Blog Posts by Allure Daily Beauty Reporter

  • 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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  • Want Glossy, Sexier Eyes? Try THIS Surprising Beauty Product

    by Elizabeth Siegel

    Fairchild ArchiveFairchild ArchiveThere's one good way to make any eye makeup sexier: "There's a trick that makeup artists use all the time backstage at fashion week," says Neil Young, a makeup artist with M.A.C. "You can tap lip balm over your shadow or a bare lid, and you get a slightly glossy, lived-in look that's very sensual." We loved the eye makeup at Missoni's Fall 2013 show--here's how to get the look:

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    The trick is to use just a teeny tiny bit of gloss (press your finger against the back of your hand to remove any excess first), so your eyes don't look slick. Then, gently dab it onto just the center of your lid for a subtle highlight: "It's the same idea as wearing a shimmery shadow, but without the obvious shimmer," says Young. "It makes your eyes stand out in a more natural way." One caveat for wearing this runway look: Check your makeup periodically, to make sure it hasn't creased.

    More from Allure:
    Lauren Conrad's Beauty Obsession
    Top 21 Drugstore Beauty

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  • The Hidden Danger of Juice Cleanses

    by Danielle Pergament with additional reporting by Alexandra Tunell

    Arthur BelebeauArthur Belebeau I'm always the last out of the gate with anything remotely trendy on the diet and exercise fronts. (I'm still unclear as to whether SoulCycle is one word or two.) So you'll forgive me if I tell you that I tried my first juice cleanse a couple of weeks ago. It was more of a detox-from-coffee-and-wine thing than it was a weight-loss mission, but mainly I was curious.

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    I'm not going to name names here, but my takeaway is that most cleanses are a bad combination of 1) expensive, 2) un-fun, and 3) remarkably unhealthy. Digging around, I found that the majority are really--like really--high in sugar. While you might lose weight if you have nothing but pineapple and lemon juice for three days, you're also going to be taking in around 150 grams of sugar, which is like diabetes in a bottle.

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    There's no recommended daily allowance for sugar, and you know

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  • 3 Light Perfumes to Try for Spring

    by Anne-Marie Guarnieri

    courtesy of the brandscourtesy of the brandsIn the May issue of Allure, out now, I wrote about what I like to call "diet perfume." Basically, each spring, fragrance companies launch lighter versions of existing scents for the warmer weather to come. For fragrance loyalists, these are a great way to try something new without actually having to try something new. And for fans of lighter perfumes, they're a great option. Just note that these launches are usually limited edition, so try to snap them up before they're gone, daddy, gone.

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    Van Cleef & Arpels Féerie Spring Blossom: The full-strength Féerie was memorable enough, thanks to its fairy-perched-on-a-branch cap. And the scent, a blend of violets and juicy fruits, was just as flashy. But the Spring Blossom iteration is softer, more floral, and slightly aquatic. It just floats on top of the skin.

    Bulgari Mon Jasmin Noir L'Eau Exquise: The original Mon Jasmin Noir is like a very fancy sweet, the kind you'd buy in

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  • The Country's First Underwater Spinning Class

    by Grace Clarke

    courtesy of Aqua Studiocourtesy of Aqua Studio The Spinning frenzy has reached such a fever pitch, we're now officially onto the next wave. No, really: After sweeping over France, aquatic spinning hit the U.S. last week with the opening of Aqua Studio in New York City. The underwater workout has been lauded as restorative, rejuvenating, and amazing, and when it comes to the dimly lit, cavernous space in TriBeCa, that's all true! Lowered showerheads (to preserve blowouts, which stay dry during the workout), organic bath products, rough-hewn wooden beams, and dark stone tiling--the ambiance is so heavenly, it's practically a spa. Just one tiny problem: When I was actually in the water, I was so bored.

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    Spinning at Aqua Studio is a lot like "dry" Spinning at a place like SoulCycle--thumping beats; yogic, inspirational instruction; constant action and motion. But because the water is supporting your body weight, when you hoist yourself up out of the saddle (that's off of the

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  • Is Red Hair in Your Genes? One New Test May Be Able to Tell You

    by Lexi Novak

    WWD/George ChinseeWWD/George Chinsee Of all the things that make life just a little bit sweeter--DVRs, heated car seats, Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Collide--DNA testing doesn't exactly spring to mind, unless you dream of appearing on a dramatic paternity-reveal episode of Maury. Yet without it, couples couldn't screen their future children for medical disorders, and dog owners couldn't boast that their mutts are descended from Shiba Inus. Now, we can add a new benefit to the list: A company in Scotland has developed a test to determine whether people carry the genes that produce redheads, according to CBS News. All you have to do is spit into a plastic tube, send it off to ScotlandsDNA, and await your results.

