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Are the Redken Acidic Bonding Products Better Than Olaplex?

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The Everygirl’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.





Over the past year or so, I’d be embarrassed to know how much money I’ve spent on products I’ve seen on TikTok. Say what you will about the platform as a whole, but it holds a power to convince people to buy products perhaps like nothing else before—and once their algorithm figured out I’m a sucker for hearing about products for bleached hair, all bets were completely off.

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A couple of months ago, the platform was buzzing about a new shampoo and conditioner that were a surefire Olaplex alternative. After seeing dozens of videos talking about them, it piqued my interest enough to do some digging. 

As an Olaplex lover but also as someone who loves to try new, innovative products, the Redken Acidic Bonding shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in treatment sounded right up my alley, promising repair to broken bonds that are a result of damaged hair. After six weeks of consistent use, I have a lot of thoughts—and might even have a replacement for my long-time haircare favorites. Here’s how it went:

 

About My Hair

I have never been someone whose hair is anything near amazing—and it’s only gotten worse over the past decade of consistently highlighting it. It’s pin-straight, medium-thickness, and without effort, is pretty lifeless. 

My hair is very, very, very straight, and because of that, I don’t deal with too much frizz, but I do deal with feeling like my strands look lackluster overall. I’ve had hair stylists tell me for how often I dye it that my hair is in great shape, but obviously, with consistent bleaching comes dryness and breakage, two things I deal with consistently. 

I’m someone who has always thrown all of my efforts into my skincare, but when it comes to hair care, I could do more. I’ve been on a journey of trying to get it into great shape, and that has included a lot of Olaplex—which I think has helped my situation quite a bit, but not in a way that makes me never want to use anything else.

 

About the Products





The Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate System claims to repair all types of damaged hair with the help of citric acid, which reinforces weakened bonds and improves hair strength. All three of the products are pH-balanced, specifically formulated to defend against the negative effects of hair coloring, heat styling, and even water, which has a pH of 7. The products aim to bring hair’s pH back to a healthy range of 4.5-5.5, which results in healthier hair. It also contains color fade protection and is sulfate-free.













Redken

Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo

Shop it now













Redken

Acidic Bonding Concentrate Conditioner

Shop it now













Redken

Acidic Perfecting Leave-In Treatment

Shop it now

 

The scent: 10/10

The products are formulated with citric acid, which leaves it with an absolutely lovely, light citrus scent. I’m pretty sensitive to smells in my products, and this is one of my favorites I’ve come across in that it smells great but isn’t too overpowering in any way.

 

The packaging: 9/10

I find this packaging to be super sleek and easy to use. The white bottles with silver, metallic labels are beautiful in my shower caddy and made me want to display them front and center. Of all of Redken’s packaging (which I have a decent amount of), this is by far my favorite.

 

The price: 4/10

Unfortunately, the one caveat of this product is that it’s pretty pricey; at about $30 per product, it’s similarly priced to Olaplex itself. However, since it’s a product concentrate, I found that I use significantly less of it than other shampoos and conditioners, and after six weeks, I’ve hardly made a dent in either product—and I generally go through shampoos and conditioners pretty quickly. I’d say going through this will take me double the amount of time it took me to go through Olaplex shampoo and conditioners, which makes the price feel a lot more reasonable. The bottles are also a little bigger, coming in at 10.1 fl. oz. versus Olaplex’s 8.5 fl. oz. packaging, so it clocks in cheaper per ounce too.

 

The shampoo: 9/10

Off the bat, I noticed that this shampoo lathers quite a bit less than others, but after getting used to it, I really enjoyed how it felt on my hair. I wash my hair around three times a week (which I wish was a lower number, but with a lot of sweaty workouts, it makes it hard to go further between washes).

I can more or less tell if I like a shampoo as I’m rinsing it out in the shower. A lot of shampoos will make my hair feel immediately dry and brittle, but as I rinsed this one out, it felt sleek and soft. The experience of using it is lovely because of the aforementioned citrus scent, and I feel that it really cleans my hair without leaving it dry whatsoever, which almost never happens for me. I also appreciate that I don’t need to worry about fading my color with it, as many shampoos result in my blonde fading and turning brassy.

I generally use purple shampoo every third wash to keep my hair’s tone in check, but since using this, I’ve noticed I feel like my purple shampoo days are fewer and further between—about once every five washes rather than the usual three. This is absolutely huge for me, as it really shows that this isn’t damaging my hair’s color and it’s preventing even further damage since purple shampoo is notoriously drying and damaging.

 













Redken

Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo

Shop it now

 

The conditioner: 8/10

Of the three products, this one surprised me the most. I usually put a ridiculous, unnecessary amount of conditioner in my hair, but again, since this is a concentrate, I used far less than I normally do but noticed better results. 

I’ll say that I didn’t notice a huge difference in my hair softness after a single wash, but over time, this has made my hair look and feel significantly healthier. It’s easy for my hair to feel weighed-down, which makes finding conditioners I really love difficult since I also want them to be as hydrating as possible, but this strikes the balance between both perfectly.













Redken

Acidic Bonding Concentrate Conditioner

Shop it now

 

The leave-in treatment: 9/10

A leave-in product can absolutely make or break my entire haircare routine. I need to finish my hair routine with hydrating leave-in products, but more often than not, they weigh my straight hair down and leave it with absolutely no volume or body. I can tell whether or not I love one immediately after drying my hair, and knew off the bat that this was a winner. 

This product is my absolute dream leave-in product: it tames any frizz and makes my hair look sleek and healthy, without leaving it greasy or heavy. I put a pretty small amount from the middle of my hair through the ends, and it feels like a drink of water for my dry strands.













Redken

Acidic Perfecting Leave-In Treatment

Shop it now

 

Before

 





 

After six weeks

 





Again, my hair has been colored between these pictures, but I think that speaks even more to the results I’ve been getting, as my hair is usually dry as a bone after getting dyed. My hair looks thicker, shinier, and healthier overall, and has a lot more luster than it did before I started. 

