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Refinery29

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    Welcome toMoney Diaries , where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.

    The holidays are just around the corner and, for many of us, that means a huge influx in spending! What are your strategies for holiday shopping without breaking the bank? We want to hear all about it — tell us here!

    Today: an attorney working in government who makes $125,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on A Visit From The Good Squad.

    Occupation: Attorney
    Industry: Government
    Age: 32
    Location: San Diego, CA
    Salary: $125,000
    Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $2,494

    Monthly Expenses
    Rent: $1,090 (I rent a two-bedroom apartment with my fiancé and we split household expenses 50/50. This is my half.)
    Student Loan Payment: $1,054 (I had scholarships but no parental assistance. I owe $70,000 total and will finish payment in four years.)
    Cell/Internet/Cable: $110 (my half)
    Utilities: $100-$200 (my half)
    Netflix/Spotify: $13 (my half)
    Car Insurance: $45
    Charity: $150
    Transportation: The government covers my $72 monthly trolley pass.
    Union: $40
    Health Insurance: $150
    Personal Trainer: $320
    Savings: Varies by month, but averages out to about $500. (I currently have $20,000 in an emergency fund and $6,000 in a wedding fund.)
    Retirement: Set to hit $18,500 max, with an employer match of 5%. (My current balance is $85,000.)

    Day One

    6 a.m. — No matter how much I try, I can't quite turn myself into a morning person. I grab a banana with peanut butter for breakfast on my way out the door. I reach the trolley stop just in time to see the trolley pulling away two minutes before it's supposed to arrive. The next one isn't for 20 minutes, so I order a Lyft. $7.98

    7:30 a.m. — Our office manager has emailed us the FBI's guide to suspicious packages. The offices down the street had a (fortunately false!) bomb scare yesterday. That, plus the bombs on the news, has everyone a little on edge. I settle in to work on documents for a case going to trial next week.

    9:30 a.m. — I snack on an Rxbar (the only protein bar that doesn't give me the farts!) and a Diet Coke. My coworker stops by with dark rum for the cookies I want to make this weekend! I can't drink and didn't want to buy a whole handle for one recipe.

    12 p.m. — I stop to eat the homemade applesauce and pumpkin-turkey chili I packed for lunch. I make a mental note to add more spice to the chili if I make it again. My neck is killing me, and I decide to see if I can book a massage over my lunch break.

    3 p.m. — A massage was exactly what I needed. The masseuse is nice enough to give me a discount, and I leave a 20% tip before I head back to work and go over trial strategy with a newer attorney who is acting as my co-counsel. I'm not used to being the one with experience yet. $60

    6 p.m. — My brain is mush. It's time to pack it in for the day. This time I take the trolley with my monthly pass.

    7:30 p.m. — Home at last. I get things ready for tomorrow and make myself some Trader Joe's red lentil pasta with marinara. First time trying it, and it's only okay. I watch a couple episodes of House Hunters and House Hunters International (and yes, I am judging the shit out of these people) before heading to bed early.

    Daily Total: $67.98

    Day Two

    6 a.m. — I grab Triscuits and cheddar for breakfast and throw chicken breasts in my Instant Pot to cook while I'm at work. Today I give myself extra time and make it to the trolley stop early.

    7:30 a.m. — I get some emails answered before a witness arrives to be prepped for my trial next week. My colleague and I go over the case and discuss what areas her testimony will cover and what types of questions she can expect on cross examination.

    11:45 a.m. — I use my lunch break to meet up with my personal trainer. Knowing someone is expecting me gets me to the gym even when I don't want to go. We do weights, focusing on arms, and I end with a mile on the elliptical since my knee is acting up. Once I get back to work, I eat the same applesauce and chili lunch at my desk. I made a big batch to last the whole week and now that it's Friday, I'm starting to get sick of it.

    6:15 p.m. — I'll need to come into the office this weekend to finish what I need for Monday, which I was hoping to avoid. I can't stay late today because I need to pick up our dog from boarding. My co-counsel and I discuss the best time for us both to come in. The work will go better with both of us there at the same time.

    7:30 p.m. — As soon as I get off the trolley, I get in my car and run over to the boarding place we use. They are amazing and always remember our dog's name in addition to taking good care of him. (My fiancé, N., is paying for the cost of boarding.) My dog ignores me due to my ABANDONMENT, but forgives me for tummy rubs. When I get home, I finally get to eat my chicken, and I heat up a bag of frozen broccoli to go with it.

    10:30 p.m. — N. arrives home from his trip! ALL THE CUDDLES WILL BE MINE.

    Daily Total: $0

    Day Three

    6:30 a.m. — The dog wakes me up by poking me with his wet nose. It's my turn to get up with him since we trade weekend mornings so we each get to sleep in. Once he's good, I putter around the house and unload the dishwasher, catch up on The Voice, and bake protein and banana muffins to eat for breakfast this week.

    10 a.m. — N. wakes up, and we cuddle on the couch with the dog and watch old episodes of Justified. I finally convinced him to try the show a couple months ago, and now he is hooked. I snack on popcorn and an apple with peanut butter.

    2 p.m. — We head to our gym. I watch the first episode of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina while I do cardio, and it makes the workout feel much faster.

    5 p.m. — We meet friends at Eclipse for a double date. They are running a special dinner called Aporkalypse — six courses featuring pork tenderloin, belly, bacon, etc. I make an "Aporkalyse Now" joke, but I don't think my companions are as amused as I am. The food is amazing, but I can barely make it through all the courses because there is so much. (I still do, though!) We prepaid for the $45 dinner tickets, but I buy some cocoa powder and chocolate to-go on our way out. $26.32

    7:15 p.m. — We stop at Target to get snacks to take to a Halloween party at a friend's house and I also pick up razors, shaving cream, and deodorant. $17.51

    11 p.m. — The party is fun and full of witch's brew, cool costumes, spooky decorations, but we are not-so-secretly old people, so we get home on the early side and I crawl into bed.

    Daily Total: $43.83

    Day Four

    8 a.m. — I curse my inability to actually sleep in and head out to the living room for more couch cuddles since N. got up with the dog earlier. I grab one of the protein muffins for breakfast.

    9:30 a.m. — N. drops me off at work on his way to brunch with a friend. We finish what we were working on Friday. I'm lucky that I don't have to work weekends very often, and we accumulate comp time that we can use later. At noon, I finish and get a Lyft to Ocean Beach to meet a friend for lunch. $15.60

    12:30 p.m. — My friend and I walk around OB and finally decide on BBQ for lunch. We catch up about relationship stuff, and she tells me how her new job is going. $10

    1:45 p.m. — We walk over to check out Run for Cover, a new bookstore. It's tiny, but the selection is interesting and the staff chats with us about their favorite books. I get two books that have been on my list for a while: The Remains of the Day and A Visit from the Goon Squad. $34.48

    2:30 p.m. — N. picks me up. He did the grocery shopping while I was at work/lunch and bought steak, turkey, bacon, asparagus, burger buns, granola bars, popcorn, teriyaki sauce, Gatorade, broccoli, apples, oranges, bananas, zucchini, strawberries, raspberries, and Halo Top. We split the total of $80. On the way home, we stop so he can buy a new cell phone since his has decided Bluetooth is an optional and unnecessary function. $40

    4 p.m. — We get home, and I sit down on the couch for a minute. I fall asleep and nap so hard I completely miss N. taking the dog out, the dog napping with me, and them leaving for the dog park.

    5:30 p.m. — I put laundry in and make the cookie dough I was planning. It needs to chill at least three hours before baking, so I decide to leave it in the fridge overnight and do the actual baking tomorrow after work. When N. gets home, we heat up leftovers for dinner. He eats the remnants of Aporkalypse, and I have the rest of my chicken and broccoli. We clean a bit and prep for tomorrow.

    Daily Total: $100.08

    Day Five

    6 a.m. — Since I have to go to court today, I go full suit and makeup. I grab one of the protein muffins and toss an Rxbar in my bag for later. I catch an early trolley and am at work by 7:30.

    8:30 a.m. — I walk from our offices to the courthouse with a couple of coworkers. We stop at Westbean Roasters for coffee on the way, and I get a salted caramel latte (a.k.a. dessert masquerading as coffee). I miss the barista who looked like Thor. $5.50

    11:45 a.m. — After court, we get lunch. I get butternut squash soup and a couscous salad. I'm full after the soup, so I put the salad in the office fridge for tomorrow. $15

    5 p.m. — I check Facebook on the trolley home. A friend messages me that she shipped the crocheted Jayne hat she made me on commission. It will be a Christmas gift for my fiancé, since we bonded over Firefly when we started dating. I Venmo her $15 plus the cost of shipping, which I think is a steal. $23.45

    7 p.m. — N. grills us steak and asparagus while I roast chicken legs he wants to take to work for lunch this week. A friend texts about a Halloween party he is throwing on Wednesday, and we promise to bring drinks. Once dinner is over, I bake the cookie dough I made yesterday and divide the cookies up so we can each take some to work. The rum flavor is stronger than I expected.

    9 p.m. — I take the dog out, but he turns his nose up at every patch of grass. N. takes him out 10 minutes later, and he poops immediately. He truly loves N. more than me.

    Daily Total: $43.95

    Day Six

    8 a.m. — I get to work and do general catchup on ongoing cases. I leave the cookies I baked in the kitchen and email everyone that they are up for grabs. Then I walk over with coworkers to observe the first portion of another trial. The issues are complicated, and I like observing how other attorneys handle witnesses. I'm always learning.

    12 p.m. — I get back from watching the trial. All the cookies are gone! (Damn, I should have hidden one for myself before I left.) I eat the salad from yesterday along with an Rxbar and banana I brought from home. Then I spend the rest of the day either working on things for the trial tomorrow or catching up on my other cases.

    5:30 p.m. — After I get home from work, I head to Costco. We don't get trick-or-treaters, but our friend does and said he didn't mind if I brought full size candy to hand out. I've always wanted to do that on Halloween! I get two boxes and impulse buy a sewing guide from the book section. I've been meaning to get back into sewing, as it's such a useful skill. My mom taught me things as a kid, but there's a lot I still don't know. $54.91

    7:30 p.m. — N. grills burgers and zucchini for dinner. We usually switch off making dinner throughout the week, but he has taken the lead since he knows I'm stressed and I am so grateful. I go on the web a little and then head to bed early.

    Daily Total: $54.91

    Day Seven

    6:15 a.m. — I want to get to work super early to review everything, so I am up early. I need as much time as possible, and public transportation takes over twice as long, so I take a Lyft. $15.08

    7 a.m. — I realize in my hurry I neither ate nor packed breakfast. I go a few blocks to Achilles Coffee and buy a vanilla latte and turkey avocado bagel. The barista makes a scary pumpkin face in my latte. Happy Halloween. $12.48

    8:30 a.m. — We get to the courthouse and set up everything we need for the trial. I only have one or two trials a year because of the type of law I do, and I still get nervous every time.

    1 p.m. — It's over. I feel like we made the best case we could, but I have no idea how the judge will rule. He has a great poker face. We stop for lunch on the way back to the office. I get a spicy Thai peanut salad and and my boss treats.

    2:30 p.m. — My boss gives me the okay to head home early. I take another Lyft home, though I admit this one time it's just laziness. I take the dog out for a long walk. Once the business portion of the walk is done, I use one of the out-of-the-way grassy areas to work on “stay” and “come” commands. $13.26

    6:15 p.m. — On the way to our friend's place, we stop and buy drinks. We are both tired, so we go lowkey on the costumes (Deadpool onesie ftw). It's a small group of people, which is nice after this week. The trick-or-treaters are adorable, our friend treats us all to pizza, and we spend the evening playing Mario Party. $10.47

    Daily Total: $51.29

    Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual women's experiences and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29's point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior.

    The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here.

    Have you been working for at least 8 years and seen your salary increase or fluctuate? If so, fill out this form for a chance to be featured on our Salary Story series!

    Have a Money Diary you'd like to share? Right now, in addition to our ongoing diaries, we're looking for potential diarists along the following theme:

    Your Spending In Your State: We want to run one Money Diary from a different state each week. Want to rep your state? Submit here! In particular, we're looking for diaries from Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Rhode Island.

    Have questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here: r29.co/mdfaqs

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    This Woman Tweets Out Men's Salaries To Help Women Negotiate

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    The tech industry is not known to be a hospitable place to women and people of color: Gender discrimination, sexual harassment  (a study recently found that 78% of women founders in tech say they've been harassed or know someone who was), subtle (and not-so-subtle) racism, and pay disparity  (a recent report from Hired found that 63% Of the time, men in tech are offered higher salaries than women for the same role at the same company), are just some of the issues currently plaguing this industry.

    But there's some good news: People are increasingly standing up to the rampant inequalities. Just last month, Google employees staged a worldwide walkout to protest the way the tech giant handles sexual harassment and discrimination. Many tech employees at other companies are taking a stance against inequality too, including a woman named Jackie Luo.

    Luo is a software engineer at Square who is "working to build a better tech industry." In the industry, Luo is known for her activism on Twitter. Earlier this year, Luo began tweeting out salaries from men in tech, aiming to bring more transparency to the tech industry. We spoke with her recently about her inspirations, motivations, and why she believes transparency is such an important key in bringing about equity in tech — and beyond.

    How did you first get the idea to start tweeting out men's salaries?

    "It was International Women’s Day of this year. This writer, Carina Hsieh, asked men in media if they wanted to share their salaries, and so from that I asked if any men in tech would be willing to share their salaries anonymously for me to post. That was March 8."

    How has gender disparity impacted your own life and career?

