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Refinery29

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

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

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

    Lots of high-profile wellness-obsessed celebrities, like Kendall Jenner and Lisa Rinna, turn to vitamin IV drips when they're dealing with a cold or trying to get through a hangover. These vitamin IV drips aren't really that magical, and they usually contain a mixture of saline solution, magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, and vitamin C that can help with dehydration. But since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't regulate these mixtures, and they're not always administered by trained health professionals, there's always a risk that you could end up with some serious health complications ranging from infections to blood clots. So, this particular health shortcut is probably not worth it.

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

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

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

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

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

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    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: a manager working in casino gaming who makes $64,279, per year and spends some of her money this week on La Croix.

    Occupation: Manager
    Industry: Casino Gaming
    Age: 31
    Location: Albuquerque, NM
    Salary: $59,279, plus a $5,000 yearly bonus paid quarterly
    Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $1,691

    Monthly Expenses
    Rent: $840 (I live alone.)
    Student Loans: $250
    Car Payment: $312
    Netflix: $13
    Hulu: $15
    Amazon Prime: $13
    Internet: $45
    Electricity & Gas: $80-$100
    Car Insurance: $145
    Cell Phone: $120

    Day One

    5:50 a.m. — I wake up to start my week. (Since I work in the gaming industry, my week starts on Tuesday instead of Monday.) I hit snooze a few times and then take my dog for a quick walk while my coffee brews. I'm already running late, so I get ready in a rush. My assistant and I have a busy week ahead of us, so I stop to get us both bacon breakfast burritos from one of my favorite spots. $11.83

    11:35 a.m. — The morning goes by quickly and after I accomplish five of the 25 items on my to-do list, I reward myself with lunch. I call a few work friends, and we head to one of our go-to restaurants for a quick bite. My boss sees us heading out and joins. I order a chicken sandwich with fries and an iced tea, and my boss picks up the tab ($7.35).

    3:45 p.m. — The afternoon has been filled with meetings and problem-solving. My assistant and I decide we need a break and take a walk to the convenience store. I pick up a candy bar for sustenance and resist a sundae from Dairy Queen. $1

    5:15 p.m. — I arrive home, feed my animals, and contemplate what I should make for dinner. Nothing seems appealing, and I didn't defrost any chicken, so I opt for takeout. I got an email for free delivery from Grubhub, so I order from a local taco place. I order enough for lunch tomorrow. $25.85

    10 p.m. — I get into bed and follow up on a few work emails I received throughout the evening. Then I read some articles before falling asleep.

    Daily Total: $38.68

    Day Two

    5:30 a.m. — I wake up with the first alarm that goes off and let the dog out to do her business. Wednesdays are very busy for me, I have to be at work by 7:30. I make coffee and toast and eat it on my drive. My tank is a little less than a quarter full, so I stop to fill it at a local gas station in my neighborhood. $32.18

    1:30 p.m. — I'm unable to take a break until well after my normal lunch hour. I didn't realize how hungry I was. I forgot the leftover tacos from last night in my fridge, so I go make a salad at a salad bar ($2.32). While eating, I text my boyfriend, who lets me know he can spend the evening with me. He wants a home-cooked meal, and I oblige. He agrees to pick up a pre-seasoned pork tenderloin on his way to my place. $2.32

    5:30 p.m. — I arrive home, and my boyfriend and his pooch are already there. He is a saint and has already walked the dogs, so I start on dinner. I make the tenderloin, some garlic mashed cauliflower, and asparagus I had in the freezer. We eat dinner while watching 90 Day Fiancé.

    8 p.m. — We decide to take the dogs for a walk to work off dinner. I live in a relatively active part of the city and there are several shops along our normal route. We pass by a custard shop, where we get a sundae to share. The woman at the shop recognizes us and gives us free dog treats. $4.35

    10:30 p.m. — Get into bed. My boyfriend finishes up some work while I read and catch up on the celebrity gossip for the day. The dogs are peacefully asleep at our feet dreaming of puppy ice cream cones.

    Daily Total: $38.85

    Day Three

    5:50 a.m. — Alarm goes off, but my boyfriend convinces me to hit the snooze button and get into work a little late. I get out of bed, text my assistant to let her know I'm running late, and get ready. While I'm in the shower, my boyfriend makes coffee, toast, and eggs, and lets the dogs out for their morning business. I head off to work while he heads back to bed, both dogs taking my place on the bed.

    11:30 a.m. — Another busy morning of meetings, but I manage to get away for lunch with my normal work crew. I brought my leftover tacos from Tuesday, but find that the tortillas are now inedible, so I get some rice and piece together a taco bowl. $0.85

    3 p.m. — I take a break from work and browse Groupon, where I find a deal for tickets to the Nutcracker ballet. I text my boyfriend, convince him it will be fun, and purchase the tickets. He tells me he was able to work from home today and is still at my apartment. He wants to grill hamburgers for dinner and asks me to pick up a few things on my way home. $106

    4:40 p.m. — I pick up hamburger buns, chips, cheese, tomatoes, and avocado. When I get home, the burgers are almost done. We eat while watching a few more episodes of 90 Day Fiancé. Then we clean up and head out to run a few errands. $16.76

    6:45 p.m. — I'm out of a few of my beauty essentials, so we go to Sephora. The saleswoman convinces me to try a new night cream, and I spend more than I had originally planned. $103.71

    8 p.m. — My boyfriend and I hit up our favorite liquor store on the way home and pick out a bottle of Scotch to enjoy over the weekend. It's his turn to buy, so he pays ($75.83).

    10 p.m. — The dogs are restless, so we decide to take them for a quick walk before settling in. We return from the walk and get into bed. I pick up a novel I've been reading, and he returns a few work emails before drifting off to sleep.

    Daily Total: $227.32

    Day Four

    5:50 a.m. — I wake up and decide to try to be on time to work. As I get ready, my boyfriend makes coffee and offers to make me eggs. I decline and opt for toast so I can eat it on my commute to work. He heads back to bed with the dogs, and I head into work for the day.

    11:15 a.m. — I have lunch again with my work friends. I get chicken strips and an iced tea. $7.35

    1:30 p.m. — I get a text from my boyfriend saying he has to head into the office and won't be at my apartment when I get home.

    4 p.m. — I leave work early to make my standing nail appointment. This is the only thing I budget for that is completely frivolous. I enjoy feeling pampered for a few hours every other week. I get a pedicure and manicure this time, but since the weather has changed, I've only been getting pedicures once a month. $65.43

    6 p.m. — I get home and take the dog for a walk, resisting the urge to pick up dinner at one of the restaurants on our regular route. I get back home and warm up a leftover hamburger from last night. Then I settle in and catch up on This Is Us while eating.

    10:30 p.m. — Get into bed, read celebrity gossip, and FaceTime with my parents to confirm their travel plans for the holidays.

    Daily Total: $72.78

    Day Five

    8 a.m. — Saturday! I'm able to sleep in a bit. My sister stops by and convinces me to take her to breakfast. We drop by one of our favorite waffle places, where I get a ham and cheese waffle and a latte, and she gets an eggnog waffle and coffee. I pay, since she's a poor college student. $23.41

    2:30 p.m. — I get ready to head into work, and I text my assistant to see if she's eaten. She hasn't, so I pick us up a late lunch from Chick-Fil-A and get my day started. $17.08

    10 p.m. — Saturdays are typically work-event days, and sometimes I end up working well into the night. Today, I'm lucky and can leave at a relatively reasonable hour. I head home, let the dog out, and get a sad face for not taking her for a walk. I snack on some yogurt I have in the fridge and settle in for the night.

    12 a.m. — I read for a while before drifting off to sleep.

    Daily Total: $40.49

    Day Six

    8 a.m. — I'm able to sleep in again. I wake up, let the dog out, make some coffee and a breakfast burrito, and get ready for a Humane Society event I'm attending today.

    10:30 a.m. — My friend and her dog arrive to pick me and my dog up for the event. She already bought us tickets and won't let me reimburse her, so I insist on buying lunch. We attend the event and meet a whole bunch of new dog friends.

    1 p.m. — We grab lunch at one of the food trucks. I get a Thai chicken wrap with a La Croix, and my friend gets a Frito pie and a Diet Coke. I pay. We sit at a table to eat while the dogs run around and play. $23

    430 p.m. — I want fajitas for dinner, so I run to the store after dropping the dog off at home. I pick up some chicken, bell peppers, tortillas, sour cream, and a few other essentials for the week. My boyfriend texts to say he'll be over later in the evening. I tell him I'll have dinner ready, and he's excited. $34.56

    12 a.m. — We spend the evening watching the first three Planet of the Apes movies, eating fajitas, and enjoying Scotch. The we get into bed and fall straight asleep.

    Daily Total: $57.56

    Day Seven

    10 a.m. — Finally get out of bed and get the day started. One of our favorite thrift stores is having a sale, so we decide to head over. While I get showered and ready, my boyfriend makes coffee and an egg scramble from the leftover fajitas.

    11:30 a.m. — Starbucks drive-through time. I order a iced green tea, and my boyfriend gets a dirty chai latte. I have a free drink with my Starbucks app, so we only have to pay for one. I pick up the tab so I can get the points. $4.35

    2:30 p.m. — I find a few good things at the thrift store and walk away with an 11-piece tea set, a few glass pitchers for tea, and a liquor decanter. The tea set will be a gift for my friend's upcoming birthday. My boyfriend found some electronics that he's going to resell on his Ebay page. We pay separately for our items. $43

    4:30 p.m. — We get home and realize we haven't eaten since breakfast, so we order BBQ from a local place via Grubhub. I get ribs, and he gets brisket. He ordered from his app, so he pays ($53.40).

    7:30 p.m. — We take the dogs for a walk and stop for a custard sundae. Our normal cashier isn't there, so the dog treats aren't free this time. $8.54

    10 p.m. — We get into bed, and I return some work emails. Then I indulge in my nightly celebrity gossip before falling asleep.

    Daily Total: $55.89

    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.

    The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here.

    Have you been working for at least 8 years and seen your salary increase or fluctuate? If so, fill out this form for a chance to be featured on our Salary Story series!

    Have questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here: r29.co/mdfaqs

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    Good (and gross) news for popaholics everywhere: The second season of Dr. Pimple Popper is practically here. Come January 3, the medical-mystery reality-show phenomenon that rocked the world — and became the highest-rated freshman series to hit TLC's cable network in the last five years — will grace your TV screens once again. As the last season taught us, you'll want a jumbo box of Kleenex ready on the coffee table, because the real stories in each episode will have you holding back tears (in addition to trying not to gag).

