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Refinery29

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    Congresswoman-elect Katie Hill of CaliforniaPhoto: Hans Gutknecht/Digital First Media/Getty.

    Ayanna Pressley's longtime dream has been to occupy the office once held by her "shero" Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to ever be elected to Congress. Pressley, who defeated a 10-term incumbent in the primary and in November became Massachusetts' first Black congresswoman, has often spoken about how Chisholm paved the way for women like her to serve the country.

    This is why at the office lottery for freshman lawmakers, a high-stakes event that took place at the end of the congressional orientation last month, Pressley tried to channel Chisholm's good vibes as she drew her number. But the Democrat from Massachusetts' 7th congressional district wasn't so lucky, drawing the slot no. 38 out of 85, which left her with poor chances of getting to pick her dream office.

    Enter Katie Hill, an incoming representative from California who was also one of the many women who pulled major upsets against Republican incumbents in the midterm election. Hill, from CA-25, offered to swap offices with Pressley because she knew how much Chisholm's legacy meant to her.

    The former Boston city councilwoman tweeted Monday: "Wow! TY Mommy for the extra bday luck! We just learned my Congressional Office designation will be # ShirleyChisholm's former office. How's that for divine intervention, AND the selflessness of my colleague @KatieHill4CA who drew a better lottery# but still wanted me to have it."

    In a retweet, Hill responded: "No doubt you’re going to do amazing things from that office — I am so excited to serve with you!"

    Hill's gesture was a reminder of the sisterhood the incoming Democratic congresswomen have been building in the past weeks. Many of the women — like Congresswomen-elect Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sharice Davids, and Abby Finkenauer — have been each other's biggest cheerleaders during the transition process.

    Once they get sworn-in, you better believe they'll continue to work to make each other stronger.

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    Last night, I sat on my couch messaging a 24-year-old guy — let's call him Eli — whom I do not know. Tinder told me he was three miles away and also undecided about pizza toppings — "Pineapple or no pineapple?” he asked in his bio. Pineapple, indeed.

    I said "Hey," and the die was cast.

    I'm no stranger to Tinder (just ask one of the many Emotionally Unavailable Guys Of Brooklyn With Whom I Have Gone On Anywhere Between One And Ten Dates), but I was newly inspired to get back in the game following a recent viewing of You've Got Mail. Like, maybe there's an affable young Tom Hanks lookalike bookstore tycoon waiting for me with a golden retriever in Riverside Park, and maybe I have to find him on the internet, fast. If Meg Ryan could do it, who's to say I can’t? So I hatched an experiment. Let me explain.

    My friend Maya and I watched the movie for the first time (yes, ever) last weekend — and, throughout most of it, we laughed. Hard. Even the opening scene is funny: Doe-eyed ingenue Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan), who has all the street smarts of a baby bird, flits about her apartment and waits for her doofus boyfriend, Frank, to leave for work so she can power on her computer and sign into her AOL account as "Shopgirl," her breath catching on, as she puts it, "those three little words": You've got mail.

    The sender is Joe Fox, a.k.a. NY152. After meeting in a chatroom for 30-somethings, the two carry on an email relationship, exchanging daily correspondences, including this absolute goldmine of a soliloquy from Kelly: "Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life — well, valuable, but small — and sometimes I wonder, Do I do it because I like it or because I haven't been brave? I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void."

    Of course, the film came out in 1998, when the internet was still novel, there was no "u up?" culture to speak of, and it was okay — thrilling, even — to talk to nameless strangers on the internet. It was still exciting to get an email. No catfishers in basements yet. No, those wouldn't really enter the zeitgeist for at least 10 years. (For the record, it is and always has been dumb to make your screen name your state plus your street address, like NY152, for example.)

    Despite the cheese factor ("goodnight, dear void"), there was something undeniably refreshing and nostalgic — oh, that there was ever a time when people were pure and trusting on the internet! — about the messages Shopgirl and NY152 sent back and forth to one another. A far cry from the many "good, hbu" messages we've come to expect as the norm. So Maya and I wondered: What would happen if we took a page out of You've Got Mail? How would our matches react? We'd disarm them, yes, but would we charm them?

    And thus, a challenge was born: For the next week, Maya and I would communicate on dating apps exclusively with lines from You’ve Got Mail — lifted straight from the emails sent between Shopgirl and NY152. With the occasional “haha” and “hey” peppered in to retain a modicum of Tinder normalcy, of course.

    So back to Eli. After we exchanged greetings, I hit him with: "The odd thing about this form of communication is you're more likely to talk about nothing than something."

    At this, he told me I was “deep, homie.” Thank you, Eli. Then I tried The Void monologue. He replied by asking if I wanted to drink wine and make out. Not the point, Eli! After my third message, though, his tone changed:

    “Do me a favor,” he said, “Stop quoting movies.”

    The jig was up, and Eli was mad. I told him I was using You’ve Got Mail quotes on Tinder for story research, and he didn’t respond for five minutes.

    Then, in what can only be described as the most savage millennial-to-millennial dating app affront ever committed, he said: “Sorry, you made me go on Coffee Meets Bagel.”

    As in, he was so put off by my messages that he had to leave the app and go on a different one. But could I really blame him? To his credit, he responded to me, which is more than can be said for most of the guys I sent these lines to.

    Then, in what can only be described as the most savage millennial-to-millennial dating app affront ever committed, he said: 'Sorry, you made me go on Coffee Meets Bagel.'

    Maya's matches were kinder. When she tried the "I lead a small life" line on Jason*, he told her to just be happy.

    "Maybe you just wondering too much [sic]," Jason said, followed by a winky face. "Be positive. Do you like how your life is right now?"

    Jason didn't want her to stress, and at least that was nice.

    Unsurprisingly, the line that yielded the most varied responses was also the most soul-baring: "What happens to me when I'm provoked is that I get tongue-tied, and my mind goes blank. Then I spend all night tossing and turning trying to figure out what I should have said, for example, to a bottom-dweller who recently belittled my existence?"

    There was the apathetic: "Hard to say, I don't really know the situation." Fair.

    And the affirming: "I think that's a natural human response, honestly. What did you want to say to this bottom-dweller?"

    Both made me feel better about the world. The former, because he wasn’t afraid to admit what he didn’t know, and the latter, because he acknowledged the common humanity in all of us. It should be said that the former unmatched Maya moments later after she asked, “Do you ever think you’re the worst version of yourself?” But that’s besides the point.

    So I guess the moral of this story is what we suspected all along: Online dating has evolved since 1998. Of course it has. And earnest existential questions on Tinder mostly beget negative or angry responses. Or concerned responses. Or no response at all.

    But do we mourn this loss of innocence? I say no. The internet is scary; stranger danger is real; and I don’t think young Tom Hanks lookalikes with golden retrievers hang out on Tinder waiting to be sent long and winding paragraphs about self-identity, anyway. Keep the Tinder convo light and easy and save the void talk for the bar, is what I say. Also, if he tells you he looks like a young Tom Hanks, he’s probably lying.

    And lastly: To all the boys I’ve trolled before, I’m sorry.

    *Names have been changed.

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    If there’s one thing Kylie Jenner has conquered, it’s the art of a good selfie — which is why it was only right when Instagram gave her a custom face filter. But selfies aren't the only thing she's good at: The mogul also knows a thing or two about lipstick. We’ve been following the youngest sibling of the Kardashian-Jenner clan's impressive ascent in the beauty sphere since the launch of her cosmetics company, which now sells a huge range of beauty buys and, oh, has also made her a Forbes- cover millionaire (almost billionaire).

    Our only qualm about Kylie Cosmetics, especially when it comes to the lip products, is its relative inaccessibility — these lip releases are nearly impossible to snag when they're released (although we’ve mapped out some alternatives, here) and if you're running to Ulta to pick up a kit in person, the favorites are usually emptied out by the time you get there. Ultimately, you're left unable to test out the colors before committing.

    But don’t fret — we’ve got your back. We enlisted the help of celebrity makeup artists Elisa Flowers and Molly Stern to break down the best shades of the lip products for a variety of skin tones. Click through to discover which hue best suits you. Then, when your color is back in stock, you'll be ready to pounce like a momager on a press opportunity. Find the Kylie Cosmetics lip product that's perfect for you, 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.

    Pale To Fair Skin Tones

    This ballet pink is one of the lightest shades offered within the brand. "Pale-pink lip gloss gives a modern edge to fair skin tones," Flowers tells us. "It enhances light skin without draining its color.” This version has a grayish base, making it more edgy — not sugary-sweet.



    Kylie Cosmetics So Cute | Gloss, $15, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    For those looking for a matte option, this cool-toned liquid lipstick, Maliboo, is a great option.



    Kylie Cosmetics Maliboo | Matte Liquid Lipstick, $17, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    Named after Kylie’s maternal grandma, this shade is “a timeless, matte, blue-based red that flatters all cool skin tones,” says Flowers. Pale and fair-skinned gals often have cool undertones, making this a slam dunk.

    (To tell whether you’re cool- or warm-toned, look at the veins on your wrist. If they’re green, you’re warm-toned. If they’re blue, you’re cool-toned.)



    Kylie Cosmetics Mary Jo K | Lip Kit, $29, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    This stunning shade is described as a "raspberry plum” and is the perfect mix between a vampy winter burgundy and a warm-toned red. The best part? The bold pigment pops without overpowering.



    Kylie Cosmetics Spice | Lip Kit, $29, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    "This matte mauve-nude lipstick is a perfect pastel for fair skin,” says Flowers. Mauve has a touch of blue, too, which really sings against cool complexions.



    Kylie Cosmetics Koko K | Lip Kit, $29, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    This peachy rose-gold metallic is the lightest of Kylie’s Metal Matte line. Flowers says it's perfect for paler ladies because it enhances fairer tones subtly, while adding a "luminous, blushing shimmer." Because straight-up gold can look yellowy on pale skin, the warmth in this is balancing.



    Kylie Cosmetics Heir | Metal, $18, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    Fair To Medium Skin Tones

    This shade's rosy finish leans purple, which lends a subtle pop of color against both fair and medium skin, Flowers tells us. It highlights your cheeks' natural flush without washing you out. On paler complexions, it will look bolder; for medium complexions, it has a more neutral finish.



    Kylie Cosmetics Posie K | Lip Kit, $29, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    Kylie named this shade the best for light to medium skin tones on her website, and we have to agree. This taupe-y nude has slight gray and mauve undertones that stand out against lighter skin, but it also works as more of a true nude on those with tanned and olive complexions.



    Kylie Cosmetics Moon | Lip Kit, $29, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    For those with olive undertones looking for a glossier finish, this soft peachy shade is a good option.



