Sporty Sandals Are the Footwear Trend You Need to Try This Spring

Move your sneakers to the back of the closet this spring—tourist sandals are about to reign supreme as the comfortable It Shoe in your closet. The trend may be surprising because some people find them the antithesis of chic, but these shoes are about going places. The strappy sport sandals come complete with Velcro fastenings and are basically a warm-weather version of the platform sneaker (translation: comfy). Spotted first on the spring-summer 2019 runways at Anna Sui, Sandy Liang, and Cecile Bahnsen, the trend has already started to creep into wardrobes, with the street style and influencer set sporting the shoe with ankle socks this winter—a surefire sign that they’re likely here to stay throughout the summer. We’ve rounded up our favorite pairs to shop below.

I Thought My Divorce Was Amicable—Then I Learned My Ex-Husband Was a Dom

By the time I landed, I discovered my ex had officially blocked my texts, calls, and social media accounts, anticipating the onslaught of messages I surely would have sent him. I was exhausted, weak, sick, hungry and heartbroken but worst of all, I felt totally alone. I was cut off from the world and cell service, isolated in a strange place with nothing but time to process. At the time, I thought it was the most miserable scenario imaginable, with no way to make him feel the pain I was feeling.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any more disturbing, a friend reached out with an ominous link. Using spotty Wi-Fi at a local cafe, I clicked to find a kinky boudoir photoshoot. There was my then husband and his girlfriend in an elaborate spread on a photographer’s Instagram page. During our marriage, he almost never let me post photos of us on social media, but here he was in bed with another woman on someone else’s public account. In some of the photos, he was wearing the shirt he’d worn on our wedding day.

An email from my ex followed. He said he’d never meant to hurt me. I thought long and hard about these words. I thought about all the moments during our marriage where I thought something felt off. I thought about how I’d stumbled upon explicit photos of him with other women when we first started dating and how he’d villainized me for snooping. I thought about all the moments I’d questioned him and he’d told me I was being crazy.

I dipped out of range of Wi-Fi before I could respond. That, as it turned out, was a good thing. I wanted to scream and rage. If we’d been in the same room I would have slapped him. But I was a world away. Each day I sweat out my pain in the thick heat and humidity, and felt a little bit better. I prayed with Buddhist monks. I cried when I needed to cry. I ate to nourish my body. I started to believe that I could learn to let go.

My trip to Southeast Asia was supposed to be a celebration of a new chapter. In a very different way, it was. My self-imposed isolation taught me I don’t hate my ex-husband—mostly I feel confused about his choices and why I was buried under the shadow of his double-life of kinky sex with another woman. I always viewed his behavior as that of a quiet introvert, but I think he was just using me to cover up the life he wanted to live.

My getaway also gave me the pause I needed to learn survival skills that would save me over the next few weeks when I returned to our former home, a home I now knew his girlfriend had pretended was hers. A few weeks after returning from my trip, I moved across the country with just three boxes filled with cookbooks, a few mementos, and my wedding dress—for some reason, I still can’t part with it. It took every last breath I had to go through our things but it’s one event in my life that has truly made me wiser and more aware of my surroundings and the people I choose to keep in my life.

Aside from a few emails, I haven’t had any contact with my ex. For a long time, I thought I’d never get closure, but being halfway across the world on my own—without Wi-Fi to google for answers, or girlfriends to commiserate with—taught me that I have the strength to move forward and that I could find what I needed on my own.

I got the opportunity to start fresh, to heal mindfully and slowly, to process the damage that had been done, to refrain from attacking him. I believe he thinks that I want revenge but I honestly don’t. I want a life of happiness—out of the shadow of a double life.

‘Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists’ Review: This Spin-off Is Even More Wild Than the Original

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

The pilot for Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists opens with Mona Vanderwaal (Janel Parrish) smiling and wielding a knife at Alison DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse). That’s when I knew I was hooked. It’s exactly the type of ridiculous scene I’ve come to expect from the Pretty Little Liars universe, where The Perfectionists takes place. Fans hoping for an original cast reunion will be disappointed, though: This new spin-off includes only Mona and Alison, but trust me when I say the drama is on the level of Spencer’s evil twin.

