You can face map your pimples to tell you why you’re breaking out

Not all acne is the same, but have you ever noticed that some zits keeps popping up in the same few places?

Whether your acne occurs once a month or it’s decided to become a permanent resident of the United States of You, recurring blemishes can be your body’s special way of communicating with you. To find out what your acne is so desperately pleading with you, we sat down with Dr. Y. Claire Chang. A board-certified dermatologist at Union Square Dermatology in New York City, AKA a professional pimple whisperer, Dr. Chang told us how you can decode and listen to your acne.

SEE ALSO: This $7 acne gel destroys your cystic bumps in a day

All acne, whether it’s on your face or your body, can be narrowed down to the same root causes. The culprits? A blend of excess oil production, clogged pores, bacteria, and inflammation. If you keep breaking out in certain spots, it could point towards a range of things from lifestyle patterns to fluctuating hormones, so mapping your acne can be beyond helpful so you can figure out exactly what’s going on.

Forehead

If you’re past the teenage hormonal stage, forehead acne could be due to your hair – or hair products. Yep, greasy hair or oily hair pomades, gels, creams can be a major cause of breakouts. This, due to it blocking your pores or increasing bacteria on your forehead area.  “Long hair, bangs, or oily hair may exacerbate sweat and oily, clogging the pores, worsening acne,” says Dr. Chang. And completely avoiding doing your hair by wearing a hat doesn’t help, either. According to Dr. Chang, wearing caps or hats can also clog pores and trap bacteria. Yikes. To decrease your forehead acne, Dr. Chang says to wash your hair regularly (and also your dirty hats!) If that’s not helping, cut it short.  “Oftentimes, cutting the bangs shorter and avoiding hair products can treat forehead acne.” And cut out forehead acne, for good.

Chin and Jaw

Did you know your beard could be why you struggle with acne along your jaw and chin? Isn’t that so rude? If you have a beard, ingrown hairs may irritate the skin into breaking out, but shaving your beard off isn’t the answer either. Shaving can inflame the skin, even leading to infection if you’re very unlucky, which means more acne. So, what’s a guy to do? According to Dr. Chang, prevention is key. She recommends, “using a moisturizing shaving cream, using a single blade or electric razor, shaving in the direction of the hair follicle, and keeping razors sterile before use.” Prevention isn’t a perfect science, so if your break outs still continue to flare up, you could always opt for these very effective treatments such as benzoyl peroxide and tretinoin, topical steroids, and oral antibiotics.

Deep cystic acne, and sometimes small pink bumps and whiteheads, along the jawline can point towards hormonal triggers such as the menstrual cycle. In short, your period could be the reason for your monthly pimple pop ups. Although the hormone train that is your menstrual cycle can’t be completely stopped, Dr. Chang suggests slowing things down with oral contraceptive and even some forms of high blood pressure medication (oral spironolactone treatment).

Cheek and Nose

There’s nothing worse than waking up to a giant pimple in the middle of your face, but it is also one of the most common areas people break out in. One downside to how common cheek and nose acne are is that there are many different causes for the breakouts. The most likely reason, however, probably has to do with the fact the notoriously pesky T-Zone runs through your cheeks and nose. The T-Zone, where most people get shiny and greasy throughout the day, produces an excessive amount of oil and sebum. Your over-achieving oil glands make the cheek and nose area more vulnerable to clogged pores and acne. An quick and easy solution? “Avoid bacteria buildup by washing your pillow and bed sheets frequently, which can touch the skin while you sleep and flare the acne,” Dr. Chang advises.

Back, Shoulder, and Chest

According to Dr. Chang, the shoulder, back, and chest are areas with high concentrations of sebaceous glands.Unfortunately, this means they’re more prone to acne, just like the T-Zone. An obvious issue is puberty because your hormones cause higher levels of oil production in the sebaceous glands. Although you can’t fast-forward through puberty, simple swaps like opting for loosely fitting clothes rather than tight ones can make a big difference. Sweating during exercise or in the summer can also contribute to body acne, so be sure to immediately, and I mean immediately, get out of your sweaty clothes when you’re done at the gym or when you get home and shower. Why not make it a luxurious shower with your favorite shower gel and fancy shampoo while you’re at it? It’s not like you don’t deserve it! When breakouts still occur, which they could because you’re human, Dr. Chang says, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial medications can help significantly with chest and back acne. So take that salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide wash and use it stat!

