Blog Posts by Allure Daily Beauty Reporter

  • Does Drinking Coffee Make You Smarter?

    Kind of, according to research by Cochrane researchers.

    Science Daily reports that their study showed that caffeine is better than naps and placebos in helping workers reduce errors, and helps with neuropsychological tests, such as those focusing on memory, attention, perception and concept formation and reasoning.

    Pretty comprehensive! Cochrane looked at 13 studies, and found caffeine in all forms-coffee, energy drinks, energy food-helped people in their 20s and 30s. The result in older people has yet to be investigated.

    More from Allure:

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  • What's Your Tanning IQ?

    A weekend showing of the new indie flick Please Give got us thinking about attitudes toward the sun: In it, Amanda Peet's character is a facialist who indoor-tans obsessively in the pursuit of beauty and chastises her normally-pale sister for getting sun damage.

    And now, a new survey by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) that polled 7,000 adults about their attitude towards tanning returned rather disturbing results.

    The majority of respondents prefer the look of tanned skin over au naturel complexions, and a whopping 60 percent believe that sun exposure is actually good for your health (a misguided belief that links sun-worshiping with increased levels of vitamin D). To the contrary, the American Academy of Dermatology does not advocate soaking up vitamin D from sun exposure, but rather sticking with a good diet and supplements.

    The (contradictory?) good news: 75 percent of respondents said they would do anything possible to prevent skin cancer. Check out the AAD site to

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  • How to Summer-Proof Your Makeup

    Makeup is meant for your face-but keeping it there gets a lot harder once summer hits. Makeup artist Laura Mercier gave Allure tips about how to stop the stuff from melting into your Pimms cup when the mercury rises.

    "Primers are lightweight, so you won't feel the extra layer on your skin, but you will notice that your base and blush last much longer," says Mercier. After you've washed and moisturized your face, smooth on a pea-size drop of oil-free makeup primer (such as Laura Mercier's Oil-Free Foundation Primer).

    Change heavier foundation and powder you use during the winter for lighter products.
    "Choose formulas that contain silicone, which prevents them from melting when your skin warms," says Mercier. You can keep makeup looking fresh by applying thin layers. Try Giorgio Armani Beauty Lasting Silk UV Foundation.

    Switch your powder blush to a gel or cream. "Sheer creams, liquids, and gels sink into the skin," says Mercier-they also don't cake like powder can in the heat.

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  • 5 Tips for the Most Stylish Ponytail

    We're all about finding quick ways to look polished and stylish on Monday mornings. One great way: a way-above-average ponytail.

    We recently talked to hairstylist Tommy Buckett from the Marie Robinson Salon in New York City, and he offered this tip: "Always take the two minutes to wrap a piece of hair around the elastic-it will make the style look intentional." We've tried it out a few times and we've come up with a few tricks to getting it just right:

    Pull the right piece. Grab from underneath your ponytail, where the hair is the longest. A two-inch section from here will create a nice, thick wrap.

    Polish it up.
    Using the tiniest dab of styling cream or pomade (whatever you've got handy) in your fingertips and smoothing it over the piece before wrapping the elastic will keep any flyaway-prone layers in place, as well as add shine.

    Play around.
    Try twisting the piece or making a small braid instead.

    Keep it secure.
    The usual way to finish the style is by discreetly bobby-pinning the

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  • What's Your Leg-Hair Removal Method?

    Allure has looked into every different way to remove hair from every inch of your body, but as catchy as the Nair jingle may have been, my experience with depilatories in general never went past picking up the bottle in the aisle of the drugstore. (I blame it on fear of the rotten egg smell depilatories usually produce.) And then, the razor stuck with me for shaving my legs: Hair removal is just one of those things that once you find your favorite, you're really freaking loyal.

    But after going to an event for a new depilatory last week, I'm starting to reconsider-a lotion that reveals hairless legs sounds like the lazy girl's best (and cheapest) alternative to shaving. And most importantly, the smell: Veet Suprem'Essence products have a rose fragrance and essential oils to help with the scent from the chemicals, and Completely Bare Completely Gone Vanishing Cream smells more like lemons.

    Plus, the results usually last about a week-much longer than the stubble the day after a shave. So

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  • How Does a Younger Husband Affect Your Health?

