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    How to Make Your Skinny Jeans Chic Again

    Over the past couple of years, just about every jean style besides skinny jeans has been in style. From straight-leg to looser, boyfriend styles to even flares, our skinny jeans have migrated to the bottom of our jean piles and collected dust for the past 12 months, praying for the time they see the light of day once again.I’m not here to tell you that skinnies are the it-jean once again, but I am here to share that you can make use of your beloved old friends in a chic way, even in 2021—and they’ll be grateful to get on your legs for a day.
    Here are six fool-proof ways to style your skinny jeans this year (none of which will make you feel like you’re in middle school again).

    1. With a long, buttoned blazer

    skinny jeans / blazer / loafers / sunglasses / bag

    2. With a white button-up and sneakers

    jeans / button-up / sneakers / bag / sunglasses

    3. With knee-high boots and a cropped cardigan

    boots / jeans / cardigan / sunglasses / bag

    4. With a tunic and loafers

    jeans / top / sunglasses / loafers / bag

    5. With a voluminous top and heeled booties

    top / jeans / booties / boots / bag / necklace

    6. With a sweater vest and loafers

    sweater vest / blouse / loafers / jeans / sunglasses More

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    10 Trends So Good That I’m Buying Them Now to Wear Later

    So it’s the 10th month spent at home, the holidays are over, and the weather is pretty bleak. January is always a bummer of a month, even without a global pandemic (am I right, or am I right?). While staying-at-home persists, you might be feeling the Sunday Scaries every night of the week. If that’s not a plea for some retail therapy, I don’t know what is.Personally, I have not been online shopping as much this year as I typically do (at least my bank account is pleased), but the items I have purchased meant more. For one reason, expecting a package in the mail gives me the will to live, but cute trends and pretty pieces also make me feel hopeful for a little bit of normalcy. Maybe I’m overly sentimental, or maybe the trends RN are just so good, but as a little pick-me-up and post-holiday present for myself, these are the trends I’m so excited to wear later (whether it’s in warmer weather or when it’s safe to go out again), that I’m buying them now.

    1. Belted Blazers

    Since March, I’ve been dreaming of what I would wear on my first day back at the office. After 10+ months of reflecting, I can confidently say this will be it. There’s something about a tie belt that makes a standard blazer instantly chicer, and a silhouette immediately more flattering.

    2. Distressed Flared Denim

    If 2020 has done one thing for my closet, it’s that I’m ready to break up with my skinny jeans (and my sweatpants have doubled in numbers). The trendy pair of jeans I’ll be rocking in 2021 is a distressed pair with a flared leg. They’re chic, relaxed, and of-the-moment stylish, and they’re so comfortable, I can start wearing them now while lounging at home.

    3. Mid-Length Knit

    Keeps us warm, feels comfortable, and looks insanely stylish–what can’t knit do? The style I’m currently pining after is a mid-length dress, tight enough to comfortably cling to the body, without being so tight you can’t eat too many slices of pizza (you know what I’m talking about). Dress it up with heeled boots, or dress it down with white sneakers and rock it from now until summer.

    4. Silky Printed Button-Downs

    You may think button-downs are just for the office, but they’ve become my fashionable loungewear of choice. Think Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, only silkier, comfier, and more statement-making. The bloggers on my Instagram feed have been rocking printed button-downs for months over knit joggers and biker shorts, but they’ll look just as good tucked into distressed denim. The bolder print, the better. 

    5. Spring Pastels

    So the weather (and groundhog) still says winter, but I think we can all agree that we’re ready for spring. After a crazy few months, we need sunny days, warmer weather, and bright colors. I’m longing for colors like baby blue, pretty pink, and light yellow to brighten up OOTDs. Wear it now with knit sweaters in pastel colors, or save it for later with blouses, sundresses, and accessories.

    6. Luxe Bra Tops

    Am I the only one who hasn’t bought a new bra since senior year of high school? Lately, I’ve been shopping for comfy bra tops and luxurious bralettes because I’m an adult, and I deserve something pretty, damn it! Maybe I’ll be so bold to wear an outfit with a chic bra top and high-waisted jeans, maybe I’ll lounge at home in a jersey knit bra instead of my old wired ones, or maybe I’ll just feel an extra boost of confidence knowing there’s something pretty under my sweatshirt. Either way, sign me up.

