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Beauty, Hairstyles, Fashion Trends & More | SheKnows

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    April is officially upon us, which means we have plenty of rain-filled, weather-confused days ahead of us. But in a month of shitty weather, we have at least one gleaming beam of joy: Sephora’s April arrivals. With loads of new makeup, skin-care, and hair products, Sephora’s newest products may single-handedly be getting us through the month — while simultaneously depleting our funds, of course.

    More: The Best 10 Pink Eye Shadows Literally Anyone Can Pull Off

    With vegan dry shampoo (no, trust us — it’s cooler than it sounds), super-sculpting brow gels and fruit acid-infused body scrubs, Sephora’s newest haul is seriously enticing. So enticing and overwhelming, in fact, that we’ve saved you the brain explosion by narrowing down the list to the seven coolest products we promise you need, like, right this second. And to make a minimal impact on your credit card (c’mon, you’ll barely notice that bank statement!), each product is under $20. So click through to shop these items before it’s too late, lest you end up stuck in a rainy and makeup-less April.

    party makeup 33 The 7 Best Products to Buy at Sephora Right Now
    Image: ImaxTree

    More: NOT A DRILL: Sarah Hyland Just dyed Her Hair Platinum Blond

    Tarte Hair Goals dry shampoo

    Tarte Hair Goals Dry Shampoo
    Image: Sephora

    Tarte Hair Goals dry shampoo (Sephora, $19)

    Urban Decay Rehab Makeup Prep Lip Love

    Urban Decay Rehab Makeup Prep Lip Love
    Image: Sephora

    Urban Decay Rehab Makeup Prep Lip Love (Sephora, $15)

    Nails Inc. Shine Bright moisturizing & anti-aging hand mask

    Nails Inc. Shine Bright Moisturizing & Anti-Aging Hand Mask
    Image: Sephora

    Nails Inc. Shine Bright moisturizing & anti-aging hand mask (Sephora, $8)

    L'Occitane limited-edition hand cream

    L'Occitane Limited Edition Hand Cream
    Image: SheKnows

    L'Occitane limited-edition hand cream (Sephora, $12)

    Smashbox Always On gel liner

    Smashbox Always On Gel Liner
    Image: Sephora

    Smashbox Always On gel liner (Sephora, $18)

    Make Up For Ever brow gel

    Make Up For Ever Brow Gel
    Image: Sephora

    Make Up For Ever brow gel (Sephora, $20)

    Sephora Collection Gentle Melting Body Scrub

    Sephora Collection Gentle Melting Body Scrub
    Image: Sephora

    Sephora Collection Gentle Melting Body Scrub (Sephora, $18)

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.

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    Over the winter, I had what one might call “problem skin”—it was testy and irritated and dry, and it completely rejected most things I put on it with the fury of a thousand suns, including the skin-care routine that hadn’t failed me for years prior. And as someone whose skin was generally well-behaved, it took me way too long to figure out how to console it.

    Now that my face back to normal (can I finally blame the weather now?), I’m left with a bunch of dark spots; nothing insane or undisguisable with some good concealer (sup, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard) and a Beautyblender, but they’re dark enough to make me think twice about leaving the house without makeup. I mostly blame myself: I know I shouldn’t have picked or popped or made all those cystic zits downright angry—that only results in darker spots that often take longer to fade—but I did, and here we are. My dermatologist said I should count myself lucky that they’re not even worse, or indented.

    More: The Cheap Moisturizer This Victoria’s Secret Model Swears by for Glowing Skin

    But a little over a month ago, I found a face mask, Uma’s Ultimate Brightening Face Mask, sitting at the bottom of my drawer, completely unopened. I remember taking it home and feeling ambitious about using it over the holidays, but then my skin went haywire and I figured I shouldn’t introduce new products to it. Now that we’re back on the straight and narrow, I’ve been using the mask at least two to three times a week for the past five weeks, and my skin looks, dare I say it, good. Not only did it tackle the spots that came over the winter, but a few on my cheeks that have been there for years look lighter, too. Just last week, my friend slept over when my boyfriend was out of town (don’t judge) and she commented on how much the more recent dark spots have faded. Could this single product really have improved my skin that much, and that fast?

    “The mask contains a variety of botanical extracts like honey, saffron, and orange peel extract that happen shown to have anti-inflammatory, skin calming, and brightening properties,” said Joshua Zeichner, MD and Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at the Department of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center. “Highly concentrated, intermittent treatments certainly can be effective.” So, in a word—yes. But how exactly does it work?

    Bright clear skin
    Image: ImaxTree

    “Skin brighteners reduce inflammation in the skin and blocking pigment production,” Zeichner told me. And though the mask’s directions instructed me to use it for “seven minutes or more”—it’s important to keep in mind that it’s an exfoliant, and leaving something like this on for more than a half hour or so could do more harm than good. Additionally, it’s important to keep any other exfolliants far, far away from my face when I’m using this one, lest I want to end up a flaky mess. (I don’t.)

    As far as the cons go, there’s a few: The mask itself comes in a jar (ugh), is gritty-feeling, looks to be a highly unappetizing shade of brown, and uh, is kind of smelly. One night after I put it on, my boyfriend came over to give me a peck on the forehead and coughed at the smell—it’s a cross between an orange croissant (good), burnt cinnamon (not as good) and a stale, musky essential oil that makes you have to sneeze eight times in a row (not good at all). If you can get past the scent and the high price tag ($70 is a pretty penny for about three months of twice-a-week use), you’ll be left with smooth, even-toned, bright skin—and even more so if you pair it with the right regimen.

    “In addition to any active skin brightening product, proper daily skin care is extremely important when addressing pigmentation. Gentle skin cleaners, daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30, and regular use of topical anti-oxidants like a vitamin C are all essential components,” Zeichner told me, who gave my daily routine of Simple Micellar WaterSkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, and Dermalogica Pure Light SPF 50 a thumbs up.

    The last piece of my dark-spots-be-gone puzzle? On some nights that I didn’t use the mask, I’d substitute in a retinol—I like Shani Darden’s Resurface, as well as Neutrogena’s Rapid Wrinkle Repair—since vitamin C and vitamin A counteract each other, topically. “[Derms] usually add retinol to a skin brightening regimen because it enhances cell turnover, allowing the skin to shed darkly pigmented cells.” Hopefully by the end of April, I’ll feel good about stepping out with SPF 50 on—and nothing else.

    More: 10 Illuminating Moisturizers for Glowing, Dewy, Perfect-AF Skin

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.com

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    Remember back in 2011 when every other hair commercial on TV featured brand-new clarifying shampoos that targeted all that grimy scalp buildup you never knew you had, but you suddenly hated? I distinctly remember walking down the aisles of Walgreens that year and seeing zillions of clear-bottled shampoos, with the words “weightless,” and “oil-fighting,” and “deep-cleaning” on the labels, as if our scalps had suddenly turned into left-over casserole dishes. But, just like you, I totally bought into the hype…for a few months.

    More: OMG: This Woman Hasn’t Cut Her Nails in 3 Years

    Because what those labels and commercials didn’t tell us was that most of those clarifying formulas actually stripped the hell out of your hair, leaving it feeling dry, straw-like, and frizzy. Sure, the product buildup and gunk was gone, but so was the health of your hair. Seeing as I wasn’t ready to go back to my life of lank curls, flattened under the grime of my heavy curl products, I did a little internet digging, and I stumbled upon a two-ingredient DIY that would forever change the life of my hair: apple cider vinegar rinses. Hear me out.

    Image: ImaxTree

    Apple cider vinegar rinses (or, ACV for short) are a cult-favorite DIY in the natural, curly, and, well, hair-in-general community for gently dissolving root buildup and leaving hair ridiculously shiny and smooth, all without stripping your hair’s natural oils. Weird, right? You think anything with vinegar in the name would be hella drying, but the citric acid in apple cider vinegar basically destroys follicle-clogging bacteria while polishing each hair strand, leaving you with bouncy, smooth, and hydrated hair—so, you know, everything those shampoo commercials promised, and failed to deliver, in 2011.

