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BEAUTY HEALTH WORKOUT

The Best Nail Polish Gift Sets to Give This Holiday Season

Best Nail Polish Gift Sets to Give in 2021  Holiday Gift Guide

Allure / Soleil Summer

Nail polish sets, perhaps more so than any other type of beauty product, are quite possibly the perfect holiday present. They are truly the gift that keeps on giving — the recipient gets multiple shades, all of which last and last as they're used over and over again. And considering that the public-health circumstances of the last couple of years turned many of us into well-practiced at-home self-manicurists, they serve as an opportunity to keep up our recently improved nail-painting skills. Nail polish is loved by people of all ages, and really, can you think of any other non-edible product better suited for an advent calendar? 

Thankfully, all of your favorite brands are offering awesome kits that will get rave reviews from the folks on your gift list. Should you find yourself stumped over what to buy for your perfect stranger of a Secret Santa designee or your beauty-loving best friend has expressed interest in doing their own gel manicures, we've found fabulous nail polish sets at every price point and in a huge variety of colors. 

Our picks will give your recipients fun shades to choose from for months to come. But don't be surprised if they crack the bottles open immediately, especially considering how festive some of the selections are.

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Keywordsgiftsgift guideholiday gift guideholiday giftsholiday beauty giftsbeauty giftsnail polishgift setskitsnail polish setsnails incorlySmith & Cultessiedeborah lippmannCNDsephoracoachshoppingbeauty shoppingshopping guide

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BEAUTY HEALTH WORKOUT

What Beauty Beginners Should Buy From Sephora

The Everygirl’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.





I’m sitting in the office reapplying my lipstick after lunch, or I join a Zoom call with a full face of makeup on before the clock strikes 10 a.m. Sometimes it’s when I walk into a beauty store mainlining it to exactly what I need and not sneaking a peek at anything else. Without fail, once a week, someone asks me, “Can you just take me to Sephora and tell me what to buy?” 

The questions only increased since I started writing about beauty products for a living, so I figured it was necessary to finally answer it. Listen, I get it: Sephora is a minefield of products, and unless you know what to look for, it’s hard to weed out what’s good and what isn’t. But once you get the products that work best for you, your makeup routine will be forever changed.

After a lot of firsthand testing, I compiled the complete list of what to grab for a full makeup routine. So the next time you’re in Sephora, consider this your beginner’s guide to shopping for makeup.





Laura Mercier

Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

If you’re new to makeup, put down the full coverage foundation and say hi to something natural instead. A
lightweight foundation like this one is easy to blend, won’t require a ton of fussing to make it look good, and doesn’t get cakey if you need to layer it for more coverage.

I personally love this when my skin is on the drier side because it adds that extra dew and life back to my skin and never clings to dry patches.

Shop it now





Fenty Beauty

Blurring Skin Tint

This unicorn tint truly works on all skin types (our editors with very different skin types agreed in their review). It’s a natural finish with a bit less coverage than the Laura Mercier.

On my oily skin, it leaves me feeling like I can take on the day—even sans powder. I also love how easy the application is—Rihanna even suggests using it with your fingers.

Shop it now





Armani Beauty

Power Fabric Concealer

When someone asks me for a concealer rec, I don’t have to do much thinking. It’s always this. Armani Beauty somehow mastered the art of a concealer that is medium coverage, lightweight, blendable, and natural—all in one fell swoop. On days I don’t want to wear foundation, I pop this under my eyes and on any blemishes, and it blends seamlessly into my skin. Heck, sometimes I even like how this looks all over my face more than foundation.

Shop it now





MERIT Beauty

Foundation and Concealer Stick

If you’re sitting there reading this and thinking, 1. I don’t have time for all of that, and 2. the thought of all that dew on my face is making me sweat (same), let me introduce you to Merit’s Complexion Stick. It’s both a foundation and a concealer but also somehow neither. It’s really in a category of its own. I use it under my eyes and over blemishes when I need to run out the door because it blends in about 20 seconds flat. For someone on the go who doesn’t want to fuss with makeup but likes a bit of coverage, this will start living rent-free in your bag in no time.

Shop it now





Charlotte Tilbury

Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder

Regardless of skin type, powder is necessary. It blurs your pores, prolongs your makeup, and gets rid of that tacky foundation feeling we all hate. But it’s gotten a bad rap for being cakey and drying—until this one stepped in. There’s a reason you’ll find this in makeup bags all over the world. It’s a silky smooth, fine powder that glides right over skin and does everything you want a powder to do without doing what you don’t. No dry and crusty skin here.

Shop it now





Fenty Beauty

Instant Warmth Bronzer

For a beginner, I’d recommend forgoing cream bronzers for now and heading straight to a powder. When used with a fluffy brush, bronzer can give you an all-over glow that’s pretty foolproof (unless you’re using a very wrong shade, but we love Fenty’s line because none of the shades are orange). For a more targeted application, focus on the 3E method: around the temples, under the cheekbones, and under the jawline.

Shop it now





MAKEUP BY MARIO

Soft Pop Blush Stick

The first time I tried this blush, I thought to myself, “This would be incredible for a makeup beginner.” For one, it is so creamy and emollient that it blends with the lightest touch without compromising on pigment. Speaking of, it’s the perfect middle ground: pigmented enough to show up but not too pigmented to give you clown cheeks. The best part is that in the bottom of the product is an attached brush—which I’d normally roast—but it’s actually so soft and makes blending out the product a total dream.

Shop it now





MERIT

Day Glow Highlighting Balm

I will sing this from the rooftops: If you’re new to highlighter, buy a cream or liquid. Powder highlights seem easier to apply and control, but if the powder is too metallic, it can look like a stripe across your face, and if it has too much glitter, well, you know what happens. Cream illuminators have a more natural look, as they often just make your skin appear really dewy or sweaty. Something like this from Merit has a mostly clear base with a hint of color and shimmer to make you look like you’re glowing from within.

Shop it now





Natasha Denona

Mini Nude Eyeshadow Palette

If you’re new to eyeshadow, skip the giant palette and try something like this instead. I love big palettes as a makeup lover because it offers a lot of variety, but when I’m in a hurry, there are too many options and I end up staring at the palette for 10 minutes, trying to figure out what to do. With a palette like this, coming up with your go-to look (and others) is practically guaranteed. Not to mention, the mattes in this palette are so easy to blend and shade your looks, and the shimmers are glitzy and shiny.

Shop it now





Benefit Cosmetics

Magnet Extreme Lengthening Mascara

Truth be told, I’d probably recommend drugstore mascara for beginners because there are so many high-quality options to try while you figure out what your preference is. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you in the direction of my absolute favorite mascara on the market. It’s so good, I wrote a review the second I tried it for the first time. It lengthens, volumizes, separates, and curls. It’s everything you could ever ask for in a mascara.

Shop it now





Shiseido

Eyelash Curler

On the other hand, the one thing I’d recommend you splurge on is a good eyelash curler. Finding an eyelash curler that properly fits your eyes is a bit of a challenge, and Shiseido’s is a favorite in makeup artists’ kits because it molds around a lot of different eye shapes (almond included). Plus, these last for a long time because it’s easy to pick up new pads whenever you place a Sephora order.

