This “Gentle Piercer” Is Changing the Industry

close up of septum piercing on black person wearing red glassesCourtesy of Janeese Brooks 

New York-based piercer Janeese Brooks was, like many people, inspired by her mother — specifically, the dread her mother felt around anything involving needles. That fear drove Brooks to develop a piercing technique to reduce the completely normal uneasiness many clients experience ahead of and during an appointment, whether it's their first, second, or 10th time getting pierced. "Do everything you can to make people feel strong for how far they got [by making an appointment]," Brooks told herself. "Even coming in the door a lot of times, is an ordeal, especially for people and piercings." 

At Live by the Sword Tattoo in Brooklyn, New York, Brooks offers a "gentle" piercing method, as she calls it. It's not a separate add-on service; compassionate treatment is central to everything she does. It's built into all of her appointments, which keeps her clientele coming back for more.

close up of pierced ear with silver bar going through the ear verticallyCourtesy of Janeese Brooks

Affirmations are shared throughout the piercing process to help console her clients as they experience pain and apprehension. You can even often hear Brooks telling them, "I love you" or "You are strong," as she punctures their skin. If they're used to the quick in-and-out environments of a tattoo shop or booth at the mall, some may find this unexpected and awkward. But Brooks's priority is ensuring her clients' comfort and emphasizing that she doesn't intend to cause them pain. "I tell people [these affirmations] when they wince, cringe, or [show] other small [signs] of pain," she says. "I like to reinforce the fact that I don't like hurting anyone. I'm not here to hurt you, in fact, if I could do it all without any pain whatsoever I would."

By sharing positive statements, Brooks also hopes to help those who have had negative and traumatic piercing experiences in the past heal — which is she says accounts for "so many" of her clients. By way of example, she mentions clients of color who were told their noses are too thick or big for a piercing or folks who dealt with inappropriate touching from a piercer while getting their nipples or belly button done. There are also clients whose apprehension simply stems from a technical piercing error, like the gun getting stuck. Hearing these stories in the past made her think, "How do we build a space where people are safe, all the way around?" Now, Brooks does her best to validate their experiences and build trust with them. 

close up of several ear piercings with gold jewelryCourtesy of Janeese Brooks

Creating a comfortable and calm environment is central to Brooks' appointments. Even if a client prefers a more silent session, which she says doesn't happen often, she will create a relaxing atmosphere in other ways. For instance, she will offer one of her apprentices to hold the client's hand, play calming music, or even sing to them to ensure they feel some form of reassurance.

In addition to the usual consultation process to determine piercing placements and jewelry, Brooks says she observes her clients during the appointment to ensure the piercing will fit their lifestyle. For instance, if Brooks notices you touch your ear or fiddle with your hair a lot during your initial conversation, she'll suggest leaning away from a cartilage piercing because they take longer to heal. 

woman with short hair posing outside in mesh seethrough shirt and skirt with a face printed on itCourtesy of subject

Brooks didn't start going by the Gentle Piercer until about two years ago. Her clients called her that enough times throughout her career that she finally accepted the title, she says. Before becoming the Gentle Piercer — and a piercer, in general, six years ago — Brooks observed others in the industry. During her junior year of college in 2015, she would often find herself wandering into local shops to watch the piercers out of fascination. The summer of that year, she landed an apprenticeship at a shop in Oneonta, New York, officially starting her piercing career. "I like to tell people it's the only thing that I followed through with by accident," she jokes.

Simplifying the aftercare process is crucial, too, because sometimes all the recommendations can be overwhelming and, at times, unnecessary. Brooks' instructions are straightforward: Pretend the piercing didn't happen and just leave it alone. Let your body heal on its own. "The less you touch it, the better," she adds. 

Though Brooks makes her sessions as supportive and serene as possible, she acknowledges that, ultimately, it's still a person sticking a needle through a part of another person's body. "You're still going to be anxious, no matter how many times you've [gotten a piercing], but I don't need to make it worse," she shares. "It should not just be a safe environment but also comfortable. You should feel like you're allowed to be whatever version of yourself you are while you're getting pierced and have somebody that appreciates both versions — the nervous version that came in and the version that's leaving."

8 Leggings Outfits That Will Look Like You Actually Tried

Source: Angela Giakas

Is there any win-win situation that compares to wearing leggings? The perfect pair are as cozy as they are cute; as versatile as they are dependable. Like a healthy cupcake that somehow still tastes like a real cupcake, leggings can seem too good to be true, especially when you make them the base of real, put-together outfits.

But no. They’re just too good.

You can sleep, stretch, or sprint a mile in them. But more importantly, you can serve serious looks in them, sans the effort. Take it from these fashion girls, who prove that loungewear can be elevated with just a few key essentials. A single jacket, bag, or sweater can level up your leggings without compromising on comfort. See? Win-win.


1. Lean into sweater weather

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A polished OOTD that feels like you haven’t left the couch? Sign us up. Leggings can quickly become sophisticated with just a striped sweater and an oversized button-up. And the best part? These basics are most likely in your closet right now.


2. Incorporate denim

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If you’re ever unsure of how to style your leggings, revisit your go-to outfit formulas. The classic white sneakers, white T-shirt, and jean jacket look has never let you down, and this time is no different. 


3. Add another layer (or three)

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When the temps drop, two things are certain: we (reluctantly) swap our iced coffee with something hot, and we start layering. And layering. Oh, and layering some more. What’s one more turtleneck under this sweater coat under this coat? Remember to throw on a chunky scarf for good measure.


