Friday, April 7, 2017

Get Your Eye Cream to Do Double Duty

We all know that eye cream is essential for keeping the delicate skin around under our eyes looking fresh and youthful. But did you know that eye cream is also a total multi-tasker? It’s true: you can use this daily skin care staple in multiple ways that far exceed the bounds of it’s normal purpose. And because we are nothing if not thorough in our quest for product excellence, we asked the experts for their tips on the best uncommon uses for eye creams.

“I love having products around that work double-duty, and eye cream has a wide array of uses that will help moisturize, replenish and even rejuvenate your skin,” says Dr. Jill Waibel, owner of the Miami Dermatology and Laser Institute.

And she’s not the only one: Makeup artist Tomy Rivero agrees. For optimal double-duty use, he suggests being aware of the formula: “Some are made to plump and smooth the skin in preparation for concealer, however ones with alcohol and caffeine ingredients are used to drain and tighten the eye area. This is the opposite of why you would want to use you eye cream anywhere else in the face,” he says. “Look for products with the words ‘hydrating, plumping, and smoothing’ for best results.”

Once you have the right product in hand, Beauty Wonkette suggests five new uses for your eye cream you can start using right now.

 1. To smooth the lines between your eyebrows
While you’re using eye cream under your eyes, also pad some of the leftover product to smooth out fine lines between your brows, Rivero suggests. Bye bye to those angry-looking 11s between our brows!

 2. To adjust your concealer’s texture
“I love mixing in a bit of eye cream with cream concealers,” Rivero says. “It makes the product creamier and smoother.” Adding in some eye cream can also help cut down on creasing and can prolong wear, he adds, something that’s totally crucial in summer.

 3. To smooth your cuticles
Eye cream on our hands? That’s right! Waibel notes that the extra-hydrating properties of eye cream can be a “a great way to moisturize the cuticle area when the cuticles are dry or damaged.” Next time you’re tempted to pick at that hangnail, reach for the eye cream instead—your hands will really thank you!

 4. To hydrate your lip line. 
Whether it’s from drying products or too much fun in the sun, if your lip line is super dry, Rivero says to mask it with your favorite hydrating eye cream. “It will work better and faster than a waxy Chapstick and infuses time released hydration,” he explains. Goodbye dry skin; hello perfect lip liner!

 5. To create an instant glow.
“If you feel like your foundation is not looking as radiant as it could and you want a pick-me-up, dab a very thin layer of your eye cream overtop your foundation, concealer and powder,” suggests Rivero. Not only does this give your skin a healthy glow, it also adds moisture to the places that you need it most. “Place it on the center of your forehead, along the highest point of your cheeks by your temples, and a light touch on your chin for an instant refresher to your makeup.” This will give your skin an instantly fresh-faced sheen—without too much shine.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Naked Burpees !!! Now ClassPass Lets You Watch Classes Instead of Going to Them

ClassPass has a new offering to placate the many people upset by its recent pricing and membership-plan changes: Video workouts. You can get your Jane Fonda on via the app and website, which has been updated to include Video on Demand, a library of over 100 video workouts. All ClassPass users can access 5 to 30-minute videos from popular YouTube instructors like Cassey Ho of Blogilates to teachers from local workout studios such as PatriciaFit and Laughing Lotus Yoga. The library will be be continually updated to include new content.
ClassPass Founder and Executive Chairman Payal Kadakia said of the new offering, “Video on Demand is the first of many digital products we’ll be debuting, all designed to keep our members moving while also giving our partners another powerful way to engage with our members.” It’s not the same as the unlimited plan, but at least now you don’t even have to wear pants if you want to do burpees.

Living Proof's Full Volume Blast for that Just F*cked Look

On the subject of hair, Beauty Wonkette insists that size matters. Everyone wants big hair these days — not ‘80s big, but big, no less — hair that’s slightly messy, marginally textured, and very thick - the way your hair looks after a particularly athletic romp in the hay. Extensions help with this, but they’re expensive, and reallty not good for your hair. Volumizing formulas posit themselves as a quick fix, but they’re mostly terrible. Here, however, is something that Beauty Wonkette promises to do the job: Living Proof’s Full Dry Volume Blast spray.

The spray is the latest innovation from the brand backed by Jennifer Aniston. Not quite a texture spray, and only vaguely reminiscent of a dry shampoo, Full Dry Volume Blast sits in a category of its own. Say you’re on the second or third day of your blowout and your hair is beginning to look a bit limp. Spray Full Dry Volume Blast from root to ends in two- to three-inch sections in your hair. Tousle your hair with your fingers for a lift and to define piece-y waves. Unlike most texture sprays, Full Dry Volume Blast doesn’t leave a sticky or chalky residue behind. Hair feels light, like it’s just been washed, but not stiff and dry. Results appear to last for about a day, and not much longer.