    7. Lug Chelsea Boots

    I’m not usually so edgy to opt for a chunky boot, but apparently, 2020 has brought out my inner edge. Chelsea boots are always in style, but the 2021 version comes with a lug sole, AKA a thicker bottom with ridges (don’t worry, I had to Google it too). Lug Chelsea Boots add a casual, edgy detail to a classic, feminine style, AKA the perfect shoe for any outfit.

    8. Fringe

    Whether it’s Western-inspired fringe jackets you’d find in old John Wayne movies or glam fringe reminiscent of 1920s flappers, the trend is blowing up. Right now, I’m buying it in jackets and sweaters I can wear at home, as well as pretty accessories and dresses I can wear later. 

    9. Sweater Vests

    Who would’ve thought that Chandler Bing would’ve been a fashion icon in 2021? The ’90s fashion trend is back (and chicer than ever), which is no surprise since it’s the perfect combination of comfortable and stylish. Wear it over collared shirts or turtlenecks while the weather’s still cold, and transition it under blazers or on its own with denim shorts when the temperature gets warmer. 

     

    10. Knee-High Boots with a Kitten Heel

    Didn’t you hear? OTK boots are out, and knee-high boots are in. While I still love my chunky-heeled knee-high boots I bought last year, 2021 is all about the skinny and short heel. It’s a little more elegant, comfortable, and trendy, so consider me obsessed. I’ll be looking forward to wearing them out and about, but until then, I’ll be drooling over them in my closet.

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    I’ve Been Writing About Beauty for 7 Years—These Are the Products I Can’t Live Without

    When I was in college, I interned at a super cool digital beauty publication. After a myriad of internships that involved packing boxes for eight hours a day (yes really, just the boxes all day) and putting years of old newspapers in date order (yes really, again), you can imagine how thrilled I was when on my first day, I was given luxury beauty products and told to try them and write about them. That internship not only gave me some of my first good bylines, but it ignited a passion for writing about beauty products. Seven years later (here’s a fun TBT for you!), I still love writing about all things beauty, and as a result, I’ve tried a lot of products. I’m talking about hundreds of serums, lipsticks, and face masks. You name it, I’ve tried it. One thing people are always surprised to hear is that even though a lot of the products I try are from really nice brands and can be pretty pricey, very few stand out amongst the crowd. Most face washes do the trick, and most mascaras get the job done. That’s why when a product does stand out, it has to really work (no beauty writer worth their salt is swayed by marketing gimmicks!). So, I’m sharing the products I keep going back for after all these years. Without further ado, here are my tried and true favorite beauty products. 

    Charlotte Tilbury
    Hollywood Flawless Filter Foundation

    This product came into my life by accident, and I could not be happier about that. I asked a sales associate at Sephora for any Charlotte Tilbury foundation they had in my shade because I wanted to try the brand. She sent me home with what I thought was foundation, but I realized pretty quickly that I did not have a new bottle of foundation on my hands. Really, it’s more like a giant bottle of skin-colored highlighter. I was nervous that the shine factor would be a bit much, but I get so many compliments on my skin when I wear this product. It’s like a cross between a lightweight foundation and a highlighter, and it gives solid coverage while letting your real skin shine through. It looks amazing in person, but is also a lifesaver for early morning Zoom calls when you need to look a bit brighter on camera. TBH, I’ll probably be switching all of my cosmetics over to Charlotte Tilbury eventually. Every single product I’ve tried brings a major glow factor!

    Organic Facial Oil

    The face oil that started it all. I can literally remember the moment I read about this face oil in Lucky magazine (I just majorly aged myself, but whatever!) while babysitting in college. This was the first face oil I ever tried, and despite trying countless others, I always go back for it. Great price, clean ingredients, and I haven’t had problems with oily skin since I started using it. Game changer.

    FENTY BEAUTY
    Match Stix Matte Skinstick

    One of the best concealers I’ve ever tried goes hand in hand with my favorite face oil. While this concealer provides smooth and non-cakey coverage every day, on days when I don’t want to wear foundation, I apply some face oil and then add a little of this concealer. The oil makes it spread beautifully, almost like an extremely lightweight foundation. The stick format is also super convenient to throw in your purse.

    Peach Slices
    Acne Spot Dots

    I waited way too long to try acne patches, and all I can say is run, don’t walk to grab this pack. Not only do the patches stop you from picking at your skin (ideal for work-from-home days!), but they really do help speed up the acne healing process in the least damaging way possible. I will never reach for a spot treatment over these bad boys ever again.

