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Refinery29

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    If you had to wager which beauty brand was trending most in 2018, would you go with a time-honored (and celebrity-endorsed) luxury like La Mer? A millennial skin-care favorite, like Glossier or Drunk Elephant? How about a California-based startup with simple packaging, a modest social media following (222k to Glossier's 1.6 million), and a mission to eradicate 1500 chemical ingredients it believes to be harmful? The third option, though promising, sounds like a bit of a longshot. Yet, Beautycounter, the relative newbie on a mission to make cleaner beauty products, just took the cake.

    So how did Beautycounter become to Google what Selena Gomez is to Instagram? And more importantly, what does its top-trending search status tell us about where we are as a culture when it comes to what we're seeking from the beauty industry? The answers to both go hand in hand. “When Beautycounter was founded in 2011, we were pioneers in the movement for better beauty, so we are often at the center of the conversations about clean beauty now,” Gregg Renfrew, Founder and CEO of Beautycounter, tells Refinery29. Indeed the brand has helped set the bar for what passes as “clean,” taking the FDA’s ban or partial restriction of 30 chemicals used in beauty products and upping the ante by nearly 5000% percent. But that was just the start.

    This year, the brand and 100 of its sales consultants (there are more than 30,000 across the country) descended on Washington to lobby for the Personal Care Products Safety Act. The bipartisan bill would allow the FDA to more closely regulate what’s in our personal care products and, ultimately, bring more transparency to the industry. “We’re not only providing high-performing, safer products,” Renfew says about the brand’s position. “We are a resource of education and advocacy for consumers to make informed choices.”

    What's more, Beautycounter has shown it’s not another celebrity spokesperson that draws the most eyeballs in 2018, but taking an active role in making change. “Beautycounter topping this year's [trending] searches is a clear indication that what we are doing is making a difference,” Renfrew says. But it's way, way bigger than just the brand. "People are becoming more aware of the fact that the beauty industry is under-regulated and they’re doing their own research," she says. "Both our clients and our consultants are creating an entire community at large that is focused on leading the industry forward."

    If you're just now discovering the brand, we're breaking down a few of our favorite, best-selling items, ahead.

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

    At-home peel products often don't jive with sensitive skin. This one, made with botanically-derived lactic and malic acid, was designed to exfoliate without irritation — which explains why the 2018 launch quickly became the brand's best seller of the year.



    Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel, $58, available at Beautycounter

    Proving once and for all that a more natural lipstick doesn't need to be neutral, this satin-finish formula packs all the pigment a Taylor Swift impersonator could want (and smells like peppermint, too). The only thing missing? Fifteen hundred chemicals the brand deems too iffy to use.



    Beautycounter Color Intense Lipstick, $34, available at Beautycounter

    The thing about squeaky-clean skin? After stripping out gunk and oil, skin can feel tight and dry. This fan-favorite cleansing bar balances deep-cleansing charcoal with calming green tea and hydrating coconut oil.



    Beautycounter Charcoal Cleansing Bar, $25, available at Beautycounter

    This tinted moisturizer, available in 10 shades, blurred the oversized pores near our nose, gave coverage light enough to help even our complexion, but not completely override freckles, and added a touch of glow that looked more "born this way" than "made by highlighter." The kicker: It didn't leave us with a silicone film or makeup-y feel — because no makeup-makeup isn't just about looking natural, it's about feeling that way too.



    Beautycounter Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage, $45, available at Beautycounter

    Beautycounter calls on plant-derived ingredients to formulate its black mascara, including bataua oil, which conditions lashes, and carnauba wax, which helps impart volume and length. But where this lash magnifier earns the most street cred with fans is in its clump-free delivery.



    Beautycounter Volumizing Mascara, $29, available at Beautycounter

    What's in store for the brand in 2019? More advocacy, for one. Also: the launch of Counterman, a range that's previewed in this holiday collection. Ahead of the line's 2019 release, die-hard fans can try an exfoliating cleanser, oil-free lotion, shaving cream, and aftershave tonic stocked in this dopp kit.



    Beautycounter Counterman Preview Gift Set, $45, available at Beautycounter

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    How To Glue Down Your Eyebrows — According To A Drag Queen

    Why You Should Switch Over To Magnetic Eyelashes In 2019

    The 10 Most-Googled Beauty Brands Of 2018 — & What To Buy From Them


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    For years we've been told that good eyebrows are essential to any enviable makeup look. Drag queens know that better than anyone, going so far as to completely mask their own brows so they can draw better, more exaggerated ones on top.

    "It transforms your face," Miss Toto, a drag queen based in Miami, says. "In the process of drag or any makeup look, you want to create more surface area. Removing your brow changes the game. If I didn’t have a job other than drag, I would shave my brows off."

    While some drag queens do indeed shave their eyebrows off entirely in order to make doing the rest of their makeup easier, most others resort to simply gluing theirs down. But that's easier said than done, as we saw when we attended a drag makeup class earlier this year. "It's one of the more difficult steps," Toto says. "It’s a step where people can learn everything else or even be an amazing makeup artist, but if you don't know how to glue your brows down, the look won’t be cohesive."

    That explains why "how to glue down eyebrows" was near the top of Google's 10 trending beauty questions of 2018. And though drag queens deserve the credit for the technique, they're certainly no longer the only people doing it —which explains the spike in interest. "If you’re doing any special effects or anything in which you're transforming your face, you're going to want to glue down your brows," says Toto. "If you're just going out and turning looks, I say go for it."

    Just like there's no one way to be a drag queen, there's no one way to glue down your brows either. While some use a tacky, professional-level substance called Pros-Aide or an adhesive called Spirit Gum, others like Toto prefer the kind of glue stick you stashed in your desk in elementary school. According to Toto, it's the easiest way to glue down your brows in less than 15 minutes, allowing ample time for you to paint on the rest of your face. Ahead, she runs through her entire routine.

    Step 1: Clean the brows

    The first step in Toto's routine is cleaning the eyebrows and eyebrow hair using alcohol; Toto recommends these handy wipes, which are less likely to drip into your eyes. "You want to create a clean surface to work on," Toto says. "So you wipe off the area first to get all the oil off. The oil and the glue interact and if there's too much oil on your face, it'll break down the glue and make it clumpy."



    BD Alcohol Swabs, $2.69, available at walgreens.com

    Step 2: Whip out the glue stick

    While cosmetic products like Pros-Aide work (and are preferable for your skin), Toto prefers the forever-iconic Elmer's purple school glue sticks — especially because they're cheap and come off with just water at the end of the night.

    "I slam it all over my eyebrows," Toto says. "I do it in the direction of the brow and the other direction, because I've seen people only go in the direction of the hair, but then the glue doesn't get under the hair either."

    From there, Toto lets it set for 10 to 15 seconds while she continues to do the rest of the makeup on her face. Others are less patient than her, however, and use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process.



    Elmer's Washable Glue Sticks Disappearing Purple, $1.09, available at Target

    Step 3: Comb up

    As soon as the glue feels like it’s tacky, Toto pulls out a spoolie brush to comb all the hairs up in the same direction. While she's seen people brush in the direction of the brow growth, she finds that doesn't make them nearly as flat.



    e.l.f. e.l.f. Eyelash & Brow Wand, $1, available at Target

    Step 4: Flatten down the hair

    To ensure the hair is as flat against the forehead as possible, Toto reaches for another brush, but flips it around to use the handle."I roll it up my face, smashing the hair down," Toto says. "I've also seen people use the back of the butter knife or a spoon."

    At this point, there might be extra glue at the top of the brows, which Toto carefully wipes off with another alcohol pad.



    e.l.f. e.l.f. Blush Brush, $2.99, available at Target

    Step 5: Pack in the powder

    To set the brows before makeup, Toto presses powder over the glue with a Beautyblender sponge. "Since I'm a woman of color, I use a Ben Nye Banana Powder, but any neutral setting powder or loose powder foundation will work," Toto says.

    You want to use tinted powder over the brow and surrounding area rather than foundation because the oil in the foundation would cause the glue to melt right off.



    Ben Nye Ben Nye Banana Powder, $13.5, available at Camera Ready Cosmetics

    Step 6: Repeat as needed

    One layer of powder and glue is fine, as Toto explains, but if you're going to be going out on the town and dancing and sweating all night, you'll need to do more. Rather than repeat this entire routine though, Toto merely repeats the layers of glue and powder over and over again until she feels like it's secure. "I end up doing four to five coats of powder," Toto says.

    Finally with a blank canvas she's happy with, Toto then paints on her new eyebrows with Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Ebony, using a fine, angled brush to trace the bottom of her new brow directly above her old one, which is now hiding under five layers of glue and powder.

    With a process so involved, it's no wonder so many people searched for it this year.

    Courtesy of Miss Toto

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

    Everyone from Kim Kardashian West to Michelle Obama and Meghan Markle knows that the best beauty products out there don't have to cost a fortune — or even over $10. There are drugstore cult favorites that we all know and love, like Maybelline's Great Lash, Olay moisturizers, and Schick razors, that consistently beat out other products going for more than double their price.