To be clear, Mona’s not trying to kill Alison—not yet, anyway. She’s simply welcoming her to Beacon Heights University, the hot-people-only college in Oregon where this story takes place. Mona’s a faculty recruiter for the school, and Alison’s their latest hire. Apparently, this gives Mona enough power to break into Alison’s on-campus accommodations and surprise her with pie, which she then cuts with a knife fit for a serial killer.

At no point does Alison ask Mona how she got into her house or why she’s there. Those are pointless questions in the world of Pretty Little Liars, where it’s standard for someone to invade your home with baked goods and/or weapons. Instead, the two catch up like normal; it turns out they’re both at BHU for fresh starts. Alison says she isn’t a mean girl anymore and wants to leave the lies, murder, and hair flips of Rosewood behind her. Mona, presumably, feels the same way.

But what they find at BHU are…lies, murder, and hair flips, specifically from the students in Alison’s class. There’s Ava (Sofia Carson), a fashion-tech junkie who smizes 24/7; Caitlin (Sydney Park), the whip-smart daughter of a queer politician; and Dylan (Eli Walker), a gay student who can play “Poker Face” on the cello, so obviously he’s my favorite. These three all have one thing—or person—in common: Nolan Hotchkiss (Chris Mason), a conniving, chiseled sociopath whose family basically owns BHU. Nolan has serious dirt on Ava, Caitlin, and Dylan. Enough dirt to make them do whatever he wants. The group reaches their breaking point by the end of the episode, and they jokingly conspire to murder Nolan.

The only problem? He actually turns up dead. Someone pushed him off a building and an iron fence broke his fall. See what I’m talking about? Classic PLL drama. Spencer’s twin is so shook about this that she dropped her fake British accent.

These are the only plot points from The Perfectionists I’m going to reveal. You’ll have to tune in to find out why Nolan’s blackmailing his friends and how Alison and Mona play a role. But what I’ll keep reiterating is how true The Perfectionists stays to Pretty Little Liars‘ DNA. Here’s a nonexhaustive list of reasons they’re one and the same:

1. I was confused within the first 15 minutes. Why are the Beacon Heights kids wearing fall clothes in one scene, but then Ava’s lounging by a pool in the next? Is this weird, or just Oregon?

2. Major plot holes are explained away in two seconds. Wanna know why Alison abandoned the twins she had with Emily (Shay Mitchell) to work at BHU? Apparently Emily can’t get “past the past,” and it “comes back to trust.” That’s the only explanation we get, and it’s vague AF. Cool story, Alison! I now totally understand why you took this random job across the country.

3. The youths can’t stop boning. Everyone’s having sex. Everyone. All the time. BHU is billed as this school for overachievers, but the students are too naked to study. The only exception is Dylan, who cares more about his cello than his boyfriend. He’s basically Spencer choosing a science book over shirtless Toby. A true hero.

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn’s Relationship: A Complete Timeline

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn are definitely a couple (and possibly about to get engaged), but so much of their relationship is shrouded in secrecy. Think: Harry Styles, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Tom Hiddleston, for example. There were tabloid stories, Instagram posts, and overt song lyrics that gave the public so much information to analyze. Swift’s relationship with Alwyn is a different story.

Recently, however, the couple has started stepping out at public events together a bit more. “Keeping it private from the beginning really helped their relationship,” a source recently told People. “They were able to get to know each other in peace.” The source also adds, “Their personalities are very compatible, and they’re respectful of each other’s careers.”

Sounds like a great match, so let’s break down how their relationship formed in the first place.

May 2016: It’s unclear exactly when the pair met, but people think it was at the 2016 Met Gala based on lyrics in Swift’s song “Dress”: “Flashback when you met me Your buzz cut and my hair bleached.” Both were in attendance and did indeed have those hairstyles at the time. Swift broke up with boyfriend Calvin Harris soon after the event and started dating Hiddleston. That relationship ended by September 2016.

October 2016: Eagle-eyed fans figure out Swift and Alwyn attended the same Kings of Leon concert and after-party at the Bowery Hotel in New York City.

