<![CDATA[Beauty - Health.com]]> en daily 1 <![CDATA[This Nude Lipstick Was Tested on 25 Different Skin Tones ]]>

This article originally appeared on InStyle.com.

If you’re still on the quest to find the perfect ‘90s nude, let us introduce you to a tube that was actually born in the decade we’re all so nostalgic for. While lipstick colors come and go with discontinuations and limited-edition lines, MAKE UP FOR EVER has kept one in stock since its creation in 1990, and its pinky-nude pigment will help you achieve all your favorite throwback, classic, and modern looks.

Rose Wood ($22; sephora.com), a nude tone with a satin finish and a comfortable wear, was created as part of the Artist Rouge Lipstick Collection 27 years ago and can still be found at your nearest Sephora.

RELATED: The 7 Best Anti-Aging Lip Treatments

And while the fact it has stuck around for so long speaks to its popularity with buyers, as it turns out, the brand created the tone to flatter everyone, and it was actually tested on 25 different skin tones!

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<![CDATA[Sephora Can't Keep This Eye Cream In Stock ]]>

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This article originally appeared on InStyle.com.

When an eye cream stays flying off of Sephora shelves, you know it has to be good—though, to be fair, Biossance's formula is technically more of a gel-like texture. Better yet, the brand uses naturally-derived ingredients, so sensitive skin types need not fret.

As of right now, the Biossance Squalene and Peptide Eye Gel is the top-seller in the retailer's eye cream category, and last month at the Beauty Insider Appreciation event, the product sold out completely. Those who have tried out the formula can attest to its power, claiming that dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles had practically disappeared in roughly three weeks.

Pick up a bottle for $54 if you can at sephora.com.

If you aren't familiar with the squalane ingredient, it's pretty comparable to the sebum your body naturally produces, and actually prevents your skin from losing any moisture. Biossance's ingredient is derived from plant origins, and since it's hydrogenated, it's pretty lightweight and easy for your complexion to drink in.

Additionally, the peptide-rich gel promotes microcirculation, and once your blood is flowing, you look less tired and any traces of dark circles start to fade. The side of Swiss apple stem cell extract (say that five times fast) supports lymphatic drainage, resulting in a less-puffy appearance. Whoever said organic products aren't as effective as the hard stuff has clearly never tried this eye gel.

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<![CDATA[Why a Viral Video of Eyebrow Wigs Has Sparked Outrage ]]>
Beauty bloggers who cover brow trends are used to getting glowing feedback from followers when it comes to eyebrow growth serums and microblading DIY videos.

But a video posted by makeup artist Hung Vanngo on Instagram last week triggered some serious outrage. Vanngo put up a demo on how to attach eyebrow wigs—fake brows intended for people who lost their eyebrows due to cancer treatment or other hair loss–causing conditions, such as the autoimmune disorder alopecia.

Having a healthy person put on eyebrow wigs for beauty purposes, offended viewers charged, is tasteless and wrong, and it smacks of appropriation. 

RELATED: Eyebrow Extensions Changed My Face (and My Life)

“This week in privilege: beauty bloggers take eyebrow wigs meant for those with hair loss and make fashun trend,” tweeted one follower. "Why are eyebrow wigs a thing," asked another. A third sent this tweet: "Eyebrow wigs? No. No. No. No. No." 

Not everyone was up in arms. Several followers seemed to think eyebrow wigs could be pretty useful. Some hair salons and wig manufacturers suggest on their own websites that they can be used not just to help people who lost their brows to illness but also to mask brow-maintenance mistakes.

According to Tiffani Chanel Luxury Hair, which styles and sells hair replacement products, these stick-on brows are “the perfect alternative for people with eyebrow loss due to illness, heredity, burns, or overplucking.”

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Eyebrow wigs are typically crafted from human hair that has been sewn into a flexible base made of transparent lace. An adhesive attaches them to skin, and they stay on for two to three days, states HairPlaceNYC, a salon that offers them.

To get our best wellness advice delivered to you inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter

We scouted prices and found that some of the wigs cost as little as $22 a set. Others could put you out $100. 

Whether the wigs take off as the newest beauty must remains to be seen, but Vanngo's viral video and the controversy it's sparked prove one thing: the brow obsession trend is real, and it's more of a lightning rod topic than anyone could have imagined. 

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<![CDATA[This Is Birchbox's Best-Selling Mascara of All Time ]]>

When it comes to beauty products, Birchbox subscribers know their stuff. The retailer's popular subscription box service sends out a fresh batch of beauty samples every month, so you know longtime subscribers have tried their fair share of makeup, hair, and skincare products. The mascara they rate the absolute best? Benefit They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara ($24; birchbox.com).

With over 34,000 reviews, this mascara is one of the website's best-selling products of all time. Birchbox reviewers rave about the formula, which beautifully lengthens and separates lashes (without clumping!) and doesn't smudge, even after a sweaty workout.

"This is my favorite mascara by far," writes Birchbox user Jenadora. "Only one coat needed. Comes off with cleaning easily. Lengthens. Always receive compliments on this."

