5 Spring Beauty Upgrades To Refresh Your Fresh

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There’s something about spring that just encourages you to get your affairs in order. Those shoes that have been piling up by your back door suddenly find a home on that fabulous new shoe rack that you just bought. That parsley plant that you forgot to water all winter (RIP fair herbal friend) finally gets laid to rest in your compost. Spring cleaning is definitely a ‘thing,’ so why not spring clean your beauty routine, too? Of course, it’s always wise to go through your makeup kit and throw away anything that’s past its prime, but here are a few celebrity esthetician approved tips for living your best beaut life this spring, courtesy of Katherin Goldman, owner of the Stript Wax Bar in California.

Are You Keeping Your Beauty Products Too Long?

Get waxed. Chances are you’ve let the hair down there (and everywhere else) get a little wild during the winter months. No judgment– I definitely don’t wax my legs until that first or second week of spring. Head to your local wax salon and treat your legs and lady bits to a full-on wax session. If your guy is hairy, consider suggesting that he gets a ‘brozilian,’ the masculine version of every girl’s favorite South American wax.

Get a facial. Rejuvenate old skin and boost cell turn over. Slough off dead skin below the belt with a ‘vajacial’ to smooth skin and treat any issues of hyperpigmentation or in grown hairs that occur as a result of shaving.

Get some color. Even melanin-rich girls need a little color. After three or four months of brutal New York winter weather, my milk chocolaty skin always looks a little pale and lack luster. To boost my bronze, I like to warm my skin up with a little bronzer and sometimes even a little tanner to recapture my bronze-y brown. Before your judge, yes, Black girls can use self tanner, too. It gives our skin a little bronze-y glow without the risk of sun damage. Find out how I use tanner in the summer in my article, “We Tried It: Spray Tanning.”

We Tried It: Spray Tanning

Start detoxing. Beauty starts from the inside. A great way to boost your glow and recharge your beauty batteries is by eating plenty of colorful leafy vegetables, drinking lots of water and fresh, sugar-free smoothies, and taking vitamins daily. I went vegan for the month of February and my skin is proof of how a diet change can upgrade your skincare. Learn more about the benefits of going vegan in my story “Vegan 30: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Giving Up Meat and Dairy

Start sweating. Working out shouldn’t be a stressful activity. In fact, unless you’re strong willed, it’s likely that you won’t keep up your workout regimen unless you actually enjoy it. Find a buddy, a class or workout plan, or a hot trainer that you like and break a sweat this spring. Exercise is a good way to help the body eliminate toxins and it also releases endorphins which help boost your mood.

De-stress regularly. Go outside, take a walk, grab some froyo or listen to your favorite tune. Stress shows up on your face and can make your muscles feel super tense. Find your happy place and tap into it often to maintaining positive vibes throughout the season that can carry you into next winter and beyond.

6 Tips to Relieve Dry Skin Fast

When you have flaky, itchy, dry skin, you want fast relief. Easing your dry skin isn’t just about what you put on it. It also depends on how you clean your skin, the air around you, and even your clothes.Try these six tips to soothe your dry skin.
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1. Warm Yes, Hot No.

A steamy shower feels good, but that hot water is not a good idea for your dry skin, says dermatologist Andrea Lynn Cambio, MD.

The problem is that hot showers strip your body of its natural oil barrier, and you need that barrier to help trap moisture and keep your skin smooth and moist.

So dial down the temperature and don’t linger too long. Skin care experts recommend short, warm showers or baths that last no longer than 5 to 10 minutes.

Afterward, gently pat dry and moisturize your body.

2. Cleanse Gently.

Wash with a soapless cleanser when you shower. Cambio says gentle soaps that are free of fragrance are a great option. Products with deodorant or antibacterial additives can be harsh on skin.

You might also consider a cleanser that contains ceramides, says dermatologist Carolyn Jacob, MD. Ceramides are fatty molecules that make up the outer barrier of your skin. They help skin hold in moisture. Some skin care products use synthetic ceramides to replace those we lose with age.

Go easy on toners, peels, and other astringents made with alcohol, which is drying. When you exfoliate, don’t scrub too much or too hard, Jacob says. It can irritate and thicken skin.

3. Shave Smartly.

Shaving can irritate dry skin. As you shave unwanted hair, you’re also scraping off natural oils.

The best time to shave is after you shower, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Hairs are softer and more pliable after bathing, making shaving easier.

Always use a shaving cream or gel, and shave in the direction the hair is growing to protect your skin.

Make sure the razor is sharp. A dull razor blade can cause additional irritation. Change your razor blades often. If you are using a blade you’ve used before, soak it in rubbing alcohol to clean it.

