These Aerie Pieces Will Level-up Your Loungewear Collection

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Source: Aerie

While most people have been busy building capsule wardrobes and always curating chic, minimalistic outfits, I’ve been focusing on one specific portion of my closet: loungewear. And after about a year of building my collection, when I look through my drawers dedicated to comfy clothes, there is one brand that takes up much more space than all the rest: Aerie. Their sweatshirts, hoodies, joggers, athleisure pieces, and more are top tier when it comes to clothing that is out-of-this-world comfortable yet doesn’t break the bank.

And now that I have adapted to working from home full time, I spend most of my days wearing comfy clothes, and I need to like them. Instead of pretending to be something I’m not and wearing jeans while sitting at my desk that’s three feet away from my bed (I’m sorry, I just can’t do it), I prefer to wear elevated loungewear that makes me feel put together but is still super comfortable. After all, I have never met a matching set that I didn’t like. Put one on with a claw clip and chunky gold hoops and you’ve got yourself the perfect lazy-girl-chic look. 

Keep scrolling for 30 of the best cozy pieces from Aerie that will take your loungewear collection to the next level.

 

In this article

1
Matching Sets

2
Tops

3
Bottoms

4
Comfy Bralettes

 

Matching Sets




Aerie

Throw-Back Fleece Hoodie

7 colors available

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Aerie

Throw-Back Fleece Jogger

8 colors available

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Aerie

Crew Neck Sweatshirt

6 colors available

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Aerie

Foldover Jogger

6 colors available

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Aerie

Cropped Turtleneck T-Shirt

6 colors available

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Aerie

Cotton Lace Boyshorts

9 colors available

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Aerie

Everyday Cozy Crew Neck Sweatshirt

6 colors available

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Aerie

Everyday Cozy High Waisted Jogger

10 colors available

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Aerie

Varsity Cropped Crew Neck Sweatshirt

8 colors available

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Aerie

High Waisted Flare Pant

6 colors available

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Tops




Aerie

Waffle Crew Neck Sweatshirt

10 colors available

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Aerie

Ribbed Sweater

8 colors available

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Aerie

Henley Mockneck Sweatshirt

9 colors available

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Aerie

The Sweat Everyday Hoodie

6 colors available

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Aerie

Oversized Full Zip Sweatshirt

3 colors available

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Aerie

Henley Everyday Polo Sweatshirt

3 colors available

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Aerie

Chenille Feels Sweater

6 colors available

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Aerie

Long Sleeve Cropped Polo T-Shirt

7 colors available

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Bottoms




Aerie

Ribbed High Waisted Legging

8 colors available

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Aerie

High Waisted Crossover Legging

10+ colors available

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Aerie

High Waisted Short

3 colors available

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Aerie

Real Me Jogger

5 colors available

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Aerie

Crossover 7″ Bike Short

4 colors available

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Aerie

Warmup Drawcord Legging

2 colors available

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Aerie

Waisted Crossover Flare Legging

6 colors available

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Aerie

Fleece 7″ Bike Short

6 colors available

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Comfy Bralettes




Aerie

Seamless Padded Bralette

8 colors available

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Aerie

Seamless Strappy Padded Bralette

9 colors available

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Aerie

Square Neck Longline Bralette

6 colors available

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Aerie

Seamless Voop Longline Sports Bra

4 colors available

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The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Looking Cute This Fall

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How Anxiety Might Affect Your Relationship| The Everygirl






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If you have anxiety, you might have already figured out how it affects you, your job, your self-confidence, or your actions. Maybe you know that regular therapy is crucial and consistent meditation makes a big difference in your anxiety-relief routine. But what we often don’t consider is how anxiety affects our relationships. While anxiety affects us (and our relationships) in different ways (a lot are actually positive, FYI), there are a few common symptoms experts say to look out for that could be damaging your relationship. Read on to learn six ways that your anxiety might be affecting your relationships and what to do about it. 

 

1. You may act irritable to your loved ones

When anxiety strikes, we can easily get angry or come off as irritable or cranky due to overstimulation, feeling overwhelmed, or getting upset with ourselves. “People with anxiety might be preoccupied with their experience and the symptoms of anxiety, which might make them feel irritable or on edge,” explained Diante Fuchs, a clinical psychologist, anxiety coach, and relationship therapist. 

If you catch yourself being short with your significant other or taking your emotions out on them, try explaining that your irritation is not because of them or anything they’ve done. Even if your initial reaction is annoyance or anger at them, you’re really upset at the situation or even at yourself, not at your partner. Try vocalizing something like, “I’m not upset with you, I am just feeling anxious.” Naming what you’re experiencing can immediately take the hard feelings out of it and clue your partner in to what you’re going through. Instead of getting defensive or irritable in response, they will know to give you some space or comfort, depending on what you need. 

 

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2. You might cancel plans frequently

When you’re anxious, even the thought of a social outing or plan you made previously can feel overwhelming. If you find yourself dreading plans or feeling a panic attack coming on, you may be tempted to cancel last minute. “Extrovert environments can sometimes make those who experience anxiety feel as though they are performing or having to be ‘on,’” said Evan Marmol, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist who specializes in anxiety. “Many people with anxiety might react by canceling plans at the last minute due to lack of energy or checking out of social events when feeling overwhelmed. While others might view this behavior as flightiness or a lack of interest, it’s a means of survival and self-preservation.”

Try to understand that your partner might interpret this behavior as you being flaky or not prioritizing them, no matter how good your intentions. To avoid this becoming an issue in your relationship, be as honest as you’re comfortable with about what you’re experiencing. A person who does not suffer from anxiety may not understand, so let them know that you were excited about your plans but a crowd feels overwhelming right now. Instead, suggest an alternative plan you feel more comfortable with or an alternative time if you want alone time or space right now. 

 

3. You might need consistent reassurance

Anxiety might make you question what other people think of you: whether they like you, love you, are mad at you, or if their feelings for you have changed. Because of the worry that comes with anxiety, you might seek out more consistent reassurance to quiet the worry. Besides working with a therapist and individually on gaining self-assurance and confidence, find out your love language. If your partner knows how you feel loved and reassured, they can more easily make an effort to help you feel secure. 

