Blog Posts by Refinery29

  • Probiotics: 2014's "It" Beauty Ingredient

    By Erika Stalder, Refinery29

    After years of relentlessly washing, cleansing, and purifying skin in virtuous hopes of a bright, clear complexion, the key to healthier skin may lie in the microorganisms we most often associate with disease and grime: bacteria. Just like in our guts, the skin is full of bacterial subpopulations. And, some researchers believe that while "bad" bacteria on the skin can dominate and trigger breakouts and inflammation, strains of "good" bacteria may protect the skin and clear the way for better health. Forget clinically clean skin - the ticket to a beaming complexion may be in a harmonious, balanced bacterial population on the skin, achieved with probiotics.

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    According the American Academy of Dermatology, the good bacteria delivered by probiotics in skin care may help thwart acne and rosacea. When the immune system identifies parasites and bad bacteria on the skin as a foreign threat, it

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  • Spring Nails: Because Go Away, Winter

    By Tara Rasmus, Refinery29

    Raise your hand if you are just completely over this winter business. Like, since yesterday. Our sweater-and-scarf-cocooned selves wholeheartedly agree with you, which is why we're combatting these grayest of days with pure happiness - in the form of new nail polish, of course.

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    After all, what better way to get you in a spring mood than scoping the creamy oranges, soothing nudes, and vibrant neons that you will be sporting on your tips (preferably whilst lying on a patch of green grass in the warm sunshine) very, very soon? We gathered the most gorgeous nail shades for the spring season that are sure to be huge hits - watch, learn, and get those fingers ready!

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  • What's the Most Popular Plastic Surgery in America?

    By Vanessa Golembewski, Refinery29

    .Over 15 million Americans had cosmetic procedures done in 2013. But, what exactly does that mean? What kind of procedures are we talking about? The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recently released a more detailed analysis of these numbers. And, now we feel like we have a better understanding of the trends in this country.

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    Perhaps unsurprisingly, breast augmentation is the most popular procedure. Plastic surgeons performed this particular operation 290,000 times in 2013. That's 580,000 breasts that are now bigger. Following somewhat close behind is nose reshaping (221,000) and eyelid surgery (216,000). And, in the spirit of trend forecasting, it looks like buttock augmentation and neck lifts are on the rise.

    Of course, if you're looking for a nonsurgical way to improve you butt, we recommend you just try these exercises.

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  • The Big Problem with Plus Size

    By Connie Wang, Refinery29

    If extraterrestrial beings touched down in an average American city, walked down an average American street, then popped into an average American store, they'd probably think the only people who actually shop are diminutive. Because, when it comes to numbers, there's a huge discrepancy: The average American woman wears a size 14 - and the majority of women are considered overweight - but you'd be hard-pressed to find any brand that caters to anyone who wears above a 12. In plain business terms (which the fashion industry ultimately operates on), the numbers don't add up. But, the answer to why this happens is a bit more complicated than mere prejudice.

    It's undeniable that the fashion industry is plus-size-averse. There's the passive discrimination of framing most dialogue around straight sizes only, and then there's the very active, very hurtful discrimination and animosity against women who don't fit into a sample size. Beyond that, there's also a

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  • How Your Personality Affects Your Weight

    By Vanessa Golembewski, Refinery29

    .Losing weight isn't easy. But, as with most health concerns, the more you learn about the way your body works, the better off you'll be. For starters, stop thinking of weight loss as an entirely physical concept - your mind also has a lot to do with it. And, that means your personality type does, too.

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    Time reports that certain aspects of your personality can translate into struggles (and success!) with weight loss. Of course, this list is useful only if you own up to the kind of person you truly are. For example, if you're self-centered, you're more likely to have the willpower to make healthier decisions. Conversely, people-pleasers are more likely to bail on their own workout plans in order to meet the needs of others. They can also get stressed out by trying to help everyone other than themselves. And, if there's anything we can all agree on, it's that stress leads straight to

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  • 3 Perfect Outfits — No Splurge Needed

    By Annie Georgia Greenberg, Refinery29

    We never want to be style copycats. But, NYC is filled so many beautiful women wearing beautiful clothes sometimes we can't help but want to steal their looks. Instead of chasing an inspiring woman down on the street (stalker, much?), we snapped their looks for our personal archives. And, rather than just admiring the outfits, we've gone one step further and made them shoppable. The best part? All the clothes are budget-friendly.

