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How Nature Can Revive a Weary Soul

A woman's hand holding out a book along a gravel trail

While it may seem trite or obvious that nature is good for us, the benefits of nature on our mental wellness are infinite. There’s something so poetic and Thoreau about it, of course. We all love a bucolic moment—visualizing ourselves milking the cow and leisurely running our hands through a wheat field. But how do we, the suburban and city folk, really benefit from nature? 

After 2020 and transitioning back into a faster pace of life in 2021, it is possible that you may be feeling weary. We’ve overcome the trappings and the drawbacks of a year of the “new normal” and are walking a path now that is perhaps ambivalent and unknown. We are all finding our footing again. Last year, we were inside more than ever, and now as we return to the hustle of our “new normal,” it can be harder to find time to simply take a walk in the woods. 

So this, my friends, is where we begin. 

A walk in the woods is a lovely place to start, but what if we don’t have the woods? I know in suburban Southern California that I do not have any sort of woodland nearby. However, hills will work. Hiking paths, trails, a small yard or public park, they all work. 

If there’s nothing nearby, then I encourage you to familiarize yourself with what is close and accessible to hike or visit. There are urban farms and even many fairgrounds have botanical gardens or large grass lots where you can picnic. If nature isn’t convenient, please do not let that deter you. Find a way to access your own little piece of the great outdoors and bring it into your fold.

Find a way to access your own little piece of the great outdoors and bring it into your fold.

Here are a few practical tools on how to use nature to counteract your weariness:

1. Train your brain to crave the outdoors.

Just like exercise and coffee, which you’ve told your brain to do each morning, add going outside to your daily routine. After a while (it takes 21 days to build a habit), it’ll be second nature (pun intended). 

When you start to feel unrest, anxiety, sadness, the 2 p.m. slump or even the itch to “doom scroll” your Instagram, instead go outside. Sit with the sun on your face. Feel and smell the grass. Walk slowly enjoying any trees, shrubs and flowers that are along your path.

Sit with the sun on your face. Feel and smell the grass.

2. Soil makes us happy.

It’s been scientifically proven that gardening reduces anxiety and depression. How? Soil contains microbes that when inhaled, mimic what serotonin does to our brains. What?! I know, it’s wild. 

Gardening, and literally digging in the dirt, increases happiness and relaxation while decreasing feelings of dissatisfaction. Place yourself in the way of good things and find a way to garden if you can. Perhaps, a small 2 x 4 ft. raised bed would fit on your patio, or find a community garden that you can become involved in!

3. Learn to rest, not quit.

When you’re weary and rundown, it’s common to want to throw in the towel on whatever is ailing you, whether that be relationships, jobs, projects, etc. Nothing is safe. Instead, rest and then reevaluate. I’m not talking about a 20-minute power nap where you awake to an alarm and remain groggy all day. I’m talking about active rest in nature.

Nature has a revitalizing effect on us because it entertains us while allowing us to escape mentally. It turns off the active thinking brain and allows the subconscious to take over a bit. Similar to meditation, being in nature allows the neural pathways in your brain to rebuild and heal. It changes up your environment and introduces calm. This is necessary for our bodies and brains, and it allows our cells to repair and, in turn, keeps us healthy, rested, happy and moving. 

Everyday wonder and miracles abound in nature. Seeds self-sow. Colors emerge that have never before been seen. Plants create medicine that heals us. Being in mere proximity to that kind of wonder will revive your weary soul. After all, we’re simply atoms and dust ourselves, belonging quite perfectly amongst the ferns and flowers. 

Everyday wonder and miracles abound in nature.

For absolutely no reason whatsoever other than your own joy, today go be in nature. See for yourself the difference in how you feel. 

How often do you intentionally spend time in nature? How do you feel after time spent outside?

Image via Zoe Lea

The July 4th Sales We’re Shopping This Year

The Everygirl’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.






Source: Alaina Kaczmarski for The Everygirl

For some, the 4th of July means a day jam-packed with summer fun, including time in the sun, al fresco dining, and outfits in all shades of red, white, and blue. Especially in the summer of 2021, this patriotic holiday spells festivities galore for most. For us, the 4th of July means all of that plus hitting up some of the biggest, most exciting sales of the season. What better way to celebrate than by finally snagging a deal on that home decor item we’ve been eyeing for months, by scoring an unexpectedly affordable summer outfit, or by finding a brand new skincare product at an impressively low price?

There’s no better long weekend to devote to surfing the sales, and we’ve compiled a list of the absolute best July 4th sales on the internet. This year, you can catch us shopping these deals from sunrise to fireworks.

 

up to 70% off at J.Crew

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J.Crew

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Silk Camisole

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Ruffle Stretch Cotton Poplin Jumpsuit

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Short-Sleeve Lightweight Poplin Shirt

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J.Crew

Silk Camisole in Leopard

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Off-The-Shoulder Dress in Ikat Antique Floral

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J.Crew

Cottage Dress in Stripe

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J.Crew

Poplin Shirtdress

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Tie-Waist Linen Shirtdress

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Tie-Waist Linen Shirtdress in Stripe

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$25 off purchases of $125+ at Madewell

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Madewell

The Curvy Momjean in Mayes Wash

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Madewell

Linen-Blend Allie Mini Dress

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Madewell

Stovepipe Jeans in Hume Wash

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Madewell

Ottoman Jacquard Button-Front Tank

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Madewell

Linen Keyhole Top

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Tie-Waist Romper

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Madewell

Puff-Sleeve Smocked Top

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Oversized Trucker Jean Jacket