Shop it now





Kosas

Tinted Volumizing Eyebrow Gel

Don’t fuss with pencils, pomades, and pens as a beginner. Instead, try a tinted gel that will add volume and color to your brows while shaping them in place. This one comes in tons of shades and really makes your brows look thicker without the giant mess that pomades or pencils might cause.

Shop it now





Make Up For Ever

Eye, Lip & Brow Pencil

Using a lip liner is one of the quickest ways to look put together, and I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a snob and like to keep a really nice one in my bag. “Wherever Walnut” has been my favorite liner for years, and I’ve used it down to a nub at this point. It stays all day and is a perfect pinky brown, but they have tons of other great shades (I also love Endless Cacao and Up and Down Tan).

Shop it now





Tower 28 Beauty

Milky Lip Jelly Gloss

And of course, you’ll want a gloss to top your liner. Tower 28’s glosses are literally the best I’ve ever tried in my life—no hyperbole. They’re not sticky at all, have a bit of longevity, and actually make my lips feel softer. These milky, neutral shades pair perfectly with a neutral liner for that ’90s supermodel lip.

Shop it now





MAKEUP BY MARIO

F2 Makeup Brush

I wouldn’t recommend splurging on a huge brush set as a beginner (I personally love e.l.f. brushes). Instead, pick up several high-quality brushes that have a few uses. This double-ended brush can be used for blush, bronzer, highlighter, powder, contour—pretty much for any powder products on the face.

Shop it now

 

New to Eye Makeup? Here’s the Ultimate Guide to Everything Eyeshadow, Eyeliner, and More

READ MORE

Here’s What Meghan Markle Would Buy at Sephora

READ MORE

Categories
BEAUTY HEALTH WORKOUT

13 Headband and Half Wigs That Look Amazing

The 13 Best Headband and Half Wigs At All Price Points  Reviews

Courtesy of Mayvenn Hair

One quick search for "headband wigs" on YouTube will result in enough evidence to prove just how much these types of pieces have grown in popularity as a quick, low-maintenance way to style your hair. And what's not to love? They're easy to put on, they come in a variety of styles and textures, and they can help simplify your daily hair routine. 

"Headband wigs" are quite simply wigs with a headband attached to them, hairstylist Tamika Gibson explains. "They do not require any adhesive as the headband helps the wig stay in place," she shares. The main tool you'll need to finesse your unit is a brush or comb, depending on the texture, to untangle any knots. Upkeep is fairly simple — Gibson recommends washing the wigs every one to two weeks and storing them away in a satin bag to preserve their luster. 

Similar to the headband option, there are also half wigs to consider. "[Those cover] half of the head and allow for more leave out of the natural hair than a full wig [does]," explains Gibson. You can wear a half wig by itself or upgrade it to a headband unit using one of your own favorite hair accessories (like a headwrap or turban). 

There are so many styles available that it may be hard to find the one you're looking for. But as always, we've got you covered with this roundup of headband and half wigs for those times when you'd rather not deal with wig glue. 

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

KeywordsHairwigswigwig stylinghair accessoriesshoppingafro wigheadbandsservice

Categories
BEAUTY HEALTH WORKOUT

The St. Tropez Glow Kit Made Me Feel Like I’m Actually Good at Applying Self-Tanner

Woman sitting on the ground next to an image of the St. Tropez Ultimate Glow Kit on a purple backgroundAllure/Ingrid Frahm

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

People are always surprised when I tell them I'm not good at certain beauty practices. They assume that because I'm a beauty editor, surely I must be at least passably adept at things like painting my nails or creating an updo. On more than one occasion, however, I've had to explain the difference between someone who performs beauty tasks for a living and someone who writes about them — totally different skill set. I put my self-tanner on one blotchy streak at a time, just like everyone else. 

In fact, self-tanner is probably the skill in which I'd score lowest in a bizarre nightmare where I'm in the Olympics but all the events are parts of a beauty routine. No matter what's been promised to me about foolproof even coverage, I make liars of marketing copywriters by coming up with laughably unnatural-looking, splotchy results every time. Needless to say, I rarely use the stuff largely for this reason.

I tan easily and darkly when given the opportunity, but I never take that opportunity because I'm in a neverending skin-tight cocoon of sunscreen even when I'm indoors, which is usually. I do miss the look sometimes, though, and I'd much rather attempt to achieve it in a non-damaging way, so when a self-tanner seems especially promising, I force myself to forget how bad I am at applying it and give it another shot. Recently, the St. Tropez Ultimate Glow Kit looked like it had low screw-up potential, so I found myself alone with it in my bathroom.

There are only two items in the kit: Self Tan Luxe Whipped Crème Mousse, a limited-edition formula created in collaboration with St. Tropez brand ambassador Ashley Graham, and a super soft application mitt. I had never applied self-tanner with anything other than my hands, so I was looking forward to seeing if this simple tool made a difference. 

St. Tropez Ultimate Glow Kit on white background

St. Tropez Ultimate Glow Kit

$55Shop Now

But before I could do that, I had to prep, which meant showering with a thorough exfoliating session using a non-oil-based scrub. "Exfoliating before the application is extremely important to ensure even application," board-certified dermatologist Shari Marchbein previously told Allure, adding that oils "could interfere with the binding of DHA to the stratum corneum." The DHA of which she speaks is dihydroxyacetone, the ingredient all self-tanners rely on to create a darkening effect.

Once out of the shower, I applied a lightweight moisturizer to the areas that always sabotage me with their self-tanner thirst: my elbows, knees, ankles, and heels of my hands. From there, it was time to apply.

Taking the advice of St. Tropez's resident self-tanning expert, Sophie Evans, I started with my legs and immediately let out a "whoa" when I saw how the light brown mousse looked as I spread it down my shins. It's really nice to have an unmistakable guide regarding where I'm applying the product, where I've failed to apply the product, and where it's not very well-blended, but it's also a little jarring to see one's legs instantly become the color of a cardboard box when you're starting out as pale as I've become in my years of sun avoidance. It's also an absolute delight to apply the creamy yet lightweight formula with the included mitt, which definitely helped with even strokes (and avoiding palm stains).

Although Graham applies the formula to her back all by herself in a genuinely helpful how-to video, I admit, I asked my boyfriend to help me with that. I know — what better way to ensure I get yet another uneven self-tan than to ask someone who's never done this before to apply it when I can't really see how he's doing. But he actually did great, and he didn't comment on any unpleasant self-tanner smell. (The product allegedly smells amazing, but I had just come through a breakthrough COVID case and didn't quite have my sense of smell back. But if he, a self-tanning novice, didn't complain of that typical DHA stink, it's gotta be pretty decent.)

There's nothing in the instructions about applying the mousse to one's face, but there's also nothing in the instructions about not applying the mousse to one's face, so for the sake of uniformity, I went for it. However, I used a smaller amount and kept it on for less time. "Faces have a tendency to go darker than the body," Evans has told Allure, adding that as long as your skin isn't prone to breakouts, using body self-tanner on the face is fine. Specifically, I rinsed it off after two hours, whereas I actually slept in the self-tanner (it dries down fast) from the neck down because it can be worn for up to eight hours for more noticeable results.

In the morning, I hopped back in the shower and made sure my skin was rinsed clean of any color that wasn't the result of the Maillard reaction. (That's what it's called when the DHA mixes with skin's amino acids to generate a pigment called a melanoidin, according to board-certified dermatologist Michele Green.)

