Monthly archive for August 2018

After a Makeup Artist Used This Concealer on Me, I Bought It That Day – Bye, Dark Circles

You could call me a bit of a concealer snob . I have tried tons of different options, always hunting for a choice that meets my high standards. I want something that hides dark circles, covers acne, and stays on all day long. I found my new favorite when a makeup artist applied this Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Crème ($26) to my face for a shoot.

As soon as my full face of makeup was on, I audibly gasped. I looked wide awake and airbrushed. The concealer had covered all of my blemishes without making me look cakey – a tricky task. It melted into my skin for a natural-looking finish. But then came the real task – would the formula actually stay on all day long?

I was filming a video under hot lights for hours, and frankly, I was sweating a lot. The makeup artist never had to give my skin a touch-up. I stayed camera-ready all day long. I learned that the product is made with complexion-brightening pigments and hydrating ingredients that make the formula crease-proof. I noticed that my skin didn’t feel dry when I wiped away my makeup later on.

After just one day, I was so impressed that I immediately ordered the concealer online from Sephora. Thankfully, the product comes in an extensive range of shades so that most skin tones can have a perfect match. If you’re in the market for a new option, I highly recommend this pick.

See the New Lip Gloss Shades You Won't Leave the House Without This Fall

As you start stocking up on Fall beauty products , make room for new lip gloss in your stash. Our namesake brand, Beauty by POPSUGAR , recently added three new shades to its Be the Boss Lip Gloss collection (which already has four stars at Ulta), and they’re perfect for the transitioning seasons.

These new additions have the same moisturizing, non-sticky feel as the original formula, but these shades are infused with fine flecks of shimmer. Fetish is a cabernet red with gold pearl; Drive Me Crazy is a deep raspberry with gold pearl; and Take a Bow is a baby pink with gold pearl. We swatched the glosses for our weekly Instagram Series Swatch With Us so you can see them up close before you add ’em to your cart. Check out the shimmery shades ahead, and be sure to follow us on Instagram to see swatches of buzzy beauty products every week.

The Latest Sex-Themed Mascara Comes From Nars – and Oh Baby

Relationship goals: date whoever works in product development at Nars. The brand that gave us blush with a shade name that will make you, well, you know, has long been known for pushing the boundaries. The brand’s latest mascara is no different: meet Climax ($24). This tube is just the latest in a storied tradition of brands communicating their thirstiness via mascara names. (See: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara and Urban Decay’s “sex-proof” Troublemaker.) But is Climax just faking it?

The red tube is ribbed for your pleasure, and the wand itself is thick. The formula looks and feels as soft as whipped cream paired with strawberries, which means it doesn’t translate to stiff or flaky lashes. It swipes onto lashes like someone you actually want to slide into your DMs. Climax is supposedly voluminous, but I didn’t feel as though it gave me a lash lift. Rather, it lengthened my lashes as if I’d put on pricey extensions and left behind an alluring curl. You can see the results in my before and after photo, below:

A pro of this mascara is that no matter how many times you apply it, it will. not. clump. This is helpful when you want to pull a Shakira and redo your eye makeup whenever, wherever, without having to worry about spider lashes. That makes this a great everyday, apply-on-the-subway-without-poking-your-eye-out type option.

Am I completely enraptured by Climax? No, only Adam Driver and Panera Mac and Cheese can give me those kinds of feelings. That said, sex sells – and I have a feeling Climax will, too.

Does Having Acne Impact Your Job Prospects? The Answer Might Surprise You

Much to the dismay of anyone with atychiphobia, the truth about job hunting remains: in interviews, like in life, there are only so many things you can control. Even when you’ve fine-tuned your résumé, researched the company, and concocted a decidedly thoughtful response to the wild card “What kind of animal would you be?” question, sometimes there are other, far less obvious factors playing into your odds of getting hired – like the condition of your skin .