    To make it at home, mix one-part apple cider vinegar—any ol’ apple cider vinegar will work, but the brand with the most sworn-by results is Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar—with three-parts water, and use it after you shampoo (I fill one-fourth of a plastic cup with ACV before getting in the shower, then fill the rest of the cup with water when I’m ready to rinse). Just tilt your head back, pour the mixture slowly over your scalp—keeping your eyes and mouth closed; this stuff tastes awful—and massage it into your roots before rinsing very, very thoroughly and conditioning as usual. Yes, your shower will smell like a salad for a few minutes, and yes, your hair will smell slightly of vinegar until it dries, but you legit won’t care once you see how awesome your hair looks.

    Apple cider vinegar
    Image: Bragg

    Another fun fact: Despite the scary-sounding “vinegar” part, this rinse is totally safe for color-treated, curly, dry, or all-three hair, so pretty much every hair type can benefit from this rinse. Just remember, though, that apple cider vinegar is still somewhat acidic, so you’ll want to limit yourself to doing ACV rinses only once a week (twice, max).

    Of course, if DIYs aren’t your thing, and you’d rather go the pre-made route, options still exist, like DP Hue’s Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse, which combines apple cider vinegar with argan oil, aloe vera, and glycerin to hydrate and condition hair, while removing gunk. It’s pricey, but it definitely gets the job done, and your head will smell less potent by the time you rinse. Either way, though, please promptly head to the store, pick up some ACV, and get the shampoo-commercial hair of your childhood dreams.

    More: You Need to See Hilary Duff’s Beauty Evolution Since 2001

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.com

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    Whether it is a fictional character like Carrie Bradshaw dropping some truth bombs, real-life icon Coco Chanel sharing her infinite wisdom, or Simon Doonan sounding off about, well, anything, the best fashion quotes are ones that say so much with a few short words.

    Behold the 101 best style quotes of all time.

    1. “Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose.” — Lauren Hutton

    2. “I love women. I’m trying to do beautiful things with them. I’m not trying to insult them. My life is not about that.” — Calvin Klein

    More:The 45 Most Naked Celebrity Instagrams of All Time

    3. “You either know fashion or you don’t.” — Anna Wintour

    4. “You can never take too much care over the choice of your shoes. Too many women think that they are unimportant, but the real proof of an elegant woman is what is on her feet.” — Christian Dior

    5. “When you don’t feel to dress means that you are depressed. You need a fashion shower.” — Anna Dello Russo

    6. “What I’ve done, Coco Chanel would never have done. She would have hated it.” — Karl Lagerfeld

    7. “The customer is the final filter. What survives the whole process is what people wear. I’m not interested in making clothes that end up in some dusty museum.” — Marc Jacobs

    8. “I think there is beauty in everything. What ‘normal’ people would perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it.” — Alexander McQueen

    9.  “Shoes transform your body language and attitude. They lift you physically and emotionally.” — Christian Louboutin

    10. “I like my money right where I can see it: hanging in my closet.” — Carrie Bradshaw

    Carrie Bradshaw
    Image: StyleCaster

    11.  “I always feel that if you’re gonna be uncomfortable and unhappy in something, just because you think it’s in or it’s chic, I would advise you to be happy rather than well-dressed. It’s better to be happy.” — Iris Apfel

    12. “Trendy is the last stage before tacky.” — Karl Lagerfeld

    13. “Pure, intense emotions. It’s not about design. It’s about feelings.” — Alber Elbaz

    14. “I have always believed that fashion was not only to make women more beautiful, but also to reassure them, give them confidence.” — Yves Saint Laurent

    15.  “I was like, ‘What’s Margiela?’ back then.” — Kim Kardashian, on a pair of Maison Margiela boots Kanye bought her back in 2008

    16. “It pains me physically to see a woman victimized, rendered pathetic by fashion.” — Yves Saint Laurent

    17. “Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.” — Bill Cunningham

    18. “When you hear designers complaining about the challenge of their profession, you have to say: don’t get carried away—it’s only dresses.” — Karl Lagerfeld

    19. “Always dress like you’re going to see your worst enemy.” — Kimora Lee

    20. “I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity.” — Diana Vreeland

    Diana Vreeland
    Image: StyleCaster

    Next: More of Best Fashion Quotes of All Time

    21. “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” — Coco Chanel

    22. “Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them.” — Marc Jacobs

    23. “We must never confuse elegance with snobbery.” — Yves Saint Laurent

    24. “Fashion is only the attempt to realize art in living forms and social intercourse.” — Sir Francis Bacon

    25. “Too much good taste can be very boring. Independent style, on the other hand, can be very inspiring.” — Diana Vreeland

    More: 101 Amazing Love Quotes We’ll Never Get Tired Of

    26. “Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well.” — Vivienne Westwood

    27. “People say, ‘What do you mean you want to help the world, but you’re so concerned about fashion?’ It’s illegal to be naked. It is something that is extremely important.” — Kanye West

    28. “When I first moved to New York and I was totally broke, sometimes I would buy Vogue instead of dinner. I felt it fed me more.” — Carrie Bradshaw

    29. “Fashion should be a form of escapism, and not a form of imprisonment.” — Alexander McQueen

    30. “Fashion is not necessarily about labels. It’s not about brands. It’s about something else that comes from within you.” — Ralph Lauren

    Ralph Lauren
    Image: StyleCaster

    31. “We don’t need fashion to survive, we just desire it so much.” — Marc Jacobs

    32. “In a machine age, dressmaking is one of the last refuges of the human, the personal, the inimitable.” — Christian Dior

    33. “Clothes are like a good meal, a good movie, great pieces of music.” — Michael Kors

    34. “The joy of dressing is an art.” — John Galliano

    35. “Women who wear black lead colorful lives.” — Neiman Marcus

    36. “Fashion somehow, for me, is purely and happily irrational.” — Hedi Slimane

    37. “I don’t want a politician who’s thinking about fashion for even one millisecond. It’s the same as medical professionals. The idea of a person in a Comme des Garcons humpback dress giving me a colonoscopy is just not groovy.” — Simon Doonan

    More: 30 Amazing Dating Quotes from Celebrities

    38. “I think that because I’m overweight, [my] fantasy was lightness. So I project my fantasy to the clothes, and now all I do is light, light clothes because it’s the one thing I don’t have. That is why I’m too afraid to lose weight because then I might make heavy clothes.” — Alber Elbaz

    39. “When you go to a nice restaurant, you want to be relaxed and have a drink and everything, you want to look at people who look well. You don’t want to look at some slob with an open shirt and a hairy chest. At least I don’t.” — Iris Apfel

    40. “Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness, simply didn’t know where to go shopping.” — Bo Derek

    Bo Derek
    Image: StyleCaster

    Next: More of Best Fashion Quotes of All Time

    41. “Fashion has to reflect who you are, what you feel at the moment, and where you’re going.” — Pharrell Williams

    42.  “You gotta have style. It helps you get down the stairs. It helps you get up in the morning. It’s a way of life. Without it, you’re nobody.” — Diana Vreeland

    43.”What you wear is such an expression of who you are. That’s like someone picking out who I’m going to date!” — Diane Kruger, on not working with a stylist

    44.”I don’t do fashion. I am fashion.” — Coco Chanel

    45. “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” — Orson Welles

    46.  “I wouldn’t take it as a compliment if someone looked at one of my shoes and said, ‘Oh, that looks like a comfortable shoe.’ There is a heel that is too high to walk in, certainly. But who cares? You don’t have to walk in high heels.” — Christian Louboutin

    47. “I adore wearing gems, but not because they are mine. You can’t possess radiance, you can only admire it.” — Elizabeth Taylor

    48. “Conformity is the only real fashion crime. To not dress like yourself and to sublimate your spirit to some kind of group identity is succumbing to fashion fascism.” — Simon Doonan

    49. “I know what women look good in. I don’t think the rules ever change.” — Michael Kors

    50. “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening. — Coco Chanel

    Coco Chanel
    Image: StyleCaster

    51. “I’ll stop wearing black when they make a darker color.”— Wednesday Addams

    52.  “Make it simple, but significant.” — Don Draper

    53. “A great dress can make you remember what is beautiful about life.” — Rachel Roy

    54.  “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” — Coco Chanel

    55.  “People will stare. Make it worth their while.” — Harry Winston

    56. “When you don’t dress like everybody else, you don’t have to think like everybody else.” — Iris Apfel

    57.  “Buy less, choose well.” — Vivienne Westwood

    58. “Style is very personal. It has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly. Style is forever.” — Ralph Lauren

