Seductive Beauty in the MeToo Era
By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
Fashion trends may come and go, but seductive elegance has always been a mainstay of catwalk chic.
Even in this hazy #MeToo era, where overt provocation has given way to more elusive feminine sophistication, alluring sybaritic beauty is still a key element of fashion-forward style.
Fashion, makeup and perfumes are intentionally designed to make their wearers more attractive, and finding a comfortable balance between tasteful restraint and engaging glamor is far more complicated today than it used to be.
The fact is that it has become practically taboo to use the dreaded “S” word (“sex”) when talking about fashion, and while this season’s garments are definitely more about fabric and less about flesh, the trend toward more sensitive, more female-centric designs still suggests a desire to impart at least some sensuous appeal.
So — political correctness be damned — here is a selection of new products that brazenly flaunt the appeal of human sensuality and romantic magnetism, without crossing the line into the raunchy world of female exploitation.
Versace by Night
Back in 2004, the luxury Italian fashion house Versace introduced the world to a brand new, super-seductive fragrance that enveloped around a carnal core of heady gardenia and musky amber.
Versace Crystal Noir perfume – part of the multifaceted Versace Crystal Collection – was a nocturnal oriental scent with sweet and fruity top notes embraced by exotic white florals and a warm, creamy base that became a signature attar for women who reveled in their own sensuality.
Now, Versace has reintroduced Crystal Noir in a more subtle and delicate eau de toilette.
Far more suitable for casual attire than the original perfume (but still-red carpet worthy), Versace Crystal Noir EDT is a captivating and contemporary incense of ginger, cardamom, peony, pepper and gardenia that explodes into the essential soul of the earlier version of this fragrance, mellowed by an underlying coconut and sandalwood accord.
Deep, erotic and vibrant, this sexy new incarnation of the first Crystal Noir is an opulent scent that can be worn both day and night.
Nothing draws attention to your eyes – nor makes them look bigger and more seductive – than thick, lush, voluminous lashes.
Long lashes are a universal symbol of beauty.
They frame the windows of a woman’s soul and create a dramatic effect that can bewitch nearly anyone.
Long lashes make your eyes look wider and more open, which has always been a sign of femininity.
And while mascara is a great quick fix for plumping and bringing out color, the best way to heighten your eyelashes’ natural flutter power is to give your follicles a boost with a growth serum.
Quality serums, which include prostaglandins (fatty acid compounds that cause various hormonal effects, including hair growth) can produce genuine growth and even make your lashes longer.
But while some serums come with empty promises and hefty price tags — as well as the potential for eye irritations and infections — physician-formulated fLash uses breakthrough technology to deliver extraordinarily long and voluptuous lashes at an affordable cost.
Especially developed for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, fLash is as easy to apply as liquid eyeliner and dries in just minutes.
Used once a day for eight weeks, fLash will transform humdrum, stubby, where-are-they-at? lashes into Adriana Grande-lush flutterers that are so thick, long, dark and curly that you may never go back to using fake lashes again.
Show Some (Protected) Skin
The weather is warm and peek-a-boo fashion is always in style.
We’re not talking Janet Jackson Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction” here, just a little extra exposure that is mildly provocative: a side slit in a below-the-knee pencil skirt that shows a hint of thigh; an edgy cold-shoulder blouse with strategic cutouts that reveal just the right amount of skin peeking out from a long-sleeved knit with a scalloped trip around the neck; a dare-to-wear backless sundress that accents your figure without being too sheer in front.
Just remember, when it comes to wearing revealing fashion, the secret is balance.
It is okay to flaunt a little, don’t go overboard; always leave something to the imagination.
If you feel that that mini dress that you have been dying to wear is just a little too racy, try topping it off with a loose-fitting bomber jacket or above-the-knee gladiator sandal-boots.
And whatever skin-exposure you opt for, do make sure to protect it with regular applications of sunscreen.
We all know by now how dangerous UV waves can be, provoking premature aging (yuck) and potentially causing skin cancer (OMG!).
But while more than 90 percent of Mexicans are well aware of the importance of wearing sunscreen on a daily basis, less than 10 percent do so.
Since it is the skin-baring season, Banana Boat has just relaunched its FPS 50+ Dry Balance Sport broad spectrum sunscreen.
This quick-drying, non-greasy water- and perspiration-resistant sunscreen comes in both a cream and spray, and is specially designed for athletes to keep them fresh and dry no matter how hard they play.
And this year, Banana Boat has also launched a new water-resistant FPS 50+ Kids Sport with a no-tears formula that will not irritate delicate skin or eyes.
Banana Boat also has a new FPS 50+ Dry Balance sunscreen with an invisible matte finish that lets skin breathe with no residual shine.
So if you feel like flaunting your body with a little skin exposure, flaunt away, but be sure to protect that skin with generous amounts of broad spectrum sunscreen and frequent reapplications.
If, on the other hand, bodily exposure is not your thing, then, there are plenty of ways to look fashionable this season without revealing too much flesh.
The Portuguese design house Parfois has just released its new easy-breezy spring/summer collection, and virtually every item is either one-size-fits-all or comes in only two sizes, S-M and M-L.
The collection, titled “All I Am,” is a carefree and comfortable assortment of loose-fitting smocks, wrap dresses and kimonos that are big on print and color, but with minimalist silhouettes.
These are live-in clothes and accessories that are not restricted by conventional rules of pattern or color coordination.
A floppy, oversized peignoir with a bright animal print pairs perfectly over an unstructured morning dress with bold vertical stripes; an Oriental silk kimono with orange and pink flowers looks spontaneous when worn with wide-legged olive-hued trousers.
These morning-to-night garments are womanly, but not provocative, and impart a timeless appeal of subdued Mediterranean elegance.
Finally, remember that there are plenty of ways to make a statement with your wardrobe without drawing unwanted attention to your body.
One example is to sock-it-to-them with your choice of hosiery.
The U.S.-based Jimmy Lion sock company has just introduced a special collection inspired in Mexican art and culture.
From Day of the Dead skulls and caricatures of Frida Kahlo to dayglo alebrijes and little pink flamingos, there a total of 15 Viva México unisex designs to choose from, all handmade in Portugal from quality combed cotton.
Jimmy Lion socks are now available in Mexico on line, and are due to be sold in major department stores nationwide starting next month.