More stories

  • in

    The Affordable Amazon Bike Shorts Our Fashion Editor Swears By

    When a new season rolls around and new trends start to pop up, I’m usually excited to try around 80 percent of them. But the other 20 percent? I avoid them like the plague and curse the day they dared started showing up on anyone’s radar—and at the tippity top of that list used to have “bike shorts” written with red underline.
    Two years ago, bike shorts were synonymous with the rise of the “Insta baddie” and felt like the least wearable concept in the world to me. Even last summer after investing in a couple of pairs, I found myself never reaching for them because they just didn’t feel right—no matter what I did or what I paired them with, they just didn’t look flattering. Lo and behold, all it took was a glorious pair of Amazon bike shorts to completely change my mind.
    After seeing an endless stream of bike short inspiration pictures on my Instagram feed, I realized what my problem might be: all of the bike shorts I was wearing were just too long. The seven-inch, standard inseam hugged my short thighs in all the wrong ways, and I needed a version that was a couple of inches shorter if I stood a chance at pulling off the summer version of leggings so many swear by. The problem? All of the pairs that the people I followed swear by cost upward of $60, something I simply wasn’t willing to shell out on a piece that was still such a gamble.
    In a stroke of genius, a thought hit me: maybe the Amazon company that made my all-time favorite leggings also sold bike shorts in the same buttery-soft material. And to my luck, they did, and in the six-inch inseam I had been hoping for—and at less than $20, it was an immediate purchase.
    Fresh out of the package, I knew I was in for a treat because the shorts were in fact the same material as my beloved Lululemon dupe leggings. They’re just the right thickness and the softness of pairs that usually cost four times the price. When I put them on, I knew I had found exactly what I was looking for: they hit me at a part of my leg that felt infinitely more flattering, and the material wasn’t too compressing. 

    I styled them in the most comfortable and basic of ways, with oversized tees and sweatshirts, and it’s become my everyday, work-from-home uniform. I feel cool and laid-back and slightly more put-together than I do in my go-to running shorts, and I’ve completely fallen in love with them. I ended up ordering—and this is not an exaggeration—four more pairs so I had more options throughout the week. 
    I try to designate certain clothes for working out versus lounging, so I dedicated two pairs specifically to my workouts, and they performed great for that too. They didn’t slip or slide whatsoever and kept up with both running and HIIT workouts. 

    Of all of the pieces I’ve found on Amazon this year, these are the ones I’d rank as #1.
    I’ve never felt the need to buy anything in so many colors in my life, but I still find that every time I go to do my laundry, I’ve gone through every pair. If I’m not at the office, I’m wearing these, and I know I’m going to be grateful for them all summer long. Trust me: you can skip the cult-favorite investments and go for these instead.

    6 Versatile Ways to Wear Your Bike Shorts More

  • in

    I Tried All of the Most Popular Lulu Align Dupes—Here are the Best Ones

    I am always (seriously, ALWAYS) keeping an eye out for a great dupe. Although I love fashion, shopping, and clothes more than many other things in this world, I do not have an unlimited budget. Therefore, even though I’d love to, I simply cannot spend $100 on every pair of leggings I own. Luckily, we live in a world where Lululemon dupes are aplenty. 
    The famous Lululemon Align Pant is a favorite of our editors, our readers, our friends, and seemingly every single person on the internet. I love them just as much as the next gal—and I of course believe in treating yourself every now and then, as well as in investing in quality pieces that will last a long time. However, sometimes a girl just needs a pair that won’t break the bank.
    I searched the internet, saved every Lulu dupe TikTok I saw, and read reviews until my eyes hurt to find the absolute best and most popular Align dupes out there. Then I ordered them all and tried them out, so that I could share my new found expertise with all of you. And let me tell you, I definitely found my new favorite (keep reading to find out which one 😉). 
    In an effort to keep things consistent I ordered everything in a 7/8 length or 25″ inseam—but I am 5’3″, so that’s why they all look pretty much full-length on me. I wear a size 10 in Lululemon leggings, and I ordered every other pair in a size large (apart from the Aerie ones, which are a medium). 
    Keep reading to find out which of these Lulu Align dupes are worth the purchase, and which are not:

    These leggings are so popular for a reason: they truly are buttery soft, they fit well and do not slide down, and the waistband is supportive enough that they are always flattering. A few of our editors even swear that no other leggings come close to being as good. I definitely love how they feel, but I’ll be honest—I think they’re a tiiiny bit overhyped. For the price point, I just think that there are other leggings out there that are just as great. However, I do appreciate the selection of colors, patterns, and lengths, as well as the brand’s warranty policy.

    You guys, I am telling you, these are THE. ONES. They feel exactly like Aligns, down to the point where I think they could be made from the exact same material. The texture is identical: truly buttery soft, with the same level of thickness. They also have the same seams (style and placement), and a circular logo on the back of the waistband. So if someone saw you on the street, they would have no idea these weren’t the real thing. The ONLY tiny difference is that the hidden pocket in the front of the waistband is on the opposite side (which doesn’t matter, I am just letting you know). The one downfall is that there aren’t a ton of colors, but catch me ordering the rest and wearing them all summer long.

    These are also pretty close to the real thing, but the material is a tiny (emphasis on tiny) bit different. They are slightly more slick feeling and a little bit less buttery. However, they still feel thick enough to be supportive and not slide down. They also have the second seam detail on the waistband, which I actually think is kind of cute! This pair has the most color options by far, so if you’re looking to try something out of your comfort zone for summer, these are a great affordable option. 

    Our editors love the Colorfulkoala brand for affordable leggings, and I’ve personally owned this pair for a little while now. I love that they are supportive enough to work out in, but comfortable enough to lounge around in or wear while working from home. Although they are not an exact dupe, they definitely can hang with Lulu Aligns and for the price point, are a great option. They stay up, and the waistband is thick and comfortable. This particular style does not come in a ton of colors, but the options they do come in are all cute!

