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Beauty, Hairstyles, Fashion Trends & More | SheKnows

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    If Disney princesses weren't a big part of your childhood, then you probably didn't grow up in the past 30 years. At least one time in your little girl life, you've dreamed of being one of the big ones -- Belle or Ariel -- and let's not pretend that we all still don't have a girl-crush on Elsa.

    Sure, there's a little pushback about this princess obsession starting at a young age, which some psychologists even call "Princess Syndrome." But we believe that when you pay attention to the storylines, Disney princesses are often the most feminist of them all, and these leading ladies make perfect adult costume choices for Halloween.

    More: How to totally master the Halloween mermaid makeup from Instagram

    With some basic sewing skills and a few materials, you'll be channeling your fave Disney princess in no time:

    DIY Elsa dress Halloween costume

    Easy DIY Elsa Dress Halloween Costume
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Materials:

    • Lace shirt (cream, blue or nude)
    • 2 yards stretchy light blue knit
    • 2 yards teal lace
    • Matching thread
    • Double needle (optional)
    • Sparkly earrings
    • White or flesh-colored shoes

    Directions:

    Step 1

    Fold your 2 yards of knit fabric in half, with the stretch of the fabric going across the fabric, as shown. Measure right above your bust (where the top of the tube dress will sit) and divide this number in half. Use this as the top measurement of your tube dress, as shown, then cut the rest of the dress as shown, making it as flared at the hem as you'd like.

    Elsa's dress
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Step 2

    Fold your 2 yards of lace in half, as shown. Cut a cape-like shape, making the measurement of the top wide enough to fit across your back and end under your armpits.

    Step 3

    Take your dress and fold it in half with right sides of the fabric together and sew it from the top to the bottom with a straight stitch, as shown. Turn right side out and press your seam flat with an iron.

    Elsa's dress last step
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Step 4

    Take the top of your dress and fold the top over, as shown above. Pin in place, and then pin the lace cap to the folded edge as well. Sew all the way around the opening with a straight double stitch (using your double needle). [Using the double needle will allow for some stretch so you can pull it over your bust and avoid having to use elastic. Alternatively you can use a zigzag stitch, although it doesn't allow for quite as much stretch.]

    Step 5

    Cut the dress to your desired length, and cut a slit if you'd like.

    To complete the look, wear the dress over a cream, blue or nude lace top, throw on a pair of sparkly earrings, like these ones, and do your hair in the classic Elsa braid using this hair tutorial! Throw on a pair of white or nude colored shoes and then let it go all Halloween night long!

    Next Up: Gorgeous DIY Ariel Halloween costume

    DIY Ariel Halloween costume

    Easy DIY Ariel Halloween Costume
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Materials:

    • 2 yards teal or green knit fabric
    • 1/4-inch elastic (enough for your waist and your ankles)
    • Oversized white tee
    • Light purple fabric paint
    • Cardboard
    • Sponge brush
    • Yellow purse (or stuffed Flounder)
    • Red wig

    Directions:

    For the mermaid skirt:

    the Mermaid skirt:
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Step 1

    Fold 1 yard of your fabric in half with the stretch of the fabric going across the width, as shown. Cut a simple tube skirt (either using a fitted skirt you already own or your measurements as a guide).

    Step 2

    Fold the second yard of fabric in half with the stretch of the fabric going across the length, as shown. Cut a symmetrical half circle as big as your fabric will allow, and then cut a symmetrical circle in the middle to make it a donut shape. This will be the bottom of the skirt for the "mermaid tail."

    Step 3

    Take the tube skirt and fold it in half with right sides of the fabric together and sew along the back of the skirt from top to bottom with a straight stitch, as shown.

    Step 4

    Measure loosely around your ankles (where the end of the tube skirt will meet the ruffle), and cut a piece of elastic in that length. Sew the ends of the elastic together to make a loop, and then stretch it to pin all the way around the opening of the skirt ruffle. Sew all the way around the skirt opening, stretching the elastic as you sew. Once you finish sewing and let go of the elastic, it will scrunch up and become a ruffle.

    Step 5

    Pin the ruffle on the skirt with right sides together (as shown), and sew across the elastic again, stretching as you sew.

    More: To-die-for Halloween makeup ideas from the depths of Instagram

    Step 6

    Fold the waistband of the skirt over and sew around it with a straight stitch. Leave a few inches open, as shown, and then insert a piece of elastic cut to your waist measurement. Once the elastic is inserted, sew the ends together, then tuck them inside the waistband and sew the waistband completely closed.

    For the mermaid top:

    the mermaid top:
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    I'm not one to let it all hang out on Halloween, so I came up with a cute and covered-up alternative for Ariel's upper half — a fun seashell bra painted crop top!

    Step 1

    DIY Ariel Halloween costume top: Step 1
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Cut a piece of cardboard in a seashell shape.

    Step 2

    DIY Ariel Halloween costume top: Step 2
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Cut your cardboard up, as shown, to create lines in the seashell.

    Step 3

    DIY Ariel Halloween costume top: Step 3
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Take a white T-shirt and cut off the bottom to your desired length. Then try the shirt on and mark with a pin where you want each seashell painted.

    Step 4

    DIY Ariel Halloween costume top: Step 4
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Using a sponge brush, paint each piece of cardboard and then stamp each piece 1 by 1 until your seashells are painted.

    Mermaid top
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Pair your seashell crop top with your mermaid skirt, and then finish the look with a red wig, red lipstick and a stuffed Flounder fish (or a bright yellow bag like I did for a little modern take on the look!).

    Next Up: Gorgeous DIY Disney princess Belle Halloween costume

    DIY Belle Halloween costume

    Easy DIY Belle Halloween Costume
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Materials:

    • Blue dress/skirt
    • White button up shirt
    • 1/2 yard white cotton fabric
    • 1-1/2 or 2 yards white ribbon (2-3 inches wide)
    • 1/8 yard blue cotton fabric
    • Black shoes
    • Books or wicker basket

    Directions:

    Belle was my favorite Disney princess growing up, and although her famous yellow dress is beautiful, I went for a more simple and classic look with her white and blue outfit.

    Belle dress
    Image: Shabby Apple

    I started with a blue dress (this one from Shabby Apple) then layered a white shirt underneath for the collar and long-sleeved look. But you could use a blue skirt or dress you already own (or make yourself one using this easy circle skirt tutorial, .

    The classic pieces that make this outfit are the apron and the bow, and those are both easy to make!

    For the apron:

    For the apron:
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Step 1

    DIY Belle Halloween costume: Apron Step 1
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Cut a rectangular piece of fabric as long as you want, and about 30 inches wide. Sew across the top of the rectangle (along the long side) with a basting (super wide) stitch.

    Step 2

    DIY Belle Halloween costume: Apron Step 2
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Pull the threads on either side to gather the fabric.

