10 Invisalign Truths to Know Before You Try

Crooked teeth, overbite, or whatever your oral insecurity may be, clear braces are a great choice—but there are a few things to get straight first

Real talk: I’ve never loved my teeth. OK, they were never awful, but Invisalign has long been in the back of my mind. Despite wearing my retainer every single night since getting my braces off in high school, my teeth still moved, and I had what’s called an overjet bite, which means my lower teeth were too far behind my upper front teeth. In other words: not cute.

In a lot of ways, Invisalign was the best thing I could do for my smile. But there are a few things I wish I knew before my first appointment. If you’re also wondering if you should try it out, read this first. (If your choppers don’t need any straightening up, you can at least make your smile brighter. After all, it’s pretty easy to Whiten Teeth Naturally with Food.)

1. Yes, you actually have to wear them.
It’s an all-too-true reality, but there’s no dancing it around it: You have to keep the aligners on for at least 20 hours a day or you won’t get the best results (22 hours is the rec, but you can boot two hours if it’s more realistic for your lifestyle, says Marc Lemchen, an orthodontist in New York City). That means breakfast, lunch, and dinner become power meals. Make sure you’re ready for that commitment.

2. You can’t see them, but you can hear them.
There’s a reason they are called invisible braces—no one could tell I was wearing them. Until I started talking, that is. (I dare anyone with Invisalign to try asking, “What’s your skincare secret?” without lisping.) Luckily, it got better with time—going from cringe-worthy mumbles to coherent ssssentences—and by the end, no one noticed my lisp, either.

3. It’s not the right treatment for everyone.
Invisalign can treat most orthodontic issues, like crooked teeth, minor over/under bites, or gaps. But for severe cases, it’s a question of how long you are willing to do the treatment. Patients with more complex problems (say, if you have too big of a bite) may get quicker results with metal braces surgery, or says Lemchen. To see if it’s right for you, you can take the Invisalign’s Smile Assessment.

4. Your travel toothbrush will become your best friend.
You’ll need to use one (with its companion, the mini tube of toothpaste) in between meals, so your cereal/salad/chicken doesn’t linger in your mouth longer than it needs to. Assuming you eat the typical three times a day, that means you’ll need it for 21 instances in a single week. That’s a whole lot of brushing; invest in a few.

5. You’ll have to limit your morning coffees.
In general, drinking anything that can stain your teeth—coffee, red wine, tea—will stain your Invisalign. So if you rely on a cup (or three) of java to fuel your mornings, be warned: You won’t get to enjoy it quite like you used to. You’ll have to factor it in to your allotted time to eat breakfast, or take it out before your second cup (and always brush before you put the trays back in). The same goes for post-work glasses of wine—something I wish I knew before signing up for the treatment.

6. You might (accidentally) lose weight.
Midday snacks will never be the same, and mindless eating becomes obsolete. It’s the biggest blessing in disguise: After every meal, you have to brush your teeth. So when you get that 2 p.m. craving, you’re forced to stop and ask yourself “Is it really worth it?” Most of the time, it’s not, and you quickly become aware of your senseless snacking. Just remember: When everyone else is eating cake for a colleague’s birthday, you may curse your Invisalign…until you notice your clothes start fitting better. You have more energy. There are no more sugar crashes! (Fend off more mindless eating habits with these 11 Ways to Fat-Proof Your Home.)

7. It’s virtually painless.
I remember shrieking—loudly—every time I got my braces tightened in high school (I blame my child-like pain tolerance), so trust me when I say Invisalign does not hurt. No, you won’t be able to eat raw carrots on your first day, but it’s like a walk in the park compared to its metal counterpart. FYI, kissing isn’t as much of a pain either. (You’ll never have to worry about that dreaded stuck-while-kissing fear you got with braces because you can easily take them out.)

