How Makeup and Drag Helped Gottmik Understand His Trans Identity

Portrait of Gottmik in Malvern PA shot by Michelle Watt for Allure Magazines September 2021 IssuePhotographed by Michelle Watt. Gucci dress.

In 2021, Kade Gottlieb, better known by his stage name Gottmik, became the first trans man to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race — the Olympics for drag queens. (He took home the bronze.) Gottmik, a makeup artist, arrived in the competition's werkroom wearing clown-white foundation and villainously black lipstick. "Time to crash the cis-tem!" he sang. His talent for transformation borders on the otherworldly, like when he remade himself into Paris Hilton (a client) for a celebrity-impersonation challenge. (Other tricks include: Turning Lil Nas X into a note-perfect Nicki Minaj.) Allure joined the performer at a suburban stop on his victory tour across the United States. By the time you're reading this, he'll be packing for the European leg.

I went to Catholic school, where you're not allowed to wear makeup when you're younger. I remember being in fifth grade and trying so hard to sneak mascara or a little bit of eyeliner on and get away with it. I don't know if it was the fact that I couldn't wear it or if I was obsessed, but I just wanted to wear it so badly. Before I got into the artistry of makeup, I would take a gel liner and do raccoon eyes in all black with blue mascara. I was in that emo-kid phase and living for it.

Portrait of Gottmik in Malvern PA shot by Michelle Watt for Allure Magazines September 2021 Issue

Terrence Zhou dress. Manolo Blahnik shoes.

Michelle Watt

When we got to high school, me and my then-best friend started a makeup YouTube channel. This was in 2010 when YouTube was starting, so I don't even know how we got that idea. We thought everyone wanted to see us on our bathroom floors and watch us do really bad makeup. Then when I moved out to L.A., I just fell in love with drag queens. I thought, "This is such a fun way to express yourself and how you feel." It was my dream.

My passion for drag amplified my makeup passion. When I started getting into drag queens and watching their makeup tutorials, I knew I loved makeup and that I could draw, so I followed along. And I was kind of good at it, weirdly and randomly, so I just practiced every day and started meeting drag queens. The first drag look I ever did, I was trying to recreate Bianca Del Rio…. I always wanted to pick the biggest features ever. I did not know how to cover my eyebrows, but I was trying.

The process of finding my drag makeup [aesthetic] helped me realize my gender identity. I didn't even have the language to know I was transgender; I knew something was off. I was testing the waters of what I was comfortable with. I was not a huge fan of how I looked when I was done up in girly, girly, girly makeup, but I did love expressing my feminine self a little bit. So how do I make this drag? It was very confusing. Then, when I painted my face white for the first time, not only were the colors popping more, but I felt like this alien creature. And I was still able to make everything pretty in a way. It was game over. I never looked back with the white clown face.

portrait of drag queen gottmik for allure september 2021 issue

Terrence Zhou dress.

Michelle Watt. 

Going on RuPaul's Drag Race, my first thought was, "I'm a makeup queen. I am not about to get read by Michelle Visage." But when I started experimenting with skin-tone drag [makeup] and feeling pretty, it made me realize how far I'd come out of drag with my transition, and how I am more comfortable with that now. It allowed me to open up and realize I'm not just a makeup queen and that I have so much more [to offer] than that. I had grown so much as an artist without even realizing it. Makeup opened me up on the show and I'm excited to explore that more in the future. It’s definitely not my favorite [thing] in the world, but I do love a skin-tone moment every once in a while now. 

On a normal day, I use two colors, but if we're stuck on an island and I only can bring one, I'd bring a white Ben Nye Creme Stick Foundation. I love using a skin tone-ish one that has a pink undertone and highlight with the white so it gets a little dimension, which you barely even notice, but I do. Everyone asks me what my favorite black lipstick is, and I always use Hank & Henry's. It smells amazing.

I put a lot of effort into my makeup, so when it comes to products I truly don't care what it is, as long as I don’t have to touch it or move it. I'm so lazy after I've finished. The second I have to touch it up, I don't want to use it again. If I'm not feeling it, you will tell from my makeup. If I'm angry that day, you will tell from my makeup. 

Portrait of Gottmik in Malvern PA shot by Michelle Watt for Allure Magazines September 2021 Issue

Terrence Zhou dress. Manolo Blahnik shoes.

Michelle Watt

I've done a few solo campaigns since being on the show where I'm out of drag — a boy, shirtless, wearing eyeliner and an earring. And if you would've asked me in high school if that would have happened, that would have been a definite no. I'm just so proud of that. In every aspect of my life, I always say that if I'm too comfortable with some part of my art, it's time to move on because it's getting boring and repetitive. I need to keep pushing forward and pushing my limits to grow as a person and an artist. In the next 10 years, hopefully, I'll be something crazier than I've ever expected.

This story originally appeared in the September 2021 issue of Allure. Learn how to subscribe here.

Cottagecore Is the Fall Trend We’re Loving Rn

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: Hill House

When thinking of fall aesthetics, there’s one that we’ve always been drawn to, but until recently, didn’t have a word to describe it. Puff-sleeved dresses, chunky cardigans, lace-up boots—all of it combined makes for a dreamy, romantic style that’s made for fall, and this year, cottagecore is here and bigger than ever.

