Tiny Beauty Details You Might Have Missed From Lizzo and Cardi B’s New Video

side by side of lizzo with golden headpiece accessories and gold dressCourtesy of Alexx Mayo 

It's official: The internet is broken again. The culprits this time are Lizzo and Cardi B who transformed into glowy Grecian goddesses for their "Rumors" music video that was released at midnight on August 13. The duo reimagined the legendary Muses from Hercules with shimmery gold makeup, avant-garde brow looks, and braided hairstyles that are so long they put Ariana Grande's ponytails to shame. But if you were too busy watching in amazement to notice, we've compiled all the wonderful beauty moments you may have missed.

The Perfectly Placed Highlighter

Honestly, where do you even began with a music video like this? There's so much to obsess over, but let's start with the glowy makeup, which was painted on by makeup artist Alexx Mayo using Charlotte Tilbury products. Glistening gold pigments are clearly the star here. For the first look, Lizzo appears on a ceramic jar with a brilliant gold highlight that matches her golden dress and headdress. Mayo blended the limited-edition Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte's Magic Star Highlighter and Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Beauty Light Wand in Goldgasm onto her cheeks to create the glow. 

screenshot from Lizzo Rumors music video showing Lizzo with glowy skin golden dress headpiece and arm piecesCourtesy of YouTube/@Lizzo Music

The Extra-High Cut Crease

Her shimmery eye makeup isn't super visible until the next scene but it's truly epic. On the base of her lids, Mayo blended out a few black and gray hues to create a smoky effect. There's a sharp black wing right on her lid and below her waterline creating a dramatic effect. Above the black-winged liner, Mayo painted on Charlotte Tilbury's Eyes to Mesmerize cream eye shadow in Champagne as if he were cutting her crease but it extends upwards to the temples. With the creamy pigment, he drew on another line that extends from her inner crease up towards her brows, which appear to be completely nonexistent. Which brings us to…

The Tiniest '90s Brows

On June 28, Lizzo officially joined the bleached eyebrows club, so that's why her brows appear to be invisible. Instead, Mayo drew on a faint brown line around where her brows would be (you can see some faint blonde hairs in the picture below). The gold pigment that sits at the end of her bleached brows takes the look to the next level. 

behind the scenes shot of lizzo wearing a golden hairpiece and gold smokey eye with gold stiletto nail jewelryCourtesy of Alexx Mayo 

The Body Highlight

Gold is pretty much the theme throughout the whole video whether it's the dresses, breastplates, nails, or out-of-this-world highlighter. All the dancers in the video look ethereal with their glistening skin that you can see when Lizzo walks up to the rest of the muses laying down. All seven women are glowing from head to toe, and that sickening highlight is especially on display when they busting a few moves on the columns. Just gaze in amazement at the blended streak of highlight on this queen. 

screenshot from rumors music video with lizzo standing with outstretched hands in front of six backup dancers laying on...Courtesy of YouTube/@Lizzo Musicscreenshot from rumors music video of lizzo bent over dancing in golden dress and bright shimmery highlighterCourtesy of YouTube/@Lizzo Music

The Eye Gems

Cardi makes her appearance later on in the video, sitting on a throne with a golden breastplate, huge gold teardrop earrings, and an angled liner with sparkly gems. The Bronx-rapper looks absolutely gorgeous while rapping her clever rhymes. This liner is very mod, with a sharp wing right at the lash line and another eyeliner line right at the crease that both angle upwards towards her temple. You can see a few well-placed gems that sparkle and gleam in her inner corner and along the topmost liner. 

screenshot from rumors music video of cardi b holding scroll while wearing a gold breastplate and teardrop earringsCourtesy of YouTube/@Lizzo Musicscreenshot from lizzo and cardi b rumors music video where cardi b wears golden breastplate with her hands raisedCourtesy of YouTube/@Lizzo Music

The Exceptional Nails

And just look at those talons! We knew fire nails were coming because Lizzo gave us a teaser on August 10, but wow they truly exceeded our expectations. Cardi's stiletto-shaped golden talons match the metallic sheen on her breastplate to a T. Lizzo has a more ornate-looking pair in the beginning of the video that looks more like expensive jewelry than a set of nails. For the final scene, she has ombré stiletto nails that transition from white to a shimmery gold glitter at the tips. 

screenshot from rumors music video with cardi b and lizzo in gold and white outfits holding their stretched out hands to...Courtesy of YouTube/@Lizzo Music

More Brow-spiration

Of course, Lizzo and Cardi delivered with their final looks. Lizzo's bleached brows aren't nonexistent this time. A few spaced-out black strokes sit right where her brows would be. On the other hand, Cardi's brows are angled and fully filled in. But underneath those angled brows sit a few dazzling gems. Creative brow looks have been having a moment lately, and we love to see these two artists' takes.

screenshot from rumors music video of lizzo singing in a bedazzled mesh gown long braided hairstyle with golden...Courtesy of YouTube/@Lizzo Musicscreenshot of cardi b from rumors video with gold headpiece and bedazzled eyebrowsCourtesy of YouTube/@Lizzo Music

The Veil-Like Braids

Lizzo's Rapunzel-esque braided hairstyle and Cardi's voluminous curls may just be our favorite hair looks in the video. As Lizzo dramatically walks down a winding staircase in one of the final scenes, you can see the aggressively long train of braids that follow behind her. It took 80 hours and 400 packs of Kanekalon braiding hair to create the 43-and-a-half-foot hairstyle on Lizzo, according to an Instagram carousel shared by hairstylist Shelby Swain. It took an impressive team of 17 braiders and 80 hours to complete these out-of-this-world braids. If you swipe through the carousel, you can see the behind-the-scenes videos showing all the work, skill, and dedication put into this gorgeous hair.