The mascara even has the celebrity makeup artist stamp of approval: in a previous interview with Health, Los Angeles makeup artist Pati Dubroff (her A-list following includes Naomi Watts and Dakota Johnson) told us the buildable formula is one of her go-tos. "You can get major length without that bulky or clumpy look," she explained.

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The only downside? People might have trouble believing you're not wearing false lashes: "I've tried a ton of mascaras in my day and this is the best by far," says Birchbox user Rockyraweggs. "It almost works too well in that people think I do have on fake lashes."

The cult favorite comes in black, brown, and blue, so you can choose the shade that best flatters your eye color.

Want more tried-and-true beauty products? Other Birchbox bestsellers include Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel ($24; birchbox.com), which has more than 46,000 reviews, and Arrow Boost Color Enhancing Lip Balm ($14; birchbox.com), a high-tech balm that enhances your natural lip color for a subtle pop of color.

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<![CDATA[Everyone in Hollywood Is Wearing This Nude Lipstick ]]>

This article originally appeared on InStyle.com.

When every star on the red carpet is using the same lipstick, you know it has to be good.

Though the lip color worn by Emma Roberts, Alexa Chung, and Salma Hayek in the above photo looks like 3 different shades, it's actually the same lipstick across the board—it's Charlotte Tilbury's new Pillow Talk, which delivers the most gorgeous velvet matte texture on contact. Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Amal Clooney, and Olivia Palermo are also big fans of the shade, though we expect that list to continue expanding in the same fashion as the universe. It's a one-size-fits-all nude, with the perfect balance of beige and pink to flatter every skin tone of the color spectrum.

Pillow Talk

Pick up a tube for $34 at net-a-porter.com now.

"All of my friends and clients loved the Pillow Talk lip pencil, and actually told me they would fill their lips in with it completely and use it as a lip color, so we finally created the lipstick," Tilbury told editors at a launch event in New York City. "It sort of mimics your natural lip color, but better, and the matte texture makes your lips look wider and fuller."

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It can also be layered with the coordinating lip liner for extra impact, but in Hayek's case, she mixed the hue with the Secret Salma lipstick ($34; nordstrom.com), which Tilbury created for the star in her Hot Lips collection. That being said, Pillow Talk looks gorgeous solo, and is completely different on everyone—sort of like a mood ring.

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<![CDATA[The Moisturizer Adele, Victoria Beckham, and Julia Roberts Are Obsessed With ]]>

This article originally appeared on InStyle.com.

Aside from being insanely-talented women in each of their respective fields, Adele, Victoria Beckham, and Julia Roberts all have another aspect in common—you can find Weleda's Skin Food stashed in each of their makeup bags.

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Formulated with a nourishing blend of calendula, chamomile, pansy, and sweet almond oil, this all-natural blend harnesses the power of plant extracts to balance your skin's moisture levels, and has gained quite the celebrity following. Even pro makeup artists will use it as a face cream on their star clients, and we hear Rihanna has previously requested a tube or two with her manicurist prior to getting lacquered up.

To buy: $13; target.com

The uber-rich cream can be used anywhere your skin feels dry—you can pretty much slather your entire body in the stuff, which isn't hard to do. Try applying a tiny dollop to chapped lips, or to rough heels to instantly soften callouses. The all-natural ingredients are gentle enough to be used on babies, but are effective enough to calm any weather-triggered irritation, like windburn.

RELATED: The Best Lip Masks for Fuller, Younger-Looking Lips

Roberts in particular loves how it works as a hand cream. "I put it on my hands after I wash the dishes, and wind up putting it on my elbows and feet," she previously told InStyle. "Before you know it, I've squeezed this poor little green tube into a twist." Seriously, it's that good.

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<![CDATA[The Best Facial Wash for Your Skin Type ]]>
<![CDATA[21 Reasons Why You're Losing Your Hair ]]>
<![CDATA[The Gross Reason You Should Think Twice About Getting a Full Brazilian Wax ]]>
 


Forget the basic bikini wax. The Brazilian wax—which entails removing all of the hair down there (even between the cheeks!)—has become as standard a rite of summer for some women as spray tans and pedicures. In fact, many of us wouldn't dare to slip into a swimsuit before enduring the 30 or so minutes of physical torture it takes to achieve the sexy, sleek, "clean" look and feel that a Brazilian offers. No question, the salon treatment is popular and even aesthetically pleasing—but is it healthy?

Being bare may seem more hygienic than sporting a full bush, but actually, the opposite is true. “We have pubic hair for a reason,” says Whitney Bowe, MD, a dermatologist in Briarcliff Manor, NY and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York City. “It acts as a shield against bacteria, allergens, and other unwanted pathogens.” Stripping away that natural barrier puts you at higher risk of irritation or infection in the vaginal area, Dr. Bowe explains. (And there are more germs than you even want to know about lurking in sand, salt water, and the community pool.)

RELATED: Happy V-Day: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Your Vagina

 

 

The best way to go bare


We get it, though: An untamed nether region doesn’t exactly complement that itty-bitty bikini you just bought. So if you're not going to forgo waxing altogether, what’s the best solution? Dr. Bowe recommends leaving a small triangle of hair behind instead of removing every single strand. Commonly known as the triangle trim, this style leaves you just the right balance between protecting your vajayjay and keeping your bikini line looking hair-free when you're sporting a swimsuit.