    59.  “To me, style is all about expressing your individuality freely and courageously.” — Timothy John

    60. “Girls do not dress for boys. They dress for themselves, of course, each other. If girls dressed for boys, they’d just walk around naked at all times.” — Betsey Johnson

    Betsey Johnson
    Image: StyleCaster

    Next: More of Best Fashion Quotes of All Time

    61.  “You’re never fully dressed without a smile.” — Little Orphan Annie

    62.  “Real style is never right or wrong. It’s a matter of being yourself on purpose.” — G. Bruce Boyer

    63.  “You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” — Edith Head

    64.  “Walk like you have three men walking behind you.” — Oscar de la Renta

    65.  “Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.” — Yves Saint Laurent

    66.  “Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.” — Jean Cocteau

    67.  “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” — Marilyn Monroe

    68.  “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” — Coco Chanel

    69.  “Fashion changes, but style endures.” — Coco Chanel

    70.  “I’m a very down-to-earth person, but it is my job to make that earth more pleasant.” — Karl Lagerfeld

    Karl Lagerfeld
    Image: StyleCaster

    71.  “I don’t believe in fashion. I believe in costume. Life is too short to be same person every day.” — Stephanie Perkins

    72.  “Style; all who have it have have one thing: originality.” — Diana Vreeland

    73.  “Clothes have nothing until someone lives in them.” — Marc Jacobs

    74.  “I can’t concentrate in flats.” — Victoria Beckham

    75.  “Playing dress up begins at age 5 and never really ends.” — Kate Spade

    76.  “Real style is never right or wrong. It’s a matter of being yourself on purpose.” — G. Bruce Boyer

    77.  “Isn’t elegance forgetting what one is wearing?” — Yves Saint Laurent

    78.  “Style is primarily a matter of instinct.” — Bill Blass

    79.  “Style is very important. It has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly. Style lasts forever.” — Ralph Lauren

    80. “Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.” — Gianni Versace

    Gianni Versace
    Image: StyleCaster

    Next: More of Best Fashion Quotes of All Time

    81.  “There was a photo of me with weird sunglasses on and a green sweatshirt, some striped thing, with tights and cowboy boots … I just saw that photo and thought, ‘God, I look crazy.’” — Mary-Kate Olsen

    82.  “I really would not call myself a fashion icon. I would call myself somebody who gets dressed by professionals … I would call me more of a monkey.” — Jennifer Lawrence

    83.  “Table for three: you, me and my bag.” — Instagram

    84.  “I was at school when Britney Spears’ ‘Baby One More Time’ came out. I changed my uniform to look like hers. I just looked slutty after that, so thank you, Britney.” — Alexa Chung

    85.  “The message of a leopard-print jumpsuit is clear: ‘I am a huntress who delights in eating the offal of her prey.” — Simon Doonan

    86.  “Crying is for plain women. Pretty women go shopping.” — Oscar Wilde

    87.  “I like Cinderella; she has a good work ethic and she likes shoes.” — Amy Adams

    88.  “What’s becoming very obvious to me is that fashion is art.” — Lupita Nyong’o

    89.  “Fashion says ‘me too’ style says ‘only me’” — Anonymous

    90. “Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.” — Yves Saint Laurent

    Yves Saint Laurent
    Image: StyleCaster

    91. “There was a photo of me with weird sunglasses on and a green sweatshirt, some striped thing, with tights and cowboy boots … I just saw that photo and thought, ‘God, I look crazy.’” — Mary-Kate Olsen

    92. “I really would not call myself a fashion icon. I would call myself somebody who gets dressed by professionals … I would call me more of a monkey.” — Jennifer Lawrence

    93. “Table for three: you, me and my bag.” — Instagram

    94. “I was at school when Britney Spears’ ‘Baby One More Time’ came out. I changed my uniform to look like hers. I just looked slutty after that, so thank you, Britney.” — Alexa Chung

    95.  “The message of a leopard-print jumpsuit is clear: ‘I am a huntress who delights in eating the offal of her prey.” — Simon Doonan

    96. “Crying is for plain women. Pretty women go shopping.” — Oscar Wilde

    97.  “I like Cinderella; she has a good work ethic and she likes shoes.” — Amy Adams

    98. “What’s becoming very obvious to me is that fashion is art.” — Lupita Nyong’o

    99. “Fashion says ‘me too’ style says ‘only me’” — Anonymous

    100.  “I’ve always thought of accessories as the exclamation point of a woman’s outfit.” — Michael Kors

    101. “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” — Rachel Zoe

    Rachel Zoe
    Image: StyleCaster

    Originally published April 2016. Updated April 2017.

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.com

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    There are few things that rank as high on my list of annoyances as a smudged nail — especially when I’ve tried to save money by going the DIY route. Not only does it take a good half-hour out of my day (while watching Netflix on the couch, but that’s neither here nor there) to properly file, buff and actually polish them, but I’m basically useless for another half-hour until they’re dry. Ever tried going to the bathroom within three hours of doing your nails? I’d sooner unbutton my pants with my wrists and pretend I don’t have fingers at all than risk smudging a nail.

    More: Um, This Drugstore Nail Polish Didn’t Chip for 14 Days. WHAT.

    That is, until I found the holy grail that is quick-dry drops about a year ago. If we’re being honest, when I first discovered them, I assumed everyone had been using quick-dry drops without me for years — that they’d somehow eluded me. As it turns out, quick-dry drops are still a relative secret. Most of my friends have never heard of them and a couple couldn’t even wrap their minds around how they worked. Most quick-dry drops, which feel slightly oily to the touch, work with the help of a solvent — usually ethyl acetate or butyl acetate — to help the polish evaporate and dry faster, cosmetic chemist Randy Schueller confirms. They often have a harsh, acetone-like scent for obvious reasons, but if you can get past that, you’re golden. They work best — that is, they dry your nails to a glossy finish within a couple of minutes — if you apply thin, even layers of polish; if you glop it on, there’s likely no saving your manicure.

    After discovering Qtica’s drops during one of my first trips to Tenoverten’s salon in NYC, I’ve since tested out quite a few. Serial nail polish-smudgers, behold: the best quick-dry drops to scoop up so you never have to deal with a smudged nail again.

    More: 4 Spring Nail Polish Trends for 2017 We’re Obsessed With

    Qtica quick-dry drops

    QTica Quick Dry Drops
    Image: Qtica

    Qtica quick dry drops (Qtica, $7.50)

    Butter London P.D. Quick Dry Conditioning Drops dry oil serum

    Butter London P.D. Quick Dry Conditioning Drops Dry Oil Serum
    Image: Butter London

    Butter London P.D. Quick Dry Conditioning Drops dry oil serum (Butter London, $18)

    Essence Nail Art Express Dry Drops

    Essence Nail Art Express Dry Drops
    Image: Ulta

    Essence Nail Art Express Dry Drops (Ulta, $2.99)

    Nicole by OPI Drying Drops

    Nicole by OPI Nicole Drying Drops
    Image: Ulta

    Nicole by OPI Nicole Drying Drops (Ulta, $6.99)

    Essie Quick-E drying drops

    Essie Quick-E Drying Drops
    Image: Ulta

    Essie Quick-E drying drops (Ulta, $10)

    OPI Drip Dry Lacquer Drying Drops

    OPI Drip Dry Lacquer Drying Drops
    Image: Ulta

    OPI Drip Dry Lacquer Drying Drops (Ulta, $13.50)

    Deborah Lippmann The Wait Is Over Drops

    Deborah Lippmann The Wait Is Over Drops
    Image: Sephora

    Deborah Lippmann The Wait Is Over Drops (Sephora, $20)

    Zoya fast-dry drops

    Zoya Fast Dry Drops
    Image: Zoya

    Zoya fast-dry drops (Zoya, $16)

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.

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    As a very wise, old woman once said, good things come to those who wait. Except we’re pretty sure Lady Mary Montgomerie Currie wasn’t talking about an anti-aging body butter that supposedly minimizes your body’s little lines and wrinkles, plumps and firms skin, and then tucks you in and reads you a bedtime story each night. But alas, here we are in 2017, where everyone is terrified of aging, and Ever Skin’s Lavish Ultra Rich Body Butter has a waiting list 2,000-people long. Yup.

