Blog Posts by Allure Daily Beauty Reporter

  • Saudi Ban Targets Women Drivers (and Trips to Sephora)

    by Jennifer Castoro

    AFP/Getty Images AFP/Getty Images

    Last time I drove a car--yesterday afternoon, to visit my family for my little sister's birthday--I didn't think too much about how wonderful it was to operate a vehicle, mostly because driving around here is the opposite of wonderful. But women in Saudi Arabia might envy my aggravating trip to the 'burbs, because they're not permitted to drive a car at all. Not to the grocery store, not to the doctor's office, not to their child's school. They can ride in a car as a passenger, but only with a man at the wheel.

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    This past Saturday, a small number of Saudi women took to their cars to protest the policy, driving themselves to do such scandalous things as buy milk. One cleric said women driving would lead to "ruined marriages, a low birthrate, the spread of adultery, and 'the spending of excessive amounts on beauty products'," according to The New York Times.

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    Beyond the shocking

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  • Fragrance Notes: Halloween Edition

    by Jenna Rosenstein

    Dan DruryDan Drury

    What do zombies smell like? Luckily I can't answer that question with specifics, but I'm pretty sure they don't smell like soft raspberry with a splash of bergamot and jasmine. See where I'm going with this? Your Halloween costume can look authentic, but without the right fragrance, you're missing a crucial piece of your transformation.

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    If you're dressing up like a celebrity tomorrow, finding a complementary fragrance isn't too difficult. Anyone in a Seven Year Itch white dress should wear a splash of Chanel No. 5 (Marilyn's signature scent). Pop-star impersonators need look no further than the star's namesake scent: Lady Gaga's Fame (the black claw-topped scent above), Katy Perry's Killer Queen or Purr (depending on the Perry era you're channeling), or Nicki Minaj's Minajesty. As for all those Miley Cyrus costumes? A perfume with cannabis notes should do the trick--we like Fresh Cannabis Rose.

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  • Cockroaches May Save Your Hair, If You Can Stomach It

    by Ramona Emerson

    Dave Yoder/WWDDave Yoder/WWD

    One time I walked into my room, saw a cockroach, and wouldn't go back in for three days. I'll probably never make my fortune raising roaches, but that doesn't mean other people aren't. That's right: Cockroach farming is officially a thing. In China, where dried roaches go for $20 a pound, there are over 100 known cockroach farms, according to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times.

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    Not only are the creepy, crawly insects easy to raise--they eat anything and never get sick, as we well know--but they're also surprisingly lucrative. The price for roaches has increased tenfold since 2010.

    See more: 8 Products for Better Brows

    You may be wondering who is shelling out big bucks--or any bucks--for something that most people would pay any amount of money to get rid of. Turns out, roaches are increasingly being used in Chinese medicine and cosmetics. In fact, the uses for pulverized cockroaches may turn out to be quite

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  • Smoothies for Your...Face?

    by Alexandra Tunell

    Is it just me, or did it feel like all anyone talked about this summer was their favorite pressed-juice joint, the latest cleanse, or the benefits of detoxing? Well, now that craze isn't just for your gut.

    See more: The 10 Commandments of Concealer

    Skin Nutrition's Live line of organic skin care looks, weirdly enough, exactly like the health juices you drink--and they're made up of the same ingredients, too: avocado, spinach, and carrot, to name a few. The products range from cleansers and moisturizers to masks and tonics and contain live enzymes and plant nutrients, so they separate just like juices do, need to be stored in a cool, dry place (your fridge is perfect), and have a shorter shelf life than drugstore cleansers. The benefit? You know exactly what you're putting on your face, and chances are good that even the most sensitive skin types won't flare up from blueberries.

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    I was hesitant to apply the Dinner

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  • Four Speedy Ways to Make Curly Hair Look Even Better

    by Elizabeth Siegel

    Roger Cabello Roger Cabello

    Getting your natural curls to look shiny and polished can take more time and energy than straightening them...unless you've got these quick tricks for perfecting spirals up your sleeve. Thank you, top hairstylists!

    For soft, polished curls: The fastest way to make your curls look more defined? "Wrap them around a large curling iron," says hairstylist Nathaniel Hawkins. "It defrizzes, adds shine, and loosens your curls into softer waves."

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    For bouncy, frizz-free curls: "Mix equal parts conditioner and warm water in a spray bottle," says hairstylist Tippi Shorter. "Whenever your curls start looking fuzzy or limp, mist until they're damp and then air-dry. It really revives them." If your hair is coarse, add a few drops of an anti-frizz serum, like Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum.

