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Refinery29

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    The weekend is finally here. You can breathe out a sigh of relief — you've earned it. But haven't you also earned the ability to lounge around and watch Netflix in something other than the high school sports T-shirt you've been wearing for a decade?

    Think about it: You've started to embrace adulting in so many other areas of your life — doing your dishes instead of letting them sit for five to seven days, doing your own taxes, etc. — so why should your pajamas fall to the wayside? You work like an adult, you deserve to relax like an adult too. And a nice set of silk pajamas is the perfect place to start.

    Sure, they don't come cheap, but these pieces double as street-clothes too, so you're really getting double the wear for your money. And honestly, what's more grown-up than wearing fancy PJs to work? Click on to step into what adulthood really feels like. Hint: it's silky soft.

    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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    Democratic Sen. Heidi HeitkampPhoto: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call.

    One of the issues North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp fought to address during her time in Congress was the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women in the United States. Her legislation, Savanna's Act, would improve federal response to the crisis and provide support to tribes, without requiring additional federal funding. The bill passed unanimously in the Senate in November, but was stalled and allowed to expire by retiring Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, as his swan song before leaving Congress.

    After losing her re-election bid, Heitkamp won't be back in the Senate when the 116th Congress comes into session in January. But it looks like one of her final acts as senator was to make sure a colleague will carry on her mission to help Indigenous peoples. HuffPo reports that Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski plans to resurrect Savanna's Act and push for it to be passed. "I’ve committed to Sen. Heitkamp that this priority that she has helped to advance, I am going to encourage every step of the way, aggressively and early,” Murkowski told reporters, according to audio obtained by HuffPo. “I’m looking for partners. I’ve already talked to Sen. [Maria] Cantwell, she’s willing to join up with me.”

    The legislation is named after Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a 22-year-old woman and member of the Spirit Lake tribe who was kidnapped and brutally murdered in Fargo, ND last year. She was eight months pregnant at the time of her death. The case is part of a broader crisis of violence against Indigenous women, which is not discussed enough. About 84% of Native women report experiencing violence in their lifetime — including 56% of women who've faced sexual violence and 55% who've been victims of intimate partner violence. In some counties, Indigenous women are also killed at 10 times the national average.

    At its core, the bill improves communication between between federal, state, local and tribal officials. Some of its requirements would be to strengthen data collection on violence against Native women and require these stats are reported to Congress; improve tribes' access to databases containing information about federal crimes; and create standardized protocols for responding to cases of missing and murdered Indigenous peoples.

    Heitkamp's goal was for the federal government to develop a better response to the crisis of violence against Indigenous women. In a statement provided to Refinery29, she praised Murkowski for committing to reintroducing Savanna's Act. “We have made great strides over the past several years to stand up for Native American families and children and protect them from violence. I know Sen. Murkowski and many others in the new Congress will continue to carry on this important mantle and I’ll continue to be a vocal advocate," she said. "We need to stand up and fight injustice to make real change — that’s what I’ve been working to do to stop the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and I know we can soon get Savanna’s Act across the finish line."

    This story was originally published at 11:04 a.m. It has since been updated with comment from Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.

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    Whether you actually follow through on your promises to read more books and get more sleep in the new year or leave your New Year's resolution behind by mid-March, let's be real: Setting a goal you could reasonably complete in the next 12 months is daunting enough, before you even start trying to attain it. If you're thinking about setting a resolution for 2019 but don't know where to start, might we suggest consulting your astrology sign?

    This is not to suggest that every single Gemini should start next year with the exact same game plan, but it is likely that most Geminis will feel the celestial events of 2019 in roughly the same areas of their lives — so wouldn't it be nice if you could plan for those effects accordingly, say, through your New Year's resolution?

    Here, we're making our resolution recommendations for every sign in the Zodiac, based roughly on what the stars hold in store for you in 2019. And no, we aren't going to make anyone start a bullet journal

    Aries
    Practice patience

    The year will start off with Mars, the planet of action as well as your ruling planet, camped in out in your sign. In other words, you're starting 2019 with a powerful jetpack strapped to your back — live it up and chase your passions while you can, because soon enough the red planet will move along into steady-as-she-goes Taurus. And that's when your resolution should kick into gear, Ram. Be patient, don't push, and give others room to do their thing. It'll take some focused breathing on your part, but your relationships will be better for it.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Taurus
    Be bold

    We would never tell you to abandon your precious routine, Taurus, but in 2019, we may gently encourage you to mix things up and even give into your impulses a little more often. Uranus, the planet of innovation and revolution, will move back into your sign after a brief stay in Aries in early March and with that movement will come some inevitable shakeups. Since your sign is hosting this rebellious planet (and isn't a fan of huge changes on top of that), you'll be especially well-served to think creatively, move swiftly, and, most importantly, act confidently.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Gemini
    Think practically

    Level-headed, thy name is — Gemini? Hear us out, Gem. Your ever-churning thoughts and dynamic social skills are why we love you, but can you think of a time when you would have benefitted from staying the course a little more? This coming year, with Neptune messing with your career sector and Mercury's regularly scheduled retrogrades up to their old tricks, you'll likely encounter a few such scenarios. So, to prepare for those moments, practice training your attention on one thing at a time — and not shifting gears when the going gets dull but the task remains incomplete.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Cancer
    Learn to adapt

    Your ruling planet, the moon, will undergo two eclipses in 2019, Cancer, and if you recall the eclipse season of 2018, you already know that these celestial events bring sudden shifts and just-below-the-surface changes to everyone's lives. That kind of rapid activity can be enough to send any Crab into their shell to stay, but this year, your challenge is not only to meet these eclipses head-on but to embrace whatever effects come along with them.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Leo
    Find solutions in your frustrations

    It's in your nature to defend your pride, Leo — and you tend to receive unexpected changes as threats to your very way of life. Where we might tell another sign to go with the flow in the face of the five change-bringing eclipses headed our way in 2019, we know that won't cut it with you. Instead, we'll suggest you learn how to channel your desire to bear down and resist anything less than the best toward something a little more productive — say, taking a new path to get to that ideal state.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Virgo
    Seek contentedness

    For many Virgos, learning to find peace in the way things are is actually a bigger undertaking than having to execute every single gargantuan task on the to-do list of their dreams. But, it wouldn't be a Virgo-style resolution if it wasn't a challenge. Your sign is usually in a constant state of improvement and revision — what would it be like to spend a whole year not sweating the details? You don't have to stop working at your regular speed or get sloppy with your projects, but accepting that you can only push so much and check for mistakes so many times may allow you to actually enjoy the moment.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Libra
    Establish stability

    Okay, this is a consistent Libran goal — to find a perfect sense of symmetry and balance — but you actually stand a decent chance of reaching it in 2019. This coming year, the heavens will urge you to cultivate a greater sense of security in your home, love, and working life. And that all starts with you making sure you aren't spending too much of your time or resources on any one thing. Your sign is represented by the Scales for a reason, Libra. If you resolve to step back and reframe your priorities, you can find equilibrium.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Scorpio
    Use your words

    You're already a strategic thinker, Scorp, but we're willing to bet that your savvy point of view doesn't quite make its way into your communication skills. This isn't to say that you're lacking charisma — rather, your sign is famously tight-lipped, even when speaking up could serve you well. In the new year, try putting your desires, plans, and goals into words, either in conversations with your closest confidantes or in a mantra you tell yourself every morning. Either way, hearing your innermost ambitions in real time and at full volume could bring them to life — and prompt you to fight harder for them.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Sagittarius
    Keep your energy up

    Jupiter's in your sign and all you'll want to do is go, go, go, dear Archer. Sags don't like to think that they're susceptible to burnout, but for all your superhuman qualities (humor, curiosity, and optimism leap to mind), you still need to make sure you're fueling your inner fire. So, your resolution for 2019 is very simple: Make sure your body can keep up with your mind — and vice versa. Rest, relax, and check in with yourself regularly to make sure your needs are met, before flitting off to your next adventure.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Capricorn
    Chase your ambitions

    Most driven Goats don't need anyone to tell them to go after their goals, but with Saturn posted up in your sign, urging you to secure your reputation and longevity, and with no Mars retrograde to speak of in 2019, the comsos is all but shouting at you to pursue your loftiest ambitions. Of course, that might not mean doing anything too dramatic, but simply taking the first few steps that will eventually take you down a whole new path. The point is, Cap, to spend this year defining and creating your own personal sort of success.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Aquarius
    Get out of your own head

    Water Bearers tend to think that they're of the people, but they can get so wrapped up in trying to better the state of humanity as a whole that they overlook what's going on with the specific people around them. This year won't ask you to abandon your pet causes, but it will encourage you to turn your observation skills up to 11 and do more listening and watching than you may be used to. We'd never want to see you lose your rallying spirit, Aquarius. And besides, looking beyond your own thoughts and work could open you up to more like-minded people who can save the world right alongside you.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Pisces
    Resist the rut

    Being born under this dreamy water sign means you seek comfort and safety wherever you go. But, given the relatively laid back year ahead of you (celestially speaking, anyway), that mode of living may get a little boring before the next 12 months are up. You don't have to take the opposite approach and spend 2019 living on the razor's edge, but you should seek variety and newness as often as you can. If there's one area of your life the stars will highlight this year, its your communication and information sector — and what better way to learn something new and connect with new people than to break free from your everyday routine?