Her braided hair at the front is gathered into what looks like almost a pompadour and secured together with a bedazzled gold headpiece. The intricate accessory lays on her forehead and has two golden wires that swirl from the back of her head to right around her cheeks. Cardi also wears a stunning golden headpiece, but hers is a capital (the topmost part of a column) that sits on her head like a crown. 

screenshot of lizzo descending staircase with train of black hairCourtesy of YouTube/@Lizzo Music

Neither Lizzo, Cardi B, nor the six amazing backup dancers came to play with us with this Hercules-themed music video. We've just barely recovered from seeing Cardi B and Normani together for "Wild Side" and can hardly contain our excitement over this breathtaking video as well. Honesly, the best part may be all the amazing fan recreations of these beauty moments that are sure to come.

The Best New August Skin-Care Launches to Make a Part of Your Routine

The Best New August SkinCare Launches to Make a Part of Your Routine

Allure/Ingrid Frahm

Yes, it's still summer. With more than a month of the season left to go, there's still time to switch up your skin-care routine to nail it for your current needs, or simply invite the best newness into your regimen. So, to help you out, we're sharing the new August skin-care products that we know you'll love. 

Changing your regimen up can feel scary. Is this serum worth the splurge? Do we really need another self-tanner? And what the hell do all of these ingredients actually do? To help answer any and all questions you may have about what you should be using, we've tested and tried every product — moisturizers, cleansers, serums, masks, and more — that comes our way to help you make an informed decision.

You can count on us to keep you in the know about the skin-care launches that excite us and that we think will make you feel your best. This August, treat yourself to a new skin-care regimen with the latest products to hit both physical and virtual shelves — including a gentle way to exfoliate every day (thanks, Murad) and an overachieving face mist packed with peptides from Ghost Democracy.

Be sure to check back weekly for new skin-care launches that are dropping this month. (Trust us, you don't want to miss out.)

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

Keywordsproduct launchesshoppingnew skin-care launchmuradclarinsmaskexfoliationface mistmoisturizershopping guideGuerlain

What You Should Know to Start Investing in the Stock Mark





To many of us, the stock market can be daunting (to say the very least). We know that investing is something we probably should—and want to—be doing, but the obstacles to starting it can turn it into something we put off over and over again.

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I’ve always been in that exact boat. Even though I’m surrounded by people who know the ins and outs of investing, I’ve always felt like I didn’t even know what I didn’t know about how to start investing, like the barrier to entry was held by someone who never gave me the knowledge to know where to begin. But with the right tools, you don’t need to feel that way.

Enter: Public. Public is the social network for investing, and their mission is to make investing approachable for all people. They make the stock market both inclusive and educational, and through social features, they make it easy to build your confidence as an investor. There’s no barrier to entry or prior knowledge necessary; it’s meant for investors at all levels, including beginners. They know that a significant reason why many don’t invest is because of a lack of financial literacy, so they aim to unlock the stock market to a wider range of people through the empowerment of a community where you can learn and grow.

We turned to the experienced investors at Public to ask them all of the questions that we had as first-time investors, from the complicated definitions to figuring out if it’s even a good time for you to be investing anyway. Thinking of investing for the first time? We’ve got you covered, no jargon included.

 

*The following is for educational purposes only and is not investment advice.

 

1. Let’s start at the beginning: What is the stock market, a stock, and an investment, and how do the three work together?

An investment is an allocation of money directed with the goal of generating a positive return over time. To invest in a stock is to own a share of a particular company and therefore a portion of the company’s assets and profits. Stocks are most commonly traded on public stock markets, where companies list shares on exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq. Historically, the U.S. stock market has trended upwards over time, about 9 percent annually on average*, which is why many investors buy and sell shares of publicly traded companies as part of a long-term investment strategy. It’s important to note that not every individual stock has an upward trajectory over time, which is why diversification—that is, spreading risk across companies at different stages of growth and in different industries—is a popular strategy among investors.

 





 

2. What are bull and bear markets?

A bull market is defined as a point in time when the market is doing well and growing at a steady pace. During this time, investor sentiment is optimistic and stock prices rise significantly following a previous decline. The opposite of a bull market is a bear market, which is when the market is seeing challenges and investor sentiment is on the decline.

 

3. What exactly is a broker?

A broker is a person or firm who executes transactions between a buyer and a seller on the public markets. Someone looking to invest in securities like stocks or bonds typically opens a brokerage account with a brokerage firm and deposits money into their account to fund their investments. There are many different types of brokerage firms available to investors, and setting up an account is the first step toward building an investment portfolio.

