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Refinery29

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    Some stay home for the holidays, while others prefer to flee for a little trip away. This year, instead of leaving cold weather behind for tropical vacations on the beach, we're envisioning an escape to a charming countryside oasis — specifically, one that mirrors Iris Simpkins' (played by the luminous Kate Winslet) abode in seasonal film favorite, The Holiday. For those unfamiliar with this VIP piece of festive movie gold, Winslet's character lives in a cozy cottage that's nestled into the picturesque English countryside and swaps home with L.A.-living Cameron Diaz's character over the holidays.

    Since we can't actually home swap with Winslet IRL, we turned to Airbnb for the next best thing — or, the next 17 best things — that met our The Holiday's Rosehill Cottage criteria. After hunting through hundreds of listings across the country (and the world), we pulled out the best bookings that covered some, if not all, of the following checklist: exposed wooden beams, working fireplaces, stone walls, floor to ceiling bookshelves, slanted roofs, baths, and an overall air of festive-whimsy.

    So if you're feeling restless during the holidays, scroll on to plan your ideal seasonal escape — whether that's a boho Tennessee bungalow or an underground Washington State earth house. Each Airbnb rental ahead is filled with its own dose of unique charm, from Parisian riverside apartments to real-life English countryside cottages...The only thing we can't promise is a surprise visit from Jude Law.

    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.

    Modern-Boho Cottage
    "Our modern-boho home is a cozy den, perfect for small families, friends or couples. Warm up by the fire, read in the hammock & soak in the deep tub under the skylights. Roast marshmallows at the fire pit or walk to Tivoli for lattes, drinks and farm-to-table meals."

    Location: Tivoli, New York
    Sleeps: 4
    Price Per Night: $200

    Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.

    Saint Germain Apartment
    "...authentic little spot right in the heart of chic and artistic Paris. Nestled among the most chic and bohemian neighborhoods, Saint Germain makes itself known both day and night."

    Location: Paris, France
    Sleeps: 2
    Price Per Night: $110

    Silo Studio Cottage
    "Charming and romantic,' Round' Cottage on the Santarella Estate in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts. Formerly, the cottage was sculptor Henry Hudson Kitson's summer studio on the Santarella Estate. The two-story cottage has a charming bedroom with 35 foot high conical ceiling with canopied bed upstairs with views through massive, multi-paned 'mill windows' to the trees and sky and out to the lily pond. The downstairs sitting room looks out on the babbling brook and lovely gardens."

    Location: Berkshires, Western Massachusetts
    Sleeps: 2
    Price Per Night: $225

    Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.

    Railway Worker's Cottage
    "The cottage has recently undergone a large renovation (Nov 18) The living room has a wonderful floor to ceiling fireplace with wood burner. Perfect for cosy evenings in...This little railway workers cottage was constructed in the 1830’s for the Employees of the Bristol to Bath railway. It was constructed using recycled stones from the discarded buildings around it."

    Location: Oldland Common, United Kingdom
    Sleeps: 4
    Price Per Night: $71

    Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.

    Garden Gingerbread House
    " Romantic hideaway! This property has the lush beauty and privacy of Hana, without the drive! Only 15-20 minutes to the airport, 10 minutes to beaches, 2 minutes to restaurants and shops...on a private gated property with organic nursery."

    Location: Maui, Hawaii
    Sleeps: 2
    Price Per Night: $175

    Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.

    Etno-Eco Village House
    "One of the hidden treasure of Hvar and the most authentic village on the island is the abandoned shepherd's village of Humac. We are delighted to offer one of the most unique accommodations in Croatia, in the newly renovated house with amazing views. Our house is located 10 km east of Jelsa, at the entrance to the eco-ethno village Humac and it takes only 10 minutes by car on newly renovated road to Jelsa. The beautiful beaches on the north side of island are also 10 minutes away by car."

    Location: Humac, Croatia
    Sleeps: 7
    Price Per Night: $56

    Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.

    Traditional Welsh Cottage
    "...described by Alain de Botton as ‘a meticulous recreation of an ancient farmhouse cottage, and ideal for anyone who wants to return to a vision of rural simplicity and rustic charm.’ As seen in World of Interiors and named by Sally Shalam as one of the ‘Top 10 stays of the decade’. Escape the crowds and enjoy a romantic retreat in this rustic cottage. Set in the peace and tranquility of rural Carmarthenshire within easy reach of both Pembrokeshire & Cardiganshire beaches..."

    Location: Carmarthen, United Kingdom
    Sleeps: 4
    Price Per Night: $39

    Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.

    Seine River Apartment
    "Delightful and selected Isle Saint Louis on the Seine River. Tastefully renovated mostly according to the original adornment, this 50m2 apartment is located on the 3rd floor of a well-maintained 17th century walk-up building..."

    Location: Paris, France
    Sleeps: 2
    Price Per Night: $399

    Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.

    Waterfront "Country" Apartment
    "Large, classy, timeless, comfortable, entire top floor with private entrance in our private house out of a 1890's novel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn one block from the East River. So easy to get to Manhattan by subway, ferry, cab or even foot, and all the best places in the 'Burg'..."

    Location: Brooklyn, New York
    Sleeps: 4
    Price Per Night: $175

    Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.

    Underground Hygge Earth House
    "This inspired dwelling nestled right into the breathtaking Columbia River Gorge mountainside. Reverently framed by the iconic round doorway, the wondrous views will entrance your imagination and inspire an unforgettable journey. Every nook of this little habitation will warm your sole, every cranny will charm your expedition of repose. Up the pathway, tucked into the earth, an unbelievable adventure awaits!"

    Location: Orondo, Washington
    Sleeps: 2
    Price Per Night: $250

    Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.

    Cozy Downtown Cottage
    "Comfy, cozy and romantic cottage less than 3 miles from Downtown. The Cleveland Cottage provides a private oasis within city limits that includes full kitchen...electric fireplace & entrance through a private courtyard with fire pit. We built and styled this cottage out of our love for adventure, history, creating an experience and the pure romance of traveling."

    Location: Nashville, Tenesse
    Sleeps: 4
    Price Per Night: $106

    Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.

    Roman Cottage
    "The perfect location just outside of Bath but in the countryside...pretty little one bedroom cottage is in a picturesque village: For a peaceful break in the country and only a short journey to Bath for days/nights out, giving you the best of both worlds...There is so much to explore in the area and miles and miles of countryside walks if you choose - or just relax in peace and quiet in comfort."

    Location: Colerne, United Kingdom
    Sleeps: 2
    Price Per Night: $89

    Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.

    Stone House Mountain Retreat
    "The home is cozy...including heated floors, outdoor areas, fireplace, well-stocked games, a skim worthy selection of books, and a fully stocked gourmet kitchen. Close to several ski slopes & great local towns."

    Location: Petersburg, New York
    Sleeps: 6
    Price Per Night: $80

    Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.

    The Stratton House
    "15 min from downtown Portland and this cozy cottage feels a world away. With a wood burning fireplace, bathtub, full kitchen, and a cupboard full of games and coloring books, this quirky little house is a killer romantic getaway or perfect spot for friends."

    Location: Portland, Oregon
    Sleeps: 5
    Price Per Night: $91

    Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.

    Historic Cottage
    "Live in history. Our 18th century cottage is in the heart of historic Savannah off Columbia Square. Have a cup of coffee on the front porch as you watch the horse-drawn carriages clip-clopping to City Market. Smell the jasmine from the courtyard garden on your Juliet balcony. Comfortable and private, it features exposed interior old-growth pine beams, antiques...and an authentic sense of place."

    Location: Savannah, Georgia
    Sleeps: 4
    Price Per Night: $178

    Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.

    Vintage Bungalow
    "My Arts and Crafts bungalow was built in 1928 by a family with two daughters. The oldest was married and so the upstairs...of the house was designed for her and her husband to live. It is a quaint space with dormers, low ceilings...kitchen and a footed tub...(great for long soaks after a day of site seeing/shopping/dining) and feather bed topper, down comforter and feather pillows (also great after a day of exploring the city)."

    Location: Nashville, Tenesse
    Sleeps: 2
    Price Per Night: $110

    Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.

    Catskills Cabin
    "Wake up in the woods! This cozy, modern cabin in nestled in the woods on a private road in the Catskills. Ideal for couples and families who love to cook and relax in front of the fire."

    Location: Olivebridge, New York
    Sleeps: 6
    Price Per Night: $220

    Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.

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    It's easy to assume that the cool girl you see standing at the crosswalk with a chic cream-colored turtleneck and the most stunning hair color — a deep mahogany at the roots that spills into shiny, sun-kissed caramel colors through the ends — spends more than your paycheck at the coolest L.A. salon every eight weeks. Must be nice, you think.

    But as it turns out, winter-perfect, rich, dimensional color that beautifully blends dark roots with buttery bright highlights is fully achievable for the normal girl who's just looking to freshen up her color for party season — even if the time or cash flow to keep it up come January 1 isn't in the cards. All you need to do is add a mid-light.

    What's A Mid-Light?
    Coined by Mèche salon celebrity colorist Matt Rez — the man behind Sienna Miller's new butterscotch blonde — the en vogue coloring technique is not reliant upon a new highlight or lowlight, rather adding a shade that falls in the middle of the two. You can think of the mid-light as a bridge color: A third shade that falls somewhere between any lingering light ends and naturally-dark roots.

    The delicate foiling technique of mid-lighting differs from balayage because the color begins at the root, as opposed to being painted from the mid-shaft through the ends. "The mid-light is a blending shade," Rez explains. "It can be incorporated through any hair texture or color — redheads, brunettes, dirty blondes — to naturally transition the overall color to a lighter or darker shade."

    "It’s all about weaving in that connecting, in-between shade," he explains. "Adding a mid-light will softly blend a fading summer highlight into those deeper lowlights in your hair. The result is this rich, dimensional color that grows out beautifully without any harsh demarkation lines at the root."

    What To Ask For
    Sure, it might seem like a economical idea to ask your colorist to apply a solid, darker shade over your old highlights, but that's actually going to require more frequent touch-ups and offer a lot less of that full-bodied dimension. Instead, when you opt for the mid-light, that third shade will seamlessly blend your tips with your roots so your hair can grow out with ease.

    "One of the biggest mistakes people make when they transition their color to a darker shade is going solid, with a single lowlight shade," Rez explains of what not to do. "Hair is multi-dimensional, so you need a third, or forth, or fifth tone to give subtle dimension, or the resulting color is going to come across stripe-y. It's all about the color chemistry, finding the right blend across your natural shade, darkest tone, and lightest tone."

    The (Low) Maintenance Plan
    Rez tells us that the best part about the mid-light shading technique is that it allows you to go longer between appointments — up to six months. Like most colorists, Rez recommends a gentle, sulfate-free routine to help keep your color rich and shiny during this time, favoring brands like Ouai or Kristin Ess.

    He also recommends steering clear of protein-packed conditioners, which can cause breakage if overused, and to incorporate a color-extending mask every couple of washes. Here's to getting squeezed into your colorist this Thanksgiving holiday so you're set for the rest of the year — and beyond.

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    Gift guide season is one of our favorites. For editors, it offers us the chance to dream while also filling out our own personal gift lists. Which we're grateful for because whether we realize it or not, it's easy to fall into the same gift-buying routine. Unless someone's hinted at exactly what they wants, we hit up the same stores (usually on Black Friday) and buy the same safe presents in lieu of the unique. Say sayonara to that routine because this year, it’s time to flex those creative muscles.

    Gift-giving should be low-lift, high reward for both you and the person on the receiving end — and it shouldn't take tons of time, hemming, or hawing. To remove the stress from the equation and help put the magic back in, we’ve rounded up an easy-to-follow A to Z guide that offers a little something for everyone. Here's 26 goodies that'll make anyone smile.

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

    A - Amateur Astrologist

    Carolyne Faulkner is the in-house astrologer for the Soho House Group so her word is pretty much law.



    Carolyne Faulkner The Signs: Decode the Stars, Reframe Your Life, $14.71, available at Amazon

    B - Boot, Scoot, and Boogie

    Get your giftee a sturdy seasonal shoe by opting for an ethical brand known for its product quality.



    Everlane The Day Boot, $225, available at Everlane

    — PAID —

    C - Comfy & Cozy

    This super-soft flannel PJ set is the sort of thing they'll never want to take off.



    Gap Cozy Flannel PJ Set with Eye Mask, $69.95, available at Gap

    D - D.I.Y. Your Own Custom Denim

    Have a crafty friend? Gift them this easy embroidery set so they'll never have to shell out hundreds of dollars for trendy jeans again.



    Apprvl DIY Learn Embroidery Kit, $30, available at Apprvl

    E - Eliminate The Guesswork

    The greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of eliminating indecision. Seriously, all bickering couples should use these trusty die to avoid those, "I don't know what do you want to eat?" fights.



    W&P Design Do Something Travel Dice, $12, available at W & P Design

    F - Friends First

    Ditch the obvious friendship bracelets for a necklace set that properly describes the true nature of your friendship.



    Wildfang Thelma + Louise Friendship Necklaces, $54.6, available at Wildfang

    G - Gift You’ll Want To Keep For Yourself

    Hands, meet accessible warmth.



    Coach Oversized Muffler with Shearling Pockets, $395, available at Coach

    H - Homebody

    We all have that pair of sandals; the ones we wear to throw out the garbage, pick up ice cream at 2 a.m. in, wear when there's nowhere important to go. Let your giftee's at-home sandals look a little chicer than the average.



    Birkenstock Arizona Shearling Sandal, $145, available at Urban Outfitters

    I - Instagram Approved

    Susan Alexandra is unstoppable. You don't just have to splurge on one of her Instagram famous bags to give someone one of her cute designs this year.



    Susan Alexandra Scarlett Freshwater Pearl Drop Earrings, $175, available at Nordstrom

    J - Jet Set

    Our friends and family who are constantly on the go often already have their loyal luggage set. Instead, gift them a mini Away kit with samples of some of the best skincare products on the market right now.



    Away The Beauty Set, $75, available at Away

    K - Knowledge Is Power

    Introduce them to a genuinely good book.



    Yale University Press The Anthology of Rap, $24.02, available at Barnes & Noble

    L - Lunchtime

    Help your friends jumpstart their resolution to bring their meals to work instead of ordering lunch with this cool container.



    Alessi Food à Porter, $78, available at Alessi

    M - Make It Mini

    We'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t love a cute dumpling bag.



    Cuyana Mini Bow Bag, $250, available at Cuyana

    N - Nomophobic Necessity

    Some people have a fear of heights, some people have a fear of going too long without their phone. Keep your friend from nomophobic anxiety by letting their fingers have 24/7 access to their device, even in the blistering cold.



    & Other Stories Leather Fingerless Mittens, $49, available at & Other Stories

    O - On The Run

    Whether your giftee is constantly on the go, commutes by foot, or an aspiring hypebae, they'll love these Bandier exclusive Fila's.



    Fila x Bandier Disruptor II, $90, available at Bandier

    P - Pretty In Pearls

    These are not your grandma's pearls. Up someone's style with this fun (and affordable!) pearl necklace that'll go great with all of their holiday looks.



    Roxanne Assoulin Princess Pearl Necklace, $75, available at Roxanne Assoulin

    Q - Quality Self-Care Time

    We're loving the eye mask craze right now and we're sure your giftee is, too.



    KNC Beauty All Natural Retinol Infused Eye Mask, $40, available at Net-A-Porter

    R - Right On Time

    Subtly throw shade at a friend who's always late or give the gift of a fun watch to someone who enjoys being prompt. Both parties will take to Skagen's fun new collection of colored watches.



    Skagen Aluminum Yellow Silicone Strap Watch 41mm, $95, available at Macy's

    — PAID —

    S - Sweater Weather

    For the friend whose sweater game is *always* on point.



    Gap Stripe Crewneck Pullover Sweater Tunic, $59.95, available at Gap

    T - Three Gifts Are Better Than One

    Why give one gift when you can give three? Baggu's set of cosmetic pouches is so good, we'll be buying one for them and one for ourselves.



    Baggu Flora Cosmetic Pouch Set, $38, available at Anthropologie

    U - Underneath It All

    Bras aren't traditionally a gift given in platonic relationships but just about every woman would be stoked to finally receive a bra that finally fits well. Thank you, ThirdLove.



    ThirdLove 24/7™ Perfect Coverage Bra, $68, available at ThirdLove

    V - Vision In Velvet

    Comfort is key, but you may as well do comfort while looking fly.



    Topshop Velvet Puffer Scarf, $50, available at Topshop

    W - What’s Gucci?

    The Holy Grail of presents. While you won't be gifting this to everyone this year, we're sure there's someone special who's deserving.



    Gucci GG Marmont Mini Round Shoulder Bag, $1290, available at Gucci

    X - X-tra Fuzzy

    These cute furry cuffs can add an extra oomph to an otherwise simple coat or sweater.



    Mango Fur Zipped-cuff, $39.99, available at Mango

    Y - You Go Girl

    Encourage a gal pal who's a workout fiend or a sister who's just starting out on her fitness journey with a pair of cool gloves that'll provide some much needed motivation.



    Everlast Star-print Leather Boxing Gloves, $200, available at Saks Fifth Avenue

    Z - Zzz Ya Later

    Have a friend who still has yet to take down her Breakfast At Tiffany's poster? This gift will earn you a lifetime of brownie points.



    Morgan Lane Breakfast At Tiffany's x Violet Grey Mask, $110, available at Morgan Lane

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    This is the time of year for celebrating friends, family, and faith; for helping others in need. But let's be real: It's also the time for shopping. And when it comes to beauty, Bath & Body Works ushers in the season with a nostalgia-filled wonderland — complete with holiday scents, sparkly bath bombs, and the epicenter of major deals. We're talking about the brand's Black Friday throwdown of course, so let's get into it.

    Starting when stores open on Thursday (the majority will be open on Thanksgiving day) through Friday at 9 a.m. ET, the brand is resurrecting its most-requested fragrance, Forever Red, and offering every product in the lineup for $4.95 while supplies last. If the pomegranate, apple, and vanilla rum scent isn't your jam, you can stock up on anything else you please, as the entire store (including body care, candles, gift sets, and accessories) is discounted for a buy three, get three free-for-all. Important to note: The deals won't start until 4:30 p.m. ET for online shoppers, so we suggest hopping out for "cranberry sauce" earlier that afternoon.

    On Friday only, you can also combine unlimited coupons in one transaction (which means you can stack as many discounted dollar amounts and free items, as long as what's purchased qualifies for each coupon.) Finally, the store is offering a product-filled tote bag (valued at $115) for $30 with a $30 purchase.

