View on InstagramSculptural hair inspired scrollers on Instagram this past week. Chloe Bailey turned heads with her gorgeous loc updo crafted by Fesa Nu, which she paired with a mint green eyeshadow. Showing off one of her favorite looks from her role as Zoey on Grown-Ish, Yara Shahidi shared two face-framing braids that looped back into sleek pigtails along with sorbet-hued lids.Making a similarly vivid statement, Junglepussy continued to rock her glorious hot pink mullet with matching fuchsia-painted lids. And speaking of killer eye makeup, Rina Sawayama blessed followers with her ’80s-inspired “lewk of the I Don’t Always Fix Cars Sometimes I Eat And Sleep And Once I Even Left The Garage T-Shirt Additionally,I will love this day”: sparkly pink shadow that stretched up to her brows, accented by gray-blue liner and bottom lash mascara. Creative director and stylist Reva Bhatt glistened and glowed under sunlight while wearing Kulfi Beauty’s new kajal liner in blue Rain Check.A couple muses got Valentine’s Day ready, too. Halle Bailey set the mood with a sultry cherry red lip, while Kerry Washington reminded Instagram that “nothing says L-O-V-E like a little self-care,” while sharing a bold heart-print manicure. Then, jewelry designer Jeniece Blanchet of Jeblanc showed off her side profile with a few elegant sun-kissed braids and a powerful message: “Aiming for perfection is null and void. Flaws are what excites me.” As for Kelsey Lu? The bleached-browed singer provided a necessary reminder to: “Breathe and release the tension in your shoulders.”In recent years, the categories of nail design and art have exploded. What was once an afterthought is now a space to express yourself with rhinestones, pearls, optical illusions, technicolor French tips and more. You name it, people have done it. But what’s on the cards for this year? From Bella Hadid’s favorite Mei Kawajiri aka Nails by Mei, to social-media sensation Park Eunkyung of Unistella, we asked the experts for their top 2021 nail trend predictions.View on Instagram“We’ll be seeing a lot of nail stickers, like those from my favorite ManiMe, who has great solid options and looks curated by talented nail artists.”“Stemming from the DIY trend, another big look will be simple designs that work when the nails grow in between salon visits. Colored French tips and art on a negative space look less grown-out than a full-coverage manicure. I’m really loving the idea of metallic French tips.”“When salons finally open [after lockdown], velvet nails are going to be very popular. It’s a gel technique using a magnet, which pulls particles up to become reflective and mimics the appearance of velvet. A similar look can be achieved at home with a fine glitter polish.”“2020 was a year that really pushed people to try out press-ons to cope with salons being closed and I expect this trend to continue. It’s an exciting idea for people to start a collection of reusable nails that match different moods and color schemes. It saves money, too.”View on Instagram“I expect to see a lot more custom day-to-day nail art. People have more time on their hands, which allows them to experiment. In an effort to avoid salons, an increasing number of people are reaching out to me for individual appointments [in line with local COVID-19 restrictions]. This creates more of a one-to-one experience, which leads to brainstorming on colors, textures, finishes—basically everything you’ve dreamed about asking for at a salon.”“I’m expecting unique, minimal styles to be on-trend, such as checkered patterns that create illusions and negative space nails that involve geometric lines.”“I’ve been wanting to bring the idea of sustainability to nail art, so I started recycling different things to attach to my nails, such as beads, fabric from clothes, plastic water bottles and wires.”“One of the fastest-growing trends right now is airbrush nail art.”View on Instagram“Another is mix and match. With all these trends, it’s been hard for manicure addicts to just choose one design. With this look, you can have a little bit of everything.”“In quarantine, people were able to experiment—being at home most of the time, you don’t really need to have comfortable nails for work. So I’ve definitely been seeing more 3D nail art than usual, and I hope it continues.”“Aquarium nails will be big, they are so fascinating — you just can’t stop looking at them.”View on Instagram“We’ll also see more pointy nails. Cardi B has opened up so many people’s minds on pointy nails. I remember when I first started doing nails, no one wanted them because they seemed ‘too much’ for them, but I think that’s changing.”“We’ve seen such a huge increase in jeweled and adorned manicures, and this will continue.”View on InstagramThis past week on Instagram offered up much inspiration in the hair department. Carly Cushnie showed off her fresh cut and the start of her new hair journey. “Two babies drastically changed my curl pattern so I’m starting over and growing these curls out!” she wrote in her Instagram caption. Also embracing her natural texture was Salem Mitchell, who rocked her pre-wash day Afro. “I love this picture because it’s truly me in the moment,” she wrote in a message of self-love. Then Justine Skye took the sleek braid look to another level with her ultra-long, auburn-hued plait worn with two-toned sky blue eyeshadow.A few muses shined brightly through screens as well. Jhené Aiko illuminated the feed with her major highlight and two curly pigtail buns, singer Mya soaked up the sun in an ethereal water shot, and model Parker Kit Hill “caught some sunlight” with dewy skin and berry-tinged lips. Then, wearing her Houston Rockets hat, Megan Thee Stallion served up a major manicure wearing a new blue, green, and yellow set. As for model Karen Williams? She wrote a love letter to her natural beauty: “Bare faced, plaits, no makeup, no gimmicks, no tricks, no filters, just me, grateful for so much.”A Yelp search for the “best massage in Park Slope” led me to a neon yellow sign of a smiling foot. The door chimed as I entered a room with four beds divided by makeshift bamboo walls. Shelves of grinning gold cats waved their hands in sync while I waited. I had come for a one-off, inexpensive massage. But I knew within 10 minutes I would want another, despite feeling embarrassed that, as a half-Asian woman, I couldn’t communicate with my Chinese-speaking masseuse Lulu beyond gestures. Within a couple months, I was calling every Saturday afternoon. “Lulu working tonight?” I’d ask. “See you at 8 p.m.”It’s not like I hadn’t tried, in the Before Times, to find someone who offered more than platonic touch; the kind of physical relationship that could provide intellectual stimulation, companionship, sex. But intimacy risked attachment, and attachment meant heartbreak. I had seen the pattern before.