This may mean you are asking for reassurance more than others or are feeling insecure more than other people do. It’s important for you to be honest and find people who are OK with learning your needs and making you feel reassured. If you don’t know your love language, you can take this quiz to find out! Knowing how to best receive/feel reassured or loved can help you communicate to your friends, family, and partner what they can do that would give you reassurance or help ease your mind when you find yourself doubting their feelings for you.

Marmol also said that “there is a perception that anxiety makes people less than rather than simply different. Those with anxiety are often highly perceptive, dutiful, and empathetic,” so next time you are feeling anxious or insecure, remind yourself that your anxiety actually means you bring something special to the table.

 

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4. Your partner could unintentionally trigger you

People with anxiety often have triggers, like being in a crowd, experiencing unrelated stress, or changes in routine. If a new date suggests going to a crowded party or you and your significant other (inevitably) have a fight, your anxiety might be triggered, causing confusion, miscommunication, or conflict with your partner. Of course, your partner did not mean to trigger you, but they may not know what is and isn’t a trigger for your anxiety. The most important solution is to know your own triggers.

Work with a therapist, keep track in a journal, or reflect on past experiences to get to know situations and feelings that ignite your anxiety. Either clue your partner in to what your triggers are or have a game plan going into situations where potential triggers might arise. For example, if you and your partner get into a normal disagreement and you would typically shut off or escalate the fight by saying things you don’t mean out of feeling like you’re being rejected, make a plan to take a “break” from the argument or tell your partner to remind you they love you before you’re able to talk it through. Knowing where your anxiety might be triggered will help you both avoid conflict and confusion.

 

5. You can experience miscommunication

If both of you have experienced anxiety, it’s typically much easier for you to relate and communicate how anxiety is affecting your relationship so that it does not become an issue. However, if only one of you has experienced anxiety (or worked on their anxiety), there’s more likely to be some miscommunication or not being on the same page. “Partners often just don’t seem to get it if they haven’t struggled with anxiety themselves,” Fuchs said.

Just like anything else, it takes a lot of active listening to understand something your partner experienced but you haven’t. Maybe they’re not as understanding of your triggers or don’t really get why your anxiety manifests in certain ways. Don’t rely on them to ease your anxiety so you don’t put unfair pressure or resentment on your partner (you should be working on that individually!), but communicate as openly and honestly as possible so your partner can understand your experience. 

 

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6. Your intimacy might take a hit

Beyond your communication and love languages, anxiety can affect libido, making intimacy with your partner more difficult. Heather Mazzei, ASW, a social worker and writer for Modern Intimacy, explained that anxiety is a common cause of not being able to orgasm or lacking sex drive. “Anxiety may be keeping you from orgasm by worrying about your performance, the relationship, having an orgasm, or simply anxiety about receiving pleasure,” she said.

Besides working on your anxiety with a therapist, Mazzei recommended practicing with yourself first so you feel more comfortable receiving pleasure and get to know what you like. Also, communication and mindfulness are key. Talking through insecurities or worries beforehand can help ease the anxiety during sex. While you’re being intimate with your partner, try to stay mindful. Take deep breaths, focus on sensations in each part of your body, give yourself an affirmation, and (of course) stop if you don’t feel comfortable. 

Bottom line: Work on your anxiety in the ways that are best for you and give yourself compassion. Don’t rely on a romantic partner to take away anxiety for you, but make sure you’re with someone who supports you however they can through the uncomfortable and hard times. 

 

If you think you may be anxiety, it’s important to reach out and get help. See your doctor, get in contact with a therapist, and/or talk to a close friend or family member. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or actions, please get help immediately. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
Crisis Textline: text CONNECT to 741741

 

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10 Starbucks Hacks You Need to Know






Source: Ashley Selleke and Jess Welsh for The Everygirl

Admit it: You’re obsessed with Starbucks. It’s not just a coffee shop, it’s a lifestyle. We wait year-round for the infamous PSL (“basic” be damned), know it’s time for Christmas when they start serving Gingerbread Lattes from Christmas cups, and look forward to summer with fruity, refreshing, and Insta-worthy iced teas. But it can be a pretty pricey obsession to have. With typical menu drinks costing about $3 to $7 (plus that extra shot of espresso or added almond milk), it can easily add up. But whether you’re looking to save money, spend less time waiting in a Starbucks line, or have healthier options, you can be getting more bang for your (Star)buck. Read on for the Starbucks hacks that will save you time, money, and added sugar.

 

1. Don’t limit yourself to what’s on the menu

The most expert Starbucks-frequenters rarely order from the menu to get their favorite drinks—and they save money. Check out the secret menu (yes, it really does exist!) or try these secret menu drink concoctions that are all $3, and never pay $6 for a coffee again. If you prefer lattes, order the caffe misto, which tastes the same (half coffee, half milk) but is slightly cheaper. More of a tea drinker? A chai latte misto is half steamed milk and half brewed chai tea, saving you money and sugar (you can also just order a hot chai tea with steamed milk if the terminology weirds you out and save $1 to $2).

 

2. Make your own drinks for a cheaper price

We all love our lattes, but they get pricey, especially if you need a Venti size. If you’re OK with foregoing the foam, order a triple espresso (over ice, if you prefer iced lattes) in a Venti cup (with room for milk), and then go to the condiments area to fill up your coffee with milk, which is like a DIY iced latte but for a fraction of the cost. Love your foam? Order a Tall coffee with steamed milk (still cheaper than a latte!) or a Tall hot coffee in a Grande cup, and then fill up on the milk at the condiments station for a Grande latte for the price of a Tall black coffee.

