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Beauty, Hairstyles, Fashion Trends & More | SheKnows

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    And after years of trying so many salt sprays, seriously guys, so many, they've just met their match. I finally got around to trying a fun new curling iron. But it's not just any curling iron. It's a self-rotating curling iron.

    Sarah Potempa curling iron

    It's important to know that I recently chopped my hair off above the shoulders. And I love it. But anyone who tells you short hair is easier is either lying or gifted. Sure, there is less hair to dry, but there is still an art to styling it perfectly to flip and hang the way you want need it to. And when she cut my hair, my hairstylist and best friend very strictly instructed me that this is not meant to be a straight a-line bob. No, this was a messy short style that should be a little wavy, but not at the ends, and never to look like Victoria Beckham circa five-ish years ago.

    More: 4 No-heat-needed ways to curl you hair (GIFs)

    And you know when you get your hair cut and your stylist sends you home with hair that makes you feel like Beyoncé? You don't want to wash your hair for days to preserve her work of art that is your commercial-worthy hair. It feels impossible to make hair look as good as the pros do.

    Well I tried. And I succeeded for a while. There were good days and there were bad days, but I've ultimately mastered it with the help of some round brushes and my secret weapon to messy, beachy waves — this Sarah Potempa Beachwaver (I mean, it has "beachwaver" in the name. How many curling irons can say that?).

    I have to warn you though — It's $129. But ask yourself this: How many more sticky salt sprays are you willing to succumb your strands to? How many more nights can you take combing through tousled, tangled hair? Did I mention it curls your hair in less than 30 seconds? Did I mention it rotates all by itself?

    More: 7 Things you do every day to cause eye wrinkles

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    This new technique is called "strobing," and while its concept might not be relatively new, the name for it sure is, not to mention all the hype surrounding it. If the turn of phrase almost instantly reminded you of those obnoxiously long and blinding dance club lights, we’re on the same page. The two, however, are in fact similar. Strobing is basically an alternative cosmetic illumination technique for your skin, only unlike rager lights, you’ll be using makeup fit for your skin tone and (hopefully) setting aside any neon colors that may be rolling around in your makeup bag. Though if that’s what you’re into, be my guest.

    More: How to highlight and contour like a pro

    Now that we have defined "strobing," let’s talk about how it works. The first step is to narrow down your highlighter of choice. I personally recommend a cream highlighter to start, just so you have a bit more control over blending the first few times around than you would with a powder. Once you’ve chosen your tool, it’s time to put it to work.

    KimK Strobing 1a

    KimK Strobing 1a

    More: Why you should add highlighters to your beauty bag

    Apply highlighter to your cheekbones, bridge of your nose and Cupid's bow. If you’re feeling fancy or prefer to glow from all corners of your face, add a little highlighter to your temples and chin as well.

    The Liberty Strobing 1a

    The Liberty Strobing 1a

    Ashley Morales Strobing 1a

    Ashley Morales Strobing 1a

    More: Contouring and highlighting techniques for your face shape

    Strobing is overall the perfect go-to for those looking to achieve the natural look. The key is to remember that in this case, less really is more. So if you prefer to keep the cosmetics casual during your nine-to-five on weekdays or plan to spend the weekend particularly low-key, then strobing, unlike contouring, provides a slight shimmer to your skin so you'll look fab without the unnecessary cosmetic layers.

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    Lately, I've been witnessing these pants get some major action and I couldn't resist jumping on the bandwagon myself. It's refreshing to see pants from the 1960s era be the new modern-day bottom of choice. For ladies who have a day job that requires them to dress up a bit, this trend may just fill that void for the summer. We all know it's unbearably hot and some days can reach the 90s to 100s in temperature, so since shorts are usually not allowed, just go ahead and grab a pair of gauchos.

    More: 6 Ways to wear the awkward culotte trend without looking awkward at all

    Style should be about comfort and uniqueness, and when you are someone who needs to dash from work to play, dress up or dress down your funky pair of culottes. I did it my way with a pair of mint green pastel shorts and botanical floral blazer. I usually stick to basic colors when it comes to my trendy pieces but these were a steal at T.J. Maxx. Also, check out 7 ways to wear your culottes to the office without feeling too uptight and dressy.

    Here are seven street-style looks to give your stylish brain some ideas for the season:

    Look 1

    Image: via

    This color block sweater with a bold blue stripe detail looks great with a pair of crisp black culottes. It all feels casual but stylish.

