Friday, January 29, 2010

Make Chocolate a Healthy Indulgence

Don't feel so guilty next time you dig deep into the M&M bowl. Chocolate isn't all bad for you.

Heart helper
Chocolate martini, anyone? A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who ate dark chocolate had less of a protein that indicates inflammation, which can lead to a heart attack. Plus, alcohol boosts HDL (good) cholesterol.

Mood booster
There’s a good reason we crave chocolate when we’re down. Its tryptophan ups mood-lifting serotonin in the brain, says Leah Sherman, a naturopathic physician in Portland, Oregon. One study found that even the taste, texture, and smell make us happy.

Skin soother
For a spa treat, try this bath from Lauren Cox’s Eco Beauty: Combine 2 cups chocolate milk, 2 tablespoons mild liquid soap, and 1 tablespoon honey; pour mixture into the bathtub. The chocolate milk’s lactic acid and antioxidants smooth and soften your skin.

Cravings buster
University of Copenhagen researchers found that subjects felt fuller and craved fewer sweet, salty, and fatty foods when they snacked on chocolate (yes!). Be sure to choose dark chocolate: Its low glycemic index steadies blood sugar levels, cutting cravings.

Source: Health Magazine

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What does your nail pollish color say about you?

Little things that we do everyday tell a lot about who we are, and what we are all about. You might not realize it, but everything from your hairdo, to the clothes you wear, gives others a peak into your personality. Even the color of your nail polish can tell the world what your actually like.

We all change the color of out nail polish from time to time, or to match outfits. However, it's the color we prefer the most is what tells the tale what we are all about. To test the theory yourself, look up your favorite nail polish color on this easy to read chart.

Clear: If you prefer clear nail polish then your actually a very neutral person. Your extremely down to earth, and easy to get along with. In short you play well with others, and are content with yourself most of the time. You don't need the attention of others focused on you all the time.

Pink or Pastel: If your nail color of choice is pastels or shades of pink this means you are a friendly person, who finds beauty in a lot of things. You are slightly idealistic and maybe angelic. It also means that you are somewhat material minded, and perhaps even a little vain at times. Your a very neat, and clean person, who wouldn't have it any other way.

Red: You are bold. Those who choose red nail polish over any other color are very outgoing, and tend to speak their mind. You like parties, and celebrations, and you love to be noticed. Your a little bit of a show off, but hey, if you got it flaunt it.

Gold, Silver, or Chrome: You definitely like the shine. You find yourself attracted to shiny objects, such as gold, and diamonds. Those who like metallic colors, also like the color green, as in money. These people also like lots of jewelry, and usually wear more then one piece daily. Overall the fake stuff will get you though the day, but the real stuff is much better.

Blue, Green, Orange, Black, Purple, and Other Wild Colors: Your preference in funky colors shows that you are very expressive. You like to make a statement, and don't care what others think. You are also drawn to music, and your own style of clothes. You have a very artistic nature, and you are fairly creative. You don't follow trends, you set them.

It's normal to have more than one favorite color. You might be an emotional person and paint your nails in shades that resembles the way you feel at the time.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

How to Increase your Metabolism

If you're trying to lose weight, increasing your metabolism can enable you to lose more weight without cutting more calories. The first commercialism surrounding "metabolism-enhancing products" has made it difficult to separate fact from fiction (or advertising), but here you can find a few research-based suggestions.

1. Understand what metabolism is. In the simplest terms, metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories. Very few people have a fast metabolism, and overweight individuals generally have slow metabolisms because their fat cells are consuming energy. However, a faster metabolism will enable you to lose more weight than your friend, even if you both have the same activity level, diet, and weight.

2. Determine what is influencing your metabolism. There are some factors that you can change, and some factors that you can't.

  • Age - metabolism decreases five percent per decade after age 40
  • Sex - men generally burn calories more quickly than women because they have more muscle tissue
  • Heredity - you can inherit your metabolic rate from previous generations
  • Thyroid disorder - hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) can slow down or speed up metabolism, but only 3 and .3 percent of the population have hypo- and hyperthyroidism.

