How Makeup and Drag Helped Gottmik Understand His Trans Identity

Portrait of Gottmik in Malvern PA shot by Michelle Watt for Allure Magazines September 2021 IssuePhotographed by Michelle Watt. Gucci dress.

In 2021, Kade Gottlieb, better known by his stage name Gottmik, became the first trans man to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race — the Olympics for drag queens. (He took home the bronze.) Gottmik, a makeup artist, arrived in the competition's werkroom wearing clown-white foundation and villainously black lipstick. "Time to crash the cis-tem!" he sang. His talent for transformation borders on the otherworldly, like when he remade himself into Paris Hilton (a client) for a celebrity-impersonation challenge. (Other tricks include: Turning Lil Nas X into a note-perfect Nicki Minaj.) Allure joined the performer at a suburban stop on his victory tour across the United States. By the time you're reading this, he'll be packing for the European leg.

I went to Catholic school, where you're not allowed to wear makeup when you're younger. I remember being in fifth grade and trying so hard to sneak mascara or a little bit of eyeliner on and get away with it. I don't know if it was the fact that I couldn't wear it or if I was obsessed, but I just wanted to wear it so badly. Before I got into the artistry of makeup, I would take a gel liner and do raccoon eyes in all black with blue mascara. I was in that emo-kid phase and living for it.

Portrait of Gottmik in Malvern PA shot by Michelle Watt for Allure Magazines September 2021 Issue

Terrence Zhou dress. Manolo Blahnik shoes.

Michelle Watt

When we got to high school, me and my then-best friend started a makeup YouTube channel. This was in 2010 when YouTube was starting, so I don't even know how we got that idea. We thought everyone wanted to see us on our bathroom floors and watch us do really bad makeup. Then when I moved out to L.A., I just fell in love with drag queens. I thought, "This is such a fun way to express yourself and how you feel." It was my dream.

My passion for drag amplified my makeup passion. When I started getting into drag queens and watching their makeup tutorials, I knew I loved makeup and that I could draw, so I followed along. And I was kind of good at it, weirdly and randomly, so I just practiced every day and started meeting drag queens. The first drag look I ever did, I was trying to recreate Bianca Del Rio…. I always wanted to pick the biggest features ever. I did not know how to cover my eyebrows, but I was trying.

The process of finding my drag makeup [aesthetic] helped me realize my gender identity. I didn't even have the language to know I was transgender; I knew something was off. I was testing the waters of what I was comfortable with. I was not a huge fan of how I looked when I was done up in girly, girly, girly makeup, but I did love expressing my feminine self a little bit. So how do I make this drag? It was very confusing. Then, when I painted my face white for the first time, not only were the colors popping more, but I felt like this alien creature. And I was still able to make everything pretty in a way. It was game over. I never looked back with the white clown face.

portrait of drag queen gottmik for allure september 2021 issue

Terrence Zhou dress.

Michelle Watt. 

Going on RuPaul's Drag Race, my first thought was, "I'm a makeup queen. I am not about to get read by Michelle Visage." But when I started experimenting with skin-tone drag [makeup] and feeling pretty, it made me realize how far I'd come out of drag with my transition, and how I am more comfortable with that now. It allowed me to open up and realize I'm not just a makeup queen and that I have so much more [to offer] than that. I had grown so much as an artist without even realizing it. Makeup opened me up on the show and I'm excited to explore that more in the future. It’s definitely not my favorite [thing] in the world, but I do love a skin-tone moment every once in a while now. 

On a normal day, I use two colors, but if we're stuck on an island and I only can bring one, I'd bring a white Ben Nye Creme Stick Foundation. I love using a skin tone-ish one that has a pink undertone and highlight with the white so it gets a little dimension, which you barely even notice, but I do. Everyone asks me what my favorite black lipstick is, and I always use Hank & Henry's. It smells amazing.

I put a lot of effort into my makeup, so when it comes to products I truly don't care what it is, as long as I don’t have to touch it or move it. I'm so lazy after I've finished. The second I have to touch it up, I don't want to use it again. If I'm not feeling it, you will tell from my makeup. If I'm angry that day, you will tell from my makeup. 

Portrait of Gottmik in Malvern PA shot by Michelle Watt for Allure Magazines September 2021 Issue

Terrence Zhou dress. Manolo Blahnik shoes.

Michelle Watt

I've done a few solo campaigns since being on the show where I'm out of drag — a boy, shirtless, wearing eyeliner and an earring. And if you would've asked me in high school if that would have happened, that would have been a definite no. I'm just so proud of that. In every aspect of my life, I always say that if I'm too comfortable with some part of my art, it's time to move on because it's getting boring and repetitive. I need to keep pushing forward and pushing my limits to grow as a person and an artist. In the next 10 years, hopefully, I'll be something crazier than I've ever expected.

This story originally appeared in the September 2021 issue of Allure. Learn how to subscribe here.

Undereye Filler Makes Dark Circles Disappear, But Proceed With Caution

Photo of woman getting injected with filler in the undereye area on her face by a doctor wearing glovesGetty Images

Dark circles. Undereye bags. Raccoon eyes. No matter what you call the darkened area of thin skin right below the eyes — maybe due to genetics or a telltale sign of a lack of solid sleep — that everyone (literally everyone) has been plagued with at least one point in their lives. Just know that there's a cosmetic treatment to clear them up — and for a long time. 

