Blog Posts by Allure Daily Beauty Reporter

  • Does a Great Smile Make You Gorgeous?

    By Elizabeth Angell, Allure magazine

    Before dates, I used to spend a lot of time worrying about whether I looked good in a certain pair of jeans or if my hair was sufficiently bouncy and shiny. I don't think I spent a minute worrying about whether I had a nice smile-but maybe I should have.

    It turns out that a smile ranks as the most important physical feature when it comes to the attraction between men and women, according to a recent poll conducted by the British Dental Health Foundation. (Face and eyes came after smile in the poll, with body shape, hair, and height rounding out the list.)

    Need more proof of the power of a smile? In the recent national beauty survey that Allure conducted for its 20th Anniversary Issue in March, we discovered essentially the same thing: women are more attracted to a man's face and smile than to his height or body type.

    So, what do you think? How important is it to you that a guy has a great smile?

    More from Allure:

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  • At-home Spa Tips From Guru Cornelia Zicu

    By Heather Muir, Allure magazine

    Allure's not the only one celebrating a big milestone this year-Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas are toasting 100 years in the beauty business. (Fun fact: Red Door was the first spa in New York City, founded by health and yoga enthusiast Elizabeth Arden.) On a mission to keep the spa in tune with the latest beauty treatments, the company recently brought on spa expert Cornelia Zicu as creative director. While most of us wish we had the time to spa 24/7, Zicu filled me in on some easy ways to bring a similar experience into your home.

    Create a serene ambiance.
    "It's not just about performing treatments. Turning your home into a spa means creating the whole atmosphere. This includes putting on spa music, lighting aromatherapy candles, and privacy," explains Zicu. "You can recreate the spa at home with relaxing sounds on YouTube!" she says.

    "If you recently had a spa treatment and enjoyed your experience, find out what candles

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  • Do You Have Old-Lady Hands?

    By Kate Sullivan, Allure magazine

    This morning, while riding the subway, I looked up at my right hand struggling to hold onto the horizontal bar over my head (can we save the vertical poles for the short people, fellow passengers?), and noticed that my hand looked more weathered than my beat-up leather jacket. Shudder. How did this happen?!

    Well, I haven't been moisturizing enough in this dry weather, and worse still, I haven't been applying SPF to my hands. (I swear, I'm always on top of my face and neck; and when the weather is warmer and I'm more exposed, I'm diligent about slathering my whole body.)

    But I'm going to be taking better care of my hands from now on, especially since a recent poll of users found that 30 percent thought that their hands were the body part that showed their age the most.

    In the April issue, associate editor Elizabeth Siegel asked the experts for the best tips for notorious age-revealing (and sometimes age-exaggerating) body parts, including

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  • Has Your Stylist Ever Made Cutting Remarks?

    By Sarah Wexler, Allure magazine

    This week, I went for a haircut at a new salon. I loved the decor and the music, but not my stylist's opening line: "Ugh, when was the last time you had a haircut?" Usually, I have to admit it's been a shameful six months, but I was being proactive and had just hit the fully-respectable six-week mark, and told him so. "Well, don't let whoever did your last haircut touch it again. It's horrible!" he said.

    Really, dude? I was so upset by his unprovoked insults that I almost whipped off my plastic cape and marched my terrible hair right out of there. (Okay, in a move of wimpiness and desperation, I stayed-but vowed that even if he gave me perfect J.Lo hair, I wouldn't ever come back to his salon.) An Allure coworker told me she's had a similar encounter, where a new stylist took one look at her hair and said, "Wow...this is really shapeless."

    You never want a hairstylist's initial impression of your hair to be a sarcastic "wow," but why does he or she

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  • How to Be as Sexy as a Brazilian

    By Fiona Gibb, Allure magazine

    The fact that some of the planet's hottest women are Brazilian isn't exactly a news flash. (Allure ran a feature about the phenomenon, titled "The Girls From Ipanema," back in July 2006.) But Brazilian Sexy (Perigee Trade), now out in paperback, a new book by Janea Padilha of New York City's J Sisters Salon (the waxing establishment that Gwyneth Paltrow famously said "changed her life"), breaks down the Brazilian beauty myth for us non-Gisele types. Here, Padhila's best tips for re-creating that south-of-the-equator appeal:

    Don't worry, be happy:
    "I think that worrying makes us ugly. Yes, I do," Padilha says. So no matter what issues she's having, she puts on a happy (pretty) face.

    Wear eyeliner:
    Padilha applies hers looking down at a mirror, instead of straight-on, to avoid squinting, and to create a perfect line.