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

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    Ivanka's schedule has not been made public, so each week, we will do our best to cover the public events and forums she attends, the meetings she has with lawmakers and government officials, and her social media presence.

    After a big week in Washington, which included the passing of the biggest overhaul to the criminal justice system in decades, Ivanka laid low for the holiday. But not so low that the Daily Mail couldn't find her at Mar-a-Lago.

    Tuesday, December 25

    • On Christmas Day, paparazzi spotted Ivanka and Jared walking hand-in-hand at Mar-a-Lago, the Trump family estate in Palm Beach. As the government shutdown continued, she was seen strolling in a visor hat and sundress. Jared and Ivanka "made no attempt to keep a low profile," reported the Daily Mail. She was also seen out for a jog on Christmas morning. Donald Jr. and his five kids, their own three kids, as well as Barron Trump, reportedly joined Jared and Ivanka in Florida.

    Wednesday, December 26

    • Predictably, Jared and Ivanka were slammed on social media for brazenly vacationing in Mar-a-Lago as government workers lost pay due to the shutdown — the two are federal employees and all. "Nepotism is so much fun!" said one Twitter user. "Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner traveling during the Trump shutdown means Secret Service agents who are not currently receiving paychecks missed Christmas with their families so they could escort wealthy nepotists with no conception of public service," tweeted Walter Shaub, the former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, who had resigned in protest. President Trump continues to refuse to authorize funding for the federal government until Congress caves to his demand for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

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    If you follow Kim Kardashian West on any form of social media, you know that her daughter North West is obsessed with makeup. From role-playing as her mom's makeup artist to sweeping powder on mannequin heads, there's nary a weekend that goes by where we don't see five-year-old North puttering around with some new KKW Beauty product in hand.

    As Kardashian West told Refinery29 earlier this month, "I already know North is into makeup for sure. She had friends over this weekend and some of her girlfriends came and they were just all in her room, giving themselves makeovers."

    But where there are kids and makeup there will also be mommy shamers — and they came for Kardashian West this week when she uploaded pictures from the family's Christmas party featuring five-year-old North in bright red lipstick. "Nice pic but why does your baby girl have on lipstick?" one wrote. Another said, "Make up on a little girl..why tho?"

    View this post on Instagram

    Merry Christmas 🎄

    A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

    While those criticisms flooded in, Kardashian West tackled the controversy head on, explaining that North picked out the shade herself. "She picked it though! It’s a special occasion!" Kardashian West wrote on Twitter.

    She then hinted that the color may actually be from an upcoming makeup launch, which would make North KKW Beauty's youngest celeb ambassador.

    While Kardashian West's stance on her daughter wearing makeup certainly differs from some, she did tell us that North has her own set of makeup rules she has to follow. "I don't think she should wear lashes or too dark of a lipstick," Kardashian West says. "I want her to express herself, but I want her to be appropriate, too."

    To Kardashian West, that red lip wasn't too dark or inappropriate at all, but rather a fitting red for a Christmas Eve party — not to mention, head-to-toe Prada.

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    It's T-minus 4 days until the end of the year, which means it's officially time to sit back and reflect on the joy and chaos that was 2018 — including this morning's Instagram feed scare.

    And what better way is there than by looking and posting your most popular Instagram posts of the year? Rather than sifting through your grid and manually choosing highlights to post, you can use the Top Nine app to create a collage of your nine most-liked photos of the year that you've been seeing all over your feed from your friends. Because if it's not on your Insta grid, did it really happen?

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

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

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

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

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    Remember when Selena Gomez arrived at the 2017 American Music Awards with a brand new platinum blonde bob? In a matter of hours, the superstar had traded in her signature, deep brunette color for a shade of rooty, icy white that was eventually dubbed "Nirvana blonde." Twitter was clogged with tweets and your local salon's phone was blowing up because, suddenly, everyone wanted to bleach their hair — and expected to do so overnight. Turns out, going that blonde isn't as simple as it seems.

    Still, we get the misconception. With stars like Gomez, Khloé Kardashian, Solange, Zoë Kravitz, Miley Cyrus, Hilary Duff, Lucy Liu, Leighton Meester, Karlie Kloss, and Lady Gaga hopping from dark to blonde quicker than you can blink an eye, it seems that the process is a lot easier than it looks. Of course, if you've ever followed in their footsteps, you know that it definitely is not. It requires hours in a salon chair, hundreds of dollars, bottles of purple shampoo, and getting used to seeing strands of broken hair coating your floors on a regular basis.

    In reality, Gomez's new platinum bob took nine hours to complete. Celebrity hairstylists Riawna Capri and Nikki Lee from Nine Zero One salon revealed on Instagram that the singer's stellar new color was the result of a painstakingly-long process — and, celebrity or not, you should expect the same when looking for similar results. Still, that shouldn't deter you. If you have the itch to go platinum (we’re talking Ansel-Elgort -courtside-at-a-Knicks-game platinum), then go for it. Sure, it's a lot of work, but there's a reason why so many people love the experience — if only for a few months.

    We consulted Hollywood hair color experts — Kristin Ess, Aura Friedman, and Rita Hazan — to find out everything the average person needs to know before going platinum. Their insider tips, ahead.

    Is there anyone who shouldn't go platinum?
    The best thing to keep in mind is your hair type and texture. If you have naturally dry or fragile hair, or if you've chemically treated your strands with perms or relaxers, then forcing it to cook underneath bleach and heat will most likely contribute to fast damage, says Hazan. If your hair is healthy and not prone to breakage, then find a good colorist (this isn’t something you’ll want to buy off Groupon or do at home) and book a consultation to discuss your expectations and the most realistic results, then go home and sleep on it before jumping in.

    Will I feel different with platinum hair?
    Going blonde — any blonde — is a big life change. Roxie Darling, NYC hair colorist, put it best: “Dramatically changing your color is life-changing. As a platinum blonde, you become a beacon. People's eyes are drawn to light, so you can expect people to be more attracted to you."

    How many rounds of bleach will it take to get platinum hair?
    There are several ways to take someone platinum, so the consult is key. Some colorists, like Friedman, prefer to take most clients platinum in one round of bleach. (That means the peroxide mix won’t touch the same piece of hair more than once.) If your hair has naturally red or orange undertones, a colorist might paint your hair over two to three appointments to lift the color evenly. And others, like Ess, prefer micro-highlighting the hair in a longer, more precise process to avoid flat results.

    Still, how your colorist bleaches your hair depends on a few variables, like the volume developer, the bleaching agents, how thick or fine your hair is, and whether or not they use a bond-strengthening product, like Olaplex (but more on that later). All of this will ultimately gauge how long the bleach stays on your hair, how many rounds of bleach you'll need, and how many appointments it could take.

