09 February 2013

Valentine's Day Celebration Ideas For Singles

If you ran an actual count, you'd find a lot of singlet people who don't plan on spending Valentine's Day with a partner. In fact, a 2010 study by the U.S. Census Bureau found there were nearly one-million unmarried people over age 18 in America, which represents nearly 44 percent of the adult population.

But wait a minute; with so many people unmatched on February 14, surely they've come up with some great ways to spend Valentine's Day that don't involve wallowing in depression. After all, being single is pretty cool. At least the Census Bureau makes it clear you're not alone.

To make your day more enjoyable, here are a few ways to enjoy this romantic holiday without a committed partner.

1. Gang Up
If 44 percent of Americans log in as singletons, you must have a few other friends who also fly solo. Call 'em up and make some plans. To cut costs, purchase gift cards at such sites as GiftCardGranny for savings on dining out, seeing a movie, party supplies, or simply for gas that'll get you where you're going.

2. Namaste
Treat yourself to a yoga class and end the day all loosey-goosey and centered. You don't have to spend a fortune on a club membership to namaste your way to serenity, either. Many health clubs offer a couple free weeks or, at least, several gratis passes, that allow you to check them out. Some yoga studios also allow you to either sample their wares for free or pay for just one class. Find a yoga studio in your city with YogaFinder.com.

3. Go Country
You don't have to have a partner to line dance, so find the closest country bar and shake your booty. Even if you're not a country-music fan, you may find the dancing is a real kick.

4. Serve Dinner
Invite a friend or two over for dinner. You don't need candles, flowers and a fancy meal to have a fun evening. Pizza will do just fine, if you don't feel like cooking.

5. Watch a Movie
Sometimes it helps to wallow a bit, but you'll want to avoid romantic films like "When Harry Met Sally." Go for something that'll get the tears rolling without making you feel lonely. "Steel Magnolias" is always a good one for gals and "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" is a great guy's flick. Don't forget the pint of ice cream.

6. Celebrate
February 14 is also "Singles Appreciation Day" in the United States. It's an entire holiday dedicated to reminding romantic couples you don't have to be in a relationship to celebrate life. Get your single friends together -- both males and females -- to enumerate all the ways you each love your lifestyle.

7. Ignore the Hype
This day doesn't have to be any different than the rest of the year. Just ignore all the media hype and focus on "me time." Read a book, take a walk, cook up a storm...whatever makes you happy. Just don't read the newspaper or watch television.

30 September 2012

Dr Murad Energizing Pomagranate Cleanser

I'm finally back after so long with a product review: the Murad Energizing Pomegranate Cleanser.

Usually I'm more of a drugstore skincare kind of girl. Having tried most brands I decided it was finally time to invest in a decent facial wash.
Drugstore gel washes have always left my skin tight, dull and dry (and yes - I've tried every brand from St. Ives and Neutrogena to Clean & Clear and L'oreal). Cream cleansers leave my skin feeling a bit icky like there is a film or product left behind.
So usually I end up washing my face less so as not to strip my skin of essential moisture and oils.

My skin type:
I'm in my mid twenties and used to suffer from acne as a teen. Luckily, now I only suffer from the occasional breakout and oily/combination skin. But I was definitely longing for that "glowy" and healthy skin look- sans make-up.

Enter the Murad Energizing Pomegranate Cleanser, and helloooooo: you cleanse and tone in one step.

Product info: ($26 for 5.1 fl Oz)
This dual-action foam cleanses and exfoliates with AHAs to leave skin clear, soft and smooth, while Energizing Pomegranate Complex™ infuses skin with a healthy glow.

Additional features and ingredients:
•Witch Hazel removes excess oil without stripping skin of its natural moisture (good bye harsh acne fighters!)
•Tones and tightens pores

The verdict:
As soon as I tried this face wash I noticed the difference compared to all other gel and cream cleansers I've used in the past. One pump is enough to leave your skin feeling soft and cleansed. But bear in mind, just like all other cleansers, this won't be enough to remove foundations and make-up, so I use my Pond's make-up remover before. However this cleanser does work great on removing natural oils, dirt and any other breakout causing skin impurities. It feels so light you could easily use this in the morning and at night.
The smell is also pleasantly fresh and fruity!