    As a refresher, the Dr. Pimple Popper series follows the practice of dermatologist Dr. Sandra Lee, and the devastating skin conditions she treats in the field. (Take a peek at her YouTube channel for an idea of what you're in for.) But fans will tell you that it's not the weight of the bulging neck tumors or the satisfying scenes of pus finally busting free of a 10-year-old cyst that keeps them invested in the show. Rather, it's the patients' emotional backstories — like the 22-year-old girl from St. Louis who tears up getting dressed each morning, trying to yank a pair of jeans over the massive mystery lump on her lower back — that really reels you in.

    For fans — and the curious uninitiated — we have your exclusive first look at the highlights from the soon-to-come season, below, and the teaser clip proves that the new episodes are going to be even more heart-wrenching than anything shown in season one. Press play and see for yourself.

    Dr. Pimple Popper Season 2 Trailer

    Whether you're left slack-jawed from the lumpy sack one girl pulls out from behind her ear, the shoulder welt herniating calcified blood, or the stringy charcoal-colored pus spewing out from under the skin — it's clear this season is going to be like nothing you've ever seen before. We'll have to wait for the hour-long premiere episode on January 3 to get to know the patients behind these big boils and full-body rashes, but we have our fingers crossed that Dr. Lee will deliver the happy endings once again.

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    7 Bath & Body Works Holiday Gift Sets For The Nostalgic In Your Life

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    Need a holiday hostess gift for your roommate's parents, who let you co-opt their ski cabin? A trinket for your cousins, who haven't looked up from Snapchat since they got home? A Secret Santa gift that won't get traded three times? Bath & Body Works is the way to go.

    The store, which has long been our destination for last-minute holiday shopping, seems to be on over-drive this year. Between the 100 new festive scents and candle discounts so good it feels like you're stealing, the mall staple is churning out holiday must-haves that even the speediest of Amazon Prime deliveries can't touch.

    Among the 300+ holiday items in store are choice gift sets that are not only comprised of the most universally-loved body care products (Vanilla Bean Noel, anyone?), but — and this is the best part — also come already wrapped in reusable baskets, ribbon-tied bags, and metallic boxes. It's enough to make holiday shopping as easy as adding a few gift cards to cart, while showing that you care enough to, you know, not do that.

    See our favorite ways to give for maximum impact and minimal effort, ahead, and get ready to impress everyone from your 70-year-old grandma to your 17-year-old cousin.

    Vanilla Bean Noel may be one of Bath & Body Works most loved holiday scents, but the buttery vanilla and musk scent is one you (and your fam) will want to wear long after the tree has been taken down.



    Bath & Body Works Vanilla Bean Noel Fragrance Fan Gift Kit, $30.5, available at Bath & Body Works

    Not sure what to get your always upbeat dog walker, little brother's girlfriend, or that random pre-teen in your life? Every last one of them will love this shower gel, body lotion, body cream, and fragrance mist bundle, which smells like raspberry bubble gum and fresh blooms.



    Bath & Body Works Sweet Pea Iridescent Gift Kit, $35.5, available at Bath & Body Works

    Actual Japanese cherry blossoms may be featherlight and delicately sweet in real life, but this fragrance — a best seller for the brand — marries those qualities with a hint of warm sandalwood. It's a twist that not only keeps the scent from becoming cloying, but also makes it last all day.



    Bath & Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom Ultimate Christmas Box Gift Set, $59.5, available at Bath & Body Works

    Whether sinuses — or the psyche — need clearing, just about everyone can benefit from a few deep breaths of eucalyptus and spearmint essential oils this time of year. This set (which comes in a ready-to-gift gingham bag) helps facilitate just that, with a 3-wick candle, body wash, hand soap, and body lotion included.



    Bath & Body Works Eucalyptus & Spearmint Ultimate Fragrance Fan Gift Kit, $37.5, available at Bath & Body Works

    Research links a poor night's sleep to decreased productivity and, less officially, being an asshole – which makes this bath foam-and-body lotion duo perfect for your micro-managing boss. The lavender essential oil and vanilla absolute help induce the kind of calm that leads to zzz's. Couple it with a credit for a meditation and mindfulness app (like Stop, Breathe & Think) if you really want to drive the point home.



    Bath & Body Works Sleep Tight Gift Set, $21.5, available at Bath & Body Works

    Finally, a gift basket cute enough to repurpose. This one (which would make a perfect home for a stash of wash cloths) comes stocked with a bath bomb, shower gel, body lotion, and fragrance mist. The One Thousand Wishes scent blends light florals with cozy amaretto and champagne, meaning your mother-in-law will absolutely love it.



    Bath & Body Works A Thousand Wishes White Basket Gift Set, $35.5, available at Bath & Body Works

    Giving a beloved Bath & Body Works candle as a gift? Make it tablescape ready by throwing in this wreath, which is adorned with cedar branches, pine cones, and pink baubles and made especially to fit the brand's 3-wick candles.



    Bath & Body Works Pink Winter Wonderland 3-Wick Candle Ring, $14.5, available at Bath & Body Works

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    With every new season comes a whole new crop of eye candy to shop for. Pages and pages to be exact. But navigating the new arrivals section can feel daunting: Between the overload of budding trends and the general excitement of seeing all things new, we tend to shop with eyes bigger than our wallet. It's easy to get caught up in adding everything you see to cart, then having a small cry when your checkout page lists 20 items and a price with one too many zeros.

    To offer a helping hand, every month, we'll be breaking down the best items in the market that you can buy for under-$150. Think of our curated shopping guide as an easy way to keep you in the know, without making you splurge. From of-the-moment collaborations to the latest trickled down runway trends, you'll be able to give your closet a mini boost on the cheap. Click on — the winter collections are calling your name.

    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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    Unless you're a seasoned pro in the styling department, we're pretty sure you'd agree that curling irons are one of the most hard-to-master beauty tools. It's not only a headache figuring out how to properly work them, but the process that goes into finding the best one for your needs isn't that intuitive. There are a ton of different curling irons on the market that vary in size and shape — heck, some of them even rotate!

    As arduous as it may be, the difference between a stellar barrel and a so-so one can drastically change your curl result. Luckily for us, brands have been stepping up their tool game over the past couple of years — introducing more modern, high-tech, and easy-to use contraptions that help address specific preferences. Translation: These aren't just carbon copies of the irons you've seen in the past. The latest and greatest offer better heat control, handling, and results!

    To help you find the right one, we had three women — with varying hair types and curl wants — test out some of the best-reviewed irons on the market. Click ahead to see which ones fared best. And, while you're at it, check out some of our tricks to master curls. (But, whatever you do, don't be this girl.)

    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.

    Who: Cortney Riles
    Curler Contender: Bio Ionic StyleWinder Rotating Styling Iron
    Hair Type: “Thick, soft, naturally curly.”

    "I've always worn my hair natural(never permed, dyed, etc.). I vary between styles often, so my hair is used to being styled with and without heat. When I curl my hair, which tends to be once or twice a month, I use a hot curling iron or a flat iron (for looser curls). I've dabbled with wands a bit and I like them, but don't always have the time to curl my entire head. That usually takes an hour, and a good amount of patience that I don't have — I've rushed a couple times and have burned the crap out of my hands!

    "I tend to wear my hair straight, but in the summer I wear it curly. My hair’s pulled back often, because I work out three to five days a week and as soon as I sweat, or any kind of moisture hits my head, my hair gets wavy or curly instantly."

    Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet.

    "The biggest thing for me, when it comes to my hair, is health and comfort — that's why I change my styles fairly frequently. Too much heat isn't good, but neither is too much product, so I try to find a happy medium, and pay very close attention to the kinds of products and tools I'm using.

    "My experience [with the Bio Ionic iron] was okay. It took a while to just TRY and get curls. And, once I did, they weren't the best — at least not how I'm used to curling my hair. I was somewhat satisfied with the look at the end, but I also knew my curls could look better. Although my usual curling iron does have a clasp to hold your hair, I didn't like the clip on this one. It seemed to make it harder to get the curls, especially even ones. I wouldn't use it again, and I wouldn't recommend it to friends with a similar hair type — I've simply used other products that work better for my hair. Although, I'm sure it would work wonderfully for other [hair types]."



    Bio Ionic StyleWinder Rotating Styling Iron, $62.89, available at AmazonPhotographed by Alexandra Gavillet.

    Who: Hayley Squire
    Curler Contender: GHD Curve Classic Wave Wand
    Hair Type: “Somewhere between wavy and straight, short, and thin.”

    "Three years ago, I walked into Sally Beauty Supply with the intention of buying my first curling wand. Just a few minutes later, I walked out with the cheapest curling wand I could find. It was bright-pink and had one setting only: on/off. I still use it to this day.

    "I recently cut four inches off of my hair and am still trying to figure out the best way to style it. My hair, no matter the length, has always been on the thinner side with frizzy waves when I let it air-dry (not so cute). I typically use my curling wand about three to four times per week (depending on how many times I wash my hair), and it takes me no more than 15 minutes to get the style I like.

    "The curling iron I was given to try was the GHD Classic Wave Wand. My first impression of the wand was that it was the sexiest hairstyling tool I’d ever seen: all-black, so sleek, and coated with ceramic. I pretty quickly figured out that this was much nicer than my $30 pink curling wand from 2012."



    Chinti & Parker Melange Sweater Rosy Pink Melange, $450, available at Chinti & ParkerPhotographed by Alexandra Gavillet.

    "The one thing I noticed right away was that it was an oval barrel instead of the typical circular or cone shape that I’m used to. I couldn’t wait to see how my curls would look with the different shape. The wand took about five seconds (no joke) to heat up and as soon as it was ready for use, a light and a sound indicated that to me. The entire experience took a little longer than usual because the wand only heats to 365 degrees, whereas most hot tools heat to over 400 degrees. However, the fact that it doesn’t get as hot — meaning it’s much healthier for my hair — is something I really can’t complain about.

    "In the end, my curls came out looking like deep, undone waves rather than tight curls, which isn’t a look I could achieve with my old curling wand — and I loved it. The only complaint I have was that the waves didn’t last as long as I would’ve liked. The next morning, my curls were gone and I had to go over my hair with the wand again. This might be attributed to the fact that my hair is on the shorter side, but with my old curling wand, I could leave my hair alone for up to three days without my curls falling too flat.

    "I’ll definitely be using this new wand again, when I’m looking for the beachy-waves look, and I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who likes that look as well."



    GHD Curve Classic Wave Wand, $199, available at SephoraPhotographed by Alexandra Gavillet.

    Who: Rebecca Smith
    Curler Contender: T3 Twirl 360 Motion-Sensing, Auto-Rotating 1.25’’ Curling Iron
    Hair Type: “Lots and lots of long, medium-thick hair. Seriously, A LOT of hair.”

    "My hair is naturally really straight, but I don’t feel put-together unless it has some curl to it — I blame all of my years dancing. Part of the mandatory costume was BIG, curled hair. Yet, somehow I missed the lesson on how to use a curling iron. I used to steal my mom’s hot rollers to get my desired look. By high school, I was curling my hair with a hair-straightener at least twice a week. What is the secret to having great hair three or four days after a shower? Dry shampoo, lots of curls, hairspray, and minimal brushing.

