When You Gaze Into the Eyeball Pedicure, the Eyeball Pedicure Gazes Back — See Photos

My Instagram explore page is almost always full of intricate beauty looks: think manicures with 3D charms, bold avant-garde eye makeup, and intricate braided hairstyles. Often, I’ll stumble upon a look that’s equal parts imaginative, impressive, and flat-out weird — for example, folks using makeup to transform themselves into mythical television characters are as beautiful as they are terrifying. Most recently, though, my own eyes zeroed in on something so creepy it made me do a triple-take.

When I first saw these scary-ass eyes appear on my feed, I was shocked when I realized that they were actually just a pedicure — an original design that took California-based nail artist Tahvya Krok three hours to complete. The first photo in Krok’s Instagram carousel spotlights the big toes, adorned with one eye each: one with a hazel iris, and the other light blue. These eyes look incredibly lifelike — at a closer glance, you can see all the faint strokes in each iris surrounding the pitch-black pupils. The eyelids are also raised to jut out further than the rounded eyeballs themselves, making for a more realistic effect. 

After swiping, I realized all ten toes were decorated with their own little eyeballs, each even creepier than the last. Krok tells Allure that she drew inspiration from one of her previous sets to create this pedicure for client Benny Blanco. The duo usually tends to lean toward kooky nail art when they collaborate, which is something Krok loves. 

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What to Pack for a Memorial Day Weekend Getaway

Spring was a blip. Winter lasted forever. Now, summer is finally here and Memorial Day weekend allows us to christen the transition. Whether you’re jetting to the Hamptons, Catskills, or enjoying the sun from your own backyard (read: fire escape), you’ll likely have a few summer essentials on hand. So, we asked our staffers to divulge the items they’re tossing in their weekender bags, too. Think: sunblock, straw totes, swimwear, and more. Continue reading to discover the summer essentials our editors can’t live without.

Courtside Canvas Large Tennis Tote

No Memorial Day weekend would be complete without a few rounds of tennis, and this delightful tennis tote from Kate Spade is just the upgrade my game needs. It’s sizable and able to hold multiple racquets (I’m still a Babolat girl), plus it has multiple, incredibly well thought-out compartments to hold all my sunblock, grips, visors, and so much more.

Kate Spade

Ultralight Cashmere V-Neck Sweater

This deep V-neckline cashmere sweater is pure joy. Not only does it fit perfectly—and I mean PERFECTLY—and work with anything and everything, it’s also so finely crafted that you feel extra luxurious throwing it on over anything, light chill or not.


HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

I’m beyond obsessed with Alastin’s tinted mineral sunscreen. I’ve been using it in lieu of foundation, and love the sheer, dewy coverage and incredible sun protection. Definitely throwing this in every beach and tennis bag all summer long.


The Beach Bundle

This is the beach chair to end all beach chairs. From the sand-proof and waterproof side pocket to the adjustable cup holder to the removable awning, Sunflow thought of everything.


The Capri Dress

Mirth’s amazing quality and flowy silhouettes make for the perfect effortless summer look. You can see exactly how this dress was inspired by its laid-back yet elevated namesake Italian island.


Rachel in Antigua

There is a spot reserved for Skatie’s Antigua print in my duffel for all upcoming getaways. The structure of the suit plays off of the “vintage prep” vibe of the print to make for the perfect beach statement this summer.


Raffia Tote Bag

The crochet trend has arguably shaped my entire summer wish list, starting with this Prada tote. We’re staying local this MDW, but a bag like this could turn a family trip to the neighborhood pool into a vacation. I need it.


Dior Addict Lip Tint

While I limit my makeup by the pool, I never regret a finishing touch like a berry lip.There’s just something that feels very old Hollywood glam about a red lip, oversized sunglasses, and a flattering one-piece. I’ll probably be channeling that vibe all summer.


North Star Signet Ring

Nothing pairs better with a Rose spritzer on MDW than a fist full of yellow gold rings. I love that this North Star signet also takes inspiration from sailing. While we won’t be going out on the water next week, I can still pretend, right?


