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Beauty, Hairstyles, Fashion Trends & More | SheKnows

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    Hey, it's almost January. How you holdin’ up, champ? You dealing with the frigidly cold wind, flaking skin, and dehydrated hair, alright? Or are you slathering your face in Vaseline and counting down the days until the spring humidity thaws your soul and turns your hair back into a recognizable thing? Yeah, us, too. But rather than stare at a calendar for another three months with your fuzzy hair chained into a topknot, give it a much-needed surge of moisturize with a few DIY coconut oil hair treatments.

    More: The 3 Best DIY Tinted Lip Balms You’ll Actually Use

    Sure, you could use some store-bought conditioner, but we can pretty much guarantee it won’t work as well as coconut oil. Because of its chemical structure, coconut oil can actually penetrate the inner core of your hair better than most cosmetically engineered ingredients, meaning its smoothing and strengthening benefits won’t slip down the drain as soon as your rinse it off. And because it’s so powerful, you won’t need a ton of it for each DIY, making it a pretty cost-efficient buy.

    Keep reading to see our three favorite coconut oil treatments for all hair types, and get ready to have your hair—but, like, way better—back today.

    Coconut oil curly hair treatment
    Image: Getty Images

    Coconut Oil Leave-In Treatment:

    If your hair tends to poof and frizz no matter what smoothing products you use (ah, the plight of coarse, thick hair), use coconut oil as a leave-in treatment to stave off frizz and poofiness as your hair dries. Here’s how: Melt a tablespoon of coconut oil in a small ramekin until liquefied—but not super-hot—then scoop it up and rub it around your hands as you would a hand cream (massaging it into your hands before applying it to your hair prevents you from using too much).

    Flip your head over and scrunch your hands through the bottom few inches of hair, raking and smoothing through your ends until the coconut oil is evenly distributed and your hands are clean. Don’t get overzealous and apply a second coat; coconut oil is sneakily heavy and can weigh your hair down. Style your hair as usual, and then revel in the smooth, frizz-free finish.

    Coconut Oil Curl Refresher:

    If you have kinky curls that need a constant stream of moisture pumping through them (you know the feeling: Your hair turns undefined and fluffy by noon, and you’d give anything to swirl your head in a bowl of conditioner), then welcome to your savior. While most curl-refreshing sprays are crunchy, sticky, and straight-up ineffective, a coconut-oil spray adds lightweight moisture to dry-as-hell hair.

    To make your own, heat a quarter cup of water in a mug, mix in three teaspoons of coconut oil until fully dissolved, and then funnel the mixture into a teeny tiny spray bottle (like the two-ounce travel-size bottles that can easily fit into a clutch). Spray it throughout your hair during the day for an instant moisturizing boost.

    Coconut Oil Hair Mask:

    Probably the best, most-common use of coconut oil for hydrating frizzy, dried-out hair is through a hair mask. Luckily, the application is also the easiest of all of these at-home recipes, with no additional tools required (though things will get a little messy, so make sure you’re standing in the tub or shower before you start). It sounds a little weird, but you’ll be applying your coconut oil to dry hair—oils and moisturizers can’t penetrate the shaft of wet hair as well as it can dry hair—so make sure to brush and detangle your hair before applying the oil.

    Before you start, scoop a few large chunks of coconut oil into a bowl and microwave them for 15 to 30 seconds until slightly melted. Then, standing in the tub, section off a four-inch piece of hair and massage coconut oil through it from root to tip, combing it with a wide-tooth comb to make sure it’s evenly distributed. Repeat until your whole head is covered and combed, then twist and clip your hair into a topknot. Cover your hair with a shower cap (or, in a pinch, we’ve wrapped our heads in plastic wrap) and leave it on for 45 minutes to really let the oil soak into your strands. Then rinse your hair thoroughly—if your hair is fine, you may need to suds up twice to prevent the oils from weighing your hair down when it dries—and style as usual.

    More: How to Do No-Makeup Makeup

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.com

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    DIY beauty treatments are everywhere on Pinterest and Instagram nowadays — and a ton of them are total disasters. But if you're looking for a natural, homemade way to get glowing skin that won't burn you, break you out, or just make a ginormous mess, good old-fashioned honey is where it's at.

    "Raw honey is incredible for your skin thanks to its antibacterial properties and hefty serving of skin-saving antioxidants," natural beauty expert Kim Wallace, founder of kimberlyloc.com, told us. "Whether you're looking for an inexpensive DIY solution or a powerful skin treatment, raw honey can help you regain your glow."

    Honey for beauty
    Image: Becci Burkhart/SheKnows

    Wallace shares four of the main skin-saving properties of honey.

    • Acne: Honey is naturally antibacterial, so it's great for acne treatment and prevention.
    • Aging: Full of antioxidants, it is great for slowing down aging.
    • Complexion boost: It is extremely moisturizing and soothing, so it helps create a glow.
    • Pores: Honey is clarifying because it opens up pores making them easy to unclog.

    More: How to treat dry skin with honey

    1. DIY honey mask

    Wallace tells us that one of the easiest things you can do with raw honey is layer it on as a mask. “Raw honey can help unclog pores while simultaneously delivering moisture to parched skin,” she says.

    Apply a thin layer of raw honey to slightly damp skin using a circular motion. Leave the honey for at least 30 minutes and then gently rinse it off with warm water. “You'll find that it easily washes away, leaving you with soft, radiant skin.”

    2. Honey spot treatment

    Try zapping pesky zits with honey. “If you're suffering from a breakout, reach for a swab of honey instead of an overly drying over-the-counter pimple cream,” Wallace advises. “Applied ever so lightly, you can sleep with a dab of honey on your face and awaken to less-stressed skin.” Swirl a small amount of honey onto a cotton swab and dab onto your blemish. If you want a little extra boost, Wallace suggests mixing the honey with tea tree oil and lavender oil for additional natural cleansing.

    3. Honey cleanser

    Though it's not meant for removing delicate eye makeup, honey still makes a good cleanser. “It is amazing at dissolving other makeup, especially when mixed with your favorite natural plant oil and spices,” Wallace tells us. She suggests creating a mixture of honey and oil (try coconut oil or jojoba oil) to form a balmy texture that is slippery enough to slide across your face. “Add in a dash of cinnamon, turmeric or nutmeg for an aromatic treat. Massage the concoction over your face, loosening up heavy makeup and moisturizing your skin at the same time.”

    More: Make a banana honey face mask

    4. DIY honey exfoliator

    You can exfoliate your skin once or twice a week with a gentle scrub made with two parts honey and one part Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. “Baking soda offers light exfoliation while the honey soothes and smooths the skin,” explains Wallace. “Don't be shy about using this recipe from head to toe — your arms, legs and feet will also benefit from this simple yet effective concoction.”

    5. Honey bath

    Once you start dealing with dry winter skin, turn to honey to soothe. “As the seasons change, your skin can go into overdrive trying to rebalance itself to the conditions. Warm baths with soothing ingredients can keep your skin in check,” affirms Wallace. “Add two cups of honey to a running bath to create body-smoothing bliss. Soak for 15 minutes and then add a cup of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda for your final 15 minutes to help rid your body of dead skin cells without irritation.”