8. Cleaning them with toothpaste is a no-no.
The only thing more noticeable than spinach wedged between your teeth is a murky, yellow Invisalign tray. This can happen if you don’t brush post-meal, but also because you’re washing it with toothpaste—as surprising as that may be. “Most people think that’s how they are supposed to clean trays,” says Lemchen, “but toothpaste contains abrasive ingredients that can cause build up and odor.” Stick to a mild detergent or soap instead.

9. It could take longer than you think.
The average treatment of Invisalign is one year, so I was ecstatic to learn I only needed six months. But then…on my last day of supposed treatment, BAM! I was told I need a new set of “finishing” aligners to get them as close to perfect as possible. Turns out, most patients need the extra trays, says Lemchen.

10. It’s 100 percent worth it.
Through all the missed birthday cakes and wine nights, I would do it again in a heartbeat. My teeth no longer bother me, I’ve become a devoted flosser and a mindful eater, and that, to me, makes it completely, totally, wholeheartedly worth it. (While two straight rows of pearly whites is certainly ideal, it’s not all we should be shooting for when it comes to oral hygiene. Your teeth hold some surprising secrets about the rest of your overall health—here, 11 Things Your Mouth Can Tell You About Your Health.)

Jennifer Lopez Is Developing a Skin-Care Line (and We’re Anxiously Waiting to Slather Our Skin)

Dreams of JLo-level skin are one step closer to becoming reality.

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Photo: Nicholas Hunt/Staff/Getty Images

Jennifer Lopez and her latest character in Second Act have one thing important thing in common: They’re both venturing into the skin care biz. The singer revealed that she’ll soon be dropping a skin-care line at an event for the filmat The Wing in New York. (Related: Jennifer Lopez Shows Off Her Abs In a Gym Selfie to Celebrate Her Birthday)

“I will be coming out with a skin care line that I’ve been working on for a long time because I don’t want to put anything out,” she told the audience. “…And so when I put it out I want it to be something that kind of encompasses all the things I’ve learned, all the secrets I have. I have little secrets. None of them have to do with needles, or anything like that just so you know.” Basically, the details are super vague, but we’re confident she’s about to hook us up. “It’s going to be something that works. It will work.”

Lopez had hinted at the line back in June in an interview with Good Morning America, saying that she’d been working on a “little secret package thing” that’s “just for your skin and…some other things.” (Related: Jennifer Lopez Used to Believe Every Negative Thing People Said About Her)

If you haven’t seen Lopez’s skin lately, she looks like she took a nice long soak in the fountain of youth. Exhibit A:

Bronze and highlight definitely play a part in J.Lo’s insane glow, and the singer dropped her first makeup line this year with Inglot. She’s also credited her appearance to plenty of lifestyle factors over the years: Getting enough sleep, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, genes, working out, and meditating. But we’re guessing the skin-care “secrets” she hinted at also play a huge part, and can’t wait to see what a J.Lo skin-care line has in store.

According to Lopez, the line will likely drop in late 2019, but until then, we did some sleuthing so you can try some of the products that the star is rumored to use for glowing skin.

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  • Legend has it that J. Lo uses La Mer the Moisturizing Soft Cream all over her body. She’s definitely at least used the product as a facial moisturizer. It was part of her pre-makeup skin prep for her All I Have show according to Allure. ($175, sephora.com)
  • In 2016 Hello Magazine reported that Lopez always washes her face after working out and likes using Lancer The Method: Cleanse. ($55, sephora.com)
  • On Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, J. Lo said she uses a rose cream from Whole Foods to moisturize, according to The Zoe Report. She was likely referring to something along the lines of Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream. ($45, dermstore.com)
  • Lopez shelled out $25,000 to buy her own personal CACI Ultimate Device, according to Cosmo. For a more wallet-friendly microcurrent device, try NuFACE Mini Facial Toning Device. ($199, sephora.com)
  • Back in 2012Forbes reported that J. Lo was rumored to use Strivectin SD Eye Cream. It’s no longer available, but the company still makes Strivectin Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles containing hyaluronic acid, resveratrol, and peptides. ($69, ulta.com)
  • Before J.Lo’s InStyle cover shoot, makeup artist Mary Phillips applied Vitner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serumunder her makeup. It contains 22 botanicals and essential oils including avocado, turmeric, and sea buckthorn. ($185, goop.com)
  • J. Lo has cited her regular sunscreen use as one of her anti-aging secrets. She’s spritzed with Sun Bum Original Sunscreen Spray while yachting off the coast of France, according to People. ($16, ulta.com)

The 5 Truly Brilliant Beauty Products I’m Loving This Week

My real, no-bullshit reviews of new products you’ll actually want to buy.