Evil Eye Summer Cardi

I’m obsessed with Ajaie Alaie’s latest collection and can’t wait to buy the new Evil Eye Summer Cardi in Desert. It’s the perfect colorful, light summer layer, and, of course, I will buy anything with an evil eye design.

Ajaie Alaie

The Anne-Marie

My Solid & Striped one-piece has lasted me almost a decade and I finally treated myself to an upgrade (The Anne-Marie) for my upcoming summer getaway plans. It fits perfectly and has a classic look to it that will definitely last me another decade.

Solid & Striped

Miuccia Sunglasses

I love packing colorful sunglasses for summer holidays to add some color to my face. I’ll most likely be in the water most days and won’t be wearing much eye makeup. I’ve been eyeing Sun Buddies’ seasonal Miuccia style in Sulfur this season to add to my collection.

Sun Buddies

x Ziah High Neck Swimsuit

In the realm of swimwear, I prefer simple, streamlined silhouettes. Despite its potential for inconvenient tanlines, I love the sleek high neckline—balanced with an open back, of course.

St Agni

Oversized Print Silk Shirt

I always take a few more fashion risks come summer. (That really just means the occasional stripe or polka dot for my navy-clad self). A printed silk button down is the perfect staple to ease myself into a louder sartorial rotation.


High Waist Asymmetric Skirt

I’ve been on a lengthy hunt for a full-white midi skirt. I’m obsessed with Commission, so I was thrilled when I stumbled upon this offering. It’s still sitting in my cart but I’m planning to pair it with everything from t-shirts to bodysuits, sweatshirts to swimwear.


Leigh Weiss, Affiliate Coordinator

Mykonos II

I am a huge fan of all of Illesteva’s sunglasses, but I particularly love these. No matter how casual your outfit is, throw these on with some gold jewelry and your look will instantly be complete.


Barbados Hat

Similar to my sentiment around the pair of Illesteva’s above, a cute daytime hat is my second go-to accessory for elevating a casual outfit. This one, in particular, is also easy to travel with!

Nikki Beach

Golden Hour Deet-Free Repellent

From the end of May through September, I become a walking blood buffet, so insect repellant is essential. I hate the smell and feel of DEET-based products, so this season I am trying out alternatives like this launch from Kinfield. It smells like citronella and vanilla, and it has left me bite-free so far!


Krillan Clog

There’s nothing I love more than clopping around a local farmers’ market in search of the perfect charcuterie components in clog sandals. It is my favorite activity, especially on vacation. Just make sure you give yourself time to break in your clogs before attempting a full day wearing them!

Swedish Hasbeens

White Sophie Short Dress

I don’t abide by the Labor-Day-through-Memorial-Day white clothes moratorium, but little white dresses and warm-weather long weekends go together like heirloom tomatoes and burrata. This cotton frock by Staud is key to living out my cottagecore vacation dreams!



Best Curly Hair Styling Tips For Defined, Shiny Hair

When it comes to curls, YouTuber and content creator Chloe Homan knows how to chat. Known by her online moniker Frizzandfrillzz, Homan has built an online community of curly-haired folx on the foundation of celebrating and embracing their hair — a topic we discussed in detail over Google Hangouts. “Growing up in the 2000s, I felt like curls weren’t seen as pretty or well-kept, and that you needed to straighten and then curl your hair for it to be okay,” Homan shared — while adding with a laugh that, although she’s always worn her curly hair natural, “whether it looked great or not is a different story.” Years of styling experimentation led to the 2010 launch of her now established YouTube channel — a platform she fills with engaging vlogs spanning from curl tutorials to product reviews. “When I was in my mid-20s, I started to really focus on how to do my curls and spend extra time on them. It was a lot of trial and error. I think [the best thing about being a content creator] is honestly the random DM that you get from somebody saying, ‘Thank you so much — ever since following you, I’ve never felt more confident in myself. I’ve never felt so good with my natural hair,'” Homan explained. When tasked with walking us through her own tried-and-true hair rituals, Homan dished on a three-step styling routine that keeps her curls looking defined but bouncy. Keep reading for a full walkthrough, including visuals of her most sworn-by products live in action.


