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    Branded - RSVP: American Express: Brie Bowl

    There's no question that a cheese plate is a crowd-pleaser at any Friendsgiving (sorry, dairy-free friends!). But this year, together with American Express (which recently launched its Cash Magnet® Card), we're upping the ante with a cheesy dip that's 10x more comforting and just as perfect for sharing. The best part? There's no bowl or platter required, just toasted bread — which means less mess to worry about after all the fun's over. Once you've checked out how it comes together in the video above, make it yourself using the full recipe below.


    1 sourdough or French boule round
    1 block Brie cheese
    Brown sugar
    Olive oil
    3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
    1 package crackers (optional)


    1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.

    2. Using a sharp, serrated knife, cut a "lid" out of the top of the bread round.

    3. Pull out the bread from the center of the round, tearing it into small chunks.

    4. Remove the rind from the cheese block, and then place the cheese into the hollowed-out circle in the bread round.

    5. Top the cheese block with brown sugar.

    6. Place the bread bowl with cheese on a baking tray, and scatter the extra bread pieces around it.

    7. Drizzle everything with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary. Bake for 15 minutes.

    8. Serve immediately with the crusty bread chunks and crackers.

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    It's easy to feel overwhelmed shopping on Amazon. Not that we don't do it all the time (because free two-day shipping is the bomb), but you can't help but let out a heavy groan when you realize you're almost out of an essential — say, shampoo — and a simple Prime search pulls up 351 pages of what seems like every bottle ever made.

    Fret not, because we're here to help. After skimming through thousands of handmade soaps and razor-refill boxes, we compiled the best beauty deals available on Amazon right now. From fresh new finds, like an $11 lash growth serum, to buzzy bestsellers, like an exfoliating foot mask and one frizz-fighting hair mist with over 600 gold-star reviews — we've got every fall beauty essential to add to your next Prime order.

    Scroll through the all the goods ahead, and add them straight to your cart, zero huffing or filtering required.

    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.

    Wrap your feet in this cocoon of lactic acid and exfoliating fruit enzymes, and when you unwrap them, your heels with be baby soft.

    BeaLuz BeaLuz Exfoliating Foot Peel Mask, $15.99, available at Amazon

    For just $4.98, you'll get everything you need to maintain your nails at home: a heavy-duty toenail clipper, fingernail clipper, a precise diagonal nail clipper, cuticle snipper, and a file.

    Cater Manicure Cater Manicure, Pedicure Kit, Nail Clippers, $4.98, available at Amazon

    Not only will this scrub leave your skin smelling like a piping hot loaf of cinnamon bread, it will also have it feeling buttery smooth.

    Majestic Pure Brown Sugar Body Scrub for Cellulite and Exfoliation, $12.98, available at Amazon

    If you've been working out more than usual lately, your achy muscles could probably benefit from a relaxing soak in a tub of eucalyptus Epsom salts.

    Amazon Amazon Brand - Solimo Epsom Salt Soaking Aid, $21.82, available at Amazon

    This body wash may have a simple label, but the blend of citrus and herbal musk makes using it feel like a luxurious experience.

    Baxter of California Baxter of California Invigorating Body Wash, $25.6, available at Amazon

    Throw away all those scrubs that leave grimy coffee-grounds residue along the rim of your bathtub, and replace them with this little glass jar packed with pink Himalayan sea salt. It sloughs away dead skin, smells like aromatherapy and sugared almonds, and requires zero clean-up, to boot.

    Majestic Pure Himalayan Salt Body Scrub with Lychee Essential Oil, $12.98, available at Amazon

    If you need a whitening boost, but can't stomach dropping anything more than $20 — try this kit. It includes 10 strips, and will run you just $16.

    Amazon 10 Day Whitening Strips Kit, 10 Treatments [10 Day], $13.59, available at Amazon

    For your upcoming travel plans, stock up on a handy tweezer two-pack.

    Tweezer Guru TweezerGuru Slant Tweezers, $12.45, available at Amazon

    You can use this deep-cleansing bar soap on your face and body. The mud additive pulls out any dirt and oil trapped in your pores, leaving you with clean, fresh skin.

    AHAVA AHAVA Dead Sea Purifying Mud Soap, 3.4 oz., $7, available at Amazon

    If you're into florals — particularly roses — you'll love slathering your legs with this non-greasy body lotion by Crabtree & Evelyn.

    Crabtree & Evelyn Crabtree & Evelyn Body Lotion, Rosewater, 16.9 fl oz, $17.36, available at Amazon

    If there was ever a right time to invest in an aromatherapy oil diffuser/humidifier with a color-changing LED light display, it's when you can get it on sale.

    URPOWER Wood Grain Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Oil Diffuser , $19.98, available at Amazon

    Whether you're going for a dramatic cat-eye or a sexy, smudged kitten flick, this felt-tip liquid liner delivers, which is why it's the #1 new release in Amazon's eyeliner product category.

    Maybelline Eyestudio Master Precise All Day Liquid Eyeliner Makeup, $6.94, available at Amazon

    Brand new to Amazon, this infrared blowdryer comes with all the bells and whistles — a concentrator, diffuser, and sectioning styling clips — and is just $21.

    Revlon Revlon 1875W Infrared Hair Dryer with Hair Clips, $21.99, available at Amazon

    If you're in need of a new Clarisonic — like, you can't remember the last time you replaced your well-worn brush head — shop it at Amazon, and it'll be at your doorstep in two days.

    Clarisonic Clarisonic Mia Prima Sonic Cleansing Face Brush, White, $99, available at Amazon

    Typically, this luxe night cream (or night balm, rather) retails for $19.99 — and that's honestly a steal, as it's packed with nourishing Manuka honey, which leaves skin softer, firmer, and plumper over time. Buy it on Prime and the price drops to just $15.

    L'Oreal Paris Ultra Nourishing Honey Night Balm Face Moisturizer, $15.97, available at Amazon

    Curious about face mask sticks? This charcoal one is just as effective as a regular potted clay mask, minus the crusty mess that comes with application.

    Olay Clay Charcoal Facial Mask Stick, $9.94, available at Amazon

    Lash-boosting serums can be pricey — we're talking around $50 or so — and we're willing to splurge for naturally long, fluttery lashes. But now you can reap the benefits of stronger, shinier, healthier eyelashes for the same price as a tube of Great Lash mascara from CVS.

    Maybelline Lash Sensational Boosting Eyelash Serum, $11.99, available at Amazon

    Like the tried-and-true Natural Glow moisturizer without the chemical-y self-tanner smell, this brand-new body lotion hydrates your legs, arms, and shoulders, and leaves a luminous soft-glow sheen.

    Jergens Jergens Brilliance Skin Illuminating Moisturizer, $11.99, available at Amazon

    Stila's Glitter & Glow eyeshadow is arguably the world's best liquid shadow if you're looking for a shimmery lid that will stay put all night long (trust us, Beyoncé's makeup artist uses it). And when you can get a three-pack of the most wearable shades (pale gold, silver, and copper) for $25 — well, you go right ahead and add it to your cart.

    Stila Eye Shadow Set [3D Dazzle Glitter and Glow Liquid], $25, available at Amazon

    More than 600 Amazon shoppers have reviewed the Color Wow Dream Coat — a color-protecting spray that cuts the frizz out of dry, damaged hair — and most everyone gives it five bright-yellow stars.

    Color Wow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray, $28, available at Amazon

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    For many, the holidays are a hectic mess of endless parties to gifts and grocery lists. And when the dizzying season finally ends, our apartments look like a festive bomb went off inside them — with our kitchens as the main impact zone. But instead of allowing the upcoming feast prep and baking feats to consume our tidy spaces, there's a lesser known holiday on the horizon we can observe as an aid: National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day on November 15.

    Before you bemoan this, "holiday," centered around cleaning, consider the payoff that a sparkling food space ready to take on all the festive meal chaos can provide. This day isn't just about cleaning it's also about organization and opening our fridge doors to reveal a compact, color-coordinated interior is something we can get behind. Ahead we've rounded up the 12 sleek bins, buckets, and boxes to help streamline your groceries during the oncoming cooking battles.

    Scroll on to shop these must-buys that will turn your refrigerator shelves into an organized oasis — from chic acrylic containers to colorful herb keepers, reusable produce bags, funky air fresheners, and more — plus the cleaning tips to help you get there.

    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.

    Organize: Herbs

    Tip: Keep those bags of herbs from getting smashed at the bottom of a produce drawer with these stylish and space-saving pods that also contain water storage bases for maintaining optimal freshness.

    Prepara Herb Savor Pod 2.0, Set of 3, $24.95, available at Amazon

    Organize: Specialty Condiments

    Tip: Opened, near-empty condiment jars can take up serious space inside a fridge — take stock of what you can combine or toss before tightening your lineup to fit inside a sleek modular storage bin.

    InterDesign Linus Divided Storage Organizer Bins, $18.25, available at Amazon

    Organize: Produce

    Tip: Grocery store produce-bags tend to turn into mushy messes at the bottoms of our fridge drawers — try skipping the plastic and placing your leafy greens and veggie goods inside these reusable mesh bags instead for streamlined storage and extra freshness. Bring them to your local market and fill them up to really go green.

    Purifyou Premium Reusable Mesh/Produce Bags, $14.97, available at Amazon

    Organize: Wine Bottles

    Cleaning Tip: Don't let wine bottles roll amok on fridge shelves — use this sleek, space-saving rack to securely stack them.

    mDesign mDesign Stackable Wine Bottle Storage Rack, $22.99, available at Amazon

    Organize: Eggs

    Tip: During the baking-heavy season ahead, you can store up to 24 eggs inside a compact and durable container that you can safely tuck beneath other goods.

    Girl12Queen Refrigerator Egg Storage Box, $10.19, available at Walmart

    Organize: Lemons & Limes

    Tip: Instead of letting your holiday zest roll wild in bigger fridge bins or on shelves, tuck them inside these colorful and convenient clip-on drawers.

