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    Illustrated By Paola Delucca.

    Foreplay often doesn't get enough credit — not to mention time or attention. In one study of heterosexual couples published in the Journal of Sexual Research, both women and men reported that their ideal duration of foreplay was 20 minutes. Most participants, however, reported spending an average of only about half that much time on foreplay. This neglected step in your sexual escapades can be the key to an even more explosive main course, though — whatever that may be. ("Main course" doesn't have to mean intercourse!)

    To celebrate the build-up to whichever activity is the star attraction of your sexual encounters, we're sharing people's accounts of their favorite forms of foreplay. From oiled-up massages to dirty talk to PDA, these techniques set a sexy tone. They might even inspire you to up your own foreplay game. Light a massage candle and click through for the details; then, check back as we continue to update this story with fresh ideas.

    "A slow, thorough foot rub — not half assed — is tops, especially when the person doing it is watching and enjoying your reactions. You don’t need to be a foot fetishist to enjoy this one"

    "Firm but smartly applied hair tugging — from the root and away from the face. It's so primal." (Just make sure that your partner is okay with this before you try it.)

    “You may be keen to slide straight into pound town after a few minutes of fumbling around [when you're going] down [on someone], but keep on truckin'. Make yourself at home until she's begging you for the D. The extra build up will be more fun for her, and she'll be closer to the edge if she hasn't come already. All this means that there's less pressure to be Mr. Marathon Man, so you'll have your fun without worrying about blowing it before she's done.” [Reddit]

    "The key to good foreplay is actually doing it for long enough. However long you think you should spend on foreplay, double it at least."

    "I love when my partner takes a really long time to coax my boobs out of my bra so that I'm begging for it by the time they're fully exposed."

    "Lots of ear nuzzling and nibbling. It tweaks my whole nervous system."

    "I love talking! I have fought this idea for a long time, thinking it sounds ‘lame,' but I feel I can now honestly say that a great, well-connected conversation with my husband opens up my entire body and spirit to him the way nothing else really does. Also, amazing music, which he is really great at curating — it’s one more thing that I fought for a while but realize now is huge for the mood factor. Physically speaking, though, I love a great make-out and a comfortable, cozy bed set-up. As I'm typing all of this out, I realize I like to feel really safe in every way, and that is my biggest turn-on.”

    Illustrated by: Paola Delucca.

    “I love it when my guy plays with my clit before sex, but it can be almost painful when he touches it directly on the head. It feels much better when he rubs the hood or the side, then maybe licks it and sucks on it gently, then puts his fingers inside of me to give it a break before returning his attention to it. That builds up the sensation and keeps me from getting so sensitive that we have to stop.”

    Illustrated by: Paola Delucca

    “Play with my nipples! Softly at first, and then pinch, bite, twist, and squeeze them. I like them to hurt a little bit. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you if it gets to be too much. Also, it feels really luxurious when my partner and I spend more than just a few minutes on foreplay — when we get up to 15 minutes of foreplay or more is when intercourse feels the best."

    Illustrated By Paola Delucca.

    "Do not be afraid to break out a vibrator with your partner! I love it when my boyfriend uses my Hitachi Magic Wand on me — and he really loves it when I use it on myself for him to watch.”

    Illustrated By Paola Delucca.

    "Honestly, the best foreplay might be just talking about what turns you on and what you want your partner to do to you. It sounds so obvious, and it is, but people don’t do it as much as they should, instead trying to figure everything out by trial and error. I’m not saying spontaneity isn’t sexy, but I love it when someone looks me in the eyes and asks what they can do to make me feel good."

    Illustrated By Paola Delucca.

    "I love to watch an Italian film called Come Undone. It tracks the lifespan of an adulterous relationship between two people: their meeting, their affair, and then (spoiler) their downfall and break-up. The sex scenes themselves are pretty amazing. (Again, it's an Italian film.) But I do have to say, I think that I also love this movie because cheating is one of those weird fantasies of mine. Not something I'd do in a healthy relationship, of course — but there's something exciting in the thought of carrying on a sexy affair and always wondering if you're going to get caught."

    Illustrated By Paola Delucca.

    "A little PDA — public making-out or over-the-pants stimulation — is so crazy-underrated."

    Illustrated By Paola Delucca.

    "I have this scented massage oil that feels like liquid jelly, minus the stickiness. I like to rub his shoulders and back with it. Usually, after a few minutes, he'll get so turned on that he will flip me over, and we'll start making out... It really turns me on, too — and I love the feeling of the oil on my body."

    Illustrated By Paola Delucca.

    "69-ing or simply sitting on my partner’s face — either facing his feet or the other way — always does it for me. There’s something so intimate about it, and the position hits all the right spots."

    Illustrated By Paola Delucca.

    "Fingering. Attention, men: The choices are not limited to penis or tongue. Manual stimulation can be better than both, in my humble opinion. It's also really nice if there's some manual stimulation while he's whispering dirty stuff into my ear."

    Illustrated By Paola Delucca.

    "One of the hottest things my partner does is when we’re in public, surrounded by people...he leans in to whisper in my ear how much he wants me: 'You look so good in that dress — I’m going to rip it off you later,' or 'I can’t wait to get you home.' I can actually feel myself getting wet, and until we get home, we have a little secret that heightens our anticipation."

    Illustrated By Paola Delucca.

    "With long-term partners, I really like to take a shower together. Especially after work — really wash off the day so I can feel clean and not stressed. [It's a] great way to reset for both parties, and a great excuse to just chuck your clothes off immediately."

    Illustrated By Paola Delucca.

    "The sexiest thing my partner can do for me is to just touch me all over. My current partner likes to take his time and run his fingers all up and down my body to start. Then, he likes to rub my back and my legs and eventually work his way up until he's stimulating me with his fingers. Just the attention he gives me by touching me all over is such a turn-on that it instantly gets me in the mood."

    Illustrated By Paola Delucca.

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    Modern Money Matters is Refinery29 and Chase's exploration of what the modern American family really looks like — from starting a family to moving — and what it actually costs to make it all happen.

    While there is still plenty of progress to be made in the fight for equal pay, women earn more money than ever before. Many provide for their households, either by themselves or with a lower-earning partner. For some families, this shakes up long-established gender dynamics.

    To find out more about what this reality looks like from a societal and financial standpoint, we partnered with Chase to look at the lives of real women who provide for their families. But first, we decided to dig into the numbers — looking at the rates of female breadwinners, single moms, and stay-at-home partners, and how income impacts their families.


    Pew Research Center analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, accessed via; Pew Research Center analysis of Decennial Census and American Community Surveys (ACS) Integrated Public Use Microdata Sample (IPUMS) files, accessed digitally; Pew Research Center analysis of Breadwinner Moms, accessed digitally; 2016 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement, United States Census Bureau; Refinery29 Millennial Breadwinner survey, 2017; Gender Identity And Relative Income Within Households by Bertrand, Kamenica, and Pan, accessed digitally.

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    The musical chairs of creative directors and fashion houses has never been more congested, and as of Wednesday, January 17, there are more designers than the fingers on a hand in need of a new home gig. On Thursday, Kim Jones, artistic director of Louis Vuitton men's, will add his name to that list. The designer announced his departure, via WWD, which will take effect following his fall 2018 show in Paris. Cue the world's smallest violin playing for the hypebeasts across the globe.

    But really, Jones departure signals the end of an era for the French maison. For the past six years, Jones, previously of British luxury goods label Dunhill, found the voice of Vuitton's men's line, adding to it his own personal flare for luxury fashion that cross-pollinates across high- and street-level trends. Jones was appointed by then-creative director Marc Jacobs in 2011, but his arguably strongest collections were those that happened most recently, from spring 2017 to now, which saw monogrammed chokers, a Supreme collaboration, and the revival of vintage motifs found on hundred-year-old trunks and cases.

    "It has been a huge privilege to work with Kim," said Vuitton chairman and chief executive officer Michael Burke, in a statement confirming the news. "His ability to set trends is impeccable, and his talent and determination have ensured that Louis Vuitton is firmly placed as the leading brand in luxury men’s wear today. All of us who have been fortunate to work with Kim wish him continued success in his next venture." Considering Jones can be lauded as the mastermind behind some of the brand's most successful and mainstream collaborations, he's absolutely right. Jones echoed the statement in an Instagram post where he thanked his Vuitton team and collaborators throughout the years.