Best Accessories, Saddle Bags, Hats

When it was revealed that ERL‘s Eli Russell Linnetz would be working with Kim Jones on Dior‘s Spring 2023 capsule collection, the entire Highsnobiety team got excited.

Since its inception in 2018 we’ve seen ERL dress everyone from Kid Cudi and A$AP Rocky, to Hailey Bieber and Bella Hadid, and it has quickly become one of the most exciting emerging labels to watch. It was only a matter of time before one of the luxury giants would snatch up Eli, and tap into his imagination for a collaboration.

Over the past few seasons, Dior has collaborated with plenty of artists including Hajime Sorayama, Kenny Scharf, and Peter Doig, so it felt refreshing to see Kim Jones turn to a young designer this time around.

On the runway we saw new iterations of ERL’s signature Wave hoodie, all elevated with luxury materials, of course, as well as the label’s recognizable quilted designs, both across jackets as well as bags.

Dubbed “California Couture,” the collection took inspiration from ERL’s Venice Beach heritage – especially when it comes to skating.

Models paraded down the runway in chunky skate trainers equipped with thick laces, reminding us of back in the day when we were all rocking DC shoes. I never learned how to skateboard, but ERL’s Dior trainers might just make me learn.

The level of detail across the shoes is astonishing. Each layer has been carefully crafted with small logos, intricate materials, and innovative designs to create the final product, which showcases Dior’s incomparable craftsmanship.

Of course, there were also plenty of new Saddle bags on the runway.

The signature Dior silhouette got reimagined with ERL’s padded design and equipped with a chunky gold chain (already seen on Kim Kardashian‘s Instagram!), and made into an array of colors including bright pink and baby blue.

There were also glitter versions of the bag – and tiny ones, too.

The micro bags were worn like necklaces, or as crossbody bags with the accompanying gold chain.

Chokers in different materials and colors popped up in a few of the looks, and we also spotted statement sunglasses, some really good ties, and plenty of hats.

There were caps sporting the co-branded ERL x Dior logo, as well as structured hats that almost look like they have ears, sock-like beanies, and fluffy bucket hats.

Lastly, we also saw the same sparkly material that appeared across the apparel turned into long scarves. One was worn with a bare chest, which only kept me thinking about how scratchy the material must feel. Anyway, it looks stunning – who cares about comfort!

Needless to say, ERL took Dior to a whole new level and breathed new, youthful life into the label. The whole collection was a play with colors, textures, and materials, and it has already been an instant success on social media and amongst fashion lovers all over the world.


This Gorgeous Outdoor Furniture Is Discounted for Memorial Day

Looking for more of the best deals? Check out Today’s Best Deals, where we collect the best savings, discounts and promotions every day.

If you’re looking forward to summer and the warmer weather that brings, this could be the perfect time to upgrade your home’s outdoor areas, like that deck, patio or balcony. If your outdoor space has gone neglected, Outer’s Memorial Day Sale is your opportunity to make your yard look beautiful, while also making it more comfortable and welcoming. The furniture doesn’t come cheap, but it is well worth it if you plan on spending any time outdoors this year. The deal is tiered, so if you spend over $5,900, you get $200 off, over $7,900 you get $400 off and over $9,900 you get $1,000 off — just use code MEMDAY22 at checkout. That may not sound like much, but when you start spending, any discount helps.


Teak Outdoor Loveseat


Though traditionally, outdoor furniture tends to make us think of cheap wicker and sun-bleached pillows, Outer has turned that preconception on its head with a robust collection of sturdy, well-built sofas, sectionals, ottomans, tables and more — all made to thrive without a roof overhead. Crafted from things like aluminum, teak wood, and tightly-woven high-quality wicker, this furniture is so alluring you might actually forget your home has an indoor area.


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The 9 Best Hair Towels of 2022 for Healthy, Shiny Hair, According to Experts

If you’re using a bath towel to dry your body and hair, it’s time to introduce you to some hair towels or otherwise known as hair turbans. You may be thinking: Do we really need to add yet another step to our hair-care routines? The answer is yes — well, at least if you want to keep your hair as healthy as possible. According to New York City-based colorist Nikki Ferrara, adding a towel specific to the hair has so many benefits. “Frizzy hair will be minimized, hair patterns will be more defined, breakage or split ends will be minimized, and they cut down the average drying time,” she says. 

