The typical quarantine routine consists of overeating, sleeping, and skin care. I don’t know about you, but I’ve mastered the overeating and sleeping segments and am now ready to take on skin care. Since spa getaways are a no-go these days, the assumption is that we have to forgo certain luxuries, like facials. Luckily, that doesn’t have to be the case. Take it from Halle Berry—she’s doing the quarantine life just like the rest of us and hasn’t sacrificed a second of her skin care. Seriously, her glowing skin is what dreams are made of. (Just look at her.) But how does she do it?
Turns out she gets by with a little help from her esthetician. Berry recently treated us all to a special self-care Sunday with an inside look at her at-home facial routine. The 15-minute tutorial features a fresh-faced Berry applying face masks to her already flawless skin, guided by her go-to skin guru. Since we haven’t all become master estheticians in quarantine yet, I figured it was time to turn to a specialist—specifically, Halle Berry’s skin specialist—to get the insider secrets on everything skin care.
The woman behind Berry’s glowing complexion is celebrity esthetician Olga Lorencin. Olga, aka The Acid Queen, breaks down Berry’s skin care regimen, telling Betches, “Her standard routine is very simple, but it’s consistent.” If I’ve learned anything in all my years, it’s that simplicity is key in all aspects of life, especially when it comes to your skin. So is consistency (things I whisper in the mirror to force myself to wash off my makeup after a night out). Lorencin says, “She uses a rehydrating cleanser morning and night along with a rebalancing toner and a lactic acid hydrating serum.” She also adds that Berry is “very in tune with her skin”, something I hope to say about myself one day.
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This is an EXTRA special #SelfCareSunday, you know why? Because I’m finally introducing you to my ultimate skincare secret. Her name is @Olgalorencinskincare, and today? We’ll be showing a facial you can DIY with one of her at-home kits! During COVID I haven’t seen her in forever so I’m VERY excited. 😂 I definitely stand by the investment of Olga’s at home kits, BUT if you’re looking for a more affordable option? Olga loves a simple at-home recipe – 𝐈𝐍𝐆𝐑𝐄𝐃𝐈𝐄𝐍𝐓𝐒: 1 tsp Full-Fat Greek Yogurt (vegan option = coconut yogurt) 1 tsp Honey For Dry Skin – add a slice of avocado + a few drops of avocado oil For Acneic Skin – add a bit of powdered charcoal. Option – add a few drops of Chlorophyll to fight breakouts and reduce inflammation 𝐃𝐈𝐑𝐄𝐂𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐒: 1. Mix ingredients together into a bowl 2. Massage into clean skin (face AND neck) 3. Leave on for 15-20 minute Note: for best results, relax in the bath or in a steamy shower for 5-10 minutes before rinsing it off. This mask is rich in probiotics, which are very helpful with skin balancing and congestion. The honey is a natural humectant – it attracts water from the air to your skin. Enjoy and happy Sunday!! ☀️
While having a crazy amount of skin envy over celebrities is fine, it’s important to focus on and figure out your own skin needs. However, that’s often easier said than done, and according to Lorencin, figuring out what your skin needs is the most difficult part for most people. It can be especially tricky to nail down what your skin needs if you don’t have any particularly concerning issues. But whether you have clear skin or not, nobody is immune to the frustrations of establishing a successful skin care routine. So, like all those brand marketing emails we received in April, we’re all in this together! The Acid Queen recommends, “If the products that you are using are working, stick with it. However, if you have a skin condition or concern, see an esthetician so they can figure out what you need.” When in doubt, always seek out a specialist.
And the secret to flawless skin care is—drumroll please—it depends. (Sorry, that probably wasn’t worth a drumroll, but it was fun, wasn’t it?) On anti-aging, Lorencin says, “It can vary vastly from person to person, but de-aging ingredients are universally the same. It just depends on how we use them and in what combination.”
When it comes to how many products we should be stocking up on, Lorencin advises, “As little products as possible, anywhere from 4-10. Don’t overdo it! Layers upon layers will just cancel each other out or cause your skin to be confused.” Lorencin continues, “Buying random skin care products produces random results.” This probably means that the bucket of youth promising serums under my bathroom sink isn’t quite as effective as I had initially hoped.
Lorencin also breaks down the different products that we should be using in the morning versus at night. “At night, it’s a good time to use retinols and exfoliating products that contain AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and BHA (beta hydroxy acid). In the morning, it’s a good time to use antioxidants like Vitamin C, whereas hydrating and collagen building products can be used both day and night, such as peptides, ceramides, and hyaluronic acids, etc.”
In addition to applying the proper blend of serums and lotions, your face can also benefit from an occasional massage. Facial massages are an effective measure for pampering yourself with some much needed TLC. Lorencin explains that, when done properly, facial massages can reduce puffiness and help prevent wrinkles.
Move over, cucumbers—the at-home facial has received a serious upgrade. From professional kits to DIY recipes, there are endless possibilities to soothe your skin and turn any day into a self-care day. According to Lorencin, step one of doing a facial at home is “making sure you are using facial masks on exfoliated skin, or they won’t do very much.” Help yourself get the best results by allowing the mask to easily find its way to your clean skin. Once your skin is prepped, you can then opt for either a homemade or professional facial mix, depending on your budget.
Weighing the pros and cons of each method, Lorencin says, “Homemade masks are nice and won’t cause side effects, but they also most likely won’t produce very transformational results.” For more noticeable results, you may want to consider investing in a professional facial kit. It may be more pricey, but getting skin like Halle Berry? Priceless. (Actually, it’s more like $98, but you get the idea.)
