Normally, spring dresses are all about the florals. (If you can get Miranda Priestley saying “Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking,” out of your head, that is.) But with the rise of prairie dresses, shoppers have opened their hearts and their closets to puffy sleeves, vintage-inspired prints, and other trends every season. For 2019, there’s another “It” style on the horizon, which combines different elements from great spring dress trends past: nostalgic patterns, soft colors, and prime Instagram-ability.
Toile-print dresses have been popping up everywhere since Selena Gomez wore an Oscar de la Renta two-piece last summer. “Toile” is a type of decorating, when a repeated pattern of a complex scene—normally something pastoral—is depicted against a white or off-white background. The graphic is charming like a floral, but has the same vintage vibe as your favorite prairie dress. And you can find it on everything from oversized silhouettes to strappy minis.
The latest wave of “It” dresses luckily don’t necessarily have to cost a couple thousand dollars: You can find it everywhere from Urban Outfitters to Tory Burch. If want an alternative to the prairie trend but are tired of the same-old florals, toile-print dresses are a happy medium that aren’t absolutely everywhere yet (just yet). Shop the best ones, ahead.
Whether you’re the type who’s always on top of the latest nail trends—like, say, cow print—or prefer a short, simple mani in pale pink, strong, healthy nails are always a good thing. But actually getting them to the point you desire before they break off in uneven pieces is easier said than done (especially if you’re trying to go au naturel). Daily wear and tear lead to hangnails and snags, and polish and gel changes can weaken your tips over time. So how to actually grow nails out and keep them long? We chatted with pros to gather the best advice for stronger, healthier nails.
Maintain and hydrate your cuticles. Remember this: Healthy cuticles equal healthy nails. “The main habit to break is picking, trimming, or manipulating your cuticles in any way,” says North Carolina dermatologist and nail specialist Chris G. Adigun, M.D. Cuticles act as both a seal and a barrier, keeping in hydration and keeping out possible infections. “Your cuticles are the last line of defense, acting as a shield to block the spread of bacteria from moving in on your nail,” celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann explains. “Cutting them can potentially irritate or infect your nail.” To avoid both, gently push them back instead of trimming.
Skip the nail hardeners. While it may seem like a good idea to reach for a hardener that promises stronger nails, such products can actually do more damage than good. “They often cause nails to become so hard that they crack and break more easily,” Dr. Adigun says.
Moisturize more. Dry hands are a major problem when it comes to maintaining nail strength and health. “Women don’t think that their nails and hands need to be treated like the skin on their face,” Lippmann says. “It wouldn’t occur to most of us to wash our face and not apply a moisturizer, but we wash our hands over and over and don’t apply lotion.” Dr. Adigun says “greasier” products such as Vaseline and Aquaphor are most effective because they seal in the moisture, but if you’re not into the Crisco feeling while you’re tapping on a keyboard, apply them only at night and use lighter creams with dimethicone or ceramides during the day. Also: Use a cuticle moisturizer every day (we like Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil). Ditto if you’ve exposed nails to drying solvents like acetone.
File strategically. Keeping nails at a length that’s functional for your day-to-day life helps prevent breakage and tearing. When you file your nails, make sure you’re doing it correctly. “Shaping your nails may seem like a mindless activity, but it can actually weaken and break your nails if executed improperly,” Lippmann explains. Use a fine-grit file, start on the outside edge and pull towards the center—then continue to gently swipe across your nail in that one direction. Don’t saw the file back and forth, which creates too much friction and gives you frayed edges that catch and snag easily. Lippmann also recommends holding the file tilted underneath the tip. “This prevents over-filing by allowing you to see exactly what you are doing,” she says.
Always wear a base coat. Even if you don’t have time for a full manicure, applying a hydrating and strengthening base coat can prevent the nails from peeling and becoming weak. Celebrity manicurist Ashlie Johnson recommends Chanel Le Base. “It’s packed with ceramides and peptides to fortify nails and promote growth,” she says. Dr. Adigun also recommends Dermelect Makeover, which has a keratin protein, peptide, for stronger tips.
As a millennial and a first-generation American, Ramy has a different outlook on life than his parents. Understandably, millennials are an easy target, but do you think there are any areas in which we should cut them some slack?
