This New Brand Wants to Make Professional Dresses for Plus Sizes

After a decade working for one of the largest investment institutions in the world, Eugena Delman faced a personal challenge: continue growing within Goldman Sachs or leave her career behind to pursue an entirely different field. She dwelled on it for six months, but eventually decided to go the latter route—no gig lined up, no real plan… Just a ticket to go back home to Hong Kong. She would come home a month later, bringing with her an idea for a brand-new fashion company.

“I owed it to myself to at least try something different, especially given that I was in my early 30s and still had the energy,” Delman tells Glamour. “If I wanted to do something different, this was my chance to make that pivot.”

While she was in Hong Kong, Delman started to notice something about her sister’s wardrobe: Whenever they went shopping, there were hardly any options for her size-14 frame—an “experience I can only sum up as horrific,” she says. “I just couldn’t believe that there were times that we would walk into a store and [salespeople] would take one look at my sister and be like, ‘Oh, no size.’ We’re paying customers; I have my credit card and I’m ready to spend money in your store and you can’t even make the effort to check the back. My sister was like ‘This is my daily experience. I don’t know why you’re so upset.’”

This was something that Delman, who usually falls between a size six or eight, had never noticed. Growing up in Hong Kong, though, she says she remembers her size always being perceived as large. Yes, she would find it difficult to find clothing that fit correctly, but it wasn’t something she dwelled on—she was more concerned with her math and science classes, which eventually led her to major in aerospace engineering and management science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Delman always had her sights set on coming to the United States for college. After graduating, though, she realized that she wanted to do something more practical than aerospace engineering—that, and she needed a company to sponsor her visa to stay in the country. So, she turned to investment banking. That’s how she got to Goldman Sachs, first as an analyst and eventually becoming a vice president. Fashion was never really on her radar… until that fateful trip to Hong Kong.

“I totally took it for granted, the ability to just find nice clothes for myself whereas somebody who’d be considered [a straight size] in the U.S. is still really struggling in Hong Kong,” Delman says now.

PHOTO: Ava James NYC

PHOTO: Ava James NYC

PHOTO: Ava James NYC

Seeing her frustration, Delman’s sister recommended she start a wholesale or import business, bringing U.S. or European fashion brands—and more inclusive sizes—to Hong Kong. But when she started her research, Delman found that even in the U.S. there weren’t many brands that catered to her target audience of women in corporate environments. Before she could look internationally, she thought, it would be worth getting a sense of the market stateside.

That was precisely the motivation she needed to start Ava James NYC, a line of versatile, professional dresses made for the modern woman. “I wanted to create pieces that were not trend focused… that a grown woman could wear to multiple functions,” Delman explains. “Because, especially spending a lot of money, you don’t want it to be so special that you can only wear it to one type of event.”

Delman officially started Ava James NYC with longtime friend Saena Chung back in April—by August, only four months later, they had debuted its first collection. The range is simple and sophisticated, meant to go from the office to after hours. Every dress is available in sizes 8 through 18 (with more coming down the pipeline.) Prices start at $315 and cap out at $385.

PHOTO: Ava James NYC

PHOTO: Ava James NYC

According to Delman, the two were able to get Ava James NYC off the ground so quickly because of the project management skills she acquired from years in investment banking. That same experience also gives her a more intimate understanding of what professional women want from their clothes: “Because I spent nine years in corporate America, I know how [they] dress. I spent nine years with my potential customer demographic and I know what kind of outfits will work in an office setting and won’t work. These women, they want to look good and they want to feel good and they want clothes that are stylish, but they’re not super bogged down by what’s happening in the fashion world.”

Delman, with her background in finance, can also see how large Ava James NYC’s potential for growth is: She’s analyzed the brand’s early sale data, as well as the customer feedback, to reaffirm how important it is for shoppers to have access to elevated womenswear and professional dresses that aren’t fast-fashion or extremely high end—clothing that falls somewhere in the middle.

The team has also spent extra time and money on the fitting process, to ensure that the garments compliment larger frames—a consideration that, though “very expensive on our part,” Delman says she was adamant about: “One of the complaints that I’d heard from my sister was that a lot of the options that were available to her were really oversized clothing…I know that the worst thing you can do when you have a curvy body is drape yourself in fabric.”