An arm before an after selftanner with plants in the backgroundI decided to go with a full-blown magician's-assistant "ta-dah!" pose to show you the before and after on my arm. These were taken at the same time in the same spot in my apartment one day apart.Allure

I was genuinely surprised to see that I had done a damn good job of applying this self-tanner in an even way — but I can't really take all the credit, and neither can my boyfriend. Most of the credit goes to St. Tropez for creating a formula in a tinted, easily spreadable, and blendable format that makes it easy for application-inept beauty editors like myself to actually do said good job — especially when equipped with a truly difference-making mitt. 

Woman sits on the ground in front of trees smiling and wearing short and a tshirtLook how happy I am about the results! Allure

The only areas that needed a little correction were the ones I moisturized. I actually ended up applying too much moisturizer, or perhaps too little mouse, on the back of my hands. That said, it wasn't very noticeable, and after a little exfoliating, it blended into a bit of an ombré effect that was even less noticeable.

I'm genuinely impressed with the outcome, and I know I'll only get even better at getting even results. Now if someone could just come out with nail polish in easy-to-apply mousse, I'll be all set.

Ready to try it for yourself? If so, pick up a kit for yourself for $55 at sephora.com or ulta.com and see what all of the hype is about. And after you're done here, check out all of our 2021 Allure Best of Beauty Award winners. (The entire list is well worth the read.)

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BEAUTY HEALTH WORKOUT

Lori Harvey Launched a Skin-Care Line

Beautiful photo of Lori Harvey with gorgeous clean skin on a sky blue backgroundCourtesy of brand

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

At this point, it should come as little surprise that any celebrity would launch a beauty brand. Beauty products tend to be relatively affordable, and delving into the category has proven to be extremely lucrative for so many of the rich and famous. Just ask Rihanna, whose wealth, according to Forbes, has surpassed the billion-dollar mark, thanks in large part to Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin.

Just as fragrance was the diversifying business move of choice for celebrities in the early aughts (and many are still making a killing off of it today), launching a skin-care or makeup line seems to be the ultimate celeb power play in the 2020s. And it's a move Lori Harvey is making with the launch of SKN by LH, her new skin-care brand set to launch on October 22.

"[Skin care has] always been something that's been very near and dear [to me]," Harvey tells Allure over the phone. "It's been something I've been obsessed with since I was a little girl." Up until now, Lori Harvey has best been known as a modern-day Black socialite, the daughter of Steve and the ever-couture-clad Marjorie Harvey. She's beautiful, she's famous, the clout: it's already there. Now, she's looking to channel all that into a business venture.

Harvey says that her interest in skin care started in her modeling days. "I have very sensitive skin, and I really struggled with [it] as a teenager," she explains. "Once I got into modeling, I was having really, really bad breakouts because of all the makeup being applied to my face."

At the time, Harvey had an extensive skin-care routine that included several products — at least 20, she says. It was so overwhelming that she decided she'd rather create her own collection to streamline the process. (And certainly, making a coin in the meantime isn't a bad deal either!) Harvey says she recruited a team of dermatologists and cosmetic chemists to help guide her in that pursuit, explaining that she was determined to be extremely involved in the development of her burgeoning brand. 

"I've been at this for a while now, it's is a lot of hard work. I'm 100 percent hands-on with every aspect of my business," she says. "I not only had to learn about formulas but also how to structure a business, the financial side of it. [I also had to learn about] designing packaging, shipping — every little detail that goes into building a brand. I'm still learning more and more every day, but it's so fulfilling."

SKN by LH is a five-piece offering that includes the Goji Berry Cleanser ($38), a clear gel-like face wash, the White Tea Toner ($35), a refreshing mist, the Vitamin C Serum ($50), a milky elixir, the peptide-packed Eye Complex Cream ($45), and the lightweight Niacinamide Cream ($38) moisturizer. All save for the toner contain vitamin C, which was an ingredient Harvey said was important for her to include, due to her personal issues with hyperpigmentation. "I used to get really bad dark spots," she says, also noting that her sensitive skin, which will sometimes turn red when it's irritated, drew her to including ingredients like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, to help retain moisture. 

Portrait of Lori Harvey with a white smear of eye cream under one eyeCourtesy of Brand

Harvey says she made her line to service all skin types, so I can imagine we'll be seeing more products aimed at specific skin needs in the future that go beyond what's been put forth. Harvey is hoping to eventually expand her offerings to include face masks, exfoliators, and body products. 

For now, we're set with these first five products, of which I received lab samples ahead of the launch. There is something I find quite special about getting lab samples, dressed down in unfussy packaging. As someone who reviews beauty products for a living, it allows me to experience the product in its rawest form — no frills, no fancy packaging to cloud my judgment. It's just me, my skin, and the formula. That said, the official packaging certainly has more finesse, but still exudes a minimalist vibe. Each bottle, tube, and jar boasts light blue ombré coloring with the name of the brand written in a white, spartan font.

Light blue bottle of SKN by Lori Harvey Goji Berry Cleanser on a light blue background

SKN by LH Goji Berry Cleanser

$38SKN by LHShop Nowlight blue bottle of SKN by Lori Harvey Vitamin C serum on a light blue background

SKN by LH Vitamin C Serum

$50SKN by LHShop Nowlight blue bottle of SKN by Lori Harvey white tea toner on a light blue background

SKN by LH White Tea Toner

$35SKN by LHShop Nowlight blue tube of Lori Harvey Peptide Eye Complex on a light blue background

SKN by LH Peptide Eye Complex

$45SKN by LHShop Now

I tried these products periodically over a few days to fully get a feel of how they work, not just together, but with other products I regularly use. My first try was at night. I grabbed the bottle of Goji Berry Cleanser and squeezed it into my hands. It's got a gel-like consistency and a citrusy scent (apropos with the inclusion of vitamin C in its formula). Goji berries add hydration and contain antioxidants, which help keep the production of free radicals to a minimum. When you rub it in on the back of your hand, it creates a slight lather that gets more intense if you do it on a wet face. It foamed, it bubbled, and it washed away easily without making my face feel super dry — just as a good cleanser should. I tried again a few days later to remove my makeup with it, and two cleanses with this did the trick, which sold me.

Then it was on to the White Tea Toner. This formula contains hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, which helps your skin retain moisture and aids in smoothing skin texture, respectively, as well as (of course) white tea extract, which cosmetic chemist Ginger King says contains antioxidants. I noticed that the toner has a very faint rosy scent, thanks to the addition of rose water, which has a soothing effect on your skin. 

Light Blue bottles from the SKN by Lori Harvey collection covered in water droplets sitting on a light blue shelf on a...Courtesy of brand

After spraying my face, it was on to the Vitamin C Serum, which also happens to contain niacinamide. It is odorless and absorbs quickly into your skin when you rub it in, injecting a bit of waxy moisture. Included in its formulation is pea extract, which has a firming benefit for the skin, according to King. 

