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    If Fyre Fest taught us anything, it's that you can't trust everything you see online — no matter how much hype it's getting. A silk dress that's only $15 is more likely 90% polyester. An organic farm-to-table restaurant hawking $6 lunch deals on Seamless could very well be operating out of someone's living room. And a makeup brand that sells everything for just $1 sounds like a rash waiting to happen.

    But online retailer Miss A is out to challenge that assumption. The website, which initially sold accessories and affordable beauty brands like E.L.F., NYX, and L.A. colors, now also offers its own line of AOA makeup and skin-care products — for just $1 each. Yes: Uno. Yee. Un. In a world where a single lipstick or face cream could set you back $50, that number alone caught the attention of thousands of people across YouTube, Reddit, and Instagram. But for the skeptics, it also begged the question: Is it too good to be true?

    "I wanted to create a brand of really good, quality makeup at a price point everyone can afford," Miss A's founder Jean Baik tells us. "But the hardest part in the beginning — and even now — is that consumers don't believe it's real. They doubt the ingredients of the products and how they are manufactured."

    She's not wrong: For every influencer, editor, or beauty fan endorsing Miss A, there is someone else challenging its quality and manufacturing practices. So what's actually going on with this budget beauty player? Turns out, the reality is a lot more complicated than you might think.

    The hardest part in the beginning — and even now — is that consumers don't believe it's real. They doubt the quality of the products and how they are manufactured.

    What's Really Behind That $1 Price Tag
    Charging one dollar for any beauty product is pretty damn impressive. But how is it possible? For starters, the brand doesn't take out any money in advertising, which accounts for a large percentage in beauty product margins. With an Instagram following of 163K, most of its consumer base comes from word-of-mouth on social media.

    Then, there's how and where it's manufactured. Baik says she employs 40 different overseas factories — including ones in South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, and China — that all specialize in different products and formulas. "The labor cost in the U.S. is much higher than anywhere else in the world, which obviously affects the price," Baik says. "The ingredients and containers are the same overseas, but since the cost of living is lower, brands can produce at a lower cost."

    With that explanation comes more speculation from those who understand how low prices can impact labor practices. "My concern, at such a cheap selling price, is what they are paying their workers," says cosmetic chemist Joseph Cincotta, PhD, who is unaffiliated with the brand. "I cannot make a formula in the U.S. or Europe and sell it for $1. Their labor cost must be incredibly low, which means they may be taking advantage of poor people working in the manufacturing facility."

    Baik says that all factory employees are paid fairly according to each country's wage regulations, but because she declined to provide the list of manufacturers associated with the brand for confidentiality purposes, we were unable to verify the validity of that claim. Even with country wage regulations, though, there's still room for harm.

    The International Labor Organization reports that nearly 9.5 million people work in "slave-like conditions" in Asia, citing below-living wages, long working hours, suppression of trade unions, and discrimination. Third-party groups like the Fair Labor Association and Worker Rights Consortium have worked to improve factory conditions, but monitoring systems have proven to be notoriously difficult, not to mention expensive, to enforce. (The ILO puts the cost at $1,500 to $3,000 per audit.) A rep for Miss A tells us that all factories it works with undergo yearly checks, and that the brand outsources labor inspection companies from each individual country to ensure the conditions and standards meet regulations.

    The lack of transparency on where, exactly, the products are made also raises another question: Are they really cruelty-free? The company claims its products are, but some countries listed above do test cosmetics on animals. In the case of China, for example, brands can choose to evade compulsory animal testing if the product is not directly sold in the country, with one exception: Hong Kong. So without a formal list of manufacturers, it's impossible for us to independently verify if Miss A falls within those guidelines.

    Safety Matters
    While there's a stream of unanswered questions on the company's ethical practices, its products do check out from a safety standpoint. The company only uses FDA-approved ingredients, the entirety of which we cross-checked with a handful of chemists. Ginger King, cosmetic chemist for Grace Kingdom Beauty, says that the basic ingredients may not be luxe, but they won't cause harm. Most of them are comparable to what you'd find in other budget brands, including ColourPop and Wet N Wild.

    "All these formulas contain very commonly used ingredients that are globally acceptable," Cincotta adds. "The ingredients they are using are commodities in our industry and sold for $1-2 a pound. They are not using any expensive actives — like extracts, peptides, antioxidants — but the ingredients they are using are pure, and there is no issue I know of with regard to potential dangers."

    But just because the products are safe doesn't necessarily mean they are good or high quality. On social media, people have described the hundreds of available AOA skus as hit-or-miss — or, more widely, "You get what you pay for." When Miss A sent me samples to try, I had similar thoughts: The brushes were really nice, with densely-packed bristles and little fallout; the liquid lipstick felt a little dry, but lasted through breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and the concealer didn't cover a thing. The quality, in my experience, was inconsistent — but I wouldn't label anything as truly "bad."

    This lack of consistency that others and I noticed might go back to the fact that all the products are sourced from different factories, so there is no uniformity in the ingredients or how they are used. "In terms of quality and the advancement of machinery, Korea and Japan tend to have better ones," claims King, who's seen it first-hand during visits to those countries and at trade shows.

    Bottom Line
    When there are thousands of beauty brands competing for customers, the only way to truly stand out is to offer something no one else can. For Miss A, that's the cheapest lipsticks, foundations, and shadows on the market. "The best feedback we always receive is that customers were skeptical at first but after trying out the products, they are truly surprised at the quality and pigmentation," Baik says. "We have a ton of loyal customers who constantly repurchase from us and are always on the look out for the latest AOA products."

    Still, without being able to independently verify where, exactly, Miss A products are made or at what cost, it does beg the question: How much is 100% transparency in the beauty industry really worth? And, perhaps more importantly, will brands be willing to pay up?

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    It's hard to remember an email era beforeGmail. When Google launched its own free version of webmail in April 2004, it came packed with an unimaginable storage capacity — 1GB! — and speed that replaced what can only now be called the dark ages of email, a time that consisted of Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, and AOL Mail. (If you want a laugh, or a reminder of the years B.G., before Gmail, just rewatch You've Got Mail.)

    Of course, all innovations need updates and Gmail is long overdue for one. Today, Google is launching its first major refresh of Gmail in almost a decade.

    The new Gmail comes packed with smart features (an easier way to unsubscribe from newsletters you never read!), a brand new look (get to attachments more easily!), and boosted security (dodge those phishing emails!). You'll find new tools that address your biggest pain points as well as problems you probably didn't even know you had.

    Ahead, a breakdown of everything you can look forward to seeing when you open your Gmail today. (Note: To switch to the new Gmail, tap the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner and select "Try the new Gmail" from the drop-down menu.)

    Get A Nudge

    Let's be real: It's hard to keep up with email. Even if you have the best intentions and inbox zero goals, one day of falling behind can be a death toll. If you don't answer a message in the moment, it's scarily easy to forget to respond later on.

    A new "nudging" tool will help. For any emails you haven't responded to in multiple days, you'll see a proactive reminder alongside the subject line letting you know how many days have passed and asking if you want to reply now.

    There's also a way to "snooze" messages: When you scroll over a message, tap the clock icon on the far right and select when you want to see it pop up to the top of your inbox.

    These updates won't solve your email FOMO, but they will help you stay on top of things.

    Respond more quickly

    A year ago, Gmail brought a feature called "smart reply" to Android and iOS. Now, it's bringing it to the web.

    The smart, time-saving tool uses AI to suggest three quick responses to a message. You can tap one of these and send it instantly, or tap and edit it for a more detailed response.

    Keep Track Of The Important Emails & Get Rid Of Ones You Never Read

    Raise your hand if your inbox is full of unopened newsletters you were required to sign up for when entering a contest. Everyone? Yep, sounds familiar. The new Gmail tackles your subscription problem head-on by suggesting you unsubscribe from emails you never read.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, you probably want to know when you get a message from a coworker or business partner you're waiting to hear from. Gmail will keep track of the people you respond to most often, and give you an option to only get notifications when you hear from those individuals to help cut through the clutter.

    (Note: Both of these features are only available for the mobile version of Gmail.)

    Catch Up On Email On The Plane

    There's no way around it — plane WiFi sucks. It's slow, cuts out, and, half the time, doesn't even work. Gmail's new offline mode is built specifically for these frustrating moments, and other times you can't get WiFi.

    Tap the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner and select Settings from the drop-down menu. Then, choose "offline" along the upper toolbar and install Gmail Offline.

    Multitask Like A Millennial

    Are your worst nightmares full of browsers with 20,000 tabs open? Stay tuned for a Blockbuster horror flick with that very premise coming to a theater near you.

    In the meantime, skip the nightmare and use Gmail's new side panel, a function that lets you keep your email open while adjusting a meeting invite. You'll see icons for the calendar, Google Keep (a place to take notes), and tasks.

    Activate Top Secret Spy Mode

    "Confidential mode" isn't really for government secrets, but if recent issues with insecure emails are any indication, the current political administration could certainly use it.

    When you need to send an email that needs an extra level of security — such as one with your social security number or credit card information — you can tap a new lock-and-clock icon that appears along the bottom toolbar. This allows you to set an expiration date, at which point the email will delete itself (think of it as a Mission Impossible -style self-destructing email), and a two-factor authentication code.

    Catch The Scam Red-Handed

    Gmail is no stranger to phishing scams, which can be tricky to spot when they come from familiar contacts. Now, sketchy emails will come with large, red warnings, that you alert against clicking on a link or downloading an attachment.

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    Victoria's Secret model Bridget Malcolm has revealed that she has been sexually assaulted while on set and hit back at Karl Lagerfeld, who recently said he was "fed up" of hearing about models' and actors' experiences of sexual harassment.

    Malcolm, 26, was in the public eye last month after she opened up about her struggles with body dysmorphia and apologized for promoting 'clean eating.'

    Writing on Instagram and Twitter on Thursday, Malcolm said: "I have been sexually assaulted on set multiple times," before addressing comments made by Lagerfeld in an interview with Numéro this week. "I wonder @KarlLagerfeld what existence is like when you are part of the ruling class in society. Women will not be dressed by misogyny anymore. Shame on you. #Metoo," she wrote.

    In the article, Lagerfeld made a string of controversial statements, including that he has had enough of the #BalanceTonPorc movement (the French counterpart to #MeToo), and that he was surprised it has taken the women so long to remember being assaulted or harassed. He then noted that the movement hasn't affected how he operates at work. "I read somewhere that now you must ask a model if she is comfortable with posing," he said. "It's simply too much, from now on, as a designer, you can’t do anything."

