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Beauty, Hairstyles, Fashion Trends & More | SheKnows

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    You might be ombre-shy if you've ever tried a Facebook or Pinterest nail tutorial that has gone terribly, terribly wrong. But before you cross "professional nail artist" off your list of possible occupations, give our easy-peasy ombre nail tutorial one last chance. Instead of the complicated wet-blending technique that normally requires a toothpick or paintbrush to achieve the gradated effect, we promise that this is the kind of ombre nail design you can master while binge-watching OITNB on Netflix.

    More: Countless cool nail designs to inspire your next mani

    You can use any color combo to suit your mood or the season, painting up to four hues for the max ombre look:

    Step 1: Set out your supplies

    The supplies used for this ombre nail tutorial include:

    • Sinful Colors Pull Over
    • Sephora by OPI Hi Def
    • Zoya Kara
    • Scotch tape
    • Makeup sponges

    ombre nail supplies
    Image: Kara Endres/SheKnows

    More: Nail art tip: How to create the perfect heart

    Step 2: Prepare your sponge

    Using the small end of the makeup sponge, paint three colors side by side. I went with pink, then orange and then yellow to mimic the colors in a sunset. Tape off your nail to get ready for stamping this sponge onto your finger. (This makes for an easier cleanup.)

    Ombre nail sponge prep
    Image: Kara Endres/SheKnows

    Step 3: Stamp your nails

    Stamp the sponge onto your nail and press it over and over, slightly moving it up and down your nail to blend the colors. You can wait for it to dry and do a second coat of this if you need it darker.

    Start stamping
    Image: Kara Endres/SheKnows

    Step 4: Continue stamping all of your nails

    Stamp all your nails. You don't have to wait for the polish to dry before taking off the tape, since it's not crucial to the design.

    Continue stamping ombre nails
    Image: Kara Endres/SheKnows

    More: 3 Summery pedicure nail art tutorials

    Step 5: Remove tape and add a top coat

    When the colors are dry, remove tape and finish with a top coat.

    finished ombre nails
    Image: Kara Endres/SheKnows

    Updated by Bethany Ramos on 5/6/2016


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    No doubt for many women, hair forms a vital part of how attractive they feel. Hair, when healthy, can make you look vibrant and can give a significant boost to your looks. Science is advancing every day, and measures like cloning, stem cell regeneration, gene therapy and other cosmetic treatments are gaining popularity. But even without those things, a little care and consistent effort can surely help to improve the texture of your hair to a great extent and help you maintain beautiful, strong and healthy hair.

    More: The dos & don'ts of hair treatments during pregnancy

    1. Identify your hair texture

    Your hair texture may range from dry or oily to thick or thin, from dense or scarce to curly or smooth, or even to strong or fragile. Depending on the kind of hair, a proper hair care routine can be suggested.

    You would need to pick up your shampoo based on your hair type and hair texture. Any popular brands are good enough to be tried, but make sure to apply the accompanying conditioner that comes with your shampoo. A lot of women skip the conditioning part of hair care, which is why their hair gets tangled, dry and fragile when exposed to summer heat and pollution. Conditioners also come in wide range depending on your hair requirements.

    2. Ask for professional help

    Seeking professional help is not a bad idea. A dermatologist will help you understand your skin requirements as well, while a general practitioner will give you a holistic view of your diet, hair care, fitness play and products best suited for your skin.

    A lot of times multivitamins and B-complexes help provide you with the much-needed supplements, which can curb problems with hair falling out. Vitamins also improve the texture of your hair and skin to a great extent, but you should seek professional advice rather than just directly popping these pills.

    3. Say goodbye to hot water

    Avoid washing your hair with hot water. Hot water damages the skin and the hair follicles by making the hair roots weak and removing the necessary moisture from the scalp. It is always advised to use lukewarm water to bathe on a regular basis.

    More: 5 ways to keep your skin healthy during long winter months

    4. Massage your scalp

    The fourth tip is oiling your hair at least once a week. Oiling might not be needed for all hair types, but it surely helps to give the right massage to your scalp and improves the blood circulation to the scalp as well. This increased blood circulation, in return, provides the hair with the required nutrition.

    5. Use the right brush

    Using the right brush or comb is a pretty simple hair secret. Using a wide toothed comb and a good quality brush is important. Brushes with soft, high quality bristles help to protect your hair from weakening.

    The best way to take care of your hair is by balancing your diet, your work out, your hair products and your heat exposure. Always remember, it's never too late to start taking care of your hair.

    More: Why you should add mineral makeup to your beauty routine


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    I remember reading a blog post a few months back asking if beauty bloggers should be beauty experts or not. My unequivocal answer to that is "No." If the prerequisite for being a beauty blogger required certification or work experience, then only dermatologist, chemists, certified makeup artists and certified beauticians could blog about beauty. Thank goodness this is not the case. Let me explain why.

    More: Why are little kids better at makeup than I am?

    There are different types of beauty content

    There are so many niches within beauty that require nothing more than for a person to be able to read and comprehend what they read. Blogging about what makeup celebrities are wearing does not require a degree or even a high school diploma. Many bloggers blog about what they just purchased and why they like it. Others blog about the newest beauty products coming out, while some write about what makeup look they created for the day or evening. None of these topics require any special certification or degree in order to blog about them.

    Product reviews can be based solely on experience

    A beauty review can be in two different formats: experience only or experience plus analysis. Product reviews based solely upon the user's experience is something anyone can do. A person's experience with anything is unique to him or her. When it comes to reviews that require experience and analysis, then perhaps one can argue that an expert should do this. I still disagree.

    More: Makeup essentials you should never skip

    If bloggers researches the ingredients of the product they are reviewing and compares their research with what the product claims, they can give a thorough review that combines experience and analysis of the product. I did this recently when reviewing a beauty product that gave vague beauty benefits that did not seem to match the ingredients. I found out that the key was in a "power trio" that helped to balance the skin's pH level. I have no degree in a scientific field, but research allowed me to provide more information about products so my readers can make a sound purchase decision.

    Sound research and a clear disclaimer are useful blogging tools

    Research on specific beauty topics can give a blogger enough information to write an informative blog post. There is one caveat to doing research: You need to make sure your sources are experts or the site gets its data from expert sources, such as interviewing a dermatologist. Even with all your expert sources, you still need to throw in a disclaimer when recommending any specific beauty regimen to address physical problems. After all, you are not a doctor.