    "In countless ways. I think the easiest way to explain how the gender disparity has affected my life is that I never wanted to work on it as an issue. I wanted to join the tech industry and excel in it, and I know that I have all of the abilities to do exactly that, but there are so many structural problems and biases that contribute to make it harder for me — and all of the brilliant, competent women I know — to succeed.

    "So I’m doing this work to close that gender gap because, in the end, it’ll make it easier for me and other women to do what we really came to do, which is the work that a lot of men can do unencumbered today."

    What kind of impact do you hope to have on women and other marginalized individuals?

    "I’m not sure. I’m not the first person to point to a pay gap in the tech industry — far from it. Erica Baker, who’s an engineering manager at Patreon now, was an engineer at Google when she started a spreadsheet for Googlers to share their salaries within the company. That was huge.

    "The #talkpay movement was a broad public conversation on Twitter about sharing pay numbers that made some major strides in normalizing sharing salary information with others. I don’t think my work specifically will have a huge impact — I see it as part of a longer legacy of work to help people be more empowered in their relationships with their employers and to work toward a better, fairer industry.

    "So far, I’ve heard at least a few anecdotes of women who talked to their coworkers about how much they got paid and got raises as a result, along with men who told women how much they were paid and helped advocate for them, which is really promising and heartening."

    You said in your viral Medium piece that "we need to talk more about how much we get paid. Fair compensation starts with greater transparency." Beyond tweeting out salaries, what does transparency look like to you?

    "I don’t think that tweeting compensation numbers is the real answer to anything — I’m one person, and anonymous compensation numbers posted on the internet will only go so far in practically changing people’s lives. It is, however, a way of getting more people talking about the real answer, which is the normalization of these conversations.

    "In daily practice, that means talking to people on your team about your pay; it means leveraging your position. If you are in a position of relative privilege, to help people get paid more fairly."

    "For companies, it means developing processes and practices that are fair enough that you can be transparent about them. For instance, clear leveling frameworks with defined compensation bands, no negotiations on pay, regular audits across the full data set of employees to ensure that there isn’t bias.

    "I think a huge reason why transparency is so low at tech companies is that, in fact, a lot of companies are not paying their employees fairly across the board by any measure. That’s why companies like Glitch and Buffer created such clear, unambiguous frameworks for determining salaries, which are really pretty unique in tech — they’ve really embraced pay transparency, and that’s required a more rigorous approach that doesn’t bias toward people of a certain gender or race or background. I think that that says a lot about the companies that haven’t been more transparent."

    What role do you see men playing in equaling gender pay disparity?

    "Eliminating the pay gap is going to take men. Women can’t do it alone. In terms of what men can do, a lot of it comes down to openly sharing information, giving advice, mentoring and sponsoring women, advocating for women even when they’re not in the room, and more.

    "What excites me is how many men really do want to help and contribute to solving this problem. Again and again, with the men who DM-ed me their compensation numbers, I got the same story — that they had worked with a woman who was really competent and had the same or greater level of experience as they did, and they had discovered that she was paid less than they were. And they were upset about that and wanted to do their part in leveling the field for these women. I think that signals progress or at least potential for progress in a way that I wouldn’t have expected before I started this project."

    What has surprised you most in the salary data you've amassed?

    "Nothing has surprised me too much! I think I’m in a pretty privileged position in that I already knew roughly what a lot of people across the industry get paid — I’ve been pretty deeply embedded in tech since the very start of college, and so I had a lot of expectations from the start about what I should get paid.

    "Of course, there are a lot of people who don’t have that, and they were really shocked at some of the numbers, especially coming out of the Bay Area. Personally, I think maybe the most surprising information was how much people negotiate.

    "I heard a story recently about someone who asked their friend (who was white and male) if their compensation target was high enough — and he said no, raise it. So they did, and then they told the recruiter, and the recruiter met them at that number. But then their friend said to raise it again. And they did, and the recruiter met them at that number."

    "That just never, ever, would have occurred to me — to ask for that much money in the first place, but also to ask for even more money when the company met the offer. What?!? But a lot of people just have entirely different perspectives on what’s acceptable in a negotiation process."

    What would you say to women, racial minorities, and other marginalized groups who feel afraid (or maybe even ashamed) to talk about how much they make?

    "That’s understandable, and you shouldn’t share any information that you think will disadvantage you or make your life harder. But know that you are worthy, and you are good at what you do. You deserve to get paid as much as anyone else doing the same work. Use the tools available to you to advocate for yourself, and push the people around you to acknowledge your value."

    What's the greatest lesson you've learned in being open about what you make?

    "It’s liberating to be able to talk openly about money. It defines so much of our lives, and we spend so much time glossing over how much we make and how much the people around us make so that no one feels awkward.

    "Sharing what I make has made a lot of my friends and even strangers more comfortable talking about how much they make, and then we can just be honest about how money shapes our everyday existence — like what we can afford to do and how we think about and plan for our futures. There’s a kind of vulnerability and intimacy in that."

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    My definition of wellness involves Pilates classes and cheese plates, not colonics and quartz stones, and I’m about as spiritual as a bath loofah. I'm not the world's biggest Gwyneth Paltrow fan, either — I've only seen Shakespeare in Love once. But last weekend, I pulled on my yoga pants and made the pilgrimage with 200 other women to the mecca of the self-care movement: the In Goop Health summit.

    In case you’ve been in a meditative trance for the last two years, In Goop Health is the physical manifestation of Paltrow’s lifestyle empire. Held in Vancouver, this was the fourth iteration of the event and the first for Canada. Tickets were $400; they sold out quickly.

    Vancouver's Stanley Park Pavilion played host to In Goop Health.Photo: Ernesto Distefano/Getty images for goop.

    I had been sick for a full month leading up to the summit, a combination of too much work, not enough sleep, an ill toddler, and a sinus infection from hell. When the opportunity to spend a weekend of Gwyneth-sanctioned mind-expansion, skin-beautification, and smoothies came my way (all expenses paid for by Goop), I said, “Sign me up, and pass the turmeric water!”

    The first thing you’ll want to know: Gwyneth was not there. Instead, the day was presided over by GP’s right-hand woman and chief content officer, Elise Loehnen, who, dressed in head-to-toe red, was easy to spot in a sea of Lululemons. Loehnen is sharp with a wicked sense of humour, and I got the sense that her star-power is almost as bright as Gwyneth's in Goop world.

    Facialist Anastasia Achilleos gave a "Glowy Skin Masterclass."Photo: Ernesto Distefano/Getty images for goop.

    Held in the ridiculously gorgeous Stanley Park Pavilion, the summit was part speaker series (guests included volleyball icon Gabrielle Reece and Dr. Alejandro Junger, endorser of coffee enemas and detox cleanses) and part spa day (there were yoga sessions, facial tutorials, and “breath work”). The breath work — so not my jam — involved panting to the beat of an instrumental number with our arms uplifted for two minutes. It was supposed to help us "show up," but I found it embarrassing and had to fight back giggles. The facial lesson — definitely my jam — involved a very bossy, very sarcastic British facialist named Anastasia Achilleos demonstrating a vigorous massage technique to decrease puffiness and increase glowiness — which it did.

    There were non-toxic beauty supplements (drinks that looked and tasted like orange Gatorade), and you could spike your coffee with collagen powder. In her opening remarks, Loehnen braced us for vitamin B12 shots: “Prepare to take down your pants and get a shot right in the ass.” And after a lunch of wild salmon and roasted spaghetti squash, I pulled down my waistband, exposed my hip, and did just that. There were two types of B12, one to pep you up and another to calm you down — I went for pep.

    Elise Loehnan, Goop's chief content officer, gives her opening remarks. Photo: Ernesto Distefano/Getty images for goop.

    I must have looked as uncertain as I felt, because as the syringe was inserted into my side, the woman waiting behind me in line, locked eyes with me, mouthed the word “breathe,” raised her hands in prayer, and inhaled deeply, encouraging me to do the same. “I was trying to absorb your pain,” she told me afterward. (It didn’t work: My hip was sore for 24 hours.)

    B12 shots came in two formulas: one for energy and one for calm.Photo: Ernesto Distefano/Getty images for goop.

    It wasn’t the first time I’d seen her. Early that day, we both sat in on a group medium reading, in which psychic Susan Grau connected people to deceased loved ones. My B12 friend had been connected with her grandmother, who was concerned both about the family drifting apart and about her granddaughter needing to take her car to the mechanic. One attendee had been connected to her mother, who died of a drug overdose; another to an absentee father. There were a lot of tears. The readings were bizarrely accurate — my B12 friend had moved away from her family and was indeed experiencing car troubles. I couldn't figure out just how we were being hoodwinked, but the grief the women felt was real. After the session, we took a 20-minute break to enjoy collagen-coconut smoothies before our facial tutorial. The woman from the B12 line wept in the corner.

    I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to mix grief with Lean Green Colada smoothies and skincare. So when I saw her again at the end of the day, I asked what it was like to experience that kind of pain and then go have a facial. “It was amazing,” she said. The reading made her feel raw and open, and ready to fully experience the day.

    A group session with a psychic medium got very emotional.Photo: Ernesto Distefano/Getty images for goop.

    The extent to which Goop is really about helping women was something I thought about again when I was at home in Toronto and googled Goop to review coverage of the event. The first thing that popped up was a story about the company being reported for allegedly breaching 113 advertising laws in the U.K. due to misleading statements about its products, including pre-natal vitamins. It was unsettling and made me wonder about the efficacy of the contents of my Goop goodie bag , which contained one month’s worth of its (brilliantly named) "Why Am I So Effing Tired?" vitamins. As far as I can tell, my Goop swag is all safe to use.

    But just last month, Goop was ordered to pay $145,000 USD for unsubstantiated claims about its vaginal eggs — claims disproven by Canadian OB/GYN and unofficial chief Goop critic Dr. Jen Gunter. In fact, wrote Gunter, using the eggs could actually harm your vag. I read that the eggs were available at the Vancouver summit, though I didn’t see them. I did spy Goop’s “Medicine Bag,” a $116 satchel containing nine healing crystals — one of the items cited by the U.K. report.

    I also read that there was a man outside the summit selling $38 “hot-dog water” as a statement on critical thinking, a clever way of pointing out that Goopies will buy into pretty much anything.

    According to Loehnen, that’s not true. The thesis behind that kind of criticism, she says, is that women are lemmings. “The reality is that every woman I know is like, ‘Listen, guys: I’m perfectly capable of reading something, parsing it, and deciding if it’s relevant to me. I know how to make decisions that are right for my body.’” Men, says Loehnen, aren’t treated the same way. “You’ll notice a lot of the things we’re criticized for have to do with reproductive organs or sexuality, and there’s always this pretense of protection,” she says.

    Yoga pants were the default dress code.Photo: Ernesto Distefano/Getty images for goop.

    I do agree that there's a significant a whiff of sexism in the Goop shit storm. You don’t see men berated for their own protein powders and erectile elixirs. And nobody belittles guys for dropping $500 on Leafs tickets. It’s worth underlining that the hot-dog water dude is, in fact, a dude.

    On the other hand, the wellness industry plays on women’s insecurities with our looks and exacerbates the need for self-improvement in a way that’s inherently sexist. And don’t women (and all consumers) deserve to be protected from misleading product claims? It’s up to every woman to decide whether medium readings, psychic vampire repellent, or any of Goop’s more recreational products are things she wants to experiment with, but endorsing supplements for pregnant women that go against international health guidelines is straight-up bullshit.

    So why do we Goop? I think it’s about connection — maybe connecting to a dead grandmother, maybe connecting to other women — but mostly I think it’s about connecting to ourselves. I found the summit intoxicatingly selfish — a full day of thinking about myself, and only myself. I spent 40 freaking minutes looking at myself in a mirror, carefully applying melting cleansers, exfoliating masques, and enriching oils into my face and neck.

    Since I've been home, I have kept up with a 10-minute version of this routine, massaging my face with Goop melting cleanser before bed. Most of the time, women end up as the last item on their own to-do list — carving out time for rituals (celebrity-endorsed or otherwise) give us permission be a just little bit selfish.

    For the record, I think the cleanser is working — even after a couple crappy nights' sleep, my skin is glowy. "Don't I look so much better than I did a week ago?" I asked my husband last night. "Uh..." he responded. Whatever — I feel like I look better. I've also started taking the "Why Am I So Effing Tired?" vitamins. Maybe next week we’ll find out that they are the latest Goop product to come under investigation. Until then, I'm exhausted and every effing little bit helps.

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    In her forthcoming memoir Becoming, Michelle Obama doesn't hold back when discussing how she believes President Donald Trump has put her family at risk by pushing the false birther conspiracy theory.

    "The whole [birther] thing was crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed," she writes in an excerpt from the book, which was obtained ahead of the November 13 release date by the Washington Post and other outlets. "But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks. What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington? What if that person went looking for our girls? Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk. And for this I’d never forgive him."

    For years, Trump promoted a baseless theory that President Obama was born in Kenya and not Hawaii, despite the former president releasing both short-form and long-form birth certificates proving the opposite. Even though he reportedly finally dropped it in 2016, he still said it behind closed doors and had already fueled enough racial resentment among his base to fill several sold-out arenas. Melania Trump supported her husband's racist claims.

    Michelle Obama has never gotten as personal about her feelings on Trump as she does in the memoir. While she criticized his proposed policies and comments about women on the 2016 campaign trail, she chose to "go high." But now, she's not shying away from sharing her feelings.