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Hi, hello, and welcome back to Worth It, my bi-weekly breakdown of the newest beauty products I’m completely head-over-heels obsessed with right now. No, I’m not getting a kickback to write about these products; I merely fell in love with them for one simple reason: They’re really freaking excellent.

So please, read on to find out the five products that are actually worth your cash, and catch up on the latest Worth It breakdown, here.

1. Moroccanoil Night Body Serum

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Moroccanoil Night Body Serum, $62

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WHY I LOVE IT:

It leaves my bumpy, dry skin shockingly hydrated and soft, without any sticky residue.

MORE DEETS:

Most body oils leave you feeling like a magnet for every tiny speck of lint, dust, and hair, which is the last thing you want to deal with before you crawl into bed at night. But this formula is a silicone-based serum, rather than a straight heavy oil, meaning it sinks into your skin pretty quicklyafter massaging it on (instead of sitting on the top like an oil slick). Lightweight argan and tea seed oils in this formula work to moisturize dry patches and rough bumps, while vitamin C ester fades hyperpigmentation and brightens skin over time with continual use.

2. Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid

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Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid, $39

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WHY I LOVE IT:

This toner adds an extra layer of calming moisture to my skin that feels like virtually nothing after it dries.

MORE DEETS:

Ceramides are essentially liquid gold for your skin. No, really. They’re naturally occurring lipids (oils) in your body that keep your skin barrier hydrated and help prevent moisture loss. The only issue? Dry, irritated, and aging skin are usually in short supply of them. Enter: this ceramide-packed toner, which infuses your skin with an intense dose of repairing ceramides and calming centella and fig extracts to plump up your skin barrier and lock in moisture. To use, just massage a few drops over your clean, dry skin, then apply your moisturizer on top like usual, and reap the dewy results.

3. Almay Clear Complexion Concealer

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Almay Clear Complexion Concealer, $8.99

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WHY I LOVE IT:

It completely covers zits (without sliding off after an hour) and works to gently kill them with 1 percent salicylic acid.

MORE DEETS:

I’ve tried a good majority of acne-treating concealers on the market, and they’ve all been exactly…fine. Either they’re too cakey or too runny, too sheer or not opaque enough, or they just slip down your skin by noon. But not this little stick. No, this cream concealer does the very thing you want it to: opaquely blends over zits for all-day coverage and spot-treating powers. Plus, even if you use it twice a day, it still won’t irritate your skin, thanks to its soothing aloe and chamomile, which work to mitigate irritation and redness after you dab it on.

4. Essie Fall 2018 Nail Polish in Empire Shade of Mind

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Essie Fall 2018 Nail Polish in Empire Shade of Mind, $9

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WHY I LOVE IT:

It gives your nails a ridiculously cool-looking metallic finish that will cause exactly two of your friends to compliment you.

MORE DEETS:

I know your parents told you not to do something just because it looks cool, but please ignore your childhood advice in favor of this silver polish. Because it’s very, very cool. Not only does it look exactly like melted metal when it dries, but it’s so opaque and creamy, you really only need one coat to cover your nail (though still do two, so it won’t chip as easily). And, unlike some metallic polishes, which are filled with sparkles and flecks, this formula is completely glitter-free, meaning you’ll look 2018 cool, not 1999 Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century lame.

5. Bumble and Bumble Bb. Thickening Go Big Treatment

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Bumble and Bumble Bb. Thickening Go Big Treatment, $30

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WHY I LOVE IT:

This volumizing heat protectant gives me va-va-voom hair that stays full and thick-looking all day long.