4. Cover Up.

Sun damage is one of the main causes behind dry skin, wrinkles, and roughness. You can help prevent that damage by wearing a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen year-round and dressing right.

In cool weather, Cambio says, be sure to “dress in layers to prevent overheating and perspiring excessively; both can irritate the skin.”

To prevent dry, chapped lips in winter, use a lip balm with SPF 15 sunscreen, and cover your lips with a scarf or a hat with a mask.

In summer, wear light, loose, long-sleeved shirts when out in the sun, and wear a 2-inch wide-brimmed hat to shade your neck, ears, and eyes.

5. Follow the Rules of Moisturizing.

The simplest moisturizing products can soothe dry skin. “Petroleum jelly makes a great moisturizer,” dermatologist Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD, says. Or you can use mineral oil, a favorite cream, or lotion.

If you like a very rich moisturizer, look for one with shea butter, ceramides, stearic acid, or glycerin, Leslie Baumann, MD, director of the Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute at the University of Miami, says. “All are rich moisturizers that will help you replenish your skin barrier,” Baumann writes in her online article Winter Skin, where she also says she particularly loves glycerin.

Jacobs says that whichever product you choose, a consistent, smart moisturizing routine helps.

  • Wash with a non-soap liquid cleanser, preferably one with ceramides to replenish the skin’s outer layer.
  • Pat skin dry for less than 20 seconds.
  • Apply a thick moisturizer to slightly damp skin within minutes of bathing to trap in moisture.
  • Moisturize your hands every time you wash them so that evaporating water doesn’t draw even more moisture from your dry skin.

Finally, look for a cream with sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher to get the added benefit of sun protection. You can find moisturizing sunscreens as ointments, creams, gels, even sprays. The AAD suggests creams as your best bet for helping to combat dry skin.

6. Humidify in Winter.

Cold, dry air is a common cause of dry, irritated skin. Heating your house keeps you warm, but it also removes moisture from the air, which can make dry skin even more parched.

To replenish that missing moisture quickly and easily, use a humidifier in your bedroom, Cambio says. You can track humidity easily with an inexpensive humidity meter, called a hygrometer. Aim for indoor humidity of about 50%.

3 Tips to Practice Radical Self Love

I want to talk to you about radical self-love. A lot of people don’t practice this very well, and I think it’s actually one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Just as crucial to your health as food and water. To help you show yourself some love, here are three of my favorite tips on how you can love yourself a little bit more.

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Practice Radical Self Love Everyday

When I talk to people about self-care, and taking care of themselves they’re like, “Oh I get a massage once a month.” I always say, “That’s awesome that you get a massage once a month! BUT… you should be doing something every. single. day. Not every 30 days!” I know that so many of you are very busy professionals and/or very busy moms. It’s really easy to let yourself just slide off the radar when it comes to doing special things for yourself. But set a goal to gift yourself 5 minutes a day, to start. This might mean hiding in the bathroom and playing a game on your phone for 5 minutes. Totally cool. That can be your gateway to taking care of YOU.

Practicing radical self-love can be something that’s super simple or small – like 5 minutes in the bathroom alone. Or it might be a scheduled event: getting a mani/pedi, grabbing coffee and a walk with a friend. Just little things that you can do so that you know you are doing something that you are enjoying that’s just for you, and not anyone else in your life. And yes, that something might even be a workout!

Be Aware of Who You Surround Yourself With

Practicing radical self-love also includes being conscious of our environment. Really be aware of who your influences are and the people you surround yourself with. Of course that’s going to be the physical people around you – at work, at home, and the people you see throughout your day. But it’s also going to be who you surround yourself with online? How do you feel after spending time on social media? How does it influence your internal dialogue? Are you seeing things on social media that put down women, or “fitspiration” that makes you feel more uncomfortable in your own skin? It’s really important to notice what you do and the types of things you surround yourself with. Are they things that lift you up and fuel you and light a fire in you? Or are these things tearing you down and making you feel bad? Or even worse, are they causing you to compare yourself to someone else in a negative way? Noticing these influences, and being aware of who you surround yourself with is a HUGE part of practicing and mastering radical self-love.

Do Things That Make You Feel Good!

You might not be surprised to hear me say that exercise will make you feel good. Yes, I’m telling you to exercise to feel good, rather than just to lose weight. You know that when you get in your workout, you’re going to feel amazing all day long. So by exercising, that’s another part of radical self-care. Same thing with choosing foods that fuel you, if you choose foods that give you energy, and have protein & fat that will sustain you, you’ll actually be more productive and creative member of society all day long. Excellent, right? So, start thinking about things that you can do throughout the day to improve your energy and mood. Maybe that means you take a break from work and step away from your computer during lunchtime, and sit and think about your food instead of your email.

