Style & Beauty
Prepare to mellow TF out with these expert tips.
- Women's Health
If you dare to DIY, we've got all the pro tips.
Businesses that require person-to-person touch are starting to reopen as COVID-19 stay-at-home orders lift, but getting your hair and nails done might never go back to the way it was.
In the wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the return to some semblance of “normal” life will be slow, cautious, and structured with protective safeguards — across all sectors of the service economy. As it pertains to the nail salons, the question of when and how to reopen is especially tricky, because the reality is that a manicurist can’t do their job from six feet away from you.Still, as U.S. states begin to implement phased reopening, nail salons have reopened with restrictions in several states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and Nevada, with others on track to follow suit in the coming weeks. Thus, the question becomes: If the salon is open, is it truly safe to make an appointment for a mani-pedi?The short answer: The choice is yours, but you should understand the potential health risks at play. “You can’t fully social distance at the nail salon,” explains Joshua Zeichner, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist and educator. “This is a problem because we know that coronavirus is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, which can be easily contracted when you’re in close proximity to other people sharing the same air in a confined space, like a small salon. We also know that the virus can live on surfaces for short periods of time, so you run the risk of contraction from the air and anything that isn’t properly disinfected between customers — from chairs and tables to a pair of clippers.”With that said, the decision not to eventually resume the luxury of getting your nails done comes with its own adverse effects, considering that your local small-business salon owner and their employees are likely desperate for business following mandated closures. There’s nuance to this particular dilemma, so we consulted medical professionals, nail salons, and the CDC guidelines to break down what the safest possible nail salon experience should look like during this time — when and if you chose to go. You’ll Need To Make A ReservationOf the nail salons that have reopened, one of the biggest modifications to normal business is that walk-ins are now prohibited. To reduce foot traffic, all services should be scheduled beforehand, allowing for staggered appointments and adequate time in between to properly clean and disinfect. Clients will not be allowed to congregate in reception or waiting areas, and may be asked to limit the personal items — like cell phones and handbags — they bring into the appointment. Social Distancing Still AppliesWhile the process of having your nails painted requires person-to-person contact, all other forms of social distancing measures should be observed. That means the salon should look different — as in, nearly empty. For example, Base Coat Salon, whose Colorado locations are set to reopen June 1, will not allow more than ten people inside a salon at any given time, with all workstations measured six feet apart. There Should Be Health Screenings At The Door This specific directive may vary state to state, but the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) guidelines advise that all salon employers conduct employee temperature screenings and wellness checks before each shift. At Base Coat Salon, all guests will also have mandatory symptom screenings before entering the salon as an additional health and safety precaution. In general, even if you’re not tested at the door, do not go to the nail salon if you’re feeling sick or believe you’ve been in contact with the virus. Everyone Must Be Wearing A MaskAnother mandatory precaution at close-contact salons moving forward: Everyone should be wearing a face covering. “Of course, wear a mask when you enter an establishment, and make sure that all employees and other clients in the salon are also wearing masks properly,” says Hadley King, MD, a dermatologist and physician in NYC. That means you, and everyone else, are covered tightly from nose to chin. Manicurist Will Also Wear Gloves & Full Face ShieldsIn addition to masks, employees should be wearing disposable gloves and face shields. According to the AIHA, to minimize facial contact, employees should wear a face shield or install a plastic partition between the employee and client with space cut out where hands or feet can be slid underneath to conduct the manicure or pedicure. Dr. Zeichner says that the plexiglass wall or plastic shield will physically block any droplets from passing between nail tech and client. You Should Observe Increased Sanitation MeasuresNow more than ever, you should be paying close attention to the cleanliness of the nail salon. AIHA states that all clients and employees should be required to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before their service. All nail tools should be disinfected between use, or be single-use only. The guidance goes on to suggest that salons may consider asking clients to bring in their own nail kits to mitigate the risk of cross-contamination. To fully ensure that your salon is up to the COVID-19 standards of sanitation, you may want to ask to see a Barbicide certification, which proves that the salon has gone through safety testing and demonstrated a commitment to operating