Blog Posts by Allure Daily Beauty Reporter

  • Four Quirky--and Incredible--Cult Products

    by Alexandra Owens

    Courtesy of Egyptian Magic Courtesy of Egyptian Magic
    Would you buy a product that touted itself as the "Ancient Egyptians' Secret, Magical Cream?" Probably not, unless you're a believer in the Dark Arts. But you'd be missing out. Sure, we love sleek packaging and sensical labels, but there are a few amazing cleansers and treatments--including one of the magical Egyptian variety--that work wonders despite (or maybe just in addition to) having eccentric exteriors.

    Egyptian Magic. It would be easy to roll your eyes at this Vaseline-like moisturizing balm, which claims to be "a secret of the great sages, mystics, magicians, and healers." (It's magic! From Egypt!) But loyal followers--including Kate Hudson, Brooke Shields, and Madonna--rave about its pure, hyper-moisturizing ingredients--honey, beeswax, olive oil, royal jelly, bee pollen, and bee propolis-that can ease eczema and psoriasis without clogging pores.

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    34 Hair Ideas for 2014

    Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. In the 1940's, rabbi soapmaker Emanuel Read More »from Four Quirky--and Incredible--Cult Products
  • A Klutz-proof Contouring Trick

    by Stephanie Saltzman

    Fairchild ArchiveFairchild Archive
    Contouring is tricky business: Make the shading and highlighting of your facial features too noticeable and you look like you wandered off the stage of a Vegas show; make it too subtle and, really, what's the point? But do it correctly, and it can create cheekbones, make your face appear thinner, and help enhance your best features. That's why we love this expert trick from James Boehmer, the director of global artistry for Nars.


    See more: Celebrity Hairstyles That Will Make You Look 10 Years Younger

    It's oh-so-simple: Draw a 3. Start under your cheekbones and "brush the contouring color up toward your temple and dust it along your hairline," says Boehmer. Then do the bottom half of the numeral 3 shape: "Swipe the brush back under your cheekbones, then loop it down below your chin. By applying product to these areas in the shape of a 3, you're balancing the upper and lower parts of your face, creating an illusion of symmetry," he says.

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  • Check Out Quirky--A Website for Beauty Inventors

    by Jenna Rosenstein

    QUIRKY.COMQUIRKY.COMI stumbled down a deep Internet rabbit hole this week when I discovered the website Quirky, a crowdsourcing site for inventors. I promise it's a lot more interesting than it sounds. On Quirky, you can invent, or simply offer your thoughts on, the next big things in beauty, lifestyle, and technology. Looking back, I now realize I've lost hours of my life dreaming up marketing slogans and setting prices for products that don't even exist…yet! Let me explain how it works:


    Anyone can submit an invention idea, say, for a collapsible bike helmet. The Quirky team then reviews the ideas and meets once a month to vote on which products they want to produce. Once an idea gets approved, the crowdsourcing begins: taglines, slogans, prices, design ideas are all curated and voted on by Quirky members. And when the final design goes into production, the inventor and anyone who helped influence itget a small percentage of the gross sales.

    See more: 34 Hair Ideas for 2014

    The

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  • Look We Love: Graphic Waves at Zac Posen Fall 2014

    by Elizabeth Siegel


    Did you think you were supposed to hide your bobby pins? Silly you. For Zac Posen's fall runway, hairstylist Odile Gilbert lined the basic hairstyling tools neatly up and down models's glossy waves, giving a traditionally romantic hairstyle a new graphic edge.


    See more: Celebrity Hairstyles That Will Make You Look 10 Years Younger

    It was a perfect complement to the "clean drama" (Posen's words) of the collection's voluminous but unadorned gowns.

    See more: 34 Hair Ideas for 2014

    "We want the wave, wave, wave," said Gilbert backstage. She used a one-inch curling iron for loose waves. Added plenty of Kérastase Laque Dentelle for a high shine. And then slipped 60 (yup, six zero) bobby pins into each models' s style. "They redesign the wave, and make it something different and modern." The effect was stunning, which isn't all that surprising given Gilbert's history with reimagining hair accessories. The legendary hairstylist has used some

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  • Happy Birthday to Hair Goddess Jennifer Aniston

    by Catherine Q. O'Neill

    Getty ImagesGetty Images
    It's Jennifer Aniston's 45th birthday today and--as someone who took a picture of her to my stylist for seven straight years--I'd like to say thanks. For the long layers, the subtle golden highlights, and most importantly, the carefree, California-girl attitude (though, looking back on junior high photos, maybe not "The Rachel").


    See more: 34 Hair Ideas for 2014

    And though I'm sure her stylist Chris McMillan has a lot to do with it, it's Aniston herself who makes the looks so iconic. Case in point: When I sat down with Aniston to discuss her beauty evolution (see all the photos here), she made a comment I'll never forget. Referencing her adorable Oscars braided hairline below (you know, the one that launched a thousand copycats in 2009?) she said, "I got shit for that darn braid, didn't I? That it was too casual for the Oscars. But who cares? I loved it." And that's what we love about you, Aniston. Happy birthday.