    My hair isn’t the silvery platinum I want. Why?
    Everyone’s hair is different, which means you won’t know how well your hair color will lift until you get the bleach on it. If you leave the salon after the first appointment and aren’t Daenerys-Targaryen white yet, then your colorist will likely recommend you come back in about a month (no sooner to avoid damage) for another round of bleaching. “This will require much less processing than the first time," says Ess. "But don’t go more than four weeks before your second appointment in order to avoid getting yellow-y, blonde bands. If the root gets too long you run the risk of inconsistent processing.”

    Photo: SAV/GC Images.

    Will my hair break?
    Yes, chances are good you will have at least a little breakage. Ess always tells her clients to be prepared for some, but hope for minimal damage. "I just like to be realistic and it’s always a great surprise if there’s no breakage when you’re done," she explains. "When you’re trying to get that much pigment out of the hair, typically you can expect at least a little, no matter how much bond-building or pre-deep conditioning you do to prep the hair.”

    I keep hearing about Olaplex — what is it and do I need it?
    The more you bleach your hair, the more the hair’s protein bonds break down. If you hear the name Olaplex it’s probably your colorist referring to Olaplex’s in-salon system that, essentially, glues broken protein bonds back together to make the bleaching process a bit safer on the hair shaft.

    However, not every colorists uses Olaplex or its many bond-repairing alternatives. The use of Olaplex No. 1 can slow down the cooking process of the bleach, potentially leaving you in the chair a lot longer or affecting your final color. But ask if it's something you're interested in trying.

    Will my colorist tone my hair?
    Yes, toner manipulates the color of the blonde to suit your skin tone and hair texture. It’s also the portion of the coloring process that could include a gloss (tinted or clear) to enhance shine or create a smudged, shadow root to soften the overall look.

    How long will it take to bleach my hair?
    Your coloring appointment will definitely vary on how quickly your natural color lifts underneath the bleach, the condition of your hair, and whether or not it’s bleached already. A color appointment, from root touch-up to a full process, could take anywhere between two to ten hours — or more.

    Photo: Mireya Acierto/Getty Images.

    How often should I book a root touch-up appointment after I go platinum?
    “Book an appointment with your colorist every five to seven weeks, depending on how fast your hair grows," says Friedman. "Coming too soon or too late can result in overlapping and breakage.” However, if your hair grows fast or slow, this could take you to four or eight weeks — timing your appointments will have a slight learning curve.

    Should I wash my hair before my appointment?
    No, but check with your colorist for exact timing — some prefer a client shampoos 24 hours before and others say up to 72 or more. However, as a rule of thumb, avoid washing your hair for a day or so before a color appointment. This allows your hair's natural oils to build up on the scalp, which helps create a barrier to protect your skin from the bleach.

    Does the bleach burn as bad as people say?
    Depending on your scalp's sensitivity and the last time you shampooed your hair, it's possible for the bleach to burn pretty bad — or feel fine. Some say it's unbearable and some say it's no biggie, so communicate with your colorist and prepare for at least a little stinging.

    How soon can I wash my hair after bleaching it?
    Wait between three to seven days, at least, so the natural oils on the scalp will build up, protecting it from going brittle and drying out.

    Photo: Bauer-Griffin/GC Images.

    Can I use Olaplex at home?
    Yes, you can buy Olaplex No. 3 for at-home use. Essentially, it's the retail-friendly version of the in-salon formula. It rebuilds broken bonds and protects hair from future damage prior to the next color appointment. Want to go a step further? Olaplex now makes its own shampoo and conditioner. If you're not looking to splurge on Olaplex, there are alternative, bond-rebuilding systems you can use at home.

    Should I be using a weekly hair mask?
    Yes, in fact, Friedman even suggests swapping out your regular conditioner altogether for a deep conditioning mask instead. “A mask is going to be much more concentrated and nourishing," she explains. "Clients only need a small amount of this instead of a handful of regular conditioner. Leave on for at least five minutes after cleansing the hair, or hang out with it for a few hours at home for extra conditioning." Here are some of our favorite hair masks for every budget.

    What other hair product swaps will I need to make?
    First things first: Get a purple shampoo. If you notice your hair turning a little orange or red, wash it with a tinted shampoo or hair mask to instantly correct the brassy color. Friedman also suggests using a cleansing milk instead of shampoo after your first platinum appointment. “A detergent- and sulfate-free product will clean hair of any excess dirt, oil, and product without leaving it overly stripped and dry like normal shampoo does,” she explains. “Make sure to distribute this product evenly over the scalp as it does not produce as many suds as a regular shampoo.” Friedman also says to keep in mind how you wash your hair. For example, use the palm of your hands instead of your fingertips to gently massage the scalp.

    Are there other products I can swap into my routine that will reduce frizz and breakage?
    You'll need a comb or brush that won't tug while detangling since hair is most prone to breakage when wet. Regular bath towels can cause frizz, so Friedman suggests using a microfiber hair towel, like the Aquis Hair Towel — or just use an old, soft T-shirt. “It’s important not to scrub or be aggressive with towel drying, as this will cause breakage," she explains.

    Photo: Robert Kamau/GC Images.

    How long can I realistically keep my platinum hair without risking permanent damage?
    “Realistically, you can stay platinum for a year,” Hazan says. Going platinum long-term is never a good idea because it can be very damaging. Hazan suggests if you are going to stay platinum for years, consider keeping your hair regularly trimmed into a shorter style to avoid excessive breakage.

    How do you I know if it’s time to cut my losses?
    If you’ve been bleaching your hair for years, you might notice strands appearing translucent — this means the shaft is weakened and dangerously close to breaking off. Got a lot of those? It’s time to call your colorist for a color overhaul.

    I’m ready to quit a life of platinum hair — now what?
    Good news: It’s much easier to go darker than it is to go lighter. However, it will take a few sessions. Why? Continuous bleaching causes the hair to become extremely porous and lack moisture retention, that’s why anyone who dyes their hair with demi-permanent glosses, like pink, purple, or blue, will have to visit their colorist for frequent touch-ups. In short, the hair shaft is so bloated it doesn’t hold moisture or color all that well. Because of this, Hazan recommends using a semi-permanent dye to cover platinum because it’s much less harsh on hair that’s already in such a fragile state and it tends to last longer on bleached hair.

    Photo: Marc Piasecki/GC Images.

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    Cutting and growing your hair is a never-ending task — albeit a fun one. One day you're loving the idea of a short bob, maybe because it's the look du jour in Hollywood, so you bask in all your short-haired happiness for a few months only to randomly look in the mirror one day and miss your old cut. What comes next — the decision to grow out your strands — is often referred to as the "awkward phase," when your hair is hard to style and far from the length you're after.

    It's also the point where you might revert back to a short cut as your patience runs thin. But if you're going strong, and still growing out your hair, there are a handful of mid-length styles that make the hump easy (and stylish) to get over. To help you out of your style rut, we rounded up some of our favorite looks for mid-length strands, ahead.

    Margot Robbie, one of our forever hair crushes, makes half-up hair look instantly more chic by accessorizing with a velvet ribbon.

    Pressed on time? A chic bun will save the day. Getting your hair into a top knot might be a struggle at this length, but a low one (as seen on Tessa Thompson) is simple to achieve.

    If you want to keep the front layers of your hair out of your face, pull them back into teeny cornrows like Lacy Redway did on Tamera Mowry. You can add metallic clips or accessories to your strands to dress up your look for special occasions, too.

    When we think of double buns, we typically think of the space bun look, but this is like its older, more sophisticated sibling. All you need to do is roll your hair into two vertical knots and secure. (Bonus points for the chic hair pins.)

    You can't go wrong with flat iron waves — especially on mid-length strands. Vernon François created sexy bends in Laura Harrier's hair, which is a simple way to style a grown out bob.

    Ponytails don't have to be long and cascading down your back to be cute. You can tie your blunt strands into a slick center-parted tail that'll turn heads — in the best way.

    Wearing your hair down may be routine for some, but it can also feel boring at times. You can switch up shoulder-length hair by adding braids into the mix. This crown braid is as simple as pinning up two plaits and leaving a few loose pieces of hair out to frame your face.

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    This Nigerian Wedding Is Filled With Dancing & LOTS Of Food

    No request is too big and no intricate detail is too small when it comes to the "Big Day." But why do we get married the way we do? World Wide Wed explores the customs and traditions that define weddings around the globe — and shows how today's multi-cultural couples are making their ceremonies uniquely their own.

