Blog Posts by Allure Daily Beauty Reporter

  • Balayage Gone Bad: When a Picture is Not Worth 1,000 Words

    by Ramona Emerson

    Getty ImagesGetty Images

    As part of my ongoing quest to re-create a life-changing highlighting experience I had three years ago, I arrived at a cool Brooklyn salon with an 8x10 color printout of Elizabeth Olsen dutifully clutched in my fist.


    I sat down and somewhat sheepishly showed the picture to the stylist--it always feels insane to ask a human person if they can make you look like a celebrity at a red-carpet event, but it's way harder to find a picture of a normal-looking person with highlights exactly like Olsen's.

    See more: 34 Hair Ideas for 2014

    Besides showing her the picture, I kept repeating the words "balayage," "bright," and "not brassy" like some kind of crazed parrot. Through all this idiocy, the stylist, who was so nice and had really pretty hair (always a good sign), nodded in understanding and said, indicating the picture, "We can definitely get pretty close to that." I took this to mean, "We can definitely get pretty close to that."

    An hour later, as I was

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  • Insiders' Guide: How to Winterproof Skin

    The road to Sochi is paved with windburn and chapped lips. Here's how Olympic hopefuls save their skin from the season's extremes.
    by Jolene Edgar

    ERIC MATHERON BALAY/FIGAROPHOTO/CONTOUR STYLE/GETTY IMAGESERIC MATHERON BALAY/FIGAROPHOTO/CONTOUR STYLE/GETTY IMAGES
    Hannah Teter | Snowboarder
    "There are only a few beauty products in my ski pack--Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection SPF 50 Lotion is one of them. I need the high SPF because the sun reflecting off the snow is intense. Being cold and sweaty at the same time is a common problem for snowboarders. To prevent zits, I do herbal facial steams. I heat up a pot of water and throw in chamomile, rose, and green tea. I put a towel over my head and hover over the steam for ten minutes. Afterward, my skin feels fresh, clean, and really soft."

    See more: 34 Hair Ideas for 2014


    Heather McPhie | Skier and Snowboarder
    "I used to have issues with my skin, but I have fewer since I found products that work for me. I buy them in bulk and don't switch. Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream is thick and doesn't sting, and I like Olay cleansing cloths for

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  • Buzz Alert: A New Treatment for Undereye Bags

    by Joan Kron

    David StesnerDavid Stesner

    Jennifer Aniston is about to become even more popular. She's a partner in Living Proof, a high-tech beauty company that will soon unveil a new--if temporary--solution to undereye wrinkles and bulges. Details are under wraps till the end of the month, but what we do know is tantalizing.


    See more: 34 Hair Ideas for 2014

    The product is called Strateris and it requires no surgery, no needles, no heat or beams of laser light. It's a wipe-on, and when applied under the eyes, it forms a transparent film that's breathable, flexible, and imperceptible. Like the sheerest Spanx for your undereye area, it works by compressing sagging skin. The undereye area will supposedly look firmer an hour after it goes on, and when you remove it at night, your skin returns to its original state.

    Strateris has been in development for ten years and has been tested on 600 people with baggy lower lids. While it's not a cure for eye bags or wrinkles, some people--and their doctors--may see it

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  • What LA Bartenders and Your Manicurist Should Have in Common

    by Jenna Rosenstein

    Getty ImagesGetty Images No glove, no drink? A new food safety law in Los Angeles requires bartenders to snap on the latex while preparing cocktails (at least those that involve "ready-to-eat food" like martini olives, bloody mary celery sticks, or mojito lime slices). The germaphobe in me rejoiced when I heard this--the cleaner the better! But then it got me thinking about what else goes in my mouth--i.e. my hands: Shouldn't manicurists be taking precautions, too?


    See more: 34 Hair Ideas for 2014

    A few months ago, I could've sworn I got the flu via a manicure. The technician had been sneezing and coughing, but she'd had on a mask, so I'd felt safe. (Sort of.) A couple of days later, though, I was achy and feverish and cursing my pretty nails. Would gloves have kept me from getting sick?

    "Disposable gloves can definitely help prevent transmission of infectious diseases, especially when you are in direct contact with someone, like a manicurist," says Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist

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  • 5 Secrets of a Salon Quality Blowout

    Catherine Q. O'Neill

    Delphine AchardDelphine Achard
    Believe me, if I could get a professional blowout every day I would (and some women do!). But on most mornings, I'm left face-to-face with my Harry Josh dryer, a round brush, and about 15 minutes to not screw it up. Here are the most important things I learned while researching chapter one (blowouts) of Allure Hair: The Ultimate How-To Hair Guide.


    Your blowout starts the minute you get out of the shower. So don't rub your hair with a towel (it causes frizz) and don't wrap your towel on your head (it makes the roots lie flat). Oh and get out of that bathroom--the humidity is already causing your hair to curl!

    See more: 34 Hair Ideas for 2014

    Heat protectant is important. Seriously. Otherwise, the heat won't dissipate evenly, leading to major damage. Try Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Styling Heat Protect Spray, which covers you up to 450 degrees, and make sure not to forget the ends.

