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Give Me Some Lip…Please

Lip Plumping Gloss Will Change Your Life (Or at Least Your Thin Lips) | NextTribe

That thinning-lip thing is happening. A little research tells me the cause is a natural mid-life dip in collagen (the protein in our bodies responsible for skin strength and elasticity). Frankly, I don’t like this skinny-lip look nor the smattering of little perpendicular lines around my mouth that’s part of the bargain. The whole effect is giving me one more reason to use the F word. Enter lip plumping gloss.

I went on a search to fill ’em up, but without the bruising, the $400 price tag, and potential ducky side effects of hypodermic needles of synthetic fillers (like Restylane and Juvederm). I decided to try something a lot simpler. It’s a clear gloss with a wand by Too Faced, called Lip Injection Extreme.

Lip Plumping Gloss Will Change Your Life (Or at Least Your Thin Lips) | NextTribe

I wondered if it was just a lot of hype, but was willing to give this lip plumping gloss a whirl. Frankly, the stuff burns a bit for about 10 minutes after you apply it (as if your lips were super-chapped), probably due to the ingredient Capsicum Frutescens Resin, a chili-pepper derivative. And I got results: My lips subtly plumped up within the hour and stayed looking full for another hour or two…minus bruising and second mortgages of an in-office procedure.

One note: While the aesthetic benefits of having a juicy pout might improve your chances of being kissed, I would caution against doing so without a signed waiver from the kissee, in case you transfer the stinging stuff while smooching. Lip plumping gloss is fire.

–Hillary Quinn

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different types of tea

Tea Is Aging Boldly!

Back in the day, tea was simply the stuff with the Lipton label on it. Good, basic, but no surprises. Then, over the years, in swept the herbal varieties (Red Zinger, anyone?), the green, health-boosting versions, the rooibos (still struggling to pronounce that one …) kind, and more. We longtime and recent tea lovers rejoiced!

Now, in most cities and towns across America, there are many, many more types of tea. And some of the newest ones are worth discovering this summer. Bubble teas or boba teas are found in cafes and mall shops, offering concoctions that hail from Taiwan. They’re usually served icy cold, in tall glasses with wide straws, because along with the tea, milk, and flavorings are tapioca pearls or other jelly-like beads that add a fun, offbeat texture (at least to U.S. palates) to the drink. 

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Sweet Fun

These drinks are a fun indulgence instead of ice cream as the temperatures tick up—and when we say indulgence, that’s code for calorific. They are often blended with sweetened condensed milk instead of regular milk, bringing the calories into the 300 to 600 range! (You can ask to swap in different milks to bring it in line.) Now that we’ve shared the buzzkill details, let’s focus on the fun. Often brightly colored, these teas come in all kinds of enticing flavors. At Boba Tea KC in Kansas City, Missouri, you can sample honeydew, lychee, mango, or taro, the latter being a root vegetable.

different types of tea

Fruit tea is refreshing. YiFang offers several flavors. Image: Little Foodie/Instagram

Another kind of tea to try: Fruit tea. One chain, Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea, serves up tea with different levels of sweetness and ice, and you pick the fresh fruit that gets chopped up and added to your drink. Pineapple, passion fruit, winter melon, green plum, apples, and oranges are among the options. And if you want to go all in, you can get fruit tea with the boba/bubbles in it. Regardless of what variety you try, it’s a fun way to cool off this season and a perfect way to break out of the afternoon “Want to get an iced coffee?” rut. — Janet Siroto

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Happy Birthday to the Material Girl

Look who’s turning 60! Madonna, the world’s best-selling female recording artist and the culture-changer we all grew up with. You may not like her fake British accent but let’s recognize that not only is she showing she can pack a stadium at this life stage, but she’s also a pioneer in a million and one ways.

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