Skin Care Tips For Every Body Part

When it comes to skin care, our faces usually get the most amount of attention. After all, our faces are usually the focal parts of our bodies, and the most exposed. However, one only needs to look at Michelle Obama’s arms, Heidi Klum’s legs, and Cameron Diaz’s back to know that the other body parts can speak multitudes. And besides, if you’re going to show off that rose tattoo on your neck, or the unicorn on your shoulder blade, you better make sure that the skin surrounding it is up to snuff.

Whether its providing the canvas for a new tattoo, or emulating your favorite celebrity, the skin on all parts of our body needs equal and individual care and you need to know how to provide it. Read on to learn how to pamper your skin from head to toe.

Woman who takes care of her skin
1. Face
Let’s start at the top. The most basic elements of facial care are protection and hydration. That means making sure your skin has a strong moisture barrier and limited exposure to damaging free radicals. Moisturizer and SPF is an absolute necessity. A moisturizer with a built in SPF of 15 or higher packs a great one two punch, or use products separately to keep your face well protected.
The thin skin around your eyes may require extra care. Cosmetic physician Dr. Monica Bandaker suggests eye creams which contain caffeine which minimizes dark circles under the eyes by constricting blood vessels and brightening skin.

2. Neck
If faces are the number one skin priority, the neck has to be a close second. To avoid signs of aging on your neck, always apply sunscreen. Although neck creams tend to be stronger than facial creams, you may choose to use a facial cream containing retinol to avoid purchasing separate products. Bonadaker says that retinoic acids are “the most studied group of active ingredients for the skin to increase cell turnover, shrink pores, brighten skin, and correct acne.”

3. Ears
Believe it or not, ears are one of the three most likely areas to be affected by skin cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Don’t neglect them when you’re slathering on the sunscreen.

4. Arms and Legs
When it comes to alligator skin, the arms and legs are the most commonly affected areas. Moisturizer to the rescue. Banadaker suggests, “creams containing uric acid, which help with the exfoliation of the top dead layer of skin.”

Woman with clean hair
5. Scalp
Although most of us think dandruff when it comes to scalp related skin problems, it is also a common area for skin cancer to develop. Since slathering hair with sunscreen is not an option, a hat is the best bet for scalp protection. As for the dryness, choose moisturizing shampoos and conditioners, and choose lukewarm water over hot when you rinse.

6. Back
If bacne is the bane of you’re existence, perspiration is probably at the root of the problem. Dried sweat clogs pores and leads to breakouts. Make sure to avoid letting sweat dry on your body after a workout and apply an exfoliant to help keep skin blemish free.

7. Hands
If you want to post selfies of your manicured nails or fabulous rings, you need to be sure to keep your hands in prime conditions. Wear rubber gloves when using harsh cleansers and apply moisturizer nightly. Thick petroleum creams, such as vaseline, are especially potent healers of dry hands.

How do you make sure all the parts of your body stay beautiful? Let us know your all over pampering techniques!

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The Power Behind The Red Lip

“You know a woman means business when she puts on red lipstick.” This quote from famous fashionista Elizabeth Middleton could not be more true. Nothing speaks drama quite like a good coat of red lipstick. After all, haven’t all the best seduction scenes in movies been instigated by women in red lipstick? One can only imagine how much less impactful the characters of Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) in Pulp Fiction or Jessica Rabbit in “Who Shot Roger Rabbit?” would have been if they had chose a rosy pink.

Red is the color of passion, the color of blood and when a woman puts it on one of her most erotic body parts, it is bound to cause a stir, and over the years it certainly has.

Woman with red lipstick
Early Civilizations
Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find out that red lipstick got off to a rocky start. Most of the earliest red lipsticks contained ingredients that could easily kill you. The first documented red lipstick (Sumeria , 2500 BC) was made from white lead and pulverized red rocks and Cleopatra famously achieved her red lips by crushing beetles and ants to get the right shade of blood and used fish scales to achieve a shiny texture.

1500s
Although the 1500’s saw the advent of red lipstick made of herbal based dyes, apparently no one told Queen Elizabeth I about them. The queen, who adopted red lipstick as part of her signature look, looked so youthful in her makeup, that medieval Europeans began to believe red lipstick could ward off death.They found out how wrong they were when Elizabeth apparently died from the white lead in her favorite cosmetic.

1700’s and 1800’s
After the queen’s passing, red lipstick became less morally favorable. In 1770, British Parliament, declared that women who wore brightly- hued lipstick were seductresses and would be punished with annulment of their marriages and accusations of witchcraft; declaring red lipstick reserved for prostitutes.
The more liberal French, however, disagreed, encouraging red lipstick for the upper class, while prostitutes and peasants were traditionally bare faced.
This did little to change the minds of the British whose Queen Victoria declared red lipstick impolite making it unfashionable in the 1800’s. They were suitably shocked when French movie star Sarah Bernhardt began habitually applying her red lipstick in public.

