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The Compact: 5 Bits of Beauty We're Obsessed With This Month


By Nykia Spradley · January 18, 2017

This feature originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of ESSENCE Magazine.

The whiff wizards who brought us the beloved Flowerbomb perfume are set to mesmerize fans with a new "Magic" collection of six enchanting fragrances. Each scent offers a spellbinding sense of mystery and surprise.  Available for pre-order ( $220 each) at saksfifthavenue.com

The nineties are back! Deep burgundy and brown are once again lip colors of the moment. "For a bold look, line the entire lip with Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip, then fill in the center with Acrylip for long wear," says Lijha Stewart, director of artistry and education for Make Up For Ever.

Want a softer take? "Apply a dot of Acrylip in the center and sheer out using the applicator, taking it to the outer edge of the lips," Stewart says.

$24 available at Sephora

Leave it to a group of scientists working on regenerative medicine to stumble upon a technology with major benefits for restoring our tresses. The new brand, Virtue, uses a keratin protein that's identical to the one found in healthy hair. The complex (infused into all nine products in the line) fills in and rebuilds damaged areas on each strand.

$36 available at Virtue Labs

Considering the current racial climate of our country, author Tiffany Elle Burgess delivers a timely tale. Skin Like Mine explores the intricacies of "intraracism" in the African-American community through the fictional story of 10-year-old Brittany Baker. Geared toward middle schoolers, the book is an aid for parents and kids faced with having difficult talks about skin color and self-love.

$10 available at Amazon

Swivel Beauty's (swivelbeauty.com) salon pick of the month is Chicago Curl Collective. If you're a naturalista in the Chi, you'll want to check out this oasis. The curl and color bar specializes in healthy coils without compromising on style. See a full price list at chicagocurl.com and book an appointment at schedulicity.com (search for "Chicago Curl Collective").