Not everything is for minimalists.
Sparse Ikea room décor? Sure.
Formal French letter writing? Not so much.
Read more: fluentu.com
We’re a virtual company made up of tech experts from across the globe. We work from home and need to keep our belongings, both personal and work-related safe. We care about home security because we have to care about it.
DIY and advanced
Tight Nest and Google Assistant integration.
Nest Secure is optional.
Basic package is bare-bones.
The Nest Secure package is one of the best DIY home security solutions you’ll find. It’s easy to install without drilling holes and easy to setup. You’ll probably have to buy more pieces and will still end up with a monthly fee, though.
Vivint home security
Customized and complete package.
Professional installation and monitoring.
Smart integration and mobile apps.
Drilling holes is semi-permanent.
Vivint home security is a professionally installed smart home security system. You’ll be quoted a monthly price that includes professional monitoring, but it requires a lenghtly service contract.
Do you DIY?
Nest Secure and Vivint home security both are able to monitor and protect your home the way you want it monitored, but the journey there is completely different.
Nest Secure is a modular DIY system that you can install yourself without any tools (it’s perfect for renters) and add any cameras or extra sensors as you need them. Vivnet home security, on the other hand, is a professionally installed and monitored service that’s part of Vivnet SmartHome. The installation is done at your convienence and is free, but it’s also semi-permenant like any good professionally installed system will be.
Vivint home security
Indoor and outdoor components
Smart home integration
Monthly service plan
Required (3 – 5 years)
The big difference between Nest Secure and Vivint is the buying process. You’ll find that most users of both products are very happy with them and once up and running they each work well in your smart home. But like reaching Nirvana, the journey there is the important part.
Nest Secure comes as an expensive base package with a Nest Guard, Nest Tags, and two Nest Detect sensors. While this is a pretty bare-bones system, you can add cameras, more sensors, range extenders, even smart camera-equipped doorbells as needed at any time. The base station also acts as a siren, and a monthly subscription to Nest Aware, a professional monitoring service through Brinks, is entirely optional.
Vivint doesn’t offer any DIY options. You call the company and speak with a specialist to get a security system that’s exactly what you want and need, then schedule a convienent time to have a professional come install it. The initial cost can vary wildly, but the company’s 0% financing option can help. You are required to have a monthly service plan which starts at $40 per month. The length of this contract runs from 3 to 5 years, depending on your pricing.
When everything is said and done, you’ll have a smart (Nest Secure works with Nest and Google Assistant while Vivint works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa) home system that works exactly the way you like. That’s the important part. It all depends on how you want to get to that state.
If you’re renting, Vivint probably isn’t going to be an option. Technically the pieces can be removed and the system reinstalled in another place (which is not advised by the company or any reputable contractor I could find) but then you’re left with holes to patch and walls to paint.
If you own your home and plan to stay there forever, decide if you want the fun — and frustration — that comes with a DIY system. Once you’re done buying all the essentials to round out a basic Nest Secure package things will get very pricey, and it’s our opinion that a monthly Nest Aware subscription is almost a must-have with a Nest Secure. But you’re not signing a contract to do so, and that matters.
DIY and advanced
Do it your way, yourself
Nest Secure offers the potential to be an outstanding home security system that integrates into any smart home. You’ll just have to figure out what you need and install it yourself.
Vivint home security
The pro option
Vivint home security is a custom, professionally installed home security system built with your needs in mind. You will need to sign a multi-year contract for service with the company, though.
Read more: androidcentral.com
It’s a nightmare scenario. You’re at her place. You’re hoping for a great date night and a possible happy ending, but before any of that can happen, you had to use the bathroom. Now, you’re watching the water in the bowl slowly rise, and the handle is already down. You can’t unflush the problem, and you have scant seconds until you’ve completely flooded her bathroom. Don’t panic. There’s a way out of this mess, so keep reading and learn how to avert disaster.
A Better Diet for Better Bowels
The easiest way to avoid bathroom trouble is to keep yourself in prime health. Since you’re dating, you should be working on yourself anyway. Regular exercise is mandatory, and you can’t skip your core. It’s a little known fact, but keeping your abs and core in good shape actually helps with regular bowel movements.
Still, the most important thing is to watch what you eat. Limit the fried and greasy foods. That should be obvious. You also want to make sure you eat on a consistent schedule. The late night snacks and aberrant meal timings can wreak havoc on your insides. Most importantly, you want a diet that includes plenty of fiber. You can get it from breakfast cereals, beans, whole grains, nuts, and a number of fruits. That regular fiber intake will aid in digestion and keep you from having any unexpected disasters.
Finally, you need to pay attention to your body. As you get a little older, there’s a good chance that foods you used to enjoy are going to start causing trouble in the digestive tract. Dairy is the most common culprit, but late-developing allergies and intolerances are pretty common. If you’re over the age of 25, it’s time to track your diet.
The Importance of Maintaining Your Health
Diet and exercise sit at the core of good health, but there’s plenty more to the story. Bowel health is particularly important because it can prevent and detect more serious illnesses. It’s never a fun discussion, but you need to keep these serious issues in mind. Regular physicals and health checks are important.
Basically, it doesn’t always matter how much effort you put into taking care of yourself. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of luck, and without medical help you’ll be in tough trouble. So, if watching your diet and keeping your abs iron-hard isn’t helping downstairs, it’s time to visit the doctor. Plenty of bowel problems are manageable once you identify the problem, but you have to take that first step.
Dealing With Emergencies
Ok. You’ve done everything right so far. You’re in good shape. You’re eating right. The doc gave you a clean bill of health. In spite of all of that, you still found yourself in an awkward spot. You just got to her house for date night, and you can feel a storm brewing. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do. Other times, you forgot to wash your hands after cooking some eggs and you’re in for a long night. (Don’t judge. It happens.) Stay strong, my friend. A few easy tips can help you out of this situation.
The first thing you need to learn is how to deal with an overflowing toilet. If you can see this problem growing, immediately take the lid off of the tank and push the flapper down. Don’t worry, it’s just plain old tap water up there. The flapper is the plug that keeps water from draining into the bowl (side note: this is pretty much always the part to replace if your toilet is running). Plugging it will stop the overflow. If necessary, disconnect the flapper chain. This will ensure more water doesn’t run until you decide it’s time.
Now that the water is stopped, you need to clear the clog. Hopefully, you can discreetly locate a plunger. It’s extra uncomfortable if you have to hunt one down, so we’ll discuss that problem in a minute. First, you need to know what to do with a plunger.