Tear trough filler injections encapsulate the best and worst of plastic surgery: they're easy to get wrong, but when done right, patients walk away looking like they just came back from the most relaxing vacation on Earth.

What is tear trough filler?

A tear trough procedure, more commonly referred to as "undereye filler," targets the tear trough, which is the lower, sometimes blue-ish area under the eye, just before the cheek. According to plastic surgeons, the procedure's popularity has soared over the last few years — especially among the younger crowd — without any indication of slowing down.

"Wrinkles and hollowing around the eyes begin at around age 35, and it's a common area that both women and men are concerned with," says Daniel Maman, a board-certified plastic surgeon at 740 Park Plastic Surgery in New York City. 

Adds Min S. Ahn, a facial plastic surgeon based in Boston: "It is especially popular with millennials who complain of looking tired, but because of their age are not ready for surgery — filling the tear trough area makes them look less tired, completely rejuvenating the lower eyelid area."

Who is an ideal candidate?

Contrary to popular belief, the procedure is far more nuanced than most patients realize — and certainly comes with limitations. One of the most common misconceptions is that tear trough filler can completely revitalize the undereye, yet undereye filler "does not address the 'puffiness' or bulging around the eye," says Maman, "because that is fat and requires surgery."

Anyone who has woken up with puffy eyes, only to look totally normal by noon, knows very well that the eye is notoriously delicate and finicky. And for this reason precisely, says Chicago-based board-certified plastic surgeon Julius Few, that "absolutely" makes it the trickiest area to treat with filler. "Part of the reason why treating tear troughs is so tricky, especially if somebody is not an expert injector is number one: the anatomy, and then diagnosing that someone needs filler in the tear trough," explains Few, of the blood vessel-rich area.

Placing dermal fillers under the eye, while incredibly popular and safe in the hands of an experienced injector, is an off-label procedure, which means that it has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in this specific area. In other words: Don't mess around with injectors who aren't board-certified dermatologists or plastic surgeons. Instead, do your research and pony up the money to see the true expert in your area because, for this location, in particular, injector experience is the key to a happy outcome.

Here's where the nuance really begins. For patients with consistent daily puffiness — usually indicative of a condition called chronic malaraderma, which is essentially morning eye puffiness that subsides by the afternoon, caused by abnormal fluid drainage — the procedure is even trickier. "If you put a water-loving hyaluronic acid filler there, you’ve now made their puffy eyes worse," explains Few.

Patients with light skin sometimes have an additional step in the tear trough procedure because their veins are more prominently visible through their fair skin. "You have to do a laser first before treating them with filler in order to make those veins shrink first," explains Few. "Otherwise, the filler would actually lift the vein closer to the surface of the skin and make their dark circle worse."

But that's not to say tear trough filler can't be done in patients under these circumstances, it just means that the condition has to be properly evaluated and identified. "It's this algorithm of understanding the anatomy, understanding pre-existing subtleties of the area, and knowing when a filler is the right choice versus a laser versus surgery," says Few.

Two photos one on top of the other featuring a person's undereye area showing the before and after of getting undereye...

Before-and-after photos of a patient with tear trough filler.

Courtesy of Min S. Ahn

What can I expect when getting tear trough filler?

Because the area is sensitive, the injection technique has become relatively standardized. The skin is first cleaned (in order to prevent infection), and then small ice cubes are held up to the skin for about five to 10 minutes to anesthetize the area, says Ahn.

Once numb, a small needle is used to create an entry point for the doctor to inject the filler. Most doctors inject undereye filler with a blunt-tip cannula (a tube that can be inserted into the body), rather than a needle directly, for increased precision and because "the blunt tip of the cannula is less likely to bruise patients than when using a sharp-pointed needle," Ahn says.

For the undereye area, Few relies on two specific brands of hyaluronic acid filler: Restylane, which he estimates he's used on more than 6,000 patients, and Belotero Balance, which he considers to be "very predictable, perfect for this area."

The injections themselves take less than 30 minutes to administer and patients require little to no downtime, or as Few says, "they're cruising." Around 30 percent to 40 percent of patients, estimates Few, will wake up the next day with mild swelling in the area that "usually goes away in the first couple hours they're awake," he assures, recommending the holistic remedy, Arnica Montana, a lightly applied cool compress and "just being up and active" will make it go away.

How long will it last?

The blessing and the potential curse of tear trough filler is the fact that the undereye is relatively stagnant, especially when compared to the lips or cheek, meaning that this area offers the longest lifespan to fillers. "If an injector knows how to place filler in the tear trough at the right level, I've had it last in this area for six or seven years," says Few. "Less is more, and the goal should be to improve the area by 85 percent."

His 85 percent rule, surprising at first, makes perfect sense. HA fillers are always at risk for attracting water, even months or years after the injection, "so you need to have that little bit of wiggle room" in case the undereye unexpectedly attracts water. "For example, on a hot day, the filler will swell a little bit," warns Few, listing a cold, congestion, and a sinus infection as other puffy-inducing culprits. "With 15 percent of wiggle room, it means that day in and day out, somebody can look good, no matter what else is going on."

How much does it cost?

Ahn warns, before you book an appointment, do your research. "It is very important to find a provider who is experienced in treating this area, as the skin is thin and, if not done properly, can give the patient a 'puffy' look," Ahn says.

