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    It's not breaking news that curtain bangs have made a major comeback. Recent data gathered from Pinterest revealed that this year, the search for "curtain fringes" or "open bangs" has increased by 600%, which is staggering but not surprising. The Brigitte Bardot style is a classic and has been going strong since the '60s. As of fall 2018, A-list celebrities and Parisienne it-girls alike have been showing just how versatile the look can be on every hair type, length, and style.

    Sam Burnett, owner and creative director of Hare & Bone, previously told Refinery29 that the curtain bangs are incredibly wearable because you can move the fringe forward to frame your face and emphasize your eyes and cheekbones, or you can tuck it back behind your ears to open up your features. Need inspiration? Just look to celebs like Dakota Johnson, Jourdan Dunn, and Suki Waterhouse — who all rock the style in their own unique ways.

    Read on to see how Hollywood's red-carpet stars and Instagram's fashion girls are wearing the long, center-parted bang. They're all so good — we're guessing the "curtain fringe" searches will keep climbing into 2019.

    Long curtain bangs that flutter down around your lashes give a modern-day Jane Birkin vibe.

    When you curl the fringe bang, it's messy and romantic at the same time. Adding a floral dress will only add to the appeal.

    The way a curtain of corkscrew curls frames the face is downright angelic.

    For a full-bodied style, consider trying graduated layers plus a wispy curtain bang.

    Short, curly bangs are made to be left out of an updo. Here, the pieces add to the carefree feel of this messy topknot.

    Suki Waterhouse makes the case for curtain bangs styled with a flicked-out cat eye, a messy tuck behind the ear, and punchy, beaded earrings.


    You can't go wrong pairing a feathered brow with a long, sheer curtain bang.

    Celebrity stylist Mark Townsend tells us that curtain bangs are super versatile. When they get long enough to hit your cheekbones, you can style them in a center part or swooped to the side, depending on your preference.

    January Jones' self-described "'60s vibe" would have fit perfectly into the Mad Men set — or at a 2018 late summer garden party. (This look was seen at the latter.)


    Georgia May Jagger shows how to do curtain fringe the rock 'n' roll way.


    We're not sure we'd recognize Alexa Chung without her signature bangs. For her Uncover shoot, she added two loose ponytail braids, making the look fun and youthful.


    Wispy bags are Dakota Johnson's M.O. How they didn't stick to her forehead during those 50 Shades scenes is beyond us.


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    It’s rare for a shopping trip to also feel like an educational or mindful experience, but EILEEN FISHER has accomplished just that with its newly opened eco-conscious concept store, Making Space, in Brooklyn. Sure, the shop — which celebrates the brand's circular model of design — offers the luxuriously simple, sustainable collections EF is known for, but it’s all of the other special features that make this location a must-visit destination.

    The most noticeable (yet subtle!) aspect of the shop has to be the interior itself. True to the ethos of the EILEEN FISHER brand, every detail in Making Space is recycled or responsibly sourced in some way, from the wood paneling of the ceiling to the packaging of the shopping bags. The lofty space also hosts community events — DIY workshops, panels, and weekly programming like Friday Night Wine — and fosters emerging talent with an Artists in Residence program where designers are invited to use the in-store studio and EF materials to create one-of-a-kind works that will be sold at Making Space. In addition, a collection called Resewn — featuring previously owned pieces that have since been recycled, refurbished, or reimagined to preserve the value of the clothes at every stage of their life cycle — will also be available exclusively at the space.

    For those not in New York City, good news: The concept store has expanded into other cities like Seattle and Troy, MI — with more locations slated for the future. In the meantime, ahead are your first looks at the very first Making Space. As you can see, EILEEN FISHER is indeed making space — both literally and figuratively — to allow visitors to shop and wear clothing in a more thoughtful way.

    Making Space is located in Boerum Hill, a vibrant neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY.

    Photo: Adrian Wilson at Interior Photography Inc.

    The shop carries a special line called Resewn, pieces that have been given a second life through the company’s take-back recycle program.

    Photo: Adrian Wilson at Interior Photography Inc.

    In addition, the store offers mainline EILEEN FISHER collections — from new, gently used, and redesigned pieces to DesignWork, the company’s latest initiative in which its old, unusable fabrics are felted into textiles that are then made into art, accessories, and home goods.

    Photo: Adrian Wilson at Interior Photography Inc.

    Sustainable fabrics and materials are the core DNA of all EILEEN FISHER products.

    Photo: Adrian Wilson at Interior Photography Inc.

    Everything in the store — from the wooden ceiling panels to the hangtags to the packaging — is recycled or responsibly sourced.

    Photo: Adrian Wilson at Interior Photography Inc.

    There’s even a peaceful backyard space available to shoppers looking for quiet respite.

    Photo: Adrian Wilson at Interior Photography Inc.

    The sitting areas feature decor and furniture made by independent makers based in the Northeast.

    Photo: Adrian Wilson at Interior Photography Inc.

    Whether you’re looking for something new (i.e., the luxe merino-wool collection) or gently worn (resewn, naturally dyed, or upcycled), racks are smartly categorized, so you can find your unique piece.

    Photo: Adrian Wilson at Interior Photography Inc.

    The space fosters emerging talent with an Artists in Residence program where designers are invited to use the in-store studio to host workshops where guests can learn their crafts.

    Photo: Adrian Wilson at Interior Photography Inc.

    Feel-good textual insights — quotes, trivia, mantras, and ruminations — can be found sprinkled throughout the space.

    Photo: Adrian Wilson at Interior Photography Inc.

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    Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh probably never thought his face would ever end up on a tube of lipstick, but thanks to the political lipstick brand Lipslut, now it does. Though, it's really not as flattering as he might have hoped.

    The lipstick is a deep red shade named, quite succinctly, F*ck Kavanaugh. "After seeing Kavanaugh’s hotheadedness at the hearing, we thought a 'calm, cool, and collected' shade would be fitting," Katie Sones, the founder of Lipslut, tells Refinery29. "Imagine a cool-toned maroon."

    From today until Sunday, all proceeds from preorders will go toward supporting anti-sexual assault organizations, including RAINN, NO MORE, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, and End the Backlog. That's appropriate given the multiple sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh that are currently being investigated by the FBI as he inches closer to being confirmed.

    "While watching the hearing and the events leading up to it, I got so upset seeing women’s voices being ignored, doubted, and flat-out denied," says Sones. "If the highest levels of government won’t listen to us, who will? To me, this entire mess serves as a microcosm for how thousands of women’s experiences and traumas are treated everyday — we had to act."

    This is the fourth political lipstick Sones has released since founding Lipslut in 2017 while she was still a college junior at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Its first lipstick was named F*ck Trump, with 50% of all earnings going towards civil rights organizations impacted by the Trump administration.

    A swatch of "F*ck Kavanaugh" Courtesy of Lipslut

    It also released a F*ck Hollywood lipstick in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, with 50% of all earnings going towards anti-sexual assault organizations.

    Sones has been extremely successful raising this money this way. In August 2017, after a white nationalist gathering turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia, Lipslut launched a campaign that offered Charlottesville as a charity option for its F*ck Trump lipsticks, and raised $40,000 in four days. In June, when Trump's zero-tolerance immigration policies called for family separations at the border, Lipslut announced that shoppers could now choose "Fight Zero Tolerance" upon checkout of its F*ck Trump lipstick, and raised $100,000 in a few weeks.

    "I know a lot of brands really don't take hard stances on political and social issues," Sones told us back in July. "But I think we’re showing the makeup industry that consumers want to support a brand that has an opinion. It feels pressing." It certainly does.

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    Amid the excitement of the spring 2019 collections at London Fashion Week last month, one designer was missed. Serafina Sama, designer and founder of Isa Arfen, was instead holed up in Paris, hosting appointments to celebrate the launch of her label’s new digital home.

    If you’re not already familiar with Isa Arfen, it sits alongside the likes of Rejina Pyo and Magda Butrym, producing the perfect fusion of clothes you lust after and clothes you actually have the confidence to wear. The brand has become synonymous with off-the-shoulder silhouettes ideal for cocktail hour, and an off-kilter femininity that blends frothy dresses, print-laden fabrics, and Victorian blouses with everyday denim and cozy knitwear. After the success of her fall/winter '18 show, which had a steel band play Queen’s "Bohemian Rhapsody" as models danced down the runway, why did Sama decide to change things up?

    "I decided to take things a bit slower and present only one collection [during the resort window] instead of two separate outings," she tells Refinery29. With an industry in flux, designers are moving cities, opting out of the traditional show schedule, and rewriting the rules themselves. "I am trying to make sense of it and figure out the best way forward," she says. "The increasingly fast pace, the crazy number of collections expected of designers and ever-shortening attention spans are starting to feel like a cocktail of greed and disposability. But who is going to have the courage to slow down and jump off the carousel first?"

    Perhaps Sama’s ability to step back, slow down, and assess the bigger picture was influenced by her upbringing in Ravenna, northern Italy, "a beautiful jewel of a town" where she would devour her mom’s Italian Vogue "and spend entire days drawing girls in different outfits, in a daydream kind of state." Her childhood has certainly shaped her approach to clothing in that she creates with women in mind.

    "I was surrounded by very strong female figures, my aunts in particular, who each had a very individual sense of style, and fueled my fascination with clothes and the act of dressing up from a really young age," she notes. Going beyond the act of dressing up, this influence can also be seen in the fabrics and cuts she produces. "Their love for eccentric vintage pieces, folkloric costumes, and antique handbags was inspiring for me to witness and seemed almost irreverent in a town where everyone tended to dress homogeneously," she says. "It definitely had an impact on my design aesthetic and the way I approach fashion."

    After leaving Ravenna, Sama studied at Central Saint Martins, taking a year off to intern at houses like Marni, Lanvin, and Marc Jacobs before moving to Paris to work at Chloé, first under Paulo Melim Andersson, then Hannah MacGibbon. Then, she had her baby, Ari, and "everything slowed down for a while." She worked on various freelance projects, but "really started missing the design process, and felt the desire to create something more personal."

    What started out as a "very small collection of summer dresses, very wearable, one-size-fits-all, super easy, relaxed and fun" snowballed into a word-of-mouth label that sold really well. "The enthusiastic reaction to those little summer dresses, together with the incredible learning experience at Chloé, gave me the confidence to start working on a new, more 'serious' collection, with the idea of creating a small wardrobe of desirable, beautifully made but realistic pieces that would feel feminine, sophisticated and relaxed, with a touch of Italian eccentricity." Isa Arfen (an anagram of Serafina’s name) was born.