    OK, so I wouldn’t really say these are a dupe for Aligns, but they are definitely a comparable option. The material is a little different: this Aerie pair is more slick than buttery, and they are slightly more lightweight. They also have a different style of seam, going for more of a seamless and less structured look. I love and own three pairs of these, and I will say that they are more of a lounge legging than one you can workout in. They are soooo comfortable, but they sometimes slide down slightly because of the lightweight material. This is an especially great option if you’re looking for a non-Amazon pair at a reasonable price (they are also on sale more often than not!). 

    This is the only pair that I was disappointed in. The material is not very close at all: these are more slick feeling, feel a little cheap, and I would not call them “buttery.” However, I do have to disclaim that I ordered a pair in a color called “Black Lux” so that I could get a 25″ pair, so I am wondering if that means that they have a different feel than the rest of the colors that do not have “Lux” in the title. They do have a lot of positive reviews, so I think it’s either that or that the material has recently changed. But I will also say that I liked the fit of these the least. They are definitely less high-waisted, and something about them just made me feel like they were unflattering.  More

  • in

    We Did the Impossible: We Found Activewear That’s Affordable, High-Quality, and Trendy

    I can’t recall exactly when it happened, but I can’t help but correlate my (and everyone I know’s) increased interest in fitness with the influx of cute workout clothes. In my younger years, I wore rolled Soffe shorts and black and white Nike sports bras. We didn’t have patterned bike shorts, one-pieces, long-line bras—all the things we love now. And after getting dozens of ads for the new Old Navy activewear line, Powersoft, we found it had hit basically every criteria we want in workout clothes. Our editors tried a few different styles to get a feel of the fabric, the fit, and everything in between:

    I’ve been struggling with activewear lately. I am working out more than ever (about six days a week) doing all different kinds of activity (thanks to Obe Fitness, my one true love) that has me moving in so many different ways (pilates, dance cardio, strength… I even have recently made my foray into mini trampoline workouts!) that my old workout gear just couldn’t keep up. Then, my sizing changed (pandemic life!), so everything that once fit me, is incredibly uncomfortable and hard to work out in now. Having to constantly pull my leggings up when I’m working out or move a bra around so my boobs aren’t falling out or pull a shirt out is more exhausting than the workout itself. And I also am no Rockefeller—I need workout clothes that are affordable too, and being cute and trendy doesn’t hurt either.

    Like the rest of the world, I will only be wearing bike shorts this summer. They’re comfy, cute, and don’t make me sweat balls. All good things. So, I’m on the hunt to try practically every pair out there, and I knew I had to try these from Old Navy. They come in so many cute colors and prints, and I love that they have pockets (great for hikes or walking). These have lots of things going for them that I love. They’re super comfortable, and the material is really nice and sweat-wicking. I could see these being great for truly every single type of workout. But on my body, they have one flaw, and that is that they give me the gnarliest camel toe ever. I had to position my body in such an odd way to eliminate the camel toe from happening, and it still did.
    I want to love these, but because they show off such an intimate part of my body, I’m worried I’ll feel uncomfortable wearing them and won’t ever pull them out of my drawer. I also wish these came in different lengths because as stated above, I have pretty short legs and don’t think the long, Bermuda-style short looks as good on me as a mid-thigh length does.

    Now that I’m going back to my gym a little bit, I’m realizing that the last year has completely made me a sports bra person. I can’t possibly wear two layers while I’m working out. It’s one or nothing (and nothing wouldn’t be very conducive to aerodynamics, would it?). But I also feel a little self-conscious in a bra that covers my boobs and nothing else, so I need tops that function as both sports bras and tops. This one completely fits the bill and was an immediate keep. I put it on and fell in love. It’s so comfortable and stays in place. I’ve already worn it for a workout, and I need to order every single color. This is a 10/10—if you buy anything from this line, make it this.

    I was so excited for these as someone who remembers yoga pants and is very into their revival. I love bootcut leggings for yoga, hiking, or just lounging around the house. I really like the fit of these, and the length was perfect (I’m 5’5 with kinda short legs for reference). These are the perfect in-between because they’re compressive, making them good for workouts, but they’re also so comfortable that I’d wear them just like I would sweats or joggers around the house. These fit me perfectly too and ran true to size!

    I have had “finding a one-piece workout suit” on my list for this summer. For one, it’s one piece—no thought, still look cute. It’s also extremely comfortable, cute, and pretty trendy. Everything I look for in activewear! But I had many reservations about the fit on this. How could this possibly work with my body type? To my absolute surprise, it fit like a glove. It’s the soft material the entire line consists of, so it just glides over my skin. It doesn’t pinch or pull in any weird places, but it hugs my curves and keeps my shape. I can see myself wearing this for practically every kind of workout and am already planning an outdoor workout class in which I debut how absolutely amazing this looks. I also love this chic green color, but it also comes in black and a lovely burnt orange.
    However, this did give me a smidgen of a camel toe as well, but not nearly as bad as the bike shorts, so I can work around it.

    I have a slight obsession with activewear, and I always love trying out new pieces from different stores and lines. I had been dying to try out Old Navy’s Powersoft line for quite some time because everything is soooo cute and I have heard nothing but rave reviews. Plus it’s affordable, so what more could you want? I am someone who loves to feel cute in my workout clothes—something about it just makes me feel more motivated to workout, OK?!—so I’m a sucker for trendy prints and colors and love nothing more than a good matching set. Luckily for me, Old Navy has all of those things, and the Powersoft material is said to be so soft and comfortable, yet also supportive enough for all of your workouts. I ordered a large in everything you’ll see here—here are my thoughts: 

    I. am. obsessed. with. these. The snakeskin pattern is so cute and on-trend, plus it’s different than anything else I own. These biker shorts are perfectly high-waisted, and the waistband really sucks everything in and does not roll. Plus there is a light compression in these that makes me feel truly snatched. Now let’s get to the material: it is silky smooth and so soft, but there is no issue with it sliding down or constantly having to pull up at the waistband. This material seriously rivals some of my high-end workout wear and I cannot wait to order these biker shorts in every color for summer. 