4. Keep it cool and comfy

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This minimalist look delivers maximum comfort and style thanks to a strategic choice of color—or lack thereof. In this case, canvas sneakers, a white pullover, and a baguette bag transformed a pair of typical black leggings into an effortless, repeat-worthy outfit.


5. Make a statement in faux leather

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If you want to look like you tried without actually trying, your best bet might be with a pair of faux leather leggings. They’re sleek, but still soft and stretchy. The best of both worlds. Pair them with suede booties and your most chic coat, and you’ll forget you’re not still chilling at home.


6. Go wild with neutrals

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It’s time to channel your inner leopard, cheetah, zebra, or what have you, because animal prints are in. And neutral colors are, forever and always, in. Your next “I don’t have anything to wear” day has officially been solved.


7. Tell a color story

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Your pink leggings called, and they want to see the light of day outside of your spinning class. Pair a bright-colored jacket with your bright-colored yoga pants, and enjoy the boost of dopamine all day.


8. Get dramatic and monochromatic

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When in doubt, a head-to-toe black outfit never fails. In fact, it’s power dressing at its finest. No one will even realize you’re wearing leggings, because your leather jacket will be stealing the show. Complete the monochrome look with a beanie and combat boots for all the edgy vibes.


6 Easy Outfits You Can Wear All Fall Long


Dr. Jart+’s Cicapair Tiger Grass Mask Is Like a Soothing Blanket for My Face

Selfie of Nykia Spradley with product swipe on face jar of Dr.Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Sleepair Intensive Mask on white...Allure/Ingrid Frahm

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

I have a confession: I've completely fallen off of doing a proper nightly skin-care routine. Much of it has to do with what seems like a pandemic-induced elimination of time. Hours and days just blur together. Thankfully, this year's Best of Beauty Award testing gave me plenty of incentives to get my schedule and skin back in shape. Through the sea of products that I put to work, a gem emerged to meet my ongoing skin woes: Dr. Jart+'s Tiger Grass Sleepair Intensive Mask.  

Before diving into what makes this mask so great, and why I love it — let me first give you a very brief history of my nightly skin-care routine. I wash my face, slather on face oil, and go to bed. That's it. End of story. However, over the years as my skin needs have evolved, I've slowly added steps and products to the to-dos. I'll stick on pimple patches when needed, try retinol serums, eye creams, lip treatments, you name it. I've found that what I'm able to stick to most consistently are multitasking products — and Dr. Jart+'s Tiger Grass Sleepair Intensive Mask has been a pleasant cure-all for my ongoing skin concerns. 

The universal thread that remains a constant is my skin's desire for moisture — and this is one of the biggest benefits of this new addition to Dr. Jart+'s Cicapair collection. The sleep mask looks to star ingredient tiger grass, also known as cica or Centella asiatica — a leafy green herb that has used for centuries for its regenerative powers — to attract moisture to the skin and deeply soothe irritation. 

Board-certified dermatologist Shari Marchbein, who is based in New York City previous explained to Allure that cica not only helps brighten skin, but also increases hydration in the top layer. "Cica boosts circulation and blood flow to the skin, decreases moisture loss, and aids in cellular repair," she says. "Skin, therefore, appears more hydrated and less inflamed." This formula in particular also contains moisturizing glycerin and skin-smoothing niacinamide to add an extra layer of nourishment. 

At first swipe, I was a bit hesitant. My mom used to coat my face in petroleum jelly as a child and I instantly had flashbacks to five-year-old me glistening to the Gods then nearly sliding out of my seat in school because I was covered in the stuff. This mask has a similar jelly-like viscosity, except it's not as thick, nor is it too liquidy. It's also not wet like a gel moisturizer. Instead, the mask coats skin in what feels like a protective, moisturizing barrier. 

Dr Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Sleepair Intensive Mask Soothes Skin While You Sleep  ReviewCourtesy of Nykia Spradley for Allure

I washed my face with the Elemis Superfood Face Wash, and then applied the mask. I intentionally slathered it on about 45 minutes before bed so that I could see how it felt. My skin instantly felt soothed. I imagine this to be a dream for sunburned or irritated skin. It was like a veil of calm coating my skin. 

Before I laid down the slickness of the mask had dissipated a bit, but a layer of the jelly was still very visible on my face. In the morning, I was surprised that it hadn't all rubbed off onto my pillow. I could still feel a thin layer of the moisturizer present, but it wasn't sticky. I rinsed my face with warm water – rubbing of the excess — and honestly, I didn't even need to apply another layer of moisturizer. Mornings when I'll actually be heading outside, all I'll need to add is a facial sunscreen, and then be on my way. 

Dr.Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Sleepair Intensive Mask on white background

Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Sleepair Intensive Mask

$39Shop Now

Pick up your own Dr. Jart+'s Cicapair Tiger Grass Sleepair Intensive Mask now for $39 at And while you're here, be sure to check out all of this year's Best of Beauty 2021 Award Winners. 

Looking for more Best of Beauty products to shop? We've got you covered.

  • 30 All-Time Allure Favorites Under $30
  • 25 Allure-Beloved Beauty Products You Can Shop for Under $25
  • Every Best of Beauty Winner You Can Buy at Target

Now, watch Hyram Yarbo's gets ready for the day with this quick skin and hair routine.  

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10 Hacks For Achieving the “No Makeup” Makeup Look

The Everygirl’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.

