Fashion Blog
Men and Womens Fashion Shopping Blog

Archive for Health and Care

May 23, 2011

Techniques for shaving your legs

When it comes to shaving legs we think women are the only ones who shave their legs. This isn’t necessarily true. Time and again men have also shaved their legs mostly involving athletes, cyclists, body builders, marathon racers etc. Women shave their legs to look more feminist, to show their figure, look sexy or simply for hygienic purposes. Some look for alternative options such as waxing, bleaching, epilators or using hair removal creams instead of using razor blades. The truth is there is nothing better and convenient than shaving your legs provided you know how to shave them.

Tips for legs shaving

When shaving your legs, the first and foremost thing you require is a good quality razor blade. Gillette offers a wide range of blades for both men and women to ease shaving and bring comfort. Once you choose your razor blade or barberblade, go and take a warm shower. A warm shower helps open pores which enable the razor to go deep near the hair root giving a smooth look. This also ensures the hair won’t grow back quickly.

Once your skin is ready to be shaved, apply a good quality shaving cream on your entire legs. Prefer to use a shaving cream instead of soap lather or shampoo lather which can leave your skin dry and damaged. Shaving creams and gels are formulated specifically to shave, and the lather produced is thicker than soap and it sticks on the skin protecting it against any razor burns or bumps and giving a smooth and glossy final look once shaved. If you are shaving against your hair growth, make sure you are using a good shaving cream for effective results.

Position yourself well when it is time to use the razor on the skin. Mostly people sit on the edge of the bath to shave the lower leg. In order to shave the upper leg you need to be in a standing position and may have to tilt your upper body accordingly to shave the back of your leg. If you have a lot of body mass on your thighs you may need to stand in front of the mirror to cover the entire area.

Once done, jump back in luke warm shower and rinse the area well. You can also have a cold shower to close the pores. Apply antiseptic cream or liquid if you have bruised or cut your skin from anywhere. You can also apply aftershave creams, gels, oils or lotions which are widely available in the market giving you maximum comfort, smoothing your skin and giving a nice finish.

If you have very long hair that require shaving cut them with the help of scissors or trimming machine. Hair gets clogged in the razor blade at time of shaving and for excellent results they need to be in a shave-able size. For legs you can afford to shave in one straight go, however make sure you shave lightly and do not rush it. Shaving varies from person to person. Some prefer to shave only in summers where as some shave all year round.

· Filed under Health and Care

July 17, 2010

Skin Care Tips for Dry and Mature skin

Are you over thirty-five? Does your complexion look dull rather than moist? Do you have irregular patches of pigmentation, such as black, brown, or lumpy beige spots, or raised, dark brown skin tags? Are there little red lines around your nose and cheeks? Are there deepening lines around your nose; forehead, eyes and between the eyebrows? Does the skin look loose around the chin line and cheeks, as well as the under eye area? Despite dry skin, are there enlarged pores on your cheeks and chin? If you have answered most of the above questions in affirmative then you have mature skin.

Take care of Mature Skin

Care of mature skin

A summary of mature skin would be that, it is the skin that has been used and abused. The factors that lead to mature skin are hereditary (which of course one can’t do anything about), excessive cleaning and massaging of the face, frequent weight gain and loss, drinking (alcohol can seriously impair blood circulation especially around the eye area), too much exposure to the sun, and smoking as nicotine impairs the blood circulation in the skin.

If you have mature skin you will discover that your skin has become sensitive to a lot of ingredients found in skin care products. For example if you used to apply scented moisturizers you might now realize that you are allergic to fragrance in moisturizers. The solution to this particular problem would be to use a fragrance free moisturizer.

Any product you use should be allergy tested. You can apply the product behind your ear or under the jaw and let it remain for a few hours or a whole day to check any signs of an allergic reaction.

Cleansing mature skin is very much like dry skin and similar products are used for both skin types.

Moisture and sun protection

Mature skin needs extra moisturizers and most of the new ones in the market have the added benefit of a firming ingredient in them which makes the skin taut so that your skin feels rejuvenated, but only temporarily. The only way you can change the texture of your skin, permanently, is through a face-lift.

Retin-A and Alpha Hydroxy AcIds (AHAs), can also be used to reverse aging. Retin-A and AHAs are safer than chemical peeling without the risks of scarring, pain or expense if taken under a dermatologists expert guidance and care.

A sunscreen is a must for mature skin, which has already been over-exposed to the sun’s rays.


Toning can make the skin seem firmer and the pores appear smaller, by creating a slight puffiness around the pores. Choose an astringent around the same guidelines established for dry skin.


These are excellent for mature skin to clean the pores and deliver sufficient water to keep the skin soft and moist. The same rules apply for both dry and mature skin.


Buttermilk deserves special mention as a natural mask because it is rich in lactic acid, a well-known highly effective moisturizer and skin renewal agent.