RY: I think millennials can get a bit of slack on still living at home. There used to be this stigma of, “Oh, you’re still living at your parents house?” But now it’s like, “Of course you are. Why wouldn’t you be?” There are real economic things to consider. But that being said, avocado toast is insane. It’s very expensive.
A large part of Ramy’s experience involves dating and his parents’ desire to for him to marry a Muslim woman. Have your parents ever tried to set you up before?
RY: No, they haven’t. My parents have been very cool about knowing what I’m trying to prioritize and giving me my space, so it hasn’t come up. My dad came here from Egypt and started working, so he didn’t get married until he was in his early 30s, which was a bit older for our culture. So I think my parents are like, “Oh, he still has time.” The pressure in the show is much different than in my real life.
That pressure would be a lot to contend with.
RY: I will say that the pressure [to be in a relationship] from Ramy’s friends in the show, though, is real. It’s this circle of practicing Muslim guys who are like, “Bro, you got to get married,” while every other group of guys is like, “Bro, don’t get married. Look at my life. Fucking live while you can.” That’s the trope. I’m the outlier with all my dudes who are practicing Muslims. Everyone’s married, has a kid on the way, and barely scratching the surface of 30. That’s super real.
How do you feel about the way we date today?
RY: I think we’re overwhelmed by the illusion of choice. There are all these apps and this idea that there’s someone better out there. It sounds kind of corny, but I don’t think you really find someone until you understand what you want. For a while I’ve known that there are just certain things I want to achieve before I bring in that energy. I haven’t really had a long-lasting relationship because I’ve known that it’s just not my time yet. But I feel that once you switch the gear and genuinely set your life up for what you want, you get what you want. It’s very internal.
So are you focused on work rather than dating right now?
RY: Yeah, I think there’s a balance that can come, but I always think about wanting to reach a level of creative understanding with myself and my work. Then it will make more sense to add people to this equation.
And would you do so via dating apps?
RY: Sure, why not? I don’t think it’s a bad way to meet people. You can actually get a little bit of a glimpse of something—it might not be much, but you can understand how good someone is at marketing.
Between Ramy and your upcoming HBO standup special, you’re quite a busy guy. How do you unwind?
RY: It sounds crazy, but I find myself unwinding when I do standup. There’s something about the grind of production, so when I’m able to go on stage it’s really fun. I always view it as an opportunity to talk with people while I still get to be louder than them, which is my favorite thing. But also, praying five times a day, which I don’t always do, helps me on set and in the writers room. It’s really grounding and a good way to mark time and get organized.
We’ve heard some wild tales of bad behavior by brides over the years, but this latest story may just be the most out-there (and frankly unbelievable) yet.
The Sun first reported the story, which was originally posted in a Facebook group about wedding shaming. In the post, a bridesmaid claims that her then-best friend (the bride whom she calls “Kate”) did not take the news of the bridesmaid’s pregnancy well—at all.
“About a year before the wedding, I found out I was pregnant. I was always told I couldn’t have kids and so obviously my daughter was not planned but I was over the moon,” she says, per The Sun. “So I told Kate, expecting excitement, right? Nope. She immediately told me that I was going to be so stressed trying to get my bridesmaid dress fitting on my own since I’d have to do it after everyone already had theirs (I was due in April, wedding was in June).”
The bridesmaid continued: “She reminded me that it was a kid free wedding, and then after thoroughly explaining how difficult her wedding would be for me, she said (verbatim) ‘so don’t you think it might be better for you to have an abortion?’ I had to read that one a few times.”
Wow. Just wow.
“I asked if she seriously just suggested I get an abortion to make her wedding go more smoothly?” she wrote. “She told me I was ruining my life and then called her mom to tell me to have an abortion … So (obviously) I didn’t speak to her again, got a wedding invite and never sent the RSVP back, and her eight months pregnant future SIL took my place as bridesmaid, she ended up with dresses that easily would’ve accommodated my postpartum body.”
We would agree that ending this relationship is for the best. And can someone tell this bride there are plenty of ways to throw a child-free wedding that don’t involve telling your bridesmaid what to do with her body?
Kelly Clarkson‘s Twitter is one of the greatest things on the Internet. The American Idol OG’s clapbacks and anecdotes are simply unparalleled. Exhibit A: Last week, when she revealed a man thought she was a seat-filler at the Academy of Country Music Awards. “Literally, it made my night because he was so serious, and I just politely said no,” she tweeted alongside several laughing emojis, effectively winning the Internet for the day.