    At any wedding — but especially a Nigerian wedding — it should always be about the happy couple, the dancing, and the food. At least, according to Ruth and Ayo Afolabi. "The last thing you want people to be saying about your wedding is one, they were hungry, and two the food wasn't good," Ayo says. "That's like social suicide."

    The British-Nigerian couple combined traditions from their Yoruba and Igbo roots and celebrated with a colorful, dance-filled evening. "In Nigerian culture marriage is seen as such a big thing," Ruth says, "and even though I say I'm not that traditional, that aspect of our culture is something I really appreciated." Watch their magical night unfold in the video above.

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    The weekend is finally here. You can breathe out a sigh of relief — you've earned it. But haven't you also earned the ability to lounge around and watch Netflix in something other than the high school sports T-shirt you've been wearing for a decade?

    Think about it: You've started to embrace adulting in so many other areas of your life — doing your dishes instead of letting them sit for five to seven days, doing your own taxes, etc. — so why should your pajamas fall to the wayside? You work like an adult, you deserve to relax like an adult too. And a nice set of silk pajamas is the perfect place to start.

    Sure, they don't come cheap, but these pieces double as street-clothes too, so you're really getting double the wear for your money. And honestly, what's more grown-up than wearing fancy PJs to work? Click on to step into what adulthood really feels like. Hint: it's silky soft.

    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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    Democratic Sen. Heidi HeitkampPhoto: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call.

    One of the issues North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp fought to address during her time in Congress was the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women in the United States. Her legislation, Savanna's Act, would improve federal response to the crisis and provide support to tribes, without requiring additional federal funding. The bill passed unanimously in the Senate in November, but was stalled and allowed to expire by retiring Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, as his swan song before leaving Congress.

    After losing her re-election bid, Heitkamp won't be back in the Senate when the 116th Congress comes into session in January. But it looks like one of her final acts as senator was to make sure a colleague will carry on her mission to help Indigenous peoples. HuffPo reports that Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski plans to resurrect Savanna's Act and push for it to be passed. "I’ve committed to Sen. Heitkamp that this priority that she has helped to advance, I am going to encourage every step of the way, aggressively and early,” Murkowski told reporters, according to audio obtained by HuffPo. “I’m looking for partners. I’ve already talked to Sen. [Maria] Cantwell, she’s willing to join up with me.”

    The legislation is named after Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a 22-year-old woman and member of the Spirit Lake tribe who was kidnapped and brutally murdered in Fargo, ND last year. She was eight months pregnant at the time of her death. The case is part of a broader crisis of violence against Indigenous women, which is not discussed enough. About 84% of Native women report experiencing violence in their lifetime — including 56% of women who've faced sexual violence and 55% who've been victims of intimate partner violence. In some counties, Indigenous women are also killed at 10 times the national average.

    At its core, the bill improves communication between between federal, state, local and tribal officials. Some of its requirements would be to strengthen data collection on violence against Native women and require these stats are reported to Congress; improve tribes' access to databases containing information about federal crimes; and create standardized protocols for responding to cases of missing and murdered Indigenous peoples.

    Heitkamp's goal was for the federal government to develop a better response to the crisis of violence against Indigenous women. In a statement provided to Refinery29, she praised Murkowski for committing to reintroducing Savanna's Act. “We have made great strides over the past several years to stand up for Native American families and children and protect them from violence. I know Sen. Murkowski and many others in the new Congress will continue to carry on this important mantle and I’ll continue to be a vocal advocate," she said. "We need to stand up and fight injustice to make real change — that’s what I’ve been working to do to stop the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and I know we can soon get Savanna’s Act across the finish line."

    This story was originally published at 11:04 a.m. It has since been updated with comment from Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.

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    When the earliest-known New Year's Eve celebrations went down in 2000 B.C.E., the Mesopotamians probably weren't spending the days leading up to the party worried about the falsies that could last through sticky showers from popped Champagne bottles (which, frankly, no one likes, by the way) or exactly what kind of updo they'd spin into a fancy hair clip. But in this day and age, what you wear seems almost as important as who you'll be kissing when the clock strikes midnight... if not more.

    The good news is you've got most of your NYE to-do list crossed off: You ordered the dress, you booked the blowout, and you've scheduled the pre-party manicure. But what about your makeup? Lucky for you, we took all the fuss out of shopping around for a glittery lid or festive cat-eye, and rounded up the only inspiration you'll need to get the night started. Even better, we asked some pros — A-list makeup artists Mario Dedivanovic, Violette, and Nam Vo — for their party makeup advice.

    Ahead, everything you need to know to have the coolest look on New Year's Eve.

    Ultra violet might have been the 2017 color of the year, but it's still one of our favorite shadow shades for a party. Pairing it with draped blush, heavy black eyeliner, and a glossy nude lip sounds like too much, but clearly it's just right.

    Swap out your lacquered eyeliner for one that dries matte, then add a drop of glitter on the inner corners to brighten up an otherwise moody look.

    Remember when fashion week tried to make thumbprint eyeliner happen? Well, it never really went away — just into hibernation. Luckily, it's back out for a revival, and might be even more challenging than Collins' cat-eye. But just think of all the Instagram likes you'll get with a look like this...

    Lily Collins ' eye makeup inspires us 365 days a year, but this split cat-eye shook us to our very core. Not for the winged-liner beginners, this precise, negative-space flick is sure to rake in the compliments all night long. Prepare for a lot of, "How the hell did you do that?"

    Our New Year's resolution: Stop being afraid of silver eyeshadow. Copy Gigi Hadid's look (created by makeup artist Patrick Ta) to pull up to the party frosted from head to toe. Add an all-white ensemble to the mix, and you'll be the center of the spotlight.

    A precise eye like this is so bold that it almost requires no other makeup to master. Just sweep some mascara through your lashes, a clear gel through your brows, et voilà — you're beating your Uber to the pick-up point.

    Vowing to play with more color this year? Smudge an iridescent purple shadow all over your lid before softly blending out the edges with a dense, tapered brush to create the effect of a smoked-out (but bright!) cat-eye.

    Putting time into skin prep is crucial before picking out what foundation or lipstick you want to wear. Dedivanovic tells us that he always masks, cleanses, and tones clients before getting someone like Kim Kardashian West ready for a big night.

    This New Year's Eve does fall on a Monday, so if you have to run from work straight to the party, Dedivanovic says it's okay to apply fresh makeup to whatever you already have on. If you can't avoid it, he recommends packing a setting mist with you that also doubles as a hydrating refresher on top of makeup.

    If you're one of the brave types that's willing to go into uncharted makeup territory, we suggest trying Violette's retro floating crease using the boldest blues in Estée Lauder's La Dangereuse Eyeshadow Palette.

    Not prepared to play with a whole palette of shadows and fussy brushes? Violette says that if you're not usually experimental with makeup, there's nothing wrong with sticking to what you know. Consider this simple, moody blue lid your party go-to.

    Red monochromatic makeup doesn't work all the time, but New Year's Eve is the exception — even if you're not Margot Robbie. Find a cream-based product that works for the eyes, cheeks, and lips, and it'll go off without a hitch.

    Vo says her all-time favorite party look is an intense smoky eye covered in the richest black pigment. Sure, no one wants eye gloss to drip down their face before the ball even drops, but sometimes we make sacrifices for a look. At the very least, it'll make for one night you'll never forget.

    But a classic matte smoky eye works, too. Diffuse a wash of purple shadow in your crease to soften up an otherwise harsh look.

    A layered cat-eye that mixes two textures is hard to ignore. Try the two-toned look for yourself and tap some gold shadow on the inner corners for extra sparkle.

    Intense eyeliner — coating almost the entire perimeter of your eye, like Amandla Stenberg's — lets everyone know you did not come to play in 2019.

    Would it even be New Year's Eve without confetti glitter? We didn't think so.

    If you know what you want your eye makeup to look like, but aren't quite sure which color palette to choose, use your outfit as inspiration. Follow Jessica William' lead and match your shimmery shadow to your sparkly dress (and your metallic La Croix can).

    Take the biggest risk of all and pair your emerald eyes with bleached brows. Sure, it'll take a bit longer to get ready, but the shocking results will be so worth it.

