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UO Beauty: Obsessed with Oils

Oils. Everyone's talking about them. For your skin, your hair, your your oatmeal. Don't know your argan from your marula? Robin Black of Beauty is Boring breaks it down for us, so you can reap the beauty benefits of the luscious stuff. Read the full feature here.

First Person: Karaoke

Karaoke isn't just standing in a room and singing a song
it's a performance, a live show, a party and, yes, it's even a form of art. Whether you're renting out a room at your local karaoke hotspot, singing in front of 35 strangers, or busting out your PlayStation at two in the morning for a round of SingStar, k
araoke is one of our top party pastimes. 

What's better than
 getting together with your friends to sing your favorite songs and failing miserably while trying to remember the choreography to "Single Ladies"? 
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

For those of you too shy to try, I promise you won't regret it. 
When it comes to karaoke, there are no regrets—only proof that you're way more fun than you thought you were. 

We asked some friends and karaoke aficionados for their favorite places to perform, their go-to songs and their ultimate karaoke moments. Trust us, you won't want to miss a thing. —Alex & Ally 

Who: Charli XCX / Musician / London
Karaoke Song: "Kiss" or "Nothing Compares 2 U" by Prince
Karaoke Spot: New York. It's always better there and people take it really seriously, which is always funny. I actually went 'round one of my fans house recently to have a karaoke party with them and all of their friends. It was kind of crazy... 
Charli XCX's new album SuperLove is out now. 

Who: Tyler Glenn / Singer in Neon Trees / Provo, Utah 
Karaoke Song: "White Wedding" by Billy Idol. Belting the "start again" part is a real treat. 
Karaoke Spot: I'm very picky, but mostly I like to do it at stuffy industry parties or creepy sports bars. 

Who: Olivia Bee / Photographer / Brooklyn
Karaoke SongSomething by Madonna! Or the "Ooh You Touched My Tralala" song.
Karaoke SpotA friend's basement.

Who: JC Coccoli / Comedian / Los Angeles
Karaoke SongSalt-N-Peppa's "Shoop"
Karaoke SpotKorea Town. (Or a rich person's house. Those are always pretty epic.)

Who: Katie McCurdy / Photographer / NYC 
Karaoke Song: Cheap Trick "I Want You to Want Me" 
Karaoke Spot: Sing Sing or 59 Canal, NYC. 
Recently at a karaoke bar in the Poconos, PA, I was reprimanded by a security guard because my "dance routine" was a "safety hazard." 

Who: Jeremy Burke / Founder of Loud Village / Los Angeles
Karaoke Song"When You Were Young" by The Killers and also "Time To Pretend" by MGMT when I'm with my buddy, Ryan.
Karaoke SpotYE RUSTIC INN! We go every Tuesday after my comedy show at Best Fish Taco (it's right down the street). That or some good ol' Korean Karaoke in KTown.

Who: Miles Garber / Musician & Model / L.A. & NYC
Karaoke Song: "With Arms Wide Open" by Creed
Karaoke Spot: Wherever my friends and I stumble upon.

Who: Bobby Whigham / Photographer / Philadelphia
Karaoke Song: Salt-N-Peppa and any '90s love ballad 
Karaoke SpotRed Lounge in South Philly. It's a semi-hidden gem that is just starting to get some exposure. The amount of space you have to perform and hold the audience in the palm of your hand here is epic.

Who: Jac Vanek / Boss Lady at JAC VANEK (Shop at UO) / Los Angeles
Karaoke Song: Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"
Karaoke SpotEither a shitty dive in Korea Town or for embarrassing novelty, Saddle Ranch.

Who: Joe Kusy / Guitarist and Vocalist for Far-Out Fangtooth / Philadelphia
Karaoke Song: "Give Me Just A Little More Time" by The Chairmen of the Board, although I really want to get wasted and do "That's Life" by Frank Sinatra.
Karaoke Spot: It's a tie between Ray's Happy Birthday Bar and the Adobe Cafe.

Obsessions: Sara M. Lyons

Sara M. Lyons is one of our favorite illustrators on the 'net, and lucky for us she sells her "Creepy Cute" nail decals online right here at Urban Outfitters. We wanted to find out a little bit more about this self-proclaimed "professional weirdo," so we asked her about her illustrations, her favorite nail inspo, and whether or not she hates Tumblr.
Interview by Katie Gregory

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Sara M. Lyons and I'm an artist and illustrator from Southern California. I just moved back to Orange County after almost ten years in Long Beach, and I'm now enjoying living in the shadow of Disneyland. I make stuff inspired by punk rock, comics, cartoons, pop culture, and what I think of as my version of the American teen girl experience. I like to call myself a professional weirdo, because so much of what I create is informed by having been a weird kid.