    Step 3

    DIY Belle Halloween costume: Apron Step 3
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Fold over the edges of the other 3 (non-gathered) sides of the fabric and hem them with a straight stitch.

    Step 4

    DIY Belle Halloween costume: Apron Step 4
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Place the ribbon across the gathered edge and sew together with a straight stitch, as shown.

    For the bow:

    For the bow:
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Step 1

    DIY Belle Halloween costume: Bow Step 1
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Cut a long strip of fabric about 36 inches long and 4 inches wide.

    Step 2

    DIY Belle Halloween costume: Bow Step 2
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Fold the fabric in half and sew into a long tube, as shown. Cut 1 of the short sides at an angle, and then sew up that side too, as shown.

    More: DIY bat Halloween costume for ladies short on time

    Step 3

    DIY Belle Halloween costume: Bow Step 3
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Turn the tube right side out by pushing a pencil into the pointed side and then scrunching the fabric down the pencil until the pointed side comes out. Cut the other edge at an angle and then tuck the raw edges inside and sew across it with a straight stitch.

    Step 4

    DIY Belle Halloween costume: Bow Step 4
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows

    Tie up into a pretty bow!

    Finish the look with a middle part and low ponytail, then tie that ribbon around your ponytail, grab a couple of books or a wicker basket, throw on some black shoes and go find your Prince Charming!

    Originally published Oct. 2014. Updated Aug. 2016.


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    Studio 15 is an e-commerce fashion boutique that sits at the intersection of philanthropy and style. The site offers high-quality pieces at about $50 in an effort to cater to and represent women from all walks of life. Studio 15 also donates a portion of every sale to Kleos Microfinance Group, which supports female entrepreneurs in developing countries. We can get on board with that.

    Name: Jia Wertz

    Company: Studio 15

    Headquarters: New York, New York

    Year founded: 2013

    Twitter: @Studio15NYC

    Facebook: Studio 15

    Instagram: studio15nyc

    Website: www.shopstudio15.com

    Want to sign up for the Pitch, or know someone who would be a great candidate? Email us today at thepitch@sheknows.com!


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    If you’re like most of us who’ve indulged in the coffee, the wine and even the cigarettes in our younger years, then your teeth have probably seen better days. Sure, there are dozens if not hundreds of whitening products to choose from, with laser teeth whitening booming in popularity, but there may be a cheaper and simpler way to fix a dingy smile first.

    In 2012, the American Association of Orthodontists, in partnership with Wakefield Research, conducted a study on how people perceive their smiles — which has been tossed around by dentists as a way to promote teeth whitening since it was released. But the study does have some interesting points to it. Over a third of Americans feel unhappy with the appearance of their teeth and even believe they’d have a better social life if they had a better smile. This problem may be even bigger among young adults, seeing as 48 percent of the study participants from the ages of 18 to 24 had untagged themselves on Facebook before because they didn’t like their teeth.

    Whether in pictures or face-to-face, this kind of smile “shame” is something no one should have to live with. It can help to use common sense and cut down on the foods and drinks that may be staining your teeth in the first place. And depending on the severity of the staining, you may need professional treatment.

    Or one of these expert-approved at-home whitening tips might do the trick:

    1. Put it in perspective

    This isn’t an at-home whitening remedy per se, but it helps to know that yellow-tinted teeth aren’t always a bad thing. “Did you know that naturally yellow teeth are stronger than pearly whites? This might be a good reason to use natural whitener for stubborn stains. Enamel is actually bluish white. This enamel color is somewhat translucent, so the yellow of the dentine beneath makes the teeth naturally look a light shade of grey or light yellow,” Dr. Lynn Anderson, yoga instructor and natural health expert, says.

    Now that we know that ultra-white teeth may not be a realistic standard for most, we can form a plan of attack.

    More: An open letter to every woman who doesn't love her body

    2. Try oil pulling

    If you haven’t seen it buzzing around on Facebook yet, oil pulling, using antimicrobial coconut oil to clean and detox, is hot, hot, hot. Roberta Perry, founder of the natural skin care line ScrubzBody who has been seen on The Dr. Oz Show, considers coconut oil pulling a wonderful way to whiten teeth naturally. “You do have to swish around your mouth for 10-15 minutes a few times a week or more to have it be effective,” she says.

    Dr. Axe, clinical nutritionist and doctor of natural medicine, says, “My favorite home remedy for whitening teeth is definitely coconut oil pulling. With this ancient Ayurvedic technique, you not only break down stains on the teeth and loosen plaque, but you also detoxify the mouth, eliminating bacteria and toxins that can actually contribute to poor dental health and a less attractive smile. And oil pulling is simple to do: Just swish a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil around in your mouth for 10-15 minutes, first thing in the morning. When finished, spit the oil into the trash.”

    3. Eat an apple a day

    “An apple a day keeps the dentist away” should be the real saying, according to Anderson. While many rumors swirl online that recommend brushing teeth with lemon juice to whiten, Anderson staunchly disagrees. Using lemon juice on teeth is acidifying and can break down enamel, allowing the yellow dentine to shine through. Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is better for your teeth when it is eaten to aid in calcium absorption and remove plaque and debris.

    Here’s where the daily apple comes in. Anderson says, “Ascorbic acid is a natural organic compound most prevalent in apples. So, my first recommendation for keeping the teeth white is to eat an apple a day. This might just keep the dentist away! Along with ascorbic acid, which has a whitening effect, apples are high in vitamin C, which is a body biochemical normalizer and is essential for keeping teeth strong. Strong, healthy teeth are always bright.”

    More: 10 health reasons to kiss and kiss often

    4. Eat crunchy vegetables

    This one is easy-peasy and good for you in more ways than one. Anderson suggests making a regular practice of eating crunchy vegetables, like carrots and celery, since “they act as mild abrasives, removing plaque and stains.”

    5. Eat burnt toast

    Along with the crunchy, scrubby vegetables, Anderson recommends enjoying your morning toast well-done. As strange as this sounds, she explains, “When I was young, my mother would burn our toast black. She would tell us to eat it because the charcoal was good for keeping the teeth white. It turns out Mom was right! The abrasive quality of the charcoal does whiten teeth. However, this is not something that should be done every day. Remember, you want to whiten the teeth and not break down the enamel.”

    Anderson continues, “You can find loose charcoal at your health food store. Make sure it is derived from wood or coconut and not petroleum. Charcoal absorbs the tannin that stains your teeth. Dip your toothbrush in the charcoal powder and brush your teeth in swirls. Rinse thoroughly. If you like, rinse with a little peroxide diluted in water.”

    6. Use hydrogen peroxide

    Anderson is right — that tingly stuff that your mom put on your scrapes when you were a kid may work wonders at cleaning your teeth too. Perry explains, “Another way to whiten in less time is to add a bit of hydrogen peroxide to your toothpaste. It helps whiten and brighten, and it's done when you are brushing anyway.” However, we recommend consulting with your dentist first on this one since hydrogen peroxide has been rumored to break down tooth enamel, and even Colgate only recommends using it a maximum of three times a week.