    "Since I normally use a flat iron to curl my hair, I initially had hesitations about using a curling iron. I was pretty sure I was going to end up with that crimped end-tail of using a curling iron, or awkward curls. But, using the T3 was easier than I ever imagined. Once you clamp your hair in, there is a button on this model that brings the curler up your hair — seriously, the curler basically does all the work for you! Normally, it takes me about 25 minutes to curl all of my hair. It only took me 15 minutes with the T3. Plus, it looked great."

    Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet.

    "I loved the curling iron. I was even debating throwing my hair-straightener away. But, the next day the curls were gone. What is the point of styling your hair if there isn’t even good second-day hair? I tried again a couple of days later. Same results. Beautiful curls at first, but they were falling out by the end of the day (and nothing else changed about the routine — same shampoo, hairspray, and lack of brushing).

    "I still love how easy it is to get a head of curls, and I would definitely recommend it if you only want one day of curls. I will keep using this model, but I am not ready to throw away my hair-straightener quite yet."



    T3 Twirl 360, $230, available at T3Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet.

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    When your life is moving too fast — your inbox is overflowing, you desperately need a haircut, and you're wondering how the hell we're already a week into December — it's hard to feel in control of anything. But one way to instantly find your footing, and feel like a badass planner who has it all together, is to get your holiday shopping started on the early side.

    In fact, you can get it all done today, on your laptop, with one single virtual shopping cart. That's right, because Ulta Beauty has the most gift-able seasonal sets from all your favorite brands, making it super simple to bang out the bulk of your holiday shopping while you're kicking back with a glass of red wine watching The Holiday.

    Because you know you'll need a little something for your best friend, your sister, and a couple white elephant swaps, we rounded up the best picks from Ulta's Holiday Gift Guide, broken down by price point. Click through all of the goods, ahead.

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

    $10 & Under

    For just $8, you can grab this festive skin-care kit, which comes with an assortment of five different K-beauty sheet masks. In other words, it's like gifting your friend a nightly pampering session for a full work week.



    TonyMoly My Shea Sheet Mask, $8, available at Ulta Beauty

    You can make someone's long trip home for the holidays a lot easier by gifting them with a travel pack of skin essentials: makeup removing wipes, a gentle cleanser, a deep pore cleanser, and a mud mask.



    formula 10.0.6 Clean Getaway Travel Kit, $9.99, available at Ulta Beauty

    The perfect stocking stuffer, this Clinique kit comes with the renowned Moisture Surge Hydrator gel cream and a punchy pink lip gloss. It's a $30 value, priced at just $9.



    Clinique Merry Moisture Set, $9.5, available at Ulta Beauty

    As far as seasonal scents are concerned, everyone loves peppermint, which means you can't go wrong with this minty-fresh shower gel and body butter (pine-tree green loofah included).



    The Body Shop Peppermint Candy Cane Body Care Trio, $10, available at Ulta Beauty

    $25 &Under

    Stila's Glitter & Glow eyeshadow is arguably the world's best liquid shadow if you're looking for a soft, shimmery lid that will stay put all night long (trust us, Beyoncé's makeup artist uses it). When you bring a three-pack of the most wearable shades (pale gold, silver, and copper bronze) to your white elephant swap, all your friends will be fighting for it, too.



    Stila Shimmering Heights Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow Set, $25, available at Ulta Beauty

    Looking for a bath set that screams "treat yourself"? Give this rich bubble bath and body lotion duo. The packaging is chic and the scent hits the nostalgic cord of baking fudge in your childhood kitchen... even if you never actually did that.



    Philosophy Vanilla Velvet Truffle Set, $22, available at Ulta Beauty

    One of the most useful gifts of the bunch, this set will have your BFF thinking of you every time she reaches for a refreshing rosewater spritz at her desk when 4 p.m. rolls around.



    Mario Badescu Rosewater Facial Spray Trio, $24, available at Ulta Beauty

    $50 & Under

    There's something about uncapping a creamy, metallic eyeshadow stick that makes us excited to smudge it all over our lids. This pack comes with three blendable pencil shades — a deep shimmery bronze, soft copper, and a pale Champagne hue — that are so wearable, you'll want to keep the set for yourself.



    NudeStix Eye Love Nudes 3 Piece Kit, $39, available at Ulta Beauty

    This curated curly hair kit has all the DevaCurl favorites: the No Poo duo, a Melt Into Moisture treatment mask, a styling cream, and the Set It Free shine spray. The gift of nourishing hair products is one that truly keeps on giving.



    DevaCurl Holiday Curly Care Kit, $48, available at Ulta Beauty

    Instead of a DryBar gift card, you can do anyone — your friend, roommate, sister, or work wife — one better, with this Bumble and bumble Volume and Texture kit. The shampoo, conditioner, and texture spray will deliver the lift and plumpness of a salon blowout, without having to schedule an appointment during party season.



    Bumble and bumble Bb. Volume + Texture Trio Holiday Set, $29, available at Ulta Beauty

    Above $50

    Yes, this Clarisonic is $199, but those who are loyal to the cleansing brush will tell you that it's the best at-home tool you can give to your skin. Plus, the techie device is just a one-time splurge — you only have to remember to replace the brush head.



    Clarisonic Mia Smart 3-in-1 Connected Beauty Device, $199, available at Ulta Beauty

    MAC's most popular lipstick shades — including Ruby Woo, Rebel, and Chili — can all be found in this 10-piece mini lipstick set.



    MAC Shiny Pretty Things Lip Kit, $79.5, available at Ulta Beauty

    If you're splurging on fragrance this holiday season, you can't go wrong with Gucci Bloom. Given the name and the packaging, you might be expecting a powdery floral, but it surprises your nose with an infusion of tuberose and jasmine, which gives it an unexpected musky undertone. With this set, you can keep the full-sized perfume and gift the rollerball, or the other way around...



    Gucci Bloom Eau de Parfum Gift Set, $102, available at Ulta Beauty

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    "I can tell by the smell of that perfume, it's like 40 dollars too sweet," Carrie Underwood once sang, in one of the sickest fragrance-related burns to date. It's brutal, but understandable: Most of us hear "cheap perfume " and think of saccharine-sweet, alcohol-heavy, vanilla-coconut scents that suffocate us in elevators.

    But it doesn't have to be like that. In fact, what if we told you there are a bunch of fragrances on the market that come cheap and chic? Yep, believe it. Ahead, click through to shop our favorite under-$50 fragrances that don't sacrifice quality or aesthetic.

    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.

    Celebrity fragrances get a bad rap for a reason: Almost always, they're housed in bad packaging with notes so sweet they give you a sugar high — but Grande's is an exception. Sure, you'll still have to look past this bottle (although it's certainly on-brand for the singer), but the scent inside is safe for adults who do want to smell like vanilla and coconut, but only kind of.



    Ariana Grande CLOUD Eau de Parfum 1.7 oz., $50, available at Ulta Beauty

    How does a scent inspired by "skin kissed by the sea" and the color white translate on the skin? Well, into lots — and lots and lots — of white musk. Although the bottle is practically a sample size, the oil itself is robust and lasts hours without fading.



    Lake & Skye 11 11 Fragrance Oil, $48, available at Birchbox

    This is the perfume you put on when you just want to smell clean. (And we don't mean Pine-Sol clean.) Fragrance expert Chandler Burr says that clean fragrances are less powdery and heady, and more conceptual and pure. In other words, it's a universally flattering scent — and gives you an excuse to skip that post-gym shower. Clinique's Happy is fresh, slightly fruity, and, trust us, attracts lots of compliments.



    Clinique Happy Perfume Spray 1.0 oz, $42, available at Ulta Beauty

    For 18 years, Kai has had one scent and one scent only: a heady white floral that smells like Hawaii and boasts legions of fans. But now, there's a rose-infused iteration and dare we say it miiight just be better than the original?



    Kai Rose Perfume Oil , $48, available at DermStore

    If a caftan-clad fortune teller embraced you, we imagine she'd smell a bit like this solid perfume. That is, like warm incense, woody pencil shavings (really — they're in here, and they'll take you back to middle school), and dried flowers.



    Catbird Tarot Deck Solid Perfume, $18, available at Catbird

    This perfume oil is a favorite among beauty editors for its marzipan-esque aroma that eventually opens up into a lush, floral gardenia that is just pure heaven. Bonus: It's just under-the-radar enough that you won't walk by 15 other women wearing the same scent.



    Olivine More Than The Stars Perfume Oil, $48, available at Olivine

    Novacaine is an intoxicating, spicy scent — certainly not for the weak of heart — starring notes of Thai pepper, frankincense, and crushed ginger. But there's a softness to it, too, thanks to a sweet layer of orchid and vanilla.



    TokyoMilk Novacaine Parfum No.85, $42, available at Tokyo Milk

    If you live for the smell of a rose garden on the first day of spring (and who doesn't?), then you'll love this solid fragrance from Diptyque. Dab it on your pulse points; then, throw the portable compact in your bag.



    Diptyque L'Ombre Dans L'Eau Solid Perfume, $50, available at Net-A-Porter

    Gourmand lives up to its name with its collection of so-good-you-want-to-drink-them fragrances (but please, don't). Our favorite of the bunch is Thé Matcha — a fresh hit of citrus, green tea, and white flowers.



    Gourmand EDP Fragrance, $8, available at Urban Outfitters

    It's hard to believe this perfume is under $40. Not only is the bottle straight out of a charming apothecary, the juice inside is a surprising blend of spicy, wake-you-up citrus, pretty, light florals, and sexy woodiness.



    Korres Bellflower Tangerine Pink Pepper Eau de Toilette, $44.5, available at Sephora

    This is the brand's best-selling scent for good reason: The floral concoction smells clean and fresh, so it's perfect for everyday wear. It's also light enough to not offend your desk mates if you touch up before happy hour. In fact, they'll probably want to know exactly what it is.

    Philosophy Amazing Grace Fragrance, $48, available at Philosophy.

    Picture yourself sinking into a frothy pink bubble bath surrounded by rose-scented candles, with the Ramones playing in the background. Now boil that experience into a scent, and you get Punk Bouquet.



    & Other Stories Punk Bouquet Body Mist, $20, available at & Other Stories

    This under-$40 perfume is Amber Rose 's go-to. "I've been wearing that for years. When you smell that, you know I’m coming," she told Refinery29. We don't blame her: The scent is as sexy as it is light and playful, thanks to notes like vanilla, sandalwood, and bergamot.



    Moschino Moschino CHEAP & CHIC Eau De Toilette Spray, $29.01, available at Walmart

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    If you're on the "wellness" bandwagon, you already know that there's a healing crystal for each season, so it's little wonder that there are certain essential oils that are especially useful at different times of year, too.

