Stories by Amanda Montell

25 Ways to Step Up Your Ponytail Game

Ah, the ponytail: The no-frills hairstyle we wear to the gym, around the house or running errands. At least that's what it used to be. Unlike the plain Jane ponytails of the past, this summer's ponytail hairstyles are turning heads. Inspired by the runway, the blogosphere and the city streets, we're seeing voluminous texture, woven details and other creative elements that are taking the age-old ponytail to 2016. Here, we present the 25 ponytail tutorials we're most excited about this summer -- from high-fashion styles to quick looks anyone can master.   read more

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10 Best Dry Shampoos -- and the 2 Worst

If you're as busy as we are, you typically don't wash and dry your hair every morning -- after all, it can be a long, arduous process full of waiting, heating and styling. Which is why we don't know what we ever did before the invention of dry shampoo. Talk about an absolute game changer.   See dry shampoos

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8 Best Razors for Women

For most of us, shaving isn't exactly the highlight of our beauty routine. If you're not armed with the best razor for women, razor burn, nicked skin and allergic reactions can be common occurrences. Fortunately, our trustworthy TotalBeauty.com reviewers have shaved their way through the masses to identify best razors on the market.   read more

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17 Best Night Creams

Getting your eight hours of beauty sleep is great, but what if we told you there's a way you can do even better? What if we told you there's one simple step before you crawl under the covers that can give you the complexion of your dreams?   See night creams

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20 Harry Potter Spells Every Beauty Junkie Wishes Were Real

Though the credits have rolled on the final Harry Potter film, J.K. Rowling's world lives on forever in the hearts of true, ride-or-die Potterheads. The wizards and witches among us know the core Harry Potter spells better than we know our own country's state capitals: "Wingardium Leviosa" levitates; "Expelliarmus," disarms; "Expecto Patronum" defends against Dementors and Lethifolds. Come on, we speak fluent Hogwarts.   read more

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11 Best CC Creams for Flawless Skin

The best CC creams give you radiant and even-toned skin, and set the stage for the rest of your makeup -- making heavy foundation and layers of powder unnecessary. Over the past several years, the best CC creams have inspired many women to give up heavy foundation, thanks to the natural, skin-perfecting coverage they offer.   read more

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20 Best Soaps

HEALTH & BEAUTY

20 Best Soaps

Soap was probably the first beauty item you were ever introduced to. But what defines the soap of the new millennium? Considering its humble beginnings in the Roman bathhouses of 312 B.C. -- when soap was made out of goat's tallow, wood ashes and salt -- we've come a long way. Now we've got bars that massage, exfoliate, soothe, moisturize and make you smell heavenly (aka, nothing like wood ashes).   Get soap

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16 Best Lipsticks

We kiss with them, we sip with them, we angle them with finesse to create coy little smiles -- they're one of the sexiest parts of the body, and paired with the right gloss, balm, stick or stain, can make an onlooker weak at the knees.   See the products

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12 Best Sunscreens -- and the 2 Worst

Whether we like it or not, sunscreen is a must for all of us. And according to Heidi Waldorf, M.D., of Waldorf Dermatology & Laser Associates in Nanuet, NY, we need "an SPF of at least 15 daily." For prolonged sun exposure (anything more than the incidental exposure you might get from driving or working near a window), she recommends an SPF of 30 above with a water-resistant formula. She also suggests choosing a sunscreen containing titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone or mexoryl as its active ingredient.   See sunscreens

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24 Irresistible Summer Nail Colors You Need This Season

Nothing ushers us into summer like a bright and beaming manicure. And this summer, nail colors are more spirited than ever. Say goodbye to spring's gentle pastels and the dark, brooding colors of winter -- unlike your typical summertime palette, nail colors this year are taking on a newer, friskier personality.   read more

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