Sponsored by Equilibria /

Looking for Better Sleep? This Super Ingredient Might Be the Answer

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While it embodies feminine, rural living (and was magnified by Taylor Swift’s release of Folklore last year), cottagecore is more than a visual aesthetic; it romanticizes rural, country living and gives a nod to escapism in the meantime. Days filled surrounded by nature, baking homemade desserts, walking through the woods—all of it lends a hand to the world’s fascination with cottagecore. 

As we’re looking forward to the cozy days of fall, filled with pumpkin-scented candles and the dreaminess that comes with those first, crisp days, we’re turning to cottagecore to be a guiding light for all of our fall outfits. Ready to dive in yourself? Look no further.


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A post shared by Hill House Home (@hillhouse)


How to nail it

Cottagecore is filled with moody tones, flowing silhouettes, and effortless layering. Dresses can be layered with chunky knits and paired with boots, and floral prints and puff sleeves remind us that summer is just in the rearview mirror. 

To make the look your own, think about layering patterns with textures, like a floral dress with a chunky sweater. Incorporate peasant silhouettes, florals, and moody, fall tones into your wardrobe, and mix and match them to achieve an uncomplicated, nature-esque aesthetic. Don’t know where to start? Here are five cottagecore-inspired outfits to try this fall.


dress / cardigan / cardigan / bag / ring / boots

Romantic, whimsical dresses are central to cottagecore fashion, and layering a chunky, textured cardigan over top enhances it even more. Top it off with Western boots, and you have a look that nails the aesthetic. 



overalls / floral top / bag / ring / shoes

Transitional days aren’t ever easy to style outfits for, but this look is absolutely made for early fall days. Putting a piece that has light, busy florals underneath a pair of overalls is effortless in the best way.


top / jeans / belt / bag / boots

Cottagecore isn’t just for lounging around, and this look proves it. The key? Pairing a top with a combination of dark florals and a romantic silhouette with western details in accessories.



sweater / hat / skirt / boots / socks 

Cable-knit sweaters have been having a moment ever since Chris Evans’s glorious moment in Knives Out, and this look provides an argument for layering one over a maximalist skirt. Combined with leather boots and chunky boot socks underneath and a wool hat, it’s an October Day’s dream.



sweater / skirt / necklace / bag / boots

Not into a midi skirt with pattern? Opt for a tiered, neutral one, and combine it with a chunky turtleneck and brown accessories. The result is a dreamy palette for fall, and it’ll keep you feeling cozy and comfortable whenever you wear it.



6 Fashion Hacks I’ve Learned in Quarantine That I’ll Use Forever



Are Luxury Skincare Products Better Than Drugstore Ones?

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: Colorjoy Stock

When you first get into beauty, you’re faced with quite the conundrum: Do you go with drugstore skincare products or high-end ones? On one hand, drugstore beauty is inexpensive, accessible, and quite well-loved. But high-end has high claims, fancy packaging, and a host of influencers and fans backing it up. You’re left wondering if it’s all one big marketing ploy or if there’s really a difference between the cheap and expensive stuff.

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The good news is that the experts say there’s a place for both in your skincare routine. High-end skincare is expensive and fancy, so it has to be better, right? Not quite. We asked two dermatologists what they think about the drugstore vs. high-end dilemma, and their response was shocking. 


Meet the expert
Dr. Naissan Wesley
Dr. Wesley is a dermatologist and Dermatologist Surgeon at Skin Care and Laser Physicians of Beverly Hills.

Meet the expert
Dr. Lian Mack, MD, FAAD
Dr. Mack is a dermatologist in New York City who focused on treating skin issues for People of Color.


What’s Better: Drugstore or Luxury Skincare?

When it comes down to drugstore vs. luxury, there isn’t really an answer. “There are many factors that influence the difference in price between drugstore and luxury skincare. However, the price of a product has nothing to do with how efficacious it is,” said dermatologist Dr. Lian Mack. So, if it’s not about price, what is it? Luxury skincare comes down to cost of production, such as packaging, quality and concentration of ingredients, and the name.


Source: Pexels




Whether you like an all-white, minimalist bottle or organizing your shelf into a rainbow, there’s no denying the way packaging impacts our interest in a product. But according to dermatologist Dr. Naissan Wesley, packaging is about more than just aesthetic purposes. Some ingredients, like vitamin C, have specific packaging requirements to keep the active stable, which can drive up cost. Other products require specific, custom packaging depending on the needs of the product. This drives up the cost for the brand significantly, which trickles down to the consumer.





“The main difference between drugstore and luxury skincare is some of the ingredients used,” Dr. Mack said. When it comes to hydrating and cleansing the skin, the ingredients are inexpensive, which is why drugstore brands hit it out of the park with their cleansers (like our editor favorites from CeraVe) and moisturizers, whereas the ingredients necessary to treat acne, aging, and hyperpigmentation haven’t historically been available in inexpensive formulations. As the skincare industry is evolving, we’re seeing an influx of inexpensive products that address those concerns. But because high-end brands have had the monopoly on anti-aging and treating skin ailments all this time, those formulations are what have dominated dermatologist offices and celebrity skincare routines.


Source: @devsday


Where to Splurge

Both Dr. Wesley and Dr. Mack suggested splurging on your vitamin C. “Stabilized vitamin C in a high-end product often comes from a quality source to maximize its antioxidant properties in moisturizing, treating, and reversing photoaging and to help even skin tone,” Dr. Wesley said. Vitamin C formulations are not all the same, and when in a water-based formula, they can destabilize when exposed to too much air (a nod to good packaging).