    We're sure there are plenty of benefits to marrying a younger guy (we're not even going to use the word "cougar") but it looks like a long life expectancy isn't one of them.

    Science Daily reported that researchers from Germany's Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, who studied data on Danish couples to arrive at this conclusion, aren't sure why marrying a younger guy is bad for a woman's life span.

    Related: 10 Beauty Mistakes That Add 10 Years

    But according to the study, the greater the age difference, the lower the wife's life expectancy. Ouch. Even more annoying, the opposite is true for men: when they date younger women, they live longer than men who marry women their own age.

    This could be because younger women care for the older men as they age, but also possibly because the type of man who attracts a younger woman tends to be healthier and richer than guys into ladies their own age. Go figure.

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  • What Would a "No Makeup Day" Mean to You?

    Suddenly, "stars without makeup" has gone from tabloid expose story to celebrity trend of the moment. The latest to jump on the bandwagon: Yesterday morning, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb's giddy hour of The Today Show became "Today's No Makeup Zone."

    They decided to go bare-faced because of some discussion with Rosie O'Donnell about a month ago. O'Donnell suggested on her radio show that Gifford had had plastic surgery on her face. Gifford denied it, saying O'Donnell could view her scar-free face anytime. O'Donnell apologized and suggested a makeup-free hour of The Today Show with her own participation. Gifford and Kotb agreed, and O'Donnell Skyped in to their show with a bare face and unbrushed hair.

    In a show of solidarity, other NBC news personalities, like Meredith Veira, Ann Curry, Natalie Morales, and Maria Menoudos, also participated-and Curry reminded viewers that the men on her show (Matt Lauer and Al Roker) wear makeup. Fans joined in as well. (The no-makeup rule wasn't

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  • Would You Want to Know if You Reeked?

    We would-but apparently not everyone feels that way. During a heated conversation at the office this week, we learned that being honest with a friend about her body odor issues can mean the end of the relationship.

    One of our assistants, totally well-intentioned, told us about how she once called up a close friend and delicately suggested that she switch deodorants. (She started by discussing how she's found that she needs to change what she uses every so often... She definitely handled a tough topic the right way.) But the friend freaked out-and got defensive, said she was insulted, and then didn't speak to her again for three months. (And counting... Still no word.)

    Related: Skin Embarrassments: How to Treat Damp Underarms

    Considering that the average person has 2.6 million sweat glands, and that even the cleanest woman in the world can have a perspiration problem, we not only wouldn't be offended if our friends tipped us off-we'd be appreciative. In fact, in terms of beauty

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  • Manicures and Pedicures Before Playtime?

    Last week we asked you how young is too young for makeup. But, we have to say, we have now stumbled upon a new kid-related beauty question that we never thought we'd have to ask: How young is too young for spa treatments? And how about over $80,000 worth of primping?

    The Huffington Post is reporting about a recent episode of Tyra, on which a heavily coiffed mother named Lori admitted to spending over eighty grand on weekly manicures, pedicures, facials, etc for her nine year old son and six year old daughter. "I feel it's absolutely necessary for them," Lori told Tyra. "I feel we're in a time now where beauty is everything."

    Now, we get how this might be fun for the kids-we definitely loved ourselves makeup and perfume and all the trappings of girliness from the time we were a toddler. But you have to wonder if such a preoccupation with beauty is psychologically healthy for kids that young-or anybody, for that matter. Thoughts?

    Photo Credit: Condé Nast Digital Studio

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  • The Sunscreen Spot You're Missing

    You've heard us talk about the necessity of sunscreen before. And we don't deny it, we love the stuff. But you may not know about all the good things that come from protecting your hair from the sun. UV exposure can ruin your color and also cause your hair to turn gray faster.

    "I believe the affect UV rays will have on the hair is the same as the skin," Jeannette Graf, a dermatologist in New York City, told Allure. "You can see it when the side you part your hair on turns gray sooner than the rest of your hair." The good news is that you don't have to smear your hair with sunscreen-there are products designed specifically to protect your hair.

    A few we like: Goldwell's new Dual Senses Sun Reflects line is specifically targeted at protecting your hair from sun damage-their Leave-in Protect Spray works as a detangler, moisturizer, and UV filter (and has a delish passion fruit smell). Redken's Color Extend Sun Solar Screen SPF 12 contains mango oil to moisturize and ceramides to repair

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