We won't try and sugarcoat the fact that we'll be spending more time at home for the foreseeable future — but, we will try and make the most of it by sweetening up our spaces. Instead of taking on a total home-office overhaul, revitalizing a WFH setup is as easy as adding in little touches that radiate big feel-good vibes. To prove it, we hunted down 35 of these smile-worthy finds for you.
After exploring the cutest corners of the internet, we pulled together a collection of under-$100 items that will give your digs a healthy dose of delight. Imagine everything from vibrant stickers for your computer to dumpling-shaped air purifiers for your desk and custom pet portraits to grace your empty wall space, each crafted to inject the most mundane areas with a pop of joy.
Discover these brimming-with-positivity gems ahead — shop them for your own stay-at-home spot or for sending to a friend in need of a socially distant smile.
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.
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We've lost count of the number of times we've squinted into our magnifying mirror during quarantine and thought, "Damn, I need a facial." But even though social distancing has put a damper on our quarterly pore-purging appointments, that doesn't mean our skin has to suffer for it. You can play at-home facialist with the products already in your bathroom cabinet, but the right tools will get you even closer to the professional experience. Whether it's a stone roller to massage away tension and puffiness or a vibrating cleansing device to go deep into your pores, we've rounded up some of the best tools to add to your routine. Now, light a candle, pop on the "Relaxing Massage" playlist on Spotify, and float far, far away from the tiny bathroom you've been stuck in for months. 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. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
You don't need to leave your home to learn how to cook, the best online cooking classes can teach you everything you need to know. Whether you don't know how to chop vegetables or you're trying to become the next contestant on Netflix's Sugar Rush, you can learn both basic and advanced skills online. Even […]
There’s nothing better than being let in on a secret sale, especially one that both results in deals on Simon Miller platforms and a Staud bucket bag and gives back to a good cause. And somehow, in a stroke of (almost) midweek luck, a sale that checks off both of those boxes just so happened to cross our (virtual) desks. On Tuesday, Best Kept Secret, a digital flash sale, made its debut. And trust us, with discounted apparel, shoes, and accessories from over 40 independent labels, it has deals you won’t want to miss. Think: 80% off pieces from Mansur Gavriel, Good American, Rhode, RE/DONE, Rosetta Getty, and more — but only until August 15. To coincide with the site’s launch, Best Kept Secret will be raising money for two nonprofits, Baby2Baby and Know Your Rights Camp, with the goal of donating $500k to each charity. According to Maxwell Osborne, a partner of Best Kept Secret and the co-designer of NYC-based label Public School, the site was designed “to tackle the fashion industry’s response to COVID-19 while supporting social issues at the forefront of the global zeitgeist.” Baby2Baby collects and distributes essential baby supplies like formula, bottles, diapers, and soap to families affected by COVID-19. Know Your Rights Camp is the organization that activist and former NFL player Colin Kaepernick founded to "advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization." Warn your credit card company, clear out your closet, and shop our favorite picks by clicking through the slideshow ahead. 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.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale Is In “Early Access”We Found 12 Reasons To Shop Levi’s Sitewide SaleMara Hoffman’s Sale On The RealReal Starts At $75
Usually, our back-to-school shopping list consists of statement dresses for that first-day 'fit, cute-but-functional flats for zipping around campus, and book bags big enough to actually fit our laptops. But now, with hundreds of colleges opting for online classes and students suddenly Working From Couch, comfort is king and cozy, everyday loungewear is our new M.O. — especially bathrobes. There's the simple cotton robe you can totally get away with wearing to your 8 a.m. Zoom seminar. There's the plush, pillow-soft option with Kindle-sized pockets for storing all your flash cards. And then there's the long, silky slip-on for the moment you change out of your daytime PJs into your nighttime PJs, of course. Whatever type of bathrobe you're looking to wrap yourself up in this semester, we've rounded up 13 of the best options out there to help you lounge like you mean it. Shop our favorites, ahead. 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. The product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
