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Refinery29

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    A new boot trend hits stores on a near-weekly basis. Yet another animal print takes over Instagram with practically every refresh. But why is it that one bag gains a little hype and we must wait months, sometimes years, to get a different, fresher option? Don't get us wrong, beaded bags and fanny packs are a definite wardrobe staple. But even the best things start to feel a little stale after a while. In other words, we're ready for a few bag trends that we haven't seen.

    Thankfully, it seems designers are as restless as we are. From chain link mini bags to purses that resemble Chinese takeout containers, we're doing a deep dive into this winter's biggest bag trends. So, before you settle for last season's recycled trends, let us introduce you to 2019's most sought-after purse collection.

    Take a look at the 10 new bag styles we're betting big on this winter. And remember, trends like these don't come around often, so we suggest snagging one (or three) before they all sell out.

    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.

    Baby Bags Are Toughening Up
    Say goodbye to the girly-girl bags of last season. Baby bags are going through a major Sandra Dee-inspired transformation, dripping in chains and metal hardware.

    Out Of The Safari & Onto The Farm
    We may have predicted a safari-themed spring ahead, but for now, we're very much living the farm life. From cow print bucket bags to spotted calf hair crossbody bags, there's no shortage of cow-themed purses for you to collect for the time being.

    Pass The Dumpling Bags
    That's right, your favorite deep fried dim sum now comes in bag form — and we need at least one for our collection.

    Bringing Hygee To The Bag Department
    Cozy knits, puffer coats and faux fur jackets dominate our closet all winter long — why not bring that same ultra-comfort to our purse collection?

    A Rainbow Situation
    We know, we know, winter is all about neutrals. But don't we all need a little ROYGBIV to warm up our chilly hearts this time of year?

    Borrowed From Grandma
    Other than strict manners and one hell of a chocolate chip cookie recipe, the best thing our grandmas shared with us was a massive collection of vintage handbags. From patent styles to carpet-like embroidered bags, we're taking a cue from grandmothers everywhere this winter.

    Crocodile Dundee
    Whereas snakeskin might be dominating in the shoe department, we're opting for purses resembling a very different type of reptile.

    Heart Shaped Box
    This one's for all the hopeless romantics out there this winter.

    Ordering Takeout
    In tribute to our beloved midnight lo mein, we're betting big on these oh-so-cute takeout-style handbags.

    Acetate Bait
    If you were a fan of structured bags, these acetate box bags are bound to be your new fave.

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

    16 Sweater Dresses To Fight The Cold In This Winter

    29 White Elephant Gifts They Won't Want To Give Up

    23 Winter-Friendly Coats That Ring In Under $150


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    Over the years, Ivanka Trump has changed the way she speaks, her body language around husband Jared Kushner, and even the capitalization of certain words, like "Country," in her tweets. All of this shows us she's nothing but malleable and adaptable; ready to fit a chosen image at the drop of a hat.

    Her use of emojis is no exception. In the millennium two years since her father was elected president, you can't scroll through Ivanka's feed anymore without seeing multiple American flags. Ahead, we tracked her emoji use from June 1 to November 28, 2018, so you don't have to. Plus, we talked to a linguistics expert about what it means.

    How many times Ivanka used the following emojis on Twitter between June 1 and November 28:

    🇺🇸 21

    📷 4

    ❤️ 4

    🚀 4

    🇲🇽 2

    🇨🇦 2

    ✈ 2

    😉 2

    👍 2

    🎉 1

    🙏 1

    🖤 1

    🍎 1

    🍯 1

    🌎 1

    💥 1

    🌙 1

    👩‍🚀 1

    😂 1

    👏 1

    😞 1

    🤔 1

    🍁 1

    🦃 1

    🎣 1

    How many times Ivanka used the following emojis on Instagram between June 1 and November 28:

    🇺🇸 8

    📷 4

    ❤️ 4

    🇲🇽 2

    🇨🇦 2

    🚀 2

    🌎 2

    💪 1

    🎉 1

    🌳 1

    😍 1

    🍎 1

    🍯 1

    🌙 1

    👩‍🚀 1

    😂 1

    🍁 1

    🦃 1

    🎣 1

    The American flag is clearly the winner, with Ivanka using it a whopping 21 times on Twitter (far more than the runner-ups: camera, red heart, and rocket ship, with four times each) and eight times on Instagram, for everything from touting jobs growth to celebrating NASA's Mars landing. When she's not feeling creative, she just tweets it by itself, like here, in support of California wildfire recovery:

    It's not exactly a surprise, given the Trump administration's chest-beating, America-first, stand-for-the-flag attitude. It also seems, once again, that the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, given her father's even stronger penchant for flag-waving on social media.

    "We can't know someone's motives, but we can say something about the effect their messages are having," Dr. Deborah Tannen, linguistics professor at Georgetown University and author of several books including the recent You're the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships, told Refinery29. "In this case, the effect of using a patriotic emoji would be a visual analogue to 'America First.'"

    Dr. Tannen compared the use of the American-flag emoji to people wearing flag pins and putting flag stickers on their cars after 9/11 "to make themselves feel safe, and to remind themselves visually that they're part of a country they love," adding, "I think emotional reactions are stronger to pictures and the American flag would be an example." Clearly, Ivanka knows her audience.

    As for the others? Well, they're very specific, which speaks to Ivanka's planner, type-A nature. Her love of NASA is obvious, as she's used the rocket ship four times on Twitter and twice on Instagram. She even took the time to find a fish on a pole — who uses that?! — when fishing with her son.

    Conspicuously absent are any jail-related emojis, like the lock 🔒 or the 👮‍ police officer, despite the fact that a few members of the Trump orbit seem to be heading there soon.

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

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    While New York Fashion Week is finally making consistent strides toward true diversity, London Fashion Week still has a quite a ways to go. But former model Kereen Hurley wants to change that. The 23-year-old started London-based modeling agency Choco Models in 2016. "That’s when I first noticed the effects of colorism in the Black community," she tells Refinery29, citing trolling, mistreatment, and other forms of discrimination on social media. "That’s why I started it, because of discrimination and how [people with] darker skin tones were treated."

    The fashion industry, she argues, struggles to accept dark-skinned models thanks to tokenism, which dictates that there can only be one Black girl on a runway or at a shoot – one who is usually fair-skinned with Euro-centric facial features. There were the makeup artists on set would told Hurley they’ve never done a look on a Black girl. And the shoots and shows where she says she was the only Black girl. “I had trouble joining agencies if they already had a dark-skinned model,” she explained. “There was no space for me.” As Hurley works to get more exposure and work for dark-skinned models via Choco Models’ launch, her own modeling career has taken a backseat– but it's worth it.

    In 2010, when Hurley was 16, she was scouted by a photographer at her school’s prom; after he showed her a model platform and casting website, she started auditioning for shoots. From there, Hurley transitioned from model to agent by sending her models to the very same castings she once applied to as a talent. She later used money from her student loans (she was still in college at the time) to pay for a logo design, photoshoots, and marketing materials, and taught herself social media and email marketing. Today, models Eberechi Joanna, Diced Chocolate, and Alissa Precious are the most requested names on her roster, booking jobs with, among other clients, Black Beauty and Hair magazine and Sugarcane Media.

    Hurley does see overall progress, and applauds such brands as Fenty Beauty and ASOS for their proven commitment to diversity, and names model Leomie Anderson, Oscar-winning actress Lupita N’yongo, and Afro-Latina rapper Amara La Negra for bringing discussions about colorism and tokenism to the mainstream. But there’s still much work to be done, with disturbing examples of present-day bigotry. "There was a huge incident recently about a woman being too dark to enter Dstrkt nightclub West London," she told Black Beauty and Hair. "Social media can be very cruel when it comes to dark skin woman, criticizing their skin tone and facial features.." On a personal level Hurley says she’s learned to love the skin she’s in. “I do affirmations,” she says. “I don’t let them ruin my inner peace. It’s a cutthroat industry.”

    Indeed, her work is cut out for her at Choco Models, where she’s still striving to book jobs for the 14 women on her agency’s roster. London Fashion Week was the second most racially-diverse Fashion Week after New York, with 36.2% of models of color cast; that number is not specific to Black models, however, and Hurley is hopeful the industry will begin to take notice and evolve. "I'm working to get more mainstream eyes on my agency," she says. Every week, she fields countless requests (via email and Instagram) from young women eager to join her industry. "We welcome all sizes and shapes," she promises.

    “It’s about giving recognition to dark-skin models, whether they are with an agency or [not],” she says. “We love promoting positivity and creating solutions.”

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    There's no hiding from it: Acne is an inevitable struggle that continues on well after our prepubescent middle-school days. We're certainly not thrilled about dealing with random breakouts for the rest of our lives, but if we must, we might as well arm ourselves with the tools to treat irritated skin whenever it flares up (which is always at the worst possible time).

    Body acne acne is even trickier to hide, especially if a vacation or strapless jumpsuit is in your future. Bacne, underarm bumps, and chest and butt acne can make putting on that special outfit particularly stressful, but with the right products, you can clear it up quickly. Peel pads and spot treatments do wonders, but the real work starts in the shower — with body wash.

    Ditch your caramel-strawberry-shimmery soap for one with tea tree oil, salicylic acid, or charcoal, and make sure to wash right after working out or hanging in a wet bikini by the pool. With these easy changes, you'll be on your way to breakout-free skin forever.

    Ahead, the best clarifying, exfoliating, and smoothing body washes for your skin type.

    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.

    Mario Badescu's A.H.A Botanical Body Soap helps exfoliate the skin and smooth irritated areas with ingredients like papaya, grapefruit, and ginseng extract. Ulta reviewers noted that it was especially potent on back acne, and some saw results just days after using it daily.



    Mario Badescu A.H.A Botanical Body Soap, $8, available at Ulta Beauty

    Proactiv — the first brand you ever associated with acne clearing thanks to its incessant commercials on MTV — now has its own dermatologist-developed body wash to help clear pimples and blackheads.



    Proactiv Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash, $35, available at Proactiv

    This non-irritating wash brings together salicylic acid (to clear clogged follicles) and other natural, acne-fighting ingredients like licorice and bergamot. There's eucalyptus and tea tree extracts that soothe the skin in there, too.



    Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash, $38, available at Ulta Beauty

    Black soap is one of the oldest beauty secrets in the book — and for good reason. It sops up oil, clears acne, tightens skin, helps fade scarring, and exfoliates. But it can be a bit stripping for some, which is why this wash has aloe and vitamin E to soothe and hydrate, too.



    SheaMoisture African Black Soap Body Wash, $9.99, available at walgreens.com

    Our editors swear by this natural soap bar. It's made with tea tree extract, activated charcoal, and tons of healthy oils and butters that are key for clear skin. Plus, it's under $10 and lasts months.



