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Jennifer Meyer Always Knew What She Wanted to Do

Jennifer Meyer has built a successful jewelry empire, but long before her pieces found their way to  Jennifer Aniston in 2006’s The Break-Up and Meghan Markle during the first official photo with baby Archie, Meyer got her professional start working right here at Glamour under former editor-in-chief Bonnie Fuller as the magazine’s beauty and fitness editor during the early 2000s. 

Still, Meyer says she always loved the idea of designing jewelry and knew by her late twenties that she needed to give her dream a shot. But it was a conversation with then-boyfriend, actor Tobey Maguire, that sealed the deal. After he asked her “What do you really want to do?” Meyer vocalized her dream of designing jewelry. 

His response? A little inspiration from Star Wars’ Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no try. Just go and do it.” 

“And somehow, I figured it out,” Meyer says. Keep reading for the latest edition of our Doing the Work series with Jennifer Meyer, who shares how she handles busy days, her go-to thank you gift, and her typical daily routines. 

Glamour: What time do you get up? 

Jennifer Meyer: I’m up around 6:15. 

What’s your typical morning routine?

From 6:15 to 7 a.m. is quiet time in my house. That’s my catch up [time to] look at what texts I haven’t returned, catch up on emails, read the news, read CNN, take a quick look at Instagram. I really try my best not to go too deep into that hole, but, you know, every now and then it sort of spins you out. At about 7:15, the kids [ages 12 and 15] start getting ready for school, so it’s a lot of “Do you have your homework? Do you have your backpack packed?” It’s really mayhem, I’m not gonna lie. It’s still “Mom, make me breakfast! Mom, where are my jeans? Mom, did you see my red Converse?” I take my kids to school almost every morning. I’m done with two drop-offs around 8:30 a.m. 

Are you a breakfast person? If so, what do you eat?

It really depends. I love a breakfast. I’m down for an eggs benedict, but obviously there’s no time in the morning to cook myself eggs benedict. Usually before I take them to school, I’m not eating, but I’m grabbing my coffee for the ride, always. I just like black coffee. Nothing makes me happier.

Your first childhood dream job:

That’s a good question. Honestly, I loved fashion and I loved magazines, and I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do or how I wanted to do it, but I knew I wanted to be involved in that world some way, shape, or form. And I got to do both.

Your first actual job:

Glamour magazine was my first actual professional job out of college. In high school and in college I did everything from working as a salesgirl at a store called Tracey Ross for many years, which was a super-cool boutique in Los Angeles. I worked as a PA getting people coffee on movie sets. And I worked at CAA in the mailroom.

The Best Valentine’s Day Gifts for Everyone on Your List

There’s never a wrong moment to treat someone you love, but if you want to time your next present to February 14, we pulled together the best Valentine’s Day gifts for anyone on your list. Shopping online for presents can be a bright spot in your day when you can’t muster the physical energy to bundle up and go outside—plus, spoiling the people in your life is guaranteed to win you some instant good karma.

Lean into tradition with reliable wins—luxe candles, flower arrangements, and high-quality skin care—or go the unconventional route with offbeat gifts your boo can enjoy year-round. We’re talking on-point subscription boxes, fancy kitchen upgrades they wouldn’t buy themselves, and hot sauce samplers that’ll ~spice up~ anyone’s night. For the sweet tooth pining for a box of chocolates and not an essential oil diffuser, we lined up yummy treats too good to pass up. (Read: Champagne truffles.)

Once you’re armed with the perfect V-Day present, you can then get to planning the rest of date night with some sexy Valentine’s Day lingerie and downright buzzy entertainment—no new Netflix show required. The Hallmark holiday will be here before you know it, so get to shopping the best Valentine’s Day gifts, lest your grand gestures turn into last-minute DIY duds.  

Whether it’s with a fancy moisturizer, a cute pajama set, or a thoughtful jewelry gift, there’s a perfect gift idea for every valentine or galentine in your life—including the loved one who insists on skipping the consumer holiday (but low-key expects a gesture regardless). Favorites in this corner include a towering bouquet from one of our go-to online flower delivery services, a splurge-worthy candle that’ll earn a permanent spot on their nightstand, and a pretty charm keepsake representing their birth flower with a little home to store it in. 

Looking to shower your guy with more than just a cutesy “I love you” card and weighted blanket for self-care? Here’s what we have in store for you: a new houseplant to brighten up his side of the bedroom, comfy puffer slippers for the Virgo big into gorpcore, a toasty merino wool beanie, and a next-level coffee bean grinder for his most potent morning brew yet. 