    We were treated to a bounty of great new bargain beauty buys this past year, and we tested nearly all of them in order to crown the 2018 Beauty Innovator Awards honorees. Ahead are the products that came out on top, including a must-have mascara, a lip plumper that actually plumps, and an eyebrow pencil that changes the game...

    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.

    "Short of a brief yet glorious stint with Juvederm a few years back, I’ve never tried anything that promised to plump my lips and actually did, without turning them raw, red, and stinging in exchange for a little extra volume. I can’t speak to the long-term plumping results of this soft, cushiony cream, but I can tell you that it does give a subtle… juiciness and a cooling effect that makes my lips look and feel healthy and full. You also have more shade options than with most lip plumpers, which is a nice touch; I enjoy Spiced Berry for a noticeable but not at all makeup-y flush." —Rachel Krause, Senior Beauty Writer



    Revlon Kiss Plumping Lip Creme, $5.99, available at Amazon

    "No-fuss brow products are my favorite kind of makeup in the world, so a simple pencil that gets the job done well — and quickly — is a winner in my book. I'm not sure if there really are fibers inside this product, but they made my brows look so good I tossed my Kevyn Aucoin go-to for it." —Sam Sasso, Beauty Writer



    Rimmel Rimmel Brow This Way Fibre Pencil,Medium Brown0.05 oz, $4.59, available at walgreens.com

    "I was at brunch recently when a stranger approached me to say, 'Wow, your lashes look great. Are those real?' I know so many people who double it up with two different mascaras to get the results they want, but this one basically does that for you. The bigger wand works as any other mascara, so it's the precision brush that makes all the difference — it makes sure you're curling out your lashes to get a wow factor that people — like that random stranger — will notice." —Thatiana Diaz, Beauty Writer



    Pixi Lash Lift 188 Beyond Black, $18, available at Target

    "Two drops of this illuminating liquid blended in my moisturizer, plus two more drops in my foundation, and I get the glow of a woman who sleeps eight hours every night, exercises four times a week, gets regular facials, and only eats vegetables — even though that is not the way I live my life. I prefer to use it as an all-over highlight, but it's also possible to get a more precise cheek glow if you use a brush to dab it on." —Jessica Cruel, Deputy Beauty Director



    L'Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Glow Amour Glow Boosting Drops, $10.29, available at Target

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    Why You Should Switch Over To Magnetic Eyelashes In 2019

    How To Glue Down Your Eyebrows — According To A Drag Queen

    The Secret Ingredient You Need To Save Your Chapped Winter Lips


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    An Oklahoma court upheld a state law that forces women seeking abortion care to wait 72 hours before they go through with the procedure. House Bill 1409, which went into effect in the fall of 2015, increased Oklahoma's waiting period from one day to three days, making it the fifth state to hold this type of restriction.

    Anti-abortion lawmakers argue that waiting periods give women the time to think whether they really want to terminate their pregnancies. However, studies have shown an overwhelming majority of patients are certain of their decision and go ahead with the procedure regardless.

    According to research, women report the delay in care is not of benefit for most of them and instead adds unnecessary financial and logistical hardships. Low-income women are usually the ones who are hit the hardest by extreme abortion restrictions, including waiting periods. Oklahoma's 72-hour delay means that some patients are forced to take several days off of work in order to terminate the pregnancy, which can be detrimental for those who are already struggling financially, and that's without taking into account the large distances some women must travel in order to reach a clinic.

    "With only four clinics providing safe and legal abortion services in the entire state, Oklahoma women already face many challenges. This medically unnecessary 72-hour waiting period insults women and adds needless hurdles to accessing abortion care,” Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement provided to Refinery29. “We will continue to fight for women’s dignity and autonomy to make decisions about their health and their futures, free from political interference.”

    At the federal level, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled this summer that the state's 72-hour waiting period was unconstitutional because it placed an undue burden on women seeking abortion care. A similar restriction in Louisiana was also blocked by a federal court.

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    No offense to the cat ladies of the world, but we're calling 2018 the year of the plant lady — and forecasting 2019 to bloom on as the year of the plant queen. Plants are low-maintenance, live-in companions that wield the power to easily elevate our spaces while thriving silently off water and sunshine. Regardless of if you consider yourself a royal plant queen or a more common plant lady, we've got the hit-list of curated goods to serve as your gifting gold green for upcoming holiday shopping.

    From the funkiest ceramic and wooden pots to trendy graphic-designed merch, high-tech grow kits, artful stands, and even the fabulous plants themselves, the 29 finds ahead cover an entire 360° of stylish apartment garden life...Plus even a few faux friends for the green thumbless, too. So scroll on, all you plant queens and ladies, to shop our ultimate guide for all the succulent-obsessed 's essentials and more.

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

    The Gift: Plant Lady Print
    Hang this gallery-quality print titled, "Crazy Plant Lady," inside your apartment garden for added artistic flair.



    Alja Horvat Crazy Plant Lady Art Print, $18.73, available at Society6

    The Gift: Levitating Planter
    Keep your green thumb skills at futuristic levels with a levitating, geodesic planter — made possible through a "magical" magnetic suspension system.



    FLYTE Lyfe Levitating Planter, $299, available at Nordstrom

    The Gift: Plant Parent Guide
    This chic how-to book is packed with plant parent care tips from how to choose your green friends to where to place them and how to make them thrive.



    Morgan Doane & Erin Harding How to Raise a Plant: and Make It Love You Back, $16.98, available at Amazon

    The Gift: Air Plant Trio
    This trio of tiny air plants comes matched with artful wooden cube stands and coated aluminum hangers.



    The Sill Air Plant Trio in Andes Stands, $50, available at The Sill

    The Gift: Retro Plant Pot & Stand
    This retro set with mid-century vibes combines a minimalist wooden stand with funky ceramic planter.



    Kimisty Mid-Century Modern Ceramic Planter With Wood Stand, $14.99, available at Amazon

    The Gift: A Seedling or Tree Planted In Honor of Your Friend
    Starting at $4, you could send someone a tree from Arbor Day Foundation that they can plant and share for generations.

    Another gifting option is having a tree planted in celebration of your giftee. Just choose a card (recycled paper or digital) to go along with your donation. Every card purchased with the Arbor Day Foundation helps to bring our forests back to life.

    The Gift: Artful Stem Support
    Give your green friends the artful support they deserve with this solid-brass stem set.



    Fruitsuper Design Plant Stick Set, $32, available at Need Supply Co

    The Gift: Ponytail Palm
    Ponytail Palms (a.k.a. Elephant Foot Trees or Bottle Palm Trees) are the ideal apartment garden addition for the quirkiest of plant queens.



    Bloomscape Ponytail Palm, $65, available at Bloomscape

    The Gift: Happy Leaf Tee
    Rep your plant pride with this 100% organic cotton eco-conscious tee from indie plant sellers.



    Tula 1% For The Planet Smile Tee, $30, available at Tula

    The Gift: Fiddle Leaf Fig
    For the most stylish of plant queens, gift a chic Fiddle Leaf Fig inside a bohemian hand-woven basket.



    ProPlants Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree - Floor Plant, $39.99, available at ProPlants

    The Gift: Modern Hanging Planter
    This modern, square-shaped planter is perfect for minimalist plant ladies looking to free up space by hanging their potted pals.



    NewMade LA Square Hanging Planter, White, $38, available at Houzz

    The Gift: Indoor Smart Garden
    Extreme plant queens can live out their premium apartment garden dreams with this high-tech, LED grow light device.



    TORCHSTAR Plant Grow LED Light Kit/Indoor Garden, $74.98, available at Amazon

    The Gift: Succulent Trio
    This lovely succulent trio arrives in crafted planter boxes with specialty care kits and instructions.



    Lula's Garden Trio Garden, $65, available at Lula's Garden

    The Gift: Iron Plant Stand
    Give your house plants a stylish lift with these retro, painted-iron stands.



    Ferm Living Plant Stand, $41, available at Yoox

    The Gift: Elegant Plant Mister
    Care for your green friends in elegant style with this handmade, glass-bottled and brass-accented mister.



    Purism Style Glass Bottle & Brass Plant Mister (Pink), $19.98, available at Amazon

    The Gift: Concrete Magnetic Planters
    No space is too small for an apartment garden when you can plant succulents on the fridge.



    Oliver Bonas Concrete Magnetic Planters Set of Three, $22, available at Oliver Bonas

    The Gift: Money Tree
    Money may not grow on trees, but we can grow a money tree inside our apartments.



    Costa Farms Money Tree, $31.99, available at Amazon

    The Gift: Golden Moon Planter
    Fill this luminous, crescent moon-shaped planter with the delicate apartment terrarium of your dreams.



    Urban Outfitters Half Moon Planter, $14, available at Urban Outfitters

    The Gift: Concrete Cactus Block
    This stylish block-shaped planter is made from concrete with gold-cracked accents and a tiny, living cactus plant on top.



