Blog Posts by Allure Daily Beauty Reporter

  • Bikini Wax Pain: What's Normal--And when to Walk Out

    by Ramona Emerson


    David StesnerDavid StesnerIt's awkward enough to call a manicurist out on a bad paint job, but imagine doing that for a botched bikini wax. Pantsless and prone is not exactly the ideal recipe for getting up the gumption to say, "You're not doing this right!" But at the same time, it's the service where you have the biggest need to speak up if something's not right--so it's vital to know what's normal pain (let's face it, this is no hot stone massage) and what crosses the line.

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    I started thinking about all this when my friend, we'll call her Jen, told me about her recent Brazilian wax. It was so painful, she stopped the aesthetician and asked what was going on.The waxer's reply was something along the lines of, "Waxing hurts. Don't be a baby." And so, even though Jen was no wax virgin and knew it wasn't supposed to hurt this badly, she sucked it up for the sake of politeness. She was left with bruises, scabbing (yes!

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  • What Would Men's Scented Underwear Smell Like?

    by Anne-Marie Guarnieri


    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesWe have edible underwear. We have glow-in-the-dark underwear. Now, thanks to a campaign on My Major Company, France's answer to Kickstarter, we may soon have scented men's underwear. Why? To once and for all squash the long-held stereotype that the French are...a bit casual about personal hygiene. (You know, Pepé Le Pew and all that.)

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    French underwear company, Le Slip Français, is raising funds for a line of men's briefs that will smell of "musk and pears." How they landed on that particular fragrance profile is anyone's guess. (Well, if you speak French, maybe there's an explanation in their promotional video. Mon français is pretty rusty.) The fabric will be embedded with teeny scent capsules that release the scent as the wearer moves around, and will last through 30 washes.

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    All they need to do is raise $25,000, and voila! Musky-pear

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  • Has Disney Taken the "Sex Sells" Principle Too Far?

    by Lexi Novak



    Getty ImagesGetty Images
    It seems another young starlet has fallen victim to the movie industry machine that chews up pigtail-wearing little girls and spits them out as sexpots. Merida, the fiercely independent computer-animated Scottish heroine of Disney's Brave, has become the company's eleventh princess, and, in the process, she's undergone a controversial makeover.

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    A few key details to note: Her already bright blue doe eyes now appear even brighter, even bluer, even doe-ier. And is that black eyeliner we detect rimming her upper lash line? Her trim waist is now so narrow that she must have broken a few ribs or be seriously sucking it in, and her kick-ass bow and arrow have been replaced with an innocuous belted sash. To top it off, Merida's awesomely untamed, frizzy mane has suspiciously been transformed into glossy Victoria's Secret hair. As someone with a head of red curls, I take particular offense at that last change.

    See more: Find the Best

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  • Learning to Love Helmet Hair: How to Save Your Style While Biking

    by Grace Clarke


    Grace ClarkeGrace ClarkeIt's National Bike Month, and I've begun cycling to work--a mammoth feat for many reasons--and although my gigantic orange helmet won't solicit any wolf whistles, the hairdo it helps create is catcall-worthy. That's right: my hair looks better post-commute than when I leave my apartment.

    Not only is my hairline smoother, but if I pin my hair into three mini twists at the nape of my neck, I wind up with smooth, graceful curls. Why? The pressure of a helmet works to decrease frizz, and helmets also lock in heat, acting like one of those giant salon dryers, so your hair will hold a bit of whatever shape you've twisted, braided or rolled.

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    Hairstylist Luke Chamberlain gave me a few more ways to helmet-stye my hair--for each of them, mist dry hair all over with an anti-humidity finishing spray (he likes Oribe Imperméable Spray), follow the tips, and remove any elastics and pins after taking off your helmet:

    1. Windblown waves:

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  • Angelina Jolie's Breast Surgery: Courageous or Extreme?

    by Patrick Rogers


    WWD/Steve Eichner WWD/Steve Eichner As you've probably already heard, Angelina Jolie published a piece on the editorial page of the New York Times today, describing the double mastectomy she elected to have after testing positive for a "faulty" BRCA1 gene, which increases her risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Jolie writes that her own mother died of cancer at age 56, and she wanted to assure her children "that they don't need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer."

