Entries Tagged as 'Style on the Hill'

A Beginner’s Guide To Male Skincare



By Logan Gossett

This one’s for the guys that struggled with endemic acne in high school; the guys whose hope diminished as the acne pervaded past high school; the guys who are engaging in a civil war with acne and acne scars. This one’s for the guys with dry skin; the guys whose oily skin resembles an embalmed sea turtle after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; the guys with a sweaty forehead. Everybody wants perfect skin, and this one’s for the guys who don’t know where to begin.

Even guys who are content with cratered, neglected, and flaccid skin should use a daily face cleanser and an all-purpose moisturizer. Cleansers and moisturizers are the meat and potatoes of the face. Without them, a man’s face will essentially be meatless and potatoless.

  1. Cleansers

The first step is choosing a cleanser. The optimal cleanser will largely be determined by your skin type. Almost all facial cleansers are marketed for use by people with normal, dry, or oily skin types. Most brands additionally offer peripheral alternatives for people with combination skin, such as normal-dry.

As someone with normal-dry-oily-useless combination skin, Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser offers an exceptionally well-rounded facial cleanse. I also suffer from rosacea, or “Flustered Santa Claus” face. Rosacea causes skin to flare rapidly when it’s irritated, which occurs with an obnoxious level of frequency. Men with normal-oily skin often see positive results with the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser.

No matter which cleanser you choose, it should be used every morning and every evening before bed. Once cleansing becomes a habit, neglecting to cleanse will make you feel just as disgusting as forgetting to wipe. And, considering the facial fallout of acne that failing to cleanse causes, it basically is.

  1. Moisturizers

The second step is choosing a moisturizer.

When people are learning how to lucidly dream, they often perform “reality checks,” such as looking at their hands after walking through a doorway. These habituations act as triggers within a dream. Looking at your hand only to find 12 fingers and an eyeball with a monocle generally doesn’t happen in reality. Moisturizing is basically a reality check for skincare. Everybody should literally be moisturizing at all times. At this point, I struggle to wash my hands if I can’t moisturize them afterward.

Just like cleansers, most moisturizer brands offer products for each basic skin type. However, if your skin is easily triggered like mine, it’s best to refrain from an herbal or scented moisturizer. While they might feel soothing during application, they can irritate your skin and cause temporary breakouts and redness.

CeraVe offers an infallible selection of moisturizers. I use my CeraVe Moisturizing Cream (without SPF) more liberally than I use complimentary salsa at a Mexican restaurant. If you suffer from dry skin and can tolerate a scent, Dr. Lin Skincare Daily Hydrating Gel can be equally soothing and effective.

  1. (Optional) Sunscreen, Exfoliators and Masks

Sunscreen is invaluable, but it’s often neglected. Localities are beginning to provide sunscreen in public outdoor areas in an effort to mitigate damage caused by nefarious UV rays. Until sunscreen is universally available or the Sun dies, squirt some Anthelios 50 Body Mineral Tinted or Paula’s Choice Extra Care Non-Greasy sunscreen into your face before you walk outside. Many cleansers and dermatological treatments can cause increased skin vulnerability, making sunscreen especially important.

Exfoliators boast a healthy variety of methods, including chemical applicants (AHA and BHA), chemical peels, and scrubs. Cleansers can’t hoe all of the dirt buried in your pores. Chemical exfoliators like Stridex Maximum Pads and Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant are alcohol free, minimizing the irritation that exfoliants often cause. Overusing exfoliators can cause redness and rashes, but using exfoliators every other night can be a prerequisite for smooth, soft skin — which is the pinnacle of manliness. If you decide to regularly use an exfoliator, apply it after washing and drying your face. Wait five minutes, lather on some moisturizer, and your skin will look like an infant’s butt in no time.