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25% off at Abercrombie & Fitch

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Abercrombie & Fitch

High-Rise Denim Mom Shorts

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Twist-Front Cutout Midi Dress

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Curve Love High-Rise Mom Shorts

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Linen-Blend Pull-On Shorts

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Halter Trapeze Tiered Mini Dress

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Kimono Swim Cover Up

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Easy Waist Linen Jumpsuit

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Easy Waist Midi Dress

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Slide Sandals

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up to 70% off at West Elm

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West Elm

Mitzi Nightstand

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Classic Stripe Duvet Cover & Shams

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Cotton Cloud Jersey Duvet Cover & Shams

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Exposed Wood Barrel Handle Trays

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Blair Stainless Steel Flatware

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Glass Shadow Boxes

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Velvet Pillows

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Upholstered Storage Bed

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Stone Tile Rug

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Seagrass Twist Rug

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Marble Frame Hutch

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25% off Lenox Dinnerware

use code FIREWORKS

Lennox

French Perle Scallop 12-Piece Dinnerware Set

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French Perle Scallop 4-Piece Place Setting

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French Perle Scallop 4-Piece Mug Set

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French Perle Scallop 4-Piece Bowl Set

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Lennox

French Perle Scallop Platter

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French Perle Scallop 4-Piece Dinner Plate Set

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up to 50% off at Old Navy

no code necessary

Old Navy

Crinkled Smocked Fit & Flare Dress

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Old Navy

High-Waisted Jean Shorts

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Old Navy

Smocked Tie-Shoulder Midi Dress

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Old Navy

Puff-Sleeve Dobby Midi Dress

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Old Navy

High-Waisted Cut-Off Jeans

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Old Navy

Wide-Leg Cropped Pants

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Old Navy

Striped Shirt Dress

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Old Navy

Twill Utility Jacket

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Old Navy

Flutter-Sleeve Blouse

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Old Navy

Rib-Knit Midi Shift Dress

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Darling Letters: On the Type of Leaders We Choose to Be

A woman seated on a chair with her hands pressed against her mouth

We are bringing “Darling Letters” from your inbox to the blog! We love the art of letter writing and believe it helps build authentic community. Our editors and contributors have thoughtfully written encouraging letters to cut through the busyness and speak straight to your heart.

In her novel “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” author J.K. Rowling wrote, “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” 

Recently, on a hectic work day, I was reminded of these powerful words. As my email notifications pinged in the background, my stress levels piqued. Then, the moment happened. Someone on my team asked a question in an email chain about something that I had previously explained in detail, and I reacted instead of responding with patience. 

I reacted instead of responding with patience. 

I sent a quick and snippy, “Per my previous email…” You know that passive aggressive, easy response we send when we safely sit behind the comfort of our computer screens? She responded kindly with the necessary information, and instantly, I felt that little twinge in my heart say, “Oh shoot, I could have done better.”

The ball was in my court. I thought: What type of leader do I want to be? Will I be the person who is quick to apologize and who lifts up my team? Or will I be the prideful leader who is unrelenting and unwilling to show grace?

I knew what I wanted my answer to be. So I sent her a note thanking her for her hard work on the project and apologizing for being short with her in my previous email.

I’ve had my fair share of bad bossesinternship managers in NYC who sent me home crying, nonprofit leaders who micromanaged my every move and retail managers who made me carry all the weight. None of these are the type of leader or person I want to be. I want to roll up my sleeves and work side-by-side with my team. I want to champion them. I want to stay at the table to have the hard but necessary conversations for clarity. 

The measure of our leadership isn’t contingent upon how well we treat our superiors or those who have something to offer us. It’s based on how we treat our team, especially the ones who are a few steps behind us. Let’s roll up our sleeves and be leaders who lead from a place of humility and grace and watch how it transforms the workplace.

The measure of our leadership is based on how we treat our team, especially the ones who are a few steps behind us.

With hope,
Stephanie Taylor, Online Managing Editor

How would you describe your style of leadership? As leaders, how can we help foster healthy workplace culture?

Image via Ben Cope, Darling Issue No. 15

Awkward Sex Moments and How to Deal With Them






Source: We Vibe | Unsplash

Remember when we talked about the importance of talking about sex with your friends? We weren’t kidding. Telling your friends about your sex life (whether it’s issues and complications or all the best!) can seem daunting, but it normalizes these experiences we all have.

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But what do we do when something weird happens? We’re talking something uncomfortable, awkward, and downright embarrassing. Our first thought might be to delete our social media and move to Malta. (No one would ever guess Malta, right?) Some of us might hide and never bring it up again, hoping both parties forget it ever happened.

Well, it happened, and you know what? It’s totally normal and not actually a big deal. We’re running down the top 10 most awkward sex moments and how you can deal with them (without running away to a foreign country).

 

1. They finish too quickly

Remember when Ross and Rachel first have sex and Rachel thinks Ross climaxes almost immediately? This can be awkward, uncomfortable, and a little anticlimactic (ironically). However, trust us: this is just as awkward for your partner, meaning there is no reason to worry about it.

If things end sooner than you were expecting, don’t be afraid to ask your partner if they can help you finish as well. Sex is a two-way street, and most of the time, they’d be ecstatic to get you there too!

