September, 2017

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This Spray Helps My Wavy Hair Stay Straight All Day + MORE

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Kim Kardashian Shows Off Her Extreme Contour and Love of Spandex Shorts

– health.com

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This article originally appeared on People.com.

As the woman who single-handedly brought the face-sculpting art form also known as contouring to the masses, it should go without saying that Kim Kardashian West is something of a pro. While of course she has the help of her trusty makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic to make certain her full face of glam is expertly shaded and buffed to perfection, the reality star is not too shabby herself. After all, Kim’s not only had a ton of practice on her own face, she’s also attempting to add a whole new facet to her already robust business portfolio with a beauty line based on this single cheekbone-defining product. So naturally, she took to the ‘gram to show of a few of the skills she’s acquired.

On Monday, after plugging her new Allure interview and the latest drop of her kids clothing collection, the KKW Beauty founder shared a Boomerang of herself on her Instagram stories with all of her contouring lines still clearly drawn on, the step right before she blends them in. She captioned the shot, “Let the transformation begin,” alluding to how dramatically all of that shading and highlighting was about to alter her face and chisel out her features.

RELATED PHOTOS: 12 Celebs Who Totally Rebelled Against Dressing for the Weather

After some thorough work with a Beautyblender or whatever the KKW Beauty iteration of that tool might be, Kim stepped out in a twist on her usual sartorial uniform. While post giving birth to Saint the mobile mogul was living in a veritable Groundhog’s Day of black spandex, braids, and furs, she’s gone for a slightly lighter variation of the look for fall. Namely, an oversize taupe camo-printed sweatshirt that she paired with flesh-tone bike shorts, and her beloved lace-up Yeezy boots. Just like everything else in her life, it seems Kim is also completely unafraid of shouting her love of shapewear from the rooftops.

These Editor-Loved Natural Beauty Products Are on Sale Right Now

– health.com

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This article originally appeared on People.com.

There are many health and environmental benefits to “clean up” your beauty routine with natural products, but Dermstore is giving you one more reason to completely go green. Right now the site is having its biggest natural beauty sale of the year, offering the best in green skin and haircare products at 20 percent off. Just enter GREENBEAUTY at checkout and enjoy 20 percent off through September 24. Check out what our editors will be buying with the discount.

 

Alex Apatoff, Deputy Style Director: I started using this when I was pregnant and trying a more nontoxic beauty routine. It’s really hard to find a natural makeup remover that works, but this one really did, and didn’t aggravate my skin like more traditional ones do. I’m four months postpartum but still haven’t given it up.

To buy: Korres Greek Yoghurt 3-in-1, $19.20 (originally $24); dermstore.com

RELATED PHOTOS: 9 Best-Selling Natural Beauty Products to Make Going Green Easy

 

Colleen Kratofil, Style Writer-Reporter: I’ve been using the same (non natural) body wash for years so I’ve been looking for a new (healthier) alternative. And since I’m a huge fan of Ren’s face masks, I’m psyched to try out its Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash. I’m sure this soothing rosewater cleanser will leave my skin as soft and refreshed as the masks do.

To buy: Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash, $22.40 (originally $28) dermstore.com

Emily Kirkpatrick, Associate Style News Editor: Working in the style department of a magazine comes with its fair share of perks, predominately in the form of more free beauty products than you can shake a stick at. So in turn, my own personal skincare regime has grown exponentially from straight up soap and water to a full-blown, rigorous morning and night routine. And at the center of my multi-pronged approach to a flawless complexion is an endless amount of serums of every kind. So I figured this sale would be the perfect time to stock up on even more oils to add to my arsenal, especially one that promises to take my face to the next level of radiant.

To buy: Juicy Beauty Organic Treatment Oil, $30.40 (originally $38); dermstore.com

Jackie Fields, Beauty Editor: This isn’t the first — and won’t be the last time I sound off on body scrubs. After all, I go through more of them than any other product in my ongoing search for the perfect texture. Some granules are so large, I swear they’re actually tearing up the surface of my skin. Then there’s the good-for-you factor, which a lot of exfoliators surprisingly lack. It shouldn’t be hard to scrub that leaves skin silky-soft and isn’t packed with nasty stuff. That’s where this jar comes in. It’s a sugar-based, but actually feels like it’s sloughing off dead skin. Another plus, it contains easily recognizable ingredients that don’t require a dictionary to decipher…

This Spray Helps My Wavy Hair Stay Straight All Day

– health.com

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This article originally appeared on SouthernLiving.com.

