In all seriousness, as a licensed esthetician, I take skincare and what I put on my face very seriously. I have tried countless cleansers, and the Youth To The People Superfood Cleanser is by far my favorite one. But with a price tag of $36, it can be hard to work it into the budget. Here are some of our favorite dupes that have similar benefits toYouth To The People’s Superfood Cleanser.
Staying with our greens, Truly Beauty offers a similar gel cleanser featuring key ingredients similar to the YTTP one. The dupe uses the same superstars as Youth To The People’s: aloe to soothe, spirulina extract to fight aging, vitamin E to protect, and green tea extract to calm. A bonus ingredient: CBD extract, which fights inflammation and redness.
Derma E’s dupe is loaded with antioxidant duo Chamomilla recutita flower and green tea extract, which, when combined, leave your pores feeling refreshed and revitalized after each wash – aka, the exact same thing Youth To The People’s OG cleanser does. We mention this one specifically for sensitive skin as it is alcohol and fragrance-free while having great soothing ingredients like allantoin and aloe!
This gentle cleanser uses the same calming green tea extract and protective vitamin E, while also adding a tri-ceramide complex that boosts skin moisture levels that balance your complexion. This product is ideal for dry skin because it gently cleanses and exfoliates skin with lactic acid, while still giving nourishment back via those skin-barrier, moisture-lovin’ ceramides. Add in brightening licorice extract, and you’ll be glowing.
Oily and acne-prone skin, rejoice – we’ve found a product with strong astringent agents! Just like Youth To The People’s Superfood, Pacifica’s Cleanser features the same moisturizing Vitamin B5 and collagen-encouraging kale extract to leave the skin feeling refreshed after a foamy wash. Citric acid and lemon peel will dry out oily skin while effectively tightening pores to reveal a clear and even complexion!
Calling all combination skin pals: if you have hyperpigmentation, be sure to check this one out! Selfless by Hyram’s YTTP cleanser dupe uses a gentle foaming formula that goes on the skin bubbly and leaves it smooth. Made using green tea extract for calming and unclogging, it’ll leave your skin feeling fresh and clean when mixed with power plant Centella extract, which aids in regenerating and rejuvenating the skin.
If you love a fragranced product and it doesn’t irritate your skin, this has a fantastic scent that reviewers call “refreshing.” Aside from the fragrance, this cleansing foam from Innisfree ~is free~ from parabens, phthalates, and sulfates! Using a special Jeju green tea, this cleanser foams on the skin, drawing out impurities by unclogging pores and fighting traces of acne. The grand reveal: an even complexion!
If you’re a loyal QUILL reader, you already know how much we love the Peace Out Blemish Balm – Marissa wrote an entire review on it! This creamy Youth To The People dupe will leave your skin spotless and smooth: using our favorite BHA, salicylic acid, feel the exfoliation anhen, rehydrate with hydrating niacinamide, moisture-locking hyaluronic acid, and an 8-amino acid complex. Reminder: those amino acids make up collagen, which helps with elasticity and firmness – major bonuses in a cleanser!
As someone with a bunch of tattoos (how many times can I say this without sounding like I’m obsessed? Okay, I’m obsessed), I know firsthand the importance of unscented soap, lotion, and body wash. That fragrance shit on open wounds? Yeah, I’ll pass.
But fragrance-free isn’t just for tattoos. Sometimes you just don’t feel like smelling like eucalyptus and lavender, or your skin is sensitive and soap will just irritate it even more.
Unscented soap can be hard to come by, unless we’re talking antibacterial – not always the most ideal, especially with dry skin. So, I’m here with fragrance-free soaps that will get you clean without smelling like a perfume shop.
This is the OG soap that every tattoo artist, dermatologist, and pediatrician recommends, because it’s sensitive to skin with its ingredients and totally unscented. Instead of “Parfum,” the list includes a nourishing moisturizer cream, making it hypoallergenic. Plus, the soap bar is sustainable, as you’re removing a plastic container from the equation. Come on, how can you deny that the universal fav is the best?
Castile, the classic. While the name may make you shudder, conjuring up memories of dry hands after doing the dishes, I promise they’ve got this sh*t on lock. The All-In-One Soap Pouch doesn’t contain drying ingredients; quite the opposite, actually! Just check out the oil-balancing jojoba oil, ultra-nourishing olive oil, and protective vitamin E, which all work together to give you clean – but not squeaky – skin.
We love a good 2-in-1 hair and body wash, because who doesn’t love convenience (cough showers when you forget to buy shampoo)? Totally fragrance free, you’ll find nourishing ingredients for your skin like coconut, which calms inflammation and irritation; shea butter, which conditions; and oat flour, which gently unclogs pores to fight acne. Vegan and cruelty-free, it’s ethical, efficient, unscented ANTI-soap at its finest.
Oh, baby, we love a good unscented soap from Dr. Bronner – aka, this right here. It’s certified fair trade, so ethically, you’re doing a good deed by purchasing this soap specifically. It’s also amazing for the environment, as it’s biodegradable, made with natural and vegan ingredients, and won’t harm the environment or your skin in the process of cleansing.
Two ingredients. Yep, count ‘em: TWO. Read the reviews, and people can’t get enough of Alaffia’s African Black Soap, and it’s for good reason: shea butter is beyond nourishing, and palm kernel oil is an amazing source of protective and reparative vitamin E. Put the two together, and your skin is hydrated, healed, and clean without a single smell.