    Level Naturals Tea Tree + Activated Charcoal Bar Soap, $8, available at Level Naturals

    Love working out? Try using a gentle exfoliating cleanser that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide so you can remove sweat before it gets trapped in you pores.



    SkinCeuticals Clarifying Exfoliating Cleanser (5 fl oz.), $34, available at DermStore

    We love The Body Shop's entire Tea Tree Oil line for breakout-prone, combination skin types. Just sniffing the scent is enough to clear sinuses; after a quick scrub, you'll feel cleaner than a newborn, but never dry and tight.



    The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Body Wash, $15, available at The Body Shop

    It's difficult to treat acne you can't see, especially when it's on your back. Celebrity aesthetician Reneé Rouleau suggests using an antibacterial cleanser. "It is crucial to gently remove the buildup of skin cells on your back by exfoliating every time you shower,” she says. Put it on a body brush or loofah with a handle and go to town on hard-to-reach areas.



    Noxzema Noxzema Ultimate Clear Daily Deep Pore Cleanser 6 oz, $4.92, available at Walmart

    Another great alternative for back acne is this wash from Murad. Paired with the brand's Clarifying Body Spray, it helps soothe current breakouts and prevent future ones.



    Murad Acne Body Wash, $40, available at Sephora

    Have dry skin and acne? No problem: This creamy wash is made for all skin types. It's got glycolic acid to exfoliate, vitamin E to moisturize, and vitamin C to brighten discoloration. One editor swears by it for taming bikini bumps, too.



    VI Derm Exfoliating Body Wash (8 fl oz.), $40, available at DermStore

    With over 250 five-star reviews on Sephora, this product is an all-star. Technically, it's for the face, but it clears up chest acne like a boss.



    Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Face and Body Soap, $16.5, available at Sephora

    This citrus-scented cleanser is a fan favorite at the drugstore, and for good reason. The body wash contains salicylic acid, vitamin C, and grapefruit extract — all brightening, zit-blasting heroes — but will only set you back around $6.



    Neutrogena Neutrogena® Body Clear® Pink Grapefruit Acne Body Wash - 8.5 fl oz, $6.69, available at Target

    If you're looking to combat your body acne but made the executive decision to shower in the AM — being that you already laid eyes on your bed, and now there's no going back — we've got the product for you. No water required, these gentle yet effective wipes get the job done by fighting impurities with 2% salicylic acid.



    Asepxia Asepxia Acne Medication Wipes 25 ct, $8.99, available at Target

    This unique product serves as a two-for-one: an exfoliating scrub and detox mask in the very same tube. Massage on wet skin for exfoliation, or leave on dry skin for 5-10 minutes as a mask. Bonus: The brand 's signature fragrance of pistachio and salted caramel will mentally transport you to a rainforest shower in Brazil instead of your bathtub in Brooklyn.



    Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bod Buff Smoothing Scrub ‘N’ Mask, $25, available at Sephora

    If you're looking to amp up your post-shower acne body treatments, this scrub does the prep work for you. It unclogs pores and controls oil production to help your skin better absorb the rest of your regimen.



    Peter Thomas Roth Acne Face & Body Scrub, $28, available at Sephora

    Capable of fighting both face and body acne at once, this 10% benzoyl peroxide cleansing body wash is a favorite on Amazon, with hundreds of five-star reviews from people who note it's particularly good at fighting pesky cystic body acne.



    Dr Song Benzoyl Peroxide Wash 10% Acne Treatment, $19.98, available at Amazon

    With a mixture of salicylic acid to clear clogged follicles and finely ground walnut shells to scrub away oil, dirt, and pore-clogging dead skin, this wash is known to completely clear back acne in just a few weeks.



    Alba Botanica Alba Botanica Acnedote, Face & Body Scrub, $8.36, available at Amazon

    Developed by dermatologists, this fragrance-free and salicylic acid-based CeraVe body wash cleanses, exfoliates, and restores the protective skin barrier with help from three essential ceramides.



    CeraVe CeraVe Salicylic Acid Body Wash, $12.99, available at Amazon

    This traditional bar soap keeps your face free of all the bad stuff that causes breakouts, and it works the same magic for your body. It's formulated with glycerin and other ingredients to control oil production. If you're struggling with an oily chest or back — this will be a game-changer.



    Neutrogena Neutrogena Acne Prone Skin Formula Facial Bar 3.50 oz, $6.99, available at Walmart

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

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    Get Glam VR is a behind-the-scenes look at how high-profile celebrities prep for the red carpet. With a full glam squad at their disposal, they show us the behind-the-scenes of major events.

    In this episode of Get Glam, we get ready with Nicole Richie for the fourth Brooklyn exhibit of 29Rooms, our annual immersive experience that celebrates style, culture, and creativity. This year, Richie curated the Star Matter room inspired by the California desert and the 1970s, complete with Instagram-ready glittery capes.

    To pair with her theme, Richie and her team opted for a '70s-inspired look, with a bohemian House of Harlow maxidress and monochromatic bronze makeup. "I don't necessarily always connect to the idea of using hair and makeup to change the way you look," Richie said. "I think it should enhance your already natural beautiful self."

    Press play on this video to get ready with Nicole Richie and learn her beauty hacks — including her go-to eyeshadow palette and mascara trick.

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    These Body Washes Will Get Rid Of Back & Chest Acne Forever

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    At this point, it'd be shocking if news broke that someone or something didn't nefariously influence the 2016 election. But new revelations from Business of Fashion's Voices conference in Oxfordshire, England hit close to home: whistleblower Christopher Wylie, who wore Yeezy sneakers to break the news on Wednesday, revealed that Cambridge Analytica, the data firm of which he was previously the director of research, weaponized fashion brands to help elect now-President Donald Trump.

    The firm used Facebook likes for labels such as Wrangler and L.L. Bean to build algorithms to spread pro-Trump messaging during Trump's controversial presidential campaign.

    Wylie, who insists his "day job" is in fashion, was featured on a lineup that included former Lanvin creative director Alber Elbaz and fellow A-list designer Stella McCartney as speakers at BoF's annual gathering of fashion thinkers and influencers. During his 45-minute lecture, Wylie explained how loyalty to certain fashion brands can signal susceptibility to populist political messaging and how fashion was one of his and former Trump campaign manager Steve Bannon's primary tactics to sway public opinion. "We were about to destroy the world together. I became Icarus and put on wax wings and flew into the sun," Wylie said of his and Bannon's pact to harvest insights from social media.

    In consultation with psychologists, Wylie helped build a research-based graphic brand matrix that showed correlations between fashion brands and five psychological traits — openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism — that were used by Cambridge Analytica to target political messaging. For example, if someone's fashion-related Facebook habits (such as liking pages of brands) showed preference for American brands, that means they were low on openness, thus leaning more conservatively and being more likely to fall prey to pro-Trump rhetoric. If you liked European brands, like anything from Topshop to Kenzo or Balenciaga, you'd reflect the opposite. Thus, the division so talked about it in the media today manifests.

    It's what Wylie referred to as a "weapon of mass destruction," an algorithm he was a central player in creating; the Oxfordshire conference marked the first time Wylie revealed the previously undisclosed information to the public. Wylie first joined SCL Group, a private British behavioral research group (and the precursor to Cambridge Analytica) when it developed cultural weapons to fight extremism and other ideological threats in the military; he then became its research director. "The difference between Facebook and the NSA is simple but profound," Wylie told the audience of delegates and c-suite executives. "The NSA's targets are extremists, foreign spies… on Facebook you are the target."

    To a standing ovation, Wylie concluded his talk with a polarizing — and slightly ominous — remark. "We need cultural defense and we all make and define these cultural narratives. We depend on you to not only make our culture but protect our culture. It is up to you if Trump or Brexit become the Crocs or the Chanel of our political age."

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    If you're planning on banging out some early holiday shopping this weekend — before December 23rd when you'll inevitably reach the point of defeat while being elbowed in a painfully long checkout line at your third toy store stop — we salute your foresight.

    We also suggest you start at Target because the megastore has stocked its shelves with a ton of new seasonal goodies; the best of which can be found in the Beauty & Personal Care aisles. There, you'll find shelves filled with holiday gift sets of all varieties — boxes of body lotion, chic sparkly hair clips, all the bath lovers' essentials — and they're all under $15.

    Check out our must-haves ahead, and get them this weekend — before they sell out and you're forced to schlep around town to find the perfect lip gloss set for your 12-year-old cousin.

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

    This Bliss body butter trio is an easy pick because the formula is rich and moisturizing, plus the scents are universally enjoyable, whether you're into the clean, fresh scent of lemon and sage, an energizing grapefruit and aloe blend, or prefer a fragrance-free formulation.



    Bliss Bliss Facial Skincare Sets - 3ct, $9.99, available at Target

    Kristin Ess is dropping adorable gift sets this again season, all include one of her best-selling styling products paired with a fun holiday accessories, like these sparkly hair pins.



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

    — PAID —

    This Burt's Bees gift set is basically every beauty-lover's dream. Featuring four skin-care essentials — the intense hydration day lotion with clary sage, the facial cleansing oil with ultra-moisturizing coconut and argan oils, the keep-one-in-every-purse conditioning lip balm, and the facial oil featuring rosehip seed extract — it's basically all you need for your a.m. and p.m. routine.

    Burt's Bees Naturally Nurtured Face Care Gift Set, $12.99, available at Target.



    Burt's Bees® Naturally Nurtured Face Care Gift Set, $12.99, available at Target

    Who doesn't love a mini fragrance rollerball set? They're fun, easy to stick in the side pocket of your purse to pull out when you're standing on the stuffy subway platform.



    Good Chemistry Good Chemistry Rollerball Fragrance Gift Set - 3pc, $14.99, available at Target

    Your 12-year-old cousin will flip over this huge lip gloss kit — and it's only a $12 hit to your bank account.



    Target Beauty Vanilla Fragranced Lip Gloss 18ct, $12, available at Target

    You can't go wrong gifting fresh makeup brushes.



    Eco Tools EcoTools Radiant Complexion Beauty Brush Kit - 4pc, $14.99, available at Target

    Holiday hangovers will run on high from now through January, so why not gift your roommate a de-puffing treatment? You can both wear these squishy gold eye patches around the apartment Sunday morning while you're nursing your headache from the couch.



    My Spa Life Everyday Indulgences Gold Hydrogel Eye Strips, $2, available at Target

    We're already fully onboard with the Pixi pencil eyeliner formula because it runs along the lash line like a smooth and silky dream. So, when we can gift a three pack of the most gorgeous and wearable shades — black noir, shimmery copper, and a soft pink — it's kind of a no-brainer.



