Blog Posts by Oprah.com

  • How to Use Multiple Nail Polish Colors and Still Look like an Adult

    By Amber Kallor

    Making decisions has never been my strong point, especially when I'm faced with too many options. Facing a menu at a diner, for example-with all its possibilities of getting whatever I want, whenever I want-I usually end up ordering a mix of things (a grilled cheese, a shrimp cocktail, and a side of mashed potatoes with gravy) that have no business being together.

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    I'm faced with the same problem when it comes to deciding on a nail polish color. Whether it's choosing from the rainbow of options at the nail salon or digging through the colors stuffed into multiple bins under my bathroom sink, I end up testing at least 20 shades on my fingers before deciding on one. So when I spotted O contributing assistant fashion editor Sara Mitzner's nails, I knew I had at last found a way to embrace my indecisive nature.

    RELATED: What Every Beauty Editor Knows and You Should Too

    She created this ombre effect by choosing

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  • Why the Way You Breathe May Be Bad for You

    undefinedBy Mark Matousek

    It's among the most important physical functions our bodies perform. We do it about 20,000 times a day. And still, somehow, most of us get it wrong. "If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be to learn to breathe correctly," says Andrew Weil, MD, a well-known pioneer in the field of integrative medicine.

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    Chinese and yogic traditions have long extolled the importance of chi or prana-the life forces associated with breath-and science is finally catching up. "Medicine is just recognizing the importance of energy to health," says Richard P. Brown, MD, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. "And our most critical source of energy is oxygen."

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    It turns out that getting more oxygen-by simply changing the way we breathe-can facilitate healing from a startling number of serious conditions, including chronic pain, atrial

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  • Should You Considered Using an IUD?

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Corrie Pikul

    An IUD is a tiny T-shaped device that is implanted into the uterus by a doctor. It has a cord dangling down into the upper part of the vagina and remains in the uterus for five to 10 years, when it is time to remove it and insert a new one. IUDs work by creating a uterine environment that is inhospitable to sperm, and one type also secretes progestin as a backup. These devices were horribly maligned after the Dalkon Shield medical debacle of the '70s (rightfully so) but now seem poised to make a comeback. Manufacturers say that flaws in the design and procedure that made old IUDs so dangerous for women (like the Shield's woven double strands that transmitted dangerous bacteria) have been fixed, and the CDC has approved IUDs as safe for women at low risk for STDs.

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    Among reproductive researchers and healthcare providers, at least, the IUD has become the new "it" contraceptive. The percent of women on birth control who favor

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  • 3 Ways to Bring Yourself Back from Burnout

    Illustration: Holly LindemBy Martha Beck

    You wake up almost as tired as when you fell asleep, four hours ago. After hitting the snooze button twice, you stumble to the kitchen and chug a quart of coffee. It doesn't help. Your face in the mirror looks like the child you might have had with Voldemort. You can barely squeeze into your last-resort "fat pants." Getting your kids off to school feels like climbing Everest; driving to the job you once loved, an uphill slog to the salt mines. You dread interacting with your coworkers. It's not that you aren't a caring, compassionate person; it's just that you hate everyone.

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    If this sounds familiar, you may think you're depressed. But you might be dealing with a subtly different problem: burnout. Scientists differentiate the two, and it's a crucial distinction. If you confuse burnout with depression and address it only with antidepressants or therapy, you'll overlook the behavioral changes you must make to restore your depleted physical and

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  • 4 Ways to Use All Those Apple Peels

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Lynn Andriani

    You've gone apple picking, made pie and applesauce, and now you're stuck with a mountain of peels. Here's what to do with them (besides toss them in the compost pile), in order of least to most complicated.

    RELATED: Apple Galette Recipe

    Simmer it for scent.
    Skip the honey and lemon juice, and make your own autumn air freshener: Put them in a pot of water, add some cinnamon and simmer on the stove (refill the water if it evaporates).

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    Brew apple tea.
    Follow this simple recipe, which consists of peels, cinnamon, honey and lemon juice.

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    Jar some apple jelly.
    This will take a few hours, but the sweet and tart jelly makes a lovely fall hostess gift. You'll need the peels and cores from 15 to 20 medium-sized, tart apples; a box of dry pectin; and lots of sugar. Here's a recipe.