    Look 2

    Image: via

    A formal sleeveless top in a bold pop of red really elevates a pair of tailored gaucho trousers. What makes this look über chic is the statement belt cinching at the waist. Complete your day to night look with a pair of high-gloss black pumps.

    Look 3

    Your mood with culottes can be feminine with a relaxed vibe like this outfit above. The two-toned floral print screams chic while the oversized top is casual. Bring it all together with a pair of shiny dancing shoes. (Topshop, $60)

    Look 4

    Image: via

    Go head-to-toe monotone to elongate your physique. To keep from looking too ordinary, add a contrasting pop of color for your shoes. I love this navy-blue and green outfit!

    Look 5

    Image: via

    A lightweight boxy, crop top pairs well with wide-leg culottes. Another monochrome work look to flaunt with a funky pair of animal print pumps.

    Look 6

    Image: via

    A lace blouse chock full of charm is the perfect complement for floral culottes. This ensemble is great for a Friday at the office on a summer day.

    Look 7

    Image: via

    This preppy-inspired look has a bit of femininity locked in. A floral button-up under a casual blazer is the epitome of nine-to-five chic.

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    According to a report by Buzzfeed, a spokesperson from Instagram said that the #curvy hashtag was banned because it often came attached to content that violated the site's nudity policies.

    So all those body confident, beautiful ladies who like to tag their pics with #curvy will need to find an alternative hashtag. Except, um, they won't have to try too hard, as there are dozens of variations, which are all still available. A quick search on Instagram suggested #curvygirl, #curvywomen, #curvymodel and #curvyfit, among many others.

    Curvy Instagram

    Curvy Instagram

    Image: Plus Size OOTD/Instagram

    What's surely more worrying than the disappearance of #curvy is the prevalence of hashtags like #fatpig, #fatf*** and #fatslag on the site. And while Instagram has disabled #thinspo, which glorifies pro-anorexia posts, #thin is still allowed, as is #skinny.

    You can also search for #dildo, #hookers, #vagina and #bitch to your heart's content (some of which come with warnings of explicit content).

    It's not the first time inconsistencies in the photo-sharing site's censorship policy have been highlighted. Activist and founder of Coco de Mer Sam Roddick had her account permanently deleted for posting "unacceptable content" (a cornice shaped like a vagina but not an actual vagina), and Chelsea Handler got her knuckles rapped for her nipple-flaunting selfies. (Incidentally, #nipple is another of those banned hashtags.) Several women's accounts were shut down after they posted breastfeeding pics, or snaps of their babies or toddlers with no tops on. Images showing pregnancy stretch marks and unshaven bikini lines have also been deleted.

    Meanwhile, Instagram is flooded with images of pre-teen and teenage girls, posing provocatively in their underwear. Male nipples. Male pubic hair. Kim Kardashian's bare ass.

    Confused? Yep, us too.

    More on body image

    Study sadly proves how men impact the ideal female body type
    Women share beautiful selfies to prove anyone can wear a crop top
    Caitlin Moran's book signing belly flash causes a stir but it shouldn't

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    So, what kind of fashionista are you? Take this quiz to find out.

    This post was brought to you by Mattel.

    More about style

    A look back at Donna Karan's legacy as a designer and a woman
    How often you should actually be washing your essential wardrobe pieces
    Skinny jeans land woman in the hospital for four days

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    More: Caitlyn Jenner endured the most hatred at the ESPYs since coming out

    Jenner made her first big appearance since her interview with Diane Sawyer at Wednesday's ESPN ESPY Awards, where she was being presented with the Arthur Ashe Award, named after the famous tennis player and AIDS activist.

    While Caitlyn has already created a reputation for herself of looking chic every time she steps out, she stepped up her game for the ESPYs in a floor-length, long sleeve white gown, but it looks a little familiar…

    More: Caitlyn Jenner had the best time at Pride — and these pics prove it

    Caitlyn Jenner dress

    Caitlyn Jenner dress

    Maybe because the dress is almost identical to one Khloe Kardashian wore just weeks ago.

    Caitlyn Jenner dress 2

    Caitlyn Jenner dress 2

    While we know it's not exactly the same dress, since Versace custom designed it for Caitlyn, we can't blame her for giving Khloe a style nod, nor would we blame her had she actually raided her step-daughter's closet. We'd do it too, if we could. Reality star and boutique entrepreneur Khloe is definitely solid style inspiration, so all we can say is Caitlyn nailed this one.

    And fans seem to agree.

    Caitlyn Jenner dress 3

    Caitlyn Jenner dress 3

    Caitlyn Jenner dress 4

    Caitlyn Jenner dress 4

    More: Caitlyn Jenner might be the new face of the Republican party

    What do you think of Caitlyn Jenner's ESPY Awards look? Head down to the comments and tell us if you think she rocked that gown.

