10 Foolproof Solo Poses for Pictures

Here’s a familiar scenario: You’re traveling alone and ask a stranger to take your photo so you can remember your trip to this gorgeous locale. There’s just one problem. Your new photographer is an average Joe who shoots in auto mode with their $10,000 camera (the sacrilege!) and you’re not a professional model. Lucky for you, that’s teachable. Everyone can learn what to do (or don’t) with their arms and figure out how to make the camera work for them. And newsflash—even models have had to practice. Next time you’re on a trip, try these 10 solo poses for pictures, approved by yours truly, a photographer.

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30 Natural Couples’ Poses for Pictures That Don’t Scream *Prom*

,poses for pictures: woman walks on driftwood on the beachgradyreese/Getty Images

1. Walk

There’s a technique to this one. Your legs and feet will look best if you pretend you’re walking on a tightrope in slow motion. As you walk, occupy your hands by putting them in your pockets, playing with the fabric of your clothes (swishing a skirt or holding lapels, for example) or tucking your hair behind your ear.

,poses for pictures: woman leans on treeWestend61/Getty Images

2. Lean on Something

A wall. A tree. A fence, car, chair or table. Leaning allows you to create a subtle diagonal line with your body, giving the eye a neat path to follow in an image. Put a hand on your waist (we call it the “teapot,” no shame), cross a hand over your body and rest it on the opposite arm, tuck your hair behind your ear or slide it in your pocket.

,poses for pictures: woman wearing sunglasses grabs the brim of her sunhatCoffeeAndMilk/Getty Images

3. Grab Your Hat

We know, we know. You can’t play with your hair in every photo, so here’s a great alternative that works with hats, earmuffs, headscarves and other sundry accessories. This can go two ways. Either bring both hands up to grab the brim/muffs/bow—or use one hand, while the other holds your lapel, your skirt, coat or purse. (You can also combine this with pose #2 and lean your hand against something.)

,poses for pictures: zendaya poses on emmys carpetChristopher Polk/NBC/Getty Imges

4. Raptor Pose

The teapot pose’s chic cousin (and a celeb go-to), wherein you hold your hands in front of you as if you were carrying a tiny purse. Pull this one out if you’re on holiday in Rhode Island touring The Breakers

,poses for pictures: woman twirlsWestend61/Getty Images

5. Twirl

Big skirt, coat or other piece of fluid and diaphanous fabric? Twirl, and the movement of the clothing will be the eye-catching focus of your photo. You won’t even have to think about what to do with your hands.

,poses for pictures look over shoulderJordan Siemens/Getty Images

6. Look Over Your Shoulder

Stand facing away from the camera, then turn your upper body and head around slightly so you’re looking back over your shoulder. Put your hands in raptor position, grab that hat, use your pockets or break out the reliable teapot pose.

,poses for pictures jumpIra T. Nicolai/Getty Images

7. Jump

I love asking subjects to jump because it’s a great way to reveal their personality. And when the whole of your body is flying through the air, everything’s more fun and relaxed. (Tip: This is best shot on burst mode, and if you have a body of water, even better.)

,poses for pictures: woman wearing dress and hat sits in front of trevi fountain in romeStarZImages/Getty Images

8. Sit

Unless you’re on a ledge of a cliff, always sit on the edge of your seat. (Trust me: Leaning back doesn’t look good on anybody.) Then, you can lean forward, resting your elbows on your lap. If you cross your legs, be sure the one closer to the camera (if your photographer is shooting at an angle) is crossed on top. Or you can rest your hands next to you and kick out one leg.

,poses for pictures: indian woman rests chin on one hand while holding a wine glassKlaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

9. Rest Your Chin on Your Hands

Building off the previous pose, rest your chin on your hands. But remember, don’t interlace your fingers (they’ll look like slugs). This also works if you’re sitting at a table, which you can lean on instead of your lap.

,poses for pictures candidXavier Lorenzo/Getty Images

10. Get Candid

Ask someone to take photos of you doing whatever activity you came to try. Whether you’re bouldering, admiring the cherry blossoms, ice skating or enjoying afternoon tea, action shots give you plenty of opportunities to get a good photo.

, RELATED

3 Tips for Taking Better Pics of Your Kids, According to Professional Photographers

It’s a CeraVe Jamboree! CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream Releases Moisturizing Ingredients All Night Long

It’s a CeraVe Jamboree! CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream Releases Moisturizing Ingredients All Night Long

This month I’m highlighting skin care products from CeraVe, a most-excellent drugstore brand. It’s a CeraVe jamboree! This week’s allstar is a notable night cream for all skin types — CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream.

Why does this night cream not come in a big ol’ vat…? Because it should! Yes, the dainty jar is convenient and cute. Also, yes, technically, one only needs to use a little (just a few tiny dots), but a supersized, super-fantastic jar if this hella hydrating, no-frills night cream needs to happen!

To the gals and guys who love rich bedtime moisturizers, CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream could be a game-changer.

Made for all skin types, this fragrance-free, time-released face cream parses out intensely moisturizing ingredients throughout the night, so, as you sleep, your skin constantly receives a steady stream of moisture via CeraVe’s signature essential ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide (among other ingredients).

Benefits

  • Helps soften and renew the look of tired skin overnight
  • Provides intense hydration
  • MVE Technology: This patented delivery system continually releases moisturizing ingredients for all night hydration
  • Biomimetic peptides: Improve the appearance of tired-looking skin
  • Ceramides: Help restore and maintain the skin’s natural barrier
  • Hyaluronic acid: Helps retain the skin’s natural moisture
  • Niacinamide: Helps calm the skin
  • Non-comedogenic and fragrance-free
  • Developed with dermatologists

— cerave.com

It’s a trite term, but I have “combo skin,” meaning in my case that I have an oily forehead, dry cheeks, and my face is acne-prone allllll over. I use a retinol, a BHA and benzoyl peroxide daily, and I think that one of the reasons I can tolerate all of that exfoliation is because I use CeraVe Night Cream every night.

cerave skin renewing night cream ingredients

Right after I get out of the shower, when my skin is still damp, I dab a few dots on my forehead, cheeks, chin and neck, and gently massage it in. Then I leave it to fully absorb while I put Connor to bed and prep for the next morning. Then, right before I pass out I go to bed, I apply a thin layer of retinol.

This stuff isn’t greasy (a.k.a. no sticky neck), it layers well underneath the retinol I’m currently using, and, most importantly, it’s rich enough to keep the painful peeling and dryness at bay. I probably wouldn’t be able to keep going with all of the acids, retinol and exfoliating products if I weren’t using this. To be blunt, it makes a big difference.

It’s definitely on the pricey side for drugstore skin care (about $20 for a 1.7-oz. jar, depending on where you get it), but a little goes a long way. Right now it’s $18.49 at Ulta, and they’re currently doing a buy one, get one for 50% off online, so if you’re curious, that might be the way to go.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

There are 5 comments on this post. Leave yours.

Previous Post: Check In With Your Makeup-Loving Friends…Next Post: 5 Sheer Foundations to Ace Your WFH Base | Friday Thoughts on Looking Good on the Outside and Feeling Good on the Inside

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Comments

  • Tatiana says

    January 28th, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    I always thought you were supposed to put retinol on first on clean, bare, and dry skin then put moisturizer over it, so that the moisturizer doesn’t block the effectiveness of the retinol. If I’ve been doing it wrong it could explain why I can’t tolerate retinol in any form.
    I bought a tub of this CeraVe hoping it would be a replacement for the two rich creams I have loved, (one priced at an arm and a leg and the other discontinued) but I’ve only used it once and I don’t have an urge to try it again.

    Reply

  • MelodyJ says

    January 28th, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    It works for my combo skin. it sells really well here no matter what store I get it from.

    Reply

  • CC says

    January 28th, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    I too thought that about retinol application (before serum and moisturizer). I’m using Cerave retinol serum, but don’t know that it’s doing much for my skin. Skin care is perplexing ?.
    I recently bought the cerave night cream on walmart.com and I think I paid around $13.00?
    It’s a great night cream.

    Reply

  • Anne says

    January 29th, 2021 at 2:18 am

    I love moisturizers like that to buffer my Tretinoin – if I did not put something like this on beforehand, I get a lot more peeling.

    Reply

  • Erika says

    February 10th, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    I use tretinoin and I just bought this CeraVe night cream as a dupe for Drunk Elephants Lala retro intense whipped moisturizer and it only cost like $13 at Walmart… I just put it on and it feels so nice on my skin. I’m use to exfoliating products and peels like glycolic and lactic acids so finding a good cream is imperative I was spending a lot but have found cheaper just as good product such as CeraVe. Stay beautiful ladies!!

    Reply

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    The 20 Best ‘90s Hairstyles to Try in 2024

    a collage of 90s hairstyles with jennifer aniston, zazie beets and rihannaGetty Images/Instagram:@fentybeauty,

    As a ‘90s baby, I might be biased in saying the decade had some of the best beauty looks. Seriously, we were the first to use butterfly clips, introduced ‘The Rachel’ and made crimping our hair cool again. In fact, there are so many hairstyles and haircuts from the era that are still popular today. If you want to take a trip down memory lane, here are the 20 best ‘90s hairstyles to try out in 2024. 

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    ,90s hairstyles barbie ponytailGetty Images

    1. Barbie Ponytail

    Before Barbiecore, we had this trendy ponytail inspired by our favorite doll. From Ariana Grande to Gabrielle Union, this ‘90s hairstyle has been a celeb-favorite. The star of the show is really the flipped ends, which can be achieved by using a blow dryer and a round brush. Don’t forget to apply hairspray to keep it in place all day. 

    ,90s hairstyles jennifer lopez rocking a voluminous blowoutGilbert Flores/Contributor/Getty Images

    2. Voluminous Blowout

    Pinterest predicts big hair is in and this voluminous blowout is at the top of our list. The ‘fluffy hair’ trend was all the rage back in the day, with supermodels like Cindy Crawford and stars like Danielle Fisher (Boy Meets World) making it their signature look. Divide your hair into sections and wrap each part around a round brush before directing the blow dryer at the roots for a bouncy ‘do. There’s also the option of applying rollers or pins for even more volume. 

    ,wedding hairstyles for long hairGetty Images

    3. Half-Braided, Half-Down

    The classic half-up, half-down style has always been around, but the ‘90s girlies took it one step further by adding some braids. As Michelle Cleveland, celebrity hairstylist and educator at the Hair Addict Salon, previously explained, “Everything from the ‘90s is back, including this twist hairstyle. I love this look because it’s fun and easy to achieve.” It also lets you show off your natural texture and play around with protective styling. 