Butt

Everybody’s favorite past time, Netflix in bed, could be contributing to acne on your tush. Unfortunately for us, “sweating and sitting for long periods of time can clog the pores,” Dr. Chang shared with us. Clogged pores, as we all know by now, increase susceptibility to breakouts. Ass acne (which will now be known as assne) can also come from folliculitis. What is folliculitis? Simply put, it’s an inflammation of the hair follicles that is commonly caused by bacterial infections or from shaving. To combat this, don’t skimp on the soap down there, and if you shave for a bare butt, be sure to follow the crucial steps you would when shaving your face. Use a nourishing shaving cream, sterilize your razor, and go forth.

Our Takeaways

While some acne can be easily remedied with simple solutions such as showering after the gym or prepping your skin before shaving, recurring blemishes can also have internal causes such as hormones. Although hormones aren’t something you can control, they are something you can regulate with the help of a doctor. Even still, Dr. Yang’s recommendation may not work for everyone, but there’s no need to worry because not every single breakout is one that needs to be banished. Acne is nothing to be ashamed of because it is something everybody deals with. Whether your skin is flaring up in breakouts or you’re having the clearest skin day in weeks, you are still you and you are still incredible.

Reporting by Blair Cannon

How Lord Jones became the biggest CBD brand on the market

And in the sixth year, the Lord said, “Let there be light.”

Well, Lord Jones, that is. The CBD brand, which launched in 2013 – and best known for its colorful gumdrops – is now one of the most recognizable in a crowded market of cannabis products. The brand made a major step when it was Sephora’s first-ever CBD brand to land inside brick and mortar stores, a major signifier that cannabis was on its way to becoming destigmatized. And Tuesday, the brand announced it would be available in all 171 Sephora locations with its bestselling CBD Formula Body Lotion, Body Oil and new Royal Oil.
So how did the brand do it?
For one, Lord Jones was one of the firsts to develop cannabis products in California by working directly with those who experienced ailments. Its founder, Robert Rosenheck, created a non-profit wellness collective and soon discovered how effective cannabis was. “We discovered the healing and wellness properties of cannabis and had patients of all walks of life with a variety of issues,” he tells Very Good Light. These included those with serious conditions such as cancer, AIDS, autoimmune diseases, migraines and chronic pain.
After creating confections, supplements and skincare for his patients, he realized it was the CBD and not the THC that they wanted. A few iterations later, Robert realized just how effective CBD was for alleviating major pain. It’s then that he decided to dedicate himself to destigmatizing cannabis and creating an aspirational brand to appeal to others in need.
Lord Jones

(Photo by Lord Jones)

Cannabis is complex and our understanding of CBD and the other constituent compounds in the plant comes from working directly with patients who suffered from serious conditions,” he tells us. “This work changed our lives and is the heart of everything we do.”
It’s what he says distinguishes Lord Jones from all other products on the market. Though he admits they’re known for their chic Hermes-orange packaging, Robert says it’s really the product that speaks for itself. But in an Instagram universe, of course aesthetics only help. 
The brand became an almost overnight sensation when it released its gumdrops. Coming in beautiful orange square boxes, the nine beautiful CBD-filled jellies seem almost irresistible. It’s what brings people to recognize the brand and allows customers an easy entry point into discovering its other offerings.
Like the brand’s lotion, which gained an immediate cult following in Hollywood. It was after celebrities began applying the product to their feet before walking the red carpet to alleviate pain, that Lord Jones was cemented into the zeitgeist of beauty culture.
Since, the brand’s launched at Sephora online in October, was the first CBD product to launch in all SoulCycle doors in March of this year as well as all Sephora brick and mortar stores starting yesterday. Its newest offering is the Royal Oil, which comes at 1,000mg per bottle. With such potent CBD, it’s said to relieve pain almost instantly.
Lord Jones