"Pea extract is full of antioxidants, contains alpha-carotene (carotenoids are known to stimulate collagen and increase skin firmness and density), and is anti-inflammatory, meaning it can reduce redness, sensitivity, and itchiness in the skin," says New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Howard Sobel, M.D. "High in vitamin C, pea extract helps fight free radicals and environmental skin damage as well as brighten the skin. When used in a serum, moisturizer, or treatment formula, pea extract can help boost skin radiance and elasticity."

jar of skn by lh niacinamide cream

SKN by LH Niacinamide Cream

$38SKN by LHShop Now

Before I added the Niacinamide Cream, I squeezed a small amount of the Peptide Eye Complex onto my right ring finger and patted it in. The texture of the cream felt a little lighter than what I personally prefer (I like mine cheesy grits-thick), but keep in mind, I have almost a decade on Harvey. Needless to say, my older eyes need a little something extra. However, Harvey mentions that eye cream is one of the products she uses the most. 

"Dark circles and bags run in my family," she says. "So my mom [taught me to be] really big on prevention versus correction." The formula includes hyaluronic acid, shea butter, jojoba seed oil, and vitamin E — those big-ticket ingredients you'll find in products aimed at infusing moisture into your skin. 

Once the Eye Complex was patted in, I reached for the Niacinamide Cream. It's quite runny and the texture reminds me a bit of hotel lotion. Unlike hotel lotion, though, this stuff didn't make my skin feel completely dry after a few minutes. I also got a kind of waxy feel once it dried down, but I am happy to report that there was no pilling. 

I wouldn't say this offers a super-intense punch of hydration, so it may suit folks who don't like that heavy feeling moisturizer can sometimes impart. That said, the moisturizer does include niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and shea butter — all of which, as previously mentioned, do add that moisture to the skin. In this case,  it felt a bit like it was sitting on top of my skin as opposed to penetrating the layers. Despite that, my skin didn't feel dry afterward, which is ultimately the point of such a product.

Bottles from SKN by Lori Harvey arranged in the sand. TH ebottles are a medium light blue colorCourtesy of brand

Harvey says she likes her skin to have a dewy finish, which, same. However, I think if that is your goal, you may want to supplement with a face oil to get that shine. The times I completed the full five-step LH routine, my skin definitely looked moisturized, but I was left with more of a sheen-like finish, which, if you're someone with oily skin, may be preferable. 

If you're looking for a healthy dose of vitamin C, this range has your name all over it. Again, each of the products, save for the toner, contains the ingredient, which brightens up dark spots in your complexion. If you're worried about whether including vitamin C in all but one step of your skin routine could cause an issue, King says it's nothing to worry about. Having the ingredient in a cleanser is great, but since you're washing it off so quickly, if you want the benefits, you may want to combine it with other vitamin C products, anyway. "If anything, the only good dose of vitamin C should be in a moisturizer," King explains.

If you've got sensitive skin and are looking to maintain a brighter complexion, you may be inclined to pick up what Harvey's putting down. You can nab the collection at sknbylh.com on October 22 for $35-$50.

Categories
BEAUTY HEALTH WORKOUT

This TikTok-Viral, Oil-Absorbing Rollerball Is Like a Filter in a Stick

before and after revlon oil absorbing volcanic face rollerNicola Dall'Asen/Allure

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

When a beauty product causes hordes of people on your TikTok For You page to break out in wide-eyed bewilderment, you know it just has to be good — and that's the exact wave of reactions Revlon's Oil-Absorbing Volcanic Face Roller has caused in recent weeks. I can't count, off the top of my head, how many looks of pleasant surprise I've witnessed as this rollerball has transformed skin from shiny to matte in a matter of seconds with the flick of a wrist. Naturally, I had to have it. Immediately. And I was not disappointed. 

Here's the basic low-down on the Oil-Absorbing Face Roller: it's pretty much just a rollerball made of volcanic stone. There's no powder stowed away inside; all its oil-absorbing properties come from the tiny ball alone — and that's not a marketing gimmick, if you can believe it. 

"Volcanic stones have little pockets of porous holes to trap oils," cosmetic chemist Ginger King confirms. Does that mean the product actually works, though? Much to my surprise, yes. 

woman posing before using revlon volcanic face roller  review

Here’s my skin pre-rollerball. As you can see, my forehead, nose, and cheekbones are most shine-prone. 

Nicola Dall'Asen/Allure

Just like all those TikTok users I watched roll their oiliest patches into smooth, matte ones, I witnessed my own oily spots (mostly located on the center of my forehead and in the crevices around my nose) disappear after passing the rollerball back and forth over them a couple of times. Like any oil-absorbing product, how long that mattifying effect lasts depends on your specific skin type and how much oil it produces. I'm not very oily, so I can go a few hours before needing the rollerball after using it once — it's a throw-in-my-bag-just-in-case product for nights out and special occasions.  

Despite its convenient portability and seemingly magic ability to keep base makeup intact, there is one important downside to consider with the Oil-Absorbing Volcanic Face Roller. As King points out, "even if you can wash it, if it traps oils, it will be harder to clean," she explains. You can wash the Face Roller by unscrewing the very top of it, removing the ball, giving it some soap and warm water, then leaving it out to dry. The more you use it, the more frequently you should wash it. 

woman posing after using revlon volcanic face roller  review

It’s hard to capture just how much with indirect lighting, but the Volcanic Face Roller does, indeed, soak up oil for a matte finish. 

Nicola Dall'Asen/Allure

Even so, King recommends oil-blotting sheets as an alternative (anything single-use is automatically more sanitary, after all), but you could also just keep an eye on how oily your stone gets and, worst-case scenario, buy another one when you think yours has reached its oil-absorption limit — I mean, at $14 a pop, why not?

Revlon Oil-Absorbing Volcanic Face Roller on white background

Revlon Oil-Absorbing Volcanic Face Roller

$14RevlonShop Now

The Revlon Oil-Absorbing Volcanic Face Roller retails for $14 and is available from ulta.com. 

Categories
BEAUTY HEALTH WORKOUT

Is It Codependency or Just Regular Emotional Needs?






Source: @lifew.erin

I have to admit: I’m often pretty codependent in my relationships. Sometimes I’ll decide to not speak up about something because I’m afraid it might push my partner away, or I’ll jump to the worst-case scenario when I don’t hear from them. I’ve even had my fair share of needing constant reassurance and feeling really insecure if there’s a moment I don’t get it. It’s something I’m actively working on, but it’s easy for me to slip into these codependency patterns, especially in seasons where I feel more anxious or am struggling with self-confidence. 

While I have gotten better, I still sometimes have a hard time identifying if certain reactions and feelings are from a place of codependency or if they’re just regular emotional needs. And I know I’m not the only one who faces this question—codependency has become more and more popular over the years as mental health has become a key part of relationships. However, the term has been misused so often that it can be hard to tell if we’re really struggling with codependency or if we’re just expressing needs we expect to be met. So what is codependency, how do you know if you or your partner are dealing with it, and what do you do if you are? Read on to find out the healthiest way to get your needs met.

 

In this article

1
What is codependency?

2
What’s the difference between codependency and having healthy emotional needs?

3
So how much should you depend on a romantic partner?

4
Struggling with codependency? Here’s what to do next:

 

What is codependency?

As Vicki Botnick, a marriage and family therapist, explained to Psych Central, codependency can be defined as “any enmeshed relationship in which one person loses their sense of independence and believes they need to tend to someone else.” While codependency may sound similar to selflessness, it’s more of an unhealthy willingness to give yourself up to keep someone else. Joaquín Selva, Bc.S., explained to Positive Psychology that codependency is “a specific relationship addiction characterized by preoccupation and extreme dependence—emotional, social and sometimes physical—on another person.”