Woman applying lipstick
1900’s
By the 1900’s, as Bernhardt’s reputation as an independent glamorous women began to grow, so too did the popularity of what she referred to as her “love pen.” Add that to the fact that lipstick was now being made with castor oil and beeswax, and a new trend was born. In 1915, the first metal tube of red lipstick was manufactured.
Red lipstick became the fashion choice of suffragettes in New York and was gaining traction with cosmetic companies such as Elizabeth Arden Max Factor and Chanel. Arden, in fact,took the opportunity to capitalize on the popularity of the emerging cosmetic trend by handing tubes of the stuff out to the marching suffragettes herself.
Old Hollywood starlets, Clara Bow and Greta Garbo increased the desire for red lips by modeling them on the silver screen, and by the 1940’s, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Rita Hayworth were all donning the ruby cosmetic.

2000
The rest, as they say is history. While purples, blues and blacks have all been modeled to varying degrees of success, it seems that nothing has outlasted or outdone the classic. Just look at fashion and pop icons like Gwen Stefani and Rhianna for proof. Nothing seems to hold the inimitable glamour and power of a good red lipstick.

So what does red lipstick mean to you? Let us know! We love to hear it!

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Great Fashion Looks For Men

The suit, a set of garments made from the same cloth, the universal staple of men’s fashion. The words tend to conjure up a relatively conservative image, that is, the bland uniform of the businessman in the workplace. However, one has only to looks at the frock coat of the Victorian era and the full dress tails of the 1920’s to realize this is not always the case. Indeed, in retrospect, it would appear that there was a lot more in play the evolution of men’s fashion than we tend to give credit for.
They say, what comes around goes around, and the carefully knotted neckties of old would eventually reappear on the necks of the Rolling Stones in the 1970’s and Prince in the 1980’s. The suit no longer singularly defines men’s fashion and the spirit of creativity runs rampant in the latest designs. This was no more evident anywhere than on the runways of Paris, Milan and London for Men’s Fashion Week 2017.

Man with 70s style
1. Seventies
Did someone say Rolling Stones? While Burberry brought the green wool knee length toggle, Roberto Cavalli showed off his bowl cut model in a flouncy print silk shirt with knotted scarf attachéd paired with bellbottom jeans and sneakers. Gucci dress things up with velvet pants, dress shoes and bomber jacker with celestial appliqué.

2. Extra Long Sleeves
Extra long sleeves were on display for both men and women for this year’s fashion week. Maison Margiela’s long sleeved cream turtleneck’s sleeves stretched way past the cuffs of the khaki jacket worn over it. Raf Simons’ herringbone jacket was duck taped at the elbows, punk rock style, to show off the finger gracing sweater beneath it, and Prada offered this own black and white printed jacket with cuffs extending way past the wrist.

3. Military
The military style will always have a place in fashion. Alexander McQueen showed off his fitted belted peacoat with gold buttons, while Burberry offered a looser fit version with red trimmed lapels. On display from Balmain, a show-stopping bolero with stretch skintight velvet pants.

4. Puffa Jacket
Another hit with ladies and men alike this year, there were a fare share of puffa jackets on the runway this year. Ami went with a fitted purple puffa worn incongruously over an oversized suits, Raf Simons favored oversize versions in slick black vinyl and two tone blue.

Man with chekered shirt

5. Checks
From the grunge to the mod, checks always make a fashion statement. From Bottega Vaneta comes a flannel style jacket, while Valentino takes an entirely different approach. with head to toe black and white plaid. Lou Dalton goes casual in his checked jacket thrown loosely over an oversized, khaki shirt and baggy pants.

6. Fur
Burberry bundled up on the runway with his caped silver fur while Fendi went for a brown hip length fur. Dolce and Gabana went full length with their brown bear coat worn over tight- fitting work pants and combat boots.

What are your favorite men’s looks for the new year? Fur? Puffa? Plaid? Let us know!

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Highlights From London Fashion Week For Men

Male model
If women are the “fair” sex, then are men the “unfair” sex? While it is true that ruffles may be incongruous with the five o’ clock shadow, there is a certain undeniability of the existence of masculine beauty and it was certainly running rampant at this year’s London Fashion Week for Men. This year’s fashion was all about pushing gender barriers and finding the delicate balance between beauty and masculinity while incorporating the ultramodern with the retro. Here are just some designers that hit this year’s runway whom you are bound to be seeing a lot more from in the next few years.

Grace Wales Bonner
The work of Grace Wales Bonner is focused on the sexuality and identity of the black male and her own cultural experience, growing up in South East London with an English mother and Jamaican father. Her 2017 show was dedicated to the crowning of Haile Salassie as Ethiopia’s new Emperor and incorporates pan- African ceremonial styles with military and religious embellishment. Her characteristic highly tailored frock coats, short capes, and tailcoats feature touches of crafted buttons, shells, crystals, and shells adding elegance and dignity while proudly representing elements of culture.