 

4. What are compounding returns?

A compound return takes into account compound interest, which is the amount of money someone accrues on their principal investment over time. It’s usually expressed in annual terms and can also be referred to as a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR). Since returns on the original investment compound over time, many advisers recommend investing early and consistently. If you ever heard the phrase “Time in the market beats timing the market,” that’s referring to the power of compounding over time.

 

5. When I invest in the stock market, how does my investment grow?

While individual stocks rise and fall daily, the stock market as a whole has historically risen in value over time. Since its inception, the U.S. stock market has historically returned profits to its investors, with an average annual return rate of about 9 to 10 percent* (pre-inflation). Importantly, this is not to say that every individual stock goes up over time at this rate. Some stocks grow in value at a sharper degree, while other stocks sink in value. Diversification is important as it allows you to spread risk across many investments. New investors will often start with index funds or ETFs (exchange-traded funds), which are innately diversified and tend to ride the general trends of the market overall.

 

6. Can you explain the concept of “buy low, sell high?”

When one buys stocks or securities at a low price and sells them at a higher price, they make a profit on the difference. This strategy relies on trying to time the market and is often difficult to do.

 

7. What is volatility, and why does it matter?

Market volatility is a measure of the changes in value that a market experiences over a certain period of time, and it is normally characterized by rapid change and unpredictability. It can be caused by many things, including economic factors, news, interest rate changes, fiscal policy, and more. Volatility is significant because it serves as a reflection of investor sentiment and is largely an indicator of the overall health of the market. Keeping a pulse on it is essential when deciding how to manage one’s investment portfolio.

 

8. When is the right time to sell a stock? How frequently should I be selling my stocks?

Knowing when to sell is one of the hardest parts of investing, as it’s difficult to predict when a stock will start decreasing in value. Because of this unpredictability, staying informed and on top of market news and events is important when creating a successful investment portfolio. Many investors will set a price target or projected future stock price as a benchmark for selling an investment and will periodically calculate gains and losses to monitor the performance of short-term investments. While some investors might quit while they’re ahead and sell the stock, others might hold onto it in hopes that it will continue to grow in value.

 





 

9. Let’s debunk some investing myths: Is there really a “right time” to start investing?

The popular answer among investors is that “it’s always the right time to invest,” and many advisers say that time in the market is more important than timing the market. Many advisers recommend investing as early as possible, given the power of compound interest and its growth over time.

 

10. How much money do I need to have to begin investing?

Public.com is a great option for investors who are looking to build their confidence within a community of other investors. This investing app is special because it includes social features that allow you to share why you made an investment and ask questions about other people’s investments. The app is also expanding provide to financial education, with features like Town Hall that allow retail investors to pose questions to CEOs and founders from companies like Lemonade, Bumble, and DraftKings. Public Live is a new feature that allows investors to listen in as credible journalists break down what’s happening in the markets in an accessible way. Learning in the context of real-world situations makes financial concepts easier to grasp. On Public, investors can own fractional shares of more than 4,000 publicly-traded companies and ETFs with no commission fees on standard trades.

 

11. If what I choose to invest in isn’t doing well, should I pull my money out?

You only lose money on stock market investments when you sell. This is an important concept for new investors. Say you own one share of Company X at $50/share. The company has a down quarter in sales, which moves the stock price down to $35. You would still own one share of the company in this case, so if the company can recover and go back up, you would not lose the value of that share.

Knowing when to sell will depend on the individual. At a high-level, many investors choose to sell when they stop believing in the future growth of the company. There are several signs that could indicate this, including significant changes in the business or consistent losses, as revealed by quarterly earnings reports. However, panic-selling an otherwise strong stock because of a short-term drop is not typically regarded as a strategy for long-term success in the markets. Money is inherently emotional, but it’s important to keep a cool head when investing and stick to your own research and judgment instead of making reactive moves based on fear.

 





Source: Social Squares

 

Terms to Know

 

The Basics

 

  • Stock: A stock, also known as an equity, is a share of ownership in a company. Stocks are sold at the price of each share, which varies from company to company.

 

  • Stock option: Stock options are contracts that give someone the right but not the obligation to buy or sell a stock at a predetermined price. 

 

  • Stock market: A collection of exchanges where companies list shares and investors buy and sell them.

 

  • Trading: The buying and selling of financial instruments such as stocks. 

 

  • Stockholder: An individual or institution that owns one or more shares of a company.

 

  • Portfolio: A collection of investments in various companies. 

 

  • Broker: A person or firm who executes transactions between a buyer and a seller on the public markets.

 

  • Market value: The price at which a share would trade at on the public markets. 

 

  • Appreciation: An increase in the price or value of assets. On the public stock market, appreciation refers to an increase in the value of company stocks held by an investor. 

 

  • Dividends: A dividend is the payment of cash or additional stock to a company’s shareholders. They are not required, and as a product of the company’s excess profits, they are often viewed as a sign of financial health. A company’s board of directors can decide to issue, cut back on, or eliminate dividends at any time. 

