5 Products We Discovered After Test-Driving Pinterest’s New Inclusive Beauty Feature

5 Products We Discovered After Test-Driving Pinterest’s New Inclusive Beauty Feature

According to a Pinterest study, a whopping 70 percent of people use the site to discover and save everyday looks and styles, and of all the pins that exist, 8 billion of them are hair- and beauty-related. That’s both a gift and a curse. The gift: It’s a never-ending hub of inspiration in all forms; from ways to decorate your first apartment to vintage makeup looks worth re-creating. The curse: That’s a hell of a lot of inspo to sift through, even if you’ve got the time to spare. And when you’re searching for something makeup-specific, it can be extremely difficult to find what works for your skin tone without having to scroll endlessly.

That’s really been the site’s biggest roadblock; as its popularity continues to grow, so does the need to modify search criteria. In fact, it’s a nonnegotiable for anyone with a short attention span and busy schedule. Thankfully, Pinterest pays close attention to what pinners actually want and finally gifted us with a game-changing search tool. Now, whenever you search for products or tutorials, the site automatically asks if you want to narrow down your search by skin tone. The best part is the feature is impossibly easy to use.

Simply do a beauty-related search, and at the top of the results page and under the search bar, you’ll see “some ideas we found in this skin tone range” next to four color wheels that represent light, medium, dark, and deep. After clicking on one of those, your search results are narrowed down even more.

Pinterest Inclusive Search Feature

Pinterest

Now, we’re not saying this new feature is perfection. As we all know, the number of skin tones far exceeds these four options, and the results are still wide-ranging. Also, if you’re looking for product recommendations, you’ll have the most luck searching the more basic options, such as “lipstick,” “foundation,” or “concealer.” We found that as we searched more niche categories, such as “under-eye concealer” and even “sunscreens,” the skin tone bar didn’t show up at all or the options were extremely limited.

Still, we consider this a step in the right direction. Though we sometimes worry that this drive toward inclusivity is just a trend for bigwig companies, we’re glad to see Pinterest joining the movement in an impactful way and hope that over time, this tool will be refined and improved upon. Until then, we’ll be test-driving it. If you’re curious as to whether it delivers or not, here are five products for “dark” skin that we found on the first page of every search:

mufe foundation1 5 Products We Discovered After Test Driving Pinterests New Inclusive Beauty Feature

Make Up For Ever

Foundation: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid Foundation

This is by far one of the brand’s most popular and top-selling products. MUFE was one of the first brands to consider the technology of smartphones and TV cameras when formulating product, and in the process, it made something that considers a wide spectrum of skin tones, too.

$43 at Make Up For Ever

STYLECASTER | Pinterest Beauty Products | Colourpop Ibiza Eyeshadow

Colourpop

Blue Eyeshadow: Colourpop Ibiza Super Shock Shadow

This is really a turquoise, but the slightly chrome finish definitely pops against darker skin, without giving off an ashy texture or look. (Unfortunately, this was one of very few options when we searched this term.)

$5 at Colourpop

STYLECASTER | Pinterest Beauty Products | Physician's Formula Butter Highlighter

Physician’s Formula

Highlighter: Physician’s Formula Butter Highlighter

This cream-to-powder formula is available in five different shades and made with anti-aging peptides and nourishing butters, sourced from the Amazon.

$10.95 at Physician’s Formula

STYLECASTER | Pinterest Beauty Products | Kiko Bronzer

Kiko Cosmetics

Bronzer: Kiko Bronzer Powder

$16 at Kiko Cosmetics

A creamy compact made in five brown-skin friendly shades with vitamin E and argan oil to moisturize the skin as it evens out complexion.

STYLECASTER | Pinterest Beauty Products | Dose of Colors Liquid Lipstick

Dose of Colors

Lipstick: Dose of Colors Liquid Matte Lipstick in Chocolate Wasted

This vegan lippie goes on as a creamy liquid and dries into a flake-free matte finish that flatters dark brown skin.

$18 at Dose of Colors

5 Black Women Share the Wash-Day Routines That Keep Their Hair Healthy

5 Black Women Share the Wash-Day Routines That Keep Their Hair Healthy

Although we have a popular number-letter system for identifying our hair’s texture, the truth is black women more often than not have various textures throughout their hair. For instance, the hairs nearest the nape of my neck are tight and spirally, while the ones in the middle of my head are wavy. Managing various curl patterns at the same time requires a very specific cleansing and styling routine.

And this usually means that what works for one person—even if they share one of your textures—won’t necessarily work for you. So we spend a lot of time trading information and products, hoping that a mix of advice and experimenting will help us land on a wash-day routine that actually works. In an effort to help you with that advice part, five black women with varying curl patterns, including myself, are sharing the wash day routines that keep their hair healthy and in check.

Name: Nikki

Style: Wavy/Curly Pixie

Routine: So, I’m braving the awkward grow-out phase and doing everything I can to ensure my curls remain intact as they get longer. Right now, since my hair is super dry in-between seasons, the L.O.C. (leave-in, oil,cream) method is truly saving my mane. I’m almost always switching out my shampoos and conditioners (nature of my job as a beauty editor), but for the past few months, I’ve been loving Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair! Super Moisture Shampoo and Not Your Mother’s Natural Matcha Green Tea & Wild Apple Blossom Nutrient Rich Butter Masque. The combo of these two has provided the most hydration without weighing my hair down, which is definitely on the finer side.

After that, I’ll spritz my hair with Briogeo’s Strength & Moisture Leave-In Mask and get out the shower. From there, I run a dime-size amount of Mielle Organics Mint Almond Oil through my hair. It smells amazing and includes peppermint oil, too, which really helps with my itchy scalp. Sometimes, I’ll add a little tea tree oil to the mix if it feels extra flaky. Lastly, before wrapping my hair in an Aquis towel, I’ll finger-comb my hair with Creme of Nature’s Pure Honey Moisture Whip Twisting Cream. It’s made with honey, coconut oil and shea butter; all ingredients that keep me moisturized without being too heavy.

Name: Chelsea

Style: Kinky, Coily Afro

Routine: As most naturals, I usually reserve “wash day” for Sunday. I’ll use shampoo on my hair about once every two weeks, so when I do, I use the Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy Extreme Restoration Shampoo followed by the Extreme Restoration Conditioner. My current leave-in conditioner go-to is Shea Moisture’s Curl Stretch Pudding, so I’ll section off my hair and apply it evenly, then just go about my day. The next morning I’ll wet my hair again and style it with Cantu Leave-in Conditioning Repair Cream, which is my wash-and-go Holy Grail curly product.

Name: Jasmine

Style: Low-Cut Caesar

Routine: I keep my hair pretty short in a low-cut Caesar, so I maintain my hair by using a mixture of almond, olive, and argan oils with some water and glycerin. It helps keep my scalp protected especially in those NYC winter months. I love using Pantene products to wash and condition my hair.

Wearing a durag at night is extremely essential for me to keep my cut lasting fresh and preventing any harsh pulling I get from the pillow at night. In the summertime, I like to bleach my hair platinum blonde. It’s just more fun! I use Shimmer Lights shampoo to keep the color vibrant. I use the same oiling routine, and for added hydration, I use Pantene’s curling custard to combat the harsh sun rays.

Name: Danielle

Style: Locs

Routine: I’ve had my locs for a little over four years now. On wash day, which is about every two to three weeks, I like to lightly brush them to make sure I’m not washing any dust or lint into my hair. I also spray them with a little water beforehand to prevent breakage. I make sure all the buildup is brushed up so my washing can be more effective. Starting in sections, my choice of shampoo is currently Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap, in Peppermint or Tea Tree. This soap has all natural ingredients and is sulfur-free so that I can wash without leaving behind any residue.

After washing, I dry with a T-shirt wrapped around my head. Once my hair is damp and not soaking wet, I add a mixture of coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba, and Jamaican black castor oil to remoisturize my hair and scalp.To style, I use Cantu Shea Butter Twist & Lock Gel along with my spray bottle of water because you never want to twist dry locs! I sleep with a scarf around my edges and a stocking to keep away anything that could get caught in my hair, and maintain moisture by spritzing with water and massaging in my mixture of oils. I like to use all-natural and unprocessed products in my hair. It helps me keep things simple and make sure my hair has a natural and healthy environment to grow!

Name: Danny

Style: Curly Hair

Routine: I wash my hair with Aesop Calming Champoo and then condition with Aussie Mega Moist Conditioner. I then do a twist-out using Cantu Coconut Curling Cream. Leave it in overnight, and that’s it! When it comes to hair, simpler is better for me.

How to Use Pineapple for Skin Whitening – 7 Methods

How to Use Pineapple for Skin Whitening – 7 Methods

It’s common, everyone in this world desire to have gorgeous skin, but beauty products aren’t the way to achieve them. Instead they can ruin your dream and leave your sensitive skin with fine lines. (1)

The reason I choose pineapple for skin whitening is not because of its delicious taste, but due to assorted properties residing in them which can bring back the lost radiant effect on your face.

Before we dwell about the nutritional benefits of this rough skinned fruit, let me pull few more lines to table sorry tablet. 😉

People in this generation are practicing a very unhealthy lifestyle (including me).

Apart from alarming pollution, you’re surrounded by technical gadgets that force you to sit at one place. Studies back my claim; repeated use of Smartphone can develop wrinkles, dark circles and acne in most people. (2)

Hope you got my point.

So to remove pollutants and stop dark spots on your skin you need an effective remedy. And am sure you can’t get this with chemical filled creams. Natural remedies like pineapple are filled with nutrients that can cleanse and fill your skin with essential vitamins.

Is Pineapple Good for Skin Lightening?

Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6, Vitamin C, manganese, copper, folate and other nutrients are housed in this tropical fruit.