    Got all that? Given that the stores are stocked with hundreds of products and more than 75 holiday scents alone, there's a lot to navigate here. Check out the finds we'd make a beeline for, 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.

    A little bubbly in the tub is always a good idea. This body wash simulates the indulgent experience without the blood alcohol spike.



    Bath & Body Works Champagne Toast Shower Gel, $12.5, available at Bath & Body Works

    We've been wanting to lick our Winter Bean Noel candle for years. With a scent that recalls vanilla bean, sugar cookies, caramel, and whipped cream, can you blame us? We must not have been the only ones, because Bath & Body Works came out with a flavored lip gloss this year.



    Bath & Body Works Vanilla Bean Noel Lip Gloss, $5.5, available at Bath & Body Works

    Hand sanitizer gets a fun makeover with this foaming mousse, scented with berries, passionfruit, and sweet musk. Drop this on the kids' table, and you'll never have to remind them to wash their hands before Thanksgiving dinner again.



    Bath & Body Works Unicorn Foam Hand Sanitizer, $5.5, available at Bath & Body Works

    The happy packaging alone is enough to sucker us in, but something tells us our work wives will love the iris, cedarwood, and pink peppercorn-based scent inside.



    Bath & Body Works Kaleidoscope Eau de Parfum, $39.5, available at Bath & Body Works

    There's going to be quite a frenzy for this re-introduced body cream and its companion body lotion, shower gel, and fine fragrance mist — which go for hundreds on eBay. Every product in the collection is being sold for $4.95 until 9 a.m. ET on Black Friday.



    Bath & Body Works Forever Red Ultra Shea Body Cream, $13, available at Bath & Body Works

    Because you can't give your overworked sister Xanax, opt for this duo of expensive-looking body wash and lotion, spiked with soothing chamomile and bergamot.



    Bath & Body Works Black Chamomile Gift Set, $21.5, available at Bath & Body Works

    Go out looking smelling like a snack with this hot-chocolate inspired body spray.



    Bath & Body Works Hot Cocoa and Cream Fragrance Mist, $14.5, available at Bath & Body Works

    A bath bomb within a bath bomb is already sure to win over your beauty-obsessed cousin. Even better: It's scented with the brand's new Into The Stars fragrance, which smells like winter woods and bubbly champagne.



    Bath & Body Works Into The Stars Bath Fizz, $14.95, available at Bath & Body Works

    The next best thing to owning a Christmas tree farm? Washing your hands several times a day with this woodsy soap.



    Bath & Body Works Spruce Gentle Foaming Hand Soap, $6.5, available at Bath & Body Works

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    “It was an unforgettable nightmare,” says Donna Beegle. In 2015, she and her family were attempting to travel in coach class from Houston to Portland on a United flight. Midway through, they were removed from the aircraft by police. The reason? The pilot “didn’t feel safe” flying with Beegle’s then-15-year-old daughter, Juliette, who has autism.

    Juliette was experiencing low blood sugar that day. Like many people with autism, she has some specific sensory issues, one of which being that she only eats hot food. The family hadn’t been able to get her anything prior to the flight, and when they politely asked if they might be able to purchase one of the extra hot meals being served to first class passengers, they were repeatedly told no by crew members. Over the course of about an hour, Juliette began crying and was visibly agitated. Eventually, Beegle says, they were given some rice from one of the meals.

    After that, Juliette was able to calm down, and by the time the plane made an emergency landing in Utah, she had settled quietly into a movie. “My husband and I both turned to each other thinking, oh my gosh, somebody probably had a heart attack or something,” Beegle remembers. But suddenly, the paramedics arrived at their aisle. Beegle explained the situation and said that Juliette was fine now. “[The paramedic] rolled his eyes and he said, ‘Oh my God, another over-reactive flight attendant.’”

    That should have been the end of it. But it wasn’t. The police were summoned. About ten minutes later, Beegle and her family were removed from the plane. They were eventually rebooked on a Delta flight. Beegle says both she and Juliette were “crushed” by in the incident and the lack of compassion displayed by United staff. They initially filed charges against the airline, but after the National Autism Society got involved and used the incident to broker with the airline for a staff training on how to better interact with people with developmental disabilities, they dropped all charges. Nevertheless, the interaction haunts them. “I cried and cried. I cried for the ignorance toward my daughter. It just broke my heart,” Beegle says.

    This is just one entry on an ever-growing list of people who have been shamed, discriminated against, and otherwise wronged by major corporate airlines. There was the passenger who was violently dragged off an overbooked United flight, the dog who died on another flight by the same carrier after its owners were forced by staff to store it in an overhead bin, and the family with a toddler that was kicked off a Southwest flight because the child wouldn’t stop crying. A flight attendant reportedly instructed the two-year-old to “shut up.” All of these instances occurred in just the past year. This month, a passenger on a Delta flight sat in dog poop that had somehow been left in his seat from a service animal on a previous flight.

    These stories and videos often go viral, followed by a brief period of outrage. We talk of boycotting. Sometimes there’s a lawsuit. (It’s usually settled out of court.) But rarely does any meaningful, lasting change occur. A few days or weeks pass, and there’s another ugly confrontation. Another child or animal or person with disabilities is mistreated. Another pile of dog shit, metaphorical or otherwise, waits atop a seat. The specifics may change, but the moral of the story does not: flying sucks.

    Even if you’ve never personally experienced anything quite as dramatic as the Beegles did, air travel is, for many of us, a necessary inconvenience at best. If you have family members that live in different parts of the country or world, or have a job that requires you to visit different places regularly, you really don’t have much of a choice but to fly. Plus, traveling is fun and enriching. It expands our minds, fosters acceptance, and helps us to grow as human beings. But these days it feels like there are a lot of reasons to be wary of getting on a plane. There are the often inexplicable delays, which according to the Department of Transportation, happen on 15% of flights. There are the tiny seats, which have shrunken up to four inches over the past two decades, even as Americans themselves have gotten larger.

    “The industry could make flying more comfortable, that meaning the bigger seats bigger with more legroom,” says Annette, a flight attendant with an unnamed carrier who asked that we not use her last name. “That would make it better for the passengers and the flight attendants. That would reduce revenue for the company and drastically increase airfares. We probably will never see this.”

    The worst part, though, is that “you have to take whatever they give you because they can just take you off, and so you people put up with things they wouldn't normally put up with,” says Beegle. “When you're on a plane, you have no power."

    Illustration by Louisa Cannell 

    The fact that we’re able to move people and objects from one place to another through the air is, if you think about it, very impressive. It’s safe to say air travel ranks pretty high within the canon of human achievement. But the evolution of flying from something absurdly rarefied to something increasingly akin to an airborne dictatorship leaves a lot of room for inquiry into why things are the way the are, what made them that way, and how they need to change.

    There’s a constant push-pull within the airline industry that makes it feel like as soon as one thing gets better, another gets worse. For example, while an increasing number of planes have TV screens and charging ports, flights are still regularly delayed and overbooked. It’s the same with airports: While there are healthier food options and more electrical outlets, TSA security is time-consuming and seems to randomly change requirements based on which airport you’re in and even who happens to be on duty that day. There are many Band-Aids, but few opportunities to get at the larger issues of air travel, some of which have been festering below the surface for decades.

    Kelsey Myers, a new mom who was traveling in May of this year, was attempting to board an already-delayed American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Chicago when she was told she’d have to check a bag containing her breast pump, even though she’d checked the rules on American’s website before the flight and the pump and its accoutrements had not been an issue when she had gone through her TSA screening that day.

    It didn’t matter. The man in charge of boarding the flight was unfamiliar with all of this, and he wasn’t about to take Myers’ word for it. After an increasingly heated exchange, she requested he call his supervisor, who arrived on the scene seemingly uninterested in her side of the story.

    “You’d think if it was a supervisor, they would know the rules, but also, if you are coming into a situation, that you would ask both parties involved what's going on,” she remembers.

    After more heated back-and-forth, she gave up and said she’d check the bag with the breast pump equipment in it, despite the fact that she needed it, and later observed there was plenty of room in the overhead bins. But that wasn’t the end of it.

    He asked her: "'do you have extra breast pump stuff in your luggage too?'" Myers recalls. "And I was like, actually I do have pumps in there. And then that's when she responded with: ‘uh, lady, how many boobs do you have?’”

    Illustration by Louisa Cannell 

    Perhaps you’ve heard stories from your parents or grandparents about the golden days of air travel. In the 1950s and ‘60s, flying was a glamorous affair worth getting dressed up for. So-called “flying boats” glided through the sky as well-heeled passengers sipped stiff cocktails from the comfort of their plush, roomy seats. “Air hostesses” were, in a way, the equivalent of today’s Instagram influencers — young, beautiful, well-travelled and even better dressed. People smoked and socialized and ate three-course meals from 35,000 feet. It was like a cocktail party in the sky, and the sentimentality over this era is well-established in everything from Chrissy Teigen’s 2017 birthday party to a Pan Am-themed restaurant in Los Angeles, which for $300 a head recreates the experience of flying in the ‘50s.

    But for all the storied glitz and glamour, flying was also prohibitively expensive, a luxury only afforded to the upper class. “The full fare was probably the equivalent of a secretary’s monthly salary,” according to Guillaume de Syon, Ph.D, a professor of history at Albright College. “Very few people could afford it.” And those pretty young airline staffers faced sexism and discrimination, forced to, according to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, meet job requirements like being unmarried, maintaining a maximum weight of 135 pounds, and wearing a “well-fitted girdle” at all times.

    Competition between airlines to make flying more accessible began in the late ‘60s, De Syon says. The proliferation of fanjets enabled planes that could both fly faster and carry more passengers. Propeller planes faded away, and airlines began flying to a wider range of destinations.

    A deregulation act passed in 1978 dissolved the Civil Aeronautics Board, which had strictly regulated airlines as a public utility, including disallowing them to sell tickets below a certain price point, and only approving one or two carriers to fly on a given route. For years, the government had hoped to curtail competition between airlines through these regulations.

    Suddenly, it was a free market — meaning carriers could more or less fly where they wanted, charge what they wanted, and serve passengers how they wanted. The pomp and circumstance didn’t immediately disappear, but many in the industry see this as the beginning of the end for flying’s glamorous days. By the early 1980s, ultra low-cost airlines had sprung up everywhere, and others had to struggle to compete.

    Deregulation also led to the shrinking of seats, which have been whittled down over the years from 18 to just 16 inches wide. The “pitch” of the seat, which accounts for legroom, has shrunk from 35 to 31 inches on average in coach class. Some seats, on budget airlines like Frontier and Spirit, have pitches that go as low as 28 inches. Meanwhile, American men and women are both significantly heavier on average than they were in 1960. Consumer advocates have been arguing against the so-called “incredible shrinking airline seat” for years, but earlier this summer, the Federal Aviation Administration rejected a rule that would have imposed a minimum size restriction on seats, arguing that seat size has no impact on passenger safety.

    This isn’t to say that deregulation was a bad thing. Without it, the vast majority of people would probably not be able to afford to fly today. But by the time four planes were hijacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001, the experience of flying was already trending toward the unpleasant. Then—quite literally overnight—there was an extreme tightening of security measures, which extended from the substantial pre-boarding procedures we’ve grown accustomed to today (shoes off, laptops out, pockets empty, etc.) to heightened levels of caution from staffers when dealing with passengers aboard the aircrafts themselves.

    There was also a sudden, drastic reduction in passenger demand. According to the International Air Transport Association, airlines experienced a $22 billion revenue drop between 2000 and 2001. That led to a government bailout of several airlines, lest the whole American air travel system effectively collapse.

    In an effort to recoup funds lost after the attacks, airlines began charging extra for things like checked luggage, and even as their profit margins have corrected, those fees have mysteriously stuck around. A joint study by IdeaWorks Company and Cartrawler revealed that in 2017, global airline carriers took home a whopping $82 billion from these kinds of fees, with $57 billion of that going to US-based carriers.

    “It’s a bit of a cliche, but 9/11 took away the innocence of flying — the sense that you could go and, for example, meet your party at the plane in United States. There were some very civilized elements that still existed in the US that were gone after that,” de Syon says.

    Meanwhile, in the past decade, mega-mergers of airlines have led to decreased competition, which means pricier flights and increasingly lackluster customer service. “You have four airlines that control over 80 percent of traffic [in the US],” explains Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare, a company that curates deals on flights and hotels. “So the fact that each of those airlines has effectively divided up the country by city and there's only a handful of cities with really, really good competition has essentially made it more difficult for people to find a cheaper ticket there.”

    The so-called “big four” that Seaney refers to are American, United, Delta, and Southwest, and it’s estimated that nine out of ten domestic flights are operated by one of those carriers. If you wanted to boycott one of these airlines, but you still want to visit your parents without defaulting on your student loan, the logistics are not in your favor.

    From the perspective of flight attendants, it’s passenger behavior that is at the root of the problem.

    “We are to de-escalate when we can, and assume we are being videoed. If I am unable to de-escalate, I would leave and have a flying partner step in. She may have a totally different approach that works. We do not want any confrontations onboard,” explains Annette, the flight attendant. She says that within the company she works for, there have been numerous conversations about how to minimize these type of flare-ups between employees and passengers. And that the first priority is to focus on safety, not comfort.

    Annette cites factors like sleep deprivation, stress, and excessive consumption of alcohol as common reasons why some passengers become aggravated on and around airplanes, and take their anger out on them. The high cost of airport food and parking, hassles they may have experienced getting through TSA, and confusion navigating the concourse can also rev up passengers, she explains. None of these are factors the airlines themselves have much control over, but, flight attendants bare the brunt of the complaints, she says. “A passenger finally finds their gate, and they hustle to get onboard, find their seat, and put their bag in the overhead compartment. Just as they think they get to relax, here I come, asking them to put their tray table up.”

    Illustration by Louisa Cannell 

    And yet, it’s likely none of this will ever get fixed. Because even in an era where everything from feminine hygiene products to money transfers have been “disrupted” by eagle-eyed innovators, no Elon Musk-type has really emerged with big promises to do it all better. The closest is Richard Branson, whose beloved airline Virgin was absorbed and then retired by Alaska Airlines in 2017 following a struggle for profitability. Branson referred to the watering down and eventual termination of the brand as a “castration.” Because Virgin was a US-registered airline, Branson and his foreign businesses were unable to control voting interests during the acquisition

    “It was a long and hard journey but in the end you are the best consumer airline in America. You invented concepts like ‘moodlighting’ and ‘on-demand food,’ you reinvented cabin amenities from seat-to-seat chat to Netflix in the sky. You chose warm and soothing pink to purple moodlighting that transitions based on outside light,” Branson wrote in a farewell letter to the airline. “You proved it is possible to run a business with a strategy that does not rely on low fares and a dominant position alone: you attracted premium flyers with a fun and beautiful guest experience."

    There are several companies, including FareCompare, Hopper, and Hipmunk, who purport to make finding a deal on flights easier. And, hey, when you’re paying something like $200 (as opposed to $500) for a flight, maybe you’re less likely to be annoyed when the seat is small and the food is bad and it’s delayed an hour and a half.

    But when it comes to actually revamping the experience of flying, that’s easier said than done, apparently even for someone with the resources, vision, and business acumen of Richard Branson. As you might imagine, it costs a lot to run an airline. There are countless regulations and tons of red tape to navigate. And it’s almost impossible to compete with industry behemoths like American and United, even as they continue to bungle interactions with passengers. While most airlines do undoubtedly want to create better PR for themselves, there’s little financial reason for them to make real, substantive changes. For a country that so values competition and choice, we have very little of it.

    A 2016 survey by Airlines for America shows that, for all we like to complain, more people are flying than ever before. As Annette revealed, the biggest thing on carrier’s minds isn’t how to make flying more pleasant, or even how to cut down on heated altercations between their staff and passengers, but simply how to squeeze more people onto aircrafts to meet this demand (and, yes, turn a profit).

    Thatcher A. Stone, a prominent aviation lawyer who has argued cases for people discriminated against or harmed by airlines, thinks there are accessible solutions: “If they gave you a box of chocolates, a pair of earplugs and either a toy for a kid or a newspaper for an adult as you walked on the airplane or as you left the gate… [Passengers would] have a sugar high from the chocolates. They’d plug their earphones in and they wouldn't bother anybody. They’d listen instead of talk, and then they’d read and watch, the kids would play with the toy. But [the airlines are] not smart enough to do that, which is unfortunate.”

    To be fair, certain airlines are taking small steps in that direction: Delta, which already offers complimentary beer and wine on all international flights, recently revealed that it’s testing out offering three-course meals and gratis champagne in economy class on flights between Portland and Tokyo. American has decided to allow early boarding for people with nut allergies, giving them time to properly sterilize their seat and tray table. These small comforts probably won’t do a lot to mitigate the stress felt by people regularly victimized by racial profiling, sizeism, and other types of discrimination that still run rampant on planes, in airports, and during TSA screenings. And they also won’t fix the problem of delayed flights and insensitive staffers and insulting $75 vouchers. But they are, at least, an acknowledgment on the parts of airlines that a lot of people are pissed off — and that if there is, for example, the ever-looming threat of accidentally sitting in dog poop (or something like that), they have every right to be.

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    Sometimes when you see a 20% off sale, you think: Eh, I'll be fine skipping this one because how much am I really saving. That is, unless we're talking about Glossier. Emily Weiss and Co. only post sales once a year, so this is your only chance to refill your Boy Brow and Lash Slick mascara for the cheap. And that's as good a reason as any to throw all your sale hesitation (and hard-earned cash) out the pale-pink penthouse showroom window.

    From Black Friday through Cyber Monday — Friday, November 23 to Monday, November 26 — Glossier will be offering its only sale of the year. The deal: 20% off everything, both in stores and online.

    This only happens once a year, so we suggest stocking up on everything you need for yourself, your little sister's stocking, and your best friend's Secret Santa gift while you can walk away with some savings. If you're not sure where to begin, scroll through to see our seven Glossier must-haves.

    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 universal liquid blush looks like a tube of finger paint, but with a small squeeze and a dab on the cheekbones, it melts into a sheer dewy kiss of color that somehow looks amazing on many different skin tone s.



    Glossier Cloud Paint, $14.4, available at Glossier

    Think of this little guy like a Tide To-Go Pen, but instead of removing a red wine stain from your favorite white sweater, it zaps red, inflamed pimples from your face.



    Glossier Zit Stick, $11.2, available at Glossier

    It wouldn't be a proper Glossier sale if it excluded the tinted eyebrow gel that once had a 10,000 wait list.