PHOTO: Ava James NYC

PHOTO: Ava James NYC

PHOTO: Ava James NYC

There’s another, less talked-about challenge Delman has identified about starting a fashion business—specifically, an inclusive brand: finding an industry standard of size, which essentially means there’s a lot of variation between brands and how they do their sizing. (Someone who might wear a size 14 in one brand may wear a different size in Ava James NYC. Because of the variation in sizing, Delman has made shipping and returns free of charge, allowing shoppers to not pay extra to find the garments in their correct size.) “We ended up putting together an Excel spreadsheet of different brands, specifically for size 14 which is our sample size, and took a look at the variation,” says Delman.

Her sister back in Hong Kong is the brand’s unofficial sample tester: “The first time she wore [our Madrid Dress], she actually told me that she never, ever thought that she could feel sexy in her life. That, to me, was straight up validation.”

“There’s that saying, don’t dress for the job that you have, dress for the job that you want,” Delman says. “As corny as it sounds, it’s not just about looking good—it’s about feeling pretty darn fabulous, too.”

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Melania Trump Unveiled Her New Blond Hair on Fox News

Melania Trump took her new blond hair and not-so-new complaints about the media to Fox News this week, submitting to a sit-down interview with host Sean Hannity on Wednesday.

In their conversation, Trump told Hannity that the greatest hardship she’s faced since she’s been in the White House is the “opportunists” who’ve used her name and the Trump brand to “advance themselves.” Perhaps in an effort to channel her own #BeBest initiative, which aims to curb bullies online and seems to have had no effect on her own husband, she did not name names but she did call out journalists, comedians, celebrities, and authors for their supposed behavior.

Now it’s news to no one that FLOTUS takes issue with how she and her husband are treated in the press. But what did make waves on the internet? Trump’s new look. The erstwhile brunette trotted out a fresh set of highlights, and Twitter took notice.

Of course a woman is free to switch up her hair (or wear a Zara jacket that seems to suggest a certain disregard for a national crisis on the border) whenever she pleases, but if that woman is Melania Trump and her new shade now falls between Donald Trump Russet Potato and Ivanka Trump Daffodil on the color wheel, people will have opinions.

Some had questions:

Others had theories:

Most just had feels:

And some shut out all the noise and did just as Trump requested in another portion of the interview. The media, she said, “likes to focus on gossip and I would like them to focus on the substance and what we do, not just about the nonsense.”

For at least one journalist the point was well-taken! Never mind the hair! Or the comparisons to other women in the administration or on Fox News. Let’s concentrate on what matters:

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Miss USA Slammed for Mocking Asian Miss Universe Contestants For Not Speaking English

Miss USA, Sarah Rose Summers, is facing controversy after a video surfaced of her making what seems to be negative comments about two non-English speaking contestants taking part in the 2018 Miss Universe pageant being held in Thailand.

According to People, the video (which you can watch here) was part of an Instagram Live posted by Miss Colombia Valeria Morales, who appears alongside Summers and Miss Australia Francesca Hung.

“She’s so cute and she pretends to know so much English,” Summers said of Miss Vietnam H’Hen Nie. “And then you ask her a question after having a whole conversation with her and she goes — .” She then makes a blank, smiling expression that seems to mock H’Hen before laughing and adding, “She’s adorable.” Morales asks her to repeat the look and Summers obliges.

The trio then discusses Miss Cambodia Rern Sinat, who had earlier posted an Instagram photo of herself with Summers. “Miss Cambodia is here and doesn’t speak any English,” Summers said. “And not a single person here speaks her language. Can you imagine? Francesca said that it would be very isolating and I think yes, and just confusing all the time.”

Summers has since apologized in an Instagram post, although—as you’ll see below—social media reactions are coming fast and furious.

Obviously, social media users wasted no time in letting their criticisms of Summers’ comments be known.

“Do you speak any language except English?” one Instagram commenter asked. “Absolutely enraged that Miss USA, Miss Australia and Miss Colombia made fun of Miss Cambodia and Miss Vietnam for not being able to speak fluent English, TRASH,” wrote another user on Twitter. Another said, “@MissUniverse i wonder if you will still allow Miss USA, Columbia, and Australia to continue in the competition after their racist/ bigoted remarks toward fellow contestant Miss Cambodia. I can’t believe these ladies will be repersenting [sic] their countries!”

