Blog Posts by Self Magazine

  • How NOT to Burn Your Hair Off

    WWD, Kyle EricksenWWD, Kyle EricksenAmanda MacMillan

    Have you guys seen the "Hair Tutorial Gone Wrong" circulating around YouTube right now? I feel like you probably have. All I can say is OMG -- I feel so bad for 'lil Tori Locklear, even if she got her 15-minute of fame from the TODAY Show. Burning off your hair seriously sucks, but then again, getting one-on-one tips from Ted Gibson ain't so bad, either.

    See more: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    Anyway -- as someone who curls her hair at least three times a week (and an editor who admittedly heat-styles her hair every single day), there are a few ways to prevent frying your hair off -- without enlisting the help of a master stylist. For serious.

    First and foremost, do not -- and I repeat -- do NOT use a cheap (as in crappy) iron. It's worth the extra money to splurge on a fancy one: High-quality irons will distribute heat evenly and usually have coated ceramic bodies that are much gentler to strands than straight-up metal barrels are.

    Another perk of

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  • Can Gel Manicures Cause Cancer?

    Fairchild ArchiveFairchild ArchiveAmanda MacMillan

    The last thing I want to do is put a damper on anyone's plans for some fun weekend #NailArt. But if you're slated for a gel manicure anytime soon -- professional or DIY -- you may want to read this statement released today by the American Academy of Dermatology. Basically, it warns of the potential consequences getting too many gel manis in a row: brittle, peeling and cracking nails; an increased risk of skin cancer due to UV curing; and the potential to disguise nail disease. Grody, right?

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    But, the folks at AAD don't want you to abandon your favorite salon specialty altogether -- they just want you to go on a "gel manicure diet" (their term, not mine). Here's how to make the practice safer and healthier for your hands.

    Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen on your hands. That lamp you're sticking your hands under for the gel to cure is giving off UV rays. Not only can it increase your skin cancer risk, but it can also cause

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  • Diabetes: A New Cure?

    Bill DiodatoBill DiodatoAmanda MacMillan

    Quick quiz: What's one of the most effective ways to ward off chronic illnesses like Type 2 Diabetes? If you said daily exercise, you're right ... kinda. It turns out, according to a just-published study, that merely moving around more throughout the day -- as opposed to sitting at a desk or lying on the couch -- could be more important than whether or not you actually "work out" (like hitting the gym or going for a run) regularly. Yes, it's yet another reason to stand up (literally) for your health.

    See more: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    This new research, online today in the British journal Diabetologia, focused on adults of all ages who were at high risk of developing diabetes. University of Leicester researchers found that the more time study participants spent being sedentary, the worse they scored on glucose and cholesterol tests -- regardless of whether they got their recommended 30 minutes of "moderate to vigorous physical activity" a

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  • 5 New Ways to Use Q-Tips

    CN Digital StudioCN Digital StudioAlexandra Samuel

    Guys, believe it or not, my must-have beauty tool isn't a fancy foundation sponge (though I do love a good Beauty Blender) or a super-fancy hair iron (and I may or may not live for good curling wand). It's actually something I've been using since I was a kid, costs less than $5 for a three month supply and has been around since the 1920s. Can you guess what it is?

    To smudge liner on my bottom lid:
    I love to use a brush on my top lid to smudge sexy, smoky liner, but any kind of eyeliner brush is always way to thick to use on my bottom lids. Instead, I wipe a brush with gel liner (like Bobbi Brown's) of onto a Q-Tip after smudging, and blend the swab along the bottom lash line for a skinny-but-messy look.

    See more: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    To cover up up stretch marks:
    Dip a Q-Tip into a in a tiny bit of self-tanner (try a gradual formula if you're self-tanner-shy) and gently roll back and forth over a stretch mark. It'll tint the line just enough to

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  • "I Married the Wrong Guy"


    He was sweet, sexy and financially stable, and I told myself we'd be great together. I was totally lying.

    I have always chosen badly in love. I wanted the perfect guy, which for me meant someone who would inspire me to become my wittiest, funniest, most adventurous self; who would raise kids with me and stay with me forever despite my nasty temper. Problem is, from college onward, I dated one creative brooder after another-men who had no interest in playing house and would sooner starve than procreate.