Colleges and universities continue to struggle to adjust to the realities of an unending pandemic. First, it was the bungled switch to remote learning in the Spring semester that left some students with no choice but to sue their schools into refunding their remaining room and board costs. Throughout the summer, as remote learning continued, surveys affirmed that students wanted to see tuition prices reduced if classes are taught online. The schools weren’t hearing it (except for a handful of historically Black colleges and universities). The fall semester has proven to be yet another test. Many schools committed to welcoming students on campus earlier this summer, an ambitious goal even at the time. But as COVID-19 cases spiked throughout the country, many schools changed their minds. According to Inside Higher Ed, hundreds of schools are doing a U-turn on their plans to welcome students to campus in the fall. Institutions are either delaying the start of the semester, moving forward with a fully virtual schedule, or welcoming limited numbers of students to campus. Tuition costs, however, remain largely unaddressed.The pivots have been mostly announced in late July and early August. The return to campus announcements were met with skepticism and the subsequent liability waivers students were required to sign added to the apprehension. For the schools that reconsidered, tuition revisions seem modest: the University of Pennsylvania will remain closed this fall and will roll back the nearly 4% tuition increase it had intended. It also reduced its “general fee” by 10% (the fee funds a wide variety of services and resources, including counseling and wellness, multicultural resource centers, student activities, recreation and fitness, career services, learning support). Housing and dining fees will also be refunded or credited.At Harvard University, 20% of first-year students deferred while the school’s anticipated 40% of students returning to campus dropped to just 25%. The school still hopes to welcome less than half of the student body back to campus, but for those attending class online or in-person, tuition remains the same.> @austin_maguire> > The classic bait & switch coronamemes collegeproblems> > ♬ original sound – austin_maguireStudents on TikTok are joking about the bait and switch that got them to enroll in classes and pay full tuition, only to get another semester of online classes with no discount. In conjunction, all these measures are making students feel like schools are prioritizing money at the cost of students’ health and education. First, their refusal to reduce tuition for virtual teaching, then their insistence on opening campuses in the fall (despite early predictions saying a Fall spike was inevitable), then rolling back those plans while sometimes pushing tuition bumps, and once again, refusing refunds for room and board.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?How To Help Teachers Right NowHow International Students Help The U.S. EconomyA Week As An Unemployed Student In New York
When I look back on my life so far, I’ve had my best sex in the summer. There’s just something about the constant sunshine, the lack of clothing, and the proximity to water that makes hookups especially spicy this time of year. Don’t just take my word for it. Google searches for sex and dating-related queries tend to go up during the summer season, a 2012 Villanova University study found. Although we only have about a month or so left of this period of warm weather pleasure, there’s still time to complete (or come up with), a summer sex bucket list. Of course, this summer your list is going to look a little different due to the pandemic, says Shula Melamed, a relationship and wellbeing coach. But that might mean we need to try out new salacious sex acts now more than ever. “Anything with novelty that’s a little out of the ordinary is great, because we’ve been so structured and regimented with our routine because we haven’t been able to get out of the house,” Melamed says. “So being able to have fun and access your imagination is crucial these days.”So if you’re looking for a sexy way to mix it up this summer, add one (or all) of these to your erotic bucket list. Hook up somewhere new Whether that’s on the kitchen floor (a la When Harry Met Sally) or out in public on a balmy day, you’ll have a ball. (Just make sure you’re hidden enough that no strangers will accidentally stumble upon your tryst and see something shocking.) Skinny dipFind a secluded body of water and shed your skivvies before diving in. If you don’t have access to a lake, river, or ocean, buy a kiddie pool from Walmart, make a drink with an umbrella in it, and create your own oasis. Tease your SO If you’re at a picnic with a few friends in your bubble or sitting in a public park with your lover, lean over and whisper in their ear what you want to do to them when you get home. Create that sexy anticipation. If you want to take the teasing to another level, agree to skip hooking up for a week, but send your boo provocative messages the whole time. Try shower sex Make your shower steamier than usual with your lover. If it’s a hot day, you can keep the water cool while things get hot between you two. Maybe bring a waterproof vibrator into the mix. Just be careful of slipping. Hook up under the stars “Lots of people from the city are renting Airbnbs for their vacation during the pandemic, so if you get into a house with a beautiful backyard that’s a little secluded, you can go outside,” Melamed says. “Make sure there are no neighbors around, put down a blanket, and have sex under the night sky.” “It’s not like summer camp where we were sneaking behind the bushes,” Melamed says. “We’re adults now and just because it’s outside doesn’t mean it can’t be that five star experience.” In other words, you don’t have to be uncomfortable on the ground with sticks digging into your back. Get a bunch of pillows, and tea lights to set up around you. Get rose petals. “Create a hippie love nest,” she says. Alternatively, if you have access to a pickup truck, you can make a makeshift bed in the back with pillows and comforters, and drive to a secluded area where you can stargaze — or just gaze into each other’s eyes. Do it in a tent Take “roughing it” to a new level. You can go camping or, if you don’t want to go all the way to a