    Being the exact same material and pattern as the bike shorts, I could say all of the same things regarding how much I love the feel of this sports bra. As far as the fit and support of the bra, I think it’s great. I have a pretty large chest (I typically wear a 36DD), so finding a sports bra that works for me is tough. This one offers just the right amount of support (I hate being too constricted), while still being comfortable enough to wear leisurely. My only critique is that I followed the size chart online and ordered a large, but I could’ve sized up to an XL in this. It definitely fits, but I think I would be more comfortable in an XL. 

    I love this jacket so much. If I saw someone wearing it on the street, I definitely would think it was from a high-end brand. The quality truly feels much more expensive than the price tag, and I could see myself wearing this in so many ways. I often just wear a sports bra and high-waisted bottoms while working out, so this is the perfect jacket to throw on over that outfit. I also love the cut of it—I think it’s super flattering and looks good zipped or unzipped. Plus, the pockets have zippers (perfect for a walk, run, or hike) and it has thumb holes!

    I like these leggings a lot, but they are not my favorite thing I tried. The khaki color (jacket included) is slightly less silky and soft than the snakeskin items (I’m not sure if this is due to manufacturing or just the styles), so I wasn’t as wowed by these leggings as I was the biker shorts. They still fit great, the waistband feels very supportive, and they do not roll down at all. Some people might even like that the material is a little bit more matte feeling, but if you’re looking for that super silky smooth feel, I might suggest trying one of the patterns.  More

  • in

    The Amazon Products Our Editors Bought and Loved This Month

    Me: “I need to stop buying things on Amazon.” Also me: *hits “Add To Cart” for the fourth time today* 
    What can I say… I’m a sucker for two-day shipping, having everything I could possibly need on one website, and being able to stock up on my favorite essential/not-so-essential items without having to leave the comfort of my bed. But with a quick review of my ever-growing list of great Amazon finds, I am reassured and once again question, “Why ruin a good thing?” 
    This month, I surveyed some trusted Amazon stans (my fellow coworkers) to bring you all some of the best Amazon finds that we treated ourselves to this month. From chic furry slipper slides to resistance bands that’ll help you get fit AF, we’ve got your next impulsive “Add To Cart” moment covered. 

    Water Resistant Tote
    I really wanted a medium-sized tote bag that I could bring around to all of my summer activities—whether that be a picnic, a day of running errands, a trip to the beach, or something where I might need a quick change of clothes. I scoured Amazon for far too long before landing on this one, but it has been everything I was looking for. It’s perfect for packing up a picnic blanket, book, snacks, and wine, and it’s easy to carry on my shoulder. I got it in a solid light purple color, but there are tons of cute colors and patterns available.
    — Jessica, Junior Graphic Designer

    Tub Stopper
    As someone who lives in an apartment, I don’t have the luxury of a super fancy bathtub where I can take the baths that I dream about. However, I did want to be able to take baths in general, but my tub does not have a way to stop the drain. I did a quick search on Amazon to find something that could plug the drain and found these, which have thousands of five-star reviews. They work great and are perfect for apartment-dwellers like me.
    — Jessica, Junior Graphic Designer

    Clear Shoe Organizers
    I kept my shoes on a rack in my closet for YEARS. My shoes collected dust like no one’s business, the rack always fell apart, and I was stuck in an endless cycle of organizing my shoes on the rack, getting annoyed, just tossing them in the closet, and then reorganizing. I finally decided to do something about it and got these clear shoe boxes from Amazon. They stack neatly and open from the front, so my shoes stay dust-free AND it’s super easy to keep them organized. I’m very much not exaggerating when I say these shoe boxes are my favorite quarantine purchase.
    — Garri, Managing Editor

    Laptop Lap Desk
    Listen: I love my desk. I have a small vase I put flowers in, a bunch of little knick-knacks, a sweet monitor setup, and a light I can set to any color I choose. But I probably only sit there about 60 percent of my work day. I like to migrate. I’ll sit at my dining table, in my reading chair, on my couch, wherever the wind takes me. I had been wanting a lap desk for quite some time and finally decided to just go for it. I truly don’t know why I waited so long, but this lap desk seriously makes my days so much better. I no longer have to deal with my laptop overheating on my lap and it also has a nifty holder I can put my phone in so I don’t constantly lose it between couch cushions or in the black hole that is my favorite chair.
    — Garri, Managing Editor

    Scuba Slide Sandal
    When I tell you that I did some serious damage beefing up my summer wardrobe this month, I mean it. I purged old items I didn’t want and made a list of what I wanted to replace, and one of the items on that list was poolside slides that I could wear while running errands during the summertime. I originally found these slides on DSW’s website where they didn’t have my size but luckily, Amazon pulled through and had the exact same pair in the correct size in stock. They’re wildly comfortable and will be the perfect go-to slide for short walks around town and when I’m chilling at the beach or pool.
    — Ashley, Contributing Writer

    Pasta Bowls
    Are you really an adult if you don’t have every type of bowl under the sun? Under this theory, up until a month ago, I wasn’t. My previous go-to bowls were a lot deeper but, at the same time, pretty damn small. AKA, mixing my salads in said bowl was a nightmare (picture: shreds of kale and sweet potatoes hopping out without warning) while my surface area for cheese on my pasta was little to none. I didn’t know that I needed these bowls so much until I actually started using them. They’re shallow but have a larger diameter, which makes them the perfect plate/bowl combo I didn’t even know I needed.
    — Ashley, Contributing Writer