What is your favorite thing you've ever drawn?
Oh man. I'm really proud of "Fast Cars, Cheap Thrills," the Lindsay Lohan piece I did for Von Zos, and I love my Creepy Cruisers flash. But more than my finished pieces, I think I tend to like the little doodles and things I do in my sketchbook, silly stuff that often turns into the motifs and designs I use for things like my nail decals and digital drawings.

Your "Whatever, Forever" hands have been reblogged all over the place. Overall, has Tumblr been a positive outlet for you, or is it frustrating due to the number of times you may not be credited?
I have a love-hate relationship with Tumblr, and I think any artist that uses the site would agree. I think it's a great tool for artists as far as getting your work out there, but I do think there can be a big disconnect for a lot of the site's users -- people just click reblog and feel that they now have some kind of ownership over what they're posting. Tumblr is an awesome resource for inspiration, but it's frustrating to see it being used as a stock images library. I think that people forget there's an artist on the other end of everything they're reblogging. I'd like to see the site be more proactive about educating its users about intellectual property, but at the end of the day, I'm just glad my work is reaching so many people.

Who are some illustrators that you're a fan of?
Dan DeCarlo is probably my biggest influence -- I grew up on Betty and Veronica, so there's a lot of DeCarlo in my work. I love Edward Gorey for the creepiness factor, as well as texture. I love his drawings of mysterious women in furs. Right now I'm also really into the cool, girly work of ladies like Jen Oaks, Mel Stringer and Tuesday Bassen, and I have to give shoutouts to my talented artist friends Jennie Cotterill and Nancy Chiu.

We're currently selling your "Creepy Cute" nail decals. Do you have plans to produce more sets?
I just came out with a new set of designs called "Sweet & Creepy" in my Etsy shop, which I like to think of as the sister to my "Cute & Sleazy" sets. They're just a mix of 60 different designs with no real theme. I think I'll always keep doing new sets with designs that have no rhyme or reason, but I also have some themed packs in mind for 2014 -- some fairy tale motifs and more alphabet sets are in the works. I also just started producing all-over nail prints of designs like pizza and UFOs, so I'll definitely be experimenting more with those.

When you're doing your own nails, what do you like to get done? Do you have any nail inspo you'd like to share?
I have acrylics that I keep filed pointy and I'm obsessed with them. I like my shit to be over the top -- I love loading on a bunch of 3D nail art, but all the charms and stones snag my sweaters during the colder months, so right now I'm really into holographic glitter. Some of my very favorite Instagram nail artists are @heynicenails, @thisisvenice, and @astrowifey. I make my artist boyfriend JOSHR do my nails for me sometimes too! (He likes it.) (Really.)

Do you have any secret nail tips you'd like to share with us? Any amazing under-the-radar Etsy nail shops?
I get almost all of my nail supplies from local swap meets and discount stores, but Pepper Lonely's "nail art deco" section on Etsy is the closest online approximation to the nail art booth at the Anaheim Indoor Swap Meet.

We love your style. What are you constantly on the lookout for when you're shopping?
I kind of dress like a cartoon -- I like bold prints and a limited color palette, so I gravitate towards stuff that's a little outrageous but easy to wear. I'm always looking for sweaters and tees with weird graphics or patterns, things that I can mix in with some basic staples and my motorcycle boots or Converse. I also have a weakness for quirky accessories -- novelty sunglasses, printed tights, patterned socks, silly jewelry... Oh god, just GIVE IT TO ME. I feel like the older I get the more I have a sense of humor about clothes.

Where can we find you online?
Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr!

Obsessions: Renegade Craft Fair

Ah! It’s freezing in New York (Literally, the highs have been middling in the '30s), but that didn’t stop tons of makers from hauling their cute wares to the Renegade Craft Fair this past weekend. The second annual winter fair was held at Skylight One Hanson, a beautiful venue in Downtown Brooklyn that used to be the Old Bank of Williamsburg, and now looks like a lovely, gutted Gringotts. Of course, Renegade’s winter installment is for buying gifts—whether you do traditional winter holidays or secular Secret Santa with your gal pals. Here’s what some of the Renegade makers had to say about gift-givin’ and gift-gettin’.
Interviews by Maitri Mehta

Who: Dominique Caron
What: Caru Skincare, a line of eco-friendly, beautifully packaged natural skincare.
Years at Renegade: This is her first! Dominique only started selling in March of this year. Before that, she was just making soaps for friends and family. Dominique makes all her skincare treasures in Astoria, and she taught herself (damn!) by taking classes on herbology and aromatherapy. 