    Infinite Shine Gel Lacquer

    The color is key here! I’ve always loved OPI nail polishes, but Barefoot in Barcelona is hands down the easiest color to work with that I’ve ever used. This color never streaks, has great shine, and is a pretty neutral shade. I get constant compliments on it and frequently get asked if I got a manicure when I use this color (spoiler alert: I never get manicures).

    Deborah Lippmann
    Cuticle Remover

    Speaking of my lack of interest in the nail salon, at-home manicures are so much more doable with this handy product. All you had to do is apply this cuticle remover (don’t worry, no cuticle cutting goes on here!), and after a minute you can gently slough the extra skin off with a cuticle pusher. You don’t fully eliminate your cuticles—which is a good thing—but they’re minimized enough to make your manicure really sleek and salon-worthy. Not to mention, it’s an extremely cathartic process after a long day.

    GinZing Brightening Serum

    I’ve tried a lot of serums and have always enjoyed the extra dose of moisture they give to my skincare routine, but I had never felt the need to rebuy one until this brightening serum came into my life. The formula is super gentle (unlike some vitamin C serums, which can burn), smells good (unlike most vitamin C serums), and after just a few weeks of use, my skin was noticeably brighter and smoother.

    Kevin Murphy
    Untangled Leave In Conditioner

    For most of my adult life, I never had to worry about tangled hair, like ever. That is until COVID-19 hit and left me a year overdue on a haircut. It turns out, when my hair gets super long, it tangles. When I started finding chunks of hair in the shower after trying to comb through my hair, I reached for this leave-in conditioner, and it sent my tangles packing. As an added bonus, my hair is super soft and smells really good after combing this through my wet hair.

    Leonor Greyl PARIS
    Huile de Leonor Greyl Hair Treatment

    Since my hair needed a little extra TLC this year, I reached for the big guns. This luxurious pre-shampoo treatment not only helped keep my hair feeling healthier, but provided much-needed protection during styling. Right now, I use this product when my hair needs a little extra TLC, but I’ll also be reaching for it before important events in the future because the shine factor after using it is unreal.

    Josie Maran
    Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer

    When highlighters first hit the market, pearlescent shades were all the rage, and I wanted in. Well, my olive skin tone had something to say about that. As pretty as those shades are, they just don’t work for me. But you can bet this golden-hued illuminizer does. You need just a dab for the ultimate glow, and it blends in super easily. I’ve always loved Josie Maran’s products, but this illuminizer is one product that will never leave my makeup bag.

    Coco Mademoiselle Eau De Parfum

    Nowadays, it can feel like a status symbol to have the latest perfume from the hippest brand. I love perfume, and I know how easy it is to get tempted by new scents. But after years of ending up with perfumes I liked but didn’t love, I’ve decided to stay committed to the scent I’ve been wearing since high school. Does that make me cool? Probably not. But perfume is so personal, and this perfume makes me feel like me when I wear it. I suspect I’ll be a fan for life!

    Jouer Cosmetics
    Essential Lip Enhancer Shine Balm

    I love a good lip color, but not one that is more fuss than it’s worth. This tinted balm is beyond perfect. It’s moisturizing and totally gets the job done when you need a lip balm, but it also gives a gorgeous wash of color without feeling overdone. Rose is my favorite shade, but I am tempted to collect them all. It’s the perfect lip color to keep in your bag or to throw on before a video meeting. More

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    How to Make Your Puffer Coat Look Effortlessly Cool

    When it come to trends, it isn’t often that what’s in coincides with what’s actually functional. Usually you have to make some kind of sacrifice to your comfort to really pull off a trendy piece, but an exception to that rule has miraculously happened this winter. Enter: the puffer coat.No, a puffer coat isn’t exactly known as a fashion statement; they’re practical and necessary. But the fashion Gods have decided that in 2021, puffer coats are also on-trend.
    Throwing a puffer coat on is usually the last step in a getting-ready routine; you throw them on top of whatever you decided on wearing and call it a day. But now, we’re styling our outfits around our puffer coats, instead of vice-versa—and the result is an effortless coolness that will keep you both warm and stylish until the first day of spring. 

