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Traditional nail polish has acquired a bad rap, largely due to chemical ingredients and a harsh odor. Besides irritating your senses with a poignant scent, “nail polishes contain solvents and some ingredients that can potentially cause health issues and irritation if inhaled in large quantities,” says Sabina Wizemann, a senior chemist in the Health, Beauty & Environmental Sciences Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute.
The strong aroma may not be the only thing that’s harsh about some nail polishes: chemicals in common nail lacquer formulas could potentially enter the body through your nail beds. A study by researchers at Duke University detected evidence of a common nail polish chemical called triphenyl phosphate, or TPHP, in the bodies of every woman who volunteered to paint her nails for the study.
The good news: many advancements have been made in nail polish formulations since this study. There are options without that particular harmful chemical, and other potentially dangerous ingredients, which brings us to so-called “nontoxic” or “natural” nail lacquers.
What makes a nail polish non-toxic?
“Products are crossing off ‘toxic’ ingredients from formulas at rapid speed, and some brands offer vegan and gluten-free options,” says Wizemann. Most non-toxic nail polishes are three-free, meaning they do not contain formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate. Beyond that, polishes go as far as being nine-, or 10-, or even 14-free. Here’s the breakdown of what’s missing (thankfully!) from those formulas:
- 5-free contains no formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor
- 7-free contains no formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene
- 9-free contains no formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, parabens, acetone
- 10-free contains no formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, parabens, acetone, TPHP, TBHP, gluten
No matter which formula you choose, follow instructions, avoiding use in poorly-ventilated areas. Still wary? “Water-based formulas incorporate non-synthetic pigments and aqueous acrylic polymers, plus they are also odorless,” says Wizemann. Though easy to apply, they are often not as long-lasting. Here, the “cleanest” nail lacquers available right now:
Pure Cover Nail Paint
Orosa’s nail lacquer bottles up all the good things: a quick-dry formula, week-long wear, and fresh color. The vegan and cruelty-free formula is made without 14 controversial ingredients.
Made without: Formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde resin, toluene, camphor, triphenyl phosphate, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, MEHQ/HQ, MIT, palm oil, parabens, animal-derived ingredients, and gluten.
Founded by a podiatric surgeon, Aila has a strong focus on maintaining the health of your nails. The vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free lacquers come in a rainbow of vibrant shades as well as neutrals.
Made without: Parabens, sulfates, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, triphenyl phosphate, xylene, bismuth oxychloride, ethyl tosylamide, methylisothiazolinone
hydroquinone monomethyl ether, and plant derivatives.
Applying a face moisturizer daily is one of the number one keys to healthy, glowing skin no matter what the season, your age, or skin type. Moisturizers are emulsions of oil and water (plus other ingredients for nourishing, treatment, and preserving) that help replenish hydration, keeping moisture in skin and dryness out.
Experts say that hydrating is crucial for keeping skin youthful and healthy, even if you don’t have dry skin. “Moisturizing protects the skin barrier,” explains Dendy Engelman, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. The healthier your barrier, the better your skin’s defense against inflammation and damage, which can protect skin from signs of dehydration, irritation, redness, and even dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles over time.
For best benefits, moisturize your clean face daily (morning and/or evening as needed for your skin type), massaging it in as you apply it. “This will increase its absorption and effectiveness, and improve circulation,” Engelman advises.
How we test moisturizers
The Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab.scientists have a century-long history of testing skin care products for efficacy, including moisturizers. When skin care products make moisturization or hydration claims, the Beauty Lab’s chemists use the Corneometer device to gauge how well (or not!) a formula moisturizes skin. We use the machine to measure the hydration levels of testers’ clean skin before application, and again six hours after to calculate how much the product has increased skin’s moisture.
Last but certainly not least, we send moisturizers home with consumer testers who give their feedback on factors such as absorption, texture, and scent. We consider all of these data points to find the best face moisturizer out there for sensitive skin, oily skin, and everything in between. Our picks are either backed by our Good Housekeeping Seal or top-tested by the GH Beauty Lab.
Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream
This cream outperformed almost a dozen competitors — even one priced at $440! — in our Beauty Lab test. Our chemists were blown away by how well this GH Seal pick kept skin moisturized over a 24-hour period, with moisture increasing by 50% on average.
SkinActive Clearly Brighter Face Moisturizer SPF 15
Packed with powerhouse skin brightener and antioxidant vitamin C, this featherweight Garnier lotion with the Good Housekeeping Seal illuminates dull skin whiles softening and protecting. Testing showed that it helped stimulate cell turnover, making skin brighter, and 91% of users’ complexions looked healthier after eight weeks.
Oil-Free Moisture for Combination Skin
This GH Seal star is a light formula that balances skin by hydrating dry areas while canceling shine in oilier spots. Our
Vella, the Beauty Witch.
Get dressed up for a job interview? ✔️ Glamour magick. Take a relaxing bath to help clear your mind? ✔️ Glamour magick. Wear certain colors to help emphasis a mood? ✔️ Glamour magick. Envision yourself with a different eye color? ✔️ Glamour. Magick.
All these examples are instances of glamour magick. Some may seem more mundane or less powerful than others, but nonetheless, this is essentially what glamour magick is.
Here is a definition→
Glamour Magick: Using your aura or appearance to change the energies around you to achieve the outcome you desire.