    Pixi Pixi Cosmetic Set Medium - 0.09oz, $14, available at Target

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    There’s nothing wrong with aging — after all, just think of the alternative. But while surviving another year of life on earth is something worth celebrating (that’s what birthday parties are all about, right?), for some people, embracing the telltale signs of getting older is another thing altogether. Whether you’re 25 or 85, there’s no shame in wanting to maintain the fresh, youthful glow of a much younger person. That’s what anti-aging skin care is for.

    We’re still waiting for someone to discover the real thing, but for now, the closest we can get to a sip from the mythical Fountain of Youth lies in these 10 game-changing products. They might not exactly turn us into Tuck Everlasting, but we’ll take what we can get.

    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 hands-down winner of our 2018 Beauty Innovator Awards is the rare — if not heretofore unheard of — retinoid that suits even overly touchy skin types. With a genius list of ingredients that combines a gentle vitamin-A derivative and exfoliating lactic acid with soothing aloe vera, niacinamide, and coffee extract for a hit of anti-inflammatory antioxidants, it's a brightening, collagen-boosting, pore-clearing powerhouse that nearly all of our editors swear by.



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

    The hype is real: Straddling the line between clinical efficacy and straight-up luxury, this intensely reparative — but surprisingly lightweight! — cream is everything you could ever want from your anti-aging skin-care routine, in one heavy, expensive-looking bottle. The price tag might be tough to swallow, but considering there are 30 years of stem-cell research behind this formula (shoutout to Professor Bader himself), it's a splurge we — and countless other in-the-know beauty enthusiasts who swear by the recent launch — are willing to make.



    Augustinus Bader The Cream, $265, available at Violet Grey

    Like a teaspoon of Tang in your water, add this super-concentrated serum to your favorite moisturizer for skin that’s preternaturally bright. It's like switching the lights on inside your face.



    Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C 10%, $19.5, available at Clinique

    Whether you’re staving off the first signs of aging or trying to do away with the fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots that already exist, this light-as-air treatment has you covered for restoring your skin's youthful glow — and with its silky, serum-like texture, it actually makes applying unsexy, science-y retinol feel chic and indulgent.



    Eve Lom Time Retreat Face Treatment, $110, available at DermStore

    If you're going to promise visibly smoother skin in just one week of use, you better deliver. This rich hydrating cream certainly does, working to blur away fine lines and wrinkles, fade dark spots, and keep skin just the right amount of moisturized without feeling heavy — all in an oil-free, non-comedogenic formula that even the acne-prone can embrace.



    RoC Retinol Correxion Max Daily Hydration Anti-Aging Crème, $16.97, available at Amazon

    If dewiness has always eluded you, this serum boosts the skin’s natural ability to produce hyaluronic acid — a.k.a. the stuff that makes it glow — for a brighter, healthier, fresher-looking complexion.



    SkinCeuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier , $98, available at DermStore

    Not only does this unique booster — meant to be mixed in with your usual serum, sunscreen, oil, or moisturizer — deliver a naturally bronzed glow without ever seeing the sun, but it does you one better, mimicking the antioxidant benefits of vitamin D and defending against pollution and environmental stressors, so you can get all the benefits of sunlight without any of the bad shit.



    Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Serum, $36, available at Sephora

    Some retinoids are too expensive, others are too drying, but we have good news for you, Goldilocks: This one, which hydrates like a lotion and costs less than $10, is just right.



    The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion, $9.8, available at The Ordinary

    Over at the other end of the price spectrum, this powerful treatment — a high-potency blend of vitamin A, fatty acids, and soothing extracts of chamomile and Persian silk tree — will quickly become the hardest-working component of your skin-care routine. Pair it with a gentle cleanser, a lightweight moisturizer, and sunscreen for daytime, and it's really all you need.



    Joanna Vargas Super Nova Serum, $295, available at Violet Grey

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    Murad Rapid Resurfacing Peel, $44, available at DermStore

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    “What if they burn off all my hair and I’m bald for our wedding?” I cried to my fiancé as our Uber driver jostled over a busy cobblestone street on our way to Laces And Hair Salon in São Paulo, Brazil. Four thousand miles from New York City, I was finally visiting the hair mecca Victoria’s Secret models Candice Swanepoel, Barbara Fialho, and Alessandra Ambrosio have gushed about for years. The salon’s main draw? Velaterapia, otherwise known as candle cutting.

    “Then we’ll get you a really nice wig,” he replied, pushing me out of the backseat and into the three-story shopping center where I was meeting with Cris Dios, the salon’s CEO. Since taking over the business from her mother in 1987, Dios has expanded Laces to five locations in São Paulo (with plans to launch in even more cities throughout Brazil, and eventually in the U.S.), and still visits each one to perform the hair-burning procedure herself.

    The 1,200 plants in the salon help muffle the sound of blowdryers for a quiet, relaxing space.Photographed by Camila Falcão

    “My mom learned this technique from my grandfather who came to Brazil in 1920 from Spain,” Dios explains to me, mimicking the way she twists one-inch sections of hair so the split ends stick out, then effectively cauterizes them with a candle flame. The process, which aims to get rid of dry, dead ends without losing any length, remains largely under-researched, and many experts have come out against it based on the risk factor alone. But that hasn’t stopped Brazilian women from doing it. “Alessandra does it. Candice does it," Dios says. "But it’s a dangerous technique. It’s fire! You have to do it with a professional who has experience, not alone.”

    That’s the reason supermodels fly from all over the world, sometimes up to four times a year, to receive the treatment directly from Dios — and it’s the reason I’m here, 10 months before my wedding, to see if it’ll give me the long, lush Victoria’s Secret waves I’ve always dreamed of having on that day. For the models, many of whom arrive straight from the airport with their carry-on bag, Laces represents more than a salon: It’s a total hair retreat from a life of constant photoshoots and styling.

    Women spend hours getting multiple treatments at the salon, which functions more as a spa.Photographed by Camila Falcão

    In person, Laces (a Portuguese word that Dios says translates to "connection" in English) is a sprawling natural spa, with exposed wood, oversized leather couches, trickling fountains, and 1,200 lush green plants hanging from the ceiling. Stylists roam about the space, offering hot tea, herbal foot soaks, and shoulder massages as Brazilian samba music pulses quietly overhead. When there is a full moon, a day many Brazilians believe is superior for your hair’s growth cycle based on astrology, they roll back the ceiling in some locations and cut clients’ hair under the stars. There’s no loud whirring of blowdryers, no pungent odors from bleach or chemical dyes, and no frantic rushing you find in most overbooked city salons. If there is a hair heaven, this is it.

    “All of our stores have this climate, this mood — it’s important for us because we believe that wellness and silence and being introspective is good for the health of hair and skin and your body,” Dios explains, hoisting my feet onto a stool as I nestle into a massive leather chair. “We try to follow the natural rituals and the full moon is a special day to do this kind of treatment. When you do this, you make the hair grow.”

    My hair before the treatment.Photographed by Camila Falcão

    I take a sip of herbal tea, trying to settle my nerves as Dios arranges her tray next to me; on it are two short candles, a pair of sharp scissors, and a black hand towel. She waves over another stylist, who begins twisting my waist-length hair into one-inch sections all over my head. “You ready?” she asks, striking a long match. I nod slowly and watch from the corner of my eye as she brings the candle to my head, slowly passing it from the ends up to my ears, the sound of sizzling hair following in its wake. I let out a long exhale. While I can definitely sense the faint smell of burning hair around me, my strands don’t go up in flames like I’ve seen in some velaterapia videos. None of the other customers even glance in my direction. “We do it in a gentle way,” Dios reassures me, working her way slowly around my head until she’s treated all the sections.

    When she’s finished, she combs through my hair and the tiny burned pieces fall to the floor like snow. Once everything is brushed smooth, she holds her scissors horizontally to trim off any other stubborn pieces — a process they call “bordado,” or “embroidery,” at Laces, but is commonly referred to as “dusting” in the United States. When she’s done, she blows out the candle and scoops out the warm wax with her fingers before smoothing it all over my hair, explaining that it’s made of moisturizing tree nut oil to rehydrate my strands.

    Cris Dios, the salon's CEO, begins the velaterapia process on my hair.Photographed by Camila Falcão

    At this point, I assumed Dios would rinse out the oil, and start my blowout — but, it turns out, the velaterapia (which typically costs around $150) was only the beginning of my day at Laces. Over the course of the next five and a half hours, a flurry of stylists stopped by my chair for one indulgent treatment after the next. One swept a vitamin-rich mask across my hairline with a brush, while another prodded my head with an electrical suction device meant to “stimulate the follicles” but really just felt like an intensive scalp massage. Moments later, a woman came by to knead my tired shoulders, while another soaked my feet in an herbal bath before asking if she could paint my toenails a rich shade of red. I looked around the salon, and everyone else was leaning back in their chairs enjoying the same thing. Unlike most salons I’ve visited, this wasn’t a place to get your hair done and get out so the next person can take your spot — it was a ritual to be enjoyed.

    “Hair is one of our more important and looked-after features,” Paula Merlo, editor-in-chief of Vogue Brazil, and a Laces regular, tells me. “High class ladies will go to the salon at least once a week for a blowout, manicure, or hair treatments.” In a country that places a high value on aesthetics (Brazil accounts for 10 percent of the world’s cosmetic plastic surgeries), hair is an especially important marker of beauty — and women are willing to spend a lot, regardless of income, to maintain a specific ideal. “Brazil is a poor country,” says Dios. “We don’t have much money to do many things, but [beauty] is important. You might have a small salary, but you buy the shampoo, conditioner, and mask, you do the treatment, you do the nails.”

    After sweeping on a vitamin-rich hair mask, the stylists use a suction device to press it into the scalp.Photographed by Camila Falcão

    According to research by Pantene, which holds the number one spot in the country’s hair market, Brazilian women color their hair 20% more, use flatirons 60% more and chemically straighten their hair 300% more than women in the U.S. Because of that, hair treatments, like the ones Laces is known for, have become increasingly popular.

    “Healthy hair is a must, so women are constantly looking for ways to maintain their hair’s beauty, despite everything they put it through,” says Rodrigo Finotti, Pantene’s marketing director who was born in Brazil and launched Rescue Shots — the country's number one conditioning treatment since 2010 — as a direct response to the trend. (The ampoules will finally be sold at U.S. drugstores this January.) “As the Brazilian economy improved, more women were able to go to the salon and explore new treatments,” Finotti adds.

    In the past year, as the natural hair movement has gone global, more Brazilian women are putting down the flatirons and easing up on the blowouts — and products and procedures to undo the damage are surging. “Currently, women searching for how to go back to natural curls online is outpacing their search for how to straighten their curls by 2x,” Finotti says. “This shift can be attributed to women embracing their individual look. Gone are the days where there is just one style that is considered beautiful.”