Even though we're past the hottest days of summer, we still have awhile before those cooler winter temperatures start creeping in, bringing with them good hair days to those of us who tend to fight a losing battle with humidity the rest of the year. Before drying and straightening my wavy and frizzy hair, I often check the weather forecast to decide if it's even worth it. If the humidity is hovering around 90 percent or there's rain in the forecast, I usually just surrender to a ponytail for the day. Otherwise, as soon as I step outside, my strands will immediately revert to being frizzy and wavy. That is, until recently when I found The Shield Style Extending Spray by Amika. Now I don’t attempt to dry and straighten my hair without it.

BUY IT: $24; sephora.com

Unlike some style-extending products that are applied as a finishing touch, this spray is activated by the heat from styling tools. It also has an amazing scent, and doesn’t leave hair feeling greasy or oily like some finishing products I've tried in the past. To use, simply shake the can and lightly spray on damp or dry hair before styling. It's formulated to help hair stay straight for more than 24 hours, and it does just that. Alternatively, you can apply this spray to dry hair a day or two after washing to freshen up your look. Give your hair a quick pass with the blow dryer or desired heat tool after applying.

If, like me, you also battle frizzy hair, you’ll want to find out what one thing could be responsible for your frizzy hair. For even more frizzy-hair know-how, check out The Southern Living Guide to Fighting Frizz. Using the right tools, and following our tips and tricks can help you have a good hair day every day.

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The Exact Skincare Products Victoria Beckham Uses Every Day for Glowing Skin + MORE

She's a fashion and beauty icon, retired member of the Spice Girls, wife to soccer hunk David Beckham, and is known for her serious smirk and stylish lob. What we really want to know, though, is how Victoria Beckham always has such a dewy complexion, wheth.... More »

Ashley Graham Just Explained All the Reasons Why She Exercises (None of Them Have to Do with Weight Loss) + MORE

[brightcove:5597028796001 default] If you follow Ashley Graham on social media, you're no stranger to the supermodel's fit-stagrams. Graham constantly posts inspiring videos of her workouts at go-to gym The Dogpound, where she does everything from boxing to strength training. But so.... More »

This Vlogger Claims Her Extensions Ruined Her Hair—So She Shaved Her Head Bald in Viral Video + MORE

Long waves, a lavender lob, a red top knot, bangs, braids, you name it—a quick scroll through YouTube star Vanessa Martinez’s Instagram page, and it’s clear she’s not afraid to take style risks when it comes to her hair, and the results are always chic and co.... More »

ThirdLove Responds to That Inflammatory Victoria's Secret Interview with an Open Letter to the Brand + MORE

ICYMI, Victoria's Secret is in hot water this month following commentary from the brand's chief marketing officer Ed Razek, the creator of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, in his now-infamous interview with Vogue. Not only did Razek objectify women and offend plus-size and t.... More »

The One Shoulder Muscle You’re Neglecting + MORE

[brightcove:5592262608001 default] This article originally appeared on DailyBurn.com. When you do shoulder or back exercises, chances are you’ll engage your rhomboids, traps and delts. But one crucial shoulder muscle you should also be working is your serratus anterior. “It gets i.... More »

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Kim Kardashian Shows Off Her Extreme Contour and Love of Spandex Shortshealth.com
These Editor-Loved Natural Beauty Products Are on Sale Right Nowhealth.com
This Spray Helps My Wavy Hair Stay Straight All Dayhealth.com

This Look-Better-Naked Workout From Tracy Anderson Will Give You Serious Body Confidence + MORE

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Hair extensions and hair treatments are just one way that
Invisiblend Hair Studio helps to increase our client’s quality of life. A hair
technician or hair salon specialist is more than just a stylist, they are a
friend. A person to vent your week to, express your joy and life achievements, there
is more than just beauty when it comes to our hair stylist.