    Workout Top
    I was inspired by our editor Ashley and my newfound appreciation for the one-piece workout top to try this, and I am loving it so far. I don’t have time to grab a sports bra AND a top before I do a workout, but I really don’t feel comfortable just wearing a sports bra (beyond the body image of it all, it’s just annoying to constantly pull down!). This solves all of those issues while looking really cute, and it just so happens I already had leggings in a few of these colors, so they look like sets!
    — Beth, Beauty Content Manager

    Rolling Laundry Cart
    I just moved to a new unit in my apartment building, which is a high-rise with a big laundry room on the top floor. In my previous apartment, I had the ratty, old hamper I’d used for years that made me never want to walk upstairs to do my laundry. And I mean it… never. So when I moved, I knew I had to opt for something that would be easy to take up and down, even if I had a hefty amount of clothes in it. Plus, my closet is totally visible, so I needed it to look somewhat presentable. I opted for this because the wheels would be easy to pull down the hallways, and I was right! I’ve done my laundry more in the last month than I did in the last six at my old place. Success.
    — Beth, Beauty Content Manager

    SweatBlock Deodorant Lotion
    Summer is my least favorite season for one reason, and one reason only. Once the temperature creeps above 75 degrees my entire body melts into a sweaty mess reminiscent of the 1980s classic character Swamp Thing. I’ve tried really cute solutions like body powder or deodorizing sprays to no avail. One thing that HAS shown promise is an aptly named body deodorant called Man Parts. It’s a talc-free lotion-to-powder formula that you can apply… wherever. Initial results have been strong, but I’ll have a better sense of how it performs when Manhattan returns to sweat lodge status in August. Note: Apparently they make a “Lady Parts” version, but I’ve already committed.
    — Elle, CFO/COO

    Letter Print Tee
    This oversized boxy tee is the perfect dupe for an Anine Bing tee. Anine, if you’re reading this just know I find you impossibly chic, but I have a mortgage. Bonus: this shirt feels nicer than your standard $20 tee, so it feels like a great value. As for sizing, they mean it when they call it oversized. I would say for a slightly-loose-tuck-in-your-jeans moment, go true to size. If you want an oversized-halfway-to-your-knees-TikTok-youth moment, go up a size.
    — Allyson, Editor-in-Chief

    Jolly Egg
    I saw this toy on TikTok and immediately purchased it. Like all good TikTok trends it was sold out and I had to wait a few weeks for it to come in. If you’re in the same position when you click over, let me just affirm that IT IS WORTH THE WAIT.
    So, what makes this dog toy so special? The hard plastic material and shape means that if you purchase the correct size, it’s impossible for them to pick up—but that doesn’t stop them from trying. Our 16lb dog goes nuts chasing it across the floor and we have to eventually take it away so she doesn’t collapse from exhaustion. The only downside? It’s incredibly loud. Not the kind of toy you want them playing with if you’re on a zoom call in the other room. But if a little noise doesn’t bother you, 30 minutes can equal complete exhaustion so afterwards you can watch Real Housewives in peace.
    We purchased the medium and have been over the moon with it, but I don’t know that bigger dogs (90lb Labrador size) would have the same enjoyment with this toy since they could potentially fit their mouth around it which defeats the fun of not being able to pick it up. Most of the dogs I saw loving it on TikTok were Goldendoodles, so I can confirm this is worthwhile entertainment for small to medium breeds. If you have a large dog, I’d advise reading the reviews thoroughly.
    — Allyson, Editor-in-Chief

    The Laundress Fabric Fresh
    The most simple description of this product is “bougie bitch Febreeze”. The bougie aspect comes from the scent which is a light clean laundry smell that’s not overly-chemical like other fabric refreshers. Yes, it’s a light scent but I personally think that’s what makes it fancy lady and not air freshener explosion. I like to spray it on sheets before guests arrive, on a shirt that I probably shouldn’t be rewearing for the fourth time, or on our couch when I can tell our dogs have been lounging on it.
    — Allyson, Editor-in-Chief

    Jute Beach Tote
    We are frequent beach goers in the summer, so I purchases this as an upgraded tote to take with me. It’s very cute and incredibly easy to get sand out of. I also just appreciate any item that makes me look put together when I’ve been sweating and swimming. I went with the large and it’s definitely smaller than our normal beach bag that can hold supplies for multiple people. This is very much a one human bag or a two low-maintenance human bag. Alas, I am one high-maintenance lady so I use it as more of a purse replacement than a large catchall. I would also be worried about overfilling it because the construction is on par for the under $20 price.
    — Allyson, Editor-in-Chief

    Queen Beach Cup Holder with Pocket
    Speaking of the beach, these are another favorite at my house. They may look like a simple cupholder, but the size and spot for your cellphone make these revolutionary for a day in the sand. I don’t know why Amazon insists on selling them in a six pack, but it does give you backups for when your friends inevitably swipe one because they love it as much as you.
    — Allyson, Editor-in-Chief

    Loctite Mounting Putty
    I cannot speak to the mounting quality of this putty because I use it to clean my Airpods. Yes, you read that correctly. Without getting too graphic, you warm the putty up in your hands and then roll it over the speaker part of your Airpod. It magically pulls out the dirt and earwax in those tiny spots that you can’t get with a wipe. The magic can only be compared to the Oxyclean commercials that would run at every ad break when you were home sick from school and watching daytime television. I’ve since used it to clean out my cellphone charging port and it works just as well.
    — Allyson, Editor-in-Chief


    Motivational Water Bottle
    Other than coffee, my Brita filter is the only beverage source I regularly keep in my fridge. My water intake has never really been a problem, exactly, but I wanted to make sure I was drinking at least two liters each day, rather than sipping on the same glass for hours at a time and forgetting to refill. Enter: one of my favorite recent purchases. I love having this bottle to help keep me accountable and, most importantly, hydrated.
    — Garri, Managing Editor