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    Apparently, it takes a couple who both carry the recessive gene to produce a wee ginger, and even then, there's only a 25 percent chance. But here's the cool part: Neither parent, as Amy Poehler and Will Arnett can tell you, need

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  • Tanning Bed Users Are More Likely to Be Unhappy with Their Looks

    by Madaline Donnelly

    David Stesner David Stesner File this under more reasons not to use a tanning bed: A new study by Cancer Research UK suggests that tanning bed users are actually more likely to be depressed about their looks than non-sunbed users. Yes, you read that correctly: Despite the artificial Vitamin D and temporary high you might get from those 7 to 11 minutes in fake sun heaven, you're actually setting yourself up to feel worse about your body.

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    According to Cancer Research UK, almost half of tanning bed users ages 18-to-34 are unhappy with their appearance, compared to 36 percent of non-fake tanners in the same age range. And of those unhappy tanners, 8 out of 10 cite pressure (from peers, celebrity images, and the media) to look different. Sad, no? While the whole vicious cycle is a bit of a chicken-and-the-egg deal, we do know this: artificial tanning absolutely doesn't benefit skin's appearance or health, causing early signs

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  • How to Avoid Split Ends

    by Alexandra Tunell

    You see this freakishly split split end? It came from the head of an Allure editor. An editor with gorgeous, glossy, healthy-looking hair--and a bathroom full of damage-repair masks and heat-protecting serums. The lesson? Split ends happen to everyone. I asked hairstylist Ruben Colon of Sally Hershberger Salon how we can best minimize the damage. "Split ends happen primarily for three reasons," he says:

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    1. Using the wrong comb or brush. "Never use a brush with wire or plastic bristles. I like the Mason Pearson brush because it has natural bristles that are gentle on hair and reduce breakage," Colon says. The only way to safely detangle hair is in the shower, with conditioner and a wide-tooth comb.

    2. Wearing tight rubber elastics. "Go for nylon instead," he says. We love Emi Jay hair ties, which look just as good on your wrist as in your hair.

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    3. Overdoing the heat styling

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  • In Ohio, Too Fat to Tan?

    by Alexandra Owens

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesAirplane seats, ambulances, and even school desks have been adapted to suit the needs of the obese. But it looks like there's at least one type of business that hasn't caught up with the BMI equality movement: tanning salons. Last week Kelly McGrevey, a customer at Aloha Tanning in Ohio, went to the press after she was turned away due to her weight. "[The Aloha employee] said, 'Sorry, but I'm not going to let you tan today because we've just implemented a new policy whereanyone over 230 pounds can't go in one of our beds,' " McGrevey told reporters. "It really upset me. It's discrimination. He asked if I was aware of how many times he had to replace the acrylic on those beds because of heavy people."

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    In fact, Aloha's policy isn't that unusual: Other tanning salons have implemented weight limits because the clear acrylic sheets that top the bed's fluorescent bulbs can crack under pressure (how

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  • Why Benzoyl Peroxide is a Skin Game Changer

    by Jenna Rosenstein

    Patrick DemarchelierPatrick Demarchelier I wash my face thoroughly every night. I scrub and exfoliate. I moisturize, cleanse, mask, and peel. I am so good to my skin. And, even in my 20s, I still get minor, but very annoying, breakouts. For years I have depended on acne products with salicylic acid. With every flare-up, I'd try a new spot treatment or long-term regimen with the acid, and avoid those with benzoyl peroxide, out of fear they'd be too harsh for my dry, sensitive skin. But I'm here to tell you that I am, as of this week, a benzoyl-peroxide convert.

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    So what's the deal? "Both products treat acne, but they target different types," says David Bank, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. He recommends first identifying the type of acne you have--inflammatory (red pimples) or comedonal (white- and blackheads). Inflammatory acne responds to benzoyl peroxide,

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