Is the higher price justified? Absolutely! I can honestly say I'm sold on Murad products. Even though I'm a budget beauty lover and rarely venture outside the drugstore, I feel like it's ok to spend a bit more if I can notice a difference.
You could aksi rationalize the price by the fact that you only need one pump of this product to wash your entire face and it will last you a few months. The bottle is quite large and and you won't need a separate toner-this really came in handy when I took this on vacation with me. Just fabulous!

What's your favorite facial cleanser and have you tried this one?


04 September 2012

Top Dermatologist Tips for Preventing Wrinkles

The beauty industry is filled with products and “miracle” creams promising to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. But if you're lucky enough to not have even gotten to the stage where wrinkles are significantly noticeable, why not work to prevent them?

Sleeping Beauty 
Though it's difficult to change your usual sleeping habits, if you don’t sleep on your back—try to! Think of it this way: sleep lines are tough to get rid of. And though a good nights rest is needed for a youthful appearance, it doesn’t end there. Your position makes a difference when hitting the sack! Avoid sleeping on your face or side with your skin all scrunched up in your sheets. This will help prevent lines on your face, especially in areas prone to wrinkles.

Beautify Gently 
When applying makeup or washing it off before bed, try to be gentle, specially around the eyes. Don’t rub around your eyes to wash out excessive eyeliner and mascara. Don’t use harsh towels, avoid vigorously scrubbing your face or stretching your skin daily to apply makeup in sensitive areas and take your time!

Like Mother, Like Daughter 
How do you know if you are prone to wrinkles and in which areas? Look at an older family member’s face—especially your mother. If you suspect an upcoming battle with creases in your future, speak to your dermatologist about preventative measures like Botox.

Kiss Lip Lines Goodbye 
Want to avoid lip lines? Don't drink from a straw repeatedly, smoke or constantly blow bubbles with bubble gum. Activities that cause you to pucker or purse your lips may result in added lines. If you are prone to lip lines— again observing family members to see if you might be genetically predisposed—, avoid pursing your lips. To further prevent lip lines, don't get electrolysis. It is a nonspecific heat probe, so as it’s killing the hair, it can inadvertently kill some collagen too. It’s rare, but it does happen. Try laser hair removal to remove hair or just bleach, thread, wax or shave.

Maintain Protection 
It is a given that avoiding the sun and using sunscreen is one of the most effective anti-aging measures. However, many people forget to reapply. Sunscreen only lasts 2-3 hours, so keep a powder sunscreen in your bag and reapply throughout the day.

What are your habits for preventing wrinkles?

28 August 2012

Cool Fall Shoe Fashions!

Fall 2012 is an exciting time for fashion, especially when it comes to shoes. During the Fall 2012 Fashion Week we were able to preview some of the styles and trends for this season. There were dozens of hot shoe trends showcased in the different shows and we were able to gather that no matter what the trend or style there is one thing that is for certain this season, shoes will not be boring. From metallic colors to heavy embellishments, shoes this fall are unique and full of character. Here are some of the hottest trends in women's shoes that we saw that are expected to make their way to retail stores.

Strappy Shoes
Expect to see straps everywhere whether on t-strap pumps or ankle strap flats. There are dozens of styles in leather, velvet, and suede Some shoes like the Jessica Simpson Bansi, a gorgeous bone colored t-strap platform with a silver, sequined platform and heel, take the trend even further and combine it with glittery details.

Ankle Boots
One of the season’s absolute must-haves is a pair of ankle boots. They are extremely versatile and can be worn with skinny jeans, dresses, or skirts. They are also extremely comfortable and ideal for those who spend last season struggling finding knee-high boots for their toned calves. Ankle boots are showing up in solid colors, wedge or flat heels, or in different patterns, such as leopard prints. The KORS by Michael Kors Marden ankle boot has a small heel that is comfortable enough to walk in for hour, yet still adds a bit of height.

Pointy Pumps
One of the classics that is making a comeback this season is the classic, lady-like pointy-toe pump. You will see them in a range of colors and materials. Many designers are giving this eternal classic a trendy twist and making them in bold colors, eye-catching patterns, and the very trendy metallic cap toe. These BCBGeneration Cielo Pumps are a gorgeous example of an effective use of classic style paired with bold color.

