Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Just For The Guys

The first thing people notice about you is your face. Healthy skin is so important for a great looking face. Men are often overlooked when you talk about skin care. Skin care for men is not just shaving cream, soap and after shave lotion I'd like to share some basic tips and guidelines to encourage healthier skin.
#1 Keep it clean.
Men have oilier skin and significantly larger pores than women do. This means you get dirtier. It is very important no matter what skin type you have, to clean your face every day. Deep cleansing is important. It keeps pores clear, skin healthy and you looking good. Cleansing products should be as chemical-free as possible. A good scrub is essential for healthy clean skin. It will remove dead cells and smooth the surface of your face. The scrub should be strong without being damaging. Stay away from scrubs that contain rough elements like ground bits of nut or seed extracts. They will tear and damage the skin. A good scrub will invigorate you, not hurt you.
Moisturizing is a necessity. Again, the product with the least amount of chemical additives is the best. Always use a light moisturizer on your face after cleansing and shaving and don't forget your neck! Remember it is very important to moisturize the under eye skin as it secretes no necessary oils on its own. Once your skin begins to get smoother and softer, shaving won’t be such a chore.

#2 Keep it toned.
Because men are outside more than women are the environment is more of a factor to their skin's health. Toning helps keep the skin clear and firm.

#3 Treat your skin.
Depending on your skin type (oily, dry or combination) and the time of year, there are different products that treat and enhance your skin. Different treatments will have very different results. It is important to know your skin's needs. All types of skin need to be exfoliated. This is the removal of dead skin cells that form daily. This is an essential part of skin treatment. After shaving, you need to moisturize with a product that has absolutely no alcohol in it. Avoid heavy fragrant after-shave products too, as they can irritate the skin.
#4 Protect your skin.
Healthy skin is young looking skin. Avoid over exposure to the sun. Use an SPF 15 or higher on all exposed skin, especially on your face (and a lip balm with sunscreen).
#5 Exercise
There are many beauty benefits of working out. First is the obvious - you’ll stay in great shape. But increasing your heart rate everyday will also improve your mood - and people definitely look their best when they’re happy and smiling. Another interesting thing is that exercise doesn’t just make you breathe harder, but also opens up your pores and makes your skin breathe. This will help you develop radiant, healthy-looking skin.
Seems only fair to give the guys tips too. Do you have any others to add to the list?
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fragrance Fun

Here are some tips on wearing your special fragrance perfectly…Ready, Set, Spritz!

*Want just a touch of a fragrance? Spritz it in the air and walk through the mist. Not only will you smell good but your room will too!

*Store fragrances out of direct sunlight.

*Fragrance should only be detectable to you and those who get within 2-3 feet of you.

*Looking for a lighter way to wear a scent? Try one of Gathered From the Garden’s Body Mists.

*Put on perfume before you get dressed. It will last longer and won’t stain your clothes.

*Fragrances have a shelf life of about 3 years. Keeping them in the refrig. can help them last longer. (Isn't that a ‘cool’ tip!)

*Store a bottle of fragrance in your lingerie drawer. It’ll make those undies smell alluring.

*Gently apply your fragrance to pulse points behind your ears, knees, wrists. Your scent will last longer.

*Layer your fragrance. Use Body Mists and Lotions in the same scent. Gathered has both in your favorite fragrance!!
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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Honey, I gotta tell ya….

Cleopatra had it right. Fill a bath with milk and honey, and sit in it while the world goes by. Skin needs to be kept hydrated in order to remain soft, supple and elastic. Age, life's stresses, and everyday pollution really stretch our skin to the limit and affect its ability to stay moist. Skin becomes dry, cracked, and yes… those dreaded wrinkles appear. Honey attracts and holds on to moisture, making it a natural humectant. Honey is also good for sensitive skin. But the benefits of honey for beauty don't stop there. Studies show that honey has good antioxidant properties. Antioxidants not only play a part in protecting the skin from the harmful rays of the sun, but are also rather handy when it comes to skin rejuvenation. Its antimicrobial talents make it good for skin break-outs without drying the skin.

Honey makes an excellent mask that is convenient and easy to use. It is especially appropriate for dry and damaged skin. It can be used as frequently as desired.

Basic Honey Mask

½-1 teaspoon of honey per facial
Pat and massage honey onto the skin, spreading it evenly over your face. Leave on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse off with warm water.