    More: 30 Gorgeous Spring Makeup Ideas to Copy All Month Long

    The body butter, which is housed in a super-sleek, Instagram-friendly white jar, has a formula akin to that of a fruit smoothie: It’s infused with a “superfruit complex” (according to the website) that’s essentially a mix of apple, blackberry, cranberry, cherry, pomegranate, and kiwi seed oils, swirled with a few dollops of jojoba and cocoa butter. Basically, this butter is filled with some of the richest oils and butters you can throw into a jar, so it’s not surprising that people are freaking out about its restorative powers—if you rub a bunch of hydrating oils on some dry, crepey skin, your skin will inherently look plumper and glowier. It’s that simple.

    Ever Lavish Body Butter
    Image: Ever

    Of course, we haven’t gotten to try this butter yet, so who knows, maybe the ratios of the concoction really do create a Fountain of Youth effect. But at $42 a tiny, 4.6 ounce jar, you’d kind of hope so. Still, if you want to get your hands on the anti-ager, you can’t, because the wait list is closed, and we’re sorry for getting your hopes up. Luckily, we’re pretty positive this butter will be back in stock in the coming months, thanks to its popular-as-hell demand, so keep checking the site for updates.

    More: Meant Simply Might Be the Next Big Thing in Minimalist Beauty

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.com

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    OK, excuse us while we Gwyneth Paltrow-out for a second, but have you ever really looked at the ingredients of your favorite beauty products? You know, the teeny-tiny label printed on the back of your BB cream tube with a dozen 16-letter-long ingredients? Welp, if you’ve taken a peek — or spent hours investigating on the internet — you already know that so many of our most-loved beauty products are filled with questionable synthetic ingredients (that are also frequently tested on animals or even contain animal derivatives), all of which can turn some beauty lovers off.

    More: A Definitive Guide to the Best Eyebrows on Instagram

    But before you start rethinking your makeup obsession, let us introduce you to the world of vegan beauty products, seven of which are so excellent in their own right, they’d deserve a spot on your vanity regardless of what’s on their label. We’re talkin’ exfoliating scrubs formulated with bladderwrack seaweed, French clay and coffee extract and a long-lasting liquid lipstick infused with hemp oil and vitamin E. And all of these gems are both cruelty-free and 100 percent free of animal products (and by-products and derivatives), so you can slather your face with happiness, knowing no animals were harmed in the making of your beauty routine. Scroll through to see our seven favorite vegan beauty products and get ready to make the very painless, wonderful transition to animal loving.

    More: How to Wash Your Hair — the Right Way

    Flawless skin
    Image: ImaxTree

    The Seaweed Bath Co. Awaken Exfoliating Detox Scrub

    The Seaweed Bath Co. Awaken Exfoliating Detox Scrub
    Image: The Seaweed Bath Co.

    The Seaweed Bath Co. Awaken Exfoliating Detox Scrub (The Seaweed Bath Co., $14.99)

    Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream

    Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream
    Image: Pacifica

    Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream (Pacifica, $16)

    Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Wish

    Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Wish
    Image: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

    Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Wish (Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, $17)

    Inika Certified Organic Makeup Remover

    Inika Certified Organic Makeup Remover
    Image: Inika Organic

    Inika Certified Organic Makeup Remover (Inika Organic, $27)

    Ella + Mila nail polish in Honeymoon Bliss

    Ella + Mila Nail Polish in Honeymoon Bliss
    Image: Ella + Mila

    Ella + Mila nail polish in Honeymoon Bliss (Ella + Mila, $10.50)

    Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments ultra-natural mascara

    Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Ultra-Natural Mascara
    Image: Juice Beauty

    Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments ultra-natural mascara (Juice Beauty, $22)

    Spectrum Marbleous 5-piece sculpt set

    Spectrum Marbelous 5 Piece Sculpt Set
    Image: Spectrum

    Spectrum Marbleous 5-piece sculpt set (Spectrum, $44.99)

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.

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    Alas, another thing to add to the list of things you didn’t know you needed to think about, but you do. Well, actually, you don’t need to think about your hair part at all — love your hairline for what it is! — but if you’ve been feeling blah about your hair lately or you just really, really want to find your perfect part, we’ve got the easiest little trick for finding it.

    Basically, it’s all about the symmetry of your face. Just as with contouring, which can emphasize the angles of your face, drawing a part that works with your face shape can give you an entirely new appearance — in a good way. And the easiest way to do it is by looking at the arch of your eyebrows. Just trust us.

    Take a rattail comb and place it against your forehead starting at the arch of your brow and angling it toward your hairline. This is essentially the drawing guide for your new part. Trace the line back through your hair, and divide your hair into the side part. Boom: It’s that easy (sorry if you expected something harder).

    Why is this universally flattering? Because it’s incredibly forgiving on your face. Generally, a side part tricks the eye into seeing a softer symmetry to your face, which obscures any imbalances (say, a slightly crooked mouth, or uneven eyes). This is also why a true center part is often difficult to wear, since it splits the face in half and accentuates every unbalanced angle and feature.

    Of course, there’s no mathematical equation for figuring out the best part for your hair or face shape, and if you love your middle part and hate yourself in a side part, then rock what you know. Because when it comes down to it, the best look is one that you’re comfortable in.

    If all of this sounded like gibberish, check out this video below of beauty vlogger Silvia Reis discussing every single facet of hair parting that you didn’t know existed.

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  • 04/18/17--03:00: How to Chalk Your Hair
  • Pastel hair is super trendy right now, but it also seems like a pretty big commitment to streak your hair with crazy colors — that is unless you're doing it with hair chalk. Hair chalking is an awesomely easy and inexpensive way to throw some fun color in your hair, and the cherry on top is that it's totally temporary. It's perfect for festival season and adding a little more personality to your summer style.

    David John, master stylist and colorist at the Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon in Los Angeles, offers these hair chalking tips.

    Step 1: Buy your chalk

    John says that you can buy inexpensive non-oil-based pastels at Michael's for $5 or spend $60 if you really want to splurge. All you need other than the chalk is a water bottle, protective gloves, towels and a flat iron.

    More: This 2-Ingredient DIY Will Give You the Shiniest Hair of Your Life

    Step 2: Prep your hair

    Make sure to wet the hair first so the color will attach to it. However if you’re blonde, do not wet the hair before chalking unless you want the color to stay in longer.

    Step 3: Add the color

    Apply to the chalk to the strand of hair in a downward motion, twist the hair as you chalk. You can try for a fun ombre look, or just do a couple strands.

    Step 4: Let it dry

    While John says that you can blowdry your hair, others recommend air drying so that you don't blow off the chalk.

    Step 5: Set the color

    Seal the color in with a flat iron or a curling iron to add waves. Apply hair spray as a final step.

    Step 6: Wash it out when you are ready

    The color generally will only last one shampoo; however, if the hair is more porous, such as color-treated blonde hair, it can last a couple shampoos. You can use a clarifying shampoo or dish soap to remove the color more quickly — both have more detergent. Don’t use dish soap on your whole head, just on the strands that have been colored.

    Tip: If you want something brighter, you can apply white chalk first and then go over it with the color you want to make pop.

    Hair chalking don'ts

    John also offers these cautions when hair chalking.

    • Don’t apply the chalk with any wax or product in your hair.
    • Don’t use water on blonde hair if you don’t want the color to last.
    • Wear protective clothing when applying and sleep on an old pillow case as the color will transfer.
    • Don’t try this near the water/beach or on a rainy day.

    Hair chalking tips for your hair color

    • Blonde: Blondes can have a lot of fun with hair chalk, but they shouldn't wet their hair first. Read these tips on how to chalk blonde hair.
    • Brown: Brunettes can use any color hair chalk. With lighter brown hair, the color will be more intense. Read these tips on how to chalk brown hair.
    • Red; Redheads can chalk their hair, too. They just need to pick the right colors of chalk. Read these tips on how to chalk red hair.
    • Black: Those women with black hair need to pick bright, vibrant shades of chalk. Read these tips on how to chalk black hair.

    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 June 2012. Updated April 2017.

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    Full disclosure: I'm not a makeup person. I don't wear foundation. I often forget to put on moisturizer.

    But I like to blame my continued failed efforts in the beauty department for that.