    Fabric Resistance Bands
    Fabric resistance bands have been on my “to buy” list since I hastily ran to the nearest Target at the beginning of the pandemic looking for workout equipment. I snatched up a set of rubber resistance bands and a pair of pink dumbbells, ready to adapt my workout routine for the stay-at-home order. Unfortunately, I realized almost right away the rubber booty bands weren’t going to cut it. After approximately one (1) use, I knew I simply could not deal with them constantly rolling up during my workouts. After not touching them for a year, I finally upgraded to these fabric bands and I could not be happier. The fabric prevents them from rolling up in the middle of my workouts and I love the different resistance levels. Bonus: they also come with a small case to help keep your workout-from-home setup organized.
    — Garri, Managing Editor

    Marble Foam Roller
    One of my most fatal flaws in life is that, despite knowing the benefits of foam rolling, I avoid it like the plague. Part of the reason that I dislike it is that, after an hour or more at the gym, I don’t necessarily want to stick around for an extra 20 minutes to get the job done. Before this purchase, I didn’t have one for myself and, naturally, I sustained a minor injury to my right hip that kept me from my gym routine for a few days. And what did my physical therapist urge me to do? Rest, foam roll, and let my body heal. So, I opened my Amazon app, pulled the trigger on this cute, apartment-friendly, marble-colored foam roller, and am vowing to make foam rolling a priority in my future routine.
    — Ashley, Contributing Writer

    No Slip Claw Clip
    I finally hopped on the rebirth of these claw clips and, let me tell you: These ones boast the perfect size, color assortment, and grip. I almost always have one in my hair and it’s the quickest way to pull myself together before any Zoom meeting or Trader Joe’s run.
    — Ashley, Contributing Writer

    Rectangle Retro Sunglasses
    Spring is finally here and after a few months of gloomy skies, I’m looking forward to sunny days ahead. This season, I’m opting for these super trendy sunnies that are impressively affordable. If there’s one lesson that I’ve learned after about 15 times of making the same mistake, it’s that designer sunnies and I just don’t mix. Cue me sitting directly on my Ray-Bans, hearing a devastating crunch, and stating, “This is why we can’t have nice things.” If any damage is done to these Amazon ones, I won’t feel as much shame because 1) they come in a pack of two and 2) they are inexpensive AF.
    — Ashley, Contributing Writer

    Athletic Running Shorts
    I have never been a huge fan of shorts and that dislike also applied to exercise shorts until I ordered these. Not only do they not pinch me anywhere but they truly do not ride up! The longer layer compression piece stays put while the outer layer is a bit flowier so you don’t feel hugged in any of the wrong places. I was extra excited to see that the tech pocket in the compression shorts held my phone in place without any discomfort. Win-win in my book and 5 stars for these shorts.
    — Ally, Chief of Sales and Marketing

    Straw Visor
    With warm weather upon us and the damaging effects of my teen years spent in a tanning bed rearing its ugly head, this visor checks all of the boxes for me in my quest to achieve sun safety this season. I love the packable feature (it rolls in the tiniest crease-free ball), the wide brim that fully covers my entire face, and the sweet bow detail at the back makes it feel more grand millennial vs. plain granny. If you are looking to keep the sun off of your face without the consequence of hat head this visor is for you!
    — Ally, Chief of Sales and Marketing

    Facial Massage Ice Roller
    I’ve always been obsessed with ice rolling the face for a variety of benefits. After a good ice rolling, my skin immediately looks glowier, less puffy, and I swear my pores seem smaller (oh, and any breakouts seem less noticeable too). Plus, I love using a roller on my neck and shoulders to relieve any neck tension and help with headaches. Sure I already had an ice roller, but when I saw this one that was way cuter (and super affordable) I knew it was time for an upgrade. Plus, the hinges don’t freeze like with other ice rollers I have, so even if you keep it in the freezer 24/7, it will still roll easily.
    — Josie, Wellness Content Manager

    Furry Slipper Slides
    Full disclosure: I have very few shoes that slip on. My closet is full of booties, sneakers, or even lace-up sandals, but I have never owned many slip-on shoes. As soon as slides became cool again, I knew I had to invest in a pair, both for fashion and my own convenience. There is no shoe better for running errands or taking the dog outside (AKA grabbing the leash and running when you know it’s an emergency). I stumbled upon these of-the-moment trendy slides with fur and I knew I had to have them. They are now officially my go-to pair of shoes for any OOTD or occasion, and they’re under $20, which means I got them in multiple colors.
    — Josie, Wellness Content Manager

    Neoprene Dumbbell
    I first purchased these weights in the 10 lb. variation in the middle of a workout when I realized I would absolutely perish if I didn’t get a new set of weights, and these were practically the only 10 lb. weights available on the Internet. Then a few weeks later, I ordered the 2 lb. set to use in pilates, barre, and yoga sculpt classes. I can’t say too much about these because they are simply weights, but they’re hella affordable and actually available to ship for the first time in one full year.
    — Beth, Beauty Content Manager

    16-Piece Cookware Set
    When I moved into my first apartment, I was all about budget. I bought the absolute cheapest version of every single thing someone might need because I was in college and had approximately $76 to my name at all times. Well, this past January, I realized I somehow was still using the cheapest pots and pans known to man, three years later. I found these on Amazon (admittedly because I was looking for pink pots and pans), and I love them. They were still quite budget-friendly for how many pieces it comes with, but the quality is eons better than what I was using before. I also love the colorful look—it gives me an excuse to leave pots and pans on my stove at all times in the name of ~aesthetics~ instead of pure laziness.
    — Beth, Beauty Content Manager

    Dishwasher Magnet
    For some reason, we’ve all just accepted that if you live with another human then you’ll constantly find yourself asking (or being asked) if the dishes in the dishwasher are clean or dirty. I spotted this $7 find at a friend’s house, and even after pressing purchase I had a pang of guilt that this wasn’t really needed. Well, five months later and I am ready to shout my love for this little gadget from the rooftops. It comes in black or silver so it blends seamlessly in with your appliances which helps it look more expensive than it is.
    — Allyson, Editor-in-Chief