Source: @jaxandrose

Isn’t it weird that we want to apply makeup . . . that looks like we’re not wearing makeup? Existential beauty crisis aside, the off-duty model, no makeup vibes are here to stay. This look directly goes against the typical “Instagram” beauty looks we see a lot of —bold brows, full coverage foundation, winged liner, you know what I’m talking about. “No makeup” makeup is basically the bare minimum, focusing more on the steps of application than the number of products.

We’ve broken down the best tips and tricks for this natural trend as well as rounded up our favorite products to get you there quick and easy.


Meet the expert
Erika LaPearl
Erika is the key makeup artist for rapper Cardi B, focusing on natural and full glam looks.


1. Skin First

This look is all about glowing, natural skin. The easiest way to get that? Actually have glowy, natural skin. While not everyone has the amazing youthful glow of Amal Clooney or Jennifer Aniston, we know how to how fake it! Before embarking on this no-makeup- makeup journey, indulge in some skin prep. Using a hydrating face mask before applying makeup makes sure the skin is already supple and moisturized. 


Dew Point Moisturizing Gel-Cream

A gel moisturizer will add a layer between your skin and foundation without adding extra shine.

Shop it now

Summer Fridays

Jet Lag Mask

To ensure an ultra-moisturized complexion, apply this cult-favorite mask and let it sit for about 10 minutes. The trick is to leave it on—this works flawlessly as a primer for makeup.

Shop it now


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2. Prime your base

When you’re going for a minimal look, a primer is the easiest way to get a smooth base. “For me, using a primer creates a base that keeps your makeup in place, so it lasts throughout the day instead of sliding around your face,” said celebrity makeup artist Erika La’Pearl. You can cater your product choices to what kind of look you’re going for or your skin type. A pore-filling primer will smooth and fill any pores without clogging them the way a thick foundation might. An illuminating primer will add that “lit from within” glow and make you look extra hydrated.


Blurring & Moisturizing Primer

This is the perfect mix of a blurring, soft-focus texture with a bit of radiance. Our editors swear by it.

Shop it now


Hydrating Illuminator

Add a glowy, luminous finish to any foundation by applying this underneath.

Shop it now


3. Go light on the coverage

Steer clear of thick, full coverage foundations for this look. Tinted moisturizers, BB and CC creams, and skin tints give your skin some extra hydration and still allow some of your freckles, redness, and imperfections to shine through. La’Pearl swears by liquid foundations in this step because they keep your skin looking radiant, blend easily, and can be built up. One of her favorites is Be a 10’s Beyond Belief Foundation if you want a fuller coverage that doesn’t look cakey. Apply your liquid foundation or skin tint with a buffing foundation brush to cover more, or with a sponge to keep the dewiness and sheer it out—La’Pearl’s ideal method of applying foundation.


Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

The Goldilocks of tinted moisturizers: has a little bit of coverage but not too much, never gets cakey, blends seamlessly, and actually has a wide shade range.

Shop it now

The Lip Bar

3-in-1 Tinted Skin Conditioner

This has customizable coverage that takes you from sheer/light to medium depending on how much you build it up.

Shop it now


Glow Hydrating Skin Tint

Your skin tint doesn’t have to cost a lot, and this Milani proves it. It has a gorgeous radiance that makes your skin look like it’s glowing from within.

Shop it now


4. Use a lightweight concealer for blemishes

If you’re still not used to letting your blemishes or dark circles go uncovered, use a lightweight, hydrating concealer. Blend with your fingers—the warmth of your skin makes the product melt right in!


Radiant Creamy Concealer

Arguably the most famous concealer on the planet: our editors swear by this cult-classic for its blendability, shade range, and ability to somehow always look good. La’Pearl also swears by this concealer for her celeb clients, like Cardi B.

Shop it now


Radiant Under Eye Concealer

This concealer has crept up to the top of our Beauty Editor’s favorites list because it’s a medium coverage that looks luminous without ever looking oily.

Shop it now


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5. Cream everything

Creams make everything just blend and sink right in, and it tends to look more natural than powders. After applying your foundation and concealer, blend a cream bronzer with a damp sponge. Set lightly with a powder bronzer if you’re worried about everything lasting all day or keep all the glowy goodness by locking in with a setting spray. La’Pearl applies bronzer to her cheekbones and the temples, and even blends it on her eyelids as eyeshadow to create dimension and intensify the look a little bit without going overboard. 

Em Cosmetics

Multi Face Play

This contour/bronzer hybrid will add shadows and dimension to your face, but unlike other bronzers, it blends seamlessly into whatever’s underneath it. For a natural look, put your brush directly into the product and then blend on your face.

Shop it now

e.l.f. Cosmetics

Putty Bronzer

This inexpensive bronzer rivals some of the most expensive cream bronzers on the market, coming through with a great shade range, a buildable coverage, and easy-to-blend formula.

Shop it now


6. Dew is your friend

Adding a nice dewiness to the tops of the cheekbones can go a long way in making your face look natural but still glowy. Rather than going for a traditional shimmery highlighter, opt for a cream with a clear base. This basically looks just like sweat (sounds gross, but trust us!) or a natural dew to the skin. The texture of the product will also blend right in with all the other cream products on the face.


Day Glow Highlighting Balm

This highlighter is so good, it sold out for months. Snag this if you like a natural dewy look with a hint of shimmer and gloss.

Shop it now

Danessa Myricks Beauty

Hydrating and Highlighting Balm

If you’d rather not look like you’re wearing anything but just want a slight sweaty glow to your face, this is the one.

