Blog Posts by Refinery29

  • The Anti-Hormone Guide to Birth Control

    By Laura Barcella, Refinery29

    There are tons of birth-control options out there. They run the gamut from hormonal (the pill, NuvaRing) to as natural and non-hormonal as can be (withdrawal; Natural Family Planning). It may seem, at times, like hormonal methods are the ones hogging the most media buzz. But nowadays, more and more women are choosing to go in the other direction. In light of the recent lawsuits against the manufacturer of NuvaRing, the low-but-present risk of serious complications with hormonal birth control is in the news.

    If you find yourself questioning what lies on the other side of the hormonal divide, we've done the research for you. With the help of some experts, we investigated the best contraceptive choices out there for women who want their birth control without the hormones, if you please. Ahead, take a peek at everything from diaphragms to the pullout method. And learn which - if any - of these options might work best for you.

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  • The Busy Girl's Guide to Holiday Stress

    Refinery29By Kelly Bourdet, Refinery29

    The holidays can be a wonderful time to reflect on love, family, and generosity amidst homey scents of mulled wine and seasonal candles. But, we're also usually under a crunch, running from work to potlucks to the airport, while furiously emailing on our phones, fighting bidding wars on eBay (that vintage bag is perfect for your mom!), and grabbing whatever snack food is lying around at any given moment. Add all that holiday cheer on top and, well, you're bound to get stressed.

    So, it's important to implement little fixes here and there to keep us grounded and under control during super-stressful days. Ahead, some quick and easy-to-adopt tips on how to make the best out of your holiday - without totally losing it.

    Pick and choose where you indulge rather than diving into every dessert tray and punch bowl you see.

    Even if you're usually mindful of what you eat, the holidays have a way of negating your good habits. December feels like a free for all

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  • 15 Celebs Who Rule at Travel Style

    By Gina Marinelli, Refinery29

    With holiday travel comes a whole new slew of stressful situations. Shipping presents, planning ahead at work, setting up more hometown get-togethers than your iCal can handle, and, of course, picking the ultimate festive wardrobe to pack with you. So, while the least of your troubles may be what to wear when you're checking your bags and fumbling through security lines with as many packages as Santa, don't let your in-transit look suffer (that is, succumbing to your schlubbiest of sweatpants).

    To help get you from point A to point B in style, we're following the lead of those individuals who are professionals at looking fly on the fly. After all, with their jet-setting lifestyle, these 15 celebrities ahead have airport fashion down to a science. Click on for the easy-to-follow formulas that'll guarantee you'll look amazing before, during, and after landing.

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  • Why I Had to Get Sick to Get Healthy

    Refinery29By Laura Ruof, Refinery29

    If I told you what my diet was like, you would think I was a fanatic. If I told you what time I go to bed, you would say I was boring. If I told you what time I wake up in the morning, you would assume that I am a nut. And, if I revealed how infrequently I drink alcohol, you would suspect I didn't have fun. None of those assumptions about me are actually true, but based on my habits, they would seem to be unless you knew me well.

    You all know I'm a dentist, but I'm about to reveal to you my other full-time job: staying healthy. For most of you, staying healthy is a lifestyle that you either choose or you don't. For me, I didn't get healthy until I got sick.

    RELATED: Non-Embarrassing Ways to Work Out in Public

    Allow me to paint the gross picture of how I took care of my body for the first 30 years. I say "gross" because it's actually embarrassing to admit how poorly I treated my body. I didn't listen to my body when it was telling me it was about to

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  • The Truth About Coconut Oil

    Refinery29By Nicole Catanese, Refinery29

    Like the name implies - coconut oil is extracted from ripe coconuts (specifically the white meat-y center). And, while you might have only recently started to hear about this multifunctional oil, it's not because it hasn't been around. Places around the world where the coconut palm tree grows have been using it for centuries in the kitchen and in their beauty routine (think Africa, Hawaii, and all those other tropical locales that you're probably dreaming about right now).