    1.

    puffer (currently on sale) / puffer (plus-size) / pants / sneakers / bag / sweatshirt

    2.

    puffer / puffer (plus-size) / joggers / sneakers / sweatshirt / sunglasses

    3. 

    puffer / puffer (plus-size) / jeans / T-shirt / boots

    4.

    puffer / faux-leather pants / sweater / boots

    5. 

    puffer / jeans / jeans (plus-size) / hoodie / boots / beanie

    6. 

    puffer / joggers / joggers (plus-size) / graphic tee / sneakers / sunglasses More

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    The Biggest Beauty Trends to Try in 2021

    I’m looking forward to a lot in 2021. A new president (hallelujah!), being able to safely see family and friends again, more shows I’ll engulf in a single day like “Bridgerton,” new music (I’m holding out for more quarantine albums, ahem Mr. Harry E. Styles), lots of time at home with my candles and good books, and maybe even a night out on the town or two if I’m super lucky. But I also look at January as a clean slate for my beauty routine. There’s so much time to experiment with new products, techniques, styles, and more. This year, I’m looking to these 11 beauty trends to get me out of bed and excited to start yet another day in what feels like our 27,000th day of March. I can’t deny that I’m overjoyed at the number of eye makeup trends we’re seeing pop up this year, but we’re also leaning into minimalist, at-home beauty too. If you’re excited to up your beauty game this year, here’s what to look out for:

    If you’re on Tik Tok, you’ve seen a little bit of this trend. We’re seeing tons of variations of this trend, from fluffy curls (think your mom’s hair in the ‘80s) to voluminous, natural texture, and even ‘90s-inspired big waves (all those hot roller tutorials might have you convinced!). No matter your hair type (textured, coily, wavy, straight), there’s a variation of this trend that’ll suit you.

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    We experienced about a decade of heavy, matte makeup, but we’ve also gone from lightly radiant to full-on wet dolphin skin in a matter of a few years. So, where do we go next? In 2021, expect natural skin to take over. Not overly dewy, but not matte either, this trend is basically adapting to your natural skin’s texture and keeping it the way it is. Foundations, concealers, and powders that look just like your natural skin are popping up everywhere, and we’re pretty excited. It’s what our skin has been waiting for. Plus, this trend really embraces your natural skin, including any blemishes or texture on the skin. It’s not about looking flawless; it’s about showing off your real skin.

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    After a year of trying dozens of new skincare products, I’m excited to welcome this trend with open arms. Instead of shelves upon shelves of products, we’re seeing a shift to shorter routines filled with products that pack a punch. Instead of five serums every night, opt for one product that does it all. This trend is really saying, “less is more.” Along with your skincare routine, this trend goes perfectly with quarantine. If wearing makeup isn’t your cup of tea, no worries. This trend welcomes the barest-of-bones when it comes to your makeup routine too.

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    The “fox eye”–popularized by Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and more–is here to stay, but we’re putting an even larger focus on winged liner as a whole. Instead of thick, long wings, 2021 will be full of casual, breezy thin lines that just slightly wing out at the ends. It’s perfect for Zoom meetings to make you look awake and alive without spending forever trying to perfect it just right.

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    Bangs, shags, layers, and more are popular words coming out of the mouths of hairstylists around the globe. Not ready to go full-force into a curtain bang or shaggy cut? Ask your stylist for long, face-framing layers (this often gets confused with curtain bangs; a curtain bang is a bang, meaning shorter than your eyeballs, while face-framing layers are typically chin-length or a little shorter). You can easily style these in a swoopy way to mimic bangs without having to deal with the short cut (perfect for people who dislike hair in their face, or work out or sweat a lot).

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    In 2021, the eyes have it! Because we’re likely wearing much less on the lips this year (except for maybe balm or a light gloss), makeup artists are going all out with color, texture, and blend this year. My favorite take on a bright eye look is a bright wash of color across the lids. The trick to this look is always using a primer so the shadow sticks and making sure to blend just above your crease (much above your crease if you have hooded eyes or monolids). All you have to wonder is which shade you’ll try next!

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    This has been trending the last few years, but with the resurgence of eye makeup, especially lashes and liner, of this year, we’re about to see it basically everywhere. This is a simple, easy way to look fresh and put-together without a crazy bright eye. It’s perfect for Zoom, giving off the slightest bit of color without looking too bright or unprofessional. If you’re scared, opt for trying the mascara just on the lower lashes for a little punch of color without being too bold.