    The jury is still out on his next move, but Jones' departure only adds to the rumors that've already circulated the industry pipeline, which include possible jumps to Versace or Burberry. As for his replacement, Off-White designer Virgil Abloh's name has been thrown about, though he dismisses the speculations. Until the aforementioned brands, including Vuitton, are sorted, die-hard Jones stans will no doubt spend the next season flocking to the nearest boutiques and re-sale shops to cop the lasting pieces of his historic work. And we'll be watching closely to see what he does next.

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    Update: White House physician Dr. Ronny L. Jackson may not have found any reason “to think the president has any issues with his thought processes” during Donald Trump’s first physical examination since taking office, but the results did confirm another rumor about the POTUS’s head: The man just doesn’t grow hair like he used to.

    As first disclosed by his former longtime physician Dr. Harold N. Bornstein last year, the official White House report states that Trump does indeed take a small dose of Propecia, a prescription drug that treats male-pattern baldness. No word on whether or not Dr. Jackson's examination succeeded in validating the president's unsubstantiated claims of being a "very stable genius."

    This story was originally published on February 2, 2017.

    The curious case of Donald Trump’s hair has been mystifying the masses since the ‘80s, when he first came into the public eye as a larger-than-life businessman known to the press as The Donald. Now that The Donald is The President of the United States, people are less concerned with his is-it-or-isn’t-it combover and beige dye job than they are with whether we're going to war with Iran next week.

    But in the event that you’re still stuck on the particulars of the infamous ‘do, know this: President Trump’s longtime physician, Dr. Harold N. Bornstein, confirmed to the New York Times that his powerful client (though who knows for how long — we can't see this reveal going over well) does indeed take hair-growth pills to keep his fine, fluffy texture on the up and up. Trump has a standing prescription for Propecia, a well-known drug that treats male-pattern baldness. Aside from popping the pills, here are some other things that Mr. Trump does:

    1) Instructs the high-profile attendees of the National Prayer Breakfast to pray for Arnold Schwarzenegger and his low Apprentice ratings.

    2) Believes that Black history icon Frederick Douglass, who passed away in 1895, is still alive, and somehow involved in “fake news.”

    3) Threatens a 20% tariff on all products imported from Mexico – including avocados, tomatoes, tequila, sparkling water, and a bunch of other things nobody wants to pay an additional 20% for.

    4) Eats Lay’s potato chips. Like, so many Lay’s potato chips.

    5) Rules the free world.

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

    Today: a land use planner who makes $63,500 per year, and spends some of his money this week on a Wings + Horns fleece robe.

    Occupation: Land Use Planner
    Industry: Municipal Government
    Age: 39
    Location: Denver, CO
    Salary: $63,500
    Paycheck (Biweekly): $1,606.18
    Gender: Transgender FTM (closeted, pre-HRT)

    Monthly Expenses
    Housing Costs: $2,461. I pay $821; my partner pays the rest.
    Loan Payments: $787 to cover car loan, student loans, and credit cards.

    All Other Monthly Expenses
    Pension, Life Insurance, Healthcare: My monthly pension is deducted from my paycheck pre-tax. My life insurance and healthcare expenses for my high deductible plan are also auto-deducted from my paycheck.
    Therapy Appointments: $240/week for co-pays. (I have to meet a $1,500 deductible each year for my healthcare plan.)
    Parking: $205/month for parking downtown
    Roth IRA: $200
    HOA Dues: $185
    Auto & Homeowner's Insurance: $156
    Cell Phone: $70
    Google Music: $10.36
    Other: My partner makes $98,000/year, so he pays for our $68/month solar panels, the $40 secondary HOA monthly dues, our variable gas bill ($25-$95 from summer to winter), and our $70/month security system bill. He also pays for almost all our restaurant meals. We do maintain almost totally separate finances. We have one joint account at our credit union that we use to pay the mortgage; when that is due, he transfers money to the joint account, and I transfer it into my account and pay the mortgage. (We each have various bill pay, ACH, and other accounts set up to debit from our individual checking accounts to pay the bills.)

    Day One

    6:30 a.m. — I don't have time to eat breakfast at home, so I stop at Starbucks on my way to work for their sous vide egg bites and an extra-hot flat white. I use their app to pay and add a dollar to their tip jar. (I seriously hemorrhage so much money through their stupid app.) $11.83

    1:30 p.m. — I thought I could give IF (intermittent fasting) a go, but it's 1:30 and I'm really grumpy. I get a sandwich and overpriced bottle of kombucha from the convenience store that is inside our office building. $13.66

    4 p.m. — I drive an hour to far Southwest Denver for a session of neurofeedback, which I am doing as an adjunct to the weekly therapy I receive for gender dysphoria. It's a brain training regimen where you get monitors hooked up to your scalp and ears to measure your brain waves, and then you get auditory feedback to help your brain learn how to operate more calmly and with greater efficiency. Buying four sessions at once drops the price per session from $70 each to $65 each, so I buy a package. It has made a huge difference in reducing my anxiety around driving and helped boost my performance at work. $260

    Daily Total: $285.49

    Day Two

    3:30 p.m. — My hair is getting shaggy AF, so I finally stop in to see my hairdresser. She is awesome and we spend some time chatting. I pick up a travel-sized container of Kevin Murphy Balancing Wash in addition to getting my hair cut. I had to reschedule this appointment four times due to other things coming up, so I give her an extra-good tip on top of the $65 cut. $93.25

    Daily Total: $93.25

    Day Three

    4:30 a.m. — I wake up and my freaking menstrual cup is leaking. I have severe gender dysphoria around my monthly cycle as it is. I try to not think about it, get cleaned up, and order a new brand that a friend recommended called FemmyCycle. Hopefully, it will ship soon. Sheesh. $45.45

    6:30 p.m. — My partner is cranky that I constantly steal his luxurious Wings + Horns cabin fleece robe, so when I see that their oxblood crimson color robe has gone on sale, I snap it up for him. Although the robe lists for $167 Canadian, after the exchange rate, I only pay $137.99, which is fantastic. $137.99

    Daily Total: $183.44

    Day Four

    6:15 a.m. — My gas tank is hovering around half full. I still remember how hard it was to get gasoline after September 11, and for some reason I have a ton of anxiety around letting my tank fall below this level. I stop at the filling station on my way to work and get a half-tank of mid-grade. $19.54

    7:45 p.m. — I need to stop by the grocery store to pick up a few items. What started out as picking up kitchen garbage bags turns into over $100 worth of various items. $118.54

    8:30 p.m. — I have a terrible habit of using a nicotine vape pen. There's a limited-edition cucumber flavor of the mint pods I usually order, so I pick up a packet, more mint pods, and a spare USB charger for the pen itself. Sometimes I secretly vape in the bathroom at work if nobody else is in there. $55.52

    Daily Total: $193.60

    Day Five

    5:15 a.m. — I get a publisher's notice for a new book about reducing one's risk for Alzheimer's in my email, and I read it before getting out of bed and into the shower. Even though my partner has about 500 books in our shared home library, I buy it anyway. I recently had my genome sequenced and found out that I am heterogeneous for the APOE4 "Apolipoprotein E" gene for Alzheimer's, and this book contains a doctor's regimen that promises to help reduce the risk. $9.68

    12:36 p.m. — I check my online banking account and see that my subscription to Google Music has auto-debited from my checking account. I got a pair of noise-canceling Bose QC35 headphones from my partner for Christmas, which makes it possible for me to work in my ridiculously noisy office. I use Google Music to listen to binaural beats to help me focus and concentrate throughout the day.