SkinBetter Science

Alto Defense Serum

“I prefer vitamin C serums that contain more stable formulations of vitamin C like Skin Better Science’s Alto. It contains one of the most stable forms of vitamin C: tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate,” Dr. Mack said.

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Dr. Mack also looks to the concentration of the active ingredient, which can often be an indicator of why the price is higher on a product, looking for stable forms of high-quality versions of vitamin C like tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate and L-ascorbic acid. “I also look for brands that contain retinoids (vs. retinols), like Skin Better Science’s Alpharet,” Dr Mack said.

SkinBetter Science

AlphaRet Overnight Cream

This dermatologist-loved formula combines alpha hydroxy acids and retinoids for an overnight treatment that tackles fine lines and wrinkles, acne, texture, and hyperpigmentation.

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But it’s about more than just the ingredients in your products, according to Dr. Mack. It’s also about what’s not in them, like fragrance, dye, and parabens and making sure that the brand is cruelty-free or vegan if that’s important to you. Clean products that don’t contain a lot of preservatives tend to require more expensive ingredients to keep the ingredients stable, and these ingredients often have shorter life spans. This drives up the cost because companies want to make sure that shelves are constantly stocked with new products.


Source: Pexels


Where to Save

Not every step of your skincare routine requires a splurge. Dr. Mack and Dr. Wesley shared the drugstore products they love most: 


Moisturizing Cream

“I like Vanicream products because all of their products are free of the preservatives and fragrance that most commonly cause irritation in some people,” Dr. Wesley said, adding that the Moisturizing Cream is “emollient and soothing to the skin.”

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Thermal Spring Water

Dr. Wesley loves Avène for sensitive skin, especially their classic soothing water spray.

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Catrice Cosmetics

Pore Minimizing Serum

Dr. Mack is a big fan of Catrice Cosmetics because they have active ingredients at an affordable price with their new beauty boosters line. “I love the Pore Minimizing Serum. Packed with a 10 percent niacinamide, this booster helps to minimize the appearance of pores, improve uneven skin tone, and soften fine lines.”

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The Beauty Products Our Editors Splurged on and Think Are Actually Worth It


11 Skincare Products a Dermatologist Would Pick Up at CVS


The Best Hangover Recovery Tips We Rely On

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: GoHydrate

There was a time in my life when I used to put on full glam on a Tuesday at 9 p.m., hit a pre-party get-together at 10:30 p.m., and make it to the bar at the ungodly hour of midnight. After three hours of dancing the night away, replacing my sweat losses with vodka sodas, and ending the night at Taco Bell, I’d get a mere four hours of sleep and spring up for my 9 a.m. class chipper, bright-eyed, and ready to ace my Biochem exam—no hangover recovery plan (or even need for one) in sight. Now (six years post-grad), I’ll have two and a half glasses of wine while watching Love Island (U.K.) and be down for the count for at least three whole business days.

While I’m still down to celebrate a job promotion with a friend, pour a pitcher of spicy margaritas to kick off a G.N.O., or stay up past my bedtime to catch a live concert, my prep and recovery for a late night out is a lot more curated than it used to be. Bouncing back from dehydration, lack of sleep, and high-sodium food (Crunchwrap Supremes will be the death of me) is no easy feat, but fear not! If you can’t keep up quite like you used to, these recovery hacks have your back:


Source: GoHydrate


1. Pre-hydrate

Before a night out, get ahead of the game and make hydrating a priority. Sure, water is a good start, but if we’re not in the mood to be laying in bed all day tomorrow, we need all of the help we can get. When we know we’ll be dancing the night away, walking in heels across town to get to the next rooftop bar, or basking in the sunset while enjoying a margarita on a downtown patio, we reach for GoHydrate, an all-natural hydration drink that tastes incredible (if you haven’t tried their cherry limeade packet yet, you are missing out) and delivers five electrolytes immediately to the body. Unlike other hydration packets, these have zero sugar, the added benefit of vitamin D, and only 80 mg of sodium per packet, which is a win in our book. 

Go Hydrate

Variety Box

Use code EVERYGIRL for 15% off of your first GoHydrate variety pack!

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Even when you’re not drinking alcohol, staying hydrated is crucial for feeling your best and keeping your body healthy. Staying hydrated can help with everything from skin glow, to feeling more toned to helping the body detox properly, and, you know, just helping every organ in the body run properly. GoHydrate contains super ingredients like electrolytes (such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium) to immediately hydrate on a deeper level than water alone. Trust me: your body feels the difference when you’re properly hydrated.


Source: Stoffer Photography for The Everygirl


2. Assemble a bedside recovery kit

The last thing that you’ll want to be doing when waking up exhausted after a night out is to go on a treasure hunt around your house to find items to bring you back to life. Before you go out for an evening, assemble a bedside recovery kit so that you can start nursing yourself back to reality from the comfort of your own bed. Here are our go-to items to have in our arsenal:

  • GoHydrate packet + bottle of water to start rehydrating
  • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) for pain relief 
  • Ginger chews for nausea
  • Alka-Seltzer to neutralize stomach acid
  • Saltine crackers for an easily digestible source of energy
  • Makeup wipes if you were too lazy to remove last night’s glam


Source: Akos Adorjan | Pexels


3. Practice a 1:1 water to drink ratio

Being a hydrated baddie is always on our to-do list, and it’s even more important when we’re drinking sugary drinks and drinks that contain alcohol. Getting in the habit of alternating glasses of water with your non-water drink of choice, ordering drinks that are blended with ice, opting for light over dark liquors, and diluting liquor with water are great ways to keep up with water loss while tackling an evening of activities. 


