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Refinery29

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    What do Timothée Chalamet, Harry Styles, young Leonardo DiCaprio, and Brendan Fraser in The Mummy have in common? They all have effortlessly charming, almost greasy-looking hair, sure. But more importantly, they are all men with haircuts that have made queer and lesbian women question their sexuality long after they thought that question was answered.

    I know this because I am that woman. And Timothée Chalamet’s haircut is that haircut.

    Photo: Kristina Bumphrey/Starpix/REX/Shutterstock.

    I’m obsessed with TC’s hair because, well, of course I am. His genius mop on a well-chiseled face has made me seriously wonder if I’m attracted to him. This is not the first time it’s happened: When I was younger, Hugh Grant and Gerard Way had me sincerely believing I was straight; as recently as two years ago, I went through what I can only call a Harry Styles "phase" (damn those Gucci suits). But while I can appreciate they’re all attractive and talented in their own ways, I’m not actually into any of them. What I am attracted to, and I can’t emphasize this enough, is Timmy's delightful head of hair. When The Cut declared earlier this year that his is the "It" cut among queer women right now, I thought, Duh.

    But what is it about TC’s hair (seen at its most TC in the red suit in November 2017) that lesbians (a.k.a. me) love so much? And how has this unwashed, messy style genuinely made me think, Maybe I’m actually bi? (For clarity, I’m not.) It’s the classic lesbian conundrum — do I want them or do I want to be them? — made all the more complicated by being atop a man’s head.

    To find out the answer, I bit the bullet and got it for myself.

    Ever since I came out and learned the terminology, I’ve identified as femme. By that I mean I’ve embraced the femininity I once rejected as an integral part of my identity, one that is constantly queered through my lived experience. This means I’ve never had The Haircut so many other queer women have where, I’m told, it feels like you’re freeing yourself from the shackles of enforced femininity and heterosexuality. The closest I’ve come is at 19, when I replicated the semi-neat bob I had in preschool. I did it myself with kitchen scissors in the sink of my tiny dorm room at university. Cutting my hair short, or off completely, never felt right for me.

    Equally, I’ve primarily been attracted to women who aren’t femme; women with shorn-hair aesthetics that sit between what mainstream fashion views as "androgynous" and butchness. While the world at large may not, I love and cherish non-normative womanhood in all its presentations and, for me at least, a lot of how that manifests comes down to hair.

    Walking to the site of my transformation (the wonderful Chop-Chop in London's Old Street station — highly recommend), I thought about how we have gendered hair. Hair is inherently genderless, yet we have strict understandings of styles. While trends come and go, what is seen as the Man’s Man™ haircut is something short and controlled. On the other end of the spectrum, Womanly Hair™ is long and loose. The deliberately-messy, slightly-too-long haircuts on very conventionally attractive men are distinct because they sit in the middle, toying with a femininity rarely seen (let alone celebrated) in cis, primarily straight men.

    After 40 minutes or so in the stylist's chair, I feel like I’m coming from the other direction — I’m suddenly toying with a masculinity I’ve always been drawn to, but never embodied before. I love it. I don’t recognize myself. I feel confused by my own reflection, but not in a way I want to reject. I spend the next few hours with friends from work who all love it (like… a lot. Maybe they fancy me?), nervously tousling and fiddling with it, waiting for one of them to drop the polite facade and tell me it doesn’t suit me. None of them does.

    The next day I try and find my feet in this same-same but different body. I dig deep in my wardrobe to find what my friends and I dubbed the Call Me By Your Name shirt, which feels appropriate. I keep looking at myself in the mirror. One minute I look like Elaine the Pain from Tracy Beaker, the next, KD Lang. Then it's Hugh Grant in Notting Hill. For one short, hopeful moment, I think I look like Chris from Christine and The Queens. I feel equal parts confident and shy, like I’m masquerading as someone I want to be.

    I’m still getting used to it. It was a strangely significant leap for me, to visibly go from comfortably femme to something a bit more, well, gay. And I somehow thought it would transform into being curly, shiny, and reckless. My hair is not that powerful — it's definitely not "once-in-a-generation."

    TC’s hair isn't really the "It" cut for winter; it’s just that people have noticed a particular instance of something lesbians and queer women more broadly have been doing with their hair for years. The "heartthrob haircut " is just the most celebrated example of the effortful effortlessness that reads as soft and romantic but also too cool/hot/busy writing poetry/playing in a shitty band to care. It’s very, very dyke camp. And obsessing over it is the closest I’ve gotten to sincerely taking part in a cultural conversation that normally passes me by, one reserved for girls (straight) and gays (male). But it’s also literally just a haircut that I’m reading too much into — and I love it.

    This story was originally published on Refinery29 UK.

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    Some people say that "cancel culture " — figuratively cancelling a person or trend when we don't agree with it — is wrong because we need to learn from our past mistakes. But when it comes to the wellness world, there are certain fads that probably should be cancelled, because they're potentially dangerous to our health.

    Of course, health is an incredibly individualized thing. Some people are drawn to unconventional health treatments for legitimate reasons, like feeling disbelieved by doctors or lacking access to affordable healthcare, for example. But the problem is, when so many people get on board with a specific trend, we often end up trusting it as gospel. And that's not always a good thing, because these trends aren't always harmless.

    In 2018, there was no shortage of bizarre health trends that blew up on the internet. Ahead of the new year, here are the ones that we'd be perfectly find leaving in 2019. Or, to put it in very 2018 terms: "Thank you, next."

    This summer, Kim Kardashian posted a sponsored photo to her Instagram featuring Flat Tummy lollipops that promise to suppress your appetite for hours. Not only is the claim that a lollipop will destroy your appetite and lead to weight loss extreme, but it's pretty irresponsible of celebrities to promote weight-loss products on their social media accounts — especially sketchy ones like this that aren't approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    Goop aficionados are super into colonics, procedures that irrigate your colon with gallons of water, because they believe they'll help your body "detox." But here's the thing: your liver, kidney, stool, and urine naturally remove toxins and waste from your body. "The colon itself is a very dynamic, wonderful organ, that does its job naturally, and doesn’t need assistance," Rabia De Latour, MD, gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health told Refinery29. Colonics are not medically necessary and they could actually lead to injuries or electrolyte imbalances, and the same goes for at-home enemas you can buy OTC, she said.

    Sorry, but there's no such thing as "clean" eating, despite the fact that so many people use this term to describe their diets. "Clean" is a subjective term that often gets misconstrued. When you say that a food is "clean," it implies that other foods are "dirty," shameful, and bad for you. This can lead to labelling certain foods as morally "good" or "bad," and make you fear certain foods, which harms your relationship to food overall. So, if you see a "clean eating plan," keep in mind that it's probably a restrictive diet in sheep's clothing.

    From toothpastes to juices, activated charcoal is everywhere, despite having no real health benefits. Activated charcoal is just charcoal that's been reheated and oxidized, and while it can be used to treat overdoses of drugs or chemicals, it's not going to detoxify your body. If anything, it could screw with medications that you take (even birth control pills), because it binds to substances in your gastrointestinal system and prevents your stomach from absorbing them.

    It's easy to understand the appeal of supplements: you take a little pill that's allegedly packed with lots of important nutrients that will solve all of your health problems. But the thing we often forget about is that the FDA isn't "authorized" to review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they go to market, a FDA representative told Refinery29. That means it's on supplement companies to make sure that they evaluate the safety of their ingredients and label them appropriately. Ideally, all supplement companies would do this, but that doesn't always happen, so you have to do your research before popping a dietary supplement.

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    Now that November is almost behind us and the temperatures have taken a turn for the chilly, there’s a good chance that someone in your office or friend group has decided to put together some kind of holiday gift exchange. While White Elephant (also known as Yankee Swap or Dirty Santa, depending on what you prefer to call it) sounds fun in theory, the stress of finding a truly good gift that’s also in the designated price range can also be slightly stressful.

    Since gifts can move from person to person throughout the game, avoid choosing items that require specific sizing or customization. Stick to gifts that anyone can use and enjoy that also have a bit of quirk or personality to them. We’ve gone ahead and found some of the coolest affordable White Elephant presents—from portable phone chargers to soothing hand cream to a make your own hot sauce kit—that will be loved by whoever chooses them and also at the top of the list for other players to steal before the game ends.

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    When a holiday-party invite drops in your inbox, the first question that comes to mind is usually what you're going to wear. But what is an embellished velvet/lamé dress without equally silky skin? If you don't have the time or money to see a facialist regularly (as in, every 4-6 weeks), the big secret is to do it yourself, and emulate the professionals from the comfort of your own home.

    Caveat: You can’t get the same lasers, tools, and potent active ingredients at home, because they just aren't available to consumers. But with science-led, well-formulated products, you can give yourself a more-than-effective pre-makeup facial in less than an hour. The more often you do them, the better — it takes consistency to get skin in peak condition — and you should always take all skincare down to your décolletage. Detail is everything.

    Try this facial the day before an event to allow your face time to calm down afterwards, then pep skin up with a sheet mask on the day. Soirée skin, sorted.

    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.

    Step 1: Cleanse

    It probably comes as no surprise that you’ve got to start by cleansing. "It's extra important to double cleanse, especially if you live in a heavily polluted area and/or wear makeup regularly,” says skin-care specialist Debbie Thomas, whose signature in-office DNA facials are second to none for achieving perfect skin. A double cleanse — the first cleanse to remove makeup and surface grime; the second using a targeted cleanser, like one for congested or dry skin depending on your skin type, for a deeper clean — will take skin into clean-canvas territory, ready for the next part of the facial.

    Look for oil-based cleansers for your first cleanse, as they’re the most effective at dissolving every little bit of grime or makeup sitting on the face. If you’re feeling rich, try La Mer's The Cleansing Oil — it's one of the best for a quick cleanse without disrupting the skin's moisture barrier. Alternatively, try de Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm, an organic nourishing balm that contains manuka honey to fend off bacteria, or Eve Lom's new Gel Balm Cleanser, which is a lighter, less buttery option than their original cult classic.

    As for the treatment cleanser, Thomas says, "What you really want is to find one that does more than just remove the day." She recommends formulas that contain renewing acids, like the ones in MZ Skin Cleanse & Clarify Dual Action AHA Cleanser & Mask, because they help increase cellular renewal, and the more skin cells can renew themselves, the healthier and more radiant skin will look and feel.

    “Massage the formula into skin for at least a minute,” Thomas says. With medium pressure, use your middle and ring fingers to move cleanser in upward, circular motions over the skin — it will help get the blood flow going. “Finish by rinsing with warm water or a muslin face cloth, and then pat skin dry with a tissue,” she recommends.

    Step 2: Exfoliate

    This is where you slough off dead skin cells, tighten and clean out pores, smooth out fine lines, and basically make skin as ready as it can be to absorb ingredients in the serums and masks that follow. You’ve got two choices: a physical exfoliant, which is a grainy scrub, or a chemical exfoliant, like the renewing acids we mentioned before.