    Unsurprisingly, Trump pushed back viciously, according to the Post, telling reporters on Friday that "she got paid a lot of money to write a book and they always insist that you come up with controversy. Well, I’ll give you a little controversy back. I’ll never forgive [President Obama] for what he did to the United States military by not funding it properly. It was depleted. ... She talked about safety. What he did to our military made this country very unsafe for you and you and you."

    Michelle Obama's book is already being praised for shedding new light on the views and experiences of a beloved figure. Aside from Trump, she candidly discusses her miscarriage, going through IVF, and marriage counseling during troubled times in her relationship. "I don’t think anybody will be necessarily prepared to read a memoir like this — especially coming from a first lady," TV producer Shonda Rhimes told the Post. We've got our reading glasses and giant cups of tea (literal and figurative) at the ready for this one.

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    J.Crew has been slaying the all-American style game since the 1970s with its eternally classic designs. On top of stocking our chic wardrobe essentials, the company also covers timeless home good bases too. And right on cue with gifting season, the beloved brand just released a new lineup of decor offerings that are straight out of the coziest holiday dream.

    From classic takes on comfy decor staples to festive cocktail accessory creations, the recently dropped collection of seasonal goods is a gifting goldmine. We took a stroll scroll through all of these bright new buys and pulled out our top picks from the shiny bunch ahead. Continue on to shop 12 J.Crew holiday home essentials — gilded to matte-black flasks, soft-as-a-cloud cable-knit throws, and frosted-glass candles included.

    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.

    A camel and gray-striped cashmere throw is at the top of our cozy-chic wish-list.



    J.Crew Home striped cashmere throw, $299, available at J.Crew

    J.Crew's first ever candle release was born out of a luminous collaboration with OG candle creator, ILLUME — the festive scents range from fashion-focused fragrances like stripes and chinos; eyelet and florals; cashmere and linen; chambray and denim; and cedar and snow.



    J.Crew X Illume® glass candle, $30, available at J.Crew

    Leave it to J.Crew to bring back the flask as seriously stylish gifting material — this matte-black and stainless steel model from Areaware was hand-crafted by artisans in Brooklyn, NY.



    Areaware liquid body flask, $60, available at J.Crew

    Fashion meets home decor in this classic rugby stripe-inspired, cozy bouclé pillow.



    J.Crew bouclé rugby pillow, $59, available at J.Crew

    We're loving the dusty rose color on this smooth ceramic votive — and once the candle burns down, we'll be using it as a stylish toothbrush holder or succulent planter.



    J.Crew X Illume® ceramic candle, $22, available at J.Crew

    To wear this classic striped throw, or to let our couches wear this classic striped throw? Now that is the question...



    J.Crew multistripe throw, $79, available at J.Crew

    Amp up the glamour during upcoming holiday cocktail occasions with this gilded Odeme flask.



    Odeme Flask in gold, $40, available at J. Crew

    Fans of J.Crew's classic cable-knit sweaters can spend the upcoming cozy season twinning in style with their couches and beds.



    J.Crew cable-knit throw, $99, available at J. Crew

    Showering during the winter can be a bone-chilling situation — unless you wrap up in one of these soft-as-a-cloud, Turkish cotton towels.



    Coyuchi Cloud Loom organic six-piece towel set, $98, available at J. Crew

    J.Crew knows a thing or two about fashionable comfort — and this Compono plush, faux-fur throw blanket takes the cozy-stylish cake...We only wish it was a coat.



    Compono striped faux-fur throw, $79, available at J.Crew

    A sweet stocking stuffer or hostess gift for the holidays, this mini cocktail kit contains key ingredients for mixing a festive drink — Sugarfina champagne bears included.



    W&P Design The Sugarfina® Rosé Cocktail Kit, $25, available at J. Crew

    This organic cotton, 300-thread-count sateen sheets in hygee-hues are the number one reason we won't be leaving our beds all winter long.



    Coyuchi 300-thread-count sateen duvet cover, $198, available at J.Crew

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    Ariana Grande's ponytail has been a topic of conversation for about as long as we've recognized the 25-year-old's name. Still, despite its fame, her hair has more conspiracy theories around it than Avril Lavigne's fake death. Although the rumors are endless, fans still wonder how she wears the updo from morning 'til night without needing two Ibuprofen every four to six hours. Hell, not even Camila Cabello could comfortably rock the look for one award show — and Grande's been wearing it for nearly eight years.

    Although a quick look back at the singer's evolution will prove that Grande's signature look took a long time to perfect, it's her iconic ponytail that inspired me to finally try it out for myself. Turns out, I finally get it: headache or not, it's one accessory worth singing about.

    Despite how fun a Grande-inspired ponytail is, not one step is easy. Excuse the cliché, but practice — and a foolproof toolkit — makes perfect. So I tapped Grande's hairstylist, Chris Appleton, who is also the global artistic director of Glam Seamless extensions, and hunted down a feast of YouTube tutorials to finally understand why the star's ponytail is the kind you commit to for life. The full guide, 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.

    So, why Appleton? Not only is he Hollywood's resident extensions expert, but he's the hairstylist behind the extra-long updos seen on Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Shay Mitchell, and of course, Grande.

    For me, the first step to achieving a mile-long ponytail was adding hair extensions to my bob. I chose one of Appleton's go-to's from Glam Seamless: 16-inch clip-in extensions in the highlighted shade vanilla swirl which ring up for just under $250.

    With seven wefts of hair per pack, these extensions are the crème de la crème for beginners. Thick, with natural movement, the virgin, human hair feels legit — and looks it, too. And it doesn't only blend seamlessly into your hair, but it's long-lasting (the company says it will look fresh for up to a year) and really soft.

    Before we advance, a note on the controversy surrounding human hair extensions. Glam Seamless reports that the company obtains its human hair from India and Mongolia, but many consumers we've spoken with prefer additional information on the supply chains. Check out this story and video if buying human hair without knowing exactly where it comes from makes you feel weird, because they are options for people who prefer more transparency.



    Glam Seamless Vanilla Swirl (60/24) Clip In Highlights, $244, available at Glam Seamless

    Got your clip-ins? Great, let's keep moving. Before you begin adding in the extensions, it's often recommended that you style your hair to match their texture. For those after the Grande look, like me, it included straightening my hair to ensure a smooth finish, then I followed Appleton's step-by-step tips.

    Step 1: Section off the hair in small to medium, layered sections, depending on the natural thickness of your hair.

    Step 2: Working on one section at a time, lightly tease your roots. This adds some texture for the clips to hold on to without tugging at your root. Appleton's teasing technique can be seen here.



    Glam Seamless Pink Tail Comb for Hair Extensions, $9.99, available at Glam Seamless

    Step 3: Spritz hairspray on the teased roots. Appleton says this creates extra grit for the extensions to hold onto.

    Step 4: Clip in the extensions while tipping your head upside down. Start with the bottom layers and work your way to the top, clipping a new weft into each section. This will depend on how much hair you have, which in my case wasn't a whole lot. Appleton finds this is the easiest way to hide tracks when all the hair is gathered in the updo. This tutorial is the best demonstration of the method Appleton refers to — and one I watched about 100 times.

    Thankfully, my clip-ins came with a variety of sizes, ranging from wefts with five clips to wefts with two. So, the higher I got on my head, the smaller the extensions became, making this layering process easier.

    Remember how Grande said she was in constant pain from her ponytail, nervously laughing via Twitter about the sacrifices she makes for her look? Well, she's not wrong. Bad news: Although the extensions are lightweight on their own (Glam Seamless' actually only weigh about .3 pounds altogether), once attached to your head, amateurs like me will think they feel like 40 pounds. The good news is you get used to it.



    Color Wow Cult Favorite Hairspray, $24, available at DermStore

    So, your extensions are attached, now what? It's time to collect all the hair and pull it into a ponytail. If you want to go full-throttle Grande, you'll need the base of the ponytail to begin just at the top of the back section of the crown of your head.

    Once you have everything in place — before you find an elastic to hold it all together — brush your hair from front to back, then bottom to top, smoothing down any rogue hairs. While you brush, continue to pull any rogue pieces of hair into the ponytail. Look at Appleton's Instagram feed and you'll spot a small, boar bristle brush in his hand on the regular. The tool isn't just helpful for ridding hair of knots, but it's also the key to keeping hair glossy and soft — even after the aggressive styling.



    Leonor Greyl Natural Boar Bristle Brush, $66, available at Leonor Greyl

    Having naturally short hair can leave you with one big problem after your installation: flyaways. I needed bobby pins for everything to be as seamless and smooth as possible— and lots of them.

    Go back in with the teasing comb to gently brush back any loose hairs, then pin down as many as possible. Keep in mind that with all the extensions, most of the pins you add to the underside of the ponytail won't be visible, however, the ones on top of your head will be. In that case, find pins that match your hair color to be as discreet as possible.

    Truth be told, you might give up at some point, like I did, and go pin crazy. If walking to the bagel shop with 48 bobby pins in my hair is wrong, then I don't want to be right. But if you have the time and patience, be smart about the placements. If you aren't in a hurry to pick up a bacon, egg, and cheese you can do some more control with the help of a strong-hold gel. Think of it as glue, but for your tiny, broken hairs.



    Scunci No-Slip Beautiful Blends Blonde Bobby Pins, $6.66, available at Amazon

    Grande loves scrunchies — and not just for her space buns. Now, so do I. Although most people would wrap a strand of hair around the base of the ponytail to help hide any visible tracks, I chose to cover up my handiwork with scrunchies.

    Head my warning: Your patience runs thin while dealing with clip-ins because it really does take practice to get right. When you realize your ponytail won't be perfect the first several rounds of at-home styling, you might just give up and opt for a decent ponytail that looks a smidge better with a cute accessory holding it all together.



    Kitsch Hair Metallic Scrunchies- Black/Gray, $12, available at Kitsch

    Now that the ponytail is done, you have to help blend the extensions in with your natural hair — at least I did. After teasing some random pieces to thicken the ponytail, I sprayed this texture spray up and down the length of my hair and zhuzhed.

    It's important to note that since I am treating my extensions like my real hair, I have to care for them the same way, including regular washing (Appleton says stick with sulfate-free shampoos) and brushing. If you want your extensions to last up to a year, you better treat them with as much TLC as your pet pig.



    Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray, $26, available at Sephora

    Since my natural hair is slightly dulled from damage, I always use a shine spray to finish off any hairstyle. My ponytail was no exception. After a few sprays, I swung my ponytail over one shoulder and looked in the mirror to admire my ponytail. Fini.



    Sexy Hair Smooth Sexy Hair Smooth & Seal Anti-Frizz & Shine, $18.95, available at Ulta Beauty

    Warning: You will be become possessed by your ponytail. It will want to go everywhere with you — to the bar, Trader Joe's, hell, it'll want to sleep with you, too. Although Appleton says sleeping in clip-in extensions is a big no-no (hello, hair loss), I did, in fact, sleep in mine for three days. Why? I didn't want to be without them.

    Since my landlord won't allow a pig into my building, my butt-grazing ponytail will have to settle as the new love of my life — and I have no idea what I did to deserve her.

    appearance by Samantha Sasso.

    Still a little lost? Press play to watch the video I found especially helpful.

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    Whether you fell for him way back when he was a kid in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, or years later, when he was freezing to death in Titanic, chances are if you're reading this, you're a Leo fan for life. Not only is DiCaprio one of the most acclaimed actors in Hollywood, he tends to spend a significant amount of his time on climate change research and education — a passion he dedicates his entire Instagram feed to.

    Regardless of how many many Clinton Global Citizen Awards he wins, or how many Victoria's Secret models he dates, there's no competition when it comes to Leo as our longest-standing celebrity crush. And since November 11 marks his 44th birthday, we decided to celebrate the only way we know how: a look back at his very best looks.

    Click ahead to check out Leonardo DiCaprio's most memorable moments, spanning from the early '90s to that Oscars red carpet...

    1991

    Leonardo DiCaprio has been working since 1979, but it wasn't until 1991 that we got a glimpse of the young talent in the TV sitcom Growing Pains. That's where it all began...

    Photo: ABC/Getty Images.

    1995

    By 1995, DiCaprio was the kind of Hollywood heartthrob we'd been waiting for. And with a textured mop like that, he could've been the poster child for Oribe.

    Photo: SGranitz/WireImage.

    2000

    Post- Titanic, DiCaprio kept a low-ish profile for several years. But that doesn't mean we didn't notice when he cut his hair and starting using hair gel.

    Photo: Dave Hogan/Getty Images.

    2002

    The Catch Me If You Can star's signature hairstyle is established by the early '00s: slicked back to show off those baby blue eyes.

    Photo: Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty Images.

    2004

    If there's anything that Leo loves more than the Lakers and global warming documentaries, it's hats.Whether he's hanging courtside at a basketball game or scaring Jonah Hill, the guy will always sport a chapeau.

    Photo: Peter Kramer/Getty Images.

    2005

    There's nothing like a little scruff on the red carpet to turn an awards show from a total dud to a Sunday must-watch.

    Photo: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage.

    2006

    Some might say they recognize Leo by his fake Boston accent. But we would say it's that impeccably preserved baby face that we could spot from miles away.

    Photo: Kurt Krieger/Corbis/Getty Images.

    2007

    The year we figured out that Leo was born to be a dusty-headed blonde — not a brunette.

    Photo: Pierre HOUNSFIELD/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images.

    2008

    After working with on-screen wife Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road, Leo was back to his sun-kissed head of hair.

    Photo: Frank Trapper/Corbis/Getty Images.

    2009

    Looks like he got a little too much sun on vacation this year.

    Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

    2010

    His skin was back to glowy in no time, though.

    Photo: Jon Furniss/WireImage.

    2012

    Are those cream soda highlights?