Gold Accents
This fall season, shoes are looking very luxe with gold embellishments and accents. Bold colored ballet flats with gold heels have already been spotted on trendsetting celebrities like Kate Bosworth. Boots are also sporting this trend with gold metal accents and luxe hardware. Some, like the Steve Madden Boldd, are daring with eye-catching embellishments such as gold spikes.

The Slip-On
One of the biggest trends this fall that you definitely see on the streets is the slip-on loafer. It has already become very popular and can be seen everywhere. It is not a surprise that this shoe would become immensely popular because who wouldn’t like to wear their slippers to work or on a day out on town. Slip-on loafers come in every possible material, color, pattern, and style. One of my favorites is the Marc Jacobs Slip On Loafer in a gold sequin fabric. This style is very unique and can even be worn for going out when paired with a mini skirt or a party dress.

16 August 2012

ATurbulent Love Affair with Sportswear

Sportswear has never just been limited to sport. Suits are often swapped for tracksuits after a long day at work and tight jeans are sometimes swapped for sportswear just before sitting down for Sunday dinner. We dance round our living rooms in our tracksuits with our brand new Vax cleaners and dig them out of our wardrobes to do the gardening.

Given a bad name by characters like Little Britain’s Vicky Pollard in her offensive bright pink tracksuit top and blue bottoms, we tend to avoid actually leaving the house in sportswear, lest we run into a friend or colleague resulting in an embarrassing display of our lazy-wear.

However, with the arrival of the London 2012 Olympics, sport is on everyone’s minds. This is, of course, reflected in fashion: dressing down is on the up and it seems sportswear will be back in a big way. Now, more than ever before, big fashion names are collaborating with sportswear brands: Stella McCartney has designed Team GB’s London 2012 kit, for instance.

Adidas, the official sportswear of the London Olympics and the British team, has recruited pop star Katy Perry to be the new face of their sportswear range. The U.S. pop queen who bares her midriff as she dances with a troupe of female backing dancers, proves that sportswear can be sexy. In addition, British TV presenter and model Alexa Chung currently stars in Italian trainer brand Superga’s summer campaign.

Many designers’ collections are heavily influenced by sport, a trend that looks set to continue as the latest rounds of collections appear. Sportswear has officially been swiped from the running track and relocated to the catwalk, which renders former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham’s confession that she loves fashion too much to wear a tracksuit somewhat meaningless.

If sportswear is becoming a more acceptable form of attire, should employers allow tracksuits in the workplace? ‘Casual Fridays’ are growing in popularity as employers recognise the benefits they can bring to the business. Giving employees a day to express their individuality is an effective motivator and does not cost employers a penny.

In turn, employees feel more appreciated and more relaxed. This not only improves employee morale but also increases worker productivity – which typically wanes towards the end of the week.

01 August 2012

Curvy summer fashion with plus size swimwear

Summer is the time when ladies of all shapes and sizes should be out enjoying the sun and showing off their figures. It can be hard to find outfits that are flattering and comfortable in the heat, but there’s no need to be afraid of summer fashion. Just have a look at what’s available; prints, patterns, loose shapes and flowing dresses are all trends that look fab on curvy ladies.
Fashion isn’t about hiding; it’s about showing off your favourite bits. If shorts aren’t for you (or just not for the office!) then wide-cut linen trousers are a great option – they’re classic, versatile and can easily be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. If you go for a dark colour, try teaming them with a feminine neutral – or pastel – blouse for a sharp work look.
Finding a summer top that you feel comfortable in doesn’t have to be tricky either. If you like something loose-fitting, a white smock top looks effortless and stylish over a pair of cropped trousers. It’s a great look for ladies who want to draw attention away from the tummy to the legs.
If you’d rather opt for a head-to-toe look, maxi dresses are the best friend of women everywhere. They skim curves and create a long silhouette, as well as being a cool option for when the summer temperatures really heat up.
Swimwear can sometimes be daunting (along with the thought of toning up our bods for the beach) but there’s no need to worry – with a range of on-trend, flattering plus size swimwear for women available online, it’s easy to find a style to suit your individual shape. A halterneck is perfect for balancing out a full chest and a tankini is a great option for those who want to keep their stomachs covered up.
The designer swimwear collection at isme.com features great plus size swimwear, and – whether you’re a pear or an apple – you’ll have plenty of choice, so why not have a browse today to find your perfect swimwear look in time for summer?

