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Articles on this Page
- 05/28/17--06:00: _10 Things to Know B...
- 05/29/17--05:00: _The Truth About How...
- 05/30/17--10:00: _The $6 Secret to Ge...
- 05/30/17--10:00: _10 Things No One Ev...
- 05/30/17--13:00: _Does It Seriously M...
- 05/31/17--07:00: _Do Hair, Skin &...
- 05/26/17--05:00: _16 Bra Types Every ...
- 05/31/17--11:00: _7 Hair Dye Tips You...
- 06/01/17--06:00: _Why Your Hair Stops...
- 06/02/17--06:00: _A Brief Rundown of ...
- 06/06/17--06:00: _5 Easy Updos That A...
- 06/07/17--06:00: _Meet CosDNA, a Webs...
- 06/08/17--06:00: _The Easiest Way to ...
- 06/08/17--04:31: _From Nutrition to M...
- 06/08/17--11:00: _5 Insanely Cool Und...
- 06/09/17--11:00: _People Are Swearing...
- 06/12/17--06:00: _The 5 Best DIY Face...
- 06/13/17--06:00: _How Different Types...
- 06/13/17--04:42: _How to Get Those In...
- 06/14/17--11:00: _8 Real Moms on the ...
- 05/28/17--06:00: 10 Things to Know Before You Dye Your Hair Dark
- 05/29/17--05:00: The Truth About How Often You Should Wash Your Hair
- 05/30/17--10:00: The $6 Secret to Getting Rid of Brassy Hair: Food Coloring & Vinegar
- 2-1/2 cups white vinegar
- 10 drops blue food coloring
- 3 – 4 drops red food coloring
- 05/30/17--10:00: 10 Things No One Ever Tells You About Hair Masks
- 05/30/17--13:00: Does It Seriously Matter if You Use Expired Sunscreen?
- 05/31/17--07:00: Do Hair, Skin & Nail Vitamins Really Work?
- 05/26/17--05:00: 16 Bra Types Every Woman Should Know About
- 05/31/17--11:00: 7 Hair Dye Tips You Need to Know
- 06/01/17--06:00: Why Your Hair Stops Growing: Experts Explain How to Revive Your Hair
- 06/02/17--06:00: A Brief Rundown of Clarifying Shampoo & Why You Actually Need It
- 06/06/17--06:00: 5 Easy Updos That Anyone Can Do in Under 5 Minutes
- 06/08/17--06:00: The Easiest Way to Cut Your Own Bangs at Home Like a Pro
- 06/08/17--04:31: From Nutrition to Masks, Here's How to Get Clear Skin the Right Way
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1/2 cup mashed strawberry
- 1/2 cup almond powder
- 06/08/17--11:00: 5 Insanely Cool Under-$10 Beauty Products at Ulta Right Now
- 06/09/17--11:00: People Are Swearing Wasabi Can Give You Thicker, Fuller, Longer Hair
- 06/12/17--06:00: The 5 Best DIY Face Masks to Fix Oily Skin Fast
- 06/13/17--06:00: How Different Types of Clay Benefit Your Skin
- First, choose the appropriate curling iron size. “I typically use a 3/4-inch to 1-1/2-inch curling iron and determine size by the length and density of the hair. If you have really super-thick, shoulder-length hair and use a smaller iron, you will end up with a lion’s mane. Longer lengths do best with a larger iron, too, as a small iron will take much longer,” Mast says.
- Once you've chosen the best curling iron or wand, section out the bottom of your hair. She continues, “I imagine splitting the hair into thirds: The first parting will be right above one ear, all the way around to the other ear; the second will be at the points of recession on the hairline; and the last section will be the top dropped down.”
- Before curling, make sure you've applied heat protection! Mast explains, “I am very forgiving with my sections, as perfection is not a boho beachy look. Take your first section and start the curl at the mid-lengths. I always curl away from the face first. If the hair is long, I keep the ends out to give a more natural look. Continue around the head, alternating curls away from the face and towards the face. If you do it haphazardly, it looks haphazard, so have a plan.”
- Drop the second section and repeat. “For the last section, really pay close attention to making sure you're not starting the curl too high, which would result in a dated look. Speaking of dated look, right now you might look like you're getting ready for prom. That's ok! Leave the curls in their little coils until they are cooled — don't be tempted to pull them down or loosen them up yet,” Mast says.
- Put on the finishing touches. “Once the curls have cooled completely (about 5 minutes), skip your hairspray and reach for a texturizing spray. If you don't have a texture spray, you can use dry shampoo. And my favorite part: Shake it out! Mess it up! Get your hands in your hair and really make it look lived in. For added hold, scrunch a tiny bit of mousse in for added separation. It should take you 20 minutes max,” she says.
- 06/14/17--11:00: 8 Real Moms on the One Beauty Necessity They Won’t Give Up
It’s true that most people think “blond” when they think about summer hair ideas, but if you’ve been paying attention lately, you might notice that it’s dark hair that has been making headlines. Whether you’re eyeballing Kim K’s inky shade or the more subtle "bronde," dark hair is a gorgeous, dramatic statement to make for summer.
But becoming a bottle brunette is not without its challenges. Here are 10 things you need to know before you go over to the dark side.
1. You’ll need to think about your brows
If you’re making a significant color change (going from blond to black, for example), you’ll either need to dye your brows to go along with your new hair or find a fabulous new product to fill them in with. Brow-dyeing should never be attempted at home (all those chemicals so close to your eyes!), so make sure you see a professional if you go the permanent route.
If you decide to fill them in, picking a product that matches your new color is imperative. As a general rule, you’ll always want your brows to be one to two shades lighter than your hair for the most natural look. Anastasia Brow Wiz ($21) and Brow Powder Duo ($23) are both brilliant options that come in a wide range of amazing colors and are practically mistake-proof.
2. You’ll discover that “dark” is never just “dark”
Ask any colorist or bottle brunette what shade she uses, and you’ll probably get a confusing answer: most dark shades are a mixture of multiple colors that address different color concerns. For example, someone whose hair gets brassy may want a base color that’s more ashy or violet-based to counter the unwanted gold tones, while someone with a lot of grays may need a splash of gold to effectively cover up their silver strands. You’ll need to do some research before deciding on a color. Make sure you talk to your colorist or do your online homework before you take the plunge!
3. The dye can be rough on your skin
Dark dyes contain a molecule called p-phenylenediamine. Despite being found in most dark-colored cosmetics and tattoo inks, it can cause a nasty skin reaction: swelling, itching, burning and redness. Though full-on allergic reactions are rare, they do happen — and when the cause is permanent dark dye, they happen dramatically.
There’s no way to know in advance if p-phenylenediamine is going to irritate you, and allergies can develop over time. The smartest thing to do is to make sure that you (or your colorist) always does a patch test before covering your head in dye. If you feel any undue burning or itching or if your face swells or gets red, rinse your head immediately and contact a doctor. Allergic reactions are nothing to sneeze at!
4. You’ll learn the pains of upkeep
If you’re just going slightly darker than your natural color, maintenance will likely be really easy. If it’s a more dramatic change, prepare yourself for visible roots. You’ll need to re-up your color every three to four weeks to keep your color fresh and your roots concealed; in between, you can add some color with a gorgeous glaze.
5. Going light again isn’t impossible, but it’s unlikely
Dark dye is a commitment, if not for life, then at least for the foreseeable future. Going from dyed dark to light again is very hard. Not only is it technically difficult (skipping over the dreaded brassy stage is nigh impossible), it’s incredibly rough on your hair. If you’re someone who likes to change up their hair color a lot, consider a small change. Add some lowlights two to three shades deeper than your hair, rather than going for one solid dark color.
6. You’ll find that box dye might be out
As wonderful as home hair colors have become, they do have certain limitations. If your dream brunette shade is one to two shades darker than your natural color, pick up a box and go for it. But if you’re going darker than that, you’ll need to see a professional.
Why? Home hair color kits come with a 20-volume developer, which means that it's only strong enough to change the hair two shades darker or lighter than it is naturally. If you want to go very dark, you’ll need to mess with different strengths of developer, which is very difficult and best left to professionals. A good colorist is a dyed brunette’s best friend.
7. You’ll need to change your makeup routine
The makeup that looked good with lighter hair may look too severe (or not severe enough) with darker dyed locks. If your pink blush is making you look a little too much like Snow White, trade it in for a subtle bronzer instead. Be open to experimentation, and remember: When in doubt, a sharp cat-eye always looks good.
8. You’ll need a minute to adjust
Any major hair change triggers what we here at Daily Makeover like to call “brain problems,” which is when your mind is so used to seeing you one way that any major deviation brings on an "OH MY GOD I LOOK SO DIFFERENT THIS IS TERRIBLE" hysterical reaction. There’s nothing wrong with the actual look; it’s your brain that has the problem.