 

2. Taking off the shapewear

You’re in your hottest outfit, and those Spanx are doing you good. What’s a bump? Never heard of her. You meet a guy at the bar or you decide to go home after the date, and it’s getting steamy. We’re talking Chuck-and-Blair-in-the-back-of-the-limo hot. The clothes start to come off, and “OH MY GOD I’M WEARING SPANX” jumps into your brain. This same questioning comes when you’re wearing a bodysuit and the person you’re with has no idea what to do with it.

Don’t worry, you have a few options here. If you’re absolutely embarrassed and petrified, you can excuse yourself to the restroom and get naked in there. This eliminates the need to take those tight undergarments off in front of the person and can honestly be kinda sexy. However, there is absolutely no reason to be embarrassed by something like this. A lot of women wear these undergarments to feel more confident. Laugh about it with your partner and move on.

 

3. It’s going on forever

You climaxed like 20 minutes ago, and at this point, it’s starting to feel like your insides are a punching bag. With a romantic partner, it might be a little easier to say, “alright, hurry this thing up.” However, if you’re only casually sleeping with someone, this can be a little uncomfortable.

Ask your partner if he or she wants to try a different position or wants to try something else. They might get the hint that things are going on a little bit longer than you wanted or this might help them finish as well. It’s also a good way to try something new!

 

4. Your vagina makes a weird noise

All women have experienced this in the bedroom, and if you haven’t, it’s because you’ve buried it so deep, you’ve forced yourself to forget. The vagina is a weird and totally awesome organ that makes weird noises at times, especially when air, fluids, and *ahem* other body parts are inserted (pun absolutely intended) into the mix.

Odds are, your partner is unphased by any weird noises you’re making. If they are, gently remind them that it’s normal and to keep doing what they’re doing.

 

5. When literally anyone farts

If your partner does, the first instinct might be to run. If you do, the first instinct could also be to get a faceplant and inhabit Mars. Either way, this situation is obviously awkward.

This is a normal body function, and sometimes, it happens at inopportune times. You just have to laugh at yourselves. (And then maybe light a candle.)

 

6. When they want you to stay over but you just want to be in your own bed

You just had a great time together, and they’re ready to get their spoon on, but your bed is really calling your name after that workout.

Be straight with your partner about wanting to go home. You could also compromise and say you’ll stay over next time!

 

7. You really need to pee

You’re in the heat of it — it’s hot, it’s sexy, you’re having a great time, and your bladder decides to interrupt with an important message saying IT’S FULL. What happens if you just stop and run to the bathroom? Is that going to kill the vibe? You also can’t pee all over these white sheets, so there aren’t many options here. Should we wait it out? Nope, bladder just said you cannot wait it out.

In this case, it’s OK to say stop and let your body do its thing. Be aware that orgasms (they’re all different, remember?) and female ejaculation can feel like you’re about to pee. If you’re confused or worried about a sensation, don’t be afraid to bring it up with a doctor to make sure.

 

8. Someone can’t get aroused

You could be so excited and ready to get it on with this person, but your body just doesn’t respond how you want it to. As if the mood couldn’t be killed any more.

Be patient with yourself and your partner during situations like this. It has nothing to do with you or them, and make your partner aware that you understand that. If this becomes a persistent issue in the relationship, there are tons of options out there for both of you, so talk to your doctor!

 

9. When they don’t quite understand the female anatomy

The sexual education system must not have taught some people exactly how the vagina and the vulva works. In their defense, it can get quite slippery down there, so a little movement is expected. However, when he entirely misses (AKA going after the wrong holes down there), there aren’t many other ways to explain the expression other than 😮.

This might be painful and kill the mood, so instruct your partner to touch you exactly where you want. Not only do you avoid this happening again, but you’ll probably get a little more pleasure out of sex too!

If this accident becomes a pattern, it might be time to sit your partner down and remind them of both your sexual boundaries and discuss what you’re both looking for.

 

10. When it’s over and you realize everything you just said

When you’re in the moment, it’s common to get caught up in it all. The sex is hot and heavy, and we’re sexual creatures, so sometimes, you’re going to say some crazy sh*t. (No shame in your game, girl!) So, when you’re laying there afterward or in the shower, and you think back to everything you said and did, the embarrassment starts to set in. Yes, girlfriend, you really said that.

Dirty talk is normal and fun! If you’re worried your partner didn’t enjoy it, talk with them about what they’d like next time. However, odds are, they were into it as much as you.

 

And because awkward moments happen seriously all the time, we had to add a few honorable mentions: when trying a new position doesn’t quite go “as planned,” looking at yourself in the mirror afterward to be greeted by mascara smudges that would scare the mightiest of raccoons, worrying that your neighbors/roommates/the entire block can hear you, getting a leg cramp (because getting older is sexy AF), getting your period out of nowhere, when that picture of his or her family on the nightstand is staring right back at you (we love people who love their families!), when you’re just not into it anymore and have to think about A$AP Rocky to get to the end—ladies, the list could go on. Sex is a beautiful, fun, weird, uncomfortable, awkward, and totally normal experience. There is no reason to feel insecure or embarrassed by any of this.

 

Testing the Viral Madison Beer Makeup Routine

The Everygirl’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.





When Vogue posted the viral Madison Beer makeup routine back in February, I fell head over heels in love. I’d watched plenty of Vogue celebrity makeup videos before, but there was just something about Madison Beer’s makeup that left me excited to experiment with beauty products again. The look she achieved was warm, bright, and—the best part of all—totally doable.

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Compared to most, Madison Beer’s makeup routine is approachable yet completely different from my typical go-to, low-maintenance makeup routine. It called for a skin tint instead of a foundation, a cream contour, a signature fox eye, the all-controversial soap brows, and a plethora of blush which, I can’t lie, did frighten me a bit. With the exception of cream contour and cream blush, I already had everything I needed to recreate this look, which is an absolute win if you ask me.

