This Summer’s Hottest Thirst Trap Is The Bottom Half Of Your Face

Don’t let the constant storms fool you, #shotgirlsummer is here. That means it’s time to start posting hot pics to make your ex jealous! But before you go crouching in a bikini with your phone’s self-timer, trying to emulate a baby deer, just know that you’re going to have to up your game if you really want that attention engagement. Just because we’re returning to precedented times doesn’t mean you should drag out the same tired poses. Unemployment rates, small businesses, and house parties weren’t the only thing affected by the pandemic—covid has also ushered in a new era of thirst traps. We analyzed the top performing Instagram posts, influencer behavior, and photography trends to bring you the hottest poses for summer 2021, because you’re gonna have to do better than show ass on the ‘gram.

The Lower Half Of Your Face

This summer, it’s all about exposed lips. And I don’t mean from those high-cut bikini bottoms all the influencers are wearing. I mean, literally, the ones on your face. You know, the ones you used to purse when it seemed like the bartender was purposely taking everyone’s order but yours? Yeah, those. Having perfectly chiseled abs is cool and all, but this summer it’s really about flexing the bottom half of your face. That means it’s time to even out that mask tan—or at the very least, apply some self-tanner. And probably book a wax. And a trip to the dentist. Have you flossed at all? Don’t forget to use mouthwash.

Inside With A Group

Gone are the days of planning a tropical beach vacation with your closest friends solely for the ‘gram. Anyone can hang out relatively safely outside. That’s no longer a flex. Sure, having enough money to fly to Miami or wherever is cool and all, but a small gathering fully indoors, with little to no ventilation? Now that’s going to get the FOMO senses tingling. Some suggested locales: your local dive bar (the one that got in trouble with the Health Department last March); a friend’s illegal, windowless basement apartment; an abandoned bomb shelter that is in no way up to code. The vibe you’re going for here is “if Gov. Cuomo saw a picture of this go viral on Twitter, he’d come down here personally to shut it down.”

Dog-Free

Having a dog used to be your one-stop shop to Engagement Town (I mean the Instagram kind, obviously). But now? Show me a person who didn’t break and adopt a dog within the past year, and I’ll show you a person who can stay out as late as they want and doesn’t have separation anxiety. As any true crime fan or cheater knows, it’s incredibly difficult to prove the absence of something, so showing off your lack of dog is a bit of a challenge. I mean, posing with an empty dog bowl or unattached leash would look like you had a dog, but it died. Our best advice: take one from the playbook of guys on dating apps with babies. Throw yourself in a pile of dogs, and be sure to clarify in the caption that these are IN NO WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM your pets.

Used Workout Equipment

Nothing says “I’m simply better than you” like some home workout equipment that has clearly seen better days. Everyone participated in the meme-stock-like surge in demand for dumbbells and Pelotons, but once you waited 5 months for those 10 lb. weights to ship from Amazon, did you ever actually use them? Okay, unfair question. Did you even open the box? Posing with shiny, dent-free equipment is the quickest way to expose the fact that you’re no better than everyone else who went to one Zoom workout, turned their camera off, and then got a snack. You are no better than everyone else, of course, but nobody’s supposed to know that! Much like your intentions of getting abs, it’s way too late to make your equipment look authentically used if you start now. But luckily, much like ripped jeans, you can purchase used workout equipment for a reasonable markup on your local Facebook marketplace. You might even get in some genuine cardio from running away from attempted scammers.

There are more Instagram users than ever, meaning more creators are fighting over fewer slices of the same engagement pie. As the times evolve, so too do the common methods of showcasing your superiority. And if all else fails, just pose on a private jet. That’s one thing that will never fail to make you look like an asshole superior to everyone.

Image: wearefredi / Unsplash

7 Alternatives To Hot Girl Summer That Don’t Require Being Hot

The weather is getting warmer, that sweet, sweet immunity is coursing through our veins, and there’s one thing on everyone’s mind: hot girl summer! We’re wearing less and going out more, hitting on strangers, and just generally gracing the world with our attractiveness. But that right there is the problem. While the beautiful people of the internet were gleefully writing “if it stops raining, hot girl summer can begin” tweets over Memorial Day Weekend, has anyone considered the inherent erasure of Hot Girl Summer? What about the people who performed ill-advised at-home dye jobs this winter? Or the ones who never got their maskne under control? Those of us who haven’t had an eyebrow appointment in at least a quarter, whose eyelash extensions are hanging by a thread? Simply: those of us who feel uglier post-quarantine? Where’s our place in the reopening celebrations? Well, look no further. Even if, after this pandemic, you’re still only a 5 on a good day, there are thankfully some non-hot alternatives to hot girl summer. See which one speaks to you.