9. Prepare to buy new basics
Hair basics, that is. Think bobby pins, hair ties, combs, clips and headbands — they should all be in a shade that matches your hair. And that means you’ll need to go shopping for your new hair shade. The things we do for beauty!
10. It’s the best thing you’ll ever do
Seriously. Dark hair makes your eyes pop, your skin look more luminous and creates a beautifully dramatic frame for your face. Once you’ve gone over to the dark side, you’ll never want to come back.
Originally posted on StyleCaster.
It’s the age-old question: How often should you wash your hair, really? Back in the day, we wouldn’t dream of going a whole 24 hours without some shampoo, but then we started hearing that it is bad to wash your hair every day — and there are even people out there who can make their blow-out last a whole week. So what’s the deal?
We’ve always known we need to wash our hair regularly, but it’s so hard to decipher what “regularly” actually means. We consulted hair experts for the ultimate hair-washing intel.
Hair type matters
Is there a good rule of thumb for the magic number of days you can go without washing your hair? Really, it depends on your hair type. Hair that’s thicker and curlier can go without a wash for longer than hair that is fine. How processed your hair is will also come into play, because the oils in your scalp don’t travel down the hair shaft as quickly in hair that’s coarse, curly or processed as it does for gals with fine hair, says Marlene Montanez of Latest-Hairstyles.
For this reason, curly hair types should especially be careful not to wash hair too frequently — and avoid shampoos with harsh sulfates, which strip the hair of the natural oils. You can consider a co-wash (using a conditioner instead of shampoo) or use a sulfate-free shampoo if washing more than twice a week, says Jane Nyachiro of hair brand Jirano.
Lifestyle also plays a part. For example, if you workout daily, you’re going to need to wash your hair more often to feel clean after sweating. If you have an oily scalp and thin, fine hair, your hair will start to look flat and dirty after 24 hours. If your hair is pin-straight, an oily scalp will show more easily too. The flip side is with thick, curly hair, you may be able to go three days without needing a shampoo.
There can be too much of a good thing
It’s pretty simple: Washing hair every day removes our natural oils and proteins, causing our hair to dry out quicker. Shampoo strips the oils from the hair, and we need those oils to help our scalp and hair to be healthy, says Emily Woodstrom of Hairitage ‘Hous outside St. Paul, Minnesota.
Some people shampoo so frequently and strip the natural oil in their hair so much that it becomes very frizzy — and there day-after hair actually looks better when oil has accumulated on the scalp to tame these wild hair shafts, says Dr. Scott Rackett, a dermatologist and hair care expert. Often, we apply product to calm the hair, when really just shampooing less frequently would improve the look of the hair and lessen the need for hair products.
Find your perfect cocktail
The trick is to find a shampoo, conditioner and a cocktail of products that balances your scalp and hair so you can wash every third or fifth day. “If one has hair on the finer side, I’ll recommend a volumizing shampoo so it remains light and won’t get greasy too fast. Transversely, if a client comes to me with coarse, dry, thick hair, I’ll recommend something that will moisturize and balance the scalp and hair. It’s a bit of a trial and error thing.
Work with your stylist to make sure you get what will work for you,” says Max Gierl, senior stylist at Mizu New York salon. “The No. 1 thing I tell all my clients is to keep conditioner off the scalp completely. Conditioner can make the scalp oily, which only makes your roots seem greasy faster. The scalp should produce enough sebum to properly maintain scalp health.”
The final verdict
At most, try washing your hair every other day. Every two days is even better, and if you can make it an entire week, go for it! If your hair gets oily after only a day, try using some hair powder or dry shampoo on your roots to soak up some of that excess oil. There are also tons of products on the market for in-between wash days that will help your hair get some extra lift and smell fresh. After the gym, try spritzing a refreshing mist or do a rinse sans shampoo. If you must wash and shampoo each time after a workout, try a shampoo that’s made for daily cleansing — they’re usually less harsh on your hair.
Originally posted on StyleCaster.
Changing your natural hair color is a God-given right, but it’s not without its follies — I mean, pretty much everyone who messes with dye has scrambled to figure out how to get rid of brassy, orange hair at one point or another.
I’m a brunette who started coloring her hair in eighth grade — a semipermanent potion that imparted a quintessentially late-’90s auburn tint that I applied in my friend Elisabetta’s Upper East Side bathroom — and since have experimented with almost every shade in the book: Black, Debra Messing red, mousy brown, light brown, espresso brown and DIY ombré among them.
Eventually, I realized that the best and most flattering color for my skin tone is cool medium brown with a few blond highlights. Easy, right? You’d think, but it’s taken me years to pin down a colorist who understands the exact science of working with brown and blond without depositing any warm tones whatsoever. Shoutout to Julie at Pembley!
Still, my hair does tend to pull red after my color’s faded, and both my highlights and base tend to get brassy with time — something that bothers me way more than it should. If I see one trace of orange, gold or red tones, my day is pretty much ruined, dramatic as that may be.
That’s why two Saturdays ago when I couldn’t get an appointment with my colorist, I spent the entire day researching DIY fixes for brass tones (beyond standard purple and blue shampoo). Most of what I found wasn’t bad, but tended to leave my hair looking a little fried and only truly worked on the blond sections.
I needed an overall fix, which is how I stumbled upon a concoction of red and blue food coloring and distilled white vinegar.
There are numerous blog posts and Pinterest boards dedicated to this method, which all vary slightly from one another, but the basis is the same — mixing red and blue will make purple, which neutralizes yellow-orange shades, and white vinegar is pretty much the OG for legitimate, holographic shine. Here’s exactly what I did:
Some beauty bloggers use neon purple food coloring for vibrancy, but I couldn’t find it at my local store — and when I get the urge to mess with my hair color, waiting a day or two for Amazon to deliver is out of the question. I needed those red tones gone, like, yesterday.
I found mixing red and blue worked like a dream as long as the concentration of blue is larger than the concentration of red.
Once I mixed the ingredients together in a measuring cup, I brought it with me to the shower, where I used shampoo and conditioner as I normally would. After rinsing, I poured the entire toner mixture evenly over my hair (be careful to tilt your head back to avoid getting it in your mouth and in your eyes — vinegar burns like a mother, something I learned the hard way), let it sit for about 10 seconds, then rinsed it out.
From there, I combed my hair, added my usual mixture of Phytodefrisant (a quarter-size amount), Redken Frizz Dismiss Rebel Tame (a nickel-size squeeze) and a few pumps of Shu Uemura Straightforward Time-Saving Blow Dry Oil Spray and let it air-dry for about an hour. During that time, I could absolutely see a difference in the tone of my highlights, but it wasn’t until I used a hair-dryer that I was able to see zero traces of brass throughout. It really, really worked.
For further evidence of how well this worked, reference the photo above. The pic on the left is me a few months ago; the right, me after my at-home toner.
Some sites prefer to swap out the vinegar for white conditioner, but I’m going to stick with the vinegar — my thick hair usually leans toward matte, so it’s nice to have that extra boost of shine.
So far, I’ve done the toner treatment twice — it’s not permanent, so it won’t eradicate brass for more than a week or two, but as someone who will wear a hat if my hair starts to turn orange until I’m able to get to my colorist, it’s been a game-changer. It also costs around $6, which is cheaper than a chemical-filled boxed toner.
Originally posted on StyleCaster.
You’d think they’d be a given holy grail, but a lot of us are still nervous about using an overnight hair mask on a regular basis. Masks can bring on a whole host of fears (Will it make my hair greasy? Will it wash out when I try to take it off? Do I have to sit still for five hours if I use one?), so we broke down the top 10 things that no one ever tells you about how to use a hair mask. And considering the amount of torture we put our hair through on a daily basis with heat-styling, teasing and coloring, Lord knows we need them.
1. You should use a mask once a week: Even if you think your hair is relatively healthy, the change of seasons can be hard on your strands (Winter winds! Summer sun!), so it’s good to get in the habit of using a mask weekly to make sure you’re giving your hair the moisture it needs.
2. Not all masks are created equal: There are a lot of “masks” on the market today, so be careful to read the directions. Some may be marketed as masks, but actually require daily use, while others are heavier, and therefore should just be used once or twice a week (depending on your hair type and amount of damage). Others still ask to be left in for one to two minutes or 15 and up, so choose which ones you can see yourself sticking to before you make your purchase — the key here is finding one that will realistically work for your routine.
3. You can apply a hair mask to dry hair: If you’re willing to make a time commitment, apply your mask to dry hair and let it absorb for about 20 minutes (this is a great Sunday morning activity before you take a shower).
4. You can sleep in your hair mask: If you think your hair is especially dry, try sleeping in a hair mask. Simply apply the mask at the end of your shower (or apply it to dry hair) and cover with a shower cap or silk scarf that you don’t mind using for this purpose. Rinse out in the morning, and you’ll have silky soft hair!
