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Is there a special someone in your life that has a snoring problem or simply likes to fall asleep to music while you need to doze off in peace and quiet? If so, then the ZeeQ Smart Pillow may make a great gift for that special someone on your shopping list.The ZeeQ Smart pillow is designed to help stop snoring and functions as a sleep tracker, alarm clock, and allows you to use the ZeeQ app to listen to sleep music as you gently fall asleep.This smart pillow helps stop you from snoring by gently vibrating causing you to change position, without waking you up. The pillow also wirelessly plays music or other audio sound tracks to gently lure you to sleep. You can even use the pillow to tailor your wake up time to best suit your sleep cycle so you can wake up refreshed.[bctt tweet="People who snore always fall asleep first. #snoring #zeeqsmartpillow " username="FFOLdotcom"]In addition, this pillow will give you details about your sleep habits including the duration of sleep and the amount of rest you actually get.This pillow has a Tencel Botanic Fabric pillow cover that regulates temperatures and wicks away moisture. It connects to both iPhones and Android phones and uses a rechargeable Ion s.7v battery.Likes Users like that you can adjust the firmness of this pillow and find that it really does help prevent or stop their snoring. Users also like that they listen to music without disturbing their partner, and many find that they get a more restful sleep using this pillow. Others really like the fact that they can track their sleep habits and make the adjustments they need.Dislikes There are some things that a few people didn't like about this smart pillow, including that they found the pillow uncomfortable. A few even that the pillow gave them a headache. A few other people found it difficult to get their phone app synchronized with the smart pillow itself.While a few people didn't like the ZeeQ Smart Pillow for various reasons, the majority of users found this pillow helpful for preventing their snoring, and liked listening to music and tracking their sleep. They like that they were able to add or remove stuffing from the pillow for a more customized fit and to make the pillow more or less firm. This pillow makes a great gift for people who have difficulty sleeping or waking up.
In 2016, a comprehensive study by the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology, and Education debunked a figure most women had come to accept as "average." In summary, the journal suggested prioritizing a fairly massive overhaul of both Misses and Plus size clothing standards because the average American woman actually wears a size 16 to 18, not size 14, as once was assumed.What's the reason for the increase in clothing size? And why, in 2018 — despite the incredibly thorough report and resulting recommendation — is the average American woman struggling to feel normal and instead feeling somehow less than her slender peers?To understand this, you'll first have to go back in time.Americans in 2016 were over 20 pounds heavier than in the 1960sAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third of American adults are obese, with an even higher prevalence of obesity in women. In fact, after collating data from the CDC, CBS Atlanta News reported that as of 2016, women began to weigh the same as the average man weighed in 1960.In fact, according to report statistics from The State of Obesity compiled by US News, the average American weighs about 24 pounds more than in 1960. There's really no denying that Americans have put on some pounds, but why? There's a myriad of reasons, as stated by the CDC — from your genetics even to where you live — causing the CDC to label obesity as a "complex health issue." Americans aren't the only onesAre people in the United States the only ones sporting a few extra pounds? No, not even close. While one-third of the United States population is considered obese, the rates are even higher in other parts of the world. In Tonga, for example, the obesity rate in men has exceeded 50 percent, according to a study by The Lancet. It's not just men dealing with obesity overseas either. Women from other countries, too, have surpassed the United States obesity rate. In Qatar and Libya, among others, more than half of all women are obese. Even in parts of the world where the statistics are indeed lower than in the United States, they're still quite high. Another study published by The Lancet reported 21 percent of both men and women in western Europe are obese and the number is only expected to increase.Surely, obesity is not just of interest to the American people. Still, if obesity is thought to be genetic, there's nothing you can do but accept your size, right? Well, there's more to it than just your genes. As it turns out, it has a little something to do with your jeans, too.A size 8 dress in 2018 would've been a size 16 in 1958Men and women may be heavier than in years past but weight is definitely not the only thing affecting the average clothing size, especially for women. According to Slate, prior to the 1940s, most of women's clothing was made-to-measure so there was really no need for standardized sizes. When ready-made clothing hit the market, that all changed. But, who was to decide what was, say, a size 4 and what was a size 12? The government, apparently.The article further explained that the federal government attempted to quantify the average American female body, but that didn't go so well considering they used men's measurements — essentially just chest dimensions — as their model. Women's bust sizes are, of course, a bit more variable. Fast forward to 1958 and numbered sizes 8 through 38, along with the letters T, R, and S, which stood for tall, regular, and short respectively, became the industry standard. However, by 1970 this standard became voluntary and, in 1983, the government withdrew the standard in its entirety. And for very good reasons, it seems. The results of the study — which were used to determine the standard clothing sizes — were potentially tainted by paying people to participate. Not only that but the study also failed to include any women of color.

So, where does that leave American shoppers today? In a world of vanity dress sizes, it seems.

Dress sizes vary... on purpose Thinking of your own experience shopping for clothes, I'm sure you've noticed the absolute madness that is women's clothing sizes. In the fitting room, you might feel a bit like Goldilocks trying on a size 12 that's too big, a 14 that won't even budge passed your hips, and, somehow, another size 12 that fits perfectly.Designers began taking liberties when sizing women's clothing within the past few decade, adding extra fabric — sometimes as much as eight inches —to garments without altering the number on the label. This has been dubbed vanity sizing, according to Cosmopolitan. Sales go up when dress sizes go down, it appears. Women feel better, and therefore buy more, when they fit into a size smaller than expected. This psychological trick may benefit companies but it wreaks havoc on a consumer's psyche. "Since size is something we care about deeply, our emotional response overpowers logic. We want so badly to be assured that we're thin and beautiful," Susan Head, a body-image specialist and clinical psychologist, explained to Cosmopolitan. Head also added, "The fact that there's not one standard to compare ourselves to creates anxiety because we have no control. We are in the dark and detached from our bodies."The "black hole" of sizes 10 through 16With dress sizes being, quite frankly, all over the place, you'd think there would be a wide range of sizes readily available to you. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Women's Wear Daily reported that women's clothing is a $110 billion business. Yet, plus size sales only account for around 16 percent of that total. Knowing that the average American woman is indeed considered plus size, you have to ask, "What in the world is going on here?At the time the article was published, stores like Lululemon, Urban Outfitters, and J. Crew didn't even sell sizes above 12 while other stores were choosing to stop at size 10. While there are speciality stores for plus size women, they often begin with the lowest size of 16, according to Cosmopolitan. What of the women in between? Women's Wear Daily dubbed this the "black hole" — too thin for plus size and apparently too "big" for regular.  Size 18 has become average yet it's still considered plus sizePlus size stores merely existing doesn't mean the options for average American women are endless. Poor fit is still a common problem. After all, plus size clothing is based on the dimensions of women between the sizes 0 to 6, according to an article by Forbes. In a way, this is similar to how women's ready-made clothing was first designed in the 1940s — fashioned after men's dimensions. Of course, this isn't the 1940s anymore so American clothing has some major catching up to do.Even the term "plus size" itself could be called into question. What words come to your mind when you think of the word "plus?" Perhaps "additional" or "more," maybe "extra" or  even "bigger." What woman would want her body thought of in those terms? "Words have power. Calling women plus size is denigrating," author and fashion designer Western Bonime wrote for Forbes. It's also worth pointing out that if the average American woman wears a size 16 or 18, why are sizes 16 and above referred to as plus size? It's a head-scratcher, for sure.Weight index versus dress size: which to trust?Now that you know you can't trust your dress size not to lie to you, who or what can you trust? Many look to their Body Mass Index (B.M.I.) in order to determine whether they are either underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. It is certainly the easiest way to get a snapshot of your health, but it's really not a complete picture."The B.M.I. tables are excellent for identifying obesity and body fat in large populations," Dr. Carl Lavie, a cardiologist at the Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute in New Orleans, told the New York Times. He added, "[B]ut they are far less reliable for determining fatness in individuals."Being thin doesn't necessarily mean you're healthy just as being overweight doesn't necessarily mean you're unhealthy. Dr. Lavie explained the limitations of the weight index, "A woman who is 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 120 to 125 pounds could be quite fat even though her weight and B.M.I. seem O.K." Additionally, "a six-foot, 250-pound man will be obese, but if he were an N.F.L. lineman of 6-foot-3 weighing 280 pounds, he might be solid muscle with only 2 percent body fat."Still, your B.M.I. is more reliable than going by dress size. However, an even better indicator, as discussed in the article, would be the skin-fold test — essentially a test using calipers to measure select areas of the body, like thighs and triceps.Does your dress size even make a difference in your health?Does your dress size, or even your B.M.I., really matter when it comes to your health? Well, yes. Sort of.According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the "obesity epidemic" is, at times, greatly exaggerated. Both the causes and consequences of obesity have been found to exceed the scientific proof. That's not to say being overweight is necessarily healthy. Heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes have all been definitively linked to obesity. However, it's more than just your weight that matters.Another comprehensive study published in PLOS Medicine found that obese people who exercise have a longer life expectancy — over three years — than those who are of normal weight. Exercise, it would appear, makes an even more profound impact on your health than weight.The fashion industry is finally catching up to the average American womanThankfully, the fashion industry is beginning to realize that the average American woman likes to exercise too. Go figure!Women's Wear Daily reported that Universal Standard launched an activewear collection in 2018. The company's cofounder and chief operating officer, Alexandra Waldman, told WWD, "This consumer is so consistently sidestepped in terms of quality and performance, that she is in a continual state of waiting to be taken seriously. We knew what was missing not only from the constant stream of feedback from this consumer — but from being this consumer."While it is a bit discouraging that massive change in this market didn't really begin until 2018, it is exciting to see women sizes 10 to 28 finally incorporated. After all, an estimated 100 million American women are thought to be a size 14 or above, now also known as "average." It's not just the end of exclusion for fitness wear either. The end of "plus size" is, seemingly, nigh. "If we are still talking about a plus-size market 10 years from now, we will have failed," Waldman explained in an interview with Fast Company. "Our goal is to make sure that term doesn't exist anymore."Well, it's about time.