according to best practices set in place by infectious control specialists. Be Especially Mindful Of Surfaces As a part of the increased sanitation measures, surfaces like door handles, tables, and chairs are required be disinfected by the salon. However, as a client, you’ll be best advised not to touch anything, if you can help it. “Remember not to touch your face, and be mindful of all surfaces where viruses and bacteria can live, like doorhandles and chair arms,” Dr. King says. “Practice thorough hand hygiene and minimize contact as much as possible.” Pre-Pay For Your Service Another way the salon can reduce the risk of infection is to encourage or require contactless payment by prepaying for services online or through Venmo. In accordance to the World Health Organization’s recent advisory on the spread of bacteria through cash, Base Coat Salon will no longer be accepting cash as either payment or gratuity, which may very well become the norm.As it stands now, none of this is really “the norm,” but nail salons are slowly reopening and taking the necessary measures to do so with the health and safety of the community in mind. One good rule of thumb to live by in this new world: If you’re feeling sick, just stay home.COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?9 Neon Nail Polishes That Scream Summer8 Nail Polishes That Are Perfect For Summer10 Nail Strengtheners For The Best DIY Manicure
If you’re someone who dreads heading to bed each night because it takes hours upon hours to fall asleep, you have probably experimented with, or at least heard about, melatonin. It’s a natural hormone that’s produced by our bodies to help regulate our sleep cycles. It comes in supplement form, too — gummies and pills and powders. But even though it’s incredibly common, there’s a lot of misinformation about melatonin out there — starting with how much is actually safe to take. (Hint: More is not always better.) We dug into the research to clear up exactly how you can make it work for you.Smaller doses are better. It is possible to overdose on the hormone. Taking too much melatonin at once will disrupt your normal circadian rhythms, and can lead to headaches, nausea, dizziness, or irritability, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Yeah — not exactly conducive to great sleep. That said, the best dose is the topic of some debate. The NSF says you can take as little as 0.2 mg, or up to five mg, but the organization suggests starting with the smallest amount. If that doesn’t help you fall asleep, the next time you take it you can increase your dose, capping things off at 5 mg. But as with any supplement or medication, you should chat with your doc before starting to take it. Melatonin could interact with other meds or health conditions.You shouldn’t take it every day. You can take too much melatonin in a single go, but you can also take too much in smaller doses, over a long period of time. Melatonin should be taken on “a short-term basis if you’re experiencing insomnia, want to overcome jet lag, or are a night owl who needs to get to bed earlier and wake up earlier, such as for work or school,” Johns Hopkins sleep expert Luis F. Buenaver, PhD, CBSM, said in an interview on the Johns Hopkins website. Experts don’t know what could happen if you take it daily over a long period of time; until more research is done, experts are recommending staying on the safe side. If taking melatonin does appear to help your sleep problems, and your doctor has signed off on it, then it’s okay for most people to take each night for around one to two months, according to Buenaver. “After that, stop and see how your sleep is,” he said. If you’re still tossing and turning, head back to your doctor to discuss your options.It might give you weird dreams. Yes, this is a thing. Melatonin increases rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep — the stage of sleep where you dream, according to a 2000 study. It’s old research, but there’s a ton of anecdotal evidence to support the findings: Melatonin can make your dreams out of this world. Maybe another reason to start with a low dose.It’s not like a sleeping pill. If you’re using melatonin for intermittent insomnia, the NSF suggests taking it an hour before bedtime to give it time to shift you into sleep mode. Again, check with your doctor; some might suggest 30 minutes before turning in, or two hours. But don’t take it just before shutting off the lights and expect to be zonked out within a few minutes.Choose your source wisely. Dietary supplements, including melatonin, aren’t regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Looking for products that have been independently verified for quality and purity by a third-party company, such as the U.S. Pharmacopeia, can help ensure you’re getting a high-quality product, according to Poison Control.Explore alternative sleep aids. Because why not? It’s always a good idea to do things to boost your sleep hygiene, such as stepping away from any blue light devices an hour before bed, developing a relaxing nighttime routine, or dabbling in meditation.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?You Can Blame Coronavirus For Your Vivid DreamsHow To Kick Your Coronavirus InsomniaThese Eye Masks Will Make You Look Wide Awake
Here's how to keep your hair healthy until you can visit the salon again.
- HuffPost Life
How to maximize the impact of your eyes during the coronavirus pandemic with eye shadow, brows, mascara, lashes, liner and more.