Research has found many common characteristics of codependent behavior, like lack of a strong sense of self. A study of codependency found that every single one of its participants had a hard time defining who they really are, something this study calls “The Chameleon-Self.” In other words, each participant easily adapted to every situation instead of showing up with consistent behavior as their true selves. The participants also described feeling out of control emotionally as well as feeling trapped in the passive role in their relationships in order to please the other person.

Codependency often stems from lack of self-worth, which can then lead to needing external validation. This can show up in every area of life, but it is especially detrimental in relationships. For example, do you find yourself struggling to do things without your partner or find it difficult to pursue hobbies or friendships on your own? Have you ever found yourself changing plans you already had to make sure you can hang with your partner? Or maybe you’ve diminished your own needs to please the other person? While codependent behavior can be toxic and negative, sometimes normal and healthy emotional needs get mistaken for codependent behaviors (especially in situations where our needs aren’t being met, but more on that below). 

 

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What’s the difference between codependency and having healthy emotional needs?

Since codependency has become a popular term, people often mistakenly use it to describe healthy, normal emotional needs within a relationship. For example, you might worry it’s “needy” to express that you want more regular phone communication when you’re not together or that you want to know where your partner stands. In reality, expressing your needs and communicating expectations are healthy behaviors, not codependent, needy, or high maintenance (and to everyone who thinks otherwise: thank you, next). Our society has often confused codependency with vulnerability. For example, has anyone ever called you (or have you called someone) “needy” if you ask for more time or affection? Do you think it’s “high-maintenance” to let your partner know you need help or have high expectations?

Having emotional needs within the context of a partnership is healthy, and being able to express them and get these needs met is a crucial part of a safe, thriving relationship (it’s not codependent!). The difference is the intention: Are you making requests or certain actions based on what you want out of a relationship, or is it because of your own insecurities, lack of self-worth, and fear the relationship won’t work out? You shouldn’t need your partner to feel good about yourself, but you should be vulnerable and able to depend on your partner. The opposite of codependency isn’t independence; it’s interdependence. 

 

So how much should you depend on a romantic partner?

Codependency is about losing a sense of self and looking to your partner for all of your needs, while interdependency is the balance of having a strong sense of self while allowing your partner to help and support you. Interdependent relationships are when both partners are able to depend on each other (like knowing the other will be supportive when expressing needs or that you’re able to ask for help), but you won’t forego your needs for theirs and sacrifice yourself for your relationship.

Expressing emotional needs, like asking for more communication, physical touch, or quality time, does not make you codependent (that’s just knowing your love language). These emotional needs within a relationship are normal and healthy, especially when you have honest conversations where the other person respects you and makes changes so your needs can be met. However, it can become codependent when you begin to ask for these things out of a desire to find self-worth or affirmation. 

 

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Struggling with codependency? Here’s what to do next:

1. Focus on you

If you realize you haven’t seen your friends in a while and only see your partner’s friends or mutual couple friends, ask yourself why. What makes you prioritize your partner or relationship over the life you’ve had up until this point? Same with the small things, like hobbies you might’ve stopped doing or music you stopped listening to. Often, codependency has a lot to do insecurity about not feeling enough without your significant other. To feel enough, prioritize all the things that you love, whether it’s watching more sci-fi movies (even though your partner much prefers comedies) or make plans with the friend that always makes you laugh. Fill your life with so many of the people, activities, and things that bring you joy so that your partner is not your entire life and instead just one amazing piece of an already great life.

 

2. Check in on your partner’s part in the codependency

So maybe you’ve been feeling like you’re codependent, needy, or high maintenance, but you realize you’ve been expressing healthy emotional needs that just aren’t being met. Or maybe your partner has done things in the past that made you insecure in your relationship. Sometimes it’s not that we’re naturally codependent but that other people can make us insecure or question how “normal” our needs are. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself the difficult questions like “Is your partner hearing you out?” and “Do you feel like you have a safe place to express your needs in your relationship?” Bottom line: Codependent or not, you deserve to feel heard, valued, and cared for in your relationship. 

 

3. Talk with a therapist or relationship counselor

If you’re really struggling with codependency and not having a strong sense of self (in your relationship or otherwise), find a therapist or trusted professional to help you work through these patterns and rebuild your sense of self. Working with a therapist can help you determine the healthy amount of trust, dependence, and vulnerability for you and your relationship. More importantly, working on your own self-identity and building up your interdependence can make you happier, calmer, and better in every aspect of your life.

 

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BEAUTY HEALTH WORKOUT

The Supreme Court Cases That Should Be On Your Radar






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The U.S. Supreme Court is back in session! The nine Justices have reconvened after the summer recess and are hearing oral arguments for cases dealing with some of the most pressing issues facing our country. Oral arguments allow time for both sides of a case to present their facts and legal claims before the justices. In turn, the Justices ask questions of the attorneys and seek a better understanding of the relevant legal matters. The Court hears multiple oral arguments each day and is scheduled to hear nearly 30 arguments through mid-December. Decisions for these cases are expected to come down in early 2022. In the meantime, here’s a snapshot of three cases to keep on your radar.

 





 

Death Penalty for the Boston Marathon Bomber

In 2013, three people were killed and nearly 300 people were injured when two pressure-cooker bombs detonated near the finish line of the annual Boston Marathon. During the multi-day search for the suspects, a MIT police officer was murdered in his patrol car, and authorities linked the two incidents to brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died while trying to flee police, but Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested, convicted on 30 counts in federal district court, and sentenced to death.

The First Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Tsarnaev’s death sentence, explaining that the district court jury hadn’t been properly questioned and that evidence wasn’t allowed that connected his brother to a prior murder. The Department of Justice, under former President Trump, appealed the overturned sentence to the Supreme Court and maintained that the death penalty should be upheld. The Justices heard oral argument for this case early on in the fall session, and the conservative Justices (Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Barrett) expressed general support of reinstating Tsarnaev’s death sentence. The liberal Justices (Breyer, Kagan, Sotomayor) were more sympathetic to Tsarnaev’s defense that his older brother coerced and influenced him into the bombing, and that the First Circuit decision should stand.

If the Court comes down in support of Tsarnaev’s execution—as is expected by legal scholars—it will reflect discord between the executive and judicial branches on the federal death penalty, with the former seeking to limit the practice and the latter aiming to extend. Even in states that prohibit the death penalty by state law, certain crimes can still be punishable by death under the Federal Death Penalty Act. President Biden has been pushing to end capital punishment, and earlier this year, the Department of Justice issued a moratorium on federal executions while a review of the Department’s policies and protocols are reviewed.

 





 

Unrestricted Concealed Carry for Firearms

New York state law requires that applicants for unrestricted concealed carry permits show “proper cause” and “​​demonstrate a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community.” This law was enacted in 1913 in response to an uptick in homicides in New York and is defended by the state government as a necessary, effective means of reducing gun violence. In this case, two permit applicants were denied unrestricted carry permits, but they were approved to carry while traveling to and from work, in hunting and target practice settings, and for self-defense in limited areas. The applicants viewed the limitations as an infringement on their Second Amendment rights and filed suit against the current New York Superintendent of Police.

Both the district court and appellate court dismissed the applicants’ claims, citing a previously decided Supreme Court case, District of Columbia v. Heller, which indicates that the Second Amendment right isn’t unlimited and should be regulated to some degree. The gray area is that regulations are interpreted differently according to jurisdiction, and there aren’t clear guidelines from the Supreme Court on how regulations should apply across the board. Heller was decided in 2008 and is the last major Second Amendment case that the Supreme Court has decided… until now.