Source link Blame it on the Kardashians or the constant Instagram selfies, but lip injections are all the rage and don't appear to be going anywhere soon. This outpatient procedure performed by a plastic surgeon is becoming more common, but that doesn't mean it's risk-free. From temporary bruising to permanent tissue death, there is a lot more to lip injections than meet the eye. Before you consider going for a pouty pucker, make sure you have all the facts.They could cause tissue damageAny time you inject a foreign substance into your body, there is a risk. For your lips, an injection could even cause tissue damage and death."The biggest risk for any type of the filler injections is necrosis, which means filler got injected into a blood vessel and caused tissue death," Founder & Medical Director of Parfaire Medical Aesthetics Dr. Winnie Moses told me. "It is a very rare complication, but can happen. Therefore it's very important to find a well-qualified and well-trained professional to do the treatment."If you're ready to try your first lip injection, make sure to find an experienced physician and ask about all of the possible side effects.Many of the side effects are temporaryThe untold truth of lip injectionsFortunately most of the possible side effects of lip injections are mild and temporary. "The other common risks involve bruising, swelling, and lumpiness, but those are temporary and typically only last for a few days," explained Dr. Moses. After the procedure, remember that you won't have a clear picture of your results until a few days later.They last six to nine monthsThis may sound naive, but I just assumed that lip injections were a permanent procedure. However, in reality they last less than a year. "Most lip fillers last about six to nine months due to the frequent lip movement," said Dr. Moses. "There are newer fillers that can last up to a year." Ask your doctor about your options and how long each one lasts. Because we are using our lips all day long to talk, eat, and drink, most fillers are not permanent.They're not just for full-lipped selfiesThe untold truth of lip injectionsBefore doing my lip injection research, I had also assumed that lip injections were always for vanity. However, I learned that these injections go far beyond pouty looks. They can also correct the shape of the lips.  "I recommend lip injection to the right candidates after consultation," Dr. Moses told me. "Lip injection is not just for augmentation for the purpose of aesthetics appearance, but also to help correct or change the shape and create a more balanced overall facial structure."Duck lips mean something went wrongYou wouldn't know it from many celebrities' selfies, but duck lips are actually an accident. No lip injection is meant to create that shape. Duck lips are the result of an incorrect placement of the filler."Risks include over-injection, bruising, uneven injection, and palpable filler/clumping of filler. Also injection in the wrong area for the desired purpose can create 'duck lip' instead of nice fullness," Plastic Surgeon Haideh Hirmand told me. "Intravascular injection can cause problems with blood flow to a certain area of lip."There are less invasive optionsSo what should you do if you're interested in a fuller lip, but don't want to deal with the doctor's appointments and possible side effects? There are some alternate ideas to try first. "Less invasive options include addressing the placement of lip liner and lipstick, lip moisturizers such a balms, and topical hyaluronic acids and even some controversial lip plumpers that create a suctioning effect to temporarily swell lips," Founder of Kovak Dermatology & Laser Institute Stan Kovak, MD told me.Dr. Hirmand agreed with trying some of these options. "Lip plumper, lip liner, and lipstick are less invasive options," she explained.Other topical treatments can actually stimulate our lips to create more collagen. "A less invasive option is to apply topical cream or lotion to the lip area to stimulate collagen production," explained Dr. Moses. "But it's a slower process."You could have an allergic reactionJust like with any medical procedure, you could experience an allergic reaction to lip injections. It is rare, but needs to be considered."More serious side effects can occur such as prolonged bruising or swelling, lumps and bumps along the injection site, infection, asymmetry to the lips, allergic reaction to the product causing increased swelling or itching, and even ulceration and scarring to the lip," Dr. Kovak told me. Before undergoing any procedure, talk with your doctor about these more serious reactions, and what treatment would include if you did have an allergy.Don't count on them for self-confidenceHere is a very important point that many of us overlook. Any plastic surgery or procedure should only be used to enhance your natural beauty, not to change your appearance or self-confidence."Most people can receive lip fillers, but it isn't for everyone. You have to seriously consider a lip filler as it will slightly change your appearance, and you do not want to undergo such a treatment unless you are willing to have such a change," advised Dr. Kovak. "A lip filler should be done for yourself and not to make someone else happy or to make a more ideal image. A filler can enhance lips and beauty, but in the end, you are who you are." Don't mistake plumper lips for being more beautiful or attractive. It's a small change, and if you want it, go for it, but remember to love yourself first.Permanent fillers can cause permanent problemsFortunately, most of the possible side effects of lip injections can be reversed. "The most common drawback of lip injections is over-filling," Plastic Surgeon Marc Mani told me. "This gives an artificial look which only a few people really want. Hyaluronic acid fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane, can be dissolved with an enzyme called hyaluronidase, so this isn't a permanent problem."  In addition to the standard fillers that last six to nine months, there are also more permanent options. However, these permanent options can cause serious side effects. "Permanent fillers like silicone can and often do ruin lips permanently," warned Dr. Mani. "Even if the right amount of silicone were to be injected, the body responds with inflammation, which can distort the lips forever. Infection is also a risk, but very small."Always go to a board certified plastic surgeonEven though the risk for side effects is low, it is still possible. That is why it is crucial to go to an experienced plastic surgeon. When it comes to your face, you don't want to go to the clearance section of clinics."Most of the risks involve patients not being happy with their injector's result, so it is important to visit an experienced injector like a board-certified plastic surgeon," Board-certified Plastic Surgeon Joshua D. Zuckerman told me. "Any result with lumps, bumps, or unevenness is likely to make the patient unhappy. There can be bruising for one to two days post treatment, but it then subsides. There is a very low risk that a patient may be allergic to the hyaluronic acid filler, in which case a board-certified physician's office will be able to apply a treatment to reverse the filler. This possible allergy is the main reason a patient should visit a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist for treatment." While lip injections seem like a simple procedure, you are still injecting a substance into your body. Go to a physician you trust.There are illegal products out there to avoidAnother reason to visit a board-certified plastic surgeon is because they will use the highest quality ingredients. The filler you use matters, so talk with your doctor about the best fit for you and your lips."Only FDA approved products containing hyaluronic acid should be injected into the lips," Board Certified Dermatologist Jennifer T. Haley told me. "Any other product has a high risk of developing irreversible nodules. If hyaluronic acid is injected into the lips, it can be reversed with the enzyme hyaluronidase if there is too much product or a nodule that forms."  