 

  • Compounding returns: A compound return takes into account compound interest, which is the amount of money someone accrues on their principal investment over time. It’s usually expressed in annual terms and can also be referred to as a compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Since returns on the original investment compound over time, many advisers recommend investing early and consistently.

 

  • Compound annual growth: The compound annual growth rate is a measurement indicating the returns on an investment on an annually compounded basis. It’s one of the most accurate ways to determine returns on investments.

 

  • Internal rate of return (IRR): The average rate of return an investment in a company is expected to generate. Investments with higher IRRs are generally considered the most desirable. 

 

  • Capital gains tax: A type of government tax applied to the profit made by selling an investment. The IRS taxes long-term capital gains (made on the selling of assets held for more than a year) differently than it taxes short-term capital gains.

 





 

Accounts and Funds

 

  • Individual brokerage account: An account that holds financial assets on behalf of an investor.  The funds in a brokerage account are what investors use to buy and sell securities like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

 

  • Mutual fund: A mutual fund is a professionally managed investment that pools money from a group of investors to purchase stocks, bonds, or other assets with the goal of creating a highly diversified portfolio. When one invests in a mutual fund, a professional fund manager owns the buying of securities. While mutual funds have many benefits associated with diversification and time savings, they also have many drawbacks, including fees and tax inefficiency. 

 

  • ETF: An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a bundle of several investments sold as a package. Similar to a stock and unlike mutual funds, they are sold throughout the day and for a share price. They can be designed according to market sector, geographic region, type of security, and more. 

 

  • Index fund: A portfolio of stocks and bonds designed to mimic the performance of a financial market index such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the S&P 500. These funds have lower expenses and fees than actively managed funds and follow a passive investment strategy. 

 





 

Stocks and Shares

 

  • Security: A tradable financial asset that represents some type of financial value. Examples of securities include stocks and bonds. 

 

  • Fractional share: A portion of a stock that is less than one whole share. Fractional shares allow investors to purchase stocks based on a dollar amount rather than the price of a whole share. Fractional share owners hold a portion of a full share of stock, which allows people to start investing in smaller increments and build positions in companies whose stock price may be cost-prohibitive to them. For example, a single share of Amazon stock currently trades at more than $3,000 per share. Before fractional, an investor would need to have $3,000+ for the full share to invest in Amazon. With fractional, investors can put $5, $10, or $50 toward an Amazon investment and build over time.

 

  • Common stock: The most common stock bought. Each share bought is equal to a single vote at a shareholder meeting. Common stocks often, but not always, entitle their owner to a portion of the company’s profits, which is known as a dividend. 

 

  • Blue-chip stocks: These are stocks issued by reputable companies with name recognition that experience consistent growth and provide a reliable return to investors. Many of these stocks also pay dividends. Examples include Apple, Sony, Disney, and General Electric. 

 

  • Small-cap stocks: These stocks are companies that have a market value ranging from $300 million to $2 billion. The company may be at the start of its lifespan, serve a niche sector, or exist within a developing arena. They are said to be riskier investments because of their age, size, and the industries they serve. 

 





 

 

Company Terms

 

  • Market capitalization (market cap): Market capitalization is the total value of a company. It’s determined by multiplying the current market price of one share of the company by the number of total outstanding shares.

 

  • Stock split: Stock splits are a type of corporate action in which the company’s executives increase the number of shares, giving existing shareholders more stocks proportionate to the split ratio. The price per stock then decreases proportionate to the split ratio. Companies split stocks in order to increase stock liquidity and invite smaller investors. It can affect market demand, but it does not change the company’s value.

 

  • Annual 10-K filings: These are comprehensive reports filed annually by public companies. They are required by the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and disclose information about the company’s financial performance. 

 

  • Quarterly earnings reports: Quarterly filings made by public companies that disclose financial information relevant to shareholders and potential shareholders, including info about income, net sales, and earnings per share. Following the release of an earnings report, companies will hold earnings calls where investors and analysts can ask questions. These calls are open to the public and a great opportunity to do research on a company you may invest in or want to learn more about.

 

  • EPS: EPS stands for earnings per share, which is a company’s net profit divided by the number of common shares it has outstanding. 

 

  • Gross margin: A company’s net sales revenue minus the cost of goods sold.

 

  • Profit and Loss (P/L): Profit and loss (P&L) statements are financial reports made by companies that summarize their revenues, costs, and expenses during a specified period and indicate their ability to generate profit. 

 

  • Price to earnings ratio (P/E): A measure of the company’s stock price relative to their earnings per share. This ratio is used to help determine whether companies are over or undervalued.

 

  • Debt to equity ratio (D/E): A financial measurement that is used to analyze the amount of debt a company holds compared to its shareholder equity. A relatively high debt-to-equity ratio tells an investor that the company relies heavily on debt to finance operations and expansion, while a low debt-to-equity ratio tells an investor that the company does not rely on borrowing a lot of money to finance operational activity. 

 

  • Return on equity (ROE): Considered the return on a company’s net assets, ROE is a measure of a company’s profitability in relation to stockholder’s equity. It’s calculated by dividing net income by stockholders’ equity.

 

  • Dividend payout ratio: This equals the percentage of a company’s earnings paid to shareholders in dividends. 