3. Calculate your resting metabolic rate (RMR). RMR is often used interchangeably with basal metabolic rate (BMR); although they are slightly different, estimating either is sufficient for the purpose of losing weight. To calculate your RMR, use the Mifflin-St Jeor equation (which is more reliable than the Harris-Benedict equation). There are also calculators online that can do this for you:

  • RMR = 9.99w + 6.25s - 4.92a + 166g-161
  • w = weight in kilograms; if you know your weight in pounds, divide by 2.2 to get your weight in kilograms
  • s = height in centimeters; if you know your height in inches, multiply by 2.54 to get your height in centimeters
  • a = age in years
  • g = gender = 1 for males, 0 for females

4. Adjust your diet accordingly. Your RMR will tell you how many calories you need to maintain your body at rest. Your daily consumption to maintain your weight should be:

  • RMR x 1.15
  • E.g. RMR = 2000, so the maintenance intake is 2000 x 1.15 = 2300
    To lose weight safely, do not exceed your maintenance intake or have a caloric intake lower than your calculated RMR.
  • Count calories by recording what you eat and looking up how many calories each food item contains (either on the food packaging or in tables provided in books or online).

5. Eat small, frequent meals. Extending the time between meals makes your body go into "starvation mode," which decreases your metabolism as a means to conserve energy and prevent starvation. Skipping meals does not help you cut calories or lose weight; in fact, people generally eat less overall when they eat small, frequent meals. In addition to having four to six small meals per day eating healthy snacks will also increase metabolism.

6. Drink water. As with food, depriving your body of water can encourage it to "hoard" rather than "burn". More than ninety percent of the chemical reactions in your body occur in water, so make sure you drink an appropriate amount of water.

7.Boost metabolism temporarily with aerobic exercise. Different activities burn different quantities of calories, but the important thing is to raise your heart rate and sustain the activity for approximately thirty minutes.

8. Boost metabolism in the long run with weight training. Muscle burns more calories than fat does (73 more calories per kilogram per day, to be exact) so the more muscle you build, the higher your resting metabolic rate (RMR) will be. Every muscle cell that you gain is like a little factory that constantly burns calories for you, even while you sleep, and revs up when you exercise. This is the only way to increase RMR, which accounts for 60 to 70 percent of the calories you burn daily.


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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Diet Secret #11: Complexity matters.

Cognitive scientists from Indiana University compared the dieting behavior of women following two radically different diet plans and found that the more complicated people thought their diet plan was, the sooner they were likely to drop it.

"For people on a more complex diet that involves keeping track of quantities and items eaten, their subjective impression of the difficulty of the diet can lead them to give up on it," reported Peter Todd, professor in IU's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

FACT: The longer you can adhere to your diet plan, the more successful you will be long-term with their weight loss maintenance. The more like rocket science one's diet plan feels, the less likely that long-term adherence and maintenance is to succeed.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to Get Rid of Scars

Prevent scars from forming in the first place. Keep all wounds clean so that they do not get infected. Rub a first-aid antibiotic cream or ointment on them. Rub on an over-the-counter antibiotic cream or ointment designed to help reduce scars. Do not pick at scabs when you have a wound that is healing, or you'll create a worse scar once the wound finally heals.

Buy some Vitamin E capsules. Break open a capsule and rub Vitamin E on existing scars daily. Rubbing on Vitamin E helps to smooth and straighten out collagen, which is a structural protein found in scar tissue. The Vitamin E within the capsule helps to keep the skin soft and moisturized.

Use cocoa butter on new and older scars. Regular use of cocoa butter will help your scars fade and become lighter over time. They may not vanish completely, depending on how long you’ve had them or how bad they are, but the cocoa butter will help.

Buy patches and creams
that are aimed at reducing the appearance of older scars. You can find these creams in most drug stores. The time you will have to wear the patches over the scars will vary, depending on how noticeable the scar is to begin with. The creams usually have to be used for a few months or more. Some of the scar creams and patches have a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the results after a certain amount of time.

