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Refinery29

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    While we'd like to ball out every year on all of our friends and family, fact is, holiday shopping must have a budget. If there are tons of presents to buy, you might have to scrimp on some and splurge on others. You can save a few bucks going grandma-style, a.k.a. buying six-packs of tube socks for all of your cousins – but when it comes to buying for your S.O., your mom, or even your best friend, you'll likely have to do some damage. After all, they're the ones who put up with your incessant rambling, late night phone calls and constant demands for pizza.

    Since there's nothing worse than dropping three figures on a gift that's not worth the hefty price tag, we did a deep dive to find the best designer presents that are. From Cinderella slides fit for a princess to baby soft knits to live in all winter long, the 20 gifts ahead are sure to impress. So before you blow your whole paycheck on a big purchase that's only so-so, take a look at our splurge-worthy picks.

    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.

    — PAID —

    The $ is in the details: Here, a pinky-taupe sweater gets toughened up with raw edges at the collar.



    Zadig et Voltaire Asa Sweater, $478, available at Zadig & Voltaire

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    Ever since my first job at MTV working as a music programmer, I can't stop trying to match people with music they might like. So, I wrote a book calledRecord Collecting for Girls and started interviewing musicians. The Music Concierge is a column where I share music I'm listening to that you might enjoy, with a little context. Get everything I've recommended this year on Spotify, follow me on Twitter or Facebook, and leave a comment below telling me what you're listening to this week.

    John Legend & Esperanza Spalding, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"

    We're on our holiday music game this week, with the new tracks you need to add to your yearly playlist. We'll kick it off with John Legend, because his holiday album became an instant classic from the moment it dropped in late October. This track, with Obama's favorite Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding, is a perfect take on a Christmas classic, with less sadness than the Judy Garland original.

    Tyler, The Creator feat. Ryan Beatty & Santigold, "Lights On"

    Now, how about a new classic to add to the playlist? Grandma may not like this one, but oh well. Tyler, The Creator continues his on again/off again relationship with Christmas by dropping an EP of songs inspired by The Grinch. This bizarre but delightful track is my pick from the six-song offering, but spin 'em all and see which one suits you!

    The Minus 5 feat. Ben Gibbard, "Christmas in Antartica"

    If Death Cab for Cutie aren't dropping a Christmas single this year, I'll take the Minus 5 with DCFC lead singer Ben Gibbard instead to soundtrack my emo Xmas. Except hold the emo and add a lot of power pop guitar chords instead. Issa bop.

    Phoebe Bridgers feat. Jackson Browne, "Christmas Song"

    For your cooler-than-cool yuletide fetes, toss on this single from indie folk darling Phoebe Bridgers with singer/songwriter legend Jackson Browne. It's a cover from one of Omaha, NE's finest (and lesser known) bands, McCarthy Trenching. The song came together after Bridgers saw them play it at a show in L.A., discovered it didn't make her want to quit music, and randomly folk-rock legend Jackson Browne was also in attendance, and loved it. Deep cuts, people. Deep cuts.

    Bubble & Squeak "The Christmas Stick"

    If you didn't think my selections could get more indie or obscure, hold my beer. This last one is a new holiday original from Girl Ray's Poppy Hankin and Jof Owens of The Boy Least Likely To. This sweet ditty tells the story of a boy and girl who fall in love and simply just write...a Christmas song. I nominate it for best use of sleigh bells this season.

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    False eyelashes should be a worthwhile option for those in pursuit of major lashes without going the more permanent route, but for the average person (who doesn't do makeup for a living), being able to apply them accurately, with a steady hand, is straight-up witchcraft. Between the necessary precision, getting the right amount of glue, choosing the right strip, cutting them to size... we'd almost prefer having a tedious 45-minute conversation with someone who's really into cryptocurrency.

    So when false lashes are off the table, and mascara isn't quite giving you the lash intensity you so desperately dream of, you're looking at either a lash lift or extensions. Both choices have their merits, but they are different — and Asma Docrat, founder of Boudoir Lashes in London, says that, at the end of the day, one does have an advantage.

    "Personally, if I could only have one of the two for the rest of my life, it would be extensions, hands down," Docrat says. "Eyelash extensions are the ne plus ultra of making you look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, even if you feel the total opposite. The length, thickness, curl, and color of eyelash extensions beats any mascara — and trust me, I have tried everything from high-end to drugstore and nothing compares."

    But how can you make them look natural? Docrat says that her studio has a very thorough, stringent procedure to make sure nobody walks away looking like a giraffe. "We only ever extend your lashes by a third of your natural length," she explains. "Any more, and they'll be too heavy for you and look weird." The same goes for thickness: You don't want to overload your delicate lashes with chunky, heavy extensions. "It's also quite helpful to bring some photos of the style you like, and see if we can do something similar based on your natural lashes and overall eye shape."

    Extensions might get a bit of a bad rap as being a super-dramatic option, but it's possible to have them done in a really natural way, too. The other benefit is how long they last. "You can always pop in for a top-up every three to four weeks to keep your lashes looking amazing," Docrat says. "They also mean that you wake up looking so much more 'done,' which frees you up to hit snooze a couple more times."

    That’s not to say you shouldn't rule out a lash lift — it's certainly a more natural look than extensions, but it still packs a punch, and you'd be surprised by how much more awake you look when your lashes are properly curled or even tinted. "A lash lift will look great for about two to four weeks," Docrat says. "When the new lashes start to grow through, though, you'll have a mixture of curled and straight lashes."

    The overall verdict? Well, it does come down to personal preference. You can't know how you feel about extensions until you've done them, and from there, you can decide if you want to trade in for the subtle volume of a lash lift or if you want to keep tweaking to find your perfect extension fit. "Everyone has their own idea of what they consider to be cost-effective — I think it’s all relative to a person’s lifestyle choices," Docrat says. "I’ve been doing both treatments for almost 10 years, and I can safely say that as long as you follow the prep and aftercare you shouldn’t cause any damage to your lashes." So, with that out of the way, why not spring for those extensions you can't stop thinking about?

    This story was originally published on Refinery29 UK.

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    Every winter, more and more fair-weather Manhattanites flee to the Pacific in search of sunshine. OK, so there are likely other factors fueling the coastal swap besides the weather — like the dream job offer that needs you to relocate ASAP or the urge to break out of the NYC grind (which suddenly feels extra brutal when you add a windchill) — but the gloriously comfortable, 65-degree December days are definitely a major draw.

    Even if you're not making your way cross-country this winter, you can get an infusion of Cali cool with a new hair color. The quintessential L.A. girl — with her glossy, blonde curls peeking out from under the collar of her leather biker jacket — has no perception of seasonal depression. So, we look to her, and her colorist, for our cold-weather hair inspiration.

    Ahead, we're breaking down the three biggest hair color trends sweeping L.A. this season. Bring any of these to your next appointment, and you'll be feeling fresh, sunshiny vibes — screw the five-day forecast.

    Cool Beige

    A blend between dusty blonde and warm brunette, cool beige balayage adds depth to any base color. Celebrity colorist Min Kim tells us that the shade is winter's most versatile and low-maintenance trend. "Pale beige blonde is the unicorn of winter hair color," says Kim. "The accent shade acts as a rich lowlight for natural blondes and gives a believable brightness to darker brunettes." And with the balayage blending technique, the root grow out is seamless — which means fewer Saturday mornings spent in a salon chair.

    Cool blonde highlights over a dark brunette root color creates a faded, sandy shade — which looks killer when the wind catches the ends.

    Kim tells us that with the right at-home maintenance plan, the shade should be resistant to brassiness or a stripe-y look as it grows out. She recommends stocking the L'Oréal purple shampoo to keep the blonde bright and scheduling an in-salon gloss to amp up the shine between appointments.

    If you have a base color that's black, or very dark brown, the beige tone of the blonde highlight will give a dimmed, sun-kissed effect.

    Rich Chocolate Brown

    Nothing screams winter hair more than a glossy, chocolate brunette that evokes the warmth of stirring up a steamy mug of hot cocoa. Celebrity colorist Rita Hazan (the hands behind Beyoncé's buttery blonde highlights) tells us warm browns are all the rage this season. "I'm loving the blend of multi-tonal brown shades for winter," she says. "Depending on your base color, you can blend in a pale toffee highlight for a touch of brightness or a rich, caramel-colored accent for a gorgeous, dimensional brunette.

    A brunette base with a touch of pale brown highlights through the the ends gives the illusion of fuller, bouncier curls.

    When you keep the toffee highlights focused at the ends — skimming the tip of your bangs and focused from mid-shaft down — it gives the most gorgeous frame to the face.

    The key to keeping blended brunette color looking salon-perfect through the chilly months? Boost the shine. Hazan recommends using a gentle, color-safe shampoo and conditioner combo and adding a treatment mask once or twice a week to really get that glossy finish.

    Honey Bronde

    Consider a golden bronde infusion if you're craving sun-kissed brightness in the winter months. Cherin Choi, colorist at L.A.'s Nova Arts Salon, tells us that golden brunette tones — those that fall somewhere in between brown and blonde — give the illusion of a restful week on the beach without feeling overly summery.

    Nova Arts Salon

    Choi tells us that bronde balayage works on any base color — from light blonde to jet black.

    Nova Arts Salon

    Golden highlights over deep brown color evoke the perfect 4 p.m. winter sunset — a butterscotch sun fading into a crisp night sky.

    If you think your natural hair color is mousy — a dull blonde or brown — a swirled honey highlight around the face will transform you into a vibrant strawberry bronde.

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    Have engagement rings gotten a little too extravagant lately? From Lady Gaga's pink diamond ring to Priyanka Chopra 's massive rock — it's hard to find a celebrity ring that's not completely and utterly over-the-top. And since trends get their start from those in the spotlight, flashy rings have started popping up on left ring-fingers everywhere. But while we love a good trend here and there, when it comes to that one forever ring, sticking with the classics is more our speed.

    And there's no style simpler, more timeless or versatile than gold engagement rings. Whether you want a diamond-studded band, a honker stone smack dab in the middle, or a cluster style that just screams you, chances are you can find it in gold.

    Don't fall victim to extravagant engagement ring fads. Instead, take a look at our favorite, understated gold engagement rings that will never, ever go out of style.

    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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    Anxiety looks different in every person who lives with it and every person has their own way of managing it. But, if you have a friend who has anxiety, it's natural to want to do something that shows you're there to help them. Luckily, there are a few items you can give them that will undoubtedly make them smile.

    From weighted blankets to scented candles to journals, these simple gifts can help your friend unwind and focus less on their worries. No gift can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, but it certainly can remind your friend that you're there for them when they need you.

    Ahead, find the perfect gift for your friend with anxiety.

    If you or someone you know is experiencing anxiety and is in need of crisis support, please call the Crisis Call Center ’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090.

    Let this Bob Ross mug remind your friend that "we don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents."