    Photo: Vince Bucci/NBC/Getty Images.

    2013

    Those searing blue eyes could burn right through to your soul and make you admit that you did not recycle your take-out containers last night.

    Photo: Venturelli/WireImage.

    2014

    Little did we know that this beard would lead Leo straight to the Oscar podium to accept his first-ever Academy Award win.

    Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images.

    2015

    Sure, he might not book his brow artist a flight to keep those arches in check, but that doesn't mean he doesn't rank at the top of our Boy Brow list.

    Photo: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images.

    2016

    Donald Trump may not think so, but we know Leo is still very much hot.

    Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.

    2018

    After a year of snorkeling in Italy, filming Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and wearing lots of cargo shorts, DiCaprio made one of his rare public appearances at CinemaCon in Vegas. Truthfully, not much has changed over the past two years, but tell us something we don't know.

    Photo: Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images.

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    At least 12 people were killed after a gunman opened fire late Wednesday at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, CA. The attack is the nation's second mass shooting in less than two weeks.

    Police identified the gunman as Ian David Long, a 28-year-old former Marine. Officials believe he died by suicide. It's unclear how many Long wounded in the attack, but the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said about 22 people had been transported to hospitals in the area. According to the Daily Beast, some of the patrons were survivors of the mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead in October 2017.

    Ahead, what we know so far about the victims of the shooting. We'll continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

    Alaina Housley

    Housley was an 18-year-old student at Pepperdine University. Her death was confirmed by her aunt and uncle, actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband Adam Housley.

    "Our hearts are broken. We just learned that our niece Alaina was one of the victims of last night’s shooting at Borderline bar in Thousand Oaks,” Mowry-Housley said in a statement. “Alaina was an incredible young woman with so much life ahead of her and we are devastated that her life was cut short in this manner. We thank everyone for your prayers and ask for privacy at this time."

    Photo Courtesy of Alaina Housley's Facebook.

    Telemachus Orfanos

    Orfanos, 27, was an Army veteran and reportedly worked at Borderline. He survived the Las Vegas shooting last year.

    “He was killed last night at Borderline,” his mother Susan Orfanos told the New York Times. “He made it through Las Vegas, he came home. And he didn’t come home last night, and the two words I want you to write are: gun control. Right now — so that no one else goes through this. Can you do that? Can you do that for me? Gun control.”

    Photo Courtesy of Telemachus Orfanos' Facebook.

    Sgt. Ron Helus

    Sgt. Helus had been on the police force for 29 years and was set to retire soon. The 54-year-old was among the first officials to arrive at the scene of the shooting. After going into the bar, he exchanged gunfire with Long and was shot multiple times. Sgt. Helus died at the hospital Thursday morning.

    "Ron was a hardworking, dedicated sheriff’s sergeant. He went in to save lives, to save other people," Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters on Thursday. "He was totally committed, he gave his all. And tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero."Sgt. Helus is survived by his wife and son. According to Dean, he called his wife shortly before arriving at the scene. He reportedly told her: "Hey, I gotta go handle a call. I love you. I’ll talk to you later."

    Photo Courtesy of Ron Helus's Facebook.

    Justin Meek

    Meek, 23, was a recent graduate of California Lutheran University. He was working as a bouncer at the bar when Long walked in and opened fire.

    "The Cal Lutheran community is filled with sorrow over the violent events that took place last night a few miles from campus in Thousand Oaks," the school said in a statement. "Sadly, we have learned from the family that a recent graduate, Justin Meek, 23, is one of the precious lives cut short in this tragedy. Meek heroically saved lives in the incident."

    Photo Courtesy of Justin Meek's Facebook.

    Cody Coffman

    Coffman was a 22-year-old umpire for a youth baseball league and planned to enlist in the Army, his father Jason Coffman told reporters. He is survived by his father, mother, and three younger brothers. A little sister was on the way.

    "I talked to him last night before he headed out the door," Jason Coffman said of his last exchange with his first-born son. "First thing I said was, 'Please don’t drink and drive.' The last thing I said was, 'Son, I love you.'" He added: "This is going to be an absolute heart-wrenching time for me and my family. This is a heart that I’ll never get back."

    Photo Courtesy of Cody Coffman's Facebook.

    Kristina Morisette

    Morisette, 20, worked at Borderline's front desk. Hannah Trenton, one of Morisette's childhood friends, told BuzzFeed News that the victim had just gotten a new job.

    “Kristina was always the nicest girl,” Brandon Bohning, another childhood friend of Morisette's, told the San Bernardino Sun. “She never had a frown on her face – it was rare. She always had a positive attitude about everything. She never picked on anyone growing up.”

    Photo Courtesy of Kristina Morisette's Facebook.

    Blake Dingman

    Dingman was a 21-year-old former athlete who loved off-road vehicles. He was close friends with Jake Dunham, another one of the victims. At the request of Dingman's brother, No Sways Offroad will hold a memorial meet-up in their honor.

    “We were really proud of him,” his aunt Janet Dingman told the Press-Enterprise. “He was a really fun, energetic, and loving nephew.”

    Photo Courtesy of Blake Dingman's Facebook.

    Jake Dunham

    Dunham, 21, was also an avid off-roader who loved outdoor activities such as camping. He was close friends with Blake Dingman, another one of the victims. At the request of Dingman's brother, No Sways Offroad will hold a memorial meet-up in their honor.

    Photo Courtesy of Jake Dunham's Facebook.

    Daniel Manrique

    Manrique was a 33-year-old Marine Corps radio operator who served with the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Most recently, he worked with the veterans' nonprofit organization Team Red, White & Blue.

    “He was shot and killed in an absolutely senseless act of violence that we will never understand. He had spent his entire adult life, post military service, helping veterans readjust to civilian life,” his sister Gladys Manrique Koscak said in a Facebook post. “I have no doubt that he died a hero, shielding others from gunshots. He will forever be our hero, son, brother, and the best uncle anybody could ever ask for.”

    Photo Courtesy of Daniel Manrique's Facebook.

    Mark Meza Jr.

    Meza Jr. was less than two weeks away from his 21st birthday. He worked as a busser and food runner at Borderline.

    "Marky was a loving and wonderful young man who was full of life and ambition," his family said in a statement to KEYT-TV. "His family is devastated by his loss."

    Photo Courtesy of Mark Meza's Facebook.

    Noel Sparks

    Sparks, 21, was a student at Moorpark College and an active member of the United Methodist Church Westlake Village.

    "All I can say is that Jesus loves her FAR more than we ever could. And she leaves behind her a legacy of selfless servitude. She was always so joyful to help others and fill needs," her friend Sarah Penrose said on Facebook. "Wishing I could have spent more time with her before this happened. Praying for her friends and family."

    Photo Courtesy of Noel Sparks's Facebook.

    Sean Adler

    Adler, 48, was a bouncer at Borderline. He had worked as a high school wrestling coach, but had recently changed careers and launched a coffee-roasting business.

    "When we were younger, I was an awkward kid. I got picked on," Danny Evans, one of Adler’s childhood best friends, told the New York Times. "Sean was my protector. He stood up for me, and he showed me the kind of kindnesses I didn’t get from other people. I needed that so badly at that time."

    Photo Courtesy of Sean Adler's Facebook.

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    Everyone is difficult in their own way, which is why the myth of people who are "difficult to shop for" is not only patently ridiculous but, quite frankly, a bit rude. Unless the person you are shopping for is a child who has written out a list of the exact items they would like (or, more likely, provided the link to a running Amazon wishlist) or someone who collects something wildly specific (roosters or elephants for good luck, perhaps?), it is standard to have to put forth some effort to find something that suits your people and their complex, multifaceted selves perfectly.

    What is unarguably difficult is picking out fragrance for other people. Sure, you can confidently buy your mom her 10th bottle of Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue without pause, but when you want to introduce a seasoned fragrance fanatic to a new scent, you've got your work cut out for you. Perfume, after all, is personal — but the challenge of finding someone something they'll actually want to wear is better than buying someone a porcelain doll for their overflowing, creepy-as-fuck collection, don't you think?

    Ahead, a compilation of fragrances and gift sets that acknowledge and account for the idiosyncrasies of the people you care about — and show them how much you love them anyway.

    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.

    Consider the trope of the manic pixie dream girl, and then picture what would happen if she gave up on her dreams of moving out to the desert to become the next Georgia O'Keeffe and got an executive gig raking in six figures instead. That's who this intense, commanding floral fragrance, which combines a woodsy rose with the rare Rangoon creeper, is for: the freelance wild child who finally learned the value of being gainfully employed and now has dollar signs in her eyes where stars used to be. She can keep the portable rollerball in her pebbled-leather laptop case and the 1.6 oz bottle on her vintage armoire — right next to the dried flowers she still strings through her hair when you go to the bar on weekends. At least she always picks up the tab.



    Gucci Gucci Bloom Nettare di Fiori Eau de Parfum Gift Set, $146, available at Sephora

    Despite its enduring popularity among well-off women of a certain age and Marilyn Monroe wannabes, Chanel No.5 — with its heady aldehydes and elegant floral fadeout — is not for everyone. But people who love it really, really love it, and that's why you should absolutely buy them this limited-edition collectible eau de parfum bottle, which is all done up in rich blood red to match Gabrielle Chanel's favorite color. (An even better gift for the No.5 diehard in your life would be the 30.4 oz, $30,000 pure parfum extract packaged in Baccarat crystal, but unless you just won Powerball, that's probably more of a long shot.)



    Chanel N°5 Limited Edition Eau de Parfum Spray, $160, available at Chanel

    Yoga, in reality, smells like boob sweat and strangers' feet, but the idea of yoga smells like this: the lightest, most ethereal combination of amber and white musk spun into a beautiful, airy scent that's best described as clean. You've never smelled anything like it — and neither has your most quote-unquote spiritual and yet flakiest friend, who's always fifteen minutes early for Bikram but consistently "forgets" all about your Friday night plans. Double down on the transcendent fragrance with the same scent in candle form, which is made with 100% soy wax and will pair perfectly with the wind-down stretch for the classes she'll teach once she completes the 200-hour training program she's been talking about doing for the past two years.



    Lake & Skye 11 11 Eau de Parfum, $98, available at Lake & Skye

    Pizza or Chinese food for delivery? Loose ponytail or messy bun? Pick a movie to watch on Netflix or just scroll through the comedies for 45 minutes until you just get up and go the fuck home to watch your own damn movie on your own damn TV? Sometimes the best way to deal with a loved one who just can't make up their mind is to put them in a situation in which they don't have to decide anything at all. Take, for example, this advent calendar, which contains 24 very special, very luxe minis to spare them the enormous weight of having to choose which fragrance to wear in the days leading up to Christmas.



    Atelier Cologne Discovery Advent Calendar, $59, available at Atelier Cologne

    Behold, a nicely-curated collection of five Jo Malone fragrances — and you know who wears Jo Malone fragrances, right? Long before she became Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Suits actress Meghan Markle told Express that she loves the British perfumery's Wild Bluebell and Wood Sage & Sea Salt Colognes, both of which you'll find shrunken down to travel size in this elegant box fit for the most Markle Sparkle-obsessed person on your list.



    Jo Malone London Cologne Collection, $115, available at Nordstrom

    She might be all long, messy bangs, no-makeup makeup, and frayed kick-flare jeans these days, but scroll back far enough in her Instagram feed and you'll find photographic evidence of the "old" her — the one who rocked bootcut leggings (with the fold-down waistband) with a serious fake tan, a lip piercing, and eyebrows tweezed to oblivion. The soft, airy notes of jasmine, cedarwood, and liquid musk in this sophisticated fragrance and body lotion duo will match her current brand: It's from a chic Brooklyn-based company, but comes with a holographic pouch that's a subtle nod to a similar clutch she bought at Urban Outfitters in 2011.



    Ellis Brooklyn Myth Holographic Set, $115, available at Credo

    Oh, the things that studying abroad in Paris can do to a person — like give them the audacity to spend the rest of their days pronouncing "croissant" kwa-sahn and starting sentences with, "When I lived in Paris..." The Francophile's fragrance collection is not complete without a little something from Diptyque, which has operated out of a small boutique at 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain in the 5th Arrondissement since 1961. This sleek set contains five vials of the brand's best-loved eau de parfums, all of which will bring them straight back to their semester in the City of Light — even if their current location is Paris, Texas.



    Diptyque Eau De Parfum Discovery Set, $105, available at Barneys New York

    The olfactory equivalent of giving someone a blanket scarf as a holiday gift — because who doesn't want a blanket scarf? — this universally-appealing fragrance set is foolproof, and fit for any human of any gender or taste. The three new fragrances, Serenity, Energy, and Intensity (respectively described as a woody amber, a citrus musk, and spicy woods), are meant to be mixed and matched, layered or worn alone... and besides, who couldn't use a little extra serenity or energy this time of year?



    Kenneth Cole Kenneth Cole for Her Gift Set, $100, available at Kenneth Cole

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    When we sit down in front of our televisions to watch the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, we're left with lots of questions. How heavy are those wings? Up to 15 pounds. Are those real diamonds on the Fantasy Bra? Yes. And finally, what the hell did they use to make the models look that good? The truth: The women you see on the screen are naturally gorgeous. (Plus, they have a facialist, spray tanner, and personal trainer on speed dial in the weeks before the show.) But before the Angels head down the runway, they also face a village of makeup artists, hairstylists, and manicurists who make sure they're looking their best for the televised event.