The basis of this soap… okay, yep, that was cheesy. But seriously: the foundation of this soap is completely scentless. Made for the most sensitive skin, it soothes and moisturizes rather than stripping and drying out skin. It’s all thanks to its star ingredients, the calming chamomile and soothing aloe, which work to stop hydration from rinsing down the drain.
3-in-1. Yeah, use it on your body, as shampoo, or as a bubble bath. It’s filled with organic herbs, but none of them will give this soap-shampoo-bubble-bath a scent. Instead, calendula acts as an antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory, while chamomile and aloe come to soothe even the most irritated skin. Sensitive skin can rejoice, because it really is a Charlie-and-the-Chocolate-Factory-worthy good egg.
Lume’s deodorant has blown up, and we’re equally excited for their fragrance free bar soap. No artificial fragrance, and no essential oils to give it a “natural”-but-fragrant smell. It lathers up, but there are no SLS in there (or parabens, or phthalates, or artificial dyes, or aluminum, or… you get it). It’s like standard bar soap, but without all the bad stuff that makes them standard bar soaps.
Tara raves about Cetaphil to us and how useful it is for her skin, and we trust her wholeheartedly – after all, her reviewshaven’t led us astray yet! Cetaphil’s Cleansing Bar is perfect for dry, sensitive skin that just can’t handle soap, but needs a soap-like cleanse. It’s filled with nourishing ingredients like hydrating glycerin, and even dermatologists can’t recommend it enough.
Mermaid Marissa recommends goat milk soap as a healthy, eco-friendly alternative to your standard bar soap. So… here it is! Made with Fresh Canadian Goat Milk (are Canadian goats better? Idk, someone please let me know though), the nutrients are unmatched: vitamins A and B, potassium, zinc, and selenium come together in an unscented fashion to give you a cleanse that doesn’t smell like a thing OR affect the moisture barrier. Hydration = locked in.
We love Native’s deodorant, and their fragrance-free soap is just as good. Nothing is more annoying than leftover residue that makes your skin feel a lil ick, so Native said “nah” and chose ingredients that wouldn’t do that. Examples: coconut oil, water, and glycerin, which all hydrate without leaving suds post-shower. Shea butter is also included to nourish your skin, giving an all-around positive cleansing experience.
While technically advertised as a face bar, you can use this unscented soap on your entire body. You have two options here: lather up and rinse, or lather up and wait, letting it sit on your body and form a mask. Either way, you’ll end up clean as hell without feeling dried out. The secret: ingredients like castor, coconut, and olive oils, plus shea butter and bentonite clay.
It’s true – navigating your sexuality is hard. I was in middle school when I first realized that I was bisexual, and coming to terms with that identity was a hard thing to express. Why? I just didn’t know how. So, the first thing I did was take a look at other bisexual people’s outfits and incorporate their fashion aesthetic into my own wardrobe. (Bisexual stereotypes where?)
As a person in general, I like to wear my heart on my sleeve for the most part. After realizing that I resonated with the LGBTQ+ community, I wanted to feel comfortable with that, too. I like changing up my look to reflect my core characteristics, so learning into the bisexual aesthetic was not only comfortable, but affirming.
If you’re like me, and you’re simply looking to “look the part” to feel more comfortable, I’ve racked up types of clothing based on bisexual stereotypes. Of course, I’m not tossing around the term ‘stereotype’ negatively; sometimes, it helps others identify themselves more closely if you put a positive spin on it. It did for me!
Stereotypes always evolve and change over the years. Our list concerning the “bisexual aesthetic” is centered more from 2021 and onward. Without further ado, let’s get into: bisexual fashion.
Clothing: The Bisexual Basics
Bisexual individuals know how to revamp basically any kind of outfit; that’s because they’ve mastered the outfit basics. You should opt to own some high quality, simple pieces that can easily be layered with other pieces of clothing or accessories.
The key here is the shape of your clothing. While the style of your basics are elementary, or almost plain, they can still make interesting yet effortless silhouettes. As of right now, bisexual fashion tends to lean towards outfits with big, boxy fits on the bottom half of the fit. This means: huge cargo pants, maxi skirts, or even fluffing up your silhouette with those thick leg warmers you see everywhere on TikTok.
While this style holds true for mainly streetwear and grunge-type of clothing, it still applies to another popular subcategory of bisexual fashion – academia. Huge coats, and earthy colors are just the additional steps to add. If you want to appear more professional, have an arsenal of blazers and pleated or cuffed dress pants.
With a good range of basics in your closet, you have all the ability to go crazy with the statement pieces. The best part about this is; you don’t have to stick to one aesthetic! My style changes all the time. After carefully curating the basics in my closet, I now have the mental freedom to just buy whatever I like when I have the budget for it. It’s more fun dressing up and down your basics this way.
Just remember to LAYER. I cannot stress that enough. You can layer just about anything — throw a bunch of clothing on top of more clothing, and there you have it. A bisexual closet.
Jewelry, jewelry, jewelry. I cannot stress enough that having a mix of statement and basic pieces are essential to advancing any kind of bisexual outfit. If there’s anyone who can do it well, it’s bisexual folk who care about their looks.
