How to Achieve Self-Love and Body Acceptance

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Some of us want to get stronger, some of us want to eat healthier, and some of us want to get more sleep, but the one goal we all have in common is to feel more self-love. Self-love is not something that’s taught in school. In fact, we’re more likely taught how not to love ourselves and accept our bodies from friends, parents, and the media (more on that below). But thinking we’re not good enough or constantly trying to change the way our bodies look is stressful, destructive, and a complete waste of energy.

Think about all the time and energy you spend obsessing about the way your body looks or not loving who you are. That time and energy could be spent on more important things like running successful companies, growing fulfilling relationships, and actually going through life feeling happy (imagine!). So how do we get out of the self-hate cycle and accept our bodies as they are? I turned to an expert for advice. 


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Dr. Adrienne Youdim is not your regular weight lost specialist—she’s a cool weight lost specialist. And by that, I mean she uses her expertise and practice to teach women how to achieve self-love and body acceptance first, knowing that true health can only begin when you love yourself. Dr. Youdim is an internist who specializes in weight loss and nutrition and served as the medical director of the Cedars-Sinai Center for Weight Loss before opening up her own private practice in Beverly Hills. Read: She’s seen a lot of patients who do not accept their body as it is.

As if her long list of experience wasn’t enough, she’s also the author of the book Hungry For More, which connects the desire for weight loss with what we’re lacking emotionally. While she’s a weight loss expert on paper, she’s really a self-love expert because she knows that you cannot reach any health goal without it. Read on for her definition of body acceptance, where it comes from, and six tips that will help you achieve it. 


Meet the expert
Dr. Adrienne Youdim, MD, FACP
An internist who specializes in medical weight loss and nutrition
Dr. Youdim served as medical director of the Cedars-Sinai Weight Loss Center before opening her own practice in Beverly Hills. She wrote the book “Hungry For More,” an empowering memoir and how-to guide for women looking to reach their health goals and love their bodies.



What does “body acceptance” even mean?

We talk a lot about accepting your body and loving yourself, but what does that really mean? Does it mean looking at yourself in the mirror and thinking everything is perfect, or is it like any other romantic relationship where you feel unconditional love and respect? According to Dr. Youdim, body acceptance is different from self-love, but they both share an important factor. “Body acceptance and self-love are not the same, but they are both unconditional and are not dependent on outside factors,” she explained. “We can accept and love ourselves regardless of how we look, how much we weigh, what kind of car we drive, or how much money we make.”

Another important PSA: Body acceptance and loving yourself does not mean that you don’t have goals or aren’t prioritizing self-improvement. Rather, you love and accept yourself so much that you know you deserve to reach your goals. “For example, you can want to lose weight, but body acceptance means that you still accept yourself for who you are in this moment. In fact, that acceptance makes it more likely that we will achieve our goals.” In other words, you don’t accept your body once when you reach certain health goals, you can reach health goals because you accept and love your body as it is right now.



We talk a lot about accepting your body and loving yourself, but what does that really mean? Does it mean looking at yourself in the mirror and thinking everything is perfect, or is it like any other romantic relationship where you feel unconditional love and respect?



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Where do body insecurities come from?

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a “joking” conversation with your friends over which body part you hate most (Mean Girls style). I am certainly guilty. The sad truth is that body insecurities are so normal that it’s something we bond over with other women. If you’re the Cady Heron who can’t think of anything to dislike about yourself besides bad morning breath, you’re probably the outsider. When we grow up and assimilate to societal norms, we learn pretty quickly that hating our bodies is not only socially acceptable but expected. 

“There is so much outside noise that affects how we see ourselves and particularly how we see our bodies,” Dr. Youdim explained. “Not only does social media, TV, and our culture at large dictate how we should look, but many of us are even affected by people we love. For example, a mom who struggles with body image may criticize her own body or engage in unhealthy weight loss strategies. Her words and actions are a form of role-modeing that sends a message to her children that a body needs to look a certain way in order to be acceptable.”

Bottom line: Your body insecurities actually have nothing to do with your own body. They come from external pressure to look a certain way or feel a certain way about yourself. For that reason, no pant size, weight, or body shape is immune. But good news: There’s a way out. Read on for tips to accept your body and love yourself more. 


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Tips to improve self-love and achieve body acceptance:


1. Start by being more aware

“The first step to achieving self-acceptance is self-awareness,” Dr. Youdim suggested. Self-awareness means knowing what we are saying to ourselves and the messages we’re sending to our bodies. She also suggested distancing yourself from the negative thoughts. For example, if you find yourself hating your thighs or feeling like everyone is staring at your stomach, notice the thought and then look at it objectively. Ask yourself, Is this belief really true? Would a close friend or confidant tell me the same thing? Then, think like the opposite is true, like your thighs look amazing, your jeans fit perfectly, or everyone is staring because of how good you look. “Operate from a place of possibility,” Dr. Youdim advised. “Dare to imagine a different story and allow for that new narrative to stick. With time and practice, it will!”


2. Know that self-love is a skill, not a circumstance

Self-love doesn’t just happen to you once you reach a certain weight, promotion, or get in a relationship. Self-love is a state of mind you work on internally, not a factor that hits you from the inside. If you need some proof, even Dr. Youdim has had to overcome insecurities too. “I was just as critical of myself at size 2 as I was at size 10,” she explained. “Self-love is an inside job, and being overly critical, engaging in self-limiting beliefs, or not accepting our bodies can and will happen at any size.” For whoever needs to hear this: Yes, you can and should love yourself, regardless of “imperfections” you see in the mirror. Stop thinking that changing those imperfections will make you love yourself more and start cultivating self-love as you are now.


Self-love is a state of mind you work on internally, not a factor that hits you from the inside


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3. Notice where your relationship with your body is physically manifesting

And now where the tie between lack of self-acceptance and Dr. Youdim’s weight loss practice comes in: Your relationship to food has everything to do with your relationship to your body. “There is a physiologic reason why we can’t control ourselves when it comes to food,” she said. “When we are sad, unfulfilled, anxious, etc., we seek comfort and often turn to food for that comfort.” While a glass of wine or a tub of Ben & Jerry’s might feel temporarily comforting, it does not fix what is making us uncomfortable to begin with and, as Dr. Youdim said, does not address what we are truly hungry for. If you’re anxious or hateful when it comes to your body, those feelings manifest into uncomfortable feelings that then physiologically trigger food cravings. Your body is affected by negative emotions, including when you have negative emotions about your body. Start getting curious about cravings. Identify what you are truly hungry for and what would actually comfort the uncomfortable feeling. 


4. Try intentional mindfulness and meditation 

As for tangible practices we can add into our routines to cultivate more body acceptance, Dr. Youdim cited mindfulness, meditation, and journaling as being the most effective tools to improve our self-love. Since negative thoughts are typically automatic, being more mindful will allow you to catch yourself in these thoughts (read: self-awareness), and change thought patterns. As the mental health practice taking the world by storm, “studies show that we can foster greater self-acceptance through meditation,” Dr. Youdim said. Meditation in general can help with clarity, but try meditating with an affirmation like “I love myself” or “my body is healthy and powerful” to make it specific to body acceptance. And if meditating isn’t for you, journaling is also a powerful tool. “Writing is a gateway to awareness, self-healing, and transformative change. Gain awareness of thoughts and patterns, set intentions and goals, and offer yourself compassion and grace.”