The MIT nerds at Living Proof always have a very scientific explanation for their products, and Full Dry Volume Blast is no exception. Scientists at the brand developed a patent-pending formula that includes something called Expandable, Textured Aero-Spheres, or ETAS. The molecular ETAS mushroom in size when spritzed on hair, which in turn creates volume. And since these “spheres” are filled with air, the volume never weighs hair down. The result is hair that appears lifted without sacrificing touchability. It’s the best midweek pick-me-up for your hair, especially if it’s a sad, flat affair.

Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast, $29 at Sephora.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Recession Concession: 5 Drugstore Dupes Makeup Artists Praise

OK, let’s be real for a second—as much as Beauty Wonkette loves and fixates over our makeup products, there’s no denying that this beauty obsession is the enemy to our bank accounts. Like, as much as we want to purchase every luxury or cult-favorite release from Sephora or Barneys New York, or our favorite internet site, our dwindling account balance (not to mention Mr. Beauty Wonkette) always seems to scream at us to rein it in. So when Beauty Wonkette came across a list of makeup-artist-approved makeup dupes on Reddit’s MakeupAddiction, Beauty Wonkette decided to share.

Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Eyebrow Gel, $24; at Benefit

It's pretty much the same product yet it's a fraction of the price, and it's amazing.” -Squashthatmelon

Essence Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel Mascara, $2.99; at Ulta

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella, $27; at Nars

“Maybelline Color Blur in Partner In Crimson is a perfect dupe for NARS Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella.”-Whenthereisfire

Maybelline Lip Studio Color Blur in Partner in Crimson, $8.99; at Maybelline

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage Concealer, $31; at Sephora

"Same tube style, same consistency, same coverage. Would highly recommend the like $4 option, obviously."-Karrialice

Wet n Wild Come Correct Celebrity Concealer, $4.99; at Wet n Wild

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Outlaw, $20; at Sephora

“CP Creeper is identical color wise to KVD Outlaw.”-Erikaa37

Colour Pop Ultra Matte Lip in Creeper, $6; at Colour Pop

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup, $39.50; at Estee Lauder

“L'Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte for Estee Lauder Double Wear (I use the palest shade).” -Ishtar_Tiger

L'Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation, $12.99; at L'Oréal

Anal Sex: Cause Everybody's Doing it....

First it was shocking, then it was having a cultural moment, now it’s practically standard in the modern bedroom repertoire—or so a quick scan of any media, from porn to HBO, will tell you. Seriously.  What prompted this post was actually not that Refinery 29 has been going on about it But when Beauty Wonkette learned that the ever so on top of every trend Gwyneth Paltrow (of uncoupling fame) dedicated an entire issue of Goop to the subject, Beauty Wonkette decided it was time!
The reality about anal is not, actually, that everyone’s doing it, says research psychoanalyst and author Paul Joannides, Psy.D., whose comprehensive book on sexuality, The Guide to Getting it On!, is used in college and medical school sex-ed courses across the US and Canada. The book is amazing not just for its straight-up factual information on practically any aspect of sex you can think of, but also for its easy, nonjudgmental, at-times humorous tone.
The CDC reports that the number of heterosexual men and women who’ve tried it vacillates between 30 and 40 percent (oddly, the CDC doesn’t report on how many homosexual men have tried it, except in a statistic that weirdly combines it with oral). If anal turns you on, you are definitely not alone, but its prevalence doesn’t change the fact that it’s the riskiest sexual behavior in terms of HIV and other STDs. So, Beauty Wonkette decided it was prudent to reprint the interview the good doctor did with Goop in which Joannides talks us through the realities of making anal both as safe and as pleasurable as possible.
Drum roll please......

A Q&A with Paul Joannides, Psy.D.