Why Carrie Underwood Went from Working Out 6 Days a Week to Just 1 or 2: 'That Just Kind of Has to Be Okay'

– health.com

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This article originally appeared on People.com.

Only made it to the gym twice this week? Then you and Carrie Underwood have something in common.

Though the superstar singer is known for her sculpted legs, she admitted Thursday that she isn’t working out as much as she used to.

“I used to work out six days a week,” Underwood, 34, told E!. “But now that’s a little rare, sometimes it’s one or two times a week and that just kind of has to be okay. And it is okay because whatever I’m doing that’s keeping me out of the gym is important.”

And the Nashville crooner certainly has plenty on her plate. Along with her music, Underwood has her Calia by Carrie Underwood activewear line and a busy life with her husband Mike Fisher, who just retired from the NHL after making it to the Stanley Cup Finals, and their 2-year-old son Isaiah.

Underwood says she makes family time a priority over the gym, but when she does get in a workout, it often becomes a family affair — especially when Isaiah crashes her workouts.

“He probably will, 90% of the time, wander into my workout session,” she said. “But it’s nice to be able to stop and give him a kiss.”

Fisher will join in too, but even the former professional athlete can’t keep up with Underwood.

“Mainly, when we work out together, we’re just working out in the same space,” she said. “But I will say, the other day I was doing the ab wheel … and later on that day, Mike said something like, ‘I’m not ready for the ab wheel yet.’ ”

And along with her ab routine, Underwood will do sprints and lunges in her hilly neighborhood.

“I do a lot of squats, I do a lot of lunges, I do a lot of curtsy lunges, I do a lot of goblet squats, I use the leg press machine,” she said.

The Surprising Hairstyle That’s Making a Comeback This Fall

– health.com

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This article originally appeared on InStyle.com.

As a woman of the millennial generation, I cannot relate to perms personally. What I do know about them is what pop culture tells me. The voluminous look ran the ‘80s—the bigger, the better—and it was a win for celebrities like Olivia Newton John, Julia Roberts, and even the queen of pop herself, Madonna. But here’s another fun fact about the treatment—it’s making a comeback.

Believe it, and thankfully, it’s not really following the "higher the hair, closer to god" mantra anymore. According to Matrix SoColor Celebrity Stylist George Papanikolas, the salon service is gaining popularity in LA for its ability to give clients a natural wave or bend in the hair.

"The perms trend back in the ‘80s had extra volume, tight waves, curly bangs, and lot's of hairspray paired with a scrunchy or headband," says Papanikolas. "Back in the '80s the perm looked frizzier with lot's of back combing."

Today it’s more about the beachy look, like the one you see on Victoria’s Secret models or even the tousled, effortless-looking waves that show up on nearly every red carpet.

"It's a great look to get an air-dried finish and a great way to give straight hair a soft bend and movement without additional heat and styling time,” says our pro.

"There are also modern techniques where it can be straighter at the top half with the bend in the hair starting at the mid length and ends. The other big change is using a larger rod to create a loose, soft bend in the hair. We've also seen a big shift away from the over styled curling iron waves to a more natural air-dry texture.”

As he mentioned, the size of the rod directly correlates to the result you get. If you used a smaller rod, Papanikolas says you’d get a look similar to Halle Berry’s, while something larger will give you a look like the Kim Kardashian West picture above, or the waves seen on Erin Wasson. A picture of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen circa 2011 is another good example of the texture you’d get.

RELATED: Tarte Just Launched Your New Favorite Dry Shampoo

Julianne Hough, a forever InStyle hair crush, made headlines spring of last year for her own modern perm created by stylist Riawna Capri using Olaplex.

And while it can be customized for everyone, Papanikolas warns perms can be difficult to achieve on heavily highlighted hair. "The streaks on the hair that are highlighted with bleach have different porosity than the strands that aren't highlighted, so they can take the curl unevenly," he explains. "I usually only suggest doing a perm on natural hair, or hair with a single process, and my go-to product for added protection is Matrix Bond Ultim8 Protecting System. This add-on service helps protect the hair and prevent damage during the perming and coloring process…

This Look-Better-Naked Workout From Tracy Anderson Will Give You Serious Body Confidence

– health.com

This Look-Better-Naked Workout From Tracy Anderson Will Give You Serious Body Confidence[brightcove:4852509752001 default]

The key to feeling amazing without a stitch on? Being comfortable in your frame. This slimming series does just that, upping your mind-body connection, getting you moving more dynamically, and fostering self-confidence (like all exercise!). Do 30 reps of each move in the series on one side, then repeat the sequence on the other side. Don't forget your 30 to 60 minutes of cardio six times a week.