    More: Beekeeper reveals why honey is good for your hair

    Originally published September 2013. Updated January 2017.

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    Raise your hand if you’ve ever gotten excited over a hairbrush. We won’t wait for you to do it, because the answer is never, unless you count the time when you were five and finally found your Barbie’s long-lost plastic brush under the couch (huzzah!). But Kérastase Paris is about to change all that with the Hair Coach, an insanely high-tech hair brush that will blow your mind harder than the trash-eating floor in Disney’s Smart House.

    More: The Easiest Way to Fix Flat Hair in Under 60 Seconds

    The L’Oréal brand partnered with Nokia-owned Withings to create the first-ever smart brush, which was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and proceeded to receive the International CES Innovation Award, which basically means that this brush is cooler—or weirder? Jury is still out—than anything you’ve ever owned. Each Hair Coach brush, which has a mix of nylon and boar bristles, is equipped with a tiny microphone that records that sound of your hair as you brush it, allowing it to detect if your hair is dry, frizzy, or damaged, along with multiple sensors that analyze your brushing patterns to see if you’re causing breakage by brushing too aggressively.

    Kérastase Smart Brush
    Image: Kérastase

    All of the data your brush collects is automatically synced via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to a special Hair Coach app on your phone, which then uses the info (along with taking into account your local humidity, temp, and wind speed) to calculate how healthy your hair—and your hair habits—are. And yes, you’re given a quality-assessment score, too, so you can feel like a terrible person if you fail.

    More: 31 So-Pretty Hairstyle Ideas to Copy This Month

    Of course, tech this crazy doesn’t come cheap, and the brush is planning to be sold for a whopping $200 later this year online and in-stores through Kérastase. Though we haven’t personally tested the brush yet, reviews from those at the CES show report that the paddle “feels light” in your hand, “despite having two AA batteries in its handle.” But the big question here: Do we really need a $200 brush to tell us that our hair is unruly or tangled? Sure, the damage-alerting aspect is nice (my toothbrush does the same thing, and my dentist is pretty proud of me now), but my mother’s nagging “don’t rip through your hair!” voice from childhood that echoes in my head each time I brush my hair is just as effective, and super free.

    Kérastase Smart Brush App
    Image: Kérastase

    Still, if you’re fed up with your snarled hair, or you’re just really into cool gadgets, then definitely keep a look out for the Hair Coach when it launches later this year. Regardless of whether or not this brush changes your life, we’re positive that Kérastase and Withings just opened the door to a whole new generation of smart beauty products, and for that alone, we’re raising our hands in excitement.

    Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

    9 Beauty tools you'll never know how you lived without
    Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.com

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    Most of us wouldn't mind having perfectly glowing, blemish- and wrinkle-free skin — but we all know getting it is no small feat. So when we hear of a treatment that could help us obtain our perfect skin goals, naturally we want to know more. Such is the case with sublative rejuvenation.

    More: The best drugstore retinol that actually works

    Though sublative rejuvenation started gaining traction over five years ago, compared to microdermabrasion, lasers and light treatments, sublative treatments are fairly new — and still kind of a mystery. Let's change that, shall we?

    So what is it?

    In short, sublative rejuvenation is an alternative to harsher treatments like chemical peels and microdermabrasion. Instead of using light or lasers, sublative rejuvenation uses radio frequency technology in an effort to tighten skin, erase fine lines, shrink large pores and heal previous acne scarring. Some have also found it helpful in the battle against stretch marks. Even though sublative treatments don't involve lasers, they claim they can totally resurface the skin, simulating the same effects of various similar laser treatments.

    "[Sublative rejuvenation is an] exponentially vast improvement over short-lived results of microcurrent facials at salons and spas," David A. Colbert, M.D., told Vanity Fair.

    How it works

    According to a 2014 press release from Syneron Medical Ltd., the typical sublative protocol consists of three to five treatments, spaced four to six weeks apart. After going through the treatments, Syneron Medical claims patients can expect tone and texture improvements as a result of increased levels of collagen and elastin and new healthy skin cells.

    The treatment works by depositing energy into the skin to initiate a healing response without disrupting the epidermis. The fractional bipolar radio frequency used to break through the skin in sublative rejuvenation supposedly keeps the top skin layer from getting damaged and allows more energy to get underneath the exterior of the skin to really make the most of collagen production.

    The huge bonus of sublative rejuvenation is that it's not marketed to any one skin type or tone — from light skin to dark skin and dry to sensitive to oily and everything in between, everyone is a candidate for the treatment.

    More: The beauty benefits of honey, your skin's new savior

    The pain factor

    We did a scan of sublative rejuvenation reviews, and the verdict is in: This treatment is not painless. Most patients, however, find the pain to be bearable.

    "The numbing cream they apply lasts about 1 minute after they wipe it off," wrote one sublative reviewer on RealSelf. "At first it felt like tiny little needles jabbing my face, kind of like a tattoo feeling. After the numbing cream wore of I could start to feel the heat from the laser, and omg. It wasn't 'I'm going to die' pain but it hurt. My eyes watered and I winced every time she hit me with [the] laser. After it was done, she applied ice packs, that was the best feeling in the world."

    SheKnows contributor Alison Luther went through the treatment at The National Laser Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona, and had a totally positive experience.

    "The irritation you experience during the procedure feels similar to a dull tingly feeling, and my skin glowed with a slightly irritated pink for about 48 hours," Luther said. "The good news was that makeup could be applied the next morning, so I scheduled an after-work appointment, gave my skin the night off, and then it was business as usual the very next day."

    The damage

    We're not talking skin damage, here. We're talking cold, hard cash — and sublative treatments aren't cheap. Prices vary depending on what combination of treatments you choose, but according to Advanced Dermatology in Chicago, you're looking at anywhere between $525 and $1,600 per treatment for eMatrix (which is one of the most popular brands of sublative around). If you do the full round of five treatments, you're gonna rack up a hefty bill pretty fast.

    Is it worth the money?

    Obviously, everyone has a unique experience when it comes to skin treatments, and sublative is no different. Reviews range from total raves to angry patients who didn't see a difference.

    "Been using same doctor for years, He convinced me to try this Sublative procedure for my under-eye issues and slight wrinkles. After 3 procedures since August, I have been very impressed. Skin is tighter, tone is better and I appear more rested!" wrote a 50-year-old patient on RealSelf.

    "I had one treatment each month for a period of 5 months. It has been a year since I received my last treatment and there has been zero improvement. I spent a total of $4,900 for these 5 treatments," another patient reported in a review.

    However, of 121 reviews on RealSelf, 93 percent gave eMatrix a "worth it" rating, which isn't a bad batting average. All in all, sublative rejuvenation might be worth looking into — if you have the cash to spare. Isn't that how it always goes?

    Watch a procedure being performed in the video below to get a better idea of how the procedure might go for you.

    Sublative treatment demonstration

    Sublative treatment demonstration

    More: This futuristic hairbrush literally fixes your damaged hair

    Originally published May 2012. Updated January 2017.