So, what makes these towels so different? Most hair towels are made out of an absorbent microfiber material, which absorbs excess water. “They also are known to be more gentle on hair because they feel more plush and soft compared to traditional terry cloth towels,” Ferrara adds. 

While all of these hair towels may seem very similar, they all have different features for different hair needs. Some have little loops for hands-free drying, others are made of jersey cotton, and some are designed for color-treated hair and can find many on Amazon, Sephora, or Ulta Beauty. Regardless of your hair desires, we promise there is one for all hair types. Keep scrolling to see the best hair towels for your healthiest hair ever. 

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Exploring the Power of Fragrance for Mood & Memories

My maternal great-grandmother wore Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds. It was the last step in her routine. She would take her time and spritz her pulse points at her vanity before leaving for work or church or whatever event she had deemed worthy enough for the white floral scent. Her scent lingered long after she left a room and conversation—about who the woman wearing the scent was—arose amongst those left behind in her wake. My mother and her four sisters would watch, mesmerized. It wasn’t just the scent or the bottle design that was special. The person wearing it was, too. A scent streamlines information from the wearer to those around them and says, “This is who I am,” or, “This is who I want to be.” It gave one the ability to create glamour within their life even if the opposite was true.

When my great-grandmother was out of sight, my mother would run into the bathroom and spray White Diamonds on her neck and wrist, mimicking my great-grandmother’s delicate ritual. For the women in my family, there is no higher form of praise than, “You smell good.”

Smell is one of our first senses to develop. The olfactory epithelium, a tissue that sits at the top of our nasal cavity, is filled with neurons that contain odorant receptors. When we inhale, these receptors send signals to the brain and register as a smell. For other senses—hearing, seeing, touching, and tasting—scientists know the why and how behind our body’s responses. That isn’t the case for scent: we still don’t know what causes the receptors to light up and send signals to the brain. We don’t know why two people can smell the same scent and have opposite olfactory reactions. We do know, however, perception shapes scent, influences moods, and triggers memories. The olfactory system is connected to the limbic system, the part of the brain that processes emotions and memories.

“My body couldn’t escape my small suburban Ohio town, but perfume was an escape hatch to a more glamorous me, even if it was only for a moment.”

A love of fragrance is my birthright. As a child, I flipped through the pages of magazines and department store catalogs searching for scent strips. I’d bring my nose down to the page, close my eyes, and inhale deeply before rubbing the scent against my wrist, careful not to use too much. The flap of paper embedded with smells was a portal into a new world. Like my mother had done to her grandmother, I would sneak into her bathroom and spray my body with White Diamond.

To me, a woman was someone with a signature scent. My first one was Victoria’s Secret Bombshell. There was nothing more exciting than handing over money earned from my summer retail job in exchange for the tropical, fruity-floral scent that would transform me into the adult women I was hellbent on becoming. I sprayed the scent on every day for months and wondered if everyone around me could tell that something had changed.

My body couldn’t escape my small suburban Ohio town, but perfume was an escape hatch to a more glamorous me, even if it was only for a moment.

Photo: Simon Emmett / Trunk Archive

Every season has its own scent. E.M. Forster writes the following in A Room with a View:

“But, once in the open air, she paused. Some emotion—pity, terror, love, but the emotion was strong—seized her, and she was award of autumn. Summer was ending, and the evening brought her odors of decay, the more pathetic because they were reminiscent of spring.”