MORE DEETS:

I have pretty thin hair that only looks thick thanks to my natural curl pattern. Which means any time I blow-dry it straight without using root-boosting or thickening sprays, I look like I have exactly 12 hairs on my head. But this volumizing spray gives me legitimately thicker-looking hair, thanks to its mix of hydrolyzed wheat protein and Cornelian cherry extract, without making it feel sticky or greasy. Just spritz the lightweight formula throughout your damp hair, from root to tip, then blow it out, using either a round brush (for smoothness) or a diffuser (for amped-up curls).

 

The 8 Best Drugstore Highlighters Real Women Swear By

The most-popular shades for every skin tone and budget.

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Playing with highlighters can feel like you’re playing a game of Risk: One wrong choice or swipe, and you could be left with a streak of blinding glitter reminiscent of a Studio 54 after-party. But rest assured that you don’t need to spend a ton of money to find a subtle formula that flatters your skin tone; you just need some real reviews and a little bit of faith.

To save you the hassle of scrolling through hundreds of reviews, we did the recon work for you and rounded up the most popular drugstore highlighters real people all over the internet swear by. For an added bonus, there are a few extra beauty-editor-approved options for you to shop as well. Check them out, below, and get swirling.

1Essence Pure Nude Highlighter, $5
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The Shades:
Spacelighter (very fair skin), highlighter (medium skin), sunlighter (dark-to-deep skin)

The Reviews:

“I really love the Essence Pure Nude Highlighter,” writes one reviewer. “It’s not overly intense, but perfect for [wearing] every day to work. Builds up decently enough too.” Another Redditor agrees: “I have really oily skin, [and] I use it all the time. Just gives a beautiful natural sheen for such a good price!”

2Maybelline Master Chrome Highlighter, $10
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The Shades:

Molten gold (fair skin), molten rose gold (medium skin), molten peach (dark skin), molten topaz (deep skin)

The Reviews:

“Without a doubt, Maybelline Master Chrome [is my favorite]. It was so good, my jaw dropped open when I first tried it,” wrote one Redditor, while another added, “The shade Molten Gold is sooo pigmented and not glittery at all.”

And, just in case you’re still not sold, listen to this reviewer, who sums up the highlighter’s pros perfectly: “It can be worn sheer and glowy, or built up to be very metallic. It’s not glittery at all. Buildable, long-lasting, and inexpensive.”

3Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips, $13
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The Shade:

Warm apricot to rose (light-to-medium skin)

The Review:

“No chunky glitter, and can be used super intensely or subtly!” notes one Redditor. As for how to apply it? “I’ll use the top two shades for a highlight,” writes another reviewer, “and then when I’m feeling super glow-y, I’ll top off my bronzer with the bottom shades.

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4E.l.f. Baked Highlighter, $3
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The Shades:
Pearl (very fair skin), peach (light-to-medium skin), gold (medium-to-dark skin)

The Reviews:

“I have Moonlight Pearls, and I think it performs really well. You have to kind of scrape off the top layer first, though, to get it to work,” explains one reviewer, while another chimes in in agreement: “They’re so gorgeous and cheap to boot. Just make sure to remove the top layer and you can really build it up to whatever opacity or ‘blindingness’ you want.”

[Editor’s note: Sometimes, baked powders are pressed so hard during manufacturing that their top layer needs to be gently scratched up a bit with your (clean) nail if you want more pigment.]

5Nyx Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder, $8
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The Shades:

Pale pink and baby blue (fair and light skin), lavender (light-to-medium skin), rose (medium and dark skin), orange (deep skin)

The Reviews:

“It blinds people with just one sweep, and it has the prettiest shimmer that shifts into a holographic-like color,” one Redditor effuses. Another reviewer adds, “I use them as highlighters on my cheek and eyelids! The containers stay closed nicely, so it’s good to pop into my pack for mid-day touchups.”