    Celebrity dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer, the man responsible for many a red-carpet glow (Victoria Beckham and Beyoncé included), has created one of our favorite scrubs for pre-event skin: The Method: Polish contains both chemical and physical exfoliants, with pumpkin and pomegranate enzymes alongside quartz and sodium bicarbonate crystals. The result is smoother, perkier skin. You can also try Origins Never A Dull Moment or Aesop Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste. Thomas has one word of advice when using a grainy formula: "Don’t go too crazy scrubbing your face; the aim is only to try and dislodge loose dead skin." (You’ve been warned.)

    Chemical exfoliants can be a lot gentler and are, on the whole, easier to use. If your skin is more acne-prone or becomes inflamed easily, these might be a good choice for you. Our favorites are Zelens PHA+ Bio-Peel Resurfacing Facial Pads, which are made with lactic, salicylic, citric, and lactobionic acids and are gentle enough to use every day; beauty editors swear by Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant as to go-to for troublesome skin. Vichy Idéalia Peeling is perfect for even the most sensitive skin, thanks to the brand's signature soothing mineral water.

    Step 3: Extractions

    Before you start attacking your face — which, let’s be honest, we all do from time to time — there are some simple guidelines to follow to avoid making the situation spiral out of control. Thomas points out that seeing a professional facialist is the only way to deal with any breakouts safely: "Doing [extractions] yourself can make spots much worse,” she warns. That said, they are (one of) the keys to clear skin, particularly if you’re oily.

    To make it easier and, most importantly, less painful, try steaming pre-extraction. “Steam helps to soften up the plug of hardened sebum which causes blackheads,” Thomas says. All you need to do is add boiling water to a large pot and then lean your face over it — a safe, non-burnable distance away — with a towel over your head for a couple of minutes. If the sound of boiling water near your face freaks you out, you can pick up an at-home steaming device (like this one from Conair) instead.

    After steaming, wrap a tissue around each index finger, ensuring you cover your fingernails, and gently apply pressure to blackheads. Avoid extracting anything other than a blackhead, because it will make skin much worse, particularly pre-party. And if your blackhead refuses to budge? Leave it be.

    Step 4: Mask

    Here’s the relaxing part, and a chance to really get your skin in the mood for whatever event you throw at it. Because this is a serious at-home facial, don't be afraid to use several masks; pick and choose as you see fit, but know that this is the opportunity to really feed the skin whatever it needs.

    Post-extraction and steam, when pores are at their most open, it’s always a good idea to use a clay mask, like the classic Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque or Chantecaille's luxe Detox Clay Mask, to lift out impurities and debris from the skin. Apply generously, let it set until dry, and then use a muslin cloth to remove every trace.

    “Now you need to get the radiance and hydration back into your skin,” says Thomas, who recommends using a thick, creamy mask this time around. They don’t get much more thick and creamy than the Sisley Paris Black Rose Cream Mask, a beloved staple in every beauty fiend’s cabinet thanks to the black rose and magnolia essential oil combo, which leaves skin fuller, softer, fresher, and exponentially better than before. (It is expensive, so for a cheaper alternative, try Avène's Soothing Moisture Mask — you really can't beat a French-pharmacy classic.)

    Instead of just leaving the mask on for 20 minutes and wiping off, this is the perfect time to give yourself a vigorous, skin-lifting face massage, says Thomas. "Use the heels of your hands to carry out firm upward and outward movements," she explains. Then it’s on to the pinch. Start in the center of the face and move outwards, pinching the skin using enough pressure to encourage a pinkness to the face; try keeping it up for 5-10 minutes and you’ve got yourself increased blood flow (a.k.a. radiance) and more sculpted cheekbones.

    Thomas has another trick for stimulating circulation: “Rub an ice cube all over your face and keep it in constant motion,” she says, or make like Kate Moss and dunk your head in a bowl of icy water. It's brutal, but it'll get your cheeks glowing, minimize any inflammation or redness, and make pores look tighter, too.

    The day of the event, a half hour before applying makeup, a good sheet mask will get skin ready to go — and who to call on other than the king of pre-event skin care and treatments, Dr. David Colbert? The go-to derm for Victoria's Secret Angels just before the big show has an excellent skin-care line, which includes the Illumino Anti-Aging Brightening Mask. It turns skin's brightness level up to 11 in just 15 minutes. If your skin gets flushed easily, try popping Erno Laszlo's Soothe & Calm Hydrogel Mask in the fridge — it's infused with serum that contains honeysuckle extract to help calm skin.

    Step 5: Apply Serum

    Next up, it's serum time. Serums essentially deliver a higher concentration of active ingredients to skin, so they have the power to really change and boost how the skin looks. Pre-party, your main goal is to get skin as bright, even, plump, and lifted as possible, so serums that help achieve that are advisable. “Hydration is one of the simplest ways to plump up skin,” says Thomas. And for that, you need hyaluronic acid.

    Hyaluronic acid, as you probably already know, is a molecule that can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water. It already exists naturally in the skin, but applying a good hyaluronic acid serum daily helps it hold even more water, leading to plumper and more even skin. We especially love Dr. Barbara Sturm's Hyaluronic Serum, the Dr. Dennis Gross Clinical Concentrate Hydration Booster, and Omorovicza's Instant Perfecting Serum.

    Microneedling — which isn't nearly as scary as it sounds — is popular in professional treatments right now. The procedure involves rolling a tool, which has a head covered in tiny needles, over the face to create tiny punctures in the skin that propel it to repair itself. (Cue collagen production for plumping, and improved skin texture.) A serum is applied after the microneedling, and because of the punctures, it'll be absorbed faster and deeper into the skin.

    There are at-home devices you can use, too, although we don’t recommend these on the actual day of an event. The only difference between the at-home devices and in-clinic is the needle length (in-clinic have much longer needles, from 0.5 to 3mm), so at-home devices are fine to use the day before. GloPro's MicroStimulation Facial Tool is user-friendly and totally pain-free, and it'll take your at-home facial to the next level.

    Step 6: Moisturize

    When you’ve layered mask upon mask, serum, toner and so on, there really isn’t much need for more moisture — you’ve probably already hydrated enough. But the main point of moisturizing to finish your DIY treatment is to seal it all in.

    You can use an oil or a cream — an oil, like Votary Neroli and Myrrh Facial Oil, will penetrate deeper into the skin, help regulate the amount of oil your skin produces, and ensure you wake up glowing; a moisturizer, on the other hand, generally makes a better base for makeup or for daytime, and is best for those who simply don’t like the feel of an oil on skin. We like the brightening, anti-pollution properties of Fresh's Peony Brightening Moisture Face Cream for healthy, rejuvenated skin.

    Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!

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    Welcome to Ask A Plant Queen , where with the help of Tula founder and bona fide plant expert Christan Summers, we'll answer every question you've ever had about the care, keeping, and presentation of houseplants. No need for you — or your pretty green pals — to thank us.

    Question:

    I've owned a few plants in my life and thanks to a classic mixture of sunlight, water, and what I can only imagine is pure luck, I have managed not to kill (most of) them. I've never really considered feeding them anything other than tap water, but a friend recently told me about someone feeding their plants LaCroix. It's a thing, they said. You should try it, they said. So I ask you: Is this a thing? Should I try it? Right now, I have a rubber plant [Editor's note: By rubber plant, our advice-seeker doesn't mean a plant made of rubber, but rather the breed known — in plant-expert terms — as Ficus elastica], and I guess I'm curious if watering it with LaCroix or any other kind of sparkling water instead of tap water is a good, bad, or neutral idea. I'm not sure it makes the most sense from a cost perspective, but I guess sometimes you're sipping a carbonated water beverage and you might as well toss some your plant's way, right? Or... not?

    Answer:

    When I first read this question, my knee-jerk reaction was to say ‘no way’ to LaCroix, which seem like beverages geared solely toward human consumption. But with a little research and to my pleasant surprise, that initial reaction transformed to a more educated understanding.

    But first (!), let’s cover a few basics of what a plant needs to survive, grow, and thrive indoors. The simple breakdown is that plants need air, water, sunlight, and nutrients. Here’s the breakdown, for anyone who needs a biology 101 refresher.

    Air: When a plant photosynthesizes they use carbon dioxide to make food, and as a result, release oxygen. So yes, plants do breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen!

    Water: During photosynthesis, water helps to release energy that the plant has stored. Think of water and water pressure as a major vehicle in promoting healthy stem and leaf growth. And we can thank the roots for carrying the water and nutrients through a plant to facilitate this growth.

    Nutrients: Most soils provide plants the nutrients they need. We often encourage people to use fertilizers during the grow seasons (spring-summer) as that helps to revitalize old soils and promote nutrient uptake in the roots. The three major plant nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium – which are usually represented by the three numbers displayed on a fertilizer label (i.e. 10-6-5).

    Sunlight: The all-important energy from that big, old, star. Plants photosynthesize in sunlight, they take energy from the sun to produce sugars (or food) which in essence, is their fuel to grow. The more sun a plant receives, the faster and stronger it will grow.

    Okay, so with the basics covered, let’s get back to the original question of feeding our plants flavored La Croix and/or sparkling water.

    The quick answer to feeding your plant, say Pamplemousse, LaCroix is no, not a good idea. Most flavored soft drinks have been infused with artificial flavors, sugars and other unknown elements to a plant. And although we’re clear that plants need sugar to grow, it’s not the LaCroix kind of sugar they are looking for. Flavored sodas could easily damage plant roots, breaking their immune systems down and leaving them prone to disease and death.

    Now for sparkling water, which is the part that I found most intriguing.

    Believe it or not, the fact is, there could be some benefit in feeding your plant sparkling or carbonated water. To be clear, natural sparkling water (like Pure LaCroix) and carbonated water (like club soda) are different drinks. Natural sparkling water is made by mother nature, with naturally occurring carbonation and minerals, and the other is human made and infused with elements such as, carbonation, salt and potassium bicarbonate.

    For the purposes of this column, we’re going to focus on carbonated water (AKA soda water) because there are actual, honest-to-goodness scientific experiments to prove that yes, there are benefits to giving your plants some seltzer.

    For example, in 2002 two college students conducted an experiment in which they fed one plant regular water and the other soda water over a 10-day period. The plants were given the same sunlight and planted in the same soil. They found after 10 days, the plant that was given the club soda grew faster than the plant given regular water. Now how could that be?

    Well, the simple answer is that soda water is like a supercharged energy pack for plants. Remember our air and nutrient basics? Soda water is full of macronutrients of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur and sodium. These are all nutrients a plant uses and needs to grow and survive on a daily basis. What the soda water provides is a supercharged serving of these nutrients. And I imagine, that sparkling water could also provide some of that supercharge, although this has not been tested or proven.