    At Laces, the natural treatments are aimed at restoring the hair's health.Photographed by Camila Falcão

    For Laces, a place that proselytizes a natural, health-based approach to hair, this makes them a popular destination for people looking to rehab their curls, coils, and waves. “The care, attention, and affection they had with my curls was what really won me over,” says Ana Leal, a Brazilian model and TV presenter who regularly visits Laces for scalp and multivitamin hair treatments. “I feel that my relationship with my hair nowadays is the best possible.”

    And despite the salon having a reputation for “Victoria’s Secret hair,” that ideal is shifting within its own walls, too — especially as the lingerie brand comes under fire for promoting an unrealistic, and non-inclusive, view of beauty. “I think times are changing and this ‘Victoria's Secret’ ideal is dying here when we talk about hair and when we talk about body types,” says Isabella Scherer, a Brazilian actress who has frequented the salon since 2013. Adds Merlo, “The ideal hair is the one that respects your roots. We don’t want to be slaves of hair that isn’t culturally yours, or expensive, or time consuming.”

    My hair after the treatment.Photographed by Camila Falcão

    As my stylist finally washed my hair out in the sink, using the chilled mineral water they treat to a perfect pH of 7 (they really don’t miss a detail), I had almost forgotten that four hours earlier, I had elected to light my hair on fire. The stylist started to blowdry my hair, inviting me to touch one side when it was dry. The second I ran my fingers through my strands, I noticed that something felt… different. Softer, definitely, and way less scraggly on the ends, but with a slightly altered texture that I can only compare to the way my hair feels after getting a fresh dye job. They finished the blowout and turned me around to face the mirror, and there they were: lush, full, Victoria’s Secret waves. I was thrilled.

    Over the next few weeks, everyone — from my fiancé to my best friend who took me wedding dress shopping — commented on how healthy and sexy my hair looked. When I blow dried it, my hair was smooth and sleek, with less frizz. It air dried faster, my loose wave pattern was as defined as ever, and even the color looked brighter. There were still some issues leftover from before I had the treatment (breakage from ponytails, tangling), but overall, the results were pretty great.

    But as a skeptic, and as someone who has read warnings about velaterapia gone wrong, I was still worried about the underlying health of my hair. So I went to Liz Phillips, a trichologist at the Philip Kingsley Institute in New York City. Without telling her that I had undergone candle cutting just two weeks prior, I asked her to analyze the health of my strands.

    “In general, you have a really nice head of hair,” she told me, after three different assessments (including inspecting my hair with a dermascope). “The density of the hair is fantastic, and the quality overall is good. But being utopian, we could put a little more elasticity, sheen, and moisture to the last 12 inches or so.”

    I asked her if there appeared to be any significant heat damage to that section, and she explained that there wasn’t anything that stood out to her beyond normal wear-and-tear based on my length and past bleach jobs. When I fessed up to the velaterapia, she nodded and reiterated that while there was no significant damage done, that had a lot to do with the strength of my hair follicle and the fact that I only did it once.

    “I don’t look at this and say, Whoa, this is an absolute critical point, something went on here,” she says, adding that burned hair is “very marked” in appearance. “But the cuticle isn’t laying as smoothly as we’d like, the scales want to curl up, and so the hair looks drier than it might be. Processing, highlighting, that would also be part of it. It’s cumulative.”

    After the velaterapia, Dios trimmed off any remaining dead ends with scissors. Photographed by Camila Falcão

    While there isn’t a ton of research on velaterapia, Philips reiterates that it should only be done under the care of an expert – someone who can assess whether your hair can handle it. And while some salons market it as “healthy” for the hair, Philips says the benefits are purely cosmetic — and should be treated as such. “We’re looking to get the hair to behave, to eliminate the potential for humidity and frizz, to present better,” she explains. “But it’s resurfacing the hair and compressing it; if you can imagine the fiber being steamrolled. One of my biggest areas of concern is with the repeated processing.”

    For those looking for a way to effectively eliminate dry, dead ends without losing length, Philips recommends a dusting with a sharp pair of scissors, and a moisturizing mask — a practice that Brazilian hairstylists João Bosco and Fernanda Lacerda have already started adopting, and one that’s also offered as a standalone at Laces. “These days, I like the dusting technique more than the velaterapia; it’s a little bit more low maintenance and it does the same [thing],” says Lacerda, who owns Maria Bonita, a Brazilian salon in New York City. “I feel like people are less scared, so we started going toward dusting with a beautiful deep conditioning afterward.”

    In the end, would I skip the fire portion the second time around and just go for a dusting? Maybe. But do I regret flying 4,000 miles to South America for it? Not for a second. Because my biggest takeaway from my 10-day trip to Brazil wasn’t a deep conditioning treatment or shedding a few dead ends — it was changing the way I feel about my hair entirely. As I walked along the beaches of Rio or whipped my head around in an underground Samba club, I found myself carrying myself and my hair differently — with the kind of confident sexuality Brazilians have basically patented. “For Brazilian woman, the hair is powerful,” Helena Augusta, a publicist in São Paulo, told me over caipirinhas one night. In fact, there’s even a phrase for it in Portuguese: bate cabelo. “It’s part of our culture. When you flip it around and shake it, you are saying your hair is natural, you are powerful, and you are sexy.” And for Brazilians, that’s the real secret.

    Travel and accommodations were provided to the author by Pantene.

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    I hope you’ve heard of Roxsana Hernandez by now. If not, you should know her story —because it lives in all of our vows to make this country better, in whatever path you’ve chosen to meet that end.

    I never met Roxsana, but I do know she had a dream.

    Roxsana's dream was stolen from her exactly six months ago, when she — a 33-year-old transgender woman from Honduras who arrived in the United States with the early caravan of Central American refugees — died while in custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). According to a new independent autopsy report spearheaded by lawyers, Roxsana’s medical needs were not only blatantly denied by ICE agents, but she was also brutally abused by them. The report revealed that Roxsana had bruising injuries all over her body and was “shackled for days on end.” Every violent mark engrained in her fragile body, a testament to Roxsana’s dream: the right to be herself. In her own skin. Although Roxsana may no longer be with us, her dream is alive with the dozens of transgender refugees that are part of the current caravan seeking asylum on our border.

    As I was reading the summary of Roxsana’s autopsy report, I wondered if her last breaths were clouded by a regret to have embarked on this journey. Was it worth it to flee Honduras’ extreme violence only to be greeted with more injustice in the United States? Why go through all of this pain? But I soon realized that I was asking the wrong questions — because Roxsana’s death embodied the very pride that impulsed her dream in the first place. If I have learned anything from the trans Latinx community is that dignity is always worth fighting for. No matter the cost. And that’s exactly the resilience I saw in the eyes of the trans community that is in the midst of making the same journey Roxsana did not too long ago. Gazes that may have been scarred from the past, but wide enough to see the light at the end of the road.

    The daily news coverage on the caravan should give us all reasons to believe that light is inevitably dimming. From the anti-migrant protests held in Mexico to the tear gas attacks executed at our border, the prospects of resolving this crisis in a humane manner seem to be slowly fading. I certainly felt this way, until my recent trip to Tijuana, where I met the group of trans refugees that were among the first members of the caravan to reach the U.S.-Mexico border. Through them I witnessed how, amidst all the darkness that is obscuring this story, this group of individuals has managed to keep their heads up high, holding on tightly to a hope that affirms every step taken thus far in this exodus. After weeks of traveling thousands of miles and facing harassment along the way, the trans community is transforming hardship into celebration.

    When I met them, tucked away in an LGBTQ+ refuge located in the center of bustling Tijuana, I saw how the days here ended with music blasting, cumbia dancing, and make up parties. Laughter as they sorted through donated items, wide grins as they waited in line for pizza and, more than anything, a contagious sisterhood that filled the room with boundless love. It was the type of love that rid them from any inch of shame they had ever felt. One that got them closer to freedom.

    Acts that may seem mundane to many of us, are sometimes the simple answers this community is looking for. To feel beautiful. To love. To dress as you wish. To have basic opportunities. Really, to be treated as human beings. And although it may take months until these brave trans refugees are able to apply for asylum in the United States, just like all the other thousands of members of the caravan, the vision of a future now seems clearer than ever before. It’s inevitable to look forward when much of what you are leaving behind are countries stained with some of the highest rates of transphobic violence: 78% of all homicides of transgender people in the world take place in Latin America and reports show that transgender women in the region have a life expectancy of only 35 years. Roxsana Hernandez fled Honduras precisely to escape those statistics. Instead, she became one under the watch of the current U.S. administration.

    Roxsana’s tragic death might signal hesitation to other LGBTQ+ individuals hoping to cross, just like she did. But there are a group of incredible transgender Latinx leaders on the other side of the Mexican border that are keeping Roxsana’s spirit alive. Activists like Jennicet Gutiérrez, Isa Noyola, Karolina Lopez, or Nakay Flotte — all fighting for justice to ensure no other trans life is cut short. All paying homage to Roxsana’s dream by holding the government accountable, by raising their voices for the most vulnerable and, more than anything, by unapologetically being themselves. Roxsana’s friends say she had dreams of opening a beauty salon. And I have no doubt a salon will one day be opened and named after her by one of the caravan’s transgender members. Maybe, they’ll even name it "Roxsana’s Dream."

    Paola Ramos is the host of VICE’s “Latin-X”, a weekly contributor for Telemundo News and an Emerson Collective fellow. Paola was the former Deputy Director of Hispanic Media for Hillary Clinton, as well as a former political appointee in the Obama White House.

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    Welcome to Refinery29’s career column Advice From A Nice Girl. Every month, readers can ask Fran Hauser, bonafide boss and author of the book The Myth Of The Nice Girl , their hardest career quandaries, from managing your overly emotional boss to overcoming your biggest work fear. But this advice column comes with a twist — the reader has to take Fran’s advice and report back.

    This month, we hear from a 30-year-old corporate accounting manager who's preparing for end-of-year performance reviews.

    Question: I’m a first-time manager and need to do performance reviews in the new year. I have to give some tough feedback to one person on my team, and I’m really nervous. I don’t want to come across as too mean, but I also know its important that I be honest about what they need to work on. I don’t even know how to begin the conversation. Help!

    Fran's Advice: Giving feedback — especially critical feedback — is a struggle for so many managers, at every level! Early in my career, I avoided it at all costs. But then I realized that I was doing a disservice to people by not sharing honest feedback. As a manager, your responsibility is to help your team learn and grow. Once I was able to change my mindset and think of feedback as a powerful tool to help people improve on their skills and talents, it calmed my nerves. I also found a style of feedback that works best for me: kind and direct. Here are my four steps to giving empathetic feedback.