    Websites to use for beauty research

    I have a handy list of websites I frequently visit to look up information. Here are a few easy-to-use and understandable websites that give useful beauty knowledge:

    • The Beauty Brains — This is run by scientists who have worked in the beauty industry.
    • Cosmetics Info — Provides basic information about common ingredients found in beauty products.
    • American Academy of Dermatology — They provide easy-to-understand information about skin issues and various treatments that work.
    • P&G Science — P&G Science has useful information about emerging discoveries that affect P&G products. I have found information about a lot of skin and hair topics.

    Don't allow anyone to make you believe you need a degree in science to be a beauty blogger. If you choose to provide in-depth content on your beauty blog, you can do so. There is information out there you can find and pass along to your readers.

    More: Curly haired women have been all over this pre-poo trend for ages


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    You’ve probably heard of “resting bitch face,” but I have “resting angry face." My face looks like it's in a state of permanent annoyance. “What’s wrong?” friends would ask me. “Nothing! This is just the way my face is.” And I didn’t like it.

    I didn’t always look pissed off. Aging made me look that way, thanks to two deep vertical lines in between my brows. They’ve developed over the last decade, slowly becoming more noticeable with every passing year.

    I did what I could to slow their progression. I wore sunglasses to prevent squinting, learned to meditate to relax my face and applied sunscreen faithfully. I also tried a slew of anti-aging creams with labels that used words like “intensive,” “line eraser” and “miracle.” But there were no miracles to be found among them. Sometimes I could see a slight improvement, but that was wishful thinking, a way to rationalize how much money I spent on those products.

    More: I got a 'vampire facial' and it was better than a facelift

    My creases formed a perfect number 11, also known as glabellar lines, on my face. I grew weary at the reflection scowling back at me. It was difficult to ignore what I saw. When I complained, my boyfriend told me, “I don’t really notice them — much.” 

    That word “much” sparked me to do what I really wanted to do, but put off because I thought it was too decadent, too expensive and, well, too self-indulgent. True to my Virgo nature, I’m a practical person, but it handcuffs me sometimes in doing or spending money on things I want.

    But these bothersome lines were really bugging me, despite having a healthy self-esteem. I looked out of sync with how I felt. I phoned the office of a dermatologist I knew as a journalist and had interviewed for various stories. Dr. Sheetal Sapra was blessedly spin-free when I asked him for his opinion about cosmetic ingredients, trendy new facials and everything else.

    Sitting in a chair at his clinic, ICLS Dermatology & Plastic Surgery in Oakville, Ontario, he was straight up when I told him I wanted these number 11 lines gone for good. “There is no cream that will fix them,” he said. “And there are very few permanent solutions outside of a brow lift. But with a combination of Botox and filler, I can make them look a whole lot better.”

    I had some magical expectations about fillers that could be injected into my lines and be done with it. While there are permanent fillers, most doctors won’t go near them anymore. There are just too many potential complications and filler can shift from the injection site and migrate over time into places where they shouldn’t go.

    So I decided to do the Botox-filler combo. They applied topical numbing cream to my face and I sat for about 20 minutes waiting for it to kick in. Then it was showtime. My stomach did an anxiety flip at the sight of needles spread over a metal tray. I’m not a fan of them and I’ve even had cavities filled without freezing to avoid them.

    But my nurse, Kelly Mraud, was super gentle and gave me forewarning before I received my first shot of filler into one of my deep lines. It was a sharp pinch that lasted a few seconds and then stopped. I took a deep breath in preparation for the second injection on the left side. It wasn’t too bad. Then, with her fingertips, she nudged the filler into place and smoothed it into the groove.

    It’s kind of like plasticine that you can mold into shape, Kelly told me. She squeezed a bit of filler onto the back of my hand so I could feel it. It was more like Vaseline, clear, thick and smooth. The filler she used was Juvéderm and it contained a bit of lidocaine to take away some discomfort. It’s like many of the ones available on the market, formulated with hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring sugar found in the body.

    More: The 6 hottest trends in plastic surgery right now

    Next up, Botox to stop the muscles that helped form my lines over many years with repeated frowning. I had 11 little injections over my brow, but these were a little less painful, thanks to a very fine and blessedly short needle. I was given a couple of ice packs to apply to my forehead to ease the pain and to prevent bruising so I didn’t leave the clinic looking like I had been in a bar fight.

    I was told not to expect too much in the way of results right away. The Botox would take up to 48 hours to really kick in for full effect. But when I was handed a mirror to take a look at my face, I could already see a big difference. My resting angry face wasn’t very angry anymore.

    Based on what I see in the mirror today, it was well worth the $820 Canadian (approx. $640 in U.S. dollars) it cost for 32 units of Botox at $10 each and one syringe worth of Juvéderm for $500). Hot tip: If you are planning a trip to Canada anytime soon, take advantage of the strong U.S. dollar and get treatments there for less.

    My filler will last a year or two before I need to top it again, but Botox will need touching up every three to six months. Perhaps I’ll consider a brow lift for a more permanent, maintenance-free option because I feel more like me again and that’s exactly what I needed.


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    Sadly, due to ridiculous cultural standards, most women have felt some level of body shame at one point or another in their lives. However, if you asked us from where that shame originated, we probably couldn't tell you, because we're too close to the problem. Enter Benjamin Ashton Cooper, a Pennsylvania native who hands down wins Boyfriend of the Year.

    While Cooper was helping his girlfriend clean out her closet (already he's beating out half the boyfriends I know), he noticed something odd. All the clothes she was getting rid of were mainly marked "XL" for extra large, but that wasn't the weird part — it was the fact that they all fit him perfectly.

    More: Body shame is causing women more than emotional pain

    So why does this matter? Guys are usually a little bigger than their lady friends, so it would make sense that her XL-size clothing would fit him, right? Wrong. That thought process is exactly why women's sizing is the root of our body shame, which Cooper succinctly points out in this Facebook post.

    Image: Benjamin Ashton Cooper/Facebook

    Anyone else want to give this guy a regular podcast? There's just something so refreshing about someone who calls bullshit on something that often flies under the radar for one awful reason — it still has such a hold on women's self-esteem. We don't want to talk about the labels on our clothes, because they automatically put us in a size category, which in turn opens us up for societal judgment.