    Another factor for soda water is that carbonated drinks have higher pressures. Could it be that when introduced to plant roots the nutrients are also passed through the plant at a higher rate? Remember our plant basics and that water pressure helps promote healthy growth? Just a thought…

    Back to our experimenters from 2002, they admit more testing was needed to confirm whether in the long run the plant would continue to live only on carbonated water. But, if I were to offer my two cents, I'd say don't do it. There is too much packed in carbonated drinks for a plant to withstand healthy growth. It’s like asking you to live on only Red Bull or Coca-Cola for the rest of your life. No, thank you.

    In conclusion, a little dose here or there of carbonated or sparkling water won’t hurt your plant and could in fact, promote faster growth. But stay away from feeding your plants flavored sodas.

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    Winter dressing can be tricky. The harsh elements inspire us to stay indoors, bundled up in something oversized and cozy, re-reading Lolita and sipping hot chocolate. Alas, that's not really how things work in the real world. Instead, every morning we're expected to climb out of bed and curate an outfit that's both weather appropriate and cute. Sounds impossible, right? It was — that is, until turtleneck sweater dresses came into our lives and turned winter dressing on its head.

    The best sweater dresses combine the comfort of a chunky turtleneck with the effortless style of a knit dress (all hail a two-for-one style hack!). Throw on a pair of knee high snakeskin boots for a dressed-up take or go the casual route with chunky sneakers and a fun pair of socks. Whatever you do, don't let winter pass you by without giving one of these hygee dresses a try.

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    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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    2018 has had its ups and downs, that's for sure, but it's been a great year for inventive manicure trends overall. Leopard print, negative space, and not-so-simple scribble reigned supreme in salons and, of course, on Instagram, prompting us to ditch the failsafe nudes altogether (sorry, Ballet Slippers; sorry, Queen Elizabeth) for something a little more offbeat — and next year's crop promises to be just as creative and cool.

    Ahead, top London manicurists Ama Quashie, Ami Streets, and Lauren Michelle Pires predict the nail-art designs that are going to be major for 2019. So grab the polish remover, swipe off that inoffensive nude, and let the pros steer you in the right direction to start the new year on the right note.

    This story was originally published on Refinery29 UK.

    Texture Meets Fine Arts

    "I think we're going to see a lean away from the played-out nude, natural nail and a comeback of playful colors and textures, but these textures will have a more fine-art approach," Pires says. "Beads and embellishment aren't going anywhere, but I think we'll see a lot of different tones blended together, with physical, textured surfaces. I have a feeling 2019's nails will be much more playful."

    Tortoiseshell Nails

    "As a big fan of brown shades on nails and tortoiseshell print, I'm really excited about experimenting with this trend," Quashie says. "It almost works as a softer animal-print look and it can be adapted to suit all skin tones. It's also super chic, and I think it works all year round."

    Safer Manicures

    "Consumers are becoming a lot more aware of what they’re putting in and on their bodies, and making more informed decisions when it comes to nails is only a positive thing," Quashie says. "In the same way people are having an increasing amount of choice in the food they eat, materials they wear, and general consumption, I believe we should have a choice with nails too, and I wanted to bring another to the table."

    So, when Quashie opened her brand-new salon in London, she made sure to include a "free from" menu, featuring brands that are up to 90% natural, 10-free, vegan, and cruelty-free. "With a lot of research and development in place, I feel the payoff on 'free-from' brands is finally on par with household nail brands in how long they last, their finish, and their color range," she says. "I feature Kure Bazaar (regular polish) and NCLA (gel) on the menu."

    See-Through Nails

    "Jelly nails have influenced pretty washes of see-through color on nails, which I think will continue into 2019," Streets says. "For a fresh take on the jelly nail trend, go for neutrals or pastel hues with a '90s twist — pale gray, lavender, and even iridescent, shimmery colors in pinks and warm neutrals. Pantone picked Sweet Lilac (pink-infused lavender), Soybean (beige), and Living Coral (soft warm orange) as a few of its essential shades for the new season, and we'll see more of these hues in salon for sure."

    Wordy Nails

    "We're going to see the classic negative-space manicure diversify from the typical French tips and half moons to more dynamic, graphic shapes in 2019, such as diagonal lines, slogans, or font-style drawing," Streets says. While fonts, logos, and slogans look great on all colors, she suggests ditching bold hues for something a little more understated to keep it fresh. "Take your favorite sheer base and decorate it using bright pastel colors for an updated take on this trend," she says.

    Sheer Meets Metallic

    "Metallic gold or silver accents over sheer color, such as encapsulated items using gold leaf, foils, or metal shapes, add subtle but chic interest to an otherwise very understated nail," Streets says.

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    Whether you have 2A waves or 4C coils, you're probably definitely aware that curly hair tends to be on the drier side — the tighter the curl pattern, the longer it takes for your natural oils to reach your lengths. And, as always, winter makes everything worse (cold climate + dryness from indoor heat = a curl 911). You know how much the North loathes the arrival of the infamous White Walkers? Well, that's how much we dread it. Okay, maybe not that much, but you get the idea.

    To help us deal — and achieve our ultimate goal of healthy hair — we asked our fellow R29ers to give us all of their curly-hair wisdom on how they care for, style, and treat their curls in frigid temps — from their favorite SheaMoisture curl cream to their in-shower tips. So, sure, we may be trudging through the snow, slightly miserable on our walk from point A to point B (aka, five steps to our car or the subway), but at least we'll have fabulous curls while doing so — even if they are tucked into our turtlenecks.

    Carolyn Negri, project manager

    Curl Type: 4A

    "I am what some might call a lazy natural, but truly I just try to find efficiencies where I can. My hair tends to dry out in the winter, which means my curls end up looking a little lackluster by the third day. To retain both moisture and my coiffed curls, I'll finger part my hair into four sections. Then, I'll spray the sections with a leave-in conditioner, put on a plastic cap topped with a satin bonnet, and head to bed. The next morning, I simply shake out each part; my hair is conditioned and my style refreshed."

    Bethany Lewis, associate director, production

    Curl Type: 2C

    "I can't live without a deep conditioner. The air in my apartment gets very dry in the winter, so I make sure to spend extra quality time in the shower once or twice a week with a deep-conditioning mask. I detangle my curls while the mask is in and then rinse it out with cool water — this is key — to avoid expansion."

    Diana Cenat, first impressionist

    Curl Type: 4C

    "I've been natural for six years and have managed to finesse a routine that works for me... and even keep most of my hair, ha! Changing it up is par for the course — I've chopped, braided, twisted, and colored my hair this year, and I'm already planning on going lighter in a month or so. However, one thing that doesn't change much is my weekly (sometimes biweekly) routine: I co-wash, deep condition, and then two-strand twist my hair with a leave-in conditioner and SheaMoisture's Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie whenever it isn't in a protective style. While most of my products rotate in and out of my routine, the Smoothie is a forever fave. It smells wonderful, holds well, and doesn't leave a weird residue. A friend for life."



    SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie, $13.49, available at Ulta Beauty

    Haley Hoover, associate director, client services

    Curl Type: 1C

    "Hot tools on top of winter weather in NYC means I'm constantly trying to hydrate my waves. I typically lean on a styling cream — typically something with ultra-hydrating coconut oil, which never fails me — after drying to keep my ends moisturized before I reach for a flat iron or curling iron. Sometimes, I'll work that same cream into my wet hair for a little leave-in love, but I focus on the ends so that my crown doesn't end up with residue or look oily from too much product. Bring on the shine!"

    Anissa Richmond, producer

    Curl Type: 4C

    "Come winter, my protective hairstyle is my best friend. I wear crochet braids — partly because I have no idea how to deal with my natural hair without causing major damage and partly because I'm obsessed with the volume. This style is truly weather friendly, especially in the winter when I don't want to have to worry about snow or rain or whatever weather is coming at me. My major tip is about moisture though: It's super important to keep my scalp healthy and moisturized with a range of oils. I use a mix of jojoba oil, argan oil, avocado oil, and almond oil between my braids at night and sometimes in the morning, too! Dry scalps are not cute."

    Megan West, associate creative director

    Curl Type: 2A

    "Come winter, my hair is always in need of extra moisture and texture. After I shower, I let my hair air dry a bit, then I spray it with wave spray in segmented 1" pieces from my mid-length section to my ends. This gives my hair a slightly gritty texture and natural movement. Then, I twirl various pieces in opposite directions to lock in a bit of the wave."

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    “Did it hurt?” It’s one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to body art. Never mind that getting a tattoo has become downright pedestrian, with everyone from Disney stars to corporate suits joining in. In fact, in the past five years alone, the tattoo industry has grown by nearly 10%, collecting revenue of $2 billion in 2017, according to market research by IBIS World. But no matter how common body art becomes, we all want to know about that elusive pain factor.

    That’s because until you feel needle-to-skin for yourself, it’s hard to gauge exactly what you’re getting into. Rae Alexandra is a San Francisco-based journalist who has in the neighborhood of 50 tattoos. As she points out, it’s hard to say with certainty which tattoo placement will hurt more than another. “A lot of people warned me about how terrible the inside of the upper arm was, but I breezed through it,” she says. “Same with the top of the foot.” Her point? It’s pretty hard to nail down how others may process pain.

    Another contributing factor to how much we feel the burn is the length of a tattoo session itself. “The longer you sit, the worse it gets,” Alexandra says. “I've actually had a couple of artists tell me it's better for the art to not go longer than three hours. At that point, your body is going to start fighting it.” Additional circumstances — like having had too much caffeine, too little food or water, or being premenstrual, iron deficient, or hungover — can also heighten sensitivity.

    Still, questions about pain prevail. In effort to get guidelines as to which body parts take tattooing easier than others, we consulted Alexandra and three tattoo artists (all of whom are inked themselves). See their takes on which placement choices are chill enough to induce naps and which are better known as nail biters, ahead.

    Placement: Near The Armpit

    Pain Level: High

    “There are a number of nerve endings near the armpit, which explains why people are so ticklish there — and why the skin in that area extremely sensitive,” says Noah Lee, a tattooist who runs his NAL Studio out of 3.1 Phillip Lim in L.A.'s Arts District.

    Placement: Stomach

    Pain Level: High

    All four of our artists and enthusiasts cite the fleshy stomach as one of the more painful places to get inked. “With only organs resting underneath the layer of skin and muscle, the discomfort is mainly due to your insides being pressed upon,” explains Georgia Grey, a tattoo artist of 10 years with residencies at shops including New York's Bang Bang. "Tattooing the skin in that area also tends to feel more pinch-y rather than a warm, burning sensation.”

    Amanda Boone, a Nashville-based tattoo artist who appears on Paramount Network’s Ink Master, calls her stomach tattoo — done in eight hours over three sessions — her most painful. Ditto for Lee, who has about 30 tattoos himself. “My stomach tattoo was the most painful one yet, even though it's one of the smaller pieces in my collection,” he says.

    Placement: The Palms & Near The Nails

    Pain Level: High

    While Boone pegs the palms of hands as a tattoo spot that clients frequently grimace through, Lee tags the finger, right below the cuticle as another touchy site. “Around the nails is an extremely sensitive area with a ton of nerves underneath,” he says, giving us all the more respect for Rihanna.

