Amazon Belei Skin Care Line Review: ItÆs 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’s 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 slather a bottle’s contents on your face, you’d want to take a picture of the package. Dig inside Amazon’s 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. Digital commerce consultant 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 goes only 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 the retailer’s 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 faceful 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.

‘Game of Thrones’ Star Sophie Turner Chugs Wine at a Hockey Game ‘For the Starks’

We’re less than a month out from the premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones. While we don’t know who will reign on the Iron Throne when all is said and done, Sophie Turner is out here doing her best to reign over our hearts. She’s starring in Jonas Brothers’ videos, slamming Piers Morgan over his tweets about mental health, and skiing with future sister-in-law Priyanka Chopra.

Now, she’s chugging wine in the name of the Starks (her Game of Thrones family, for the uninitiated). Turner and her fiancé, Joe Jonas, were attending a New York Rangers game when she was shown on the Jumbo-Tron screen. Instead of shying away from the camera, Turner did a little dab move, raised a fist and her glass, and downed her glass of red wine as the crowd went wild. Even wine-loving queen Cersei Lannister would have to admit she’s proud of Sansa in that moment.

Turner posted a video of the stunt on Instagram with the caption, “Send it for the starks ?.”

Her comments section quickly lit up like a who’s who of Hollywood. “Hahahhaha ammmmmazing,” wrote Vanessa Hudgens. Drake said, “Wow inspiration for 2020 and beyond.” Ashley Graham dubbed Turner “my girl.” Meanwhile, the JoBros weighed in on a Barstool Sports post of the same video, as captured by Comments By Celebs. “Oh my god,” Nick said. Joe kept it simple with the ? emoji.

As with all things GoT, there will surely be a Reddit thread dedicated to theorizing what Sophie Turner’s caption tells us about Sansa’s fate on the show. But whatever happens to the Stark family and Winterfell, Sansa will be with Turner forever. “When I started playing Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones, I was 13,” she said recently. “Now the series has finished filming and I’m 23, so it feels like I grew up with the character. She’s part of me.”

Hulu’s *The Act* Review: It’s Horrifying, Human, and So Hard to Stop Watching

Hulu‘s new true-crime series The Act, now streaming, delivers its first big shock in episode two, when all of Gypsy Rose Blanchard (Joey King)’s teeth are pulled out at the request of her own mother. Dee Dee (Patricia Arquette) puts her daughter through such a heinous procedure to help her, presumably, but the entire thing feels sinister. Does Gypsy really need this done? The fact you have to ask is disturbing in itself.

The aftermath is just as hard to watch. Gypsy’s miserable. She cries in the bathtub while her mother assures her fake veneers are on the way. One day, two days, three days go by—but still, Gypsy has no teeth. She’s so upset about it that she tells Dee Dee she no longer wants to attend an upcoming charity event, where she’s supposed to collect a monstrous check.

It’s only in the midnight hour—right as Gypsy’s about to go on stage—that Dee Dee gives her the veneers. “Thank you, mommy, but why didn’t you give these to me before?” Gypsy asks. To which Dee Dee says, “They just came this morning, fresh from the dentist. It’s like Cinderella at the stroke of midnight. Does the glass slipper fit?”

The timing is strange, to say the least. At best, it’s a coincidence. At worst, Dee Dee purposefully kept the veneers from Gypsy and sprung them on her to look like a hero. This type of psychological manipulation is rampant in The Act, which is based on the Munchausen by proxy horror story that rocked the world in 2016. You remember it: Dee Dee Blanchard intentionally made her teenage daughter, Gypsy, sick for most of her life. In June 2015, Gypsy retaliated by conspiring with her online boyfriend, Nick Godejohn, to murder her mother. HBO highlighted the case in the documentary Mommy Dead and Dearest. It’s a grisly, unfathomable story. And now, the brains behind The Act want to humanize it.

“Over the years people have asked me, ‘Is this or that person in the story a psychopath?’ or, ‘What’s wrong with these people?’ Ultimately, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them,” Michelle Dean, who wrote the BuzzFeed article that inspired The Act, tells Glamour. (She’s also credited as a co-showrunner and screenwriter on the series.) “I think we all have our pathologies. Dee Dee’s was deeper than most, and Gypsy’s was deeper than most because of what her mother did to her. It was a lot more human than the crazy tabloid profile of the story.”