    1. Frame it positively. First, you need to put the person at ease so they are more capable of listening and receiving the feedback. If you start the meeting with the “bad news” or come across as threatening in any way, you’ll immediately trigger the person’s defense emotions and they won’t be able to process anything you’re saying. It’s because of the amygdala, the part of the brain that turns on your body’s fight-or-flight response when it senses a threat. When activated, the amygdala sets off a cascade of hormonal reactions that cause you to become angry, want to run away, or shut down. To avoid this, start with some kind words and point out things the the team member is doing right. You also need to convey the feeling that you care about their professional development and that you are on their side. Use phrases like, “I’m your biggest champion,” or “I believe you have a very successful career in front of you and want to be helpful in any way I can.” Don’t use phrases like, “Here are some things we need to talk about,” or “Here are some areas I’m finding challenging for you.”

    2. Ask questions. I’ve found that asking carefully framed questions can often lead the other person to deliver their own feedback. Instead of saying, "What do you think you could have done differently?" say, "What do you think could have been done differently?" Dropping the "you" is a subtle shift that puts emphasis on the outcome, not the person, and can feel less personal and more productive. Focus on the facts and the behavior you’d like to see in the future instead of making any emotional statements or blaming the other person for what has happened. Asking the team member how they think they performed can lead them to address some issues on their own and can evolve into a meaningful dialogue, without feeling like an attack.

    3. Be specific about the person’s developmental areas. I once had a boss who was so nice, and her feedback was very wishy washy — I had no idea what I was supposed to do, so I just ignored it. You don’t want that. Be clear and provide as much context as possible as to why addressing this challenge will be helpful to everyone. Here’s an example: My team member Liz once sent me a presentation draft but the formatting of the financial section was off. Instead of giving her a complaint, I presented the greater context. I said, “If your financials are misaligned or look sloppy, it can give people a lack of confidence in your numbers.” Once she understood why it was so important, she was happy to fix the formatting issues and was more careful about it in the future.

    4. Develop shared next steps. End the conversation with an action plan that lists the specific things your direct report is going to do and what you are going to do to help. This will ensure that what you’ve said has sunk in and that they understand you are supporting them on their professional journey. You don’t want them to think this is a one and done conversation. Come up with a timeline; maybe that you are going to check in again in 30 days. Then really deliver on what you said you would do. For example, if the developmental area is that the person needs to be more collaborative and seek expertise and advice from others, your role may be introducing them to three new people in a certain field. Follow through on that, and soon you’ll both begin to see the positive benefit of a culture of feedback.

    Tune in next month to hear back from our reader to see how the year-end reviews turned out.

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

    Today, as part of Your Spending In Your State: an assistant managing editor working in publishing who makes $24,288 per year and spends some of her money this week on pumpkins.

    Occupation: Assistant Managing Editor
    Industry: Publishing
    Age: 22
    Location: Lawrence, KS
    Income: $12.65/hour ($24,288 annually)
    Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $807

    Monthly Expenses
    Rent: $689
    Utilities: $130
    Health/Dental Insurance: $0 (I'm on my parents' plan.)
    Cell Phone: $0 (I'm on my parents' plan.)
    401(k): $33 (about 4% of my paycheck)
    Hulu/Spotify: $12.99
    Internet: $30

    Day One

    9:30 a.m. — It's Sunday, so I wake up a little later than usual and enjoy the chance to sleep in. My boyfriend and I think about where we'd like to get brunch, and decide on our favorite go-to sandwich shop/bakery. I love it because it's never crowded during the Sunday brunch craze, and they serve huge sandwiches on freshly made bread, plus their prices never budge. I live in a college town and the usual go-to spots are pretty crowded this time of day. I get a chicken salad sandwich. $7.30

    12 p.m. — I suggest a spontaneous trip to the pumpkin patch on the edge of town. It's a beautiful day for the end of October. I pick out two pumpkins but end up putting one of the large ones back because it's too expensive. I get two small ones. $4.30

    3 p.m. — After setting out the pumpkins on my front porch and relaxing at home with my cats for a bit, I head to the grocery store for my weekly shopping trip. I like where I live because it's in close proximity to everything, and I'm within walking distance of the grocery store. I get a pound of ground beef, half a pound of lunch meat from the deli counter, baked beans, cheese, bagels, pita chips, pasta, an onion, eggs, sandwich spread, and cat litter for $43.51. My goal is usually around $30 for the week, but $43.51 isn't too bad. $43.51

    5 p.m. — My boyfriend comes over, and I make meatloaf. It's one of my favorite things to make because it's so easy, and it's my mom's recipe. It turns out great, and I serve it with baked beans and buttered white bread. A Midwesterner's dream!

    Daily Total: $55.11

    Day Two

    7:15 a.m. — I hit the snooze button an appropriate number of times for a Monday and finally roll out of bed. I take a shower and throw on some clothes. I'm running late but I packed my lunch (a sandwich) last night. I grab it out of the fridge along with a bagel and head out the door.

    8 a.m. — I get to work and spend the first half hour eating my bagel with cream cheese and responding to emails. Usually there's a slew that come in over the weekend. I work in publishing and help authors through the peer review process as well as oversee production.

    10 a.m. — I do some light editing on papers that have just come in. Part of my job is making sure the papers adhere to our specific journal style.

    12 p.m. — Lunchtime! I usually bring a turkey sandwich or turkey wrap. Today I brought a wrap with some new chipotle spread on it.

    1 p.m. — I spend most of the afternoon working on various journals and sending emails to authors to turn in their corrected papers. I also remind reviewers when they need to send in their reviews of papers and spend time looking over proofs that have come back from typesetting to see if there are any errors.

    4 p.m. — I'm out the door! I head to Walgreens to pick up a prescription. $8

    4:30 p.m. — I get home, and I'm starving. I pretty much immediately start to prepare dinner. Tonight I make linguine in a butter and garlic sauce with peas. I put freshly shredded cheese on top.

    6:30 p.m. — I do some laundry and watch a few episodes of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which I've just started watching. I love that my new place has a washer and dryer. My old place was only $500 but didn't have a washer, dryer, or dishwasher, and I've learned not to take those things for granted in my new place.

    Daily Total: $8

    Day Three

    8 a.m. — Work is pretty slow today. I take my time doing things, but I wish the time would pass faster. I forgot to bring a bagel, so I have to shell out $3.04 for a protein bar from the vending machine. $3.04

    5 p.m. — It's my boyfriend's birthday, so we go to dinner at a great Thai place with our friends. I pay for our dinners, pad Thai, spring rolls, and a bowl of tom yum soup. $33.52

    8 p.m. — We get drinks with friends at our favorite local pub. I ask for a warm cider but the bartender runs out of cider halfway through pouring the drink, so he gives it to me for free. Half a drink for free? I'll take it! Our friends brought their dogs, so we sit outside.

    Daily Total: $36.56

    Day Four

    12 p.m. — One of my friends is moving out of town, so I get lunch with her at a popular burger place. It's nice to get out of the office for a little bit and catch up with a friend, since I usually just eat at my desk. The $10.36 is most definitely worth it. $10.36

    1 p.m. — Work is slow again today, but I send out more emails to authors and edit more proofs. Since I took lunch out of the office, I have to stay later to make up for my lunch hour.

    5 p.m. — After work I go the store to buy candy for trick-or-treaters. Have I mentioned that today is Halloween? I really hope I get trick-or-treaters this year. I grew up in the country and never got a chance to hand out candy growing up, and in college I always went out on Halloween. $5

    6 p.m. — There is a glorious thing called “50 Cent Corn Dog Day” that happens occasionally at Sonic Drive-Ins, and Halloween just happens to coincide with it today. My boyfriend and I head to Sonic and get an undisclosed number of corn dogs along with mozzarella sticks. He pays.

    7 p.m. — I actually get some trick-or-treaters! I'm pretty excited. By the end of the night, about half my candy is gone.

    Daily Total: $15.36

    Day Five

    12 p.m. — I have leftover pad Thai for lunch. I'm of the belief that two-day-old cold noodles are just as good as fresh noodles, and they're a lot better than my usual turkey sandwich.

    5 p.m. — My boyfriend makes spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner. We watch Mad Men, which I've seen about seven times through, but he is watching for the first time. It's kind of bizarre seeing Kiernan Shipka as a young Sally Draper because I've been watching Sabrina, but I manage to get past the massive age leap.

    Daily Total: $0

    Day Six

    5 p.m. — Dinner at my favorite Greek restaurant! The prices are so amazingly cheap, and they have something called a Greek grilled cheese, which is about as good as it sounds (very). $9.99

    8 p.m. — My friend is having a birthday party, and I decide to get her a bottle of Prosecco. It's $14.03. The party is laid back, and we all write down topics to talk about and put them in a bowl to pass around. I've never done this at a party before, but it leads to some great conversations. People really liked my question — “What were you like in high school?” (I was quiet, but obsessed with music.) I get home around 1 a.m. $14.03

    Daily Total: $24.02

    Day Seven

    9 a.m. — I wake up and spend a couple hours relaxing since it's Saturday. Usually I'd get breakfast with the BF, but he's working today.

    11 a.m. — I decide I need a massive breakfast burrito and head to the local burrito stand. I didn't account for the fact that it today is a game day. I live close to downtown, and the burrito place is super close to the stadium, so it takes me eons to get my burrito because of the extra traffic. It's worth it, though. It's filled with chorizo, eggs, veggies, and salsa, and I definitely get the meat sweats afterwards. $5.68

    1 p.m. — I shower and give the house a quick vacuum. Saturdays are my cleaning days, but I usually do mini clean ups throughout the week, so my apartment really isn't that messy. Then I sit down to watch the last episode of Sabrina, which I will not spoil, but I'm dying to talk about!

    5 p.m. — My boyfriend and I go to our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner. I get two cheese and onion enchiladas with rice and beans, which also happens to be my favorite meal of all time. $10.82

    8:30 p.m. — We hang out with some friends. We originally had plans to go out, but it starts raining heavily, so we stay at their apartment for a few drinks.

    Daily Total: $16.50

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

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    There's only a very small window of the year when light outerwear comes into play (okay, unless you live in L.A., S.F., or San Diego... shhh). But for everyone else that lives somewhere that actually experience all four seasons, we only have a month or two where we can enjoy our light jackets before we have to pack them away solemnly. Sometimes it feels like we'll be wearing our puffer jackets forever.

    But, before we move into our puffers, we're indulging in one of our favorite styles, the duster coat. It's light, it's long, it's floaty, and literally everyone should own one. Why? It looks, shall we say, Victoria-Beckham-level chic every time, and it can top off just about any throw-on-and-go outfit you can dream up. Jeans and a sweater? Duster right on top. Leggings and a hoodie for brunch? Top it off, once again, with that duster.