Tracy's wearing: Aqua Classic Strappy Bralette ($18; bloomingdales.com), Ultracor leopard-print leggings ($185; bandier.com for similar), Nike Air Max Thea SE Metallic sneakers ($115; bloomingdales.com for similar).

1. Step Coupé to Single-Leg Plank

Stand with right leg slightly in front of left. Bend knees, reaching left palm to floor, right hand resting on hip. Lift left foot, rotating leg slightly so inner lower leg is tucked behind right leg ( A). Step left foot back, followed by right, to come into a plank ( B). Lift right leg, opening it out on a diagonal ( C). Step feet back in and rise to return to “A.”

2. Wide Stretch to Jazz Split

Start in a standing straddle; lower torso, placing left forearm and right hand on floor (A). Keeping left forearm on floor, bend left knee to kneeling, coming onto left hip as you extend right leg straight out (B). Continue rolling over, carrying right leg to other side until right toes are touching floor. Place right hand down and lift hips, coming onto left toes as you extend left arm up (C). Sit down and roll back to start; repeat.

3. Sit Back Lift Extend

Start seated with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Bend right leg in front of you and left leg behind you. Walk hands forward and lower down, coming onto right forearm and left palm (A). Pressing into right forearm and left palm, lift up onto right knee as you extend and lift left leg out to the side; raise left arm straight up (B). Lower back to “A” and repeat.

4. Kneeling Swing-Around Arabesque

Start kneeling; lift left knee up so left leg forms the top part of a triangle, with left hand on waist and right arm extended on a diagonal toward knee (A). Lower to left knee, placing right forearm and left hand on floor as you extend right leg up and back (B). Return right knee to floor, then lift left knee to return to “A.”

5. Crossed Split Side Plank and Lift

Start in a plank with legs wide; swing left leg counterclockwise, rotating torso as you lift left arm up (A). Rotate back to wide plank and come down to left knee as you sweep right leg up so inner thigh is parallel to floor (B). Return to start and repeat.

 

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One teenager in Houston, Texas, said a weightlifting session gone wrong led to his hospitalization. Last Thursday, 17-year-old Jared Shamburger talked to ABC affiliate KTRK about how he felt “super duper sore” after a 90-minute strength-training workout at the gym. &ldqu.... More »

5 Mental Tricks to Feeling Amazing, Even if You Miss a Few Workouts + MORE

[brightcove:5603078603001 default] Your plan was to relaunch your regular gym and clean eating regimen on January 1. More than a week into the new year, that's mostly fallen by the wayside. Logically, you know that your self-worth doesn't rely on perfect attendance at .... More »

This Is the Legging Trend You'll Be Seeing Everywhere in 2019 + MORE

The biggest legging trend for 2019 will look pretty familiar to anyone who lived in Adidas track pants back in the '90s. Workout tights that take a cue from the brand's iconic tri-color side stripe are everywhere right now. And while the original is still cool, we're also seein.... More »

3 Sports Bras for Big Boobs That Actually Work + MORE

Is going out for a run, getting into a downward dog, or doing burpees, jumping jacks, and box jumps a pain in the chest? That uncomfortable bouncing is a sign that your sports bra is not supportive enough—something that can not only hold you back during your workout, but can also be bad for yo.... More »

The Exact Skincare Products Victoria Beckham Uses Every Day for Glowing Skin + MORE

She's a fashion and beauty icon, retired member of the Spice Girls, wife to soccer hunk David Beckham, and is known for her serious smirk and stylish lob. What we really want to know, though, is how Victoria Beckham always has such a dewy complexion, wheth.... More »

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Why Carrie Underwood Went from Working Out 6 Days a Week to Just 1 or 2: 'That Just Kind of Has to Be Okay'health.com
The Surprising Hairstyle That’s Making a Comeback This Fallhealth.com
This Look-Better-Naked Workout From Tracy Anderson Will Give You Serious Body Confidencehealth.com

Pharrell Williams Reveals the Skin Care Routine That Helps Him Look Eternally Young

Beauty and health are wonderful areas to dedicate one’s life. We have seen the simple addition of hair with Invisablend’s hair extensions and treatments cause an immediate increase in our client’s confidence and life enjoyment. We encourage you to do the little things that make you feel good and give you confidence. It will have a dynamic effect on your quality of life.