Shop it now

Flower Beauty

Day Glow Highlighting Glaze

Opt for this drugstore highlighter if you want the best of both worlds: light shimmer with a dewy, glossy finish.

Shop it now


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7. Fake the flush

There’s something about a natural, blushed look to the skin that is so gorgeous and unpolished. Get that look the easy way by adding a little bit of a cream blush to the apples of the cheeks, up onto the temples, and right on the bridge of the nose.

Makeup By Mario

Soft Pop Blush Stick

If you’re a beginner in cream blush, this is the easiest formula on the market, thanks to the built-in applicator that blends the edges seamlessly.

Shop it now


Cloud Paint Blush

The blush that started it all: the Cloud Paint from Glossier is the perfect dewy blush that you can wear sheerly or build up for more color (making it ideal for all skin tones).

Shop it now


8. Brush Up Brows

The best part of this look? Bushy, unruly brows are both accepted and encouraged. Enhance the beauty of your natural brows by simply using a brow gel with fibers and brushing them up and into place.


Brow Sculpt Shape and Hold Gel

This clear gel will hold down even the thickest of brows, holding them in place all day long and creating a laminated effect.

Shop it now


Weekend Brow Pen

A pen like this will create hairlike strokes in your brows that actually look like little hairs—perfect for someone with naturally sparse brows.

Shop it now

Fenty Beauty

Ultra Fine Brow Pencil & Styler

For those with thick brows naturally, this brow pencil will add some light shading and depth without going overboard. And because it’s Fenty, the shade range is strong.

Shop it now


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9. Light Mascara or Skip It

The skin is the star of the show with this look, so it’s okay to go light on the lashes. I know I haven’t worn brown mascara since middle school, but unless you have super dark lashes naturally (so jealous!), it just lightly opens your eyes without looking too heavy. Curl your lashes and apply a brown mascara to the top and bottom lashes, or really go for the natural look and skip mascara altogether. La’Pearl suggested applying mascara with a smaller brush to help you apply less, like using an old brow mascara wand or repurposing a spoolie from the end of an eyebrow pen. 


LashBlast Volume Mascara

A brown waterproof mascara deserves a spot in everyone’s “no makeup” collection. It’ll open up your eyes without looking like you have anything on.

Shop it now


Limitless Lash Lengthening Mascara

This adds lots of length and separation to mimic the look of lash extensions or just naturally long AF lashes.

Shop it now


10. Popsicle Lips

Ah — popsicles. Now I’m hungry! Anyhow, you know the look after you eat a popsicle, where your lips just have a natural tint? Luckily, there are products that give you that same look without the sticky hands. Hack your way to this look by applying any lipstick and blotting off the excess with a tissue.



This gives popsicle lips a 2021 glow-up with a glossy, smooth finish that’s ultra-hydrating on the lips.

Shop it now

Sephora Collection

Lip Blush Blotted Matte Lipstick

For a matte look, a blotted lip color like this will make you look like you were just sucking on a popsicle—literally.

Shop it now


23 New ‘No-Makeup’ Beauty Products To Add to Your Routine ASAP


Celebrating and Learning on Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Indigenous Peoples’ Day honors Native American history and recognizes the communities of people who are native to American lands. The holiday is observed in 14 states and more than 130 U.S. cities. Originally recognized as Columbus Day, many state and local governments are now reframing the holiday to more accurately reflect the history of Native communities in the U.S., starting with the popular misconception that Christopher Columbus discovered America.

There are 574 federally recognized and 63 state-recognized Native American tribes in the U.S. that span across more than 56 million acres and 326 land reservations. Federally recognized Native American communities are, by law, viewed as their own nations and maintain their own systems of self-government. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a time to reflect on the storied, robust experience of Native people on their own land, from the brutal truths of European infringement to the current fight for civil rights and fair land use.


The Evolution of Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Before there was Indigenous Peoples’ Day, there was Columbus Day. Our early school curriculum taught most of us that Christopher Columbus sailed the Atlantic Ocean in the late 1400s and “discovered” what we now know as America. The first Columbus Day celebration was in 1792, 300 years after Columbus arrived. In 1934, Franklin D. Roosevelt declared Columbus Day a national holiday.

Beginning in 1977, the United Nations began a push to recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day. Those early discussions about changing the name of the holiday hinged on the historical fact that Native peoples were the first inhabitants of the Americas and that already inhabited land cannot be “discovered.” It took a few decades to pick up steam, but more U.S. states and cities have recently recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day. South Dakota was the first state to recognize it in 1990, and 13 additional states have followed suit since then, with Virginia being the most recent.


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Indigenous Peoples’ Day Centers the Existence of Native Communities

The reclamation of Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a controversial topic. While the push for changing the name of the holiday takes place, U.S. cities have also started removing Christopher Columbus statues and monuments. For some, these unwelcome changes are an erasure of history. While it can’t be denied that Columbus has his place in U.S. history, the true erasure is that of the violence and destruction that Native tribes experienced by Columbus and his companions—facts that are often left out of academic and cultural conversations.

For others, Indigenous Peoples’ Day is an opportunity to reflect on history more fully and accurately while honoring all Indigenous peoples. The legacies and contributions of Indigenous peoples are often forgotten—if they are known at all—and Indigenous Peoples’ Day gives visibility back to the communities of people who were here, literally, at the beginning. The day is also important because it directs society’s attention to the experiences of Indigenous communities today. A 2015 study found that 87 percent of references to Native Americans in U.S. school curricula were in contexts that pre-date 1900, essentially ignoring the existence of current Native communities. With more than half of Native American families reporting financial hardship, many experiencing deficiencies in health care and education, battles with governments over tribal land, and egregiously underreported instances of violence and missing persons, it’s a simple yet critical step to place the attention of this holiday back on the communities that are still here and are in the most need.