Three key questions to ask a prospective injector, recommends Few, are:

  1. How many tear trough filler injections have you done?
  2. Do you use a cannula or a needle? ("And if they say needle, really give this second person a second thought," he says)
  3. What issues have you seen in your injecting experience, and what are you prepared to do to make those issues go away?

No one should be coupon shopping when it comes to aesthetics, but least of all for the undereye area. The average cost per tear trough treatment is about $950, depending on your location and injector.

Khloé Kardashian’s Natural Curls Are on Full Display in New Selfie

khloe kardashian with short blonde bob and black asymmetrical dress posing for cameraGetty Images

Khloé Kardashian doesn't switch it up too much in the hairstyle department. The socialite tends to stick to long, straight, or slightly wavy styles, usually in brown or blonde hues. But on August 13, she gave her 174 million and counting fans a glance at what her natural hair texture looks like.  

Kardashian's loose curls are on full display in this Instagram carousel featuring four pictures and two short videos. In the carousel's caption, she asks viewers to be kind in the comments. The caption reads, "I rarely wear my natural hair texture. Felt kinda cute with it (please don't ruin the feeling)." The texture is a mix of loose, highlighted waves and curls that reach her shoulders. Each photo shows a different angle of her voluminous hair and the lavender Seamless Contour Sports Bra and Leggings that she wears from the Black-owned athleisure brand Lapp. 

Instagram content

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This curly style is definitely different for Kardashian and we're loving every moment of it. Her honey-blonde, highlighted hair seems to fall in the 2C/3A region for those familiar with hair typing. (And if you're completely confused, here's an informative guide.) Her shoulder-length curls are a welcome change from her usual waist-length styles. 

We're honestly not too sure if Kardashian added some curl-friendly products to her hair or if she simply washed it and went about her day. But we'd love to know more about her routine and overall journey, especially if she continues to wear her curls out. In January 2020, she shared her closet of blonde hair extensions, so who knows if she has another closet dedicated to curl-friendly products. Maybe next time we can get a mini-tutorial on her washday routine. 

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Drunk Elephant Gave Its Beloved C-Firma Day Serum a Massive Formula Makeover

drunk elephant c firma fresh day serum on colorful backgroundsCourtesy of brand

If there's one thing I, as a beauty editor, get asked more about than anything else, it's undoubtedly vitamin C. What it does, how to use it, which serums are the best — the buzz about this ingredient hasn't diminished at all in the past several years. And with good reason: Brands are constantly innovating with new-and-improved ways to apply vitamin C. For example, there's Drunk Elephant's C-Firma Fresh Day Serum, a new update on the beloved original that users mix themselves. 

As far as the formula goes, C-Firma's upgrade is mostly the same. "C-Firma Fresh contains the exact same blend of actives as our original formula that the Drunk Elephant customer already knows and loves: 15 percent ascorbic acid, 1 percent vitamin E, and 0.5 percent ferulic acid, and they are still combined with other potent antioxidants and fruit enzymes," Drunk Elephant founder Tiffany Masterson explains to Allure. 

For those not in the know, ascorbic acid is a specific type of vitamin C, which you probably already know "aids in your skin's natural regeneration process, which helps your body repair damaged skin cells," as board-certified dermatologist Patricia Wexler previously told Allure. Similarly, that vitamin E wards off free radicals and improves skin barrier function alongside fruit-derived antioxidant ferulic acid.

drunk elephant cfirma day serum bottle parts on pink backgroundCourtesy of brand

Additionally, the brand removed some of the original formula's thickeners to give it a lighter texture and made it vegan. The primary difference, though, is that this serum is designed to be mixed by its user. You might be picturing a complicated process involving various liquids in little glass vials, but I promise, it's not difficult or inconvenient in the slightest. 

Each C-Firma Fresh serum comes with two components: a small plastic tube containing a liquid base and a rectangular pump bottle filled with powdered active ingredients. Grab the latter and pull of its bright-orange top to access the powder, which you can pour the liquid base into directly. Shake, shake, shake, and you've got yourself a freshly mixed brightening serum. You only need to do this once.

Why does it matter if the formula is mixed at home rather than in a manufacturing center somewhere? Good question. It all comes down to the active ingredients at play. I'll let Masterson explain the rest. "The drawback is that ascorbic acid has a shorter shelf life than other actives — from the first use, it has a shelf life of about six months before it begins to lose its potency," she says. "By separating the liquid serum phase from the vitamin C, the user is able to determine the time of 'activation' for their C-Firma Fresh, which is the moment they mix the two together." 

In other words, you never have to question this serum's exact shelf-life; it's entirely in your control. "It appears that Drunk Elephant is delivering vitamin C in a way that helps keep it stable to allow the consumer to activate it when they are ready to use it," confirms cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson. "As soon as it's activated, the oxidation clock starts, and the consumer is cued to finish using their activated dose before it oxidizes."

Once you decide to "activate" your C-Firma, you'll know you have six months to use it all up. What's more, as Masterson adds, you can buy multiple bottles at once and keep them stocked, unmixed, for up to three years without fear of expiration.

allure editor without makeup smiling and holding drunk elephant cfirma fresh day serumNicola Dall'Asen/Allure

As it goes for all other vitamin C serums, the frequency at which you use C-Firma Fresh Day Serum will ultimately depend on your skin's tolerance for the ingredient. As board-certified dermatologist Howard Sobel once warned Allure readers, "it's potent stuff, so you only need a few drops for each application," he recommends. 