Consider owning a lot of silver in your jewelry box for your layering staples. Stereotypically, bi clothing also includes a lot of statement pieces such as unique earrings, big rings, or large pendant necklaces. My favorite tip: shop with the same fashion sense as your favorite fictional character. The world of media has done so much for my gay ass closet. Yes, anime. Yes, fictional literature.
Belts have also been coming back lately in terms of trendiness. A big, vintage statement belt can change the entire vibe of a simple going-out fit. Try keeping it within the browns, blacks, and brass!
Mini backpacks and totes. Sometimes, you either have nothing to carry, or everything to carry. I like to keep a small stash of different backpacks or totes in my closet just to throw my belongings in, in style. More casual pieces tend to be the type that bisexual people go for, so I recommend any totes with cute graphics. I’d also vouch for small backpacks that pack a lot of color, or ones with strange shapes.
This one’s simple enough. Any basic sneaker will do the trick – bonus points if they’re platformed. Converse is usually a bisexual fan favorite, especially the solid-color Chuck 70s. Bisexual stereotypes also includes a lot of Doc Martens. Yes, the leather is absolutely necessary. Classy is what you want to go for.
Going for color is absolutely an option, but muted tones pair best with most outfits. E.g., swapping out an intense, sky blue for a shade that’s more periwinkle or cool steel.
If you’re wanting something more daring, keep this in mind: the angrier the shoe looks, the more bisexual energy you give off. Now that I’m in college and working to save some big-girl money, I’ve started a Demonia collection. I advise that you find some angry-looking shoes, too. If anything, those are a dead giveaway that you’re bisexual, if that’s the kind of aesthetic you’re going for.
Makeup & Hair
If there’s anything that QUILL does best, it’s giving you the latest deets in the beauty industry. The biggest trend right now is marinated makeup, and the best thing about it is that you can either harshen or soften your look depending on your bisexual aesthetic.
In my personal opinion, one of the easiest giveaways in bisexual fashion is actually the type of haircut you have. I’ve seen a lot of bi influencers sporting a wolf cut or some rendition of a shaggy cut. I’ve got one right now, actually.
Something more simple and less-maintenance would be a long bob. Medium to short hair is usually the go-to. And of course, you can’t go wrong with a choppy two-block haircut if you’re someone who wants to keep their locks very short. And don’t forget: use tons of different hair clips and hair ties, too.
Remember: not being able to resonate with this stereotypical bisexual closet is completely okay, and by no means diminishes any part of your identity! It simply means you like other kinds of clothes. If that’s the case, I hope this article helped you realize that you have your own, unique style. Now friends, we’re all on to better, elevated closets!
When it comes to your bisexual fashion looks and favorite outfits, what do you love to wear? Tell us in the comments!
With the current state of our world’s environment, I think it’s safe to say that all of us have had at least one fantasy where we’ve wanted to relocate to the woods and live in our own discreet little cottage. I can’t speak for every single one of you, but I personally have entertained this thought. And the look? Gender neutral cottagecore, of course.
Come on — committing to the risk and actually dropping everything to live in the forest sounds ideal, but doesn’t it also sound hard? QUILL’s here to give you an alternative: the key to achieving nonbinary cottagecore fashion! You may not be able to afford to buy your own house in the alps, but at this point, you might as well look the part.
We’ll start off with some basic, main pieces to achieve your cottagecore look; all androgynous, so you can spin it any way you want.
The main appeal with the soft, cottagecore aesthetic is that not only the clothes look comfy, they simply are. That’s why we’re including some flowy and loose-fitting overalls in our list. They’re wide, soft, and light; all optimal for you to jump and frolic in the fields with.
Chunky Sweaters & Cardigans
I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of a chunky sweater. They always seem to come back onto the most loved fall staple pieces, and for good reason. They look good on everyone, and they offer a sturdy silhouette that’d look great with any kind of bottom.
With all the sweaters and cardigans, you’d of course need a layering piece. This is where our collared button-ups come in. To check all the boxes for these gender neutral cottagecore outfits, it’s best to go with something that’s neutral in color. If you’re more into patterns, then some soft, dainty florals should also do the trick. You can even do plaid; you can’t really go wrong with it.
Pleated or Wool Trousers
Another main essential to achieving a gender neutral cottagecore outfit: trousers! Details do matter, so I recommend you look into a wool blend or something that’s pleated. The straight legged fit of these types of bottoms typically go nicely with the different flowy aspects of either your accessories or your tops. It’s definitely a more versatile item; and it can go with either a soft or dark cottagecore aesthetic.
If it’s too warm out to be piling on the wool, you can still remain frolicky and comfy in some linen shorts. Any length works, but we recommend something light in color: any whites, beiges, tans, greens, or even yellows will work with just about anything.
Now that we’ve got the basics down, here are our gender neutral, accessory-based recommendations to really bring together the cottagecore outfit basics.
Lace or Wool Hats
If you’re like me, and you’re a little adventurous with your outfits, an elevated hat will do just the trick. A more unique fabric like lace will be sure to stand out and highlight whatever it is you’re wearing. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something just a tad more diluted (but still effective, of course) then anything wool or knit is perfect.
An outfit is not complete without its shoes. In order to perfect your cottagecore outfit, we have a quick mini-list of gender neutral shoes that will tie everything together. First up, any leather loafer will pair perfectly with any trouser. For the sunnier days, leather sandals are just as good. Mary-Janes (either heeled or not) and combat boots are also good options. The more timeless they look, the better. If you’re looking for something more colorful, then any of these variations in earthy or pastel tones will level your outfit up.
