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Refinery29

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    While it might seem like undereye filler exploded into the beauty conversation the moment Katy Perry copped to it, the reality is that it's been an insider Hollywood secret for well over a decade. Tear trough filler, the actual name dermatologists use for the procedure, does what creams or makeup never could: smooths the circles under the eyes by filling in the hollow that becomes deeper as we age.

    While it's easy to understand why the filler spot has increased in popularity, it’s also one of the riskier places to inject on the face due to its proximity to the eyes. If it's something you're considering, it's not to be taken lightly and should only be performed by a board-certified medical doctor who specializes in their field — also called core doctors — like dermatology and plastic surgery.

    For everything you need to know, from the consultation and aftercare to the risks and pricing, we turned to three of the top injectors in Los Angeles. Click ahead for everything you need to know about tear trough filler, including a video to see exactly how it's done.

    Filling in the circles under your eyes sounds like a dream in theory, but the consultation is where you learn what comes along with the fairytale. Your provider should go over the side effects, risks, maintenance required, before-and-after images of their work, and price. Every city is different, but our experts in L.A. charge between $750 and $950 a syringe; most people only need one syringe to start, unless you have major volume loss.

    This is also the time when your MD can determine if you're even a candidate to begin with. "People will come in thinking they need undereye filler when they don’t," board-certified dermatologist Karyn Grossman, MD, says. "Dark circles can be from discoloration or an indent." In other words, if the darkness under your eyes is a result of hyperpigmentation or a reflection of blood or muscle, filler won't do much.

    "Tear trough filler is best for people who have minor fat pad bulges and can soften, but not erase, more significant fat pad bulges with some layering of filler," Dr. Grossman says. Some indents caused by fat pad bulges are genetic and can be seen in young people, while others find hollows develop or deepen through the aging process when collagen and elastin begin to break down and skin begins to sag.

    After covering your bases from a safety perspective, you want to make sure you choose someone whose aesthetic matches your desired end result. While there are many practitioners who offer it, the delicate procedure requires an experienced doctor with a trained eye. "Many people overfill the undereye," Dr. Grossman says. "But do you need to look younger than a 12-year-old?"

    Board-certified dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD, agrees, adding that the area around the eyes is one of the hardest to achieve a natural result. Because the filler is injected above the bone, but below the muscle, the provider has to steer clear of veins in a very veiny area. A mistake here can result in unsightly or catastrophic results (more on that later).

    Do your research, read every review you can, and prioritize quality and safety first. "This is not the time to use Groupon," Dr. Shamban says.

    First timers should only ask for hyaluronic acid dermal fillers, like Restylane, Juvederm, or Belotero. Yes, there are other options that last longer, including various forms of your own fat, but H.A. filler is the only reversible substance, which makes it ideal for newbies. And those three types in particular respond best to hyaluronidase, the substance injected to dissolve the filler if there is an emergency or the patient dislikes the result.

    Which H.A. filler your provider chooses is important to the end result. Shamban prefers fillers from the Restylane family for this procedure, because you don't risk what she calls the "tyndall effect," or the blue-gray shadow that can occur when Juvederm is placed too close to the surface of skin.

    Dr. Grossman agrees that Restylane is a more foolproof pick, but notes that Belotero is better for those with thin skin because it doesn't absorb as much water, so swelling is more minimal when you eat a big, salty meal. (Yep, filler can puff up a little when it absorbs water because it's hydrophilic.)

    We'll just come right out and say it: Yes, it will hurt. But your provider can apply topical numbing cream for 10 to 20 minutes beforehand to make the procedure more comfortable for you. Ahead of your appointment, you'll also want to avoid anticoagulants (blood thinners) like ibuprofen or aspirin, which can increase your risk of bruising. Lay off fish oil supplements and alcohol for as long as you can, too. (Some doctors say a day is fine, while others say two weeks is better.)

    Of course, pain is relative, but most rank it a four to five out of 10: bearable, but memorable and 100% made worse by nerves. (Subsequent visits tend to rank closer to a two.) Your eyes will be sore as the numbing cream wears off, so get home and relax. But expect to feel fine by the following day. If not, follow up with your doctor.

    On the day of your procedure, your doctor will remove your makeup and cleanse your skin with both hibiclens (a medical-grade skin cleanser) and rubbing alcohol to prevent infection. Then, they will either inject your undereye area directly or use a cannula, which is a tiny tube that's inserted above the cheekbone and used to distribute product elsewhere, like under the eyes. Dr. Grossman and Dr. Shamban normally opt for a needle because it's said to be more precise, but board-certified dermatologist Annie Chiu, MD, sometimes uses a cannula because the risk of bruising is lower.

    A skilled injector will go slowly, adding a bit of product at a time until they reach the desired result. “It’s important to do it in stages so we don’t over traumatize and have too much swelling,” Dr. Chiu points out. Most doctors will keep patients sitting up so they can assess the work as they go and try to limit the injection spots. "I usually do one to three entry points so you have less bruising," Dr. Shamban says.

    Many doctors also mold the product with their fingers quickly after it's injected to shape it into place before it fully sets. The whole procedure should take about 15 minutes (post numbing) and your provider will immediately ice the area to reduce swelling and bruising afterward. It's important not to mess with your undereye area for the rest of the day because you want to avoid germs as much as possible. Makeup, for example, is a no-no.

    Some results will be visible immediately, albeit swelling means that you won't get a full picture until a few days later. The swelling should be on par with what your eyes look like after a sad movie or at the height of allergy season — nothing more and nothing a stranger would notice. If the swelling doesn't disappear after a few days, consult with your doctor.

    “Undereye filler lasts between nine months and a year for the average person,” Chiu explains. Some fullness might stick around for longer depending on your anatomy and how quickly filler dissolves in your body — some even notice results for up to three years. Either way, all our experts recommend getting a touch-up before you lose all your results so you minimize the amount injected each time, plus any potential side effects.

    At this point, you're probably well aware that bruising is common. Some say it can be reduced with oral arnica and bromelain, but prepare to ice the area in 10 minute sessions throughout the first 24 hours. You'll also want to avoid working out for least a day, because raising your heart rate could exacerbate bruising.

    If a nasty bruise does appear, Dr. Grossman has patients come back to the office for a quick ultrasound or laser treatment to help it disappear faster. Something called a "bleb" can also happen, which looks a bit like a welt in the injection spot. This means the filler was applied too close to the surface of the skin and needs to be dissolved.

    Swelling and bruising are common, but more serious results can occur down the road. "Your filler could be fine then, six months later, your eyes are red, swollen, and tender," Dr. Grossman says. She says that's either a result of biofilm, which is a kind of infection that forms around the filler, or a sensitivity reaction that is developing to the filler. "That's treated with hyaluronate, antibiotics, and oral steroids," she says.

    Although incredibly rare, there are also vascular risks, like occlusions. "Any place that filler is injected can go into a blood vessel then go downstream and block blood flow to an area," Dr. Grossman says. "If it's just a skin occlusion, you see a blanching where the skin turns white and then it turns this dusty gray purple color and there are protocols that you do to deal with it."

    But, in rarer cases, it can be much, much worse than that. "When a particle goes into a blood vessel and instead of going downstream to cause a skin occlusion it somehow has enough force to go upstream and into a larger blood vessel, and then back downstream from that, ocular occlusion [can occur]." That is, blindness or partial blindness in one or both eyes. The chance of this happening is a fraction of a percent, but that doesn't mean it's impossible, so it's important to consider.

    Dr. Shamban points out that your risks slightly improve if you use a cannula, "But even a cannula can get into a vein," she says. Dr. Grossman agrees and adds that cannula occlusions have been reported. Which is why it's important to go to a doctor who can treat you in the event of an emergency, not a medi spa where the solution is to call 911.

    Press play to watch Dr. Chiu give a patient tear trough filler for the first time.

    Have a question we missed? Leave it in the comments below and we'll check in with our experts for the answer.

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    Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.

    After a revealing and honest interview with PAPER Magazine, announcing her return to acting, Amanda Bynes is back in the spotlight. Let's revisit her best roles.

    With the recent 10th anniversary of She's the Man, the announcement of an All That reunion special (which she unfortunately won't be joining), and her 30th birthday on April 3, we can't help but continue to be nostalgic for Amanda Bynes.

    Her wit, charm, and unique characters were all so quintessentially '90s. She first made her appearance on Nickelodeon as a cast member of All That in 1996 when she was only 10 years old. Less than three years later, she was given her own one-woman series, The Amanda Show.

    After that, she seemed to be the ideal maturing child star, standing out amongst the Lindsay Lohans and Paris Hiltons of the world, not just for her clean behavior, but for her commitment to her roots — comedy. She wasn't afraid to get down and dirty to deliver slapstick humor as she does in She's the Man, nor did she recoil from playing the bitchy Christian antagonist in Easy A. She even tackled an iconic movie musical turned Broadway hit turned movie again, Hairspray, which is no easy feat.

    But with peaks come the inevitable valleys. A handful of films, including a couple made-for-TV movies, led to a rut in her acting career. Her personal issues aside, Bynes always was a daring actress who knew how to be silly without being obnoxious.

    In her honor, we ranked the best of her major film roles to help celebrate the big 3-0. Here's to you, Amanda!

    10. In Living Proof (2008)
    This movie has a respectable cast (including Harry Connick, Jr. and Regina King) and a strong social message in its plot about finding a cure for breast cancer. But Bynes disappoints as the girly student lab assistant. Plus, it's a Lifetime movie, so take it with a grain of salt.

    9. Easy A (2010)
    If these rankings were based on the movies themselves, Easy A would easily sky-rocket to the top three. But Bynes' character in the movie is by far the most unlikeable of her on-screen career. Her portrayal as the snobby, holier-than-thou (literally) headband-wearer is a major departure from her previous roles. It made us miss the old Bynes.

    8. Lovewrecked(2005)
    This mashup of Six Days Seven Nights and Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! is a cheesy-rom-com-lovers' kryptonite. But if this genre isn't your cup of tea, you'll probably find this flick kind of dry.

    7. Sydney White (2007)
    This modern take on the tale of Snow White has its funny moments, but the whole Apple-crashing situation is a bit too literal.

    6. What I Like About You(2006)
    First off, RIP the WB. Second off, the basics of this show are totally unrealistic, starting with Holly Tyler (Bynes) crashing with her older sister Valerie (Jennie Garth) in a ginormous NYC apartment. Plus, most of their sisterly moments are way overdone. But Bynes always does seem to shine in a fight scene.

    5. What a Girl Wants(2003)
    This was Bynes' first big-girl role. She plays Daphne Reynolds, a young woman unafraid to, yes, get what she wants. That includes flying to England alone to find her father (Colin Firth), putting a few mean girls in their place, and showing her own mother what confidence and girl power is really about. That a way, Manda.

    4. Hairspray(2007)
    Who knew girl could sing? Bynes' performance as Penny Pingleton is unexpected, impressive, and fun. The romance between Penny and Seaweed J. Stubbs (Elijah Kelley) is also a treat.

    3. Big Fat Liar (2002)
    Kaylee (Bynes) is the perfect wingwoman for all of her friend Jason's (Frankie Muniz) wild antics. And has there ever been a better prank than when they both sneak into Marty Wolf's (Paul Giamatti) house and mess with his fancy pool water, turning it blue? Roger Ebert, back me up on this: "A lot of the funniest scenes involve Giamatti, who is the target of so many practical jokes by the two kids that his life becomes miserable. The best: They fill his swimming pool with blue dye, so that on the day of his big meeting with the studio chief, he looks like an understudy for the Blue Man Group. "

    2. She's the Man (2006)
    You already know our feelings about this. The 2006 comedy almost rocked the vote to be No. 1, but we knew we had to stick with the most quintessential Bynes role, ever...

    1. The Amanda Show (1999)
    From the obsessed Penelope, Amanda's No. 1 fan ("Who are you, please? Amanda, please?") to the iconic Dancing Lobsters to Moody's Point, this skit show doles out too many one-liners to count. The series ran for three years, giving us the opportunity to watch Bynes grow up before our eyes. The laughs still stand up, almost 17 years later.

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    Like booster supplements in smoothies and freshly pressed green-drink orders, the use of serums in skin care can at first seem like a superfluous, if not costly indulgence. Sure, these shots of concentrated nutrients might add extra oomph to our complexions, but if we’re already keeping our skin clean and hydrated, can adding a serum to the mix make that much of a difference?

    According to Alexander Rivkin, MD, a Los Angeles-based cosmetic surgeon, and New Orleans-based dermatologist Mary Lupo, MD, just like the maca we might add to our juices for better health, serums can deliver a concentrated level of nutrients to the skin that can penetrate better than many moisturizers.

    Whereas creams sit on top of the skin to form a protective barrier of hydration, serums are typically made from active ingredients that contain molecules small enough to penetrate the outer layer of the skin and deliver intensive doses of collagen builders, antioxidants, and other anti-aging ingredients deeper in the epidermis. And, as Dr. Lupo points out, because many formulations are water based, serums can also serve as great vehicles to deliver water-soluble ingredients, like vitamin C, beyond the skin’s surface for deeper absorption and to provide a brightening effect.