I tried this look for the first time two weeks ago and have gotten so many compliments since—this is coming from a woman who has never gotten compliments on her makeup in her entire life. This routine is the perfect fusion of natural and glam, and if you haven’t tried it yet, this is your sign to give it a go. Here’s how to make it happen:

 

Step 1: Prep skin

Madison preps her skin for makeup by washing her face, using a toner, jade rolling, moisturizing, using an eye cream, and finishing up with a facial mist. Even before seeing Madison’s routine, I’ve been an unofficial spokesperson for doing skincare almost immediately before putting on makeup. Whenever I use my toner, moisturizer, and eye cream before applying my makeup products, my makeup is a lot easier to apply, and afterward, my skin appears more radiant.

Amazon

Acne Foaming Wash

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Laneige

Cream Skin Toner

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Sephora

Rose Quartz Facial Roller

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Drunk Elephant

Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer

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Farmacy

Honey Halo Ultra-Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer

Although Madison uses this Drunk Elephant moisturizer, our team is head-over-heels for this one from Farmacy. Regardless of your skin type, this thick, creamy moisturizer is the cure for dryness, irritation, and dehydration, leaving your skin ultra-hydrated and smooth for makeup application.

Shop it now

Caudalie

Beauty Elixir

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La Mer

The Eye Concentrate

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Shiseido

Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Eye Cream

La Mer isn’t necessarily in the cards (er, wallets) for most of us out there, and this Shiseido eye cream is a close second if you want an anti-aging formula that will plump and hydrate the under eyes.

Shop it now

 

Step 2: Use soap and a spoolie brush to fluff up the brows

I’ve gone back and forth with whether or not I love the soap brows trend, but in the name of Madison Beer, I revisited the idea. If you’ve never tried soap brows before, here’s what you need to know: It literally calls for soap. While they sell slightly fancier versions of soap brows on the internet, you can totally use any bar soap that you have at home. Just spray the soap and a spoolie brush with setting spray, rub the spoolie vigorously in the soap, then apply it to the brows in an upward motion to give them a full, fluffy appearance.

I’ve found that I really like doing soap brows when my eyebrows are freshly tinted and tamed. On the other hand, when they’re long and in need of a wax, I don’t really want to draw attention to them. But I’ll admit, when mine are already nice and clean, brushing them upwards makes them look extra full and model-esque. If you don’t have a bar of soap or an official soap brows kit, you can always opt for a brow gel or a brow pomade to achieve a similar look.





Ownest

Soap Brows

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Step 3: Use a skin tint or a tinted moisturizer as a base

All hail a makeup tutorial that doesn’t call for foundation. Listen, I don’t have a personal vendetta against foundation, but right now, it’s hot as hell in Chicago, so I’ve been trying to avoid heavy, full coverage as much humanly possible. Madison used a skin tint that I don’t have, so I reached for the next best thing: a tinted moisturizer with SPF. If you’re worried about coverage, don’t be! The next step has your back.

Glossier

Perfecting Skin Tint

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Laura Mercier

Tinted Moisturizer

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Step 4: Conceal the T-zone, under the eyes, and over any blemishes

I’ve been a NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer stan for as long as I can remember, so I was super pumped to see that my girl Madison uses it too. She uses more concealer than I’m normally used to (I usually just keep it contained to under my eyes), but this with tinted moisturizer worked beautifully.





NARS

Radiant Creamy Concealer

Madison swears by this concealer just as much as our editors do. It’s exactly as described: a radiant, glowy finish in a creamy formula that blends like nothing else on the market. This is a must-have in any beauty lovers’ collection.

Shop it now

 





 

Step 5: Use a cream contour under the cheekbones and around the temples of the forehead

This was the part of Madison’s makeup routine that made my jaw drop. Maybe it isn’t groundbreaking for some, but when she pulled out that Charlotte Tilbury Contour Wand, I about fainted. I usually only contour with bronzer because I’ve been too intimidated to try anything else, but this contour stick made it look easy AF.

I about sprinted to a web browser to order one for myself, and to my despair, it was sold out. Fast forward to now, and as far as I am aware, it’s still sold out. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had the idea of adding it to my cart in hopes of being a Madison Beer doppelgänger. Instead, I picked up the Makeup Revolution Eye Bright Illuminating Under Eye Concealer in a shade much darker than my skin tone, and while I don’t have the CT version to compare it to, I can confidently say that it did a stellar job. Blending might have taken me a little bit longer than it did Madison, but with patience, we persevered.

Charlotte Tilbury

Hollywood Contour Wand

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Makeup By Mario

Soft Sculpt Shaping Stick

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Step 6: Use a cream blush on the cheekbones and over the bridge of the nose

Our girl Madison is in a long-term, committed relationship with blush. In the Vogue video (after using a cream blush and a powder blush), she laughed and declared, “You can never have too much blush in my world.” I’ll admit, I was a bit frightened by the amount of product that she swears by. I usually just opt for a powder blush over my cheekbones as a barely noticeable, finishing touch to my makeup, so this was definitely a change for me.

Since her tutorial was released, the Charlotte Tilbury Pinkgasm Beauty Light Wand that she uses for this part has also been out of stock, so I opted for a drugstore cream blush (Sweet Cheeks by NYX) instead. I wouldn’t call it a direct dupe (it was matte as opposed to being a highlighter), but it definitely was key to helping me achieve the rosy cheek look that Madison swears by.