Masks are what face care’s all about. Masks are both the cherry on top of the sundae and the sundae itself. Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque is a well-rounded mint julep option; Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay has the best product description on Amazon, “World’s most powerful facial,” and it’s a phenomenal clay mask treatment; then, if you feel like being a little bonkers, the My Beauty Diary Imperial Birds Nest Mask is a sheet mask that provides a feeling of unparalleled rejuvenation.

 Note: I did not expound on the minutiae of each product’s chemical composition, but, if you feel like doing some deep reading to accompany your deep cleaning, polish your skin and skincare knowledge over at the subreddit /r/skincareaddiction’s FAQ. The FAQ provides useful information about essential products and confusing acronyms, like AHA and BHA.

Another note: Burn = Bad. A seemingly refreshing sting on the face is actually your skin’s moisture barrier shattering. Neutrogena Men’s Invigorating Face Wash and Neutrogena’s AcneWash are caustic. The burning sensation is literally your skin burning.

The Model Designers Are Cautious to Dress



By Anna Meyer

As the First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump has a lot of upcoming tasks at hand. She needs to pick out the White House china, focus on her chosen ambition to put an end to bullying and smile through all of the ceremonial duties that the lucky ladies of presidents get to do. When it comes to serving the country as not only a role model but a fashion model as well, First Ladies have been historically known (*ahem*, Jackie Kennedy and Michelle Obama) to set trends and create awareness for American designers through which designers they choose to wear.

But before Melania even got a chance to announce her inauguration outfit plans, designer Sophie Theallet tweeted a public statement after the election urging her fellow designers to refuse to dress Melania due to her husband’s racist, sexist, xenophobic ways.

Marc Jacobs didn’t even need to see Theallet’s tweet before declaring, “”I have no interest whatsoever in dressing Melania Trump. I didn’t see [Sophie Theallet’s] letter. Personally, I’d rather put my energy into helping out those who will be hurt by [Donald] Trump and his supporters.”

Lots of designers, including Tom Ford, Phillip Lim, and Derek Lim have joined Jacobs and Theallet and have all expressed disinterest in dressing Melania. But others, like Calvin Klein and Dolce & Gabbana, have said that they’d be happy to have a historical figure wearing their clothes. The opinions went viral post-election, and silent or neutral designers were being prodded by journalists and fashion enthusiasts to publicly address their stance.

To dress or not to dress Melania became the hot topic to write, research and inquire about in fashion news, and some designers were not having it.

“In the midst of this heated debate, the question actually seems somewhat irrelevant,” Cynthia Rowley told WWD. “She can simply purchase whatever she wants, so how can we control it? Just because she’s shown wearing a designer does not mean that designer is endorsing her, her husband or any of their beliefs. Checking someone’s ethical beliefs before they’re allowed to purchase, sets up an exclusionary dynamic that feeds into the exact mentality that is preventing us from moving forward in a positive direction.”

In the time since all of the drama began and her husband was sworn in as President, Melania has already worn designs by Hervé Pierre, Reem Acra, and Ralph Lauren.

Although it is easy to dismiss the style and dressing of the First Lady as a frivolous idea, it’s important to remember the tradition and pageantry involved in a presidency, and how the fashion choices made by Melania are no different, just as Vanessa Friedman wrote about for The New York Times.
“They paint a picture of the family that now represents the country, of their ambitions, goals and values, at a moment when the world is watching,” she wrote. “This time, the brush strokes swirled: not with accessibility, but with aspiration, and nationalism. A case of the emperor’s new clothes, or a harbinger of things to come? We’ll have to keep looking to find out.”

The Freedom of Going Braless



By Rebekah Swank

I’m a busty woman. I wear a size 36 DD bra. I started wearing underwire bras in elementary school and my back and shoulders often ache, which forces me to hunch over like Quasimodo. I have to wear a bra if I’m doing any kind of physical activity, otherwise the skin on my chest is painfully pulled and stretched. However, it’s a well-known fact that women love taking off their bras after a long day and I am no exception. Coming home after work or school and unfastening the clips of a bra—removing the constraints that have been cutting into your flesh for hours—is a liberating sensation.