    Lulu and Georgia Vale Concrete Block Planter with Cactus, $42, available at Lulu and Georgia

    The Gift: 60s-Style Hanging Planter
    This retro hanging planter features a debossed stem print ceramic stoneware with a dusty-rose sheen.



    Orla Kiely Ceramic Hanging Plant Pot, $44.95, available at Amazon

    The Gift: Recycled-Wood Plant Stands
    These beachy plant stands are handmade from sustainable, recycled teak wood.



    Terrain Footed Teak Plant Stand, $24, available at Terrain

    The Gift: Chic Face Planters
    Each of these chic ceramic planters was designed, hand-shaped, and painted by London-based ceramicist, Kinska.



    Anthropologie Face Pot, $26, available at Anthropologie

    The Gift: Faux Succulent
    No one needs to know you weren't born with a green thumb...



    Project 62 Faux Succulent in Terracotta Pot, $7.99, available at Target

    The Gift: Geometric Wall Planters
    Made from metal and iron, these gilded geometric wall planters are ready to hang your succulents in style.



    AllModern Tain Metal Wall Planter, $47.99, available at AllModern

    The Gift: Plant Lady Mantra Mug
    Spread the good plant lady word while sipping your morning coffee out of this punchy ceramic mug.



    Ambers Textiles Plant lady is the new cat lady! Coffee Mug, $12.74, available at Society6

    The Gift: Hanging Succulent Trio
    This hanging plant trio is bundled with soil, moss, and string for an earthy apartment garden effect.



    Cost Plus World Market Live Kokedama Hanging Succulents Set of 3, $84.99, available at Cost Plus World Market

    The Gift: Pot Ladies
    Plant ladies, meet your pot ladies — these ceramic planters are classically reminiscent of the famous Venus of Willendorf sculpture.



    Helena Lacy Pot Lady Porcelain, $85, available at Wolf & Badger

    The Gift: Wooden Planter
    Warm up your space with this smooth wooden planter's handmade vibes.



    H&M Home Wooden plant pot, $24.99, available at H&M

    The Gift: Bonsai Garden Kit
    Plant beginners can get started on the right root with this full bonsai garden kit containing everything from seeds to recycled steel pots, bonsai scissors, river stones, and more.



    ECO-FRIENDLY Bonsai Forest Growing Kit, $45, available at MoMA Store

    The Gift: Vintage Planter
    This unique planter looks like it was discovered deep inside the colorful stock of a crowded thrift shop.



    Dear Keaton Justina Blakeney Arthur Planter, $72, available at Dear Keaton

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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: a stay-at-home mom whose husband makes $120,000 per year. She spends some of her money this week on a Snickers bar.

    Occupation: Stay-At-Home Mom
    Age: 36
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    My Husband's Salary: $120,000
    His Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $2,950 (after health insurance)

    Monthly Expenses
    Rent: $2,100 (We rent a two-bedroom apartment in a suburb of L.A. with a very good school district. We used to own a house in the city, but we sold it and moved when my son started kindergarten, in order to get into a better district.)
    Loans: $0 (We both paid off our student loans, and we both drive used cars we bought for cash.)
    Car Insurance: $165
    Cell Phone: $145
    Internet: $80
    Electric: $75, but this varies month to month
    Netflix: $11
    Kids' Gymnastics: $168
    Audible: $15
    Transit Pass: $50
    Preschool: $335
    Hulu: $12
    HBO: $15
    Tithe: $310 twice a month
    Kids' Colleges Funds: $250 ($125 into each)
    Retirement: $1,050 pre-tax

    Day One

    8:30 a.m. — My husband leaves for work around 6. He drives to the transit station and takes the bus from there — it's a lot less stressful than dealing with L.A. traffic, but it adds about 30 minutes to his commute each way. The kids and I wake up around 7:30, and I feed us fruit and toast. After getting the kids dressed, I drop my son off at elementary school and my daughter at preschool. My children are both on the autism spectrum, so they receive services at school. My son gets speech and occupational therapy, which are paid for by the school district, and my daughter receives ABA therapy at school, which I pay for through my health insurance. Because she's under 5, there isn't a copay for the ABA services she receives, so I don't have to spend anything out of my own pocket.

    11 a.m. — While my daughter is in school, I head to the grocery store to pick up some sparkling water. I buy myself lunch: prepackaged sushi and a ginger kombucha. I love kombucha! My mom says it tastes like non-alcoholic wine — maybe that's why I like it. $12.15

    12:30 p.m. — Pick my daughter up from school and make her a sandwich for lunch. Now it's time for her second ABA session today, which will go for two-and-a-half hours. She receives 40 hours of ABA therapy per week. It would bankrupt us if we had to pay for it out of pocket — so I say a prayer of thanks that we live in California, where ABA therapy is covered even for those on Medi-Cal. Then I say a prayer of thanks for our health insurance.

    3:30 p.m. — After picking up my son from school, he starts his ABA session for the day. Because he is older than 5, there is a $15 copay for each of his sessions. He receives 15 hours of ABA therapy per week. Our max copay for the year is $1,500, and we usually reach it by April each year. We have the option of having our copays covered by Medi-Cal because our children each have a disability, but I don't utilize it because I feel like we make enough money that we can cover it on our own. It's the conservative in me, I guess — I don't want to take anything I don't really need. $15

    7 p.m. — When my husband gets home from work, we take the kids out to a restaurant for dinner. My son is on the mild end of the autism spectrum, and my daughter is moderate, so taking them out to dinner is doable for us. We have a gift card from my parents, so we splurge and order sodas, an appetizer, and dessert ($84.83). My son loves to draw, so he draws pictures on his menu while I walk my daughter to and from the bathroom a few times (she's potty-training).

    Daily Total: $27.15

    Day Two

    8:30 a.m. — Make the kids breakfast (fruit and toast again) and drop my son off at school. Then I head back home with my daughter, where she starts her first ABA therapy session of the day. This session lasts three hours.

    10:15 a.m. — Once a week, I take my daughter to speech and occupational therapy, which each have a copay of $15. Her ABA therapist attends with her. $30

    12 p.m. — When we come home, she has a lunch break before the next one starts at 12:30. I make us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with milk. I remember last year when she had so much trouble drinking from an open cup, and I smile as I watch her do it now. The therapy is working.

    1 p.m. — While my daughter is working with her therapist, I pay our credit card bills, sweep and mop the kitchen, and run two loads of laundry (which costs $1.50 to wash and $1.25 to dry). I usually listen to one of my audiobooks while I fold. I just finished Pride and Prejudice, which was wonderful. It's funny how the dynamics of Jane Austen novels are so much like high school — who is dating who, dealing with crazy friends and parents, etc. $5.50

    3:30 p.m. — Pick up son from school, and he begins his ABA therapy session. My daughter's second session of the day has ended, and she is beginning her third, which will run two-and-a-half hours. Three-session days can be tough on her — so the therapist who works with her in the evening is usually pretty easy on her, and they mostly play with her toys. My son is working with his therapist on developing a "circle of trust," so he knows to treat strangers differently than he treats family and close friends. So many things that are intuitive for most kids need to be taught explicitly for mine. I'm mostly optimistic about the future (which is why we have a college fund for each of our kids), but I do worry about it sometimes. $15

    Daily Total: $50.50

    Day Three

    8:30 a.m. — I make breakfast for us, and then drop both of the kids off at their respective schools. I notice how most of my days look exactly the same. I have a little time to myself, and I think for a minute about going to the beach, but I decide against it and go home. I watch my favorite show on Hulu, This Is Us, and make some coffee.

    12:30 p.m. — Pick up daughter from preschool, make us lunch (sandwiches), then she begins her second ABA session.

    1 p.m. — I'm browsing Facebook and see that my aunt has put up a fundraiser for her birthday for Autism Speaks. It's very sweet of her — I know she's thinking about us. I donate $5. $5

    3:30 p.m. — Pick up my son from school and he starts his ABA session while my daughter begins her third session today. $15

    6:30 p.m. — Both kids are done with therapy for the day! My son has homework to complete for school afterwards. I marvel at how hard he works every day. I help him finish his homework while my daughter watches a video on my phone, and then I make us chicken with crackers and mixed veggies. I love frozen veggies — they're easy to prepare, and they never go bad. I hate wasting money. My husband comes home around 7, and he and my son play the Lego Star Wars video game for an hour while I put my daughter to bed.

    Daily Total: $20

    Day Four

    8 a.m. — It's Saturday!!! I make us pancakes for breakfast. We all love pancakes. My daughter only likes them when they're plain, but my son has just started to let us put syrup on his. My husband covers his in peanut butter and syrup, and I eat mine with a little butter.