    Unbranded Slide Refrigerator Space Saver Organizer , $11.54, available at Walmart

    Organize: Meats & Cheeses

    Cleaning Tip: Don't let opened wedges of cheeses or packages of cured meats end up smashed or crumbled on your fridge shelves by storing them inside these sealable and stackable bins.

    mDesign Stackable Plastic Refrigerator Food Storage, $44.99, available at Amazon

    Organize: Bottled Beverages

    Tip: The best way to free up extra space in your fridge is via suspension — try dangling your bottled beverages from beers to sodas and seltzers from this clever BottleLoft.

    Cool Loft BottleLoft, $38, available at Amazon

    Organize: Odors

    Tip: No matter how often you clean your fridge, food odors can linger — stay ahead of any funky scents with a cute odor absorber that will keep things smelling fresh for up to three months.

    PUTAOJI Chilly Mama Fridge Deodoriser , $7.99, available at Amazon

    Organize: Refrigerated Vitamins & Medicines

    Tip: Whether you live with roommates or are opening your fridges up to guests or children during the holidays, storing any medications or vitamins can still be convenient and safe with this lockable acrylic box.

    Omnimed Box Locker Fridge Bin, $103.99, available at Wayfair

    Organize: Canned Drinks

    Tip: The seltzer-obsessed need no longer blindly shove hands into torn, back-of-the-fridge boxes — up the ambiance and easy-access by combining a mix of canned drink favorites inside this slim, handled-bin.

    InterDesign Refrigerator and Freezer Storage Organizer Bin, White, $15.63, available at Walmart

    Organize: Everything

    Tip: Pull it all out — from meats to produce, canned drinks, condiments, or juices — wipe down your shelves, check expiration dates, combine, toss and reset with this sleek acrylic 6-piece set of containers that will chicly organize all your grocery goods.

    Sorbus Fridge Bins and Freezer Organizer, $30.99, available at Amazon

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    If you haven't seen it trending on Twitter already, you might not know that today is World Kindness Day, an awareness day founded to encourage random acts of, well, kindness. As much as we wish that behaving altruistically was the norm, there are still those people we encounter on a near-daily basis who just seem like real crabs. And, on the flip side, it can be hard to hold ourselves to that standard of kindness on the days when we'd rather clothesline a cyclist than stop to make small talk.

    So, on this well-intentioned holiday, we must face the question: To what extent can we blame our human nature for how we treat others?

    Luckily, global nonprofit, in partnership with Oxford University, has been exploring this and many other questions on subject of kindness through its Kindlab research initiative. According to Oliver Scott Curry, PhD, director of the Oxford Morals Project as well as an advisor with, kindness is ingrained in every person, but only to an extent.

    "Evolution has built us to be altruistic to our families, community members, friends, mates, and in the presence of rivals," he explains. "Being kind helps spread your genes." At the most basic, primal level, helping out your family members and your closest loved ones means increased chances of survival. Plus, Dr. Curry says that acting selflessly may heighten your status in the eyes of potential partners ( wink).

    While our evolutionary instincts may explain why we're kind and helpful to our nearest and dearest, research has found that our capacity for kindness in general is partially genetic. "About 25% of the differences in how kind people are, are due to differences in genes," Dr. Curry says, while "about 10% is due to how they are raised by their parents." He adds that you can't count out environmental factors either, like where someone grew up, when considering how (or whether) someone shows kindness to others. In other words, he says, "it is not nature or nurture — it is both."

    And, as for those folks who seem like they wouldn't lift a finger for anyone? Science doesn't currently have an explanation for them beyond the fact that, well, everyone's behavior varies to a certain extent. "Most people are pretty good most of the time, but there are a small number of saints and sinners at the extreme ends of the curve," Dr. Curry says.

    So, the root of kindness is complicated, but the benefits that come with kindness are less so. Helping others in small ways has been found to reduce stress, and being nice to those around you may boost your self-esteem and improve your blood pressure. And that isn't even to say what kindness can do for the greater good.

    "Kindness is a key ingredient in social change," says Jaclyn Lindsey, co-founder and CEO of "Choosing kindness can play a role in an incredible range of issues from bullying to mental health." That choice could be as minor as holding the door for someone or as major as challenging an unfair system — either way, it will make a difference for you and anyone else involved. And, if it ultimately helps further your bloodline, where's the downside?

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    Last month, in an interview about her new album, Alessia Cara spoke to Refinery29 about the state of women in music. "People rarely ever believe that a woman can do it on her own," she said. "It seems like such a dated concept, but it is still so present in the music industry. I’ve seen with my own eyes some amazing and talented female songwriters and artists not get the recognition they deserve because people think they aren’t doing it on their own. Or, if they see a man’s name in the credits, they assume he did most of the work. "

    Cara also expressed a desire to work with female producers on her next album. Huge artists from Beyoncé to Taylor Swift to Björk have also spoken out about their credits in production being erased or diminished; its a perception problem that plagues women all the way to the top. Now, they've finally got the ultimate database to make it easier to find women who want to work in music production.

    In conjunction with SoundGirls and other organizations, Spotify has launched a tool aimed at addressing the gender gap in music. EQL is a directory of women working behind the scenes in music, from studio engineers to sound designers, that artists, managers, labels, production houses, and anyone in between can search to find working artists in the field for their audio needs. The directory includes gender non-conforming artists as well, with the intention of also lifting up trans and non-binary people.

    The launch of the EQL database takes aim at the idea that women aren't getting production jobs because people can't find women to take them by offering up a searchable index of women who are looking for those specific positions. It's a huge step in the direction of erasing the outdated ideas in the music industry around what roles are gender appropriate by giving them a whole rolodex of women who want to produce, engineer, and design audio.

    Spotify has also announced the ELQ Advisory Board, comprised of women in sound production to help shape the future of this program. It includes TRAKGIRL (Jhené Aiko, Omarion), Lauren D’Elia (Elley Duhé), Jin Jin (Clean Bandit), Kesha Lee (Migos, Future), and Ali Tamposi (Kelly Clarkson, One Direction).

    “SoundGirls already had this global directory of women in audio and production, and we came together to help them make it more beautiful, more useful, and more visible within the industry,” says Kerry Steib, Spotify’s Director of Social Impact in a company blog post. “We know that increasing equity for women in these fields is a complex problem to solve. We have to work with great partners across the industry and come together to create solutions.”

    The gender gap in music is massive, as the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative discovered in a report released early in 2017. Analyzing popular songs from 2012 to 2016, the report found that women made up only 2% of producers and only 12.3% of songwriting credits went to women. EQL posits that the numbers are as bleak in live sound and event engineering.

    The companies write, in part, on their website: "It is our hope that by amplifying the careers of these women and people, we’ll soon see equal access to encouragement, equipment, and opportunities within the industry as well as equal recognition of these incredible professionals’ work. It’s high time these creators, makers, sound engineers, and techs are brought out from behind-the-scenes and into the spotlight."

    Spotify, in particular, has taken heat for the gender inequality among artists that algorithms put into play in when they select music for us. At The Baffler, Liz Pelly examined how algorithms that serve up music for passive listeners create a more masculine listening experience overall, including creating listener patterns that influence human programmers of playlists on the service to promote the work of men over women. But, that same algorithm and the feedback loop it creates exist for YouTube, Amazon, and anywhere else where music fans hit play on a playlist and then sit back to listen.

    The company is also facing a lawsuit for gender discrimination in the workplace that favors men over women in compensation and opportunities as reported on by Variety in September. Spotify claims the suit is "without merit."

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    The Department of Health and Human Services issued two final rules last week that make it easier for employers to deny women birth control coverage.

    President Obama's Affordable Care Act ensured that employer-provided health insurance plans covered birth control as a preventative service. But in an effort to "provide conscience protections for Americans who have a religious or moral objection" to health insurance that covers contraception methods, the Trump administration has released two new exemptions.

    These exemptions, first issued as interim rules in October 2017, are for employers that object to birth control coverage based on religious beliefs, as well as nonprofit organizations and small businesses that "have non-religious moral convictions opposing services covered by the mandate." The rules are slated to take effect in January, although they will likely be challenged in court based on the fact that the attorneys general of California and Pennsylvania have already challenged the interim rules.

    The Obama administration already allowed exemptions for churches, some for-profit organizations, and charities that could raise religious or moral objections to contraception coverage.

    But these new rules lower the bar, letting any employer opt out. Employers also don't have to file paperwork with the government to be exempt; they just need to notify their insurance company. And there's no specific standard for claiming a religious or moral exemption, although, the HHS says, "The rules leave in place government programs that provide free or subsidized contraceptive coverage to low-income women, such as through community health centers." All of this could potentially put an untold number of women at risk of losing their birth control coverage, including those who use it to treat health conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis.

    While the HHS has argued that the rule would have no impact on "99.9% of women" in the U.S., it based that figure on the total number of U.S. women (around 165 million), rather than the number that matters: that of women of childbearing age who rely on birth control for pregnancy prevention or other health concerns.

    The agency has also argued that a maximum of 120,000 women would be affected. But experts say that because the rule is so broad, there's really no way to predict how many women would lose coverage. Many Catholic nonprofits and hospitals, for example, could choose to stop providing contraceptives.

    "It's impossible to know the full scope or impact of the Trump administration's actions," said Adam Sonfield, senior policy manager at the Guttmacher Institute. "But it’s highly likely that the impact will extend far beyond the administration’s estimate that only 200 employers (mostly those who have filed suit against the birth control benefit) will claim an exemption. This matters because having the full range of contraceptive options is critical for enabling people to use the birth control method that best fits their needs and circumstances, regardless of cost."

    These final rules are just the latest in the Trump administration's efforts to restrict reproductive rights, from the 20-week abortion ban (which failed the Senate, but Trump has told an anti-choice crowd he wants to give it another try) to the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

    "There is nothing in these newly posted rules that has substantially changed since the Trump administration first started chipping away at contraception coverage last year," Sonfield said.

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    Claire Foy has exploded onto the Hollywood film scene over the past few years. You probably know the 34-year-old British actress as the young Queen Elizabeth II on Netflix's hit series The Crown, but this year, Foy has proved that she's no one-trick pony.

    In her most recent film endeavor The Girl in the Spider's Web — a sequel to Rooney Mara-led The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo — Foy plays a whole new kind of protagonist. Lisbeth Salander, a dark and complex character, has survived severe emotional and sexual abuse and is a far cry from her royal highness.