It’s amazing how many people get this wrong. If you just stand there and plunge away at a clogged toilet, nothing is going to happen. You need to open the valves so the shit has somewhere to go. That means you need to hold the toilet handle down while you plunge. That opens the valves and creates a Bernoulli flow. This is how all of your plumbing works. You don’t need to know the math; it’s enough to understand that holding the handle is the key.
Keep in mind that the toilet handle won’t actually do anything until you reconnect the flapper chain. If overflow is the primary problem, you can slowly force a little water down by plunging with everything closed. Once you have some wiggle room, you can reconnect the flapper and clear the clog properly.
There’s a catch to this. If you hold the handle down, water is going to continuously flow from the tank to the bowl. If you did a particularly impressive number on this toilet, holding the handle and plunging is going to lead to the nastiest kind of flood, and you can guarantee you aren’t scoring at the end of this date.
The solution is pretty easy. You need to manage the water. If you’re worried about flood potential, you can turn off the water to the toilet (the valve is usually below the tank). That alone won’t save you. If the tank is already full, you’re still in a tight spot. What you can do at this point is siphon water out of the tank. You’ll have to eyeball it, but you want enough water to force a flush but not so much that you’re in major risk of flooding.
Once you plunge with impunity and clear the clog, don’t forget to turn the water back on. If you don’t, you’re playing a strange, accidental prank on your date later.
Owning the Problem
Now we’re getting to the real challenge. If you clog someone’s toilet, you have very few options. You can either try to hide it, or you can own it. Let’s talk about that first option. Even if you’re an absolute plumbing pro, it’s going to take an extra couple of minutes to unclog the mess and get out of the bathroom. If she doesn’t know what you’re up to, that long trip to the bathroom is going to raise concern. For starters, she’s going to assume that you clogged the toilet. That’s the best-case scenario. If it wasn’t basic plumbing stalling you, why were you in there for so long?
The simple truth is your best friend. You don’t have to be graphic or blunt about it. You can be polite, but you shouldn’t be timid. Just own it. Tell her you clogged her toilet and that you fixed it (or are fixing it). This makes it easy if you can’t find the plunger or if you need additional resources. At minimum, you’re demonstrating that you’re a handy guy who can get things done. At best, you’ve just broken the ice and created a funny story for later.
More Plumbing Tips
Most of you are out of the woods at this point. You’re at low risk for getting into this situation because of your good diet and health. If you did find a minor clog, there’s nothing to worry about because it was easy to clear.
Unfortunately, a few of you were exorcising demons into that toilet. The simple tricks didn’t get it done, so you’re still standing there over a nasty clog. There’s still hope. A few more tactics might save you from an emergency plumber’s fee and a ruined date night.
If plunging doesn’t work, or flooding is just too big of a risk, you can try to grease the wheels, so to speak, to help the water flow. The easiest thing to try first is to use a bucket or pitcher. Fill it with hot water and pour it into the bowl. The extra force is sometimes enough to get things moving. Regardless, the hot water will break down the clog a little and help.
If that doesn’t work or isn’t an option, there’s still an easy plan B. You want degreasing soap (dish soap is the best). Pour a liberal amount into the mess and let it sit for a few minutes. It will help break things down and ease the clog. From here, try your basic flushing and plunging method (with the tank open so you can stop the flow of water as needed). If that still doesn’t work, then you might be in for a long night.
Hopefully, this is enough to save your date night. If nothing else, you’ve learned a little bit about basic plumbing that is inevitably going to prove useful. Most importantly, you’ve learned about ownership. Without it, you stand little chance of salvaging any date where something goes wrong. With all of that covered, good luck out there, gentlemen.
Read more: manscaped.com
A tripod is an essential piece of equipment for a landscape photographer. Sure, you won’t always need to use it. But you’ll find yourself in situations where it can help you capture a high-quality image you wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.
But how do you choose the right tripod? There are hundreds (if not thousands) of options out there, with prices ranging from $10 to more than $1,000. How do you know which one will best suit your needs? Should you just go for the most expensive tripod you can find? It must be the best, right?
Why You Need a Tripod
Before we get into the best options for you, I want to go over a few key reasons why you need a tripod.
Tripods are essential for capturing razor-sharp images, especially in low-light situations where you want to keep your ISO low.
While increasing the ISO lets you use a quicker shutter speed, it can introduce unwanted grain/noise and reduce the overall quality of your image. But keeping the ISO low means you’ll need a longer shutter speed. (Yes, you can adjust the aperture. But I won’t be talking about that here).
Capturing a sharp image using a shutter speed of 1/10th of a second or slower with a handheld camera is almost impossible. It’s very difficult to avoid any camera movement which, with such a slow shutter speed, means you’ll introduce some blur into the image.
Mounting the camera on a tripod lets you use slower shutter speeds and still capture sharp images. The camera sits still on the tripod, so you don’t have to worry about the motion of you holding it.
Using a tripod also allows you to use even slower shutter speeds and capture long exposures (i.e. images that make use of extra slow shutter speeds).
What to Consider Before Buying a Tripod
The first tripods I bought were cheap $20 aluminum models from the local electronic shop. While most photographers start with such a tripod, I strongly advise you not to buy one. For landscape photography, they simply won’t do a good job. In some situations, they may even do more harm than goods. These also break more easily than something of a higher quality.
So what should you consider before purchasing your next tripod? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Price and quality (i.e. what does your budget allow?)
Weight (aluminum vs carbon)
Taking these topics into account before you buy will make it easier to find the best one for your needs.
The first thing most of us consider is the price. Photography equipment is rarely cheap, and if you want quality you need to pay for it. As I said earlier, a tripod can cost you anything from $10 to several thousand. But are more expensive tripods necessarily better?
In general, yes. A $1,000 tripod will outperform a $200 tripod in most tests. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right one for you. Ask yourself what you need. What type of photography do you do? Do you need the most expensive model? For most people, the answer is no.
Chances are a mid-range ($200) tripod will be more than adequate and perform perfectly in most scenarios.
2. Flexibility / Height
What about the specs? Should you choose a short one or a tall one? Can the legs spread wide, or are they locked into a fixed position? Flip-lock or twist-lock?
Let’s start with the height. In most situations, you won’t need a tall tripod. But there may well come a time where you need that extra leg length. Is it worth paying extra for? If you often find yourself in rivers, rocks or rugged seascapes, then yes. But if you’re not into extreme landscape photography and mount your tripod on flat and stable ground instead, I wouldn’t bother.
While a tall tripod is nice, it’s also nice to have one that lets you get close to the ground. For this image, the tripod held my camera just a few centimeters off the ground, which allowed me to get extra close to the flowers.