    Glossier Boy Brow, $12.8, available at Glossier

    Glossier's You fragrance smells different on each individual, though the resounding universal response is: Your skin... but sexier smelling.



    Glossier Glossier You, $48, available at Glossier

    You've probably seen the before-and-after ads all over Instagram, but if you still don't buy the hype, our own R29 Beauty Innovator Awards testers — and their glowing skin — will vouch for the fact that this exfoliating toner is the real deal.



    Glossier Solution, $19.2, available at Glossier

    If you're looking for a natural mascara — the kind that gives your lashes a darker, separated, polished effect and holds up during your sweaty hot yoga session — Lash Slick is for you.



    Glossier Lash Slick Mascara, $12.8, available at Glossier

    Emily Weiss and her team recently upgraded the already beloved Generation G lipstick. It's the same six, soft matte colors but housed inside fatter, better-for-Subway-swiping tubes.



    Glossier Generation G Lipstick, $14.4, available at Glossier

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    If it's your job to bring the wine to this year's Thanksgiving celebration, consider yourself lucky. Yes, choosing a few bottles of wine that will satisfy all the guests at your gathering seems like a daunting task. You'll want options that appeal to many different palettes, compliment a slew of different dishes, and, perhaps most importantly, the bottles should be affordable enough that you'll still have money left over for Black Friday shopping. That's a lot to ask of just a few bottles, but it turns out, wines that tick all those boxes aren't all that hard to find.

    To prove it, we asked wine educators, wine directors, and sommeliers for their best Thanksgiving recommendations. Each of their selections is under $12 and will bring a little something special to dinner. If providing the wine wasn't the Thanksgiving responsibility you wanted to get stuck with, ahead you'll find over 15 bottles to help you see that you got one of the better tasks. No cooking, no expensive ingredients, and no sourcing a gluten-free pie for you this year.

    "I'm a big fan of economical choices for big events like Thanksgiving since most hosts need to buy in bulk and are looking for quality picks for the best value. Here are a couple suggestions that I would recommend picking up (perhaps by the case!)." — Paola Embry, CEO and Wine Director at the Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix, AZ

    2016 Delas Cote du Rhône Saint Esprit Rouge, Rhone Valley, France, $9.99, available at K&L Wine Merchants.

    2017 Bodegas Aragonesas Viña temprana old vines Garnacha, Campo de Borja, $7.99, available at Argonaut Wine & Liquor.

    "When choosing a wine for Thanksgiving, I keep in mind that I am working with a variety of palettes. This Lambrusco is a fun crowd pleaser and works with everything from roasted turkey to country ham. Its effervescence, lower ABV, and slightly sweet characteristics make it my first choice for a refreshing bottle to sip during a long day of cooking and merriment."
    Lindsey Ofcacek, wine director at 610 Magnolia in Louisville, KY

    Cavicchioli 1928 Lambrusco dell'Emilia IGT, $9.99, available at International Wine Shop.

    "Please remember that bubbly is among the most food-friendly wines that exist, so whether it’s to start your Thanksgiving festivities or to drink all the way through to desert, seek out sparkling wines. This Cava from Spain fits the bill perfectly and is a lot less pricey than Champagne." — Sayle Milne, wine educator and founder of Wine Savvy NYC

    Segura Viudas Cava Brut, $8.99, available at Wine.com

    "I am a huge fan of Austria’s Grüner Veltliner with Thanksgiving foods because it shows great acidity and minerality (which means it can stand up to and cut through all those heavy sauces and gravies). Try this delightful Grüner that won’t break the bank!" — Sayle Milne, wine educator and founder of Wine Savvy NYC

    Aichenberg Premium Gruner Veltliner 2017, $11.99, available at Wine.com

    "Grape: Gamay. You may not be familiar with this little grape from the southern end of Burgundy in France, but I bet you know the wines it makes (Beaujolais, anyone?). If you are looking for something light and fruity that can go with all of your Thanksgiving fare, all while keeping your prices super affordable, I recommend a bottle of Beaujolais-Villages." — Sayle Milne, wine educator and founder of Wine Savvy NYC

    Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages 2016, $11.99, available at Wine.com.

    "For a red wine with slightly more body, Zinfandel delivers. I love Zin with Turkey and gravy. Its medium body and loads of red fruits on the palate dance perfectly with all of your favorite sides and stuffings. Lodi, CA happens to be one of my favorite regions for Zin!" — Sayle Milne, wine educator and founder of Wine Savvy NYC

    McManis Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2016, $10.99, available at Wine.com.

    "Chardonnay is my favorite white for a Thanksgiving meal because it has a bit more body and structure than most other whites, so it can hold up to the heavier foods. This is a great example from France for the right price!" — Brooke Matthias, wine director at Winc

    2017 Maison Louis Jadot Macon Villages, $11.99, available at The Wine House.

    "Beaujolais Nouveau is always released around Thanksgiving, so drinking it reminds me of the holidays like no other wine. I chill this red in the fridge for about 30 minutes before opening. I like to put it out with the hor d'oeuvres." — Brooke Matthias, wine director at Winc

    2018 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau, $11.99, available at La Vinotheque Wine Merchants.

    "A Rhone blend that pairs great with turkey and all the fresh herbs and spices in the stuffing." — Brooke Matthias, wine director at Winc

    2015 Chateau Pesquie Cotes du Ventoux Cuvee des Terrasses, $11.99, available at The Wine House.

    "Lighter bodied reds are a good choice for Thanksgiving, but finding affordable pinot noir or quality Beaujolais? This wine is dry, fruity, and medium-bodied. It's a wine of great value year-round, but will serve well this holiday." — Ellisa Cooper, wine educator and founder of Decanted Diva

    Castaño Monastrell 2016 Yecla, Spain, $10, available at Bottlerocket.

    "These brothers are all things BARBERA! Their wines range from light to medium with the Villa Bella Rosa being a cuvée that's slightly leaner, incredibly fresh, and a definite crowd pleaser! This red is a perfect way to start a meal, but can absolutely hold up to stuffing and all things Thanksgiving." — Ashley Santoro, regional beverage director at The Standard in New York, NY

    Pico Maccario, Barbera d'Asti, Villa Bella Rosa 2015, Piedmont, Italy, $11.99, available at Wine Deals.

    "I've alway been a fan of Enrique Mendoza's wines. His wines really speak to the region and are a true expression of monastrell. La Tremenda is medium in weight with the prefect amount of dark fruit and spice. This is undoubtably one of the best values in the wine world and definitely has a place on the table." — Ashley Santoro, regional beverage director at The Standard in New York, NY

    Enrique Mendoza, Monastrell, La Tremenda 2016, Alicante, Spain, $10.49-12.99, available at Wine.com

    "Garnatxa Blanca (or Grenache Blanc) is a great fuller-bodied white that can satisfy even the a chardonnay drinker in your family. Perfect with an herb heavy stuffing!" — Katie Putterlik, beverage director at Otoño in Los Angeles, CA

    Herencia Altés Garnatxa Blanca, Catalonia, Spain, $9.99, available at B-21.

    "Mencia is my go-to lighter bodied red. This Mencia from Bierzo has more body than similar wines from Ribera Sacra but served with a chill it the perfect Thanksgiving pairing." — Katie Putterlik, beverage director at Otoño in Los Angeles, CA

    Armas de Guerra Tinto, Mencia, Bierzo, Spain, $11.99, available at Wine.com.

    "This year I’ll be serving sherry, specifically Manzanilla sherry. Manzanillas are fresh and clean, with a great salinity; perfect aperitif or paired with ham." — Katie Putterlik, beverage director at Otoño in Los Angeles, CA

    Bodegas Hijos de Rainera Pérez Marín, La Guita, Manzanilla, Sanlucar de Barrameda, $10.99, available at Wine.com.

    "The Azul y Garanza Viura (white) and Tempranillo (red) are a great value at $13 a bottle for a liter. Farmed and produced organically by 3 friends in Navarra, Spain these wines are easy drinking and sustainably conscious. Plus more wine for sharing, perfect for friendsgiving." — Katie Putterlik, beverage director at Otoño in Los Angeles, CA

    Azul y Garanza Viura and Tempranillo, $12.99 for a liter bottle, available at Wine.com.

    "The new Usual Red is actually perfect for Thanksgiving. It's bright and fruity but still nuanced and won't overwhelm any Thanksgiving flavors." — Rachel Vodofsky, co-founder of Vinebox

    Usual Red Blend Sonoma County, CA, $8 a glass ($96 for a box of 12 glasses), available at Usual Wines.

    "For Thanksgiving, I recommend light, crisp, and refreshing wines to balance out all of the rich and decadent flavors on your table! Stemmari Grillo is a perfect choice. An aromatic white grape variety from Sicily, Grillo leads with delicate floral and melon aromas, and on the palate, lots of bright green pear and a hint of tropical fruit. The finish is clean and minerally. It's just the thing to keep your palate cleansed in between bites of mashed potatoes, gravy, and stuffing." — Sarah Tracey, professional sommelier and lifestyle expert at The Lush Life

    Stemmari Grillo, $11.97, available at Wine Chateau.

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    After working stints in marketing for Essence magazine, sales for Turner Broadcast, and social media at MTV, Michelle Dalzon decided to do something about the lack of what she felt like was a central place where conscious-minded shoppers could support Black-owned brands. Enter theBOM (Black-owned market), an Instagram-based pop-up concept Dalzon created in 2016 with the purpose “to support and grown Black-owned businesses by connecting them with their intended consumers.” Its mission, plain and simple, is to “increase the circulation of the Black dollar by creating a destination where people can shop conveniently with Black brands they love.”

    Dalzon curates the brands on theBOM’s Instagram and then offers her followers the chance to shop IRL at pop-ups throughout the year. “A directory isn’t tangible, you can’t interact with it," Dalzon tells Refinery29. “I wanted to create an experience that you walk away from feeling nourished. It really inspires people,” she explains. “I read alarming stats about Black commerce in general; for instance, Black people have over 1.2 trillion dollars in buying power but only two cents of every dollar goes back into Black-owned businesses. I wanted to makes sure these business got their due as well as their coin.”

    Social media is, of course, a huge part of her company's DNA. “I follow a lot of the brands and I’ve found [that] birds of the small business vendor community tend to flock together, so I’ll get recommendations for other vendors as well. My base is primarily things I have already shopped and can vouch for their quality,” she explains. “I feel like, a lot of times with Black-owned brands, there are these myths about them — they’re low on quality, they don’t exist, or they’re too expensive, and I wanted to be sure that I dispelled those myths at theBOM by having a variety of different price ranges but also quality products that actually told a story.”

    And Dalzon is just the person to bring this vision to life. As she tells Refinery29, “every position I’ve had up until this point has lead me to this point and being a brand marketer, I know what it takes to make something look visually appealing but also telling a really good story for Black-owned brands on a platform that is outside of the norm.” Once Dalzon moves the experience “offline” to the pop-up space, theBOM creates an individualized booth for each brand within the space.

    “It’s very important for me to build community. I think that’s why this year, I’m stepping back from doing so many pop-ups to focus on the consumer, the shopper, and the vendor. Those are my clients, and I really want to serve them to the best of my ability. We are social media-first because that's where the community is.”

    Dalzon’s next pop-up is happening Saturday, November 24 in Brooklyn (click here for tickets), and in the preparation, follow theBOM on Instagram and watch the video below for a peek inside her last offering.

    This story was originally published January 2, 2018.

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    We're pretty confident when we say the things in the many, many gift guides we're publishing this year aren't just for women. We know plenty of people who'd get a kick out of a bonsai forest growing kit, a leather iPhone case — hell, even these light-up chopsticks — regardless of their gender. But for every bra set and tube of mascara we've put into a gift guide, the slideshow ahead should give you ideas for those on your shopping list who prefer things on the other end of the spectrum.

    And trust us when we say there’s something for everyone. We’ve got presents for your uncle, your brother, your father, and your half-cousin twice-removed — and, lest we not forget your S.O., your work bro, wingman, and best friend who has an uncanny ability to pick the best spot for dinner. What's more, we're also catering to those whose style is influenced by their respective coasts, meaning we didn't forget you surfers out there, too.

    Click through to see what we’ve got on our lists, from a shaving kit all the way to cashmere goodies they'll want to wear to sleep.

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    ‘Tis almost the season for holiday festivities, family commitments, travel plans, and gift giving, all of which can lead to plenty of stress on both you and your bank account. Fortunately, Amazon is making it easy for you to save, while still getting your holiday shopping done.

    Well ahead of the usual post-TurkeyDay rush, the online retailer has released their early Black Friday deals with sales and discounts on everything from electronics and toys and every foodie’s favorite items – kitchen necessities.

    From sleek and stainless steel coffee makers to blenders, roaster ovens, trendy Instant Pots, and air fryers, we’ve rounded up the best of Amazon’s Black Friday kitchen deals to help you shop smarter, not harder this season. And we promise not to judge if you throw an extra one of any of these into the cart for yourself either.

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

    Good: Sous Vide Precision Cooker
    Deal: 50% Off
    Make meal prep time a breeze with this ingenious tool. Take 10 minutes to season and bag up your favorite meats or veggies, drop them in a pot and let the device do its thing. No stirring or flipping necessary.



    Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker, $99, available at Amazon

    Good: Ice Maker
    Deal: 18% Off
    Save over $100 on this sleek machine with Bluetooth capabilities for easily controlling your ice-making schedule — and keep holiday beverages stocked on the rocks with a 3 lb. ice batch in under 20 minutes flat.



    Opal Nugget Ice Maker, $447.99, available at Amazon

    Good: Mini Muffin Pan
    Deal: 25% Off
    Simple, but a major holiday baking savior — scoop up this Amazon's Choice non-stick, 24-count muffin pan for easily whipping up big-batch treats this season.



    Wilton Non-Stick Mini Muffin and Cupcake Pan, 24-Cup, $9.16, available at Amazon

    Good: Espresso Machine
    Deal: 50% Off
    This sleek and compact espresso maker comes complete with a milk-frother for whipping up barista-grade coffee creations in the comfort of your own kitchen.



    DeLonghi Nespresso Inissia Original Espresso Machine, $99.99, available at Amazon

    Good: Electric Potato Peeler
    Deal: 21% Off
    Make peeling all those Thanksgiving potatoes painless this year with an electric device that does the handy work for you — this gadget can even peel delicate fruits, like tomatoes or kiwis.



    Starfrit Rotato Express - Electric Peeler, $19.64, available at Amazon

    Good: SodaStream
    Deal: 62% Off
    Make your on-tap, at-home soda and seltzer dreams a reality with this carbonated beverage maker on-sale for over half-off its original price.



    SodaStream Jet Sparkling Water Maker, $19.21, available at Amazon

    Good: Cast Iron Pan
    Deal: 33% Off
    Effortlessly transition this pre-seasoned cast iron kitchen essential from stove to oven during the holidays.



    Amazon Basics Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Pan, $20.16, available at Amazon

    Good: Instant Pot
    Deal: 10% Off
    Hop on the pressure cooker trend with an already-discounted 6-quart model, ready to lend an easy set-it-and-forget-it hand in whipping up Thanksgiving sides.



    Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker (6 Qt), $89.99, available at Amazon

    Good: Ceramic Knife Set
    Deal: 43% Off
    Get your slicing, dicing, and chopping game on point for the holidays with this set of Amazon's Choice ceramic knives — including a chef's, 5-in. serrated, and 3-in. pairing knife.



    Kyocera Revolution Series 3-Piece Ceramic Knife Set, $50.79, available at Amazon

    Good: Milk Frother
    Deal: 64% Off
    Coffee shop level cappuccinos just became easier to make from the comfort of your own home thanks to this milk steamer. Fast, easy, and silent, a push of a button is all it takes to heat or froth milk for lattes.



    Chef's Star Premier Automatic Milk Frother, $39.99, available at Amazon

    Good: Stainless Steel Blender
    Deal: 20% Off
    Eggnog smoothies anyone? Toss any combination of ice, fruit, vegetables, or even your favorite alcohol into this powerful, two-liter blender and voilà, drinks for days. You can even use it to make dips, salsas, and yummy salad dressings.



    Calphalon Auto-Speed 2-Liter Blender, Dark Stainless Steel, $159.99, available at Amazon

    Good: Coffee Maker
    Deal: 54% Off
    Trust us, this is a caffeine lover’s dream. The easy to clean carafe coffee maker features brewing technology that maximizes flavor and is designed to keep your java warm for hours.



    Zojirushi Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker, $87.49, available at Amazon

    Good: Electric Kettle
    Deal: 39% Off
    Enjoying holiday cookies with a hot cup of tea never seemed so simple before we found Cuisinart's electric tea kettle steal. This speedy water-boiling device heats up around five minutes faster than a traditional stove, which guarantees less waiting and more sipping.



    Cuisinart Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle, 1.7-Liter, $60.83, available at Amazon

    Good: Roaster Oven
    Deal: 56% Off
    If it’s your turn to cook the turkey, simplify the process (and free up some oven space!) with this 18-quart roaster. Don’t fret non-meat eaters: this roaster is also perfect for roasting potatoes or whipping up desserts.



    Proctor Silex Roaster Oven, Stainless Steel, $33.72, available at Amazon

    Good: Cast Aluminum Caldero
    Deal: 52% Off
    This traditional, oven-safe Caldero is ideal for churning out seasonal stews, rice dishes, and soups in cast aluminum style.



    IMUSA Traditional Oversided Colombian Caldero , $12.83, available at Amazon

    Good: Rice Cooker & Warmer
    Deal: 20% Off
    The key to perfectly fluffy rice? This compact rice cooker. Special multi-menu cooking functions for white rice, sushi rice, brown rice, and more ensure you get a perfect consistency each and every time.



    Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer, $119.99, available at Amazon

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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

    — PAID —

    In case you haven't noticed, dry weather doesn't discriminate by body part, so if you're loading up on face cream due to flaky skin, you might want to consider an ultra-hydrating routine for your lips, too. Enter: A Burt's Bees power couple that can help. Simply use the Conditioning Lip Scrub with honey crystals to gently exfoliate away dead skin, and then follow it up with the ceramide-rich Overnight Intensive Lip Treatment that'll hydrate and protect your lips from freezing temps — and that matte liquid lipstick you can't leave the house without.



