Blog Posts by Marie Claire

  • Am I the Last Woman Using Condoms?

    Last Woman Using Condoms?Last Woman Using Condoms?

    Frustrated by men's attitudes toward contraception, Whitney Joiner wonders if anyone else out there is having safe sex.

    "I'm not sure if I even have any condoms," Harry said, riffling through a box underneath his bed. "What?" I said, sitting up in a tangle of sheets. "How is that possible?" Harry had picked me up at a mutual friend's book party a week earlier. I never go for men in suits, but the more he tried to impress me, the more I laughed, which added to our chemistry. Still, I didn't expect our first date to end in his bedroom, so I'd left my travel sex kit at home. I certainly hadn't expected to argue about safe sex with a near stranger, one I assumed brought ladies home on a regular basis. How could he be so unprepared?

    "You realize there's no way we're doing this without one, right?" I said. "Even if I were on the Pill-which I'm not-we'd still have to use a condom."

    "People like us don't get STDs," he said offhandedly. "You know: White. Heterosexual. Middle-class.

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  • 7 Foods to Make You Look Younger

    Foods to Look YoungerFoods to Look Younger

    We inject, lather, scrub, gulp, and zap to stay young, but it's what goes into our body that's most important. We chatted with Junelle Lupiani, R.D., Nutritionist at Miraval Resort & Spa in Tucson to find out which foods are the best anti-agers. By Maura Brannigan

    1. Eat more deep greens and seeds. These foods are high sources of calcium and are a good plant alternative to dairy. Teeth are comprised of bone and we [delete: all] are aware of the importance of bone preservation during the aging process[,] so add lots of sesame seeds and dark greens to your lunch salad.

    Related: The Ultimate 7-Day Diet Plan

    2. Have some Asian mushrooms. These fungi improve blood circulation which plays a big role in skin health, as well as blood pressure. So add lots of shiitake, enoki[,] and maitake to your vegetable mixes.

    3. Drink matcha tea. Components within this potent source of green tea called catechin-polyphenols have been shown to have a powerful antioxidant effect.

    4. Eat more

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  • 4 Brainpower-Boosting Diet Tips

    ChocolateChocolate

    Want to wow everyone at your next big presentation? Check out which foods will feed your brain and fuel those million-dollar ideas. By Joanne Chen

    1. Pair protein with good carbs for breakfast (and if the event's in the afternoon, for lunch). The good carbs transform into glucose, which energizes the brain; proteins sustain that energy input for as long as four hours.

    2. Load up on dark, leafy greens. They offer a megadose of folate, which boosts brain function.

    Related: 10 Guilt-Free Summer Snacks

    3. Avoid junk food. Saturated fats put stress on nerve cells and hamper communication and activity, making you feel sluggish.

    Related: 10 Surprising Foods That Pack On The Pounds

    4. A half hour before the meeting, get your caffeine fix-assuming you haven't already had more than a cup. Caffeine, which enhances activity in the part of the brain associated with memory and focus, peaks in the body 45 minutes after your first sip, and the effect lingers on for a few hours.

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  • The 5 Benefits of a Bad Date

    5 Benefits of Bad Dates5 Benefits of Bad Dates

    If women everywhere can agree on one thing, it's that dating isn't easy. However, a bad date doesn't have to mean a wasted evening! We sat down with dating experts and real-life bride and groom-to-be Lindsay Chrisler and Daniel Packard to get the scoop on all the silver linings that can be found on even the worst dates.

    1. Get a Wake-Up Call
    You've been on bad date after bad date. Instead of sulking around and complaining that "no one good is out there," take time to reevaluate what's been going wrong. "A bad date can be a wake-up call for you to take responsibility and realize why that connection isn't happening," Packard said. Look at your dating pattern and actually write down what you feel isn't working. Maybe it's time to try something new: stray from the guy that is your usual 'type'. Are your expectations unrealistic? Let it be about you building a connection, rather than checking off a list.
    Lesson Learned: Change your pattern

    Related: 20 Secrets Men NEVER Tell Women

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  • 7 Easy Beauty Tricks and Solutions

    Beauty SolutionsBeauty Solutions

    These are simple strategies to help you score everything from shinier hair to a perkier butt.

    1. Your Goal: Neat Cuticles

    The Strategy: Curb Your Impulse to Cut

    Want to get hand-model hands? Resist the urge to trim your cuticles. "Your body overcompensates for what you're cutting away," says Tabitha Caputo, the nail director at New York City's Paul Labreque Salon & Spa. To wean yourself, rub in a good cuticle oil twice a day (olive oil can also get the job done, but if you buy something specifically for your nails, you'll be more likely to use it) and push your cuticles back with a washcloth after every shower. Within a month, they won't grow back as quickly or as thick, says Caputo. If you really can't stand them, once a week let a cuticle remover, such as Orly Cutique - which only whisks away dead skin - sit on your nails for a minute or two. Then, push back the cuticle and apply oil.
    Try: Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil


    Related: 7 Bedtime Habits That Are Ruining Your Sleep

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  • 8 Types of Guys that Won't Commit

    Guys To Watch Out ForGuys To Watch Out For

    Trying to get men to commit is an age-old riddle in the female mind. Here are a few "types" that will be tough to get into the commitment fold. Hopefully, you can spot one of these early on in the relationship. By Rich Santos

    1. The Narcissist

    Beware of the guy who talks about himself too much, looks too perfect and works on building his image superficially. He won't commit to you because he's too committed to himself.