    I am absolutely a culprit of letting sizing dictate my level of confidence. I've always been a pretty average weight and size, but when I was in high school, I decided that a size 4 (or a jean size 27) was where I should be. Of course, I was still growing and occasionally found it difficult to stay that small. However, rather than simply go up a size, I'd wear flowy dresses until I was able to squeeze back into my ideal pant size. All because I couldn't deal with the idea of wearing a larger size.

    Now imagine the many young girls who, no matter what they do, can't fit into the sizes society deems acceptably average. As Cooper puts it, "This bullshit right here is why we have 8 year olds with eating disorders."

    More: Woman told she was too big to wear a bikini has the last laugh

    Cooper's post is so right on, and it's far from funny. Clothing sizes today would give anyone a complex, no matter how small they are, and the horrible irony is that they're utterly meaningless. The 0 and double 0 sizes you see around department stores didn't exist before 2000. At the turn of the century, a 0 would've been the equivalent of a size 2, and in the 1960s, it would've been equal to a size 4. That was when Marilyn Monroe was a size 12, aka a size 6 today. Getting a sense of how subjective this sizing business is yet?

    Of course, the trouble with the vanity sizing of today is that women are actually bigger now than they were 50 years ago, so the majority of us aren't feeling so vain in the dressing room.

    More: Hateful fat-shaming group is handing out vile cards to women on the Tube

    Clothing companies, we implore you: Think about the real average woman, not the ones in your fashion magazines. It's time to revamp sizing charts.


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    I got my first tattoo — a butterfly — at 18. I'd thought about it for years and finally got it during spring break my freshman year.


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    I love the fact that we are all becoming much more sensitive and aware of feelings and how what we say truly does leave a lasting impression on someone. Body shaming belongs in the dumpster with the rest of the garbage we throw out. That said, body shaming does not just happen to plus-size women. I am 5' and weigh under 110 pounds, yet I am body shamed, constantly — mostly because of my career. I am a food and wine writer, as well as a television personality known for food and entertaining. People have told me for years, "Drink a milkshake. Eat a burger. I can't trust you or take you seriously because of your size."

    More: I fear my husband's surgery will trigger his pain pill addiction

    Do those comments influence the way I do my job? Somewhat. If I had a dollar for every time a viewer told me, "I could never trust a skinny/small cook," I would be retired and sitting on my patio overlooking the ocean, sipping a glass of wine.

    I wish I could honestly say that I do not care what people say or think about me. I am getting better, but my skin is not quite that thick yet. The personal insults still hurt, but I want to learn not to care, and I want to teach my daughter not to care either.

    When I was pregnant, I read an article about a mom who never put down her looks in her daughter's presence after hearing her daughter say, "My nose is too big," because she heard those very words from her mother. I was so moved by that article and made a vow not to ever put down my looks or body in front of my daughter.

    Do I think I have a perfect body? Ha. That's laughable. When I look at my naked self in the mirror, I see only flaws. I see the stretch marks on my breasts from when I was pregnant and a 44DD. (Talk about an odd-looking person; my breasts were ginormous when I was pregnant, and they only kept growing! I stopped buying bras at 44DD because I was too embarrassed to ask how high the letters went). I see my C-section scar. I look at my thighs and think they're too big. I'm amazed at the fine lines and wrinkles around my mouth and eyes that seemed to have just appeared overnight. I see that dark spot on the side of my face that did not lighten when I bought that expensive cream from the dermatologist.

    More: How I used Robin Williams' death to talk to my teen about depression

    Then I try to look at myself from the inside out, the way I have always taught my daughter. True beauty radiates from within. When I do that, I see strength. I see those stretch marks, yes, but a good bra holds those girls in place and pushes them up. I am proud of that C-section scar because it safely removed my breeched baby, and I am so fortunate to be called her mom. My thighs might look big, but I do yoga and enjoy my elliptical cardio workouts, so my legs are strong. As for the fine lines and wrinkles, I have laughed a lot, and Mark Twain was right: "Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been."

    Body shaming happens to all of us, whether we are a size 2 or a size 22. I want my daughter to know that her dress size or the number on a scale does not determine her beauty.

    Sure, it is embarrassing to shop for a "sexy outfit" in the juniors' department. But if I want clothes to fit, I can't shop in the women's section. I'm a chesty, petite girl. I can't help it; that's just me. So I am presented with the dilemma of being "too old to wear that," as well as "too short to shop over there."

    So you can choose not to "trust me as a small cook," but I can tell you this: My food is good, and if you don't try my recipes simply because I'm not a plus-sized cook, then you're missing out. And until I get a clothing sponsor, you'll find me in the juniors' department. Even then, I might still be there. If you see me shopping for clothes when you bring your teenager there, say something nice, please, OK? The clothes are cheaper in that department, anyway.

    More: 10 things you shouldn't say to the spouse of a recovering addict


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    Wearing the right swimwear for your figure is key to feeling confident on the beach. These tips will help you choose your dream swimsuit, while flattering your silhouette and keeping all eyes on your best assets.

    Image: SheKnows

    Now you know your style why not check out Simply Be’s swimwear collection and get ready to own the pool side runway!

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    Each year as summer arrives, emails pour in from women panicking about what to wear on the beach. This is a time that can be really daunting for people, but dressing your curves shouldn't have to be stressful or questionable. It should be something we as women should enjoy. Finding trendy pieces in the past for curvy frames had its limitations, particularly for swimwear, but thankfully the curvy movement has enabled a number of retailers to become fashion forward thinkers. The reality is that swimwear is not a one size fits all mind frame, nor should we all conform to the same style.
    With my job, travel has become a permanent fixture in my life. I need to be able to pack at a moment's notice, and something I've wanted in my closet for some time now is a reliable combination of swimwear. I want items you don't have to give much thought toward and that do all the work for you. Therefore, today I want to show you just that — beautiful chic designs from prints to bandeau styles and sports luxe inspiration that will work on a variation of body types with support and comfort fused into one. All pieces range from sizes 12-32 from Simply Be and include light, padded cups that I find really important for keeping a balanced, supportive shape.

