Blog Posts by Allure Daily Beauty Reporter

  • How to save a dying party

    It's better to give than to receive. Which is why each week this month, we'll be offering valuable tips from our December issue on how to survive the holiday party season. First up, how to be remembered for throwing the best fête-even when you're guests aren't doing much to help.

    1. Think small.
    If fewer people showed up to your party than expected, keep guests confined to two rooms, like the living room and the kitchen, and turn out the lights everywhere else. "The key to a good party is being in a tight space," says Eric Buterbaugh of Eric Buterbaugh Floral Design in Beverly Hills.

    2. Keep guests mingling.
    Introduce your guests to one another, and let them know what they have in common. It's the best way to keep the conversation flowing, says event planner Ashlee Margolis-Fishman.

    3. Dim all the lights.
    If people are leaving early, treat the remaining guests like VIPs, not stragglers. "Say something like, 'Oh good, now that they're gone let's break out the

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  • How to Stay Energized Through the Holiday Party Season

    One holiday down-and now a month of parties to go! While you get excited for all the gatherings to come, here's how to stay energized through the whole season.

    Drink water. Dehydration can cause your energy levels to plummet, registered dietician Susan Kleiner told Allure, "and we all wake up dehydrated." Start your day with two 8-ounce glasses of water as soon as you wake up, and keep a water bottle on your desk and sip from it throughout the day.

    Eat right. Eggs are rich in choline, which helps to boost concentration. And omega-3 fatty acids "are critical to improving brain function, energy, and mood," says Kleiner. You could add a bit of salmon to your morning omelets or put it on your dinner menu once or twice a week; alternatively, a 1,000 to 1,500 milligram daily supplement should energize you in about a week.

    Eat More of These 9 Foods and Weigh Less

    Get your heart pumping. "Exercise activates the whole sympathetic nervous system," Thomas Plante, professor of

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  • Break Your Bad Beauty Habits

    Nobody's perfect-but you can overcome some of the most common bad habits. We asked the pros for solutions for even the worst chewers, pickers, and overstylers.

    Overstyling Your Hair
    Stylist Julien Farel warns that too much heat-styling can cause damage-and that stretching your hair with a brush can make it lose elasticity. Farel suggests a little tough love: blow-dry only every other day. Easier for styling addicts? A moisturizing treatment, Phyto Phytojoba mask, to repair damage.

    10 Beauty Mistakes That Add 10 Years

    Chewing On Your Lips
    By damaging the skin barrier, you expose your lips to germs and damage from cosmetic ingredients, such as peppermint oil in a lip gloss or a retinoid, says dermatologist Leslie Baumann. To quit: If you chew when your lips are dry (a common problem during cold winter weather), try using petroleum jelly to protect the skin and seal in your lips' natural moisture.

    Picking At Your Skin

    Messing with pimples makes them worse

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  • How To Not Screw Up Coloring Your Hair At Home

    When we heard reports that Susan Boyle recently showed up to the British show The X Factor with fire engine red hair-the result of a dye job she did herself gone awry-we thought it was a good time for some tips on how to color like a pro. (For those of you who still think it's a dinky substitute for professional color, even salon lines, such as Frédéric Fekkai, now offer kits.) While highlights and drastic changes should stay in the salon, single-process color is totally do-able, if you follow these tips.

    1. Pick a color no more than two shades lighter or darker than your natural shade (to cover grays, go with the color that most closely matches your own). For hair that's longer than shoulder length, buy two boxes so you have enough.
    2. If you hair is naturally curly or wavy, blow-dry it straight before coloring-it'll be easier to distribute the color evenly.
    3. Apply the color on an inch-wide section of hair from the nape of your neck and on another hidden section of hair at your
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  • How Much Skin Should You Show?

    Photo: WWDPhoto: WWDAccording to researchers, there's a magic number-and it's 40 percent. In a slightly hilarious study, scientists from the University of Leeds found that showing 40 percent of your skin attracts the most men. Exactly how did they nail down this figure? They observed women in nightclubs, analyzing how select women dressed.

    5 Ways to Winterize Your Summer Wardrobe.

    To turn clothing into quantifiable data, they divided the body into quadrants-each arm was 10 percent; each leg,15; whole torso, 50-and took note of who covered what. The women who were approached most by men? Bare skin averaged out at around 40 percent. We'll take this one with a grain of salt, but how do you decide how much skin you show?

    Winter's Best Fashion and Beauty Buys.