All products should be allergy tested and applied on sensitive areas on your skin, like the skin behind the ears and under the jaw. This should be left on for a few hours or a day. If any signs of an allergic reaction take place then rinse the area immediately with an oatmeal and cool water solution, and refrain from buying the product.

· Filed under Skin

July 16, 2010

Skin Care Tips for dry skin

Skin care is a perennial problem, especially for women who have dry and mature skin. Women with oily skin also face a lot of problems, but this post will not discuss oily and combination skin specifically, as in reality most faces have a combination of dry and oily areas. A factor that you should keep in mind is that skin should be treated according to the prevailing weather conditions, which calls for lighter moisturizers in summer and heavier creams in winters for skins prone to dryness. Here are beauty tips to cope with dry skin and to give you healthy, beautiful and clear skin in just a few weeks.

Skincare Tips

Do you need a sunscreen?

Sunscreens play a very important role in the upkeep of your skin. They protect your skin against the sun’s ultra-violet rays, which are of two kinds: UVA and UVB rays. Hence the SPF or sun-protection factor should be 15 or more to protect your skin from both these rays, plus the label on the sunscreen should say that it blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Some sunscreens have para-aminobenzoic (PABA), which is a powerful ingredient (in sunscreens). But some skins can show an allergic reaction to it. So if you want to avoid PABA, then look for sunscreens which are PABA- free.

Simple dry skin

Are u under thirty-five? Did you have an almost totally acne-free adolescence? Is your skin tight even several hours after washing? Did either one of your parents have dry skin? Does your complexion get ruddy and ‘pink cheeked’, especially in winter?

If you have answered yes to most of the questions, then you have simple dry skin.

Care of simple dry skin

Skin which has lost too much water by evaporation from the cells of the skin is called dry skin. This water-content can be controlled, by providing the skin with natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) such as, lactic acid, urea, hyaluronic acids and phospholipids (e.g. lecithin and mucopolysaccharides). These compounds are synthesized and added to commercial moisturizers.

Cleansing dry skin – The best form of cleanser for this type of skin is the rinse-able cream or lotion. It does not remove nearly as much oil as soap, and leaves a non-greasy, natural protective coating on the face that inhibits evaporation of water.

Protection from moisture and sun

Skin has a tendency to lose moisture, and moisturizing creams should be used to help the skin hold water and protect it against sun damage. Dry skin although does not cause the skin to age, but simple dry skin during youth indicates that a woman has the skin type that is at risk for early aging. Such skin is often very fine, thin and particularly sensitive to sun damage. Such a skin type needs ample moisturizing and sun protection.

Toning Astringents – Dry skin can benefit from a properly formulated astringent and not from those brands containing alcohol which tend to dry out the skin. If you read carefully, the ingredients of some astringents, toners and fresheners, may contain moisturizing ingredients like lactic acid, proteins, urea and lecithin which can counteract any drying effects of a dehydrating substance, like alcohol.


Although paste masks do the same as gel masks, they also absorb oil and water from the skin. This makes them as excellent masks for oily or acne troubled skin but far too drying for dry skin.

Suggestions for face masks – Use one egg yolk, a few drops of vinegar, a few drops of almond or peanut or olive oil and a broken capsule of vitamin E. These should be mixed and applied on the skin and left for 15 minutes and then washed off.

Facial saunas

We would suggest that you put a dry skin nourishing cream or mask and then steam your face. Take a bowl of hot water and put your face at a reasonable distance from it and cover your head with a towel in such a way that it forms a tent over the bowl. You should remain in this position for 5-7 minutes and then splash your face with cool water to close the pores. This should be done once in two weeks. The moist heat of the sauna dissolves excess oil and loosens the upper layer of dead cells and gives a good supply of water to the skin.

These skin care tips will help you keep your dry skin hydrated, leaving it clear, smooth and healthy. The next post will give you tips on taking care of mature skin; for women aged over thirty-five years.

· Filed under Skin

June 14, 2010

Extended Wear Contact Lenses Guide

Extended wear contact lenses are for those people who would like to wake up each day with clear vision. Two different types of contact lenses are basically available which include the daily wear and extended wear; daily wear being the ones which have to be removed before sleeping and extended wear being the ones which can be left overnight.

Contact Lenses

If you’re one who’s opted for the convenience of extended-wear contact lenses, you need to be aware of their guidelines for use. Most extended wear contact lenses are FDA-approved, but still you need to follow some guidelines when wearing them.

The problems of extended wear contact lenses

Results of the Harvard Medical School study have indicated that extended- wear lens users have a two to four times greater risk than daily lens users of contracting ulcerative keratitis — an infected ulcer or sore that develops on the cornea and can destroy vision. By depriving the eye of oxygen, which can cause the surface tissue to break down, extended -wear lenses make the cornea more susceptible to infection.