The North Face ThermoBall Traction Water-Resistant Slippers

$55

Nordstrom

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of satiny ribbons being pulled apart as your giftee dives straight into any one of these chocolate gifts. We had to include at least one heart-shaped gift box (sorry not sorry) for the unapologetic romantic, though we also found some fresh gift ideas in the treats department, like a trio of small-batch, single-origin bars, teeny-tiny white chocolate “love birds,” and Champagne truffles so good they’ll be savoring each bite. 

Mariebelle Valentine’s Day Champagne Truffles (20 Pieces)

$42

Neiman Marcus

Dakota Johnson Wore a Red Minidress, Had a Wardrobe Mishap, and Recovered Like a Queen

Dakota Johnson is the queen of talk show guests, which she established in 2019 during her now famous and relentlessly memed appearance on Ellen

On Wednesday, January 19, Johnson made another iconic talk show appearance, this time on The Late Late Show with James Corden. For the appearance, Johnson wore a red minidress with long sleeves, and it’s…very mini. And she paired the dress with red high heels.

At the beginning of the interview–which also included actor Josh Gad–Johnson is trying to sit in a comfortable position on the couch. She sits cross-legged with her hands in her lap. Corden noticed she’s a bit uncomfortable and asks, “Are you okay? Are you alright? Do you want my jacket?”

To this, Dakota Johnson had the most Dakota Johnson answer Dakota Johnson could have.  “I’m okay. It’s nothing nobody hasn’t already seen,” she replied. This is, of course, a reference to her role as Anastasia Steele in the Fifty Shades of Grey film series, in which she had many sex scenes and nudity.  

After having a little laugh, the interview resumed as usual. Corden asked Johnson how she feels about her parents, Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, posting photos of her as a child on social media. 

“No, I don’t like it,” Johnson said. “But I also don’t go on social media so I don’t find out about it until it’s like really baked into the internet. And somebody will send it to me like, ‘Oh you were so ugly!’ or ‘You were so cute when you had braces and a slicked-back ponytail.”

When she finds out, Johnson says she reverts back to being a 12-year-old. “I’m like, ‘Mom, you can’t do that! We’ve had this conversation so many times!’ She doesn’t care.”

You can watch the full interview, below:

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Long live Dakota Johnson interview moments.

Robert Pattinson Fell Off a Bed While Kissing Kristen Stewart During a Twilight Audition

Robert Pattinson apparently made quite the impression with his Twilight audition. 

While none of the films in the Twilight Saga are what one might consider cinema–with the exception of the baseball scene in Twilight and the disturbing fake-out battle scene in *Breaking Dawn: Part 2–*the films hold a special place in our hearts. Even at their most cringe moments, series stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart had enough chemistry and charisma individually to make the films work. 

And according to Twilight director Catherine Hardwick, the chemistry between R.Patz and K.Stew started at their auditions. In a recent interview with Spotify’s The Big Hit Show podcast, Hardwicke revealed that Pattinson and Stewart had a make-out sesh so intense during an audition at her home in 2007 that Pattinson fell off the bed. 

“[Rob] walked in and he had his hair dyed black for some play, with these wacky bangs,” Hardwicke said. “He was a bit out of shape. His shirt was just all messy, and I’m like, ‘Oh, OK. OK, let’s see how this goes,’” she said. 

The audition ended up proving that Pattinson was the perfect actor for the part of Edward Cullen. 

“Rob and Kristen did the audition right here on the bed,” Hardwicke said, “They did the kissing scene and he fell off and landed right there on this floor. Rob and Kristen auditioned on my bed — the kissing scene. Rob was so into it, he fell off the bed. I’m like, ‘Dude, calm down.’ And I’m in there filming with my little video camera.”

Hardwicke then recalled warning Pattinson, who was 21 at the time, not to date Stewart, who was a minor then. 

“At the end, Kristen was like, ‘It has to be Rob,'” Hardwicke said. “I could tell they had a lot of chemistry, and I’m like, ‘Oh, my God.’ I thought, Kristen was 17. I don’t want to get in some illegal things,” she said. “So I remember I told Rob, ‘By the way, Kristen is 17. In our country, it’s illegal to have a sexual …’ And he’s like, ‘Oh, OK, whatever.’”