It's crazy to think that any practitioner would risk injecting your lips with filler that is not approved by the FDA, but it happens. "Also be wary that there are black market products being used illegally with horrifying side effects," warned Dr. Haley. "Ask to get a copy of the lot number and expiration date, and go to a reputable office. Do not try to bargain on your face."Take two days offWhen booking your first lip injection, be sure to schedule it for a Friday or take a few days off work. Otherwise, you may get some looks until the swelling goes down."Injections are done in the office with topical numbing pretreatment. Minor swelling usually occurs, but typically resolves within two to three days,"  Alex Roher M.D told me. "Clear your social calendar for a day or two if it's your very first time getting injections."Consider your oral health firstBefore getting serious about lip injections, make sure that your mouth is healthy enough for them. Take a moment to consider any issues you've had with your lips or teeth before making that appointment. "If you have a history of cold sores, you should take antiviral medications to ensure that the injection does not bring one on. You may experience swelling and bruising after the procedure. Swelling typically improves after a day or two," Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research Department of Dermatology The Mount Sinai Hospital Joshua Zeichner, MD told me. "If you develop a bruise, it can take up to two weeks to resolve. However, opaque lipsticks can often hide the bruise all together. I do not recommend any dental procedures for two weeks after lip injections." If you have any concerns about your oral health, be sure to discuss them with your physician at your consultation.Age mattersAs we get older, so does our skin, so it is imperative that our doctors consider our age when planning lip injections. "In treating the lips, there are several considerations, including lines and wrinkles around the mouth, the borders of the lips, and volume of the body of the lip itself," Dr. Zeichner explained. "Many younger patients are looking for enhanced lip volume, while lip structure and border are already well defined. In older women, the issue is often that the border has lost its definition, and many women complain that lipstick runs from the lip onto the skin."Talk with your doctor about your specific reasons for wanting lip injections. This will help when planning what and how much filler to use.Blame it on social mediaHere's a scary thought. The rise is social media selfies has caused a rise in plastic surgery demand. "People are now seeing images of themselves repeatedly. With each glimpse of themselves at different times of the day, at different angles, and in different social settings and lighting, people are seeing what they look like to the outside world," President of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Fred Fedok, MD, FACS told Fox News Lifestyle. "Patients come to the office and remark that they 'didn't realize' that this aspect of their nose look that way until they saw certain angle on one of the social media posts," Dr. Fedok added. He also noted that our phone cameras can change the way our faces actually appear, so never decide on plastic surgery based on what your Instagram picture looks like.They're not for everyoneWhile lip injections are relatively safe and have a low risk for side effects, they are not appropriate for everyone. "Lip fillers are NOT for everyone," warned Dr. Mani. "For those with very thin lips, they can make a big difference, but the more you inject, the more unnatural firmness the lips have. When someone has lips that are already full, but need a little shaping, small amounts of filler can look great."Talk with your physician about your medical history, concerns, and hopes for the procedure. Always do your research and never jump in without feeling completely confident in your decision. They're your lips, so only trust the very best.SourceFitbits have taken the fitness world by storm, and some people are just downright addicted to them. If you have one, you might not be able to leave the house without it. You might obsessively check to see how many steps you've taken that day, or how long you've slept, or how your heart rate went up during your latest burst of cardio. But there's so, so much more to that Fitbit on your wrist, so we took a look behind the fitness craze to find out what most people don't know.It's getting very Big Brother-ishThe untold truth of the FitbitYour health and habits are both very personal things, and it goes without saying there are some things you really just want to keep to yourself. In 2015, though, a Swiss insurance company announced it was going to be kick-starting a program they called MyStep. Through this program, the more you walked and met your 10,000-a-day step goals, the better you took care of yourself, the logic went. Those that didn't meet their goals — or didn't participate in the program — were going to get hit with some hefty penalties in the form of rising premiums.Subscribers to CSS Insurance haven't been the only ones to have their daily activity levels monitored through their Fitbits, either. For 2015's fall semester, the Oral Roberts University put new rules in place for students. They would be required to wear Fitbits, and if their activity levels dropped too low, their grades would drop, too.According to The Guardian, the university's president, William Wilson said, "The marriage of new technology with our physical fitness requirements is something that sets ORU apart. In fact, when we began this innovative program in the fall of 2015, we were the first university in the world to offer this unique approach to a fitness program."They went on to clarify that there are no GPS trackers enabled on the Fitbits, but they are recording data 24/7. They're calling it "whole person education", but there are still some major questions about how much invasion of privacy is too much.There have been some humiliating data slip-upsIn 2011, Fitbit users found themselves in for a major shock. Not only were their profiles public by default, but a quick Google search could allow you to find pretty much anyone's information. That includes not just how active you (or, say, your neighbors) were, but what kind of activities you were involved in. And, shall we say, even more personal details? Users found their entries — some of which bore telling labels like "Sexual Activity, Active, vigorous effort" — on the internet for all to see.The realization hit during the Fourth of July weekend, and to their credit, Fitbit immediately went into crisis control and locked down all information logged by their users. They also reached out to search engines to ask them to remove the data, and it was only then that a very important lesson was learned by all. Fitbit's default settings were changed to private, but that's not the end of the problems.In January 2016, some Fitbit users found their accounts hacked by shady cyber thieves who were trying to use active accounts to order replacement Fitbits through their warranty. Other potential dangers came to light, too, when users realized hackers also had access to their schedules, the times they were usually asleep, and their regular routines for running or biking.A month later, things got even scarier. Researchers from the University of Toronto (via PCWorld) took a look at just what information was being broadcast by a number of wearable fitness trackers that included the Fitbit. They found that every one of them (except for the Apple Watch) emitted a constant Bluetooth signal that could be picked up and tracked. Creepy? It gets creepier. They also found the information the trackers were sending could be read by beacons, and that technology can be used by retail stores and shopping centers to profile customers as they walked in the door.The legalities haven't caught up to the technologyIf you're wondering whether or not that's even legal, you might be surprised. When you have a conversation with your doctor, you're protected by patient privacy laws. Fitbit — as well as other fitness wearables and data trackers  — have been around for years, with no updates to privacy laws extended to cover their data.In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was put in place to protect the data collected by insurance companies and healthcare providers. That absolutely doesn't cover things like the Fitbit, though. In one case, a San Francisco cyclist had hit a pedestrian, and GPS data from his fitness tracking app was used as evidence against him. The data was used to help prove he was going above the area's speed limit — and he was ultimately convicted with vehicular manslaughter.Fitbits, like pretty much every other smart device you carry with you every day, are constantly collecting data about you and your life, and your every move is recorded when you're wearing one of those things.All this goes to show: that info just isn't as private as you'd probably like to think.It could save your lifeEveryone who has a Fitbit has their own reasons for sporting this relatively new technology, but most of us cite our health as one of the biggest concerns.

