Blog Posts by Allure Daily Beauty Reporter

  • Do Americans and Europeans View Aging Differently?

    By Alison Caporimo, Allure magazine

    Botticelli's Venus may not have aged a day since 1486, but most European women do get wrinkles and fine lines like the rest of us. However, they still may not be as youth-obsessed as their American counterparts.

    Related: 10 New Sexy (and Speedy) Makeup Looks

    Merz Aesthetics, an international medical aesthetics company, recently conducted the "Face Value" Beauty Survey among over 2,900 women from Italy, France, Spain, Russia and the United Kingdom. They discovered that a majority of European women (70%) claim that they feel more confident as they age. The women also said that they don't mind looking their own age, as long as they don't look any older (though they didn't say they wished to look younger, either).

    Related: The 10 Commandments of Anti-Aging


    And what about American women? When Allure conducted the 2010 American Beauty Survey, polling 2,000 men and women from across the country, we found a slightly different answer. 93 percent of US

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  • Does Eating Make You Feel Good—or Anxious?

    By Elizabeth Angell, Allure magazine

    It has long been though that anorexia was a psychological condition-an extreme diet that someone undertook because of her (most anorexia sufferers are women) fears about food, weight, or control. But new research shows that there may be a biological origin for the feelings of anxiety about food.

    Related: The 10 Commandments of Anti-Aging


    For most of us, the term "comfort food" could be applied to almost everything we eat-food makes us feel good. And not just in the sense that it satisfies hunger or tastes delicious: Eating a good meal causes the release of dopamine and lights up the pleasure centers of our brain. But a recent study showed that people who suffer from anorexia don't have that same pleasurable response. Instead, the part of the brain that was activated by dopamine was the area associated with worry.

    Related: The Naked Truth: 4 Celebrities Go Nude for Allure


    "This is the first study to demonstrate a biological reason why

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  • The Science Behind The Mean Girl Phenomenon

    By Alison Caporimo, Allure magazine

    We've all seen mean girls (and no, I'm not just referring to the movie). The backhanded compliments, the whispering, even the Twitter death threats (poor Selena Gomez!)-chances are, if you've experienced junior high, you know exactly what we're talking about. But now there may just be science to back up the female tendency towards this particularly bitchy form of bullying.

    In a recent study published in Psychological Science, researchers asked volunteers to play a game in which they accumulated points for money. Volunteers had the options to play by themselves, to form an alliance, or to cooperate with the opponents. When players were threatened with the possibility of social exclusion, female volunteers chose to join an alliance far more often than male volunteers did.

    Let this scenario loose in the real world, and it helps explain why we often see girls forming cliques and shunning others when they themselves feel the threat of exclusion.

    Be

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  • 5 New Ways to Get Bikini-Ready

    Beach season is almost here, and that means-gulp-bikini season. If you're like us, you need a few more weeks (and a few more treadmill sessions) before you brave it. Luckily, there are new gyms and workouts popping up to help you get your best summer body yet. Here, a few to check out:

    If you just need to tone up:
    Barre classes are ideal for getting flat abs, sculpted arms, and lean legs, and a few new variations have recently cropped up. FlyBarre in New York City, Boca Raton, and East Hampton incorporates dance into their barre workouts, Figure4 at NYC's Pure Yoga is more ballet and pilates based, the Bari Studio in Tribeca adds resistance bands and extra cardio, while GST in Los Angeles tones and sculpts using springs, bands, and constant movement.

    If you love Spinning
    : More than a few Allure editors have gone seriously nuts for Spinning-and there are several new places to get our fix, now that two top New York City spinning studios, SoulCycle and FlyWheel, are adding East Hampton

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  • Do Funny Women Also Have to Be Pretty?

    By Sarah Wexler, Allure magazine

    The obvious answer is no. After all, being quick-witted, outspoken, and self-deprecating, though not traditionally beautiful, was certainly enough to make the careers of Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, Carol Burnett, and Kathy Griffin.

    Related: Lauren Conrad: Her Allure Photo Shoot


    Recently, though, it seems that "pretty" has become part of a comedienne's job requirement. What got me thinking of this is the release of Bridesmaids, one of those comedies that stars women, was made for women, and was written by women; happily, it's getting great reviews. Inevitably, TMZ used this as an opportunity ask ask readers who from the female cast they would rather sleep with. Not-funny-but-totally-gorgeous Rose Byrne won with 50 percent of the vote; all of the professional comics-Kristin Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Ellie Kemper-tied at a mere 11 percent.

    Related: How to Age Like a Supermodel

    It seems that the most successful female comedians today (Tina Fey, Amy Poehler,

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  • Do You Embrace Your Natural Skin Tone?