Give it a try... Honey, you know you're worth it!
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cleansing Your Face

You should always take off all of your makeup before you go to sleep. Cleansing oils are one of the quickest and most painless way to remove all traces of makeup. After you remove your makeup with a cleansing oil, (without wetting the face first) use a gentle cleansing cream/soap (Gathered From the Garden has some wonderful ones!). This will remove any residue the cleansing oil leaves behind. Double cleansing is crucial to maintaining great skin.
When I first heard about double cleansing I was a little skeptical. Using an oil to clean my face sounded heavy. With some research, I learned that oil makes an excellent cleanser because it cleans gently without stripping your skin of its vital natural protective layer. Because oil attracts oil, excess oil is gently lifted off of the skin, along with dirt and other impurities. Japanese and Korean women use cleansing oils to remove makeup—even waterproof mascara. Ever notice how beautiful their skin is? The oils Gathered uses are VERY light including jojoba oil which isn’t really an oil at all.
After cleansing, follow up with a toner and a good moisturizer. Gathered carries both of these too.
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rescue Your Closet--Update Your Look

The more I thought about those two well-dressed women in Paris, the more I thought about how well-dressed I am or am I? Taking a look in my closet you'd wonder how I manage to get so many clothes in such a small place. Do I need some updating?
Redbook magazine's August issue has some advice and I found more with some research. Here are some tips to help you get started on updating your look and saving your closet!
*Clean out your closet (ouch). Don't throw out everything. Keep the items that fit well and make you feel good when worn. Some items of clothing are classic. They never go out of style--keep those too. You can use accessories over and over. They can help achieve a different look by wearing them with something new. Clear out the clothes that don't fit anymore, that you haven't worn for a year or that you know were just impulse buys and too trendy.
*Read fashion magazines. Check out what the celebrities are wearing. Look at their day to day wardrobes, not their red carpet outfits.
*When buying new clothes choose what fits. You can't go strictly by size. While my husband is always a 42 L and has a shirt size of 16 1/2 --34/35 I am not a true size 4. Sometimes I can get into a Junior size 5-especially pants or capris. When buying shirts or blouses, I can wear anything from a S to a L!
*Shop someplace new. Widen your scope by checking out boutiques, small shops or department stores you don't usually shop at. You might find some surprising pieces.
*Update your haircut. This is probably the easiest to do and you get instant results. Take a friend along or if you see a style on someone you like ask for the name of the salon and stylist. If you get a cut that isn't quite what you had in mind, relax, it will grow out. ( I know of several people who haven't changed their hairstyle since highschool.)
*Don't give up. If you try a style change and it just doesn't work for you take it back. As you experiment and step out of your safety zone you'll see fashion in a whole new way. You'll come to see what clothes and makeup bring out the best in you.
If you are in need of a major overhaul then I suggest you check out getlifestyled.com. They've got experts who can come and help you big time.
Now I need to take my own advice and head to my closet for some major rescue work!
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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fashion in Paris

I had the great fortune to visit Paris this summer. It was everything I imagined and then some! To learn more about this great city before I flew over, I checked out parisdailyphoto.com There is a new photo of Paris posted every day along with a short explanation.

Now that I am back I still occasionally go to that website. I like to see if any of the photos are of places I actually saw there. Today's photo showed two women walking in Luxembourg Garden. (I did visit that lovely place!) One is an elderly woman and the other one a young woman. The short explanation remarked on the way the women are dressed. The photographer says that in Paris people are judged by the way they dress. I'd say that both women would be judged quite stylish! It is true about fashion there. We never saw any French women wearing jeans and most had a style all their own.

I hope when I get to be the age of the older woman in the photo that I can still pull off a look that good!
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sole Searching

Did you know that your feet contain one quarter of all the bones in your whole body? Did you know that women are nine times more likely than men to develop foot problems because of their shoes? Feet have to endure tremendous pressures of daily living. An average day of walking brings a force equal to several hundred tons on them. They are subject to more injury than any other part of the body, which means we need to protect them with proper footwear. Here's some interesting info on shoe styles.

*High-heels--If you frequently wear high heel shoes they can tighten and shorten your Achilles tendon. This will lead to pain when you walk in flat shoes or no shoes. Wearing high heels can also cause permanent damage to the calf muscles. If you must wear them (my sister loves heels!) only wear them for about 20% of the time. Wear them to work, out on the town but change into comfortable shoes at home. Alternate with good quality sneakers or flats for part of the day.

*Peep-toes--If your toes are getting crowded in the narrow tops, the edges of your toenails can get pushed into surrounding skin tissue which can cause pain and possibly infection. Always cut your toenails straight across and not too short.

*Ballet flats--These shoes very definitely do not have much arch support. This can lead to plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the shock-absorbing tissue in your arch. You'll feel sharp, stabbing pain. If you must wear these shoes, add over-the-counter arch support inserts or get made-to-fit your feet orthodics. (I love mine!) They will help to distribute pressure more evenly.

*Flip-flops--You see them everywhere, in every season, on every age. The gripping action of your toes means your foot works harder than normal. It can eventually lead to problems such as tendonitis and can cause hammertoe, a permanent buckling of the toe. (Sounds awful!) You shouldn't wear flip flops for more than two hours a day because the seemingly comfortable spongy soles provide little support for your feet.

Activity should have a bearing on your shoe considerations; wearing the right shoe for a particular activity is probably as important a factor in your choice of shoes as any. If you go to http://www.foothealth.ca/footcare/footwear.htm you'll find more info on shoes. This site also says "Perhaps the best shoe for women is a walking shoe with laces (not a slip-on), a polymerized composition sole, and a relatively wider heel with a rigid and padded heel counter, no more than three-quarters of an inch in height." Sounds like my kind of shoe!