In 2016, one man's Fitbit literally saved his life.

He was admitted to a hospital in New Jersey, and was in the middle of an atrial fibrillation, meaning his heart was beating irregularly. The problem was, doctors didn't know if it was a chronic problem, or one brought on by a seizure. If they treated the first condition in the standard way — with electricity — and he was suffering from the seizure-related illness, there was a high likelihood that they would kill him by releasing a blood clot and triggering a stroke. If they didn't treat him, they would also likely kill him.So, they grabbed his Fitbit and his phone. Looking at his recent history and heart rate, they were able to figure out just what had happened and treat the right condition. The case made it into the Annals of Emergency Medicine, and that's made doctors look at the lifesaving potential of the Fitbit in a whole different way.The jury's still out on the heart rate trackerIn 2016, Fitbit was hit with a class action lawsuit that claimed that not only was the heart rate tracker imprecise, but dangerously so. According to some claimants, their Fitbits were anywhere from 25 to 78 beats per minute (bpm) off.Fitbit issued a statement saying that they stand by their technology as it is, and that they're prepared to go to court to defend against the accusations. They added, "Fitbit trackers are designed to provide meaningful data to our users to help them reach their health and fitness goals, and are not intended to be scientific or medical devices."It might be more revolutionary than you thinkThe popularity of Fitbit technology might be opening the door to a whole host of other wearables, and some of them are pretty fascinating. While the Fitbit might help us monitor how many steps we take in a day and how many calories we burn, the success of this device is encouraging other companies to think outside the box with their own wearable technologies.Spire was designed by Stanford University, and it monitors your breathing and your steps to compile data that allows it to alert you to rising stress levels. Quitbit is a smart lighter, and it syncs with an app on your phone to keep track of just how much you're smoking to help you on the road to quitting. And if you spend most of your day sitting at the computer and lamenting your aching back and shoulders, Lumo Back keeps track of not only how long you sit, but it vibrates when it catches you slouching.It can help manage stress and anxiety, as well as fitnessAs more and more people work their Fitbit into their lifestyle, they're finding out all sorts of things they can do with it. Buzzfeed writer Becky Barnicoat wrote about her experiences with constant stress — experiences that a lot of us can completely relate to. After getting a huge amount of largely unsuccessful advice, she decided to use a Fitbit to monitor her heart rate, and use that as a guide to alert her as to when stress was starting to build so she could head it off at the pass. It was a tough adjustment at first, but eventually, the device helped.Users have found that Fitbit can be very, very telling when it comes to revealing not just the inner workings of our body, but our emotions. Koby Soto's Fitbit tracked the precise appearance of heartbreak when he broke up with his boyfriend — as shown in the screenshot of his heart rate he posted on Twitter.It could tell you you're pregnantWhen Fitbit user David Trinidad reached out to Reddit for help with what he thought was his wife's malfunctioning Fitbit, he got a pretty life-changing response. When his wife's Fitbit kept registering a strange, higher-than-normal heart rate, he wondered if it was starting to malfunction. Another Reddit user suggested that there might be another cause: she could be pregnant. She was.According to Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center (via CBS News), one of the telltale signs of pregnancy is an increased heart rate, as your own body races to keep up with the increased need for blood. Blood volume, they say, increases by as much as 50 percent in the first trimester, and heart rate typically increases by 10 to 15 bpm.According to Fitbit, it was the first time they had heard of their product doing a pregnancy reveal, but added it wasn't far-fetched, since the heart rate can reveal so much about a person's health.A number of people gain weight with itIt's safe to say that most people who have a Fitbit are trying to get healthier, but some studies have shown that wearing a fitness tracker might not help as much as you're expecting. In fact, some people report their weight going in the other direction.It's not the Fitbit's fault, though. When the University of Pittsburgh looked at 470 people who were all instructed to go on a low-calorie diet and exercise more than usual, they found that the half that followed instructions on their own lost more weight. Half the group — those that were given fitness tracking devices (that weren't Fitbit brand) — lost less weight. They suggested a few reasons, including the idea that hitting goals might make people feel they can eat more than they would have normally. There's also the idea that missing goals can be discouraging for some people, and that outweighs the motivating factor that's supposed to drive the idea.It's as much about psychology as physiologyLet's face it, we all want dieting, weight loss, and getting healthier to be easy. The idea that there's something we can strap on our wrists to tell us what to do to get to our goals is an incredibly attractive idea. But given there's a whole host of factors your Fitbit just can't keep track of… what's the bottom line?Psychology. While the technology inside your Fitbit is incredible, it's the psychological factors at work that are going to get you where you want to be. Part of it comes with the motivation that happens when you see yourself steadily improving. When you have a concrete measurement that allows you to see you're doing better, you're more motivated to keep going.It also helps you to pay more attention to what you're doing every day, whether that's going for a run or sitting at your desk. Behaviors that are otherwise not a big deal are suddenly divided into exercise and not exercise, and it's that consciousness about what we do and what we put into our bodies that's going to make the real difference.

Can you do all that without a Fitbit?

Sure. But you have to admit, turning your get-healthy goals into a game is almost impossible to resist.SourceRocking a bold, red lip can take your night from boring to epic. There is something about lipstick that changes us, makes us feel more brave and beautiful. When we put on lipstick, it's for a reason — either we're going out, or we want to achieve a certain look.There are actually scientific studies proving that lipstick changes us and makes us feel more confident. However, there are also studies that show its potential dangers.

Before you reach into your makeup bag, make sure you know the truth about lipstick.