And she just did it again with a new message about Carrie Underwood. A tabloid published a report this week alleging these two music titans are feuding. It’s not true, obviously, and Clarkson confirmed as much with a hilarious tweet.
The “Since U Been Gone” singer posted the magazine cover in question, which Photoshopped an image of Clarkson looking angry next to one of Underwood, and captioned it, “Someone just sent me this & I’m like why does she get the good pic & I have the worst expression I’ve ever made w/zero muscles being used in my face ha! I officially have a feud w/whoever used this pic! At least give me a good pic if y’all are gonna be lying is all I’m sayin.”
Check it out for yourself, below.
And here’s the tweet about the seat-filler incident, in case you’re curious:
“The greatest thing by far that happened to me tonight was being asked to move because some guy thought I was a seat filler at the ACM’s tonight,” she wrote specifically about that incident.
Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson are both successful, busy legends. They don’t have time for silly feuds. And neither do I, for that matter. Cheers to Clarkson for being such an excellent sport about this kind of nonsense. Now excuse me while I listen to her Breakaway album on repeat.
In 2019, pretty much anyone and anything can become Internet famous. I mean, an egg beat out Kylie Jenner for the most-liked Instagram photo ever. So when I recently compared a body wash to an influencer at work, everyone shook their head, nodding in agreement. Crazier things have been said, but you know what, I wasn’t wrong.
Shortly after its release last November, Nécessaire The Body Wash was everywhere. As I scrolled through my Instagram feed it felt impossible to avoid a photo of a yellowy-orange bottle propped up next to a single lit Diptyque candle, living together in bougie self-care bath routine unity.
What struck me the most about The Body Wash was the fact that I had never before seen anyone photograph their body wash quite like this. I, for one, have only ever used Dove body wash and that’s for no other reason than I don’t know what else to use. I don’t ever think about body wash at all ever. It’s just an errand—something I pick up at CVS when I run out. And for that reason, I’ve never, ever thought to Instagram it. If anything I always hide my showering products away whenever I take a picture or my friends come over to my apartment. My feelings towards body wash can best be described as the complete and total opposite of how people feel about something like Glossier: apathetic.
So when I saw everyone willingly showing off Nécessaire as if it were Boy Brow or Drunk Elephant (key elements in every Instagram girl’s top shelf and vanity photos), I really wanted in. I bought a bottle in Sandalwood and after my first shower with it I immediately understood where everyone was coming from. I didn’t just want to photograph it, I wanted to write a love letter to it.
For one, the smell is light, beautiful, and undeniably soothing. I shower with a branch of eucalyptus hanging from my showerhead and the sandalwood scent definitely adds to the spa-like atmosphere I’m trying to accomplish. One of Nécessaire’s co-founders, Randi Christiansen, has actually described the smell as “sexual.” She’s right, and the sexy smell definitely made me feel confident like no other body wash has ever done when I was massaging the foam into my skin.
Speaking of skin, mine felt incredible right after I used it. This was also a new sensation, since I typically don’t feel any longterm after effects from the body washes I’ve tried in the past. I just always assume they’re getting the job done. That wasn’t the case with Nécessaire, which made my skin feel so clean, so moisturized, and so hydrated. It became evident why when I flipped over the bottle to read the ingredients.
Nécessaire’s body wash uses gentle plant-derived surfactants instead of harsher, frothier alternatives. The formula doesn’t have sulfates, parabens, or synthetic dyes. Instead, all you’ll find is vitamins and pure essential oils (like sandalwood). Obviously the branding is also pretty (hence all the Instagram photos), but a maybe underrated detail is the simple lid design. There is no loose cap or hard-to-open flip top. You just turn and squeeze the bottle, which helps me not over-pour and waste product.
Christiansen and Nick Axelrod, Nécessaire’s other co-founder (who originally co-founded the cult beauty site Into the Gloss), started Nécessaire because they wanted a body care (and also sex care) brand that felt like a necessity and not an after-thought. Considering I now look forward to using it every night (while also occasionally propping it up against my bathroom vase for a photo opp), I think it’s safe to say they succeeded.