So what’s more important to you? Having a tall tripod, or being able to take photographs from a low perspective?
The good news is that some of the more expensive tripods can give you both. While they can stand close to two meters tall, they can also lay more or less flat on the ground for those extremely low perspective shots.
The final thing to consider is the tripod’s weight. This is important, especially if you head out on long hikes to reach particular destinations. Your backpack can get quite heavy once you add all the gear you need, so the last thing you want is unnecessary weight from a tripod.
Now, a lightweight tripod doesn’t necessarily mean a low-quality tripod. In fact, some of the best tripods out there are lightweight. You just need to make sure they’re sturdy and can support the weight of your camera. However, these tripods are rarely cheap and are often found in the higher end of the price range.
If you’re an avid hiker and tend to go a long way to photograph your subjects, I strongly recommend looking into a lightweight carbon-fiber tripod. These tripods are just as sturdy (if not more sturdy) than the heavier aluminum alternatives.
But if you’re not into hiking, weight might not be such an issue. In fact, if you photograph in rough conditions you may prefer the extra weight. When photographing beaches in Arctic Norway I depend on having a sturdy tripod that won’t break when hit by waves or move when the waves are receding. In these situations, a low-quality travel tripod is far from ideal. Even strong winds can make these tripods vibrate, leading to blurry images. A heavy and solid tripod is a much better option.
What types of landscapes do you normally photograph? And what do you need to capture those scenes?
Which Tripod is Best for You?
Unfortunately, I can’t answer this question for you. It really depends on who you are and the kinds of photographs you take. But when you’re ready to buy one, consider what I’ve talked about and ask yourself what you need. Do you need a light tripod you can easily bring on long hikes? Do you need a sturdy tripod that can handle wind and rough conditions? Perhaps you need a combination of the two.
And what about the price? Do you really need the most expensive model, or will a medium-priced alternative do the job?
Answering these questions should help you narrow down the options, and help you find the tripod that is best for you.
Personally, I have two tripods: a lightweight travel tripod I can bring on long hikes, and my main tripod that’s a little heavier (and more expensive) but solid enough to use in even the roughest Arctic conditions.
Let us know what tripod you ended up choosing. We’d love to hear about it.
The post How to Choose the Right Tripod for Landscape Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School.
Read more: digital-photography-school.com
Shopping for holiday presents follows a simple flow — identify the giftee, then find a gift that works. But sometimes, it happens the other way around. Making our way through store after store, we end up gravitating toward something without a person in mind, but putting it back on the shelf isn’t an option. Yes, some gifts are that good.
It’s easy to dismiss potential presents-to-be if there’s no obvious future owner. But, sometimes all the fun is in buying the item, then figuring out the lucky winner who gets to have it. Ahead, we’ve rounded up all the eye-catching goodies we’ve come across this season, and the perfect people to give them a home for the holidays. They may seem quirky, but we swear — there’s a bow-wrapped soulmate for everyone on your list.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
The Gift: A cozy gray turtleneck. The Giftee: Your roomie who always complains about the apartment being too cold. This oversized turtleneck is sure to warm her right up.
& Other Stories Oversized Turtleneck Sweater, $59, available at & Other StoriesPhoto Courtesy of & Other Stories.
The Gift: A French girl-approved lipstick palette by none other than Jeanne DamasThe Giftee: Your brother’s girlfriend who has a certain je ne sais quoi.
Rouje Lip Palette, $45, available at RoujePhoto Courtesy of Rouje.
The Gift: An at-home ramen setThe Giftee: Your college roommate who still hasn’t kicked her Box-O-Noodles habit. Teach her what real ramen is like this year.
Urban Outfitters Noodle Set, $20, available at Urban OutfittersPhoto Courtesy of Urban Outfitters.
The Gift: A set of pretty city guides for the new must-travel citiesThe Giftee: Your bestie who’s micro-famous on Instagram (or at least is trying to be). Not only is this Thailand city guide four-pack for her jet-setting lifestyle better than your overdone guides to London and Paris, they serve as pretty background pieces in flat lays, too.
LUXE City Guides Thailand Travel Set: Including Bangkok, Phuket & Chiang, $277.55, available at AmazonPhoto Courtesy of Amazon.
The Gift: A travel beauty setThe Giftee: Your long distance BFF, because having super hydrated post-Red Eye skin is reason enough to jump on a plane and come visit.
Omorovicza Travel Set, $150, available at Net-A-PorterPhoto Courtesy of Net-a-Porter.
The Gift: A feminist graphic teeThe Giftee: The college bestie who’s always retweeting Jenny Slate and and reposting Instagram memes that fight the good feminist fight.
Wildfang She Came She Saw Tee, $40, available at WildfangPhoto Courtesy of Wildfang.
The Gift: A trendy shaving setThe Giftee: Your best guy friend who swears he “doesn’t want anything this year,” every year.
Harry’s Chrome Winston Set + Shave Cream, $35, available at Need SupplyPhoto Courtesy of Need Supply.
The Gift: The no-fail low heel.The Giftee: The friend who has been suffering through uncomfortable dates for way too long. This season, give the gift of stylish support.
The Row Coco Suede And Satin Mules, $795, available at Net-A-PorterPhoto Courtesy of Net-a-Porter.
The Gift: A tomate basilic scented candleThe Giftee: That friend who’s really into (read: snobby about) food. If their taste in cuisine often leans towards gourmet, this is a mouthwatering option that won’t disappoint their elevated taste buds.
La Belle Mèche Tomato Basil Scented Candle, 190 g, $44, available at Neiman MarcusPhoto Courtesy of Neiman Marcus.
The Gift: A fancy, feather-trimmed set of pajamasThe Giftee: Your friend who always opts out of Friday night plans in favor of staying in. At least her late night Instagram stories will look good!
Sleeper Light Blue Christmas Pajamas, $265, available at SleeperPhoto Courtesy of Sleeper.
The Gift: Punny napkins that are almost too cute to useThe Giftee: Your friend who loves to host boozy brunches, and was the first to graduate from Solo cups to glassware.
August Morgan Croc-Tails Napkins, $10, available at August MorganPhoto Courtesy of August Morgan.
The Gift: A pair of cashmere slippersThe Giftee: Your deskmate at work, so she’ll stop complaining about how uncomfortable her heels are. No one has to know she swapped them out for these bad boys.
Vince Cadie Cashmere Slippers, $98, available at ShopbopPhoto Courtesy of Shopbop.