It can dry out your lipsIf you suffer from dry skin, especially in the winter, lipstick may not be your friend. The chemicals in many lipsticks can pull moisture from your sensitive lips, leaving them chapped."Wearing lipsticks 24/7, particularly low-quality lipsticks, which are laden with chemicals, can zap moisture away from your lips," Certified Skin Therapist and the Founder of Skin Aspirations Simona Mazenyte told me. "If you have chapped lips, you are better off using a tinted lip balm." Talk with your dermatologist or makeup artist friend about the best options for your skin.It could be bad for you and the environmentIt is concerning how many chemicals can be found in a variety of lipsticks. While of course these chemicals aren't great for our bodies, what are they doing to the environment? "Many lipsticks are made from petrochemicals, which are toxic to us and to the environment. High levels of petrochemicals in the body can interfere with your growth, reproduction, development, and intelligence," warned Mazenyte. "Formaldehyde, used as a preservative in lipsticks, is a known carcinogen and can cause coughing, breathlessness, and skin irritation. Chromium, a carcinogen linked to stomach tumors, is also sometimes found in lipsticks."Always read the ingredients in your lipstick and do your homework. Not only do we ingest lipstick by swallowing it, we also absorb it through our skin. "The term 'kiss of death' comes from the fact that lipstick used to be made with poisonous materials," Director of Beauty and Cosmetics at COLOR Salon Kate Stromberg told me. Make sure yours isn't.Once you wash off your makeup for the day, it can still do damage. Many cosmetic products, including lipsticks, are made up of tiny plastic particles. When we wash our face at the end of the day, these particles are washed down the drain and eventually make their way to our water sources. According to The Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities, these plastic pieces take hundreds of years to biodegrade and are polluting our oceans. It might contain leadSpeaking of dangerous ingredients in lipstick, you also have to worry about lead. "There's been research done that concludes some lipsticks contain lead. Lead is a neurotoxin that can have a harmful effect on the nervous system," Hillary Kline, freelance makeup artist and beauty blogger, told me. "It's also been researched that reapplying lipstick multiple times a day can mean heavy metal exposure from those lip products." Look for natural lipsticks that minimize extra harmful ingredients.Mazenyte elaborated on what is meant by heavy metals. "Many lipsticks also contain heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, manganese, and aluminum," explained Mazenyte. "Some of these heavy metals occur at levels that could pose health problems in the long run."The first lipsticks were made from crushed gemstonesLipstick has been around for centuries and actually started with gemstones. Maybe that trend will make its way back around, because I could see some beautiful Instagram selfies of #gemstones. "The very first origins of lipstick date back to 5,000 BC to ancient Mesopotamia where women used crushed gemstones to color their lips," Mazenyte told me. "Ancient Egyptians, most famously Cleopatra, were skilled at mixing and creating lipstick colors from crushed insects, seaweed, and fish scales." Okay, so not all of these trends are due for a comeback."The first man-made lipsticks appeared around four to five thousand years ago in ancient Mesopotamia," said Stromberg. "Women there used to grind precious gems and decorate their lips with the dust to create the look of lipstick."Two-toned lips are the new trendIf gemstones were the past, makeup artists are predicting that two-toned lips are the future. To create it, choose one lipstick and one gloss to layer. Go for different colors to create something all your own."Nobody can really truly predict these trends, but I have noticed that dimensional lips will become popular; this includes bold statement lips including ombre or an overlay of glitter," Kline told me. "Two-toned lips are gaining speed. What this means is using two different colors, one on the top and one on the bottom, and then wearing separately or pressing together."

Lipstick : There are certain ones to avoid

While it's scary that lipsticks contain chemicals in the first place, fortunately there are now studies and reports on the lipsticks with the most chemicals and metals found in them so they can be avoided. We need to use this information every time we shop to avoid the risks. Scientists have determined that having lead in lipstick is dangerous, because it could be swallowed. If you lick your lips after applying lipstick, you will naturally swallow some. Just think of your 12 year-old self reapplying lip smackers all day long, just because it really did taste like vanilla frosting! It is also possible to absorb the lead through our skin. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a report studying the amounts of lead and heavy metals in popular lipstick brands. The brands with the highest lead concentrations were Maybelline, NARS, and L'Oréal. The lipsticks with the lowest lead levels included Wet 'N Wild, Clinique, and M.A.C.You'll buy more during a recessionDuring a recession, we all begin to make new choices. Instead of going out to eat, we commit to cooking at home. Perhaps you put a vacation on hold and have a staycation instead.One area where you may keep spending without even realizing it is on lipstick and other cosmetics. A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that we are less likely to spend money on things like electronics and homewares during recessions, however, we are more likely to buy lipstick. The researchers believed this is because during a time of stress, we want to feel more attractive and even attract a new mate. Perhaps feeling beautiful helps you feel safer during a time of such stress and overwhelm.It doesn't affect your attractivenessIf you've been using lipstick to feel more attractive, you may be wasting your time and money. Turns out lipstick doesn't really affect how others see us, at least in terms of looks.  A study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science examined our perceptions of attractiveness. Study volunteers looked at pictures of the same women with varying amounts of makeup on. Most volunteers judged the women with full makeup as more attractive than those with no makeup and, while the female volunteers seemed most influenced by eye makeup, surprisingly, the amount of lipstick worn did not affect the volunteers' perceptions. So if you're the type of gal who doesn't leave home without it, take a day off and see how you feel.It could help you get more tipsOkay are you ready for this one? Wearing lipstick, especially red lipstick, can affect how much money you make. Even though lipstick doesn't seem to affect how attractive we are, there is definitely something about the way it influences others' perception of us.A study in the International Journal of Hospitality Management found that when waitresses wore lipstick, especially red lipstick, they received higher tips. It should be noted that male customers gave them higher tips, while the tips from the female customers remained the same.It makes you look more successfulIn addition to getting you more tips at the restaurant, wearing lipstick sends a message to others that you are successful. A study in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found we assume a lot about a woman based on her makeup. When study volunteers were shown pictures of the same four women, both with lipstick and makeup and without, they assumed that the women in the makeup pictures were successful, had higher earning potentials, and were healthier.If you are headed to a conference or event where you want to make a good impression, lipstick is certainly not required, but may make your life a little easier. Everyone will assume that you are already successful, so you can just sit back and enjoy!Where the names come fromHave you ever wondered who comes up with those crazy names for cosmetics like lipsticks? I personally always read the names of nail polish before choosing one for my pedicure or before buying a new lipstick. The names are fun and whimsical. You can't help but smile. Well, it turns out a lot of thought go into those names.Lipstick Queen Founder Poppy King told Refinery29 that she is always being inspired for new names. "I love the duality that's so present in being female. For example, Saints and Sinners — which is a core concept of Lipstick Queen — [has] the same shades, but in two different strengths. The Saint version is sheer and airy; Sinner is darker and deeper," she said.King is always on the lookout and even keeps notes throughout the day. "I have a little notebook filled with names for lipsticks yet to be created. I listen to NPR during the day, and yesterday I heard them talking about 'cold peace' — something to do with the Carter administration way back when. If a concept like that stands out, I quickly write it in my notebook, thinking, Oh, my God, I want a lipstick one day that's about cold peace."It could help you perform better on examsLet's be honest. The right lipstick can turn the whole day around. Feeling good about yourself and your appearance affects everything around you.According to a study in Cogent Psychology, when female college students wore lipstick and other makeup to an exam, they received higher grades than those who did not. High self-esteem is associated with better performance, so it makes sense that if you're feeling great about how you look, you will perform better.Next time you have a stressful event coming up, such as a presentation at work or licensing exam, pick out your favorite lipstick and glam up. You never know how it might affect you!What's coming nextWhen it comes to the risks of lipsticks, they are low, especially with high quality brands. Just make sure you're not putting it on all day long. "Lipsticks contain potentially harmful ingredients, but you are unlikely to be at risk if you use lipsticks occasionally," Mazenyte told me. "However, if you use lipstick daily and reapply many times during the day, you need to be aware of these potential risks."As people continue to use lipstick, we will continue to see new trends and innovative ideas coming from makeup artists and cosmetic companies. "Today, innovations and improvements in lipstick development have not stopped," shared Stromberg. "New formulations and designs for lipstick are being invented constantly in addition to lipsticks that block the sun's rays, that are also packed with antioxidants. We even have lipsticks that change color when applied on your lips into a custom color created by your own body chemistry."Even though lipstick has been around for centuries, it's not going anywhere anytime soon.SourceIt's been roughly two years since Selena Gomez was named as Coach's brand ambassador, and since then it's safe to say a lot has changed in the ex-Disney darling's life. She took some much-needed time off to invest in her health, came back full force with a newfound attitude focused on self care, dropped new music, produced a show, dyed her hair platinum, and so on.There's no denying that the last couple of years have been transformative and huge for the multi-hyphenate, but during this time one thing has remained steadfast: the chic aesthetic that made her the perfect Coach ambassador in the first place. It was this past summer when Gomez landed her first campaign for the heritage brand, which turned out to be stunning, to say the very least. And now? Now the 25-year-old star is back for round two as the face of the brand's Spring 2018 collection.The project came to life thanks to the brand's longtime team of industry powerhouses including photographer Steven Meisel, stylist Karl Templer, creative director Fabien Baron, makeup artist Pat McGrath, and hairstylist Guido Palau, all of whom helped to set the stage to make it an unforgettable campaign.The "Bad Liar" singer and the legendary makeup artist share a particularly special bond and actually first met through Coach, even though Gomez revealed she's been a fan of her work for a long time. "I would try to use it as inspiration for my own makeup, but how did I even think I could pull it off?" she tells Allure. The singer added how much she admires McGrath's attitude and passion for the job. "I don't like going to work with people who you can tell just don't care anymore. And I mean I get that; I've been there sometimes. But I've never experienced any version of Pat other than joyous, hilarious, passionate, and so cool." (We'd have to agree.)Shot in New York City with a breathtaking view of the Empire State Building ever-so-casually propped in the background, Gomez shows off statement bags from the Spring collection, including the Parker, which is a completely new silhouette that boasts handles that convert to a shoulder strap. It's covered in quilted napa leather and bold color-blocking gives it a graphic feel that's as modern as it is timeless. New York City can feel massive, and scary at times, but Gomez said creative director Stuart Vevers has a way of making it feel like a real community. "It just feels like this is where the brand really lives," she said.Not to draw attention away from the collection itself, Gomez's makeup was kept minimal, albeit classic, with an oh-so-subtle hint of smokiness on the eyes; a true "Selena Look," if you ask us. Defined brows and lips tied it all together.Last December, Coach forged a wide-ranging partnership with Gomez. In addition, Selena Gomez will partner with the Coach Foundation in its support of Step Up, a national organization dedicated to the empowerment of teen girls from under-resourced communities. Gomez wore a Stuart Vevers-designed Coach gown to the Met Ball.In the last fall campaign, Gomez portrays a Coach girl who’s about to embark on a road trip. She is seen lounging in the blush-toned leather interior of a 1976 Plymouth Fury, a vintage car. The ads were photographed by Steven Meisel and styled by Karl Templer. Fabien Baron did the creative direction, Pat McGrath did the makeup and Guido Palau styled the hair. The campaign ads break in last July for print and out-of-home.selena gomez coach“Selena is a rebel and a romantic, a dreamer and a doer who boldly charts her own course. To me, she speaks to a generation; she connects,” said Stuart Vevers, creative director of Coach.selena gomez coach “I couldn’t be more proud to be the face of Coach,” said Gomez. “I’ve also loved working with Stuart, I admire his vision and his designs.”selena gomez coach Coinciding with the launch of the fall collection, Coach has created three short films dedicated to the key bags of the season: the Rogue, the Coach Swagger and the Edie. Created by Baron & Baron, each video stars Gomez getting ready in a New York City apartment for a night on the town.As for why Coach chose Selena Gomez, well, Vevers put it perfectly: "Selena has a warmth that's special, [but] there is also an authenticity and realness to her that brings the campaign to life." We couldn't have said it better ourselves. The privacy of our visitors is of extreme importance to us. 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Treat a friend, a sister, a mother or a daughter with something so pampering, they’ll feel like they just came back from the spa! If they have a soft spot for beauty products, even better. Whether it’s their signature lip color or a cream you know they really wanted to try, beauty gifts work for just about everyone on your list. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite natural beauty gifts below.