    The new film, which premiered this past Friday, highlights Foy's on-screen versatility. And a peek into Foy's off -screen beauty looks proves she has the same range IRL. With countless brown-to-blonde color switch ups, stellar makeup confidence, and an obvious flair for fashion, her red-carpet résumé is almost as impressive as her IMBd page.

    Scroll through her beauty evolution, ahead, to see for yourself how Foy's look has completely transformed over the years.


    Back in 2009, following her breakout role on the UK TV series Little Dorrit, Foy was where many of us were — in a skinny brow phase, heavy into square neck scarves.

    Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.


    Two years later, Foy was spotted at the red-carpet premiere of Season of the Witch, with her dark brown hair twisted into a loose updo and a bright pink lip that popped against her white gauzy dress.

    Photo: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.


    In 2013, Foy styled her chestnut brown hair in a deep side part, smudging a little eyeliner along her lower lashline. This was the beginning if her edgier vibe.

    Photo: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/Getty Images.


    For the world premiere of The Crown in 2016, Foy was stunning. Her formerly dark hair was warm blonde all over and swept into a romantic updo. She matched the whimsical hairstyle with fresh, dewy skin and a little glossy pink lipstick.

    Photo: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images.


    By the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards, Foy's hair had taken on more of a dirty blonde shade, which she wore in a messy low bun, paired with a nude lip and soft smokiness around her eyes.

    Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images.

    Later that year, Foy went back to multidimensional brunette for the opening night of Breathe, a romantic drama where she starred opposite Andrew Garfield.

    Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images.

    In December 2017, the British actress was almost unrecognizable — her hair colored jet-black, styled in a bang-heavy, mullet cut. Could it be that this was a preview of her Lisbeth Salander hairstyle?

    Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images.


    This past year at the Toronto Film Festival, Foy elevated her eye makeup game with a thick rim of metallic rust shadow along her upper and lower lashlines, which put a stunning emphasis on her pale blue eyes.

    Photo: George Pimentel/Getty Images.

    At this year's Emmys, where the actress was honored with an award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role in The Crown, she wore a chic strapless white gown. Her deep brown hair was slicked back with a polished side part, and her rich red lip was courtesy of a $7 liquid lipstick.

    Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images.

    While in Spain on a recent photo call for her new film First Man, where she plays the wife of Neil Armstrong (played by Ryan Gosling), Foy wore a burgundy leather dress with lipstick to match, and her piece-y, soft brown pixie cut was swept effortlessly to the side.

    Photo: Manuel Romano/NurPhoto/Getty Images.

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    When I decided to transition my hair from relaxed to natural over the course of a year or so, I naively thought I could continue my usual lazy-girl routine — which basically consisted of going to the hairdresser and having someone else deal with the mess on my head. But, as more and more new growth began to replace my straighter strands, I became concerned about not only the heat damage that might occur in the long run, but the fact that I was relying on somebody else to do all the work. So, I took on the task of doing my own hair.

    I quickly realized I had no idea what I was doing. Turns out, reading countless natural hair blogs and watching many hours of YouTube tutorials does not make one an expert. My first twist-out was such a fail, I ended up covering my hack job with a hat. Don't even get me started on my botched bantu knots. Lawd.

    Anyone who's gone natural, or is in the transitioning process, knows the pain I'm preaching. Trying to blend two vastly different textures — while coming up with hairstyles that are presentable enough to go out in public with — is hard work. That's why I enlisted Vida Latimer, senior stylist at Devachan Salon, to help transitioning ladies get through the awkward stages and see the light at the end of the natural hair tunnel.

    Click through for some new looks to try out, broken down by your stage in the transitioning process.

    Transitioning phase: start one year in

    If you want to preserve your curls after a twist-out, this high ponytail with a sleek base is the best (and cutest) way to do so.


    Bantu Knots
    Transitioning phase: start to one year in

    Bantu knots are a great way to mask your two different textures from the beginning until the end of your journey. Plus, they will give you much-needed practice for mastering the notoriously frustrating style.

    Photo: Via @neonatural.

    Transitioning phase: start to one year in

    With braid-outs, you can go the cornrow route, as seen here, or do free-form box braids. Leave them in overnight (on damp or dry hair) for the best results. When you take them out the next morning, you'll have big, beautiful hair, reminiscent of the '90s crimp look.

    Spiral Braid
    Transitioning phase: six months in or longer

    This is definitely for the transitioner who has a couple months of styling experience. It's a great protective — and put-together — style for the winter months, when you want to keep your ends tucked in. It's also super-versatile. "You might be able to get another style out of this by just undoing the braid and wearing it out," Latimer says.

    Photo: Via @ty_me_she_her.

    Perm Rod Set
    Transitioning phase: any

    Craving some serious definition? After washing and conditioning, section your hair off and saturate it with a setting lotion, curling cream, and a little bit of oil, Textured Talk advises. Then, wrap your sections around perm rods that are most appropriate for your length. You can let your set dry overnight, or sit underneath a hooded dryer for the curls to form.

    Photo: Via @micki_styles.

    Comb Coils
    Transitioning phase: any

    While your hair is wet with conditioner, moisturize with a non-flake gel or a cream. Take the end of a rattail comb and wrap small sections around it, creating a spiral. Dry overnight or sit underneath a hooded dryer. Some people use the actual fine teeth of a comb, but this takes a little bit of extra care to avoid breakage.

    Photo: Via @tressedbyb.

    Ultimate Curls
    Transitioning phase: three to six months in

    At this stage, your hair is still mostly straight, but your natural texture starts to emerge. Latimer says this style helps future natural-haired women get ready to start embracing their god-given curl patterns. She adds that the key to keeping your curls softer is to make sure to deep-condition before styling. Moisture is key.

    Photo: Via @nae2curly.

    Straw Set
    Transitioning phase: any

    It's like a rod set, except with cut-up straws. Sounds odd, but the tinier curl formers are ideal for those with smaller Afros.

    Photo: Via @keyleehair.

    Top Bun
    Transitioning phase: one year in

    The one-year mark is when the struggle starts to get real. Finding a cute, chic way to tame your new texture is not easy, and this is an inconspicuous way to keep it under wraps. If you have longer hair, this is a great go-to style for when you want to wear it away from your face (or are just having one of those lazy days). "The wide band keeps roots smooth," says Latimer.

    Photo: Via @mz_tammy.

    Marley Twists
    Transitioning phase: start to one year in

    This option is great if you want to give yourself a break from DIY styling, says Latimer.

    Photo: Via @devrivelazquez.

    Box Braids
    Transitioning phase: start to one year in

    Latimer adds that when doing Marley twists or box braids, it's important to use good human hair and ensure the styles are not too tight."Otherwise, [your new hair coming in] won't be able to get enough conditioning for optimal growth," she says.

    Photo: Via @hair.goes.taylor.

    Box Braid Bantu Knots
    Transitioning phase: start to one year in

    If your braids are starting to loosen up, hide your roots with this easy style (as seen at Curlfest 2017).

    Photographed by Rochelle Brockington.

    Braided Updo
    Transitioning phase: start to one year in

    Another protective style to consider when transitioning to natural hair is this braided updo. Similar to box braids and Marley twists, it will keep your ends tucked in and shielded from the environmental stresses — AND it means your hair is already styled for you.

    Photo: Via @ibeezdabraider.

    Twisted Updo
    Transitioning phase: three to six months

    Remember that ultimate-curls look? This is a great follow-up, for once you grow tired of wearing your hair out. Just pin your hair toward the front of your head and flat-twist it in three sections up the back portion. When styling, Latimer recommends skipping the gel and opting for a cream instead, which will offer control along with moisture. Finish with a moisturizing shine serum (like this one from SheaMoisture).

    Photo: Via @nae2curly.

    Cinnamon-Roll Updo
    Transitioning phase: one year in or more

    "This is a cool style that’s a great alternative to braids, twists, or coils," Latimer says. Don't let the intricacy intimidate you: This mod-inspired 'do is super-easy to create yourself. Head over to CocoaFab to get the how-to.

    Photo: Via CocoaFab.

    Goddess Braid
    Transitioning phase: nine months to one year in

    Some women worry that natural hair is "not work-appropriate." We think that's a load of BS, but if your coworkers aren't as enlightened as you, this wraparound braid is an elegant and finished 'do that will work in any office environment. "After this style, you can do a rod set or twist-out, to start to wear it curly," Latimer says. For similar tutorials, check out Black Girl with Long Hair.

    Photo: Via @curlygirlmomo.

    Curly Fauxhawk
    Transitioning phase: any

    This isn't for the faint of heart, as it takes some skill. But, if you can master cornrows and spiral curls, it's an edgy look that's sure to turn heads. Latimer says the braids shouldn't be too tight — and don't forget to hydrate.

    Photo: Via @styleseatatl.

    Faux Undercut
    Transitioning phase: any

    If you don't want to go full fauxhawk, just braid one side and leave your hair loose on the other, as seen in this editorial. Jeanie Syfu, hairstylist and Tresemmé spokesperson, suggests weaving three cornrows "in an undercut style to enhance the texture of the rest of [the] hair."

    Photographed by Amber Mahoney.

    Voluminous Curls
    Transitioning phase: one year in or more

    Trimming off your damaged ends will add major bounce back into your curls and give you volume like you've never seen. Make sure to have a hydrating, lightweight serum on hand to restore any lost moisture.

    Photo: Via @calicurls/Instagram.

    Soft Twists
    Transitioning Phase: three to six months in

    Updos can put a lot of tension on your growing hair, so let it relax with loose twists. These are great for shorter hair lengths looking to play with a fun style. Plus, you're able to add some needed nourishment if you seal in the ends with a bit of oil or serum.

    Photo: Via @kienyabooker/Instagram.

    Double Buns
    Transitioning phase: any

    Follow Janelle Monáe's lead and go for playful, double buns. The best part? It takes barely any time at all. Part your hair straight down the middle (leaving your bangs out, if you have any), create high pigtails, then wrap the hair around the base of each and secure.

    Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

    Half Up, Half Down
    Transitioning phase: start to one year in

    For the days you can't deal with your hair in your face or deal with too much product, go for the half-up pony.