    This year the team included makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury and celebrity stylist Anthony Turner, among many more. Both pros set out to enhance each model's inner glow and natural hair texture because, of course, these ladies already have have gorgeous skin and hair. But the products used backstage at the Novemeber 8 taping gave them that extra boost. Ahead, the Angel-approved beauty products you need to copy the look from the 2018 VS Fashion Show.

    The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show airs on December 2, 1o p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST.

    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.

    Lead hairstylist Anthony Turner wanted the hair to look undone and effortless, versus the staple mega-bouncy curls seen in the show's past years. “We’re celebrating individuality — we don’t want the girls to look like a generic army of robots. We’re celebrating each girl for who she is," said Turner in a statement. In order to achieve that, he turned to a small amount of voluminous mousse to start and ran it through their damp hair.



    L'Oréal Volume Envy Extra, $26, available at L'Oreal Paris

    No brushes were used for a more tossed-around, natural feel that complements the makeup. Turner turned to two Conair styling tools (the brand was the official hair sponsor of the show). He used a blowdryer and this 2-in-1 styler that serves as a flat iron and curling iron in one. "It's perfect for this type of natural look because it allows you to create smoothness and curls with just one tool," says the hairstylist. It was important to bring out the models faces, so Turner made sure to curl the front sections away from the face.



    Conair Infiniti PRO 2-in-1 Black Titanium Styler, $87.99, available at Conair

    Conair Infiniti PRO Electronic Brushless Motor Styling Tool, $89.99, available at Conair

    The makeup inspiration for this year's runway was former VS Angel Gisele Bündchen. Tilbury (who was the official makeup sponsor for the show) wanted to give each model the look of "an angelic filter to enhance what nature naturally blessed you with," according to a statement. And to achieve this glow-from-within look, the makeup artist started with this dewy primer that gives a hydrated, plush look to the skin.



    Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Face Primer, $55, available at Sephora

    Tilbury used an illuminating blush stick that gives a subtle hint of color on the face but also keeps to the dewy, natural finish she wanted.



    Charlotte Tilbury MOON BEACH, $45, available at Charlotte Tilbury

    Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow Contour Duo, $68, available at Sephora

    The makeup pro avoided heavy contouring and turned to light sculpting and highlighting, making sure to keep it faint and natural.



    Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow Contour Duo, $68, available at Sephora

    Tilbury used a foundation shade that was slightly warmer than the models natural skin tone to give them a warm glow. Continuing with the theme, she stayed away from heavy coverage and used her latest foundation that has a sheer finish.



    Charlotte Tilbury LIGHT WONDER, $46, available at Charlotte Tilbury

    For the iconic show, Tilbury brought back her sold-out eyeshadow palette to make the Angels' eyes pop and add some selfie-worthy sparkle. If you want to recreate the look yourself, the palette was re-issued and will be available online for a limited time only.



    Charlotte Tilbury Bigger Brighter Eyes, $53, available at Charlotte Tilbury

    Bringing out the eyes wouldn't be complete without mascara, and the backstage makeup artists turned to VS's very own limited-edition mascara to add dramatic volume and length.



    Victoria's Secret Major Lashes Full Volume Mascara, $14, available at Victoria's Secret

    Aside from opening up the eyes, it was important to keep them sexy, so a wing was drawn on the lids with a pencil eyeliner in a chocolate shade. This powder liner is soft and subtle compared to a dark, statement liner.



    Charlotte Tilbury The Classic Eye Powder Pencil, $22, available at Sephora

    Committing to the natural look, Tilbury went for a soft creamy pink color on the lips and for added definition, made sure to line the lips first and finish off the pout with plumping lip gloss.



    Victoria's Secret Velvet Matte Cream Liquid Lip, $25, available at Victoria's Secret

    Charlotte Tilbury Collagen Lip Bath Gloss, $35, available at Sephora

    Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner, $22, available at Sephora

    If you're going to be walking down a catwalk in lingerie, it's important that your body gets special attention, too. While the models do get spray tans ahead of the big day, thanks to celebrity tanning artist Kristyn Pradas and her products, they also got a refresher backstage with this shimmer lotion.



    Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Body Slimmer Shimmer Shape, Hydrate & Glow, $65, available at Nordstrom

    To complete the natural feel of the look, models wore nude and pink hues on the nails courtesy of LeChat. “This year’s nail color was inspired by the iconic, glamorous, and natural Angel look,” lead nail artist Hien Pham told People.



    Le Chat Just Breath, $6.95, available at Le Chat

    Le Chat Innocence, $6.95, available at Le Chat

    Le Chat True Honesty, $6.95, available at Le Chat

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    President Donald Trump signed a new executive order making immigrants ineligible for asylum if they arrive in the U.S. without papers, citing fears over the caravan of Central American refugees that's been slowly making its way to the U.S.-Mexico border.

    The policy, which is set to last 90 days, is the administration's latest attempt to crack down on asylum seekers. During the summer, for example, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued an order instructing border officials to reject the applications of immigrants who sought asylum based on domestic violence claims.

    Immigration advocates and lawyers say Trump's new policy violates U.S. and international law, which states that immigrants are legally allowed to claim asylum regardless of whether they enter the U.S. with or without documentation.

    "This is essentially the wall that Donald Trump had hoped to build," Archi Pyati, chief of public policy at the legal and policy advocacy organization Tahirih Justice Center, told Refinery29. "This rule is detrimental to our entire asylum system. It flies in the face of existing law put in place by Congress and changes completely the way that immigrants approaching the border and seeking protection will be treated."

    The migrant caravan of several thousand, which is mostly comprised of Central American women and children fleeing violence in their countries, has been a source of conspiracy theories and given Trump a reason to toughen the administration's stance on immigration even further. Under the new policy, immigrants who turn themselves in to authorities and claim asylum after crossing into the country without papers will immediately be detained and deported. Prior to the new rule, asylum seekers, regardless of documentation, were offered a "credible fear" interview to determine whether their claims of persecution are valid. That was just step one of a long, rigorous process that could take years.

    Trump is basing the policy on the same provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act he used in early 2017 to enact the travel ban impacting majority-Muslim countries. Like back then, the asylum rule is likely to be challenged in court. Pyati said the Tahirih Justice Center would join the fight: "We’ll be part of the effort to demonstrate to this administration that they cannot just wave their pen and completely change decades of congressional protections that were put in place for refugees."

    The center works with immigrant women and girls fleeing gender-based violence, many of whom seek asylum in the U.S. Pyati said that the women she works with often experience severe beatings, sexual assault, and attempted murder at the hands of their intimate partners. The reason they flee their countries and seek refuge in the U.S. many times is due to their own governments' inability to prosecute cases of violence against women.

    Although the Trump administration hopes that the policy will stop asylum seekers from trying to make it to the U.S., Pyati said that's unlikely. "Families who are afraid of persecution...are not going to be deterred by a rule like this, because what they're fleeing is so dire that it's worth facing whatever the consequences are here in order to get away from what is there," she said. She pointed at the Obama administration's efforts to detain and deport immigrant families seeking asylum back in 2014. The policies President Obama tried to implement — most of which caused outrage and were overturned by the courts — didn't stop migrants. And now that Trump has threatened to cut funding for Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala due to the caravan, the situation will likely worsen in the region, causing even more refugees to flee.

    "Unless we're part of the solution in ending the root causes in the home countries, we're going to continue to see these migration patterns," Pyati said. "We have two choices: One is to act under our laws and international obligations that require us to treat human beings like human beings and afford them the rights they deserve. The other choice is to behave like this; to close the doors, violate the law, and turn people away to face violence that's unconscionable."

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    Holiday party season has arrived — and at the worst possible time for your wallet. After last week's routine root touch-up turned into a $200 single-process situation, and the impending Friendsgiving gift swap is about to do a number on your bottom line, you have two options: politely decline all fun party invites... or go, but spend zero dollars on the prep.

    Here's the plan: Rewear your favorite LBD, dig up those sparkly droplet earrings, and cancel your DryBar appointment. A little texture spray and a few well-placed bobby pins or a velvet bow is all you need to add some festive flair to your hair without leaving your bathroom.

    If you're a little dry on inspiration, our editors are taking you through the simple and stunning hair looks we'll be wearing from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve, and every party in between. Find the sleek, half-up ponytail or Tracee Ellis Ross-approved cornrows that will have you taking to the next (hopefully open) bar with gusto, ahead.

    "Zoey Deutch has the hair color of my dreams, but as much as I could go on about the way the light bounces off the flecks of auburn in those highlights, I'm really here for the style. This glossy half-up, half-down look is one I think I could achieve on my own, without hopping on a flight to Los Angeles for an appointment with Tracey Cunningham." —Megan Decker, Beauty Assistant

    "Give me a Jennifer Behr barrette studded with big, shiny pearls and I'll pair it with a soft oatmeal-colored turtleneck and a sunny seat by the window." —Decker

    "Tracee Ellis Ross is a hair icon, and she's been wearing a lot of straight-back cornrows and two-strand twist styles lately. So, naturally, I want to wear nothing but cornrows through the rest of the year. One problem: I can't braid to save my life. But when I go home for Christmas, I'm going to convince my mom that we should kick it old-school and watch Disney movies while she braids me up. " —Jessica Cruel, Deputy Beauty Director

    "When I have anything formal to go to, I pull out my bobby pins to do a 'frohawk hairstyle. This year, I'm swapping out my plain black bobbies for gold ones to give the look a festive update." —Cruel

    "I'm desperate to experiment with flowers in my hair for the holidays, but I'm worried I'm going to end up going overboard with an entire 1-800-Flowers bouquet in my top bun. This is an example of how to do flowers in your hair tastefully with help from a ton of bobby pins." —Rachel Lubitz, Senior Beauty Writer

    "I've been hesitant to really go in on my secret love for headbands for fear that I'll end up looking like a fourth-grader, but this one is just too damn good to pass up. Imagine it with an all-black holiday ensemble, or even a red dress." —Lubitz

    "Call me boring, but I'm bringing back my obsession with the boss bun — the sharply-parted, no B.S. knot that's perfect for getting shit done. This holiday season I'll be making a small change: Bring on the boss pony! It has all the strength of a low bun with a little more flair." —Lexy Lebsack, Senior Beauty Editor

    "My colorist, Kari Hill, and I have been talking about me going pink for a while, and this is such a great time to do it. I especially love this rosy look she just created." —Lebsack

    "Can this girl get any cooler? Awkwafina doesn't always go big with her hair and makeup, but when she does, I always want to copy it. I love this take on a '20s wave: It's smooth and uniform, but softer and straighter through the top. In fact, I'd likely copy her bronze makeup with it, too..." —Lebsack

    "If anyone could convince me that I should go back to brunette, it's Bella Hadid — and colorist Jenna Perry. One of the best dye jobs I ever got went down in Perry's chair, and I'd easily trust her to take me from my cream-soda blonde highlights back to my dark-chocolate roots any day. Considering the fact that everyone seems to be obsessed with highlights and balayage lately, it's also refreshing to see a winter-friendly color like this back on our radar." —Sam Sasso, Beauty Writer

    "I'm a hair-accessories stan, which means I'll wear them any day, week, or month of the year, holiday season or no holiday season. But there's nothing like some jewel-toned bobby pins to get you in the mood for the kind of party that features eggnog and mistletoe." —Sasso

    "Bows might be a hair trend most people wore in elementary school, but it's also the perfect holiday accessory. Consider it an added bonus that a black ribbon is the quickest way to dress up any boring ponytail." —Sasso

    "Kicki Yang Zhang's hair is unbelievable: Not only is her color gorgeous, but my goal in life is to have a haircut as bold and structured as hers. Plus, she accessorizes with fun, '90s-esque hair clips. What's not to love?" —Mi-Anne Chan, Beauty Writer

    "I’m about to cut my hair and go natural to reclaim my curls, so I’ve been busy saving curly hairstyles on Instagram. I love a good updo during the holidays, and this one is just so simple, yet so voluminous. Plus, it’ll keep my hair out of the way while I stuff my face with my grandmother’s cooking." —Thatiana Diaz, Beauty Writer

    "Given that I'm embarking on a natural hair journey, I want to get into wigs — and why not have fun with color during the most festive time of the year? I haven’t made up my mind yet on the colors, but I’m definitely leaning towards purple. Hey, it’s non-committal, so maybe I’ll try out a variety." —Diaz

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    Back in the day, when we wanted lengthy claws, acrylics felt like our only option. We'd sit in our neighborhood nail salon for over an hour getting our fingers sculpted with the jelly-like powder and we never skipped a fill-in once new growth came in. But now, if we want long flashy nails, we've got more options. There are quick fixes (like press on nails) and newer innovations (like SNS dip powder), plus gel extensions.

    The latter isn't a new technique, per se, but despite the popularity of gel polish, it's still pretty obscure. So what the hell are gel extensions and what's the difference between gels, gel extensions, and acrylics? We're breaking it all down for you. Ahead, we talked to celebrity manicurist Gina Edwards who told us everything there is to know about the gel technique before you book your next nail appointment.

    What Are Gel Extensions?

    Gel extensions and acrylic nails aren't identical, but they are similar. "Acrylic is a two-step process that involves liquid and powder which air dries. Gel extensions use hard gel or structure gel and are cured with a UV or LED light," Edwards explains. "Both techniques have a similar look and feel."

    Hard gel, the more durable of the two, is also the most common type of gel used for extensions, but takes a little more work to remove. "Structure gel can be easily soaked off and is good for people with natural nails who want to improve durability, without the extreme hardness and heaviness of hard gel," says Edwards. "It creates a solid capping on the natural nail, but isn't as tough as the hard gel." Hard gel, on the other hand, is the toughest form of gel polish out there and creates a sturdier, longer-lasting exterior.