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    Ideally, we’d all have our own private team of professional makeup artists waiting in the bathroom each morning, ready to buff and blend our faces into a picture-perfect finish, without ever needing to lift a finger. But that’s not real life. Real life is having approximately 10 minutes (or, like, two minutes), to do your entire makeup routine before running out the door, which means your current beauty routine probably consists of powdering your face, brushing on mascara, maybe attempting a bit of eyeliner, and, well, that’s it.

    More: 3 simple eye makeup looks that will still impress

    And that’s fine—don’t get us wrong. It’s worked for you for years, right? But if you want to feel like you’re doing a look each day, and not just a this-is-all-I-had-time-for relay race, we’ve got you covered, with a bunch of simple makeup tutorials that don’t require Kim K-levels of thick, stage makeup, or an art degree.

    If you have 3 minutes…

    3 minute makeup challenge video

    3 minute makeup challenge video

    Repeat after us: foundation, brows, mascara. That’s all you need (and all you’ll basically have time for) in a three-minute makeup look, but as long as you highlight the best parts of your face, you’ll look like a zillion bucks. And if you don’t believe us, watch this beauty vlogger do a full face of makeup in exactly three minutes (including contouring).

    If you have 5 minutes…

    5 minute makeup routine video

    5 minute makeup routine video

    Surprisingly, it’s still possible to get a simple makeup look in under five minutes (just, like, don’t get distracted), as long as you stick with simple, smudgy eyeliner, a thick coat of mascara, and a few layers of concealer and lip gloss.

    If you have 10 minutes…

    10 minute makeup routine video

    10 minute makeup routine video

    If you’ve only got 10 minutes to spare, keep your makeup glowy and sheer, with cream-based bronzer, foundation, and blush, and sweep on a light layer of matte eyeshadow and copper eyeliner.

    If you have 15 minutes…

    15 minute makeup routine

    15 minute makeup routine

    This tutorial breaks down pretty much every single aspect of makeup you could want, like subtle contouring, foundation, concealer, and blush blending, brow filling, highlighting, and more—all with an incredibly natural, airbrushed finish.

    More: 11 best hair products that actually work and cost $10 or less

    Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

    21 photos of how real people store their makeup
    Image: Aikonik

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    Some of us are cursed with hair that just won't grow past our shoulders — no matter how much biotin we ingest — and others of us have flat ironed and colored our hair to the point of major breakage. To add insult to injury, we're visually assaulted every day on Instagram and Pinterest with pics of gorgeous flowing heads of hair.

    Extensions seem like the natural solution to the follicle version of penis-envy, right?

    Yes, extensions can give you longer, thicker hair and even provide a quick color change-up, but are they really worth the time, effort and money? Let's investigate before you book that appointment to put them in.

    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?

    Originally published July 2009. Updated January 2017.

    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.

    Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

    11 best hair products that actually work and cost $10 or less
    Image: Natalie Cosgrove/SheKnows

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    Fun fact: One of STYLECASTER editor’s hair is so flat and fine, it makes Flat Stanley look like a curvaceous pin-up doll (sorry to out you, Lauren Caruso). But if you looked at a picture of Lauren, or even ran your fingers through her hair—which, why wouldn’t you do that?—you’d never know it, because her hair always looks so damn voluminous and full. So what’s her super-secret trick? A hardcore addiction to volumizing products.

    More: New Year’s Eve Nail Inspo That’s Anything But Tacky

    And no, we’re not talkin’ the root-boosting sprays that require wet hair, a blow-dryer, and a master’s degree in blowouts, but the volumizing sprays and powders that contain light-as-air polymers that attach to your dry hair to bulk it up, giving you the look and feel of insanely thick, va-va-voom hair. And because there are approximately 40,000 products on the market that claim to volumize your hair—but actually just leave it in a sticky, knotted mess—we cut through the bullshit for you and spelled out our favorites.

    Here, we present to you the seven best sprays (great for adding light-to-medium volume) and powders (best for building hardcore volume and texture) that really, truly work, including Lauren’s obsession, Big Sexy Hair Powder Play, which I genuinely believe she would run into a burning building filled with sharks to save. Just lift up sections of hair and spray or sprinkle the volumizer at your roots, then flip your head over, hang out for 10 seconds, and flip back over. Boom—instant volume, in only 60 seconds. Keep reading to find your new favorite volume-maker, and get ready to feel pretty damn awesome about your Flat Stanley hair.

    Flat hair fix
    Image: Imaxtree

    More: 101 Holiday Party Makeup Ideas to Try Right Now

    Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast

    Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast
    Image: Living Proof

    Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast, $29; at Living Proof

    Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Volumizing & Texturizing Powder

    Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Volumizing & Texturizing Powder
    Image: Sexy Hair

    Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Volumizing & Texturizing Powder, $16.95; at Sexy Hair

    L'Oréal Boost It High Lift Creation Spray

    L'Oréal Boost It High Lift Creation Spray
    Image: L'Oréal

    L'Oréal Boost It High Lift Creation Spray, $4.99; at L'Oréal

    Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-Powder

    Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-Powder
    Image: Bumble and Bumble

    Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-Powder, $12; at Bumble and Bumble

    Kenra Professional Volume Finishing Spray 25

    Kenra Professional Volume Finishing Spray 25
    Image: Ulta

    Kenra Professional Volume Finishing Spray 25, $17; at Ulta

    Got2B Powder’ful Volumizing Styling Powder

    Got2B Powder’ful Volumizing Styling Powder
    Image: Ulta

    Got2B Powder’ful Volumizing Styling Powder, $6.49; at Ulta

    Serge Normant Dream Big Instant Volumizing Spray

    Serge Normant Dream Big Instant Volumizing Spray
    Image: Serge Normant

    Serge Normant Dream Big Instant Volumizing Spray, $25; at Serge Normant

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.com

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    Hot tip: The type of face wash you use really, truly matters, to the point where it can either make or break your goal of having flawless skin. And sure, your grandmother got away with rubbing bar soap all over her face for forty years and “turned out fine,” but it’s 2017, your grandma is a pile of wrinkles, and your skin deserves more than “fine.”

    More: The Best Moisturizers for Dry, Sensitive Skin

    You know that foaming, squeaky-clean cleanser you slather on your dry skin each morning? It’s the equivalent of washing your car with a bunch of sand and rocks. Or that scrubby, nubby face wash you buff across your acne-prone skin every day? Like rubbing shards of glass into silk. (Hey, if you could see the surface of your skin under a microscope, you’d agree with us.) And prolonged use of these wrong-for-you cleansers can result in a damaged skin barrier, redness, dryness, an increase in acne and irritation, and just overall sadness. Sad, sad, skin sadness.

    So to help you out in your good-skin journey, we found the best of the best—like, top-rated and most-recommended across the internet—face washes for each skin type, so you can stop accidentally destroying your skin and show it some love. Keep reading to find the best cleanser for you, and then get excited for a happier-looking face.