    You see, I'm Asian (half-Asian, to be exact), and after a decade of struggling to find the right foundation tone and styling my lifeless, straight hair, I kind of just gave up. I mean, if it weren't for working at an online publisher that receives a seemingly endless supply of makeup and trying said products (in the safety of my own home, of course), I wouldn't have found the best foundation tone (well, for one brand), and I wouldn't have stepped out of my comfort zone to wear funkier shades of lipstick (all of which look awkward with my skin tone unless it's the safest shade of pink or red; but, hey, at least I tried!).

    What are these struggles, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

    1. Foundation, where art thou?

    Image: Kristine Cannon

    Foundation, BB Cream, anything that requires me to find the "perfect" tone: Forget about it. Just look at that photo of me at my prom. Look at how much darker my face is. How my own mother could do my makeup using her shade of foundation and let me walk out the house looking like that is beyond me.

    2. Straight hair, really care

    Hairspray GIF
    Image: Buzzfeed

    This isn't totally specific to Asians, I get that. Many other people have straight, dull, lifeless hair. But this isn't any less true: Maintaining a damn curl for more than 30 minutes is near impossible without half a can of hairspray.

    More: 19 Things Only Girls With Thin Hair Understand

    3. Slather on the sunblock

    Fresh Off the Boat sunblock GIF
    Image: Buzzfeed

    See, I thought I was alone in this, but my mom hates when I get a tan. "Why are you so dark?" she would ask. "I liked you better with whiter skin," she would say.

    It's safe to say I use all the sunblock these days.

    More: 15 Things My Asian Mom Does That Make Me Love Her Even More

    4. How badly do you want lighter hair?

    Bleach GIF
    Image: Notey/Bravo

    Bleach. All the bleach.

    5. Perfect skin doesn't exist, people

    Lucy Liu GIF
    Image: Pharmacypedia

    Growing up was rough, man. Pimples, oily skin, more pimples. And having a mother who constantly nit-picked at it wasn't any easier (love you, Mom!). I mean, you can't tell me you don't associate Asian women with clear, smooth, flawless skin. Not all of us have it, people!

    6. Oh that Asian glow

    Christina Yang Grey's Anatomy GIF
    Image: Giphy

    Why is it so imperative we find the right foundation tone? Well, when you drink, you get this thing called the Asian glow (technically, it's called alcohol flush syndrome). No, no, this is not a good thing. We don't glow like angels and light up the room with our presence, charisma and beauty. No, our skin turns pink (for some of us, bright red) and getting the appearance of it under control with some foundation helps. Sometimes. Slightly. OK, not really, but we like to think it does.

    More: 15 Things All Half-Asian-Americans Know to Be True

    What did we miss? Let us know in the comments.

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    All right, let’s face it: Unless you’re Benjamin Button or have access to a Back to the Future time machine, you’re going to age — not that that’s a bad thing (it sure beats the alternative). But thanks to the advanced formulas crafted from and perfected by the dermatologist and scientist gods, beauty products like retinols and chemical peels can help combat the fine lines, rough texture and discoloration that comes with, well, being a living, breathing human. And while you’ve probably already flirted with a few retinol creams, oils and serums by now (because there are currently, like, thousands flooding the market), have you ever considered taking matters into your own hands — or rather, your kitchen? Yes, we’re talking antiaging DIYs, and yes, they actually work.

    More: StyleCaster Is Nominated for a 2017 Webby Award — and We Need Your Vote!

    Hey, as much as we love the laboratory-made products in our medicine cabinets, we’d also be cool with ditching the monthly expense and making some shockingly effective anti-aging DIYs in the comfort of our homes. And though nothing can truly be as effective as retinol, a lot of the products in your fridge and pantry are actually incredibly effective at softening dry skin, plumping fine lines, and exfoliating blah, dull complexions as long as you know what to use — and what to avoid.

    Which is where Dr. Ava Shamban, dermatologist and DIY aficionado, comes in. “DIYs have been used for centuries, most notably by Cleopatra,” Shamban says of the original beauty guru. “She didn’t have a chemist; she had a kitchen.” Of course, it’s 2017, not 50 B.C., and Cleopatra didn’t have to contend with pages and pages of dangerous, poorly formulated Pinterest DIYs that are filled with skin-irritating ingredients.

    So we got Shamban to tell us her four favorite antiaging DIYs that actually work without harming your skin, and, spoiler alert, all of the ingredients you need are probably already in your pantry. So embrace your inner Cleopatra and give ’em a try — you might just swear off your store-bought products for good. Well, maybe.

    DYI clear skin mask
    Image: ImaxTree

    Avocado mask recipe

    This fruit does so much more than just tasting ridiculously good on toast — it’s also “an anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant and a moisturizer,” says Shamban. And when combined with fine-line smoothing coconut oil, a dab of Greek yogurt (a core ingredient in almost all of Shamban’s DIYs thanks to its skin-softening and collagen-boosting alpha-hydroxy acids) and a bit of honey (which is packed with damage-fighting antioxidants), you’ve got an antiaging all-star.


    • 1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
    • 1 tablespoon unflavored, sugar-free Greek yogurt
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • 1 teaspoon coconut oil


    1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl using a fork to evenly mash up and mix in the avocado, then smooth a thick layer of the mask over your clean, dry skin.
    2. Leave on for 20 minutes, or as Shamban suggests, “long enough for you to look through your Facebook feed.”

    Papaya cleanser recipe

    This DIY doesn’t just clean your face — it gently exfoliates to subtly brighten skin over time. “It’s like a smoothie for your skin,” says Shamban. Not only do papaya enzymes act as a fruit acid peel, naturally removing dead skin cells for brighter skin, but the antioxidant-packed grape seeds help protect your face from wrinkle-causing free radicals. And if your skin is acne-prone or extra oily, Shamban suggests adding a bit of witch hazel to the cleanser for a dose of blackhead-reducing antiseptic.


    • 1/2 papaya, peeled and de-seeded
    • 3 tablespoons witch hazel (found at most drugstores)
    • 15 dark grapes with seeds
    • 2 tablespoons unflavored, sugar-free Greek yogurt


    1. After removing all seeds and skin from the papaya, scoop it into a blender and add in the rest of the ingredients, blending until totally smooth.
    2. Remove your makeup, then pour a quarter-size drop of the cleanser onto a damp wash cloth. Gently massage the cleanser into your skin for 30 seconds, then rinse with warm water.
    3. Follow with your usual moisturizer.

    Pro tip: Shamban suggests following with a quick, DIY chamomile and rosewater toner to rehydrate skin and plump up fine lines. Using a full blossom of chamomile — or two chamomile tea bags if you aren’t near your own personal botanical garden — brew a quarter cup and add in two tablespoons of rosewater. Pour the liquid into a mister and lightly spray over face post-cleansing. Keep refrigerated for one week, max.

    DIY Anti aging masks
    Image: ImaxTree

    Oatmeal and sunflower seed face scrub recipe

    This oatmeal-based face scrub sounds intense, but it’s actually gentle enough to use on face, neck and even your lips (you still need to avoid the eye area, though). “Sunflower seeds are packed with super-hydrating oils that moisturize the skin while literally scrubbing away all the dead skin that dulls complexions,” says Shamban. Mix that with zit-fighting honey (which has natural antibiotic properties) and antioxidant-rich honey, and some gentle oats, and your blah, crepey skin will look crazy hydrated and plump.


    • 1 tablespoon oats
    • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
    • 2 tablespoons unflavored, sugar-free Greek yogurt
    • 1 teaspoon warm honey


    1. In a blender, grind the oats and the sunflower seeds until finely milled — you don’t want any harsh edges scratching your skin.
    2. Dump the mixture into a small bowl, then add in the remaining ingredients, mixing until relatively thick and scrub-like.
    3. Gently (promise us you’ll be gentle!) massage the scrub into wet, cleansed skin, moving in concentric circles, then wash off and follow with your favorite moisturizer.

    Calendula and green tea moisturizer recipe

    Yes, you’re pretty much making your own moisturizer here, but don’t worry — the recipe calls for a base cream to start you off, so you won’t need to build a lab in your kitchen first. Shamban recommends using the ultra-gentle cult-favorite Vanicream as a base, then mixing in redness-reducing green tea, anti-inflammatory calendula oil, the very hydrating olive oil to moisturize skin while also infusing it with wrinkle-fighting polyphenols. For an extra dose of vitamins C and K — which over time reduce fine lines and age spots — you can mix blueberries into the moisturizer (though only use blueberries if you’re applying this cream at night, since it’ll leave your skin with a faint blue hue until you wash it off). And keep this sucker in the refrigerator between uses, says Shamban, since it’s basically food.