Fashion model
Craig Green
Often labeled a conceptualist, Craig Green is one of the most interesting new designers to emerge on the runways of London. “It’s all about fabrics and techniques,” explains the Green on his own collection. A cross between tear away hospital scrubs and actual clothing, Green’s clothes combine a look of disposability with intricate embroidery and quilting. The colors are subdued; khakis, and drabs are common, and the garments were often belted, strapped or halfway fastened to the bodies of the models, for a sense of impermanence mixed with dependability.

Jonathan Anderson
This Northern Irish designer dares to be different in his Henry VIII meets sexual freedom collection. His blend of bright colors and ruffles with Tudor- like collars echo themes ranging from the working class to the nearly extraterrestrial, such as is evident in his hand painted yellow -eyed lizard saddle shoes and pop art patterns. He accompanies his runway show with dream pop synth and psychedelic skylines to give the feel of an epic road trip to his equally abstract presentation. Says the designer, “I like the idea of using something so abstract. I like the heightened reality of it- something solar, feminine, empowering. Finding a new way to put masculinity but still relatable.”   Anderson in a nutshell.

MAN
The love child of Topman and Fashion East, Man is a quickly emerging name is men’s fashion, focussed on blurring the gender barriers. Male models may be heavily made up, while women go au natural and both sexes are equally likely to sport face paint and asymmetrical hairdos. Much of MAN’s current offerings, designed this year by Charles Jeffrey, Feng Chen Wang, and Per Gotesson, feature silk carpenters pants paired with tailored high colors, shorts and skirts for both genders, punk rock skin tight sweaters and platform heels.

And how about you? What do you think about androgyny in fashion? How are you blurring the lines this year? Let us know.

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Creating Perfect Curls

There was not much room for curly hair in the structured elegant styles of the sixties. Just look at the poor Supremes and think of the jars and bottles of relaxers and straighteners they probably went through on tours. And what about the poor girls at home using regular irons and ironing boards to get that perfectly sleek look? Times have certainly changed!

Nowadays, we embrace our curls. We have curling irons to create them, curling products to maintain them and curling shampoos to keep them clean. Even Diana Ross has gone curly! Whether you’re going for the Diana Ross look, or something a bit more tame, here’s a little crash course on creating the perfect curl.

Woman heating curling iron
1. Heat the curling iron
Its important to give your curling iron some time to heat up. If you try to use it before it reaches the right temperature , the curls won’t hold. Try to keep it on the lowest temperature possible for minimal damage. Three hundred and twenty degrees is a good guide for fine hair. Thicker hair can take up to 420.

2. Completely Dry Hair
A hot iron and damp hair can be a bad combination. The water will turn to steam and can seriously damage hair. Make sure your hair is completely dry before starting.

3. Brush out tangles
Begin by gently brushing out snags at the ends of your hair and work your way up. This will help reduce damage like split ends.

4. Heat protection spray
If you use heat to style your hair, this is a really important step. Just spray it all over your hair before you curl.

5. Split hair into sections
One of the most common mistakes made when curling hair is the failure to include this part. Splitting hair into sections will help make sure you get all your hair and that everything comes out looking the same.
Pin up the top section of your hair. Grab everything above your ears and pin it.
When the bottom section is finished, unclip your hair to let out a little more. Do this gradually until all your hair is done. Using bigger sections of hair will give you bigger curls, using smaller sections will give you tighter curls.

Woman with perfect curls
6. To curl
Take a small section of hair and wrap it around the curling iron. If the clamp is near the handle, position the hair at the end of the hair at the end of the barrel and close clamp to secure. Proceed to twist the entire section of hair around the iron, rolling it upwards.
If your iron does not have a clamp, begin near the top of your hair and use your hand to place a section of hair around the iron, holding it in place while the section curls.

7. Hold Iron in place
You will need to hold the iron in place for about 10 seconds to let the hair curl. Release it. If it is still a little flat, try pinning it until you get the desired effect.

8. Loosen Curls
For a looser effect, run your fingers through your hair a few times. You can also turn your head upside down and separate the curls with your fingers. Avoid using a hairbrush, as this will loosen the curls, unless you want a more wavy effect.

9. Hairspray
This will help to keep the curls from falling out. For tight curls, you can spray each curl individually, for a looser style, wait for curls to relax and spray your entire head. A loose hold hairspray is best for making sure your curls aren’t too stiff looking.

Did it work? Let us know! And what are your quick tips for the perfect curl? We love to hear from you!