(Photo by Lord Jones)

In terms of best uses of CBD, Robert says it differs person to person. “Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different and dosage can vary by individual in order to achieve desired benefit,” he says.We are constantly discovering new ways to utilize the product from our consumers. As a pre/post work out recovery tool, sleep aid, anxiety reducer and pain reliever. It’s a blessing for us to make these natural, plant-based remedies available to people seeking alternatives to chemical pharmaceuticals.”
Though it may seem as if CBD is a passing trend, Robert begs to differ. He says the ingredient is here to stay. “Cannabis is ancient medicine that has been used around the world for centuries,” he says. “We are in the midst of a revolution: the mainstreaming of cannabis. It’s a wellness revolution. It’s an economic revolution. It’s a social justice revolution and it’s a revolution of consciousness.”

I wrapped up like a Chipotle burrito in the name of beauty

There I remained, by body wrapped up in tin foil like I was a human-sized burrito, Chipotle to be exact.

Brackish sweat dripping into my eyes, my body steaming under the heat from the steaming blanket, which was comforting in how heavy it was, I somehow started visualizing what I’d become. A physical manifestation of a white man’s version of Mexican food. It was here that I must have started hallucinating as all I could envision was salty lime-juiced rice, the crunch of lettuce in-between a hearty bite of chicken and hearty black beans.

SEE ALSO: I’ve been using Biologique Recherche P50 for two months and WOW!

Was I in heaven or was this hell – or both?

As it turned out, neither. I was at a French spa, one that was as bougie as it was exclusive. No, this wasn’t Halloween and I wasn’t trying to score a free burrito. Rather, I was wrapped up in a heavy heated blanket at a spa called Daphne. Tucked away on an unassuming corner on a side street in Little Italy, it’s the go-to spa for celebrities and editors who know beauty.  What makes it the most charming is perhaps how no-frills and no bull shit the entire business is. Step into the spa and you won’t get a sterile, gleaming or luxurious experience but one with two rooms met by a front desk.

Sweating so intensely feels weirdly liberating.

This French spa isn’t just any spa either. It’s one of the only to be able to carry the highly coveted Biologique Recherche, a brand that’s beloved by celebs to beauty obsessives. Every single product used in these chic facials is from the Biologique Recherche brand, which helps explain the steep price tag. The average for 60 minutes is $225. That’s like, 20+ burritos.

I decided to go with the spa’s signature body treatment, The Glow, one of the most popular “results-driven” treatments from Daphne. Apparently, it’s the go-to treatment for celebrities when they’re in a pinch, especially for red carpet appearances or events like tonight’s Met Gala. It not only slims your figure, provides you with a more tone, but you detoxify in the process. An added benefit: you also get a mini “lifting” facial. That’s right: As your body is simmering in intense heat, your face is getting pampered with a non-surgical lift. It’s an all-in-one situation, which makes the price sting just a little less.

Daphne Spa

(Photo by David Yi/Very Good Light)

The entire experience took a lot of patience. For one, you feel as if you are experiencing the most intense fever of your life, sweating from everywhere under a blanket as you weave in and out of consciousness. It’s almost as if you’re stuck inside a crowded, swampy New York City subway station. Except instead of another man’s sweat dripping on your arm (ew!), all that sweat is yours.

Sweating so intensely feels weirdly liberating. It’s almost as if you’re a wet rag being rinsed into a kitchen sink, with all liquid be drenched out of your pores, all of your past sins swirling into a drain. Being forced to emit what seems like a gallon of sweat makes you feel as if you’ve achieved some kind of life achievement, almost like you bore a child into the world. Except you literally had to do nothing at all – just lay there, wiping salt away from your eyes, remain breathing and alive.