    Crochet Braids
    Transitioning phase: any

    If you don't want to deal with the hassle of a weave, crochet braids are your best friend. Instead of stressing out your strands with a sew-in that can damage your hairline, simply latch your extensions on to your cornrows with a needle.

    Photo: Via @iam.Nubian/Instagram.

    Crochet Locs
    Transitioning phase: any

    If you don't want your hair out, then crochet locs (installed the same way as braids) are a great option.

    Tree Braids
    Transitioning phase: any

    With tree braids, your stylist does cornrows but leaves the bulk of your extensions loose, according to Neno Natural. The braids are knotted to keep them from unraveling.

    Photo: Via @nanasbraids.

    Flexi-rod Set

    Transitioning phase: any

    Flexi rods are a great tool for creating spiral curls. The style is especially great to help mask straight ends when you're in that "in-between" stage where your roots are curly, and ends are not.

    Lemonade Braids

    Transitioning phase: any

    If you want to wear cornrows but want to switch up your look, try out Lemonade braids. The side-swept plaits, which can be big or small, were dubbed after Beyoncé's iconic Lemonade album cover and will look stylish during any phase of your switch to natural.

    Passion Twists

    Transitioning phase: any

    If Senegalese twists and goddess locs had a baby it look like passion twists. The style was created by Kailyn Rogers, a Miami-based natural hairstylist, who wanted to create a protective style that looked like unraveled twists. To achieve the style, start a normal twist and push the hair up as you go to get a scrunched, lived-in effect.

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    Before Pati Dubroff was painting the faces of Priyanka Chopra, Amanda Seyfried, Eva Mendes, and Margot Robbie, she was just a girl growing up in New Jersey who was infatuated with makeup. Like many pros in the field today, her love for color cosmetics started while sitting at her mother's vanity. "I remember being 10 years old and completely obsessed," Dubroff tells Refinery29. "I remember thinking, 'I want to do this when I grow up' — I just didn't know what this was yet."

    "This" eventually became a career as a professional makeup artist, but fast forward to today and she's part of an elite list of in-demand pros who work on the most famous faces in Hollywood. Of course, her journey was a long one. In fact, ahead of becoming a celebrity go-to, Dubroff's work was deeply embedded in the fashion world. She assisted makeup bigwigs like François Nars (yes, that Nars), worked for MTV, and did makeup on sets of major music videos, like Björk's iconic "Big Time Sensuality."

    Between all that, Dubroff noticed a shift in the industry that led her work away from the supermodels and musicians and to up-and-coming actresses in L.A. "The fashion world was always about trying to make a statement, but I'm really about making a real woman look like the most incredible version of herself," Dubroff explains. "I realized I could really do that with actresses." After years of living in Paris and New York, Dubroff packed up her kits and moved to the West Coast with her husband. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Needless to say, after nearly three decades in the business, Dubroff has a wealth of beauty knowledge to share, from the skin-care products she doesn't travel without to the kind of glitter she always uses on the lids of her A-list clients. Lucky for us, she shared it all with us, ahead.

    Skin First, Makeup Second

    "No matter how long I get with a client, almost half the amount of time is spent prepping their skin... always. If the skin doesn't look great, that complicated eye or bold lip won't pop.

    "The routine always starts with a 111Skin sheet mask. Then, I follow up with a facial massage using ReFa rollers. Even if I don't have time for a mask, I always massage the face. It lifts, de-puffs, and adds vitality to the skin. Lastly, I'll add my favorite moisturizer from Augustinus Bader. It's incredible, I use it on myself and everybody else I work with."

    Cream Over Powder — Always

    "After the skin care is finished, I work on evening out the skin and controlling oil. Normally, I'll use a mattifying primer on the center of the face. I like to do this so I don't have to load up on powder later. From there, I start blending foundations. I like to use at least two to three different shades and formulas with varying textures. This helps add dimension and a natural contour that looks real. I'm very loyal to the Japanese brand Suqqu. You can't get their products in the States, but the formula is my absolute favorite because of its incredible finish. Nars' Foundation Stick is the runner-up. I love using this formula on clients with darker skin tones.

    "Sometimes, after I'm done with foundation, I'll tap a little bit of the Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum on my fingers and roll it onto the high bones of the client's face. It gives a subtle luminosity that isn't sparkly or cheap. I've also been using the Nudestix cream products for contouring the eyes and Soleil Tan de Chanel cream for some light bronzing. Building up cream products ensures that the face will be able to handle all the bolder, more colorful features that come later, like on the eyes and lips."

    Blurred Lips Require A Specific Formula

    "The density of the color is key when you create a blurred lip. Look for lipsticks that have texture that kind of look like powder in the tube. I like to pat on Sunnies Face Fluffmatte lipsticks with my fingers, blending the shades out to the edges. It's the easiest way to create a strong lip without making it severe."

    Glitter Makes Everything Better

    "For this year's Met Gala, I wanted to complement the gold bodice and headpiece Priyanka would be wearing on the red carpet. So, I went over to the Lemonhead offices and created a custom glitter that brought out all the colors you otherwise wouldn't notice in the gown. I was really inspired by these images I'd seen of a statue of this unidentified, ancient goddess. It was completely gold, but kind of cracked and weathered because it was this old, but beautiful, relic. I loved how imperfect and lived-in the texture of the gold was. That same sheen of tonal gold is what I wanted everywhere for Priyanka, from her eyes to her collarbone."

    Start With A Mood Board

    "For big events, I hopefully have weeks to plan ahead. I think about the actress I'm working with, the vibe of the gown, and the mood they're going for. For the 2017 Met Gala, I knew Priyanka would be wearing this giant custom trench gown from Ralph Lauren, and I kept seeing images of rainstorms, sandstorms, and lightning. So, I made a mood board of all those images. They help create a story within a look that otherwise would sound flat without reference photos. If I told her I wanted to do a brown lip and silver eye, it just wouldn't sound as good without the mood board. The essence is lost without it."

    Bold Eyes Go Great With Bold Lips

    "If anyone's face can handle color, it's Priyanka. She definitely likes to play when it comes to her makeup. When appropriate, we'll go there, like for the royal wedding. Since the ceremony was during the day, I used this pretty orchid shade on her eyes. The way I applied it made it appear a bit more soft and muted, but very feminine and floral, so her makeup wasn't just this boring, natural look.

    "You can't not play with her lips and eyes. If I only play up the lips, her eyes are so naturally expressive they're still a focal point — even if it's just a clear gloss on the lid. She does like adding a glossy sheen on her eyes, whether it's a clear gloss or something with shimmer. It's the quickest way to add variety in textures to some makeup looks that feature monochromatic tones."

    There's Only One Brow Master — & It's Priyanka

    "Priyanka's brows are definitely epic. I often defer to her to do them. Sometimes, she'll ask me to do them, but I'll usually give her the pencil or the brush because she just has a way with them that I stand back and marvel at.

    "She really understands how the subtle alteration of the shape can change the whole mood of the face. I've learned a lot from her, about her face and her brows, by just watching. She's really the only person I can think of that is so masterful with her own features because she's learned a lot in India."

    Don't Overthink Your Bridal Makeup

    "If you're wondering what your makeup should look like on your wedding day, the first thing you need to ask yourself is, 'Who am I normally?' If you're not the kind of woman who typically wears a lot of makeup, suddenly showing up to the wedding in a full face of it might look ridiculous and not like yourself. Someone who does prefer minimal makeup should only step it up a little, for the sake of photographs and videos. If you need guidance, try to do a few things, like even out your skin tone, lightly powder your face, groom your brows into a decent shape, and add just a little definition to the eyes. Remember: It doesn't have to be heavy-duty to work."

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    There's not a one-size-fits-all answer to the perfect Thanksgiving outfit. Maybe you're planning to spend the holiday eating turkey wings and watching football, so you go with an oversized cropped sweater and your stretchiest high-rise jeans. Or, you know your mom will want to take the family holiday portrait, so you whip out that new emerald corduroy skirt, pull on sheer black tights, and add chunky hoop earrings.

    Whatever ensemble you land on, you'll want to make sure you're giving the smaller details — like your nail polish — the same kind of careful forethought. Ahead, we've rounded up the chicest seasonal manicure ideas, courtesy of all the Instagram cool-girls. From gold leaf nail art to glossy Merlot polish, find the Thanksgiving nails that match your vibe, so you can get back to important decisions — like whether or not the velvet headband is overkill.

    When you bring seasonal shades — glittery orange and deep cranberry — into your abstract graphic manicure, it reads as festive and fashion.

    With a neutral basecoat, a leaf-printed accent nail is the sweetest delicate detail.

    When you add a high gloss to a burnt orange polish over an otherwise naked nail — playing up the clean, negative space — it's seasonal, but also so sophisticated.

    You can't go wrong with a shiny, rich Merlot mani. This will make the perfect Instagram moment when your hand is wrapped around a long-stem wine glass. The caption: Thankful.

    When you look closely, these gold foil flakes are kind of like the fall leaves. The color is just like that golden sweet spot when foliage is between pale yellow and rusted red.

    Pull your manicure inspiration from the chicest seasonal decoration — the budding floral centerpieces.

    Instead of solid red wine nails, you can make the ruby tone your accent, with a gem-shaped cuticle detail that pops against a mint green base.

    This green stem accent is like a play on grandma's green bean casserole.

    The multicolored rainbow skimming across the tips of your fingers will give you flashbacks to the turkey art you used to do in kindergarten, sans the cheesy gobble gobble connotation.

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    While you were dusting off your black ankle booties, you were also sleeping on the true trend of fall: chunky and flat military-inspired boots. In September, we saw the likes of Snow Xue Gao and Olivier Theyskens skip the heels and send their coat-wearing models down the runway in clunky combat boots. And since then, we've been hooked. We love a little extra height as much as the next person, but when truly cold-weather hits, we're leaning towards a look with a little more comfort. So when reimagined military boots sprang up this season, we were more than ready to swap out our sock booties for something a bit more substantial.

    And reimagined they are. While Dr. Martens have always been an option, this year's combat boots have stepped up their embellishments. From added hardware and faux fur details to tiger prints (yes, tiger!), you won't find any military grade sets of shoes here. Ahead are 18 boots that each carry a flair of their own.