The Miss Universe pageant will air live Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. ET on FOX.

Kate Middleton Drove Herself to Buckingham Palace—Is That Common?

Stop what you’re doing, people: Kate Middleton drove herself to Buckingham Palace yesterday (December 12).

Actually, don’t stop. Feel free to carry on with your life, because this actually isn’t a big deal—despite what the Internet is saying. Yes, it’s true the Duchess of Cambridge rolled up to Buckingham Palace in her car, firmly planted in the driver’s seat, but this isn’t a breach of royal protocol. (The Sun reports Middleton was at BP for a quick hangout with Queen Elizabeth II. Ya know, just a breezy grandmother-in-law luncheon!)

“Royals have long been known to drive themselves, from the queen and Princess Diana, and it’s not unusual or a break in protocol to do so,” Myka Meier, founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette, tells Glamour. “We typically, however, see royals driving themselves to less casual events, and being driven to any official or formal events they are attending.” (This strengthens the theory that the queen and Middleotn were having a casual kickback as opposed to something fancy.)

A fan caught Middleton in driving action and posted a video to Instagram. Check it out for yourself, below.

This is the third time this year people have raised eyebrows at car-related situations with the royals. There was all that hubbub in September when Meghan Markle was praised for shutting her own car door. Before that, the Duchess of Sussex sparked chatter when she entered a car before the queen. “This is just a case of habit, not protocol (protocol actually says the most important person sits diagonally behind the driver) but the Queen has always preferred being directly behind whoever is driving her,” a royal etiquette expert told Daily Mail Online about that incident.

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Taylor Swift Will Premiere a New Reputation Concert Movie on Netflix

Soon, you’ll be able to enjoy Taylor Swift‘s Reputation tour from the comfort of your own home, because Taylor is coming to Netflix.

On Dec. 13, Taylor rung in her 29th birthday by announcing that a concert movie of her Reputation adventures will air on Netflix on, of course, New Year’s Day 2019. Based on the trailer she dropped, the movie will cover the Reputation concert, including opening acts Camila Cabello and Charli XCX. (Maybe it will also show pals Gigi Hadid and Emma Stone dancing at her shows?)

“Thanks so much for all the birthday wishes! Today I finally get to show you something we’ve been working on for a while… the trailer for the Reputation Stadium Tour!” she wrote. “You made this tour so insanely fun for all of us on stage, and I’m really excited that we will have this memento of the memories we all made together this year. I also got to share the stage with such wildly talented people @camila_cabello, @charli_xcx, my band and dancers who shine so brightly in this film. You’re the best. Thank you for everything.”

Swifties, of course, are all about this new development. One fan wrote, “So my netflix just became even more serious then it was because @taylorswift13 just announced her REPUTATION STADIUM TOUR MOVIE IS GOING TO BE ON NETFLIX.” Another added, “It’s literally HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US. Thank you. SO excited to experience this in another way, and be able to relive it over and over again.”

If you, like me, saw the Reputation tour in the pouring rain (or if you didn’t get a chance to see it at all), you’re in serious luck, since a New Year’s Eve spent in bed watching Taylor Swift perform sounds like the perfect way to ring in 2019.

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Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: Joe Alwyn Said There’s a “Very Clear Line” for What He’ll Say About Taylor Swift

Women’s Tennis Association Revises Rules for 2019—and Allows Serena Williams to Wear Her Catsuit

When Serena Williams returned to the tennis court in May, following the birth of daughter Alexis Olympia, at the 2018 French Open, she did so in a custom black Nike catsuit. It wasn’t only an epic, symbolic look—”all the moms out there that had a tough pregnancy and have to come back and try to be fierce, in [the] middle of everything, that’s what this represents,” she said at the tournament—it was specifically designed for Williams to prevent blood clots from forming while she played. She has a history of blood clots and was especially at risk following childbirth. Still, Williams’ outfit didn’t sit well with everyone: A few months later, Bernard Giudicelli, the president of the French Tennis Association announced a new dress code that would prohibit catsuits like Williams’ from appearing on the court in 2019. Many denounced this proposed ban, and Nike stood in support of Williams. Now, ahead of the new year, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) is clarifying the rules surrounding female players’ wardrobes, including compression pieces like Williams’ now-famous French Open catsuit.