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    Whether you actually follow through on your promises to read more books and get more sleep in the new year or leave your New Year's resolution behind by mid-March, let's be real: Setting a goal you could reasonably complete in the next 12 months is daunting enough, before you even start trying to attain it. If you're thinking about setting a resolution for 2019 but don't know where to start, might we suggest consulting your astrology sign?

    This is not to suggest that every single Gemini should start next year with the exact same game plan, but it is likely that most Geminis will feel the celestial events of 2019 in roughly the same areas of their lives — so wouldn't it be nice if you could plan for those effects accordingly, say, through your New Year's resolution?

    Here, we're making our resolution recommendations for every sign in the Zodiac, based roughly on what the stars hold in store for you in 2019. And no, we aren't going to make anyone start a bullet journal

    Aries
    Practice patience

    The year will start off with Mars, the planet of action as well as your ruling planet, camped in out in your sign. In other words, you're starting 2019 with a powerful jetpack strapped to your back — live it up and chase your passions while you can, because soon enough the red planet will move along into steady-as-she-goes Taurus. And that's when your resolution should kick into gear, Ram. Be patient, don't push, and give others room to do their thing. It'll take some focused breathing on your part, but your relationships will be better for it.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Taurus
    Be bold

    We would never tell you to abandon your precious routine, Taurus, but in 2019, we may gently encourage you to mix things up and even give into your impulses a little more often. Uranus, the planet of innovation and revolution, will move back into your sign after a brief stay in Aries in early March and with that movement will come some inevitable shakeups. Since your sign is hosting this rebellious planet (and isn't a fan of huge changes on top of that), you'll be especially well-served to think creatively, move swiftly, and, most importantly, act confidently.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Gemini
    Think practically

    Level-headed, thy name is — Gemini? Hear us out, Gem. Your ever-churning thoughts and dynamic social skills are why we love you, but can you think of a time when you would have benefitted from staying the course a little more? This coming year, with Neptune messing with your career sector and Mercury's regularly scheduled retrogrades up to their old tricks, you'll likely encounter a few such scenarios. So, to prepare for those moments, practice training your attention on one thing at a time — and not shifting gears when the going gets dull but the task remains incomplete.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Cancer
    Learn to adapt

    Your ruling planet, the moon, will undergo two eclipses in 2019, Cancer, and if you recall the eclipse season of 2018, you already know that these celestial events bring sudden shifts and just-below-the-surface changes to everyone's lives. That kind of rapid activity can be enough to send any Crab into their shell to stay, but this year, your challenge is not only to meet these eclipses head-on but to embrace whatever effects come along with them.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Leo
    Find solutions in your frustrations

    It's in your nature to defend your pride, Leo — and you tend to receive unexpected changes as threats to your very way of life. Where we might tell another sign to go with the flow in the face of the five change-bringing eclipses headed our way in 2019, we know that won't cut it with you. Instead, we'll suggest you learn how to channel your desire to bear down and resist anything less than the best toward something a little more productive — say, taking a new path to get to that ideal state.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Virgo
    Seek contentedness

    For many Virgos, learning to find peace in the way things are is actually a bigger undertaking than having to execute every single gargantuan task on the to-do list of their dreams. But, it wouldn't be a Virgo-style resolution if it wasn't a challenge. Your sign is usually in a constant state of improvement and revision — what would it be like to spend a whole year not sweating the details? You don't have to stop working at your regular speed or get sloppy with your projects, but accepting that you can only push so much and check for mistakes so many times may allow you to actually enjoy the moment.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Libra
    Establish stability

    Okay, this is a consistent Libran goal — to find a perfect sense of symmetry and balance — but you actually stand a decent chance of reaching it in 2019. This coming year, the heavens will urge you to cultivate a greater sense of security in your home, love, and working life. And that all starts with you making sure you aren't spending too much of your time or resources on any one thing. Your sign is represented by the Scales for a reason, Libra. If you resolve to step back and reframe your priorities, you can find equilibrium.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Scorpio
    Use your words

    You're already a strategic thinker, Scorp, but we're willing to bet that your savvy point of view doesn't quite make its way into your communication skills. This isn't to say that you're lacking charisma — rather, your sign is famously tight-lipped, even when speaking up could serve you well. In the new year, try putting your desires, plans, and goals into words, either in conversations with your closest confidantes or in a mantra you tell yourself every morning. Either way, hearing your innermost ambitions in real time and at full volume could bring them to life — and prompt you to fight harder for them.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Sagittarius
    Keep your energy up

    Jupiter's in your sign and all you'll want to do is go, go, go, dear Archer. Sags don't like to think that they're susceptible to burnout, but for all your superhuman qualities (humor, curiosity, and optimism leap to mind), you still need to make sure you're fueling your inner fire. So, your resolution for 2019 is very simple: Make sure your body can keep up with your mind — and vice versa. Rest, relax, and check in with yourself regularly to make sure your needs are met, before flitting off to your next adventure.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Capricorn
    Chase your ambitions

    Most driven Goats don't need anyone to tell them to go after their goals, but with Saturn posted up in your sign, urging you to secure your reputation and longevity, and with no Mars retrograde to speak of in 2019, the comsos is all but shouting at you to pursue your loftiest ambitions. Of course, that might not mean doing anything too dramatic, but simply taking the first few steps that will eventually take you down a whole new path. The point is, Cap, to spend this year defining and creating your own personal sort of success.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Aquarius
    Get out of your own head

    Water Bearers tend to think that they're of the people, but they can get so wrapped up in trying to better the state of humanity as a whole that they overlook what's going on with the specific people around them. This year won't ask you to abandon your pet causes, but it will encourage you to turn your observation skills up to 11 and do more listening and watching than you may be used to. We'd never want to see you lose your rallying spirit, Aquarius. And besides, looking beyond your own thoughts and work could open you up to more like-minded people who can save the world right alongside you.

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

    Pisces
    Resist the rut

    Being born under this dreamy water sign means you seek comfort and safety wherever you go. But, given the relatively laid back year ahead of you (celestially speaking, anyway), that mode of living may get a little boring before the next 12 months are up. You don't have to take the opposite approach and spend 2019 living on the razor's edge, but you should seek variety and newness as often as you can. If there's one area of your life the stars will highlight this year, its your communication and information sector — and what better way to learn something new and connect with new people than to break free from your everyday routine?

    illustrated by Paola Delucca.

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    5 Days Of Practicing Gut Health At Home

    Last year, I had a cholecystectomy – gallbladder removal surgery – and if that experience opened my eyes to anything, it was just how important a healthy, well-functioning digestive system is to your overall health. So this week, I decided to take a deep dive into my gut, and explore what it takes to create a healthy environment for it.

    Turns out, the gut microbiome is that complex community of microorganisms that live inside of our digestive tracts. There are various strains of good bacteria in there that we need to make sure to feed and replenish, and there's also our gastrointestinal barrier (the GI barrier) which simultaneously lets the good guys through while blocking the harmful organisms (or pathogens) from being absorbed.

    In this episode I learn about some of the most important aspects of gut health including diet, fermented foods, lifestyle habits, and probiotics vs. prebiotics. I took a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) from 5 Days of Learning New Skills, and I finally used its starter liquid to brew a fresh batch of kombucha. I incorporated anti-inflammatory foods into my diet, exercise, and plenty of rest, discovering the habits and foods that felt better for me and my gut. Watch above to learn through my experiments.

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    At first mention, the idea of buying a fragrance strictly for the hair seems like something better suited for a high-school kid that doesn't want to get caught hanging around people who smoke cigarettes — or maybe someone with gobs of money to throw around on superfluous but good-smelling nothings. But then, an awakening: When we don't have time to shampoo, a little spritz of scent is all we need to replace any mounting grossness with that fresh, clean hair smell.

    Because these formulations were made specifically to add shine, hydration, and UV protection, and even to cut static on strands, they're not the same as just using whatever perfume you have on hand to do the job. And there's one more win that should not go unmentioned: Grabbing the hair-mist version of a favorite scent prompts all the "you smell good" comments when friends go in for a hug, but at a fraction of the cost.