 





 

Strategies

 

  • Buy-and-hold: This is a passive investment strategy in which an investor buys a type of securities (such as stocks) and holds them for an extended period of time, regardless of fluctuations in the market.

 

  • Short a stock: In this situation, an investor borrows a stock, sells the stock, and then buys it back to return it to the lender. The seller is betting that the stock they sell will drop in price, and the profit they make is the difference between the sell price and the buy price.

 

  • Risk tolerance: How much risk one is willing or able to take on as an investor. Someone with little financial wiggle room generally has low risk tolerance vs. someone with more disposable income and/or more years until retirement. 

 

  • Diversified investments: Diversification is the process of spreading risk across investments with varying degrees of risk, for example across companies at different stages of growth (large cap vs. small cap) and in different sectors (e.g. commodities vs. technology). When someone diversifies their investment portfolio, they spread their money out across a variety of companies and assets (like stocks, bonds, and commodities) in order to reduce risk while earning the highest possible return. Diversification helps investors weather challenges that a certain segment of industries may be facing. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, travel stocks were hit hard, but tech stocks powering remote work, like Zoom, soared.

 





 

 

Options

 

  • Call option: A contract between a buyer and a seller granting the buyer the option to purchase a certain stock at a certain price until a defined expiration date.

 

  • Long call: A call option that bets on the underlying stock increasing in value prior to its expiration date. 

 

  • Long put: A strategy used when an investor expects the underlying stock price to decrease. 

 

  • Put option: The opposite of a call option, a put option is a contract giving the stock owner the option to sell a certain stock at a certain price within a specified time frame. 

 

  • Covered call: A financial transaction in which the investor selling call options owns an equal amount of the underlying stock.

 

 





 

The Stock Market Exchange

 

  • Initial public offering (IPO): An initial public offering or stock market launch is the first time a company sells stocks to the public. An IPO is typically underwritten by one or more investment banks, who also arrange for the shares to be listed on one or more stock exchanges.

 

  • Forex: Otherwise known as the foreign exchange, this is the conversion of one currency to another. The foreign exchange market is a decentralized place for the trading of currencies, and it determines foreign exchange rates for every currency. 

 

  • Dow: The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a stock market index that measures the stock performance of 30 blue-chip stocks listed on exchanges in the United States. It’s a price-weighted index, which means that stocks with higher share prices carry heavier weight than lower-priced shares. 

 

  • Nasdaq: The Nasdaq is a U.S. stock exchange that lists most of the world’s technology and biotech giants, including Apple, Amazon, and Google. The term also refers to the Nasdaq Composite, an index of the stocks that are listed on the Nasdaq exchange.

 

  • S&P 500: The S&P 500 or Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is a market-cap-weighted index of the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the U.S.

 

 





 

*Offer valid for U.S. residents 18+ and subject to account approval. There may be other fees associated with trading. See more at Public.com/disclosures

 

*Source: Rule of Thumb For Average Stock Market Return

 

How To Invest When You’re Living Paycheck To Paycheck

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

 

What We Learned From ‘The Goop Lab’ Vagina Episode






Source: Netflix

I just learned a lot about vaginas from a streaming service, and (thankfully) it’s not porn. Say what you will about Gwyneth Paltrow, her $250 million brand, or the sometimes ridiculous claims (a $3,000 dildo? I don’t even have $5 for daily Starbucks!), but one of the episodes on the Netflix series The Goop Lab shook my world. Episode three, titled “The Pleasure Is Ours,” features Betty Dodson, a PhD sexologist who has been one of the principle leaders in female sexual health and pleasure for decades. Just for reference, her first book, Liberating Masturbation: A Meditation on Self Love, came out in 1974. It turns out the viewer (and Gwyneth Paltrow) has a lot to learn from this 91-year-old (yeah, you read that right).

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Regardless of what you think of Goop or GP’s acting skills, this episode was profound, and, dare I say, life-changing. Watching the episode and writing this article felt like one big therapy session for me. I would go so far as to say that watching it should be required for everyone, because very few of us (sadly) got this kind of education in school. Read on for key takeaways from the episode and the six life-changing things I learned about vaginas. 

 

1. Paltrow doesn’t know what a vagina is—and neither do most people

First of all, let’s start with the word “vagina:” it’s not what you think it is. Even though she recently launched a candle that smells like it, GP got it wrong when talking about “the vagina” in the episode. Many people, Paltrow and myself included, use the word “vagina” to describe the entire system going on “down there,” especially when referring to what we can see on the outside and the parts that relate to pleasure. Like the badass she is, Dodson gracefully schooled Paltrow with a subtle FYI. “The vagina is the birth canal only,” she said. “You’re talking about the vulva: that’s the clitoris, the inner lips and all that good sh*t around it.” Note to self: We know the difference between the penis and testicles, so it’s about freaking time we all know the correct names of female anatomy as well. 