    Alongside her formative years surrounded by strong, fashion-minded women, Sama has spoken about being inspired by American photographer Slim Aarons’ portrayals of socialites and jet-setters. "I guess what I find so appealing and fascinating in them is that sense of relaxed glamour, that sophisticated nonchalance with a dose of decadence," she says. "When I translate them into my designs, by creating exaggerated volumes or using opulent materials, it’s always with a touch of irony." She often describes her clothes as "feminine," though she points out "the word 'feminine' is very subjective."

    "When I describe my clothes as feminine it’s because they are created from the point of view of a woman, and always keeping a real woman in mind. I want them to be relatable, realistic, and desirable, and to feel good when worn. I am not interested in making something that feels restrictive, uncomfortable, or stereotypical. Every woman has many different facets, and through my clothes I try to express a variety of them. Strong, vulnerable, gentle, ironic, humorous, relaxed, eccentric, intelligent, sexy, irreverent — these are some of the ways I would describe my kind of femininity."

    Alongside the brand’s fall/winter 2018, offering, all heritage checks, puff-sleeved trench coats, easy knits and denim, from November the newly launched site will host Isa Arfen’s next collection, a sort of amalgamation of spring 2019 and resort. "It’s an ode to endless Italian summers of my childhood in the early '80s on the Adriatic Riviera," she says. "The mood board was full of Luigi Ghirri, Charles H Traub, Martin Parr, and Massimo Vitali photographs, and I wanted the collection to feel light-hearted, airy, humorous, with a color palette that would look like the counter of a gelateria…a perfect wardrobe for holiday adventures."

    It’s this intelligence, and her referential, playful attitude towards clothing that we so love about Serafina Sama. In an industry teeming with men — in the boardroom, at the helm of brands — Isa Arfen holds up a mirror to the femininity (by her own definition) of women.

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    It’s no secret that boardrooms have long been male-dominated spaces, but California state legislature is trying to address this problem.

    As of Sunday, California has enacted a new law requiring publicly traded corporate firms with "principal executive offices" headquartered in the state to have at least one woman on their board of directors by the end of 2019. The law also requires companies with five directors to add two women, and those with six or more to add at least three women, by the close of 2021. What’s more, companies that fail to comply with the new law within the allotted time will run the risk of penalties up to $300,000.

    The bill passed in both the state's House and the Senate last month after being introduced by two women state senators, both Democrats, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson and Senator Toni Atkins. “Yet another glass ceiling is shattered, and women will finally have a seat at the table in corporate boardrooms,” said Sen. Jackson on Twitter. “Corporations will be more profitable. This is a giant step forward for women, our businesses and our economy.”

    The measure, signed by Governor Jerry Brown, is the first of its kind in the U.S. And, though similar laws have been passed in Europe, this new measure officially makes California the first state in this country to mandate diversity in corporate boards. Companies headquartered in California include Apple, Wells Fargo, Intel, Hewlett Packard, Uber, and more.

    However, this new law has not been without controversy. Some are opposed to government-mandated quotas, and believe that pressure can be put on companies by the media and other sources. But, generally, the response has been positive, especially given the slow progress of corporate spaces that remain largely white and male dominated.

    Leading up to the enactment of this law, co-sponsors Sen. Jackson and Sen. Atkins cited studies suggesting that gender parity in the corporate realm could take as long as 50 years to achieve if proactive measures aren’t taken. And, the passing of this law sets a promising precedent for future legislation addressing these important issues.

    “Given all the special privileges that corporations have enjoyed for so long,” Gov. Brown wrote in a statement. “It's high time corporate boards include the people who constitute more than half of the 'persons' in America.”

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    It's no secret that most trends come from somewhere else. Prairie dresses go way back, bike shorts were a staple of the '80s, and the recent uproar over logos is so early-noughties. With Fashion Month coming to a close, we know next spring will resemble something of a 2000s rewind. But for now, we're betting on a very groovy fall. Get it? The '70s are making a major comeback (again!), and with it, so are some of our favorite pieces. But if there's one #TBT trend we're most excited to welcome back, it's corduroy suits.

    We're not the only ones going all in for corduroy suits this season. Zara alone has four very good options, not to mention the dozen or so other online retailers that have added corduroy suits to their new arrivals. But unlike the mustard-hued styles portrayed in movies, brands are taking a new, more colorful approach to this vintage-inspired set. Time to ditch the linen and cotton two-pieces you wore all summer and swap them out for any of the 15 retro options ahead.

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    In our series My 6-Figure Paycheck , women making more than $100,000 open up about how they got there and what exactly they do. We take a closer look at what it feels like to be a woman making six-figures — when only 5% of American women make that much, according to the U.S. Census w ith the hope it will give women insight into how to better navigate their own career and salary trajectories.

    Today, we chat with a 21-year old software engineer from Berkeley, CA. Previously, we spoke with a 29-year old law associate from San Diego, CA and a 29-year old video editor from Los Angeles, CA.

    Job: Software Engineer
    Age: 21
    Location: Berkeley, CA
    Degree: Computer Science, minors in Film and Psychology
    Salary: $270,000 ($135,000 base plus $60,000 starting bonus and $75,000 yearly stock grant)

    As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
    As a kid, I don't know that I had a singular idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I really liked art, music, and math.

    What did you study in school/college/university?
    I started college with the intention of studying math while pursuing minors in film and psychology. However, the college I attended was extremely big on computer science, and I felt like I needed to at least try a course since we were so well known for it. I immediately loved the problem-solving nature of the field, and the really cool people I got to work with, and eventually ended up taking more classes and majoring in it (still got my minors in film and psych though!)

    Did you have to take out student loans? If so, how much were they for and how long did it take you to pay them off?
    Actually, my parents were just extremely generous and had the means to pay for my college. To show them my appreciation, I worked really hard in school and was able to wrap up my studies in three years instead of four, so they're sitting on a good chunk of change from that fourth year.

    Have you been working at this job since you graduated college? If not, what internships and/or other jobs have you had before this one?
    This is my first job since I graduated college! I did several internships while I was in school at some bigger companies (Google, Instagram) but this is my first full-time job. My base salary is $135,000, I was paid a starting bonus of $60,000, and my yearly stock grant is $75,000. So this first year, I'll get $270,000 but since this bonus was just for starting, my regular salary going forward will be about $210,000.

    Did you negotiate your salary? (If yes, how did you know what to ask for?)

    Yes, I did negotiate my salary. I didn't how much more to ask for but always went into negotiations with the mindset that a company's first offer was never their best offer. On average I asked for about 10% more than what I was offered, and that strategy always yielded me a better offer in some form, either an increased base salary or more equity.

    What do you do all day at your job?

    A lot of my job consists of figuring out how to build, debug, and design new features for our product. For example, if we decide that we need a new tool the first step in that process is that I have to do research about how to build it and write up a design document about it. This document then gets circulated around to the rest of the team so that they can leave feedback on my ideas and potentially suggest a better way to do something. Once that's done most of my days are spent working with other engineers coding to build this feature according to the design document. Along the way, or after the project, we also spend time debugging, which means chasing down a problem to find the root cause and fixing it up.

    If you could, would you change anything in your career trajectory?
    There's nothing I regret yet. I'm really glad I chose the company I did, even though it's smaller than the past few places I've worked. I feel like the work I do makes much more of an impact. I believe in the product, and the people I work with are all kind and really great at teaching me new things.

    Is your current job your “passion?” If not, what is?
    I don't really believe in your work being your passion. I know for some it is, and that's great, but for me as long as I enjoy my job and the people I work with, then I'm good. I'd say my actual passions are cooking, baking, and traveling. I also really love spending time with my family and friends, but I don't think you can really qualify that as a passion.

    What professional advice would you give your younger self?
    I would say to learn and explore as much as you can in college, because it’s one of the only periods in your life where your only job is to learn and absorb as much as possible. Even if the classes you want don't fulfill a requirement or are directly related to your major, take them! You'll probably end up learning more than you thought you would. I'd also say to keep learning once you leave college, whether it be through education of mind, body, or soul. It’s so important to keep your mind alert and sharp instead of just falling into life's mindless routines.

    Are you a woman under 35 with a six-figure salary and want to tell your story? Submit it here.

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    If you yourself haven't played Fortnite by now (or watched over your roomate's shoulder), you've certainly encountered one of its many viral dance moves. (The word "flossing" no longer applies just to teeth.) Fortnite is everywhere: It has exceeded $1 billion in sales and, apparently, has caused the divorces of at least 200 couples in the UK. And it's not going anywhere. So what better way to jump on the bandwagon than to rep your fave characters this Halloween?

    Whether as a skin (the name for the different outfits you can dress your characters in), a bush, or a llama, here's how you can join in the Fortnite fun with these easy DIY Fortnite Halloween costumes.

    Supply Llama

    Arguably the cutest Fortnite character, these little piñatas are full of helpful treats and supplies. And though they're hard to come by in the game, at least they're easy to emulate IRL.

    Buy a classic piñata, cut out a hole for your head, and wear that llama proudly. Or, if you're feeling extra crafty, go the Post-it note route and buy purple, blue, and turquoise Post-its. Then adhere them to your torso in an ombre fashion. Wear blue tights, a llama ear headband, and, voila, you are a Supply Llama.

    Photo: David Mirzoeff/PA Images/Getty Images.

    The Bush

    The Bush is an item that camouflages any player wearing it – and this costume will camouflage you. Buy some fake plants at a craft store, throw on some brown, earth-toned pants, and just like that, you are a bush (and an affordable one!). Just be sure to carve out some eye holes for visibility from behind all those leaves.

    Photo: Greg Doherty/Getty Images.

    Brite Bomber

    This rare costume is part of the Sunshine & Rainbows set for female avatars. To recreate the look, you'll need a neon pink wig with aviator sunglasses, combat boots, tight pants, a long sleeve shirt, and a unicorn-and-rainbow baby tee on top. You'll be ready to go trick-or-treating and/or to attend a rave. Also, if you haven't yet, check out this Saturday Night Live skit featuring Brite Bomber, played by Heidi Gardner.