    After testing more than a dozen formulations, we're officially converts. See the hair scents that helped turn us from dismissers to disciples, 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.

    On those sad, sad days in which we can't emerge from the ocean with saltwater in our hair and coconut-scented sunscreen on our skin, there's this hydrating hair fragrance. Its blend of vanilla, tuberose, and coconut — and a touch of quartz for shine — proves an excellent source of beach vibes, even when we're stuck at work.



    Pacifica Aromapower Hardcore Happy Texturizing Hair Perfume, $14, available at Ulta Beauty

    Sometimes we fantasize about being in Valentino's perfectly-manicured garden — and the orange blossom and juniper in this scent gets us there without an actual invite. This spray also adds serious shine to hair, thanks to the addition of camellia oil.



    Diptyque Eau des Sens Hair Mist, $48, available at Diptyque

    Formulated like a true eau de parfum, peach, rose, and ylang ylang are rooted with patchouli, cedar wood, and white musk in this scent. But it does quite a bit more than just smell good (and for the price, it should): The ingredients are engineered to hydrate, nix static, add shine, and even offer UV protection.



    Sachajuan Protective Hair Perfume , $72, available at Barneys New York

    How does a fragrance inspired by the dry stretch of desert between Los Angeles and Las Vegas translate into hair you can't stop sniffing all day? With fresh botanicals (magnolia, Jamaican naseberry, and violet) that push through headier amber, musk and cedar. The mist also kicks up shine, thanks to a silicon and polymer coating.



    Byredo Mojave Ghost Hair Perfume, $70, available at Nordstrom

    Nothing transports us to a spa-like state of mind like the scent of cucumber water. This face and hair mist, made with organic cucumber, smells exactly like the real thing, but thanks to a dose of hyaluronic acid, it helps hydrate skin and strands, too.



    David Mallett Fresh Eau de Concombre, $48, available at Beautyhabit

    Forget the sticker shock: Thanks to the brand's signature scent, this hair refresher had a cult following from day one. The formula was made to neutralize odor and cut static, but beyond the rather pedestrian job description, it fills our headspace with watermelon, lychee, and edelweiss flower extracts that we can't get enough of.



    Oribe Cote d'Azur Hair Refresher , $26, available at Bluemercury

    Is it possible to get stressed while breathing in the scent of homemade waffle cones at an ice cream shop? Or picking out salt-water taffy on a salty-aired boardwalk? We don't think so. This warm vanilla scent puts us right back into those places — and a carefree state of mind — before settling into a clean scent that smells like summer air.



    Fekkai Fekkai Salon Professional Crème Vanillée Hair Fragrance, $15.89, available at Target

    The scent in this shine spray may have been inspired by a Parisian sophisticate, according to the brand, but even an American girl will get comforting hits of gardenia with a little bit of sweet tea.



    Tocca Florence Hair Fragrance, $28, available at DermStore

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    We've seen our fair share of cultural low points this year. We cringed as kids dared each other to eat laundry detergent, Tristan Thompson cheated on Khloé Kardashian while she was in labor with his child, and Kanye West spewed a lot of nonsense. So yes, there were some missteps, and it's not fun to revisit them — but it's important we do, because those baffling, embarrassing, and downright insensitive controversies are destined to repeat themselves if we just brush them aside like yesterday's news.

    The beauty industry slipped up a few times in 2018, too, just as it has in years past, and we kept the receipts as lessons on what not to do come the new year. From deceptive Photoshopping schemes and virtual blackfishing, to front-page lawsuits and swatching scams, we've rounded up the worst beauty moments that went down over the past 12 months.

    Scroll through for the headlines and takeaways, and fingers crossed we'll never have to cringe at a foundation line with just three deep shades ever again.

    Brands Were Accused Of Photoshopping Foundation Swatches

    Back in August, it was uncovered that a handful of beauty brands were running a swatch scam. Refinery29 contributor Amber Rambharose reported that makeup companies were using photo-editing technologies to lighten or darken the skin of hand models in an attempt to make a particular foundation range appear more inclusive.

    In the full article, Ofunne Amaka, founder of @Cocoaswatches, an Instagram account that showcases swatches on underrepresented skin tones, speaks to why swatch deception needs to be rectified. “Swatches really become the only way someone can accurately guesstimate what shades to purchase when shopping online,” Amaka explained. “Swatches are especially important for women of color and people of color who often aren’t able to find their shades in stores.”

    Customers Called Out Foundation Launches That Didn't Hit The Diversity Standard

    In a post-Fenty world, customers have come to expect makeup brands to offer a diverse range of foundations and concealers — a shade match for every skin tone. After Rihanna set the bar at 40 foundation shades last year, the makeup buyers of America demanded that other brands step up their game to meet the new standard. In 2018, some brands failed to get the memo and launched disappointing foundation collections, seriously lacking in options to suit darker skin tones. The takeaway? Limited color ranges will receive backlash.

    Estée Lauder Companies Sued Brandon Truaxe Of Deciem

    If you have your finger anywhere near the pulse of big beauty news, you already know that it was a rough year for Deciem, the company behind cult-favorite affordable skin-care brand The Ordinary. R29 senior beauty writer Rachel Krause reported the full story on the lawsuit, breaking down why Deciem founder Brandon Truaxe was removed from his employment position following a string of bizarre and inappropriate social-media posts (which have since been removed). The litigation culminated in Estée Lauder Companies, which own a minority stake in Deciem, suing the founder out of his company.

    Photo: El Universal/ZUMA Wire.

    Social Media's Influence On Plastic-Surgery Trends Hit An All-Time High

    With countless photo-editing apps just a finger-tap away, plastic-surgery trends have evolved to mirror the results of a cheekbone-slimming, eye-lifting, forehead-smoothing FaceTune session. Inspired by the edited selfies of Instagram, millennial women are flooding doctor's offices in an effort to make their filtered faces permanent. In a recent in-depth report, Refinery29 senior beauty editor and Shady host Lexy Lebsack shows us exactly why the prevalence of plastic surgery inspired by social media is so dangerous.

    The Hidden Culture Of Body-Shaming & Harassment In Cheerleading Was Brought To Light

    All too often, shady practices carried out behind the scenes of American subcultures like cheerleading can easily go unnoticed by the news radar. This year, Lebsack took a deep dive into the world of pro cheer and shed light on the alarming misogynistic practices — like "jiggle tests," body-shaming, and institutional harassment — happening inside the NFL.

    Body-Hair Discrimination Continued

    Despite the fact that celebrities are doing the work in the spotlight to show us that body hair is nothing to be ashamed of — with cool young stars like Amandla Stenberg and Lourdes Leon stepping out on the red carpet unshaven — it's still somewhat of a thorny subject, specifically in the trans and gender-nonconforming communities.

    In September of this year, Refinery29 senior beauty writer Rachel Lubitz published an interview with performance artist and activist Alok Vaid-Menon about their experience with body-hair shamers. "People of all genders [tell] me that my body hair is ugly and that I need to shave to be more 'real' and 'beautiful,'" Vaid-Menon told R29. "Body hair has no gender! Facial hair has no gender!" That's one important message we hope to carry into 2019.

    Brands Were Charged With Deceiving Customers With Fake Sephora Reviews

    Sephora shoppers were disillusioned this year when it was brought to light that some of the site's "real customer reviews" might be fabricated. Beloved skin-care brand Sunday Riley took the heat when a former employee leaked an email to Reddit's /r/SkincareAddiction showing that employees were encouraged to register as Sephora users and write positive reviews of its products. Fans were outraged, with some even moving to boycott the brand after the deception. The outrage sparked a call for higher ethical standards moving forward, from both brands and online retailers.

    Huda Beauty Promoted Vaginal Lightening

    This past April, makeup artist and Huda Beauty founder Huda Kattan posted an article to her public blog titled "Why Your Vagina Gets Dark And How To Lighten It," which included potentially dangerous "DIY vagina lightening hacks" and blatant misinformation regarding the anatomy of the vagina — a disappointing move from an influencer that millions of people, especially young women, look to and trust. The highly-controversial post has since been removed, but not before critics called out the brand for fueling women's insecurities and upholding a toxic beauty standard.