    1. Aztec Inspiration

    Image: Anita Sadowska/SheKnows
    Mosaic and Aztec prints can be exceptionally flattering, and this Simply Be number is a prime example of that. Waves of color to pops of white, this style is fresh and on trend. It will help give the illusion of a longer torso, which is ideal for petites and those looking to elongate your frame whilst giving support to any lower tummy areas too. I loved the fact that this can easily be styled with a maxi skirt for during the day to utilize it as a top also.

    While this is a bandeau style, it does have hidden support around the bust area so you will find it stays in place incredibly well. It also comes with an added halter-neck strap if you decide you would prefer that look or just simply want added support, which is always something to look into when shopping for swimwear.

    2. Into The Wild

    Image: Anita Sadowska/SheKnows

    Safari inspiration has dominated the catwalks this season, but one thing is for sure when it comes to this pattern of swimwear: It's a combination that is extremely flattering on all body types. This is quite a young and vibrant print with hot pinks mixed with black and white, giving you a fun, vibrant beach look instantly. It's a full halter-neck style with wide straps, meaning the support will be there even for DD+ bust ladies. What I liked most was that it had the slightly low cut back, so you can choose where you would like it to sit.

    3. Sports Luxe

    Image: Anita Sadowska/SheKnows

    Sport luxe is a trend I have welcomed with open arms. It's such an attention grabber, and with the combination of mesh panel detailing along with these bright linear stripes, it's ideal for those with broad shoulders, and pear shapes looking to balance out your frame or for anyone looking to create more of a curved effect to your body. Whether you are the outdoors and water sports kind of person or you simply want coverage but with no compromise on fashion, this is a perfect choice. It's something that again can easily be restyled as a top with other fashion items in your wardrobe for sports luxe summer style.

    Image: Anita Sadowska/SheKnows

    Whichever swimsuit style you choose this season, remember to be bold, be fearless and opt for pieces that show the real you. It's about making a swimsuit work for you, not the other way around, and by looking to brands like Simply Be, you are guaranteed to be ahead of the curve as they have a Swimwear collection for every body shape.

    This post is part of a sponsored collaboration between Simply Be and SheKnows


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    Celebrities need to get with the program. You can't post an image that looks Photoshopped in any way without seriously pissing off all the fans who love you just the way you are.

    More: I won't let my mom tum stop me from wearing a crop top

    The latest star to experience an anti-airbrushing backlash is tennis champ Serena Williams after she posted an image from a recent photo shoot with People magazine on her Instagram account.

    It was barely online before fans started complaining that the picture was unrealistic, many of them suggesting Williams' waistline was significantly narrower than it is in real life and pointing out that the bar behind the world's No.1 player looked warped.

    Serena Williams deletes photoshopped pic from Instagram
    Image: Serena Williams/Instagram

    Williams remained silent as the comments flooded in, but she has now deleted the original post and replaced it with an image from the photo shoot that doesn't appear to have been tampered with by People magazine's design team.

    Williams didn't address the fuss her original pic had caused, simply captioning the replacement: "@people mag most beautiful 2016" — a reference to the magazine's annual list of most beautiful people, of which Williams is one.

    Serena Williams photoshopping

    Serena Williams photoshopping

    More: What's your butt shape? Clue: There's no wrong answer

    Undoubtedly Williams looks way better with her natural waistline — and don't we all? What on earth makes anyone think this woman's body would need any digital manipulation? Fans welcomed the new picture with delight, questioning why the other one had been shared at all.

    This isn't the first time Williams has found herself in the midst of a Photoshopping row. When she appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in December, critics were quick to claim that her thighs had been slimmed down.

    Williams never responded to those claims, and it looks like she'll remain tight-lipped on the People magazine image too. Her Instagram action speaks volumes, but it would be great if she addressed the issue. She's a strong, healthy, stunning woman who doesn't need her waist to be trimmed or her thighs to be slimmed down, and is a great role model for women whose bodies don't fit the size 2 cover girl mold.

    But she'd be even more of an inspiration if she 1) made damn sure none of her photos got Photoshopped, and 2) spoke up about it if one did.

    More: Sports Illustrated bashed for allegedly altering Serena Williams' thighs


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    Anyone who thinks Britney Spears' best days are behind her is sorely, sorely mistaken.


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    Wow, Ciara!


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    Gwen Stefani wasn't her normal self at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards.


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    We've all been painting our nails since the grade school slumber party days, but a good French manicure is one nail trick that seems almost impossible to master at home. If you too are addicted to sleek and chic French-manicured nails — that can end up costing you with monthly touch-ups at the salon — then you're in for a treat.

    With a little practice, you'll be doing this eight-step at-home French mani in your sleep:

    The perfect French manicure

    A pale pink base and bright white tips have come to characterize the ever-so-popular French manicure, which, believe it or not, is a common request at nail salons everywhere. Even in France, where it's considered an American invention, this kind of mani is called "la French." Too funny, huh?

    Now (luckily) with all the new nail advances, it's easy to score a salon-worthy mani right in the comfort of your own home. Pick up a French manicure kit at your local beauty supply store (for longer lasting color, try a gel nail one), or invest in some sheer pink and white polish to easily do it yourself. We've provided simple steps for everyone to follow.

    Step 1: Trim your nails

    Start by trimming your nails to the desired length. Make sure all of them are even. And remember: When it comes to the French manicure, the longer they are, the better.

    8 Step do-it-yourself French manicure: Step 1
    Image: Kara Endres/SheKnows

    More: How to Get So Cal Nails

    Step 2: Shape your nails

    Figure out the type of shape you’d like (either rounded or square). Then grab a nail file and get to work.

    8 Step do-it-yourself French manicure: Step 2
    Image: Kara Endres/SheKnows

    Step 3: Soak your cuticles

    If you really want to recreate the spa experience at home, dip your hands in a bowl of warm water and let them soak for a minute or two. Then take a cuticle pusher (or orangewood stick) and gently push your cuticles back. Use the opposite end of the cuticle pusher to remove any dirt and grime from underneath your nails.

    8 Step do-it-yourself French manicure: Step 3
    Image: Kara Endres/SheKnows

    Step 4: Buff and prep for polish

    Now, before you apply your first coat of polish, buff the top of your nails to prepare them for your nail polish. Then, simply massage cuticle oil onto your nails at this time.