How to Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day

As more states and local communities recognize the day, the number of celebrations increases each year! Some states dually recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Columbus Day, both of which are national holidays that require government offices and buildings to close.

In our pandemic world, many celebrations are hosted virtually, including expert discussions hosted by universities and museums. Some cities host marches and parades that include Native dress, music, and traditional ceremonies. Here are a few other ways to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day:

  • Read a book by a Native American author to educate yourself on Native American history and customs.
  • Watch a documentary on the current Native American experience and issues those living on tribal lands face.
  • Research, support, and purchase art by Native American artists.
  • Go outside and rebuild nature in your community, even if it’s just picking up litter or sitting under the shade of a tree.
  • Send financial contributions to organizations like Partnership With Native Americans or Native American Rights Fund.


Celebration, reflection, and appreciation for Native communities shouldn’t end when Indigenous Peoples’ Day is over. The most lasting way to honor the legacies of Native peoples and hold space for needed changes in present-day Native communities is to continue the conversation. Enlightenment is a continuous journey—one that humanizes experiences that are different from our own and creates opportunities to build from foundations of understanding and togetherness. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is only one day of official recognition, so expanding our knowledge about Native communities on a regular basis will allow us to write a new, more inclusive history that will be truly deserving of celebration for years to come.

Are the Pimples on Your Lip Actually a Cold Sore?

Hand with white manicure touching lipsGetty Images

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you've ever had a pimple pop up in close vicinity to your mouth, chances are you've wondered — even if just for a millisecond — if said blemish could actually be a cold sore, also known as oral herpes. It's not an outlandish thought to have, either. Pimples and cold sores share certain similarities (especially in terms of appearance), which could easily elicit some confusion in someone who's suffering a breakout.

In actuality, pimples and cold sores on the lips share very little in common, making them pretty easy to distinguish from one another once you know what to look for. With that in mind, Allure tapped several dermatologists to find out the differences between pimples and cold sores, what exactly makes them so different from one another, and of course, how you can treat them should they arise. Scroll down for the lowdown.

  • Cold Sore Causes
  • Cold Sore Symptoms
  • Single Bump vs. Cluster
  • Cold Sore vs. Pimple Treatments
  • How Long Do Cold Sores and Pimples Last?
  • Emotional Impact of Lip Breakouts

What causes a cold sore?

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus-1, also called oral herpes or HSV-1, and they are contagious. The majority of people are exposed to the virus during childhood, but only 30 percent of people actually get clinical cold sores, says Friedman. You can catch the virus through direct skin contact, for example kissing or even using the same cup as someone with an active sore. From there, the virus pops out when your immune system is compromised or worn down, typically during times of emotional or physical stress, or if you're sick, explains Zeichner.

As most of us know, acne can also occur during times of stress, but that's where the similarities come to a halt. "Pimples can develop when hair follicles get infected with bacteria or fungus or blocked with a plug composed of oil, dead skin cells, and potentially other debris resulting in inflammation and bacterial overgrowth," says Shah. Friedman adds that all acne is inflammatory, and when inflammation brews around the sebaceous gland, it causes the area to swell and more sebum to be produced, ultimately resulting in what usually appears as a pus-filled pimple. Those with hormonal acne also experience pimples, most often around the jawline area, during their menstrual cycle or when their hormones are fluctuating. Such is not the case in cold sores, as it's a viral infection not impacted by hormones.

What are the early cold sore symptoms?

The simplest way to determine whether you have a pimple or a cold sore is to pay close attention to the warning signs. For instance, if you feel a tingling or burning sensation before the blemish even emerges, that's your body's way of telling you a cold sore is coming. "Often you may notice tingling, itching, or burning in the area before the blisters appear," explains Sejal Shah, a New York City-based dermatologist. This is known as the prodromal phase in the herpes simplex virus, which is when people experience changes in themselves (such as said burning) but haven't yet acquired any clear-cut symptoms.

Adam Friedman, the residency program director and director of translational research in the dermatology department at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, explains that this tingling or burning happens when the HSV-1 virus, which causes cold sores, leaves its home in a nerve root, called the dorsal root ganglion, and travels down the sensory nerves to the skin cells. 

Can cold sores be a single bump like a pimple?

It's highly unlikely that a single, stand-alone bump is a cold sore. The tingling period of cold-sore development is followed by red, fluid-filled blisters, which Shah says usually come in clusters on or around the lips. The cluster can look like a small group of pimples, as the skin around the area will be quite inflamed and quickly form a scabby appearance, according to Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. 

photo of a person with a cold sore from herpes simplex virus 1

An active cold sore caused by HSV-1.


Pimples do not appear in clusters, nor are they directly on the lips. "Location is helpful with distinguishing acne, as while there can sometimes be free-standing oil glands on the lips, called fordyce spots, typically, there are no oil glands and therefore acne can't occur on the actual lip itself," says Friedman. 

Pimple or zit on the lips on the lip area of a person.

A pimple at the edge of a person’s lip.