See a doctor about surgically removing more severe scarring, such as keloid scars. Do not try to remove a keloid scar on your own. Many surgical scars are permanent, but the appearance can be treated so they become lighter and smoother over time. If you have stitches, do not pick at them or try to remove them on your own. This can re-injure the area and you’ll end up with a worse scar.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

13 Tips for Applying Mascara

Tip #1:
Try a spoolie (a disposable mascara wand). Sweep a clean, fresh mascara wand through lashes when they're wet. You can buy a pack at any store that carries specialty beauty products. You can also recycle old mascara wands. When you finish a mascara, clean the wand in a capful of eye makeup remover, then wash with soap and dry. Keep it clean by washing it whenever you wash your makeup tools.

Tip #2: Mix mascaras. A trick makeup artists use to make lashes pop is apply one coat of lengthening mascara, followed by one coat of thickening mascara. Remove excess product with a clean spoolie wand.

Tip #3: Don't shy away from colored mascara. Basic mascara rules are simple: Black works for everyone but can be harsh on light-skinned blondes. Blondes should opt for brown/black by day and reserve black for night. Blue mascara brightens blue eyes while purple mascara makes brown eyes pop.

Tip #4: Use an eyelash curler Curling lashes gives eyes the appearance of being wider and brighter. Shoot warm air from your blow dryer on the mascara curler for 3-5 seconds to warm it up before curling lashes. Touch it first to make sure it's not too hot. Shu Uemura makes the most popular eyelash curler on the market.

Tip #5: Give a few coats to the edges by blinking. Blink onto the brush to give ends an extra coat.

Tip #6: Powder under the eye before applying mascara. Sometimes mascara smudges because it's attracted to oily concealer or eye creams.

Tip #7: Zig-zag the wand. Zig-zagging the wand back and forth during application helps cut down clumps.

Tip #8: For a dramatic look, apply mascara only to the upper lashes. To make eyes seem wider, apply to the bottom, too.

Tip #9: Use a mascara primer. Primers coat lashes and separate them before you apply mascara. Makeup artists swear by mascara primer. I tried it and like it, but because it's an added step, I usually use primer only on special occasion when I spend more time on my makeup.

Tip #10: Want that 2nd coat? Just make sure to do it before the first coat dries, otherwise you'll get clumps.

Tip #11: Do NOT pump wand in and out of the tube. This only introduces air into the tube, which will cause your mascara to dry out sooner than it should.

Tip #12: Another smudge-proof tip -- bend the wand. A top makeup artist once gave his secret to his steady hand: he always bends his wand at a right angle.

Tip #13: Wait five seconds before blinking. You don't want to paint your lids, do you?

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Fighting Salt Stains in the Winter

Step 1:
Remove any visible clumps of salt.

Step 2: Mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 cup of water. Pour half of the vinegar mixture on the salt stain.

Step 3: Brush firmly with a soft-bristled toothbrush for 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 4: Rinse the area with the other half of the vinegar mixture. Don't worry about doing a good rinsing.

Step 5: Launder as usual in a cold wash cycle.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lipstick for Whiter-Looking Teeth

Have your pearly whites faded to grey over the years? Try this simple trick to tide you over until you can make that dentist appointment:

Red lipsticks with 'cool' (blue or purple) undertones will bring out the white in your teeth while downplaying any yellowish discoloration.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Preventing Crows Feet Eye Wrinkles

SPF all year round.
Wear a sunscreen with an SPF of at least fifteen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays whenever you go outside. Be sure to apply it to your eyelids and under your eyes. Your best bet is to choose a foundation with SPF.

Avoid Squinting. Wear sunglasses when you'll be out in the sun to avoid squinting. Squinting can deepen eye wrinkles and Crow's feet. Also, when you're working at your computer, rest your eyes frequently to avoid eye fatigue and squinting. Also consider getting an anti-glare screen for your monitor.

Stop smoking. Smoker's develop Crow's feet quicker than those who don't smoke. The smoke from the cigarettes can irritate the eyes and also promote squinting. Not to mention it's bad for your teeth and skin, as well!

Moisturize. Use an undereye cream that has glycolic acid or vitamin C as an active ingredient. Putting on undereye cream will not only minimize the appearance of wrinkles you already have, it will also prevent from getting them in the future. You are never too young to start. I prefer Murad's Essential C line.