While Lorencin has created facial kits for Halle Berry-level results, she also favors an easy and delicious at-home recipe that you can make with ingredients found in your kitchen (or borrowed from your hot neighbor). All you need is 1 teaspoon of full-fat Greek yogurt (substitute coconut yogurt for a vegan option), and 1 teaspoon of honey. If you’re feeling really fancy, you can also add in a slice of avocado and a few drops of avocado oil to soothe dry skin or a dash of powdered charcoal for acneic skin. According to Berry and Lorencin’s IGTV video, adding a few drops of chlorophyll to either mix can help fight breakouts and reduce inflammation. The next step is to apply the mask (obvi) to your face and neck—don’t neglect your neck!—and leave on for the standard 15 to 20 minutes. Lorencin also advises limiting homestyle facials to once or twice a week. Treat yourself, but don’t overdo it. Balance, baby.
Honestly, when it comes to skin care, just do whatever Halle Berry does.
Images: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com; halleberry / Instagram
Once upon a time, getting ready for a wedding (whether or not it was your own) meant endless salon trips and overpriced beauty treatments. As COVID-19 changed literally everything to do with modern celebrations, it makes sense that the global pandemic would royally f*ck up a bride’s beauty plan. While some salons have reopened, that doesn’t mean all brides have the option to go about the traditional pre-wedding glamming ritual. Whether your finances are all out of whack thanks to lost wages or you’re in a position (whether physically or morally) where you don’t want to risk spreading the virus, you’re probably wondering how tf you can still feel like a plucked, pruned, and polished bride the day of.
As someone who hated leaving her home even before the pandemic hit, I’m here to tell you that it’s totally possible to indulge in some hardcore beauty prep before the big day without ever setting foot outside your door. From teeth whitening to manicures, self-tanners to Botox, you can make all of them happen from home (yes, even the Botox). While it might not seem as glamorous as the prep plan you had back when the world wasn’t a dumpster fire, just think: If you film the process as you get ready, that’s content for TikTok.
Myth: You have to be an influencer-level #girlboss to utilize teeth whitening kits. While they are the bread and butter of sellouts on Instagram, a teeth whitening kit is an easy way to up your look without doing things like exercising or leaving your house. Some kits take a few days while others take 30, so time it out to ensure your best results line up with the big day. A kit like Colgate’s version of those IG LED light whiteners is a great option since it only takes 10 days, you only have to use it for 10 minutes a day, and it doesn’t cause sensitivity like a lot of other products/strips do.
Colgate Optic White At-Home Teeth Whitening Kit
If you’d rather go the most classic route, these Crest Whitestrips have over 15K reviews on Amazon (with a majority of them being positive). Just make sure to use toothpaste for sensitivity during treatment to avoid discomfort if you’re not down for the whole “beauty is pain” thing.
Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips
If you feel the need to ditch the razor to eliminate any cuts or bumps on the big day (still, as someone who shaved hunched over in the shower, painfully hungover the morning or her wedding, it’s really nbd), waxing a few days before your wedding will ensure you’re stubble-free for your wedding night. For smaller areas (like the lip, fingers, toes, and even brows), simple wax strips will get the job done. Opt for something created for sensitive skin like these strips which are dermatologically tested, hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, and cheaper than bottomless brunch.
TOPNaturePlus Hair Removal Wax Strips
If you’re looking to do larger areas like your legs, arms, or your (peace be with you) bikini area, depilatory wax (aka what the salon uses) is the answer. To make things simpler, a hard wax kit that doesn’t involve strips streamlines the process. This kit from Amazon is $35 and works like a charm. Just know that it will take much longer than however long you would spend shaving in the shower, so block out a good chunk of your day if you plan to go from “Corona au naturel” to hairless from the ears down.
Bella Verde Waxing Kit – Home Wax Warmer
Having a ~glow~ is something most brides crave to make the white of their gowns pop. While spray tanning might give you flashbacks to the scene in Bride Wars when Anne Hathaway turns orange, not all of the options out there yield secondary color results. St. Tropez is one of those brands everyone seems to universally love, and for good reason. The products are high-end yet affordable and they don’t turn your skin orange. Snatch up the wildly popular bronzing water mousse which will give you more of a medium glowy tan that’s shockingly easy to apply.
St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse
While the bronzing water is ideal for anyone wanting a medium tan, there are other options depending on what level of baked you’re looking for. If you want a dark tan, opt for the bronzing mousse, or if you just want an “I hung out at the pool and responsibly applied sunscreen” sun-kissed look, the gradual tinted body lotion will get the job done. Whichever you choose, make sure to use an applicator mitt to avoid telltale streaks and give you even coverage.
St. Tropez Applicator Mitt
Manis & Pedis
Even the most laid-back bride usually opts for a mani and pedi on her wedding day. With plenty of ring shots, having at least polished nails is a simple way to feel put-together on your big day. If you want something quick and simple, swipe a polish on your nails the night before or morning of the big day after a quick shaping sesh with a file. Sally Hansen Insta-dri is great if you want a rich color and are notorious for smudging your mani. While it doesn’t actually dry instantly, it does dry faster than anything else out there (just keep your coats thin). Just make sure to use a top coat, obvi.
Insta-Dri Sally Hansen Finger Nail Polish
If you want a thicker, more salon-quality mani (and have the time/patience to do something more than a few swipes of traditional polish), consider getting a powder dip kit. While it will def help to watch a few YouTube videos before you accidentally spill blush-colored powder all over your bathroom, the results are just as good as a $50 mani after a bit of practice.
Acrylic Dip Powder Nail Color Kit
oVertone Golden Brown Healthy Color Duo
While home hair coloring is a gamble, there’s a way to get rich hues without going to a salon or drying your hair out with box dyes. oVertone offers a variety of shades from traditional colors like brown, black, and ginger to vibrant ones like pink and blue. The semi-permanent dyes are great if you want to add some warmth or depth without the commitment or damage of a permanent dye. Try out a few options in the months leading up to your big day to figure out what feels right. If you’re looking for just a subtle change, the color conditioners add some richness without a full-blown color change.
Deep Hair Conditioning
Deep conditioning to hydrate your ends and eliminate frizz is Beauty Prep 101. While most people have their tried-and-true deep conditioner selections, now’s the time to up your game because uh, even if there’s a global pandemic, it’s still your wedding, dammit. And by God, you deserve to feel pampered AF. First, grab a deep conditioner or hair mask to soak into your follicles and soften all of your “I can’t f*cking believe I had to postpone my wedding twice” damage.