Pharrell Williams Reveals the Skin Care Routine That Helps Him Look Eternally Young

– health.com

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This article originally appeared on People.com.

Pharrell Williams keeps looking younger and younger — and he’s revealing the secret to getting his youthful glow.

In an interview Thursday with Dazed, the hitmaker revealed all about his skincare regimen that he religiously sticks to every day.

“I exfoliate like a madman,” the “Happy” singer, 43, said. “When you exfoliate and you drink a lot of water, that does good for you.”

He continued, “To me, the key is just exfoliating, like a monster. There’s a lot of dead skin. All the time. Like a narcissistic madman.”

The Grammy Award winner also discussed his personal style and the importance of expressing one’s individuality.

“It’s indicative of who you are and what you’re feeling,” he said. “Specifically, the way I look at it, it’s when I get up in the morning, it’s how I feel, it’s where I’m going, and what the weather’s going to be like.”

“That kind of informs me of what it is that I’m wearing,” he added. “When people are like, ‘I don’t really have any style, I don’t dress up,’ you kind of are. That’s what your clothes are saying.”

Williams and his wife Helen Lasichanh are no strangers to style or taking fashion risks. The couple have walked several red carpets together, including the Met Gala in May, with Williams sporting a plaid-printed shirt and matching vest with a leather jacket decorated with enamel pins and maroon Doc Martens.

 

Lasichanh turned heads wearing a red, pillowy, ankle-length jumpsuit by Comme des Garcons, while accessorizing the look with a pair of white-tipped black boots, stud earrings, and minimal makeup.

The pair married in 2013, and welcomed triplets in early January, a rep confirmed to PEOPLE. During an interview on The Tonight Show, the singer said he sharpened his multi-tasking parenting skills after their births.

“It’s a full-on assembly line,” he told Jimmy Fallon. “All of them are fine and healthy.”

He later added, “They harmonize when they cry. When one cries, two cry, then three cry. Chain reaction is a real thing at our house.”

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Meghan Markle’s Go-To Lash Serum Is On Sale Right Now + MORE

Meghan Markle may officially be a Royal now, but she still keeps her beauty routine relatively low-key. She loves throwing her hair up in messy buns, isn't above doing her own makeup, and sticks to using eyelash serum for longer lashes instead of going the high-maintenance extensions route..... More »

This Woman Shared Her Cystic Acne Transformation and the Quick Fix That Actually Worked + MORE

If you're tuned into skin-care forums, then you know that the brand Drunk Elephant has a wide stan base. People are loving the fact that the products' ingredient lists are stacked with acids, peptides, vitamins, etc., but free of what the company calls the "Suspicious 6." .... More »

3 Sports Bras for Big Boobs That Actually Work + MORE

Is going out for a run, getting into a downward dog, or doing burpees, jumping jacks, and box jumps a pain in the chest? That uncomfortable bouncing is a sign that your sports bra is not supportive enough—something that can not only hold you back during your workout, but can also be bad for yo.... More »

Emily Skye Says She’s "Getting Stronger" in a Post-Baby Body Photo Showing Loose Skin + MORE

Fitness influencer Emily Skye is enjoying her post-pregnancy workout regimen with her “cutest training buddy ever.” In a mirror selfie with her three-month-old daughter Mia, Skye shared her progress since giving birth. “Some people might think my progress is due to my genetics.... More »

You're Going to Want to Order These $7 Beauty Boxes from Target ASAP + MORE

Over the past few years, Target has become a major beauty mecca. Whether it's introducing new exclusive brands or expanding their natural offerings, they're unstoppable. Not to mention, in addition to being able to buy quality products at the mass retailer, you also d.... More »

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Pharrell Williams Reveals the Skin Care Routine That Helps Him Look Eternally Younghealth.com

Britney Spears Shows Off the 'Real' Her in Make-Up Free Photo + MORE

Hair extensions and hair treatments are just one way that Invisiblend Hair Studio helps to increase our client’s quality of life. A hair technician or hair salon specialist is more than just a stylist, they are a friend. A person to vent your week to, express your joy and life achievements, there is more than just beauty when it comes to our hair stylist.We hope the reviews and blogs and posts help your day go smother

Natalie Portman on Her Favorite French-Girl Makeup Trick and Her New Movie

– health.com

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This article originally appeared on InStyle.com.