Carrie Underwood Just Slammed the Idea of ‘Bouncing Back’ After Having a Baby

Even in 2019, women—especially women in the public eye—face pressure to “bounce back” after giving birth. But Carrie Underwood is rebuking this idea entirely. In a new Instagram message posted on Tuesday, March 19, the country singer (who welcomed her second child, Jacob, this past January) shared her newfound perspective on what it means to have a “post-baby body.”

“I’m going to be honest, ‘bouncing back’ after having Jacob has been much more difficult than after I had Isaiah and I’ve been pretty hard on myself lately,” Underwood wrote. “I go into the gym and I can’t run as fast or as far. I can’t lift as much weight or do as many reps as I could a year ago. I just want to feel like myself again… for my body to feel the way that I know it can.”

The Grammy winner then turned the idea of “bouncing back” on its head. Rather than dwelling on her frustration, Underwood is making a vow to embrace her body in all its iterations. “As I was working out today, I realized that for the past 11(ish) months, my body has not belonged to me,” she continued. “It was a perfect home for Jacob. And even now it belongs to him every time he drinks his milk. As I prepare for red carpets and for life on tour, right now I make a promise to myself to start appreciating what my body CAN do and stop focusing on what it can’t.”

Moms, naturally, are living for Underwood’s message. “More people should post about the reality of bouncing back. It isn’t talked about enough,” one woman commented. “All us mamas need to give ourselves some grace,” replied another.

“I had a baby boy 10 months ago & it’s a struggle every day,” a third mom wrote in the Instagram comments section. “Our bodies are amazing. I do not regret how I look now knowing I have carried a beautiful life inside me.”

Check out some more responses to Underwood’s post, below:

This isn’t the first time Carrie Underwood has opened up about motherhood and pregnancy. She tweeted about how annoying pregnancy insomnia is back in December, hilariously commenting, “Go bother dads.” She also tearfully shared how she and her husband, hockey player Mike Fisher, experienced three miscarriages back-to-back.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Made a Surprise Appearance to Honor New Zealand Survivors

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry made an unexpected appearance in New Zealand on Tuesday, March 19 to honor the victims and survivors of the Christchurch terrorist attack, which happened last Friday. If you’re unfamiliar with the incident, 50 people died and dozens were injured after a gunman open fire on two mosques. A 28-year-old man has now been linked to the incident and is charged with murder, according to People.

Both Markle and Prince Harry signed a book of condolences for people connected to the tragedy. “Our deepest condolences. We are with you,” Markle wrote, while Prince Harry signed, “Arohanui,” which means “best wishes” in Maori (the language of the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand). The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also brought flowers, which they laid down in respect for those affected in Christchurch.

New Zealand was a part of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s first royal tour last fall, while Kate Middleton and Prince William last visted the country in 2014. The royal family released a statement a few days ago offering their love and support to the Christchurch victims and their families.

“Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the people who lost their lives in the devastating attack in Christchurch,” Kensington Palace published on Instagram on March 15. “We have all been fortunate to spend time in Christchurch and have felt the warm, open-hearted and generous spirit that is core to its remarkable people. No person should ever have to fear attending a sacred place of worship. This senseless attack is an affront to the people of Christchurch and New Zealand, and the broader Muslim community. It is a horrifying assault on a way of life that embodies decency, community, and friendship.”

The palace continued, “We know that from this devastation and deep mourning, the people of New Zealand will unite to show that such evil can never defeat compassion and tolerance. We send our thoughts and prayers to everyone in New Zealand today.”

See photos from Markle and Prince Harry’s visit, above.

I Tried Oribe’s Highly Textured Line for Natural Hair—Here’s What I Thought

Thanks to social media, the booming direct-to-consumer model, and empowered women of color pioneering companies and products for other women of color, the beauty world—and the hair industry in particular—has flourished with options for black women. While there’s still certainly work to do, the last couple of years have proven that the best is yet to come in terms of access and convenience for women like myself who, for years, have put their thick, kinky curls through the ringer with product that weren’t really made for us.