    11 a.m. — For lunch, we take the kids out to Souplantation, a salad bar/buffet restaurant. The kids both eat macaroni and cheese, and my husband and I get salad and too much other stuff, although I limit myself to one cornbread muffin. $20.71

    2 p.m. — My husband and his friends have football season tickets, and there's a game today, so he heads over to the stadium. It works out to about $20 for each game. I go with him to one game per season — I'm not a big fan of football, but I enjoy hanging out with him and his friends. The game itself is super boring for me, though. By the second quarter, I always end up rooting for the clock. After he heads out, I take the kids to an indoor playground nearby. I follow my kids as they run around — my daughter climbs into the big tunnel structure, and I get a little nervous about her getting lost inside, but my son is staying with her so they're easier to keep track of. $44

    6 p.m. — I pick up some pizza on the way home from the playground. Pepperoni for the kids, and Hawaiian chicken for me. There's some leftover for tomorrow. $36.86

    Daily Total: $101.57

    Day Five

    8:30 a.m. — We have leftover pizza from last night for breakfast. Then my husband and I get the kids dressed for church. My son will wear a button down shirt if we let him choose which one. My daughter hasn't shown a preference in clothing yet — and I'm actually looking forward to the day when she tells me she doesn't want to wear something I've picked out.

    10 a.m. — When we arrive at church, we put our tithe in the offering box near the front of the sanctuary. We tithe $310 twice a month, which works out to about 10% percent of my husband's take-home pay. When we get our tax refund at the end of the year, we tithe 10% of that too. Our church has a food bank and pays for diapers when a single mom needs it or for other emergency expenses that might arise in the community. But even if they didn't, I tithe because our family has everything we need, and not everyone does, so we have a responsibility to give what we can.

    1:30 p.m. — After church, we take the kids to Costco for lunch and grocery shopping. We eat some hot dogs first, then we go inside and buy bread, fruit, milk, and frozen entrees to eat throughout the week. $178.84

    6 p.m. — We share a rotisserie chicken and some potatoes that we picked up at Costco earlier today. Delicious!

    Daily Total: $178.84

    Day Six

    8:30 a.m. — My husband has the day off, so he helps me get the kids ready for school today. I love Mondays — it's nice to have him home. He takes our son to school, and I take our daughter. Then he plays Fallout 76 for an hour or so.

    10 a.m. — I go to the deli and pick us up some sandwiches for lunch. When I bring them home, we eat together and talk about the week. It's nice to spend some time together without the kids. $16.79

    3:30 p.m. — I pick my son up from school. On our way to his speech therapy appointment, I stop at The Coffee Bean for some much needed caffeine. I get myself drip coffee because it's ready faster than anything they have to make with espresso, and I get him a bottle of water. $4.75

    3:45 p.m. — I take my son to his speech therapy appointment and pay a $15 copay. His ABA teacher is waiting — he'll attend the appointment with my son and come back to our house after for a three-hour session. One more $15 copay. $30

    4 p.m. — While my son is at his speech therapy appointment, I stop by the gas station and fill up my car. I pick up a Snickers bar, too, and eat it as I drive back to pick him up. $46.30

    6 p.m. — My husband makes dinner, and he always goes all out when he cooks. Tonight it's carne asada with homemade guacamole. It's as delicious as it sounds. My son eats the tortillas and picks at the meat. My daughter eats the meat and picks at the tortillas. I enjoy every bite.

    Daily Total: $97.84

    Day Seven

    8:30 a.m. — I wake up early and make banana-oatmeal muffins for breakfast. I also make a pot of coffee, which is really good, because I have a coffee maker that grinds the beans before it brews. The coffee tastes fresh and delicious. The kids and I get ready, and I take my son to school.

    9 a.m. — My daughter begins her first ABA session for the day. I talk to her therapist a little. Some of the technicians who work with my kids are really friendly and want to chat, and some want to get straight down to business. Most of them are at least 10 years younger than I am and just starting out in their careers, so they've all got a lot of interesting stuff going on in their lives. They're all really nice, which makes sense, because you don't get into this line of work unless you're nice.

    11 a.m. — I spend $19.99 on iTunes for a game I play on my phone. It's the one expense I have that's completely ridiculous, but I plan for it, and I just give myself permission to waste the money. I end up spending about $40 a month on the game, and I really like playing it. I can't think of anything I could spend that money on that would give me more pleasure than the game does. It's just this dumb "free-to-play" game that ends up costing money once you play it long enough. But I like it, so YOLO. $19.99

    12:30 p.m. — My daughter and I have sandwiches for lunch, and then she starts her second ABA session for the day.

    3:30 p.m. — I pick up my son from school and he begins his ABA session, while my daughter begins her third ABA session today. His session has a copay, and hers does not. $15

    7 p.m. — My husband arrives home, and I head out to my support group, who I meet with once a week. I love this group. There's a donation basket that gets passed around so I always put a few bucks in — it's a lot cheaper than therapy. Today I put in $5. We all take turns going around the room and talking. Today I talk about how I want to make an effort to get out of the house more while the kids are at school. I tell them I'm thinking of volunteering at my son's school library — they always need parent volunteers. When it's over, I stay a few minutes to chat with the others, then I head back home. My husband has put the kids to bed, and we watch some TV before we go to bed, too. $5

    Daily Total: $39.99

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

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    Remember the first time you heard about Santa's naughty or nice list? That's the moment you knew what self-restraint really felt like. For months, you'd sweat bullets, smiling through clenched teeth whenever your little brother stole your Game Boy in hopes that all that "nice" behavior would land you a new Bop It Extreme.

    We've since learned that Santa Claus and his (highly judgmental) list are works of fiction; as adults, if we're going to police our own behavior, it won't be for a jolly man in a red-velvet suit. Besides, being nice doesn't mean we can't be a little naughty — if you and your best friend's text thread is riddled with eggplant and peach emojis, then you'll know what we're talking about.

    But if phallic toys or vibrators are too risqué for your familial holiday gatherings, then we suggest you stick to sex-positive beauty gifts that are as effective as they are dirrrty. Ahead, the kind of holiday gifts that would make even the rowdiest bachelorette party blush.

    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.

    Although the term "Flowerbomb" is synonymous with the best-selling Viktor & Rolf fragrance, it's also a cutesy way to refer to a female orgasm. Unfortunately, the latter doesn't come included in this gift set, but two miniature bottles of the heady scent (and a shower gel and lotion) do.



    Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Mini Coffret, $35, available at Sephora

    The phrase "batteries not included" refers to more than just the fine print on your latest Babeland order: It's also the name of a holiday set that promises to put even the most energized insomniacs to sleep in minutes. The only thing better than the fact that this gift includes both a sleep-aid mist for your pillow and an anti-stress aromatherapy rollerball is that there are two of each — one for your friend, and one for the unnamed contact in her phone she says is "just someone I met at a bar the other night."



    This Works batteries not included, $22, available at DermStore

    This powdered adaptogenic supplement is the power boost (or at least the placebo) any burnt-out sex drive needs. Soon enough, you'll be thanking wild herbs you can barely even pronounce, like epimedium and shatavari, for your boosted libido... and for sending blood to all the right places.



    Moon Juice Sex Dust®, $38, available at Sephora

    Just in case your friend's third date falls on the night before the morning she's supposed to meet you for brunch, there's this set of hair-care necessities. She might drag herself out of bed the next morning regretting the fact that she's dating someone who lives in a fifth-floor walk-up in Bushwick, but at least her hair will look good for three hours of bottomless mimosas.



    R+Co Time Travel Four-Piece Hair Set, $39, available at Saks Fifth Avenue

    Shower sex might have a bad rap, but it's still one of those as-seen-on-TV fantasies some of us will never quite give up on. Just in case you're waiting to upgrade your standing shower to a clawfoot tub for a little more room to spread out (and reduced chance of slipping and cracking your head open), opt for this skin-care set, which sports a very suggestive name for what's just a highly-effective hydrating routine.



    Peter Thomas Roth Get Drenched!, $52, available at Sephora

    Some people's pre-sex rituals include a wax and YSL Black Opium; others call for a full skin-care routine, because what's the fun in waking up to mascara caked to your pillowcase? This set lets you (or whoever the lucky recipient may be) kick the night off with a cat-eye for the first half of the date, then rinse it all off with the makeup remover included for a mess-free sleepover.



    Clinique Turn It Up, Take It Off, $19, available at Sephora

    No matter how much she denies it, your BFF just can't keep anything to herself — and you have the texts/Snapchats/Instagram receipts to prove it. Gift her this lip-and-eye duo, which slides comfortably into any date-night clutch or random tote bag, so she never has to worry about fussy post-hookup retouches (or how she looks in the selfie she'll inevitably take on the Uber ride home).



    Laura Geller Kiss & Tell Eye & Lip Duo, $19, available at DermStore

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    If there's one thing to be learned from the time your S.O.'s mom gave you a handheld vacuum for Hanukkah, it's that holiday gifts can serve as backhanded disses hidden behind a veneer of seasonal cheer and reindeer-printed wrapping paper. Cleaning supplies say "you're a slob with dusty floors," a sonic toothbrush says "your oral hygiene needs some work," and nothing says "sorry you're getting old" quite like handing someone a jar that literally has the words "anti-aging " on it.

    So how do you gift skin care without making enemies of your nearest and dearest by indirectly sending the message that their blackheads are out of control and their fine lines aren't so fine anymore? With great caution, of course. First, be absolutely certain that the recipient wants skin care in the first place — if your brother-in-law asks for an Italian cigar knife and you get him a Drunk Elephant starter set, for example, chances are that everyone will leave the situation unhappy.