    Urban Outfitters Bob Ross Heat-Changing Mug, $14, available at Urban Outfitters

    This silky-soft eye pillow is stuffed with flaxseed, lavender flowers, and lavender oil, for the next time your friend needs to catch some wonderfully fragrant ZZZs.



    Lime and Leaf Silk Watercolor Wave Eye Pillow, $20, available at Lime and Leaf

    There's nothing like a pair of noise-canceling headphones (preferably one playing an ultra-soothing playlist) to help your friend focus and relax.



    Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones II, $349.95, available at Bose

    A rosy face mist is just the thing to help your friend freshen up — and chill out — when they're on the go.



    Esym Face mist, $24, available at Esym

    This ultra-plushy, braided ball is exactly what we'd want to squeeze when we're stressed. Plus, it's machine-washable.



    Ohhio Ohhio Braid Stress Ball, $25, available at Etsy

    Depending on how your friend experiences their anxiety, the feeling of being grounded and supported by a weighted blanket may be just the thing that soothes them to sleep.



    Mosaic Weighted Blankets Blanca White - Cotton Blanket, $144.94, available at Mosaic Weighted Blankets

    If your friend is interested in meditation but doesn't know how to get started, a subscription to the structured meditation app Headspace is the perfect gift. A monthly plan goes for $12.99 a month.

    photographed by Erin Yamagata; modeled by Melissa Fifitia; produced by Sam Nodelman.

    Sometimes, all it takes is a reminder to take a slow, deep breath. The pendant on this simple necklace actually slows down the user's exhalations when they breath in and out of it, which leads them to breathe more mindfully and feel calmer.



    Uncommon Goods Mindful Breathing Necklace, $95, available at Uncommon Goods

    A simple journal can provide your friend with an outlet for their thoughts, emotions, or just their impressions about their day.



    Muji High Quality Paper Hard Cover Notebook A6, $11.5, available at Muji

    This citrus-scented candle is invigorating without being overpowering — taking a moment to pause and breathe in its fragrance may help your friend clear their mind.



    Scentered De-Stress Travel Therapy Candle, $29, available at Scentered

    If your friend isn't a candle fan but still wants their home to smell great, opt for an essential oil diffuser, which will imbue your friend's space with any number of soothing, uplifting scents.



    Saje Aroma Om® Gold Marble, $71.95, available at Saje

    If you ask us, nothing helps us relax quite like a pair of thick, fuzzy socks.



    Smartwool Women's Premium Moonridge Crew Socks, $29.95, available at Smartwool

    Research suggests that coloring helps people unplug and find a creative outlet for their energy — and coloring in tarot cards, specifically, just sounds fun to us.



    Sounds True The Tarot Coloring Book, $11.56, available at Amazon

    Whether your friend's an avid yogi or mainly goes to yoga class for the savasana, they could use a new mat. And this one provides enough support for floor poses and enough grip for active flows.



    Alo Yoga Warrior Mat, $100, available at Alo Yoga

    "Worry Eater" dolls were originally intended to help kids cope with nightmares, but their purpose can totally apply to adults with anxiety. Simply write down any worries and feed them to the doll. It'll "eat" them up and take them off your friend's mind.



    Sorgenfresser Worry Eaters Enno (Large), $22.99, available at Target

    This is a very different doll from the Worry Eater. As its name suggests, the Dammit! Doll is made to be an outlet for stress. In times of frustration, your friend can punch it, squeeze it, or throw it across the room — whatever helps them vent.



    Dammit! Dolls Rebel Rose Stress Doll, $15.87, available at Dammit! Dolls

    Truth be told, you can meditate anywhere. But it can helpful for your friend to have a specific spot where they can go to unplug. This supportive cushion will help them maintain a comfortable meditative posture, no matter how long they sit.



    Gaiam Premium Zafu Crescent Meditation Cushion, $49.98, available at Gaiam

    This customizable set lets you select your friend's favorite variety of tea plus a flavor of honey to sweeten the deal. They'll think of you every time they make themselves a cup.



    The Republic of Tea Custom Tea and Honey Gift, $21.93, available at The Republic of Tea

    This peppermint soak will help your friend recharge after a long day, soothing their body and their mind.



    Moa Fortifying Green Bath Potion, $35, available at Lucky Scent

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    There’s a serenity to walking down the streets of New York City, encountering the grand aura of the elms that line the wide-stanced passages from Brooklyn to Uptown Manhattan, or the mosaic of tender strangers you meet along the way. These interactions become lifeblood to you distinctly, transforming the fabric of the culture you consume — the coffee shops with well-rounded lattes, the restaurants with all-natural wine lists, those that are demure with funk and effervescence. As a result, you become tethered to the people in these spaces and their stories. Who are they? What do they need? Your imagination begins to runs wild.

    There’s a serenity to walking down the streets of New York City, encountering the grand aura of the elms that line the wide-stanced passages from Brooklyn to Uptown Manhattan, or the mosaic of tender strangers you meet along the way. These interactions become lifeblood to you distinctly, transforming the fabric of the culture you consume — the coffee shops with well-rounded lattes, the restaurants with all-natural wine lists, those that are demure with funk and effervescence. As a result, you become tethered to the people in these spaces and their stories. Who are they? What do they need? Your imagination begins to runs wild.

    Gift giving is such an innate part of sealing a connection with someone; there’s a sacredness to deciding on a piece and hoping it translates the love and feeling of warmth you carry for that person. We’re also beginning to witness the buzz of the holiday season, and what better way to nurture connections more holistically than by buying someone you care about something illustrious? Turning to Gucci's cruise collection, I handpicked holiday gifts for a few of the stranger encounters in my daily life — Gerard, a server at my favorite restaurant; Didi, my sometimes tarot card reader and healer; and Lisa, the yogi. Ahead, read my letters to each of them, written on the brand’s beautiful new stationery (which is available exclusively at the new Gucci Wooster Bookstore in its Wooster Street location, the ultimate gifting destination) to discover how they inspire me.

    Gift giving is such an innate part of sealing a connection with someone; there’s a sacredness to deciding on a piece and hoping it translates the love and feeling of warmth you carry for that person. We’re also beginning to witness the buzz of the holiday season, and what better way to nurture connections more holistically than by buying someone you care about something illustrious? Turning to Gucci 's cruise collection, I handpicked holiday gifts for a few of the stranger encounters in my daily life — Gerard, a server at my favorite restaurant; Didi, my sometimes tarot card reader and healer; and Lisa, the yogi. Ahead, read my letters to each of them, written on the brand’s beautiful new stationery (which is available exclusively at the new Gucci Wooster Bookstore in its Wooster Street location, the ultimate gifting destination) to discover how they inspire me.

    For the yogi at Heal Haus, my yoga home... For the yogi at Heal Haus, my yoga home...
    Lisa,
    Your calm is infectious, as is the way you move — which is both rapturous and healing. I like the way you make me feel centered and whole after every class, forcing me to face myself and ask about my intentions. What makes a person be? — you question, challenging us, your students, to see ourselves in all our shiny complexities. There’s that wonderful blue-cloud shawl you wear, spinning yourself with yarn after every class. I know you’re conscious about recycling and zero plastic use, so I like this tote as a handy companion for your daily needs. You also remind me of these leather and mesh white sandals, embellished with gold. Gifts to feed your feet with both opulence and comfort.

    For the yogi at Heal Haus, my yoga home...

    Lisa,
    Your calm is infectious, as is the way you move — which is both rapturous and healing. I like the way you make me feel centered and whole after every class, forcing me to face myself and ask about my intentions. What makes a person be? — you question, challenging us, your students, to see ourselves in all our shiny complexities. There’s that wonderful blue-cloud shawl you wear, spinning yourself with yarn after every class. I know you’re conscious about recycling and zero plastic use, so I like this tote as a handy companion for your daily needs. You also remind me of these leather and mesh white sandals, embellished with gold. Gifts to feed your feet with both opulence and comfort.

    With love, Fariha

    For the Haitian server who looks like Basquiat at my favorite local restaurant... For the Haitian server who looks like Basquiat at my favorite local restaurant...
    Gerard,
    I appreciate your warmth every time I see you. Living in New York and encountering the vastness of strangers can be an overwhelming daily occurrence. But your candor, grace, and general kindness whenever I come in and order that robust Pét Nat — and your knowing that’s what I need every single time — is a small comfort. When you told me you were an artist, I told you it made sense because you had impeccable, disheveled taste. My favorite kind of style: chic but not too chic. I like the prints that you wear, clashing colors with such insouciance. This emerald-green bomber with the panther face and the navigator sunglasses that’ll fit you just perfectly around the face, a frame for your cascading dreads, are my gifts to you.

    For the Haitian server who looks like Basquiat at my favorite local restaurant...

    Gerard,
    I appreciate your warmth every time I see you. Living in New York and encountering the vastness of strangers can be an overwhelming daily occurrence. But your candor, grace, and general kindness whenever I come in and order that robust Pét Nat — and your knowing that’s what I need every single time — is a small comfort. When you told me you were an artist, I told you it made sense because you had impeccable, disheveled taste. My favorite kind of style: chic but not too chic. I like the prints that you wear, clashing colors with such insouciance. This emerald-green bomber with the panther face and the navigator sunglasses that’ll fit you just perfectly around the face, a frame for your cascading dreads, are my gifts to you.

    Until next time, Fariha

    For my tarot reader and vision therapist... For my tarot reader and vision therapist...
    Didi,
    I like that you are an ascetic human who loves indulgence. I love that it’s very clear that whenever I talk about fear of scarcity, you remind me of abundance. Both in the universe but also beyond. Abundance, eternally, in our lives. Your sense of self has always confirmed your warmth and brightness to everyone who surrounds you, and because of this, you are one of the wisest of humans I’ve ever encountered. A book always in hand, tarot deck always ready, crystals in a crushed garnet velvet pouch, the gleaming rose quartz as the sun hits its incandescent edges. I thought that this small shoulder handbag could be the perfect companion for you, allowing you to be mobile with your vast resources — as well as this dainty single earring that’ll match all the glinting gold that you wear with such charm.

    For my tarot reader and vision therapist...

    Didi,
    I like that you are an ascetic human who loves indulgence. I love that it’s very clear that whenever I talk about fear of scarcity, you remind me of abundance. Both in the universe but also beyond. Abundance, eternally, in our lives. Your sense of self has always confirmed your warmth and brightness to everyone who surrounds you, and because of this, you are one of the wisest of humans I’ve ever encountered. A book always in hand, tarot deck always ready, crystals in a crushed garnet velvet pouch, the gleaming rose quartz as the sun hits its incandescent edges. I thought that this small shoulder handbag could be the perfect companion for you, allowing you to be mobile with your vast resources — as well as this dainty single earring that’ll match all the glinting gold that you wear with such charm.

    Feeling you across the breeze, Fariha








    Fariha Róisín is an Australian-Canadian writer based in Brooklyn, New York.