If the Court rules in favor of the applicants, there could be a significant broadening of firearm accessibility in the U.S. There are seven states besides New York that require a showing of “proper cause” for concealed carry permits, so deeming the measure unconstitutional in New York would also deem it unconstitutional in those seven states, as well as preempt any other state from implementing the practice in the future. Additionally, the ruling could lead to further relaxation of other firearm regulations.

Oral argument for this case is scheduled for Nov. 3, 2021. An audio recording of the oral argument will be posted here on the same day.

 





 

Determining Fetal Viability for Abortion Access

Abortion rights have been a major topic this year as 90 restrictive abortion laws were enacted in the first six months of 2021—the most since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. The Texas legislature made headlines when it passed and implemented the most limiting abortion law in the country, SB 8, prohibiting abortion services after the first detection of fetal cardiac activity, usually around six weeks’ gestation. The Supreme Court had the option to block enforcement of SB 8 before it took effect on Sept. 1, but the Court declined.

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health was already scheduled for oral argument when SB 8 was enacted, so that is likely a contributing factor as to why the Court refused to hear SB 8 at the time. The Court’s inaction on SB 8 bought them a couple of months, but the question of fetal viability—a primary point of contention—is also at issue in Dobbs, once again resting the legality of abortion access with the Supreme Court. Dobbs focuses on a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Under Roe v. Wade, abortion access cannot be denied anytime before a fetus is viable. Viability refers to the ability of a fetus to survive outside of the womb or be resuscitated after delivery. Most hospitals and medical providers consider the point of viability to be around 24 weeks.

Many legal scholars are considerably worried that Dobbs v. Jackson will ultimately lead to the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Upholding the law would essentially eliminate the viability condition that’s outlined in Roe and make abortions inaccessible before many childbearing people even know that they’re pregnant. Each of the six conservative Supreme Court Justices have expressed pro-life views, and a majority decision that strikes down the law would require two of the conservative Justices to depart from their political ideologies.

Oral argument for this case is scheduled for Dec. 1, 2021. An audio recording of the oral argument will be posted here on the same day.

 

Other Cases on the Docket

The Supreme Court will remain in session well into 2022, with a few breaks scattered throughout, and will hear a number of oral arguments. Some other legal matters the Court will decide include expanding Supplemental Security Income benefits to citizens of Puerto Rico (United States v. Vaello-Madero), gambling regulations on tribal land in Texas (Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo v. Texas), and disability discrimination under the Affordable Care Act (CVS Pharmacy, Inc. v. Doe), among others. Check out the Supreme Court’s website here for more info about each of this session’s cases.

 

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BEAUTY HEALTH WORKOUT

31 Ideas for Winter Nails to Do at Home or in the Salon

A pointy purple amethyst manicure a clear manicure with metallic cuticle pieces and a black manicure with crocodile patternCourtesy of Instagram

If we're being honest, we've been thinking about winter nails since spring. There are just so many great nail trends out there that we could easily fill an entire calendar. And with 2021 almost behind us (insert huge sigh of relief here) and a new season nigh, we thought: Why not celebrate by sharing some of our favorite winter nail designs? After all, whether you've made a safe, triumphant return to your favorite nail tech's station at the salon or you're continuing to do our own manicures — we'd bet you've gotten really good at them — Instagram has offered endless creative inspiration for end-of-year looks.

Luckily, nail artists have been pumping out awe-inspiring nail looks like it's no big deal (talent like this totally is, though), and we've been keeping tabs on all of the ones we want to try come wintertime. Ahead, you'll find a diverse array of designs for every kind of aesthetic taste. There are festive jewel-toned creations, new and exciting ways to wear sparkle, astrology-themed art, ombré, and much more. (Plus, some insight and product suggestions from the creators themselves.)

Now, without further ado: All the winter nail inspiration you need to get you through the season.

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

1. Martini Mani

An olive green manicure with dark red dotsInstagram/@betina_goldstein

Betina Goldstein proves that nail art needn't be literal. Even without a martini glass painstakingly painted on each nail, it's obvious that this manicure is inspired by the pimento-stuffed manzanilla olives that traditionally garnish the gin-and-vermouth cocktail — something we wouldn't mind sipping by the fireplace this winter. With its solid base and simple circles, it's chic and easy art that can be done at home, and on any length nail.

2. Amethyst Nails

A long pointy purple amethystinspired manicureInstagram/@nailss.by.gracie

Amethyst is easily one of the most beloved winter birthstones, but you don't have to be born in February to admire its beauty — or want to interpret it as winter nail art. Welsh nail artist Grace Andrew created this gemstone look by mixing several Ugly Duckling gel colors together for a variegated effect, topped off by organic-looking lines swiped on with a skinny nail brush.

3. Tapered Curves

a beige manicure with black curvesInstagram/@paintboxnails

This abstract idea is so simple yet so chic for a winter manicure. A rich beige polish makes for a classic base, but black tapered curves — some sprouting from the tips and some from the cuticles — add a cute yet boldly contrasting element. Although created by a nail artist at Paintbox in New York City, a steady hand and two polishes are all you need to recreate this yourself at home. Feel free to mix up the color combination.

4. Galaxy Nails

A manicure with a galaxylike effectInstagram/@talons_tarot

Galaxy nails have been trending for quite some time, and it's easy to see why. How stunning is this magical manicure? With the right magnetic, iridescent polish in a deep, dark color — nail artist India Jade used Pure Nails Halo Gel Polish in Luna, but KBShimmer makes a number of non-gel magnetic polishes — you can easily recreate a gorgeous, wintry night sky on your fingertips.

5. Monochromatic Crocodile Nails

Black crocodile pattern nailsInstagram/@ghost.nails

Nail artist Zoe created an animal-scale texture illusion by adding a pattern of wavy blocks of glossy polish atop a matte base. With black for both finishes, the look is remarkably versatile, leaving the boldness up to the long, pointy shape. And darker shades are always a welcome pick for winter manicures.

6. Jewel-Tone Splatters

Teal manicure with pink and gold foil piecesInstagram/@nail_datewithalma

Festive winter nails don't have to come in traditional holiday colors. Jewel tones always look amazing in the wintertime, and on a manicure, a blend of several is even more special. Here, nail artist Alma used Dip Hustle Co's Teal Armor dip — a gorgeous green base with yellow and rose gold foil pieces — to create an elegant splattered effect. And here's a fun way to take advantage of winter's longer nights: This particular polish glows in the dark.

7. Black & White Squiggles

White nails with black squiggles and black nails with white squigglesInstagram/@talons_tarot

While an expert nail artist like India Jade may have an especially easy time created this high-contrast manicure, it's not a difficult project for at-home amateurs either. Cute on all nail lengths, this look requires only a black polish, white polish, skinny nail brush, topcoat, and a desire to doodle on your nails. No need to try to copy this exactly — there's no wrong way to draw on the curvy lines, and any color combination you love besides black and white will look lovely, too.