4. Take ibuprofen before bed and again in the morning

If you can remember to take ibuprofen before bed in an effort to stay ahead of the aches and pains that come from drinking, dancing into the late hours of the night, running across town to hit up your favorite pizza joint before it closes, and/or consuming mass amounts of sugar and dairy, you will thank yourself later. Ibuprofen (AKA Advil or Motrin) is an over-the-counter, nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drug that can help tackle the aches and pains that come with a night out. On the other hand, acetaminophen (Tylenol) should be avoided, as it’s metabolized in the liver, which already may be working overtime if you indulged in a few alcoholic beverages. Before taking any type of supplement or medication, consult with your doctor about which over-the-counter options are right for you.


Source: Samson Katt | Pexels


5. Catch up on hydration in the morning

No matter how much you may have hydrated before, during, or after a night out, there’s still plenty of opportunity to rehydrate when you wake up. When you open your eyes to a dry mouth, a bit of a headache, and missed calls from your DoorDash delivery driver, reach for a bottle of water mixed with your favorite GoHydrate flavor. With all-natural ingredients, Instant Hydration Technology that delivers electrolytes immediately to the body, and only 80mg of sodium, GoHydrate is an obvious choice for a morning where your tank is on E.


Motivational Water Bottle

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10 Stick Variety Pack

use code EVERYGIRL for 15% off your first order!
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6. Take ginger for nausea and eat easily digestible foods

If you’re someone who gets wildly nauseated after a late night out, you’re not alone. Being nauseated can be a huge barrier to rehydrating and keeping up with your nutrition, which can be detrimental to getting through a massive recovery day. Ginger is a safe and effective way to treat nausea and is such a game-changer to have on hand if you’re looking to settle your stomach after a few alcoholic beverages, a lot of sugar, or too much dairy. We love reaching for ginger chews, ginger gum, ginger tea, or grating fresh ginger to add to a smoothie or hot water. If you’re not feeling up to eating a big meal, opt for simple, easily digestible carbs like toast, bagels, crackers, soup, scrambled eggs, or potatoes that will help raise blood sugar while being gentle on the stomach.


7. Take a nap

It’s no secret that a night out and sleep don’t mix well. In addition to being out and about and abandoning your normal bedtime, the not-so-healthy choices that come with it (drinking alcohol and eating a lot of sugar) delay sleep onset, cause sleep disturbances, and decrease sleep quality. So, in addition to being dehydrated and possibly hypoglycemic, day-after-drinking symptoms are further exacerbated by lack of sleep. If you can find time in your day after you hydrate and eat a bit, take a nap to give your body the gift of some much-needed rest.


Source: KoolShooters | Pexels


8. Gua sha or ice roll for puffiness

After a night of succumbing to sodium in the form of eating some of our favorite foods (pizza, tacos, or ramen, just to name a few), our faces are always at peak puffiness the morning after a night out. We love reaching for our favorite gua sha stones, jade rollers, and ice rollers to help us de-puff when our faces are holding on to water after a night of fun-filled activities.


Ice Roller

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Rose Quartz Gua Sha

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Remember: Drinking can be fun, but it can also be incredibly dangerous and addicting. If you or a loved one is experiencing alcoholism or alcohol abuse, you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for treatment options and resources.



This post contains a sponsored inclusion of GoHydrate, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.


The Fitness Class You Should Try, Based on Your Zodiac

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: Colorjoy Stock

No matter where you are on your fitness journey, it’s pretty easy to get tired of your workout routine. Whether you’re tuning in to the same class a few times a week, running the same trail, or hitting the squat rack, doing the same thing over and over again is enough to make you want to bang your head against the wall—or worse, quit. Instead of hitting that dreaded plateau, we’re looking to the stars to tell us the next workout we should try, and the stars have some pretty good ideas. And to make it easier on you, we put together a list of our favorite Obé Fitness classes for you to try and included the gear you’ll need to crush it. 

Sponsored by Equilibria /

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Why Obé, you ask? Our editors have been using Obé Fitness for years because it offers so many classes. Only have time to work out on your lunch break? You’re covered with 10-minute express classes. Love a good yoga flow once a week? 60-minute yoga classes at your service. No matter your fitness goals, there’s an Obé option for you.

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



Cardio Boxing + Power


Aries are fighters, so we’d expect they’d like a little bit of that in their workouts too. To make this class a little more interesting, it incorporates weightlifting in Obé’s classic Power format, which includes lifting through fast movements to add a little extra cardio. Your heart rate will thank you.

Amazon | Portzon

8 lb. Dumbbells

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Activity Tracker

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Vinyasa Yoga: Goddess Flow


Goddess is a word Tauruses liken to themselves, and the self-care queens of the Zodiac sure can get down with a light yoga flow. This class will get you in deep stretches that make you feel so good during and after. (Get ready for a good night’s sleep!)

Amazon Basics

Yoga Blocks

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Geminis don’t have time to spend an hour in the gym. They want a quick, effective sweat they can get in during their lunch break or just before heading out for the day. This HIIT class will have your heart pumping the entire time—you’ll forget how short of a workout it is when you’re sore tomorrow.