It isn’t always conscious, but for some interviewers, the bias is real. Studies have shown that people with facial acne are discriminated against in the job market, with one survey revealing that 78 percent of respondents thought people with blemishes or acne scars were less likely to be hired based on their appearance.

“We live in a society that socializes us to have certain stereotypes that might exist outside of our conscious awareness,” said Alison Green, an ex-hiring manager and columnist for the popular career blog Ask a Manager . “These biases can be about race, gender, age, religion, disability, socioeconomic class, physical attractiveness – all sorts of things.”

“Whether consciously or unconsciously, we assume that attractiveness is associated with competence, even though we know that it’s not true.”

From a legal standpoint, no federal law has been passed to protect people based on their appearances, at least not without the evidence of a disability. But that last part – a bias based on someone’s physical attractiveness – has been widely researched.

“Whether consciously or unconsciously, we assume that attractiveness is associated with competence, even though we know that it’s not true,” said Matthew Traube, MFT, a psychotherapist who specializes in the psychological impact of skin conditions. “I have had clients tell me that they felt that they would have gotten a job if they did not have acne.”

In some cases, this bias can vary depending on the actual open position; Green notes that more managers will put weight on a candidate’s appearance if the job is a client-facing one. “They’ll often frame it as looking for candidates who are ‘well-groomed and polished,’ but in practice that’s sometimes more about a particular physical look than it is about polish,” she said. “And to be clear, employers should recognize that you can have acne and still be well-groomed and polished.”

As for the reason behind the bias, Traube theorizes it could be due to the misguided perception that acneic skin is a result of poor hygiene – an association that, again, the interviewer might only be partly aware of. Dr. Josie Howard, MD, a psychodermatologist and expert for Abreva , agrees: “Blemishes, cold sores, and even psoriasis and eczema are often seen as a source of contagion. Society can have a negative perception of blemishes, especially on the face, even when the condition is common.”

In an ideal world, all employers will have trained hiring managers on how to identify, and then guard against, every type of unconscious bias. Still, acne bias can also be self-inflicted. Going into an interview already worried that others will think less of you because of your skin, Traube says, could then negatively affect your performance.

“People become acutely aware of any visible blemishes, and their self-consciousness is intensified.”

“Having any visible skin condition – especially one that is on the face, like acne or a cold sore – can have a profound impact on self-esteem,” Dr. Howard said. “By definition, job interviews are a time where you are presenting yourself to be evaluated and trying to put your best face forward, so to speak. People become acutely aware of any visible blemishes, and their self-consciousness is intensified – taking their mental and emotional focus off the content of the interview and interpersonal interactions and onto worrying about their skin and appearance.”

To make matters worse, if you’re prone to hormonal breakouts , the stress that comes with prepping for an interview could also trigger flare-ups . “For skin conditions that are exacerbated by anxiety, this can become a vicious cycle,” Dr. Howard said. “Stress can impair the immune system and in turn make you more vulnerable to acne. Then, the stress of a visible outbreak increases stress , further worsening the blemish.”

When you feel stress acne coming on, the most important course of action is to stick to your normal skin-care routine . Don’t add an extra step or spend too much time in front of a magnifying mirror – that only makes it worse, she says. Keeping a fast-acting spot treatment or hydrocolloid bandage in your purse can give you peace of mind. More importantly, though, wear your confidence as if it were included with purchase of your Cole Haan loafers.

“The single most important factor is presenting yourself as comfortable in your skin,” said Dr. Howard. “You might have a visible blemish, but focusing your attention on your excitement about the job will quickly shift your interviewer’s focus as well. As Sophia Loren said, 50 percent of beauty is believing you are beautiful.”

Is That Line on Your Face a Wrinkle?

I have an unhealthy relationship with my magnifying mirror, which sometimes causes me to wonder, “Is that a wrinkle on my 25-year-old face?” I try to reassure myself that I’m being dramatic, but I decided to talk to a dermatologist to find out what those lines on my forehead are once and for all. “A line on your face does not mean you have a wrinkle,” dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman , MD, explained. “It could be a fine line, which are normally one to two millimeters deep. A wrinkle, however, is anything more than two millimeters.” She added that if the lines on your face have crinkled or crosshatch appearances (which mine do not), you probably have a wrinkle.