(Photo by David Yi/ Very Good Light)

After the 60-minute mark, it was time to unwrap my body to unravel my sweating corpse. As it unfolded, steam began to rise as if my soul had decided to finally leave this world in a cloud of shrouded salt. My hands and feet pruned, my legs completely soaked, I was taken aback when I found a pool of hot liquid. Horrified, I questioned if said liquid was actually expired from my own bladder (I confirmed later it was not!).

(Photo by David Yi/ Very Good Light)

As I wiped my body off, my head dizzy, albeit lighter, from the experience, I peered into a mirror. My face was sanguine, my body felt toned and I definitely had a shimmering glow. It’s as if sweating this month revealed a more taught, more beautiful me. The Glow treatment definitely gave me an instant slimming effect, my cheeks were more sallow and my legs more muscular. But more so, the wrap provided me with a newfound respect for Chipotle burritos everywhere.

After leaving the spa, an easier pep to my step, I felt refreshed, renewed and celebrated at – you guessed it – Chipotle, my complexion as beautifully plump as ever, glowing under the New York City sun. I’d finally reached the peak of my existence and I was going to bask in my glory.

For more information on Daphne Studio, go here

I tried nootropics or ‘smart drugs’ to see if it made me like, smart.

When you’re deemed “the smart one,” there’s absolutely no winning.

Especially when you’re actually not that smart.

Such was the case for me – the lone Asian in school – who was unfairly called “smarty.” I guess I looked the part with my gapped teeth, coke bottle glasses and bowl cut with a constant RBF that others perceived as “thinking.” In retrospect all of this, was, of course, racist.

SEE ALSO: Science confirms you look uglier without sleep. Here’s how to get your best rest. 

Regardless, I relished in this rumor that my brain was actually bigger than it was, my neurons jolting with lightning-fast speed. I’d repeat facts about Greek mythology with ease (did you know Hercules was actually half human?), or teach my peers about what Sea Monkeys really were (brine shrimp!) and teach a few Korean words (annyeong is both hello and goodbye!). But my achilles heel – and my eventual downfall – was math. Curses, math, curses. A very useless form of language created by much more intelligent people than me, was my nemesis, and one who’d eventually snatch my wig.

It was a Monday afternoon when Mr. Capp, my third grade teacher who I swear was onto my act, called on me to solve a long division equation. That’s when shit hit the fan, my friends. In a single instant, my inability to solve 225/9 (it’s 25, according to my iPhone’s calculator!) revealed to the class that uh, yeah, I wasn’t as smart as they’d been led to believe. No longer was David Yi “David Smart-Yi.” Rather, I became … “David Dumb-yi.” True story.

(Photo by David Yi/ Very Good Light)

Maths. I am completely, utterly, embarrassingly horrible at math and totally, completely – mortifyingly – confused with numbers. Still. It’s to the point where the other day, my friend pointed out in a story how I incorrectly divided a figure FOR ALL TO SEE. It behooves me that I actually worked as a business reporter at Women’s Wear Daily, scamming all of those editors into thinking that I was good at dissecting graphs and figures. Pays to be Asian, suckers!

And so the other month when I came across the ‘smart drug’ known as a ‘nootropic’ I gagged. The pill, Greek for “to bend the mind,” is an over-the-counter drug that boosts memory, creativity, concentration or any other high-level brain function. Basically, it’s like adderall – but more natural.

You might have also come across nootropics in the past few months. It’s the beauty and wellness industry’s next “big ingredient,” one that’s projected to be a $11 billion industry by 2024. No wonder that brands ranging from Moon Juice, the new beverage company Kin Euphorics, Sakary Life, The Nue Co and more are getting into nootropics.

Nootropics are a mixture of antioxidants, lipids, vitamins and more that have been linked to better brain function. It’s such a broad word that any stimulant drug from adderall, dexedrine, caffeine, nicotine and more are considered to be a nootropic. The ones on the market, of course, aren’t technically drugs, rather considered as ‘supplements.’