“This one won’t last,” I would say every time my single mom drove me home from the babysitter after yet another date. Even as a young child, I sensed she yearned for male affection. A brain aneurysm when she was 41, and the partial paralysis it left her with, prevented her from finding that romance before she would die of the same injury at 56. In the 15 years in between, I became her caregiver, and my love and resentment towards her grew so deep that I vowed to never need anyone else.Rather than spend my Saturday night at some loud bar skirting around my mom’s death with someone I swiped right on, I chose the sheltered booths of my local massage clinic. With Lulu, I never needed to explain myself—all I had to do was breathe. The synchronicity between each knead into my flesh and exhale of my breath became our own language; a form of physical exchange that never led to rejection or abandonment. It was the one place where I felt safe and supported.While the cliché grieving young woman would probably escape her grief via self-destruction, as a child caregiver, my responsible version looked more like social distancing and self-care. My friends were concerned with their latest dates while I was managing my mom’s probate; and since many of my mom’s friends distanced themselves after she became disabled, there remained few witnesses of her life I could mourn her absence with. I was lonely in my grief, as many are now after a year of loss and isolation. Without anyone I felt could understand, I found healing across the barrier of language through Lulu’s silent touch.My body was like a steel safe of memories to which Lulu held the code—I never knew what she might release in our hour together.“What does it feel like to lose sensation in the hand you used the most?” I would nag my mom as a teenager. It was her left hand that was paralyzed—the one that had supported the melody on the piano and written spontaneous observations of single motherhood on napkins. When Lulu pressed into my dominant right palm, I pictured all the nerves under my skin sparking and connecting, where my mom’s cells were a sea of darkness, lost within the swollen flesh of her curled, limp hand.Another time, Lulu’s thumb to my foot set my mind adrift to layers of white fabric—first the medical curtain separating my mom from the rest of the ICU, then the hospital blanket over her body—that gave way to her ballooned foot. Confusion led to horror as my eight-year-old eyes traced their way up her newly swollen body in a coma. Someone told me to hold her hand; maybe her daughter’s touch could bring her back to the surface.From that moment onwards, touch and trust would become intrinsically linked; shaping my willingness to unfold myself in every relationship to come. As mine with Lulu matured, so too did my trust, and her weekly touch began to break down the tissue that had become so tightly bound over the years; layers I had formed to protect myself.But like any good relationship, mine with Lulu had to end—an expired visa saw me heading home to Canada. Following my last appointment with Lulu, I tried to explain I was leaving. I wanted to tell her she made me feel safe and loved when my grief had prevented me from dating like most young adults my age. I needed her to know she gave me the mother’s touch I longed for since the age of eight, the last time my mom had given me a two-armed hug. I wanted her to understand she had massaged away the hard shell I had formed around my body from years of associating the absence of touch with neglect and abandonment.She would never know. I left her with a gift card and hefty tip on a Saturday night like any other. In the wake of the Atlanta spa shootings, I keep thinking of Lulu, and all the other Asian immigrants who paint nails, buff feet and rub backs for a living. Will they ever know how much their care means for those in need of healing?My new massage clinic in Toronto is not unlike the one in Brooklyn: It’s a no-frills walk-in and my Chinese masseuse Terry doesn’t speak much English. Here, my clothes and a sheet separate his skin from mine. Still, I’ve become a regular, because at the end of each massage Terry rubs my neck with the same Nivea lotion my mom applied before bed each night. For a few precious moments, I’m with her.I may always be searching for an unrequited mother’s touch, but to remain untouchable won’t protect me from heartbreak. Instead, it risks losing opportunities to find pieces of her essence in unexpected places—in fragments that accumulate over time to mend the parts of me that remain wounded.
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Trailblazing journalist and chief international anchor for CNN Christiane Amanpour has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Returning to broadcast after a four-week hiatus, she made the I Don’t Always Fix Cars Sometimes I Eat And Sleep And Once I Even Left The Garage T-Shirt Additionally,I will love this announcement on Monday night during her global-affairs program for CNN International.“I’ve had successful major surgery to remove it, and I’m now undergoing several months of chemotherapy for the very best possible long-term prognosis, and I’m confident,” she said from her home studio in London.“I’m telling you this in the interest of transparency but, in truth, really mostly as a shout-out to early diagnosis—to urge women to educate themselves on this disease, to get all the regular screenings and scans that you can, to always listen to your bodies, and of course, to ensure that your legitimate medical concerns are not dismissed or diminished,” she continued.According to the American Cancer Society, ovarian cancer, a type of cancer that begins in the ovaries and mainly develops in older women, ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, accounting for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. Amanpour’s call to action encouraging early detection is especially vital considering that only about 20% of ovarian cancers are found at an early stage. When ovarian cancer is found early, about 94% of patients live longer than five years after diagnosis. While there is no conclusive screening test for ovarian cancer in women without symptoms, a pelvic exam performed by a gynecologist during an annual checkup can be a helpful tool.By harnessing her platform as she’s done for decades, reporting from the front lines and drawing urgent attention to global crises, Amanpour is raising ovarian cancer awareness and promoting that early diagnosis can, quite literally, save lives. Leave it to Amanpour to not waste any time championing women’s health—and to do so with matchless grace and courage.