Why Do We Carve Pumpkins?

Besides inhaling handfuls of candy, carving pumpkins is the most symbolic aspect of Halloween. But as I was scooping out the slimy innards of my future jack-o-lantern — pumpkin seeds stuck on my face — I stopped and asked myself: What that hell am I doing?
Think about it: a pumpkin isn’t something that crosses our minds the other eleven months of the year. It isn’t part of our regular diet, and then ‘Weenie time come around and we go pumpkin crazy. We hollow it out, cut pieces to make it look like scary face and stick a candle in it? That’s… weird!

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An Owling Good Time

What is it about owls that make us want to collect them? Is it their sense of mystery and mythicism? Their aura of magic and darkness? (Or am I just watching too many Harry Potter movies?) Whatever the reasons may be, owls have always captured our attention, because they are beautiful creatures.
Lucky for us, there is currently a plethora of owl merchandise for us to covet. Behold five of our favorites:

1. Pigwidgeonette Earrings, Modcloth ($24). Adorable vintage-inspired earrings look absolutely cheery in bright orange. I shall name them… Orville and Petunia. They’re twins.

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Quick DIY Ecobeauty Recipes

I’m a huge fan of DIY beauty recipes, so I was excited to check out Ecobeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends ($20, Ten Speed Press). The authors are a mother-daughter team: Lauren Cox, a UCLA student who’s been making her own products for 10 years, and Janice Cox, a natural beauty and home beauty expert.
The book, which features 100 easy and earth-friendly projects (including a bonus section about making gifts out of your creations), is the perfect companion to a girls’ night. Who needs a date on Saturday when you can make your own Blueberry Antioxidant Facial Mask or Chocolate Brownie Lip Gloss? No one.

The lovely authors have allowed us to share one sample recipe, so here’s a taste of the joys that await you:

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Hear(t) It: Sissy Wish

What did I do this weekend? Well, thanks for asking! Let me tell you:
This weekend I saw the absolutely charming Sissy Wish play at NYC’s The Living Room. She’s like Bjork’s younger, less forlorn sister. Or a more sprite-like version of Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. In any case, I was smitten once she took the stage in a vest made of cassette tapes and started doing Muppet-like robot dance moves. Success!

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Subtly Scary Halloween Accessories, $20 and Under

You may have noticed that we’ve done a couple of Halloween-related posts lately. Well, that’s because Halloween is fun. I’m in favor of everyone going ALL OUT, but I do understand that some of us are a little more… subtle.
And so I present to you five accessories that will give you that hint-o-Halloween look. Because you don’t necessarily have to wear glow-in-the-dark makeup or rock Lady Gaga sparklepants to be festive next Saturday.

1. Beaded Spider Hair Bow, Blooming Bows ($11, shown). Full disclosure: I think this clip is meant for little kids, but it’s got such style (Orange organza! A beaded spider!) that I must recommend that you rock it.

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RED Hearts: Going Gaga for Halloween

RED Hearts are guests posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today.
Today’s RED Hearts post is from Charlotte Steinway, 21, reporting from Medford, MA, who ponders going Gaga for Halloween:

Though Lady Gaga is a bastion of cutting-edge style, there’s a reason that many of her signature pieces have yet to make it into the stores. I mean, what’s really the likelihood of someone being able to see out of fully rhinestoned sunglasses? And, exactly how marketable is an outfit without pants?

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Your Soundtrack For Fall

I’m just like everyone else: I read a lot of blogs. But few have my dedicated readership! One I make sure to hit every day is Skatterbrain — a music blog run by Matthew Edwards, who’s been writing about the sweet sounds of indiepop for the last four years on his persona site. One of the reasons I like his blog more than bigger web sites is because he’s just a dude who writes about music he loves. He’s like a mom and pop store I want to support.

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Teen Vogue’s Eva Chen Talks Beauty

Teen Vogue Beauty Director Eva Chen gave us her favorite low-priced beauty picks earlier this month, and now she’s dishing on her top little-known brands, what’s splurge-worthy and the best beauty advice she’s ever gotten.
I Heart Daily: What are some products that are worth splurging on?
Eva Chen: Ah, this list could potentially be as long as the drugstore list! I love SK-II anything. Seriously. Cate Blanchett’s skin is pretty amazing testimony. I always travel with these masks and use them as a pick me up. Makeup artist Pat McGrath swears by them too! Also, invest in a signature fragrance. Fragrance lasts a long time and people often form serious emotional bonds to them. So why not splurge on something beautiful from Bond No 9 or Jo Malone?

IHD: Any little known brands you love?

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Yes, Even Models Have Cellulite

This ad campaign (left) for Ralph Lauren recently made news for featuring an emaciated-looking model. I mean, she looks like the reflection in one of those fun house mirrors, or a life-size bobblehead — take your pick. Either way, it’s not attractive… or real! We hope you know this photo was heavily retouched. As are most all photos in magazines.
To get to the bottom of what “retouching” actually entails, we talked to Emily Smith*, a professional retoucher who works on the high fashion glossy images you see in magazines and ad campaigns. Emily’s worked her Photoshop skills on A-list celebrities and famous models, so she knows what they look like before they show up on your doorstep.

I Heart Daily: Break it down. When you get images in for a magazine or ad campaign, what happens?
Emily Smith: Normally, it goes to the retoucher for one round of retouching, then back to the photographer or the Creative Director for comments, then back again for more retouching.

IHD: What kinds of things do you change in a photo?
ES: Cleaning up any superficial things like zits or sometimes taking out moles or freckles, stray hairs — anything that’s distracting. If they have dark circles, cleaning up under the eyes. We take away fine lines or soften deep wrinkles if they have them. Even things like pushing in an arm or rounding pointy elbows, or thinning someone if they’re standing in an unflattering position. Also, evening out skin color, so if someone’s nose or ear is more red, you’re going to adjust that.

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