    ,90s hairstyles face-framing tendrilsGetty Images

    4. Face-Framing Tendrils

    This style has been everywhere in the last couple of years (and even sparked a new trend back in January). It’s pretty simple to achieve—just leave two loose strands out, so they can sit nicely on either side of the face. Whether you have wavy, straight or curly locks, these face-framing tendrils look great on all hair types.

    ,90s hairstyles a photo of zazie beets rocking a heartthrob bobJamie McCarthy/Staff/Getty Images

    5. Heartthrob Bob

    What do Leo DiCaprio, Erik von Detten and Nick Carter have in common? This short, layered haircut that works for all genders. It made a big comeback in 2022 as a low-maintenance style, and we expect to see more of it in 2024. 

    ,90s hairstyles the bixieGetty Images

    6. The Bixie

    This hybrid cut combines two of our favorite styles into one edgy look: the bob and the pixie. Popularized by Winona Ryder and Meg Ryan, the ‘Bixie’ takes the classic bob technique of long layers (that sit right at or past the chin) and shorter pieces near the hairline and crown reminiscent of a pixie. As Sunnie Brook, celebrity hairstylist and a global ambassador for Biolage, previously told us, “The cut leaves the hair just long enough to tuck behind the ear with a fresh take on the curtain fringe trend.” 

    ,

    7. Space Buns

    If you think we left space buns in elementary school then you are sorely mistaken. This double bun look is just as cool on adults—just check out Ms. Robyn Fenty herself. Whether you’re attending a festival or a night out with friends, it’s an easy style to recreate at home. Once you divide your hair down the middle, create two high ponytails on each side and wrap them both around each hair tie. You can always take it up a notch by leaving two face-framing strands out, dabbling in a half-up, half-down situation or laying down your edges—honestly, the possibilities are out of this world (get it?).

    ,

    8. Butterfly Clips

    Despite their popularity in the early aughts, butterfly clips first emerged in the ‘90s. The retro accessories bring a colorful touch to any hairstyle. Use them to push back your bangs or add in some side twists and decorate the sides for your next shindig. There really is no wrong way to wear them.

    ,90s hairstyles a photo of gabrielle union rocking box braidsGeorge Pimentel/Contributor/Getty Images

    9. Box Braids

    Box braids became the protective style in the ‘90s, even though they date back to 3500 BC. Everyone from Brandy to Janet Jackson to Beyoncé has sported some version of them. They’re not only versatile, as you can wear ‘em up or down, but they’ve inspired modern styles like goddess braids, Marley twists and more. 

    ,90s hairstyles a photo of jennifer aniston rocking the rachel cutSteve Granitz/Contributor/Getty Images

    10. The Rachel

    Jennifer Aniston is a ‘90s icon and so was her mane. ‘The Rachel’ became the most requested look back in the day and we definitely see the appeal in 2024. The trendy cut features short layers in the front to frame the face, a voluminous top and flipped-in ends that make it such a signature Friends look. It’s still so well known that Aniston herself even brought it back during awards season. 

    ,

    11. Baby Braids

    Although they were introduced in the ‘70s, baby braids gained more popularity around the late ‘90s. The decade was all about being playful and fun, so these tiny plaits were just what we needed. The quick style starts by parting the hair down the middle and grabbing a small section of hair on each side of the face. Then, braid each section into a double twist or French style and secure the ends with elastic bands. 

    ,90s hairstyles a photo of zendaya rocking tousled curlsDaniele Venturelli/Contributor/Getty Images

    12. Tousled Curls

    Inspired by Mariah Carey, Drew Barrymore and Sarah Jessica Parker, the tousled look requires just a dollop of mousse to really bring out your pattern. The ‘90s taught us that it’s OK to embrace a little frizz every once in a while.

    ,

    13. High Pigtails

    If you want to look like your favorite pop stars of the decade (we’re looking at you, Spice Girls and Britney Spears), some high pigtails are the way to go. Wear them the classic way or try a half-up, half-updo that will surely win you brownie points at the next ‘90s party. 

    ,

    14. Chunky Highlights

    Move over, money pieces. From Christina Aguilera to Kelly Rowland, chunky highlights were all the rage. Nowadays, some are taking a subtler approach—ala babylights or ribboning—but the color-blocking technique is still around if you’re looking to walk on the wild side. 

    ,90s hairstyles a photo of lupita nyongo rocking a scrunchieSteve Granitz/Contributor/Getty Images

    15. Scrunchies

    Another accessory that defined a decade? Scrunchies. Now, the large hair ties were invented in the 1960s, but they got super popular around the ‘80s and early ‘90s as a statement piece for a high ponytail or bun. They’re chic and functional, which describes many hairstyles of the era. 

    ,90s hairstyles a photo of bella hadid rocking a claw clipGotham/Contributor/Getty Images

    16. Claw Clips

    Yup, we’re still on the accessories train because claw clips were huge in the ‘90s. If you want to unleash your inner Rachel Green, pop one of these babies on for a casual look. 

    ,90s hairstyles a photo of michelle williams rocking a pixieDimitrios Kambouris/Staff/Getty Images

    17. Pixie

    This short haircut was most famously sported by Nia Long, Gwyneth Paltrow and Winona Ryder. The pixie features tiny bangs and piece-y layers for texture—and the edge we often associate with the ‘90s. 

    ,90s hairstyles a photo of blake lively with crimped hairRoy Rochlin/Stringer/Getty Images

    18. Crimped Hair

    This technique dates back to the ‘70s, but became the ‘it’ style by the early ‘90s. From Tyra Banks to Blake Lively, the ultra-wavy style screams party hair, however, gone are the frizzy finishes. In 2024, we’re seeing more of a beachy vibe, with softer and subtler crimps.

    ,natural hair trends for fall a photo of solange knowles wearing micro box braidsGetty Images

    19. Micro Braids

    Like many hairstyles on this list, micro braids made a huge comeback in August 2023. The baby sister to the classic box braids style, the plaits are a bit smaller and thinner in size, and usually done closer to the scalp. 

    ,

    20. Layered Braids

    Brandy was all of our hair inspo in the ‘90s and this layered braids style is proof. The protective style offers volume, length and depth. As Cataanda James, a hairstylist and brand educator for The Mane Choice, previously shared, “Layered braids mimic a myriad of layered cuts on loose, individualized hairstyles. [This protective style has] long layers that usually fall below the shoulders and are cut so they’re face-framing.”

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    5 Sheer Foundations to Ace Your WFH Base | Friday Thoughts on Looking Good on the Outside and Feeling Good on the Inside

    5 Sheer Foundations to Ace Your WFH Base | Friday Thoughts on Looking Good on the Outside and Feeling Good on the Inside

    5 sheer wfh foundationsFive wonders of the makeup world

    If there were ever a time to appreciate the wonders of a sheer, everyday workhorse foundation, this would be that time!

    These are my favorites at the moment. What are yours?

    5 Sheer Foundations to Ace Your WFH Base

  • Lancôme Skin Feels Good Hydrating Skin Tint Healthy Glow: Ultra lightweight with a demi-matte finish; looks great in person AND in pics.
  • MAC Face and Body Foundation: The most natural-looking of all the sheer bases, and it’s long-lasting too. I kid you not, skin still looks like skin when you wear this.
  • First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Tinted Moisturizer: A beautiful satiny finish with medium coverage! Plus, it blurs pores.
  • It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation Skincare: This one is also medium coverage, but the finish is closer to matte than the others. The barely-there formula practically feels like water.
  • MAC Studio Fix Soft Matte Foundation Stick: This one is SO easy to blend and has a gentle, soft matte finish. Sometimes I like layering this on top of Face and Body. ?
  • Thoughts on looking good and feeling good

    Most of the time, when we look good, we feel good. I heard something along these lines recently in a fashion video (it was about how not to look “frumpy,” in case you’re curious), and it spoke to me.

    At the beginning, Erin, the host of the show, says…

    “We’re talking about how the way you look affects the way that you feel, affects everything in your life. When you’re looking good, you will feel better. You will feel great. You will have more to give everybody else.”

    This struck a chord with me, because whenever I have something to give — whether it be my time, energy, money, love, etc. — I always give what I have to my friends and family, which I’m always happy to do, but what I hadn’t realized, though, is that the strain of the past year has left me with very little (or rather, zero) leftover “oomph” for myself, and it’s been slowly chipping away at my confidence. My proverbial well is bone dry.

    Lately, I can feel myself getting dangerously close to the point where one rolls out of bed one day and stays in the same crusty pajamas for two weeks straight.

    I think a part of it is my hair, to be honest. I haven’t had a cut in more than a year, and it’s been bothering me. I haven’t wanted to do anything with it lately, because it’s almost impossible to wrangle it into any sort of workable style. That frustration then leads to me saying, “well, f*ck it,” to everything else. Why bother putting on sunscreen or mascara when none of it feels fun?

    ouai pet shampooThis cat looks like how I feel in the mornings lately…

    Oh, and forget about getting properly dressed, because nobody will notice if my shirt is inside out or backwards — not even the people I live with, and I know this because it’s happened several times.

    Because I haven’t really talked to anyone in person lately, unless it’s the occasional curt one- or two-minute conversation with the sales associate in the checkout line at Petco, or a brief in-passing conversation at preschool dropoff, I sometimes find myself wondering, “Why do I even keep trying?”

    The funny thing is, logically I know that 1) this is all temporary, and 2) what’s mostly bothering me is exterior stuff. It’s all frosting, and not the cake, which is something I tell Connor all the time. I know in the grand scheme of things that the outside stuff is frippery. I’m 100% aware that what’s on the outside does not determine my worth on the inside.

    baked sprinkle cakeYou know I had to do it.

    Yet…when I look in the mirror and see myself looking sloppy or unkept, even when I remind myself that the exterior stuff isn’t everything, and all the best stuff is on the inside, I still feel yucky. ?‍♀️

    People often say that the first step to helping yourself is being able to admit that you need help, and watching that video made me realize that I need a little help.

    So, here I am, gently reminding myself that doing the things that make me feel good are not a trivial burden. Brushing my hair, putting on sunscreen in the morning, and curling my lashes — these are all good things, and they are worth the effort, because when I look good, I feel good, and I will have more to give.

    keep room in your heart

    Oh, and another gentle note to self: it really doesn’t have to be hard. The effort does not have to be Herculean.

    For the last few nights, right before bed, I’ve been setting out a bottle of one of the sheer bases listed above, along with a lash curler, a mascara, a brow pencil, blush and a lipstick, and I make sure to put on makeup first thing in the morning.