The WTA released a summary of rule changes for 2019, which touched on rankings, price money withdrawals, and attire, the BBC reports. “Leggings and mid-thigh-length compression shorts may be worn with or without a skirt, shorts, or dress,” the organization wrote.

2018 French Open Tennis Tournament. Roland Garros.

PHOTO: Tim Clayton – Corbis

That doesn’t override the French Tennis Association’s proposed banning of the catsuit at the French Open—but, should Williams want to re-wear the catsuit, she’ll likely face less pushback from officials at other tournaments. (Though, don’t expect to see her play in it again—following Giudicelli’s comments, Williams noted how she wasn’t that interested in rewearing the outfit, anyway: “When it comes to fashion, you don’t want to be a repeat offender,” she told ESPN.)

2018 French Open Tennis Tournament. Roland Garros.

PHOTO: Tim Clayton – Corbis

The revised rules also grant more protections to new mothers returning to the sport in regards to their rankings, according to the Telegraph. You may remember how Williams arrived to the Glam Slam this year with a lower ranking, which seeded her at a shockingly low No. 453. The WTA will now guarantee that returning players won’t face seeded competitors in the early rounds (and thus not risk early elimination); how they’re seeded themselves in these tournaments, however, remains at the discretion of officials.

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Do You Need a Fertility Test—Even If You’re Not Trying to Get Pregnant?

My feet in stirrups, I stared at the eerie black-and-white images projected on the screen in front of me, as Hailee Steinfeld’s “Love Myself” bumped energetically in the background. My ovaries, the squishy bean-shaped blobs on the screen, bounced in and out of shadows as my gynecologist shifted the ultrasound probe, searching for the follicles that produce eggs.

This was not your typical ob-gyn exam, to say the least. I’m not trying to get pregnant—quite the opposite, actually—but I paid a visit to Trellis, a new “fertility studio” and egg-freezing clinic in New York City, to learn just how fertile I am now, and will be in the years to come. With an in-house juice bar and a quote from Michelle Obama (“It’s up to each of us to invent our own future”) displayed prominently in the well-lit lounge, Trellis is one of several new startups launched in the past two years garnering attention and investor dollars for adding fertility to the list of health stats you can easily track.

The idea behind making fertility testing cheap, convenient, and trendy, stems in part from data: Women are increasingly putting off having children—for the first time, women in their thirties are now having more babies than women in their twenties, according to the CDC. But because fertility naturally starts to decline in your 30s, these companies assert information is power. “We help you understand what’s going on in your own body so you can use that information to make the decisions that are right for you,” says Afton Vechery, co-founder of Modern Fertility, an at-home fertility testing service launched in summer of 2017. Armed with your fertility stats, the idea is that you can eliminate (or at least reduce) anxiety about putting off baby-making, adjust your timeline if your proactive tests reveal any red flags, or make a more informed decision about egg freezing.

But after my procedure, I was skeptical. Is this just millennial marketing—complete with an Instagram-worthy reception area, socially-conscious brand mantras (“empowered egg freezing”), pink take-home brochures, and sleek apps—at its best?

Marketing Fertility

If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, a trip to any traditional fertility clinic will generally follow a few key steps: a look at your medical history, an ultrasound to examine your ovaries, a blood test to measure key hormones tied to egg production. No one test can tell you with 100 percent certainty if or when you’ll be able to get pregnant, but for now, the combined results of these tests are the closest you can get to a crystal ball.

The problem these startups—all led by women—have with that approach? It comes too late. Many ob-gyns or specialists won’t run these tests unless a woman is already having issues, which means the game may already be decided, or the options for action limited.

Piraye Yurttas Beim, who has a Ph.D. in molecular biology, first went to her doctor for a fertility assessment at 32. She was told, based on her fertility hormone tests, that her chances of getting pregnant using her own eggs was less than one percent. “I felt like, wait a minute, I did all the right things,” she says. “I went to my ob-gyn every year for my annual screens. Why wasn’t I screened for [fertility]? Why wasn’t I given a heads up that this was a possibility? Why was this sprung on me when it was effectively too late?” As a scientist and founder of Celmatix, a company that tests fertility-related genetic markers to help predict a woman’s baby-making odds, Beim knew that hormone levels don’t always tell the whole story. The proof? She went on to conceive her three kids naturally.