Having a rather high tolerance for acids myself, I use one pump of C-Firma Fresh two or three times per week, alternating between it and my current go-to chemical exfoliating toner (InnBeauty Project's Down to Tone) and always making sure to account for my heightened sun sensitivity with a daily SPF 30 or higher (like Supergoop's Unseen Sunscreen).  

With all the products I get sent to test year-round, I have no shortage of other vitamin C serums on my bathroom shelf that I rotate — but this is the first in a while that's convinced me to commit long-term. Its thin, fluid texture spreads easily and sinks in quickly, leaving behind a brighter complexion and a slight dew after a few uses, just like the original. It does have a bitter smell, but it's so subtle that you won't even notice it unless you stick your nose directly into the stuff. Even better, the orange pop of its packaging makes my admittedly dull, windowless New York City bathroom just a little bit brighter.

drunk elephant cfirma fresh day serum on white backgroundCourtesy of brand

The Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Day Serum retails for $78 and will be available beginning August 16 on drunkelephant.com.

How to Style Your Midi Tank Dress for Every Occasion

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Source: Kat Jamieson

I’ve got 99 problems and my go-to midi tank dress solves just about all of them. Not sure what in the world to wear to a date night? Midi tank dress. Want to look cute but also let my legs breathe in the Chicago heat? Midi tank dress. Need to wear a fit that’ll easily transition from daytime to nighttime? Midi tank dress.

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We love when fashion meets function, and styling a midi tank dress is the perfect solution when it comes to keeping fashion as effortless as possible. Take the guesswork out of your next impending outfit crisis. Here are six ways to style one of the most versatile pieces in your closet: 

 

1. A Saturday morning at the farmers market:





striped midi dress / striped midi dress (plus size) / denim jacket / denim jacket (plus size) / leather backpack / gold hoops / round sunnies / white sneakers

A morning at the farmers market has never looked better. Couple a midi tank dress with a cropped denim jacket and sneakers for what might be the most put-together Saturday of all time. If we had to pick one outfit to wear on repeat until the end of time, this would be it.

 

 

2. A long-awaited girls’ night out:





scoop neck midi dress / scoop neck midi dress (plus size) / baguette bag / stiletto heels / herringbone necklace / hoop earrings

Rooftop drinks, a night out at the bar, or a fancy dinner with our besties is our idea of a good time, and we couldn’t do it without the help of the all-classic little black dress. Pair with gold jewelry, stiletto heels, and your favorite shoulder bag for a look you’ll return to again and again.

 

 

3. A weekday in the office:





ribbed jersey dress / midi dress (plus size) / plaid blazer / plaid blazer (plus size) / oversized tote / leather mules / rectangular sunglasses

After over a year of working from home, our tolerance for uncomfortable workwear is at an all-time low. When we transition back to the office, we’ll be reaching for our comfiest midi tank dress, pairing it with an oversized plaid blazer, and slipping on some leather mules that are just as comfortable as our WFH slippers.

 

 

4. An outdoor concert: 





ribbed midi dress / ribbed midi dress (plus size) / leather backpack / aviator sunnies / white sneakers / layered necklace

We love an outdoor concert moment, and nothing pairs better with dancing the night away and singing at the top of your lungs quite as well as a midi tank dress, comfy sneakers, and aviator sunnies. It’s the perfect outfit formula for a night of drinks, bad dance moves, and your favorite band.

 

 

5. A downtown date night:





knit midi dress / midi dress (plus size) / leather moto jacket / leather moto jacket (plus size) / gold bracelets / shoulder bag / heeled sandals

Dressing up a midi dress by pairing it with a leather jacket and gold jewelry is the ultimate way to elevate your look for a fancy night out with your partner. She’s chic, she’s cool, and she’s a look we turn to time after time.

 

 

6. A mid-Sunday picnic in the park:





ribbed knit midi dress / midi dress (plus size) / claw clip / cat-eye sunnies / straw tote / slide sandals

For a mid-Sunday picnic in the park, keep things simple. Reach for your comfiest “might-actually-be-a-nightgown” midi dress and throw your hair up in a chic claw clip. Also grab a large straw tote to house your water bottle, your latest page-turning novel, and cat-eye sunnies that pair well with a day in the sun and obligatory people-watching.

 

 

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Small Home Projects That Will Transform Your Space






Source: @mandychengdesign

If only there were more hours in the day that we could spend making our spaces look fabulous. I personally can think of quite a few projects I’d love to take on in my apartment if I could just find a way to carve out more than an afternoon here and there! That said, there are so many easy makeovers that we can do at home in just a couple of hours or less. We’ve rounded up eight of our favorite small home projects that are proven to make a major impact (and don’t require spending much, either). Try one or all eight and thank us later!

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1. Place Your TV On An Easel

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A post shared by Marianne Sides | The MA Times (@mariannesides)

Who says your television can’t look like a work of art? Buy an easel that accommodates the size of your screen and set up a display in your living room—best of all, everything can easily be disassembled as needed. This is an excellent solution for those who swear by their nightly shows but don’t want to sacrifice that valuable over-mantel space for a screen. This way, you can enjoy the best of both worlds!

 

2. Install Wallpaper Behind Your Bed

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A post shared by Carly | MY NYC APARTMENT (@mycityapartment)

If you don’t have the budget—or the energy—to hang wallpaper throughout your entire bedroom, simply install it behind your headboard. A pop of color and pattern will give your sleep space a brand new look (hello, major boutique hotel vibes!). Just opt for a removable wallpaper from the get-go, so that if you’re renting or become tired of the look down the line, it’s easy to switch things up.