May 2017: Stories break that Swift has a new British boyfriend: Joe Alwyn. At the time, he was not well known, especially to Swift’s American fans, with the biggest credit on his IMDB being Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Longtime Walk. But he was a rising star with a number of high-profile movies in the works, including The Favourite and Mary Queen of Scots.

“Taylor and Joe are the real deal, this is a very serious relationship,” The Sun reported at the time. “But after what happened with Tom Hiddleston, they were determined to keep it quiet.” The Sun also reported Swift was renting a house in North London, near Alwyn.

June 2017: Photographic evidence of the relationship emerges as the paparazzi finally catch Swift and Alwyn together—having coffee on a balcony in Nashville. They’re snapped again in New York City the following month.

October 2017: When Swift released the single “Gorgeous”, fans immediately tried to decipher who it was about. A fan who attended one of Swift’s famous album listening sessions took to Tumblr to inform us that it was (allegedly) about Alwyn: “Basically Taylor made us all promise that if anyone made any accusations of who this song is about, we tell them it is 100 percent about her angel boyfriend of one year. This isn’t a secret. She wanted us to tell people.” It all makes sense when you hear the lyrics: “You should take it as a compliment / That I got drunk and made fun of the way you talk,” she sings. “And I got a boyfriend, he’s older than us / He’s in the club doing, I don’t know what.” (Harris and Hiddleston were both older than Swift and Alwyn.)

Later that month, Swift’s pal Ed Sheeran said of Alwyn, “He’s really nice. Really, really friendly; really good dude.”

December 2017: Fans went nuts when attendees at iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball in New York City claimed they saw Swift and Alwyn showing some PDA during Ed Sheeran’s set.

February 2018: The couple reportedly moves in together, and we broke down how the lyrics from various songs on the Reputation album told us this was coming.

May 2018: The couple that Instas together, stays together, right? Swift and Alwyn both posted photos of themselves next to the same cactus while apparently on vacation together.

September 2018: Public date night alert! Swift hits up a screening of Alwyn’s film, The Favourite, and joined him for the after party. There were even photos! Alwyn also speaks publicly about Swift for the first time, telling British Vogue, ““I’m aware people want to know about that side of things. I think we have been successfully very private and that has now sunk in for people … but I really prefer to talk about work.”

How to Get ‘Glass Skin’ – I Tried the K-Beauty Skin Care Routine

In certain circles, where the difference between ampoules and essences needs no explanation and double cleansing is practically religion, “glass skin” is a term you’ll hear spoken in reverent terms. It’s a phrase that originated on the K-beauty scene and quickly went viral on social media and used to describe a complexion so luminous and poreless, it could be modeled from glass.

I’ve scrolled through plenty of pictures depicting the awe-inspiring results of a glass skin routine—and even once tried to fake it with a single highlighter-serum hybrid. The results of that experiment were successful, but my skin beneath the iridescent liquid was still my regular skin (in pretty good shape, but hardly mirrorlike).

When Peach and Lily founder, Alicia Yoon, recently asked me if I had tried a complete glass skin routine before, I saw my chance to finally attain the reflective cheekbones of my dreams. I’ve known Yoon for a long time, and let me tell you, the woman has no pores and always manages to look the exact right amount of dewy. If I were to have someone guide my foray into this radiant land, she was the ideal candidate.

There was just one caveat: somewhere during the past month, I had gotten complacent where beauty was concerned. My laziness crept up on me subversively, rearing its head only when I opened Yoon’s email and immediately gulped. The screen was crowded with lines and lines of meticulously detailed sentences that outlined the precise steps I should take starting from the moment I woke up.

She encouraged me to think of the process “as a meal plan—giving your skin the 360-degree care it needs to thrive: proper cleansing, exfoliating, balancing, antioxidants, humectants, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and protection!” My actual meal plan is about 75 percent croissants, and baguette-shaped blood cells flow through my veins, so we were perhaps on different pages about that one. Nevertheless, slathering my face in assorted creams and serums is literally my job, so I persevered.

While the experiment Yoon had me run through consists of 11 different products, she stresses that it’s not necessary to purchase that many things to duplicate the results. “It’s not so much about the number of steps, but what your skin needs to be at its absolutely healthiest,” she says. “Cleanse properly; either double cleanse or use a cleanser that can both dissolve makeup and remove water-based impurities. Balance your skin’s pH with a toner. And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.”