    By Amy Keller Laird, Allure magazine

    Earlier this week, beauty news editor Heather Muir wrote about the spike in self-tanner sales that occurred after Pippa Middleton appeared all bronzed and radiant at the royal wedding. But all of Pippa's glowiness didn't sway me to slather on the self-tanner. I'm pale year-round…and that's how I like it. Partly it's because I'm too busy with highlights upkeep and bang trims to get regular spray tans. But part of me just prefers to live in my natural skin tone.

    Related: Lauren Conrad: Her Allure Photo Shoot

    Apparently, I'm not the only one. The other day, I posted this question on Twitter (follow me! @amykellerlaird): "Am I the only person who just embraces the pale and doesn't spray tan?" The outpouring of responses echoing my sentiment was overwhelming. Besides tons of retweets, I heard a few "pale and proud"s, one beauty editor referenced alabaster beauties Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman-and one PR person who clearly didn't get my point said

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  • What Kind of Relationship Do You Have With Your Makeup?

    By Alison Caporimo, Allure magazine

    While we are married to some beauty products, others we break up with and sometimes even divorce. Like any longterm relationship, our love affair with makeup is something only a true beauty junkie-and you can count Sofia Vergara among them, apparently.

    The newest celebrity face of Cover Girl told Access Hollywood "I feel I have a very good relationship with makeup. I'm Latin and I grew up with aunts and my sisters and my mother-they've always made makeup a very important part of the life of a Latin woman," The Modern Family star said. "I always used to watch my mother do her makeup, that's how I learned to do my makeup."

    Sofia's healthy beauty relationship got me thinking about how women relate to the makeup they wear. While some use makeup to hide things like dark under eye circles and pimples, others use products to enhance their looks with a set of smoky eyes or a bold pair of red lips. Used together and these ways of hiding and enhancing can

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  • Spring/Summer's Best Travel-Friendly Makeup

    By Sophia Panych, Allure magazine

    With half the country suffering through yet more rain and cold for the next few days, it's hard to remember that Memorial Day-and vacation season!-is only two weeks away. I'm getting a head start with some much needed R&R on the beautiful island of La Isla Mujeres, right off the Yucatan Peninsula, next week. I'm so excited that my bathing suits and sundresses have been packed for weeks, but figuring out what makeup to bring has been a bit more difficult. After hours of searching through the spring and summer makeup launches, I rounded up the most versatile, travel-friendly new products out there.

    Related: Lauren Conrad: Her Allure Photo Shoot

    Here's what I plan to pack, along with the basics (lip balm and lots of sunscreen, of course!):

    1. Victoria's Secret Voluptuous Volume Waterproof Mascara.

    Mascara is my stranded-on-an-island item, and this one offers everything you needt-lots of volume, lots of pigment, and lots of staying power. Whether I'm

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  • Does a Celebrity's Look Influence the Beauty Products You Buy?

    By Heather Muir, Allure magazine

    If you're over the royal wedding coverage, you're not alone. Though watching the real-life fairy tale play out on TV was amazing, we were ready to give it a rest, too...until we read in a Daily Mail article that, the day after the wedding, British department store Debenham's Beauty Hall experienced a whopping 200 percent increase in self-tanner sales.

    So what sparked the fake-tan spike? Though both Middleton sisters looked glowy on Kate's big day, it was Pippa-rumored to have been wearing St. Tropez self-tanner-who stood out as the most sun-kissed one in the wedding party. I get why Pippa's bronze was so impactful: I've even blogged about how, when I see a coworker or friend with a fresh spray-tan, I immediately want one, too. Clearly, the desire to copy a beauty look is even stronger when it's on a celebrity or public figure.

    What do you think? Do you draw beauty inspiration from celebrities? If you see one wearing a feather in her hair or sporting

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  • Get in Shape for Memorial Day: Tips From Celebrity Trainer Andie Hecker

    By Victoria Land, Allure magazine

    Memorial day is just around the corner and so is my beach vacation, which means it's almost time to strip down into a bikini and be seen in public. I've been ramping up my workouts to get ready for the summer season and, unsurprisingly, I'm not alone. Ginnifer Goodwin, Kristen Bell, and Chelsea Handler have been hitting trainer Andie Hecker's dancer-inspired classes at her new Ballet Bodies studio in Los Angeles. I asked Hecker, a former New York City ballerina, for the top tips to getting in perfect form for summer.

    Related: Lauren Conrad: Her Allure Photo Shoot

    Think like a dancer. "At Ballet Bodies we integrate pilates, personal training, ballet, and circuit aerobics to create a long, lean, and graceful body-like a ballet dancer's. For example during pilates and ballet classes my clients' legs are stretching and straight, their spines are in line, and their abs are pulled in-just like a ballet dancer's. My clients carry this to their circuit

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