    Adhesive Mount Cabinet Storage Organizer
    You can also file this purchase under “lame things that make me incredibly happy”. My husband and I live in a historic home with approximately one closet, no pantry, and limited cabinets. This means we have to get incredibly creative with our storage solutions. Even though I’ve already done the full Home Edit treatment on most of our house, these little containers are a new touch of happiness for me. They have adhesive strips so you can add them to almost any cabinet or door. I added one under the sink for dishwasher pods and the second close to where we keep our vacuum cleaner so I could easily access the charging cord and attachments. After only a week with them, I got back on Amazon and bought three more sets.
    — Allyson, Editor-in-Chief

    Mini Dress with Ruffle Sleeves
    I live in the south so summer is absolutely BRUTAL. Until November 1, you just accept that you’ll be covered in sweat anytime you leave the comfort of air conditioning. When I saw this dress on Jacey Duprie’s instagram a few weeks ago, I immediately added it to my cart. It hits my most important qualifications for summer clothing: light fabric, loose fit, hides sweat, and looks like you’re dressed up but with maximum comfort. I’m a size 8, so I ordered a medium (the size range listed for medium was 8-10) and I found it to fit perfectly loose. If you’re more on the small/medium size (like a 6-8), I would suggest sizing down as the dress has little to no shape. Some of the reviews note that it can be a bit short, so if you’re taller than 5ft 6 in, diligently check the dimensions before purchasing. Let’s be real: this is a $27 potato sack dress from Amazon. I’m not here to tell you it’s high quality by any means. But it’s easy to throw on with a pair of sandals and I’ll likely purchase this in a few more colors.
    — Allyson, Editor-in-Chief More

  • in

    I Tried a Lymphatic Drainage Massage—Here’s What Happened

    Full disclosure: I am a sucker for any wellness, beauty, and health trend I find on Instagram. From CBD to celery juice to B12 shots, I’ve tried it all (and if I haven’t yet, I probably plan to). There have been ones that have now been incorporated into my approaches to beauty and wellness. There have also been ones that I could definitely live without. Over the past few months, I have noticed the increase in influencers, bloggers, and models getting lymphatic drainage massages to detoxify their bodies. Honestly, I was skeptical at first that a massage could do all that it claimed to help with. After contemplating it for a while and doing my research, I finally decided to give it a try.
    I made an appointment at a local massage and healing center near me. I made sure that the masseuse was proficient in lymphatic drainage massages. Before the massage, I discussed some of the issues I was having with her and she explained how this treatment would help. The biggest reason I went in was that I suffer from chronic back pain from a prior sports injury that flares up a few times a year, making it hard to stand and walk. She went over what to expect and we talked about the method she uses. The initial process of the massage is just like any other massage: you get undressed and lay on a heated table. After that, don’t expect a deep tissue massage, because it’s nothing like that! She used light, repetitive strokes focusing on my arms, armpits, stomach, back, and legs. When the massage was over, I rested and drank a lot of water as I was directed to.
    A couple of days after the massage, I felt like I had an extra pep in my step. I was able to work out with no pain and my body felt like it was given a boost of energy. I noticed that the water weight around my midsection had gone down and I was no longer bloated. Overall, the inflammation in my body was gone, and I felt like my body was finally in a comfortable, content state that moved with ease. I’m not saying this massage was the answer to all my problems, but I will definitely be adding it to my health routine a few times a year! Keep reading to learn more about what a lymphatic drainage massage is and if it could benefit you.

    What does the lymphatic system do?
    The lymphatic system consists of lymph vessels, ducts, nodes, and other tissues, and is located underneath the skin. Think of its function kind of like the garbage disposal of the body (gross analogy, I know): it gets rid of “waste” in the body, whether it’s toxins, bacteria, or excess fluid. The lymph is a collection of the extra fluid that moves through the arteries and tissues to clean them out, before draining them through the lymphatic system.
    However, there is no pump to push the lymph through the body, and it relies on our muscle action to maintain fluid movement. Therefore, any kind of manual “drainage” (I know, so much imagery about that garbage disposal) is said to work by moving the lymph to the lymph nodes to eliminate the toxins and bacteria. While there is some controversy around the massage style, this system is crucial to the body’s health, and stimulating it through methodical massage could have many benefits.

    Source: Mathilde Langevin | Unsplash

    What is a lymphatic drainage massage?
    A lot more people are incorporating this massage into their health and wellness routines. You can find directions online on how to give yourself this massage, but I recommend going to a licensed therapist who is trained in lymphatic drainage massage for a proper treatment.
    A lymphatic drainage massage uses very light pressure and long, rhythmic strokes that get the lymph fluid moving and directs the toxins into the organs that can properly remove them. A trained practitioner’s hands can simply apply pressure to re-stimulate the natural contractions of the lymphatic system. This will move the stagnant fluid back into the natural lymph flow of the body.

    What are the benefits?
    The relaxing practice is often used to treat acne, cellulite, digestive issues, puffiness, stress, inflammation, insomnia, migraines, and certain health complications, but that’s not all. A lymphatic drainage massage is also commonly used for its ability to:

    Fight off infection
    Speed up healing and recovery from the cold and flu
    Reduce water retention
    Boost weight loss
    Improve cellulite, skin swelling, scar tissue, acne, and stretch marks
    Reduce stress and fatigue
    Help with post-exercise recovery

    Source: Content Pixie | Unsplash

    When should I do it?
    Everyone can benefit from getting a lymphatic drainage massage with the change of the seasons. This is because with each season we are eating different foods, our level of activity is changing, and the change in weather can affect the body’s internal processes. When you’re ever feeling extra bloated would be a great time to receive the treatment, as it helps to reduce water retention. But bottom line, every body is different, so if you suffer from any of the listed symptoms and feel like a lymphatic drainage massage would help, I suggest meeting with a trained professional to discuss a schedule that would be good for your body. You can also DIY in the comfort of your own home using a dry brush, tool, or just your hands as a relaxing ritual before bed or a practice to keep you calm and energized throughout the day.