  • Cleansing activity of pineapple face scrub will remove impurities from the skin.
  • Repeated use of its juice can lighten your skin and fade dark spots.
  • At the same time it hydrates dry and dull skin with its moisturizing activity.
  • Alpha-hydroxy acids residing in pineapple juice can reduce aging wrinkles.
  • Antioxidants housed in this face mask thwart free radicals that can damage cell membrane.
  • Vitamin C stimulates collagen production and enhances elasticity of the skin.
  • Acne scars and other marks on the skin can be reduced by potassium and vitamin C of this face mask.
  • Assorted nutrients in the fruit help to promote skin metabolism.
  • Pineapple fruit contains an enzyme that can effectively remove accumulated dirt and lighten the appearance of scars.
  • You can use its juice to smoothen cracked feet and to obtain beautiful nails.

How to Use Pineapple for Skin Whitening?

Interesting thing about natural remedies is that you can blend other ingredients with them to make it more effective. You can blend honey, gram flour, green tea, cucumber, papaya, coconut milk and olive oil to pineapple face mask.

#1 Honey, Pineapple and Olive Oil

Essential nutrients in raw honey and olive oil both combine to cleanse impurities, promote cell regeneration and improve your skin complexion.

Humectant abilities packed in these ingredients help to lock moisture on your skin.

  • Initially wash your face with water or cleanse it using gram flour mask.
  • Peel the rough skin over pineapple and make it into small pieces to mash it.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of raw honey and 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to it.
  • Mix thoroughly and apply it over prewashed face.
  • Leave it for about 15-20 minutes and rinse it off.

Optionally, massage your face with natural moisturizer like rosewater or jojoba oil.

#2 Coconut Milk and Pineapple Pulp for Skin Whitening

  • Mash required amount of pineapple in a bowl and add 1 cup of coconut milk to it.
  • Using cotton ball apply this face mask on the skin.
  • Let it dry.
  • Wash your face with lukewarm water and pat dry.

Repeat the process for about twice in a week.

#3 Pineapple and Gram Flour

Gram flour is my favorite home remedy to remove impurities. For years it has been used to keep the skin radiant and reduce dark spots.

Both pineapple and gram flour will help to remove dead cells, pollutants and dirt piled over the skin. If you don’t remove these impurities, they accumulate to form dark patches at different places on the skin.

  • Peel fresh pineapple and slice them into small pieces.
  • Blend them to create smooth paste.
  • Mix 2 tablespoons of gram flour to the pulp thoroughly.
  • Apply this thick paste on the skin and leave it to dry.
  • Rinse it off with water or wipe with wet cloth.

#4 Pineapple Slice

If you’re too lazy to blend other ingredients to pineapple, you can still benefit from this fruit by rubbing its slice on your face.

Vitamins and minerals housed in this fruit can effectively treat skin ailments like acne and lighten the appearance of dark spots.

  • Peel a fresh pineapple and wash it.
  • Cut into thick slice and start rubbing on your face.
  • Be gentle while rubbing it on your sensitive skin.
  • Allow it to dry for 15-20 minutes and then rinse it off with water.

#5 Egg White, Pineapple and Honey

Egg white is known to remove impurities and promote collagen production. Vitamin C residing in this home available ingredient can reduce wrinkles and lighten your skin.

  • Take 1 egg white in a bowl.
  • Add 3 slices of peeled pineapple and add 1 tbsp of honey to it.
  • Blend it to smooth paste and apply it on your prewashed face.
  • Allow it to dry naturally for 15-20 minutes and then rinse it off with water.

Also read: Homemade Recipes to Lighten Skin with Egg White

#6 Papaya and Pineapple to Lighten Skin

Papain is an enzyme residing in papaya that exhibits beauty benefits. It reduce dark complexion, treat ailments, encourage formation of elastin and make the skin supple.

  • Grind 3 slices of papaya with 2 slices of pineapple.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of raw honey to the paste and mix thoroughly.
  • Wash your face and apply the obtained face mask evenly on your skin.
  • Allow it to dry naturally for 15-20 minutes and then rinse it off with water.

#7 Turmeric and Pineapple

Curcumin is an active component in turmeric that has ability to make your skin supple and lighten your skin.

  • Extract juice from pineapple pulp by adding required amount of milk or water.
  • Now, add a pinch of turmeric powder to the bowl of pineapple juice.
  • Stir thoroughly and apply it on your skin using a cotton ball.
  • Let it dry for 20 minutes and then wash it off with water.

Tips that You Shouldn’t Ignore

List of recipes is endless.

Choose one recipe and stick to it for 2-3 weeks to see positive results.

Apart from applying these innate ingredients, you must ingest vitamin rich diet and drink enough water to obtain radiant skin.

Excess use of beauty creams may irritate your skin and even strip moisture from the face. So avoid excess use of chemical incorporated products.

Avoid spending long hours before computer or smart gadgets, it can damage your sensitive skin.

There are studies that claim that stress can trigger skin ailments. So, avoid it and stay peace and beautiful.

Image source

20 A-List Examples of Perfectly Cut Blunt Bangs

20 A-List Examples of Perfectly Cut Blunt Bangs

Anyone who’s sat in a salon chair and asked for a blunt haircut knows that the style requires a steady, expert hand. And if you’re throwing bangs into the mix, well, we hope your stylist has excellent reviews, too. The stakes are high when you trust someone to deliver such a precise, straight-edge look, but when it’s done right, the results are well worth the wait.

As with any other style, there are plenty of variations to choose from—and we’ve shown you plenty—but the same can be said for bangs, too. Whether they’re high up on the forehead or just above the eyes, you’ve got more options than you think. And, of course, there’s plenty of hairspiration to get you started. Ahead are some of the best blunt bangs we’ve seen on the red carpet, from Zendaya to Jessica Biel and plenty more.

STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Constance Wu

Constance Wu‘s blunt bangs were one of our favorite hairstyles at the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscars party.

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STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Chrissy Teigen

Back in 2014, Chrissy Teigen stepped out in one of her most memorable hairstyles to date—thick, straight-edge bangs.

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STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Kelly Osbourne

Kelly Osbourne is known for her cutting-edge hairstyles, including this pin-straight lob with bangs to match.

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STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Fernanda Ly

Fernanda Ly‘s signature hair is always pink and includes a set of straight-edge bangs.

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STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Zendaya

At this year’s Met Gala, Zendaya stunned in this red-hot bob, complete with wavy, blunt bangs.

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STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Beyonce

One of Beyoncé‘s most memorable courtside looks includes a set of straight, blunt bangs.

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STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Camilla Belle

Camilla Belle‘s long brown bangs were the perfect complement to her almond-colored eyes.

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STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Coco Rocha

Coco Rocha, also known as the queen of posing, looked every bit the supermodel when she opted for this cutting-edge look.

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STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Gigi Hadid

Gigi Hadid looks great in pretty much any hairstyle, including those with blunt bangs.

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STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Jessica Biel

Jessica Biel has worn bangs throughout most of her career and that includes blunt ones.

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STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington‘s blunt bob simply wouldn’t have been complete without blunt bangs to match.

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STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Lily Collins

Lily Collins‘s baby bangs make up one of her best hairstyles to date.

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STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Rihanna

At the beginning of her “Good Girl Gone Bad” era, Rihanna dyed her hair jet black and experimented with a plethora of looks, including blunt bangs.

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STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Rooney Mara

Back in 2012, Rooney Mara attended the Oscars in blunt bangs from ear to ear.

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STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Bella Hadid

We loved when Bella Hadid cut her hair and framed that gorgeous face with blunt bangs.

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STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj looked like a real-life Barbie when she fashioned her blonde hair to include a set of super-straight bangs.

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STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Emma Stone

Who could forget when Emma Stone first went blonde and looked like a brand-new woman in ombre bangs?

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STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell‘s signature mane has almost always included a set of bangs just above her eyes.

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STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Justine Skye

Justine Skye, also known as “the purple unicorn,” has experimented with blunt bangs over the years.

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STYLECASTER | Best Celebrity Blunt Bangs | Katy Perry

Katy Perry‘s wig collection includes plenty of looks with fierce, straight-edge bangs.

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9 Summer Wellness Retreats You
Can Actually Afford

9 Summer Wellness Retreats You
Can Actually Afford

15 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism Without Any Exercise

15 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism Without Any Exercise

We won’t deny that making fitness part of your routine is incredibly important for health and wellness, but sometimes working out everyday just doesn’t, well, work out. The good news is there are countless other habits you can embrace —from how you work to what you eat—that can boost your metabolism and kickstart your weight loss 24 hours a day.

Yes, you read that right: You can boost your metabolism without exercise. Here’s how, according to experts.

1. Drink Two Glasses of Ice Water as Soon as You Wake Up

The water itself jump-starts your body from sleep mode into awake mode, while the coolness of the water starts shunting water from the internal organs to the peripheral muscles. “That gets your blood pumping and flowing, which boosts your metabolism 1 to 2 percent,” says Kian Ameli, owner of the Concord, California location of Momentum Fitness.

Water is the single most important thing our bodies need to sustain good health and wellness, but so many of us walk around mildly dehydrated every day.

“Our bodies will become metabolically sluggish without getting the water they need,” says Deborah Orlick Levy, M.S., R.D. and Carrington Farms health and nutrition consultant. In fact, “German researchers found that drinking six cups or 48 ounces of very cold water a day requires the body to expend more calories in trying to warm the water to body temperature. This can result in an increase in resting metabolism by 50 calories a day,” Levy says.

This may not seem like much, but if you do this every day for a year, you can lose up to five pounds just by making this change alone.

2. Get a Standing Desk

You can also just put your laptop on a high table if a standing desk isn’t practical.

“The requirements of standing versus sitting are profound, because while we are sitting, we don’t have to use any muscles. Standing does not need to be done all day either—one to two-hour standing sessions can boost your metabolism,” says Ameli.

3. Try “Contrast” Showers

A contrast shower is one where you start off with warm water for two to three minutes, then change the water temperature to cool for 30 to 45 seconds.

“While this may sound slightly unpleasant,” and yes, it very well may be, “the contrast shower will relax blood vessels during the warm phase and contract them during the cool phase,” says Ameli. This has a major impact on your body’s circulatory system, as well as having a relaxing effect on our fight-or-flight reflexes. The latter helps us sleep deeper, and better sleep leads to improved energy throughout the day and increased metabolism.

