I am so excited to announce my new partnership with Virtue Labs, a U.S.-based haircare company. Through a series of posts here on Haute Mess, I will be sharing everything I love about Virtue so that you can learn more about their one-of-a-kind products.

And what better place to start than in the shower?

Growing up I always had thick hair, but as I began dying it and using heat tools, I noticed it definitely thinned out. I tried what feels like *everything* to get my hair back, but nothing seemed to work–until I tried Virtue’s Full shampoo and conditioner.

Full shampoo and conditioner are part of Virtue’s “care” line that also includes the Recovery and Smooth shampoo/conditioner duos.

After using the Full duo and letting my hair air dry, my hair is noticeably fuller–not weighed down or greasy like it has been with other products. It’s as if I magically grew *more hair* during a 20-minute shower. How is this possible?

Alpha Keratin 60ku™ technology makes Virtue the most unique haircare range on the market. Because this form of keratin is pure, whole, human protein, our hair recognizes it as our own, so it is able to penetrate each individual strand exactly where it is needed.

This makes Virtue much more powerful than other products that claim to nourish and replenish the hair. Because Alpha Keratin 60ku™ makes up 90 percent of human hair, skin and nails, it is pulled where it’s needed to smooth, resurface and fill in cracks of damage strand by strand.

Unlike other haircare lines, Virtue’s products don’t sit on top of the hair, weighing it down and making it feel greasy or look stringy. Instead, it quickly absorbs into your locks, leaving it weightlessly full and restored.

A good shampoo and conditioner is as essential as a trustworthy facial cleanser and moisturizer. And when it comes to haircare, you truly get what you pay for.

Drugstore products are full of sulfates, and even some high-end options contain keratin from animal byproducts; neither are ingredients you want in your hair.

The harsh sulfates in certain products dry out the hair and scalp, leaving it difficult to manage and rough to the touch.

On the other hand, products formulated with keratin from animal byproducts don’t provide long-term results. Instead, they sit on top of the hair and make it look greasy, stringy and weighed down.

Virtue’s unrivaled, effective formula was born when the company’s founder and CEO Melisse Shaban met Lt. Col. Dr. Luke Burnett, who practices advanced regenerative medicine.

Lt. Col. Dr. Burnett and his team developed a way to harvest keratin in its purest, most powerful form: directly from human hair. This was groundbreaking, because for the first time the keratin protein was kept whole, and test results showed its profound ability to heal. This was Alpha Keratin 60ku™.

From start to finish, Virtue’s haircare products are uniquely their own.

The company begins by sourcing the keratin protein from human hair, not animal byproducts. This process allows the protein to remain whole and pure, so our hair can recognize it as our own, allowing it to bind seamlessly to each strand.

Virtue then adds healthy ingredients to the mix; all its products are free of sulfates, parabens, colors and dyes.

Because no one can develop the formulas exactly how Virtue intends, the team does everything on their own, from start to finish. There are no unnecessary middlemen, which means no price markups.

This technology is working dramatically to restore my hair to its original state before dyes and heat tools wreaked their havoc over the years. I can’t wait to see (and feel!) even *more* results as I continue my haircare journey #withVIRTUE! Stay tuned 😉

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Rihanna absolutely killed it with her new beauty line, so of course I had to add a few of her products to my (growing) collection.

I chose Match Stix Matte in Mocha, Match Stix Shimmer in Chili Mango and Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife. Both Rihanna herself and YouTuber Desi Perkins inspired me to go for Trophy wife–did you see how gorgeous they looked in this statement-making powder highlight?

The 29-year-old icon is known for her one-of-a-kind sense of style, makeup looks included, so it was only a matter of time before she debuted her own line of unique beauty products. And I really couldn’t be happier Fenty Beauty launched during NYFW.

While in Manhattan for Fashion Week, I made a pitstop at the Time’s Square Sephora–where RiRi held her Fenty Beauty launch party the night before–to test the range for myself. Although I didn’t pick anything up while I was there, I fell in love with pretty much everything and decided to place an online order once I narrowed my must-haves down from from a ton to a small handful.