    He then went on to defend "poor" Karl Templer, Interview 's former creative director who was accused by three models of sexual harassment in February. "I don’t believe a single word of it," Lagerfeld said of the allegations. "A girl complained he tried to pull her pants down and he is instantly excommunicated from a profession that up until then had venerated him. It's unbelievable. If you don’t want your pants pulled about, don’t become a model! Join a nunnery, there’ll always be a place for you in the convent. They’re recruiting even!"

    If you don’t want your pants pulled about, don’t become a model! Join a nunnery

    Malcom has spoken out about sexual misconduct in fashion before. In a blog post in February, titled "How To Protect Yourself As A Woman In The Fashion Industry," she said that models who "didn't play along" with "handsy photographers and editors" were branded as "hard to work with" and "cold." "Dealing with these people was a constant balancing act; how to come across as ‘cool’ and ‘fun’ without getting assaulted," she continued. "It was being in a position where you were being worn down, where you couldn’t come out and say a hard ‘no’ because of the power imbalance. And, if the worst did happen, it was keeping quiet, bottling up the pain inside, and dealing with it in all your future relationships and endeavors."

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    If you've got your heart set on going blonde for this spring and summer, but just can't seem to decide which shade you'll be able to pull off, let's make one thing clear: Provided you keep maintenance in mind (which comes at a price) and feel good about the look you've got going on (which is free), the answer is any.

    But if you really have no idea where to start, try taking a cue from your skin's undertones. It's easy — just look at the veins on your inner wrist. If they have a greenish cast, you're probably warm-toned; if they're more on the purplish side, chances are you have cool undertones; and if they're just blue, that means you're neutral.

    That said, going blonde isn't quite so easy as figuring out how blonde you want to go, grabbing a box of color off the drugstore shelf, and calling it a day. To achieve your best, most complementary blonde, you'll want to go to a stylist who can help get you there — and it's important to be flexible with your expectations.

    If you don't want to find yourself back in the salon chair every three weeks, taking your natural hair color into consideration could make or break your blonde ambition. Lightening up can be a huge (and expensive) commitment, especially if your hair is darker, naturally curly, or chemically relaxed. "It requires a lot of patience, time, and upkeep," says expert colorist Sam Burnett, who always recommends an in-depth consultation with your stylist before taking the leap.

    A major hair-color transformation will always require lots of TLC, so be sure to invest in quality strengthening treatments and weekly hydrating masks. Purple shampoo and regular toning is also essential for keeping your blonde at its best. But once you've gotten the practical stuff out of the way, it's time for the fun part: actually being blonde.

    Ahead, we've rounded up our favorite blonde looks from some of fashion's foremost cool girls. Whether you're thinking honey blonde or rose gold, we've got inspiration for your transformation right here.

    These waist-length blonde braids on Solange are our everything goals for summer.

    Zoë Kravitz just about convinced us to go blonde after debuting this icy pixie cut at the Met Gala last year. Ashier blondes are great for balancing the yellow undertones in warm skin.

    The coolest of the cool girls, Chloë Sevigny's beachy waves look glossy and effortless.

    Gabi's ash-blonde Afro pairs perfectly with a cream sweater, boots and rose-pink mini — or anything, for that matter.

    We love how Nyané pairs this blunt-cut grey bob with a rich burgundy lip.

    Is the original British bad girl an original blonde? (Nope.) Go for darker roots and lighter ends to keep it looking natural and extend the time you can go between appointments.

    Juno Temple is giving us '80s dancing queen with this curly blonde 'do — and we're here for it.

    Desi artist Sanam — who was personally chosen by Rihanna to be an accomplice in her "Bitch Better Have My Money" music video — pairs silver-green hair with '60s blue eyeshadow and perfectly winged liner.

    The dark roots and ombré fade on Jourdan Dunn's bob make the color look so natural.

    This blunt-cut champagne lob brings out the golden highlight on Chidera's cheekbones.

    If you're longing for the iciest shade of blonde but can't deal with the potential damage, switch it up with a silver wig like Keke Palmer.

    Emma Roberts' honey-toned lob is a great look for the warmer weather.

    Stella Maxwell's golden hue is like sunshine in a hair color.

    Shopé Adisa's Senegalese twists are the perfect shade of ash blonde.

    Teyana Taylor styles her rose-gold pixie with glossy lips and barely-there makeup.

    Jasmine Sanders proves that champagne curls, a bright-red lip, and a good pair of shades make for a killer look.

    If you're concerned that going platinum could wash you out, take a cue from Karlie Kloss and go for a touch of honey with darker roots.

    The golden tones in Kehlani's honey blonde make her complexion look downright luminous.

    We are 100% loving Cleo Wade's curly honey-blonde lob.

    Kicki Yang says "screw it" to root touch-ups and rocks her platinum blonde the grungy way.

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    While the publishing industry at large has been grappling with declining subscription numbers and shuttering legacy titles, a crop of smaller magazines have been disrupting the landscape — and offering a group of women who have not seen themselves represented in fashion media the chance to create their own narrative. The key? To hone in on a very specific demographic thirsty for representation in a honest yet beautiful way. Last year, president of Hearst magazines David Carey told The New York Times that “sentimentality is probably the biggest enemy for the magazine business.” But for these three glossies, it's a mix of the two that have allowed them to crack the code.

    Earlier this month, Zarna Surti introduced Tonal, a bi-annual printed journal comprised of 288 pages of interviews, personal essays, photo stories, poetry, and more, all celebrating women of color. “One of the reasons why I wanted to do a print publication is to have a book that anyone can have sitting on their coffee table,” Surti tells Refinery29. “Your little cousin can pick it up, your grandma can pick it up, and see themselves in.” She continued: “I think its so important for young girls to be able to open up a book and identify with women because I didn’t have that experience. And I think a lot of other women of color can relate.” The response, she notes, has been “incredible.”

    “I think people just crave something tangible,” Lindsey Day, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of CRWN magazine, says of the decision to start a print lifestyle magazine in 2014. “People are collecting vinyl records and cassette tape. There is a market for everything but I think particularly, [Black women] never saw ourselves in print like that. There is something about seeing ourselves in the permanence of print, and we deserve it. We crave seeing that.” Day’s bi-annual offering aiming to create “progressive dialogue around what it really means to ‘be natural’ in America through thoughtful commentary, hair inspiration, and resources.” CRWN tells the world the truth about Black women by showcasing a new standard of beauty.

    Qimmah Saafir, the creator of Hannah magazine, also considers herself an analog girl; she has a collection of hundreds — maybe thousands — of magazines. “I knew I wanted Hannah to be something you can hold in your hands, that you can save and something that can serve as a time capsule when looking back on that season or that year,” she says. “I also knew that I wanted to create a keepsake, a love offering for Black women specifically, as we’ve always been the afterthought for a lot of media outlets. So Hannah is a keepsake.”

    With over 10 years in the publishing industry, Saafir saw firsthand how advertising dollars can dictate the lifespan of a magazine. “A lot of mainstream magazines that were geared toward trying to please everyone, or white women, rather,” she says. "However, I was able to see that when you speak specifically to a target demographic and you create something for them, they are going to support it.” According to the magazine’s manifesto, Hannah is meant to be a safe space for readers to simply "be;" it's an unapologetic celebration of Black women.

    For readers over a certain age, Tonal, CRWN, and Hannah recall Suede magazine, a multicultural title produced from 2004 to 2005 as a joint venture between Essence magazine and Time Inc.; it folded after four issues. The glossy, which featured high-fashion stories with predominately Black models and celebrities, felt fresh at the time because otherwise, the representation just was not there. To now see publications being made by and for women of color, especially at a time when racism still blatantly exists, reminds us that Black women have the power to truly invoke change.

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    Tonal Journal, $50
    “At first I thought, like let me do a 130-page magazine,” Surti says. "And suddenly, we were almost at 288 pages. So we decided it was going to be more of a bi-annual journal; it has a plain nude linen cover so it looks like a coffee table book. The idea behind the entire series is that for each volume we wanted to do a different color and see what that evoked as far as different stories. The whole first issue is different ranges and shades of nudes.”

    Surti considers Tonal “a progress platform” that touches topics that are political and beyond. “When I came up with the idea for the magazine, it was a few months after the election. I was trying to figure out how I could use art as a vessel for expression and change. And using art in that way became this dedication to all of the minority women who are often overlooked.”

    Photo Courtesy of Tonal Journal

    Hannah magazine, $39.99

    “The reason I made Hannah a bi-annual is because I don’t like to rush to create it," Saafir explains. “It’s really intentional and thought out as far as content goes, from the type of paper we use and the binding process to covering evergreen topics people can then come back and revisit. All of it is very intentional and takes a lot of time and love. That’s not something you can really do online. While online has its benefits, this wasn’t a scroll and swipe creation. This is more of a sit, hold in your hand, and look through thing.”

    CRWN magazine, $25

    “We’re a lifestyle magazine,” Day notes. “Black women’s hair is such an integral part of our day, of who we are, it’s a reflection of our identity in so many ways. It's politicized, whether we want it to be or not. We have the power to shape culture, but we have to do it together. With Black hair in general, it’s something that you want to look nice and you want to be presentable, but there is also backlash when you enter certain spaces. It’s not something you can change independently because its systemic. So it’s about having a conversation about how all of those things intersect and furthering the conversation beyond the hair and looking at the deeper issues and why these things are perpetuated.”

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    Sharam Diniz is a 27-year-old model born in Angola, Africa who now lives in New York City. She's walked the Victoria's Secret runway, starred in Tom Ford and Chanel campaigns, and is set to launch her own hair extensions line, Sharam Hair, this summer. After years of chemically treating her hair, she recently decided to shave it all off. Here, she tells Samantha Sasso why she wishes she'd done it even sooner. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

    I started relaxing my hair when I was five years old. The texture of my natural hair was so painful to manage that I remember crying every single time someone would try to braid it. One day, my auntie — who had her own hair salon at the time in Angola — told my mother, “Listen, maybe the easier thing to do is relax her hair.”

    I always wanted long, straight hair and I could never have it. When I looked at covers of magazines when I young, I didn't ever see a Black girl rocking an Afro, so I became obsessed with the hair I saw on TV and in music videos and magazines. I wondered why I didn’t have that. But after 15 years of treating my hair with aggressive chemicals, it lost its life, so I took a break from relaxers and started wearing wigs. That felt amazing.

