Everything You Need for a Manicure At Home

Everything You Need for a Manicure At Home

Just because nail salons are closed doesn’t mean you have to let those nice nails chip and dull. Take their care into your hands with these items you need for a merry manicure this winter season.

Nail Clippers

While you might be tempted to file everything, don’t fool yourself. Nail clippers are the best way to quickly get the nail down to the length you want. It’ll look ugly, but clippers are not there for detail work.

Nail File

After clipping, it’s on to the fine tuning of the shape. Nail files allow you to shape your nail with precision to you can achieve the shape you want. Be sure to have at least one that is course for a fast file and one that is fine to smooth out the edges.

Base Coat

Base coats provide protection against staining. This is why it’s so important to make sure you apply one, especially for those darker colors. Be sure to invest in a polish that is a base coat since an actual base lacks extra shine and is sticky enough to keep the polish attached.

Polish

Remember not to forget your color! Whatever you choose, make sure it’s one that makes you feel great and compliments whatever it is you’re pairing it with. That being said, it’s okay and even expected to go through a few test applications before settling on a shade that’s right for you.

Top Coat

Finally, just like the base coat, make sure you have a polish that is a dedicated top coat. This essential third layer helps your polish color last longer. It blocks UV radiation from damaging the pigment, protects from the elements, and adds that fantastic shine that really makes your manicure sparkle.

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Slating

Slating

What is it? Why is it important? How do you slate successfully? Here’s how to ace one of the most overlooked aspects of an audition.

What is slating?

Slating is the short introduction that kicks off an audition where you state your name and other statistics the casting crew asks for.

Why does it matter?

Isn’t the audition the piece that matters most? Yes and no. While the audition sells your acting acumen, the slate is where you make your impression. It’s the first few seconds the casting crew sees you and that can make or break if they’re even interested in what comes next.

What do I do?

The slate is a very fine line to walk. Some actors go way too far and ham it up well beyond acceptable levels. Others don’t treat it with enough importance and don’t add any charm. Basically, be yourself at your absolute best.

When going through the information you’ll be listing, such as name, location, agent, height, or role you’re auditioning for, be sure to avoid age. You don’t want to draw attention to something that doesn’t matter. If you’re a good fit, you’re a good fit regardless of the year you were born in.

As for the script, keep it simple but don’t be afraid to play around with what sounds interesting. You could start with a “Hi, I’m…” or exclude that and jump straight to your name. The English language is extremely versatile and, often, ditching traditional sentence structures in favor of something new and exciting can really catch the attention of a casting director.

Finally, face the camera with your shoulders back and head held high. Just as you want your voice to exude confidence, so, too, do you want your body to exhibit the same pride and belief that you are a cut above.

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Tips to Fight #Maskne

Tips to Fight #Maskne

A hashtag that would have been inconceivable a year ago, #maskne unveils the true evil of the masks—acne. Here’s how you can keep your face clean while doing your part to protect the health of others.

Wash Your Face First

Before going out and donning the mask, wash your face. This will get rid of excess dirt and oils that would otherwise be trapped under the mask and clog your pores. Make sure that face is clean before you put anything on it.

Mask with Moisturizer

Some maskne is caused by irritation brought on by friction. To reduce this, apply a fragrance-free moisturizer. Not only will it keep your skin hydrated, it will create a protective barrier between the mask and your sensitive facial skin.

Miss the Makeup

Since there’s no chance you’ll be without a mask in public, it’s time to put a stop to fixing up that area (for now). Put away the lip gloss and lipstick. Keep foundation areas that will be seen. Makeup, when under the mask, acts like dirt in that it clogs the pores and leads to breakouts.

Wash the Mask Often

Each time you use the mask, make a point to wash it. Unwashed masks are breeding grounds for bacteria exhaled from the mouth and nose. Not only does such a collection contribute to maskne, it can also lead to serious health concerns.

Invest in Gentle Detergent

With all the mask washing you’ll be doing, it’s important to make sure you invest in a cleaning product that won’t add to the problem. Many detergents contain fragrances that are harsh on the skin. Make sure yours doesn’t. The gentler the detergent is purported to be, the less of a chance it’ll add any maskne to your face.

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“Yes, and…” Improv Technique – What is it?

“Yes, and…” Improv Technique – What is it?

Improv theatre is a fast-paced form of performance that challenges actors to create and tell a story together on the spot with minimal inspiration and a live audience. It’s a challenging art form that comes with its own exercises to help performers shine and none are more beneficial to all artists than “Yes, and…”

The Rules

Playing “Yes, and…” is very simple. One actor starts by setting the scene. The next actor then jumps in with a line that begins with “Yes, and…” and adds to the story. This continues until time runs out or a natural conclusion is reached.