Still, hormone tests can be a starting point to getting insight into your fertility potential, which is why startups like Modern Fertility and Future Family analyze the same exact hormones traditional clinics do. This gives doctors an idea of your egg quantity, aka your “ovarian reserve” and can help a fertility specialist assess how many eggs you likely have in the bank. (Trellis operates more like a traditional fertility clinic that’s been given a chic makeover—they perform blood tests and ultrasounds, like the one I had, conducted by doctors specializing in reproductive medicine at their NYC clinic. From there, a “fertility coach” can walk you through the company’s egg freezing packages and “fertility wellness” plans.)

The science behind these tests isn’t new. But these founders hope streamlining the process of getting them will help women move from being reactive to proactive about fertility. Now, you can order a hormone test online (you can either prick your finger at-home, or get an order to have blood taken at a local lab) for under $200. Old school fertility testing would require jumping through hoops to find your way to a fertility specialist, where you may be socked with a hefty bill—potentially reaching into the thousands—that may not be covered by insurance.

Getting Answers Without Fear

Conversations about fertility have long felt like scare tactics, pressuring women to have kids ASAP or shell out cash to freeze their eggs before time runs out. Past awareness campaigns even included an upside down baby bottle as a rapidly dwindling hourglass. The fear-mongering around fertility isn’t just uncool, evidence suggests it can be costly—only 6 percent of women who froze their eggs went on to actually use them, in one small 2017 study. (Most women in the study who were pregnant at some point, conceived naturally.)

The modern conversation, as I experienced, has gotten a major course correction. These days doctors really, really don’t want the results from these tests to cause any panic. “It’s incredibly complicated,” says Paula Brady, M.D., a fertility specialist the Columbia University Fertility Center. “We can’t take one value and say, ‘This is great, don’t worry,’ or ‘This is bad, you should be worried.’”

My blood tests (one from Modern Fertility and another from Trellis) and ultrasound revealed that, while I’m still technically within the “normal” range for a woman in her late 20s, I have a less than stellar ovarian reserve. My AMH level, perhaps the best indicator of how many eggs I have, is “lower than expected for [my] age,” Trellis found.

My first reaction: Holy shit. Do I need to freeze my eggs?

It’s surprisingly hard not to panic about these results. But as I made more calls, almost every expert I spoke with stressed that my ovaries’ meh report card was no reason to freak out. “The low edge of normal is still in the normal range,” assured Nataki Douglas, M.D., director of translational research for the department of obstetrics, gynecology and women’s health at Rutgers University and chair of the medical advisory board at Modern Fertility. A below average test result, in other words, doesn’t mean you should rush to put your eggs on ice.

The Fertility Prediction Blind Spot

Not only is the science of predicting fertility imperfect and complex, it also has a major blind spot: Even the techiest and trendiest fertility assessments look only at the quantity of eggs you have when evidence suggests the quality of your eggs is equally important. Last year a team of reproductive researchers led by the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill found women with signs of “diminished ovarian reserve” were just as successful at getting pregnant as women with a normal reserve. Basically, an underwhelming ovarian reserve result might mean something about your ability to get pregnant in five years—or it might not. (The best predictor of egg quality doctors have is your age.)

These new companies believe the services they provide could add another layer of data to your family planing calculations. Testing early, they suggest, means you can track your fertility stats over time—one AMH test might not tell you much on its own but a drastic drop in the hormone year-over-year is a more reliable red flag, Dr. Douglas says. “The key is to have the information so that you’re empowered to make decisions and have informed discussions with the right people,” she adds.

Still, experts don’t recommend all women start tracking AMH levels with the same rigor as you might track your steps or your sleep. “I always say check a value if you would do something with the result,” says Dr. Brady. If your mom went through early menopause, for example, getting your hormone levels tested could give you a little more insight about having kids earlier or freezing your eggs. Or if your period is irregular, a fertility assessment might help shed light on conditions like PCOS that could impact your baby-making plans. But if seeing ambiguous below-average hormone levels will only make you stress, Dr. Brady says it might be best to pass.