- Real Simple
Transitioning to natural hair? Here’s how to get your locks looking its best.
- Marie Claire
Give clothes you already have a much-needed face lift with these simple DIY's.
- Martha Stewart Living
Follow their advice for better brows.
Even as certain locations start to reopen, in-store testers could be gone for good thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
From root touchups to bang trims and everything in between, these videos will hold you over until you can get back into a salon chair.
We've said it before and we'll say it again: how often you wash your hair really boils down to personal preference, but that especially rings true for people with textured hair. For natural hair types, there are so many factors to consider when deciding how often you should shampoo, like product buildup and level of damage, to name a few.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, phased reopenings are now underway in all 50 states. While governors manage restrictions in their respective states, mandates and safety precautions get as granular as individual cities and counties, too.
For Black women, Wash Day isn’t a routine — it’s a ritual. From the products we choose to the spaces we create, the time we spend caring for our hair connects us to ourselves, our culture, and the people we want to be. Our first subject, Siraad Dirshe, a professional writer, content creator, and former beauty editor, explains how her wash day provides her with a much-needed moment of reflection.I straightened my hair a lot in high school and college. I went to a predominately white school, which impacted how I wanted to style my hair at the time. When I moved to New York, I went to the Dominican salon for monthly blowouts, but I quickly realized that I was going to fry my curls. So, I said, You know what? I’m gonna learn how to do my hair. I started to look into better products and grew out my heat damage. I knew that I wanted to keep my routine as simple as possible. I’ve seen people with extreme methods that take hours and tons of products, and that didn’t feel like me.My hair is a very curly texture, which I think makes people question my ethnicity. My dad is Somali, but I didn’t grow up with him. I’d always get the ‘What are you?’ or ‘Where are you from?’ questions. I assumed it was because of my hair texture, and I think that dictated the relationship I have with my hair and coming into my identity. Even though I didn’t grow up with my dad, I have become more curious and open to owning and teaching myself about that side of me.I think it’s expected for everyone to have a major aha moment with their natural hair, but my relationship is different, and that’s okay. I’ve never had a relaxer or a big chop. My hair routine is a small piece of a larger self-care puzzle that includes taking care of my mind and body. Wash day, for me, is an opportunity to spend time with myself. The city is so hectic, and I try to find as many moments in the day where I’m not distracted and can have peace, whether that’s through my beauty routine, journaling, or reading. Those moments — without emails, without your phone, and just with yourself — are so precious. My Wash Day DiaryI start by cleansing my hair in the shower with Amika Nice Cream Cleansing Conditioner, a product I discovered and really love. It smells amazing and has a really nice slip. My hair can get tangled pretty easily, so I end up wetting it with a co-wash to make detangling easier and to keep my strands hydrated. I use shampoo once or twice monthly to remove product buildup.Once my hair is cleansed and hydrated, I use a deep conditioning mask to nourish and protect my blonde highlights. To evenly distribute the product through my hair, I loosely separate my strands into sections and rake the formula through with my fingers. Once each section is properly coated, I form loose twists around my head and cover them with a shower cap so the product can seep in for 15 minutes.While my deep conditioner is cooking, I play some music to set a good vibe while I clean up or read. I usually play some chill R&B music like Sampha or Tom Misch. If I need some extra energy, I’ll blast my Kelis playlist. She also happens to be my celebrity hair inspiration.When the timer’s up, I wash out my deep conditioner. Then, my go-to style is a wash-and-go. I rake through Ouidad’s Climate Control gel, which gives me definition and hold without flakiness or crunch. Then I lightly scrunch my curls and let them air dry.A big part of my routine also revolves around taking care of my body, whether that’s through physical activity, eating a vegetarian diet, or body care. After doing my hair, I usually exfoliate my entire body and use a luxurious moisturizer when it’s time to wind down. One of my favorites is Oribe Côte d’Azur Restorative Body Crème, because it isn’t oily or greasy, and it won’t mess up my sheets once I get into bed. I aim to actively move my body and exercise at least five days out of the week. Rest is equally important, and I try to get eight hours of sleep daily. I’ve also discovered a passion for surfing, which benefits my physical and mental health. I love the ocean and I find it very therapeutic. During a recent trip to Ghana, I saw so many locals surfing, and I thought to myself, ‘Wow, I didn’t know that Black people surfed.’ It was a genuine thought because we are not what you see in mainstream coverage of the sport, and that was revolutionary for me. It’s become an all-around meditative experience for me, which is how all of our moments for ourselves — from our beauty routines and beyond — should feel.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?