    My first experience with the power of wigs came from my mother, who was a flight attendant. Growing up in Angola, there weren’t many products around to treat or style natural hair in the best way possible, so when my mother would come back from places like Paris, she would bring me amazing products, including wigs. I would try them on at home, playing with all different styles — wavy, curly, straight, bangs.

    Growing up, I always wanted to be an actress and I found the wigs to be a way of playing different characters. I would just be in front of the mirror pretending that I was acting with someone else and the reflection in the mirror was my co-star. I never liked having the same style for too long; I would get bored. If I didn’t have my braids, I would go to the salon every single weekend — and I still do — looking for something new.

    Photographed by Christina Buscarino; Courtesy of Brandsway Creative.

    I was 17 when I entered a modeling competition and ended up winning. Soon after, I moved to Portugal— I’m half-Portuguese — because I knew the fashion industry in Europe was more developed than in Angola. I signed with my first agency, which put me in all the main markets: Milan, Paris, London, and later New York. The first thing my agent at the time told me was that I was beautiful, but needed to straighten my hair. I had an Afro, and although it was a weave, it was labeled as "too commercial" at the time. To land high-fashion, editorial jobs, I needed straight hair. I didn’t really understand why, but because I already had so much experience with changing my hair often, I was okay with it.

    After a couple years, I moved to New York and started getting tired of straightening it. I would go to the salon to put a weave in and it would take a whole day. I couldn't have any appointments or meetings booked because it would take at least eight hours to braid or relax my hair. Then, once I found Brazilian blowouts — one way to straighten my hair without damaging the curl — I would have to wash, then dry, then braid, then sew in the weave. It was a lot. By then, I was done with it all.

    Photographed by Christina Buscarino; Courtesy of Brandsway Creative.

    Shaving all my hair off has been something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. Seeing so many beautiful and bold women, like Maria Borges and Lupita Nyong’o, rocking their natural texture and forcing the industry to accept what natural beauty is made the decision easier. It felt like the time for me to make a change. I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone of long, “feminine” hair and from what people were always expecting to see me as. I can be edgy. I can be masculine. We’ve been brainwashed to think that being feminine means having long, straight hair. No, you can see the beauty of a person with short hair, too. It's a movement now.

    I had a lot of fears about cutting it all off — I had all the fears. How would it affect my career? Would I lose jobs? Would my agent drop me? It was my decision to make, but it still took me five months to actually take the risk and do it. But I wanted to make the cut different, too — there are so many models now with short, natural hair — so I dyed it pink. Now, I know I'll never, ever, complain about braiding my hair again, because bleaching your hair is painful. I had to do it three times before dyeing it pink!

    Now, it's like I have a whole new lease on life. Everything looks different! Not just my hair, but my makeup, too. After I cut it, I wore pink eyeshadow for the first time to Beautycon in New York and the reaction was so positive. Women with short hair were coming up to me, complimenting mine. The reaction on social media and walking around the streets just confirms I made a great decision, and even my agents at One Management, who I was most worried about, love it. I feel like I’m on a wave. If I had known before it would’ve been this good, I would’ve cut it much sooner.

    Sharam Diniz

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

    Today, as part of Your Spending In Your State: a gaming analyst working in entertainment who makes $50,000 per year and spends some of her paycheck this week on a Tequila Sunrise.

    Occupation: Gaming Analyst
    Industry: Casino/Entertainment
    Age: 24
    Location: Las Vegas, NV
    Salary: $50,000
    Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $1,495.36

    Monthly Expenses
    Rent: $0. (I moved back in with my parents post-college and, fortunately, they don't believe in making me pay rent...yet.)
    Health Insurance: $0. (I'm on my parents' plan.)
    Student Loan Payment: $350
    Car Loan Payment: $397.25
    Car Insurance: $184.43
    Netflix: $10.99
    ICloud Storage: $2.99
    Gym Membership: $17.95
    401(k): ~$57 per paycheck
    Roth IRA: $500
    Savings: $500-$1,000, based on how much “fun money” I spend per month.

    Day One

    7:30 a.m. — As much as I want to sleep in, my body is used to waking me up around 7, *especially* on the weekends. I stayed out last night to grab late-night ramen with my friends and got home around 2. I don't feel particularly tired this morning, but I love sleep, so back to snoozeland I go.

    9:30 a.m. — Okay, I guess it's time to get up. I make my usual cup of tea while I lounge with my dog and watch a couple episodes of Grace and Frankie on Netflix. I plan on going to the gym soon. I don't eat much before going because I like to run a lot, and running on almost empty makes the run easier for me.

    11:15 a.m. — I love Sundays at the gym – there's barely anyone here! I'm on an eight-week running plan: Today is the first day of week two, and the plan calls for 36 minutes total on the treadmill. I spend another 45 minutes weight-lifting. My arms are definitely going to be sore tomorrow!

    12:45 p.m. — I get back from working out with a dull headache and make myself a strawberry-banana smoothie with almond milk. I'm basically incapable of moving when I have a headache, so I quickly shower and try to nap for a few hours.

    5 p.m. — I wasn't very successful, and my headache is even worse now! I eat something, take Advil, and lay down again.

    6 p.m. — Finally feeling a little bit better, probably because the Advil kicked in. I usually grocery shop on Sundays, so I search up recipes online and gather my ingredients list. My niece's birthday is on Thursday, and she asked for a new bean bag chair. I scan Target's website and order one for her. $48.70

    8:15 p.m. — I have this bad habit of grocery shopping at Trader Joe's on Sundays. If you're a frequent TJ patron, you'd know that Sunday is *literally* the worst day to be there, especially during the afternoon. Today I get there 30 minutes before closing, and it feels surreally empty. I pick up two weeks' worth of food. (I eat eggs for breakfast every single day, and there's a cafeteria at work where I get free lunch every day, so I only worry about dinner). I have this grocery money tracker spreadsheet where I input item, store, and costs whenever I grocery shop to help me budget easier. Basically, I know how much I should be spending going in. (I also tend to buy the same things every time.) I had a budget of $50 today, but I went under. $42.29

    9 p.m. — Dull headache is back. I'm calling it a day and laying in bed until I pass out.

    Daily Total: $90.99

    Day Two

    7:15 a.m. — Snooooooze. It's Monday, and I am not excited. I make my daily cup of tea and two scrambled pesto eggs, and then sit in front of more episodes of Grace and Frankie before I shower and get ready for work.

    9:18 a.m. — A new work day! Let's get this going! Positive affirmation and energy! I spend a couple of hours working on a project before going to a meeting.

    11:45 a.m. — Today the cafeteria has taco meat and crunchy shells (boo, everyone knows soft tacos are the way to go). I just take taco meat, lettuce, and cheese, and call it a lunch before heading back to work.

    3 p.m. — Taking a break and looking at flights to Portland. I'm going for the first time over my birthday weekend in June! My friend and I booked our Airbnb last week – a tiny home! How freaking cute is that? They have a hammock/net thing going on and I'm super excited to stay there. I decided that I'll commit to buying flights tomorrow, since tickets are supposedly cheaper on Tuesdays.

    5 p.m. — Today dragged, and I am starving. I leave the office and eat my leftover ground turkey when I get home. Then I succumb to playing an never-ending game of fetch with my dog.

    8:45 p.m. — I go to the gym for week two, day two of the running program. This run is rough – just one of those days where I'm out of energy. I beat my numbers from yesterday though! I planned to do legs today, but my hamstrings yell at me to refrain from more activity, so I just stretch and go home.

    10 p.m. — Eat sliced mango, meal prep, shower, ~treat myself~ with a face mask, put my hair into braids so that it's wavy in the morning, and get in bed by 11.

    Daily Total: $0

    Day Three

    5:50 a.m. — Wake up way before my alarm and am so upset. I angrily try to catch one last hour of sleep.

    7:15 a.m. — I'm definitely feeling grumpy, but I figure food will help. I have my daily tea and eggs, and then watch Netflix. My mornings are sacred, and I like to follow the same daily ritual to maintain a sort of organized zen.

    9:10 a.m. — The weather outside is moody, and it's affecting me. I get to work and mindlessly check emails and search for flight deals to Portland. Tickets are a little bit cheaper today! I commit and book a roundtrip ticket. I immediately text my friend to let her know Portland is *happening for real*! $154

    10 a.m. — I use my bad mood from this morning to fuel my productivity and finish up my project before sending it off for review. Let's hope for the best!

    5:30 p.m. — I leave a little later today after finishing up an email, and then get a text from a friend asking if I want to see a preview of Love, Simon. Heck, yes!

    6 p.m. — We meet at the Whole Foods bar and get a cute little cheese and charcuterie board. I lo0o0oo0ve cheese and meats and bread, so this really hits the spot. Since my friend made me a wonderful dinner last week (creamy shrimp risotto, shout out to Bon Appétit), I pick up the tab on this one. $14.07

    8:30 p.m. — Wow! Love, Simon was a beautiful movie! I definitely teared up a bunch of times. We walk out in awe, feeling those warm, feel-good flutters. I thank her for inviting me to tag along and we part ways.

    9 p.m. — My dog tackles me as soon as I get home! We play fetch for a bit. I was going to go to the gym, but decide against it, as I am pretty tired. I'm in bed by 10:30.

    Daily Total: $168.07

    Day Four

    6:50 a.m. — Wake up before my alarm again, to no surprise. I'm going through a breakup, so I've been having a hard time sleeping lately. I wake up this morning feeling really sad. (It's week two since the breakup, and I've been a mess. One second I'll be okay, and then suddenly I am not okay.) I do my usual slow morning with my tea and eggs. I hug my dog for a while until he cries for me to get off of him.

    9:10 a.m. — I get to my office's parking garage and receive a text from my ex. I have something of his that he needs back and he wants to know if he can get it today. Somehow, this small exchange leads to a 20-minute sob session in my car. I'm already dreading seeing him.

    9:30 a.m. — I finally find enough strength to get out of the car and walk into the office. I'm feeling a whirlwind of emotions and still tearing up at my desk. To calm my mind, I start browsing online for poetry books. I recently discovered this writer on Twitter, R. H. Sin. I might order his new book on Amazon, but first – I dive into work.

    1:30 p.m. — My ex meets me at my work parking lot. I am so anxious for this meeting, but he has a calming effect on me, so I guess it goes well. We catch up for a bit and share a long hug before he leaves. I wonder if this is the last time I'll ever see him. He broke it off, and I think it's for the best for both of us, but it still sucks.