It’s a 10 Haircare Miracle Hair Mask
From the end-all-be-all line that makes your hair looks like you haven’t been swimming in split ends for months, It’s a 10 Miracle Hair Mask is under $30 yet still more high-end than the old bottle of Suave in the corner of the shower. After rinsing, spray some It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In product on your damp hair and get yourself married with silky, “she didn’t just live through a pandemic, did she?”-worthy locks. Oh, and in a few days when your hair feels brittle and dull after drinking champagne and eating cake for an entire weekend, repeat the process and thank me later.
Whether or not you plan to rock a wedding day tan, having smooth, sleek, hydrated skin will not only photograph better, but it will also give you a glow no matter your skin tone. In the days leading up to your wedding, lather on some hardcore moisturizer to glisten the day-of. CeraVe’s famous Moisturizing Cream is dermatologist-approved, gentle on skin conditions and your wallet, and wins tons of awards year after year.
SOL DE JANEIRO Brazilian Bum Bum Cream
If you want something a little less “everyday” and a little more special, Sol de Janeiro’s Brazilian Bum Bum Cream combines a blend of cupuaçu butter, antioxidant-rich açaí, and coconut oil which wakens dry, dull skin. Oh, and it smells like a tropical vacation, which will 100% up the exotic vibes day-of, even if you’re getting married in your backyard.
Whether you have baby-thin hair that tangles in the slightest breeze, decided to give yourself a DIY cut during quarantine and lost more inches than you care to admit, or you just dream of rocking mermaid locks for your wedding photos, extensions are the key to getting those hair-envy wedding looks. If you’re forgoing a professional stylist and plan to do your own hair, however, selecting extensions that are easy to utilize by yourself is key. If you plan on wearing your hair down, Hidden Crown extensions are by far the simplest solution out there (and great for half-up half-down styles). Instead of clips or tape (which are tricky to perfect on your own, no matter how many YouTube vids your watch), Hidden Crowns are full crowns of hair that are secured with a piece of wire kind of like a headband. This means the chances of you throwing it across the room in frustration are greatly reduced.
Hidden Crown extensions
If you’re looking for something even simpler and plan to wear your hair in either an elegant pony, some sort of bun or updo, or get all boho with some braids, the Insert Name Here ponies are quite literally the simplest hair accessory I’ve ever used. You put your natural hair in a bun or ponytail, and then you just wrap the velcro of the pony extension around your elastic. It takes five minutes and gives enviable results. Add some Baby’s Breath or clips for an additional elegant pop.
No, I am not advising some back-alley at-home Botox injectables. If you’re looking for neck wrinkles and crows feet solutions for your bridal portraits and don’t feel like that’s a valid reason to leave your home and go to the doc for a non-essential visit (RESPECT), you can still have that “I’ve never squinted at my computer screen for 12 hours straight” wrinkle-free look. Firming creams and serums are literally everywhere, so don’t be afraid to test out products to see what works (bc wtf else are you going to do right now?). If you want a famous celeb-endorsed option, The Athena 7 Minute Lift cream is one of those products you’ll probably try once and then buy for the rest of your life. It’s all-natural, plant-based, and smooths out lines on the face, neck, and décolleté. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s cheaper and less invasive than actual injectables, so it could be a solution for your wrinkles even after the world opens back up for good.
The Athena 7 Minute Lift
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how you prep for your wedding. 2020 is a whole new era of nuptials, so when it comes to prepping, do what makes you feel best. Whether that’s an entire home pampering day or just rolling out of bed and saying your “I dos” in your pajamas, as long as it’s with the person you love (and as long as you throw a kick-ass party when Corona is over), you’ll still make plenty of people jealous. And at the end of the day, isn’t that the point of weddings in the first place?
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Images: Elena Taranenko on Unsplash; Giphy; Amazon; Sephora; Ulta; oVertone; Alex Gaboury / YouTube; Hidden Crown Hair; 7 Minute Lift
Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.
Being in quarantine has f*cked up just about every aspect from our lives, from our gyms to our self-care routines, and it’s easy to see why. When you’re not leaving the house or interacting with people (your delivery guy doesn’t really qualify here), it’s easy to let certain aspects of your hygiene routine fall to the wayside. You’re not alone if you’ve been rocking an oily slicked-back messy bun for all your Zoom meetings these last five months. I mean, we have all the dry shampoo options in the world, so why put in the extra effort of washing your hair? Sure, it doesn’t come close to how amazing it feels when your hair is freshly washed, but it gets the job done on those days when you just can’t be bothered to jump in the shower.
Just like with showering, we’ve all undoubtedly asked ourselves how long we can really go without washing our hair. Most of us really aren’t going places, so what’s the point, right? We asked a hair and scalp expert and consulted dermatologists to find out how often we really should be washing our precious locks, even in quarantine.
Dry Shampoo Is Our BFF—But Is It Actually Helping Our Unwashed Hair?
Dry shampoo is great for those mornings when you need extra time in bed before starting your work from home routine, and we’ve all sung its praises before. Again, any product that enables our laziness is a win in our book. Unfortunately, this beauty hack may not be great for your hair or scalp.
According to The Healthy, dry shampoo can clog your hair follicles while absorbing the natural oils that your scalp needs to be healthy. This could result in hair loss and stunted growth, meaning you might want to stop spraying yourself with dry shampoo like you’re a middle school boy with Axe body spray.
Dr. Jeannette Graf, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and anti-aging expert in Great Neck, tells Betches, “It is important to look at the ingredients of dry shampoos to ensure they do not over-dry hair or leave a chalky residue in the scalp.” She adds, “Dry shampoo should only be used 1-2 times a week and up to 3 times if you have oily hair to allow the scalp time to breathe in between applications.” You hear that? One to two times per week, tops!