 





 

2. Genital shame hinders our sexuality

While this one isn’t necessarily surprising, it is surprising how many people with vaginas feel shame about them. Dodson talks about a disassociation with female genitals; most women think theirs is gross, abnormal (more on that below), or don’t even want to look at them (also more on that below). A lot of this comes from a lack of education (did you learn about the “clitoris” in school? I sure didn’t) and also just from cultural norms. Think about it: Even the nicknames and language commonly used to describe vulvas sound gross at worst and risqué at best. Plus, as Dodson points out, a lot of us grew up thinking that sexuality was something we needed to hide or keep to ourselves (can we all just agree that the rules some parents place on teens around dating and sex is a little outdated and effed up?). Shame around our vulvas directly translates to shame around our sexuality, and shame around sexuality hinders our pleasure (and you wonder why you can’t orgasm?). 

 

3. Yes, your vulva is “normal”

Now for what I think is the saddest part of the episode (but also the most empowering): The show cited a study done by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, which found that purely aesthetic labiaplasty surgeries (or surgeries to alter the folds of the skin around the vulva) increased by 45 percent worldwide just between 2015 and 2016. Females as young as 9 years old were asking for the procedure. While we support every woman in making her own decisions about plastic surgery and what’s right for her, the point is that there are many people with vaginas who believe they need to change theirs. A big reason is that our culture teaches us that they’re “gross,” so our default is insecurity, but it’s also because of lack of example.

Dodson and the president of the Betty Dodson Foundation, Carlin Ross, explained that almost all female genitalia shown in pornography have received surgical altercation. For many people, the only vulvas they see besides their own come from pornography, since there are no other examples in mainstream culture. So The Goop Lab did something revolutionary and showed real vulvas. Yes, up close and personal. They didn’t just show one (because then that one might become the “norm”); they showed multiple in an effort to prove to people with vaginas that theirs is normal, no matter what it looks like. The verdict: Every one is vastly different, and they should be, because we all have different bodies and a different makeup for pleasure. You can stop wondering and worrying—yes, your “down there” is totally normal. 

 





 

4. …And you should know what it looks like

I’d like to change the saying “know it like the back of my hand” to “know it like every inch of my vulva” after watching this episode. After all, what does the back of the hand do? If it’s worth knowing so well that it becomes a well-known cliché, shouldn’t we also know the most powerful, pleasurable part of ourselves? As Dodson says, “The genitals are your power spot.” Beyond just the pleasure, they are also where the next generation comes from. Regardless of whether birthing children is part of your plan, there’s no denying that the female genitals innately hold so much power and strength (and more capacity for pleasure than a penis, thank you very much).

But many people don’t even know what theirs (or any—see point #3) look like. In 2016, The Eve Appeal, a Gynecological Cancer Research center in the U.K., asked 1,000 women to identify their own anatomy from medical illustrations (another study cited in the episode. Yes, I took rigorous notes). Only 44 percent were able to identify. A quick PSA on behalf of Betty Dodson: If you are not well aware of what your vulva both looks and feels like, stop what you’re doing, grab a mirror, and get to exploring. 

 

5. There are many important systems within the “genitals”

Dodson and Ross explain how the clitoris is not just one single “spot” as the nickname “the G-spot” makes it sound like. It’s actually a complex system on its own, with multiple parts and more than 8,000 nerve endings in the tip alone. FYI, that’s double the entirety of the penis. Also, the clitoris and vagina (or what we mean as vulva) get all the buzz, but your pelvic floor muscles are crucial for pleasure as well.

For one reason, tight pelvic muscles and tension are common causes for pain, which obviously hinders pleasure. But also, when you work the pelvic muscles, you bring more blood to the area, which means more orgasms. In other words, your genitals deserve a workout routine too. The most talked about way to engage the pelvic floor is kegels, but Dodson has her own fascinating (and successful!) technique if you want to watch the episode or check out her website. 

 





 

6. Knowing your vulva is important for you, not just for your partner

I think we can all agree that partnered sex is more pleasurable and fulfilling when everyone involved is, you know, pleasured and fulfilled. But the point of knowing your vulva is not just so you can have a fire sex life in your relationship. Yes, feeling just as entitled to pleasure and just as knowledgeable about your own biology as your partner is crucial for many reasons, but this information is also important for you.

As Dodson said when Paltrow asked why women being in touch with their sexuality has been seen as dangerous (read: thousands of years of slut-shaming), “When we’re in touch with our sexualities, love our bodies, and know how to orgasm on our own, we are independent. We’re dangerous when we’re knowledgeable.” In essence, your own association with your genitals is not about anyone else around you; it’s about your own pleasure, and the knowledge of how to fully access it is one of your greatest powers.  

 

 

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My Body Acne Is Finally Gone — Here’s How I Did It

Rearview shot a young woman touching her bare shoulderGetty Images/LaylaBird

As a pre-teen athlete, body acne and I had our fair share of confrontations. Rushing between my school’s varsity volleyball practice — sliding on the floor as the team’s libero — followed by a 15-minute car ride to club soccer practice, my skin was on overload between sweaty, tight jerseys and, of course, puberty. On those days when my shoulder blades were flush with whiteheads and my chest with tiny red bumps, I contemplated quitting my passion for sports, all in the name of feeling “pretty” in a tank top or bikini. For years, body acne became a giant insecurity I let take control of me — instead of me working to control it. That was all until I made a dermatologist appointment where I finally saw hope and light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks to my newfound knowledge of topical retinoids, I’m now able to continue pursuing the active lifestyle I’ve always loved dearly.