 

The final verdict:

After six weeks of using these, I’ve noticed a significant difference in my hair’s health. I feel as if they’re really repairing my hair and giving it what it needs, rather than just putting a bandaid on dryness and breakage with oils or waxes. 

I got my hair colored in the middle of trying these products, which also was a huge test since my hair is usually quite dry immediately after. After my first wash post-color, I didn’t feel nearly as dry as I normally did and noticed the difference right away, since it’s something I normally dread as an after-effect of my hair appointments.

Compared with Olaplex’s shampoo and conditioner, I felt very similar results, but since I use less of this product than I do Olaplex, I would repurchase these products instead, and know that I 100 percent will once I run out. 













Redken

Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo

Shop it now













Redken

Acidic Bonding Concentrate Conditioner

Shop it now













Redken

Acidic Perfecting Leave-In Treatment

Shop it now





Redken

Acidic Bonding Total Transformation Kit

This kit includes all three of the products in travel sizes—perfect for testing them out!

Shop it now

 

Easy Recipes That Don’t Require a Ton of Clean-Up

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Source: The Movement Menu

After whipping up a meal, stuffing my face, and entering an inevitable food coma, the absolute last thing that I want to do is to tackle cleaning the mess that I left behind. The only thing that makes the chore a bit easier? Opting for no-mess recipes that truly make life 100 times easier.

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If a recipe has the words one-pot, one-pan, or Instant Pot preceding the rest of the title, I’m all ears. The less I have to clean up after meal prepping and/or overindulging in my meal, the better. These easy recipes are here to save the day and to make your to-do list exponentially shorter. Oh, and they also happen to taste as if Gordon Ramsy whipped them up with his own two hands. You’re welcome.

 

1. Pantry Pasta with Chickpeas





Source: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

 

2. One-Pan Southwest Chicken and Rice





Source: The Movement Menu

 

3. One-Pot Pasta e Ceci





Source: Host The Toast

 

4. Instant Pot Eggplant Parmesan





Source: Eat The Gains

 

5. Healthier One-Pot Lasagna





Source: Family Food On The Table

 

6. One-Pan Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice





Source: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

 

7. One-Pan Creamy Garlic Chicken





Source: The Movement Menu

 

8. Instant Pot Lentil Soup





Source: Plated Cravings

 

9. One-Pan Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Broccoli





Source: Skinnytaste

 

10. One Pan Shrimp Fajitas





Source: The Movement Menu

 

11. Pesto Zucchini Noodles with Grilled Chicken and Roasted Tomatoes





Source: Closet Cooking

 

12. One-Pan Honey Balsamic Chicken





Source: The Movement Menu

 

13. One-Pan Shrimp and Green Beans





Source: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

 

14. One-Pot Mediterranean Quinoa Skillet





Source: Family Food On The Table

 

15. Instant Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup





Source: The Movement Menu

 

16. One-Pot Pizza Rigatoni





Source: A Night Owl Blog

 

17. One-Pot Chicken Sausage Pasta





Source: Family Food On The Table

 

18. One-Pot Lemon, Burrata, and Broccoli Pasta





Source: Host The Toast

 

19. One-Pan Roasted Potatoes, Sausage, and Peppers





Source: Skinnytaste

 

20. Sheet Pan Salmon and Broccoli





Source: The Defined Dish

 

What I Wish I Had Known About Motherhood

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A grandmom, mom and little boy embracing as they look off into the distance

I want to write a manual, a not-so secret manual, passed from mother to mother that contains the collected wisdom of what all women wish they’d known about motherhood. There would be chapters on what happens to your identity and in your body. Chapters on what happens to your mind and your heart as you undertake this incredible role.

There is no destination point for mothers. One day you just become one, but as a mother, you continue to change as all the good and hard parts of life and having children shape you. You’re constantly evolving as you raise your children, who are also in their own constant state of evolution. It can feel dizzying at times, like you have no idea what you are doing because oftentimes you really don’t.

As a mother, you continue to change as all the good and hard parts of life and having children shape you.

Here are some of the first lessons I’d include in that manual for all the things I wish I’d known about motherhood:

You have no idea what you are doing. That’s OK.

You will literally learn on the job, and then, the job will change over and over again. As soon as you think you’ve got it—a new sleep pattern, new hormones or new friends will throw everything into disarray again. That’s normal. When you accept that you’re learning as you go and that you don’t always know what to do next, you’ll be more gentle with yourself.

You will literally learn on the job, and then, the job will change over and over again.

You’ll never be the same person again.

Stop with the pressure to “not lose yourself.” No matter if you are together or apart or whether your child is young or grown up, you are now inextricably linked to another human being. It is a disservice to mothers to tell them that they must “bounce back” and be who they were before.

Expand into all of it. Don’t feel the need to justify it, shrink it or make yourself less of a mother. Wear it with pride. 

Your kids will trigger you.

No one ever mentions at the baby showers how your kids will push your buttons. Your child’s behavior may remind you of a tough sibling relationship you had, or it may be hard to let them cry when you were told you shouldn’t as a child.

Being triggered by your child doesn’t make you a bad mom. It just means you have some healing to do and that process will be good for you both. 

Your motherhood experience will be unique.

It doesn’t matter how the other moms around you feel about motherhood. They’ll never mother your children. You may not enjoy playing pretend or cooking with your kids, but you may love reading to them or taking them outside.

The stereotypical molds of motherhood are damaging myths. What kids need more than anything is an emotionally engaged mom.  

The stereotypical molds of motherhood are damaging myths.

Motherhood is a developmental process.

After judging myself too harshly as a first-time mother for all the things that were normal—worrying a lot, being particular about who and how my baby was cared for—I finally exhaled one day. I simply embraced the fact that I was a first-time mother.