After two hormone tests, one ultrasound, and nearly a dozen interviews with reproductive experts, I still don’t know if I can confidently put off pregnancy for another five years or whether I should sign up for egg freezing at Trellis (estimated cost: $12,850 plus $600 per year in egg storage fees). I have my results, but I don’t exactly have answers. “It would be awesome if we could have a single blood test or an ultrasound that could really lay out your future,” says Alan Penzias, M.D., chair of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s Practice Committee. “But right now, I don’t think we’re quite there.”

I’ve wrestled a lot with how I feel about that. Unlike years ago when that baby-bottle-as-hourglass campaign got major backlash, women today know more than ever about our bodies. We track our steps, our sleep cycles, our periods right on our phones. We’re fluent in data about our bodies, ourselves. This whole panoply of information about our bodies helps us make more “empowered” decisions—so why wouldn’t the same be true about fertility data? Now, rather than remaining in the dark about what my ovaries are up to, I’m armed with baseline information that I can use to start a conversation with my gynecologist about the choices I’ll be making for my body over the next five, even ten, years.

Testing early means I don’t feel like I’m at the mercy of my biology—I feel like I’m in the driver’s seat.

U by Kotex Tampons Have Been Recalled—Here’s What You Need to Know

Kimberly-Clark, the company behind Kotex tampons and pads, just issued a major recall: they’re pulling U by Kotex Sleek Tampons off shelves after reports that the tampons can unravel inside your body.

The Kotex recall, announced this week, comes after reports that U by Kotex tampons (the regular absorbency variety) were unraveling or breaking apart when women tried to remove them. Some women actually had to seek medical attention to remove the bits of the tampon from their bodies, according to a statement released by the company.

The product defect isn’t just uncomfortable-sounding, it could cause serious health risks. Per the Kimberly-Clark’s statement, there have been a “small number” of reports of infections (i.e. yeast infections, bladder infections and bacterial vaginosis), irritation (such as itching and swelling) and “localized vaginal injury” (think: pain and bleeding).

Tampons have been under increased scrutiny by scientists and lawmakers in recent years as researchers begin to look into how the chemicals used to make them—bleach, pesticides, fragrances—might be affecting your vaginal health. (So far, there’s no definitive evidence that the impact of the trace amounts of these chemicals is enough to really do damage in humans, but considering the fact that the average woman uses nearly 17,000 pads and tampons in her life, it’s enough to prompt some women to go the menstrual cup route instead.)

So, how do you know if your tampons are part of the Kotex recall? The defective batch was sold between October 17, 2016 and October 23, 2018, so if you bought any U by Kotex Sleek tampons during that time frame, you can check the lot number on the box—look for the nine-digit number on the bottom of the box and enter it into Kotex’s recall database—to see if your stash is part of the recall.

“Any consumer with the impacted U by Kotex Sleek Tampons, Regular Absorbency, in their possession should stop using the product immediately,” according to a statement released by the FDA. And if you’re experiencing any irritation, pain, or symptoms that are out of the norm after using a tampon—or if it starts to break apart as you remove it—talk to a doctor ASAP.

John Mayer Is Reportedly ‘Very Into’ Kourtney Kardashian, and We’ve Reached Peak 2018

In news literally no one saw coming, John Mayer is reportedly harboring a little crush for Kourtney Kardashian.

The report comes from Us Weekly, which claims Mayer was seen chatting with Kardashian at GQ‘s Men of the Year party on Thursday, December 6. “[He] seemed very into her,” an eyewitness tells Us Weekly. Mayer reportedly even told Kardashian that running into her was “sweet serendipity” and they should “meet up again soon.” (Catch Mayer’s new single “Sweet Serendipity” in early 2019, inspired form this event. Just kidding.)

So many thoughts are running through my mind. Is Mayer a fan of Keeping Up With the Kardashians? Does he know about the time Kourtney laughed at Kim for crying on vacation? Or when she told Kim that “people were dying” after she lost her diamond earrings in the ocean? Surely he knows about “Nancy,” right?