4. Check Your Sleep Schedule

Getting enough sleep and adopting a consistent sleep schedule can help improve your metabolism.

“The body is a machine and needs efficient rest to reboot. Sleep is the best way to look and feel better from the inside out,” says Shanna Israel, lifestyle and wellness expert and CEO of Vertical Wellness.

5. Try Intermittent Fasting

It sounds crazy, but you may want to try an eating schedule where you eat all of your meals in a short period of time and fast during the rest of the day. “I have my clients finish eating dinner at 6 p.m. and drink water for the remainder of the evening. They wake up, drink cold water, and skip breakfast. The eating phase begins at lunch time. It takes a while to get used to this, but you will see great results,” says Dr. Rawle Shewprashad, a personal trainer.

6. Eat Spicy Foods

Hot peppers have been linked to reducing obesity and related disorders because they increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation by increasing the metabolism. Cayenne pepper, for example, improves digestion, blood circulation, and increases energy levels.

“This precious pepper creates heat in the digestive tract that helps your body store food more effectively, improving digestion and aiding in feelings of satisfaction,”says Carina Sohaili, board certified celebrity nutrition and health counselor and creator of Vibrant Healthy Life. “Cayenne pepper also contains high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, and essential minerals.” Add cayenne pepper to your salads, soups, and meals for a zesty kick and huge health benefits.

7. Eat Celery

It’s been said it takes more calories to digest celery than celery actually contains. For example, a stalk of celery contains six calories, but takes seven calories for your body to process it, making it a “negative calorie” food. This isn’t 100 percent proven, however, and many claim it’s outright false. In any case, celery is still a healthy food worth eating.

8. Cook with Coconut Oil

The benefits of coconut oil range from a useful moisturizer to promoting oral health and everything in-between. But can it boost metabolic rate? The answer seems to be yes.

“Ideally, choose extra virgin coconut oil to ensure you are consuming the purest form of the oil with all of its natural benefits,” says Levy. “Coconut oil is comprised of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that are easy to digest and quickly absorbed into the body to be used for energy and not stored as fat.”

“On the contrary,” she explains, “vegetable oils are comprised of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) which have longer chains linked together and require the help of liver enzymes for digestion.”

9. Use Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a great natural metabolism-boosting spice.

“I carry a small container of cinnamon in my purse and sprinkle it on everything,” says Sohaili. “This saucy spice is great for stabilizing energy levels because it does not spike your blood sugar. Cinnamon also helps with stomach cramps and nausea.”

Get in the habit of sprinkling some in your morning coffee or tea, on your whole wheat toast, or on your afternoon snack.

10. Eat Garlic

Hello, fat-burning, metabolism-boosting nutrition powerhouse! Garlic is great for lowering blood glucose levels. It also helps to curb cravings for unhealthy foods. Garlic also builds up your immune system, and helps dissolve blood clots.

“Another added bonus is that it is packed with a powerful antioxidant that has been proven to help fight off infectious diseases,” says Sohaili.

11. Eat Grapefruit

Not only does grapefruit contain an enzyme that aids in burning fat, but it’s also a great source of vitamin C and vitamin A, two vitamins that have been proven to contribute to clear skin, a more even complexion, and a reduction in dark circles under your eyes.

“It’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up when you’re losing focus and hanger (hunger-anger) starts to kick in,” says Sohaili.

Grapefruit is also fantastic for digestion; it helps the body break down protein in order to be used more efficiently. Need an easy grapefruit recipe? Try a simple baked spice grapefruit. Sprinkle half of a medium grapefruit with cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/2 tablespoon of stevia (an all-natural sweetener that does not spike your blood sugar levels). Bake for five minutes at 375 F until the top is a golden-brown.

12. Consume High-Fiber Foods

These require the body to work extra hard in the process of digestion, while low fiber foods are digested easily without much effort.

“This occurs because fiber is indigestible and, although it is futile, the body expends great effort to try to break it down. This results in increased caloric burn from the process,” says Levy.

Choose wild rice (which has nearly twice the amount of fiber per serving than brown rice), whole wheat pasta, and legumes to get a high-fiber fix.

13. Drink Green Tea

Green tea contains many healthy nutrients and is credited with boosting metabolic rate.

“Clinical studies suggest that catechins in green tea are responsible for speeding up metabolism and weight loss,” Levy says. “Researchers believe five eight-ounce cups a day may increase caloric burn by 90 calories.”

Sound hard to do? If you drink two cups in the morning, you can get the benefits of both the catechins and caffeine to maximize metabolic boost. (Caffeine is also believed to boost metabolic rate.) Then, add brewed decaf iced green tea to drink throughout the day to get the additional thermogenic effect from the very cold water, maximizing your metabolic output. It’s that simple.

14. Eat Plain, All-Natural Greek Yogurt

Protein and calcium are nutrients that do wonders for metabolism. “Greek yogurt contains double the amount of protein than normal yogurt, and is a great source of calcium,” says Sohaili.

Try a chunky pineapple cream cup: Combine 1/2 cup of plain non-fat Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup of pineapple and 1 tablespoon of stevia for a refreshing afternoon snack.

15. Eat Salmon

Salmon is a great lean protein source and metabolism booster.

“Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy fat that the body does not produce on its own. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease, irregular heartbeats, and help lower blood pressure levels,” says Sohaili. “These healthy fats also increase your ability to focus and improve your mood.”

Try a steamed salmon entrée for dinner, a couple of brown rice salmon rolls, or salmon seaweed wraps: Roll three ounces of smoked salmon (wild-caught Alaskan is best) in a couple of sheets of seaweed (which you can buy at any local market).

boost metabolism without exercise 15 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism Without Any Exercise

15 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism Without Exercise | @stylecaster

A version of this article was originally published in May 2016.

The Top BB Creams for Every Skin Type and Concern

The Top BB Creams for Every Skin Type and Concern

If you haven’t used BB creams yet, you’re in for a real treat. First off, these tinted moisturizers are different than foundation in that they’re a bit more lightweight—but they still build like a foundation. A little cream goes a long way in terms of helping you look completely put together on a busy day, giving you near-perfect complexion. Plus, they can even last through the summer heat.

Oh, and we didn’t even mention the best part: BB creams have plenty of skincare benefits. Depending on the product, BB creams contain anti-aging components (including peptides and antioxidants, such as vitamins A, E, and C), hyaluronic acid and glycerin, which moisturize your face, ingredients like licorice and arbutin that help even out skin tone, and silicone-based ingredients, such as dimethicone, that help smooth the skin.

But these moisturizer/foundation/SPF hybrids, with their laundry lists of features, can also be incredibly confusing. Do they work for every skin tone? What’s the best BB cream for oily skin? We tested a full lineup to bring you the very best BB creams.

BB Creams: The Facts You Didn’t Know

It’s not easily definable: Unfortunately, the term “BB cream” is pretty nebulous and encompasses a wide range of products. BB creams originated in Germany and exploded in Korea, where they were first used by laser treatment patients to ease post-procedure redness. But now that beauty consumers have embraced BBs, new formulas span a range of shades, textures and skincare benefits.

Not one shade fits all: Despite what some packages claim, we found a wide range of colors, and they don’t all work with every skin tone. You may need to test a few formulas before you find a match.

BBs are best applied with a brush: Just like any complexion makeup, the key to making these tinted balms work is to blend, blend and blend some more. A foundation brush (or a sponge like the Beauty Blender) does the job better than fingers.

Layering brings the best results: Though some BB creams aim to replace your entire arsenal of face products, that’s not always realistic. If your skin is extra-dry, you’ll want to prep with moisturizer so your BBs pigment doesn’t stick to dry spots. Also, since most BBs have light to medium coverage, you’ll probably still need concealer for under-eye circles, blemishes, and other discolorations.

Which BB Cream is Right For You?

Click through the gallery; we’re breaking it down.

bb cream The Top BB Creams for Every Skin Type and Concern

The Ultimate Guide to BB Cream | @stylecaster

A version of this article was originally published in May 2016.

STYLECASTER | Best BB Creams | It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better™ CC+™ Cream with SPF 50+

Best for combination skin: It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better™ CC+™ Cream with SPF 50+

This anti-aging CC+ cream has it all: hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, niacin, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and vitamins, leaving you with flawless-looking coverage.

$15 (travel size) at It Cosmetics

Photo:
It Cosmetics

STYLECASTER | Best BB Creams | Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20

Best for dry skin: Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20

This oil-free, vegan tinted moisturizer has an Amazonian clay-powered formula that includes chamomile and antioxidants that comforts your skin and nourishes your complexion.

$36 at Tarte

Photo:
Tarte

STYLECASTER | Best BB Creams | Olay Total Effects CC Cream Tone Correcting Face Moisturizer with SPF 15

Most lightweight: Olay Total Effects CC Cream Tone Correcting Face Moisturizer with SPF 15

Olay calls this product a CC cream, the “color correction”-focused sequel to BBs, but the idea is the same. The swirled, dual-phase formula is ultra-light, so it might not replace your foundation. It does give skin a subtle, luminous glow with sheer coverage, and the neutral-toned fair-to-light shade was a favorite among our pale-skinned testers who found other BBs too dark.

$22.99 at Olay

Photo:
Olay

STYLECASTER | Best BB Creams | Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45

Best for sensitive skin: Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45

This cream comes in one universal shade and acts as a moisturizer, sunscreen, and treatment serum. This product’s great for sensitive skin.

$39 at Sephora

Photo:
Dr. Jart+

STYLECASTER | Best BB Creams | Maybelline Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm Skin Perfector 

Best for dark skin (and medium and light): Maybelline Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm Skin Perfector

This sheer fluid has a smooth texture that makes blending easy, and the line features one of the darkest BB creams of any we tried. The Deep shade has a warm, caramel tint that helps counteract gray or sallow tones on darker complexions. And with five shades spanning the color range, light to medium skin tones will find a match, too.

$8.99 at Maybelline

Photo:
Maybelline

STYLECASTER | Best BB Creams | Garnier 5-in-1 Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream Anti-Aging (Light/Medium)

Smoothest texture: Garnier 5-in-1 Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream Anti-Aging (Light/Medium)

The first drugstore BB to launch in the U.S., Garnier’s version has enough coverage to stand in for foundation, and its slightly peachy tone makes skin look sun-kissed. But the biggest draw is its silky-smooth texture that blends flawlessly and blurs away pores.