    [embedded content]

    Other tips

    Drink plenty of water before and after your massage, as it can cause you to become dehydrated
    It’ll leave you feeling pretty exhausted, so you’ll want to take it easy for the rest of the day
    I suggest stripping down to as little clothing as possible (that you feel comfortable with) so the masseuse can do the treatment most effectively More

  • in

    We’ve Tried It All: This Is the Best Activewear You Can Buy on Amazon

    Finding activewear that you love and that truly works for you through all of the different types of workouts you do—and on the days when you’re just wearing a cute athleisure look—is a journey that can take YEARS. Finding the best Amazon workout clothes, though? A whole different ball game.
    Leggings that pill, biker shorts that are see-through, sports bras that don’t have enough support, items that look nothing like the photos, skimming thousands of reviews… it all comes with the struggle to find the best of the best. But every once in a while, you encounter a diamond in the rough: your new favorite leggings that feel just like your $100 pairs, or that perfectly fitted workout top that transitions seamlessly from the gym to a coffee run.
    Our editors have been buying and wearing Amazon workout wear for years now, always sharing our new favorite dupe or the biker shorts we can’t stop wearing with each other.  We’ve had our triumphs and our fails, and now we know: these are the best activewear pieces you can find on Amazon. A lot of these items have thousands of five-star reviews, and everything on this list is under $40 (!!!). 
    Keep scrolling to check out our favorite affordable Amazon workout clothes:



    Tops and Jackets

    Sports Bras

    Sets and Dresses

    Accessories More

  • in

    The New FabFitFun Box is the #1 Way I’m Getting Ready for Spring

    Every time my friends come to my apartment, they leave with something. A sheet mask I’d like to share, a mascara I’ll never get to opening, a moisturizer made for their skin type—my personal closet has become a full-blown beauty closet that is filled to the brim with beauty products for testing and admiring. But since I don’t get to see my friends as often, they’re missing my weekly giveaways; and do you know what’s like a personal beauty closet at your door every season? My favorite beauty subscription box: FabFitFun. 

    FabFitFun is essentially a curated selection of beauty, fitness, lifestyle, decor, and more at your door four times a year, so you can test, rate, and rave about new products in the same manner as your favorite influencers and beauty editors. Let me do a quick breakdown of why I suggest FabFitFun to everyone I know: 
    #1. You can customize the products so you get what you really want. Instead of getting a box full of products you may or may not use, FabFitFun offers customization for most products in the box so you always get items you know you’ll actually use. But don’t worry: there are still a few surprises!
    #2. FabFitFun loves supporting women-owned brands and businesses, so every box is typically filled with products that support female entrepreneurs. 
    #3. Every time I get my box, it feels like I’m opening a gift! My birthday happens four extra times a year with FabFitFun because it’s filled with self-care products I can use alone or share with friends. It’s the perfect addition to any girls’ night in.
    #4. I’ve discovered so many products I now swear by and use every single day because they ended up in my FabFitFun box that I’d probably never try otherwise. 
    #5. FabFitFun is committed to sustainability, so every box is made with 100 percent recycled materials for the box and paper inside. The box is also always gorgeous, so I reuse mine as storage in my closet, making it an extra gift in itself! 

    Keep scrolling—or click here to order your box and wait for the surprise!

    Clean Luxury Hair Masque

    $55 retail value
    This hair mask contains shea butter to coat your locks in complete moisture. Plus, it smells so luxurious; like you’re at the spa!

    Body Cream in Mandarin & Rosemary Leaf

    $26 retail value
    Not only is this in the most gorgeous packaging I’ve ever seen on a lotion, but the springtime scent will make you excited for fresh flowers, patios, and a light breeze.

    Iconic Glow Illuminating Face & Body Dry Oil

    $28 retail value
    It’s almost the season of glowy everything, and this illuminator knows how to bring it. It’s lovely on the cheekbones, but I’m stoked to use it all over my shoulders and décolletage.

    Sun’s Out, Pouts Out Lip Mask

    $15 retail value
    Get your pout in kissing shape with these fun gold masks. I gave three to my friends so we could all try them together over a video call!

    Reusable Beauty Rounds (3 Pk)

    $16 retail value
    Kiss your makeup wipes goodbye and use these reusable makeup remover pads instead. Simply wet them with warm water, and they take off everything from foundation to waterproof mascara.

    Flower Hair Clip (2 Pk)

    $30 retail value
    Add this adorable accessory to your stash of “ways to make second-day hair look cute.”

    Ultimate Core Toning Kit

    $50 retail value
    Sick of the same-old workouts at home? These two will turn up your ab workouts a notch.

    Daisy Print Duffel Bag

    $150 retail value
    This daisy print is the perfect pairing for all of your spring dresses—even if you’re just headed to the grocery store.

    Water Hyacinth Tray with Cutout Handles

    $45 retail value
    After we’ve been home for what feels like ages, I’ll take anything to change up my space a bit. This tray will look gorgeous on a coffee table and is so practical too.

    Set of 3 Packing Cubes in Sorbet

    $40 retail value
    Regardless of how few travels you’re taking this year, these packing cubes come in handy for weekend trips, sleepovers with your best friends, and even closet storage (which is how I’m using them!).


    $35 retail value
    The makers of our favorite chic pan came out with this equally-beautiful lunch box that I can’t wait to try for meal prep.

    100% Pure Argan Oil

    $39 retail value
    Argan oil has dozens of uses: skincare, haircare, cuticle care, and more; and Josie Maran knows her stuff.