    Kylie Cosmetics Cupcake | Gloss, $15, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    This warm red is a “matte, vibrant orange that flatters most skin tones,” says Flowers. It's especially great for those with fair or slightly medium skin who have warm undertones. (If you're rocking a vacation glow, even better.)



    Kylie Cosmetics 22 | Lip Kit, $29, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    In the market for a bright and pigmented red? Try this blood-red lip kit to make a bold statement year-round.



    Kylie Cosmetics Red Velvet | Velvet Lip Kit, $27, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    This is one of the darker shades in Kylie’s gloss range, and it lends tons of depth. "It's a wonderful neutral for fair to medium skin tones," Flowers says. "The glossy formula is a balance of cool pink and warm beige that doesn't overwhelm." It has a touch of brown, too, but not enough to remind you of Rachel Green in the '90s.



    Kylie Cosmetics Literally | Gloss, $15, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    Kylie labels this color "the perfect nude," and she wears it often. The well-balanced shade, which has caramel undertones, looks amazing against medium skin tones.



    Kylie Cosmetics Exposed | Lip Kit, $29, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    This rich burgundy best suits warm-toned skin, and is a wearable day-to-night shade, Flowers says. Now that we're in the colder months, we've added this into our rotation as a stay-all-day red.



    Kylie Cosmetics Leo | Lip Kit, $29, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    "This gold metallic lipstick is a wonderful, summery neutral that complements fair to medium skin tones,” says Flowers.



    Kylie Cosmetics King K | Metal, $18, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    Kylie herself dubbed this the perfect nude for deeper skintones.



    Kylie Cosmetics Brown Sugar | Lip Kit, $29, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    Medium To Dark

    It doesn't have to be October for you to take a pumpkin-inspired lip shade for a twirl. This rusty orange-brown shade is a total winner for darker skin tones no matter what month we're in.



    Kylie Cosmetics Pumpkin | Lip Kit, $29, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    Acclaimed as Kylie’s favorite shade, this product is a “soft, brownish-pink liquid lipstick, and a flattering nude for medium to dark, golden skin tones” because of its near-perfect balance of pink and brown, Flowers tells us.



    Kylie Cosmetics Candy K | Lip Kit, $29, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    The '90s aren't going anywhere in the very best way with this rich espresso shade. “Medium to dark skin tones look amazing in gold-based browns,” Flowers says. (It's that hint of yellow that keeps the brown from feeling muddy.) Warm undertones sync up beautifully with the warm hues.



    Kylie Cosmetics True Brown K | Lip Kit, $29, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    This shade is great for deep skin because of its one-two punch of mauve and brown. The mauve pops, while the intense brown pairs perfectly with dark tones.



    Kylie Cosmetics Dolce K | Lip Kit, $29, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    The darkest of the glosses, this gorgeous cocoa is “a wonderful natural color for deeper skin tones," Flowers says. "It flatters without looking chalky.”



    Kylie Cosmetics Like | Gloss, $15, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    This coppery, metallic lippie — the darkest of the Metal Matte collection — has notes of rose and wine, both of which are “stunning, yet subtle on dark skin tones,” says Flowers. What hot pink does on pale complexions this terra-cotta shimmer can do against deeper ones.



    Kylie Cosmetics Reign | Metal, $18, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    The blue undertones in Kylie's glossiest red to date looks absolutely stunning against darker skin tones.



    Kylie Cosmetics Naughty | Gloss, $15, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    The holidays are here, so what better time to go for this glittering red that's flattering as hell?



    Kylie Cosmetics Dancer | Metal, $18, available at Kylie Cosmetics

    If you're a fan of experimenting with different neutrals, then this kit was made for you. For her second collaboration with big sister Kim Kardashian, Kylie recently launched a four-piece set of various finishes (matte, velvet, gloss) in browns and pink mauves. You'll be sure to find what works for you.



    Kylie Cosmetics KKW X KYLIE Lip Set, $42, available at Kylie Cosmetics

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    Polyamory, open marriage, ethical non-monogamy — based on some of the comments I got on my recent Money Diary, the words apparently conjure up soap opera-style scenes of drama and jealousy, plus lots of juicy speculation about what’s going on in the bedroom.

    Actually? It’s all about the scheduling.

    When my husband and I opened our now 10-plus year relationship a few years ago, we had lots of conversations about boundaries and expectations. We expected to have emotional growing pains as feelings came up that we hadn’t anticipated. But neither of us was prepared for how complicated our lives would become from a scheduling perspective.

    I have a standing date with my boyfriend, A., for Saturday evenings. Toward the end of each month, we sit down with our calendars (Google for A., an old school planner for me), and we schedule our dates for the upcoming month. If one of us can’t make Saturday work, due to things like travel, commitments to our other partners, or family events, we’ll reschedule that week’s date, usually for Friday or Sunday evening.

    My husband and his friend with benefits (FWB) aren’t obsessive planners like me and A., so they schedule their dates a few days ahead of time. They tend to spend time together on Saturday evenings since that’s usually when I’m with my boyfriend, but based on schedules they sometimes meet up after work or during the day on Saturday or Sunday.

    My husband and his friend with benefits (FWB) aren’t obsessive planners like me and A., so they schedule their dates a few days ahead of time.

    Once the dates are on the calendar, then we need to figure out where everyone is hanging out so that all parties involved get the privacy they need. Both my boyfriend and my husband’s FWB live with their respective partners, so this can be tricky. When my husband and I are coordinating who gets the house, we have to consider my schedule, my husband’s schedule, my boyfriend’s schedule, my boyfriend’s partner’s schedule, my husband’s FWB’s schedule — it can be a logistical nightmare. If he doesn’t have other plans, my husband will sometimes hang out at a coffee shop for a few hours so that I can get the house; my go-to is heading over to my very understanding sister’s place.

    No matter how carefully plans are made, they can be derailed in very polyamory-specific ways. Last month, I was planning to spend the night at my boyfriend’s house while his partner was out of town with one of her other partners. The getaway got canceled due to a last-minute illness, leaving me and A. without a place to stay and thwarting my husband’s plans to host his FWB at our place. I’m typically a frugal person, but in this particular instance I was frustrated enough to throw money at the problem, and I booked a hotel room so A. and I had somewhere to go. (Granted, I used hotel loyalty points from business travel, so I only had to pay $37.50.) In our two-year relationship, this was the first time A. and I had to pay for a hotel room.

    My husband and I have joint finances, so the idea of using our money to pay for a hotel room with my boyfriend may raise some eyebrows — especially considering that I took a drastic pay cut when I quit my day job in the legal industry and made my side gig as a freelance writer into a full-time career. Currently, my husband earns about $86,000, and my income, since I started freelancing full-time in February, will be about $15,000. However, our money has always been ours — when we were monogamous and I was working a traditional job, and now that we’re polyamorous and I’m freelancing. We combined our finances when we moved in together after college (we were engaged at the time), and we’ve never looked back.

    It helps that my husband and I are extremely compatible financially, skewing towards the “very frugal” end of the spectrum. We view our financial goals as something that we work towards as a couple, regardless of our individual incomes: paying off our mortgage quickly, saving for retirement, spending money on travel instead of stuff. I’ve always made significantly less money than him, although in the past there hasn’t been such a dramatic discrepancy — previously, I earned about $50,000. Long-term, I’m trying to transition to more copywriting work to increase my freelancing income, as well as taking on editing work. My husband has been very supportive of my career change — he’d rather have me do something that I’m passionate about (even if I make much less money) than stay in a job that made me miserable.

    It helps that my husband and I are extremely compatible financially, skewing towards the “very frugal” end of the spectrum.

    The amount of money we spend on our other relationships has never been an issue, probably because neither of us spends all that much. My husband and his FWB go out for dinner a couple of times a month and alternate who pays. My boyfriend is on a tight budget (never-ending home renovations and supporting a partner in grad school), so we tend to do a lot of budget-friendly activities: going for walks around the lakes, watching movies in the park, baking cookies, wandering around the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

    If one of us was uncomfortable with how much money the other was spending on another relationship, we would certainly bring it up. But it wouldn’t be more emotionally charged than a conversation about any other sort of purchase. We’ve always been very open with each other about our spending and run big-ticket purchases by the other one in advance, and polyamory hasn’t changed that.

    The day-to-day realities of a polyamorous relationship are much like the day-to-day realities of a monogamous one: trying to balance commitments and priorities, making plans for the future and for Friday night, supporting each other through the ups and downs. Having been on both sides of the fence, I know that in my case a polyamorous relationship involves more frequent and franker communication about my needs as well as a concentrated effort to not take either of my relationships for granted when life gets stressful.

    Sure, polyamory is more work than monogamy. Trying to make a decent income as a freelance writer is more work than sticking with my stable job in the legal field. But for me, the fulfillment I get from polyamory and freelancing are worth the extra effort — and I have two men who love me that are cheering me on.

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    For Khloé Kardashian, the internet is home to millions of fans who obsess over her every move. Photos of her platinum hair color and video clips of her workout routine amass thousands of likes and comments from devoted supporters. But social media is also home to a ridiculous amount of rabid trolls who criticize and scrutinize Kardashian's life decisions — yet she manages to take it all in stride. "No matter the criticism I've received in my life, I've never believed any of it because my family made me feel otherwise," she tells Refinery29.

    It's no secret that Kardashian comes from a tight-knit family, and she credits her mother and sisters for her positive outlook on life. That nurturing environment is what Kardashian hopes to foster for her infant daughter, True Thompson. "I do affirmations with True every single day," Kardashian tells us. "She's only a few months old, but we stand in the mirror, and I say something to her reflection, and I pretend she’s saying it back to herself." The ritual, Kardashian says, is to empower her daughter and help her feel confident, despite a life in the constant spotlight.

    "Social media is a gift and a curse, but I really want to make my daughter feel beautiful and teach her that makeup is fun but, at the end of the day, none of us need it," Kardashian says. "Let it just be something you enjoy." So, even though Khloé is launching her beauty empire with a Becca Cosmetics collection alongside her best friend Malika Haqq, teaching her young daughter that beauty goes beyond the surface is her top priority.

    The Becca BFF Collection, which features seven new products designed by Khloé and Malika, will be available on December 22 at beccacosmetics.com.

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    2018 was the year you bought a derma roller, learned to respect your gut, tried PRP for the first time, washed your face with sparkling water, and spent all your money on Tatcha just because Meghan Markle said you should. Your bathroom shelves were lined with vitamin C eye creams, chemical exfoliants, that ubiquitous blue aluminum tube, and The Ordinary (because of course you stocked up in a panic). You let no skin-care trend, big or small, go untested, no new in-office procedure unconsidered.