    Hit the roots first. Once you mist your roots with volumizer or mousse, it's

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  • Chicago P.D.’s Sophia Bush Spills Her Beauty Secrets

    by Monica Perry

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesAfter a decade on the teen phenom One Tree Hill, Sophia Bush has finally graduated: This season, she'll play an officer on NBC's police drama Chicago P.D. We sat down with the star for a little beauty interrogation.

    What's been your biggest red-carpet beauty disaster?
    "Oh, my god, all of 2004. Right out of college and having to do events, and having absolutely no clue how to deal with that pressure--I kind of imploded from it."


    See more: 34 Hair Ideas for 2014

    What about your daily beauty routine? "Chicago is so, so dry. I spend my morning having my hair blown out, so I'm trying to be better to it. Otherwise I think it'll all just fall out. So I'm doing a lot of conditioning masks. Also, all of us in the makeup trailer on C.P.D. have really gotten addicted to Perricone products. They're so good. Before, I was using a lot of Ahava, which is full of Dead Sea minerals, so now I'm sort of seesawing between the two. It keeps your skin nice and surprised."

    Any

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  • Is Your FitBit Messing with Your Skin?

    by Ramona Emerson

    Getty ImagesGetty Images While wearable exercise trackers have finally gotten chic enough that you might actually want to wear them in public, rashes are just never going to be on-trend, as some FitBit Force users have recently discovered. Some users have reportedly come down with nasty cases of contact dermatitis under their exercise trackers.


    The itchy, red skin reaction, which is a form of eczema, can be caused by either irritation or allergic reaction, according to dermatologist Doris Day. "The band isn't very breathable, and anytime you have moisture and friction you can get a rash," says Day. "I see the same thing under wedding rings." To soothe this kind of irritation, Day suggests alternating the bracelet from wrist to wrist.

    See more: 34 Hair Ideas for 2014

    The other possible culprit? A nickel allergy. "Contact dermatitis can be a result of an allergy to one of hundreds of things, but nickel, which could be present in a metal clasp such as this, is a common allergy," says

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  • View from the Red Carpet: Stars Prep for the Golden Globes

    by Jeffrey Slonim

    Getty ImagesGetty Images

    Historically, the Golden Globes have been a relaxed and boozy stop on the awards-season marathon, but that doesn't mean the stars don't face fashion dramas while getting ready for the red carpet.

    Cate Blanchett (in Armani): "Effortless. But a lot of work goes into the effortlessness [of] walking up that marathon that is the Golden Globes red carpet. I was fine at midnight. I woke up and had butterflies in my stomach, because you never know what the outcome is."

    Maria Menounos: "Well, I had to go commando for the first time. You can't wear any underwear under this dress. There are breezes that just come through. It's very fresh and airy. TMI?"

    Jennifer Lawrence: "My stylist, Rachel, brought over her adorable son Skyler and we played tickle monster for a while. I had my friends and family come over, which is always like a party, really fun, until I'm walking out the door. And then everybody says, 'Let me get a picture.' And I'm like, 'I really have to

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  • The HydraFacial: A Gentle, Efficient Treatment for Your Skin

    by Alexandra Tunell

    Courtesy of HydraFacialCourtesy of HydraFacial I was skeptical when I first heard about the HydraFacial, a treatment that promises clearer, more hydrated, younger-looking skin immediately. I am usually a proponent of the no-pain-no-gain school of facials; in other words, treatments that are heavy on exfoliation and extractions and that leave my skin inflamed for at least a few hours after. HydraFacial prides itself on being just as aggressive--without the aggression. I wanted to see if it lived up to the hype.


    The HydraFacial bills itself as ideal for all skin types and targets hyperpigmentation, oily/congested pores, fine lines, and wrinkles. It can be done in a derm's office or a medical spa and usually takes 20 to 30 minutes. I told the technician I was concerned about redness and dark spots (she added a red LED light to my treatment to target inflammation), and settled in as she turned on the machine. There are four steps:


    See more: 34 Hair Ideas for 2014


    Step 1: Cleansing and exfoliation. The

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  • How to Apply Eye Makeup like the Pros

    by Elizabeth Siegel

    David CookDavid Cook
    If you've ever considered swinging by a department store makeup counter every morning just to have your eyes done, you can now save yourself the trip. These makeup-artist tricks make it easy to get polished, professional-looking eye makeup at home.


    Make your undereye concealer do double-duty. After covering up dark circles with concealer, dab a little on the inner and outer corners of your eyes to hide redness and dark spots, too. "Then tap a little over your brow bone," says makeup artist Troy Surratt. "It will make you look more awake."

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    Play up your upper lash line. You can't go wrong with two coats of mascara and a bit of brown anything (pencil, powder, cream) smudged along your upper lashes. Apply shadow with a sponge-tipped brush, then use it or your fingers to blend, advises makeup artist Fulvia Farolfi.

    But don't forget about your lower lash line. Lining underneath makes

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