What's more: While pimples may be tender or cause discomfort, they're not associated with the same prodromal phase as cold sores, says Shah. Pimples can also occur anywhere on the body, whereas cold sores caused by HSV-1 are resigned strictly to the mouth area.

How do cold sore and pimple treatments differ?

Pimples can be treated with skin-care products containing acne-fighting ingredients, like bacteria-killing benzoyl peroxide and exfoliating salicylic acid, as well as topical retinoids like tretinoin, adapalene, or tazarotene. In more severe cases, some people turn to drugs like isotretinoin (which you may know as Accutane). Some of our favorite over-the-counter spot treatments include the Best of Beauty Award-winners Vichy Normaderm S.O.S. Acne Rescue Spot Corrector and the Florence by Mills Spot a Spot Acne Patches, one of the best pimple patches (not to mention one of the cutest).

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Don't expect acne treatments to clear up a cold sore. Because cold sores are sparked by a virus, they need to be treated with antiviral medications, which can sometimes curb them from occurring altogether. "Cold sores can be treated with over-the-counter antiviral medications like Abreva," says Zeichner. "There are actually medications by mouth that you can take at the first symptom of burning and stinging, which prevent the cold store from developing to begin with. (One common treatment is called Sitavig). And needless to say, you should definitely never try to pop a cold sore the way you might try to pop a pimple. (Though you really shouldn't pop a pimple either.)

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How long do pimples and cold sores last?

Pimples and cold sores can both be considered chronic conditions. Though HSV-1 is never fully eradicated from the body because it's a virus, pimples generally become chronic based on a person's genetics and hormonal makeup. "Acne can be chronic, more often in women than men, as hormones can play a big role in perpetuating what was once thought of as a teenager ailment," explains Friedman.

The first time someone gets a cold sore, it can remain anywhere from two to four weeks; after that first time, it will typically resolve itself in a week or two, says Shah. She also says cold sores commonly reoccur in the same area. Pimples, on the other hand, usually have a shorter life cycle, often lasting a few days to a week. 

What are the psychological impacts of cold sores and pimples?

Like any skin affliction, pimples and cold sores can both wreak havoc on people's emotional well-being. "Acne and cold sores are notorious for causing anxiety and stress," says Amy Wechsler, a New York City-based psychodermatologist. "They make people very self-conscious, and sufferers feel like the acne or cold sore is the only thing people see when they look at them."

That being said, if you battle either ailment, it's crucial to know you're far from alone. According to recent reports, 50 million people in the U.S. alone have acne, and 50 to 80 percent of U.S. adults have oral herpes (HSV-1). Though, as Friedman mentioned, only 30 percent of people amass actual clinical cold sores.

All this is to say: Cold sores and pimples are both incredibly common conditions that, while annoying, can be pinpointed and treated accordingly. Talk to your doctor to figure out a treatment solution together.

10 Books So Scary, You Won’t Be Able to Sleep at Night

The Everygirl’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.

It doesn’t take being October for some of us to enjoy some good scary books, but there’s no better time to sit down, cozy up, and be absolutely petrified than now.

Sure, there are tons of thriller books out there (especially if you frequent BookTok,) but what about the books that actually leave us scared? The ones that give us the same, palpitating, spine-chilling feeling that a good scary movie does? Those are a little harder to come by.

But fear not: As The Everygirl’s resident consumer of all things scary, I’ve read just about every thriller under the sun, and while, at this point, most don’t phase me, these 10 left me completely rattled and made me lose sleep for days after finishing them. Ready to be scared to your core? These 10 books will do the trick.

Thomas Harris

The Silence of the Lambs

Even if you’ve already seen The Silence of the Lambs movie (as I’d hope you would have by now), this book is still absolutely worth the read and is even more bone-chilling than the movie. Not only do you get a deeper dive into Hannibal Lecter, but you also get to understand the story of Buffalo Bill and Clarice Starling even more than the movie allows. It’s begging to be read on a dreary, cold October night.

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Stephen King


Stephen King made his name as a thriller author for a reason, and if you ask me, the movie adaptations of his books pale in comparison.

After a near-fatal car accident in rural Colorado leaves his body broken, writer Paul Sheldon finds himself at the mercy of the terrifying rescuer who’s nursing him back to health: his self-proclaimed number one fan, Annie Wilkes. The story is a rural hostage nightmare that will stay with you long after you read the last page.

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Samantha Downing

My Lovely Wife

A couple lives a seemingly idyllic life, with a 15-year marriage under their belts and two kids. But they have an unexpected hobby: murdering people.

My Lovely Wife definitely isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you get through it, you’re in for one of the most unexpected, twist-filled thriller books of recent years. It’s truly terrifying (without being particularly gory), but you won’t put it down until the final pages.

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Lucinda Berry

When She Returned

Kate Bennett vanished from a parking lot 11 years ago, leaving behind her husband and young daughter. When she shows up at a Montana gas station, clutching an infant and screaming for help, investigators believe she may have been abducted by a cult.

Kate’s return flips her family’s world upside down—her husband is remarried and her daughter barely remembers her. Kate herself doesn’t look or act like she did before, and they discover her disappearance was even more sinister than they imagined.

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Riley Sager

Home Before Dark

Riley Sager has earned a name for himself as one of the absolute best thriller authors, and Home Before Dark earned a cult following for a reason.

A woman returns to the house made famous by her father’s bestselling horror memoir. Is the
place really haunted by evil forces as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound—and dangerous—secrets hidden within its walls? If you love paranormal stories, this one is for you.