    Dr. Axe backs up brushing with hydrogen peroxide as a natural teeth whitening trick, though he recommends adding in baking soda to make a paste. He also suggests brushing after eating or drinking, especially after enjoying a “discoloring” food like wine or coffee. “You can even make your own homemade teeth whitener with baking soda, lemon essential oil and strawberries,” Dr. Axe says.

    More: How you really get someone to quit smoking, from an ex-smoker

    7. Floss, floss, floss

    Your dentist has been trying to convince you for years, but regular flossing really does have some merit. And considering that only four out of 10 Americans floss at least once a day, you might want to give it another go. “Floss your teeth on a regular basis,” Perry says. “Much of the yellow look is due to ‘stuff’ accumulating in between your teeth instead of on them, so besides being great dental hygiene-wise, it helps teeth look whiter, too.”

    8. Put on some lipstick

    When all else fails, and you’re still waiting for your at-home teeth whitening treatments to kick in, you can use an optical illusion to add some sparkle to your smile. “Color can make your teeth whiter,” Anderson says. “The right choice of lipstick actually makes teeth appear whiter. Choose bright reds, deep reds, fuchsia and medium plum. These colors give contrast and therefore make teeth look brighter.”

    Originally published Sept. 2013. Updated July 2016.


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    In a world where fashion and beauty trends constantly come and go, it’s easy to forget to give back and support others. We may not think of our typical beauty and fashion purchases as ways to support initiatives in our communities, but giving back is a lot easier than one might expect.

    Even some of the largest companies have found ways to give back to national nonprofits and initiatives that support and encourage young women and future female entrepreneurs. These big-name fashion and beauty brands support women in business, health and more while saving you money as well.

    Ann Taylor

    Ann Taylor’s clothing is made for every woman’s life and her changing roles not only to help her look and feel confident and beautiful but to inspire her to put her best self forward every day.

    More: 3 fashion and beauty subscriptions that let you try before you buy

    Through the Responsibly Ann commitment, the company is dedicated to empowering the female artisans around the world who make their products by providing health and financial education as well as working conditions where women can reach their full potential. Additionally, the company supports causes that matter to women, such as the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the ANNPower Vital Voices Initiative to train and empower the next generation of female leaders.

    Keep up with the latest initiatives and causes Ann Taylor supports by checking out their Facebook page or donating 2 percent using Ann Taylor coupons from Goodshop.

    Sephora

    One of the most well-known names in the beauty game, Sephora encourages bold choices in beauty and in life. Through their Sephora Accelerates program, the company strives to support female entrepreneurs by setting them up with the skills, connections and funding to succeed. The program aims to develop 50 women-led beauty startups by 2020.

    More: Buy ethically made clothing without busting your bank account

    Sephora has also introduced Classes for Confidence, which provides specialized beauty classes for women re-entering the workforce, and Sephora Stands Together, a fund to support employees affected by natural disasters. You can support Sephora’s efforts by visiting their Coupons for Good Facebook page and donating 2.5 percent to a cause or charity of your choice using Goodshop coupons.

    Saks Fifth Avenue

    Working with their parent company, the Hudson Bay Company Foundation, Saks Fifth Avenue provides support to several charitable partners, such as the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committees, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Beauty Gives Back and more.

    Over the years, Saks Fifth Avenue’s philanthropic efforts have supported over 400 local and national charities and nonprofit organizations as well as communities where stores are located. By shopping through Saks Fifth Avenue’s Goodshop coupons page you can donate 3 percent of your spendings to a nonprofit of your choice and save money, or visit their Coupons for Good page to support the company’s charities.

    These companies not only provide plenty of high fashion and makeup choices to help you stay on trend and have plenty of coupons and deals to save money, but you can also support plenty of nonprofits and charities that empower women as well. Who knew you could look good while doing good and saving money?

    More: 3 ways to travel and give back to charity at the same time


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    Halloween is inarguably one of the raddest days of the year, for adults and kids alike, because of the costumes. And the candy. And the parties. (And did we mention the candy?) But a lack of planning and preparation happens to the best of us, and before you know it, Halloween can sneak up on you. Here's what to do — and what to wear — when shopping for a Halloween costume has totally slipped your mind.

    You can start by doing what our generation does best, thanks to Pinterest. Create. And make things pretty. But yes, mostly create. We can MacGyver any situation and make mountains from molehills with just a little inspiration.

    More: Make sure your fall wardrobe is complete with this must-have shoe checklist

    You'll be surprised how many costumes you actually already have in your closet. The outfit ideas below are easy and fun — but really clever, too! So even though they're last-minute, they don't have to look last-minute:

    1. Hello Kitty

    Hello Kitty costume
    Image: Hello Kitty/Sanrio.com

    No one is ever too old for Hello Kitty. Here are the basics you'll need for this costume — but you can really have a lot of fun with this one. Think cute skirts, tall platforms and sparkly makeup.

    2. Regina George

    Regina George costume
    Image: dp ak/YouTube

    If you're really strapped for time and your closet selections are limited, try Regina George from Mean Girls. Here's everything you'll need (and your tanks can really be any color):

    3. Party animal

    Party animal costume
    Image: kimallillia/Instagram

    I love this one. You can take it so many different ways, depending on what you have. We've outlined what you'll need to be a party leopard, but think pandas, giraffes and lions, too!

    Next Up: Walter White

    4. Walter White

    Walter White costume
    Image: AMC

    Forget Heisenberg — go for the real Walter White that we know and love from Breaking Bad. Head over to your boyfriend's closet for a little help on this one (except for maybe the underwear...).

    More: How to totally master the Halloween mermaid makeup from Instagram

    5. Rosie the Riveter

    Rosie the Riveter costume
    Image: National Museum of American History/Smithsonian Institution/Getty Images

    Don't forget about Rosie! She's our cultural symbol of feminism — and is inspiration for a very simple, but powerful, outfit.

    6. Holly Golightly

    Holly Golightly costume
    Image: EverythingAudrey.com

    If you're a girl for pearls, then this one is for you. Pull out your inner Holly Golightly from that first scene in Breakfast at Tiffany's with just these few items.

    7. Unicorn

    Unicorn costume
    Image: brothajahn/Getty Images

    Yes! You can be a unicorn! Now's the time to pull out that old bridesmaid dress you wore once, try that hair chalk kit you bought last year and tie your hair into a bow.

    Next Up: Minion

    8. Minion

    Minion costume
    Image: Universal Pictures

    Minions and their popularity are taking over the world. So, why not join in? Heck, for this one, you could dress up as a minion and your friend can be the unicorn (above).

    More: To-die-for Halloween makeup ideas from the depths of Instagram

    9. Sandy

    Sandy costume
    Image: Morgan Reale/YouTube

    Look at me, it's Sandra Dee! Recreate one of the world's favorite scenes ever in the entire history of movies as Sandy from Grease.