    In fact, serums can be such heavy hitters, Dr. Rivkin doesn’t just see them as an added bonus to a skin-care routine, but as being “very essential.” Which isn’t to say that a serum should replace your moisturizer. Dr. Rivkin notes that after delivering such concentrated active ingredients, a moisturizer is needed to lock in hydration and provide a protective barrier. To really maximize these complexion boosters, he recommends cleansing with warm water (to maximize the products' absorption), applying a serum to a slightly damp face, and following with a moisturizer a few minutes later.

    So, now that we know that serums should be an integral part of our skin-care regimen, how do we find our skin-boosting soul mate? Ahead, we asked Dr. Rivkin to identify the best active ingredients for each of the nine most common skin types. Read on to find out which one you should be adding to your daily routine.

    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.

    SPF

    The easiest way to make sure you're getting enough SPF? Slather it on with your serum. This bottle from Supergoop! delivers an SPF of 30. Just make sure to carry some extra protection to reapply throughout the day if you're going to be active.



    Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30, $42, available at Saks Fifth Avenue

    This serum packs on enough hydration to last all day and protects you from the bad, bad sun.



    Coola Full Spectrum 360° Sun Silk Drops SPF 30, $46, available at Sephora

    Combination

    For those fighting shine, adding an oil-based serum to their skin-care routine can result in a finish so slick, makeup can’t hold on. Luckily, the silicone derivatives in this vitamin-, and yes, oil-rich formula (it counts 10 plant oils among its ingredients) take the shine right out of the equation and help keep your makeup in place.



    Hourglass N° 28 Primer Serum, $22, available at SephoraPhoto: Courtesy of Sephora.

    This lightweight serum contains a host of ingredients meant to hydrate and brighten the skin, including rose water, peat extract, and fermented soy bean.



    Belif Peat Miracle Revital Serum Concentrate, $60, available at Sephora

    As this serum's name would suggest, the liquid is indeed full of free radical-fighting antioxidants, like vitamins C and E. It's also incredibly lightweight and hydrating, meaning it absorbs quickly while lending a luminous finish to the skin.



    Kypris Antioxidant Dew, $72, available at Nordstrom

    Dry

    Sure, it’s stocked with humectants designed to mimic the body’s natural ability to moisturize. And it boasts lipids like ceramides, which can improve texture by penetrating beneath the skin’s surface. But this pricey serum won us over with its ability to hydrate — and heal — skin so freakishly dry, it's practically peeling.



    La Prairie Cellular Hydrating Serum, $235, available at NordstromPhoto: Courtesy of La Prairie.

    If you got one too many sunburns this summer and are now battling super-dry skin as the temperature drops, this serum may be your savior. With plant- and vitamin-derived antioxidants that work together with vitamin C to restore hydration, it's gentle enough to use twice a day.



    Paula's Choice Super Antioxidant Serum , $38, available at Amazon

    If you're in the market for a pricey (repeat: very pricey) serum, this one from Dr. Sturm is great. The hyaluronic acid-rich formula is incredibly lightweight, yet wards off flakes and dryness so well you might be tempted to skip moisturizer altogether.



    Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum, $300, available at Net-A-Porter

    Dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, of Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery recommends this serum because it's hydrating, as well as for its ability to repair and protect, thanks to a ceramide complex, vitamins, and antioxidants, which plump fine lines and combat free radicals from environmental damage.



    Derm Institute Antioxidant Hydration Serum, $120, available at Bloomingdale's

    Rosacea

    Dr. Rivkin points to calming ingredients — like the arnica and green, white, and red teas found in this preservative-free formula — as helpful anti-inflammatories for those with rosacea. But this serum does reddened complexions one better by packing mulberry root and bearberry extracts, thought to further reduce redness, while also wielding a free radical-fighting triple threat, thanks to goji berry, pomegranate, and grapeseed extracts.



    June Jacobs Redness Diffusing Serum, $60, available at Amazon

    Diane Berson, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, recommends Neocutis Pêche for treating rosacea because it combines caffeine, moisturizer, and a vasoconstrictor to target redness from multiple sources.



    Neocutis Peche Redness Control, $105, available at DermStore

    Acneic

    A great option for breakout control comes from aesthetician Renée Rouleau. It's formulated specifically to target wrinkles and acne thanks to a blend of acids (salicylic, lactic, and glycolic), niacinamide, and allantoin.



    Renée Rouleau Pore + Wrinkle Perfecting Serum, $49.5, available at Renée Rouleau

    Dry, acne-prone skin types will revel in this formula. Why? It hydrates skin without being greasy — and helps nix breakouts.



    bareMinerals Blemish Remedy Acne Clearing Treatment Serum, $42, available at Ulta Beauty

    Sensitive

    Those with sensitive skin are generally instructed to ease up on the retinol so as not to agitate their already delicate complexions. But this dry oil — comprised of nine cold-pressed superfood seed oils, and free of allergen-inducing essential oils — boasts natural retinol by way of broccoli oil to help soothe skin and minimize the look of pores. Plus, it’s packed with anti-inflammatories, which Dr. Lupo recommends.



    Sunday Riley Juno Antioxidant + Superfood Face Oil, $36, available at Sephora

    Ideal for sensitive skin, this non-greasy serum is infused with extracts of peony root and red seaweed, which work together to make skin more radiant as it moisturizes. It also has aloe leaf extract that helps repair collagen and elastin.



    Skinfix Moisture Boost Serum, $35, available at Ulta Beauty

    This serum works well for those who have dry, sensitive skin. Enriched with tried and true hyaluronic acid, as well as collagen and aloe, the serum is calming and soothing.



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

    Pigmentation

    We can’t totally undo skin damage caused by SPF-free afternoons spent as kids, but as Dr. Rivkin and Dr. Lupo note, vitamin C can help lighten discoloration while brightening the overall complexion as well. This C-stocked formula also includes moisturizing glycerin, and retinol, another Dr. Rivkin favorite, to help exfoliate dead skin cells.



    DermaQuest C Infusion Serum, $92, available at DermStorePhoto: Courtesy of DermaQuest.

    Vitamin C isn't just great for brightening: It also contains powerful antioxidants that "fight and reverse damage from free radicals that wreck your skin cells," says Dr. Engelman. This one, by SkinCeuticals, is a derm favorite.



    SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, $189.89, available at Amazon

    The serum contains a potent blend of exfoliating acids (glycolic, lactic, tartaric, citric, and salicylic) along with hydrators like raspberry extract and horse chestnut — and yet, it's still gentle enough to use every night. One beauty editor recently finished the bottle and noticed that the dark spots that had developed after a bad reaction to a facial months prior had almost completely disappeared.



    Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, $90, available at Sephora

    Aging

    Dr. Rivkin suggests those fighting the visible effects of time seek a serum with retinol, as it "reduces pore size, smoothes texture, and lightens brown spots, and vitamin C to strengthen the skin and protect it from further damage.” With an unstoppable cocktail of lactic acid to exfoliate the skin, a mild retinoid to encourage cell turnover, and aloe vera to keep the skin calm, this serum was a clear winner for the best anti-aging product in this year's Beauty Innovator Awards.



    Shani Darden Texture Reform Gentle Resurfacing Serum, $95, available at Shani Darden

    Not formulated with retinol but potent all the same, this serum from dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo, MD, is packed with lilac stem cells to control excess oil, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (try saying that five times fast) to brighten the skin, and marine extracts, which increase collagen and elastin.



    Dr. Loretta Anti-Aging Repair Serum, $110, available at Nordstrom

    Beloved by Ulta shoppers, this ultra lightweight serum promises firmer skin in just four weeks with help from its own Amino-Peptide Complex II, which is designed to deliver moisture deep into the skin's surface.



    Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum, $22.99, available at Ulta Beauty

    Afraid of tech neck, under-eye bags from staring at a screen all day, or lines on your forehead from glaring at the ceiling during yet another company meeting? This serum is made for that — and city dwellers especially. The best part? The formula is lightweight, so it absorbs almost instantly and won't leave behind a sticky residue.



    Caudalie Vine[Activ] Vitamin C Anti-Wrinkle Serum, $52, available at Sephora

    Oily

    “Serums are designed to go underneath a moisturizer, but for someone with very oily skin, a serum alone may be enough to hydrate,” Dr. Rivkin says. We found this quick-absorbing, oil-based serum actually helped regulate our own oil production and negated the need for a moisturizer, allowing us to skip straight to an SPF.



    Osmia Organics Balance Facial Serum, $50, available at Osmia OrganicsPhoto: Courtesy of Osmia Organics.

    If you have oily skin, you know how wary you feel to try anything that's meant to hydrate and nourish — god forbid our T-zones go into grease hyperdrive. But this oil-free formula brightens with vitamin C and delivers just enough hyaluronic acid to leave skin softer than if you slept in a sheet mask.



    Renée Rouleau Skin Drink Concentrate, $44.5, available at Renée Rouleau

    Dull

    Safe for sensitive skin types, this brightening formula immediately goes to work on lightening acne scars and evening out your skin tone. Even better, it's hydrating enough to take the place of your daily moisturizer.



    Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, $79, available at Sephora

    The best things come in threes, and this serum is packed with brightening vitamin C, gently exfoliates your skin all day long, and offers up serious antioxidant protection for a smoother, more even-toned complexion.



    Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate, $62, available at Sephora

    Not to sound like a broken record that’s being played on repeat by every beauty editor ever, but this skin-transforming liquid deserves every ounce of praise it gets. (Which is a lot.) The texture is more of a weightless essence than a traditional serum, but it imparts just the right amount of moisture that you’ll only need SPF over top for daytime. But you’re not here for the hydration: You’re here for the bright, clear complexion, the barely-there pores, and the soft, fresh, youthful skin that’s at the bottom of every bottle of this stuff.



    Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid, $27.55, available at Amazon

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    Do Sephora's Best Sellers Live Up To The Hype?

    Beauty with Mi, hosted by Refinery29's beauty writer Mi-Anne Chan, explores the coolest new trends, treatments, products, and subcultures in the beauty world. Never miss an episode by subscribing here.

    Sephora carries over 300 brands online and in-store, but its own private label, Sephora Collection, isn't to be overlooked. It launched in 2002 and been responsible for a handful of sleeper successes, like the YouTube-favorite Cream Lip Stain or the brand's line of professional-level brushes.

    Considering the retail giant's knack for creating new brands under its Sephora Originals umbrella, it doesn't come as a surprise that Sephora Collection features hundreds of products, many of which boast thousands of four or five star reviews on the site. However, I'll be the first to say that over the years I've been distracted by the sheer quantity of new glitters, liquid lipsticks, and flavored flosses that hit Sephora's New page monthly. I've tried just a handful of the brand's own line, so this month — after receiving dozens of comments recommending I try more of the brand's in-house line — I decided to challenge myself to try more.

    I devised an entire skin care and makeup routine just using products from the retailer's private beauty arm in the video above . Which ones are worth shelling out for? You'll have to press play to find out.

    Sephora Collection 10 Hour Wear Perfection Foundation, $20, available at Sephora; Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer, $14, available at Sephora; Sephora Collection Pro Flawless Airbrush, $32, available at Sephora; Sephora Collection Beauty Amplifier Set Pressed Setting Powder, $16, available at Sephora; Sephora Collection Colorful Matte Blush So Shy, $7, available at Sephora; Sephora Collection Colorful Powder In Tranquil, $7, available at Sephora; Sephora Collection Golden Hour Liquid Highlighter in Sunlight, $14, available at Sephora; Sephora Collection Eyeshadow Primer, $10, available at Sephora; Sephora Collection Museum Of Ice Cream, $42, available at Sephora; Sephora Collection Mini Color Switch, $18 available at Sephora; Sephora Collection Lashcraft Length and Volume Mascara, $12, available at Sephora; Sephora Collection Cleansing Balm, $12, available at Sephora.

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

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    On an early Sunday morning in January 2007, 18-year-old Ashley Myers was driving home from Washington, D.C. on Interstate 66 when a tanker truck hauling gasoline struck the car directly behind her, causing it to crash into her Volvo station wagon. In a matter of seconds, all three vehicles were consumed by flames.

    What remained of Ashley was, in her mother Wynnie Myers's words, not much more than a pair of sneakers. Eleven years later, a week before what would have been Ashley's 30th birthday, Myers got a portion of her daughter's DNA tattooed on her left shoulder as part of an ornate sunflower-and-butterfly tattoo in memory of her. "It brings me a sense of peace and happiness," Myers tells Refinery29. "I can touch her. I can feel her. It’s such a different experience to know that I have her DNA on me."

    Wynnie Myers' shoulder tattoo contains DNA of her late daughter, Ashley.Photo: Courtesy of Wynnie Myers.