The Gift: A customizable necklaceThe Giftee: The Pinterest-obsessed newbie mom who feels the need to customize everything (and we mean everything) with her little bundle of joy’s name.
Mejuri Engravable Bar Necklace, $269, available at MejuriPhoto Courtesy of Mejuri.
The Gift: A chic carry-all, weekender, and post-workout dirty clothes holder all in oneThe Giftee: This is perfect for your boss who’s well, a boss. If she’s got a killer sense of style and is the type to charge in at 8 a.m. on the dot after an early morning boxing class, this bag will make her day-to-day commute so much easier.
Béis The Duffle, $83, available at NordstromPhoto Courtesy of Nordstrom.
The Gift: A mini does-it-all kitchen applianceThe Giftee: Your college age cousin who just moved into their first off-campus apartment.
Dash 2 Cup Mini Rice Cooker, $24.99, available at WayfairPhoto Courtesy of Wayfair.
The Gift: A minimalist Mickey Mouse keychainThe Giftee: Your friend who A. really loves Disney or B. is stuck on a nostalgic ’90s kid kick and needs a grown-up outlet for their obsession.
Disney x Karen Walker Runaway Mickey Keyring, $32.39, available at Karen WalkerPhoto Courtesy of Karen Walker.
The Gift: A bold tone sweaterThe Giftee: The acquaintance who’s been telling you she wants to change up her look, but doesn’t know where to begin.
Ganni Julliard Mohair Sweater, $284.99, available at Need SupplyPhoto Courtesy of Need Supply.
The Gift: A terrarium.The Giftee: The first-time homeowner still figuring out the feel of the new space. He’s probably too busy picking out a couch to think about the rest of the living room decor.
NCYP Indoor Tabletop Terrarium, $29.99, available at AmazonPhoto Courtesy of Amazon.
The Gift: A set of bedazzled barrettesThe Giftee: The tween cousin who is somehow mastering today’s biggest trends better than you are.
Valet Studio Claudia Clip , $35, available at Valet StudioPhoto Courtesy of Valet Studio.
The Gift: A Stüssy sweatshirtThe Giftee: Your cool teen sibling who has interests you haven’t caught onto yet. Instead of deferring to a Target giftcard, go for an unexpected hoodie by none other than this cool-kid streetwear brand.
Stussy Printed Hoodie, $148, available at FarfetchPhoto Courtesy of Farfetch.
The Gift: Modern charcoil air freshenerThe Giftee: The hosts that are taking you in for the holidays when you can’t travel home, so they can get some fresh air and some fresh new decor
Morihata Morihata Chikuno Cube, $72, available at AnthropologiePhoto Courtesy of Anthropologie.
The Gift: Heart-embossed shades that take a certain type of person to pull offThe Giftee: Your teen half-sister who just decided she’s going to study fashion design in New York City.
Adam Selman x Le Specs Heartbreaker Sunglasses, $104, available at MatchesFashion.comPhoto Courtesy of Matches Fashion.
The Gift: A Vetements-inspired dog hoodieThe Giftee: That friend who can never make brunch or weekend getaway plans since she’s too busy sleeping in with her pup.
Petements Dog Hoodie, $48, available at The Frankie ShopPhoto Courtesy of The Frankie Shop.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
Read more: refinery29.com
There’s always a good reason to upgrade your bathroom. Sometimes, you have free time and you’d like to try your hands on some DIY makeover. Upgrading your bathroom has many benefits.
First of all, it makes your home more beautiful and your bathroom more functional.
Likewise, it makes your home more valuable when you decide to move into a bigger and better house. You can always sell your current apartment for more.
However, it doesn’t need to cost an arm and leg to do this.
Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report shows that an average remodel will cost you about $10,500 while an upscale remodel will cost a huge $26,000. A minor upgrade could cost $9,400 on a larger bathroom.
What if you do it yourself? This ‘Old House’ reveals you can achieve your bathroom remodel for $1,000 to $3,000 or less. The amount you spend will usually depend on how extensive your upgrade is.
You can upgrade your bathroom while spending little. How do you do that?
That’s what you’re going to learn in this post.
Decide on your new design
To do a good job of upgrading your bathroom, you need to have a design in mind.
You should be able to picture how your bathroom will look after the upgrade. Are you only going to install a few materials or will it be a major upgrade?
One of the major elements to consider is the color scheme of your upgrade. Will it maintain its current color scheme or do you want to change that?
You also need to consider how your color scheme will fit into the overall design of your house.
There are basic fixtures that must be in a bathroom. But after those, the rest depends on the taste.
Do you want to replace an already existing fixture or do you want to add a towel rack or a sink? You have to specify the fixtures to be upgraded and those to be added.
You also need to know where utilities like plumbing pipes and electrical wiring are located. With this knowledge, you can avoid causing other problems while upgrading your bathroom.
Have your tools and supplies in place
To upgrade your bathroom successfully, you need tools and supplies. You may already have some of these tools, but you need to look at all the tasks you need to perform and all the tools to get them done.
With these, your work is easier and you can save time while doing a good job. Some of the tools you can use are:
Paying a painter may increase cost for your upgrade job. But painting is one of the activities you need to perform to give your bathroom that new look it deserves. The way to go about it is to carry out the paint job yourself.
However, doing the paint job is not as easy as other parts of the house.
This is because of all the fixtures like the window, tub or shower, sink, mirror, toilet, switchplates, etc. that you don’t want to smear with paint.
To pull this off, you’ll need a lot of painter’s tape to cover fixtures close to where you need to apply paint. Likewise, you need to be patient as you’ll need a lot of time to get the work done.
As much as a good paint job will make your bathroom beautiful, you also need to think of functionality.
Your bathroom is vulnerable to mold and mildew due to its functions. Moisture can also increase due to humidity and temperature change.
It’s advisable to use a paint with a satin finish to resist the growth of mold. You can apply the paint to the ceiling to have a regular color scheme and prevent mold.
Reduce the number of Tiles
The cost of tiles can drive your upgrade costs up. This can even eat more into your budget if you need to hire a contractor to lay the tiles.
The alternative is to have tiles on the high impact areas like the floor and maybe a single horizontal strip on the wall rather than up the wall.
You can paint the rest of the wall with paint that fits the color of the tiles and your general bathroom color scheme.
Another way to reduce the cost of your tiles is to combine the pricey tiles with the cheaper ones. This can make your design unique while you also save money.
Save cost with cheap countertops
Your first thought might be to throw your money at a granite countertop. And you may see this as the only way especially as it’s cheaper than a countertop you’d install in the kitchen.
However, you can still save on your countertop.