    Faux Fur Slippers in Crystal Pink

    $48 retail value
    I’ll never say no to a new pair of slippers—truly, never. These are fuzzy, well-padded, and in a springy pink shade.

    Powder Kiss Lipstick Duo

    $42 retail value
    MAC knows lipstick better than just about any brand, and this Powder Kiss formula is the ideal matte that won’t come off in your mask. Bright springtime lips ahead!

    Super Eye Serum

    $65 retail value
    I’ve seen this brand all over Instagram, and this eye serum is exactly what I need to look more awake and bright on video calls.

    Papaya Enzyme Peel

    $45 retail value
    Elemis is an incredible high-end skincare brand that I’ve grown to love after trying so many of their products from FabFitFun. This is a light, gentle peel that will reveal brighter, dewier skin after just a few uses.

    Tropical Trio

    $28 retail value
    Step up your oral hygiene game with these coconut flosses. Not only is the packaging cute and the flavors delicious, but these really pack a punch for keeping your teeth and gums clean.

    This post was in partnership with FabFitFun, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

  • in

    I Tested 6 of TikTok’s Most Hyped-Up Skincare Products

    For better or worse, I became addicted to TikTok in 2020. More specifically, I became addicted to skincare TikTok. I followed beauty influencers like Skincare by Hyram and found myself buying products that actually fit into my budget: $7 “brightening” serums and $10, 16 oz. facial cleansers that barely fit on my counter because the bottles are so large. My main concerns are dryness, dull texture, and acne scarring from a six-month stint on Accutane. While the drug successfully purged my skin of all the acne I was destined to have for the rest of my life, it left me with a good bit of dark spots and an uneven tone. I was committed to improving it; and now after months of testing, I have found a lineup that has genuinely changed my skin—while simultaneously making my routine a bit more affordable in comparison to my impulse purchases from Drunk Elephant and Estée Lauder. An effective routine that doesn’t break the bank? What more could I want? Thanks to TikTok, here are the products that I now call my tried-and-trues! 

    Hydrating Facial Cleanser

    I am a Glossier addict, so I had been using Milky Jelly Cleanser for the past four years. Then on a whim at Target (after a TikTok binge), I grabbed the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser—and boy am I glad I did. This face wash has a striking resemblance to Milky Jelly, both in consistency and gentleness. The ingredient formula highlights ceramides (which can prevent wrinkles) and hyaluronic acid, which both help to lock in moisture and protect your skin—an essential in the Chicago winters. As the temperature has been dropping and the heater in my apartment has been on full blast, I’ve been extra dry and patchy on my forehead. This cleanser has been keeping that at bay. I might just go full force and purchase the giant tub of CeraVe Moisturizing Cream as well.

    The Ordinary
    AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

    Being fully transparent, I had tried this product before. But upon downloading TikTok, I discovered I was using it completely wrong… at the risk of burning off a layer of my skin. I like to call this “the blood mask” because I always see pictures of influencers with this maroon goop layered heavily on their skin. In applying the product in such a way, you’re going to be uncomfortable, itchy, and could even be damaging your skin. Using too much of a highly-concentrated AHA can cause redness and flakiness. Not the vibe. So, I followed the rules of TikTok and added a light, almost pink-toned layer. The mask didn’t burn anymore, just had a light tingle. And after a few weeks of bearable use, I noticed the texture of my skin had evened out, my acne scars were beginning to lighten, and my face was so soft. Score! AHAs and BHAs are key for safely removing dead skin, improving dull and uneven patches, and plumping up your skin for a youthful glow. Since you only have to use a pea-sized amount, this $7 mask will last a long time.

    Ice Roller

    As an avid user of jade and rose quartz rollers, this $10 Amazon ice instrument was naturally my next purchase. Just pop the tool in the freezer, and in the morning, rub the icy goodness all over your face. As I would use my jade roller, I like to use this one after my skincare routine to allow my products to sink in better. This tool has little beads inside so the rolling ritual is like a luxury facial massage at home. Plus, if you’re anything like me and you’re trying to get used to an early-morning routine, this roller is the perfect wake-up call.

    Super Glow Serum

    My biggest skin concern is scarring and texture; so, whenever I see a new product claiming to fix those things, I run to the store (or my computer) for a bit of retail therapy. So naturally after several TikTok recommendations, I went to my favorite brand Glossier to test out their vitamin C. Turns out, it’s true: The ingredient will gradually fade scars and smooth out texture. It also has anti-aging benefits. I’m only 22, but best to start early, right?

    Faded Gel

    I’ve been using this product for only about a week, but I am already a huge fan. After four uses, I swear my scars have significantly lightened and my skin looks brighter. My chin was covered in little spots due to my new enemy “maskne,” and thanks to this product, the dots are barely noticeable now. The formula features exfoliating acids and niacinamide, ingredients that are proven to fade scars. It’s also dye-free, fragrance-free, and vegan, making it super gentle. No burning here! Whether you have acne scars, dark spots, or hyperpigmentation, this product is sure to come to your rescue.

    Lash Lift Kit & Brow Lamination Kit

    I have dark, thick eyebrows with several patchy spots, and I’d also like to note they are completely different shapes. I swear the hairs on my left eyebrow grow straight up while the hairs on my right grow to the side—and I think one might even be slightly higher than the other. But I digress. My makeup routine consists of layering multiple brow products to get the effortless, bushy look à la Lily Collins. With this regimen, my life and brow routine are way easier. The lamination kit allows you to shape your brows semi-permanently. After cleansing the area for product and oil, you add the gel, shape your brows, cover with cling wrap, and leave on for eight minutes. And there you have it: beautiful, bold brows! This kit can also be used for eyelash lifting.

    By using all of these products, my skin concerns have become, well, less of a concern. And my bank account is happy, all thanks to TikTok. More