    The real secret, then, is to choose a gift that's at once personal and non-judgmental; effective, but not skin issue-specific. These sets should do the trick of pleasing the skin-care lover in your life without offending, so it'll be abundantly clear that you're giving them a gift — not a thinly-veiled insult.

    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.

    "Chlorophobia" is the fear of the color green — and that's the only reason someone would dislike anything about this clean, plant-powered trio, which features a full-size cleansing oil alongside travel sizes of the brand's lightweight gel Cactus Water Moisturizer and matcha-infused face mask.



    Boscia Good Clean Fun Powered by Plants Skin Kit, $39, available at Sephora

    'Tis the season of dull, flaky skin, chapped knuckles, and nerves shot to hell by the mere thought of your extended family in the same house, let alone the same living room. Address them all with a nourishing clay mask, a moisturizer, an intensive hand cream, and a soothing lavender-infused body oil, best paired with a weighted blanket and earplugs.



    Ole Henriksen Instant Hygge Nurturing Skincare Set, $49, available at Ole Henriksen

    No one could ever fault you for trying to protect them against ever-worsening environmental damage, right? (Except maybe your uncle who believes that climate change is a hoax.) This trio, which R29 put together in partnership with Exuviance, includes rejuvenating eye masks, vitamin C-packed serum capsules, and a dreamy overnight mask that melts into skin to neutralize the horrors of daily pollution while you sleep.



    Exuviance Bright On Time Collection, $35, available at Ulta Beauty

    A simple yet luxurious skin-care ritual is a surefire winner — not even the snobs in your life will be able to resist this travel-sized lineup of cleansing oil, exfoliating polish, essence, and silky face cream inspired by classic Japanese beauty secrets.



    Tatcha The Starter Ritual Set for Normal to Dry Skin, $59, available at Tatcha

    Packed with travel sizes and deluxe minis of the green-beauty wonderland's best-selling glow-enhancing skin products, this gift set has two benefits: a newly radiant complexion and the smug satisfaction of using exclusively clean beauty products.



    Credo Glow & Go Set, $35, available at Credo

    Complete with cleanser, eye cream, a whipped moisturizer, a lightweight serum, and the brand's beloved glycolic night treatment, this set serves as a physical invitation to join the Drunk Elephant cult — and includes a magnifying glass and card game to help identify the not-so-great products in your recipient's routine, so you don't have to.



    Drunk Elephant Inspector Drunk Night Kit, $98, available at Drunk Elephant

    It's not just a saying: You really, truly can't go wrong with a gift set from Kiehl's, especially when said gift set contains five generously-sized products from the brand's cult-classic Ultra Facial collection. The cleanser, toner, cream, overnight mask, and eye cream are individually beloved for their superior hydrating abilities; put them all together, and you've got a full winter skin-care routine that can hold up against the most brutal windchill (if not the cold shoulder your brother will give you after you accidentally call his new girlfriend by his ex's name).



    Kiehl's Ultra Skin Lovers Set, $59, available at Nordstrom

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    Ava Michelle Cota Spills Her Bag

    Phone, wallet, keys, and lipstick: The mantra of many a millennial woman. Beyond those four basics, however, every woman has a few necessities that might seem just plain weird. In Spill It , we ask influential women to share everything that's in their bag — embarrassing, enlightening, and otherwise. Here, dancer and singer Ava Michele Cota opens up her bag to share her everyday essentials.

    Ava Michele Cota is a modern-day bag lady. When she isn’t dancing or recording music, she’s toting around her many different purses — about 12 according to her last count — one for rehearsals, one for events, one for on-the-go refreshes, and pretty much everything in between.

    In this episode of Spill It, the 16-year-old Dance Moms star and So You Think You Can Dance competitor overturns just one of her everyday bags — a hand-me-down, green doctor bag that doubles as a fashionable "first-aid kit." Cota keeps everything from Garnier makeup remover to Band-Aids on hand as she bounces from dance rehearsal to the music studio.

    Watch the video above to see exactly how this teen packs her handbag. You might just be surprised by the one thing she got at BeautyCon and the jewelry piece she shares with her puppy.

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    On December 6, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled t hat Cyntoia Brown, a woman convicted of first degree murder as a teen, would have to serve 51 years in prison before being eligible for parole. The decision disregards many factors including that Cyntoia Brown was solicited for sex by a 43-year-old man when she was only 16, the fact that both Tennessee and U.S. law has changed significantly when it comes to prosecuting minors since Brown’s first trial in 2006, and the outrage expressed by hundreds of thousands in a number of petitions protesting the egregious sentencing of an at-risk-child at the mercy of a series of a predatory men.

    Brown’s case has attracted the attention of celebrities including Rihanna, Kim Kardashian West, and LeBron James. Here's what you need to know.

    The Case Against Cyntoia Brown

    On August 7, 2004 Nashville Police responded to a 911 call and found the body of 43-year-old Johnny Allen. Allen was nude, lying face down in his bed. He’d been shot in the back of the head. In the early morning hours of August 8, police found Allen’s white pick up truck in a parking lot and arrested 16-year-old Cyntoia Brown in connection with the shooting. At the time, she was staying in a nearby hotel with a man she referred to as “Cut Throat.” Brown had taken Allen’s wallet and some of his guns.

    She waived her Miranda Rights and told investigators that Allen had solicited her for sex on August 6 and driven her to his home where he showed her guns and became violent. She feared for her life and shot him with a .40-caliber handgun she had in her purse, killing him in self defense.

    Prosecutors argued that Brown’s real motive was robbery and despite her age she was charged as an adult with first-degree felony murder and aggravated robbery. She was sentenced to two concurrent life sentences.

    Cyntoia Brown’s Childhood

    At her original trial, Brown wasn’t allowed to testify on her own behalf and her attorneys didn’t offer into evidence her traumatic childhood history and severe neurodevelopmental disorder.

    Brown’s mother drank alcohol — as much as "a fifth a day, if I could get it" she later admitted —throughout her pregnancy. As a result Brown is on the fetal alcohol spectrum disorder which can result in “poor impulse control and a disconnect between thought and action.” At eight-months-old, Brown entered the foster care system and became a runaway in her early teens. She experienced numerous rapes and assaults during this time.

    In 2004 she began living in a series of hotels with the 24-year-old man she called “Cut Throat.” Her relationship with Cut Throat was sexually, physically, and emotionally abusive. He pulled a gun on her multiple times and once choked her so hard she passed out. Eventually he forced her into prostitution.

    Brown later testified that, "He would explain to me that some people were born whores, and that I was one, and I was a slut, and nobody'd want me but him, and the best thing I could do was just learn to be a good whore.”

    On the night of August 6, he ordered her to go out and “get money.” Brown met Allen later that evening in the parking lot of a Sonic franchise. He agreed to pay $150 for sex and drove them both back to his home where she later shot him.

    Brown’s Case Gains Publicity

    Filmmaker Dan Birman had been following Brown’s case since her arrest, after being tipped of to the story by a forensic psychiatrist who’d been asked to interview her. In 2011, his film, “Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story” debuted on PBS. The documentary took on many of the complicated angles of the case including juvenile justice reform, Brown’s flawed first trial and the ways in which it was prejudiced by the fact that she was a woman of color engaging in sex work, and the lack of a social safety net available to young at-risk women like Brown — who are at a high risk for sex trafficking.

    Birman’s film also helped change the law in Tennessee: Now children under the age of 18 cannot be tried for prostitution. If she were to arrested today, Brown would be treated as a child human trafficking victim.

    Charles Bone, a prominent national attorney, saw the film and took on Brown’s case, representing her for a 2012 appeal. Bone argued that although Brown has a high IQ, she functions at the cognitive level of a 13-year-old as a result of her fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, traumatic and violent past, and her abusive relationship with her trafficker Cut Throat.

    In 2017, Brown’s case came back into the spotlight when Rihanna shared Brown’s story on Instagram in a post that read: "Imagine at the age of 16 being sex-trafficked by a pimp named 'cut-throat.' After days of being repeatedly drugged and raped by different men you were purchased by a 43 year old child predator who took you to his home to use you for sex. You end up finding enough courage to fight back and shoot and kill him.”

    Kim Kardashian, Cara Delevingne and other celebrities shared the post inspiring the viral hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown. In May 2017, Brown had a clemency hearing, but the board was split on their decision with two voting for clemency, two against it, and two to make her eligible for parole after 25 years.

    Brown’s lawyers have continued to argue her case saying her sentence is unconstitutional based on a 2012 Supreme Court ruling that found that life imprisonment sentences for minors violate the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

    Where Is Cyntoia Brown Now?

    On Thursday, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that Brown’s sentence was not unconstitutional based on a loophole that defines a “life sentence” as 60 years. In a statement the court wrote "under state law, a life sentence is a determinate sentence of 60 years. However, the sixty-year sentence can be reduced by up to 15 percent, or 9 years, by earning various sentence credits." In other words, the court ruled that because Brown’s sentence is 51 years and not 60, it is not technically a “life sentence” and therefore doesn’t violate the US Supreme Court ruling that forbids convicting minors to prison terms equivalent to death in prison.