It is always the most intense at the beginning, before our noses grow blind to the season’s scents. Spring usually drifts in through my open bedroom window, along with music floating from cars driving past my apartment. If spring was a fragrance, the notes would include cut grass, rain showers, and fresh blossoms. If autumn brings “odors of decay,” then spring is the exact opposite. Change is in the air. I put down my heavy woods and deep musks in search of a lighter scent that evokes spring’s mood. I spritz scents that combine citrus and floral notes with fresh and earthy ones onto my pulse points. I inhale. The scents call to mind new beginnings. It’s an escape from the drudgery of the long, dark, cold winter. It’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Photo: Simon Emmett / Trunk Archive

The word perfume means “through smoke,” a reference to the incense burned in ancient Egyptian and Greek religious ceremonies. In an essay on Christianity and scent, religious scholar Susan Ashbrook Harvey writes, “Through smell, human and divine could meet, not face-to-face as distinct realities, but intermingled in a communion of being.” Once sprayed, a fragrance will react to the pH of the skin it is sitting on. Only the interaction of the perfume—the divine—with the chemicals of the skin—the human—can determine the smell and trigger the transformation one is seeking. There is little scientific research about the mechanisms behind this interaction. But it doesn’t make it any less real.


This Might Be Chromat’s Most Inclusive Swimwear Collection Yet

Becca McCharen-Tran is waiting for a call from DHL. The samples from Chromat’s Spring 2022 collection of inclusive swimsuits — for trans femmes, non-binary people, and intersex bodies, and developed with activist and filmmaker Tourmaline — is ready and waiting in the factory. She’s just trying to get them Stateside. “I need to import these garments to Miami so I can actually start selling them,” she says at the SCADStyle conference — hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta where she was a guest speaker in April — noting production issues and the pandemic contributed to delays. “It’s been a long time coming.” 

McCharen-Tran and Tourmaline’s collab was introduced in September at a pop-up runway show on Jacob Riis Beach, a haven for queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming New Yorkers. The collection — which comes in sizes 4X to extra small and is made from nylon spun from recycled fishing nets — is fitting for the Miami-based label that has valued sustainability and inclusivity long before it became fashionable to do so. Since the beginning, the brand showcased models of all sizes, as well as models with disabilities, on the runway.

“There’s no rule that says you have to work with people that are size four or you have to work with all cis people,” they say. “As a designer, you choose who you cast, and that is a responsibility. And I think maybe some people are just fine with the status quo, but every choice is political, no matter which direction you go.”

It’s also why McCharen-Tran, who was an urban planner before she learned how to sew, turned to the swimwear category. “One of the reasons swim was so successful is because it is such a vulnerable garment. It’s something that [some] people feel deeply uncomfortable wearing in public,” they told students gathered at SCADStyle. “Our ethos [is]: celebrate your body; be comfortable in your body. Here’s a million different bodies that may look like yours and they look amazing, so you are too.”

While attending SCADStyle, Refinery29 caught up with McCharen-Tran to chat about the collection. Ahead, what we can expect from the new drop and Chromat in the future. (And, in case you were wondering, DHL came through — and the suits are now for sale.)

What makes the new collection different from Chromat’s previous offerings?

We really are creating an entirely new category that does not exist in the market. Not to be someone who’s really tooting my own horn, but when I was doing research for the collection, for girls with penises, there literally is nothing. You have to wear menswear bottoms; you don’t have a high-waisted bikini bottom. As a woman, a high-waisted bikini bottom, that’s a must-have. I think this is going to be really interesting to get real consumer feedback. For years I’ve had people DM me like, “I’m trans femme, what bottoms do you recommend?” So I know there is a need.

It’s important, because we are for the people, and we want to make sure that we’re doing things that are serving people. We would never want to make something that just to make it. 

Diversity and inclusion have always been part of Chromat’s DNA. Other brands are finally catching up, but sometimes it veers into tokenism. Where do you see the industry headed?

I have really struggled with figuring out what I feel about tokenism. Because sometimes it feels like a positive thing — to just have at least someone there where there was no one. But on the other side, the feeling of the person who is tokenized, it’s such a negative feeling for them. It’s traumatizing and damaging. So I think, if it’s not a holistically inclusive place, it actually does more damage than good to the people who participate in that.

You showed the new collection last September at Jacob Riis Beach, instead of a typical New York Fashion Week venue, and skipped last season in February. Do you think you’ll show on the runway again?

I think I’m gonna be focusing on [showing a new collection] once a year, instead of twice a year; that feels more sustainable. Now I’m more thinking about quality of life for myself and my team. The pandemic gave me so much time to kind of peel back what’s smoke and mirrors and what’s really important. I feel like one collection a year is the perfect amount, because I don’t want to make anyone stay up till 2 a.m. anymore. It’s not worth killing yourself over and not having a life.