    • 1/2 cup Vanicream or your favorite gentle moisturizer
    • 2 teaspoons concentrated, overly-steeped green tea
    • 5 drops pure calendula oil (found at most grocery stores or health food stores)
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • 12 blueberries (optional)


    1. Steep a cup of green tea for 10 minutes, then, once it cools off, transfer the liquid into a small bowl, adding in the calendula oil, olive oil and your base moisturizer and stirring until completely mixed. If you’re adding blueberries, put the mixture in a blender instead and blend in the blueberries until the cream is thoroughly mixed.
    2. Pour the cream into a small jar or lidded container and massage into your skin after removing your makeup and using your face wash.

    More: 10 Crucial Things No One Ever Tells You About How to Use Concealer

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.

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    Ah, liquid eyeliner — the one corner of makeup that separates the beginners from the pros, the kids from the adults, the frustrated and angry from the calm and cool. Because for some reason, liquid liner has become a hallmark of confusion in the beauty world, inspiring memes, zillions of confusing YouTube tutorials and cries of defeat and surrender among beauty lovers — until now. (No, seriously! We’re going to make it so easy for you! Rejoice!)

    More: 5 New Nail Polish Colors We’re Obsessed With Right Now

    Because we believe that liquid liner, cat eyes, winged flicks and every other synonym for very kick-ass eyes deserve to be worn by ordinary people who are not professional makeup artists or 14-year-old YouTube stars. So we called up Ashleigh Ciucci, a straight-up beauty wizard and very cool person, to show us exactly how to apply liquid eyeliner in just three steps. And because we care about your mental health, we did it in the form of GIFs so you won’t need to pause a tiny video a billion times to figure out what the hell is going on. Scroll through the GIFs below and get ready to have your first set of raccoon-free eyes. We’ll be waiting here for the Instagram pics.

    More: Miniskirts Are Trending for Spring — and We Are Here For It

    Photographer: Tory Rust

    Model: Rachel Besser

    Makeup: Ashleigh Ciucci

    Hair: Akihisa Yamaguchi

    Draw your wings
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 1: Draw your wing

    The goal of any winged liner is to accentuate and elongate your eye shape, which means the first line you draw should follow the natural slope of your lower lash line and extend up toward the tail of your brow. If you're nervous, hold the cap of your liner against your eye as a guide, positioning it from your lower lash line to the end of your eyebrow, and lightly dot the spot where you want your wing to end. Then drawn from the dot to the corner of your eye, imaging it's an extension of your lower lashes.

    Products to try: 

    1. Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise liquid eyeliner (Ulta, $8.49)
    2. Bodyography On Point Liquid Liner Pen (Bodyography, $17)
    3. Kat Von D Tattoo Liner (Kat Von D, $20)

    Line the eyes
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 2: Line the eyes

    Starting at the inner corner of your eye, gently trace your lash lines with short, even strokes. If you have smaller eyelids (meaning they're barely visible when your eyes are open), keep the line skinny — too thick a line will give your eyes a tinier appearance. If you're worried about layering it on too thick, try using just the tippy tip of the pen to dot the liner between your lashes, then connect the dots.

    Connect the lines
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 3: Connect the lines

    Pretty self-explanatory, but finish the final swoop of the wing by drawing a connecting line from the wing to your lash line.

    Check yourself out
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 4: Check yourself out

    Get a mirror and stare yourself up and down, because hell yes, you just applied liquid eyeliner like a pro.

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.

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    When you get a pimple, what do you do? Freak out? Hide under the covers? Text all your friends? Slather it in various potions? All of the above? Same, same. But it turns out Kristen Bell has her own arsenal of tricks up her sleeve — and they’re actually kind of amazing.

    We knew we needed to hear more of Kristen Bell’s beauty hacks when we came across a few of them last month and immediately tried them all out. So we had a chat with her to see if she could deliver any more nuggets of wisdom — and deliver she did.

    In honor of Earth Day this weekend (April 22, buy your seedlings!), Bell teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund and Tide Purclean to inspire people to be more eco-friendly in their daily lives by taking the #CleanPledge. (For every pledge, Tide donates $5 to WWF’s global conservation efforts for a total of up to $250,000).

    Speaking with us on the phone from her home in LA, Bell told us all about her clean-living habits — and her best beauty tips.

    Kristen Bell's Beauty secrets 1
    Image: kristenanniebell/Instagram

    More: The 60 Most Naked Celebrity Instagram Photos of All Time

    1. Manuka honey solves all

    “It has these antibacterial properties,” Bell said of manuka honey, which she likes to use as a face mask. She leaves it on for about 10 minutes, then rinses it off with water. Bonus tip: “I wash my face with it,” Bell told us. (P.S.: We’ve tried this before ourselves to great effect!)

    For exfoliation, “I throw a little sugar in” with the honey, she said. After using it as a mask or a face wash, Bell’s skin feels extra smooth. “There’s some sort of coating that it leaves,” she said. “Whatever it is, I need it. It’s almost like a protective layer.” But lest you dismay that you never have enough time to do a face mask, don’t worry. Bell only does a honey mask “maybe once a month.” Phew.

    2. No, like — it actually solves all

    “I’ll also take [manuka honey] if I’m feeling sick or if my kids are feeling sick,” Bell said. She’s not the only one — Kourtney Kardashian swears by the stuff as well.

    Kristen Bell's Beauty secrets 2
    Image: kristenanniebell/Instagram

    3. The secret to glowing skin is in the microwave

    “If I need to wake up and I don’t look awake or feel awake, I will definitely take a washcloth and get it wet and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds,” Bell said. “I think people underestimate” the power of a warm washcloth, she added. The warm cloth on her face helps her look instantly more refreshed and perky.

    4. Never pick a pimple — but try this instead

    When Bell gets a zit, she says, “All I want to do is pick it. But I’ve made a commitment to use hot compresses” instead. “A hot compress shockingly does work,” she added. “Nobody uses it, but it works!”

    5. Olaplex is the best

    “Olaplex has definitely been a game-changer as a blonde,” Bell said. When she finds herself “going brassy” between trips to the salon, “purple shampoos are really helpful,” she added. “They take out the brass from blondes in a very real and not noticeable way.” Her favorite? Bell said she particularly likes the purple shampoo from Oribe.

    More: The 30 Most (NOT-FAMOUS!) Naked Women on Instagram

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.

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    Raise your hand if you’ve ever said, “I just don’t look good in eye shadow,” or “Eye shadow is too confusing,” or “How the hell do you apply eye shadow?” Yeah, we’re going to guess most of your hands are up right now. Because weirdly, sweeping some powder over your eyelids really isn’t as intuitive or as simple as it sounds, especially when you factor in eyelid shape, skin tone and straight-up patience and perseverance, the latter of which tends to be in short supply when it comes to morning makeup routines.

    More: The Coolest Minimalist Beauty Products You’re About to See All Over Instagram

    But never fear, because we sincerely promise that the act of applying eye shadow is not as tricky as it looks. And to prove it to you, we got Ashleigh Ciucci, a makeup master, to break down the most basic of basic eye shadow steps (in GIFs! Easy-to-follow, on-a-loop GIFs! Oh, boy!), so you can finally buy an eye shadow palette and actually use it rather than nervously hiding it in the bottom of your drawer with the promise of “some day.” Click through to see the tutorial and get ready to take a billion selfies — or at least brag to a bunch of people.

    More: 10 Best Highlighters to Get Hailey Baldwin’s Cheekbones

    Photographer: Tory Rust

    Model: Rachel Besser

    Makeup: Ashleigh Ciucci

    Hair: Akihisa Yamaguchi

    Create a Base
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 1: Create a base

    If you want your eye shadow to look insanely smooth and expertly done (and, trust us, you do), you need to first create a base by sweeping a nude, iridescent eye shadow — iridescent is easier to wear than matte — over your entire lid, blending it from your lash line to your brow bone with a tapered blending brush, like the Sigma E40 or the MAC 224.