    But don't take that as an excuse to get complacent — not now, with the next wave just over the horizon. Instead, take your enthusiasm beyond Sephora's shelves, and go deep into the industry's biggest breakthroughs in skin care and cosmetic surgery — according to the experts who are perfecting them. Ahead, five things to expect in the near future... because Markle's days of being able to publicly recommend beauty brands are more than likely over.

    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 past few years have brought us not only a surge in the popularity of microneedling, but also the idea that it's something you can do yourself without developing sepsis. While buzzy, the procedure is not without its risks, which makes the advent of microneedling patches so exciting. It's the difference between rolling something that's covered in teeny-tiny needles over your face and slapping on a painless patch that does the same job without the possible side effects. The technology is already being used in the medical field, with researchers testing flu vaccination patches as an alternative to syringes.

    But there's one key aspect the patches are missing from the in-office procedure: the damage inflicted by the needle, which is something you actually want. "The needle itself stimulates skin cells to enter repair mode, creating fresh collagen and elastin," plastic surgeon Melissa Doft, MD, says. The dissolvable cones on the surface of the patches don't puncture the skin in quite the same way, meaning the active ingredients won't go as deep or produce as dramatic of results — but they're still hugely promising.

    "As this technology is further developed, [it] will likely be used in more over-the-counter skin-care products and definitely improve the quality of results achievable at home," says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD. Starskin and Exuviance have recently jumped on board with anti-aging formulas, and Ava Shamban, MD, founder of Ava MD and the SKINxFIVE clinics, says we can expect acne treatments and neurotoxins to make their way to patches, too.

    A class of chemical compounds derived from vitamin A, retinoids are well-recognized as the gold standard of skin-care ingredients. But as much as they're beloved for their skin-smoothing, pore-unclogging, breakout-fighting, all around life-giving properties, they're also notorious for causing dryness, redness, and irritation. But this is 2019 we're talking about, and the long-awaited 21st-century upgrade is gentler, more versatile, and just as effective — and, in some cases, not actually a retinoid at all.

    This past June, the results of a double-blind study showed that bakuchiol, a botanical extract sourced from the babchi plant (commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine), produced the exact same results as pure retinol in terms of wrinkle reduction, collagen production, and hyperpigmentation fading, with significantly fewer side effects. Ole Henriksen, Biossance, StriVectin, and Isdinceutics have already incorporated the breakthrough ingredient into new product lines.

    But while some brands are embracing the new plant-based option, others are simply opting for less potent forms of retinol to cut down on irritation. Celebrity esthetician Shani Darden chose to use retinyl palmitate in her Texture Reform serum to gently resurface over time, for slightly slower but dramatically less sensitizing results; BeautyBio's The Nightly Retinol + Peptide Anti-Aging Serum contains hydroxypinacolone retinoate, a promising — but still not quite proven in terms of efficacy — retinoic-acid ester.

    Now that you've hit your forehead lines with Botox, your under-eye bags with Restylane, and your cheeks with Juvederm, it's time to turn to the next frontier of injectables. And in 2019, you'll find it below the neck.

    "Fillers are conquering the entire body," Dr. Doft says. Though they're only FDA-approved for the cheeks, lips, and hands, she says she's seen them used for everything from penile enlargement to scar touch-ups and cushioning of the feet. Kybella, initially developed exclusively for the submental region (a.k.a. double chin), is being used to minimize the fat that pops out over the bra; Botox is being repurposed as a way to narrow the jawline; and Restylane Lyft and Radiesse are both being used to plump hands that show significant volume loss.

    Dr. Shamban credits this trend to the "decade disconnect" phenomenon, where the post-filler face looks noticeably younger than the rest of the body. "A full, spot-free face looks abnormal when the neck, chest, and hands show signs of age," Dr. Zeichner says. "We'll likely see a continued rise of products that help the skin below the neck to match that of the face."

    In the past year, the wellness movement has transcended from woo-woo niche to become a legitimate player in the skin-care industry. With adaptogens, hemp, and CBD quickly becoming mainstream, natural beauty has gone next level — now, it's a lifestyle. With that, we can expect to see plenty more of the anti-inflammatory, non-psychoactive cannabis compound for years to come, especially as it inches closer to federal legality.

    That said, there's still some regulatory confusion, as brands often use "hemp-seed oil" and "CBD oil" interchangeably, which means your CBD-labeled product might not contain any cannabinoids at all. The good news is that the topical benefits of both oils are vast. "Hemp-seed oil is rich in natural emollients that help soften the outer skin layer and provide moisturizing benefits," Dr. Zeichner says. Dr. Shamban adds that CBD oil, which contains nourishing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, is particularly promising for photo-damaged skin. In early 2019, Sephora's best-selling brands First Aid Beauty and Josie Maran will both launch hemp-laced oils at the retailer.

    All things hemp and CBD might be the biggest wellness-to-beauty trend, but it's far from the only one: Adaptogens are a class of plants and herbs that have traditionally been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines, theoretically to help regulate the body's stress response and help it adapt to internal or external conditions, Dr. Shamban says. And they're popping up everywhere: Moon Juice has silver-ear and reishi mushrooms in its Beauty Shroom Plumping Jelly Serum, and Herbivore utilizes hemp-seed oil with ashwagandha and turmeric root in its Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oil.

    For all of the skin-care industry's breakthroughs and innovations, customization has never been at the forefront — but that's all changing, and fast. Both indie brands and tech-driven startups are leading the charge to individualize routines and formulas in a whole new way, and cosmetics giants (like Clinique, with its new interchangeable iD Active Cartridges system, and SkinCeuticals' in-office Custom D.O.S.E service) are quickly following suit.

    Curology was one of the first (if not the first) company to offer a customized skin-care experience back in 2014, connecting patients with real medical providers to design an acne treatment for their specific needs. But some newer personalized skin-care systems do away with the derm entirely, relying on algorithms and artificial intelligence to provide unique formulations to each customer. Founded by a team out of Stanford University, Proven uses its own proprietary Skin Genome Project — which won MIT’s 2018 Artificial Intelligence Award — to analyze everything from individual ingredient efficacy to consumer testimonials and scientific-journal reports.

    Between the two approaches, there's MDacne, which provides a customized acne treatment program, plus access to a dermatologist, with your monthly subscription. There's also The Buff, a clean brand that uses a simple quiz to match shoppers with plant oils best-suited to their individual skin type. Y'our, a newer contender, also prioritizes clean, cruelty-free ingredients, paired with proprietary data tech called SkinAI, which seems like a fair indicator of what we can expect in the coming year: If we're lucky, the future of skin care will be cleaner, greener, and smarter than ever — and fully supported by science.

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    Love Actually turned 15 this year, so while I appreciate this review is a little tardy, I was curious to see if it had aged better than I have.

    On occasion, rewatching a 'classic' with fresh eyes can be elucidating (although my advice is to leave the DVDs of Pretty Woman and The Notebook to languish in the bargain bin at WH Smith along with Davina’s Toned in 10). In this case, the second viewing (alone in bed with a bowl of tiramisu and the electric blanket cranked up to 'gates of hell') was most revealing because guess what? Love Actually isn’t about love at all.

    I thought about treading with caution here because the movie is a British 'festive favourite', cherished by many as a feelgood Christmas classic to watch in front of the fire. But I decided against it, because Love Actually doesn’t deserve our affection. It’s a spiritless and insincere salmagundi that deserves to be in the compost bin with your leftover Brussels sprouts.

    The movie begins with an aphoristic amble from a pre-Hacked Off Hugh Grant. "Love is not dignified or newsworthy but if you look for it, love actually is all around," he narrates as Marti Pellow flings a cushion at the telly and calls his agent. As Hugh sermonises, we watch 'normal people' arrive at Heathrow airport greeted by warm embraces from loved ones, eyes half full of happy tears. And they should cry, because wasn’t freedom of movement in 2003 grand!

    But Hugh is wrong, love is not all around in this movie, in fact it’s nowhere to be found. What Love Actually pushes on us instead is a pre #MeToo imagining of high romance, where women are lovely because they are non-threatening, passive and available. Or they are bad and have severe haircuts.

    Yet Love Actually can’t (and didn’t) fail because it utilises a tried (tired) and tested Hollywood algorithm for success: all-star ensemble cast and universal themes all chopped into bitesize pieces that look nice but, like those Brie and gooseberry chutney crostini you wolfed at your work do, are very disappointing and will leave you feeling a bit sick after.

    Allow me to refresh your memory…

    The prime minister & his tea lady Natalie ( Hugh Grant & Martine McCutcheon)

    Love Actually is 100% a middle class white man's narrative so no guessing who the hero is here. It's our handsome Hugh! Who falls for his tea lady Natalie, despite her being from the wrong side of the tracks and being "plumpy".

    There's a troubling running joke about women and their weight in this movie – not just with Natalie, whose supposed huge thighs and chubbiness are referenced more than anything else about her, but later when another female character is called "Miss Dunkin' Donuts".

    Anyway, don't let that little detail put you off. Back to the romance, which involves Hugh getting to know his fave staff member by asking her if she has a boyfriend or "three illegitimate children?" and then doing precisely nothing when he walks in on her being sexually harassed by the president of America (she later says sorry to him for this and assures him that she had no part in it). It's all very sweet though because later our reluctant knight in shining armour gives the president a piece of his mind at a press conference, which is almost the same as stepping in when you witness a powerful man sexually harassing one of your staff in your home isn't it? I also love how the PM doesn’t let the fact that he’s educated and posh stop him from falling in love with an ordinary little skivvy with a potty mouth. Heartwarming.

    Peter Mountain/Universal/Dna/Working Title/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

    Jamie and his cleaner Aurelia (Colin Firth & Lúcia Moniz)

    Ready for another posh man to sweep a humble woman off her feet? Great! After his girlfriend cheats on him, writer Jamie (you'll know he's a writer because he wears cord blazers and has a typewriter) falls for his cleaner – sorry, housekeeper – despite the fact that he speaks not one word of Portuguese and she speaks no English. After cleaning for Colin and serving him tea for a while, the clumsy cleaner makes a boo boo, causing our Col's magnum opus to blow away into a lake. So of course, she takes off all her clothes and jumps in a lake to save it. This scene is so shoehorned into the movie you can almost hear the writers thinking HOW DO WE GET HER TO STRIP? as you watch it. Anyway, she jumps in the freezing lake to retrieve his pages (one simply can't get help like that these days!) and he realises he loves her. Despite this (and the fact that she clearly needs a job) he ships her off home and then later, when he gets fed up back in England, goes to save her from a life of servitude and her uncouth foreign family by proposing. The stuff of dreams.

    Advice to Aurelia: Colin Firth is a piece but you probably shouldn’t marry someone if you have never understood a single word that has come out of their mouth. But good luck to you girl, and I hope he’s better in the sack than he is at learning languages.