Shot Girl Summer

You’d think this would simply be hot girl summer, but for the vaccinated, but you’d be wrong. If you want to have a shot girl summer, you must literally become a shot girl. Walk up to your local sleazy bar, no-name vodka in hand, and pour said vodka into unsuspecting patrons’ mouths. (Submitting your resume in advance and becoming gainfully employed by said bar is an extra, but not necessary, step.)

Mean Girl Summer

It goes without saying that Wednesdays are for pink, jeans or sweatpants can only be worn on a Friday, and you can only wear your hair up once a week. (So I guess you chose today.) Perfect for those who gained weight in a short period of time; that means you’re ahead of the game! The next steps are to lose all your friends and then throw yourself into oncoming traffic. What’s that, you’ve already done the former as a result of not being able to see the friends who don’t live within walking distance in over a year, and you’ve contemplated the latter? Great, get some fake flowers for your back brace and stock up on a lacrosse stick, you grotsky little beyotch!

Guy’s Girl Summer

So you “hate drama” and “just get along with guys better”? Sounds like you’ve been having a guy’s girl summer for quite some time. If you enjoy drinking beer, watching sports, and making everyone uncomfortable with your overly vulgar jokes and insidiously sexist descriptions of other women, this could be the path for you. Say goodbye to Sunday brunches because you’ll be glued to a TV screen instead. Not like that bothers you, since you “never got” the appeal of brunch. Sure, mimosas do have a lot of sugar, but have you considered that beer is just fermented bread? You have a little buffalo sauce on your chin, BTW.

Gone Girl Summer

 

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This option may appeal to Type-A planners and enthusiastic journalers, because it requires lots of advance planning. Or at the very least, you could put that poorly done at-home dye job to good use by incorporating it into your new identity. Fun! Make sure all your assets have been liquidated and you have your fake ID from college. Then bust out your list of all the men in your life who’ve wronged you and vanish, framing one good-for-nothing man for your disappearance and another for your attempted murder and eventual return. Please note, Gone Girl Summer is not meant for Instagram documenters, since posting on social media is not allowed while you’re pretending to be dead. The first place the cops will look is your Instagram stories.

Cheetah Girl Summer

Given the amount of midi-length leopard print skirts proliferating the streets of New York City, we could all be having a Cheetah Girl Summer. Add a score of original pop girl power anthems, three of your closest friends, and 86 any sense of shame around singing and dancing in public, and your summer is going to be a movie. Specifically, a Disney Channel Original Movie.

Working Girl Summer

Normally, “work” and “summer” are basically oxymorons, but we make one exception for exacting revenge on your conniving boss after she steals your idea without giving you proper credit. Go ahead, impersonate her for your own gain—so long as you don’t need her for a reference later on.

Kiss The Girls Summer

No queerbaiting allowed—in fact, sort of the opposite. Your main rivals are a creepy masked man who goes by Casanova and another sadistic POS by the name of the Gentleman Caller. I know, I know, those are also the codenames you and your friends have given for your two most recent Hinge dates. The important things to remember if you do decide to have this type of summer are to always be on the lookout and trust no one, especially men. Some unexpected twists include jumping off a cliff and arson. At least it’s more exciting than running into people you hate at Gurney’s. Hope you have good health insurance!

Images: Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images; Giphy (2); saralememe / Instagram

We Should Totally Meet Up This Summer! Unless Something Better Comes Up At the Last Minute, Of Course

Hey, girlie! Are you vaccinated yet? With the world opening back up, we obviously need to meetup and discuss how we’re going to spend our hot girl summer!! I’m thinking mules, margs, and mojitos. Maybe men—tbd.

What’s your availability like? Me, I just have so many moving parts to my life, it’s tough to pin down a date in advance, y’know? I think sharing my weekend schedule will just be easier for everyone:

Friday

Is Friday even really a weekday? I don’t think so, but—work, ugh—I’m not available until at least cocktail hour. But what even is “cocktail hour”? I can guarantee my conception of it isn’t the same as yours and I’ll use that to my advantage to cancel on you!

5 p.m. – I’ll finally respond to your text about meeting up for cocktail hour at Phil’s Dive, close to your apartment—silly, I’m not journeying across town! You come here, to my neighborhood bar that’s three times as expensive. Mojitos!! Let’s say, 6-ish?

6:37 p.m. – I’ll text you to say I can’t make it because I have an unexpected errand. But really, it climbed to 89° (hot girl summer!!), Marissa invited me to her jacuzzi, and her really hot, emotionally unavailable neighbor could possibly be there. Maybe. I’d invite you, but Marissa thinks you’re kind of boring, hates your taste in wines, and doesn’t actually know we’re still friends. :/ Plus, you’re hotter than me and I don’t want competition. 

How about lunch, say, 1-ish on Saturday?