Preventing eye infections

No matter what type of contact lenses you wear, knowing when to remove them is the key to preventing eye infections. The most important step is to remove a lens immediately if the eye becomes red and irritated. If the problem persists after rinsing and reinserting the lenses, remove them and seek immediate professional care.

Paying proper attention to your lenses and lens case is also important. When caring for any type of contact lens we suggest you take these steps:

  • Wash hands prior to handling lenses.
  • Disinfect daily-wear lenses each day and extended-wear lenses when removed for cleaning.
  • Do not use salt tablets, distilled water or a homemade solution.
  • Wash contact-lens case at least once a week, and allow to dry in the air after each use.
  • Wear lenses only for the prescribed time period, and have them checked regularly (every three to six months for extended- wear lenses; once a year for soft-wear daily-use lenses and for hard contact lenses).

· Filed under Eyes

June 12, 2010

Watch your weight maam!

Obesity is a problem of great frustration for many people. It has been proved that life expectancy is shorter in overweight individuals. For example if weight is twenty percent in excess than the average, life expectancy is decreased by twenty percent in males and ten percent in females.


There are numerous weight reduction regimes, yet the long-term success rate with all of these is limited. Because it is difficult to maintain desirable weight once a person becomes obese, it is better to prevent being overweight, beginning early in life.

Causes of Obesity

Obesity is caused by an intake of calories beyond the body’s need for energy. It is better to have some understanding of the problems of the individual before therapy can be effectively instituted: A thorough physical examination, a dietary history and an investigation of habits relating to activity, rest and family and social relationships are important.

Eating too much becomes a habit for many people. The amount of food is not necessarily excessive, but it is the extra foods beyond the calorie need that account for the gradual increase in weight. For example the extra pats of butter, the spoonful of jelly or the preference for a rich dessert. Excessive amounts of carbohydrate rich foods are sometimes eaten because they are cheaper than lower calorie fruits and vegetables. The many labour saving devices at home and in industry reduce the energy requirement. Most people enjoy sports as spectators rather than as participants, riding rather than walking to school or work is common practice even for short distances.

Eating can be a solace for the individual who is bored, lonely, discontented or depressed. Food often becomes the focal point of the day for those with little else to do or who are not motivated to seek another outlet for their problems.

Several investigations have shown that there is a high correlation between obesity in parents and their children.

Prevention of obesity

The most vigorous efforts to prevent obesity should be directed to those individuals who are most susceptible, namely children of obese parents and children who have stocky frames. Certain periods of life are also likely to bring about obesity. Men of normal weight often begin to gain weight in the twenties and early thirties and women are more likely to gain in the mid thirties and forties. Weight gain following pregnancy is common. If these trends are recognized, the individual can elect to reduce calorie intake, or increase exercise or both.

Treatment of obesity

In order to consider the treatment successful, the following two criteria must be satisfied.

  1. The weight loss must be such that desirable weight according to body frame and state of health is achieved.
  2. The desired weight should be maintained. The important components of treatment are calorie restriction, nutrition education, exercise, and psychological support.

Some techniques that have been used successfully to control food intake includes:

  1. Eating only at a specific time and place.
  2. Learning to eat more slowly.
  3. Omitting other activities such as reading or watching television while eating.
  4. Using smaller plates and placing portions directly on the plate rather than serving family style.

One year follow up results indicate that regaining the weight lost is common unless an exercise or emergency component is built into the programme.

Calorie restricted diets

Many widely-accepted, nutritionally-sound diets are available and are designed to bring about steady weight loss, to establish good food habits, and to promote a sense of well-being. Such diets must be palatable, must fit into the framework of family food habits, and must not require additional expense or long preparation time. Basic consideration in planning weight reduction diets includes the following:

Energy: A diet that provides 800 to 1,000 kilo calories below the daily requirement leads to a loss of 3 to 4 Kg. (6 to 8 lbs) monthly. This gradual loss does not result in severe hunger, nervous exhaustion, and weakness that often accompany drastic reduction regimes. For most men 1,400 to 1,600 kilo calories are a satisfactory level, and for women 1,200 to 1,400 Kcal are indicated.

Diets that supply 1,000 Kcal or less are rarely necessary. In many elderly people, satisfactory weight loss is achieved only when energy intake is limited to 1,000 to 1,200 Kcal. This is because of their reduced basal metabolism and reduced physical activity.

Milk: It is advised that skimmed milk be used instead of whole milk. One cup of skimmed milk (4 ozs) contains 12 gms of carbohydrate, 8 gms protein and 80 calories. Yoghurt made of skimmed milk should be taken instead of whole milk.

Meat: Boiled, baked, steamed chicken, fish, mutton and beef should be eaten. Gravies and fried meat should be avoided. The amount of fat ingested from meat will depend upon the cut that is used. Lean cuts of beef and mutton, liver, egg yolk, kidney and brain have higher content of fat, so these should be avoided. Fish with coloured flesh is somewhat higher in fat content than that with white flesh.