Drenching your skin in moisture is the hallmark of this approach; it’s what gives your face that liquid highlighter (without actually using a drop of highlighter) glow. There are other things you should add too: sunscreen, exfoliants, and face masks. The most important thing, according to Yoon, is to keep everything gentle. “Don’t overdo it with too many acids or harsh actives,” she advises. “In the long run, your skin will get inflamed.” Check your ingredients labels. If you’re using products with vitamin C, be very careful about cocktailing them with high concentrations of AHAs, BHAs, or retinol.

I followed the routine below for a full week (Yoon estimates you need anywhere between one to three weeks to see “profound results”). However, I will prematurely reveal that I was already impressed after only seven days. So when you see the results below, imagine them given additional time. (You may have to sit down for that one.) My arsenal of topicals would have been completely overwhelming if not for the accompanying instructions, so I will now selflessly bequeath them to you.

The New Postpartum Depression Drug Zulresso Comes with a Catch

When you’re pregnant, the promise is that motherhood will make you the happiest person on earth. That’s a far cry from reality for many women, but for the one in 7 dealing with postpartum depression, the new mother whiplash is much more severe. For these women, options are scarce. “Postpartum depression has been neglected—it’s been under diagnosed and under treated,” says Samantha Meltzer-Brody, M.D., director of the perinatal psychiatry program at the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders. “So many women suffer. Screening is spotty, treatment is spotty, and it’s one of the greatest causes of maternal mortality.” So it’s groundbreaking news that this week, the FDA officially approved the first postpartum depression drug therapy.

The approval is a true game changer. Currently available treatments for postpartum depression—which is usually prescription antidepressants—can take anywhere from four to six weeks to start working. That’s a lifetime for a new mom suffering with severe symptoms. The new drug brexanolone, which will be sold under the name Zulresso by Sage Pharmaceuticals, starts working almost immediately. In clinical trials of women with moderate to severe postpartum depression, most women saw improvements within the first day, says Dr. Meltzer-Brody, the principal investigator for the trials. And women still felt relief 30 days after just one treatment.

So how does it work? “What’s really exciting in terms of postpartum depression is that this is a hormone-based therapy,” Dr. Meltzer-Brody says. Zulresso is a synthetic form of allopregnanolone, a breakdown of the fertility hormone progesterone. During pregnancy, levels of progesterone reach all-time highs, but after giving birth, levels of the hormone drop quickly, which researchers think could be tied to postpartum depression. Zulresso is administered via an IV.

That’s where things get a bit trickier. The IV infusion lasts 60 hours, and women have to be monitored closely while the drug is being administered. That means for women to receive the treatment, they’ll have to check into a certified medical center for two and a half days—a big chunk of time during those early days when a mother is still bonding with her newborn, or perhaps already back at work and juggling many demands on her time. But Dr. Meltzer-Brody says that women in the trial found those hours spent in the clinic to be a “minor inconvenience” compared to the precious weeks they’d otherwise have to wait for more traditional antidepressants to kick in. “For women who are depressed, who are not able to return to work, who are not able to care for their baby—there are so many economic burdens and impacts of untreated depression that you have to weigh,” she says.

The treatment, which Sage estimates will be available in June, doesn’t come cheap—the average cost per patient is $34,000, not including the stay at the clinic, according to the New York Times. Insurance coverage, which is currently being negotiated, will be vital to making sure women have access to Zulresso. “Our philosophy has really been about making sure there’s going to be access for patients,” says Mike Cloonan, Sage Pharmaceutical’s chief business officer. He says the company has been talking to over 500 insurance providers for more than a year, raising awareness of postpartum depression and the issues facing women. “We feel very confident that we are going to have access for patients based on the feedback that we’ve received,” he says. Sage is also pledging to roll out a suite of tools to help patients navigate insurance, financial assistance, and where to go for the 60-hour infusions. “We’re trying to surround the patient with the support they’ll need throughout this process,” Cloonan says.