    Beauty should be effortless-but get regular haircuts:
    Padilha gets hers cut every six weeks, to keep her long hair in shape and to eliminate

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  • Kate Middleton's Wedding Hair: Top Hairstylists Give Ideas

    Rumor has it that a team of six hairstylists will give Kate Middleton a princess-worthy style for her wedding-where a tiara will serve as the cherry on top. But just for fun, we asked a few top New York City hairstylists for their suggestions on how Middleton should wear her hair on the big day.

    The Hairstylist: Sally Hershberger, owner of the Sally Hershberger Salons, who works with Kate Moss, Nicole Kidman, and Renée Zellweger

    The Suggestion: Timeless

    "Wedding hairstyles-especially for a bride of Kate's caliber-should be timeless. You want people to look back 30 years from now and think how beautiful she looked. People often try to do things that are cutting-edge and trendy, but really the style should be about the bride and what looks best on her. Kate should keep the style classic, feminine, and elegant. An updo would suit her perfectly-either pulling the hair away from her face into a sleek polished chignon the way Carolyn Bessette wore her hair on her wedding day, or a

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  • Beauty Tips for Kate Middleton...From 1953?

    By Alison Caporimo, Allure magazine

    With the Royal Wedding around the corner, beauty predictions and makeup artist tips for Kate Middleton's big day are coming fast and furious. And when you consider all the zillions of cosmetics options open to the princess-to-be (not to mention the perils of HDTV), it's easy to get a touch nostalgic for a simpler time. Namely, 1953-the year Middleton's future grandma-in-law had a pretty significant shindig of her own at Westminster Abbey.

    Related: How to Age Like a Supermodel

    An archival article from the St. Petersburg Times declared that a 27-year-old Queen Elizabeth II would be wearing special makeup for her coronation, but "none of this movie star stuff" (according to Thelma Holland, director of the London salon of Cyclax cosmetics manufacturers and "the beautician who will help the Queen put on her face"). Holland planned to use "a peach-tinted liquid foundation before applying powder" and "just a touch of rouge and eyeshadow." After all, "The

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  • Got Rosacea? Now There's an App for That

    By Sohpia Panych, Allure magazine

    Over 16 million Americans have rosacea, according to The National Rosacea Society-but less than 10 percent actually get treated for it by a doctor. Which means they're left to deal with the redness and acne-like bumps on their own, trying to avoid flare-ups as best as possible. Now a new app called The Rosacea App (free on any smartphone) promises help for those with mild to moderate cases.

    Developed by Intendis, Inc.-part of a company that makes Finacea Gel (an Rx treatment for rosacea)-the app gives information about the signs of and treatment options for rosacea, but, more intriguing, also helps you determine what factors in your daily life could be triggering an outbreak. Here's how it works: There's a function called "Trigger Tracker," in which you record your breakouts and answer a series of questions ("were you sunbathing?" "were you using a skin-care product at the time of the flare-up?" "were you under stress at work?" etc.). The app then

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  • Are Boys Held to a Different Beauty Standard?

    By Alison Caporimo, Allure magazine

    In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, newlywed Reese Witherspoon decided to talk dirty...but not in the way you think. ''Well, it's a boy thing, right?" she said of Water For Elephants costar Robert Pattinson's grimy appearance. "To have dirty fingernails and dirty hair, and his clothes were dirty all the time." Yuck. She added: "It was a nice escape for him to be tan and in the sun all the time instead of the vampire gear.'' Tan, I understand. But dirty? Something tells me that Pattinson his role as as a carny little too far.

    Is uncleanliness really "a boy thing"? Though most girls find it a little grit sexy on guys, I highly doubt boys would swoon over a Witherspoon with matted hair and questionable grooming habits. Yet, strangely, whether they be rock stars, bikers, or Robert Pattinson, boys can pull off dirty chic in a way that girls never can.

    What do you think? Are boys are held to a different beauty standard? Or is cleanliness

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  • Do You Sleep With Your Makeup On?

    By Sarah Wexler, Allure magazine

    Recently Lady Gaga told People that starting when she was as young as four years old, her mother would put lipstick on her and talk to her about beauty.

    The best tip? "Ivory soap to wash your face." But apparently Mama Gaga didn't teach her rock star daughter everything: Lady Gaga admits that as an adult, she goes to bed with her makeup on seven nights a week. "That's not good for your skin," she acknowledges, "but I'm blessed with good genes." (Lucky for her!)

    If you've watched even a single episode of Jersey Shore, you know that all the girls are also guilty of falling asleep-or at least passing out-with a full face of makeup on. Maybe it's because in junior high I bad breakouts, but I would rather slack off in any other before-bed category (brushing teeth, changing into pajamas) than not wash my face; I literally can't remember the last time I went to bed with makeup on because I'm so concerned about breaking out. And according to dermatologists,

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