Photographer Anastasia Garcia created the #MyQuarantineBody campaign to spread a message of empowerment and kindness.
- Marie Claire
It’s no secret that fashion has a waste problem. Trends dominate the industry at all ends of the supply chain, pushing luxury labels and fast-fashion brands alike to create more and more collections each year. In turn, shoppers are pressured to keep up with the growing supply, to buy every trend that garners acclaim on the market, even if that means purchasing something that was mass-produced. A month later and the cycle begins again, the of-the-moment pieces we had to have just weeks ago now gathering dust in stock rooms — or worse, in landfills outside of the industry’s purview. While buying from eco-friendly brands can help lessen the fashion industry’s impact on the environment, the most sustainable way to shop is to buy clothes that already exist. Knowing this is what inspired Topper Luciani, a vet in the used and vintage fashion arena, to launch his Houston-based start-up Goodfair in 2018. Goodfair is, at its core, an online thrift shop, but, instead of buying one university track shirt here and one color block anorak there, the expert buyers at Goodfair source items from the waste stream — where discarded clothing resides before being disposed of in a landfill — and group them into “bundles.” Shoppers then choose which set fits their needs most, from the Save The Earth Bundle — which includes a tie-dye T-shirt, two windbreakers, two zip-up hoodies, three printed T-shirts, and two flannels — to the Seasons Bundle — which, as the name suggests, is a seasonal set of wardrobe essentials ranging from a chambray shirt for spring to a heavy coat for winter. No two boxes are the same, and prices start at $35.It’s “mystery shopping,” Luciani says, and it’s existed on a small scale on sites like eBay, Poshmark, and Etsy for quite some time now. It never caught on, though, likely because of how consumed we’ve been with trends. But according to Luciani, as Gen Z’s buying power, which amounts to roughly $143 billion, grows, so, too, does the need for more sustainable and conscious modes of shopping. In his experience, the influential youngest generation is more focused on being conscious than they are about being on-trend. And he’s not alone. According to a 2019 study by Forbes, 62% of Gen Zers prefer to buy sustainably. That, in no way, means that Goodfair’s selection doesn’t offer the items we’re looking for in real-time. Given that trends are notoriously cyclical, it’s not surprising that you can still find on-trend pieces. In fact, rather than buying an ‘80s-inspired crewneck or a pair of ‘70s-esque jeans courtesy of a fast-fashion store, thanks to Goodfair, customers can buy an authentic piece from the era and be more sustainable as a result.“The whole mission and ethos around everything that we’re doing is that we want to be just one small place that doesn’t have to make more stuff,” Luciani says. “There’s already enough stuff out there, and if we can shift consumer behavior and mindsets even a little bit — if we can just be one small shift for a lot of people — we could make a really big change.” By filling his inventory with items that already exist, Luciani is building out a subset of the fashion industry where there is no waste. “Even if we can inspire other businesses to be selling secondhand, I’m down for that,” he says. The company is even opening itself up to partnerships with curated secondhand shops on Etsy and Depop. “In reality, anyone who’s selling secondhand is better than someone who’s making something, even if they’re technically competition.”For Luciani and his team, shifting consumer habits away from what’s new and trendy and toward what’s already been produced has always been the goal. “I started this because I’m really into thrifting: I love the treasure hunt, I love going to thrift stores, and I love the culture of thrift stores.” But the best part about his favorite pastime? “Nothing at all has to be made. Inherently, everything thrifted already exists.” Help Goodfair solve fashion’s waste problem by shopping the company’s current selection of mystery bundles, below. 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?An Evergreen List Of Our Fave Sustainable BrandsYour Online Thrifting Questions, AnsweredThese Gifts Are Both Sustainable & Perfect For Mom
- HuffPost Life
Is sunscreen toxic? How much SPF should we wear to prevent skin cancer? Experts clear up common misconceptions.
Allure explores the growing debate over mask-off injectable treatments.
Expert tips for ensuring your hair looks great after you've given in to the temptation to switch things up at home.