    4:33 p.m. — My car is dirty from the snow we had a few weeks ago, so I stop by the car wash on my way home from work. I've had my car for nearly two years but have never waxed it, so to assuage my guilt, I get the premium auto wash that supposedly includes a wax-like spray that is supposed to help protect the paint. $15

    Daily Total: $24.68

    Day Six

    8:30 a.m. — Because of my gender dysphoria around my chest, I usually wear a binder, a compression garment that is designed to flatten and conceal breast tissue. I have dense fibrocystic tissue and a 36 DDD chest, so it's hard to conceal. The two binders I have been wearing don't seem to conceal as well any longer, so I buy two more during a boring meeting using my phone. They ship via Priority Mail, so hopefully, I won't have to wait too long for them to arrive. $73.25

    2 p.m. — I meet one of my good friends for a late lunch at one of Denver's most-hyped restaurants, Linger, in LoHi, and overrated neighborhood in Northwest Denver. Linger used to be Olinger's Mortuary until it was converted into a restaurant. I hardly ever drink, but I'm a sucker for coconut and they have a gin fizz that's made with coconut milk, so I order one in addition to our meal. I get a Korean-style chicken bao bun and sweet potato fries, and my friend gets a vegetarian burger called the Impossible Burger that looks just like hamburger. We split the tab. $34.46

    Daily Total: $107.71

    Day Seven

    1:30 p.m. — I have been treated for moderate to severe depression for the past 16 years. Although I was off all medication for the past four years, I was having a lot of difficulty functioning when I started therapy last summer. This is my co-pay for a 90-day supply of Prozac, or at least until I meet my $1,500 deductible for our health plan. $87.76

    Daily Total: $87.76

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

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

    Have a Money Diary you'd like to share? Right now, in addition to our ongoing diaries, we're looking for potential diarists along the following themes:

    1. Your Spending In Your State: We want to run one Money Diary from a different state each week. Want to rep your state? Submit here!

    2. New Year, New Job: Many people start reassessing their professional goals in January — and that can include looking for a new profession. Submit your job search Money Diary here.

    Have questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here:

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    Earlier this month on the Golden Globes red carpet, the conversation swirled around Time’s Up, the sexual harassment prevention initiative introduced by Hollywood heavy-hitters like Shonda Rhimes, Reese Witherspoon, Emma Stone, and America Ferrera. To drum up awareness for the mission, actresses donned black and wore a pin jointly designed by stylist Arianne Phillips and jewelry designer Michael Schmidt, who put out a call-to-action for the fashion industry to join the entertainment world in its fight for equality. And on Wednesday, designers responded in a way that goes beyond simply dressing actresses and actors.

    Time’s Up announced a partnership with Condé Nast and eBay to auction off a selection of the dresses and tuxedos worn during the Golden Globes. The auction begins on Friday, January 19 at 12 p.m. EST at, during which you will be able to bid on the black gowns worn by Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Viola Davis, Tracee Ellis Ross, Margot Robbie, and more; designers including Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Diane von Furstenberg, Rosie Assoulin, and Calvin Klein have all donated pieces to the cause. Bids start at just $25, the minimum donation required to Time’s Up.

    “At Condé Nast, we’ve always believed in the importance of swift action to support meaningful social change,” Anna Wintour , artistic director of Condé Nast and editor-in-chief of Vogue, said in a statement to Vanity Fair. “Through this auction powered by eBay for Charity, and harnessing the compelling pull of both fashion and activism, we’re hopeful that the black dresses worn at this year’s historic Golden Globe Awards will raise funds for the Time’s Up initiative, and serve to support the stories and voices of those who have been victims of sexual misconduct.”

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    When it comes to someone's Last Will and Testament, it's understandable to see some very specific wishes. Historically, people have even been more concerned with vanity than their do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders — like when Napoleon Bonaparte, prominent military leader during the French Revolution, reportedly requested his head be shaved and hair be made into a bracelet while the rest got divided into pieces and shared between friends and family. But it looks like there's a present-day celebrity with her own hair-specific request: Kim Kardashian West.

    On Sunday's episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kris Jenner went in for reduction surgery on her earlobes. Kim, ever the supportive daughter, accompanied her mother to both the pre- and post-procedure appointments. This means that after the surgery was finished, Kim was there to check out her mom's results — and the whole debacle must have gotten her thinking.

    Photo Courtesy of E!

    During the appointment, Kim mentioned something that had us gasping more than when we found out about Khloé's pregnancy (which happened in the same episode). "I put it in my will that I have to always have my hair done if I’m, like… cannot… talk to myself or, like communicate," she explained while brushing her butt-grazing hair extensions.

    And if you thought Kim being at her mother's side during the post-ops was kind, her next comment might earn her the daughter-of-the-year award: "Mom, I’ll make sure that your hair’s always done. If you don’t know your name, you’ll have great hair." There is nothing like some beauty reassurance to lighten up a morbid moment, are we right?

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    As old and esoteric as it may seem, tarot is actually one of the most customizable — and approachable — spiritual practices you'll find. Seasoned readers may cast intricate spreads (arrangements of cards pulled at random) with as many as 12 cards, but you can find insight and answers to your questions about the future by drawing just one card.

    This form of tarot reading is sometimes known as "yes/no tarot," due to how well it works for answering a straightforward question. You might also hear it referred to as a single- or one-card reading.

    While some tarot fans believe this approach to readings is too reductive, we'd rather think of it as efficient. You might not always have time to lay out an intricate spread of 10 or more cards — and focusing on a single card can give you a more distilled idea of how your day is going to go.

    Fortunately, this isn't just a quick and dirty method for experienced readers to get their dose of tarot for the day. It's also a great practice for total beginners. One Redditor on the tarot subreddit recommended easing into your practice by drawing a card at the end of your day to see how it applies to you. Maybe, after a day of self-care and R&R, you draw the temperance card, which is often associated with moving through life methodically, gracefully, and with great attention to one's wellbeing. Or you might spend the day confronting a difficult decision, only to pull the lovers card, the card of dilemmas and harmony, at the end of it. Following this routine will help you better understand how the cards' respective meanings can show up in real life.

    These retroactive readings may feel a little tedious or obvious, but they'll serve you later on, when you start drawing a card in the morning and can go about your day with a confident understanding of that card's meaning. It's only by taking your time with your tarot practice that you'll be able to form a deeper understanding of how your deck reflects your life.

    Whether you're a tarot pro or a newbie, a single-card reading can be an incredibly rewarding part of your practice. For the experienced reader, it's a chance to reconnect with your deck and appreciate the wide range of meaning that each card contains. And, for the beginner, it's a great way to dip your toe in the world of tarot without feeling like you're drowning. Now, all you need to do is pick out a rad deck.

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    There are a lot of expert tips out there on how to avoid the aches that come with wearing high heels. But take it from Mandy Moore: Beauty doesn't have to be painful. For a celebrity that's constantly walking red carpets thanks to the breakout hit This Is Us, the actress knows how to ensure her shoes don't cramp her style. The star's biggest tip? Cannabis oil.

    Moore recently revealed in an interview with Coveteur that there are certain steps she takes to help. "I always try to choose really comfortable shoes, because as I’ve gotten older I just can’t hack being in heels for an extended period of time,” she told the online publication. "Last year I thought I had gone for a pair of comfortable heels, but by the end of the night I was in so much pain I felt like I was walking on glass, so I kind of ended the evening early…" Luckily, Moore's stylist Erica Cloud recommended Lord Jones’s CBD Oil, which features the controversial ingredient.

    "I asked her if there was some kind of numbing cream, and she was like, ‘No! [Try] Lord Jones CBD Oil.' So it could be a really exciting evening! I could be floating this year,” she said. And while we don't know how Moore felt once the star-studded night was over, at least she didn't have to end her night prematurely.

    Despite the legal restrictions surrounding CBD use in topical products, it's particularly effective in reducing inflammation and pain (and we know from experience). Even Olivia Wilde is a fan! So, the next time you have a big event — or are just standing in a crowded bar for more than 30 minutes — maybe you give Moore's far-out solution a try.

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    In a world where a single click pulls up millions of lipsticks, eye creams, and shampoos (on Google alone, the numbers before those zeros read 67, 18.5, and 60, respectively), landing on the "best" beauty product of the moment can feel a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack. The most exciting launches to hit our desks so far this year, however, are a lot easier to spot.

    We may only be 17 days into 2018, but the future is looking bright. The new year is already ripe with lip balms that belong at the MoMA, moisturizers that knock 20 minutes off your skin routine, breakout-busting cleansers, and more. Ahead, Refinery29 beauty editors break down exactly what you should be buying right now — because the only thing you'll be getting from all that online scrolling is carpal tunnel.

    "It's been approximately 13 months, two weeks, and 19 hours since Differin's game-changing acne gel graced my skin with its magic — but, um, who's counting? — and it's been clearer, brighter, and better off ever since. Now the brand is back with a 5% benzoyl peroxide deep cleanser that somehow manages to ward off breakouts without freaking out my overreactive, sensitive skin. Let's try to see David Blaine do that." - Kelsey Castañon, beauty news editor

    Differin Daily Deep Cleanser, $11.99, available at Amazon.