    Ahead, a jeans-and-shirt look that's anything but lazy, an on-trend fall '14 ensemble you can wear, like, now, and a perfectly transitional getup for when the warm weather actually starts to stick. These paint-your-outfit-by-number options are the perfect additions to round out your winter-to-spring wardrobe. So, you can, you know, be the chick in the picture next time.

    .Icy blue is one of the top trends to stock up on for fall '14. We especially love the contrast in this outfit: A pop of pastel works so well when

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  • Makeup Secrets You Haven't Heard Before

    By Bryn Kenny, Refinery29

    Everyone has a favorite makeup tip that's a little under-the-radar or off the deep-end - or both. You know, those eyebrow-raising bits of advice that sound more like old wives' tales than beauty miracle workers and are typically passed on in the darkest corners of the ladies' room after a few drinks.

    Maybe your stepmom taught you to zap honking hormonal zits with a Q-tip and a bit of Visine, or you once tried the old mayonnaise-as-a-hair-mask trick for kicks - and it actually worked, so you've sworn by it ever since. Most of us have heard the bit about how Preparation H cream, in spite of its, um, less-than-glamorous original purpose, de-puffs those pesky tired eyes in a pinch.

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    Then, there are the solutions that are right in front of your nose, like using eye cream to wipe away that stubborn waterproof mascara, or employing a bit of tape to remove leftover glitter from your face. But, makeup

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  • Beauty Myth Debunking: Can Retinol Make You OD on Vitamin A?

    Refinery29By Kristin Booker, Refinery29

    Everywhere you look, there's another skin cream containing retinol, the purest form of natural vitamin A. We're big fans of it over here in the beauty department, which is why, when we heard a rumor that you can be poisoned by using too much of it, our first reaction was "Jigga WHAT?!?" followed by some serious investigation.

    Before we get started, a quick note on what hypervitaminosis A could do to you: liver damage, blurred vision, hair loss, and a whole bunch of other Things You Do Not Want. It's not okay. So, it was time to ask some questions.

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    One call to Dr. Jeannette Graf, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, provided the answer. Nope, it's not possible to get toxic quantities of vitamin A from your beauty products. Those rumors are "crazy," says Dr. Graf. "First of all, there's never been a case [of hypervitaminosis A] from

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  • How to Not Mess Up Your Birth Control

    Refinery29By Planned Parenthood, Refinery29

    Beyond serving as a go-to source for vital reproductive care, the folks at Planned Parenthood - a team of experts in medicine, sexual health, and law - are passionate, informed advocates for knowing your own body. This week, PP's very own Kendall McKenzie tackles the best ways to keep your birth control working for you.

    Birth control is one of the greatest inventions of the modern world, and if you use it, you're probably not interested in only being kinda-sorta protected from pregnancy. Chances are, you want it to work really, really well. The good news? There are more birth control options than ever before. The bad news? The most common reason birth control fails is because we screw it up. This handy guide will help you avoid common contraception pitfalls and beef up your pregnancy preventing superpowers!

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    LARC It Up
    LARC stands for Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives - birth

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  • 6 Trench Coats to Wear Now — and Forever!

    By Michaela D'Artois, Refinery29


    We envy those Brit babes for many reasons: jolie-laide, rockstar hair; a close proximity to Harry Styles; and of course, a penchant for trench coats. See, it's as if those gals from across the pond were born with an innate sense of easily throwing on said outerwear and heading out for tea.

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    Come to think of it, trench coats are every bit a necessity here in S.F. as they are in London (hello, Karl!). From the classic number that Audrey Hepburn famously donned as she kissed in the rain, to the new-wave trench that brings a pop of brightness to a foggy Friday, we've got you, well, covered.

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