5. Applying a hair mask does not need to take all day: Keep in mind that applying a mask does not need to take hours — you can put in a mask for two minutes as you’re shaving in the shower and get the moisture boost that your hair needs.
6. Your hair should not be greasy after: If you find that your hair is greasy after you apply a mask, you are most likely using one that is too heavy for your hair type. Look for one that is specific to your hair (whether it is fine, curly, etc.) and that should lead to better results. Also, don’t go overboard with the application — a little goes a long way.
7. You should still shampoo and condition after: You’ll always want to shampoo and condition your hair after you use a mask in order to make sure you won’t have any product build-up leftover and to make sure your hair is left in top condition.
8. There are tons of DIY recipes out there that work just as well: Since the entire goal of a hair mask is to add moisture to your hair, there are plenty of easy DIY ways to achieve this with the ingredients in your fridge. With ingredients like yogurt, honey and olive oil, you’ll have your strands looking great in no time.
9 . You should comb the mask through your hair: As a reminder, you should always be using a wide-tooth comb when handling wet hair — and when you apply a hair mask, you should comb it through to the ends to make sure you’ve applied it to every last spot before you let it sit.
10. Always try to concentrate on the ends of the hair: Lastly, your ends are the most fragile part of your hair (split ends anyone?) so always concentrate your mask to the ends of your hair, as they are most likely the part that needs the most love.
Originally posted on StyleCaster.
We’re willing to bet that right now, you have two or three tubes of sunscreen sitting in your drawer from last summer… or maybe it was a few summers ago… it was sometime in the last decade, OK? Which brings about the age-old, constantly bewildering question that accompanies sunscreen: Does it expire? Like, does it really, really expire, or is that use-by date just a bunch of marketing bullshit? The answer is yes, it does expire — but not as quickly as you might think.
According to Mayo Clinic (you know, one of the best hospitals in the nation), most sunscreens are designed to stay effective at their original strength for up to three years, which means yes, you can use that tube that you bought last year and never got around to opening. But before you slather it on, check to make sure it doesn’t have an expiration date. If it does and you’ve surpassed it, throw that sucker out — some formulas really aren’t effective after their expiration date due to specific ingredient formulations, so there’s no guarantee you’ll get full (or any) protection if you use an expired formula before heading into the sun.
Of course, if you’ve kept your tube of sunscreen in, say, the glove box of your hot-as-hell car for three years straight, letting it cook and warp under the harsh summer rays, you need to toss it in the trash, pronto. Sorry, but heat and humidity can cause the formula to separate and destabilize, rendering it ineffective at protecting you against sunburns, skin damage and, you know, skin cancer. And to be totally safe (unless you’re positive your old sunscreen sat in a temperature-controlled drawer for the last year), your best bet is to buy a new tube this summer. Not sure where to start? Check out our favorite under-$10 drugstore sunscreens below, and get slathering.
Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Lotion Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 for Face (Target, $8.19)
L'Oréal Paris Ideal Moisture Sensitive Skin Day Lotion SPF 25 (L'Oréal Paris, $6.99)
No7 Beautiful Skin oil-free skin protector SPF 25 (Target, $9.99)
Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid-Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (Walmart, $9.97)
Eucerin Daily Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen Moisturizing Face Lotion (Walmart, $7.86)
It’s a question pondered by the beauty-obsessed everywhere: Do hair, skin and nail vitamins work? With a slew of beauty supplements on the market touting benefits from detoxifying skin to straight-up erasing wrinkles, sometimes it leaves us wondering if just applying our vitamin serum at night isn’t enough — must we ingest it too?
We spoke with Dr. Marina Peredo, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, and Josephine Tutrani, a clinical nutritionist who specializes in customizing diets for antiaging, weight loss, hair loss, acne and other skin conditions, to get the lowdown on what’s on the market, what works and what’s just a bunch of hokum.
The top three supplements for your hair, skin & nails
“I recommend supplements to patients who are looking to address certain skin, nail or hair issues,” says Peredo. In particular, she suggests three supplements that have proven to be extremely effective in addressing certain skin issues.
“Biotin encourages the production of protein for nail growth when absorbed in the core of the nail bed, where the cells are generated,” says Peredo. “In addition, it also stimulates new hair growth and promotes healthier texture by protecting against dryness, scalp flaking and increasing elasticity of the hair’s cortex to prevent breakage. I recommend it to my patients who have any concerns with thinning hair or brittle nails.”
Try: NeoCell Biotin Bursts Brazilian Acai Berry (Walgreens, $13)
“I usually advise my patients who have acne to take a vitamin B complex to help clear them up,” says Peredo. “Vitamin B acts as an antioxidant for the skin, which can assist in removing bacteria. It helps to balance one’s testosterone levels, which keeps acne at bay. Vitamin B deficiency is also a major cause of acne, so making sure your body receives enough will help prevent and treat the condition. And if that’s not enough, vitamin B also helps to reduce stress and address the adrenal glands, so it’s beneficial to those who break out when stressed.”
Try: Murad Pure Skin Clarifying Supplement (SkinStore, $34)
Marine fatty acids
“When ingested, marine fatty acids such as omega-3 work to combat dry and damaged hair, hair loss and a flaky scalp. The DHA and EPA found in omega-3 adds luster, elasticity and shine to dull strands, promoting the restart of hair growth,” says Peredo. “Furthermore, the dietary fat found in omega-3 fatty acids helps protect and repair skin cells, moisturizing the skin from the inside out. Omega-3 can even protect skin from burning and overexposure to UV rays, so I suggest to my patients to have at least one to two capsules of the supplement a day.”
Vitamins with (some) beauty benefits
What about the rest of them? They’re not harmful, says Peredo, but to see dramatic skin benefits, one would have to ingest megadoses of the vitamins, much more than what is actually in the supplements. Though one shouldn’t expect dramatic results, clinical nutritionist Josephine Tutrani says that getting enough of vitamins A,C and E is very important for healthy skin — and surprise, surprise — many beauty supplements on the market usually feature a combination of those ingredients.
Vitamin A helps keep skin smooth and rejuvenated, says Tutrani, and is especially recommended for preventative purposes and those with acne-prone skin. However, to see dramatic skin results, one would have to take a synthetic derivative of vitamin A, such as Accutane. The good old natural vitamin pills won’t hurt, but also won’t cause significant changes.
Vitamin C is important for the formation of collagen; however, it would really require a very high dosage to see results, advises Peredo. And since this vitamin is water soluble, taking more of it orally would just result in it being dispelled through urination. So make sure you have enough in your diet, but don’t expect it to perform miracles as a supplement.
Vitamin E is a great antioxidant and natural anti-inflammatory. In patients with eczema or psoriasis, Peredo has seen vitamin E supplements help soothe inflammation in some cases, but there is not enough medical evidence to state conclusively that it will always work.
The final verdict? Nothing wrong in popping these pills, we say, but be realistic about their product claims and don’t expect to see dramatic results.
Try: Phyto Phytophanère Dietary Supplement (Sephora, $84 for two)
Beauty supplements to skip
Recently, we’ve also come across new supplements that increase human growth hormones — and with it, promise to get rid of wrinkles and make you look years younger. According to Peredo, this is one category you can skip. While human growth hormone therapy is helpful if you have pituitary gland concerns, there is no proof that it will do anything for antiaging.
One last thing to remember: Although, most beauty supplements and vitamins on the market are harmless, it’s important to consult with your doctor or nutritionist before starting on any kind of regimen, especially if you’re taking other medications, as some additives in supplements can interact adversely.
Originally posted on StyleCaster.
If you've ever walked past a rack of contraptions labeled as bras while shopping and wondered, "What in God's holy name are those for?" — you're not alone. Some of the stuff out there right now is so crazy it's enough to make you want to take a hard pass. However, learning about the different bra types and shapes can actually help revamp your entire wardrobe.
Nowadays there are so many types of bras that it's difficult to know if a bra style will actually work with your specific body type, and it's confusing to figure out how and when to wear said style even if it does work for you in theory. But if you select the right bra, it can seriously take your comfort to the next level. Not only that, a well-fitted bra can totally make or break an outfit.
From demi cups to bandeaus, we're breaking it down.
1. Convertible bra
A convertible bra is an important piece in every woman's wardrobe. Convertible bra cups come in many shapes and sizes, but they all share the common goal of versatility. The straps can usually be entirely removed (although this is not always the case) or disconnected to transform the bra into a halter, racerback or even criss-cross pattern for different fashions.
2. Demi cup bra
Ah, the sensual demi cup. This bra style covers roughly half of the breast, and lifts your girls front and center for added cleavage. It's a great cut for most breast sizes and shapes, but doesn't provide the best support if you're very well endowed.
3. Adhesive bra
Every woman needs an adhesive bra in her chest of drawers, since the bra provides support in even the most revealing fashions. Adhesive bras are typically backless, strapless and made of silicone. They use medical grade adhesive to bind the lift right to your body.