11:14 p.m. – You’ll receive a barrage of half-intelligible text messages such as “omyjjgg”, “u should be here”, “i miss u”, and “fuuuuxxxx”. You will have no idea what, exactly, the reason is for these texts, but you’ll have the odd feeling these messages were meant for my ex. And you will be 100% correct because I will have struck out with Neighbor Guy and needed an ego boost, stat.

Saturday

I feel like Saturday morning just doesn’t exist and breakfast, brunch, and lunch run until 10 p.m. It doesn’t matter if businesses agree with me—it’s just how it is.

2:31 p.m. – I’ll shoot you a text message explaining I just woke up and will have to push our lunch to 4 or 5. When even is the “lunch hour,” anyway? What if you work nights? Then your lunch hour would be, like, 7. I will not acknowledge we had lunch plans for 1 p.m., let alone that I missed them. 1-ish means any time after 1, after all.

3:52 p.m. – Marissa’s hot neighbor will text me asking if I’m free that night. I’ll have no memory of giving him my number, so only “Hot Neighbor” will pop up. I’ll text Marissa to confirm it’s him. Plot-twist: it is!!

This will lead me to make plans with Marissa for a makeover montage. In the end, I will look highly f*ckable but won’t text you any of this. Not even a cute dress pic. But if I had texted a pic, I’d tell you I looked like sh*t even though I’d know I really, really did not. <3

5:22 p.m. – Hot Neighbor Guy and I will playfully banter about where to grab dinner—it’s dinnertime somewhere, right?! I’ll want burritos, but he’ll say nowhere around here has a decent burrito. Traditionalists, ugh!!

7:06 p.m. – “Sorry, today’s been crazy. Connect at the end of the weekend?” will light up your iPhone screen.

10:15 p.m. – After a romantic bar crawl—we’re both fully vaccinated! Safety first!—I’ll go back to Hot Neighbor-Guy’s place. He’ll make us margs!! So sweet!!

12:47 a.m. – You will receive a solitary “fuuuuxxxx”.

Sunday

n/a, am sleeping at Hot Neighbor-Guy’s until 4 p.m. and then brunching. Recovery day!! And then Sunday scaries. 🙁

Monday

9:17 a.m. – You texted me on Sunday, but that’s still the weekend so I’m just getting back to you now—you know I always get back to you on the first business day, lol! I guess we just have different definitions of when the weekend ends…..soOoOoOo….maybe next weekend we can get together? If you think that means the weekend that starts in 5 days, I definitely meant the one in 5 days and one week, of course. Love ya, girlie!!

Image: MATTIA /Stocksy.com

Do You Actually Want To Make Out With Them, Or Are They Just A Person You Haven’t Seen Before?

I get it. The weather is warming up, the vaccine is starting to course (at least halfway) through many young people’s veins, and it feels like maybe, just maybe, we might get able to get back on track and start making the necessary moves to advance our life plans. I’m talking, of course, about meeting people—specifically, prospective romantic partners. What, you thought my life plan had to do with career advancements or personal accomplishments such as buying a house? Ha. Well, I mean, the pandemic probably fucked that up too, but my mom’s not hassling me about when I’m going to finally buy property. Anyway, this isn’t (really) about me. With the beautiful weather and vaccine rollout lulling us into a sense of something approaching normalcy, you are probably feeling some urges. Urges to, in the immortal words of Coach Carr, take off your clothes and touch each other. If you’re not feeling an indecent exposure charge, then maybe you just want to make out with a hot person in public. It’s completely natural, what with the whole being-cooped-up-with-no-company-but-your-thoughts-for-a-year thing! But before you go exchanging mRNA with the first person you set your eyes on, ask yourself: do you actually want to make out with them, or are they just a person you haven’t set eyes on in 13 months?

Below, a few factors to consider before getting your usually-masked area up close and personal with their usually-masked area.

Do You Know Their Name?

Not like it’s mattered before, but I suppose for contact tracing purposes it might be helpful to keep some identifying information on hand. A phone number, at least? Fine, an email address. A Snapchat handle? Make sure your carrier pigeon knows where to deliver your most recent test results, at least.

Close Your Eyes. Can You Recall Their Face?

You can’t use the darkness of the club or your inebriation as an excuse, so be honest with yourself. If your life were somehow dependent on it, could you actually recall this person’s face other than “uhh… they have eyes and… a nose”? Didn’t really think so. He’s probably not Mr. Right, or even Mr. Right Now, since he’s not even making an impact in your short-term memory.

Have You Exchanged Any Words With Them?