$12.99 at Garnier

Photo:
Garnier

STYLECASTER | Best BB Creams | Dior Hydra Life BB Creme SPF 30 

Best for full coverage: Dior Hydra Life BB Creme SPF 30 

Dior’s BB cream was the most pigmented of any we sampled and the closest stand-in for full coverage foundation. Medium skin tones seeking to add warmth to their complexions will do the best with this one.

$60 at Dior

Photo:
Dior

STYLECASTER | Best BB Creams | Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35 

Best matte finish: Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35

As far as our tester was concerned, this BB cream was just right—not too thick, not too sheer, and with a refined finish that wasn’t overly dewy.

$46 at Bobbi Brown

Photo:
Bobbi Brown

STYLECASTER | Best BB Creams | L’Oréal Paris Studio Secrets Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream

Best for oily skin: L’Oréal Paris Studio Secrets Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream

This BB cream is colorless until you blend it into skin, causing its pigment beads to burst (this is fun to watch!). If you have oily skin and can get past the beads’ initial grainy texture, you’ll love the way this primer-like balm gives a smooth, matte finish.

$10.95 at L’Oréal Paris

Photo:
L’Oréal Paris

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9 Summer Wellness Retreats You
Can Actually Afford

9 Summer Wellness Retreats You
Can Actually Afford

Selling Your Wedding Dress? Here’s What You Need to Know

Selling Your Wedding Dress? Here’s What You Need to Know

A bride wearing a wedding dress outside

Wedding dresses, wedding dresses, wedding dresses! Sometimes the search can take months. Then you find the perfect dress. It’s got the detail and neckline you so desperately wanted. So you buy it. You spend hundreds or thousands for that one beautiful moment when you walk down the aisle and everyone oohs and ahhs. Then suddenly, your moment is gone! The dress has served its purpose. So what do you do with it? There are many answers to this question. Some sell their dress or keep it for future children to wear. Some even trash the dress with paint or roll in the mud with it on (I’m not kidding). But, if you do decide to sell your dress, here are some things you might want to know about the process.

You Won’t Get All Your Money Back

When it comes to reselling any item of clothing, you have to lower your expectations a bit on what you’ll get back. Chances are you’re not getting the full amount you paid for it including fees and alterations especially. Once you’ve bought that dress and worn it, the dress is now used. It’s sort of like a car, once you drive it off the lot and drive it around its value depreciates. My advice here is really simple: don’t overlist. If you price the item too high you won’t get any money back because no one will buy it. They’ll see that the dress has a price tag similar to a new dress and click away from your listing.

Here’s the thing: people who are shopping for used wedding dresses don’t want to pay full price. If they did, they would just buy a new dress. Try to put yourself in the shoes of someone trying to find a good deal. Of course you want to price the dress so that you make a good deal yourself, just don’t go crazy with it.

Woman browsing on her smart phone while drinking coffee

The Better It Looks, the Better Response

If you take a low light picture of the dress hanging on your dirty closet door you might not get as much response as you could. With a better picture and more effort into making the dress look presentable you could get a lot more views and more potential buyers. If you were looking for a dress, would you jump on one that looked gross or would you purchase one that had lots of pictures and looked basically new.

If you’re absolutely not a talented photographer try this: hang your dress on a blank wall near a window. The pictures will turn out great because there is no clutter in the frame and the natural light from the window will make all the details easily visible. People want to know what kind of product they’d be getting if they bought your dress. Anticipate all of your potential buyer’s questions and answer all of them with lovely pictures and lots of description.

More Description

Speaking of descriptions, you should try to be as descriptive as you can about your dress listing. I’m serious, don’t leave anything out. Buyers want to know about every button and decorative stitch. Description is great for customers, but it’s also a good idea to help with visibility. A lot of sites use hashtags or your descriptions to group dress listings into search categories. The more you accurately describe your dress the more categories your dress will be listed under. This is good because it means more online traffic to your listing. If you get lots of people to look at your listing and you’ve taken great pictures of it, chances are someone will bite.

Woman on laptop with credit card in hand

You Won’t Get It Back

Chances are you know this. Once you sell your dress, there’s no going back (at least with most sites). Spend time really deciding whether selling is the best option for you. You can always sell it later. They say within the first couple years your dress is worth the most because it’s still in fashion. But even this time frame gives you a moment to pause and really think about what you’re doing. Some keep their dresses because they want their future children to wear it and some just want to put it on occasionally and dance around in it. Whatever the reason, you might end up deciding to keep the dress. If you feel that you want to sell though, give the decision a few weeks and at the end of those weeks if you still are sure, then you’re probably good to go ahead and list!

Selling your wedding dress is big. Sometimes the money you gain from selling is even bigger. You may use it to fund part of your honeymoon or start in the process of buying a new house. Whatever your reasoning, take comfort in the fact that somewhere out there someone is marrying the love of their life and adding more beautiful memories to your dress.

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5 Unique Accessories to Make Your Bridesmaids’ Dresses Pop
Key Elements That Should Be in Your Sunscreen

Key Elements That Should Be in Your Sunscreen

Protect Yourself From The Sun’s Harmful Rays

Memorial Day is two weeks away. Did you know that “Don’t Fry Day” is the Friday before? Yep, this day was designated by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention because Memorial Day is often the first day of the warm weather season where people get a horrific sunburn – a burn that causes permanent skin damage that remains for your entire lifetime.

Did you know that getting 5 or more sunburns can double your risk of getting melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer?

Use sunscreen protection to avoid a burn!Yep, tragic job-security for dermatologists. Don’t let that be you or the people you love. Get your sun protection “gear” in order now, including the right sunscreen.

I’m a clinical dermatologist who has practiced for over 30 years. I’ve seen who gets skin cancer, what sun-protection practice works – and which have let my patients down. I’ve learned how to guide my diverse group of patients to practice good sun protection in a way that fits their lifestyle, values and budget.

No matter how extreme their sun exposure is or how sensitive their skin is to UV or intolerant it is to products, it’s possible to enjoy sunny summer weather without a tan or a burn. My patients have proven it is possible.

My recommendations here are based on what patients have taught me over the course of my career.

First, get started with your sun protection strategy now. Don’t wait until the last minute. You need your plan ready and proven before the summer sun gets intense and your outdoor play plans are in full swing.

As a practicing dermatologist, here’s what I recommend for sunscreen and sun protection:

Use Only The Best Sunscreen.

Your sunscreen must provide an SPF 30, at minimum, and be labeled “Broad Spectrum.” You will read that SPF 15 is enough. I recommend 30, and you will see why later.

Did you know that not all sunscreens are good at blocking all the harmful rays?

This is especially true for the UV ray called UVA. In the past, sunscreens provided almost no UVA protection, making this a source of controversy and confusion. Here is the story:

UVB is the intense summer mid-day ray that quickly burns your skin. SPF originally was a measure of how well UVB was blocked. You could stay outside in the sun longer without burning – and get lots and lots more UVA than you would have otherwise. You thought you were safe because you did not burn.

Little did people know that the UVA was loading their skin with lots of delayed damage that shows up later in life.

Bottom line, you MUST see “Broad Spectrum” listed on the label.

You Must Put On Enough Sunscreen to Get Enough Protection.

Studies have shown for years that people almost never do.

There are a lot of reasons why. Start with an SPF 30, and you have extra protection. But it probably becomes more like an SPF 15 if you are not applying and reapplying “as directed.” Just be careful, and pay attention to how much you apply. And be careful to reapply product on all your exposed skin – and start with SPF 30!

Here is the story:

SPFs are tested and rated at about 1 oz. (a shot glass), the amount covering the average-adult human body. That’s 2 mg./cm2 of surface; that number is probably of no use to you practically. The point is, the average adult is around 1.8 (woman) to 2 meters squared of skin surface, 1 shot glass if you are in a swimming suit.

But, how much sunscreen do you need to apply to your face during the average day when you are not wearing a swimming suit?

Based on “the Wallace Rule of nines for body surface area,” your head is 9% of that; the “anterior head” (head and neck) is 4.5%. Every person’s anatomy varies, but this is approximately the percentage of area of your face and neck, minus your hair on that front half of your “head.”How to avoid a sunburn

I have guesstimated this over the years at about 4% of your total body surface, if you are just putting daily sunscreen on the front of your head and neck, meaning your face and sides/front of your neck in the morning.

Thus, 4% of your 1 oz. required-application-dose, based on 1 oz. being 6 tsp., the math comes to ¼ tsp. per face/neck/ears depending on how much of your “head and neck” your hair covers.

Basically, I use less than a tsp. for my face/neck/ears/behind my ears and the back of my neck above my collar line, and it works. This is what I have taught my patients over the years, and it usually works for them, too.

The good news is that you can test your results.

Are you getting a tan?

If so, you need to use more of your product. Again, every product has a different consistency so you may need to gauge up or down based on tanning or darkening of freckles. Just test this before you plan intensive UV-exposure – you need to know that your strategy is spot on!

Wear Sunscreen Every Day on Exposed Skin.

UV-rays are sneaky, and unless you live in a deep dark cave, you need sunscreen every day. UVA comes through window glass, and both UV rays bounce off reflective surfaces like cement, rocks and buildings. UV damage accumulates.

The body can fix some of the damage, but not all. Even UV exposure below the level to cause a burn will accumulate damage. The damage leads to wrinkles, skin thinning, sun spot freckling, and skin cancer.

What sun screen ingredients provide the best broad spectrum protection?

You will see some confusing and conflicting info on the web right now about sunscreens. I’ve read a lot of it, and even I’m confused – in vitro versus in vivo versus ex vivo testing, physical sunscreens tested in differing sizes, reflection versus absorption versus scatter mechanisms, absorption through the entire UVA-spectrum, photo stability or filter combos – it goes on and on.

Basically, you need a really good chemist to make a product that is tested on humans, and then, put it to the test in real life.