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    Another Zoom-inspired trend, hair accessories are here to stay, and we’re not objecting. There’s no better way to hide that you haven’t washed your hair in seven full days than a strategically-placed headband, bandana, or barette. Plus, it looks put-together with the most minimal effort. Accessories to look out for: bandanas, bright-colored scrunchies, pearls, vintage-inspired pieces, and claw clips. 

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    Thanks to Ariana Grande’s “Positions” music video and the entire promo of the album, mod-inspired makeup (especially eyes) is at the forefront of our minds. We’d already seen mod hair all 2020 with flipped-out ends and voluminous updos, but it’s made its way to makeup this time around. This look is super easy with light brown eyeshadows and liners, but you can also go a little more intense with thin black liner in the crease and Twiggy bottom lashes (see more below!). Bonus: we’re seeing this trend on the nails too with daisy patterns!

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    When the time comes that we can finally head outside of our homes (hopefully by the end of 2021!), we’ll be excited to finally dress up for events again and maybe even go out on the town. With all that experience you put in getting better at eye makeup while wearing a mask, it’ll be the perfect time to try out a deep, classic smokey eye. And if you can’t go out, well, we’re not against dressing up for a dinner at home, complete with the staple date-night eye.

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    Like we said, the eyes are the key to all things 2021 beauty, and the easiest way to achieve that look is with a hefty coat (or six) of mascara. Big, bold lashes (whether with mascara or false lashes) are a simple way to make a major impact with your beauty routine. The trick, if you’re only using mascara, is to do multiple thin coats, waiting until the preceding one dries. (Also, a proper mascara that builds well is important too–the Gucci mascara was truly made for gigantic, spidery lashes like this!)

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    There’s a Major Sale at J.Crew RN—Here’s What’s in My Cart

    The months after the holidays mean exactly three things to me: 1. attempting to keep my New Year’s resolutions, 2. staying at home with the fireplace on (I don’t do cold weather well), and 3. a J.Crew shopping spree. Maybe it’s because I get bad post-holidays blues and retail therapy helps, or maybe it’s because no one does cashmere like J.Crew. Either way, I scour the website every January, debating whether I want to spend money on a new sweater, stylish jacket, or something to look forward to for spring. This year, I can get all three, thanks to this epic sale. Whether you want more cozy loungewear to keep you warm at home or you’re looking to spruce up your wardrobe for spring, now is your chance. Keep scrolling to shop our favorite picks and use code EPIC for 30% off full-price items and an extra 50% off sale styles. 

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    I’m Plus-Size—Here’s Everything That Goes Through My Head While Having Sex

    Whenever I think about my identity, one of the characteristics that always pop up first is “plus-size.” That’s not necessarily a bad thing—I’m used to describing myself as such when looking for clothes, posting on Instagram, or talking about body positivity. I’m so used to being a plus-size woman, it’s become engrained in my daily routines and conversations. The only time I do cringe about being plus-size? When I’m talking about having sex.Society has come pretty far in terms of the body positivity movement, which, believe me, I’m grateful for. Women are more empowered, fat bodies are being normalized, the fashion industry is finally catching up with extended sizing options and plus-size clothing lines. But when it comes to sex, I feel like those “taboo” lights start flashing in everyone’s heads and the conversation becomes a minefield of sidestepping judgmental comments and potential hurt feelings. Sex can already be a tricky topic to navigate, but add in a body type deemed “less-than-desirable?” Yeah, it’s a recipe for discomfort.
    But despite it being uncomfortable to talk about, it still needs to be. I’m not going to get up on my soapbox and demand that all conversations about sex need to include fat bodies (hello, I’m an introvert), but sometimes I feel like a second-class citizen whenever I bring up my own experiences. Could that be completely based on my own self-confidence and body image issues? Absolutely. But that’s probably just more reason I need to do it more often. If there’s anything going to therapy for five years has taught me, it’s exposure therapy rarely fails. The more I talk about my own sexual experiences, the more comfortable I’ll be, the more confidence I’ll have, and, hopefully, the better the sex will be. And what better way to do it than to share my unfiltered thoughts?