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    We talked to beauty expert Victoria De Los Rios, a MAC-certified makeup artist who has appeared on TLC's Say Yes to the Dress and Four Weddings, to help us identify some of the beauty habits you should ditch after you turn 30. Here are seven of them.

    1. Using heavy foundation

    Caking on the foundation is a no-no for the 30-and-over set. For one thing, it clogs your pores and it's bad for your skin. For another, it can create the illusion that you're older than you really are. And who needs that? "Once we get past a certain age, less is more — so stop using heavy foundation," De Los Rios says. "Heavy foundation can really get into lines and wrinkles and make you look older."

    More: Please stop telling me what I can't wear in my 30s

    2. Skipping moisturizer

    A major beauty "don't" at any age, but especially over 30. Why? Because your skin gets drier as you get older. "Once you’re past 30, you need to be putting something on your face every day," says De Los Rios. "Your skin is starting to lose its natural oils and elasticity, so you need to start replenishing it with a specific type of moisturizer that will work for you."

    3. Washing and blow-drying your hair every day

    It's not only our skin that gets more brittle as we age — it's our hair too. So avoid daily washes and blow-dries after 30 to keep your hair from drying out. "You're losing the oils in your hair," De Los Rios explains. "The more you wash it, the more dry it gets, and we're trying to preserve the oil in our hair as much as possible." She recommends washing your hair every third day, or two to three times a week, once you turn 30.

    More: 7 Hair hacks for when you don't have time to wash it

    4. Wearing heavy eye makeup

    Heavy eye makeup typically just accentuates a woman's age and will add years on rather than making her look young and fresh. So if that's been your thing in the 20s, now's the time to kick the habit to the curb. "Avoid very heavy, smoky eye makeup and super exaggerated eyeliner," suggests De Los Rios. "Focus on bringing out your natural beauty and working with what you have."

    5. Tanning in a salon

    Are you a tanning junkie? The 30s are the time to give up that guilty pleasure for good. "Once you're past 30, you should not be lying in tanning beds," says De Los Rios. "It's just speeding up the aging process." If you like that sun-kissed glow all year-round, opt for spray tans instead, she suggests.

    6. Using oil-controlling skin care products

    "If you have oily skin, stop using oil-controlling products," De Los Rios says, referring to skin care line brands like Clearskin, Sea Breeze and Proactiv. "By the time you’re in your 30s, hormonally they don’t work anymore, so you’re creating more wrinkles for yourself."

    More: Take that, acne! My new solution for difficult, oily skin

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    SheKnows Beauty Expert Allison Pynn has one of those really easy tips that goes a long way when it comes to bobby pins — an all day kind of long way. Watch and learn how simple it is to keep your beloved bobby pins from falling out.

    More: Getting your hairspray to hold without inhaling a hairspray cloud (VIDEO)

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    Shopping independent means finding something unique, fashion forward and edgy for yourself. And supporting Canada’s independent plus-size fashion market (size 14 and up), including indie and emerging designers is an added bonus.

    Here are a couple of my favorite designers:

    1. Jessica Biffi

    Jessica Biffi

    Photo credit: Just Biffi

    You may or may not recognize Jessica Biffi from Project Runway Canada, the series runner-up in season two. Designing has always been in Jessica's blood. Since graduating from Ryerson University, Fashion Design, she started her namesake label in 2009 and never looked back. Since then she's shown at LG Toronto Fashion Week and designed a collection for Addition Elle. She's currently in the midst of relaunching her line and Jessica believes independent designers are the way to go, explaining, "If people really want to see 'themselves' instead of the industry's ideal of the plus size woman, it will only come from the independent designers. Larger retailers have to follow industry standards, it's a cost thing. But when you have more hands on control and you have total control over your production you can do things like have your campaigns shot on a size 18-22 rather than the industry 8-10."

    2. Annika Reid of Minimaximidi


    Photo credit: The Stylish Reid

    Annika Reid created and designed a line to "inspire women to embrace their bodies and have fun with fashion." Her line, Minimaximidi was something that she envisioned from childhood. "I started designing clothing from myself at the age of eight years old. I was growing at a rapid rate and no longer fit the 'average' children's size requirement." With this taking a huge hit on her self-esteem, Annika wanted to create a line that reflected her personal style and creativity while also fitting her size.