If Crow's feet become a serious problem, see your doctor for a Retin-A prescription. Botox injections are another alternative.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Dressing for your Body Type

Accentuate the parts you want people to see
first. If you’re a pear-shaped body type, wear tighter, fitted tops. Hourglass-shaped bodies have popular curves, so contoured pants and tops will show this off.

Minimize the attention given to the parts you don’t want to emphasize.
If you’re pear-shaped, reduce the visibility of your hips with loose fabrics. Round women should show off their legs with shorter skirts.

Employ optical illusions in your wardrobe.
Don’t wear a light color over a part of your body you’re insecure about. Using horizontal stripes will make you look wider, while vertical stripes, depending on the thickness and width between them, can make you look thinner.

Tailor your clothes to fit
you better. If you don’t have the sewing ability to do this yourself, consult a tailor. This can be much less expensive than buying a whole new wardrobe. For example, diamond-shaped women would do well to let out the bottom hem of a jacket to make sure it doesn’t stretch over your midsection.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

How to Select the Right Shade of Lipstick

1. Look at the color of your lips without any makeup on at all.
Are they reddish, dark or light pink, beige or deep beige to brown? Your natural lip color provides a great direction in your choice of colors. Start by choosing lip colors that are in the same color family, but a few shades darker or lighter. This would mean that light pink lips would look good in very light to medium pinks and reddish lips can go darker and lighter shades of red.

2. Match the color of your skin. If your skin is really pale, you will look best in pale to medium shades of lipstick. If you put a bright deep red on very pale skin, everything about your face will disappear except your lips. Needless to say, this isn't a great look for anyone. Deeper skin tones can carry darker shades but not very pale ones as their lips will disappear. If you have a great deal of natural color in your skin--rosy cheeks, for example--you can choose a brighter lip color. The trick is not to let lips disappear completely or overpower the rest of your face.

3. Dark skin tones should look for brown, purple, very deep red, and crimson shades. Chocolate is a wonderful choice. Try a caramel or medium brown like a walnut for the daytime and a deeper plum or wine berry color at night.

4. Match up medium skin tones with rose, berry, and mauve shades. Medium skin tones aren't really flattered by red, but they can usually wear a medium to deeper burgundy color well. Colors that are too light will make their lips look too prominent in their faces and make their other features "disappear."

5. Consider your hair. If your hair is pale and your skin is pale, use your lips to bring out a little rosiness with a nice frosty pink or rose with a blue undertone. If you have black hair and dark skin, you can try reds that don't have any trace of blue undertone, wines and deep hot pink tones. African Americans with very dark hair and skin tones can wear reds with a blue tone or plums, deep wines and blue toned oranges. Olive skin with dark hair can carry off warm beige colors, plums and more orange-reds.

6. Think about your teeth, too. If your teeth have a slightly yellowish cast, you should avoid any kind of orange as it accentuates the yellow. You should wear lipsticks with blue undertones which will include pink, plum and wine colors. If you have nice white teeth, you can wear anything that is OK for your skin and hair type.

7. Choose a lighter shade by day and a deeper shade by night. If you have heavy eye color, you want a lighter to medium shade of lipstick. Deeper colors look better with lighter eye makeup. You can only have one outstanding feature. If you draw attention to more than one at a time, you can come off looking garish or gaudy.

8. Keep your age in mind as well. Older lips tend to have feathery lines around them and dark and bold colors will collect there and make a shabby looking lip line. A lip pencil in a neutral shade will help this, but you should avoid colors that are very dark or bright. Frosty and shimmery high gloss lipsticks look best on the young because these draw a great deal of attention to lips. If your lips are narrow rather than full, choose lighter shades, as lips tend to appear smaller with darker lipstick colors. Light tones make the lips look fuller.

9. Check out different shades before you buy. Go to a few large department stores and check out the lipsticks with the salespeople at each one. Listen to their recommendations and get their input. Remember never to buy anything that you don't feel comfortable with. Even if it looks terrific on you, if you hate it, you won't wear it. Everyone has a few lip colors that are fantastic for their coloring, age and preferences. Make it a treasure hunt where you go searching for the perfect lip color and don't stop until you feel terrific with your choice.

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