    4:15 p.m. — I'm pretty much over today emotionally, so I'm leaving work early to meet with a friend. I offered to drive to a new boba spot 15 minutes away, and we stay there chatting until they close at 10. I tell her what's been going on and tear up multiple times. She gives really good advice and affirmation about the whole situation, and I'm reminded that I have an amazing friend who looks out for me. I pay for our drinks because I think she got mine last time. $12.77

    10:30 p.m. — The minute I step foot inside the house, I realize that I skipped dinner and am starving. Thankfully my parents left grilled chicken salad in the fridge, which I inhale. I'm in bed by 11:30 but don't really sleep until 1. There's a lot on my mind.

    Daily Total: $12.77

    Day Five

    7:30 a.m. — Awake again at 6:30, but not having it today, so I snooze for an hour. Kiss my dog good morning and make my usual eggs and cup of tea. I feel a little better today.

    9:30 a.m. — Get to work a little later than usual, but I listen to a really good set of songs in the car on my way there and feel like today is going to be a good day. My friend is celebrating his birthday tonight and we're supposed to have dinner and head downtown after, so I'm excited to get my mind off of things and have fun.

    5:45 p.m. — I finally get to leave work! I was pretty productive today, but at the end I had to sit through a loooong meeting from 3 to 5 p.m., which made me SO tired. It was in a stuffy boardroom with zero circulation and a seemingly endless conversation about table games. I excused myself to take a small lap just to get my blood flowing.

    6:10 p.m. — I've spent the past two and a half weeks trying to grow out my eyebrows, and I've finally had enough of looking at my bushy brows. Plus, I'm going out tonight and want to look cute, so I go to my friendly neighborhood threading lady to get my brows and upper lip done. I tip $2. $15

    7:45 p.m. — I finish getting ready and leave for dinner. We're meeting at this vegan Chinese restaurant (which is a thing, and it's so good) called Veggie House in Chinatown. We all grub, and my friends are surprised at how good it is. We each pay for our share. $20

    10 p.m. — Two of my friends and I carpool downtown and as soon as we walk out of the parking garage, random men on the street start bothering us. One even gives my friend a piece of paper that says, “Do you like me? Yes or No." Why are guys so strange and weird? Anyway, experiencing this makes me think about how whenever I'd go downtown with my ex, he always protected me from this kind of thing. But I promise myself I won't get sad and cry tonight (!), so I try to push it away by drinking a Tequila Sunrise at the bar inside the Fremont Hotel while we wait for others to come. $8

    11 p.m. — My friends love this small bar called Vanguard, so we head over and spend the rest of the night there. Usually this place has really good music to dance to, but for some reason the DJ tonight keeps playing the same songs over again (like "Get Low" by Lil Jon, THREE times).

    12:45 a.m. — To my surprise, the birthday boy is very inebriated and decides he's gonna go home, so we all leave. One of the girls wants tacos, so we stop by Tacos El Gordo for late-night eats. I'm not really feeling tacos, so I try the campechana fries (mix of adobada and carne asada meat on top of fries, with guac, cheese, sour cream, and some other sauce they have) and I'm glad I ordered it. So good, but I can't have it again for a while! $7.57

    2 a.m. — I make sure all my friends got home safely, then wash my face and quickly fall asleep.

    Daily Total: $50.57

    Day Six

    6:30 a.m. — It really is such a bummer for me when my eyes open in the morning before my alarm. I just want to stop being heartbroken so I can have better dreams and sleep. I snooze a little bit more before getting up and going about my morning routine. My body feels tired, which makes me want to skip a party tonight just to go to sleep earlier, but that's a decision I'll make later.

    9:20 a.m. — I have a project due Monday, and I want to finish 95% of it today. I have only one 30-minute meeting before lunch, so I should be able to focus on my project all day.

    1 p.m. — For a while I've been thinking of dyeing my hair grey/lavender (as an ombré or balayage), but I've been holding off because 1. it's expensive, 2. I work at a pretty traditional corporate office (ugh) and I'm pretty sure they have a policy against unnatural hair color, and 3. the necessary maintenance would suck. But since I'm going through a breakup, I'm thinking, why the hell not just go for it? I asked the analytics office admin if I would be breaking any HR rules, and she says to ask my VP if he's okay with it.

    1:30 p.m. — I show my VP a picture of what I want my hair to look like. He is super laidback and says he has no problems with it. Yay! Operation Paint Me Lavender is a go!

    5:30 p.m. — I get home and realize I forgot my laptop on my desk. Ugh. You know when you prepare yourself to do the thing you said you would do, but still end up forgetting to do it? Maybe I'll stop by this weekend to grab it. Highly unlikely, but I like thinking about it. I eat dinner with my parents. Dad got pizza! My kryptonite! My body is still tired, so I go upstairs to take a nap.

    8 p.m. — My alarm goes off and I decide not to go to the party. I'm tired, and I feel like I need to take time for myself. I stalk my ex's Instagram and see that he deleted a lot of photos of us (though not everything). As much as I knew this was going to happen, I am still hurt. I'm not emotionally in a place to be around a bunch of people trying to have fun right now.

    2 a.m. — After hours of overthinking, I let go of my thoughts and sleep.

    Daily Total: $0

    Day Seven

    8 a.m. — Wow, I'm surprised I wake up at this time. I'm starving. I'm meeting with a friend for brunch in a couple of hours, so I just have my daily tea with fruit while watching Netflix.

    11 a.m. — I pick up my friend and drive us across town to a new brunch spot called Neighbors Cafe. It is so cute and there are lots of plants. I order a lavender latte and shakshuka. We catch up on each other's lives for a while and I'm surprisingly calm when I explain the breakup. I'm progressing! Closer to acceptance! Maybe! $15.71

    1:30 p.m. — My gas light goes on when I start my car, so I stop by the nearest gas station. $29.87

    2 p.m. — My friend needs to return a romper and I want to window shop to gather ideas for Coachella outfits, so we spend a little bit of time at the mall. By a little bit, I mean 30 minutes, because we both hate shopping and we're lazy.

    2:15 p.m. — I drop off my friend at her house. There are yellow flowers that look like spiky dahlias in her yard, and when I mention how pretty they are, she hops out of the car and snips off three stems to give to me! So sweet. I need to replace my dying (read: dead) white lilies, and these happy-colored flowers will help brighten up my room.

    5:45 p.m. — I go to my sister's for dinner and then take her browned bananas with me to make banana bread tomorrow!

    7:30 p.m. — I'm bored and I don't want to go home just yet (more like: I'm starting to feel sad again and can't be home alone), so I give shopping another try. I go to a different mall this time and walk out with chokers from H&M and a cute moto jacket from Old Navy, which is on sale. $31.38

    9:30 p.m. — Still don't wanna go home, so I go over to my friend's apartment to hang out. We both love nature photography and traveling in general, so we decide to go to Bryce Canyon next weekend for new shots and to get away from the city for a bit. He has to be at a work meeting at an ungodly hour tomorrow morning, so I go home.

    11:15 p.m. — In bed, I spend time reaffirming myself. The universe has been kind to me the past two weeks, and I'm humbled. I am grateful for all of my friends who have reached out and taken the time to hear me out (some over and over). Emotionally, times are tough, but I am tougher. This sucks now, but it won't be forever. It's for the better.

    Daily Total: $76.96

    If you are experiencing depression and need support, please call the National Depressive/Manic-Depressive Association Hotline at 1-800-826-3632 or the Crisis Call Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090.

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

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

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    Strobing, or highlighting overload, continues to dominate the beauty space. And with its popularity has come an avalanche of highlighters — including powders, creams, and liquids. But many of these pearly-pink and Champagne shades are geared toward fairer complexions, and they can appear chalky or overly sparkly on women with dark skin. (Not exactly the luminous, lit-from-within glow we're aiming for.)

    Thankfully, brands are getting privy to the dilemma and releasing illuminating products that look amazing on ladies of color. When it comes to choosing the highlighter of your dreams, you should stray from pinks and frosty whites if you have a dark complexion. “You want to pick a highlighter almost the same way that you would pick a foundation — it should look like a part of your skin, as opposed to, like, a disco ball," says makeup artist Nick Barose. "If you’re darker, then I would go for a bronzy gold, and if you’re deep-dark, like Lupita [Nyong'o], for example, I would go for a copper shade. That way it adds a highlight, but it doesn’t add too much of a contrast, because it’s similar to your skin tone."

    Click through to check out the best made-for-melanin highlighters on the market, according to the pros.

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    Barose — along with many other beauty pros — loves Armani Fluid Sheer liquid highlighters because they come in a range of different shades. For dark skin, he advises picking up gold (14) or copper (18) and buffing it onto the skin with a Beautyblender. "Sometimes people go crazy on the brow bone, the nose, and on the upper lids — but on darker skin, it’s definitely not necessary... It can make you look greasy, which isn't what we want," Barose says.

    Giorgio Armani, $62, available at Sephora

    For those with oily skin, though, Barose always recommends powders over creams. “You should really pick [a highlighter] based on your skin type," he stresses. "If you’re oily, then you might not want to use a cream formula because it will just end up making you look greasy.” We like this version from Make Up For Ever.

    Make Up For Ever, $39, available at Sephora

    Barose loves to sweep this highlighter-and-contour stick on the queen herself, Lupita Nyong'o. It's both compact and easy to use — great for highlighting rookies. “Avoid anything that has detectable signs of shimmer because, on darker skin, it will show up more. So you want ones that look luminous,” he says. “Sparkly is okay as an eyeshadow, but on the skin it gets tricky.”

    Lancôme, $36, available at Lancôme

    According to celebrity makeup artist Carola Gonzalez, who works with Kerry Washington, Uzo Aduba, Leona Lewis, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, this highlighter is amazing for dark complexions.

    "This liquid illuminator is the bomb!" Gonzalez says. "It comes in three colors, but I recommend the Golden shade because it reflects very nicely on dark skin."

    For the perfect application, heed her advice: "After makeup application, at the very end, rub a bit between your fingertips then dab it on cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, the center of the forehead, and center of the chin."

    L’Oreal True Match Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator in Golden, $12.99, available at Ulta Beauty.

    Bobbi Brown's highlighting powder might look a little intimidating, but Barose has a trick for keeping it subtle: Apply it before you sweep on powder foundation. This will give you a pretty sheen without overpowering your face.