The momentum of the category was only made more evident to me after trying and subsequently obsessing over a new Curl Gelee made specifically for my texture, created by none other than luxury brand Oribe. The gelee—developed as part of the brand’s forthcoming Highly Textured collection, its first catered to black women—acts as the perfect last step in my hair routine, meant to lock in moisture and give even day six curls just the right amount of natural sheen and definition.

Unlike a lot of other products I’ve used to achieve the same results, this Oribe gelee isn’t sticky or greasy; it leaves my hair touchable and light, exactly how I like it. I’m left feeling optimistic that the rest of the line, spanning 11 total products meant to work through the tightest 4C coils, will do right by women of color who deserve the option of having a luxurious, legacy brand on their top shelf, should they wish to. The collection will officially launch on April 1 at oribe.com. (The prices, meanwhile, all hover in the usual Oribe range—$38 to $63—and have that same incredible scent. The Curl Gelee is $44.)

To be completely transparent, I generally approach efforts of diversity within the beauty industry with utmost caution, especially from mass brands. (I was burned one too many times in the pre-Fenty world). But from the start, Oribe showed its commitment to not only entering the category, but truly doing right by it and its consumers by tapping an actual black woman, celebrity hairstylist and beauty expert Stacey Ciceron, to authenticate the collection.

Ciceron offered an invaluable wealth of knowledge to the brand when it came to all things natural hair, from product innovation to ensuring that the brand participated in and prioritized community outreach.

“When Oribe global ambassador James Pecis approached me about the opportunity, I was very excited to be a part of something so major and, in my opinion, revolutionary,” Ciceron tells Glamour. From there, she would spend months conceiving and narrowing down product offerings, testing on real hair with real models with the hair type (and even her own hair), and working with the Oribe education team, as well as the brand’s salon stylists, for them to test and interact with the product as well.

“I weighed in on the ingredient list and consulted on the texture of product—how it feels on our hair and how effective it is,” she says, later adding that ingredients such as essential and natural oils were non-negotiables. “Highly textured hair requires more moisture and care, so I wanted to be sure we address those needs.”

Having used the product myself, Ciceron’s involvement and expertise is evident in the final product. The way the gelee smoothes into my curls without making them feel heavy or damp, the way it defines without drying or crunching—it makes sense that a black woman was in the room, and only speaks to the need for more women of color in positions of power in the beauty space. Surely, brands big and small should be looking to this debut as an example of how to thoughtfully and successfully champion diversity within their product offerings.

“Brands should realize that inclusivity doesn’t mean that one product will work for everyone,” Ciceron closes. “Hair is not ‘one size fits all.'”

Leaving Netflix in April 2019: Get Your *Sex and the City* Movie Fix Now

Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha may live forever in our hearts, but they sadly won’t be available on Netflix come April. Sex and the City: The Movie (the excellent first one!) is leaving the streaming service on April 1. So if you want to scream at Mr. Big one more time for leaving Carrie at the altar, you have just a few weeks to do it.

Sadly, that’s not the only franchise you’ll have to break up with, as a number of James Bond and Star Wars movies are leaving Netflix too. Also, say goodbye to Adam Sandler classics like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence‘s hit Silver Linings Playbook, and the first four seasons of Idris Elba’s British drama series Luther.

Check out what’s leaving Netflix starting next April:

American Pie
Billy Madison
Blue Mountain State: Seasons 1-3
Casino Royale
Diamonds Are Forever
Die Another Day
Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood
Goldfinger
Happy Feet
Happy Gilmore
Heat
I Love You, Man
L.A. Confidential
Live and Let Die
Luther: Series 1-4 Octopussy
Pokémon: XY: Seasons 1-2
Seven
Sex and the City: The Movie
The Living Daylights
The Man with the Golden Gun
The Spy Who Loved Me
The World Is Not Enough
Wallander: Series 1-4
You Only Live Twice

Raw

Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Seasons 1-5
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions

Video Game High School: Seasons 1-3

Silver Linings Playbook

But Netflix is never one to leave people content-less, so of course it’s adding loads of new movies and shows in April, as well. There’s original programming like Kevin Hart’s new comedy special, Irresponsible; Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 2; Unicorn Store, a new movie starring Brie Larson; and The Perfect Date, a new rom-com with Noah Centineo and Camila Mendes. You’ll also be able to stream classics like Pineapple Express, All the President’s Men, Spy Kids, and both Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies. Basically, this spring is still going to be lit.