    'Blackfishing' Was Exposed

    This November, the viral phenomenon of 'blackfishing ' — white women using makeup to pose as Black online — was brought to light. R29 contributor Precious Adesina dug into the issue, answering important questions like who's doing it, how, and why they're misrepresenting themselves, while touching upon the many reasons why it's clearly crossing a line.

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    By the evening of December 31, Mars will have moved from imaginative Pisces into headstrong Aries, setting a raucous — yet highly motivated — tone for the start of 2019.

    As anyone who's ever spoken to an Aries can probably surmise, the sign of the Ram is ruled by Mars, which is why their respective energies are so similar — Aries people get their tenacious, often hot-headed attitude from Mars, the planet of conflict and action. So, when Mars moves through Aries in real time, we're all imbued with a bit of that brazen confidence that we normally only associate with Aries. We feel bolder, braver, and, yes, most likely a little more reckless than usual. Can you think of a better sort of energy to bring into a brand new year?

    Whether you have a long list of resolutions, a clear-cut 12-month strategy, or a half-written to-do list for the next couple days, you'll feel refreshed and inspired to execute your plans with aplomb. This sign-planet pairing can make even the meekest among us eager to break out of their shell and basically, do what they want. And, while we encourage everyone to go after what they want in 2019, this overall mood obviously comes with some challenges.

    The last time Mars entered Aries, in January 2017, astrologer Nadia Gilchrist wrote that this transit doesn't just reveal how we channel our own aggression but how we receive others' aggressions, as well. If your temper is shorter than usual during this period, it's safe to assume that the same is true for those around you. It'll be difficult to ignore your impulses, but if you're about to take a risk, pause and ask yourself if the outcome of that risk could land you in hot water with someone else. If the answer is yes, proceed with caution.

    By mid-February, however, Mars will leave Aries behind for cautious, even-handed Taurus. We'll carry on with a similar sense of determination but with a whopping side of meticulousness in place of Aries' breakneck speed. In other words, let Mars in Aries jumpstart your 2019 — and sort out the details only once you've made some progress.

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    Money Diaries had a big year! We published a diary every day of the year (well, aside from the major holidays), followed up with some intriguing diarists — from a tech engineer who lives in their car in Silicon Valley to a 36-year-old former teen mom who is now the breadwinner of her household, and ran a week of Twin Diaries. Most excitingly, Lindsey Stanberry published the Money Diaries book.

    From the hilarious, to the tender, to the sometimes deeply personal, each Money Diary provides an honest and unique window into the life of an anonymous OP, through the lens of money. And yet, reading the diaries, we get a feel for the OP's life spanning far beyond her finances.

    So as we close out the year, we wanted to check back in with some of our favorite diarists of 2018. Ahead are picks from the R29 Work & Money staff and our beloved Money Diaries Facebook group, along with updates from the OPs. I mean, we don't pick favorites (we love all our OPs!), but if we had to...

    In March, we published this Money Diary of a 27-year-old associate fashion designer making $68,000 in NYC. In it, she talked about the struggle of making friends at a new job and her love of Harry Potter.

    Are you still at the same job? Has your salary changed at all?

    "Yes, and I got a cost-of-living adjustment during my mid-year review. My salary is now $69,000."

    What did you learn from writing a Money Diary?

    "I learned that it's okay to talk about money and to share your experiences, missteps, and triumphs with it. It was a very empowering experience for me, as I have always felt weird talking about my finances. I'm learning that if you never had the language or opportunity to learn how to properly use, save, and invest money, it's okay and necessary to teach yourself and ask questions."

    Any life updates since we heard from you last?

    "Yes, unfortunately I made some frivolous spending mistakes and fell behind on student loan payments, maxing out my credit cards for birthdays, experiences, and travel. Now I'm working to rebuild my savings and get back on track for the new year.

    "And I'm applying to grad school! Plus hoping to hear back about a new job, which would result in a move across the country! G. and I are still going strong, and we're hoping to move in together (or move across the country together if I get the job)."

    In April, we published this Money Diary of a 35-year-old attorney in Birmingham, AL, whose attitude many commenters connected with — from the moment her BF's dog ate his bagel to when her ex sent her a text that left her feeling sad.

    Are you still at the same job? Has your salary changed at all?

    "Yes I am. I have received a $5,000 raise since my Diary. Hoorah!"

    What did you learn from writing a Money Diary?

    "It made me more aware of daily spending, but not enough to want to change things. I lived on a teacher's salary for a long time, and it is a luxury to have a higher income. I try to be savvy about saving and paying down my student loans, but I don't feel guilty about small splurges."

    Any life updates since we heard from you last?

    "I recently moved in with my S.O., so my rent/utilities have basically been eliminated. I am using the difference for a housekeeper every other week, increased donations to charity, and paying down my loans more rapidly.

    "The only thing I have spent a significant amount of money on in the last year is a vacation this coming spring. I haven't gone on a real vacation that wasn't either a family trip or friend's bachelorette party in about eight years, and I am so, so, so excited! One of the reasons I wanted to leave teaching is because, even though we had summers off, I couldn't afford to travel and instead worked as a tutor during the summer. Freedom to travel was a big goal of mine related to my career change, and it feels good to check it off."

    In April, we published this Money Diary of law associate in Chicago, IL, making $180,000 per year. In it, she and her boyfriend go through an emotional breakup that resonated with many commenters.

    Are you still at the same job? Has your salary changed at all?

    "I'm still at the same job. However, I got a raise and now make $200,000 per year."

    What did you learn from writing a Money Diary?

    "I was surprised at how frequently I spend money. It seems like I can't go more than a couple of hours without spending at least a few bucks!

    "Reading the supportive comments from MD readers who responded to my diary gave me a real emotional boost during a tough time. I had the comments page bookmarked on my phone for a bit to check in and remind myself that a lot of ladies were in my corner."

    Any life updates since we heard from you last?

    "Since I wrote my Money Diary, I became eligible to participate in my company's 401(k). I've maxed out my contributions for the year ($18,500) and plan to do so next year as well. I increased my monthly contributions to a taxable investment account that invests in Vanguard index funds from $2,000 a month to $2,200 a month and diversified my portfolio to have a bit less exposure to the stock market.

    "I also had to unexpectedly get surgery last month. Fortunately it went well, and I'm almost fully recovered, but the bills for that have just started to trickle in, and I expect to max out my out-of-pocket health insurance cap this year, around $4,000.

    "After my breakup early in the year, I dipped a toe into the Tinder pool and met a cute cop! We've been dating for the better part of the year. I met his parents and plan to introduce him to my family in the new year. We just got back from our first vacation together — hopefully the first of many to come!"

    In July, we published the Money Diary of an archivist in Cincinnati, OH, making $53,372 and working an additional side gig. Many commenters identified with her candor about feeling jealous of other couples who can afford things like fancy vacations and new homes.

    Are you still at the same job? Has your salary changed at all?

    "Same job, same problems, same unhappiness. I received about a 2% increase in salary. I was not pleased with this 'merit increase,' nor was I impressed with my boss’s explanation for it. We discussed it, though, so at least I’m standing up for myself? And my side gig is currently on hiatus."

    What did you learn from writing a Money Diary?

    "I actually learned the most from commenters. People have wildly different interpretations of what qualifies as good savings! Several people were unsure as to why I was so focused on saving money when I already had some. Well, I’m still a long way off from being able to afford my goals of a home, new car, and eventually children. As much as I’d love to win the lottery, I’m going to have increase my savings the old-fashioned way. I still have numerous costs related to my husband’s travel for school, too, so that doesn’t help matters.

    "On a different note, people have strong opinions about me calling my husband 'husband.' As a commenter suggested, I tried calling him He Who Must Not Be Named. He just kind of stared at me."

    Any life updates since we heard from you last?

    "Unfortunately, I had an unexpected car repair that cost about $1,000 last month. (I dream about trees falling on my car and totaling it so I can get a new one...) On a happier note, I recently signed up for a few cheap flight emails. There aren’t many leaving Cincinnati, but I found one and booked a weekend getaway trip for our first wedding anniversary!