Charlotte Tilbury

Beauty Highlighter Wand

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NYX Professional Makeup

Sweet Cheeks Soft Tint Blush

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Step 7: Set undereyes, T-zone, and blemishes with a setting powder

We’re done with cream products at this point, and now, we’re moving on to powders. At this point, Madison goes back into the areas where she adds her concealer (under the eyes, T-zone, and blemishes), and dusts on a setting powder. She uses the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder, but I used the E.L.F. Perfect Finish HD Pressed Powder, which is literally only $6 and worked wonderfully!

Charlotte Tilbury

Flawless Finish Setting Powder

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e.l.f. Cosmetics

High Definition Setting Powder

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Step 8: Use a powder bronzer to warm up the cheekbones and to lightly contour the nose

After setting her concealer, Madison goes in with a medium-sized fluffy brush with some bronzer to add warmth to the cheekbones. Next, she grabs a smaller fluffy brush and uses her bronzer to lightly contour the sides of her nose and underneath the tip. At this point, I felt like a sunkissed, bronzed goddess, and I was absolutely loving it.

Fenty Beauty

Sun Stalk’r Bronzer

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Physicians Formula

Butter Bronzer

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Step 9: Use a powder blush over the cheekbones and on the bridge of the nose

OK, this is the part where I had a bit of a mini-heart attack. We’re addingmore blush? Madison, girl, are you sure?! I trusted the process, reached for my go-to blush, and lightly dusted it over my cheekbones. After I was done, I exhaled. I had survived a feat I never thought that I would. I can do hard things, what can I say?

Fenty beauty

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter

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NYX

High Glass Illuminating Powder

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Step 10: Add a neutral brown eyeshadow into the crease of the eyelid and then opt for a dark brown eyeshadow to line the inner and outer corners of the eye

After setting concealer, adding powder bronzer, and dusting on powder blush, Madison does an eye look that I honestly don’t see too often. She uses a small, fluffy eyeshadow brush with a neutral brown shadow in her crease and then takes a small, angled eyeshadow brush and a darker brown to line the inner and outer corners of her eye, creating her signature fox-eye look.

Note: I think this would work just as well (if not, better) with a brown, waterproof eyeliner. Because we didn’t prep the inner or outer corners of the eye with concealer, my dark brown shadow bled a bit during and after application, which I didn’t really love.





Morphe

Madison Beer Channel Surfing Artistry Palette

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Step 11: After adding mascara, use a light eyeshadow or a highlighter to illuminate the inner corners of the eye, underneath the waterline

After adding mascara, Madison goes back in with a tiny brush and a highlighter in the inner corner of her eye and underneath the waterline to add some brightness. I think that this step really made my eyes pop, but again, I wish I would have added some sort of primer first because after I applied it, it didn’t last too long.





Glossier

Lash Slick

Another Madison favorite that’s also loved by our editors, this mascara makes your lashes look miles long and separated (AKA a close second to lash extensions!).

Shop it now

 

Step 12: Use a neutral lip liner to overline the lips and top with a clear or light pink lip gloss

Lastly, Madison overlines her lips with a neutral-colored liner and a clear lip gloss. And I must say: I can’t believe I didn’t think of it first. It’s so unbelievably simple but adds so much to the look and makes my lips look plump AF. I’ve never been a huge lipstick person, so I’ll be using this technique until the end of time.

Charlotte Tilbury

Lip Cheat Lip Liner

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Ulta

Juice Infused Lip Oil

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The Pros

Since trying Madison’s Vogue makeup tutorial, I’ve definitely incorporated a lot of her techniques (if not all of them) into my out-on-the-town makeup look. I absolutely love using a cream blush and contour and then setting it with powder blush and bronzer. It definitely scared me a bit at first, but after a few hours of wear, I really appreciated that the warmth and life stuck around.

I’ve also been loving putting blush on the bridge of my nose. I was a bit hesitant when I first watched her bring cream blush onto her nose, but now, I literally can’t stop doing it. It gives the perfect sunkissed look and is one that I’ll be rocking all season long.

Also, we can add “overlined lips and lipgloss” to the list of things I am wearing on repeat. As I previously mentioned, I’ve never been a huge lipstick person, and typically, I like to keep it simple with lipgloss or a tinted lip balm. But these days, I reach for my neutral liner and lipgloss when I want to give my lips a bit of a pop, and honestly, I’ll never go back.

 

The Cons

I love the way that Madison’s fox eye looks on her, but for me, it just didn’t stick (both literally and figuratively). Of all of the steps, this was the one that disappeared on my face most quickly, probably because we didn’t prime our eyes with any sort of concealer. I didn’t necessarily hate the look, so if I were to attempt it again, I would definitely either use an eye primer before the darker shadow or opt for a waterproof brown eyeliner to extend the wear.

 

The Final Verdict

Of all of the makeup tutorials I’ve tried in my lifetime, this one is one of my absolute favorites. Between the soap brows, fox eye, defined contour, and warm blush, it’s the perfect look for a daytime lunch date or a night out on the town. As for an everyday makeup look, I’ll stick with keeping it simple (tinted moisturizer, setting powder, powder blush, bronzer, and mascara), but for times when I want to turn it up a notch, this is the routine I’ll be reaching for time and time again.