Ready to try the triangle trim? Follow these ladyscaping secrets to make your wax-perience as quick, safe, and painless as possible.

RELATED: What to Do About That Icky Post-Wax Rash

 

 

Prepare for takeoff


Trim hair to half an inch before your appointment; any longer or shorter, and the wax may not be able to grip on properly. Find a salon that uses hard wax, which adheres to the hair—not the skin—better than the soft kind, removing more of the ouch factor along with the unwanted fuzz.

 

 

Make it last


“Over-waxing can destroy the hair canal, leading to permanent ingrowns,” Dr. Bowe says. Aim to go six weeks between waxes, maintaining the triangle shape in between by shaving. Try the new Schick Hydro Silk TrimStyle ($16, walgreens.com) for total convenience—it combines a hair trimmer and razor in one tiny gadget.

 

 

Get a sleeker shave


For the closest cut, first run the razor in the direction of growth, then against. Another perk: “Stubble will grow in much thinner with this back-and-forth technique,” Dr. Bowe notes. Make sure to rinse the razor after every pass so it's not blocked by hairs stuck between the blades.

RELATED: 8 Ways to Look Beautiful Bare

 

 

Banish the bumps


If you're prone to ingrown hairs, reach for pads or scrubs with salicylic acid two days after waxing or shaving (use them too soon and you may feel your still-sensitive skin start to burn). These gently exfoliate, allowing hair to grow back free and clear of dead skin cells and dirt so it doesn’t loop back on itself and create painful bumps. One product to try: Completely Bare Bikini Bump Blaster Pads ($9, ulta.com).

 

 

Wash wisely


One of the biggest mistakes women make is over-washing the vaginal area, says Dr. Bowe: Too much scrubbing and using too many products can irritate the delicate skin there and even lead to infection. Add waxing to that equation and you're just cruising for a world of hurt down there. Use only a mild soap, like Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Antibacterial Bar ($5, drugstore.com), or even just water to clean the vulva (i.e., your external genitalia). No need to get all up inside of your vagina proper; it naturally self-cleans. (Seriously!)

RELATED: Vaginal Grooming: How Safe Are Down-There Beautification Trends?

 

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<![CDATA[This Badass Woman Embraced Her Alopecia During a First Date in the Best Way ]]>
First dates are nerve-racking under the best circumstances. But imagine hiding a big health secret from your date on top of those normal jitters.

That was the dilemma facing Eve Betts, who was appearing on the British reality show First Dates. Since she was a child, Betts has had alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to mistakenly attack hair follicles, leaving bald patches or resulting in total baldness. Eve is completely bald and has also lost her eyebrows. When she arrives at the restaurant for the blind date prearranged by the show, her head is covered by a long dark wig.

After Eve and her blind date, Jordan, introduce themselves, this ballsy chick gets straight to the point by saying, "I always like to say this to people right away. I don't have any hair. I wear a wig." She removed it in front of Jordan and a waitress, revealing her smooth, tattooed head and then explained her condition.

RELATED: Dating Dilemmas: 8 Tips for Telling Your Partner a Health Secret

Here's where things get heartwarming. Jordan replies by telling her that the bald look suits her, and Eve picks up the wig. "It's so annoying to put back on," she comments. Jordan then smiles and says, "keep it off." At that point, Eve, who works in the beauty industry, runs to the bathroom and explains to the camera what it's been like living with alopecia.

"One of the reasons I wanted to do beauty is because I went through school being bullied," she says. "You know, you don't have any eyebrows. I don't remember ever feeling upset about it, apart from now. It's really hard, it's really hard."

After facing herself in the mirror, Eve proudly exits the bathroom and asks the waitstaff to hold onto the wig for her until she finishes her date with Jordan. His comment when she sits back down? "You're beautiful."

We don't yet know what happened to these two, but considering the physical and emotional chemistry evident on the show, we're totally hoping a second date is in the cards—and that more people living with health issues feel empowered to put them out there as well. 

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<![CDATA[5 Ways to Say Goodbye to Dark Circles and Puffy Eyes ]]>


Celebrities—they’re just like us. Their skin isn’t perfect. They're often just as sleep-deprived (try 4 a.m. call times) and they, too, are faced with puffy eyes and dark circles as a result. So what’s the star secret to looking wide-eyed and gorgeous when going from red eye to red carpet? Eye masks. The single-use patches blanket the contours under the eye to deliver potent ingredients faster and deeper than your standard eye cream. Here, five of our favorites that smooth and soothe. (They make for a great Instagram post, too.)

Herbal remedy


Photo: courtesy of Sephora.com

Sephora Green Tea Eye Mask ($5 a pair; sephora.com)
Inside: Two silky sheets (one for each eye) infused with antioxidant-rich green tea to ease puffiness and reduce the appearance of dark circles, plus soothing aloe vera leaf extract. They’re comfortable to wear and won’t slide down your face, so pop on a pair for fifteen minutes while you blow-dry your hair or pick out an outfit to fake awake fast.