    Colin Frissell & four sexy American chicks (Kris Marshall, January Jones, Ivana Miličević, Elisha Cuthbert & Shannon Elizabeth)

    Despite trying to chat up every single woman he comes into contact with, walking erection Colin can't find a girl in England (stuck-up bores the lot of them!) so he jets off to America where women are stupid and will drop their knickers for anyone with an accent. Even a Basildon one. Within 10 seconds of walking into a bar he is propositioned by three incredibly sexy women, who invite them back to sleep in their tiny home in the bed they share together (Oi oi! They're not actually lesbians tho mate, don't worry!!) with another sexy female flatmate. Colin's dick must be made of magic and they all love him but realistically he can only take one back to England for himself. BUT nice guy that he is, he brings one back for his friend too and hands her over at the airport like a Toblerone he bought at duty free. Lesson: sexy women have no brains or feelings so are ideal for passing around like chocolates. If we could catch up with Colin now he would have been dumped and started an incel.

    Photo by Peter Mountain/Universal/Dna/Working Title/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock.

    Karen & Harry & Mia, Harry's secretary (Emma Thompson & Alan Rickman & Heike Makatsch)

    Harry and Mia's relationship is very weird. He's a headteacher (I think?) and she's his raven-haired (CLUE ABOUT HER PERSONALITY!) secretary (a role which may have actually existed before Michael Gove). Mia is "up for it" as she demonstrates by spreading her legs when Harry asks her where she’s booked for the Christmas do. But she’s half his age and 'game' so he kinda likes it. Only one problem, he has a wife who really loves him. Oh bother! Still, he decides to go for it with Mia and buys her a very expensive necklace for Christmas and spends £10.99 on a Joni Mitchell CD for his wife. Karen does give him a bit of a telling off eventually, when she catches him out, but stays with him of course because even though he's an inattentive, slimy and duplicitous bastard, he's better than nothing isn't he?

    I hate this plotline for many reasons but especially because when Emma Thompson opens the present she thinks is the necklace but is actually the CD and then goes out to cry alone so no one sees her, I cried all over my tiramisu too.

    Judy & John (Joanna Page & Martin Freeman)

    This is the most painful of all the vignettes to watch, and weirdly the most forgettable considering it’s the most risqué for Love Actually.

    To summarise: Judy and John are working as stand-ins for what is bound to be the most vanilla porno movie ever. He’s just a regular bloke! She’s got a regional accent! And (hee hee) they are pretending to do anal while chatting about the traffic on the M25! WHAT COULD BE MORE BRITISH!

    Sarah & Karl (Laura Linney & Rodrigo Santoro)

    Almost every single person in this movie is absolutely CRAZY about each other despite having said piss all to each other. But no one more so than the super Laura Linney (who could act her way out of almost anything) and bespectacled bae Karl. Somehow, Sarah finds the strength deep within her to overlook Karl's name and the way he spells it and falls for him BUT she has a brother who is in a mental hospital and needs her so she suppresses her sex drive and sacrifices her personal happiness and stays faithful like a good doggie! I mean, woman.

    And now, for a brief side note on some things I learned about women from Love Actually:

    1. Women who wake up in the morning will always have 'messy' hair, which means soft ghd waves, and they will always be 'casual' i.e. wearing a baseball T-shirt or oversized men's shirt, but they will NEVER be wearing pants and their legs will be so Immac-ed and shiny you could serve sushi on them.

    2. If hot women take their clothes off, it will be in slow motion.

    3. Mums wear Spanx and beige bras, and single women walk around their apartments in matching Ann Summers sets.

    4. If they ever get wet (and they will), they must remain buck naked afterwards but drape themselves in a blanket, clavicles exposed and hair just like the 'wake up and fake yawn' morning woman hair but a little damp. There will always be an obligatory tendril in front of their eyes.

    Daniel, his dead wife & obsessive child (Liam Neeson, doesn't matter & Thomas Brodie-Sangster)

    This is a really important thread in the rich tapestry that is Love Actually. Liam Neeson's wife has just died and that's really sad so he cries for a bit but not for too long because yes, yes, death of a young spouse is sad and all that but you can still have LOLs at the funeral and then forget about her altogether when you get the horn for Claudia Schiffer when you happen to bump into her at your creepy kid’s nativity play. When he does shed a tear about Dead Wife, his mate Karen (also Emma Thompson) calls him a sissy and tells him to "get a grip" because "no one will shag him if he’s crying all time." But of course they will, silly.

    Juliet, Peter & Mark (Keira Knightley, Chiwetel Ejiofor & Andrew Lincoln)

    Juliet and Peter just got married but Peter's best friend Mark has been in love with Juliet for like forevs. He shows this by being really rude to her all the time, so much so that Juliet thinks Peter hates her. Top job, Mark! He loves her so much that he makes a whole movie of close-ups of her teeth. Being the good guy that he is, he professes his undying love behind his friend's back.

    What else can I say about Love Actually 's most famous scene, except that it is undoubtedly the proud winner of the Creepiest Storyline award. And winner of the Most Terrible Use Of Keira Knightley's Time. And winner of The Most Underwritten Character Ever for Chiwetel Ejiofor.

    The only positive we can take from this is that if anyone is ever rude and standoffish with you, you can rest assured that it's not because they don't like you. They are acting that way because they are head over heels in love with you! Par example, when an angry cyclist on a bike called me a stupid c*** when he zoomed past me on Friday, he was actually melting inside because he was SO in love with me.

    Anyway, in conclusion, my problem with Love Actually is that it's devoid of love. Especially for women. For most of them, 'love' is something they don't expect or control but that happens to them, like being frotted on the Tube. The truth is love is messy and frequently very fucked up, but it's got diddly-squat to do with grand gestures (a friend of mine once woke to the chilling sight of her name spelled out on her front lawn with daffodils stolen from her neighbours’ gardens. I advised her to telephone the police).

    Before I switch off my electric blankie and go to sleep I will say this: Love Actually does have some redeeming features. Bill Nighy is brilliant as a washed-up rocker who would sell his soul to keep the royalty cheques coming. His is the funniest (however little rom there is in Love Actually, there’s even less com) storyline by far. Also: Julia Davis is in this movie, which is almost enough to save anything, unless it's this saccharine sack of shit. Merry Christmas.

    Snap Stills/REX/Shutterstock

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    When black feels too dramatic and pink feels too soft and red seems too much, there is one nail color that never fails to disappoint: gray.

    Gray is a color mostly widely associated with gloomy weather, spoiled meat, garbage cans, dust, and Florida retirement complexes. But never forget, it is also a color that can call to mind super-futuristic cities, skyscrapers, and the exteriors of modern art museums. That's why swiping the shade on your nails immediately gives you a modern and unexpected edge. It's minimalism at its best. Just ask Rihanna or Jennifer Lopez, who've been known to wear the shade regularly.

    We make this plea to consider gray polish now because in the wintery months, gray nails are all the more versatile. Just think about it: Name a dark color — like maroon or black or dark green — that people love to wear this season that clashes with gray. You just can't. It's the chicest neutral.

    Ahead, see our picks for the best not-gross-looking gray nail polishes, and consider your nail salon indecision canceled.

    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.

    Vegan and cruelty-free, this gray from Sundays strikes just the right balance — it's not so dark that it looks depressing and not so light that any slight chips are immediately noticeable. With a brush specially designed so each nail takes legitimately two strokes to cover, this polish lasted nearly two weeks on us without a single chip. Color us impressed.



    Sundays No. 32, $18, available at Sundays

    When you start looking at all the different gray nail polishes that are out there in the universe, you start to notice quirks. Some lean towards lavender, while others brush up to blue. This one by Essie is more cool-toned, giving it a bluish, pewter finish.



    Essie Nail Polish - Petal Pushers, $6.99, available at Target

    If you're looking for a polish with a label attached, this gray from the Proenza Schouler x Lancôme collab is perfect for you. It's packaged in a sweet spherical bottle with that designer label right on top. Swipe one coat on and it's more lavender, with two coats really giving you that light gray color you're probably after.



    Lancôme Proenza Schouler for Lancôme Le Vernis Nail Lacquer, $20, available at Bergdorf Goodman

    Known for its long-lasting polishes and truly beautiful bottles, Smith & Cult has a single shade of gray called Subnormal that we swear by. Reach for it if you're stuck standing in front of all those polishes at the salon, completely unable to make a decision.



    Smith & Cult Nail Polish - Subnormal, $18, available at Amazon

    Deborah Lippmann's got a few different gray polishes we love, including her lovely Misty Morning that's a cool blue-gray, but this one, called Grey Day, remains our fave. Inspired by the designs of Jason Wu, it's the perfect neutral.



    Deborah Lippmann Deborah Lippmann Grey Day, $17.54, available at Amazon

    With salons throughout New York City, Austin, and L.A., Tenoverten specializes in non-toxic, cruelty-free polishes with a minimalist edge, so of course they've got a great gray.



    Tenoverten Nail Polish - Oliver, $18, available at TENOVERSIX

    You can never go wrong with Sally Hansen. With a formula that's got a base coat, nail strengthener, growth treatment, color, and a chip-resistant top coat packed inside, this shade called Grey Dreaming couldn't be better.



    Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure - Grey-Dreaming, $7.99, available at Ulta Beauty

    With an impressively large number of polishes to its name, Zoya has plenty of grays to choose from, with finishes that vary from matte to sparkly. We've got a real soft spot for Tao, a cool smoke gray with a slight metallic finish that catches the light in just the right way.



    Zoya Nail Polish - Tao , $10, available at Zoya

    Revlon 's polish remains best-in-class all these years later — with a chip-resistant formula that's effortlessly smooth. It's also mad cheap, ringing up for less than $5. We'll be wearing this gray shade, with a "French dip " of metallic glitter, for New Year's Eve.



    Revlon Nail Enamel - Sophisticated, $3.97, available at Amazon

    This cool-toned gray from Jin Soon, the brand behind the chicest salons in New York City, was inspired by the streets of Manhattan, sans the garbage and angry pigeons.



    JINsoon Nail Polish - Grace, $18, available at Barneys New York

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    Cashmere sweaters are a fashion luxury that we shouldn't have to miss out on because of steep price tags. While many brands do lean towards the expensive side, there's a vast selection of more affordable, just-as-beautiful options out there, too — making it easier than ever to find the dream sweater that fits you and your lifestyle.

    Whether budgets are tight or not, consider the purchase an investment in your winter well-being — because feeling engulfed in a permanent hug while warding off the icy chill is reason enough to save up for this cozy, timeless-style indulgence. Scroll on to shop 29 sweaters, from vibrant crews to sophisticated turtlenecks, that are worth cash(mere)ing in 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.