    Annika shares, "Being an indie designer gives us a chance to be different, fun, sexy and expressive with our style. We have an opportunity to make a statement and celebrate our bodies with a beautiful garment just like everyone else. If we don't support them, they will not have the resources to give us the options we so desperately need and crave."

    3. Amarina Norris of Ursa Major+

    Ursa Major Plus

    Photo credit: Ursa Major Plus

    Created by Amarina Norris, Ursa Major+ is one of the first online spaces to sell vintage and second-hand plus-size clothes. Originally Amarina started off as a jewelry designer, creating her own line of "plus size jewelry" that featured longer lengths and adjustable chains, curating her "witchy woman" vibe into a line that her teenage self would love. Commenting on the uniqueness of her brand, Amarina says, "Many independent designers have their products made locally, or are at least more hands-on for the production of their clothing. You’re not buying a garment that was mass produced so you’re less likely to see it all over the place."

    4. Tierra Sedgemore of Size Sexy Clothing

    Size Sexy Clothing

    Photo credit: Size Sexy

    For Tierra Sedgemore, Size Sexy Clothing meant that no matter what size you were, you could be sexy and proud. With the pressures of the media surmounting and sending women mixed messages regarding body image, Tierra decided to burst into the fashion world and start a brand that promoted positive body self-love and imagery, while also empowering women. "I wanted to start a body positive brand. Size Sexy is not just about clothing it's a movement, a message that needs to be spread. We can be sexy at any size," she explains.

    Tierra adds, "It's important to support independent designers so that women of all sizes have as many options as possible. I feel like indie designers are open to listen to the customer, add creativity and come up with one of a kind pieces."

    5. Rachel Holt of PRiMAALA


    Photo credit: Collection by Primaala

    Rachel Holt is not just a fashion designer, she owns and operates her own stand-alone shop, PRiMAALA. Rachel studied at Ryerson University and for her final thesis for their Fashion Design program, she designed one of the school’s first plus-size collections, pushing boundaries and challenging the ideal of fashion normalities. "There are so many voices making enough noise to finally be heard," she tells me. "It's pretty incredible to see the ever snowballing amount of media coverage that spotlights the plus fashion world. It's thrilling and relieving all at once, because there are finally some options!"

    More on plus-size fashion

    Plus size fashion tips
    5 Outfits that prove plus-size women can wear oversized trends
    9 Plus-size fitness brands who make activewear that actually fits you

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    Releasing a photo book entitled Timeless, the 50-year-old single mother of three could easily pass for a woman in her late 20s to early 30s.

    More: Science may have discovered the real key to reverse aging

    It really is amazing when you consider just how dramatic of a difference there can be between two people of the same age, height, body mass, etc. I am a regular at my gym, eat healthy 90 percent of the time and yet I have a strong feeling that the odds of resembling a woman decades younger than myself when I am nearing the age of 50 are not in my favor. But they certainly were in the favor of Candy Lo.

    Candy Lo model

    Candy Lo model

    Did I just hear the faint sound of a jaw dropping to the floor? That's what I thought.

    More: 'Power of makeup' selfies show women don't need makeup — they enjoy it

    It's no surprise that after a few teasers uploaded to Instagram, fans hardly hesitated to run out and make the Timeless purchase. All 3,000 copies have been sold. I'm thinking this would make quite the addition to any coffee table collection, alongside Kim Kardashian's Selfish book of selfies, of course.

    Candy Lo book

    Candy Lo book

    Proceeds from Timeless will be donated to charities dedicated to assisting children and women who have been victims of, or who are currently experiencing, acts of domestic violence. While most are subject to believe that a book of self portraits is proof of vanity, Lo is using her beauty for the greater good.

    Candy Lo modeling

    Candy Lo modeling

    More: Women share stylish selfies to prove anyone can wear a crop top

    Who knows what the future has in store for our ever-evolving looks but at least one thing is for sure. Whether or not we will bear wrinkles or see our bodies change once we turn the big 5-0, we're all beautiful in our own way. C'est la vie.

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    I’m not sure when and why eyebrows became such a big deal, but the obsession to have “brows on fleek” has gotten way out of control. People across social media are turning their attention to eyebrows, and, whether that’s praising their celeb eyebrow crushes or sharing their own perfected arches, no makeup look is complete without a shaped, filled and shadowed brow to top it off.

    More: Easy DIY eyebrow growth serum

    People aren’t just talking about the perfect brows; they are going to extreme lengths to get them. Gone are the days when a simple tweeze and penciling would do. Now, you can get eyebrow extensions, tattoos, falsies, tinting and threading on top of traditional shaping.