    More: Carolina Panthers nail design for ultimate fans

    8 Step do-it-yourself French manicure: Step 4
    Image: Kara Endres/SheKnows

    Next Up: Paint on your base coat

    Step 5: Paint on your base coat

    You’re all ready for your base coat now. Paint on a thin layer of sheer pink polish, and let your nails dry for a couple of minutes. For gels nails, cure them under the LED light for 45 seconds only, no longer. Repeat this step again with a second coat of polish, and allow your nails to dry (or cure) before moving on.

    8 Step do-it-yourself French manicure: Step 5
    Image: Kara Endres/SheKnows

    Step 6: Apply nail guides

    Once your mani's base coat is all dry, place the nail guides on them to snag the perfect white tip pain-free. Don’t have any? That’s alright. The next step will just require some concentration on your part. Or, use those office supply doilies to perfect your French tip.

    More: Opal nail trend will turn your nails into precious gems

    8 Step do-it-yourself French manicure: Step 6
    Image: Kara Endres/SheKnows

    Step 7: Paint on your white French tips

    With your white polish, lightly brush color onto the tip of your nails (as if you were creating an upside down smiley or a sad face). Let the polish dry for a few minutes. For gel nails, let it cure for 45 seconds. Repeat this step with a second coat, and wait for it to dry or cure.

    8 Step do-it-yourself French manicure: Step 7
    Image: Kara Endres/SheKnows

    Step 8: Remove your nail guides and seal in your manicure

    Remove your nail guide, and apply a top coat of polish. Allow this coat to dry for several minutes (or cure it under the light for 45 seconds). Voila, you’ve just completed your very own French mani!

    8 Step do-it-yourself French manicure: Final look
    Image: Kara Endres/SheKnows

    This procedure is best performed on a lazy morning or evening when no other pressing errands or tasks will get in the way. After painting your nails, avoid doing things with your hands while they dry.

    Manicure kits that make it even easier

    If you are feeling especially creative and ambitious, kick off your shoes and make your tootsie tips match your fingertips.

    For an easier painting technique, check the beauty section of a drug store or superstore for a French manicure kit. The set should contain, at the very least, nail polish in white and pink or beige and a clear topcoat. Some manicure sets — like the Sally Hansen French Manicure Kit and the Orly French Manicure Kit — contain tiny, sticky nail guides. These make the manicure process 10 times easier by allowing you to place the guides on each nail individually (like we did!), only leaving a small margin where the polish can spill outside the tip without tainting the rest of your nail. Trust us, it's worth the small price to buy.

    Try out colors

    Let your crazy side shine through by concocting a wildly modified French manicure — red and white for Valentine's Day, pastel shades for Easter or neon bright tips for summer. You can always add glitter for super sparkle anytime! If you feel really ambitious, try this fish tail french manicure tutorial.

    Have fun and remember, even if you do find the do-it-yourself French manicure difficult at first, practice makes perfect, and pretty soon you'll be well on your way to creating beautiful and perfect manicures all the time. We promise, it does get easier.

    Updated by Bethany Ramos on 5/9/2016


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    Lately, as I barrel toward my 60th birthday, I've been struggling with my hair color. I have been dying my hair since I was in my 30s. I've been a blonde, a redhead, a brunette and every possible variation in between. I've tried letting it go gray, spending two years living with horrible transition lines, and then after six months or so of being gray, I've gone back to full-on color. I've been salt and pepper, low lighting in the "pepper" and playing around with various permutations of that.

    More: 5 tips to not freak out at unexpected life events

    For a few years now, I've been toying with the idea of letting it grow out again. I started seeing those fabulous pictures of young women going silver or gun metal gray and longing to try again. My motivation is twofold.

    One: It's time to just stop fighting what is. It's come to having to touch up my roots every three weeks (and truth be told, it looks pretty bad after two and a half). Too much maintenance. Too much time wasted at the beauty shop.

    Two: I no longer think the image in the mirror is a true reflection of who I am. That artificially dark hair just strikes me as, well, too artificial. I value bravery and authenticity. Those are two of my very core values. It's time to live that authenticity in my appearance.

    More: 3 ways to make spring a time of personal renewal

    This has brought up all sorts of conflicting feelings for me, feelings about vanity, aging, beauty and sexiness. I talk a good story, but at the end of this journey, I know I have enough vanity that it will have to look good or I won't be happy. It doesn't have to look amazing; just good enough that I still feel attractive, to me.

    I don't feel that concerned about what others feel or prefer. Some people have pretty strong feelings about this, which has been interesting. I have to feel good when I crawl out of bed and face me before my coffee and makeup.

    This process has not gone smoothly. From the stripping out of the color (a very scary four hours when I looked like a cross between Bozo the clown and a baby duckling) to the so cool gray color, which lasted just until the next shampooing three days later! The new, awesome, silvery color was not holding — at all. Instead, it turned sort of a dirty, ashy sort-of-blonde-sort-of-gray shade.

    The idea was, I thought, a good one. If I could dye it gray once, I could then gracefully let the roots come in, possibly doing a little blending in using low-lighting techniques and ultimately just have it be what it is.

    What I've learned throughout this process, it seems to me, are things that apply to life: Things rarely go as planned, accepting what is can be satisfying in its own way, and, conversely, spending time, energy and money fighting what is can be an uphill and never-ending battle (think bad marriages or horrible jobs). Last but not least, instant gratification ultimately doesn't serve and rarely brings the benefits you were hoping for.

    More: How I became Rookie of the Year at age 59

    Jane Stein is the founder of Your Franchise is Waiting, a consultancy firm for men and women exploring franchising as an alternative career path.


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    For all of those nights when your dogs are barking after a long day of work, this is the simple foot massage tutorial you'll want to have bookmarked for later. Consider this just one of many ways to practice self-care, by giving your tootsies some much-needed TLC or asking a partner to do it for you.

    More: How to create an ombre nail design like 'beauty blogger' is your middle name

    (As a quick note: Be careful when receiving a foot massage during pregnancy. Some pressure points may cause contractions.)

    Here's how to give a foot massage like a pro:

    How does a foot massage sound?