Allow yourself to be exactly where you are when you’re there: a first-time mother, a mom crying or rejoicing on the first day of kindergarten or a momma fretting over a child turning into an independent teen. If we spend more time embracing where we are and less time questioning it, we’ll experience more peace and joy in the process.

If we spend more time embracing where we are and less time questioning it, we’ll experience more peace and joy in the process.

Lead with curiosity.

If you allow yourself to change and grow, you’re more likely to allow the same for your child, too. It’s easy to trip yourself up when you decide who you want your kids to be or who you should be as a mother. Let them tell you instead. Curiosity without an agenda feels a lot more like love. 

I have lived and seen the literal exhale that comes when we tell each other and ourselves the truth about motherhood. There are so many things I wish I had known. More than anything I find that most mothers are doing a lot better job than they think.

Naming things you wish you’d known welcomes the mother you are. It also validates the mothers around you.

What would you add to the manual of things no one ever told you about motherhood? How has your motherhood journey differed from the women around you?

Image via Martha Galvan, Darling Issue No. 15

Categories: BEAUTY STRETCH

11 Questions All First-Time Investors Have

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Consider this your ultimate guide to finally feeling like you have the know-how to be an investor.






Source: Social Squares

It’s an age-old joke—one that makes its rounds on memes on the internet constantly—but its sentiment always rings true: in school, we learned all about the quadratic formula, but never how to write a check or file our taxes.

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For those of us who didn’t study anything business or finance-related in college, that theme pretty much can sum up the entirety of much of our financial knowledge. It’s easy to feel like we’re so far behind in the financial world that we don’t even know what we don’t know—especially when it comes to investing.

But here’s the thing: it’s not too late, and while being a first-time investor can be daunting, it doesn’t need to be scary. The key to a non-intimidating investing experience is a non-intimidating, inclusive platform to actually do the investing on, and that’s why as a first-time investor myself, I’ve turned to Public.com. Public combines investing with social media for an investing experience that’s informative, accessible, and completely understandable, even to beginners. 

We’ve turned to the experienced investors at Public to answer all of the most commonly-asked questions our audience of first-time investors had, from when the best time to start investing is to how you even go about beginning the process. Consider this your ultimate guide to finally feeling like you have the know-how to be an investor.

 

The following is for educational purposes only and is not investment advice.*

 

1. Why should I start investing?

Investing your money means that you are putting aside money now with the expectation that it will grow over time. Say you put $100 away each month in a shoebox under your bed. Over time, that money will lose value due to inflation. (Inflation just means that the value of the dollar is decreasing over time; a latte at Starbucks costs $5 today but may be $7 in a few years.)

When you invest your money, the goal is to put it into something now because you think the value of the asset will appreciate over time. This could apply to a real estate property, an index fund (collection of stocks), shares of stock in a single company, or even a collectible or piece of art.

Investing is a powerful tool for wealth creation because of compounding. An asset that appreciates 10 percent a year over many years has a snowballing effect because the interest applied becomes larger and larger as your investment grows. Type some amounts into a Compound Interest Calculator to see for yourself.

 

2. Should I pay off my debt before investing?

Personal finance, as the name would suggest, is personal, and your specific approach will be specific to your own financial situation, goals, and risk tolerance. Sadly, there isn’t a one size fits all answer to this question. Many experts suggest looking at the specifics of the debt you owe, specifically the interest rates, to decide how you may want to balance debt repayments with investing goals.

When deciding if you want to pay off your debt or invest first, it’s important to look at how high the interest rate of your debt is. For example, if you have a loan with 5 percent interest, but could invest somewhere that would give that money a 7 percent rate of return, it would make more sense to invest while paying off your debt. You should also keep an extra eye on your credit interest, as the amount you owe can add up quicker than you might think, leaving you in a worse financial situation than when you started.

One thing to keep in mind is that you can start small when investing thanks to fractional shares. Fractional shares allow you to gain experience in the market and learn about investing by owning small “slices” of stock. For example, if one share of Amazon is currently $3,000+/share, you can still purchase a portion of a share of Amazon stock for $5 or $10. You can get thousands of stocks and ETFs fractionally on Public, with no commission fees on standard trades.

Balancing debt repayment and investing is possible, and the combination can be a smart move for your money if you go about it in the smartest way for your situation.

 

3. I know very little about investing. Where do I begin to learn and how can I feel confident in this space?

A Public survey found that 55 percent of investors are self-taught. This is not surprising, since the fundamentals aren’t something that’s usually taught in school. Only 52 percent of U.S. households have any positions in the stock market, according to data from Pew Research, so many people don’t grow up in an environment where investing is the norm.

The good news is that there is an abundance of materials out there for educating yourself on the basics. You don’t have to get into the depths of investing subreddits or sit in front of the CNN stock ticker with a notebook and pencil to get the information you need. One book that covers a lot of the basics is “The Bogleheads Guide to Investing,” but there are hundreds more. You might also subscribe to newsletters like Morning Brew, or find creators who share educational content on these topics, like Mrs. Dow Jones, all of which approach investing in a conversational, understandable way.

Beyond empowering yourself with basic knowledge, communities like Public can help take your financial literacy to the next level because they allow you to learn through hands-on experience. It’s similar to studying a language in school, and then visiting a place where that language is spoken.

Participating in a community of investors can help you navigate in ways that are accessible and in the context of your actual investments. Not only can you interact with real people talking about how they’re investing their money, but you can tune into Public’s investing suggestions based on themes. For example, when quarantine began in full swing, they suggested investments under a “Stay at Home” theme, which included companies thriving in the new world quarantine, like Peloton and Blue Apron. Both of these combined make it easier to make informed investing decisions without needing to tune into investing cable news or jargon-filled articles.