    Even more galling: Brown was able to receive the credits that reduced her 60-year-sentence as a result of her own model behavior. She received her associates degree in prison and mentors other female inmates.

    Brown’s case is currently pending judgment by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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    It's mid-December, which means scrolling through curated gift guides is as habitual as reaching for a sugar cookie when 3 p.m. hits. To switch things up from the highly-specific lists that break down the best gifts from Target or what to get your best friend based on her star sign — both of which are pretty damn clutch — we've decided to make it more personal. Because everyone knows that the best gifts come from the heart.

    Ahead, we're breaking down the full list of beauty-related gifts our R29 editors are actually wrapping in ribbon and giving our loved ones this year. Warning: If you're a mom, little sister, or S.O. of our team, stop here, or you might ruin the surprise. Everyone else, go ahead and scroll through for our picks and you just might find that elusive gift you were looking for.

    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.

    "My roommate lives and dies by Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray. I mean, I love it too, but she moves through the stuff like it's water dripping out of our kitchen sink, and not $46 per can. Considering her high-brow taste, I know she'll freak out over this artisanal, limited-edition Oribe holiday kit — stocked with a jumbo-size texture spray and a mini one, plus a travel-size Gold Lust dry shampoo — which should last her through January, at least." —Megan Decker, Beauty Editorial Assistant



    Oribe Dry Styling Collection, $74, available at Oribe

    "It wasn't until my baby sister went off to college this past September that I realized she's not a baby anymore. She's not into makeup, but she often calls me complaining about her skin, asking which cheap moisturizer she should buy on Amazon. We deal with similar skin issues because of genetics — uncomfortably dry in the winter, with pesky hormonal breakouts along the jawline — and since everything in this four-piece Tatcha set works for me, I know she'll love working these shiny polished bottles into her routine for her second semester." —Decker



    Tatcha The Starter Ritual SetUltra-Hydrating for Dry Skin, $59, available at Tatcha

    "Hair accessories make the best holiday gifts. No one buys them for themselves — because they're so seasonal — so unwrapping a soft velvet bow scrunchie is always met with squeals of excitement. These ones are Jennifer Behr -level chic, but at a fraction of the price, so I'm gifting one to my four best friends. The hardest part is picking who gets which color. " — Decker



    Chloe + Isabel Velvet Bow Scrunchie, $30, available at Chloe + Isabel

    "Of all the various hydrating products that have entered his orbit via me — and, because we share a 900-sq.-ft. apartment, there have been many — my boyfriend prefers First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream above all. He goes through the 6 oz tubs at an alarming rate… but then again, I have personally witnessed him scoop out a handful, slather it over his face and neck, then his arms and hands, then his eczema-prone ankles in a single motion, so maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised. He’ll get a lot of use out of the full-size jar in this set, and he dabbles in a serum from time to time, so I imagine this one will enter his rotation, too. I’m sure he won’t mind that I intend on taking the cleanser, mask, and peel pads for myself." —Rachel Krause, Senior Beauty Writer



    First Aid Beauty Skin Summit, $48, available at Sephora

    PAID —

    “This lip gloss treasure chest is going straight to my sister, who — like me — has recently come to re-embrace the glossy, vinyl lip look in all its '90s glory. Between the pearly light pinks and vampy dark plums, there's a shade in the mix for any occasion from the casual brunch to the glitzy night out. Not to mention, a minty, moisturizing gloss is way more fun than regular old lip balm when warding off winter's chapped lips. You can thank me later, sis!” —Jennifer Mulrow, Fashion & Beauty Writer



    Beautycounter Mini Lip Gloss Vault, $89, available at Beautycounter

    "I have created a monster out of my mother by spoiling her with beauty gifts — now she just cuts to the chase every time I see her by asking if I “have anything Tom Ford” for her. The answer is generally no, but for the vague, non-denominational holidays my family celebrates every year, she’ll be getting something from the king of luxury. Specifically, this fancy trio of Boys lipsticks, in three mom-approved shades of soft rose and mauve." —Krause



    Tom Ford Beauty Boys Soft Lipstick Trio, $98, available at Nordstrom

    "The beauty of this gift is that it’s a gift that keeps on giving: I could gift any of the nine soaps individually, or I could gift the entire box to someone who is bound to keep a few for themselves and then gift the rest away, even if they say they’re going to keep them all. For my own sake, I’ll be taking the first approach and pass the shea butter-infused soaps out like (sexy, artfully illustrated) candy at the next holiday gathering." —Krause



    Claus Porto Mini Soaps Gift Box, 9 x 50g, $70, available at Net-A-Porter

    "If money were no object, I’d give one of these pillows to everyone I know. But money is an object, so I’ll have to be discerning about who deserves to sleep on the most luxe mulberry silk, which not only keeps hair and skin safe from the usual pillowcase wreckage but also absorbs light — kind of like sleeping on a sleep mask. It’s also just wildly comfortable, and doesn’t get all hot throughout the night the way some other silk pillowcases do." —Krause



    Discover Night NIGHT Pillow™, $150, available at Discover Night

    "My holiday isn’t started until I light up one of my Nest holiday candles. This year, the new scent is the Sparkling Cassis, which is the perfect blend of cranberry and Champagne. I’m gifting these minis to my friends who travel often. The tiny votives are easily thrown into a suitcase to freshen up a foreign hotel room." —Jessica Cruel, Deputy Beauty Director



    NEST Fragrances Petite Candle Trio Set, $64, available at Nordstrom

    "As I approach 30, sleep is becoming more and more important. I already own the This Works Oil Diffuser, and it’s made such a difference in my sleep routine (along with my favorite sleep tea from WelleCo). Now, I can lay down for a full 7.5 hours, even if I’m anxious about a big meeting or coming off hours scrolling through Instagram. I want to gift that same peace of mind to my younger sister this season, and this set is packed with five lavender-scented products and a sleep mask." —Cruel



    This Works the big sleep (6 piece), $100, available at DermStore

    "I’m not good at committing to gadgets and gizmos in my beauty routine (isn’t using 10 products time-consuming enough?). But if Viola Davis is using this machine every night — and she told me once that she does — then I need to get me, my mom, and my grandma one." —Cruel



    NuFACE Gold Trinity® Complete Skin Toning Collection, $325, available at Sephora

    "Each of my best friends has a signature lip color. One loves purples, another goes for red, a few like nudes, and me, I’m all about vampy brown. For me, lipstick minis are the best part of the holiday season because I’ve never finished a full tube of lipstick in my life and I can split up a set like this so that every one of my girlfriends is satisfied." —Cruel



    Stila With Flying Colors Mini Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, $39, available at Sephora

    "Skin care can be tricky to give — especially if you're gifting to someone who may take your generous clay mask as a sign that they have oily skin. That's why I stick with products that don't just work for every skin type, but come in beautiful packaging that can double as bathroom decor. This kit from Herbivore ticks all the boxes. It comes with three products, the brand's Rosewater Hibiscus Facial Spray, Pink Cloud Moisturizer, and Prism Toner. The trio will gently slough away dull skin and hydrate." —Mi-Anne Chan, Beauty Writer



    Herbivore Botanicals Rosewater Hydration Trio, $59, available at Sephora

    "As a beauty writer, my friends love to ask me for Beautyblenders all year long, as if I’m a makeup sponge dispenser. That’s why this year I decided to get my bestest of friends this set that doesn’t just give two of what they’re always asking for, but also serves as an adorable reminder of our friendship. And on top of that, the heart-shaped packaging doubles as storage with a perforated back that allows for the sponges to get air and dry properly." —Thatiana Diaz, Beauty Writer



    Beautyblender beautyblender BBF, $40, available at Sephora

    "My roommate and I are going our separate ways as our lease comes to an end this holiday season, so I want to get her a gift that serves as both a housewarming and Christmas gift. What’s a better present than a holiday set of masks that she can store in her bathroom cabinet? In my time living with her, I observed that she was a huge fan of Peter Thomas Roth masks, so I knew this set would be perfect to keep her stocked up in her new place. And when I go over to catch up, we can have mask-and-wine night." —Diaz



    Peter Thomas Roth Mask Frenzy, $75, available at Ulta Beauty

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

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

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

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

    For your 13-year-old brother or your boyfriend who's constantly forgetting his toothpaste when you travel together, this dopp kit of personal-care essentials is the practical gift he'll actually use.



    Convenience Concepts Convenience Kit Bath And Body Set -Trial Size- 9ct, $14.99, available at Target

    Glitter nail polish is trending right now. Not sure what shade to try? Grab this $14 advent calendar, and you'll get twelve, fun-sized sparkly polish bottles all housed in a cutesy pop-out gift box.



    Defy & Inspire Defy & Inspire 12 Days of Nail Color Nail Polish Set, $14.99, available at Target

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



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

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



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

    — PAID —

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



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

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



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

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



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

    You can't go wrong gifting fresh makeup brushes.