One meat serving weighs one ounce, like 4 servings or 4 ozs. One serving is equal to one egg or one oz. Fish or ground meat or chicken or stewing meat or dried beans and pulses half cup cooked. One serving contains 7 gms protein, 5 gms fat and 70 calories.

Vegetables: Vegetables with high water content such as spinach, cabbage, lettuce, cucumber are correspondingly low in calories as compared to vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, beetroot, lime beans, etc. Dried beans and peas are much high in calories and these should be avoided.

One vegetable serving is 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw. One exchange of vegetable contains about 5 gms carbohydrate, 2 gms protein and 25 calories.

Fruits: Banana, mangoes, grapes and canned foods are high in calories. Apples, oranges, lemon, papaya, grape fruit contain very little calories. One serving of fruit contains 10 grams carbohydrates and 40 calories.

Breads: One bread serving contains 15 gms carbohydrate, 2 gms protein and 70 calories. 1 serving of bread is 1 bread slice or 1/2 cup cooked rice or 1/2 cup cooked noodles or spaghetti or macaroni or 1/2 chapatti, roti or naan.

Fried rice, and all bakery products such as cakes, biscuits, chips, pasteries, pies, etc. should be avoided.

One serving of fat contains 5 gms fat and 45 calories. One serving of fat is equal to one teaspoon of butter, or one tablespoon of cream cheese, or 1 tsp of oil or ghee.

Butter, ghee, dried nuts salad dressings are rich in fat. Instead, vegetable oils, and margarine should be used in limited amounts.

A great deal of flexibility in food choices is possible with the exchange lists. One important consideration is the safety value of the diet. Proteins and fat remain in the stomach for long; hence more allowances should be divided approximately equally, between the three meals.

Some plans permit six meals a day instead of three. In these, some protein should be provided at each feeding. Part of the success of a reducing diet depends upon learning to be content with smaller portions of food and less concentrated food.

Foods to restrict or avoid

Some of these foods in the following list are permitted in specified amounts, but others are best avoided altogether.

High fat foods: Butter, margarine, cheese, chocolates, cream, ice cream, fat meat, fatty fish, or fish canned in oil, fried foods of any kind such as doughnuts, and potato chips, gravies, nuts, oil, pastries, and salad dressings.

High Carbohydrate foods: Breads of any kind, candy, cake, cookies, corn, cereal products such as macaroni, noodles, spaghetti, pancakes / waffles, sweetened or dried fruits, legumes such as Lima beans, navy beans, dried peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, honey, molasses, sugar, syrup, rich puddings, sweets.

Beverages: All fountain drinks including malted milk and chocolate. Carbonated beverages of all kinds, rich sundaes and sweetened drink mixes.

To lose weight is not easy. To maintain the desired level of weight is even more difficult. It is essential for an overweight person to learn that a change in food habits is essential not only for losing weight but also to maintain the desirable weight.

· Filed under Health and Care

June 11, 2010

Hair Care and Hair Styling Tools and Equipment

You will find it much easier to care for your hair properly if you have the right equipment. The right tool for a particular stage of hair care will save time and be more efficient. The equipment need not be expensive either; the secret is in selecting a tool to do the task properly, so that you are not always making do with second-best.

Cleanliness is very important with all hair equipment. It’s no use keeping your hair clean if you then use a dirty brush or wrap it round dirty rollers. Brushes and combs should be cleaned of loose hair after every use, and washed out with shampoo and warm water every time you wash your hair. Rollers and pins, too, can benefit from occasional water treatments. Never use anyone else’s combs, brushes, or rollers; in the interests of hygiene keep your hair-care equipment to yourself.


Combs are staple hair-care equipment.

Wide Tooth CombWide-tooth combs are useful for disentangling hair, and for combing conditioner through wet or damp hair. It is essential for combing out wet hair, when the hair is in their most fragile state. It can also be used to de-tangle dry hair. The best way to use a wide tooth comb is to start with the bottom section of your hair, working your way up.

Hair Styling CombHair styling or cutting combs have teeth that are closer together; some have widely-spaced teeth at one end and closer ones at the other. These combs are made of plastic or metal, and are used for styling and for holding hair in position while it is cut.

You can also use hairstyling combs at home to bring styling out of the salon and into your hands.

Rat Tail Comb Rattail combs are generally made of metal and are used for making careful divisions of the hair when cutting or styling. It has a long tail on the end of it.

Rat tail combs are also used as hair cut tools, and also for various other hair processes like hair relaxing and hair perm.

Afro Comb Long-tooth or Afro combs are used for very curly or thick hair; they lift the hair away from the roots rather than smoothing it.

Afro combs are particularly designed for kinky hair and have teeth with notches to channel the hair as you comb. It is a common hair tool used by African-American women.

Hair Brushes

Brushes should be chosen carefully; make sure that they do not have any rough bristles that will split or damage the hair.