    Paintings by Mercedes Bellido.


    Chateau Marmont trademarks and copyright are used with permission of Chateau Marmont/A.Society. SEGA font used with permission of SEGA Holdings Co., Ltd.


    Fariha Róisín is an Australian-Canadian writer based in Brooklyn, New York.

    Paintings by Mercedes Bellido.

    Chateau Marmont trademarks and copyright are used with permission of Chateau Marmont/A.Society. SEGA font used with permission of SEGA Holdings Co., Ltd.

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    The new film Mary, Queen of Scots, in theaters today, is not really about Elizabeth I, Queen of England (Margot Robbie). As the title implies, the story centers around Elizabeth's cousin and rival, Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan), the supposed rightful heir to the Scottish and English thrones, and the brewing clash between the two. But it's Elizabeth's depiction in the movie that has gotten the biggest amount of buzz so far — with good reason.

    The first photos of Robbie on set dressed as Elizabeth I surfaced online in August, and without a trailer for context, the public had only an image or two of Robbie's Virgin Queen to put a face to the latest iteration of a character who has been reimagined on screen nearly 20 times before. Wearing a frizzy red wig, with chalk-white skin and a cluster of facial scars covering her cheeks and chin, Robbie was unrecognizable, and poised to pull off the most dramatic interpretation of the role since Helen McCrory in 2015's Bill.

    When Refinery29 asked Josie Rourke, the director of Mary, Queen of Scots, about the decision to make this Elizabeth more unsettling to look at, Rourke said it was to find the vulnerability and humanity in a woman that would go on to reign over England for 45 years. But how exactly does someone turn Robbie, a Hollywood It-girl and Oscar nominee, into the pockmarked, heavily made-up Queen?

    As the film's hair and makeup designer Jenny Shircore told us, the transformation required fake boils, scars, and lots of makeup. We asked Shircore for the behind-the-scenes details you need to know before witnessing Robbie's smallpox-stricken Queen, and her opponent Mary, on screen. Her secrets, ahead.

    Beauty Was Power — But Not For Long

    Although Shircore has created her fair share of British monarchs before — specifically, Elizabeth I twice with Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age — it was Rourke's version of the character that proved to be more revealing than ever.

    "We begin Elizabeth with a very young version of the Queen, going through the various stages of love and political unrest," Shircore recalls. "The white makeup was a symbol of her virginity in the film. Essentially, a Protestant Elizabeth substituted herself for the Catholic Virgin Mary. She also cut off her hair and wore a wig."

    Nearly two decades later, in Mary, Queen of Scots, Shircore says the makeup and hair were more directly connected to the Queen's experience with smallpox and its side effects, like deep scarring and alopecia. In the early scenes of Rourke's version, we do get a glimpse of Robbie as young Elizabeth I, fresh-faced and naturally flushed, boasting a full head of strawberry-blonde ringlets. In the Tudor period, Shircore explains, beauty translated into power. This is something both Mary Stuart and her cousin possessed — until one (that would be Elizabeth) no longer did.

    Regardless, Shircore says no matter what story anyone chooses to tell of Elizabeth I, "One must always keep in mind the iconic portrait of her as a powerful Queen, her face made up in very white paint and wearing a bright-red wig."

    If Elizabeth Never Got A Break From Scarring, Neither Did Robbie

    As Rourke previously mentioned, showcasing the Queen's scars was crucial to her on-screen persona — and Shircore took that one step further. "I had [Robbie] wear fake scars I made using prosthetics all the time on set," Shircore recalls. "Whether she would be wearing heavy makeup or not in a scene, it was important for her scars to always be there."

    Robbie has hinted throughout the film's press tour how "isolating " that experience was. "It was very alienating," she told Harper's Bazaar of her experience shooting the movie. "I felt very lonely. It was an interesting social experiment."

    As the movie progresses, the Queen's white, pasty makeup grows heavier and heavier (a signature trait most people will recognize from Elizabeth's portraits) — as does her power. The two are directly proportionate. "[Elizabeth] never goes back," Shircore says. "She just continues to apply the makeup and wear the wigs for years. This look symbolized Elizabeth's power."

    It's no wonder that with the scar prosthetics, white makeup, wigs, and addition of red lipstick and blush, it took Shircore nearly three hours each day to prep Robbie for the camera. Although Rourke and Shircore chose to include some of the most vulnerable physical qualities of Elizabeth, they did leave out one distinct feature: her rotting teeth.

    "Yes, eventually Queen Elizabeth also suffered through her rotting teeth," Shircore says. "But this didn't happen until a bit later on in her life. The film ends at the execution of Mary. If we had gone further on into her life we would have made her look older, and also would have shown signs of gum disease."

    Photo: Courtesy of Focus Features.

    Mary's Beauty Is Her Downfall

    In the film, there is only one scene where Mary and Elizabeth come face-to-face. Shircore says that, in that tense moment, Mary is purposefully striking in comparison to Elizabeth, who eventually pulls off her red wig in tears to reveal a balding hairline.

    "Historically, Mary was known to be very beautiful, but [Ronan] is so naturally striking in real life it wasn't that difficult to turn her into Mary," says Shircore. While Robbie would spend hours in hair and makeup, Ronan only had two wigs on set (for the record, Robbie had nine). While she'd be painted in Elizabeth's iconic heavy white makeup, Ronan would get a lightweight foundation and not much else.

    But this part is crucial: In the aforementioned scene, Elizabeth — in all her vulnerability — mutters to Mary, "Your beauty, your bravery... your gifts will be your downfall." Depending on how you interpret your 16th-century history, it may well have been.

    Photo: Courtesy of Focus Features.

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    The most common strategy for choosing a nail color is to fall back on whatever feels the most seasonally appropriate. This time of year, that probably looks something like standing in your bathroom on a Saturday morning with a bottle of polish in each hand, weighing whether the deep red or the gold glitter feels more festive for the holiday brunch you're already running late for.

    Don't panic: We found a way to make the tedious decision-making process a little easier on you. For the rest of the year — that's almost the entire duration of party season — we have your foolproof guide to the nail-polish colors that are going to be huge in 2019, according to in-the-know celebrity nail pros. Scroll through to find the exact polishes that all the cool girls will be wearing in the new year, so you can say you wore them first and showed up on time for your brunch reservation.

    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.

    Glossy Navy

    If you haven't yet landed on your perfect navy polish, this shiny sapphire is the one you need. Celebrity nail artist Michelle Saunders says that the navy color craze is about to hit fever pitch, and this polish can make a believer out of anyone who won't put away the pastel pink.



    Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in King & Thieves, $18, available at Saks Fifth Avenue

    Baby Pink

    That said, if Ballet Slipper is your perma-MO (and, if you're Meghan Markle, it has to be), you won't have to stray too far to hit another trending color. "A sheer pink, like Gossamer Garments by Essie, gives a healthy flush of natural gloss that flatters every skin tone," says Saunders.



    Essie Gel Couture Sheer Silhouettes in Gossamer Garments, $11.5, available at Ulta Beauty

    Dove Gray

    The sweet spot between barely-there pink and assertive black, soft gray is the muted polish to add to your collection ASAP. "A dove-gray manicure carries a cool, calming vibe," explains Saunders. "Essie's Without a Stitch is the perfect gray — clean and opaque in finish."



    Essie Essie Nail Polish In Without A Stitch, $9, available at Amazon

    Poppy Red

    The classic red polish get a little brighter, stopping just shy of neon, in the new year. "Chanel's Scenario polish is my favorite red in this category," says Saunders. "With gorgeous orange-y undertones, it makes a punchy statement that still feels sophisticated."



    Chanel Le Vernis Neon Nail Colour in Scenario, $28, available at Chanel

    Crisp White

    White after Labor Day is no longer a fashion faux pas — which means come January, we'll be pairing our white turtleneck with a matching mani-pedi combo. "A bold white polish feels fresh for winter," says Saunders. "Choose a polish with opaque coverage, so it doesn't go too sheer. It works on fingers and toes, too."



    OPI Nail Lacquer in Alpine Snow, $10.5, available at Amazon

    Metallic Finish

    Glitter's not going anywhere in the new year; it's just becoming more customizable. Saunders tells us that the trend will be whatever color you want — with a chrome finish. "Whatever polish you love at the moment, find the same shade in metallic," she says. "As long as the glitter is fine-grain, you'll be right on trend."



    Nails Inc. Nail Polish in The Unfollower, $11, available at Nails Inc.

    Neutral Taupe

    It might be feel a little '90s at first glance, but the full spectrum of neutral brown nail polishes is up-and-coming for right now. Sarah Gibson Tuttle, nail pro and founder of Olive & June, tells us light taupe or chocolate-colored polish is often much prettier on your nails than it looks in the bottle. "No matter your skin tone, this muted brown shade by tenoverten is unexpected without reading too loud," she says.



    Tenoverten Nail Polish in Hester, $18, available at Tenoverten

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    Back Friday and Cyber Monday are done, but Amazon isn't. Just when we thought the huge wave of holidays sales had hit a crescendoing peak, the mega online shopping destination lit up a whole new batch of steals — and dubbed it the 12 Days of Deals. Starting today and continuing on through the festive month ahead we'll be able to snag discounts on everything from books to boardgames, tech to fashion gear, beauty to food, home decor, and more. Essentially, Amazon is now Santa and he's given us 12-day access to his workshop.

    Since the sales are only available for a limited time, we'll be monitoring the top deals each day and serving up the best every 24 hours. Scroll ahead and get a little shopping inspiration for yourself or someone else while saving few extra buckeroos. Cheers to feeling a little less broke AF this holiday season! Thank you, Santa Amazon.

    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 iOS & Android device compatible digital photo printer might be one of the satisfying products for photo enthusiasts.

    Kodak Dock & Wi-Fi Portable Instant Photo Printer $139.99 $98.99 available at Amazon.

    Roof gardens really are cropping up everywhere these days...

    Back to the Roots Fish Tank That Grows Plants $99.99 $44.99 available at Amazon.

    Buy this delicate Amazon's Choice steal as-is, or have it engraved specially for a giftee.

    Amazon Collection 14k Yellow Gold Polished Bar Chain Necklace (17"), $240.00 $148.99, available at Amazon.

    Treat your feet to a little self-care and slip into a pair of super-soft shearling moccasins crafted from premium materials.

    206 Collective Women's Pearson Shearling Moccasin Slipper, $60.00 $30.00, available at Amazon.

    This elegant chair from Amazon's popular exclusive brand with low slanted arms and smooth hardwood legs is a reading nook essential.

    Rivet Jamie Mid-Century Accent Chair, $399.00 $227.94, available at Amazon.

    Snag a top seasonal home buy at half-off with Amazon's best-selling, cool mist humidifier.

    Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier, $79.99 $39.99, available at Amazon.

    This queen-sized, memory foam mattress is designed with 3-layer Celliant technology for deep, supportive, and restorative sleep.