I am NOT a skin care chemist. I have been in the privileged position to do full skin-exams for 30 years and observe how my patients have put sunscreen to the test.

I can tell you what has taken good care of my patient’s skin based on these years of observation. I’m also really fair-skinned and spend as much time outdoors in intense sun exposure settings as I possibly can.

Here is what I know about UV-filters (sunscreen ingredients):

Mineral Zinc Oxide

This is my top choice. It is what I wear daily and have for years. It is what most of my patients choose, too. Mineral zinc oxide protects with mineral particles. The smaller they are, the more invisible they can be on skin. Technology has evolved and the micro-fine size (non-nano) is now also invisible.

It blocks UVB and UVA. It’s protection drops off at the end of the UVA spectrum so I like to see a lot of zinc oxide in a product.

I’ve recommended 5% or more for years and I like to see even more, if possible.

My Sheer Strength Matte and Spray products contain 16.2 and 12% respectively. That is state-of-the-art for protection that is invisible. Suntegrity 5 in 1 BB Cream contains 20%. Raw Elements Eco Tin High Performance contains 23%.

Zinc oxide is uniquely photostable, meaning it does not break down as it protects your skin.

You still need reapplication in intense UV-exposure settings because you will rub off product in the course of normal activities.

Non-mineral filters that are reasonably good UV-filters

Some of these are available in the U.S. and some are not. Please note that I am not a huge fan of new “organic” filters. I like to watch them work – or not – or cause rashes – or not on “other people” before I recommend them. I also like the toxicity issue to get a good think and test in real life settings.

Mexoryl (Ecamsule): SX (water-soluble) and XL (oil-soluble)

Both are patented by L’Oréal and exclusive to their brands. These absorb UV, the molecule “gets excited” and releases thermal energy (heat) on the outside of the skin. Ecamsule misses some of the UVB spectrum so it must be combined with other sunscreens (UV filters) that cover that.

It is a good UVA-blocker and not as fragile as earlier chemical UV filters such as avobenzone. Its presence is said to be tricky in an overall product formulation because it is an acid. Common UV filters seen with it include avobenzone, octocrylene, titanium dioxide, and others. The U.S. and Canada allow the SX form.

Canada allows the XL form, and the FDA is evaluating its safety. A few of my patients have used Mexoryl products, and my clinical observation is that they work in that I don’t see sun burning, tanning or darkening of sun freckles.

Tinosorb S and M

These are also large molecules that may not enter skin. They are patented by BASF and have broad UV-protection. They don’t break down with UV-exposure and can help other UV-filters stay more stable such as avobenzone (Tinosorb S) and octinoxate (Tinosorb M).

Tinosorb M also reflects and scatters UV and is sort of like a particle sunscreen, though it is not a mineral UV-filter. Apparently, it does not show estrogenic effects in vitro (test tubes). It is not approved by the FDA yet, but it is available in Europe.

These later two are relatively new but they have some positive attributes. They are large molecules and so probably do not penetrate into the skin. This is important as some sunscreens are absorbed into the body and can cause troubles, like hormone disruption.

They can also sting or cause skin allergies. Mexoryl and Tinosorb block UVA very well, and I am optimistic. They are relatively new, however, and so post marketing adverse experiences are still a “wait and watch” in my opinion.

The bottom line on which sunscreen filters I prefer:

Zinc oxide, hands down.

  • I’ve had thousands of patients use it for many years. It has stood the test of time for sun protecting my patient’s skin.
  • It’s safe. Zinc oxide is also an ingredient used in skin care for many other applications for a really long time – remember diaper rash and zinc oxide?! It has an excellent safety record.
  • It is non-irritating for even the most sensitive skin.
  • It can be formulated to be invisible yet still block UV well. Yep, no more pale white tinting, or white clown makeup look on your skin. Look for micro-fine zinc when having invisible protection is important for you. You can also get good protection from nano-size zinc, but my preference is micro-fine zinc oxide. The non-nano products will not be invisible. They still offer amazing protection. Many natural formulations use larger particles in high-performance bases.
  • It has the best reef safety profile, especially the larger-particle-size natural formulations like Raw Elements. Wearing sun protection swim shirts and applying a natural formula zinc oxide sunscreen to the small surface area of exposed skin is smart reef stewardship, in my opinion.

Final Tips on Sunscreen:

  • Sun avoidance, not sunscreen is recommended for infants 6 months of age or less.
  • Apply sunscreen before you go out so it can dry and bind better to your skin. This will help it perform better for you.
  • Reapply it if you have rubbed it off your skin like by changing your clothing or in frisky activities like sports.
  • Reapply it after water contact like swimming or sweating no matter how long it’s been on.
  • Don’t spray sunscreen on your face. Frankly, don’t spray it without rubbing it in on other areas too. Sprays leave droplets, and by definition, you can expect skin areas between droplets or they would not be droplets!
  • Don’t forget your lip protection. I don’t recommend chemical sunscreens on the lips nor do I recommend nano-zinc on the lips.
  • Don’t rely on sunscreen alone. Wear sun-protective clothing and seek the shade. Sunscreen is designed to protect exposed skin – let that be as small of an area as possible because you have great sun-protective clothing to wear during intense UV-exposure.


Click here to see what I wear.

Click here for my favorite sun umbrella.
Click here for my really great and well priced sun hats.

Want effective but not overly apparent sun protection? Take a look at our summer sun protection.

 

 

References:

Antony R. Young, PhD, Ultraviolet radiation and the skin: Photobiology and sunscreen photoprotection, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, March 2017 Volume 76, Issue 3, Supplement 1, Pages S100–S109

Steven Q. Wang, Haoming Xu, Joseph W. Stanfield, Uli Osterwalder, Bernd Herzog, Comparison of ultraviolet A light protection standards in the United States and European Union through in vitro measurements of commercially available sunscreens, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2017; Vol. 77, Issue 1: 42-47

Mark A. Mitchnick, MD, David Fairhurst, PhD, Sheldon R. Pinnell, MD, Microfine zinc oxide (Z-Cote) as a photostable UVA/UVB sunblock agent, Presented in part as a poster at the 55th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, San Francisco, Calif, March 21-26, 1997. (J Am Acad Dermatol 1999;40:85-90.)

More Balaji D. Physical sunscreens: On the comeback trail, Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, Vol. 73, No. 2, March-April, 2007, pp. 80-85

Threes G Smijs, Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles in sunscreens: focus on their safety and effectiveness, Nanotechnol Sci Appl. 2011; 4: 95–112.

Stiefel C, Schwack W, Photoprotection in changing times – UV filter efficacy and safety, sensitization processes and regulatory aspects, International Journal of Cosmetic Science Volume 37, Issue 1, Review Article, First published: 25 September 2014 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ics.12165

Julián Jiménez Reinosaa, et. al., Enhancement of UV absorption behavior in ZnO–TiO2 composites, Boletin De La Sociedad Espanola De Ceramica Y Vidrio, 55 (2016); 55-62

Curtis Cole, et. al., Metal Oxide Sunscreens Protect Skin by Absorption, Not by Reflection or Scattering, Photodermatology Photoimmunology and Photomedicine 32(1) October 2015

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The Love Story Behind Lipstick Queers, a New Platform for Inclusivity Beyond Beauty

The Love Story Behind Lipstick Queers, a New Platform for Inclusivity Beyond Beauty

I met Lijha Stewart about four years ago, when we worked on the first of many makeup tutorials together. She’s the quintessential makeup artist: incredibly creative, self-assured, great under pressure, and of course, a master with brushes and sponges in hand. In short, she’s hard not to like—so much so, that I never suspected she was dealing with some sort of internal struggle or identity crisis.

“I’m not sure if it was necessarily the job. I think it came from my identity being silenced for so long,” says Stewart, who previously served as Make Up For Ever‘s Brand Educator. “Also, as you know, the beauty industry can be so oppressive, and even though some brands speak to diversity, I find most of them to be only capitalizing on what they feel will sell. I was sick of an inauthentic existence, both personally and professionally.”

lipstick queers 3 The Love Story Behind Lipstick Queers, a New Platform for Inclusivity Beyond Beauty

Courtesy of Lijha Stewart

So last year, she decided enough was enough and it all started with reconnecting with, and eventually, marrying fellow makeup artist Yvonne Macinnis. Together, they have since gone on to create Lipstick Queers, a new platform inspired by their love story, a passion for makeup artistry and a desire to push inclusivity forward. Ahead, in their own words, Stewart and Macinnis chronicle the major events that led to the creation of what is shaping up to be one of the beauty industry’s biggest and most impactful initiatives.

The First Hookup

Technically we met in Toronto during Yvonne’s first training when she started working for a makeup company where Lijha was her trainer, then again in Paris for a training where we were both students. Yvonne was in a heterosexual relationship that ended about six months after we met. Around the same time, we spent a couple weeks together in New York City and finally were able to explore the obvious energy that was calling to us.

We hooked up for the first time after Yvonne stayed at Lijha’s apartment in Williamsburg—waking up unexpectedly wrapped up in each other’s arms. Although we knew it was frowned upon, we continued to fall in and out of a sexual then romantic relationship that we kept a secret for four years. It was so hard, but we hid from coworkers, friends, and family, only letting a few into the secret life we were living, in fear of losing our job titles as director and national artist—statuses that we had worked so hard to achieve at fairly young ages. The lies and deception eventually tore us apart, and we ended our relationship, not speaking to one another for almost an entire year.

lipstick queers 2 The Love Story Behind Lipstick Queers, a New Platform for Inclusivity Beyond Beauty

Courtesy of Lijha Stewart

Our relationship was rekindled the first time we saw one another after that, at a pro artist function in Provincetown in October 2017. The love we denied ourselves for that year was still there. We knew in an instant we no longer wanted to hide and announced our relationship to peers and friends that week … and decided to get engaged a few weeks later.

We prefer to remain more fluid, as celebrating transformation is a part of who we are and what we do.