Although the costars–who starred in all five Twilight Saga films together–did not date immediately, they began dating in 2009, when Stewart was age-appropriate. They dated for four years. Back in November 2021, Stewart recalled the audition kiss at Catherine Hardwicke’s house in an interview with The New Yorker. “It was so clear who worked,” Stewart said

Karlie Kloss Has Gone ‘Expensive Brunette,’ and She Looks Gorgeous

Karlie Kloss is the latest celebrity to trade their signature blonde hair for the year’s chicest trend: expensive brunette. 

“After a decade of being a blonde, i finally crossed over to the dark side,” Kloss wrote on Instagram alongside photos and videos debuting her new hair color. See for yourself, below. 

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Yup, Karlie Kloss is nailing expensive brunette, which, for the unfamiliar, is “all about giving deeper hair energy, dimension, and detail,” according to celebrity hairstylist Tom Smith. “It’s all too easy when going for a darker shade of hair color to apply one tone all over, a similar result to using a box dye at home. I’m of the opinion that it’s professional hair colorists’ responsibility to give our clients something they could never get at home, and so expensive brunette is all about adding detail and interest with multiple deeper shades to make the result more dimensional and expensive looking.” 

He added, “In the celebrity world, it’s often ‘the bolder the better,’ hence why so many celebrities are blonde or choose obviously artificial shades for their own hair or use wigs. Now that a brunette can look equally as ‘expensive’ and ‘designed’ as brighter or bolder shades, it makes sense that many celebrities are interested in the deeper tones.”

For those interested in going expensive brunette, Smith says, “The key element to discuss with your hairstylist is that you don’t want one flat color all over. Expensive brunette is all about depth and dimension, so you and your colorist should agree on the deepest shade and the lightest shade you want to see in your hair and then allow the colorist to place shades between in a way they see fit to enhance your hair cut…. It’s key to make sure your colorist knows you want to be seen as an ‘exciting brunette,’ not edging towards being seen as a blonde.”

All the Celebrities Who Announced in 2022 That They’re Expecting Babies

2022’s crop of pregnant celebrities includes first-time parents and big families expanding, though it’ll be hard to top last year’s pregnancy drama. Remember the hullaballoo over John Mulaney and Olivia Munn? Kylie and Travis part two? J. Law walking the red carpet with a bump? (We also saw a number of A-list births!)

A celebratory but tasteful Instagram reveal is pretty much de rigueur these days, but some celebs are going to put their own spin on the announcement. And with the pandemic sadly still happening, it’s easier than ever to keep things secret until just the right moment. Which is why we’ve helpfully collected all the expecting and pregnant celebrities we know about it one place. You are welcome.

Here, check out all the pregnant celebrities and couples who announced they are expecting children through other routes in 2022!

Hikaru Utada Looks Into The Mirror

By Erica Russell

Following a string of years that challenged and pushed us all to self-reflect in unexpected ways, Hikaru Utada’s new album, Bad Mode, finds the J-pop legend looking in the mirror. Out January 19, their eighth studio album is largely about growing up, self-love, self-partnering, and acceptance. Utada says it’s also about “working on the relationship with myself to improve on the relationships I have with other people.” It’s a relatable ambition made all the more enjoyable when soundtracked by glossy, jazzy electronica and Utada’s soothing, soulful voice.

“Most of the songs were written since the pandemic began, and I think it’s reflective of how my life was focused on surviving, living, and getting through a shared difficult time, all of us together,” Utada tells MTV News. “It made me really proud of being a mother … I saw how that gave me a lot of strength or maybe [helped me] discover how strong I could be, or how strong I have always been.”

Though Utada spends much of the album reflecting on their own behaviors and desires, they also ruminate on the many dynamic one-on-one relationships in their life. Bad Mode kicks off with a breezy, groovy single of the same name, which is “very much about trying to figure out how I can be supportive for a friend, family member, or partner, and also what I would like from a supportive friend, family member, or partner.” Utada says writing the song also helped them “discover what I would like to do for myself, what I can do for myself, and how I can support myself.” For an artist nearly two-and-a-half decades into their career, personal growth isn’t a milestone — it’s a natural, never-ending pursuit.

Courtesy of Hikaru Utada

Utada is one of the most prolific, top-selling superstars in Japan. Their first three albums landed among the country’s top 10 best-selling albums of all time. To this day, their R&B-fueled 1999 debut First Love, which was released when Utada was only 15, holds the title of Japan’s best-selling album ever.