You’re chromat_party on TikTok. How do you think the platform is shaping the fashion industry?

I’m personally obsessed with TikTok. It’s literally like TV to me. I’m on DIY TikTok. I love to do the dances and there’s so much politics and social justice and knowledge-sharing and hacks. Maybe it’s just my little algorithm, but one thing I’ve seen on TikTok is so many upcyclers and DIY people. I genuinely feel that we all need to be upcycling. If you can sew, start buying more from Goodwill and less at the mall because there are already so many garments out there. We need as a society to change the flow of consumerism and start reusing things. 

What’s next for Chromat?

I’m trying to find that artist in myself again, like that little Björk-loving 10-year-old Becca. I think the pandemic offered me a lot of reflection time. I’m also trying to think of systems outside of capitalism; I kind of went on a whole Marxist journey during COVID. I felt like COVID exposed the system for what it is — who is winning and who is losing? [I am thinking,] how can we increase smaller businesses in every country in every city so people can do upcycling on a larger scale?

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

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Inside Anna Delvey’s NYC Art Show, “Allegedly”

On the third Thursday of May, I steeled myself outside the leafy entrance of New York City’s Public Hotel, flooded with Santal 33-wearers, gallery girls, aging art bros, and amused members of the press. It was there, on the heavily perfumed corner of Chrystie Street on the Lower East Side, that Anna Delvey was holding her first solo art show — sort of.

With limited supplies provided by Founders Art Club, an advisory firm that now represents Delvey, the scammer extraordinaire created a series of 20 pen-on-paper drawings, which her attorneys skillfully smuggled out of jail.

Eyeing an eventual profit, the firm bought the entire series outright. Interested investors can purchase partial ownership of the collection, which Founders Art Club will show at prominent galleries and events to bolster its value. Eventually, the company hopes to auction the works through the likes of Christie’s or Sotheby’s.

Obviously, I had to see the drawings myself — by now, incessant media coverage of Delvey has transformed the German grifter into a character so absurd, it’s difficult to remember she’s real.

So I mounted the Public’s mirrored escalator and made my way to Bar Chrystie on the second floor. Once inside, I was immediately confused: where’s the art, I thought, scanning the empty walls. I wondered if what appeared to be a framed rectangle of silver foil was Delvey’s making.

The crowd was a bizarre mash-up of people I vaguely recognized, along with some totally perplexed boomers. There were people who were trying too hard; people who weren’t trying enough; Europeans; Gutes Guterman from The Drunken Canal. Everyone was sipping on Delvey-themed drinks.

Approximately one art-less hour into the event, a drag queen — ostensibly dressed like Delvey in glasses, a corseted blazer, and black turtleneck — performed a spoken word-meets-dance number inspired by the woman of the night. Random.

Fifteen minutes of recovery time later, am emcee told us to get ready, because shit was about to go down. The DJ stopped the music, replacing thrumming bass with a trilling phone line. The automated intro to a prison collect call flooded the speakers, and Delvey’s very obviously pre-recorded voice came on the line: “Anna Delvey here,” she crooned in that unmistakable accent.

“I’m so very exited to unveil my first ever collection titled ‘Allegedly.’ This is a collection of sketches I created while in ICE Orange County detention. I wanted to capture some of the moments of the past years, both never-seen-before and iconic, using limited tools I had at my disposal.

“Some of the pieces are straightforward, others are more abstract… I studied fashion illustration in Paris and haven’t really sketched until my trial. You’ve heard so many voices already, but this is the beginning of me telling my story, my narrative, from my perspective.”

And so it began. Turns out, this wasn’t just any old art show. Screw levels and decals — this was a fashion runway boots the house down art show, oklurt. Models dressed in black sunglasses and sheer, gauzy ski masks paraded through the bar holding each Delvey-drawn sketch.

Among the swindler’s works: a drawing of herself with “RETIRED INTERN” scrawled above her head in New York Post-esque font; a drawing of herself lounging in bed with room service; a drawing of herself floating on an “ICEberg.”