    When it comes to winter, you can probably guess the sort of benefits you'll want in an essential oil. Considering the chaos of the holiday season and the dark, dreary, and, in many cases, snowy months that follow, we could certainly use some varieties that help boost relaxation, clarity, and positivity.

    Of course, as trendy as essential oils may be at the moment, you should know how to use and shop for them before setting up your diffuser. If you're pregnant or have allergies, asthma, or other health conditions, always consult your doctor before using a new essential oil. That way, you can enjoy its effects without any concerns of having a sensitivity or reaction to it.

    Here, we highlight five types of essential oils that are perfectly suited to ease your wintertime woes.

    Lavender
    For rest and tranquility

    For how long the nights are during the winter, it can be surprisingly hard to feel truly well-rested during these dark and dreary months. If you wake up wishing for eight more hours, consider adding a lavender essential oil to your bedtime routine. In The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Valerie Ann Worwood describes lavender as an "indispensable" essential oil, in no small part due to its soothing qualities. Diffusing this oil in your bedroom or dabbing a skin-safe blend of it on your wrists should help you wind down after a long day — and drift off into a restful slumber.

    illustrated by Tristan Offit.

    Geranium
    For support and uplift

    This essential oil does so much more than just smell sweet. According to The Heart Of Aromatherapy: An Easy-to-Use Guide for Essential Oils by Andrea Butje, geranium's properties uniquely toe the line between rejuvenating and restorative — whether you're feeling a little sluggish or kind of blue, this essential oil may give you the boost you need. Between its spiritual properties and its aforementioned fragrance, this essential oil may very well bring a little bit of springtime into your home.

    illustrated by Tristan Offit.

    Allspice
    For clarity and comfort

    This ubiquitous spice is used in everything from moles to baked goods, so don't be surprised if smelling its essential oil instantly reminds you of a beloved childhood food. Indeed, Margaret Ann Lembo writes in The Essential Guide to Aromatherapy and Vibrational Healing that allspice's scent is overwhelmingly comforting, but it's also useful when you need to clear your thoughts and concentrate on the task at hand. If we need more of something this time of year, it's definitely a tie between focus and heart-warming nostalgia, so we'll certainly be picking a vial of allspice oil ASAP.

    illustrated by Tristan Offit.

    Sweet Marjoram
    For relaxation and positivity

    If your anxiety ramps up during the holiday season, sweet marjoram should be your go-to essential oil. Lembo writes that it's been used to alleviate worries, stress, and negative thoughts, and it's even thought to encourage you to think more optimistically. It may help you feel a little more grounded, which will allow you to sort out your thoughts — instead of getting overwhelmed by them.

    illustrated by Tristan Offit.

    Black Spruce
    For energy and vibrance

    Yes, black spruce is apropos of the season because it looks like a Christmas tree, but that isn't why it made our list. Butje writes this essential oil can ease feelings of being "stuck," stagnant, or uninspired. In other words, it's the perfect remedy for those mid-winter slumps that like to sneak up in January and February. A whiff of black spruce will likely prove invigorating and help you refocus your energy toward your goals.

    illustrated by Tristan Offit.

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    The idea that fashion is art — and vice versa — has been debated for eons. Some designers and visionaries will tell you fashion is made to be used, to function, thus disqualifying it from being art. And some will tell you that fashion is wearable art. No matter which side you fall on, you can always win an argument by settling on the fact that (most) fashion is meant to be digested (and enjoyed) on a cerebral level. And it's a conversation Dior's artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri is tackling with the French fashion house's latest art project: Dior Lady Art #3.

    Everybody knows the Lady Dior bag, right? Well, it's one of the most iconic handbags ever, thanks in part to noted carrier Princess Diana, and is one of the few pieces designed by Christian Dior himself still sold today. For the third time, Dior has collaborated with a team of artists to put their own spins on the luxurious tote. But for the first time, Chiuri and company have compiled a female-only cast of 11 artists from all over the world to interpret the bag: Olga De Amaral of Colombia, Polly Apfelbaum of the U.S., Burçak Bingöl of Turkey, Lee Bul of Korea, Isabelle Cornaro of France, and others. The bags make their global debut at Art Basel in Miami this week.

    In the slideshow ahead, you'll see the legendary Lady Dior bag redesigned using dozens of different mediums: metal, plastic, gold chains, cotton, fur, embroidery, ropes, and so much more. The bags will be produced in limited edition quantities. and are currently exclusively available for purchase at the Miami Design District boutique, should you catch yourself in the Sunshine State anytime soon. But, come January 2019, they'll be available at select boutiques across North America and around the world.

    Haruka Kojin
    Japan

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

    Isabelle Cornaro
    France

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

    Olga de Amaral
    Colombia

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

    Li Shurui
    China

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

    Burçak Bingöl
    Turkey

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

    Burçak Bingöl
    Turkey

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

    Haruka Kojin
    Japan

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

    Pae White
    USA

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

    Lee Bul
    Korea

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

    Polly Apfelbaum
    USA

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

    Lee Bul
    Korea

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

    Morgane Tschiember
    France

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

    Mickalene Thomas
    USA

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

    Lee Bul
    Korea

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

    Olga de Amaral
    Colombia

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

    Polly Apfelbaum
    USA

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

    Isabelle Cornaro
    France

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

    Olga de Amaral
    Colombia

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

    Janaina Tschäpe
    USA

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

    Morgane Tschiember
    France

    Photo: Courtesy of Dior.

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    Since ordering wine online can feel like more of a gamble than buying in-store with friendly assistance, we consulted a wine expert for virtual guidance. Sayle Milne, certified wine educator and founder of Wine Savvy NYC, dished on the delicious and affordable bottle options that we can add to cart for convenient doorstep delivery. "When it comes to the holidays, most of us fall into two categories: you either sparkle or you stress. I definitely fall into the stress category, which is why I am always looking for ways to simplify my to-do lists," Milne confessed. "Shopping online most definitely has its pros. I am a huge proponent of ordering in bulk or buying the case, as it is one less thing for you to think about or additional errand to run," she shared.

    We've rounded up 11 of Milne's holiday suggestions (from sparkling to red and even non-alcoholic) that you can order online (from Amazon to Drizly and more). "Holidays are about time with friends and family (even the unexpected who stop by), so being prepared by placing orders early and having plenty of wine stashed is a great way to avoid added stress. Did I mention you can order in your pajamas?" Cross wine off your holiday to-do list by adding the ahead bottles to cart.

    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.

    Chardonnay
    "If a white wine that is buttery, toasted and round appeals to you a little more, Meiomi makes a beautiful Chardonnay (I am also a huge fan of their Pinot Noir). This Chardonnay is slightly fuller in body so it can be paired with heavier foods (or just enjoyed on its own)."



    Meiomi Chardonnay, $26.99, available at Drizly

    Pinot Noir
    "Following the same idea of having different wines with different flavors and bodies, Pinot Noir should be in every house for the holidays. It is the most food friendly red wine (in my opinion) because it's on the lighter end of the spectrum but can stand up to meats and heavier dishes."

    "Because Pinot Noir is difficult to grow and produce (it is called the 'heartbreak grape' for a reason), you may have to pay a little more for a bottle, but it is so worth it! This wine tastes of red fruits like cranberries and even has notes of leather."



    King Estate Winery Signature Pinot Noir, $32.95, available at Drizly

    Prosecco
    "If mimosas are your thing over the holidays (and hey, day drinking is a thing), a yummy, easy drinking Prosecco fits the bill (but won’t break the bank). At $12.99, you can buy a few bottles to keep on hand. This bottle from winemaker Ruffino is perfect on its own or to be mixed in festive cocktails. Bubbly is a celebratory, great way to greet your guests when they arrive and makes them feel special."



    Ruffino Prosecco, 750 ml, $11.99, available at Wine.com

    Sauvignon Blanc
    "Have a crisp wine on hand like this Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. When wines have razor sharp acidity, like this wine, it makes them perfect to pair with cheeses (like Manchego and goat), anything from the ocean, and can cut through heavier foods and sauces too."



    Nobilo Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2017, $12.86, available at Wine.com

    Non-Alcoholic Red
    " Just like real estate, 'location, location, location.' Every bottle in this sampler features a different grape from a different country, so whether you like a more full-bodied style like the Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon or a lighter, spicier style like the Princess Rosso from Italy, your palate will find its match in this sampler." It's also thoughtful to have on hand at parties for non-drinkers or expecting mothers who may want to partake in the group vino session.



    Various Wineries Red Non-Alcoholic Wine Sampler, $99.99, available at Amazon

    Champagne
    "And for the perfect gift? You can't go wrong with the real deal — Champagne. Moët & Chandon have been making sparkling wines since the 1700s so I think they know a thing or two."



    Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne 750ml, $47.97, available at Wired For Wine

    Sparkling Rosé
    "If you wanted to kick things up just a notch in the sparkling department, Argyle is one of my favorite domestic producers (Oregon) and this wine delivers on beautiful toasted notes and great acidity making it wonderful with food or on its own. "



    Argyle Brut Rose 2014, $39.99, available at Wine.com

    Riesling
    "Riesling — one of the most beautiful and versatile grapes in the world — is also wonderful to have on hand because it's light and often perceived as 'off dry' (slightly sweet). This bottle from winemakers and brothers Ernst and Thomas Loosen delivers on the slightly sweet notes without being cloying. If green apples and peaches could dance in a glass, this would be it. Also, Riesling is often lower in alcohol, which means it is perfect for day drinking or days when you may be in 'party mode' for a few more hours than usual."



    Dr. Loosen Riesling 2016, $11, available at Wine.com

    Cabernet Sauvignon
    "If you would like to pay homage to one of America’s G.O.A.T. wine producers, then you need to buy some of the many beautiful wines made by Robert Mondavi. His Cabernet Sauvignon is lush, deeply layered, and is perfectly paired with a night by your fireplace."



    Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, $29.99, available at Drizly

    Non-Alcoholic Sparkling
    "Non-drinkers, expectant moms, and people who need a night off the booze should be able to celebrate with a delicious glass of wine, too! Mostly every country has their 'take' on sparkling wine so it is a lot of fun to taste through the globe and compare and contrast, knowing you can have as many glasses as you like with no fear of hangovers. Also, a pro-tip is to switch to these sparklers after you've had a glass or two of wine with alcohol. It can keep you on track and make a very long evening more enjoyable."



    Various Wineries Sparkling Non-Alcoholic Wine Sampler, $89.99, available at Amazon

    Cream Sherry
    "If you really want to make an evening sweet, pour a dessert wine like like a Cream Sherry. These wines are concentrated and viscous, so you only need a little in your glass (or over your ice cream) to enjoy them. Cream Sherry is full-bodied and is the perfect nightcap."



    Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry, $13, available at Wine.com

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    While the glitzy parties, twinkling lights and saccharine made-for-TV movies would have us believe that the holidays are all happy all the time, this time of year — especially after a year like this one — are the hardest for a lot of people. Between once close-knit families finding themselves on opposite sides of every argument and the tragic news notifications we receive on a nearly-hourly basis, it seems only right to use this holiday season, especially, to give back.

    No matter your cause of choice — from the ACLU to Planned Parenthood — there's a fashion brand making it their holiday mission to help you support it. So before you tackle that formidable Hanukkah-Kwanza-Christmas list you've been putting off, see how you can check off every name on your list andgive back to those who need it most.

    Ahead, we've rounded up 14 brands that are dedicating this holiday season to doing good. Because while we might be living in trying times, there's always something more we can do to help.

    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.

    J.Hannah
    Cause: 100% of proceeds are donated to Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles.



    J.Hannah Sontag Nail Polish, $22, available at Sexy BeastPhoto Courtesy of J.Hannah.

    AMO Denim
    Cause: 20% of proceeds from the Be The Change sweatshirt and Be The Change t-shirt will be donated to ACLU.



    AMO Denim Be The Change Raglan Sweatshirt, $178, available at AMO DenimPhoto Courtesy of Amo Denim.

    Vrai & Oro
    Cause: 15% of every ring sold will be donated to Girls Inc., a non-profit on a mission to empower girls in underserved schools to succeed in the classroom and beyond.



    Vrai & Oro Her Ring, $195, available at Vrai & OroPhoto Courtesy of Vrai & Oro.

    STATE Bags
    Cause: For every State bag purchased, they hand-deliver a backpack – packed with essential tools for success – to a local child in need.



    State Bags Mini Lorimer Backpack , $80, available at State BagsPhoto Courtesy of State Bags.

    Wildfang
    Cause: 100% of the proceeds from sales of the I Really Care Tee will be donated to RAICES, an organization dedicated to helping separated families, detained families, unaccompanied minor and others who are seeking asylum in the United States.



    Wildfang I Really Do Care Tee, $40, available at Wildfang

    Comunity
    Cause: For every pair of shoes sold, the brand donates $10 to a local community effort that is uniquely chosen by the consumer.



    Comunity Westsider, $180, available at ComunityPhoto Courtesy of Comunity.

    Everlane
    Cause: For every 100% Human product sold, Everlane will donate $5 to the ACLU.



    Everlane The 100% Human Oversized Fleece Hoodie, $60, available at EverlanePhoto Courtesy of Everlane.

    The Giving Keys
    Cause: Every purchase made at The Giving Keys helps provide job opportunities to people transitioning out of homelessness.



    The Giving Keys Mini Key Necklace, $45, available at The Giving KeysPhoto Courtesy of The Giving Keys.

    James Perse
    Cause: 100% of the profits from these tees will be donated directly to non-profit organizations supporting the communities affected by the Woolsey fires, including California Fire Foundation and Direct Relief.



    James Perse Thousand Oaks Relief Tee, $125, available at James PersePhoto Courtesy of James Perse.

    Love Your Melon
    Cause: 50% of net profit from all Love Your Melon products is donated to the Love Your Melon Fund to aid in the fight against pediatric cancer.



    Love Your Melon Natural Knit Mittens, $55, available at Love Your MelonPhoto Courtesy of Love Your Melons.

    Montblanc
    Cause: In partnership with Marc Newson, every item purchased from the (Montblanc M)RED writing instrument collection will contribute to Global Fund to support HIV/AIDS programs.



    Montblanc (Montblanc M)RED Fountain Pen, $575, available at MontblancPhoto Courtesy of Montblanc.

    Westward Leaning x Alexis Bittar
    Cause: 10% of net profits from this collaboration collection will be donated to the National Parks Foundation.



    Westward Leaning X Alexis Bittar Pioneer 42, $255, available at Westward Leaning

    Johnny Was
    Cause: 100% of the proceeds from sales of this stocking benefit Five Acres, an LA-based non-profit providing community-based therapy for families in crisis, foster care and adoption services.



    Johnny Was Christmas Stocking, $48, available at Johnny WasPhoto Courtesy of Johnny Was.

    Botkier x James Goldcrown
    Cause: 20% of all proceeds from the Botkier x James Goldcrown capsule will benefit Free Arts NYC, a philanthropic organization dedicated to empowering underserved youth through art and mentoring programs.



    Botkier X James Goldcrown Cobble Hill Crossbody, $228, available at BotkierPhoto Courtesy of Botkier.

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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 much as we'd like to book weekly blowout appointments, root touch-ups every six weeks, and a scalp massage once a month, our wallets just aren't set up like that. Sure, healthy hair is an investment, but it doesn't always require you forking up hundreds in cash all the time (a girl's got rent to pay, after all).

    This year, the hair products that dropped at drugstores and other beauty retailers were equally effective and affordable — and we tried them all, so you have to do is sit back, save money, and let your hair thrive. Among the products our lengths and ends have fallen in love with are sweet-smelling conditioner, charcoal-infused stylers, and treatments that make our hair look fresh out of a Pantene commercial. The best part? Our favorite Beauty Innovator Awards honorees are all under $20, and we're spilling all the details, ahead.

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

    "I recently became something I never thought I'd be: a person who works out multiple times a week. Exercise has many benefits, from what I've heard, but it also has at least one downside, which is that I have to wash my hair more often than I used to — like, a lot more. I've gone from one shampoo a week to three or four, but it'd be a daily affair if not for this dry shampoo. In addition to absorbing oil, the charcoal blends easily so that the powder disappears in my very dark hair, and the non-aerosol bottle appeals to the part of me that lays awake at night agonizing over the ever-expanding hole in the ozone layer." —Rachel Krause, Senior Beauty Writer



    Redken Dry Shampoo Powder 02 with Charcoal, $20, available at Ulta Beauty

    "It’s hard to pick a favorite product from this sweet-smelling, all-natural (not to mention super-affordable) collection. But if you’re twisting my arm, I'd have to say that this rose conditioner is the one I recommend most often. On my fine, mid-length hair, it adds bounce and glossiness, and smells like breathing in a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers you’d find at a farmer’s market on a Sunday morning in May." —Megan Decker, Beauty Assistant



    Love Beauty and Planet Murumuru Butter & Rose Blooming Color Conditioner, $6.99, available at Target

    "My hair is super dry, and because of that, I'm always on the lookout for shine-enhancing treatments to add to my routine. I usually give some formulas a side eye because they can make my hair feel heavy and greasy, but this one does the opposite: It made my strands bouncy and glossy, from the time I started blow-drying to after my hair was completely styled. Think of this like a glossy nail-polish top coat — but for your hair." —Aimee Simeon, Beauty Writer



    Davines Davines The Spotlight Circle Hair Mask 50ml, $9.5, available at Barneys New York

    "This charcoal shampoo is made to sop up dirt and product buildup from your scalp, which scared me at first, because my already dry hair doesn't need products that dry it out even more. But I didn't have issues with this shampoo making my strands feel brittle. Instead, I focused the formula, which has charcoal and vitamin B5, on my scalp and it left the area refreshed and squeaky clean — like I'd taken a vitamin or detox drink straight to the head." —Simeon



    Pantene Pantene Pro-V Blends Charcoal Shampoo, $9.99, available at Target

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    Riawna Capri called it. A year ago, the celebrity stylist and co-founder of L.A.'s Nine Zero One salon predicted rich and buttery hair colors would replace icy and ashy hues on the heads of cool girls everywhere — and she was right. Now that we're rounding the corner on another year, we checked in with the mane oracle to find out what she sees for 2019. Her answer? "It’s a switch up from the traditional golden beachy hues," she notes. But instead of simply swinging right back to platinum shades, Capri sees a tendency toward more neutral territory, or what she's calling "dirty brunette." In fact, Capri is so confident in her choice, she's asked colorist Lauren Burke to create the look on her own hair.

    "A dirty brunette has a more neutral, smoky vibe rather than super icy or super warm shades," she explains. "Instead, it's a perfect balance of both." To strike the right chord, Burke highlights hair, then applies toner to mellow lifted strands to the lightest of brown shades or darkest of blondes. The result is a slight shift in color that complements different skin tones and features the way a full-stop blonding often won't. But don't just take Capri's word for it, see how dirty brunette is about to become the freshest thing to hit 2019, ahead.

    "Going into a new season doesn’t mean you have to completely change your color," notes Capri. "What I usually like to do with my clients is tone down balayage or ombré with a toner. It’s a super simple shift that doesn't require a full color change."

    Taking her own advice, Capri transitioned into a more neutral shade this fall with the help of a neutral beige toner, rather than opting for something super warm or cool. "I was traveling in the summer and my ends got light and blonde. Moving into fall, I toned it down about three levels or so and made myself a dirty brunette. Everybody has a dirty blonde friend, and now I’m the dirty brunette friend," she says.

    "For brunettes, you want to make sure you’re not completely covering up all the highlights when glossing or toning," she says. "The point is to richen up and deepen all the highlights that may have been created in the salon or by the sun. Here, we kept a couple pieces of the light flickers through the hair, but enrich it with a nice, deep gloss."

    When curls are given the dirty blonde treatment, neutral highlights help create the illusion of additional volume, particularly on shorter hair.

    As Burke puts it, dirty brunette is a seamless shade that shouldn't register as too blonde and or appear stripe-y. "It’s a very melted and seamless look that shouldn't feel like a big departure from natural shades," she says. Here, Nine Zero One colorist Molly Haugh balances darker roots and lighter ends with neutral brunette tone for a dirty brunette that looks right at home with her client's complexion.

    Never lightened your naturally brunette hair before? This gentle shade shift might be the thing that changes everything. As Burke points out, going dirty brunette is perfect transition for color virgins because "you're staying in the realm of being brunette" while still getting a new look.

    Because we know fewer and fewer people with time to roll into a salon every four-to-six weeks, dirty brunette also gets points for being extremely low maintenance. "Once your hair is highlighted and toned, the neutral shade can last for about a year," Burke says. "You only have to come in every 3-4 months to have a fresh toner applied."

    Dirty brunette may look simple enough to tackle at home, but it takes a master colorist to achieve the right balance of beige and sandy tones. In addition to nailing highlight placement, Burke says it takes a certain level of skill to lift dark shades to the point where the orange-y tints won't peak through.

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    Last month, we ran a Money Diary from Alice Little, a legal sex worker in Nevada who managed to book $1 million in a calendar year. We followed up with Little to chat about the diary and how she became the most successful legal sex worker in the country (it involves a 60-to-80-hour work week).

    Can you talk about what's changed in your life since you did a Money Diary last year?
    "One big change is that I’ve had to hire an assistant to help me manage my busy schedule, help take care of all my animals, and do some of the editing that I've simply run out of time for. I’ve got a podcast called Coffee with Alice, a show on YouTube, and I’m doing sex toy and sex book reviews.