    With help from a new company called Everence, thousands of people have now injected DNA from their loved ones (including children, parents, spouses, and even pets) into their skin via tattoos. The idea for the company — which, yes, sounds like something straight out of a Black Mirror episode— came to co-founder Patrick Duffy in 2013 when he was running a scuba diving therapy program for military veterans. During one dive in Key Largo, Florida, he met a woman who had a tattoo in honor of her late husband, a Navy SEAL killed in combat, on her leg.

    "I saw it and thought, Wouldn't it be interesting to turn that tattoo into a reliquary for her husband?" Duffy says. "I came out of the water and couldn't shake the idea."

    For the next four years, Duffy worked with scientists and tattoo artists around the country to try and figure out if this could – and should – be done. "I just kept on asking myself the question, How can you really make a tattoo even more personal than it already is? " Duffy says. After numerous patents, Duffy landed on a system that turns the DNA of another human being or pet into a powder-like substance (called "Everence"), which can then be mixed into tattoo ink. As freaky as the concept sounds, it was actually closely monitored by Bruce Klitzman, associate professor of surgery at Duke University, and Edith Mathiowitz, professor of medical science and engineering at Brown University.

    The process to get such a tattoo begins a little like 23andMe. First, customers order a $350 Everence kit, which instructs them to collect a sample of the DNA they'd want in their tattoo, and can come from a strand of hair, cremated ashes, or a cheek swab. After sending the hair, cremains, or swabs back to Everence in the original box with a pre-paid shipping label, it's sent to a lab, where the sample undergoes a patented 21-part process in which scientists extract a short strand of DNA, amplify it, purify it, and then micro-encapsulate it in a medical-grade polymer, which protects it from ever being destroyed by the body.

    After the powder is individually inspected for quality, it's sent back to the customer within 45 days. When the Everence arrives in the customer's mailbox, it looks like a tiny vial of white powder or sand, but if you were to look at the powder in extreme closeup, you'd see microspheres, which are protecting the DNA.

    A vial of Everence, which contains human DNA.Photo: Courtesy of Everence.

    Customers can then hand that vial over to one of Everence's approved tattoo artists, who then pours it into the ink, stirs for 10 seconds, and begins buzzing away. The Everence is invisible within the design and, thanks to that micro-encapsulating, the DNA doesn't disappear into the body, but instead sits permanently on the surface of the skin with the tattoo. The biggest difference between it and any other tattoo? The removal. Duffy says to remove it completely, you'd have to get a biopsy. In other words, it's very permanent.

    Although this entire process sounds eerily futuristic, people have been getting so-called biogenic tattoos, also coined "morbid ink," for years. But unlike those often underground practices, in which people dumped ashes and hair directly into the ink, Everence has taken the extra precautions to ensure the process is safe.

    So why would people feel compelled to get these tattoos with DNA in the first place? "About 98% of people who get the tattoo do so for two reasons, either something involving emotional connection or individual expression," Duffy says. And just like regular tattoos, the types of people interested in getting Everence tattoos vary. "Our customers are two-time Oscar-winning directors, lawyers in their early '20s, and grandmothers who have never had a tattoo before," Duffy says. "It’s been a lot of people who have just beaten cancer, and people who have lost someone, or gotten engaged."

    Boyd Renner and his wife, after getting his Everence tattooCourtesy of Everence

    By Duffy's calculations, about 55% of people who have ordered Everence have never had a tattoo before. Boyd Renner, who'd eventually become one of the co-founders of Everence, was one of those people. After hearing whispers of Duffy's idea through a mutual friend, Renner reached out to Duffy in the early stages of Everence's development. "To be honest, it didn't resonate with me right away," Renner says. "I had spent 28 years in the Navy and I had never had a tattoo in my entire life. I dismissed it generationally."

    But then his wife, who has cystic fibrosis, got poor results back from a lung test. On the long drive home, he started to change his mind about Patrick's idea. "It's then that I decided that I wanted my wife’s DNA in my very first tattoo, not because of the cystic fibrosis, but actually because she's the one person who inspires and motivates me the most," Renner says. "She’s the one that I look up to every day." Renner ended up getting an ornate rose design on his left calf, with the Everence poured into the red ink to create the roses.

    For Merriman Mathewson, her Everence tattoo marked the second time she was getting inked. The 46-year-old mother of three, who lives in San Francisco, had been thinking of an excuse to get another tattoo after her first one disappeared under a cesarian scar.

    "At first, I thought it was a little bizarre," Mathewson says. "Like, is this safe?" But after discussing it with Duffy, Mathewson decided to move forward with a tattoo that contained multiple DNA strains: specifically those of her four children. "My kids inspire me, and just to be able to carry all of them with me and walk forward with a part of each one of them in my everyday was inspiring."

    A photo of Merriman Mathewson's tattoo Photo: Courtesy of Everence.

    Much like Myers, Mathewson's Everence tattoo is highly sentimental. She wasn't just using DNA from her three living children, who are aged 10 to 15, but also DNA from Perin, her child who died just after birth 13 years ago as a result of toxoplasmosis, which Mathewson contracted from unwashed salad greens.

    Using cheek swabs for the DNA samples from her three children, Mathewson had to collect some of the strawberry-blonde locks the nurses cut from Perin's head at the hospital, and send them away to Everence. "It was some way I could have him with me," Mathewson says. "It’s not like I have a world of memories with him or a world of mementos that I can keep."

    This January, with the four Everences in her possession, she went to a tattoo artist in Arizona and got an outline of a trumpet on her ribs as an homage to her hometown of New Orleans, with the Everence powder woven throughout the entirety of the black outline.

    Though tattoos have long been sentimental for many people who have gotten them in honor of someone they love, swirling in that DNA takes things to another level.

    When Myers saw tattoo artist Virginia Elwood of Saved Tattoo in Brooklyn, New York sprinkle her daughter's Everence into the ink, she was flooded with memories. "It was such a loving experience," Myers says. "There was no pain. There was laughter. They let me talk about her and asked questions about her and they let me share memories of her."

    For Elwood, tattooing women like Myers has helped ease her own concerns about the process. "The science and safety, I had no doubt they would make a really safe product," Elwood says. "The reluctance would have come from knowing that tattoos are, in and of themselves, meaningful enough. Do we really need this DNA in there?"

    But when you hear stories like Myers's and Mathewson's, there's obviously more emotional value for them knowing that they're literally carrying a part of their loved one on them at all times. As Myers says, "Even though I hold her close to my heart, Everence has allowed me to hold her even closer."

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    Ivanka Trump's tweets used to have the veneer of normality, despite the highly not normal premise of her being a senior White House advisor in the first place. At the very least, the words were properly capitalized and the sentences weren't overly peppered with exclamation points.

    But lately, the writing style employed by Moderating Force Ivanka seems to have fallen by the wayside in favor of the protocol passed down by her father: devil-may-care capitalization of any Word that seems Important and more exclamation points than should be legal, often topped off by the ALL CAPS. Last month, he even tweeted a promise: "When referring to the USA, I will always capitalize the word Country!"

    Ivanka has been following suit: "country" became "Country" in her Thanksgiving tweet. The Economic Agenda is a beautiful thing! (There is, of course, no official Thing called the Economic Agenda.) We'll never know whether there's a Trumpian Style Guide living in a Google doc somewhere (probs not). But we do know that Ivanka is pretty deliberate about her choices, so to us, it's unlikely that she just randomly picked up the habit. Perhaps she's just like her father after all.

    Like father...

    Like daughter:

    Behind this madcap drive to capitalize is a strong desire for your words to Matter in a way that won't make anyone question what you're saying. It's a technique "long exploited by faith healers and self-help gurus," common in "get-rich-quick and quack medicine books desperate to sell readers on the Truth of their claims," Alan Levinovitz, an associate professor of religious studies at James Madison University, wrote in the Washington Post.

    "Initial capitals, once used to lend importance to certain words, are now used only ironically," says The Chicago Manual of Style, as Levinovitz noted. Later, it explains: "Words for transcendent ideas in the Platonic sense, especially when used in a religious context, are often capitalized."

    Dr. Deborah Tannen, linguistics professor at Georgetown University and author of several books including the recent You're the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships, explained that in written language, people find ways to emphasize meaning that, in speaking, we can convey with our tone of voice, loudness, or intonation. Capitalization is one of them.

    Breaking rules — grammatical or otherwise — seems to serve Trump well, she added. "People who like him seem to value that he doesn't follow rules," she told Refinery29. As for Ivanka, Dr. Tannen said that she either picked up the caps habit because she saw it so many times in her dad's tweets and it began to look right to her, or she likes the feeling it communicates.

    It isn't hard to see why the Trumps have adapted the conventions of quackery and self-styled self-help gurus. They have a long history of duping people into buying things that aren't as good as they seem using the mirage of luxury. In politics, their new "Platonic ideals" are Country, Border, Catch and Detain: all designed to drive a fear of outsiders into people's hearts.

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    Danielle Corcione, 25, hasn’t started saving for retirement yet.

    As a full-time freelance journalist without a fixed income, the notion of putting away money for the future just hasn’t felt accessible. “It’s one of those things that I don’t even bother with because I don’t think it’s even realistic,” Corcione said. “If I wanted to save for retirement I’d probably get a staff job because I don’t know how it would ever be possible as a freelancer.”

    Corcione is one of at least 56.7 million freelancers working in the U.S. today. In recent years, the gig economy has mushroomed to represent roughly 35% of Americans — and rising. Today, freelancers face a number of challenges, such as late payments and lack of protections, which have prompted several initiatives and resources, such as the Freelance Isn’t Free act in New York City. Even so, most freelancers are forced to figure things out on their own. Without the standard retirement savings plans available to staff employees, the onus remains upon freelance workers to save for their own retirement — something that not all of them feel able to do.

    To shed some light on some retirement strategies for freelancers or workers without a fixed income, Refinery29 chatted with Alison Norris, Certified Financial Planner who leads SoFi’s financial advice strategy and Paco de Leon, founder of The Hell Yeah Group, which helps creatives understand their finances, about how to take tangible steps towards saving for tomorrow — no matter what your work lifestyle looks like.

    Read on for some tangible tips on how to take control of your financial future, today.

    Get To Know Your Options

    For many freelancers, the idea of ‘figuring out your finances’ doesn’t have one, straightforward solution. There are many different things you need to be saving for, including an emergency fund, a retirement fund, and any other savings goals you may have, whether that’s getting married or buying a car.

    But, when it comes to retirement plans, there are a few straightforward options. Most freelancers can contribute to a Traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA), a Roth IRA, or a Self-Employed Pension IRA (SEP IRA).

    For each of these different accounts, the rules differ, including the yearly maximum contribution limit and taxes associated with the account. “The contribution limit, or the maximum amount you can contribute, is much higher for a SEP IRA than a Traditional or ROTH IRA,” de Leon explained, adding that for folks under 50 this year, the yearly maximum in 2018 for a SEP IRA is $55,000 compared to only $6,000 for an IRA.

    “Knowing these limits can help you decide which is best.” de Leon concluded. “If you’re earning a lot and need to put away a lot for retirement to make up for lost time, you should look into the SEP. If you’re just figuring out how to get good at earning money, then maybe a traditional IRA is more appropriate.”ß

    illustrated by Tristan Offit.

    Create An Automatic Savings Habit

    Some freelancers have learned the hard way how important it is to allocate income properly as a freelancer. “I got screwed over my first year of freelancing and owed $14,000 because I wasn’t saving 30% of my income for taxes," freelance product designer Roxanne Ravago, 28, told Refinery29.

    Because of her tax scare, Ravago now designates specific percentages of her income towards things like living expenses, emergency fund, and retirement savings. This automation is, according to experts, the most surefire way to gain control of saving for the future.

    "In the absence of ready-made retirement plans with automatic contributions through payroll deductions, freelancers need to set up mechanisms that make the process of saving easy," Norris explained. "Get in the habit of saving by establishing recurring transfers into your savings or investment accounts. The act of setting money aside consistently can be more powerful than the dollar amount you save.”

    De Leon echoes this statement, noting that weekly or monthly transfers can allow freelancers to save in smaller, continuous chunks as they earn. "Instead of hoping you’ll have an extra $6k lying around, you can accumulate it over time," de Leon added.

    illustrated by Tristan Offit.

    Address Why You Haven't Been Saving

    Retirement savings are extremely important, and yet they have a tendency to overwhelm people — especially freelancers who don't always feel confident in their income streams. For many freelancers, planning for the financial future can be overwhelming and make individuals feel paralyzed and disempowered. However, the problem with procrastinating is that saving later on becomes even more daunting.

    "If you aren’t saving for retirement — is it because you spend too much money, don’t earn enough or perhaps both?" de Leon asked. "In order to retire, you’re going to have to change your behavior no matter what the answer is."

    Norris adds that because freelancers are part of the "yo-yo" (You're On Your Own) economy, they have the responsibility of establishing cash reserves to protect them against inconsistent income or an emergency.