Amazon | Geardon

Sports Bra

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Amazon | Colorfulkoala

7/8 Leggings

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Sculpt is a low-impact workout that really gets your muscles working to tone, tighten, and strengthen without having to lift heavy weights. It works on muscles you didn’t even know you had, which health-conscious Cancers can appreciate. Level up this class with some resistance bands and ankle weights and feel the burn. 


Obè Bangles

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Amazon | Vergali

Resistance Bands

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Leos want to feel strong and capable, so a strength training class is right up their alley. Make sure to invest in a trendy outfit you can sweat in—not only will this make a Leo way more inclined to work out, but they’ll feel even better during the workout if they’re comfortable. 

Amazon | Portzon

15 lb. Dumbbells

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Sports Bra

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Power Hour


An hour-long workout is perfect for a Virgo who plans their calendar well in advance to fit it in. You’ll love how strong you feel doing this class while still getting your heart rate up. Oh, and getting killer abs is just a plus.

Amazon | Portzon

10 lb. Dumbbells

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Barre is all about balance, grace, and strength, which you could also say about a Libra. Libras will love how much barre utilizes those little muscles you didn’t even know existed until the next day when you’re sore AF. 


Barre Ball

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Barre Socks

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Scorpios like a workout they can seamlessly add to their life and keep up the routine for a long time to see results, and a pilates class a few times a week is just that. You’ll focus on your core the entire time, and after a few classes, you’ll notice major differences in your strength. 

Amazon | Portzon

1 lb. Dumbbells

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Reversible Mat

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Heels Dance Cardio


Workout routines aren’t exactly a thing for a Sagittarius. They like to do workouts that are challenging, fun, and keep their attention the entire time. This dance cardio class is already a fun way to get your heart rate up, but the addition of wearing heels the entire time is enough to keep a Sag entertained. 


Bluetooth Speaker

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Vinyasa Yoga: Anti-Anxiety Flow


After a long work week, the last thing a Capricorn looks forward to is a super hard workout. To finally get your moment to veg out, opt for a de-stressing yoga class. You’ll get a workout in and actually feel relaxed afterward rather than energized. Pair this with a sleep-time tea and your latest Netflix binge afterward. 

Amazon | Manduka

Yoga Towel

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Silk Scrunchies

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Trampoline Bounce Dance


Aquarians want to work out in any way that is fun and different, and a trampoline workout is exactly that. Make sure to pop on a good pair of light running shoes and turn on a good playlist. 

Amazon | Stamina

Folding Trampoline

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Running Shoe

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Vinyasa Yoga: Energizing Flow


This energizing yoga class is the perfect way to get a Pisces out of bed and ready for their day ahead. Pisces like a workout that feels productive and invigorating, just like a morning yoga flow. Light a good candle and get in the mood to take on your long to-do list. 


Yoga Mat

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The Koop NYC


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5 Ways to Actually Feel More Toned by Tomorrow
we’re redefining being “toned” to mean feeling strong and healthy in your body


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


Small Home Projects That Will Transform Your Space

Source: @mandychengdesign

If only there were more hours in the day that we could spend making our spaces look fabulous. I personally can think of quite a few projects I’d love to take on in my apartment if I could just find a way to carve out more than an afternoon here and there! That said, there are so many easy makeovers that we can do at home in just a couple of hours or less. We’ve rounded up eight of our favorite small home projects that are proven to make a major impact (and don’t require spending much, either). Try one or all eight and thank us later!

Sponsored by Equilibria /

Looking for Better Sleep? This Super Ingredient Might Be the Answer

don’t fret, exhausted readers 💤


1. Place Your TV On An Easel

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A post shared by Marianne Sides | The MA Times (@mariannesides)

Who says your television can’t look like a work of art? Buy an easel that accommodates the size of your screen and set up a display in your living room—best of all, everything can easily be disassembled as needed. This is an excellent solution for those who swear by their nightly shows but don’t want to sacrifice that valuable over-mantel space for a screen. This way, you can enjoy the best of both worlds!


2. Install Wallpaper Behind Your Bed

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A post shared by Carly | MY NYC APARTMENT (@mycityapartment)

If you don’t have the budget—or the energy—to hang wallpaper throughout your entire bedroom, simply install it behind your headboard. A pop of color and pattern will give your sleep space a brand new look (hello, major boutique hotel vibes!). Just opt for a removable wallpaper from the get-go, so that if you’re renting or become tired of the look down the line, it’s easy to switch things up.


3. Add Faux Molding

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A post shared by Anna Page (@annawpage)

We all love the Parisian glam look, but most of our apartments don’t actually boast authentic wall molding, which is characteristic of so many chic spaces. However, it’s incredibly easy to add this fun feature to your space over the course of an afternoon. Polyurethane molding is available online and at many hardware stores and will give even the most modern of homes a storied, European look once it’s applied. No one will know it wasn’t original to your unit!


4. Hang a Funky Gallery Wall

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A post shared by Chelsey Brown (@citychicdecor)

Take some time to finally hang up all of your favorite pieces, but get a bit creative in the process! There’s no reason you can’t layer various works on top of one another or even expand your display to the ceiling. The sky’s the limit—literally!