state park or into the woods, you can just set up a tent in your yard. Try sex on the beach If you can find a quiet area on the beach, this is a sexual fantasy so divine they named a drink after it. Just make sure you’re doing it on a towel or a rock to avoid getting sand in places. Try temperature play When the weather is warm, there’s no better time to try incorporating temperature play into the bedroom, a practice Luna Matatas, sex and pleasure educator, previously described in detail to Refinery29. “I love using the ice cube on their body first,” Matatas says. “Dragging a cube from their lips, down their chin, across their chest, down their belly, and then picking it up with my mouth and making a show of me swirling it in my mouth, and then allowing drops of ice to dribble onto their genitals from my mouth… By time the ice cube has melted, you’ve got a cold tongue to use on their genitals.” Invent a new position Put your own spin on the classic 69, the octopus, anal, or the cradle — you’ll love trying something out of the box with your boo. Rooftop sex Hook up with your SO on a patio chair on an empty rooftop, and enjoy those ~views~ while getting off. Dip a toe into BDSM and kink “BDSM and role play has been becoming more popular during the pandemic because people are wanting something different when the days are so monotonous,” Melamed says. “This can add variety.” A good place to start if you’re new to the practice is trying out bondage, nipple clamps, or spanking. If you’re already into the scene, try something more vanilla to mix things up, Melamed suggests. Incorporate food National Creamsicle Day is happening on the 14th, so you can combine temperature play by teasing your lover with the delicious treat. You can also try something like the fabled whipped cream bikini (just don’t get any in your actual vagina to avoid yeast infections). Feed each other strawberries, and ask your partner to lick some Manuka honey or chocolate sauce off your nipples. Have sex while watching Hamilton Streaming Hamilton is the most summer 2020 activity, now that the acclaimed musical is finally on Disney+. But it’s long, so you might as well get busy whilst rewatching. For the record, “My Shot” has a great tempo for humping and pumping. Or you can use the intermission to go grab a vibrator to incorporate into your second act sex acts. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Icy Tricks That Can Transform Oral & Summer SexHot Labor Day Sex Tips To End Summer With A Bang8 Tips For A 69 Session That Blows Your Mind
Sadly, the end of summer is approaching. But, on the bright side, you know what they say about when one door closes? An end-of-season sale opens — and Sephora just kicked one off today. From August 14 through August 23, savvy beauty shoppers can shave $15 off orders of $75 or $20 off orders of $100 using promo code WELCOMEBACK at checkout. If you’ve been slowly racking up the products in your virtual Sephora cart throughout the summer, then now’s the time to score your haul with a bonus discount. (Hot tip: get the group chat together and compile all your beauty faves in one bulk order so everyone can save big.)DashDividers_1_500x100The deal is eligible on almost everything on Sephora with a just few product exclusions to take note of: the promo code is limited to the purchase of just one Dyson item (make it count) and five Morphe items per transaction; it’s not valid on products from MAC, The Ordinary, Nudestix’s hand sanitizer and gift cards; you need to be a member of Sephora’s Beauty Insider community to be eligible for the promo — if you haven’t joined yet (it’s free!), then this sale is reason enough to get signed up.DashDividers_1_500x100As for what we’re springing for during the sale? Everything from OG skin-care classics like Ole Henriksen’s vitamin C serum to newer makeup MVPs like Tower 28 Beauty’s illuminating bronzer, Fresh’s cult-favorite soy makeup-removing face wash, and even a stay-all-day liquid eyeliner by Stila (you know, to creating that perfect feline flick for smizing from behind our masks with). Shout out your go-to Sephora beauty gets in the comments below!DashDividers_1_500x100At 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.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
Whether you see it as the second coming of Vine, your new remote dance coach, or maybe even a data-stealing, privacy-invading wolf in sheep’s clothing, TikTok isn’t leaving the zeitgeist any time soon. 2020 was already looking to be a banner year for the app, but quarantine made its popularity soar: It is now the most-downloaded non-gaming app in the world, beating the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook. You can find pretty much anything on there, from nurses dancing in PPE and 60-second vegan taco recipes to elaborate pranks and dogs and cats becoming friends. However, just like on Instagram and YouTube, so-called “hack” videos are enduringly popular, especially those pertaining to beauty. A scroll through TikTok’s “For You” pages will bring up a winged liner application workaround for hooded eyes and even a lighting trick for more flattering selfies. Like those two, some of these hacks are harmless and actually very useful — but sadly, all too many are not. In fact, skin experts would advise against them entirely. The Sunscreen “Hack”The so-called sunscreen hack has been blowing up, and top videos tagged with sunscreencontouring have millions of views combined. Essentially, the “trick” is to apply sunscreen to only the high points of your face, avoiding the cheekbones and sides of your nose, so that you get a “natural contour” after sitting in the sun. “By leaving parts of your