The entire thing was utterly entertaining. Hilarious, even. It was hardly an art show — it was the Anna show, more about celebrating her larger-than-life antics than any art career in the making.

After the runway-cum-art reveal, attendees were informed that the extravaganza would continue upstairs. After observing the models pose, framed drawings in hand, with some random old white men, I decided it was time to say goodnight.

I bid farewell to the girls doused in Le Labo. I bid farewell to the tote-bag-carrying writers. I bid farewell to the vibes. Suddenly, I was back in the real world.


Just How Good Is Brooks’s Latest Super Shoe?

Race day is when it all comes together for runners — and there’s nothing quite as exciting as toeing the starting line in a high-octane super shoe. Designed for speed, these super-kicks feature lightweight builds and carbon fiber plates for popping responsiveness and energy return.

Brooks first made waves in the super shoe game in 2018, when Desiree Linden became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in over three decades, crossing the finish line in a prototype pair of what eventually became the Hyperion Elite racers. Five years removed from that milestone, Brooks has advanced its lineup of race-ready treads with the release of the all-new Hyperion Elite 3.

Featuring a redesigned upper and nitrogen-infused DNA Flash midsole, this responsive ride is the brand’s latest crack at the pole position for premium race day footwear. But how does this latest Brooks runner fit within the super shoe category?

After running in the HE3s for a few weeks, I definitely see the positives in these new shoes. Fast and fun as they may be, however, there’s still a little to be desired if you’re looking for peak performance on race day. Here’s why.

brooks hyperion elite 3

Ben Emminger

The energy is there with the HE3s, but they need more zip.

The HE3s carry over a handful of tech components from their previous iteration, the Hyperion Elite 2s, including the DNA Flash midsole, carbon fiber plate and identical outsole. These create a fun, responsive ride that gave me some snap in transition. I also had no issues turning over my feet when I quickened my pace, and I really think the shoes showed their best during tempo training.

That said, while the ride is energetic and more responsive than other running shoes, the pop you’d want in a super shoe just isn’t there. I was unable to really feel the presence of the carbon plate, and most of the forward propulsion could be attributed to the denser foam and Rapid Roll shape of the midsole.

Does it perform? Yes. But there are other racers out there in today’s running landscape that provide a bigger boost.

brooks hyperion elite 3

Brooks Running

brooks hyperion elite 3

Brooks Running

The redesigned upper is where the HE3s shine.

While I wanted a little more zip in the midsole, the redesigned upper of the HE3s is everything you’d desire in a running shoe. The QuicKnit upper stretches comfortably and breathes well for a durable cloak over your foot. There are also tight-knit areas around the sole and heel for added support, without taking away from the shoe’s eye-catching silhouette.

Speaking of the heel, the HE3s boast an updated heel and collar area with added padding to improve comfort and defend against irritation. As someone who has suffered from blistering due to running shoes in the past, this was a nice addition to the profile.

Both the QuicKnit and revamped heel combine to create a ride that’s ultra-secure, too. There’s no denying that locked-in feel, especially when tying down Brooks’ new serrated laces. These flat, ridged laces created a firm knot that stayed in place yet wasn’t a burden to untie at the end of the day. Brooks also added a neon lace catch to the tongue, so you can conveniently keep your bunny ears from flopping around as you stride.

brooks hyperion elite 3

Brooks Running

So, is the Hyperion Elite 3 a true super shoe?

The HE3s come in at $250, showcasing Brooks’ aim to compete with other race day staples at that range. To me, the missing energy return doesn’t justify the price. A super shoe should help you transfer your energy at peak efficiency when you need it most, and when put into this category, the new HE3s fall just a little short.

With that said, I can’t complain about the ride and will definitely be keeping these in my running rotation. These are great shoes — just categorized incorrectly. If you’re already a fan of the Brooks stable and are looking for a lightweight pick for tempo days, the HE3 checks all the boxes.

Hyperion Elite 3



  • QuicKnit upper is stretchy and breathable for a smooth, comfortable ride
  • Serrated laces stay in place throughout your run
  • Can’t feel the rigidity and return of the carbon plate
  • Performance doesn’t justify the premium price

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