- Martha Stewart Living
If you're going to attempt an at-home trim while salons are closed, here's what you need to know.
Oops, I did it again.
- Marie Claire
Read this before trying any new products.
Michelle Phan, Patrick Ta, Vicky Tsai, and more talk about how their upbringings influenced their successful beauty brands.
- The Daily Beast
Slowly but surely, “normal” life has resumed for Kate Korson, a 31-year-old Denver woman who works in the cannabis consulting industry. For the first stop on her re-entry tour: The Luxe Room, where Korson received her regular dose of Botox from Danielle Mathers, a nurse and owner of the clinic.Things look different inside the tasteful office, with its waiting room decorated by plush velvet couches, a shag rug, and lucite coffee table. Since reopening on May 11, Mathers’ clinic operates under restrictions set forth by the state’s Department of Public Health. Upon arrival, clients get a temperature gun to their head and are only allowed inside if they clock in under 104 degrees. They have to wear their face mask at all times, keeping their nose and lips covered—so no lip injectables are provided just yet. There is a half-hour gap between appointments, which allows for disinfecting and cleaning. You Can Get a Quarantine Haircut if You Know the Right Barber—and Have the MoneyDo not assume these protective measures might keep die-hards away. Mathers says she is fully booked through June. Out of the 150 appointments she had to reschedule during the time her clinic closed, only three clients have canceled, citing a lack of funds. “Some people walk in and think, ‘It feels like we’re not meant to be here,’” Mathers said. “They’re just getting out of their houses. They come in and realize, should I be in here, getting treatments when COVID is still around? They’re nervous, but they ease up after a while.” Korson believes she had the coronavirus in early March and recovered after feeling “exhausted for three full weeks.” Though her state reopened, she’s still getting her groceries delivered and limiting seeing friends only in “social distance porch sessions.” Botox, which she gets to perk up droopy eyelids, marked her first real activity outside of home. “It’s just something I do for me,” Korson told The Daily Beast. “It was a little weird; it made me think about how lucky I am to be getting treatment for something that’s optional. I’m not in the hospital. It just made me think about how shitty it is that so many people have corona now and they can’t see and talk to their nurses.” When the pandemic first shuttered medispas and dermatology practices across the country, Rolling Stone reported that influencers were taking matters into their own hands, self-injecting the toxin to keep their Instagram faces crease-free. Everyone seemed to know someone who heard from somebody else that there was a clinic in their city offering clandestine appointments to desperate, in-the-know clients. Earlier this month Shawn Hubler of The New York Times detailed the return of Botox in Beverly Hills, a fitting setting for a story about people who wanted their faces glassy and unruffled even as Californians face a lockdown for most of the summer. But in states like Colorado, Tennessee, and Texas, such orders have been lifted. So patients prepare to be seen. “They call saying, ‘Help, I need to come in as soon as you’ve opened,’” Michelle Mowry, a nurse practitioner at the Palm Beach medical spa Wellness Jar, said. “People are used to a schedule, and it’s scary to see those wrinkles you haven’t had in a long time come back.” Mowry has been back to work for two weeks; she considers her sterile treatment rooms safer than Publix, the local supermarket chain. “Everyone at the grocery store walks around, stands next to you, takes off their gloves and leaves them in the basket. Being in the office is healthier.”To reduce crowding, clients wait in their cars and are called in after the previous appointment has left the waiting room. Staff lead the guests around the office, accompanying them even to the bathroom to ensure that no one wanders around the space alone. People have been in “survival mode” for too long, Mowry thinks. Once-tedious Botox check-ups have become ritualistic. “People are really relaxing,” she said. “They’re not trying to be on their phones at the same time. They’re in the moment, closing their eyes. I can see their shoulders relax, even if they’re getting Botox and have a needle in their forehead.”In Los Angeles, plastic surgeon Dr. Arash Moradzadeh has dialed down the touchy-feely nature of his work. “Usually we’re like hugging and touching and a social kind of environment,” he said. “Now it has changed. We’re standing further apart, socially distant, no human contact in that way.” That has not deterred clients from returning. “I thought there would be more hesitation,” Dr. Moradzadeh admitted. “People are driving five hours from northern California. A lot of people want to do nose jobs and eyelid surgeries now, because there is time to hide the recovery before they get back to work.”This week Irene, a 49-year-old from Nashville, got lip filler and forehead Botox done by her dermatologist, Dr. Michael Gold. (She asked to keep her last name private.)