Of course, you’d need something to carry all of your forages and knick-knacks in. Our recommendations on bags will ensure that you can carry all of it in style. First up, any kind of brown backpack, whether suede or leather, will make your outfit appear more vintage and gentle, which is the goal for any gender neutral cottagecore outfit. Another good option (especially for students) includes any loose canvas bag, which will make you appear artsy and put-together.
If you’re a fan of textures, wicker bags and fruit totes are just the thing you need.
What do you think? If you’re a fan of this essential guide to our gender neutral cottagecore outfit picks, let us know in the comments below!
If you have any more tips for us, please feel free to share those as well. See you guys in the next style guide!
If you’re looking to purchase from a company dedicated to bettering the world, let me introduce you to MOXIE Nail Varnish.
Actually, no, let me introduce you to the heartbeat of MOXIE: Mary Ann “EM” Kilgore, who formed MOXIE Nail Varnish with her husband, Hugh.
It was actually Hugh who emailed me, mentioning that they were a gender-neutral nail lacquer brand, and they loved what QUILL was doing, and would we want to talk?
The answer was an immediate yes. After a 45-minute introductory call, EM and I scheduled a time to really talk.
When the day came for our conversation, I was under a raincloud. There were bugs in my room that maintenance had yet to deal with; my boyfriend had just broken up with me; I was in the middle of medication changes for my bipolar.
But when EM said hello and asked about People With Periods, prompting us to talk about taking first steps in our respective businesses, my spirits quickly lifted. I walked away 40 minutes later feeling uplifted and inspired.
And to say “MOXIE” had a new meaning to me after our conversation? Well, that’s an understatement. Here’s why.
To keep things vague at her request, EM Kilgore witnessed adversity throughout her childhood, threading deep compassion and empathy throughout her identity.
So, when it came time to decide on which direction EM and Hugh wanted to take MOXIE Nail Varnish in, the Kilgore’s decided the philanthropic route was for them. It was inspired by her childhood and giving back in the ways she couldn’t then.
“Before I became a manicurist, I did hair part time while working in corporate,” EM explains, laying out her beauty industry experience for me. “In the different companies that I worked in, I would use my haircutting skills to raise money during the holidays for different charities. I would offer haircuts for $10 to all of the employees and their families, and the money would go to local organizations.”
When EM began MOXIE Nail Varnish, she wanted to carry over her philanthropic spirit. So, “each month, a new influencer collab or special product is dedicated to a community cause. Currently, we contribute to 7 organizations,” EM says.
For example: in October – right before we spoke – they collaborated with a fellow MOXIE lover to create a pink lacquer for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, donating 30% of proceeds to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
“We have influencer Collabs where the influencer has an opportunity to actually create their own nail polish with a kit that I ship to them. We imprint their name directly on the bottle alongside MOXIE Nail Varnish. (October’s influencer was Jens_Ten; the varnish is called JEN.)
Another unique way MOXIE gives back: offering commission to their collaborators. For example, one woman wanted a Royal Purple lacquer with glitter. EM chose microfine glitter (it comes off the nails easier than your standard glitter), titled the deep purple “ROYAL!,” and offered the collaborator commission for three months. And, at a collaborator’s request, they’ll donate the commission to the collaborator’s nonprofit of choice instead.
No matter what, MOXIE is about giving back to people, 100%. “It is an honor to work with these awesome artists,” she gushes. “The goal is for everyone to see themselves in the way the product is presented.”
And EM Kilgore is dedicated to making sure everyone has a product that works for them, which is why the swatch team from social media is diverse in itself.
This way, they receive feedback on what colors look best on specific skin tones, as well as what colors are universal. “We can use nail polish – my passion – as a playground for everyone to feel valued, included, and respected,” she tells me. “[That’s why] I am passionate about this brand.”
The best part: you don’t have to wait a year before their next color hits the market, because they make their own nail polish in their Orange County, California manufacturing facility. Aka, when EM is inspired, “MOXIE Nail Varnish can bring new colors to our fans quite quickly.” This is another reason why fans and swatch team members are so involved in the process – what needs to be (or is highly requested) on the market is available in a short period of time.
While they did just release their first seasonal collection as an experiment driven by Nick, a member of their swatch team – “it’s an eight-shade Fall/Holiday array of shimmery brights, which can actually be worn year-round and fit in just perfectly with any season and person,” she says excitedly – EM is adamant that colors stay available. Because of this, there are currently 55 colors available, not including treatments. EM crafts every color herself.
The inspiration is versatile. “Our signature color is MOXIE!, an off-black with just a tiny touch of shimmer; that was inspired by a Tesla car,” EM laughs. And while, yes, they look at Pantone, too, true inspiration comes from the outside world.
“We really try to come up with new and different colors that aren’t focused on a particular season or trend, but rather by architecture, nature and different textiles.” And again, they also ask fans to request specific colors if they can’t find the specific shade they’d like to swipe on.
I’ve browsed the site multiple times, and I love every color I see. But as I browse it now, looking through the various blues and reds, I find myself drawn to bright orange FREEDOM. My True Colors Personality type is Orange, representing creativity; spontaneity; an aversion to authority; and bold.
I quietly make a mental note to mention this to EM.