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  • How to Avoid Extra Turkey Day Pounds

    The number of calories consumed at an average Thanksgiving dinner is 3,000. Yes, you read it right. 3,000. That's nearly twice the number of calories you're supposed to consume in a whole day. To avoid a turkey day pig-a-thon, and the weight gain that comes with it, keep these nutritionist tips in mind.

    1. Don't show up starving. Eat a protein snack like a low-fat string cheese or yogurt before leaving the house. The protein will help hold off hunger.

    2. Wear your skinny jeans. The more snug your clothing, the more aware you are of your body. "Studies show that women who wear loose-fitting clothes eat more," says nutritionist Jana Klauer.

    5-Minute Holiday Hair and Makeup Tricks

    3. Scan the table before filling up. You may love mashed potatoes and stuffing more than life itself, but choosing raw or grilled vegetables instead is the secret to staying thin-they keep your mouth busy and fill you up quickly, so you don't have room for that second piece of cornbread.


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  • Could You Grow Your Own, Bigger Breasts?

    In January, the Bernard O'Brien Institute of Microsurgery in Melbourne, Australia will start a clinical trial for Neopac, a new approach to breast augmentation. The method: inserting a breast-shaped chamber under the chest skin and adding stem cells from the woman's own fat tissue. If the study works in humans as it did in preclinical trials in animals, the cells will divide and grow, creating the same permanent fat found naturally in breasts.

    Top 9 Anti-Aging Skin Tricks Ever

    "We are the next two years [to] develop a biodegreadable chamber so that the fat can grow inside the chamber, and then the chamber will vanish naturally," said Phillip Marzella, the chief operating office of the Institute. The science-if it pans out-has potential as an alternative to both standard breast augmentation and post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. Stay tuned.

    Related: 10 Hairstyles That Make You Look 10 Years Younger

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  • 5 Ways to Make A Blowout Last

    When you nail the perfect bouncy blowout-or if you have thick hair that takes forever (and major bicep strength) to dry regularly-you don't want to wash your results down the drain the very next day. We asked Serge Normant of the Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon in New York City, who works with Julianne Moore and Sarah Jessica Parker, his top tips for extending the life of a blowout. (We like the T3 Bespoke Featherweight dryer above to do the job.)

    1. Start with really, really clean hair. Make sure your scalp and hair are thoroughly shampooed and rinsed. Work a dime-size blob of conditioner through the ends only; heavy moisturizers weigh hair down.
    2. Choose products wisely. Use creamy pomades and shine serums sparingly. If you must use a silicone serum to tame frizz, don't apply it near the roots. But it's fine to use mousse or voluminizing spray near the scalp-these contain alcohol, which can actually help absorb excess oil. Just use half the amount you normally would to
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  • 5 Ways To Look Awake After a Late Night

    The holidays are around the corner, and that means it's time for lots of schmoozing-and not much sleep. To the rescue: these five fool-proof skin tricks that will undo (or at least disguise) the dark circles, puffy eyes, bloating, and other joyful party favors.

    To get rid of dark circles, choose a creamy concealer that's slightly lighter than your skin. Apply it after foundation, so you don't use too much, and dot it only at the inner corners of the eyes and over the dark areas. (We love DuWop CircleBlock.)

    8 Holiday Party Makeup Mistakes to Avoid

    To reduce morning bloat, apply a cold compress to your face for 10 to 15 minutes to bring down the swelling. (A bag of frozen peas wrapped in a paper towel will do.) Or, do a little subtle contouring: dust bronzer or tawny blush just below the cheekbones and blend outward. (Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Soft Duo Bronzer is one of our favorites.)

    To deflate puffy eyes, the old tea-bag trick works every time. The caffeine

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  • Woman Tries to Kill Co-worker Because of Perfume Overdose

    We told you about the woman whose perfume sent 34 of her co-workers to the hospital. Then there was the study that revealed people's biggest complaints about their office mates essentially amount to beauty crimes. Well, now comes word that a woman in Motala, Sweden was suspended from her job last week after allegedly grabbing a co-worker by the throat and threatening to kill her-all because of the very strong fragrance the victim was wearing.

    The best fragrances of the year.

    Now, believe us when we say we know the injustice of being subjected to an overdose of Obsession or Opium (just imagine what it smells like around Allure during Best of Beauty fragrance testing). But is it worth jail time? Not so much. We keep from becoming offenders ourselves by sticking to these guidelines:

    • If you're wearing an actual perfume, use no more than one or two drops and, for an eau de parfum, no more than three sprays; these are the most concentrated forms of fragrance, and they last
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