    From silky, kimono-esque styles to more masculine-inspired ones, we highly recommend you add this staple to your closet. And if you're wondering what exactly constitutes a "duster," they're typically lightweight, full-length coat that features no buttons. (The style was originally worn in the 1920s, back when people would travel in an open car).

    So click ahead to shop some of our favorites right now. There's so many dusters we love, and so little time to wear them in.

    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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    No matter the length, texture, or style of our hair, we’re always on the hunt for ways to make every last strand as lustrous as possible. But between monthly colorist appointments, an affinity for hot tools, and unpredictable weather conditions, this is no easy task. So to help repair the damage caused by chemicals, heat, Mother Nature, and genetics, there’s nothing better than a hair mask to get yours back into tip-top shape.

    Not to be confused with your daily conditioner, a hair mask (or masque, if you prefer) is more intense, usually thicker, and should be left on for anywhere from three to 15 minutes — sometimes even overnight if your strands are in need of some extra TLC.

    “Daily conditioners just touch the surface of the hair,” says Renee Pelc, expert colorist and owner of Gloss Salon in Chicago. “While your regular hydrator lowers the pH of your hair, which makes your hair appear smooth and shiny, it’s not doing anything to actually restructure the hair.”

    Of course, one hair mask does not fit all hair types, so we rounded up a splurge and a bargain option for 10 different textures and styles, from curly to oily to fine. So, until we can crack the code on how to have perfect hair year-round, these secret weapons are the next best things.

    Keep clicking to discover the mask that's right for your hair and budget.

    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.

    Curly Hair: Splurge

    This mask eliminates frizz and hydrates curls for soft, happy hair. It might be pricey, but you only need a small amount each time, so it should last you.



    Kérastase Discipline Maskeratine Hair Mask, $59, available at Kérastase

    Curly Hair: Bargain

    This oil- and butter-rich formula is so luscious, we kind of want to slather it all over our bodies. But we’ve found that it really works wonders for strengthening curls that are prone to occasional — or regular — frizz and breakage.



    SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Masque, $8.09, available at Ulta Beauty

    Long Hair: Splurge

    Moisturizing masks can be a bit heavy for long hair, but this one never weighs ours down despite its oil-rich formula. It's packed full of quinoa, sunflower seed oil, and rahua oil to hydrate and smooth dull hair.



    Rahua Omega 9 Hair Mask, $58, available at Rahua

    Long Hair: Bargain

    A drugstore favorite, this mask claims to repair a year’s worth of damage in one use. Ceramides work to restore split ends, weak and rough cuticles, and thirsty tresses in need of a serious overhaul.



    L'Oréal Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm, $5.99, available at TargetPhoto: Via L'Oréal.

    Short Hair: Splurge

    Drybar, the brand that brings you killer blowouts on demand, makes a lightweight mask that’s perfect for those with short locks, too. Moringa seed oil provides hydration without heaviness, while protein and yuzu oil add resiliency and shine that turns heads.



    DryBar Mudslide Nourishing Hair Mask, $35, available at Nordstrom

    Short Hair: Bargain

    The name of this ingredient-packed magic mask says it all, working to transform your hair (you guessed it) 10 different ways. But, even though it's overloaded with benefits, this formula won’t weigh down your strands.



    It's a 10 It's a 10 Miracle Hair Mask - 8oz, $30.49, available at Target.comPhoto: Via It'a A 10.

    Color-Treated: Splurge

    The container alone could tell you this product is fancy, but it’s what’s inside that really counts. The wild mango butter, edelweiss flower extract, and keratin-packed formula keeps color-treated hair healthy and soft — even after your third touch-up this season.



    Oribe Masque for Beautiful Color, $63, available at Amazon

    Color-Treated: Bargain

    This formula is made with 98% naturally-derived ingredients, including goji berry extract, to keep your color vibrant and your hair silky. The best part? If you're in a time crunch, it works its magic in as little as one minute, so you don't have to take a longer shower just to give your hair some TLC.



    Garnier Garnier Fructis Color Vibrancy Treat 1 Minute Mask , $7.49, available at Walmart

    Straight Hair: Splurge

    This mask means serious business: Among restructuring ingredients like hydrolyzed keratin, this straight-hair savior also contains grape phytoceuticals, which are loaded with antioxidants — a must for city-dwellers barraged daily by urban pollution.



    Davines Nourishing Vegetarian Miracle Conditioner, $34, available at Davines

    Straight Hair: Bargain

    This formula is technically meant to be used as a pre-shampoo treatment, but it's also great as deep conditioner. It's full of hydrating avocado, olive, and almond oils, which means it always leaves our hair feeling soft and looking shiny.



    Burts Bees Avocado Butter Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatment, $8.99, available at Target

    Dry Hair: Splurge

    The term "intensive care" isn’t usually seen in the context of hair, but that’s exactly what this powerful mask promises: a reparative, rejuvenating experience that leaves dry, tired, compromised hair silky and transformed after a single use.



    Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil, $71, available at Christophe Robin

    Dry Hair: Bargain

    If you haven’t picked up Aussie’s products since you were in college, then it’s about time you revisit the purple kangaroo. In just three minutes, this deep-conditioning treatment hydrates dry and damaged 'dos with good old-fashioned aloe and jojoba seed oil.



    Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioning Treatment, $2.97, available at Target

    Damaged/Sensitized: Splurge

    This sulfate-, silicone-, and paraben-free mask can be used weekly to revive damaged or brittle hair. It's loaded with rosehip oil, almond oil, vitamin B, and algae extract to enhance shine, control frizz, and soften.



    Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask, $36, available at Sephora

    Damaged/Sensitized: Bargain

    This baby smells so good, it may as well be a body butter. Delicious scent aside, ingredients like olive oil penetrate damaged strands while almond oil gives our hair a nice sheen. Just one use at home will make you feel like you just left the salon.



    Neutrogena Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask , $8.57, available at Walmart

    Thick Hair: Splurge

    You get what you pay for with this miracle worker. Alterna’s proprietary Enzymetherapy delivery system literally helps to pump up the formation of keratin in your thick head of hair. Add frankincense and French Champagne-quality grapeseed oil to the mix and this product is pure luxury.



    Alterna Hair Masque, $55, available at AlternaPhoto: Via Alterna.

    Thick Hair: Bargain

    We know: Hearing the word "butter" combined with build-up on thick hair doesn't sound like a magical duo, but it actually is. Although it's deeply hydrating, the real magic is in how this mask buffs away product buildup at the root for a deep clean on even your most product-heavy hair day.



    Not Your Mother's Matcha Green Tea & Wild Apple Blossom Butter Masque, $9, available at Not Your Mother's

    Fine Hair: Splurge

    This lightweight mask is made with rose petals, lavender stem, and beta-carotene, which helps moisturize and strengthen strands without weighing them down.



    Aesop Rose Hair & Scalp Moisturising Masque, $35, available at Nordstrom

    Fine Hair: Bargain

    Your hair is left silky sans the grease and is enriched with diamond dust to give it superior shine. Yes, this is our bargain suggestion.



    Wella Brilliance Treatment for Fine To Normal Colored Hair, $13.9, available at Ulta BeautyPhoto: Via Wella.

    Oily Hair: Splurge

    Platinum, diamonds, luxurious volume: The benefits promised by the name of this formula alone are enough to make you want to hit that Add to Bag button. But go a little deeper, and you'll find a list of ingredients that strengthen the case for spending $60 on a hair mask — and strengthen your hair, too. With lightweight hydrating oils, a blend of replenishing peptides, hydrolyzed keratin, and more, you've got everything you need to keep grease-prone hair happy, without making it greasier.



    Miriam Quevedo Platinum & Diamonds Luxurious Volume Hair Mask, $60, available at Nordstrom

    Oily Hair: Bargain
    The keyword here is lightweight — anything too heavy will only make oily hair even oilier. This classic formula is the perfect balance between hydrating and weightless — and in this single-serving packet, it’s easier to use (and less expensive) than ever.



    Nexxus Humectress Ultimate Moisture Intensely Hydrating Masque, $2.99, available at Target

    Natural Hair: Splurge

    After wearing a protective style for weeks, the detangling process can take hours and often results in tons of hair around the sink. You need a treatment that is going to revive your Afro. This one has rice, wheat, and soy proteins to minimize breakage and bolster your strands for the next braided or twisted hairstyle.



    DevaCurl Deep Sea Repair, $36, available at DevaCurl

    Natural Hair: Bargain

    With natural hair, it's about striking the perfect balance between moisturizing and strengthening ingredients. This formula has a bit of both, and it has tingling mint oil to stimulate the scalp. Leave it on for 30 minutes under a shower cap, and you'll be left with soft, breakage-resistant coils.



    Mielle Organics Mielle Organics Deep Conditioner Babassu & Mint, $12.79, available at Target

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    The future of beauty is here — and you’re invited. Check out the rest of our 2018 Refinery29 Beauty Innovator Awards winners for a full look at the products, brands, and people that are breaking the rules and redefining beauty standards, one lipstick at a time.

    As if finding the right shade wasn't difficult enough, the plight of hunting down the perfect foundation does not end there. The struggle continues over the course of the day, when you actually have to wear the stuff for hours on end, praying that this particular formula can hold up long enough to maintain some semblance of a fresh-faced glow by the time you're staring at your exhausted reflection in the office bathroom at 6 p.m.

    It's all very tricky business, which is why we've done the work to compile a list of the crème de la crème of foundations — the ones that perfect skin while still looking like skin. Our reviews are sourced from the people who know: our Beauty Innovator Awards testers, who tried every buzzy tinted moisturizer and best-selling liquid formula to hit the shelves this past year.

    Ahead, we give you the four top-rated foundations, plus a little backstory on why we love them so much. Scroll through to find your new favorite.

    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.