    10. Charlie Chaplin

    Charlie Chaplin costume
    Image: WENN

    You can always go for a classic, like Charlie Chaplin. Mustaches are so fun — why not spend the night in one?

    Originally published Oct. 2015. Updated Aug. 2016.


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    Halloween's a holiday worth celebrating — not just because of the mountains of candy, but because it's the one time of year when you can put aside your regular daytime makeup and try something totally off-the-wall without anyone giving you the side-eye for it. And if you've tried and failed at re-creating that gorgeous Gothic-zombie-vampire-skeleton look you saw buzzing around Pinterest, using a few insider Halloween makeup tips can make all the difference.

    That's why we've made it easy. Here's a step-by-step breakdown of how to make every part of your face as terrifying as it is beautiful:

    1. Base

    Vampire makeup
    Image: totiredtothinkofanythingfunny/Imgur

    A base of makeup will help your colors go on smoothly and stay in place long enough to get through a Halloween party or a long night of trick-or-treating. Instead of paying for expensive makeup bases from Halloween stores, try using your regular foundation. If you're going to cover your face with another color, no one will even know the first layer is there. If you want to look pale -- for a vampire or zombie costume, for example -- use a foundation that's a few shades lighter than your normal color. To add a slight tint to the base layer, mix an eyeshadow of your selected shade into liquid foundation. Do the mixing on the back of your hand, not in the bottle or on your face, and apply the makeup with a sponge to get even coverage.

    More: American Horror Story Halloween makeup is the creepiest costume yet

    2. Outline

    Steam punk makeup
    Image: sara le dapperfish/Flickr

    Outline your entire face before you color anything in. This way, if you realize it's not going to work, it'll be much easier to get rid of what you've done so far. Try using colored eyeliner instead of makeup pencils; they smudge less and have better staying power. You can probably find some in great colors at a low price at a grocery or drug store. There's no need to go with a big name brand for just one night.

    3. Eyes

    Skeleton on Halloween
    Image: aliceharry001/Imgur

    The eyes are the windows to the soul, and on Halloween, they're the key to your costume. Focus on your eyes when you apply your makeup, because that's usually the first place people look. Take extra time applying makeup in that area, and consider using temporary colored contacts if they suit your costume. If you're going to be a fairy or other mythical creature, all you may need is color and maybe a few crystal tattoos around your eyes.

    Next Up: Blood

    4. Blood

    Halloween blood
    Image: philippe leroyer/Flickr

    If you're going for gore, make your own non-toxic blood. This is especially important with children, as well as with costumes that call for blood near the mouth, like vampires. To make your own fake blood, mix three parts corn syrup with one part water, then add red food coloring slowly until you get the color you want. If you want a darker, brownish tone to the blood, add some chocolate syrup. To thicken it, slowly mix in corn starch until it reaches the desired consistency. This mixture will be very sticky at first, but that quality helps it stay put during application.

    More: Transform into a Monster High student for Halloween using this makeup tutorial

    5. Set it

    Zombie makeup
    Image: HannahCass4/Imgur

    To make sure your makeup stays put all night, set it with a light dusting of face powder. If you don't want it to be noticeable, try translucent powder from your regular makeup stash. For a matte look to finish the job, use baby powder. Be careful not to use too much, unless you're going for a complete white-out.

    6. The rest of your skin

    Black swan
    Image: abstrusa/Flickr

    If you want your makeup to be convincing, don't stop with your face. Remember to add makeup to any skin that will show once your costume is in place, including your neck and hands. Cover these spots after your costume is on so you can be sure to cover all the needed areas and to prevent smearing when you get dressed.

    More: Jem Halloween makeup tutorial that will take you back to the '80s

    Pro tip: Pair up with someone and do each other's makeup. It's much easier to get it right when you aren't looking in a mirror.

    Originally published Sept. 2011. Updated Sept. 2016.


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    The makeup artist dabbed concealer under my eyes and then sponged foundation across my face. Stepping back and pausing for a moment, she asked a question that was designed as more of a statement than an inquiry, “Do you get Botox or filler?” It was obvious that she already knew the answer: No, I don’t.

    I’m fifty-five years old and I have nothing injected in my face or anywhere else at this time. It’s true that there was a time in my life when I did get Botox around my eyes but I thought it made me look strange. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging. I think people should do what works for them with regard to cosmetic surgery and procedures. Having said that, I am often surprised to what extent some women and men go to in their quest to stave off the physical signs of aging, only to end up looking odd.

    More: You can actually test how fast you're aging, and it's pretty fascinating

    It’s a fact that I am getting older, and you are too. Whether I like it or not, my face and body are changing and aging. When the makeup artist asked me that question, the first thing I thought was, “Way to make someone feel confident before getting in front of a camera”. Later I thought of the underlying issue: age shaming. When did it become so offensive to show the natural signs of a life well lived? I look around the town I live in, Boulder, Colorado, and I see men and women who wear their grey hair like a badge of honor — and it’s sexy as hell.

    I watch my husband’s head turn to glance at a healthy looking silver fox strutting across the parking lot of our local grocery store, and I can’t blame him for looking. When she smiles, she has gorgeous lines that accent her joyful face and her confidence is enviable.

    More: Grab a drink and let's talk about how our vaginas age

    Believe me, there are many-a-days when I wake up to this well lived-in face of mine and I ask myself, “damn, what happened here?” I see my puffy lined eyes staring back at me, but the truth is, I love my face and body. It took me forty years or so to get to this place of acceptance. Two weeks or two years from now, I may decide to have work done and I’m at peace with that too. It’s really about personal choice as far as how I, or anybody else, wishes to look.

    When the make-up artist, a woman approximately the same age as me, added, “it’s not too late, you can still get some filler”, I laughed under my breath a bit. But the truth is, it made me mad, and sad. Mad because this was a sister casting shade on me, and that is never cool. Sad that she was so focused on her perception of beauty that she couldn’t see what made me, and likely many other men and women, lovely in our own right. I got that her job was to make me look as good as possible, but when it crossed the line to not accepting my natural face, it a became an issue for me. Could she not see the sparkle in my eyes that showed what a rich and happy life I lead?

    Image: Eva Marie

    Apparently not, and that is fine. It does make me wonder how she views her own self-worth and ties it to her appearance. More importantly, how many men and woman of varying ages has she questioned about the way they look who walk away feeling less than when they arrived?

    More: The history of anti-aging products will surprise you (VIDEO)

    At the end of the day, we are all a little older than we were this morning. It’s a reminder to not waste precious time on insignificant happenings and thoughts, to brush off the negative, embrace what is good in our lives and move forward on our journey in a productive way, hopefully finding joy in the small and meaningful things that pass through our days.

    This post was originally published on BlogHer.