4. Push-up bra
Cut like the demi cup, the push-up bra lifts your breasts towards the center for cleavage, but with the added help of padding. Women with smaller breasts appreciate the power of the push-up — and it's also great for women with asymmetrical breasts as long as the padding is removable on one side.
5. Mastectomy bra
The mastectomy bra is a must-have for women who have gone through a mastectomy and would like a breast prosthesis. The bra is specially fitted for each woman, and it has pockets to hold one or two breast prostheses.
6. Balconette bra
When you think balconette bra, think demi cup but with added shelf action. The balconette is designed to reveal the top half of the breast, with a band at the bottom pushing the breasts up, rather than toward the center. The balconette is a sexy and supportive option for women with medium-sized boobs.
7. Nursing bra
Planning on nursing your baby? The nursing bra is a must-have. These bras are designed to provide ample support with wide bands and soft cups, and typically come with a flap that you can open to easily feed your baby. If you buy a nursing bra to wear during pregnancy, make sure that it has flexible sizing since your breasts will grow rapidly once baby arrives.
8. Full cup bra
A full cup bra is the superwoman of the bra world. These bras cover your whole breast and are designed to provide excellent support and shaping through both the cups and straps. Women with large breasts benefit most from the support of a full cup.
9. Deep plunge bra
This wild little number is absolutely necessary if you're sporting a plunging little black dress. The center of the bra dips down in a u-shape, and the breasts are supported by padding that pushes them up for gorgeous cleavage.
10. Sports bra
A sports bra is more than just additional support — it can actually reduce the chances of breast damage from leaping and jumping during exercise. The sports bra is designed to hold your girls in place so you can exercise without pain or worry.
11. Bandeau bra
The bandeau bra is a simple piece of fabric that wraps around the bust. This style provides little support, and is thus best suited for women with small breasts. Why wear one at all, then? They're a great substitute for a tank top or cami that you might wear underneath a sweater or sundress.
12. Strapless bra
I tend to think that strapless bras emerge from the fifth circle of hell, but you can actually pick one up at a local department store. These are designed to wear with strapless dresses or shirts, and provide lift without the use of straps. Instead, strapless bras use silicone or, alternatively, underwire that basically staples to your skin to provide lift. Women of all breast sizes can benefit from the joys of hoisting a strapless bra up from the waistline all damn day.
13. Minimizing bra
The minimizer is cut like a full-cup bra, but it changes the appearance of large breasts by redistributing breast tissue so they appear smaller.
14. Shelf bra
Need some sexy time? The shelf bra might be the perfect bra to mix things up in the bedroom. It's like a balconette bra, but it leaves all or part of the areola bare. It's best for women with small- to medium-sized breasts.
15. T-shirt bra
The T-shirt bra is cut like a demi or a full-cup bra, but it is free of seams or fabrics that create unsightly lines under a tight T-shirt. T-shirt bras are comfortable, and they're available for women in all sizes and shapes.
The bralette is a pretty, lacy bra that is wireless and usually doesn't have padded cups. It's a comfortable bra best worn with your Netflix and chill outfits or with any casual weekend wear. You can also wear it with loose tank tops.
Originally published December 2015. Updated May 2017.
Whether you’re enhancing your natural color or changing it completely, hair dye is nothing short of transformative. It doesn’t just change the way you look; it changes the way you feel. But if you color your hair yourself, you know that it comes with a whole host of problems — or it did until now.
That’s right: We’ve put together our ultimate list of hair dye tips. These brilliant hacks are going to change your color-loving life and take your hair game to the next level, guaranteed.
1. Remove dye stains from skin
Anyone living that bottle brunette life knows how annoying those dark dye stains left around your hairline and on your neck are. Sure, you could make a trip to the beauty supply store for those special hair dye removing wipes — or you could mix a tablespoon of olive oil with a blob of whitening toothpaste, apply it to a cotton ball and rub away. Even the most tenacious dye stains don’t stand a chance against this gentle yet effective concoction.
2. Use the right developer
You know how hair professionals are always telling you not to use boxed dye to make a major hair change? There’s a reason for that — and it’s because of the developer.
Developer is a totally crucial element in the hair-coloring process. It comes in different strengths — usually referred to as “volumes” — which will tell you how much it can change your hair. Ten-volume developer is the most gentle; it will let you deposit color only. Twenty-volume developer will shift your hair one to two shades, while 30-volume developer will let you alter your hair three to four shades. You should never use anything stronger than this at home.
Boxed dyes come with developer and dye packaged together, but the developer is generally only 20-volume. This means that no matter what the color is on the box, you’ll only be able to make your hair one or two shades lighter (or darker) than its natural color. So if you have dark brown hair that you want to dye a sunny blond, you’re going to end up with a muddy mess if you use a box. That weak-sauce developer can only do so much!
Instead, if you’re looking to make a big change, get thee to a beauty-supply store where you can buy dye and developer separately. This means that you’ll be able to get the developer strength that will actually work to give you your dream hair color. Bonus: The dyes sold in beauty-supply stores are usually professional-quality, which means you’ll also get a richer, longer-lasting color.
3. Get the right amount of product
This is probably a little “duh,” but if you have hair longer than your shoulders (or if it’s very thick), make sure you have twice as much color on hand. Whether this means buying two boxes or mixing up a double batch of developer and dye, you just want to be sure you don’t run out halfway through. Having a half-dyed head is so not the look.
4. Cover your roots… with makeup
We’ve all been there: Life gets so busy that you don’t have enough time to redo your color, and crazy-visible roots are the result. To hide them temporarily, blend those suckers in with eye shadow.
If your roots are darker than the rest of your hair (blondes, we see you), focus on softening the harsh line between your natural color and the dye. Take a powder eye shadow the same shade as your roots, and using a fluffy, medium-size eye shadow brush, gently stroke the color about an inch out from your roots. This will help blend the two colors together in a really natural way.
If your roots are lighter — or a different shade — than your dyed hair, use a powdered eye shadow the same color as your dye job. After styling your hair, gently brush the shadow anywhere your roots are visible, making sure not to get too much color on your scalp or skin.
Once you’ve hidden or blended your roots, seal the shadow with a fine misting of light-hold hairspray. Your roots are neatly concealed and will stay that way until you brush (or wash) the shadow out.
5. Metal is not your friend
Using a metal bowl, mixing spoon or clips to hold back your dye-slathered hair? That’s a serious no-no. The metal and the developer can interact, causing the color to oxidize and change. In rare instances, this reaction can be so severe that hair breaks off — and nobody wants a chemical haircut. Use all-plastic everything when you’re coloring, and your hair will thank you.
6. DIY your own color-refreshing gloss
Instead of buying an expensive color-refreshing gloss that might give your hair a weird tint, make your own quickly and easily. Mix a teaspoon of color with the corresponding amount of developer (this is usually a 1-to-1 ratio, but sometimes 1-to-2 — check the instructions to be sure), then pour it into a plastic applicator bottle and mix it with a big squirt of shampoo. Shake it up, then apply it to damp hair. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse well and condition. Voila! Your color is perfectly refreshed.
7. The best home brow- and lash-dyeing advice…
Don’t. We’re serious: never, ever, under any circumstances, should you do this yourself. Your eyes are so precious, and the risk of damaging them with chemicals is just too high. Go to a professional if you want this done.
Originally posted on StyleCaster.
At one point or another, all of us have looked in the mirror and thought, “Ugh, why the hell won’t my hair grow?” — but can hair really stop growing, or is it all in our inpatient minds?
While it’s true that your hair probably hasn’t stopped growing altogether, there are some factors that can slow the growth or make it seem like the growth has been stunted. We checked in with experts and they gave us this master info as well as some tips on how to help things along.
Are you getting trims often enough?
“Some women try to hang onto as much length as possible by avoiding haircuts, and yet they gain no length,” says Shab Aghajani, Roy Teeluck Salon stylist. “We all have a maximum length our hair can reach according to our current regime. This is where your ends simply begin to break instead of continue to remain strong and healthy. Until you change your existing habits and products used on your hair, nothing will change about your hair. Trim the split ends, use thermal protection and safe thermal tools, and use the right hair mask and treatment to nourish your hair, because clearly you’ve plateaued and nothing will change unless you make some changes yourself.”
Whether we have pinpointed it or not, we all have an individual hair cycle growth phase in which their hair has potential to reach its longest. This is the maximum length that hair could possibly reach without being cut or damaged.
“This does not mean that hair always stops growing once it reaches a specific length, but once a certain amount of time has passed. The growth phase is largely determined by genetics and typically lasts between two and six years,” says Dr. James C. Marotta, plastic surgeon and hair restoration specialist.
Aging brings with it a host of life complications, not the least of which is our hair. As we get older, chances are our hair is weaker. Years of heat styling and bleaching can build up to create major damage.