It’s Time For the Truth. How Often Should We Really Be Washing Our Hair?
how many times a week have you been washing your hair in quarantine? for me it’s 0.06
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) August 18, 2020
We’ll start with the news you don’t want to hear: Anabel Kingsley, president and owner of Philip Kingsley and respected Trichologist, , says that we should be washing our hair daily. “Especially if you are active or have a scalp condition such as an oily or flaky/itchy scalp. Good scalp hygiene is essential to hair growth—after all, your scalp is your hair’s support system,” she states.
But if that’s just not happening for you, don’t freak out. Kingsley does acknowledge that that feat may not be realistic, saying, “People with coarser or curlier hair often find their hair is time consuming to style, so daily shampooing isn’t realistic, plus their hair doesn’t get oily as quickly as fine hair.” She says that it is okay to take a day or two off from shampooing your hair, but she does not recommend leaving it any longer than three days.
Dr. Patricia Wexler of Wexler Dermatology says that you don’t have to wash your hair every day: “that’s a misconception,” she tells Betches, even during the summer time where we may find ourselves the sweatiest. She says that overall, washing your hair can make it dry, “because you’re taking the essential oils out of your hair.”
“In summer, it’s hot out, the sun is getting on your hair, so that’s making your hair dry and brittle,” she explains, and in winter, “you’re going inside, the heat is on,” and those factors can also contribute to dryness. Dr. Graf echoes that winter can cause more dryness in the hair “since the air is generally dryer”, and says that “washing your hair too much during the colder months can diminish the moisture it needs to remain healthy.” She also says, “it’s okay to wash the hair a bit more in the summer, as the warmer months call for extra sweat and oil.”
But Dr. Wexler understands the impulse to shampoo every day. Just like many of us, she says she used to wash her hair every day, then reduced it to every other day, and now she washes 2-3 times a week.
Both doctors state that washing your hair a few times a week is sufficient: “Twice a week is more than enough,” Dr. Wexler says. Dr. Graf recommends washing hair “one to three times a week, depending on your hair texture, type, and how often you exercise and sweat.”
Your Hair Type and Texture May Determine How Long You Can Go Without Washing
At the end of the day, how often you wash your hair depends on your hair type as well as your activity level. So, if you have thicker hair that doesn’t get oily quickly and are not at all active while in quarantine, enjoy those 2-3 days off from washing your hair.
Those who have finer hair may have a different experience and different washing needs.“Each hair follicle has an oil gland attached to it, and thus people with finer hair tend to get oiler, quicker,” Kingsley explains. So going a long time in between washes may not work.
Dr. Graf advises, “When washing your hair, do what works best for your normal hair care routine as hair needs to be cleansed on a regular basis to allow for hair growth.”
For those who have always believed that washing your hair too much causes damage, Kingsley assures us that this statement is technically not true. “A well-formulated shampoo won’t strip your hair or scalp, nor will it make your scalp greasier.”
Dr. Wexler says that it’s more about the ingredients in your shampoo that can cause damage, rather than the act of shampooing itself: “The most important thing is what not to use in your shampoo. You don’t want to use parabens, you don’t want to use sulfates because they’re bad for you.” She recommends using a shampoo that is also free of formaldehyde and that is clean and gentle on the hair, preferably with olive or canola oil as an ingredient (if you do not have thin hair).
What About In Quarantine?
gonna go take one of those triple threat showers u know what i mean (wash my hair & shave my legs & cry)
— dirt prince (@pant_leg) February 25, 2020
Quarantine has brought out a different side in most of us. We’ve collectively fallen behind in doing things that were key parts of our daily routine when ya know, life was normal. Dr. Graf says that many people have cut back on washing their hair, which is completely understandable. “For some it may work and for some it may have the opposite effect.” She explains that everyones scalp coats the hair at different rates, which could lead to someone not washing their hair for an extended amount of time and having improved results, while another person may develop a strong stench—yikes.
So basically, if you want to shampoo every single day, more power to you (and please tell us your secrets for keeping up your motivation). But if you want to rock three-day-old hair, that’s probably just as cool, so long as your hair doesn’t get super oily or smelly. It’s different for every person, so if it’s working for you, keep doing (or not) doing it.
Images: Alliance Image / Shutterstock; betchesluvthis, pant_leg / Twitter
If you’re a makeup lover, or if you simply don’t live under a rock, you know who Bobbi Brown is. Brown transformed the beauty industry by creating cosmetics to highlight a woman’s natural look, instead of trying to hide it. This sounds like a no-brainer for us now, but back in 1990, it was pretty f*cking revolutionary. She started her career by creating 10 simple, natural looking lipsticks that evolved into what is now a beauty empire. After leaving Bobbi Brown Cosmetics in 2016, Brown returned to her passion of focusing on life and wellness as she authored nine books, launched her lifestyle brand Beauty Evolution, her editorial site justBOBBI.com, and a line of wellness and beauty ingestible products titled EVOLUTION_18 (including, of course, a CBD gummy). She also imparts her wisdom on MasterClass, where subscribers can watch her perform makeup tutorials, describe her beauty philosophies, and teach lessons and tips to key makeup fundamentals. So, who better to ask about what beauty mistakes people make than a beauty icon, trailblazer, and entrepreneur?
There’s a reason conventional wisdom tells us to put our best face forward, and the reason Brown’s top beauty mistake is not about lipstick, or eyeliner, but about what people see first: your face. We’ve seen it in just about every Jersey Shore cast photo since the beginning of time: foundation and concealer that don’t match the skin tone. Brown has seen it, too, and cites it as the top beauty mistake she notices: “people who wear the wrong color foundation and concealer” is her number-one no-no. Another serious faux pas? “So many women will either skip concealer, which is really bad, or they will put a concealer on that’s too light and it just looks like a raccoon.” Ouch.