    Surprise, surprise! — I’ve been feeling a little better since I started doing this, and my plan for the next few days is to do the same tomorrow, and the next day, and the next….

    Oh, and earlier this week I bought myself some clothes for the first time in…I can’t even remember how long.

    Also, I found a stylist who does outdoor cuts. Mind you, I haven’t booked an appointment yet because of the virus and whatnot. I’m still nervous about the pandemic, but at least I know that, when I’m ready, she’ll be there, and that’s such a mental relief.

    Anyway, that’s what’s been going on with me. Thanks for listening, and on that note…

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Karen | Makeup and Beauty Blog (@karenmbb)

    Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

    Karen

    P.S. TGIF!

    There are 17 comments on this post. Leave yours.

    Previous Post: It’s a CeraVe Jamboree! CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream Releases Moisturizing Ingredients All Night LongNext Post: Saturday Surfing, Jan. 30, 2021

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    Comments

  • Christine says

    January 29th, 2021 at 12:22 pm

    Happy Gentle Friday, Karen.
    I love the little “love MU kit” you put out for yourself for the morning-time. All the small rituals — makeup, making the bed, coffee, etc. — are very important, even if, especially because, they are exterior. They are the little things that CAN be done that CAN be controlled to allow you to deal with everything else that you cannot.
    We’re all on similar life rafts and I feel like rooting for everyone who is going through something (because there is always something, even on top of pandemic ish), big or small, drama or no drama. We all need to feel supported and if extending ourselves a bit of gentleness, a bit of beauty in our day takes just a small bit of energy, I think multiple times more energy comes back. You got this! And we got your back, too! xo

    Reply

    • Karen says

      January 29th, 2021 at 1:20 pm

      Thank you, Christine. Hang in there! Hold onto that life raft with last bit of strength of your perfectly painted fingernails. 🙂

      Reply

  • Christine says

    January 29th, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    P.S. I’ve been loving my Typology Tinted Serum, the 2 drops that I manage to spread just around my eyes, above the mask line. LOL

    Reply

    • Karen says

      January 29th, 2021 at 1:18 pm

      So smart to keep it above the mask line! I just looked up the shades and gah, I wish they had something between 4 and 5.

      Reply

      • Christine says

        January 29th, 2021 at 1:22 pm

        No worries! Because the offered shades are based on Fitzpatrick skin types, they are sheer and general enough to cover a range of skin tones. I believe I got a 4. It blends in really well and gives a nice, sheer even tone without highlighting pores or even feeling like anything on top of the skin.

        Reply

        • Karen says

          January 29th, 2021 at 1:44 pm

          Well you know I love lightweight. Hmm. Maybe I just put a 4 in my cart. 🙂

          Reply

          • Christine says

            January 29th, 2021 at 1:51 pm

            Maaaaaybeeeee…. I’m about ready to pick up the regimen for my skin type. They give you a good list of products based on your skin type from a detailed questionnaire and then update it! You will love all the packaging…

          • Karen says

            January 29th, 2021 at 4:01 pm

            Oh, how fun! Do it in the name of self care. 🙂

  • Alison says

    January 29th, 2021 at 12:29 pm

    Karen. All of this! When I give up on putting myself together for the day, what I’ve really done is given up on the day. My productivity, mood, and contribution to the day are largely tied to my outward appearance. When I still worked outside of my home, I would even reapply lipstick right before tackling a long session of document review. That little act turned into higher focus and mental acuity. Some days I need to be cozy with my laptop on the couch, and other days I consider wearing pumps around the house. Whatever it takes to get the job done! A little wardrobe refresher never hurts either 😉

    Reply

    • Karen says

      January 29th, 2021 at 1:16 pm

      Hi Alison,

      Yes! The little things really do matter. Love your idea of putting on some lipstick before a task… I might just do that right now.

      Reply

  • Jade says

    January 29th, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    The little things do make a difference! I will say my friend has similar hair to yours (what I call mermaid hair) and she ended up cutting it herself and it looks great, so there’s always that!

    I hope you feel better and have a great weekend!

    Reply

    • Karen says

      January 29th, 2021 at 1:15 pm

      I figure that if I get really desperate, I’ve watched enough Youtube videos to not totally ruin it. LOL

      Have a great rest of your Friday. 🙂

      Reply

  • Efra says

    January 29th, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    Hey girl, I really get you. I’ve been also in that situation right now and between the pandemic and unemployment; I truly can find the energy for many things. That’s why I have to thank you because your posts have been like a safe place for me during this times.

    For me right now I’m struggling with the lack of energy and management of time, but I think I really need to put all my war paint in order to get the job done.

    If you ever try to do your hair by yourself, please start slow and with the idea that if something goes wrong the process to correct it may not be ideal. That’s how my sister and I have acted while all the bleaching and coloring (actually part of me thinks about becoming a colorist) so we have always know that if something went bad we will end up with a darker dye to cover everything or getting short hair to disguise it. You have already watched many videos, so I think you already have enough insider advice to avoid common mistakes.

    I send you a virtual hug and remember we’re going through this together.

    Reply

    • Karen says

      January 29th, 2021 at 4:00 pm

      I will take that hug. 🙂

      Hey, and if you put on makeup this weekend, I will too!

      Reply

  • Shannon says

    January 30th, 2021 at 11:53 am

    Words of wisdom, my friend!! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this subject. I know I feel the same way.

    Sending you SO much love. ❤️❤️

    Reply

  • Jenna says

    February 1st, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    I totally agree with you! I need to keep up with my routine, even when WFH, just so I still feel like “myself” and not like I’m home sick. I’ve decided to use this time to be creative with my makeup and put together a new look every two weeks, shopping my stash and rediscovering old favorites. Right now I’m on a Babes of the 90s kick, so my current look is a neutral, but sparkly brown eye (Lancome Brun Captivant shadow stick, dark brown liner, MAC Powersurge on the waterline, dark brown mascara, defined dark brown brows), plum lips (NARS Shrinagar), soft plum blush (MAC Animal Instincts) for my super pale winter skin. Then my look is set, and I don’t need to think about it for two weeks. I’m even incorporating music and old perfume for total nostalgia. Like – yep, that was my look 25 years ago. Not something I’d wear in real life today, but fun to revisit those times.

    Reply

  • Kim says

    February 4th, 2021 at 10:09 am

    I hope you’ll decide to get your hair cut if that will make you feel better. I hate when mine gets even a little too long, so I sympathize! And everyone is different and I’m certainly not telling you how you should feel, but do keep in mind that we’ve heard so much doom and gloom over the past year that I’m not sure we’re hearing the facts. It’s awful for ANYONE to die, but in the US, 98.4% of people who were diagnosed with covid are still alive. Many people, myself included, had cold symptoms and never even would have known it was covid. So, who knows how many more people have actually had it? Maybe now, with the vaccines, we’ll start hearing good news and people will still follow the safety guidelines, but will be less afraid. 🙁

    Reply

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    30 Couples’ Poses – PureWow

    couples poses: hugging, laying down, dancingMoMo Productions/Lordn/Ippei Naoi/Getty Images,

    It is a universally acknowledged truth that everyone wants to look better in pictures. But what about couples’ poses? You know how to pose yourself, but what happens when you’ve got a sidekick? Well, as a portrait photographer, I’ve photographed plenty of couples over the years and can share a thing or two about how to nail a photoshoot that doesn’t scream prom. Yeah, no cheesy arms-around-the-waist-from-behind shenanigans. Here, I’ll break down six base poses with five iterations each, for a total of 30 couples’ poses you can bring to your next photo sesh to keep things fun, fresh and natural.

    Want more beauty tips sent right to your inbox? Subscribe here.

    RELATED

    Feeling Unphotogenic? Here Are 14 Mistakes You Might Be Making

    ,

    1. Face to Face

    ,

    • Get into base pose: Face your partner and pull them close so that your belly buttons (or the general area) touches.

    ,couples poses: two women hold hands like they are social dancingMoMo Productions/Getty Images

    1. Friendly Hand Hold

    From “base pose,” clasp hands with your partner, letting your arms rest at your sides. Remember, don’t interlace your fingers—this creates the dreaded “slug” effect. Instead, opt for “Lego” hand holding, as illustrated above. Once you’re in this pose, there are tons of iterations: touch foreheads and smile, kiss (!), go cheek-to-cheek and smile at the camera or share a laugh.

    ,couples poses: a man and a woman hug, standing near their patio door at sunsetJustin Paget/Getty Images

    2. Show the Ring

    Building on the previous pose, you can do what I call “show the ring.” As shown above, you give your partner a strategic hug so your hand can show off the jewelry. (It also works as an iteration of pose number one; just bring your hands up to about shoulder height.) This makes for a great “detail shot” if your photographer gets an up-close photo of your hand.

    ,couples poses big hugAlina Rudya/Bell Collective/Getty Images

    3. The Big Hug

    Self-explanatory, right? Just hug each other. It’s guaranteed to bring a fit of giggles that will showcase a natural joy in front of the camera.

    ,couples poses the notebook kissMaryna Terletska/Getty Images

    4. The Notebook

    OK, you know the scene I’m talking about: Noah and Allie in the rain sharing a passionate kiss. If PDA isn’t your thing, don’t worry. You can still take a page from the lovebirds. Just bring your hand up to your partner’s jawline and eskimo kiss.

    ,couples poses: african american man lifts up african american woman and swings her around in their living roomMaskot/Getty Images

    5. The Fairytale

    Whether it’s a princess movie or a rom-com, I’ve sure you’ve seen it somewhere. (Oftentimes) it’s the girl running to the guy, and he sweeps her into his arms and spins her around. As illustrated above, you can do this from the “face to face” base pose. My tip: When lifting your partner, scoop them up from under their bottom. It’ll be more comfortable for them than if you grab the middle of their spine, and easier for you to hold them up. Don’t be afraid to do a couple practice runs before the shutter fires.

    ,

    2. Friendly Bisection

    ,

    • Get into base pose: Have your partner face the camera straight on. Stand next to them so that your belly button meets their hip bone (or that general area). Your chest should be angled towards them.

    ,couples poses hanging onLordn/Getty Images

    1. Just Hangin’ On

    Once in the “base pose,” this variation can go two ways. First, one partner can lean on the other and drape their arms over them. Or one partner can stand facing the camera with their hands in their pockets, while the other partner holds onto their arm.

    ,couples poses tent flapAlina Rudya/Bell Collective/Getty Images

    2. The Tent Flap

    If one partner is taller than the other, you can try the “tent flap.” The taller of the two will simply drape their arm over the shorter partner.