    "I pay my assistant around $40,000 each year, and I have it set up right now with her as a private contractor underneath my personal LLC."

    You also mentioned in your diary that your minimum booking is now $2,000.
    "That is an absolutely massive change. Whereas before, I might have been available in lineup, I'm now available by appointment only. I was getting so many requests that I had to make a business decision and say, okay, I can’t handle three or four appointments each day and still be able to do my work in a way that I can feel comfortable. I had to adjust my business model so I could still get days off and manage my schedule in a way that works for me."

    Are you seeing clients less?
    "I would say I spend the majority of my time still working with my guests in a one-on-one context, but I've definitely taken some of my free time and dedicated it to my other projects. If I don’t have an appointment, I can finish up a sex toy review or get together show notes for a podcast. All of those little administrative tasks take up a surprising amount of time. In between that and social media photo shoots, I'm probably working a good 60 to 80 hours a week."

    You also hit a big goal during your diary: $1 million in bookings. How did that goal come about?
    "When I first started in the industry, it was just to see if it would be a good fit. But during that time I started to look at things from a different lens, switching from a short-term view to a long-term one. I saw potential for what [being a sex worker] could look like if I ran it as a full-time business. I set up what I called the 'Million Dollar Sex Work Business Plan.'"

    What does that entail?
    "I basically thought, If I wanted to book a million dollars in a calendar year in this industry, what would I have to do to accomplish that? I knew I would need a strong social media presence, since we can't advertise in a traditional way. I would have to make time for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Fetlife, as well as updating my own blog and writing for other blogs. It was all about trying different things, measuring how successful each thing was, and then determining where to best invest my energy to achieve my goal.

    "Then I broke it down. A million dollars divided by 12 became a goal of $84,000 a month. If I have an overnight client every month, which is in the $20,000 range, that brings it down. Then I should have a range of five-figure parties between $10,000 and $15,000. If I have three of those, then I would only need to do so many $5,000 parties. I set time aside to build connections with my guests and arrange my schedule so I could meet that goal — and now I'm even exceeding that.

    "We know, generally speaking, that the more successful individuals in our industry book somewhere between $400,000 and $700,000 in a calendar year. I'm almost doubling their performance, and it's really astonishing."

    Could you call yourself the most successful legal sex worker in Nevada right now?
    "Even crazier: I can say that I am the most successful legal sex worker in America. Sex work is only legal in Nevada. But I'm not saying this to brag; the reason why I talk about what I earn is because it's the only way that people will understand that legal sex work is a valid and real career. People always think of sex work as something short term, a stop gap, but I'm not unique in the sense that this is what I do full-time."

    Let's talk about what it takes to ask for that kind of booking fee. How do you justify your rate?
    "A lot of what I do is emotional labor. This is essentially where you moderate and regulate your own reactions, feelings, wants, and desires in order to take care of someone else’s feelings, needs, wants, and desires. This is something that is oftentimes used within therapeutic models, and psychologists, counselors, therapists, and top relationship counselors might charge well over $1,000 an hour. So start there as a benchmark.

    "Then we add in the physicality aspect. I am interacting with people in a physical way that is unique to my industry. It doesn't just look like sex; it also looks like intimate touch, connective touch in the form of massage, cuddling, making eye contact, holding their hands out in public and giving that sense of normalcy and warmth that others get to enjoy but they haven’t been able to experience.

    "Then you look at the communication aspect of it. Leading up to my meeting with that particular individual there have oftentimes been tens if not hundreds of hours of text communication, email communication, photos back and forth, and building rapport over time. The connection doesn’t just end when we’re not physically together. I continue to assist people, answer their questions, ask them how their day is going, so they feel warmth and support. Those kinds of things are all part of the services I offer.

    "There’s also a huge educational component to what I do. Oftentimes, I am giving them advice. For my guests who are virgins I might be giving them some advice on where to meet ladies and some ideas for a first date.

    "By the time that you add up all my job titles — essentially a sex professor, a psychologist, a relationship counselor, a companion, an escort, someone who is doing physical labor — I’d say I'm undervaluing myself for the amount of work I’m actually doing. Sex work is so much more than just sex. And personally, I love my job, which is why I choose to do it. I do this because I love people, and I love getting to meet people and establish these new connections. Of course, the financials are very helpful. Those will allow me to achieve other goals I have for my future. But that’s not the primary reason why."

    I think one thing we have to touch on is how your circumstances allowed you to choose the industry, and how privilege has helped your success in some ways. Can you talk about that?
    "I have been privileged in several different ways. We have to acknowledge that there is a privilege in society that is associated with being conventionally attractive. It would be unrealistic to say that looks have zero influence on success. It is unfortunately an industry that, to some degree, looks for, and favors, certain features more so than others. If someone is looking to enter this industry, they have to think, O kay, how am I going to choose to present and market myself? You can change things like your hair color, how you do your makeup, your styling, and the way you dress. You could choose to show your tattoos or hide them. Those are all business decisions that each person needs to make based off their own individual circumstances. You have to consider what aesthetics are most marketable to the industry.

    "It’s also not just looks. It does pay to have an education. I am lucky because I am a member of MENSA, and when I was a freshman in college I chose to make sure I did everything to graduate debt-free and have my education covered by various scholarships. That involved applying to probably 500 different scholarships, writing at least 100 essays, several phone interviews, numerous in-person interviews, all sorts of different things. I ended up getting less than 5 percent of the scholarships I applied for. I just tried to play the numbers game for it.

    "And of course, there’s also a financial aspect [of becoming a legal sex worker]. You have to fly yourself out to the Bunny Ranch, pay for your doctors expenses, pay for your license, and all of that comes out of your own pocket before you even start earning income at the ranch. You have to have certain financial abilities to enter this industry, too.

    "I was privileged enough to take advantage of the opportunity. I think when I’m done with this and choose to retire from being a legal sex worker, I most likely will lobby and work on furthering legal sex work in other areas so others will have the opportunities I had."

    But it's a specific career that works for you — it won't work for everyone, right?
    "It’s not a career for everyone, and that's okay. I’m somebody who has a very high emotional IQ. I understand how I am feeling, and I'm able to control my emotions and feelings so I can better assist someone else in the process of handling their own feelings. That’s not a skill everyone has.

    "It's also not a job of desperation. It is not a last-resort job. It requires a lot of business planning to be a successful legal sex worker. For example, I thought long and hard about how I wanted to portray myself, what kind of photos I wanted to share, what kind of individual I wanted to see. I sat down and did brand strategy and market research to determine what services I’m comfortable offering and not offering. If someone enters this industry from the standpoint of get rich quick, could you make a little bit of money right away? Absolutely. But generally speaking the long-term successful people in this industry, much like any industry, are putting in a tremendous amount of hard work."

    I think a lot of discussion in the comments of your first Money Diary was around the question of whether you chose this career willingly, and why.
    "The reason why people have this last-resort perception is because it’s such a stigmatized industry. I turned down a six-figure offer from a Fortune 500 company because I love the job I'm in now. That happens to be a privilege that I've had, but it goes to show that this is genuinely a choice for me. I could choose to do something else but I chose to do this instead."

    Are there other misconceptions around what you do?
    "Recently, I had to ask a crew to leave the Bunny Ranch after not respecting my autonomy when I told them No, I’m not comfortable filming this on camera. I don’t want to blow little kisses at the camera. That’s inauthentic, that’s not who I am, and I don't want to do that.

    "When they wouldn’t take no for an answer I asked them to leave. They were sitting there, trying to beg and plead with me, saying, Oh please honey baby, please help me out. This perception of sex work is so terribly skewed by all aspects of society. Even the media fails to understand us and interact with us in a way that’s respectful."

    Can you talk about why that depiction is so problematic for you?
    "I'm a professional in my industry. If you want to film what my job looks like, it looks like me doing field research on different scientific studies surrounding sex. It looks like me answering emails or doing a sex toy review. It looks like me doing a podcast interview. It does not look like me wearing skimpy sexy lingerie and shaking my booty back and forth or blowing kisses at the camera. That's representative of a Hollywood stereotype that I simply am not, nor does that stereotype actually exist. They’re trying to paint a fake story and to essentially take my professional business and pantomime it and mock it on film. It’s just so inappropriate.

    "They wanted me to crawl around on all fours towards the camera like a dog while making flirty faces at the camera. There’s literally no other profession where someone would ask a professional to get on their hands and knees to crawl towards the camera. It’s just so grossly inappropriate and shows such a lack of understanding for who I am and what I do.

    "I am a flesh and blood human being who loves my dogs and cats as any other person does. I have hobbies and interests that have nothing to do with my career. I spend a crazy amount of time playing Dungeons and Dragons and video games. My entire existence cannot just be summarized as being a sex worker, and they wanted to paint me as my profession rather than paint me as a person. And I'm so opposed to that that I refuse to let it happen."

    Recently, there was a high profile campaign by the self-described "faith-based non-profit" Awaken to potentially end the legalization of brothels in your county.
    "General public in Lyon County has shown us their incredible and overwhelming support, but if [legislation] had passed, I would have had to change counties, get licensed in different locations, find somewhere new to live. It would have turned my life upside down; I’ve had to put my life on hold because of this petition, and it’s been very, very frustrating.

    "It's the girls who are hurt by closing the brothels — it takes away their careers. It also hurts 134 staff members who certainly don't earn what I do and might not have the savings to weather it out in-between jobs.

    "What happened with the petition blindsided us, but after [Awaken] has done this once and endangered our careers, we’re going to be ready for them next time. We’re not going to be caught off guard. I want to do some proper research on who is working in the brothels, why are people choosing to enter the industry, and I want to look at the financial impact of having so many people fly into the region. We've never done an economic impact report on what sex work does for society. There is already a bill introduced to potentially remove legalization statewide, and in the next couple of years, this could turn into a statewide issue. Our industry is going to have to defend itself, so I think my focus is shifting to that next year."

    A lot of discussion in comments of your most recent diary was centered around the Bunny Ranch's late owner Dennis Hof, including allegations of rape. Can you comment on that?
    "I can only speak for my personal experience during my three years working here. I have never been pressured [by Dennis], I’ve never seen him pressure anyone, and I’ve never seen him assault anyone. It goes so far against what I know of him. If something of substance does arise I’m absolutely willing to look at it with a fresh set of eyes.

    "Much of all of this is sex workers being used in a political forum. We just want to be left alone to do our jobs. I just want my life to go back to normal. I want to be able to focus on my business and not defending my business. I want to work on my book and my podcast. It’s ridiculous and unfair. It’s no longer good enough for me to say, Hey here’s my Money Diary. I have to now justify everything going on in my life, everything in the brothel system."