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5. Remind yourself that you are not alone

It may sound cheesy to say that you are not alone, but when we’re struggling with body image issues and lack of self-love, we often are overly focused on our own experience. For example, we’re thinking that everyone is judging us or that other people notice the insecurity like we do. In reality, no one thinks of you as critically as you think of yourself (duh!), and everyone is dealing with their own insecurities. Personally, when I start feeling overly insecure about the way I look, I take it as a sign that I’ve been too focused on myself and start checking in with friends or call my mom to see how she is. 

“When we suffer, we imagine that we are the only one,” Dr. Youdim agreed. “Being human means being imperfect. A sense of common humanity can make you feel differently about negative beliefs you have about yourself. Remind yourself that you are not the only one suffering or experiencing insecurities.” When you’re focused on your body, remind yourself that you are not alone. Remember that no one is perfect and everyone has their own insecurities. And then, shift your focus to loving and taking care of other people; it will translate into loving and taking care of yourself. 


6. Practice self-kindness (not self-judgment)

The last thing you should do when noticing your insecurities and negative thoughts is to add even more insecurities and negative thoughts on top of that. Don’t be angry at yourself every time you notice a negative thought come up. Instead, practice self-kindness as much as possible. Look into your reactions when you’re feeling inadequate or insecure: Do you feel compassionate and understanding, or are you criticizing? Dr. Youdim suggested thinking of a negative belief you have about yourself. Do you think you’re bad at your job, aren’t likable, or aren’t as attractive as someone else? Now think about how to reframe this belief with an attitude of kindness. How would your best friend, mom, or whoever is kindest to you reframe this thought? Even if you don’t believe the kinder version of the thought, after enough practice, you eventually will. 


5 Things My Therapist Taught Me About Self-Love



8 Ways to Finally Get out of That Dry Spell

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I can recall a time when I found myself in a season of what I like to call “accidental abstinence.” For 20 months and 19 days, I had no one to date, mate, or relate with, and I thought that that would be my way of life until I got married. That was until one day, I woke up and realized that I was no longer about that abstinence life and was ready to get back to my sexually liberated self and end this dry spell once and for all.

Getting back into the sack was not as easy as I thought it would be. After all, it had been almost two years since I last laid skin to skin with a man and was worried that I may have lost my touch. I overanalyzed, obsessed, and contemplated everything from what to do when the next opportunity presented itself to if my body was acceptable or not. Finally, after all of the back and forth, I came up with these eight ways to help ease my way back in.


1. Flirt

Going through a dry spell can indeed do a number on your confidence. You begin to feel unpretty and undesirable, thinking that no one would want you since you’ve gone so long without sex. Flirting is a great way to build your confidence back up, so take every opportunity to flirt. Whether it’s online, at the club, or when you’re out for drinks with friends, flirt with various people just to see if you still have it. You’ll find that each time they flirt back, it helps make you feel even sexier, more desired, and more confident.


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2. Date more

After flirting comes the dates. Dating helps get you more comfortable with interacting with potential suitors in intimate settings. You can overcome any awkwardness and get to know the person more to see if they are even worth sleeping with. It can also help you get an idea of what they would be like in the sack (because you can sometimes tell based on their conversation and characteristics).


3. Feel sexy for just yourself

Because you feel like you don’t have anyone to keep yourself up for, you might begin to forgo the tight dresses, higher-than-high heels, lingerie, and of course, monthly hair removal treatments. Once you’re ready to get back into the sack, slowly begin to make changes to get you back to your sexiest self so you can feel like the most confident, best version of yourself. Daily workouts, monthly waxes, regular lingerie purchases, fewer leggings, and more dresses can make a world of a difference in making you feel a bit better in your own skin. If you can’t be sexy for yourself, then how can you be sexy for someone else?


4. Masturbate

For some, going without sex means sex with themselves too. Sometimes you get so used to not having regular orgasms that you deprive yourself of yourself. So after getting sexified, begin having more solo intimate sessions. Running baths, lighting candles, and getting yourself in the mood more often can help you remember what you liked and what those feelings of pleasure feel like.


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5. Communication

While we should always be communicating our sexual needs with our partners, it’s especially important to have those conversations following an extended period without sex. After finding someone worth sleeping with, you should explain your sexless season. This allows your partner to be patient with you and not rush into anything. It also helps develop an extra level of comfort knowing that they will be as gentle as possible.


6. Release expectations

Getting back into the sack following a dry spell can cause you to have the highest of expectations, many of which are unrealistic. While we would all love for someone to throw us over a bed of roses and to see fireworks with each orgasm, it just won’t happen that way. Things are going to go wrong, it might get awkward at one point, and in some cases, it may be over before it even gets started. Just know that it won’t be perfect. The most important thing is to be relaxed and comfortable.


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7. Foreplay

Now, we all know how important foreplay is. But it is even more important after not having sex for a while, and not just physically—foreplay helps with the mental and emotional sides of things too. It can help develop emotional connections and get you mentally prepared for what’s about to happen.


8. Just do it

Remember that sex is like riding a bicycle: You don’t forget it. While we may think that after having gone through a dry spell, we don’t know how to do it anymore, the reality is that we do. We just need to jump right into it—or on top of it—and allow our memory to be our best guide.


What “Libido” Really Is—and How You Can Tap Into Yours


Have Insomnia? Here Are 7 Expert-Backed Tips to Help

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I don’t know if you’re as up-to-date on Beyoncé news as I (always) am, but recently, the only news alert I’ve been getting is that Beyoncé has insomnia, a common sleep disorder in which you experience persistent problems falling and staying asleep. The original source: the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar, in which Queen Bey graced us on the cover and with a headline-making quote in the interview that stated, “I’ve personally struggled with insomnia from touring for more than half of my life.” While I’m not surprised that Beyonce’s health habits became news-worthy across platforms like People, Insider, and Yahoo! News (I mean, when she mentioned she was vegan, the whole world gave up dairy), I was surprised how many people resonated with not getting enough sleep.

According to The Sleep Foundation, as many as 30 percent of adults (and up to 48 percent of older adults) struggle with chronic insomnia. Moreover, women are 40 percent more likely to experience insomnia in their lifetime than men (*eye roll* as if we didn’t already have enough to deal with. I bet Jay-Z is sleeping soundly!). Sleeping troubles are so common that the CDC even declared sleep disorders a public health epidemic. Basically, Beyoncé is just like us! Since lack of sleep is one of the most common health issues out there, we definitely need to be talking about it more.