    ,couples poses chest sandwichMoMo Productions/Getty Images

    3. The Chest Sandwich

    Most people have probably done this at least once, and if you haven’t, you’ve seen other people do it. From the base pose, one partner puts their hand on the other’s chest. Variation comes with the heads: Look at each other, look at the camera or one partner can put their head on the other’s shoulder.

    ,couples poses: guy and gal embrace on the beachKlaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

    4. The Side Hug

    From the base pose, the partner who is standing slightly behind the other can lean over to give them a hug.

    ,couples poses kissThanasis Zovoilis/Getty Images

    5. The Kiss

    Who kisses who is up to you. Share it or one can give the other a sweet little peck on the cheek.

    ,

    3. The Backwards V

    ,

    • Get into base pose: Stand shoulder-to-shoulder with your partner facing away from the camera. Then, turn your feet slightly away from each other, so that each pair forms one of the arms of the “V.”

    ,couples poses temple to templeGuido Mieth/Getty Images

    1. Temple to Temple

    Once you’re in the base pose, turn in towards each other and the camera, so that your temples are touching.

    ,couples poses backwards hugThomas Barwick/Getty Images

    2. The Backwards Hug

    Just as it sounds. Put your arms around each other and turn in towards each other, looking over your shoulder towards the camera. You can also play around with more candid gestures, as shown above.

    ,couples poses nose to templeKlaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

    3. Nose to Temple

    Also pretty self-explanatory. This pose works well if the taller partner puts their nose to the shorter partner’s temple, while the latter looks at the camera.

    ,couples poses peck on the cheekAlina Rudya/Bell Collective/Getty Images

    4. Peck on the Cheek

    This pose is a natural segue from the previous one. Go ahead and give them a little smack on the cheek.

    ,couples poses backwards v kissMaskot/Getty Images

    5. The Kiss

    …And let pose number four evolve into this.

    ,

    4. The Bear Hug

    ,

    • Get into base pose: Stand facing the camera with your partner behind you. (This pose works best if there is some height difference.) Have your partner hug you over the shoulders and lean you both forwards towards the camera, *almostas if you were about to bend down to give them a piggy-back ride.

    ,couples poses: lesbian couple hugs and one woman gives the other a kiss on the cheekNicolas Fuentes/500px/Getty Images

    1. Look into Their Eyes

    The partner in front who is getting bear hugged just turns their neck to look at their partner.

    ,couples poses eskimosHalfpoint Images/Getty Images

    2. Eskimos

    And once you’re in that position, touch noses.

    ,couples poses mug for the cameraCarlos Barquero/Getty Images

    3. Mug for the Camera

    Alternately, you can both just smile at the camera. This comes off most natural if the person doing the hugging “surprises” their partner, so the photographer can capture a candid reaction.

    ,couples poses nose to temple 8219aaMaskot/Getty Images

    4. Nose to Temple

    Either partner can do this while the other looks at the camera. Other places to direct your gaze: the sky, the ground or over your shoulder.

    ,couples poses: a groom gives his bride a ppiggy back rideKlaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

    5. The Sneak Attack

    Similar to pose number three, the sneak attack involves one partner coming up and hugging the other from behind without warning. This will usually produce natural smiles, laughs and gestures that look fun.

    ,

    5. Sit Down

    ,

    • Get into base pose: It doesn’t get simpler than this. Just sit! If your torsos are similar heights, then have one partner sit either higher or lower to create visual interest.

    ,couples poses 5050Oleg Breslavtsev/Getty Images

    1. The 50/50

    Ever wondered why every Vanity Fair group photo looks legendary? It’s because the photographers use levels, or the strategy of having their subjects do a combination of sitting, standing and leaning. The goal is to have people at different heights create shapes in the overall photo that direct the eye towards through the image. In your next photo, try having your partner sit while you stand (or vice versa). If you both prefer to sit, use props to stagger your levels. For example. if you’re sitting on stairs, sit on different ones.

    ,couples poses cleopatraKlaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

    2. The Cleopatra

    I call this the Cleopatra because I just imagine the queen reclining on a lounge chair while someone fans her with a palm leaf. Essentially, one partner sits while the other reclines diagonally.

    ,couples poses: asian couple eating breakfast. the woman is leaning her head on the man's shoulderIsrael Sebastian/Getty Images

    3. Lean on Me

    If you sit side-by-side, one of you can lean on the other person’s shoulder. This should produce some candid interaction and smiles, while also incorporating levels.

    ,couples poses friendly bisection sittingAlina Rudya/Bell Collective/Getty Images

    4. Friendly Bisection: Sitting Edition

    Similar to the other base pose, one partner can tuck themselves slightly behind the other while you’re both sitting down.

    ,couples poses laying downIppei Naoi/Getty Images

    5. Lay Down

    Or skip sitting upright altogether. You can lay down side-by-side and touch noses. Or, each person can lay on the ground on their back in opposite directions. From there, rest your head on the other person’s shoulder (as shown above).

    ,

    6. Get Moving

    ,

    • Get into base pose: The base pose will depend on the motion you’re doing. Keep in mind that many of the arm/hand/leg/etc. placements previously discussed can be employed here.

    ,couples poses walkingraquel arocena torres/Getty Images

    1. Take a Walk

    My pro tip for great walking photos that don’t make your feet look awkward is to pretend that you’re walking on a tightrope and do it slowly. Trust me, your legs will look great and elegant.

    ,couples poses: older couple dancing in the streets of a european cityJanina Steinmetz/Getty Images

    2. Dance

    Natural, fun, relaxing and sure to produce genuine smiles.

    ,couples poses swimMartin Puddy/Getty Images

    3. Swim

    At the pool or the beach? Get wet. Go swimming, splash, throw someone into the pool, ride your floaties together. Make use of the endless props.

    ,couples poses playKlaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

    4. Play

    Bring out your inner child. Bounce on a trampoline. Go roller skating. Just have fun while your photographer uses burst mode on your phone camera.

    ,couples poses cookHinterhaus Productions/Getty Images

    5. Cook

    OK, if you’re not much of a chef, the real theme of this posing strategy is to find an activity to do together that occupies your hands and allows you to interact naturally. Sip your milkshakes in unison. Read your books side-by-side. Play chess.

    ,

    Gen Z Is Begging Millennials to Stop “Teapot Posing”

    3 Steps to a Sheer, Fresh Base (That Looks Effortless)

    3 Steps to a Sheer, Fresh Base (That Looks Effortless)

    laura mercier beige ultimae pyt no bs paletteWaiting on spring!

    It’s always kinda amusing to me when I watch a tutorial for “skin that looks like skin,” or “effortless foundation,” and it involves, like, 12 steps to get there!

    I know, I know! It comes with the territory of doing makeup. But still. ?

    Admittedly, I’m guilty of over-complicating makeup on occasion (*coughsorry! *cough*), but sometimes I really do just want easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy, and this three-step process to a sheer, fresh base is exactly that.

    The goal here? A low-effort base that looks natural and polished, with a few areas of strategically placed slightly dewy (but not shiny) finish peeking through. Please bear in mind that this type of base will not completely cover everything. Yes, we’re purposefully letting lots of actual skin show.

    You’ll need…

    Three is the magic number here, starting with how much time you’ll need.

    About three minutes.

    Also, you’ll need the following…

  • An opalescent, low-shimmer highlighting lotion, ideally one without any bits of glitter in it
  • A sheer-to-medium-coverage stick or cream foundation that works for your skin type and tone
  • A synthetic blending brush
  • The step-by-step

  • First, dab a few dots of the pearly lotion all over your face, and blend. I like to include a few dots beneath my eyes to lift and brighten that area. After blending all of your dots, wait about a minute for your pearly lotion set.
  • Apply the foundation you selected wherever you want the highest coverage. Gently press and blend it in with clean fingers (ideally, your fingers should be warm for this, and not freezing cold like my fingers get sometimes). I typically do my cheeks, underneath my nose, around my mouth, and in the center of my forehead. This should take just about another minute.
  • Gently diffuse the edges of your foundation with the blending brush, seamlessly blending the foundation into your natural skin. The trick is to not lift off and remove too much product here. That is, you do want some coverage, after all, so use a light touch.
    • Optional: dab some concealer under your eyes, and I’d suggest something sheer because a full-coverage concealer will look disjointed alongside such a sheer base.
    • Additional optional step: set your foundation with a sheer powder (I usually skip this step).

    Here’s a closeup of the base! As you can see, there are a few freckles on my nose and a few places where a little pigmentation is peeking through above my upper lip and on my cheeks, which I’m totally cool with. Like I said, this is the type of makeup that isn’t meant to fully conceal everything.

    laura mercier beige intime pyt no bs palette closeupWell, hi there!
    Fresh skin, olive lids and rosy beige cheeks and lipsSee the freckles on my nose?

    What to pair this base with

    If you want to keep it casual and underdress this base, you could pair it with a combination of brow gel, mascara and eyeliner, but for a little extra polish, you could dress it up like I did here by pairing it with something like a cool-toned olive and taupe on the lids, a matte rosy blush on the cheeks and a light pinkish brown lipstick.

    laura mercier beige intime pyt no bs palette swatchesSwatches of the key eye, cheek and lip products
    laura mercier beige intime pyt no bs palette productsFeatured products I’m wearing on my eyes, cheeks and lips

    Product links

    What I’m wearing

    • MAC Strobe Cream in Pinklight
    • MAC Studio Fix Soft Matte Foundation in NC42
    • PYT No BS Palette in Cool
    • Chanel Espresso eyeliner
    • Laura Mercier Rose blush
    • Laura Mercier Beige Intime lipstick
    • Lancome Lash Idole mascara
    • Urban Decay Brow Blade in Dark Drapes
    • MAC Clear brow gel

    Additional pearly/low-shimmer highlighting lotion options

    • Similar | BECCA Backlight Primer
    • Similar for less | L’Oréal Studio Secrets Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer

    Additional stick or cream foundation options:

    • Similar cream, in a pan | Kjaer Weis Cream Foundation
    • Similar cream, in a stick | Hourglass Vanish
    • Similar cream stick foundation for less | Maybelline Super Stay Multi-Use Foundation Sticks (you might have better luck with it than I do)
    • Similar cream in a pan for less | Honest Beauty Everything Cream Foundation

    Synthetic blending brush options:

    • I used | Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
    • Similar | The Hourglass Foundation/Blush Brush No. 2
    • Similar for less | e.l.f Selfie Foundation Brush

    Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

    Karen

    P.S. Happy Tuesday! ?

    There are 12 comments on this post. Leave yours.