“Studies have shown that the biology of hair can change and the growth stage may shorten. This means that hair could begin shedding faster, making it appear thinner and shorter,” says Marotta. “For instance, if you have a five-year anagen (growing) period, a single strand of hair will continue growing for five years before it will go into ‘resting’ phase. However, as we get older, the anagen phase is known to shorten, meaning hair will grow for less time before it enters the resting phase and ultimately sheds to make room for new (short) strands. Additionally, oil production on the scalp often begins to slow down after age 45, so hair may be less hydrated and appear coarser, making it more susceptible to damage and breakage.”
Sorry to break it to you all: Your hair may appear not to be growing, but in reality, it could be breaking once it reaches a certain length. Showering, brushing, styling and bleaching hair can all lead to major split ends and breakage. Handling hair too roughly, using uncovered hair elastics and brushing too often can cause dryness and brittleness. Bleaching and chemical processes can cause hair to be overprocessed and lose elasticity and moisture.
“Since hair grows about half an inch each month, if it is continuing to break off at about that same rate, you will see little to no growth,” says Marotta.
See your doctor
When hair appears to stop growing, it can be extremely stressful. “I always recommend a trip to the doctor to rule out allergies, dermatitis, hormonal disorders such as hyperthyroid[ism] and general health issues,” says Stephanie Scuoppo of The Salon and Spa at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City.
The most common cause of hair thinning in women is a hereditary condition called androgenetic alopecia or female-pattern baldness.
“It is called a ‘pattern’ as this type of hair thinning develops in patterns from the interaction between genetics and hormonal factors when certain sex hormones trigger a particular pattern of permanent hair thinning in genetically susceptible people,” says Dr. Lars Skjøth, founder of the Harklinikken Hair Restoration Clinic. “This results in hair changing its characteristics. It grows slower and becomes drier and more dull/brittle as each strand becomes thinner and thinner.”
Diet and vitamin deficiencies can spell serious hair drama.
“It is important to have the proper levels of ferritin, zinc and vitamin B-12 to maintain desirable hair length and quality,” says Marotta. “Adequate iron and protein are necessary for hair strength and to prevent brittleness and breakage. A lack of ferritin can cause hair to move out of its growing phase and to shed too quickly. An overactive or underactive thyroid has also been shown to have an effect on hair growth.”
Skin conditions of the scalp
It's a more serious and rare issue, but an unhealthy scalp can cause inflammation that makes it difficult for hair to grow. Skin conditions that lead to hair loss and lack of growth include seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff), psoriasis and fungal infections such as ringworm.
Change your hair routine
Stack the odds in your favor by switching up your hair care for the better. Decrease the chemicals and heat. Try to not make it worse by styling, coloring or bleaching and go easy on the hair-dryer and flat iron.
Originally posted on StyleCaster.
There’s a shampoo for every #HairGoal out there, whether it’s volume, hydration, shine, frizz-wrangling, whatever; you want it, there’s a shampoo bottle that says it’ll do it. But then there are others whose purposes are less clear — namely, the enigmatic clarifying formula. What is clarifying shampoo? Do we really need it? Are we truly dirty enough to necessitate thorough clarification, something that goes beyond your average wash-and-go session? As far as our hair is concerned, it’s looking like a yes.
Clarifying shampoo is, for all intents and purposes, like your regular shampoo but on crack. Ian Michael Black, Aveda‘s global artistic director for hair color, explains that clarifying is just a marketing-approved way to say “deep-cleansing.” All shampoos will cleanse your hair of the usual oil and residue, but a targeted clarifying formula will cut through more stubborn gunk, like the kind you get when you use styling products all the time — as in, if you’re the breed of irregular hair-washer who has been known to go five days on the wings of dry shampoo alone.
But just because you don’t load up on styling products doesn’t mean you’re immune to dulling buildup and the occasional need for a total reboot. Even your standard shampoo and conditioner can build up their own residue over time, which is why Black recommends a regular clarifying treatment for all hair types. If you’re a product fiend, use a ton of dry shampoo or spend time in chlorinated pools, once a week will do the trick, but if you have hair that’s on the drier side or are a slave to your color, limit it to once a month since clarifying formulas can strip the hair. Hair-restoration physician Dr. Alan Bauman warns, “They can be very drying since they remove natural sebum and oils too,” which your scalp needs to maintain its moisture balance.
Regardless of how frequently you use a clarifying shampoo, your best bet is to always follow it up with an intensive conditioning treatment. In fact, Black says that a clarifying pre-hair mask will actually help to optimize the conditioning factor. “[A clarifying shampoo] will remove any unwanted residue and styling products that can ‘coat’ the outside of your hair and reduce the effectiveness of your treatment,” he explains. Below, five shampoos that will take dull hair and restore it to soft, shiny perfection — just be sure not to get so hooked on the ridiculously glossy finish a clarifier leaves behind that you use it more often than recommended. You can have too much of a good thing.
R+Co Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo (R+Co, $24)
Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo (Bumble and Bumble, $25)
Pureology Purify Shampoo (Ulta, $28)
Redken Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo (Ulta, $29)
Fekkai Apple Cider Shampoo (Fekkai, $20)
Originally posted on StyleCaster.
In a perfect world, we would all get our hair styled into beautiful, natural-looking updos every morning by a team of wizard-like hairstylists, all while being massaged into oblivion by a personal masseuse. But, alas, this is real life, massages are expensive, and morning hair routines end up looking like a three-minute sprint, rather than an hourlong dream.
All of which means that your hair probably gets thrown into a topknot or ponytail more often than not, which can, after a few thousand days, feel boring and redundant. That's where we come in. We rounded up the five prettiest, surprisingly simple updos that truly anyone can do in five minutes, whether you’ve got kinky, curly hair or flat and fine hair. Trust us — if you’ve ever worked a hair tie or a bobby pin or even attempted a braid once in your life, you will be able to do these hairstyles. Watch the tutorials below to get started and relish the billion compliments you’re about to get on your new go-to updo.
Super-soft lace braid
If you can braid your hair, swoop it into a bun and make the whole thing look a bit messy (trust us — you can), then you can master this super-simple and surprisingly chic bun.
Messy topknot bun
This fast and easy topknot requires only a few pins and elastics and can be done on any hair type or length. Yes, it will be your new favorite summer go-to style.
Meet your holy grail ponytail for grown-out bangs or really bad hair days. Just twist the 2-inch sections of hair back into a ponytail, pin them and boom — you’re done.
A few dabs of coconut oil and styling lotion kick this pineappled style up a notch, and the ultra-thick hair band keeps even the thickest of curls from falling out.
Tucked & rolled updo
A few tucks, rolls and twists and you’ve got a retro, ‘50s-inspired updo.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could definitively know the cause behind that random zit on your chin? Was it last week’s late-night cheese binge? Or the two all-nighters you pulled a few days ago because of deadlines? Or was it the new face cream you slathered on this morning that promised to give you super-glowy skin? Welp, our money is on all three, but if that doesn’t give you peace of mind, maybe CosDNA will. CosDNA is an amazing (yet totally janky-looking) website that allows you to search any skin care or beauty product in the world to find out which of its ingredients is most likely giving you acne or irritation. Yup.
Just type in the name of a product — or copy and paste the ingredients list into the search box — and CosDNA will analyze every single ingredient, giving it a rating of 0 to 5 for likelihood of irritation and potential comedogenicity (aka pore-clogging capabilities). The cult-favorite CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, for example, is filled with level-2 and 4 acne and irritant ingredients, like cetearyl alcohol and cetyl alcohol, while Vaseline has a completely clean rating of 0 across the board. Shocking, right?
We’re not saying, though, that you should swear off CeraVe forever and start slathering your face in Vaseline (although the internet swears by Vaseline for clearing up acne) because everyone’s skin is completely different, and your mileage may vary. A foundation or moisturizer with a totally clean CosDNA rating, for example, might react with your skin to break you out, while a serum or blush riddled with 4s and 5s could end up working perfectly well with your skin. We know — it sucks that there’s no exact science.
Plus, it’s good to keep in mind that the site isn’t totally flawless. It is, first and foremost, a database, and it draws all of its ratings from the most massive, large-scale study ever conducted on the pore-clogging capabilities of different ingredients, which was tested on the inside of rabbit ears rather than on humans (though their pores and oil glands have been shown to be pretty similar to ours). So there’s always going to be a margin of error in cosmetic testing.
Still, if you can’t figure out the mystery cause of your zits or sensitivities, CosDNA is an excellent place to start your investigation. Just plug in your current lineup of products, check for any red-flag ingredients, and start taking notes. Eventually, you’ll start to see a pattern of repeat offenders across your products, and you’ll know which ingredients to avoid next time you take a trip to the drugstore. We know it sounds like a lot of work, but in our book, 15 minutes of research is worth it for clear skin.