    More: 101 Party Makeup Ideas to Try Right Now

    For Straight-Up Oily Skin

    Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Oily Skin Formula
    Image: Clinique

    Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Oily Skin Formula, $17; at Clinique

    For Combination Skin That’s More Oily Than Dry…

    CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
    Image: Amazon

    CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, $8; at Amazon

    For Combination Skin That’s More Dry Than Oily…

    Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin Read more: http://stylecaster.com/beauty/best-face-wash-for-skin-type/#ixzz4UiDnGMfA
    Image: Ulta

    Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin, $15; at Ulta

    For “Normal” Skin

    Yes to Cucumbers Gentle Milk Cleanser
    Image: Amazon

    Yes to Cucumbers Gentle Milk Cleanser, $9; at Amazon

    For Sensitive Skin

    Avene Tolerance Extreme Cleansing Lotion
    Image: Avene

    Avene Tolerance Extreme Cleansing Lotion, $32; at Avene

    For Insanely Dry, Easily Irritated Skin

    Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser
    Image: Target

    Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser, $8; at Target

    For (Non-Sensitive) Acne-Prone Skin

    Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser
    Image: Murad

    Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser, $31; at Murad

    For Sensitive, Acne-Prone Skin

    First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser
    Image: First Aid Beauty

    First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser, $20; at First Aid Beauty

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.com

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    Curly hair is like a needy, fussy house plant. It requires constant moisture, a temperate climate, and some sweet words of encouragement, and then even after your most diligent upkeep, it will almost always turn into a shriveled piece of garbage without warning and for no reason. And that’s curly hair on a normal day. Which means during the winter, a.k.a. right now, when the dry air is slowly turning your curls into a fuzzy frizz ball, you need to run some serious damage control with weekly deep conditioner treatments.

    More: 9 Insanely Pretty Gold Hair Accessories to Wear Tomorrow

    If you’re not already using a deep conditioner, we hope that your curls haven’t taken over your life like Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors. But even if it has, you can still tame the beast by combing a super-rich deep conditioner weekly through dry hair (yup, you read that correctly—conditioners can’t permeate wet, swollen hair strands as effectively as they can with dry strands, so always apply your deep conditioner to dry hair, section by section, before hopping in the shower).

    Each of these 12 conditioners is specifically formulated to deeply moisturize curly hair for a seriously shiny, smooth, and, most importantly, healthy, finish, which means you’ll finally know the meaning of a “good” hair day, even in the middle of winter. Scroll down to find your favorite, then try one out tonight, lest you live another day with the snarled mess of curls trying to swallow your head.

    More: 8 Kick-Ass Makeup Removers STYLECASTER Editors Love

    Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque

    Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque
    Image: Shea Moisture

    SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque, $12.99; at SheaMoisture

    Made Beautiful True Intense Treatment Masque

    Made Beautiful True Intense Treatment Masque
    Image: Made Beautiful

    Made Beautiful True Intense Treatment Masque, $8.99; Made Beautiful

    Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask

    Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask
    Image: Target

    Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask, $5.99; at Target

    My Honey Child Honey Hair Mask

    My Honey Child Honey Hair Mask
    Image: My Honey Child

    My Honey Child Honey Hair Mask, $20; My Honey Child

    Mixed Chicks Detangling Deep Conditioner

    Mixed Chicks Detangling Deep Conditioner
    Image: Mixed Chicks

    Mixed Chicks Detangling Deep Conditioner, $10.99; at Mixed Chicks

    Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment

    Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment
    Image: Jessicurl

    Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment, $16.95; at Jessicurl

    It’s a 10 Miracle Deep Conditioner Plus Keratin

    It’s a 10 Miracle Deep Conditioner Plus Keratin
    Image: Target

    It’s a 10 Miracle Deep Conditioner Plus Keratin, $18.99; at Target

    Curl Junkie Hibiscus & Banana Deep Fix Moisturizing Conditioner

    It’s a 10 Miracle Deep Conditioner Plus Keratin
    Image: Target

    Curl Junkie Hibiscus & Banana Deep Fix Moisturizing Conditioner, $20; at Curl Junkie

    Garnier Whole Blends Repairing Mask Honey Treasures

    Garnier Whole Blends Repairing Mask Honey Treasures
    Image: Walgreens

    Garnier Whole Blends Repairing Mask Honey Treasures, $6.29; at Walgreens

    Dove Nutritive Solutions Treatment Mask Intensive Repair

    Dove Nutritive Solutions Treatment Mask Intensive Repair
    Image: Walgreens

    Dove Nutritive Solutions Treatment Mask Intensive Repair, $6.99; at Walgreens

    Curl Girl Unstress Deep Moisturizing Masque

    Curl Girl Unstress Deep Moisturizing Masque
    Image: Curl Girl

    Curl Girl Unstress Deep Moisturizing Masque, $9.99; at Curl Girl

    Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner

    Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner
    Image: Alikay

    Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner, $12; at Alikay Naturals

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.com

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    Whether you need the perfect hostess present or something cool to let your husband know just how much you love him, you can never go wrong with a personalized bag. We’ve put together a list of must-haves that your loved ones are sure to cherish. The best part is you can make these gifts matter, because each purchase gives back to a cause near and dear to you.

    1. Kate Spade

    Image: Kate Spade

    Kate Spade offers a fabulous personalization shop, where you can customize the perfect bag, for anyone in your life who loves to make a super chic splash. Once you select the style of purse, choose from a selection of tassels, straps, stickers and gold lettering. It’s so much fun, you might end up making one for yourself at the same time. A portion of what you spend will be given back to a nonprofit or charity of your choice if you go through Goodshop where you will also find savings and Kate Spade promo codes.

    More: 6 companies that follow a charitable "buy one, give one" model

    2. Snapfish

    Image: Snapfish

    Fill the Everyday Canvas bag with every picture your heart desires at Snapfish. Whether you want to make someone laugh or make something a little more sentimental, the options are endless. These versatile carry-alls are also extremely affordable. Make your list, stock up now and 7.5% of every purchase, gets donated back. Also look out for deals and Snapfish coupons on Goodshop so you save some money too!

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

    3. Mark and Graham

    Image: Mark and Graham

    Mark and Graham’s Canvas Tote feature precious silhouettes along with embroidered monograms. Lined with a fun pattern, this bag also has a zippered pocket on the side. With every bag sold, Mark and Graham will donate 20% of the money spent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

    More: Buy ethically made clothing without busting your bank account

    4. L.L. Bean

    Image: L.L. Bean

    L.L. Bean may be one of the first brands who really made the personalized carry-all a must-have. Timeless and durable, these Custom Boat and Tote Bags are great for just about anyone. You can also go the design-your-own route here, with different options for handles, pockets, size and color combinations. Once you have everything picked out, L.L. Bean takes your specifications and builds your masterpiece back at company headquarters, based in Freeport, Maine. A portion of what you spend will be donated to your favorite nonprofit.

    A gift that not only gives back but also has a very personal touch is a win-win for all!

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    Building a classic wardrobe foundation will always keep you one step ahead, especially when planning your everyday outfits. You need fashion essentials that will stand the test of time, and are effortlessly mixed and matched.

    We’ve put together a list of must-have pieces from some brands that will give your purchase purpose. Every time you buy, a portion of what you spend will be donated back to the cause of your choice.


    Bebe is known for fashion forward, contemporary collections and we think it’s the must-stop-shop for many wardrobe staples. You can also use these bebe coupons to score some great deals, like 15 percent off the entire site.