6Milani Strobelight Instant Glow Powder, $9
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The Shades:

Glowing (fair skin), dayglow (medium skin), sunglow (medium-to-dark-skin), afterglow (deep skin)

Editor Review:

Back in 2017, searches for this popular highlighter were up 46,000 percent. I can confirm the hype is real. In the midst of winter, I crave the sun-kissed glow this finely-milled powder imparts on my cheekbones. Even though I’m nowhere near an island, this leaves a radiance on my skin that leads me to believe I’ve been lounging on the beach with a margarita in hand for hours (a girl can dream).

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7Maybelline Master Strobing Liquid Illuminating Highlighter, $8
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The Shades:

Iridescent (fair skin), nude (medium-to-deep skin)

Editor Review:

Creamy, liquid highlighters hug your skin with a light-reflecting glow. This illuminating highlighter literally looks gorgeous anywhere. From your cheeks to your décolletage, expect it to light up any area it’s applied to with luminosity. When I want to take my skin’s radiance up from like, 50 to 100, one of my favorite things to do is mix one drop of this into my foundation. It adds a sunshine-y look to my skin.

8Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder, $5
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Courtesy

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The Shades:

Golden Flower Crown (fair skin), precious petals (medium skin), crown of ny canopy (deep skin)

Editor Review:

This line of wildly inexpensive highlighters offers two types of radiance: a pearlescent glow and metallic sheen. What I love most about this bronzer is how buildable the formula is. The pressed powder is lightweight enough for a daytime glow. But if I really want my face to catch the light, I can depend on this to do that too.

How to Get Jason Momoa’s Flowing Aquaman Locks—Even If You Have Short Hair

Momoa’s hair and makeup artist reveals the star’s secrets.

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Jason Momoa’s Aquaman is not your typical superhero. His physique is covered in tattoos, his wardrobe is more at home in a biker bar than the Hall of Justice, and even his monosyllabic catchphrase (“Yeah!”) is more of a heavy metal cheer than a heroic rallying cry. And his hair, we need to talk about his hair. It’s long, flowing, abundant, and bountiful. And moist.

But, like Samson or Gretchen Weiners (Mean Girls reference!—Editors), his hair is where his power lies. It cements his outsider status and dares you to say something. It’s surf rat hair, not Little Mermaid hair, and it looks damn cool under water.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I would give just about anything to look like Jason Momoa. Which is impossible. In order to look like Jason Momoa, you need to be Jason Momoa. But seeing him on screen in Justice League and now Aquaman made me think: maybe I could have the hair. So I called up Jen Stanfield, Momoa’s hair and makeup artist who worked with him on Aquaman (and in real life), to find out how I, a non-Meta Human, could get King of the Sea hair. According to her, “the recipe is pretty simple.” Turns out I don’t even need to grow my hair out to use these tips.

1. Control the Growth

To get the flow, you have to let it grow. But that doesn’t mean you should lose your barber’s phone number. Getting regular trims keeps the ends from getting too dry and helps lighten the load of hair during awkward phases. “Keeping hair trimmed even when it’s long is important,” says Stanfield. “If you’re at a point where you’re over it and you don’t think you take it anymore, seek some professional help so they can adjust the shape. It helps hair grow out more easily.” Trims can be especially helpful if you have naturally curly hair like Momoa. “When growing curly hair, there’s a stage where it grows out before it starts to grow down and hairdressers can take out weight without removing too much length,” she says.

2. Wet, But Don’t Wash

For someone who spends so much time in the water, Aquaman rarely washes his hair. “We didn’t wash his hair more than once a week and we didn’t use shampoo,” says Stanfield. “It was rinsed and conditioned often, but washing it too much and having it too clean makes it fluffy. We used a conditioning wash.” The concept is that, especially for hair that is prone to dryness like naturally curly or long hair, using foaming shampoos strip hair of its natural oils and can make even a hair god like Jason Momoa’s strands frizzy. Cut down your washing to only once a week and use a conditioner or co-washing product to clean it but still keep it moisturized. It will still do the job and if it’s good enough for Aquaman, it’s good enough for you.