    "This foundation may have only just launched, but the lightweight formula has quickly become my favorite. For the first time in what feels like forever, I'm back to applying my foundation with a brush and it somehow manages to still look like my skin. When I'm not going for a fuller coverage, weekend look, this is what I reach for." - Sam Sasso, beauty assistant

    Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15, $46, available at Sephora.

    "All praise is due to Pat McGrath, the fairy godmother of makeup, for coming out with the chicest chapstick I've. Ever. Seen. The limited-edition Lip Fetish Lip Balm looks just like her MatteTrance line, except the bullet is white. And like her lipsticks, the formula goes on as smooth as butter and keeps my lips kissable all day (and night) long." - Khalea Underwood, beauty writer

    Pat McGrath Lip Fetish Lip Balm, $38, available at Pat McGrath.

    "If my hair routine is best described as wash and go, then my skin-care regimen is the exact opposite. It's more like wash, apply leave-on the exfoliating liquid, wait five minutes, apply vitamin C serum, wait two minutes, apply oil, wait five minutes, apply sunscreen, wait for however long it takes to sink in before I can put on makeup, then go, 15 minutes later than I should have — and that's just in the mornings. But ever since I started using this nutrient-packed moisturizer, not only have I shaved about 20 minutes off my routine, but my skin has looked clearer and felt smoother than it has in years. I’ve never really been a 'less is more' kind of person, but this might just be as close as I’ll ever get." - Rachel Krause, beauty writer

    Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream, $68, available at Drunk Elephant.

    "In true Not Your Mother's fashion, the first thing you'll notice about this shampoo is how large it is — which makes the low price tag that much better. (I'm a big fan of its Clean Freak Dry Shampoo because it works and lasts forever!) As you might expect from the name, it smells like a tropical drink in the best way, and made my medium weight, slightly frizzy, straight hair air dry smooth overnight." - Lexy Lesback, senior beauty editor

    Not Your Mother's Naturals Coconut Milk & African Marula Tree Oil High Moisture Shampoo, $8.99, available at Ulta Beauty.

    "As soon as I tested this mask on the back of my hand at the launch event, I cancelled my evening plans and went straight home to put this stuff all over my face. After one use, my skin looked significantly brighter and clearer. I honestly wish you were supposed to leave it on for longer than five minutes; the smooth texture and heavenly scent is worthy of an hours-long Crown binge." - Cat Quinn, beauty director

    Fresh Lotus Preserve Rescue Mask, $62, available at Fresh.

    "I already own more lipsticks than anyone would actually need in a lifetime, but after I tried these from Laura Mercier, I immediately added five more to my collection. These twist-up formulas go on super matte, but they won't dry out your lips and are ridiculously easy to apply sans lip liner." - Mi Anne Chan, beauty writer

    Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick in Dominate, $28, available at Sephora.

    "Up until this year, I was convinced brow gels were a total hoax. No matter how many I tried, only a select few would actually make my brows look truly fuller than they did before — until I met this fiber gel. The wand is dual purpose, so you can get that Lucy Hale effect with just a few swipes. The trick: Use the longer bristles to backcomb your brows and fill in any sparse areas with pigment. Then, finish by brushing the shorter side across all the hair to hold it in place." - Sasso

    Hourglass Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel, $28, available at Nordstrom.

    "To call any razor 'innovative' feels a bit disingenuous, but Schick's latest launch is about as close as this category gets to the word. The cool factor is all in the upward-facing and downward-facing blades, which work simultaneously so you can get the same smooth-as-ever shave as you would going back and forth (then back and forth) on the skin — only with a single pass of the razor. Anything to skip a painful waxing appointment, am I right?" - Castañon

    Schick Intuition f.a.b. Razor, $7.99, available at Target.

    "I spent my winter vacation in L.A., and came back to the Bomb Cyclone in New York City. My skin did not react well to the change, and soon I had dry patches all around my nose, temples, and lips. After trying (and washing off) every moisturizer in my arsenal, this is the only one that didn't burn my face and softened the dry areas overnight. It's definitely a little thicker than my usual go-to, but it's perfect for when my skin needs an extra hit of hydration." — Quinn

    Dove Dermaseries Dry Skin Relief Face Cream SPF 15, $10.99, available at Target.

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    Have you booked a winter break to brighten up the bleakest month of the year? We may plan our holiday wardrobe well before we head to the airport, but deciding on the skin care and makeup we're taking with us is often more last-minute. But forget creating more work for yourself (who has time to decant their favorite serums, foundations and perfumes into refillable bottles?) and instead become acquainted with these travel-friendly alternatives.

    We've rounded up the bite-size beauty products that'll slide into your carryon luggage and ensure you look your best, no matter where you're traveling. Click through for our edit to avoid any eleventh-hour packing panic. Now, the biggest question remaining is, where are you headed?

    No bigger than a pen, this stick concealer brightens the complexion and hides tired skin. It's buildable in coverage and blurs wrinkles, while creating a silky soft base.

    By Terry Stylo Expert Click Stick, $34, available at Saks Fifth Avenue.

    Say goodbye to struggling to squeeze your favorite fragrance into your micro-mini bag with Diptyque's solid perfume. Apply the solid wax where you'd normally spray your eau de parfum.

    Diptyque Solid Perfume, $50, available at Diptyque.

    This non-greasy, twist-up eye makeup remover has all the benefits of Clinique's cleansing balm in a handbag-friendly stick. If you've gone straight from your desk to the airport and don't particularly enjoy spending hours in the air with a full face of makeup, a quick swipe of this will dissolve even the smokiest of eyes.

    Clinique Take The Day Off Eye Make-up Remover Stick, $18.50, available at Clinique.

    Famed for their precision, whip out stray hairs with these Tweezerman stainless steel compact tweezers, which fit perfectly in your travel makeup bag.

    Tweezerman Mini Slant Tweezers, $15, available at Bloomingdale's.

    Perhaps the chicest (most expensive) hand cream you'll ever own, this rich but non-greasy cream keeps dry hands at bay, strengthen nails, and soften cuticles during the colder months.

    Chanel La Crème Main, $50, available at Chanel.

    This highly pigmented, full-coverage concealer covers all manner of sins. We love wearing it blended on top of foundation to hide dark circles or, when pressed for time, all over the face on its own for a dewy base.

    Bobbi Brown Instant Full Cover Concealer, $30, available at Bobbi Brown

    Apply directly to your lids and blend the creamy formula with your fingers for a crease-resistant, rich color payoff. Keep at your desk for an effortless touch-up before you head out for dinner.

    Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour In Cobblestone, $29, available at Sephora.

    NARS' iconic duo in a travel-size compact – perfect for creating a healthy glow on your way from beach to bar. Delivering an imperceptible finish that's both natural-looking and suits all skin tones, there's nothing not to love.

    NARS Blush Bronzer Duo Orgasm/Laguna, $42, available at Sephora.  (Currently sold out.)

    Enjoy the benefits of Moroccanoil without the full-size bottle weighing your suitcase down. Use as a conditioning, styling or finishing tool for silky, healthy strands; the transformative formula detangles, boosts shine and leaves hair more manageable. Apply to dry or damp locks.

    Moroccanoil Treatment Original 25ml, $15, available at Saks Fifth Avenue.

    Style and define your arches with Estée Lauder's multipurpose brow tool, which has a pencil, sponge-tip applicator primed with brow powder, and a spoolie brush all in one.

    Estée Lauder Brow Multitasker, $29, available at Macy's.

    Don't skip out on using acids in your skincare routine simply because you're traveling. These pads combine both BHAs and AHAs to restore luminosity, reduce wrinkles, and alleviate redness.

    Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta® Universal Daily Peel 5 applications, $17, available at Sephora.

    This slim brush lengthens and defines even the shortest lashes. The key ingredient, pro-vitamin B, promotes growth and prevents breakage while being helpfully water-resistant and smudge-free.

    Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara, $26, available at Eyeko.

    Rihanna's newest collection of ultra-slim, matte lipsticks comes in 14 vibrant shades. We love tapping on this burgundy, wine color to create the perfect stained mouth.

    Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick In Griselda, $18, available at Sephora.

