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4 Must-Know Winter Skincare Rules from Facialist Cecilia Wong

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Cecilia Wong is an aesthetician based in New York. (Photo: Cecilia Wong Skincare

As a beauty writer, I’ve experienced my fair share of facials, and I’ve devised a simple way to guess at how fantastic my experience will be before I’ve even started: does my facialist have the kind of smooth, unblemished, seemingly ageless skin that makes me want to get down on my knees and beg for her secret? If the answer is yes, then I know I’m in for a memorable treat. 

So it was today, when I met Cecilia Wong at her tucked-away skincare salon in the Flatiron District of New York. The holistic facialist may have the most amazing skin I’ve ever seen, and her credentials are equally impressive. After leaving her job in fashion, Wong spent three years living and working in Hong Kong, where she opened a pop-up boutique and introduced clients to the then-largely unknown benefits of following an organic skincare regimen. Determined to develop her expertise stateside, Wong moved back to New York and worked for cult facialist Joanna Vargas before branching out on her own in 2009. Wong’s philosophy is that you should treat the problem from the root cause: by diligently applying the right herbs and oils along with incorporating non-invasive treatments, you can age well without resorting to extreme measures like Botox or Retin-A. 

While treating me to her signature Sculpt & Empower facial, Wong took the time to share the four winter skincare rules that every city dweller should follow. 

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Hot Makeup That Can Withstand a Snowstorm

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Winter beauty can be tricky: Staving off chapped lips and dry skin while still managing to look cute is no easy feat. Add unexpected weather elements like snow flurries to the mix, and you can be in for major trouble. What’s a girl to do if she doesn’t want to hole up inside all winter? We took our question to a slew of outdoor pros—including an Olympic skier—to learn how they cold-proof their makeup routine. Read all about it in this month’s issue of the Birchbox Magazine

—Mai 

Study Finds Two Percent Of Women Don’t Need Deodorant, We Cheer For Them

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How do you know if you really need deodorant? (Photo: Smithsonian)

LIke many women of Chinese descent, I’ve never had to wear deodorant in my life. My non-Asian friends always give me a second look when I tell them this tidbit, but they may be even more surprised to learn that there’s a (slim) chance they don’t need deodorant either. A new study conducted at the University of Bristol has found that two percent of women “carry a rare version of a particular gene (ABCC11), which means they don’t produce any under-arm odor.” 

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Drew Barrymore’s New Beauty Line is Bringing Back the ’90s

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Drew Barrymore has debuted a new beauty line. (Photo: Into the Gloss)

I’ll always remember when I first became a Drew Barrymore fan: it was 1998, and the free-spirited actress pranced down the red carpet with daisies in her hair. It seems fitting, then, that Flower is the name of her new beauty line, which just launched in Walmart stores nationwide and online. The full collection features a whopping 181 products, and it seeks to fill a gap in the beauty market: luxe formulas and packaging that are available at drugstore prices (most items are less than $10).

As Drew recently explained to Into The Gloss, the brand won’t embark on a major advertising campaign—instead, it will invest in product creation. Catch a glimpse of Drew’s new line after the jump, and learn about the decade that inspired her!

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How to Sell Your Clothes Online

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if you’re a compulsive shopper like me, your closet is likely overflowing with cast-offs that haven’t seen the light of day since the Bush administration. I recently made a vow to clean out my closet and make a few extra bucks—call it a New Year’s Resolution if you will. Lucky for me, there are plenty of websites out there that aim to connect motivated sellers with buyers. Read on for a list of my picks, plus tips for maximizing the chances that your clothes will actually sell.

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Why I’m Loving Older Women as the Stars of Major Beauty Campaigns

When she turned 41, model Lauren Hutton was fired from Revlon after ten years as the face of the brand. That was back in 1984. Three decades later, it appears that more mature ladies have made some major strides when it comes to landing (and keeping) contracts for coveted ad campaigns. The latest NARS Spring 2013 ad campaign features 42-year-old British model Stella Tennant. After watching the brand’s behind-the-scenes video, I came to the conclusion that the brunette’s amazing looks inadvertently prove that Aaliyah was right when she told us that age ain’t nothing but a number.