What Is Body Acne, Exactly?

Before jumping into the benefits of topical ointments, like retinoids, Rhode Island-based board-certified dermatologist Tiffany Jow Libby breaks down what causes body acne in the first place. “Acne, regardless of whether on the face or body, occurs due to several factors: clogged pores, excess oil production, and inflammation,” she says. Although blackheads are still common and can occur on the body, Libby’s practice tends to see “more whiteheads, inflammatory acne, and cysts on the body, which are prone to more oil production — along the back and chest.”

Claire Chang, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, also calls out “hormonal fluctuations, stress, and certain foods (including dairy and high glycemic diets) as acne triggers,'' too. While whiteheads are commonly seen on many of her patients' bodies, she says, blemishes like papules, pustules, cysts, and nodules all can show up on the skin barrier.

While body acne can affect people of all ages, both Libby and Chang name puberty as the starting point for many cases. “Hormones called androgens cause oil glands to increase in size,” says Libby. This causes acne to appear over many areas of the body. Chang also points out, “the chest and back have a higher concentration of oil glands, making this area more prone to acne, while hair-bearing areas may be more prone to a related condition, folliculitis, caused by inflammation around the hair follicles,” she says.

It’s no secret excess oil production acts as a prominent conductor for clogged pores. “Oily skin types are more prone to body acne, promoting a good environment for bacteria to grow,” says Libby. This, in combination with clogged pores and inflammation, is the perfect formula for body acne.

So, why are certain areas more common for body acne to crop up, athlete or not? “Irritants, like sweat and friction from tight-fitting clothes, tend to be more commonly affected by body acne,” answers Libby. Medically, this phenomenon is called acne mechanica, which Chang describes as friction or rubbing in combination with heat and sweat that irritates and inflames [hair] follicles. Reflecting on my own personal journey with body acne and the areas I found breakouts most commonly as a young teen, this was me to a tee.

Treating Body Acne With Retinoids

After back-to-back sports practices, my shower routine would consist of a soapy loofah rubbed (aggressively, might I add) across my back, shoulders, and chest in hopes it would unclog and "pop" my stubborn, headstrong whiteheads. But in reality, this practice left me with nothing but an irritated, red skin barrier — creating the ideal canvas for inflamed acne that wasn’t going anywhere.

Although dermatologists enlist many solutions when treating acne along your body, one of the most effective approaches is topical retinoid creams. “Not only will using topical retinoids help prevent and treat acne, but it will also help minimize the post-inflammatory pigmentation, like brown spots, that occurs after acne lesions resolve," says Libby. This is music to my ears — and my acne scars — after years of scrubbing and picking my olive-toned complexion’s bacne, with little to no results.

For those not familiar with topical retinoids, Libby describes them as being “vitamin A derivatives that prevent and treat acne by unclogging pores, exfoliating skin, and decreasing inflammation.” Chang even goes as far as to call topical retinoids “the gold standard for treating acne.”

Chang says that while retinoids are safe and effective in treating both non-inflammatory and inflammatory acne on the face or other parts of the body, like any new skin treatment, retinoids should be started slowly, to decrease the risk of irritation and excess dryness. “It can take six to eight weeks of consistent use to know if an acne regimen is effective, so be patient,” she says. In fact, this timeline is exactly how long it took for my skin to process this newly-introduced treatment, before completely ridding my skin’s clogged pores and whiteheads. As they say, patience is a virtue.

Since treating my skin with a topical retinol every night, the body acne I was self-conscious of no longer exists — nor has control of my activities or hobbies I so cherish. After all, feeling good in my skin is my number-one priority, and for me, it started with treatment. Whether you're just experiencing body acne for the first time or have had a long, ongoing battle with acne, you’re not alone, and there are products and dermatologists out there to help you begin your journey to clear, healthy, and happy skin. You have to start somewhere, and in the case of body acne, it can be with a topical retinol cream.

How to Dress up an Outfit With Barely Any Effort

it’s all about the accessories

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Source: Laura Jade Stone

When you’re putting an outfit together, all too often, the finishing touches are an afterthought. Shoes, jewelry, the bag you choose—all of your accessories combined are what make or break an outfit. And it’s never more true than why you’re trying to figure out how to dress up an outfit.

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It’s said constantly—This look can be dressed up or down!—but what does that really mean? But think about it: at the end of the day, jeans and a T-shirt can end up looking a thousand different ways, all depending on what you style them with. 

The secret to dressing up an outfit? It’s all about what you top off the bones of your outfit with, and we think we’ve cracked the code to mastering it. With these five hacks, you’ll never feel underdressed again.

 

1. Strategize your shoes

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As predictable as it may be, there’s no easier way to change the feel of an outfit than with the shoes you choose. Just like a pair of sneakers can make a dress look more casual, a pair of heeled sandals or boots can dress a pair of denim up and completely change how formal it feels. Whether you’re a heel wearer or not, having a go-to dressed-up option in your closet is a necessity. 