There are all sorts of things you can do to take good care of yourself, and practice radical self-love, in tiny little bits throughout the day, so at the end of the day you’ve had a really fulfilling day. What are some of the ways you practice radical self love?

50 Best Hair Tips From Around the World

1

Colombia: Avocado Hair Mask

Some Colombian grandmothers pass on their recipe for chicken soup, but stylist Lutz Karpf learned this instead: Combine two egg whites with half of a mashed-up avocado; leave it in hair for 15 minutes, then wash and condition. It’s a fast and inexpensive natural remedy that leaves hair super-smooth.

2

Brazil: Coconut Hair Cocktail

Forget caipirinhas. Girls from Ipanema get a buzz from this shine-enhancing mixture. “Once a week, apply a cocoa butter treatment mask, let it sit for a half hour, then rinse it out with coconut water,” says pro Marco Antonio De Biaggi of São Paulo. “The combination leaves hair incredibly soft and moisturized-it’s a trick of many Brazilian women.”

31

Argentina: Hydrate with Aloe Vera

It’s all about length, says hair stylist Leonardo Rocco, who was born northwest of Buenos Aires. “Women in Argentina associate long hair with sensuality and glamour.” To help keep long strands in shape, he recommends applying aloe vera directly to your scalp or adding it to your usual shampoo.

4

Guyana: Sardines for Shiny Hair

You may want to learn to love sardines. “They are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids,” says Guyanese hairstylist Angie Hookumchand. “Eating them will make your hair grow faster and enhance its radiance.” Singer Leona Lewis, who is of Guyanese descent, seems to follow the tip with her shiny, mile-long tresses.

5

Mexico: Towel-Dry Tresses

Instead of using a blow-dryer, Mexican-born stylist Oliver Ifergan suggests reaching for a terrycloth towel. “Many Mexican women will wrap a towel very tightly around their hair after showering and wear it until hair is dry. It’s a simple way to make strands smooth and straight,” he says.

6

Mexico: Gelatin Hair Mask

South of the border, they fight frizz with a blend of 1 tbsp. unflavored gelatin, 1 cup water, and 1 tsp. cider vinegar. Massage the gel-like mixture through shampooed hair, leave it in for 5 minutes, then rinse. “It’s a practice passed down for generations,” says Ifergan.

7

Jamaica: Ditch the Blow-Dryer

In the dog days of summer, when your blow-dryer suddenly feels like a blowtorch, you’ll thank Jamaican hair expert Denine Smith for this heat-free drying trick. After shampooing and conditioning, set hair in Velcro rollers to air-dry. “You end up with lush, bouncy, free-flowing curls,” he says.

8

Jamaica: Cactus Benefits

The same nutrients that allow the prickly pear cactus to thrive in the scorching Jamaican sun can help rejuvenate heat-damaged hair. “We peel the cactus and wash our hair with the oil to make it feel lush and hydrated,” says Denine Smith.

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Puerto Rico: Work with Your Texture

“The island is humid and windy, and women here spend a lot of time at the beach,” says Guaynabo stylist Elizabeth Rosado. “Instead of fighting their natural texture, we help them embrace it with soft layers.” Opt for long, face-flattering layers similar to Jennifer Lopez’s, who is of Puerto Rican descent.

10

Canada: Cold Rinse

“The dry, harsh weather in Canada makes for thirsty, unruly hair,” says Toronto stylist Leland Olson. To combat this, she suggests trying a so-called arctic rinse: At the end of your shower turn off the hot water. “I know it sounds unpleasant, but this instantly seals each cuticle, closing up the shaft so it reflects natural light more easily and provides optimal shine and radiance.”

11

Canada: Effortless Waves

Get gorgeous hair in your sleep! “Wash hair at night, let it air-dry about 80 percent, then make two braids on either side,” advises Olson. “In the morning, take out the braids, and comb through with your fingers to break up the waves.” The result? Soft, natural-looking waves like Canada native Rachel McAdams.

12

Spain: Lived-in Highlights

In Spain, women have a less-is-more attitude when it comes to their hair color. Instead of drastic changes that require constant touch-ups, they’ll go for sunny highlights with an uneven starting point so that the regrowth isn’t noticeable, says Madrid stylist Pablo Iglesias, who works with Penélope Cruz.

13

Ireland: Shiny Strands

“An old trick in Ireland was to wash hair with rainwater for shine,” says Dublin stylist Shay Dempsey. “Now women rely on styling treatments like Sebastian Professional Potion 9. Apply it from mid shaft to ends before blow-drying to help smooth the cuticle so that hair reflects more light.”