One way to do this is to avoid popular colors like light beige, brown, as they’re more popular.
These colors are also more expensive due to their popularity. To make a choice, consider a wide range of colors and their prices.
Another way to save on your countertop is to buy a slab with imperfections. With imperfections, the cost of the slab goes down.
The thing is that this part may be covered by your sink basin and doesn’t affect the overall look of your countertop.
Buy Used materials
Buying new materials can please your ego, but it will only drive up the cost of your bathroom upgrade.
You can always find used fixtures like sinks, toilets, tubs, showers, etc. on sites like eBay or Craigslist.
You can also improvise by using different accessories to replace your fitting. For instance, you can change a brightly colored vintage Tupperware into cool hanging lamps.
Redo your tubs and shower instead of buying
If you plan to buy a new tub or shower, this could lead to an increase in the cost of your upgrade job. To reduce cost, you should have your tub refinished to give it a new look.
You can also do it yourself if your tub is made of porcelain, cast iron, or fiberglass. This will take time and you’ll also need to buy a refinishing kit which can cost as much as $150.
However, you should replace your sink rather than refinish it. This is because the cost of refinishing it could end up costlier than the cost of buying a new one.
Update your bathroom fixtures
To make your bathroom even more beautiful, you need to update small features. This could be drawer pulls, sink faucets, light fixtures, towel racks, etc. This would only be a small investment but it could raise the beauty of your bathroom.
You can also get some of these parts without paying for them. Many times, fixtures like these go to waste when a house is torn down for redevelopment. You can always get some of these fixtures from the home developers which they’ll be happy to give you.
Dress your windows with shades
To improve the beauty of your bathroom, you can add Roman shades to it. These shades come in different patterns and you can buy one to suit your bathroom color scheme.
You can get shades with beautiful color patterns for as low as $100.
Make a towel rack
A towel rack helps you to keep your towels in the bathroom. If your bathroom lacks this, you can build one using wood cut into small sizes.
Small wooden pieces are nailed to another wooden piece that will serve as the mounting strip.
After this is done, the mounting strip is attached to the wall and you can now keep your towels here.
Install a self-closing toilet lid
Does your neighbor always have to know when you use the toilet? Well, you can put an end to that during your bathroom upgrade.
A self-closing toilet lid will eliminate the noise that usually results after using your toilet.
You don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to upgrade your bathroom. You can always pull it off on budget and still do a great job.
However, you need the right tools, patience, and commitment to the work to turn your bathroom into a beauty.
Read more: blog.antaplumbing.com
“Unconditional love is love without requiring anything in return–love no matter what. Love never fails.” – Heather Forbes
all know that children need unconditional love. And most parents DO love their children without reservation. After all, no matter how irritated we
get with them, we know that we would throw ourselves in front of a bus to save our child’s life.
The problem is that unconditional love isn’t just what we feel. It’s what the object of our love feels.
Does your child know that she’s lovable, exactly as she is? That she isn’t expected to be perfect? That her anger, disappointment, frustration and sadness
are just part of being human, and that she can count on you to help her learn to manage those feelings so she doesn’t have to act on them? That she
doesn’t have to be, or do, anything in particular to earn our love?
You may be wondering how you teach your child those things. The answer is easy, but oh so difficult. You love her unconditionally. Even — especially —
when she’s driving you crazy.
When you can:
Stay lovingly connected to him even as you set limits on his behavior:
He learns that he’s not a bad person, just human.
Resist lashing out at him even when you’re “justifiably” angry:
He learns from your modeling how to regulate his emotions.
Remember to empathize as you set limits, so he WANTS to follow them:
He learns self-discipline.
Accept that he’s an immature human who naturally makes mistakes:
He learns that mistakes are part of growing
, and he can keep trying to improve.
Apologize when you mess up (because we all do!):
He learns to clean up his own messes, including emotional ones.
Accept him for who he is without comparing him to others, and help him be his best self:
He learns that he’s more than enough, exactly as he is.
Tall order? Yes. Here are your 5 guiding strategies.
1. Accept Feelings, Limit Behavior.
Empathy is unconditional love in action. Your child feels understood and accepted, even while his actions are contained. Reconnect, empathize, and invite
him to trust you with the deeper feelings driving the behavior: “You must be very upset to speak to me like that. What’s going on, Sweetie?”
Listen. Breathe. Teach emotional intelligence while you set limits:
“She knocked over your tower and you worked so hard on it, you’re mad!”
“You’re so disappointed that we can’t stay and have dessert at the restaurant, huh?”
Remember, empathizing with his anger doesn’t mean you endorse his hitting. And acknowledging her strategy for meeting her need doesn’t mean you have to
meet her need in the way she’s asking. For instance, some sweetness from you might meet the same need as that dessert.
And empathy doesn’t mean you don’t address the behavior. Later, when everyone is calm, reinforce any limits as necessary and talk about other ways to handle
the situation: “I know it’s hard to stay calm when your sister knocks over your tower, but you know hitting hurts and sisters are for loving, not hitting. Next time, what could you do instead of hitting her? Let’s practice.”
2. Walk in your child’s shoes.
Naturally, we assume we’re right….which makes our child wrong. But we could see it another way, a way that is actually much closer to reality:
All “misbehavior” from your child is an SOS. Under your child’s misbehavior there is always a reason, an upset feeling or unmet need. Address
that underlying reason, not the behavior, and you’ll see a change in your child — because you answered her SOS.
Maybe he’d be nicer to his sister if he wasn’t worried that he’s lost his special place in your heart, and what he needs is more connection to you.
Maybe she gets so involved in her play that she forgets all about the potty; you’ve been using one for years but this is all new to her — and it sure
doesn’t seem as important as whatever she’s involved with at the moment. (Might be time to try one of those potty watches made for kids.)
Maybe she’d stop arguing if you acknowledged her upset with empathy, so she didn’t have to shout to feel heard. (“I’m so sorry…. I hear how disappointed you are about this.”)
Maybe he needs your help to learn some better strategies to keep track of things so he doesn’t lose them.
When children act out, they’re telling us — in the only way they can at that moment — that they need our help. When we see things from our child’s point
of view, misbehavior is suddenly comprehensible, forgivable. The blocks to love melt away, and our love becomes unconditional.
3. Appreciate the child you have, rather than wanting to make her into someone else.
Imagine that your child is a flower, but you don’t get to choose what kind. Your job is to nurture that flower with the environment that will help it blossom.
If there’s something you wish were different about your child, he or she is likely to sense it. The understanding may not be in words, but in some visceral
sense of not being good enough.
