Stories by Erica Smith

12 Sneaky Sodium Traps Sabotaging Your Looks

Salt is so in right now -- as in, in everything you eat. As any healthcare professional will tell you, our sodium intake is out of control. Both the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that Americans are swilling as much as 3,600 milligrams of the stuff a day -- more than double the recommended intake of 1,500 milligrams max. We all might as well be walking around with our own personal salt licks. And surprise, surprise: all that salt is not doing your looks any favors.   read more

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8 Ways to Take Your Everyday Ponytail to the Next Level

Sleek, stunning and sophisticated ponytails dominated the runways of Fall 2014 Fashion Week, presenting us with new ways to transform the style we usually reserve for the gym or errands into head-turning updos fit for the office and even a night out. Here, we present the eight high-fashion ponytails we can't wait to wear this fall.   read more

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How To Clip Your Nails In Space & More Gravity-Defying Astronaut Beauty Secrets

To nail her role as an astronaut in the film "Gravity," Sandra Bullock turned to astronaut Catherine "Cady" Coleman, who spent 180 days in outer space, for advice. A retired US Air Force colonel and 21-year NASA veteran, Coleman e-mailed and chatted with Bullock while on her third space mission, where she served as a flight engineer aboard the Russian Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft and spent 159 days aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as the lead robotics and science officer.   read more

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Thigh-High Slits: The Sexiest Way to Show Some Skin This Fall

Even before the temperatures began to drop, we couldn't escape maxi, midi and tea-length dresses and skirts. Though modest hemlines have made a comeback this year, fall 2014 is all about sultry, strategically placed slits. The fashion statement is a welcome reminder that we don't have to sacrifice sex appeal in our fall wardrobes.   read more

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FYI: Fermented Beauty Products Are the Next Big Thing in Anti-Aging

Fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut are probably the last things that come to mind when you think of beautiful skin. But these smelly snacks are packed with probiotics -- anti-inflammatories that help balance your gut and keep pesky skin conditions like acne and dryness at bay.   read more

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8 Crazy Things That Happen When You're a Hand Model

While most of us have a cabinet full of skin-care products for our faces, professional hand models pour the same amount of attention into their poreless, baby-bottom-smooth hands. When your hands are your livelihood (raking in $1,000- plus in a single day), you're going to treat them to some serious TLC. We talked to professional hand models Carrie Jacobson (whose hands grace the Orly French Manicure Kit) and Ashly Jacobson (the hands of Sephora by O.P.I.) who spilled their serious -- and sometimes silly -- skin-care secrets for keeping their hands smooth, soft and flawless.   read more

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20 Groundbreaking Style Icons of Color Through the Decades

Half-shaved heads, asymmetrical haircuts, head-to-toe animal print ... we see these beauty and fashion trends on the runways of Fashion Week, the red carpet of the Grammys and in gorgeous, street style snaps. Sure, they're all the rage now, but the majority of these looks began with fashion icons who spearheaded these styles decades ago. What's more, many of these legends were also women of color, who often found it difficult to find mainstream success during their time.   read more

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How to (Tastefully) Clash Your Lipstick With Your Outfit

Matching your lipstick to your outfit can create a coordinated, streamlined look. But sometimes, you need an unexpected clash of colors to make your ensemble and your statement lip stand out. Wearing colors that don't traditionally go together to create a stylish look seems counterintuitive, but according to celeb makeup artist Nick Barose, perfecting the art of clashing is all about confidence. "The key is to really go for it and make a statement so it's clear you're clashing on purpose." To help you get started, we rounded up the expert-approved lipstick colors that tastefully clash with pieces in your closet.   read more

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9 Colorful Leather Pieces Perfect for Fall

When fall rolls around, there are certain cool-weather staples we're programmed to automatically pull out of our closets. At the top of that list? Leather. But this season, the popular fabric is getting a colorful makeover. Take a cue from the runways of Fashion Week and swap your black leather jackets, boots and gloves for leather pants, leather dresses and even leather shirts in bright blues, deep burgundies and other unexpected pops of color.   read more

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13 Products That Prove Black Is the New Black

Zombie apocalypses, vampires, covens, dystopian alternate realities -- the dark side has certainly been in style lately. Heck, even scientists have created a black so black we can't see it. The beauty world is also going back to black with ominous ingredients and inky packaging.   read more

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