Any at all? Note that “hi” is only one word, and I specifically asked about words, plural. Maybe back in the club, one carefully placed eye-f*ck would be all you need for you and your mystery person to gravitate towards each other as if propelled by an invisible magnet and start sucking face. But in times where we don’t even see our own friends without making them verbally fill out a detailed health questionnaire, prolonged eye contact is no longer enough to initiate a public makeout… that is, unless you have them fill out a physical detailed health questionnaire. Is that HIPAA compliant?

Are You Confident They Haven’t Been To A Super Spreader Event In The Past 2 Weeks?

Do they seem like the type of person who has friends? If so, that could be a risk—one of those friends could have gotten married, or had a birthday, or just wanted to watch football on Sunday. What are the odds they’ve been to Florida within the past 14 days? Are they drinking a Red Bull vodka, doing a line, or wearing Bermuda shorts? If so, best to not take those odds. Make the sign of the cross with your fingers and stay far away (six feet).

Seriously, Do You Know Anything About This Person?

Do you have an eye color? Blood type? Just kidding, I don’t even know my own blood type (should I?). What color shirt are they wearing? Are they wearing a shirt? Can you identify a single element that attracted you to this person, or did your brain just immediately fire off, “PERSON!” when it detected a human life form in the vicinity?

Okay, Does Their Body Temperature Seem Within A Normal Range?

Are their cheeks flushed? Do they appear to be sweating or having the chills? No? Then you’re clear to approach them cautiously. Does their forehead feel warm to the touch? If you’ve already tried testing it with the back of your hand, try doing what your mom would do when you were a kid and putting your cheek to their forehead. Just my mom, then? Well, now that you’ve thoroughly made it weird, a makeout shouldn’t be too out of the question.

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, I’m pleased to inform you that you meet the minimum requirements for a summer 2021-approved spit-swapping. Congratulations! You might want to take a little sniff inside your mask to make sure you don’t need to pop a mint or anything. Actually, scratch that—just get a mint either way. As far as how to kiss, a skill that’s no doubt been long forgotten, I can’t help you there. Best of luck, and try not to do anything weird.

Image: Lisanto 李奕良Unsplash

Megan Thee Stallion Reveals She Was Shot Over The Weekend

Over the weekend, the normal celebrity news cycle of breakups and new couples was interrupted by a very serious-sounding incident. According to reports, there was some kind of situation at a party in LA, and before long, the police got involved. A video from the scene showed singer Tory Lanez and Megan Thee Stallion being ordered to get out of their SUV, and it was reported at the time that both were arrested. Megan was also said to be bleeding, and the whole thing seemed confusing and worrisome. While there are still a lot of unanswered questions, things have been cleared up a little, so here’s what basically went down.

Early Sunday morning, police responded to reports of gunshots outside a party in the Hollywood Hills. When they arrived, they searched the SUV that Tory Lanez and Megan were in, and found a handgun. Lanez was arrested and charged with possession of a concealed weapon, and at the time, it was reported that Megan was “put in handcuffs” as well. Ultimately, according to TMZ’s initial report, only Tory Lanez was actually arrested, and Megan was eventually “taken to the hospital for a cut on her foot.”

From the earliest reports, the situation seemed chaotic. Something was definitely wrong, and it wasn’t just the questionable pandemic activity of “hopping between pool parties.” Though the reports made it clear that Megan was at the scene, we had no idea how much she was involved, or really what happened at all.

On Wednesday, Megan Thee Stallion spoke out about her involvement in the incident, taking to Instagram to clear up “inaccurate” things that have been reported. In a Notes app screenshot, she stated that she “suffered gunshot wounds, as a result of a crime that was committed against me and done with the intention to physically harm me.”

 

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I was never arrested. This whole experience was an eye opener and a blessing in disguise. I hate that it took this experience for me to learn how to protect my energy.

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In her post, she clarified the reports that she was handcuffed outside the party, saying that she was “never arrested,” and that police officers drove her to the hospital, where she “underwent surgery to remove the bullets.” Thankfully, she is “expected to make a full recovery,” and though she is focused on her recovery and getting “back to making music as soon as possible”, she felt that it was important “to clarify the details about this traumatic night.”

While the post certainly clears up the earlier reports that Megan was arrested, and is the first time she’s revealed that she suffered gunshot wounds, overall we’re still left with more questions than answers here. She doesn’t mention any names, and besides saying that someone intended to physically harm her, she doesn’t elaborate on the circumstances of the shooting. As for the involvement of Tory Lanez in this whole situation, that remains unclear as well. According to TMZ“police have NOT connected Tory to the shots that were fired,” and he was only arrested for possessing a handgun, not using one.

In the caption of the post, Megan called the experience “an eye opener and a blessing in disguise.” She also said that she hates “that it took this experience for me to learn how to protect my energy.” Again, we don’t know all the details of what went down, but it sounds like Meg has some regrets about how she got in the situation. Thankfully, it looks like she’s going to be okay, and honestly, hot girl summer was already postponed until 2021 anyway.