Utada’s incredibly influential — just ask London pop star Rina Sawayama, who calls Utada “one of my biggest musical inspirations” — and also very famous. Perpetually plastered on billboards and buildings across Japan, Utada has lent their face to major brand campaigns for the likes of Pepsi, Shiseido, and Nintendo DS, as well as provided music for countless media properties, from TV shows to anime and video games.

Nicknamed “Hikki” by their fans, Utada’s megastardom might originate in Japan, but their inimitable impact reaches far across the globe, thanks largely to their music’s universal themes of melancholy and hope, heartache and passion. However, many of their English-speaking fans in the West were introduced to Utada via their musical contributions to the beloved Kingdom Hearts video game series. The first game released in 2002 with the ethereal electronic folk-pop opening “Simple & Clean,” which remains one of the most iconic video game themes of all time.

In 2019, Utada teamed up with Skrillex and Poo Bear for “Face My Fears,” the skittering future bass theme song for Kingdom Hearts III, the latest installment in the hit franchise.  It was the performer’s first track to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 — a rare feat shared only by a handful of Japanese artists over the past 60 years.

Though relatively insular, Utada’s selective collaborations push the singer to new frontiers. They teamed up with Foxy Brown and Pharrell Williams on 2001’s swaggy Rush Hour 2 track “Blow My Whistle,” co-produced alongside Timbaland on 2004’s intoxicating “Exodus ’04,” and worked with Tricky Stewart on 2009’s R&B jam “Taking My Money Back.” There’s also their work with some of Japan’s top musicians, including various team-ups with genre-bending mega-star Ringo Sheena.

“The tricky thing for me is that I am my own producer. If I have someone who wants to come in and say, ‘OK, this is my vision,’ and just wants to take over, even if it’s a great idea, it doesn’t really work for me,” Utada admits. “I need someone who can really get what I’m trying to do and introduce how they think they can add a new dimension to that, or give me their ideas but also be very willing to do some back and forth.”

Bad Mode finds Utada adding a handful of exciting talents to their stable of star collaborators. There’s the aforementioned Skrillex and Poo Bear, as well as Sam Shepherd, a.k.a. Floating Points, the British electronic producer who helped bring the lush grooves of “Somewhere Near Marseilles,” “Bad Mode,” and the Ray of Light-esque “Kibunja Naino (Not in the Mood)” to life. Another unexpected collaborator? Utada’s 6-year-old son, who makes his singing debut on the latter, something Utada says was his idea.

And then there’s PC Music maestro A.G. Cook, with whom Utada worked on singles “Kimini Muchuu” and “One Last Kiss,” the twinkling theme song for the 2021 smash anime film Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time. “He is amazing and I was very lucky to be able to work with him,” Utada says of co-producing with Cook, who was “willing to chat and text and exchange opinions and ideas” remotely during the height of lockdown in 2020, when Utada was working primarily at home. Cook’s enthusiasm and flexibility offered the pop star a sense of artistic ease, even when things went awry.

At one point near the completion of “One Last Kiss,” Utada and their mixing engineer realized the song was missing something. “I mentioned it to Alex [Cook], and he said, ‘Oh my god, I forgot to send the bass track!’” Utada recounts, laughing. “He sent it, we put it back in, and it sounded really good with the original track. These little mishaps, any sort of mistakes or anything unplanned, I see them as chances. They’re usually great opportunities to make something better or do something beyond what you planned.”

Born in Manhattan and raised in both Tokyo and New York City, the bulk of Utada’s music has been released in Japanese. Of their 10 studio albums, only two — 2004’s experimental electro-pop LP Exodus and 2009’s more straightforward R&B record This Is the One — were English-language releases. Frustratingly, neither made much of a blip in the American market, though Exodus has found lasting cult status among pop aficionados.

Bad Mode marks Utada’s first official bilingual album, featuring songs with both English and Japanese lyrics; English-language versions of Japanese songs; and an all-new English-language single called “Find Love,” a chill, disco-infused anthem that wouldn’t sound out of place on an early 2000s Kylie Minogue record.

The Japanese-American icon didn’t necessarily “plan for” Bad Mode to be bilingual — it just unfurled that way organically: “The whole album has just been a reflection of my daily life. I mainly speak Japanese with my son and someone from the company who works for me, who is Japanese. The rest of my time, I speak English with my friends here [in London]. When I look back, I think, ‘Why did it have to be all Japanese or all English before? Why can’t I just put them together?’ This is my world, and my album should reflect that even in the language the lyrics are written in.”

