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PHOTOGRAPHY AND ME

Most of all, I am a photo maniac. I love pictures. I must have over a million photographs.”

One of my great hobbies is collecting photographs. Way before the internet, I endlessly added to my archive and consider fashion and beauty photography among my greatest inspirations. The first great beauty and fashion photographers for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar have supplied me with endless creative motivation.

My Personal Aesthetic:

Melvin Sokolsky’s otherworldly photographs of fashionable women floating in bubbles (most notably his “Bubble on Seine” for Harper’s Bazaar, 1963) have been nothing short of a revelation for me and my personal aesthetic. I’ve had many portraits taken over the years, and the ones I have creative control over have, lately, involved me surrounded by products of my design (for Nabila K) displayed stylishly in floating bubbles.

I also love anything whimsical that has to do with insects, especially butterflies. Melvin Sokolsky’s amazing photographs of women’s faces obscured by projected images of 

winged insects are right up my alley, and you can see the resemblance in my butterfly-filled portraits. Irving Penn’s inspired 1995 photograph, “Bee-Stung”

 is also a great source of inspiration for my personal and professional beauty and lifestyle designs (as it so cleverly depicts a woman’s rouged lips complete with a lighted bumble bee).

Lifestyle (Nabila K, Spartan and the Green Egg)

Horst P. Horst’s incredible 1976 photograph, “Face Paint,” depicting a model with her eyes done up to resemble hot air balloons, embodies a flower child aesthetic that is, at once, enchanting, playful, and fashionable. My stationery designs for Nabila K depict hot air balloons attached to boats in faraway fantasy landscapes, bubbles beneath the ocean filled with colorful fish and messages in a bottle, majestic city skylines, colorful insects, and even more hot air balloons. Let’s just say they’re a favorite motif of mine! My beauty and lifestyle collection (that has also inspired my line of children’s books and accompanying educational materials, Spartan and the Green Egg), Nabila K offers luxurious silk, cashmere and modal scarves decorated with unique, one-of-a-kind artwork. This artwork (which can also be seen on my collection of postcards) includes flowers and, of course, whimsical insects (mainly ladybugs, dragonflies, and butterflies), hot air balloons, and fanciful floating bubbles.

Nabila K Cosmetics

Irving Penn was arguably one of the greatest beauty photographers of the 20th century. For my line of clean cosmetics, I’ve always loved a good swatch or smudge photo that really captures the intense pigment of a product, especially lipstick or gloss. That’s why, to convey the high-end quality of Nabila K’s all-natural, paraben-free lipsticks, Penn’s “Mouth” comes to mind.

For my skincare and bath products (one of my first loves), Horst P. Horst’s simple black and white photo of a glass bottle and Lisa Fonssagrives’ hands surrounded by tiny white flowers (taken in 1941) really sums up my vision. Understated elegance and classic, organic ingredients have always motivated me. Nabila K’s vision for skincare, beauty, and bath products is that luxury has nothing to do with a price tag; it’s a lifestyle. Playing with glass bottles as a child is what motivated me to create my first Nabila K product, bubble bath. Of course, the lifestyle products also encompass this aesthetic (as you can see with my candles and oil fragrance diffusers).

To learn more about some of my favorite photographs mentioned, click the link below:

https://archive.beautyandwellbeing.com/beauty/irving-penns-iconic-smudge-of-cosmetics-advertising/

For more information on the Nabila K lifestyle and beauty brand (including products mentioned, pricing, design, and other details), follow the links listed and visit the website:

https://www.nabilak.com/product-category/stationery/postcards

https://www.nabilak.com/product-category/accessories/scarves

https://www.nabilak.com/product-category/skin-care/

https://www.nabilak.com/product-category/bath-body/bubble-bath/

https://www.nabilak.com/product-category/home-ambiance/candles/

https://www.nabilak.com/product-category/home-ambiance/diffusers/

https://www.nabilak.com/product-category/makeup/lips/lipsticks/

To learn more about Spartan and the Green Egg, visit the website here.