 


money in purse to show investing questions first-time investors have


Source: Social Squares

 

4. How is investing in a 401(k) different than investing with a brokerage account? What are the benefits of each?

401(k)s are retirement investments that are designed to help you grow a nest egg for when you enter retirement age. These accounts are tax-advantaged, meaning you can put pre-tax money into them with the expectation that you will pay taxes on the funds when you start using them later in life. A Roth IRA is an individual retirement account (IRA) that allows qualified withdrawals on a tax-free basis provided certain conditions are satisfied. Roth IRAs are taxed differently than regular IRAs, as they’re funded with after-tax dollars and the contributions are not tax-deductible.

Brokerage accounts don’t have the same tax benefits, but offer greater flexibility in terms of when you can take money out without penalty. Unlike retirement investments like 401(k)s and Roth IRAs, there’s no ceiling on how much you can invest in a brokerage account.

Many investors choose to use a combination of the two, with brokerage accounts used for money you want to invest after maximizing retirement contributions. This is different for everyone and will vary, so definitely do your own research and/or consult a financial advisor to determine what’s right for your specific situation.

 

5. How much money do I need to start investing?

One of the roadblocks to investing is that sometimes, single shares of stock can cost thousands of dollars. If you aren’t in the market to do that, some platforms, like Public.com, are making investing more accessible by removing account minimums and offering fractional shares. This means that you no longer need thousands of dollars and full shares to invest and participate in the market.

Even if you’re starting with an investment that’s $20 and a small portfolio of stock slices, it will give you hands-on experience as a beginner, without needing to stretch your comfort level before you’re ready. 

 

6. Is there a bad time to start investing? The stock market is at an all-time high, should I wait?

Long-term investing is about finding investments you believe in over the long term. Rather than thinking about how you’re going to be making money immediately, you think about what you’ll make in one, five, or even 20 years. If you’ve heard the phrase, “Time in the market, not timing the market,” it means that a long-term investor is focused on the horizon and is less concerned with short-term movements in the market or within a specific stock price.

A good way to visualize this is to look at a view of the Dow Jones Industrial Average over time. Toggle the chart between shorter windows of time (one day, one week) versus longer periods and you will see how the line squiggles up and down, but over time it has gone up.

The U.S. stock market has produced returns of about 9-10 percent annually to investors. This doesn’t mean that every individual stock sees these numbers, but it does mean that the market as a whole has continued on an upward trajectory over time. Past performance does not guarantee future results in the market, and all investments come with risk, but long-term investors will look to these trends rather than day-to-day.

 

7. What are some tips or strategies for beginners?

Everyone has a different financial situation, so everyone’s goals and risk tolerance will be different too. Before you invest, consider all aspects of your finances and how investing will impact you, not someone else on the internet who’s giving you advice. No two investors are the same in these regards, so Googling, “What stock should I buy?” isn’t a great place to start. Start with what makes the most sense for you.

Another thing to keep in mind as a beginner is to understand the differences in investment styles. Day traders are short-term investors who make frequent moves in the market. These trades come with greater risk because they require technical analyses and the right timing. For that reason, many day traders are unsuccessful and actually lose money.

Long-term investors are focused on investing in companies or funds that they believe in over a year or more. They do not fret as much about ups and downs during shorter periods, because they are focused on a longer-term target.

Knowing these differences is vital to deciding what investing strategy you want to use as a beginner, and so you understand when you should begin seeing your money grow as a result of your investments.

 


woman on computer searching investing questions


Source: Social Squares

 

8. How should I think about evaluating different investment opportunities? What are some things to look for?

Investors look to several signals when determining if they want to make an investment. For stocks, this includes the financial health of the business (these are shared in quarterly earnings reports); the company’s growth prospects (for example, Peloton in the middle of a pandemic when gyms are closed); and even its values. Many investors want to put their money in companies they feel good about, and may choose to factor in things like sustainability, diversity, and other things as they make a decision. 

Every investor will weigh their decisions differently. Experts will advise you to do your homework when making a decision. 

One thing to consider is that exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, make it possible to invest in collections of stocks based on a theme or trend, meaning you don’t need to pick one “winner.” For example, there are ETFs for the major indexes, green energy, eSports, gender diversity, real estate, healthcare—the list goes on.

 

9. What does diversification mean exactly?

Simply put: diversification means allocating your money across different types of investments to reduce risk. Say for example you have $100 to invest and you put all of it in a single company, or into companies that are all in the same sector. An isolated event affecting that business or sector could put your entire portfolio at risk.

Now, say for example you split that $100 across 10 investments. These reflect a combination of stocks or funds across different sectors. If a single event impacts a business or sector, only 10 percent of your portfolio would be impacted, versus 100 percent. Investors diversify to spread, and therefore, reduce, risk.

 

10. What are capital gains?

Capital gains are profits you make through investments. Say you bought one share of stock for $100, and in six months that stock is worth $120. You sell the share for $120, which means your profit is $20. Since you sold the stock and realized the profit, you would owe taxes on that $20. This is an example of short-term capital gains tax, and the taxes you pay would be the same as you would on other income based on your tax bracket.

Now, say you bought that same stock for $100 but sold it 18 months later, and at that point, it’s worth $150. Your profit is $50, but you’d pay a lower tax rate (~15 percent) in this case because you had held the stock for a year or longer. This is long-term capital gains tax and the reason why many investors take a longer-term approach to investing.

One important thing to keep in mind is that you only realize gains (or losses) when you sell. If you buy a share of stock for $100, and a few months later it’s $80, you didn’t “lose” the $20. That stock could recover, so you only lock in losses when you sell.

 

11. What is a realistic growth time frame when investing money?

Experts will say a good place to start is to write down your financial goals, and to be more specific than “build wealth.” For example, your goals may be:

  • Short-term: Purchase a car in six months
  • Mid-term: Own a home within five years
  • Long-term: Retire by age 65 with $XYZ in savings to live comfortably


Investing is a marathon. Each of these goals will have different strategies for achieving them. In general, the shorter the time frame, the less risk you may want to take on. For example, as many investors get closer to retirement age, their investment choices get more conservative than they may have been a decade before. Keep in mind, there is no one correct answer here and you should do your own research and/or work with a financial expert to come up with the plan that’s best for you.