    Norris also notes that, because freelancers are responsible for paying the entirety of their Medicare and Social Security taxes, and do not have access to employer-subsidized benefits, that the situation can often feel grim. Still, though the situation for freelancers is objectively challenging, it helps to identify the barriers and fears standing in the way of action, and figure out how to move past the feeling of paralysis.

    illustrated by Tristan Offit.

    Be Strategic & Reduce Your Taxes

    Ravago is still paying off debts from her initial year of freelancing, but because of her financial scare, she has taken precautions to ensure she is being careful with her taxes.

    "Tax code favors the self-employed when it comes to saving for retirement; as a gig employee you may be able to put away way more than you could as W-2 employee," Norris said, noting that though freelancers may not have access to the 401(k), they have many there options to build up their retirement savings.

    However, because freelancers are responsible for paying their entire self-employment tax bill — Social Security and Medicare taxes— taxes can rapidly add up to thousands of dollars, as Ravago learned the hard way. In order to avoid this kind of situation from happening, de Leon recommends looking at ways of reducing taxable income to offset tax liability.

    "Be familiar with common freelancer tax deductions for incorporation, website domains and maintenance fees, professional development, and unpaid invoices," de Leon said, adding that by staying in control of taxes and contributing to a pre-tax retirement, freelancers can easily lower the amount of taxes they owe while also getting ahead on saving for retirement.

    A great place to start is by talking to an accountant or tax advisor about how to hack your taxes. But, if you're able to, also consider chatting with a financial advisor — though planning for taxes and finances certainly overlap, they aren't the same thing. "An accountant is focused on tax efficiency, so I also talk to a financial advisor who sees the overall picture," Ravago said. "They offer different points of view."

    illustrated by Tristan Offit.

    Be Realistic About Your Situation

    Corcione, who is trans and legally disabled, has struggled to keep up with the pace of other freelancers in their networks, finding it difficult enough to meet their basic expenses some months. “People are talking about [saving for retirement] and I can’t relate to people who are thinking about this,” Corcione said. “Just having health insurance is hard — I’m actually losing my Medicaid today because I made above the poverty line for the first time in my life this year.”

    Indeed, freelancers lack access to a lot of the protections offered to individuals working for larger employers. Norris notes that being an employee can often result in greater economic stability and protections when compared to freelancers, from paid time off to paid long-term disability insurance. "Without these benefits, a freelancer will need to set up safety on their own so they are able to contribute to retirement accounts during both times of feast and of famine," Norris added.

    To be sure, everyone's situation is different, and often it can feel like systems are designed to disadvantage some and favor others. And yet, there are small, tangible steps that one can take to gain some control over an uncertain and often unideal future.

    De Leon recommends thinking about wealth-building and saving like running a race. The finish line is funding a retirement account you're able to live off of when you no longer are able to work. However, de Leon acknowledges that this race isn't exactly fair. "Some people are born starting the race halfway," de Leon said. "Some people are already born at the finish line and some will never finish."

    And yet, while things may not be equal for everyone, there are ways to design a retirement savings plan around your specific life and needs. The bottom line? Get started now, however you can. Make sure you're getting into a habit of putting something — anything — away and letting compound interest do the work.

    "[As a freelancer], instead of being opted-into a workplace retirement account, your default retirement option may be to do nothing," Norris concluded. "But if you do nothing, you’ll have nothing."

    illustrated by Tristan Offit.

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    Despite the U.S. House of Representatives becoming increasingly diverse, only 13.7% of senior House staffers are people of color, compared with 38% of the country as a whole. Organizations like Staff Up Congress, an initiative from the NALEO Educational Fund and the Joint Center, are seeking to close the gap. In this series, we profile young women participating in Staff Up.

    Name: Eliza Ramirez

    Age: 28

    Originally from: Anaheim, CA

    Works as: Senior legislative assistant for Rep. Michael Capuano, MA-7, a Democrat. Since Rep. Capuano is leaving Congress at the end of the year — he was unseated by Ayanna Pressley — Ramirez is trying to figure out her next steps.

    Bio: Ramirez is a passionate advocate for women of color on Capitol Hill. She serves as vice chair of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute Alumni Association, is a founder of the Latinas in the House of Representatives Group, and is a former president of the Women’s Congressional Staff Association.

    Day 1

    8:30 a.m. — Leave my apartment and begin my 15-minute walk to the Longworth House Office Building. During the walk I listen to James Brown, and go through my daily morning-walk routine: Practice my five minutes of gratitude and goals that need to be accomplished that day.

    9:15 a.m. — Scroll through unread emails and today’s Politico and Roll Call headlines.

    10 a.m. — Meet with a chief of staff from Democratic House Leadership to discuss strategy about how to break into a senior position on Capitol Hill. Meeting was a success, as I secured five new chief of staff contacts. I’ve been preparing for months on how to be a legislative director. I was accepted into the Staff Up Congress Legislative Academy, a professional development initiative from NALEO Educational Fund and the Joint Center that helps junior Hill staff members of color step into more senior roles.

    10:30 a.m. — Host a meeting with congressional staffers from the Sudan and South Sudan Caucus to discuss next steps for the 116th Congress. Given Rep. Capuano's leadership with that caucus, I have played a pivotal role in ensuring the countries have humanitarian assistance and that peacekeeping efforts have improved. The relationships I’ve built on and off the Hill in order to advance this effort have ranged from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Leadership, United Nations, and prominent international organizations.

    As a legislative assistant, I help Rep. Capuano accomplish his legislative goals by drafting legislation, amendments, talking points for the floor and committee hearings, letters, and more. Concurrently, I convene with stakeholders in both Washington, D.C., and at the district level to understand and address their concerns, and advance common goals.

    Policy-making is not objective; it is influenced by the staffers who write it, which is why we will continue to ensure that all communities are represented in the halls of Congress.

    11:45 a.m. — Grab coffee with a staff director for a Democratic House committee to discuss potential future opportunities. They ended up introducing me to three staffers on that committee.

    12:20 p.m. — I message a mentor of mine to ask for writing samples as I begin prepping for a legislative director interview. I’ve been working on forming new relationships on and off Capitol Hill, both through Staff Up Congress and by reaching out to colleagues.

    12:30 p.m. — Lunch (as always) at my desk while cold-emailing 20 Senate and House senior staffers. (By the end of the day, 12 of them were willing to meet with me.) I try to focus on things I can control. In D.C., you have to be bold or else opportunities will slip past you, so reaching out to as many people as possible can only help position you on a better career path.

    1:30 p.m. — Meet with the director of the House Diversity Initiative for a mock interview.

    2:30 p.m. — On the phone with the Department of Health and Human Services to get the latest status regarding reunification of families at the border.

    4 p.m. — Meet with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to discuss which Orange County, CA, campaign race I will help out with for a month.

    6:30 p.m. — I join a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) dinner and discussion; the topic is on U.S. policy toward South Asia. I was accepted into a one-year CFR fellowship that consists of monthly in-depth dinner discussions with policy experts on various international topics.

    Day 2

    8:30 a.m. — On a conference call to discuss next year’s agenda for the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute Alumni Association. The Association fosters a culture of leadership, community, and continuing investment in advancing opportunities for the development of future Hispanic leaders. I serve as vice president.

    10:45 a.m. — Meet with a Roll Call reporter to discuss the importance of congressional staffers working on campaigns. I emphasize that the stakes are too high for people to just sit on their hands.

    3 p.m. — Today is the last workshop offered by the Staff Up Congress Legislative Academy. The program has been instrumental in helping with the steps I need to take in order to advance my political career, such as building relationships early on with Leadership offices, press, and campaign offices.

    3:30 p.m. — Head to our afternoon session. Today, we’re hearing from committee staff and chiefs of staff on how to effectively work with House and Senate committees.

    3:45 p.m. — The panel begins discussing how to inform a committee about your Congressmember’s priorities and how to work with committee staff to introduce a bill.

    4:10 p.m. — An essential role as legislative director is to craft and execute a short- and long-term legislative agenda for the member of Congress, particularly within the member’s committee issues.

    4:45 p.m. — Seasoned committee staffers share their perspectives on how their committees operate and best practices on how to work effectively with them; this includes how to staff your boss for a hearing and markup. The panel also addressed how legislative staff can work with committee staff to advance their member's policy priorities if the member is not part of that committee.

    5 p.m. — As a legislative director, I’d be responsible for overseeing the progression of bills with which the member is involved as they move from committee to the floor.

    5:30 p.m. — It’s been a heartening experience knowing that the group is deeply committed to diversifying Capitol Hill. All of us believe that policy-making is not objective; it is influenced by the staffers who write it, which is why we will continue to ensure that all communities are represented in the halls of Congress. Without diverse staffers who understand the issues facing our nation’s underrepresented populations, we can’t possibly create policies that address Americans' concerns.

    6:30 p.m. — After work, I head out to a Congressional candidate fundraiser. Fundraiser events are a strategic way to engage with candidates and other important players in the political circle, especially when looking to advance on the Hill.

    7:30 p.m. — Phone bank at the DCCC. This is an excellent way to put your name on people’s radar.

    8:45 p.m. — Head home.

    9 p.m. — Play with my puppies, Blanquita and Bear. After, I continue reading the book The Art of War and pass out on my bed.

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    Here's a conundrum that would give Joseph Heller pause: You can use eye cream to tackle your dark circles and fine lines, or you can use concealer to cover them. But if you use the eye cream, you won't get instant gratification, and if you use the concealer, you won't get long-term results.

    Of course, you could, technically, use both. But then that's an entire extra step to reckon with in your routine, and god, what a hassle that would be — especially when beauty brands have devised some very convenient ways to combine the two.

    Click-pen illuminating concealers laced with moisturizing ingredients to swipe on skin care and swipe away dark circles in one single brush stroke, pots of pearl-infused cream with an added boost of pigment to color correct as you hydrate: These formulas are the best of both worlds, if one world is having good skin in the future and the other is having good skin five minutes from now. Ahead, seven easy ways to turn that double bind into a win-win...

    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 all you need is a little tint to even things out, this skin-smoothing treatment should be enough. If you need a little more than "a little tint," its lightweight texture — which is somewhere in between a cream and a light mousse — acts like a primer under concealer to make it go on better and last longer, while retinyl palmitate (a retinol derivative), ascorbyl glucoside (a vitamin C derivative), and antioxidant-rich grape-seed extract work to improve fine lines and darkness over time.



    Kiehl's Youth Dose Eye Treatment, $39, available at Kiehl's

    Packed with 31% pure pigment, this is full coverage at its fullest and longest-wearing — there's no dark circle, puffy lower lid, or vague bluish shadow getting past this intense concealer. Add skin-care stalwarts like green tea and rose extracts, plus a cooling tip, and it's a straight shot to wide-awake eyes whether you got the ideal amount of sleep or just the ideal amount of coffee.



    Huda Beauty The Overachiever High Coverage Concealer, $30, available at Sephora

    The five-star reviews from discerning Sephora customers don't lie — this new launch has a hell of a lot going for it. With a unique smoothing texture that provides complete coverage for fine lines, dark circles, and blemishes, and an innovative formula that incorporates Persian silk tree extract and a lipid called palmitoyl glycine to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, it's got everything you need for a visible skin refresh in twist-up wand form. (Plus, 16 shades make it suitable for a wide range of skin tones.)



    Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer, $32, available at Sephora

    Yes, you should be wearing SPF under your eyes during the day, and yes, you should probably start sooner rather than later. This creamy, tinted hybrid makes it easy, combining SPF 30 protection from zinc oxide with wrinkle-reducing peptides, nourishing shea butter, soothing bisabolol, and a sheer universal tint that does enough, but not the most, for a believable just-slept-10-hours effect.



    PCA Skin Sheer Tint Eye Triple Complex Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $65, available at DermStore

    In addition to brightening and concealing even the most severe (like, closed-down-the-bar severe) under-eye circles and puffiness with one flick of the brush, this lightweight liquid formula fits as easily into a sleek clutch as it does a random canvas tote bag of unknown origin filled with your debit card, keys, five lip balms, and a bunch of crumpled-up receipts at the bottom.



    Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Corrector for Eyes, $65, available at Neiman Marcus

    It only comes in three shades, but despite appearances, this genius color corrector/eye cream hybrid blends seamlessly into every skin tone (from the fairest of fair to the deepest of deep) as if by magic. The accompanying instructions are very particular: Smooth a tiny rice-grain-sized dot under each eye, like a moisturizer, then pat gently to set the color, like a concealer. You'll get the perfect amount of coverage, instant results, and more bang for your 48 bucks.



    Tatcha The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment, $48, available at Sephora

    Fans of the brand's original CC cream already know — that full-coverage claim is legit. This formula, which is on the thicker side, packs in hyaluronic acid, hydrolyzed collagen, aloe, peptides, antioxidants, and more, along with hardcore concealing power and a formidable SPF 50. (Also not to be missed: the fact that the cooling applicator tip boasts a proprietary feature known as Cold Spoon Technology.)