Quill Brush Rubber-cushioned brushes or Quill brushes with well-spaced plastic bristles are best for use on wet hair. Hair is very easily stretched and damaged when wet, so the bristles should be smooth and not too close together.

Wooden quill brushes are also available which help distribute the hair’s natural oils while massaging the scalp at the same time.

Natural Bristle Brush Natural bristle or bristle-mix brushes have splayed bunches of bristles that are good for brushing through short, wavy, or curly hair, and that can be used to style hair that is slightly damp.

Natural boar bristle brushes help to stimulate the scalp to release natural oils while you brush. 100% boar bristles also increase shine and reduce frizz.

Hair Styling Brush Round styling brushes generally have natural bristles all the way round, and are used for shaping styles when blow-drying. They also come in vented ceramic barrels, for faster and more consistent styling.

Round styling brushes are ideal for curling, flipping and simply adding volume. You can choose from different sizes, depending on the amount of volume or curl you want.

Clips and Pins

Large Hairgrips Clips of various shapes are used to hold wet hair in position so that it dries in curls or waves or in a specific direction. Some pins are also used to hold particular styles in place invisibly.

Large hairpins are used for anchoring rollers once the hair has been wound round.

Hair Clips Metal clips are used to make single pin curls, or to hold bangs in position as they dry.

Large Hairgrips Hair Pins Grips and fine hairpins are used for making pin curls, and for securing finished styles such as topknots, French pleats, and chignons; they can be bought in various shades to match different hair colours.

Hair pins and clips also come in different colours and styles which can be used as beauty and hair accessories.

Rollers or Curlers

Spiky Rollers Rollers or curlers are used on damp hair; they hold it in position while it dries so that it is shaped into curls or waves. Setting rollers are available in different sized diameters and you can even find rollers that use non damaging steam which conditions your hair as it curls them.

Hair rollers work by breaking down the hair’s hydrogen bonds which causes the hair to bend and become curly. The broken bonds prevent hair from holding its original natural form. These hydrogen forms re-bond when exposed to moisture.

Spiky rollers should be used carefully or they can tear the hair.

Soft Foam Rollers With foam rollers the hair is wound round and secured with a plastic bar and a pin; when the hair is dry it forms into soft curls.

Mesh Rollers Mesh rollers are used a great deal in the hairstyling profession; they are held in place with clips and give a tight curl.

Electric heated rollers are also available which curl the hair with the help of heat. Other styling tools used to curl and style hair include styling wands, tongs, and heated styling brushes.

Styling Wands or Tongs

Hair Styling Wand Styling wands or tongs are generally used to curl individual strand of hair. The strand is held in place under a loose bar and wound around the heated wand. The longer it is held on the wand, the tighter the curl. Styling wands can also be used to straighten curly hair temporarily.

Styling Brushes

Heated Styling Brush Heated styling brushes have short bristles to hold the hair in place, and are powered by electricity or by small gas cylinders. The hair is wound round the bristles and the heat sets it into curls.

Heated Rollers

Revlon Heated Rollers Heated rollers are warmed by an electric current and then positioned in dry hair; they give a quick, short term set or a boost to a drooping hair style.

Hair Driers

Blow Dryer Hair driers are used to speed up the natural drying process. Drying needs to be done very carefully; if too much heat is applied, or if the drier is too close to the scalp, the hair can be damaged or the scalp burned. Dry hair is especially sensitive to over-vigorous drying, and too much heat strips it of its protective coating.

Blow Driers

Blow driers are the most commonly used home drying equipment. They are available in many different designs; some have combs and brushes that can be attached for achieving specific styles, others end in a nozzle that can be directed very accurately at particular portions of the hair. All good hair driers will have variable heat settings and an automatic cutout system in case the power supply is overloaded.

Drying Lamps

Heat Lamp Hooded Dryer Drying lamps are more commonly used in salons than at home; usually two are used together, one for the front and one for the back of your hair. They help in perming, hair setting and in speedier color processing.

Hooded dryers are portable, and are used in both salons and at home. Hood dryers are simple and safe to use and are extremely light weight, making them ideal to take along just anywhere.

Hair Straightener Hair Straighteners

Hair straighteners or hair irons come with ceramic heating elements which break down the hair’s nitrogen bonds, found in the hair’s cortex, which cause the hair to bend and become curly. Once the bonds are broken, hair is prevented from holding its original natural form, unless exposed to moisture.

Crimping Iron Crimping Irons

Crimping Irons give an easy and non-permanent way to add wave and body to straight, long hair. You can use them at home easily for all your hair styling needs.