Here’s the Truth Behind That Meghan Markle-Priyanka Chopra ‘Feud’

Last month, rumors popped up that longtime friends Meghan Markle and Priyanka Chopra were in a “feud.” According to Page Six, their relationship was “on the rocks” because the pregnant Duchess of Sussex skipped Chopra’s wedding to Nick Jonas in India. So, in return, Chopra reportedly opted out of Markle’s New York City baby shower. We called B.S. on that story and still stand by our opinion.

Now, a new source is telling E! News the two women are 100 percent fine. “All the rumors that Priyanka and Meghan aren’t friends anymore are totally not true,” the source says. “Priyanka and Meghan are still very close friends and they talk frequently. Meghan confides in Priyanka about the adjustments she has to make with being a royal.”

“Just because Priyanka didn’t go to the shower, or that Meghan couldn’t come to her wedding(s), doesn’t mean anything about their friendship,” the source continues. “They’re still very close friends and Meghan considers Priyanka one of her closest confidants.”

Considering the way Chopra has talked about Markle in the past, this makes makes sense. “This ever-smiling, strong free spirit found her prince, fell in love and in turn made a cynical world believe in fairy tales again,” Chopra wrote about the now-duchess for Time‘s 100 Most Influential People issue in April 2018. “But more than anything else, Meghan is an important influencer in a world that needs strong public figures to respect and look up to.” Last summer, Chopra said Markle was doing “amazing” in her new royal life, and it was rumored she and Nick Jonas stayed with the Sussexes at their Cotswolds country home.

And there you have it, folks: nothing to see here except two very busy women who, unfortunately, couldn’t make their schedules line up. That’s not a feud. That’s adulthood—mundane, normal adulthood.

10 Wardrobe Essentials Everyone Should Own

When you find that perfect white T-shirt, that one sharp blazer, and that dependable LBD that you can break out for any and every occasion, you never have to worry about “not having anything to wear.” That’s why the concept of a wardrobe staple is so enduring: A closet built on a streamlined selection of items makes day-to-day dressing infinitely easier. (There’s little guesswork required.) The 10 styles in the gallery ahead are those you can mix and match to your heart’s delight—whether you’re getting dressed for work, brunch, or anything that might come up in between. If you don’t know where to begin when it comes to building up the “essentials” section of your closet, these pieces should serve as an excellent primer.

I Tried Amazon’s Skin Care Line, Belei, and It’s So Good

I had two thoughts when I stepped off a nondescript industrial elevator and into the pastel-wallpapered, candlelit showroom holding Amazon’s debut skin care line, Belei. One, this collection is a millennial Instagram fever dream. Two, Amazon knows its beauty customer well.

This may sound like a lot to deduce from a display of skin care products in minimal mint and forest green packaging, laid out for editors to snap, test, and take home (not necessarily in that order). With its clean serif font logo and muted colors, Belei immediately reminded me of the Glossiers and Summer Fridays of the online beauty world—before you’d want to slather a bottle’s contents on your face, you’d take a picture of the package. Dig inside the initial 12-product offering, and the focus of the collection is on-par with the most-shopped beauty brands of today. Belei’s first drop is entirely skin care essentials like face wipes, moisturizers, and serums; this being Amazon, the prices stick between $9 and $40.

Amazon already offers every beauty product under the sun from independent beauty brands, but its foray into a private skin care brand makes sense as a next step. eMarketer estimates that Amazon’s beauty and personal care products reached $16 billion in online sales in 2018; that’s also the third-fastest growing sales category on the platform. The numbers say it all: There’s money to be made in beauty, so Amazon is getting in the game.

It’s not all a money grab, though. According to Amazon, the collection is intended to offer a solutions-oriented approach to skin care, legible to any shopper. The ingredient lists on each product are short and natural: no parabens, phthalates, or sulfates are to be found. The line wasn’t tested on animals, and its carton packaging is 100% recyclable. Every product outlines which skin type should use it, and how to incorporate it into your existing skin care routine. I expected to get a whiff of a minty or generic clean scent when I opened the packages, but none of the products use fragrances. It’s clean beauty, plain and simple.