I grilled sleep experts for all the info on how to identify insomnia as well as their best tips and tricks to relieve it and help you get a good night’s sleep. Even if the cause of your sleep troubles does not have to do with a demanding tour schedule à la Beyoncé, read on for a guide to insomnia and expert-backed tips on getting the best sleep of your life. 


In this article

What is insomnia?

How do you know if you have insomnia?

Tips to help with insomnia:


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What is insomnia?

Insomnia can have many definitions. For one, the word can be used as a name to mean any kind of sleep troubles that have to do with your body not getting the quality sleep it needs. “Insomnia can present itself in various forms,” explained Dr. Cassandra Aasmundsen-Fry Psy.D, a licensed clinical psychologist and founder of MindWell. “It can look like trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, frequent waking, or waking up too early. Often, it’s a combination all of these.” 

Another definition is a diagnosis: insomnia disorder. Dr. Allison Siebern PhD, CBSM, a clinical psychologist who is certified in behavioral sleep medicine by the American Board of Sleep Medicine and the head sleep science advisor for Proper, explained that insomnia symptoms are when someone struggles to fall asleep or stay asleep periodically, which most people go through at different periods in their lives. Insomnia disorder has specific clinical criteria that health care professionals use to diagnose. Insomnia disorder is typically chronic, meaning a patient experiences insomnia symptoms consistently.

“The criteria of insomnia disorder versus insomnia symptoms include difficulties getting to sleep and/or staying asleep at least three nights a week for at least three months, or if this sleep disruption leads to distress or impairment,” she explained. Dr. Siebern also pointed out that a medication, substance, or illness might be the cause of difficulty falling or staying asleep, which is not technically defined as insomnia disorder and should be identified and worked through with your doctor. 


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How do you know if you have insomnia?

“Insomnia” sounds like a big word, but insomnia symptoms can be used to describe not being able to fall asleep or if you wake up throughout the night and can’t fall back asleep. “You have insomnia if you have been struggling to fall or stay asleep or are waking earlier than intended,” Dr. Aasmundsen-Fry said. You also might experience symptoms throughout the day that are caused by not getting enough sleep like chronic fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and physical symptoms like headaches. Everyone might experience bouts of sleeplessness here and there, but consult a doctor if you have trouble sleeping for more than three months.  

Not sure what “normal” falling asleep looks like? Not sure if waking up from a bad dream or a need to pee falls under the insomnia category? “An adult should first fall asleep within 10-20 minutes,” explained Dr. Carleara Weiss, Ph.D., MS, RN. “If you do wake up in the middle of the night, it should be short (no more than 30 minutes).” Another factor that can signal insomnia is how you feel when you wake up. “If you don’t feel well-rested when you wake up, it might be a sign of poor sleep quality and insomnia,” Dr. Weiss said.

If it takes you longer than 20 minutes to fall asleep, you consistently wake up for 30+ minutes throughout the night, or you feel exhausted even after seven to eight hours of sleep, talk to your doctor about sleep disorders or possible causes. For the occasional bout of insomnia symptoms or while you’re working with your doctor, read on for expert-backed tips to help you sleep better. 


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Tips to help with insomnia:


1. Don’t have caffeine after noon

Bad news: Caffeine could be disrupting your sleep. It varies based on how caffeine is metabolized in the body. Some people can have an espresso shot at 5 p.m. and sleep like a baby, while some people cannot even have a cup at 9 a.m. without feeling the effects at night. If you’re not sure which camp you fall into, Dr. Aasmundsen-Fry recommended stopping your caffeine intake after noon as a good rule of thumb. Yes, that might mean kissing your 2 p.m. Americano goodbye (sigh), but caffeine is in more than just coffee. Everything from soda to pre-workout supplements to green tea to chocolate can contain caffeine, so check the nutrition labels if your body is struggling to sleep at night.


2. Limit screen time in the evenings

More bad news if Netflix is your go-to bedtime ritual (guilty) or your only time to catch up on Bachelor in Paradise is late at night: “The light from electronic devices (TV, tablets, laptops, and cellphones) have a negative impact on the natural production of melatonin, which impacts your body’s ability to sleep,” Dr. Weiss said. “Screens are both stimulating and can be a source of stress and tension,” agreed Dr. Aasmundsen-Fry. Yes, that means turning off Hulu and having a designated work cut-off time before bedtime, but it also means that if you do wake up in the middle of the night, don’t start scrolling on your phone in an effort to lull your body back to sleep. If you’re feeling restless or anxious when you wake up, turn on a dim light to read something relaxing or get out of bed altogether (more on that below). 


3. Be consistent in your sleep schedule

If you’re sleeping in until noon on weekends or pulling an all-nighter once a week, your body is probably struggling to identify when it’s supposed to be asleep and when it’s supposed to be awake. Dr. Ruth Varkovitzky, a clinical psychologist specializing in treating sleep disorders, recommended being as consistent with your sleep schedule as possible. “Wake up at the same time every day (yes, even on the weekend!) and try to avoid napping, which breaks up sleep and takes away from the consolidated sleep span we need,” she said. Unlike bad boys, sleep works best when it’s consistent, so aim to fall asleep and wake up within the same hour every day. Oh, and if you’re prone to naps, try to avoid falling asleep during the day and get to bed earlier at night if you’re feeling tired. 


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4. Prioritize stress relief

Many experts I talked to explained that stress is the most common cause of insomnia, probably because most of us deal with stress on a regular basis (curse you, work deadlines!). “When the body is on high alert throughout the day, it can be hard to fall asleep at night,” Dr. Siebern said. “It’s especially problematic because lack of sleep due to insomnia can affect your ability to cope with demanding situations, causing even more stress,” agreed Dr. Li Åslund, PhD, a sleep expert at Sleep Cycle. “Then, we stress about not getting enough sleep, which makes it even harder to sleep and forms a vicious cycle.” In other words, your stress about not getting enough sleep is stopping you from getting enough sleep. 

In general, work on stress relief throughout the day and make sure to have routines in place to help manage stress, like meditation, taking regular breaks, or therapy for a long-term solution. Especially if you work from home, set boundaries to transition out of your workday so as to not bring stressors into your night. Allow your body and mind to calm down by giving yourself a cut-off time, changing clothes, or having a ritual like lighting a candle to signify the workday is over. 


5. Use your bed only for sleep and sex

As a general rule of thumb: The bed is only for sleep and sex (sex is important for sleep too, FYI). Watching TV, working on your laptop, having a snack, or even scrolling through Instagram can negatively impact your sleep at night. If your bed is just for sleep (or, you know, sex), the mind understands that getting in bed means it’s time to fall asleep. But if you work, watch TV, or even fight with your partner while in bed, the mind will associate your sleep space with other activities (including high-stress ones).

Make your bed a sacred space so that when you crawl into it at night, your mind and body know what to do. Besides just the normal no-no’s like watching TV or working on your laptop, look into your pre-bedtime rituals. For example, reading before bed is a great way to relax the mind, but a career-related book could spark work anxiety, or a thrilling novel could be overstimulating. Consider reading on the chair in your bedroom until you’re tired enough to get in bed or reading something relaxing. When it comes to waking up in the middle of the night, Dr. Aasmundsen-Fry recommended getting out of bed if you can’t fall back asleep in 20 minutes and doing something else until you feel tired. “Your brain needs to know that the bed is not for other activities and to learn to associate it with sleep,” she said. 