· Filed under Hair

June 10, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions about Nail Care

Q. What causes ridges to form on nails? Is there any way to get rid of them – for example, is buffing a good idea?

A. Nail ridges develop either as results of physical stress such as banging your nail against a hard object or as a natural outgrowth of the nail bed. The easiest way to even them out is with a ridge filler such as Mavala Ridge Filler. It forms a smooth base for polish. You can buff away ridges, but if they are a permanent feature of your nails, continual buffing will wear down the nail. Consult your dermatologist to see what she suggests as a solution.
Nail Care
Q. My nails look yellow after I remove polish. Is this caused by the polish remover I’m using?

A. Most likely it’s your nail polish, not the remover, that’s the culprit. Many heavily pigmented (bright or dark) polishes leave a stain when the polish is removed. When taking off polish, go over nails a final time with a clean cotton ball soaked in remover for extra cleansing. Since dry, brittle nails are more susceptible to yellowing, you might try a nondrying remover such as Cutex Polish Remover, which has a moisture guard to prevent brittleness. If nails are still yellow, don’t polish them for a few days, and rub them with a cotton ball soaked in lemon juice to help fade stains. Apply a clear base coat before applying polish again; it shields the nail from the pigments in coloured polish.

Q. I’ve hoard products with formaldehyde strengthen nails and help them grow, but now I’m hearing that it can cause allergies and can be drying to nails. Should I use products with formaldehyde?

A. Too much of anything isn’t good, and formaldehyde is no exception. Nail hardeners and base coats that contain formaldehyde work at strengthening soft nails, but they should be used in moderation. Three days a week is usually often enough to gain the benefits without incurring the damages. If you find you are allergic to formaldehyde or its derivatives, or it’s too drying, use a non-formaldehyde base coat or hardener, such as Clinique Daily Nail Saver.

Q. My cuticles are dry and scraggly. Is it true that clipping will make them worse? It seems like the only solution.

A. Never clip your cuticles. To safely get rid of dead skin, gently push back the cuticle. A good time to do this is when you get out of the shower. Here’s what you have to do:

Cover your finger with a terrycloth towel and softly rub back and forth along the cuticle edge, then gently push back the cuticle. Rub in a little cuticle cream, Manicurist Erena at La Dolce Vita Salon in New York City recommends cod liver oil for massaging nails and cuticles. It’s inexpensive, available in drug and health- food stores and works well.

Q. I have a hard time filing my nails so they’re smooth and evenly shaped. Is there a goof-proof procedure?

A. File nails as often as needed to keep them even and smooth. Gently file back and forth in short strokes, finishing off with longer strokes in one direction to give the nail edge a smooth finish. As you’re filing, stop every so often and hold both hands up, palms facing you. Compare the curve and length of the nail you’re filing to the nails you’ve already done. Shape is largely a matter of personal preference, but it is recommended shaping each nail to curve about as much as the cuticle curves.

Q. My nails are continually peeling. What causes peeling and what can do to prevent it?

A. Your nails are composed of layers, and when the nail gets soft, the layers break apart and peel. Using a base coat or nail hardener such as Mavala Scientifique Nail Hardener helps strengthen the nail to prevent layers from loosening. Artificial nails can also cause peeling: They block oxygen and trap moisture, causing the natural nail to soften and separate. To rebuild nail strength, use a nail hardener.

Q. Is there anything I can do to extend the life of my manicure? My polish is always chipping away at the edges.

A. First, make sure the nail is clean and dry so polish will adhere properly. Clean the nail surface and beneath the tip with polish remover followed by soapy water. Apply a base coat and let dry. Then apply two or three thin coats of polish, using long strokes and painting over tip of the nail. Finish with a top coat. If the polish chips, spot repairs instead of an entire manicure. Dab a little polish over the chip, then give the nail a thin coat of polish and a new top coat.

· Filed under Nails

June 7, 2010

Tone up that tummy with stomach yoga!

Yoga exercises are designed to engage your body, mind and spirit and certain yoga poses and stretches can help tone your stomach, giving you better posture and flexibility at the same time. Here are some stomach yoga routines you must try to tone up that tummy!

The asanas, by their two fold action namely the intra abdominal pressure and the extreme stretching of the posterior muscle tone up the abdomen, waist line and the hips.

Though strictly not a posture, the three dynamics variants of Yogamudra, the symbol of Yoga offer excellent movements for corrective purposes especially as replacing exercises.



Sit on the mat and assume the semi lotus pose (Ardhapad masana). First bend the right leg at the knees joint, then fold it and place the right heel at the roof of the left thigh so that the right foot stretches over the left groin, sole upward. In like manner, bend the left leg at the knee joint and folding it, place the left heel over the root of the right thigh in such a way that the ankles cross each other, the heel ends touch closely and the left foot with its upturned sole lies fully stretched over the right groin. Thus, having secured the footlock, keep the knees pressed to the ground, tighten the feet against the thighs and press the heels firmly against the upper front margin of the pubic bone.