    Getty ImagesGetty Images

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  • Valentine's Day Gifts for Everyone (Including You)

    by Staphanie Saltzman


    Courtesy of brandsCourtesy of brands


    Sure, there will always be haters, but to us, Valentine's Day is pretty great. One day of the year to celebrate the people you love instead of succumbing to the winter blues. We've rounded up the best beauty gifts for everyone on your list--including yourself. Even better? Every single thing costs less than $100. Just call us Cupid!


    FOR YOUR BFF
    - Stella and Bow Mean Girls "Full of Secrets" Barrette, $55
    Ever since we first saw Mean Girls in 2004, we've been trying to make fetch happen. With the movie's 10th anniversary (!) right around the corner, Stella and Bow created a line of jewelry and accessories to celebrate. This "Full of Secrets" barrette is perfect for the Gretchen Wieners in your life.
    - Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, $52
    It's everything you love about the Naked and Naked 2 palettes, in a flattering rose-gold variation. Buy it for your BFF and then make her share.
    - Topshop Beauty Lip Bullet in Back in the Game, $16
    This lipstick is

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  • The Latest in Extreme Dieting

    by Alexandra Owens

    Getty ImagesGetty Images If you're eating as you're reading this, you may want to stop-and not in the interest of your waistline. The latest, stomach-churning diet trick out of South America: 18-year-old Wi May Nava, runner-up in the 2013 Miss Venezuela contest, reportedly sewed a plastic patch onto her tongue to make eating solid food impossible. "It makes me lose weight quick," she told a reporter for the BBC special Secrets of South America: Extreme Beauty Queens.


    See more: 34 Hair Ideas for 2014

    Apparently, what the patch actually does is render chewing unbearably painful. (You know what else is unbearably painful? The idea of sewing something onto your tongue.) Unsurprisingly, the procedure was not invented by a medical professional; Osmel Sousa, the president of the high-pressure Miss Venezuela pageant, came up with it. (He also suggested Nava get a boob job and a nose job. He sounds like a charmer.)

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    I

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  • You Think Models Live a Beautiful Life? Think Again

    by Ramona Emerson

    Getty ImagesGetty Images As people in fashion are wont to say, no matter how much we diet we'll never be models, because models are simply born that way. What they don't like to mention quite as readily is that thanks to the insane standards of runway shows, the genetically skinny are still starving themselves to get even thinner. In an essay for Vice, former model Meredith Hattam details her nightmarish stint as an aspiring model.


    At 19, the five foot, nine inch-tall Hattam signed with an agency in San Diego and was promptly told to lose 15 pounds. After two weeks on a starvation diet--800 calories per day, plus a two-hour workout--Hattam weighed 115 pounds. She was "miserable and frail" but her agency was pleased and sent her to New York City to pursue fame and fortune. Like most would-be models who move here, she never got a big break. (To give you a sense of the competition, out of 300 to 400 women who came to the casting for the Fall 2014 BCBG and Hervé Legér runway shows, less than 40

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  • Tata Harper Talks Love, Skin Care, and the Best All-Natural Deodorant

    by Alexandra Tunell

    Tata HarperTata Harper

    Tata Harper is famous for making all-natural, organic skin-care products (sourced from and manufactured on her Vermont farm), so it's no surprise that she also knows a thing or two about the birds and the bees. We sat down to discuss her company's latest creation, Love Potion--and how beauty relates to attraction. (Oh, and she also told us her secret to amazingly glowy skin.)


    Tata Harper Love Potion is a blend of ten of the world's most potent aphrodisiac essential oils--but according to Harper, it's not a perfume. "It's more of a treatment," she says. Whatever you call it, the scent is earthy, floral, and a bit musky, with davana (a pricey Indian oil that smells slightly different on everyone's skin), ylang-ylang, jasmine, sandalwood, and cedarwood atlas-all of which have mood-boosting, anxiety-reducing properties. "Besides smelling good, it has long-term, emotional effects on your mood." And that, she believes, is an aphrodisiac better than any oyster,

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  • Hair so Dirty it Hurts

    by Jenny Bailly

    Delphine AchardDelphine AchardRecently, after a five-day stretch without shampooing (hey, I had a great blowout--and there was a polar vortex on), my hair was painfully dirty. Literally. My scalp hurt.

    The cure was simple: I washed my hair, combed it out, and left it loose. Pain gone. But I was curious about how my greasy roots could actually cause me physical discomfort. I called Jennifer Chwalek, a New York City dermatologist who has done research in hair biology. Her first possible explanation: seborrheic dermatitis, or dandruff, a condition aggravated by oil buildup. But I didn't experience itching or notice flakes--could it still be dandruff? "Sometimes seborrheic dermatitis manifests only as scalp inflammation and tenderness," countered Chwalek. But not usually. A more likely explanation: the dirty-hair ponytail. "When your hair starts to get greasy, do you pull it back?" asked Chwalek. But of course. "Well, just a couple days of tight ponytails or buns can create enough traction on the Read More »from Hair so Dirty it Hurts

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