 

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3. Take advantage of refills

Do you spend a lot of workdays or meetings at Starbucks, where you stay for hours and get multiple drinks? Or maybe one cup of coffee just doesn’t cut it? During the time you’re at Starbucks, you can refill your cup with brewed coffee or tea for just 5o cents instead of paying for an additional drink, even if your original drink was not just brewed coffee or tea. “Refills” only count as iced or hot coffee and iced or hot tea, but remember the tricks above to turn it into a latte. Fill up on a Pumpkin Spice Latte during your coffee shop meeting and get a 50-cent extra pick-me-up of tea before you leave.

 

4. Bring your own cup

I love the limited-edition Christmas cups as much as the next girl, but if you bring your own cup to help the environment (we’re all about saving the planet, one coffee cup and plastic straw at a time!), you’ll also save 10 cents on your drink. 10 cents may not seem like a lot, but if you get Starbucks every day for a year and save 10 cents each time, you’ll have saved $36.40 (yeah, I did the math). Bring your own tumbler, mug, or to-go cup to simultaneously save money and the planet. 

 

5. Sign up for rewards

Normally, rewards programs just mean more spam emails, but at Starbucks, it is a must. First of all, it’s free to sign up (isn’t that convincing enough?), and besides just having a ton of perks for being a reward member (hello, free birthday drink!), you also earn points for a number of things—like purchasing anything in-store and buying certain Starbucks items in grocery stores—that can be used for free food and drinks. If you’re an avid Starbucks-goer, signing up for the rewards program means you’ll rack up points for major perks. Even if you only hit up Starbucks once every so often, it’s still worth it for the free drink on your birthday. 

 

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6. Order a French press pot of coffee

Getting coffee with a friend, meeting up with your work wife for an out-of-office meeting, or getting sh*t done at your local Starbucks all afternoon? Order a French press pot of coffee instead of individual cups. Each pot serves a few cups of coffee but will be cheaper than buying each cup individually. Enjoy a pot with your friends or get a serious caffeine buzz on your own (we won’t judge).

 

7. Get the most out of your iced drink

Are you an iced coffee drinker, even when it’s cold? Or maybe you’re on an iced tea kick to help you drink less caffeine? There are a couple of tricks to help you make the most of your favorite iced drinks. For example, if you’re getting an iced tea, ask for “no water.” Iced teas are typically watered down, so asking for no water will make the brew stronger. For any iced beverage, order “light ice.” The barista’s default is to fill up the entire cup with ice, which limits how much cold brew or matcha you get. Light ice will still keep your drink refreshingly chilled while offering more bang for your buck by getting you more drink. 

 

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8. Be specific about your syrup

Looking to be healthier and limit sugar but love a PSL or vanilla latte way too much? You don’t have to give up your favorite beverage altogether—instead, just get specific about the syrup. Typically, a Tall drink has a default of three pumps of syrup (i.e. a Tall PSL contains three pumps of pumpkin spice syrup), a Grande has four pumps, and a Venti typically has five to six. If drinking a Venti vanilla latte is the happiest moment of your day, you go girl. But if you’re looking to be healthier without giving up your go-to drink, try specifying how many pumps you prefer in your order. Try one to two pumps in a Tall or Grande for the same flavor you love but with less sugar. 

 

9. Ask for a sample

I usually stick to a typical iced coffee, but if you’re more adventurous than I am and like to try out the seasonal offerings or a new drink on the menu, you don’t need to risk not liking what you order. Unless the store is super busy, the barista should be totally fine getting you a sample of a certain brew or drink if you’re unsure whether or not you’d like it. This is officially your sign to try that new roast or the seasonal drink (after sampling it first, of course). 

 

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Why Collodial Oatmeal Deserves a Spot in Your Routine

A bowl of colloidal oatmeal on a wooden tableGetty Images

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

For many people — especially those of us who had chickenpox as a child — our first experience with or memory of colloidal oatmeal was in a bath intended to soothe our itchy, irritated skin. Oatmeal has an extensive history of use as a skin treatment; its colloidal form was officially recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a safe and effective over-the-counter drug in 1989 and specifically as a skin protectant since 2003.

"Colloidal oatmeal is one of a family of centuries-old topical treatments for a variety of skin-barrier conditions including dry skin, contact dermatitis, and eczema," says Corey L. Hartman, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama. "It is a natural product with an excellent safety record that works through anti-inflammatory pathways." This emollient, Dr. Hartman adds, also packs fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals that show benefits when used topically on the skin.

So what makes colloidal oatmeal a skin-ameliorating drug and regular oatmeal just… breakfast? We asked dermatologists and a cosmetic chemist to give us the rundown on why this ingredient is such a trusted and reliable staple when it comes to calming skin.

What is colloidal oatmeal?

Although colloidal oatmeal is, in fact, oatmeal, it has gone through a process that makes it — as you might have guessed — colloidal. "Colloidal oatmeal is often the same oatmeal you'll eat for breakfast but in a different form," says Maryland-based board-certified dermatologist Ife Rodney, M.D. "With colloidal oatmeal, it's a fine power that turns into a white liquid or paste when combined with a liquid base. The best comparison is oat milk."

Although colloidal oatmeal can be made at home — more on that later — the commercially available kind doesn't start out looking like the whole grains we have in our pantries, and it has to meet certain standards. "Colloidal oatmeal is manufactured by a unique process where the coarse whole oat flour is extruded prior to being milled to the United States Pharmacopeia particle size specification," explains cosmetic chemist Vince Spinnato. The resulting salve, he adds, acts as a natural emollient that's applied topically.

What are the benefits of colloidal oatmeal?

The FDA recognizes colloidal oatmeal as a "skin protectant" — on many product labels, you'll find it's called exactly that in its own active-ingredients section above the rest of the ingredients because it's considered a drug — but that's a very modest summary of colloidal oatmeal's benefits. 

"The biggest benefit is that it helps the skin retain moisture. When applied to the skin, colloidal oatmeal reinforces the protective skin barrier," Dr. Rodney says. But in addition to acting as an emollient, its anti-inflammatory properties soothe dry or irritated skin. "This makes it a perfect solution for treating issues like insect bites, contact dermatitis, chickenpox, eczema, atopic dermatitis, and much more." According to Spinnato, "much more" includes redness, acne, and psoriasis. 