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    We now take a break from your regularly scheduled Kardashian and Jenner news to bring your attention to something that truly matters (no shade, Kylie — your blonde hair was the center of my universe for three days, but we have to pause for this). An incredibly strong, empowering, brave…and every other synonym that doesn’t do her justice…acid-attack survivor walked — sorry, slayed­ — the runway at New York Fashion Week last night, and the entire industry tried to refrain from both hugging her and bowing down to her at the same time.

    More: 5 beautiful things Embrace taught us about body acceptance and self-love

    On Thursday evening, 19-year-old Reshma Qureshi opened the show for Indian designer Archana Kochhar. The only noticeable difference between Qureshi and the other veteran models in the lineup was the fact that she was missing an eye, the result of her brutal acid attack in 2014. Acid attacks are a particularly heinous crime that almost always target women and children, are almost always committed by men, and are almost always due to jealousy, rebuked marriage proposals, and all the other bullshit that makes someone think acid attacks are OK

    Reshma Qureshi Instagram video

    Reshma Qureshi Instagram video

    This wasn’t Qureshi’s first courageous act, though. Back in India, the teen is a YouTube beauty vlogger, using the platform to speak out against the sale of acid in open markets while demonstrating beauty tips and tricks. “Why should we not enjoy our lives? What happened to us is not our fault and we’ve done nothing wrong and so we should also move forward in life,” said Qureshi to Agence France-Press.

    More: Women respond to cruel comments about their bodies in awesome photo series

    But make no mistake; Qureshi does not want your pity. “I want to tell the world—do not see us in a weak light, and see that even we can go out and do things,” she added, after she walked the runway in a floor-length gown. “People have a tendency to look at acid attack survivors from one perspective and I don’t want them to look at them like that anymore.”

    This article was originally posted on STYLECASTER. Chloe Metzger is STYLECASTER's beauty editor.


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    Dressing up like a ghost on Halloween is normally considered child's play, because who wants to walk around all night with a sheet over your head? But as always, there's a grown-up interpretation of your favorite costume you wore when you were a kid. And trust us when we say that with a full face of grown-up ghost makeup, you're going to be as stunning as you are scary.

    And hey, if you totally forgot to put together a costume for your work party or another Halloween shindig, this ghost makeup tutorial is exactly what you need to have in your back pocket. A creepy face, a little black dress, and you'll be an undead beauty that's hard to forget:

    Ghost makeup 3

    Ghost makeup 3

    Step 1: Prep your face

    Before you begin, clean off any makeup, dirt or oil that may already be on your face. Because the look relies heavily on white makeup, a clean slate will work the best.

    More: How to totally master the Halloween mermaid makeup from Instagram

    Step 2: Create a white base

    Take a white makeup base and apply it generously all over your face using a sponge. Blend it around your neck, too. Set the base with a light, translucent powder.

    More: DIY bat Halloween costume for ladies short on time

    Step 3: Apply nude lipstick

    Apply a nude-colored lipstick or lip gloss to your lips. Choose a color that matches your makeup, but still has a hint of light-pink color.

    Step 4: Define the eyes

    Apply black or a deep plum eye shadow to your eyes, but extend it from your eyebrow to below your bottom eyelashes. You should look like you have two big black eyes.

    More: 6 totally creepy Halloween makeup tips that will totally freak out the neighbors

    Step 5: Add some detail

    Take your look to the next level by adding glitter eyelashes and black glitter. Apply the glitter with a wet brush by lining the bottom edge of the eye shadow.

    Ghost makeup 2

    Ghost makeup 2

    Originally published Oct. 2012. Updated Sept. 2016.


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    If your eyes are already glazed over from browsing Halloween costumes on Amazon, you've come to the right place. Sometimes, it can get pretty overwhelming (and expensive) to choose from the mainstream costume lineup, which is why we've gathered up our favorite DIY costume jobs and makeup looks that are going to make Halloween super simple this year.

    Halloween costume and makeup photo gallery
    Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows
    Halloween costume ideas
    Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows

    More: 6 totally creepy Halloween makeup tips that will totally freak out the neighbors

    Our top list of Halloween costume are featured in this Halloween Photo Gallery! From a spooky witch to our famous minion costume and creative ideas like a Barden Bella, there's an ensemble for everyone.

    Costumes should be easy to make and, better yet, cheap! Below you can browse some of the silliest and most affordable homemade Halloween costumes, all made for under $30. You'll find DIY gems like Where's Waldo and Rosie the Riveter and some extra-clever ideas such as the Fruit of the Loom grapes and a gumball machine you'll love.

    More: 8 Halloween costumes that represent powerful women

    Homemade Halloween costume ideas

    Make your own Halloween costume for under $30
    Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows
    Easy bat halloween costume
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows
    DIY Disney Princess Halloween costumes
    Image: Merrick White/SheKnows
    easy homemade Halloween costume ideas
    Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows
    Halloween costumes from SheKnows
    Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows
    Halloween costumes from SheKnows
    Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows
    Halloween costumes from SheKnows
    Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows
    Halloween costumes from SheKnows
    Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows
    Halloween costumes from SheKnows
    Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows
    Halloween cupcake costume from SheKnows
    Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows

    Editor's pick: The sweetest costume ever! Click here for the full cupcake costume tutorial.

    Halloween makeup tutorials
    Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows
    Halloween makeup ideas
    Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows

    Completing your Halloween costume with flawless makeup — it's easier than it looks but it can make or break the costume. Re-create these makeup looks with simple tutorials from our makeup expert. You'll get ideas from an ooey-gooey nasty scar with stitches to a knock-'em-dead pinup girl, and even the futuristic makeup stylings of the Hunger Games' Capitol.

    More: 10 last-minute Halloween costumes from your closet (and nobody has to know)

    Watch our Halloween makeup tutorials here

    Step-by-step photo makeup tutorials to follow

    More Halloween goodies
    Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows
    Halloween printable party pack
    Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows

    Once your Halloween costume is all set to go, take a look at our printable party pack to ensure your party planning is a breeze!

    Originally published Oct. 2015. Updated Sept. 2016.


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    A great pair of jeans demands a great shoe. Luckily, the versatility of jeans means there's a shoe companion for every fit and cut. The trick is to find the right one to match your favorite pair of jeans.

    More: How to wear sneakers and still look girlie

    Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows

    More: 6 classic types of shoes and what they say about you

    1. Boot cut

    They're called boot cut for a reason. You can rock your favorite pair of ankle boots with them, though for a night on the town, heeled booties are the way to go. But don't let this style fool you — a great pair of boot-cut jeans will also work well with a nice pair of pumps for a look that's more dressed up. Try the Modern Boot Cut jeans from Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.™ for jeans that will feel comfortable and keep their shape all day long thanks to their super-stretchy denim.