face exposed, you’re not only putting yourself at risk of skin cancer, you’re also accelerating the aging process in those areas,” says consultant dermatologist Dr. Hiva Fassihi, who adds that she finds this trend particularly disturbing. Most of TikTok’s user base is under 25 and sun damage takes a considerable amount of time to show up on the skin, so it’s understandable why the idea is so popular. But when you consider the long-term effects of sun damage, from an increased risk of cancer to pigmentation, fine lines, dull skin, and enlarged pores (all of which usually start to show up in your late 20s), you might reconsider. How long does a suntan last, anyway — a few days at most? Is it really worth risking all that for something you could easily achieve with bronzer or self-tanner? (Seriously, you can contour your face with fake tan. Just use a makeup brush and go easy on it.)DIY Face Masks DIY face treatments using kitchen ingredients are also popular on the app. There’s nothing wrong with mixing up a little avocado or yogurt face mask for a spa night at home, but it gets dangerous with the addition of any citrus juice, which is often billed as a “peel” or “exfoliant.” “The natural pH of the skin is between 4.7 and 5.7, while citrus fruit juice is about 2, so applying these to your skin will disrupt the natural barrier function of the skin and allow things through that shouldn’t, such as certain types of bacteria that can cause acne,” says aesthetic doctor Ifeoma Ejikeme of Adonia Medical Clinic in London. “It’s also dangerous to put citrus fruits onto the skin and then go into the sun. It can cause phytophotodermatitis, nicknamed ‘margarita burn,’ a result of a chemical found in citrus fruits reacting with sunlight and causing inflammation of the skin, resulting in burning, redness, and blisters.” Homemade Face ScrubsLikewise, don’t be attempting any of the “coffee granule” face scrubs. “These can cause tears to the skin and even stain it,” says Dr. Ejikeme. She adds that putting ingredients like baking soda in a face mask is also a no-no. “Again, you’re going to disrupt the pH of your skin,” which could result in soreness, redness, and tight skin. Some of the hacks I saw — like using cotton pads soaked in coffee and honey to get rid of dark circles — might not cause any damage, but as aesthetic doctor David Jack says, “It’s probably going to make a huge mess and not really do anything.” In addition, some of the at-home facial ideas use raw ginger, which Dr. Ejikeme said she had personally seen cause burns or long-term irritation to the skin when left on overnight or used regularly.Making Your Own Facial TonerThere are also quite a few (admittedly very cute-looking) recipe videos for natural facial toner, usually using some flowers from your garden or maybe some trimmed herbs — think roses, eucalyptus, rosemary, that kind of thing. The videos are almost Disney-esque with their soft lighting, piles of petals, and outdoorsy vibes. While a few herbs and flowers simmered in water probably won’t hurt you, the blend will start to go rotten almost overnight. The natural extracts that appear in skin care you buy, like resveratrol in grapes (a powerful pollution shield) or the astringent qualities of thyme (known for balancing oily skin), are bio-engineered to be safe and have potent longevity. The DIY option is usually smelly after a few hours and could even cause irritation, depending on what bugs, dirt, and wildlife have been over your plants.DIY Lash Lifts Some of the hacks are geared towards teaching yourself a professional skill; for example, there’s a slew of videos that show you how to do an at-home lash lift. Though these are usually created by brands that make DIY kits or influencers who’ve been paid to promote them, they still rack up staggering numbers of views and recreations. “You should never, ever attempt to perm or tint your own lashes at home,” said brow and lash technician Sophia, adding that she’s a professional and would never even attempt to do her own lashes. “There is a big chance you might mess up with an at-home kit and accidentally get the formula in your eyes, and right about now, the emergency room is the last place you want to be.”Ultimately, what all these videos have in common is an ostensibly easy, cheap at-home fix to a bothersome skin issue, or a means of bridging the cost of a professional procedure. Salons being closed throughout quarantine has no doubt increased the popularity of the DIY solution. There is also this pervasive idea that the beauty industry (from brands to aestheticians) is somehow “keeping secrets” from the public, shielding you from the power of what’s in your fridge or making you believe that you need professionals to do treatments for you. Truthfully, beauty is actually quite boring sometimes, and the ingredients and treatments we know deliver — like vitamin A, vitamin C, and SPF — usually take a long time to show results and aren’t always the sexiest.Experts urge you to exercise extreme caution with anything you see online, on TikTok or otherwise. If you want to play around, some of the hacks are fine — mixing powder highlighter with baby oil will make a nice shimmery body lotion, carefully applying a cold spoon or ice cube (wrapped in fabric) will take the swelling out of a spot, and hairstylist Joseph Maine regularly shares fun DIY hair masks. Just leave the food for eating, and the baking soda for, well, baking.This story was originally published on Refinery29 UK.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Roller Skate Style, From The '70s To TikTokWhy Everyone's Googling This New Skincare TrendI Tried 5 TikTok Beauty Hacks With Amusing Results