If you’re at a place in your life that you’re thinking about investing for a home down payment, it’s important to talk with a financial expert about all of the facets that will be a factor for you personally—where you live, how much money you have available, your timeline, etc. This is a situation where everyone is different in several different ways, and having professional guidance is key.

 

 





 

Offer valid for U.S. residents 18+ and subject to account approval. There may be other fees associated with trading.*

 

*See more at Public.com/disclosures

 







This post is sponsored by Public.com, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.

 

Unique Father’s Day Gifts You Can Only Get On Etsy

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The Everygirl’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.





I can’t be alone in feeling like shopping for Father’s Day gifts is one of the hardest gift-giving tasks out there. What do you get a man who already has the best daughter in the world? (Only joking, although I was a pretty great kid if I do say so myself.) Every year I think about what to get my dad for weeks and end up with the same thing: a gift card to a home improvement store. It’s easy, I know he’ll use it, and it saves me from potentially getting him something he won’t like.

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Going forward, I really want to step up my gift game. If you’re in the same boat as me (or simply need some unique Father’s Day gift ideas), let’s turn to Etsy for gifts the men you feel like celebrating this holiday will surely love. Whether you’re celebrating your dad, husband, boyfriend, or anyone else, there’s something on Etsy for everyone. And we’re making it even easier this year—read on for the best Father’s Day gifts on Etsy.





Etsy | Happy Inky Gift

Personalized Dad Leather Photo Key Ring

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Etsy | Avito Products

Best Dad Tumblr

5 colors available

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Etsy | Crazy Dog T-Shirts

The Coolest Pop Shirt

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Etsy | Get Silver House

Custom Face Swim Trunk

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Etsy | Serendipity Socks

Custom Photo Socks

8 colors available

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Etsy |

Personalized Yeti

10+ colors available

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Etsy | Pumpkin Seed Design Co

The Office Matching Shirts

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Etsy | My Favorite Cup of Tea

I Am Your Father Custom Mug

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Etsy | Sky Collections

The Dadalorian Shirt

3 colors available

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Etsy | Backyard Peaks

Best Dad In The Galaxy Shirt

3 colors available

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Etsy | Paws Bay

2021 The One Where He Becomes a Dad

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Etsy | Portraits Factory

Custom Family Simpsons Portrait

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Etsy | KC Cups

Best Dad By Par Tumbler

10+ colors available

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Etsy | Unique Anomaly

Custom Golf Balls

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20 TikTok Hacks for Your Home That Are Actually Genius

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Source: Aimée Mazzenga for The Everygirl

My new favorite toxic trait of mine is scrolling on my phone at 1 a.m., favoriting a plethora of TikTok DIY projects that I swear I’ll do on my next day off, and never visiting the idea ever again. Maybe it’s because I’m a night owl and am energized to revamp everything about my apartment in the dark hours of the night when woodworking/hammering is widely unacceptable, or maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for saving money on what would otherwise be a hefty West Elm purchase.

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But these TikTok hacks are just so innovative that I can’t keep them all to myself in my saved TikToks folder. And, I know I’ve said this before but, I actually want to tackle these ones. If you’re looking to give your place a budget-friendly revamp, look no further than these 20 TikTok DIY projects that are so genius, you’ll wonder how you didn’t think of them yourself:

 

1. These DIY floating shelves that’ll make wire shelves look more cohesive:

@katieschierloh Floating shelves Dollar Tree Hack #fyp #diyprojects #pintrest #dollartree #theyregonnaknow #howwouldtheyknow♬ how would they know bad girls club – Chris Gleason

 

2. This no-build, framed TV hack that’ll jazz up your living room:

@clippercityhouse#tiktokdiy #typing #diy #homeimprovement #tvhack #framedtv #diyprojects #diyhomedecor #bussit #xgamesmode #roundofapplause♬ Turn Back Time – Diplo & Sonny Fodera

 

3. This affordable LED mirror that looks more expensive than it is:

@simplystephjayeI’m SO HAPPY with how this turned out. So easy, save your coin ✨ #diymirror #diyprojects #ledmirror #HomeImprovement♬ Steven Universe – L.Dre

 

4. This small-space entryway solution that couldn’t be easier:

@emilyraynaA damage-free solution for vertical storage in a tight space? Yes please #CommandOrganizeUp #ad♬ Stacked – TruFeelz

 

5. This DIY pendant lighting that will save you money on your electrical bill:

@emilyraynaOne of my favorite office DIYs! #springvibes #learnwithme #interiordesigntips #fyp♬ Levitating (feat. DaBaby) – Dua Lipa

 

6. This unique, budget-friendly hardware that looks super chic:

@emilyraynaLess than 40 cents each! #dontbesurpised #springoutfit #interiordesign #budgetdiy♬ original sound – BoyWithUke

 

7. This Cricut candle upgrade that’ll make any candle work with your design style:

@emilyraynabrb going to update all of my candles now @officialcricut #cricut #homeDIY #ad♬ Double Rainbow – Clutch

 

8. This Ikea cabinet greenhouse that will help you channel your inner-plant mom:

@joy_daydreams Reply to @mattiekinz also all the products used are linked in my bio 🥰 #ItsOurHome #diyprojects #tipsandtricks #ikeahack #plantparent #planttok♬ SUNNY DAY – Matteo Rossanese

 

9. These upgraded, matte decorative vases that’ll add depth to your home:

@alannagolloherQuick & easy DIY vase✨ #dollarama #diyhomedecor #spraypaint #Toronto #Torontovlog #fyp #diyprojects♬ Skate – Trees and Lucy

 