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Iain Reid

I’m Thinking of Ending Things

If you already saw the heinous movie adaptation of I’m Thinking of Ending Things that was released on Netflix last fall, scrap it from your brain and read the book instead.

This book follows a couple through a bizarre night, with nearly half of it taking place in the car ride to meet the boyfriend’s parents while the girlfriend ponders ending things with him. Never in my life have I read a book that reads more like a horror film. I read it sitting on my couch one afternoon, frozen and more scared than I have ever been while reading a book.

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B.A. Paris

Behind Closed Doors

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He’s a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they are still newlyweds, they seem to have it all. You might not want to like them, but you do. You’re hopelessly charmed by the ease and comfort of their home and the graciousness of the dinner parties they throw. You’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult because you realize Jack and Grace are inseparable. This book takes you through a wild, horrifying ride of a marriage that’s nothing like it seems.

Trigger warning: This book contains domestic violence.

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Lucinda Berry

The Perfect Child

Christopher and Hannah are a happily married surgeon and nurse with picture-perfect lives. All that’s missing is a child. When Janie, an abandoned 6-year-old, turns up at their hospital, Christopher forms an instant connection with her, and he convinces Hannah they should take her home as their own. They quickly learn that Janie is no ordinary child, and what the couple endures before they realize it is enough to keep you up at night.

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Alex North

The Whisper Man

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son, Jake, heal. It’s a new beginning, a new house, and a new town.

But the town has a dark past. 20 years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” as he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night. A young boy vanishes, and then Tom’s son hears whispering outside of his window at night. As a New York Times review aptly put it, “If you like being terrified, ‘The Whisper Man’ is for you.”

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Taylor Adams

No Exit

On her way to Utah to see her dying mother, college student Darby Thorne gets caught in a fierce blizzard in the mountains of Colorado. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop. Inside are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers.
Desperate to find a signal to call home, Darby goes back out into the storm and makes a horrifying discovery. In the back of the van parked next to her car, a little girl is locked in an animal crate.

The rest of the book consists of Darby being completely trapped at the rest stop, trying to navigate who of the strangers is to blame for what she saw in the car—and figuring out how to get them both out.

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13 Thrillers to Read This Month (Because Halloween, Duh)



5 Social Media Tips Small Business Owners Should Follow

Source: Stoffer Photography for The Everygirl

The last year and a half has been difficult for all of us, but it’s been especially hard for female small-business owners. Some had to close their brick-and-mortar stores for good while others had to follow social media tips and ramp up their digital media strategies to compete with big-name retailers. No matter the circumstance, the changing economy required these hardworking women to think outside the box. 

But what sounds like a tale of woe doesn’t have to be. According to a survey conducted by Adobe and Wakefield Research, 61 percent of female small-business owners say their business’s online presence is more important than their physical location—56 percent of solopreneurs rate their business’s digital and social media marketing as either fair or poor. In addition, 83 percent of solopreneurs noted that creative design will stand out and drive their business to be more successful, but they just lack the time, tools, and training to get it done.

If you’re trying to improve your digital footprint to help your business thrive, we have a few simple-to-follow tips that will drive you to success. And thanks to Adobe Spark, one of our favorite social media and marketing tools, you can navigate today’s complicated market—whether you’re rebuilding your following, trying to get more creative, or fighting to stand out amid a sea of competition. 


1. Develop a Cohesive Brand Image

It doesn’t matter what type of company you run. The way your social media content looks can make or break your business. Even if your photos are top-of-the-line or you’re a connoisseur with copy, a brand without any continuity can leave consumers feeling lost and uninterested. That’s why it’s essential to create a streamlined look to help people identify (and get sucked into) your content from the moment they discover it on social media. 


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A post shared by Kit | Craft-based design + DIY (@kitiyapalaskas)


Australian craft-based designer Kitiya Palaskas built her small business around helping clients develop a brand image. Thanks to a massive collection of graphics, logos, fonts, and colors available on Adobe Spark, Palaskas finds her day-to-day branding tasks easier. On the platform, she can create tailored social graphics, videos, presentations, and more based on her client’s needs.


2. Streamline Your Workflow

You know that cohesive look we were talking about? A lot of what goes into that sort of linearity is repetitiveness. I’m not talking about repeating the same post day after day. I’m referring to using the same colors, formatting, and text to showcase a smooth look throughout your feed, blog posts, and website. 

In terms of social media, one of the easiest ways to do this is by creating templates that you can use over and over again. It cuts down on the time you spend meticulously formatting your graphics and creates consistency from one post to the next. 


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When creating templates, small-business owners can turn to Adobe Spark’s resource library that houses thousands of curated blueprints from designers and other content creators. The great thing about these templates is that you can customize them by swapping out the original colors with your brand colors, or you can change up the font to match your logo, the text on your website, and more. You can also shift and maneuver things around to make them look exactly how you want them.

After you create a template, you can save it for future posts and edit it when needed. Just make sure you have your go-to brand colors, graphics, and fonts on hand to make changing your template quick and easy. 


3. Create Eye-Catching Graphics

A few years back, posting photos of your products was enough to grab some attention on social media. Today, it’s the vibrant graphics and compelling videos that stop people from scrolling past your post. 


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Before you start messing around with shapes and images, remember that social media is an extension of your business, so you want your graphics to reflect your brand. Trying to evoke a lighthearted feel? Opt for pastels or bright colors. Catering to a professional audience? Neutrals might be better. Whatever you choose, come up with five or fewer colors to use from one graphic to the next. 