Images: lev radin / Shutterstock.com; theestallion / Instagram

12 Common Sunscreen Myths Debunked

You’ve heard it from your mother, your dermatologist, your first-grade teacher, and even Baz Luhrmann: Wear sunscreen. With the wealth of knowledge we now have on sunscreen’s ability to reduce our risk of skin cancer and to protect against sun damage like wrinkles, dark spots, and sagginess, it seems wild to think that some still skip this crucial step in their daily skin care routines. But in reality, the increasingly oversaturated sunscreen market and the onslaught of information, studies, and data surrounding it can often have a detrimental effect on consumers, leaving them unsure of what to believe and whom to trust. Over the years, certain myths about sunscreen have permeated our culture, and even the wisest of skin experts have fallen victim to them. With a scorching summer already upon us, it’s more important than ever to not only debunk these misconceptions but also to understand why they’re inaccurate.

Myth #1: Sunscreen Is Not Necessary Indoors, On Cloudy Days, Or Inside A Car

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Just say no to “hey stranger” texts. Plus, 4 other secretly shitty texts you should ignore at link in bio. @uuppod

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“False, false, false!” says Dr. Shereene Idriss, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “Yes, clouds do reduce some of the harmful UV rays, but they don’t block them all, particularly in areas where the ozone layer is dramatically reduced.” It’s also important to realize that UV light is not alone in its ability to cause harm. Outdoors, UV light, in the forms of UVA and UVB, can impact skin aging and increase the risk of skin cancer. Some of that light can travel indoors through windows, but we’re also exposed to other types of light indoors, including visible light and blue light, which can also impact the skin. For that reason, it’s crucial that sunscreen be worn daily, and it should not be skipped just because you’re inside.

Myth #2: One Application Of Sunscreen Will Last All Day

“If you have discovered the sunscreen that lasts up to 24 hours, please let us all in on that secret!” Dr. Idriss jokes. In fact, not only will one application of sunscreen not last all day, but it will last just a couple of hours. “Most sunscreens are tested for a specific amount of time, and that’s on average two hours,” explains Dr. Caroline Robinson, a Chicago-based board-certified dermatologist and founder of TONE Dermatology. “After two hours, the SPF protection goes down significantly, so you do need to reapply to maintain that initial level of protection.” If you are in the sun, reapplication every two hours is imperative, but if you’re mostly indoors, you can be slightly more lenient in reapplying so long as you apply before stepping outside again. “I tell people to bring a sunscreen brush, like ISDIN’s, with them wherever they go and quickly apply that to their arms and face and any exposed skin before going back outside,” Dr. Robinson notes.

Myth #3: The Higher The SPF, The Better The Protection

While this is not totally true, there is some logic behind the belief. “The SPF number does not reflect the duration of efficacy of the sunscreen; it indicates how long it would take for your skin to redden when using the product,” Dr. Idriss says. “So, for example, if you are using an SPF of 30, it would take 30 times longer for you to burn while using the sunscreen versus if you didn’t use it all.” There is also proof that the higher the SPF, the more protected you will be—but only to a certain point. “SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB, whereas SPF 30 blocks 97%, and SPF 50 blocks 98%,” the New York dermatologist explains. “This may seem like a negligible gain in protection, but if you are prone to sunburns or skin cancers, that little gain can make a world of a difference.”

Once you go above SPF 50, though, the difference in protection is quite small. Dr. Robinson says a nickel-sized amount of sunscreen is required to cover the whole face and about a shot-glass full is necessary to cover the whole body. “But if you know that you’re not going to follow those recommended amounts—and most don’t—then you can actually benefit from a higher SPF,” she advises. “In doing so, you can get a similar protection to an SPF 30, which is what those measurements are based on, but you can get it with less than the nickel- and shot-glass-sized amounts.” Essentially, it will be more thinly spread than the recommended amounts would, but because it’s a higher SPF, it will be roughly as powerful.

Myth #4: People With Darker Skin Tones Don’t Need To Wear Sunscreen

“This is a misconception I’ve been fighting for a very long time,” says Dr. Robinson. “While people with darker skin tones are indeed less likely to burn, they aren’t immune from sun damage, and oftentimes, it will develop in the form of hyperpigmentation—potentially even more dramatically than sun damage would manifest on lighter skin tones.” Additionally, certain conditions, including post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark spots that result from acne or irritation to the skin) and melasma, can be worsened by sun exposure, especially in people of color. So, even if your sun damage doesn’t come in the form of the traditional sunburn or freckles, it’s still important to wear sunscreen in order to protect your skin from other damage.