    Products to try:

    1. For light to medium skin tones: Smashbox Full Exposure Palette (Smashbox, $52)

    2. For medium to deep skin tones: Tarte Tartelette in Bloom clay eye shadow palette (Sephora, $46)

    Define the Crease
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 2: Define the crease

    It sounds counterintuitive, but subtle, natural-looking eye shadow actually requires layering on a bunch of shadows to give the illusion of depth. Otherwise, your eyes can look flat and dull. So swirl your tapered blending brush over a warm, soft-brown shadow (only a few shades darker than your natural skin tone) and blend it into the outer V of your eye, sweeping it from your lash line to the middle of your crease.

    Darken the V
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 3: Darken the V

    Using a blending brush, like a Make Up For Ever 216 or an E.l.f. crease brush, pick up a darker brown shadow (only a few shades deeper than the last shadow), and smudge it lightly it into the outer corner of your eye near the lash line, then blend it beneath the eye, sweeping it along the first third of your lashes. Don't freak if it looks a little dark — we'll be blending the hell out of it in the next step.

    Blend Blend Blend
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 4: Blend, blend, blend

    As with all makeup, blending is key, lest you look like you finger-painted your face. So swirl your tapered blending brush (don't pick up any extra shadow) over the dark-brown eye shadow you just applied, blending it up into the crease of your eye and across your lash line to really define that outer V. Keep blending in concentric circles until all harsh lines are invisible.

    Add the extras
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 5: Add the extras

    Line your eyes with chocolate-brown or jet-black eyeliner, wiggle on some mascara and then find someone to brag to, because you just applied eye shadow like a pro. HUZZAH!

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.

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    We’re all about trying new beauty trends, but there are some movements that can stay safely on our social media feeds (lookin’ at you, holographic hair and unicorn nails). But there’s one lip trend that we’ve been somewhat obsessed with since it popped onto our radar last summer: pink ombré lips.

    It’s not that ombré lips just look cool — it’s that they also give your lips the illusion of being fuller thanks to the way the colors fade from dark to light, like a natural shadow on your mouth. Basically, ombré is like a contour for your lips, and thankfully, it’s not actually that hard to create as long as you’ve got a dark lip liner and a lighter lipstick, both in the same color family. So, for example, grab a burgundy liner and a bright, pink-purple lipstick a few shades lighter if you’re going for a pink ombré, which is ideal for spring.

    The steps are simple: Outline your mouth and the corners of your lips with the liner, erring on the side of a thick, rather than thin, line. Fill in just the middle of your lips with your brighter lipstick, then paint over the liner too to softly blend the two together, without looking muddled. Yup — that’s it. It’s that simple.

    But if all of that sounded like a garbled, jargon-y mess, check out this incredibly simple tutorial from beauty vlogger Alexandra, who breaks down the ombré trend on camera. And yes, her lips look legit perfect by the end, so you know it’s actually possible to do. Watch the view below, and then try the trend out on yourself this weekend!

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    Ugh, concealer. Yes, that’s kind of how we feel about the whole concealing business. Because even though a swipe of concealer can totally transform the shadows of our face into that of a glowing, ethereal cherub, more often than not, our concealer instead settles into every itty-bitty crease and line under our eyes, illuminates dry patches and then magically disappears by lunchtime. And then we’re stuck with the same blah, dark circles we woke up with. Fun, right?

    More: 10 Best Highlighters to Get Hailey Baldwin’s Cheekbones

    That is why we wrangled our very favorite makeup artist, Ashleigh Ciucci and begged her to show us exactly how to apply concealer like the pros, using only the best concealers and the best powders to get the most long-lasting, shadow-disguising results. And, yes, Ciucci delivered. So, behold a three-step tutorial for covering up dark circles and brightening that even makeup beginners can follow. Oh, and did we mention the how-to is entirely in GIFs? Yeah, you’re going to like this. Click through to see the steps and get blending!

    More: The 15 Best Lip Scrubs for Insanely Smooth, Soft Lips

    Draw your guidelines
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 1: Draw your guidelines

    A super-common concealing mistake is only applying your concealer to the half-moon arc beneath your eye (aka directly over your dark circles), which ends up calling attention to your shadows rather than lightening up your entire face. Instead, using a small concealer brush, like the E.l.f. #1821 or the Ulta concealer brush, or the applicator wand of your concealer, draw two sides of an inverted triangle beneath your eye with a hydrating, creamy concealer. Don't connect the lines or fill in the middle, or you'll leave the area looking heavy and cakey.

    Products to try:

    1. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer (Nars, $30)
    2. Maybelline Fit Me Concealer (Ulta, $6.99)
    3. Laura Mercier Secret Concealer (Laura Mercier, $27)
    Blend it out
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 2: Blend it out

    With a tiny dampened sponge, like the Beautyblender Micro or the Ulta Super Small Blender, blend the concealer inward, dabbing and rolling the sponge across your skin until the triangle is seamlessly filled in.

    Set it
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 3: Set it

    To keep your concealer from sliding off or settling into fine lines by noon, lightly set the concealer with a dusting of translucent powder. Just dip a clean, fluffy eyeshadow brush, like the Sigma E40 or the Anastasia #23, into loose powder, tap off the excess and softly sweep and swirl the brush over your under-eye triangle until completely blended.

    Products to try: 

    1. NYX Studio finishing powder (NYX, $10)
    2. Kat Von D Lock-It Brightening Powder (Sephora, $25)
    3. No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder (Ulta, $13)
    Feel super awake
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 4: Feel super-awake

    And ideally, awesome, because you officially look like you just got a facial-and-massage combo after waking up from a 14-hour nap on the beaches of Praia do Sancho.

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.

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    In theory, covering up a zit should be really easy. Like, dab on some concealer, layer on a bit more and boom — you’re done. Except it’s never been that easy in the history of breakouts, and more often than not, your concealing attempts leave your pimple screaming, “HEY! I’m that zit you’re trying to hide!” Quite frankly, that sucks.

    More: This is the Easiest Way to Apply Liquid Eyeliner

    So we asked makeup artist Ashleigh Ciucci to tell us exactly how to cover up a pimple with as minimal effort as possible, which means no 12-step process that requires four different products and the precision of a Fabergé egg painter. All you need is a concealer, some powder, a tiny brush and a few extra minutes. Click through to see the tutorial — which, by the way, is broken down in GIFs, making it the easiest-to-follow tutorial you’ve possibly ever seen — and get ready for your zits to pull a disappearing act.

    More: 12 Insanely Cool Indie Beauty Products You Didn’t Know Were at Sephora

    STEP 1: Dab on a base
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 1: Dab on a base

    After applying your foundation (or tinted moisturizer or BB cream), swirl a stiff concealer brush, like the Sigma P86 or the Hourglass concealer brush, in a full-coverage concealer and lightly press the side of the brush into your zit until the blemish is totally covered.

    Products to try:

    1. Dermablend Quick-Fix concealer (Dermablend, $26)
    2. CoverGirl Outlast All-Day Soft Touch concealer (Ulta, $11.99)
    3. BareMinerals Correcting Concealer (BareMinerals, $21)

    STEP 2: Pat it in
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 2: Pat it in

    Using your ring finger, gently tap on the concealer to sheer it out until it blends into your skin. Don't press too hard — you just want the warmth of your finger to help the concealer melt into your skin.

    STEP 3: Set it
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 3: Set it

    Zits are inherently oiler than the rest of your skin, so you'll need to set your concealer to keep it from sliding off by lunch. Using a clean, fluffy blending brush, like the Bh Cosmetics 12 or the Ulta Pro blending brush, pick up a layer of translucent setting powder, tap off the excess, then press and dab the brush against the blemish until fully covered.

    Products to try:

    1. NYX Studio finishing powder (NYX, $10)
    2. Kat Von D Lock-It brightening powder (Sephora, $25)
    3. No7 Perfect Light loose powder (Ulta, $13)

    STEP 4: Blend it in
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 4: Blend it in

    Here's the key step most people skip: blending. Sure, you've blended the concealer and the setting powder, but to make sure you're not left with an obvious-looking patch of makeup, take small, fluffy blush, like the E.l.f. tapered brush, and lightly tap it against the blemish, moving in a small circle to make sure the powder and concealer are totally blended with your surrounding skin.

    STEP 5: Model
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 5: Model

    Strike many poses for all of the adoring fans who will ask you about your perfect-looking skin.

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.