Now with the arms to the back grasp the left wrist in the right hand and sit straight, the shoulders pulled up the chest forward, the abdomen drawn in, then inhale. As soon as the inhalation is complete begin to exhale while bending forward until you lie upon the heels in such a way as to be able to touch the floor with your forehead not with a flat stretch but by the arching of the spine. Maintain this pose so long as convenient, during the suspension of breath. Then inhale and return to the original position.


Before the maximum stretching of the spine it is advisable to practice the dynamic variations of Pascimottanasana or the posterior stretching pose.


Sit on the mat and stretch out the legs to their full length, keeping them firmly pressed against the floor, with the toes turned inward. Now, slowly stretch out the arms parallel to the legs, palm downwards. While stretching the arms forward, exhale. Then reach out for the toes with the fingers or if possible with the palms. If the exhalation is continued slowly and rhythmically and the abdomen is kept well drawn in, stretching of the posterior muscles is considerably eased.

Maintain this pose for a few seconds during the suspension of breath remembering not to lift or to raise the knees or the legs. Relax the pose tension; withdraw the hands holding them up to a right incline with a symmetrical bend of the elbows and inhale. Keep taking in breath while the arms are being withdrawn. Then throw the chest forward, keep the trunk straight though inclined and resume the starting position. No sooner inhalation is completed then repeat as one does when one is rowing.


For suppleness and elasticity, a novel form of stretching of the various ordinarily unexercised muscles of the body may be found in the posture known as Trikonasana or the triangle pose.


Through the exceptionally straight and full length adjustments of the bony structure of the arms, the spine and the legs, their somewhat mechanical bearing causes perforce such type of direct stretching as is otherwise not available. In its dynamic variations, this is considerably enhanced.

Stand erect with the feet together and the arms hanging at their respective sides; slowly exhale while bending downward, keeping the legs straight. Only the upper part of the body above the waist need be lowered, and the legs kept perfectly straight, pressed backward. Now, touch the toes with the tips of the fingers, the arms straight, the spine and the neck kept horizontal, the abdomen drawn in the head thrown forward at an equal level and the eyes fixed on the tip of the nose. Maintain this pose during the retention of breath. Then return to the original position while inhaling.

It may be pointed out that any failure to reach the toes in the first few weeks need not dishearten the aspiring student in as much as it happens to be a very common experience of most students. Even so, one must try for the best each day until finally the posture is well secured. Avoid jerks, hasty movements, heavy pulls of the muscles and undue strain.

· Filed under Health and Care

June 3, 2010

Tips to stay cool and hydrated on hot summer days

You may think that water is the best thing to exist to cool you down, but water – buckets of it – isn’t the only way to stay fresh and feel clean. A little commonsense and a whole range of beauty aids can leave you beautiful – especially when water is not on tap!

Tips to stay Cool in Summers

  1. When the heat is on, do not dive in a bath of cold water. It is not the right way to cool down. What you need to do is soak in tepid water, along with a zinging splash of skin freshener.
  2. Lay the foundation for day-long freshness first thing in the morning, after you bathe or take a shower. An anti-perspirant or deodorant applied to dry underarms will keep you fresh and fragrant throughout the day.
  3. If you suffer from hot and sticky hands, apply the anti-perspirant to your palms too.
  4. Hot feet will keep cool if you spray on a foot deodorant, and spray your shoes at night to freshen them too.
  5. So-called feminine deodorants are best forgotten as they can cause irritation or mask odours that may need investigating. A daily bath or shower or wash and change of all your under garments should be all that is needed for intimate freshness.
  6. Natural fibres are the coolest to wear. Pick cotton, linen or silk rather than synthetic materials which can make you feel hot and sticky.
  7. Dark colors absorb heat and make you feel hotter. In summers especially, choose light reflecting pastels or simply go for white.
  8. Look for looser, easier lines to wear in warmer weather. Clothes that cling tightly to the body increase body heat.
  9. Choose open shoes or sandals made from natural leather or canvas to keep your feet cool. Look for shoes with adjustable fastenings as your feet may swell in the heat, causing pressure points and creating blisters.
  10. Wear your hair off your face – up, ultra sort or tied back. Using a wide-brimmed hat to shade the face is also a good idea.
  11. A hot head makes the hair and scalp greasier. You may need to shampoo more often to offset this. Choose a mild shampoo made for frequent use and let your hair dry the cool natural way, without using a dryer. If you really want to use a dryer, set it to cool. Brush your hair up from the roots with your head bent forward and this will help get cool air to your head too.
  12. Make-up may melt in hot weather, so swop foundation and powder for the free, less-clogged feel of a tinted moisture cream – but don’t forget to use a sun screen.
  13. Keep skin freshener in the fridge and then simply splash it on to your cool face.
  14. Stay in the shade when the sun is at its highest. Early mornings and evenings are the time to be active if hot weather makes you wilt. Don’t push your system to perform in high humidity if you feel weak, as it will only make you feel worse.
  15. Despite all the above, water is still the ultimate cooler. Splash it on the insides of your wrists to take the heat off all over, or step into a bowl of cool water and feel the freshness from top to toe.
  16. Ice cologne sticks have an instantly refreshing effect. Rub them on your wrists, back of neck, forehead, feet and cleavage to keep cool.
  17. Many fragrance makers have ‘summer scents’ on offer, which are just light and right to wear in hot weather.
  18. At night, open your bedroom window and sleep under just a sheet. It’s really much cooler than no covering at all.
  19. If you are really overheated, then having a cup of hot tea will cool you.
  20. Opt for ‘cool’ foods at mealtimes – Crisp green fruits and vegetables, salads and fresh fruits can form the mainstay. In summers, you will normally find hot foods less tempting, and you will be glad to avoid overheating yourself by cooking them.
  21. Plan to prepare meals in advance, at the end of the day when your kitchen is cooler. This way, even meals you’ll have at home can be treated as picnics – and encourage the family to help themselves.
  22. Don’t forget to drink more fluids when it is hot, as water is lost from the body through perspiration in the summers, leaving you weak and wobbly.