Originally posted on StyleCaster.
Last week, a friend texted me an all-caps question: “HOW DO I GIVE MYSELF BANGS?!” But before I could respond with a bunch of don’ts, she sent me a picture of her slightly butchered new hair and a few blushing emojis. I mean, props to her for saying screw it and attempting a major cut with zero experience, but, you know, definitely don’t try her approach at home. Because if you want to cut bangs at home, you need to do some research — and that’s where we come in.
Ideally, you would all make appointments with your hairstylists and bring in a bunch of carefully curated inspiration photos and leave with the bangs of your dreams. But I’m a realist, and I know you’re probably going to chop them off by yourself anyway, so I’d like to help in your journey by giving you some incredibly helpful bang-cutting tutorials, below, to avoid any and all hair mishaps.
For side-swept bangs…
For curly, layered bangs…
For thick, blunt, Zooey Deschanel bangs…
For choppy, face-framing bangs…
For shaggy, center-parted bangs…
Originally posted on StyleCaster.
How to get clear, brighter skin is the age-old beauty question — and for a lot of us, it always seems like we're fighting a losing battle. Sure, we can buy all those fancy creams and toners that are constantly being hocked on Instagram now, but do any of them actual do what they say? Well, yes, there are probably a select few products on the market that are helpful, but most of them are a waste of money. Getting glowy skin that isn't plagued with pimples and sun damage is all about sticking to a routine, keeping things clean, and treating your body right.
These expert tips are the surefire way to get you on the road to smooth skin.
1. Less is more
According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jessica Krant — who is also founder of Art of Dermatology on 5th Avenue and an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York City — the first step to smoother skin is to basically stop doing everything you're already doing.
"Remember that sometimes less is more," says Dr. Krant. "With all the constant marketing of anti-aging products and systems now, sometimes we think the more we do, the younger we'll get. Sadly, sometimes that can work against you. Too many anti-aging products or procedures can actually make the skin more irritated, red, and flaky and produce the appearance of more fine lines due to deep dryness and microscopic swelling. So first, stop everything."
2. Wash less
You may think the key to smooth skin is a super clean face, but that's not true. In fact, too much washing will probably do more damage than good.
"It's important to gently remove makeup and actual dirt from the skin, but it's a bit of a myth that we have to scrub ourselves squeaky clean two or three times daily," advises Krant. "Sometimes overwashing can produce the same over-dryness and irritation that anti-aging products can create. When we wash too much and strip away the skin's natural, healthy, moisturizing oils, we create redness and flakiness, and the skin actually gets a counterproductive signal to start producing more oil to keep itself protected. This is how we can end up both dry and oily at the same time. Reduce the amount of cleansing and let the skin relax."
One more thing — when you do cleanse, NYC dermatologist and host of DermTV.com Dr. Neal Schultz says, "Make sure you use a toner after your cleanser to synergize with your cleanser in removing clogging dirt, debris, oil and dead skin cells and to remove cleanser that your water rinse didn't remove."
And Dr. Schultz is one to trust, being that he's creator of BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz.
3. Don’t squeeze
We know it's tempting to squeeze and pick at any zits that happen to show up on your face, but don't.
"Manage acne gently, with help from your dermatologist, not your fingertips," says Dr. Krant. "Anything you pick and and try to solve yourself will only last much longer and risk being permanently scarred. The right dermatologist can help you with an easy, ongoing preventive regimen that will help more."
4. Exfoliate (but not too much)
If you really want smooth skin, get rid of the dead, flaky skin on the surface. "It's a myth that exfoliation can dry or thin the skin," says healthy skin care expert and Skin Authority CEO Celeste Hilling. "Regular exfoliation speeds up the cell turnover process, allowing the body to produce moisture-bearing properties like hyaluronic acid. Exfoliation also helps to plump the skin by churning up elastin and collagen production."
Hilling recommends using a natural resurfacing agent such as glycolic acid to gently dissolve dead surface skin cells so they can be replaced with new, plump ones.
Dr. Schultz agrees, saying, "Yes, exfoliating is important, but it must be with a glycolic exfoliant gentle enough to be able to use daily (yet still effective!) because the dulling dead cells re-accumulate each day."
5. Clean your brushes
How often do you clean your makeup brushes? Probably not often enough. Dirt, grime and oils left in the brushes can cause breakouts, leaving your skin far from smooth. Fortunately, it's easy enough to clean them yourself using a simple bar of soap.
Note: Steer away from scented body soaps and go for a natural soap like those offered by South of France Natural Body Care to remove the gunk without leaving anything behind.
6. Eat clean
Turns out that your mother was right — you really are what you eat, and your skin may be a perfect reflection of your inner health. According to Dr. Michelle Yagoda, NYC facial plastic surgeon, aesthetic integrative beauty expert and co-creator of BeautyScoop, "Foods rich in lean proteins and omega-3 fatty acids are especially effective at delivering smoother skin. They aid the skin in retaining moisture and fortify the skin's natural moisture barrier."
Dr. Yagoda says a diet with ample beauty super foods can enhance skin texture, hydration, firmness and smoothness. She suggests a diet of foods rich in lean protein (salmon, tofu, soy, sardines), Omega-3 fatty acids (almonds, salmon, sardines, walnuts, flax seed), antioxidants for rapid skin repair like vitamins A, C and E (carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, berries), and minerals like magnesium and zinc, which facilitate hyaluronic acid production to provide unsurpassed skin hydration (soy, kale, carrots, pumpkin seeds, whole grains).
There are a million reasons you should reach for that glass of water, and smoother skin is one.
"To have smooth, soft skin, it's really important to drink enough water or other nondiuretic fluids during the day. When you are well hydrated, skin is smoother and more elastic," says Stephanie White, founder and president of Become International.
8. Use sunblock
We all know it's important to use sunblock for health reasons, but it'll go a long way toward keeping your skin smooth, too. "Use sunblock religiously," says White. "Sun damage creates wrinkles and coarsens the skin. Find a sunblock you like that is made for the face, preferably with natural ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide."
We can't say this enough: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research for the Department of Dermatology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, agrees.
"Moisturize twice daily," he said. "It will improve skin hydration and seal in cracks between dry cells on the surface of the skin."
This moisture factor can make or break the smoothness of your skin, especially depending on the season, says Dr. Omar Ibrahimi, founding medical director of the Connecticut Skin Institute in Stamford, Connecticut.
"Steaming hot showers, particularly in the winter time, drain the skin of important moisturizers such as ceremides. Taking lukewarm showers and religiously applying a gentle moisturizer within three minutes of getting out of the shower will help keep your skin nice and hydrated," he explains.
10. Go natural
The solution to smoother skin isn't always to be found on a drugstore shelf. Sometimes, the simplest, most natural products have the power to make you glow.
Alexis Wolfer, founding editor in chief of TheBeautyBean.com, has some suggestions for natural ways to get smoother skin.
"Make a yogurt mask," she suggests. "Apply a thin layer of full-fat Greek yogurt to your face and let it dry for about 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water. The lactic acid helps break down dead skin cells while the fat deeply moisturizes."
Vargas provides her own recipe that also uses yogurt as a preferred DIY skin-smoothing ingredient. She explains, "The yogurt in this mask acts as an anti-inflammatory, and the lactic acid peels the skin. Strawberry tightens the pores, and the almond powder is a gentle scrub to get the pores nice and clean. I recommend using it twice a week."
First, rub a cotton ball with raw apple cider vinegar on the area that is breaking out, and follow with this mask:
Mix together and apply to the entire face. Use the almond powder to scrub the t-zone, where it tends to be oilier and where teens have the most blackheads. Let the mask sit for 15 minutes and rinse.
11. Take extra care at night
Your skin needs extra care at night, so don't use your daytime moisturizer before you go to bed. According to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, you should look for a moisturizer that includes a retinoid.
"It stimulates collagen growth and normalizes skin cell turnover," he says.
12. Try a treatment
When all else fails, there's no shame in your game if you feel that your skin needs some outside help.
While less may be more when it comes to daily skincare, as Dr. Krant points out, there are specific situations that may warrant a professional treatment — including discolorations, acne scarring, visible sun damage and the like. Used with many or all of the clear skin tips listed above, Dr. Ibrahimi believes that some professional treatments can help smooth any remaining blemishes that refuse to budge.
He says, "Blue low level light therapy has been clinically shown to be as effective as topical acne medications and is a nice adjunct to help obtain clearer skin."
Guys, we really, really tried to practice self-control this month. We ignored the daily flash sales emails and the pop-up shops in the mall, and we even promised to stop filling our online carts with hundreds of products we’d never actually buy. And then June 1 hit, and our favorite beauty stores — Ulta, Ulta, Ulta — added their monthly supply of new products, and our resolve completely faded to zero. But honestly, we don’t really care anymore, because we combed through the newest goods this morning and found such freakishly awesome (and cheap!) products, that we’ve decided to tell our bank accounts to suck it this month.