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    Reader Interactions

    Comments

  • Efra says

    February 9th, 2021 at 10:53 am

    I really love the fact that you gave a lot of options to get this base.

    I do have the MAC stick but for me is almost impossible to get more than medium coverage from it, so most of the time I use it all over to get everything a little even.

    And about the pearly lotion, it’s funny I have one that is straight of shimmer but in lotion form, but I discovered that when I mixed with a matte foundation/tinted moisturizer (that sets fast) in a 2:1 ratio I get a “similar” result to Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter.

    Reply

    • Karen says

      February 9th, 2021 at 11:16 am

      I really enjoy that Charlotte Tilbury base but yeah, it’s pricey! Glad you were able to find a similar dupe. 🙂

      Reply

  • Tatiana says

    February 9th, 2021 at 11:46 am

    I love, love, love this look! So fresh, so sophisticated, yet not over done.
    My favorite glow primer that has been discontinued is the Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base. Sigh.
    I use the e.l.f. foundation brush and love it. For around $5 it works great!
    I need to check out that LM blush and lipstick. Although I’m afraid the lipstick will pull too brown on me.

    Reply

    • Karen says

      February 9th, 2021 at 1:15 pm

      This is my favorite type of makeup to wear as of late. Just a little something-something but not too much!

      BTW the LM blush is super great. Sheer enough to not be in your face but still enough color to have some pop.

      How’s your day going, btw? I just finished doing a Zoom meeting with Connor’s kindergarten teacher for next year. ? I can’t believe she’s going to be 5 soon.

      Reply

  • Tatiana says

    February 9th, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    For my base I’ve been alternating between MAC Face and Body, Koh Gen Doh and Surratt Dew Drops, all applied judiciously.
    When it comes to blush, I like sheer. I’m so fair, that if I don’t apply blush lightly I look like a clown or a kid getting into mom’s makeup at dress up time.
    Having a good day. Did a Zoom ballet class with SF Ballet, went to the farmers’ market (never know where to put the apostrophe in that one) and did some grocery shopping for my trainer who’s feeling under the weather.
    Yeah for Connor turning 5 soon! I felt like between 5 and when the hormones hit was the sweet spot. Articulate enough to tell you their needs, getting a handle on their emotions so there aren’t as many tantrums and fits and curiosity to no ends. You can almost see their brains growing as they soak up all the knowledge the world has to offer. I hope you enjoy the next 6 to 8 years!

    Reply

    • Karen says

      February 10th, 2021 at 7:54 am

      Love, love, LOVE Face and Body. It’s such an old school fave. I think I’ll bust it out today.

      Re blush: I think I need to start a Laura Mercier blush collection. GAH!!!

      What did you get at the farmer’s market? I’ve been craving veggies lately.

      Also… I’m excited but terrified for the next few years. So far it’s been relatively easy in terms of navigating the world because hers is so small. When the issues become bigger and more complex I just hope I’ll be able to handle whatever comes up with enough grace to not traumatize her.

      Happy Wednesday to you. Looks like it’s going to be a sunny day!

      Reply

      • Tatiana says

        February 10th, 2021 at 9:08 am

        I really want to see the LM blushes in person before I choose. I’ve been returning so many color products to Sephora lately.
        Baby bok choy, broccoli, onions, garlic, arugula, baby greens salad mix, Sumo tangerines (so sweet and juicy!), apples, blueberries, bread, milk, eggs, cheese. The usual suspects for me. Gonna make a broccoli frittata and a salad for dinner tonight.
        Give yourself credit. It is obvious you have raised Connor with much love. I don’t expect anything to change. Like I said, you’re in the sweet spot of child rearing. The issues that come up now will seem huge to Connor but you will handle them well. Sometimes just being there and hugging and holding is enough. You’re doing a great job! You’ve got this!

        Reply

  • Sarah Lowes says

    February 10th, 2021 at 4:33 am

    I’m worried that a highlighting/shimmer lotion will show up every wrinkle on my fair skin like highlighter powder does?

    Other than that, I really liked this tutorial, the eyeshadow colours and lipstick would all work on me and I’m a fair skinned blonde!

    Reply

    • Karen says

      February 10th, 2021 at 7:15 am

      The trick is to find a lotion with a pearly finish, rather than straight up shimmer! MAC Strobe Cream and BECCA Backlight are great for this!

      Reply

  • Chelsea says

    February 11th, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    I love all the options to get the look! Your skin looks amazing.

    Reply

    • Karen says

      February 11th, 2021 at 7:02 pm

      Thank you, Chelsea! 🙂

      Reply

  • Anne says

    February 12th, 2021 at 8:53 am

    I am much more into these barely there bases lately, but still can´t go without anything. There is just too much leftover scars and pigmentation for me to feel comfortable, but I will give your way of application a go.

    Reply

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    Skincare Tips for Black Women, According to Experts

    skin care for black womenLaylaBird/Getty Images,

    We’ve all heard the popular adage: “Black don’t crack.” And we’ve seen enough stunning photos of Angela Bassett (65?!) to know there’s some truth to the saying. But we’re curious about what gives darker-pigmented skin its youthful glow, so we spoke with a panel of experts to find out.

    ,

    Meet the Experts

    • Dr. Alexis Stephens is a board-certified dermatologist based in Florida. She’s also the founder and CEO of Parkland Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery.
    • Dr. Camille Howard-Verović is double board-certified in Family Medicine and Dermatology, with a unique background in osteopathic medicine. She is also the co-founder of Girl Hair and a skin partner with Ulta Beauty.
    • Rosemarie Ingleton is a board-certified dermatologist with over two decades of experience, specializing in cosmetic dermatology. Ingleton is also the medical director of Ingleton Dermatology P.C. and the founder of the ROSE Ingleton MD Skincare line. 
    • Whitney Bowe is a board-certified dermatologist and scientist based in New York, as well as the founder and CEO of DWB Beauty.

    According to Dr. Stephens, that natural glow comes from melanin—the natural substance that gives skin its color. She explained, “Melanin is a true MVP. It’s a natural antioxidant and protectant. Melanin absorbs and scatters energy from UV and visible light to protect the epidermal cells from damage. It also works as an antioxidant by neutralizing free radicals and working as a barrier for your skin.”

    ,skin care for black women 1jacoblund/Getty Images

    Another major plus? Melanin prevents aging by protecting the skin cells’ DNA. Stephens added, “Being melanin-rich definitely keeps your skin looking younger longer. Melanin also strengthens your skin by protecting the cells that produce collagen, and the more collagen you have, the stronger your skin will be.”

    So, does this mean that Black women can scale back when it comes to their skincare routine? According to Dr. Camille Howard-Verović, a board-certified dermatologist and the co-founder of Girl Hair, definitely not. She told us, “While the phrase celebrates the youthful appearance of Black individuals, it can [undermine] the importance of skincare and regular dermatological care. Everyone can benefit from proper skincare practices, even Black women.”

    While there are common, universal tips that apply to people of all shades, we can’t ignore the unique needs of melanin-rich skin.  Keep reading for five expert-approved skincare rules that Black women should follow.

    ,

    Skincare Rules Every Black Girl Should Follow

    ,skin care for black women vitamin cbrizmaker/Getty

    1.  Add Vitamin C to Your Skincare Routine

    According to a study conducted by Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, deeper skin tones are more prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and melasma. When the skin gets inflamed from acne, it triggers the release of more melanin, leading to dark spots. And getting a lot of sun exposure can exacerbate the problem by making those spots even darker. Fortunately, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help with discoloration and reduce inflammation. 

    As Whitney Bowe previously told us, “Vitamin C can prevent the overproduction of melanin in your skin, which manifests in several different ways depending on the triggers. Most commonly, it shows up as PIH or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which are marks leftover from acne, melasma, which is usually hormonal, or lentigos (aka sunspots) caused by overexposure to the sun.”

    ,

    Shop Vitamin C Serums

    La Roche-Posay Vitamin C Face Serum

    serum 1$45Buy Now

    Buttah Vitamin C Serum

    serum 2$43Buy NowMore Products,skin care for black women sunscreenMeeko Media/Getty Images

    2. Don’t Skip Sunscreen

    Since people with darker skin tones produce more melanin, they already have some natural protection from the sun. “Those with deeper skin tones like myself actually have a built-in SPF of 13, whereas someone with fairer skin has a built-in SPF of three, which is why those with deeper skin tones are less susceptible to photodamage,” explains Dr. Stephens. “However, while melanin is magic, it’s not invincible. You still need to wear sunscreen [of at least 30] daily. SPF 13 is not enough to protect you from the harmful UV rays.”

    ,

    Shop Sunscreens

    Black Girl Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Spf 30

    sunscreen 1$16Buy Now

    Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen Spf 40

    sunscreen 3$38Buy NowMore Products,skin care for black women cleanserLaylaBird/Getty Images

    3. Avoid Harsh Scrubs 

    Did you know that darker skin is more prone to acne because of its thickness? And get this: Rigorously scrubbing your skin could make acne (and other skin conditions) worse.

    Ingleton told Oprah Daily, “I’ve come to realize that some of my patients think that they can scrub off their acne, dark spots, and unevenness. In reality, physical exfoliation—manually sloughing away dead skin cells via formulas with granules or abrasive pads—is too harsh. In fact, it can even make skin conditions worse. To be clear, I see this tendency in all my patients, no matter their skin color, but the damage is more apparent in melanin-rich skin.” 

    So, what’s the most effective way to exfoliate? Ingleton suggests using a chemical, granule-free formula.

    ,

    Shop Exfoliating Cleansers

    Neostrata Resurface Foaming Glycolic Wash

    cleanser 1$40; $28Buy Now

    Dermalogica Daily Glycolic Cleanser

    cleanser 2$38Buy NowMore Products,skin care for black women moisturizerLumiNola/Getty Images

    4. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

    If you’ve ever looked down at your hands and grimaced at the sight of ashy white knuckles, you’re not alone. Per The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, it turns out that Black skin is more prone to dryness than lighter skin tones. This is because individuals with darker skin have a thicker Stratum Corneum, which is the outer layer of the skin. While this has its benefits (like more sun protection), this also makes it more difficult for melanin-rich skin to retain moisture.

    Additionally, darker skin typically produces less sebum, a natural oil that’s meant to keep your skin lubricated. To combat the dryness, use moisturizers that are packed with hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid and ceramides.