Turns out, they started right when QUILL did, and they’re still growing in the gender neutral space (again, like QUILL). EM wanted to make sure that it was branded as for all, because in her earlier days as a manicurist, she noticed that only women-identifying individuals would come in to have their nails done.
“I made it a point to market my services to everyone, because everyone should enjoy manis and pedis,” EM says. “I feel that groomed nails are important, regardless of gender.”
EM notes that skincare lines are becoming better at marketing to men, now, by adding color correction items to men’s lines. While not outright lipstick and contour kits, it’s a step in the right direction. “I love the idea of anyone waking up and touching up a little of this or a little of that to put their best self forward,” she says. But, “why leave the nails out of the process?”
She understands that polish can be scary. While makeup can quickly be wiped off, nail polish is there – it’s a commitment. So, MOXIE offers BUFF!. “It’s a transparent tinted nail treatment with a low level of shine,” she explains. With one swipe, it covers the entire nail, giving it a healthier-yet-still-natural look.
“BUFF! is a simple introduction to anyone wanting to extend grooming to their nails,” she says. I mention that men must love it – she says yes, but reminds me that it’s for everyone. “The great thing is that people who normally don’t wear polish will get introduced to the notion of swiping something on their nails.” She pauses, eyes widening and smile growing. “Maybe the next step will be full-on red polish!” she exclaims.
Something tells me there are smaller steps in between a natural look and full-on red, but I like where EM is going with this.
Ultimately, “I am so excited to see how thinking has evolved in the past few years and how the world has become,” EM Kilgore says, as we wrap up our interview.
“We’re so much more open to new ideas in fashion, self-care, and self-expression. And I am so excited that MOXIE Nail Varnish can be a part of this evolution.”
I ask where she’s hoping the nail industry will go next. She takes a moment to think. “I look at nail polish as a medium to express one’s style. … I would love to see polished nails become a natural part of creating a look for the day, or to even be a part of total grooming for everyone.”
But for EM, it all comes back to philanthropy. “There are so many things that we’ve been touched by,” she says, and she wants to touch upon all of them through MOXIE.
Why? I ask. What about it makes it so important to her to give back?
“It feels so good. It feels right. I mean, what’s the driver?”
When it comes to the gender and sexuality binary, change tends not to be welcomed with open arms. People like what’s familiar and they enjoy what’s comfortable; anybody that doesn’t fall within the traditional gender roles, the gender binary, or isn’t straight is met with weird glances and disdain.
Being comfortable in what is familiar is not inherently a bad thing. It only becomes more of a problem when someone is complacent, indifferent, and contributing to issues that are actively hurting individuals that do not fit into a binary.
It seems like there always has to be a revolution that has to happen in order to enact some form of positive change. And even when that positive change happens, there is no guarantee that it’ll stay, especially when it doesn’t fit within the traditional, heteronormative ideals that have been set in place for years.
Though in recent years, there has been more pushback from youth, especially from Generation Z, against the gender and sexuality norms, largely in the binary beauty industry. Gen Z is challenging traditional beauty standards by creating an accepting environment for fluid expressions of oneself.
The Beauty Binary
I’m sure most of you are aware of the traditional views of beauty. From my own personal experience, I know that makeup and skincare and anything of the like were always “for women” or something that was inherently feminine. If a man were to ever take care of his skin or touch a makeup palette, he was immediately deemed gay. In other words, the norm is that beauty is only for women and not for men.
The beauty binary is rooted in patriarchal views that exist within our society. For centuries, women have been told that wearing makeup is the only way to hold some sort of value in society; beauty is all that matters when it comes to living as a woman, and women have been reduced to mere objects. As for men, they do not need to wear makeup, because more than just their looks are taken into account when considering their roles in the world.
Afraid To Express Yourself
Beauty, makeup, grooming, and so many other things have been so gendered for so long, that individuals who have wanted to explore the realm have been unable.
There was and still is a stigma surrounding those who do not fit into the beauty binary. If you are a woman and don’t wear makeup you are seen as ugly, and if you are a man who is interested in beauty, you are gay.
Women might feel pressured into wearing makeup even if they don’t want to, and men might suppress any desire for beauty in fear of being perceived as less of a man.
Queerness And Beauty
Makeup has been considered something for straight women to use as a tool to garner the attention of men and the jealousy of other women. Too long has makeup been weaponized to pit women against other women. And, it has also been restricted to one group.
In order to combat such norms, members and supporters of the queer community have used makeup as a way to resist conforming to the systems set in place. Queer beauty can range anywhere from having no makeup to having a full face and then some — there really is no rule to it, as long as you feel comfortable and happy expressing yourself with your looks.
A New Era
Despite there being obstacles when it comes to challenging the “norms” that have been set in place, that has not stopped Gen Z youth from tackling the beauty binary. Gen Z does not hesitate to question authority when it comes to ideals that seem unfair or outdated. With Gen Z, a more accepting environment of those who think “outside the box” has been created, and offers a home to those who express themselves in ways that aren’t strictly in line with the binary.
Social media has been a great contributor to this as well. Social media allows people to share their stories with others as well as have conversations on certain topics regarding society. There is a niche for nearly everyone on the internet, which gives a space for people to express what they are interested in with others who get excited about the same things.
Social media spaces like YouTube or TikTok have been great outlets for teenagers and young adults (and honestly everyone of all ages) to share their beauty journeys. We have creators like Bretman Rock or Hyram Yarbro who have gone above and beyond in terms of breaking down societal norms when it comes to makeup and skincare.