For the most part, I am super happy with how these products preform. All of them are extremely user friendly (in fact, they remind me a little a lot of Glossier).

Both the matte and shimmer Match Stix glide on effortlessly; they are soooOoOoOo creamy and easy to blend. They quickly became go-to’s for both casual and glam looks (and everything in between).

I love how surprisingly versatile Chili Mango is! While it is a shimmery, spicy orange (hence its name), it looks gorgeous on the cheeks as blush, on the cheekbones as highlight and on the eyes as an all-over-the-lid eyeshadow.

Mocha, on the other hand, makes contouring a breeze. I’ve always had such a hard time with powder contour formulas; they end up appearing blotchy and cake-y on me, which is one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to makeup. But, this cream-stick formula makes the entire process a dream!

It glides onto the skin in all the key spots (like the hollows of the cheeks and the temples), then blends effortlessly with just a few quick taps of the ring finger. And, most importantly, it looks like real skin. Mocha gives me natural definition and a my-skin-but-better contour.

Trophy Wife is just as gorgeous IRL as it is in photos, but I will say that it is extremely pigmented, so I prefer to go in with a super light hand. This took me a little getting used to, because normally I cannot get enough highlighter.

That being said, I cannot deny how gorgeous Trophy Wife is. Every time I open the compact, I’m amazed at how golden and shimmery this product is. And, that same effect most definitely translates when Trophy Wife is applied to the skin.

None of the Fenty products gave my sensitive skin any trouble, either.

I’ve had so much fun playing with this easy-to-use makeup–and watching my favorite YouTubers play with Fenty, too. In fact, I’ve been feeling so inspired that I decided to do a little review and GRWM of my own. So, keep scrolling for my easy, glow-y, warm Fenty Beauty makeup tutorial! (I know you want to.)

Trophy Wife is unreal; it’s *almost* too pretty to use!

RiRi–in Trophy Wife–applies a different Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter to a guest at the launch of Fenty Beauty in NYC [source: Fortune]

YouTuber Desi Perkins looks like a real-life goddess in Trophy Wife [source: YouTube]

Products I used:

Step 1: Prep the skin by applying Mattifying Gel Moisturizer evenly to the t-zone, working towards the outer perimeter of the face. Apply Balm Dotcom to the lips.

Step 2: Using the same technique used to apply Mattifying Gel Moisturizer, apply a light layer of BB Cream. If necessary, apply an additional layer where more coverage is needed.

Step 3: Conceal the under eyes, blemishes and redness with Stretch. Blend with the fingers.

Step 4: Carve out the cheekbones with Mocha by applying it directly to the skin. Begin application from the upper corner of the ear, working downwards diagonally. Tap with the fingers to blend.

Step 5: Continue to apply Mocha to the temples and under the center of the lip for a subtle plumping effect. Again, tap with fingers to blend.

Step 6: Using a gentle tapping motion, apply Chili Mango to the apples of the cheeks to brighten up the look.

Step 7: In a “C” shape along the orbital eye bone to the cheekbone, apply Trophy Wife with a setting brush. Tap along the edges with the fingers to blend. Add a little more Trophy Wife to the cupid’s bow.

Step 8: Add setting spray to the newly highlighted areas and allow to dry.

Step 9: Beginning in the center of each brow and working towards the inner and outer corners, apply Boy Brow in an upward motion. Add a second coat if needed.

Step 10: Apply Chili Mango directly to each eyelid. Focus on getting a substantial amount of pigment down, then clean it up by tapping to blend between each layer.

Step 11: With a pencil brush (and a light hand), apply Trophy wife to the inner corner of each eye, as well as along the brow bone. Blend with the fingers if necessary.

Step 12: Using Highliner Gel Eye Crayon, create a subtle, smudgy wing on both eyes. To create a little more definition and a smokier effect, you can also smudge some Highliner on the outer corner of the lower lash line.