    If evidence does come up that you believe, if something does arise, would that change your outlook on your work or career? Would you stop what you're doing?
    "No. Dennis has passed on; he no longer even owns the brothel, so if anything arises posthumously, even better for having Suzette in charge in that case. At this point, the brothels are being run by a woman. That’s very empowering.

    "We cannot undo the ills of the past; we cannot take back mistakes, but what we can do is do better. Let’s make sure we do better in the future."

    Can you talk about what changes might be happening at the Bunny Ranch? What's next?
    "I really think the sky is the limit. I think that this next year with Suzette at the helm of the Bunny Ranch, we’re going to see a lot of changes being made, updating some aspects of the business. I'm going to continue to be an advocate, but I'd like to formalize things a little bit more moving forward. One of my goals in 2019 is to establish a Nevada Brothel Association that acts as a legal advocacy group for the continual legalization of sex work in Nevada."

    This interview, conducted over two phone calls before and after the midterm election, has been condensed and edited for clarity.

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    Whether you’ve got diehard team spirit for your school’s football team or have never watched a game in your life, the magnitude of college football fandom cannot be denied. That’s why, ahead of the College Football Playoff, we teamed up with ESPN to explore how college football left a lasting impact on one woman’s life. Read ahead for more, then check out the Playoff yourself, Saturday, December 29 on ESPN.

    Until autumn of the year I turned 21, I’m not sure I had ever watched a college football game. Some people inherit the college teams of their parents or their city, but not me. I grew up in Canada, where college football doesn’t exist — at least, not in the American way where it seems entire cities adopt college football teams as their own. But when I was 21, I got into the University of Southern California and everything changed.

    It’s an understatement to say I was terrified to uproot my life and venture from Edmonton, Alberta — a quiet city on the Canadian prairies — to Los Angeles, California. When I got accepted, my parents and I sat around the kitchen table in shock.

    “Why are you crying?” my dad asked me. “This is a good thing.”

    There would be so many great opportunities at an American school, he told me. Think of the networking, the school clubs, the college football. At the time, we didn’t realize just how big college football was at USC, but the thought of “American college football” sounded momentous in and of itself. It felt like something you had to experience at least once in your life, up there with seeing Big Ben in London or eating croissants in Paris.

    I wasn’t going to turn down an opportunity to be part of it all. So just a few weeks later, we packed up the family van and my entire family made the three-day trek to drop me off at school.

    Arriving in L.A. was a complete culture shock. I’d vacationed in the States growing up but didn’t fully appreciate the fundamental differences between our two cultures, which were only accentuated by the fact that I was boarding in a sorority house on Greek row. It felt a little bit like living on a movie set.

    I didn’t know a single person in the entire city; I’m actually not sure I knew anyone in the entire country.

    I forced a brave face while my family helped me unpack. But when they were gone, the loneliness set in. I didn’t know a single person in the entire city; I’m actually not sure I knew anyone in the country. How do you start off in a place where you know no one? My strategy became going to the movies by myself. Sitting in a dark theater obscured the fact that I was alone.

    It’s safe to say my social life was not off to a great start. The loneliness gripped me every time I had a spare moment to myself. I felt guilty for moving so far away and leaving everyone I loved. I wondered what my family was doing without me and if my dog would still remember me when I came back.

    Still, I didn’t want to give up and take the loneliness lying down. I was determined to make my first semester a success. And as luck would have it, there was a friendly, chatty girl named Lauren living down the hall from me who managed to make friends with everyone, even me. She was also a boarder at the sorority but had transferred a semester before me. If I was living in a movie, she was the knowledgeable best friend who swooped in to pull me out of my tailspin. Perhaps the most valuable tips she dispensed were about football.

    According to Lauren, I needed to quickly get season football tickets, buy a game-day outfit, and, most importantly, learn the fight song — she sent me a video link for practice, which I blasted in my room when no one was home. I was determined to fit in on my first game day.

    I still had no idea just how big college football was at USC, but it was starting to become clearer. “I won’t assign a group project this weekend,” my English professor told the class the Friday before our first home game. “It would be terrible of me to try to make you meet up on a game day.” My classmates sighed, relieved. I, on the other hand, silently judged them for not putting in the effort.

    Some parts of campus were such a tightly packed mess of cardinal and gold that you could barely wind your way through.

    On game day, as we neared campus — several hours early as per Lauren’s direction — I could already sense the energy of the crowds. USC on game days became the gathering place for all of Trojan nation. Some parts of campus were such a tightly packed mess of cardinal and gold that you could barely wind your way through. I suddenly understood why we couldn’t do a group project on a game day.

    What I remember most about that first game is Lauren pulling me through the throngs of people from tailgate to tailgate, arriving at the center of campus just in time to hear the marching band play the fight song. You couldn’t imagine an experience more antithetical to sitting in a dark movie theater alone.

    Social psychologists who study the way sports impact our lives say that identifying with a team lessens feelings of loneliness, depression, and alienation. Research also shows that college students who identify with an on-campus team tend to feel more connected to the entire campus, not just other fans. I understand this completely, because at that first home game, under those bright lights, I experienced it myself.

    Being in the student section for a game was like nothing I had ever been a part of. I was madly trying to memorize everything that happened, so I could tell everyone back home. As far as I could make out, there was some crazy cheer that resulted in girls being thrown in the air. This in addition to a host of other chants Lauren was trying to get me to memorize, including the many times Trojans have to hold their fingers in the air in a “V” for a victory sign.

    At some point during the game, I stopped saying 'they better win' and started saying 'we’d better win.'

    Nobody sat down once for the entire game — and it wasn’t even a playoff game or anything special. More importantly, everyone seemed to know what was happening on the field. My football knowledge was elementary, but the students around me did their best to kickstart my education. Still, I can’t even remember who won that first game. What I remember is that at some point during the game, I stopped saying “they better win” and started saying “we’d better win.” I stopped thinking, You guys have a lot of crazy chants, and starting thinking, We Trojans sure get into it.

    After the game, we stopped for messy, bacon-wrapped hot dogs in the rose garden on our way home. “This is an L.A. tradition,” Lauren told me between bites. I sat on the sidewalk beside my new friend, devouring my hot dog and contemplating that: a new tradition. Traditions are one of the fastest ways to feel at home. I had just found my first new one in L.A. As a bonus, it came with bacon.

    Thanks to Lauren’s advice, I purchased the football season tickets. So I got an entire semester of bacon-wrapped hot dogs, tailgates, and football cheers. Even if it took a while to find regular friends, I knew every weekend I could count on becoming part of a community.

    Two degrees and a thousand bacon-wrapped hot dogs later, I’m a sports writer; I’ve traveled around the globe covering world championships. What I like most about sports is what I learned from college football. It’s not really about who wins the game. More than anything, it’s about being together.

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    Maybe you write in a bullet journal every day. Maybe you keep track of your workouts in a notebook. Maybe you have an old school diary, complete with an itty bitty lock to keep any intruders out of your business. But, if you're someone who reads multiple horoscopes every week and can name the current moon phase at a moment's notice, you're probably best off writing all your thoughts down in a moon journal.

    In general, a moon journal is a structured type of diary that asks the user to write down their plans, moods, or daily tasks in the context of the moon's phase. Some may offer daily, weekly, or monthly queries or topics to inspire reflection, while others simply list the moon's daily movements and leave it up to you to infer its meaning. After all, it's believed that every lunar phase has a different effect on our emotional state — keeping that in mind while venting about your day may prove helpful in understanding your feelings.

    With the new year right around the corner, there's no better time to pick up the habit of journaling in time with the moon. Ahead, check out some of our favorite picks for the lunar events of 2019.

    This guided journal offers tips on how to schedule your gardening, love life, and career around the cycles of the moon. Even if you don't end up tying the knot on the full moon, you'll have room to reflect on that phase's effect on your love life.



    Llewellyn Publications Llewellyn's 2019 Moon Sign Book, $9.19, available at Amazon

    Think of this weekly planner as a pared down version of Llewellyn's Moon Sign Book. Pick this one if you're already somewhat familiar with what each lunar phase represents and can interpret on your own how its energy is making its way into your life.



    Llewellyn Publications Llewellyn's 2019 Moon Sign Datebook, $9.19, available at Amazon

    This diary gives you space to reflect on every day of the year and keeps you informed as to the moon's phase as well as its movement through the signs of the Zodiac. If you want to expand your understanding of the lunar cycle even further, pick up author Yasmin Boland's regular Moonology as a reference guide.



    Hay House UK Ltd Moonology Diary 2019, $14.23, available at Amazon

    This straightforward journal offers plenty of info and gentle prompts to help you reflect on the moon's role in your everyday life, dreams, and choices that you must make for the future.



    Chronicle Books The Moon Journal, $16.95, available at Chronicle Books

    This journal starts off with a guide to releasing old energy for the new year and an instructional section on intention-setting and gratitude, so you're more than prepared to observe the full and new moons of 2019. Order the physical journal or download the digital version here.

    This journal will ensure that 2019 is the year that you start meditating with the lunar cycle. Use the ample writing space to track your reflections and progress toward the intentions you set during your meditation sessions.



    CreateSpace Publishing Moon Journal 2019: A lunar meditation companion, $23, available at Barnes & Noble

    With weekly gemstone recommendations, astrological forecasts, space to plan and set intentions, and a ton of themed stickers, this planner is arguably the most thorough and informative pick on our list. Preorder it here.

    This planner will remind you that, much like one lunar phase in the moon's entire cycle, every event in your life is a smaller part of a larger whole — and you can keep track of all of those little moments within its pages.



    Lulu 2019 Lunar Planner by Nick Anthony Fiorenza (Paperback), $19.95, available at Lulu

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    Shopping for your other half may be the most stressful on your list. When it comes to settling on a gift for the apple of your eye — whether that be your S.O., your sibling, your best friend, your dog, your boss, your grandma, or anyone else — the pressure is on. You want to impress them with something different, something meaningful, and something you know they’ll actually use.

    While there are tons of gifts that fit the bill, it can be hard to find them — and even harder to decide which one is truly perfect enough for your number one. To help you get it right this year, we’ve rounded up 26 gifts that are just plain genius (and nowhere near plain). From functional items like a wireless charger you can take anywhere, to a Le Labo fragrance testing set, to a silk pillowcase (goodbye bed head!), chances are high that you’ll find the present you’ve been looking for all along. Click through to meet your match's match.

    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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    Some people are inherently impossible to shop for — the primo offender being the girl who already has everything. In your life, maybe that's your picky older sister who returns every gift you've ever given her. Or perhaps it's your soon-to-be mother-in-law (s eriously, how many handbags can one woman own?). Whatever the relation, there's a good chance she's causing you a splitting headache right about now.

    But before you reach for another Advil, or scroll through your 14th page of Amazo n results, consider the universally-loved beauty gifts, ahead. From dainty rhinestone barrettes to a luxe silk eye mask — all under $100 — they're guaranteed to charm the pants off anyone on your list, including the one who already owns 11 pairs of Yeezy joggers.