In June 2021, while much of the world celebrated Pride Month, Utada came out as nonbinary in an Instagram livestream. The announcement marked a huge moment in the Japanese music industry and beyond. Though both social awareness for LGBTQ+ issues and pro-LGBTQ+ legislation have increased in Japan in recent years, progress has been slow, stalled by traditionally conservative values, deeply embedded social expectations regarding gender roles, and legal roadblocks, particularly for same-sex marriage.

“I especially felt the love and support from my non-Japanese fans,” Utada says. “The reaction was so cool and I really needed that, because to say that, as a Japanese public figure, took so much courage. I knew it wouldn’t be a big deal for my family or people I know, but it would be misunderstood a lot or misinterpreted in all different kinds of ways in certain circles. The support and love I got really helped and inspired me.”

Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of Utada’s history-making debut. Though not overly nostalgic, the musician looks back on the early years of their music career “with a great deal of affection.”

“There’s so much you can learn by looking back on the past. But musically, I don’t really think about what I’ve done up to now that much. I just think, wow, I’ve been so lucky,” Utada shares. The artist explains how they were allowed “complete creative freedom” when they first began working in the studio in Tokyo as a precocious 14-year-old.

“I think that was a pretty rare situation and I’m grateful for the freedom I was given from the beginning,” Utada continues. But some things never change. In a 2009 interview, Utada revealed that despite their success, they continued to feel like an outsider. Perhaps unexpectedly, the sentiment still rings true for the superstar today: “I still feel that I built my identity around being an outsider.”

Utada recently went to an exhibition for late artist and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi in London that touched them on a deeply personal level. “He talked about being a Nisei — a second-generation Japanese born in the States, raised as a kid in Japan, who grew up in this international situation, feeling neither accepted in Japan nor the States. I had a similar situation as a kid, growing up between two very different cultures and physical geographic locations. I would feel a bit of loneliness because sometimes I’d get close to a Japanese person and miss the fact that they didn’t see my Western side, or vice versa.”

Regardless, Utada believes there’s an unspoken “unity between people who feel like outsiders,” something their diverse and devoted global fanbase would likely agree with. It’s just another reason their music and journey has resonated with so many listeners.

“The amazing thing about the imaginary world of art — because art is all imagined stuff in someone’s mind that’s just expressed and becomes something you can share — is you don’t have to share the same experiences to share the same feelings. Whether it’s your country, or your gender, or your role in your family, or whatever it is, [those things] can make you feel like you belong in a way. But if they make you feel like you don’t belong, then you can be part of the world of outsiders. We can be outsiders together.”

Leighton Meester Is Coming to How I Met Your Father, and We Can’t Wait

Added Duff, “I’ve been incredibly lucky in my career to play some wonderful characters and I’m looking forward to taking on the role of Sophie. As a huge fan of How I Met Your Mother, I’m honored and even a little nervous that Carter and Craig would trust me with the sequel of their baby. Isaac and Elizabeth are brilliant, and I can’t wait to work alongside them and all of their genius. Just fangirling over here getting to join the Hulu Originals and 20th families. I realize these are big shoes to fill and I’m excited to slip my 6½’s in there.”

Here’s everything we know about the show:

The premiere date. January 18, 2022. 

The cast. As any fan knows, the friend group is an incredibly important part of any sitcom, and HIMYF has been cast! On August 10, TVLine reported that Francia Raisa (Grown-ish), Tom Ainsley (The Royals), Tien Tran (Space Force), and Suraj Sharma (God Friended Me) would fill out the main cast, alongside the previously announced Chris Lowell. 

On November 5, news broke that Kim Cattrall will play the older version of Hilary Duff’s Sophie in several episodes. 

On August 18, Hilary Duff posted her first photo from the HIMYF set. “Who’s ready for us??? We may or may not have been sitting in front of a certain someone’s apartment,” Duff captioned the snap on Instagram.

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And now we have a trailer! On December 16, Hulu debuted the first trailer for HIMYF, featuring Cattrall narrating as Duff’s Sophie gets up to all sorts of shenanigans. “I’ve been on 87 Tinder dates this year,” 2022 Sophie shares with a level of exasperation that is deeply relatable. Check it out:

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One of our absolute faves made a surprise appearance in the pilot. After it dropped, we noticed a TON of HIMYM Easter eggs and callbacks in the first HIMYF episode. But one titillating tidbit that’s unconnected to the original series was the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance of Leighton Meester as Jesse’s ex/bandmate when we see the viral video of his failed proposal. And yes, Meester, a.k.a. Meredith, will be coming back. In an interview with The Wrap, Lowell revealed, “She definitely has a wonderful role on the show…I don’t know how much we’re allowed to talk about. I can say that all of us got excited to have her around and working with her was an absolute joy. She’s awesome.”