    2. Skinny

    Trying to name all the shoes that would pair perfectly with your favorite skinny jeans would leave my head, and yours, spinning. Suffice it to say that skinny jeans are versatile. And this may come as a surprise, but they can be comfy too. The Modern Skinny jean from Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.™ maintains its shape all day and keeps you comfy with super-soft, super-stretchy denim. Wear them tucked into a cute pair of high boots (or any boots, really), or with heeled mules or platform loafers for a trendy fall look that delivers all-day comfort.

    3. Straight

    Straight jeans actually go really well with a good heel. Rock them with a stiletto ankle bootie for a night on the town. On the days you're feeling a little more low-key, try pairing the Curvy Straight jean from Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.™ with low ankle boots or even combat boots.

    More: 5 shoe trends you never thought you could pull off

    This post was sponsored by Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.™


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    Should you prep natural hair for fall and winter? What is required for a fall prepping of natural hair? Most often it depends on what your hair needs but starting with an end of season clarifying wash and moisture-boosting conditioning is an excellent start.

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

    It's officially fall this week, but I'm not waiting to get my hair ready for cooler temperatures, drier air and harsher elements. I've been neglectful the past few months with family obligations and my more than normal amount of stress, but this routine is a great one. The best part is it can be altered to what your hair needs. It's a great way to not only get hair in the ideal shape for a new season, but a reminder to get back into a regular maintenance routine if you nixed it for those carefree summer days.

    Pre-poo

    Pre-poo: a treatment done before shampooing your hair to help against hair stripping by shampoos and to aid in detangling.

    I am not one for a pre-poo every wash day and actually only do it when my hair has been neglected and is pretty tangled. I also haven't washed my hair with a shampoo in at least a month, haven't properly detangled my hair in weeks, and wanted to help my hair to stay moisturized and tangle-free before my washday.

    What I did: I slathered my hair with Fractionated Coconut oil and covered with a plastic cap for three hours. It was a drippy mess so I made sure to wear an old house dress (yes, I'm old) and hung around the house all day.

    Wash

    I often co-wash but was in dire need of something stronger. I hadn't washed my hair with a clarifying shampoo in a long time so I needed to get my hair completely cleansed of product build-up, dirt, and oil. Before I wash I do rinse my hair with water to help remove some of the tangles prior to adding shampoo.

    What I did: I washed it first with Design Essential Oat Protein & Henna Shampoo to start off, and rinsed well before following up with Design Essentials Honey Creme Moisture Retention Shampoo. I do not normally use two different shampoos but when my hair is really dirty, I have trouble removing all the build-up so I clarify and cleanse, and then cleanse and moisturize to fully remove everything without stripping my hair.

    More: 5 secrets to get the most gorgeous hair ever

    Deep condition with heat

    We should be using a deep conditioner during every single wash day but I've been neglectful the past two washes. I never do this but the past couple of months have been hectic so I let this slide.

    What I did: I love my SheaMoisture line, but I gave another deep conditioner a try this time. Eden BodyWorks Natural Deep Conditioner has a great consistency (not crazy about the smell) but glided in my hair well. I got my Wet Look Shower Comb (which I NEVER USE because I only finger detangle) but needed to fully detangle my hair. It was a chore but I got through it by starting at the ends and working my way up. To penetrate better I used my Deep Conditioning Microwavable Heat Cap for 30 minutes before rinsing hair.

    Tea Rinse: A hair tea/hair tea rinse is simply brewing a type of tea, allowing it to steep and cool prior to pouring it over your hair and scalp. Massaging your scalp with the hair tea is next and this all happens after hair has been washed.

    I love tea rinses and you can simply use any black, green or blend but I love those blends that are created to stimulate hair growth and fight hair loss like Chagrin Valley Hair Tea Stimulation Blend.

    What I did: I boiled water and allowed loose tea leaves to steep for 45 minutes. Once cooled I pour tea over my head after I rinse my deep conditioner out and massage. I never rinse it out.

    Leave-in conditioner

    I do not care for traditional leave-in conditioners as they are too watery. I prefer to use a regular conditioner on washday and this helps my curls last longer.

    What I did: After massaging the tea rinse I apply Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Conditioner throughout my hair.

    Styler

    I used to think washday did not require a styler but this is what is needed for second, third, and fourth day hair. I allow it to air dry before removing the gel cast for soft, fully defined curls.

    What I did: After blotting my hair I raked Kinky Curly Original Curling Custard Natural Styling Gel in my hair.

    Woah! That was a lot but this is not my regular wash day routine and if it was I would rock a TWA! I'm not for all day long wash days, but with my neglect and the cooler weather approaching, I needed to up my hair game.

    Now, you can substitute the deep conditioner for a protein treatment if you need to but I needed moisture more than anything. A trim is also a great end of season component but I will be doing that in November. I only trim twice a year. Tailor your end of season routine to your needs, and use the products you trust and love.

    More: How my 4-year-old taught me to love my natural hair


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    I don't wish I was younger. It's strange, but true. There was a time when I may have. A time when I may have wished it was easier to feel "fit," and when the sun spots were just freckles and laughing didn't cause lines.

    But that just isn't the case today. Why? I've earned all those age marks and I've learned a few things along the way. Scratch that. I've learned a ton along the way.

    Each sunspot or freckle? They are gifts for facing the sun and world head on. (Even while wearing sunscreen.) Those laugh lines? They mean I have had a lot to smile about as my years have passed. I'm confident there are a few more in my future.

    And I've learned the best way to make this face of mine glow — at any age — is to sweat it out. For me that means yoga. It is a practice I have found to be both comforting and profound in my quest to feel comfortable in my own skin.

    Image: Danielle Smith/SheKnows

    Posing strong

    Each yoga pose — from cobra, to triangle to child — offers one benefit after another, from detoxing your body and releasing toxins to aiding your digestive system and increasing circulation. It allows blood to flow freely through you, from your toes to the very tip of your head. As you begin to sweat, your cheeks flush, coloring you with a healthy glow that starts from deep within.

    Break the breakout cycle

    The deeper you move in to each pose, in to each stretch, the more you will sweat. As you do, your pores will open, releasing the build-up that has been clogging them. Washing your face and using your favorite skin-care products after yoga locks in your fresh, youthful feeling.

    Radiate from the inside out

    There is a peace that comes with my practice that allows me to find calm in my day, a calm that doesn't exist when I'm getting the kids ready for school, when I'm answering client calls or juggling any of the many needs on my time (and sometimes on my sanity). That peace is reflected in the sheen of my skin.

    Image: Danielle Smith/SheKnows

    Have you tried yoga? Admittedly, it took me a few sessions before I understood its power on both my body and my skin, but now I'm hooked. I'd love to know what you think. (And if you have a favorite pose!)

    For more skin care tips, click here.

    This post is sponsored by Garnier SkinActive.


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    As an esthetician, I know how important it is to have healthy skin. It takes so much more than the creams and makeup we put on our face to really get that "healthy glow." Whatever is going on in our bodies internally is exactly what our skin will look like. It's time to look a little closer at what your skin might be trying to tell you. Here's how I make sure I'm helping my skin feel and look the best it can.