 

3. Add Faux Molding

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A post shared by Anna Page (@annawpage)

We all love the Parisian glam look, but most of our apartments don’t actually boast authentic wall molding, which is characteristic of so many chic spaces. However, it’s incredibly easy to add this fun feature to your space over the course of an afternoon. Polyurethane molding is available online and at many hardware stores and will give even the most modern of homes a storied, European look once it’s applied. No one will know it wasn’t original to your unit!

 

4. Hang a Funky Gallery Wall

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A post shared by Chelsey Brown (@citychicdecor)

Take some time to finally hang up all of your favorite pieces, but get a bit creative in the process! There’s no reason you can’t layer various works on top of one another or even expand your display to the ceiling. The sky’s the limit—literally!

 

5. Replace That Bland Nightstand

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A post shared by Domicile37 (@domicile37)

You know that nightstand that’s most definitely seen better days? Drop it off at the donation center and replace it with something that’s much more unique and stylish. You may not have to spend a cent in the process—shop in your own home and give a favorite piece new life. A garden stool, for example, can make an extremely elegant bedside table!

 

6. Go Glam With Light Fixtures

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A post shared by HATTIE (@hattiekolp)

Even renters can easily replace light fixtures with their landlord’s permission (and the help of a skilled electrician). If your aesthetic leans more traditional, there’s no reason you should have to stare at the modern fixture that came with your rental unit day in and day out. Experiment with different styles throughout your home; lighting is like art and can be so unique to each space!

 

7. Put Up Curtains

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A post shared by Rashida Banks, DC Influencer (@rashida.banks)

Sure, blinds do the job, but curtains add so much sophistication to a room and really make a space look more finished. With so many patterns and styles to choose from, you’re bound to find something you love. You can even make your own set if you’re handy with a sewing machine!

 

8. Create Your Own Abstract Art

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A post shared by Madison Hope (@madisonandsuch)

If you can’t afford to shell out cash for an original art piece, you still don’t have to settle for that big box store print that everyone has. Try your hand at a creation of your own. Purchase a blank canvas from the craft store or even paint over a thrift store find so that it better suits your preferences. Then go to town decorating it as you please—you might discover a hidden talent in the process!

 

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Cottagecore Is the Fall Trend We’re Loving Rn

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Source: Hill House

When thinking of fall aesthetics, there’s one that we’ve always been drawn to, but until recently, didn’t have a word to describe it. Puff-sleeved dresses, chunky cardigans, lace-up boots—all of it combined makes for a dreamy, romantic style that’s made for fall, and this year, cottagecore is here and bigger than ever.

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While it embodies feminine, rural living (and was magnified by Taylor Swift’s release of Folklore last year), cottagecore is more than a visual aesthetic; it romanticizes rural, country living and gives a nod to escapism in the meantime. Days filled surrounded by nature, baking homemade desserts, walking through the woods—all of it lends a hand to the world’s fascination with cottagecore. 

As we’re looking forward to the cozy days of fall, filled with pumpkin-scented candles and the dreaminess that comes with those first, crisp days, we’re turning to cottagecore to be a guiding light for all of our fall outfits. Ready to dive in yourself? Look no further.

 

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A post shared by Hill House Home (@hillhouse)

 

How to nail it

Cottagecore is filled with moody tones, flowing silhouettes, and effortless layering. Dresses can be layered with chunky knits and paired with boots, and floral prints and puff sleeves remind us that summer is just in the rearview mirror. 

To make the look your own, think about layering patterns with textures, like a floral dress with a chunky sweater. Incorporate peasant silhouettes, florals, and moody, fall tones into your wardrobe, and mix and match them to achieve an uncomplicated, nature-esque aesthetic. Don’t know where to start? Here are five cottagecore-inspired outfits to try this fall.

 





dress / cardigan / cardigan / bag / ring / boots

Romantic, whimsical dresses are central to cottagecore fashion, and layering a chunky, textured cardigan over top enhances it even more. Top it off with Western boots, and you have a look that nails the aesthetic. 

 

 





overalls / floral top / bag / ring / shoes

Transitional days aren’t ever easy to style outfits for, but this look is absolutely made for early fall days. Putting a piece that has light, busy florals underneath a pair of overalls is effortless in the best way.

 





top / jeans / belt / bag / boots

Cottagecore isn’t just for lounging around, and this look proves it. The key? Pairing a top with a combination of dark florals and a romantic silhouette with western details in accessories.

 

 





sweater / hat / skirt / boots / socks 

Cable-knit sweaters have been having a moment ever since Chris Evans’s glorious moment in Knives Out, and this look provides an argument for layering one over a maximalist skirt. Combined with leather boots and chunky boot socks underneath and a wool hat, it’s an October Day’s dream.

 

 





sweater / skirt / necklace / bag / boots

Not into a midi skirt with pattern? Opt for a tiered, neutral one, and combine it with a chunky turtleneck and brown accessories. The result is a dreamy palette for fall, and it’ll keep you feeling cozy and comfortable whenever you wear it.

 

 

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5 Kindle Hacks That Make It So Worth It for Readers

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I have to be honest: I was a long-time hater of the e-reader movement. I thought that there was never a chance that I would give up the feeling of a good ol’ fashioned book in my hand in favor of yet another electronic device. But then I finally decided to try out a Kindle, and now I am such a big fan of it that I tell literally everyone I know to get one.