Dr. Rodney adds that colloidal oatmeal also has properties that help with UV protection, meaning it can slow photoaging and sun damage — though you should never rely on it alone for sun protection. (In other words, keep wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30.)

Should anyone avoid using colloidal oatmeal?

Colloidal oatmeal is one of the skin-friendliest ingredients available. "I can't think of any cons," Dr. Hartman tells Allure.

Dr. Rodney concurs: "There are no real cons to the product," she says. However, in the rare case that you're allergic to oatmeal, you may get skin irritation and dryness. "If you have a known gluten allergy, celiac disease, or sensitive skin, test colloidal oatmeal on a patch of your skin for three to five days." If there are no reactions, she says, you should be able to use it safely.

What kind of skin-care products include colloidal oatmeal?

There's really no limit to all the types of products in which you may find colloidal oatmeal. "Because it's a great emollient and can lock in moisture, you'll likely see colloidal oatmeal in creams, lotions, shampoos, cleansers, and body washes," says Dr. Rodney, adding that it's so gentle, it's often found in products intended for babies. "Colloidal oatmeal is loved by people with eczema, so you'll [also] find it in products specific to treating this condition."

In fact, La Roche-Posay Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream is one of Dr. Rodney's top recommendations for products with colloidal oatmeal. "It reduces skin irritation and contains other soothing ingredients like shea butter and glycerin," she says, and it's also approved by the National Eczema Association. Another great option: Eczema Honey Skin-Soothing Cream, which, yes, helps soothe eczema, but is also awesome for everyday sensitive skin.

La-Roche Posay Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream on a white background

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream

$15Shop NowEczema Honey Original Skin-Soothing Cream on white background

Eczema Honey Skin-Soothing Cream

$30Shop Now

For a straight-up colloidal oatmeal treatment, Dr. Rodney recommends Aveeno's Soothing Bath Treatment. Dr. Hartman also recommends Aveeno products in general, calling them "the most popular" products with colloidal oatmeal and "the gold standard." And when you know that oat grain's scientific nomenclature is Avena sativa, it's easy to see where the brand got inspiration for its name.

Instead of immersing your entire body in a colloidal oatmeal bath, you can also spot-treat irritation like bug bites and small rashes. We like Babyganics Soothing Itch Stick, regardless of age, because it's so easy to use, and relief comes quickly.

a box of Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatments

Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment

$7Shop NowBabyganics Soothing Itch Stick

Babyganics Soothing Itch Stick

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Although effective on its own, colloidal oatmeal cooperates very well with other ingredients. "Colloidal oatmeal works best when in a regimen that contains other emollients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid," Dr. Hartman says. (First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair Cream is a great way to get both colloidal oatmeal and ceramides in a single product — one that just happens to be a recipient of both the Best of Beauty and Readers' Choice Awards.) And if you're using other products with ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), and retinol, Dr. Rodney says colloidal oatmeal can protect your skin from dryness and irritation. Vow Beauty just happens to make a product — its Wedded Bliss Glycolic Acid & Aloe Facial Cleanser — that includes an AHA and colloidal oatmeal, so the calming aspect is built right in.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream on white background

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

$36Shop NowVow Beauty Wedded Bliss Glycolic Acid & Aloe Facial Cleanser

Vow Beauty Wedded Bliss Glycolic Acid & Aloe Facial Cleanser

$20Shop Now

Are there any helpful DIY colloidal oatmeal treatments?

You can make colloidal oatmeal at home for simple yet effective soothing treatments like an oatmeal bath. "Add whole, uncooked oatmeal to a blender, food processor, or grinder. Grind it until it's like a fine, flour-like powder," Spinnato says, advising that if the oatmeal isn't fine enough, it won't mix into bathwater and will sink to the bottom of the tub. "Or for a more concentrated application, make a paste with equal parts water and colloidal oatmeal and smooth it directly onto the skin." Dr. Rodney says that's a great way to calm sunburns and rashes.

Feeling especially creative? "You can use colloidal oatmeal along with shea butter and carrier oils to create your own exfoliator or cleanser," Dr. Rodney adds. As for which carrier oils to use, Spinnato says colloidal oatmeal plays well with sunflower oil and coconut oil.

The Simple Saving Strategies That Actually Helped Me






Source: Haley Hye-Eun Lim

Financial experts note that people tend to fall into two categories: savers and spenders. I’m the latter; I have a habit of making purchases based on what I want instead of what I need. To curb my impulsive “I can afford everything” buying mentality, I tracked my spending decisions over the past 30 days. Here’s what I learned—and how you can use these saving strategies to allow your dollars to add up in a more impactful way over time.

 





Source: Colorjoy Stock

 

1. I stopped buying coffee every morning

I’m a self-proclaimed coffee junkie. I love the smell of freshly ground beans, the first hot sip of french roast on a blustery winter day, the icy jolt from a tall glass of cold brew. I also love the ritual of stopping at a coffee shop on my way to work. It feels like a special treat, just for me, before diving into the hurried tasks of my day. Oh, and I’m a mom to a nine-month-old for whom sleep is optional, so there’s that.

However, the cost of each barista visit adds up quickly. I realized that I was easily spending around $2-6 a day. On a beverage! If you do the basic math, that is something like $500-1500 a year. Considering that is the cost of a super sweet vacation, I challenged myself to stop buying coffee for 30 days and simply make it at home.

The first week sucked. I longingly stared out the window at my favorite cafe every time I drove past, and then took a sip out of my to-go mug of coffee made at home, which was… fine. It still got the job done; I mostly experienced the natural lows that occur from being disciplined (sigh) instead of spontaneous (yay!). Instead, I saved coffee purchases for meetings or dates with other people—moments when I could linger, chat, and truly enjoy my beverage with great company. This resulted in many upsides, such as a reduced caffeine reliance, more money in my pocket, and a better appreciation for treat yo’ self days. (Hint: it’s not a treat when you get it every day!)