The best way to fight fine lines, if you so choose, is simple. “Keeping your skin hydrated will plump your skin and those lines will look less visible,” she explained. That said, not all lines are fine lines. If you arose one morning to creases on your face, it could also be your pillowcase. “If you wake up and see lines that you didn’t have before, your skin probably folded and crunched up against your pillowcase,” Dr. Jaliman said. She recommends swapping out your traditional cotton for a silk pillowcase to prevent getting these “sleep lines.”

How My Crochet Braids Shaped My Identity and Helped Me Find My Confidence

My hair and I have a complicated relationship.

Growing up, I never gave my hair the self-care it needed. I would tie it up into a ponytail, get relaxers on a daily basis, and refuse to use any product other than shampoo and conditioner (which also contained high levels of sulfate – a huge no-no for curls). Point blank, my hair was damaged and thick, and I didn’t take the time to learn how to maintain my natural type 3C hair .

The only time I experimented with my hair and gave it an ounce of care that it needed was when I had braids. Sometimes I would leave the house in my usual ponytail and return home with anything from cornrows to dutch braids. I never got a massive haircut or color, so this was how I felt bold.

Braids were a way for me to connect with others and feel confident. Then I started high school, and I started to push away from the familiar styles I grew up with to fit in. I stopped wearing the style for fear of being put into a box with only people that looked like me, while also believing I wasn’t “Latina enough” or “black enough” to embrace it in the first place.

I spent years during and after college trying to figure out my identity, which included embracing the features I once stripped away. I threw out all my hot tools, stopped getting relaxers, and finally put the ponytail to rest. I decided to give my curly, coil-y hair the love it deserved.

Still, braids were always in the back of my mind. This Summer, I looked around at the different styles, colors, and textures of braids and it gave me a wave of nostalgia. I started keeping a collection of inspiration from Instagram in hopes that I would find the courage to get my hair braided again.

However, I was anxious and nervous. Although I’m a woman of color, I feared I would misrepresent or squeeze my way into a community uninvited. The thought of wearing braids again, especially a newer style, made me feel like a fraud. Braids have been around as far back as 3500 B.C. from Africa as a sign of social status, unity, and simple pure art; yet time again, women of color, specifically black women, are scrutinized and judged for wearing braids or other natural looks.

So, I asked a trusted friend for her honest opinion. She put all my worries to rest, saying I shouldn’t feel judged, and even volunteered to give me crochet braids – a protective style that uses extensions (which can be hair, yarn, or thread) and loops it into your actual hair with a crochet needle. It’s also the perfect way to maintain my dense, curly hair in the hot Summer months.

While the braiding process itself was familiar to me, nothing prepared me for the finished look. I made my way into the bathroom and couldn’t believe what I saw in my reflection. It was me, yet I felt like a totally different person. Physically, my hair was longer, but mentally, it was a little deeper than that. I felt the same way my younger self girl felt when I got my hair braided by her friends. I felt beautiful, confident, and unapologetically me.

However, the big test was leaving the confines of my friend’s house and stepping into the real world. Once I headed to the train, I felt all eyes were on me. Maybe I was paranoid, but I felt like I was holding a big neon sign over my head that said, “Look at what I did!” Finally, I took a deep breath and lifted my head up high – because dammit, I felt good!

I spent the next three weeks with my braids and all the fears I had went away. I received countless positive remarks and compliments. My appreciation also grew for women of color who continue to be leaders of the natural hair movement and celebrate their braids in every shape and form. These women ignore society’s perception of what it means to have “good hair” and continue to highlight their culture – our culture. My crochet braids didn’t just provide me with a new look, but they also gave me the permission to be the person I’ve always been.