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6. Try essential oils

PSA:Aan oil diffuser on your nightstand is not just for decoration or making your bedroom smell good. Essential oils can be a powerful tool to help the body relax and fall asleep. “When I see patients who are suffering from insomnia, my biggest hack is essential oils,” said Dr. Peter Bailey MD, a family practice physician and expert contributor for Test Prep Insight. Dr. Bailey recommended lavender oil, which helps relieve insomnia and anxiety by promoting through relaxation. “When diffusing, aromatic therapy provided by lavender oil can even help to stimulate the release of melatonin, which makes you sleepy.” Try diffusing essential oils through a diffuser or using a pillow spray with lavender oil. 


7. Get to know what does (and doesn’t) work for you

While these tips may help alleviate some of the common causes of insomnia, every body is different, and your causes and solutions for insomnia will likely be different from anyone else’s. Whether you’re affected by a demanded tour schedule like Beyoncé or that 10 a.m. espresso shot is affecting your body more than you realize, insomnia looks and feels different to everyone. “There is not a one-size-fits-all solution, as everyone’s sleep situation varies,” explained Dr. Siebern. Start by observing what might not be working for you: What does your pre-bedtime routine look like? Are you working on stress management as much as you could be? Is an afternoon nap chipping away at your sleep, or is a glass of wine at night leading to sleep disruption? Bottom line: Do whatever you need to do to get a good night’s sleep, including working with a doctor or psychologist to find a solution. 


20 Bedtime Essentials To Make Sure You Get the Most From Your Sleep



Say Hello to Dyson’s Latest Hair-Smoothing Blow-Dryer Attachment

dyson flaway attachment supersonic hair dryerAllure/Clara Hendler

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

Anyone who has used the Dyson Supersonic Hair-Dryer at least once knows that the hot tool is worth all of the praise it gets. Since its initial launch in 2016, the splurge-worthy blow-dryer has garnered Allure's very own Best of Beauty and Readers' Choice Awards and is still just as popular today as it was five years ago when it first hit the market.

If you needed another reason to invest in this luxurious blow-dryer, here's one: It can smooth away all of your flyaway troubles, thanks to its new addition, the Flyaway Attachment. This new nozzle is the fifth attachment you can use exclusively on your Dyson Supersonic, and it uses the brand's unique "Coanda effect" aerodynamic technology, which uses speed and pressure to create a spinning vortex of air around the curved barrel to create a sleek, flyaway-free finish on your hair.

Dyson Flyaway Attachment

$40DysonShop Now

"Our first prototypes used bristles – but these were a hindrance. We realized we could grip the hair with airflow alone, by harnessing the Coanda effect," says Veronica Alanis, the engineering lead at Dyson. "Then, in our testing, an air leak was observed, and it was pushing the flyaways through the tress and out of sight." 

Alanis notes that this happy accident unlocked the inception of Dyson Flyaway attachment. "It automatically attracts and lifts longer hairs to the front using the Coanda effect," she says. "A second jet pushes flyaways through the hair, hiding them out of sight and giving you a smooth-and-shiny finish." 

The Flyaway Attachment's hook-like shape looks intimidating at first, but it's actually quite simple to use. According to a press release from Dyson, its unique shape allows your dryer to mimic the "brush and blow-dryer" technique that hairstylists use to create smooth, glossy, and flyaway-free blowouts. This new take on the process leaves you with effortlessly polished strands with a simple, goof-proof technique. Plus, it requires less heat — and, therefore, less heat damage — to style.

Courtesy of Dyson

Courtesy of Dyson

Though this styling nozzle is especially great for at-home purposes, hairstylists are also excited about this new innovation, which means less time and effort needed at the salon to tame unruly pieces of hair. It can also be used on all hair types and textures, making styling a breeze for beginner and veteran hairstylists alike. 

"The whole point of blow-drying is for smooth hair," says hairstylist Cherin Choi of Los Angeles-based ROIL Salon. "Sometimes people just want to address the roots and flyaways, so if there's a quicker solution to the styling process without overheating the hair, I can see a benefit to this."

Beginning September 1, you can shop the hair-smoothing attachment on its own for $40. If you're in need of an entirely new blow-drying kit, you can also purchase the Dyson Supersonic Hair-Dryer with all five attachments — the Flyaway Attachment, Diffuser, Gentle Air, Wide Tooth Comb, and Smoothing Nozzle — for $400 at and select Dyson retailers. 

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Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

$400DysonShop Now

Dyson Gentle Hair Attachment

$40DysonShop Now

Dyson Wide Tooth Comb Attachment

$40DysonShop NowImage may contain: Clothing, Apparel, Furniture, and Chair

Dyson Diffuser Attachment

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5 Skincare Products You Shouldn’t Combine

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In the world of 10-step routines and medicine cabinets stocked with dozens of skincare products filling our Instagram feeds, our nightly regimes have never been more in depth. AHAs, BHAs, vitamin C, retinol, acids, oils—by the time we go to bed every night, we’re layers deep in our never-ending quest for great skin.

But unfortunately, mindlessly slathering on products won’t always give us the results we’re looking for—some combinations of popular skincare ingredients can do more harm than good by potentially causing breakouts, dryness, and other irritations.

Before you add a new product to your routine, make sure it won’t have a negative reaction with another one of the products you use. And before you play scientist and mix powerful ingredients, be aware of these product combinations to avoid and know how you should use them instead:


Meet the expert
Dr. Rachel Maiman, MD
Dr. Maiman focuses on cosmetic and general dermatology.


Vitamin C + Retinol

The ingredients in each of these have different purposes (vitamin C’s pH level is lower), which can work against each other and cause irritations. Dr. Rachel Maiman, a board-certified dermatologist, explained that because vitamin C is an antioxidant, it’s best used in the mornings, while retinol, being photosensitive, is best used at night. That way, retinol can work overtime while you sleep, and vitamin C can give you antioxidant protection when you wake up.

Hyper Skin

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Shani Darden Skincare

Retinol Reform

This serum expertly combines other ingredients with retinol for the perfect concoction that doesn’t leave your skin irritated or dry—just smooth, supple, and hydrated.

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Vitamin C + AHAs/BHAs

Although vitamin C is labeled as a vitamin, it still is technically an acid (L-ascorbic), and combining two acidic ingredients can lead to irritations like peeling and dryness. It can also cause vitamin C’s low pH to be altered, leading to redness and inflammation.

A good rule of thumb is to use acids like AHAs/BHAs at night since they can make your skin more susceptible to sunburn if used in the morning. Again, using vitamin C in the morning can give added benefits to the skin.


Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil

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Glycolic Acid Resurfacing Gel 10%

This leave-on AHA treatment improves your skin’s texture, reducing the appearance of fine lines, pores, uneven skin tone, and more (and the price doesn’t hurt too).

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Retinol + AHAs

Adding retinol after acidic skincare can increase dryness and lead to extra irritation. If retinol is a part of your everyday routine, skip out on it on days you use AHAs. But this doesn’t mean you can’t have both in your routine. Dr. Maiman recommended applying your AHA in the morning and retinol at night, but you should always proceed with caution and take it slow. “I always advise starting with only one, and once you are stable after a few weeks, consider adding the other.” Start by using your retinol once a week, and slowly increase your frequency. Then, add the AHA slowly as well. This also depends on what type of AHA you’re using, according to Dr. Maiman. Using a cleanser with a bit of glycolic acid vs. a 20 percent AHA/BHA treatment is very different; a cleanser is much more easily tolerated, while a high-potency AHA should only be used once or twice a week.


Resurfacing Retinol Serum

This drugstore retinol proves that achieving good skin doesn’t have to be expensive.

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Good Molecules

Overnight Exfoliating Treatment

For fans of an intense peel without all the irritation (and the price tag), this treatment combines glycolic and lactic acid, salicylic acid, and hydrating ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid for the perfect mix of exfoliating without overdrying.

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Benzoyl Peroxide/ Salicylic Acid  + Retinol

Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are the biggest acne-fighting ingredient on the over-the-counter market, usually found in cleansers and spot treatments. Using benzoyl peroxide with retinol can lead to them deactivating each other’s potency. On the other hand, salicylic acid and retinol can cause dryness and flaking. Instead, use these acne products in the morning or on opposite nights that you use retinol.

Paula’s Choice

Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

This salicylic acid toner has the hearts of many, including our editors, due to its ability to go deeper than scrubs and finally clear out your pores once and for all.

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10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Foaming Wash

It’s the benzoyl peroxide cleanser superstar Madison Beer swears by for keeping her skin clear—and it’s only $10.

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Do use: AHAs/BHAs/Retinol + Sunscreens

While all of us should be using an SPF of 30 or higher every day, acids and acne products can make skin even more sensitive to the sun. Make sure that you use sunscreen after your moisturizer instead of before to avoid diluting the SPF. 

Black Girl Sunscreen

Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30

This moisturizing sunscreen will never cause a white cast, even on the deepest of skin tones.

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Unseen Sunscreen

This is an Everygirl team favorite sunscreen that actually gets us excited to apply sunscreen every single day.

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The Correct Order to Apply Your Skincare Products


How To Recreate Iconic Princess Diana Fashion Moments

The Everygirl’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.

Source: Getty Images

There were a lot of great style icons throughout the 20th century, but arguably the greatest was the people’s princess herself, Lady Diana Spencer (but if you’re asking us, it isn’t worth arguing; it’s a cold, hard fact).

Princess Diana has a legacy that goes far beyond her sense of style, but today is a lesson in royal fashion done right (and way ahead of its time, no less). Just about everything Diana put on her body was something that could be worn now and be considered a style slam dunk. Cowboy boots, bike shorts, denim on denim—it’s like she’d taken a glimpse at what the trends of 2021 would be and dressed so we could look back and see exactly how we should style each of them to pure perfection.

Fashion is full circle, and Diana’s best looks are ones that can (and damn it, should be) replicated now. Before Meghan and Kate, there was Diana—and she walked so they could run.


Source: Anwar Hussein / WireImage

Princess Diana might as well have invented bike shorts herself, and she nailed model-off-duty before model-off-duty was even a thing. Diana’s slightly mismatched, effortless bike short moment is one that you’re probably already wearing—but if you’re not, here’s your sign that you should start ASAP.

sweatshirt / hoops / bag / bike shorts / sneakers / socks 



Source: Tim Graham / Getty Images

Perhaps the most recognizable of Diana’s looks, this is one you take a glimpse at and wonder how on Earth someone could be that cool. The oversized blazer and sweatshirt combo is perfection in itself, but topped off with a baseball hat and cowboy boots? We’ll put it in the running for the most iconic moment of all time.

blazer / sweatshirt / hat / hoops / jeans / boots



Source: Tim Graham / Getty Images

Diana had a knack for nailing a casual-but-elevated workwear moment, and this one is simple but made interesting with her use of accessories. Throw on a white button-up and a pair of trousers, then follow Diana’s lead with oval sunglasses, gold hoops, and a pair of loafers.

button-up / hoops / sunglasses / trousers / belt / loafers



Source: Tim Graham / Getty Images

Diana loved a blazer more than just about anyone, and the styling of this one is genius because of its use of color. With a blazer in a bright pop of color and a matching sweater underneath, the outfit allows the color to do the talking in a look that is otherwise quite basic at its core. 

blazer / sweater / bag / trousers / loafers



Source: Tim Graham / Getty Images

If you were to combine all of 2021’s top trends in one look, it truly would be this. Denim on denim, a bomber jacket, and cowboy boots are three pieces you wouldn’t think to combine, but Diana did it in a way that couldn’t possibly be cooler. It’s out-of-the-box, effortless, and dare we say, just about perfect. Imagine heading out of the house on a fall day in this number.

jumpsuit / hoops / bomber jacket / belt / boots



Source: Tom Wargacki / WireImage

It’s hard to decide which was better: Diana’s casual, off-duty looks or her more workwear-centered ones, but this one gives a strong argument for the latter.

With all neutral shades and a monochrome moment, this look gives a feminine take on business casual. To perfect it, think about colors in pairs: the cream top and pants, the brown belt and loafers—they work with each other to make the look feel simple, sophisticated, and not too busy, despite all the layering.

blazer / sweater / sunglasses / tote / belt / trousers / loafers



Source: Kent Gavin / Getty Images

In a mom jean moment for the books, Diana wore a black pair with a light pink button-up to give a little more interest to the eye than a pair of blue jeans and white button-up would. As always, her accessories make the look, with a croc belt (something Diana turned to constantly), gold earrings, and an understated pair of loafers.

shirt / hoops / jeans / belt / loafers



6 Outfits Meghan Markle Should Wear in 2021
now that she doesn’t have to follow royal style rules

TikTok Can’t Believe How Quickly This Eye-Tightening Cream Works

Beautiful senior woman checking her face skin and looking for blemishes.Getty Images

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

Whether you missed a couple hours of sleep because you had a little too much fun the night before, or your skin just happens to be set up like that, remedying the issue of bags under your eyes is a tale as old as time. For some folks, the solution is as easy as putting a metal spoon in the fridge, waiting a bit, then gently placing the spoons under their eyes. For those who need more dramatic and instantaneous results, there are myriad products promising just that. 

TikTok user @Trinidad1967 just brought the world's attention to one that works almost immediately — in under three minutes flat. And she recorded the whole process so we can see for ourselves just how quickly it works. 