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    In 2014, after a particularly tough breakup, I started taking antidepressants for anxiety and OCD. I'd struggled with my mental health since around 2010, but had never tried medication because I was scared of the side effects. I expected to experience insomnia and headaches, but one thing I never really considered was whether taking the drugs I was prescribed would affect my appearance — mainly, my skin.

    According to figures obtained by The Guardian, more than 4 million people in England are long-term users of antidepressants, and more than 7.3 million people were prescribed antidepressants from 2017 to 2018. While it shouldn’t really matter how the pills affect your appearance, it’s important not to dismiss "lesser" side effects that can hit when you start a new medication. Since I began taking sertraline (an SSRI, which stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), the generic for Zoloft, my skin has become much more temperamental. Acne around my jawline and chin is now the norm, my lips and cheeks go through weird dry spells, and I sweat — a lot. I'm talking night sweats and panic sweats, which affect my face as well as my body. Although I know this sounds pretty minimal, it's hard sometimes. Finding a course of treatment that helps my mental health is absolutely the priority, but side effects that show up so obviously on your skin can really get you down.

    According to general practitioner and clinical advisor to Anxiety UK Dr. Mike Capek, while SSRIs are generally considered safer than other forms of antidepressant medication and usually have few side effects, common unwelcome consequences can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, agitation, and sleep disturbance — but that's not all. Taking antidepressants can affect different patients in completely different ways, and while most don’t see any reactions at all, it’s possible to experience a range of the aforementioned symptoms, as well as those that change the condition of your skin.

    "Many people notice that while taking antidepressants, skin can become drier, particularly their lips," says Dr. Justine Hextall, a dermatologist for La Roche-Posay in the UK. Dr. Hextall explains that antidepressants have what is referred to as "anticholinergic side effects," which essentially means they block the nerves that help to produce saliva. That could well explain the dryness that has at times ravaged my cheeks, and left me with cracked lips that feel borderline untreatable.

    Skin benefits enormously when stress levels are lowered.

    Most dermatologists will recommend humectants like hyaluronic acid, which retain moisture in the skin; emollients, which sit on the skin's surface to prevent water from escaping; and occlusives, which form a protective layer over skin to trap in moisture. On the flip side, Dr. Hextall explains that increased sweating can be normal, too. "Excessive sweating is a very common side effect of antidepressant use, with some studies stating that approximately 20% of users are affected," she says. Excess sweating can wreak havoc on your face, particularly your forehead, creating an ideal environment for spots to thrive.

    While these are the two biggest issues for me, antidepressants can affect the skin in other ways, too. Linda Blahr, national head of training and education for SkinCeuticals in the UK, explains that SSRIs can "increase the risk of broken capillaries and bruising, meaning skin can be more prone to flushing and general redness." Similarly, Nausheen Qureshi, biochemist and founder of skin-care brand Elequra, mentions that hormone-related skin inflammation, such as acne and hyperpigmentation, can also worsen.

    It's not all bad news, though. After all, antidepressants are intended to have a positive impact on your mental state, and this means your self-esteem and the way you look after yourself can be impacted for the better. "Stress is a common trigger with acne, and this may well improve with a mood-stabilizing drug," says Dr. Hextall. Psychodermatologist Dr. Alia Ahmed agrees that there is a close link between the mind and skin. "In some cases, the skin can actually improve with antidepressants," she told me.

    There are also ways to deal with the side effects, both in terms of lifestyle changes and skin-care switch-ups. "Self-care is vital," says Dr. Hextall. "Skin benefits enormously when stress levels are lowered and when we have a healthy diet and regular exercise." I personally find that forcing myself to stop scrolling through Instagram to read a book or take a walk most benefits my stress levels.

    As for skin care, my flareups react best to a simple routine — double cleansing, then applying serum and moisturizer. I also have some go-to products for when things get really bad. A daily boost of antioxidants helps to keep skin healthy and ready to fight off unwanted side effects; I like SkinCeuticals' C E Ferulic, while a super soothing lip-balm and face-mask duo, such as La Roche-Posay's Cicaplast Baume and Clark's Botanicals' Deep Moisture Mask (which I sometimes slather on as a moisturizer if I’m suffering with extreme dryness), are essential.

    Most importantly, I’d urge anyone to discuss notable side effects with their doctor or a dermatologist if the medication is really taking a toll on your skin. While I’d never suggest forgoing antidepressants if they’re helping your mental state, it’s crucial to find the right medication for you with psychological benefits and the fewest side effects (and obviously not just those that are skin-related). In short, it’s a toss-up. While I’ve largely managed to find ways to deal with the side effects of my medication — a balanced skin-care routine and stress management — there are always alternatives (including different classes of antidepressants) and ways to make it work for you, your mind, and your skin.

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

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    The perfect winter cocktail is the pinnacle of any successful holiday party. But while we're always up for a spiked hot cocoa or hot toddy, there are only so many times we can make the same old cold-weather drinks before our guests get bored.

    That's why, this year, we're shaking things up with unique (and delicious) festive drinks for all our soirees. In celebration of the season — and the new Ocean Spray® Pink Lite Cranberry Juice Drink — we rounded up four inventive winter drink recipes you can easily make at home: from a spiced mulled wine that will warm you up on the coldest of nights to a not-your-grandma's take on eggnog. Click through to check out each recipe, and get ready for your holiday parties to be extra lit this year.

    Sugar Plum Spice Mulled Wine
    Serves 8 to 12

    Eleven months out of the year, we don't give sugar plums a second thought. But during the winter, it tops our list of recognizable holiday sweets. Brew a batch of this sugar plum spice mulled wine when it's too cold to do anything much more than snuggle up in cozy blankets and gather around the fireplace. The dried plums and raw sugar make the drink sweet and smooth while the ginger, cinnamon, and black pepper spice things up.

    Ingredients
    1 bottle Rioja (other red wines will do as well)
    1 1/2 cups prunes
    1 cup raw sugar (to taste)
    1/4 cup candied ginger
    3 cinnamon sticks
    2 whole pieces nutmeg
    1 tsp lemon zest
    1/2 tsp black peppercorn
    1/2 cup amber rum
    1/4 cup orange liqueur

    Instructions
    1. Add wine, 1 cup prunes, 2/3 to 3/4 cups sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest, and peppercorns to a large pot.

    2. Simmer mixture for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Don’t let it reach a boil.)

    3. While the mixture is simmering, roll the remaining prunes in sugar to give them a frosted appearance, and skewer them with a cocktail pick. Set aside.

    4. Remove the mixture from the heat, add rum and orange liqueur, and balance the prune skewers for garnish. Serve while warm.

    Designed by Vero Romero.

    Very Merry Pink Cranberry Sangria
    Serves 3 to 4

    Summer might be synonymous with rosé, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't enjoy it when it's cold out, too. This sangria updates the pink wine with tart berries and spiced simple syrup. Our favorite part: the bright-pink color and delicious flavor from the new Ocean Spray® Pink Lite Cranberry Juice Drink, a light and refreshing beverage made with a blend of red, white, and pink cranberries.

    Ingredients
    For the spiced simple syrup:
    2 cups water
    2 cups granulated sugar
    3 cinnamon sticks
    8 allspice berries
    6 cloves
    3 whole star anise pods

    For the cocktail:
    2 cups rosé
    4 cups Ocean Spray® Pink Lite Cranberry Juice Drink
    Spiced simple syrup to taste
    1/4 cup orange liqueur
    Fruits for garnish (apples, oranges, pears, cranberries)

    Instructions
    For spiced simple syrup:
    1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan, and bring mixture to a boil.

    2. Remove liquid from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before straining out the solids. (Pro tip: Use within 5 to 7 days for optimal freshness.)

    For the cocktail:
    1. Combine rosé and Pink Lite Cranberry Juice Drink in a carafe or bowl.

    2. Add spiced simple syrup and orange liqueur.

    3. Garnish with fruit of choice and serve.

    Designed by Vero Romero.

    Partridge In A Pear Tree Spiked Cider
    Serves 3 to 4

    On the first day of Christmas, we highly recommend serving your guests this fresh take on the classic cold-weather drink. This version, made with bourbon, vanilla bean, and sweet pear, is ideal for those family get-togethers when you need a drink that will please the whole crowd — even your aunt who made it very clear that your ham was overcooked.

    Ingredients
    For the vanilla bean syrup:
    1 cup water
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup dried, halved pears
    1–2 vanilla bean pods

    For the cocktail:
    10 oz pear juice
    Vanilla bean syrup to taste
    1 1/2 oz strained lemon juice
    8 dashes bitters
    4 oz bourbon
    Fresh pear, thinly sliced

    Instructions
    For the vanilla bean syrup:
    1. Add water to a saucepan and bring to a boil.

    2. Reduce heat to medium, and gradually add sugar, stirring until completely dissolved.

    3. Add pears, stir, and reduce to a simmer. (Do not allow the mixture to boil.)

    4. Next, slice open the vanilla bean pods and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and pods to the syrup and keep simmering for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    5. Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature before straining out the solids. (Pro tip: Use within 5 to 7 days for optimal freshness.)

    For the cocktail:
    1. Add pear juice and vanilla bean syrup to a saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes.

    2. Remove liquid from the heat, and then add lemon juice, bitters, and bourbon.

    3. Garnish each glass with pear and serve.

    Designed by Vero Romero.

    Eggnog Pumpkin Alexander
    Serves 4

    Toast the end of yet another successful holiday dinner party with this decadent dessert cocktail, a modern twist on the classic eggnog. With hints of gingerbread and pumpkin spice, this treat will give everyone instant flashbacks to the candy-filled holidays of their childhood — but this time, there's no one lecturing them for indulging their sweet tooth so late at night.

    Ingredients
    6 oz full-fat eggnog
    6 oz cognac
    2 oz pumpkin puree
    4 oz white chocolate liqueur
    Grated nutmeg

    Instructions
    1. Add eggnog, cognac, pumpkin, and liqueur to a cocktail shaker.

    2. Shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds, then strain the liquid into a coupe.

    3. Grate nutmeg on top and serve.

    Designed by Vero Romero.

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    First of all, if you yourself are not a college student and you are looking at this list for ideas on what to get a younger friend or relative, you can probably stop reading this. Go to the ATM, and withdraw the perfect gift for most college students in the crisp denomination of your choice. Bye!

    Okay, anyone else still reading this either doesn't like excellent advice, is too embarrassed to give cash to anyone, or is also a student buying this for a fellow student. What you're looking for is something worthy of a busy scholar's time. Something that fits in a tiny dorm room. Something that will be met with laughter and appreciation. Something that won't be met with the scorn of a person newly enlightened by higher education. Something that will be worthy of transport back to school and won't instead rot unused in the corner of a childhood bedroom. Something that won't be destroyed by careless roommates — or won't be a devastating loss if it is. This is a tall order, friends. But it is not impossible.