 

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How to Admit You’re Overwhelmed at Work






Source: @liztong_

Feeling stressed at work is the worst, but it happens to the best of us. Though you may worry about looking incompetent in front of your boss or disappointing your colleagues, it’s better for your sanity — and your career — to fess up in order to get some help. Here are eight ways to actually let someone know you’re overwhelmed at work, instead of pretending to be “fine,” so you can bounce back like the productive, confident person you already are.

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1. Don’t play the “I’m so busy!” game.

Admit it: there’s a weird sense of satisfaction in claiming to be “sooooo busy.” It makes you feel important and needed; however, it’s completely unsustainable. Falling into the busy trap will not only make you sick, tired, irritable, and less productive, but also doesn’t allow you to figure out a solution to feeling overwhelmed at work.

Instead, think through your daily to-dos and fess up some honest answers to important questions: are your priorities straight?  What never seems to get checked off your list (and do you even need to accomplish it)? What should be delegated to a team member? Taking an assessment of how you’re truly spending your time is a helpful first step is deciphering what actions will affect change.

 

2. Admit what you don’t know.

In my first job out of college, I remember spending hours on a project, filled with dread. Why? I had said yes to the assignment, but wasn’t entirely sure how to do the work itself. I wanted to be the type of employee who could breezily problem-solve on my own, and I also hoped to appear more than proficient (aka, impress my team).

Don’t do this. It’s okay to admit what you don’t know! I mean, there’s a huge difference between shrugging at your manager in a “not my problem, man” kind of way and saying, “I’ve never done this before, but I’m excited to try! Can you help me get started?” Asking for more knowledge is a good thing, and owning up to where you could benefit from reinforcements saves you time and energy in the long run.

 

3. Vent to a trusted colleague.

When you’re freaking out at work, sometimes it helps to just get it out of your system with someone you trust, and then move on. In fact, almost every time I pause from a panic session to grab a coworker and say, “I need five minutes to vent!” I end up feeling better, and more clear-minded afterwards.

It’s also nice to ground yourself in reality. Talking through a problem, even if you’re not looking for a solution, can allow you to stop jumping from task to task. If anything, literally show your schedule to someone and say, “I’m stressed and need to spend less time in meetings to meet that deadline. Is there anything I could pass on this week?”

 

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4. Get feedback from someone you don’t normally work with.

Whenever I get stuck on a project, I ask somebody outside of my team (or industry, or even company, if possible) for input. It is easy to spend SO much time on a creative endeavor, and then realize you can’t even see where you’re trying to go anymore.

Besides, there’s no reason to try to be an isolated genius. All the best work usually involves multiple rounds of edits and full team insights before going to print or production. So cut yourself some slack, and stop assuming you have to be the hero at work and solve every single dilemma or master every single assignment.

 

5. Stop saying yes to more.

Once, a boss of mine told me, “It’s great that you can turnaround work so quickly when people ask. But make sure you’re doing the right work first.” Yikes. He wasn’t wrong, though. I used to think it was optimal to be the go-to person, always willing to help or step in. Of course, this isn’t always a bad thing, but can easily set you up for failure, because if you’re the person who can be relied on “to help” all the time… you’ll be the person relied on to help all the time.

More isn’t better — it’s just more, and that can easily be the source of your stress at work. If you’re overwhelmed, you need to refine, not add on. So for every well-meaning coworker who is like, “Hey, do you have 5 minutes to…” give yourself permission to politely decline. Say, “I’d love to help, but I need to focus on XYZ. Did you ask so-and-so?” Ask yourself if somebody else can do that same work, or if you’re the right person to help at that given moment. Or just flat-out learn how to say no: “That’s not going to line up with my priorities this month, but let’s talk about how we can get the work done.”

 

6. Figure out what’s temporary and what’s not.

A friend of mine is a news anchor, and a few times a year, she knows her schedule will be absolutely bananas due to ratings months. Because she can anticipate the overload, she can mentally prep, and since it’s that way for her entire team, it feels much more doable to survive. She also knows it’s just the industry, and not her fault, which helps her keep a cool head.

If you’re in that boat, take solace in the fact that you’re not alone; in fact, you may be relieved to know you’re not the only person feeling overwhelmed. But if you ask around, and that’s not the case, it might be time to have a conversation with your supervisor.

 

7. Take real breaks — and explain why.

I know you want to look cool as a cucumber no matter what, but this  attitude can be to your detriment. For example, if your coworkers know you as someone who responds to email in 0.1 seconds flat, tell them you’re now batch-checking email at set times. If you can’t seem to make progress on a singular project, devote a day to it and go one hundred percent (okay, 95%) off the grid: shut off your phone, put on a cheery out of office response, and get in the zone. If you’re always waking up early, or staying late, or working weekends, see if you can cut back just a little bit.

When people see you practicing self-care, they’ll (hopefully!) recognize what a good work-life balance looks like. When you’re intentional and outspoken about your own boundaries and need for breaks, you will be less likely to burn out, and you’ll manage your own energy much better.

 

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8. Propose a solution to your boss.

If you can’t find a way to ease up on your own, you’ll eventually need to talk to your boss — which can be terrifying, because you want him or her to see you as a valuable asset who can consistently deliver and add value. The good news is that you can be all of those things and still need clarity or guidance.

Instead of showing up unannounced and saying, “Hi, I’m drowning in work, help,” take a moment to think through some potential solutions with an attitude of fixing the problem. Look at your job description and consider where you’re outperforming versus falling behind. Ask yourself what seems daunting, where you struggle, what feels completely unmanageable — and the type of help that would make a difference, like more education, less responsibility, or better support. If it is clear you’ve thought through what needs to happen, with tangible examples, it’s likely the conversation will go more smoothly.