Unfortunately, though, this crush might be one-sided. A source tells Us Weekly that Mayer isn’t Kardashian’s “type at all.” So, it looks like you won’t have to prepare yourself for this out-of-the-box pairing. (Which is a bit of a relief, TBH. 2018 has been the year for shocking new celebrity couples. Please see: Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson, and Channing Tatum and Jessie J.)

If John and Kourtney aren’t dating, maybe this clears up room in his schedule for him to help Kim with her music career. Remember her song “Jam?” And the accompanying music video? John is the only person qualified to help her come up with a sequel to that masterpiece. The Billboard charts are waiting, you two.

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Mustela Stelatopia Emollient Cream is the Best Drugstore Moisturizer for Dry Winter Skin

In the summer, my face is an oil slick—or as kinder souls have put it, “so glowy!” Then, one day, fall turns to winter and severe dry patches begin appearing beneath my eyes and around my nose. It happens every year, like clockwork.

In the past, this signaled a mad scramble to find any solution that actually worked. Back before I knew better, I tried the multi-pronged layering approach, sandwiching serums between face mists and ointments and salves while muttering under my breath about the complexities of my skin’s love language. This fixed the problem to some extent, but it also meant going to bed with my face marinating under an inch of greasy product (woe to my pillowcases if I happen to turn over in my sleep). It was also totally out of the question for my morning routine—if a tiny gust of wind blew so much as a stray leaf my way, I was done for.

It took a few years of trial and error, but eventually, I discovered a far easier, smarter option. And I will happily reveal it to you now because it only requires that you make a trip to your nearest Target (where you’re probably already planning to go for snacks, holiday decorations, and more things than you can carry anyway). Once you enter, walk toward the skin care aisle and then keep on moving; what you want isn’t located here. Instead, set your sights on the baby section, where you’ll find a few shelves stocked with my holy grail French skin care brand, Mustela.

Mustela is a line geared toward those between the stages of newborn and toddler; the products are all tested on a patented baby epidermal model (please do not ask me what this means, but I know that no actual baby faces are involved in the process) and evaluated by a third-party toxicologist to ensure safety. I’m not exactly in that target audience, but the products work fine on adults as well—just consider them a great choice for sensitive skin. Everything I’ve tried from them has been incredibly effective, even when my face is at its most dry and inflamed. The Hydra-Stick with Cold Cream is my faithful plane companion—a creamy, comforting block that pulls double duty as lip balm and moisturizer. The Cleansing Wipes never leave my face feeling stripped or overly dry. And the tiniest bit of 1 2 3 Vitamin Barrier Cream under my nose saves me every allergy season, when my skin becomes chapped and red otherwise.

The one I go back to again and again, though, is the giant tube of Stelatopia cream, which I slather on generously. (For $23, I can afford to apply liberally.) I dispense a pea-sized amount in my palm morning and night and pat it into my skin. Sometimes I combine it with a serum if I’m in need of a brightening or firming boost, but often I wear it alone, content to let it work its magic without any extra frills.

While the formula doesn’t feature the kind of plush, rich texture I’m used to from ultra-nourishing creams, it more than makes up for the lack of sensorial experience with its restorative properties. The lotion comes out fluid and light, sinking into my skin almost instantly and leaving no residue behind. As soon as it meets a dry patch, I can almost feel my face sighing in relief. There are formulas that hydrate and formulas that heal—this does both, which makes sense as it’s designed for eczema-prone complexions. This is thanks to avocado perseose (a new-gen biomimetic—essentially, a patented ingredient that mimics the skin’s barrier function) and sunflower oil distillate, the two key actives in the ingredients list.

“They work together to reinforce the skin barrier, maintain moisture, and minimize water loss,” says FAAD Associate Professor of Pediatric Dermatology, Latanya T. Benjamin, MD. To break that down further: Your skin barrier keeps pollutants out and the good stuff in. When it’s compromised (whether by the elements or by other culprits like too much exfoliation), your skin easily becomes dry and irritated. Ceramides are a lipid that form this barrier, so naturally, you want more of them. Similarly, sunflower oil distillate also helps replenish your lipids and reduce inflammation at the same time. Together, they do everything I was looking for in those 8 layers of product I formerly buried myself in. If I could add these two ingredients to everything I use between November and April, I would. Then again, I really only need this single tube.

Mustela Stelatopia Emollient Cream, $23,

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