    How Is It Applied?

    Like acrylics, gel extensions require an overlay to lengthen your nail. "Using a form under the nail helps to create the length and shape you are trying to achieve," Edwards says. "Most of the time, a form is applied underneath the natural nail. Once that adheres, hard or structure gel is applied all over the nail from the tip to the cuticle and then cured under a lamp," she explains. The rest of your appointment will flow like a regular gel mani: your color is applied with standard soft gel polish and cured layer by layer. If you're getting nail art, your artist will decorate your tips, and then your nails are sealed with a gel top coat.

    If you're looking to get a fresh set of extensions, prepare to spend at least one hour in the salon chair, Edwards says. "It's a process that shouldn't be rushed, so depending on the length and shape of the nail you are going for, you should dedicate 1-2 hours. If you're getting nail art, that takes up some time, too," she says.

    How Are They Removed?

    When applied correctly, gel extensions should last between 2-4 weeks (or more depending on how much you hate the grown-out look). But to preserve the health and strength of your natural nail, the removal process is crucial. "You absolutely should not try to remove your own gel extensions at home," Edwards says. Just because gel polish is being used, doesn't mean your extensions can be soaked off like a regular UV-light manicure. "Hard gel is extremely durable and won't come off with foils and acetone. To remove them you need to completely break through the top seal which requires a professional nail drill," she says. "Almost 90% of the gel needs to be drilled off, then you remove the remaining product by soaking your nails in acetone and dusting it off with a nail file."

    Edwards recommends giving your nails enough time to start growing out before deciding to have them completely removed. "You don't want to remove your gels too soon. It's a process that can weaken the nail so let them grow out or get a fill." The fill-in process is similar to that of acrylics. Your manicurist should buff and drill down where growth appears on the nail so that the surface is smooth. Then, more gel is applied and cured on the freshly-buffed tip.

    Are They Safe?

    Most nail enhancements raise the question of safety — and this technique is no different. Edwards explains that any enhancement made to the nail comes with risks, especially if a faulty application or improper removal is involved. "Whenever you put anything on your nail you risk harming its firmness," she says. Like any beauty enhancement — from lash extensions to bleaching your hair — finding a seasoned professional with great reviews is key. Then there's the importance of moderation: Take gel breaks to let your nails rest and grow and always follow your trusted nail professional's advice.

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    After my first job at MTV working as a music programmer, I can't stop trying to matchmake people with music they might like. So, I wrote a book calledRecord Collecting for Girls and started interviewing musicians. The Music Concierge is a column where I share music I'm listening to that you might enjoy, with a little context. Get everything I've recommended this year on Spotify, follow me on Twitter or Facebook, and leave a comment below telling me what you're listening to this week.

    Kelsey Lu "Due West"

    Everyone leaves home at some point, but not without reckoning with the feeling that they're leaving their childhood, and some part of themselves, behind. Kelsey Lu addresses the specific kind of melancholy and excitement that moment in life when you set off on a new adventure to somewhere unknown can invoke. And...if I were to tell you Skrillex contributed to the production, would you be surprised? It sounds like a few of those tropical-infused tricks Diplo likes so much may have rubbed off on him and (Scottish) producer Rodaidh McDonald.

    The Regrettes "California Friends"

    If you were wondering what the formula for making a video to get played on 120 Minutes circa 1991 was, the Regrettes have nailed it. While the lo-fi camcorder quality and old school square TV image ratios give it that crunchy vibe, the clothes should not be overlooked as the very thing that the Breeders or Sonic Youth would have worn. The song, though, is classic pop rock. We seem to be on a going west trend today, which is perfect for fall.

    Wafia "I'm Good"

    I am dead because Wafia has reached into my soul and ripped out my experiences with approximately all of my breakups for the last 10 years and turned them into a perfect song. While you're out there spinning "Thank U, Next," I will be listening to this one on repeat for another take on the breakup oeuvre. The groove on this song is truly second to none, and paired with her airy vocals, it makes for a next level conception on a classic genre of song.

    The Marías & Triathalon "Drip"

    If you're searching for some zen going into the weekend, this trippy track was made for your ears. I'm such a sucker for these trance-inspired beats, and I cannot stop obsessing over how the male and female voices layer over each other in this vocal arrangement. "Drip" is giving me hardcore crying on the dance floor vibes, and I love it.

    Nana Adjoa "Simmer Down"

    Now let's slow it all the way down and stand still while basking in Nana Adjoa's gorgeous song. The music will envelop you like a warm hug while Adjoa's lyrics make you feel like you are loved and in the safest of places. Her delivery, so unhurried and coarse, is an unexpected delight, while that piano line lilts up and down like you're being rocked towards a calm but happy ending.

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    November is here, which means one thing and one thing only: it's officially holiday season, baby. Aside from forced family bonding, back-to-back feasts, and endless gift lists, these festive times also tow some of the most epic annual sales. But we don't need to wait until Black Friday to start shopping these steals — mega home destination Wayfair just kicked things off early for us with a huge sale on all the goods we'll need to get our abodes dressed, prepped, and ready for the hectic season ahead.

    The popular home site's November Clearance sale started today and is offering up to 75% off (in addition to closeout deals) on everything from chic furniture to plush bedding, memory foam mattresses, stylish area rugs, and more until November 13. We carefully weeded through each area of the sale's spread to pull out the best big and affordable buys to snag now while they're still available. From luxe couches or hand-crafted wood accent tables, shop the 15 home steals ahead and get prepped to tackle all that upcoming family, feasting, and gifting.

    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.

    Good: Nordic-Style Table Lamp
    Deal: 52% Off
    This artful ceramic table lamp will add an instant touch of cozy nordic vibes to any space in need of illumination.



    DwellStudio Wallin Table Lamp, $78.98, available at Wayfair

    Good: Memory Foam Mattress
    Deal: 83% Off
    It's time to ditch your old mattress and level up with this supportive memory foam model — built for optimal and luxurious snoozing.



    Alwyn Home 12" Medium Gel Memory Foam Mattress, $265.99, available at Wayfair

    Good: Faux-Hide Area Rug
    Deal: 39% Off
    This silver-speckled, faux-hide rug is a glamorous twist on the rustic lodge-style decor trend.

    Good: Luxe Couch
    Deal: 56% Off
    Our luxury living room goals just became a more affordable reality with this boho-chic sofa.



    Mistana Derry Sofa, $594.99, available at Wayfair

    Good: Stylish Bar Cart
    Deal: 12% Off
    No home decor is complete during the holiday season without a well-stocked bar cart — and this shiny design is ready to bring the sleek mixed drink heat.



    Everly Quinn Kerwin Bar Cart, $299.99, available at Wayfair

    Good: Memory Foam Body Pillow
    Deal: 26% Off
    Freshen up your bed with one of the cozy season's most-loved self-care goods.



    Alwyn Home Cool Gel Memory Foam Body Pillow, $36.99, available at Wayfair

    Good: Faux-Leather Armchair
    Deal: 50% Off
    Give your space an ethical touch of faux-leather luxury with this smart, clean-lined accent armchair.



    Highway To Home Barlow Armchair, $149.99, available at Wayfair

    Good: Hand-Woven Area Rug
    Deal: 48% Off
    This hand-woven, striped area rug is the crisp-chic style your bare floor needs.



    Three Posts Alicea Hand-Woven Navy Area Rug, $28.44, available at Wayfair

    Good: Oversized Down Comforter
    Deal: 75% Off
    Stay snug in bed all season long with this oversized, hypoallergenic down-filled comforter from Eddie Bauer.



    Eddie Bauer 650 Fill Power Oversized Down Comforter, $149.99, available at Wayfair

    Good: Platform Bed
    Deal: 45% Off
    Give your bedroom a refresh with this rustic-sleek, solid pine wood-crafted frame.



    Greyleigh Bedias Platform Bed, $398.31, available at Wayfair

    Good: Contemporary Love-Seat
    Deal: 40% Off
    This contemporary, upholstered love-seat for a steal is small space-approved.



    Langley Street Cambridge Loveseat, $271.43, available at Wayfair

    Good: Bespoke Accent Table
    Deal: 62% Off
    Spruce up your space with a beachy end table crafted from reclaimed teak wood.



    Loon Peak Stilwell End Table, $117.99, available at Wayfair

    Good: Down Alternative Polyester Mattress Topper
    Deal: 74% Off
    Not ready to commit to a mattress but desperately need an upgrade? This is the product to buy. Almost 2,000 people give this comfy mattress topper 4.5 stars. And at 78% off, it's 100% a solid deal.



    The Twillery Co. Trahan 3" Down Alternative Polyester Mattress Topper, $74.99, available at Wayfair

    Good: Retro Convertible Sofa
    Deal: 55% Off
    This mid-century modern sofa with retro flair converts seamlessly from stylish lounger to futon bed.



    Langley Street Cobbs Convertible Sofa, $235.99, available at Wayfair

    Good: Indoor-Outdoor Area Rug
    Deal: 63% Off
    Add a splash of bohemian style to your space with this indoor-outdoor area rug.



    Ivy Bronx Dumas Reversible Blue/Gray Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug, $69.98, available at Wayfair

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    If there's one secret to a good self-care routine, it's knowing to treat yourself every once in a while. Go on a solo date to a fancy restaurant (dessert included!) or buy that mini bag you've been debating. But given that November 11 is Singles' Day, a.k.a. the one day a year dedicated solely to singles treating themselves, it's time for an extra-special splurge, perhaps on something that might not be the most natural thing to buy for yourself. Case in point: non-engagement rings.

    Whereas engagement rings are meant to be bought by others, buying a "self-love" ring is all about you. Take a hint from Samantha Jones and get yourself a ring that will be a reminder of just how great you really are. From bands studded with rainbow stones to signets carved with delicate designs, your one perfect ring is somewhere in the mix ahead.

    Whether you're looking to go all out on a ring you'll wear for life or start off with something more affordable, we've rounded up 20 options to wrap around your finger this Singles' Day.

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    While no one welcomes a breakout, seeing a zit crop up after a string of late nights or going to sleep with makeup on makes a certain amount of sense. But developing chest acne from proper adulting — like working out or wearing fitted clothing in the winter (duh!) — feels far from fair. According to Miami-based dermatologist S. Manjula Jegasothy, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at the University of Miami, simple things like that can lead to an acne flare-ups on the chest. It doesn’t mean you have to drop the healthy habits: According to the derm, there are a host of little tweaks — both for prevention and treatment — to help clear skin on the chest.

    To start, both Jegasothy and New York-based dermatologist Michelle Henry, MD, suggest wearing fresh workout clothes and showering immediately after sweating. Treating acneic skin on your chest may also call for a more gentle use of common topical remedies often used on the face, like salicylic acid, retinol, or benzoyl peroxide. “The skin on the chest is thicker than that on the face and can also be more sensitive to harsh topical ingredients (like alcohol or heavy use of alpha and beta hydroxy acids), perhaps due to a more active local immune system,” Jegasothy explains, adding more studies need to be done before we understand why this may be.

    For her part, Dr. Sandra Lee (also known as Dr. Pimple Popper) suggests sticking with non-comedogenic body products. "You’d be surprised that many body lotions are full of fragrance and other ingredients that might actually be clogging pores and causing chest acne."

    Finally, addressing chest acne can also mean adjusting our expectations, because in addition to lifestyle tweaks and topical treatment, a doctor’s care may be needed. “Treating acne on the chest can be tricky. Often, pimples on the chest can originate from hair follicles deeper in the skin, making them more cystic in appearance. And that cystic acne can be more difficult to reach from the surface topically, and so may require a few weeks of oral antibiotic (I like doxycycline) therapy to jumpstart clearance.”

    Ahead, the derms share their best tips to help clear our chests and make way for the only thing we want on our décolletage this holiday season: a Rihanna-grade glow.

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    “For darker skin, I always also treat with prescription 10% azelaic acid,” Jegasothy says. “It has great antibiotic and anti-inflammatory effects, and can be an excellent agent to counter hyperpigmentation that inevitably follows acne in darker skin types.” This oil-free. OTC gel-cream also contains salicylic acid to help slough off dead skin cells and a cocktail of skin soothers, including licorice root extract.



    Paula's Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster, $36, available at Paula's Choice

    If an immediate post-workout shower isn’t in the cards, try a spray formulation for quick treatment while you trek home or to the grocery before making it to the shower. “I love spray applicators because they are easy to apply to the body,” Henry says.

    Dr. Lee formulated this spray specifically for the body "because this skin is tougher and thicker," she says. "Salicylic acid is an excellent ingredient to exfoliate, unclog pores, and treat body acne."



    SLMD Acne Body Spray, $38, available at SLMD Skincare

    No time to shower after a workout? Try a salicylic acid wipe on the chest and back, Jegasothy says. These are individually wrapped for on-the-go treatment.

    DermaFlash Flash & Go Resurfacing Peel Pads, $12.00, available at DermaFlash

    “Oftentimes, chest acne can be due to poor exfoliation of the skin, leading to clogged pores,” Henry says. “So I always recommend adopting a great exfoliating product.”

    This gentle mist helps manually exfoliate even the most sensitive skin. After spraying, a light sweep of the skin with fingers produces balled-up dead skin cells — and zero irritation.



    Juice Beauty STEM CELLULAR™ Exfoliating Peel Spray , $41.6, available at DermStore

    “The chest is likely to become dry, flaky and irritated even more quickly than the face from overuse of topical treatments. This can be exacerbated in dry climates and from the friction caused from cold-weather clothing,” Jegasothy notes. For this reason, she favors non-greasy cream and lotion formulations to treat chest acne, like this editor favorite.