    To me, it seems that eyebrows are now just another thing for women to obsess about and criticize each other on. If having filled-in eyebrows improves your confidence, go for it. But if you’d rather not have another grooming duty to stress about, don’t fall into the hype. As long as you have eyebrows, you’re probably doing just fine. Better to work some natural brows than to get carried away and overly critical.

    More13 Beauty hacks every busy woman should know

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    But no need to worry — strobing is an easy, flattering technique that only requires one product and is even being call the new “anti-contouring.” Essentially, strobing is just another word for using a healthy amount of either a liquid or powder highlighter to shape and emphasize certain features of the face. Highlighter products reflect light, bringing the features where you apply them to come forward and stand out.

    Strobing tutorial pinterest

    It creates a glowing, dewy appearance and the fact that you can skip the heavy contour simply by focusing more on the highlighting is a win in itself. Now let’s get to strobing!

    1. Highlight cheek bones

    Strobing 1

    First, choose a finely-milled powder highlighter like TheBalm’s Mary Lou-Manizer. Using a small, tapered brush, sweep the highlighter along the tops of your cheekbones, curving upwards around the eye area if you’d like.

    2. Highlight above the brow

    Strobing 2

    Now, dab some highlighter above the highest point of your brow. This will visually draw the eyes upwards and give your face a lifted appearance.

    3. Highlight brow bone

    Strobing 3

    Using your finger, add a bit to your brow bone.

    4. Highlight cupid's bow

    Strobing 4

    Sweep your brush lightly above your top lip, highlighting the cupid’s bow. This accentuates your lip shape, creating the illusion of fullness.

    5. Elongate nose

    Strobing 5

    To create the appearance of a slimmer, straighter nose, apply a thin line of highlighter down the center and a pop on the tip.

    More: Contouring and highlighting techniques for your face shape

    6. Highlight chin and forehead (optional)

    Strobing 6

    You can also apply a bit to the center of your chin and forehead.

    Easy as that! You’ve been strobed!

    One of the best things about this technique is that it’s flattering in any lighting environment. Since your highlighter reflects light, it will adapt to any lighting situation you find yourself in.

    More: Why you should add highlighters to your beauty bag

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    It's good to know that we have our options, but some of us may not have the time nor energy to play in makeup, trying to figure out what works for them. I can appreciate study and research when it comes to something that is so close to our eyes, which although it makes us prettier, can be irritating or annoying if it's not the right product for you.

    Since I've been a mascara wearer for over 15 years, I have tried over 20 types and brands, but only a few have become my Holy Grail. Also, since there are many reviews online and thousands of Sephoras across the world to try on your own, I have been able to round up five awesome and breakthrough mascaras that really do what they claim. Check out my picks below!

    1. Benefit's "They're Real" Mascara. (Sephora, $12-$24)

    What it is:

    A lengthening mascara that curls, volumizes, lifts and separates lashes for an "out-to-here" look, now available in three vibrant shades.

    My current obsession that really does the best at lengthening your lashes. Some onlookers may even think you're wearing false lashes. I love that it comes in a full size and travel size. Tip: Make sure to take your wand brush and work from the beginning to end of your lashes. For a more dramatic effect, add more strokes toward the outer corners of your eyes.

    2. Make Up For Ever "Smoky Extravagant Mascara" (Sephora, $12-$24)

    What it is:

    A precision mascara that adds volume, length and curl.

    I scored this mascara from my rewards points at Sephora. At first I was hesitant to choose a different mascara since Benefit's "They're Real" is practically my Holy Grail. But I am glad I tried it. The results this mascara gives are a serious trifecta. I have absolutely no complaints with the Smoky Extravagant Mascara because it does everything you would want in a product for your eyes.

    3. Lancome Definicils High Definition Mascara (Sephora, $28)

    What it is:

    An iconic, award-winning mascara that creates a natural-looking yet striking lash look.

    If you are looking for a high-quality mascara that defines each lash perfectly by separation and lengthening, then this is your solution. Lancome Definicils delivers precise results. Although it has a hefty price of $28, it is well worth your money.

    4. L'Oreal Paris Double Extend Mascara (Target, $6-$8)

    What it is:

    A revolutionary lash extension-effect mascara that provides up to 80 percent longer-looking, nourished lashes.

    For a more affordable option, this is a great mascara to try and love. It has a nourishing base coat to prep your lashes for the lengthening top coat. It really provides beautiful, long lashes and the best part about this mascara is that it doesn't smear and has long lasting power. Its only downfall is the removal of this product. It gets this clumpy flake after taking it off. A good oil-based makeup remover may prevent this.