Steve Madden

Honey Slide Sandal

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Jeffrey Campbell

Fluxx Sandal

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Chinese Laundry

Block Heel Sandal

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Steve Madden

Slide Sandal

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ASOS

Cross Strapped Sandal

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Dolce Vita

Paily Slide Sandal

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Top Shop

North Sandal

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Jeffrey Campbell

Caviar Platform Slide Sandal

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2. Add a blazer

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Blazers have proven that they stand the test of time, and while we love styling ours with jeans and a tee for a casual look, their essence naturally brings an elevation to what they’re paired with. Keeping a basic option in your closet than can be worn over any outfit you put on is a surefire way to know that you have a way to dress you look up whenever you need to.

OpenEdit

Pinstripe Blazer

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Openedit Plus

Pinstripe Blazer

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Madewell

Plaid Dorset Blazer

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Abercrombie & Fitch

Plaid Cropped Blazer

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ELOQUII

Long Tailored Blazer

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ASOS

Longline Blazer

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3. Carry a structured bag

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A bag is often the very last thing you think about when you’re putting together an outfit, but when you’re aiming to dress a look up, it should be one of the first. Rather than a slouchy tote or crossbody, choose a bag option that’s structured (bonus points if it has a top handle) to upgrade your vibe.

MANGO

Buckled Flap Bag

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MANGO

Croc Mini Bag

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MANGO

Oval Split Leather Crossbody

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ZARA

Mini City Shoulder Bag

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ZARA

Crossbody Square Bag

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ZARA

Mini City Bag

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Number One Nano Bag

Polène

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Madelina Bag

Sancia

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4. Put your hair up

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Rather than leaving your hair down and loose, choosing to put it up can instantly transform how formal you look. Be it a slicked-back, low bun, a looser updo with the help of a clip, or sleek ponytail, pulling your hair back is a fast-track to looking put-together. When you’re done, you can also work a hair accessory in as a finishing touch.

ZARA

Jeweled Hair Clips

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Kristen Ess

Celestial Bobby Pins

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H&M

Metal Hair Claw

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Madewell

Puffed Barrette

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TASHA

Crystal Jaw Clip

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Madewell

Chunky Circle Hair Clip

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TASHA

Pearl and Crystal Barrettes

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TASHA

2-Pack Pearl Jaw Clips

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5. Incorporate classic jewelry

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We’re all about a trendy necklace or pair of earrings, but nothing can top wearing classic jewelry for a dressed-up occasion. Be it subtle pearls, a plain gold chain, or classic hoops, this is an instance where less is more.

Nordstrom

Hoop Earrings

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Madewell

Edged Chain Bracelet

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Mejuri

Diamond Necklace

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Mejuri

Essential Pearl Necklace

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Monica Vinder

Chain Link Bracelet

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Mejuri

Thumbtack Studs

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Gorjana

Marin Necklace

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Gorjana

Classic Diamond Studs

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Ways to Make Your Style Look More Effortless
don’t overthink it
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You Have to Watch Gabrielle Union Teaching Daughter Kaavia to Love Her Moles

Gabrielle Union smiling in a white dress in front of brownstone stepsGetty Images

Growing up as a kid with a mole near her mouth, my feelings about that little area of raised, darker skin could have gone in any number of ways. Thankfully, just as I was entering middle school, supermodels Cindy Crawford and Niki Taylor were on countless billboards and magazine covers with their own lip-adjacent moles, which me not only feel OK about my beauty mark but sincerely believe that it was a beauty mark. Not everyone gets such glamorous mole validation from celebrity role models, but Kaavia James Union Wade is getting a lesson on loving her skin from the best celebrity role model possible: her own mom, Gabrielle Union.

Union posted to TikTok on Thursday, August 12, writing, "Teaching her to love every part of herself 🤎," over a video of Kaavia and herself in a pool. But the relaxing moment was also a teachable one as Union showed her almost-three-year-old daughter that it's OK to have, accept, and even be enthusiastic about moles.

"Mommy has a lot of moles," Union says as she points to her chest and then her cheeks. "I got moles on my face."

"Oh no! I not have a mole," Kaavia replies, shaking her head.

"Well, I think you have a couple," Union says.

"Oh no, I got a couple right there," Kaavia decides, pointing to her mouth, at which point Union gently informs her that those are just her lips. 

"I'm pretty sure you have a mole somewhere," Union says, pulling one of Kaavia's feet out from under the water. "Oh, there's your mole!" Kaavia seems fascinated as Union continues, "But see, it's not bothering anyone. So you just leave it!"

"Leave it?"

"Yeah, it's a part of you," Union says. "So that's Kaav's mole. And mom's mole."

"Yes! We got moles!" Kaavia exclaims with adorable excitement — a sentiment Union repeats with equal energy. In fact, it's what she wrote in the caption, too.

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I think it's safe to say that, as Kaavia gets older, Union will continue to impart mole widsom — like getting her skin checked by a dermatologist every year for any new ones or strange changes in existing ones. In the meantime, Union continues being a role model not only for her kiddo but for everyone who can use a little reminder about self-love and acceptance.