Stories by Erica Smith

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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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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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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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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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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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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Pretty as a Picture: Art Made Entirely of Makeup

We can all agree that creating symmetrical cat eyes and coloring your lipstick inside the lines takes a steady hand and some finesse, but some artists are taking makeup to a whole new level of inventiveness. They're trading in their oils and pastels for mascara and lip gloss, and creating full-blown works of art on canvases (that are not faces.)   read more

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9 Shoes to Step into This Spring

Take footnotes from the runway this spring with 9 of the season's most stylish shoe trends   read more

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Genius Beauty Products to Get You Gorgeous Faster

You have enough to worry about on any given day -- "Is this crop top office-appropriate?" "Did Kimye really deserve that Vogue cover?" -- that getting prettified every morning should not be one of them. Put your beauty routine on auto-pilot with these seriously smart beauty products whose innovative packaging take all the guesswork and fuss out of getting gorgeous.   read more

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9 White Lies You Need to Stop Telling Your Docs

It starts out innocently enough. "I don't smoke ... " That's technically true -- you just forgot to tack on " ... Monday through Thursday," right? If completing that checklist in your doctor's office means lowballing your vices or glossing over certain unsavory details in your past, those little white lies could lead to major medical issues (yes, we're talking about the c-word).   read more

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