    For an easy updo: "I love curls in a topknot, because you get a bun with beautiful texture and volume," says Shorter,

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  • 3 Things You Didn't Know About Sun Spots

    by Elizabeth Siegel with reporting by Jolene Edgar

    Pasha Antonov/WWDPasha Antonov/WWD

    There are a few things you definitely know about sun spots, like you don't want them, and wearing sunscreen is the best way to prevent them. But beyond that, things get a little fuzzy. Here are three facts we bet you didn't know about preventing and treating these spots:

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    * They're not always caused by the sun. When your skin is irritated, melanin production increases. And some of the most common causes of irritation include waxing, gritty facial scrubs, and pimples (especially if you pick at them). Switch to gentle scrubs with microbeads (try Pond's Luminous Clean Daily Exfoliating Cleanser) and dab 1-percent hydrocortisone cream over freshly waxed skin and pimples for a day or two to prevent irritation, says Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist in New York City.

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    * You can catch them before they surface. Many people have sun spots lurking

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  • Everything You Need to Know About Treating Chapped Lip

    by Sophia Panych

    Delphine Achard/WWD Maybe it's that I just got back to New York City from sunny Miami, but my lips are already chapped, scaly, and painfully tight. What's the deal? "During cold weather and in low-humidity environments, moisture escapes quickly through the top layer of skin," says dermatologist Francesca Fusco. "And because you're always moving your mouth, healing cracked lips is an extremely slow process." So since I can't stop talking or eating any time soon, I made it my mission to get all the possible tricks and tips for dealing with this annoying cold-weather issue. Effective immediately, here's what I'm doing:

    * Apply balm compulsively. Our editor in chief, Linda Wells, swipes on lip balm every time she switches tasks at work. "From email to editing, from a meeting to a phone call, I apply lip balm."

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    * Pick a product that actually works. Look for one that's viscous, rather than waxy, to really get into the cracks, and look for a

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  • Beauty Hacks: 3 New Uses for Blotting Paper

    by Romano Emerson

    Aimee Barychko Aimee Barychko I have fine, dark hair, an oily scalp, and bangs, which means at this point I'm closer to my blotting papers than to my best friend (sorry, Bess). My 1 P.M. forehead blot is right up there with Ped Egging in terms of satisfaction. I mean, look at all that oil that I'm keeping out of my bangs! Look at it there! As far as I'm concerned, if this was the only thing blotting papers could do, it would be enough. But these handy little scraps of superabsorbent paper or polypropylene (I'm fond of Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets) have at least three other uses that I've found.

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    * Phone screen degreaser. Y
    ou know that nasty film of oil, makeup, and God knows what else that accumulates on your phone screen? Try cleaning it with a napkin, and you'll just smear it around and become infuriated. Try cleaning it with a blotting sheet, and your phone will look like it just came off the lot at Foxconn.

    * Dry shampoo stand-in. No,

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  • Lauren Conrad on Closets, Contouring, and Her Cute Halloween Costume

    by Alexandra Tunell

    FilmMagicFilmMagicFor those of us who came of age rooting for her on Laguna Beach and The Hills (and now stalk her Pinterest), it can be easy to forget that Lauren Conrad isn't actually our real-life best friend, which is exactly what happened last week when I saw her engagement announcement on Instagram and squealed with excitement. I caught up with the busier-than-ever designer to talk beauty, fashion, and Halloween-and yes, she's just as nice as you imagine.

    You've recently partnered with Downy and California Closets to help women fall back in love with their closets. What's your best tip for having an organized closet? "The trick is regularly cleaning it out. A couple months ago when I moved, I found all these great things I hadn't worn in years. If you're someone who loves clothes, it's difficult to part with them. I associate my clothes with memories, so if it's a dress I wore on a great night out, I don't want to get rid of it even though I'll never wear it again. But

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  • 3 Halloween Beauty Ideas for the Costume-Averse

    by Alexandra Tunell

    When it comes to Halloween, I'm more into getting candy than getting dressed up, though I always end up pulling something together at the last minute (cult worshipper, dead girl, hipster--they all wear black). This year, I'm using the holiday as an excuse to try out the wicked/wearable beauty looks that usually intimidate me.

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    1. Dark, inky lipstick. I so want to be a girl who wears deep purple lipstick, but every time I try, I end up wiping it off in favor of a nude-y pink. Not this weekend. I'm planning to wear Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu; it's the perfect lip color for a Rihanna, Wonder Woman, or Mia Wallace costume.

    2. False lashes. When it comes to falsies, I'm a virgin. The thought of wielding tweezers and glue so close to my eyes has always freaked me out a bit. But with all the wild sets around the office, I'm planning on giving them a go. I love the Sephora Paparazzi Lash (pictured

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