8. Icy Cuticles

A clear manicure with silver pieces along the cuticleInstagram/@betina_goldstein

You may avoid ice when you're walking or driving during the coldest months of the year, but an icy effect on the nails is a winter-wonderful idea for a manicure. Betina Goldstein keeps it simple but still summons the glam with this creation, keeping the base clear and glossy. The stand-out detail of this nail art is the silver pieces along the cuticles — Goldstein tells Allure she used crushed metallic pieces from the craft store — extending halfway up the sides of the nails. It's giving benevolent ice queen, don't you think?

9. Twinkling Tiger Stripes

Tiger stripe manicure in magenta and purple colorsInstagram/@claudia.cndea

How do you make a tiger-stripe manicure even more fierce? Try deep, winter-perfect, sparkling shades of purple instead of the usual orange and black. Nail artist Claudia created this moody take on an animal print by using CND's Dark Dahlia and Drama Queen shades — a midnight purple and shimmering magenta, respectively — for the two-tone stripes. It's moody yet party-ready — and isn't that the default winter vibe?

10. Black & Bright

Image may contain Wristwatch Human and Person

Winter doesn't have to mean switching from bright colors to dark ones. You can embrace both with a French moon manicure like this one by Goldstein. She used Chanel's Boy De Chanel Colour in Black as the base on every nail and switched it up on the tips and moons of each one with Le Vernis Nail Colours in Harmony, Melody, Cruise, Arancio Vibrante, Egéríe, and Mirage. It's a combination that lets you hold onto the vibrant shades you love while incorporating the moody darkness so often seen in winter nail looks.

11. Champagne Sparkle Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure Nail Jewelry Accessories Ring and AccessoryCourtesy of Instagram/@nailsbycanishiea

"I love combining different glitter polishes for the perfect winter wonderland look," Canishiea Robinson tells Allure of this sparkly two-toned manicure. To get this look at home, you'll need two glitter nail polishes (Essie's Summit of Style and Zoya's Magical Pixie Dust will do the trick) and mini faux pearl appliques, which you can find at just about any craft store, as well as on Amazon. This set features ones with flat bottoms so they're easier to apply.

12. Gold Foil Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure Nail and SkinCourtesy of Instagram/@nailsbycanishiea

This green and gold manicure by Robinson looks straight out of an art museum — and that's exactly the vibe she was going for. "Negative space, color blocking, and watercolor designs are so eye-catching," she says. "These combined with a translucent background and gold foil make all the elements shine." Believe it or not, you can score both gold and silver foil on Amazon for as little as $5. 

To achieve the watercolor effect shown here on the mustard nails, simply dip a small sponge in a tiny amount of polish and dab it on lightly. Then finish off with a glossy topcoat (like this one) and your foil.

13. Modern Candy Cane Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@nailsbycanishiea

"I love a deep rich burgundy paired with color blocking and line work," says Robinson in regards to her inspiration for this look. "Together they create the perfect winter manicure." This abstract, geometric style design is a great go-to for beginners because it really only requires some basic painting and a little line work. So long as you have a deep red, pearlescent white, and true black polish on hand — as well as a toothpick for doing the thin stripes — you'll be good to go.

14. Scorpio Szn Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@nails_and_soul

Los Angeles-based nail artist Nia Ho is the brains behind this brilliant astrology-inspired look, which features cosmic details and subtle touches of sparkle. "For this Scorpio nail look, I used mostly black color on every nail, as well as some holographic black and silver glitter," Ho tells Allure. "I also hand-drew the little stars with white nail polish and used chunky glitter to create the galaxy sky."

You can definitely make this Scorpio-themed manicure your own by switching up the designs. That being said, you'll want to have some black and white polish on hand, along with both fine and chunky glitter options, too. It also couldn't hurt to get a stencil or a sticker (such as this one) for the scorpion itself.

15. Multicolored Marble Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure and Nail

Ho calls this magical multicolored manicure her "freestyle marble look," and well, it's definitely a fitting name. "I first applied a teal base color on the whole nail and then added white and black to create a marble effect," she says of her process. "Then I cured them in LED light and applied a teal jelly polish on top. Lastly, I tapped a little gold foil on each nail to finish it." Don't have a perfect teal polish in your collection yet? We recommend Sally Hansen's Miracle Gel Nail Polish in Combustealble (a true blue-green teal hue with minimal shimmer).

16. Gold Sparkle Striped Nails

Image may contain Human Person Jewelry Accessories Accessory Ring Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@nails_and_soul

This stunning style is another one that's ideal for folks who are new to nail art. It doesn't require much legwork or that you know any tricky techniques, so it's inherently less intimidating than some of the other manicures on this list. 

"For this look, you can use a clear or sheer natural color for the base — then use white and black nail polish to create your shapes before adding the thin gold lines," explains Ho. "Getting the gold line as straight as possible is the most important aspect because the black and white parts underneath will be covered by the gold, so it ultimately doesn’t matter if they're not perfect," she says.

17. Gilded Dipped Nails

Image may contain Finger Human Person and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@nail_unistella

This ultra-glamorous red and gold manicure comes courtesy of nail-art queen Park Eunkyung Unistella, who's famous for her dreamy, out-of-this-world designs. To achieve a similar look at home, apply a pair of glossy red press-ons and then paint the tips with an opaque gold polish, like Essie's Good As Gold or Nabi's Mirror Effect Nail Polish in Gold. Oh, as for those gorgeous gold decals? You can score them on unistella.com.

18. Snow Day Nails

Image may contain Human and PersonCourtesy of Instagram/@nail_unistella

To recreate Unistella's epic snowflake manicure, you'll want to get yourself a set of clear acrylic nails (the shape is of course up to you), some glue that dries translucent, and, most importantly, fake snow, like the kind in this packet, which can be used for all kinds of arts and crafts. Once you've got your supplies on deck, apply a little glue to each acrylic and wait for it to get tacky — then sprinkle some of the faux snow onto each nail and play with it until you're happy with the finished look.

19. Evergreen Dream Nails

Image may contain Manicure Nail Human and PersonCourtesy of Instagram/@ginaedwards_

Another amazing idea for those new to the nail-art world is this shimmery emerald manicure by celebrity nail artist Gina Edwards. "A quick tip for achieving strong lines when doing your nails like this is to use Scotch Tape," she tells Allure. For this particular look, Edwards used the Sinful Colors Shine Gel Tech Polish in Magic Dragon, though any shimmery dark green shade will work just the same.

20. Maroon Marble Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@cgoldnglam

"This dusty plum shade is a great transition color if you're afraid of going too dark with your winter nails," says Houston-based nail artist Cecily Ellis, who runs the account @cgoldnglam on Instagram. Her advice for recreating this look? "The accent nails can be done by using a nail art brush to create the marble lines, and the beauty of marble is that there's no perfect way of doing it." 

Product-wise, Winstonia's Super Fine Nail Art Brush is a solid and inexpensive option. And as for the dusty plum polish, this one by Tammy Taylor Nails is beautiful, as is OPI's Malaga Wine.

21. Winter Pink Ombré Nails

Image may contain Food Hot Dog Manicure Nail and HandCourtesy of Instagram/@cgoldnglam

"This french ombré design is a great way to maintain a classic look but still be on-trend," says Ellis, who adds that the best way to get a super seamless ombré finish like this is to use a makeup sponge with white polish. "Doing a glam accent nail using gold glitter or flakes is also a great way to take it up a notch during the holiday season."