Monthly savings: $60-180

 

2. I limited dining out to special occasions

Growing up, my family usually went out to dinner to celebrate specific events: birthdays, relatives in town, Christmas Eve after late night mass. We ordered pizza a few times a year on Friday nights, complete with watching new episodes on ABC’s TGIF and drinking Pepsi out of the can. If that sounds lame, it wasn’t—because I knew that dining out marked a special occasion. Somewhere along the way I forgot that, and eating out became the norm due to a hectic schedule, lackluster cooking skills, and a taste for convenience.

Typically, I eat out for lunch 1-2 times a week, and my husband and I either pick up dinner or visit a restaurant 1-3 times, mostly on the weekend. That can cost anywhere from $8-15 for a single lunchtime outing and $20-75 for take-out or a sit-down meal, not to mention the fact that labor costs are rising, which has led to restaurant prices inching up. To save money for 30 days, I made a conservative choice to limit weekly dining out to one lunchtime outing on my own and one weekend dinner out as as couple. I wanted to see if I could retrain myself to view dining out as a special, cherished event, rather than an everyday occasion.

The result? I didn’t notice much of a difference; I simply needed to do a bit more meal planning for work and home. I also felt better health-wise and had more energy. Sure, pulling out a tuna sandwich and an apple at my desk felt less exciting than the Whole Foods salad bar—but spending the extra cash on a nice steak dinner with my husband and our favorite bottle of pinot noir later that week was worth every penny.

Monthly savings: $32-60 (by dropping one individual lunch per week) and $80-300 (by dropping one dinner for two per week)

 





Source: Colorjoy Stock

 

3. I stuck to a list

Otherwise known as, “how I avoided accidentally spending $100 at Target on shit I don’t need.” Even though the dollar section always calls my name and insists I need new notepads or decorative candles, I’m learning that if I actually stick to a legitimate list of items, I end up saving money. This approach proved useful at any store; before going on errands, I wrote down my list of items and then did my very best to only purchase those specific things. If I walked down an aisle and thought, “Oh! I forgot that I needed shampoo!” I asked myself if I was legitimately out of shampoo or if I was just running low. I discovered it was often the latter, and realized I could put shampoo, for instance, on my next shopping list. And at the grocery store, I learned that having a list kept me from buying (usually unhealthy) splurge items (like large packages of sour gummy worms).

Was it less fun to shop that way? Well, yes. It feels limiting to buy what’s on your list rather than view a store as your oyster; however, I’m not made of money and need to stick to a budget. This helped, immensely. One surprising perk: I also saved a lot of time by sticking to a list because I didn’t aimlessly wander around the store every time; I got in and got out with the things that I needed.

Monthly savings: $10-100

 

4. I remembered how to have old-school fun.

Once I became an independent adult, my idea of fun shifted to events that pretty much always cost money: drinks, dinners, concerts, plays, vacations, classes, parties… it all had a price, and I wanted to see if I remembered how to have fun the old-school way. You know, for free. Turns out there were plenty of things to do, like walking around the local art museum with a girlfriend, or running an informal 5k with my sister instead of signing up for an official race, or watching Netflix at home with stovetop popcorn.

At first, it felt a little boring, but mostly because my expectations were accustomed to thinking about activities as being Instagram-able first and foremost. I also felt a little self-conscious and lame by offering up alternative suggestions to friends who wanted to go out. But I got over it, and my friends never honestly seemed to mind because they just wanted to spend time together.

There’s joy in the simple things, like hanging out with the people you love with no agenda or timetable or required five-course meal. At the end of the 30-day period, I desperately felt ready for a nice glass of wine at a fancy bar; I wanted to fill up my calendar with everything fun. However, this exercise taught me to be more creative, more present, and more appreciative of people instead of things.

Monthly savings: $15-200

 





Source: Colorjoy Stock

 

5. I took a break from my phone

Earlier this year, I received a serious lecture from my husband about the fact that I went over our data plan pretty much every single month. This had become a massive habit of mine, and an expensive one since most cell phone carriers charge $5-15 for each GB of overage. To mitigate these unexpected costs, I forced myself to shut off cellular service for all applications unless I had access to Wi-Fi.

I soon noticed that I absent-mindedly checked my phone alllll the damn time. Usually for no good reason whatsoever. Additionally, I used GPS when I didn’t need to (I mean… I know how to get from my sister’s house to my apartment) and browsed Spotify to my heart’s content during long car rides. And social media? I opened those apps constantly, just to look and basically distract myself from real life whenever I felt bored, lonely, or anxious. I also, gulp, came face-to-face with my penchant for grabbing my phone while driving, which is incredibly unsafe. I thought I was being quick at a stop light to glance down at my email, when I was really just making life on the road unsafe for myself and others.

By putting my phone down, leaving it in my purse, or setting it aside, I not only saved money each month, I also had the opportunity to be much more aware on a daily basis. My emotional state improved, since I wasn’t continuously comparing my life to virtual reality. The data savings were great, but I felt grateful to kick a bad habit along the way.

Monthly savings: $5-20

 

Cutting these five items from my monthly budget taught me valuable lessons and put hundreds of dollars back into my bank account. Most importantly, it reminded me to make more meaningful, thoughtful financial choices, such as making extra student loan payments, money saved for a down payment on a house, and more bulk to my savings.

 

How to Save Money When You’re Not a Saver

READ ON

Our Favorite Games for the Best Video Game Systems Right Now

side by side of two photos left photo contains a brownskinned hand holding a blue xbox controller with blue 3d manicure...Joe Lingeman

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

It's all in the grip. Human society has progressed to the point of placing every aspect of modern life — friendship, finance, politics, health, sex, restaurant-quality cuisine, prestige television, astral feedback — into the literal palms of our hands. You know exactly what I am talking about, because the odds are two out of three that you're reading this on your phone right now! The bad news is that, nowadays, you can do anything with the right hand. The good news is, nowadays, you can do anything with the right hand. Or with the left.