    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.

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    If your dream is to wake up with long, full, dark, and feathery eyelashes — without globbing on three coats of mascara — you've probably at least considered semi-permanent eyelash extensions, a trend that has sprung up over the past few years to respond to that exact wish.

    Going one step beyond falsies, these lashes last weeks. And while the trend has become prevalent in certain celebrity circles and big cities, you might still have questions about the safety, cost, comfort, and overall process. To help us suss out the real deal about lash extensions — the good, the bad, and the annoying — we talked to a few pros about what it takes to achieve your dream lashes, below.

    The Basics

    Unlike gluing a strip of falsies to your lash line, the process of applying eyelash extensions is much more meticulous. First, a technician will walk you through the various lash extension options: fiber (synthetic, silk, and faux-mink), length, and curl type. Most salons have a menu to help guide the consultation and determine the lash extension that will best fit your aesthetic.

    Yes, you can just roll out of bed with thick, Kim Kardashian-inspired lashes, if that's what you want. But, if you're trying to achieve a my-lashes-but-better look, where people might just think you were born with a soft, fluttery set? That's 100% possible, too. With the growing interest in extensions, the process of application had become so advanced, the look is now completely customizable. At your consultation, you can explain your lash aesthetic to your technician — full, super-long, natural, and so forth — and he or she will help you craft your dream lash.

    "Nowadays there are several different textures for lash extensions," explains celebrity lash expert Clementina Richardson of Envious Lashes. "You can go with a premium faux-mink fiber lash, which is flexible and light. Or, ultra-silk lashes, which are extremely soft to the touch, but create a more dramatic look than the faux-mink fiber, without causing any strain to the natural lashes. For clients going for a more natural look, I advise them request a set of 80-90 lashes per eye, depending on the size of their eyelids."

    Once you've found your desired lash look, the next step is the application — and don't expect this to be snappy. Your technician will be using a teeny-tiny, tweezer-like tool to precisely affix around 160 individual eyelashes to your eyes. They do this by glueing one false lash onto each of your own natural lashes, one tiny lash at a time. (When your natural lash sheds so does the extension that's attached to it — that's why they must be touched up.) Understandably, the initial set will take upwards of two hours to apply. Since your eyes are taped mostly closed — warning: expect an awkward eyelid position that some find unnerving where your eyes are tapped slightly open — try to use the time to just relax and be with your thoughts.

    The Pros

    If you've ever seen someone with distractingly long lashes, so luscious and fluttery that they couldn't possibly be natural, then you know the number one benefit of extensions: You get to walk around with the lashes you wish you were born with, no mascara or sticky lash glue required.

    "One of biggest pros of eyelash extensions is you never have to wear mascara ever again," explains lash expert Skyy Hadley of Blink Beauty Boutique. "Lashes make your eyes pop, and actually help breath life into an otherwise tired face." Some women even say that they're more inclined to take an all-natural approach their makeup when they have extensions on because the feel so confident with long, full lashes.

    Tailor-made lashes sound great, right? But for every lash devotee out there, there's someone who'll be quick to warn you: extensions are not low-maintenance, incredibly uncomfortable, and stupid expensive to maintain.

    The Cons

    There are some serious drawbacks to lash extensions that you should know about before assessing whether or not they're worth it for you. First and foremost, they're pricey. A full starter set can easily set you back between $120 and $200, depending on the type of lashes you want and your technician, Tirzah Shirai, founder of Blinkbar tells Refinery29. And that's not even considering the touch-up cost. You need to replace your extensions every two to three weeks, as the extensions will shed with your natural lash cycle, and those replacements cost another $100, minimum. And for the bargain-hunters among us, Shirai warns: "beware of going to places that charge less."

    "There are all these places that say they do lash extensions for $65, but typically, what you're getting is a cluster," Shirai tells Refinery29. "A cluster is essentially a bunch of lashes that have been pre-glued together — and they're incredibly heavy. They'll completely destroy your lashes."

    How? In short, these clusters each affix to a few lashes, making the shedding that happens later a big 'ol mess: lash clusters stick to lashes that have shed and natural lashes that are still intact. It tends to leave clients in a lose-lose predicament: Leave the unsightly jumble on or pull it off.

    But even when applied individually, skin-care expert Dr. Lamees Hamdan tells us that it's a good idea to only get extensions sporadically, like before a wedding or special occasion, as opposed to consistently. "Getting eyelash extensions regularly can, and usually does, lead to loss of your own natural lashes," explains Dr. Hamdan.

    Even worse than destroyed lashes (which is pretty bad), would be the risk of icky infection that might follow a lash-extending procedure. "Many people don’t realize that there are definitely some hygienic factors that come with having lashes," Hadey tells us. "If the implements or the lashes themselves aren't cleaned properly, you face the risk of conjunctivitis."

    Dr. Hamdan echoes that you're putting your eyes and the surrounding skin at risk with lash extensions. Most often, it's not the lashes themselves that cause an issue, as they are designed to be lightweight and safe for the eyes. Instead, it's the glue that can cause could potentially hurt your eyes.

    "The lash glue is a chemical, and usually contains formaldehyde and other irritating chemicals that can potentially cause inflammation, irritation, allergic reactions, or dry eyes," explains Dr. Hamdan. To rule out possible issues, your technician should carry out a patch test before the glue gets anywhere near your skin or eye, just to make sure you won't have an adverse reaction. Also, it's important to recognize that this process involves sharp tools near your eyes for a prolonged period of time, so you have to consider whether or not that will bother you before you're in the chair.

    Things To Keep In Mind

    If you've considered the cost, and weighed your risks, you have to keep in mind the somewhat-annoying rules of lash care. First, like the major annoyance of getting a spray tan, you can't hop in the shower after you've had extensions applied to your lashes. "You should avoid steam and wetting your lashes for the first 48 hours after getting lash extensions," Richardson instructs. And, when you are able to shower, you'll have to blow-dry your sopping-wet spider lashes with a blow dryer, on the cool setting, and a little spoolie brush — something you've likely never done before.

    Speaking of scary eyelashes that somewhat resemble long, thin spider legs, even dry, your eyelashes will end up looking a little creepy as they grow out and fall out. Because your natural lashes shed at different rates, so will your extensions, which means that after just two or three weeks, you'll likely be left with a wonky lash line that's full in some spots, but sparse and short in others. And because you can't remove your extensions on your own (because you'll risk pulling out your natural lashes in the process), you'll have to book another appointment at the salon for a lash refill, or to have the straggling extensions removed by a pro.

    Another adjustment to consider is that your skin-care routine will likely have to change post-extensions. For example, things like oil-based cleansers and heavy eye cream will have to go. "You need to avoid using oil-based products and heavy creams around eyes — and you should not apply any mascara to the lashes," says Richardson. The oils and cream will loosen the lash glue and cause the extensions to fall off faster, while mascara will add weight to the very-delicate lashes and could cause breakage.

    Basically, the most important thing to remember with eyelash extensions is to be extremely gentle. You can't stumble home at 2 a.m., rub your tired eyes with the back of your hand, and fall asleep face-first on your bed. No, you must treat your lashes like the $200 investment that they are. "Rubbing your eyes at all will result in immediate lash breakage," warns Richardson. She also recommends investing in a silk pillowcase, as sleeping an ordinary cotton sham can cause drying or lash snagging.

    From minding how you sleep to what you're putting near your eyes, it's clear that maintaining eyelash extensions is a delicate art. And if you're feeling overwhelmed by the upkeep and the cost, maybe consider starting small, with a lash conditioning serum or a lift and tint. In the end, we'll always admire long lash extensions, but we might not be able to live with them.

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    There's been a wave of international influence on the American beauty market in the last few years. From K-beauty skin care to French-girl makeup, brands from all over the world have been appearing in our favorite U.S. stores, consuming our Instagram feeds, and inspiring new beauty trends. And as unique beauty communities get more attention in the beauty aisle, we're seeing an uptick in brands owned by Latinx men and women.

    The Latinx community prides itself in having a strong connection to la belleza. And it has given birth to some of the most talented makeup and hair artists and created some of the best beauty hacks. But before now, the Latinx consumer hasn't been fully represented in the beauty space — whether it be in foundation shades or curly hair products — which is why some entrepreneurs took it upon themselves to create new brands that speak directly to their specific needs and culture.

    In 2018, the Latinx consumer is finally getting some much-needed time in the spotlight. From curly hair products to fragrances inspired by Mexico, these are the Latinx-owned beauty brands you should support right now.

    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.

    Reina Rebelde is a makeup line inspired by the telenovelas Regina Merson watched growing up in Mexico. Everything about the line touches back to her cultural background, from the rose-covered packaging to the vibrant colors and even the product names, like Azteca. The brand is currently sold at Target and has a variety of products, including lip colors, eyeshadow palettes, and eyeliner.

    Reina Rebelde Reina Rebelde Lip Brilliance , $12.99, available at Target

    You can take a perfumer out of Mexico City, but you can't take Mexico City out of the perfumer. Master perfumer Rodrio Flores-Roux's newest perfume is an ode to his native Mexico — not just with a Spanish name but with the citrus and floral notes, a combination that he finds to be as vibrant as the colorful city he was born in.

    Flores Perfumer's Edition Flores, $52, available at Jafra

    Mia Del Mar is a brand that aims to change the "lack of authentic representation for Latinas in the American beauty mainstream," according to the brand website. Don't mistake it for just a beauty brand though. Mia Del Mar has cultivated an active community with empowering, fun, and culturally relevant content on Instagram. Right now, the brand only has one product: a night cream that comes in gorgeous lavender packaging and has hydrating ingredients that will give you smooth skin by morning.

    Mia Del Mar Overnight Miracle Glow Night Cream, $54, available at Mia Del Mar

    Former talk show host Bianca De La Garza knows a lot about makeup and skin care (thanks to hours sitting in a makeup chair before going on air). Now, she has her own beauty brand called BDG Beauty. The only product is the serum that follows her mission of "skin care meets makeup." It's got a slight tint for coverage (with three shade options), leaves skin with a glowing finish, and fights hyperpigmentation.