Anne Hathaway and Jared Leto Are Maniacally Bonkers in the Trailer for Their New Show

WeCan’tWait for WeCrashed, Apple TV+’s upcoming miniseries about the precipitous rise and fiery fall of co-working empire WeWork, starring Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway as company founder Adam Neumann and his wife-collaborator, Rebekah.

Already the subject of a documentary on Hulu and a podcast from Wondery (on which the series is based), the story of WeWork is somewhat familiar. Put very simply: Adam was a dreamer who raised an incredible amount of capital to finance his vision of a millennial-friendly office space, before branching into the residential and educational sectors. Along the way, the company he ran became, according to some, toxic and cult-like, with partying a staple of the business culture and Neumann presenting himself as a God-like figure beyond reproach. 

His wife, a well-to-do dabbler (and cousin of Gwyneth Paltrow, as she liked to remind everyone), became more and more involved in the company and encouraged in Adam an eccentricity and spiritualism that didn’t seem to serve a helpful business purpose. Throughout it all, WeWork was exploding, taking on more and more investors and gobbling up more and more real estate, until an ill-fated attempt at an IPO spiraled into chaos that saw Adam ejected from the company. (He was paid handsomely to leave.) It was somewhere between a bubble and a scam.

In the teaser trailer, we see Leto channel Adam’s intensity and Hathaway tap into Rebekah’s blind faith in her own ideas.

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It looks like the Neumanns’ relationship will be central to the story, as the pair walk the blurry line between greed and ambition. Both actors are also producers on the project. Variety reports that “The first three episodes of WeCrashed will become available to stream on Apple TV+ on March 18. New episodes will then be released weekly on the streamer, completing its eight-episode run through April 22.”

Candice Marie Benbow’s Red Lip Theology Explores What It Means to Be a Black Woman of Faith Today

You’re likely quite familiar with the voice of Candice Marie Benbow. In 2016, she wrote the viral “Lemonade Syllabus” based on Beyoncé’s magnum opus; she then wrote about the other side of heartache with her popular essay “4:43,” which used Jay-Z’s 4:44 album as inspiration. But beyond her critical analysis of pivotal pop-culture moments, Benbow is a theologian with degrees from Tennessee State University, North Carolina Central University, and Duke Divinity School. And she uses her platform to advocate for progressive Black Christian women as she discusses everything from misogynoir to feminism to love, grief, and resilience in her works. 

Her first collection of essays, Red Lip Theology: For Church Girls Who’ve Considered Tithing to the Beauty Supply Store When Sunday Morning Isn’t Enough—available now—celebrates Black womanhood and proves there is strength in being vulnerable. Here, Candice Marie Benbow opens up about her debut book and discusses why she has always chosen to live in her truth–regardless of the consequences.

Nobody slays like Black women. That’s why everyone tries to be like us, but nobody can slay like us. Red Lip Theology pays homage to that fact. It’s my way of thinking through what it means to be a Black millennial woman of faith. How do I thrive at the intersection of faith and feminism? And what kind of theological development is included in that? 

While in seminary in divinity school, I went through a really, really tough breakup. The title of the book honors a promise I made to my best friend after it happened: to look my best every day, regardless of how I felt. So, every morning, I got up early enough to put on a full face of makeup. Later, I realized that having that ritual helped me remember myself during a tumultuous and painful time.

So when I think about what faith looks like for me, it was encompassed in that moment. The table of contents and structure of the chapters of Red Lip Theology follow a beauty regimen. It was important for me to acknowledge Black women and our creativity in the beauty industry because our participation in it is really where we flourish. Choosing that format allows us to have a conversation about faith that doesn’t center men—that was also important to me. 

Still, the book explores the complex nature of all types of relationships. It’s grounded in the relationship with my mother and the failed attempts at a relationship with my biological father. And my own failed attempts at romantic relationships, my failure to honor boundaries. I use all of these experiences as an opportunity for sisters to see what it could look like to explore their own faith. I don’t shy away at all from sharing my life because that’s the only way that I genuinely believe we’ll be able to achieve freedom and wholeness. Sometimes you need to see somebody else walk through it, then grab hold of those same steps to walk through difficult moments in your own life.