    Tricera Ops

    This triceratops-inspired outfit is part of the Dino Guard Set, and can be worn by female avatars. To get this Halloween look, you can buy a ready-to-wear costume like this one, or go the homemade route: wear a red sweatshirt you already own and accessorize with an easy-to-make dinosaur headpiece. Go to the craft store, pick up red, white, and black felt and some googly eyes. Then use a headband you don't wear anymore as the base and popsicle sticks for the infrastructure to keep it from falling over. Hatchling and pterodactyl not included.


    Part of the Sweet Tooth Set, Zoey makes for a perfect Halloween costume. Make sure you're decked out in pink, buy a green wig, throw on some side pigtails and a candy-coated hat, and you're fit for a cosplay convention!


    Bob the Builder, but make it fashion. Do you still have shoulder and knee pads from your roller-skating days of yesteryear? If so, strap them on over yoga pants, a tank top, and a jacket, and maybe even give the ends of your hair a temporary pink dye job. Also, wear fingerless gloves. Now go look in the mirror. You're a Constructor! (One of the four Hero classes.)

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    Fall has a distinctive smell — dried leaves strewn across the sidewalk and the brisk morning breeze that catches your breath when you step outside — and the October air is thick with it. Even if you've been slow to officially bookend summer, now's high time to lean into the best parts of fall by shopping for a new pair chelsea boots, a few bottles of Merlot, and a body lotion that smells like pulling your head through the neck of a $300 cashmere turtleneck.

    The first two might cost you — because neither suede nor good red wine comes cheap — but a new body lotion is one that we can help you with. Because today, Bath & Body Works dropped over 70 brand new seasonal soaps, shower gels, creamy lotions, and fragrance mists, all of which bottle up select notes of warm pumpkin, zesty cranberry, and musky cashmere.

    The best part? There's a BOGO sale happening now, so when you grab two body products from any of the new fall fragrance collections — like Sparkling Nights, Snow Flakes & Cashmere, and Winter Berry Wonder — you'll be gifted a third absolutely free.

    Head over to the Bath & Body Works site and shop the fully customizable deal there, or check out our six favorite picks from the new launches, ahead.

    At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

    You might expect an instant headache from a body lotion called Warm Vanilla Sugar with what looks like a dollop of buttercream on the label, but this one also has notes of clean jasmine and woodsy sandalwood, which gives it more of a complex sparkling sugar smell that's not syrupy sweet.

    Bath & Body Works Signature Collection Warm Vanilla Sugar Body Lotion, $12.5, available at Bath & Body Works

    If you're looking for a seasonal fragrance for the sophisticate — something that doesn't smell like a gingerbread cookie — this is a warm, musky vanilla that feels kind of like pulling your head through the neck of an expensive, soft, camel turtleneck.

    Bath & Body Works Signature Collection Snowflakes & Cashmere Body Cream, $13.5, available at Bath & Body Works

    A mix of balsam, juniper, and lavender blend together in this body wash to surround you in the smell of walking through the woods the morning after the first snowfall of the season.

    Bath & Body Works Signature Collection Snowy Morning Shower Gel, $12.5, available at Bath & Body Works

    Sweet like sticky candy apple, with a spicy hint of cinnamon, like the one that coats your throat after a big gulp of hot cider — you can all but feel like leaves crunching under your feet after spritzing on this mist.

    Bath & Body Works Signature Collection Pumpkin Picking Fragrance Mist, $14.5, available at Bath & Body Works

    There's a clear hit of cotton musk in the Snow Flakes and Cashmere lotion, but this Sparkling Nights packs more of a fruity warmth with equal parts iced pear and sugared coconut.

    Bath & Body Works Signature Collection Sparkling Nights Body Lotion, $12.5, available at Bath & Body Works

    The holiday season — which starts today— is also known as the season of red wine and cranberry vodka, and this soft blend of crisp winterberry and ruby apple is the perfect pair for any drinking occasion (of which there will be many).

    Bath & Body Works Signature Collection Winter Berry Wonder Fragrance Mist, $14.5, available at Bath & Body Works

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    In 1993, at the age of 10, I had my hair relaxed for the very first time. My mom applied it using one of those DIY kits that featured a beautiful and happy little Black girl on the front, sporting a head of long, silky, straight lengths. I remember being hopeful that my mom had finally found the solution to the "problem" that was my hair. I remember the strong chemical smell, and I remember the burning that signaled it was time to wash it out. What I don't remember? Having long, silky, straight hair like the girl on the box.

    Some 20 years later, I discovered I had five fibroids after being hospitalized for suspected appendicitis. The ultrasound technician was pretty blasé about it and said I didn’t need to worry, so I didn’t. But in 2014, I went for my 12-week ultrasound scan, only to discover I had suffered a missed miscarriage at seven weeks. I went on to have two more very early miscarriages before I decided to do my research. That's when I began to suspect that my miscarriages were happening due to low progesterone. I was formally diagnosed with estrogen dominance and low progesterone in 2016.

    Fast forward to this year, when I appeared in a BBC interview about a new study conducted by the Silent Spring Institute, which showed that Black women are exposed to dozens of potentially hazardous chemicals through the hair products they use. Chemicals such as cyclosiloxanes (silicone), nonylphenols (detergent-like substances), and phthalates (a substance added to plastic to encourage malleability) have been subsequently linked to hormone disruption, as well as medical issues such as fibroids, asthma, infertility, and even cancer. Were my health issues a coincidence? Perhaps, but since no one could give me a definitive "no," I decided to make a film about it, which I'm crowdfunding for via Indiegogo, using the hashtag #myhaircarenightmare on both Twitter and Instagram.

    Photo: Courtesy of Tola Okogwu

    Why? Because it isn't just this study. There is so much research out there that has pinpointed a relationship between Black hair products and health issues. This includes a study published in 2017 by researchers at Rutgers University, which found a link between breast cancer and the use of hair dyes and hair relaxers used by Black women, while a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that the use of relaxers is associated with fibroids. "We now know that many hair products contain chemicals that are considered carcinogenic and/or hormone disrupters, leading to increased risk of medical issues such as fibroids," says Shirley McDonald, consultant trichologist at the Hair and Scalp Clinic. "Trichologists see lots of conditions that are likely to be triggered by hair products, particularly central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, a type of permanent hair loss to the crown area of the scalp."

    In other words, Black women are overexposed, yet inadequately protected when it comes to hair products. Overuse of braids, weaves, and extensions, coupled with bad hair-care practices, has led to an over-reliance on products. And the cultural, historical, and societal pressures Black women face when it comes to their hair only exacerbate the problem. "A vast number are even seeking to find a magical product or products," says McDonald. "Overall, Black women want something that will moisturize and 'grow' their hair. There are women out there who believe these 'wonder' products actually work."

    Lekia Lée, founder of Project Embrace, a campaign that seeks to change perceptions of beauty, concurs. "I liken it to throwing money at a problem," she tells me. "We have been made to believe that our hair is a problem, so we throw products at it. Unlike women of other ethnicities, Black women go on a hair journey, something other women do not have to think about, because their hair may fit the 'norm.'"

    In addition, the way Black women use products is unique. Products are employed frequently, generously, and can be left on for weeks (or even months) on end, with continuous reapplication in between. Despite research into the individual chemicals themselves, there is very little research being done into the cumulative effects and potential risks associated with this method of product use — and this is worrying. "These chemicals are supposed to be safe in small amounts, but the dime-size amount that is recommended is simply unrealistic for Black hair," explain Cigdem and Terrence Millington, founders of Mrs Milli's, a toxin-free, plant-based hair and skin-care company. "This results in bioaccumulation [where toxic chemicals build up over time]," they continued. "The body holds on to these chemicals, until one day, they might come forward as a medical issue. It may seem crazy that a hair cream can cause cancer or fibroids, but that’s as real as it gets."

    The studies don't do much to suggest otherwise. The most recent research, conducted this past April by the Silent Spring Institute, showed that 80% of Black hair products tested contain "endocrine-disrupting and asthma-causing chemicals." The range of products tested included relaxers, hot oil treatments, leave-in conditioners, and anti-frizz products. They tested for the presence of 66 harmful chemicals, including BPA, phthalates, and parabens. A total of 55 endocrine disruptors were detected, while 11 products were found to contain seven chemicals prohibited in the European Union, with hair relaxers marketed at children containing the highest levels of chemicals prohibited in the EU. Most concerning of all, they found that 84% of chemicals detected were not listed on the product label.

    While cosmetic products are relatively well-regulated in the EU, most of the products used by Black women are imported, primarily from the USA or Asia, where regulation and testing isn’t as stringent. The EU Cosmetics Directive prohibits the inclusion of BPA, phthalates, alkylphenol, and ethanolamine. However, the same study found several products containing these ingredients, making them technically unfit for sale in the EU as well. Yet walk into any "Black hair shop," and they are readily available. "The people who make these products are often those who regulate them or have direct connections to the regulators, and to be quite honest, the money is a major factor," the Millingtons say. "These chemicals allow the products to last longer and they are also very cheap to buy. Also, don’t forget that a sick person is big business in the US. It’s a dirty cycle that needs exposing for the benefit of all women."

    And that's exactly what my upcoming documentary, My Hair Care Nightmare, aims to do. The film will provide some much-needed answers, stimulate discussion, and question a culture that has created a market which perpetuates the myth that our hair needs to be "tamed" with dangerous product after dangerous product. This isn’t an issue of "relaxed" hair versus "natural" hair. It affects anyone who cares for Afro-textured hair in general, from Black men and women to parents of Black and mixed race children and foster carers, as well as hairstylists who use these products day in, day out. We need to know what’s in our hair products in order to safeguard our health. That's the bottom line.

    You can follow Tola's journey on Twitter and Instagram and support the crowdfunding campaign via Indiegogo. This story was originally published on Refinery29 UK.

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    Unless you're new to this scene, you might have noticed that Money Diaries have been making a very regular appearance on R29 recently. Since January, we've been publishing Money Diaries daily. We're also bringing back Money Diaries Monday, where we'll take a deep dive into Money Diaries in a variety of ways — from recurring articles to fresh pieces for the MD community at the start of every week.

    Because no Money Diary reading experience is complete without input from the MD Commentariat, we're sharing some of the comments that have made us laugh, smile, or reflect. Feel free to share your favorite Money Diaries moments, too, in the comments.