    Related: 20 Secrets Men NEVER Tell Women

    2. The Middle School Boy

    Let's get this out in the open (as if you didn't already know): Guys never truly grow up. We act mature, which takes energy and discipline. But some guys can't hide their childishness. It takes a certain amount of maturity to get to the point of commitment, so don't hold your breath if you're dating a guy afflicted with chronic immaturity.

    3. The Scatter Brain

    This guy just can't get his, um, stuff together. As a result, he's constantly trying to make ends meet, and always feeling

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  • 6 Curvy Girl Fashion Myths

    Fashion MythsFashion Myths

    Big girls are forever being told what not to wear, that everything from stripes to pleats to booties (even ponytails!) are off-limits to us. Is it any wonder that so many full-figured women cling to their boring black separates-the "safest" things in their wardrobes?

    Thankfully, my years working in fashion have taught me some invaluable lessons about how to pull off pieces traditionally thought of as no-no's for anyone beyond a size 6. Follow these foolproof tips and brace yourself for some serious style points.


    1. MYTH Horizontal stripes enlarge a big frame.

    TRUTH Break up the pattern with a blazer or colored pants. Très chic-for all figures.

    2. MYTH Top-heavy women can't wear knits.

    TRUTH Look for body-skimming silhouettes in metallic for a pulled-together take.

    Related: 50 Cheap Date Ideas


    3. MYTH
    Peplums add volume.

    TRUTH A streamlined pencil skirt with a peplum creates an hourglass shape.

    4. MYTH Black is the most flattering color for fuller

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  • 4 Ways More Exercise Equals More Pay

    Exercise and PayExercise and Pay

    How's this for sweat equity: Women who worked out moderately for 20 to 30 minutes three or more times a week earned 9 percent more than those who didn't, according to one study cited in a Journal of Labor Research paper. Here are just a few of the ways exercise may be beneficial to your bottom line, based on the ever-building body of scientific literature that delves into the topic.

    1. You're smarter.

    Think of that heartpumping elliptical trek as a snack break for your brain. The increased blood flow, chock-full of oxygen and nutrients, feeds your capacity to spawn brilliant ideas-and keeps your clients coming back for more. This past spring, a Psychological Medicine paper suggested that the longer people worked out regularly throughout their lifetime, the better their brains functioned.

    Related: 5 Secrets of the Highest-Paid Women

    2. You're happier
    .

    A brisk walk may take just 20 minutes, but that serotonin boost may last for hours, making you more enthusiastic about

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  • 5 Reasons to Stay Away from Sugar

    SugarSugar

    It gives you a rush, messes with your mind, and always leaves you wanting more - and researchers are calling for the government to regulate the sweet stuff like a drug. By Joanne Chen

    1. STRESS EATING For a pick-me-up, you may feel the urge to inhale a bag of M&M's or scarf down a box of cookies. But the impulse goes deeper. To examine the hold sugar can have over us, substance-abuse researchers have performed brain scans on subjects eating something sweet. What they've seen resembles the mind of a drug addict: When tasting sugar, the brain lights up in the same regions as it would in an alcoholic with a bottle of gin. Dopamine-the so-called reward chemical-spikes and reinforces the desire to have more. (Sugar also fuels the calming hormone serotonin.)

    THE FIX In times of stress, dieters are more likely to binge, studies conclude. That said, a cookie once in a while (say, twice a week) is fine, but on most days go for oatmeal with brown sugar, suggests Jeffrey Fortuna,

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  • 6 Ways to Break Bad Habits

    How to Break Bad HabitsHow to Break Bad Habits

    Small Changes, BIG IMPACT
    Here's your new plan for swapping out your old habits for new ones:

    1. START SPECIFIC
    The more concrete you can be about your goals, the better, notes Julie Naylon, owner of No Wire Hangers, a Los Angeles - based professional organizing service - "not just a general Get organized," she says, "but a Clear off my desk by filing my piles of papers."

    Related: 7 Bedtime Habits That Are Ruining Your Sleep

    2. START SMALL, GO SLOW
    It's easy to get overwhelmed and give up when dealing with life-altering changes. So break big goals into baby steps. If you're trying to stick to a budget, resolve to pack a lunch three days a week instead of going out. You'll feel accomplished making even small changes - and small changes are easier to stick to.

    3. PRACTICE DAILY
    Whether you're trying to get up earlier or watch less TV, you'll need to be consistent with your efforts in order to see results. "Practicing once in a while or when you think of it is not enough," Charles Duhigg

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