10. This boho DIY planter that you’ll get plenty of compliments on:

@the.woodworkers.daughter#diy #boho #homedecor #bohochic #planter #makersoftiktok #makersgonnamake #diyprojects #diyhomedecor #woodworking #diyprojects #diyprojectideas♬ SUNNY DAY – Matteo Rossanese

 

11. This large, blank wall solution that we’ve all been waiting for:

@housetohomediyGetting rid of the pineapple art 😭. Inspo: @chloolou #diyprojects #learnontitkok #diytiktok #diyideas #housetohomediy #diyhacks♬ Little Bitty Pretty One – Thurston Harris

 

12. These rattan DIY ideas that’ll make you wonder why you’ve never used rattan before:

@the.woodworkers.daughter#diy #boho #homedecor #bohochic #planter #makersoftiktok #makersgonnamake #diyprojects #diyhomedecor #woodworking #diyprojects #diyprojectideas♬ SUNNY DAY – Matteo Rossanese

 

13. This budget-friendly wall mural that will add character to any room:

@diybabygirlabstract wall mural on a broke b budget 🤭 #howwouldtheyknow #fyp #foryoupage #diyhomedecor #diywalldecor #viral #abstractpainting #accentwall #foryou♬ how would they know bad girls club – Chris Gleason

 

14. This method to repurpose your old candle jars:

@cindiyangHow to remove candle wax & repurpose the jar! #candles #candletips #candlewax #diyhomedecor #homedecortips #diydecor #candlewaxremoval♬ original sound – salem

 

15. These DIYs that will make you want to spraypaint everything:

@miquelle.noelleCan you say spray paint obsessed 🤩 #diy #howto #learnontiktok #diyhomedecor #howtodecorate #LoveStory #StrikeAPosay #diyprojects♬ The JUICE by MR FINGERS – Han

 

16. This elevated wall art that’s affordable AF:

@diy_karo_moekDIY line art #lineart #diy #diyhomedecor #easyinterieur #easydiy #tutorial #diyhacks #art #diyart #fy #fyp #foryou #lowbudget #decorationinterieur♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) – 山口夕依

 

17. This $5 bucket barstool that won’t break your bank:

@victoriaDIY $5 Bucket Stool Part 5 😭 #diy #learnfromme #homedecor #summer2020 #crafty #bucket #diyhomedecor #diyproject♬ Buttercup – MixAndMash

 

18. This pool noodle headboard that looks expensive but isn’t:

@frida_lindgreenPool noodle headboard🌛#diy #diyhomedecor #interiordesign♬ High Fashion (feat. Mustard) – Roddy Ricch

 

19. This giant mirror that costs hundreds of dollars less:

@onecrafdiygirlMy favorite home hack to get a giant mirror for less 💕#learnontiktok #apartment #diyhomedecor #homedepot #diyprojects♬ The Less I Know The Better – Tame Impala

 

20. This baking powder hack that’ll give new life to your old glass vases:

@thedioxxalelaDIY projects w/ D. I love a good aesthetic ✨#xyzbca #foryoupage #foryoupage #diyprojects #diyhomedecor♬ Strawberry – Prod by Rose

For Grieving Daughters on Mother’s Day

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A hiker staring out at the mountains

My mom passed away when I was 15 years old. 

Growing up, she was not only a faithful caretaker to my sister and I but a trusted friend. Even when she grew sick, she found ways to show up for us. She taught me, through her words and by her example, of the beauty in leaning on God and taking courage in the most difficult times. 

Mother’s Day weekend is one of the hardest of the year for me. It’s the weekend where I sprint from Facebook and Instagram because scrolling through photographs of daughters standing aside their mothers feels like too much to bear. I get through one sentence of a gushy caption before closing the app and wondering why I clicked in the first place.

It’s the weekend where I look through my emails, and it feels like I’m trudging through mud. Companies implore me to buy a gift on behalf of this occasion. I can’t seem to avoid their advertisements, which unsettles me. 

Trips to the store lose their sense of casualness as the lavender Mother’s Day posters and signs face me at the door. I can’t look away without grieving. 

Needless to say, this weekend, this season, is not easy. Yet, as the years go by, I’m learning that this season cannot be avoided. As much I try to shield myself from the triggers, every year I stumble upon them like clockwork. So, I’ve had to find another way to overcome the challenge. 

Here’s what I’ve learned: Mother’s Day can be a day to reflect quietly on my mom’s  courage to persevere through severe disease and smile over the way she cooked perfectly cheesy quesadillas in the midst of it. It’s a day to think of the ways she prayed with me by my bedside as a child and taught me about the love of God through her faithfulness. 

Mother’s Day can be a day of thick remembrance. It’s a time to cry and laugh as memories rise to the surface. It’s a communal moment which shouts: our mothers matter to us. 

Mother’s Day can be a day of thick remembrance. It’s a time to cry and laugh as memories rise to the surface. 

Grieving daughter, your mother matters too

The passage of time does not diminish this. Rather, each year, her significance is amplified as you remember the way she mothered. 

Today, I remember the lessons, marked with love, that my mom passed on to me. And I pass them on still. While I lament with tears, I’ll celebrate, with joy, the way she parented and the way she lived. I am not motherless. I am a grieving daughter who misses her mom’s hugs. 

Friend, you can stay off Facebook and Snapchat today if that’s what you need or enter the feed slowly, posturing your heart to receive the day as it is—messy, painful and beautiful. 

I am not motherless. I am a grieving daughter who misses her mom’s hugs. 

Do celebrate the special moments experienced with your mom. Invite a friend or family member to reflect with you. Let them laugh, cry and pray with you. 

Let today be a day of remembrance.

Have you or someone close to you lost a mother or mother figure? How can you honor her memory this Mother’s Day?

Image via Raisa Zwart Photography

Categories: BEAUTY STRETCH

Darling Letters: The Healing Power of Mothering

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A sunrise over a lake

We are bringing “Darling Letters” from your inbox to the blog! We love the art of letter writing and believe it helps build authentic community. Our editors and contributors have thoughtfully written encouraging letters to cut through the busyness and speak straight to your heart.