    BDG Beauty In Glo We Trust Illuminating Serum, $58, available at BDG Beauty

    Makeup brand Araceli Beauty was the brainchild of licensed cosmetologist Araceli Ledesma, who wanted to bring her Hispanic heritage to the beauty market at an affordable price. Ledsema launched her company on Mexican Independence Day (September 16) with an array of products in colorful packaging. The collection includes everything from an eye palette, brushes, and false eyelashes.

    Araceli Beauty Jalisco Eyes Palette, $28, available at Araceli Beauty

    As beauty lovers, Joanna Rosario and Leslie Valdivia never felt like they saw themselves in the products they were purchasing, and so they came together to create Vive Cosmetics, a brand that's centered around "Beauty con cultura " (Beauty with culture).

    "I have never felt truly represented by any brand out there. This brand is made by Latina women for our Latinx community," says Rosario on the brand website. Where the Latina influence shines is in the product names, like this highlighter duo with shades Reina and Diosa.

    Vive Cosmetics Luz & Glow Highlighter Duo, $21, available at Vive Cosmetics

    Cuban celebrity hairstylist Orlando Pita, who has been in the industry for decades, has always been passionate about diversity and natural textures. That's why it only made sense for him to create an inclusive line when bringing a hair collection to life. His award-winning product line — that has everything from conditioning masks, leave-in concentrates, and tinted dry shampoos — was made with many different hair types in mind.

    Orlando Pita The Gloss Up, $26, available at Orlando Pita Play

    After learning to embrace her curls, Julissa Prado set out to find hair products that were inclusive of all hair textures, from transitioning to coils. When she couldn't find what she was looking for, she set her mind to creating her own brand. That's how Rizos Curls was born. The line has detangling sprays, defining creams, shampoo, and conditioners. On top of all that, she's created a community for curly girls on Instagram with over 60k followers.

    Rizos Curls The Rizos Curls System Trio, $45, available at Rizos Curls

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    Why These 3 Beauty Brands Supporting Wildfire Victims Deserve Your Attention

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    About an hour ago, the dude in my life left on recon to Malibu. His mission: Try to drive into the seaside canyon where we’ve lived for three years to see whether our neighborhood is still a neighborhood. Like many others in town, we bailed Friday morning when we saw flames from the Woolsey Fire peek over the ridge from Mulholland Highway. And like many others, we’ve been waiting to see what’s left of our home and community.

    The waiting sucks. It's been a nasty cocktail of regret (why didn’t I grab a bra?), worry, resignation, and eventually, hope. But past donating to the LAFD Foundation, it feels like all we can do is wait until those damned Santa Ana winds die down, the fire is contained, and roads officially open again. Today, beauty brands are showing us otherwise. While the fires still burn, three makeup and skin care makers have sprung into action, offering to donate the proceeds of their sales to aid California wildfire relief.

    It feels good to see the beauty community rally when it matters most. It feels good to be given something proactive to do. And it feels vital to direct attention away from the headlines that focus on the rescued Ferraris and the hiring of private firefighters and back to to reality. Here in SoCal, there are loads of average, working-class Americans who live in the cities where the Woodley and Hill fires have hit. What’s more, these headline-grabbing blazes dwarf in comparison to the Camp Fire in Butte County — now the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California History, according to The New York Times. In short, there are a lot of people who are going to need a lot of help. So shop the brands ahead, spread the word, or contribute in another way: it's the least and most we can do.

    Osea founder Jenefer Palmer is a longtime Malibu resident who lost her home (and former Osea HQ) in the Woodley fire this week. "It was a magical little cottage where our parents were married, we grew up, and where Osea was born — our truest source of inspiration," she shared in an heartbreaking and inspiring Instagram post. "Our Mom has always told us that OSEA is taking us on a journey and we are simply meant to follow its path. This hasn’t always made sense, but today it makes more sense than ever; we are certain the path is to now help our community."

    In yesterday's post, the brand pledged to give 100% of profits generated from any Osea purchase made through tonight to support other victims of the Woolsey fire.

    OSEA Gigartina Therapy Bath, $48, available at OSEA

    Today, the purchase of a Beautyblender makeup sponge, foundation, or any other of the brand's products will do a lot more than smooth out the look of your skin. The SoCal-based brand announced today that is will match all proceeds from sales made on its site and donate the cash to The California Community Foundation Wildfire Relief Fund, which helps those who have lost housing or suffered physical or mental health problems as a result of wildfires.

    "I live in the West Hills area and I have witnessed firsthand the devastation this has caused to the community," Beautyblender founder Rea Ann Silva told Refinery29 earlier today. "I am so grateful to be safe with my family and I want to help keep other families safe as well."

    Beautyblender Beautyblender Sapphire, $20, available at beautyblender

    Thrive Causemetics is already set up to give product donations and financial support to organizations that support women and their families, animal welfare, and environmental stewardship. But today, the brand has expanded its mission, pledging to donate all profits from tomorrow's sales to organizations supporting those affected by California wildfires, including the American Red Cross, Baby2Baby , the Human Society of Ventura County, and the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation.

    Don't need a re-up on the brand's bestselling mascara? Share this Instagram post anytime before November 27, 2018 and tag #ThriveCausemetics to kickstart a $5 donation from the company to wildfire relief partners.

    Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara, $24, available at Thrive Causemetics

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    Photo: Courtesy of HBO.

    We've heard the warning before: "Winter is coming." In fact, we heard it for about seven seasons of Game of Thrones. Still, not once during Jon Snow's defense against the White Walkers did we see him ready his skin for the inevitably harsh winds and icy climate past the Wall. Luckily, we're planning on being far more prepared this winter than Snow was.

    It's time to face the facts: The moment the seasons change — from a moderately crisp fall to brick-cold winter — your skin suffers first. "As temperatures fall and the air gets drier, your skin pays the price," says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD. In frigid conditions the skin is less able to protect itself. "This can lead to cracks in the outer layer of skin, loss of hydration, and ultimately, inflammation," he says.

    So, how do you combat the sort of climate that leaves your skin dull, dehydrated, and defeated? You need a major skin-care upgrade. Both Dr. Zeichner and dermatologist Jennifer MacGregor, MD, suggest using thicker moisturizers equipped to protect the skin's barrier. Another skin saver? Kinder, gentler cleansers that hydrate (rather than harsh exfoliating or foam formulations), since skin irritation can increase along with dryness in colder weather.

    Finally, an effort to hyper-hydrate and soothe the skin should never come at the cost of ditching daily sun protection. Sure, you may not be seeing as much of the sun, but UVA rays — the aging and cancer-causing ones that penetrate through windows and clouds, and into the deepest layer of skin — are still kicking, all day, every day.

    As you continue to battle the elements, here’s how to keep your skin glowing.

    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.

    Skin Type: Dry
    Most people’s skin gets drier when temperatures drop. So, those with already dry skin should double down on the hydrating to keep skin looking luminous. On cold days, Dr. MacGregor advises those with dry skin to use a cream or oil-based cleanser that is designed to prevent moisture loss.

    She also suggests upgrading your moisturizer to one with "nourishing ceramides and ingredients that protect the skin — like petrolatum and dimethicone — by trapping moisture inside."

    In addition to looking for products with these skin-protecting ingredients, Dr. Zeichner also recommends that those with naturally dry skin look for "extra hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid" in moisturizers and serums.

    This creamy cleanser has soothing yogurt to coddle dry, pissed-off skin.

    Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser, $14, available at Sephora

    Like a wheatgrass shot for your smoothie, a couple drops of this oil makes your moisturizer work overtime. Except it's concentrated hemp oil instead of wheatgrass and absorbs into your skin quickly to smooth dry patches.

    High Beauty High Expectations Cannabis Seed Facial Oil, $54, available at Sephora

    You'll forget what time of year it is with this hydrating cream, which gives skin an instant glow.

    Renée Rouleau Glow Enhancing Creme, $69.5, available at Renée Rouleau

    Skin Type: Oily
    According to Dr. MacGregor, even oily types can benefit from more moisture during harsh weather. "Look for a light, oil-free lotion with sunscreen to protect against cold and wind," she says.

    The one thing that should stay the same? Your exfoliating routine. Dr. MacGregor advises that those with oily skin continue to regularly use alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and retinoids to help control oil production. Dr. Zeichner just recommends swapping your exfoliating serum for an AHA cleanser, since topical AHAs can be more irritating to skin in cold, dry months.

    Since micellar water acts like a magnet for oil and dirt, this cleanser is your new winter BFF. It simultaneously hydrates (without oil) as it rids your face of any grimy residue.

    Bioeffect Micellar Cleansing Water, $70, available at Sephora

    This lightweight, non-comedogenic serum makes your face look brighter and more even, thanks to glycolic and lactic acids in the formula.

    Dermadoctor Picture Porefect, $42, available at Sephora

    Oil-free, moisturizing, and with broad spectrum SPF — this is just what the doctor ordered.

    Eve Lom Daily Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen, $90, available at Sephora

    Skin Type: Combination
    Those with both dry and oily skin know that foam cleansers can do wonders to regulate excess oil in summer months. But, now is the time for those with combination skin to switch to a cream or oil-based cleanser. "Skin is drier this time of year, so you need to be careful about potentially drying cleansers, like foam formulations," Dr. Zeichner says.

    Dr. MacGregor also suggests swapping your moisturizer for a more protective hydrator if your skin is looking dry or feeling tight. "Try using thicker (but oil-free) moisturizers with ceramides," she suggests. Ceramides improve moisture retention in the skin by helping to prevent evaporation of water and acting as emulsifiers (ingredients that allow oils and water to combine).

    While different types of cleansers and moisturizers may benefit this group in cold weather, antioxidant and retinoid use should remain steady, no matter the season; they help counter pollution’s effects on the skin and trigger the skin to produce more collagen, respectively.

    This cleanser dissolves any dirt and makeup sitting on your face, making your skin look instantly more radiant.

    Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil, $10, available at Sephora

    Combination skin can benefit from a nourishing night oil. This magic blue bottle contains a gentle retinol that enhances your skin's elasticity and fights mild acne — sans dry flakes.

    Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, $55, available at Sephora

    This oil-free moisturizer is loaded with hyaluronic acid to lock in hydration without sending your face to Grease Town, USA.

    Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Hyaluronic Marine Oil-Free Moisture Cushion, $60, available at Sephora

    Skin Type: Acneic
    Those with blemish-prone skin have long known the virtues of exfoliation — after all, sloughing off dead skin cells can reduce future blackheads and breakouts. However, during this time of year, it's best to ditch the more intense exfoliators. "Come winter, acneic skin may require gentler exfoliation," says Dr. MacGregor. Now is also a good time to ease up on the targeted zit treatments. "Limit irritating acne prescriptions to three times weekly unless directed otherwise by your doctor," she says. "Instead, use more gentle exfoliation on your 'off days' by pairing your salicylic acid cleanser with a cleansing brush that has a gentle brush head."

    Meanwhile, Dr. Zeichner points out that many in this group are often reluctant to moisturize because they fear that oil and water will further congest the skin. Au contraire. Grab an oil-free moisturizer and go to town. "Oil and water in the skin are separate issues," he explains. "You can be oily and acne prone, but still lack hydration." Zeichner says that acne creams and treatments can cause more irritation in the winter when skin is lacking in hydration, which makes an even stronger case for daily moisturizing. Pick a lotion that’s gentle but also packs major hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid.

    If you've got acne bacteria multiplying on your face, this cleansing gel will rinse it away with LHA, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid — leaving your complexion brighter than a Becca highlighter.

    SkinCeuticals LHA Cleanser Gel, $40, available at DermStore

    This gel cream formulation packs on the hydration — only where necessary — but also calms and soothes any irritated, red, or oily zones.

    Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet, $20, available at Sephora

    Since you have to cool it on the spot treatments and drying exfoliators, this might be the right time to invest in a gentle mask that uses bentonite clay to draw out oncoming breakouts and hyaluronic acid to replenish your skin so you're not left with dry patches by morning.

    Indie Lee Clearing Mask, $60, available at Sephora

    Skin Type: Dull
    Sure, wind-chilled cheeks can radiate a rosy flush, but the accompanying cracking and drying elsewhere is enough to override that romantic aesthetic. Thankfully, Dr. MacGregor has a secret weapon for breathing life into dull skin: "My favorite trick for instantly brightening dull skin is to cleanse for one minute with a sensitive cleansing brush and glycolic cleanser," she says. "Immediately after, slather on moisturizer with hyaluronic acid and ceramides. This smooths, plumps, and protects the skin."

    Dr. MacGregor and Dr. Zeichner both recommend the use of retinoids help brighten up dull skin. "This will stimulate collagen and get rid of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin," Dr. Zeichner says.

    Like a (gentle) car wash scrubber for your face, this buffs and polishes, leaving the outer layer of your skin looking luminous.

    Clarisonic Replacement Brush Head Twin-Pack, $44, available at Sephora

    This mousse cleanser works as a mild exfoliator to target uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation, but don't overdo it: Two to three times a week is recommended.

    REN Beauty Micro Polish Cleanser, $32, available at Sephora

    All that scrubbing could cause irritation or added dryness, so soothe any areas of inflammation with this cult cica cream.

    Dr. Jart+ Cicapair™ Tiger Grass Cream, $48, available at Sephora

    Skin Type: Aging
    There are a lot of theories when it comes to what works in "anti-aging" skin care. But, the research shows that stimulating collagen growth is a great way to go, since it helps aging skin cells behave more like young, healthy cells.

    How can we trick cells into acting young? By using serums and creams pumped with retinoids and antioxidants. Along with peptides, these ingredients "send messages to your skin cells that cause them to rev up collagen production, ultimately helping the skin to maintain its elasticity," says Dr. MacGregor. Easy, right? But, here’s the wintertime rub: "In order to continue to use retinoids and antioxidants in winter, barrier repair with ceramide moisturizer is essential," she stresses.

    A cocktail of everything mature skin needs — lactic acid for gentle exfoliation, allantoin that promotes cell growth, and bisabolol to soothe — in just one pricy cleanser (that's totally worth it).

    Colbert MD Balance Purifying Cleanser , $60, available at DermStore

    This serum, chocked-full of anti-aging peptides, targets wrinkles, fine lines, and dullness.

    Vapour Organic Beauty Visionary Advanced Solution Serum, $140, available at Vapour Organic Beauty

    If you're using powerful anti-aging ingredients on your skin, you're making it more susceptible to sun damage — and encouraging dark spots to stick around. So swap in a strong sunscreen that not only provides protection, but also gives skin an extra hit of hydration.

    SkinMedica TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream , $69, available at DermStore

    Skin Type: Sensitive
    No matter what time of year, those with sensitive skin can benefit by steering clear of foam cleansers (which can dry the skin) and harsh abrasive exfoliators (which can trigger irritation). Also on the ditch list? Skin-care products with alcohols, sulfates or fragrance, since they can not only irritate but dry out skin, too.

    Dr. MacGregor says that during the winter months, as skin is more likely to irritate, it may be necessary for those with sensitive skin to reduce the frequency of evening retinol use. Dr. Zeichner suggests reducing retinoid use to every other day, or trying non-irritating alternatives, like peptides. Finally, Dr. MacGregor advises that this group, “use ceramide moisturizers twice per day to restore the skin barrier,” during cold weather season.

    When selecting a cleanser for sensitive skin, stay way from two things: fragrances and dyes (both natural or synthetic). This gentle formula has been a long-time favorite among, well, everyone and not just because it's so soothing — it's also really cheap.

    Cetaphil Cetaphil Skin Cleanser, $9.49, available at Target

    Calm inflamed skin quickly with this fast-absorbing cream — a cult classic our editors swear by.

    It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream™ Moisturizing Super Cream, $16, available at Sephora

    For an anti-aging serum that won't send your skin into a rage, try this one that employs gentler peptides to resurface and plump.

    First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair® Hydrating Serum, $36, available at Sephora

    Skin Type: Hyperpigmented
    Like with other skin types, those with hyperpigmentation will likely need to boost hydration in wintertime by choosing a more gentle cleanser and more robust moisturizer. But, when it comes to treating the hyperpigmented patches themselves, the regimen doesn’t change with the season.

    "My favorite cocktail for brightening pigmented skin includes using a broad-spectrum sunscreen in the morning, and a combination of brightening topicals with retinoid, antioxidants, and resorcinol in the evening," Dr. MacGregor offers. For this group, Dr. Zeichner says vitamin C (which is sometimes listed on skin care products as L-ascorbic acid) is king, so look for gentle cleansers, masks, and serums that feature the ingredient. (It has been shown to break down discoloration by interfering with pigmentation pathways that occur in the skin.)

    A cleansing milk infused with vitamin C? Sign us up. It targets hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone at the first step in your daily routine.

    Avalon Organics Vitamin C Hydrating Cleansing Milk, $10.99, available at Target

    Brightening ingredients like vitamin C are always essential for any sign of scarring or hyperpigmentation. This oil nourishes those frustrating spots while preventative essential fatty acids ward off future damage.

    Ole Henriksen Pure Truth™ Youth Activating Oil, $45, available at Sephora

    If you're treating hyperpigmentation, but not using sunscreen to prevent new spots, you'll be playing a long game of whack-a-mole. Invest in a daily lotion that leaves you soft and protected.

    Ursa Major Force Field Daily Defense Lotion with SPF 18, $54, available at Sephora

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    Natalie Goes True Violet

    Pop quiz: What leaves your mouth just before dying your natural brown hair a vibrant shade of purple? For California-based Natalie Austin, it was simple: "I'm ready for my hair to be fun again!"

    The Palm Springs local was ready for the positive change a new hair color brings, so she went to Spoke & Weal 's Los Angeles location where master colorist Del Miller transformed her brown hair to multidimensional violet. "Hair is really important," Austin says. "It's a lot of security and how people perceive us — it can definitely change how you feel in good and bad ways." She knows because this isn't Austin's first time with fun color. "I've had pink, I've had turquoise, but I really like the idea of having violet hair on myself because it really complements a lot of my tattoos," she notes. Since experimenting with blues and pinks she let her strands take a breather and grew her natural brunette hair color to a healthy condition that could take more bleach.

    Going from natural brown to jewel-toned purple is a risky task that can wreak havoc on the health of your hair if not done properly, but Austin embraced the process and ended up with hair color that we cannot stop staring at. Press play above to watch her entire transformation go down.

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    The common thread tying most apartment-dwelling 20-somethings together is a general lack of space — especially where kitchens are concerned, and notably during the holidays. With the season of cooking and baking upon us, there's no better time to help out a fellow small-space dweller with the perfect kitchen gift: an affordable gadget that covers the bases of compact size, stylish form, and unique function.

    We scoured the web to find 15 of these triple-threat appliances that all clock in under $50. The ahead buys cover a gadget arsenal of personality-packed grilled cheese to panini makers, chic mini-mixers, single-serve coffee machines, and more. Scroll on to shop the creative kitchen solutions to gift a 20-something comrade during the crowded feasting season 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.

    The Gadget: Portable Cold Brew Maker

    Why We Love It: Not only will we save money on morning coffee runs, but this stylish matte-black cold brew maker is built for fast and easy toting on-the-go.

    asobu Portable Cold Brew Coffee Maker, $33.75, available at Amazon

    The Gadget: Standing Mixer

    Why We Love It: This pretty pink mixer may not be the stainless steel KitchenAid model of our dreams, but it's far more affordable and small-space apartment friendly.

    Dash Everyday 3qt Stand Mixer - Aqua, $31.49, available at Target

    The Gadget: Sparkling Water Maker

    Why We Love It: Keeping homemade sodas and seltzers on tap has never been easier than with this slim and sleek machine.

    SodaStream Fizzi Sparkling Water Maker, White, $49.99, available at Amazon

    The Gadget: Rapid Egg Cooker

    Why We Love It: A retro, 1950s-looking kitchen piece that can hard to soft-boil, poach, or scramble eggs, and even assemble an omelet in under 10 minutes.

    Dash Rapid Egg Cooker, $14.99, available at Amazon

    The Gadget: Frozen-Fruit Dessert Machine

    Why We Love It: Dreams of running a soft-serve ice cream shop inside our counter space-less apartments is now an easy reality with this swirly machine that churns fresh fruit into frozen dessert.