    Touch up on the go with Clarin's pore-perfecting kit. Mattify shine and remove excess sebum with the blotting paper, then dust over a light layer of the translucent powder to ensure your makeup lasts.

    Clarins Pore Perfecting Mattifying Kit, $48, available at Nordstrom.

    Achieve a flawless complexion with this 2-in-1 full coverage foundation and coordinating concealer. Cleverly hidden in the lid, the cream-based concealer is perfect for a 5 o'clock touch-up, and the liquid foundation in the bottom delivers a lightweight, matte finish.

    Stila Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer, $40, available at Sephora.

    A mainstay in our makeup bag, this gel-cream formula from one of our favorite brands of 2017 delivers a sheer but buildable flush of color, which can also be applied to lips for a polished, on-the-go look.

    Glossier Cloud Paint, $18, available at Glossier

    A cult favourite, Caudalie's Beauty Elixir acts as a soothing primer, tightens pores, and provides an instant boost of radiance to dull complexions. Formulated with grape extract, astringent organic mint balm, and mint essential oils, a spritz of this will rebalance and refresh skin.

    Caudalie Beauty Elixir, $18, available at Sephora.

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    There's something magical about the perfect red lipstick. A flattering hue can glide on and pull your look together, even if you're not wearing a spot of makeup elsewhere.

    But finding the right red lipstick is a challenge, because you're not just looking for the right color. You're also looking for a formula that goes on effortlessly, doesn't bleed and migrate to your chin, cheeks, or teeth, and lasts for hours without drying. And while everyone might be all about the liquid lipsticks these days, bullet lipsticks can — and should — be just as effective (and slightly easier to put on).

    Three R29 staffers got together to try five cult bullet lipsticks in classic shades of red. First up, Revlon's Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire & Ice, a bright poppy that definitely makes a statement. Maybelline's Color Sensational Lip Color in Red Revival is the second contestant, with a darker, shinier finish. To follow up the two drugstore options, we tested out MAC's top-selling lipsticks: the cult classic Ruby Woo and the slightly richer Russian Red. And finally, for a luxe high-end option, we swiped on some Chanel in Pirate.

    Watch the video above to see how these five classics actually look on three women with different skin tones. Who knows? You might just find your new signature — and if you have any to suggest, tell us in the comments below.

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    A huge trend on the fall '17 catwalks, polka dots are sticking around for spring. Whether it's a result of the popularity of Yayoi Kusama's Sculptures, Paintings & Mirror Rooms exhibition in 2016, a renewed obsession with Princess Diana's wardrobe, or a return to overt femininity, fashion has gone spotty.

    But if you associate polka dots with Minnie Mouse or the party dresses you wore as a little girl, it's time to rethink the surprisingly versatile print. Cropping up repeatedly on the spring 2018 catwalks of labels like Balenciaga, Self-Portrait, Mary Katrantzou, Giorgio Armani, and Dior, we were offered multiple ways to wear polka dots, from Demna Gvasalia's chiffon dresses worn with sock boots to Maria Grazia Chiuri's monochromatic sheer skirts and blouses.

    Off the runway, our favorite street style stars have been providing a masterclass in putting together the perfect polka dot ensembles, proving the pattern isn't just for the catwalk, but for real life, too. With each influencer comes a new way to style the trend — here's five of our favorites.

    Pair A Polka Dot Skirt With A Chunky Knit

    If polka dots feel A) too feminine, B) too summery, or C) too juvenile for your style, pairing the print with a chunky knit will add a tougher — and more weather-appropriate — edge. Here, it's all about balancing silhouettes and fabrics.

    Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images

    Layer Classic Polka Dots Over Denim

    Denim is a key focus of one's wardrobe, whether it's deconstructed jeans à la Vetements or frayed ruffles courtesy of Marques'Almeida. But the only thing better than denim is denim and polka dots. An unlikely — yet perfect — pairing, layer a midi- or maxi-length black dress over your favorite pair of jeans for a cooler, more casual vibe. Reminder: You can still wear the frock solo, too.

    Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images

    Invest In A Timeless Polka Dot Blouse

    If a white shirt feels too formal, a polka dot blouse is a fun alternative for adding instant elegance and personality to any outfit. Tuck into high-waisted jeans, plaid trousers, or paper bag waist khakis — it works with any and every pants silhouette.

    Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images

    Flip It & Reverse It With A White Polka Dot Dress

    As we eagerly await the approach of summer, a flowing polka dot maxi dress is the perfect transitional piece to bridge the gap between your winter and warmer weather wardrobe. Add colourful accessories, such as a vibrant clutch bag or bright boots, for a flash of fun.

    Photo by Timur Emek/Getty Images

    Try A Pop Of Polka Dot Color

    If you've made a New Year's resolution to add more color to your wardrobe, why not try polka dots in a more playful hue? Take a cue from Farfetch vice president of style and creative, Yasmin Sewell, who wears a Loewe dress (clad in red spots) with white Laurence Dacade boots.

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    January 22, 2018 marks the 10-year anniversary of Heath Ledger's death. Gone too soon. It's what you say when someone dies too young, and it couldn't be more fitting with regards to Heath Ledger, who passed away before his 29th birthday of an accidental prescription drug overdose. It was just six months before the release of The Dark Knight, which would earn him the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

    Being that the Joker was one of his last roles — and the bar by which all villains will now be measured — it's easy to forget Ledger had only been in 16 movies before his untimely death. He wasn't even able to finish his final movie, Terry Gilliam's 2009 film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. So three different actors — Jude Law, Colin Farrell, and Johnny Depp — stepped in to complete the film and honor the late star. Ledger may have felt like a Hollywood staple, but he was a young actor just starting to find his stride.

    His breakthrough role in Brokeback Mountain(which came out in limited release on December 9, 2005) earned him comparisons to Marlon Brando, who redefined acting with his method style. Like Brando, Ledger seemed to inhabit his characters, changing his vocal patterns not just to act like, but to basically become a Wyoming ranch hand, a sensitive death row prison guard from Georgia, a tempestuous Revolutionary War solider, or a California surfer dude. With the Joker, Ledger spent months figuring out the octave-jumping, tic-filled delivery that would send chills down our spines.

    Ledger was able to get at the emotional core of every character he played, often channeling the sadness that went with love or the lack of it. Even though by all accounts, he was a happy, loving father to his daughter Matilda with ex Michelle Williams, he evoked deep sadness on-screen, if it wasn't an apparent part of his own life. His ability to get at his characters' humanity made each of them so individual. Or, to paraphrase The New York Times, whether in a Stetson or a wig, Ledger was an actor who was hard to pin down.

    After his death, Ledger has been likened more and more to James Dean and River Phoenix — actors, like himself, with so much promise whose careers were cut short. What more could Ledger have done if he'd had the chance? It's the sad question we're all left with. But we've also been left with his body of work, which is filled with roles we still talk about today, nearly eight years after his passing, and will continue to revisit in years to come.

    Ledger's career was weird, varied, and imperfect, with film roles that continue to show what he was able to do with so little time. These eight performances in particular celebrate that gift, and prove that though he was gone to soon, he'll never be forgotten.

    A Knight's Tale(2001)

    A Knight's Tale wasn't your usual medieval movie — it was far too thrilling and exciting and infused with rock and roll. Similarly, Heath Ledger wasn't your average knight. He was floppy haired, exuberant, and wore a loose tunic as he strutted around atop a horse. It's no surprise, then, that Ledger captured the mood of this film perfectly. William (Heath Ledger) rises to power, and begins to socialize with the kind of figures that we see in the history books. He's the definition of young, scrappy, and hungry (just like Hamilton).

    10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
    "You’re not afraid of me, are you?" This was Patrick Verona's approach to winning over Katarina Stratford (Julia Stiles). This is followed up by a wink-filled, "Well, maybe you're not afraid of me but I'm sure you've thought about me naked?" He clearly has no idea who he's dealing with. But many other teenagers watching the young Aussie with green-tinted eyes were likely unafraid and possibly imagining him just so.

    This teen rom-com, a modern take on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, introduced Ledger to America with a performance of "Can't Take My Eyes off of You" that gives Lloyd Dobler and his boombox a run for its money. Patrick launches a charm offensive on Kat that's similar to the one Ledger was launching on Hollywood with this sweet, confident, funny play on what could have just been a one-dimensional heartthrob. Jake Ryan, anyone?