    Burt's Bees Natural Conditioning Lip Scrub, $8.99, available at Target

    Burt's Bees Overnight Intensive Lip Treatment, $9, available at Burt's Bees®

    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

    Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

    Your Official Guide To The Best Black Friday & Cyber Monday Beauty Sales

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    Most years, we shop Black Friday and Cyber Monday on an impulse. For most of November, you think, I should skip shopping this year — you know, save some money. Then the day after Thanksgiving hits. You're laying in bed, still stuffed with turkey (or tofurkey, if that's more your thing), and open your inbox to an email that says [insert your favorite store here] is offering 75% off everything. Any rational person would hit Add to Cart as fast as their fingers will allow, right?

    Still, no matter how good of a deal you got , you can't help but wonder how much more you could have saved had you been able to map out a shopping strategy ahead of time. Luckily, we have your plan: a list of all the beauty brands and big-box retailers (think Amazon and Target) that will be offering can't-miss deals over Black Friday weekend.

    Read on to see the most legit 2018 Black Friday and Cyber Monday beauty deals — from a free Sisley Black Rose face mask (as in, $0 when it's normally $162) to a once in a lifetime Diptyque candle offer — and be sure to keep this guide handy; We'll be updating the list as we learn more.

    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.

    Byredo

    Enjoy a free mini candle with the purchase of $75 or more when you shop Byredo anytime between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.



    Byredo Bohemia, $40, available at Byredo

    Ren Clean Skincare

    Ren is gifting shoppers 25%-off savings site-wide starting Friday, November 23, and running through Sunday, November 25. Plus, if you shop on Black Friday you'll also get a free full-size Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk (a $30 value) with any purchase of $85 or more.



    REN Beauty Evercalm™ Gentle Cleansing Milk, $30, available at Ren Skincare

    Peter Thomas Roth

    For 24 hours only, on Black Friday, Peter Thomas Roth is selling the super-size jar of Mega Rich Anti-Aging Crème (normally $120) for just $24.



    Peter Thomas Roth Mega-Rich Intensive Anti-Aging Cellular Creme, $85, available at Peter Thomas Roth

    Philosophy

    When you shop Philosophy on Cyber Monday, you'll get 40% off your full order, plus a free 16 oz cinnamon bun-scented shower gel when you spend $75 or more.



    Philosophy cinnamon buns shower gel, $18, available at Philosophy

    First Aid Beauty

    On Black Friday, First Aid Beauty is gifting shoppers a goodie bag of deluxe skin-care samples — including the Coconut Water Cream, a resurfacing exfoliant, the ginger and turmeric jelly mask, and a jar of Ultra Repair Cream — with any order of $35 or more.



    First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration, $30, available at First Aid Beauty

    E.l.f. Cosmetics

    If you shop E.l.f. any time from November 19 through the 26, you'll get a free 5-piece makeup gift set, valued at $25, when you spend $25 or more.



    e.l.f. Cosmetics Need It Nude Eyeshadow Palette, $10, available at e.l.f. Cosmetics

    Diptyque

    For the first time ever, Diptyque is participating in the Black Friday holiday, offering shoppers the full-sized, limited-edition Baies candle for just $75 (typically $95). The offer drops on the brand's website on Black Friday and runs straight through Cyber Monday, or as long as supplies last.



    Diptyque Full-Size Baies Candle, $75, available at Diptyque

    NARS

    From Black Friday through the Tuesday after Cyber Monday, all online purchases at NARS will be 20% off retail.



    NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation, $49, available at NARS

    Herbivore Botanicals

    From Black Friday through Cyber Monday, Herbivore will be offering customers 20% off any purchase, plus a free gift just for shopping.



    Herbivore Botanicals ROSE QUARTZ Illuminating Body Oil, $36, available at Herbivore Botanicals

    Peach & Lily

    From November 19 through the 27, Peach & Lily will be offering 30% off select K-beauty skin-care items. And if you shop during the deal days, you'll be gifted two Original Glow sheet masks for free.



    Peach and Lily Original Glow Sheet Mask, $6, available at Peach and Lily

    Clarisonic

    From November 22 through the 26 (Cyber Monday), all Clarisonic gift sets will be 20% off.



    Clarisonic CLEANSE & UPLIFT HOLIDAY GIFT SET, $249, available at Clarisonic

    Urban Decay

    Urban Decay is offering amazing deals throughout the shopping week. Some of which include: 50% off the Naked Skin and All Night concealers on Sunday November 25, and 50% Off the Naked Heat palette on Cyber Monday.



    Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer, $29, available at Urban Decay

    Kate Somerville

    When you shop Kate Somerville on Cyber Monday, you'll receive a complimentary full-size DermalQuench Liquid Lift if you spend $150 and use the promo code "CYBER30" at checkout.



    Kate Somerville DermalQuench Liquid Lift®, $95, available at Kate Somerville

    Olay

    If you're shopping Target any time from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, you can save big on everything Olay. Just spend $50, and you'll get $10 off any Olay skin-care products, including the buzzy new clay mask sticks.



    Olay Pore Detox Black Charcoal Clay Face Mask Stick Cleanser, $9.99, available at Target

    Target

    Speaking of Target, on Black Friday, when you buy one of Target's countless adorable holiday beauty gift sets, you'll get a second set for 50% off its retail price.



    Kristin Ess Temporary Rose Gold Tint + Celestial Bobby Pins, $14, available at Target

    Amazon

    Amazon is rolling out its Black Friday deals in waves — so keep checking in for the best ones on any given browsing day. One constant is the free shipping, which will be offered to every customer (Prime member or not) who shops the retailer's Black Friday sales.



    Panasonic Panasonic Dental Water Flosser and Oral Irrigator , $63.19, available at Amazon

    Ulta Beauty

    For all Cyber Monday Ulta Beauty shoppers, Nudestix is offering a buy-one-get-one-free deal on its creamy lip and cheek pencils. Plus, there's much more where that came from.



    NudeStix Cream Lip + Cheek Pencil, $24, available at Ulta Beauty

    Violet Grey

    During Cyber Week — starting the day before Thanksgiving (November 21) and running through the following Monday (November 26) — you can get major savings on any product purchased from high-end beauty mecca Violet Grey: The site is offering shoppers $15 off any purchase of $100, $50 off $250, $100 off $500, and $250 off $1,000.



    ZIIP ZIIP Nano Current Device, $495, available at Violet Grey

    Sisley Paris

    From November 19 to November 24 exclusively on the Sisley Paris website, you can snag the Sisley Black (Rose) Friday Set — featuring the best-selling Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream and longtime cult-favorite Black Rose Cream Mask — for $195, which is the standard price of the moisturizer alone. Translation: You get a full-size face mask, which is usually $162, for free. The luxe French brand is offering a similar situation with the Double Tenseur Set on Cyber Monday, which includes full sizes of the celebrity-favorite makeup primer and the Express Flower Gel Mask (usually priced at $140) for $192 total.



    Sisley Paris Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream, $195, available at Sisley Paris

    GlamGlow

    On Black Friday, GlamGlow is offering its online shoppers 30% off every item on the site.



    GlamGlow GRAVITYMUD™, $41.3, available at GlamGlow

    Vita Liberata

    Shop the naturals-focused self-tan brand on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, and you'll get 25% off anything you add to your cart.



    Vita Liberata Invisi Foaming Tan Water - Light/Medium, $29.25, available at Vita Liberata

    Zoya

    On Black Friday, Zoya is offering 70% off all holiday sets when you use the code 'GIFT' at checkout. Then, on Cyber Monday, the brand drops a 50%-off sale sitewide, plus free shipping on any orders over $30 when you use the code 'YAY' at checkout.



    Zoya Nail Polish, $10, available at Zoya

    Evo

    Evo's Black Friday shoppers will get 20% off sitewide, while Cyber Monday shoppers can expect a buy-one-get-one-50%-off deal.



    evo shape vixen, $23.2, available at evo hair

    Juno & Co.

    The makers of that buzzy microfiber velvet makeup sponge are offering shoppers 25% off sitewide with the code 'JUNO25,' which will be valid November 23 through the 27th.



    Juno & Co Microfiber Velvet Sponge, $4.5, available at Juno & Co.

    Sara Happ

    You'll receive 20% off your order when you shop Sara Happ on either Black Friday or Cyber Monday and use the code 'Thankful' at checkout.



    Sara Happ Sugar & Shine- Holiday Gift Set, $38, available at sara happ

    Perricone MD

    You can get all kinds of offers, some upwards of 50% off, on the Perricone MD skin-care line when you shop online on Cyber Monday — half off this best-selling skin perfecting serum is just one of the best.



    Perricone MD Oil-Free Skin Perfecting Serum, $29, available at Perricone MD

    Baby Foot

    Baby Foot is offering Black Friday shoppers a buy-one-get-one-free deal on the brand's exfoliating foot peel.



    Baby Foot Easy Pack, $25, available at Baby Foot

    dpHue

    Get 25% off every dpHue hair product when you shop the site any time from November 21 through November 27.



    dpHUE Cool Blonde Shampoo, $18, available at dpHUE

    Hello

    Use the coupon code 'blackfriyay' when you buy from Hello's online retail site any time from November 22 through the 27th, and you'll receive a free travel-size activated-charcoal toothpaste.



    hello Activated Charcoal Toothpaste, $5.99, available at hello

    BioClarity

    BioClarity is offering shoppers 48% off select skin-care bundles — including The Ultimate Routine, Squeaky Clean, Multi-Masker, and Moisture, Moisture — from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.



    BioClarity The Ultimate Bundle, $59.95, available at bio clarity

    Frank Body

    Shop Frank Body on Cyber Monday to receive 20%-off sitewide.



    Frank Body Shimmer Scrub, $21.95, available at Ulta Beauty

    Kopari

    Take 20% off sitewide when you shop Kopari any time from November 22 through November 27. The brand will also be offering exclusive steals — like an extra 40% off select products — during the deal days.



    Kopari Beauty Organic Coconut Melt, $22.4, available at Kopari

    The Beachwaver Co.

    On Black Friday, you can get $55 off any of the Beachwaver S-Series styling irons when you shop the brand's website.



    Beachwaver BEACHWAVER® S1, $89, available at Beachwaver

    Charlotte Tilbury

    From November 23-26 take 50% off select items on Charlotte Tilbury's website.



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

    Dr. Brandt

    Using the code BF45 score 45% off of everything on Dr. Brandt from November 23-25.



    Dr. Brandt Hydro Bionic Recovery Sleeping Mask, $52, available at Dr. Brandt

    Follain

    Natural beauty lovers can get 20% off everything at Follain from Black Friday to Cyber Monday.



    Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, $40, available at Follain

    Fresh Beauty

    On Black Friday Fresh Beauty is hooking its customers up with some awesome bonuses. Receive four deluxe samples, a makeup bag, and free standard shipping with a purchase of $75 or six deluxe samples, a makeup bag, and free standard shipping with a purchase of $125.



    Fresh The Great Escape Face Mask Set, $110, available at Fresh

    Fur

    On November 23 take 30% off everything on Fur's website using the code: BLACKFRIDAY30



    FUR Fur Oil, $44, available at Fur

    Innisfree

    This Black Friday Innisfree is offering customers 20% off of select items.



    Innisfree Youth-enriched cream with orchid, $29, available at Innisfree

    It Cosmetics

    From November 22-25 take 20% off your entire purchase at It Cosmetics using the code "ITFRIDAY" at checkout.



    It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+, $38, available at It Cosmetics

    Josie Maran

    Take 25% off of all core products at Josie Maran from November 21-25



    Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil, $48, available at Josie Maran

    Kérastase

    On Black Friday take 20% off any order of $100 or more at Kérastase using the code "BLKFRI18"



    Kerastase Hair Bain Chromatique Sulfate Free Deluxe Shampoo, $50, available at Kerastase Hair

    Soko Glam

    On November 23 you can save 30% on everything at Soko Glam when you enter the code "SGBF18" at checkout.



    Hanskin Bio Origin the Eye Cream, $58, available at Soko Glam

    Supergoop!

    From November 23-26 take 25% off of everything except co-branded gift bundles at Supergoop!



    Supergoop! Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen, $16, available at Supergoop!

    Tatcha

    Save 20% off orders of $100 or more, 15% off orders of $75 or more, and a free full-sized tinted red lip oil or two free travel-sized serums with orders of $50 or more when you order from Tatcha between November 22 and November 25.



    Tatcha The Water Cream, $68, available at Tatcha

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    Whether you're blessed with naturally voluminous lashes or not, a set of lengthy or dramatic falsies can add a ton of glamour to any makeup look in a matter of seconds. But despite the growing number of people adding false lashes to their beauty routines, the common misconception surrounding them is that they're difficult to apply or look too obvious.

    There are, however, lots of different types of false lashes that can be tailored to exactly what you're looking for, whether it's something super-natural or the total opposite. It's all about picking the right pair and knowing how to apply them. Wondering where to start? We've rounded up the best false lashes and a few tips on how to wear 'em, 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.

    For Long Wear

    If you're a fan of extensions, but don't always have time to go to the salon, this DIY customized kit was made for you. Somewhere between lash extensions and faux individuals, these last for a whole week. If that's not enticing enough, celebrity makeup artists have raved about how natural they look, since they actually go underneath your natural lashes.



    Lashify Starter Kits, $145, available at Lashify

    For Natural-Looking Volume

    Nars has a great option for those looking to add some heft to their lashes without weighing them down. Trace some lash glue (we like Duo's Dark Lash Adhesive) along the band of the lash, and wait for 20 to 30 seconds until the glue becomes tacky. Then place the lash on your eyelid as close to your lashline as possible and voilà, instant volume.



    NARS numéro 5 eyelashes, $20, available at NARS

    If you're after a fluttery, flattering look, these falsies will do the trick. With a lighter layer of lashes on the inner corner, the subtle fanning effect offers up a natural look that's full and sexy.



    Eylure Texture No. 117, $4.99, available at Ulta Beauty

    For Intense Fullness

    "Although [these] lashes are dramatic, the band is thin, so they are comfortable," says professional makeup artist Ricky Wilson. "I trim them from the outside and they look beautiful for a stronger lash."

    Pro tip: If your lashes start lifting throughout the day, grab a tube of mascara and dot on a tiny glob of the product, which acts as a temporary bond, to your false lashes, then press your false lashes and natural lashes together. This will keep your falsies from falling off before you get home.



    Ardell Double Up #203 Black False Eyelashes, $6.99, available at beauty plus salon

    For days when you're feeling extra, IG-famous brand House of Lashes has you covered. These dramatic strips have been featured in the tutorials of vloggers like Desi Perkins, Carli Bybel, and Karen Sarahi Gonzalez (a.k.a iluvsarahii).



    House of Lashes Iconic Lite, $12, available at House of Lashes

    For Sparse Lashes

    Makeup artist Elisa Flowers recommends Alcone's 386 lashes for those looking for minimal yet feathery lashes. "The delicate strip has thin clusters of lashes spaced evenly apart," she says. "[It's] perfect for applying to the finest of eyelashes."



    Alcone Alcone Company False Eyelashes, $3.5, available at Alcone Company

    So lightweight and natural-looking, by the time someone comments on how full your lashes look, you'll forget you even had 'em on. Bonus: You can score three pairs for under $10.



    Eylure EyLure Naturalites Natural Volume Eyelashes, $9.99, available at Target

    For Subtle Definition

    For those looking for a hassle-free approach to falsies, individuals are definitely the way to go; if you lose a cluster or two, it won't ruin your look. Wilson likes using a mixture of short and medium lengths directly on his clients' natural hairs because they blend seamlessly, while providing wispy volume.



    Sephora Luxe False Lash, $18, available at Sephora

    For The Opposite Of Subtle Definition

    There's nothing about "faux mink" that sounds remotely subtle, and we love it. And although the falsies look unnatural, the texture of the lashes are nearly undetectable from your real ones — they're that soft.



    Huda Beauty Faux Mink Lash Collection, $23, available at Sephora

    If you want to play somewhere between subtle and mega drama, these medium volume lashes are the perfect middle ground. And there's even an added bonus of an eyeliner effect, in the case that you haven't mastered the cat-eye just yet.



    Blinking Beauté Premier Silk Lash Collection, $25, available at Sephora

    For Major Drama

    Velour's cruelty-free mink lashes are also staples in Wilson's kit. "I normally use these for clients who don't mind a heavy lash for a very special occasion," he says.



    Velour Lashes Rich And Fluffy, $29, available at Velour Lashes

    Think of this as a push-up bra for your eyes. This collection brings you the design of three lashes all in one so that you get volume, length, and curl. Bonus: It probably costs less than your go-to Seamless order.



    Kiss Lash Couture Triple Push-Up, Teddy, $6.99, available at Ulta Beauty

    For Adding Length

    Flowers loves MAC's 33 lashes, because the tapered clusters bring attention to the center of the eye. And because of the lashes' clear band, they're nearly undetectable on the lid.



    MAC Cosmetics 33 Lash, $17, available at mac cosmetics

    For Making The Eyes Look Larger

    "Half lashes are a nice alternative to a full strip of eyelashes," says Flowers. Simply place them toward the outer corners for an eye-opening effect.



    Trish McEvoy Lashes, $23, available at Neiman Marcus

    For Control Freaks

    Whether you want to apply 1-2 on the corners of your eyes for an opening effect, stack them up to create your own lash dimension, or add to a full strip for more volume, the possibilities are endless with these clusters.



    Urban Decay Urban Lash, $15, available at Urban Decay

    For A Bigger Cause

    Founder of Thrive Causemetics, Karissa Bodnar, developed a line of false lashes after losing her beloved friend to cancer. With Thrive's Beauty with a Purpose initiative, when you buy a product from the brand — like these high-quality lashes — a product of the same style is given to women in need from homeless women to cancer survivors.



    Thrive Causemetics Jackie Faux Lashes, $26, available at Thrive Causemetics

    For The Indecisive

    Not sure if you want a wispy, fluttery, or glam lash? Invest in a set like this one from Ardell so you can pick according to your mood.



    Ardell Mini Faves Lash Lookbook + Duo, $9.99, available at Ulta Beauty

    For Those Keeping Up With The Kardashians

    Kim Kardashian recently broke up with waterproof mascara and is now committed to false lashes to give her the long, dramatic lash look. Her go-to? Lilly Lashes, which are worn by Kylie, Khloe, and many other big names in Hollywood.



    Lilly Lashes Tease, $12.99, available at Lilly Lashes

    For The Money Savers

    Who says being glamorous comes at a cost? You can get gorgeous falsies, a lash applicator, and a contour tray for just $2.



    e.l.f Dramatic Lash Kit, $2, available at e.l.f

    For The Daring

    Like it or not, glitter has taken over world of beauty. Join in on the trend and turn heads with these uniquely-shaped sparkle lashes.



