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  • 5 Ways You Get Smarter As You Age

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Annie Murphy Paul

    1. Your hemispheres sync up.
    The brain is divided into two hemispheres, with each side specializing in different operations. Brain scans show that while young people often use only one side for a specific task, middle-aged and older adults are more likely to activate both hemispheres at once-a pattern known as bilateralization. By involving both sides, older people bring the full spectrum of the brain's power to bear, allowing them to make more fruitful connections among the disparate parts of a problem or situation.

    RELATED: 7 Ways to Exercise the Brain

    2. Your brain never stops growing.
    Scientists once believed that some of our brain cells died off when we got older. But it's now clear that we not only hang on to our neurons-we grow new ones, too. Throughout a person's lifetime, the brain is continually reshaping itself in response to what it learns. Even something as silly as a clown trick can alter its structure: In a study published in The Journal of

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  • Emily Mortimer on Standing Up to Your Body Image

    Photo: Getty ImagesPhoto: Getty ImagesIn my first few years as an actor, I took one terrible TV job after another. But even as I laughed off my awful roles and made fun of myself to friends, my work made me cringe-I dreaded anyone's seeing it. I was crushed that I wasn't doing anything I was proud of.

    RELATED: Total Well-Being Defined by Deepak Chopra

    Finally, my husband, who's also an actor, asked me, "Do you really want this or not?" I decided to give acting a serious, committed try, and soon after, I read the script for Lovely and Amazing. The story was beautiful and honest, and the characters struggled with the same insecurities many women-including me-face. I didn't think I had a chance in hell of being in the film, but I knew I had to go for it.

    RELATED: Who Am I? A New Earth Video

    Somehow I got the part, and suddenly, for the first time, I was cast in something I believed in. I knew that in one of the film's key scenes, I'd have to stand naked in a bedroom while a sleazy guy, played by Dermot Mulroney, analyzed my

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  • The Simple Blood Test That Could Save Your Life

    Illustration: ShoutIllustration: ShoutBy Nancy Kalish

    You probably know your blood pressure, and whether your cholesterol is high, low, or normal. But what about your CRP? Short for C-reactive protein, CRP is an indicator of inflammation within the body-a condition that can contribute to a host of serious ills.

    RELATED: Dr. Oz on Checkups Without Health Insurance

    "Over time, chronic inflammation can do serious damage to healthy tissues," says Mark Liponis, MD, corporate medical director of Canyon Ranch and author of Ultra-Longevity: The Seven-Step Program for a Younger, Healthier You. "For one, it triggers a cascade of chemicals and processes that can lead to blood clots and accelerate the buildup of plaque in the arteries." According to the American Heart Association, people with high CRP are twice as likely to suffer cardiac arrest as those with low levels. "This makes CRP the most important cardiovascular risk factor we have for men and women over age 50-more indicative than cholesterol, blood pressure, age, family

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  • 3 Fall Make-up Trends to Try This Week

    Photo: Fernando MilaniPhoto: Fernando MilaniBy Jenny Bailly

    The season's fresh makeup offers a kaleidoscope of options.

    The Focus: Smoky, Seductive Eyes

    The Pro's Secrets

    1. Apply an eyeshadow primer that closely matches the color of your lids; a very thin layer is enough to keep the shadow from creasing, fading, or smudging-and won't make the color look cakey.

    2. Use a brush to blend a shimmery lavender eyeshadow from your upper lashline to just above the crease of your lid. With a liner brush, trace the same shade below your bottom lashes. (Although the purple you see here flatters every skin tone, if you're pale-and a little color-shy-you can try a lighter shade.)

    3. Apply two coats of mascara. A volumizing formula will add the length and thickness you need to match the dramatic effect of the colorful shadow.

    Complete the Look
    Blend a raspberry blush on the apples of your cheeks-make sure it's matte (shimmer on your eyes and face is too much of a good thing). A bronze lipstick is a perfect complement to

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  • 4 Signs You've Made it Big

    Illustration: Lara TomlinIllustration: Lara TomlinBy Donna Brazile

    Good Hair
    Growing up, I'd have one of my sisters try to subdue my unruly mane. Now I go to the salon every week, so I don't panic when it's humid and my hair does its best imitation of a giant dandelion.

    RELATED: Transition Hair from Summer to Fall

    The Occasional Splurge
    For years I carried around ratty purses, but this year I sprang for a designer handbag-and let me tell you, there's something to be said for looking the part. With my new bag over my shoulder, I practically strut.

    RELATED: 4 Small Bucket Bags That Make a Big Statement

    Giving Back
    I got through college on scholarships, so when I speak at a university or nonprofit, I like to repay that generosity by donating some of my fee to the organization. It's a much bigger thrill than simply getting a check.

    RELATED: Skip the Beach for a Volunteer Vacation

    Having a Fan Club
    Conservative businessmen don't generally pay a lot of attention to middle-aged black women. But now they stop me on the street to debate

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  • 3 Women Who Turned Their Passion For Food into a Career

    Photo: Sara RemingtonPhoto: Sara RemingtonBy Rachel Mount

    Rachel Saunders, 32

    Oakland, California

    Blue Chair Fruit

    The Goods: A French major makes a career out of jam, creating vibrant flavors with seasonal fruit.