RELATED: 8 Best Overnight Beauty Products to Wake Up Gorgeous

Quick fix


Photo: courtesy of Amazon.com

Patchology FlashPatch Eye Gels ($50 for 60 sets; amazon.com)
These wonderfully cooling gels offer instant relief—okay, near to, requiring only five minutes. Packed with hyaluronic acid to amp up hydration and hydrolyzed collagen to improve elasticity and lessen the look of lines, they’re choice for prepping the eye area before makeup or in lieu of your morning eye cream. Keep them in the refrigerator for an extra-cooling sensation.

One-for-all


Photo: courtesy of Sephora.com

Karuna Renewal + Eye Mask ($36 for 4 sets; amazon.com)
Stash a set of these individually sealed masks at your desk or in your car for on-the-go application. Each sheet is saturated in hydrating hyaluronic acid, calming chamomile, plumping peptides and brightening Chinese licorice--which means you get a mask that hydrates, depuffs, and reduces fine lines all in one tiny package. Leave them on for ten minutes, then massage any leftover serum into skin for noticeably revived eyes.

The detoxifier


Photo: courtesy of Dermstroe.com

Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches ($24 for 7 sets; dermstore.com)
Made with cornflower, which is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits, these soothing patches are a must after a long night of drinking or a super-salty dinner (sushi and saké, anyone?). Apply for 20 minutes to eliminate puffiness.

RELATED: The Anti-Aging Products Derms Love

At-home facial


Photo: courtesy of Ultra.com

Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Mask ($54 for 4 sets; amazon.com)
We consider these the next best thing to spa-like experience. The concentrated oxygen helps deliver brightening vitamin C and calming cucumber deeper in the skin to quickly alleviate puff and shadows. To apply, start by pressing the liquid chamber until it releases the fluid into the pad. Once saturated, place one under each eye and relax for 15 to 30 minutes.

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<![CDATA[7 Concealers Makeup Artists Swear By ]]>

Concealer: the life-changing beauty product that can bring you from Walking Dead status to walk-the-runway-ready in a couple of swipes. And as any woman who has ever tried to cover her dark circles or acne marks knows, concealer comes in so many formulas that it can be close to impossible to choose the right one. We went to the pros to find out what they consider to be the best of the best.

For full coverage: Cle de Peau Concealer ($70; nordstrom.com)

"This has full-coverage capability without a typical full-coverage heavy feel, and it doesn't settle into fine lines or wrinkles—a telltale sign that you've loaded up on concealer or foundation. The color range is vast and can complement many skin tones. A little goes a very long way, so it's worth the splurge!" —Lauren Gott, Los Angeles- and New York-based celebrity makeup artist; A-list clientele include Kiernan Shipka and Jewel


Photo: nordstrom.com

For sweat-proof coverage: Amazing Cosmetics Concealer ($42; dermstore.com)

"In my opinion, it's the best concealer out there and it has something for everyone. It comes in 20 shades and three families of undertones, making matching someone's skin tone perfectly a possibility. It's great for all-day wear and even held up against 14-hour dance days on the set of Smash!" —Rebecca Perkins, Co-founder and head makeup artist at Rouge New York


Photo: sephora.com

For a subtle sheen: Chanel Correcteur Perfection Long Lasting Concealer ($42; nordstrom.com)

"There are a ton of concealers I love, but this is my current go-to. If I'm just spot correcting, I match the concealer to complexion, or if I'm highlighting under the eyes, I choose a shade lighter than the skin tone I'm working with. It's an easy way to illuminate features without sparkle." —Joni Powell, Los Angeles based makeup artist who has worked on the sets of The O.C. and Hart of Dixie


Photo: nordstrom.com

For buildable coverage: TARTE Maracuja Creaseless Concealer ($25; sephora.com)

"It addresses so many of my clients' concerns: It provides full coverage without creasing, while also hydrating the eye area. On the rest of the face, I start with just a small amount of formula and build it up for more coverage. And an added bonus of TARTE's products is that they're natural and generally safe to use on all skin types." —Neil Scibelli, a New York-based celebrity makeup artist who has glammed up Molly Sims and Elle MacPherson


Photo: sephora.com

For a flawless finish: M.A.C. Studio Finish Concealer ($19; nordstrom.com)


"This is my all-time favorite. I like it because of its versatility and consistency—it never fails. It's a true medium- to full-coverage concealer, but can be used as thinly as any lightweight formula out there. Its easy to work with and very easy to blend smoothly. I always tell my closest friends, you don't really need foundation, you just need a really great concealer!" —New York City makeup artist Robert Greene, who has worked with Sienna Miller and Zoey Saldana

Photo: nordstrom.com

For a moisture boost: KOH GEN DO Moisture Concealer ($54; nordstrom.com)

"I love this palette because it's gentle, easy to apply, and has botanical ingredients that cover and neutralize the undereye skin and lids. It's a sheer formula that builds easily depending on if you use it under the eye or on skin imperfections." —New York city makeup artist Azara Red, who has worked with DKNY and Nicole Miller


Photo: nordstrom.com

For the undereye: Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer ($35; sephora.com)

This is my new favorite concealer. It's waterproof and humidity resistant. It blends well and has great coverage. I always pay attention to longevity of a product and the way it sets on the skin. I apply the creamy concealer in the morning using my ring finger in a gentle blotting motion to cover dark spots and imperfections. It sets nicely on the skin and does not emphasize any fine lines." —Kristine Cruz, makeup artist at Antonio Prieto Salon in New York City


Photo: sephora.com

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<![CDATA[Smiling Makes You Look Older, Study Says. We Say, Who Cares? ]]>
If toothpaste and lipstick commercials are to be believed, a big grin can make you look more attractive, more approachable, and years younger. While the first two may be true, one new study suggest that smiling can actually add years to your appearance.