    Ledger isn't just eye candy, he is the ideal boyfriend: a sensitive, misunderstood bad boy who doesn't mind cleaning up your puke and fully encourages your riot grrrl dreams.

    The Patriot (2000)
    Mel Gibson is the star of this over-the-top American Revolutionary War film by Roland Emmerich, but Ledger is the heart of the movie as Gabriel, the eldest son of Gibson's Benjamin Martin. Gabriel's no longer a child, but as Benjamin tells him, Gabriel is his child, and their relationship grounds the film.

    Ledger is an idealistic young American eager to join the ranks of the Continental Army against his father's wishes, and believes he is part of the good fight. He's almost too progressive to be true (and likely was, since many question where Emmerich got his facts for the film). In one scene, Ledger's Gabriel speaks with a freed slave who has been forced to fight, letting him know it will not be in vain.

    But, Gabriel grows up throughout the film, becoming a grieving husband who decides he must seek justice for all those he's lost. The slow-motion battle scene that shows Gabriel's focus on Colonel Tavington (Jason Isaacs), who has not only killed his wife, but his young brother, is the true climax of the film. It's a dance as they attempt to strike each other down. But it's the naive Gabriel who is taken down with one unexpected blow.

    As he lays in his father's arms, he apologizes for everything he has done with his last labored breaths. If you're not already bawling over Ledger's delivery, Gibson's on-screen tears will certainly have you shedding very real ones of your own.

    Monster's Ball (2001)
    Like Leonardo DiCaprio before him, Ledger had no interest in becoming a teen heartthrob, which he made very clear with this supporting role in the gritty indie drama. Ledger only appears in the first 40 minutes of the film, but his presence hangs like a black cloud over the entire movie.

    Ledger plays Sonny, a Georgia prison guard who suffers at the hands of his father, played by Billy Bob Thornton, a racist, hateful, hardened corrections officer who refuses to love his son. It's why Sonny chooses to find love and support elsewhere, often putting him at odds with his dad. Sonny hires a prostitute, who he kindly asks to dinner, comforts a death row inmate against his father's orders, and becomes friends with two young Black boys, who his dad threatens to shoot if they ever step on his property.

    One glimpse into Sonny's droopy eyes, and it's clear he has nothing left to give. Ledger does this with few words, letting his crumpled body quietly tell Sonny's sad story. He's the one character in this brutal film that you hope will find a way out — and he does, just not the one you wish for.

    Ledger's final scene is also his best — possibly of his career — as you watch him turn the tables on his dear ol' dad, only to show he didn't have that same hate running through his bloodstream. Gun in hand, Sonny asks his dad if he hates him, to which he answers yes. "Well, that's too bad," Ledger says pointing the gun at his heart. "Because I always loved you."

    Lords of Dogtown (2005)
    After a string of flops — The Four Feathers, The Order, Ned Kelly — Ledger returned with this small but memorable role in the Catherine Hardwicke film, which looks at the rise of the Venice skateboarding scene in the 1970s.

    Ledger plays Skip Engblom, the real-life creator of the legendary skating crew the Zephyr Skate Team, nicknamed the Z-Boys, which featured Stacy Peralta, Tony Alva and Jay Adams. Engblom was a board designer and store owner who sold the polyurethane skateboard wheels that allowed these guys to do the same tricks on land that they had been doing in the water.

    With bleached blonde hair, bunny teeth, a paisley shirt or two, and a surfer dude accent, Ledger wholly transformed into Engblom. Some thought it was a hammy performance, but for those who knew Skip, it was just Ledger paying attention to the details. "He's almost eerie in how precisely he nailed not only the mannerisms, cadence, and physical presence of Skip," L.A. Weekly 's Joe Donnelly said after Ledger's death. "But also how he raises Skip's spirit."

    Ledger is the most interesting part of the movie, and in fact, when he's not in it, the energy of the film wanes. The most memorable scene is also the saddest, when we see the downfall of Skip, who has lost his shop and is working for someone else.

    In the backroom as he sands down boards, he takes a swig of his whiskey and sings Rod Stewart's "Maggie May" like a man whose got nothing else to lose. And maybe that was Ledger's thought when he took the part, too. Instead, it showed he wasn't just some flash in the pan, but an actor who did a lot by doing very little.

    Brokeback Mountain (2005)
    Jake Gyllenhaal's "I wish I knew how to quit you" is the most quoted line from Ang Lee's drama about two ranch hands from Wyoming, who fall in love before society is ready to accept them. But that may only be because Ledger's character, Ennis Del Mar, is a man of very few words. Ledger played the more stoic of the two characters, who barely opens his mouth to express himself, and even when he does, it's really more of a mumble. His quiet nature is even a joke in the film, with Gyllenhaal's Jack Twist noting that it took Ennis months to say more than a few grunts. "That's more than I've spoke in a year," Ennis replies. But it's Ennis' quiet journey that we follow.

    He's not a martyr, but simply a troubled man who can't deal with who he is. He lies, cheats, and hurts the ones he loves, or maybe just those who love him — Jack, his first wife Alma, his girlfriend Cassie. But you feel for him as you watch him mourn his lover, trying to commit to memory Jack's scent as he breathes in the plaid shirt that Jack would wear up in Brokeback Mountain all those years ago. It was the one place where Ennis could be himself.

    Ledger's performance, which he would later say was inspired by an uncle of his, who was gay but also homophobic, is quiet and subdued. It's insular and restrained. You see him change, but it happens quietly. There's no explosion, no epiphany moment. That's why it's easy to forget what Ennis says after Jack shouts his "quit you" line: "Why don’t you?" This exchange really gets at the heart of the movie: how you can love someone and hate them at the same time for reasons that are completely out of your control. It's what makes Brokeback Mountain so much more than the "gay cowboy" movie.

    Candy (2006)
    This artfully shot indie — just check out the Gravitron scene that opens the film — is not one of Ledger's most well-known roles, but it is one of his best. Why haven't you seen it? Well, probably because it's nearly impossible to find it on any streaming platforms. But all that really means is people are seriously missing out.

    Here, Ledger plays Dan, a heroin addict in love who's also in junkie hell, no thanks to his professor (a rather maniacal Geoffrey Rush). But Dan is not only addicted to drugs, he's also addicted to Candy, played by Abbie Cornish. “I wasn’t trying to wreck Candy’s life," Dan narrates. "I was trying to make mine better.” With every disappointed look Ledger gives, it's clear that's not the case. As self-destructive as he is, Dan can't bear to bring Candy down with him. This is another one of Ledger's quiet roles for which he lets his face do the talking.

    This bittersweet love story ends in tears as Dan realizes that he and Candy can never be what they were. And thanks to Ledger's all-in performance, you have a clear understanding of why.

    I’m Not There. (2007)
    In this Todd Haynes film, Ledger is just one of Bob Dylan's many personalities, specifically "the star of electricity." He plays the chain-smoking, philandering actor named Robby Clarke, who is questioning himself and the world around him.

    Robby's a Marlon Brando wannabe (which is fitting considering Ledger couldn't escape those comparisons himself), who we see through the eyes of Claire, played by Charlotte Gainsbourg. When she first meets him, he's a struggling actor with an open mind and an open heart. A montage of them falling in love to Dylan's "I Want You" leads to the lovers recreating The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan cover. But the combination of stardom and the Vietnam War soon makes him unbearable. Telling his soon-to-be ex-wife Claire that "chicks can't be poets" qualifies as polite dinner conversation. He's a chauvinist who thinks it's all a joke, saying things like, “I worship women, everybody should have one.”

    It's Ledger's most unlikable role, but he's not completely unforgivable. It's a testament to his talent that Ledger makes you want to invent excuses for this guy and wonder if he's just a product of his time. And as Dylan once said, the times, they are a-changin', and Robby's redemption is one of the more interesting arcs of the movie.

    The Dark Knight (2008)
    What else can be said, but good luck, Jared Leto. How does one really follow up Ledger's Oscar-winning performance? For many, Ledger will forever be the Joker. No small feat, being that he took on a role already made famous by Cesar Romero and Jack Nicholson.

    Ledger's Joker is so serious himself that when he asks why other people are so serious, it's even more frightening. He is a schizophrenic, psychotic, deranged man who seems unable to feel empathy, but is filled with apathy — mostly with regards to killing. His purple and green wardrobe no longer seems cartoonish, but rather like a uniform for his battle against the bat. But there are absolutely no exclamations of BAM! or POW! during their fights.

