on screen and stage that will appeal to the many sides of your complex female self.
Leave it to East West Players, the nation’s leading Asian American theater troupe, to take on an all-Asian cast production of the classic play (turned movie) “Steel Magnolias.” I’d never seen the play before, but I loved the movie … from what I could remember: pretty much Julia Roberts having a diabetic seizure as Sally Fields did what she does best (freak out) — that was the extent of it.
But what I saw at opening night this past Wednesday was so much more — the electric dynamic of six strong women, the Asian faces in a very Southern setting, the hilarious exchanges (Hiwa Bourne excelled as beauty parlor owner Truvy, played by Dolly Parton in the film, and Lovelle Liquigan’s Annelle was brilliant in all her awkward glory), and most of all, the intimacy of watching something on stage. Not only was it a reminder that truly good theater could never be replaced by film, it reaffirmed to me that a compelling story always works, regardless of race or ethnicity.
I am not ashamed to say that I am a huge Jane Austen fan. Sure, some may wonder how a 19th century, practically “chick lit” British author appeals to a 21st century Asian American woman, but I tell you, when I first read Pride and Prejudice, I couldn’t believe how much the social mores and cultural norms of 1810s England sounded just like those of my religious Korean immigrant upbringing. (Read Persuasion and I dare any 30- to 40-something single Asian American woman not to feel the plight of poor Anne Elliot.) Needless to say, I’ve been hooked ever since.
So naturally, when I heard about Austenland, which premiered at Sundance, I had to go see what it was all about. Keri Russell (of Felicity fame) stars as the awkward Jane Hayes, a 30-something woman obsessed with the Colin Firth version of Mr. Darcy (from the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice). Her entire apartment is decorated — creepily — in Regency Era teapots and porcelain dolls, and the lord of the manor is a life-size cardboard cut-out of Firth. When she gets the chance of a lifetime to spend her vacation at Austenland, an English-themed resort where you get to live out your Jane Austen fantasy, complete with cute actors in costume, hilarity, as they say, ensues.
Now, I’m not gonna deny that the film will appeal mostly to those familiar with Austen’s work. But the hilarious Jennifer Coolidge (perhaps best known for being the MILF in American Pie), playing the rich, ignorant American who goes to the resort solely because she thinks she’ll look great in those “wench dresses,” will make up for any inside jokes you may miss.
Oh, and did I mention that the soundtrack was done by Hong Kong-born Chinese hapa Emmy the Great?
Emmy the Great.
Austenland is in select theaters now.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
It’s almost here … the Joss Whedon-helmed television series following Agent Phil Coulson and his agents of the Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate, aka S.H.I.E.L.D. As we told you in our Fall 2013 issue interview with actress Ming-Na Wen, The Joy Luck Club star kicks ass as Melinda May, an expert pilot and martial artist. But she’s not the only Asian American doing us proud on the ABC series. Chinese American hapa Chloe Bennett stars as Skye, a mysterious computer hacker genius, while Thai American Maurissa Tancharoen is a producer on the show. All I can say is based on the reviews, this is one show you’re not going to want to miss.
Chloe Bennet as Skye, right, in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premieres on ABC Tuesday Sept. 24. Get psyched with cool video extras, including one especially devoted to how Agent Coulson recruited Melinda May, here.
When Audrey first wrote about BB creams in 2008, it was the latest thing in Korea. The oddly named “blemish balm” originated in Germany as a post-treatment cream for laser surgery patients and was later co-opted by Korean women to create the ssaeng-uhl (bare-faced look) coveted by the nation’s most beautiful actresses. (Even Korean men have taken to wearing BB cream.) Considered a staple in every Korean woman’s beauty regimen, BB cream is now sweeping the U.S., but thankfully for us, the newest iterations have a greater range of shades, coverage and textures.
When Harvard Business School grad Grace Choi first tried BB cream, she liked the finish but had trouble finding a formula that matched her skin tone, especially for different seasons. “I’m more yellow during the winter and more olive/brown during the summer,” says the 29-year-old Korean American. “Asian BB brands offer a very limited number of shades which do not suit the vast majority of diverse American women,” she adds. But she also found that many BB creams currently in the U.S. market didn’t give the same coverage and finish that the Asian BB creams were famous for. So Choi put her medical science background to use and formulated her own brand of BB cream. With 10 different shades, seven work for Asian skin: the Yellow line finishes more golden, while the Olive line has a more brown/tan undertone.
BB CREAM TIPS:
* Apply like you would a sunscreen. Put a dime size dollop on your fingers and spread evenly on face. The cream will sink in and adjust to your skintone.
* Apply with fingers, says Choi. “It’s much easier to control and spread than with a brush or sponge.”
* The right shade is important with BB cream. Use one that’s too light and it can look masky. Can’t find the exact shade or right texture in a BB cream? Because BB creams provide buildable coverage, you can mix and match for the perfect formulation. I like mixing a lighter textured cream in a more golden shade with a thicker one in a paler shade, like Estée Lauder with 3Lab, before blending on my face.
Here, we review the best BB creams out there (even one for men!).
Audrey Magazine is an award-winning national publication that covers the Asian experience from the perspective of Asian American women. Audrey covers the latest talent and trends in entertainment, fashion, beauty and lifestyle.