    Regardless of whether you're on the receiving end of a foot massage or you're the one giving it, you both will experience many benefits, Even if you are simply massaging your own feet, it can still be a rewarding and satisfying way to end your day.

    • The giver: Giving a friend or loved one a foot massage is very soothing and calming for you, too, and can actually cause your blood pressure to decrease. It's a very caring, nurturing, and bonding experience to share with another person (as weird as that may sound).
    • The receiver: Obviously, this is really the best position to be in. Foot massage will help reduce your stress, boost circulation, and relieve blood stagnation from wearing ill-fitting shoes. In addition, it will dramatically relax your body, soothe foot muscles, and undo knots and tension in your toes, balls of your feet, arches, and ankles. It will even soften your feet if a cream or massage oil is applied!
    • One-on-one: Though not as fulfilling as having your feet massaged by another, self-massage enables you to care for your feet on a regular basis, to de-stress and pamper your feet as you see fit.

    Next Up: Techniques for foot massage

    Techniques for foot massage

    A foot massage can be performed at any time you wish or as part of a home pedicure procedure. The following illustrations depict some standard foot massage techniques that a nail technician might perform on a client during a pedicure. If you do not have a willing partner to give you a massage, never fear. These techniques are just as easily done (with some minor alterations) alone.

    If a partner is involved, have the one receiving the foot massage recline against a big pillow on the sofa or bed to fully relax the entire body. Foot massage feels really great if the whole body is at ease.

    If you're going solo, find a comfortable chair, preferably one with padded arms and a foot rest, such as a recliner. Sit back, prop one foot in your lap and let the other rest extended in front of you, and massage those feet until they smile.

    If using a massage oil or lotion, protect clothing and furniture with a towel or two. Rub oiled or creamed hands together vigorously to warm them before beginning the foot massage.

    Complete all six steps on one foot before moving on to the other.

    Step 1: Stroke the top of the foot

    Stroking stimulates circulation and warms the foot. Holding your partner's foot in your hands, on the top of the foot begin a long, slow, firm, stroking motion with your thumbs, starting at the tips of the toes and sliding back away from you, all the way up to the ankle, then retrace your steps back to the toes with a lighter stroke.

    Repeat this step three to five times, then stroke the bottom of the foot in the same manner.

    Step 2: Ankle rotations

    Loosens joints and relaxes feet. Cup one hand under the heel, behind the ankle, to brace the foot and leg.

    Grasp the ball of the foot with the other hand and turn the foot slowly at the ankle for three to five times in each direction. With repeated foot massages, any stiffness will begin to recede. (This is a particularly good exercise for anyone suffering from arthritis.)

    Step 3: Toe pulls and squeezes

    Toes, like fingers, are quite sensitive to the touch — this massage can be very calming. Grasp the foot beneath the arch. With the other hand, beginning with the big toe, hold the toe with your thumb on top and index finger beneath.

    Starting at the base of the toe, slowly and firmly pull the toe, sliding your fingers to the top and back to the base.

    Now repeat, but gently squeeze and roll the toe between your thumb and index finger, working your way to the tip and back to the base.

    Repeat these two movements on the remaining toes.

    Step 4: Toe slides

    Grasp foot behind the ankle, cupping under heel. With the index finger of the other hand, slide your finger between the toes, back and forth for three to five times.

    Next Up: Step 5: Arch press

    Step 5: Arch press

    Releases tension in the inner and outer longitudinal arches. Hold foot as you did in Step 4.

    Using the heel of your other hand, push hard as you slide along the arch from the ball of the foot toward the heel and back again. Repeat five times. This part of the foot can stand a little extra exertion on your part, just don't apply too much pressure. Push your hand along the arch of the foot.

    More: 12 Street style photos that will make you want lace-up shoes

    Step 6: Stroking. Repeat step 1

    This is a good way to begin and end a foot massage.

    Agony of the Feet Relaxing Massage Oil

    You'll need:
    2 teaspoons (10 ml) castor, jojoba, soybean, or extra-virgin olive oil
    3 drops lavender essential oil
    1 drop German chamomile essential oil
    1 drop geranium essential oil

    To make:
    Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir thoroughly. Yields one treatment.

    To use:
    Use approximately 1 teaspoon (5 ml per foot and massage in completely. Inhale the aroma on your hands before you massage, and continue to breathe deeply, as these particular oils are extremely calming. Put on socks after massage to absorb excess oil and soften feet.

    Updated on 5/24/2016


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    That little pack of drugstore makeup wipes may be cute and convenient, but over time, the cost can quickly add up — especially when you keep losing them in the bottom of your purse. Save yourself five bucks each month by mixing up your own natural eye makeup remover at home with common ingredients you probably already have lying around the house.

    Here are two quick-and-easy recipes to get you started:

    1. DIY makeup remover wipes

    DIY Makeup remover wipes
    Image: Patricia Conte/SheKnows

    The convenience of makeup remover wipes cannot be disputed. Especially for those times when you’re just too tired to wash your face before hitting the sack (you really should wash your face before bed every night, but let’s face it. Sometimes we’re just too pooped). These handy wipes will help keep your face free and clear of old makeup that could wreak havoc on your skin overnight.

    More: 7 Steps to the ultimate home facial for glowing skin

    Coconut oil is great to cook and bake with, but it’s good for your skin, too. It’s a great, gentle moisturizer, and is said to have antibacterial and antifungal properties.

    Makeup remover ingredients 1
    Image: Patricia Conte/SheKnows

    These wipes are simple to make! I added some decorative tape to the top of my container, just for fun. To make your own, you’ll need the following.

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 roll select-a-size paper towels
    • Scissors
    • 1 clean plastic, sealable container, about the same size as half of 1 of the select-a-size sheets (I recycled a baby wipe container)
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 2 cups water
    • 1-2 squirts mild liquid face soap or baby shampoo
    • Decorative tape (optional)

    Directions:

    Use heavy scissors to cut your half roll of paper towels in half, right down the middle. If you prefer, rip off each towel, then cut them in half, a few at a time. This will take a bit more time.