The 54-year-old shared a video of her using her favorite depuffing product, the Peter Thomas Roth Instant FirmX Temporary Eye Tightener, an eye cream that promises to smooth and tighten the look of your undereye area. "It works amazing," she says before going into the demo. Trinidad explains that she previously had weight loss surgery and as a result, had been dealing puffy undereyes. She taps and smooths on the product underneath one eye so you can see the difference between the two.

TikTok content

View on TikTok

As she waits for the product to absorb, you can see it work its magic right before your eyes. In just a few minutes, less than three, the bags are completely gone.

It's quite impressive to witness and the folks on social media agree. Since she posted the video on Thursday, August 26, the clip has amassed over four million likes with 107,000-plus comments and more than 419,000 shares. And looking at those results — yeah, it's quite literally easy to see why. 

Bottle of Peter Thomas Roth Instant FirmX Temporary Eye Tightener on a white background

Peter Thomas Roth Instant FirmX Temporary Eye Tightener

$38Peter Thomas RothShop Now

Though the stuff works like magic, science deserves all the credit here. According to Toronto-based board-certified dermatologist Geeta Yadav, the silicates in the formula are what make it work so quickly. "[Silicates] are natural clay-based ingredients," she explains. "Think about how your skin feels when you've applied a clay mask — as it dries, it starts to contract and feel tight. The same effect is at play when you apply this product." And just like a clay mask, when you wash it off, the tightness goes away. 

And these aren't some regular-degular clays, people. They're of the bougie set. "Silicates are like a class of upscale clays that upon drying, will tighten a sagging area," notes cosmetic chemist Ginger King. Besides that, the product also contains ingredients that benefit your skin with continued use. "This formula does use a combination of active ingredients such as peptides for long-term results as well," she adds. 

Though, take note that those benefits won't be as drastic as the effect the silicates give. "Don't expect them to produce long-term results as dramatically lifted and smooth as the instant effect seen in the TikTok video," warns Yadav.

The product has been on serious backorder since the viral TikTok video, so you have some time to scrape up the $38 it costs to get your hands on a bottle. Cheers to smooth undereye areas.

Free Date Ideas That Are Fun and Romantic

Andres Ayrton | Pexels

Some of the best dates with my husband have been at little to no cost: when we walked around a flea market, sat on a tennis court to watch fireworks, or laid on a dock overlooking the lake at night. We learned about each other’s goals and how we could support each other in reaching the—all without paying a dollar. My husband and I quickly realized how many fun and completely free things there were to do (because what’s more romantic than saving money while falling in love?). Almost 10 years later, we still treat ourselves to dates that cost nothing but mean everything. Looking for free date ideas that make for a fun and romantic night? Keep reading, I got you. 


1. Go on a scavenger hunt

I’ll admit, when my husband first told me we were doing a scavenger hunt, I was skeptical, but it ended up being one of the most fun and romantic dates we’ve ever had. If you’re unfamiliar with scavenger hunts, here’s the tea: Find a pre-made scavenger list online or create a list of clues for each other that describe the next item you are searching for, which ultimately leads to the “treasure.” It’s completely customizable: You can do it in your apartment or relive your favorite memories around the city and make it short and simple or turn it into an all-day date. Total cost for you to embrace your inner creative child and bond on a date with your boo: $0. If you’re with a date, working through clues together will bring you two closer. If you’re with a long-term significant other, doing something totally new will help your relationship feel fresh.


2. Learn to make a new meal together

Skip the restaurant and pricey cooking classes and prepare a new meal together at home that neither of you have cooked before. For example, if your favorite restaurant is Italian or sushi, learn how to recreate similar meals from the comfort of your own home. Try a free class on Skillshare, YouTube, or search Pinterest for a recipe with step-by-step directions to follow along with. Don’t forget to grab some candles to set the table! Trust me, neither of you are going to miss your go-to restaurant. If you’re both not confident in your cooking skills, DIY a favorite meal from when you were a kid (did someone say mac and cheese and chicken nuggets?). Not only will making a variety of your favorite meals be fun (even if they’re frozen!), but it also could spark some conversations about your childhoods.


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3. Hit the library

OK, so this may sound more like a middle school field trip than date night idea, but hear me out. Fun fact: My first date with my husband was at our local library. We spent the evening roaming aisles to compare reading lists and make suggestions for each other based on our favorite authors. The best part was that we found out we had a lot of the same taste in books, which gave us so much to talk about beyond the typical first date conversations. Take your date to the local library and pick out books for each other or check ahead to see if there are any scheduled speakers or author readings. Bonus: the hushed tones help take pressure off a first date and can be used to whisper sweet nothings (IDK about you but “this date was totally free” really does it for me).


4. Have a movie roulette night

Between Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+, having unlimited options for movie night is great. But with all the apps and options, searching for a movie to stream can be a little overwhelming; you might even spend half of your date night deciding what to watch instead of enjoying a movie. The solution: Have a cozy movie date night at home but with a twist. Instead of scrolling for 30 minutes to find something to watch, make it into a fun game of chance. Use Reelgood, which includes all your different streaming services (for free!) and filters options by genres and ratings so you can “shuffle” your movie options without too much risk for an optimal movie suggestion. For a non-tech version, write down your favorite movies on pieces of paper and pick the winner from a bowl. Because movie night is nothing without snacks, pop some popcorn or make a charcuterie board for a fancier night in.


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A post shared by KAYLA SEAH (@kayla_seah)


5. Stargaze 

There’s nothing more rom-com cliché than laying under the stars, but it’s romantic AF. Indulge in the free romance that nature has to offer by going to open park or field (or your own backyard) and have a date night under the stars. Try a free stargazing app to add a layer of fun and turn it into a game to find certain stars, planets, or constellations. You don’t need to spend anything to go stargazing (hot cocoa or a bottle of wine optional), and you’ll both feel like you’re in your own little world. If it’s a cloudy or cold night, try the local planetarium instead on one of its free admission days.


6. Take in a local show

One of my favorite memories is laying on a blanket in the park with my husband and watching local actors put on Romeo and Juliet. TBH, I had never been to a Shakespeare play (let alone one at the local park!), but my husband sold me on it with three things: the romantic setting of the park, a cheese plate, and the two of us getting cozy on the blanket. To recreate for yourself, look for free local events at parks on your city’s website. Maybe you’ll discover a band or show you’re both unfamiliar with or enjoy something that you already love. You could also pack a picnic basket to make it a dinner and a show under the stars as the sun sets (way cheaper, more fun, and more unique than a restaurant date!). 


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A post shared by KELSEY BREISINGER (@kelclight)


7. Visit a museum or art gallery

Tap into your artistic side for an afternoon of culture and check out your local museum or art gallery for free admission days. Bonus: You’ll never run out of things to talk about. Roam the galleries hand-in-hand and point out your favorite pieces to each other or share interesting facts you learned. You can learn a lot about someone from the way that they experience a museum. Pay attention to what peaks their interest or how they act about what’s interesting to you. If you head to an art gallery, their art preferences can say a lot about them too (do they love the Renaissance style and are fascinated in history, or do they prefer cubism and have an edgier side?) You’ll connect over learning new things, have fun experiencing something new, and will feel less pressure than sitting at a fancy dinner. 