Step 13: Add a more setting spray to the entire face and allow to dry.

Step 14: After combing and curling the eyelashes apply two coats of mascara to both the upper and lower lashes.

Step 15: Apply two layers of Persistence to the lips.

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How killer are these vegan leather pants from I.AM.GIA? I’ve had my eye on them for so long, and I am super excited to finally be able to style them for myself (instead of just staring at them via the label’s website).

My wardrobe is definitely in need of some alternatives to vintage jeans. Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, loooove denim (especially worn in, torn up denim), but I am really in need of more variety–at least that is how I justified this purchase 😉

Anyway…

I am loving red this season, and the football-inspired lace-up detail on this pair of vegan leather pants gives me aaaall the fall vibes.

These pants themselves are extremely flattering. They have a leg-lengthening high-rise fit, and they are tight throughout the waist, hip and leg. They also have a skinny, slightly tapered fit on the ankle, making them perfect to pair with nearly any shoe.

Silver hardware adds even more edgy vibes to the already statement-making slacks. On each hip and ankle there is a silver zipper; the lace-up closure on the crotch has silver grommet details, as well.

To dress down these statements slacks, I paired them with this t-shirt-corset hybrid in white, one of my all-time favorite colors to wear no matter the season. Despite being bold and edgy, these pants are surprisingly easy to style. They look awesome with just about any t-shirt or tank I throw on.

For even more fall vibes I added this vintage hat; I’ve had it for as long as I can remember. And lately this style hat has become so popular among bloggers that I felt inspired to break mine out.

I definitely wanted the pants to be the focus of this ensemble; that’s why I polished off the look with a pair of go-to Chelsea boots in black. They have a chunky block heel, so they added height and made the entire outfit appear a little more sleek without overpowering it in any way.

Less is definitely more when styling these bad boys (and in life in general), so I will be pairing these pants with plain, neutral-hued shirts and knit sweaters throughout fall and into winter. But, I am dying to dress them up a little for a night out. Drinks, anyone?

Shop my look:

Top, Free People, $58

Pants, I.AM.GIA, $78

Boots, Free People, no longer available (similar here)

Hat, thrifted (similar here)

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Note: All images featured in this post are property of Playboy Enterprises and their respective photographers. This post serves only to recognize the legacy of Hugh Hefner, editor-in-chief of Playboy magazine and chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises.

This post is not meant to pirate or plagiarize the work of the Playboy team, including, but not limited to, publishers, editors, creative directors, photographers, stylists and models.

The following editorials are not shown in full, and the images featured are in no particular order. They were chosen solely based on my personal preferences and they reflect the work of the Playboy team that inspired me during my time as a media professional.

I have no affiliation with the Playboy Enterprise, and I have no affiliation with any models or photographers mentioned in this post. 

Kelly Gale, Miss September 2016, photographed by Chris Heads

kelly Gale, Miss September 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

kelly Gale, Miss September 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

kelly Gale, Miss September 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

Kelly Gale, Miss September 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

kelly Gale, Miss September 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

kelly Gale, Miss September 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

“Midday Swim With Beate Muska” (playboy.com), photographed by Asher Moss

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

From “Midday Swim With Beate Muska” for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

“The Beate Goes On” (playboy.com), photographed by Christopher von Steinbach

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Beate Muska for playboy.com [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Camille Rowe, Miss April 2016, photographed by Guy Aroch

Camille Rowe, Miss April 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

Camille Rowe, Miss April 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

Camille Rowe, Miss April 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

Camille Rowe, Miss April 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

Camille Rowe, Miss April 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

Camille Rowe, Miss April 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

Camille Rowe, Miss April 2016 [source: Payboy Enterprises]

Eugena Washington (Playmate of the Year 2016) in Playboy magazine, June 2016, photographed by Jason Lee Parry

Eugena Washington (Playmate of the Year 2016), June 2016 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Eugena Washington (Playmate of the Year 2016), June 2016 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Eugena Washington (Playmate of the Year 2016), June 2016 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Eugena Washington, Miss December 2015, photographed by Josh Ryan