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BLUSHING BEAUTY: New makeup from NABILA K

“On the secretly blushing cheek is reflected the glow of the heart.” –Kierkegaard

Glamour from the ’70s and ’80s is making a comeback in a big way (social media is absolutely filled with pages dedicated to beauty, glamour, and fashion of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s). People are nostalgic for the pre-internet days of Studio 54 nightlife, glitzy outfits, disco, and statement makeup. Think back to the uber fun, candy-colored photographs that made up all the glossy fashion magazines in the ’70s: from bright pink cheeks on all Guy Bourdin’s models to Lisa Taylor captured by Chris von Wangenheim, “maquillage de poupée” (doll makeup) is having a resurgence.

Rosy cheeks, however, never went out of style. Women have always when out of proper blush, pinched their cheeks, scrimped and saved for a pot of rouge, or even—quite a long time ago—used crushed berries to achieve a flirty, seductive look. Well, look no further for the perfect, clean blusher you can feel good about using. Nabila K has got you covered (literally) for all your high-fashion makeup needs and desires.

At First Blush

With shades ranging from dusty rose and golden sand to hot pink, Nabila K’s new line of blush covers every hue imaginable for every skin tone and mood. Deliciously light and shimmery or matte, Nabila K’s blush goes on effortlessly and, when applied to the apples of the cheeks or cheekbones, will turn any makeup look up a notch.

  • For a party where you want to look extra done and glitzy, try Nabila K’s “Pumped Up” to accentuate your cheekbones, channel Melanie Griffith in “Body Double,” or even a Peter Sato painting. When you have nostalgia for the mall and maybe even some ’80s pop music, this product will bring back memories. You’ll instantly feel like Debbie Harry. For a harlequin or doll look, apply a circle of blush to the center of your cheeks.
  • All you need to complete your look for date night is Nabila K’s “Bottoms Up” blush (that and a cocktail!).
  • “Hot and Spicy” is the perfect sandy, nearly terracotta bronze for a touch of highlight, shine, and a healthy, sun-kissed glow. An essential product for any seductress.
  • “Ruffles” is the go-to cosmetic for all our girly girls out there! For that à la mode look where you use a bit of blush on your nose (as if Jack Frost has been nipping at it), this is perfect. It’s subtle enough to use liberally and has just enough pop to really stand out.
  • “Ladybug” is the cute, lightweight blush every woman needs to feel her best and most feminine.
  • “Playful” is the ideal cosmetic for those fun-loving, flirtatious girlies out there looking to have a good time, and if you blush, it’s no big deal—no one will notice.
  • To achieve an effortlessly sexy look, try Nabila K’s triple-milled fine powder blush in “Sultry.” With pigments that last all evening, your sensuality will, too.
  • “Excessive” can be used as a bronzer and blush that will brighten your features and add a special glow to your overall appearance. Perfect for women with olive, tawny complexions!
  • “Echo” is the blush you’ll want for every day, at the office, or simply running around town. With a matte finish, you’ll feel glamorous all day long.
  • Feeling lucky? “Lucky 13,” with its frosted shine, is the deepest hue of all blushes and will make you feel as if kissed by a rose.

(Nabila K Blushes pictured above include: “Excessive,” “Pumped Up,” “Ruffles,” and “Lucky 13.”)

For more information on all the products mentioned in this blog, check out Nabila K’s website and the links listed below:

https://nabilak.com/product/ladybug/

https://nabilak.com/product/playful/

https://nabilak.com/product/pumped-up/

https://nabilak.com/product/sultry/

https://nabilak.com/product/excessive/

https://nabilak.com/product/bottoms-up/

https://nabilak.com/product/hot-and-spicy/

https://nabilak.com/product/lucky-13/

https://nabilak.com/product/echo/

https://nabilak.com/product/ruffles/

 

For more beauty tips and inspiration, read the blog.

