Plenty of things come to mind when you think of New York City during the holidays: Christmas lights, packed department stores, and of course, the Radio City Rockettes. Every year, the Rockettes team up to sing, dance, and kick line in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular—and each season, despite the altered hairstyles and new costumes, one detail of their look remains the same: their bright red lipstick.
The catch? Their makeup, including their red lip, needs to last through an entire performance, which includes eight costume changes and one sweaty Santa-inspired beard. Oh, and here’s another thing: each Rockette is in charge of her own hair and makeup. The only rules they need to follow are wearing their uniform hairstyle, false eyelashes, and the very best red for their complexion.
So with plenty of trial and error, it’s no surprise that these women have landed on the best shades and formulas in the game. Which is why they’re sharing them, here. And just in case you’re so inclined to see these shades in action for yourself, they’ll be performing at Radio City Music Hall through January 6.
Miley Cyrus gave a much-needed update to the holiday classic “Santa Baby” during her appearance on The Tonight Show Thursday evening, December 20. The pop singer performed a more progressive version of the 1953 song, which has lyrics like “I want a yacht and really that’s not a lot” and “Slip a sable under the tree for me.” (A sable, for those who don’t know, is a fur.)
“Am I saying I’m gonna hook up with Santa if he buys me all this stuff?” Cyrus says in the sketch right before she starts singing. “I’m asking for a car and a yacht and checks and literally the deed to a platinum mine. What?”
Her revised version, though, is much more empowered. Miley doesn’t need Santa to buy her these things because she makes her own money! “Don’t want diamonds, cash, or stuff,” she sings midway through her version. “Nothing that comes in a box. No more fluff. I’ve had enough. And I can buy my own damn stuff.”
She also adds in some lyrics about the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. “A girl’s best friend is equal pay,” she says, before addressing workplace harassment. “Santa Baby, I’d love to know my ass won’t get grabbed at work by some ignorant jerk.”
These are lyrics we can get behind. Watch Cyrus perform her version of “Santa Baby” for yourself, below.
This song is one of a few holiday tunes our culture is revisiting from a post -MeToo lens. Another example is “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” which is about a man who literally won’t let a woman leave his house even though she wants to.
I used to call my senators and representatives several times a week. I knitted a pink pussy hat and made signs and went on marches. I donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU, and Planned Parenthood. In the aftermath of the 2016 election, I popularized the hashtag #SmallActs to drive people to take modest steps to further political resistance and social inclusion.
Now? I’m exhausted and sometimes demoralized. I’m not proud to admit it, but I’ve thought about giving up. A lot. It’s hard to fight and fight and not see progress, to scan the news and discover (hourly!) more unkindness. The truth is—to my own shame—I haven’t called my representatives in months. I still vote and donate, but sometimes I wonder whether it makes a difference. Sometimes (often) I feel defeated. I’ve watched people in power delineate who gets to have choices, who gets to feel safe, who gets to belong, as if humanity is some- thing that has to be rationed.
But I also know that when we give in to hopelessness, when we convince ourselves that a better world is impossible, we make the same mistakes our foes do. We close ourselves off, building our own walls to protect ourselves. We should know better than to think that man-made boundaries can keep despair out.
A few years ago I was on the subway, near a woman in a hijab, when a man hurtled over from the other end of the car. “You’re in America now,” he spat at her. “Take that headscarf off, or go back wherever you came from.” I knew if I spoke up, I was inviting trouble: I’m an Asian woman, a prime target for similar abuse. But I’d been in that woman’s position before, with a stranger trying to make me feel like I didn’t have a place here. I wanted her to know she did.
I leaned over and told the man to leave her alone. He turned on both of us, of course. But the woman’s eyes and mine met, and we understood each other: We were in this together. We made small talk, pointedly ignoring the man, until he gave up and got off the train. Afterward I was shaking. I hadn’t realized how afraid (and furious) I was. I registered something deeper too. I’d helped someone feel a tiny bit less alone, and with it, I felt a new f licker of hope—that human connection and kindness can make a difference.
That shred of optimism I’ve battled so hard to hold on to isn’t just some feel-good endorphin rush. It’s the fuel that powers change.