    5. NYX Cosmetics Color Mascara in Blue Dream ($7)

    What it is:

    A fun and vibrant mascara packed full of pigments and intense color.

    Colored mascara is suitable for any season, in my opinion. It's great for those nights out or even day parties where you want to charm up your face and be a little daring. A royal or bold hue is typically my favorite, but this line comes in a variety of shades ranging from mint julep to pear to purple. Don't be afraid to to do a few swipes with colored mascara in order for it to really pop, but be gentle. When wearing a colored mascara, a lighter lip color may play well with your popping eyelashes.

    Bonus: Most of these mascaras come in waterproof formulas.

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    They never fit correctly. They leave weird red marks below our breasts. And they can barely do the one job they've been assigned, judging by the number of times we have to lift our bosoms up while wearing that darling strapless sundress.

    So, why do we keep coming back to the torture device known as the strapless bra when our relationship with it is clearly an unhealthy one in which we get so little back for our loyalty? Well, sadly, unless you have perfectly perky breasts that can actually stand up using adhesive body bra tape (and if you do, why aren't you just letting it all hang out?) women haven't been given many other options.

    Here are seven of the many challenges we face when trying to shop for or go about our merry way while wearing a strapless bra.

    1. They never come in sizes larger than a D

    Pissed GIF

    Image: Giphy

    And, if you have large breasts, you will never find one that actually minimizes your bust size because you need straps for that. Don't even try complaining to your small-breasted friends, who will roll their eyes and tell you how lucky you are to have such "problems."

    2. Once you finally buy one, you realize it doesn't even work

    Image: Giphy

    You spend no less than $40 on a strapless bra only to realize it doesn't dip low enough for your sexy low-back strapless dress.

    More: Everything you need to know about seamless vs. seamed bras

    3. Of course, there's always a corset-style strapless bra if you need more support

    Image: Giphy

    If you want to relive a day in the horrifically uncomfortable life of a woman from 1754.

    4. Getting push-up support is nearly impossible

    Frustrated GIF

    Image: Giphy

    Thankfully, there are push-up strapless bras, but compared to traditional push-up bras, they fall a little flat.

    5. And there's that whole uniboob problem thanks to strapless bralettes

    Eye roll GIF

    Image: Giphy

    That moment of horror when you get home from a hasty shopping trip and discover you accidentally purchased a bandeau bra that will make you look like you have a "uniboob."

    More: Dita Von Teese proves nursing bras can be stone cold sexy

    6. Dancing in a strapless bra requires extra training

    Image: Giphy

    This is what it's like to try and dance while wearing a strapless bra that slips every time you lift your arms.

    7. Finally, you decide to try a convertible bra to get more bras in one

    Image: Giphy

    You figure it will do the job of four different bras, but when you get it home, you can't make heads or tails of where one strap begins and another ends.

    Proof that the strapless bra is a modern-day torture device.

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    Obviously, you're not always going to find the same quality at Forever 21 — these aren't items that will last forever. But J.Crew doesn't last forever either, and if you're looking for a way to stylishly spiff up your summer wardrobe, you can save beaucoup bucks by strategically shopping!

    1. A stylish dress you can wear to work — or just about anywhere

    A stylish LBD you can wear to work

    SAVINGS: $133

    2. A pretty, summery dress

    A pretty, summery dress

    SAVINGS: $103

    3. Jumping on the jumpsuit trend

    Thinking about jumping on the jumpsuit trend

    SAVINGS: $400

    4. A flattering, feminine lace top

    A flattering, feminine lace top

    SAVINGS: $65

    5. A funky tropical print top for a warm day

    A funky tropical print top

    SAVINGS: $52

    6. A sleek cami to wear alone or as a layering item

    A sleek cami to wear alone

    SAVINGS: $47

    7. A denim pencil skirt

    A denim pencil skirt

    SAVINGS: $75

    8. A fun pair of statement earrings for some trendy bling

    statement earrings

    SAVINGS: $60

    9. A funky tote for all your pool / beach / music festival needs

    funky "ethnic" tote

    SAVINGS: $60

    10. Some chic wedges that make your legs look great in shorts

    chic wedges

    SAVINGS: $105

    11. A pair of flat sandals for those lots-of-walking days

    a pair of flat sandals

    Total cost at J. Crew for 11 items: $1,442

    Total cost at Forever 21 for 11 items: $230

    Total savings: $1,212

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    Why add them? How do we know they provide any benefit at all? Of all the botanicals we could have chosen to add to a soap, the addition of blueberries was a no-brainer. Natural antioxidants, natural vitamins A, E & C and beta-carotene are all present in copious amounts. But what is even more amazing... the benefits remain in the soap.