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    No shade to the Kardashian-Jenner clan, but contouring has iterated from an innovative way for celebs to sculpt their faces on the red carpet to a tired Instagram meme over the past few years. Now, the idea of highlighting and contouring your face invokes images of caked-on makeup and 13-steps-long YouTube videos that are impossible to follow. And for some of us makeup newbs, that can be hella intimidating.

    More: This Magical Lip Stain Didn’t Fade for 9 Hours

    But before you say, “Screw it,” trust us when we say that contouring and highlighting is incredibly easy — so easy, in fact, that we got makeup artist Ashleigh Ciucci to show you how to do it in just two quick steps using only two products. Basically, if you have three minutes every morning, you have time to contour and highlight your face. So click through the GIFs (yes! GIFs!) below and try it on yourself tomorrow.

    Photographer: Tory Rust

    Model: Rachel Besser

    Makeup: Ashleigh Ciucci

    Hair: Akihisa Yamaguchi

    More: 12 Insanely Cool Indie Beauty Products You Didn’t Know Were at Sephora

    STEP 1: Chisel it out
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 1: Chisel it out

    Swirl a fluffy contour brush, like the Sephora 45.5 or the Ulta angled brush, over a matte bronzer, tap off any of the excess, and gently sweep the brush over your temples and beneath your cheekbones (and by beneath, we mean directly on the edge of your cheekbones, so much so that your brush should be skimming your cheekbones as you swipe it). Make sure to seamlessly blend the bronzer into your skin by lightly swirling the brush in concentric circles back and forth over that C-shape you just created.

    Products to try:

    1. No7 Match Made bronzer (Ulta, $12.99)
    2. Benefit Hoola matte bronzer (Benefit Cosmetics, $29)
    3. Palladio Matte Bronzer (Palladio, $10)

    STEP 2: Add the light
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 2: Add the light

    Some fast facts for you: A cream highlighter looks more natural than a powder highlighter 100 percent of the time. Rub your ring finger over an iridescent highlighter (shimmery or glitter-flecked formulas scream "Hey! I'm your highlighter!") and lightly tap and dab it over the tops of your cheekbones, gently blending until there are zero obvious lines. Look for champagne-hued highlighters for fair skin, peachy-apricot for medium skin and rose-gold or bronze for dark skin tones.

    Products to try:

    1. Maybelline Face Studio Master Strobing Stick (Ulta, $7.99)
    2. NYX Bright Idea Illuminating Stick (Target, $7.99)
    3. RMS Magic Luminizer (RMS Beauty, $38)

    STEP 3: Look ridiculously good
    Image: Tory Rust

    Step 3: Look ridiculously good

    Because you just subtly contoured your face without going full-on Kardashian. Huzzah!

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.

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    By now, you’ve been told at least 3,000 times that retinol is the single most magical skin care product ever invented and you must use it immediately lest your face shrivel up in a pit of wrinkles and dark spots and sadness. But has anyone really told you how to use retinoids (the umbrella name for all vitamin A derivatives like retinol) correctly? We’re not talkin’ “use as directed,” or “use until irritation occurs, then stop using,” but rather, easy-to-follow directions for how to use retinoids without your skin peeling off? Probably not.

    So we’re fixing that today with step-by-step instructions so even the most scared and confused of retinoid beginners can hop on the antiaging bandwagon without fearing that their faces will flake off. Keep reading to find out exactly how to dab on your favorite Benjamin Button product tonight.

    How to retinols
    Image: ImaxTree


    Step 1: Start with a ridiculously gentle formula

    “But I want these wrinkles gone now,” you whine. We know, but trust us when we say that starting with a milder formula will still give you the same results over time. “You absolutely do not need prescription-strength retinoids to get the same effects in collagen production and cell turnover,” says dermatologist and badass Mona Gohara, noting that yes, you’ll probably see results from using an intense, high-dose prescription product a little faster, but in the process, you could also irritate your skin to pieces (literally).

    Instead, Gohara recommends starting with retinaldehyde (like Avéne Retrinal 0.1 Intensive Cream), one of the mildest of all the retinoids, or the very gentle retinyl palmitate (like Exuviance Vespera Bionic Serum), both of which will still produce noticeable results within two or three months without burning your skin off. But before you run away to slather it all over your face…

    Step 2: Only use a tiny amount on totally dry skin

    Unlike the way you approach margaritas and bottomless tortilla chips, less really is more when it comes to retinoids. After cleansing and patting down your face at night, wait a few minutes to guarantee that your skin is totally dry — “damp skin can interfere with how much retinol is absorbed, which can result in irritation,” says Gohara — then squeeze a pea-size dab of retinol into your palm. Using your fingers, smooth the retinol over your face, starting first with your forehead (the skin there is less sensitive, so it can take a stronger dose if you accidentally apply too much), then moving on to your nose, cheeks, and chin.

    After a full 20 minutes has passed, smooth on your usual serums and moisturizers, making sure to avoid any acne-fighting products (aka anything that includes benzoyl peroxides or salicylic acids) unless you want to play fast and loose with irritation. If you’re already terrified that your sensitive skin will freak out and melt off, you can first apply a moisturizer, wait 20 minutes and then apply your retinoid to water down its potency.

    Clear skin
    Image: ImaxTree

    Step 3: Now wait an entire week until you use it again

    Hey, you wanted the real, no-bullshit guide to retinoids, right? Unless your skin is made of steel and has never felt sensitive once in its life, err on the side of caution and follow Gohara’s 1-2-3 rule: Use once a week for one week, twice a week for two weeks, then three times a week for three weeks. If, and this is a big if, your skin has had zero reactions thus far (no burning, itching, redness or irritation), bump up your usage to every other night, and then keep it there for a few months before attempting nightly usage. If your skin starts feeling overly sensitive at any stage of the 1-2-3 process, take a step back down (i.e. move from three times a week back to two times a week) and chill there for a while. This isn’t a race — you’ll ideally be using retinoids for the next 50-plus years of your life, and studies have found that even super-low-strength retinoids had the same antiaging effects on skin as moderate retinoids over the same length of time. So take it slow and listen to your skin.

    Guys, we wish we could say there were more steps, but it really is that simple. Just play by the rules and nobody gets hurt… ideally. And if you’re still leery of using retinoids, a vitamin C serum (like Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C) will help stimulate collagen production while also protecting skin against wrinkles and dark spot-causing free radicals. It’s nowhere near as powerful as retinoids, but it will still improve your skin tone over time. And with this knowledge, you may now go forth into the world a shining young thing.

    More: How to Apply Concealer for Dark Circles in 3 Easy Steps (With GIFs!)

    Originally posted on StyleCaster.

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    The natural life is a hard life — well, in terms of beauty, that is. Why is it that just because you want to slather your face in sustainably farmed, cruelty-free and super-organic ingredients, it costs you an insane amount of money? Apparently, it’s hard to find an all-natural moisturizer that doesn’t require a mountain of gold coins or a trip to the rainforest to find. Hard, but not impossible.

    So we scoured the skin care shelves in the drugstore aisle to find the very best and most effective natural moisturizers that won’t destroy your bank account. And yes, they’re all under $15. Scroll down to see our favorites, and then promptly take a trip to the drugstore to pick them all up for yourself. Your skin will thank you.

    Weleda Calendula Face Cream

    Weleda Calendula Face Cream
    Image: Target

    Weleda Calendula Face Cream (Target, $9.49)

    Dr. Bronner's organic lotion in lavender-coconut

    Dr. Bronner Organic Lotion in Lavender Coconut
    Image: Dr. Bronner's

    Dr. Bronner's organic lotion in lavender-coconut (Dr. Bronner's, $10)

    Avalon Organics Intense Defense Renewal Cream

    Avalon Organics Intense Defense Renewal Cream
    Image: Target

    Avalon Organics Intense Defense Renewal Cream (Target, $11)

    Burt’s Bees Natural Skin Solutions Sensitive daily moisturizer

    Burt’s Bees Natural Skin Solutions Sensitive Daily Moisturizer
    Image: Ulta

    Burt’s Bees Natural Skin Solutions Sensitive daily moisturizer (Ulta, $12.74)

    Alba Botanica Even Advanced Moisturizer SPF 15

    Alba Botanica Even Advanced Moisturizer SPF 15
    Image: Iherb

    Alba Botanica Even Advanced Moisturizer SPF 15 (Iherb, $12.24)

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