The Big Day

For our wedding in January 2018, we didn’t want subscribe to traditional anything, so instead, we dressed in full bio-queen realness, including thigh-high silver stilettos, boas, sequins, and leopard print from head to toe and were married by Elvis in Las Vegas in front of a pink Cadillac.

lipstick queers wedding The Love Story Behind Lipstick Queers, a New Platform for Inclusivity Beyond Beauty

Courtesy of Lijha Stewart

Instead of having family or guests, we streamed it live on Instagram so everyone we knew could be part of our day! Hiding our love was now a thing of the past, and we wanted to share our truth with anyone who would listen.

Labels

We identify as “queer,” “femme,” “stemme/stem,” and cis women. We feel there is still so much divide within the lesbian community that still labels groups of lesbian-identifying people, and we prefer to remain more fluid, as celebrating transformation is a part of who we are and what we do.

We’ve decided to use our medium as a form of self-expression and freedom from traditional beauty culture.

Makeup Artists First

Although our journeys were different, our defining moments are similar: creatives, driven for success, finding our way to the top of an industry that often ends up disenchanting; passionately wanting to create art in our medium of makeup that means more than “making something pretty”; sharing art and experience with fellow artists and (hoping to) inspire or provoke new ideas in some way.

lipstick queers 5 The Love Story Behind Lipstick Queers, a New Platform for Inclusivity Beyond Beauty

Courtesy of Lijha Stewart

As professional makeup artists, we’ve decided to use our medium as a form of self-expression and freedom from traditional beauty culture. We feel there is still a divide in feminist perspective around cosmetics/makeup and want to bring that to our work in the pro makeup industry, as artists, educators, and mentors.

Lipstick Queers

Lipstick Queers is a community. It’s driven by art, acceptance, love, unconventional beauty, body positivity, intersectional feminism, sex positivity, and most importantly: INCLUSION.

Lovers of love. The Freaks. The Weirdos. The Outcasts. The activists. The doers. Feminists. Artists. Progressives. Gay/queer/straight/bi … everything in between and outside of that. The allied. The ones who ask the questions and the ones who are still questioning. Our community is your community: to feel love; to know you’re special, accepted, and fucking FABULOUS just the way you are.

We were able to hide in plain sight for years because there is little to no visibility of fabulous femme queer love. We want to create space for intersectional feminists from all backgrounds, promote body positivity, share art, create community, inspire love, and show humans from all walks life that we are more alike then we are different. We knew it was our responsibility to challenge labels in the LGBTQIA community and beyond.

Our passion is to inspire a new space where all forms of beauty are celebrated with intersectional feminism at the core.

lipstick queers 6 The Love Story Behind Lipstick Queers, a New Platform for Inclusivity Beyond Beauty

Courtesy of Lijha Stewart

The Inspiration

The inspiration comes from our desire to explore liberation from traditional beauty standards by challenging perception in identity, gender, and binary with physical transformation. We are inspired by so many that fought for women’s, gay, and human rights before us and believe it is our responsibility as artists to create a safe space in the world as it continues to evolve and grow in the gender revolution!

Our passion is to inspire a new space where all forms of beauty are celebrated with intersectional feminism at the core. We want to create a momentum around self-love, expression, and love for each other—a safe space to come and connect with humans from all backgrounds.

The Future

Lipstick Queers just soft-launched its website, where you can learn more about the beauty movement, in addition to launching a T-shirt for supporters. And be sure to keep up with Stewart and Macinnis here. And because they love makeup as much as us, ahead are the products they always keep in their kit:

cozette eyeshadows The Love Story Behind Lipstick Queers, a New Platform for Inclusivity Beyond Beauty

Cozzette Beauty

Cozzette Infinite Eyeshadows

“Just the most delicious texture of shadow we’ve ever felt. Cozzette shadows are a makeup artist’s dream!!!”

$12 at Cozzette Beauty

dm color fix The Love Story Behind Lipstick Queers, a New Platform for Inclusivity Beyond Beauty

Danessa Myricks

Danessa Myricks Color Fix

“All the colors of the rainbow. Every texture. Super waterproof and there are no rules to where we can put these bold, beautiful colors. Just what we want in a makeup – FREEDOM to Create!!”

$18 at Danessa Myricks Beauty

mac glitter The Love Story Behind Lipstick Queers, a New Platform for Inclusivity Beyond Beauty

MAC Cosmetics

M.A.C. Star Graphic Glitter

“Cute moment for an editorial lewk and we like to stick them on our nails for a little dazzle!”

$22 at M.A.C. Cosmetics

marc jacobs mascara The Love Story Behind Lipstick Queers, a New Platform for Inclusivity Beyond Beauty

Marc Jacobs Beauty

Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Mascara

“Best mascara for in-your-face, bold, chunky lashes in one or two swipes. We love to style our lashes with this!”

$26 at Marc Jacobs Beauty

milk makeup holographic stick The Love Story Behind Lipstick Queers, a New Platform for Inclusivity Beyond Beauty

Milk Makeup

Milk Makeup Holographic Stick

“They are currently doing everything right if you ask us. Their campaigns are beautiful and very inclusive- but their holographic sticks are in our kits and on our eyes and faces almost everyday.”

$28 at Milk Makeup

mufe artist color pencil The Love Story Behind Lipstick Queers, a New Platform for Inclusivity Beyond Beauty

Make Up For Ever

Make Up For Ever Artist Color Pencil

“Colorful pencils that can be used anywhere for anything – and a top secret collaboration with Lipstick Queers under way- stay tuned!”

$18 at Make Up For Ever

A Trichologist Breaks Down the Basics of Hair Thinning and How to Avoid It

A Trichologist Breaks Down the Basics of Hair Thinning and How to Avoid It

Last month, “Modern Family” star Sarah Hyland opened up about a disheartening side effect of taking medication for her battle with kidney dysplasia: hair loss. Although this is a very singular, specific case, thinning hair isn’t something that’s exclusive to people grappling with chronic illnesses. We all deal with it to varying degrees, be it through genetics or the way we treat our hair on a day-to-day basis.

And because we wouldn’t want anyone to mis-diagnose themselves, we reached out to Michelle Blaisure, certified Trichologist for Bosley Professional Strength Hair Care, who gave us a crash course on everything from the main causes to simple, yet effective forms of prevention.

The Common Cause and Signs

According to Blaisure, the main and most common cause of hair thinning, also known as male or female pattern baldness, is genetic predisposition. In simpler terms, that means you can inherit genes from your mother and father that make it nearly impossible to avoid. “About 60-70 percent of men will thin by age 60 and 20 percent of women inherit as well, but with women, we seem to be prone to hair loss due to many things that can affect our hormonal and bio-chemical balance,” she says.

Excess hair shedding is often one of the first signs that something is out of balance. And if you’re constantly over-manipulating your strands with tight ponytails or other protective styles (braids, weaves, buns), you’re making yourself more susceptible to hair thinning as well. 

The Types

Hair loss is a side effect of many disorders, especially for women. The most common ones, according to Blaisure, are: 

Genetic Thinning. This means you have inherited a sensitivity to the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT causes the hair to get smaller and thinner. Men usually thin or go completely bald int he crown and hair line areas, while women tend to just get really thin. In both cases, you’re likely to experience micro-inflammation (swelling, redness, irritation) in the hair follicles. 

Thyroid Malfunction. Hair loss can also be a sign that your thyroid, a large gland that lives in the neck and secretes the hormones that maintain our body’s metabolism, is producing a low level of those hormones. This in turn, causes dry brittle hair and excessive shedding. On the other hand, a hyper thyroid, or one that secretes an excess of metabolic hormones, can cause hair loss and an oily scalp. 

Inadequate Protein Intake. Blaisure says this is common in vegans, due to lack of vitamin B12 which comes from animal sources. “Plant proteins do not provide B12 and must be combined in order for the body to properly utilize all the amino acids it needs for optimal function, and eating too much protein and not enough carbs can cause hair to shed as well,” she says. 

Auto-Immune Disorders. Inflammation is the common thread between a slew of disorders that can cause the hair to fall out. Blaisure says the most common ones are Diabetes type 2 (body can no longer manage blood sugar levels), lupus (body attacks its own tissue and organs) and polycystic syndrome (PICOs), where elevated male hormones are causing an imbalance.

You’ve also probably heard of Alopecia Areata, an auto immune disorder that causes inflammation in the hair follicle as the body attacks the hair cells. Blaisure says this usually shows itself in the form of bald patches and in some cases, can become more acute, leading to alopecia Totalis (loss of head and facial hair) and universalis with total body hair loss.

Other hair- and scalp-specific ones that cause inflammation in the scalp and on the skin are seborrhea, Psoriasis and folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicle).

Adjusting Diet

While some disorders require more aggressive treatment, such as therapies or prescription medication, there are ways to lessen your chances of hair thinning through simple lifestyle changes; the most important being your diet.

“We are learning more and more about the importance of a healthy gut, as the gut is the seat of about 70% of our immunity, so eating a variety of nutrient rich foods, such as probiotics, vegetables and healthy fats to help populate the gut with good microbes is really the key to optimal health, which includes your hair health,” says Blaisure.

Specifically, you should be reducing the sugar and processed foods in your diet. Blaisure always recommend the foolproof 20/80 rule, which means you should consume the healthy stuff 80 percent of the time, so your body can handle the devitalized foods (processed and fast foods) the other 20 percent. 

If you want a more specific starting point, try eating wild-caught salmon and/or grass-fed beef at least once or twice a week to get good Omega 3 fats in your diet. If you’re vegetarian, get the same level of nutrients through flax seed or fish oil supplements.

Adjusting Lifestyle

Here’s yet another reminder that a good night’s sleep does wonders for the body overall, including healthy hair growth. Most of us need 7-8 hours to feel well-rested.

“Go for a walk, listen to music, read an engaging book or watch your favorite TV show uninterrupted for 30 minutes,” says Blaisure. “Stress is a known cause of hair loss with women.”

Adjusting Beauty Routine

Your hair is less likely to break, shed and thin-out if you’re simply gentler with it. Give it a rest from extensions, tight ponytails, braids and weaves periodically. If you’re doing this around the clock, the chances of permanent loss become greater. 

And regardless of your hair texture, Blaisure says you should shampoo at least once or more a week, “as the scalp’s microbiome can get out of balance and that is when we start seeing more scalp disorders.” After consulting with an expert stylist or learning more about the traits of your specific hair type, look for products that contain strengthening ingredients for keeping your strands in check.