About a year ago I forgot to put on a bra before a class. It simply slipped my mind. I realized as soon as I boarded the bus. It was awkward at first. With every swift movement and gentle jiggle I became increasingly concerned with who was noticing my less-than-perky chest. I considered making a run for it back home to strap the wild things down. Was anyone looking? Could anyone actually tell? Was it obvious? During the hour and fifteen minutes I was listening to the lecture, my apprehension gradually subsided. I no longer needed to fidget with my straps, or adjust the wire poking my side. I breathed freely and deeply. I went braless nearly every day for the remainder of the semester.

At times when I had to run to catch the bus or quickly hop down stairs I felt a little uncomfortable. I occasionally wondered if the jabroni sitting next to me could tell, and if he could, was he thinking about it? My under-boob sweat definitely increased. However, I felt free and womanly and confident. I’d had enough of the restrictions bras put on my body for a while.

I mentioned my new habit to my sister (who has a very similar body type to mine). “Ew, that’s too hippie for me,” she said. It was an unintentionally blunt comment that instantly became lodged in my brain. I hid my breasts underneath large sweatshirts; to be completely honest, I still do that most of the time when I choose to go without a bra. Something about the natural hanging of my breasts was unsettling. I wanted to bury them. They weren’t perky when I didn’t wear a bra, and that deterred me from wearing anything that would make it too obvious. I was afraid of being the hippie my sister (and so many others) judged, instead of accepting the womanly figure I wanted so badly to embrace.
I recently had a brief conversation with another staffer at a Style on the Hill meeting. We discussed our agony when we have to go somewhere that requires a more supported bust. We talked about how once you go braless, it’s hard to go back. She said, “you just have to get over what everyone else thinks about it and you’re totally fine.” I love not wearing a bra, so the scrutiny from others has become easier to ignore. As someone who has quarreled with body image and objectification because of my DDs, it’s challenging to embrace them without a push-up. When I don’t wear a bra, I love that I don’t feel constrained. I love that in some ways, I feel more beautiful with low-hangers. I love that I can own up to not wearing bra. I love letting my skin breathe. I love foregoing one item of clothing. I love the powerful feeling. I love being a woman, and I love being free of my bra.

Glossier Serums: How Super are the Supers?


By Rebekah Swank


Well friends, I have been using all three of the Glossier serums for about four weeks now. Here’s how it’s been going…

I pulled up the website to order these tiny bottles of goodness ($65 worth of goodness) and the Super Pack was sold out. I got onto Glossier.com four or five days in a row before I could finally order it (I took this popularity as a sign that the serums were truly worth it). When my package finally arrived, it came in a clean white box. “The Supers,” was printed in small letters on the front. When I opened it, powdery pink painted the inside. I pulled out a page of stickers, tiny emojis and graphics matching those from the website on it. Then I saw a poster, a few informational and promotional inserts, and under it all were the Supers. All three of them. I have to give it to Glossier, their design aesthetic is very pleasing.

When I first began implementing the Supers into my skincare routine, I realized that I was not exactly sure how to use these bad boys. Let’s face it, this was the most money I had ever spent on a skincare product (maybe any item ever) and I did not intend on wasting it. I didn’t know how to apply the serums, in what order to use them, or how they would react with my other skincare products. I tried searching online, but all I found were reviews and articles describing the serums. Then I realized something: Glossier is all about personalized and individual skincare and makeup. These products are gentle and natural so that they can fit into anyone’s routine. I am the one who decides how to use the serums. I make the decision on how to fit the serums into my daily routine. So that’s what I did. However, one thing became very clear during my research: one should never use a serum more than once per day. They are extremely concentrated.