14

Ireland: Side-Cutting

“Irish women are prone to pouffy hair, due to its naturally coarse and kinky texture,” says Dempsey, who uses a “slide cutting” technique to help battle the bulk: Hold scissors at an angle and finely cut the hair an inch from the root down to the middle of the hair shaft to create softness and movement. Actress Saoirse Ronan, who calls the Emerald Isle home, creates shiny, touchable curls by working with her hair’s native texture.

15

Scotland: Chamomile Rinse

“A chamomile tea rinse keeps blond hair from fading. Simply boil the flower for a few minutes, cool, and strain. Then spritz the mixture on dry hair,” says Miami-based stylist Sean Donaldson.

16

England: Fight the Frizz

“Thanks to the wet and foggy climate, British girls have a real challenge on their hands when it comes to their hair,” says London pro Nick Malenko. “I tell my clients never to leave home without an anti-humidity hairspray in their bag because you never know when the weather will turn foul.”

17

England: Blond(ette) Ambition

Not quite blond but certainly lighter than brown, “blondette” is the hair color du jour in London, according to Nicola Clarke, U.K. Color Director for John Frieda. Think Kate Moss. “To achieve the look, we back-comb from the mid-shaft to the ends, then lighten only the tips with bleach, allowing them to look very naturally lightened and sun-kissed. Then we subtly highlight the rest of the head with a medium-shade blond to add tone.”

18

France: Hydrate While You Sleep

Parisian women know a thing or two about beauty sleep. “Overnight treatment masks are very popular here,” says Paris salon owner David Mallett. “To add moisture, many women will rub L’Occitane’s shea butter cream on their scalp the evening before a shampoo.” Another nighttime ritual: vitamins. “Women take herbal supplements to nourish their hair from the inside.

19

France: Air-Dried Style

In France, women seem to have perfected the art of looking chic without trying too hard. Instead of using flatirons and getting blowouts, “French women work with their natural texture, letting their hair air-dry and using their fingers to style it,” says Provence-born hair mogul Frédéric Fekkai. Think of Marion Cotillard’s easy elegance.

20

Belgium: Prep Strands for Heat

“To confront the windy outdoors, women rely on thermal styling products like Sebastian Professional Volupt Spray,” says Antwerp-based pro Ed Moelands. “It fixes the style in place when hot tools or heat are applied but still keeps hair shiny and soft.”

21

Germany: The Oktoberfest Rinse

“We’re known as a beer-loving country, so it’s no surprise that we find many uses for the brew,” says Munich salon owner Thomas Kemper. “I like to mix a half liter of beer with lukewarm water.” Pour it into a spray bottle and spritz dry hair. Leave it on for 20 minutes, then rinse. Do this weekly to keep strands strong and glossy.

22

Germany: Au Naturel Volume

Auf Wiedersehen, flat hair. Manfred Kraft, who owns salons in Ottobrunn and Munich, says wheat protein is the new secret ingredient for German women who want to add body to limp locks. “At the moment,” he says, “there is a trend toward using organic products that contain natural volumizers.” We like the Ojon Volume Advance spray.

23

Italy: Frequent the Salon

Don’t call them high-maintenance; Italian women, like the ultra-glam Sophia Loren, do go to the salon once a week to keep their favorite look fresh. “It’s not considered vain, just good grooming,” says Sicilian-born stylist Fabio Scalia. “They also don’t wash their hair that often to maintain a youthful texture and luster.”

24

Italy: The Olive Oil (Hair) Diet

“A tradition that my family has passed down from generation to generation is to use olive oil in hair,” says Italian pro Giovanni Mele. A tablespoon raked through the strands once a week helps to nourish, condition, and improve elasticity, while also eliminating frizz.

25

Sweden: Static-Free Strands

To cut down on static, Stockholm stylist Sacha Mitic recommends local brand Sachajuan’s algae-rich Over Night Hair Repair, a water-based gel. “It contains minerals that add a moist shine to hair but won’t leave it greasy.”

26

Czech Republic: Pump Up the Volume

“Czech women have very fine hair so everything is about volume,” says Prague stylist Libor Sula. A popular national cure: Kérastase’s Volumactive line. “From the shampoo to the styling products, they all give fool proof body.”

27

Czech Republic: Onion Rinse

To achieve ideal neutral blond highlights Sula suggests this trick, which originated in the pre-hair-product era: “Boil some yellow onion skins, let the water cool, and use it as a rinse.” Boil the skin of 6 onions in 4 cups water for a blond color rinse, the secret of Czech women. We tried it; the rinse doesn’t smell.

28

Hungary: Combat the Elements

“Our air is dry and the water is hard, so a lot of women suffer from limp hair,” says Hungarian stylist Tamas Tuzes. Bumble and Bumble Thickening serum plus a blow-dry gives hair a nice lift and bounce.”