For the new research, published in the journal Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, scientists asked volunteers to rate the ages of people in photographs that were flashed across a screen—men and women with either smiling, neutral, or surprised expressions. The study authors wanted to know if smiling individuals would be perceived as younger than they actually were, since people tend to associate smiling with happiness, positive values, and youth. But that’s not what happened.

On average, participants guessed that the smiling people on the screen were two years older than the individuals shown with a straight poker face. They rated people with surprised expressions—such as wide eyes and an open mouth—the youngest of all. The researchers believe that’s because smiling calls attention to wrinkles around a person’s eyes, while a look of surprise stretches and smoothes skin.

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As far as scientific findings go, this certainly isn’t great news. But before you go changing your profile picture or refusing to smile in social situations, remember, it's just one study. In fact, a 2012 study found the opposite: that people tended to underestimate ages of people with happy expressions compared to neutral ones.

And you know what? We say, who cares! We’d rather show off our personality—and our “smile lines”—than walk around like a zombie in an attempt to shave off a couple of years from our face.

RELATED: How to Keep Your Smile Pretty and Healthy

Study co-author Mel Goodale, PhD, director of the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University, feels the same way. “I don’t think that I have any advice to give people whose intent it is to appear younger,” he told Health. “We are only talking about a year or two here anyway.”

“I think it is perhaps more important in many situations to appear friendly, happy, and welcoming—which smiling certainly helps to accomplish, even though it might make you appear slightly older,” he adds.

The study isn't all bad news. When asked what they thought of the effect of facial expression on age perception in general, 33 out of 40 study participants said they believed that smiling makes people look younger. (Six people thought it had no effect, and only one thought it made people look older.) In other words, “participants in our experiment were completely unaware that their perceptual performance defied their own beliefs,” the authors wrote.

To get our best beauty and wellness advice delivered to you inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter.

“I think that the main point of the study was to show that a person can believe one thing—that smiling makes you look younger—even though the same person may, without realizing it, perceive a smiling person to be older,” says Goodale.

So we say smile away, wrinkles be damned. And even if you’re viewed as a few years older, people may actually look back and remember you as more youthful in the long run. Regardless, they'll certainly see you in a more positive light; we don't need a study to tell us that. 

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<![CDATA[10 Things to Know Before Your First Bikini Wax ]]>
Having wax strips placed on your skin and letting a stranger rip off some of the most sensitive hair of your body doesn’t sounds like an ideal way to spend an afternoon. But with beach season about to hit and the thought of stubble or razor burn making you cringe, you might be considering a bikini wax for the first time. 
 
Plenty of women say a professional wax is worth it for the super smooth results. You can tell the waxer how much or how little you want taken off, from just a tidying up to a more thorough job on top and past your thigh creases. (A bikini wax generally means neatening things down there, not a total mow job, aka a Brazilian wax.)
 
And honestly, the pain probably isn’t as excruciating as you think. "The anticipation is the worst part," says Keiann Roberts, lead specialist for New York hair-removal studio Spruce & Bond. "Usually as soon as the wax is done, [clients] say it isn’t as bad as they thought it would be." Ready to give it a go? Prepare yourself with our first-time bikini wax guide.
 

 

Make sure your hair is the right length

"Your hair should be about a quarter of an inch long—or what we say is a grain of rice," says Roberts. If your hair is longer, waxing will be more painful. If it's shorter, the wax won't have enough to grab onto, so it may not come off at all or could lead to pesky ingrown hairs. If you're not sure about the length, lean on the longer side and request that the studio trims it down for you.

Consider going when you don't have your period

You can get a wax when you have your period. (Just make sure to use a tampon and give your waxer a heads up!) But most experts advise against it, especially if it's your first time. Three days leading up to your period and the days of your period, most people have a lower pain threshold, so the wax could hurt more, says Whitney Bowe, MD, a dermatologist in NYC and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical School. 

Do your research and find a reputable salon

Of course, the salon you go to should be completely professional, sanitary, and doesn't double dip. Word of mouth and referrals are often the best way to find the right studio. If a friend has had a good experience somewhere, chances are you will too. And if all else fails, there's Google. When you arrive, trust your instincts. "You get that gut feeling when you walk in whether it’s a place that you feel comfortable going to or not," says Bowe. 

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Skip the exfoliants a few days before 

Keep your skincare regime gentle in the days leading up to your wax. At most, do a very light exfoliation a couple of days before, says Roberts. Anything too harsh will irritate the skin, causing more redness and irritation after the wax.