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Surprising Uses For Vinegar

I was reading in Health magazine (health.com) about some uses for vinegar. They suggest using it as a Nail Polish preserver. If you rub your nails with white vinegar before you apply your polish it will take some of the moisture out of your nail. This will help your polish adhere. They also suggest using Apple cider vinegar as a blemish buster. It can flush out dirt and tighten pores to prevent breakouts. (You'd have to be ok with the smell--which won't last long.) Wash your face then apply vinegar to your nose, cheeks and chin with a cotton ball. They have a few other suggestions for vinegar that are not beauty related.
Has anyone tried using the Apple cider vinegar for blemishes?
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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Beauty Busters

You have probably thought about goals for nearly every part of your life-- but have you worked up a plan to boost your health and beauty ? This list of beauty boosters will help you get on the fast track to happiness both inside and out.
*Invest in a quality hairbrush.
Did you know that a cheap hairbrush could literally tear your hair out? Even the most healthy scalp loses a minimum of thirty hairs a day, so ensure that your hair will stay where it belongs -- on your head -- with a quality brush designed for your hair type. Boar and nylon are the most commonly used bristles in hairbrushes. Natural boar bristles are good for long, normal, fine and damaged hair; while the nylon variety tend to be better for short, coarse or heavily-damaged hair. Look for brushes with widely-spaced rows of bristles, as they glide through the hair more easily. Another hint: Buy yourself a wooden comb. Choose one with widely spaced teeth. It will stimulate scalp circulation while eliminating static.
*Moisturize your skin every day
Your skin, the largest organ of your entire body, needs special care and attention. Especially in the winter months, skin loses moisture and can easily become dry and flaky.
*Get enough sleep
Not getting the right quantity -- or quality -- of ZZZs can affect your appearance. Dark circles under your eyes will appear, and other annoying skin issues can flare up and broadcast to the world that you aren't sleeping well. As if that wasn't enough, without enough rest, your cells don't have a chance to repair themselves, which will make your skin look dull and dry, and age more quickly than it otherwise would.
*Scrub your way to soft feet
Taking time out for salon pedicures is not always in the budget, time or money wise, so agree to take matters into your own hands... or, in this case, your own feet. Purchase a foot file (it is a bit like a giant nail file) and vow to scrub any areas of your feet with dry or rough skin once or twice a week. Use the file after a bath or shower -- or in the shower when your feet are wet -- because warm water softens the skin.
*Make time for you, because you're worth it
Never forget that the most important person in your world is little ol' you. Make time to rest, relax and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. Vow that once a month you'll plan a special treat, all for you. It might be dinner with a friend, a massage, a visit to a museum -- what ever works for you. Remember that "me time" is the fuel that keeps you going in this hectic world. You have a lot to do and lots to be thankful for. When you make yourself a priority in your own life, you and everyone around you will reap the benefits.
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Monday, September 1, 2008

Care for Your Hair

Having perfect hair has always seemed like an elusive dream to me. Someone else's hair always seems to have a better cut, better color or better texture. Sometimes this has been due to a new stylist I've tried and haven't been satisfied with. More often it is probably because I haven't given my hair the kind of care it deserves.

Here are some common mistakes (I am guilty of some...) that many people make in dealing with their hair.

* Washing Your Hair Everyday--Your hair only needs to be washed every other day or even every third day. Washing daily can strip away oils. If your hair is naturally oily, use a mild ph-balanced shampoo. I found out that all shampoos fade color so I will not be washing my hair as often!

* Not Getting Haircuts--Your hair will look much healthier if you get regular haircuts. It's a good idea to trim those split ends.

* Using Too Much Conditioner--Too much conditioner weighs your hair down. Be sure to thoroughly rinse out the conditioner. If you don't, it will counteract your other styling products.

*Overheating/Overdrying--Yes, I'm guilty of this one. Blow drying, curling, using a straightening iron are all hard on your hair. Use a blowdryer on damp, not dripping wet hair.

If you are using a round brush, hit your ends with the Cool setting. The cool air will set your style and you will have less frizz.

* Ponytail and more ponytails--This causes stress and breakage at the band. Never use an uncovered elastic (even covered ones can damage hair) and NEVER sleep in your ponytail. Alternate the fastening point 1/2 inch up or down from time to time.

* Brushing too much--Never brush wet hair. Use a wide-toothe comb on wet hair. Hair does not need to be brushed 100 times.

*Using Hair Spray--Hair spray contains polymers that lock out humidity. It's the polymers not so much the alcohol that dries hair. Use just enough to hold your style.

* Wrapping Your Hair in a Turban--Yikes! I was doing this every time I washed my hair! This is very hard on your hair. Notice those little baby hairs around your forehead? That's partly where they come from. The weight of your towel pulls at your roots and causes breakage especially since your hair is wet. Use your towel to gently squeeze off the excess water. Let your hair air dry as much as possible. To be environmentally friendly, use old t-shirts to gently squeeze out excess water.

I can't restore my hair to the color or texture I had as a young girl but I sure can take better care of what I have now. Do you have any other hair mistakes to add to our list?

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