5. Replace That Bland Nightstand

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You know that nightstand that’s most definitely seen better days? Drop it off at the donation center and replace it with something that’s much more unique and stylish. You may not have to spend a cent in the process—shop in your own home and give a favorite piece new life. A garden stool, for example, can make an extremely elegant bedside table!


6. Go Glam With Light Fixtures

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Even renters can easily replace light fixtures with their landlord’s permission (and the help of a skilled electrician). If your aesthetic leans more traditional, there’s no reason you should have to stare at the modern fixture that came with your rental unit day in and day out. Experiment with different styles throughout your home; lighting is like art and can be so unique to each space!


7. Put Up Curtains

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Sure, blinds do the job, but curtains add so much sophistication to a room and really make a space look more finished. With so many patterns and styles to choose from, you’re bound to find something you love. You can even make your own set if you’re handy with a sewing machine!


8. Create Your Own Abstract Art

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If you can’t afford to shell out cash for an original art piece, you still don’t have to settle for that big box store print that everyone has. Try your hand at a creation of your own. Purchase a blank canvas from the craft store or even paint over a thrift store find so that it better suits your preferences. Then go to town decorating it as you please—you might discover a hidden talent in the process!


6 Easy Styling Tips to Instantly Pull Your Bedroom Together



Undereye Filler Makes Dark Circles Disappear, But Proceed With Caution

Photo of woman getting injected with filler in the undereye area on her face by a doctor wearing glovesGetty Images

Dark circles. Undereye bags. Raccoon eyes. No matter what you call the darkened area of thin skin right below the eyes — maybe due to genetics or a telltale sign of a lack of solid sleep — that everyone (literally everyone) has been plagued with at least one point in their lives. Just know that there's a cosmetic treatment to clear them up — and for a long time. 

Tear trough filler injections encapsulate the best and worst of plastic surgery: they're easy to get wrong, but when done right, patients walk away looking like they just came back from the most relaxing vacation on Earth.

What is tear trough filler?

A tear trough procedure, more commonly referred to as "undereye filler," targets the tear trough, which is the lower, sometimes blue-ish area under the eye, just before the cheek. According to plastic surgeons, the procedure's popularity has soared over the last few years — especially among the younger crowd — without any indication of slowing down.

"Wrinkles and hollowing around the eyes begin at around age 35, and it's a common area that both women and men are concerned with," says Daniel Maman, a board-certified plastic surgeon at 740 Park Plastic Surgery in New York City. 

Adds Min S. Ahn, a facial plastic surgeon based in Boston: "It is especially popular with millennials who complain of looking tired, but because of their age are not ready for surgery — filling the tear trough area makes them look less tired, completely rejuvenating the lower eyelid area."

Who is an ideal candidate?

Contrary to popular belief, the procedure is far more nuanced than most patients realize — and certainly comes with limitations. One of the most common misconceptions is that tear trough filler can completely revitalize the undereye, yet undereye filler "does not address the 'puffiness' or bulging around the eye," says Maman, "because that is fat and requires surgery."

Anyone who has woken up with puffy eyes, only to look totally normal by noon, knows very well that the eye is notoriously delicate and finicky. And for this reason precisely, says Chicago-based board-certified plastic surgeon Julius Few, that "absolutely" makes it the trickiest area to treat with filler. "Part of the reason why treating tear troughs is so tricky, especially if somebody is not an expert injector is number one: the anatomy, and then diagnosing that someone needs filler in the tear trough," explains Few, of the blood vessel-rich area.

Placing dermal fillers under the eye, while incredibly popular and safe in the hands of an experienced injector, is an off-label procedure, which means that it has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in this specific area. In other words: Don't mess around with injectors who aren't board-certified dermatologists or plastic surgeons. Instead, do your research and pony up the money to see the true expert in your area because, for this location, in particular, injector experience is the key to a happy outcome.

Here's where the nuance really begins. For patients with consistent daily puffiness — usually indicative of a condition called chronic malaraderma, which is essentially morning eye puffiness that subsides by the afternoon, caused by abnormal fluid drainage — the procedure is even trickier. "If you put a water-loving hyaluronic acid filler there, you’ve now made their puffy eyes worse," explains Few.

Patients with light skin sometimes have an additional step in the tear trough procedure because their veins are more prominently visible through their fair skin. "You have to do a laser first before treating them with filler in order to make those veins shrink first," explains Few. "Otherwise, the filler would actually lift the vein closer to the surface of the skin and make their dark circle worse."

But that's not to say tear trough filler can't be done in patients under these circumstances, it just means that the condition has to be properly evaluated and identified. "It's this algorithm of understanding the anatomy, understanding pre-existing subtleties of the area, and knowing when a filler is the right choice versus a laser versus surgery," says Few.

Two photos one on top of the other featuring a person's undereye area showing the before and after of getting undereye...

Before-and-after photos of a patient with tear trough filler.

Courtesy of Min S. Ahn

What can I expect when getting tear trough filler?

Because the area is sensitive, the injection technique has become relatively standardized. The skin is first cleaned (in order to prevent infection), and then small ice cubes are held up to the skin for about five to 10 minutes to anesthetize the area, says Ahn.

Once numb, a small needle is used to create an entry point for the doctor to inject the filler. Most doctors inject undereye filler with a blunt-tip cannula (a tube that can be inserted into the body), rather than a needle directly, for increased precision and because "the blunt tip of the cannula is less likely to bruise patients than when using a sharp-pointed needle," Ahn says.