15 July 2012

10 Tips To Get A Beach-Ready Body

As summer approaches, world-renowned dermatologist Howard Murad M.D., Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCLA and founder of Murad Inc., is sharing his top ten tips for getting beach-ready. From SPF to foods and exercise, Dr. Murad suggests effective ways to reduce cellulite and protect skin throughout body-baring months.

Tip 1: Start Wearing SPF
No one is ever too young to protect themselves from the sun. The general consensus in the medical community is that the majority of sun damage occurs before a person turns 18 years old. Younger skin is much more sensitive to sun exposure and free radical damage. And many signs of skin damage are cumulative as we age and will likely not be visible until you are much older. I recommend everyone wear SPF on a daily basis because most sun damage occurs during daily activities. This incidental exposure includes more than just direct sunlight on bare skin while you’re tanning. Light also reflects off surfaces, comes through building and car windows and penetrates through clothing.

Tip 2 Eat More Eggs
When weakened skin and connective tissue can no longer hold fat invisibly in place, it migrates up through the skin to become cellulite. To build healthy new cells with strong membranes, your body needs lecithin, which is found in many foods – including eggs, soy, spinach, peanuts, apples, cauliflower, and potatoes.

Tip 3 Try Dry Skin Brushing
This simple technique is one of the most effective exfoliating treatments for skin with cellulite and stretch marks. Use a body brush or exfoliating gloves to remove old dead and dying cells, while simultaneously increasing the blood flow to the affected areas and stimulating the body’s ability to remove built-up toxins.

Tip 4 Add More Raw Fruits and Vegetables to Your Grocery List
Applying topical lotions containing SPF is only one way to protect skin from the sun; select raw fruits and vegetables, as well as dietary supplements, can also help defend skin from the sun and the resulting damage. Add food such as broccoli, tomatoes, cranberries and spinach to your grocery list and take a supplement containing Pomegranate Extract for maximum benefits.

Tip 5 Shape Up Your Self-Image
Since you’ll soon be spending more time showing off your arms and legs, take simple steps to reshape your body into a point of pride by doing some exercise you enjoy at least a few times a week. Getting in shape is more than just a matter of physical exercise, getting in shape will help you feel confident and comfortable as you show off more skin.

Tip 6 Get Your EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids)
Add extra healthy fats to your diet, like flaxseed oil, olive oil, seeds and oil from cold-water fish (like black cod and salmon) to attract water to dehydrated cells and prevent future water loss. Healthy water-tight cells mean better overall skin health including a reduction in the skin damage cycle that leads to cellulite and sagging skin.

Tip 7 Discover Botanicals and Essential Oils
To reduce cellulite, check products for effective botanicals and essential oils such as Aloe Vera, Basil, Cat’s Claw, Cedarwood, Tiger’s Herb, Fennel, Ginger, Grapefruit, Grape Seed, Mint, Pine, Pomegranate, and Tea (black, red, white, and green).

Tip 8 Stretch
In addition to helping your flexibility and enhancing your fitness routine, stretching, including yoga, can have the added benefit of stress relief – which means less cell damage. Optimizing your cellular health is key to look your best in the long and the short term.

Tip 9 Shop Smart
When purchasing a sunscreen, be sure to look for four key basic features: full spectrum sun protection for UVA and UVB radiation, antioxidants to neutralize aging free radicals, anti-inflammatory agents to prevent redness and soothe skin, and hydrating ingredients to replace moisture loss due to sun exposure.

Tip 10 Adopt an Inclusive Health Lifestyle
A healthy body and complexion are a reflection of total wellness. Inclusive Health, a 3-prong approach to health through topical, internal and emotional self care, provides your body the opportunity to build youthful vitality at the cellular level. By optimizing these three environments, your body and spirit will have the best opportunity to thrive.

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