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I decided to make the switch back when I was actually commuting to work on public transportation (which feels like a lifetime ago now) because I figured it would be much easier to throw a small Kindle in my bag than lug around a big book. And although I might not be doing a regular commute anymore, I do still love how small and easy to carry my Kindle is. I find myself throwing it in my bag wherever I go, just in case I have some downtime and can get a few pages in. It even fits in my belt bag, so now I’ve started to bring it on walks with me so that I can stop for a while to just relax and read. 

I’ve heard countless people say that a Kindle has made them fall in love with reading again, and I can definitely say the same. I think it has to do with how easy it is—I mean, you can literally have any book in the world right at your fingertips in an instant. It’s also amazing for travel, because instead of trying to decide how many books to pack (and maybe regretting not bringing another), you just have to pack one small, lightweight thing that can provide you with endless options. 

Another major perk (that may seem silly, but frequent readers will understand) is how easy it is to read in bed. If you’ve ever tried to read in bed in any position other than sitting up with two hands on a book, you will know how valuable this is. With a Kindle, you only need one hand, so feel free to lay on your side, your stomach, or however else you feel most comfortable. This also applies to when you’re trying to read while laying out in the sun. The Kindle is also backlit (with adjustable settings), so you don’t need to have any sort of lamp or reading light on at night. 

Many of our editors are absolutely obsessed with our Kindles, so we figured it was finally time to share everything we’ve learned to make the most of your Kindle experience. Here are five Kindle hacks you should know about:

 

1. Connect to your library card with the Libby app

In my opinion, this is the #1 best thing about owning a Kindle. If you have a library card, you can download an app called Libby by Overdrive, which allows you to check out e-books (just as you would check out a real book from a library) and send them directly to your Kindle. It’s insanely easy and a great way to get the most bang for your buck as a Kindle owner. And if you don’t have a library card yet, many cities offer e-library cards that you can easily sign up for online. Your library will provide you with a number, which you then enter into your Libby app.

I will warn you that just as there are limited copies of a book in a brick-and-mortar library, there are also limited copies of e-books in e-libraries. Because of that, sometimes you will end up on semi-long waiting lists for popular books—but they often become available sooner than expected, so it’s never been a deal breaker for me.

 

2. Try out Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading

When you first purchase a Kindle, you get a free trial of Kindle Unlimited, which is $9.99 per month when the trial ends. I used it during my free trial and liked it but decided to cancel it after the trial ended. However, I just decided to renew my subscription. Although it doesn’t have every book you might search for, it does have a ton of books to choose from, including some popular titles. If you are an avid reader who is open to a wide variety of books, I would recommend Kindle Unlimited.

And if you already have an Amazon Prime account, you can read some e-books for free with Prime Reading. You can access these books by navigating to the Kindle Store in your Amazon app and then selecting Prime Reading at the top. And just so everyone knows, the entire Harry Potter series is available to read for free with Prime Reading!

 





Source: Madeline Galassi

 

3. Use Goodreads on your Kindle

I’ve recently become a huge fan of the Goodreads app. I love that you can set challenges for yourself, read reviews from fellow bookworms, and track all of the books you’ve read and want to read. The Goodreads experience is great on its own, but it’s even better when you connect your account to your Kindle. 

There is a Goodreads tab at the top of your Kindle homepage, where you can access everything you see in the app: your lists, reviews, recommendations, and friends. And if you go to your “Want to Read” list, you can download those books directly from the Kindle store. It will also show this list directly on your homepage as your “Reading List.” 

 

4. Explore free and super cheap book options

Outside of Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading, you can also find books on Amazon that are completely free or under five dollars through a quick Amazon search. Typing in “free Kindle books” turns up a ton of results. You can also filter “Kindle Book Deals” in the Kindle Store, which will give you lots of popular titles for super affordable prices (like the entire Bridgerton series for $4 per book).

You can also find free books through a wide variety of websites on the internet. If you simply search “free Kindle books” on Google, you’ll get a ton of results on different platforms where you can find free books. Some of the most popular are Book Bub, ManyBooks, and Project Gutenberg, which aims to make classic novels accessible to everyone by providing free e-books online. 

 

5. Lend books to other people

If you’ve purchased an e-book yourself, you can lend that book to family and friends through Amazon. But this only works for books that you’ve actually bought and now own, not ones that you’ve borrowed for free.

Here’s how to lend a book:

  1. Go to “Manage Content and Devices” in the settings section of your Amazon app
  2. Find the book you want to loan and open up the actions menu
  3. Select “Loan this title” and enter the recipient’s email address, then select send
  4. They will get an email notification where they can download the book to their device
  5. They get to keep it for 14 days, then it is returned to you

 

Shop Kindle Models





Amazon

Kindle

The classic Kindle is the most affordable option that still has everything you need to enjoy the experience. It comes in black or white.

Currently on sale!

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Amazon

Kindle Paperwhite

With over 100,000 reviews, the Paperwhite is a long-time fan favorite. It’s waterproof and has a higher screen resolution and white display to mimic reading on real paper. Plus, it comes in four super cute color options.

Currently on sale!

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Amazon

Kindle Oasis

The Oasis is the most advanced Kindle option, with an ergonomic design and page-turn buttons to provide the best reading experience possible. It also has adjustable warm light to limit blue-light exposure.