    By the time I met the man I'll call Nick, I deeply doubted my ability to find a guy who both satisfied my rather predictable physical standards (tall, handsome, with strong hands and a deep voice) and could make my dream of domestic bliss come true. But when a friend introduced us at a party, I saw my perfect manly man, complete with adorably mussed-up hair. When I heard he was single, my stomach did a flip-flop.

    In our first months together, I had

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  • Chicken Dinners Under 450 Calories

    Amanda MacMillan

    This dinner table staple is a lean, mean, fighting machine, offering an affordable dose of protein and B vitamins that promote healthy skin and hair. But chicken can get awfully repetitive-if you let it! Check out these 12 recipes-there's not a bore in the bunch.

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    6 Moves for a Great Butt

    Top Secrets of Beauty Pros

    The Flat-Abs-Fast Secret

    How to Get Bombshell Hair

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  • Mediterranean Diet Can Help Cut Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke

    Rachel Jacoby

    You guys already knew that the Mediterranean Diet was healthy -- after all, it's filled with superfoods like olive oil, tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts), beans, fish and fresh produce. But yesterday The New England Journal of Medicine released a study on the diet's efficacy in reducing heart disease. The magnitude of the diet's benefits were so obvious that the researchers ended the study early because it was considered unethical to continue -- the results were obvious!

    The researchers found that following any form of the Mediterranean Diet show a substantial reduction in the risk (like 30%!) of suffering from any form of cardiovascular death, such as a heart attack or stroke. Moreover, these results prove that a high-fat vegetable diet is healthier at a cardiovascular level than a low-fat diet. Crazy, right? In light of the diet's newfound bennies, we wanted to share a few of our favorite Mediterranean Diet ingredient-infused dishes for you to whip up at

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  • 10 Weird Gym Tools, Explained

    Marissa Stephenson

    Trying out that foreign-but-fun-looking equipment at the gym is kinda like pairing stripes with patterns. Everybody's doing it, and it sounds like a neat idea ... but how the hell do you pull it off? Especially if it's your first trip to the gym in, um, a while.

    Simple. You breeze through our how-to guide, with smartypants moves from gear guru Bryan Jackson, a former pro soccer player and trainer at the P.E.P.P.E.R. program in New York City. Using these tools, you'll love your sweat sessions way more-and damn, those workouts will look good on you

    More from SELF:
    6 Moves for a Great Butt
    Lose 2 Pounds a Week!
    Top Secrets of Beauty Pros
    20 Superfoods for Weight Loss
    The Flat-Abs-Fast Secret
    How to Get Bombshell Hair

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  • Why the End of Winter Can Be Hardest on Your Eyes

    Amanda MacMillan

    My eyes have been driving me crazy lately -- is it just me, or are other people noticing this, too? [Ed. note: Not just you. Tears stream down my face during my morning commute!] Maybe it's because I've spent so much time snowboarding and running in the cold, but I feel like I've got a bad case of spring allergies way before spring's even here. Then I got this news from Mark Ewald, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology at Vanderbilt University: The end of winter can be one of the worst times of year for our baby blues -- or, in my case, browns. Now I see -- through itchy, red eyes, that is.

    See more: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    It turns out, says Ewald, that months of cold, dry air can really take their toll on our peepers, especially if we wear contacts or are already prone to allergies or dry eye. And eye irritation can get even worse when winter begins to transition into spring and early-blooming plants start to bloom, hence why I'm all blurry-eyed now.

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  • Boss Caught You Shopping Online?

    Alyssa Longobucco

    You're just a click away from a sweet pair of heels when, wouldn't you know it...someone's over your shoulder. Gilt-y! Here's how to recover gracefully.

    See more: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    Accept that you're totally busted.

    Your first instinct will be to minimize your screen at warp speed--but don't go there. "You'll look more suspicious if you scramble to cover things up," says Lindsey Pollak, career expert and author of Getting From College to Career. Your boss may wonder if you're doing something way worse than shopping, such as, say, prowling for a new gig. So hands off the mouse. Let her get an eyeful of those goodies you're drooling over.


    And we mean this instant. Pollak advises saying something like, "Oops, I'm totally online shopping right now! I had a few minutes of downtime and was just taking a little mental breather." Your boss is human, too, and odds are, she spends a few minutes goofing around

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