Favorite product:The French Green Clay Soap. It’s the first soap I made and it’s still my favorite.”
Best stuff to gift: “Soaps--especially because you can plant the packaging and wildflowers will grow from them!”
What you're gifting this year: “I’m making custom skincare products for all my friends.” 

Who: Michelle Smith McLaughlin
What: Sweet ceramic spoons, catch-all dishes and more in soft colors. Handmade in Brooklyn at Choplet.
Years at Renegade: This is Michelle’s first year (she and her other crafty friends had a booth-decoration-making party, with wine of course).

Best stuff to gift: “I like the jewelry dishes as gifts. They’re pretty little things that are also functional.”
Best or worst gift you’ve ever gotten: “My parents bought me a plane ticket to the south of France for an art intensive, where I got to draw, paint, and travel to so many wonderful museums.”

Who: Amy Stricker Mowat and her husband 
What: Digitally produced, geographically accurate state and country cutting boards. They also make cute ornaments and other kitchen miscellanea for the holidays.

Most popular item people buy as gifts:The Michigan cutting board. People really appreciate that it includes both parts of Michigan.”
Best/worst gift you’ve ever received: “Once, my husband gave me one single earring--on purpose. They were sold individually, so he thought they were supposed to be worn that way.”
Gifts you're giving this year: “I like to gift from Etsy, usually pretty housewares, like cloth napkins.”

Who: Beth and her sister Amy who come from a long line of letterpressers. In fact, they are third-generation printers.
What: Greenwich Letterpress’ home is their brick and mortar shop in the West Village. They’ve been there for eight years, selling their hilarious and beautifully illustrated stationery and greeting cards.

Best gifts to give:
“Everyone loves the enamel pins. They’re affordable, and we love pop culture ephemera.”
Best/worst gift you’ve ever received: My ex-boyfriend gave me an iPhone…which I kept. But I was really excited to get rid of it when I upgraded. It had bad juju.”

Renegade is on the road! Next stop: Austin, TX on November 30 - Dec 1. If you’re in ATX and planning to go to buy some gifts, you can plan your visit here.

Obsessions: The Death of Pop

English band Death of Pop have cultivated a perfectly shoegaze sound with their swirling guitars and ethereal vocals that call to mind veterans of the genre like Chapterhouse and Ride. Though the group has yet to release a full album, their Bandcamp page is littered with jangly pop earworms like "Sun In My Eyes" and "What A Day." Be sure to keep your eye on these indie Brits, as their underrated singles keep getting dreamier. Hazel

Obsessions: Jessica DeCarlo

Jessica DeCarlo first started selling her handmade jewelry at the age of 16, participating in local fairs in New Jersey. Since her youth, Jessica has built her craft both locally and internationally. She has gone from studying with goldsmiths in Florence, Italy, to working with talented designers in Philadelphia and Vermont, learning the ins and out of creating and making a business out of jewelry along the way. 

Today Jessica rests her head in Brooklyn, New York and works out of her studio in Dumbo, Brooklyn. She finds inspiration in mother nature and old objects, making her a big fan of everything antique and vintage. Jessica DeCarlo's collection is available online now and offers a variety of geometric jewelry — including crescent moon-shaped necklaces and a mix of crystals (both real and metallic) — that even Stevie Nicks would find herself charmed by.

Our obsession with Jessica is at a level ten, with her gems and metalwork making us wonder what is more important in the long run: An amazing new piece of jewelry or this month's rent?  Since we're fortunate enough to be carrying her latest collection, we decided to reach out to Jessica and find out what she is obsessed with. Below are her big top five (that we can't wait to check out!). —Ally

"S'more Bakery has the most amazing treats. They are handmade, handcrafted s'mores! My favorites are The S’morgasm and The Choco."

"Have you ever seen Antiques Roadshow? I'm obsessed. People's reactions when they find out what they thought was junk in their garage is worth $100k is nothing less than amazing."

"I use Acqua Di Rose from Santa Maria Novella every single day. It's an ancient recipe made in the Florentine Hills. I found it while I was studying in Florence over 10 years ago, it's magic and has been part of my life ever since!"

"Blithe and Bonny hand-crafted beeswax candles are the best; they are subtle and smell delicious. I burn them every day at home, in the studio, and in our shop. All natural, all handmade."

"All of the vintage and estate jewelry from my pals over at Estate Jewels by George and Raf. They are the most amazing duo, with the best taste and curation of special antique jewels."