There are a few reasons Brown often sees people sporting the wrong shade concealer or foundation, which, thankfully, means it’s easy to fix. Number one is simply misunderstanding the purpose of these products. Brown explains, “the reason we wear foundation is to even out our skin, and not try to change the color of it.” So don’t get all aspirational during the winter by buying a shade you know is too tan for you—that’s what bronzer is for.
yeah i'm wild. yeah i like to gamble. yeah i like to order new foundation online despite having never tried that particular brand before and therefore having no idea about their shade range and whether or not the color would match me. yeah i'm crazy.
— sophie (@pixievalkyrie) December 4, 2019
Another culprit? Rushing the process and not taking the right care to find the perfect match, including not trying on foundation on your actual face. Brown emphasizes, “the only way to find the right color foundation is actually trying it on the side of your face—not your hand, not your inner arm—and if it disappears it’s the right color.” Which means, yes, actually trying out the foundation before buying it and not just hoping you’ll get it right. “You have to put in a little time and energy into choosing the right foundation,” Brown says, adding, “it’s hard to just buy something off of Instagram because you don’t know what actually works.” Adding that foundation or concealer to your cart is obviously fine if it’s the go-to shade you’ve been wearing for years, but if you’re trying it out for the first time, be warned that going off the color on your computer screen is a risk.
The good news is that while choosing the right foundation can be tricky, it’s not rocket science. First things first, Brown stresses the importance of having a good base, and that means going for an inside-out approach. She says, “Start with good skin. Make sure you’re eating properly and put your moisturizer on before you do anything else.” And here I am with my million serums and toners—who knew that just eating right and moisturizing would give me good skin? In all seriousness, Brown says, “for someone that’s been both a beauty expert, a makeup artist, and a health coach, the healthier your skin is the less makeup you need.”
if anyone is shopping for gifts for me, I wear Fenty foundation shade 185 and dollar size $185 as well
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) December 17, 2019
She also notes the importance of assessing how your foundation looks in the daylight so you can make sure it’s the same exact shade as your skin. And, if you’re using a bronzer, it needs to “tint your skin so it blends to your neck and your chest,” lest you avoid looking like Dorian Tyrell in The Mask, or Paris Hilton in the early 2000s. On top of that, recognize that you might be wearing too much makeup, or simply applying it in the wrong places. In Brown’s opinion, all you may need to do is “Throw on a quick concealer under your eyes, and really just use your foundation to touch areas that are red.” I’m someone who basically paints a mask on using my foundation, but Brown assures me, “you don’t need it all over.”
Overall, the key to wearing the right makeup, Brown emphasizes, is confidence. She says, “whatever your style, make sure you feel good when you look in the mirror.” She adds, “some people look great in a red lip, some people look great in a cat-eye, and other people look best in a nude face. So really, it’s about style and preference and if you’re comfortable with it, then you are confident.” Choose the makeup or style that brings out your natural beauty and make you feel fabulous. Then, you will shine.
Images: pixievalkyrie, betchesluvthis / Twitter
If you’re invested in the beauty world like every other woman aged 12 to IDGAF (which is my current age, according to my birth certificate), then you’ve probably established your skin type. But, if you haven’t yet discovered your type, fear not, because it’s never too late (the same goes for finding a relationship, @ my mom). And if you identified your skin type 10 years ago and have been rocking the same skin care routine since then, it might be good to do a little check-up, because beauty tips are constantly changing. Even the hallowed skin types (dry, oily, combination) are not set in stone. Especially when it comes to dry skin, we think we know everything there is to know about treating it: slather on moisturizer on moisturizer, right? Maybe not. Maybe your approach is wrong, because your assessment of your skin is wrong. Often, people will pile on moisturizer and assume doing so will brighten their dull appearance, when in reality, their skin is not dry at all—it’s dehydrated. And although you should still be using moisturizer no matter your skin type or condition, dehydrated skin requires a different solution than just dry skin.
I truly apologize if you are now hurt, confused, and filled with the urge to throw out every moisturizer, hydrating cream, and other miscellaneous skin-care product in your makeup drawer. Don’t freak out, this is all normal. Like I said, our knowledge of skin care is constantly evolving with new information. Like, it wasn’t too long ago when using oil on your face was at the top of the beauty no-no list. Only in the past few years or so has it been receiving high praise from just about every brand that knows the key to dry skin is sebum (aka oil). But even dry skin—which seems obvious—has its own set of myths, like often being confused with dehydrated skin. Knowing what’s what between the two is super important, because it can help you choose products that will yield the best results. So, what are their differences, really? Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Loren Gorcey Franco weighs in, below.
Myth: Dehydrated Skin & Dry Skin are Synonymous
a good thing about having terrible vision is that when i look in the mirror without my glasses on, i can’t see a single pore on my face. it’s flawless. i am the skincare queen.
— bug girl (@BugGirlOfficial) December 13, 2019
We wouldn’t blame you if you assumed that these two beauty words are one and the same. After all, one of the synonyms of “dry” in the dictionary is literally “parched.” So, what gives? According to Dr. Loren Franco, dry skin refers to a skin type that’s lacking oil, while dehydrated skin refers to a condition wherein someone is lacking water. She explains, “Dry skin is characterized by having overall less oil compared to normal or oily skin. It often feels itchy and flaky. In contrast, dehydrated skin doesn’t have enough water. Dehydrated skin will often have a dull appearance, feel tight, and exaggerate any wrinkles you already have.” She adds, “You can actually have oily skin that is dehydrated.” If you needed another friendly reminder to drink water, go do it now—you know, for beauty.
Fact: Dehydrated Skin Is Caused By External Factors
D O N T
F O R G E T
D R I N K
W A T E R
Y O U
S T U P I D
B I T C H
— reminding you to drink water (@drinkwaterho) November 30, 2019
Since people genetically have dry skin (hello, that’s me!), meaning they have less oil-producing glands and overall less oil in their skin, they can’t change that. Sad! However, you can change a condition like dehydrated skin, which is most commonly caused by weather, environment, and diet. Yes, that means humidity and coffee are not your skin’s friend! Ya hate to hear it.