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

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



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

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



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

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    McKenzie Adams of Linden, AL dreamed of becoming a scientist, but her family won't see her grow up and fulfill that goal. McKenzie died by suicide earlier this month after being relentlessly bullied at school, her family said. She was 9.

    "That was my angel," her mother Jasmine Adams told CBS Birmingham affiliate WIAT. Adams said her daughter, who attended fourth grade at U.S. Jones Elementary School in Demopolis, was often harassed.

    "She told me that this one particular child was writing her nasty notes in class. It was just things you wouldn't think a 9-year-old should know. And my baby to tell me some of the things they had said to her, I was like where are they learning this from," Adams told WIAT.

    According to Adams, McKenzie transferred to U.S. Jones after the family complained to to the Alabama State Board of Education that she was being bullied at her former school in Linden. The family says the harassment continued at U.S. Jones. McKenzie's aunt Eddwina Harris told the Tuscaloosa News the harassment seemed to be racially-motivated. She said: "[McKenzie] was being bullied the entire school year, with words such as ‘kill yourself,’ 'you think you’re white because you ride with that white boy,' 'you ugly,'" and other insults.

    After Mckenzie's death, an investigation was launched by both Demopolis City Schools and the Linden authorities. An attorney for the Demopolis City Board of Education said in a statement Tuesday that the inquiry had not found reports of bullying. "We have concluded our internal investigation to the allegations of bullying which led to this senseless death. There have been no findings of any reports of bullying by either the student or family," attorney Alex Braswell said. "The findings of this internal investigation are consistent with the results of the investigation of the Linden (Alabama) Police Department at this point in time. The Linden Police Department investigation is still pending. All further results will be disseminated as they become available."

    McKenzie's funeral will be held Saturday.

    If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.

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    Don’t get us wrong, we love a good tote bag as much as anyone. Where else would we store the makeup bags we don’t need, granola bars for “emergencies” or a back-up book just in case we finish book #1? But sometimes leaving behind those so-called necessities behind isn’t a bad thing. In all honesty, all we really need is lip balm, our iPhones, a credit card and our keys.

    That’s where our itty-bitty clutches come in. And with holiday party season in full swing, lugging around an overstuffed tote or two is too much to handle. There’s no better time to toss our overnight bags to the side and opt for something a little more chic. So grab your actual essentials, because these adorable party clutches aren’t gonna fit much else.

    Before you drag your laptop to another party, take a look at the 17 clutches ahead.

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

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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.

    Show your friend how much you want them to get their 40 winks with a supportive body pillow.



    Serta Cuddly Comfort Memory Foam Body Pillow, $59.49, available at Kohl's

    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 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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    For those who view shopping as a legitimate sport, finding a good deal is key. Be it shopping for an upcoming getaway, hunting for the perfect NYE dress, or yes, even holiday gifting, why pay full price if you don't have to? So long as you take a sharpie to that price tag before wrapping the gift, they'll never have to know you got it at a discount.

    While Black Friday may be the most ideal time to stock up on discounted gifts, the ship hasn't sailed yet. There's still plenty of great end of season sales happening during the countdown to the holidays. We've dug deep and rounded up 30 of the best red-ticket items to gift this year. They may be the one getting the physical present but the gift of getting a good deal is all yours to keep.

    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.

    *Use the code WEDNESDAY to get 50% off *



    J.Crew Loopy Stitch Oversized Cable-knit Scarf, $59.5, available at J.Crew

    *Use the code VERYMERRY to save an extra 25% off your entire purchase*



    Vans Unisex Old Skool Lace-up Sneakers in Gold Glitter, $49.5, available at Madewell

    *Use the code HOLIDAY25 to save an extra 25% off *



    Adam Selman Mandrel Polo, $195, available at Opening Ceremony

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    Over the past year, Korean womenswear designer Jee Won has been working on Suggesty, a personal styling/e-commerce app and website featuring curated Korean fashion brands indexed into a shoppable database. Suggesty is still in beta, with an expected rollout in early 2019 – but Won timed her brand’s launch perfectly.

    “K-Beauty and K-Pop hit the U.S. rather hard,” the former Eli Tahari womenswear designer tells Refinery29. “The U.S. is already fascinated with Korean culture. I think K-Fashion already has the same potential. It is enough to hold Americans captive.” (According to Mintel, a global market intelligence agency, the Korean beauty market has quickly become one of the world’s top 10 industries and made an estimated $13.1 billion in sale in 2018. The worldwide dominance of music groups like BTS, meanwhile, has proven out K-Pop's mass appeal.)

    Suggesty is currently working with over forty Korean fashion brands, from established international labels to up-and-coming streetwear designers, all with a focus on quality fabrication, function and fit. Clothing and accessories range from $50 - $350, and can be purchased via the app or online. Broadly speaking, Korean fashion mimics American hip-hop culture with its bold colors and bright patterns, where the most seemingly mundane items like long puffer jackets or T-shirts baring Jesse Jackson’s 1988 US presidential campaign logo become status symbols.

    As Won suggested, Korean fashion is on the precipice of a global moment, and Suggesty isn’t the only Korean fashion company carving out a space in American consumers' wallets. In July, Aland, a South Korean-based retailer started 13 years ago by sisters Kinam and Jung Eun Jung, opened a Brooklyn store selling clothing, beauty products and housewares. Vogue calls Aland’s shopping experience “a cross between Urban Outfitters and Uniqlo.” “We like to discover new designers, and then share their style with the customers,” Kinam told Vogue the weekend of the store’s opening. “Customers don’t come to Aland simply to buy something. We think of it as a place for designers to share their unique point of view.”

    Similarly, in November, Opening Ceremony launched a new partnership called 10 Soul, presenting 10 emerging Korean designers (A.Bell, BLINDNESS, Bourie, D-Antidote, HCL, J KOO, MÜNN, Pushbutton, YCH, and Youser) from Seoul Fashion Week. It was the first time some of the participants (A.Bell, Bourie, HCL, J KOO, MÜNN and YCH) were sold outside of Korea. It’s also worth noting that since Opening Ceremony debuted in 2002, the retailer has attended Seoul Fashion Week, and has partnered with the event for the past six years to support emerging designers.

    Established designers are also benefiting from K-culture’s rabid global fanbase. Lyst found in its Year in Fashion report, which tracked more than 100 million searches from 80 million shoppers all over the world, that K-pop boy bands like BTS and EXO and women K-pop stars like CL and Park Bom are “major global influencers” who drive trends. For example, when BTS member Suga wore a checked shirt created by Virgil Abloh, searches for the designer went up 120%. After Moschino’s creative director named K-pop singer CL one of his muses, searches for the brand catapulted sales. Camila Clarkson, Lyst’s communications manager, says this is just the beginning, and K-pop will continue to inspire and dominate fashion trends next year. Here’s hoping Suggesty and other K-fashion newbies can ride that wave.

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    Imagine, for a second, that you've just stepped through the door of a swanky holiday party. You're wearing a variation of your dream outfit — a velvet jumpsuit, heels, earrings that look like Hermès but are actually H&M — when someone hands you a skinny crystal champagne flute, like a scene out of a movie. You smile, eagerly stretch your fingers towards the stem, and, at that precise moment, remember the one detail you forgot: to schedule a manicure.

    Instead of getting stuck kicking yourself at the eleventh hour — digging your fingers deep in the pockets of your jumpsuit (thank god for pockets, right?) — give yourself a fun, festive, easy-to-DIY manicure ahead of the party this time around. Ahead, 13 chic, elevated, subtly seasonal manicures (as in, no red-nosed reindeer or melted snowmen) that you'll be happy to spy on your nails any time you reach for a cocktail, from now through New Year's Eve.

    Starry accents are the minimalist nail-art trend taking over this season. If you've got a steady hand, you can paint on your teeny-tiny stars DIY style, but we also endorse the stick-on variety for a much simpler shortcut.

    Some sparkly nail polish — like the shades in Essie's Concrete Glitters collection — and a skinny striping brush, and you've got the makings of the most perfectly understated seasonal polka-dot mani.

    When 10 bright-green pine trees feels like overkill, try elevating your nails with a two-tone stitching detail (you can use this plum-purple polish next to this deep-red shade). It gives the subtle illusion of a fresh-cut fir, without looking cheesy.

    Florals aren't exclusive to your spring and summer manicures: When you keep your base coat a cool neutral shade by using a polish like CND's Romantique, rich red-and-green blossom accents will give a wintry, poinsettia-esque effect.

    A shiny nude base coat sprinkled with a fine layer of gold glitter flecks around the cuticle, and you've got fingernails that beg to be wrapped around the stem of a Baccarat crystal wine glass.

    If you have a steady hand with a striping brush, a little typography — scripted in cursive with gold glitter polish — makes the most ornate holiday accessory.

    This gilded manicure is the equivalent of unwrapping a sinfully sweet Werther's caramel hard candy from its gold-foil coating.