Now let’s break this down. To begin working some glamour magick (also referred to as just glamour), you need to begin by setting some intentions for what outcome you want. Then, you need to do some actual physical labor of changing your appearance to fit that outcome. Finally, work with the energies around you to ensure that outcome is achieved.
Get that glamour, girl.
Today is the day for your interview. You’re so excited and nervous because this potential job is your dream job and the potential employer has great reviews on Glassdoor. You’re lying in bed, hoping against hope that you get the job right away after the interview. So what do you do to achieve that outcome? Glamour magick of course!
Intention: what outcome do you desire?
This is the first step of the glamour, and the most important step. Without detailing exactly what you want to happen, you may find that your beauty spell goes haywire and instead of getting the dream job, they hire you to do something in a completely different department.
Intention-setting in this stage is important, but you don’t need to do anything fancy here. Any intention-setting rituals you typically do for a spell or ritual will work in this instance.
Appearance: make sure to look the part.
Dress for the job you want, right? It’s time to literally change your appearance so you have a better chance of getting that dream job. Don’t over think it. You know what to do.
But how can you incorporate more magickal aspects into your job interview outfit? In times like these, I always like to ask myself, “How would I get a tool ready for ritual?” and that’s what I try to do to myself. Below are some examples of what you can do to amp up your glamour magick before heading into that job interview:
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Reduce any dark circles and under eye bags you’ve accumulated from years of having fun.
Us human beings are imperfect creatures. We know we’d like to get in better shape, but that chocolate cookie looks mighty tasty. We know we have to wake up early, but there’s only one episode left on the Netflix show we’re binging on. We know we should apply sunblock religiously, but we forget to bring the bottle with us to the beach.
That’s life. But that doesn’t mean we can’t form some habits and best practices for mitigating the inevitable effects of a life well-lived. For every late night chatting over drinks, for every day out in the sun and for every bed time we didn’t have the energy to apply eye cream, there are as many tips and tricks we can use to fight signs of aging.
Nobody’s perfect. That’s why we’re here to list 27 different routines that will help reduce any dark circles and under-eye bags you’ve accumulated from years of having fun.
Why Do We Get Eye Circles?
To be honest, even if you’ve spent your life diligently treating your skin as carefully as you possibly can, we’re all going to show signs of aging sooner or later – and that includes under-eye bags and dark circles.
Over time, skin naturally loses collagen and grows thinner, so regardless of what kind of skin you have or what good habits you maintain, veins will inevitably start to show through the thin skin around your eyes. As we already know, exposure to the sun speeds up the process of collagen breaking down, so your best weapon against under-eye circles are disciplined and consistent sunblock application habits from a young age. (Wearing sunglasses while out in the sun helps, too – less squinting = fewer crows feet!)
The best habits, however, can’t change your genes! Genetics are the biggest determinant of what kind of skin we will have and what we’ll look like as we age. Those of us that have inherited fair or thin skin tend to show under circles more easily than others due to the fact that when our blood pools in the capillaries under our eyes, it’s simply more obvious through lighter skin.
Unfortunately, as more and more blood accumulates there, your delicate capillaries begin to stretch and strain under the weight, leading to more leaking and blood pooling – and ultimately even darker under eye circles.
Yet for others, dark under eye circles and under eye bags aren’t caused by either aging, sun bathing or genetics. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of allergies. Year-round allergies like those to dust or mold, or seasonal allergies many of us experience in the spring trigger the release of histamines, which cause an inflammatory response. That means our blood vessels become inflamed and swell – including those under our eyes.
Okay, so That Explains Why I Have Dark Under Eye Circles. but How Do I Get Rid of Under Eye Bags?
Experiment with the following routines to see which one works the most effectively for you. Remember to use patience and consistency when trying out a new routine. Follow the routine every day for 4 to 6 weeks. If after that period of time, you still don’t see the results you want, move on to the next practice and see if that works better for reducing your dark under eye bags and circles.
Even royalty gets dark under eye circles. (Kate, you’ll always be beautiful!)
The Best Routines for Getting Rid of Dark Circles and Under Eye Bags
1. Cold Compress
In the morning or evening – or better yet, in the morning AND the evening – apply a cold compress for about 10 minutes. If you have a mask you can keep in your fridge and pull out twice a day, that’s the easiest way to try this dark circle reducing method. Just make sure to keep it clean and give it a good soapy scrub a few times a week!
We’ve all seen cucumbers used as cold compresses on television and in films – but do they really work?
In fact, cucumbers have skin-lightening and mild astringent properties, so you can use cucumber slices to fix raccoon eyes naturally.
To try this method twice a day, chop a fresh cucumber into thick slices and then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Then, leave the slices on your eyes for 10 minutes. Rinse your eye area with warm (but not hot) water after using.
3. Cucumber Juice + Lemon Juice
If cucumber slices don’t work for you, try mixing equal parts cucumber and lemon juice and then use a cotton ball to apply to your under-eye circles. (DO NOT get lemon juice in your eye!) Leave the solution on your skin for 15 minutes and then rinse with warm water.
4. Rose Water
Rose water doesn’t just smell fantastic – it can also soothe and rejuvenate tired skin. Like cucumber, it’s a mild astringent, so it can work as a skin toner. Just soak cotton makeup remover pads in rose water for a few minutes, and then let the soaked makeup pads sit on your CLOSED eyelids. Leave them for about 15 minutes twice daily.
Tomatoes are high in lycopene, a substance that’s excellent for your