    Make Up For Ever Lash Show False Lashes (C-802), $18, available at Sephora

    For Cardi B

    One of Cardi B's standout beauty trademarks is her eyelashes. Her makeup artist Erika La Pearl relies on this showy set to give the rapper that little something-something that makes her the center of attention — whether she's taking a selfie, performing on stage, or walking the red carpet.



    Baddie B Lashes #INSTAHOE, $19, available at Baddie B Lashes

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    Aside from the awkward family debates dripping in political tension at the dinner table, there are plenty of things to look forward to in the next month, like cozy candles, festive cocktails, and Netflix finally dropping the sequel to A Christmas Prince. But even better than all that: it's gift set season at Sephora.

    During the holiday season, retailers roll out a ton of new gift sets that include three, four, even five products inside that make paying the higher price tag totally worth it. Even better, sometimes the sets are discounted so, essentially, you're getting some products for free. Sure, the products are a smaller, TSA-friendly size, but when it comes to the jet-setters or commitment-phobes in your life, they'll never have a shortage of product options to choose from.

    Ahead, 11 beauty gift sets that'll satisfy everyone on your list this year.

    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.

    If She Can't Live Without A Weekly Blowout...

    Considering the fact that a Dyson Supersonic Hair Dyer is $400 by itself, these four Ouai styling products — including one full-size Leave-in Conditioner, a travel-size Rose Hair & Body Oil, Memory Mist, and Texturizing Hairspray — are essentially free. And if anything will make blowdrying her hair at home easier than hiring someone else to do it, it's this high-tech gadget.



    Dyson Blown-A-OUAI Noir Set, $399, available at Sephora

    When Her Skin Is More Temperamental Than Mother Nature

    When a little goes a long way, a six-piece mask set from Peter Thomas Roth basically pays for itself. The best part? Every mask targets a different skin woe, from congested pores to dehydration and everything in between. We dare you to find one bad review — go ahead, try.



    Peter Thomas Roth Mask Frenzy, $75, available at Sephora

    For The Friend Who Still Calls Marilyn Monroe Her Idol

    Exactly what every beauty novice in your life will appreciate: three lipsticks straight from the Queen of Beauty, Pat McGrath. It's no surprise it's already selling out...



    Pat McGrath LUST: Mini MatteTrance™ Lipstick Trio, $25, available at Sephora

    When Your Makeup Artist Pal Just Went Freelance

    Most people might find it hard to justify spending $65 on four brightly-colored sponges, but if you're as loyal to the Beautyblender as most celebrity pros are, you'll know this is a downright bargain. Add in the four brush cleansing soaps (that look like candy to boot), and you've got the gift every makeup lover will beg for.



    Beautyblender Sweet Indulgence Set, $65, available at Sephora

    For The Friend Who Loves Glossier, But Has An Edge

    If Glossier is the friend that's dressed head-to-toe in millennial pink, then Milk Makeup is the one in a vintage leather jacket who owns a G Pen. It's no wonder the latter has no time for fussy beauty products, which is exactly why this entire gift set is made up of stick beauty products, like blush, highlighter, bronzer, and even face oil.



    Milk Makeup Meet The Fam Milk Bestsellers Set, $39, available at Sephora

    When She Can't Stop Talking About Her Trip To Seoul...

    Although there are plenty of Korean-inspired beauty brands out there, Dr. Jart's is perhaps the most scientific. In other words, this stuff works and looks cute, too. This holiday skin-care set includes soothing, hydrating, and concealing heroes heavy enough for winter. And you can put your next trip to Korea on hold because it's available at your local Sephora.



    Dr. Jart+ Superheroes Skin Transformers, $52, available at Sephora

    If The Party Doesn't End After The Clock Strikes 12:00

    There's no quicker way to add some sparkle to a look than dragging one of these liquid eyeshadows across the lid. Even better, it lasts way longer than the open bar on New Year's Eve, so your bestie can bar hop her way into January.



    Stila Aura Alight Glitter & Glow Highlighter Liquid Eyeshadow, $45, available at Sephora

    When She Wants The Joanna Vargas Facial, But Lives In North Dakota

    Being addicted to skin care can be tough when the best facial in town is at the local nail salon in a room that's really just a table and a curtain. Yes, $325 is a lot, but considering the fact that this micro-current tool lasts years and is the at-home version of a celeb-approved treatment, it's totally priceless.



    NuFACE Gold Trinity® Complete Skin Toning Collection, $325, available at Sephora

    For The "Candle Vlogger" Who Learned Nothing From Scream Queens

    A 12-piece candle set means at least two candles for every room in the house. In other words, she'll never have to smell the presence of her roommate's 13-year-old cat again.



    Voluspa Japonica Archive set, $75, available at Sephora

    When She Still Makes Facebook Photo Albums For Every Time You Hang Out

    The whole basis of Maison Margiela's Replica fragrance line is that every scent evokes one specific memory that's both rich in scent and price. One smells like the beach, another like your cotton sheets on a Sunday morning, and another transports you straight to an outdoor flower market in Europe. Sure, it won't send your friend straight to the chemistry lab in high school or the football field in college, but they're memories all the same.



    Maison Margiela Replica Vault Set, $490, available at Sephora

    When You Welcome Her To The Adult Acne Club

    Sometimes, friends love sharing their breakouts via Snapchat. Welcome her to the pimple-popping club with this skin-care set that includes foolproof products like daily peel pads for dull texture and an AHA cleanser that vacuums everything out of pores.



    Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Dew Holiday Right, $60, available at Sephora

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    Black Friday is a shopping day dedicated to holiday sales that annually take place the day after Thanksgiving. But lately, the once day-long celebration has grown into a week-long event — an event that retailers are christening, "Black Friday Week." Mega site Amazon is at the forefront of alleviating our shopping-associated stress by turning the former fierce and frenzied store holiday into a more palatable and gradual, at-home affair with a boatload of early deal drops.

    In addition to sales on popular tech gear and essential kitchen gadgets, Amazon is also currently offering an impressive lineup of discounted home buys — with up to 40% off a wide selection of goods, including items from cult-favorite brand exclusives like Rivet and Stone & Beam. The slashed-price finds range from big-ticket furniture to artful area rugs, rustic coffee tables, stylish ottomans with secret storage, mattresses, unique decor pieces, and much more.

    No need to put your shoes on, just sit down and check out the best of Amazon's Black Friday Week home buys available ahead. This year, we're staying home post-Turkey Day and shopping in slippers while the sales continue to simmer on through November 23.

    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 Good: Memory Foam Mattress & Pillows
    The Deal: 15% Off
    This big home buy is is making the sale purchase even more worth it with two premium Nectar pillows included as part of the whole comfy bundle.



    Nectar Queen Mattress + 2 Free Pillows, Gel Memory Foam, $699, available at Amazon

    The Good: Vintage-Inspired Area Rug
    The Deal: 44% Off
    Elevate your space with this vintage-inspired rug featuring soft distressed hues and a unique pattern.



    Unique Loom Sofia Collection Traditional Vintage Gray Area Rug, 9' , $88.4, available at Amazon

    The Good: Oak Night Stand
    The Deal: 54% Off
    This small space-friendly night stand is crafted from oak and finished with a smooth oil sheen.



    Sauder Night Stand, Oiled Oak, $50.4, available at Amazon

    The Good: Brass Accent Lamp
    The Deal: 19% Off
    This luminous table lamp doubles as a modern art piece with its offset glass globe atop a shiny brass base.



    Rivet Glass Ball Metal Table Lamp, White, $40.26, available at Amazon

    The Good: Denim Love Seat
    The Deal: 32% Off
    This love seat's clean lines and soft denim fabric combo make for one plush and small space-friendly sofa.



    Rivet Revolve Modern Loveseat, Denim, $407.64, available at Amazon

    The Good: Gold Accent Mirror
    The Deal: 33% Off
    Place this artful iron mirror anywhere inside your space for a burst of golden glow — or, give it away as a an effortless holiday gift.



    Rivet Star Shaped Metal Mirror, 22.5"H, Gold Finish, $33.26, available at Amazon

    The Good: Hand-Woven Area Rug
    The Deal: 84% Off
    Brighten up your space for a steal with this deeply-discounted, hand-woven wool rug in a lively geometric design.



    Momeni Rugs 100% Wool Hand Woven Area Rug, $87, available at Amazon

    The Good: Upholstered Platform Bed
    The Deal: 35% Off
    This retro-modern platform bed from Zinus is upholstered in a soft blue fabric and accented with smooth wooden legs.



    Zinus Zinus Upholstered Square Stitched Platform Bed, $190.99, available at Amazon

    The Good: Indigo Throw Pillow
    The Deal: 41% Off
    Instantly style-up a boring couch or bed spread with a boho indigo-striped and yarn-died pillow cover.



    Stone & Beam Shibori Pillow Cover, 17" x 17", Blue, $20.69, available at Amazon

    The Good: Rustic Coffee Table
    The Deal: 48% Off
    This rustic-chic wooden coffee table is ready to give your space a splash of beachy vibes complete with a convenient lift-top storage system and work surface.



    Sauder Coffee Table, Craftsman Oak, $98, available at Amazon

    The Good: Memory Foam Pillow
    The Deal: 26% Off
    Filled with shredded memory foam and covered in a soft hypoallergenic case, this firm but forgiving pillow is engineered for ultimate neck relaxation.



    Modway Memory Foam Pillow, Standard/Queen , $18.7, available at Amazon

    The Good: Accent Chair
    The Deal: 24% Off
    Spruce up your dining space with one or two of these hand-crafted blue accent chairs.



    Porthos Home Porthos Home Marielle Leisure Chair, Blue, $66.4, available at Amazon

    The Good: Retro Coffee Table
    The Deal: 20% Off
    This sleek wooden coffee table is coated in a powder blue finish for amped-up retro vibes.



    Porthos Home Bowie Console, Aqua, $182.4, available at Amazon

    The Good: Mid-Century Couch
    The Deal: 35% Off
    Clean lines come together with a soft gray hue to form a sofa that feels both classic and modern in the coziest way.



    Zinus Mid-Century Upholstered Couch, Stone Grey Weave, $279.99, available at Amazon

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    Pete Davidson has a history of imprinting the women in his life onto his body, for better or for worse. Last December, over a year after the fateful 2016 election, he got Hillary Clinton tattooed on his arm; this year, Davidson spent the majority of his summer rubbing Aquaphor on his body for Ariana Grande -inspired ink. And just today, at exactly 3:12 a.m., he added another famous woman to his collection: Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

    This might come as a shock to some Davidson fans, since just last month the comedian made it clear how he felt about getting more impulsive tattoos — especially ones dedicated to females. While co-hosting the comedy show Judd & Pete for America with Judd Apatow, Davidson referred to his recent breakup, and the multiple removal appointments he'd have to sit through. "I'm fucking 0 for 2 in the tattoo [department]. Yeah, I'm afraid to get my mom tattooed on me, that's how bad it is," Davidson told the crowd, joking that he's spent so much time covering up ink of past flames — Cazzie David and Grande — that he won't be quite as "stupid" (his words, not ours) the next time around.

    Photo: Jon Mesa/ Instagram.

    Well, that lasted about a month, because now he's got the "Notorious" RBG's face tattooed on his right shoulder. On the most recent episode of Saturday Night Live, Davidson and co-star Chris Redd paid homage to RBG's work on the Supreme Court and how she's the "one lady holding the whole damn thing together." Evidently, Davidson left inspired — so much so that he ran to tattoo artist Jon Mesa in the wee hours of the morning to get Ginsburg's likeness permanently etched into his skin.

    View this post on Instagram

    #notoriousrbg #liveforever

    A post shared by Dave Sirus (Brick Stone) (@davesirus) on

    The previous women may have taught Davidson love, patience, and pain, but we think this one gon' last. Why? If a couple of fractured ribs can't keep RBG down, then Davidson's love certainly won't.

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    On Wednesday, Dolce & Gabbana was forced to abruptly cancel plans for a multimillion dollar, one-hour runway show in Shanghai, China – after designer Stefano Gabbana allegedly posted racist remarks on his personal Instagram, causing China's biggest celebrities to pull out of attending the show, WWD is reporting.

    Diet Prada, the fashion industry's watchdog Instagram account, caught the since-deleted posts in which Gabbana appears to say “From now on in all the interview [sp] that I will do international I will say that the country of [series of poop emojis] is China” and “China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia,” the trade paper noted.

    View this post on Instagram

    As @dolcegabbana prepares to mount their next runway show in Shanghai this coming evening (7:30PM) and the rest of Instagram fawns over what’s sure to be an overly lavish “love letter” to China, we’ll be wondering if we’ll see chopsticks as hair ornaments, take-out boxes as purses, or even kimonos misappropriated as Chinese costume. Time will tell. For now, we’ll let y’all simmer on this DM between Stefano and Dieter @michaelatranova (chronology is reversed in slides). Word has it that they’re still in the process of model casting (over 200 Asian girls scheduled)...wouldn’t let them walk the show if we were their agents lol. Also, curious what the Chinese government will think of their country being called shit basically...especially considering how strict they are on who to allow to enter the country on work visas based on a thorough social media background checks. • #DGTheGreatShow #DGlovesChina #runway #fashionshow #cancelled #racism #dolceandgabbana #altamoda #rtw #dgmillennials #stefanogabbana #shanghai #chinese #china #wtf #dumb #lame #asianmodel #asian #dietprada

    A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada) on

    Both Gabbana and the brand have each posted apologies on their respective accounts claiming the designer was hacked. "My Instagram account has been hacked. My legal office is working on this. I love China and the Chinese Culture. I’m so sorry for what happened," Gabbana wrote on his personal page. “Our Instagram account has been hacked. So has the account of Stefano Gabbana," the Italian fashion house posted on Wednesday. "Our legal office is urgently investigating. We are very sorry for any distress caused by these unauthorized posts. We have nothing but respect for China and the people of China."

    View this post on Instagram

    #DGlovesChina ? More like #DGdesperateforthatChineseRMB lol. In a bid to further appeal to luxury's covetable Chinese consumers, @dolcegabbana released some hella offensive “instructional” videos on the usage of chopsticks. Pandering at it's finest, but taken up a notch by painting their target demographic as a tired and false stereotype of a people lacking refinement/culture to understand how to eat foreign foods and an over-the-top embellishment of cliché ambient music, comical pronunciations of foreign names/words, and Chinese subtitles (English added by us), which begs the question—who is this video actually for? It attempts to target China, but instead mocks them with a parodied vision of what modern China is not...a gag for amusement. Dolce & Gabbana have already removed the videos from their Chinese social media channels, but not Instagram. Stefano Gabbana has been on a much-needed social media cleanse (up until November 2nd), so maybe he kept himself busy by meddling with the marketing department for this series. Who wants to bet the XL cannoli “size” innuendos were his idea? Lmao. • #dolceandgabbana #altamoda #rtw #dgmillennials #stefanogabbana #shanghai #chinese #italian #cannoli #meme #wtf #dumb #lame #chopsticks #foodie #tutorial #cuisine #italianfood #asianmodel #asian #chinesefood #dietprada

    A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada) on

    The issue here is that the debacle stemmed from a series of social media posts teasing the runway show, in which an Asian model attempts to eat various Italian foods with a pair of chopsticks. The videos were hashtagged #DGLovesChina. According to Jing Daily, a site dedicated to reporting on China's luxury market, the videos depicted Chinese culture in an outdated and racist way. The posts drew such criticism so quickly, the fashion label deleted them from its Weibo (a Chinese social platform) but they remain on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, according to WWD.

    This isn't the first time Dolce & Gabbana has come under fire for controversial opinions. Gabbana has publicly and very proudly supported Melania Trump, chastising detractors with a #Boycott T-shirt, and then there was that time the brand tried to sell a "slave sandal" for $2,395.

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    Welcome to Away Game, a Refinery29 series where we tag along as real millennial women embark on trips around the world and track their travel expenses down to the last cent. Here, we offer a detailed, intimate account of when, where, and how our peers spend their vacation days and disposable income: all the meals, adventures, indulgences, setbacks, and surprises.

    This week's travel diary: A 32-year-old life insurance underwriter spends 20 days on a solo adventure, touring Croatia.

    Open to tracking your travel expenses during an upcoming trip? Email us at traveldiary@refinery29.com.

    Age: 32
    Occupation: Life Insurance Underwriter
    Salary: $70,500
    Travel Companions: None
    Hometown: Herndon VA (Washington DC Suburbs)
    Trip Location: Croatia

    Annual # Of Vacation Days: I accrue a total of 4 weeks/year and rolled over 3 weeks from 2017.
    Trip Length: 3 weeks

    Transportation: I flew from Washington Dulles to Zagreb, with a layover in Frankfurt (same on return). Within Croatia I flew from Zagreb to Dubrovnik.
    Flights: D.C. to Zagreb: $1075 (This included extra charges for Economy Plus seating.)
    Zagreb to Dubrovnik: $77

    Total: $1,152

    Accommodations: I was city-hopping a lot so I stayed in a variety of hotels and Airbnbs. I am not a fan of hostels or shared accommodations, am willing to pay for good location, and the hotel stays included breakfast so this is where I spent the most. Total cost of accommodations was $1772.

    2 nights in Zagreb hotel: $178
    5 nights in hotel in LaPad neighborhood of Dubrovnik: $481
    2 nights in Split Airbnb: $121
    3 nights in Hvar Airbnb: $188
    2 nights in Split hotel: $249
    5 nights in Zagreb hotel: $555

    Total: $1,772

    Pre-vacation spending: Croatian language audio course: $54.95
    I thought it would be a good idea to try to learn some of the native language before I went, and I had a $40 off coupon code for a Pimsleur course. It was surprisingly easy to learn enough to speak conversationally and ask directions, but I rarely actually needed to since most people I cam in contact with spoke perfect English.

    Post-vacation spending:
    None. Thankfully my brother cat/house sat for free since he lives so close and was happy to live alone without his 3 roommates.

    Day One

    4 p.m. — I arrive in Zagreb and am out of the airport in less than 10 minutes since I didn’t check a bag and the airport is so tiny. I stop at an ATM to grab some cash and try to pull up the Uber app on my phone to get a car to my hotel. Despite having a connection I can't get the app to find my location, so I give up and grab a waiting taxi. The driver is really nice and chatty, telling me about all the areas we are passing during the 30-minute drive to the hotel. $30

    5 p.m. — I check into my hotel and immediately shower and promptly fall asleep. Jet lag + travel grime is just the worst. I purposefully planned a day and a half in Zagreb just to adjust and relax, so I’m not missing anything by sleeping early, and I saved money being too tired to eat dinner.