    1. Add the water, coconut oil and face soap to a bowl. Microwave for about 20 seconds. Whisk together to combine.
    2. Fill the container with half the mixture. Set your pieces of cut paper towels into the container, and adjust them so there is at least 1 side that hangs over (on the inside) a bit.
    3. Close the container and turn it upside down so the liquid soaks into the paper towels.
    4. Pour more of the mixture into the container. You might not need all the remaining liquid so add a little at a time at this point.
    5. When you’re ready to use a wipe, simply open the container, pull out a sheet, gently massage over your face, then throw away.

    Next Up: DIY makeup remover

    2. DIY makeup remover

    DIY Makeup remover
    Image: Patricia Conte/SheKnows

    This two-ingredient DIY makeup remover wipes away the signs of the day (or night) very easily. With only two ingredients, it couldn’t be easier to make and keep handy on your bathroom counter.

    More: I got injections to fix my resting angry face

    Jojoba oil is actually a form of melted wax that’s produced from the seed of the desert jojoba shrub. The oil has a golden color and no fragrance, and has highly moisturizing properties, so it has double the benefits when used as a makeup remover. Jojoba oil is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and it won’t clog your pores. What could be better for your skin? It’s good for people with oily or dry skin, too, and won’t leave an oily mess behind on your face.

    Vitamin E is found in many skin care products, mostly because of its moisturizing and antioxidant properties. You don’t need much vitamin E in this mix (since it is a fairly heavy oil), so the liquid from one capsule will do for this recipe.

    DIY Makeup remover 3
    Image: Patricia Conte/SheKnows

    Ingredients:

    • 1/4 cup jojoba oil
    • 1 vitamin E capsule
    • Clean, dark glass container
    • Cotton balls

    Directions:

    1. Add the jojoba oil to the glass container. Break open the vitamin E capsule and release its liquid into the jojoba oil.
    2. With the lid secured on the bottle, shake to mix (do this before each use).
    3. Saturate a cotton ball or 2 (or cotton pad) with the oil mixture and gently wipe over your face and eyes to remove your makeup.
    4. Run a washcloth under warm water and wring it so the excess water is removed. Place over your face for a moment.
    5. Cleanse your face as you normally would.

    Updated by Bethany Ramos on 5/19/2016


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    Rebel Wilson graces the cover of Marie Claire U.K.'s July issue, and in the accompanying interview, she reveals a lot about her life — from crippling shyness as a child to her strict no-nudity policy — but it's the latter that really stands out for us.

    More: Rebel Wilson's new plus-size clothing line is going to change everything

    Filming for her new role in The Brothers Grimsby (she stars as the girlfriend of Norman Butcher, Sacha Baron Cohen's character), Wilson said they wanted full-frontal nudity, something she stated in her contract that she would not do.

    "They got in another girl — this larger burlesque dancer from South Africa — to be a nude double. And they got her to do all this stuff. Sacha would go, 'See, she looks good.' I'm like, I'm not doing it. I don't care what you say," said Wilson.

    While we have complete respect for Wilson sticking to her guns and not going against what she feels is right (and what was previously agreed in her contract), a decision to film nude scenes could actually be more powerful than a decision not to, because there is very little representation of plus-size women in the acting world.

    The fact that Hollywood lacks diversity is nothing new: You can probably count the number of plus-size actresses you know on two hands, and you could then probably count the number of plus-size actresses who have filmed nude scenes on just one hand. So in my opinion, Wilson should be filming nude scenes (if the role is right), without a body double, as this would send a powerful message about body confidence and acceptance. It would show the world that being bigger than a size 4 doesn't mean your body is not worth showing off and loving.

    According to The Mirror, a study from Durham University proved just how important representation is, finding that women who were habitually shown images of thin body shapes had an increased preference for thin bodies, whereas after being shown images of plus-size women, their preferences for slim frames was significantly less.

    "This really shows the power of exposure to super-slim bodies," said Dr. Lynda Boothroyd, the lead author of the research. "There is evidence that being constantly surrounded through the media by celebrities and models who are very thin contributes to girls and women having an unhealthy attitude to their bodies. Our findings certainly indicate that showing more 'normal' models could potentially reduce women's obsession for thinness."

    More: Rebel Wilson and other celebrities who won't go nude

    Having only thin women put their nude bodies on full display creates unrealistic expectations and also sets a very narrow example for what is and isn't beautiful and largely accepted by society. Over the past few years, the industry has made some changes for the better, with actresses like Melissa McCarthy, Rebel Wilson, Jennifer Hudson, Mo'Nique and Gabourey Sidibe joining the ranks of Queen Latifah, Kathy Bates, Octavia Spencer and Margo Martindale. So Hollywood is slowly adopting less-rigid standards of beauty, but we're not there yet. In an industry where nudity is so commonplace, it seems odd, at best, that there isn't better representation of women with fuller figures.

    Having said that, the decision should largely depend on the type of scene being filmed, and it should definitely be a role for which getting nude is actually empowering and not just for comedic value. Wilson did hint to the fact that she could be persuaded to film nude if the role was right, telling Marie Claire, "You want to know that the people [behind the camera] have a certain sensibility and decency. And a lot of times in comedy they're not those people."

    An actress should not have to portray a character whose weight plays a large part of the storyline. Instead, they should be able to play a serious role, one where their weight is irrelevant and not the punchline to a crass joke. Herein lies the second issue: Are plus-size actresses getting the roles they really deserve, or are they being typecast into certain roles? Even the label "plus size" is an issue, because it suggests that it's not normal, something which already makes women question if their bodies are good enough to be accepted by society.

    An article in The Wall Street Journal previously detailed the problem with so many roles: The actresses' size cannot go unnoticed. Wilson herself starred as Pitch Perfect's Fat Amy, and when she was Becky in 2012's Bachelorette, for the first half of the movie, her size was, once again, a major storyline — and she is not the only plus-size actress who has found herself in this situation.

    More: Rebel Wilson claims her age debacle wasn't her fault

    The world needs more plus-size representation, and we all need to realize now, rather than later, that there is more than one body shape that can be considered beautiful. You should embrace who you are, regardless of your size — naked or with clothes on.


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    There are a few key pieces every woman should have in her closet in order to stay fresh and on trend! Whether it's shoes, makeup or accessories, there are items that are a must for everyone's wardrobe. I call these "the staple items" for the season. The best news is that these items can be wallet-friendly for everyone. These must-have items are all under $20, and I'm going to give you the tricks, tips and picks that are all budget-friendly.