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Stretches That Relieve Stress

Late night comedian and talk – show host, Jimmy Fallon, was once quoted as saying, “Don’t keep reaching for the stars because you’ll just look like an idiot stretching that way for no reason.” Leave it to Jimmy to literalize a lovely age old metaphor into absurdity. Though some may jest, that shouldn’t be a reason to abandon your aspirations! If you want to reach for the stars, feel free to keep doing so, and if anyone asks you why you’re stretching that way, just tell them you’re relieving stress.

Jaime Longval, MS and certified strength and conditioning special in at Brown University says, “Stretching is an effective strategy to aid in the relief of stress. It lengthens muscles to relieve tension.” Another benefit to stretching is that it can be done almost anywhere. Here are a few great stretches you can do to relieve stress.

Woman breathing
1. Breathe
Just the act of focusing on your breath can be restorative and relaxing. Just close your eyes and turn your attention to your breathing. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Repeat the exercise ten times, making a set. After doing three sets, you should begin to feel more relaxed.

2. Neck and Shoulder Stretch
Sit in a chair with your back straight and your feet on the floor, about a shoulder width from one another. Put your hands behind your head and interlock your fingers at the base of your neck. Lean your head toward the floor and bring your shoulder blades together. Hold position for ten seconds, then release. Repeat three times.

vine-vera-stretches-that-relieve-stress-1
3. Arm Stretch
Sit straight in a chair. Put both feet on the floor, a shoulder length apart from each other. Interlock your fingers, stretching your arms out in front of you. Turn your palms to face away from your chest. Hold for ten seconds, raise your arms above your head, and hold for another ten seconds. Do three sets.

4. Leg stretches
Sit in your chair with your back straight and your feet pressed to the floor. Raise your left leg and straighten it out in front of you, Rotate your ankle to the right and them to the left, holding the position for ten seconds. Repeat with your right leg, doing 5 repetitions with each leg.

5. Lower Back Stretches
Who couldn’t use a good lower back stretch! Sit in your chair with your feet on the floor. Lean forward to grab your ankles with both hands. Hold for ten seconds feeling the stretch and repeat three times.

Benefits
Besides releasing tension and stretch, benefits of these exercises include the strengthening of joints and muscles, the increase of endurance, a better mood and higher energy levels, the easing of stiffness and pain, an improvement of performance at work, better circulation and a reduction of neck pain and tension. So keep reaching for the stars, and if you happen to decrease stress in the process, all the better!

Let us know what you do to decrease stress during the day and if you know any stress relieving stretches, please share them with us, we need them!

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You Need A Hobby

Are you spending an inordinate amount of time online looking up your ex-boyfriends’ Facebook Pages? Have you been watching the first three seasons of Game of Thrones consecutively since Christmas Eve? Maybe you have spent the last few days perfecting your “Candy Crush” strategies or following “Pokemon Go.” If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions it may be a sign that you need a hobby. Even if you are not artistically inclined, having a hobby is not necessarily a means to an end, but rather an end in and of itself. There are a lot of benefits to be had by just developing a hobby, and here are just a few.

Woman knitting
Clear Your Thoughts

Betsan Corkhill, knitting therapist has found that the rhythmic motion of knitting can induce a meditative state. “If you chose a difficult product,” she says, “you’re concentrating so deeply that your mind doesn’t have time to think of anything else. That gives the mind a break. If you knit a very easy project, you can go into a state where your mind is free to roam.”

Women’s health and success coach, Jennifer Racioppi explains that hobbies “help us enter flow states.” Flow states are states of mind which merge awareness and action and help you to focus on what you are doing. If you have ever found time has passed quickly without you being aware of it, you are familiar with flow state.

Increase Creativity

Intrinsical motivation is the scientific term for the time when the mind is concentrating on something it likes. Such thinking has been linked to creative thinking. Says Racioppi, “If I’m working on a problem, I’m highly creative when I’m in flow. It’s in the process of not thinking about it when I get solutions.”

Woman in bowling club
Social Opportunities

Social opportunities that arise form hobbies can cause less anxiety. If you’re in a club, you can chose to participate or disengage. Corkhill says, “You’re in complete control of the situation and of how much you participate. So that makes it much easier for some people to attend a social group.”

Stress Relief

Hobbies give the mind something positive to focus on when life is stressful. Because the brain has a limited capacity, loading it with pleasurable activities leaves no room for stress. “The more capacity you’re using up being totally absorbed in a task, the less capacity there is left to focus any attention on problems, ” Corkhill explains, “Distraction is one of the most powerful analgesics we know of.”

Unitasking

In these days of technology overload. we need to give it a break by focusing on one task. Racioppi says, ” We want to use the brain in a way that is generative. When you do so, you create and strengthen neural pathways. That has a ton of health benefits in the long term.”

So what’s your hobby? How do you get in touch with your inner creativity. Let us know. It might inspire someone else.

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