    Rivet Memory Foam Mattress (Queen), $499.00 $399.00, available at Amazon.

    Take a break from Instagram and get back to retro photo roots with this instant-film camera.

    Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera, $179.99 $118.99, available at Amazon.

    This sleek, stainless steel machine is designed with state-of-the-art technology to keep your 14 cups of morning Joe perfectly hot without sacrificing any of that good coffee flavor.

    Cuisinart PerfecTemp Programmable Coffeemaker, $185.00 $67.47, available at Amazon.

    This stylish set of travel-sized toothpaste comes in seven separate flavors: amarelli licorice, aquatic mint, cinnamon mint, classic strong mint, ginger mint, jasmine mint and whitening mint.

    Marvis Toothpaste Flavor Collection Gift Set, 7 count, $36.00 $27.00, available at Amazon.

    The modern day equivalent of Cher's outfit mis-match software in Clueless, this device utilizes Alexa as a style assistant for second opinions on outfits.

    Amazon Echo Look, $199.99 $49.99, available at Amazon.

    This calming lamp was hand-carved in Pakistan from pure Himalayan salt.

    Levoit Himalayan Sea Salt Lamp, $39.38 $19.99, available at Amazon.

    You can still get in on the Instant Pot trend for a steal with this Amazon's Choice purchase — complete with wireless cooking control and monitoring capabilities.

    Instant Pot Smart WiFi 6 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker, $149.95 $90.00, available at Amazon.

    Instead of going the full memory foam mattress route, save some extra cash this season and opt for a topper instead — this gel-infused foam topper is designed to optimize air flow and regulate body temperature.

    ViscoSoft 3-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper (Queen), $229.99 $159.99, available at Amazon.

    Upgrade your travel game in time for the new year with this stylish rose gold carry-on.

    Heritage Travelware Lincoln Park Hardside Luggage, $49.99 $44.79, available at Amazon.

    Give your home office a refreshing update with this modern, cross-legged accent desk.

    Rivet Modern Wood Accent Desk, $229.00 $159.99, available at Amazon.

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    At Sephora, the season of giving means a cornucopia of limited-edition collabs (hi, Desi Perkins x Benefit!), glitter, advent calendars, and one-off gift sets. But low-key buried under the deluge of flashy holiday merch are new beauty launches that are not only drool-worthy in their own right, but are going to change the game in 2019.

    We're talking about a very exciting sequel to Sol de Janeiro's cult favorite Bum Bum Cream (a lighter gel that will be perfect once the snow starts to thaw). There's also a two-step cleansing system from one of Hollywood's most respected makeup artists, a self-setting concealer, and an iridescent eyeshadow practically made for NYE.

    If it weren't for all the shiny holiday gift sets in the mix, these suckers would attract a lot more hype. See what's about to drop, ahead, and get ready to swoop on some of the most genius products that everyone else will be sleeping on this season.

    Nevermind that everyone's favorite healthy fat has been a go-to in DIY masking for generations: This mask, slated to launch in Sephora stores on December 28, is primed to reintroduce millennials to avocados outside of a topper for toast. The formula, which we've already raved about, taps plenty of it — avocado flesh, avocado extracts, avocado oil, and avocado butter — to hydrate and soothe skin.



    Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask, $45, available at Sephora

    The latest innovation in Kate Somerville's beloved ExfoliKate line is a leave-on, liquid treatment (coming December 28) made to clear dead skin cells while you sleep. A robust combination of 10% alpha hydroxy acids and fruit enzymes (pumpkin, papaya, and pineapple) exfoliate while peptides and honey and tea extracts soothe the skin for a softer, more even complexion by sunrise.



    Kate Somerville Liquid ExfoliKate, $58, available at Sephora

    Sol De Janeiro's Bum Bum Cream is so addictive, a Costco-sized tub sold out within minutes after launching this fall. But we won't be surprised if loyalists are compelled to cheat on the summer staple with this new hydrator, which hits Sephora's site on Christmas day. The oil-in-water gel cream boasts a bouncier texture and new scent; if the blend of coconut, vanilla, and praline is anything like the original, we'll be vicariously living our Brazilian beach dreams without so much as leaving the office.



    Sol de Janeiro Coco Cabana Cream, $45, available at Sephora

    This dry oil spray can be used virtually anywhere on your body. Mist it over your hair to hydrate and de-frizz strands or massage it into limbs, shoulders, and décolletage for a healthy glow.



    IGK Speechless Dry Oil Finishing Spray, $29, available at Sephora

    If all you want for Christmas is a concealer that won't crumble like Grandma's fruit cake, then visit Sephora's site on December 26 when Make Up For Ever launches its latest innovation: Ultra HD Self-Setting Concealer. Available in 22 shades, the formula utilizes pigments coated in amino acids for 12-hour wear and a natural, skin-like finish.



    Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Self-Setting Concealer, $28, available at Sephora

    Typically, slapping foundation atop dry, flaky skin doesn't do the complexion any favors. But this medium-to-full coverage formula, available in 30 shades, was designed specifically with dry skin in mind. It contains silver ear mushroom extract to retain moisture and light-reflecting powders for a blurring effect.



    Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Radiance-Perfecting Foundation, $48, available at Sephora

    Jackie Kennedy's signature swipe of lipstick? A lightly frosted pale-pink shade. Get the updated version with this new formula, which launches December 18 and comes in a leopard-printed bullet that feels decidedly more Marilyn than Jackie.



    Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Frost Lipstick, $30, available at Sephora

    The brightest palette from Tarte, out December 10, is stocked with everything you need to try the biggest shadow trends of 2018 — from violet eyes to pumpkin hues — before the year comes to a close. (Or just to nab a killer NYE look.)



    Tarte Tartiest Pro Remix Palette, $49, available at Sephora

    This moisturizer for sensitive skin is air whipped, but don't let its lightness fool you: It contains some heavy-hitting ingredients — like ceramides, linoleic acid, and hyaluronic acid — to treat even the driest wind-whipped skin.



    First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair BarriAIR Cream, $30, available at Sephora

    Usually, swirling two liquid eyeshadow shades on the lid is a surefire way to get a rotten grey-brown tone. But this limited-edition liquid eye shadow uses iridescent colors and some pretty cool tech to create a marble effect on the lid with just one stroke.



    Stila Shade Mystère Liquid Eye Shadow , $24, available at Stila

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    James Alex Fields, Jr. was convicted of first-degree murder and eight counts of malicious wounding on Friday, little over a year after driving his car into counter-protesters at 2017’s Unite The Right Rally in Charlottesville, VA, resulting in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer and the injury of some 35 counterprotesters, the Washington Post reports.

    Defense attorneys for Fields argued that he caused the deadly crash out of “fear and confusion” and that he “regretted his actions immediately.” Prosecutors proved pre-meditation using video of the scene, along with an Instagram post from months earlier that depicted protesters being run over by a car, captioned, “You Have the Right to Protest, But I’m Late for Work.” During the course of the trial, the prosecution painted Fields as an “enraged” man. A video showed that there were no counterprotesters around his car as he backed up and then drove at high speed into the crowd.

    Fields’ sentencing hearing is scheduled for Monday, December 10. He will also be prosecuted for federal hate crimes, which carry the possibility of the death penalty, at a date that is yet to be determined.

    Other lawsuits related to the riots are still pending, including that of Jason Kessler, who is credited with organizing the rally. Charlottesville courts will also decide whether statues of confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, whose proposed removal sparked the riots, will be removed in January.

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    For nearly two years, there’s been endless speculation about whether or not President Donald Trump is guilty of collusion with Russia to win the 2016 election. While the investigation is ongoing on that, federal prosecutors led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller have connected Trump to a federal crime for the first time.

    Court documents filed by the Justice Department say that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, arranged illegal, secret payments to repress information about his extramarital affairs during the 2016 campaign “in coordination with and at the direction of” the President. This goes against federal law, which requires that any payments made “for the purposes of influencing” an election must be reported in campaign finance disclosures, according to the Associated Press.

    Cohen is currently awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty in August to eight federal crimes that took place between 2012 and 2016. These crimes include five counts of tax evasion and making “hush money” payments to adult film actress, Stormy Daniels, and former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, both of who claim to have had affairs with Trump.

    The President has denied both of the affairs and that he had any knowledge of the payments to Daniels and McDougal. Despite Trump’s continuous denial about the payments though, federal prosecutors aren’t convinced. So, what happens now? Can the President be arrested or charged for a federal crime with this evidence?

    The short answer is yes. Martin London, a retired partner for the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, told Time magazine that “there is no language in the Constitution providing the President with any immunity from prosecution by the appropriate criminal authorities.” This means that Trump is subject to the ordinary criminal processes of “Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to law,” under the Constitution just like everyone else.

    In regards to when charges could be filed against Trump, should there be any, there’s really no hard and fast rule. Article II, section 4 of the Constitution states the terms in which the President, Vice President, and other civil officers can be impeached, which includes bribery, but it doesn’t explicitly say that this act of Congress needs to take place before an elected official is indicted for a crime. So, Trump could be next on Mueller’s list.

    As of now, the office of the special counsel and Congress have not announced plans to charge the president with any crimes.

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    Hundreds of women — at present, 856 and counting — have filed lawsuits against German drug company Bayer over the last two years, claiming that the popular IUD Mirena is causing severe neurological side effects. Experts who have been following the case, however, say that more research is needed before a connection can be made between the contraceptive and the disorder.

    Mirena is a tiny piece of T-shaped plastic that is inserted directly into the uterus as a way to prevent pregnancy. The FDA approved the sale of Mirena in the United States in 2000, and it is now considered one of the most popular IUDs in the country; 2 million women use it worldwide.

    Side effects of the device are not unlike the side effects found with any contraceptive: weight gain, nausea, cramping, or abdominal and pelvic pain, to name a few. IUD-specific side effects like expulsion or perforation are common and listed directly on the product label.

    That is important to note because the complaint lodged in this most recent set of lawsuits pertains to something that is not listed on the label: a neurological disorder that falsely resembles a tumor. The disorder is known as pseudotumor cerebri, or idiopathic intracranial hypertension — a fancy way to say increased pressure on the brain. The Mayo Clinic lists symptoms of the condition as including headaches, worsening vision, tinnitus, ringing in the ears, and nausea. At present, the cause of the disorder is unknown, though factors like obesity, some medications, and various health problems are among the risk factors.

    Mirena is known as the IUD with the most complaints to the FDA; of the 95,008 reports about the drug filed to the FDA’s Adverse Events Reporting System, or FAERS, 697 pertain to intracranial hypertension. But despite the data in the FAERS database, FDA spokesperson Deborah Kotz told Rewire News, no conclusions can be drawn about Mirena’s link to the disorder just yet.

    “Existence of a report does not establish causation,” she said. “For any given report, there is no certainty that a suspected drug caused the reaction.”