Also use a good multi- vitamin, like Bosleypro’s Vitality Supplement With Horsetail Extract, to make sure you are getting the right balance of vitamins and minerals, such as your B12 & D (which many people are low in) along with zinc and magnesium.

Surgeries & Therapies

Lastly, if your hair loss goes beyond the normal level of shedding and you can easily detect a thinner ponytail or exposed skin along the hairline and/or middle of the scalp, see a professional immediately! A trichologist, like Blaisure, studies the science and function of human hair, so he or she can examine it more closely and determine whether you should be officially diagnosed with a disorder or not. From there, they can also recommend if hair transplant surgery is necessary.

“Hair transplant surgery is always an option for men, but most women do not have enough hair, or it is too weak and fine to transplant,” says Blaisure. “Bosley INC is now offering a package called Tri-Gen+ ™ that consists of some of our products, PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) along with laser which together helps to stimulate growth.”

Overall, a healthy lifestyle is the best way to avoid hair thinning and hair loss. But if you’re dealing with something that’s tied to an illness or your gene pool, it may be worth seeing an expert for help.

10 Makeup Boosters That’ll Give Your Complexion a Dewy Glow

10 Makeup Boosters That’ll Give Your Complexion a Dewy Glow

While liquid foundations are the ideal choice for getting that dewy glow we fiend for this time of year, trial and error has taught us that they rarely get the job done alone. Sometimes you’ve got to apply it with a damp beautyblender or mix it with your moisturizer, even when the sun is beaming down, and it feels like you’ve got just enough sweat to look luminous instead of greasy. And if your skin leans more oily than matte, chances are you’ve given up achieving glowy greatness altogether.

We’re right there with you because even after getting tips from makeup artists, we’re still like, “OK, I’m going to need a shortcut.” Enter liquid boosters, which are essentially to your makeup what an Instagram or Snapchat filter is to your unedited selfie. Whether they’re classified as a bronzer, highlighter, or other illuminator, these cut your routine in half and will have others thinking you finally got that full night’s sleep. See 10 of the most popular ones ahead.

STYLECASTER | Makeup Boosters for a Dewy Complexion | Urban Decay Mix-In Facial Oil

Urban Decay

Urban Decay Drop Shot Mix-In Facial Oil

This lightweight oil, which you can mix with foundation or another form of coverage, is infused with jojoba, sunflower, macadamia, pomegranate, wheat germ, meadowfoam, and olive seed oils to condition your complexion, while giving it that dewy glow.

$34 at Urban Decay

STYLECASTER | Makeup Boosters for a Dewy Complexion | tarte Rainforest of the Sea Drops

Tarte

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea radiance drops

A nongreasy elixir made with micro-glistening pearls, as well as coconut, jojoba, and vitamin E to provide a pearlescent glow that also nourishes the skin.

$32 at Tarte

STYLECASTER | Makeup Boosters for a Dewy Complexion | NYX Away We Glow Drops

NYX Cosmetics

NYX Away We Glow Liquid Booster

Available in four different sun-kissed hues, this mix-in formula is buildable for creating as much shimmer as you want under your makeup.

$17 at NYX Cosmetics

STYLECASTER | Makeup Boosters for a Dewy Complexion | Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Skin Booster

Make Up For Ever

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Skin Booster

This serum, infused with moisturizing hyaluronic acid, delivers a healthy glow to the skin before you apply makeup. The texture also creates a smooth canvas so coverage lies more evenly on the skin.

$41 at Make Up For Ever

STYLECASTER | Makeup Boosters for a Dewy Complexion | Marc Jacobs Coconut Higlighter Dew Drops

Marc Jacobs Beauty

Marc Jacobs Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter

Inspired by Marc Jacobs’ love of coconut water, this luminizer is meant to be mixed with your foundation or primer to build a shimmery sheen that suits all skin tones.

$44 at Marc Jacobs Beauty

STYLECASTER | Makeup Boosters for a Dewy Complexion | L'Oreal Lumi Glow Drops

L’Oreal Paris

L’Oreal True Match Lumi Glow Drops

These illuminator drops can be used alone or in conjunction with your makeup and are available in two universally flattering shades: “Daybreak Shade” (for a cool glow) and “Golden Hour” (for a warm, sun-kissed glow). The True Match Lumi line also includes a lotion and customizable palette.

$14.99 at L’Oreal

STYLECASTER | Makeup Boosters for a Dewy Complexion | e.l.f. Sunkissed Glow Drops

e.l.f. Cosmetics

e.l.f. Sunkissed Booster Drops

e.l.f.’s newest product—not yet available for purchase—can be used alone or with makeup to create a golden tone over two to three days. It’s also infused with vitamin E and argan oil to nourish the skin.

$10 at e.l.f. Cosmetics

STYLECASTER | Makeup Boosters for a Dewy Complexion | Cover FX Custom Enhacing Drops

Cover FX

Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops

Choose from seven different finishes and create either a liquid-metal or sun-kissed finish under your makeup. Use it alone if you want a stronger, more prominent highlight along the cheekbones.

$42 at Cover FX

STYLECASTER | Makeup Boosters for a Dewy Complexion | Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter

Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter

We’ve already raved about this complexion booster, which is inspired by the multitude of celebrities that the makeup artist works with on an almost daily basis.

$44 at Charlotte Tilbury

STYLECASTER | Makeup Boosters for a Dewy Complexion | Algenist Color Correcting Drops

Algenist

Algenist Reveal Concentrated Color Correcting Drops

Whether you’re dealing with dark spots, redness, or some other skin blemish, this series of color-correcting boosters will hide those spots, while also boosting a dull complexion.

$38 at Algenist

9 Low-Key Face Masks You Can Wear Comfortably While Traveling

9 Low-Key Face Masks You Can Wear Comfortably While Traveling

In an era where the mantra is “If you didn’t Instagram it, it doesn’t exist,” holographic peels, glittery creams, and rubbery sheet masks are the superstars of skin care. Sure, we get a kick out of wearing borderline-obnoxious masks while we travel, but we need just as many options for those moments when we want to keep it low-key.

If you’re on an hours-long red-eye flight or braving the highway for a days-long road trip, these unsung heroes not only get the job done, they’re also transparent enough that you can feel comfortable wearing them without getting long, unwanted stares. From instant cooling formulas to an overnight fruit-infused gel, these are the ones that definitely deserve real estate in your suitcase.

Dermalogica

Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque

If your skin is feeling seriously dry and just plain old dehydrated, this mask is filled to the brim with four different vitamins that address a number of concerns in minutes. And since it’s made without artificial coloring, you needn’t worry about looking cray while you wear it.

$52 at Dermalogica

STYLECASTER | Best Low-Key Face Masks | FAB Ginger & Turmeric Jelly Mask

First Aid Beauty

Hello FAB Ginger & Turmeric Vitamin C Jelly Mask

Prepare to fall in love with the tingly, cooling sensation of this superfood mask, made with ginger and turmeric to eliminate inflammation and vitamin C to brighten a dull complexion.

$32 at First Aid Beauty

STYLECASTER | Best Low-Key Face Masks | Glow Recipe Watermelon Sleep Mask

Glow Recipe

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask

If you’ve got a long flight ahead, pop on this breathable, juicy mask to hydrate and brighten as you sleep. The combo of watermelon extract, hyaluronic acid, and AHAs work together to both exfoliate and moisturize without irritating even the most sensitive skin.

$45 at Glow Recipe

STYLECASTER | Best Low-Key Face Masks | MZ Skin Cleanse & Clarify Mask

MZ Skin

MZ Skin Cleanse & Clarify Cleanser and Mask

When you’ve been forgetting to take off your makeup at night and need to exfoliate without stripping the skin of its natural oils, this 10-minute two-in-one formula goes on transparent to scrub away dirt and grime.

$92 at MZ Skin

STYLECASTER | Best Low-Key Face Masks | Origins Out of Trouble Mask

Origins

Origins Out of Trouble 10 Minute Mask to Rescue Problem Skin

Face feeling extra slick or oily? This quick treatment uses zinc oxide, sulfur, and camphor to slough away dead skin cells and sop up oily residue in record time.

$27 at Origins

STYLECASTER | Best Low-Key Face Masks | PCA Skin Hydrating Mask

PCA Skin

PCA Skin Hydrating Mask

Lay it on thick without having to deal with a sticky, dripping mess when you use this ultra-moisturizing mask. Cucumber extract and arnica Montana extract provide calming properties, while glycerin and oat milk extract deliver hydration.

$58 at PCA Skin

STYLECASTER | Best Low-Key Face Masks | Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask

Peter Thomas Roth

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask Extreme Detoxifying Hydrator

An ultra fruity mix of cucumber, papaya, chamomile, pineapple, sugar maple, sugarcane, orange, lemon, bilberry, and aloe vera provide the ultimate cooling experience to skin that’s been overexposed to the sun or high-temperature elements.

$52 at Peter Thomas Roth

 

STYLECASTER | Best Low-Key Face Masks | Skin Inc. Sea Mask

Skin Inc.

Skin Inc. Pure Deepsea Hydrating Mask

This sleep mask goes on transparent and works overnight to deliver the radiance and moisturizing benefits of Okinawa deep sea water, soybean extracts, and hyaluronic acid.

$75 at Skin Inc.

STYLECASTER | Best Low-Key Face Masks | Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

Summer Fridays

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

The name says it all. When your skin is slow to return to its normal self, this recovery mask—which doesn’t require rinsing—brings it back to life.

$48 at Summer Fridays

Why Experts Swear by Olaplex for Protecting Color-Treated Hair

Why Experts Swear by Olaplex for Protecting Color-Treated Hair

About four years ago, I decided that if Nicole Richie could rock lavender hair, so could I. After weighing the pros and cons for about five seconds, I promptly located a stylist (without much research) and took the plunge. Two appointments and a blowout later, I had the purple hair of my dreams, although it took a few weeks to reach a true lavender hue.