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I’ve Read More Than 100 Books So Far This Year—Here Are 10 I Recommend

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How to Dress up an Outfit With Barely Any Effort

it’s all about the accessories

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






Source: Laura Jade Stone

When you’re putting an outfit together, all too often, the finishing touches are an afterthought. Shoes, jewelry, the bag you choose—all of your accessories combined are what make or break an outfit. And it’s never more true than why you’re trying to figure out how to dress up an outfit.

Sponsored by Equilibria /

Looking for Better Sleep? This Super Ingredient Might Be the Answer

don’t fret, exhausted readers 💤

It’s said constantly—This look can be dressed up or down!—but what does that really mean? But think about it: at the end of the day, jeans and a T-shirt can end up looking a thousand different ways, all depending on what you style them with. 

The secret to dressing up an outfit? It’s all about what you top off the bones of your outfit with, and we think we’ve cracked the code to mastering it. With these five hacks, you’ll never feel underdressed again.

 

1. Strategize your shoes

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A post shared by Dolce Vita Shoes (@dolcevita)

As predictable as it may be, there’s no easier way to change the feel of an outfit than with the shoes you choose. Just like a pair of sneakers can make a dress look more casual, a pair of heeled sandals or boots can dress a pair of denim up and completely change how formal it feels. Whether you’re a heel wearer or not, having a go-to dressed-up option in your closet is a necessity. 

Steve Madden

Honey Slide Sandal

3 colors available
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Jeffrey Campbell

Fluxx Sandal

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Chinese Laundry

Block Heel Sandal

10+ colors available
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Steve Madden

Slide Sandal

2 colors available
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ASOS

Cross Strapped Sandal

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Dolce Vita

Paily Slide Sandal

10+ colors available
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Top Shop

North Sandal

2 colors available
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Jeffrey Campbell

Caviar Platform Slide Sandal

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2. Add a blazer

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A post shared by Laura Jade Stone (@laurajadestone)

Blazers have proven that they stand the test of time, and while we love styling ours with jeans and a tee for a casual look, their essence naturally brings an elevation to what they’re paired with. Keeping a basic option in your closet than can be worn over any outfit you put on is a surefire way to know that you have a way to dress you look up whenever you need to.

OpenEdit

Pinstripe Blazer

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Openedit Plus

Pinstripe Blazer

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Madewell

Plaid Dorset Blazer

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Abercrombie & Fitch

Plaid Cropped Blazer

2 colors available
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ELOQUII

Long Tailored Blazer

2 colors available
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ASOS

Longline Blazer

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3. Carry a structured bag

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A post shared by M E N Z A | BLOGGER (@menzabolamba)

A bag is often the very last thing you think about when you’re putting together an outfit, but when you’re aiming to dress a look up, it should be one of the first. Rather than a slouchy tote or crossbody, choose a bag option that’s structured (bonus points if it has a top handle) to upgrade your vibe.

MANGO

Buckled Flap Bag

3 colors available
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MANGO

Croc Mini Bag

2 colors available
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MANGO

Oval Split Leather Crossbody

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ZARA

Mini City Shoulder Bag

2 colors available
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ZARA

Crossbody Square Bag

2 colors available
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ZARA

Mini City Bag

4 colors available
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Number One Nano Bag

Polène

10 colors available
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Madelina Bag

Sancia

2 colors available
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4. Put your hair up

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A post shared by KRISTIN ESS INC (@kristin_ess)

Rather than leaving your hair down and loose, choosing to put it up can instantly transform how formal you look. Be it a slicked-back, low bun, a looser updo with the help of a clip, or sleek ponytail, pulling your hair back is a fast-track to looking put-together. When you’re done, you can also work a hair accessory in as a finishing touch.

ZARA

Jeweled Hair Clips

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Kristen Ess

Celestial Bobby Pins

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H&M

Metal Hair Claw

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Madewell

Puffed Barrette

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TASHA

Crystal Jaw Clip

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Madewell

Chunky Circle Hair Clip

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TASHA

Pearl and Crystal Barrettes

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TASHA

2-Pack Pearl Jaw Clips

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5. Incorporate classic jewelry

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A post shared by Mejuri (@mejuri)

We’re all about a trendy necklace or pair of earrings, but nothing can top wearing classic jewelry for a dressed-up occasion. Be it subtle pearls, a plain gold chain, or classic hoops, this is an instance where less is more.

Nordstrom

Hoop Earrings

2 colors available
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Madewell

Edged Chain Bracelet

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Mejuri

Diamond Necklace

2 colors available
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Mejuri

Essential Pearl Necklace

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Monica Vinder

Chain Link Bracelet

3 colors available
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Mejuri

Thumbtack Studs

2 colors available
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Gorjana

Marin Necklace

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Gorjana

Classic Diamond Studs

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Ways to Make Your Style Look More Effortless
don’t overthink it
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15 Creative Ways to Make More Money





Getting a handle on your finances is an important aspect of living a financially free life. Most often, the emphasis is usually on cutting back expenses in order to make ends meet, but what if I told you there was another way? Yes, cutting back on expenses is a great place to start, but adding more money to your bottom line will not only give you the financial freedom you seek, it will also allow you the freedom to maintain your current lifestyle. 

Sponsored by Equilibria /

Looking for Better Sleep? This Super Ingredient Might Be the Answer

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You don’t need a full-blown side-hustle to bring in extra cash each month. Here are 15 creative ways to make money that you haven’t thought of yet.