Natalie Portman is not afraid of ghosts. But she’s not totally sure they don’t exist.

The 35-year-old actress has the supernatural on her mind because she plays one half of a psychic-medium sister act, alongside Lily-Rose Depp, in her new film Planetarium. (Depp, whom Portman scouted for the role herself, is an uncanny look-alike.)

Directed by Rebecca Zlotowski, Planetarium transports the two actresses to 1930’s France on the brink of World War II, where the fashion is unbelievably chic and the people are unbelievably gullible. Portman and Depp, who toggle between English and French throughout (Portman’s two years living in Paris helped her out), revel in their rising fame but feel the war looming. And when a fan attempts to photograph of the spirits they commune with, they make an unexpected discovery.

Ahead of Planetarium’s Los Angeles premiere today, Portman gave us a call to talk about ghosts, getting her chakras read, and the best French-girl makeup trick she picked up while living in Paris.

InStyle: This was your first time speaking French onscreen. Did that require special prep?

Natalie Portman: Yeah, I work with a coach. It was learning how to say my lines with the best possible accent, knowing which word to emphasize. Because French is a lot flatter than the way I speak English. I tend to be more sing-songy in my English than you would be in French.

IS: Did you pick up any French-girl flairs during your time living there?

NP: Definitely. I would never wear red lipstick before, and now I do it all the time. It’s a very French-girl thing to wear no makeup except for a red lipstick. The other thing is wearing gym clothes on the street—I would never do that out there. [Their] attitude is: Gym clothes are for the gym. My family’s been teasing me because if something bad happens, I go, “Oulà!” It’s, like, what you say if someone slams on the breaks. "Oulà!” It’s a weird thing—I don’t even think it’s French. I think I’m misusing French. [laughs]

RELATED: Natalie Portman's Changing Looks

IS: You were the one who scouted Lily-Rose Depp to play your sister in Planetarium. How'd the idea come to you?

NP: I pointed her out because they were looking for someone young, around 16, who spoke English and French, and who obviously was a great actor. I saw a picture of Lily-Rose, and I showed it to Rebecca. Obviously she speaks English and French because of her parents [Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis], and I wouldn’t flatter myself to say that I look like her, but I feel like we could be in the same family. Rebecca auditioned her and was like, “She’s incredible. She’s really, really talented and special and interesting.”

IS: Let’s talk ghosts. You said in an interview, “I don’t really believe in this kind of stuff, even though I think it’s possible…

Britney Spears Shows Off the 'Real' Her in Make-Up Free Photo

– health.com

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This article originally appeared on People.com.

Britney Spears is having a glam-free day.

The pop star, 35, posted a make-up free photo on Instagram Monday, writing, “On days where I don’t get primped and made up for my show, this is the real unglammed me…”

“So nice to meet all of you!!” Spears joked. “I call this my morning coffee at home look️ #NoMakeupMonday if you don’t count the leftover mascara under my right eye… .”

Spears doesn’t shy away from posting on social media, frequently taking to Instagram to show off her workouts and beach-ready body.

The singer shared yet another jaw-dropping gym selfie last week, this time giving fans her key to making it through all those workouts she does to sculpt her perfectly toned body.

“Staying focused,” Spears captioned her shot — which showed the “Work Bitch” singer standing in front of a gym mirror in a pair of red short-shorts and grey tie-dyed halter top, her killer abs on full display.

Her message came a day after Spears posted a video of her outdoor workout — documenting a sunny circuit of yoga poses, dumbbell lifts and kettlebell swings.

Spears previously said having her kids, Sean, 11, and Jayden, 10, changed her approach to exercise.