    Bobbi Brown, $46, available at Sephora

    R29 staffers swatched the entire collection of glow-getters from this Black-owned brand — and a favorite of the crew's was Heir, a rose gold.

    Koyvoca The HiLife Highlighter in Heir, $12, available at Koyvoca.

    "This palette has three luminous shades that can be worn across the board," Tinashe 's makeup artist Clarissa Luna says. "The blush is subtle and sweet, while the highlight and contour colors can be used as eye shadows as well. The cherry on top is the yummy peach scent!"

    Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Peach-Infused Highlighting Palette, $42, available at Sephora.

    "This is my little jam," Sir John, who works with Beyoncé, reveals. He taps this formula on top of his clients' cheekbones for the perfect glow.

    Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Candlelight, $42, available at Sephora.

    Normally, we don't place too much weight in celeb endorsements of their own products, but having tried the Fenty Beauty line, we can confidently say that Rihanna's quote on Sephora's site gets it exactly right: "You can use this on any part of your face—your eyes, your cheeks, your nose bridge, your collarbone. I like to use it on my body as well because it's such a high sheen. You look at it and think, ‘is it going to deliver? … is it going to deliver?’ Then—BAM!—it delivers!"

    Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife, $34, available at Fenty Beauty.

    Victoria's Secret model Jasmine Tookes also sings the brand's praises. She says she uses the white, opalescent Metal Moon shade to get her "extra, extra" glow.

    Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Metal Moon, $34, available at Fenty Beauty.

    Celebrity makeup artist Carissa Ferreri reports that this universally-flattering stick works like magic on all skin tones — especially medium and dark. Simply draw directly onto the high points of the face and buff any harsh edges with your fingers.

    Maybelline Face Studio Master Strobe in Medium Nude Glow, $7.99, available at Target.

    "It's super creamy, so you can really blend it in," celebrity makeup artist Carissa Ferreri says of this easy-to-use stick.

    Jordana Glow N Go Creamy Strobe Stick in Bronze Glow, 4.99, available at Walgreens.

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    Welcome to the season of red eyes and sniffles, where the constant anxiety that your friends will stop hanging out with you because you sneeze 17 times a minute is alive and well, unlike your immune system. This is something that the roughly 20 million seasonal-allergy sufferers in the U.S. alone know all too well. Some of them may also have noticed that, in addition to turning you into a social pariah who should probably start buying Kleenex wholesale, allergies can also make your skin look like shit.

    The defining feature of "allergy face" is puffiness, not unlike the kind of swelling you'd get after eating too much soy sauce with your sushi, accompanied by a nose that's in a never-ending state of chafe. It's not pretty — and, in even better news, it's only going to get worse. "Pollen can travel for up to 50 miles," explains allergist Tania Elliott, MD, chief medical officer of the preventative health company EHE. "Now, with global warming, we're seeing 'super pollen' that is a lot more buoyant — meaning it travels even further."

    Since your skin is the first line of defense against environmental aggressors, it's on high alert during the season — so you're more likely to get rashes or irritation from products or ingredients that may not normally cause a reaction. "Aside from these local reactions, people also get systemic reactions where your immune system responds, producing many inflammatory factors that cause your skin cells to react," says Robb Akridge, PhD (better known as the beloved inventor-turned-beauty entrepreneur Dr. Robb).

    That doesn't mean you're destined for four straight months of itchy skin and puffy eyes, though; adopting a few of these doctor-recommended, allergy sufferer-approved strategies is a good start. The more you know, the sooner you can save yourself from the misery.

    Dark Circles
    When seasonal allergies come on, under-eye swelling is likely to follow. "Allergies trigger mast cells, which release histamine [the culprit behind all that itching] that causes the blood vessels to swell," says dermatologist Michelle Henry, MD. "These engorged vessels cause puffiness and dark circles."

    Prevent it by taking an over-the-counter antihistamine like Zyrtec, or pop some caffeinated eye gels (like the Soap & Glory Puffy Eye Attack Hydrogel Patches) under your eyes to reduce inflammation. Then, sleep on an extra pillow at night to keep the blood from pooling around your eyes.

    The most common external reaction to stem from allergies: contact dermatitis, which manifests as red, itchy, scaly rashes when a product comes in contact with your skin. Your best bet? "Avoid wearing hairspray, which can make your hair sticky for pollen," Dr. Elliott says. Steer clear of fragrances and essential oils during these months, and give your skin a rest from any chemical exfoliants or other strong, sensitizing acids.

    You'll also want to reach for soothing moisturizers. "They are less reactive with your skin and form a barrier between your skin and the pollen and other environmental elements," Dr. Robb says. Dermatologist Shari Marchbein, MD, says to look for hydrating ingredients such as glycerin, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid, which hold moisture in. (She recommends the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream.) See your derm if a reaction occurs; you may need a prescription topical cream.

    Red, Inflamed Nose
    When you've blown your nose raw (it happens), you'll find instant relief from occlusive moisturizers, which form a film on the skin to keep pollen and allergens out. Aquaphor Healing Ointment is a time-tested go-to, and Dr. Marchbein says you can also use Vaseline or Vaniply. To tone down any redness, try using a green-tinted primer, like the Clarins SOS Primer, on the affected areas before applying the rest of your makeup.

    Also recommended: an air purifier, like the Dyson Pure Cool Link. "They're helpful for the allergens that are suspended in the air, like pollen and pet dander," says Dr. Elliott, adding that you should keep in mind they won't work as well for dust mite allergies.

    Puffy Face
    Julianne Moore's "sushi face " is everyone else's face come allergy season. Whether it's caused by the sinus pressure or airborne allergens, you want to tackle the inflammation head-on. First, you'll want to cool the skin and get flares under control as soon as possible. You can do a DIY cold press, or reach for products with redness-reducing ingredients, like the Simple De-Stress Sheet Mask (which has aloe vera) and Dermalogica Barrier Repair Moisturizer (which has oat extracts and vitamin E).

    "I advise my patients to avoid inflammatory foods," says Jeanine Downie, MD, founder of Image Dermatology in Montclair, New Jersey. "That means no soy or nuts — a Paleo diet can be helpful in calming rosacea."

    Bloodshot Eyes
    Oh, your eyes are the windows, all right — to the inner turmoil your body is going through when you have allergies. But that doesn't mean you have to live the entire season seeing red. "Believe it or not, steroid nasal sprays are just as effective for eye symptoms as eyedrops," says Dr. Elliott. "Avoid eyedrops that treat red-eye — they contain vasoconstrictors that shrink blood vessels. Your body can get so used to them with regular use that you can have rebound red eyes when you stop using it. Antihistamine eye drops and saline eye drops to flush out your eyes are your best bet."

    But don't underestimate the power of prevention. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollen, gently rinse the eyelid area with baby shampoo after being outside to keep allergens from getting stuck, and wear your waterproof mascara loud and proud. At the end of the day, planning ahead is the only thing that will keep your makeup from running à la LC on The Hills circa 2008.

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    Before going blonde, I loved washing my hair; the less dry shampoo I had to use, the better. Now, in my new life as a certified bottle blonde, I avoid getting my hair wet at all costs — every good peroxide worshipper knows that over-washing is a one-way ticket to Mojave-dry hair. On the plus side, bleaching the hell out of your hair means it's already short on moisture, so it doesn't get nearly as oily as it used to on day three (or eight). But washing less frequently also means I have to get creative with how I can extend my blowouts for as long as humanly possible. For that, Verb's new Dry Shampoo Light is my latest go-to.

    Following the success of its O.G. formula (which is packaged in an environmentally-friendly squeeze bottle, no less), the cool, under-the-radar hair brand has launched a brand-new take on the original: two dry-shampoo sprays targeted toward different hair colors. The purple-tinted Dry Shampoo Light gives blondes volume and dimension with a little bit of (temporary) toning power to help cancel out any brassiness, and the Dry Shampoo Dark comes complete with a dark-brown tint that spares brunettes (and us "blondes" with grown-in dark roots) from white, powdery residue.While neither of them will hide the fact that I skipped my last color appointment, they do trick everyone into thinking I washed my hair after that hot-yoga class the night before.

    But I'm not the only one hooked: Just ask the 2,000-person wait list hoping to be the first to get their hands on the new additions. Although Dry Shampoo Light and Dark don't officially launch until May 1, Verb tells us that the waiting list is predicted to hit almost 10,000 people before then — so if you hate washing your color-treated hair as much as I do, you might want to add your name to that list sooner rather than later.

    Verb Dry Shampoo Light, $16, available May 1 at Verb.

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    A lot has been said of Melania Trump and her wardrobe, and what it may (or may not) mean. Is her penchant for wearing white a subliminal alignment with the suffragette movement? Was her Dior suit she wore to greet French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte, on the second day of their state visit, an homage to the New Look era, a time when fashion helped women move beyond pre-established gender roles? Perhaps. But while so many project a feminist narrative onto FLOTUS, she has, Internet speculation aside, given the public no reason to assume she’s a pioneer for women — especially as she's chosen to stand next to her husband, the President, while he's made inflammatory remarks about women, immigrants, Blacks, the news media, and more. And she’s done it all in fancy clothing. Basically, her outfits change nothing.

    Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

    On Tuesday, alongside Donald J. Trump, Melania greeted French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte at the White House wearing a white Michael Kors skirt suit and custom Hervé Pierre wide-brim hat. Beyond the flood of Twitter posts examining Trump's refusal to hold her husband’s hand during the event, others chose, once again, to inject meaning into her look. Some compared the outfit to Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface, some likened it to Celine Dion at Paris Fashion Week, and some suggested the hat was a nod to the black version Beyoncé wore two years ago in the music video for “Formation.”

    But to compare Melania Trump to Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is dangerous. Trump is propped up by White Supremacy, and to assume she is somehow supporting women through her clothing is a reach. “Formation” is an empowerment anthem for Black women, specifically, a mantra to reinforce for them the fact that their lives — right down to their “negro noses and Jackson Five nostrils” — matter.

    via GIPHY

    Beyoncé released her song in 2016 during Black History Month, further affirming her culture and self-love. It’s a rallying call from Queen Bey to the masses, reminding us that Black is beautiful. The New York Times’ Jenna Wortham summed it up, writing: “‘Formation’ isn’t just about police brutality — it’s about the entirety of the Black experience in America in 2016, which includes standards of beauty, (dis)empowerment, culture and the shared parts of our history.” She continued, “One could also read this as an existential call to action to her listeners and viewers: ‘Black women, join me and make your own formation, a power structure that doesn’t rely on traditional institutions.’”