    The taupe trench coat with raw edges is perfect for any occasion. We found a classic LBD with gold snaps, that can play classy in the day time or sophisticated for night. You can’t go wrong with a pair of high-rise, wide leg trousers and a tailored pencil skirt, both in black. With every bebe purchase, Goodshop will give back 2 percent of your total to your favorite nonprofit or charity.

    Steve Madden

    Looking for exclusive savings, fabulous accessories and a way to help the world around you? Steve Madden covers it all. Check out the great selection of knee and thigh high boots that were made for walkin’. If you keep them simple, they will never go out of style. Slip into a pair of Feather Flats that are super comfortable and always classic. You can’t go wrong investing in a pair or two. Try navy or camel if you want to add a splash of color to your outfit. The Bliv Bag is the perfect carryall for work or play, and we found some gold hoops with studs that are understated with a touch of attitude.


    Every woman must own a classic, button down white collared shirt. We found some great styles and great savings at Kohl's. Look for the brands that make wrinkle resistant versions, and save yourself some time away from the iron.

    Stock up on a few classic cardigans in black, cream and maybe a pop of pink. We promise you won’t get tired of these go-to sweaters that polish off any look perfectly.

    Don’t forget to check out the denim section. You won’t regret buying both a straight legged and slim fit pair of jeans. When you buy at Kohl’s, you are shopping for good. Pick the cause you want to help, and 2 percent of what you spend will be donated back. Shop and save while doing your part to make our world a better place.


    Target is known for giving back to those in need, from building elementary school libraries to donating food to the hungry. In 2014, Target team members worked with the United Way campaign, volunteering nearly 250,000 hours and donating $14.6 million to their local communities.

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    Bath bombs are basically God's gift to Earth after a long day, but buying a luxurious, well-crafted bomb is not-so-easy on the wallet. We're looking at you, LUSH.

    It's not that LUSH bath bombs aren't totally addicting, it's just that we wince at the price tag every time we go to stock up. We love that LUSH uses simple, natural ingredients — which actually makes their bath bombs easy to duplicate at home for a fraction of the price.

    More: Insanely easy DIY exfoliating scrubs your skin will thank you for

    This is a fun activity to do with kids, too, since it's basically playing in the sandbox — but with a fancier outcome. DIY bath bombs also make for awesome Valentine's Day gifts!

    You will need:

    DIY Bath Bombs: Supplies

    • 2 bowls
    • Measuring spoons and cups
    • 1 cup baking soda
    • 1/2 cup cornstarch
    • 1/2 cup epsom salts
    • 4 tablespoons cream of tartar
    • 2-1/2 tablespoons oil (I used coconut but you can use olive or vegetable oil too)
    • 2 teaspoons essential oil (lavender, jasmine, whatever you like!)
    • Food coloring
    • 3/4 tablespoon water
    • Plastic mold (I used a fillable ornament. You can also use soap molds!)


    Step 1

    DIY Bath Bombs: Step 1

    In a large bowl, add all dry ingredients (baking soda, cornstarch, epsom salts and cream of tartar) and whisk together.

    Step 2

    DIY Bath Bombs: Step 2 Mix wet ingredients

    In a separate bowl, mix all wet ingredients, (oil, essential oil, food coloring (2-6 drops) and water.

    Step 3

    DIY Bath Bombs: Step 3 Slowly mix wet and dry ingredients

    Now slowly pour your liquid ingredient mix into the dry mixture, whisking them together slowly. The texture should be crumbly.

    DIY Bath Bombs: Mixed ingredients

    Step 4

    DIY Bath Bombs: Step 4 fill mold

    Scoop a generous amount into your mold, packing it down. If you're using a plastic, fillable ornament, fill one side, then the other, then squeeze the halves together, wiping away excess mixture at the seam. If you want to add a little trinket or note inside the bath bomb, press it into one side of your ball.

    Step 5

    DIY Bath Bombs: Fill mold 2

    To release a bath bomb from the round mold, tap the outside mold shell with a spoon to loosen it. Then turn it over, and repeat the process with the other half.

    Step 6

    DIY Bath Bombs: Step 6 let dry overnight

    Lay your bath bombs out on a cookie sheet to dry overnight.

    The fun part about DIY bath bombs is the customization! You can open a green tea bag and sprinkle in tea leaves, experiment with different essential oils, add real lavender or orange peel, and for the bravest of brave — microglitter. Have fun trying different colors and molds!

    DIY Bath Bombs: Finished

    If you're giving these as gifts, some fun ways to package them are in little drawstring mesh bags, cellophane bags, inside cupcake papers or even several in a large Mason jar.

    More: The best beauty products to buy at Sephora for under $30

    Before you go, check out our slideshow below:

    baking hacks
    Image: Brandi Bidot/SheKnows

    Originally published February 2015. Updated January 2017.

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    If you haven't already heard, Galderma (owners of Restylane and Dysport) are adding two new dermal fillers this spring - Restylane Refyne and Defyne. Refyne and Defyne are known in Europe as Emervel Classic and Deep and have been very popular for years. Restylane Refyne will be best used for fine to moderate lines and for enhancing the lips. Defyne is for moderate lines and areas that need more lift such as the cheeks, deeper nasolabial folds and marionettes.

    This announcement comes right on the heels of two other new dermal fillers, Juvederm Volbella and Voluma, which brings the number of them in the US to 26. It sounds like a lot until you compare it to Europe who has over 130.

    The reason Europe has so many more dermal fillers is because they are classified as non-prescription medical devices and in the US they are considered prescribed medical devices which limits who can and cannot inject them.

    In both countries, hyaluronic acid (or HA's) are the most popular of the dermal fillers mostly because of their ability to be reversed and are typically more affordable than longer lasting dermal fillers. As the demand for dermal fillers increases, you can count on more HA's being available here in the US.

    Here are five things that will help you choose which one is best for you!

    1. Non-hyaluronic fillers are Bellafill (also known as Artefill), Allofill (donated human fat tissue), Sculptra (a synthetic material called poly-L-lactic acid) and Radiesse (calcium hydroxylapatite) that's great for those who metabolize hyaluronic acid quickly and can be injected everywhere in the face except in the lips. These 4 fillers can last up to 5 years and should only be injected by an experienced health care professional. If you've never had dermal fillers before, these are not for you.

    2. The better known FDA approved hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are Belotero Balance, Juvederm XC, Juvederm Ultra XC, Juvederm Volbella XC, Juvederm Voluma XC, Restylane, Restylane Silk and Restylane Lyft.

    3. The biggest difference in HA's is their particle size. For less volume, like the lips, you'd need a smaller particle sized product such as Restylane Silk or Juvederm Volbella XC. For more volume, say in the cheek area, you'd need a larger sized particle produced such as Juvederm Voluma XC or Restylane Lyft.

    4. There are still some collagen dermal fillers being used (Evolence, Cosmoderm, Fibrel, Zyderm and Zyplast), however, they are very short lived when compared to the other dermal fillers and do not offer the 'lifting' that HA's do.

    5. Keep in mind that the companies that own these dermal fillers are competing for your business! Most have loyalty programs (Brilliant Distinctions, Aspire Rewards and Xperience Program) that offer discounts if you are faithful to their products.