    Our goal is to give you a wider sense of how diarists across the country — and across the world — are spending, saving, splurging, or just dipping their toe into their finances for the very first time. So, keep reading, keep submitting — and keep commenting.

    In this recent Money Diary, a 38-year-old communications associate in New Hampshire with a joint household income of $98,000 wrote on Day One that she was "broke as a joke," despite having been paid the day before.

    At this, FabulousBacon immediately hopped into the comments to say how relatable she found this to be and to thank the OP:

    "Stopped reading to say this is already the most realistic MD probably ever posted. THANK YOU."

    This received nearly 300 likes and inspired a chain of responses about payday, the consensus being that it's normal to count down the days until payday and that there's no shame in doing so.

    Added DaringBacon, "I check my bank account DAILY even on non-paydays because if something comes out, I want to know. I literally make sure every single account has a .00 balance at the end (I transfer the difference onto my line of credit for micropayments), so I always know at a glance if my balance has changed."

    This interior design production manager in Los Angeles, CA, wrote one of our most popular Money Diaries of the summer. In her diary, the OP said she "used to fully subscribe to the idea that [she] could buy away the sad" when it came to spending money, but that when she turned 27, she took a hard look at her spending habits and made a change. This sentiment resonated with many readers, like BelliniMarg, who said:

    "This line hit me like a bag of bricks because I didn't want to admit it but this is exactly what I've been doing."

    DaringJava chimed in: "OP, your thinking regarding shopping to make yourself feel better and learning to recognize that sounds a lot like me. I'm not perfect, but I've gotten much better over the last few years in that regard. And I am a firm believer when it comes to big purchases or items that I want but can't afford at the moment that if they are meant for me to have then they will still be there when I can afford them."

    The OP replied: "Totally agree. I still have to fight this recurring thought that if I just buy this ONE thing, I'll be happier, my life will be better, I'll be the girl I always wanted to be, etc. It took awhile for me to own up and look at what's actually causing that unhappiness (mainly not feeling confident in my career path). I've had to refocus my energy on fixing those issues, not covering them up by earning VIB status at Sephora. Good luck to ya!"

    In a Money Diary of an expat living on a nearly $1 million combined salary in Singapore, one commenter — a "born and bred" Singaporean — shared their experience of the country, lest people's views skew too far in one direction.

    "Not everyone in Singapore lives that way, nor are all things as expensive as it's made out to be," they wrote.

    "Just to give some perspective, my husband and I run a small business and average a yearly salary of SGD30,000 together, which is comparatively low relative to our friends in mid-level positions now or what we were drawing before leaving our corporate jobs."

    One of the ways they "keep things affordable" as self-described foodies who "cook almost daily and eat out quite a bit" is shopping at small stalls for groceries, or smaller-scale supermarkets. "There are also wet markets or Mustafa (Google it!), and initiatives by some retailers that donate excess organic veg at community fridges where I live."

    "We own our home and chose to stay at a neighbourhood which is 25 mins to town/CBD via public transport, which is what locals consider far," the commenter continued. "I wouldn't say the way we live is typically what other people of our age group do, but I can say we do enjoy a good quality of life. And no, we do not have rich parents or relatives. We wish!"

    Another commenter generated an interesting discussion about the impact an influx of people moving into a different area can have on another area. In the Money Diary, the OP wrote about Californians who "keep 'discovering' the cheap cost of living in Boise, buying property, and driving our costs up!"

    "Sorry, CA – I love you," she said, "but you can go home after you visit!" In response to this, commenter FreshCash said: "Fellow Idahoan, former Californian here. I wonder if you're from Boise originally? It's become really popular to hate on the Californians moving here."

    The Money Diarist admitted that she is not originally from Boise either, and was glad to be "called out" on the view.

    "I wrote this a while ago when my boyfriend had recently bought the house so I think I was just coming at it from the perspective of our previous rental property shooting up drastically and our real estate agent blaming it on 'The Californians,'" she wrote. "I think people have recently been having that 'I found this place first when it was cheap!' mentality and then put a lot of blame on other people who are looking for the exact same things we came here for, which simultaneously drives up costs."

    This Money Diary of a 21-year-old software engineer earning $260,000 a year in Berkeley, CA, drew many comments lauding the OP for being a hard worker and high earner at such a young age. In response to a commenter who asked how she landed her job and salary, the OP stressed the importance of negotiation:

    "I had a couple of software engineering internships at big companies while I was in school, so I definitely felt more prepared when I went out and interviewed for full-time jobs. My salary at this job was actually about $10,000 lower when they first made me an offer, but I negotiated and was able to get it up to where it is now. Negotiate ladies! There is free money being left on the table!"

    This diarist — a film and TV head of development working in Los Angeles, CA — flirted with a D-list actor at an industry party, treated herself to a FabFitFun box, and made us laugh over a TV show pitch about ghost sex. But she also took some heat in the comments for some of her choices, both financial and extracurricular. The OP jumped in with a comment that resonated with many readers:

    "I chose to do a Money Diary because I was genuinely intrigued to see if I could keep track of how I eat and spend, knowing that I'm indulgent. What I'm taking away from this is the fact I was 100% honest. About not working out. About indulging in a martini or two glasses of wine after work. About taking Advil for my period. Comments judging the fact I take Advil, or make a lot of money at a young age, or drink too's SURREAL to read comments about yourself. I'm glad I did this, because I can't believe I spent this much money, drank this much, and swore this much (according to everyone), but the best way to grow is from the inside one else can be my teacher! If you enjoyed this, thank you. If you think I'm miserable, byeeeeeee :)."

    In this Money Diary, we met a case manager from Spartanburg, SC, who works a full-time job, drives for Uber during her off hours, and takes care of her husband, who can't work due to his immigration status. While many commended her hustle, many more focused instead on her frequent trips to McDonald's, criticizing her dietary choices. This commenter, however, offered OP compassion and encouraged her to take better care of herself:

    "Girl, you could use a little self-care in your life. I realize everyone is jumping down your throat about your diet, but I see it as a symptom of a larger problem: that you're not a priority in your own life. You're headed towards burn out – the high anxiety/stress, daily fast food, multiple jobs, intense pressure [over] your husband's immigration status, and what sounds like not a lot of time to yourself is going to hit you hard one of these days. Please be careful, because it's so easy for you to stay at the bottom of the list. And you're not a terrible wife. You're busting your ass, that much is clear, and it sounds like you don't have as much self-confidence as you should," said Rsawinvaughn.

    In this diary, a 23-year-old working in real estate applied to a new job she admitted feeling "vastly under-qualified" for. Several commenters identified with this feeling of not checking off all the necessary boxes, and jumped in to offer words of encouragement. Our favorite comment, from Slick Drink:

    "I am so glad you applied for that job! I work in recruiting and there's almost always more flexibility in job requirements than people realize. Plus, my anecdotal experience definitely supports the research that says women are less likely to apply for stretch roles than men. You're probably more qualified than you realize and in 95% of cases, you have nothing to lose by throwing your name in."

    This Money Diary of a new mom in Long Beach, California easing back into work post-baby drew a lot of comments about her work-life balance. Several commenters rushed to defend her work ethic, noting that on International Women's Day, of all days, we should be lifting up other women instead of knocking them down. This sparked a productive conversation about the way we talk about career and the realities of returning to work after maternity leave.

    "What on earth is everyone’s obsession with how hard or not hard another woman works? It’s a shame that Americans have such an unhealthy addiction to working themselves to the bone – we wear it like it’s some kind of badge of honor. Yes, working and earning an honest wage, following your dreams, providing for your family – all of these things are wonderful, but shouldn’t life also be about balance? Shouldn’t we seize a few opportunities to relax and have fun here and there? This woman has figured out a situation that works for her, and she’s earned a director’s title along the way. The real problem in this country is that not all women have the opportunity to have such a balance and many don’t even have proper maternity leave – that’s the thing we should all really be angry about, not one woman taking advantage of her situation to enjoy her kid and ease back into work." said Cosmic Drink.

    When this diarist shared that she'd recently found out her boyfriend of two years had been cheating on her, and that, to make matters worse, they still worked in the same office building post-breakup, several Money Diaries commenters jumped in to offer her kind words of support, encouragement, and wisdom. Our favorite, written by Magic Martini:

    "Oh, hun. Breakups due to cheating are quite possibly the worst ones. Most of us have been through it and understand the pain (myself included). It will get better, it just takes a little time. It's good to lean on your family and friends until then. And one day, you're going to find someone who'll chase away every memory of a loser who clearly never deserved you in the first place. Not that it may make a difference, coming from a stranger on the Internet, but from reading your diary, you seem like a lovely girl who's got her act completely together. I promise you that your ex will be rueing the day he lost you for many years to come."

    "The real entertainment of this series is reading all these rude a$$ comments and then complaining to myself about it. LOL."

    Let's start out with Toru9, who aptly addressed the elephant in the room in this diary from March, with a New York City-based content editor making $50,000 per year: The comment section can take on a life of its own.

    We do plan to continue moderating the comments and making sure that it's a safe space for people to share their (non abusive!) views. We also love the community that has formed, and we want it to keep going! Thanks for being part of that.

    " Don't sign any contract just because person pitching it to you seems like a nice lady and you just want to make her happy. Ugh, this is something I am constantly learning. I never want to disappoint people and that can lead to some seriously unnecessary spending," JustinaMoniz wrote in March, in response to our Austin, Texas diarist — an editor working in environmental consulting who makes $35,000 per year.

    It seems silly, but pressure to spend can come from people you don't even know, often because saying "yes" can feel nicer than saying "no." The problem is one that a lot of people, particularly women, face.

    "As the daughter of a single mom, I commend you on everything and every choice you are making. Your choices are valid, we don't know your life, and your kid is loved and protected. I ate junk bc my mom worked long hours to give me the life I wanted. Guess what happened to this non vegan child?

    "Ivy League graduate living in Europe, worked at 9 huge media companies as an intern before graduating - a brag not on behalf of me but on behalf of my MOM who made choices as she saw fit. You go girl," Heroic Java wrote in March.

    In this New York City entry, a financial coordinator making $43,000 per year wrote about her dating struggles (constantly paying for cabs) and life as a single parent (who receives very little child support). While some commenters were quick to criticize the meals that the diarist's son ate during the week, Heroic Java had a different, insightful take, which we appreciated.