(Bonus: some of these make great stocking stuffers, too!)

The Best Natural Beauty Gifts for the Holidays 1. Hello Glow Book // Every DIY beauty enthusiast needs a copy of our book! More than 150 recipes await inside.

2. Smith’s Rose Bud Tin Set // A trio of classic US-made lip balms, packed together beautifully in a vintage-style tin, ready to gift!

3. Vegan Eye Makeup Brush Set // Your make-up obsessed friend who can paint a cat eye in a moving vehicle will appreciate this all-in-one set of eye brushes.

4. O-Naturals Soap  Collection // Six luxurious soap bars, enriched with essential oils for every mood, and made with vegan ingredients.

5. The Beauty Chef Holiday Boost Trio // Beauty from the inside out with this holiday special set from The Beauty Chef.

6. Tata Harper Glow For It Kit // This limited edition offer includes three must-haves from Tata Harper at a super convenient price.

7. Spela Matte Liquid Lipstick // This liquid lipstick from Spela is as long-lasting as traditional lipstick, but as soft and easy to apply as lip gloss. The perfect combo (and vegan, too).

8. Origins Bestsellers // Seven of Origins’ best selling products in a box that’s just made for gifting!

9. Beauty Counter Shimmer & Shine Set // Body scrub, butter and shimmer oil from the amazing Beauty Counter, packed in a beautiful limited edition holiday box.

10. Kai Fragrance Duo Holiday Set // Not one for traditional Christmas scents? Then they’ll love this layerable fragrance duo, inspired by Hawaiian vacations. Enter to win $200 to spend at kaifragrance.com now!

11. 100% Pure To All a Good Night Set // The complete package for overnight beauty! Deeply cleanse, boost collagen, and get a fix of anti-aging vitamins with the luxurious set.

12. BONTIME Natural Nail Polish Set // For the friend who changes nail polish color every other day, this set is a lovely surprise!

13. Karuna Let It Glow Kit // Four face masks, an eye mask, a hand mask, a foot mask and an under eye melting boost sheet. Everything they need for a post-holiday pick-me-up! (In fact, you might want to get a set for yourself too.)

14. Lanolips Holiday Bauble // These super sweet Lanolips lip balms are festively packed as baubles, perfect for hanging and for gifting.

15. Juice Beauty Best of Green Apple // The Green Apple collection is formulated to correct uneven skin tone and defy aging, with the aid of apple’s natural malic acid content.

16. Farmacy Beauty Skin Savior Set with Echinacea GreenEnvy Honey // Honey is a miracle worker when it comes to natural beauty, with benefits for every skin type. We adore this set from one of our favorites, Farmacy, because it’s perfect for keeping skin in tip top shape even in the face of harsh winter weather.

17. 12 Days of OLE Glow Skincare Advent Calendar // An advent calendar filled with creams and lotions is every beauty lover’s dream gift!

18. Herbivore Botanicals Coconut Bath Soak // Created with soothing and skin-softening coconut milk, this bath soak is a total game changer.

19. I Dew Care Mini Magic Clay Mask 5-Pack // This set of clay masks from Korean skincare favorite I Dew Care will leave their skin dewy and glowing.

20. REN Silent Night, Wake Wonderful // During the holidays, we’re often going to bed pretty tired. This sets works wonders on the skin and it’s made especially for nighttime.



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Makeup mistakes happen every day, even to the most seasoned beauty veterans. Smudges, smears, or smashed products are cold, hard facts of the cosmetics life. But you don't actually need to grab your micellar water or a makeup remover wipe to take it all off and start over every time you experience a product application fail. In fact, with a little creativity, imagination, and ingenuity, as well as some additional tools, like cotton swabs, your makeup flubs may not actually be mistakes after all! Here are some creative tips from the experts on how you can turn your beauty and makeup "mistakes" into total wins.Buying the wrong color

Celebrity makeup artist Nikki Allure, who has worked with superstar Cardi B, has a great fix for those times when you have purchased the wrong shade of contour, foundation, or concealer. If you shop online and pick a hue that ends up being too dark, too light, or not bright enough, don't go through the hassle of sending it back or worse — letting it sit at the bottom of your makeup drawer, untouched, unused, and a waste of cash. She tells me, "I use [those] for different things, such as an eyeshadow base."