Myth #5: If You’re Not Prone To Burning, You Don’t Need To Wear Sunscreen

Much like the belief that those with darker skin tones don’t need sunscreen, there’s a misconception that if you don’t burn, you similarly don’t need SPF. “There’s this idea that just because you tan, you’re fine, but tanning can actually be a system of sun damage,” Dr. Robinson explains. “You can have enough exposure to the point where you no longer burn; your skin just goes straight to tan, and that’s not a good thing.” Immediate tanning can be an indication that your skin has skipped the warning response of burning entirely, and that’s actually a sign that your skin is damaged.

Myth #6: If You Wear Sunscreen, You Won’t Get A Tan

Many refrain from wearing sunscreen because they claim it will keep them from achieving that oh-so-coveted sun-kissed glow. But, as Dr. Idriss says, this is once again false. “Sunscreen makes your skin slower to react to UV rays,” she notes, “but it doesn’t prevent it from reacting altogether.” You can definitely still get a tan while safely protecting your skin with sunscreen.

Myth #7: Wearing Makeup That Has SPF In It Is Enough

Absolutely not! “Most makeups that include an SPF are not tested to the extent that sunscreens are, especially compared to the sunscreens that carry extra credentials, like an endorsement from the Skin Cancer Foundation, or anything like that,” Dr. Robinson explains. In order to reap the full benefits of the SPF listed on your makeup, you would need to use a hefty amount, up to the size of a nickel, and unless you’re a Kardashian, you’re probably not equipped to wear that much makeup. You also likely won’t be putting makeup on your ears, neck, chest, or any of the many regions of the body that are not the face but are equally susceptible to sun damage, and you won’t be reapplying makeup every two hours as you would sunscreen.

Myth #8: Spray Or Powder Sunscreen Is Just As Effective As Lotion

As new agents of delivery have come to the sunscreen market over the years, they’ve often appeared to be solutions to the stickiness and getting-it-in-your-eye tendency of traditional lotion, and while that can be true, spray and powder sunscreens can also have their shortcomings. “They can definitely be as effective, but a lot more needs to be applied in order to reach the same level of effectiveness,” says Dr. Idriss. Unlike lotion sunscreens, applying a spray or powder means that some of its contents will not land on the actual skin, so you’ll need to as much as double the amount you’re using.

Myth #9: Sunscreen Can Lead To Cancer Or Other Health Problems

While an alarmingly common belief, the idea that sunscreen can cause cancer or any other health issue is founded in no truth. “I wish this myth would go away because it’s been disproven time and again,” Dr. Robinson says. “Sunscreen does not cause cancer, and there have been so many studies to show that, but they sadly don’t make the headlines as much.” And if you’re really worried, do as Dr. Idriss suggests and simply opt for a physical sunscreen instead of a chemical one.

Myth #10: There’s No Real Difference Between Chemical And Mineral/Physical Sunscreens

Although both types of sunscreen achieve the same goal, scientifically, they work very differently. “Mineral and physical are interchangeable terms, and the most common ingredient in those sunscreens is either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide,” explains Dr. Robinson. “Those are metals, and if you think about a sheet of metal, you know that it literally just reflects light; so, physical sunscreens sit on top of skin and reflect the UV rays and scatter light.” Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, absorb the UV light and put it through a chemical reaction (their namesake comes from this) that converts the light to heat. “Because the chemical sunscreens have to first absorb the light, they take a little longer to become active, so you can’t apply them while you’re outside or even right before,” the Chicago dermatologist notes. “You have to allow at least a few minutes, which the bottle will tell you.”

Some people can be more sensitive to the ingredients in chemical sunscreens, so for babies, children, and anyone with sensitive skin, a physical sunscreen is the way to go. Historically, some consumers have shied away from physical options because they can leave more of a white film, but some recent additions to the sunscreen market have gotten around that with advanced technologies. Dr. Robinson recommends SkinBetter’s SunBetter Stick, a physical SPF 56 sunscreen which uses a new technology to uniquely shape the zinc particles so that they sit atop the skin without leaving the familiar white cast. She also loves Eryfotona Actinica from ISDIN, another physical option that uses DNA Repairsomes to repair DNA damage that can come from sun exposure, and Revision Skincare’s IntelliShade TruPhysical, which has Vitamin C in it and effectively serves as two necessary products in one.

Myth #11: If You Didn’t Wear Sunscreen When You Were Younger And Already Have Sun Damange, There’s No Point In Wearing It Now

“Although most of the damage is actually accumulated while you’re younger (typically before the age of 18), it doesn’t make you immune to worsening damage,” Dr. Idriss says. Indeed, sunscreen protects from the visible signs of aging caused by sun exposure, but it also reduces your risk of skin cancer, and that alone is reason to start or continue wearing it even if you’ve already suffered some sun damage. “I recommend you adopt a ‘never give up’ attitude,” suggests Dr. Idriss. “You only have the skin you’re in, and hopefully your life will be long, so you might as well protect and enjoy it every step of the way.”