“After I had Jayden, it was real easy for me to get back in shape,” she told Women’s Health . “But five years later, I started noticing changes in my body. My hips are a bit wider because I’ve had kids. So it was crucial for me to be continuous with my exercise. Consistency is key.”

The Surprising Korean Beauty Product That Transformed My Skin

– health.com

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This writer is part of Health.com's contributor network. Learn more about the contributor network and how to join.

My complexion has a new best friend, and it might be exactly what your beauty routine is missing, too. Essence, a hydrating, super-lightweight serum popular in Korean skincare routines, has totally transformed my skin—and I'm never looking back.

For the past year or so, my skincare routine has been loosely inspired by Korean beauty advice, but there were a few steps I was skipping. The famous Korean skincare routine involves nine different steps in addition to essence, including two kinds of cleanser, toner, sheet masks, eye cream, and SPF. While I'm all about giving my skin TLC, I was a little skeptical about essence in particular; I didn't really understand what it did, and I wasn't sure it would be worth the extra time or money.

Enter Hungarian Water Essence ($42; sephora.com) from the Korean skincare brand belif. I spontaneously purchased a bottle and foolishly let it sit, unopened, in my cabinet for months. When I finally gave it a try, I couldn't believe I had let this magical product go unused for so long.

RELATED: The Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos, According to Dermatologists

I had always assumed essence was basically just fancy water, but I couldn't have been more wrong. The lightweight formula appears to be a cross between serum and toner, but it truly deserves a category of its own. In Korean skincare routines, essence helps add a boost of hydration and prime your face so the products you layer on afterwards work better. The theory is that skin prepped with essence can better absorb heavier formulas such as serum and moisturizer.

A few days after I started using belif Hungarian Water Essence, my skin had noticeably improved. I suddenly had a glow! What's more, it seemed like the other skincare products in my medicine cabinet were better delivering on their promises. I've long used Fresh Black Tea Age Delay Firming Serum ($75; sephora.com), especially on my forehead, where I have some deep lines. It always gave my skin a hydration boost, but once I started prepping with essence, I noticed that my forehead lines began to dramatically fade, as if I had taken a magic eraser to them.

I use this product every night, and now wake up with the fresh, dewy, soft skin I'd always wanted, but could never quite achieve. My love affair with essence also convinced me to take the plunge into the full K-beauty routine. I find that this routine is one of the most relaxing parts of my day, and helps me de-stress and unwind as much as it benefits my skin. Give essence a try—you just might become a convert, too.

Fresh Box

5 Olympians Share Their Advice for Overcoming Setbacks + MORE

[brightcove:5720340376001 default] Setbacks. We all have them. But how you choose to handle those stumbling blocks is what sets you apart from the pack. If anyone can attest to this, it's Olympians. After all, they push themselves to the limit day in and day out, just for the opportu.... More »

The Internet Is Obsessed With This Intense Charcoal Face Mask, But Is It Safe? + MORE

[brightcove:5464640285001 default] The Shills Acne Purifying Peel-Off Black Mask ($11; amazon.com) is the internet's latest beauty obsession. On YouTube and Instagram, you'll find plenty of videos documenting the super-intense masking process. Unlike other masks that simply wash or.... More »

5 Easy Barbell Exercises for Beginners + MORE

Cardio is great—in fact, it’s a must. But there’s another beneficial component to physical fitness that many women are ignoring: weight lifting. And we’re not just talking about picking up those little 2-pound weights and doing a few bicep curls (though there’s noth.... More »

People Who Live to 100 Have These Traits in Common + MORE

[brightcove:5596869363001 default] This article originally appeared on Time.com. If you’re looking to live to 100, you may want to watch more than your diet. A study of people in remote Italian villages who lived past 90 found that they tended to have certain psychological traits in common, .... More »

This Woman Shared a Photo of the Cellulite on Her Thighs and Butt to Prove Instagram Is Not Reality + MORE

Cellulite is—wait for it—normal. It’s a simple fact that's now gone viral, thanks to 25-year-old Nienke Kampman. The dietitian from the Netherlands says she’s received an overwhelming response from women everywhere since she posted a series of photos on her popular Ins.... More »

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