    Image: Lisa Harris & Jenna Crandall/SheKnows

    1. Sleep might help clear toxins

    Sleep is nourishment for your skin. It's time for your skin to heal and rejuvenate. This will put the dark circles to rest and keep your skin looking fresh and nourished. In a study on mice, their brains removed 60 percent more toxins when they had a good sleep. I've found that sleep alone improves the health of my skin.

    2. Food interferes with sleep

    When I eat right before bed, it always keeps me from sleeping well. I imagine it's because my body is focused on digesting rather than resting. I try and stay awake for at least 90 minutes after my last meal or snack.

    3. Nighttime skincare routine is essential

    Every night need is penciled in my calendar as my special skin care time. I've gotten into the habit of removing the impurities and oils from the day that rest on my face. If I don't do this, I wake up with clogged pores and risk getting acne.

    4. You'll get fewer wrinkles

    This alone should have you getting yourself to bed. Your skin produces collagen while sleeping. This is the amazing stuff that keeps your skin plump and youthful. When you miss too much sleep, you can get sagging and wrinkles in places you don't want. Your skin will also look drier. So figure out how much sleep your body needs and stick to it as much as possible. Plus, who doesn't like to sleep?

    5. Sleep makes you happy

    When I sleep enough, I tend to look happier overall. I smile and laugh more. When I'm tired and grumpy, that's not the case. You will GLOW when you are getting the sleep your body needs.

    For more skin care tips, click here.

    This post is sponsored by Garnier SkinActive.


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    Like the Kylie Jenner lip kit, the hair extension is yet another beauty craze we can thank all the celebs for making famous. Just because you're not able to grow those long, luscious locks on your own (and may or may not have the follicle version of penis-envy), longer, thicker hair is still a possibility with the right set of enhancements. Kim Kardashian would be so proud.

    Hey, if you're missing that Rapunzel gene, a little backup couldn't hurt.

    Changing up the color, style and length of your hair sounds uber-tempting, but is it really worth the time, effort and money? Here's what you need to know before you book an appointment or buy one of the many at-home extensions available online.

    Facts about hair extensions

    • Extensions don't only add length. You can choose to add volume instead (or in addition to length), which is perfect for fine, limp or thinning hair.
    • Turn that bob into a mane! If your existing hair is at little as 3 inches long, you can get extensions, although the extent of your transformation may be limited if your hair is very short.
    • Extensions can be braided in, glued in, woven in, or — if you only need a follicular boost for a special event — clipped in.
    • You can also add highlights or color with shades ranging from mild to wild
    • The process isn't painful, so it shouldn't hurt a bit.

    What to look for

    "A hairstyle can make or break your look," says stylist Cesare Safieh. Safieh cautions there are some important questions to ask when selecting extensions:

    • What are the extensions made from? Are they synthetic or 100%-natural human hair? (Human hair is more expensive than synthetic counterparts.)
    • How will the extensions be applied and removed?
    • Can you choose from a variety of weights?

    Safieh is a fan of a method of extensions known as Thermo Plastique, which involves a relatively gentle process that can be removed without damage to your hair. (He also adds that the micro bonding points are barely visible.) He says older methods, especially glue, are damaging. "Tracks (sewing) can be too heavy, and metal clips wear out and are hard to brush through."

    "[The goal with] extensions is to have the most natural look you can achieve," says Tony Promiscuo, owner of Atlanta's Godiva Salon, who notes that while synthetic types are most plentiful, human hair is superior in its viability. (In addition, synthetic hair cannot typically be heated, so styling options are limited — meaning forget the blow dryer and curling iron.)

    What else to look for in hair extensions

    "Individual strands allow a customized, more natural, look," says celebrity hairstylist and salon owner Philip Pelusi of New York City's Tela salon. "You can play with the color or length, and fill in spots that need it more than others. It's a more accurate way to get the desired look."

    What to avoid in hair extensions

    "The most important thing is to avoid extensions and pieces that are heavier than your own hair. If extensions are too heavy, they will damage and break off hair -- so hair needs to be long and healthy enough to withstand the pressure," Pelusi points out.

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

    Inquire as to the possibility of getting a variety of weights, because a single one may not work for everyone. In particular, extensions that do not match your hair are most likely to give you problems. Safieh recommends a type of extensions called Hairdreams, which offer a variety of weights or thicknesses to match your true hair -- as well as the ability to pre-order highlights and lowlights. Hairdreams lasts up to seven months and the hair can be reapplied, which also helps to decrease cumulative costs of new hair and removal.

    Certain specialty methods have emerged from certain salons, such as the "Goddess Loc," which have a silicon grip and plastic coating in order to not damage your hair.

    Next Up: How much are hair extensions?

    Jennifer Lopez, Lauren Conrad, Kim Kardashian
    Image: Jon Kopaloff/JB Lacroix/Francois G. Durand/Getty Images

    Just a few of the many stars with hair extensions: Jennifer Lopez, Lauren Conrad, Kim Kardashian

    How much are hair extensions?

    The bad news: Hair extensions aren't cheap. Depending on how much you get, how you get them attached and the type/grade of hair you use, the cost can range from the hundreds to the thousands of dollars — and that's not including maintenance every six to eight weeks. You will also need to make an investment of time, usually four to six hours, for the initial setup.

    The specialist who will apply your extensions may be called a hair designer, an extensionist, or simply a hairdresser. No matter what title he or she uses, be sure they are experienced and have photos to prove it. Also make sure you understand how they will be removed, and how damage to your natural hair can be minimized. No one wants a bald spot.

    More: How to craft the perfect chunky bun hairstyle

    Is caring for your extensions going to give you a headache?

    Do extensions require a great deal of upkeep and time commitment? "Extensions are not hard to maintain," says Pelusi. "People just need to keep an eye on them — almost like you would with color or anything else." She says that to allow for an hour at the salon every six weeks.

    Caring for your hair extensions

    Here are some specific tips to help you care for your extensions:

    • Human hair extensions can be treated as real hair, but more gently.
    • Use a special brush (often a loop brush) made just for extensions, so you don't damage the new hair or the bond.
    • A gentle shampoo is recommended, and use cool water to help minimize tangles.
    • A light conditioner will help reduce tangling and keep your new hair supple.
    • Sleep with your hair in a ponytail or braid to avoid bed-head and knots.

    More: 11 Curly hairstyles that prove it's just as sexy as straight hair

    Would Jackie get extensions again? "Assuming my hair is healthy once these come out, I would do it again in a heartbeat," she says.

    Originally published July 2009. Updated Sept. 2016.


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    For all of us who learned our best nail painting tips way back in the grade school slumber party days, this is a tutorial worth reading. While there's definitely a time and a place to treat yo' self at the salon, paying for a professional French manicure month after month can get pretty pricey.

    If you need nice nails and still need to keep your cash, we're here to help you out of that rock and a hard place. 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.