    The vast majority of commenters fell head over heels for this diarist (or O.P. — original poster, in Money Diaries-speak) — a nonprofit strategist living in Alaska and making close to $89,500 a year.

    The diarist is an avid fisher and reader, who mentioned being on the lookout for wandering moose, something many readers found fascinating.

    "Shhh, nooo. I'm just going to pretend O.P. is out with a bag of carrots to feed them like Sven in Frozen, who's a reindeer, but I'm also going to ignore that part and pretend like it's the same thing," Magical Prairie wrote.

    In this diary, a social media marketing manager living in Berlin and making roughly $42,600 per year chronicled her housing search, as she hunted for a short-term studio to share with her girlfriend.

    Finding a place to live is hard enough without doing it in an unfamiliar location, where you don't speak the language, and aren't 100% sure of the customs. This comment zoomed in on that stress with great advice.

    "Hey, great diary. Quick hot tip regarding your landlord - I lived in Brussels for 2 years and had a similar experience with my landlord and was afraid of losing my deposit. Berlin has such a huge expat community so hopefully there are legal documents on renters' rights available online in English.

    "Educate yourself and don't be afraid to stand up for your rights! Ask any local friends and/coworkers about anything that feels unfair or iffy. I didn't speak French well enough to advocate for myself so I asked a Belgian friend to be present and he was [not only] able to not properly converse, but knew what was 'normal' in Belgium and how the landlord was trying to take advantage. Good luck!" wrote Heroic Drink.

    "[When] I was in high school, cell phones were new, basically useless, and weren't as "necessary" as they are now, so my parents made me pay for it myself. Also, family plans didn't exist when I got my first cell phone. Once the precedent was set that I paid for it myself, there was no going back.

    "On the other hand, I'm pretty sure my high school aged nieces will never see a cell phone bill in their lives," Peaceful Avocado wrote in March.

    After reading this Los Angeles diary from a biomedical research analyst making $56,000 per year, Money Diaries commenters started an interesting discussion about the evolution of cell phone ownership — and, more pointedly, who pays for it. It's safe to say that most diarists are on some form of a family plan, either paying their fair share or, in some cases, having a parent or relative handle it, while they take on another expense.

    Whether that indicates freeloading or ease seems to be a generational judgment.

    " I leave work and have to decide which house to go to — mine or my boyfriend's. I haven't seen him in a few days, but I'm so tired after the long workday, and I'd like to go to my work out tomorrow. He's not happy about it, but I'm trying to get better at standing my ground with things like this. THIS x 1000.

    "Happy to hear this is something other people grapple with in a relationship. Sometimes you just want your own damn bed even if you love your S.O. to the moon and back. Good for you!" wrote mememememememem.

    In this diary from a Salt Lake City auditor (who spent a significant amount of money on car trouble), the diarist discussed her decision to sleep in her own bed — instead of her boyfriend's — after a long day. We thought the moment was refreshing and honest, too, and were happy to see that others felt the same way.

    Want to avoid paying for a drink just to use the bathroom? Keep calm and look like you know what you're doing. Here's some good advice from Heroic Wine in the comments section of this diary from a New York City financial analyst making $90,000 per year:

    "When I worked in a restaurant, people would come in all the time just to use the bathroom. And what the hell am I gonna do chase them down and drag them out? No. Lol. Nobody's gonna stop you if you go in quickly and leave quickly. Just don't poop all over the walls."

    Many commenters were surprised about the grueling schedule described by this diarist, a pediatric fellow living on the Upper East Side of New York City and making roughly $76,600 a year. However, some commenters, like Daring Shoe, could relate firsthand.

    "As a doctor now in practice this is SO real. No time, stressed, not eating or cooking. This is sacrifice we all go through. Reform is needed. Prevent physician burnout."

    Some diaries inspire a lot of envy from readers; others generate a lot of criticism. This diarist, a multimedia manager making roughly $75,500 per year inspired both in the best possible ways.

    The system she created for herself to manage her finances was a hit among readers, but so was her dedication to taking care of her health.

    "I started this diary desperately wishing I had a job that started at 10:15 (I'd work out every morning! I'd sleep three more hours!) and then ended it feeling really grateful that I don't have chronic joint pain with my autoimmune disease," wrote Daring Watermelon. "Props for being proactive about your overall health, and not letting the paperwork/insurance complications scare you out of it!"

    It's not every day that we hear from diarists in the startup trenches. That's probably why this one, from a San Francisco-based diarist making $17,500 per year, inspired so many of our readers, or resonated with fellow entrepreneurs.

    "Yes! As a fellow freelancer/entrepreneur, it's great to read about other people's money diaries. We hear so much about these stories after people have made it big, but it's comforting to hear from someone who's just as deep in the trenches as I am. It's tough but I feel so much stronger knowing there are others fighting in the same spot," Hi_Lemon5 wrote. Hear, hear!

    Money Diaries is a chance to learn the nitty-gritty financial details most people don't share every day. Salary? Check! Loan payments? Check! Credit card debt? It's all there for the world to read.

    But why do we still feel so uncomfortable talking about our finances? It's hard to learn how to manage money if you're not talking about it in the first place.

    We want to know: Who do you talk to about money? Your parents? Your partner? Your best friend? And how much info do you feel comfortable sharing? Tell us, and we'll publish the best responses in an upcoming story on Refinery29!

    Click here to submit your answer via Google forms.

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    Back in 2016 Instagram added the "saved" section to every profile, and the beauty game was changed forever. Gone were the days of screenshotting a notable makeup look or palette to buy, only to lose it in the mess of photos in our camera roll. Now, if we spy something we love, we can simply click "save" and add it to our private vault of inspiration images.

    That being said, inspiration can still be hard to find when you're inundated with hundreds — no, thousands — of images daily. That's why we decided to share the photos we've archived in the past month. Hopefully, it'll get your creative juices flowing for the upcoming weeks. Ahead, check out 31 looks to try this October.

    The bold eyeshadow trends typically involve splashes of electric color, like blues, purples, and greens. Instead, makeup artist Erin Parsons opted for a muted nude on model Herieth Paul's eyelids, and it's just as eye-catching as any neon shade.

    Sure, some most of Fashion Week's runway looks are too avant-garde for the office, but makeup artist Lynsey Alexander 's shimmering inner lids are not. What's more, it's easier to try at home than you think by tapping on MAC's Reflex Pearl with a dense shadow brush, then layering Dazzleshadow Liquid in Stars In My Eyes on the inner corners.

    We've heard of thumbprint liner (a smudged, circular smoky eye), but we've never seen the effortless trend quite like this. Take a page out of makeup artist Morgane Martini 's book and use Marc Jacob's Fineliner to create this unique shape.

    If you've ever seen Gina Rodriguez on the red carpet, you'd know that she tends to keep her makeup pretty low-key. For her recent appearance on The Late Late Show, her makeup artist Carissa Ferreri maintained the actress' chill vibe with a thin flick of shadow in a fall-friendly cranberry shade.

    If Fenty Beauty's latest Stunna Lip Paint shades aren't in your fall makeup arsenal already, then get your ass to Sephora stat. Artist Sarah Novio opted for the chocolate brown crowd-pleaser called Unveil.

    Candy can inspire more than just a sugar rush. Case in point: this two-toned eyeshadow in Jolly Rancher colors.

    Cat-eyes are much more fun when you don't have to worry about being so precise. Using that liner brush that's smaller than one eyelash takes a lot of skill. Luckily, Hung Vanngo continues to make a case for these extra-large smoky wings.

    Makeup artists found out a looong time ago that white eyeliner magically makes actresses look wide awake after a red-eye flight, but out of all the iterations, Beau Nelson 's version on Kristen Stewart might be our fave.

    Want to master the perfect ombré eye? Skip the eyeshadow brushes and try using a kajal liner instead. Shiseido's Kajal Ink Artist Shadow, Liner, and Brow lets you have all the control to gently shade in your lid with a light or heavy hand.

    Although makeup artist Kale Teter is often seen by Ariana Grande's side (perfecting the cat-eye over and over again), he's also a pro at pops of bold color, like this tangerine orange on Romee Strijd.

    When combining two colors with big personalities, like green and pink, make sure to keep 'em as refined as possible. For makeup artist Bob Scott that meant painting Amandla Stenberg's inner corners in a hot pink hue and coating their lash line in a muted green.

    Out of all the colors, purple is considered royal. No wonder it's been the reigning eyeshadow champ for spring, summer, and fall.

    While the jury is still out on who really invented the smoky eye, there's one thing we know to be true: It will never, ever go out of style. Copy this one by Nikki Wolff using Becca's Volcano Goddess Eyeshadow Palette.

    Like we said, candy is our latest inspiration. Anyone else craving Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape?

    Glitter makeup is all over the runways and red carpets — and this midnight blue is our next party look.

    If a club-kid blue isn't your thing, try Olivia Wilde's bronze finish instead, using Marc Jacobs' See-Quins Glam Glitter Eyeshadow to get major sparkle.

    Or keep the glitter minimal (as minimal as glitter can get) and pump up the volume with a punchy fuchsia lip.

    Pink doesn't have to be your enemy. If done just right — diffused from an opaque pigment on the lid to a soft blur near the brow bone — it can look less like allergies and more like a tasteful '80s throwback.

    Looking for a challenge in October? Try this glossy, layered eye.

    White liner hides a hangover when put on the waterline, but the color is a pretty accent against warmer skin tones when swept across the top lashes.

    They did say blue was the warmest color...

    Pulling off dark lipstick doesn't have to be so scary. Patrick Ta once told us that he finds leaving the eyes simple when doing a dark lip keeps the whole look balanced and pretty, not overwhelming.

    We stan a caramel eye and lip look that brings back the '90s. This retro, but wearable, glossy option is no exception.

    Combine two trends (a floating crease and glitter shadow) to master Dove Cameron's moody look.

    Makeup artist Vincent Oquendo channeled Brigitte Bardot with this feathery brow and '60s bombshell cat-eye.

    Never underestimate the power of a tiny eye flick.

    First, it was the hottest nail polish shade of the year. Now, it's moving on up to the eyes. Meet chartreuse.

    Tired of your usual black liquid liner? Ditch it for a creamy aqua this fall.

    Get the flattering stain you'd have after drinking a glass of Cabernet without the morning-after headache with a wine-colored lipstick.

    Tom Pecheux officially brought back the '90s dark liner/light lipstick combination during Fashion Month — and it's still iconic.