All you need is a good controller. The Nintendo Switch's candy-colored Joy-Cons snap on and off a portable console like Legos, and are capable of transporting a user to galaxies unknown and dimensions uncharted. For something slightly more terrestrial, there's the Oculus Quest 2, which comprises a headset and twin Touch controllers. Current game options allow players to transport themselves to Pompeii, Chernobyl, the parks of Washington State, or the blanched-sand beaches of your mind's eye. Maybe you just want to drive a four-wheeler around the jungles of Mexico? You can do that on Xbox's Series S, and you can also watch movies.

It's difficult to explain how one appendage became the nexus of human life, and it's certainly too complicated for a short introduction to a photo story pairing manicures with the latest and greatest controllers that technology has to offer. Did our intelligent designer realize that, sooner or later, it would all come down to the fleshy palms of our hands? Impossible to say for sure, but thank God(s) they included an escape key.

Oculus Quest 2 and Touch controller 

hand holding oculus controller with 3d purple iridescent manicure in front of blue backgroundBest Beds The manicures shown here have not been game-play tested, but a coat or two of industrial-grade Seche Vite will ensure your nails don't quit before you do. Or take a page from the pros: Nail artist Honey, whose creativity is on display here, prefers low-impact games like The Sims. Relationship games, as opposed to zombie-slaying options, are her favorites: "I'm a nerd like that." Ananya Fine Jewelry bracelet.

The latest console from Facebook-owned virtual reality company Oculus is its sleekest option yet:
The Quest 2 drops players into stunning and super-immersive gaming environments.

a white oculus quest 2 headset on a white background

Oculus Quest 2 Headset

$299Shop Now

Game recommendations, from least to most physically taxing: 

  1. Wander allows players to visit almost any location, whether their own block or the bustling streets of nearly anywhere in the world, using "the magic of VR."
  2. In Beat Saber, slice flying cubes with a lightsaber to the electronic hits of today. (Music by Panic at the Disco, BTS, or Green Day will incur an added cost.)
  3. The Climb 2 provides mesas and mountains to scale and breathtaking virtual vistas to witness.
  4. Dance Central is the most fun you will ever have dancing alone in your home alongside a customizable avatar.
  5. The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners plucks players from their living rooms and drops them into a postapocalyptic, zombie-infested New Orleans, wishing them the best of luck on survival.

XBOX Series X/S and wireless controller

brownskinned hand holding blue xbox controller with 3d blue manicure in front of bright orange backgroundRetrouvai, Sorellina, Bulgari, and Messika rings. Hermès watch. 

As the gaming population ballooned amid the pandemic — one report estimates that over half of the United States population could identify as "digital gamers" by the end of 2021 — Microsoft unveiled its newest consoles, the Xbox Series X (with souped-up storage and performance) and its less-fussy sister, the Series S (small, sleek, slightly less expensive, and a perfect introduction to the platform). 

white xbox series s console and controller on a white background

Xbox Series S

$299Shop Now

Game recommendations, from least to most cerebral: 

  1. Forza Horizon 5 is a racing game that takes place in the photo-realistic towns and wilds of Mexico.
  2. FIFA 22, the latest installment in the long-running soccer franchise, will be the first to incorporate Electronic Arts' brand-new animation technology (read: smarter, more responsive players whose sweat-soaked pores you can actually see).
  3. In Life Is Strange: True Colors, the player-character uses her supernatural ability to unravel the mysteries of a sleepy town.
  4. Resident Evil Village is the most terrifying movie you will ever experience as a video game, complete with a mid-plot twist.

Nintento Switch and Joy-Con controllers

two brown skin hands each holding a Nintendo switch controller in front of green background left hand is holding yellow...NAILING IT A partial inventory of the materials that Honey keeps in her (conservative estimate) "10,000 bags": glue gun, wire, pointed pliers, charms, and curtain trimmings purchased in New York's Garment District, bits of Mylar ("half of Michael’s"). She's only kind of kidding when she says, "I never know what I'm doing." But she knows her supplies well and can locate a single sequin with a bloodhound's efficiency. "I like to play a lot," she says. "It all comes together — usually." Messika bracelet. Cartier watch.

Game anywhere. A set of controllers snap on to either side of a portable screen or snap apart to form a set of two for spontaneous multiplayer action. 

Image may contain: Electrical Device, and Switch

Nintendo Switch

$299Shop Now

Game recommendations, from most to least whimsical: 

  1. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, players arrive on an uncharted island and are tasked with turning it into a destination, with adorable animal neighbors to help out.
  2. Mario Party Superstars reimagines Super Mario as a multiplayer board game and is stocked with mini games from Mario Parties past.
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is set in a bucolic, open world that begs exploration. There are dangers, there are treasures, and there is Zelda, the princess awaiting your rescue. (The game's long-awaited sequel is slated to come out next year, which means you have a few months to get acquainted.)
  4. Metroid Dread is the newest chapter in a classic series. Players take on the role of intergalactic bounty hunter Samus Aran as she tries to escape an unknown, hostile world.

Sittings Editors: Tascha Berkowitz and Charlotte Diamond. Prop Stylist: Sharon Ryan. Manicure: Honey. Models: Avisha, Tabia at Part Models.

A version of this story originally appeared in the November 2021 issue of Allure. Learn how to subscribe here.

Megan Thee Stallion’s Sexy Pinhead Is Already the Best Celebrity Halloween Costume of the Year

Megan Thee Stallion performs wearing a pink shirt that says StallionGetty Images

Some celebrities are simply more into Halloween than others. You've got the stars that throw together something lazy and last-minute (or not at all), and then you've got the Heidi Klums and Kardashian-Jenners — the famous folks who invest major time and money into their costumes, sometimes only for the ‘gram. This year, Megan Thee Stallion has officially earned her spot among the celebrities who slay Halloween thanks to her take on Hellraiser's most recognizable character, lovingly known as Pinhead. 