The Purpose

In improv, the story must get moving immediately and a big “no” is a great way to stall everything. “No” is the full rejection of an idea. It kills comradery and it kills scenes before they even get going. It disrespects the thoughts of others and, in theatre, this is no way to build a cohesive acting unit. By forcing a “yes,” actors teach themselves how to accept an idea from another person. Then, by adding on, they help build on that idea. By having to accept these, regardless of how good or bad they think the ideas are, they are showing respect to the creativity of other people. By adding their own thoughts, they then become invested in helping make that thought better and better. In no time, every person now has a direct investment in the story that means something to them. It’s a positive feedback loop created from one of the simplest exercises ever created for performance. In time, it becomes a habit so ingrained that the two words, “yes, and…,” can be dropped in full in favor of forming more natural sentences.

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Top Actors of 2020

What a wild year it’s been! But with 2021 on the horizon and fresh starts just around the corner, it’s always nice to take a look back and celebrate the performers that really made this year shine.

Samuel L. Jackson

A much beloved actors for countless years, Jackson proved yet again that he is the star. The highest grossing actor internationally and nationally, he had a huge 2019 with Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home—a year that helped carry him through to the top of the list this year.

Dwayne Johnson

Runner-up is the charismatic ex-wrestler who proves that you don’t need to be classically trained to bring in fame and adulation. The lockdown kept his year relatively quiet, but last year seemed nonstop with the release of Jumanji: The Next Level and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.

Chadwick Boseman

Each year a star bids the stage adieu, and this year, it was the celebrated Chadwick Boseman. Hurtled to fame as the titular Black Panther, he was a star with a lot of promise and potential. Unfortunately, he lost his battle with cancer, putting his brief but incredible 16-year career to a close.

Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr. is nothing if not a testament to the individual’s ability to overcome. After finally beating a lifelong drug addiction, he was signed on by Disney to play Tony Stark and the rest is history. In addition to his charismatic portrayals of every character he’s cast as, he is a master of social media, interacting daily with his fans.

Elizabeth Olsen

Unlike many Hollywood starlets, Olsen keeps out of the tabloids, preferring to let her career speak for itself in terms of acting quality. Though another Marvel star, her choice of roles is broad and diverse, a choice that keeps her from the dreaded typecasting stigma.

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Holiday Make-Up Trends

Holiday Make-Up Trends
Media Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/Sa9Oi6jrNUM Photo by Apostolos Vamvouras on Unsplash

Hankering for some holiday helpings of merry makeup? Here are the trends making the rounds this season.

The Vamp

Lips are a big focus and to help them out is the vampy look. The key to pulling this extreme look off is to stick with a very dark matte lipstick that only has a small hint of purple or red peeking out. Don’t forget that this color should also compliment your skin, so test out a lot of colors to be sure you find one that truly pops.

The Spider

The eyelids are always in fashion but rare is it for the lower lids to receive a lot of gussying up. Luckily, this season brings a lot of focus to the lower part of the eyes. Known as the spider lash, this trend uses fake lashes along the bottom lid to help frame those beautiful peepers.

The Glow

With winter drying out everything, it’s quite the dramatic sight to see glowing, shining skin and lips. You don’t need sunshine to bring out your best. All you need is a high quality liquid highlighter paired with a stunning, moisturizing lip gloss.

The Natural

If loud and proud isn’t your cup of tea, this year pushes a lot of focus on a natural look. Opt for browns and bronze. Neutrals and mattes are the perfect combination for bringing out your natural beauty in a way that will have people wondering if you even have makeup on in the first place.

The Bright

If you are of fan of makeup that blasts color, blues and periwinkles are all the rage this season. It’s as 80s as it gets but the shape and the shades bring it to the modern era. Have fun going as bold as you want to blast away the winter gray.

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Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

The season of giving is a great time to celebrate our own gifts as well as offer the resources we have to better the lives of others. Here’s how you can make someone else’s holiday all the merrier.

Donate

As you go through your closet this season, set aside a pile of things that are still in good condition. Instead of throwing them away, bring them down to your nearby donation center and drop them off. You can’t use those items anymore, but there is certainly someone out there who can.

Care Packages

For the military, the job is never done, as evinced by the over 160,000 troops stationed across the world in over 150 different countries. Even if you can only put together a few packages, gifts from home are priceless to those who can’t celebrate the holiday with their friends and families.

Volunteer

There are countless organizations that need volunteers each and every day. Search through your local listings and find a cause that speaks to you. Maybe it’s helping homeless animals. Maybe it’s feeding the hungry. Maybe it’s bringing a smile to a sick child’s face. Even helping one sends out ripples of generosity that affect many.

Give Blood

Giving blood is a truly selfless act. It costs nothing and takes less than an hour and can save someone’s life. Check in with the local donation center to find out when the next drive is or if you can donate today.