That's a brilliant reversal of function. A contour cream or concealer can act as an eyelid primer or a base, helping your powder shadow last all night. It can also turn up or tone down the shadow color placed over top. 

Smudged mascaraHave you ever applied mascara to your lower lashes in order to darken and thicken them, only to end up with smudges on the delicate skin right beneath your eye? Don't fret or wipe it away, which could amplify the mess. Instead, makeup artist Mindy Green recommends that you "grab a cotton swab to blend it and call it liner." That way, you don't waste product and enjoy the added benefit of a sultry eye look. A little under-eye smudge is totally mysterious and unexpected, giving you that good-girl-gone-bad vibe.Samantha Agostino, lead makeup artist at ECRU New York Beauty, has a similar solution for lower lash smudges, telling me, "Mascara can be a dupe for a wet liner to create a smoky effect on the bottom lashline; just use an angled brush to load up product from the wand."Broken powder productsSo you dropped a powder eyeshadow or a highlighter compact and the product itself is cracked, yet most of the powder still remains in the pan — we've all been there. Don't allow that compact to sink to the bottom of the abyss that is your makeup bag or purse, but also don't cut your losses and toss it! It is salvageable. Green says, "Add broken eyeshadow [dust] to a clear lip gloss to create your own heavily pigmented gloss." But wait, there's an even better suggestion. Green notes, "If you've lost [or broken] a few, you can blend shades to make a custom color." There is no such thing as wasted makeup with this hack.Using too much translucent powderusing-too-much-translucent-powder-1513191877If you think you've used too much translucent powder on your face, think again. The product exists to add luminescence and it's really hard to overdo it. Plus, your fluffy brush is your BFF, since it can further diffuse the product if it's not giving you the end result you want. Stylist and makeup artist Liz Everett tells me, "I don't know if you can actually use too much, because you are solidifying the finish. As long as you do a great job of sweeping it gently with your brush after, you are all good."Hillary Kline, a freelance makeup artist in Minneapolis, has another tip for when you may need to neutralize the face powder. "Use a setting spray that has a dewy finish to it and won't make your face look dry," she tells me. Using too much lip linerLip liner isn't just a tool for creating a precise, perfectly shaped lip a la Kylie Jenner. It's also a secret weapon that helps lipstick, no matter the texture, adhere all day. If you are tracing the perimeter of your mouth and find yourself using too much color or drawing imperfect lines, just go with it. In fact, Everett recommends filling in the surface of your entire lip with liner "so that your lipstick or gloss will last longer." It's the exact same concept as an eyeshadow base — liner assists lipstick in staying put and intensifies the color that's layered on top of it.Mixing foundation with your primerA full face of makeup has a running order of which products to apply and when. Primer usually goes first, giving you a flawless canvas on which to add concealer, liquid foundation and/or powder, and contour. Usually, a primer is applied prior to foundation, adding an extra layer of moisture and ensuring that makeup stays on longer. However, if you somehow mix your primer and foundation, it's totally okay. The team at The London School of Make-Up, says, "By mixing your foundation with some primer, you can achieve a more translucent look, which helps your makeup to blend perfectly in with your primer."This leads to a softer focus visage and creates a natural look. You retain the coverage your foundation provides, without looking like you've slathered on a metric ton of product. It's all about light and light.Eyeshadow falloutMakeup artist Emilie Rudman, who launched the Emilie Heathe line and runs the MLE STUDIO, has brilliant solution for repurposing eyeshadow fallout. You know what we're talking about: "You've just added your favorite shimmer shadow to your lid with your favorite soft brush, but in the process are left with a ton of shadow all over your face," she says, recounting a makeup situation we've all experienced. But it's not the end of the world. Rudman continues, "Take a soft face brush or your finger and blend this shadow right above the cheek bone and use it as a highlighter."Obviously, this technique only works with light and shimmery shades. You can't employ the same trick with dark, matte shadows or you will be left with a sooty mess on your face.You didn't pack enough productsIf you are traveling and were forced to pack efficiently due to TSA regulations, and inexplicably forgot your favorite eyeshadow palette, there is no need to head to the drugstore to spend more money on the same products you left at home. If you have smartly packed other products, like face powder, they can multi-task in your favor. Rudman says, "Your face powder can also be used as a shadow, but also as a shadow base. This will prevent liner from bleeding, mascara from transferring, and cover those dark spots."Broken concealerMakeup artist and Pretty Girl Makeup CEO Christina Flach has a terrific tip for salvaging broken or smashed powder and cream products, which can be expensive, and therefore it's extra frustrating when they end up broken. But never fear! They are not unusable. "Utilize containers, adding some broken powder with bronzer to make the perfect light bronzing powder that also will take the shine off while giving a bit of color during the winter season," she tells me.But what can be done to reuse a broken concealer stick? Flach says what's leftover can be "added to a bit of your favorite moisturizer for a fabulous hydrating under eye cream."Going overboard on browsIf you overdid it with your eyebrows, added too much powder or created a little too much definition with a kohl pencil, you don't actually need to wash your whole face and start over. You can easily tone down an overdone brow with this time-saving method. Kline suggests that you "take a makeup sponge, apply a little bit of makeup remover to it, and dab over the brows. It will lower the intensity of your brow." Toning things down is easy, as long as you are careful with both your tools and your technique.Unwashed brushesNeglecting to wash your makeup brushes every couple of weeks or so is a really bad habit. However, if you simply haven't had the chance to clean your tools, it can have a positive benefit, as long as you don't do it too often! Ami Mallon, who serves as Global Corporate Educator for Osmosis Colour Mineral Cosmetics, tells me, "Even the most germ-phobic of us can have moments where we forget to wash our brushes. The good news? If you are in a hurry, the makeup of yesterday can be the makeup of today, as well! A dirty eyeshadow, blush, or foundation brush can mean today's beautiful recycled look." Basically, the leftover color on the hairs can be used to create a light, easy wash of color on your lids or cheeks. It's literally "next day" makeup.Smudged winged eyelinerThe cat-eye flick is hard to master, even for makeup vets. There are tons of products (felt tip pens, angled brushes paired with gel pots, the Vamp Stamp) available to help achieve that perfect wing. Drawing a wing can be frustrating and is often a bust, but don't be deterred. Emaneula DeFalco, founder of Dirty Little Secret Cosmetics, tells me, "Not every wing needs to be sharp enough to cut your ex-boyfriend. A smudged liner can bring a sexy sultry look without having to do a complete smokey eye." To get this look, DeFalco says, "Just take a gel liner and literally smudge it out with a brush or your finger. If anyone asks why your wing isn't sharp, tell them they can't sit with you." #BurnHer larger point is more important — it's totally okay to seek a not-so-sharp or unpredictable wing.

Source link There's something very mysterious about perfume. Unlike anything else, it's the only thing we wear that is invisible, it's unique on everyone, and most of the time we have very little understanding of the ingredients. I asked several fragrance industry insiders to spill their secrets about what is really in perfume, how to choose right scent, why that fragrance smells so good on your friend, but not quite so delightful on you, and so much more. You will never wonder what you are spritzing on again. 

Many fragrances consist of natural ingredients

Founded in 1981 by former pianist and fashion model, Annick Goutal, the namesake brand is still one of the most important names in the high-end luxury fragrance market today.Still a family-run business, daughter of Annick Goutal, Camille Goutal, is the in-house perfumer for the brand. She revealed that flowers are one of the most important ingredients the company uses in their fragrances. "Flowers in fragrance have a very long history. They are so beautiful, feminine, and sexy and therefore that translates to the scent itself," she told me. "Flowers will always intrigue and fascinate both men and women. When women wear fragrances made of flowers, some say they feel a special connection with nature."