 

1. Sell things on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace

Craigslist is a great place to exchange goods and services and, for the most part, it is usually done for money. However, a little known fact is that Craigslist is also a great place to get freebies.

Whether someone is getting rid of something because they no longer have room for it or they have to abruptly leave their home, city, or state, there are some rare gems that you can resell for a decent return. The key is to look for free stuff on Craigslist that is currently selling on Craigslist or elsewhere. Some items will be in great shape, but if not, spruce it up and resell either on Craigslist, a flea market, or a garage sale.

If you have items in your home that you simply don’t use, it’s also a great way to declutter and make extra money and list them and try to sell them to other locals who will use them.

 

2. Sell your photos

Do you have a keen eye? Are your photos museum-worthy? Well, if you answered yes or no to any of those questions then you can sell your photos to stock photo agencies like Shutterstock, iStock, Adobe and other similar companies. It really doesn’t matter if you are a professional or novice; you still have the opportunity to make some money. Most work on a per download basis where you get paid a percentage every time someone downloads your picture.

 

3. Rent out a room

If you have a spare room in your living space and want to generate some side income, consider renting it out. Use Airbnb to put your home to work for you, whether you wish to rent out your entire home or a single room.

If you’ll be traveling a lot this year, rent out your home to make some money while you’re away that can help pay for all of those adventures. And don’t worry, there are security protections in place that help make this option less terrifying than most would think.

 

4. Sell your skills

Do you have skills that others would pay money for, like graphic design or editing? If so, sites like Task Rabbit and Thumbtack are great platforms to sell them. These aren’t only limited to those with creative skills; you can sell editing services, research services, typesetting, and the list goes on.

Starting a side-hustle takes both time and money, but starting with small, one-off projects is a great way to make money whenever you have some extra time.

 

5. Teach classes online

Whether you are just starting out or a seasoned professional, there is something that you are good at. I am stating this as fact because even if it’s something you have never gotten credit for, chances are you have a skill that others may find valuable. Using this skill to make some extra income is possible thanks to platforms like SkillShare, Udemy and Teachable.com. Many top experts use this as a lucrative way to earn passive income but you don’t have to be a top expert to take advantage of this option.

 

6. Become a field agent

You may think I’m talking about the FBI, but I am actually talking about the Field Agent app. You simply sign up for an account and do small tasks around town for different clients. Your task can range from checking prices at the local supermarket to conducting surveys. You get paid based on the assignment and you get to choose which you want to participate in.

 

7. Become a secret shopper

If you have a great memory, can pay attention to details, and report on what you see and experience, then making money as a secret shopper will be a cinch for you.

Becoming a secret shopper is as simple as you registering with a company that provides that service, then going undercover to different stores and reporting your experience as a customer. You are paid for your insight and while you are at it you can enjoy some free meals, traveling, and shopping. Not only are you earning money and perks, but you are also helping to set the tone for how real clients should be treated.

 

8. Offer to babysit for busy professionals

Babysitting may seem like an obvious place to start when wanting to make some extra money, and you may be thinking that you are not cut out to babysit, but here’s the twist: look for moms and dads who are busy professionals who have small children under five. They will most likely tell you that they don’t remember the last time they were able to enjoy a quiet night out. Offering your services to this niche population will not only be a lucrative undertaking, but an easy job to do as well because chances are you will be simply house-sitting as the children sleep. If you have extensive experience in child care, consider signing up for sites like Care.com where you can set your schedule of availability.

 

9. Give your opinion

When you were a child, you might remember your parents telling you to “mind your own business,” but as an adult taking heed to this advice can cost you. This is because you can get paid to mind other people’s business. There are companies that will pay you to participate in focus groups, phone surveys, online surveys, and even product trials.

 

11. Drive people around

You can really make a decent living becoming a driver for either Lyft or Uber. If a living isn’t what you are after, driving people around can still give you that needed boost in your finances by only working part-time, and when you find yourself with time to do so.

 

12. Get paid to listen

If you love music, you’ll love this gig. Simply head over to Slice the Pie and start reviewing unsigned artists and bands to earn some extra cash. Your payment per review is based on the quality of the reviews you turn out on the site, so it may take a little time to build up your reputation. But according to Slicethepie, “The better your review, the bigger the bonus payment.” The site also offers a referral program where if any of your friends sign up using your referral code and write reviews, then you’ll receive  bonus payments for every review they submit.

 

13. Deliver meals

Join apps like GrubHub, Postmates, or Uber Eats and deliver to-go food on your free nights or weekends. You get the option to completely choose your own schedule and work when you have the time. The best part? Not having a car isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. Depending on the city, you may be able to deliver with your bike or scooter too.

 

14. Clean our your closet

We’ve all stepped up to the consignment store counter to find out that the sweater from J.Crew we never had the chance to wear is only worth $3. Womp. By selling the clothes you no longer wear on apps like Poshmark, you have the freedom to set your price and wait. Bonus: Poshmark even provides the shipping label for you. If it doesn’t work out, you can always head back to your local consignment store or donate them to your nearest Goodwill.

 

15. Become a dog walker

Sign up with sites like Fetch or Wag! to walk dogs or care for pets and earn some extra cash. Sign on at your convenience and help out local pooches whose owners are stuck at work or out of town on business. If the apps don’t service your area, contact local grooming and boarding to let them know you are available for pet sitting or dog walking.

 

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