    Placement: Ribcage

    Pain Level: High

    “With thin skin and bone sitting right underneath, the ribcage can be uncomfortable location to get tattooed,” Grey says. “The artist has her arm on the client's torso during the session, so that adds pressure, too.”

    But that’s not all: Lee notes that the area also tends to be extremely sensitive and ticklish. “Working on the ribcage requires a bit of patience from both the tattoo artist and client,” he says.

    Placement: Top Of The Foot

    Pain Level: High

    Two of our three tattoo artists named this spot as a major lip biter, thanks to very thin skin that sits atop the bone. “Its a different sensation when you feel the needle almost rattle the bones,” Grey says.

    Placement: Sternum & Chest

    Pain Level: High / Low

    No matter how much our bodies change, our sternums remain the same: a bony area with little-to-no fat — and it makes for a painful tattoo. Grey notes that the whole chest vibrates in session, something that can amplify sensation. "Having pressure placed on your chest is not ideal for any client," she says.

    But those that go for a little higher placement on the chest often experience considerably less pain, according to Lee. Boone, who has inked 70% of her body, attests, "The tattoos on my chest hurt the least."

    Placement: Outer Arm

    Pain Level: Low

    Both the forearm and upper, outer arm offer relative smooth sailing in the pain department, according to our pros, thanks to tougher, thicker skin (created, in part, by sun damage).

    But as Alexandra explains, getting tattoos in seemingly breezy locales can be painful, thanks to additional factors. "Both of my arms are heavily tattooed, but the right one hurt way more than the left. I came to realize later it was because I had it done right before I got super sick with anemia,” she says. It made sense afterwards. The artist had actually pointed out in one session that my blood was ‘paper thin.’”

    Placement: Thighs, Calves, & Shins

    Pain Level: Low

    As Boone notes, the skin on our thighs and shins may be more desensitized, due to a lifetime of legs rubbing against clothing. Both areas contain lots of strong supportive muscle, too, “whether you work out or not,” adds Grey — something that minimizes discomfort. “I had a client fall asleep while getting the calves tattooed few days ago,” she notes.

    Alexandra vouches for the theory: “The fronts of my thighs have been easy across the board,” she says.

    Placement: Throat

    Pain Level: Low

    We always looked at people with throat tattoos as being incredibly tough: not only are they 100% committed to flashing their ink, but it really looks like it hurts to get the thing done. But Lee tells us otherwise, citing the throat as one of the least painful areas on his list to get inked.

    Placement: Top Of The Finger

    Pain Level: Low

    Love the look of a finger tattoo but aren’t up for the pain that comes with getting inked near the cuticle? Lee suggests going for placement near the knuckle. “Although other places close to the bone are painful, the top of the finger by the knuckles can actually handle a decent amount of pain,” he says. “It's also a place that typically suffers the least amount of fading, as far as finger tattoos go.”

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    Ever heard of a penetration tester? (No, not that kind.) Chances are, you have — and you just don't realize it. This is only one of many weird and misleading job titles out there, many of which pay the big bucks. (You can make more money as a chicken sexer than, say, working in an entry-level role in book publishing!)

    Ahead, we looked at FitSmallBusiness.com 's list of the most misleading job titles and broke down the 10 craziest ones ahead. Don't judge a job by its title! (Or do...and be a bunghole borer!)

    Scrum Master

    Get your mind outta the gutter! A scrum master is the facilitator of an agile development software team, silly! (Scrum is a method derived from rugby that is used in software development management and focuses on teamwork and incremental group progress.)

    Glassdoor lists the average scrum master salary in NYC as $125,833.

    Illustration by Louisa Cannell

    Penetration Tester

    This is no euphemism, folks: a penetration tester (a.k.a. an ethical hacker) is actually someone who tests computers and software for vulnerabilities to hackers, and according to Indeed, can earn an average of $111,502 per year.

    Illustration by Louisa Cannell

    Bunghole Borer

    A bunghole borer is the operator of a boring machine. What is a boring machine, you ask? It is anything but boring! (Sorry.) A boring machine is used to create holes in wooden barrels to release whiskey or wine, for example. According to Salary Expert, the average bunghole borer salary in the U.S. is $41,266.

    Illustration by Louisa Cannell

    Chick Sexer

    Perhaps the most literal title of the bunch, this one is for all you chicken lovers out there. A chick sexer's job is to identify and sort male and female chicks after birth, since hens and roosters serve different poultry farm functions. An experienced chick sexer can sort 700 chickens per hour with 98% accuracy and earn up to $60,000 a year.

    Illustration by Louisa Cannell

    Expert Upsetter

    Contrary to what the name would indicate, this job is drama-free. An expert upsetter operates a closed-die forging machine used to forge metal, and pays anywhere from $11.76 per hour for a laborer role to $30.32 per hour for a process engineer role.

    Illustration by Louisa Cannell

    Evangelist

    Evangelists work across all industries — and the job usually involves brand advocacy and promotion through community engagement or sales. Evangelist salaries vary across the board depending on industry, but are especially high in tech. The average annual income is $128,022.

    Illustration by Louisa Cannell

    Digital Overlord

    A really fancy name for website manager. (Side note: Can we replace "manager" with "overlord" in job titles across all industries from now on? Okay, cool.) Glassdoor lists the average salary at $73,975.

    Illustration by Louisa Cannell

    Comb Capper

    If you like honey, listen up: A comb capper's job is to cut the caps from honeycombs and harvest the honey. Salaries can range from $24,297 to $72,000 a year.

    Illustration by Louisa Cannell

    Tonsorial Artist

    You definitely see one of these a few times a year — and you might even be one and not realize it. Tonsorial artist is just a fancy word for hairdresser. Pay varies widely, with the reported average at around $26,000 annually (not including tips).

    Illustration by Louisa Cannell

    Batman

    This is just a good old-fashioned name for a personal assistant. (So...maybe Robin would be a more accurate title.) Compensation varies depending on the job at hand, of course, but Glassdoor lists the average annual salary as $35,903.

    Illustration by Louisa Cannell

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    When someone mentions Nordstrom, we're immediately catapulted into a flashback scene of prom dress shopping amidst all that sequin and tulle. But now that we've passed our teenage ballgown phase, Nordstrom is where we do the bulk of our holiday shopping. From mom's new shearling coat to dad's leather duffel bag, the department store has everything — including an entire beauty section filled with affordable gift sets.

    We're decidedly too old for stocking stuffers, but that doesn't mean we're not looking for pint-sized prices on gifts. Think: deluxe-sized hairsprays, miniature candles (that somehow still last just as long as the jumbo jars), and sample lipsticks small enough to store inside our purse pockets year-round. Luckily, Nordstrom has all of that (and a little more), so you can check everything off your family's wish list without going — too far — over budget.

    Ahead, the best under-$50 gift sets at Nordstrom.

    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.

    Most boys smell like sweaty gym clothes and puberty, but these candles — despite the misleading name — do not. These black-and-pink tumblers are perfect for decorating a millennial's first real apartment. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but all three smell like deliciously charred cinnamon and musk.



    Boy Smells Redwood, Cedarstack & St. Al Set of 3 Scented Candles, $44, available at Nordstrom

    Purchasing one bottle of Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray is a luxury in and of itself, but bagging three of the luxe brand's best-sellers for just under $50 feels like winning the lottery.



    Oribe SPACE.NK.apothecary Oribe Styling Essentials Set, $49.5, available at Nordstrom

    For the woman in your life who loves lipstick but can never decide on a signature shade, there's Linda Rodin's "lip wardrobe." Consisting of five everyday colors — including a mauve-y nude and brick-red — this set is fit for any fickle heart.



    Rodin Olio Lusso Holiday Lipstick Coffret, $48, available at Nordstrom

    Does your bestie constantly watch YouTube videos trying to master Mario Dedivanovic's no-makeup makeup signature? Gift her this essential three-piece set including MAC's best-selling Velvet Teddy lipstick, Prep + Prime Fix+ setting spray, and In Extreme Dimension 3-D Black Lash Mascara.



    MAC Cosmetics Shiny Pretty Things All Stars Velvet Teddy Kit, $20, available at Nordstrom

    Fragrances, by nature, are subjective. What smells good on one person won't have the same aroma on another. However, this collection from 19-69 is the exception — and not just because there are six options to choose from. If you don't purchase this set for the names alone — Purple Haze is a personal fave — then buy it for the unique note cocktails of tobacco and coriander; white honey and sandalwood; and lemon and ink.



    19-69 The Collection Eau de Parfum Fragrance Discovery Set, $30, available at Nordstrom

    Consider this no-frills masking duo for the skin-care addict whose medicine cabinet is filled with all kinds of jars, bottles, and tubes inspired by the latest and greatest innovations she heard about in a Reddit thread.



    Omorovicza Mini Mask Set, $45, available at Nordstrom

    There are few beauty products pros and amateurs agree on — the Beautyblender is one of them. Not only does this set include two sponges and two cleansers, but there's a travel case for the beloved tool that keeps germs away on your morning commute.



    Beautyblender Blenders Delight Set, $40, available at Nordstrom

    Not everyone likes to give in to the hype of trendy new ingredients or funky packaging that sort of looks like a mermaid/unicorn. So, for the no-frills lady you love, there's this Kiehl's gift that's loaded with classic skin-care necessities — including a hand cream, body lotion, face cream, cleanser, and lip balm — that toss the pomp and circumstance for legit results.



    Kiehl's Mighty Moisture Set, $30, available at Nordstrom

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    The first tenet of good skin care, as any dermatologist will tell you, is to never, ever pick at your skin — even if you have a zit that's just waiting to be popped. Still, the fact remains that, when a pimple arises, most of us ignore MD advice and go straight to the squeezing. Playing Dr. Pimple Popper isn't advised, but if you've ever found yourself in a situation where even picking, popping, and squeezing just won't do the trick, it could be that your pimple isn't a pimple at all — it's a milial cyst.

    Milia might look like little whiteheads, but they’re actually firm white bumps made of keratin protein that become trapped under the skin with no place to go. “Keratin is made in our skin cells and transported to the outer layer of our skin. Sometimes it get stuck in transit — that's basically what a milial cyst is,” explains Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD, dermatologist and Clinical Assistant Professor at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.

    So why can’t milia be popped like a zit? According to Joshua Zeichner, MD, dermatologist and Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, unlike blackheads and whiteheads that protrude to the surface of the skin, milia form under the skin without a connection to its surface — and that means no amount of picking will help.

    As if that weren't frustrating enough, Dr. Zeichner says that milia can occur with any skin type (not even brand-new, smooth-skinned babies are immune) and for no known reason. “We don’t totally understand why they occur, but it is thought that sun damage and occlusive cosmetics predispose people to develop milia,” he says. "Sun damage leads to inflammation in the skin, which can block pores, while heavy cosmetics can directly block pores, increasing the risk of developing milia."