    "Coconut oil used to be shunned because it contains [so much] saturated fat. But, it's now a trendy oil, as we've learned the saturated fat in the oil actually isn't as unhealthy as once believed," says Brooke Alpert, RD, a registered dietitian in New York City and founder of B Nutritious, who notes that coconut oil has about 12 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon. Historically, another issue that deterred many from adding coconut oil to their diets was that it was typically

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  • Would You Ever Rent Hair? (Spoiler Alert: Now You Can)

    Refinery29By Nicole Shoohed, Refinery29

    Sure, we may be guilty of renting the occasional dress, maybe even a bag or two if we're eyeing a particular clutch - but, would we go far enough to! We never thought we would ever have to contemplate this particular dilemma - up 'til now, that is. For the upcoming holiday season, Nelson j Salon in Beverly Hills is launching a service to rent clip-on hair extensions for $75, saving rentees almost $200.

    RELATED: 4 DIY Hairstyles That Take Unwashed Hair To The Next Level

    "Extensions are a great way to make a statement, without requiring permanent changes, but they are still costly," says celebrity stylist Nelson Chan, founder of Nelson j Salon. "Spending around $250 to wear them for one evening is challenging for many budgets, so I thought a rental service would be a great option, but also allow someone to try more than one look during the course of a few months."

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  • The Year's Top Festive Frocks for Under $50

    By Bobby Schuessler, Refinery29

    Look at your inbox. How many holiday parties have you RSVP'd to? Probably a few more than you have dresses to wear. And, you know what that typically means: another paycheck and one more trip to the mall. But, since we don't all have that superstar salary that allows us to jaunt off to a fancy department store for each and every frock, we've rounded up dresses (for every holiday-party occasion) that you can actually afford. Meaning: Forget about buyer's remorse, and prepare for a much happier bank statement.

    And, no, just because these beauties are affordable doesn't mean they look cheap. You won't find any ill-fitting or way-too-short dresses here. So, whether it's a sparkly stunner you seek or something more reserved, the under-$50 numbers ahead will keep you sophisticated, stylish, and, most importantly, festive all the way through New Year's.

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  • 12 Surprising Secret Santa Gifts Under $20

    By Connie Wang, Refinery29

    While you might have a couple of people on your list who you're definitely planning on spoiling, the majority of the folks you're shopping for this season probably are a whole lot like ours: gym friends, random acquaintances, work buddies, party hosts, and second cousins, with the occasional name you drew from the Secret Santa hat. For that group, you're probably not going to spend more than $20 on a gift. But, this year, do better than just slapping a paper bow on a bottle of Shiraz. Because, now you've got this shopping list.

    We really picked through the e-commerce world with a fine-toothed comb to find the best of the under-$20 bunch for gifts that you'll actually want to give. And, in all honestly, you'll like these so much, you might find yourself shopping for some of them in pairs - you know, one for them, one for you. Check out the definitive guide to the 50 gifts under $20 that'll give you sticker shock - in the good way.

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  • Fitness Tips from 5 Inspiring NYC Athletes

    By Annie Georgia Greenberg, Refinery29

    On Sundays, you can nearly always find us sitting on our sofa (or, okay, in our favorite gastropub) wearing our hometown team's football colors. But, we don't really care about Eli Manning's workout tips or favorite practice outfits (sorry, Eli). It just doesn't seem relevant. Instead, we turned to our own backyard and found five incredible female athletes who kick ass in NYC on the daily. We tapped these strong, inspiring movers and shakers (and weightlifters and boxers) to help us create a go-to guide for all kinds get-in-shape goodness.

    There are at-home ab-tightening tips, lessons on what to eat while training, and even the top songs to blast to while getting your heart rate up. Plus, as we're wont to do, we styled these gorgeous women in equally standout looks, relying on designer styles from Norma Komali's new fitness line. As for those football players? It's safe to say these ladies could take them any day - in both a walk-off and an

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  • Sex Toys for Not-So-Silent Nights

    By Kelly Bourdet, Refinery29

    Maybe you're looking to get the ultimate gift for your partner this year. Or, maybe you're just interested in trying something a little different. But, when incorporating a new sex toy in your relationship, there are many things to consider. For example, what works well for solo sessions might not always translate to a fantastic shared experience. There are tons of options out there for women and men of all preferences and desires. The trick is figuring out which one is exactly right for you.

    So, this holiday season, do you want to get your partner some boring socks - or knock them off with a sexy toy?

    We had three couples check out nine amazing sex toys. Ahead, what was so-so, what worked, and what really worked for these adventurous reviewers.

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