    Still looking for some Halloween inspo? Trying channeling Rihanna, the queen of bold lipsticks, with this ocean-blue lip lacquer and gilded manicure — just beware of texting typos with these XL nails.

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    Over the past few years, hyaluronic acid has established itself as the Samuel L. Jackson of buzzy skin-care ingredients: A-list name recognition, seemingly in everything, frequently praised for its performance — and, as it happens, maybe a little more problematic than it might initially appear.

    "Hyaluronic acid is a complex sugar normally found in between the collagen bundles in the skin, providing hydration and plumpness," explains Ava Shamban , M.D., a Beverly Hills-based dermatologist and founder of SKIN FIVE. The stuff occurs naturally in the body and decreases as we age, dragging that youthful luster down with it. The idea, then, is that applying a topical formula can counteract the loss of volume over time.

    But there's reason to believe that the perception of hyaluronic acid as a panacea for dryness and wrinkles is vastly overstated — and, when used incorrectly, it can actually backfire. "Because it's a very large molecule and cannot possibly penetrate through the top layer of the skin, the justification for using hyaluronic acid as a topical hydrator is moderate at best," says Dr. Shamban. What hyaluronic acid can do is temporarily add water to the topmost layer of the skin, and provide a short-lived plumpness along with it — with a particular emphasis on "temporarily" and "short-lived."

    And there's still yet another catch. "If your skin is dehydrated to begin with, and the air around you is dry, then the product can actually suck water from deeper in the skin," says Dr. Shamban. Hyaluronic acid works by absorbing moisture like a sponge, so when applied to dry skin in a dry climate, it absorbs moisture from the skin instead of pulling it toward it. When this happens, hyaluronic acid has the opposite effect of its intended purpose, leaving skin drier, thirstier, and more prone to showing signs of aging.

    That said, the cons of hyaluronic acid aren't a question of whether it is good or evil. It's a matter of how best to use it so that it helps your skin, rather than hurts it. The ingredient needs to be used in conjunction with other moisturizers; hyaluronic acid alone will not provide the necessary hydration skin needs. "It's really meant as a temporary hydrator, when applied to damp skin," Dr. Shamban says. "If your skin is already dry, you could actually be doing more harm than good."

    So how do you make it work for you, without chucking the serum you maybe unadvisedly spent $65 on because your new facialist told you to? "Apply your hyaluronic acid on damp skin, and then apply moisturizer on top of it," Dr. Shamban says. When used together, an occlusive moisturizer will help lock in the additional hydration from the hyaluronic acid, instead of letting it escape and take more of your skin's water along with it. Trust, they make a much harder-hitting team than Jackson and Ryan Reynolds in The Hitman's Bodyguard.

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    "She Came. She Saw. She F*cking Voted." The midterm elections are coming (November 6 to be exact) and if you've still yet to register to vote, there's time.

    According to a recent poll we conducted with CBS News, 42% of millennial women are either not registered to vote or don't know if they are and we're looking to change that. So we've joined forces with the badass women from Wildfang to design a limited edition tee and a tote with the slogan "She Came. She Saw. She F*cking Voted." Our mission? Get 100,000 first time voters to the polls and raise $100,000 for She Should Run, an organization that educates and helps women pursue political leadership roles.

    With the U.S. at a major political crossroads, and women finding themselves still fighting for basic rights, taking action and seeking change has never been more critical. The easiest way to get on board is through your right to vote.

    Help us spread the initiative to get more women to polls with our Wildfang x Refinery29 collaboration below, available for a limited time from October 1 to November 6. For each item sold, 25% of the proceeds will go towards She Should Run.

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    Before they gave us computer viruses and harvested our Facebook data for political campaigns, Internet quizzes were once our biggest guilty pleasure. There was nothing more satisfying than finding out which melancholy vegetable best suited your personality (onion), or if a Victorian ghost was haunting your house (probably).

    But the quiz we took most seriously in Seventeen (or Cosmopolitan, depending on how conservative your parents were, which probably merits another survey), was always: Which lipstick shape are you? Smooth, rounded edges meant you never broke the rules; flat, concave ones showed you liked taking risks. And now, thanks to an influx of fall makeup launches, there's a totally new lipstick shape to consider: square (but don't judge it too fast)

    If you like the new sharp-edged bullets from YSL, Shiseido, and other major brands, here's what it most likely says about you: You're efficient (the flat, angled tip makes it easy to use on-the-go), particular (the shape gives a super detailed, precise application), and a trend-follower (you'll find one in every Sephora this fall).

    But we'll put aside the games and let you choose the right one for yourself, ahead.

    This thin matte lipstick looks an awful lot like the cigarette from which it got its name — minus all the bad shit. But beyond fitting into your back pocket and giving you something to do with your hands in a smoky French nightclub, it also makes hitting those outer corners of your lips easier than using a liner. It's no wonder cool-girl (and YSL ambassador) Zoë Kravitz loves it.

    Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture The Slim Matte Lipstick, $39, available at Yves Saint Laurent

    Lipstick brushes may offer perfect precision for cream formulas, but when it comes to something as ultra-matte as this, Shiseido got it right with its new angular, flat-topped tube. Square and tapered, this lipstick covers a lot of ground without coloring outside the lines.

    Shiseido ModernMatte Powder Lipstick, $26, available at Shiseido

    There's a lot to love about this lipstick. It's wide and square — perfect for adding color to every inch of your lips — but it's also packed with hydrating ingredients like squalane and sunflower seed oil. Even better, for every tube sold, the brand donates 10% of sales to the We See Beauty Foundation, a non-profit organization that invests in women-led businesses.

    Make Beauty Matte Lipstick, $25, available at MAKE Beauty

    Square-tipped lipsticks lend themselves to another major fall trend: blurred lips. Charlotte Tilbury's best-selling matte was made to be blotted onto your lips without smudging the color too far outside your lip line.

    Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick, $34, available at Sephora

    For a twist on the trend, Laneige brought two tones into the mix. The expert color combos give you an ombré effect in a single swipe.

    Laneige Two Tone Lipstick, $27, available at Sephora

    Sure, $60 seems like a steep price for one lipstick, but when that one lipstick nourishes like a lip balm but has the silky color of a lipstick, it's too irresistible to turn down. It's just an added bonus that the peculiar shape helps push pigment into every awkward crevice.

    Neiman Marcus Le Phyto-Rouge Lipstick, $57, available at Neiman Marcus

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    We're always on the hunt for new, meaningful ways to approach self-care — and turning the topic into a conversation with others never seems to let us down. What's the latest workout class our work wives can't get enough of, the meditation app helping our roommates unwind, or, say, the political newsletter keeping our siblings informed? Whatever it is, learning about other people's habits for a healthier, more active lifestyle can be super informative — not to mention, pretty inspiring.

    That said, at the recent New York opening of 29Rooms, we got the chance to sit down with none other than critically acclaimed actress, Reebok brand ambassador, and general badass Danai Gurira to talk all things fitness, activism, and the many different forms of self-care. Not only did we learn some fascinating trivia about the global icon herself (did you know she was a psychology major?), we also walked away with more than a few motivational tips on everything from learning how to unplug to becoming a better activist to finding the right workout gear. So do yourself a favor: Check out the 15 most standout moments from our interview with Gurira, here.

    On Reebok’s “Be More Human” campaign:
    “The Be More Human campaign is about allowing us to celebrate ourselves and find our strength — mentally, physically, and spiritually — through fitness. The joy of fitness, the power of it. We’re not often encouraged to do that as women — [find] our physical power.”

    On the brand's new PureMove sports bra:
    “I could not be more of an advocate for women finding the things — whatever they may be — that really make them feel stable, supported, and able to do their thang. Because that’s the whole point: You want to be able to do your thang with ease, with comfort, and really feel like, I am where I’m supposed to be. Being in your skin allows that, and PureMove feels like your skin.”

    On the importance of fitness:
    “I know that if I get a workout in before I go to work, I will have a better day after I’ve given my body that jumpstart ... I will feel better, I will feel fuller, I’ll feel fitter, I’ll feel stronger, I’ll feel more ready, and I’ll feel more present. It’s real in that sense.”

    On prioritizing working out:
    “People ask the classic question, ‘How do you find the time?’ How do you find the time for anything? Everybody makes time for what they want to make time for. It’s a choice. It’s about prioritizing. And it is sacrificial, because you are sacrificing other things you’d rather do, but [working out] is going to pay off in ways that those other things will not.”

    On taking the time to unplug:
    “I try to take Sundays off, and taking Sundays off means that you trust the universe to function without you for one full day. It’s hard to unplug! And I think regenerating that way is very important to me … taking a day to be a daughter, a sister, a friend. You can actually start to do less of that as your life gets more full. Focusing on those outside of my own life is a way of self-caring, ironically.”

    On knowledge as self-care:
    “Expanding what I know and understand about the world around me is [also] a form of self-care, because I want to be a participating citizen of the world. I'll pick up a book, read an important publication, watch a documentary, or learn something about the world. I try plugging into the things that I can do, so that I am participating as much as possible.”

    On the importance of awareness:
    “What I find is that you cannot be an advocate or an activist without awareness. Once you get aware, once you are actually informed about issues that are happening in very specific, clear ways that are not disputable, then you are actually able to garner a passion around it and want to participate.”

    On when she first became aware of gender inequality:
    “Since I was a little girl, when I saw the disparities between gender treatment across the world, I always thought , This doesn’t make any sense. From the age of about 8, it just didn’t make sense to me on any scale.”

    On the power of information:
    “A lot of the time, women can’t name other women Nobel Peace Prize winners. We have to be able to know other women, our heroes — our sheroes — who are out there and have done amazing things against astounding odds. We have to know who they are, reference them quickly. When we’re in a world that combats our greatness, we have to know where to pull from to say, ‘I know that so-and-so did that under those circumstances, what would stop me from doing this under mine?’”

    On her early love for the performing arts:
    “I was a part of the Children’s Performing Arts Workshop in Zimbabwe — which still exists — which helped me understand that this is a craft, this is an art form. You have to treat it with reverence, with respect. And I loved that we were encouraged to create stories. That was something that I garnered a hunger for and an understanding of initially from that age, and it just became a bug that stuck.”