    "Because of this stick foundation's creamy texture, crazy-expansive shade range, and the fact that my shade melts into my skin seamlessly, I actually use these babies all over my face — my color match, plus a slightly darker shade to deepen my contour and a brighter one to hide under-eye bags. Just when I thought it was all too good to be true, I found out that the coverage actually lasts all day long. So, it's game over for me." —Thatiana Diaz, Beauty Writer



    Flesh Beauty Firm Flesh Thickstick Foundation, $18, available at Ulta Beauty

    "I'm still not totally sold on an entire foundation range consisting of just 10 shades, even if they claim to adjust to your individual skin tone, no matter how fair or deep. But, skepticism aside, there's something about this weightless tint that's gotten me hooked. Although the coverage is light, it hides pimples and dark circles without masking features I want to show off, like freckles. It simply reminds me of how good my skin can look without pounds of cake-y makeup — and if I actually got 8 hours of sleep every night." —Sam Sasso, Beauty Writer



    Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Perfector Skin Tint Foundation SPF 25, $36, available at Sephora

    "If you, like me, like looking dewy to the point of teetering-on-greasy, you'll also become obsessed with this quasi-foundation. It's really more of a runny oil that has a colored tint to it, and when I rub it into my skin, I get the perfect sheer coverage — like a bright, just-got-a-facial glow on an uneventful Tuesday morning." —Jessica Cruel, Deputy Beauty Director



    Kosas Tinted Face Oil, $42, available at The Detox Market

    "The best way to break down my review of this foundation is to tell the story of the first time I wore it. I was running around the city on a hot summer morning — frazzled and practically dripping with sweat — and as soon as I sat down at my desk, around mid-afternoon, my co-worker glanced my way and told me I was glowing, and that my skin (which I was assuming had melted into a greasy puddle) looked beautiful. I've worn it ever day since." —Channing Hargrove, Fashion Writer



    NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation/1 oz., $49, available at Saks Fifth Avenue

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    Between Halloween falling on a Wednesday (and therefore requiring two party-packed weekends) and the rightful pressures of tomorrow's midterm elections, this fall has been more stressful than monitoring the slow demise of Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson's relationship. But now that we're nearly a full week into November, it's almost time to relish what's left of the year and redirect your attention to things that won't stress you the fuck out. (Pending tomorrow's outcomes, of course.)

    Yes, we're talking about the holidays, the joyous time of the year when we bring out the decorations, buy coffee from Starbucks just for the seasonal cups, go all-in on glitter everywhere, and pop Champagne like we're celebrating life à la Drake. And just when you thought it couldn't get any more celebratory than that, beauty brands are now adding even more merriment to holiday packaging by throwing tons of confetti into the mix.

    From actual confetti poppers with best-selling moisturizers inside to pretty, pearlescent palettes, there's something sparkly for everyone on your beauty-loving list — and we've rounded them all up so that you can walk into holiday parties with the confidence of Ellen DeGeneres during her 12 Days of Giveaways. Ahead, nine confetti beauty products that are far from your basic snow globe.

    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.

    Trust us when we say that this highlighter palette will mesmerize you — twice. First, you'll be captivated by the snow-globe packaging that will have your inner child turning it side to side and upside down. Then, once you open the palette to find the prettiest deluxe-sized highlighter powders, there'll be oohs and ahhs.



    Bobbi Brown Limited Edition Highlight & Glow Highlighting Powder Du, $49.5, available at Bobbi Brown

    Add some sparkle to your makeup collection with a confetti-inspired set that comes with everything you need to amp up your holiday looks. This lineup comes with a lip and eye topper — which can be worn alone or over a pigmented product — and a powder highlighter.



    Jouer Funfetti Deluxe Collection, $25, available at Jouer

    Who said body lotion had to be basic? This one from Victoria's Secret brings all the fun to your body-care routine with its confetti-themed bottle. And if you're not a fan of sparkle on your skin, no worries, the glitter is just on the packaging. Inside is a nourishing vanilla-scented body lotion.



    Victoria's Secret Pink Confetti Pop Body Lotion, $20, available at Victoria's Secret

    If you hate having to clean up confetti but love the idea of it, then this palette was created just for you. The shimmery stuff isn't going anywhere in this compact, which features a blush and two eyeshadow shades — and better still, the powders will last you well into the New Year, so the joy of unwrapping will be more than just a one-time thing.



    bareMinerals Northern Lights Rose Golds Gen Nude Eye & Cheek Palette, $12, available at Macy's

    Get into the holiday spirit by bursting this confetti popper, which has a travel-size jar of the best-selling Confidence in a Cream inside. The festive packaging is perfect for gift-giving, and it's just $12, so you can give it to everyone on your list.



    It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Mini Confetti Popper, $12, available at Sephora

    This limited-edition holiday brush set packs three full-size brushes (fan, buffing, and shadow), an applicator sponge, and a confetti makeup bag, so you can take the festivities on the go.



    Real Techniques Sleigh-In-It Party Eye + Flawless Finish Kit, $19.98, available at Ulta Beauty

    Holidays can get stressful, whether it's the gift shopping or the hangovers that's got you down. Relax, or give the gift of relaxation, with this citrus-scented confetti that melts right into a hot bath.



    SWEET & SHIMMER Winter Citrus Bath Confetti, $4.99, available at Ulta Beauty

    It's like the gift that keeps on giving: Not only will it get you ready for the party, but it'll join you for the celebration, too. This set comes with six full-size gold brushes and a fun confetti clutch that makes for the perfect holiday accessory.



    Sephora Collection Glitter O'Clock Brush Set, $49, available at Sephora

    Life happens, and when it does, why not have something fun to look at? This mini emergency kit includes 17 essentials for all types of situations — from bobby pins to tampons to earring backs. And just in case you need an extra pick-me-up, there's a few Sugarfina Champagne Bears in there, too.



    Pinch Provisions Confetti Minimergency Kit, $20.95, available at Paper Source

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    We know, we know, the holidays are supposed to be about giving, being selfless, and donating our time, aka, all the things that'll make this world slightly less terrifying. But TBH, we've worked hard, hustled, and gotten shit done all. year. long. So we're claiming our right to treat ourselves via a luxe beauty buy (or two) this season in the name of #selfcare.

    If you think we sound selfish, don't @ us. Just because we're indulging in a new bottle of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, a floral fragrance gift set that's so pretty (inside and out) that we can't get ourselves to throw out the box it came in, and an eyeshadow palette with warm, seasonal hues, doesn't mean we won't also be giving back. Ahead, check out a few festive products we've been eyeing for number one, so obviously, so should you.

    There's nothing quite as luxurious as über-soft hair, and this travel-size duo is just the hoard-for-yourself-worthy set that'll deliver.

    Briogeo Mystical Minis Revive + Repair Duo, $18.00, available at Sephora.

    SK-II's Facial Treatment Essence checks all the boxes. Effective? Oh yes, thanks to the brand's proprietary PITERA™, a miracle ingredient rich in active vitamins, organic acids, minerals, and amino acids. Pretty on our vanities? You bet — just check out the new limited-edition bottle designed by artist Karan Singh. No wonder the formula has a cult-like following.



    SK-II PITERA™ Welcome Kit, $110, available at SK-II

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

    Perfect for the cozy night in when you're just not feeling that holiday party your BFF is trying (and failing) to convince you to go to.

    Jo Malone London Miniature Candle Collection, $100.00, available at Jo Malone London.

    Pat's palettes are practically the beauty equivalent to gold bars, and her new "V" palette featuring warm, festive tones is no exception.

    Pat McGrath Labs Mothership V Eyeshadow Palette, $125.00, available at Sephora.

    Pricy? Yes. Worth it? 1,000%

    Dyson Blown-A-OUAI Noir Set, $399.00, available at Sephora.

    Just one look at this highlighter palette will give you all the artistic feels — especially when gold and pearly hues are feeling slightly too basic for our holiday-party personas this year.

    Fenty Beauty Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter Palette, $54.00, available at Fenty Beauty.

    We've never seen a floral fragrance we didn't at least like — especially one that comes with a mini travel-sized version, moisturizing body lotion, and an ornate box that's so pretty, the thought of tossing it is kind of painful.

    Hermès Twilly d'Hermes Eau de Parfum Gift Set, $130.00, available at Sephora.

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    Once upon a time, a little version of you may have graced your family’s holiday card. Now you’re the one creating your own season’s greetings — and you need a site that will help you do it, whatever your goal or aesthetic. Maybe you want to express your holiday cheer with snaps of you and your friends over the year’s best occasions and accompany it with some witty holiday truism. Maybe you’re more the bleak, Instagram snowscape type. Or, maybe you like expensive, letterpress cards with tasteful typography. Whatever your visual, you want to reach out to loved ones with stylish and personal good wishes for the new year.

    Fortunately, creating a just-right-for-you card no longer involves hours spent trolling the bargain table at Barnes & Noble or sitting at home during Scandal reruns, licking stamps and addressing envelopes. Because the sites ahead put a modern, efficient spin on this annual process, including Instagram compatibility, purchase rewards you’ll actually use, eco-friendly considerations, and clever ready-for-repurposing ideas — ranging from ornaments to gift tags and more.

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

    Artifact Uprising
    The streamlined designs on Artifact Uprising look more like magazine ads than holiday cards — the company was founded by sisters who also happen to be professional photographers. The 2016 holiday collection features more than 50 original card designs printed on 100% recycled paper. Foil-stamped and hand-lettered options are also available.



    Artifact Uprising Warmest Wishes Holiday Card with Foil, $1.75, available at Artifact Uprising

    Cardstore
    Here's a solution for those of you who want to scratch “holiday cards” off your To-Do list in November, but you don’t want to send them too early. The bright, cheerful Cardstore site allows users to delay card deployment by using their mailing services. You can choose your holiday cards now (or even up to a year in advance!) and have them sent at a date closer to the holidays.



    Cardstore Bold Graphic 2019 New Year's Card, $1.79, available at Cardstore

    evite
    In addition to invitations, this strictly-digital site also boasts an impressive lineup of customizable holiday cards at more than convenient price points. The festive options range from Christmas to Hanukkah and New Years templates, all sold in individual, small, medium or large-sized packages ranging from free to under $50 totals.



    Evite Premium "Tiz The Season" Holiday Card (50), $24.99, available at Evite

    Fine Stationery
    An OG name in the customized stationery industry, this site churns out everything from the highest quality in timeless holiday cards to invitations and announcements. On top of premium stationary products, customers are also given satisfaction guarantees and free card consultations along with every order.



    Fine Stationary Festive Holly Greeting Card, $1.1, available at Fine Stationary

    Minted
    Minted offers an endless array of designs created by its expansive network of independent artists. They're elegant, high-quality, and customizable, with photo, letterpress, and foil-stamped options. There's also a line of ornament cards that come in sparkly snowflake shapes with a pre-punched hole and ribbon for hanging. The best part? All orders come with free recipient addressing.



    Minted Nouveau Holiday Cards (100), $167, available at Minted

    Moo
    Moo — aside from having a cute and catchy name — speedily delivers premium card to invitation, thank you note, and even postcard designs with stylish punch and pizazz. Each customizable option comes printed on extra-thick and shiny stock in a range of fresh to funky templates.