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    Raise your hand if your skin looks like a commercial for Pillsbury crescent rolls: flaky, crumbly, and falling apart (except, you know, way less delicious). Yeah, we feel you. If you’re in the parts of the country that are being pummeled by snow and arctic air, then there’s a good chance that your skin is currently raw and angry, and your usual arsenal of creams and lotions just aren’t cutting it.

    Because when your skin is ticked off, the only thing that will make it angrier is slathering on a cute little indie lotion that smells of roses and promises to delicately moisturize your skin, blah, blah, blah, nope. You need the big guns. The formulas that come in less-than-pretty jars, but actually deliver on their promise to moisturize and soothe the heck out of your destroyed skin with intense hydrators, like ceramides, glycerin, aloe, and hyaluronic acid. Plus, all of the fruit and nut oils your little heart could desire.

    Scroll down to find your favorite—or, you know, buy all of them; it can’t hurt!—and get yourself back to happy, hydrated skin.

    CeraVe Healing Ointment

    CeraVe Healing Ointment
    Image: Walmart

    CeraVe Healing Ointment, $17.89; at Walmart

    Eucerin Original Healing Rich Crème

    Eucerin Original Healing Rich Crème
    Image: Walmart

    Eucerin Original Healing Rich Creme, $12.46; at Walmart

    Derma E Vitamin E 12,000 IU Crème

    Derma E Vitamin E 12,000 IU Crème
    Image: Derma E

    Derma E Vitamin E 12,000 IU Crème, $14.95; at Derma E

    Kiehl’s Creme d’Elegance Respirateur

    Kiehl’s Creme d’Elegance Respirateur
    Image: Kiehl's

    Kiehl’s Creme d’Elegance Respirateur, $29; at Kiehl’s

    Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturizer Dry/Sensitive

    Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturizer Dry/Sensitive
    Image: Liz Earle

    Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturizer Dry/Sensitive, $39.90; at Liz Earle

    Aveeno Skin Relief Moisture Repair Cream

    Aveeno Skin Relief Moisture Repair Cream
    Image: Target

    Aveeno Skin Relief Moisture Repair Cream, $6.99; at Target

    Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance

    Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance
    Image: Dermalogica

    Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance, $66; at Dermalogica

    Avene XeraCalm A.D. Lipid-Replenishing Balm

    Avene XeraCalm A.D. Lipid-Replenishing Balm
    Image: Avene

    Avene XeraCalm A.D. Lipid-Replenishing Balm, $32; at Avene

    EltaMD Intense Moisturizer

    EltaMD Intense Moisturizer
    Image: Dermstore

    EltaMD Intense Moisturizer, $11.50; at DermStore

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    The seating arrangement finalized, our Spanish tile favors stamped, the only thing I hadn’t tended to for my wedding in San Juan? My skin. And when I finally ran smack dab into a mirror, about 9 days before my wedding, I really feared it was too late for such a big intervention.

    I've struggled with acne and scarring nearly my entire life and slathered everything short of Accutane to keep it in check. (I did fill out paperwork and get the initial blood test, but the oversized booklet stamped with bright red warning symbols on nearly each page can truly put off an adventurous gal, even during desperate times.) 

    Enter over-the-counter and prescription potions, light therapy, photodynamic treatments, CO2 ablative lasers, spironolactone. Sure, weaning off spironolactone two months before the wedding (we want to start trying for kids soon) was probably a decision to file under "nah, wouldn't do that again." For years the side effects had my extremities frostbitten from low blood pressure and I was tired of feeling dizzy and blurry every time I would stand up too quickly.

    More: Dermatologist tips to keep Halloween from effing up your hair and skin

    You can probably imagine that growing up as a teen wasn’t exactly easy. My skin was the fodder of schoolyard bullies. It was the first and only thing they could and would see, and the fixation doubly warped my own sense of self-confidence for years to come. Quite unfortunately the dermatologists I consulted with did nothing to alleviate the physical and emotional damage being inflicted every time a new blemish came to the surface.

    Surely if I could live my life over again I’d become a dermatologist myself. While the overhead of medical school time and bills is certainly daunting, years ago I instead dove right into the world of beauty reporting. I’ve since partitioned my face into quadrants in order to test as many products as possible. Vitamin C serums, more please. Any overnight cream with slick silicone, absolutely not! If a product worked for my skin, let's agree that we can pretty much green-light it for 90% of the population. My bad skin gave me a reporting edge. Too bad wedding planning, work and my personal responsibilities had me failing to heed my own advice of sticking to a sound regimen and consulting with a dermatologist on a more routine basis. That's life, huh?

    I knew time wasn’t on my side, and that running around town to get several opinions wouldn't be an option. Instead I clicked over to RealSelf’s Ask a Doctor forum where I’d be able to quickly survey a landscape of suggestions from area doctors.

    More: The latest lip plumping trend requires surgery

    Three board-certified dermatologists chimed in, this was getting exciting! While Dr. Michelle Green asserted there wouldn't be enough time to recover from lasers such as Fraxel or eMatrix or even a strong peel she recommended a special pigment protocol of Retin-A cream at bedtime and a hydroquinone in the morning. This would address my oily acne-prone skin and begin bleaching out hyperpigmentation. She did recommend a light chemical peel, just enough to give impart a glow without causing any irritation before the "Big Day.” I was initially skeptical of starting Retin-A, especially given my experience of it making skin worse before making it better.

    I stopped in my tracks when dermatologic surgeon Dr. Joel Schlessinger advised no medical intervention whatsoever. Yes, nothing! "While there are many products and regimens out there to help with skin issues like you mention, I am not a fan of changing things one week before a wedding.” He noted, “there simply isn't any time to pivot if things go wrong." He recommended new makeup, a mattifying moisturizer, avoiding dairy and going cold turkey on any protein supplements as they can contribute to acne.

    Dr. Sejal Shah, founder of Smarter Skin Dermatology, on the other hand, recommended a vitamin C serum and hydroquinone, an at-home light device, and either an in-office Picogenesis or a Clear + Brilliant treatment. The Clear + Brilliant is affectionately referred to as “baby Fraxel” and while it doesn’t completely address dramatic concerns, it improves skin tone, texture and clarity by creating micro-injuries that jumpstart the production of collagen and calms down sebaceous glands by drying up the oil under the skin. Plus, the only downtime is a rosy pink glow for one or two hours post-procedure, I was all in! Even if makeup applied smoother on my wedding day, that would be benefit enough. While there was a bit of a pit in my stomach considering what might go wrong at this last-minute stage maybe I should just get that mattifying moisturizer? I made an appointment with Dr. Shah, with exactly one week to go before my wedding. Wish me luck.

    More: Does insurance actually cover cosmetic surgery?

    After 20-minutes of a topical numbing cream, we were ready to 'roll' - literally! The Clear + Brilliant laser is rolled over the skin, three to four passes per section. Suffering from several active cystic blemishes, acne scarring, large pores, unbalanced skin and hyperpigmentation, I must say those butterflies of dread faded to the excited at the prospect of it working out. “At the end of a week everyone feels their skin looks so much better,” Shah reassured me.