But what’s really interesting is that Tennant isn’t the only beauty campaign star over the age of 25. Lately, I’ve noticed that more and more middle-aged women are becoming the spokeswomen for big beauty brands—and it’s a trend I’m fully on board with.

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The Top 20 Beauty Trends of 2012, Elle's Kate Lanphear at T Magazine, and More  
2012 was the year of technicolor hair, caviar nails, and a few surprising trends. Which were your faves? [Fashionista]
Does your eye shadow always manage to crease and smudge off by lunchtime? Try this easy layering tip. [The Beauty Department]
French It girl Claire Courtin-Clarins tells us why she always exfoliates not once but twice a week. [Well + Good NYC]
Kate Lanphear, Elle's former style director who became blogosphere famous for her signature blonde cut and leather jacket, just joined the staff of T Magazine. [Fashion Etc]
Chances are you’re coping with dry, flaking lips this winter, but did you know that there are different kinds of chapped lips? [BellaSugar]
(Photo: Fashionista)
—Mai 
If you’re fighting off scaly skin and rough hands, here’s how to combat winter dry skin.

The Top 20 Beauty Trends of 2012, Elle's Kate Lanphear at T Magazine, and More  

2012 was the year of technicolor hair, caviar nails, and a few surprising trends. Which were your faves? [Fashionista]

Does your eye shadow always manage to crease and smudge off by lunchtime? Try this easy layering tip. [The Beauty Department]

French It girl Claire Courtin-Clarins tells us why she always exfoliates not once but twice a week. [Well + Good NYC]

Kate Lanphear, Elle's former style director who became blogosphere famous for her signature blonde cut and leather jacket, just joined the staff of T Magazine. [Fashion Etc]

Chances are you’re coping with dry, flaking lips this winter, but did you know that there are different kinds of chapped lips? [BellaSugar]

(Photo: Fashionista)

—Mai 

If you’re fighting off scaly skin and rough hands, here’s how to combat winter dry skin.

Too-Skinny Models Have Officially Been Banned in Israel

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Even models like Karlie Kloss are routinely photoshopped for magazine spreads. (Photo: MagXOne)

How skinny is too skinny? If you’re a model, casting agent, or magazine publisher working in Israel, that question has just been answered for you. Israel has enacted a new law—effective as of January 1—forbidding models with a body-mass index (BMI) below 18.5 from appearing in ads and editorial spreads. 

As the Wall Street Journal reports, the law also requires publications to tell readers when they’ve altered images of models to make them look skinnier. The measures are designed to put healthier-looking models in the spotlight, but it should be noted that they only apply to images produced in Israel, not those imported from other countries. 

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Does Wearing Makeup Affect Your Self-Esteem?

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Celebs like Rihanna are rarely seen without makeup—are you the same way? (Photo: Jeddah Beauty Blog)

I started wearing makeup on a daily basis during my freshman year of high school and never looked back. Though I’ve modified my techniques over the years—learning not to cake on foundation, for instance—the habit has remained entrenched in my morning routine (and my psyche). In fact, I don’t really feel put together unless I’m wearing at least a touch of eyeliner and some strategically placed concealer.

The New York Times recently posted an interesting op-ed debate on whether makeup is good or bad for a woman’s self-esteem, and now I find that I’m asking myself those same questions: Does makeup empower women by giving us the ability to enhance our appearance, or do we wear it because we’re trying to mask underlying insecurities?

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Good News! Gel Manis Actually Don’t Increase Skin Cancer Risk

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No need to worry about the UV lamps at nail salons. (Photo: Fox)

We’ve been a bit wary of gel manicures ever since we heard that the superspeedy UV lamps used to set lacquer may lead to skin cancer. Now it turns out that there’s no cause for alarm: a new study conducted by two independent researchers found that it would take 13,000 to 40,000 nail-drying sessions (the equivalent of 250 years’ worth of weekly manicures) to marginally raise the risk of developing skin cancer. Unlike the lamps used in tanning beds, nail lamps use “narrowband UVB” rays, which are regarded as much safer. 

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