    It Cosmetics CC+ Eye Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream, $29, available at It Cosmetics

    The very definition of a one-and-done, this multitasking concealer juggles instant brightening with known hydrating and de-puffing ingredients like caffeine, cranberry-seed oil, and hyaluronic acid, all in the silkiest, most blendable formula that leaves skin looking just like (healthy, luminous, perfected) skin.



    Elcie Cosmetics Complete Remedy Silque Concealer, $28, available at Elcie Cosmetics

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    About an hour ago, the dude in my life left on recon to Malibu. His mission: Try to drive into the seaside canyon where we’ve lived for three years to see whether our neighborhood is still a neighborhood. Like many others in town, we bailed the morning of Friday, November 9, when flames from the Woolsey Fire began to peek over the ridge from Mulholland Highway. And like many others, we’ve been waiting to see what’s left of our community.

    The waiting sucks. It's been a nasty cocktail of regret (why didn’t I grab a bra?), worry, resignation, and dumb hope. But past donating to the LAFD Foundation, it feels like all we can do is wait until roads officially open again and we can start to rebuild. Today, beauty brands are showing us otherwise. In the wake of destruction, makeup and skin care makers have sprung into action. Some, like Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, are celebrating Giving Tuesday by writing fat checks to the California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund. Others, like Garnier, are donating hundreds of products to fire victims or are offering to donate the proceeds of their sales to aid California wildfire relief.

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

    Thrive Causemetics is already set up to give product donations and financial support to organizations that support women and their families, animal welfare, and environmental stewardship. But this season, the brand will expand its mission. Share this Instagram post anytime on November 27, 2018 and tag #ThriveCausemetics to kickstart a $5 donation from the company to wildfire relief partners.



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

    Now through December 31, 2018, Talika US will donate 10% of any online purchase to the Northern California chapter of the United Way, which provides funds and other forms of emergency assistance to those who lost their homes in the Camp Fire. As of press time, the fire has claimed nearly 14,000 homes.



    Talika Talika Eye Therapy Patch, $59, available at Talika

    Cosmedix has already donated its Peptide-Rich Defense SPF 50 moisturizer to California firefighters and fire victims. But on Giving Tuesday, it's upping the ante. For a 24-hour period starting at 9 a.m. PT today, the brand will give $10 to wildfire relief along with a $10 discount to shoppers, using code "GIVEBACK."



    CosMedix Peptide-Rich Defense , $58, available at Cosmedix

    MoonBox, a brand that curates beauty boxes based on the lunar cycle, is donating 10% of its sales on Nov. 27 to the Camp Fire volunteer center created by Caring Choices a Chico-based organization executing on-the-ground relief efforts.



    MoonBox MoonBox Moon Magic Box, $45, available at MoonBox

    Now's the time to stock up on highlighting serums made with rose quartz, amethyst, morganite, and selenite because on Giving Tuesday, L.A.-based SkinOwl is donating 10% of all sales to California Community Foundation's Wildlife Relief Fund.



    Skin Owl Body+ Rose Quartz Illuminator for Face and Body, $62, available at Skin Owl

    Juno & Co doesn't just make a cool microfiber upgrade on the traditional makeup sponge, it also makes community-building donations. For Giving Tuesday, the Bay Area-based brand will donating 100% of profits to the California Community Foundation Wildfire Relief Fund.



    Juno & Co Microfiber Dewdrop Sponge, $6, available at Juno & Co.

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    Come winter, we've only got one thing on our mind: staying warm. While tights, chunky sweaters, and yes, leggings, deserve a shout-out for helping us stay heated, the real MVP of the latter half of the year is our trusty outerwear. From a fluffy sherpa jacket to the quintessential camel waist-tie, our coats are what keep our spirits up, no matter how cold it is outside. And when you're over it and want to wear the same sweats and tee combo for the third day in a row, your coat has you, and your outfit, covered. Literally.

    As our tastes in outerwear varies from cropped and furry to sleek and knee-length, so do our budgets. The cost of a nice coat can run higher than we're comfortable shelling in out in one setting, so we set off to prove you can still get a good coat for less than your holiday flight home. Ahead are 23 picks under $150 that are a far cry from the same black pea coat you've been wearing out for years. Bring it on winter.

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

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    Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

    So, you read your horoscope regularly, you know your own sign backward and forward, and you've even dipped a toe into sign compatibility. If you ask us, it's high time you got your birth chart drawn up. This astrological rite of passage can be handled online or one-on-one with an astrologer (for a price), but however you have it calculated, the info should remain the same — exactly where the sun, moon, and planets were placed in the sky at the moment of your birth.

    We spoke with astrologer Janelle Belgrave about how to figure out birth charts (or "soul maps," as she calls them), and what makes them so meaningful.

    To get started, you need to know a few key details about yourself: your birth date and time, and where you were born. With this info alone, an astrologer (with the help of astrology software, of course) can map out which sign each astral body happened to be in at the moment of your birth. You're probably most familiar with your sun sign, or the sign that the sun happened to be aligned with when you were born; that's the one we identify with — the one we read horoscopes for.

    Of course, the signs that the moon and the planets align with have a major impact on who you are, too. A well-made chart can tell you "about you, your family, the life that you were born into, and what your soul is looking to heal and/or achieve in this lifetime," Belgrave said.

    While horoscopes, tarot readings, or other forms of divination work best when you have a question in mind, a birth chart is much more thorough (and doesn't require any particular query). Belgrave said to think of it as a snapshot of all the directions your life could take: "Within the natal chart you can see personality, drives, fears, parental relationships, siblings, children, psychological patterns, and more on one sheet of paper."

    Like we said, you can absolutely find your natal chart online — Belgrave recommends using this site — but you might be missing out on some interpretive info you can only get from an astrologer IRL.

    "Reading about a list of traits or fatalistic predictions out of context can create a great deal of misunderstanding and/or fear that an astrologer can walk you through," Belgrave explained, adding that online charts can even end up contradicting themselves. But, if you don't mind getting into the astrological weeds to get your answers, there's no harm in calculating your chart online.

    However you get ahold of your birth chart, it can look a little confusing. So, with Belgrave's help, we're walking you through some of the key symbols that you'll encounter on your chart. Get acquainted ahead.

    The Sun

    Like we said, you probably know your sun sign already. This is the sign you select when you read your trusty horoscope. It's also the first of what Belgrave called the "three legs" of the birth chart — the sun, the moon, and the ascendant sign.

    "The sun speaks about our Ego, the 'I Am,' what drives me to be who I am and how I identify myself," she said.

    In other words, your sun sign reflects who you are all the time, regardless of whom you're with or what you're doing.

    Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

    The Moon

    This is the second key "leg" of your chart, and its placement tells you what your moon sign is. The moon "speaks about our emotional self and what we need to feel secure, safe, and nurtured. We go to our Moon when we need to restore ourselves," explained Belgrave.

    The sign that the moon happened to be in when you were born is the side of you that only a few get to see, and it's what guides you when you need direction. For this reason, your moon sign tends to be the ruling force over your decision-making.

    Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

    Your Ascendant Sign

    Also known as your rising sign, this is the final "leg" on which your chart stands, and it's based on the constellation that was on the horizon at the exact time of your birth. Belgrave explained that this sign represents how others see you: "When we first meet someone, we’re likely to meet their rising sign."

    She also said that the ascendant sign changes every two hours or so, which is just one reason to try to be as accurate as possible when naming your birth time.

    Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

    The Inner Planets

    The inner planets include Mercury, Venus, and Mars, in addition to the sun and the moon. Belgrave cautioned that all planets carry slightly different meanings from chart to chart, but "as a rule, the inner planets, or personal planets, can describe core personality traits, needs, and desires."

    Mercury rules your mind and communication, Venus rules your love life, and Mars rules your actions and overall energy. (You can read more about the planets and their meanings here.) So, for example, if Venus happened to be in Aries when you were born, that could mean you're playful, flirtatious, and even driven when it comes to love, since those qualities are associated with Aries.

    Simply put, the key characteristics of the sign that a particular planet is in when you're born will influence a specific aspect of your life.

    Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

    The Outer Planets

    Meanwhile, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto's respective areas of influence are more abstract — rather than determining what makes you you, they reflect what will make your life special.

    Jupiter rules luck and progress, Saturn rules your fears and self-discipline, Uranus rules change, Neptune rules dreams and how you heal, and Pluto rules your power and transformation. The placement of these planets can suggest what you have to look forward to in these areas.

    Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

    Your Ruling Planet

    Since you already know what parts of life each of the planets rule, you have a head start to understanding the significance of your ruling planet, or the planet that's associated with your ascending sign. This planet's qualities can tell you more about yourself, what you value, and what rules your behavior.

    For example, if your rising sign is Gemini, your chart's ruling planet is Mercury. Thanks to this planet's influence, you're probably talkative, clever, and intelligent. You'll also be more affected by Mercury's orbit and movements, especially if it's in retrograde. You can find your ascending sign's ruling planet here.

    We know — it's a lot to digest. But don't let the intricacies of the birth chart deter you from getting yours drawn.

    "Astrology is for everyone," Belgrave said. "It can give hope, as well as guidance, and more than anything, reassurance and confirmation that who you are and who you can become is written in the stars."

    Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

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    Border Patrol officials fired tear gas on hundreds of migrants, including small children, as they tried to enter the U.S. on Sunday. As a result, U.S. officials shut down the San Ysidro Port of Entry between San Diego and Tijuana for several hours.

    Rodney Scott, chief patrol agent of the Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector, defended the use of tear gas, saying some of the migrants threw rocks at the agents. "What we saw over and over yesterday was the group, the caravan, would push women and children towards the front and then, basically, 'rocking' our agents," he said on CNN on Monday. "We tried to target the instigators, specifically those assaulting the agents, but once that chemical is released, it does go through the air."

    Toddlers were seen running away barefoot from the tear gas as it spread.

    Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen defended border patrol's actions. "DHS will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons," she said in a statement on Sunday.

    Meanwhile, President Trump tweeted that Mexico should send the migrants, "many of whom are stone cold criminals," back to their home countries in Central America. "We will close the Border permanently if need be."

    On Tuesday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also defended the use of tear gas, saying it was an appropriate use of force and that the Obama administration did it, too.

    Some of the migrants reportedly said that they attempted to cross over after being denied at the port of entry, where they tried to claim asylum. Seeking asylum, as thousands of people are doing after fleeing violence in their home countries, is legal despite Trump's attempts to crack down on it. According to Nicole Narea, senior immigration reporter at legal news outlet Law360, the people at the border "could have grounds to sue under [the Refugee Act of 1980] on the basis that the Trump administration has effectively denied them access to the U.S. asylum system."

    Democrats and human rights defenders were outraged over the treatment of the migrants, many of whom are currently being housed in shelters in Tijuana.

    "Our government fired tear gas canisters at a group of scared women and children who are already in a desperate situation," Efrén Olivares, racial and economic justice director at the Texas Civil Rights Project, told Refinery29. "We condemn these actions and remember the broader issue at stake. Through a series of policies and barriers, the White House has de facto made it near impossible for migrants to seek asylum, and a judge has temporarily put a stop to those efforts. The desperation felt by the thousands of families waiting at the border will only intensify if the administration continues with its illegal actions to limit the legal right to seek asylum."

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    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    To breastfeed or not. To wear a bra or not. To #Freethenipple or not. Conversations, debates and thoughts around breasts are rarely uncontroversial. Should women celebrate the attention and perks that a cleavage-revealing top can deliver, or should they cover up and practice modesty? What about boob jobs, currently the second most common plastic surgery performed in the U.S. Most women think about all of these things at some point in their lives as their breasts develop and change over their lifetimes.

    We so often compartmentalize our public coverage of breasts into discrete narratives: breasts as sexual, breasts as nurturing, breasts as the origin of cancer. But, the reality is that women experience the interplay between these narratives (alongside breasts' many other roles and stories) every day. Our breasts can be supremely sexually pleasurable, and they can also be a source of anxiety about "measuring up" to cultural expectations. They can be beautiful; they can be a source of illness and pain. Each woman's breasts — and each woman's story — are uniquely her own.

    So, we bring you 25 women and their personal relationships with their breasts: difficult and celebratory, in sickness and in health.

    "I’m a short girl, so sometimes my big breasts threaten to overwhelm me. In fact, a lot of women in my family — including my sister — have gotten breast reductions, so I've considered it. I might go through with it someday, but I want to have kids and breastfeed them first. I also like a more natural look. I think they’re shaped really well and they’re really firm for how big they are.

    "I went through puberty super early; I was already a D-cup by the fourth grade. I developed before all the other girls in my class, and middle-school boys were really mean about it. They would grab [my breasts]. They don’t realize that it's wrong because they’re so young. [My breasts] are definitely a focal point and have been my whole life. Now, I've realized that they're just part of my body — I'm a curvy girl — so I really had to embrace them."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "Almost everyone calls my breasts 'mosquito bites.' I don't think of my breasts as sexual because they're not the size I would like them to be. I also hardly ever wear bras, and I can wear cute [low-cut] tops without showing cleavage at all since... my breasts are so small."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 30 years old. I had a single mastectomy in June, and I now have a softball-shaped spacer where my breast tissue was, in preparation for my reconstructive surgery. My insurance is fighting with me on coverage. That’s where I am right now...waiting for approvals.