Spruce Up the Neighborhood

Hold a potluck. Pick up trash. Trim the bushes. Plant some winter greens. When it comes to giving back, we like to think big, but the reality is that the biggest impact we can make is in our own neighborhood. Start there and see just how wonderful things can get.

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The Best Drugstore Dupes

The Best Drugstore Dupes

Why spend $20 on a concealer when you can bust out $5 for the same thing? There’s a dupe for everything when you need to budget your bag.

The Perfect Prime

The first step to beauty doesn’t need to cost more than $10. Enter e.l.f.’s Poreless Putty Primer. Able to create a solid, smooth base that reduces the need for heavy foundation application, it’s a steal.

A Solid Foundation

Next on the list is Flower Beauty foundation, ringing up around $14. It’s a hydrating formula that is thin but radiant and natural looking.

The Set Up

To pull it all together, the top dupe finishing powder is awarded to the commonly heralded Mabelline Fit Me Matte at around $8. It’s a favorite among beauty YouTubers and for good reason. It does a fantastic job with coverage and reducing skin oil shininess.

In the Shadows

Once again e.l.f. wins with its $3 mini palettes. They are absurdly great for the price. They blend. They shimmer. They stay in place. It’s everything anyone could want from an eyeshadow.

The Mask

Mascaras can be a tricky try since most are only as good as they cost but it’s hard to go wrong with Covergirl. Their Exhibitionist line is only $12. While it might not be as voluminous as other brands, it is long lasting and holds strong against flaking and smudging.

Cheeky

Milani Baked Blush, at $12, is a best kept secret. The pigments are rich and they have a good array of both matte and shimmery hues. It can build easily or go on subtly.

Loose Lips

Milani takes the cake once again with their Bold Color Statement line running $7. While it goes on drier than many lipsticks, it’s virtually smudge-proof, making it the ideal choice for an all-day look.

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How to Change Your Skin Care Routine for Fall and Winter

How to Change Your Skin Care Routine for Fall and Winter

That first chill of fall is always a welcome escape from the heat of summer. On it rides the excitement of holidays, time with loved ones, and a much-needed rest from the business of work. It also carries with it temperature, humidity, and sunlight changes that force a shift in how we should care for our skin.

More Moisturizer

Those cool breezes and winter winds are terrible for retaining moisture. In order to fight the dryness, it’s time to apply even more moisturizer. Invest in a thicker bedtime moisturizer that is made for sensitive skin. You want to make sure those pores remain unclogged.

Avoid Exfoliation

Your skin produces natural barriers to deal with the harsher elements. When we exfoliate, we wipe those away, leaving our now raw skin even more exposed to damaging cold. Where warm temperatures and humidity help protect the skin, cold and dry damage it, so your skin needs as much help as it can get to produce a healthy buffer.

Stick with Sunscreen

Just because the days are shorter doesn’t mean the sun isn’t kissing your cheeks. UV radiation is always a threat. Luckily, however, the angle of the sunlight and decrease in exposure means you can use less of it. Choose an SPF 30.

Drink More Water

It’s easy to stay hydrated in the summer months when you feel thirsty all the time but you aren’t any less prone to dehydration during the fall in winter just because of the temperature fluctuation. On top of that, we tend to drink hot drinks, like teas and chocolates, two things that actively dry us out. By consciously keeping up the water intake, you keep your face full and bright no matter how short the days.

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What NOT to Do During an Audition

What NOT to Do During an Audition

We often list what we should do during an audition but rarely to do we go over the biggest faux pas. Here are the top offenders to avoid.

Show Up Unprepared

Everything the casting directors will want from you is listed on the audition sheet. Do not show up without every single thing mentioned. Not only is an audition a showcase of your talent, it’s a showcase of your ability to prepare. If you show up missing half of what you need, why would they assume you wouldn’t do that when it actually matters?

Apologize or Make Excuses

Never, ever, ever apologize for your work. No one but you knows if your audition was your best work or your worst. Apologizing immediately shows weakness and paints your performance in a negative light even if the directors liked it. Apologizing makes you appear weak and performers need to be confident in themselves and in their work. After all, would you apologize to the audience after a rough monologue? No, you wouldn’t.

Quit

We all mess up. We all forget lines. What we don’t do is quit when a mistake happens. It would be like refusing to walk anymore after tripping on a crack in the sidewalk. A huge part of a strong performance is knowing how to course correct when hiccups happen. Don’t quit at the first sign of trouble. Show off how you handle adversity.

Act Shy

There is nothing wrong with being a shy person offstage. However, when you’re onstage, you need to be able to command a room. You need energy, you need confidence, you need charisma. As soon as you step on that stage, the directors need to feel your vibrancy. If you can draw them in, you can draw in an audience.

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