Eugena Washington, Miss December 2015 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Eugena Washington, Miss December 2015 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Eugena Washington, Miss December 2015 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Eugena Washington as Cassandra from video game Mafia III, Playboy magazine, October 2016, photographer unknown

Eugena Washington, October 2016 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Eugena Washington, October 2016 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Eugena Washington, October 2016 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Kate Moss, January/February 2014, photographed by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott

Kate Moss, Jan/Feb 2014 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Kate Moss, Jan/Feb 2014 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Kate Moss, Jan/Feb 2014 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Kate Moss, Jan/Feb 2014 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Kate Moss, Jan/Feb 2014 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

Kate Moss, Jan/Feb 2014 [source: Playboy Enterprises]

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Last week I mentioned a couple Milk Makeup products in a post detailing my go-to lip color for the upcoming season. While the lippie itself isn’t by Milk, two of the other products I am wearing along with it are: both Eye Vinyl and Holographic Highlighting Powder.

(Note: For today’s look, I paired my Milk Makeup with Glossier‘s Lip Gloss layered over Tony Moly LIPTONE Get It Tint Water Bar in Orange In Red–not the lipstick mentioned in my previous post.)

These unconventional cosmetics put a modern, editorial-style spin on popular makeup–and they’re definitely out of my comfort zone. I tend to go for a sultry golden or bronze highlight and a soft, neutral eye, so while these products are slightly out of my comfort zone, they take the overall glow-y, dewy look I love to the next level.

Eye Vinyl is like lip gloss, but it’s for your eyes; essentially, it’s eye gloss! It can be worn on its own, as an alternative to eyeshadow, or on top of eyeshadow, as a glossy accent to the pigment.

Holographic Highlighting Powder definitely isn’t your average highlighter. Sure, you apply it the same way you would any other highlighting powder, but its color payoff is completely different from any other highlight I’ve tried (and I’ve tried quite a few).

I chose Holographic Highlighting Powder in the shade Mars–Milk’s cult-favorite color. While the Holographic Stick in Mars is a uberpopular among beauty gurus, I wasn’t sold on it until the powder formula made its debut.

Mars is a warm tone that is so different from any bronze or golden shade on the market. As the name suggests, it has an out-of-this-world holographic sheen; Mars in particular, Milk states, is a golden peach hue. And in my opinion, it also has a red-ish, almost pink-ish, copper tinge on the skin. It’s truly such a unique color.

Like all my other highlighting powders (like those from Anastasia Beverly Hills), I apply Mars to the skin with a setting brush, then finish with my go-to setting spray from Boscia for a more natural finish and an almost melted look.

I went in with a heavy hand applying Mars because I was aiming for an intense glow. After all, if you’re wearing such a unique color, you should really make it pop.

As for Eye Vinyl, I went for Bridge, a nude shade. It is a fun, easy and quick way to play up your eyes. You don’t have to put that much thought into it, and you definitely don’t need the same level of patience required for applying traditional eyeshadow. Still, it draws attention upwards the same way eyeshadow would.

While I fell head over heels for Mars, I’m not 100 percent sure how I feel about Eye Vinyl. I’m definitely happy I went for one of the lighter shades, because this product is tricky to apply and came out a little a lot messy. My mistakes would’ve been way more noticeable had I picked a darker hue (even though that black shade looks super cool on the model).

I’m also not a fan of how the applicator tugs on the eyelid. I thought this would be an easy product to swipe on and head out the door, and while it is way easier than eyeshadow, it does require more patience than I anticipated.

To combat the eyelid pulling, I used the applicator to dab the product onto the inner corner of my lids, then blended outwards with my finger. Eye Vinyl is definitely going to take me a few tries before I fully get the hang of it.

That being said, I love how the glossy lid look, and I can for sure see myself wearing it for a night out as party season approaches–especially with that Mars accent on the inner corner of the eye, as well as brow bone.

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