    The good news? Milia tends to go away on its own, as the body sheds its outermost layer of skin cells to release the blockage. The caveat, Dr. Mudgil says, is that it can take months for the bumps to subside without dermatological intervention. For those who don’t have time for nature to run its course, there are options: "In the office, your dermatologist may use a needle to open them and extract the contents, similar to what is done for pimples," Dr. Zeichner says. But he cautions patients not to touch them at home: "Since they are not connected to the surface of the skin," he explains, "picking at them will cause more harm than good.”

    Considering the various causes of milia aren't fully understood, preventing them can be a bit of a guessing game. As Dr. Zeichner mentioned, the pore-blocking powers of heavy cosmetics may be linked to possible milia development. But before you throw away that full-coverage foundation, a simple product swap may do the trick. “Mineral and powder foundations are less likely to block pores compared to liquid makeup,” he says.

    And it’s not just your makeup bag that may need an overhaul: Dr. Zeichner says that rich, occlusive skin-care products, including eye creams, can also lead to milia forming near the eyes and on the cheeks. “If you tend to develop milia, stick to oil-free makeup and moisturizer,” he suggests. Adding a topical retinoid (to stimulate collagen production, reduce inflammation, and help clear pores) or exfoliating product with salicylic acid (which removes excess oil and sloughs off dead skin cells) into your routine may also help keep the little white bumps at bay. For those with sensitive skin, Dr. Zeichner says, a gentle physical exfoliator can assist.

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

    This week's travel diary: A 33-year-old business analyst heads to the Bay Area to attend her spouse's grandma's 90th birthday party.

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

    Age: 33
    Occupation: Business Analyst
    Salary: $33/hr (hours vary)
    Travel Companions: Spouse J and in-laws (MIL and FIL)
    Location: Portland, OR
    Trip Location: Bay Area, California

    Annual # Of Vacation Days: 25 (must be used if too ill to work, no separate paid sick leave)
    Trip Length: 3 days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)

    Transportation
    Flights: $411.92 for J & I

    Accommodations
    Airbnb: $298.90
    I booked an Airbnb a couple of days after the flights, which is a whole mini place for $298.90 (total) for two nights.

    Pre-vacation spending: None. Our friend agreed to cat sit for free. (We’ve been swapping cat care for years.) I didn’t get around to thinking about what to wear/a birthday gift until two days before we left, so I went DIY with a handmade card and selection of family photo prints leftover from printing a bunch post-wedding in 2014 and called it good. I kinda wanted to get a new party dress for the trip right before we left, but worked late instead of shopping. #adulting

    Day 1

    5 a.m. — SERIOUSLY? Why am I awake? I shuffle downstairs and listen to my current audiobook while snuggling cats.

    6:30 a.m. —I feed the cats and wave vaguely at my husband. We are not morning people.

    7:12 a.m. — My MIL lets herself in (she’s welcome anytime) and calls hello. I finish tidying up the bedroom and head downstairs. I stuff the last few things in my backpack and zip our joint suitcase. J is less than 5 minutes behind me, and we pull away from the house barely behind schedule. It feels like a miracle. All three passengers proceed to give my MIL directions to the airport with a little comfortable bickering. Ah, family.

    8:07 a.m. — We scatter at the airport door to perform our individual airport rituals. J and I wander sleepily in search of breakfast. All of the restaurants at PDX have non-airport locations and are required to have the same prices at airport and non-airport locations, so there are tons of good options at reasonable prices. I look longingly at Blue Star Donuts and contemplate taking on the post-security hike to get a mint Oreo smoothie at Burgerville on the opposite end of the airport. Ultimately, I grab a frittata square from Elephants ($5.09) and J winds up with a bagel and cream cheese and dried sausage stick ($4.95), also from Elephants. (We check out separately because yes, it is too early to make synchronized decisions.) I see LaCroix priced at $2/can and mentally congratulate myself on brining a Polar from home. $9.04

    8:30 a.m. —We wander around the delightful pre-security retail area (I love the Portland airport). J gets a book at Powell’s (normally I would too but I’ve been saving one I bought a couple of weeks ago). I take pictures of some shoes I like (my work flats are getting quite shabby) but conclude this would be a poor time to make $100+ decisions. $15

    9:05 a.m. — We’ve all four passed security and found one another at the gate. I figure I’ve got 45 minutes before my boarding group is called, so I settle in with my noise-canceling headphones and knitting. Each of the four of us does most of our travel solo (for work) so we pretty much each do our own thing until we deplane at our destination. It took a few years to arrive at this arrangement, but I think we’re all happier with this than the travel as a herd default we started with.

    1 p.m. — Our flight was packed with small children going to visit grandparents; it’s been awhile since I’ve seen that many frazzled parents in one place. Our rental car smells like a combo of stink bomb and original Febreeze. We’re all a bit nauseous by the time we pile out of the car for J’s Yelp pick. El Mono is Peruvian comfort food in Richmond, and it hits the spot. I have a spiced avocado purée sandwich with sweet potato fries (the Pan con Palta); my companions try three of the highlighted signature dishes (Causa de Atun, Lomo Saltado, and Aji de Gallina) and everyone was pleased with their choice. My FIL pays at the counter; I think it worked out to about $60 with tax and tip and beverages all around.

    1:54 p.m. — We roll out with all the windows open and the car odor improves. Thank goodness.

    2:30p.m. — Coral Castle (aka J’s aunt’s house) ahoy! J’s aunt and grandmother are home and it’s hugs and updates all around. Turns out both of the Bay Area cousins are temporarily living at the Castle right now. On the bright side, this means that my cousin quality time mission is TOTALLY on track, but man, I’m glad I’m not the aunt and uncle living with the consequences of two fresh break-ups. The other ladies take off for an art show and J, FIL, and I bask in the peace on the patio. The weather is perfect.

    3:30 p.m. The family starts trickling back in and by five p.m. there are ten of us and it’s loud and happy. We eat dinner (fresh grilled salmon and grilled portobello mushrooms and grilled eggplant and a giant salad and cheese and crackers) and spend the evening putting away three (four?) bottles of wine and telling stories. It’s been ages since I talked this deeply and freely and laughed so hard. I break out the semi-random stack of wedding photos I brought in case J’s grandmother wanted some and they’re a hit. She lets others pick a few and keeps the rest of the stack. I definitely did not expect that. After watching his clan react to having great candid pictures of each other (not a thing prior to this moment, as the whole lot are camera shy), J is finally starting to get WHY it mattered to me so much to spend money on photography.

    10 p.m. — J’s parents drop us off at our Airbnb on the way to their hotel (I think it’s on the way anyway). It’s tiny and quiet and the perfect antidote to the even bigger crowd of family we’ll see tomorrow.

    10:30 p.m. — I semi-guiltily catch up on Instagram (seems like a dumb thing to spend vacation time on). My favorite local jewelry artist has a picture up of things she’s planning to list on Etsy this weekend. It includes a necklace I’ve been crushing on, and juuust in case I DM her to see if she’ll just straight up sell it to me instead of listing it. She’s in! Eight minutes later I own it and am planning what to wear with it next week when it comes in the mail. Jewelry falls in a budget gray area between clothes (a joint category with my husband) and our personal fun money. I ran the necklace itself by J but we didn’t talk about categories. I’ll probably regret not clarifying that in advance. Maybe I can talk him into treating it partially as a vacation souvenir? I’m down to $4.86 of my monthly $190 personal funds. $120

    Daily Total: $144.04

    Day 2

    8:20 a.m. — I wake up thirty minutes before my alarm, realize J is OUT, and take the first shower. I mentally note for my Airbnb review that anyone over 5’7” would have a tough time with the bathroom. We’re short though so it’s all good. The cupboards are stocked with a random assortment of hotel-sized toiletries and makes up for our haphazard packing nicely.

    9:20 a.m. — Shockingly, we’re ready before J’s parents planned arrival time so we take a neighborhood walk. We discover that our house in Portland, which is two miles from our downtown jobs, would cost 3.5 times as much in this Marin suburb, which is a good 40 minutes from downtown SF. Without traffic. No wonder the cousins have moved home.

    10:15 a.m. — We arrive to full-blown hustle and bustle at the Coral Castle. The crowd is up to 12 and piles of fruit salad, bagels and lox, and avocados are disappearing. I pause to consider the grocery bill for the weekend and am doubly grateful that the most prosperous members of the family are also the most generous. I chill with J’s grandmother and knit as the balance of the party trickle in over the course of the morning. I duck out to the quiet, quiet patio and do some introvert recovery. The weather is still perfect. The view is still insanely gorgeous. (Yesterday evening when my sister-in-law’s boyfriend walked in he stopped dead when he saw the view. I turned to him and said “I know. Ever since I first saw it I’ve been trying to plan vacations around sitting on that patio.”)

    12:30 p.m. — One of J’s cousins returned from Thailand earlier in the week and then promptly found a local purveyor of jackfruit. She showed up yesterday with a 10-lb. specimen, and now she turns opening it up and processing it into a group activity. It is delicious. Also sticky in a way that requires industrial strength solvent to clean up.

    1:45 p.m. —At this point, I’ve now socialized more in the past 24 hours than I normally do in two months. J and I borrow a car and retreat. J gets In-N-Out burger ($12.67) and I hit the local Safeway with ice cream in mind. I eye a freezer case of gelato bars, but the flavors are insanely high-brow, high-concept so I get a Ruby Jewel sandwich ($3). Because apparently I prefer Portland local treats even hundreds of miles from home. We retreat to our Airbnb and read and nap in peace. $15.67

    5 p.m. — The Castle crew is up to fifteen; I chat with J’s grandmother’s friends and nerd out over textiles and design. We eventually manage to break ourselves into four cars to head to the Seafood Peddler in Sausalito where the birthday dinner for 20 will happen. J’s uncle, wine aficionado, brings along 7 bottles. I predict he will end the evening cranky with how the restaurant handles the wine.

    6:30 p.m. — Dinner commences. There was no advanced seating plan, but I wind up reasonably happy with my position. It’s super loud, and the food is pretty meh, but the wine is great and watching a bunch of people eat giant lobsters inexpertly is damn entertaining. (I get mine already sectioned out with risotto, so I feel smug.) The prosperous members of the boomer generation in the family split the bill quietly and with remarkably little rancor. It works out to about $60 per person. (J’s uncle is indeed displeased about the wine handling, but expected the total bill to be much higher, so he’s pretty chipper driving home).

    8:30 p.m. — The entire set reassembles at the palace for ice cream and homemade flourless chocolate cake and birthday speeches. J’s grandmother had a very poor prognosis 18 months ago, and I know I’m not the only family member who expected our next gathering would be for her funeral. A birthday party is so, SO much better. I get in some good talking with each of the cousins at dinner and after.