When did heterosexual anal start to become a thing?
In the 80’s, I remember hearing from a friend that he had a videotape of anal porn. This seemed shocking at the time. (This was pre-Netflix: Everything was on videotape, from porn to Disney movies to highlights from the Olympics. Video rental stores were everywhere.) I’m not sure there are too many middle schoolers today who would be shocked or even surprised to watch anal sex on Pornhub or Xhamster.
Since porn became as easy to access as YouTube, porn producers have had to fight for clicks, and so porn has become more extreme. I’d say that by 2005, porn had totally blurred the distinction between a woman’s anus and vagina. This wasn’t because women were begging their lovers for anal, it’s because porn producers were afraid you’d click on someone else’s porn if they weren’t upping the ante in terms of shock value.
Does the popularity of anal in porn reflect reality in both homosexual and heterosexual couples?
No. There are some couples who enjoy anal sex a lot, maybe 10 percent to 15 percent of all straight couples. But if you ask them how often they have anal vs. vaginal intercourse, they’ll say maybe they have anal one time for every five or ten times they have vaginal intercourse. We occasionally, as in once a year, hear from women who say they have anal as often as vaginal, but that’s unusual.
As for gay men, statistics vary widely, and studies aren’t always consistent in how they collect data—some might be looking at different levels of frequency, i.e. have you had anal once in the past year, or do you have it regularly? I’ve seen studies suggesting that 65 percent of men have anal sex, and others that suggest the figure is less than 50 percent. So, I don’t have exact figures for hetero or homosexual couples, but there is data suggesting that a good percentage of gay men would rather give and receive blowjobs than have anal sex.
How should we modify the anal sex we see modeled in porn to best suit an in-real-life couple?
The way the rectum curves shortly after the opening tells us we need to make a lot of adjustments for anal to feel good. Also, the two sets of sphincter muscles that nature placed around the opening of the anus to help humans maintain their dignity when in crowded spaces (to keep poop from dropping out) mean there’s an automatic reflex if you push against them from the outside.
So one of the first things a woman or man needs to do if they want to be on the receiving end of anal sex is to teach their sphincter muscles to relax enough that a penis can get past their gates. This takes a lot of practice.
Also, unlike the vagina, the anus provides no lubrication. So in addition to teaching the sphincters to relax, and in addition to getting the angle right so you don’t poke the receiver in the wall of the rectum, you need to use lots of lube.
They show none of this in porn. Nor do they show communication, feedback, or trust. Couples who do not have excellent sexual communication, who don’t freely give and receive feedback about what feels good and what doesn’t, and who don’t have a high level of trust should not be having anal sex.
What are the health risks of anal?
A woman has a 17-times-greater risk of getting HIV and AIDS from receiving anal intercourse than from having vaginal intercourse. So your partner needs to be wearing a condom and using lots of lube, unless both of you are true-blue monogamous, with no sexual diseases. Any sexually transmitted infection can be transmitted and received in the anus. Because of the amount of trauma the anus and rectum receive during anal intercourse, the likelihood of getting a sexually transmitted infection is higher than with vaginal intercourse.
Unprotected anal sex, regardless of whether it is practiced by straight or gay couples, is considered the riskiest activity for sexually transmitted diseases because of the physical design of the anus: It is narrow, it does not self-lubricate, and the skin is more fragile and likely to tear, allowing STDs such as HIV and hepatitis easy passage into the bloodstream.
Are those risks all mitigated by the use of condoms and lube, or are there still issues, even beyond that?
The risks are substantially reduced by the use of condoms and lube as long as they are used correctly, but you won’t find too many condoms that say “safe for anal sex” because the FDA has not cleared condoms for use in anal sex. That said, research indicates that regular condoms hold up as well as thicker condoms for anal sex, so there’s nothing to be gained from getting heavy-duty condoms.
As for using the female condom for anal sex—studies report more slippage and more pain than with regular condoms.
Do not use numbing lube, and do not have anal sex while drunk or stoned. Pain is an important indicator that damage can occur if you don’t make the necessary adjustments, including stopping. If there is pain, perhaps try replacing a penis with a well lubed and gloved finger. The glove will help your finger glide more easily, and might be more pleasurable for the person on the receiving end. Also, this allows a woman to do anal play on a male partner. (When it comes to anal sex, what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander.)
Are there known health consequences of anal practiced over the long-term? Can you do it too much?
One of the urology consultants for my book believes that unprotected anal sex can be a way for bacteria to get into the man’s prostate gland. He prefers the person with the penis that’s going into the other person’s butt use a condom.
Also, small chunks of fecal matter can lodge into the man’s urethra. So if the couple has vaginal intercourse following anal intercourse without a condom, the male partner should pee first in addition to washing his penis with soap and water.
Do pre-anal enemas make a difference in terms of health safety? What about preventing accidents?
I know of no studies on the relationship between pre-anal enemas and health outcomes. As for its general wisdom, people seem as divided on that as on politics in Washington. So I would say, to each her own. Also, some people use a “short shot,” which is a quick enema with one of those bulb devices instead of using a bag and going the full nine yards. In any case, accidents are likely to happen at one time or another.
What tests should people be getting if they practice anal?
There’s “should” and there’s reality. If I were on the receiving end of anal sex, I would want to be sure my partner did not have HIV before I’d even let him get close to my bum with his penis.
Probably more people try anal today than in the past—are there ways to make a first experience a good one?
Both of you should read all you can about it first. Spend a few weeks helping the receiving partner train her/his anal sphincters to relax. Make sure you and your partner have great sexual communication, trust, and that you both want to do it, as opposed to one trying to pressure the other, or not wanting to do it but doing it because you are afraid your partner will find someone else who will. Do not do it drunk or stoned, and do not use lube that numbs your anus. If it doesn’t feel good when it’s happening, stop.
Do people orgasm from anal stimulation? Is it common or uncommon?
Some women say they have amazing orgasms from anal, but usually they will be stimulating their clitoris at the same time.
Does it usually take a few tries to enjoy anal? Are there positions that make it easiest?
It depends on how much you are willing to work on training the receptive partner’s anal sphincters to relax, how good your communication is, how much trust there is, and probably on the width or girth of the dude’s penis. Common sense would tell you it should go way better if a guy is normal-sized as opposed to porn-sized.
What should we be telling our kids about anal?
We don’t tell them about the clitoris, about women’s orgasms, about masturbation, about the importance of exploring a partner’s body, and learning from each other. We don’t tell them that much of what they see in porn is unreal, and we don’t talk to them about the importance of mutual consent. So I don’t see anal being at the top of most parents’ “should talk to our kids about” lists. There are more important things we need to be talking about first.
Paul Joannides, Psy.D. is a psychoanalyst, researcher, and author of the acclaimed Guide to Getting it On!, which is now in its ninth edition and is used in college courses across the country. He’s also written for Psychology Today Magazine and authors his own sex-focused blog, Dr. Joannides has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Sexual Medicine and the American Journal of Sexuality Education, and was granted the Professional Standard of Excellence Award from The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists. Joannides also lectures widely about sex and sexuality on college campuses.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Beauty Wonkette Shares Everything You Need To Know About Hyaluronic Acid