Myth #12: Sunscreen Never Expires

Of all the myths that exist about sunscreen, the notion that it doesn’t expire might be the most outlandish. “Sunscreen is doing a lot of work, so when you’re applying it, you want to be confident that you’re getting the coverage you think you are,” Dr. Robinson explains. Like everything in life, sunscreen has an expiration date, and you can find it by looking at the back or bottom of the bottle. As for any wiggle room when it comes to that expiration, like the “five-day rule” for milk, Dr. Robinson says, “we don’t take chances with sunscreen.”

Images: Retha Ferguson / Pexels; Maciej Serafinowicz / Unsplash; Antonio Gabola / Unsplash; Taylor Simpson / Unsplash

Who Is Megan Thee Stallion? 5 Things To Know About The Hottest New Rapper

If you pay attention to music at all, chances are you’ve been hearing a lot about Megan Thee Stallion lately. And if you haven’t, well, you’re welcome, because I’m about to change your life for the better. It’s tough to keep up with all of the up-and-coming artists in the music industry, but Megan Thee Stallion is definitely one who needs to be on your radar. “Who is Megan Thee Stallion?,” you ask. Well, to start, she’s a 24-year-old rapper from Houston, TX, and she’s on a mission to take over the world. She’s been steadily grinding since 2016, and this year, her career has really blown up with her first major project being released. Now, Megan has gone especially viral with the spread of the Hot Girl Summer meme, and it’s time that the whole world knows exactly who she is. Here are five things you need to know about Megan Thee Stallion.

Her Mixtape Needs To Be On Your Pregame Playlist

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FEVER OUT EVERY WHERE IN 3 DAYS Pre Save link in bio

A post shared by Hot Girl Meg (@theestallion) on

Megan has been making music for a few years, but she really arrived this year, with her first full-length mixtape, Fever, dropping in May. It debuted in the top 10 of the Billboard charts, and has gotten rave reviews from basically every publication, including as a New York Times critics’ pick. The mixtape is the perfect combination of intricate lyrics and amazing beats, and it’s clear from the jump that Megan didn’t come to play around.

She’s The OG Hot Girl

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Yee mf haw

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If you’ve been unleashing your inner Hot Girl Summer lately, you have Megan Thee Stallion to thank. Her nickname has been Hot Girl Meg for a while, and her recent song “Cash Sh*t” helped to kick off the biggest trend of the summer. I wrote a more detailed explanation of the Hot Girl Summer here, but it’s basically all about living your best life and being a bad bitch.

Megan’s attitude in her music and on social media is all about feeling yourself, whether it comes to how you look, your professional successes, or whatever is happening in your personal life. Life is too short not to be a Hot Girl, and Megan knows it.

Her Talent Is No Joke

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Let me drive da throat ? a lil @xxl freestyle

A post shared by Hot Girl Meg (@theestallion) on

As fun as Megan’s Hot Girl schtick is, don’t let it overshadow the fact that she’s an incredibly talented rapper. Her new mixtape Fever shouldn’t leave any doubts, but this freestyle that she posted on her Instagram yesterday is fierce as f*ck. Megan doesn’t hold back with her raps, and her flow is mesmerizing to keep up with. With freestyles like that, people won’t be asking “Who is Megan Thee Stallion?” for long.

I’ll be excited to see what she does next, now that her resources and connections in the industry are rapidly expanding. I could easily see her having Cardi B and Nicki Minaj levels of success, because she has the talent to back up her amazing attitude.

She’s Still In School

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I miss being on campus lol I think I’ll start regular classes again in the fall ? (for those who don’t kno I had to start online classes since I started getting so busy)

A post shared by Hot Girl Meg (@theestallion) on

Megan is booked and busy lately, but she’s still focused on finishing her education. After taking some time off from school, she returned to online classes at Texas Southern University earlier this year. She’s acknowledged to Atlanta Black Star that it’s gotten harder to keep up with her coursework since getting big last year: “Now that I have something to do almost every day, it is pretty difficult. So I’m just doing my best. I’m trying to tell my classmates, ‘Look, y’all, send me my homework.'”

Despite the challenges that come along with juggling fame and college, her recent Instagram above shows that she’s dedicated to getting her degree. I’m impressed with the dedication, considering that I wasn’t famous in college and could still barely drag myself to class.

She’s A Trailblazer

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The Htown hottie on the XXL FRESHMAN LIST ???