When we fight for more inclusion and openness, it’s not just an effort on behalf of others. It does something to us. What I mean is that shred of optimism I’ve battled so hard to hold on to isn’t just some feel-good endorphin rush. It’s the fuel that powers change.
So I’m making the same choice that activists have made for centuries. I’ve decided that I’ll do what I can in this battle. I will look out at a dark horizon and squint for the stars. In the meantime I’ve tried to draw a line between anger and despair. Like passion, anger can burn bright and hot. I plan to keep that flame alive. And not alone, but with women and people of color in particular who’ve been sidelined and silenced for centuries. We light our own fire now. We can demand better.
We’re two years out from the first Women’s March. It’s also the season for resolutions. Here’s mine: For the next 12 months and after, I don’t want just to fight the bad; I want to create more good. I don’t mean to sound naive. It’s not that I think the arc of the universe bends toward justice. It’s that I know we are the ones who bend it.
I will also find the exhilaration in this work. I will take genuine pleasure in the support of candidates and organizations who speak to values I believe in. Since I’m a writer, I’ll boost other writers who tell stories we need to hear (Nicole Chung’s memoir All You Can Ever Know, about the search for her birth parents, and Jamel Brinkley’s A Lucky Man, a brilliant collection of short stories, jump to mind). No matter how hard it gets or how much I’d like to burrow and hide, I’ll fight. I might even smile—though God help the man who tells me to.
When I was 11, I watched Anita Hill as she testified against Clarence Thomas. When Thomas was later confirmed to the Supreme Court, the countless women who’d watched Hill—and maybe Hill herself—were demoralized, flattened even. I was a kid, and I still felt it: Had her sacrifice been pointless?
Whether we can see it right now or not, the activism we’ve undertaken over the past 24 months is a seed; something new is sprouting.
But now I can see that Anita Hill laid the groundwork for the #MeToo movement. Millions saw Hill speak out, and in the decades that followed, thousands followed her example, calling out sexual harassment. Thousands more heard those women, and so when women like Tarana Burke and Christine Blasey Ford began once more to reveal their pain and trauma, we were prepared to believe them. Whether we can see it right now or not, the activism we’ve undertaken over the past 24 months is a seed; something new is sprouting.
This is the nature of movements. Like waves, we can’t see them when we’re in them. “Movements are made up of moments, strung out over months, years, decades,” writes Rebecca Traister in her book Good and Mad. “They become discernible as movements—are made to look continuous and coherent—only after they’ve made a substantive difference.”
When Hill testified, she couldn’t have known how her actions would reverberate. But she did it. It was an act of faith in the future, in us. The idea that one woman’s actions can reverberate across generations? That one shout can become millions and that our voices can change the world? Well, it doesn’t get much more optimistic than that.
Celeste Ng is the internationally best-selling author of the novels Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere.
I have never written a book. I have decided, however, that if I ever do write a book, I’d like to dress like Michelle Obama has been while promoting her memoir. On the latest stop of her book tour, Obama appeared onstage with Sarah Jessica Parker in Brooklyn, New York wearing the most glorious glitter boots I’d ever laid my eyes upon.
I had heard about these boots from Cardi B. rap about them—you know, those Balenciagas, the ones that look like socks). But the ones Obama wore on Wednesday night were even more spectacular than I could ever have imagined. I asked myself why I didn’t own the exact same boots. The answer: Because they’re $4,000..
The unfortunate truth is you can spend none or all of the dollars and still not look as incredible as Michelle Obama did, in her full Balenciaga ensemble. You can, however, cop her footwear game—and for a lot less than $4K.
I’m sure I’m not the only one out there with a sudden desire for a pair of glittery knee-high boots. I want to wear them to work, to my next holiday party, to the supermarket—literally, anywhere and everywhere. It’s what Michelle Obama would want. Right? So, make her proud with one of the alternatives in the gallery ahead.
When Glamour asked me to update a scene from Nora Ephron’s beloved film You’ve Got Mail for its twentieth anniversary, I was confronted with a challenge many screenwriters face today: Can any moment of mistaken identity or unplanned coincidence (both of which have led to some of the greatest movie scenes in history) happen now, in a world where any answer is at our fingertips and devices help us see around every corner? Not to mention that we live in a society where nearly every IRL love story today begins with an Internet connection. Could any scene from You’ve Got Mail even exist today?
Rather than surrender, I asked myself, WWKKD? (What would Kathleen Kelly Do?) Undoubtedly she would, with plucky determination, rewrite the assignment. Just as she reimagined her professional ambitions in the film and concluded that rather than stem the tide of American capitalism, she’d find herself a new dream. So I set a new goal: to reimagine the entire story of You’ve Got Mail for a new era, exploring what kind of old-fashioned romance might lurk in a plugged-in 2018 when we all Always Have Mail. Here goes.
Kathleen Kelly is an adorable New Yorker with a cute apartment in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood, which any real estate agent will tell you is “the new Upper West Side.” Her love of children and whimsy makes her the beloved head of customer service for Amazon’s toy department, a job that allows her to make her own hours and work from her local vegan café. Most days she shares a sustainably built table there with her boyfriend, Frank, a writer for BuzzFeed whose hard-hitting listicles have earned him the respect of Manhattan’s media elite. On paper, Frank’s perfect for her. The kind of guy you don’t even have to ask to plug in your laptop’s power cord. He just knows when you need juice. And he’s happy to listen to Kathleen vent about her job—lately she’s been rattled by an email from Amazon top brass, alerting her that they’re planning to close down her division in light of the fact that iPads basically contain all the toys, so why bother making an object that does only one thing?
At least, so says Joe Fox, senior executive at Amazon corporate. Joe’s living the urban American Dream in every way, from his Tribeca penthouse to his girlfriend, a SoulCycle devotee and hard-charging literary editor who hit it big last year on the New York Times best-seller list with her nonfiction book Best American Memes. Yet, despite the fact that Joe seems to have it all figured out, he finds himself plagued by anxiety and insomnia. His therapist suggests he may be overstimulated and proposes he attend a tech-detox retreat upstate that was recently profiled by The New Yorker. The rules? No phones. No last names. No information that could reveal anyone’s identity upon returning to their regular lives.
As it happens, Kathleen finds herself heading to the very same retreat. Frank sent her there as a proxy (he’s too public a figure not to get recognized) to help research his latest BuzzFeed article, “10 Reasons Tech Detoxes Are Bullshit.”
At the meet and greet, Kathleen and Joe strike up a conversation and exchange only first names. They bond over a shared love for New York and their favorite place in the city, Central Park’s Sheep Meadow. They also share an anxiety that the Internet is destroying their love for this great city. Yes, the West Village brownstones are gorgeous, but when was the last time they gazed at one without looking up the price on Zillow? Yes, Cafe Lalo has wonderful, flaky pastries, but neither has been able to indulge in one since @CafeLaloLover tweeted out their calorie counts.
For the next four days, Joe and Kathleen are inseparable. With no screens to stand in their way, they have epic conversations. Sometimes they say nothing at all, both giddy from the kind of boredom they haven’t experienced since getting smartphones. The last day of the retreat, on a hike, they end up trapped in a rainstorm they might have predicted if either had had access to a weather app. It’s a recipe for movie magic, and if there were any justice in the world, they’d be kissing right now, but then they remember they’re otherwise committed.
On the eve of their happily ever after, Kathleen and Joe google each other. Just to see.
Kathleen and Joe realize they have to break up with their partners back home to give this new love a chance. They say goodbye, write down their email addresses for each other, slip them in an envelope, and vow to meet one week later. The breakups go surprisingly smoothly. Within a day Joe and Kathleen are unattached and ready to spend their lives together. The six days until their reunion cannot pass quickly enough.
But the night before they’re set to meet, they both make the same fatal mistake. In emailing each other to confirm plans, they realize the other’s address contains his/her full name. They have all they need to get the rest of the information. Neither can resist. And with that, on the eve of their happily ever after, Kathleen Kelly and Joe Fox google each other. Just to see.
And just as quickly as they fell in love, Joe and Kathleen start to fall out of it from behind their respective screens. Kathleen quickly finds Joe’s profile on LinkedIn and notices that beyond the coincidence of him also working for Amazon, in a senior position to hers (which offends her feminist sensibilities), he spent a semester in college interning for a senator with a fiscally laissez-faire attitude toward shipping tariffs. At this rate, how could she ever expect Joe to commit to a relationship? And speaking of commitment, she also finds his now inactive OkCupid account, in which he misused an apostrophe—and here she thought he was her intellectual equal!
Likewise, Joe discovers damning information about Kathleen. On her Facebook page he notices that she was tagged on New Year’s Eve 2007 kissing a female friend at midnight. Yeah, fine, it was New Year’s, but they sure looked like they were into it. Joe spends all night reading blogs where women recount their attempts to date men to deny their true self before accepting that a man could never fulfill their emotional needs. Also, there is a lot of French wallpaper on her Pinterest board. Clearly the woman harbors dreams of living on cheese and wine in France one day. Joe hates France! Plus he’s lactose intolerant. How did he ever think this could work?
Needless to say, by the time they arrive at the café for their reunion, the magic is completely gone. The date is awkward, devoid of the easy rapport that came so naturally to them when they were getting to know each other in real time. At first, both are ashamed to admit the reason for their doubts, but eventually they break down, whip out their iPhones, and offer impromptu multimedia, multiplatform recaps of the other’s flaws. Both leave the date in tears.
And then Kathleen and Joe do what anyone in their positions would: They reenter the online dating pool, where you can filter for people who meet all the demands for compatibility. But while all of their matches are good on paper, they find date after date unfulfilling. They miss the magic of their connection, the surprise of not knowing what might happen, the simplicity of just getting to know a person from scratch. In spite of themselves, Joe and Kathleen think back to all they shared at that magical retreat. But how could they even begin to reach out, to repair the damage, to find their way back to each other?
And then one day New York City provides the perfect opportunity. The tristate area is hit by a terrible rainstorm that causes a rolling blackout. Cell towers are down, and before long, Kathleen’s and Joe’s devices go down with them. As rain assaults their windows, from which both are staring out sadly, Kathleen and Joe are reminded of that night they spent in the field upstate, when they almost had that perfect kiss in the downpour. Both run outside, on a mission to the same place: Sheep Meadow, Central Park. It’s empty, except for two people in the mist, at opposite ends of a field awash in color from the changing leaves.
Joe and Kathleen spot each other, slowly make their way forward, and meet in the middle.
With an adorable smile, Kathleen clarifies something to Joe: “I believe everything is a spectrum, but even on that spectrum, where zero is completely heterosexual, I’m, like, a 2.5, max.” To which Joe replies with a steadfast, yet gentle, masculinity, “If we’re being honest, I’m probably a 2.5 myself. Also, that apostrophe thing was autocorrect. Did you know that sometimes autocorrect mixes up their and they’re?” Kathleen shakes her head incredulously. She didn’t know that.
What happens next is not tweeted, texted, or posted about. It just is.
Screenwriter Susanna Fogel cowrote and directed The Spy Who Dumped Me and is the author of Nuclear Family: A Tragicomic Novel in Letters. She is based in Los Angeles.
In a new Instagram post from Thursday, December 20, Nick Jonas revealed Priyanka Chopra’s number-one relationship rule: never step on the train of her dress. More importantly, he then shared two examples of times he almost broke it.
“Rule number one… never step on her train,” Jonas posted to Instagram alongside two photos. The first is of Chopra and Jonas at the 2017 Met Gala. Sure enough, Jonas is standing very close to the infamously-long train of the Ralph Lauren trench coat she wore that night. Right below this is a photo the couple took during their wedding festivities the weekend of November 30. For their Americanized wedding ceremony—they also had a Hindu one—Chopra opted for another Ralph Lauren ensemble with a dangerously long train. And, yet again, Jonas nearly stepped on it. Click here to see the Instagram post for yourself.
Almost, of course, is the key word there. Both of Chopra’s stunning looks went off without a hitch, and she praised Jonas in the comments section of his post for keeping his distance both times. “you always knew mister,” she wrote, according to Us Weekly. (This is, obviously, a playful rule Chopra has—not an actual one.)
It’s been a whirlwind few weeks for Chopra and Jonas, who had a multi-day wedding celebration at the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, India. The couple is back in India this week for two more wedding receptions.
“This has been an extremely special chapter in my life, and I wanted my husband to meet all the special people who have contributed to it,” Chopra said at the reception on Wednesday, December 19. “Thank you so much for being here, friends of my parents, my mom—who’s hosting this wonderful evening—my dad, who I know is here, thank you so much for coming and giving your blessing.”
“Innerwear-as-outerwear” isn’t a new concept, by any means—for a bit there, it even felt a bit tired. (Another silky cami on the runway? Really?) But lately, designers have started offering up antidotes to lingerie fatigue, with bedroom-inspired pieces that not only can be worn out of the house, but also feel legitimately feel cool, not cringe-y: mustard-yellow lace, sheer bodycon, marabou trims… They’re meant to be shown off. In fact, they look best when paired with your cold-weather staples—your chunky knits, your midi skirts, your oversized coats. Need proof? We styled four of our favorite lingerie-adjacent runway trends to show you how to wear them in your day-to-day (with picks for coping the look for $100 or less.) Check it out.
Photographs by Nicholas Riley Bentham. Fashion stylist: Amy Hou. Models: Carlotta Kohl and Sahara Lin at Elite Model Management; hair: Brittan White; makeup: Joseph Carrillo at Atelier Management.
Liquid eyeshadow is one of those products that always looks so promising in its packaging. That dewy texture whispers, “Try me—I’ll coat your eyelids with the otherworldly gleam of an angel’s halo.” But then, I pat it on and inevitably find myself disappointed. Sometimes, the color creases within a couple of hours, migrating around my eyes in sad trickles of shimmery pigment. Or, the rich shade in the tube turns into a disappointingly patchy echo of color when it meets my face. Mattes, shimmers, glitters—I’ve tried them all and come to the conclusion that this is one product that tends to look better the further away it is from you.
There is one glowing exception to the rule, which I’ve hesitated to tell people about for two reasons. First, it’s not the most affordable option around; the matte formulas are $34 a pop, while the glitters retail at $39. If you thought Lidstar was on the verge of being too expensive, then you’ll probably have some reservations about this price tag. There’s also the question of the delivery system. In its previous iteration, it featured a twist-up brush that spewed out a bit too much product every time. I loved it so much that I forgave it anyway, scooping up the excess product and carefully storing it in the tiny jars I formerly used to preserve my custom-mixed oil paints. Would everyone else want to do this too, though? Doubtful.
Happily, Ellis Faas (the brand in question) announced a surprise re-design this month. This means I can finally tell you—with zero reservations—that these are worth every penny of their price tag. The update features a precise doe-foot applicator that allows you to spread the shadows on your lids like a gloss, then blend them out with your finger. There’s no wasted product, and I now have greater control over exactly where the formula goes.
As excited as I am about the makeover, it’s not the real reason why I believe these are the best liquid eyeshadows ever created. It’s the shade selection and formula that will win your heart over. I know the colors might not look particularly special upon first glance. The browns and purples and blues seem like shades you already own, and maybe they don’t thrill you straight out of the pen. But, I’m telling you, magic happens when you apply them.
Gently dab a few dots on each eyelid—you only need the tiniest touch of product. Then, take your ringer finger and diffuse the color. You’ll find that the formula seems to evaporate into thin air as you pat it in. Once you’re satisfied with the results, stop smudging and smearing it, and it dries down instantly. Unlike most liquid shadows, I can’t feel this on my lids at all once it sets; the texture goes from wet to fully dry in seconds and doesn’t budge for the rest of the day (even if I neglect to use primer).
The results? Incomparable. Faas is an iconic makeup artist and her instinctive understanding of skin tone, light, and shadow shows in every shade. Because no matter how unwearable they may appear when swatched as thick coats of color, they’re unbelievably flattering once you actually apply them. I particularly love the mattes in Creamy Eyes E114 (Bordeaux Red), E118 (Light Blue), and E125 (Khaki Green). E125 in particular transforms into the prettiest veil of moody green—the olive-tinged smoky eye of my dreams, the one I have only ever been able to create with one of these pens.
You’ll probably accuse me of exaggerating when I say this, but the glitters are even better. Ellis Faas calls them Lights, and they come gliding out of the pen like molten rivers of metal. Yet, they dry down to that same, featherweight finish—no gritty glitter particles, no sticky remnants to be found. They’re beautiful alone, but I love pairing them with the Creamy Eyes shades to create layers of dimension. (The bronzed E303 pairs perfectly with E125, try it.) Worn together, they give my eyes the hazy sfumato effect of a da Vinci painting. Yes, I am saying that these shadows will turn you into a work of Renaissance art. It’s something you just need to discover for yourself—thank me later.
With her Southern drawl and overwhelmingly accepting disposition, Brittany has been a breath of fresh air for the long-running series filled with characters once described as “pieces of shit” by one of its own leading ladies. Since making her first fresh-from-the-farm appearance in 2015, Cartwright has managed to swoop in and elicit a softer side of the cast’s queen-bee clique Stassi Schroeder, Katie Maloney, and Kristen Doute, women who refer to themselves as the Witches of WeHo. She made impetuous, hard-drinking, conscience-free British DJ James Kennedy feel remorse after he made her cry. She seamlessly charmed the show’s matriarch, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump who owns and operates SUR, the restaurant that serves as the series’ central backdrop.
The 29-year-old’s biggest hat trick, however, was pulling a feat few others could have managed: Taming Jax, a man who inspired headlines like “The Villain of Vanderpump Rules” thanks to his knack for lying, pot-stirring, cheating, and drunkenly stealing sunglasses while on vacation on Hawaii, which landed him a year’s probation.
The point is, Cartwright has become the unexpected moral center of Vanderpump Rules. But when I tell her as much when she arrived at the Glamour office, she demures. “I think they all thought I was just a little girl wanting fame or following them around [at the beginning]. I understand. I know what it’s like to have somebody new come around—you don’t know if you can trust them at first. But once they got to know me and realized who I was … what can I say? I try to be myself, and I take their friendships very seriously.”
It seems impossible now that the cast would ever doubt Brittany’s motives, but given her origin story with the show, it’s not too hard to see how they might have. As Brittany tells it, she and Jax first met in Las Vegas after her friend, a fan of the show, saw cast-member Maloney at a bar and asked for a photo. From there, they started taking shots when Jax walked up. “I found out later he was on a date with a girl that night. She walks away, and he comes up to me and gets my number.”
Brittany admits she thought he was hot, but she was fresh out of a relationship and figured nothing would come of it, especially given his role in the reality TV hierarchy. (“You just hear all of the rumors about everything.”) But then he texted her “good morning beautiful” the next day and asked to see her. They spent the rest of their time in Vegas together. “He told me after the first night we met that he wanted me to move to L.A.,” she says. She flew home to Kentucky instead, but they talked daily. She started going to L.A. every other week to visit. After two months, she moved to be with him. “I’ve never done anything that crazy before in my life. But it just felt so right.”
Moving to a new city came with its challenges: Brittany and Jax were living together in his tiny West Hollywood apartment and still getting to know each other. The studio didn’t have central air or closet space, and if she used her hairdryer the whole floor’s electricity would combust. And she now was on a hit reality show with little preparation. “[Jax said], ‘I think they’re going to want you to film. It’s probably not going to be a lot. Do you care?’ At first I was like, ‘Umm, I don’t know.’ I was so nervous.” His advice: Just focus on him and ignore the cameras. But, “That’s really hard when you’re brand new. By that time, he was a seasoned pro.”
“I didn’t really speak the whole first season I was on,” she continues. “I kind of just let Jax lead the way.” The first day she filmed, she went to SUR and met Vanderpump—an unexpected encounter that she wasn’t fully briefed on, thanks to Jax, who took her shopping beforehand to get an outfit. According to Brittany, she thought she was going to the restaurant to meet the cast, not her potential new boss. “He picks me out this sexy little romper because he was like, ‘All the girls dress sexy there. It’s West Hollywood.'”
What her new guy neglected to tell her that she wasn’t meeting Lisa to just say hello, but was about to undergo a job interview for a server position—viewers will remember this as Brittany’s first official scene—while wearing a barely-there romper, with no résumé prepared. “That was like one of the most nerve-wracking things I think I’ve ever done in my life. It probably will always be.”
“[Brittany is] humble and kind—qualities many people in L.A. lack.” — Kristen Doute
When the rest of the cast did meet Brittany, they took to her quickly—a rarity for groups of women on reality TV who almost always seem to exhibit a type of xenophobic “you can’t sit with us” mentality when it comes to new and attractive blood. “I’ve been very lucky, I guess. I haven’t had any bad fights or anything,” she says. It’s hard to stay completely out of the drama, but Brittany usually refuses to pick sides unless a “girl code” is broken. And, shocking to anyone who regularly watches Bravo, her friends respect that. “I’m not huge on the drama,” she says. “I like to help bring people together more than push them away from each other.”
Kristen Doute told me via email that Brittany lends a “soothing, sort of calmness” during these chaotic moments. “[She’s] truthful but not judgmental … She’s humble and kind—something many people in L.A. lack.” Doute—a notoriously tough nut to crack—also said Brittany is everything she could want in a best friend. “She’s kind, sympathetic, trustworthy. My favorite thing about Brittany is her zest for life. She never fails to make me laugh. Her energy is contagious.”
So, yes, everybody on Vanderpump Rules loves Brittany. But with any type of spotlight and status comes a hoard of social media trolls. If she’s wearing too much makeup in a picture, they say L.A. has “changed” her. Some commenters will call her fake and posit she’s had her nose done. “I haven’t had any plastic surgery on my face,” Brittany says. “No matter what I’ve done I would tell it. I had my boobs done on national TV, so let’s be real. I’m not hiding anything. I had Botox once six months ago. I don’t even know if it’s still in there anymore. I had Kybella under my chin awhile ago. But I also lost 25 pounds. I hate when people say I got a nose job or my lips done, because I lose weight in my face.”
“I’ve aged,” she continues. “If you’re a true fan of Vanderpump Rules, go back to the first episode when I started. Look at how skinny I was! I gained weight on the show, then lost weight again.”
The plastic surgery comments don’t cut too deep—”If they want to say I had a nose job, whatever. I know I didn’t have a nose job.”—but the judgments on her character do. Like people saying, “I thought you were a Christian” after she posts a sexy photo. Those get to her.
Her fiancé and the rest of the cast help keep things in perspective. “Jax [will say], ‘Stop reading that, Brittany.’ I know he loves me, and that’s another reason I think [negative attention] doesn’t bother me: All these people comment on my looks, and I’m like, ‘Well, I’m engaged. I don’t care what you think.'”
When she does get overwhelmed by it all—with 1 million Instagram followers at press time, how could she not?—she says she craves alone time, snuggled up in bed with her dogs, Monroe and Kingsley. Her values kick into overdrive: She calls her mom every day. She talks to her friends back home (their group chat is called Cheaper Than Therapy). She prays and goes to church.
The plastic surgery comments don’t cut too deep, but the judgments on her character do. Like people saying, “I thought you were a Christian” after she posts a sexy photo.
She also has a chat group with the women on the series—called the Pumpettes—where they share screen shots of nasty comments. They’ll joke about them and give each other compliments. “Because of Brittany I feel more comfortable in my own skin than I ever have,” Doute says. “In the social-media world we live in, it can be very easy to sweat the small stuff—whether it’s people attacking our character or physical appearance. She always picks me up when I’m down and is able to show me a more positive outlook.”
And, in true Brittany fashion, she’s found a way to hit back at haters with that positive outlook. “I swear it’s mothers who are writing mean things about my looks [the most],” she says. “So I’ve found the best way to get under a cyberbully’s skin: If they have kids and they’re writing horrible things, just go to their picture, tell them how beautiful their child is, and say that you hope one day their child never has to deal with cyberbullying like I am from you.” She says the trolls usually apologize.
Brittany says this season of Vanderpump Rules is her favorite yet. She dreaded filming last year, because she knew the issues she and Jax were facing were going to be an inescapable arc—a cheating scandal, after all, makes good reality TV. Now, though, she’s excited for everybody—cast members and fans—to see how much her man has changed and how hard he’s trying. Brittany says it’s the little things that really show the effort he’s making: He helps out around the house, he makes her (turkey) sandwiches, he buys her tampons at the store, he’ll surprise her with gifts, he’s even going to church on his own. “I’m so proud of him,” she says. “He has changed almost 100%. He tries harder at every single thing he does, and it makes me….” She tears up. “After his dad passed away, he could’ve spiraled out of control. Went crazy. Just became this horrible person, because he was so unhappy with himself. But he turned it all around and made every change he wanted to make to better himself.”
This new Jax also came with a marriage proposal during the season premiere. “I had an idea it might happen this summer, but I didn’t know it was going to be that early,” she says. “It was perfect.” Jax popped the question at Neptune’s Net, a classic, casual Malibu seafood spot. (“We love crab places. It’s what we do, whether we’re in Florida, Kentucky, anywhere we’re at we always find a crab place.”) The show’s editing made the location seem like a random choice, but Brittany says it holds importance, having been the scene of an early date and also a favorite of Jax’s late father.
Brittany cried watching the footage back. “He’s my best friend in the whole world,” she says. “We want to be together all the time. No matter what I always saw these good parts of Jax, even when we were fighting. People on the show only see the worst parts, of course, but knowing his heart and knowing how great he actually was kept me going. I loved him too much to let him go, honestly.”
And now, she’s looking forward to planning the wedding and the business ventures they’re starting (beer cheese, cocktail mixers). “I’m so excited for us to have a good season for once. This season is a lot of me and Jax being happy and our friends slowly getting on board with that. He had to prove to everybody that he really has changed.” Brittany says they also want to be parents, though it might be tricky with the show. “I don’t know how having a baby on Vanderpump Rules with all the drama…I think as we grow the show might have to grow a little bit too,” she says. “But we’ll see. I can’t imagine Jax not being on TV in some way.”
Whatever happens, Brittany trusts they can tackle it as a team. “It would be very easy to get lost,” she says. “At the end of the day you have to be very confident in yourself. I know I’m not a bad person. I know I have a great family. I know I have great friends. I know at the end of the day, I have to get back to that and being a Christian woman.”
Anna Moeslein is Glamour’s senior editor. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @annamoeslein.
Photographs by Michelle Rose Sulcov Fashion stylist: Amy Hou Hair and makeup: Mia Santiago at See Management
It’s the end of an era: Kim Kardashian announced on Thursday, December 20, that she and her sisters are discontinuing their apps in 2019. “We’ve had an incredible experience connecting with all of you through our apps these past few years but have made the difficult decision to no longer continue updating in 2019,” Kim wrote on her website, according to People. “We truly hope you’ve enjoyed this journey as much as we have, and we look forward to what’s ahead.”
I’m devastated. How are we going to get insider information on the social media-shy Kardashian-Jenners now?! It’s not like they have active Instagram accounts or Twitter fingers or a long-running reality show called Keeping Up With the Kardashians or anything. These apps were our only lifelines to Kylie’s siiiiick wardrobe, and now they’re gone. It was the best $2.99-per-month you’ve ever spent!
OK, I’m kidding. This definitely won’t be the last time we hear from Kim, Kourtney, Kylie, Kendall, and Khloé. That being said, their apps did produce some moments that historians will remember in the years to come. And by historians, I mean me. Here are just nine of those times:
1. Khloé’s advice for looking “thin AF” in photos Sigh. I have many thoughts on this.
2. Kourtney’s sad tips for avoiding sugar. Monitoring your soda intake is a reasonable request, but making your own salad dressing? Who has time for that, Kourtney? Who?!
3. When Kylie debunked rumors in a gloriously monotonous tone. “That’s disgusting,” Kylie said of the reports that she slept with Scott Disick. “Don’t ever ask me anything like that ever again.” It’s amazing how her vocal inflection here is exactly the same as when she talks about salads.
4. Kylie’s legendary fashion captions. Which always featured the words “sick” and “dope.” Didn’t you hear? She loves breaking the rules!
5. Kourtney teaching us how to eat a Reese’s peanut butter cup. She revolutionized the snack food industry in the process. All other candy is canceled!
6. When Khloé and Kourtney debated if either of them would be president or First Lady of the United States. This is the administration we deserve.
7. When Kim eviscerated Kourtney for not having her app ready to launch with the other sisters. OK, so this didn’t happen on the app, but it was drama around the app. Basically, Kourtney said giving birth to her third child, Reign, caused a delay in her app’s development, but Kim wasn’t here for this. I’ll just leave Kim’s exact quote to Kourtney here because it’s too good: “No excuses. You knew you were having this baby nine months before you did, and you knew you had this app a year ago…You’re not special.”
8. Kourtney’s daily food breakdown. She drinks “one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar mixed into a glass of water” every morning. Literally thank you, next.
9. And last but not least, all the makeup tutorials with gem quotes like this: “If I literally was stranded and only had this product, this is, like, exactly what I would do.” Survival!