    Trump’s messaging, however, couldn’t be further from that, and to compare her to Beyoncé simply because the two have worn similar accessories is alarmingly bad. She is not a feminist icon because she stood still while wearing an eye-catching hat. She does not deserve our sympathy.

    Truthfully, the First Lady could take notes from Beyoncé. Beyoncé is constantly uplifting Black women and her community. She uses her enormous global platform to celebrate her experience, validating others in the process. She gives Black women the permission to be vulnerable without feeling ashamed. So if Trump wants to build a platform based on online bullying, she should start by addressing her husband and his Twitter usage. If she wants to be a suffragette, then she needs to actually fight for the rights (including reproductive rights) of all women. Hailing from Slovenia, she could speak up for other immigrants.

    According to Beyoncé's mother, Tina Lawson, the superstar recently said before her historic Coachella sets, ‘I have worked very hard to get to the point where I have a true voice and at this point in my life and my career I have a responsibility to do what’s best for the world and not what is most popular.’”

    We just can’t say that same for Melania Trump. To even suggest that her wearing a hat similar to Beyoncé’s, puts her on the same level of the icon is cognitive dissonance at best. At the very least, the accessory was simply Trump trying to impress the French First Lady with a fashion-forward outfit. But she most certainly isn't in formation.

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    The Trump administration's efforts to reshape sex education in the U.S. continued last week with the introduction of an updated funding guidance for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs (TPPP). The new guidelines require grantees to focus on "sexual risk avoidance " and "sexual risk reduction" programs — advocacy code for abstinence-only education.

    Health advocates worry that the new guidance emphasizing abstinence-only programs could have harmful repercussions for all students, but specifically one community: LGBTQ+ teens. In previous administrations, the funding guidelines for government-sponsored TPPPs required that grantees had programs "inclusive of LGBTQ youth." That language was completely scrapped in the Trump administration's new guidance.

    The lack of comprehensive sex education for LGBTQ+ teens can have a long-lasting impact on them, Taissa Morimoto, policy counsel at the National LGBTQ Task Force, told Refinery29. Studies have found that LGBTQ+ teens are more likely to start having sex at an earlier age, more likely to experience sexual violence, less likely to use contraception, and more likely to contract HIV or other STIs.

    Morimoto said that LGBTQ+ teens may not feel comfortable talking about specific issues if they don't see their teachers addressing their experiences in school, leading them to rely on information from their peers or the internet — which may not be accurate. "So, they might already be having negative sexual experiences because they're relying on faulty data," she said.

    Morimoto added that not learning this information in school can even cause problems in their adult lives.

    "Going to doctors as an adult I have a lot of issues because they're constantly erasing my identity, constantly asking questions that are intrusive and not relevant, or they can't understand certain aspects of my identity," she said. "It's a lifelong sexual health issue that LGBTQ people have to face and it really starts as a young person in school."

    Only 12% of millennials were taught about same-sex relationships in their sex education classes, according to a 2015 study by the Public Religion Research Institute. And those who do learn something about same-sex relationships, might receive messages that stigmatize LGBTQ+ people. As of now, seven states have what advocates call "no promo homo laws," legislation that bars teachers from offering representing same-sex relationships in a positive light or forces them to omit information that would benefit LGBTQ+ students. In Alabama, for example, educators are required by law to emphasize that "homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public."

    The data shows the impact these laws and similar heteronormative sex education has on teenagers: A 2015 National School Climate Survey by GLSEN, a national education organization focusing on creating safe and inclusive schools, found that only 5.7% of students say they had health classes teaching positive representations of LGBTQ+ topics.

    "Fear-mongering, abstinence-only education programs will be devastating for young people, especially for LGBTQ people and teens of color."

    If one adds abstinence-only-until marriage programs (AOUMs) to this mix — which teaches young people that the only correct and moral path is to have sex within the confines of marriage — the lack of information is bound to get even worse for LGBTQ+ teens. AOUMs fail to teach students about topics such as contraception, safe sex, and healthy relationships. When it concerns LGBTQ+ youth, it also means they don't discuss crucial things, such as sexual orientation, gender identity, and engaging in safe sexual practices with a same-sex partner.

    Those who advocate for abstinence-only educations argue that comprehensive sex ed can lead to "promiscuity," while AOUMs programs are engineered to curb that. But most research consistently shows that teaching students only about abstinence doesn't stop them from having sex. If anything, teens — regardless of their sexual orientation — just end up engaging in unsafe, unhealthy practices.

    Morimoto said that a shift away from what we know as comprehensive sex education would directly impact marginalized communities. "Fear-mongering, abstinence-only education programs will be devastating for young people," she said, "especially for LGBTQ people and teens of color."

    Even though research has found that AOUMs are largely ineffective, that hasn't stopped the Trump administration from pushing for this type of sex ed. President Trump appointed longtime abstinence-only advocate Valerie Huber to the Health and Human Services Department, last summer the administration cut the funding for TPPPs, and his 2018 budget proposal called for a a $277 million investment to extend abstinence-only education programs between 2018 and 2024.

    At the federal level, there's no guidance indicating how sex education in the U.S should look like. But by prioritizing abstinence-only programs in their new funding guidelines, the Trump administration is effectively trying to reshape sex ed in the country.

    "Where the federal government directs funding has a huge ripple effect on the policies that happen at the state, local, school district, and individual schools levels," Jesseca Boyer, senior policy manager at the Guttmacher Institute, told Refinery29 earlier this year.

    Ellen Kahn, director of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Children, Youth and Families Program, told Refinery29 that an emphasis on abstinence-only education or sex ed that excludes LGBTQ+ topics can often signal that the student body and the school administration is less supportive of these teens, which puts them in danger.

    "The risks include higher risks of depression and anxiety, that really comes from fear and the experience of being physically or verbally harassed. Or in the case of trans and non-binary kids, not having access to the restrooms or locker rooms corresponding to their gender identity or maybe being misgendered," she said. "All of this is tied to the impact of discrimination and bias."

    Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said the Trump administration's effort is just the latest move impacting LGBTQ+ people in the country.

    “The Trump-Pence administration’s move to erase LGBTQ youth from the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program is part of a long string of attacks on LGBTQ people’s health and rights. Every young person – regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity – has the right to the information and skills they need to protect their health and plan their futures," she said in a statement provided to Refinery29. "Sex education that ignores the experiences and needs of LGBTQ youth deprives them of the resources they need to make their own informed decisions about their bodies, prevent unintended pregnancies, and keep themselves safe and healthy. The bottom line is that LGBTQ young people, like all young people, should get age-appropriate, medically accurate information and answers to their questions about sex and relationships, without being shamed or judged."

    Kahn agreed: "There's no explicit effort in this current administration to addressing the needs of LGBTQ folks at all," she said. "It's a complete contrast from where we were before."

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    Life as a blonde can be a bit of an emotional roller coaster, especially when you're a true brunette trying to cover up the secret you’ve been hiding since you were 12. (You know that summer when you bought your first bottle of Sun-In to recreate Ginger Spice's chunky highlights? Ouch.) Most of us living as faux blondes will do anything to look like we were, well, born with it.

    Unfortunately, the coloring cycle is viciously endless — the breakage, the treatments, not to mention the money spent during the process — which makes the idea of throwing in the dye-stained towel and continuing life with your native mousy brown seem so tempting. And, for those of us who like to hold off on salon appointments until the brass becomes unbearable, there's a good friend in purple shampoos.

    Whether you're a beach-babe golden blonde, a striking shade of ice white, or a stylish lady of a certain age who prefers a hint of blue with her gray, there's a tried-and-true product for you. We've talked to some pros to find out the technology behind the magic of purple shampoos — and exactly how to choose the best one for your hair.

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    Finding an affordable shampoo that you love can be tough — let alone an affordable one that tones, too. John Frieda has us covered with this formula, however — an effective option for anyone who wants to rid their strands of brassy tones.

    John Frieda Sheer Blonde Colour Renew Tone Restoring Shampoo, $8.49, available at Ulta Beauty.

    Lush's adorable Daddy-O shampoo will make dull strands brighter while nourishing them with a blend of seaweed and coconut oil.

    Lush Daddy-O Shampoo, $11.95, available at Lush.

    Session and runway stylist James Pecis insists that you need to understand what level and tone your color is before selecting a shampoo. "Are you trying to neutralize the yellow, or are you enhancing your platinum? I have a friend who leaves it on as long as possible to purposefully turn her hair a light shade of violet."

    Almost resembling ink — it could very well be the darkest shade on the market — this shampoo is best for beefing up icy platinums. If left on for enough time, it will dramatically enhance your shade — even if you're way overdue for that touchup.

    L'Oréal Professional Serie Expert Silver Shine Reviving Shampoo, $49.85, available at Amazon.

    This powerful natural shampoo neutralizes brassy tones in blonds and adds cool silver tones to gray hair with the help of lemon, eucalyptus, and ylang ylang. Oh, and it smells like heaven.

    Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo, $44, available at Aveda.

    Neil Moodie, editorial stylist and creative director of London salon Windle & Moodie, explains that the formula for purple shampoo was devised according to the hair-color chart that has existed since the art of hair dyeing began. "Like paints or any color mixing, if you want to cancel out a tone, you use the opposite shade on the chart. So, purple hues help fight brassy, yellow tones while keeping the base color underneath lighter."

    R+Co Sunset Blvd Blonde Shampoo, $29, available at R+Co; R+Co Sunset Blvd Blonde Conditioner, $29, available at R+Co.

    Looking to increase the cool tones in your summer highlights? Opt for this jumbo bottle that will last you through the season.

    TIGI Bedhead Dumb Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo, $17.99, available at Ulta Beauty.

    Keeping brassy tones out of your hair can rack up quite the bill. But this drugstore option is under $10 and just as good as your most luxe option.

    Not Your Mother's Blonde Moment Treatment Shampoo, $7.79, available at Target.

    This purple shampoo brightens bleached hair while coddling it with lavender oil and chamomile extracts.

    OGX Lavender Luminescent Platinum Shampoo, $7.99, available at Ulta Beauty.

    The wild cherry bark extract in this shampoo boosts color, while vitamins A, D, E, and B makes hair softer.

    Amika Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Shampoo, $24, available at Sephora.

    This Cool Blonde Shampoo cleanses the hair while reducing brassiness from color-treatments. We're also told that the brand's shampoo and conditioner combo are Kristin Cavallari 's go-to.

    dpHUE Cool Blonde Shampoo, $24, available at Sephora.