22. Heavy Metal Ombré Nails

Image may contain Human Person Hook and ClawCourtesy of Instagram/@ginaedwards_

Don't be fooled: This edgy metallic manicure is less complex than it looks. In fact, it can easily be recreated at home with any neutral shimmery shades in your collection. "Use a fan makeup brush to lightly metallic glitter onto the tips of your nails for an extra special effect," says Ellis, who adds: "My inspiration for this set was NYE — there's nothing better than a little sparkle to help bring in the new year, especially on your fingertips."

23. Leopard Print Nails

Image may contain Human Person Food and Hot DogCourtesy of Instagram/@cgoldnglam

Who says animal print isn't winter-appropriate? No one, that's who. So why not wear the fun style on your nails this season? For this look specifically, Ellis used a true holiday-red polish, little gold studs, and gold leaf to top the accent nails for a super-glam feel. 

24. Next-Level Red Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@nailsbycanishie

For this festive negative space look by Robinson, you'll need your favorite shimmery red nail polish, a gold shade of your choosing — and of course, a dotting tool (like this one), as this will help you get a really precise finish. In terms of execution, simply paint each nail red, starting just slightly away from the nail bed, and then add a gold dot in the space between your cuticle and the polish.

25. Golden Eye Nails

Image may contain Manicure Nail Human and PersonCourtesy of Instagram/@nails_and_soul

Another foolproof winter nail look to try is this unique gilded take on the French manicure by Ho. In addition to gold, black, blue, and white polishes, you'll also need a fine line brush to create the eye on the accent nail. You can also use tape for the tips to ensure they come out looking extra clean and polished.

26. Animal Print-Tipped Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@nails_and_soul

This animal print design done by Ho is yet another fun twist on the classic French manicure, and it's surprisingly easy to execute. A few items you'll want to have on hand include black, clear, and terracotta-toned polishes, a sponge to get the subtle marbling effect on the tips, and an ultra-shiny topcoat, like CND's Super Shiny High-Gloss Topcoat. To get this look, paint your nails with a light pink or ivory nail polish, and then use your beauty sponge to blend the black and brown shades together for the marble finish. You can also use a toothpick to swirl the colors together until you're happy with how it looks. Then apply a topcoat to add extra shine and longevity.

27. Blue and Gold Holographic Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@sweetandsavynails

This dazzling holographic design by nail artist Savannah Walker is perfect for beginners and experts alike who prefer a shorter nail look. Start off by applying a clear base coat and then create the blue triangle designs on each digit using an aqua-colored polish (this one), that's also holographic. Then simply outline each triangle in gold using a fine line brush — that, or a toothpick will also do the trick. Finish with a shiny topcoat to seal everything in place and prevent chipping.

28. Glam Nude Nails

Image may contain Manicure Nail Human and PersonCourtesy of Instagram/@nailsbysophiaf

This gorgeous look created by Flordia-based artist Sophia Fraccalvieri is proof that nude nails do not have to be basic or boring. All you need is an opaque, beige-colored polish and holographic nail decals (such as these or these).

29. Black French Tipped Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@sweetandsavynails

Walker created this sophisticated manicure with a pearlescent base coat and creamy jet-black polish — indeed, it's that simple. Of course, you'll probably want to use a stencil or fine line brush when doing the tips, but so long as you have a steady hand, you should be just fine.

30. Artsy Pine Tree Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@nailsbysophiaf

How freaking cool is this abstract pine tree design by Fraccalvieri? She calls the look "art ink trees" and created it using products from Bio Seaweed Gel USA and Magpie Beauty. Depending on your artistic abilities, you could do this with a sponge, a stencil, or even freehand if you dare.

31. Silver Drip Nails

Image may contain Human Person Skin Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@chalkboardnails

A great way to take the drip nail-art trend into winter is by using metallic colors, like nail artist Sarah Thompson did here, as sparkle and glitter are often associated with wintertime, the holidays, and snow. A few silver polishes we adore are Sally Hansen's Xtreme Wear in Silver Storm, Color Club's Halographic Hues Nail Polish in Harp On It, and OPI's Infinite Shine in The Latest. As for how to create the drip design, your best bet is to use a tiny detail brush — or a stencil like this one from Amazon.

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Abercrombie’s Faux Leather Pants Are a Must Buy

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Historically, at least a few trends every year are shocking in nature. Did I think I’d wake up one day in fall 2021 and realize I have a full stack of sweater vests in my closet that I rotate through every week? No, but that’s where the year has brought me. Another thing that feels shocking? That regular folk are now wearing leather pants on a regular Tuesday afternoon.

No longer a back-of-the-closet item that’s reserved for last-minute Sandy from Grease Halloween costumes, faux leather has been spotted on everything over the past year, and pants are at the top of that list.

The thing about them is that unlike jackets or tops, there’s a lot of room for error in a faux-leather pant. You buy the wrong pair, and you’ll be squeaking down the street, constricted and uncomfortable every time you brave leaving the house in the them; it’s something that has (very unfortunately) happened to me many times—until now.

 













Abercrombie & Fitch

Curve Love Vegan Leather ’90s Straight Pants

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Abercrombie has been consistently stepping up their game for the past couple of years, and I’ve found myself reaching for their pieces in my closet constantly. I truly have not been disappointed by a single item I’ve gotten from them as of late, so when I saw that they had a version of their famous ’90s high rise jeans in faux leather, I immediately ordered them.

 





 

Abercrombie’s jeans are some of my all-time favorites, and a big part of that is because of their fit. I am generally a size 27 in pants, but a lot of straight-leg pairs haven’t quite fit right because I have some muscular thighs to account for. I’ve found that their Curve Love line is my absolute ideal fit of pants, as they have an extra two inches of material through the hip and thigh. Those two inches have made a world of difference for me and have given me some of the best-fitting pants I have ever found (and, honestly, ones I’d pay much more for given how high-quality they are).

When I slid these pants out of the package, I knew they were a hit right away. Unlike many faux-leather materials, they felt buttery soft and lightweight, and when I put them on, I genuinely did not want to take them off. The other faux-leather pants I own are a nightmare because the inside is almost a fleece-like material, which makes my legs hot, sweaty, and stuck—not ideal. These were both flexible and breathable, which made them feel more comfortable than even my favorite jeans.

The fit of these is absolutely true to size. They also come in their standard jean fit, multiple colors, and a cropped and skinny version. I am absolutely in love with this deep, rich brown, especially with the creams and burgundies in my closet this time of year, but the black are a classic that I’m planning to pick up as well. 

I’ve spent a lot of time (and far too much money) trying to find an inexpensive but high-quality pair of faux-leather pants, and my mission has finally come to a close. Don’t waste your time trying to find something better than these—as someone who has tried just about every brand of faux-leather pants on the market, these are the best bang for your buck. 

 









Abercrombie & Fitch

Curve Love Vegan Leather ’90s Straight Pants

Shop it now





Abercrombie & Fitch

Vegan Leather ’90s Straight Pants

Shop it now





Abercrombie & Fitch

Curve Love Vegan Leather ’90s Straight Pants

Shop it now





Abercrombie & Fitch

Vegan Leather Ankle Pants

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Abercrombie & Fitch

Vegan Leather 90s Straight Pants

Shop it now





Abercrombie & Fitch

Vegan Leather Skinny Pants

Shop it now

 

Our Team Tested Abercrombie’s New Jeans—Here Are Their Honest Thoughts

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