29

Croatia: Keep Your Color

Five months of frigid cold can keep Croatian women from the salon for extended periods. To preserve color during the winter, Zagreb-based stylist Ivana Spicer tells her clients to use gentle, sulfate-free products by Label.m’s organic hair-care line.

30

Romania: Sweeten Your Conditioner

Camelia Negrea, a Bucharest stylist, reveals how to boost highlights like a Romanian: “Add 1 tbsp. of honey to your favorite conditioner-it will make highlights shimmer.”

31

Greece: Keep Hair Color Rich

Greek women who are blessed with really thick, dark hair know how to keep it like that. “A shampoo that contains walnut leaf extract creates a deeper, richer hair tone,” says Athens colorist Vassilis Stratigos.

32

Africa: Whirl Your Hair Straight

Before the days of chemical relaxers and flatirons, South African women used a process known as whirling to straighten their strands. Port Elizabeth stylist Sandy Bishop explains the technique: “Wrap wet hair tightly around the scalp and place a stocking over the head to hold it in place. Use a blow-dryer to remove 80 percent of the moisture, then remove the stocking and wrap the hair in the other direction. Dry completely, take the stocking off, and brush the hair. It will be dead straight.”

33

Egypt: Castor Oil Cocktail

“In Cairo, where my family is from, a popular conditioning treatment is castor oil mixed with crushed garlic,” says N.Y.C. colorist Rita Hazan. “Add a drop of lavender essential oil to the combination and apply to dry hair overnight; rinse in the morning and you have lush, hydrated hair.”

34

India: Neem Oil to Nourish Hair

In a country with more than 1 billion heads of hair, there are many tricks for keeping strands healthy. Mumbai stylist Natasha Naegamvala recommends following your regular shampoo with neem oil. “Massage a few drops into the scalp, then rinse,” she says. “The oil acts as a lubricant to prevent friction and breakage.”

35

India: Give Hair an Espresso Shot

To get a rich espresso hue, women in India combine mehndi, a vegetable dye, with coffee grounds or tea leaves. “Mix it all into a paste, then apply to hair,” advises Naegamvala. “The longer it’s left on, the more the color deposits.”

36

Greece: Sun and Sand Defense

Before hitting the beach, Greek women use olive oil to slick their hair into a tight ponytail. “This protects strands against dehydration from the sun and salt water,” says Athens hair pro Ilias Zarbalis. Take a cue from Greek actress Maria Menounos, who wears her ponytail sleek with a mini-pompadour.

37

United Arab Emirates: Secret Glamour

“Women who spend a lot of time socializing come into the salon two or three times a week for blowouts and styling,” says Dubai stylist Natalie O’Sullivan. “Although they wear the traditional abayas, they still want their hair looking very glamorous underneath.” The Sex and the City crew demonstrated their flair for undercover glamour during last year’s big screen adventure to Abu Dhabi.

38

Australia: Real Surfer Style

Call it the original surf spray: “Rather than racing to wash their hair after a swim in the ocean, Aussie girls use the piecey texture that salt water provides to create tousled waves,” says New York–based stylist Sam Leonardi. “What do you expect from such a beach-loving nation?”

39

Thailand: Humid Hair Relief

“The climate here is so hot and humid, women need to shampoo their hair often,” says Bangkok pro Saisuda Chuawiwat. “To help restore moisture, I recommend Kérastase Chronologiste.”

40

Russia: Pamper Your Ponytail

Vodka, caviar and…horse shampoo? “Believe it or not, the latest craze here is surprisingly unfancy and inexpensive,” says Moscow stylist Andre Drykin, who says many Russian women use the equine-formulated Mane ‘n Tail shampoo. “It makes their hair thicker and healthier.”

41

China: Switch Up Your Style

To prevent thick black hair from looking too harsh, Beijing stylist Elaine Wong suggests a little cut and color to break it up. “Layers, waves or subtle highlights are very popular in China.” Soft waves, like Lucy Liu’s, are an easy way to accent long hair.

42

China: Take-Out Tresses

How’s this for too good to be true? You can boost your hair health by eating Chinese food. “It contains a lot of the natural herbs-such as sesame, ginger, and fleece flower root, a common Chinese herb-that are good for hair health,” says Wong. “It is the ‘healing cuisine’ for Chinese women.” To get your fix, ask for the sesame chicken next time you order take-out.

43

Thailand: Coconut Milk Shampoo

“There’s a local recipe that has passed among friends in Thailand,” says pro Saisuda Chuawiwat. “You grate and squeeze a coconut to get the milk, which you heat on the stove until the oil separates. Spoon out the oil and let it cool before applying it to the hair as a shampoo to provide moisture, softness, and shine.”