    The 15-minute procedure was quickly over and I iced for an additional few. My skin was slightly flushed and for the next few hours felt warmer, as if I was sitting poolside at a Bahamas resort. Later that night I put my fingertips to the surface of my skin. It felt soft, as if I had exfoliated pretty thoroughly. The cystic blemishes were beginning to flatten! I couldn’t believe it.

    As described, the second and third day in, skin begins to slough off. There is a fine-grit sandpaper feel to the surface, but it doesn't necessarily rub off on your fingers. If you looked very close I mean, super close, you could see tiny little black dots, evidence of the lasers columns of heat that were driven into the skin. These microscopic little wounds were healing, and in the process topping off fresh collagen, giving skin a bouncy new texture. Or maybe I had some micro-swelling. Either way, I looked plump and I liked it. I reluctantly applied makeup over the rougher surface and was shocked at how good it looked and for hours on end! The laser had temporarily slowed down my oil production and my foundation, bronzer and blush didn’t crease, move or fade. I was already feeling optimistic about the week’s end result.

    Over the course of the next few days I could see that hyperpigmentation was beginning to dissolve, pores and acne scars were tighter and the overall texture was becoming more refined and even. I could apply a makeup and concealer with a lighter hand and didn’t have to pat down creased foundation lines with the gentle tap of my ring finger to smooth things back down around my smile lines and upper cheek.

    Wedding day was finally here! After helping bridesmaids with their makeup, I applied Roloxin Lift Instant Skin Smoothing Mask for 15 minutes to further shrink pores temporarily. After rinsing off with lukewarm water I dabbed on Hourglass Veil Primer and Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick and a few minutes later stood back. I did have a glow! With nary a blemish in sight, I was instantly in a better, lighter mood. I was ready for the altar.
    It's been two weeks since the procedure and my skin keeps improving. Not a breakout, an overall even-toned complexion and pore size that has remained steady. Oil-production has begun creeping back but doesn't compare to pre-treatment. Shah recommends a series of Clear + Brilliant sessions for best results, and given this before and after, this may become my go-to before a special event. Turns out you can go against all sound beauty advice and prevail!
    While wishing for better skin has been a daily repertoire my entire adult life, I've begun to better accept it and not hold it as a crutch. Hey, one might appreciate honest testing and reporting from a gal who has truly been there!
    Image: Anna De Souza

    Before and after Clear + Brilliant with Sejal Shah, MD.

    Image: Anna De Souza

    A quick snap on wedding night!

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    If a genie popped out of a bottle and granted us one totally vain, non-world-saving wish (hey, we’re not monsters—we’d definitely wish for world peace and cures for every type of cancer), it'd probably be for the smoothest, freshest, softest skin usually reserved only for newborn babies.

    And though genies have yet to come down and give us what we want, a product called Baby Foot is basically acting as a stand-in magic maker by promising to literally peel your skin away to reveal new, fresh, young skin. Yes, we’re serious.

    Baby Foot exfoliating peel
    Image: Baby Foot

    It sounds painful and scary, but we assure you it’s totally safe, and only partially scary, if you’re not cool with seeing your skin peel for days on end. Baby Foot, which originally hails from Japan, is a chemical exfoliator that peels off layers and layers of calloused, rough skin from your feet, leaving behind only shockingly smooth skin. The sock-like booties are filled with fruit extracts (including lemon, grapefruit, and orange), that work to deeply exfoliate—on a cellular level, not on a painful, sandpaper-rubbing-you-raw plane—the upper layers of your skin over the course of a few weeks.

    Here’s how it works: After taking a shower to soften your skin, slip your feet into the booties, tape them in place (tape is included), wait one hour, then wash your feet off with soap and water. After a few days—for us, it was around day four—your feet will start to peel, with long strips of skin painlessly sloughing off on their own (or by your own shameless and addicting picking every single night) for the next two weeks.

    Yes, it’s kind of gross in a fascinating, can’t-look-away way, but after a few weeks, your feet will feel softer than a baby wrapped in cashmere. And after a winter of heavy boots and dry skin, we’re all about losing our sheets of dead skin and pretending it’s almost sandal weather. Thankfully, one pack is pretty affordable at $19, and the results last for months, so you can have smooth, happy feet for, well, the rest of your life, if you want it. And look at that—you didn’t even have to use your genie wish on it.

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    It’s winter in the majority of the country, which means your hair is probably in a state of, well, frizzled, wind-swept messiness. And when you know that even a short walk to the car with earmuffs, scarves, and hoods will turn your hair into a fuzzy creature, it can be hard to force yourself to wear anything but a ponytail for the next three months.

    Easy updo's
    Image: Imaxtree

    Which is totally fine, unless you want to feel a tiny bit put-together or, dare we say it, dressed up during the week. But trust us when we say it’s totally possible for your hair to look chic (with minimal effort), even in the dead of winter—and to prove it, we rounded up our favorite low-fuss updos that anybody can pull off. Keep reading to see our favorite tutorials, then try one out on yourself tomorrow!

    Twisted and Knotted Updo

    Sleek, Slick Bun (on Short Hair!)

    Double-Braided Puff

    Twisted Ponytail

    Pinned and Curled Updo

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    So, today, this happened:

    Yes, that’s correct: There’s Trump getting involved, as usual, in something that is a) none of his business; b) totally inappropriate since he’s, you know, the president; c) probably a lot less important than a few other issues floating around in this country right now; and d) a U.S.-based company that creates plenty of jobs and revenue right here in our own backyard — the very thing Trump has touted as being up there with cleanliness and godliness.

    Of course, Twitter erupted immediately, as it does literally every single time he posts a tweet — including one choice tweet from Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, tagging the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. Yeah, I’ll say.

    Armani Collezioni tee jacket & pants: jacket, $1,295; pants, $595

    Armani Collezioni Tee, Jacket & Pants
    Image: Nordstrom

    Then Nordstrom shares plummeted briefly, as a direct result of Trump’s tweet, CNBC reported. #Appropriate. Though shares declined more than 1 percent just after the tweet, people came to their senses and they quickly turned positive, up 3 percent during afternoon trading. Perhaps a bunch of Trump-haters snapped up Nordstrom stock. Who knows.

    Cupcakes and Cashmere Hanna jumpsuit: $130

    cupcakes and cashmere Hanna Jumpsuit
    Image: Nordstrom

    The New York Times reported today that it saw an employee memo sent from TJX, the parent company of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, to both stores, which asked stockists to avoid featuring anything that came to the discount shops with Ivanka Trump’s label and to toss signs for the brand, tout de suite. “Effective immediately, please remove all Ivanka Trump merchandise from features and mix into” the common racks, avoiding any special displays, the note read. “All Ivanka Trump signs should be discarded.” TJX confirmed the memo to theTimes.

    Vince Camuto Jumpsuit: $89

    Vince Camuto Jumpsuit
    Image: Nordstrom

    In reference to the tweet, National Retail Federation CEO Matt Shay said on a call with reporters, “We're living in a world with a different kind of a chief executive in the White House,” CNBC reported. Once again, for the cheap seats: I’ll say. "We're learning, all of us, how to work in that environment," he said. Very diplomatic.