    The string of rainbow twinkle lights hanging on your tree seems lackluster compared to your neon-flashbulb manicure.

    Do you see a candy cane or the Nike swoosh? Whichever way you play it, the red-and-white accent looks cool with high-tops and a party dress.

    Your soft lavender nail polish gets an upgrade with sparkly sugarplum gemstones — both on your fingers and around them.

    Use this luxe emerald polish as your glossy green base and this fine-grained silver chrome shade as your starry accent, then find yourself a pine-tree backdrop.

    If your head hurts just imagining the concentration it would take to paint a plaid pattern on your fingernails, get the look but bypass the heavy lifting by using chic nail-wrap stickers.

    With festive nail art, sophistication is found in simplicity. Let these teensy, twinkling star droplets be your guide.

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    We are living in divisive times. Bring up Lady Gaga 's actual chance of winning an Oscar, Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson's latest tattoos, or who should really run in 2020 at any dinner party and be ready for differing opinions to fly.

    But throughout this hellish year of near-constant debate, we found one thing that absolutely everyone agrees on: Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick. It's a lipstick that I was introduced to backstage at the Jonathan Simkhai show during New York Fashion Week. Makeup artist Grace Lee took one look at my faded lips, handed me a tube of the red-orange shade Heroine, and said, "This will change your life."

    And it kinda did. While plenty of other brands brag about their lipsticks lasting 12 hours, I confirmed rather quickly that this lipstick honestly just... doesn't come off. I've eaten fried chicken dinners, guzzled all the drinks, showered, and literally slept with it on (don't @ me) and it hasn't budged. It's so powerfully glued onto your lips that Maybelline had to create a special SuperStay remover.

    And it's not just beauty editors who are obsessed. Porn stars gush about it. Brides swear by it. Teachers say it's their lifesaver. New moms preach about it. It is a product that is beloved by so many different types of people that we decided the best way to spread the word of its greatness is to let fans speak for themselves. Check out their reviews and favorite shades, ahead.

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

    April Flores, adult film actress

    "I was recently introduced to this lipstick by the makeup artist I hired for my wedding. She called it the 'blowjob-proof lipstick,' and swore by its lasting power. She works on many shoots and assured me that my signature red would stay in place on my big day.

    "She was not kidding! My lip color stayed vibrant and smudge-free throughout the busy, emotional summer day. The best part was that it didn’t have the chemically taste and smell that most other long-wearing lip colors have. I have since recommended this product to all my friends."



    Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink - Pioneer, $6.69, available at TargetCourtesy of April Flores

    Aimee Simeon, beauty writer

    "I kindly ask that when I die, my lips are painted in this lipstick. That way, my makeup can stay fly for eternity, because this Maybelline formula practically lasts that long. It may sound too good to be true, but if you need a lipstick that’ll last through hours of talking, a quarter-pound burger (and fries), or an extremely long make-out sesh, this won’t wear off."



    Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink - Artist, $7.94, available at WalmartCourtesy of Aimee Simeon

    Hanan Tehaili, influencer

    "I am a new mama and it's definitely hard finding the time to reapply lipstick. With this, I don't even have to think about it. It also doesn't get in the way of giving smooches to my baby all day, so I don't have to worry about it ending up on his face!"



    Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink - Fighter, $6.69, available at TargetCourtesy of Hanan Tehaili

    Annie Hildebrandt, marketing coordinator for a nonprofit

    "I’m not much of a makeup wearer and super intimidated by cosmetics counters and even Sephora. So when it came to picking a lipstick for my wedding day, I was hoping to avoid going into the fray. I’m so glad someone recommended Maybelline’s long-wear lipstick. I loved the shade and formula and only reapplied it once on my wedding day. It’s kiss-proof, cake-proof, and even K.C. BBQ-proof. Since the wedding, I still find myself reaching for it for any dressy occasion or date night."



    Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink - Pioneer, $6.69, available at TargetCourtesy of Annie Hildebrandt

    Allehia Radford, makeup artist

    "I first found out about this lipstick through Influenster; they sent me two nude shades and I absolutely loved them. Most matte nudes aren’t that great on women of color, but the shades Lover and Dreamer were perfect. My all-time favorite shade is Pioneer — I’m a sucker for a good red lip. I wore it out to dinner one night and it stayed in place the entire time while having tacos, drinks, and queso. That was enough proof for me that it was long-wearing."



    Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick - Pioneer, $7.94, available at AmazonCourtesy of Allehia Radford

    Tressa Watts, pharmacy technician

    "I hate having to reapply lipstick or worry about it being smudged on my face. [With this lipstick], I apply it in the morning before work, eat, go to the gym, and it still stays. I’ve even fallen asleep with it on and it’s right there when I wake up."



    Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink - Pioneer, $6.69, available at TargetCourtesy of Tressa Watts

    Jehloni Willis, makeup artist

    "I was in Target looking around and I basically grabbed the colors I thought would make me step out of my comfort zone. I love this product. It stays no matter what and doesn’t dry down too quick, so it's comfortable, too."



    Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink - Ruler, $6.69, available at TargetCourtesy of Jehloni Willis

    Debbie Gale Mitchell, chemistry professor

    "I love makeup that I can apply in the morning and then not think about for my day of teaching, research, and meetings. I just wore this lipstick to a holiday party, which included lots of eating and drinking, and it did not budge from first application to the end of the night!"



    Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink - Creator, $10.28, available at AmazonCourtesy of Debbie Gale Mitchell

    Sofia Rose, adult film actress

    "I’ve used it many times on set, it stays for days, and doesn’t make a mess in the scene."



    Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick -Seductress, $7.94, available at AmazonCourtesy of Sofia Rose

    Rory Power, young adult author

    "I was hesitant to buy one at first because I heard they never come off your lips, but I took a risk and bought one... and then another... and then another. When I was heading to my first all-day book festival, I picked the Maybelline because I knew I wouldn't have to worry about it getting on my teeth or flaking off during the day. 14 hours and I only touched up once."



    Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink - Voyager, $6.69, available at AmazonCourtesy of Rory Power

    Lex, student

    "I wore Amazonian, a great nude, throughout the day, came home around 7 p.m., went to go workout, finished my workout, and saw my lipstick was still in place. That was the ultimate wear test for me; it took some real work to get it off."



    Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick - Amazonian , $6.69, available at AmazonCourtesy of Lex

    Jessica James, college financial aid specialist

    "I was looking for a new lip color after I ran out of my Clinique, and realized I needed to try something less expensive and longer-lasting. On Halloween this year, I was Sandy from Grease and even running all over campus and snacking all day, my red lip stayed flawless. I have to use an oil-based makeup remover nightly to take it off."



    Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink - Ruler, $6.69, available at TargetCourtesy of Jessica James

    Amanda Dykes, middle school computer science teacher

    "I love that I can get up in the morning, put on lipstick, teach 200 kids, coach my robotics team, take one kid to his activities, and then show up to my daughter's game still having on full lipstick."



    Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink - Voyager, $6.69, available at TargetCourtesy of Amanda Dykes

    Katleho Mallela, project manager and blogger

    "I started seeing some of my favorite influencers rocking the SuperStay Lipstick colors, so I rushed to Dis-Chem [a popular pharmacy chain in South Africa] to buy myself a few. The colors I got were Pioneer, Dreamer, and Escapist, and I absolutely loved them. Every time I drink my tea first thing in the morning at work, I know I don't have to worry about the SuperStay Ink transferring onto my cup, clothes, or even teeth."



    Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink - Pioneer, $6.69, available at TargetCourtesy of Katleho Mallela

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    T-minus two weeks until the end of the year, which means it's officially time to sit back and reflect on (the chaos that was) 2018. And what better way is there than by looking at your most popular Instagram posts of the year? Rather than sifting through your grid and manually choosing highlights to post, you can use the Top Nine app to create a collage of your nine most-liked photos of the year. Because if it's not on your Insta grid, did it really happen?

    To get your top-nine grid, first download the free Top Nine app, or go to the website. Then, all you have to do is enter your Instagram handle and an email, and the app will generate a downloadable collage (as well as email it to you), which you can then save and post to your Instagram grid or Story. If your account is private, you'll be prompted to log in with your Instagram email and password in order to grant third-party access to the app.

    In addition to the grid, Top Nine tells you the number of likes you received in total over the year and also gives you the option to have your photos printed on phone cases, canvases, pillows, tote bags, and more. (Hello, last minute holiday gifts.) Similar to Top Nine is Best Nine, another app curating top-nine Insta collages.

    If you'd rather pick and choose which photos you want to showcase, you can always go the DIY route with a photo-editing app like PicsArt or display your picks using Instagram's slideshow feature.

    Of course, you can also creep on the top-nine Instagrams of any public account you desire. (This is a rabbit hole. You've been warned.) For example, I just checked out Kylie Jenner's top nine and was unsurprised to find that her most popular posts of the year were of her daughter, Stormi, which then propelled me down a Stormi/Kylie rabbit hole. Also, the app tells me she got 1.8 billion likes this year. For reference, I got 1,000. Happy top-nine hunting!

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