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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: an accountant working in banking who makes $63,516 per year and spends some of her money this week on Massaman curry.

    Editor's note: All prices have been converted to U.S. dollars.

    Occupation: Accountant
    Industry: Banking
    Age: 27
    Location: London, England
    Salary: $63,516
    Paycheck Amount (Monthly): $3,642.44

    Monthly Expenses
    Rent: $1,212.64 including all utilities, which I split with my flatmate
    Netflix: 10.89
    Amazon Prime: $10.36
    Gym: $45.35
    The Economist Subscription: $51.87
    The New York Times Subscription: $15.56
    Phone: Paid for by work
    Healthcare: Free from the NHS
    Holiday: $200 (I bought 10 extra vacation days for the year on top of the 25 everyone gets normally…indulgent, I know!)
    Dental Insurance: $18.32
    Pension: $251.40 (My company contributes $172 on top of this.)
    Savings: ~$390, but I haven't been as consistent lately as I should be.

    Annual Expenses
    Accounting Dues: $450

    Day One

    5:45 a.m. — I'm usually a morning person, but having an early gym class on a Monday is painful. I go to HIIT class, then do core. It sucks to feel like a limp noodle when I remember how in shape I was a few months ago. Blergh.

    8:45 a.m. — For breakfast I have protein powder that has been sitting on my desk at work for ages.

    9 a.m. — Spend time reading articles and easing into the day. I recently started reading The Financial Times, which makes me feel like such a grown-up. I also buy some socks on Amazon Prime because all of mine have holes in them. $9.06

    12:30 p.m. — My company gives employees a lunch allowance, which is awesome. I buy three microwave meals from Marks & Spencer (the total goes over my allowance). I eat one and stuff it with kale in order to get more veggies in. $7.78

    3 p.m. — Break from lunch to go buy a protein bar. This is my daily ritual — I don't buy coffee, but this little bar brings me so much joy it's slightly disconcerting. Plus, it's healthy-ish and keeps me from dying of hunger on the Tube ride home. $2.58

    6 p.m. — I read my book, The Bottom Billion by Paul Collier, on the Tube home (which I pay for using my prepaid transportation card). I've been really bad lately about going down Netflix/YouTube rabbit holes instead of reading, so I've decided to try to go the whole week without watching them. I've talked to people who don't watch TV or read, and I actually don't understand what they do with their time.

    6:15 p.m. — Pick up some packs of rice that I might need for dinner. Pre-cooked rice is life. I have never successfully cooked rice from scratch, which, now that I think about it, is pretty embarrassing. $2.59

    6:30 p.m. — I took all my winter clothes out from under my bed last weekend, which has me thinking of all the things my wardrobe is missing. I accidentally wander into Joy and buy two work sweaters and a skirt. Whoops. $73.86

    7 p.m. — I do all the adulting I skipped on Sunday when I decided to lie in bed watching Four Weddings and a Funeral. Clean my room, vacuum, scrub the bathroom, and do laundry.

    7:30 p.m. — It's Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes Night), so there's a near constant sound of fireworks going off outside. (It's a holiday that's not celebrated in North America.) I should go watch fireworks, but my bed is way more appealing.

    8 p.m. — I warm up some food that I made a while ago and froze (bean stew with veggies and rice) while listening to My Dad Wrote A Porno. I ALMOST break my rule and put on Netflix while cooking, but I'm only on season 2 of MDWAP, so I've got a bank of episodes to exhaust.

    9:30 p.m. — Eat dark chocolate-covered rice cakes in bed while reading Eastern Horizons by Levinson Wood. (I have a Tube book and a bed book.) It's about a man hitchhiking across Europe and Asia, following in the footsteps of early explorers. It's a good enough book, and I'm obsessed with traveling, but it makes me think a lot about the privilege inherent in travel and travel writing, especially in Western countries. Another travel memoir by a white man following in the footsteps of British colonialists feels a bit yucky...but not enough to make me stop reading. (Recommended travel reading — Curiosity Magazine and Bani Amor's writing about decolonizing travel.)

    10 p.m. — I fill up my hot water bottle because it feels the same as having a dog sleep at your feet without having to be responsible for another living creature. Lights off at a decent time, which is the best feeling.

    Daily Total: $95.87

    Day Two

    6:15 a.m. — Wake up, and I'm still super sleepy. I head out, buy a travel size face soap at Boots (I'm out), and head to the gym for an LBT class. $6.68

    9 a.m. — Do some life admin online rather than getting started on work. I recently gave my three months' notice, so I'm not overly stressed. Three months is quite long even for the UK, but definitely not unheard of — so different from the two weeks in North America! I actually like it more this way because I have time to wrap up what I'm working on, and don't feel like I'm letting my team down.

    1 p.m. — Another microwave meal stuffed with kale. There's nonstop coverage on the TV of the U.S. midterm elections. Seeing as I'm not American, there's nothing I can do about it, but that only makes it marginally less stressful. Takes the mind off Brexit for a day, I guess.

    3:45 p.m. — Protein bar time. Best part of the afternoon. I buy three and use my lunch allowance to expense most of the cost. $1.30

    5:30 p.m. — Head out early-ish (a more frequent occurrence now that I'm not trying to impress anyone) to have dinner at a friend's house in East London. She makes wild duck with fancy mashed potatoes and peas for dinner, and I bring a bottle of wine I had at home. We talk about the restaurant scene in London, boys, and the merits of the U.S. healthcare system versus the NHS. Take my taxes, I can't imagine life without "free" healthcare!

    9 p.m. — I read the Economist app on the Tube home. When I get home, I chug water to prevent a red wine hangover.

    11 p.m. — Prepare my bags and outfit for tomorrow morning. Then I spend too much time scrolling through Instagram before going to sleep.

    Daily Total: $7.98

    Day Three

    6 a.m. — Wake up before my alarm because the rain gutter is dripping loudly. Sad and drippy walk to the Tube. On the plus side, the Democrats won the House!

    7 a.m. — Spin class this morning at the gym. It's a different instructor than usual. I know it shouldn't matter, but this always throws me off! She doesn't specify speed or resistance, which means I have no clue if I'm on track.

    9 a.m. — Morning call with a client. I eat leftover dinner from Monday for breakfast and drink free tea from the office.

    11 a.m. — More meetings. So hungryyyyyy.

    12 p.m. — LUNCH! I get Vietnamese beef bone broth with rice noodles, to which I add kale. (I pay for the leftover balance.) $1.23

    1:30 p.m. — Already starving, so I indulge in my daily protein bar that I bought yesterday. Why am I so hungry already?!

    5:15 p.m. — There's a Diwali celebration at a temple I've wanted to go to for a while, so a friend and I make plans to go. I invite one of my colleagues to join us as well. We leave early-ish and take the Tube to the temple.

    6:30 p.m. — The temple is all lit up and there's a great atmosphere! We head straight to the food hall, and my colleague gives us the inside scoop on what to order. We eat pav bhahi, chole tikki chaat, aloo tikki, and gajar ka halwa. I'm in actual heaven! I'm the only one with cash, so I pay for the food. There's some mention of paying me back, but I'm too busy being full and happy to care too much. $20.74

    7:30 p.m. — After we feel sufficiently ill from stuffing our faces, we head over to the temple. The whole thing is amazing! We check our bags and shoes. There are thousands of people, but the lines are short and everything is super well-organized.

    8 p.m. — We stand in line to get into the center of the temple, and my friend goes in a different line because it's separated by gender. Why is the line for women always longer?? We're lucky enough to see the fireworks from the temple balcony while the line is stalled. SO COOL. When we finally go in, my colleague gives me all the background on what to do. It would be stunning either way, but it means so much more now that I know what everything means.

    8:30 p.m. — We explore the temple some more and then attempt to make our way back to the food hall for dessert part two. Unfortunately, everyone else has the same idea, so it's packed. As much as I want jalebi, my stomach is still so full it hurts, so we hop on the bus back to the station instead and make plans to head to Whitechapel (an area of London) soon for more food adventures.

    9:45 p.m. — Home and in bed. I text my boyfriend asking for interesting stories from his day. (He is currently in med school in a different country.) Apparently, a granny he treated today told him she'd love to visit America because Trump is her hero. Well, that's depressing.

    10:15 p.m. — Spend too much time on Instagram and then read my book to fall asleep.

    Daily Total: $21.97

    Day Four

    7:30 a.m. — I sleep in a bit, but don't feel as rested as I should.

    9 a.m. — Drinking tea for breakfast. Sweet, milky tea is one of the most comforting things ever. Like a warm hug in a cup.

    2:30 p.m. — Walk to Waitrose to buy kale, mushrooms, cinnamon, and chocolate-covered rice cakes. Then I head back to the office to eat my final microwave meal stuffed with some of the kale I bought. Tastes so good. ($6.48 expensed)

    3:30 p.m. — My colleague brought in some Indian desserts she bought yesterday at the Diwali festival. A few of us stand around for ages sampling each type and trying to pick our favorite. Now to put the sugar rush to good use.

    6:30 p.m. — Head home. It's way less busy leaving now than if I leave right at 5.

    7:30 p.m. — Get home and immediately change into PJs. There's no reason I should be in my flat and not in ridiculously oversized sweats. If it's not three sizes too big, I refuse to wear it at home. I throw together dinner by warming up baked tofu I froze and a bunch of veggies and rice with some spices. I listen to more My Dad Wrote A Porno while I cook. I want to be friends with them!

    8 p.m. — About to call my dad when he rings me. I completely forgot it was his birthday! We have a nice chat but I feel so guilty about forgetting that it throws off my evening. I add a recurring calendar reminder so I don't forget again.

    9 p.m. — Listen to The Racist Sandwich Podcast while I clean and do my nails. It's a really great podcast that focuses on food, race, gender, and class, and leaves me both hungry and informed.

    10 p.m. — I should read my book and get an early night. Instead, I get sucked down a Facebook and Instagram rabbit hole. I have substituted Netflix with more Instagram, which I think might be worse.

    Daily Total: $0

    Day Five

    6:45 a.m. — Wake up naturally and play on my phone/snooze until I decide it's time to start adulting.

    7 a.m. — Stand in front of the mirror trying to figure out when it's logistically smart to wash my hair given my social and gym schedules. It's so hard to time it so that I don't look gross but also don't overwash my hair. I'm about to wash it when I hear Jonathan Van Ness' voice in my head, and instead leave the house 50% woman, 50% dry shampoo.

    8 a.m. — I decide to walk a portion of the way to work because it's the only time of the day I'll see sunlight! I find a super happy playlist on Spotify with Stevie Wonder, ABBA, Spice Girls, and Frankie Valli, and walk along the Thames and past Parliament. Pretty great start to the day!