    You know your giftee best, but we think the following items might just fit the bill.

    For those long days locked inside studying, or those silly nights that devolve into an adolescent slumber party, you can never have too many cozy pants that are still not embarrassing to wear in dorm common areas.



    Aerie Aerie Plush Harem Jogger, $19.97, available at Aerie

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    Dormify Ruffled Shag Throw Blanket, $39, available at Dormify

    No, we are absolutely not encouraging the taking of naps in that giant anthropology lecture class that's nonstop slide shows. This plush bunny pillow is actually for use in the library, where some of us get our best sleep.



    Houzz Lovely Hand Warmer Nap Pillow Desk Pillow , $31.46, available at Houzz

    Enough talk of sleep. Though caffeine is so necessary, we've all heard about the dangers of blowing our budgets on coffee, and of screwing up the planet with instant coffee pods. A great coffee subscription can solve so many problems at once. Throw in a French press to complete the gift.



    La Colombe Cornerstone & Alliance Gift Subscription, $84, available at La Colombe

    When your gift recipient lands their dream internship, those sweatpants aren't going to cut it anymore. And with a professional wardrobe come so many wrinkles.



    Conair Conair Complete Steam Hand Held Fabric Steamer, $16.98, available at Amazon

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    Uncommon Goods Fix it Kit, $30, available at Uncommon Goods

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    Franklin Sports Franklin Sports Table Tennis To-Go , $16.5, available at Amazon

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    EarthHero EarthHero Small Zero Waste Gift Box, $50, available at EarthHero

    Bookends are one of those old-fashioned tchotchkes you never realize the usefulness of until your desk is overflowing with towers of textbooks. We're not talking about the boring metal kind at your school library here — there's an infinite selection of bookends that can reflect the personality and taste of the person whose book they're so helpfully accessorizing.



    CB2 set of 2 wing bookends, $19.95, available at CB2

    The romantic or considerate gesture of giving flowers shouldn't be ruined by the sad fact that not many college kids have a selection of appropriate vases lying around. This is a clever solution that turns any jar or container into a vase, without the hassle of need a ton of storage space.



    Fruitsuper Design Set of 3 Anywhere Vase Converters, $38, available at Nordstrom

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    Cardi B isn't just making headlines and history; she's pulling her own looks, too. Fresh off of her historic Rolling Loud performance (which Offset rudely interrupted to apologize for cheating with a succinct 'I'm sorry, bruh'), the Grammy-nominated rapper posted a photo of her latest 'fit to Instagram.

    On Monday, Belcalis Almanzar, 26, shared a photo of herself wearing a pale pink cardigan, pink knit stripped skirt, pale pink heels, and a hot pink jumbo Chanel classic flap. She captioned the look "I’m Dasani with the drip, baby mommy with the clip," lyrics from her latest single "Money." But her stylist, Kollin Carter, told his 106K followers on Instagram he wasn't responsible for putting together the outfit. "I appreciate the love and tags but I can’t take the credit for this full Chanel look," he wrote on Monday evening. "Sis has an aesthetic, she dressed herself. My baby growing up."

    As an official spokeswoman, Cardi has lent her aesthetic to Steve Madden, Reebok and Fashion Nova (but not Diesel). "And you're out here saying I'm trying to stop your bag," Cardi said in response to allegations made by rival Nicki Minaj. "That Diesel deal that you got? Yeah that came to me first. And I had to decline it because I'm already working with fashion brands, which, y'all are going to see because it's more than Fashion Nova." Cardi's Fashion Nova collection sold out in record time, helping the fast-fashion brand to become one of the top trending fashion searches in 2018. The selling power of Cardi B's look is how relatable it continues to be.

    In fact, as Carter told WWD last year, it's really important for Cardi to be an example to young girls that you don't have to be dripping in designer to be considered well-dressed. "We always make it a point to support emerging designers whose lines are just as good but may not be as expensive," he explained. "We like to be relatable in that aspect, like, 'OK, we have this $2,000 shoe, but let’s place it with this top that any girl around the way would be able to afford.'"

    Cardi, sis, that aesthetic is working.

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

    Today: an anesthesiologist assistant who makes $160,000 per year ($225,000 when combined with her husband) and spends some of her money this week on a Mcdonald's hot fudge sundae.

    Occupation: Anesthesiologist Assistant
    Industry: Anesthesiology
    Age: 29
    Location: Savannah, GA
    My Salary: $160,000
    My Husband's Salary: $65,000
    My Paycheck (2x/month): $4,300
    My Husband's Paycheck (2x/month): $2,000

    Monthly Expenses
    Mortgage: $1,780
    Student Loan Payment: $0 (My anesthesia school loans are paid off and I didn't have undergrad loans.)
    Tithe: $1,500 (approximately 10% of gross paychecks)
    Cell Phones: $100 (for two lines)
    Internet: $67
    Electricity: $180
    Pre-K Tuition: $455 for four days/week
    Retirement: $2,500 (401(k) and IRA contributions split between my account and my husband's account)
    Discretionary Spending Allowance: $200 ($100 each for me and my husband)
    Pest Control: $25 (This is important in Georgia!)
    Daughters' College Fund: $500
    Extra Mortgage Payment: $500
    Savings: ~$5,000 (This is essentially any amount left over. We like money to gain interest, not just sit in our checking account. We occasionally use our savings for vacations or unexpected expenses.)

    Day One

    5 a.m. — Waking up early is the worst part of my job. I get up, put on scrubs, grab my bag, and head out. My hospital provides lunch, so I don't have to pack any food. My commute takes about 45 minutes. We live so far from work because of our childcare situation. Grandma watches the girls for free — how can you beat that?! (We bought a house near the grandparents, even though it's far from work.)

    9:30 a.m. — On my 15-minute morning break. The time of my break varies daily, as I have to wait for another anesthetist to become available to take over my surgical case while I'm gone. I run down to the cafeteria to grab a big bottle of water and some peanut butter crackers. Then I hurry back to the pumping room to pump for the remainder. My daughter is almost one now, so THANKFULLY I won't be pumping for too much longer (one year is my goal). At the end of my break, I put what little milk I could pump in our refrigerator and head back to the operating room (OR). ($5 expensed)

    11:30 a.m. — Lunchtime. As with the morning break, I have to take my lunch break when another anesthetist is available to cover my case. It can vary from 11 a.m. to as late as 3 p.m. depending on the business of the surgical schedule. Once again, I run to the cafeteria and get a sub sandwich and another large water bottle (pumping really dehydrates me!) and go to the pumping room again. I use a pumping bra to hold my pump flanges so my hands are free to eat. We get 30 minutes for lunch, and I head back to the OR after putting my milk in the fridge. ($9 expensed)

    3:15 p.m. — I am relieved from work. Once surgeries finish in the afternoon and ORs become empty, we relieve anesthetists in the "order out," which rotates daily. Today was about normal for me, as I work five days a week from approximately 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. It was a pretty good day. I had robotic hysterectomies in my OR today, and I always enjoy that room. I have a sweet tooth, so I go through McDonald's for a hot fudge sundae before getting the girls from Grandma's house. I pick them up and we head home. We usually play around our house until my husband gets home around 6:30. $1.07

    6:45 p.m. — My husband arrives home from work and plays with the girls while I finish dinner. We have tacos with cheese, salsa, and Frank's Red Hot (my favorite). The baby loves her taco meat and cheese in a bowl in her high chair. We clean up the mess made by the baby and then it's bath time for the girls after dinner. I nurse the baby and my husband puts her to bed. Our older daughter plays for another hour and then goes to sleep around 7:30. My husband and I watch an episode of The Office before going to bed around 9.

    Daily Total: $1.07

    Day Two

    5 a.m. — Up early again and off to work. It's hard for me to eat breakfast this early, so I typically wait until my morning break.

    10:15 a.m. — I'm doing pediatric dental cases today, and those always wear me out faster than adult cases! It's my morning break. I get a large bottle of water and a bowl of yogurt with fruit in the cafeteria. Off to pump before heading back to the OR. ($6 expensed)

    1:20 p.m. — Late lunch today. I get a steak salad and a bottle of water. Then I pump and eat in the pumping room. I go around giving lunches to the remaining anesthetists before being relieved to go home at 2:30. ($10 expensed)

    6:25 p.m. — My husband gets home from work. He forgot to bring his lunch today, so he got a chicken burrito at Chipotle. We have BBQ chicken sandwiches for dinner with green beans. Bath time, nurse the baby, girls to bed. My husband works out in our garage "gym" while I wash dishes. Off to bed around 9:30. $7.62

    Daily Total: $7.62

    Day Three

    8:15 a.m. — Break time at work. I get a plate of biscuits and gravy and a water bottle in the cafeteria. I'm in a neuro room (spine and brain surgeries) today. I eat while pumping and head back to the OR. ($7 expensed)

    12:20 p.m. — For lunch, I get a plate of spaghetti. I know it will be difficult to eat while pumping, but I can't resist! Eat, pump, and back to my cerebral tumor resection. ($9 expensed)

    4:10 p.m. — Late day at the office. The OR was busy today, and I get relieved later than usual. The good thing about my job is that we get paid an overtime rate if we exceed 40 hours in a week, so getting stuck late isn't always bad. I stop for gas on the way home and use my Kroger fuel points to get $0.60 off of the gallon. I pick up the girls and head home. $32.54

    7:05 p.m. — A late day for my husband too. We have Crock-Pot chili for dinner that I started this morning. He tells me he brought his lunch to work but stopped for coffee this morning ($1.65). We share a bank account and do all of our finances together. It makes me happy to see our money in one lump sum that we can direct and spend together; we bond over making financial decisions and plans. I get a lot of enjoyment from finances — it's definitely my favorite part of adulting. I check our bank account once a day, and when I'm bored I like to calculate projections for our expenses and incomes. Yeah, most people think I'm crazy. $1.65

    Daily Total: $34.19

    Day Four

    12:30 p.m. — Today I'm at a surgery center, and we have 24 cataract extractions scheduled. Due to the fast pace and the fact that I am alone here with my anesthesiologist, I don't have time for a morning break and I can't pump. My boobs are about to burst at this point! I warm up the cheese enchilada frozen meal that I brought from home and eat while pumping in an empty patient room. After lunch, we finish by 2:15 and I head home early — thank goodness!