44

Vietnam: Lush Lotus Treatment

Prevent breakage with a boket, or lotus tree, treatment. “Growing up in a French-Vietnamese household, I learned that the boket, which grows in Southeast Asia is the secret to strong, shiny hair,” says Los Angeles stylist Kim Vo. For a homemade remedy, steep the leaves and use the liquid as a cleanser. Then grind the pods to a thick, buttery consistency and use as a conditioner.

45

Japan: Start with the Scalp

“Japanese women believe that beautiful hair begins at the roots,” says Japan-born stylist Takamichi Saeki, who runs a salon in New York. “They will often use treatments to exfoliate and deeply cleanse their scalps several times a week or before every blow-dry. The Nigelle LX products are very popular because they are gentle yet effective.”

46

Japan: Boxwood Combs

For centuries it was traditional for every bride in Japan to receive a set of boxwood combs as part of her trousseau. “They could be carved and decorated with blossoms,” Saeki says. “They are used to create hairstyles ranging from simple to elaborate.” Many women still use a boxwood comb daily to get silky and shiny hair.

47

Australia: Eucalyptus Treatment

Envy supermodel Elle Macpherson’s long, ultrashiny hair? So do many Aussie women, says Sydney hairstylist Joh Bailey. “To keep it in good shape, they massage a few drops of eucalyptus oil into their scalp as an overnight treatment. It provides moisture and shine, and promotes growth.”

48

Australia: Sun Shield

The intense sun Down Under can zap the moisture out of even the plumpest hair, says Brad Ngata who owns a salon in Sydney. “Anti-frizz products that also offer UV protection, like Kérastase Soleil-Mirco-Voile Protecteur, are always top sellers.”

49

New Zealand: Use Local Ingredients

“It’s part of our culture to embrace natural products made from native ingredients, such as manuka honey,” says Auckland stylist Mana Dave. “It moisturizes, conditions, and has hair-protective qualities.” Case in point, the Wild Ferns by Parrs line.

50

New Zealand: Carefree Cuts

Kiwi women prefer an outdoorsy lifestyle and a simple beauty routine. That explains the popularity of short hair, like New Zealand native Lucy Lawless. “Most cuts women get are cropped styles and variations of the bob,” says Dave. “They spend a lot of active time outside and don’t get hung up on having long hair.”

 

New Skin! How to Eat to Get a Stunning Complexion

Debbie J., MS, RD contributed this article –
What better way to beat the winter blues than with a happy glow? When it comes to soft skin and smooth texture, it’s not just about the creams and lotions you put on your skin, but what you put into your body that affects your complexion, too. How you eat makes a big impact on the way your skin looks and feels, because vitamins, minerals and other nutrients found in everyday foods can give sallow, dry or older looking skin a healthy—and perhaps youthful—boost.

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Ready to take a look at the recipe for complexion perfection?

It starts with plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and sufficient protein as part of your well-rounded diet. In particular, there are some power–foods and nutrients that nourish the skin.
Almonds – These contain Vitamin E (an antioxidant) which protects your skin’s top layer from the sun, keeping it supple. Vitamin E is considered a sun-blocker; it protects you against UV light and other free radical producing environmental factors. Thus, these foods help reduce the harmful effects of the sun on the skin, such as wrinkles, which can make your skin look and feel smoother. Sunflower seeds are a nut-free alternative.
Beans – Particularly red, black, kidney and pinto because they contain antioxidants and the mineral zinc. Zinc is correlated with fewer blemishes as it clears skin by taming oil production. Additionally, zinc also supports cell repair and renewal.
Extra Virgin Olive oil, cold pressed or expeller processed – This useful oil contains essential fatty acids which are part of the cell membrane that holds in moisture, keeping skin lubricated, looking and feeling younger. EFAs are crucial to the production of skin’s natural oil barrier. They also help skin resist UV damage and oxidative stress thus protecting against photo-aging. Canola oil is another option.
Dark Chocolate – YES, chocolate! It contains flavonols (antioxidants) that reduce roughness in skin, improving texture, and protect again sun damage resulting in softer, smoother, and better hydrated skin. Added bonus: cocoa increases circulation for 2 hours causing luminosity.
Flaxseed and Walnuts – These little powerhouses contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat that is a critical part of the lubricating layer that keeps skin moist and supple, improving skin’s elasticity. Higher intakes of these foods are correlated with reduced photo-aging, as ALA neutralizes skin cell damage caused by free radicals. Omega 3 fatty acids erase spots and smooth out fine lines because they combat irritation and attract water, and plump-up skin cells by holding more moisture.
Green Tea (hot brewed) – This eastern delight contains catechins (antioxidants) that are anti-inflammatory. They reduce redness and protect cell membrane from UV damage. Drinking 2-6 cups a day may neutralize the changes that appear in sun-exposed skin.
Low-fat milk products – Dairy foods contain Vitamin A which is necessary for the maintenance and repair of skin tissue (too little and you’ll experience a dry, flaky complexion), and protein which keeps skin firm.
Soy – This contains aglycone (a soy isoflavone) that may improve fine wrinkles and skin firmness and has minerals and protein that are shown to reduce hyperpigmentation.
Strawberries – These berries contain multiple skin protectors. Ellagic acid (antioxidant) protects elastic fibers keeping skin from sagging.Vitamin C boosts production of collagen fibers that keep skin smooth and firm. Polyphenols (antioxidants) that fight free radicals and regulate skin’s blood flow, giving it rosiness.
Tomatoes – The compound Lycopene obtained from cooked tomatoes fights free radicals produced by UV light, reducing aging of skin such as sagging and fine lines.