Sakara Life’s Nootropic Chocolates use L-theanine, an ingredient that is said to boost concentration and blood flow to the brain. The Nue Co’s Nootro-Focus includes L-theanine as well with a mix of lion’s mane mushroom, ginkgo, bacopa and more – all ingredients linked to brain health. Of course, we need to take all of this with a grain of salt as there isn’t conclusive evidence that suggests these claims are 100% true.

Nevertheless, I tested The Nue Co’s Nootro-Focus for an entire week to see if I can actually become smarter. Here’s what I concluded after a week ingesting two Nootro-Focus pills a day.

(Photo by David Yi/ Very Good Light)

One thing you need to know is this: no drug or supplement is going to make you smarter. It can increase concentration and productivity, which then could lead to retaining more information, but nothing will make your IQ raise but a hundred points. Knowing this, I went into testing these supplements with a very open mind. Like, I wasn’t going to become Pete Buttigieg tomorrow.

Usually, my working process is a little (okay, a lot!) scattered. I multi-task like a beast and am constantly writing stories, switching to social media, getting back to texts, reading an unrelated story, then going back to finishing said story. It takes me three times longer to finish one story than it should. Concentrating on one-single thing at a time is quite difficult for me.

The first day taking two Nootro-Focus supplements didn’t really do anything at first. I didn’t feel more productive nor did I feel my brain boosting. The Nue Co suggested in an email that I wait for around 30-60 minutes to see results. “You’ll find it easier to concentrate on tasks without distraction,” they wrote me. Taking the supplement for an extended period of time, they said, “increases production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the compound that fuels the brain by 13.6% in six weeks and increases the formation of brain cell membranes by 26%.”

All of that data talk made my brain hurt. I went back to writing and as the clock passed an hour, I realized I’d finished a story and had hit publish. The next day, I took two supplements and went off to work. I didn’t feel jitters or any sudden pang of inspiration, no, but I did feel super productive. Was this a placebo effect or was the nootropics actually effective?

The Nue Co claims that it’s actually the nootropics working. “Our formula includes ingredients to improve concentration such as rhodiola which is a powerful adaptogen that aids your body’s reaction to stress, whilst also reducing anxiety,” they explained to me in an email. “A combined total of fifteen studies have concluded that Rhodiola can positively impact both mental and physical performance. Further research suggests that Rhodiola can increase attention to detail-oriented tasks by improving concentration.” Okurrrr then.

At the end of an entire week, five stories published and many other things accomplished, I felt as if I was much faster at work. But was it the nootropic that allowed me to become more productive or was it simply that my brain thought it was smarter? Like, could I have swallowed a ‘smart Skittle’ that claimed the same things with a similar outcome?

While I don’t know if these nootropics 100% worked for me, I can attest that taking them – and at least feeling as if my brain was boosted – did have a positive outcome on my productivity. Better question: Can you trick your brain into believing it’s smarter? If so, I think I can now do math.

BUY The Nue Co’s Nootro-Focus, $85. 

Don’t let ‘cannabis’ within the beauty industry fool you.

Using CBD is like the opposite of Fight Club.

If you use it, everyone already knows. In any case, you’re not alone in your enthusiasm. After all, CBD boasts many benefits for your skin and for your mental health.

SEE ALSO: Why the beauty industry is obsessed with CBD

But not all cannabis products are actually CBD or contain THC, the psychoactive that gets you high. Some brands that tout cannabis aren’t being so transparent and are capitalizing on this entire green movement. CBD is really confusing because marketers aren’t doing their best to provide information to consumers. Whether a product has CBD, THC or hemp oil makes a huge difference in the outcome of your beauty experience.

As a single ingredient, CBD sounds magical. Studies have shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory effects and can calm down your skin as well. The oil is nourishing, has plenty of vitamins and can give you an instant, healthy glow. But there’s also so much confusion when it comes to the actual oil. So popular is cannabis, the industry now projects that the market will reach $16 billion by 2025, with beauty being a huge part of it.