    On choosing a psychology major:
    “I grew up right next door to South Africa, in Zimbabwe. Throughout my whole childhood, South Africa was under apartheid; I couldn’t go next door, but my white classmates could. That was something that was always kind of interesting to me, so I really wanted to pursue social psychology and really look into dynamics around race, gender, nationality, all that.”

    On her “Aha” moment to pursue the arts:
    “When I went [to South Africa], I had an experience there. I met artists who had used their art to combat apartheid … and there were so many different ways that that was done — through photography, through poetry. People were being arrested for speaking out against the injustice. That really convinced me. They had those stakes against them, and they pursued their craft and their passion. What is my excuse for not doing the same?”

    On her mission to tell women’s stories:
    “The passion I realized I had to pursue in Cape Town was really to tell African women’s stories, to give African women their voice in a way that was as complex and rich and multidimensional as many others get. We so rarely heard from the African female perspective, and that was something that, again, made no sense to me.”

    On how she intends to use her platform for good:
    “For me, it’s about how we can bring a voice to the things that do not get to be heard. How do we amplify those voices as much as we can with the platform we’ve been entrusted to?”

    On what she hopes visitors take away from their experience at Reebok's The Support System room at 29Rooms:
    “Get out there and get active, as much as possible. That’s the whole goal — let’s get active. Let's find the best gear, the best support system, to get us to our fittest selves.”

    This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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    I was raised around cousins and aunts with beautiful, hip-grazing hair. Long, straight hair was a token of a pride for most of the women in my Saint Lucian family. My own hair stretched down to my butt as a child, thanks to the relaxer my mom put in my hair at the age of 9.

    Once a month, my mom would sit me in the bathtub, paste my scalp with Vaseline (to protect my skin from the burning sensation of the relaxer), and perm my strands. Then, every week she'd blowdry my hair and let me style it for school. Being able to tie my hair in a ponytail or wear it straight down made me feel grown up and in charge — especially in middle school. This was the regular hair routine for me, until I went to college.

    I discovered the natural hair movement during my junior year at Berkeley College in New York City. Around that time, my younger sister transitioned from relaxed to natural, and I was in awe of her process. I remember sitting her between my legs, combing through her two-textured hair, and thinking, " I want my hair to do that," as her roots curled up.

    I decided to hop on the bandwagon and grow my curls out, too, but the process wasn't silky smooth. Hours meant for homework turned to hours spent on YouTube watching tutorials and testimonials. And I immediately wanted to put a flatiron to the slightest bit of curled new growth that emerged from my scalp. But, eventually, I became more comfortable, experimenting with flexi-rods, twists, braids, and buns.

    Growing out my hair in college (while writing papers, passing tests, and working part-time) was a tough job. But it was one that I am so glad I stuck with. Today, I wear my strands both curly and straight. Breaking up with my relaxer gave me an opportunity to discover the true versatility of my hair. Ahead, read the stories of eight other women who decided to grow out their natural curls in college — and don't regret a thing.

    The following responses have been edited for length and clarity.

    Michaela C. Felix, 21

    College: Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

    "During my sophomore year in college, I joined a natural hair organization. Prior to that, my hair was relaxed for most of my life, and I didn’t think much of my curly hair.

    "When I decided to go natural I transitioned slowly. I was too afraid to big chop, so a weave with no leave-out was my style of choice for the school year. Over summer breaks, I turned to braids as a protective style. Though I transitioned in my second year at Rutgers, I didn’t really feel confident wearing my hair out until my senior year. Everyone around me seemed to have the natural hair thing down pat. I was surrounded by women who were masters at cornrowsand twist-outs. But I wasn’t too familiar with how to wear those looks or with the best products for my hair.

    "But being surrounded by people who were going through similar journeys taught me that trial and error is a unique process for everyone. Not everyone's hair is the same and taking the time to learn about my specific needs during my transition phase was very important. I've gained much more confidence from learning to love my hair the way it is and not comparing it to anyone else's.”

    Michaela C. Felix

    Aurian Valcin, 28

    College: University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

    "I watched the documentary Good Hair by Chris Rock, and it was really enlightening. It made me realize that I had no idea what my hair texture looked like without a relaxer. Shortly after, I saw my best friend's older sister with a crown full of beautiful coils. That was my first personal exposure to natural hair, and it inspired me to grow my hair out.

    "When I first decided to go natural, I transitioned for about six months and turned to protective styles. I wore braids and twists to camouflage my curly and permed textures. However, I wasn’t too skilled with styling my hair. Growing out my relaxer became overwhelming — so I big chopped. I wanted to accept myself wholeheartedly, without the standards of beauty that had been pushed on me for years.

    "Going natural and big chopping, specifically, completely spiked my confidence. I learned that once you cut your hair you can either hide it or own it. I didn’t want to hide. My big chop was another step towards becoming my true self, and I even inspired some of my peers. I’ve learned that there’s no right or wrong way to be natural and that different methods work for different people. Do what works for you. "

    Aurian Valcin

    Lauren Hughes, 22

    College: Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

    "I went natural during my sophomore year of college because I was a student-athlete and my straight hair wouldn't last through sports. I didn’t chop off all my strands, but I did snip off a considerable amount. I wasn’t totally confident in having super-short hair, so a drastic big chop wasn’t for me. Now that I’m older, I would definitely big chop if I had to do it over again.

    "It took a long time for me to see progress. And while my natural curls grew out, I wore a ton of buns. Seeing other Black women on social media embrace their natural hair was also a great motivation for me. YouTuber and influencer Jade Kendle of Lipstick N’ Curls really helped me through the process. Growing out my natural hair made me proud that I looked different than most people and that my journey was unique to me."

    Bruce Turner Photography

    Anna Rodriguez, 26

    College: University at Albany, Albany, NY

    "While I was away at college, I was so lazy and tired of styling my hair, so I decided to cut it off and embrace my natural hair. I slowly started getting haircuts every three to six months. When I wasn’t fiddling with my new curls, my hair was tucked in a bun.

    "There weren’t a ton of people around me going natural when I decided to. I was walking past a bar one time and fell in love with a bartender’s curls. I stopped and asked her what products she used and immediately went out and bought her recommendations. Her hair was my inspiration at the time. Soon after, my sisters began their own natural hair journeys, and we exchanged products and techniques.

    "When I first went natural friends and family would say they preferred my straight hair. Now, those are the same people who say they prefer my curls. I came into my own power and beauty when I embraced my natural hair, and it really taught me how to show myself — and my hair — love."

    Alyssa Francois, 29

    College: LIM College New York, NY

    "During my junior year of college, I was going through the process of self-discovery and taking control of my life. My hair was relaxed since I was about 7 years old, and I felt it was time for a change. I wanted to know who I was (and what I looked like) behind a relaxer.

    "Big chopping wasn't in the cards for me. I was always more comfortable with long or chin-length hair. So instead of chopping it all off, I grew my hair out until it was at a length that I felt comfortable with. I wore my hair in updos, roller sets, and flexi-rod sets most of the time. I bumped into the late Titi Branch, co-founder of Miss Jessie's, in a beauty supply store one day and explained to her that I didn't want to big chop my hair. She suggested I try flexi-rod sets, and it was some of the best styling advice I've ever gotten. With the style, I was able to set my hair on wash day and not have to re-style during the week.

    "When I finally cut off my relaxed ends, I went on a trip to China with my college. While there, locals were so fascinated by my hair, and it made me feel really good. Some people even came up and touched my hair! My professor at the time, who was Chinese, prepared me for this prior to our trip, so I didn't feel offended at all. They didn't mean any harm. My experience in China reminded me that whatever decision feels right to me is always a good decision."

    Suzanne Cohen Photograpy

    Adrienne Jones, 29

    College: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

    "When I decided to transform my look in college, I really wasn’t focused on going natural. At the time, Solange had a super short cut that I adored. I really just wanted to experiment with a cropped haircut to see how I liked it — so I went for it. As my hair started to grow out, I found I really enjoyed my natural texture, but I had no idea how to manage my incredibly kinky hair.

    "Initially, I had trouble finding influencers with the same type of hair as me, and I spent a lot of time (and money) trying to recreate styles that didn’t work for my texture. But as time went on, I found some YouTubers (like MissKenK, Yolanda Renee, and BeautyCutright), who had 4C hair like mine.

    "Cutting my hair off really forced me to toughen up. Lots of people had opinions about my hair that weren’t always supportive, but I learned to block out the noise and rock my short cut to the fullest."

    Jessica Cruel

    Sara Charles, 27

    College: The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA

    "I went to a predominately white college in a predominately white town, so it was extremely hard to find a hairdresser who I could trust with my hair. There weren't many options in regards to products to try either. At the time the ethnic hair-care section at the local CVS and Walmart had few items to choose from.

    "I was fascinated by the rising natural hair movement. When I wasn't doing homework, I was on Youtube researching natural hair. I was curious to see what my natural hair pattern looked like, so I decided to grow out my relaxed pixie cut. Though my hair was growing, it was still super damaged because I would use a flat iron almost every day. Eventually, I had to give up the flat iron. Instead, I began styling my hair in fro-hawks and Bantu knot-outs. Hats and head scarves were also some of my best friends in college.

    "There weren’t many YouTubers with my hair 4C hair texture at the time. But some online personalities like MoKnowsHair, BlakIsBeautyful, and My Natural Sistas helped me during my transition. Once I moved back home after graduation, I was also able to experiment more with products. That's when I discovered brands like Cantu, Eco Styler, Dark and Lovely Au Natural, and Creme of Nature.

    "While so many people were also going natural when I did, it took me a very long time to be comfortable with my hair. I would watch YouTube videos and compare my hair texture to women with looser curls. But two years after I graduated college, I finally accepted that my hair is mine. I couldn’t compare it to others and needed to find the best way to cater to my hair. My journey came with plenty of trial and error, but I don’t regret it one bit."

    Sara Charles

    Liz Rodriguez, 22

    College: Rutgers University Newark, NJ

    "I was raised to believe that in order to be beautiful your hair had to be straight, but I was tired of killing my hair with relaxers and heat. I started seeing a lot of people going natural, and I wanted to give it a shot. I had never seen my hair natural until college.

    "I wasn’t entirely comfortable with chopping all my hair off, so I opted for twist-outs and braids while I transitioned. I watched a ton of YouTube videos during this time. I found it helpful to watch others go through this journey and discover what products they used along the way.