    ,

    Shop Moisturizers

    CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion

    moisturizer 1$15; $13Buy Now

    Eucerin Advanced Repair Lotion

    moisturizer 2$13; $11Buy NowMore Products,skin care for black women derm 1andresr/Getty Images

    5. Choose the Right Dermatologist

    In other words, look for a dermatologist who’s knowledgeable about skin of color and has plenty of experience working with darker skin tones—especially if you’re looking to get an invasive procedure, like laser resurfacing or chemical peels. Per Oprah Daily, Ingleton said, “People with darker skin also have a higher risk of developing hyperpigmentation from intermediate and deep chemical peels. A good rule of thumb: Always ask your practitioner for before and after photos of patients with [a similar] skin tone [to yours], and whether the treatment you’re interested in has been tested on skin of color.”

    If you’re currently searching for a dermatologist, we highly recommend checking out the Skin of Color Society, an organization that has their own database of dermatologists who specialize in conditions that disproportionately impact BIPOC patients.

    Their official website reads, “[Our mission is] to promote awareness of and excellence within skin of color dermatology through research, education, mentorship and advocacy. We are committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in the field of dermatology to advance patient care.”

    RELATED

    The 20 Best Sunscreens for Dark Skin, According to Editors, Experts and Reviewers

    One Bronzy Mauve Eye Look, Two Lip Options

    One Bronzy Mauve Eye Look, Two Lip Options

    wander beauty wanderess escape palette mac dance with meOne bronzy mauve eye look, two lip options

    Looking for an easy eye makeup look that looks better than the bare minimum and works with a wide variety of lipstick colors? If you are, have I got an eye look for you! ? Check out this bronzy mauve…

    Yeah, yeah, who’s wearing lipstick these days? Well, I mean, I think a lot of us are. I was chatting with a few gals on Instagram (here’s me, BTW), and it turns out there are a lot of people out there spending a lot of time at home right now (no, really!?), parenting, surviving and hopefully thriving, in, like, full-on bright red lips because they simply miss wearing lipstick. So, before you put your hands on your hips, shake your finger at me and say, “Karen, everybody’s masked up, so lipstick is total and complete nonsense now!” I politely disagree.

    We’re still wearing lipstick, y’all. HEAR US ROAR! ?

    LOL!

    wander beauty wanderess escape palette eye lookA closeup of the eye look

    So, back to the eye makeup… Curl your lashes, fill in your brows, and grab the following:

    Key eye makeup products

  • A bronze cream shadow stick
  • A matte mauve powder shadow
  • A matte cool brown eyeshadow
  • A black or blackish brown pencil liner
  • A shimmery warm champagne shadow
  • Here’s what you do

  • Apply and blend the bronze cream shadow all over the part of your lid that moves when you blink (a.k.a. your mobile lid), as well as the crease, diffusing the shadow into a soft gradient as you move up toward your brows.
  • Layer the matte purplish mauve eyeshadow directly on top of the bronze cream shadow, first using a flat eyeshadow brush. Next, grab a clean tapered or domed blending brush, and soften out the edges. Now, if you want, run the brush along your lower lash line with however much product remains on the brush.
  • Next, line your lash lines with the black or brownish black pencil. Then, load a pencil brush with the dark cool brown shadow, and soften the liner by running the tip of the brush along the liner’s edge.
  • Dab a touch of the shimmery warm champagne into the inner corners…
  • And finish with mascara, false lashes and a shot of tequila (kidding).
  • If you want, you can also do the following

  • Optional step 1: Tightline your waterline. Side note — I *alwaysdo this! Makes my lashes look thicker. ?
  • Optional step 2: Blend some of the cool matte brown eyeshadow in the outer corner for more depth.
  • Two lip options

    I think this works with so many different lip colors because the balance between the warm bronzy shadow base and the cooler mauve and brown tones makes it suitable to wear with neutral, cool and warm lipsticks. I’ve paired it here with a neutral rosy brown lipstick and a warm cranberry red lipstick to give you two options; I also think this look would be great with dark brown, wine or brick shades.

    wander beauty wanderess escape palette mac dance with meThe eye makeup with warm cranberry red lipstick
    wander beauty wanderess escape palette laura mercier beige intimeSame eyes, but now with a rosy brown lipstick (t-shirt: Mascara & Kitties)

    Product links

    What I’m wearing

    • Laura Mercier Burnished Bronze cream shadow
    • Wander Beauty Escape Palette (Enchanted, Overnight and Moonlit shades)
    • Chanel Noir Intense Eyeliner
    • Laura Mercier Soleil 1 Bronzer
    • Laura Mercier Rose blush
    • Laura Mercier Beige Intime Lipstick
    • MAC Dance With Me Liquid Lipstick
    • MAC Studio Fix Soft Matte Stick Foundation in NC42
    • Urban Decay Brow Blade in Dark Drapes
    • Lancôme Idole Lash Mascara
    • Estée Lauder Double Wear Instant Fix Concealer in Medium Deep
    wander beauty wanderess escape palette laura mercier beige intime mac dance with meSwatches!

    Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

    Karen

    There are 7 comments on this post. Leave yours.

    The products in this entry were provided by the manufacturer for consideration. For information about my posting policy, please see my Disclaimer.

    Previous Post: This or That: The Valentine’s EditionNext Post: Try These 3 Bangin’ Bold Red Liquid Lipsticks

    Reader Interactions

    Comments

  • Tatiana says

    February 11th, 2021 at 2:38 pm

    Another great look! You really inspire me to up my shadow game. I love MAC Dance With Me on you! On me it goes bright fuchsia. I need to dig through my collection and see if I have any similar colors.
    I saw this and I started shopping on-line and then I said to myself, “Wait, you already have plenty of shadows. Look for dupes in zee collection” Haha.

    Reply

    • Karen says

      February 11th, 2021 at 2:41 pm

      Ooh, I love that it’s a bright fuchsia on you! I wonder if I can make that happen, hmm…

      And yes, yes, yes to shopping your stash. I’ve been doing that a lot lately and it is SO satisfying. 🙂

      Drizzling up here currently! Hopefully the rain will make its way down to you, too.

      Reply

      • Tatiana says

        February 11th, 2021 at 4:00 pm

        Lots of lipsticks go bright fuchsia on me. It’s either my chemistry or my blueish mauve lips and pale skin.
        The temptation to buy more makeup is always there. But this months credit card bill had a credit and it felt good to not have to pay anything. And Dear Husband was super happy to boot. I guess the one positive thing with this pandemic is the realization that I don’t need to have so much stuff. And for the most part I’ve enjoyed having Dear Husband around a lot more.
        Yes! I hear a few drops of rain pinging on the chimney cap! Hopefully it will pick up and soak the ground a bit.

        Reply

        • Karen says

          February 11th, 2021 at 7:02 pm

          I’ve had the same realization, too. There’s always something bright and shiny, and yes, it’s fun to find something new to love, but it’s also a relief to know that I don’t *needso much stuff. I started decluttering the house and the little bit that I have done feels like so much mental weight has been lifted.

          Reply

          • Tatiana says

            February 11th, 2021 at 8:20 pm

            There really is something freeing about decluttering. It really is like lifting a weight off.

  • Megan Nicole says

    February 12th, 2021 at 6:23 am

    Holy gorgeous subdued eye look! I can see myself wearing this on a special occasion, but I’m interested in your skin! It’s flawless! Have you shared your skincare regimen recently?

    Reply

  • Anne says

    February 12th, 2021 at 7:38 am

    I only wear lipstick when I am at home right now, at the office there is no point, it only get smeared around underneath the mask.

    Reply

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    The 15 Best Clarifying Shampoos of 2024

    a collage of best clarifying shampoos with blue backgroundMcKenzie Cordell/PureWow,

    In recent years, it’s become somewhat of an (albeit odd) bragging right to see how many days you can last before washing your hair. And whether that’s two days or five, the fact is most of us are shampooing less frequently, which can lead to dulling buildup on your scalp and strands. This is where a clarifying shampoo comes in. 

    ,

    What is a Clarifying Shampoo?

    A clarifying shampoo is formulated to remove stubborn buildup (think oils, silicones, dry shampoo, hair spray and even residual shampoo and conditioner) from your hair. It’s also used to lift the chlorine that’s left on hair after swimming and removes the mineral deposits that result from hard water. If you’re looking to implement a clarifying shampoo into your routine, we compiled a list of the best recommendations, straight from hairstylists and PureWow editors. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly pick like Andalou, a salon-worthy find like Christophe Robin or our overall pick (ahem, Bumble and bumble), keep reading to find the right clarifying shampoo for you. 

    ,

    The Best Clarifying Shampoos at a Glance

    1

    Best Overall

    Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo

    read more

    $32 at sephora2

    Best for Natural Hair

    Mizani Moisture Fusion Gentle Clarifying Shampoo

    read more

    $31 at amazon 3

    Best for Dull Hair

    Olaplex No 4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo

    read more

    $30 At Amazon4

    Best Scrub

    Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal Coconut Oil Scalp Scrub Shampoo

    read more

    $40 At Amazon5

    Best for Oily Scalp

    Oribe The Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo

    read more

    $49 At Sephora

    Show More

    ,

    Meet the Experts

    • Dr. Marisa Garshick is a board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology in New York. She’s also an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Cornell New York Presbyterian Medical Center. She specializes in cosmetic and medical services including treatments for acne, psoriasis, skin cancer, wrinkles and more.
    • Dr. Isfahan Chambers-Harris is a trichologist and the founder of Alodia. She has a bachelor of science degree in Biology and a Ph.D in Bio-Medical Sciences. She uses her science background and her personal hair journey to develop her own haircare brand.
    • Shab Caspara is a hairstylist and a trained trichologist based in New York. She has over a decade of experience as an expert on hair and scalp health, trends and haircare. She’s also the founder of Leona, a haircare brand that offers personalized products, devices and solutions based on your hair concerns and needs.

    ,

    How We Chose the Best Clarifying Shampoos

    We asked our editors for their top recommendations and their honest opinions on products they’ve tried and tested. We also tapped hairstylists, dermatologists and trichologists, who shared the clarifying shampoos they love to use on their clients. After reaching out to our experts and editors, we dug deeper into each shampoo’s key ingredients and benefits. From there, we categorized each one to fit specific hair types and needs, so it would be easier for our readers to find the right formula for them. Keep reading to find the 15 best clarifying shampoos. 

    ,best clarifying shampoo bumble and bumbleSephora

    Best Overall

    1. Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo

    What We Like

    • has a rich lather
    • great for oily scalps

    What We Don't Like

    • pricey
    • may feel drying for some hair types

    Bumble and Bumble

    If you have the type of hair that falls flat within hours of stepping out of the shower, consider this part of your new Sunday ritual. Shoppers claim this deep cleansing formula lifts away excess oils and mineral build up swiftly. The rosemary leaf extract supports scalp health, while sage cleanses the shaft of each strand. “[This is an] absolutely fantastic clarifying shampoo for someone with a very oily scalp! It cleans everything off my hair, gives me a little boost in volume in the days after I’ve used it and [it] doesn’t irritate my scalp,” says one Sephora reviewer. 