Many other creators on these platforms also share and express their own makeup looks, showing how makeup is accessible for everyone who wants to try it, and that it is not something just for cisgender women.
Dissolution Of The Beauty Binary
As the years have gone on, more and more people are unafraid to wear makeup and express who they are. Young people — men, women, trans/non-binary people — are becoming more comfortable in their skin and are unafraid to dive into the world of beauty.
There is a slow (but steady) normalization of makeup and beauty for everyone. An example can already be seen with Korean Pop (KPop) Stars, where boy groups like BTS are showing off their glamorous makeup looks without fear. Even our own red carpet looks here in America are starting to become more experimental and bend the gender norms that are in place.
Looking Forward To No Beauty Binary
In my personal experience, I’ve seen a lot of straight men painting their nails or wearing makeup and overall expressing themselves in ways that they thought they may not have been able to prior; it’s a joy to see youth embrace beauty fluidity and actively combat the norms that have been set in place by the beauty binary. And I absolutely cannot wait for the beauty binary to be completely destroyed and for everyone to show off their beauty in any way they want.
Have you noticed a shift in the beauty binary, primarily among the youth? When do you think the beauty binary will become history? Share your thoughts below.
It’s getting cooler, and my lips are getting chapped. Not cute to think about? Yeah, it’s not cute to feel them, either. So, fragrance-free – like, totally unscented, no essential oils included – lip balms are my savior.
With so many chapsticks on the market, you’d think that it’d be easy to find a lip balm or five that work to cure my dry lips – especially one that’s fragrance-free, because I don’t want to smell like cherry chapstick 100% of the time.
So, if you’re searching for the best chapsticks that will keep your lips smooth and don’t smell like a teenage lip gloss store, these lip balms are fragrance-free.
Lano’s lip balm is praised by dermatologists for its soothing effects, courtesy of scent free lanolin and lanolin oil (which come from shaved, conditioned wool – without harm to the sheep!).
Neutral lipsticks never appealed to me until I tried on Fluide’s. (No, this is not a promotion, this is legit.) I always went with a more purple-pink “natural” color (lol), but when I put on the peach that is Fluide’s Metro lipstick, I was forever converted to a pink-nude lover.
So I bought a neutral lipstick from MAC, too, and it was so flattering that I legit couldn’t remember why I’d never worn nudes – especially pink-nudes, which didn’t wash me out and gave me a little rosy color. I looked chic, but still kissable. #goals
If you’re like me, I’m here for you. I’m here to educate, to introduce you to the world of pink-nudes that I missed out on for far too many years. These 12 are guaranteed to give you the grin you’ve always wanted. Bonus: that lipstick on your teeth is way less obvious. (But maybe still check, you know?)
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I wrote a review of Fluide’s SuperNeutrals, and nope, I will never stop promoting them because they are perfect. I absolutely loved all three colors, but Metro was my favorite. It’s a peach-nude combo, and it will give the illusion of plumper lips. You don’t even need lip liner or a pencil – it goes on, stays on, and will flatter everyone.
MAC is my go-to lipstick, especially their Lipstick Cream – it has a soft feel and, like the name implies, creamy application and feel. Don’t worry about a dry, heavy feel – it’s super moisturizing thanks to castor, jojoba seed, and sesame oil to keep your lips cushioned and comfy. For a nice pink nude shade, we recommend Blankety, which acts as a neutral blanket on your pout for up to eight hours.
Marissa wrote about her experience with Smashbox’s Always On. Summary: she loved it and bought two for her trip to Italy! If you’re going to wear this for a nice neutral shade, definitely stock up on Babe Alert; it has a pinker tone to it, but still remains subtle with its overall nude coloring. Jojoba, apricot, and sunflower seed oils come together to keep this lipstick extra hydrating for eight hours, and the precision tip means you can line and fill without flaw.
There are so many shades for this lipstick, ranging from an orange to a bright red to a vampy berry finish. But I’m a huge fan of their Gracious pink-nude shade, which your lips will love. Shea butter and beeswax give this lipstick its lightweight glide – no silicones! – and virgin cold-pressed Sunflower, Rose Hip, and Olive oils. It’s currently out of stock, but keep checking back!
Friends With Benefits is your dream lip duo, because it covers the necessary bases in one package: a nice stick and a liquid lipstick in the same color. Shea butter, mango seed butter, avocado oil, jojoba oil, and vitamin E come together to soften, smooth, hydrate, and protect from environmental stressors, so your pucker is pillow-y.
Narcissus fell in love with his own image, hence “narcissistic.” And when you see your lips in this pink-nude lipstick, you won’t be able to stop checking yourself out, either. The formula is creamy thanks to an assortment of waxes and oils, and the finish is semi-matte. And if you want a lipstick with a scent, go with this one, which is naturally floral and honey-sweet with lavender and beeswax.
Yep, mented is at Ulta, and we are so stoked for that! No matter your skin tone, there is a color that will look totally neutral on your lips – none of that neutral BS, which actually turns out to be beige. However, if you’re looking for an added dose of pink to your nude lipstick, we love their shade Peach Please. It’s not obnoxious, but it will give you a peach-y hue.
Ariana is the queen of nudes, so it’s no surprise that she created a dreamy, matte-yet-non-drying lipstick for you. Pick up bubbly, which looks natural on all skin tones – it’s a rosy pink nude that will give your lips a little life without overwhelming your face. Though it doesn’t have any stand-out ingredients, we do love that its formula is vegan.