    12 p.m. — I'm pretty productive at work. Not sure if it's because it's Friday or if it's the caffeine from the tea. For lunch I get aubergine (British word for eggplant) and "meatballs" with noodled courgette (British for zucchini) in tomato sauce. I read an article on the cultural and social impacts of sugar by Ruby Tandoh. Super interesting. I'm definitely on a food/culture spree right now. ($5.38 expensed)

    12:30 p.m. — So full from lunch. I see a sign about signing up to be an organ donor, so I go online to fill out the form. If I die I won't need them, so they might as well go to good use!

    3 p.m. — Fire drill. Everyone goes outside, but instead of waiting in the park we head to a Starbucks. I don't order anything, though.

    3:15 p.m. — I buy my daily protein bar and marvel at how much I love it. I expense a portion because I have a few pence left on my lunch allowance. $1.49

    6:30 p.m. — After reading an article about the Kit Kat phenomenon in Japan, it's time to go home! I buy some baby carrots on the way. $1.04

    7:30 p.m. — I drop my stuff off at home and then head out to meet friends for a drink before our dinner reservation.

    8 p.m. — Get to the bar and order a sour beer, the only kind of beer I like. $5.83

    8:30 p.m. — BYOB Thai food in Clapham. The food is good, and not having to pay for alcohol is better! I bring a bottle of green wine (vino verde) that I got in Portugal earlier this year, and we all share a few bottles. We get some starters and share pad Thai and Massaman curry. I'm peer-pressured into dessert as well, and then we all roll out of the restaurant. $25.93

    10 p.m. — Head to a bar across the street. It has a map ceiling, which I am in love with! I wonder how my landlady would react if I did some creative DIY. I don't feel like drinking anymore, so I grab a soda water while we sing along to Whitney Houston and try to guess how many dates the couples near us have been on. $2.59

    12:30 a.m. — Walk the 30 minutes home. Going out somewhere walkable in London is a rare treat, so I try to take advantage.

    Daily Total: $36.88

    Day Six

    9:20 a.m. — Wake up and Skype with my boyfriend to catch up and complain. Then I buy an umbrella off of Amazon because I want one that won't break in the wind. $14.25

    11 a.m. — Head over to Brixton for a boxing class. I'm out of practice, but it's an amazing workout, and sparring is such a rush! There's nothing like punching people to wake you up. The only downside is the occasional boob punch, but it's worth it!! $6.48

    1 p.m. — Walk around Brixton Market, my favorite place in the world! Such a cool mix of shops, restaurants, and people. I finally buy the Brixton Market cookbook I've been eyeing for ages. I definitely need to start cooking cooler meals. $20.73

    1:30 p.m. — Head down to Electric Avenue (or rather, "rock down to" — it's the street the song is based on!) to buy some produce at the market. Pick up some apples, grapes, duck eggs, and a baobab and soursop leaf soda. Not sure what it's going to taste like, but the stuff is homemade, and it's exciting to try new flavors. $8.43

    2 p.m. — I hit up The Body Shop and spend WAY too much time trying to decide what to buy because I get drawn in by a three for two deal. I leave with concealer, perfume, and lipstick. $20.10

    5 p.m. — Take the Tube to North East London to try Lithuanian food at Berneliu Uzeiga with a friend. We order mushroom soup in a bread bowl, which is amazing, and then a GIANT platter that the waitress recommends because it has all the most traditional dishes. Pork belly, sausage, fried potatoes, potato pancakes, sauerkraut, cream, a kind of gelatinous potato dumpling stuffed with meat, and sausage casings stuffed with potatoes. My friend pays because I spotted him cash earlier in the week at Diwali.

    7 p.m. — We get kicked out because every Saturday they have a Lithuanian disco and you need to have booked a table in advance. I wish we could stay and see how hard Lithuanians party!

    8 p.m. — Head to Juju's in Brick Lane to meet up with some more friends because one of them wants to go swing dancing. My friend dances with the CUTEST grandpa, and we all immediately make plans to take swing dancing lessons. I give a donation to the band and buy a mocktail. $15.56

    10:30 p.m. — Head home early and am in bed by 11:30.

    Daily Total: $85.55

    Day Seven

    8 a.m. — Wake up and Skype with my boyfriend while I get ready. Then I eat an apple for breakfast.

    9:30 a.m. — Head to church with my flatmate and her friend. I never go to church unless my dad's in town, but I figure I should go because it's Remembrance Day. Halfway through church, I realize my flatmate is missing. It turns out that the incense plus her hangover made her run out halfway through to throw up! I feel bad, but it's also kinda hilarious. I give the only cash I have as an offering. After church, everyone heads over to the park for the wreath laying. $6.48

    12:30 p.m. — Take the train over to Peckham to meet a friend. I get there early, so I head to a local bookstore and buy The Hungry Empire: How Britain's Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World. It's a few quid cheaper on Amazon, but I figure if I want to continue to spend ages loitering in bookstores (which I do!), I need to support them even if my Kindle is the best thing ever. $12.95

    1 p.m. — Meet my friend at Persepolis, a Persian vegetarian cafe that's one of my favorite spots. You can spend hours there eating and drinking and never feel like you're being rushed. I order a cardamom-date latte and we share scrambled eggs with plantains and harissa and eggs with dates and Iraqi spices. After sitting for ages, we share two vegan sundaes that are stuffed with dates, baklava, and cookies, and one is topped with what seems like nut-flavored cotton candy. Heaven and sugar coma. $18.64

    3:30 p.m. — We take a walk around Peckham for a bit and then head home.

    5 p.m. — Head home and call my Gran. I tell her about my flatmate's mishap, but omit the hangover portion! Then I break my Netflix embargo and spend the rest of the night watching romcoms and eating snacks.

    11 p.m. — Go to bed way too late, already dreading having to wake up tomorrow.

    Daily Total: $38.07

    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!

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

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    Does Prince Harry like sharing his own memes? How often does Prince William use the crown emoji? Speaking of crowns, do Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle like discussing the Netflix show in gifs? These questions and more are all we can think about since learning that the Royals have a group text of their own.

    Yup, it’s true they’re just like us (and the Kardashians). A source close to the royal crew recently shared with Us Weekly that William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan are “all on a family text chain.” This isn’t the first time news about the Royals’ phone activity has been made public either. In an interview with The Daily Mirror earlier this year, Queen Elizabeth's grandson-in-law Mike Tindall said that he’s an active WhatsApp user.

    “Me, my brother and then a few of Zara’s side like her brother Pete and the cousins are on WhatsApp groups,” Tindall said. Allow me to explain: Tindall’s wife, Zara, is the Queen’s granddaughter, so those “cousins” he’s referring to could very well be William and Harry, and therefore also Kate and Meghan.

    While Tindall, said the WhatsApp is used to keep family members in the loop with wedding and pregnancies, the Us Weekly source didn’t reveal any other details about what goes down in the WKHM group texts (yes, I just made that nickname up). The source did make clear though that there likely aren’t any snarky messages being exchanged between Kate and Meghan in it.

    Since Meghan stepped into the royal spotlight, numerous rumors have swirled that she and Kate have been feuding. The Palace recently shot this idea down saying that the alleged drama between the Duchesses “never happened.”

    So while, the Royals may not be fighting with each other in their group text, but they’re no doubt throwing shade at the tabloids stirring up fake news. Meghan is probably the leader of the shade campaign and not simply because she’s delightfully messy, but instead because she has the perfect GIF to use on every occasion.

    If only we could get a transcript.

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    President Trump’s Chief of Staff, John Kelly, will leave the job by the end of the year, the President announced on Saturday.

    “John Kelly will be leaving — I don’t know if I can say ‘retiring,’” Trump told reporters on the White House lawn according to The New York Times. “But he’s a great guy. John Kelly will be leaving at the end of the year.”

    Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, was one of several ex-military men who joined the Trump administration early on, initially as Secretary of Homeland Security. He was later installed as Chief of Staff in July of 2017 after Reince Priebus was let go. Kelly’s also known for ousting former White House aide, Omarosa Manigault-Newman.

    Kelly’s departure from the White House comes amid reports that he and Trump are no longer speaking to one another. Their differing styles of leadership – Trump’s more carefree and Kelly’s more strict – was said to be a major source of contention during the latter’s tenure.

    "Working in the White House is the hardest thing I've ever done," Kelly told NPR in May 2018. Politico also reported that Kelly allegedly once said that he doesn’t care what Trump does that might lead to his impeachment, because then “at least this chapter of American history would come to a close.”

    Kelly’s tumultuous time serving under President Trump was also plagued in controversy. After news broke that White House staff secretary Rob Porter allegedly abused his ex-wives, Kelly came to his defense, praising Porter’s “integrity” and character. But after more details came to light, including a photo of Porter’s first wife with a black eye, Kelly walked back his previous statements, and said that there is “no place for domestic violence in our society.”

    President Trump told reporters that he would name Kelly’s interim replacement in the next few days. The frontrunner for the position is rumored to be Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, though no official confirmation has been given.

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  • 12/09/18--05:30: Your Horoscope This Week
  • Feel that? We’re all a little more confident now that Mercury is direct and picking up steam, but the week starts off on a more serious note with a waxing moon in Capricorn. This somewhat restrictive energy will last until Monday night at 6:39 p.m. EST, when it moves into Aquarius that evening. We’ll inspired to study up on a subject we're passionate about then share our learnings with others until Thursday. That morning, at 7:39 a.m. EST, the moon enters Pisces, pushing us straight into our feels!

    Also on Thursday, Mercury moves houses, changing the way we communicate with each other. This movement, paired with the moon's placement, could leave us feeling a little vulnerable until Saturday morning, when we'll endure a void of course moon period from 6:49 a.m. EST to 7:44 p.m. EST. Plan to chill all day, since VOCs are a time where it’s harder to get things accomplished (luckily, Saturdays were made relaxing anyway). On Saturday evening, the moon will break out that funk and enter action-oriented Aries!

    Aries
    March 21 to April 19

    You’re ready to move and groove this week, Aries! Mercury, your personal planet of health and work, is moving direct and you couldn’t be more prepared for it. If you want to get a little more planning done for the weeks ahead, think about downloading a moon calendar. The moon is the ruler of your home and family life, meaning you can build a healthy, helpful schedule by following and planning around its movement through the signs. Breaking your week down by each sign that the moon passes through can help you find balance.

    Venus, your personal planet of love and money, ended its retrograde last month and you're still flying high on that transition. Take every opportunity you can find this week to manifest the life you want. If you’re in a relationship, open up to your partner on Thursday, when the moon moves into empathetic Pisces. If you’re single, spend Saturday charging your emotional batteries so that when the moon enters your sign in the evening, you’ll be ready for whatever plans pop up. Your planetary ruler, Mars, will spend his time in Pisces all week, helping you get in touch with your sensitive side.

    Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

    Taurus
    April 20 to May 20

    Is it high time you did financial gut check, Taurus? On Thursday, Mercury moves into your eighth house of death and rebirth. The messenger planet helps you manage your money, which is part of the reason why you’re so good with it. From this house, he'll be able to guide you through conversations about money. Discussing finances may make you cringe, but communicating about cash is how we get it! Venus, your personal planet of health and work, is moving steadily forward, so have faith that you’ve got what it takes to succeed.

    If you’re asking for a raise at work or in talks about your salary expectations for a new gig, be ready to back up your requests with facts. Explain what you can bring to the table with charm. If you’re thinking about investing or paying off some debt, set up an appointment with your bank to get the ball rolling. It’s never too early to save for the years ahead. Just remember that you control your finances — don’t let them control you.

    Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

    Gemini
    May 21 to June 20

    Do you feel like a fog has lifted? Are your thoughts becoming easier to share with others? Mercury, your ruling planet, is moving direct and you are here for it! This little planet also rules your home and family sectors, so you’ll be feeling more like yourself around your nearest and dearest. This renewed sense of comfort should help make the holidays feel like a breeze.

    The moon, your financial planet, is waxing all week through Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, and Aries. Consider the priorities of each of these signs — Capricorn is about work; Aquarius is about ideas; Pisces is about emotions; and Aries is about action — then compare those to your own. Doing so could reveal a major truth about how you handle and where you spend your money.

    Hold off on any major spending on Saturday, from roughly 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, while the moon is void of course. This is a null period that won’t do you any favors. Keep your spirits up at work as Neptune, your career planet, is slowly moving direct. This dreamy planet is here to help you get inspired. Make plans and lean into your wildest ideas.

    Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

    Cancer
    June 21 to July 22

    Now that Mercury’s retrograde is safely behind us, you feel more connected to your deeper self, Cancer. The past three weeks may have been a bit of a bumpy ride, but the lessons that you learned couldn’t have been delivered to you any other way. Experience is the best teacher out there! Are you ready to accept your blessings? Neptune, your personal planet of luck, is slowly moving forward.

    The moon, your planetary ruler, will start the week in Capricorn and end it in Aries, with a void of course period on Saturday. Prepare for void of course moons by lowering your expectations, Crab. These are not days to try to conquer the world. Instead, cultivate stability by making your home truly feel like your comfort zone. VOCs encourage you to take a breather and gain your composure for the week ahead! Combined with Venus’s forward movement, you’re in for a restorative day of relaxation.

    Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

    Leo
    July 23 to August 22

    Are you ready to deck the halls, Leo? Mercury, your financial planet, spends the first half of the week in your fourth house of family and home. His presence in this house will direct your attention toward how you spend your hard-earned cash and whether your choices bring a greater sense of harmony to your surroundings.

    On Thursday, Mercury will change houses and move into your fifth house of pleasure, encouraging you to celebrate and use your money for fun! Get a head start on your gift exchanges and tackle your holiday shopping now. You can avoid burning a hole in your pocket by setting a reasonable budget before you hit the shops, online or offline. You’re an excellent gift giver, but don’t let the fantasy of your giftee’s reaction get the best of you. If you’re not doing gifts, take yourself out for something special while Mercury is in this house. You’re worth it!

    Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

    Virgo
    August 23 to September 22

    Now that Mercury is direct, you’re ready for just about anything, Virgo. Your natural skills of organization and communication are enhanced this week. As your ruling planet, Mercury helps you reach your most ambitious goals, especially at work. The messenger planet also rules your career zone, so take some time this week to tackle any remaining challenges from the past retrograde. Get some feedback from your coworkers this week and create a plan to move forward as a team.

    Venus went direct last month and its forward movement will help you secure some cash to give a project “wheels” — be ready to ask for what you need. Her placement in Scorpio will help you think strategically about what it'll take to help you secure your credibility. Mars, your sexual ruler, spends his time in your seventh house of partnerships this week, lighting a fire in your romantic relationships. Whether you’re single or attached, you’ll be full of attractive energy.

    Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

    Libra
    September 23 to October 22

    Trust your intuition when handling cash this week, Libra. Mercury, your personal planet of spirituality and good fortune, is moving direct and on Thursday, he will make his way into your second house of finances, sharpening your instincts around money. Your career planet, the moon, will bounce through Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, and Aries this week. Pay close attention to your emotions at the office as we go through these signs.

    You’re ready to get going on Monday while the moon is in ambitious Capricorn. From Tuesday to Wednesday, you'll come upon a creative and inventive plan thanks to the waxing Aquarius moon. Trust your emotions toward the end of the week, once the moon is in water sign Pisces. The moon's activities conclude on Saturday with a void of course period from morning until just before 8 p.m. EST. It’s time to wind down after giving it your all!

    Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

    Scorpio
    October 23 to November 21

    It seems like everyone is still talking about Mercury's retrograde ending, doesn't it, Scorpio? This movement doesn’t affect you as much as it does others, but you’ll be happy to hear that everyone else’s wheels are beginning to turn again. Venus, your personal planet of love, is also gaining steam in her direct course, helping you connect with your romantic interests. If you’re single, you might notice that you’ve got more suitors lined up to see you, but you aren't interested in quantity, Scorp — you want quality. If you’re attached, surprise your partner with an adventure outside of the house. It doesn’t have to be another dinner date. Soak up this time of clear and thoughtful communication on Thursday, when the moon is in dreamy Pisces.

    Throughout this week, take some time to think about what you need to change in your home and family life. Uranus, your planetary ruler of these zones, ends his retrograde in early 2019. Write some of your ideas down now, then revisit them (and see which ones still need your attention) when he goes direct next year.

    Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

    Sagittarius
    November 22 to December 21

    As the Archer of the Zodiac, one of your deepest desires is to find direction in life. Sags are known for their thirst for knowledge and desire to see the whole world, but all that mental and physical exploration can make you feel aimless at times. Direction will come to you this week in your relationships and career, thanks to Mercury’s direct motion into your first house of self on Thursday. If you’re in a relationship, you’ll be able to determine what you need to work on as a couple. It doesn’t have to be a scary conversation, as long as you lead with love and understanding.

    Single Sags will feel more connected to themselves and even attract some unexpected love interests that feed off their fiery nature. When it comes to work, Mercury’s direct energy will help you express your strengths at the office. Looking for a new job? If you’re booking any interviews, you’re sure to sparkle. Thinking about a career switch? Polish up your résumé, define your dream title, and get applying! Your magnetic energy could catch some unexpected opportunities.

    Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

    Capricorn
    December 22 to January 19

    The week starts off on an emotionally intense note for you, Capricorn. Your personal love planet, the moon, waxes in your sign from Sunday to Monday evening. Single or attached, you’re going to feel more like yourself, now that most of your dominant personal planets are moving direct. If you’re in a relationship, make time connect with your partner, especially if you’re feeling a little vulnerable. If there are things that you want to work on in your relationships, remember that not everyone sees what you see. Talking about what you need is the best way to get it!

    If you’re single, use the moon's energy to focus on yourself. Building up strength requires breaks and healing. Lean into taking care of yourself on Thursday, as Mercury moves into Sagittarius. Your planet of health and work is entering the sign of learning and travel. This week, focus on how can you expand your mind with experiences.

    Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

    Aquarius
    January 20 to February 18

    Sometimes, the universe makes us feel excited just to be in our own skin. This week is one of those times for you, Water Bearer, thanks to two of your personal planets. The moon, your personal planet of health and work, is going to be waxing in your sign from Monday night to early Thursday morning. When she appears in your sign, her energies help support your rarer qualities — embrace the things that make you different, Aquarius. You can’t make an impact if you don’t stand out from the crowd.

    Venus, your personal planet of home and family life, is currently hanging out in your 10th house of career. This planet is going to lend her magnetic energy to your social status and work. When you bring your ideas to the table, she'll make you undeniable!

    Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

    Pisces
    February 19 to March 20

    There’s something different about you, Pisces. Could it have to do with Mars being in your sign? When the fiery action planet pays your sign a visit, he likes to remind you of all your innate talents you take for granted. This week, make the most of Mars' energy by conquering challenges that you’ve always wanted to overcome, but have been nervous to try tackling.

    If you came up with an idea during the new moon last week, Mars may help you see it to fruition. On Thursday morning, the moon will enter your sign and stay there until early Saturday morning. When the moon is in Pisces, your feelings tend to bubble up to the surface faster than usual. It’s important to understand that we are emotional creatures and that’s okay! Let yourself feel what you need to feel. Mercury will help you decompress with your loved ones this week now that he’s gone direct. Your personal planet of love’s energy will help conversations flow more freely, regardless of your relationship status.

    Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

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    What are your goals for 2019? To dream big, do more, and actually achieve your resolutions? We've got a planner for that. Or maybe it's just to keep all your dental appointments and brunch dates corralled in one fly notebook? We've got a planner for that, too.

    We've scoured the internet far and wide (and even consulted a few calendar junkies) to find the BEST daily, weekly, and monthly organizers to get you through the New Year. Whether you want to plan out every hour of the next few months or just have a place to jot down to-dos, we've found a planner for you. Oh, and for those of you just starting out your organizational journey, we have some undated options as well, meaning you can start and stop whenever you want — no blank pages left behind.

    Ahead, planners that make being organized easy, fun, and stylish.

    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 secret to a streamlined schedule? A très chic agenda.



    Clare V. 2019 Linen Planner, $38.4, available at Anthropologie

    Looking to organize your life down to the very day? This is the planner for you.

    The daily layout includes dedicated boxes for tracking meals, exercises, to-dos, and nightly reflection. Our favorite part? Every day has a motivational quote from our favorite muses, like Shonda Rhimes and Maya Angelou.



    The Happiness Planner The Happiness Planner® | Jan-Dec '19 | Daily, $59, available at The Happiness Planner

    This Amazon's Choice purchase is a best-selling planner that takes a scientific approach towards increased productivity and happiness within its layout.



    Panda Planner Daily Planner, $24.97, available at Amazon

    Getting your life organized doesn't have to be dull.



    Leuchtturm 1917 Weekly Planner and Notebook 2019 , $22.95, available at Leuchtturm 1917

    This ban.do agenda keeps you organized, while letting everyone around you know that you're VERY BUSY.



    Bando Rough Draft Mini Spiral Notebook, $12, available at Amazon

    A gorgeous collection of graphic planners from the design studio of artist Julia Kostreva just hit Target,



    Julia Kostreva 2019 Planner 8.25"x 6" Pink & Red Color Block, $9.99, available at Target

    For the minimalist — this lightweight year task-planner comes simply yet chicly designed in a charcoal-textured gray.



    Appointed 2019 Year Task Planner, $38, available at Need Supply Co

    Is planning easier if we trick ourselves into thinking we're actually gardening? Either way, this notebook is very pretty.



    Urban Outfitters Patterned Daily Planner Journal, $20, available at Urban Outfitters

    A very chic addition to your desk vignette that also happens to help you keep your whole life organized.