    10:30 p.m. — I’m hoping for some late night cousin time, but with the Coral Castle packed to the gills (even the dining room has an air mattress in it) people need to be able to sleep. My in-laws drop us off at our Airbnb. (We are pretty much the envy of the clan; we’re spending less than the hotel folks, but still getting the most privacy of the lot.) J and I spend a couple of hours talking.

    Daily Total: $15.67

    Day 3

    9:06 p.m. — FIL knocks impatiently on our Airbnb door. J agreed to a 9 am pickup even after I said I thought 9:15 was the absolute earliest I could manage. (This IS vacation.) I finish the Airbnb checkout at 9:14. I spot an AWESOME weaving exhibition opening in Oakland today, but keep my mouth shut. My FIL has (perfectly legit) Bay Area traffic paranoia, and there is no universe in which we will make a stop in Oakland other than the rental car center and the airport.

    9:30 a.m. — More bagels, more lox, jackfruit fruit salad, and eggs. One of the cousins thankfully breaks into the leftover chocolate cake and I cheerfully follow his lead, smearing my slice with avocado. It’s an olive oil based cake, so this is less crazy than it sounds. So good. We chat and chat and chat, and then suddenly it’s time for group photos and departure.

    12:10 p.m. — Predictably, we hit traffic and my FIL’s insistence on leaving 3.5 hours to travel 35 miles is justified.

    1:30 p.m. — We arrive at the airport and I promptly ditch the fam. I have been to the Oakland airport recently and know that the convenience store/newsstand situation is where I’m most likely to have a satisfying food experience.

    I decide to try an RxBar (their relentless Instagram ads finally get me) along with a giant pack of Twix and Diet Coke. (All about the responsible adult food decisions today, obviously.) The RxBar is tastier than the Builder’s Bar I usually go with when I need nonperishable protein. Next time they offer me 12 for $20 I’ll take it and restock my desk protein supply. $10.31

    2:15 p.m. — J shows up after an unsatisfactory Burger King experience. $8.52

    2:30 p.m. — I spend a quality half hour providing phone tech support to my MIL. I find it quietly hilarious that J is a software engineer but I’m the one who does more parental tech support. (I am slightly less likely to make them feel dumb. Not by a lot though — it’s always a struggle to not grab the phone and sort it out for them.)

    5:15 p.m. — We land in Portland. I skimmed through my shoe pictures during the descent and didn’t like anything well enough to stop for. (Though admittedly at this level of cat deprivation, there probably aren’t ANY shoes I’d stop for.)

    6:30 p.m. — We get home and cuddle the cats. We talk about getting takeout, then about getting something delivered, but ultimately J makes our fallback hot meal of bean burritos. We agree to introvert in separate rooms for a while.

    Daily Total: $18.83

    How did you prepare for this trip?
    I pretty much didn’t. A few months ago I got the family directive to be there for J’s grandmother’s 90th birthday party on the Saturday and that is the whole extent of the plan. I love J’s extended family and haven’t seen them en masse since our wedding in 2014, so I’m excited about the trip. When I hadn’t gotten around to booking anything at T-10 weeks, my FIL forwarded me the flight info he’d booked, and offered up sharing their rental car to get from Oakland to the Marin area where we’ll all likely gather. I tried to convince J we should stay a day longer than his folks and do fun San Francisco stuff, but since we’re both extra busy with work this time of year, he convinced me we should stick with a one-vacation-day trip length. I did some half-hearted fare searching and wound up booking the exact same flights as my FIL. (He’s great at finding the cheapest airfare and also travels way more than me, so I wasn’t surprised.) We were too late to grab one of the bedrooms at the “Coral Castle” aka J’s aunt’s house where folks are likely to gather, so my FIL sent me their hotel info as well. I balked at $225/night for three stars (ugh, Bay Area) and found a cute Airbnb for less located between FIL’s hotel and the Coral Castle, figuring we would be able to Uber or get rides with family. My dream vacation is going someplace with a nice view and chilling out with people I like. There should be knitting and reading; cats and wine are good add-ons. J’s clan isn’t super into chilling out (they’re more: Go places! Do things! Preferably with exercise involved!), but after 12 years, they’re used to me and my relaxed couch potato introvert ways.

    Do you have credit card debt as a result of booking this vacation? If so, how much
    Nope. We’re planning a much bigger trip later in the year, so I’ve been stashing extra cash in our vacation budget category in YNAB for months.

    When did you book your flight? Do you think you got a good deal?
    I booked 10 weeks in advance, and was happy with the price. If I’d been willing to wait and gamble on a fare sale, I might have been able to trim total flight expense by $40, but for Friday and Sunday travel dates sale fare availability can be iffy, so I’m glad I didn’t wait.

    Is there a tourist trap you wish you had avoided?
    Skip the Seafood Peddler restaurant; I’m told the lobster itself was good, but everything else was “meh” at best and it felt super touristy.

    What advice would you give someone who is traveling to the same location?
    Don’t stay at a hotel! You might have to check through multiple services (there are multiple local competitors to Airbnb in the Bay areas) but you’ll for sure find something that’s a better value.

    Is there anything about your trip you would do differently in retrospect?
    I wish I had planned to take the first work day following our return off. The rest of the week would have gone much more smoothly if I’d done laundry and grocery shopping and generally gotten my introvert sorted out. I also wish I’d thought to see if my parents would be welcome and would have liked to come — they get on really well with my in-laws (thirteen joint Thanksgivings and counting) and I think they would have liked being part of a family reunion.

    Would you stay at your Airbnb again?
    If it was just me, absolutely. The mattress was memory foam though, and didn’t suit J.

    Where were you located in the specific city and would you recommend staying in that part of town?
    Our Airbnb was in Mill City, about a 20 minute walk from a shopping center with a nice grocery store and also about 20 minutes from a bus line with fairly frequent service to and from SF across the Golden Gate Bridge. Marin County is gorgeous and worth exploring even without its proximity to the city. If you’re traveling with a combo of city and outdoorsy people, it’s a great spot!

    Is there anything you wished you had time to do, but didn’t?
    We were there during the beginning of a month long open gallery event, and there were a bunch of textile galleries and exhibitions I wished I could have stopped by. If J’s grandmother is still doing well next spring, I’d like to bring my mom (also a fiber arts enthusiast) and take in all the textile shows together. With our knitting in hand! It would be inspiration overload! Plus my mom and J’s grandmother are the snarkiest ladies in all the land; the running commentary would be amazing.

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    Superstition runs in my family the way athletic prowess or blue eyes run in others. The constant fear is that, if someone doesn't knock on wood three times and spit in the devil's eye, or returns home for a forgotten thing and doesn't look in the mirror before leaving again, the world will go careening off its axis and everything will be terrible. We're not OCD, technically — just Russian.

    Routines are very important to the superstitious, and the order in which I put on my makeup each morning is one of the things that holds my life together. I always fill in my left eyebrow first before my right, and wait until the very last minute before I step out the door to put on my lipstick. And I must always finish it all off with a setting powder, not just because my makeup will fade otherwise, but also because something bad will probably happen if I don't.

    You'd think this would take all the fun out of something — but it doesn't! How can I shake up my routine without ruining my life? I try new things, of course. I find the best setting powder, of all the setting powders, because it is key to my survival. You just can't say the same for your favorite YouTube vlogger's product reviews, now can you?

    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.

    Judging solely by appearances, this is one of the more beautiful makeup-decorative trinket hybrids I've ever seen with my own two eyes. It's satisfyingly large, about the size of a Chipwich, with a glossy mahogany screw-top lid and gold sifter and a big "H" — for Hourglass! — that promises to dispense the perfect amount of powder. The powder, by the way, is formulated not only with standard translucent-powder ingredients (no talc, though!) but also diamond powder, which the brand says offers "refined light refraction" that blurs imperfections for an airbrushed effect, which sounds like something diamond powder would do, if diamond powder is, in fact, a thing.

    Sadly, not even the finest diamond powder would hold up against my extraordinarily greasy T-zone; the finish is so smooth and soft-focus, I get a good few hours of looking like I was sculpted out of marble before the shine breaks through and I'm exactly where I'd be if I'd never applied powder in the first place. Would still recommend to someone who is not monopolizing the world's oil supply with their face.



    Hourglass Veil™ Translucent Setting Powder, $46, available at Sephora

    Here we have a classic, the one that makeup artists always recommend, the never-fail hit, except for that time it was allegedly responsible for the rare Angelina Jolie beauty faux pas, an "Epic Powder Makeup Disaster " that Huffington Post Canada called "So Unlike Her." I'm not sure why this translucent powder causes camera flashback, or how to make sure it doesn't, because I have never been in a situation wherein I've suddenly found myself being professionally photographed.

    I have, however, used this powder on and off for years, and it's always suited me just fine in terms of controlling oil and helping makeup last, despite not being the most exciting option on the market. It is a solid choice, and I like the fact that there's a cheaper mini size, because has anyone ever finished off an entire 8g jar of setting powder, really?



    Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Microfinishing Loose Powder, $36, available at Sephora

    The simplest, most "natural" (that word should always be taken with a grain of 100% pure ethically-sourced sea salt) setting powder around is... silica. That's it! This powder is just silica, a finely-milled mineral that you probably shouldn't inhale.

    Pros: very lightweight; makes skin look beautiful; leaves no residue or white cast; really seems to blend into your makeup instead of sitting on top of it, which is ideal for people who don't really like powder in the first place but still want to set their foundation. Cons: very ( very) expensive for what it is; in my experience, can cause mild burning sensation throughout the nose and throat if you happen to breathe while applying.



    RMS Beauty "Un" Powder, $34, available at DermStore

    Let's talk about this powder. It is, for all intents and purposes, a very good powder. It's incredibly lightweight, feels like nada on the skin, goes on with the perfect velvety, not-drying matte texture, and really, truly locks makeup in place all day, even on oily skin. Like all of Kat Von D's offerings, it is completely cruelty-free and vegan. Also like all of Kat Von D's offerings, it is the product of an individual who recently voiced their intentions to not vaccinate their unborn child, a statement that has produced major backlash and encouraged some fans to boycott the brand entirely.

    So, does the powder work? Is it a good powder? Yes, yes it is. But does it have the initials of an acknowledged anti-vaxxer embossed on the lid? Also yes.



    Kat Von D Lock-It Setting Powder, $30, available at Sephora

    I love most things that involve coconut: coconut water, coconut milk, coconut ice cream, coconut curries, coconut popsicles, just plain old coconut. But I can't think of anything worse than beauty products that smell "like coconut," which is to say, the most bastardized chemical reproduction of what is otherwise a very good drupe.

    I half-expected to unscrew the top to this powder and have the scent of 5,000 fake coconuts waft out, but this did not happen, despite having "coconut" in its name. It smells faintly milky, but not at all overly fragranced, so thanks for that, Marc. If you have dry skin, this has got to be one of the best setting powders around for keeping makeup fresh and skin hydrated; for an oily person, it's a bit too creamy, which is a weird thing to say about a powder but also a true thing.