The transparency only goes so far. Amazon didn’t reveal how it landed on the 12-product edit that makes up Belei’s first collection. All I could get out of an Amazon representative at Belei’s preview event was that the line derived from “listening to the Amazon customer.” In an official release, the company states that Belei is meant “to help customers spend less time and money searching for the right skin care solutions.” A peek at its Beauty Best Sellers page shows several overlaps with the products found in Belei’s inaugural drop—like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C—so it’s safe to assume that users’ shopping data played some role in the collection’s development.

Trying a handful of the collection’s items myself convinced me that they’re worth adding to my stacked Amazon cart. My visit to the Belei showroom coincided with the conclusion of a long day at work, so I could immediately take a few of the products for a test-drive at home. When I made it back to my apartment, I didn’t think twice before ripping open the Micellar Facial Cleansing Wipes and scrubbing off my makeup. Scrubbing is the wrong word, though—a few quick wipes dissolved a face-full of heavy foundation, Boy Brow, and triple-layered mascara. Some facial wipes have given my skin an unpleasant burning sensation or dryness afterward. I experienced neither with these.

Then there were the topical treatments, like the Triple Peptide Eye Cream (whipped and creamy to the touch) and the Acne Spot Treatment. Most spot-treatments I’ve tried have a strong, chemical scent and they come in florescent or reflective packaging that’s even more embarrassing than the acne itself. The Belei spot treatment applied in a silky, thin layer; it reduced the swelling and redness at the worst part of my current breakout, but it didn’t dehydrate my skin.

Amazon Skin Care Line Belei Review: It’s So Good

I had two thoughts when I stepped off a nondescript industrial elevator and into the pastel-wallpapered, candlelit showroom holding Amazon’s debut skin care line, Belei. One, this collection is a millennial Instagram fever dream. Two, Amazon knows its beauty customer well.

This may sound like a lot to deduce from a display of skin care products in minimal mint and forest green packaging, laid out for editors to snap, test, and take home (not necessarily in that order). With its clean serif font logo and muted colors, Belei immediately reminded me of the Glossiers and Summer Fridays of the online beauty world—before you’d want to slather a bottle’s contents on your face, you’d take a picture of the package. Dig inside the initial 12-product offering, and the focus of the collection is on-par with the most-shopped beauty brands of today. Belei‘s first drop is entirely skin care essentials like face wipes, moisturizers, and serums; this being Amazon, the prices stick between $9 and $40.

Amazon already offers every beauty product under the sun from independent beauty brands, but its foray into a private skin care brand makes sense as a next step. eMarketer estimates that Amazon’s beauty and personal care products reached $16 billion in online sales in 2018; that’s also the third-fastest growing sales category on the platform. The numbers say it all: There’s money to be made in beauty, so Amazon is getting in the game.

It’s not all a money grab, though. According to Amazon, the collection is intended to offer a solutions-oriented approach to skin care, legible to any shopper. The ingredient lists on each product are short and natural: no parabens, phthalates, or sulfates are to be found. The line wasn’t tested on animals, and its carton packaging is 100% recyclable. Every product outlines which skin type should use it, and how to incorporate it into your existing skin care routine. I expected to get a whiff of a minty or generic clean scent when I opened the packages, but none of the products use fragrances. It’s clean beauty, plain and simple.

The transparency only goes so far. Amazon didn’t reveal how it landed on the 12-product edit that makes up Belei’s first collection. All I could get out of an Amazon representative at Belei’s preview event was that the line derived from “listening to the Amazon customer.” In an official release, the company states that Belei is meant “to help customers spend less time and money searching for the right skin care solutions.” A peek at its Beauty Best Sellers page shows several overlaps with the products found in Belei’s inaugural drop—like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C—so it’s safe to assume that users’ shopping data played some role in the collection’s development.

Trying a handful of the collection’s items myself convinced me that they’re worth adding to my stacked Amazon cart. My visit to the Belei showroom coincided with the conclusion of a long day at work, so I could immediately take a few of the products for a test-drive at home. When I made it back to my apartment, I didn’t think twice before ripping open the Micellar Facial Cleansing Wipes and scrubbing off my makeup. Scrubbing is the wrong word, though—a few quick wipes dissolved a face-full of heavy foundation, Boy Brow, and triple-layered mascara. Some facial wipes have given my skin an unpleasant burning sensation or dryness afterward. I experienced neither with these.