Stories by Erica Smith

The Ultimate Guide To Sun-Proofing Your Hair This Summer

With skin, it's more obvious: Skip the SPF and you feel it. Thankfully, your hair doesn't sting or turn bright red after you've been baking in the sun. It puts up a good front, but your hair is just as sensitive to sun as your skin, especially if it's color treated or already damaged. According to Dr. Francesca Fusco, a Clear Scalp & Hair dermatologist, the sun, its UV rays and the heat it generates can damage your hair in a number of ways. It can fade your color, burn your scalp and even break down keratin fiber in your hair (translation: brittle, straw-like hair).   read more

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May 5, 2014  |  12:05 PM  |  1 COMMENT
9 Ways to Wear Precious Metals, No Jewelry Required

Make a smoldering statement with high-shine, foil-like fabrics inspired by the periodic elements   read more

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May 1, 2014  |   3:05 PM  |  COMMENT
8 Most Iconic Hairstyles Ever -- and How to Wear Them Now

We love a good lob and effortless beachy waves, but some hairstyles are so classic that they deserve a spot in the Hair Hall of Fame. Whether it's Holly Golightly's famous updo or a disco diva's legendary curls, some hairstyles just stick around -- getting copied and reinterpreted again and again. Check out photos of the most popular hairstyles at recent awards shows and Fashion Week presentations and you realize that some 'dos just never get old.   read more

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April 30, 2014  |  11:04 AM  |  3 COMMENTS
The Prettiest Powders to Pick Up This Spring

Mother's Day bouquets, painted eggs, pastel everything ... springtime is full of eye candy and beauty products are no exception. Spring lipstick shades and pastel shadows are one thing, but this season's powders (think highlighters, blushes and bronzers) are raising the stylistic bar.   read more

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April 29, 2014  |  10:04 AM  |  COMMENT
16 'OMG' Beauty Horror Stories We Can't Believe

We've all had our fair share of beauty nightmares: Your stylist adds five inches to your "trim," the lady waxing you reveals it's her first day on the job, something that shouldn't be burning is definitely burning ... Sometimes you need to read an especially cringe-worthy beauty horror story to put your bad haircut or botched manicure in perspective. Misery does love company, after all. From unintentional mullets to traumatizing chemical burns, women far and wide (including our very own Total Beauty Facebook fans) have experienced it all. Here's to hoping none of these salon nightmares or DIY disasters happen to you.   read more

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April 25, 2014  |  11:04 AM  |  COMMENT
5 African American Makeup Myths, Debunked

Blondes can't wear yellow, shorties can't wear maxi dresses, white ensembles look tacky after Labor Day. Well-meaning fashion rules like these shouldn't always be taken as fact. You just have to know how to wear them. Likewise, similar myths exist in the makeup world, especially with regard to women of color. "Nude lip colors never work," "Bright eye shadows look tacky" ... you get the picture. But giving into dated rules means you miss out on all the fun, and if there's anything we've learned, it's that rules are meant to be broken.   read more

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April 22, 2014  |  10:04 AM  |  COMMENT
7 Ways to Save Your Skin During Allergy Season

Ah, springtime. The sun is out, the flowers are blooming ... aaand you're sneezing up your lungs, unleashing a flood of tears every two seconds and scratching your skin repeatedly. Yes, allergy season is officially upon us and allergists say we're in for a doozy this season, thanks to the atypically long winter.   read more

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April 17, 2014  |   4:04 PM  |  COMMENT
To the Point: Embroidery Is the Newest Spring Trend

Embroidery usually brings up thoughts of stuffy tapestry or grandma's hand-made knick-knacks, but spring's red carpet is shining a decidedly more stylish light on the stitching technique. Lately, celebs are taking a cue from the runway and swapping spring's expected floral prints for lavish embroidered patterns. Click ahead to see the many ways you can wear the embroidered trend.   read more

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April 16, 2014  |   9:04 AM  |  COMMENT
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 3,600mg of the stuff a day -- more than double the recommended intake of 1,500mg 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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April 15, 2014  |  10:04 AM  |  1 COMMENT
The Best Beauty Looks from the MTV Movie Awards

This weekend, our Instagrams were flooded with pictures of flower crowns, cutoffs and tribal face paint thanks to Coachella. But interspersed with all of the crazy bohemian images from Indio, Calif., was a refreshing dose of red carpet glamour -- thanks to the MTV Movie Awards. The coolest young celebrities took a time out from all that dancing in the desert to celebrate the films that might not have been Oscar-worthy, but were still some of the hottest flicks of the year. And their red carpet looks did not disappoint. From Riri's gorgeous curls to Lupita's smoky eye, we rounded up the best beauty looks and the latest beauty trends that were making the red carpet rounds last night.   read more

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April 14, 2014  |  10:04 AM  |  COMMENT
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