Part 2 adds to this list of key foods some accessory ones that can help stave off the hands of time plus relevant tips on avoiding wrinkles and damage.

Salon Stroke

A California woman suffered a stroke after a beauty salon visit, sparking fears over a rare but documented condition called “Beauty Parlor Stroke Syndrome.”

CLAIM: Getting your hair washed at a beauty salon can, in rare cases, increase the chances of a stroke.

TRUE

We are seeing this all over our professional forums and its got some people pretty freaked out. I have been in the hair business for 27 years and I have never heard of a “beauty parlor stroke”… could you guys check this out and give us some real info?

ORIGIN:In January 2014, a woman in San Diego, California, went to a local salon to get her hair done. What happened next sounds like the most nightmarish of urban legends: the angle and degree she was tilted in the chair and the way her head tipped back over the sink while the stylist was washing her hair caused Elizabeth Smith to have a stroke two weeks later:

“I vomited, my head became hot and I couldn’t stand. I had weakness in my arms and legs. They didn’t think I was going to live,” said Smith, choking back tears.

Smith says she could hardly believe what nearly killed her.

Her doctors pointed to her time in the shampoo chair. Beauty Parlor Stroke Syndrome is what they called it. It’s a rare but documented condition.

Multiple doctors who saw Smith say when her neck was bent backwards, it hyperextended, her vertebrae slicing an artery. A clot began forming, later causing a stroke.

“Several of Ms. Smith’s neurologists confirmed with her that the stroke was caused by the vertebra dissecting her artery during her hair wash,” said Smith’s attorney Carree Nahama.

The danger is real, although the probability of it happening is low. A study that came out in 1993, subsequently covered by the New York Times, found that older people have a higher risk of a stroke during or after a visit to the beauty salon (Smith was in her late 40s at the time):

The patients suffered from a variety of complaints attributable to poor blood flow in arteries leading through the neck to the back of the brain, including severe dizziness, imbalance and facial numbness. Four out of five suffered strokes leading to permanent neurologic damage.

“In older people, neck motion beyond a certain degree can be extremely dangerous, particularly hyperextension and rotation,” said Dr. Weintraub, chief of neurology at Phelps Memorial Hospital in North Tarrytown, N.Y., referring to backward arching and twisting.

He and others have suggested that patients receiving anesthesia or undergoing prolonged dental work may also be vulnerable, since they too have their necks arched back abnormally for prolonged periods.

A 2006 study also looked into the issue, saying while it probably occurred more than previously thought, the risk of stroke in these cases was easily alleviated:

Taken together, hyperextension combined with hanging the head backwards in a hair washbasin can be seen as a risk factor for posterior circulation ischemia. It probably occurs more often than assumed and a number of patients may report about previous dizziness episodes under the same conditions when asked specifically. It can be prevented by changing the shampoo routine from the hanging head position to a flexed or neutral position.

Elizabeth Smith says she racked up $250,000 in medical bills, and is now suing the salon for damages.

The Key to Building More Muscle Might Be Longer Rests Between Sets

When it comes to lifting weights, most people will tell you to rest one minute between sets if you’re aiming for muscle growth, and three minutes if you’re building strength. A recent study suggests, however, that three minute rests may be better all around.

This video from the PictureFit YouTube channel explains why longer rests could be better for everyone trying to build muscle mass and strength, using a study led by Brad J. Schoenfeld, Ph.D. The study, published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, had two groups of participants perform resistance training exercises three times a week for eight weeks total. The only difference between the two groups was one was told to rest between sets for one minute, while the other was told to rest for three minutes.