    Fast Facts

    • Ingredients: ginseng root, rosemary leaf extract, sage leaf extract
    • Scent: cassis, cyclamen, mint leaf
    • Sulfate-Free?: Y

    $32 at sephora$34 at ulta,best clarifying shampoo mizaniAmazon

    Best for Natural Hair

    2. Mizani Moisture Fusion Gentle Clarifying Shampoo

    What We Like

    • hydrating ingredients
    • has a rich lather
    • great for curly and coily hair

    What We Don't Like

    • strong scent

    Mizani

    If you have a coarser texture, this clarifying shampoo should be on your radar. Formulated with charcoal and coconut oil, the gentle formula works to get rid of product buildup and impurities without drying out your strands. “I love that it gets the job done without completely stripping my hair and scalp of its natural oils. As an added bonus, it doubles as a deep-moisturizing treatment and leaves my hair feeling so soft and shiny,” says Nakeisha Campbell, associate editor of News and Entertainment at PureWow. 

    Fast Facts

    • Ingredients: charcoal, coconut oil
    • Scent: mandarin, lavender, peony, jasmine, sandalwood, amber
    • Sulfate-Free?: N

    $31 at amazon $31 at sephora,best clarifying shampoo olaplexAmazon

    Best for Dull Hair

    3. Olaplex No. 4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo

    What We Like

    • safe for color-treated hair
    • improves shine and softness

    What We Don't Like

    • can feel drying for some hair types

    Olaplex

    With over 1,000 5-star reviews, this clarifying shampoo removes everything from product buildup to heavy metals, while adding softness and shine back to locks. The formula features bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, a molecule that’s specifically designed to repair broken bonds for stronger strands. “This is my go-to shampoo! I love it because it really gets all the gunk and ick out that you don’t see but you know is there (because where else would it go?) My scalp feels totally refreshed [after shampooing], with no dandruff in sight,” says Destinee Scott, assistant sales and deals editor at PureWow. 

    Fast Facts

    • Ingredients: bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate
    • Scent: minty
    • Sulfate-Free?: Y

    $30 At Amazon$30 at sephora,best clarifying shampoo briogeoAmazon

    Best Scrub

    4. Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal Coconut Oil Scalp Scrub Shampoo

    What We Like

    • safe for color-treated hair
    • great for all hair types
    • soothes scalp

    What We Don't Like

    • can feel heavy on some hair types
    • pricey

    Briogeo

    Part scalp scrub, part shampoo, this pick from Briogeo gets a stamp of approval from me. I love how it lifts and removes stubborn dirt, oil and buildup from my scalp. As someone with a very oily scalp that’s prone to flakes and itching, this scrub is a nice addition to my wash routine. It has binchotan charcoal to detoxify and draw out impurities, as well as coconut oil to moisturize the scalp and prevent dryness. Plus, the oil blend of peppermint, spearmint and tea tree oil, offers a cooling sensation that soothes my scalp and reduces any itchiness on the spot. 

    Fast Facts

    • Ingredients: binochotan charcoal, coconut oil, peppermint oil, spearmint oil, tea tree oil
    • Scent: minty
    • Sulfate-Free?: Y

    $40 At Amazon$42 at sephora,best clarifying shampoo oribeSephora

    Best for Oily Scalp

    5. Oribe The Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo

    What We Like

    • safe for color-treated hair
    • pleasant scent
    • gentle cleanse

    What We Don't Like

    • finicky bottle
    • pricey

    Oribe

    Dr. Garshick recommends this clarifying shampoo for all hair types and textures, but especially those with oily scalps. It’s formulated with volcanic ash to gently exfoliate the scalp and green tea extract to strengthen and protect your hair against damage. As Dr. Garshick shares, “This shampoo works to increase shine, while helping to purify and deeply cleanse the scalp without stripping away natural oils or leaving the scalp feeling dry or irritated.”

    Fast Facts

    • Ingredients: volcanic ash, green tea extract
    • Scent: bergamot, jasmine, sandalwood
    • Sulfate-Free?: Y

    $49 At Sephora$49 at dermstore,best clarifying shampoo virtueAmazon

    Best for Damaged Hair

    6. Virtue Purifying Shampoo

    What We Like

    • safe for color-treated and chemically-treated hair
    • improves softness
    • pleasant scent

    What We Don't Like

    • not ideal for fine hair
    • doesn’t provide a rich lather

    Virtue

    Are you dealing with weak and brittle strands? This purifying shampoo, which aims to remove residue and repair damaged tresses, can help. Dr. Garshick recommends this shampoo for its key ingredient, Alpha Keratin 60ku, a protein that “repairs damage and offers a moisturizing effect to prevent dryness.” Along with charcoal powder, hops extract and a coconut blend, the formula claims to increase color vibrancy, reduce frizz and strengthen strands overtime. 

    Fast Facts

    • Ingredients: keratin, charcoal powder, hops extract, coconut
    • Scent: citrus, fresh, lemon, orange
    • Sulfate-Free?: Y

    $30 at amazon$32 at dermstore,best clarifying shampoo anadalouAmazon

    Best Budget

    7. Andalou Naturals Argan Stem Cell Shampoo

    What We Like

    • great for those with thinning hair
    • encourage healthy hair growth
    • gentle formula

    What We Don't Like

    • can be drying for some hair types

    Andalou

    Dr. Garshick also loves this shampoo for thin hair. According to the dermatologist, the sulfate-free formula helps “support the hair follicles, reduce breakage and nourish the hair and scalp. It also helps to deeply cleanse the scalp without leaving it dry.” It has argan oil, aloe vera and grape stem cells to strengthen and nourish strands, helping them appear fuller and healthier after every wash. 

    Fast Facts

    • Ingredients: argan oil, aloe vera, grape stem cells
    • Scent: fruity
    • Sulfate-Free?: Y

    $9 At Amazon$10; $7 At Andalou,best clarifying shampoo christophe robinDermstore

    Best Splurge

    8. Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub

    What We Like

    • great for sensitive scalps
    • pleasant scent
    • has a nice lather

    What We Don't Like

    • pricey
    • chunky texture

    Christophe Robin

    A favorite of the French and our editors, this sea salt scrub turns the rigmarole of shampooing into a spa-like experience. Massage a dollop onto your scalp to quell any itchiness and clear up flakes without causing any further irritation. The creamy lather spreads evenly across your head and rinses out easily. “The Christophe Robin scrub lathers really well and leaves my hair feeling so clean,” says Katherine Gillen, senior food editor at PureWow. 

    Fast Facts

    • Ingredients: sea salt
    • Scent: N/A
    • Sulfate-Free?: Y

    $53 At Dermstore$54 at nordstrom,best clarifying shampoo alodiaAlodia

    Best Gentle Formula

    9. Alodia Organic Black Soap Wash

    What We Like

    • great for natural hair
    • pleasant scent
    • Black-owned

    What We Don't Like

    • only can be found on their website

    Alodia

    Shoppers can’t stop raving about the natural ingredients in this soap wash. As Dr. Isfahan explains, “It’s made from natural organic and raw black soap, which acts as a natural clarifying agent without using harsh sulfates like most other clarifying shampoos. It cleanses the hair without over stripping and contains lavender, spearmint and plantain, which helps soothe and stimulate the scalp.” 

    Fast Facts

    • Ingredients: lavender oil, spearmint oil, cocoa butter, raw black soap
    • Scent: minty
    • Sulfate-Free?: Y

    $16 At Alodia,best clarifying shampoo its a 10Amazon

    Best for Itchy Scalp

    10. It’s a 10 Scalp Restore Miracle Charcoal Shampoo

    What We Like

    • soothes irritated scalp
    • great for tackling dandruff

    What We Don't Like

    • can by drying for some hair types

    It’s a 10

    No one enjoys having an irritated, flaky scalp, Luckily, this charcoal-based shampoo vows to cleanse, refresh and restore your locks. The rich blend of kaolin clay and charcoal removes excess oil, pollution and buildup without stripping away any natural oils and moisture. The formula also has seascalp, a biomarine ingredient known to reduce itchiness, flakes and greasiness. Caspara tells us she likes how it soothes, moisturizes and deeply cleanses her clients’ hair.

    Fast Facts

    • Ingredients: kaolin clay, carbon charcoal, seascalp
    • Scent: N/A
    • Sulfate-Free?: Y

    $26; $24 At Amazon$29 at ulta,best clarifying shampoo moroccanoilAmazon

    Best for Dry Hair

    11. Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

    What We Like

    • safe for color-treated hair
    • pleasant scent

    What We Don't Like

    • may feel drying for some hair types

    Moroccanoil

    If you fear that a clarifying shampoo will be too stripping for your already parched ends, we recommend giving this nourishing formula a whirl. Infused with argan oil, keratin and jojoba seed extract, it hydrates and strengthens strands while delivering a deep clean. “It made my hair super silky, soft. I have very damaged hair and it made my hair feel restored almost instantly,” shares one Sephora reviewer. 

    Fast Facts

    • Ingredients: argan oil, lavender, rosemary, chamomile, jojoba, keratin
    • Scent: N/A
    • Sulfate-Free?: Y

    $25 At Amazon$32 at ouai,best clarifying shampoo ouaiSephora

    Best for Buildup

    12. Ouai Detox Shampoo

    What We Like

    • lightweight formula
    • pleasant scent

    What We Don't Like

    • can be drying for some hair types
    • pricey

    Ouai

    With over 1,000 5-star reviews, this detox shampoo is praised by reviewers for its nourishing formula. It has apple cider vinegar to exfoliate and remove any residue, along with keratin to improve shine and softness. The viral sensation is also loved on TikTok, where shoppers are constantly showing off their clean and moisturized locks after using it. As one Sephora shopper shares: “I’ve been using the detox shampoo for over a year and whenever I run out, I can see the difference in my hair. It’s so much cleaner when I use it because it cleans out the buildup. It’s worth it and you won’t have to wash your hair every day, which is something I used to do.”