    Daily Total: $30

    Day Two

    7 a.m. — I wake up, get dressed, and head to breakfast in the hotel restaurant. I fill up, making the most of the meal included in the price of my stay, and head out into the city.

    10 a.m. — I’ve been wandering a while just looking around and getting the lay of the land, and am now headed to the Britanski Trg antique market. The actual square is smaller than I expected from the photos I’d seen, but the place is jam-packed with vendors. I walk around a bit and then grab a seat at a neighboring cafe, have a coffee, and people watch for a while. It’s a beautiful day so I decide to walk to the botanical gardens instead of taking the tram. The gardens are free to enter and are beautiful, so I spend a long time walking around. Jet lag starts to creep up on me again so I make my way back to the hotel for a nap. $2

    6 p.m. — After my big breakfast I just snacked on a Kind bar I brought with me for lunch, so when I wake up after a 2 hour nap my stomach is growling. I leave the hotel and head up the street to a restaurant I’d read about called Heritage. It’s super small with only enough seating for about 6-8 people, and I grab the only open stool at the bar along the wall. I order a glass of white wine and some Croatian tapas, and when the server brings the food and wine over he points out what region of the country every ingredient is from on a map that’s hanging on the wall in front of me. It’s all delicious, and I’m glad I got there when I did because people are starting to come by and get upset that there are no seats available. When I finish I’m stuffed, and when I get the bill and figure out the cost in USD I’m shocked how much I got for so little. $9

    7:30 p.m. — I walk over to Ban Jelačić Square and do some more people watching for a bit, before walking back to my hotel for the night. I’m still dragging and want to get plenty of sleep so I can hit Dubrovnik running tomorrow.

    Daily Total: $11

    Day 3

    8 a.m. — I sleep in a bit today and head to breakfast. I fill up again and then go back to my room to pack up my things, check out, and get an Uber to the airport. $17

    2 p.m. — I’ve landed in Dubrovnik and after a little difficulty finding my Uber driver, I’m on my way to my hotel. I’m staying in Lapad, which is an area filled with hotels and restaurants down a pedestrian walkway. My driver’s GPS tells him to drop me off in the parking lot behind a different hotel because it’s the closest a car can go, but I don’t have to drag my suitcase too far. I check-in to my hotel, get settled, and shower. $32.75

    4 p.m. — I head out and hop on the #7 bus out to the Old City. When I get out at the Pile Gate there are so many people it's difficult to walk. I walk around for a few hours just taking in the sights, popping into stores, and looking around. I’m going to be in this city a while so I’m not in a rush, and don’t buy any souvenirs yet. $1.80

    6:30 p.m. — I’ve been checking out restaurant menus as I walk around and I finally sit down at one and order a glass of white wine, and a pasta dish with figs. After dinner I walk around and window shop some more, and then head out the Pile Gate back to the bus stop. There are so many people I have to wait while 2 busses fill up before I actually get on one. $13.80

    9 p.m. — I get back to Lapad and walk down to the beach to take in the view for a bit, and then head back to the hotel for the night.

    Daily Total: $65.35

    Day 4

    8 a.m. — I wake up and go down to the hotel restaurant for breakfast, and then go catch the #7 bus back to the Pile Gate for a tour I booked for the day. I’m going on a Game of Thrones walking tour and am supposed to look for my guide in the square outside the gate holding a GoT flag, which isn’t super helpful because there are at least 3 of them. I eventually find the group and we set off. For 4 hours we walk all around the Old City and Fort Lovrijenac. I hit 10K steps in no time. The guide is great, not only showing stills from the show to compare to the buildings and sights we’re looking at, but also telling us a ton about the history of the city. I learned a lot more than I expected from a Game of Thrones -themed tour, and we covered a lot of ground. I chose to add on a trip to the Trsteno Arboretum so after the majority of the group departs, three of us get into a van with the tour guide and a driver and take a lovely 30 minute ride along the coast. There is no one else in the arboretum so we have the place to ourselves as we walk around checking out the filming location of many of the scenes that take place in the palace gardens in season 3 and 4 and learn a lot about the place’s interesting history. $148.60

    5 p.m. — I’m dropped back at the Pile Gate entrance and I hop on a bus back to Lapad. I’m starving so I stop at the only fast food option near my hotel and grab a chicken wrap. Thankfully I carry a collapsible water bottle and Dubrovnik’s Old City has a few large public fountains, so I’m finding I don’t need to spend money on bottled water. $3.80

    7 p.m. — I head down to the beach to hang out and read, and watch the sunset. I end up chatting with another solo traveler who was doing the same and we decide to go get a drink at a nearby bar. He picks up the tab and we agree to meet up tomorrow so I can buy lunch.

    Daily Total: $152.41

    Day 5

    8 a.m. — Breakfast at the hotel again and off to the bus stop and back to Pile Gate. I walk to the entrance of the Mount Srd cable car and buy a one-way ticket. The view of the Old City and the Adriatic sea on the way up are stunning, and once I get to the top I spend some time taking in the view and snapping some pictures. Then I head to the Homeland War Museum and spend quite a while looking at the exhibits. It’s amazing to see the pictures and videos of the destruction in the Old City and think about just how recently the devastation occurred. Watching some of the videos brought me to tears. After the museum I take a leisurely hike down the mountain on a trail that zig-zags under the cable car route. $16.30

    2 p.m. — I meet up with the guy I met the night before, for lunch. We share a pizza and have a couple beers each, and I pay. We walk around the city a bit and sit chatting at the docks. He leaves to meet a walking tour and I head to the modern art museum. I buy a ticket that also allows entrance to a few other museums I’ll visit later. $36.28

    8 p.m. — Back to Lapad on the bus. I stop for dinner at a cafe whose outdoor tables have bench swings instead of chairs. I have a salad and some wine, and people watch while street cats crowd around begging for food. $14.70

    Daily Total: $67.28

    Day 6

    6 a.m. — I’m up early for breakfast today. During my walking tour earlier in the week the guide mentioned that there were going to be four cruise ships in Dubrovnik today so the city would be packed. I decided not to be where the crowds are and booked a small-group tour of Montenegro on Viator. $53.85

    7 a.m. — The minibus picks me up near the bus stop and after picking up a few more tourists we’re on our way. The guide is friendly and knowledgeable, and speaks Croatian, English, Spanish, and German fluently! We spend the day driving around the Bay of Kotor and stopping in Perast, Kotor, and Budva. The whole day I feel like someone dropped me in the middle of a postcard, it’s so beautiful.

    2 p.m. — Walking around the old city in Kotor I do some souvenir shopping. I buy a few brightly decorated ceramic bowls and a spoon rest since I recently broke the one I had in my kitchen. I also pick up a couple magnets, and a pair of pretty teal and white ceramic stud earrings. $56.16

    4 p.m. — We have more time than is really necessary to walk around Budva on our own. The old city is small and the rest of the city is lots of shops and high-rises, so I just walk around the old city and grab late lunch/early dinner at a restaurant there. I have a glass of wine and some risotto before meeting the group again. It’s been a long day so I sleep most of the way back to Dubrovnik, waking up at border crossings to hand over my passport. $12.50

    8:30 p.m. — I get dropped off at Lapad and am so thankful I don’t have to deal with the crowded busses at the Pile Gate tonight. I tip the guide and driver, and head back to the hotel because I. Am. Beat. $20

    Daily Total: $142.51

    Day 7

    8 a.m. — Today is my last day in Dubrovnik. I have breakfast at the hotel and take the bus back to the Old City to walk the city walls. The entrance fee was included in the ticket for Fort Lovrijenac that was included in my tour earlier in the week. $1.80

    11 a.m. — I walk around the Old City popping into a few small museums that are included with the ticket I bought to the art museum the other day, and I go shopping to get souvenirs I’ve been looking at all week. I get a magnet for myself and one for a friend, a pair of traditional filigree earrings in silver for myself and a gold pair for my mother, and some rose facial moisturizer from the oldest pharmacy in the city for a friend. The earrings and rose cream are very touristy purchases, but are also so typical of Dubrovnik that they are perfect reminders of my trip. $123.44

    1 p.m. — I head to the docks on the other side of the Old City and hop on a boat to Lokrum island. The island has some nice hiking trails, a Game of Thrones exhibition center (the island was a filming location too), and amazing views. I spend the rest of my day exploring the island and trying very hard not to stop and pet all the adorable wild rabbits. They’re everywhere, and so are the peacocks. For lunch I snack on trail mix and fruit leather I brought from home. $6.14

    8 p.m. — I take the bus back to Lapad and go to dinner at a cafe near the beach. A street cat sleeps next to me on a stone wall while I enjoy some prawn scampi — large whole prawns sauteed in tomato sauce and garlic — and it’s delicious. I also have two glasses of wine while I enjoy the view of the beach at sunset. $43.68

    Daily Total: $173.26

    Day 8

    8 a.m. — I have breakfast at the hotel and pack up my things before jumping on the city bus to the bus station. Once there I buy a ticket and board a bus to Split. $20.97

    5:30 p.m. — Traffic was heavy so the bus ride took nearly 6 hours, but the view along the coast for the whole drive was so beautiful I barely minded. I grabbed a hot dog at a rest stop on the way for lunch. I arrive in Split and walk to my Airbnb, which is only a half mile from the bus station. $1.53

    8 p.m. — I’ve showered off the travel grime and head out to get something to eat. The old city area in Split is called Diocletian’s palace, and is the former vacation home of the emperor Diocletian. It’s packed with tourists, restaurants, and shops. I wander around checking out menus and pick a restaurant with a lamb dish that sounds really good, and has a great view of a plaza where lots of people are hanging out. It’s on the pricier side so I go without wine. Probably a good idea since I’m tired and haven’t eaten much, so I don’t need to be tipsy walking back to my Airbnb in a strange city. $26.84

    Daily Total: $49.34

    Day 9

    9 a.m. — I leave my Airbnb and walk towards Diocletian’s Palace. On the way I stop at a market with vendors selling fruits and vegetables, and buy some fresh cherries that I eat for breakfast while sitting on a bench on the Riva with a view of the sea and boats. I walk around Diocletian’s Palace for an hour or so window shopping and getting lost down the narrow pathways. $2.30

    12 p.m. — I go to Split’s gallery of fine arts and after that, Froggyland. Froggyland is a weird little tourist trap of a museum, but worth the visit and entrance fee. It houses the largest collection of taxidermied frogs, all posed in dioramas performing different activities. It was bizarre, but I kind of loved it. $15.30

    2 p.m. — I grab a cheese pastry called a Börek from a bakery for lunch and eat it as I walk to the basement halls of Diocletian’s palace. This is another Game of Thrones filming location, but I’m not doing a tour and just plan on walking around myself. While I’m wandering the halls I run into a small GoT tour group and overhear the guide’s story about his experience as an extra in the fight scene where Barristan Selmy died, filmed in the hall where we were standing. $7.90

    4 p.m. — I’m back at my Airbnb and pack a bag to go hang out at a nearby beach. I’m super pale and freckly and don’t fare well in the sun, so late afternoon or early evening is my ideal beach time. Bacvice beach is just under a mile from where I’m staying so I walk over and plotz on one of the few sand beaches in Croatia (most are rocky). I bring a book and my travel journal and spend a long time reading, writing, and relaxing before heading back.

    9 p.m. — I go for dinner at a very busy restaurant just around the corner from my Airbnb. The place is packed and I’m told they don’t have space without a reservation, and the bar is too full for me to find a seat to eat there. As I go to leave a woman stops me and says she had a reservation for one and asks if I want to join her at the empty seat at her table. I jump at the chance and we have a great time. She was visiting from London with friends who just left that day, and her flight isn’t till the next morning. We share a bottle of wine and a traditional meat platter for two, and I can’t believe how lucky I was to be there at the same time as her! $40

    Daily Total: $65.50

    Day 10

    9 a.m. — I have a few hours to kill before I have to check out of my Airbnb and catch a ferry, so I go back to the beach early today for a few hours. I bring the rest of my fresh cherries from yesterday and some trail mix for breakfast.

    3 p.m. — After an hour on the ferry from Split, I’ve arrived on the island of Hvar. I make my way through Hvar town to the bus/taxi area where my Airbnb host is waiting to pick me up. The apartment is less than half a mile from the town but the driveway is up an incredibly steep hill, so they make a point to pick up guests in town and drive them up with their luggage, which is really nice. I get settled and have a shower cause it’s super hot out and I’m disgusting from dragging my luggage through Split and Hvar today. $6.12

    6 p.m. — I walk down the hill and back into Hvar town for dinner. I skipped lunch in fear of getting sick on the ferry, so I’m famished. I walk around a bit and decide to stop at a restaurant with outdoor seating in a little square hidden between apartments. There are beautiful bougainvillea streaming from the apartment balconies around the tables, and it’s quiet away from the main street. I enjoy some fresh calamari, a salad, and a glass of wine. After dinner I get a gelato down in the main square and watch the sunset. $32

    Daily Total: $38.12

    Day 11

    7 a.m. — I head out early because today I plan on hiking all day. I stop at a grocery store at the edge of Hvar town and grab a sandwich for lunch, a couple bananas, and box of what appear to be the Croatian version of Nutrigrain bars to eat for breakfast and snacks. $11.57

    7 p.m. — I make it back to my Airbnb after a long day hiking. I went to the fortress atop a tall hill with beautiful views of Hvar town and the Pakleni islands, then walked just under 5 miles to an abandoned village called Malo Grablje. After wandering around there a bit I walked back to Hvar town and dragged myself up the hill to my Airbnb. I take a shower and plan to go into town for dinner but accidently fall asleep. When I wake up two hours later I can’t bear the thought of walking anywhere. I find a cabinet in the kitchen with a few half bags of pasta left by previous tourists, and some butter in the mini-fridge, so I make myself a bowl of buttered noodles for dinner and eat like a little kid.

    Daily Total: $11.57

    Day 12

    9 a.m. — Today I book myself on a small group tour of the Pakleni islands. I have one of the bars I bought yesterday for breakfast as I wait to meet the boat in the Hvar town harbor. I booked the tour through Viator and it’s being run by a company called Amazing Hvar, a husband and wife duo who are so sweet and funny. There are seven of us on the tour: a couple from the UK, and mother and daughter from Canada, two cousins from the US, and me. $118.59

    2 p.m. — After running into a pod of dolphins 15 minutes off the coast of Hvar, touring the amazing blue cave on the island Bisevo, hopping a few other islands, and eating sea urchin that our guide plucked from the ocean and pried open right in front of us, we’ve stopped at an island that has a few restaurants and a beach bar. We all end up at the same restaurant, and I share a table with the UK couple and American cousins. I order some risotto and a glass of wine, and our tour guides send glasses of sparkling wine to everyone. One of the Americans and I dominate the conversation for a little while after we discover we live within an hour of each other and are both big fans of the Washington Capitals. After we lament the fact that we haven’t been able to watch our boys playing in the Stanley Cup Finals while we’re traveling, we all head back to the boat. $22.96

    6 p.m. — After the fantastic tour of the islands we get dropped off at the harbor in Hvar town. I walk back towards the parking/taxi area with the wife half of our guides and chat with her about the difficulties of owning a tourism business. They work 24/7 during the tourist season and it sounds incredibly stressful, but you’d never know from how well they ran the tour. I had so much fun with them and tell her so, thanking her profusely. I am a bit sunburnt, quite tired, and desperately want a shower so I decide to have dinner in and stop at the grocery store on the way out of town to pick up a sandwich and some fruit instead of going to a restaurant. $8.42

    Daily Total: $149.97

    Day 13

    10 a.m. — I’m leaving Hvar today, but my ferry isn’t until the early afternoon so my Airbnb host has graciously offered to keep my luggage at the apartment after check-out and drive it down to the bus/taxi area just before my ferry. This is a huge help, and lets me plan on spending a few hours at the beach before I head back to Split. I pack a day-bag with some snacks and head down the hill to Hvar town. While walking past some cafes I swear I hear someone shouting my name and look around. I see the Canadian mother and daughter from my tour yesterday sitting at a table and waving at me. I make my way over and join them and we chat for a couple hours over coffee. $2.30

    12 p.m. — We decide to move on to another cafe and grab lunch. My beach plans are clearly out the window now but I don’t mind at all. It was just a way to spend a few hours and I’d much rather do that while hanging out with these two ladies. We walk around until we settle on a cafe that serves quick sandwiches and salads. $6.90

    2 p.m. — Before I know it it's time for me to meet my Airbnb host and pick up my luggage. I exchange phone numbers with the daughter so we can try to meet up when we’re both in Split in a few days. Unfortunately I wasn’t using WhatsApp and don’t think I put my number in her phone in the format for her to call/text a US number from Canada or abroad, so we never connect. $6.12

    4 p.m. — I arrive back in Split and drag my luggage down the Riva and into Diocletian’s palace in search of my hotel. Thankfully I happened to walk past it while exploring Split in the days before I went to Hvar, otherwise it would’ve been difficult to find. It’s not far from one of the entrances to the palace but is up a few stairs in a corner that’s slightly away from the busy shops and restaurants. I check in and have a shower and a nap.