Take a painkiller the day of your wax

Pain is the number one (and totally legit) concern most first time bikini-waxers have. And though it's unlikely to be as bad as you might imagine, the fact is, it can hurt or cause discomfort to varying degrees. To take the edge off, pop an ibuprofen or aspirin an hour or so before your appointment. "That sort of dials down the amount of inflammation you have on your skin," says Bowe. "You’re less likely to get red and inflamed and you’re more likely to tolerate it from a pain perspective." 

Hit the salon in loose clothing

Leave your leggings and light skinny jeans at home and hit the salon in something a little lighter and looser."You don’t want to wear any really tight clothing or leggings that could cause any friction in the area," says Roberts, which can increase you odds of developing wax burn afterward.

RELATED: 4 Moves for a Bikini-Ready Body

Warn your waxer about any skin issues

If you have a mole or a skin tag, give your waxer a heads up. "Usually we see it, but it’s great if our client mentions it first," says Marta Grochowska, Haven Spa senior esthetician. This way, your waxer can wax around the mole or tag, tweezing any hair out of it while preventing extra irritation and inflammation. Have a sunburn or other skin irritation on the day of your appointment? Reschedule and wait for it to clear up so you avoid extra pain or irritation during and after the wax.

Be prepared for redness and bumps

Your post-wax bikini area won't look perfect straight away. "Right afterward, it doesn’t look smooth and beautiful. In fact, it looks a little bit like chicken skin," says Bowe. "It’s red and bumpy, and that’s normal." Don't worry: the chicken skin should disappear in hours. 

To get our best wellness advice delivered to you inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter

Stock up on hydrocortisone 

Usually your waxer will apply a soothing cream to calm the area post-wax. But it can't hurt to have some hydrocortisone on hand as well. Dabbing your just-waxed skin will dramatically reduce redness and discomfort. Also, ask your waxer what post-wax products they suggest, says Grochowska. She can advise you on what would be best for your skin type. For anyone keen on their home remedies, cold milk is a natural irritated skin soother, says Bowe.

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Don't exercise

"The last thing I would recommend is taking a spin class right afterward," says Roberts. "I always say, 'I’m your excuse to skip the gym today,' because you want to make sure you don’t irritate the area any more." If you really can't go without your daily workout, do it beforehand. Just make sure to take a shower when you're done—your waxer will appreciate it!

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Andy Whale/Getty Images

<![CDATA[12 Foods for Stronger Nails and Thicker Hair ]]>
<![CDATA[10 Surprising Beauty Benefits of Coconut Oil ]]>
<![CDATA[Everything You Need to Prep Your Pasty Legs for Spring ]]>

When I slipped into my first dress of the season without tights, I thought to myself, “Daaamn, Holly! Back at it again with the white legs." (Admit it: It’s catchy.) They’re pasty, dry, and spotted. Oh, and seemingly more dimpled than this time last year. The transition from winter to spring isn’t always pretty.

Happily, there are simple beauty solutions for all those common annoyances. Read on as top experts share strategies for sexy legs this spring.

Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate

For many of us, the seasonal change reveals legs that resemble an alligator’s. “Dead cells build up on the surface of skin, creating a scaly look and feel,” says Alysa Herman, MD, a dermatologist and skin surgeon in Miami, FL. To uncover the baby-soft layer underneath, she suggests using a sugar-based scrub, which is less likely than salt to cause stinging or redness, with added hydrators like coconut or jojoba oil. Try Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish ($36; sephora.com). Massage a palmful of product over damp skin, using gentle pressure and circular motions to increase circulation for a healthy glow; rinse thoroughly.

Amp up the moisture

Heavy creams are so last season. Consider adding body oil (hear us out!) to your routine instead. “Oils are rich in essential fatty acids and protect the skin’s lipid barrier,” says Mona Gohara, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. “Plus, they lend a sexy sheen to legs.” Look for heavy-hitters like argan, jojoba and almond oils. Worried about the slick-ick? Dry oils, like Suave Moroccan Infusion Dry Oil Body Spray ($5; amazon.com), deliver the same amount of moisture without the greasy feel. Spritz onto legs immediately after showering while skin is still wet and can retain the moisture that is left on its surface; allow time for oil to absorb completely before dressing, and shine on.

Shave smoothly

Coming off of a break from your razor? Use these smooth moves to take back your silky legs: Shave at the end of a warm shower when skin is soft and the hair follicles are loose. For the closest cut without irritation, Dr. Gohara suggests using short strokes in the direction of hair growth. Always apply a thick layer of shaving cream first to condition the hair so it easily slides off, and rinse the blade frequently to remove buildup. Try Kiss My Face 4 in 1 Moisture Shave ($7; walgreens.com). If you feel the need to press into skin in order to reach stubble, it’s probably time to replace the blade (typically after five uses).

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Build a (faux) glow

The secret to achieving swimsuit-model stems: bronze—and bronze again. “Layering on more than one coat of self-tanner at a time builds the most even, natural-looking color and helps elongate the legs,” confides celebrity makeup artist Allan Avendano, who prepped the ladies of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. We like the new St. Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse ($19; amazon.com)—it goes on evenly (see ya, streaks), is formulated without parabens, sulfates, or phthalates, and dries quickly.