Your delight in your child might be the most important factor in his development. Every child needs to be explicitly appreciated for who he is, daily.
If you find that hard, take some time to process your grief and resentment about not getting the child you wanted. You’re allowed to have those feelings
— but you need to take responsibility to work them through, so you can appreciate the child you have.
Then, remind yourself that when a plant is wilting, you don’t yell at it to straighten up. You get busy and provide more fertilizer, more sunshine, a more
spacious pot. Your child will only thrive if you see her positively, so she can see herself positively.
4. Use empathy, connection, and repair — rather than punishing.
All punishment withdraws love from the child. If we hurt the child physically, obviously the child does not feel loved at that moment, no matter what we
tell him. Even timeouts and parent-imposed consequences are seen by the child for what they are: intentionally causing emotional pain to force the
child to comply. Any time a human feels that another human is intentionally causing them pain, they don’t feel loved.
A great deal of research shows that children who are disciplined with love withdrawal techniques, including timeout, misbehave more. The lesson is not
lost on the child. We could, at any time, stop loving them altogether. There is no reason to punish, and every reason not to. (See footnote)
We only punish because we don’t know what else to do. But there are thousands of families where children are never punished. Sure, their parents set limits.
They spend a lot of time emotion-coaching and connecting. And they insist that their child repair, whether what’s broken is an object or a relationship.
Those children not only “behave,” they seem to develop emotional intelligence and morality earlier than other children.
5. Trust that once your child feels unconditionally loved, she will be able to change her behavior.
What if your child has crossed the line? Be brave. Don’t give in to your fear. Don’t give up on her. Go get her and bring her back into the embrace of
your family. She’s disconnected right now, but when you love her unconditionally, you strengthen her belief in her own goodness, and help her grow
into your trust.
Because the healing miracle of unconditional love is that there is no line. There is only love.
Heavy lifting? Yes. It does takes daily practice to build this kind of heart muscle. But there’s nothing as rewarding. These five habits will bring you
and your child closer, her behavior will improve dramatically, and for the rest of her life, she will know that she’s more than enough, exactly as
she is. That’s being well and truly loved. Unconditionally.
Wondering how you can love unconditionally when you’re so angry you want to scream? That’s our next post: How To Love Unconditionally When You’re Angry.
Today is Step 6 of Ten Steps to Unconditional Love: 5 Secrets to Love Your Child Unconditionally
This series is designed to heal our ability to love unconditionally, so we can give our children the unconditional love they need. The first five steps were:
1. Alfie Kohn, in his book Unconditional Parenting,
cites numerous studies on the negative effects of timeout and other love-withdrawal techniques on children’s moral and psychological development, including
the effect on morality and emotional intelligence. See also the article on Timeouts on
Read more: ahaparenting.com
“ If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” — Peter Drucker.
Thanks to online marketing and technology, we have more data than ever to use in measuring and managing marketing campaigns. There are so many potential reports and dashboards that it’s easy to be overwhelmed.
So in this article, I will boil down an ocean of possible marketing data into the essential drops of wisdom. These are the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will give you the big picture. Plus, they allow you to drill deeper as necessary to manage your pipeline, refine your campaigns and maximize return on investment (ROI).
What it is:
Your campaign costs divided by the number of leads you generate.
Why you need it:
It is critical to have an automatic way to track your cost-per-lead on all campaigns because it tells you which are the most cost-efficient and deliver the highest ROI. And given all the campaigns you probably have going on at once, you don’t have time to track the cost and performance of each campaign manually.
You need to be able to compare at-a-glance the cost-per-lead from each marketing channel — paid search, events, display ads, retargeting, organic search, content syndication, direct mail and more. This comparison enables you to answer the question, “Which channels work best?”
Also, to improve campaigns, you need the ability to evaluate, for example, an A/B test on a landing page. Which landing page generates the lowest cost per lead? Make that your control and perform your next test so you can continually optimize your marketing machine.
What it is:
Your campaign costs divided by the number of sales you generate.
Why you need it:
If you can push your measurements beyond lead generation to customer acquisition, you’ll have a measure that’s even more valuable in helping to allocate your marketing spending. That’s because not all leads are created equal. Those that are higher quality convert better.
Perhaps you have a low cost-per-lead on your pay-per-click campaigns and a much higher one from events. By tracking cost-per-acquisition, however, you may discover that event leads convert better and are more cost effective.
Thus, you can optimize the use of your marketing budget by allocating more dollars to channels and campaigns with the lowest cost-per-acquisition metrics.
You can also compare the cost-per-acquisition between multiple events to help decide which events to participate in during the following year.
3. Pipeline Contribution
What it is:
The dollar amount of the sales pipeline generated through marketing or sales activities.
Why you need it:
Both sales and marketing are responsible for revenue generation, and you want to know how much each team contributes. Also, since marketing initiatives often have a longer lead time than sales efforts, you should review a pipeline contribution dashboard to determine whether their contribution over time is growing.
This dashboard does not get into the nitty-gritty of programs, such as direct mail campaigns versus pay-per-click. Because it focuses on the big picture, however, it’s ideal for sharing with members of top management who want to know whether their marketing and sales teams are pulling their weight.
4. Pipeline Velocity and Acceleration
What it is
Bear with me on this one. It’s a little more complicated, but it’s worth understanding.
Frequently, when we think about speed, we’re looking at automobile dashboards that measure miles per hour. Pipeline velocity measures are similar in that they too are averages. However, they instead look at the average sales dollars your pipeline produces each day.
To calculate it, you need to know:
How many qualified opportunities are in your pipeline
Your average sales win rate (the average percentage of opportunities that become closed deals)
Sales dollars per deal
Average sales cycle
Here’s the equation:
(Pipeline opportunities x Average sales win-rate x Average sales dollars per deal)/ Average Sales Cycle in Days = Pipeline Velocity.
For example, here’s the equation for a company:
(100 opportunities x 40% average sales win-rate x $7,500 average sale)/ 30-day sales cycle = $10,000 a day.
Why you need it:
Just like when you’re driving, pipeline acceleration is putting your foot on the pedal to bump up the $10,000 a day pipeline velocity. There are two ways to accelerate pipeline velocity. You can increase the numerator or reduce the denominator of the pipeline velocity equation.
To increase the numerator, you could turn up any of three knobs on the dashboard — opportunities, sales win-rates or deal size. To amplify win rates, you’ll want to be able to drill deeper to see conversion rates at each stage in the pipeline. For instance, your dashboard might delineate the number of opportunities that convert to demos, the number of demos that result in proposals, and the number of proposals that result in deals. This detailed data enables you to look for the pipeline areas of where you have the most significant leverage to rev up conversions.