    8 p.m. — My hotel has a dinner special in their restaurant for guests and I decide to take advantage because it’s so cheap, the restaurant gets good reviews on Trip Advisor, and the sample menu at check-in included a dish I’ve been meaning to try — Pašticada. The dish originates in the Dalmatian region, so I knew that Split was my last chance to really try it as I’d be leaving the coast soon. Dinner includes soup, main, and dessert for only 100 kuna (about $16), a price which seemed like a mistake since Split isn’t cheap. I order a nice glass of red wine and am told by the server that Pasticada isn’t an option on the hotel guest special menu that night. While I’m disappointed, I see the restaurant next door has it on their menu so I figure I’ll go there tomorrow and order something else tonight. When my main course comes, it’s Pašticada! It turns out the receptionist heard me being told I couldn’t have it. She went to the kitchen to tell the cook I’d mentioned wanting to try it, so they made an exception. I’m very thankful because it was DELICIOUS. It’s like a super rich and flavorful Croatian version of pot roast, but with better meat and a more involved recipe, and served with gnocchi. $23

    Daily Total: $38.32

    Day 14

    8 a.m. — Today I’ve got an activity booked that I’ve really been looking forward to — I’m going ziplining in Omis, a town not far from Split that has a beautiful river gorge. I have breakfast at the hotel (included with my stay) and pack a day-bag with trail mix and a water bottle. I get picked up by a driver from the company I booked the activity through, Splitlicious. He tells me and the other people in the van to call him Dragon. He’s very friendly and has lived in the area his whole life so he points out places to go and makes suggestions as we may our way to Omis to check-in and pay for the excursion. $61

    11 a.m. — With a group of about 10 other people and 2 guides, I’m driven halfway up a mountain and hike up the other half to the first of 8 ziplines. This first line is the longest at 700 meters long and 150 meters high, and even though we had a little training session on a practice line, I’m pretty nervous. As soon as my feet leave the platform the nerves go away because the view is amazing and it’s so much fun. Over the next couple hours my group mates and I zip back and forth across the gorge and trade phones and cameras so we can take pictures of each other coming and going. At the sixth line we’re allowed to use just one hand to operate the brake instead of two, so this is the only line where we can use a camera while we fly. I put my phone on my selfie-stick because I’m afraid I’ll drop it with the big bulky glove on my hand and I get an excellent video of the view as I fly parallel to the river gorge. At the end I make sure to tip the two guides. $15

    6 p.m. I’m back in Split, freshly showered after getting so sweaty from hiking and ziplining in the hot sun, and head out to do some souvenir shopping. I stop in a typical tourist shop and grab a bunch of Croatian lavender mini soaps to bring back for my coworkers, and a couple magnets for myself. $30

    8 p.m. I walk to a restaurant not far from the Airbnb I’d stayed in previously and have the black cuttlefish risotto, which is fantastic. After dinner I walk back to the Riva outside Diocletian’s palace, get a gelato, and watch street performers on a stage that’s been set up. There’s a stand-up comedian, and I’m actually able to understand about half of what he’s saying thanks to that language course. $15

    Daily total: $121.00

    Day 15:

    9 a.m. — I wake up, pack my things, and head to the hotel restaurant for breakfast before checking out. I haul my luggage to the bus station and buy a ticket for a bus to Zagreb that leaves in an hour. $20.39

    1 p.m. — The bus is about halfway to Zagreb and we stop for a quick break at a reststop. I grab a sausage wrapped in pastry for lunch. $1.53

    4p.m. — I arrive at the Zagreb bus station, hop on the tram to Ban Jelačić Square, and walk half a block to my new hotel to check in. $0.61

    6 p.m. — After getting settled and having a quick nap, I head out into the city. By complete chance I booked the end of my trip in Zagreb during an international street performance festival called Cest is d’best. There are little stages and performance spots all over the city, with the main stage being in the square just outside my hotel. I walk around for a few hours stopping to watch the various musicians, magicians, and dancers perform.

    9 p.m. — I grab a bite to eat at a little fast-casual style place that serves pita sandwiches and salads. I have a falafel pita and sit at a table outside watching a musician play across the street at a festival performance spot. $5.37

    Daily total: $27.90

    Day 16

    8a.m. — I wake up and have breakfast at the hotel (included in my stay) and as I leave I swing by the main Cest is d’best stage area in Ban Jelačić Square to grab a program with the performance schedule. I walk a few blocks to the funicular, which takes you on a 1-minute ride up a hill to the Upper Town, and head to the Museum of Broken Relationships. It’s a small museum that houses a collection of mementos that people have donated along with stories about their broken relationships and the item’s significance. This museum is at the top of a lot of suggested museum lists I came across in my planning, but I wasn’t sure I’d spend much time there. Surprisingly, I end up reading the whole story next to every single item in there, and some of them even make me cry a little. $9.19

    11 a.m. — I dry my eyes and head the the Atelijer Meštrović, a small gallery showcasing the sculptures of Ivan Meštrović. I love sculpture and find myself very taken with the work displayed here, so even though it’s not large I’m there for quite a while. Still, it doesn’t feel like long before my stomach growls and I realize I should grab some lunch. $3.07

    1:30 p.m. — There’s a nice looking restaurant up the block from the gallery and I manage to grab a table before the staff start turning people away. There are plenty of other tables open but just after my food comes I find out why they weren’t seating anyone else when a large tour group shows up. I have an amazing dish of chicken in some kind of tomato sauce with roasted potatoes and vegetables. $13.03

    3 p.m. — I walk through the Upper Town back towards Ban Jelačić Square. On the way I stop in the jewelry store of local artist Ivana Bačura, because the enamel and silver jewelry in the window caught my eye. I like to buy jewelry when I travel because it’s easy to bring home, and every time I wear it it’s a reminder of my trip. I buy a small silver and green enamel pendant necklace, and set of earrings for a good friend. $76.65

    8:30 p.m. — After wandering around and watching a few street performers, I go back to my hotel for a quick nap and then head back to the Upper Town for a “ghosts and dragons” tour with Secret Zagreb. I meet the guide and group of 7 other tourists and we set off for a couple hours of walking through the dark and mostly deserted streets, as well as a couple graveyards, while listening to creepy stories. It’s a lot of fun and the guide is very enthusiastic. After the tour I grab a cheese Börek from a bakery on the way down from the Upper Town and eat while watching the last street performer on the main stage that night. $16.10

    Daily total: $118.04

    Day 17

    8 a.m. — I get up, have breakfast at the hotel, and head out to meet my tour guide for the day at a park a couple blocks from my hotel. I’ve booked a day-long tour in Slovenia through Viator and will be visiting the capital Ljubljana and Bled. When I get to the meeting spot there’s no one around except one guy and a small car where I expected a minibus typical of small-group tours. The guy asks if I’m A and introduces himself (we’ll call him K), explaining I’m the only one who booked the tour for that day so it’ll be just the two of us. I’m a little worried since I’m in a strange country and don’t know this man, and now am expected to spend all day with him driving around and visiting other cities. Also, this could be really awkward just trying to make conversation all day. He shows me his ID and despite my apprehension I actually get in the car. My worries dissipate a little when I remember that my mother is obsessively tracking my movements back home using an app, so I text and update her on the situation so she can pay extra attention today just in case. $188.81

    10 a.m. — After driving with the guide for 2 hours my fears are completely gone. K is a lot of fun to talk to and keeps having to interrupt our casual conversation to remember to actually go through his tour guide script. I guessed that he was a child during the Croatian War of Independence, since we seem to be about the same age, and when I ask, he tells me a little about what his experience was like during that time, even though he mentions he doesn’t often talk about it with tour groups. We arrive in Ljubljana and he passes me off to a local guide while he parks the car. That guide takes me up a funicular to the castle and we walk around for about 45 minutes while she tells me about it’s history. When we go back down the funicular K is waiting, and the three of us walk around the town doing the typical tour thing for about an hour.

    12p.m. — I’m given an hour on my own to get lunch and wander so I grab a bite to eat at a sausage shop that the Slovenian guide pointed out. Carniolan sausage is a pork sausage that originates in Slovenia and is a protected traditional specialty, so few people/companies are actually permitted to make it and sell the sausage with that name. I order a half sausage which comes sliced with a roll, grainy mustard, and horseradish. It’s very good and I inquire about how long the packaged sausage keeps because I’d love to bring some home to my brother, but the shop owner says it’d only be good out of refrigeration for a day or two. $4.45

    2 p.m. — We arrive in Bled and K tells me about the history of the castle and town surrounding the lake as we walk around the castle grounds. The castle sits atop a tall hill overlooking a lake, which has a small island with a church on it. On a clear day the Alps are visible, but today is a bit cloudy. I walk around by myself for about 20 minutes taking in the views and checking out the castle’s little museum. After that we hop back in the car and drive down to the lake, where K points me towards a restaurant that serves a cream cake that Bled is famous for. I have more alone time so I go in and order a slice of cake, which I’m not thrilled with. It tastes good but it’s basically a lot of custard and some puff pastry, and I wonder how something so bland supposedly got so famous. After the cake I hit the tourist shops and buy some t-shirts with dragons to bring home to my friends’ kids. A handful of good friends all had baby boys within the past 2-3 years so I anticipate the dragons will be a hit. I also grab a magnet with a photograph of Bled so I can keep a picture at home of the beautiful view on a clear day. $51.35

    7 p.m. — We arrive back in Zagreb and K gives me his contact info before we part ways. I had such a good day after being so worried at the beginning of it. Slovenia was beautiful and I’m glad I went on the tour. I walk back to my hotel and grab a sandwich from a bakery on the way for dinner. $1.83

    Daily total: $246.44

    Day 18

    9 a.m. — I have breakfast at the hotel and hop on the tram to go to Zagreb’s contemporary art museum. There’s almost no one here and I browse nearly all alone in the massive building for a few hours. I spend a long time looking at one particular installation called “Women’s House” by Sanja Ivekovic. It consists of 21 plaster casts of women’s faces, all on top of pedestals with the woman’s story printed on the side. All the women were casted by the artist while living in shelters, and their stories of domestic abuse or going to the shelter after being abandoned by their families due to an HIV diagnosis are heartbreaking. I read every single one and have to find a restroom because I’ve run out of tissues. $6.13

    2 p.m. — I buy a yummy tomato and zucchini sandwich from a bakery and eat it while watching some performers on the main Cest is d’best stage for a while. There’s a dance troupe, and then a guy who does some balancing acts. After that I walk to the Memorial Centre of the Rocket Attacks and tour the exhibits showing photographs, videos, and other artifacts of the bombing, including pieces of the actual rockets that hit the city. $1.15

    8 p.m. I make a dinner reservation at a restaurant around the corner from my hotel that K recommended. On the drive back to Zagreb yesterday he insisted I make a list on my phone of his suggestions for things to eat and places to go, even though I told him I only have one more full day to spend in Zagreb. I’ve been instructed to try a traditional Croatian meal of Lamb Under a Bell, which is lamb, vegetables, and potatoes all cooked under a terra cotta dome with burning embers on top of it. This restaurant is fancy and eating here is the first time during this whole trip I’ve felt a little conspicuous at a table for one. I get over it eventually and the food is delicious. I have some white wine, the lamb, and a deconstructed version of a traditional Croatian dessert called Imotski rafioli. I text K afterward to thank him for the recommendation. $33.70

    Daily total: $40.98

    Day 19

    8 a.m. — I booked a small-group tour to Plitvice Lakes National Park through Viator, and get picked up behind my hotel after breakfast. This time there’s 9 other people on the tour, not just me, and 4 of us are solo female travelers. There's an 18 year old from Norway, a 40-something from Japan, a 60-something from Northern CA, and me. $103.09

    2 p.m. — It took about 3 hours to drive to the park because there was a lot of traffic, and it’s moderately crowded so the walk through it is slow going. That’s not a bad thing though, because it’s so beautiful there, so moving slowly gives us more time to look around and take pictures. The water is a beautiful turquoise color you’d never expect from inland lakes, it looks nearly the same as the Adriatic sea did. After walking around for a few hours we stop for a break at an area with restrooms and cafeteria-style restaurants. I have a sandwich and enjoy conversation with the solo ladies in the group and our guide, who is about my age and has extensive travel experience herself. She tells us about her recent solo trip volunteering in Jerusalem and we’re all in awe. $5.38

    5 p.m. — We’ve taken a boat ride across the largest lake in the park and hiked back to the bus waiting for us on the other side. I stop in the gift shop before we leave and pick up a magnet. - $1.54

    8 p.m. — I’m dropped off at my hotel and am super tired. I’m leaving for home early in the morning and need to get packed, so for dinner I walk a few blocks to a gelato shop K recommended. The tourist areas are flooded with them, but he said this one is the best and actually makes their own gelato instead of buying from big brands. He’s right, it’s amazing. I text him to say thanks for another recommendation and he laughs that I’m having gelato for dinner. $3.84

    Daily total: $113.85

    Day 20

    5 a.m. — I’m up too early for breakfast at the hotel so I eat some trail mix in my room while I get ready, then go down to meet my Uber to the airport. $16.90

    4 p.m. - I fly from Zagreb to Frankfurt, from Frankfurt to Dulles, and now I’m home. By some miracle the flight home from Frankfurt was fairly empty and I had an entire row to myself in Economy Plus. I was actually able to lay down and sleep a little, which I never manage while flying. Still, I’m super tired when I land and fall asleep in the car when my mom picks me up for the the 5 minute ride to my apartment. I go to sleep as soon as I get home and wake up to unpack a few hours later while I watch the Capitals win the Stanley Cup.

    Daily total: $16.90

    How did you prepare for this trip?
    My former roommate had gone on a shorter trip to Croatia and other central European countries a year before with a group of friends, and had an insanely detailed google doc spreadsheet that he shared with me. I used the spreadsheet for some ideas, and scoured travel blogs and Pinterest. I also created my own Google Doc to keep track of costs, reservation details, and my itinerary.

    When did you book your flight? Do you think you got a good deal?
    I booked my flight 3 months before my trip, and compared to other prices at the time I felt I got a good deal. While I didn’t use any points/miles on to pay for this trip I’m pretty loyal to United’s frequent flyer program and have used program points/miles to pay for previous international round-trip flights. I used my United Mileage Plus card to buy the tickets to, from, and within Croatia, so I earned miles on the purchase in addition to the miles earned from the travel.

    What was your favorite part of the trip?
    I went on some fantastic small-group tours that were all booked through Viator. With Viator it’s not always clear who the tour operator will be when you book, but the reviews are helpful and I’ve never had an experience that wasn’t fantastic. My favorite tours were the Hvar islands boat tour, Plitvice Lakes trip from Zagreb, and my unintentionally private tour of Slovenia.

    What was the best meal you ate while you were there?
    Pašticada in Split.

    What advice would you give someone who is traveling to the same location?
    Be prepared, in high tourist season it’s very expensive and crazy crowded on the Croatian coast. If you’re going to Dubrovnik pay attention to the cruise schedule and try to avoid the days where there are lots of ships. I found out later that the day I arrived it was so crowded because there were 3 cruises docked, so I’m very glad I went to Montenegro the day there were 4.

    Is there anything about your trip you would do differently in retrospect?
    I might’ve researched hotels/Airbnbs a little longer to find something less expensive but still central.

    Would you stay at your hotels/Airbnbs again?
    Yes, especially the Hvar airbnb.

    Would you recommend the locations you were staying in?
    I thought all the locations I stayed in were perfect because they were pretty central. I certainly paid for the location though, so if you’re trying to save money and have the time to research it could be easy to find a decent place a little further out that isn’t an inconvenience.

    Do you feel like you were there for the right length of time?
    Sometimes I think I didn’t need to spend as much time as I did in each place, and I could’ve saved some money if my trip was a little shorter. Still, I don’t regret it because I was relaxed instead of trying to cram in everything I wanted to do.

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    Even though our mothers and grandmothers arguably pioneered the sexual revolution, we're constantly inundated with think pieces on the love and sex lives of the 18-to-45 set. As a result, we know very little of how these women are getting it on and how their sex drives change over time

    As a married woman approaching her mid-30s, I have a lot of questions. Will I still be having sex when I’m 75? Will I still enjoy it? And, what will it be like? What if I get divorced? What is the dating landscape like for a septuagenarian? What do I have to look forward to, and what should I be aware of as I get older?

    In an effort to answer some of these questions, we tracked down six amazing women between the ages of 62 and 79 who were willing to talk frankly about their sexuality and how it's changed over time. Gay, straight, trans, black, white, single, married — they have all lived vastly different lives. But they seem to agree on one thing: Sex doesn't have to stop just because you get older. In fact, it's quite the opposite.

    We conducted the interviews ahead over the course of several months, culminating with an original shoot in Los Angeles. These incredible women had a lot to say, so stick around until the end to see them in a video that's so good, it might break the internet. This piece is as much for those under 60 as it is for those above. Because the future of your sex life doesn't have to be a question mark.

    Diane "Pinky" Harman, 65
    Awarded the moniker “Pinky” because she always wears the color pink (and because Queen Latifah bestowed it upon her during a "Rap It Up" segment on her talk show), Pinky taught English in the L.A. unified school district for 32 years. Now 65, she still finds time to regularly upload hip-hop dance videos to YouTube.

    Please let me know if you’re uncomfortable with any of my questions.
    "You can ask me anything, I am a blank slate when it comes to sex. I LOVE it! Oops! I shouldn’t say that so loud."

    Has sex changed for you as you've aged?
    "When I was younger, I loved sex. I still do today. But it’s changed today because my husband has multiple sclerosis. We do things, but it’s not like it used to be because of the disease progression. He was diagnosed a week before our wedding 15 years ago.

    "It’s my second marriage. The first marriage lasted 10 years, and then I divorced him. I divorced him for many reasons. He wasn’t abusive physically, he was just emotionally abusive, and I didn’t want it anymore. We were married a little less than 10 years. I was 27, 28 when I married him."

    Sex has changed a lot in the past few decades. What was your early experience with it, culturally speaking?
    "My parents were very protective. Jewish. And protective. I didn’t have my first sexual relation until I was in college — until, maybe, the second year in college. Because my parents said, 'Don’t have sex; you’ll get pregnant.' I can hear them to this day. I wished I would have. Even when I married my first husband, I was still careful because of what my mother said. I wish she wouldn't have told me that, it restricted me too much. But now I’m older and I can do what I want!"

    Photographed by Matt Crump.

    Diane "Pinky" Harman, 65 (Continued)

    What advice would you give your younger self about love or sex?
    "I would say to be open, and willing to experiment. Willing to enjoy your body, enjoy his body, explore what you like, explore what he likes. A lot of communication is important. Don’t worry about things you can’t control, because it’s a waste of time.

    "Everybody worries when they’re younger, but when you’re older, you look back and think, why did I worry so much about that? It wasn’t important. Like, I wish that boy would ask me out, he’s so cute — and he never calls you, and you’re so upset, you’re by the phone waiting for it to ring. Oh forget that — it’s a waste of time! Just go on. You have to be with somebody who cares for you deeply. And then sexual relation comes when you care about each other. It’s another form of communication."

    How has your understanding of your body changed over time?
    "I really like sex more as I get older. When you first have sex, when you’re a virgin, you really don’t know much. You just don’t know. You gain more experience the older you get. You age like a good wine. As you get older, you know more. You communicate with your partner more, I like this, you like this …it’s much better.

    "I like to look at the 28-to-32 age [range of] men…I call it 'exercising my eyes.' My husband knows, god bless his soul. But I like to look!"

    Wow, just a four-year window, huh?
    "I like ‘em young, because I tell ya, I like ‘em straight-up, sunny-side up! I don’t like the Titanic going down. And I don’t like men who take Viagra. It takes too long! I had an older man once who took eight pills of Viagra, you know what he did? Fell asleep. Embarrassing."

    Photographed by Matt Crump.