Finally, keep a calm, positive, professional tone. You’re not weak to ask for help, and your boss may not have even realized you needed it. Focus on the fact that you care about your career growth, and remain committed to finding a solution that works for both of you.

 

Letters to My Younger Self: The 19-Year-Old Starting a New Chapter

A woman with sunglasses holding flower petals

“Letters to My Younger Self” is a series focused on wisdom and self-awareness. Just as you write letters to a friend to encourage and uplift them, here is the advice we would go back and tell our younger selves.

Dear 19-year-old self,

A little more than a week ago, I read a letter that I wrote to my future self when I was your age. Your sorority pledge trainer encouraged you to do this. As you sat in the chapter room putting words to the page, you had no idea how much your words would mean to your future self.

So, here I am now, replying to your letter. 

I am currently in my college town, waiting for the last of my friends to leave. Everyone graduated this past weekend, and I am sticking around for graduate school.

As cliché as it may sound, the past four years of college have flown by. When you introduce yourself to new friends these next few months, keep in mind how soon the goodbyes will sneak up on you. For this reason, relish the hellos and the time in between. 

For this reason, relish the hellos and the time in between. 

This morning you spent some time journaling and reflecting on this past season. You were honest with yourself for the first time in a while and realized how many expectations were not met. That letter that you’re about to write reminded me of a lot of these expectations.  

Realize that unmet expectations are OK. Spoiler alert, you aren’t going to have a ring by spring. In other words, you aren’t going to be engaged by senior year. That’s OK.

Another spoiler alert, the people you think are your best friends now, you won’t even speak with regularly by senior year. True friendships are going to bloom out of unexpected places, and that’s also OK. 

Write your plans in pencil—both big plans and small plans. You will learn very quickly how little control you have over circumstances. Have grace for yourself and be open to change. Seriously, write that last sentence on a sticky note and hang it somewhere you will see every day. It’s that important to remember.

At the same time, keep dreaming big. Some of your plans will come to fruition. Be persistent and put yourself out there. You can do hard things!

Realize that unmet expectations are OK.

College is going to be where you experience your lowest lows, but it will also be where you will experience your highest highs. Sometimes unmet expectations will break your heart. In these moments, call your parents or go get ice cream with your friends. These heartbreaks are growing you into a person you never imagined you could be.  

Sometimes unmet expectations will propel you into a greater future. One door closed often leads to a better door waiting to be opened. When these moments happen, still call your parents and have a dance party with your friends. 

The reality is that if you could see who I am now, who you are going to become, you wouldn’t believe it. Keep challenging yourself to stretch and grow. Keep working hard, but allow yourself to have fun often. Keep being your unique self and the right people will gravitate toward you. 

Keep challenging yourself to stretch and grow. Keep working hard, but allow yourself to have fun often.

You are stronger, braver and wiser than you know. Thank you for taking the time to invest in yourself now because it will pay off in the future. In the words of your dad, “Keep being you!”

Xoxo,
Your older self

What advice would you give to your younger self? What advice would you give yourself about unmet expectations of other people?

Image via Lenka Ulrichova, Darling Issue No. 16

A Dermatologist Upgraded My Summer Skincare Routine

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Source: Kool Shooters | Pexels

If you’re like me and haven’t switched up your skincare routine in years, this message is for you: Just like your wardrobe, your skincare should change with the seasons. The body needs different things from season to season (and I’m not just talking about craving iced coffee over a pumpkin spice latte), and your skin is no exception. Because I overuse heavy facial oils year-round and haven’t made too many upgrades to my routine since my mom bought me a line of Clinique products 12 years ago, I knew it was time to go to the experts. 

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Enter Dr. Caroline Robinson, MD, FAAD, a board-certified general, medical, and cosmetic dermatologist and NOW Wellness Expert. She’s cooler than your average MD (just check out her Instagram) and understands that while it would be ideal to spend 24/7 out of the sun, it’s just not plausible—or enjoyable—come summertime.

As for why you need to change your skincare routine when Memorial Day comes around? “Updating your skincare as the seasons change is very important to keep your skin balanced,” she explained. “With seasonal changes come changes in humidity, which could mean an increase in oiliness and breakouts in acne-prone patients. Overall, the steps of your core routine do not need to change season to season, but the products that you use within your routine should.” Read on for Dr. Robinson’s tips on changing up your skincare routine for the summer skin of your dreams. 

 

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A post shared by Dr. Caroline Robinson MD, FAAD (@crobinsonmd)

 

Switch to lighter moisturizers

I love a heavy cream and thick oil as much as the next girl, but according to Dr. Robinson, they should mostly be reserved for dry winter months; during the summer, switch to lighter formulas that won’t clog pores or feel heavy on the skin. But FYI, just because you’re lightening up your routine does not mean you should skip moisturizer altogether.

“The tendency in the summer is to skip moisturizer. However, keeping our skin moisturized is one of the most important steps to control oil,” Dr. Robinson explained. “I recommend that my patients swap their heavier winter moisturizers for a lightweight one for summer. Gel moisturizers that contain hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or other humectants are a great choice because they are able to attract water to the skin in a weightless way.” Bottom line: Pick a moisturizer that feels lightweight on your skin instead of heavy creams and oils. 