    "I found the lump at a bachelorette party. I was making fun of a piece of lingerie my best friend had just received, and I put it on as a joke. I felt my breasts and that's when I felt a pea-sized lump. I called maybe 12 different facilities telling them that I had found a lump and I was unsure about it. Most of them told me that because I was under the age of 40 and don’t have a family history of breast cancer, I shouldn’t worry — it was probably just a cyst. But, in the back of my head, I felt uneasy. I found out about free cancer screenings at the Harlem Hospital, and went to get tested anyway.

    "In February, they discovered I had three masses. One was DCIS-positive and two were suspicious. In June, when they removed my breast, a total of five masses were completely positive with DCIS, and one area had metastasized into invasive cancer, which could have spread into my lungs, liver, and blood through my lymph nodes. Early detection and persistence saved my life. If you feel something, say something. You know your body."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "Most of the time, I don’t wear a bra, which a lot of busty girls are afraid to do. But, I think it's really liberating and fun. I like the natural look. A lot of women with big busts wear really restrictive bras, but I’m just not into that. Sure, my lower backs hurts a lot, but I do Pilates and I just try to stay healthy and keep my core strong, which helps."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "Six months into hormones — and still not telling anyone that I was a girl — I had a girlfriend who I had just begun to date again after years of being broken up. I had come out to her just before we began dating again... We slept in the same bed one night. New Order's 'Temptation' came on, and she stuck her hand up my shirt and touched my budding, sensitive breasts for the first time. In that moment, I began to overcome shame about my changing body.

    "I had breast growth and intense sensitivity (remember puberty?) from years of hormones, but I always identified aesthetically as someone with bigger boobs. Having that surgery felt integral to my personal narrative."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "I'm a plus-size model, and I feel like they want every plus-size girl to be voluptuous. And, I don’t know if that’s realistic for everybody. So, I have inserts that I use occasionally — here and there. It just really depends on the client. I use a silicone insert; they look like chicken cutlets, basically. I feel okay about it. It doesn’t really change anything about me because it's only for 15 minutes. I don’t wear them out to a club or anything like that."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "It sounds cliché, but my earliest memory of my breasts was probably begging my mom for a training bra. I remember there was a Lizzie McGuire episode where Hillary Duff goes, 'I. WANT. A BRA.' I think that's what inspired me to bring it up to my mom, and even though I never really needed a bra (and still don't always wear one), she was supportive and we picked up some cute, tiny training bras from Limited Too. I felt so cool.

    "I don't really think of my breasts as sexual, but it's not because they're 'small.' I actually really like the size; they're not quite a handful, but plump enough to count for something. I've had past boyfriends ask me if I'm going to get a boob job later in life and I'm always like, hell no."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "It's breast cancer awareness month, and my mom recently passed away from breast cancer. So, this is kind of my tribute to women. I want to encourage women to touch their own boobs, to be comfortable with [their] bodies — because most women discover lumps themselves. [My mother] did.

    "Breast cancer is totally a fear for me. I didn’t use to have a family history, but, you know, family history starts somewhere. It makes me approach things — life — a bit differently, and also just care about my female health, breast health, and touching my boobs more. Also, my boyfriend loves them."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "The summer before college, I went from an A-cup to a B. Then a C. Then a D, finally reaching a DD (with a booty to match) within months. I was a competitive rower in high school and needed to step away from the sport for my body to find its happy, grown-up place.

    "My breasts are sexual when I want them to be, but most of the time, they’re just on my chest. Hopefully, someday they’ll be feeding my children, and when I’m old they’ll be hanging out around my waistline and no one will look at them twice. I don’t show them off much, but when I do, I go all out: push-up bra and low neckline. And, it’s fun. The interactions I have change significantly (read: lots more free drinks). I think my life would be very different if I dressed like that every day, though, and not necessarily in a way that I'd like.

    "I also think it’s sad that our culture tends to see breasts as inappropriate. At the end of the day, we all have them — both men and women. And, they’re just skin and tissue: nothing to fear, and nothing to hide."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "My favorite thing about my breasts is that they don’t sag at age 60. As you become pregnant and then nurse and then you’re not [nursing] and then you’re pregnant again and you’re nursing again, your breasts go through major transformations. And, it's all wonderful and all good, but [your breasts] become different to you as your life goes on."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "I have a love-hate relationship with my breasts. That’s for sure. I do love them a lot; I feel like [they] make me who I am...because I’m a curvy girl, obviously. If I didn’t have boobs, it would look a little awkward.

    "I love them, but there are times when finding a bra and finding clothes that actually fit is...rough."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "I developed pretty early, so I had a real bra by the time I was around eight. I went to Puerto Rico to stay with my abuela for the summer, and she saw my bra and thought it was so cute that she literally ran around the neighborhood with it to show everyone."

    "I found a breast lump four years ago that grew rapidly, so now I have to get it checked out every year. Right now, I'm young enough that they aren't worried. They think it's just a fat clump, so they don't want to risk biopsy. But, someday I won't be too young to worry about breast cancer."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "A year ago, I decided to make a huge life change: eating Paleo, exercising every day, and being really positive. And, I lost over 20 pounds, so that was really exciting. But, the only thing that was holding me back from feeling really great about myself was my boobs. I felt like they were deformed, flat, and not the same size.

    "So, I decided to get a breast augmentation, and it was the best decision I ever made. I feel great all the time. It makes everything awesome. Sure, it's just a boob job — but it's also that little thing that took [my self-esteem] over the edge. It made me feel really great about myself. Obviously, nobody needs it, but if you want it and you can afford it, why not?"

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "Breast cancer has changed my life in so many ways. But, most of all, it has taught me to not sweat the small stuff — and to live every day to its fullest!"

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "I've had an at-home DNA [test] for months, but I'm afraid to send it in and find out if I am BRCA-positive or not. My grandmother died from breast cancer, and my mother is a survivor. It's sad to say, but I feel like breast cancer is inevitable for me. And, as much as I like my breasts, I kind of think of them as ticking time-bombs."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "I was skinny-dipping in the ocean this past summer, and my boss happened to be 20 yards from me. My boobs became buoyant in the salt water; she saw everything!"

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "When I was 12, I grew breasts. My best friend at the time still had a child's chest, so I prayed to God that my boobs would never grow any larger. They never did.

    "I don't really like my breasts. I wish I could say that I've learned to love them and that I'm comfortable in my own skin, but I think they're funny-looking.

    "Though, one time, I was at a bar...and Ryan McGinley asked if he could touch my breast. I said 'sure' because I didn't care one way or another. I'm not sure if this is funny or sad or both."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "I used to work at this bar in downtown Seattle, and one time I was outside and some drunken asshole was like ‘titties!’ and so I just yelled back ‘penis!’ really loud, and I thought it was pretty funny."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "My breasts have always been very obviously different sizes. When I was younger, I remember looking down in church one day and just being like, What the fuck? I only wore sports bras for a really long time. I didn’t realize that it was a [normal] thing until I looked it up on the Internet."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "Personally, I’m not a huge fan of my nipples and areola area. My nipples don’t really harden like other women’s do, and the arousal factor just does not exist (is this just me?). They’re just kind of…there.

    "But, I did pierce my nip on my 21st birthday (sober, I swear), and I still count it as one of the best decisions, as far as rebellious choices go, that I’ve made. I loved the idea of having this 'secret' that only I — and a couple of friends — was in on. I’ve since taken it out because I had a close call (having my top snag on the bar one day) that made me super paranoid. But, I’ve gone back and forth as to whether I should re-pierce. If I do, I’m definitely doing both babies the second time around. Gotta spread the love."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "When I was in about eighth grade, my mom told me I was 'turning into Angelina Jolie (in Tomb Raider)' right before her eyes. I thought she was talking about my lips."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "When I was about nine or 10 years old, I remember seeing my girlfriends semi-naked and then looking at myself in private — everyone else's little, mosquito-bite boobs looked so different from mine. I thought I might have been born a man or something because my boobs were way different."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "I don't have anything to say about my breasts."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "I’m much more confident about them now that they’re C-cups. They used to be B-cups, but I gained a little bit more weight. I’m happy embracing my curves; they're beautiful, and I think every woman should embrace them."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    "I like that my breasts are bigger. I don't think there's anything I don't like about them. When I was younger, I couldn't wait to get them. And, once I got them, it was a loving relationship."

    Photographed By Joanna McClure.

    Watch the video for more honesty from women about their breasts.

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    One aspect of modern civilization that drives us insane is the feeling that the AC is on at full blast, all the time, everywhere, even in the wintertime. In offices, airplanes, movie theaters, and other places we frequent, cold air is never not haunting us, even if there’s a blizzard swirling outside. (If anyone has a science-backed reason for why this is, please get at us in the comments.)

    While we wait for researchers to offer a logical explanation, the next best solution we’ve got is to dress in smart layering pieces that are designed to actually retain body heat. That’s where winter essentials from Cuddl Duds — soft fleece wraps, stretchy thermal leggings, turtlenecks that contour to the body, and more — come in. Ahead, we present five street style-ready ways to wear these base layers (available at Macy’s), along with trend-forward pieces that don’t need to be forced into hibernation. Rest assured, warmer days are coming.

    A stretchy white turtleneck tucked into straight-leg blue jeans is a classic look in its own right, but add a leopard-print chunky cardigan and the outfit becomes that much more texturized and cozy. An easy-to-wipe beaded heart purse is fabulous for winter weather, as are platform Chelsea boots.



    Cuddl by Cuddl Duds Softwear Stretch Long-Sleeve Turtleneck, $16, available at Macy's

    Smythe Leopard Chunky Cardigan, $495, available at Intermix

    Gap Mid Rise Real Straight Jeans, $69.95, available at Gap

    rag & bone Taryn Platform Chelsea Boots, $525, available at Saks Fifth Avenue

    Loeffler Randall Maria Beaded Heart Tote, $250, available at Loeffler Randall

    Le Specs PETIT PANTHÈRE, $129, available at Le Specs

    This one’s for the cold girl who loves color, pattern, and texture. Start with this warm, striped, stretchy long-sleeve top (though it functions as a trusty base layer, it’s also versatile on its own). Tuck it into a jewel-toned pleated midi-skirt for swing and movement. A leather jacket is an edgy touch, while a blush-pink beanie softens the mood.



    Cuddl by Cuddl Duds Women's Softwear Stretch Long Sleeve Crew Shirt, $20.99, available at Macy's

    Madewell Washed Leather Trucker Jacket, $498, available at Madewell

    Tibi Mendini Twill Pleated Skirt, $595, available at Tibi

    Topshop MARCEL 2 Mid Ankle Boots, $180, available at Topshop

    Vince Ribbed Beanie, $125, available at Nordstrom

    Shashi Starburst Signet Ring, $56, available at Shashi

    Soft, non-bulky black leggings that comfortably stretch to fit around the legs is your secret weapon to wearing all your dresses this winter. Grandma-heel glove shoes keep the outfit classy, while a funky puffer and abstract dangle earrings make it feel fresh and modern.



    Cuddl by Cuddl Duds Softwear Stretch Leggings, $20.99, available at Macy's

    Zara RIBBED KNIT DRESS, $49.9, available at Zara

    Everlane The Day Heel, $150, available at Everlane

    Mango Resin pendant earrings, $25.99, available at Mango

    COS Printed Puffer Jacket, $175, available at COS

    This super-soft, drapey fleece wrap is guaranteed to keep you feeling toasty, even if you’re only wearing a T-shirt underneath. A memorable faux-fur jacket is a great option to wear over the fleece (with the hood pulled through, of course, for easy access). Pair it all with breeze-resistant leather pants — go for an inseam that is slightly cropped, which is ideal for ankle booties.



    Cuddl by Cuddl Duds Long-Sleeve Fleece Hooded Wrap, $24, available at Macy's

    H&M Faux Fur Jacket, $129, available at H&M

    Anine Bing TIGER TEE - WHITE, $99, available at Anine Bing

    & Other Stories Paperbag Waist Leather Pants, $379, available at & Other Stories

    Nine West Yendira Pointy Toe Booties, $119, available at Nine West

    Clare V. Alistair - Petit, $365, available at Clare V

    If all you want out of winter is swathing yourself in knits (we don’t blame you), this pair of sweater-knit leggings will be your trustiest ally this season. Double up the knit factor with an oversized and chunky cable sweater, and complete the '90s-inspired ensemble with velvet combat boots, a vinyl fanny pack, and a plaid toggle coat.