“How advantageous is it for when you have bruising?” she asked. “I don’t have to come up with an excuse—I’m wearing a face mask, people!” From behind his face mask and shield, Dr. Stephen Weber is still learning how to read his patients who also come in with their own cloth coverings. “It’s a challenge connecting with new patients who are not fully visible,” he said. “I’ve had to interview potential staff members, and I’ve found it almost impossible to hire somebody who’s wearing a mask. I can’t tell what they’re thinking, if they’re good or they’re bad.” He worries his patients look at him and feel the same way, only seeing him as two eyes peeking from a medical barrier. “That’s the biggest challenge, and the most striking reminder that things are very different than they were a couple months ago,” Dr. Weber added. Nashville dermatologist Dr. Gold has also pared back the exam room chitchat in favor of a streamlined, quick-as-possible process. “Most of these people [getting Botox] are returning patients, so we know them very well,” he said. “We like to sit and talk with them during appointments, but we can’t do that now. I’ll spend as much time as I need to before I inject, but when we take their mask off, we have to get to business. The mask comes off when it needs to and then it goes right back on.” The dermatologist described a “pent-up demand”; injectable fans are swarming practices to get their Botox. He wonders if it will last. “For the first three or four weeks, most cosmetic doctors are going to be really busy,” Dr. Gold said. “After that, we’re going to see. If you listen to the [sales reps] everything is going to be rosy in a few months. But if you have a choice between feeding your family and getting a toxin, what are you going to do?”There are a few new laser machines Dr. Gold has wanted to purchase for use in cosmetic treatments, but the coronavirus has made him rethink those plans. “Are you going to buy a $100,000 laser or pay your staff? I plan on buying nothing for a while. We’ll utilize what we have,” he said.Bill Kortesis, a plastic surgeon in Charlotte, North Carolina, feels “optimistic” that the demand will remain. “There’s a consensus among leaders in the space that we’re going to see a huge influx now,” he said. “The number of phone calls, emails, and social media inquiries hasn’t slowed down for me. I think since people are not spending money on summer vacations, they’ll want to spend money on themselves.” Mandy LaMay, a 28-year-old insurance broker from Denver, considers her Botox a necessary step for easing out of lockdown and getting back to real life. “I got my hair done yesterday,” she said. “This is my full week of self care, so if I have to jump on a Zoom call and share my screen, at least I can feel nice. I can look in the mirror and see myself looking as good as I feel. It’s important to me, my appearance. So that would make it essential.” For the past decade, Dr. William M. Portnoy has hosted a spring Botox filler “special” in his New York practice. The event is usually held near Mother’s Day weekend; the coronavirus pushed it into mid-May. “People look forward to it,” the otolaryngologist and facial plastic surgeon said. “I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to proceed or not just by the whole virtue of what’s going on in our community. But I decided to run with it. People were excited to get out and do something nice for themselves after 10 weeks of socially isolating.” Irene, the patient in Nashville, was considered an essential worker during the pandemic. Despite being high-risk—she has an autoimmune disease in her liver—Irene clocked in everyday at her home remodeling job. “My experience was one of a lot of fear and anxiety and exhaustion,” Irene said. “I was in complete emergency mode for six weeks.”When Tennessee lifted its stay-at-home order, Irene began to feel a little more certainty that she would keep her paycheck and be able to provide for her preteen daughter. “Now I’m at this point where I could be dead from this disease at any point,” she said. “What am I waiting for? What am I scared of?” She wanted to return to Dr. Gold’s office after visiting for Botox about a year ago; her new confidence and a $500 gift card pushed her to make an appointment for this week. “As soon as the mindset changed, I felt that I want aesthetics in my life,” Irene said. “I couldn’t hold onto my fear anymore.”When the Botox needle hit Irene’s forehead, a nurse joked that the patients “get into the pain.” Irene joked back, “I feel alive!” “It wasn’t going to hurt,” she recalled one day after Botox. “I was going to be empowered and I was going to be brave. There were a lot of emotions. This is just another addition to our new Twilight Zone reality.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.