    6:35 p.m. — Hubby is home and it's dinner time: spaghetti with my homemade meat sauce! My husband stopped at the gas station on the way home, but since I had already used all of the fuel points, he paid full price. Bath time for the girls, nurse the baby, and it's off to bed. $42.55

    Daily Total: $42.55

    Day Five

    10 a.m. — During my break, I get fruit and bacon from the cafeteria. I eat while pumping and then it's back to the OR. Today is a vascular day for me, and we are doing big surgery that requires a lot of attention and hemodynamic maintenance, so I am already mentally drained. ($7 expensed)

    1 p.m. — Lunch and pumping time. I get a salad from the cafeteria and eat in the pumping room. We finished the surgery and are now wrapping up a leg amputation. I had to change scrubs in the doctor's lounge before lunch, as I got sprayed with blood during the last case. It's amazing how immune I am to the graphic nature of my job and how I can just switch to "time to eat!" after watching someone's leg get removed. I return to finish the case and follow up with an AV graft placement before getting relieved at 3:30 p.m. ($10 expensed)

    6:45 p.m. — My husband gets home and brings Chik-fil-A. It's a nice break from cooking. I have a salad, my husband eats a nugget meal, and my three-year-old has a kid's meal. I make the baby a scrambled egg before I nurse her for bed. Friday night means movie night once the kids are asleep! We watch The Searchers — my husband's choice, since I got to choose last week. Today was payday, so I take some time to double check our paychecks — something I've made a habit of doing, especially because I get paid overtime and I want to make sure my hours are correct. Then I pay tithe via my phone and designate a home for the rest of the money. All of our bills are paid via direct withdrawal, so we keep track of the dates that they're scheduled to be withdrawn and make sure we have enough money in our checking account to cover everything. I only leave what's needed to our bills in checking and distribute everything else to either savings, extra mortgage payments, or IRA contributions. $21.06

    Daily Total: $21.06

    Day Six

    8 a.m. — Yeah, it's Saturday! We sleep in until the baby wakes us and I bring her into bed to nurse and snuggle. I search my coupon apps to find deals for my grocery trip later. I'm obsessed with coupon apps. I save about $20 per week from coupons. I also make about $80 per year by uploading my receipts for cash back offers on apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51. We get our older daughter up, and we all have breakfast together: protein pancakes, eggs, and bacon.

    11:45 a.m. — We all drive into town to pick up our groceries. Kroger has a Click List option where you can order your groceries through their app and pick them up at a designated time. You literally drive up, call them, and they load your groceries in your trunk! I costs all of $4.95 and it is the BEST money I have every spent!!! (Grocery shopping with the girls is a real challenge.) My husband also brings his lunch most days. We eat out occasionally, and mostly on the weekends. $187.76

    12 p.m. — We stop by Zaxby's for lunch on the way home. I get the buffalo bleu salad and my husband get a grilled chicken Caesar salad. Our three-year-old gets "chicken and fries" per her request. $18.08

    5:20 p.m. — It's college game day in Georgia — that means a Georgia Bulldog game. We order Papa John's pizza at half-time and have it delivered. $16

    Daily Total: $221.84

    Day Seven

    7:30 a.m. — I wake up and nurse the baby while my husband works out. Then we get dressed and get the girls ready for church. We attend the 9 a.m. service at our church and then volunteer in the toddler Sunday School class during the 11 a.m. service.

    12:30 p.m. — After church, it's our tradition to have lunch with my parents. We go to a local Mexican restaurant and have chili rellenos, fajitas, and guacamole. Yum! Next, we head back home to watch the Falcons game. We are a definitely a football family. We snack on chips and salsa during the game. I troll my credit card accounts during the game and redeem my cash back. $46 between the two cards — yes! We buy everything on our two credit cards (depending on which card offers the best cash back option at the time), then we pay the credit cards off in their entirety once a month. I make about $40 per month this way! $15.45

    6 p.m. — For dinner, the hubby grills burgers out back and we eat them with pepperjack cheese and lots of mustard. Perfection. The girls play until bedtime. Baths, nursing, and bedtime for the girls. Then my husband and I watch another episode of The Office before going to bed around 10.

    Daily Total: $15.45

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Our sentiments exactly.



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    The Imperfect Life Planner 2019, $44.5, available at The Imperfect Life

    The secret to a streamlined schedule? A très chic agenda.



    Ashley Mary Celestial 2019 12-Month Planner, $34, available at Anthropologie

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



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

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    Panda Planner Daily Planner, $24.97, available at Amazon

    Make getting your life together a rosy affair.



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



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

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    Dabney Lee for Blue Sky “Honeycomb Blue” Weekly/Monthly Hardcover Planner, $45, available at Blue Sky

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



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



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

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



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

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



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

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



    kikki.K LEATHER PERSONAL PLANNER LARGE: MINT, $79.95, available at Kikki-K

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



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

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



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

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



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

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

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



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

    Keep track with a Kate Spade classic bound in a lovely watercolored-floral.



    kate spade new york Floral Large Full Year Agenda, $25.2, available at Shopbop

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



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

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



    ban.do Moonstone 17-Month Classic Agenda, $16, available at The Paper Store

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



    Nicole Miller 2019 Monthly Planner, $12.99, available at Amazon

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    Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey appointed Rep. Martha McSally to the Senate seat once held by the late John McCain, just a few weeks after the two-term Republican congresswoman lost her senatorial bid to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema.

    Originally, Sen. Jon Kyl was appointed to the seat after McCain died in August. But the Republican lawmaker announced last week that he would step down from the post at the end of the year, giving Ducey the opportunity to pick a new person who could serve the rest of McCain's term. "All her life, Martha has put service first — leading in the toughest of fights and at the toughest of times," Ducey said in a statement Tuesday. "With her experience and long record of service, Martha is uniquely qualified to step up and fight for Arizona’s interests in the U.S. Senate."

    McSally, who made history as the first woman Air Force pilot to fly in combat, is considered to be a rising star in the Republican party. She lost by a narrow margin to Sinema in the midterm election, failing in her bid to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.

    During the GOP primary, the congresswoman distanced herself from the McCain camp, instead aligning herself more closely to President Donald Trump and his platform. But last week, she met with the maverick's widow Cindy McCain, in an apparent effort to mend the relationship. In a tweet, she reacted to the news about McSally's appointment: "My husband’s greatest legacy was placing service to AZ & USA ahead of his own self-interest. I respect @dougducey's decision to appoint @RepMcSally to fill the remainder of his term. Arizonans will be pulling for her, hoping that she will follow his example of selfless leadership."

    McSally and Sinema will now be the first two women to represent Arizona in the Senate, making it one of the few states to be represented by a female delegation in the upper chamber. Gov. Ducey said Sinema will be sworn in first, becoming the state's senior senator.

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    For most of us, the first piece of jewelry we were gifted probably centered around a birthstone. While certainly sentimental, that pair of studs or delicate necklace from our grandma usually ended up at the bottom of our jewelry boxes when more sophisticated, less cheesy replacements came around. But looking back now, perhaps Granny knew something that we didn't. After all, jewelry holds two purposes – to pull an outfit together and to add personal flair — and a birthstone checks both boxes.

    Thanks to a rise in the popularity of colored gemstones, a wide range of modern silhouettes are now available to put a refreshing twist on those once dated-feeling topazes and opals. So let the colorful baubles for every birth month inspire you to reconsider that childhood gift — either as an investment piece for yourself or a surprise for someone special. After all, the best presents often come in the smallest packages, and a personalized pair of drop earrings or a beautifully-crafted birthstone anklet will sweeten that little box even 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.

    January: Garnet
    With a rich range of hues, from deep reds to forest greens, these versatile stones are said to represent trust and friendship. Suit the style of any January baby in the form of delicate studs or a bolder pendant necklace.



    Erica Weiner Rough Gem Half-Hoops, $165, available at Erica Weiner

    February: Amethyst
    A type of quartz, this calming stone comes in a luscious violet hue to help its wearer find peace and courage — and who doesn’t want a combo of that in their life?



    Christina Greene Deco Ovate Earring in Amethyst, $118, available at Wolf & Badger

    March: Aquamarine
    Thought to open channels for clear communication, this popular stone is said to soothe and soul-cleanse — plus, given its unobtrusive nature, it pairs beautifully with other gems (like diamonds or sapphires).



    Congés Keep Calm & Inspire Necklace, $850, available at Nordstrom

    April: Diamond
    Do we really need to give this durable stone an introduction? Diamonds are timeless. (You’re lucky, April babes.)



    Catbird Wicked Game Anklet, $230, available at Catbird

    May: Emerald
    This deep-green stone represents friendship, love, and protection — it’s also said to be a symbol of luxury with a lust-worthy and eye-catching power.



    Azlee Emerald & Diamond Stud Earrings, $3000, available at Barneys New York

    June: Pearl
    Pearl-accented items reign supreme with the power of the classic stone's calming and centering beauty.



    n+a Pearl Necklace, $150, available at n+a

    July: Ruby
    Summers can command a room — making a ruby their ideal birth stone complement with its fiery-red hue that's associated with prosperity, health, and wisdom.



    Eriness Ruby Baguette Studs, $220, available at Eriness

    August: Peridot
    One of the rarer stones out of the group, this lime green gem symbolizes strength and prosperity. It’s also thought to relieve stress, making it a must-have for August babes who are constantly doing the most.



    Aesa Little Wind Song Studs, $167.4, available at Bona Drag

    September: Sapphire
    While most think of sapphires as a blue stone, they actually come in a range of colors —including purple, light pink, green, orange, and yellow. The stone is said to unleash creative spirits, making it a complimentary accessory for expressive personalities.



    Jennifer Meyer 18k Gold Thin Ring with Sapphire, $175, available at Shopbop

    October: Opal
    This precious stone represents hope, creativity, and innocence — so if you have a main squeeze who fits that bill, gift this dreamy stone to them with pride.



    Nancy Kraskin Ancient Opal Necklace, $390, available at Catbird

    November: Citrine
    November babes can pick between topaz and citrine — and the latter is not only popular because of its sunny hue, but also because it promotes health, relaxation, and overall good fortune.



    Nakibirango Citrine Astral Earrings With Diamente, $69, available at Wolf & Badger

    December: Blue Topaz
    You have the pick of your litter in December with tanzanite, turquoise, and blue topaz — but we find the latter most appealing as a positive stone that looks stunning in any setting.



    Porter Gulch Renata Earring, $225, available at Porter Gulch

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    In the two decades since the first-ever Proactiv commercial (starring actress Judith Light) sent teens running to their landlines to dial the 1-800 number, the three-step system has become the most recognizable name in over-the-counter acne treatments. Those compelling late-night infomercials had us reaching for our flip phones back in the day, too, thanks in part to an impressive parade of acne-prone celebrity spokespeople like Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, and Lindsay Lohan, who bared convincing before-and-afters of their own skin transformations.