For the undereye area, Few relies on two specific brands of hyaluronic acid filler: Restylane, which he estimates he's used on more than 6,000 patients, and Belotero Balance, which he considers to be "very predictable, perfect for this area."

The injections themselves take less than 30 minutes to administer and patients require little to no downtime, or as Few says, "they're cruising." Around 30 percent to 40 percent of patients, estimates Few, will wake up the next day with mild swelling in the area that "usually goes away in the first couple hours they're awake," he assures, recommending the holistic remedy, Arnica Montana, a lightly applied cool compress and "just being up and active" will make it go away.

How long will it last?

The blessing and the potential curse of tear trough filler is the fact that the undereye is relatively stagnant, especially when compared to the lips or cheek, meaning that this area offers the longest lifespan to fillers. "If an injector knows how to place filler in the tear trough at the right level, I've had it last in this area for six or seven years," says Few. "Less is more, and the goal should be to improve the area by 85 percent."

His 85 percent rule, surprising at first, makes perfect sense. HA fillers are always at risk for attracting water, even months or years after the injection, "so you need to have that little bit of wiggle room" in case the undereye unexpectedly attracts water. "For example, on a hot day, the filler will swell a little bit," warns Few, listing a cold, congestion, and a sinus infection as other puffy-inducing culprits. "With 15 percent of wiggle room, it means that day in and day out, somebody can look good, no matter what else is going on."

How much does it cost?

Ahn warns, before you book an appointment, do your research. "It is very important to find a provider who is experienced in treating this area, as the skin is thin and, if not done properly, can give the patient a 'puffy' look," Ahn says.

Three key questions to ask a prospective injector, recommends Few, are:

  1. How many tear trough filler injections have you done?
  2. Do you use a cannula or a needle? ("And if they say needle, really give this second person a second thought," he says)
  3. What issues have you seen in your injecting experience, and what are you prepared to do to make those issues go away?

No one should be coupon shopping when it comes to aesthetics, but least of all for the undereye area. The average cost per tear trough treatment is about $950, depending on your location and injector.

The Best Wellness Tips to Start Your Day With

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My relationship with mornings has not always been chipper. As someone who starts the workday early, my mornings typically looked like rolling out of bed, brushing my teeth, and opening my laptop (#WFHlife, am I right?). But I quickly noticed that even if I was starting work on time (and had my teeth brushed and ready to go, might I add!), I lacked energy and motivation throughout the day. By the time the workday was over, you can bet I went from my desk to the couch and watched Netflix until bedtime. The truth is that your mornings dictate your entire day. What you prioritize in the mornings can snowball into your habits, routines, and choices until bedtime. So I ditched the roll-out-of-bed-and-open-laptop routine and transformed my mornings as a way to transform my life. And guess what? It worked. Here are five of my favorite go-to morning wellness tips that have changed my productivity, energy, and motivation throughout the entire day. 

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Looking for Better Sleep? This Super Ingredient Might Be the Answer

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1. Using a CBD Roller 

Scent is a powerful thing. Just like lavender helps you relax before bed, scents like peppermint, jasmine, and lemon can help you feel energized. Or at least that’s what I’ve found after using my Equilibria Energizing Roller religiously for the past six months. With a combination of peppermint, sweet orange, geranium, spearmint, litsea, and full-spectrum CBD, this product will become your go-to for starting your day the right way. I keep my Energizing Roller in my desk drawer and roll it onto my temples and wrists before opening my laptop every morning. The super ingredients help keep me focused, calm, and energized, and having the same ritual first thing every day helps get me in the mindset for productivity. 



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2. Manifest journaling

We all know and love gratitude journaling for boosting mental health or fostering healthier relationships. I stan some gratitude and personally swear that it is the secret to a happy life, but I like to take my morning journaling one step further. I always start with a list of three things I’m grateful for (which most often includes my dog and coffee), but I also spend some time writing about my best self. Trust me, manifestation is real, people!

I’ll either reflect on my best self (What are her routines like? How does she work out? What does she eat? How does she spend her evenings?) or reevaluate my goals (What will make me happy? Are my current habits helping me get there? What do I really want in life?). Even spending just five minutes thinking about what I truly want and who I want to be reminds me of my life’s big picture and helps prevent me from getting stuck in everyday stressors and to-do lists. Plus, there’s nothing quite as motivating as being reminded of your dreams (which, as Glennon Doyle says, is the blueprint of our lives, not a fantasy). 


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3. Using skincare as self-care

I consider myself a skincare queen: I have separate drawers for my serums and moisturizers, always put on essences before eye cream, and never leave the house without (non-toxic) SPF. But my morning skincare routine is more than an effort to clear pores and prevent wrinkles; it’s a moment before I start my busy days to center myself. My six-step skincare routine serves as a reminder to not rush through the day and get straight to work. I turn my skincare routines into ~moments~ by playing a podcast or music, taking time to massage in product, and repeating an affirmation in the mirror. No, my morning skincare is not just another must-do item on the list, it’s a wellness hack. 