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GIFTS FROM THE SEA

“To me the sea is a continual miracle.” –Walt Whitman

(Photography by Bert Stern)

There’s nothing more beautiful, mysterious, or healing than the sea: we rely on it for food, salt, its ever-expanding discoveries. We immediately conjure romantic images of long walks on the beach, of Poseidon wielding his mighty triton, and of Homer describing the sea as “wine-dark” in “The Odyssey.” The sea is filled with secrets and is one of Mother Nature’s finest, most vast creations. Why else would Nabila K Cosmetics have fragrances (candles and diffusers) and apparel devoted to the ocean and its breathtaking storms? 

Ocean Tempest (candles and diffusers) combines sweet floral, musky scents (with rose, honeysuckle, and amber) and, most of all, hints of divine driftwood and irresistible salty marine air. You’ll be transported to a sandy shore, aboard a yacht with the ocean breeze blowing through your hair, basking in the sun, and bathing in the sea. 

(Grace Kelly in Jamaica by Howell Conant, 1955) 

“I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me. I have seen them riding seaward on the waves combing the white hair of the waves blown back when the wind blows the water white and black. We have lingered in the chambers of the sea by sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown till human voices wake us, and we drown.” -T.S. Eliot

One of the best things one can do for themselves (and it’s a brand new year) is a little self-care, detox from all the Holiday festivities and last year’s troubles. Give yourself a “seatox”! Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through it. The ocean has so much to offer for the sake of beauty and health. Go ahead, run a bath (filled with salts: the more, the better), light an Ocean Tempest candle, and add these elements into the mix as well:

  • Salt: Sit and soak in a salt-filled tub until your fingertips prune and feel yourself heal. Your muscles will relax and any small cuts or abrasions will vanish. There’s no better medicine than salt from the Dead Sea.  Don’t forget to lather up with Nabila K Cosmetics’ “White Horses” glycerin soap. There’s nothing quite as free or poetic as wild, untamed horses running along the beach.
  • Seaweed (or kelp) has become a culinary treat for its health benefits. Did you know that it offers a significant amount of iodine and is important for a well-balanced diet? What are you waiting for…? Have a seaweed salad!
  • Algae is fantastic for skin care. Used as a facial mask, it tones, evens, and hydrates your most sensitive skin. Did you know that it’s even been proven to minimize the appearance of cellulite? 
  • Green caviar or “sea grapes” are really not caviar at all but seaweed! These pearls are wonderful for the skin because they hydrate like none other. 
  • Mud: a mud bath at the Dead Sea is one of the best things you can do for your skin. Because it is filled with minerals (the richest on Earth), it is healing, soothing, and revitalizing. You can find masks and complete body scrubs made from Dead Sea mud online and take a trip without ever leaving the comfort of your home! 

For more information on all-natural ocean-inspired products from Nabila K Cosmetics (including the Ocean Tempest candles, diffusers, a luxurious cashmere, and modal-blend scarf, Dead Sea bath salts, and the White Horses glycerin soap), visit Nabilak.com.

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Ingredients To Avoid In Skincare

12 Cosmetic Ingredients You Should Avoid  

If you’re like most cosmetics and skincare consumers, you appreciate products crafted using naturally derived ingredients. In addition, you search for products created by companies with no animal testing policies and an overall eco-friendly narrative. However, it is sometimes tough to wade through the hype concerning what’s healthy and what isn’t. So we’ve compiled a reference list that we’re calling The Dirty Dozen. This list includes the 12 ingredients used in cosmetics most likely to produce toxic reactions. At Nabila K, we only use products that don’t contain any of these ingredients.

Top Toxic Ingredients in Skincare Products

1. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)

Primarily used as preservatives in cosmetics such as lipsticks and moisturizing creams and lotions as well as certain types of food, BHA and BHT are both known to cause contact dermatitis. BHA has been listed as a possible carcinogen, and studies performed on lab mice and rats show that high doses cause damage to the liver, kidneys, and thyroid. 