    Theory Blazer top & pants: blazer, $425; pants, $265

    Theory Blazer, Top & Pants
    Image: Nordstrom

    So what are you waiting for? #GrabYourWallets and support a major company that took a stand against Ivanka Trump, her father and their shady business practices.

    Halogen suit jacket & pants: jacket, $129; pants $79

    Halogen® Suit Jacket & Pants
    Image: Nordstrom

    T Tahari jacket & straight-leg pants: jacket, $98; pants, $78

    T Tahari Jacket & Straight Leg Pants
    Image: Nordstrom

    Classiques Entier jacket & pants outfit with accessories: jacket, $299; pants $199

    Classiques Entier® Jacket & Pants Outfit with Accessories
    Image: Nordstrom

    Boss jacket & trousers outfit with accessories: jacket, $595; pants $325

    BOSS Jacket & Trousers Outfit with Accessories
    Image: Nordstrom

    Eliza J Cold-Shoulder jumpsuit: $158

    Eliza J Cold Shoulder Jumpsuit
    Image: Nordstrom

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    Most of us are always looking to write-off anything and everything possible from our taxes. At the same time, we also shy away from some things in fear of the dreaded audit. But if you spend some serious dough on beauty products, chances are you're sitting on a whole heap of tax deductible items — especially if you're in the beauty profession.

    Based on the most recent tax estimates from TurboTax, the IRS shells out $1.2 trillion in tax deductions every year. It's time to dig deep and see if any of that cash belongs to you.

    1. Body lotion

    Depending on the biz you’re in, a standard body lotion could qualify as a tax deduction, says ZM Ishmurzina, MBA, CPA, partner at Artio Partners.

    More: 9 Intense Moisturizers That Seriously Soothe Dry, Angry Skin

    “Body lotions can be deducted as a business expense by massage salons and body builders,” he explains.

    2. Cosmetic surgery

    Here’s a fun one if you happen to fall into the category of professional dancer — according to Ishmurzina, the cost of breast augmentation qualifies as a tax deduction for strippers and adult dancers since it is considered a stage prop. (Who knew?)

    More: Does Insurance Actually Cover Cosmetic Surgery?

    3. Demo products

    Mary Kay and Jamberry fanatics, all of your hard work is starting to pay off. Purchasing products to use as demos in an MLM or beauty business can also fall under the tax deductible umbrella. Sarah Nieschalk, EA, licensed tax professional at Tax Defense Network, explains, “Typically, products you purchase to present as a model or demo are tax deductible. This nice thing about this tax break is that it applies to virtually any item that you intend to showcase in this capacity.”

    4. Eyewear

    Eyeglasses are yet another personal care product that may be tax deductible — though most prescription glasses are written off as a medical expense, as an itemized deductible on form 104, Schedule A. Ishmurzina confirms, "Eyewear products are deductible as a medical expense on Sch. A if the total amount of medical expenses exceeds 10 percent of adjusted gross income."

    5. Makeup

    If you’re a licensed makeup artist with a drawer, box or even suitcase of makeup used for professional purposes within the past year, you’re in luck. “Makeup can be deducted by a makeup artist if s/he uses this makeup for his/her clients,” says Ishmurzina.

    6. Hair care

    Performers are just one more example of hard-working professionals who can expect to reap tax deductible beauty benefits. Ishmurzina explains that if you are a performing artist who requires hairstyling before a show, the cost of that hairstyle can be written off too.

    7. Salon space

    Working at or owning a salon isn’t an easy industry to break into, but it does have its benefits come tax time. Renting or owning your own salon space means you can deduct some or all of the costs, depending on the scenario, says Nieschalk. She adds, “Much like your inventory, virtually any furniture you use in your salon is tax deductible. This includes sofas or chairs for customers in your lobby, or the chairs they occupy when you’re reshaping their appearance. Any supporting furniture for equipment, such as racks or mobile counters, may also be deducted.”

    8. Professional hair equipment

    When working as a beauty professional, this one’s a given. Almost any tools, products or gear that you use to perform daily services on clients falls into that magical category of being tax deductible. Nieschalk explains, “These may include coloring agents, shampoos, gels, removal wax, scissors, curling irons — basically, anything that is essential inventory for operation of your business.”

    9. Salon magazines

    As the icing on the cake, there are plenty of little extras that can slide in under the wire. Nieschalk says that in a salon, this could mean that small purchases like magazines or entertainment publications for waiting clients can also be written off.

    The fine print

    The IRS is nothing if not meticulous, so it’s important to pay attention to detail before you file. Nieschalk reminds us that every beauty deduction will require a receipt, while Ravi Ramnarain, a licensed CPA in Florida, Massachusetts and Arkansas, explains that beauty write-offs are a type of deduction all their own. He says, “For individuals, the only way that beauty products could even begin to be considered deductible is if you are itemizing your deductions (instead of taking the standard deduction). However, one must be cognizant of the fact that beauty products do not count as ‘normal’ itemized deductions.”

    According to Ramnarain, beauty products count as ‘miscellaneous’ itemized deductions that are subject to the following requirements:

    • A two percent "floor" (i.e., you can only deduct miscellaneous itemized deductions that exceed two percent of your Adjusted Gross Income, or AGI).
    • The total of all of your itemized deductions (normal and miscellaneous) must exceed the standard deduction for the year in question.
    • A requirement that you work in the beauty industry (or a closely related field).
    • Proof that you were not already reimbursed for the out-of-pocket beauty product expenses by your employer.

    These qualifications may seem overwhelming at first glance, but don’t let the red tape deter you. When in doubt, Nieschalk says, “You may want to consult with a licensed tax professional before filing, just to make sure you’re on point. He or she can provide suggestions for how to reduce this year’s tax bill, as well as some best practices to make the most of your expenses and deductions in preparation for next tax season.”

    More: Where to Buy Your Staple Wardrobe to Score a Deal and Give to Charity, Too

    Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

    11 best hair products that actually work and cost $10 or less
    Image: Natalie Cosgrove/SheKnows

    Originally published February 2016. Updated February 2017.

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    There’s the iconic French-twist updo seen primarily on A-list celebs as they prance down the red carpet, and then there’s the quick, messy, rolled-and-pinned thing primarily seen on your mother and grandmother during cleaning and errands day. And yes, there’s a huge difference between the two. And yes, we’re going to teach you how to do the former.

    Or, some really wonderful beauty vloggers will be teaching you, we should say, based on your specific hair type. Because if there’s one thing we hope to end in this world—other than war and poverty—it’s human reliance on messy ponytails. So scroll down to learn how to do your ultimate French-twist, and never have a bad hair day again.

    If you have short hair…

    Bobby pins cleverly hidden through this roll keeps short layers in place as you twist.

    If you have medium hair…

    If you can get past the corny, old-time-y video (trust us, it’s worth it), you’ll learn how to make a classic, ‘50s-style French twist that seriously looks red-carpet ready. And, like any updo, you can skip the back-combing if the volume freaks you out.

    If you have long hair…

    A French twist on long hair seems easy, but if you don’t pin down some of the layers first, you’ll end up with a thick, jelly-roll-like blob on the back of your head.

    If you have tight, curly hair…

    A skinny braid around the hairline keeps short layers in place, while adding a little extra oomph to a modern French twist.

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