Crying After Sex Isn’t Uncommon—And Women Deserve to Know Why

The first sign that my three-and-a-half year relationship was over was that we stopped making love. We didn’t stop having sex (though our passion had definitely cooled) but we stopped having any real connection in bed. When we did do it, it felt obligatory—a compromise to satiate my libido so I’d stop nagging him. It was obvious—at least to me—my partner wasn’t into it and it felt like he had no interest in whether or not I got off.

As a result, sex started to feel dirty and overly complicated. What had once been my favorite thing on planet Earth, now felt like a chore. After a few months of feeling like a sexually needy burden, plagued by guilt over my high sex drive and disinterested parter, I began experiencing what I would later find out sexologists call post coital dysphoria: a sudden and unexplained sadness, even crying, after sex.

If you haven’t experienced it, let me tell you: PCD is the worst. Post-sex, your body is drowning in a sea of feel-good chemicals like oxytocin and dopamine—which is why every single article on the internet says orgasms make you feel good. But I felt like crap after sex, especially when I either got off during or finished myself off after. Orgasms left me bereft and inconsolable, overwhelmed with anxiety over why I felt so terrible after something that should have been so great.

This post-orgasmic phenomenon is way more common than you might think—research on PCD is still pretty scarce but one study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found nearly 50 percent of women surveyed have felt the post-sex blues at some point. (Men can experience it too.) It’s believed that about 2 percent of women experience it regularly.

Researchers aren’t 100 percent sure why some people experience this hardcore crash of emotions after sex, but it likely has something to do with our body’s reaction to all the hormones and emotions that come with sex, according to sexologists. “I believe that when an orgasm takes place, it triggers a release. For most, it’s a stress release but for others, they find their body also releasing tears, emotions, and aggressiveness,” says Sunny Rodgers, a certified clinical sexologist and sex coach in Los Angeles. In this way, it’s often linked to past sexual trauma, she says.

This is exactly what it felt like for me. Every time I orgasmed, it was like I was releasing the deep emotional anguish of my failing relationship. It was sorrowful, painful, and depressing. Instead of riding a wave of pleasure, I would roll over and quietly weep until I fell asleep, lost in my own head and heartache.

When the relationship finally ended, so did the PCD—or so I thought. For awhile, I would have casual sex with decent men and women and feel completely fine afterwards. I still cried myself to sleep over my breakup, but I wasn’t sad after sex—sex finally felt pleasurable again.

Before long, I found myself spending time with someone new who made me feel things I didn’t think I’d ever feel again. The sex was amazing and he was lovely and kind. But one night, after some of the truly head-over-heels sex—the kind that only happens in the glow of an budding relationship—my post-coital dysphoria came back with a vengeance. In the aftermath of my orgasm, I felt totally despondent, like I had fallen to the bottom of a well. After my boyfriend fell asleep, I crept into the living room where I stayed awake for hours crying.

Coming to Netflix in April 2019: These 83 Movies and Shows Are Hitting Your TV Soon

Welp, it looks like I’m not doing anything for the entire month of April, because The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is coming to Netflix. That’s right: In just a few short weeks, you’ll be able to watch the jean-swapping shenanigans of Carmen (America Ferrera), Tibby (Amber Tamblyn), Bridget (Blake Lively), and Lena (Alexis Bledel) whenever you want. The sequel is hitting Netflix in April too, so that’s another reason to be excited.