Luckily, though, Ulta’s June assortment is loaded with brand-new makeup, skin care, and hair products that are not only incredibly cool, but truly affordable. And with summer officially just a few weeks away, we can confidently say that these products, like self-tanning sheet masks and humidity-blocking hairsprays, will slip right into your warm-weather beauty routines. Scroll through to see the five best Ulta beauty products to shop right this second, and don’t forget to check back next month for our July picks.
St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Face Sheet Mask
St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Face Sheet Mask (Ulta, $9)
L’Oréal Pure-Clay Cleanser
L’Oréal Pure-Clay Cleanser Exfoliate-Refine (Ulta, $6.99)
Maybelline The City Mini Palette
Maybelline The City Mini Palette in Downtown Sunrise (Ulta, $9.99)
OGX Smoothing + Shea Sleek Humidity Blocking Hairspray
OGX Smoothing + Shea Sleek Humidity Blocking Hairspray, (Ulta, $8.99)
Maybelline Curvitude Liner
Maybelline Curvitude Liner (Ulta, $8.99)
Originally posted on StyleCaster.
If you’re anything like us, anytime you lose a strand of hair or notice an extra-large ball of it around the shower drain, you’ll be sent into a frantic spiral of my-hair-is-falling-out terror. (Don’t worry; it’s probably not.) Welp, clearly we’re not the only ones desperate to forego the hair-loss stage of growing older, because people are now using wasabi to get fuller, thicker hair, and we… have some questions.
Before you grip your tongue in panic, though, know that people aren’t downing spoonfuls of wasabi for hair growth — at least not yet. The wasabi-hair connection was first discovered by a leading wasabi manufacturer Kinin, whose researchers found that the chemical isosaponarin, which was taken from the leaves of the wasabi plant, could stimulate hair-formation cells in the scalp and was three times more effective at it than the leading hair-growth chemicals in, say, Rogaine.
“In theory, [wasabi] certainly could be of benefit [to hair growth], and let’s hope it is,” said David Salinger, the director the International Association of Trichologists, in an interview with Cosmopolitan Australia. “It would mainly benefit genetic hair loss in men and women,” he added, noting that other chemicals found in wasabi are also known to strengthen hair and reduce the inflammation around hair follicles.
Of course, we don’t recommend ordering extra sides of wasabi with your next sushi order, because not only is this research super-new and not totally proven, but the wasabi would need to be grated fresh from Japanese wasabi plants and applied directly to the scalp for totally unknown amounts of time. The good news, though, is that this discovery will almost definitely lead to better hair-growth formulas in the future, so not all hope is lost for your thinning, blah, hair — just give it a few more years, and you’ll have insanely thick, long hair, compliments of wasabi.
Originally posted on StyleCaster.
Ready for some real talk? Too bad — it’s here. No matter how many heavy-duty mattifying lotions or oil-sucking cleansers you buy, you won’t find a miracle remedy for your oily skin. Sorry, but your shiny T-zone and oily complexion are most likely routed in issues that can’t necessarily be solved by beauty products, like in hormones, seasonal changes (lookin’ at you, summer) and everyone’s favorite, your good ol’ DNA. But since we hate being the bearer of bad news, we’re here to offer you a surprisingly positive upshot. We’ve discovered some seriously good DIY face masks that not only (temporarily) mitigate your excess oil, but are also mad fun and easy to make.
No, really; even if you’ve tried every damn oil-eliminating product on the market and have somehow been left with an oilier, irritated or dehydrated face (which is totally common in crappy oil-reducing products), you can rest assured that these DIYs are so calming, gentle and effective that they’re suitable for any oily skin type. ‘Cause with hella-absorbent ingredients like egg whites and honey (which you most definitely have lying around your kitchen), these simple masks will offer your sweaty, summer skin some much-needed relief. Ahead, our five favorite oily skin face masks, along with easy tutorial breakdowns that even your grandma could follow (no offense, Grandma).
Honey + brown sugar
One of the most common mistakes in reducing excess oil is using a bunch of alcohol-laden products that dry out your skin, which, in turn, causes your face to overproduce more oil to compensate. That’s where antibacterial and antiseptic honey comes in — it gently absorbs oil while its humectant properties keep your skin moisturized. And when combined with gently exfoliating brown sugar, you’ve got a freakishly good mask that’s guaranteed to keep oil at bay.
Orange + yogurt + honey
Vitamin C-loaded oranges not only increase collagen production (peace out, fine lines and wrinkles), but actively fight free radicals while controlling oil. And don’t freak — the acidic levels of the citrus are balanced by the hefty dose of skin-soothing yogurt.
Banana + honey
Bananas are a serious godsend for oily skin since their gentle exfoliating properties actually remove gunk and oil from the skin’s surface without compromising your skin barrier. And when mashed with honey, this two-ingredient face mask leaves skin looking noticeably glowing.
Aloe vera + honey
Lest you think that aloe vera is just for bad sunburns, know that its anti-inflammatory properties also work wonders on irritated skin and zits, while its natural astringent properties make for an oil-absorbing all-star. While you probably don’t have an aloe vera leaf chilling in your pantry at the moment, this DIY is so soothing and cleansing that it’s worth heading to the grocery store for.
Egg white + cucumber + mint
Sounds weird, but the vitamins and proteins found in egg whites also make it a super-effective (albeit temporary) oil-eliminating ingredient. And when you combine it with vitamin C and antioxidant-rich cucumber and mint, you’ll be left with noticeably smoother skin too. Win-win, right?
Originally posted on StyleCaster.
Mud-masking has been around since ancient times for good reason. Good old-fashioned earth has lots of skin benefits. While in recent times the stuff is bottled and sold (because traveling to the Dead Sea for a facial might be a wee bit impractical), the elementary ingredients intrinsically remain the same. When you think of face masks, clay probably comes to mind since so very many of them contain clay as the star component to absorb impurities and help heal your skin. Clay is great that way. As you may have noticed, clay masks come in a multitude of colors and a multitude of clays — all of which have different specialties. If you aren’t sure which one is the one to address your skin concerns, look no further than this elementary guide to clay.
More: 8 Amazing Mud Masks
Bentonite clay. This is a very popular clay for skin benefits — you have probably spotted this in many of your acne-addressing products. Because of its super-absorbing capabilities, this is a great clay for oily skin since it can suck up all that excess sebum easily. Not only that, but it has electric properties that when mixed with water charges the molecules and attracts toxins out of your face and into the clay kind of like a magnet. This also goes for any skin ailments involving bacteria and fungus (also impurities) like psoriasis and eczema. Since bentonite clay swells when mixed with water, making it a highly porous substance, it can absorb more than its initial mass, including any swelling from excess sodium in your face. With its tightening, acne-clearing and impurity-absorbing abilities, you can probably tell why bentonite is a go-to for any skin concerns.
Fuller’s earth clay. This is another powerful absorber of oil and impurities — so much so that fuller’s earth clay is also used in cat litter and automotive products to absorb oil spills on pavement. So you can tell… this means business. You can use it to spot-dry-clean fabrics too in case you get any oily salad dressing on your silk blouse. There are so many uses. For your face, however, this is a great oil-absorber on top of working well for addressing hyperpigmentation, as it has mild bleaching properties. When combined with some rose water and used as a mask, it helps boost circulation. This is recommended for people with oily skin since it can be quite drying — but it wouldn’t hurt for normal skin if used no more than once a week.
Kaolin clay. You may have seen this clay in a few different colors — white, yellow, red and pink are the more popular ones, all of which vary in their abilities. White kaolin clay is the gentlest and thus great for sensitive dry skin. It doesn’t absorb so much as it does soften with super-gentle bits for a mild exfoliation. Yellow kaolin clay is slightly more absorbent and exfoliating but still remains gentle enough for sensitive skin. This can be more circulation-boosting, so you’ll probably find it in a lot of brightening masks. Red kaolin clay has the most absorbing powers of the bunch and is best for oily skin. This is a great addition for acne/detoxifying masks for the face or body. Pink kaolin clay is pretty much a mixture of the white and red kaolin clays, making it an ideal balance for those with sensitive skin that needs a bit of oil-vacuuming and gentle exfoliation.
French green clay. Found in France (duh), French green clay is your go-to for exfoliation and pore-tightening on top of oil-absorption. It can be called illite clay or sea clay, the green color comes from the amount of decomposed plant material and iron oxide and is a determining factor in the quality of the clay — it should never be gray or white; it should be very green. It’s so absorbent that not only does it drink up oils, it also pulls blood toward the surface of your skin, giving you a bit of a tingling sensation as it boosts circulation.