Myth: Dehydrated Skin & Dry Skin Are Treated Exactly The Same Way
a girl becomes a woman the night she starts sticking to her skincare routine regardless of how drunk she is
— Sweatpants Cher 🔶 (@House_Feminist) December 15, 2019
Now that you know the key difference, it’s time to brush up on what your skin needs to feel like its best self. Dry skin needs facial oils, which means you can totally use an oil-based moisturizer and cleanser to nourish your skin back to health. Treating dehydrated skin, on the other hand, is a little more complex. Franco breaks it down for us: “Besides using a moisturizer, exfoliating once a week can help get rid of extra dead skin and allow your moisturizer to penetrate and work better. Try using a moisturizer or serum with hyaluronic acid, a molecule that you naturally make and is key in keeping your skin well hydrated.” Basically, if you have dehydrated skin, your routine may be a little more complex than if it’s simply dry. Dr. Franco adds, “At night, especially in the winter when the heat is on, our skin tends to dry out. Try using a heavier moisturizing cream at night to counteract this. If you are acne-prone, make sure it is oil-free or non-comedogenic.” On the bright side, if you have dehydrated skin, now you have an excuse to blow an entire paycheck at Sephora on all this stuff.
Fact: Both Dehydrated Skin & Dry Skin Need to Moisturize
when you’re doing skincare but your skin doesn’t care
— william (@williamcortesjr) December 12, 2019
Everyone needs oil and water to seal in moisture. Hence, everyone—including those with dry and dehydrated skin—need to moisturize. “Drinking water keeps you hydrated, but unfortunately most of the water we drink gets taken up by other organs before it reaches the skin. Keeping yourself hydrated is key, however, it isn’t enough to treat dehydrated skin. The best way to add moisture back to your skin is with a good moisturizer,” Franco explains.
Even though there is a difference between the two, ultimately most dermatologists don’t differentiate between dry and dehydrated skin. Instead, they often just recommend a moisturizer, which really combats both problems. Moral of the story? Drink water and moisturize. But, of course, choose your moisturizer based on your skin type.
Images: Juta / Shutterstock.com; buggirlofficial, drinkwaterho, house_feminist, williamcortesjr / Twitter
Eyebrow trends are fickle at best. At one time, your arches were supposed to be plucked and pencil thin, and now you can’t scroll through your discover page without seeing a close-up of a blocky, over-filled brows that Groucho Marx would envy. But when it comes to getting your best eyebrows, it isn’t all about beating them into submission. Try taking a gentler approach toward shaping that will be kinder to yourself and your brows in the long run… and also make them look better. Read below for tips on how to train your eyebrows so they don’t suck.
Find Out What You’re Working With
Keeping up with my eyebrows is an extreme sport I swear
— cupid (@taqawi_05) May 25, 2019
Counterintuitive? Yes. But first get completely hands-off, says New York brow expert Joey Healy. To do that, you’ll want to let your brows go untouched for about four to six weeks. I know it sounds scary, but that’s the amount of time it takes for a full growth cycle. “Even if you’re plucking with the best intentions, you might be reiterating the same shape that you want to change,” Healy explains. (Aka if you don’t like how your brows are looking, it’s probably your fault.) Holding off on plucking is also the only way to see what fullness you can get back if you have patchiness.
You can also try adding a growth serum to your routine, using it twice daily for those six weeks as a kick start. (Afterward, you can switch to once daily.) Los Angeles Brow expert Kristie Streicher notes that the first grow-out period is the hardest for those who have a habit of tweezing just a couple hairs a day (you know who you are), but it’s critical. “Once you start removing all the unwanted hair at once, it starts training the hair to grow where you want it,” she says. Translation: Your brows will get easier to maintain and will naturally hold the shape you want longer. Yeah, it’s annoying to not have instant gratification, but you’ve got to keep your eyes on the prize.
Set Brow Goals
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Despite trends that come and go, there is a perfect shape where your brows should begin, arch, and end, and it’s based on your own face shape. Says Streicher, “This brow creates a frame above the eye that accentuates the cheekbones and opens the entire face,” Unfortunately, these may or may not be the brows you were born with. To find your ideal shape, all you need is straight edge like a pencil. Find where your brows should start by holding the pencil vertically against the bridge of your nose (not the nostril!) up to your brow bone. That’s where your brows should begin. Maybe mark it with eyeliner or something if you’re new to this. Tweezing those wispy front hairs away will make your brows look too far apart, but removing any hairs far past or underneath will help open up the eyes for a peppier look.
To find the point of arch, use the same straight edge diagonally from the bridge of your nose, across your pupil to your brow. It will land about two thirds the length of your brow. A common mistake is making the arch too close to the bridge, which you should avoid at all costs, because as Healy puts it, “Centered arches always make you seem surprised, sometimes even worried.” Yikes. And worse, the rounded shape can exacerbate under-eye bags—so imagine having hungover, puffy face at all times. Finally, to find the correct end point, hold the straight edge against the bridge to the outer corner of the eye. Any hairs that grow past this can create the impression of drooping—get rid of them.
Then, Tweeze Away
For the artistic precision your sweet face deserves, stick to tweezing for hair removal. If you’re scared you’re going to mess it up alone in your bathroom, try a specialist who
will hold your hand is going to take the time to go hair by hair. I’m sorry, but this means you’re going to have to break up with your waxer for a bit. While it may seem more efficient to wax or thread, over time those harsher methods can break down the elasticity of your skin. They can also cause new issues with your eyebrows by thinning the hairs you need or creating an odd geometry for the brows that’s hard to come back from. Instead, go slow with the tweezers. Perch next to a window for natural light and—this is the crazy part—ditch the magnifying mirror. “They make you lose perspective,” says Healy. “You look too closely and brows end up overly plucked.” Taking a step back helps you see the shape of your brows from a normal angle. If you do mess up—just take a pause. Don’t try to balance them out, because you’ll definitely end up f*cking your whole situation up even more. You might need to take a small L and put a pin in the plucking for a little while. Just keep using your serum and a little makeup to tide you over. Repeat after me: Do. Not. Pluck. More!!!