· Filed under Health and Care

June 2, 2010

Sleep – How much is enough?

Research has shown that the physiology of sleep is complicated. The brain has two centres that are involved in the process – one makes us to go to sleep, and the other one keeps us asleep. The first is triggered off by a variety of factors, for example darkness, your habits, what others around us are doing, as well as physical and mental tiredness. It is thought that the second is set off mainly by chemical reactions occurring in the body and the brain cells.

A man needs six hours of sleep, a boy seven and only women and fools need more. – Winston Churchill

It is useful to think of sleep as resembling the recharging battery, and for most people, between 16 to 17 hours of wakefulness are sufficient to run down the battery.



Sleep plays an important part in the way the body recovers from a day’s activity. That is why scientists believe that the brain prepares itself for the next day by sleeping.

According to a recent theory, it is thought that during dreaming our brain cells manufacture the essential chemicals for intellectual functioning. Thus, if we are deprived of dreams, these chemicals are not synthesized. Experiments and research also supports that if people are woken up every time they start to dream, they quickly become exhausted. Therefore, a valid conclusion which we can draw from this is that we do not just need to sleep, but we need to dream too.


Not getting to be able to sleep or insomnia is a very unpleasant experience and if it gets on for more than two or three days, can be debilitating. The most prominent effect of insomnia is extreme fatigue. Insomnia has many causes and many patterns. The person who is usually not able to sleep is usually tense, insecure and anxious about something. Resentment is another important factor.

A special form of insomnia can occur in pregnancy as well. Paradoxically, one of the first signs of pregnancy is fatigue. At the same time, nocturnal insomnia may strike and is probably associated with hormonal changes that occur within a week or two of fertilization. Drugs and alcohol are also causes of insomnia.
Below are some of the few things you can do yourself to improve your chances of having a good and comfortable night’s rest.

  1. Make sure your bedroom is well ventilated and comfortable. It should neither be too warm, nor too cold. The drapes or curtains should also be proper to block any unwanted sunlight or rays from any street light outside the window.
  2. Invest in the best mattress you can afford. If you tend to have trouble sleeping, you will never get a good night’s rest on a sagging or lumpy mattress.
  3. Try to do something relaxing before you go to bed. For some people, yoga is excellent or taking a short walk. For others, sitting and reading a book, magazine or newspaper in a leisurely manner helps fall asleep. Watching television also works for some people.
  4. Make sure that all the dripping taps are turned off and all squeaking doors are closed before you sleep.
  5. Wear something soft and casual to bed. Do not wear a constricting night dress.
  6. Take a warm drink at bed time, such as warm milk. Some people may take coffee or tea, but if you find it hard to fall asleep after drinking tea or coffee, then avoid it.
  7. Have a warm bath, as it works similar to a warm drink.
  8. Give yourself a massage before you sleep. Massages are very relaxing and they help you fall asleep. A facial massage or a foot massage works great.

You can also have your own personal relaxation routine by lying in bed and doing the following:

  1. Check every part of your body systematically and make a conscious effort to relax any muscles that feel tense and can prevent you to fall asleep.
  2. Slow down your breathing by taking one long breath in and then out again where you would normally have taken two.
  3. Try to empty your mind of all thoughts. Think about black velvet, it is very comforting.
  4. Stretch your body and limbs while in bed, as it helps to relax the body, making you fall asleep.

Should all these things fail and you find yourself lying awake next to a snoring partner, do not lie there and let your resentment bottle up. If insomnia is a chronic problem, you should consult your doctor. Everyone needs sleep and everyone should have sleep. Sleeping pills taken over a short period to re-establish your routine are a necessity for some, but you should stop taking them once old sleeping habits are established. Sleeping pills should never be relied upon as a long-term measure.

Follow these tips and have a good night’s sleep and sweet dreams!

· Filed under Health and Care

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »