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Nancy Novak, MD

As a member of the Navajo Nation, it is in Nancy Novak’s ancestry to walk in beauty. Her own walk brought her from a Midwestern upbringing in Ohio to fledgling adulthood on the fashion forward streets of Manhattan to now, actual adulthood amongst the natural, relaxed trails of Colorado. She is a writer (who after a stint at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College accidentally ended up a pediatrician) with a penchant for all things beautiful. That means you. And often make-up.

In an ideal world she would spend her time petting kittens while reading novels inside Sephora, but writing this column is pretty much the next best thing.

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Something in the Air – Boulder’s National Center for Atmospheric Research

Humans have always had a complicated relationship with weather. Ancient cultures prayed and made offerings to gods in hopes of receiving conditions conducive to growing crops. Adverse weather, then, w…

Humans have always h…

Humans have always had a complicated relationship with weather. Ancient cultures prayed and made offerings to gods in hopes of receiving conditions conducive to growing crops. Adverse weather, then, was often interpreted as displeasure on behalf of those same beings—a punishment for failing to observe proper rituals. It doesn’t take a history scholar to understand this impulse. Weather, now as then, is both an enemy and ally. On one hand, it provides everything from the raw material for food—sunlight driving photosynthesis, wind the primary method of plants spreading their seeds—to …

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MidWinter: A Colorado Night’s Dream

Sometimes, writing about art and theater feels a lot like falling down the proverbial rabbit hole as I try to find the angle to write about wandering through a haunted-theater immersive experience, ge…

Sometimes, writing a…

Sometimes, writing about art and theater feels a lot like falling down the proverbial rabbit hole as I try to find the angle to write about wandering through a haunted-theater immersive experience, getting splashed in a Halloween horror show in the basement of a spaghetti emporium, sweating through a DIY D&D in a comic shop, savoring (har har!) Sweeney Todd’s enraged high notes, and trying to quiet my howling dog in a public house. I’ve found myself in some odd and awkward scenarios. To update the metaphor, writing this column is a lot like drunk-clicking through an endless algorithm o…

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The 5 Best Beauty Tips For Camping OR How to Enjoy the Great Outdoors Without Resembling Sasquatch

No, this isn't a tutorial on how to use last night's campfire ashes to create a smoky eye, although, that is a kind of genius idea. Instead we have a list of practical ways to be less of a greasy B.O.…

No, this isn't a tut…

No, this isn't a tutorial on how to use last night's campfire ashes to create a smoky eye, although, that is a kind of genius idea. Instead we have a list of practical ways to be less of a greasy B.O. ball when you're without running water in the middle of nowhere. 1) Sunscreen I mean, are you really surprised? Sunscreen is my number one, all the time, yes-every-single-day, beauty item. This doesn't change when you're out roughing it. In fact, it becomes even more paramount. You know what a hot mess looks like? Red, peeling skin in a distinctly sunglasses outline. It's like invers…

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Quick Tip: Reviving Winter Hair

I may or may not be quite bitter about the spat of snow we had lately. Snow. In the words of Cher Horowitz, it's "a full on Monet." Sure, from far away it's beautiful, but up close and perso…

I may or may not be …

I may or may not be quite bitter about the spat of snow we had lately. Snow. In the words of Cher Horowitz, it's "a full on Monet." Sure, from far away it's beautiful, but up close and personal it's a big ole mess. I'm not a fan of winter in general. Sure there are lots of "activities" and "fun" and "major heart warming holidays," but I'd much rather read a book on a porch with a comfortably warm breeze idly ruffling by. In that scenario I imagine the wind flirting with the effortless waves of gorgeous hair I have flowing down from beneath a floppy hat. And by scenario I reall…

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Fat is Not A Feeling

Admittedly, this post is a little dim the lights, don a beret, and go all out Sharpie with your lower lid liner, but sometimes when it rains all day every day fora week straight you tend toward a litt…

Admittedly, this pos…

Admittedly, this post is a little dim the lights, don a beret, and go all out Sharpie with your lower lid liner, but sometimes when it rains all day every day fora week straight you tend toward a little drama. My perception of beauty has always been tied to weight. It's not like I had a specific experience that made me think ohhh, skinny is pretty, not skinny is not... I just knew. It was as innate as green meaning go. Sure, somebody must've decided it at some point, but I never gave it much thought. I just absorbed it as an aspect of society. It pains me to look back at photos of m…

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5 Ways to Amp Up Your Beauty – Patriot Style

It's Memorial Day Weekend! A sentinel marker of summer's imminence! Cookouts, picnics, and the opening of pools everywhere! Buuuuuuut... the weather still sucks. If your outdoor fun and friv…

It's Memorial Day We…

It's Memorial Day Weekend! A sentinel marker of summer's imminence! Cookouts, picnics, and the opening of pools everywhere! Buuuuuuut... the weather still sucks. If your outdoor fun and frivolity has been side lined due to Colorado's insistent impersonation of the Pacific northwest, here are five ways to bring on the patriotism and brighten up the party, even if it is indoors. 1) Add a patriotic hair accessory. 2) Consider an Amer-I-Can DIY manicure. 3) Swap out the brown and black mascara for a patriotic navy blue (like this, this, or this)(is it weird that I think …

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Night and Day, Can There Be One (Moisturizer)?

Now I lay me down to sleep, with lotion on my face that's cheap. If I should die before I wake, I pray my skin won't crack and flake. If should live a few days more, I'll find a cream I…

Now I lay me down to…

Now I lay me down to sleep, with lotion on my face that's cheap. If I should die before I wake, I pray my skin won't crack and flake. If should live a few days more, I'll find a cream I don't abhor.   Sephora, unto thee I pray, thou hast not led my face astray, help me find a good night cream, one that gives a youthful gleam, for the sun, and time, and dry air weather, has made my skin resemble leather.   Okay. So maybe not like, leather leather. I mean, I don't see aged animal hide when I look in the mirror. But my skin certainly does have …

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The Eye of the Beholder

One of my biggest inspirations these days is Cassey Ho. She is a Pilates group fitness instructor turned self-made perky internet force to be reckoned with at 28 years old. And I think that's a…

One of my biggest in…

One of my biggest inspirations these days is Cassey Ho. She is a Pilates group fitness instructor turned self-made perky internet force to be reckoned with at 28 years old. And I think that's awesome. She has helped my fit more comfortably into my pants, feel better about my whole self, and honestly, has encouraged me to pursue this writing thing as more than a wistful hobby. It's not like I've met her. She has no idea she's done this. But through the power of her videos, her message, and her brand, her encouragement sticks. I encourage you to watch this and share. She's gone …

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Beautifying You With Science

So... two things blew my mind this week and simultaneously confirmed that I live in a delicate balance of stupor and caffeination. Number one, this: UHM, WHAT!? THAT'S JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE. …

So... two things ble…

So... two things blew my mind this week and simultaneously confirmed that I live in a delicate balance of stupor and caffeination. Number one, this: UHM, WHAT!? THAT'S JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE. He posted this in January. The baby was born April 9th! HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS? I once considered taking a job in Bozeman, Montana and WHAT IF I WAS HIS BABY'S PEDIATRICIAN!?!? Yes, of course this is relevant. Clearly there's more beauty in the world now that a member of *NSYNC has procreated. The second mind blowing factoid is this, which also surfaced back in January, but I just found …

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My Vision, My Makeup: Tips for Gals in Glasses

So it only took 3 weeks, but we've finally arrived at the post I started out writing: make-up tips for the beautifully bespectacled. I tend to reserve my glasses for my lazy days. You know the one…

So it only took 3 we…

So it only took 3 weeks, but we've finally arrived at the post I started out writing: make-up tips for the beautifully bespectacled. I tend to reserve my glasses for my lazy days. You know the ones. The days that invite a uniform of yoga pants and hoodies. Or not! That's the beauty of lazy days, the ambivalence, the ease, the lack of caring how you've presented yourself to the world. Liberation. But not everyone feels similarly. Some people wear their spectacles and eschew contacts on the daily. And indeed some days I need to wear my glasses in situations where I want to be presentable…

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Red Eye Remedy

Most mornings I head to work with only sunscreen and reluctance on my face. I generally wear makeup when I'm feeling chunky, feeling sad, or have anything on the agenda that demands a little extra cou…

Most mornings I head…

Most mornings I head to work with only sunscreen and reluctance on my face. I generally wear makeup when I'm feeling chunky, feeling sad, or have anything on the agenda that demands a little extra courage from me (meetings, presentations, the possibility that Peyton Manning might be roaming the hospital's halls). I completely understand the idea of war paint and not just because of my half Native American-ness. Makeup is like a power suit for my face. It just makes me feel better, more confident. Except if I'm trying out a new look or style. Then I'm absurdly self-conscious and am convin…

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My Vision, My Makeup: The Solution?

Alright, friends. The time has come. You can release the horses you've been holding, salvage teeth enamel from the bits you've been chomping, and abandon your seat's edge to use the whole of it to …

Alright, friends. Th…

Alright, friends. The time has come. You can release the horses you've been holding, salvage teeth enamel from the bits you've been chomping, and abandon your seat's edge to use the whole of it to sit, because yes. The makeup glasses were delivered. For those of you who were spared the suffocation that comes with seven days of bated breath, I'll recap. Last week I discussed my very limited vision and how it hinders eye makeup application. If I want to eyeline or mass-scare (the act of applying mascara)(or I suppose scaring the masses) I have to have my contacts in. Without corrective len…

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My Vision, My Makeup: The Saga

I've been a four eyes since the 2nd grade. Evidently binge reading plus optically challenged genetics equals functional blindness. It's a formula that holds true to this day. My first pair of glass…

I've been a four eye…

I've been a four eyes since the 2nd grade. Evidently binge reading plus optically challenged genetics equals functional blindness. It's a formula that holds true to this day. My first pair of glasses had comically large pink plastic frames, because why wouldn't they. It was like I was trying to earn another merit badge in dorkdom. High waters? Check. Preference for books over human interaction? Check. Thick corrective lenses that if swiped off my face rendered me helpless? Aww yeah. Because of this, I only wear makeup and glasses simultaneously if I've already done my makeup for the …

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Dueling Mascaras: Dior vs. L’Oreal

You may think you already know the answer to this. Bigger is always better, and all that. It's practically the American way. But I needed to find out for myself... Is Dior's Diorshow Blackout Masca…

You may think you al…

You may think you already know the answer to this. Bigger is always better, and all that. It's practically the American way. But I needed to find out for myself... Is Dior's Diorshow Blackout Mascara really worth $27.50? Oomph and drama. Those sound desirable when it comes to equipping my eyeball fibers to bat and flutter. Is it great mascara? Yes. It separates, has a great color pay-off, did not clump until it was well past dried out, and made me feel like a cross between Betty Boop and a Manga character. Is it worth $27.50? In my world, that's a lot of money. That's like, two…

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Valentine’s or Galentine’s, I’ve Got Your Makeup Looks Covered

In case you haven't been inside a commercial retailer in the last 5 weeks, next week will bring February 14th: Valentine's Day. I'm not going to get into the singles/couples/heteronormative mes…

In case you haven't …

In case you haven't been inside a commercial retailer in the last 5 weeks, next week will bring February 14th: Valentine's Day. I'm not going to get into the singles/couples/heteronormative mess of it all. I'll just say I'm looking forward to celebrating love. I like sending little Valentine's Day packages to my niece and nephew in an effort to impress upon them that their marital status is not the only love in their life that matters. Especially since they're both under the age of 12, so they'd better not even HAVE a marital status. So, chances are, you're going to venture outsi…

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What is BB Cream?

Does anyone remember Butterfinger BB’s? They were endorsed by Bart Simpson in the ‘90s and they were delicious. They were bite sized Butterfinger mustket-esque looking balls. Mmmm… Butterfinger …

Does anyone remember…

Does anyone remember Butterfinger BB’s? They were endorsed by Bart Simpson in the ‘90s and they were delicious. They were bite sized Butterfinger mustket-esque looking balls. Mmmm… Butterfinger balls. Clearly, I have etched them on my brain so they were the first thing I thought of when I started to hear about this “BB” business, immediately followed by “You’ll shoot your eye out.” Have you heard about BB Creams? I feel like they came up out of nowhere and all of a sudden every major line of cosmetics has their own version to tout. Upon further investigation, they did…

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Is your makeup bag a time capsule… for bacteria?

MICROBES! Ew, right? They're everywhere. So, if you're like me and still have the liquid foundation you bought your first year of college... this quiz is for you. 1) When it comes to eyeshadow, …

MICROBES! Ew, right?…

MICROBES! Ew, right? They're everywhere. So, if you're like me and still have the liquid foundation you bought your first year of college... this quiz is for you. 1) When it comes to eyeshadow, I… a) still have the hue I wore to prom 12 years ago b) use a value sized pot of neutral base scored at a Y2K Sam's Club blowout c) horde palettes like doomsday preppers horde water bottles d) throw any away that I’ve lived with for 2 years   2) You need to borrow a lipstick? How about… a) this Radical Raging Red my cousin gave me as a bridesmaid gift in 1992 b) a gloss …

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Natural Product Beauty Boxes

Stereotypes are basically a societal manifestation of the transitive property: People who read a lot are smart. People who read a lot need glasses. Smart people need glasses. Therein lies th…

Stereotypes are basi…

Stereotypes are basically a societal manifestation of the transitive property: People who read a lot are smart. People who read a lot need glasses. Smart people need glasses. Therein lies the nexus of this post: Boulder residents live in the Boulder Bubble. The Boulder Bubble is insulated from the rest of the world. Boulder residents are insulated from the rest of the world. With this knowledge it has to be said... we are the ideal target for subscription boxes. Have you heard of them? They're popping up a-plenty in basically every genre of commerce: pets, candy, menses, an…

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Beauty Book Review: Face Forward by Kevyn Aucoin

Kevyn Aucoin had every reason to fail. Or to not even fail. “Fail” implies he had opportunities for success that eluded him; he didn’t. He was a feminine, gangly, boy who lived in the homophobic…

Kevyn Aucoin had eve…

Kevyn Aucoin had every reason to fail. Or to not even fail. “Fail” implies he had opportunities for success that eluded him; he didn’t. He was a feminine, gangly, boy who lived in the homophobic South with his Catholic adoptive family. Despite this, he became a self taught master who achieved an unprecedented celebrity in his forty years of life across the worlds of beauty, entertainment, and fashion. His storied resume is nothing short of amazing. I had cursory knowledge of his achievements following the publication of his 1999 book, Making Faces. My mom had a copy of the book an…

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A Shimmer Shadow Showdown

In the way that Christmas’s go-to decor colors are red & green, Hallowen’s are orange & black, Valentine’s is pink or puke, New Years Eve’s is glitter. Glitter, glitter, glitter. Na…

In the way that Chri…

In the way that Christmas’s go-to decor colors are red & green, Hallowen’s are orange & black, Valentine’s is pink or puke, New Years Eve’s is glitter. Glitter, glitter, glitter. Naturally, I expect you’ll be incorporating this central tenet into your New Years makeup look. And by “you” I mean those readers who still actually leave the house to celebrate New Year’s (and are therefore young enough to get away with wearing glitter makeup without soliciting pitying looks from passers-by.) I, on the other hand, am probably (definitely?) outside the age range for whom a g…

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