    First things first: I’m not comfortable with my body, but what does my partner think of it?
    With all the guys I’ve dated, I’m usually one of the biggest women they’ve had sex with. (Not that I’ve collected data on this—God, could you imagine?! He’s mid-thrust, and I’m like, “So, have you slept with anyone else who’s fat?” Real nice.) So, I’m automatically going to compare myself to the other women my partners have slept with.
    I have big thighs, flabby arms, and I carry a lot of weight in my belly. (I also have a fairly big butt, but that’s never really been a concern.) Usually, when I match with a guy on a dating app (as many of my experiences go), I post several photos of my entire body. And unfortunately, this is a direct response to an evening where I did meet up for a date with a guy and he left after half an hour because I looked different than my photos and he just “wasn’t attracted to me.” So after that charming memory, you bet I make sure I look identical to my photos. But even with that insurance of “OK, he knows what I look like and he finds me attractive,” I still never know what my partner’s initial reaction will be when we start having sex. Or how he’ll navigate my body.

    For the love of God, don’t make me get on top
    I am aware of my weight 24/7: putting on clothes, going on planes, sitting down at a restaurant, etc. So, why would having sex be any different? As much as I’d like to, I can’t just shut off my brain and lose myself to the throes of passion. (Kudos to anyone who can do that though—tips are welcome!) Sex is so not like romantic comedies where everything is easy and passionate and women have freakish pretzel bodies that can bend into every trendy position. I also worry about hurting my partner. Simply because I am a bigger woman with a bigger body, I want to be considerate of my partner and how comfortable they are in certain positions.
    Another thing romantic comedies forget to mention? Stamina. My preferred exercise is walking, sometimes swimming. Executing a perfect reverse cowgirl is not a form of cardio that my core can easily withstand. So, I dread the times when my partner asks me to get on top. Marathon breathing techniques and worrying about my knees don’t exactly inspire lust in me. I’d much rather be in a position that I know works for me and lets me get out of my head and enjoy the experience.

    Bring on the vibe
    Listen, I’m happy for everyone who can orgasm without the aid of vibrators or toys—I’m just not one of them. Being a bigger woman, there’s simply more of me, which means more skin and body to navigate when I’m having sex. I have what is called a FUPA (fat upper pubic area), or “panniculus,” if you want the medical term for it. I’ve come to terms with my FUPA (Queen Bey has one, so we’re basically the same person), and being with my body all the time, I’ve figured out how to work with it and work around it when I’m engaging in a little self-love. But if my partner isn’t as familiar with my body (hello, one night stand), then I see it as my job to focus on my pleasure. And that means bringing out my trusty vibrator.
    I’m not exaggerating when I say vibrators are responsible for 90 percent of my orgasms. (If I could take a quick commercial break to share a PSA, it’d be this: people, regardless of your size, body type, sexual orientation, or dating status, get yourself a vibrator and thank me later.) Because I have a little extra fat around my clitoris and vulva, it’s not as easy for my partner to find. So while I make sure to communicate openly during sex, using a B.O.B. (battery-operated boyfriend) is super helpful as an aid for ensuring plenty of orgasms. And in all my sexual experiences, I’ve never had a partner complain when I bring out my vibrator. More often than not, it’s a total turn-on.

    Time to talk
    I wouldn’t call myself particularly dominant in the bedroom (just let me be a delicate maiden in a Regency romance, thank you very much!), but I do think it’s important to talk while having sex. Having an open dialogue about what feels good, where to touch, what turns me on, etc. is the clearest way to build intimacy and grow my confidence. Even if I’m having sex with a partner I’m familiar with, I’m still the teensiest bit nervous every time. Communicating, even if it’s just joking about how a position isn’t working (anyone else fall off the bed while on top of their partner? Nope? Just me?) can break the tension, get me out of my head, and make me more comfortable.

    Remember, they are there because they want to be
    I’m not going to lie and claim that I can shut off all the negative self-talk my brain seems hell-bent on sending me during sex. But at the end of the day, I know that my partner is with me in that bed (or on that couch, or in that shower) because he is attracted to me and he wants to share this experience with me. Sex should be fun and sensual and pleasurable—let it be!
    This isn’t an “I’ve overcome my body image issues and have great sex” statement though. I still have unsatisfactory sex all the time, and when I do, I’m quick to blame myself and my body. But over time, I’ve learned that I can’t let those thoughts rule me. Otherwise, I could be preventing myself from having some really great, hot, steamy sex in my future. I’m talking Bridgerton Season 1 Episode 6 sex. (You’re welcome!) More

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    How I Manage My Gym Acne With Only One Product

    Gym Acne: 1. Me: 0. Well, at least for a while. This past summer, I developed a daily habit of working out an hour or more a day. My newfound workout routine not only came with a renewed sense of energy after months of staying inside, but also with a battle with body acne that populated on my back, shoulders, and chest. I started using a body wash formulated with the acne-fighting hero ingredient, salicylic acid—though it didn’t deliver the results I wanted. In mid-July, Versed’s launch of the Back-Up Plan Acne-Control Body Mist immediately caught my eye. Since the first week of August, I have been using this mist daily after I shower, and it has delivered promising results: all the body acne that has developed around my chest and shoulders is gone, and only a few troublesome pimples on my back still remain. 