3. Get Salty

The biggest reason Momoa’s hair looks so great isn’t the length, it’s the texture, and the secret is (of course) sea salt. “Sea salt spray gives that authentic surfy, lived-in look,” says Stanfield, who used her own mix of sea salt, rock salt and water to give Momoa’s hair texture and emphasize his natural curl. When sprayed on wet hair, the sea salt helps to activate natural wave and body as hair dries. It works on all lengths of hair for a tousled, textured look and is especially good for thin hair to add volume without the weight of cream or gel. Don’t sweat it if you’re not a DIY-guy. Stanfield recommends Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray, which she also uses on Momoa.

4. Put the Air in Hair

Speaking of that texture, what you do once you get out of the water is equally important. “We try to let it naturally air dry as much as we can,” says Stanfield, speaking of Momoa’s routine. “Especially if you’ve got naturally curly hair, one of the best things you can do is to let it be.” Air drying will help the salt spray work better and won’t create the crispy, dry strands you might get with a blow dryer. But depending on how long your hair is, air drying can take a really freaking long time. If you’re in a rush and need to use a hair dryer, always use a diffuser, an attachment that mimics the effects of air drying. “Diffusers gently blow air so the hair doesn’t move around too much—it’s basically sped up natural air drying,” she says.

5. Stay in Good Condition

As hair (especially naturally curly or wavy hair) gets longer, it can become brittle, frizzy or puffy. Keeping hair moisturized makes all the difference. “We used coconut oil to condition and keep the frizziness of his natural curly hair in control,” says Stanfield. “It makes it look more lived-in rather than freshly groomed.” If you’re not into using something more commonly found in your kitchen than your bathroom on your hair, Stanfield recommends using a moisturizing cream or leave-in conditioner, especially on the ends as they start to get dry more quickly

6. Life’s a Bleach

We can’t talk about Aquaman’s hair without mentioning the color. Momoa has said himself that the blond color in his naturally dark hair is a nod to Aquaman’s original comic book origins. But his modern look takes more inspiration from sun-drenched California surfers and uses straight-up bleach to mimic the effects of solar rays. “We wanted it to look natural because he’s in and out of the ocean all the time,” says Stanfield. “It’s a hand-painted freehand technique that is similar to what would happen if his hair was bleached by the sun.” It’s what your girlfriend calls “ombre,” which means that it starts dark at the roots and gradually becomes lighter toward the ends. Ask a colorist to paint with bleach, instead of using foils or toners, and make sure your hair is long enough that you have the space to spread out the effect.

7. There’s Power in the Powder

When you’re not shampooing as much and using a lot of conditioning products, your hair can go from good oily to bad oily in a flash. When this happens, Stanfield recommends using a texturizing powder. “Dry shampoos are generally quite fragrant so they might not be a go-to product for guys, but a powder works in a similar way,” she says. “The dust absorbs some of the oil, so it will help if you’re getting too oily.” Texturizing powder will also help pump up thinning hair and make it seem more full. Sprinkle some on your scalp and use a comb or brush to work it through your hair. Combing it back will help distribute the powder and build volume in the process.

8. And, Finally, Note About the Beard

We’re not saying Aquaman’s long hair wouldn’t be cool without his beard, but it definitely helps. The secret is the shape, which is maintained by regular beard trims. “It’s a slightly pointy shape, that’s longer on the chin,” says Stanfield. The point isn’t Khal Drogo extreme, but elongates and chisels his face and offsets the wildness of his hair. Stanfield recommends using a beard balm or wax to shape and condition the beard and a beard trimmer, like the Wahl both she and Momoa use, to trim away any stray hairs or flyaways. Make sure to keep the lines sharp. “Seeing the difference next to skin accentuates the shape,” she says. “Keep the side areas [like cheeks and neck] tight to prevent it from looking too wispy or wooly.”

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