Saie creates a bomb pink nude lipstick thatt can build up from sheer to smack-in-the-face; we recommend the dusty-rose-nude Modern for the just-been-kissed look. Our favorite part about this lipstick, though: its ingredients, which include hydration-locking hyaluronic acid, moisturizing olive oil, and berry fruit wax to give your lips a nice blur effect. Trust Saie to give you the best of the best!
Sixty shades, so you can choose your dream nude. Nope, not kidding. But we’re spotlighting Cruising, a sheer nude pink with a little shine to give you a fully-moisturized look. Moringa and passion fruit seed oils come together to nourish and provide vibrancy to the long-lasting, never-feathering formula.
Drew Barrymore’s FLOWER brand utilizes a special ingredient to make its lipstick stand out: kaolin clay, to act as a mattifier and prevent any excess oil from ruining the look of your matte makeup. Still, the formula has castor oil to soften and hydrate lips, so the clay doesn’t dry it out. Naked blush has some brown to it, but there’s enough peach for us to include it on this pink nude lipstick list.
Simihaze’s packaging is cute, let’s get that out of the way: which brands go with neon green as their container color of choice? Exactly. The product is even more impressive when you look at its ingredients list, which offers delish sodium hyaluronate to keep in the hydration and castor oil to smooth and soften lips. Pick nude-pink Sunrise, which offers full coverage with the feel of a balm for up to 12 hours.
Trying to enter the beauty world, but overwhelmed by how completely NOT genderless it is (like literally everything else on any market, tbh)? Not ready to wear the glittery shadow? Wanting to add pizzazz to your body, but not sure where to start?
Nail polish. I’m telling you. That’s the ticket.
It’s blowing up as the latest entry to the beauty world, especially with celebrities. Machine Gun Kelly just released his new line, UN/DN LAQR, in December – we wrote a review about it, and it’s still one of our most popular articles to date.
Then there’s gender-inclusive brand Fluide, with a variety of nail polish shades to fit every mood. Or NE1, who we found on Instagram, founded by a man overwhelmed by the amount of colors out there. And while Lil Yachty is no longer a part of it, he founded crete, which arguably opened the door to many men who perceived nail polish as too feminine.
If you’re a non binary person looking for nail polish that feels right, a man who is dreaming of subtly entering the beauty world, a woman looking to support genderless brands, and anyone in between, these brands support you — and that’s why we support them.
Lil Yachty may not be a part of it anymore, but his genderless nail polish company, Crete, lives on. Their Instagram is not filled with perfectly-manicured, pointy and glossy nails. In fact, it’s kind of punk, which we absolutely love – catch the heavily-tattooed wrists, imperfect polish, and neon lighting as opposed to porcelain skin and precise paint. The colors are far from subtle, instead bordering on – or completely reaching – neon. The pen is easier to use than your standard brush, making it perfect for nail polish newbies.
Fluide’s description for their nail polish reads that “you can feel good whether you’re waving across the bar or flipping someone off”; basically QUILL’s feelings toward those who are gender-inclusive and those who ignore pronouns, respectively. There are 10 colors, ranging from glossy black to glitter-tinted New Year’s Revolution, and the formula is 7-free, nontoxic, cruelty-free, and vegan. And yep, you read correctly: it has 5 stars out of 40 reviews. Beat that.
Tess here, saying UN/DN LAQR’s nail polish is still chipping away, with Party Favor and Depressionist still dotting my nails (and that’s without a top or base coat, yes I know, please don’t kill me for this). Machine Gun Kelly’s genderless nail polish brand hasn’t just restocked – they’ve also dropped their latest Chrome collection, which will give you an affordable trip to outer space. And yes, I bought the entire collection immediately, who do you think I am? Didn’t you read my 9/10 review? (If not, it’s here!)
NOW’s bottle immediately shouts “unisex!” in case you missed “Unisex” in the name of each nail polish. Jeff Parshley started NOW to destigmatize beauty, starting at the fingertips. There are tons of colors to choose from, whether you want classic white (for a French manicure, perhaps?), screaming scarlet, or sparkling silver. They also offer a glossy top coat to seal your shade of choice.
Harry Styles was at the front of the “fuck it, I’m not a woman and I can wear nail polish because gender is a social construct” movement. (Alright, he didn’t call it that, but we’d like to believe that’s what his thought was.) Pleasing is the result, a gorgeous collection of pearlescent shades. They aren’t bright, but they will give your nails a tint of color and a glossy finish if you’re not ready to go full-on pink.
Cole Kubisiak founded NE1 when he decided to venture into the world of nail polish… only to feel totally overwhelmed by the color options. When he did find a color, he eventually wanted a new one, but still had bottles of old colors. So, when he created NE1’s 13 colors, he decided to use mini bottles. Grab a base coat and top coat while you’re at it – gotta make bottles last when there’s practically none to waste.
What gender neutral nail polish is your favorite? Do you have a brand you can’t get enough of? Tell us below!
I used to wear a deodorant – okay, my ex boyfriend’s deodorant – called “Bearglove.” And, unsurprisingly, it was not marketed as a unisex deodorant, even though I was wearing it – and, though I am just one, I argue that this makes it gender neutral.
But nope, not in the marketing world. Gendered scents strike again.