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    Make apple dirt.
    Peter George, executive chef of 360 the Restaurant in Toronto, uses this sweet

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  • How to Apply False Lashes Like a Pro

    Photo: Sarra Fleur Abou El-Haj/Studio DPhoto: Sarra Fleur Abou El-Haj/Studio DThe instant eye-opening power of false lashes is not lost on our very own Gayle King. She's worn them on TV-courtesy of a makeup artist-for decades. "They make such a huge difference!" she says. But she's never had success applying them herself at home. So we brought in makeup artist Carmindy to show her how it's done. Gayle was skeptical (to say the least), meeting every instruction with a cocked eyebrow and "Are you surrrre?" Even so, within minutes, she had applied her own lashes-and they looked terrific. "That's unbelievable," she said as she stepped back from the mirror to observe her handiwork. Of course, Gayle being Gayle, the skepticism remained. "I need some more practice before I really get it," she said.

    RELATED: The Secret to a Flawless Face (and it's not in a tube)


    Photo: Sarra Fleur Abou El-Haj/Studio DPhoto: Sarra Fleur Abou El-Haj/Studio DStep 1:
    Maneuvering a full strip of lashes is tricky, so Carmindy recommends cutting the strip in half with cuticle scissors. Gayle used Andrea Modlash #33. (For a less full fringe, try #53, $3.50 each;

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  • What to Look Out for When Buying a Mattress

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Laura Fraser

    Of all the things in my home that I've worried are bad for the environment, my mattress is one I'd never lost any sleep over. Until recently-after my linebacker-size boyfriend, Peter, moved in, and created a deep canyon on his side of the bed. I was waking up grumpy, with backaches from the strain of staying level. I'd bought the bed a decade before, shortly after my divorce. Now, with a new man in my life, I decided I was ready for a new mattress.

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    Around that time, I visited my parents and slept on their new pull-out couch. But instead of peaceful slumber, it felt as if I were being gassed by the mattress's smell. I opened a window but tossed all night, worried about the toxic fumes I might be inhaling. Mattresses, I soon learned, are rarely ecologically innocent. Most are made with synthetic fibers or foam, which don't biodegrade. Cotton or wool stuffing can be processed with pesticides and other chemicals-some of them

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  • 7 Peanut Butters For Grown-Ups: What's Your Favorite?

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Lynn Andriani

    It's nutritious, it's filling, it's the easiest lunch known to man: Peanut butter, we salute you (and your nut butter brethren, almond, cashew and hazelnut). Here are some new flavors and combinations we've found that take the lunchbox standard in an entirely new direction. Stock up now, before escalating peanut prices drive the cost of these butters through the roof.

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    The Fall Peanut Butter
    You could easily mistake the menu from Chef Stella's in Summerville, S.C., for an ice cream parlor. It makes peanut butters flavored with fruits like blackberry, black currant, kiwi and strawberry; as well as spreads that draw inspiration from frozen dessert classics such as praline, coconut and coffee (actually, Chef Stella uses espresso in its peanut butter for an even bigger punch). But it's the subtly-flavored Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter we're loving right now, perfect on top of pancakes or waffles.

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  • Lost and Found Siblings

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Amy Shearn

    The holiday season is almost upon us (no, really), which inevitably means joyous meals spent gathered at festive tables, looking around and thinking, How on earth could I be related to these people? Your super-go-getter older sister, your black-sheep younger brother...and you, the normal one. (Everyone thinks they're the normal one.)

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    As it turns out, siblings may have a larger effect on our personalities and lives than any of us suspected. Jeffrey Kluger, author of the new book The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us, recently told NPR, "siblings are the longest relationships we'll ever have in our lives. Our parents leave us too soon, our spouses and our kids come along too late." Assuming everyone lives long enough, our siblings are the only people who know us our entire lives.

    RELATED: Sibling Rivalry

    So what if you never knew your siblings, only meeting them as adults? Do they have the same effect on

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  • 6 Ways to Improve Your Conversations With Your Guy

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Corrie Pikul

    It's not as if you always need to know how your husband feels about you or his childhood or his purpose here on earth. And it's not as if you want to spend hours on the phone with your dad, uncle, brothers or old college friends. Sometimes you just want one of them to weigh the merits of salad spinners. To help open the lines of communication between you and the men you love, we interviewed three experts to find the most effective ways to get them talking.

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    Approach him from the side.

    Walking straight up to a man and sitting down directly across from him can trigger his competitive instincts, says executive coach Carol Kinsey Goman, PhD, who counsels business leaders on nonverbal communication. She says that while women prefer talking to each other in a "squared up" position (i.e., across from each other), two men talking casually are more likely to angle their bodies away from each other. You'll have a better chance of getting

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