Rhassoul clay. Unique in that rhassoul clay is great for both skin and hair, this ancient clay is mined from Morocco and is crazy-rich in minerals. It’s very negatively charged and most toxins in your skin are positively charged, so this clay is the perfect magnet for sopping up all those impurities — sebum plugs, blackheads and oil around hair follicles. It doesn’t, however, leave you dry because of its elasticity and texture-improving effects. It’s gentle enough for daily use in small doses like in soap, makes a heavy-duty exfoliator when mixed with crushed oats or almonds and is even great for absorbing excess buildup on hair, restoring volume and shine.
Originally posted on StyleCaster.
Here's the thing about the perfectly tousled, beach waves hairdo: It looks so "I woke up like this," but in reality, the look is actually kind of hard to pull off.
If you've spent about a million hours in front of the mirror with a curling iron trying to create a 'do that is supposed to appear gloriously care-free, join the club. Getting beach waves is not as low-maintenance as it seems — unless you seek out some serious advice from the pros. Which is exactly what we did.
Here are some expert tips on how to get the beachy hair of your dreams.
1. Fake it
This is the No. 1 recipe for year-round beach hair, and we have New York City hairstylist Jenna Mast to thank for sharing her secrets.
“If you have flat hair, try using a sea salt spray. I like to add a few loose curls around the face using a large curling iron or flat iron. Then I reach for my favorite beach spray, Oribe's Après Beach," says Mast. "Start by spraying the hair minimally — you can always add more product. Then I scrunch the hair and really shake it out for that supermodel beachy look. Some girls immediately shy away from salt sprays because they don't like that knotty feel. To avoid that, don't overspray and keep spray away from the scalp.”
2. Twist it
While Stephanie Johnson, a licensed hairstylist and makeup and fashion photographer in Dallas, is also a big fan of the salt spray for year-round beach hair, she highly recommends kicking it up a notch by twisting and diffusing.
"The trick is to scrunch the hair while you diffuse or dry," Johnson says. "Diffusing is best. Salt sprays can feel drying, though, so you can mimic that with a good grooming spray (my new favorite is Suavecito Grooming Spray) on towel-dried (meaning still damp) hair and scrunch while drying. You can twist hair into little twists before diffusing too."
Johnson adds, "These styles don't work well if your hair is too long or you haven't been keeping up the trims for the ends. It's also good to have some layering and movement if you're wanting to accomplish this look."
3. Curl it
But wait, there’s more. Mast was more than happy to walk us through a full beach-wave tutorial, using a curling iron, that’s easy enough to master at home.
“For some, having ‘undone’ beachy texture won't fly at work or date night,” she explains.
To get a more refined and polished beach look, here are Mast’s expert tips.
4. Braid it
Braids are one of the beautiful basics of beach hair, according to Mast, especially when you use a leave-in conditioner to prevent tangles, dryness and faded color in the sun. For the rest of the year, Mast suggests giving the braid another go, saying, “It can be as simple as a three-strand side braid or fun double French braids, whatever you can do.” Mast says that the best part of this look is that you can easily transition from day to night by taking the braid out — leaving you with gorgeous, soft beach waves with zero styling time and no heat damage.
5. Wing it
Here’s a good one for those of us who may have hit the snooze alarm one too many times on a Monday morning. Erica Harriss, founder of Saving Grace Beauty, suggests letting Mother Nature do the work by allowing hair to air dry for a more natural look.
“If you can't quite get here, dry your hair about halfway, and air-dry the rest,” she says.
Even better, Harriss suggests, “Don't wash every day. This allows your natural oils to condition, protect and repair the hair shaft.” And when you do shampoo, she says, “Only use shampoo on the scalp. Use any excess suds near the ends. They don't need the cleansing strength up near your scalp requires. Dry shampoo fans, be sure to add moisture. Most formulas are designed to absorb oils, just what your ends need to avoid split ends.”
6. Treat it
If you’re just coming off the dog days of summer and so desperately want to try one of the beachy looks above, it’s important to give your sun-damaged hair some TLC first, Johnson says. She suggests, “Weekly masks aren't just for winter hydration, but for combating the sun and the drying damage of chlorine. Use it once per week if you have severe damage or dryness. If you're feeling good about how your hair feels, then apply every two or three weeks to maintain.”
Originally published August 2013. Updated June 2017.
Why have we accepted that when you have kids, your me-time becomes nonexistent? We mean, when you become a mom, you kind of accept the fact that you’re no longer operating on your own schedule anymore — since obviously, creating a freaking life is outrageously demanding and deserves a significant chunk of your time — but that doesn’t mean you can’t make time for yourself too. And even though it’s necessary for your mental health to take a few minutes to do something self-indulgent at least a few times a week, it’s also probably the one thing that consistently gets shoved to the bottom of your priorities, right?
We get it. That’s why we talked to eight real moms to find out exactly what their non-negotiable beauty “luxuries” are and why they’d never, ever give them up. No, we’re not talking about running away for a weeklong cruise every month, but the little things that make you happy, like the dermatologist who never misses her ultra-relaxing, one-hour eyelash extension appointment or the first-time mom who makes sure to give her face some TLC as soon as her son goes to sleep at night. Basically, these small beauty routines play a major, almost mandatory role in each mom’s life, and for good reason. So if you’re feeling like you’ve forgotten the definition of alone-time recently, scroll down to get inspired by these real-mom beauty luxuries. And yes, you’re required to take notes and add at least one to the top of your to-do list, ASAP.
1. Let them come to you
“Even though life is exponentially more busy when you have two young kids, I still have to make time for my hair. And since it’s usually a challenge to make it out to a salon for a blowout or color, I sometimes treat myself and have Glam Squad come to my apartment. It’s honestly the best of both worlds. I can get my hair done and not even leave the house. I think it’s important not to forget what makes you feel good about yourself, and little things like this give me a total lift without taking much time away from my family.” — Cori Zeichner, full-time mom of two (ages 6 and 4) and beauty blogger of The Derm Wife
2. Make the most of nights
“I try to remind myself that even though I’m a mom, at the end of the day, I still need to take care of myself physically, mentally and emotionally. One of the things I always look forward to after my son goes to sleep is pampering my skin, whether it’s slapping on a face mask, using a nice toner or slathering on some oils. We all deserve a mental break sometimes, and this ritual allows me to totally unwind at the end of a long day.” — Claudia Felix Garay, fashion blogger of The Penny Closet and mother to an 8-month-old
3. Don’t compromise
“My hair will always be a non-negotiable. It’s just become a part of our family routine now that every four to six weeks, Mom goes and gets her hair done. Especially as a vlogger, having good hair is really important to me. It’s something that I always do and could never give up.” — Amanda, vlogger at AmandaMuse and mother of two (ages 5 and 3)
4. Focus on the eyes
“I think eyes can really age you, so every quarter, I like to get eyelash extensions for a little rejuvenation. The process takes at least a full hour, which may not seem like that much of a time suck, but when you’re a mom, you typically don’t have an extra hour to dispose of. It’s become an incredibly relaxing ritual for me — you get to lie on a soft, heated bed and listen to music. I usually fall asleep and I wake up knowing that I look a little younger.” — Mona Gohara, Yale dermatologist and mother of two (ages 10 and 8)
5. Take a time out
“I love getting massages, so once a month, my girlfriends and I schedule a spa day together. We’re always so busy taking care of others that we forget about ourselves, so a super-relaxing massage is always worth the small investment. It’s a great way to socialize and have a bit of a time out for myself.” — Tiffany Brown, makeup artist, style blogger and mother of two (ages 6 and 3)
6. Get some air
“Once every quarter, I get a 15-minute oxygen facial for a noticeable, all-over glow. It has all the perks of a typical facial, but it ends with an oxygen machine that blows air directly onto your face for a deep cleaning. It’s a really great antiager that isn’t abrasive, and I always leave with smaller pores and softer skin. ” — Samantha Wennerstrom, styler blogger of Could I Have That and mother to a 2-year-old
7. Go toe to toe
“It took me a long time to accept the fact that I deserve some me-time. And after having two little girls only one-and-a-half years apart, I barely had three months of not being pregnant or nursing or some other jazz. But I now gift myself a pedicure once every six weeks so I can have 45 minutes of pure alone-time. No husband, no kids, no dog — just me and my technician, who I of course end up chatting with about my husband, kids and dog.” — Samantha Robinson, beauty vlogger at Saaammage and mother of two (ages 3 and 5)
8. Say “screw it”
“Even though having kids means spending money on them, my Chanel beauty products are non-negotiable. Chanel makeup and skin care products agree with my combination skin and never break me out. There’s just something about using an incredibly good mascara in the morning and washing my face with a product that smells and feels great at the end of a long day that I can’t do without. Although their products are expensive and can eat into other budgets, it’s the one thing that I try to treat myself to.” — Rachel Girsch, CFO of specialty contracting company and mother of two (ages 3 and 2 months)
Originally posted on StyleCaster.