8. Go camping (on your terms)

Camping trips are not created equal. For example, my husband is all about roughing it in the wilderness and putting his Boy Scout patches to good use. I, on the other hand, am not about that life. I much prefer glamping. The good news is that you can choose your own adventure. Are you both excited about spending an evening in nature? Pack enough supplies (don’t forget the s’mores!) to spend a night under the stars. If you’re more like me, camp in your own backyard with your warmest pajamas, throw blankets, and maybe a bottle of wine (and go back indoors when you’re over it!). If all else fails, build a blanket fort in your living room (trust me, you are never too old for a blanket fort) and use lighting and pillows to make it more romantic. Microwaved s’mores are just as gooey and delicious. 


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A post shared by GABI + SHANNA | Travel ⋒ (@27travels)


9. Take a hike or romantic walk

Feeling adventurous? Lace up your sneakers and fill up your water bottle for a hike to get outside and sightsee together. Prefer a shorter time commitment (and less rigorous exercise)? Walk around a new neighborhood or nearby park to explore somewhere new. You can also visit your local city’s tourism website or try GPS MyCity to go on a guided walking tour (being a tourist in your own city is always fun!). Besides getting the opportunity to hold hands with your boo, walks can be romantic year-round because of the views. In the spring and summer, head to the community gardens to enjoy blooming flowers. In the fall, take in the changing leaves, and in the winter, grab a cup of hot cocoa to-go and check out the Christmas lights. 


10. Have a spa day at home

No need to spend $$$ on a couple’s massage! Break out the plush robes and pamper yourselves at home. A soothing self-care date is the perfect way to wind down after a long day or week. My husband and I usually start at-home spa dates with a face mask that we’ll leave on while we read, watch an episode of our favorite show, or just talk. Next up: Take turns giving each other a massage. For an extra romantic step, take a bath together (don’t forget the luxurious bath bombs!) and warm your towels in the dryer for that special spa feeling. Diffuse lavender oil or light a scented candle to set the atmosphere and turn your phones on silent. When you’re done, you’ll both feel relaxed—and your skin will thank you with that post-spa day glow. 


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11. Treat yourself to breakfast in bed

Instead of making dinner plans for later in the evening, why not start your day off with a romantic date at home? Breakfast in bed sets the mood for the day in the best possible way. Head to the kitchen and whip up something delicious to take back to bed with you. My husband and I like to make it special by finding a tray around the house and some flowers from our yard. We stay in the moment by turning off our phones, talking, reading the newspaper together, or watching TV. This is the perfect time to reconnect with each other after a busy week. Stay under the covers as long as possible and veg out on a cooking show like the Great British Bake Off. Clothing may be optional, but savoring time together is mandatory.


12. Have a game night

Tap into your playful (or competitive) side and host your own game night. Depending on your couple style, playing games together might mean strengthening your bond and laughing way too hard, or it might mean some friendly (and hot!) competition to spark some banter between you two. If you have a deck of cards laying around the house, even a basic card game can make a date night in more fun (double points if it’s strip poker), or pull out all of your two-player board games for a marathon that will determine who is the ultimate winner. Even if you don’t have any cards or games, you can play Charades or a DIY version of Pictionary and take turns guessing. Game night not your thing? Try Two Truths and a Lie, Never Have I Ever, or Truth or Dare to get to know each other better and explore your daring side.


Date Ideas That Don’t Involve Drinking



3 Stories of Going Bald & Embracing the Beauty of Not Having Hair

portrait of two bald people standing close together with one resting their cheek on top of the other's head. they wear...

This story is a part of The Truth About Hair Loss, an exploration into why we lose our hair, the emotional and monetary costs that come along with the experience, and what the future of treatment (and acceptance) could look like.

In a world where other people are often still making early judgment calls based on someone's hairstyle — blonde and you're a ditz, Afro and you're an activist, and so on — you'd think the absence of hair would free a person of all that weight. And yet, first glance assumptions are still often made about women who are bald, assumptions that can touch on everything from their medical conditions to their sexual orientation.

Going bald is sometimes a choice, sometimes it's not. Either way, it's beautiful.

According to the American Hair Loss Association, 40 percent of people dealing with hair loss identify as women. Yet, bald men are often seen as sexy, while bald women and femmes are still often considered an oddity. This, of course, is rooted in that original perception of femininity, even going back to Michaelangelo's depiction of Eve's creation in the Sistine Chapel, where she has long flowing hair.

portrait of three bald people standing in a line with their heads touching. they all wear pastel makeup and white tops.

On Darlenys: Aya Muse dress. Dinosaur Designs bracelet. On Coral: Emilio Pucci jumpsuit. Misho earrings. On Lili: Ferragamo dress. Dinosaur Designs bracelet.

But losing all your hair or shaving your head doesn't change you, even if the world sees you differently. It displays a level of confidence that these models discovered slowly, as they went from low-cut pixies to wigs and finally to shining bald glory. For each of them, their true selves didn't appear until every strand of hair — and society's norms — was on the floor.

black sans serif text that reads darlenys on a cream backgroundportrait of a bald woman wearing hot pink blush red lipstick blue nails gold drop earrings and a dramatic black top...

Wolford dress. Monot sleeves. Sylvia Toledano earrings.

portrait of a bald woman wearing hot pink blush red lipstick blue nails gold drop earrings and a dramatic black dress...

Darleyns Rosa’s first bald spot appeared when she was just 10 years old. "Every night, my mom would untangle my hair, which was super curly. And she found a quarter-size bald spot. We didn't think much of it." But the problem progressed quickly. First, Rosa's mom would style her hair with a side part to disguise the absent hair. Then, it became too much to hide. "Going into fifth grade, it got to the point where you could see the streaks of baldness coming through," she recalls.

Dermatologists blamed everything from a skin infection to a bad diet. Eventually, one doctor landed on the diagnosis of alopecia areata. With little research on the condition available at the time, the treatment plan consisted of cortisone shots, and when that didn't work, the professionals prescribed steroid shots. But at such a young age, the side effects seemed too risky. So, a bandana became Rosa's only barrier, her only shield at a time when puberty and pre-teen bullies were hitting their stride.

"I cried almost every day after school. During lunch, a lot of the kids would start saying, 'It's not fair if she gets to wear a bandana. We can't wear bandanas.' It just felt like everyone was against me." she says. "I definitely remember praying, 'God, please help my hair grow,' and thinking that overnight it would grow in. I definitely had nights where I would cry myself to sleep saying, 'I hate myself. Why do I look like this?'"

Years later, Rosa began wearing a full lace wig anchored with tape, but even then she was limited. Windy days, roller coasters, beaches, swimming pools were all red flags. It was around the time that she was looking for a new hairpiece — a $5000 investment that required a credit card — that Rosa came to a realization. "I'm like, 'Wait a minute. What am I doing? Why am I trying to get myself into debt just to get another wig? You are not a wig. You are unique. You are beautiful and amazing as you are. These things don't define you.'"