I’m not sure there is another word that can simultaneously hold as much complexity, diversity, joy and pain as the word “mother.” On this Mother’s Day, each of us might have a different relationship with the word. Some of our mothers may have passed, some may be close and some may be far—emotionally or physically. Some of us might be mothers, some of us still longing to be one or somewhere in between. 

I recently read a statement from Dr. Christiane Northrup, M.D. that really struck me. She said, “Every woman who heals herself helps heal all the women who came before her and all those who will come after her.” I thought it was a profound truth because it not only highlights the reality of the ripple effect of healing, but it also broadens the idea of what “mothering” can mean. 

Here’s the beauty in this. No matter our reality, we can each be a mothering and healing presence in the lives of those around us when we take the time for our own healing. 

We can each be a mothering and healing presence in the lives of those around us when we take the time for our own healing. 

A mother isn’t meant to be perfect; a mother is simply a safe place and a person who sees, addresses concern, guides, cherishes and cultivates. It is through showing compassion and care to ourselves that we are able to turn around and give the same to other women. Healing isn’t neutral or passive. It’s powerful and it matters. 

So today, remember the beauty of your story as a woman—all the ups and downs and things you’ve worked through. Take ahold of the victories you’ve won in shaping your character and perspectives and allow your healing to overflow onto others around you. 

It is through showing compassion and care to ourselves that we are able to turn around and give the same to other women.

With love,
Sarah Dubbeldam, Darling Founder

What happens when we learn to “put our oxygen masks on first” and take time for our own healing? Who is someone in your life who has a mothering and healing presence? In what small way can you show appreciation for them today?

Image via Chloe Nostrant

Categories: BEAUTY STRETCH

Do You Believe in ‘the One’?

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A chair with greenery tied on it

I want to believe in “the one.” There’s something so romantic about it.

Maybe it’s the embarrassing number of romantic comedies I’ve watched throughout quarantine or the part of me that holds out hope for my “perfect ending,” despite my deep, familiar knowledge that perfect does not exist. However, I still want there to be a “one.” Ideally, “one” with a good job and a great sense of humor, but I digress.

I’ve heard arguments for and against the idea of “the one.” Its proponents use phrases like “soulmate” and “I knew from the moment I met him/her” that signify exclusivity, exactness and inevitability. It’s the idea that if you just wait long enough—if you hold out hope for your path to cross with that of the one for whom you were made, if, scarier still, you say no to those that don’t quite hit the mark—the stars will eventually align and you’ll meet your missing puzzle piece, your better half and so forth.

It’s the idea that if you just wait long enough…the stars will eventually align and you’ll meet your missing puzzle piece, your better half and so forth.

I find myself drawn to this perspective. I want the (growing) list of my exes to be not a symbol of failure but rather a symbol of good choices sacrificed in pursuit of the better choice. I want those endings to have meaning in light of my eventual “right” beginning. I want every breakup to signify nothing more than time well spent discovering who “the one” is not.

But throughout time as that list has grown, I’ve learned a thing or two about love that prevents these wistful thoughts of “the one” from going any further. Namely, that love is far more a choice than it is an emotion, far more action than circumstance and far more resolve than romantic ideals about destiny or fate.

Love is far more a choice than it is an emotion, far more action than circumstance and far more resolve than romantic ideals about destiny or fate.

The idea that there is one perfect person for each of us begs the question, “How do we know when we’ve found them?” And the only possible way to answer is simply to rely on our feelings.

However, feelings evolve. They change throughout time and begin to look different as relationships mature. They are tested when friction and arguments arise, and feelings are often fleeting in their nature.

As they are challenged by the inevitable conflict that healthy relationships endure, how easily would we then call into question whether this person was really “the one” after all? How quickly might our answer change if we relied only on our emotions to decide?

Love, then, has to be built on more than just feelings. Love grows not in the absence of trials, arguments or inflection points where the relationship is questioned, but because of those things. Love is shown through commitment; it’s given by the decision that says no matter what challenges arise or how feelings shift, you will continue to choose each other every day. 

Love grows not in the absence of trials, arguments or inflection points…but because of those things.

If love is marked by decision more than emotion, I can’t help but assume that finding the right partner is too. Feelings are fleeting. Resolve is far more romantic. 

It would be easier to think that there was one perfect person out there for each of us, and if we just look hard enough, we’ll surely find them. However, it is far more realistic and far more in line with everything we know to be true about love, that the hard work of pursuit, risk, trying again when your heart gets broken and resolving to stay when the going gets tough is where true romance lies. 

In the end, I’d rather know that my partner had a million choices but still chose me, instead of him not really having a choice at all. I’d rather know that he was only “the one” because I decided him to be so, and him me, than wonder if there was someone more suited still out there.

I’d rather know that my partner had a million choices but still chose me.

I’d rather rest in the fact that we’ve seen each other for all we are—good and bad—and determined that we would still choose each other, day after day, no matter what comes, than in a mystical alignment of the stars. Maybe commitment is the most romantic ending after all.

Do you or do you not believe in “the one”? How has your perspective evolved over time?

Image via Raisa Zwart Photography

Categories: BEAUTY STRETCH

The Trader Joe’s Coffee You Should Try—and the Ones You Should Skip

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While some people look forward to their weekly trip to the grocery store, I’ve always absolutely dreaded it—that is, until I fell in love with Trader Joe’s. From the cauliflower gnocchi that I lean on as a meal multiple times a week to the cookie butter that’s my ultimate treat, I’ve dabbled in just about every one of their exclusive products. But I realized recently that I hadn’t even begun to dip my toe into Trader Joe’s coffee—which felt like a sin to me as a coffee lover.