You can also try to reduce the length of the sales cycle. It’s helpful if you can see the sales cycle length by each salesperson or other segments. Perhaps you’ll find one rep has a shorter sales cycle than others. If so, find out what they’re doing differently. Alternatively, you can examine the overall sales process to find areas for increased efficiency, tweak your process and find out if it reduces the sales cycle.
5. Web Traffic Sources
What it is
A measure of where the traffic on your website comes from — direct (typing your URL into their browser), organic (from search engines such as Google), referral (clicking on links on other sites), and campaigns. It should also show the number of sessions and the bounce rate by source.
Why you need it:
It enables you to make judgments about the quality of visitors from different sources by comparing bounce rates. Also, you’ll be able to see the success of various campaigns, your search engine optimization program (the driver of organic traffic) and your initiatives, such as guest blogging, to develop links on other quality sites. This information helps you direct future marketing efforts to those that are most successful.
Dashboards can provide a wealth of information that helps you know where to focus your energies and how to improve your marketing programs. While there are many dashboards and KPIs to consider, the above are staples for marketing departments seeking to optimize the use of their resources.
Read more: feedproxy.google.com
A private small venture or we call it start up nowadays commonly starts with a thought, which forms into an undeniable dream. When a business thought starts to come to fruition, it’s an ideal opportunity to design the undertaking to ensure it succeeds. A few people make a business from the beginning, while others investigate alternatives for purchasing an establishment or a current business. A strategy for success plots the majority of the imperative features of the business task.
Business people will likewise need to ascertain their start-up expenses and discover financing to pay for their costs. Here are some Basic things you need to know for small ventures”
-Surveying and Competitive Analysis
To guarantee that a business thought will succeed, a business person needs to comprehend their objective buyers. Statistical surveying is the investigation of customer conduct and financial patterns. Watchful statistical surveying enables a business person to decrease potential dangers. Statistical surveying must answer critical inquiries, for example,
Do shoppers need the item or administration?
What is the market size of intrigued purchasers?
What are the monetary places of these shoppers (pay and business)?
Where do the objective purchasers live?
What other comparative organizations are now working in the market?
What do customers pay for tantamount items and administrations?
Statistical surveying can be performed by analyzing patterns and existing sources. This exploration strategy is quick and basic, however it may not generally be exact and succinct. Results might be summed up. Business people can likewise lead individual research by reaching purchasers straightforwardly with reviews, polls, and meetings. This sort of research can require some serious energy and assets, however it by and large yields particular outcomes.
Focused investigation is pivotal on the grounds that it empowers business visionaries to find out about contending organizations. Once in a while in excess of one industry is occupied with market rivalry. While investigating aggressive examination, data, for example, pieces of the overall industry, current qualities and shortcomings, contenders’ objective markets, potential boundaries, and aberrant rivalry will become exposed.
-Creating Your Business Plan
A strategy for success turns into the establishment of a business. Composing the strategy for success empowers the business visionary to design each phase of beginning and dealing with a business. Strategies for success additionally help entrepreneurs pull in financing and potential accomplices or speculators. Strategies for success can be made in an assortment of organizations, yet for the most part, they will either be exceptionally point by point or shortened to just incorporate the most vital components.
A conventional marketable strategy contains numerous subtle elements and is generally submitted to banks or financial specialists. Areas incorporate the official rundown, organization depiction, advertise investigation, association and administration, administration or product offering, showcasing and deals, subsidizing demands, budgetary projections, and informative supplement. These designs are commonly numerous pages long, and they anticipate something like one year later on.
A lean new company plan is straightforward, including just a couple of the most imperative business components. This organization is valuable for sharing fundamental actualities about a business. The lean marketable strategy arrange incorporates notice of any key organizations, exercises, assets, an incentive, client connections, client fragments, channels, cost structure, and income streams.
-Figure out your Start-Up Costs(Finances)
Having a reasonable thought of start-up expenses is a necessary piece of the business procedure. By figuring start-up costs, a business visionary will have the capacity to appraise benefits and know when the break even point is come to. This estimation is additionally urgent for pulling in speculators and anchoring advances. Knowing start-up expenses likewise assists with arranging charge derivations.
Three distinctive business classes exist: physical organizations, online organizations, and administration situated organizations. Some average start-up costs that a business may acquire include:
Permitting and allows
Publicizing and promoting
Legal counselor and additionally bookkeeper
In the wake of posting costs, it’s an ideal opportunity to gauge the real expenses. A few costs will be obviously set, while others may change. Different costs may should be evaluated in light of the fact that these sums will be questionable. In the wake of including the majority of the costs, the subsequent stage is to figure out which costs will be progressing and which ones will be one-time things. Many start-up costs are assess deductible. With an unmistakable picture of start-up and month to month costs, it will be conceivable to decide the capital expected to make a benefit.
-Fund your business
Discovering subsidizing is the subsequent stage in the wake of ascertaining start-up expenses. Financing can occur in an assortment of ways. A few business people choose to support their own organizations with their own assets. Others approach companions or family for an advance. A few people may take advantage of their retirement reserve funds to finance a business. It’s likewise conceivable to approach speculators for subsidizing.
Investment is a kind of speculation that offers financial specialists a possession share in return for subsidizing. This includes the proprietor surrendering some control and responsibility for business in return for help with financing. To discover financial specialists, a business visionary should share the marketable strategy. Financial specialists will for the most part survey the arrangement and the organization painstakingly to decide if they need to contribute. Consenting to terms and conditions between the gatherings will be the following stage. When the assention is made, the endeavor subsidize goes live. The speculator winds up included with the organization, and the business person gets the financing.
Crowdfunding is another approach to subsidize another business. This kind of raising money includes moving toward an extensive number of individuals who will put resources into the organization in return for an endowment of much appreciated. The blessing might be an item or administration, or it could be a unique liven. Entrepreneurs will in general like crowdfunding in light of the fact that they don’t need to surrender control of their organizations.
An independent company credit is another choice for financing. To get an advance, a business visionary would need to present a strategy for success and cost sheet to a bank. The loan specialist will audit the data to decide if financing is conceivable. With endorsement, the bank will issue the advance, which the business person should reimburse as indicated by the set terms. Business visionaries who experience difficulty meeting all requirements for a conventional business advance may fit the bill for a SBA ensured advance. With this kind of financing, the Small Business Administration ensures the advance, which decreases the hazard for the loan specialist.