If you’re using imagery in your posts, only use high-quality photos (because even the most creative design will be overshadowed by a blurry image). You also want to make sure that your graphics aren’t too busy or distracting. Contrast is key if you’re adding text, and it’s OK to have some white space on your designs. 


4. Improve Clarity and Collaboration

Nothing is worse than nearing the end of a big campaign only to realize everyone is on a different page. It’s frustrating, time-consuming, and it can completely derail your brand goals. So if you’re adding a few helping hands to your small business, it’s imperative to prioritize effective collaboration and communication. 

Start by getting everyone on the same page with a clear goal. You can follow the SMART format—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This will allow you to clearly track your progress from start to finish. Communicate the goal to your team and ensure everyone understands it clearly. This is also a good time to address anyone’s questions or concerns. 


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A post shared by ⚡️ Design & Brand Strategy (@nictecreativedesign)


When you’re ready to dive into the busy work, make sure everything you need for your project is in one location. With Adobe Spark’s collaboration feature, you can create a project on the platform and easily invite people to join. When the invitation is accepted via email, everyone will be able to edit the project in the same place (and see the changes made when the project is updated).

This tool is a major time-saver and key to efficiency. One person may be incredible at writing copy while another is more design-savvy. Project sharing allows you to pass the same graphic, presentation, or document back and forth while utilizing everyone’s strengths and keeping everyone on the same page. 


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A post shared by Shyne | Creative Mentor (@designedbyshyne)


5. Find a Supportive Community

It’s normal to run into roadblocks when running a small business, but when obstacles keep getting in the way of your goals, it’s easy to get down on yourself. The good news is that you’re not alone—even if it feels that way. 

As soon as you conjure up the idea for your small business, find a group of individuals in the same boat. If you browse social media, you’ll discover dozens of support groups dedicated to improving social media efforts, running an online business, or even coming up with creative brand marketing ideas. You can also create your own community via social outreach. 


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A post shared by Girl Gang Craft (@girlgangcraft)


CEO of Girl Gang Craft Phoebe Sherman consistently creates templates and graphics for other content creators and small-business owners to use for free. This strategy not only helps her build her own following but also helps her build a group of women who can rely on one another for their creative needs. 

According to the study conducted by Adobe Spark and Wakefield Research, over 53 percent of female small-business owners use social media as a way to find creative inspiration. So if you’re needing a little more support from your community, you can turn to your favorite apps and lean on other hardworking women to keep your small business thriving for years to come.



This post is sponsored by Adobe Spark, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.


25 Products for Beauty Lovers Who Can Only Use One Hand

25 Accessible Beauty Products for Disabilities  Products to Use With One Hand

Courtesy brands. Design by Bella Geraci.

This story is part of The Beauty of Accessibility, our series on inclusivity and representation for people with disabilities in the beauty industry and beyond. 

After I was involved in an accident that paralyzed my left arm a couple of years back, my beauty routine started to feel tedious and frustrating. My everyday struggles regularly included a battle to uncap my mascara or a scuffle to sharpen my eyeliner with one of those tiny makeup sharpeners. (FYI: Those electric pencil sharpeners from elementary school don't do the trick either.) Before my accident, most of the products I was using weren't accessible for people with hand or arm impairments. So I said "nope" to that and set out on a mission to find products that would allow me to single-handedly power through a beauty session like a professional — or at least reduce the number of fights I was having with my makeup.

Due to design, some products are just easier to wrangle than others. But I didn't want to settle at just accessible; after all, you shouldn’t need to skimp on quality to accommodate a disability. Accessibility should be a given, not a bonus. All of the products I've curated here are not only five-finger user-friendly, but all-around winners in terms of quality and efficacy too. Everyone's adaptability journey is different, so you'll need to play around to find which products work best for you. But hopefully, in sharing what's worked for me, I can help you speed up the search process.

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

KeywordsInclusivityinclusive beautyproductsaccessibilityshoppingthe beauty of accessibility

Adele’s Signature Cat-Eye Is Back In Her First Music Video Since 2016

FEBRUARY 12 Recording artist Adele performs onstage during The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12 2017...Getty Images

Ladies and gentlemen, Adele is finally dropping some new music. The singer-songwriter took to Instagram on Tuesday, October 5, to break the news with a clip from the music video for her upcoming song, "Easy On Me." Like many of the singer's famous hits, this one sounds like it's gonna be a tear-jerker, but is it enough to smear Adele's signature winged eyeliner?

In the video, her thick, dark eyeliner makes an appearance as she takes a glance into the rearview mirror of a car. Thanks to the close-up angle, it looks as if the liner was also paired with some long, elegant lashes, though it's unclear if they're false eyelashes or the work of some volumizing mascara. Adele's eyeliner cameo may be short-lived, but it's probably going to make another appearance or two in the full music video. 

Adele didn't confirm whose artistic hand was behind her fabulous eye makeup in her post, but makeup artist Michael Ashton seems to be her go-to for all things glam. A look through his Instagram grid reveals that he's done her makeup for a variety of occasions, such as the Golden Globe Awards and the Grammys. 

Instagram content

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As of this post, there are only eight more days until the arrival of the video for "Easy On Me," and we'll definitely be looking out for each and every chic eyeliner moment once it drops (with our pack of tissues at the ready, of course). If you're looking to up the ante on your eyeliner game like Adele, check out these makeup artist-approved tips on how to create the perfect cat eye, along with some eyeliner recommendations to help create it.