You may have noticed that hyaluronic acid, a multi-tasking carbohydrate, has become quite prevalent in topical anti-aging creams, supplements, and other products.  Simply put IT'S EVERYWHERE!  But what exactly is hyaluronic acid and why is it such a popular ingredient in personal care products?  In the hopes of answering all your questions, Beauty Wonkette share a recent article and slide presentation from Refinery 29:

Hyaluronic acid is a little like Julia Roberts: a seasoned vet beloved by all, highly dependable, always up for awards, but rarely found at the heart of a viral, buzzy internet moment. The acid has been in just about every moisturizing product around for years, but recently, brands have been trotting out the show pony ingredient and putting it front and center to make us remember just how great it is for every skin type. (Just like how everyone loves Julia.) Need a primer on the superstar hydrator? We've got you.
Despite its scary-sounding name, hyaluronic acid is naturally found in our bodies, which is why our skin — be it oily, dry, mature, or acneic — responds so well when it's introduced artificially. It’s found in almost every skin cell and acts as a cushion that keeps moisture trapped just below the surface. Unfortunately, our stores of the stuff deplete with age, which is why adding it now is the best thing you can do.
One of the best ways to increase hyaluronic acid production? Ingest it. Leafy greens like spinach and kale, starchy root vegetables, and bone broths are good sources of HA. (There are also some freaky sources, like rooster comb and fish eyeballs, if you want to really go above and beyond.)
But what makes hyaluronic acid so good at moisturizing is the fact that it can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Think of it like a soaked sponge that sits under the surface of the epidermis, and steadily drip-feeds skin with moisture throughout the day. As a result, lines look smoother because skin is plumper and dry patches vanish. But because it's a large molecule, it won't penetrate to the deepest layers, so that's where hyaluronic acid fillers, which are made of synthesized HA derived from sodium hyaluronate, come in.

BEAUTY WONKETTE: Meet ELVIE - your most personal trainer!

For the most part, Beauty Wonkette is not a fan of Khloe Kardashian and thinks that, for the most part, the woman's beauty and health advice is full of shit. However, every now and then Kardashian does offer some valuable vagina advice (and given the frequency with which she uses hers, she may be considered an expert....hehe).

One of her tips is to use the Elvie, a fitness tracker for kegel exercises. Kegels involve contracting the muscles in the pelvic floor, which support the uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum. Strengthening those muscles can help with bladder control and pregnancy recovery, and may lead to more intense orgasms too.

WTF you say?  No, seriously, read on...
The Elvie is inserted into the vagina and syncs with a smartphone app, so users can keep tabs on their progress over time.(Fun fact: 2017 Oscar nominees received an Elvie in their gift bag.)
A fitness tracker for your vagina isn't a bad idea, says Dr. Streicher, the author of Sex Rx: Hormones, Health, and Your Best Sex Ever.   "Kegels on their own aren't always useful because a lot of people do them incorrectly," she explains. "There's more research to be done on devices like the Elvie, as well as [others like] the PeriCoach and Apex, but their premise is sound and we can assume they'll help to exercise the pelvic floor."
It's also kind of cute

Those improved orgasms do NOT come cheap though.  The Elvie carries a $199 price tag on Amazon.  But, the customer reviews ARE good....