    Don’t let the cute, quirky packaging fool you: This game-changing deep conditioner means business for when your wash-and-go purple shampoo routine isn’t quite getting the job done. Three minutes is all it takes for this treatment to turn even the brassiest, most busted blond clean and cool-toned. (Don’t leave it in any longer, unless you actually want purple hair.)

    Evo Fabuloso Platinum Blonde Color Intensifying Conditioner, $40, available at Evo.

    Using a toning shampoo like Pravana's can keep you out of the salon for a few extra weeks. This formula is sulfate-free — good for your hair's health and its color.

    Pravana The Perfect Blonde Purple Toning Sulfate-Free Shampoo, $20.99, available at Walmart.

    We condone splurging on a shampoo if it means keeping your $200 highlights intact. And if there's a price tag that's worth the stress, it's this one. The violet formula works double time to leave hair extra shiny and bright.

    Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo, $46, available at Oribe.

    This toning formula does what every other ultra-violet one does, but what makes it stand out is the price tag (under $20 for great color care is hard to come by) and the fact that it hydrates just as well as it neutralizes brassiness.

    Eva NYC Tone It Down Shampoo, $12, available at Eva NYC.

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    In a letter to the editor on Mustang News, the student newspaper of California Polytechnic State University, former Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity brother Kyler Watkins apologized for wearing blackface to a party. He also said he didn't previously know about the historical racial significance of blackface, and that his choice had nothing to do with racism or discrimination — it was apparently all part of a game in which members were on different-colored "teams."

    "Growing up white and privileged, I was truly unaware of how insensitive I was to the racial implications of blackface," he wrote. "I began researching on my laptop and learned that blackface was used in early theater to perpetuate racial stereotypes. I knew immediately that I had made a grave mistake, and moreover, I fully understood why people would hate me."

    The fact that he made it to a prestigious university without knowing the historical context of blackface tells you everything you need to know about white privilege and the American education system. It also underscores the need for mandatory racial bias training for incoming freshmen, which some universities are already beginning to implement.

    Photos from this "multicultural" party, as they called it, show other members of the fraternity dressed as "gang" members and flashing contrived gang signs.

    This wasn't the first racially charged event at Cal Poly this month. After a second incident — in which white members of Sigma Nu wore bandanas, saggy pants, and fake mustaches while drinking Coronas — the school suspended all of its fraternities and sororities through the spring quarter. They are required to implement long-term plans that focus on diversity and inclusion, and there will be a review in June to determine whether they can come back in the fall.

    The school, like many in the U.S., has a shameful history of minstrel performances on campus and a more recent history of incendiary white supremacist flyering, Islamophobic messages on walls, and parties with themes like "Colonial Bros and Nava-Hos." Racist incidents have been on the rise on college campuses since Trump's election, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Just this month, Syracuse University permanently expelled a frat after members participated in skits that offended just about every marginalized group.

    Recently, students found more white supremacist flyers and messages on campus at Cal Poly, one of which claimed that Black and white people are different species and another titled "Diversity is just a code word for white genocide."

    “Words cannot begin to explain how gut-wrenching it has been for me to witness the hurt so many have felt and continue to feel regarding the Lambda Chi Alpha incident,” university president Jeffrey Armstrong said in a statement last week. “I know the discomfort I sit with cannot compare with what so many of our students, faculty and staff of color feel.”

    To top it all off, Milo Yiannopoulos, the "free-speech fundamentalist" who thinks feminism is cancer is speaking on campus on Thursday. The event, billed as a panel about fake news, is being co-sponsored by the College Republicans. Many are arguing that, free speech or not, this is not the right time for a writer who has called for expelling Muslims from the West and bullied trans students to speak on their campus. Plus, the university expects its response to be along the lines of Yiannopoulos' January 2017 visit, when it spent more than $55,000 to provide security for the event, including 109 police officers. Police from all 23 California State University schools will be there.

    Matt Lazier, Cal Poly media relations director, said that although the university understands that some may find Yiannopoulos' presence offensive, as a public university it's "required to uphold free speech rights and provide an open forum for a variety of opinions, thoughts, and ideas," adding that engaging with ideas that conflict with your own is "an important part of critical thinking and student growth."

    However, many students from marginalized communities at Cal Poly fail to see how the "ideas" that they are inferior contributes to their education. Instead, they feel out of place and unwelcome in Greek life and at the school in general.

    "I hated my first two years there and if it wasn't for my minority friends, I would've just hated my whole experience," Ann Ma, who is Asian and graduated in 2017, told Refinery29. "The biggest things was that I felt like I was ignored in class whenever I had anything to say, people didn't really look my way. I felt like if I wasn't white or in a sorority, I didn't have a voice."

    She recalls an incident in class when there were only two Asian girls including herself. The other girl was named May, and her professor accidentally mixed up their papers, and then realized she had gotten confused and switched them. "And these girls in the back whispered, 'It's because they're the only Asian girls' and just snickered," Ma said.

    Cal Poly has the least racially diverse student population of all the public universities in California. In fall 2017, 54.8% of the student body identified as white, while only 0.7% identified as African-American, the lowest in the state.

    "All these factors create an environment that is homogenous and exclusionary," Isabella Paoletto, a third-year journalism student and activist, told Refinery29. "That’s why it's okay for rhetoric and flyers like this to happen and for no one to care or try to create actual change. While of course the rhetoric of Donald Trump and other alt-right racist groups has promoted this kind of white nationalist recruitment around the country, this has been happening at Cal Poly even before Trump."

    It seems that after over a century of racism at the school, it's finally at least beginning to address its demons with the fraternity and sorority suspensions.

    We've reached out to the Cal Poly Republicans and president Jeffrey Armstrong, and will update this story when we hear back.

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    We're here for a super-glossy eyelid, a colorful cat-eye, and a rust-tinged sunset effect especially in fall — but the latest eye trend sweeping Hollywood could be the most flattering one of the season. The reason is simple: It mimics the tones and level of shine that frame the face to create a polished, cohesive, and wildly-pretty result. That's right, the latest technique in makeup matching calls upon something new: your hair.

    The striking trick is simple in its subtly, as Chanel celebrity makeup artist Kate Lee tells us, the color doesn’t have to be overtly intense to create an interesting look. Meanwhile, Patrick Ta, the celebrated Hollywood MUA to consistent red carpet stunners (think: Lucy Hale, Kim Kardashian, and Emily Ratajkowski) agrees — telling R29 that it's all about playing up the undertones in your hair, then matching the finish and sheen to your eyeshadow for a look that's incredibly chic.

    Check out some of the most beautiful iterations of the trend that have been catching our eye lately, ahead — plus snag the pro tips from Ta and Lee on how to achieve it.

    Lee used Jessica Chastain's strawberry-blonde hair to inspire the makeup look here. How? The artist told us she picked a warm and slightly-shimmery gold to pick up the blonde tones in Chastain's hair — Chanel's Ombré Premiere Eyeshadow in Memory — while also brightening her complexion.

    "Using a shade that has shimmer makes it very easy to blend," she says. "It also reflects the light, so it doesn’t look heavy — it's neutral, but interesting." Notice that the tone and shine level is perfectly matched.

    Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.

    A work of Ta, Kardashian shows us that the trend also works with light locks. "Lately, I've been loving a bright, open eye look," Ta told R29. The shimmery, icy shadow here mirrors her long, flowing platinum waves perfectly — and it's pretty easy do DIY.

    "To achieve this, I take a light, shimmery shade and apply it to the inner corner of the eye," Ta explains. "You can use your favorite highlighter or an eyeshadow two or three shades lighter than your skin, but make sure to blend out the edges."


    Not all brunette hair is the same — far from it! — which makes finding the right tone very important. Ratajkowski's look is particularly stunning as it incorporates copper tones to match her warm brown strands. See: The shadow on her top lid ignites her highlights, while the bottom lash line brings out the darker brown in her roots and bottom layers.

    Ta says that the warm undertones in the star's hair helped him figure out which eye and lip shades would be most flattering. His rule of thumb: "If they have warm undertones, I love to use bronze or copper shades on the eye and pair that with a brownish, pink nude lip." Translation: Undertones bring everything together.


    Remember what we said about shine? Ta created a sultry shadow look on Adriana Lima, giving her smoky eye major shimmer to match her insanely-silky hair.

    Photo: Michael Stewart/Getty Images.

    Gabrielle Union shows that you can also mimic the shape of your hair. Translation: Her deep, dark cat-eye shape gives the same structural feeling as her sleek, low pony.


    A-list artist Hung Vanngo recently gave Rita Ora a stunning shadow look that incorporated the singer's sunny highlights and her darker brown undertones. Bonus: It also matched the shine-free texture of her lived-in curls, providing a cohesive feeling to the matte shadow.


    Ta put this trick to work on Alessandra Ambrosio and the result is perfectly coordinated and incredibly flattering.


    In perhaps the boldest take on the trend, Lucy Hale paired her pink hair (courtesy of hairstylist Kristin Ess' Rose Gold Temporary Tint) with rose-hued eyeshadow and lips.

    Ta also gave red carpet newbie Jasmine Sanders a minimal makeup look that played up her bright, sun-kissed hair and her gold Moschino dress. The shadow of choice? Buttery gold that mimics the shiny texture, of course.

    The inspiration behind Katy Perry's new pink hair may have been cherry blossoms, but the coordinating lipstick, and eyeshadow that's two shades darker, gives the flowery look a little edge.

    If you didn't think Madeline Brewer's rusted-red hair color would look just as good on her lids, then makeup artist Nina Park is here to prove you wrong. It's just an added bonus that the subtle glitter addition on the center of Brewer's eye also matches the actress' green gown.

    Photo: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic.

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    In a world of limitless lip colors and eyeshadow palettes, finding the perfect foundation shade can still be difficult — especially for those who fall on opposite ends of the complexion spectrum. Luckily, we have brands like Fenty Beauty who put inclusion first (and are genuine about doing so). And it turns out that Hollywood's loving it, too.

    "The thing about Fenty, which I own, is that I can get a base makeup that is exactly my skin tone," Viola Davis told us last month. "I don't feel like I have to get something five shades lighter, or mix two shades together, in order to get my shade. And it feels like my natural skin. It's full coverage, and I'm honored by the fact that I'm recognized in this beauty line. I thank Rihanna for that."