    Diane "Pinky" Harman, 65 (Continued)

    Where does your energy come from?
    "I don’t know, I’ve always had it! I’m in a 65-year-old’s body, but my mind is still in the 20s. I have rhythm."

    "You can be 16, 20, or you can be 90. I’ve heard of people having relations in their 90s. It doesn’t matter. I think it’s the person; it’s not the age."

    What three adjectives would you use to describe your sex life in your 20s and 30s?
    "Excitement, anticipation, heart beating fast."

    And now?
    "My 60s are more free. Free, open, flexible. Free of judgment."

    Photographed by Matt Crump.

    Phyllis Rosechild, 72
    Phyllis went from realizing that she was attracted to women while in the nascent stages of a young heterosexual marriage to becoming one of the first members of the Lesbian Sex Mafia and a regular in the BDSM scene. She has been with her current partner for 21 years.

    How did the women's movement and the sexual revolution affect your life?
    "The women’s movement started, and we were doing nontraditional jobs, and we were feeling oppression from the patriarchy, and it totally almost destroyed me. I couldn’t get past it. I hated every man because even if he wasn’t keeping me down directly, by not speaking up he was also complicit.

    "I was working in a warehouse, using heavy equipment, cutting 8-inch plate aluminum. The supervisor would come up to me and say, 'You know what I think about women working?' — while I’m sitting on a forklift. One time, I looked at him and said, 'You know what, Jack? I don’t give a shit what you think.' He’d always say to me, 'I think you should be home, barefoot and pregnant.' But that was everybody’s attitude! Every single man, no matter how liberal you thought he was, really thought that. And it wasn’t that they were horrible people; it was that that’s what the society was teaching."

    Did that influence the way you viewed your sexuality?
    "Somehow I knew that I had always had feelings towards women. But I didn’t have a word for it. and I didn’t have a lifestyle for it. There were absolutely no role models — all I knew was male and female, and I thought that’s the way I was supposed to fit into that."

    Photographed by Matt Crump.

    Phyllis Rosechild, 72 (Continued)

    What was your experience of coming out while married to a man?
    " When I told my husband, 'I’m leaving,' he said, 'Don’t go — you can stay, and go do what you want to do. Just come home to me.' And I was like, 'I can’t do that to you, and I can’t do that to me.' So I didn’t."

    How has your sex life changed as you've aged?
    "My sex drive [since my mid-60s] is much lower. I met my partner at 51, and that certainly wasn’t a period of low sex drive. But what I’ve found, what’s more important to me, is to have the relationship that I have with her. No matter what, I know she’s going to be there. I know there will be someone to defend me, to take care of whatever it is if I can’t do it. And who will make the right decision. It’s incredible, because basically you’re you, and you’re alone, and nobody really cares about you the way you care about you. But she does. She actually does."

    If you could give your younger self sex advice, what would it be?
    "I always felt that if it felt good to me, I was going to do it. I never felt inhibited about anything I’ve done. Nor am I ashamed of anything I’ve done."

    Have you experienced any physical issues related to your sexuality as you've aged?
    "I had dryness issues, but I went to the urologist and I got some estrogen, so I do that twice a week. It’s supposed to help with that, and it has. I’m amazed. So now it lubricates itself. Because really it does get dry, and it’s all after menopause. You have to be very, very active. And this is very good for you to know! Because no one ever told me!"

    What three adjectives would you use to describe your sex life in your 20s and 30s?
    "Wild. Uninhibited. Plentiful."

    And now?
    "Comfortable. Exciting. Loving."

    Photographed by Matt Crump.

    Janet March, 70
    Janet is a divorced mother of three who worked in property management for more than 25 years before transitioning to a career in garden nurseries in her late 60s. She met her current boyfriend 15 years ago, and they’ve been blissfully ensconced ever since.

    What was your romantic life like after your divorce?
    "My children's father and I divorced in 1986...I dated quite a lot, I had a few long-term relationships, like two years, but not living together, just dating, and I always wanted to remarry. There was no question about it, I loved being married and being at home, and also having my kids around me. But I just allowed things to happen, and I met my current boyfriend [15 years ago]. He was the manager of my office. Somehow we got together, and we’re still together now. We live together."

    Is he your age?
    "He’s two years younger than me, and we laugh and say that I robbed the cradle."

    Do you plan to get married again?
    "I think we’ll continue living together. I don’t think marriage means a lot to him. He was very badly burned by his divorce and just doesn’t want to be in that situation again, so I’m honoring his decision. But I don’t like it; I tell him often that I really want to be married. But I also tell him, 'If you ask me now, I’ll say no, because it’s my idea, not yours.'"

    Photographed by Matt Crump.

    Janet March, 70 (Continued)

    What advice would you give your younger self about dating?
    "I would tell myself to not be so concerned if the man likes you; [what's important is] if you like him. And of course, value your self-worth. Be true to yourself in that way. And then the kind of men that you really want to be with, I believe, will follow.

    "Oh, and enough with, Am I dressed okay? He doesn’t care!"

    What about sex advice?
    "You are not there for him; you’re there for the both of you together. Relax, enjoy it, stay in the moment. It’s for you as well as for him."

    What’s different about sex for you now?
    "As I matured, I realized that sex really never stops, and I realized that I will have it. It’s so comfortable!"

    Have you experienced any physical sexual issues as you've aged?
    "I’m getting drier, and sometimes it’s painful. But that’s fixable — my gynecologist put me on Premarin cream, and that solves it. I should apply it every day, but I don’t, because I’m lazy. But it works; it gives your vagina the chemicals it needs."

    Has your relationship been affected by any erectile issues?
    "Not really, no! It is good. He can stay hard a long time. Sometimes I have to say 'come already!' You know? That’s enough!"

    Would you say that orgasms feel different at this point in your life?
    "Yeah, I actually feel them and know how to recognize them. That took a long, long, long, time. I don’t think I learned about that until my late 40s — what it really feels like. I thought I had them before, but I guess I really didn’t. And it’s all about relaxing and realizing your self-worth and not being [solely] concerned about whether he’s having a good sexual experience."

    Photographed by Matt Crump.

    Janet March, 70 (Continued)

    Are you more sexually adventurous now than when you were younger? Do you use toys?
    "Yeah, we use toys. But I didn't [when I was married]. The whole thought of all of that, and going to one of those sex shops — I guess I was just very shy and naïve. It turned me off, really, I was just embarrassed. But getting older, I was open."

    How has your perception and understanding of your body changed over time?
    "I [now] wish I had the body I used to hate, you know what I mean? That’s depressing, to look in the mirror. Gravity has taken over. So, oh well, you just gotta go along with it! As for my understanding of it: I was actually very precocious as a child, and if my mother knew what I was doing with a mirror in the bathroom, I just don’t know what would happen. I’ve been pretty much aware my whole life."

    What three adjectives would you use to describe your sex life in your 20s and 30s?
    "My sex life when I was younger, which would be with my ex-husband, was: demanding, self-centered (for him), and daily (constant)."

    And now?
    "Warm, soft, exciting."

    Photographed by Matt Crump.

    Beverly Winters, 68
    Widowed at 21, with a toddler and sick mother to take care of, Beverly struggled with alcoholism. Because being openly gay in Dallas in the mid-‘60s wasn’t an option for her, it wasn’t until she moved to California in the ‘70s that she finally felt free to be who she is. She has worked as a postal employee for 35 years, and has been sober since 1981.

    Did you always know you were gay?
    "I realize now when I look back, when I was about 9 years old, I was a little gay girl. [ Laughs] What we call today a lesbian! I fell in love with one of my friend’s oldest sisters; she was a model for Ebony magazine.

    "Most of the girls that I had a crush on [growing up], there was nothing really reciprocal about any of that, it was just the idea that I had, and being down in Texas and not knowing anything about any gay or lesbian scene or anything, you just had your ideas and you kept them to yourself."

    How did you wind up married to a man?
    "The marriage came when I was around 19. I was a young alcoholic. We had sex, and I got pregnant when I was 18, just out of high school. My son was born when I was 19, and my husband went into the service, and he passed away in an auto accident, and so that was the end of that."

    Did your husband know that you were gay?
    "No, he didn’t know. We both had some secrets, I found out, after he passed. He had something else going on. It was just me and my son after that. People wanted to get married then, and because I was pregnant, I got married. Since I was going to take care of my son myself, that’s what I did. You know, [now] you sit down and have a talk with your parents and stuff; I wasn't in that kind of position in my family. My mother was ill mentally, and my father was gone, and so I just took care of the family and did what I did for me."

    Photographed by Matt Crump.

    Beverly Winters, 68 (Continued)

    Do you date now?
    " Oh yes, my darling! I’ve had maybe five or six girlfriends since breaking up with my ex, but, oh, I love to date, I’m always going out on dates."

    How do you meet the women you date?
    "I meet ‘em up at the LGBT center, through friends, going through different seminars, and parties, and dances…and different classes. I like to get out and be among people most of the time. I’ve been going to ballroom dancing class for three years."

    What advice would you give your younger self about sex or romance when you’re older?
    "I think I would say to her: 'Be cautious. Be safe. No matter what you’re doing — gay, straight or otherwise — be safe in your sexual encounters. And although you get the hots, think about it first.'

    "Up until this moment, I am sexually active. I enjoy sex. And to me it’s a gift from god, to be a sexual human being. If done with clarity and a sense of not giving up who you are to get somebody. Be honest with yourself and the person you’re with. And ask for what you want, and if you don’t get it, you have to weigh out whether you want to be with this person for other reasons or not. But I’ve learned that I am a sexual individual, active, so if I meet someone that’s not, that would be a red flag for me… I want to have a mate! It’s a glorious experience!"

    How has sex changed for you as you've aged?
    "Just because you’re aging does not mean that you have stopped wanting and having sex. It just gets better! With my encounter with another woman, I know to pay attention to her and not be this macho woman. Even if you’re good, each woman has a different way of getting excited and having a climax. So as I’ve grown, I’ve grown to know that just because I’m good with one person doesn’t mean I’m necessarily good with another person. It has to be something you talk about.

    "I had to learn what is it that pleased the individual, and different women like different kinds of things. My first experience fisting, I didn’t really understand what that was, but I found out. That, to me, would be painful, but it wasn’t to them! They liked it.

    "My sex life is always gonna be great. [ Laughs] I’m gonna make it so!"

    Photographed by Matt Crump.

    Jackie Cole, 79
    Jackie has been married three times, but has been single for much of her 70s. She didn’t have her first orgasm until she was 30 years old, but says she taught herself to squirt in her mid-70s. We can all learn a lot from Jackie.

    How much better is your understanding of your body and sexuality at this point in your life?
    "In my 30s I was pretty horny. As far as having a male partner, that was very important. And I was very sexual. I loved having sex and I loved men. But as I evolved into now being single…it’s nice to be able to explore my body and make all the noise I want, or [express] bodily functions without being embarrassed, because it’s only me!

    "I’m learning a great deal about my body and my [sexuality]. I really like to be alone, by myself, learning how my body responds to my touch. I really like it better on my own, without a partner. I’ve had plenty of partners, so I’m finding I don’t miss that sex. I think the only thing I miss is companionship.

    "Usually, if I’ve had a few drinks, then I’ll come home, and then I can turn myself on. But I do a lot of exploring. I really have fallen in love with myself, and who I am. And I take care of myself. In every way! "

    Photographed by Matt Crump.

    Jackie Cole, 79 (Continued)

    Have you tried online dating at all?
    "I did one time, and that was more than 10 years ago. I hated it. I’m just over men. I like men — as long as they belong to somebody else!

    "I’m an independent woman, [but I tend to] pick men who are like puppy dogs. Very clingy... There’s nothing wrong with a puppy dog if that’s what you both like. But if you’re not that kind, then it’s not going to work. And it never did for me.

    "Dating men is like a job, and I’m not interested in that job. If I happen to meet somebody, I’m open to the possibility that something could happen. I know too many women who are just desperate because they feel like their life is empty. And I don’t feel that way at all. I have so much love in my life. I have a great family. I have probably the most amazing friends that anyone could have. I’m pretty content. Not content enough to die, but content!"

    What advice would you give your younger self about sex?
    "I would say that sex is not the most important part of the relationship. There’s so much to a relationship, and when sex is the most important thing, then everything is out of balance. I’d tell myself to be more honest. Learn how to communicate more. I don’t think I knew how to do that very well. And I would tell myself not to blame someone else if I’m unhappy, because it’s really me. I know that now. We always want to blame the other person for our happiness, but it’s up to me to make myself happy."

    What three adjectives would you use to describe your sex life in your 20s and 30s?
    "Sexy, fearless, horny."

    And now?
    "Body-wise, pleasurable, selective."

    Photographed by Matt Crump.

    SheAh Prince Eternal, 62
    SheAh is a life coach who leads a course at the Los Angeles LGBT Center called Silver Sensuality, in which women over 60 meet weekly to discuss reclaiming their sexuality. SheAh identifies as trans, female-to-male, and non-op.*

    How has sex changed for you as you’ve aged?
    " I am here for me. I know how to bring myself back into alignment with what feels good for me. My happiness is not dependent on anybody outside of myself… The joy of being the age I am now [is that] I’ve moved past a lot of pain, and things that used to matter don’t matter. Now, I’m in what some people would call a very selfish state of mind, where I make me happy.

    "It took several years to get to that point because the world teaches us a whole other thing: You’re supposed to think about others and not yourself… But when you do that, you mess your own self up a lot! You can’t make anybody else happy. They can only make themselves happy, and the greatest relationship between two people is when each person is happy within their own self, and then you come together and share a journey."

    How much better is your understanding of your body now?
    "I love my female body. [As a non-op trans person], there’s no category for me. I’m in the process of making one up. I feel like a boy in a girl's body. Which puts me in the identification of more of a trans than a lesbian, but at the same time, I don’t want an operation. It’s almost like I don’t fit anywhere, gender-wise, because I am more butch, definitely, but at the same time I’m soft. I’m not hard or macho; I’m sensitive. I give flowers, and I like to receive flowers. And I’m very sensitive to any woman I’m involved with in terms of what she’s feeling, and giving her an opportunity to talk to me, and I talk to her. And if I’m vulnerable, I’m not afraid to cry.

    "Right now, I’m going through a transition with my body, but it’s a great understanding because I really love my body now. Sometimes my stomach is fatter than other times, and I look in the mirror and I say, You’re so cute. Hey sexy. The desire has not waned. I love, love, love to have sex. I have sex as often as possible. Sometimes marathons! It’s amazing to be the so-called age that I am and experiencing this sexuality."

    *Editor's Note: Although SheAh has begun to identify as male, we have used the designation of "women" throughout this piece to refer to the collective female experience described herein, and we do so with SheAh's explicit permission.

    Photographed by Matt Crump.

    SheAh Prince Eternal, 62 (Continued)

    Would you say orgasms feel different as you’ve grown older?
    "I would say yes. There was a period where I completely denied my body because I was not okay with being gay, because I was still judging myself as being wrong.

    "But now, I’m experiencing the greatest sex in the world! The end of sexuality is not inevitable!

    "My climaxes have changed somewhat, because when I was younger, or until recently, I didn’t need any penetration for really good orgasms. I didn’t need it! Now, I really like it. And I think it may be kind of confusing to some of the women that I have sex with, because I’m so male inside. I am totally having an orgasm, just by giving them an orgasm and making love to them. And some women have told me it’s magical; they feel a penis. I love that about my orgasms now."

    How many orgasms are we talking about?
    "When my girlfriend and I have marathon sex sessions, I would say up to 10 orgasms."

    Do you use toys and instruments?
    "A lot of the time I experiment with my body to see what I’ll do with a woman. Not only do we have G-spots, but we have a perineal gland, which is the second G-spot. I made myself into a contortionist and I stimulated my clitoris and then I put something in my yoni and then I put something in my butt at the same time. I twisted around some kinda way and put my finger in my butt, and I experienced an orgasm in all three places!"

    What three adjectives would you use to describe your current sex life?
    "Amazing, fulfilling, and just damn good."

    And when you were younger?
    "A lot of self-denial. Hungry. And numb."

    Photographed by Matt Crump.

    If this is what 60+ is like, the future looks good. REAL good.

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    0 0

    A Mississippi judge has permanently blocked the most draconian abortion law in the U.S., which would have banned the procedure after 15 weeks. The bill only provided exceptions when the mother's health is in danger or in the case of severe fetal abnormality, and not for rape or incest.

    Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed the bill into law in March, but U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves immediately put a temporary block on it, which was extended multiple times and was set to expire on November 26.

    "The State chose to pass a law it knew was unconstitutional to endorse a decades-long campaign, fueled by national interest groups, to ask the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade," Reeves wrote in his ruling. "This Court follows the commands of the Supreme Court and the dictates of the United States Constitution, rather than the disingenuous calculations of the Mississippi Legislature."

    "The Mississippi Legislature's professed interest in 'women's health' is pure gaslighting," he added. "Its leaders are proud to challenge Roe but choose not to lift a finger to address the tragedies lurking on the other side of the delivery room: our alarming infant and maternal mortality rate."

    The Mississippi Legislature's professed interest in 'women's health' is pure gaslighting.

    The decision effectively blocks a similar 15-week ban in Louisiana that would have taken effect had the Mississippi law stayed intact, according to Reuters.

    In his ruling, Reeves brought up the tragic fact that far too often, it's men who are making decisions about women's reproductive rights.

    "The fact that men, myself included, are determining how women may choose to manage their reproductive health is a sad irony not lost on the Court," he wrote. "As a man, who cannot get pregnant or seek an abortion, I can only imagine the anxiety and turmoil a woman might experience when she decides whether to terminate her pregnancy through an abortion. Respecting her autonomy demands that this statute be enjoined."

    Abortion rights are under assault in increasingly extreme ways around the country. Earlier this week, we reported that Ohio Republicans are considering legislation that would not only completely ban abortion in the state, but punish women for it with the death penalty or life in prison. The state previously passed a bill through the House that would ban abortion at six weeks.

    Unfortunately, this is no longer a fringe or isolated idea. However, most Americans still support Roe v. Wade, according to polls. "This November, voters elected a record number of governors who will champion reproductive healthcare. People in states like Ohio that do not have this critical backstop face a heightened threat to abortion access," Dr. Leana Wen, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in a statement to Refinery29. "We must fight harder than ever to protect every woman’s right to control her own body, life, and future. We know the majority of Americans want access to safe, legal abortion. It’s time that our elected representatives listen to us: Patients do not want politicians in the exam room making our health decisions."

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