    Ledger was so immersed in the villainous role that it's almost as if he was possessed by it. He wrote a journal from the character's point of view, spent months working on the proper pitch for the Joker's laugh, and even directed those fake video messages to Gotham City so they would closely reflect his character. In the end, his nuanced take on a classic role paid off — it's only unfortunate the acclaim he received for it was posthumous.

    Ledger has become who we think of when we think of the Joker. And there's absolutely nothing funny about that.

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    Scan any influencer's flat lay, and you'll likely see a tube of Tarte's Shape Tape Contour Concealer front and center. The cream is a cult classic, which is why fans flipped out once they heard that the brand was coming out with a corresponding foundation. If the concealer can hide Birkin-sized under-eye bags and a battlefield of acne scars, then imagine what it'd do for your entire face.

    But sadly, the release didn't result in all the heart-eyed emojis everyone expected — because out of the 15 available shades of Tarte's Shape Tape Matte and Hydrating Foundations, only three cater to deep skin tones. Frustrated fans and YouTube gurus were quick to call out the lack of inclusivity.

    One particular review that has resonated widely is Jackie Aina's. The vlogger, alongside fellow vlogger Alissa Ashley, tried the concealer on camera and expressed their disappointment. "I don't appreciate the blatant erasure of a whole spectrum of people. It doesn't even look like they tried," she said, before reading the shade names aloud. "From a marketing standpoint, I just don't really understand what their approach was. You guys have literally eggshell, eggshell whites, beige, stone, ivory... You have every variation of ivory, and then you picked mahogany and deep honey to make who happy? Who are you servicing?"

    In a time when brands like Fenty Beauty and Lancôme are making sure that a range of skin tones are included in their shade selections and marketing campaigns, it's frustrating to see a major launch like this, which feels like a step backward. Don't get us wrong — Tarte's products are some of our favorites, and we've always admired their pledge to remain cruelty-free while delivering high quality goods. However, it's due time for all brands to realize that inclusivity isn't just for dollars — it also makes the consumer feel like their dollar actually matters.

    A brand representative from Tarte confirmed that there are 10 new shades already underway, but declined to comment on what they are, why they weren't launched initially, or on the recent backlash.

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    Unlike the group of young female factory workers of the 1920s now known as the Radium girls who died of necrosis as a result of their exposure to the "harmless" chemical, the modern woman has very little reason to equate beauty with any real suffering. (Yes, bikini waxes hurt, but they don't make your jaw disintegrate from the inside out.) But before you cast the first stone at the seemingly poor decision-making skills of women of yesteryear who would paint their teeth with radium to create a luminous smile for a night out or use lard as hair product, consider one of the most popular beauty procedures in this year of 2018: eyelash extensions.

    As nice as it is to wake up in the morning in full Bambi mode without a single coat of mascara, having synthetic eyelashes glued to your real eyelashes is objectively questionable. That hasn't stopped millions of people from getting them, and while most of those people have emerged unscathed, others have not been so lucky — like 20-year-old nursing student Isabelle Kun, of Ottawa, Canada, who was taken to the hospital after suffering an allergic reaction in her bid for lush lashes.

    Kun told that she's been getting eyelash extensions at the same salon every two or three weeks for the past year, and had never shown any signs of an adverse reaction. After her last touchup about a month ago, she noticed her eyes became swollen — so when she returned to the salon last week, she told her esthetician that she thought she may be allergic to the glue, and asked her if she'd be using the same one. Kun says that the esthetician brushed it off and told her not to worry, saying, "I don’t know the name of the glue we use, but you should be good."

    Photo: Isabelle Kun/Facebook.

    Just two days later, on Thursday morning, Kun woke up with her eyes swollen almost completely shut. "My girlfriend had slept over and I couldn’t even see her," she said. "And I was having a hard time swallowing and even breathing." The friend called an Uber to take Kun to the hospital, where she was rushed in immediately. "They took me right in within seconds when they saw my face. My eyes [were] swollen both above and under and my tonsils were apparently really inflamed."

    Doctors administered an antihistamine and steroid intravenously to reduce the swelling, which Kun said still hasn't improved after she was sent home with another prescription antihistamine. "My eyes are actually even worse now," she said. "There’s like a sac of fluid under my eye now. It’s so gross." What's more, she says that the salon she's been going to states on its website that, because most reactions to lash extensions are caused by the adhesive, clients can ask to be tested for allergies to the glue before undergoing the full treatment. Kun said that next time, she'll be sure to ask for the allergy testing to be on the safe side — and there will be a next time. "I do love getting fake eyelashes," she admitted.

    The biggest takeaway for the rest of us? Do your homework. Elizabeth Diaz, a senior lash artist for Pucker at Spruce & Bond in NYC, told us that some salons even offer several options of hypoallergenic glue for those with allergies and sensitive skin — and always, always make sure the person you're seeing has the proper credentials. "Experienced lash technicians go through years of training, so make sure your technician is licensed," she said. "A certification is not a license — please know the difference." Finding a lash expert you trust might mean paying a little more up front, but it'll cost less than a hospital bill... and save you the emotional trauma, too.

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    Summer is upon us, but it's bringing more than just daiquiris and pool floats. We're talking about hot weather that exacerbates oily and combination complexions. What's more, for those with acne-prone skin, the prospect of excess oil and sweat is even more daunting. That's why matte and oil-free foundations are so great. The last thing we all want is for our makeup to, quite literally, melt off our faces and clog our pores in the process.

    However, there is one major problem when it comes to matte foundation: Do you compromise coverage for a lighter texture? Or lasting power for comfort? Because you're certainly not allowed to have comfort and coverage...or are you? Turns out, you can have it all — if you pick the right formula.

    We tapped three professional makeup artists for some of their top picks for oily skin — and the formulas they're sharing are killer, no matter your budget or coverage needs. Ahead, a dozen drugstore and prestige finds that will make your makeup flawless all summer long.

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    We tested this foundation in a snow storm for over 12 hours and didn't have to blot our face once. A little goes a long way though; a nickel-sized dollop will cover everything from pimples to dark under-eye bags.

    Drugstore foundation doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to expansive, inclusive shade ranges. In fact, a lot are pretty limited. This line, however, is different — it comes in 25 shades — and makeup artist Molly R. Stern says it's great for anyone who needs coverage but doesn't want to feel like they have a mask.

    NYX Matte But Not Flat Foundation, $7.50, available at Ulta Beauty.

    This one is a bit of a splurge, we admit, but Stern loves it for her clients with oil-prone complexions. The gel formula ensures breathable coverage and a smooth texture. "Chantecaille has been my first choice in foundation for almost 15 years," she says.

    Chantecaille Future Skin Oil Free Gel Foundation, $78, available at Net-A-Porter.

    For a cheaper option, Stern likes Revlon's Color Stay formula. It's ideal for combination, oily, and even acne-prone skin when you want full coverage that won't budge.

    Revlon Color Stay Makeup for Combo/Oil Skin, $12.99, available at Ulta Beauty.

    Stern recommends this mineral foundation from Elizabeth Arden for those who want a non-drying powder. Sure, the added SPF isn't enough protection for a day in the sun, but it's certainly a nice bonus for a mid-day touch up.

    Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Powder Foundation Broad Spectrum Suncreen SPF 20, $39.50, available at Macy's.

    Makeup artist Jamie Greenberg recently stopped by the R29 offices to test dozens of drugstore foundations and she fell hard for this formula. It treats blemishes as it covers, is lightweight, and sets to a matte finish that's perfect for oily skin types.

    Almay Clear Complexion Blemish Healing Liquid Makeup, $14.99, available at Ulta Beauty.

    Find yourself blotting and powdering several times per day? Try this formula, which Greenberg recommends for really oily skin. "I hate to say it, but sometimes too matte accentuates issues," she says, noting that this one helps to prevent oil, without turning your skin into a desert.

    L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte, $10.99, available at Target.

    Closer to combination? Greenberg recommends this cushion compact for those with oily complexions that border on combination. Thanks to the travel-friendly compact, you can press the foundation into just the areas where you need additional coverage through the day.

    Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation, $8.59, available at Target.