    Research has shown that the antioxidant power of blueberries is retained even after freezing and heating. Individual-quick-frozen (IQF) blueberries retain as much antioxidant power as fresh-picked berries. By holding its shape and texture in a quick freeze, the phtyonutrients, the color and the anti-oxidant properties are still intact.

    In cold-process handcrafted soap, the process of saponification (converting fat to soap) generates heat which is typically damaging to nutrients. However, this is what makes the blueberry all the more incredible!

    In terms of cooking and applying heat, research in 2009 by the University of Berkeley found no substantial loss of antioxidants even after baking, simmering or microwaving! So even with soap-making temperatures rising to 200 degrees F during saponification, we know that the blueberry antioxidants are still intact in the final bars.

    Since 2004, there has been a massive amount of research on blueberries by the FDA, scientists, universities and blueberry growers themselves. They have shown that blueberry antioxidants protect the skin from cellular damage. The vitamin C content helps strengthen blood vessels and reduce the appearance of spider veins under the skin. Also rich in vitamin A, blueberries have been successfully used in the treatment of acne.

    The next time you pick up blueberries at the market, set a few aside for the following skin recipes. Treat yourself to one of these blends and feel the difference for yourself.

    Moisturizing blueberry mask


    • 1-1/4 cups pureed fresh or thawed blueberries (blender or other method)
    • 1/2 cup raw or organic milk (full fat)
    • 1/2 cup pulverized oatmeal (processed to fine powder in a blender)
    • 1/8 cup virgin olive oil
    • 1/8 cup raw honey


    1. Mix well, apply to face and leave on for 15 – 20 minutes.
    2. Refrigerate and use the remainder for up to 1 week.

    Blueberry acne mask


    • 1 cup fresh or thawed blueberries
    • 1/2 cup pulverized oatmeal powder
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder


    1. Mix well, apply to face for 10 – 15 minutes, twice daily

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    More: You can’t put black beauty in a box (PHOTOS)

    Watching Edewi waxing lyrical about how problematic our approach to self-confidence and self-esteem is while also celebrating how unaffected she is by all that noise is incredibly refreshing. She is unapologetically comfortable in her own skin, with and without makeup, flaws and all. Because the only validation she needs is her own.

    More: Blogger's makeup video proves you can't make the internet happy

    "Don't be afraid to be a woman who likes herself," she intones. "Please take a moment to marvel at the radiance of your beauty, both from the outside and within," she says. So many gems in this video. Watch it and see for yourself:

    What If I Knew I Was Beautiful…

    What If I Knew I Was Beautiful…

    More: 'Power of Makeup' selfies show women don't need makeup — they enjoy it

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    I am an embarrassment when it comes to tipping at my hair salon. Even worse, I make that fact totally obvious by overcompensating and tipping everyone from the young girl who washes my hair to the person who sweeps up my hair. Tipping like you think you're Donald Trump and expect everyone in the salon to bow on your way out is almost as bad as handing people who worked hard to make you beautiful a bunch of coins. It's high time we crack the tipping code, for the sake of our wallets and our beloved stylists, who deserve fair tips.

    "I like to follow the general tipping guideline of 15 percent for an OK/satisfactory service," says Monaé Everett, beauty expert for Monaé Everett Hair and Makeup. "Anything over 20 percent shows that you are very happy. Any tip under five percent generally shows that you aren't happy with the service."

    More: 14 Split hair looks that will make you love the trend

    1. Should you tip senior and junior stylists differently?

    Expert opinions differ on whether senior stylists should receive higher tips than junior stylists. Everett says they will automatically receive a larger tip because they charge higher prices based on their extra experience. But Liz Sarvinas, owner of Hair by Ell, says it's customary to acknowledge a senior staffer's skill with a more generous tip. "Senior stylists should be tipped more, as long as they are committed to continuing education and providing above average service," Sarvinas says. "The senior stylists are among the select few. In addition, seniority only applies when balanced with knowledge and quality."

    2. Should you adjust tip based on how long the service takes?

    Both Everett and Sarvinas agree that the time it takes a stylist to color or cut your hair should not factor into the amount you tip him/her — as long as you aren't the reason why additional time is needed for the service.

    "If a stylist does not work efficiently and takes more time for a service, then no, this should not affect the tip," Sarvinas says. "If a client has an overabundant amount of hair (long or thick) and if extra TLC is provided, then yes, it should be reflected in the tip."