Ever heard that saying that giving itself is a gift? Well, it definitely applies to oral sex. Oral can be just as fun for the giver as it is for the receiver, especially if you experiment with brand-new moves that both of you will love. Here are some techniques that’ll take oral up a notch for your partner and make it more exciting for you as well.
Last Sunday, I, along with 17.4 million other viewers, tuned in to the premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones. I didn’t cosplay for the occasion, but I did wear something special—a silver ring, with a braided, adjustable band and a wolf crest. From a distance, it’s not unlike the stackable jewelry you see any fashion person (or Meghan Markle) wearing. But if you look closely (and are a fan of Game of Thrones), you’ll recognize the House Stark sigil on its face.
When Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released in 2017, it was met with limited-edition capsules from Rag & Bone, ASOS, Clarks, and many others. Coach is a frequent Disney collaborator, creating apparel and accessories embroidered with characters from different franchises. Opening Ceremony’s Spring 2018 collection was inspired by Mickey Mouse—and debuted at Disneyland in California. Alex & Ani has a page for all of its collaborations, called Official Fan Collection, where you can buy pieces inspired by Harry Potter, Wonder Woman, and, yes, Game of Thrones.
Now, these partnerships are first and foremost a canny business move. The Wall Street Journalreported that HBO’s cumulative marketing partnerships for the final season of Game of Thrones are valued at $20 million. Fans of the show number in the millions, and they’re hyped for new episodes after a two-year hiatus. There’s a sense of nostalgia, too, knowing that the current season is its last, so the fans will commemorate it, and the checks will come in. It’s a matter of going where the money is—with a little help from licensing agreements and legal fees.
Disney x Coach Kisslock Frame Pouch With Disney Motif
But as an avid fan, it’s more than just another way to support the shows I love.
I care about how I dress—I always have. I also get really invested in certain franchises: Outlander, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, I could go on. In the past, I’d want to combine the two, but I’d look at the merch that was available and be disappointed. I couldn’t justify spending the money on gimmicky pieces I couldn’t see myself wearing outside of the house or to a meet-up. I was so fed up with it, I started creating my own fan gear, transcribing my favorite quotes or symbols from a series onto blank T-shirts. Still, I wanted something a little bit more legitimate, something I’d feel proud investing in and could get excited about.
Fast-forward to 2019: Whenever a big-budget project with an established fandom premieres, I can expect a handful of inspired-by collections to drop with it. Finally, as both parties have wised up to the big business opportunity at the intersection of fashion and fandom, I have access to merch that looks and feels cool, not costume-y. I’ve graduated from DIY T-shirts and pins to sleek denim jackets and sophisticated leather bags, and it’s super validating. It legitimizes to me that fashion and fandom aren’t mutually exclusive.
The numbers show that the customer is there: The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA)’s report on the global licensing industry for 2016 revealed that spending on licensed merchandise was up by 4.4 percent and valued at $262.9 billion, according to Deadline. More than half of those sales came from the U.S. and Canada, the group found.
There are several theories floating around the Internet speculating how some of your favorite Game of Thrones characters will die. Some of them are far-fetched, but a few actually have merit—like this new one from Redditor Namez Are Hard that centers on Cersei.
If you remember from season five, we learned that when Cersei was little she visited a witch, Maggy the Frog, who made all sorts of (accurate) predictions about her life. Maggy prophesied that Cersei would marry the king and have three children, who would all die. And this happened. The only thing that hasn’t yet is the final component of Maggy’s fortune: “The valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.” “Valonqar” is High Valyrian for “little brother,” so fans have been convinced for seasons that either Jaime or Tyrion would eventually kill Cersei.
But Namez Are Hard has a different idea. They think it’s actually Cersei’s unborn baby who will kill her during childbirth. This, of course, is hinged on (1) Cersei actually being pregnant and (2) her having a boy. Namez Are Hard’s theory checks out otherwise. “She is killed by the valonqar. Nowhere in Mag’s prophecy does it say HER valonqar, just THE valonqar,” the user writes. (Cersei’s hypothetical baby boy would technically be the little brother to her three deceased children.)
Several fans seem to think Cersei is lying about being pregnant. In the first episode of season eight, she was seen drinking a glass of wine. Of course, she could just be drinking through her pregnancy, but she notably turned down wine last season because she was expecting. So many mysteries!
Of course, we’ll find out these answers definitively at some point this season. Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 P.M. ET on HBO.