By now,  you’ve probably used a product or three with “cannabis” on the label. But did it work for you? Did you find it to be anti-inflammatory or something that lessened your anxiety? If not, it’s probably because the product you’re using has zero CBD in it at all.

To understand CBD, one must understand that not all products are made equal. Hemp oil, for instance, is legal everywhere where as marijuana isn’t. To be considered hemp, a product can only have up to .3% of THC, the ingredient that gets people high. While these hemp oils have low THC, it has a high level of CBD, the ingredient that many have heralded as being an amazing anti-inflammatory ingredient. CBD is amazing for skin because it not only has said properties, it also contains essential fatty acids and vitamins A, D and E, all incredible ingredients for keeping your skin beautifully nourished.

But even if you have CBD oil, it doesn’t mean it’s exceptional as a single ingredient. “Not all CBD is created equal,” says Emily Heitman, the CMO and COO of LEEF Organics, to Very Good Light. “With the popularity of CBD you have those only seeking dollars vs. efficacy, taking advantage of a pure marketing play and human desire to live a healthier life.” What’s important, is seeing where your CBD is sourced from and whether it says “full spectrum” on the late or not. This is important, Emily says, because CBD products that aren’t lack the efficacy as those that do.

This means that products ranging from Peter Thomas Roth’s Green Releaf Sleep Cream, Herbivore’s Emerald oil, Kiehl’s Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate are as edgy as drinking coffee out of a plastic straw.

“Science shows that full spectrum is where the efficacy is at,” she says. “Remember, the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Possibly the biggest thing to look out for, though, is the word “Cannabis sativa seed oil,” a tricky marketing term that capitalizes off of the CBD movement but has zero CBD at all. Cannabis sativa seed oil comes from the seed and not the plant, whereas CBD comes from the actual plant. In fact, the term “cannabis sativa seed oil” is actually just another name for hemp seed oil, which you’ve heard for years. It’s the ingredient that’s been found in crunchy, outdoorsy brands sold in-stores or at farmer’s markets, for years. While hemp seed oil has no CBD properties, it does provide you with an amazing supply of beautiful non-comedogenic oil.

This means that products ranging from Peter Thomas Roth’s Green Releaf Sleep Cream, Herbivore’s Emerald oil, (the brand also has a full spectrum CBD version here!), Kiehl’s Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate are as edgy as drinking coffee out of a plastic straw.

(Photo Courtesy Lime Crime)

To end, DO NOT FALL for “cannabis” products, folks. Brands are coming out daily with new ones that will make you think you’re getting some CBD or THC benefits when you’re not at all. Just today, Lime Crime dropped its new campaign with a new liquid lipstick, Lip Blaze. It may seem that the product has marijuana in it by the product’s name or campaign, but nah, it just has cannabis sativa seed oil. Which, as we know, is as edgy as eating granola.

This skincare brand is all about glowing on and offstage

A professional stage dancer faces many skincare problems that most normals don’t.

There’s the intense, thick and oily stage makeup (which, apparently is sometimes toxic), the harsh skincare ingredients to get rid of the sludge afterwards, as well as the upkeep of your face in general to look its best. It’s no wonder then, that most stage actors or performers have the most practical skincare hacks.

SEE ALSO: How Credo became the Sephora of clean beauty

It’s this reason that Jordan Samuel Pacitti, a former professional ballet dancer himself, launched his own eponymous skincare brand. The line of serums, cleansers, moisturizers and more, are now a staple for professional dancers to athletes like Adam Rippon. It’s also probably the one skincare brand that caters to the needs of dancers – strong enough for the stage and effective off.

“I was developing products that were inspired by all the tips and tricks I learned from ballerinas,” says Jordan to Very Good Light. “This is a true passion project. The names. The inspiration. It’s all from my life as a dancer.” This comes in the form of his cleanser, called The After Show, $20, that’s a gel-to-oil formula with olive, jojoba and grape seed oils, The Matinee Gel Cleanser, $28, made of chamomile and cucumber, Performance Cream, $38, among others.