    Blue Sky "Banana Leaves" 2019 Desk Calendar, $45, available at Blue Sky

    There is no project too big or too complicated for this mighty project planner. The undated format breaks down into four sections: yearly plan, monthly plan, weekly plan, and project plan. In total, you can plan 100 projects within its 160 pages. Side hustles, here you come!



    Poketo Project Planner in Clay, $38, available at Poketo

    Jot down notes, plans of action, and day-to-day tasks in a classic and simplistic style.



    ink+volt 2019 Planner – Limited Edition Series, $45, available at ink+volt

    For the more creative type, this planner features colorful weekly vertical layouts and monthly vision boards. Plus, the hardcover and thin coiled design make it easy to tote around — no matter where the inspiration takes you.



    Bloom Daily Planners 2019 Vision Planner & Calendar, Marble, $28.95, available at Bloom Daily Planners

    The rainbow-embossed cover of this planner sends a clear message: You mean business in 2019 — this heavy duty planner has inspirational quotes inside to boot.



    ban.do 2019 large 12-month annual planner , $32, available at ban.do

    Calling all students! This planner is perfect for keeping your classes, short-term assignments, and long-term projects organized. (Pro-tip: It has a ringed binding so you can refill the pages as you knock out your work over the course of the year.)



    kikki.K 18-Month Leather Perpetual Planner, $59.95, available at Nordstrom

    A very elegant textured agenda so you can keep track of all your weddings, meetings, birthdays, and happy hours.



    Anthropologie Mila 2018-2019 Planner, $24, available at Anthropologie

    This little black book gives you a plan for getting your shit together every day, week, and month of the year.



    Simple Planners Get Shit Done 2019 Daily Planner, $8.36, available at Amazon

    This chic, dove-gray planner is slim enough to fit in your pocket — while still packing enough page power to handle your weekly and monthly to-dos.



    Paper Source 2018-2019 Dove Grey Small Planner, $14.96, available at Paper Source

    You may have heard a person or two talk about this so called "life planner." We're here to tell you: it's worth all the hype.

    The planner comes in three layout options (horizontal, vertical, and hourly), two layout colorways, three coil colors, optional monogramming, and endless cover options. Our favorite part: all the bells and whistles easily attach to the coils so you can organize every part of your life right down to what you're making for dinner or what you're packing for vacation.



    Erin Condren luxe permanent - LifePlanner™, $65, available at Erin Condren

    This soft leather planner is perfect for long-term brainstorming.



    Gallery Leather LEATHER LARGE MONTHLY PLANNER, $24, available at Gallery Leather

    Never forget another to-do with this planner featuring a punchy, gold-foiled and energetic design.



    ban.do 2018-2019 Moonstone Orange Planner, $15.71, available at Paper Source

    This planner will look so cute next to our miniature Persian rug mousepad.



    Nicole Miller 2019 Weekly & Monthly Planner, $14.99, available at Amazon

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    A few years ago, my partner introduced me to a concept he calls "a baseball bat gift." It's a gift that you get for someone with the purpose of then using it yourself. For example, if you're someone who likes to play baseball, you'd get someone a baseball bat as a gift so you can both play together. I don't know if it's actually a thing, but it is certainly a brilliant way to spin something you want into a thoughtful "gift" for someone else. And honestly, isn't that what the holidays are all about?

    If you live with your partner, chances are you have a mental list of all the stuff in your apartment or home that you both need to get, but never have an occasion to buy. Romantic gifts are fine and all, but useful gifts show that you really know what your loving roommate needs.

    Given that, ahead we found the best practical gifts to get your live-in partner that you can totally use, too. There's not a baseball bat in the mix, but these gifts will be a win for your whole "team."

    No, this is not a sex toy for couples, it's something even sexier: a two-in-one boot dryer and heater. You may laugh, but this simple luxury is a game changer for miserable winter weather.



    Peet PEET Dryer - 2-Shoe Electric Shoe and Boot Dryer, $39.99, available at Amazon

    Technically pets are live-in partners, too. Treat your furry friends to this Jen Atkin-approved shampoo.



    Ouai Limited Edition Pet Shampoo, $28, available at Ouai

    Cool stands for all those plants your partner insists are not dead, just resting.



    Poketo Fruitsuper Plant Sticks, $32, available at Poketo

    Just in time for hibernation season, this is a weighted blanket that has a built-in massager.



    Brookstone Massaging Weighted Blanket, $129.99, available at Brookstone

    Some might call this dishtowel passive aggressive, others call it informative.



    People I've Loved How To Wash A Dish Tea Towel - T8005, $14, available at People I've Loved

    — PAID —

    There's nothing quite as satisfying as a clean house that you didn't have to clean yourself. Your partner will love this little robot vacuum. It sweeps up everything from dust bunnies to annoying pet hair. Plus, they can control it all from an app, so the both of you can spend less time cleaning and more time binging your favorite shows. Just in time for the holidays, save up to $250 on select iRobot floor care at Best Buy — so get to it!



    iRobot Roomba 690, $279.99, available at Best Buy

    This coffee table book is the closest you'll get to going on Fixer Upper.



    Amazon Homebody, $23.99, available at Amazon

    Crystal enthusiasts will dig this classy jar candle, which has a crystal that has been "charged" in the light of the full moon with serene intentions" inside. (Whatever that means.)



    Sandoval PEACE Aromatic Candle, $60, available at Sandoval

    These look like boring tube socks, but they're made with Uniqlo's HeatTech fabric, so they'll keep your partner's toes toasty.



    Uniqlo MEN HEATTECH PILE LINE SOCKS, $5.9, available at Uniqlo

    If your partner has cooked through both of Chrissy Teigen's cookbooks, get them these French bulldog salt-n-pepper shakers from her Target line.



    Cravings by Chrissy Teigen Cravings by Chrissy Teigen French Bulldog Salt & Pepper, $4.99, available at Target

    There's a built-in thermometer inside this chic kettle, so they can perfect their pour-over coffee game.



    Crate & Barrel Fellow Stagg Gooseneck Matte Black Kettle, $79, available at Crate & Barrel

    A playfully patterned throw that won't give you night sweats.



    Forget Me Not geometric throw, $226, available at Forget Me Not

    Give them a place to showcase and organize their impressive stud earring collection.



    Anomie raw espresso stud dome, $40, available at Anomie

    A temperature-controlled smart mug for the partner who's known to leave empty, cold coffee mugs all around the house.



    MoMA Store Ember Ceramic Mug, $80, available at MoMA Store

    Warm this sloth heating pad up in the microwave to soothe period cramps and sore muscles.



    Urban Outfitters Huggable Sloth Cooling + Heating Pad, $29, available at Urban Outfitters

    Add mood lighting to any room of your house with these connected lightbulbs.



    Philips Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 60W, $194, available at Amazon

    They have to travel everywhere for work, so get them this eye mask and blanket set to make hotel rooms feel more like home.



    Parachute Merino Travel Kit New, $169, available at Parachute

    No, this is not a coaster, it's a wireless charging pad that's compatible with most new smartphones.



    Belkin Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad 7.5W , $36.99, available at Amazon

    This bamboo bathtub caddy can prop up an iPad, securely hold a glass of wine, and is adjustable so it will fit your tiny apartment tub.



    Bambüsi Bamboo Bathtub Caddy Tray , $27.99, available at AmazonPhoto: Courtesy of Amazon.

    Kitschy print of Barbie and Ken on the beach adds a quirky touch to your boring bedroom art.



    Barbie and Ken Photos B and K Brunettes on the Beach, $30, available at Barbie and Ken PhotosPhoto: Courtesy of Barbie and Ken.

    For the coffee fiend who keeps blowing $5 a day on a cup, this ceramic pour-over is easy to use and is designed to rest on top of a mug.



    Sumptown Coffee Bee House Pour Over, $18, available at SumptownPhoto: Courtesy of Stumptown.

    They can listen to their podcasts in peace while you catch up on Real Housewives (or vice versa) with these wireless, noise-canceling headphones.



    Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones II, $349.95, available at BosePhoto: Courtesy of Bose.

    A waffle-weave robe that is made for Sunday night face masks and chill.



    Coyuchi Unisex Organic Waffle Robe, $98, available at CoyuchiPhoto: Courtesy of Coyuchi.

    Sweatpants, but make them cashmere and fashion.



    Everlane The Cashmere Sweatpant, $140, available at Everlane

    If your partner geeks out over kitchen gadgets, they'll be into this cast iron skillet. It's 25-50% lighter than most cast iron products and is smoother, too.



    Field Company The Field Skillet, $100, available at Field CompanyPhoto: Courtesy of Field Company.

    Pod Save America stans will recognize Harry's razors from their advertisements. This set includes two blade replacements and your choice of a foaming gel or cream.



    Harry's Truman Set, $15, available at Harry'sPhoto: Courtesy of Harry's.

    A gorgeous Japanese denim apron may inspire bae to start baking for you.



    Hedley & Bennett ADDY Apron, $98, available at Hedley & BennettPhoto: Courtesy of Hedley & Bennett.

    These mini smudge sticks subtly say, "Let's sage the house before your obnoxious family comes over."



    Juniper Ridge White Sage – Mini’s, $11, available at Juniper RidgePhoto: Courtesy of Juniper Ridge.

    This rose gold, Bluetooth-connected vape is a big upgrade from their bong from college, and won’t stink up the rest of your apartment.



    PAX Pax 3, $274.99, available at PAXPhoto: Courtesy of Pax.

    Encourage good plant parenting with this macrame plant hanger. It fits a variety of pots and will definitely look great on Instagram.



    HuiswerkStore Chunky Macrame Plant Hanger, $29.85, available at EtsyPhoto: Courtesy of Etsy.

    Replace your nasty plastic cutting board with this wooden one from Chip and Joanna Gaines's Target line.



    Hearth & Hand Live-Edge Acacia Cutting Board, $16.98, available at TargetPhoto: Courtesy of Target.

    These are the same pillows that they use in W Hotels, so you'll feel like you're sleeping somewhere special tonight.



    W Hotels Feather & Down Pillow, $55.3, available at W HotelsPhoto: Courtesy of W Hotels.

    If you need a last-minute gift, this year-long PlayStation Plus subscription will do the trick and make a certain gamer in your life very happy.



    PlayStation Plus 1 Year PlayStation Plus Membership, $59.99, available at AmazonPhoto: Courtesy of Amazon.

    A pair of Ugg slippers they’re going to want to wear all weekend long.



    UGG Australia 'Tasman' Slipper, $99.95, available at NordstromPhoto: Courtesy of Ugg.

    Hilarious meme-matching game will make you actually want to host dinner parties at your place.



    Amazon What Do You Meme? Adult Party Game, $29.99, available at Amazon

    Champagne flutes are fun, but champagne coups are cooler. Buy two and a nice bottle of champs and you're set.



    Crate & Barrel Camille Champagne Coupe Glass, $10.95, available at Crate & BarrelPhoto: Courtesy of Crate and Barrel.

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