    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 trendy marble eye mask is the latest arrival from Slip Beauty, the buzzy brand behind those luxe silk sleep masks and pillowcases. It's perfect for your snooty older sister who insists on eight hours — and calacatta countertops.



    Slip slip™ for beauty sleep™ Marble Sleep Mask, $50, available at Nordstrom

    This rose quartz jade roller, designed by Hollywood esthetician Angela Caglia, is not only perfect for sculpting cheekbones and de-puffing red wine-induced eye bags, but it will also instantly elevate your best friend's bathroom shelfie.



    Angela Caglia La Vie En Rose Face Roller, $65, available at Saks Fifth Avenue

    Gifting hand cream might seem a little lame — unless, of course, it comes in a weighty white disk with a Chanel No 5 label. What mother-in-law drama?



    Chanel N°5 L'eau Hand Cream, $55, available at Sephora

    A travel-friendly skin-care set makes a great gift for your friend who always seems to be on the go (or just posts a lot of TBTs, we're not entirely sure).



    Kiehl's Kiehl\u2019s Power Packed Essentials, $99, available at Birchbox

    Gift pink Himalayan bath salt to your brother's girlfriend who loves hot yoga and sautés veggies with chia seed oil. She'll dig the Goop label, but really, anyone on your list can appreciate the cheeky martini reference and the permission to escape the dinner table for a bubble bath.



    goop "The Martini" Emotional Detox Bath Soak, $35, available at goop

    A fresh, fluffy set of makeup brushes is always a hit. This six-pack is so chic, whoever you gift it to will have no idea you found it at Target.



    Sonia Kashuk Limited Edition Opal Twist Brush Set + Case, $35, available at Fashion Targets Breast Cancer

    Give the gift of a Fresh lip balm for every handbag in your best friend's rotation, and she'll thank you at least five times a day.



    Fresh Escape to Sugar Lip Set, $37, available at Fresh

    If you're going to gift a face mask, you can't go wrong wrapping tissue paper around this glossy blue aluminum tube, which broke the internet this year and won the top prize in our Beauty Innovator Awards.



    Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask, $48, available at Sephora

    A thoughtful gift/hint for your co-worker who always asks if you have an extra bobby pin.



    Chloe + Isabel Rhinestone Pin Set, $48, available at Chloe + Isabel

    Upgrade your aunt from Aquaphor with this chic designer balm, which delivers a your-lips-but-better flush in a single swipe.



    Dior Addict Lip Glow/0.12 oz., $34, available at Saks Fifth Avenue

    This Herbivore Botanicals rose pink bath set (which comes with a rose quartz body polish, illuminating oil, a coconut milk bath soak, and a meditation guide) basically screams: Treat yourself.



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

    A single glass bottle of Smith & Cult gold-capped nail polish (or lacquer, if you prefer) makes a great stocking stuffer. But wrapping up a set of three — including the Shattered Souls gold glitter and the universally-flattering Tang Bang shade — goes above and beyond.



    Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer Trio, $50, available at Net-A-Porter

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    If there's ever a time to help a friend up their amateur bartending games, it's during the holidays. This feast and family-filled season opens up a whole slew of entertaining opportunities to impress your hosts while reaping the benefits of their well-stocked apartment. While you can certainly turn to corner store corkscrews and Solo cups as accoutrements with your chosen bottle of spirits, accessories that double as stylish decor pieces take your guest offering into serious present zone.

    Ahead we've lined up a unique mix of boozy buys that apartment bartending giftees will covet — whether an amateur sommelier in need of artful wine racks and stoppers, or a casual cocktail-crafter searching for swanky bar carts and serving trays. Scroll ahead to shop the finds that will take at-home mixologists from boring basics to elegant experts...With actual booze and a few fashion to beauty and decor finds included, too.

    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 Gift: Cocktail Print

    Why It's Game-Changing: Accent your apartment bar with bespoke cocktail art — Sarah Ferone designs an entire lineup of bright and bold drink prints, from classic martinis to trendy mojitos and pretty pink palomas.



    Sarah Ferone Illustration + Design Cocktail Hour: Negroni Art Print, $27.87, available at Society6

    The Gift: White Walker Scotch-Whiskey

    Why It's Game-Changing: For the diehard GOT fans in your life — this limited edition scotch-whiskey blend, named after the show's infamous White Walkers, is a dream gift. Each bottle comes equipped with a frosted sleeve that reveals hidden designs when chilled.



    Johnnie Walker White Walker Blended Scotch Whisky, $59.99, available at Drizly

    The Gift: Cat Wine & Bottle Opener

    Why It's Game-Changing: Dual cat-cocktail lovers can uncork and sip in style with this 14K gold-plated opener with foil-cutting capabilities.



    Plaisir de la Cave Sphinx Wine & Bottle Opener, $23.95, available at Amazon

    The Gift: Rosé Facial Moisturizer

    Why It's Game-Changing: Rosé-fanatics can literally wear their favorite glass of wine on their faces — this hydrating gel-cream moisturizer is infused with a blend of organic grape water and antioxidant-rich grape seed polyphenols.



    Caudalie VinoSource Moisturizing Sorbet (1.3 oz.), $27.61, available at Amazon

    The Gift: Holiday Cocktail Kit

    Why It's Game-Changing: Gift a party-throwing friend with all the specialty makings for festive holiday cocktails — this kit includes everything from seasonal mixers to elixirs, unbreakable glass tumblers, bourbon cocktail cherries, and more.



    Mouth Holiday Cocktail Kit, $114.5, available at Mouth

    The Gift: Golden Pizza Bottle Opener

    Why It's Game-Changing: As useful in opening all your favorite seasonal IPAs as it is stylish in making a golden statement on your coffee table.



    8 Oak Lane BOTTLE OPENER - PIZZA, $9.97, available at Nordstrom Rack

    The Gift: Wine Glass Shower Holder

    Why It's Game-Changing: Turn up more than your music during shower time with this genius lavender glass perch.



    Urban Outfitters Sipski Shower Wine Glass Holder, $18, available at Urban Outfitters

    The Gift: Pineapple Cocktail Shaker

    Why It's Game-Changing: Get you a shaker that makes a mean cocktail while doubling as a dark-chic decor piece.



    W&P Design Pineapple Cocktail Shaker, $74.25, available at Amazon

    The Gift: Mirrored Serving Tray

    Why It's Game-Changing: Not enough space or budget for an entire bar cart? This elegant mirrored tray has your cocktail-making and serving needs covered.



    Kate and Laurel Lipton Decorative Tray with Metal Handles, Gold Mirrore, $59.99, available at Amazon

    The Gift: Foldable Wine Bottle

    Why It's Game-Changing: This BPA-free, foldable container is designed to hold a bottle of your favorite wine for easy, light, and unbreakable toting on-the-go.



    Wine2Go The foldable wine bottle, $12.99, available at Wine2Go

    The Gift: Glitter Cocktail Jiggers

    Why It's Game-Changing: Crafted in India, these glitter cocktail jiggers are ready to measure out your alcohol with glamorous swagger.



    CB2 Gleam Jiggers, $7.95, available at CB2

    The Gift: Aperol Spritz Shirt

    Why It's Game-Changing: This 100% cotton, long-sleeved shirt puts a trendy cocktail spin on the classic skater tee — wear it and never forget the recipe to an Aperol Spritz.



    Skate Mental Spritz White Long Sleeve T-Shirt, $23.98, available at Zumiez

    The Gift: "Ping For Gin" Bell

    Why It's Game-Changing: A novelty apartment bar necessity — we'll be pinging for gin all holiday season long.



    Oliver Bonas Ping for Gin Bell, $7.25, available at Oliver Bonas

    The Gift: Corkscrew Bust

    Why It's Game-Changing: Swap your corner store corkscrew for this artful find shaped like a sculpture from Ancient Greece.



    Doiy Design Hestia Corkscrew, $20, available at Urban Outfitters

    The Gift: Stainless Steel Flask

    Why It's Game-Changing: Flasks are back, baby — and this shiny, Brooklyn-made model proves it.



    Areaware Liquid Body Flask, $60, available at Need Supply Co

    The Gift: Vintage-Looking Wine Rack

    Why It's Game-Changing: Add a flourish of vintage flair to your apartment wine bar with this floral-designed iron rack.



    Anthropologie Marrakesh Wine Rack, $98, available at Anthropologie

    The Gift: Curated Wine Subscription

    Why It's Game-Changing: For wine-lovers in need of some at-home sommelier guidance — Winc's curated monthly wine selections are the trendy solution.



    Winc Winc Wine Club Gift Card, $60, available at Winc

    The Gift: Dink Up, Darling Tee

    Why It's Game-Changing: This cheeky graphic tee is made from 100% recycled materials for a soft and boxy fit.



    Blonde Gone Rogue Drink Up Sustainable T-Shirt In White, $66, available at Wolf & Badger

    The Gift: Elegant Shot Glass Set

    Why It's Game-Changing: Shots no longer need remind us of LMFAO and Lil Jon — gift this elegant silver and gold set to someone who needs that reminder.



    Lulu and Georgia Elizabella Shot Glasses Set, Brass, $70, available at Lulu and Georgia

    The Gift: Matte-Black Cocktail Set

    Why It's Game-Changing: Gift your main mixologist-makers this professional-grade, fully-stocked set in stylish matte-black.



    VonShef Matte Black Parisian Cocktail Shaker Set, $35.99, available at Amazon

    The Gift: Small-Space Alcohol Rack

    Why It's Game-Changing: This artful, geometric rack is compact enough to stylishly keep up to six booze bottles in the smallest of at-home bar spaces.



    Home Essentials Goldtone Decorative Holder, $14.99, available at Saks OFF 5TH

    The Gift: Pinot Noir Candle

    Why It's Game-Changing: A custom-blended candle that releases the earthy and complex fragrance of your favorite wine's tasting notes.



    Rewined Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Candle, $31.97, available at Amazon

    The Gift: Geometric Wine Stopper & Charm Set

    Why It's Game-Changing: Make an artful statement not only when you stop your uncorked bottles, but also when keeping track of guests' glasses.



    Umbra Geo Wine Charm and Bottle Topper Set, $20, available at AllModern

    The Gift: Stainless Steel Shaker

    Why It's Game-Changing: This sleek shaker is both subtle and stylish — a.k.a. the perfect booze accessory for apartment bar minimalists.



    Stelton AJ Cocktail Shaker, $179, available at Need Supply Co

    The Gift: Gilded Bar Cart

    Why It's Game-Changing: An investment piece with major apartment bar potential, this two-tiered cart is ready to make its glamorous holiday booze debut.



    Mistana Timberlake Bar Cart, $171.99, available at Wayfair

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