Each of the products are inspired by Jordan’s years of professional ballet experience. The founder has been dancing since he was 8-years old and eventually took up ballet by 11. At the ripe age of 15, he moved to train at the School of American Ballet in NYC, the country’s most prestigious school. He’d graduate and go onto perform at Pacific Northwest Ballet for 11-years.

It was during his performing experience where he realized the astronomical prices of skincare products. “The buy-ins for most skincare lines to use in facials are astronomical,” he says. “I figured if I’m going to invest that much I might as well invest in myself and my own brand.”

He eventually launched his brand with the mantra that it was supposed to calm and soothe skin and to be used as everyday treatments. It was also supposed to be very affordable. “It’s doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive,” he says. “Self-care is not about gender. Men are coming around to the idea.”

Ultimately, he says that his brand is all about being inclusive of everyone. It’s no frills, no fuss and straightforward, he says. “This is for someone who is looking for a great routine but has fallen for too many gimmicks. We want to treat skin. Everyone deserves to have the healthiest skin.”

For more Jordan Samuel, check out jordansamuelskin.com 

If Wong Kai Wai’s ‘In the Mood for Love’ had a smell, it’d be this

In the mood for love

(Photograph: Allstar/Cinetext/Jet Tone Production)

There’s a pivotal scene in Wong Kai Wai’s masterpiece, In the Mood for Love, when Chow Mo-wan (played by Tony Leung) takes a puff of his cigarette next to slight-shouldered Su Li-Zhen (played by Maggie Cheung).

SEE ALSO: WTF is the difference between colognes, perfumes, eau de toilettes and more? 

Set in 1962 Hong Kong, the entire scene is breathtakingly beautiful as it is painfully subdued. There’s not much said, but the tension is real. The scene takes place outside of a building mixed with gray concrete and dusty brick, with paraphernalia plastered all over. It’s juxtaposed with Li-Zhen’s colorful floral cheongsam and dangling earrings. She leans on the wall, looks away from the man she feels a deep connection to, and remains still. Mo-wan inhales his cigarette and there’s so much that is said without any actual conversation.

The tension is piercing as Director Wong uses cinematography that’s saturated and seductive. Both are connected by their spouses, who have been both having extramarital with each other. They, too, begin developing strong feelings toward each other in a movie that’s full of forbidden love, lust and caution.

Byredo Rose Noir

(Photo by David Yi/Very Good Light)

I think about this pivotal scene time and time again and how extraordinary it is to find the wonder – and power – of what isn’t seen or heard, but felt. It’s the feeling I receive when I use a perfume or fragrance oil, one that takes me back to a specific time in history. This visceral reaction happened when I first spritzed Byredo’s Rose Noir onto my skin for the first time. Its notes of damask rose, delicate and subtle, is soft and barely there at first spray. It’s only until it settles that it becomes darker, potent and decadent. This happens with the fragrance having fresh top notes of grapfruit and freesia, which are light, middle notes of rose damascena, its very floral scene and then with a foundational base notes comprising of moss, musk and cistus.

The result: a fragrance that builds on its seduction throughout the day. I imagine this is exactly what Mo-wan smelled in the air when he was in Li-Zhen’s presence. At first sweet and light, the smell blooms into a dark fragrance with a lot of depth.

Byredo’s own description is perhaps best: “A traditional olfactory rose, the Damascena, is made potent and contemporary once again by darkening its character,” it says. “Rose Noir becomes a decadent, dirty rose with an intense and animal quality.” The latter, exactly encapsulating the feelings of both characters who suppressed their emotions and lust for so long that they ended up withering away, like a rose on the last day of summer.

Whenever I spritz this, I recall that powerful scene and wonder if either characters ever expressed their devotion to each other – and it’s heartbreaking.

BUY Byredo’s Rose Noir, HERE, $165 1. 7 fl oz

There’s a new startup that wants to easily cure your migraines.

A few times a month I get a really bad headache.