    Cuddl by Cuddl Duds Cuddl Duds Soft Knit Leggings, $16, available at Macy's

    Current/Elliott The Vin distressed cable-knit turtleneck sweater, $330, available at Net-A-Porter

    Topshop Checked Duffle Coat, $160, available at Topshop

    Bershka Faux vinyl fanny pack, $25.9, available at Bershka

    Dr. Martens Jadon 8 Eye Velvet Boots, $170, available at Shopbop

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    We all have that one person on our Christmas list that knows Sephora aisles better than they understand their medical plans, that can't shop for groceries without donning the no-makeup makeup look, or that prefers watching beauty tutorials over the latest episode of The Handmaid's Tale. So, when the holiday comes around, it's clear that they should get something beauty-related as a gift. But what do you get the person who keeps track of every Ulta launch and has VIB Rouge status?

    First, you want to make sure it's something the beauty fan in your life will actually use. What product does she restock often, like mascara or an application sponge? Second, you'll need to make sure it's not something she already has in her curated collection. Think: brand-new launches and limited-edition holiday sets from buzzy brands.

    Still stumped? We've rounded up a few gifts that will make it seem like you know a thing or two about beauty trends — even if you don't know the difference between baking and draping. From K-beauty skin-care sets to influencer-made perfumes, ahead are the best holiday gifts to make a splash with the beauty lovers in your life.

    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.

    Target, the megastore that never fails to trap us, released tons of beauty sets for the holiday season, including assorted bundles like this one. In this one box there are 12 goodies that include everything from an exfoliating cleanser to a highlighting powder for just $20.



    Target Target Beauty Box™ - Holiday - Beauty Advent Calendar, $19.98, available at Target

    — PAID —

    If your giftee is truly beauty-obsessed, then they'll have likely already jumped on the beauty-essence bandwagon. And if they haven't? Well, all the more reason to enlighten them. Adored by beauty editors and bloggers alike, SK-II’s iconic Facial Treatment Essence is a must-have J-beauty staple in any beauty routine, thanks to the brand's proprietary PITERA™ — a super-potent “miracle ingredient” rich in vitamins, organic acids, minerals, and amino acids. Now, this cult favorite is available in a totally gorgeous, limited-edition bottle designed by artist Karan Singh. Whoever's lucky enough to unwrap and discover this bottle will surely be singing your praises.



    SK-II KARAN Limited Edition Facial Treatment Essence, $229, available at SK-II

    For those on your list that have a standing bi-weekly blowout appointment, let them have that luxury at home with this best-selling 2-in-1 straightening iron and paddle brush. Every time they cheat on their hairstylist with this easy-to-use styling tool, they'll be saving money and time.



    DryBar Brush Crush Heated Straightening Brush, $145, available at Ulta Beauty

    Kylie Cosmetics had super exciting releases this year from her 3-D Halloween products to the second installment of her KKW x KYLIE 2 collection. But the brand's latest drop for the holiday season definitely caught our attention with its ice blue packaging, on-trend products, and winter-themed names. The star product from the holiday collection that's worth gifting? The Chill Baby 14-pan eyeshadow palette; it has all the sparkle they'll need for the festivities and the perfect neutrals that'll be used way into 2019.



    Kylie Cosmetics Chill Baby | Pressed Powder Palette, $44, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    A true beauty lover is always in search of a mascara that can one-up the current fave. And it's always fun to try something that has rave reviews. But you know what's not fun? Spending more money on those aformentioned mascaras. Gift the beauty fan on your list this sampler of best-selling mascaras, which includes two full-sized products, a primer, and the mascara that won a 2018 Beauty Innovator Award.



    Sephora Favorites Lashstash, $48, available at Sephora

    If your favorite beauty fan has a 10-step skin-care routine, then they'll definitely appreciate this set from Soko Glam. The K-beauty e-commerce site put their 2018 Best of K-Beauty Award winners into a travel-size set. The person you gift it to can live out their good skin day dreams, even if they're on the go.



    Soko Glam Best of K-Beauty Mini Set, $32, available at Soko Glam

    Huda Beauty brand founders and sisters, Huda and Mona Kattan, have entered into the world of fragrance with the launch of Kayali. The perfumes are an ode to the Middle East with rich scents, and the Arabic name translates to "My Imagination." There are four different iterations, so you can pick one that suits the beauty fanatic on your list, and the best part is that the bottle is Instagram-worthy.



    Huda Beauty KAYALI VANILLA | 28, $118, available at Sephora

    If the person you're gifting doesn't leave the house without a full face of makeup, then help them by simplifying the nightly battle of taking it off. These reusable, washable cleansing pads replace makeup wipes by wiping off foundation, mascara, basically all of it with just water. Then, just throw it into the laundry load. It lasts them for 200 uses, so this 3-pack will probably last well past next Christmas.



    Face Halo Face Halo Pro, $22, available at Face Halo

    Beautyblenders are a cult-favorite for makeup devotees, so you can't go wrong with a colorful set that'll keep them blending well into 2019. They'll also feel the holiday spirit, even once the season is over, as the set comes with four cleansers in a peppermint scent.



    Beautyblender SWEET INDULGENCE Beauty Sampler, $65, available at beautyblender

    If they love beauty, then they know Rihanna's Fenty Beauty has been the most hyped makeup brand of 2018. So, one of the best beauty presents that can be given is a product from the brand's Chill Owt holiday collection, like this matte lipstick duo (that won the Readers' Choice in our 2018 Beauty Innovator Awards). The set comes in an adorably packaged ornament.



    Fenty Two Lil Mattemoiselles - Chill Owt Edition, $19, available at Sephora

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    It's no surprise that, in the definitive list of the best and worst months of the year (yes, there is a definitive list of the best and worst months of the year), most Americans rank January and February in a tie for dead last, with March not far behind. Maybe it's the bitter windchill, the sheer inconvenience of having to shovel snow off your car just to pull out of your driveway, the lack of light past 5 p.m., or the onset of seasonal affective disorder that makes winter such a drag — or, more likely, it's all of the above. Toss dry skin into the mix, and yeah, you've got a frontrunner for worst season of the year.

    To be fair, dry skin isn't restricted to winter, as anyone who suffers from it year-round will be more than happy to tell you. But it does tend to worsen when the weather is cold and blustery, and it's also harder to treat when you're fighting against the elements. That's why you need to arm yourself with the best heavy-duty body lotions, balms, oils, and even butters to tackle the problem from head-to-toe before April — America's fifth favorite month — rolls around.

    Our top body lotion picks for winter, 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.

    Slather your body — face and hair, too! — in this vitamin-packed oil straight out of the shower when your skin is still damp to trap in moisture and keep the bitter cold out, all day long.



    Sans Ceuticals Activator 7 Body + Hair + Face Oil, $39.97, available at Sans Ceuticals

    Technically you should avoid extra-hot showers to keep your skin happy when it's cold outside, but if you just can't break the habit, pick a luxe body oil to smooth over your skin post-shower to make up for it. The pure rose oil in this formula, sourced from Damascene roses, will make you feel like you're bathing better than a modern-day Marie Antoinette.



    Susanne Kaufmann Rose Oil, $73, available at Need Supply Co

    Whether you like to spend your winters locked inside with the heat cranked and a hot cup of tea in hand or bravely hitting the slopes, this all-over balm will repair wind-battered skin no matter where you fall on the dryness spectrum. Chamomile and aloe juice calm irritation, while the calendula and shea butter soothe overnight.



    Buckler's Chapped Skin Remedy, $22, available at Buckler's

    Free from pore-clogging oils, wax, and silicone fillers, this shea butter-and-honey formula is the body moisturizer to pack in every suitcase you own.



    Malin + Goetz Vitamin b5 Body Moisturizer, $40, available at Malin + Goetz

    Salves are the unsung hero of body care: They pack a major punch of hydration where you really need it, like the backs of your arms, hands, elbows, and knees. This purse-friendly tin will keep your driest patches soft in a pinch.



    Burts Bees Burt's Bees Hand Salve, $7.89, available at Target

    Wheat germ — yes, wheat germ — is the hero ingredient in this skin-soothing formula, which hydrates, relieves irritation, and promises to calm eczema, too. It's just the icing on the cake that the packaging looks great in an Instagram.



    Aesop Resolute Hydrating Body Balm, $97, available at Nordstrom

    It might not be the sexiest tube of lotion, but it is one of the most universally beloved for sensitive skin. This no-frills moisturizer rehydrates without oils, dyes, or added fragrances, so you never have to worry about your body care making those skin flare-ups even worse.



    Vanicream Moisturizing Cream Skin Cream, $8.99, available at Target

    But if you're trying to fit your aesthetic while simultaneously easing itchy, dry skin, here's your solution: This multi-purpose balm uses coconut, monoi, and argan oils to quickly absorb into skin so you might look — and smell — like you belong in a tropical paradise... not in a blizzard.



    Meant The Absolute Balm, $45, available at Meant

    If you have eczema-prone skin, this one's for you: Fragrance-free and lighter than a feather, this simple — French! — cream keeps dry skin at bay and calms flare-ups on contact.



    La Roche-Posay Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream, $14.99, available at DermStore

    Since winter seems to be the longest season of 'em all, it's helpful to look for a body product that doesn't just soothe dry patches in a quick pinch, but keeps you hydrated in the long run. We know this emollient cream was originally formulated for infants and diaper rush, but it's just as good for an adult's scaly elbows and arms. Even better, it includes AHAs so your roughest spots are smooth in just a few uses.



    Mustela Stelatopia Emollient Cream, $26, available at DermStore

    Sometimes you have to treat your elbows and heels to some extra T.L.C. — especially when Mother Nature has restricted your winter footwear to anything bulky and tight. Treat your calloused patches with this heavy-duty cream that is as exfoliating as it is softening.



    Glytone Ultra Softening Heel and Elbow Cream, $54, available at DermStore

    When you want to smell like that mom-and-pop cabin in the Catskills, but don't have the spare budget to make the trip, smooth on this woodsy-scented body oil. Yes, it's deeply moisturizing, relieves irritated skin, and doesn't leave you slick and greasy, but it also smells exactly like it would if you were hiking Kaaterskill Falls and not stuck in the office forced to inhale your coworker's leftover takeout.



    Naturopathica Deep Forest Bath & Body Oil, $34, available at DermStore

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    Welcome to Hype Machine, our hit-list of the top reviewed products across the web — according to a crowd of die-hard shoppers. Call this your 4-star & up only club, with entry granted by our devoted-to-the-goods shop editors.

    Peak adulthood is when the term, "body pillow," no longer stands for a fuzzy, fun, and turquoise-colored Limited Too bed accessory — and instead refers to an actual sleep product, specially-engineered to support our aging bods. Yes, we've put the carefree days of stylish sleepovers in novelty bedding behind us for the more serious task at hand: combatting restless slumbers due to back and neck pain. Which is why, for the next edition of Hype Machine, we're tackling the top-rated body pillows according to the most serious sleepers.

    Like sleep styles, not all body pillows are created equal — and what works for one snoozer may not work for another. The supportive goods come in a wide range of different sizes, shapes, and materials (from C-shapes covered in soft jersey knit to standard-shapes filled with cushy memory foam). Whether you're in search of back, side, or even pregnancy support while catching your Zs, the ten options ahead have those bases and more accounted for. But don't just take our word for it, because we've included the ratings and hype around each top product to help you make the most informed purchase possible. Scroll on to shop the best body pillows for your sleep style...What they lack in sparkly animal shapes, they more than make up for in optimized slumbers.

    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 Horseshoe Pillow
    This horseshoe-shaped pillow's design is engineered to follow natural body contours in whatever position you choose to sleep, relax, or cuddle with it.

    The Hype: 4.4 out of 5 stars and 203 reviews on Bed Bath & Beyond

    Serious Sleepers Say: "This is worth the cost, it's so much better than a standard body pillow. I love that it doesn't take up as much space as a U shaped pillow, but it is big enough to wrap around you so you don't have to re-position the pillow if you roll over during the night. Very cozy and comfortable and the material is light enough to not overheat you." — Allison, Bed Bath & Beyond Review



    Leachco Snoogle® Chic Jersey Total Body Pillow in Heather Grey, $65.98, available at Bed Bath & Beyond

    The Side-Sleeper Pillow
    Die-heard side sleepers look no further than this L-shaped buy with a cooling gel memory foam fill that supports head, neck, and back while regulating temperatures and wicking away moisture.

    The Hype: 4.3 out of 5 stars and 173 reviews on Amazon

    Serious Sleepers Say: "I have tried so many different pillows and this one is by far the BEST pillow I have ever purchased. Being a huge side sleeper I can’t even begin to describe how comfortable it is! It supports my neck and my arm! And it doesn’t matter what side you sleep on, or if you change sides during the night, it has the capability of you just turning over and using the other side the same! So happy with this purchase." — Alexis, Amazon Review



    Z Gel Memory Foam L-Shape Pillow, $54.99, available at Amazon

    The Luxe-Velvet Pillow
    Made with soft velvet, this standard-shaped body pillow is perfect for side-sleepers looking for support without sacrificing style.