Megan already posted one of the best Halloween manicures we've seen this year (OK, several of the best), but on Sunday, October 24, she took her festivities to another level, posting several photos to Instagram in which she is truly unrecognizable. The award-winning rapper's face is painted white, her hair entirely covered with a bald cap. From the top of her head emerges a grid of nails, immediately securing her resemblance to Pinhead. But instead of her face also being covered in nails, she has glamorous goth makeup: black eye shadow reaching all the way up to her dramatic brows, super lush false lashes, and glossy, black lipstick.

In the tradition of turning any imaginable costume concept into a "sexy" costume, Megan's take on Hellraiser definitely qualifies as Sexy Pinhead. From the neck down, she's covered in a white, matte latex suit made to appear like her entire body has been painted white, and she's wearing a mix of black leather and patent leather to cover only a few select areas. "Pain has a face. Allow me to show you. Gentlemen I am pain 🩸#hottieween," she wrote in the caption.

Instagram content

View on Instagram

Instagram content

View on Instagram

It's unclear what inspired Megan to make this her Halloween look this year (or perhaps one of several Halloween looks). It could be that it was just announced that the production of Hulu's Hellraiser reboot just wrapped and that Pinhead is played by a woman (the incredible Jamie Clayton). Or it may be a tribute to RuPaul's Drag Race contestant Gottmik's stunning interpretation of the character. But either way, this is an iconic costume.

Stretching: The Crucial Thing Missing Your Workout






Source: Color Joy Stock

So you know to prioritize both cardio and strengthening, fit in a walk or yoga flow even when you don’t have time for a full workout, and eat nutritious food to help your body feel its best while exercising. But the one crucial part of a healthy fitness routine you might be neglecting? Stretching. Stretching is not just an excuse to nap in Savasana for five minutes or for impressing your friends by doing splits during a night out (looking at you, Kyle Richards).

Stretching keeps the body flexible, strong, and healthy. When your muscles are flexible, they’re able to maintain a range of motion to prevent injuries and improve both endurance and strength. In other words, a flexible body is a healthy body. Yes, we need to stretch to accompany our workouts, but we also need to stretch to relieve tension, counteract the effects of sitting all day, and improve the overall health of the body. 

You don’t need to dedicate an hour a day or change your entire routine to stretch more. To prove it, we rounded up a list of obé Fitness stretching classes that range from a quick five-minute flow to a 30-minute sculpt workout that fits in the stretching for you. Whether you prefer to give your muscles some extra love during your morning routine, night routine, before a workout, after a workout, or throughout your workday, there’s an obé class for you. Scroll on to find the stretching sequence that appeals to you—your muscles can thank me later. 

For 50% off your first month and a free 7-day trial, use code “TEG50” at checkout!

 

Recharge stretch





If you’re on your lunch break or taking a quick 10-minute break, this is the stretch for you. It’s meant to not only stretch out your entire body from head to toe but is also meant to energize you. Think of this stretch series as your 3 p.m. coffee alternative. Trust me, you won’t need a shot of espresso when you use this to treat your afternoon slump. 

 

Warmup for runners





PSA to runners, joggers, and cardio-lovers: You need to be stretching. Not only is stretching before and after cardio workouts crucial in preventing injuries, but properly preparing your muscles can also help improve endurance and speed. Try this stretching warmup, whether you’re about to hit the treadmill or sprint on a track. 

 

Calming morning flow





If mornings are your sacred time to prepare your mind and body for the day ahead, I got you. For those of us who prefer to wake up slowly and peacefully instead of rush right into a workout first thing in the morning, this flow will help center you and energize you after waking up while also providing you with calm energy to take on your day. 

 

Hips and hamstring stretch





Picture this: You crushed a killer leg day yesterday and now it’s painful to walk. Or maybe you keep a lot of tension in your hips (guilty!), and your hamstrings and glutes are always tight. Look no further than this lower-body stretch, designed to gently open up your hips and stretch out the hamstrings. 

 

Neck and upper back stretch





I get a lot of tension headaches, and after my doctor suggested the tension was coming from my neck, shoulders, and upper back, I started doing this five-minute neck and upper back stretch every day. Spoiler alert: My tension headaches went away. This is also good for tech neck (also guilty) or people who sit at a desk all day (AKA most of us). 

 

Chair stretch





If you’re a seasoned stretcher who wants something that goes a little deeper than your normal body stretches (but without paying for fancy equipment you most likely won’t use), good news. All you need to get deeper and stretch every muscle group in the body is a chair. Grab the one from your office or a dining chair from the kitchen and give your muscles a little TLC. 

 

Cool down stretch





By now, you know you need a dynamic stretch at the beginning of your workout to warm up, but it’s just as important to do a cool down stretch to help release and stretch out the muscles that just put in a lot of hard work. Whether you prefer jogging, barre, or yoga, try this cool down stretch after your workout of choice to prevent soreness and lengthen muscles. 

 

Seated stretch





If you swear you don’t even have five minutes to spare during your busiest days, you can still fit in a good stretch to help your body feel its best. All of these stretches can be done at your desk. That’s right, you can get a full-body stretch in while sitting in your chair. Try these movements while transitioning between tasks at your desk or even while you’re in a Zoom meeting (but insider tip: turn your camera off). 

 

Stretch and sculpt class





If you prefer stretching to be seamlessly incorporated into your workout or you only have 30 minutes a day to dedicate to your body, try this combo stretch and sculpt class. You’ll be toning and strengthening all the important muscle groups, and then stretching out what you just worked for lengthened muscles and a healthier body. 

 

Full body stretch





Got 10 minutes to spare but don’t know where to start? This full body stretch goes through all the best basics to relieve tension and stretch out every muscle group in the body. Whether you’re wrapping up a workout, taking a lunch break, or just want to move your body for an extra 10 minutes throughout the day, give your entire body some TLC with these stretches. 

 

Bedtime stretch





Certain stretches are the perfect way to wake up and energize the body, but other stretches can work to relax the body for your most peaceful night of sleep ever. These stretches improve your mobility and flexibility like other stretches, but the sequence is also designed to release tension from the body and leave you in a blissed out state by the end. Pro tip: Do these stretches in your PJs because you’re going to want to hop right into bed when you’re done. 