And there are 81 other reasons where these two came from. So many movies and TV shows are coming to Netflix in April: a mix of originals like Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, cult classics like Obsessed, and the latest seasons of your favorite shows, including New Girl. Below, check out all the titles coming to your queues very soon:

Ultraman (NETFLIX ANIME)
Across The LineAll the President’s Men
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Deliverance
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
Evolution
Freddy vs. JasonFriday the 13th (2009)
I Am Legend
Lakeview Terrace
Monster House
ObsessedPenelope
Pineapple Express
Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, Season 2
P.S. I Love You
Snatch
Spy Kids
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D
The Bone Collector
The Fifth Element
The Golden CompassThe Sisterhood of the Traveling PantsThe Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2
Valkyrie

Kevin Hart: Irresponsible (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)

Suzzanna: Buried Alive (NETFLIX FILM)

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Part 2 (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
In The Shadows
Legacies, Season 1
Our Planet (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
Persona: Collection (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
Roman Empire: Caligula: The Mad Emperor (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
Spirit Riding Free, Season 8 (NETFLIX ORIGINAL) Tijuana (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
Unicorn Store (NETFLIX FILM)

Trolls: The Beat Goes On!, Season 6 (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)

New Girl, Season 7
You vs. Wild (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)

Black Summer (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)

A Land Imagined (NETFLIX FILM)
Band AidHuge in France (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
Mighty Little Bheem (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
The Perfect Date (NETFLIX FILM)
The Silence (NETFLIX FILM)
Special (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
Who Would You Take to a Deserted Island? (NETFLIX FILM)

Luis Miguel: The Series, Season 1
No Good Nick (NETFLIX ORIGINAL) The New Romantic

Super Monsters Furever Friends (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)

My First First Love (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)

A Fortunate Man (NETFLIX FILM)
Brené Brown: The Call to Courage (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
Cuckoo, Season 5 (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
I, Daniel BlakeMusic Teacher (NETFLIX FILM)
Rilakkuma and Kaoru (NETFLIX ANIME)
Samantha!, Season 2 (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
Someone Great (NETFLIX FILM)

Grass is Greener (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)

Pinky Malinky, Part 2 ( NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
Selection Day (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)

I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)

Bonding (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)

The Hateful Eight (Extended Version)
The Ugly Truth

The Protector, Season 2 (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
ReMastered: Devil at the Crossroads (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Season 2 (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
Street Food (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
The Sapphires
Yankee (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)

American Honey

Señora Acero, Season 5

Burning
The Imitation Game

Anthony Jeselnik: Fire in the Maternity Ward (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
Baki, Part 2 (NETFLIX ANIME)
Ingress: The Animation (NETFLIX ANIME)

Chambers (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)

Human Algorithm—Coming up: Ben Affleck
I’m Obsessed with This—Coming up: Queer Eye’s Karamo, Bobby and Tan
The Strong Black Lead Podcast: Strong Black Legends—Coming up: Bill Duke
You Can’t Make This Up—Coming up: Skye Borgman, director of Abducted in Plain Sight

Kate Middleton Just Did Her First-Ever Solo Engagement with the Queen

Kate Middleton is out and about today with the big boss: Queen Elizabeth II. And believe it or not, it’s actually the first time they’ve had an official royal engagement together where it’s just the two of them.

Back in March 2012—about a year after her wedding to Prince William—Middleton joined the queen on a visit to Leicester as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Tour. At the time, this was a really big deal because it marked the Duchess of Cambridge’s first time out with the queen, sans William. But Prince Philip was also there, making today’s outing a first.

So, what’s on tap for the queen and the future queen consort? “The Queen is Patron of @KingsCollegeLon – which is the 4th oldest university in England,” according to the queen’s official Twitter account. “Today The Duchess is accompanying Her Majesty to see Bush House, a set of buildings which have been converted to include lecture theatres, teaching rooms, and an auditorium.” People reports King’s College has played a major role in world-beating research, including the discovery of DNA and the work that led to the development of televisions and radar and mobile phones.

Middleton wore a gray coat dress from one of her favorite designers, Catherine Walker, and a Sylvia Fletcher hat, while the queen chose a Stewart Parvin Old Rose cashmere coat and coordinating hat, natch.

And, of course, they received beautiful bouquets of flowers as they left.

It appears the queen shares a sweet relationship with both her granddaughters-in-law. She and Meghan Markle made their first trip together last year, not long after Markle’s wedding to Prince Harry. The two took the royal train to Cheshire and seemed to have a jolly good time. Next up, I vote Markle, Middleton, and the queen take a joint girls’ trip together.