    The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars and 5 reviews on Urban Outfitters

    Serious Sleepers Say: "Super soft, cozy and comfortable!! Makes a great pillow to cuddle with or as an accent to your room! I’d order 76 more if I my bed had room." — Ewaits, Urban Outfitters Review



    Urban Outfitters Velvet Body Pillow, $49, available at Urban Outfitters

    The Organic Pillow
    Calling all eco-friendly sleepers, this supportive body pillow is filled with a special combination of hypo-allergenic, low V.O.C. Biogreen memory foam and CertiPur-U.S. certified foam.

    The Hype: Amazon's Choice with 4.6 out of 5 stars and 3,901 reviews on Amazon

    Serious Sleepers Say: "This is the most AMAZING body pillow in the entire world...Not only does this body pillow eliminate the need for those other three pillows I was using, but it is so much more comfortable and convenient. I no longer spend half of my night wrangling all these pillows because my new body pillow is fluffier and it stays in one place for me all night long!" — Vinny, Amazon Review



    Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Full Size Body, $69.98, available at Amazon

    The Under $10 Pillow
    This standard side-sleeper shape comes in jumbo-sized for an affordable price point — and is made from a soft cotton cover encasing a comfy-supportive polyester fill.

    The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 stars and 306 reviews on Target

    Serious Sleepers Say: "I L-O-V-E this pillow! I bought it with the soft fuzzy white cover and it is so nice to sleep with. If you lay it horizontal no matter how much you toss and turn you’ll always have pillow to lay on. And it’s perfect for when you sleep alone, and have it vertical, as I do often, it makes it feel as if you’re laying with someone else it’s so comfortable!" — Manikks, Target Review



    Room Essentials Body Pillow (Jumbo) White , $6.99, available at Target

    The Pregnancy Pillow
    Dubbed, "The Ultimate Pregnancy Pillow," this C-shaped product is encased in a super-soft jersey knit and stuffed with adjustable polyfill material that's specially engineered to adapt to and support expecting to non-expecting bellies, necks, and backs.

    The Hype: #1 Best Seller with 4.4 out of 5 stars and 1,286 reviews on Amazon

    Serious Sleepers Say: "Seriously love this pillow. It it's like a hug and a snuggle without the body heat. It supports all the right places." — Kristen, Amazon Review



    PharMeDoc C Shaped Full Body Pillow, Grey, $39.95, available at Amazon

    The Cooling Gel Pillow
    This standard-shaped body pillow built for supporting side sleepers is made with hypoallergenic materials and filled with cool-gel memory foam pieces for a temperature neutral snooze.

    The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars and 463 reviews on Wayfair

    Serious Sleepers Say: "It is the most comfortable body pillow I've ever owned and I use it for my back. I have so many back problems by the end of the day I can barely walk and after sleeping with his pillow I wake up and I feel brand new. I would definitely recommend this to anyone!" — Andrea, Wayfair Review



    Alwyn Home Cool Gel Memory Foam Body Pillow, $34.99, available at Wayfair

    The Full-Support Pillow
    Made from a hypoallergenic polyester fiberfill, this horseshoe-shaped buy is built for full body support that's optimal for side sleepers to sleepers suffering from neck and shoulder pain.

    The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars with a 97% recommendation rate on Sharper Image

    Serious Sleepers Say: "This body pillow has enhanced my quality of sleep tremendously. I have hip and sciatic nerve pain. By elevating a leg onto the pillow the pressure is relieved in my hip/sciatic to provide me with a good night's rest. The body pillow acts like a nest and is so comfortable and soothing. I highly recommend this product whether you have any pain or not. It's wonderful!" — Mary, Sharper Image Review



    Sharper Image Full Support Body Pillow, $119.99, available at Sharper Image

    The Premium Pillow
    A whopping 48-inches long, this premium body pillow is crafted with Tempur-Pedic's medium-firm shapeable microcushions engineered to respond to individual body shape and pressure.

    The Hype: 4.5 out of 4 stars and 179+ reviews on Tempur-Pedic

    Serious Sleepers Say: "I was a bit skeptical because of the price but the quality and comfort make it worth the the price. It's also a solid pillow with a good weight meaning it's not like traditional pillows that are too soft and don't hold up to wear." — ReadyPlayer1, Tempur-Pedic Review



    Tempur-Pedic BodyPillow, $149.25, available at Tempur-Pedic

    The Back-Sleeper Pillow
    A hypoallergenic body pillow built for supporting back sleepers with microfiber cover and soft yet sturdy polyester fill.

    The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars and 1,176 reviews on Wayfair

    Serious Sleepers Say: "This was EXACTLY what I was looking for. It's SUPER comfortable and sturdy--- not something that you'll easily sink into. It's plump and wonderful!" — Kaitlyn, Wayfair Review



    Wayfair Basics Body Pillow, $20.99, available at Wayfair

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    Just like their polished beach waves and streak-free spray tans, a celebrity's eyebrows almost always look perfect. With not one hair out of place, A-listers like Kim Kardashian West, Zendaya, and Lucy Hale have the kind of arches that look too good to be true. Lucky for all of us hoping to copy their flawlessly angled shapes and feathered texture, they're not. In fact, you can credit one woman, and her eponymous salon in Venice, California, for the aforementioned stars' show-stopping eyebrows: Kelley Baker.

    After spending years getting Zendaya, Hale, and Ariana Grande's brows in shape (no, they didn't always look like they do now), Baker recently began working with more famous names than ever before, like Khloé, Kylie, Kourtney, and resident Kar-Jenner BFF Jordyn Woods. Now the brow artist is sharing her biggest secrets to getting the A-list look without the risk of botching your brows in the process. Her answers to our top FAQs, ahead.

    How can I make my brows look like your celebrity clients'?
    Reaching peak brow goals doesn't happen overnight — not even for celebrities. A lot of Baker's clients came to her at a time in their lives when their brows were lacking shape or completely over-tweezed. Even the fluffiest brows you see on Instagram went through a major renovation to get to where they are now. Baker says it requires patience, monthly visits to her salon, and tossing the tweezers. "I tell my clients to let me do the work," she explains. "Every brow hair matters, and each time I shape their brows they will get better and better."

    I want to start visiting a pro for regular grooming. How often should I book an appointment?
    Whether you're growing out brows or if you simply need a clean-up, Baker suggests booking an appointment every four to six weeks. "There’s always something for me to fix, so it’s not necessary to let clients skip an appointment for months and be super hairy," she says. Even if your brows are in rehab, make sure to tell your brow groomer exactly what your long-term goals look like. Kristie Streicher, another celeb brow artist and co-owner of Striiike salon, recommends using an old photo of yourself — pre-plucking — to pull realistic inspiration for the final shape and thickness.

    The front edge of your brow should begin above your tear duct, the arch should vertically align with the outer edge of your iris, and the tail should end 45° from the outer corner of your eye.

    Should I tweeze/trim between appointments?
    Baker, like most pros, prefers her clients to avoid any at-home grooming in between appointments. "Typically when a client tweezes themselves, they get tweezer happy and do too much," Baker explains. "So it’s best to let the pros do it for you." Also, it's likely you and your artist are working towards a long-term goal, so intervening at home could set you back at your next visit. But we get it, minor touch-ups are sometimes hard to avoid, but try to limit it to the hairs between your brows to get your through — don't mess with the actual shape or length or you might be sorry you did.

    What about the brow hairs that live above the eyebrow line — should those stay or go?
    "I always tweeze and wax the hairs above the brow line. It really brings out your natural shape and makes your brows pop," Baker explains. "If you don’t take the brow hairs out above the brow you won’t get that super-clean, defined look." If you've tweeze too much, fake a fuller arch with a brow pencil or pomade.

    I've been growing out my brows for a couple weeks and they look messy. How can I hide the rogue hairs until I see my brow artist?
    Baker's hidden secret for, well, everything — even concealing stray brow hairs — is a large highlighter pencil. Although Baker makes her own illuminated formula, any formula that's slightly lighter than your skin tone should work. Bonus: It's also the quickest hack to faking thick brows. “Everyone calls it the 'magic stick.' It just opens up everyone’s eyes and makes [brows] look fuller,” Baker says.

    How can I tell my brows need trimming?
    A telltale sign are long, curly hairs sticking up and out in all directions.

    Can I trim my brows at home?
    Baker's biggest brow no-no is self-trimming. Baker says the biggest mistake people always make is they hold their spoolie onto the hairs as they cut. “Don’t hold the brow hair up because when you let go and it falls back into place, you’ll have holes and sparse areas," she explains. But if you can't make your next brow appointment and need to trim at home, make sure to brush the hairs up and then let them go. Trim only the hairs that continue to protrude above the brow line to avoid going too short.

    Is there an easy alternative to brow tinting?
    Although most of Baker's clients tint their brows, she makes it clear that they aren't doing it in her salon. Due to FDA concerns, it is illegal in California for any licensed professional to have eyebrow or lash tint in their possession or in a salon, and to administer tint on or anywhere near the eyes. Despite the fact that most professionals, including Baker, do not recommend at-home brow tinting, the dye is available for purchase online for pros. If you're looking for a safer and mess-free alternative, Baker suggests sticking to a tinted brow gel with a formula utilizing thickening fibers to get the darker, bolder effect.

    Does my face shape affect the shape of my brows?
    Yes, but it's not the final word. Similar to choosing what kind of bangs you want to get, your ideal brow shape is somewhat based on your natural face shape. Baker says the two have an opposing correlation. For example, round brows should not go on a round face. In this case, a higher arch is more flattering. Baker says the goal is to create whatever flatters their individual features, which really depends on the client's desires. Case in point: Grande personally prefers a short, straight "boy brow," so Baker tends to keep her shape soft with a slight curve, like Audrey Hepburn's.

    Photo: Steve Granitz/Getty Images.

    If you like to play with the shape of your brows, but don't want to permanently change how they look, Baker suggests practicing your makeup skills. You can magically fake the shape using a brow pencil and highlighter to draw your brows in the desired style without creating any drastic, long-term damage.

    How do I know I've plucked too much?
    Other than over-plucking until you look like Drew Barrymore on the cover of the January 1995 issue of Playboy, the biggest grooming faux pas is shortening the brow. Not only should you leave the tail of your brow alone, but also the inside near the nose. Baker says that most people tweeze without knowing what hairs to take out and what to leave in.

    So what's the best practice? The front edge of your brow should begin above your tear duct, the arch should vertically align with the outer edge of your iris, and the tail should end 45 degrees from the outer corner of your eye. If you’re going to try attempting to tweeze or shape your brows yourself, Baker recommends watching YouTube videos of your favorite brow artist for practice.

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    There was a time in my life where I was young and carefree and did reckless things. I kissed strangers. I stayed out until the sun came up. I disappointed my parents. I lost my keys twice in one weekend. I drank, a lot, without fear of spending the entire next day in bed spooning an empty 32 oz bottle of blue Gatorade. Worst of all, I repeatedly — not once, not twice, but multiple times, day after day, for years on end — stuck my fingers into open jars of moisturizer, put the product on my face, screwed the top right back on, and continued on with my life like nothing ever happened.

    It is my personal prerogative that putting a moisturizer in a jar and then putting your fingers in that jar and putting your fingers on your face over and over again is irresponsible and, frankly, disgusting. I wouldn't dream of doing it now, the same way I cringe to think of the friend of a friend of a friend, whose name was either Alex or Alec, whose iPhone charger I accidentally stole in the mad rush to get him out of my shared apartment in the morning five years ago. Now, in my old age (mid-twenties), I am wiser and more cautious, and certainly know much more about skin care than I did then. Am I also more neurotic? Yes, that too. But goddamnit, I am right.

    "Generally speaking, traditional jars are the least sanitary of all the different types of skin-care product," says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD. "As you open the top and dip in your fingers, you are exposing the products to microorganisms, which increases the risk for contamination." Contamination! Microorganisms! In your moisturizer. "Using contaminated products can increase your risk of infections as the microorganisms are spread from the cream to your skin."

    If you live and die by your frosted-glass jar of crème, you're fine, probably. "To maintain shelf life, these creams contain preservatives that prevent overgrowth of bacteria and other microorganisms," Dr. Zeichner says. But they're not foolproof, and the fact remains that pump dispensers are simply the more sanitary option; twist-off jars are cheaper to manufacture, which makes them more appealing from that standpoint, but the concept of spending money on a nice moisturizer only to put my fingers right back in there boggles my mind.

    Still, Dr. Zeichner says, "So long as you are using clean fingers and there is no visible soiling, preservatives within skin-care products should protect them from contamination." Which leads me down a different path: Maybe it's not the packaging that's the problem in my particular situation, but me, at least a little bit. There's always a stray eyelash that gets trapped in the jar, or a tiny piece of lint from my sweater. I have a large dog who sheds, profusely.

    For people like me, neurotic people with less-than-spotless lives, many brands make very nice moisturizers that don't require putting your appendages in there: tubes, pumps, even pump jars, like the ones Drunk Elephant makes. I'm not nearly as messy as I used to be — but apparently I'm still nowhere near clean enough to be the kind of person who can put on moisturizer without getting lint in the jar. In the end, I think I'm better for it.

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