-Purchase an Existing Business or Franchise
Rather than beginning a business starting from the earliest stage, a few people select to purchase an establishment or a current business. An establishment is a plan of action that includes the utilization of a business name and logo. The franchisor possesses the name and business trademark, pitching the privilege to utilize it to the franchisee. The relationship may include providing items for the franchisee to offer, or it might be a continuous association with full business administration. Purchasing a current business includes assuming control over a business and its client base. Ordinarily, the new proprietor accept the current client base and the representatives. The new proprietor would then be able to roll out any improvements wanted.
Prior to purchasing a business or an establishment, it’s significant to settle on a financial plan, discover a business that fits individual interests and abilities, and research everything included with the business. Exploring includes investigating an establishment’s history, learning appropriate tenets and controls, and looking at any agreements. For a private business, it’s critical to look into authorizing and allows, zoning necessities, and the estimation of the business.
Procuring a lawyer and a bookkeeper is astute while inquiring about and investigating the potential buy of an establishment or business. These experts can analyze impose rules, working costs, and potential benefits. They can likewise help with illustration up buy reports, for example, the letter of goal, classification understanding, contracts, money related proclamations, deals ascension, expense forms, and price tag alterations.
A business plan contains all the information and which is a very effective step in Business planning. Many Entrepreneur confused about the Content of the Format. Here is the Infographic which gives you more insight into the Content of Business plan. Check the below Infographic for more information.
The post Business Planning Nuts and bolts for small ventures appeared first on TheBrandBoy | Creative Small Business Blog for All.
Read more: thebrandboy.com
Adulting is indulging in things that make you happy but broke. Traveling, socializing, and shopping — whether it be for furniture, locally grown groceries, or an investment cross-body bag — can set you back some serious coin. But luckily, quality makeup doesn’t have to be on the list of things that bring you joy (and your bank accounts grief) thanks to the drugstore beauty aisle.
There’s a wave of new hair and makeup lining the shelves at mass retailers for fall, and among the products we’re hoarding is lipstick. Not only is fall the best time to pull out new, vampy shades, but some of our favorite brands have fresh formulas that deliver great quality — and won’t damage your debit card.
Ahead, we asked our Refinery29 editors to share the lipsticks they’ll be hoarding this season, from fashion designer collabs to brown-girl friendly nudes. Good luck not buying them all on your next shopping trip — although — you won’t have to feel too guilty if you do.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
“French designer Isabel Marant is effortlessly chic by nature, so having her collab with a brand like L’Oréal is a Euro dream come true. (Seriously, all the lipstick names are inspired by Paris hot spots.) It doesn’t hurt that the formula is a comfy matte that lasts through eating an entire baguette either.” — Sam Sasso, Beauty Writer
L’Oréal Isabel Marant Smile Colour Riche Matte Lipstick, $12, available at Ulta Beauty
“Backstage at the Jonathan Simkhai show at New York Fashion Week, lead Maybelline makeup artist Grace Lee took one look at my smudged, fading bright lipstick and told me: ‘You need this’. ‘This’ being Maybelline’s SuperStay Matte Ink lipstick. She handed me the shade Heroine, a red-orange that I immediately loved saying, ‘Wear this and tell me that you don’t love it. I dare you.’
Lee was absolutely right, but a red-orange just didn’t feel right going into fall. So I did some shopping of my own and stumbled upon the same formula in a shade called Founder, a deep magenta that I can’t get enough of. After going on as a liquid and drying matte (but not sticky or stiff), this stuff never, ever comes off. I have eaten every food, drank every drink, and even napped in this stuff. It’s so long lasting that it’s got its very own product to help take it off your face, which I now desperately need, too.” — Rachel Lubitz, Senior Beauty Writer
Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick Heroine, $9.49, available at Maybelline
“As soon as Labor Day hits, I throw my red to the back of my makeup drawer and pull out a wine-colored lipstick. I’ve been gravitating towards this new formula from Almay, because it’s so creamy and moisturizing. The color is a sheer wash that you can build up for more punch. And I love that the tube says, ‘Love Yourself’ (which also happens to be the shade name). It’s a powerful message to read in the morning before taking on the challenges of the day.” — Jessica Cruel, Deputy Beauty Director
Almay Lip Vibes, $7.99, available at Ulta Beauty
“I like a chubby lip crayon, and I’m partial to the ones by Honest Beauty. One: Because I like the packaging. Two: Because Daniel Martin, who paints the face of Meghan Markle and Jessica Alba, recommends them. If I find myself browsing around the CVS on my block, which doesn’t carry makeup over $11, I’ll grab this (also adorable) chubby stick by Burt’s Bees in the Pink Lagoon shade. It’s a slightly glossy, sheer wash of color that I can swipe on while I’m crammed in the middle of a subway car with no mirror. Plus, it’s a few dollars cheaper.” — Megan Decker, Beauty Assistant
Burt’s Bees Burt’s Bees Gloss Lip Crayon , $3.59, available at Target
“I was going to give up on finding a true nude for myself. I literally thought it didn’t exist for my dark skin tone, until I discovered Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipstick in Choco-liscious – need I say more? It has a deep brown pigment with a glossy finish. It’s moisturizing, so I don’t need to wear Chapstick or Vaseline underneath (like most lipsticks that dry you out). But its one I do have to apply a few times throughout the day, because it doesn’t last super long. I don’t mind because the color is my true match, which is all I ever wanted, and you can’t beat the price either.” — Nana Agyemang, Content Strategist
Revlon Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick, Choco-liscious , $7.95, available at Walmart
“I love shine on my lips versus the matte look, but I don’t always want to wear lipgloss. This is my perfect in-between, where I’m getting the pigment of a lipstick but the shine of a subtle gloss. I reapply this lipstick throughout the day as if it’s a lip balm because it’s so hydrating. I lost my Chapstick not too long ago and haven’t bothered to replace just yet, because I’ve been turning to this for my every day looks.” — Thatiana Diaz, Beauty Writer
Maybelline Color Sensational Shine Compulsion Lipstick, $7.99, available at Ulta Beauty
“When it comes to lipstick, I usually stick to matte, mauve shades. But the change in season has me feeling more audacious than usual. I’ve been loving the metallic shade called Ignite from the NYX Machinist line. The bronze formula has a creamy texture and foil finish that doesn’t look too shimmery. I only need one swipe to get opaque, rich coverage that doesn’t make my lips feel dry AF. Also, the metallic bullet makes me feel fancy when I put it on —because it’s rose gold, duh.” — Aimee Simeon, Beauty Writer
NYX Machinist Lipstick, $8, available at Nyx Cosmetics
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
Read more: refinery29.com