    Davis isn't the only one celebrating new shades perfect for dark and deep complexions from forward-thinking lines. There are plenty of queens — including Khoudia Diop and Lupita Nyong'o — who've let us in on the brands and formulas that are a match made in melanin heaven. Having trouble finding a shade for you? We've rounded up their foolproof picks, ahead.

    Before the pink monochromatic lipstick, blush, and eyeshadow, Yara Shadidi's makeup artist Emily Cheng first applied a mixture of Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk and Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation in shade Deep 301/302.

    Celebrity makeup artist Nick Barose applied Lancôme Miracle Cushion Foundation in 555 Suede C as a base for Lupita Nyong'o's Met Gala 2017 look.

    Photo: Via @lupitanyongo.

    Nyakim Gatwetch (one of our Power Faces!) also turns to Lancôme for foundation. She uses the brand's Teint Miracle Radiant Foundation in Suede 560 C.

    Photo: Via @queennyakinofficial.

    To perfect her complexion, Khoudia Diop (who is a MUFE ambassador) uses Make Up For Ever's Ultra HD Foundation in R540.

    Photo: Via @melaniin.goddess.

    Janelle Monáe, who is a Covergirl, relies on Vitalist Healthy Elixir Foundation in Soft Sable to emphasize her glow. "Representation is important," she told us. "[We] aren't all the same shade, so as many times as CoverGirl can highlight different shades and different kinds of women by making them feel like a part of the brand, [the more everyone] can embrace their uniqueness. It'll help [young girls] really get more comfortable in their own skin, and help them walk taller than usual."

    Photo: Via @janellemonae.

    Monáe's fellow Covergirl, Issa Rae, also wore the same foundation (in the same shade!) for the 2017 Emmys. "The Vitalist Healthy Elixir Foundation was perfect for achieving that fresh and flawless skin we were going for," Joanna Simkin, Rae's makeup artist, said. "I loved that the coverage was buildable yet kept the skin hydrated at the same time."

    Photo: Via @joannasimkin.

    Perks of being a part of the Fenty Beauty fam? Getting access to all of the goods. Duckie Thot wears Profiltr Foundation in shades 440 and 490.

    Photo: Via @fentybeauty.

    Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!

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    Even if you don't use them regularly, chances are you have a pack of cotton buds in your makeup bag or lurking in your bathroom cabinet. They've become a household essential for many, used to wipe away stray bits of mascara and clean up failed cat-eye attempts.

    However useful they might be, cotton buds are wreaking havoc on the environment. According to a report by the World Wildlife Fund, the UK uses 13.2 billion of them annually, more than any other European country — in part because we're such makeup junkies.

    Many of these cotton buds end up in landfills, or are flushed down the toilet and end up in our oceans where they're eaten by birds and fish and can cause serious damage. "Even after they break down into smaller plastic particles, they cause digestive issues and possibly other health impacts in wildlife and marine life that ingest the particles," Claire Norman, a spokesperson for Friends of the Earth, told Refinery29. "This is made worse by the fact that plastic micro-particles absorb persistent organic pollutants and other toxins, making them a million times more toxic than surrounding seawater, and this toxicity is concentrated as it moves up the food chain."

    Luckily, a war against plastic cotton buds is currently underway. The government recently announced a potential ban in England (along with plastic straws and stirrers) as part of its long-overdue crusade against plastic waste, while the Scottish government is a step ahead, announcing a full ban in January.

    Many major shops, including the big UK supermarkets and health and beauty retailers like Boots and Superdrug, have also promised to phase out plastic-stemmed buds in the last few years, but they are still widely used elsewhere, from beauty salons to gyms as well as at home. Superdrug told Refinery29 that, while it has asked its own-brand cotton bud supplier to switch to a new paper formulation, there are a "few of the old design left in the business." These will likely have been fully replaced by paper-stemmed buds by this summer, the company adds.

    "Wastewater treatment works aren't designed to deal with small waste like cotton buds and they pass through the filter screens and enter the works," says Geoff Brighty, a science and policy advisor for the global nonprofit Plastic Oceans. "Once the material is at a wastewater treatment works, the problem can arise in times of high rainfall where the works simply overflow, and you get the sudden release of all wastewater material in the system out into the rivers and coasts from storm sewage outfalls."

    Public support for a full ban in the UK seems to be strong, with a petition as part of City to Sea's #SwitchTheStick campaign having garnered more than 157,000 signatures. Many ethical beauty and lifestyle bloggers have thrown their weight behind the cause, including Rachael Stilgoe of Be a Shade Greener, Louise Dartford, the Ethical Unicorn, and Leotie Lovely.

    There are also more eco-friendly compostable alternatives already on the market, including Swisspers Organic Biodegradable Cotton Swabs, which are $2.99 for a pack of 180 and are made from certified-organic cotton and a biodegradable stick, with many similar brands available both online and at drugstores. Proof that you can have your handy beauty tool and your planet, too.

    This story was originally published on Refinery29 UK.

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    When it comes to shopping for swimsuits, there's a whole hoard of things we unnecessarily worry about. From fit to what's popular to cursing out retailers who sell their bikinis in sets but don't let you vary the size between top and bottom. Then there's the added fun that trendy swimsuit styles aren't always the best choice in the practicality department. While that geometric stomach cut-out might look cute under a cabana, tan lines can be a pain. No one wants a hexagonal mid-section after their first day under the sun.

    Basic styles are basic for a reason: At the end of the day, they're a tried and true pick. So where we may have left our itty bitty string bikinis back on the pool party decks of Miami in 2006, maybe it's time we let them back into our lives. And it's not just us. The return of string ties and barely-there garments are prevalent in this summer's swimwear selection. Between pushing the boundaries for just how much of your hoo-ha is actually covered by a flimsy pair of bottoms to pairing string bikini bottoms with more experimental tops, swimsuit designers are doling out the love, too.

    So whether you're ready to channel your inner Kardashian (because obviously they DGAF about trends and string bikinis are a regular part of their clothing rotation) or you're just looking for a pain-free way to tan this year, shop our picks ahead.

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    Cream, beige, brown, peach, taupe — the last eight years of eyeshadow trends are about as exciting as paint swatches in a retirement community. Don't get us wrong: We love the Naked Palette as much as the next person, but even we could stand to inject a little color into our lives every once in a while.

    Luckily, brands are heeding the call and finally launching palettes that break away from all the monochrome monotony. From Kim Kardashian's KKW X Mario palette to Anastasia Beverly Hills' Prism palette, you'll find bold hues like lilac, yellow, and royal blue. And the trend has already hit the red carpet, with celebs like Charlize Theron, Zendaya, and Jenna Dewan leading the way.

    Ahead, check out five eyeshadow colors you can expect to see on everyone's lids this summer.

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    Over the past few months, shades of lilac have been hard to avoid whether you're a fashion snob or a red carpet beauty fanatic. We like to think of the universally flattering shade as training wheels for those nervous about wearing color. You can smudge it onto the lashline for a subtle effect or sweep it over the lids for something bolder.

    Here, Charlize Theron's makeup artist Kate Lee tapped a layer of iridescent lilac shadow over the star's lids. The effect is minimal, but the pop of purple is more interesting than your usual champagne or gold.

    Purple shadow might be a safer choice, but that doesn't mean you can't make a statement wearing the hue. Makeup artist Patrick Ta painted layers of lilac shadow all around Olivia Munn's eyes. Need a little more definition? Smudge a deeper purple eyeliner onto your top and bottom lashlines.


    Yellow eyeshadow is the red carpet beauty trend we didn't see coming. So far, we've spotted it on Zendaya, Yara Shahidi, Margot Robbie, and Lupita Nyong'o — and that list keeps growing.

    The secret to pulling off the look is to choose the right shade of yellow for your skin tone. According to makeup artist Pati Dubroff, people with fair skin tones should reach for muted yellows, while those with medium and deep skin tones can opt for brighter versions of the shade.

    If all-over yellow isn't your cup of tea, copy this look by makeup artist Emily Cheng. The artist traced a thin layer of matte yellow liner onto Yara Shahidi's lashline and finished off with a few coats of black mascara.

    Hot Pink

    There's no denying that millennial pink has dominated the makeup world for the past few years, but this season stars are moving away from sheer washes of color and embracing something bolder. Make like Handmaid's Tale's Madeline Brewer and tap a matte pink shadow all over your lids, then dust a deeper shade of mauve into your creases for more definition.

    Laverne Cox took the trend a step further with this monochromatic pink look at the iHeart Radio awards this year. The star paired two pink shadows (a matte hot pink in her crease and a shimmery pale pink on her lid) with a layer of matching lipstick.

    Dark Blue

    Blue eyeshadow is by no means a new trend, but what makes this iteration different from the looks of the '80s or early aughts is the application. Rather than go for a simple dusting of blue shadow, stars like Tessa Thompson are reaching for deeper shades of blue drawn in fun, graphic shapes with interesting textures.

    Makeup artist Nina Park created this bold smoky eye on Zoë Kravitz. The look incorporates some of our favorite trends: inner-corner strobing, eye gloss, and of course, dark blue shadow.


    Like purple, olive is a color that can toe the line between neutral and bold — depending on how you wear it. Makeup artist Patrick Ta has been using the shade on a number of his celebrity clients, including Jenna Dewan.

    For a more subtle take, copy this look by makeup artist Pati Dubroff on Margot Robbie. Focus the color on your top lashline, blending it out until there are no harsh edges.

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    These days, you don't have to spend a lot of money to look amazing on your wedding day. Sure, some brides-to-be have dreamt of their wedding gowns for their entire lives, and if it's really important to you to shell out thousands on a designer piece for your special day, all the power to you.

    But hear us out: Even as fashion-lovers, we can think of a million reasons not to wipe out your life's savings on a dress for your big day, the first and most obvious one being that you'll likely only wear the damn thing once.

    So there are plenty of reasons to start your search near the bottom of the pricing ladder, not least of which should be because there are a ton of great-looking picks out there that live up to your dreams, but also can be worn again. With the average wedding dress in America costing $900 to $1,500, according to The Wedding Report, Inc., we're using that as our benchmark and presenting dresses that all cost less. And the best part is, with the expensive-looking picks ahead, none of your wedding guests will even be the wiser — your down-the-aisle stunner can be your own little secret.

    You'll glow from a mile away in this metallic mini-slip.

    Kaelen Metallic Lame Cowl Slip, $700, available at Kaelen.

    Ghost Salma Dress, £225, available at Ghost.

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