    Fast Facts

    • Ingredients: apple cider vinegar, keratin
    • Scent: bergamot, lychee, cedarwood, white musk
    • Sulfate-Free?: Y

    $32 at sephora,best clarifying shampoo patternUlta

    Best for Curly Hair

    13. Pattern Cleansing Shampoo

    What We Like

    • safe for color-treated hair
    • has a rich lather
    • Black-owned

    What We Don't Like

    • might feel drying for some hair types

    Pattern

    The catch-22 of caring for curly hair is that you want to regularly remove buildup to keep your curls springy, but you also don’t want to zap your strands of moisture, which can cause major frizz. Thankfully, this cult-favorite clarifier gets both jobs done using clean ingredients like matcha green tea, aloe vera and panthenol. “This made my hair feel SO clean without making it dry. I usually have a flaky scalp that gets oily really fast. I only wash my hair twice a week and I used this for the first time this week and what a difference it made. My curls are gorgeous and my hair feels like it just came out of the salon. Buy it. That’s my review. Just buy it,” says one Ulta shopper.

    Fast Facts

    • Ingredients: matcha green tea, aloe vera, panthenol
    • Scent: jasmine, bergamot, sweet sandalwood
    • Sulfate-Free?: Y

    $21 At Ulta$21 at sephora,best clarifying shampoo living roomUlta

    Best for Color-Treated Hair

    14. Living Proof Clarifying Detox Shampoo

    What We Like

    • has a nice lather
    • pleasant scent

    What We Don't Like

    • pricey

    Living Proof

    Clarifying shampoos may seem like a big no-no for color-treated locks, but this one by Living Proof will put those worries to rest. It has activated charcoal and a magnetic polymer to wash away any product buildup, heavy metals (caused by hard water) and impurities. The formula also promises to improve your color vibrancy, add shine and make hair more manageable. As one Ulta reviewer notes, “The formula is cleansing without being stripping and does a good job of leaving hair feeling lightweight and free from excess product. I really liked that it didn’t strip color from my hair, nor did it dry my hair out. It did a good job of cleansing and worked well for my once-a-week shampoo routine.”

    Fast Facts

    • Ingredients: magnetic polymer, charcoal
    • Scent: minty
    • Sulfate-Free?: Y

    $36 At Ulta$36 at sephora,best clarifying shampoo k18Amazon

    Best Clean

    15. K18 Peptide Prep Detox Shampoo

    What We Like

    • safe for color-treated hair
    • great for oily scalp
    • has clean ingredients

    What We Don't Like

    • might feel heavy for some hair types

    K18

    ICYMI: The brand behind the celebrity-loved K18 hair mask also has a detox shampoo. The formula has activated charcoal to absorb any excess oils and toxins, salicylic acid to clear up any buildup and peptides to protect and strengthen strands. For one Sephora shopper, the shampoo did wonders for their fine locks: “I have very fine oily hair that needs to be washed almost every day…and wow! I don’t remember a shampoo that made an impression on me. This made my scalp and hair SO CLEAN without drying my hair out. Absolutely love.”

    Fast Facts

    • Ingredients: activated charcoal, salicylic acid, peptides
    • Scent: clean citrus
    • Sulfate-Free?: N

    $38 At Amazon$38 at sephora,

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How to Choose the Right Clarifying Shampoo for You

    1. Identify key ingredients. A clarifying shampoo should contain hydrating ingredients like apple cider vinegar, charcoal and tea tree oil to deeply cleanse the scalp and nourish strands. “These ingredients can have soothing or antioxidant-rich properties and may contribute to a healthier scalp,” says Dr. Isfahan. “Some other important features to look out for are gentle, yet effective formulations, pH-balanced, and [shampoos that are] free of silicones and heavy ingredients, which can cause additional build up.”
    2. Address specific hair needs. As Dr. Isfahan notes, find shampoos that target your hair type and needs. Ask yourself, do I have an oily or dry scalp? What about flakes, itchiness or dandruff? These questions can help narrow down your search. 

    What Are the Benefits of Using a Clarifying Shampoo? 

    “Since most shampoos don’t provide the required cleansing capability to remove scalp residue due to excess sebum, product or environmental build-up (which can be necessary for healthy hair growth), clarifying shampoo [does this and it] allows your hair to expose its natural shine and increase the penetration and efficacy of your conditioner,” explains Caspara. 

    How Often Should You Use a Clarifying Shampoo?

    The experts say it all depends on your hair texture, lifestyle and styling routine. If you’re someone who regularly uses a lot of styling products or has a very oily scalp, you’ll want to use a clarifying shampoo once a week to cut through any buildup. But if you use styling products sparingly or have drier strands, you’ll want to limit your use of a clarifying shampoo to once or twice a month. As Dr. Garshick explains, a clarifying shampoo is so good at its job that it can be drying when used excessively. Regardless of how often you use a clarifying shampoo, always follow up with a conditioning treatment on the mid-lengths and ends of your hair to restore moisture.

    Is a Clarifying Shampoo *ActuallyGood for Hair?

    If you think clarifying shampoos are a gimmick, Dr. Garshick is here to put your skepticism to rest. “​​Clarifying shampoos can definitely be a helpful way to remove excess buildup. However, for individuals (prone to sensitivities or excessive flakes) where clarifying shampoos may not be the most effective, it’s best to see a board-certified dermatologist to determine if any additional treatments may be needed,” she says.

    Should All Hair Types Use a Clarifying Shampoo?

    According to Dr. Garshick, a clarifying shampoo works best for oily scalps or anyone who regularly deals with buildup and visible flakes. She adds, “Clarifying shampoos can be helpful for someone who experiences a lot of product buildup, excess oil, frequent exposure to chlorine or someone who doesn’t wash their frequently.” 

    On the flip side, the experts say that people with fine or thin hair and sensitive scalps should avoid using clarifying shampoos too frequently. “Clarifying shampoos have the ability to cleanse much deeper than a daily shampoo, so I would recommend that those with thinner, finer or damaged hair avoid using it on their ends, and instead, focus it on their roots to prevent drying out or further damaging their hair,” says Caspara. 

    As for color-treated hair? Our experts say that some clarifying shampoos can strip color and be too harsh on the scalp. However, there are formulas that are designed for color- and chemically-treated hair, which we made sure to include on this list. 

    , RELATED

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    Romantic Rose Tones With Brilliant Bronzed Browns

    Romantic Rose Tones With Brilliant Bronzed Browns

    mac chatterbox lmac chatterbox laura mercier roseaura mercier roseI like this palette of luscious golden browns and dainty, rosy pinks. ?

    OK, so, I wore this look yesterday, and doggone it — I felt good about my makeup. The pink blush and lipstick spoke to my soul… You can’t go wrong with springy, romantic rosy pinks. Methinks they’re downright therapeutic. Wearing pink in winter reminds me that we will see the sun again.

    mac chatterbox laura mercier roseJust a little makeup!

    I’ve been doing the bare minimum in terms of base for months, but I put a little more polish into this look, and I really like how it turned out.

    For starters, I mixed a dab of pearly lotion into a matte, medium-coverage foundation, then applied a thin layer with a skunk brush all over my face. Then, for slightly more coverage, I loaded a tiny, pointy-tipped concealer brush with the most minimal amount of concealer and strategically dabbed it where I have a little extra pigmentation (spots on my cheeks and around my mouth). And those couple extra things took my base makeup to the next level! Dare I say it? — an elegant level. 🙂

    mac chatterbox k down havanaSwatches of the key products on NC42 skin

    I felt like myself again for the first time in a while.

    Yeah…I was wearing lipstick around the house again, LOL! MAC Chatterbox is an awfully pretty, playful reddish pink, and it can be quite bold if you apply a layer straight from the tube. I was in the mood for something more mellow, so I blotted it down, then used my finger to push in whatever lipstick remained to create a beautiful rosy pink stain… I think it’s springy and cheerful, and I love it. MAC Chatterbox, man! Don’t sleep on it.

    Speaking of MAC, Powersurge eyeliner with Havana eyeshadow = magic. Layer Havana on top of Powersurge the next time you’re wearing warm browns or bronzes on your lids, and don’t forget to send me a thank you note when you’re done. ?

    mac chatterbox laura mercier rose 1MAC Havana eyeshadow Powersurge liner = magic!

    Makeup in this look

    • Base: It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation Skincare in Tan 41, Kevyn Aucoin Concealer in Medium 06, MAC Strobe Cream in Pinklite
    • Eyes:Urban Decay Brow Blade in Dark Drapes, MAC Saddle and Havana eyeshadows, MAC Powersurge pencil liner, Bite Beauty Upswing Mascara, MAC Clear Brow Gel
    • Cheeks and lips: Laura Mercier Soleil 1 Bronzer, Laura Mercier Rose Blush, MAC Chatterbox lipstick

    Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

    Karen

    There are 8 comments on this post. Leave yours.

    The products in this entry were provided by the manufacturer for consideration. For information about my posting policy, please see my Disclaimer.

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    Comments

  • Christine says

    February 3rd, 2021 at 10:41 am

    Karen, you make all shades of brown eyeshadow look amazing!! You must have just a touch more golden undertone in your skin than I have because any shade of brown just looks like dirt on my face, lol. I learned that my best “browns” are actually mauves! I love your hair these days, it looks diabolically gorgeous.

    Reply

  • Megan says

    February 3rd, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    Such a pretty, fresh look. And sidenote, your brows look amazing! Havana looks like it would be right up my ally. I love bronzy browns. Maybe a Valentine’s gift for myself.

    Reply

    • Karen says

      February 3rd, 2021 at 1:43 pm

      Thank you for the nice comment about my brows, Megan! I tried a new brow gel technique in this post, so hmmm, maybe I’ll post about that next!

      Oh, I think you should totally gift yourself Havana for Valentine’s Day. 🙂

      Reply

      • Megan says

        February 3rd, 2021 at 3:47 pm

        Yes! Would love to know about your new technique.

        Reply

  • Susan says

    February 3rd, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    Very pretty look! And I’ve been wearing lipstick around the house too, I miss putting it on every day.

    Reply

  • Chelsea says

    February 3rd, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    This eye look is so good! I love it.

    Reply

  • Sherry says

    February 3rd, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    I love MAC Chatterbox!! Such a happy color!! I need to go get some soon!!

    Reply

  • Kim says

    February 4th, 2021 at 9:12 am

    This is a beautiful look and I’m glad it made you feel happy, springy and more like yourself! 🙂 I went with the full face of makeup on Tuesday for a zoom meeting. OMG. The good was that I was so happy to put on blush again. But, I thought I’d try a Wander Beauty foundation sample to look a bit more polished with full coverage. What a disaster. It was Medium-Light, so not too dark for my skin but it was just not for me. I looked like a cakey-faced Oompa Loompa. I let it sit for a couple of hours. You know, so it could oxidize and look ever darker/worse. HAHA! I’ll just stick with the Tarte BB cream. 🙂

    Reply

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