    "Should I have spent the money? Probably not. Do I regret spending it? Nope. As my husband said when I suggested it, 'I view this trip as a small investment insuring your continued (relative) sanity.' And with my cheap flight alert, I basically got two flights for the price of one!

    "Also, I’m up to 117 books read for the year and might get to 120 before it ends if I try. I also found a couple new beers I like from local breweries — Braxton Labs Cycle and Rhinegeist Calfe, if you like coffee beers! 2018 will go down in history as the year I became obsessed with Rothy’s. (Oh, and you know, got married.) Speaking of, my husband surprised me by coming home a day early last week with flowers. He reminds me that I may actively hate things about my life, but I choose a good partner to help me through it all. I’ll probably feel differently once he eats all my Christmas chocolate. No self-control, that one."

    We published two diaries from this OP this year — one in January, when she was unemployed, and another in July, when she was working as a content marketing manager in San Jose, CA.

    Are you still at the same job? Has your salary changed at all?

    "I’m no longer at the same job. I left that job in October, and I actually have two jobs now — one as a full-time Content Marketing Manager and one part-time, remote job as a Digital Marketing Manager. I work roughly 55 hours a week now, and my combined salary is about $110,000 (if I can commit to 15 hours/week for my PT role).

    What did you learn from writing a Money Diary?

    "I don’t think I learned that much, as I’m pretty obsessive when it comes to tracking my spending. However, having to record my spending every day reaffirmed that I should eat out less (ha). And I have been!"

    Any life updates since we heard from you last?

    "My new job reimburses up to $200 monthly on transportation costs, so now I pay about $70 post-tax instead of $108 for my commuter card. I ditched my monthly Curology $19.95 expense, too, for a set of six acne facials and skincare products, which have set me back about $800 so far. It’s done wonders for my skin and will last me a few more months, so it’s been worth it. I also plan to up my 401(k) contribution and savings with my new jobs.

    "My boyfriend and I (finally) plan on moving in together in the summer. There were a bunch of comments about how we can’t sleep over at each other’s parents’ homes, and it’s nice to say that will change soon!"

    In September, we published the Money Diary of a 31-year-old mom of three working full-time as an attorney. The overall reaction in the comment section was that of awe at the OP's ability to manage her time between her kids, her husband, and being the breadwinner of her home.

    Are you still at the same job? Has your salary changed at all?

    "I am still at the same job, as is my husband, and while his salary is the same, I got a raise recently, so my salary is now $148,000 instead of $144,000."

    What did you learn from writing a Money Diary?

    "Writing everything down really helped me think about how I was spending my time in addition to my money, and got me thinking more about how I can give my family real quality time without being distracted by work, my phone, etc.

    "I also think I buy too many groceries —maybe it makes me feel secure? Too often I end up needing to put together really bizarre meals to use up all the perishable food before it goes bad. However, to the commenter who was understandably unsettled by the amount of milk we buy: especially with the two older kids, we actually go through at least four gallons a week and I can't remember the last time I needed to throw any out."

    Any life updates since we heard from you last?

    "We finally got our old couch and loveseat out of the house (they went to an appreciative college student), and then bought a big sectional that's big enough to fit several people at once and can be used as a queen-sized bed for guests ($3,000). The money came from a savings account we had built up for that purpose, so that purchase didn't impact our monthly cash flow.

    "Two main updates: 1. The baby sleeps through the night now, and 2. THE BABY SLEEPS THROUGH THE NIGHT NOW. Praise the Lord! This is so life-changing, it's all I can do to stop myself from announcing it to strangers on the subway. Don't get me wrong, the household still operates at a medium-high level of chaos, but now I'm awake for it."

    In November, we published this Money Diary of a 22-year-old box office manager in Iowa. Commenters admired her work ethic, and had some strong opinions about her boyfriend.

    Are you still at the same job? Has your salary changed at all?

    "I am still at the same job; however, I have doubled my efforts to find something in my field. I'm hopeful that I will find something where I can truly use the skills I paid all that money to gain in college...and soon. I'm the type of person who will let herself get stuck, so I'm trying desperately to not let that happen. The search has honestly gotten pretty discouraging...but from what I hear, that's how job searches are. I got really lucky in landing this job before graduation, so I have to keep telling myself that at least I'm employed.

    "I mentioned it briefly in my MD, but I got a raise. Instead of $15.86 per hour ($33,000 a year) I'm up to $18.27 per hour ($38,000 a year). This has slightly lessened the blow of working crazy hours doing a job that I don't particularly enjoy, but nearly everything I apply for has starting salaries of $40,000 or more."

    What did you learn from writing a Money Diary?

    "Two things: First, the kindness and concern that total strangers on the internet can show is incredible. Because my MD focused a lot (maybe too much) on the relationship struggles I was having, people came together to give me advice and commiserate. Some of them have had the same struggles, and some just wanted to let me know that it gets better. That support during my difficult patch really made me feel loved. I have started reading MDs more frequently and found a supportive community full of new perspectives. Also, somebody let me know that I could freeze meatballs, which will be a great improvement in the future!

    "Second, I was really restricting myself, making $1,900 a month and putting nearly $900 a month toward my debt. My grocery budget was $80 for the month. I ate meatballs all week (to the dismay of a few concerned commenters) because I didn't want to "treat myself" to groceries/vegetables...and that was a spendy week! The idea was that I'll be less stressed once I get myself out of debt. That's true, but I was putting unnecessary pressure on myself and making myself miserable. I was honestly depriving myself of decent food and human contact. (Yes, I know there are lots of things you can do together for free. But sometimes you just want to go to a movie or a bar.)"

    Any life updates since we heard from you last?

    "Because of what I said above, I've allowed myself a little bit of lifestyle creep. I try to budget enough to go out to eat once a week and buy the other person's dinner. If I come up with something I want to make for dinner, I make it without thinking too much about the cost. (And then I eat the leftovers for lunch when I remember.) Since I'm paid biweekly, I got an 'extra' paycheck in November. I spent $250 of it on a custom piece of jewelry for my conch piercing before putting the rest toward my debt. I'm still putting $750-$800 a month toward debt payments (2-3x my minimum payments), but that small increase in "frivolous" spending has really helped my mental health.

    "Everyone is going to be mad at me for this, but my boyfriend and I are still together. I am not going to make excuses for him, because upon reviewing my diary and my memory of that week, his behavior was pretty crappy. I wrote that MD at a time when everything felt like it was crumbling down, and that is important to remember, too. But the comments helped me put into words what my issues were in the relationship. Since then, I have tried to be very frank with him about how certain things he does make me feel (and obviously asked him to do the same in return). At the end of the day, I care about him and see the struggles he's dealing with. It's not perfect, but nothing is.

    "Oh, and my kitties are doing great!"

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

    Tokyo's iconic Harajuku community is no longer just in Japan. The unique fashion has spread all around the world. Case in point: Harajuku Day in Los Angeles, when fans of Harajuku's many subcultures congregate in their most decorative looks.

    Actress Lyrica Okano ( Runaways) brought together a few friends to help her get ready for the big meet-up. And while Okano usually plays it safe with her fashion choices, Harajuku Day is anything but simple. On went a pink ombré brow, hot pink lips, and plenty of stickers to "highlight" her cheekbones.

    Watch (in VR) as Okano and her friends get decked out in extravagant fake lashes, kawaii glitter tears, and yes, even fake bangs.

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    Pajamas are no longer limited to those ratty throw-ons we wore back in high school. We grew up — it seems only appropriate that our pjs should too. So, in the name of the new year, we're tossing out our hand-me-down gym shorts and oversized fraternity tees and swapping them for sleepwear that fits our age a little better. But there's a new, tricky challenge here: finding stylish pjs in curve sizes.

    From nighties to two-piece sets, the plus-size pajama market has really stepped up its game. They're not all plaid or decorated with cheesy illustrations (but we kind of love those too!). Instead, the selection ahead is one part chic, one part cozy. And with winter weather now in full effect, we're not opposed to donning them straight from bed to the outside world. So before another night goes by wearing the same boxers and hoodie duo you've had since your dorm room days, give the 16 plus-size pajama options ahead a try.

    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.

    (Editor’s note: Although not all of the models featured are plus-size, all of the pieces are available in sizes 14+).

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