Before you get started, Avendano says, make sure your legs are clean, dry and unmoisturized so color will adhere to skin. Using circular motions, blend self-tanner downward from the top of legs, then immediately blot areas that crease—like the knees, backs of knees and ankles—with a damp cloth to prevent streaks. Allow 30 minutes for the first layer to dry before applying a second.

Tone down the look of dimples

While there’s no miracle cream for cellulite (sigh), a product that’s infused with caffeine will temporarily tighten skin and deflate the fat cells that cause puckering. A good one to try: Clarins Masvelt Body Shaping Cream ($65; amazon.com). “Give yourself a deep tissue massage when applying,” says Dr. Gohara. “This helps further break up the dimpling and plumps the skin by increasing circulation.” If you’re really determined to ditch the dimples, dermatologists are excited about Cellfina, a minimally-invasive procedure that releases the fibers between cellulite bundles to keep thighs smooth for up to three years ($2,000 to $5,000 a treatment).

Blur imperfections

Make sun spots, scars, and spider veins appear with a temporary body bronzer. It will smooth the the appearance of skin, while light reflecting particles will diffuse the look of blemishes and squiggles—and it washes off at the end of the day. Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish ($45; sephora.com) imparts natural-looking color that blends beautifully with every skin tone. Apply in pea-sized dots along each limb, then buff it in using circular motions.

Soften pesky bumps

Those sandpaper-like bumps on the buttocks and backs of thighs are known as keratosis pilaris. "It’s a genetic condition whereby skin proteins get trapped in the follicle, creating a rough texture,” explains Dr. Gohara. The bumps may seem more obvious coming off of winter, when skin is dry and perhaps more irritated. While treatment is usually unnecessary, dermatologists recommend using an exfoliating alpha hydroxy acid, such as glycolic or lactic acid, to smooth the texture. Find the former in Glytone Exfoliating Body Wash ($24; amazon.com).

Don’t forget SPF!

Newsflash: The most common area for melanoma in women is the leg. “Applying sunscreen when the legs are exposed not only significantly lessens your risk for skin cancer, but also helps prevent the photodamage that surfaces in the form of dark spots, dilated capillaries and crepey skin,” says Dr. Herman. Make your sunblock do double duty by applying one that’s high on SPF and has added hydrators and antioxidants to fight off aging. A derm fave: La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk ($36; target.com), which leaves skin cashmere-smooth, never sticky.

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<![CDATA[Do These At-Home Blowout Tools Really Work? ]]>

Re-creating a salon blowout at home can be tricky. No matter how easy your hairstylist makes it look, it's a whole different situation when you're doing it yourself. The latest new hair tools promise to make it much easier to DIY a home blowout. But are they actually a guarantee of good hair days? Here’s the scoop.

First tool up is the Revlon Salon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer ($60; amazon.com), an oval brush that doubles as a dryer, blowing hot or cool air. Next is The Beachwaver Co. Coast Pro Ceramic Styling Iron ($169; ulta.com); it's a flatiron with a slide-on attachment that enhances the size of the barrel, and it resembles a wand when clamped. Last is the Click 'N Curl Blowout Brush Set ($40; kohls.com), a round brush with a detachable barrel so sections of hair can dry while also setting in a roller-like shape.

RELATED: 12 Foods for Stronger Nails and Thicker Hair

What the Pro says

Hairstylist Siobhán Quinlan, who does an average of seven blowouts a day, tested the tools on herself and her clients at the salon Art + Autonomy in New York City. Her favorite? The Click 'N Curl, based on the volume and bounce it gave her long hair. "The effect is similar to when I set my hair with Velcro rollers, but without the extra step," she says. However, it took five minutes longer than her typical blow-dry. The tool that proved the fastest was the Revlon dryer, which shaved five minutes off her dry time. One caveat: Quinlan says the tool—great for medium-length hair—is too large to get to the root of super-curly textures. The Beachwaver Co. Coast Pro requires you to rough-dry your hair first. "It's easy to use if you're used to curling your hair with a flatiron," she says. The result is smooth strands with movement at the ends. "It's the most universal and can be used on any hair type."

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What we say

While there's no magic wand that gives you a completely effortless salon blowout at home, these gadgets will help up your hair game. One editor, who has long, fine hair, reported that the Click 'N Curl Brush Set took some getting used to but gave good lift. The Revlon brush required multiple passes to dry each section, but it was great for touching up second-day hair. She found the Beachwaver to be the most versatile, noting, "I can get loose waves or sleek hair."

The bottom line

If you want a classic blowout, the Click 'N Curl will help you get it. Have medium-length hair and need to smooth frizz? The Revlon dryer will be your new go-to. If you like to style after drying, go with the Beachwaver.

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Courtesy of Manufacturer

<![CDATA[How to Master the Biggest Beauty Trend of Summer 2017 ]]>

Wet hair, (and face!) don't care is the motto for summer. The fresh-out-of-the-pool look is splashing the beauty scene with products that leave your body with a dose of visible moisture. And while it's an easy look to pull off, one step too far can have you looking more like a wet dog than a post-beach goddess, so applying sparingly is key. Here, the best products that'll help you plunge into the look without overdoing it.