    But no matter how familiar we've become with the brand's messaging over the years, it hasn't always been easy to get ahold of the products. For the longest time, Proactiv's direct-to-consumer marketing approach meant having the system shipped to your door every month as part of a membership package, or even hunting down one of its 100 vending machines, which launched in 2007. While the brand has become a bit more accessible in the past few years by teaming up with Amazon and Ulta Beauty, it's about to reach true ubiquity: Starting December 26, the entire Proactiv range will be available at Sephora.com.

    For those hooked on the O.G. three-step skin-care routine, collecting VIB Rouge points is about to get a whole lot easier. And for everyone else, finally seeing what all the hype is about is as simple as slipping an à la carte product in with the rest of your Sephora swag. See how we'll be running down the balance on the Sephora gift cards we collect this Christmas with our Proactiv picks, 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.

    This high-dose variation of the award-winning Proactiv Solution 3-Step System is a Sephora exclusive that promises to deliver more acne-addressing ingredients deeper into the pore for faster results.



    Proactiv Proactiv Solution Deluxe 3-Step System, $80, available at Sephora

    Adapalene, the star ingredient in this acne gel, is the first FDA-approved retinoid available without a prescription.



    Proactiv Adapalene Gel, $36, available at Sephora

    This lightweight moisturizer is a customer favorite: The oil-free formulation won't clog pores, while hyaluronic acid helps keep skin from drying out.



    Proactiv Green Tea Moisturizer, $40, available at Sephora

    Tiny exfoliating beads in this liquid cleanser brighten skin by sweeping away dead skin cells.



    Proactiv Deep Cleansing Face Wash, $30, available at Sephora

    This mask contains a whopping 6% sulfur along with kaolin clay, tea tree oil, and soothing vitamin E, to deep clean skin without leaving it parched.



    Proactiv Skin Purifying Mask, $38, available at Sephora

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    You talk a big game in your head. You know exactly how hard you work, how you’ve gone above and beyond your job description, and how much money you should be making. But when it comes to actually asking for that raise, you need more of a game plan than whatever impassioned points you’re hitting in the group text.

    There are so many factors that go into successfully asking for more money at work, but the good news is, most of them are within your control. Everything from timing to the way you frame your ask to how you enter the room can affect your boss’ decision. That’s why, to help set you up for success, we partnered with SoFi, a finance company that not only helps you save money but earn more too via its Get That Raise tool. Together, we tapped millennial career expert Jill Jacinto for some tips on how to absolutely kill it when asking for a raise — and also make sure you actually get one. Read ahead for her 11 best tips, and then go get what you deserve.

    Treat it like a business meeting.

    Your first step in asking for a raise is setting the right tone. While it’s tempting to approach this subject from a cool, friendly standpoint — particularly if your workplace is informal — casually mentioning your raise to your boss while she spreads cream cheese on her morning bagel doesn’t really scream, “I’m taking this seriously.”

    Jacinto urges you to treat this like a business meeting, no matter your situation. “This should feel like a formal conversation,” she says. “You’re creating a business negotiation between you and your boss.” Email a request for a meeting. Go through the proper channels. If they have an assistant, go through that assistant to set up time. “Make sure you’re getting something on the calendar. You want them to be accountable for it. Don’t just come in at the end of the day and say, ‘Can we meet?’ If you don’t take it seriously, why would [they]?”

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

    Frame it as “discussing opportunities.”

    Rather than explicitly saying, “This is a meeting where I will ask for more money,” which may cause your boss to sidestep your request, Jacinto recommends making it opportunity-focused. You can use phrases like “do a personal review” or “align on goals for next year” when you request the meeting. “They might think it’s about a raise, but they could also think it’s just a good conversation to have,” Jacinto says. “And it kind of looks bad on them if they dodge it.” Your boss is responsible for a lot of things, but managing your career track is absolutely one of them.

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

    Make sure the timing is right.

    The best time to have the raise conversation is after a big win (or series of smaller wins). “Even before your meeting, [your boss will be] kind of on a high, they’re feeling good, the business is doing well.” If your raise request feels out of the blue for you, it will feel out of the blue for your boss, too. Pegging your ask to a recent success gives your boss ammunition to help you get that raise. After all, there may be people above her that need to approve the request, and arming her with every tool possible includes good timing.

    But also, read the room. Avoid the raise conversation if your boss seems visibly stressed that week or if there have been recent layoffs. Jacinto says it’s good to wait about a month or six weeks post-layoffs. By that point, you’ll have built up enough new responsibility (inherited by the loss of colleagues) and the company will have had time to reconfigure its budgets a bit.

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

    Don't make it personal.

    It’s time for some tough love. The reasons you're asking for a raise probably include things like the rising cost of living, goals you have for yourself or your family, and enough disposable income that you can online shop after three glasses of wine without feeling a sense of dread when the box shows up a few days later. But when it comes to asking for a raise, you’ve gotta leave that all at the door. “Your boss doesn’t care that your rent’s increased or that your dog needs surgery,” Jacinto says. “If they thought about that for every employee, the business would go under. Don’t bring anything personal into the conversation and just stick to your work.”

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

    Get testimony.

    Just as you enlist the reviews from strangers on Yelp before picking a restaurant for brunch, testimonials can be a compelling asset for your boss when deciding whether or not to give you a raise. Did a client send you a thank you email? Did you manage an event that got amazing press coverage? It’s all gold and shows that you’re not the only one out there thinking you’re doing a great job at work. As Jacinto says, “Their testimonial holds a lot more weight.”

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

    Bring all the data you can get.

    Businesses speak in numbers, and that means you’ve gotta come armed with some. “Maybe you grew the client base 10% or increased website traffic 30% month over month,” Jacinto offers. Be prepared to show how your work has affected the company’s bottom line and any ways you’ve gone outside the requirements of your job. Even if you’re in a more creative role that doesn’t exactly use accounting and spreadsheets, find a way to turn your success into hard data.

    If you’re not sure how to put what you do into hard data, or if you don’t know what data would be most compelling, try the SoFi Get That Raise tool. Simply answer a few questions about your work experience, and the tool will create a personalized action plan for your meeting. It’s an easy way to get your act together and manage your salary expectations. Plus, it’s all confidential.

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

    Outline your talking points, and practice, practice, practice.

    Now that you’ve got your ask prepared, it’s time to outline your talking points. Jacinto recommends creating a visual presentation of that data for your boss. “That way they can literally see the work you’re doing, they can visualize it,” she says. But if it doesn’t seem realistic for you to go into your boss’ office and start a slideshow, you can always go in with a list of talking points that drive home the reasons you’ve already earned the raise you’re requesting. “If you don’t come prepared, you don’t have talking points, you don’t have something you can point to, then it’s very easy for you to get nervous and clam up. And then your boss gains all the power and can dismiss you easily,” she says.

    Then, practice your ask on a friend. Not only will repeating your talking points help ingrain them in your head, but having someone you trust review how you present the information can be helpful. “They’ll be able to tell you if you have any nervous tics, whether it’s using filler words like ‘um,’ stalling, or starting to play with your hair or shifting your weight,” Jacinto says, noting that a friend can also work with you to course correct any of those habits. If you don’t have a friend to practice with, you can always video tape yourself. It’ll help eradicate any nervous behaviors and make you more confident. “Seeing yourself saying these words, you really start to believe why you really do deserve this raise.”

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

    Take up space.

    Whether your boss knows it or not, they’re registering your body language as you speak. Jacinto advises you adopt a strong manner, no matter if you’re standing or sitting. “Your shoulders are back. You’re positioning yourself. You have power in that expanded space where you’re standing up, pointing towards your deck, as opposed to slouching, looking up at the ceiling, and squirming around.” Take up space in the room.

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

    Don't threaten to leave.

    We’ve all daydreamed about walking up to our bosses and delivering a cinema-quality speech about how we “demand a raise or else.” But there’s a reason you usually only see these gusto-packed monologues in movies — they don’t exactly work in real life.

    Instead of threatening to quit, Jacinto advises you come armed with hard information that highlights why it would be to the company’s detriment if you weren’t around. “Showcase the work you’re doing for the company, how the actions you’re doing really affect the bottom line positively, and how it would detract from it if you were no longer there.” Plus, Jacinto says that if you come prepared with your compelling, data-driven presentation, your boss will pick up what you’re putting down — that saying no to you now might result in you looking for an opportunity elsewhere.

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

    Remember you deserve it.

    You probably get a lot of satisfaction out of your work, and you’ve probably made great friendships in the office. But it’s easy to forget a major reason you’re working there in the first place is to make money. It can be scary once you’re in the room, but get in there and ask for what you've earned. “Make sure you’re advocating for yourself,” Jacinto says. “Be confident. Know that you deserve it.”

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

    Come prepared for a “no,” and have alternative options.

    Even if you’ve just given an award-worthy performance of your raise request that leaves your boss in a standing ovation, there may be a situation where their hands are tied — there’s simply not more money to give you. “Always come prepared for that no, and then think about, ‘If I don’t get this raise, what else can I get?’” Jacinto advises. What else could you ask for that would make you feel more valued or enhance your working experience? Think: additional vacation days or the ability to work from home. “Another week of vacation time isn’t going to affect your boss in a monetary sense, but it could have a positive impact on you being able to take more time off, travel, see your family,” she says. “The ability to work from home would save you money commuting back and forth, let you get extra sleep, and mean not paying for lunch.”

    And if you do hear a “no,” don’t let the conversation die. Ask if you can revisit the discussion in a few months. “Have them provide you with an outline of what you could do to reflect getting a raise at that time,” Jacinto adds. And when the time does come to have the raise conversation again, it’s important to implement Jacinto’s tips from the start. Set up the meeting in the right way. Prepare a new set of talking points that reflects all the other great things you’ve done in the time since your last conversation. Get that raise, girl.

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

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    We're less than two weeks away from 2019, and if your holiday schedule looks anything like ours, it'll be here faster than you can say "Happy New Year!" Between the parties, dinners and overall merriment between now and January 1, there isn't always time to worry about a New Year's Eve dress — let alone wade through a jam-packed mall during end-of-year sales. But since putting it off until the last minute never gets you a look worth showing off, we're bringing the best options to you.

    While there are plenty of worthy options out there, we know which one we'll fall back on: dresses. Mini ones, sequin ones, velvet ones — or maybe a mix of all three. But with thousands of party dresses on the market and only so much time to spend shopping for one, you'll never find yours without some help. With that, we scoured the web and picked out 18 party dresses that are sure to impress this NYE.

    So whether you're heading to a low-key affair or have a whole extravaganza planned to ring in the new year, your perfect New Year's Eve dress is somewhere in the mix ahead.

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