    With a few sprays on the body and a wait time of 30 seconds for it to dry, it’s a fast, convenient treatment to target that troubling acne at any time. As it says on the bottle, you can use the mist 2-3 times a day, which for me is usually in the morning, before a workout, and after a shower. If you’re worried about the mist clinging to your shirt, though, not to worry! I use it all the time before getting dressed in the morning and it never clings to my clothes. Thanks to Versed’s body mist, I guess you could say that my gym acne and I are neck-in-neck in this battle at the moment. 

    As a self-proclaimed Gen Z “skin enthusiast” who is always learning about skincare ingredients and their benefits, I decided to also consult experts on the mist’s three hero ingredients—salicylic acid, witch hazel, and tea tree oil—to understand why this mist has the incredible ability of clearing away body acne. 

    Salicylic Acid, Witch Hazel, and Tea Tree Oil: An Acne-Fighting Trio

    Salicylic Acid
    One of the hero ingredients of this acne-fighting body mist is the one and only salicylic acid. According to board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Lisa Chipps of Moy, Fincher, Chipps Facial Plastics & Dermatology in Beverly Hills, salicylic acid has numerous benefits when it comes to clearing away acne. “Salicylic acid has long been a staple ingredient in acne treatment regimens,” Dr. Chipps said. “Salicylic acid is an oil-soluble beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that penetrates into the pores and helps to break down excess keratin. It gently exfoliates the skin, and it has some antimicrobial effects to kill acne-causing bacteria. It can also be anti-inflammatory.”
    While salicylic acid has the ability to mitigate acne, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Fifth Avenue Aesthetics, Dr. Marie Hayag, advised those with sensitive and dry skin to tread lightly when using a product with salicylic acid. “[It] is suitable for various skin types, but it can be drying. Those with very dry skin should make sure to stay moisturized throughout the day. People with oily, acne-prone skin would be the most compatible with salicylic acid as a treatment,” she said.

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    Witch Hazel
    Contrary to what its name suggests, there is nothing spooky about witch hazel. In fact, it’s known to eliminate the skin of its impurities and for its calming abilities. “Witch hazel is a mild astringent, so it can be used to remove excess keratin and bacteria from the skin. It has been suggested to have anti-inflammatory properties that can calm redness and inflammation associated with acne,” Dr. Chipps said.
    Like salicylic acid, it can also trigger a reaction in sensitive skin types, which means sensitive skin types need to beware before diving right in with witch hazel (so maybe it is actually a little spooky). “People with acne blemishes and oily skin can use witch hazel. Because the tannins in it can be sensitizing, people with very sensitive, irritated skin should be cautious and do a patch test before using witch hazel. Additionally, witch hazel can be drying, so make sure to moisturize well when using it,” Dr. Hayag said.   

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    Tea Tree Oil  
    The oil that is derived from tea tree leaves is another acne-fighting ingredient that can alleviate irritated skin and fight off germs that cause acne. “Tea tree oil’s benefits come from its antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties,” said Dr. Hayag. “It contains numerous compounds that kill certain types of viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Most importantly, it’s been shown to be effective in killing P.acnes, the bacteria that causes acne.” She said that tea tree oil can help many acne-sufferers, but it may cause an adverse reaction with sensitive skin types because it has notes of fragrance.

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    The Bottom Line 
    I honestly would never trade this body mist for anything when it comes to treating my body acne. It’s lightweight, affordable (at a price of $15), and packed with acne-fighting ingredients that are designed to calm the skin and eliminate the bacteria that cause acne. Paying attention to skincare product ingredients and their functions make all the difference when searching for that perfect product that can tend to your skin concerns. If I kept trying products that appeared to be “good” and failed to read their ingredient lists, then perhaps I still would be on the gym acne struggle bus. Thanks to Versed’s body mist and its powerhouse ingredients, I never have to go to battle with gym acne ever again. More