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To no one’s surprise, Trader Joe’s coffee section is pretty extensive, and from refrigerated, single-serve lattes to tons of instant coffee options, it was hard to know where to start. So I set out to accomplish the ultimate feat: trying every TJ’s coffee product I could get my hands on, so you don’t have to.

After weeks of testing and my blood pumping with caffeine, my opinions are set and I’m ready to let the world know which are worth trying, and which you should pass on. All of the coffees are ranked out of five cups, with five being the best and one being the worst. 

Ready to take fewer walks to your nearest Starbucks? Here’s my ultimate guide to all of Trader Joe’s coffee.

 

1. Organic Cold Brew (single-serving bottle)






Rating: ☕☕☕☕

I feel that of all the coffees, I am the strongest critic of cold brews. Some veer really bitter and acidic and make me feel truly ill, but when I find one that I like, I really like it. 

These little single-serving bottles are a nice treat to keep in the fridge for when you’re having one of those mornings and a regular coffee just won’t cut it. This cold brew was smooth and strong and positively lovely.

 

2. Coconut Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate





Rating: ☕☕☕

I love the idea of a coffee concentrate (you only have to use a little and then dilute it with water or milk), and this one was good without being too sweet or coconut-y. I put a splash of milk in it and it tasted like a regular coffee with a little coconut milk in it. It wasn’t my favorite, but if you like coconut, you’ll really like this.

 

3. Instant Cold Brew 





Rating: ☕☕☕

To be honest, no instant coffee is that amazing, but of all the ones I’ve tried, this one is my favorite. I’m not entirely sure what makes this instant cold brew instead of just instant coffee, but I’ve kept one of these in my apartment for the past year and find myself reaching for it quite a bit. I wouldn’t say it tastes exactly like real coffee, but I love that I can have a decent iced coffee in a pinch—no cooling required.

 

4. Cold Brew (multi-serving jug)





Rating: ☕☕

Of all of the cold brews I tried from TJ’s, this was my least favorite, but that honestly might have just been based on personal preference. Like the label says, this stuff is bold, and it was a little too much for me. If you like your coffee extra strong, you’ll really enjoy this one.

 

5. La Colombe Oatmilk Draft Latte (single-serving can)





Rating: ☕☕☕☕☕

This is obviously not Trader Joe’s brand, but they carry it at Trader Joe’s and therefore got a spot on this list. There’s a La Colombe close to our Chicago office, and their oatmilk draft latte has always been the coffee I go and get as a true treat; it is one of the best coffees I’ve ever had in my life and nothing compares. The canned version is honestly very, very similar, and if I had it my way I’d have a fridge stocked full of these and would drink one every single morning.

 

6. Organic French Roast Cold Brew Concentrate (multi-serving jug)





Rating: ☕☕☕☕☕

This was by far and large my absolute favorite find from this entire excursion. It’s another concentrate, so I did a third of this, a third water, and a third oat milk, and it was a $6 coffee experience that veered me away from Starbucks for an entire week. I ran out of this and literally stopped the next day to buy two more to keep in the fridge. It is smooth and slightly sweet and doesn’t taste too acidic, and this will be a forever staple in my fridge. I cannot sing its praises enough.

 

7. Organic French Roast





Rating: ☕☕☕☕

I’m new to the French Press life (my parents got one for me this past Christmas), and I’ve been on the hunt to find a new coffee that I really like using in it. Alas, this was it. This is an amazing ground coffee option to keep on-hand in your kitchen, and is super affordable and comes in a can, which to me is far superior to the ones that come in a bag and require other storage from me.

 

8. Cold Brew Coconut Cream Latte (single-serving can)





Rating: ☕

I don’t ever mind my coffee being on the sweeter side, but this stuff was sweet. It could not be heavier on the coconut milk and I did not enjoy it at all, even as a sweet lover. It was so creamy that it almost tasted thick, which was a bizarre experience I don’t care to have again.

 

9. 100% Colombian Instant Coffee





Rating: ☕☕☕☕

Again, instant coffee isn’t exactly a luxury, but more a necessity and a good thing to have on hand as a backup; however, on an instant-coffee scale, this was actually really good. I made it hot, and I could see myself drinking this in the fall and winter when I’m craving hot coffees rather than cold ones. If you put this in a blind test, I don’t necessarily think I’d know it was an instant coffee, and that means it’s a winner.

 

10. Ristretto Espresso Capsules (Nespresso-compatible pods)





In an utter fool’s move, I bought these not realizing they were for a Nespresso, a machine I don’t own. Therefore I will not be ranking them, but thought they were noteworthy due to the fact that I associate Nespresso pods with being something you need to order online, these are pretty affordable, and you can pick them up at Trader Joe’s.

 

11. Instant Coffee Packets with Cream and Sugar





Rating: ☕☕☕

OK, these are not great, but I still respect the hell out of them as something you can use on a road trip or trip in general when the only other option is a gas station coffee. It’s a one-and-done situation that is sometimes simply necessary, and while I wouldn’t use them when I have my kitchen available, I’m going to stick them in my glove box, and that earns major points.

 

12. French Vanilla Cold Brew (single-serving can)





Rating: ☕☕☕☕☕

My coffee flavor of choice is always vanilla, so I was extremely excited about this, and it lived up to my expectations. Besides the La Colombe (which to be fair is kind of cheating since it isn’t Trader Joe’s), this was my favorite canned/bottled coffee I found. It’s sweet enough without being too sweet, and if you put it in a glass with some ice, you can honestly trick yourself into thinking it’s a latte you got at Starbucks.

 

13. Medium Roast Coffee Cups (Keurig-compatible pods)





Rating: ☕☕☕☕

I have a Keurig and am a lover of it, but the right pods are absolutely essential. I am extraordinarily picky with them, and really only stick to a couple of go-tos, but these passed my test. They’re an absolutely lovely classic, medium-roast coffee that tastes like a brewed cup, not like it came from a Keurig, which is obviously exactly what you want.