    More: 10 tips for finding budget-friendly fashion trends

    1. Luscious lips

    Image: MAC

    A great lip can go a long way. With a variety of colors and lots of makeup brands, you are sure to find a statement lipstick for under $20. A bright pink like Candy Yum Yum or Nars' Schiap semi matte is perfect for a hot summer day, and a nude is great for a dinner date out on the town.

    2. Statement phone case

    Image: Cellular Outfitter

    You can make a style statement with something as simple as your phone case. Over the last year, I've been really into my phone covers and how they look with my overall style for the season. Did you know that your case could take your entire look over the top and get you lots of good attention? Yes, it happens all the time when you get something that's bold and stylish. One of my favorite places to shop is from Cellular Outfitter because of their great phone accessories at a very affordable price.

    3. White and black tank

    Image: H&M

    Every woman needs a white and black tank top in her closet. A quality tank can go under jackets or under tops you feel are too revealing. I've gone as far as to get H&M tank tops in just about every color so that I'm always prepared whenever I'm in need of one.

    4. Nail Lacquer

    Image: Super Star Nail Laquer

    As the owner of a nail lacquer brand, Superstar Nail Lacquer, I know all too well that the easiest and most affordable fashion staple you can find under $20 is a good nail lacquer shade. Depending on the mood or event, you can change up your color to match the theme. You can go bold and bright with a hot pink or make a dramatic statement with a dark blue hue. Either way, you can find a quality nail lacquer well under $20.

    5. Black cocktail dress

    Image: Forever21

    A black cocktail dress is a must to have in your closet. This Strappy Midi Dress is a gorgeous one that you can wear to just about any event. The great thing about having the perfect black dress is that you are prepared for any invite that'll come your way. What they say is true: When in doubt about what to wear, pull out your LBD!

    More: 5 home and fashion trends taking over this summer

    6. Stylish scarf

    Image: Shop Spring

    A great scarf can go a long way. It can transform your look and add that stylish edge you've been wanting. For summer, opt for a thin silk scarf like a floral one that allows your neck to breathe and brings any casual outfit to life.

    7. Mascara

    Image: Bloomingdales

    Mascara is something that's small, but makes a major difference in your look. My favorites include the Zac Posen Zoom Lash Mascara and the Wet n Wild Max Volume Plus. The MAC Cosmetic addition is a bit more expensive, but looks great for a more dramatic look. The Wet n Wild is great for the everyday look and is under $5. Way to look fabulous on a budget!

    8. Rings and things

    Image: ASOS

    A beautiful ring can make a major difference in your everyday look. It's that accessory that makes your hands look fabulous especially with the right nail lacquer to match. From simple and elegant rings to flashy costume rings, there are some fabulous ones you can find even when you don't want to spend the big bucks.

    9. Off the shoulder pieces

    Image: Forever21

    My favorite theme this season is the off the shoulder trend. It's '70s boho chic meets 2016. Whether you get it in a dress or rock it as a cute shirt with jeans, you'll be the fashionista of the year!

    10. Black dress shorts

    Image: Uniqlo

    Black dress shorts are a lifesaver when it comes to those warm and muggy nights. My favorites are from Uniqlo and can be dressed up with a cute top and wedges or worn casually with your favorite flats. They are a little over $20, but so worth it. The great thing is that you can wear your shorts over and over again, and if you switch the tops, you'll look like you have on a new outfit every time you wear them.

    11. Get shady

    Image: Zero UV

    A great pair of shades is a must-have fashion staple that doesn't have to cost a million bucks to be fabulous. I love floral sunnies for a fun, festive look or sleek black shades for an everyday look on the go.

    More: 10 simple ways to save money on traveling

    Ariana Pierce is a fashion, lifestyle and business expert, helping millennials and beyond achieve their dreams and look great doing it! For more on Ariana, visit Arianastylebook.com or follow her on Instagram at AriTheHeiress.


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    Summer beauty is all about the look of natural beauty — glowing, sun-kissed skin, not to mention the epitome of summer beauty: beach waves. There are tons of products that promise to give you wavy tresses. What if I told you that you do not need any of those products to get gorgeous, tousled waves?

    More: Makeup essentials you should never skip

    1. Condition and shampoo

    I am not going to recommend a specific shampoo or conditioner, just tips on how to use the products you may already have on hand. Create a pre-shampoo (pre-poo) treatment for yourself using your most moisturizing conditioner. A hair mask, if you have one, is great to use as a pre-poo. Leave the mask on for 15 minutes, then rinse with cool water. I say cool water because you don't want all the mask to leave your hair. You need some of it left behind to prevent your shampoo from stripping your hair.

    Now apply and work your shampoo through your hair creating a nice lather. Take a detangling comb and comb the excess lather from your hair. Rinse the shampoo from your hair with warm water. If you suffer from dryness and brittleness, follow your shampoo with a daily conditioner. If your hair is healthy and in good condition, you can skip the daily conditioner. Next, give your hair a cool water rinse to close your hair cuticles and boost natural shine.

    More: Curly haired women have been all over this pre-poo trend for ages

    2. Prepare the set

    Using your hands, gently squeeze excess water from hair, then towel blot your hair. Now it is time to wet set the hair. Detangle hair and part it. If you have long hair, part hair in six sections. If you have shorter hair, part into 10 sections. Take one of your sections, divide into two sub sections. Twist these two sub sections of hair from the root down to the tip. Secure the end of the twist with an elastic, hair clip, or hair roller. If you need a fast set, sit under a hair dryer for 15 to 30 minutes. I recommend leaving the twists in overnight to allow your hair to air dry completely.

    3. Break the waves

    After your hair has dried completely, unwind the twists. You will end up with deep wavy sections. Further break down these waves by separating them at the root and continue to separate them down to the tip. To get that tousled look you can flip your hair over and muss it up that way. Or just shake your hair and use your hands to tousle it so the waves can look freer and a little wild.

    This method for creating beach waves does not require the use of additional hair products. Just adjust how you condition so your hair is a bit lighter. Lighter hair allows you to get a tousled effect that has more volume. Less product used after shampooing means less product buildup on your hair. Ditch those texturizers and salt sprays this summer so your waves can be light, free-flowing and gorgeous.

    More: Lemonade is this generation's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill


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