    Marc Jacobs Beauty Finish-Line Perfecting Coconut Setting Powder, $44, available at Sephora

    I avoid gimmicky beauty products as much as the next person who hates fun, but man if I'm not sold on this misty cooling powder situation! Buffed all over my face with a big, fluffy brush, it sets my makeup without turning me uncomfortably matte or chalky and keeps my foundation from separating all day (in fact, it seems to make it look better and more glowy as the day goes on).

    I had my doubts, I did — because first of all, what the fuck is a Hydra-Mist, and secondly, how can a face powder feel cooling? The first ingredient is water, which is so weird, but it works. Sometimes I dust on more than I should because it feels so good, and it still looks great. I still don't know the answer to either of those questions, but I don't even care anymore.



    Becca Hydra-Mist Set & Refresh Powder, $38, available at Becca Cosmetics

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    Flowing champagne, a raucous group dance to the Cha Cha Slide, and a chance to get gussied up all in the name of celebrating a couple you love are some of the reasons we enjoy weddings. With more and more couples choosing to make their nuptial celebrations less traditional (smaller ceremonies, fewer princess gowns (unless you actually are a princess, of course), and a desire for less fuss, it's not surprising to see a shift in popularity from the conventional summer wedding season to winter — and our dress of choice should reflect the times.

    Whether you’re crashing, a plus one, or a VIP on the official program, you’ve still got to look your part as a guest. Dressing for a wedding is not a task to be taken lightly, especially when it's the season to dress festively. We would never recommend upstaging the bride — gentle reminder: it’s STILL quite the faux pas to wear white to a wedding unless requested by the couple — but, we can’t promise you won’t be dubbed 'best dressed.' Now that you’ve got the outfit ready to go, it’s time to consider the next most important deliberation...red, white, or sparkling?

    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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    Picking out the perfect gift for the beauty lover in your life isn't as simple as just throwing an eyeshadow palette in a bag — there are levels to this. Personal style, current routine, and beauty concerns are all things to take into consideration before hitting the checkout button. But above all, complexion should be top of mind — especially when you’re shopping for your friends of color.

    Taking skin tone into consideration when picking out makeup may seem like a given, but it's a common oversight. When your complexion is brown, there's always a chance that the highlighter your co-worker gave you in the office Secret Santa will end up in your junk drawer (or get re-gifted) because "it didn't match." To avoid that, we rounded up some of our favorite brown-girl-friendly gifts ahead — not a chalky eyeshadow or ashy lipstick in sight.

    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 three shades in this mini kit were practically made for people with rich complexions. It includes a rusty brown, rose pink, and oxblood red that will look so good on your friend, she'll go out and by the full-sized tube.



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

    Ashy eyeshadow is probably the last thing on someone's wish list, so if you're thinking of picking up a palette, this one's a good choice. These colors are richly pigmented and will create a bold, sunset smoky eye on anyone. Plus, the yellow-toned shades will look especially bangin' on brown skin.



    Natasha Denona Gold Eyeshadow Palette, $129, available at Sephora

    For a natural, ethereal glow, dust on the highlighting powders in this palette. Each shade will give your skin a subtle polish that won't show up chalky.



    Laura Mercier Magic Hour Face Highlighting Palette, $58, available at Sephora

    The gold-toned goods in this mini Becca kit will make your eyes, lip, and face feel like 24-karat magic.



    Becca Passport To Glow UK Collection Kit, $49, available at Nordstrom

    Finding the perfect blush for deep skin is a game of trial and error — most blush shades disappear on dark skin — but this palette has six pans that will give medium-to-rich complexions a natural flush.



    Juvia's Place The Saharan Vol. II Blush Palette, $18, available at Ulta Beauty

    If you plan on stealing the spotlight at the holiday party, then you should go wearing colors from The Lip Bar's holiday collection. It features a matte bullet, a metallic liquid, and a shimmery gloss that'll look good solo or layered.



    The Lip Bar Holiday Collection, $37.99, available at The Lip Bar

    Complexion palettes are hit or miss. There's usually one random highlighter or blush that never gets touched, and then the other shades get used to the very bottom of the pan. But that won't be the case with this kit, which has three flattering powders that'll make medium and deep skin tones beam.



    MAC Cosmetics Shiny Pretty Things Face Compact, $39.5, available at Nordstrom

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    Despite the tattoo mania that ensued this past summer, the hottest season is the least ideal time to get a tattoo. You may want to show off your new thigh or ankle ink the second you get a beach day, but factors like excessive sun exposure, chlorine, and sweaty friction can negatively affect how your new tattoo turns out. For that reason — and really that reason only — we're thankful it's finally winter.

    Without a damp bathing suit or pool in sight, we can officially declare it peak tattoo season. And the perfect place for your next ink: underneath your boobs. More cutely referred to as the under -boob, the spot underneath the bottom curve of your breast has recently hit the tattoo zeitgeist. Similar to its sisters (sternum and side-boob tattoos) the under-boob area is sensitive, intimate, and — unless you choose otherwise — easily hidden by clothing.

    Despite the fact that the placement is more painful than others (most likely due to the close proximity to the rib cage), it's a spot that doesn't discriminate. New York-based tattoo artist Mira Miriah (a.k.a. @girlknewyork) tells us that your breast size shouldn't affect whether or not you can get a tattoo underneath your boob. Whether your boobs are small, round, and perky or hang low with a bit more weight, this is universally-flattering real estate.

    The most important thing to know about these tattoos is that the after-care is more personalized, depending on your breast shape and size. "If someone with larger breasts gets [an under-boob tattoo], they can use Tegaderm during the healing process," explains Mariah, referring to the transparent film dressing some pros prefer for protecting fresh tattoo ink. This will decidedly solve the problem of boob sweat or friction from skin and clothing. And as far as bras go, Mariah confirms it's all relative: "If a bra is going to rub against the tattoo, skip it." Bottom line: Chat with your artist about your concerns before you take the plunge on the tattoo because no matter what, you'll have to find a design and after-care routine that makes sense for you.

    Ready for some inspiration? Ahead, the raddest under-boob tattoos we've spotted for winter.

    Since there is a large amount of surface area you could easily consider the under-boob area, the size of the actual design can vary. This cluster of flowers by Mariah is perfect inspiration for the kind of ink that peeks out underneath your favorite crop top.

    When choosing your ink make sure you do your research on the artist. While some artists specialize in teeny-tiny script, others — like Mariah — more often go for larger pieces with tons of realistic detail.

    If you have a strong pain tolerance, consider requesting a sternum tattoo that curves underneath both boobs. Bonus: Ink like this can be shown off with a strategic V-neck.

    Or request a custom design that wraps under the entirety of the breast.

    If you've got a full collection of black ink already, this might finally be the time to consider color. Tattoo artist Knarly Gav recently created this rainbow bouquet of flowers for a client.

    If bold, primary colors aren't your thing, you can always get inspiration from the watercolor designs by tattoo artist Jess Chen.

    Although the stick-and-poke method might add an extra level of discomfort to a tattoo near the ribs, the unique detail is totally worth it. Case in point: Tattoo artist Rosa Bluestone Perr 's delicate snake.

    Perr frequently leaves her signature on clients' tattoos with poked halos circling the top of the design. This dainty fish was no exception.

    This is the tattoo that will get you one step closer to being Rihanna.

    Because, yes, she has one, too. (It's a reimagined version of the Egyptian goddess Isis.)

    And so does Ariana Grande — in honor of Harry Potter 's Professor Severus Snape, of course.

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    The act of self-care varies from person to person. Whichever way you choose to practice this lifestyle concept, taking the time to stop and show yourself some love is a necessary to-do — whether that's through mental-health mindfulness, journaling, body care buys, beauty treatments, or even edible treats. But during this particular time of year we're turning our self-care commitments upside down with a specially-curated, self(less)-care gift guide.

    With the holidays in swing, we've got others on our minds — and so we pulled together the 29 products ahead that cover our favorite self-care essentials for gifting away. The unique lineup includes everything from cat-shaped essential oil diffusers to healing honey masks, CBD gummies, something called a "bliss pen," portable air purifiers, silk eye masks, love-scented candles, happy bath wash, and much more. Shop on to get in the true selfless spirit this season by giving some care — in the form of a cushy body pillow or super soft sherpa blanket — to another in need.

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

    The Good: Mini Air Purifier
    This air purifier is compact, chic, and ready to freshen up any atmosphere on-the-fly.



    The Pure Company Portable Air Purifier, $99, available at Amazon

    The Good: Healing-Honey Mask
    Bees from upstate New York produced this honey healing mask. It's infused with natural antioxidants for a deeply hydrating treatment.



    Farmacy Honey Potion, $38, available at Farmacy

    The Good: Portable Satin Body Pillow
    Throw that special someone a self-care bone with this silky, portable body pillow — built to support the neck's natural curves and alleviate tension, stress, and pain.



    Hermell Softeze Satin Bone Polyfill Pillow, $40.99, available at Wayfair

    The Good: Gratitude Journal
    Give the gift of self-exploration with this thoughtful, 52-week journal designed with daily prompts to focus on thankfulness and simple joys.



    Pretty Simple Press Gratitude Journal, $5.03, available at Amazon

    The Good: Chic Vibrator
    Don't overlook the gift of self-pleasure with this incognito vibrator.



    Smile Makers The Tennis Coach, $55, available at Free People

    The Good: Self-Love Crystals
    This giftable six-crystal kit includes a dose of self-love energy with the "lovestruck" rose quartz and "generous" rhodonite stones that encourage, "love, healing, and compassion."



    Anthropologie Well Done Crystal Set, $38, available at Anthropologie

    The Good: Full-Face Therapeutic Mask
    An Amazon's Choice buy, this therapeutic face mask can be heated or chilled to alleviate everything from facial puffiness to pain and even headaches.



    Perfecore Face/Eye Gel Cold Pack Mask, $17.98, available at Amazon

    The Good: Vegan CBD Gummies
    These strawberry-flavored daily gummies are infused with a clinical-strength, non-psychoactive, and extensively-tested CBD formula — described as a, "hug for your endocannabinoid system," and also as the, "chillest, cleanest CBD polar bear gummy on the block."



    Not Pot Vegan CBD Gummies, $39.99, available at Not Pot

    The Good: Plush Slippers
    Let someone you love slip into something plush at the end of the day with a pair of these cloud gray, patterned-terry and pillow-cushioned slippers.



    Parachute Quilted Slippers, $39, available at Parachute

    The Good: Spirit Dust
    Add this custom, vegan herb blend to your favorite nut milk, coffee, or tea for an encouraged dose of peaceful relaxation and bliss.



    Moon Juice Spirit Dust® Adaptogen Powder, $38, available at Need Supply Co

    The Good: Mini Humidifier
    Craft a soothing self-care station at-home or at-work with one of these tiny, air-moisturizing humidifiers in a cute reindeer or bunny shape.