    Big Boss Swirlio Frozen Dessert Maker, $33.99, available at Wayfair

    The Gadget: Grilled Cheese Maker

    Why We Love It: Making grilled cheese is an art form — and this Snoopy maker with Woodstock grill marks takes the creative cake cheese-sandwich in under two minutes.

    Urban Outfitters Snoopy Grilled Cheese Maker, $38, available at Urban Outfitters

    The Gadget: Mini Food Processor

    Why We Love It: Cute and compact while still wielding blade power, this mini-prep processor can chop, blend, and purée whatever ingredients we throw its way.

    Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor, $32.17, available at Amazon

    The Gadget: Single-Serve Blender

    Why We Love It: Big blenders not only take up prime counter space, but they also make batches that are too big — try whipping up your soups and smoothies in this slim, single serving-sized model that serves dual-purpose as a portable travel mug.

    Hamilton Beach Personal Single Serve Blender, $16.88, available at Amazon

    The Gadget: Mini Waffle Maker

    Why We Love It: Whip up a batch of miniature-sized waffles in minutes with this chic, powder-blue maker.

    Dash Mini Maker: The Mini Waffle Maker Machine, $9.99, available at Amazon

    The Gadget: Milk-Frother

    Why We Love It: Become your own at-home barista with this sleek gadget equipped to froth up all the lattes and cappuccinos your coffee-loving heart desires.

    Got Milk? Automatic Milk Frother, Heater and Cappuccino Maker, $29.99, available at Amazon

    The Gadget: Mini Fridge

    Why We Love It: Whether it's for tiny apartments, dorm rooms, or in-office, this chic mini fridge is ready to store your small snack and beverage stash.

    Frigidaire Portable Retro 6-can Mini Fridge, Pink, $49.99, available at Walmart

    The Gadget: Compact Air Fryer

    Why We Love It: Hop on the air fryer gadget trend in affordable and space-conscious style with this compact model complete with a smart automatic timer system.

    Dash Compact Air Fryer, White, $49.21, available at Amazon

    The Gadget: Single-Cup Coffee Machine

    Why We Love It: A single girl's true sidekick is her single-cup coffee machine — and this sleek compact brewer from Keurig is one of the top sellers in that category.

    Keurig K-Compact Single-Serve K-Cup , $49.96, available at Walmart

    The Gadget: Popcorn Air Popper

    Why We Love It: Skip the microwave and stovetop for a mess-free bowl of air-popped corn within minutes.

    Cuisinart EasyPop Hot Air Popcorn Maker, $33.29, available at Amazon

    The Gadget: Panini Maker

    Why We Love It: A novelty gift that also delivers the chic panini of your dreams? What more could a girl ask for...

    Dash Merlot Kitchen Couture Sandwich Maker, $19.97, available at Nordstrom Rack

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    Now we have concrete proof Queen Elizabeth II knows the power of fashion. Earlier this summer, we speculated the meaning behind the brooches Princes William and Harry's grandmother wore during Donald Trump's visit to London — shade! — and what message she was sending by wearing that hat to the Royal Wedding. But now we know that Her Royal Highness doesn't just view fashion as a way to have fun with us commoners.

    On Wednesday, WWD reported HRH named Ralph Lauren an Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Lauren, who celebrated 50 years in business in September, now can request to be called Ralph Lauren KBE, if he wishes.

    Antony Phillipson, Queen Elizabeth's Trade Commissioner for North America and British Consul General to New York, tells WWD Lauren earned the honor because "in fashion, business and philanthropy," he has played a "key role in forging transatlantic cultural and economic connections." Phillipson went on to call the designer a "vanguard for the global fashion industry and American style for nearly half a century."

    This isn't Queen Elizabeth's first time awarding a designer this year. In February, the Queen sat front row next to Anna Wintour at Richard Quinn’s AW18 presentation, where she was on hand to present the designer with the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. The accolade, which, according to WWD, was "initiated in recognition of the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy," will be given to designers who “show exceptional talent and originality while demonstrating value to the community and/or strong sustainable policies.”

    Lauren is the first American fashion designer to receive such an award; among the rare group of Americans similarly celebrated by the British monarchy, he's now in the company of Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, former New York City Mayors Michael Bloomberg and Rudolph Giuliani, Angelina Jolie, Steven Spielberg, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Angela Ahrendts. Lauren's honorary knighthood insignia will be presented by one of the Queen's men at a ceremony next year.

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    Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle brand, Goop, has earned a certain reputation since its launch a decade ago, due in part to its approach to wellness that endorses things like jade eggs meant to be put in your vagina for no good reason — to name just one completely WTF (and unsupported-by-scientific-evidence) item available for purchase. But the questionable health advice and "potentially dangerous " claims didn't deter wellness obsessives from flocking to the opening of Goop's first UK pop-up store in London's Notting Hill in September.

    Despite the buzz, I wasn't one of them. I don't really believe in taking dietary supplements (Goop sells over 30 different kinds of those, FYI) and I think "detoxes" and "cleanses" are outright bullshit. But skin care? I'm all over that. So when I was invited to experience a signature Goop facial with skin expert Anastasia Achilleos, using only products from the brand (which was formulated in collaboration with Juice Beauty), I was intrigued. I went in skeptical, but I'm now prepared to eat my words: Not only was the experience free of pseudoscience and annoying woo-woo vibes, but it also gave me the glowiest skin of my life — in just 30 minutes.

    Of course, in true Goop form, all the skin-care products are natural and organic — but don't roll your eyes just yet. Achilleos has been working with the brand for years now, and pinpoints the so-called Meristem plant stem-cell technology as the secret sauce that fights hyperpigmentation, firms up sagging skin, and more. But the way you use the products is almost as important as the quality of them, and Achilleos was more than up to the task of transforming my skin.

    Step One

    I usually just use micellar water to wipe away my heavy makeup, but Achilleos reached for the Luminous Melting Cleanser. "It's almost like a moisturizer," she said of the balm, explaining to me that we really need to stop rushing so much when it comes to applying skin care. She used the pressure of her palms to massage away my makeup in sweeping, circular motions for almost five full minutes. "[The cleanser is] a 70% solid base, made from aloe and almond and olive oils — it's almost like a skin food," Achilleos said. "You need the tiniest amount to take all of your makeup off, including mascara, and you can even leave it on for hours before you take it off [for a deeper cleanse]." Despite the $90 price tag, I can't deny how luxurious it felt on my skin — rich, silky, and a little bit warming. It definitely does the job better than micellar water or wipes, and because it doubles up as a mask, the glow it gives is impressive.

    Step Two

    My skin tends to be very acne-prone, and lately, I've been getting lots of closed comedones — those tiny, colorless bumps under the skin that inevitably turn into big red ones. But I'm thrilled with how a once-over with the next product made my complexion a hell of a lot softer, smoother, and brighter. "Instead of taking off the cleansing balm, apply the Exfoliating Instant Facial on top of it so you can really massage it in," Achilleos said. The mask, she told me, contains five alpha-hydroxy acids along with salicylic acid, both of which slough away dead cells to uncover clearer skin, unclog pores, and reduce inflammation.

    Most importantly, contrary to Goop's sometimes... alternative philosophy, these derm-approved ingredients are actually proven to work. Achilleos recommends leaving it on for three minutes before rinsing; because it's so potent, a little goes a really long way. A good exfoliating mask can be pricey, so in my opinion, $42 for the smaller 0.5 fl. oz. version isn't bad at all. I'm sold on the effects, and it's since become a staple in my skin-care routine.

    Step Three

    Before rinsing both products off, Achilleos drove home the importance of a facial massage, and its potential for transformative powers. "Take your forefinger, middle finger, and thumb — like a crab pincer — then press these to the skin and sweep down the nose bone, then outwards to the cheekbones or up to the temples," she said. "This give you both a lifting effect around the cheekbones and a release from sinus congestion that gathers there. Do 10 of these, then, keeping your fingers in the same hold, do 10 circles all around the eye and over the brow. We’re not always going to have equipment at home, but you can initiate the innate way of igniting change in the body with your hands."

    But it's the next step that impressed me the most. Using her forefinger and middle finger, Achilleos continued to press the skin firmly above my top lip 10 times, releasing for a few seconds in between. "By pressing the gums like this, you're pushing the blood to the surface and releasing tight, pursed lips, so they naturally inflate," she explained. The visible results speak for themselves.

    My skin with no makeup on — just a natural flush.

    Step Four

    By splashing product off with water, you're cheating yourself out of a proper facial experience — trust me. "I’ve been using warm, damp cloths in facials for 25 years," Achilleos said. "Firstly, because it feels so great, but also because of the heat, the blood supply comes to the surface and makes skin flush and glow naturally." She continued: "There's an ingredient in the blood that most skin-care brands wish they could formulate their creams with effectively: oxygen. It’s so challenging to create inside products, but every time you stimulate your skin like this, it’s there. Plus, the use of the warm cloth helps attach dead skin cells so it gives you great exfoliation. Just place the towel over your face and press. When you take it away, you’ll see what glowing, flushing skin looks like, and you can really see a lift. The blood also disperses, which will provide you with a more even skin tone." I usually hate to head outside without a bit of concealer on at the very least, but I skipped makeup all day after this step.

    Step Five

    Adding oil to an already-oily situation is always a no-no for my acne-prone skin, but the Enriching Face Oil felt light, not greasy, and made my skin radiant, not broken-out — and it smells divine, like orange blossom and verbena. Yes, it's expensive at $110 for a .95 fl. oz. bottle, but one or two drops is plenty for each application. Achilleos again enlisted the same massage technique as she did in step one, using her fingertips and the pressure in her palms. "Don’t 'find' the time to apply your skin care in this way," she told me. "Swap the quick approach of slapping on moisturizer for something that’s just a tiny bit longer but a hell of a lot more beneficial."

    And if you really don't want to use an oil, it works with moisturizer, too. "Take all your pots of cream, put them to the side of your bed and lie down — this is the optimum position in which to best apply skin care," Achilleos said. "You’ll think it’s the biggest revelation. There is power in touch. Don't add it in as a luxury — change the technique, instead."

    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. This story was originally published on Refinery29 UK.

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