Rosa's first test was wearing her bald head to work. It was a friend walking by her side that gave her the confidence to face her coworkers without her wig or hat. From there, the wig was slowly relegated to the back of the closet. She realized that by wearing her bald head proudly, she was helping normalize something society often sees as a sign of sickness. "I was in Target and there was this little girl who said, 'Mom, that girl is bald. Is she sick?' And the mom goes, 'No, mamita. Maybe she just decided to cut her hair. Doesn't mean she's sick. That's just her style.' Some people choose baldness by choice, some people have underlying issues, but the more people see it, the more they'll say, 'Oh, okay. It's just a bald person.'"

black sans serif font reading coral on a cream backgroundportrait of a bald person with tattoos on their head and back wearing watercolor coral and blue makeup and an...

Fendi skirt & top. Mounser earrings.

portrait of a bald person with tattoos on their head and back wearing watercolor coral and blue makeup and an...

Coral Johnson never felt comfortable in the coily hair they were born with. "My hair wasn’t the same as other mixed kid's hair," they tell Allure. "I would get teased, and so I spent years cutting it, dyeing it, and putting perms on it." Right after they graduated high school — a time of transition for any teenager — they decided enough was enough. Johnson took the clippers to their head, cutting away the years of damage and denigration, with intention of starting over. But what was meant to be a start, ended up being a stasis. "At first I thought I was going to look funny. But, there was something about that first time. Once all the hair fell down in the sink and I looked in the mirror, it was me," they recall.

While their perception of self was clarified with their hair out of the way, their traditional Texan family had… thoughts. "My family definitely thought that it was my coming out, even though I came out at a young age," Johnson says. "They immediately connected short, bald hair to 'Oh, you're really gay now. Oh, you're rejecting your femininity, you're rejecting your blackness.' Which was hilarious because [in the past] they were telling me to straighten my hair." In their Southern town, their shaved head was sending a message that was immediately misinterpreted. "I don't know why baldness translates into [being] bad," Johnson says. "Like, oh you have your head shaved. You must be a troublemaker."

But if these judgments were meant to chip away at Johnson's confidence, they did not succeed. "It made me feel more powerful to know that just shaving off all of your hair can just completely change how people view you," they say. "When you take away something that means so much to so many people, they're fearful. A lot of people hide behind their hair."

Today, Johnson's bald head is decorated with tattoos that are a nod to their African heritage and their inner fortitude. They explain: “I read up on a lot of African tribes, and [back then] if a woman had their head shaved and they had a tattoo on one side of their head, it meant that they didn't need anybody else to claim them as beautiful. They were the leaders of the tribe and they were the ones that everybody went to when they needed strength.”

So when you see Johnson's "Mr. Clean" cut and tattoos, you might see a rebel. And there is some truth in that — Johnson refuses to subscribe to the limiting standards set by society. And isn't that a touch mutinous, in the best way?

black sans serif font reading lili on a cream backgroundphoto of a bald person slightly smiling into camera. they wear lime green winged liner and metallic purple lipstick that...

Kenzo jumpsuit. Castlecliff earring.

photo of a bald person smiling broadly while looking off camera. they wear lime green eye makeup and metallic purple...

For Lili Washington, a cancer diagnosis and subsequent chemotherapy treatment were the cause of her going bald in 2015, but it was also happening at a time of self-discovery for her as a trans/non-binary person. "At first, [losing my hair] was devastating, and I was very self-conscious about it because it wasn't my choice. It wasn't something I wanted to do," Washington says. "And then once I went bald, people were like, 'That's going to be your signature. That's your look.'" But Washington was still wary, feeling as if the compliments were just friends and family trying to make her feel better.

Prior to her diagnosis, Washington was already changing up her hair because her life was changing. It started with cutting off her locs, which she called her "security blanket." "My locs reminded me too much of my past life, my male life," she explains. “I needed something new and different, so I cut [my hair] short until I could figure out where I wanted to go with it. But before I could, it figured it out for me.”

Because Washington was in a place of self-discovery already, going bald felt like too much at first. "I was in an active process of learning who I was, and learning how to accept whatever I discovered in that process," she says. "Being bald was stripping me even more, and it represented exactly where I was at. I felt very naked at the time."

On Coral Prada cardigan Dinosaur Designs earrings. On Darlenys Prada cardigan Dinosaur Designs earrings.

On Coral: Prada cardigan, Dinosaur Designs earrings. On Darlenys: Prada cardigan, Dinosaur Designs earrings.

It was also a question of femininity. Even though this is slowly changing, society at large still generally says that women should have long, flowing hair — and originally Washington wanted some hair as she transitioned. However, every time she would wear a wig, her followers would say "it's not you." Her family insisted the addition of hair would make her average.

"The issue was that I always tried to blend in. The wigs don't look bad. They just strip away my natural beauty," she shares. "[When I realized that], I was able to finally start to see what they were saying, and I'm very confident in my baldness today."

Today, Washington's wig collection only comes out for the occasional TikTok, and she speaks positive words to herself every day as she looks at her bald head in the mirror. "I say, 'You're perfect and everybody else is perfect.' I had to realize that there were no mistakes. I put myself on the same pedestal as I put everyone else on. I just started to tell myself that I was perfect in all of the things: in my look, and my attitude, and my mistakes. They all make me."

close up portrait of a bald person with two nose rings wearing orange eye shadow and red lipstick

Mounser & Hugo Kreit earrings.

portrait of a bald person with lots of tattoos and piercings turning away from the camera while clutching a gray fur...

Prada vest, skirt. Mounser & Hugo Kreit earrings.

Photography by Mikey Asanin. Styled by Ron Hartleben. Makeup by Ingeborg. Grooming by Taichi Saito. Talent: Lili Washington, Coral Johnson, Darlenys Rosa 

These Are Allure Editors’ Favorite New Beauty Products of August 2021

Allure Beauty Editors' Favorite Products of August 2021  Reviews

Allure/Clara Hendler

At Allure, we get inundated with the latest and greatest beauty offerings every day. Most of it is exciting, some of it confusing, and sometimes it gets overwhelming, especially now that our homes have become our offices. Alas, that is the beauty editor's burden to bear.

When we really like something, you can trust that our opinion has come from vetting it against everything we've seen before, including our longtime favorites. (We've even written love letters to some of the products we hold most dear.) But we're always open to finding — and sharing — new favorites. It's a big beauty playground out there, so we'll gladly do the dirty work to test everything under the sun. And the crème de la crème often graduate to our Best of Beauty trials.

But let's stick to the present for now. Each week, Allure editors select the new hair, makeup, and skin-care products we're currently obsessing over. Trying to narrow down our favorites to just one or two products can be hard, but we manage. Check out what our editors can't get enough of right now.

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

Keywordseditors' favoritesbeauty productsallure editorshair careskin caremakeupfragrancehair toolseditors picksshoppingshopping guideAllure Beauty BoxABB Products