    AmuseNd Mini Cool Mist Humidifier, $15.89, available at Amazon

    The Good: Self-Love Bath & Body Kit
    A self-love collection of rose quartz-inspired goods intended to glow, relax, and restore you — including a coconut milk bath soak, coco rose body polish, and rose quartz illuminating body oil.



    Herbivore Botanicals Self Love Bath + Body Ritual Kit, $36, available at Sephora

    The Good: Rose Gold Pill Case
    Stay on top of daily vitamins and medications in style with this stainless-steel, rose-gold chestnut case.



    Alessi "Chestnut" Golden Pink Stainless Steel Pill Box, $38.95, available at Walmart

    The Good: Dual Down Pillow-Blanket
    Give the gift of portable, dual comfort with this luxurious convertible pillow-blanket that's filled with white, RDS-certified down.



    Riley Home Convertible Down Blanket, $59, available at Riley Home

    The Good: Pillow Spray Set
    A more peaceful slumber is one (or seven) mini deep sleep pillow sprays away — from soothing lavender to camomile and Vetiver essential oil scents.



    This Works Seventh Heaven Pillow Spray, $23, available at Neiman Marcus

    The Good: Solo Succulent Garden
    Sometimes self-care is best practiced in caring for a small green friend.



    Lula's Garden Bliss Garden, $25, available at Lula's Garden

    The Good: Essential Oil Cat Diffuser
    Light up a cat-lovers life with a gift that covers both feline and self-care bases.



    Urban Outfitters Cat Shaped Essential Oil Diffuser, $69, available at Urban Outfitters

    The Good: Resurrection Hand Balm
    Show your friends' tired winter hands some love with this restorative balm, made from oil-free hydrating botanicals.



    Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm, 2.58 Ounce, $38.22, available at Amazon

    The Good: Silk Pillowcase & Eyemask
    Nothing says self-luxe like a silk mask and pillowcase pair finished with charmeuse for smoothing skin to hair while you sleep.



    Brooklinen Mulberry Silk Bundle, $79, available at Brooklinen

    The Good: Self-Care Kit
    This full-body self-care kit includes an exfoliating mitt, skin-softening soap treatment made from olive oil and rose, and an intensive body cream with acai and pomegranate.



    The Line The Self Care Gift Set, $91, available at The Line

    The Good: Rose-Quartz Facial Roller
    Bestow this beautiful rose quartz roller upon a beloved in need of calming facial massages and tension relief.



    BeautyBio Rose Quartz Roller, $60, available at Nordstrom

    The Good: Sherpa Blanket
    Wrap yourself up in this super-soft throw blanket made an ultra-comforting polyester-fleece fabric blend.



    Rumpl Sherpa Blanket, $110, available at Rumpl

    The Good: Love-Scented Candle
    Light up this rose-scented candle whenever you are in need of a little love.



    Homesick Candles Homesick Scented Candle, Love, $29.95, available at Amazon

    The Good: Clear Mind Essential Oil
    Relaxation and mental clarity has been distilled and bottled into this minty essential oil blend.



    Hope Gillerman Clear Mind Tension Remedy (8 ml), $48, available at Amazon

    The Good: Honeycomb Bathrobe
    Wrap up in a soothing lightweight, fast-drying, and organic waffle-weave robe after taking that long luxurious soak you so deserve.



    Snowe Honeycomb Bathrobe, $98, available at Snowe

    The Good: Bliss Pen *
    Dosist's pens are engineered for making cannabis therapy easy and safe with targeted formulas and precise doses — the bliss pen is meant to, "help you feel just the right amount of good," and crafted in a recyclable vaporizing device with no additives or fillers.

    *Delivery only available to locations in California.



    Dosist Bliss Pen (50), $40, available at Sava

    The Good: Glass Water Bottle
    If staying hydrated is a form of self-care, then we may as well do it in eco-friendly style with a reusable glass bottle.



    bkr bkr Air Kiss, $38, available at Amazon

    The Good: Get Happy Body Wash
    Come on get happy with this natural geranium and peppermint-scented body wash made from organic oils and only eight total ingredients.



    Plant Apothecary Get Happy Body Wash, $18, available at Target

    The Good: Nap Pillow
    We all deserve a nap — so give the gift that makes an impromptu snooze possible, whenever and wherever duty calls.



    Casper Nap Pillow, $35, available at Target

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    Imagine it's a windy December morning and you're standing on the sidewalk waiting for the light to turn, the bone-chilling breeze whips across your face, leaving your chapped lips quivering and your hair a tangled mess. Sounds like you should've stayed in bed. But now, consider the same day, but you've just had a haircut. All of a sudden, the cold air is fresh and crisp, and mother nature is your personal wind turbine, flipping your ends to perfection.

    Now, all you need to turn your winter hair into something along the lines of the latter scene — a style you can't wait to wear out the door and refuse to cover with a beanie — is to schedule a salon appointment. Not sure what cut you're looking for? Try one of the five chicest, most versatile styles that are poised to be huge in 2019.

    Ahead, we're breaking down the hair trends that are picking up major cool girl traction right now, only to hit fever pitch come the new year. More than just photo inspiration, we have pro style tips and product recommendations for how to rock the cut all winter long. Take this handy guide to your next appointment and prepare for warmer walks to work.

    The Blunt Jawline Bob

    The popular fashion-girl cut is only getting shorter in the new year. Sergio Pattirane, stylist at Rob Peetoom salon in Williamsburg, Brooklyn tells us that the cut should fall somewhere between your ears and chin. "Ask your stylist for a straight bob in line with your jawline, shorter at the back, longer at the front, an inch or two below your ears," he says. "The result is a modern, streamline bob, that can be elevated through styling."

    If your hair is on the finer side, Pattirane recommends thinning out just the ends for a choppy, sexier finish that gives the cut some dimension. You can also add a little dry texturizing spray (Pattirane likes Davines' option) through the ends for extra definition.

    Celebrity stylist Kahh Spence agrees that the bob cut will be even bigger come 2019. "Depending on the cut or angling of the bob, you can achieve a chic style that flatters any face shape," he explains. "Bobs are universal, and will work all year long — styled curly, pin straight, or with a soft, barely-there wave."

    The Grown-Out Pixie

    If you're looking to go way shorter — but don't know what to ask for — consider the en vogue shaggy pixie cut. Erickson Arrunategui, stylist at NYC's popular Bumble and bumble salon  tells us that 2019 will be the year of the pixie. "All my clients want newness right now, but they also want a cut with a little body," he explains. "The grown out pixie stye is short and fun and still maintains length to style."

    For pixie cut inspiration, look no further than Kehlani's super short cut, shaved on the sides with natural definition on top.

    On natural hair, a top-heavy pixie cut feels fresh while still maintaining movement and shape. Slicking back the sides adds a cool polished finish.

    The Heavy Mid-Length Lob

    For a cut that falls somewhere between short and long, a mid-length lob is the perfect way to stay on-trend. "This cut has seamless layers, if any, to create a look that feels weightier, more structured, and less textured," Unite stylist Graham Nation explains. "Ask for your length to be between a bob and a mid-length, with a blunt perimeter."

    If your hair is thin and you're itching for a little body, Nation recommends talking to your stylist about blending in some soft, interior layers that are very subtle as to maintain the strong shape. Before a blowdry, consider raking a little volumizing mousse through your roots (Nation loves this one), to make sure you're getting the fullness you want.

    A long, blunt and weighted lob allows for versatility in styling. Read: It looks great with big curla, messy bends, or worn pin straight and glossy.

    Soft Curtain Bangs

    If your hair is long, a great way to give it extra dimension is to weave in a low-maintenance face-framing bang. Leo Izquierdo, co-founder of IGK tells us the the long fringe is coming back in a big way. "The cut adds a little extra shape to any hair texture, without requiring a ton of bang-specific styling," Izquierdo explains. "It's a very French-looking style — simple and sophisticated."

    A shorter, Bardot-esque bang spilling into gradual layers provides a gorgeous, effortless frame around the eyes.

    Or you can keep your fringe long — falling down around the chin — for a subtle shape that's still long enough to be pulled back into a chic ponytail.

    If you're wary of trying something new, just consider a few fringe pieces falling around your cheekbones, which is a good baby step.

    The Fringed Bob

    The very popular French girl bob — squared off with heavy bangs — is getting a structural refresh in the new year. Arrunategui says everyone will be asking for the angular chop, just with a little more texture. "The perfect Parisian bob falls precisely between the cheekbone and jawline," he explains. "This variation will look a bit choppier and unpolished, which will give a fresh kind of dimension."

    On curls, this cut will maintain the chin-level length and the blunt bags while some gradual layers thrown in will provide even more fullness.

    If your hair is thin, try introducing some edge to the chic style by adding a very thick, eyelash-skimming bang with heavy layering throughout, then just style it with texture spray (Arrunategui likes this one) for even more body.

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    Whole Foods should be renamed Whole Life at this point. It’s dangerously easy to get lost in the aisles of the health emporium and spend our whole paycheck galavanting for groceries, making salads, and stalking new beauty products. Yes, our love for it runs deep — and it just got deeper.

    The beauty aisle, in particular, is like a little paradise to scope out hair and skin-care products we don't need after picking up dinner and it's getting even better next year. We got a preview of new offerings coming to shelves in 2019 — like mushroom-based highlighter sticks, USDA-certified organic sheet masks, and detoxifying scalp scrubs — and we almost dropped our bulk almonds. You'll have to wait until February 2019 to get 'em at the chain, but a beauty lover can still plan ahead, right?

    Keep clicking to see the newness you'll be able to shop in 2019 in Whole Foods' beauty department.

    These highlighter sticks are formulated with adaptogens, organic oils, and botanical extracts to deliver a glow that's actually good for you.

    Cocokind Collective Highlighters, $12.00, available at Whole Foods February 2019.

    This blend of ginger, rose hip, and pumpkin seed oil makes taking off makeup less of a chore — and more of a zen experience.

    Mad Hippie Cleansing Oil, $17.99, available at Whole Foods February 2019.

    Leave your scalp baggage — like grease, product buildup, and zits — in 2018. Use an exfoliating scalp scrub, like this one, which has charcoal to detoxify your skin of all the junk that's great for your hair but not for your scalp.

    Not Your Mother's Restore & Reclaim Scalp Scrub, $8.99, available at Whole Foods February 2019.

    This 2-in-1 stick is part cleanser and part scrub and will sop up dirt from your pores without all the extra steps.

    Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Snapmask Stick, $15.99, available at Whole Foods February 2019.

    Shower-friendly recycled packaging and plant-based ingredients make this conditioner good for your hair and 60% better for the environment.

    Seed Phytonutrients Lightweight Conditioner, $24.00, available at Whole Foods February 2019.

    The sheet mask section will be getting three USDA-certified options from BioRepublic come February. You can pick up its exfoliating, calming, and brightening masks when your at-home spa day rolls around.

    BioRepublic Skincare Soothing Sheet Mask, $4.99, available at Whole Foods February 2019.

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