    La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Dual Action Acne Treatment, $36.99, available at Target

    Two of Jegasothy’s go-to skin clearing ingredients for chest acne? A retinoid and 2% salicylic acid, both found in this spot treatment lotion.



    Kate Somerville EradiKate Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment, $58, available at Ulta Beauty

    This alcohol-free treatment gel checks a lot of our derms' boxes: It contains 2% salicylic acid to help reduce acne, niacinamide and azelaic acid to address hyperpigmentation (or “acne scars”) and willow herb and hyaluronic acid to help prevent dryness and flaking.

    Tula Acne Clearing + Tone Correcting Gel, $36.00, available at Tula

    Another effective ingredient Jegasothy recommends for tackling chest acne is topical 5% benzoyl peroxide. The only hangup? Some formulations can bleach clothes. Instead, try a non-whitening gel, like this one, or wait five minutes to dress after applying treatment products. “This can reduce the occurrence of clothing fabric bleaching (sometimes seen with benzoyl peroxide) and can avoid occluding the skin with the topical, which increases potential irritation,” she says.



    Glytone Acne 3P Treatment Gel, $32, available at Glytone

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    Welcome toMoney Diaries , where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.

    Today: an editor working in finance who makes $34,165 per year and spends some of her money this week on a cappuccino.

    Occupation: Editor
    Industry: Finance
    Age: 26
    Location: Madrid, Spain
    Salary: $34,165.65 (+ annual bonus based on company performance)
    Paycheck Amount (Monthly): $2,164.96

    Monthly Expenses
    Rent: $456 (My partner, R., and I split a one-bedroom that costs $912 per month.)
    Social Security: $180.79 (Taken out as tax. Includes complete access to public healthcare, parental/medical leave, unemployment, disability, and state pension.)
    Utilities: $48 (Since electricity and water are billed together every three months, R. and I take turns paying it.)
    Internet: $36 (R. pays.)
    Dental Insurance: $33 (I pay for both of us. While medical can be either public or private, dental is only private.)
    Cleaner: $45-$55 per week, for my half. (Depending on the month, it's $90-$110 for two hours/week and worth every single penny.)
    Netflix: $0 (True to our generation, my sister and I use our dad's account.)
    Spotify: $0 (I have my sister's account but rarely use it.)
    Gym: $39.86
    Phone: $22.66 (For 23 GB and unlimited calls. European data plans have spoiled me.)
    New York Times Subscription: $4.56
    Savings: ~$627 (Usually this all goes to the emergency/other savings fund, but I have my best friend's wedding in the U.S. next summer so I'm making a point to save aggressively for it.)

    Day One

    7:30 a.m. — My usual weekend wake up time. I'm normally all for it since I like waking up early and for me this counts as “sleeping in,” but last night we went to dinner with some of R.'s PhD cohort and didn't get back until 2 a.m. I try to fall back asleep but give up after 10 minutes and get up to make coffee instead.

    9 a.m. — I spend an hour falling down an Instagram rabbit hole of puppy videos and send all the cute ones to R. to watch when he finally rejoins the world of the living. We'd really like to adopt one, but we know now isn't the right time. So until then, IG will have to do.

    10:30 a.m. — A week ago a friend from home came to visit and brought us a some fancy gingerbread peanut butter. I'm always torn between wanting to eat the entire jar with a spoon and wanting to make it last forever. (She also brought Red Vines, but they didn't even stand a chance at lasting longer than a day.) R. is finally up, so we make another moka pot of coffee and stuff our faces with peanut butter toast, rationing be damned.

    11:30 a.m. — The Libby library app is without a doubt the love of my life (don't tell R.) and together we're working through book #83 this year. I hang out on the couch and read while R. plays video games.

    2:30 p.m. — Every other month, we place a large online order to stock up on nonperishables because lugging all those jars and cans from the store and up four flights of stairs yourself is a huge pain (even if it is good for your butt). We get laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, bathroom cleaner, floor cleaner, toothpaste, corn, tuna, tomato sauce, red and white kidney beans, popcorn, breakfast tea, frozen peas, pickles, olives, smoked salmon, pasta, vinegar, olive oil, rice, pesto, beer, white wine, Mexican tortillas, and honey. While I check out and pay, R. makes chicken fajitas for lunch. $91.99

    6 p.m. — After lunch, we cuddle in bed and watch a few episodes of Psych on R.'s Amazon account. I didn't have network TV at home growing up and most American series (aside from Friends and The Simpsons) didn't make it to Spain, so R. and I made a list and are binging our way through various shows that were big in the 2000s.

    7:30 p.m. — We normally order pizza for dinner on Sundays, because it's the best way to start the week. R. orders our usual (pepperoni with black olives and onions) through Glovo and we watch an episode of our comfort show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, while eating ($19.35, R. pays).

    9 p.m. — I change from day PJs into night PJs, and do my nightly routine: brush and floss, cleanse and moisturize, and pick tomorrow's outfit (which saves me SO much time in the morning). I read in bed before turning out like a light around 10.

    Daily Total: $91.99

    Day Two

    6 a.m. — I wake up five minutes before my alarm and lie there debating whether I should just get up now or wait for it to go off. It decides for me. I boil water for breakfast tea and sip it while I scroll through Instagram. I quickly shower, get dressed, and head down to the metro.

    6:50 a.m. — My metro card is out of rides, so I load a bulk ticket of 10 trips onto it. Since I only use public transport to get to and from work, it's cheaper to buy them this way instead of paying for the unlimited pass. It usually takes 20ish minutes to get to the office and I listen to the latest episode of The Daily on the way. My schedule depends on the time of year. Right now, I get to the office a little before 7:10 a.m. and leave at 1:30 p.m. During our busy periods (one or two days four times a year), I come in at 6:30 and leave around 2. $13.89

    8:45 a.m. — The first hour and a half is always the most stressful, since we have a tight deadline. Luckily, things go relatively smoothly today. Once everything is sent out and uploaded, I get up to make myself a cup of coffee from the office's free Nespresso stash and grab a couple of María cookies. I always feel kind of weird calling them digestive biscuits, even though technically I guess that's what they are?

    10 a.m. — The lunch list gets passed around and I decide to order orange juice, a salad, and broccoli chicken linguine. My company provides snacks and lunch. My entire morning revolves around the 11:15 snack.

    11:20 a.m. — I wait a good five minutes to let the stampede die down before heading to the kitchen. It's Monday, so that means it's DIY sandwich day. I saw off a piece of baguette and stuff it with cold cut turkey, cheese, and tomatoes, and douse it all with olive oil for good measure.

    1:30 p.m. — The rest of the morning passes by slowly. This job is mostly really stressful moments paired with a lot of downtime, which at first was an alien concept to me. I used to be in education, which was pretty much the opposite: lots of action paired with basically no downtime. I kill time by reading various newspapers and feeling horrified (a.k.a. global garbage fire). Lunch is delivered; I quickly eat before heading out.

    2:30 p.m. — I listen to the Planet Money rerun episode on lotteries as I metro home. Lotteries are huge in Spain, especially the Christmas one (a children's choir sings out the winning numbers), and I know that soon I'm going to have to pony up for the office pool because nobody wants to be the chump still working after New Year's. When I get home, I change into leggings and a gym top and immediately leave again because I know that if I sit down I'll become one with the couch and won't get up until morning.

    3:30 p.m. — I love how nice and stretched out I always feel after pilates. I've never been any sort of flexible, so it's encouraging to see that after several months of classes I can almost maybe finally touch my toes. R. is back and playing video games when I get home. I zone out and scroll through my Feedly while snacking on carrots on the couch. The groceries were delivered and I have fun organizing everything.

    6 p.m. — The weather got really cold all of a sudden and it's making me feel like cooking warm comfort food. I put on the somnology episode of Ologies to listen to while I make chili. I love Alie Ward — she's hilarious and think she does a great job of making the topics really accessible.

    8 p.m. — Even though I know it'll taste even better tomorrow, I can't stop myself from devouring two bowls of chili topped with cheese. R. and I watch an episode of Psych while we eat. He does the dishes while I shower and do my nightly routine. I read for a bit before falling asleep around 10ish.

    Daily Total: $13.89

    Day Three

    6 a.m. — Up and at ‘em. I do my Instagram-and-tea thing before getting dressed and heading out.

    9 a.m. — This morning is a lot more stressful than yesterday's was. Once the chaos circus dies down, I get up to make some coffee and snag a few cookies. It looks like the Nespresso fairy came by yesterday and brought different colored capsules. Since they all taste the same to me, I just grab the regular brown one.

    10 a.m. — The lunch list goes by but we're having lunch with R.'s grandma today, so I don't order anything. We see her at least once a week, sometimes twice, and we get along really well. She's definitely who I want to be when I grow up. I make another coffee and have another few María cookies to survive until 11.

    11:15 a.m. — I spend some time going through a draft and making my corrections before going over them with the analyst. I'm a one-person department, and one of only a few women in the office, which took some time getting used to. When we finish, it's already time for the morning snack so we head over to the kitchen. Turns out it's grilled ham and cheese day and there's standing room only. It takes us a little while to elbow our way to the front, but eventually we make it and grab sandwiches.

    1:30 p.m. — R.'s grandma lives about a 30-minute walk away from my office so I listen to an episode of Gastropod on the way over. It's the episode about time as an ingredient. I don't think I had ever thought of it as such, but it makes a lot of sense. I make a mental note to look up the book when I get home. R.'s office is halfway between both places, so I swing by and we walk the rest of the way together.

    4 p.m. — R. and I each have a beer while we pre-lunch snack on olives and help set the table. Today there's potaje de garbanzos (chickpeas slow cooked with spinach, red peppers, chorizo, and bacon) and quince jelly with tetilla cheese for dessert. My inner eight-year-old will forever think it's hilarious that it's called small boob cheese. After lunch, we sit in the living room and chat for a bit before leaving with bread and a package of chorizo. R. doesn't feel like walking home, so we take an electric scooter (think Vespa, not Razor) instead. He has a bunch of free minutes on the app, so the 10-minute ride is free!

    5:30 p.m. — I get emailed a document to look over, so I pull out my work laptop. Being able to leave the office at 1:30 is a great perk, but I have to work from home in the afternoon as needed. I hardly ever get sent anything to work on, though — usually only once or twice a month.

    7:55 p.m. — Our washing machine went full Poltergeist on us last week. Luckily our landlords decided that the broken spin cycle wasn't worth fixing, so they bought us a new one. The store said that it'd be delivered between 4 and 8 p.m., and the delivery guys ring the buzzer with five minutes to spare. Turns out that the washing machine needs a longer hose than the one it came with, so I run down to the hardware store. Our landlords will deduct the cost from next month's rent. ($20.50 expensed)

    9 p.m. — For dinner, we make an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink salad and watch the latest episode of The Good Place while we eat. I shower, do my nightly routine, and get in bed.

    11 p.m. — I'm having trouble falling asleep so I put on a random episode of The History of English podcast. For some reason I find it really soothing, and it definitely works — I fall asleep immediately.

    Daily Total: $0

    Day Four

    6 a.m. — Wednesday feels like a frying pan to the face. I run through my morning routine and listen to an episode of The World in Words on the metro.

    8:30 a.m. — Everything goes a lot smoother today than yesterday, thank goodness. Sometimes I get really frustrated because my job depends entirely on how others manage themselves, but I guess it comes with the territory. I have my usual coffee and María cookie breakfast.

    9:30 a.m. — Whenever one of the analysts messes up (or does something right, or comes in late, or for any reason, really), it's office tradition for him to buy Spanish tortilla for everyone. I'm not sure what today's transgression is, but nobody ever asks too many questions because they're just happy about the free food. I head to the kitchen and help myself to a slice. The lunch list gets passed around and I decide to go for gyoza and a tuna roll.

    11:15 a.m. — Wednesday is fruit day and the kitchen is noticeably emptier than on grilled ham and cheese day. Thanks to this morning's tortilla, I'm not as starving as I usually am by this time, but I eat an apple anyway.

    1:30 p.m. — Today's another day with a lot of downtime punctuated with the occasional database request. Lunch is delivered, and I quickly eat before heading out. It's not the best sushi, but it gets the job done. Before getting the metro, I stop by the pharmacy across the street to pick up bandages and royal jelly capsules. I've never tried them before, but they're extremely popular here for cold prevention. I'm sure it's about as effective as Emergen-C, but I also refuse to get sick this year so I'll take all the placebos I can get. $10.22

    2:30 p.m. — I quickly change into gym clothes and head to spinning before the couch tempts me with its siren call. During the actual class, I'm not the biggest fan (why is it SO LOUD? Why won't the teacher stop talking? Will I ever get rid of this wedgie?), but afterwards I always feel incredible. I guess that's why I keep going. Endorphins are strange.

    4 p.m. — I shower and get lost in a blog rabbit hole. I don't even know what happened — one minute I was fine and the next I had 70 tabs open. I save all the interesting-looking ones to Pocket to read eventually. My eyes start to go buggy after looking at computer screens all day, so I decide to make a stir-fry with some eggplant and broccoli that's on its last legs. I put on an episode of My Dad Wrote A Porno and there are times where I have to put the knife down because I'm laughing so hard. I make some rice to go with it.

    6 p.m. — R. comes home and is really excited about the progress he's made on his research. He excitedly explains it to me while I get ready to head out for our weekly date. Once a week, we leave our phones at home and go somewhere close by to get a drink and enjoy talking to each other. Also to people-watch. We head to a hipster-y place where I get a ginger beer, R. gets a normal beer, and we split a bowl of potato wedges with Sriracha mayo ($13.09, R. pays).