 

Wine and unwind stretch





If I haven’t convinced you to stretch more yet, this will probably do it. Whether you just wrapped up a tough workday or you would never miss a happy hour, kill two birds with one stone by having your glass of wine while stretching the body.

Sure, this is just a regular series of amazing stretches you can do without wine at any time of day (or with any beverage of choice), but I like this idea of fitting in whatever feels best for you. It’s a good reminder that you don’t have to be on a yoga mat, have on your workout clothes, or be at the optimal time to get a stretch in. You can stretch whenever, wherever, and however feels best for you, so fit it in where you can and make it as enjoyable as possible (yes, even if that means with a glass of Pinot Noir). 

 





 

Sit at a Desk All Day? We Asked a Physical Therapist What To Do About It

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This post is sponsored by obé, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.

 

GHD’s Max Styler Cut Straightening Time for My Thick, Curly Hair in Half

Two photos of a woman with curly and straight hair with a photo of a flat iron in the middle on a purple backgroundCourtesy Photo

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

One of the best parts about growing up with two sisters was having two extra sets of hands to help straighten my waist-length curly hair. Before I added GHD Max Styler to my hair routine, three straighteners were needed — at once —  to get me out the door if I wanted pin-straight hair. 

Growing up, achieving a sleek hairdo was not only time-consuming but also damaging for my hair follicles. The constantly fluctuating temperatures of my old, manual flatiron would leave me with frizzy, uneven sections at the top of my head and sore arms from hours of putting in work. 

After years of heat-damaging my thick hair with too many passes of a straightener with too high of a temperature, I began to think silky, glass hair was impossible for me to achieve at home. Once I got my hands on the GHD Max Styler, my mind was completely changed, though. Immediately, I noticed how lightweight the hot tool felt in my hand, even with larger styling plates than I'm used to. My usual was as big as two-finger widths but GHD's are as big as three or four. Plus, the larger styling plates allow me to straighten larger sections of my hair at once, ultimately cutting my styling time in half — from an hour and 15 minutes to a solid 45 minutes, tops. 

Writer wearing a lime green dress holding the GHD Max Styler with half her hair straight and half curly

Halfway through straightening with the GHD Max Styler

Courtesy of writer

Halfway through my first time trying out the flatiron, I admired the silky texture across the entire tool, which helped me easily grip it. Even when I straightened the hair at the crown of my hair, the Max Styler never slipped out of my hands. Usually, this area calls for a few unusual angles and twists of the arm to maintain a good handle on the iron. 

Speaking of awkward angles, the Max Styler's power cord oscillates as you move the hot tool around, making that dreaded section of hair I usually save for last painless with no cord tangles or knots. 

All the while, GHD's Max Styler imparts the same temperature with every pass through my hair. Frizzy, low-temp sections of hair are now matters of the past. With just a press of the one (and only) button on the hot tool, its ceramic plates automatically heat up to 365 degrees Fahrenheit and maintain that same temperature the entire time you're styling your hair. I like to think of this technology similar to cruise control. 

Writer wearing a lime green dress with curly brushed out brown hair

Before

Courtesy of writerWriter wearing a lime green dress smiling with straight brown hair

After

Courtesy of writer

Answering my thick, curly hair's prayers, I no longer have to play the temperature guessing game that results in uneven, damaged hair. The hot tool does it all on its own. And I don't have to worry about reaching for it multiple times per week because my pin-straight hair now lasts up to six days — give or take depending on New York City's humidity. 

According to hairstylist Cherin Choi, the set 365-degree temperate maintenance will affect the outcome of your styling, "creating a smooth, constant look that is less damaging to the hair," she says. Choi notes that simplicity is key when it comes to a user-friendly experience. As for the enlarged styling plates, Choi agrees the time spent straightening would decrease, "allowing a more even heating surface area at once," she says. 

GHD Max Styler flat iron on a white background

GHD Max Styler

$219Shop Now

You pick up your own flatiron to achieve the same results at sephora.com or ulta.com for $219. Trust me, it's well worth the price tag. But before you go, make sure to check out all of our 2021 Allure Best of Beauty Award winners to discover the latest and greatest beauty products vetted by Allure editors. 

Hey Now, There’s an Official Shrek Nail Polish Line

flay lay of lapierre cosmetics shrekish nail polish collectionCourtesy of brand

I'll be honest, this is a story I never imagined myself writing in my time as a beauty editor, but damn am I glad to be writing it. That headline you clicked on is totally real: there's an officially licensed Shrek nail polish collection coming your way from LaPierre Cosmetics, a BIPOC-founded brand that specializes in nontoxic nail polishes. 

Together, LaPierre and Dreamworks (the animation company behind Shrek) have come up with a set of eight shades inspired by everyone's favorite Ogres, Donkey, and Dragon. Shown below, the three metallic and five standard colors in the collection are surprisingly chic for a movie full of fart jokes. Each shade is inspired by the various characters of the film franchise like the gunmetal hue named Ba-Donkey Donk, the Dragon of Duloc, a dark and metallic magenta, plus Shrek-ish, a lime green.

LaPierre's Shrek Nail Polish Line Is the Collab We Desperately Needed  See Photo

Seeing as I've based my entire personality on Princess Fiona's, you can consider me first in line to order this collection when it launches exclusively on LaPierre's Instagram shop on October 25. Otherwise, I'll be waiting patiently for it to drop online at Macy's come November 1. 

The only major downside is that you can only buy these polishes as a bundle for $110 — that said, they do come in an adorable collector's box any Shrek nerd would be proud to display (well, maybe that's just me). But, hey, the chance to tell all of your friends that the very cute nail polish you're wearing is from the Haus of Shrek? That's priceless. 

The LaPierre Cosmetics Shrek-ish collection retails for $110 and is available from LaPierre's Instagram on October 25 and from macys.com on November 1.