Keep It Up
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Excited to share my latest tutorial – HOW TO: Fill In Sparse Brows // Whether you have little-to-no hair, misshaped, or no shape at all… you can achieve a natural looking brow by strategically building your products. The most important key is to work with what you have; making it look believable and the most natural. Follow along and achieve this look at home! Link in bio. #browtutorial #featheredbrowsbyks #fillinginyourbrows #browtips #sparsebrows #naturalbrows
Consider your brows the same why you think about your highlights or clear skin—it’s not a one-and-done deal, and maintenance is required. After shaping, stay on a schedule of waiting to tweeze every four to six weeks based on how fast your brows grow. You’ll notice over time that the stragglers will start to fall in line and stop growing where you keep getting rid of them, helping you keep in mind your preferred shape with less effort (win!). Restraint is your friend when it comes to maintenance. Healy suggests if you’re worried about overdoing it at home, set a timer for five minutes and stop tweezing when the buzzer sounds—that way you can’t go too far into tadpole territory. If sparseness persists, the quickest fix is a little brow powder. Putting color on the skin between the hairs gives the illusion of fuller brows without looking unnatural. For thicker brows that still need definition and lift, grab a tinted gel to get the fluffy look that’s currently trending. The goof-proof way to apply product is to go from the tail towards the front of the brow—overly drawn and heavy in the tail makes you look out-of-date. If you’re uncertain about your color, cheat towards using a shade that’s a touch lighter and ashier than you think. Once you get a routine down, it shouldn’t take more than a minute to get awesome brows. After that, you can worry about everything else.
Build Your Brow Kit:
- Joey Healy Brow Renovation Serum, $125
- Grande Cosmetics GrandeLash – MD Lash Enhancing Serum, $65
- Hourglass Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel, $28
- Glossier Boy Brow, $16
- Joey Healy Luxe Brow Powder in Corduroy, $28
- Benefit Cosmetics Fool Proof Brow Powder, $24
- Anastasia Clear Brow Gel, $22
Images: Felipe Bustillo / Unsplash; kristiestreicher, joeyhealybrows / Instagram; @taqawi_05/Twitter
It’s Monday and I’ve spent the past 48 hours finding new and fun ways to trigger myself in the future. First, by the entire Halloween holiday and then by ingesting some sort of vodka party punch that went down like gasoline and was definitely crafted somewhere in the pits of hell. To to top it off, I’m feeling personally victimized by my local bodega owner who said he “ran out of avocados” yesterday and it’s like, well then, how the fuck am I supposed to revive myself from creature status if I don’t even have avocados to add to my bacon, egg and cheese? DO YOU KNOW WHAT I’VE BEEN THROUGH, HECTOR? Do you?! *takes deep, calming breaths* But what’s worse than actively fucking up your life and blaming it on innocent bystanders (sorry, Hector)? Finding out all your terrible life choices are totally destroying your skin and face, that’s what. I’ve done a lot of
Google searches scientific research and learned that there are a ton of secret ways in which your skin is secretly being ruined. And because I’m a life ruiner caring individual who likes to help others and values her journalistic integrity, I’ve decided to list those for you right now. So here are four ways that you’re secretly fucking up your skin every damn day. Brace yourselves.
1. Using Dirty Makeup Brushes
This I saw coming, because I haven’t changed my makeup brushes in literal years. Seriously. I think the last time I washed one of those was when Lamar and Khloé were still married. Call it a fun quirk of mine or just that I love to play Russian roulette with my skin, either way I would rather ask my ex if he’s happy with his new girlfriend than actually practice self-care. Lol I’m so random sometimes. And apparently leaving your makeup brushes dirty AF can actually do a lot of fucking damage to your skin, like clog your pores or cause bacterial infections. Huh. Who would have thought. Every three or so weeks, make sure to lather your brushes with a shampoo like Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo, rinse that shit, and then let air dry overnight. It’ll keep your brushes clean and your face even cleaner. I know it’s annoying AF to do, but it’s either take care of your makeup brushes or break out right before a Bumble date. In other words, it’s a real Sophie’s Choice.
2. Using Your Cell Phone
Honestly, this does not surprise me. I mean, my cell phone is actually an extension of my soul, in which case it’s gone through years of life choices that go something like: alcohol, pizza, sleep in your makeup, repeat. So, yeah, that shit’s dirty AF. It’s no wonder they say that your phone is actually dirtier than a bathroom floor. That makes a lot of sense, because that’s usually where I end up by the end of the night. Huh. Anyway, your phone has all sorts of bacteria on it that can make you break out if you use it too much to drunk dial your ex. Or something. Even if you’re phone isn’t dirty, just leaning your face on it causes friction, occlusion, and heat, all of which will give you shitty skin and cause breakouts. I’d advise you to get tf off your phone and actually live your life, but I know that some of you would rather walk into oncoming traffic, so I’ll just settle for telling you to embrace your bad skin. In the wise words of Kevin G, don’t let the haters stop you from doing thang, even if your “thang” is ruining your skin one drunk dial at a time. Or just like, take a Clorox wipe to that shit every so often.
3. Literally Just Being Out In The Air
And, no, that’s not a fucking joke. This is the world we live in, people, where things like AIR are even out to get us. Honestly, I’m feeling so attacked rn. And if you currently live in a big city, then you’re extra fucked, because the air around there is filled with gross shit called “nanoparticles” that are made from remnants of soot and smoke. The nanoparticles are also 20 times smaller than your pores so they can easily invade your skin and cause inflammation and dehydration. Grool. Aside from literally never leaving your house (again, so down for that), the best thing to do here is work on your cleansing game. Cleansing the fuck out of your skin is the only way to successfully combat those nasty nanoparticles. Try doubling up on cleansing each night by using two different formulas, one that is oil-based, like Simple Hydrating Cleansing Oil, and another that’s water-based, like CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser.