Hair

Apply a gel like Bumble and Bumble Sumogel ($29; bumbleandbumble.com) to the roots of damp strands, advises Joseph Maine, a stylist at Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon in New York City. Comb through, then add more, working the gel into the length of the hair. Scrunch for natural movement throughout. When hair dries, it will maintain a fresh-out-of-the pool look.

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Lips

Skip the color and go straight for a clear gloss—it will leave a high-shine, dewy effect. Squeeze a tiny dab of Maybelline New York Shine Shot Glassy Lip Topcoat ($5; target.com) onto your finger and tap onto your pout, concentrating on the center, where you want the most impact.

RELATED: This Is the Hair Color You'll See Everywhere in 2017

Skin

Give the skin on your body a filtered look with St. Tropez One Night Only Finishing Gloss ($25; sephora.com). Makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes recommends using it like a body lotion, paying close attention to the front of your legs and natural high points, like your collarbones, so it will catch the light when you move.

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Anthony Harvey/Getty Images
<![CDATA[The $15 Foundation That Changed My Life ]]>

This article originally appeared on InStyle.com.

Those who know me know that I’m a full-face of makeup kind of gal. I rarely stray from an extensive makeup routine of full-coverage foundation, concealer, blush, bronzer, and highlighter. This all changed when Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost hydrating skin tint ($15; target.com) landed on my desk. The foundation’s claim of 24-hour moisture, hyaluronic acid-enriched formula, and the fact that the naturally-gorgeous Kerry Washington is a fan totally sold me to try out this tint.

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The next morning, I skeptically skipped my high-coverage foundation and reached for the hefty bottle of Neutrogena’s skin tint. I dabbed the large-doe foot applicator on my cheeks, chin, and forehead, and blended it in with my beloved Beautyblender ($20; dermstore.com). The lightweight texture and serum-like feel instantly plumped my skin. I was left with a complexion so glow-y, even and hydrated that I forgoed using blush and highlighter. I was in awe of how fresh-faced I looked, and so was everyone on InStyle's beauty team. A stranger even stopped me to ask what makeup I was wearing on my face. Thankfully, the initial moisturizing feel stayed all day, and the formula didn’t cake-up like most foundations do (score!). I can definitely say I'm a Neutrogena skin tint convert, and will be pushing my full-coverage foundations to the back of my drawer.

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Courtesy; Time Inc. Digital Studio
<![CDATA[This Woman's Viral Photos Reveal a Surprising Danger of Essential Oils ]]>
While essential oils are known for their aromatic benefits, some people use them on their bodies as well. But as with anything else you put on your skin, it's crucial to read the product's label, as one woman learned the painful way. 

In a Facebook post that's gone viral, Elise Nguyen shared photos of what she says are second- and third-degree burns from applying essential oils to her wrists and neck before a hot yoga class—and then later, lying in a tanning bed.

"Over the next couple of days, I developed nasty blisters due to a chemical burn," she wrote in the post, which has collected 35,000 comments and been shared more than 140,000 times. When she checked the label on the oil bottle, she discovered it carried a warning: "Turns out, there is a teeny tiny caution on the oil that states 'stay out of sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after application' or something like that."

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Nguyen went on to say that she doesn't blame the company. "It was my own damn fault. But every yogi that I've talked to has no clue that this could have happened." That's what drove her to share her pictures: "[A]s the weather is getting nicer, I just want everyone to be aware of this. Please, please read the bottles of anything you put on your skin. I wouldn't want this to happen to anyone else. It's been hell."

RELATED: 14 Essential Oil Remedies You Should Try

Nguyen likely had a phototoxic reaction to the oils, says Beverly Hills-based dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD, founder of the skin treatment center SKINxFIVE. A phototoxic reaction occurs when a product containing UV-sensitive compounds (known as psoralens) is used on the skin, and the skin is then exposed to UV light, she explained via email. "It's very common, and it is possible to get second-degree burns that need medical attention." (Dr. Shamban hasn't treated Nguyen.)

If you do use an essential oil on any part of your body, be sure to check the packaging for warnings, Dr. Shamban advised—and also protect that body party from exposure to sunlight (with clothing, for example). If you do get burned, try over-the-counter cortisone cream, aloe vera, or a vitamin C serum to reduce inflammation, she said. Aspirin can also help alleviate pain and inflammation. If a blister forms, see a doctor.

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Essential oils aren't the only culprits of phototoxic reactions, Dr. Shamban added. Lime juice can make your skin more sensitive to the sun too. "Be careful of beach tequila with lime shooters! It’s the most common cause of this phenomenon," she said. (Here's how to protect your skin while sipping margaritas in the sun.)

One more thing (and you know this): Avoid tanning beds at all costs. "[They are] the number one cause of premature aging and skin cancer," says Dr. Shamban.

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Temmuzcan/Getty Images

<![CDATA[What These 8 Women Did to Make Their Hair Grow Long and Gorgeous ]]>