    Moo Simply Does It Holiday Cards (50), $56.24, available at Moo

    Paper Culture
    If you're dedicating your holiday greetings to someone who cares a lot about the environment, a card from this eco-friendly stationery company will make them smile. The cards are printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper, and the brand has pledged to plant a tree for every order received. So far, 550,000 trees have been planted thanks to this venture.



    paper culture Happy Howlidays Card (50), $49.75, available at paper culture

    Paperless Post
    It may sound like an oxymoron, but Paperless Post also sells a wide range of printed cards. Through its website, you can customize everything about the card, from the font to the liner. After your card is created, you can choose to send both paper and electronic copies of your holiday greetings, meaning Grandma and your Instagram-addicted kid cousin and get the version perfect for them.



    Paperless Post Caroling Classics Holiday Card (50), $20, available at Paperless Post

    Postable
    If you and your friends got together to create a card company, it might look like the casual, colorful Postable. The site has a distinctly Millennial attitude and acts as a kind of Holiday Card Command Center. You can export your contacts into the address book feature, personalize your cards, and enlist Postable to stamp and mail them for you.



    postable Holiday Warms Card, $2.99, available at postable

    Shutterfly
    Sending the same card en masse can feel a little impersonal, but who has the time to hand-write a message onto each one? Shutterfly is known for its catalog of photo-themed gifts, but it also allows users to create custom messages to each recipient.



    Shutterfly Snowy House Holiday Card, $2.39, available at Shutterfly

    Snapfish
    In addition to selling cards, photo books, and keepsakes galore, Snapfish also allows users unlimited photo storage. Syncing photos to your account is easy, and afterwards, you won't have to worry about losing your favorite vacation pics when you finally upgrade to a new iPhone 7. Then, when it comes time to send a holiday card, you'll have an entire year's worth of memories to choose from all in one place. It might even inspire you to print out some pictures and create a photo album IRL, too.



    Snapfish Set of 20 Flat Photo Holiday Cards, 5x7, $2, available at Snapfish

    Tiny Prints
    If the idea of having your cards mailed for you sounds great, but there are a few you want to send yourself with a special letter or gift, Tiny Prints lets you pick and choose the cards you’d like them to mail and the ones they send to you directly. This allows you to personalize and mail out just as many as you really want to.



    Tiny Prints Splendid Pastels Holiday Card, $1.89, available at Tiny Prints

    Zazzle
    Zazzle turns the expression of personal style into an art form by featuring address labels, stickers, and even holiday stamps to match the design of your card. This is huge for us perfectionist-types who feel a tremendous letdown when we stick a Liberty Bell stamp on our otherwise decorative envelopes.



    Zazzle Modern Ice Cream Christmas Tree Greetings Card, $2.95, available at Zazzle

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    At this point, you've read dozens of think pieces on Victoria's Secret and its wrought beauty standards. They all say, more or less, the same thing: its CEO stepped down, sales are waining, and L Brands' chief marketing officer Ed Razek's comments to Vogue on transgender and plus-size models are indefensible. All of this is to say that Victoria — who, apparently, is a very real figment of the multi-billion dollar company's imagination — no longer has a secret.

    But one word stood out in Time 's recent Victoria's Secret report that includes statements from former employee's and retail experts: "thoroughbreds."

    It means, of course, to be of pure breed. Like a racehorse. It's what a former Victoria's Secret art department employee told writer Amy Odell when speaking on Razek's views on the company's coveted faces, the Angels: "Razek compared the models to 'thoroughbreds' and said he follows them closely on Instagram to make sure that they're not being pushed too far by their agents because, like racehorses, you can't overwork them or they would get exhausted and not perform at their best." The word sits uneasily with anyone who doesn't consider themselves a match to the company's unrealistic beauty standards — and it does nothing to redeem the brand's reputation.

    "I remember [Razek] saying something like, 'No one cares about their voice, no one cares about the story, just keep it simple and sexy,'" one employee told the magazine. In fact, former employees revealed that the pressure to conform to Victoria's Secret's longstanding image of sexiness — tall, thin, and white, with long, wavy locks — was so intense that Karlie Kloss cutting her hair before its 2012 broadcast was "a big [moment]. Like, Oh my God." Additionally, former employees revealed that there are people inside the company that want, and have long wanted, to change Victoria's Secret and its outdated standards of beauty. But the company apparently won't budge. "If you had a modern idea, you'd PowerPoint it, pitch it for a month. Then they'd say, 'We love this but we're going to do what we did last year,'" a former copywriting employee revealed.

    After cutting their iconic catalogue, laying off 200 staff members, discontinuing its swimwear line, the company's stocks, which once surpassed over $100 a share, have slumped to $40 a share. And despite CEO Jan Singer recently stepping down after two years on the job, its upper management reflects several female executives in leadership positions and former employees cite high salaries. It moves forward, however, with yet another male executive at its helm: former Tory Burch president John Mehas will lead Victoria's Secret into the future. Let's just hope he can get it right.

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    In October, we published the Money Diary of a 36-year-old nurse consultant living with her wife and 18-year-old son in Cedar Park, TX. In it, the OP wrote about switching jobs for a better work-life balance, being her family's sole provider while her wife attends school in pursuit of her dream career (in the OP's words, "three people, two dogs, one income"), and saving up to send her son to college.

    Commenters were especially moved by the OP's commitment to her family and strong work ethic (and many hopped into the comments to ask if they could be IRL friends with her) — the general consensus being, "Can we please have a follow-up interview?"

    Ahead, we talked to the OP about her money philosophy, young motherhood, and how she and her wife are getting ready to become empty-nesters.

    You wrote in your diary that you are the sole income provider in your household right now while your wife is in school. Has that put a financial strain on your family, and what kind of budget cuts and saving methods have you implemented as a result?

    "I track all of our spending in a spreadsheet so that I can get a handle on our spending trends, where we’ve wasted money, what everything looks like month-to-month, and what we can cut out. As a result, I feel like we have learned how to structure our lives so that we can still have fun. Our friends are all over the place on the money spectrum, so we've told them: 'We love y’all, and we wanna see you as much as we can, but we can’t spend too much money to do it.'

    "So usually what that looks like now is going to friends’ houses, since most of them don’t have kids, or they come to our house, but sometimes my son’s like, 'You old people are too loud!'

    "I think it’s just about being up front with your friends. Everybody understands that at some point in your life you’ve got to save money. They all know that we’re working towards goals, so people have been really cool about that. And if they want to have their clubbing nights out or whatever, it’s just not gonna be with us! Aside from that, we don’t really spend money on too much that isn’t essential. Groceries are essential and gas is essential, but anything else — we don’t have to have it right now.

    "It’s a little bit stressful, but for most of our relationship, we haven’t had two incomes at the same time, so we’re used to this. And it’s going to be incredible when my wife finishes her program in a year in a half. It feels like a gift to be able to work while my wife pursues her dream. I mean, research shows spending money on other people makes you happier than spending the same amount on yourself would, right? So for me, the fact that I can give her her dream come true, it’s an amazing feeling. It means more to be a nurse because I know that her working two jobs while I was in school is a big part of what got me to this point. So the fact that we’ve been able to each lift each other up is a bonding experience that brings us closer."

    How did becoming a mother at such a young age shape your career path?

    "I was a senior in high school when I found out I was pregnant. I’m very pro-choice, which I always like to add, because sometimes people assume if you continue with your pregnancy that you must be against abortion. I’m very pro-choice, but I decided I wanted to do it. I joke with my friends now — many of whom are in same-sex couples and are deciding whether or not to have kids — that I was sort of too dumb at the time to really know what I was getting myself into. In a way, I’m glad that I didn’t have to know what I was signing up for. I was still in high school living in my parents house, and I didn’t know about all of the freedom that you can have as a young adult if you don't have kids. It has been amazing — I mean, having my son is the greatest thing I have ever done. I did have a lot of support from my parents, so that was pretty important. Some teen pregnancy stories don’t turn out like mine did — and I recognize that. I definitely had a lot of privilege in having a family who was invested in seeing me and my son succeed.

    "My son was born the September after I graduated from high school. I had already started classes at a local community college. The school building was kind of an old-timey '60s type with those little individual desks, and I was actually too big to fit in them. The teacher had to put a special table in front of the class where I could sit.

    I had my son, and then was back at it, taking those early Gen Ed college classes. I was able to bring him to classes sometimes when I needed to, and I also did a lot of online classes so that I wouldn't have to spend money on childcare and so I could breastfeed.

    "I wanted to be a social worker and work with pregnant teens sharing some of my experience, in the hopes that it could motivate other people. I actually got a social work degree the first time around. And then about four years ago, I went back to school and got my nursing degree. At the time, my wife was working two full-time jobs to support us — she would just work straight through with a short 30-minute break in between to get from one to the other."

    You recently switched jobs because your previous role was, as you said, "dominating [your] life and taking a toll on [your] health." Can you talk a bit about what motivated this switch and how you feel about it now?

    "Previously, I was working in a hospital. The thing with being a nurse at a hospital is that there’s no shortage of work whatsoever. On my days off, I was getting texts asking if I could come in or cover a shift for a bonus or even a double bonus if no one picked it up the first time. I always said yes because I wanted to be able to have more money for my family.

    I had two jobs — one that didn’t give me benefits and paid $38/hour, and one that did, and paid $30/hour. Ideally, you’re just supposed to work three 12-hour shifts a week. But there were times when I would work 12-hour shifts for seven days in a row. And I knew that being on my feet all the time and working those long shifts wasn’t sustainable. When I’m 60 years old, I’m not going to be able to do that.

    "So I was just kind of playing around on the internet when I saw the job I have now come up. I applied for it, they called me the next day, and it just kind of went from there. I knew that benefits when you work for the government are good, and I met the people I’d be working with and thought, Okay, let’s do this. Thus far it’s been really good — I have a much better work-life balance now."

    What’s next for you and your family?

    "Next up for the family is getting the baby to college! I know we’ll still be supporting him financially, but he is on track to get scholarships, so hopefully it won’t be too much of a blow. It’s crazy how much room and board costs! I couldn’t believe it when I first saw it, because I never lived on campus like that. But I want him to. I have this idea in my head of what it looks like, and I want him to have that.

    As for me and my wife, I’ve left the question of more babies up to her. I’m probably good with just this one, because I mean, he’s such an awesome kid. But I want her to be able to have a kid if she wants to do that. We’ve been together for seven years and married for almost three — after the Supreme Court ruling made it legal, we got engaged that year and then married the following spring. Which is cool — who thought I’d be in a legal gay marriage in Texas? I didn’t!

    Do you have any takeaways from writing a Money Diary and seeing it published?

    "It was definitely nerve-wracking, but people were so nice! It made my heart happy to read comments where people said they had absolutely nothing in common with me but that they connected anyway. I like knowing that there’s open-mindedness and curiosity that exists out there. I learned that I need to keep doing what I’m doing, keep the faith, and stay positive.

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