    Jolie's startling statement clearly struck a chord: Online commentators rushed to praise her for speaking out about her tough decision, and the haters have been out in force, slamming her for "butchery" and choosing an option that's not available to women without considerable resources or comprehensive health insurance. We asked Susan Brown, managing director for community health at Susan G. Komen for the Cure, for the facts about the procedure that doctors call bilateral prophylactic mastectomy--removing both breasts to

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  • The Great Gatsby Makeup: How Carey Mulligan Turned into Daisy Buchanan

    by Catherine Q. O'Neill


    courtesy of Warner Bros.courtesy of Warner Bros. The problem with adapting a novel into a film is that you have to decide how faithful you're going to be to the original. Fortunately for director Baz Luhrmann, F. Scott Fitgerald didn't actually spend much time describing Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. He may have hinted that she had dark, glossy hair, but in Luhrmann's new movie version, out this Friday, Carey Mulligan's Daisy is an ash blonde. True to the original text, however, she's a total stunner. Makeup artist Maurizio Silvi and hairstylist Kerry Warn told us how they turned Mulligan into the woman of Jay Gatsby's dreams.

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    The hair: Warn, who wanted Mulligan to look classic and well bred, first cut her hair into a modern version of a 1920s style. "It's based on the semi-shingle, a layered bob with a masculine shape in the back," says Warn, who styled it with John Frieda Frizz-Ease Serum, wax, and hair spray for a lacquered effect. Then it was time for

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  • The FDA Proposes a Warning on Indoor Tanning

    by Lindsay Colameo


    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesI have a confession to make. Five years ago, I was studying at the University of Miami, and I was days away from heading home for winter break. I wanted to show off my Florida tan mid-December, but after a few cloudy days tarnished my dreams of arriving home bronzed and glamorous, I foolishly made a trip to a tanning salon. After a devilish eight minutes in what looked like a human microwave, I swore I would never return again. This week, the Food and Drug Administration announced its intention to make the risks of indoor tanning clear to users.

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    Study findings on the dangers of tanning beds are endless (users face a whopping 75 percent greater risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, to name just one) but the only warning I remember seeing during my visit was the admonition to keep my eyes closed during the process (accompanied by a sad attempt to get me to purchase those crazy-looking tanning goggles). There was, however, a

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  • 4 Simple, Totally Doable Skin-Safety Tips

    by Catherine Devine


    David StesnerDavid StesnerIt takes just five sunburns over the course of a lifetime to double your risk of melanoma. I know what you're thinking: By now, everyone knows that skin cancer isn't a joke, right? I mean, even the friend who had an unlimited monthly pass to the tanning salon in high school switched to spray tans! As much as we know about skin cancer, though, only about 20 percent of us wear sunscreen daily. (Which is crazy, considering in a poll we did on Allure's Facebook page, 68 percent of our fans said they either have had skin cancer or know someone who has.) But here's the thing: It's never too late to start taking care of your skin. Here, a few sun-protection tricks to keep in mind as the temperatures start to rise:

    See more: The 9 Best Sunscreens for Summer 2013

    * If you're the outdoorsy type, you may want to take a summer vacation from retinols: They thin the top layer of skin and can make you vulnerable to redness and brown spots, says dermatologist Fredric Brandt.

    *

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  • 3 Easy Steps to Faking a Realistic Tan with Bronzer

    by Elizabeth Siegal


    Roger Cabello Roger Cabello Bronzer can make you look glowy...or streaky...or, worst of all, orange and glittery. (And then you look a little like a stripper.) That's the last thing I want for you, so I asked makeup artist and bronzer guru Scott Barnes to share his technique for achieving the most realistic glow with bronzer.

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    If you try to fake a tan, it'll look...fake. "One of the most common mistakes is choosing a bronzer that's too dark, and then you look muddy," says Barnes. You're better off going for a subtle glow with a pressed-powder bronzer that's just a half shade darker than your skin. But glittery does not equal glowy, so if you can see any glitter in the formula, steer clear.

    See more: The 10 Most Gorgeous Hair-Color Ideas for Brunettes

    Buff--don't sweep--it on. "You get the lightest, most realistic application by making small circles with a big fluffy powder brush," says Barnes. Tap the excess off the brush first (duh) and then buff it

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  • The Right Way to Use a Clay Face Mask

    by Sophia Panych


    David Stesner David Stesner If you have oily or acne-prone skin, clay masks are a must-have. They not only soak up all traces of dirt and grease, but wearing one makes for funny Instagram pictures (yes, my sister and I are completely guilty of this). They're also simple to use: Apply one all over your face, have a glass of wine while you wait for it to dry to a hardened shell, and rinse. Am I right? No, no I am not. Turns out I've been using clay masks the wrong way for all these years--and doing more harm than good to my skin.

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    So what changed? Yesterday I met with Sharon McGlinchey, a facialist and the creator of MV Organic Skincare, a line of organic skin-care products developed for people with high skin sensitivities (Emma Watson and Maggie Gylenhall are both fans). As McGlinchey applied her MV Signature Mineral Mask, made with sun-dried clay, she doled out this little bit of advice: "You should never let a clay mask dry

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