Here’s how I incorporated them into my skincare routine. Every morning I wake up and use a tough cleanser with benzoyl peroxide and apply that with a Clarisonic brush. Immediately following, I use a gentle foaming cleanser from Aveeno. After I dry my face,  I apply a pore-shrinking toner to my face and neck with a cotton round. Then come the serums. I squeeze a drop of Super Glow on my forehead and both cheeks. I rub it into my skin, spreading it upward and outward. I do the same thing with Super Pure, and follow it with an oil-free moisturizer with SPF 15. I do nearly the same routine at night, and after toner I use Super Bounce (I usually rub this one over my lips and under my eyes too) followed by Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus moisturizer. Beauty is pain, right?

Since I have been using the serums, I see small changes in my complexion. My skin is extremely soft and smooth. I can definitely see Super Bounce at work. I think it is my favorite so far, especially due to its milky texture. I still have yet to see major changes in the brightness of my skin, and my breakouts have persisted. Perhaps, Super Glow and Super Pure need more time to take effect. All three of the serums feel light and clean on my skin, and they never feel slimy or heavy.

Overall I’m liking, not ~*loving*~, the results. Stay tuned for the final review in four weeks. TTYL <3


Glossier Serums: What You Need to Know


By Rebekah Swank


If you haven’t heard of the beauty brand Glossier, you aren’t the only one. It is based in New York, and although it isn’t well known in the Midwest, it has been quickly gaining popularity across the states.

The brand stems from the beauty blog Into the Gloss (ITG), which was founded by Emily Weiss in 2010. According to the Glossier website, it has set out to start a “beauty movement that celebrates real girls, in real life.” It emphasizes enhancing women’s natural beauty while teaching girls to have fun and learn what works for them in the process. When you go the website, you are welcomed with white, pastel pink, and fun emoticons and graphics—it’s super hip—basically everything you imagined womanhood to be when you were growing up. ITG shares much of the same philosophy. The ITG site explains that “ITG editors sit on the bathroom floors of everyone from Jenna Lyons to Kim Kardashian to talk products, career, and what beauty means to women today.” These editors, especially Weiss, have truly made a name for themselves in the billion-dollar beauty industry simply by encouraging women to explore new beauty regimens, and to celebrate their own.

My interest in Glossier began when my older sister emailed me a 20% off coupon for my first purchase (probably just so she could also receive a discount for referring others, but hey, it worked). As I explored the website, I realized how unconventional it is compared to a majority of other beauty brand sites. The simplicity of the layout, the whimsy of the design, the bare, undone faces of the women modeling the makeup—it all seemed so different, and honest. TBH they really know how to market their products, because I wanted everything Glossier. From foundation, to face mist, to a terry headband with their logo on it—I wanted it ALL. Then reality set in. My poor college student budget, and cobweb-ridden wallet ended that desire very quickly. Unfortunately, these products aren’t cheap, even though they are more affordable than several other beauty brands offer.

I turned my attention back to the serums, which is what my sister recommended after she had been raving about them for some time. They are often called the “super squad,” and the website claims that the concentrated serums “refill your skin’s deficiencies, strengthening it day after day.” The three serums together cost 65 dollars. The first, Super Glow, is made with vitamin C and magnesium to brighten and rejuvenate dull, tired skin. The site says “over time, Super Glow evens skin tone, and creates a light-reflective complexion.” Sounds ~dreamy~. Second comes Super Pure. Made with zinc and niacinamide, this serum helps to reduce redness and blemishes caused by stress, junk food, and your period. Yes, plz. Super Bounce comes last, containing hydraulic acid and vitamin B5. This serum is meant to help improve elasticity and smoothness after your skin has been mistreated by travel, sun exposure, and, wait for it, hangovers. YAS! After reading through the ingredients and effects of these serums, I really considered paying for overnight shipping. Ta-ta to my paycheck!

I am going to try these suckers out and see just how ~*magical*~ they really are. I have combination skin, and suffer from breakouts often around my T Zone. I’m hoping that the serums reduce my blemishes and get rid of some of the scars I have from previous breakouts. After I use them for 2-3 weeks, I’ll let you know about the effects I’ve seen, and what I think about the super pack. Is it worth the $70? Should I have saved that money for pizza and wine? (Probably!) We shall see.

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