Biossance

Squalane & Probiotic Gel Moisturizer

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Murad

Clarifying Water Gel

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Paula’s Choice

Water-Infusing Electrolyte Moisturizer

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Opt for multitasking products

While we’re on the subject of lighter formulas, Dr. Robinson believes that you can (and should) simplify your skincare routine in the summer without foregoing all the ingredients that keep your skin looking healthy. “I recommend looking for multitasking products or products with more than one function,” she suggested. “This allows you to decrease the layers of product applied to the skin.” Fewer layers mean less weight (and way less time spent on your morning routine), so look for products that have more than one purpose. For example, try a sunscreen that functions as a moisturizer or primer and also contains antioxidants (Dr. Robinson likes Revision Skincare Intelleshade Clear), so that you’re getting sun protection, hydration, and glow benefits from just one product rather than three. 





Typology

7-Ingredient Cleansing Oil

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Supergoop

Antioxidant Body Mist SPF 50

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Youth To The People

Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser

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A post shared by tara adele leydon (@taraleydon)

 

Reapply SPF

So you already know that SPF is a crucial part of your skincare routine year-round, but did you know that just patting it on as the last step in your morning routine isn’t enough? I always feel proud of myself for consistently applying an SPF moisturizer after my serum and toner, but I’m also guilty of not thinking about sunscreen again all day long. “During the summer months, we spend more time outdoors, and it’s so important to reapply sunscreen every two hours,” Dr. Robinson recommended. That’s right: Reapplying sunscreen is not just for beach days. Keep a travel-sized SPF in your car, at your desk, or in your purse so you can easily reapply it every couple of hours, whether it’s before you take a short walk on your lunch break or spend the entire day in the sun. 





Typology

Facial Sunscreen with Aloe Vera SPF 30

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Glossier

Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen

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Same

Sunvisor: Serum, Oil, Moisturizer, and Sunscreen. All In One

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Add ingredients that boost glow

Ah, summer: the season of no-makeup makeup, un-styled hair, and a flawless (faux) tan. We all want to have that lit-from-within glow that is as synonymous with summer as watermelons and frozen margaritas. As someone who struggles with dullness and hyperpigmentation, you know I grilled Dr. Robinson on which ingredients I should add to my routine to get that summer glow (no makeup necessary). “Retinol (a vitamin-A derived active), is great for regulating skin cell turnover, improving texture, and unclogging pores.” Win, win, win!

However, some people can be sensitive to retinol. Talk to your dermatologist before using it if you have sensitive skin or start with a small amount for one night to see how your skin reacts. Dr. Robinson also recommended Bakuchiol if retinol is too harsh for you, as it’s a plant-based ingredient that can have many of the same benefits as retinol but without the irritation (she likes this one). Another summer skin standout ingredient: vitamin C. Dr. Robinson recommended incorporating vitamin C into your morning skincare routine because it’s a potent antioxidant that helps even skin (goodbye, hyperpigmentation!) and improves overall radiance (she recommends this one).





Maelove

Retinol Serum with Hyaluronic Acid

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Glossier

Super Glow Serum

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Versed

Gentle Retinol Serum

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A post shared by cynthia (@cynthialions)

 

Exfoliate weekly

Since I experience redness, dryness, and irritation in the winter months, I focus less on exfoliation and more on soothing from the start of November until the end of February (colloidal oatmeal is my winter BFF). But with less sensitivity and more exposure to clogged pores (read: sweat, being outside, and more sunscreen), exfoliation during the summer season is crucial.

“To prevent sweat, oil, dirt, and debris from clogging pores and causing unnecessary breakouts, I recommend exfoliating once a week,” Dr. Robinson said. But before you reach for the apricot scrubs of exfoliation past, know that the process doesn’t look like what it did in middle school. Instead of overly harsh scrubs that strip the skin, opt for chemical exfoliants with alpha or beta hydroxy acids. If you’re looking for a physical exfoliant (I have to admit, they’re pretty satisfying), Dr. Robinson recommends a gentle formula with dissolvable particles. If you have sensitive skin, a mild alpha hydroxy acid face wash can get the job done without irritating the skin. 





Typology

Radiance Face Scrub with Rosehip Oil

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Saturday Skin

Rub-A-Dub Refining Peel Gel

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Glossier

Exfoliating Skin Perfector

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Independence Day and the Ongoing Road to Freedom

Fireworks exploding dimly
Colors splashing silently
Against the midnight blue sky
I stay inside heart broken and awry

I want to celebrate you today—I do
Even if you haven’t always loved me too
Celebration for liberation I cannot feel
For I need space within myself to heal

Land of the free, home of the brave
Oh land of my heart, the blood you gave
To tear away and become your own
The victory won to now stand alone

I love my country: yes, I do
I am proud to have come from you
With your imperfections I am wrestling
With all that is not yet free I am reckoning

I wrestle so I can find truth’s acceptance
Then we can move forward in repentance
Both celebrate the birth of our nation in 1776
And commit to work on what still must be fixed

May we continue to push for the promises
Of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
For all humankind created equal and free
From colonies to one nation we overcame tyranny

Until all experience the same liberation others do
It is growth and change we must pursue
As we wish each other a happy fourth of July
May we commit to help every American be able to fly

To honor all who have fought for our nation, we persevere:
For respect for each other, we fight
For unity with one another, we fight
For liberty and justice for all, we fight

This time, I’ll step outside to look up at the sky
A sparkler in hand to enjoy the festivities I’ll try
To sing a new anthem: I am proud to be an American
This is my country to shape and to liberate is my inheritance

What injustice have you seen in your corner of the world? How can you be an advocate for people or groups of people who are disenfranchised or overlooked?

Image via Raisa Zwart Photography