    Everett says extra money for extra time is only OK if the stylist is going above and beyond the current service. "For example, if it's a multi-process color correction or if they have to remove your hair extensions before your current service," she says.

    More: The futuristic pixel hair trend that will have you mesmerized

    3. Should you tip your stylist's assistant?

    One of the most perplexing tipping rules concerns how much we should give stylists' assistants — especially when you have one like mine, whose head massages are priceless.

    "Once you know the final price of the service and decide on the tip amount, decide how much the assistant added to the service," Everett says. "If they simply shampooed your hair, give them a quarter of the tip. If the assistant applied your hair color, shampooed you, and blow dried your hair, give them half of the tip."

    Percentage-wise, Sarvinas says stylists' assistants should be tipped no less than five percent and upward to 10 percent, depending on the amount of assisting and the quality of their work.

    4. What other factors should influence tip?

    And there are other factors that you should consider when tipping — including whether a stylist has changed his/her schedule to accommodate you, or stayed late/come in early in order to fit you in for the highlights you needed, but forgot to ask for when making your appointment, Everett says.

    "The salon experience from the time you enter through the doors until exiting should be reflected in the tip, from the greeting when you enter, to the cleanliness of the salon, to the quality of the products, and then of course your satisfaction with the services you asked for should all be reflected," Sarvinas says. "Satisfied customers leave larger tips, larger tips make stylists happy, happy stylists are encouraged to do great work and create a welcoming environment for clients. Everyone wins."

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    There exists a magical pair of heels that are, I kid you not, adjustable. Take a minute to let that sink in. Gone are the days of sacrificing your ankles for the perfect pair. Now when the height of a heel tests a woman’s patience, pain tolerance and overall balance, she will no longer be forced to abandon her beloved stilettos. With Tanya Heath’s latest creation, all you have to do is click one heel off, and click a slightly shorter heel on. It is that simple, and every bit wonderful.

    Tanya Health black strappy sandals

    More: 13 Ways to make high heels more comfortable

    I know what you are thinking. “Too good to be true,” right? Wrong. Catherine Ostler of the Daily Mail put a pair to the test, and according to the 5’2” ballet-pump connoisseur, the concept is legitimate. The catch? The shoes are a tad pricey. But this is worth the investment, ladies.

    Tanya heath adjustable high heel

    “I can’t wait to start trying out different shoe/heel combinations” Ostler writes. “The strappy sandals are satisfying to play with because they look so different with a change of heel: with a black-and-gold mottled stiletto they’re perfect for an elegant evening soiree; click on a lower chunky Christophe and you’re all set to wander around the park on a sunny day."

    More: Stretches for women who wear high heels

    So let's talk about the mechanics. Styles range from a plain pump, strappy sandal and ankle boot. Next, choose your heel of preference whether it be a stiletto (3-1/2 inch), chunky heel (3-1/3 inch), kitten (2-1/3 inch) or chunky low (1-1/2 inch). You can view all the different styles here.

    Each of the four heels are customized to fit each shoe and easily slide into place. Talk about a wardrobe change. I’m sure Cinderella could have used a pair of these babies to flee the royal castle.

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    But in reality, Hollywood is a continuous stream of criticism published across media platforms everywhere and if you don't fit the prototype, you're probably going stand out.

    And that's something Amy Schumer loves to jokes about. It's a self-deprecating but "I'm totally owning who I am" humor that makes it easier to just be ourselves, something she seems to be an expert at. She recently revealed to InStyle that, with the help of her costume designer on the set of Trainwreck, she learned to love her body more by making clothes work for her rather than the other way around.

    And shouldn't that be a cardinal rule of fashion?

    More: How to love your body even when it's not perfect

    "She really introduced me to tailoring," Schumer told InStyle magazine. "I didn't know. I just thought, you buy it. If it doesn’t look right, [that's] it. But she takes every outfit as just a suggestion, and then you make it for you. It was eye opening."

    More: Amy Schumer's latest EW cover sends positive message about body image (PHOTO)

    Sometimes, we are so heavily focused on society’s cookie-cutter definition of "beautiful" that we fail to see the beauty in ourselves and all it takes is the right person to reinstate the universal truth that everybody is beautiful.

    "I like stuff that shows my body," Schumer continued. "I'm not a stick, but I feel very much like a woman, and I want to show that."

    There are so many things I love about Schumer, but above all, I adore the fact that she does not pretend to be something she is not. She is able to confidently admit that no, she is not a stick, but yes, she is a woman — and she is proud of that.

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