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4. Eating a big bowl of fruit

Ever since changing my mindset to be about adding as many nutrients as possible into my diet, not only did my relationship with food change, but so has my body. Breakfasts for me used to be green smoothies or eggs and avocado toast. While those are both amazing meal options, fruit was never really a part of my life besides the occasional apple crumble or strawberry smoothie. When I learned about how much fiber and antioxidants were in fruit, I found a new zest for kiwis, berries, and papaya, and now I crave a big bowl of fruit first thing every morning. Whether or not my go-to green smoothie or avocado toast is part of breakfast, I always start with whatever fruit I have in my fridge. After I began to eat fruits to start my day, I’ve become more energized and have better digestion.


5. Getting outside

Full disclosure, of all my other wellness hacks, this one was more so forced upon me than a chosen lifestyle change. Getting a puppy about a year ago changed my life in a lot of ways. Besides the obvious unconditional love and $$$ on vet visits and dog food, one of those changes is that I’m getting outside more, including first thing in the morning (nature calls!). B.L. (“Before Louie”), I went for days without stepping outside. My energy levels have dramatically improved since getting five minutes of sunlight after I wake up, and I’m no longer groggy in the mornings (and afternoon slumps are a lot fewer after a lunchtime dog walk too). Whether you’re walking your own dog or just walking yourself (or sipping coffee on your balcony–whatever floats your boat), start your day with a little time outdoors, and it just might change your life too. 


6 Energizing Rituals I Tried to Upgrade My Morning Routine



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


Cardi B’s Bathroom Shelfie Is Overflowing With Drugstore Products

Cardi B arrives at the PreGRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Sean Diddy Combs at The Beverly...Getty Images

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We all know Cardi B is a beauty maximalist when it comes to hair, makeup, and nails, but it looks like the rapper's body-care routine is more simple than we'd assumed. On Thursday, August 12, the singer posted a bathroom shelfie on Twitter with the caption, "Would you shower at my place?" We, of course, would say yes a thousand times over because her bathroom get-up is chock full of some of our drugstore favorites. Many of her fans also replied with a resounding, "yes," and one fan even cheekily asked Cardi to send over her address. 

In the photo, there appear to be several renditions of Dove's body wash (which snagged a 2021 Reader's Choice Award), two tubs of Vaseline's Original Healing Jelly, four sticks of Degree deodorant, and Dove Beauty Bars. It also looks like two containers of lotion from Palmer's are sitting right behind a tub of Vaseline.  

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While there are a ton of body-care products lining Cardi's bathroom stand, it looks like she also has some face scrubs from St. Ives, including three tubes of the St. Ives Acne Control Apricot Facial Scrub. Of course, her bathroom set also seems to have some of daughter Kulture's go-to body-care products, such as Dr. Teal's Kids Melatonin 3-in-1 Body Wash and Elderberry & Vitamin C Epsom Salt (also a part of the brand's kids' line). 

jar of vaseline original healing jelly on a white background

Vaseline Original Healing Jelly

$5VaselineShop NowSt. Ives Acne Control Apricot Scrub on white background

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$5St. IvesShop NowDove Renewing Peony & Rose Oil Body Wash on white background

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Plenty of these products have likely been fixtures in Cardi's body-care routine for years, but we should also point out that Cardi was probably gifted this comically large selection of products from Unilever (the parent company behind most of these brands) and posted the photo as a thank you. Either way, we're all here for it. And, if you want your body-care routine to look just like Cardi's, chances are you can find these items at your nearest drugstore. 

A Standing Ovation for Lizzo’s Bantu Knots and Bedazzled Gucci Barrette, Please

Lizzo smiling on naacp awaards red carpet with purple eye shadowGetty Images

Not a day goes by when Lizzo isn't amazing us with her breathtaking beauty. (We still haven't recovered from the braided slime-green wig and matching makeup she gave us in July.) But she also takes our breaths away with her comedic genius and expert trolling on TikTok that we guarantee will have you bent over with laughter. TikTok is also the platform where she shows off beauty moments that usually never make it to Instagram — for example, the wavy Bantu knots and Gucci barrette she wore in several posts on August 11. 

Lizzo begins one TikTok video by walking into blinding sunlight and saying, "News flash!" After she finds the perfect amount of sunlight to serve face, she continues with, "I'm pretty bitch but you already knew that." And she's absolutely right. For this look, it's hard to decide if her Bantu knots, wavy tendrils, Gucci barrette, dreamy makeup, or color-blocked bodycon midi dress is the star of the look, so we'll start with the hair. 

These medium-sized buns have not one but two hair colors. The two-toned look mixes dark brown and cinnamon hues for a gorgeous color combination that suits Lizzo perfectly. These are pretty standard Bantu knots, except for the wavy tendrils of medium-brown hair that lie around the perimeter of her face. Her baby hairs are slicked and swooped around her hairline — no adult hairs found over here. The final element of the look is the bedazzled Gucci barrette that sits smack dab in the center of her crown. These Bantu knots are beautiful enough on their own, but the blinged-out barrette and wavy pieces of hair add an eye-catching touch to the style.

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Lizzo opted for a glowy makeup look with hints of orange and pink that match the hues in her dress. Her radiant skin features a hint of golden highlighter on her nose and a punchy coral blush that sits on her cheekbone. You can't miss the glistening champagne pigment on her lids or the orange and brown shades blended into her crease. The fluttery falsies and pinky nude lip gloss are a great complement to the eye and face. 

As always, Lizzo looks sensational. These wavy Bantu knots and bedazzled barrette may make an appearance on her Instagram later or exist solely on TikTok for us to cherish. If and when that IG post happens, we'll be ready to shower her with heart eye and fire emojis.