4. Drinking Alcohol
Tbh it would be easier to just give up fresh air. The fact that I’m writing this severely hungover but also feeling a strong need to chug hard alcohol with each new Google search should tell you something about me and my lifestyle. I mean, I always felt like alcohol was aging me emotionally—there are only so many ways you can recover from making out with someone who wears a smaller size in skinny jeans than you do—but now that I know it’s physically aging me, I may have to reconsider my entire way of life.
As anyone who has ever woken up drunk in the middle of the night thirstier than SpongeBob on land probably knows, alcohol makes it virtually impossible for you to stay hydrated. That’s because alcohol fucks with the production of vasopressin, aka the hormone that helps you re-absorb water and keeps your skin from looking dehydrated AF. Dehydrated skin looks like shit and can cause premature wrinkles, because no one wants us to have nice things. Aside from dehydrating your face, alcohol also acts as a vasodilator, meaning it opens up the blood vessels—which is why you look flushed in your Snap story before you add in a decent filter. If your vessels over-dilate, they can burst, leading to permanent spider veins on your face. Permanent. Spider. Veins. Fucking kill me now. The dilation is also what leads to a puffy complexion. Great. My future is looking v. bright. *Looks for gun emoji* And since I would never, ever, give out advice that would encourage a healthy lifestyle in any way, shape, or form, I’m not suggesting you stop drinking. I’m no monster. No, choose vodka over dark liquor and red wine over everything else. It’s also suggested that you drink moderately all the time, as it’s easier for your liver to metabolize small amounts of alcohol. Brb. Now I have to Google what “moderate drinking” looks like.
So now that we know all the secret ways we’re being personally victimized by the world around us, I’m sure we’ll all start taking better care of our skin and lives, right?? Lol, yeah, that’s what I thought. Godspeed to ya, betches.
Currently, I have four different methods of hair removal in play—threading, epilation, shaving, and waxing (I’ll let you guess which one goes where, if you’re into that). I’m something of a hair removal expert. I introduced most of my friends to their first waxers, had a socially scarring moment when I was caught dry-shaving in my freshman year dorm room, and no longer even flinch during Brazilians. While all of this could probably be traced back to the high school ex who would literally check my legs for hair the patriarchy, the point is that by now, I am a motherfucking expert in hair removal. And while my hair removal routine clearly suggests that I’m a fucking psycho I have a little too much time on my hands, we’re not here to talk about me. Let’s discuss what your hair removal choices say about you.
Monthly Wax: Booked In Advance
Okay, you’re either hairy as hell or you have your shit together like Samantha in Sex and the City. If you have the patience and fortitude to grow out all your hair to a wax-able length, get it all waxed at the same time, and know your hair follicles well enough to know when you’ll next need an appointment, you are everything my 13-year-old self thought I once would be an inspiration. You’re the kind of type-A bitch who goes to the gym at 5am and packs a lunch every day, and I respect it. I would never fucking hang out with you, but I respect it. TBH those girls are typically actually a little fuzzy, because they’ve decided things like “being healthy” and “saving money” are somehow more important. Whatever.
Shaving 3-5 Times A Week
This level of frequency means you definitely care about not having visible hair, but not quite enough to invest more time and money in structuring it. The shitty thing about shaving this often is that every few weeks, your hair will reach a point where it’s too short to shave but just long enough that you can feel it, and you have to put the razor down and ride out the stubble purgatory. If you’ve tried other options and never moved past shaving by choice, these few days are probably low-key annoying, but a fact of life you’ve accepted. If you’ve never moved past shaving because women hate you you just “prefer guy friends” and don’t have anyone to teach you these things, these few days are probably a terror-ridden razor-burned nightmare in which you take your failure to be hairless extremely personally and wear jeans three times a week in mid-July. (Definitely not speaking from experience.)
Shaving 1-2 Times A Year
Ugh. I don’t know why, but I think the type of person who only shaves on special occasions, like a beach trip or a wedding where her neutered boyfriend can maybe get laid for the first time this year, is just the worst. If you don’t care about having body hair, then fine. Lean the fuck into it. Post artsy photos of the sunlight streaming through your #fullbush. Get a sponsorship from Burt’s Bees. Live your best life. But if you secretly really, really like how it feels those two times a year that you shave, just shut the fuck up and SHAVE—you’re not going to turn into Kellyanne Conway if you do. Similarly, if you hate the two times a year that you shave, then just stop—no one has the illusion that you’re hairless anyway. This halfway nonsense is just admitting to the world that you’re too insecure and/or lazy to actually make the body hair choices you want year-round.
Look, we all had a desperate moment in high school when the waxing bills added up, or we got razor burn somewhere you really don’t want it. We all thought there had to be a better way, and maybe those microwaveable Sally Hansen jars or tubes of cream that smell like ass were it! Our ticket to freedom! But if you seriously continued with any of these techniques after a first try, you’re probably more than a little broke fuzzy, consistently have weird patches of hair, and are always the one who jumps into the group chat four hours too late to contribute to the conversation. You’re not great with time management, and you pick up a pack of at-home wax strips when you have a party in two hours and realize you haven’t touched your leg hair in six weeks. You tell yourself you can totally get it done in time, then end up on your bathroom floor until midnight, covered in stray bits of wax and that weird little bottle of “removal oil.” Yikes.
This is obviously the gold standard, and it means you have more money than me. If you’re even close to the public eye, you better have this, or go ahead and hibernate for your six months of carefully spaced-out treatments so you can debut your Barbie bikini line in all its glory. If you’re a grown-ass woman with a busy (well-paid) job who cares the amount about hair removal that I do now, then I sincerely hope you have laser, because no one past the age of 30 should be tasked with balancing work, life, and waxing when you have the option not to. Honestly, I’m just going to go ahead and call this entire post a plug for laser hair removal so I can try and demand a brand ambassador discount. Everyone go get laser, and you’ll never have to click on articles like this again.