    Her Discovery: When Saunders, a native of upstate New York, moved to California after graduating from Smith College, she became enthralled with the farmers' markets (who'd ever heard of a tayberry?). She made fruit desserts while she pondered her career plan. "One day, instead of baking another pie that would quickly go bad, I experimented with jam," she recalls. "I was instantly hooked. There's something so magical about being able to preserve fruit for another season, or send it to my parents on the East Coast."

    RELATED: How to Make Sprinkles' Strawberry Cupcakes

    Her Big Decision: Saunders enrolled in a course at a small-business training center and worked in restaurants for five years before finally striking out on her own. "I wanted to make sure I was ready to commit to it as a life,

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  • 3 French Classics With an American Twist

    Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio DPhoto: Marko Metzinger/Studio DEverything you need to dress like you're living la vie en rose.

    Lodis Red Belt

    A bold red belt by Lodis marries a polka-dot dress and chiffon-edged blazer by LC Lauren Conrad.

    Belt, $58 |

    Dress, $43 |

    Blazer, $70 |

    RELATED: Jennifer Lopez Spices Up O Readers' Wardrobes for Fall

    Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio DPhoto: Marko Metzinger/Studio DPoncho A toasted-pecan poncho gets cozy with a farmhouse plaid lining.

    $99.50 |

    RELATED: 5 Easy Ways to Extend Your Summer Wardrobe into Fall

    Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio DPhoto: Marko Metzinger/Studio DCatherine Popesco for La Vie Parisienne Crystal-Dotted Pendant The 38-inch chain of this Swarovski crystal-dotted pendant hangs provocatively low.

    $76 |

    RELATED: Drop-Dead Gorgeous Earrings

    KEEP READING: 4 More Ways to Add Parisian Chic to Your Fall Look

    More from

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  • Two-Ingredient Baking (Yes, It's Really Possible)

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Lynn Andriani

    It's happened to me: Seeking an after-dinner treat, I ransack the pantry to see if I have all the ingredients to make cookies, only to find I'm out of vanilla. Or I don't have eggs. Or I only have a half-stick of butter. Most of the time, when I'm in one of these must-bake-something-sweet-now moods, I'm not looking for the most elegant, wholesome dessert. I just want something easy and good. Enter two-ingredient baking. The concept hinges on using pre-packaged helpers like cake mix and ice cream to create something a little more special. So next time you're grocery shopping, stock up on a couple of these pairings from food bloggers, and you'll be ready when the urge to bake st

    RELATED: Nothing To Fear But Self-Rising Flour

    Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

    The magic two: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and an egg
    What they make: Thin cookies that are crispy around the edges and chewy in the center, perfect for stacking.

    RELATED: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

    Pumpkin Muffins

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  • Want More Intimacy in Your Relationship? Here's What to Do

    Illustration: Brett RyderIllustration: Brett RyderBy Helen Fisher, PhD

    What is intimacy to you?" Recently, I asked this of a man I've been seeing. He replied, "Doing things together." I knew what he meant.

    Most of us have a primal craving to be truly known by someone before we die, to build a deeply committed relationship based on honesty, trust, self-disclosure, respect, appreciation, interdependence, and togetherness. But the sexes often define intimacy differently. When women want to draw closer, we face each other, lock eyes in what has been called the "anchoring gaze," and proceed to reveal our hopes, our worries, our lives. To women, intimacy is talking face-to-face-a behavior that probably evolved millions of years ago when ancestral females spent their days holding their infants up in front of them, soothing them with words.

    RELATED: Love, Marriage, Sex and Your Brain

    Men, however, often regard intimacy as working or playing side-by-side. Sure, they might discuss a bad week at work, even troubles in their love lives. But

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  • The Next Big Thing: 3 Fall Trends We Love

    Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio DPhoto: Marko Metzinger/Studio DBy Adam Glassman

    In the Black

    My time in Basel, Switzerland, at the world's largest watch fair taught me: (1) I can live without fondue, and (2) black watches are huge this fall.

    From top:
    Timex Originals Modern Easy Reader, $60;
    Rado True Thinline, $1,600;
    Seiko, $295;
    Limited Edition Movado BOLD by Chris Benz, $550;
    Citizen Eco-Drive Stiletto, $475;
    DKNY NY8300, $215;

    RELATED: Jennifer Lopez Spices Up O Readers' Wardrobes for Fall

    Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio DPhoto: Marko Metzinger/Studio DCash and Carry

    When is a wallet not just a wallet? When a chain or strap turns it into an instant shoulder bag. Marc Jacobs's quilted-leather take on this fall trend has a detachable chain. I love it!

    Ginger Crossbody purse in poppy, $495; 212-343-1490

    RELATED: 12 Non-Dorky Backpacks for Grown-Ups

    Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio DPhoto: Marko Metzinger/Studio DPython is the New Leopard

    Please note: We at O show only faux. No snakes were harmed to bring you these styles.

    The perfect

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