It’s triggered by technology, light, dehydration – or all of the above – and forces me to go into hiding for a few hours. Not until recently did I discover that some of these headaches were actually migraines, pain so debilitating that when triggered, can disrupt my entire day. But my migraine isn’t as bad as my sister, Jamie’s, whose head throbs throughout the day even after taking a few migraine pills or my friend Ben, who takes preventative medicine so that he can live a relatively normal life. Mine mostly throbs for a few hours, dissipates and then goes away in less than 48 hours.

SEE ALSO: Does this new Lord Jones CBD oil work or is it just cool? 

Which is one reason why a new startup called Cove, from Thirty Madison – the same company that Keeps is under – is now readily available. The company is all about migraine treatment through affordable solutions and seeing a doctor over a virtual consultation. The brand, which launched a few months ago, is the brainchild of Steven Gutentag and Demetri Karagas, ex-Google employees who launched Keeps after also launching a successful home cleaning service company. The two hope that Cove will help solve migraine treatment altogether – something that over 36 million people suffer from.

According to the American Migraine Foundation, it’s scarily common, with a billion people worldwide suffering from migraines every year – now the third biggest disease in the world. Research has found that genetic, sex, environmental factors such as the weather, can all play a role in your migraine pain while others have found that chemical imbalances in the brain can also be involved.

Migraines are also one of the oldest recorded ailments, with Egyptians having recorded their own painful headaches as far as 1200 B.C. Hippocrates, the Greek physician, observed in 400 B.C. how flashing lights, blurred vision can provoke a migraine. The very term, comes from the Latin word “hemicranial” meaning “half skull” a term that describes pain felt across one side of the head.

One of the problems both Steven and Demetri want to solve is making migraine consultations and treatment as easy as possible. The brand’s name, Cove, perfectly describes what the company is trying to do. “A cove is a protected place and shelter from the tumultuous sea,” says Steven to Very Good Light. “We wanted to convey a sense of safety and relief to our customers, migraine sufferers who’ve struggled to find support or a treatment plan.”

What both found in their research was that healthcare was “fractured and disconnected” with consumers responsible for their care. Meaning, if your insurance doesn’t cover a certain drug or if it doesn’t come in generic, you could be paying insane amounts for medicine. “Cove is bringing all of the components of treatment and care together as a single brand to give both customers and doctors a holistic view of and control over migraine care,” Steven says.

It all works through a virtual consultation from your phone. It’s pretty standard asking for your personal information, your triggers, how many times you get a migraine. But it also has a video component where you’re required to film yourself closing your eyes while touching your nose. Personally, it felt kind of embarrassing and awkward AF to know someone would see this, but allows doctors to see if there’s a bigger underlying problem you’re experiencing.

Which comes to many doctors who are skeptical – and fearful – of over-the-phone diagnoses. In an article in Forbes last year, doctors talked about how dangerous they felt this could be. “I don’t see how a telemedicine evaluation can completely rule out the possibility of an underlying dangerous cause of headache,” said Dr. Elizabeth Loder, chief of the division of headache and pain at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an associate professor at Harvard. “The rare times where they’re wrong, it could be really dangerously wrong.”

The brand came back with their own statement saying that Cove was simply the first step in migraine relief.  “The Cove consultation, developed in consult with neurologists and headache experts, delves extensively into questions around each patient’s headache history and symptoms, among other things,” they said. “This is designed to identify potential cases that may require additional in-person testing.”

With all of that considered, Cove does provide real relief at affordable prices. Consultations are $30 with a real professional, while all drugs are generic, like naproxen, sumatriptan or riztriptan are all $25 a month. First month is free for new users.

While Cove is a pretty easy experience, since it has to do with your own personal health, we suggest you use it with caution. Read about the process yourself and discuss this with a physician before proceeding. “We first recommend speaking with your Cove physician for treatments specific to your migraine conditions,” Demetri tells us. “Consumers can also manage their migraines by finding ways to cope with stress and stressors in their life, learning more about their migraine triggers, and developing a consistent sleep routine.” Actually pinpointing your migraine trigger, well, that sounds like a headache.

To get Cove, head here.