    Originally published April 2008. Updated Sept. 2016.


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    There's no denying that those days at the spa are absolutely glorious, but they're not necessary to have the hair, skin and nails of your dreams.

    In fact, all it takes is a few simple changes in your daily routine to get shiny hair, glowing skin and strong, gorgeous nails. Save the spa days for your mental well-being, ladies — you don't need them to achieve the look you want.

    Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows

    Sources: Health.com, Prevention.com, US National Library of Medicine, Women's Health Network, Friday Magazine, The Health Site, InStyle, Cosmopolitan

    1. Pack in the protein

    That morning protein shake does a lot more than help tone your muscles*. It also helps thicken hair.

    2. Limit sugary treats

    That extra helping of dessert isn't only bad for your waistline. Too much sugar can also damage the precious collagen that keeps wrinkles at bay. As if you needed another reason to pass on that slice of cake, right?

    3. Drink your milk

    Take your own advice the next time you tell your kids to drink their milk — you need it, too, mama. The vitamin D and calcium help build healthy hair and nails*.

    4. Don't cut all the fat

    There's nothing wrong with watching what you eat, but making cuts that are too drastic will deprive your hair, skin and nails of the nutrients they need to thrive. Not enough essential fatty acids can lead to dry skin, and hair and nails that are brittle and easily breakable.

    5. Cover your head

    You know the sun can wreak havoc on your skin but that's not its only offense. Those same UV rays that send you diving for the sunblock can also damage your hair, making it brittle and easy to break. Next time you step out in the sun, grab a hat or scarf to cover up those pretty tresses.

    6. Take your multi-vitamins

    What you eat has a lot to do with how your skin, hair and nails look. Fill in the nutritional gaps in your diet by taking a daily multi-vitamin to keep everything strong, healthy and glowing.

    7. Go organic with your meat

    While you're upping your protein intake, reach for the organic meat. It may be a little more pricey, but some dermatologists say patients who eat meat without the added hormones notice improvements in the look of their skin.

    8. Get to the gym

    Here's one more reason to get that booty to the gym — increased blood flow from your workout gives your skin a healthy glow and stimulates your scalp, keeping hair follicles healthy.

    9. Chill on the coffee

    Caffeine may do a great job of keeping you perky, but it does just the opposite for your hair, skin and nails. Too much caffeine dehydrates your body, and you need hydration to look your best.

    10. Add yoga to your workout

    Don't just stick to cardio while you're rocking it out at the gym. Throw in some yoga for even better circulation. It's also great for reducing stress, which we all know doesn't do your hair, skin or nails any favors.

    11. Don't wait to moisturize

    Reach for your moisturizer as soon as you get out of the shower. Applying it within two to three minutes will trap moisture in the skin and keep your skin better hydrated.

    12. Sleep on your back

    While catching up on your beauty rest, try to lie on your back as much as possible. Sleeping on your back prevents fluid accumulation that leads to puffiness and dark circles under the eyes and may lead to more wrinkles as you age.

    13. Take a break from polish

    All that polish sure looks pretty, but it keeps your nails from absorbing moisture, leading to brittle, breakable nails.

    This post was sponsored by Alive!® Multi-Vitamins from Nature’s Way.

    *This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


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    Ustyled is committed to ending the stress and drama professional women feel with stocking their wardrobes. They help you by acting as the one stop shop for wardrobe consultation, style selection and counseling so that you can turn your clothing into an inspiration for confidence and success.

    Name: Catherine Cassidy

    Company: Ustyled

    Headquarters: Washington, DC

    Year founded: 2008

    Twitter@catherinecassid

    FacebookUstyled

    Instagram: @ladycate25

    Website: www.ustyled.com

    Want to sign up for the Pitch, or know someone who would be a great candidate? Email us today at thepitch@sheknows.com!


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    The winter brings cold, dry air, and unfortunately that often translates into dry, itchy winter legs. So, much like your wardrobe changes to reflect the seasons, so should your skin care — especially your shaving routine. 


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    If you're reading this post and have ever felt suffering in your life, I want you to brace yourself for a second. Because what I'm about to share may be hard to swallow and may be even hard to relate to.

    But let's walk through this together, shall we?

    When I was diagnosed with psoriasis 25 years ago, I was only 10 years old and was certain that my life had just been ruined. Although psoriasis is a common skin condition, the version I got completely covered my body — from the tip of my toes to the top of my head. It made it impossible for me to participate in sports — I had to quit most after-school activities. Sleeping over at a friend's house was a nightmare rather than a nice thing to do on a Friday night. And going to the pool where I once loved swimming lessons was now a place that I dreaded for fear of people staring.

    So even though most people think of psoriasis as just a skin condition, it ended up being the sole focus of my life, defining every move I made. For many years, I felt sorry for myself, was deeply frustrated and believed that this was punishment for something I'd done as child. That last part about being punished — I think it's something that a lot people feel when something negative or traumatic happens in life.

    We immediately think: Why? Why did this have to happen?

    I was kind of satisfied with taking the blame for many years. But through much introspection and binging on self-help, I realized I could actually choose something different. Sure, psoriasis has changed my life and in some ways it's made it more challenging — I've had more moments of physical and emotional suffering than more people I know. But it's also shaped me into the person I am, and I honestly wouldn't take it back for anything.

    I see now that having psoriasis has made me a deeply compassionate person on a level that helps me take care of others with more love than I ever knew was possible. It's also made me tremendously responsible in my life. The amount of care I have to give myself is much more than your average person, so at a very young age, I had to cultivate discipline and responsibility for all areas of my life. Something I've continued to carry with me to this day.

    If you're dealing with a challenge in your life that's bringing you down, I want to give you three steps to choose a better way. They've worked wonders for me.

    1. Get honest

    Write out your frustrations, fears, disappointments, sadness — every single negative emotion. I believe that in order to have a real shift, we have to get really honest with ourselves. Slapping a positive affirmation over pain won't do a damn thing.

    2. Gain clarity

    Next, write down all of the things you wish you could feel in your life. It could be as simple as, I wish I could laugh more or I wish I felt more lightness in my life. Or I wish I didn’t feel so much pain. Or I wish I felt really connected to other people. Nothing is too big or too small; write it all down.

    3. Act as if...

    For the next 3 days, I want you to start examining your words and actions. How would you act and speak differently if you were choosing the life you actually want to have? Oftentimes we're so stuck in our old patterns and thoughts that we blindly choose negative words and actions just out of habit. So in this exercise, it's time to start choosing a different vibration that will align you with the life you want. It can be as simple as watching funny videos on YouTube to add more laughter to your day. You can do it!

    Yes, when life throws you lemons, it's not always the easiest thing to make delicious lemonade, but we do have a choice in the matter. So whether you're struggling with something right now or you know someone who is, let's all be aware of the choices we're making and perhaps we can begin to shift into a more positive place.

    This post is part of a sponsored collaboration


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