    "Going natural really made me feel better about myself. I wasn’t afraid to go to the gym and risk sweating my hair out. And I didn’t have to avoid pool parties because getting my hair wet didn’t matter. I no longer needed to hide behind straight hair."

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    Like most things, the Nobel Prize winners historically have been white men. In every category, from chemistry to economics, generations of men have been celebrated for their achievements, while women have been routinely left out. But, this year, for the first time in more than half a century a woman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics (yes, you read that right).

    Dr. Donna Strickland, a Canadian scientist, has officially become one of only three women in the history of the prestigious prize — alongside Marie Curie and Maria Goeppert-Mayer — to win the award. Lauded for discoveries and accomplishments in the field of laser physics, Strickland shares this year's prize with two other scientists, Gerard Mourou of France and Arthur Ashkin from the United States.

    Interestingly, Dr. Strickland told the BBC she has always been treated as an equal in her career and that she was surprised it had been so long since a woman won this award. And though it’s reassuring to hear that Dr. Strickland has not experienced harassment based on her gender in her career, these experiences are a definite departure from many of the contemporary conversations had around sexism in the science industry.

    To be sure, Dr. Strickland’s historic award is a reason for celebration, but we must also use such landmark moments as reminders of the ways that women have historically been — and continue to be — sidelined and silenced in most industries, not just science. And so, though we should definitely celebrate these sorts of wins, we also should bear in mind that there remains so much work to be done.

    However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel: according to the New York Times, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the Nobel prizes, announced last week that it planned to change its nomination guidelines to make more room for diversity in the future. Let's hope future awards do more to accurately reflect the genius and ingenuity present across all races and genders.

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    With every new season comes a whole new crop of eye candy to shop for. Pages and pages to be exact. But navigating the new arrivals section can feel daunting: Between the overload of budding trends and the general excitement of seeing all things new and exciting, we tend to shop with eyes bigger than our wallet. It's easy to get caught up in adding everything you see to cart, then having a small cry when your checkout page lists 20 items and a price with one too many zeros.

    To offer a helping hand, every month, we'll be breaking down the best items in the market that you can buy for under-$150. Think of our curated shopping guide as an easy way to keep you in the know, without making you splurge. From of-the-moment collaborations to the latest trickled down runway trends, you'll be able to give your closet a mini boost on the cheap. Click on — the fall collections are calling your name.

    There is a lot of product out there — some would say too much. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team, but if you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

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    When Halloween movie marathons roll around every October, we have to wonder: When did gratuitous gore become the norm for scary movies? How did carnage get conflated with creepy? And what exactly is it about blood and guts that's supposed to be so terrifying, anyway?

    We decided to dig up the most frightening gore-free films we could find. And you know what we discovered? When you strip away shock-value violence from the genre, an impressive trove of genuinely well-made fright-fests remain. These scary movies range from seminal classics like Rosemary's Baby to more modern fare like Paranormal Activity. (That's right, folks, there's more to modern horror than Saw!) Packed with psychological thrills and masterful suspense sequences, these 16 films are bloodcurdling, not blood-filled. (We can’t promise they won’t make you queasy, though. A truly terrifying film will do that to you, anyway.)

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    The Orphanage(2007)

    The Orphanage is thrilling entry into the horror genre which will appeal to all movie buffs — not just horr fanatics. At the start of the movie, Laura (Belén Rueda), her husband (Fernando Cayo), and adoptive son (Roger Princep) return to the orphanage where she was raised. She hopes to convert the orphanage into a home for disabled children. Instead, she stumbles upon the orphanage's dark history, which manifests in apparitions.


    Psycho might be the scariest movie ever, and there's not an ounce of blood. After stealing money from her employer, Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) runs away. But stealing isn't the decision that derails her life. It's her far more innocuous choice to stop at the Bates Motel, where Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) is waiting.

    Paranormal Activity (2007)
    The first installment in the prolific series is far and away the best — bare-bones, blood-free, and downright terrifying. A young couple’s found-footage face-off with demonic supernatural forces is every new homeowner’s nightmare. It’s actually widely considered to be the most profitable film of all time (based on ROI — the movie cost just $15,000 to make and grossed nearly $200 million worldwide).

    The Others (2001)
    This Spanish-American horror movie set in a mansion on the coast of post-WWII England stars Nicole Kidman as a strict, religious mom. Her two kids' extreme light-sensitivity confines them to the indoors while she waits for their father to return from battle. The movie is a master lesson in the art of making viewers sweat bullets with anxiety, using tension and spooky atmospherics instead of graphic gore and murderous maniacs.

    Photo: Courtesy of Cruise/Wagner Productions.

    Rear Window (1954)
    Shot from the perspective of the Greenwich Village apartment where an injured photographer (James Stewart) is holed up during a terrible summer heat wave, this Hitchcock classic is the forerunner of creepy-neighbor flicks like 2007’s Disturbia. The photog passes the time by watching his neighbors through his courtyard-facing rear window — until one evening, he witnesses what he believes to be a brutal murder. Grace Kelly co-stars as the skeptical girlfriend.

    Photo: Courtesy of Paramount.

    The Blair Witch Project (1999)
    The Blair Witch phenomenon changed the horror genre forever, kicking off a decade-and-a-half-long trend of found-footage flicks. Three film school students investigate a local legend in the forest country of Maryland — the movie, pulsing with sickening dread, is what’s left behind after they vanish into the woods. Though the no-longer-novel concept isn’t as convincing or confounding as it was back in 1999, it still feels real enough to put you off camping for a good few months.

    What Lies Beneath (2000)
    Claire (Michelle Pfeiffer) suffers memory damage from a car accident. So, when she starts seeing ghosts around her lakeside home in Vermont, her husband (Harrison Ford) starts to worry his wife is losing her mind. The only thing more surprising than the film’s director (Robert Zemeckis, of Forrest Gump and the Back to the Future trilogy) is its oh, shit third-act twist.

    Rosemary's Baby (1968)
    If you can suspend your knowledge of Roman Polanski’s sex-crime rap sheet for a couple of hours, this iconic classic of the psychological horror genre is worth every second of your willful ignorance. However, like sushi and water-skiing, this gothic fright-fest is highly inadvisable for moms-to-be.

    Photo: Courtesy of Paramount.

    Funny Games (2007)
    Michael Haneke remade his own 1997 Austrian film — about a family terrorized by a seemingly polite couple of young men — shot for shot with a new cast, including a superb Naomi Watts. Even though nearly all the torture happens off-camera, this one is hard to watch. How do you know you've made a truly disturbing movie? When one of your actors won’t even watch it: Star Tim Roth, who plays the husband, found the whole filming experience so distressing that he’s refused to ever watch the finished product.

    Photo: Courtesy of Halcyon Pictures.

    Signs (2008)
    While not technically a horror film, M. Night Shymalan’s nuanced sci-fi thriller starring Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix is one of the eeriest takes on extraterrestrial visitation in recent memory. So little “scary stuff” actually appears onscreen that the rare moments when it does — like in this home video of a little girl’s birthday party with an uninvited guest — catch you off guard and send shivers down your spine.

    Writer-director duo James Wan and Leigh Whannell typically land themselves on lists of the most gory films of all time. The team behind the original Saw stunned critics and moviegoers alike, though, with their gloriously guts-free, low-budget Insidious. It's like a haunted-house movie — except in this one, it’s the child’s unconscious that’s haunted. With its unique story, well-imagined demons, and a good stock of jump-out-of-your-seat scares, this one is a modern horror classic.

    Photo: Courtesy of Alliance Films.

    The Wicker Man (1973)
    A police investigator (Edward Woodward) arrives on the tiny Scottish island of Summerisle in the wake of a little girl’s disappearance to find out what happened — but none of the residents seem too worried. In fact, they deny the entire incident. Things get increasingly freaky as the pagan and sexual rituals of the people come to light. So smart and so strange. (But for the love of god, do not confuse this with the 2006 Nic Cage remake, which is just scary bad.)

    The Mothman Prophecies (2002)
    The people of Point Pleasant, WV, have been reporting sightings of the demonic "Mothman" for decades — the Science Channel even filed it under "unexplained" in a TV doc. That local lore inspired this creep-fest starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney, who ask if the creature is legend, delusion, or something truly sinister. Unsettling throughout, with several pulse-pounding points of tension.

    Photo: Courtesy of Lakeshore Ent.

    The Nameless(1999)
    Okay, fair warning here: A waterlogged (but blood-free) corpse appears in the first five minutes of this Spanish horror movie, originally titled Los Sin Nombre. Several years after her daughter’s body is found, a woman gets a mysterious phone call that spurs her to reopen the case. This super-slow-burner marries supernatural horror with classic psychological thriller anxiety, shrouding you in a foreboding sense of dread for nearly two hours — but the payoff is well, well worth it.

    Photo: Courtesy of Miramax.

    Dark Water (2002)
    Skip the lackluster 2005 Jennifer Connelly remake — the original is everything great about Japanese horror: artful restraint, perfectly manipulated suspense, an uncanny sense of doom, and, of course, demonic poltergeists in the form of young children. Not recommended for renters with a habitually leaky ceiling.

    Photo: Courtesy of Kadokawa Shoten.

    Under the Skin (2013)
    Scarlett Johansson redefined her lady-killer reputation in this cult favorite, a mind-fuck of a film best described as art-house horror meets metaphysical sci-fi. There are few words and no named characters, but that lack of familiar conventions — combined with an ethereal score and truly freaky visual sequences — creates a strangely mesmerizing sense of foreboding. The WTF final scene will leave you speechless.

    Les Diaboliques (1955)
    Another one butchered in a starry remake (in 1996 with Sharon Stone), this may be the best Hitchcockian horror film that Hitchcock didn’t actually make. A superfan of the film, Hitchcock professed to borrowing heavily from Henri-Georges Clouzot’s French masterpiece — set in a boarding school run by a ruthless headmaster — to make Psycho, which this rivals in suspense (and likelihood to make you scared of bathrooms).

    Photo: Courtesy of Criterion Collection.

    The Changeling (1980)
    A classical music composer (George C. Scott) moves to an old mansion outside Seattle after losing his family in a car crash. And it doesn't take long for shit to get weird. The haunted house with a history may be a cliché by now, but this early gem still outdoes the best of them 35 years later: The IFC suggests it may be the scariest movie of all time. What's for sure, though, is that you'll never look at an empty wheelchair the same way again.

    Photo: Courtesy of Chessman Park.

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