2. Coal Tar Dyes (p-phenylenediamine and colors listed as “CI” followed by a five-digit number)

Coal tar dyes provide artificial coloring for a variety of cosmetic products. Lab tests performed by the U.S. National Cancer Institute indicate that coal tar dyes may cause tumors. They also may be contaminated with heavy metals and aluminum compounds.

Top Toxic Ingredients in Bath and Body Products

3. DEA-Related Ingredients

DEA is used in cosmetics such as soaps, lotions, shampoos, and conditions to create structure and texture, such as making products sudsy or creamy. Along with causing skin and eye irritation, DEA and its compounds have been shown to cause precancerous conditions in the skin as well as cause liver cancer.

4. Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)

Primarily used in nail color products as a solvent in dyes, DBP is also used in many fragrance products. However, consumers won’t see it listed as an ingredient on the labels of these products because fragrance ingredients are considered trade secrets, and as such, they don’t require disclosure. DBP is absorbed through the skin and has been shown to interfere with hormone function and lead to developmental defects. The European Union classifies DBPs as toxic to aquatic organisms.

5. Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives

Utilized in a wide range of cosmetic products, formaldehyde-releasing agents cause off-gassing that is then inhaled, to the possible detriment of the health of those in the vicinity. Formaldehyde is classified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Top Toxic Ingredients in Cosmetics

6. Parabens

As the most widely used preservative in cosmetics, it’s been estimated that as much as 90% of grooming products contain parabens. Although most products only contain very low levels, parabens are also used in fragrances, and like DBPs, they aren’t listed on labels because fragrance ingredients are considered trade secrets. It is very easy for parabens to penetrate the skin, and evidence indicates that they may interfere with hormonal functioning.

7. Parfum (aka fragrance)

Fragrance or perfume is used in nearly all cosmetics and involves thousands of different chemicals. Many of the commonly found ingredients are known to cause allergic reactions such as contact dermatitis, sneezing, itchy eyes, and an itchy and/or runny nose. In some people, various fragrance ingredients can trigger migraines. In some cases, even products that are supposed to be fragrance-free may contain some scent-masking ingredients.

8. PEG Compounds

Commonly used in cosmetics as texturizers, solvents, thickeners, and softeners, PEG compounds have been found to cause irritation, especially when applied directly to broken or damaged skin. These compounds also increase the general permeability of the skin’s upper layers, making it easier for tissues to absorb harmful ingredients.

Top Toxic Ingredients in Hair Care

9. Petrolatum

Otherwise known as petroleum jelly, petrolatum is typically added to products such as moisturizers and hair conditioners. Petroleum can become contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which have been known to cause cancer. Petroleum is classifieds as a carcinogen by the European Union.

10. Siloxanes

Silicone-based compounds have a range of cosmetic uses. For instance, they’re used in hair care products to smooth and soften, in moisturizers to help the skin tissues retain water, and in deodorants to help the product glide onto the skin easily. However, Canadian research reveals that these compounds may be toxic to aquatic life and that they have the potential to interfere with the functioning of human hormones.

Toxic Ingredients in Bathing Products

11. Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Used to create foaming and bubbling in soaps, body washes, shampoos, and facial cleansers, these compounds contain known the human carcinogen ethylene oxide. Ethylene oxide has the potential to harm the nervous system and irritate the eyes and skin.

12. Triclosan

Used primarily in hand sanitizers, deodorants, and skin cleansers as an antibacterial agent and preservative, triclosan has been associated with hormonal dysfunction in humans and has been found to be very toxic to marine life. There is also evidence that the extensive use of triclosan in cosmetics contributes to the increase in antibiotic-resistant organisms.

So, what can you do if you want a non-toxic product? Simply do some research, read the labels, and then curate companies whose products you trust. We have always made it our goal to only produce products we’d be happy recommending to our own family and friends. You deserve the same treatment, and it is time we all demanded it from our manufacturers.

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