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Friday, May 24th 2013

She’s The Bop: Britt Aboutaleb of Who What Wear Beauty

She knows what's inside Ashley Olsen's makeup bag. She's tried Amanda Seyfried's favorite mascara. And she's been to dinner with Gwen Stefani--in Cannes, no less. 

Boppers, meet Britt Aboutaleb, the Beauty Editor for one of my favorite websites, Who What Wear Daily. As LA's resident Young and Cool Expert, she's tested every cult product from Beverly Hills to Laurel Canyon... and she gets to have In-N-Out Burger whenever she wants, too.

Life may not be fair, but at least it's bloggable--which is why I asked Britt to endure our weekly style inquisition.  Enjoy...

FARAN KRENTCIL: You moved from New York City to Los Angeles when you joined the Who What Wear Team.  How has your style changed?
BRITT ABOUTALEB: I’d say the main difference is that I’m free to wear heels all day everyday since I’m driving instead of running around the city and up and down subway stairs (this is also why I’ve gained ten pounds). So I’m physically able to dress the way I wish I could have in New York—jeans and t-shirts with sky-high stilettos, and pencil skirts have finally made their way into my closet. (I’ve loved them from afar forever, but heels are a must.) The most dramatic difference comes on the weekend, where denim cut-offs, vintage t-shirts, and Converse constitute an outfit. When everyone else is wearing Lululemon, it’s not hard to look pulled together. I guess a better question would be how hasn’t it changed? I still only wear black, navy, white, and grey!

FK: Your parents like in Qatar, and you often get to travel through the Middle East.  What's the most fashionable place you've visited there?
BA: Beirut. The Lebanese love beautiful things and the city’s full of spectacular shops, both designer, like Celine and Vivienne Westwood, and boutique.  I’d move there in a heartbeat (not just because of the clothes). I suspect the Qatari women are quite fashionable, I just can’t see anything underneath their robes! Judging from their shoes, bags, and the brands—from Proenza Schouler to J.W. Anderson—in their stores, they know what’s up. Of course fashionable in the Middle East is quite different from New York—more is definitely better there.

FK: Do you see clothing differently now that you're a beauty editor?
BA: Totally. More because I’m not a fashion editor than because I’m a beauty editor, if that makes sense. I still look at the shows on Style.com and I'm lucky enough to see the New York collections backstage, but I’m not bombarded with images the way I was, so there isn’t that constant thirst for something new. I think I’ve also reached an age where I know exactly what I like—I’m no longer buying colorful prints because I’m supposed to like colorful prints. I like black and navy, and that’s OK. My whole life changed last year—from New York to LA, from fashion to beauty, from mid-to-late 20s—so I kind of see everything differently!

FK: What's the one beauty thing that most women ignore, but shouldn't?
BA: Their hands! They’re such an afterthought and yet so abused during the day. I used to just rub extra product on them at the end of the day, but now I actually slather face cream on them before bed and put SPF on the back of each hand everyday. In LA (ok, Beverly Hills) everyone’s face looks one age, but their hands are singing a very different tune.

FK: Matching your lipstick to your nails: Good idea or bad idea?
BA: I don’t really believe in rules. If you want to match your nails to your lipstick, go for it! Want to wear a smoky eye and a bold lip? Cara Delevingne just showed you how at Cannes. Just commit to the look, hold your head high, and maybe tone down your outfit.

--Faran

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