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blogger: vahni levitt on north american beauty and crazy beauty moments

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    A web content developer and writer with a decade of experience in the financial services sector, Vahni Levitt loves her day job. Still, drafting copy about mortgages doesn’t quite satisfy her creative spirit, so in 2006, she started her side project, Grit & Glamour. These days, she riffs on her high-low fashion philosophy, beauty addictions (“I am a total junkie”) and health tips, but also offers a generous trove of blogging how-tos for those aspiring to follow in her footsteps.

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    Were you always a beauty buff?
    “I begged my mom to let me wear makeup! She finally relented when I turned 13. Of course, my first foray into skincare was Clinique’s three-step program.”

    Who was your first beauty mentor?
    “I learned everything I know from fashion magazines, the major lesson being to always wash my face at night and remove my makeup. And sunscreen every day.”

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    How do women approach beauty in the U.S.?
    “The one difference I see is that we fight aging tooth and nail— no pun intended—whereas European women seem more accepting of their wrinkles. There is a lot of plastic surgery gone wrong here and it’s sad. I wish American women could accept their age and be the best they can be for that age, and not try to dress or look 25 or 30 when they are 65.”

    What is your own beauty philosophy?
    “I do believe in doing what makes you feel better about yourself, but I like a more natural look. Most days, I do some powder, blush, mascara, lipstick (plus concealer, if needed), and I’m done with my face in about seven minutes. All that said, I do have to have my nails done or I don’t feel complete.”

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    North American beauty secret:
    “We don’t smoke as much as some Europeans, and we are conscious of staying out of the sun and wearing sunscreen.”

    Any crazy beauty moments?
    “In my teens, I shaved my neckline and had crazy dye jobs. But lately it was getting laser hair removal on my bikini line and underarms. It was such a jarring, surreal and funny experience, I wrote a whole post about it.”

    Current beauty inspirations:
    “Stylist Carine Roitfeld, because she looks real, relevant and so classy at almost 60. Lauren Hutton is just gorgeous, and I admire her for not getting a million facelifts and fillers.”

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    Must have: L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Curved Brush Mascara. “Can’t. Live. Without. It.”

    Carry on: Lipstick, powder and Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion SPF 15 (“for the backs of my hands”).

    For dress-up: “A cat-eye or really black, smoky eye, balanced with a sweet pastel lip in pale pink or light melon.”

    Daily prep: Powder foundation, applied dry with a brush. “It’s just enough coverage, and isn’t thick and cakey-looking.”

    Look awake: Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat.

    Signature M.O.: Nicole by O.P.I Nail Polish in That’s Totally Red-ical and Show You Care.

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    1. Nicole by O.P.I Nail Polish in Show You Care, $9

    2. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion SPF 15, $17

    3. Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Native, $26

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