Unfortunately, my hair would never be the same after that. My curls didn’t curl the way they used to, and it seemed no matter how many deep-conditioning treatments I did, dryness would be the bane of my hair’s existence. You’d think I’d learned my lesson, but some years later after doing a big chop, I suddenly forgot how hair dye destroyed my mane and decided to go full-on platinum blonde.

Except this time was different. At the end of my hair appointment, my curls were still there (I gave up heat tools after my big chop), and they felt soft—like baby’s bottom, I-just-slathered-myself-in-cocoa-butter soft. Convinced that my stylist had cast some spell over my head, I asked him what made my hair not only survive but thrive after being doused in bleach. His answer? Olaplex.

Although there are plenty of cleansers, conditioners, and treatments that sort of revive our hair after the initial damage has been done, few options are available for keeping the hair protected while it’s being altered. That’s the beauty of this product that doesn’t get nearly as much love as it deserves. And since we’re in a transitional period when you may be thinking of a hairdo to match the new season, there’s no better time than the present for a quick crash course on its benefits.

Ahead, Streeters Hairstylist Tina Outen explains what Olaplex is, what it does, and why it’s such strand-saver when you decide to dye your hair.

What Is It?

Outen describes Olaplex as a liquid that re-forms the disulphide bonds each hair strand is made up of. Whenever hair is bleached, these bonds are often damaged, fragmented, and/or shattered. This happens more than ever in 2018, since hair color trends are more vibrant than ever. For instance, when going blonde, most people opt for a stark white, rather than the yellow tint that was popular back in the ’90s.

“Using Olaplex essentially means you can bleach your hair far too light and leave that bleach on far longer without it breaking off and leaving it in the sink instead of on your head,” says Outen. 

How It’s Used

It’s applied in three steps. First, Olaplex number 1 Bond Multiplier is added into the bleach or hair color so it will be taken directly into the core of the hair strands to the disulphide bonds. Next, Olaplex number 2 Bond Perfector will be applied to the hair strands when the bleach or hair color is washed off and left on for 20 mins.

“If your hair feels hardened by this step, have a super-moisturizing conditioner to soften the hair strands that sometimes feel crunchy from all the protein that’s been added to your hair,” says Outen.

Finally, Olaplex number 3 Hair Perfector is the take-home part, which you apply to damp hair and comb through. Back in 2015, Kim Kardashian even copped to using it as an overnight hair mask for the sake of having more lustrous strands. 

Is It Necessary?

Although Olaplex isn’t mandatory for all salons, using it is most beneficial when you are bleaching hair, as the process will directly affect those vulnerable hair bonds, pushing them to maximum fragility. It can be especially helpful for those who require several layers of color and bleach in one session.

“Super-light blondes with high-lift tints may affect hair condition and the disulphide bond when overlapping of the color product is allowed, so they can also benefit from the protection of Olaplex,” says Outen. “Coloring with hair color affects the natural color pigment first. It will take time of overprocessing or overlapping of the hair color before the disulphide bond is affected, but hair will still benefit.”

Although the first two steps of the three-part Olaplex system are only available in select salons, you can purchase the third step at Sephora for an affordable $28.

What Amy Schumer Got Right (and Wrong) About Periods on SNL

What Amy Schumer Got Right (and Wrong) About Periods on SNL

Amy Schumer returned to the Saturday Night Live stage this weekend and brought her trademark brand of self-deprecating humor based on her life experiences. Following a sadly relatable bit about being a bridesmaid in your 30s (wearing Grecian dresses with “aging cleavage” and arms resembling turkey legs), she launches into how, despite her financial success, she still enjoys getting stuff for free and names tampons as something so accessible that anyone can get them for free. Except that’s definitely not the case for a lot of menstruators.

Let’s go back to her monologue: “Something else you can get for free? Tampons. Honestly, someone will always hook you up. You’ll never have to just bleed out. Someone will… a sister will be there for you,” Schumer tells the audience in the studio and watching at home.

Yes, I understand that this is comedy and not a political speech, but the idea that period products are free to everyone is inaccurate and a blow to those working to highlight issues like the tampon tax and menstrual equity (a term coined by lawyer, activist and all-around badass Jennifer Weiss-Wolf).

To start with, a lot of people “have to just bleed out.” For example, menstruators who are homeless or incarcerated frequently don’t have access to period products; other people may have to pick between buying food or padsAfter natural disasters, people are quick to donate items like clothing or diapers, but typically don’t think about the fact that a significant portion of the people affected will bleed for a week once a month and lost everything (including period supplies).

Those of us who are lucky enough to be able to afford to buy period products still have to contend with the so-called “tampon tax” (or “pink tax”) in most states, which classifies period products as luxury items rather than a necessity. Sure, your fellow bleeders in the restroom may help you out if you need a tampon and don’t have it, but that doesn’t make them free.

This is probably also a good time bring up that not all people who menstruate are women and that not all women menstruate. For those who #BleedWhileTrans, for example, getting a period product isn’t always as simple as just asking for one.

Having said all that, there are a few aspects of periods that Schumer gets right during her monologue. For instance, she talks about asking women in a locker room if they have a spare tampon and notes that someone said she did, and then asked her what size she needed. Because yes, that’s a real thing!

Tampons—and pads and menstrual cups—come in different sizes, and this may be helpful information to the audience watching who may not already know that. Period products, like most things in life, are not one-size-fits all, and even though this may seem like a throwaway bit from a standup routine, it’s beneficial because it helps normalize this conversation.

Lastly, when she describes the hushed tones in which people ask each other for tampons, she rightfully attributes that to the fact that “we’ve been taught to be ashamed of being born human women.” This is, unfortunately, accurate. And by talking about periods on a national stage, Schumer is helping to break the stigma surrounding periods. Here’s hoping next time she at least acknowledges that period products aren’t always accessible—let alone free.

 

Originally posted on SheKnows.

Lo Bosworth Is ‘Definitely Down with Botox,’ SLT Workouts, and Other Forms of Self-Care

Lo Bosworth Is ‘Definitely Down with Botox,’ SLT Workouts, and Other Forms of Self-Care

What’s a girl to do after starring in two hugely successful reality television series and deciding to try something new? How about becoming a classically trained French chef, jump-starting an intimate wellness brand, and becoming a trusted beauty expert? Lo Bosworth has been up to a lot since her days on “Laguna Beach” and “The Hills,” trading in MTV for a life focused on entrepreneurship in the Big Apple.

During a meetup to celebrate the stateside launch of Senka Perfect Whip, a seriously luxurious face wash that continues to sell out in Japan, we got to catch up with the Jill of all trades and chat about how she’s managing to prioritize self-care in the midst of an always-busy schedule. Ahead, in her own words, she divulges her go-to beauty faves, comfort food, favorite workout and more.

On Self-Care

It’s definitely a lifestyle and a philosophy. It’s really about approaching health from the perspective of trying to reduce stress and increase happiness. I think self-care comes in a variety of forms. It comes from your diet. It comes from sleep. It comes from meditation. It comes from the quality of your friendships. And I think you can approach it from a beauty perspective as well. Since I was a little girl, I’ve been the queen of beauty products. I had the Kevyn Aucoin books … in early middle school, maybe even late elementary school. And I remember having these books, sitting on the bathroom counter with my feet in the sink, and I remember, I loved creating my own colors. I would take petroleum jelly and eyeshadow and a dark palette and create all these different colors and shades and textures myself at home.

I’ve lived in New York for the past six years, and my beauty routine is definitely more about skin care and natural-looking beauty.

On Working Out

The ultimate day off would be spent with friends and family. I love to get in a great high-intense-speed cardio workout. I either take classes at studios or I go to the gym and run on the treadmill. My favorite workout is probably SLT—strengthen, lengthen, tone; a combo of cardio and Pilates. In L.A. it’s called the Studio (mdr). I do like to watch a little TV. I just watched this show “Brockmire,” and it’s very funny. I would love to get out into the fresh air, head up to the Met, take a stroll up to Central Park.

Soup is really about self-care, to be honest, because you can use really clean ingredients to detox and take care of your body.

On Cooking for Comfort

I’m actually a classically trained French chef. I love to experiment with all kinds of things. But definitely something that’s organic, seasonal, local. I love to go to the Union Square Farmer’s Market and pick up things for dinner there. Definitely focusing on something with lots of vegetables; anything that’s heirloomed at the farmers market is going to taste incredibly delicious. Soups are a great way to transition into the spring and summer—a good butternut squash soup or an amazing gazpacho. Soup is really about self-care, to be honest, because you can use really clean ingredients to detox and take care of your body. It also feels like comfort food.

On Location-Based Beauty

I’ve lived in New York for the past six years, and my beauty routine is definitely more about skin care and natural-looking beauty. And when I’m in L.A, I definitely put on a little more makeup; make sure my hair is a little bit more done. There’s just a cultural difference, and I tend to subscribe to that, depending on the city that I’m in.

I’m at the point in my life where I look in the mirror and I realize that there’s no turning back for me.

On Her Go-To Beauty Products

I love the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha-Beta peels. I use those every day. I’ve been a lifelong fan of Dermalogica. Their Power Bright moisturizer for the nighttime is great. You really wake up the next day with a whole new face. I’m definitely down with Botox. For me, it just makes me feel confident; it really gives you that fresh-faced look, to be honest. And I know a ton of people aren’t keen to admit that they’re into treatments and things like that, but there’s not a single woman I know that does not do Botox or Restylane. I’m at the point in my life where I look in the mirror and I realize that there’s no turning back for me.

So I’m at the place where I really have to do a lot of preventative care. There’s also Suppin, a Japanese philosophy and lifestyle. It really means so much to me because it really falls in line with how I approach beauty. It’s about true, natural beauty; beauty from within. It’s about loving who you really are, what you really look like and trying not to change that too much. The Senka Perfect Whip is so amazing. It foams up, and it gets to the consistency of shaving cream if you do it right. I love to take a bath and use this foaming cleanser and put it on my face. It’s also really gentle, and that’s part of the Japanese philosophy; treating yourself with kindness. But it’s really dense, so it gets into your pores and removes makeup well without harsh ingredients. I used it last night, and it literally got off my waterproof mascara.