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Despite the legacy of successful female rappers going back decades with people like Missy Elliott and Queen Latifah, it’s still a completely different game for men and women in rap. When Megan was signed to 300 Entertainment last November, she was the first female rapper ever signed to the label. She was recently announced as a member of this year’s XXL Freshman Class, an annual list of the biggest up-and-coming rappers. She’s one of three women on this year’s list, which, sadly, is way more than usual.

Who is Megan Thee Stallion? Now you know she’s 100% that bitch. Keep an eye on Megan, because she’s not going anywhere. In the mean time, have the best, hottest summer ever, and don’t forget to give Fever a listen. Hot Girl Meg demands it.

Images: Getty Images; theestallion (6) / Instagram

What Is Hot Girl Summer, And Why Should You Be Having One?

In the world of internet memes, some are funny, some are stupid, and some are unbelievably offensive. But every once in a while, one of these viral black holes is actually pretty awesome, which leads me to today’s topic: the Hot Girl Summer. It’s been everywhere on the internet over the past week, and while I love it, I wasn’t sure exactly where it came from. If you want to participate in Hot Girl Summer, but feel like you need a little more background, keep reading.

The Hot Girl Summer craze can be traced back to rapper Megan Thee Stallion, who recently released her debut mixtape, Fever. Megan is a badass, and all her music is great, but people got especially into the song “Cash Sh*t.” The song is an anthem about getting what you want and not taking sh*t from men, which is obviously a relatable sentiment. Megan says “real hot girl sh*t” at the beginning of the song, and the cover of Fever also says “she’s thee HOT GIRL and she’s bringing THEE HEAT.”

Even if you’re confused about why she says “thee” all the time, it’s hard not to feel inspired by Megan’s attitude. Anyone can be a hot girl—it’s all about confidence and knowing you’re a bad bitch. Megan’s fans took the inspiration from the song to social media, and from there, the Hot Girl Summer was born.

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???

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Hot Girl Summer is all about living your best life and acting up while it’s hot outside. Wear what makes you feel like a hot girl, send the text that makes you feel like that bitch, and generally just don’t take anyone’s sh*t. When Megan spoke to The Root about what Hot Girl Summer means to her, she said “It’s about women and men being unapologetically them, just having a good-ass time, hyping up their friends, doing you…You definitely have to be a person who can be the life of the party and just a bad bitch.”  Yeah, I’m very on board with this.

Tons of women online have been getting into their Hot Girl Summer moods, including my absolute favorite Kardashian outcast, Jordyn Woods:

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hot girl summer

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I love a queen posing on a hotel bed in a high fashion Star Trek outfit. People might remember Jordyn most for her tearful appearance on Red Table Talksbut she’s been looking amazing on Instagram recently, and she recently hit 10 million followers. You go Jordyn, enjoy your Hot Girl Summer.

Also partaking in Hot Girl Summer 2019 are sisters Chloe x Halle, who look hot af in their matching Ivy Park outfits (and also all the time). Halle was just announced as the star of Disney’s upcoming The Little Mermaid remake, and this post makes me very excited to see her bring the Hot Girl energy to Ariel. Haters, go away.

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hot girl summer ?

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Of course, once the celebs and the average people of Instagram started participating, it wasn’t long before Hot Girl Summer became one of the biggest memes of the moments.

The newest season of Stranger Things came out last week, and people were quick to point out the similarities between Megan Thee Stallion and these awkward teenagers from Indiana. Okay, maybe there aren’t that many similarities, but I’m glad Millie Bobby Brown is living her best life with that ice cream cone.

max and eleven livin their hot girl summer yessssss #StrangerThings3 pic.twitter.com/bzQAxco8sq

— b r o o k l i n ✰ (@brooklinrichard) July 4, 2019

Also, I present to you my eternal mood:

My mind says hot girl summer but my heart says mozzarella sticks

— sarafcarter (@sarafcarter) July 8, 2019

BUT WHO SAYS YOU CAN’T HAVE BOTH??? This summer is officially dedicated to being a Hot Girl AND eating mozzarella sticks, because I said so.

And even though Hot Girl Summer is the best, you don’t have to have one if you don’t want to. We can’t all feel great all the time, so feel free to be a Hot Girl on your own schedule.

I missed summer but based on my schedule I’ll be having a Hot Girl Autumn

— RAVEN B. (@RAVIEB) July 9, 2019

So, to recap—literally anyone can (and should) participate in Hot Girl Summer. Even if that means staying in on Friday night and watching 14 episodes of Friends, do what makes you feel like a bad bitch at all times. Life is too short to not be on your bullsh*t.

And if you’re really about your Hot Girl Summer moment, now you can get your very own Hot Girl Summer Wine Bag. Hot Girls love cold wine, that’s just the rules.

Images: theestallion (2), jordynwoods, chloexhalle / Instagram; brooklinrichard, sarafcarter, ravieb / Twitter