    Greenberg calls this matte foundation the "training bra of foundations," because of its light coverage and ease of application.

    Catrice All Matt Plus Shine Control Make Up, $8.99, available at Catrice.

    Makeup artist David Razzano is a pro national artist at Sephora, which means he is one of the makeup artists behind the gorg looks you see in the store's ads and social channels. Translation: He knows his way around the merchandise. He raves about this foundation because of its dreamy matte finish and waterproof texture, which will survive oil inducing-heat and a dip in the pool.

    Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation, $35, available at Sephora.

    "The Amazonian clay in this formula is an amazing oil-controlling ingredient," Razzano says. "It is gentle on skin and gives great coverage."

    Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation, $39, available at Tarte.

    Some mattifying foundations feel heavy once on, but this one from Hourglass is a liquid-to-powder formula that's full coverage, but feels light. What's more, Razzano says it's his go-to for blemish-prone skin.

    Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation, $56, available at Hourglass.

    Some formulas made for oily skin can end up being too dewy or too matte, but this one just looks like skin. "It's a soft focus finish that stays matte all day," he says.

    Becca EverMatte Shine Proof Foundation, $42, available at Sephora.

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    Now that Birkenstocks are officially back in style, another “ugly” shoe people love to hate just got quite the stylish update thanks to French brand Y/Project. On Wednesday during Paris Fashion Week Mens, Y/Project debuted its collaboration with Ugg, or what creative director Glenn Martens calls “putting your foot in a warm pot of butter.” Because who wouldn’t want that?

    Since 2013, Martens has been giving us buzzworthy collection after buzzworthy collection, including toe mules and shoes with heels that resembled a pelvic bone. This time around, he took on the task of elevating the polarizing boot, turning a thing of comfort into a full-on look. "I thought why not...immerse your full legs,” Martens said in a release. “So we decided to design an Ugg boot that climbs up to the crotch and covers the whole leg.”

    He continued: “The UGG Classic boot is one of the most recognizable shoes in history. It’s timeless and challenging design made it a worldwide statement. Y/Project is about challenges. Since launch we've been twisting the grounded codes, we challenged the acceptable and triggered people by putting focus on the unexpected.” And these are certainly unexpected — because who's ever seen a black pair of boots adorned with torn-up shearling bands and thigh-high Uggs in the classic tan we’re familiar with, but with baggy dimensions for peak coziness?

    “Ugg is one of those icons that's kind of ugly-cool, and I think that is a very special thing," Decker's president of fashion lifestyle brands Andrea O'Donnell told Refinery29 in October. "I don’t mind [the hate] at all. It’s absurd — I’ve been wearing the brand for many, many, many years because of that. It stands out and is very special. There’s not much like it in the world.”

    No word yet on the expected release date and cost, but given Y/Project's standard price points, we don't expect these babies to come cheap.

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    Never underestimate the feel-good powers of a beauty sale. Sometimes, scoring a cart-full of winter essentials is the only thing that makes the brutally cold temperature outside bearable. But while you're bundled up indoors, dealing with all the downsides of a post-war radiator, you might as well score a brand-new beauty routine at a discount. Luckily, Dermstore is back with yet another money-saving event you're not going to want to miss.

    Whether your regimen is minimal or extra AF, we've scoped out the products you need to make these next two months worth staying inside. From hydrating face lotions to foolproof lip balms, these pro-approved goodies will become your seasonal go-tos — and each one is 20% off to boot. All you have to do is enter promo code 'WINTER' at checkout.

    Click ahead to check out the R29 beauty team's must-haves. But hurry, the winter sale only lasts until January 22.

    "As a relatively sane person, it's hard for me to justify spending anything more than $5 on a tube of lip balm. But can you really put a price on something that makes your lips soft as a baby's butt while using SPF 50 to protect it from further damage? I'm taking this sale as a sign that the answer is no." — Kelsey Castañon, Beauty News Editor

    June Jacobs, $24, available at DermStore

    "My skin is far too sensitive for any normal kind of peel, but this gentler version has managed to transform the texture of my complexion without triggering any flare-ups — like little droplets of magic." — Castañon

    First Aid Beauty, $55, available at DermStore

    "As entertaining as they are, I'm not turned on by twistable mascara wands. But this no-frills option has been a longtime favorite of mine for its thickening and volumizing effects that can't be beat. Bonus: It's essential for any beauty starter kit." — Samantha Sasso, Beauty Editorial Assistant

    Kevyn Aucoin, $28, available at DermStore

    "I first bought this French skin-care staple when I studied in Paris, and now could never live without it. Not only does it deliver a soothing layer of moisture, but it also doubles as a primer for foundation. Then again, you'll look so dewy you can skip face makeup altogether." — Sasso

    Embryolisse, $28, available at DermStore

    "I can’t talk about this product without mentioning that the term 'Flawless Creator' automatically takes my mind to strange places. Doesn’t it just sound like something you’d call a purported biblical prophet who believes they’ve been sent to Earth on a divine assignment? Anyway, I don’t see myself joining a religious cult in the near future, but I do worship at the altar of this tiny glass jar of ultra concentrated pigment, which makes my skin look perfect. It has a silky smooth texture and can be worn alone or mixed with moisturizer or highlighter or whatever for your desired finish — basically, it’s heaven." — Rachel Krause, Beauty Writer

    Dermablend Professional, $40, available at DermStore

    "I’ve always known that the whole 'French-girl beauty' thing wasn’t in the cards for me: I’m a Russian Jew from New York who breaks out just thinking about forgoing a proper face-wash in favor of micellar water. The most Parisian thing about me, as it stands, is my daily moisturizer, an incredible — and incredibly simple — lotion from Bioderma. Formulated with glycerin, vitamin E, a soothing, moisture-binding form of seaweed known as laminaria, and something else I couldn’t pronounce with a gun to my head (glycyrrhetinic acid, if you’re curious), it’s the most perfect moisturizer I’ve ever found for reducing sensitivity and keeping my skin very, very chill." — Krause

    Bioderma, $19.89, available at DermStore

    "I've never met a rose hip oil I didn't like, but this is one of the most luxurious versions I've tried. On brutally cold mornings, I add a few drops of it to my regular moisturizer and feel significantly more hydrated before facing the wind; on bad-skin nights, when I just need one gentle, simple product after cleansing, this is what I pat on to take down redness." — Alix Tunell, Senior Beauty Editor

    The Organic Pharmacy, $60, available at DermStore

    "I consider myself something of an eyeliner connoisseur, but finding the 'perfect one' isn't easy when your lids are greasy oil slicks. Ever since first trying this one a year ago thanks to my lovely coworker Kelsey, I haven't been able to put it down. It has the most perfect feather-like brush tip that deposits the darkest, crispest line of color." — Mi-Anne Chan, Beauty Writer

    DHC, $20, available at DermStore

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    It's difficult to say with total certainty what every woman's favorite beauty product is. But, if we had to guess, we'd name concealer. Some will argue that we should rely on our skin care to keep our faces fresh... but let's be real — sometimes we're left with bags under our eyes and emergency pimples on our noses. That's when we rely on cover-up to save the day. If you don't yet have a favorite, you're about to, because we rounded up the cream of the crop. Here's the best news: Most of the concealers ring in at under $20. Check them out ahead.

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    Full coverage begins and ends with this concealer. While it's in the more expensive range for the drugstore, it's worth it for the blending sponge and easy, mess-free pump dispenser.

    Physician's Formula, $10.99, available at Ulta Beauty

    It's safe to say this undereye concealer is officially on our holy grail list. The sponge applicator deposits just the right amount of product — unlike brush tips. And the formula is medium-to-full coverage so you can use it all over your face for pimples, dark spots, or as a lightweight foundation.

    Maybelline, $7.99, available at Target

    A potted concealer that doesn't dry out makes our hearts flutter. The coconut oil in the formula helps the cream smooth easily over even the most dehydrated skin, and it doesn't budge all day.

    Nyx Dark Circle Concealer, $5.99, available at Ulta Beauty.

    NYX, $5.99, available at Ulta Beauty

    If your Tuesday night happy hour turned into a 1 a.m. bar hop, you need a dark circle concealer that gets shit done — and fast. The doe foot applicator on this one makes brightening your entire undereye area before work so simple, so you can run out the door with enough time to grab an XL coffee.

    e.l.f, $3, available at Ulta Beauty

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