Some fragrances have synthetic ingredients

Goutal told me that the brand has always been fond of natural ingredients, and they are the main components of their fragrances, but going 100 percent natural isn't always possible. She revealed there are many reasons behind this. "Many fragrances do consist of natural ingredients, but it's not the case in general. Due to the cost of natural ingredients, most brands can't afford them."But it is not just a matter of economics. For some specific scents, using natural ingredients all of the time is simply too difficult. "Natural ingredients are beautiful and complex, but not the easiest to formulate. I don't favor one over the other in terms of synthetic versus natural. Synthetic ingredients are great and offer multiple possibilities when natural ones can't. For example, you can't extract the scent of peach or coconut naturally, and that's when synthetic ingredients take over the natural ones."Another reason manufacturers use synthetic ingredients is sourcing some natural ones take too large a toll on the environment. Eric Korman, who is the founder and CEO of PHLUR told me, "We do not use real sandalwood, as this would ecologically irresponsible. Instead, we use a raw material safely created in a lab that replicates the essence of sandalwood and we donate $5 for every bottle sold to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature." ​

There is a difference between perfume, eau de toilette, and cologne

While many of us use the expression "perfume" as an umbrella phrase to describe different kinds of fragrances, not every fragrance is technically "perfume." Goutal broke down the differences. "The highest concentration is in pure perfume (or parfum). Next would be eau de parfum, then eau de toilette, and finally eau de cologne." Perfume has the strongest scent for various reasons. "The highest-concentration scent format, perfume (also called parfum, parfum extrait or perfume extract) has traditionally scented the wealthy. It's the purest of the fragrance recipes, with the highest concentration of expensive oils and the least amount of alcohol and water. In some cases, it may contain no water at all. Eau de Parfum and Parfum is the strongest."While many people believe eau de cologne or cologne indicates a product is for men specially, Goutal revealed that it is a misnomer. "Eau de cologne is not in fact a gender-specific format, which surprises people and can actually smell different from a perfume version of the same scent."

​Perfume is worth its price

http://funfactsoflife.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/perfume-is-worth-its-price.jpgMuch like clothing, you can buy fragrances for pennies or thousands of dollars. But perfume doesn't come cheap. Goutal told me there are several factors that go into the price. "There are many reasons why perfume can be costly," she explained. "The main reason is the quality of the ingredients and the bottle itself." However, price does not always reflect the quality. It can simply be about marketing. "What is disconcerting for the client is that a very expensive fragrance does not equate to a perfume of quality. Sometimes, it's just a price positioning."​

Fragrances do not have to be expensive

A quality fragrance doesn't have to break the bank. Korman told me, "There are a few key factors that drive up the price of fragrance and unfortunately a lot of [those factors are] not ingredients. Mostly money goes towards inefficient marketing campaigns, royalties to fashion designers or celebrities, and silly packaging." But not all companies choose to invest in these "other" components of fragrance. Some, like Phlur, have a direct-to-consumer marketing plan that allows them to create a superior company at a lower retail cost. "We actually spend 3 to 4 times more per bottle on ingredients than what you'll typically find in a department store, and we are able to keep them priced at $85, versus the $160 and up you'd need to pay for something of similar quality," Korman explained.

Scent trends change seasonally

While scent trends push sales, they also have a lot to do with consumer preferences. According to Goutal, "There are two types of trends. One is just seasonal and simply depends on the weather. People usually wear light scents in summer and heavier ones when it's cold, but it's not a rule. The other much-longer standing trend is when an ingredient or a type of scent is on trend. This could be three years or sometimes a decade."In terms of specific notes, Goutal told me, "Citrus notes or vanilla notes seem to have the longest appeal and the longest staying power in terms of what people wear overall. For the last ten years, perfumes have tended to be stronger and more sugary, but it's changing a little bit."However, not every manufacturer necessarily develops fragrances to be on trend. "Our new Naughty Garden scent for example is a fragrance with timeless appeal blending of variety of very unique notes that can definitely transcend seasons be worn and enjoyed all year round rather than pinning itself to a particular season," explained Francois Damide of Crafting Beauty, who helped formulate the scent for Laubahn Perfumes. "But, ultimately, it is up to the consumer. Some people lean towards lighter, fresher fragrances in the warmer months and deeper, muskier fragrances in the winter, where as some people will wear the same fragrance 365 days a year. It's all about personal preference."

Fragrances with woodsy, citrus, and vanilla notes tend to be the most popular scents

If you've noticed that many scents smell alike, no matter what label is on the bottle, it's because there are certain notes or categories of fragrances that tend to be popular across the board. Goutal explained, "Light, sparkling, citrusy notes and vanilla" are usually on trend, but it varies by the market. For men, she says they "tend to lean toward woodsy scents. There has also been a trend for Oud recently."But Goutal's approach to choosing a scent is that it is a very personal process. She told me, "Trends are not important. What's important is that you enjoy wearing your fragrance, no matter how trendy (or not) it is. I always say to the clients they need to fall in love with their fragrance. It must be love at first sniff."

Fragrances can smell different on everyone

Our unique bodies, lifestyles, and chemistry can change the scent of a fragrance from person to person. Korman illustrated the science behind this, explaining, "A person's unique body chemistry affects how a fragrance smells. For instance, people have varying pH levels. That is one reason why a fragrance might smell differently on you versus your friend. What you eat, your body temperature, and the environment you're in also factor into how a fragrance smells."Another frustration that many people encounter when trying new scents is that they smell it on a piece of paper at store, but when they take it home, something has changed. Korman shared the reason for this. "We obviously are not made of paper, so a fragrance will always smell differently on you, and differently over time, than in a few minutes on a paper strip at the mall."His solution to this dilemma was to change the sampling process. "We found a pretty easy solution to that problem for Phlur by creating a sampling process which enables customers try our fragrances on their skin, and in real life—not a paper test strip."

The higher the quality of fragrance, the longer it will last

untold truth about perfume There is nothing worse than a scent that fades by midday. If you find your fragrance doesn't last, you may need a product that has a higher concentration. But using too highly a concentrated product isn't necessarily better. After all, who hasn't sat next to or been in a room with someone whose perfume is stronger than their personality?Damide said this dilemma is something manufactures have to consider when creating new products. "In an effort to make sure a fragrance lasts longer, we look to high quality ingredients and higher concentrations of fragrance oil." She explained that testing fragrances at various concentration levels helps manufacturers to find the "sweet spot of scent and longevity."But for consumers who deal with fragrance fade, Goutal says the simple solution to this problem is to choose a perfume as opposed to eau de toilette, for example. "[Perfume] tends to last longer on the skin."

Choosing the right scent isn't difficult​​​​​​​​​​

There are so many fragrances out there that choosing one can feel very overwhelming, but Korman thinks we are overcomplicating the process. "Choosing a scent can be confusing, because similar to wine, many people who consider themselves 'experts' overcomplicate it to make it hard, but at the end of the day, the most important thing is what you like." He suggests really thinking about who you are when choosing a scent and going from there. "Remember, smell is our most visceral sense, so fragrance should be an extension of yourself. Look for scents that elevate different moods and moments, helping you express your natural self. For example, if you are vivacious by nature and heading for a night out, try a fragrance boasting osmanthus, which is a sensuous apricot-smelling blossom. Because fragrances change and develop throughout the day, the best method to find a new fragrance is to test the perfume in real life over different days, and in different settings."Source
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