    9 p.m. — I'm still stuffed from all the stir-fry and potatoes earlier, but R. is a bottomless pit. While he rummages around and boils some eggs (which always reminds me of Joanna from T he Rescuers Down Under), I message with some friends back home. I don't have problems falling asleep and I'm out by 10.

    Daily Total: $10.22

    Day Five

    6 a.m. — Thursday is here and my alarm won't let me forget it. I listen to yesterday's Up First podcast on the metro this morning.

    9 a.m. — The chaos circus is back in town and I enlist our intern to help me get everything compiled by the deadline. I grab an extra María cookie along with my coffee this morning, just because.

    10:30 a.m. — I'm meeting a friend for lunch today, so I just pass the list along when it reaches me. I make another cup of coffee and settle in to read through old reports. Before I started here, I would always joke that my dream job would be to get paid for drinking coffee and reading things. I just never would have expected them to be financial reports.

    11:30 a.m. — The report I edited earlier this week finally got the green light to be published. I speed-read through it one last time time and fix some formatting before publishing. Today, there's lomo con pimientos (pork loin and green peppers in tomato sauce) and the kitchen is back to its busy self.

    1:30 p.m. — I'm meeting my friend for a menú del día (two course lunch menu + drink and dessert), which most restaurants here offer for lunch. She gets a beer, salmorejo with ham for the first course, beef fillet with veggies and fries for the second, and a slice of cheesecake for dessert. I'm not a fan of cold soups so I go for the menestra de verduras (various veggies sautéed with ham), chicken curry with rice, pineapple for dessert and a tinto de verano (red wine with soda water). It's $12.53 per person, which my friend pays since I paid for dinner when we hung out last week. We have a running Splitwise group with R. since we all usually hang out a couple of times a week, and it's way easier than paying everyone back each time we meet up.

    3:30 p.m. — We have a nail appointment, so we head there after lunch. I end up going with a corporate-friendly light gray and my friend goes for her usual black. While we're here, I decide to get my eyebrows tamed — I mean threaded. I have very dark, very headstrong eyebrows that grow in two different directions (one of which is straight up, ugh!) so every three to four weeks I turn them over to a professional. I used to try to do them myself but this is one of those things that I've learned I'm better off paying someone else to do. $29.56

    5:30 p.m. — My friend and I part ways and I walk the 15 minutes home. R. decided to work from home today so he's there when I get back. He oohs and ahhs the proper amount over my newly cleaned up eyebrows. (He always insists that he can't tell the difference, but he's a good sport.) We cuddle in bed and watch a couple episodes of Psych.

    8 p.m. — R. goes off to play some video games and I read on the couch for a bit. We heat up the last of the chili and stir-fry for dinner. My sister WhatsApp calls just to chat while she walks to her biology exam. She's five years younger than me, and we weren't that close up until about a year or two ago. We've been talking a lot lately, especially because she's in her last year of college and I feel like now we have a lot more that we can relate about.

    9:30 p.m. — I get ready for bed and lose track of time watching cooking videos on Instagram. I finally force myself to put the phone down and fall asleep around 10:30.

    Daily Total: $29.56

    Day Six

    6 a.m. — Wake up, drink tea, manage to dress myself. Even though I showered last night, my hair is doing its cowlick thing against my wishes. I quickly wet the front part and then blow dry, hoping that'll teach it a lesson ... but I know that it listens to nobody.

    9 a.m. — The Friday gods have smiled on us and everything goes smoothly before the deadline this morning. There's a breakfast meeting being set up and I swipe a few mini pain au chocolat from the extras tray to go with my coffee and María cookies. Things are very quiet since a few people have extra vacation days to use before the end of the year, so they take Fridays off. I read the news and look up flights for a trip around Christmas — R. and I have been thinking about going somewhere but haven't decided where yet.

    10:30 a.m. — I pass the lunch list on when it gets to me since I'm meeting up with my friend for lunch. She lives outside the city so we only see really each other once a month or so when our Friday schedules match up. On to my second coffee of the morning. The meeting's done and there's leftover orange juice and croissants, which I help myself to.

    11:20 a.m. — Fridays are charcuterie days. I saw off two small pieces of baguette and stuff one with jamón serrano, the other with salchichón, and pour olive oil over both. I love Spanish embutido and I always joke that it's the reason I've stayed here for so long.

    1:30 p.m. — I pack up and head out. My friend and I always meet somewhere near her office, because it's in the neighborhood I live in. She doesn't finish for another hour, so I stop by my place to change out of my corporate costume and into weekend clothes. R. has had another work-from-home day, so we chat for a bit. We're meeting up at our other friend's house for a game night later, so we agree to meet at a grocery store after lunch to pick up beer and snacks.

    2:45 p.m. — I meet my friend outside her office. She wants to try a trendy new “ healthy bowl” place that just opened up down the street, so we head over. For their menú del día they have a leek and zucchini soup of the day for the first course and then a choice of two bowls for the second so that makes deciding what to eat much easier. A. gets the “rustic bowl” (grilled steak and roasted vegetables over brown rice topped with a fried egg and cherry tomatoes) and I try the “salmon bowl” (salmon ceviche over spring mix topped with red onion, cucumbers, radishes, fennel, beets and avocado). Their foodgram game is definitely strong. Dessert is seasonal fruit, which neither of us are feeling so we get ginger tea instead. We spend some time catching up and hanging out. $14.24

    5:30 p.m. — R. is browsing the snack aisle by the time I get to the store. We get a bag of potato chips, cheese, salchichón, manzanilla olives, and beer. ($11.92, P. pays.)

    8:30 p.m. — Last year we all got really into playing this board game called Terra Mystica, so we play two rounds (R. wins the first and I win the second) before we feel like eating something other than cheese and olives. Our friend offers up some spicy marinara sauce that she made the other day, so I volunteer to run down and get pasta. While I'm there, I also grab another bottle of beer. $4.32

    11 p.m. — We play a third game and R. wins again. (He insists that it's because of skill, but I say it's because we got distracted by a neighbor blasting Vengaboys, so of course we had to have a mid-game dance party.) We hang out on the couch for a while in a pasta stupor before walking home.

    Daily Total: $18.56

    Day Seven

    7:30 a.m. — I wake up without an alarm and snuggle with R. for a bit before I decide to stop bothering him and make some coffee. I make a piece of toast with the fancy peanut butter and sit down at the computer. I've been having trouble getting myself into the habit of writing just for the sake of writing. It's a shame because I really enjoy it and it's something I used to do constantly as a kid before school essays and reports came on the scene, so I'm trying to nudge myself into the habit again. I work best in the morning, so I put my hair in a bun, sip some coffee, and free write.

    10 a.m. — The cleaner lets herself in and we chat for a few minutes before I get out of her hair. The apartment is so small that it's impossible to not be underfoot, so our Saturday ritual is to get breakfast at our favorite coffee shop while she works her magic. R. gets an espresso, I get a cappuccino, and we split a ham and cheese croissant, a bagel with avocado, cream cheese, and dill, and tomato toast with olive oil. It usually comes out to $15.36, but we've reached 10 stamps, so the espresso is free. I pay. $13.55

    11:30 a.m. — We still have some time to kill, so we head to the market for fresh groceries where we divide and conquer. I head to our usual fruit and vegetable stand while R. lines up at the poultry stand. I get red and green peppers, avocados, carrots, figs, sweet potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and cucumbers ($7.60). He gets chicken hearts, chicken thighs, diced chicken breast, and eggs ($8.54, R. pays). There's a grocery store between the market and our house, so R. takes the bags and heads home while I duck in to get shredded cheese, milk, and a few pieces of candy to congratulate myself for buying so many vegetables ($3.95). $11.55

    12 p.m. — Coming home to an apartment that smells of clean is by far my favorite part of the week. R. and I put away the groceries and he settles in to play some video games while I lie on the couch and read.

    2:30 p.m. — We're having lunch with R.'s family today so we take showers, get dressed, and take an electric scooter to the restaurant. R.'s parents and grandma are already there, so R. orders a beer and I get some white wine while we wait for his brother. Everything is to share, so we order ham croquettes, esgarraet (roasted red peppers with thinly sliced cod and onions), pisto manchego (basically deconstructed ratatouille in tomato sauce with a fried egg on top), sepia a la plancha (grilled cuttlefish with garlic parsley sauce), and grilled vegetables, with flan and cava lemon sorbet for dessert.

    5:30 p.m. — As both a foreigner and an introvert, no matter how long I live here I don't think I'll ever understand how the Spanish can sit and talk for so long during meals. I'm convinced that half the time they don't understand it either. R.'s dad gets a glass of port, R. and his brother get espressos, his mom and I have tea, and his grandma very graciously gets the check ($99.59). R. wants to take a scooter home, but I feel like walking off this food baby, so we walk. I crawl into bed and scroll through various feeds before falling asleep.

    7 p.m. — I probably should have woken up from siesta-land earlier, but I was so nice and cozy in bed. We discuss going to a Cantonese place down the street for dinner but decide that we aren't that hungry (but mostly can't be bothered to get dressed again). We end up splitting an avocado with soy sauce while R. makes some popcorn and we watch a few episodes of Psych. (What was it with the 2000s and goatees?????) I read for a bit before falling asleep around 12.

    Daily Total: $25.10

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    It’s difficult to recall the very first time we laid eyes on Ryan Gosling. It's probably because the moment is a distant, buried memory from the mid-’90s when he was a star on Mickey Mouse Club. But for some, the first Gosling experience came years later during his breakout role in The Notebook. Regardless, Gosling is a mainstay — in Hollywood and our hearts.

    If you’re not on the bandwagon yet — not even after the memes, the dancing, or the pro-Gosling protests – prepare to hitch a ride. In honor of the actor’s birthday, we decided to compile photographic proof that Gosling has one of the scruffiest — and hottest — evolutions in Hollywood. Unlike John Krasinski’s underrated glow-up or Leonardo DiCaprio’s uneventful rise, Gosling’s is one that’s filled with unlikely dye jobs, drastic haircuts, and sleepy smiles stronger than a bottle of Ambien.

    Click ahead to check out the First Man star’s impressive evolution. You know, just in case you need another reason to love Ryan Gosling...

    Gosling has been in show business since he had to live with Justin Timberlake, but his true beauty evolution didn’t really begin until 2002. Why? Well, just look at his dark-chocolate roots. Luckily, the dye job was for a role in The United States of Leland and not permanent.

    Photo: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage.

    Two years later, Gosling was officially the star of Nicholas Sparks’ love story, The Notebook, which meant he’d hit the leading man stratosphere. But his I-could-care-less beard and faux hawk were only the beginning.

    Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.

    By the 2005 Teen Choice Awards, Noah was gone thanks to a buzzcut. The jury is still out on how we feel about this one. Maybe this is where Justin Bieber got his inspiration?

    Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

    While filming Lars and The Real Girl in 2006, Gosling had a mustache that toggled the line between creepy and cool.

    Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images.

    Luckily, the facial hair was gone and replaced with some appropriate stubble for the 79th Annual Academy Awards in 2007.

    Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

    Even though this look makes Gosling look like the preppy villain in an ‘80s movie, we don’t mind the fact that his hair and beard are so short that his ocean eyes finally get some attention.

    Photo: John Shearer/WireImage.

    Back in 2010, it seemed that every blonde, white guy looked a lot like Cam Gigandet (remember him, the hot vampire villain from Twilight?) — and Gosling was no exception.

    Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

    Gosling’s sun-kissed glow is proof that no celeb is immune to the allure of a spray tan.

    Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty Images.

    It was hard to see Bradley Cooper’s beard go once A Star Is Born was over, but it was even harder to see Gosling lose his face tattoos after playing Luke in The Place Beyond the Pines. Still, his coiffed haircut and groomed ‘stache are better than nothing.

    Photo: James Devaney/WireImage.

    Hey, girl.

    Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images.

    It appeared that by The Big Short premiere in 2015 Gosling found salt spray and lost his hair brush all in the same night.

    Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.

    According to Buzzfeed, this was the year Gosling “got hot again.” Though they’re not wrong (he is hot), we’d disagree that he hasn’t been a scruffy heartthrob since ‘95.

    Photo: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images.

    He may not have won the Oscar in 2017 for La La Land, but his groomer certainly should have. While fans argued over his shirt all night long, it’s a universal fact that his hair can do no wrong.

    Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.

    Filming for Gosling’s First Man ended months ago, but he’s clearly still digging the Neil Armstrong haircut. We’ll keep it.

    Photo: Daniele Venturelli/WireImage.

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    You can breathe a sigh of relief, Ruth Bader Ginsburg stans. Ginsburg, who was hospitalized on Thursday after a fall in her office caused her to break three ribs, seems to be on her way to a speedy recovery.

    On Thursday evening, Felicity Jones, star of the upcoming RBG biopic On The Basis Of Sex, told reporters she had checked in on the Supreme Court justice via her family.

    “I spoke to her nephew Daniel, and he said that he had spoken to his aunt and she was hungry and she was looking forward to getting back to work,” Jones told Vulture at AFI Fest, where On The Basis Of Sex premiered.

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    Although news of her hospitalization was a legitimate cause of worry for many liberals – at 85, Ginsburg is the oldest justice on the Supreme Court, so vacating her position would provide an opening for President Donald Trump to appoint another conservative justice in her place – she has a history of bouncing back from potentially devastating medical diagnoses.

    Throughout her time on the Supreme Court, Ginsburg has managed impressively quick returns to work after a heart procedure, two cracked ribs, and surgeries for colon cancer and pancreatic cancer. So, in many ways, this is just business as usual for the ever-resilient RBG.

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