Obviously, every deodorant is unisex. Scents don’t have to determine your gender identity. For some, it does, and that’s important… but for others, they want a unisex deodorant that isn’t marketed toward one gender.
Some companies have “solved” this with unscented deodorants. Awesome! But what many companies have also done is create scents that don’t lean toward one stereotypical gendered smell. Instead of tobacco and beer or coconut and vanilla, they choose to mix citrus with musk, or papaya with turmeric. The result: a universal fragrance that anyone can feel comfortable – and like themselves – wearing.
Ready to find your next signature scent? These 13 gender neutral deodorants are perfect for everyone, whether you’re sharing with a partner, a family, or doing a friend a solid.
20% of all affiliate sales are donated to The National LGBTQ+ Task Force. Thank you for your support!
We love (MALIN+GOETZ) so much here at QUILL, and I actually own this deodorant! The smell is subtle, but it covers up the stink well. Aluminum- and alcohol-free, it’s perfect for my armpits, especially if I’m using it hours after shaving (I know, shush) – eucalyptus is an antiseptic. Citronellyl is the real hero ingredient, though, thanks to its odor-neutralizing capabilities.
Of course we had to include Native! They offer so many scents, as well as a fragrance-free version. Some are traditionally “masculine” and “feminine,” but most are genderless – the point is to smell good, not like a gender, basically. The eucalyptus and mint scent is refreshing, and coconut oil and shea butter meet up with baking soda and probiotics to give you a comfy dry zone.
You can go hunting for them all you want, but you won’t catch a glimpse of baking soda, aluminum, parabens, gluten, or any kinds of toxins here. You’ll smell like light coconut, but not in an overt way – it mainly comes from the soothing and softening coconut oil, coconut water, and imperfection-impeding sage oil. No fears of smelling feminine here, just good.
Obvs we’re including the deodorant for the deodorant itself. It’s a nice blend of citrus and vetiver, giving you a bright-but-grounded whiff with each arm lift. On top of this, it only uses six ingredients to stop BO – and baking soda and aluminum aren’t included. BUT, we also are so happy about the sustainable, plant-based packaging, making the deodorant one of the more – if not the most – eco-friendly options on this list.
Organic tapioca and non-GMO cornstarch interact to give you a ~dry pit stop~. (Okay, sorry, it was right there.) The citrus fruits – bergamot, orange, and grapefruit – work together to rejuvenate the skin that so often goes chafed, while the eucalyptus works to stimulate senses. Read: you’re gonna smell damn delicious, and you’re not going to be soaked doing it.
Bravo Sierra is mission-driven, which QUILL loves, and it’s completely genderless. Tested by those in the Armed Forces, you know this gender neutral deodorant will do the job right without staining your clothes. There are four scents and one unscented option, and you’ll love the ingredients, which include glycerin, aloe, and jojoba esters. Algae extract hydrates and tones, while Panax ginseng root extract slows collagen loss.
Public Goods makes things as easy, unisex, and uncomplicated as their packaging. You won’t find the ew here, like parabens, sulfates, or synthetic fragrance. What you WILL find: baking soda and arrowroot powder to sop up sweat, vegan coconut and candelilla wax to create its easy-glide base, and an essential oil blend that’s totally gender-neutral and totally captivating at once.
Calvin Klein has done it right, but when does he not? The CK One Deodorant is completely gender-neutral, and you can pair it with Calvin Klein’s perfume of the same scent. Smell sophisticated and feel like yourself – gender not included in that descriptor – with notes of jasmine, green tea, tropical fruit, and amber.
Blume is made for people with periods. Nope, not women: people who have periods. Their Hug Me Deodorant is clean, cruelty-free, and vegan, and you won’t locate any aluminum in the formula. You WILL, however, be happy to feel conditioning coconut oil, softening and sensitive probiotics, and jojoba oil to soothe inflammation and banish any pit-zits and bumps.
Is there a smell better than the asphalt right after the rain? I take that back: is there a smell better than after the rain, period? I think not. Which is why this scent is so wonderful when it’s burning: you don’t smell gross, and you’re reminded of cooler days. The plant-based ingredients use both probiotics and prebiotics to stop stink and nourish skin.
Without the toxic ingredients in other deodorants, Humble Travel Deodorant keeps you dry and odor-free without aluminum or parabens. The organic cornstarch, fractionated coconut oil, and organic beeswax work together to absorb sweat and keep you feeling fresh all day long. The all-natural baking soda helps to neutralize odors, while the organic essential oils provide a refreshing scent.
Looking for a quick-drying, clear gel deodorant that won’t leave you feeling sticky? This vegan deodorant is made with 5% AHA to help eliminate odor, brighten discolored spots, and smooth bumps, with niacinamide helping to strengthen the skin’s natural barrier. This long-lasting formula will keep you feeling dry and smelling great all day long, whether you’re taking a long flight or hiking in the hot sun.
Looking for a deodorant that’s gentle on your skin? This ultra-absorbent deodorant glides on smoothly and provides all-day odor protection without any irritating aluminum. Plus, it’s cruelty-free and comes in recyclable paper packaging, making it a sustainable choice for eco-conscious bbs. Choose from a variety of scents, including Banana Leaf, Aloe Vera, and Orange Zest. Enriched with essential oils and nourishing coconut oil and shea butter, this deodorant will leave you feeling fresh and smelling great!