The researchers measured each group’s muscle growth, strength gains, and muscle endurance, and found that the group who took longer rests between sets improved the most overall. So why does resting more appear to be better than resting less? The researchers suggest that longer rests allow you to do more reps in each set, which means a higher total work volume and the development of better muscular training adaptation in the long run. Essentially, more rest means you can do more work, and more work means you get bigger and stronger.

The muscle-building power of milk vs. beef after a workout: Which is better?

jockology06lfAs a postdoctoral physiology researcher with years of training, Dr. Nicholas Burd was entrusted with a crucial task during a recent experiment in the Netherlands: Keep the cows happy.

“My job was to talk to them, brush them and basically keep them in a good mood,” recalls Burd, who now leads the University of Illinois Nutrition and Exercise Performance Research Group. “If the animal becomes stressed, milk production declines, so we treated them like princesses.”

Burd’s foray into animal husbandry was part of a remarkable research project in which cows received a 40-litre injection of amino acids labelled with a rare (and harmless) carbon isotope, in order to produce milk and beef whose fate inside the human body could be tracked after they were eaten.

The latest of these “glowing cow” studies, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by Burd and his colleagues in Dr. Luc van Loon’s muscle research group at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, compares the muscle-building power of milk and beef after a workout. The approach allows researchers to use real foods that people actually eat, rather than laboratory-created protein powders, and the results suggest that the specific protein source you consume matters less than once thought.

The study involved 12 young men who completed sets of leg press and knee extension exercises on two occasions.

After one of the workouts, they drank 350 millilitres of isotope-labelled skim milk, enriched with extra protein to bring the total to 30 grams; after the other workout, they ate 158 grams of ground beef, which contains the same amount of protein. A series of muscle biopsies and blood samples drawn in the hours before and after the workout allowed the researcher to track how quickly the protein was being incorporated into new muscle.

In previous studies comparing different types of protein for muscle growth, milk has emerged as the top performer. That advantage is thought to stem in part from its high levels of leucine, an amino acid that triggers the synthesis of new muscle, and from milk’s rapid digestion and absorption.

The initial data suggested that the same might be true in the milk-versus-beef comparison. In the first two hours after the workout, the rate of new protein synthesis was indeed higher for milk than for beef. But after five hours, the groups were statistically indistinguishable, suggesting that milk’s fast initial response didn’t produce any lasting advantage.

“From my perspective, the real take-home message is that both milk and beef are good choices,” Burd says. The subtle differences revealed in the experiment will help scientists understand how the body builds new muscle, but they don’t give any strong reason to choose one over the other.

Dr. Keith Baar, a Canadian-born muscle researcher at the University of California, Davis, who was not involved in the study, draws similar conclusions: “The glowing cow experiments have been wonderful and have added a huge amount to our understanding of protein metabolism,” he says. But in practice, “if you are not competing at a high level, protein type – as long as it is high-quality protein – is not too important.”

So what is “high-quality” protein? Nutritionists sometimes distinguish between animal proteins and plants proteins, since the latter are generally lower in key amino acids needed for protein synthesis. Studies at McMaster University, for example, have shown that milk reliably outperforms comparable amounts of soy protein for muscle-building.

But that view may be too narrow, Burd says, since people seldom consume a single isolated plant protein and nothing else. “Personally, I think plant-based proteins don’t get enough credit,” he says. “My guess is that when better comparisons are made [such as mixed plant-based protein blends], the disparity between animal and plant-based proteins will become narrower.”

There are some situations where protein type could become important. If you can’t exercise for a prolonged period of time, for example while ill or recovering from surgery, then your muscles become less sensitive to the muscle-building trigger of protein. In that case, making sure you get leucine-rich protein sources such as milk could help stave off muscle loss.

In most cases, though, the primary focus should be on getting enough, regardless of the source – and on distributing your protein intake throughout the day.

While most Canadians eat plenty of protein, they typically get more than half of it at dinner. Since your muscles can only make use of a limited amount of protein at a time (30 grams, the amount used in the cow study, is a rough estimate of the upper limit for most people), it’s more effective to distribute your daily protein in four or more doses throughout the day.

That suggests that starting the day with a couple of eggs might be a good idea. Or perhaps some chicken. With any luck, the scientists at Maastricht will run an isotope study to settle that age-old question too.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this column incorrectly said isotope-labelled skim milk contains 30 grams of protein. This article has been corrected

Workout Nutrition: What and When You Should Eat to Build Muscle

Use this nutrition guide to get the best results from your workouts

Your body is a machine that constantly reinvents itself. Every minute of every day, it breaks down its own tissues and replaces them with new stuff it makes from a combination of the food you eat and recycled material it scavenges from other tissues.

No matter how old your Facebook profile says you are, your component parts are considerably younger. Even your bones replace themselves every 10 years. By that standard, your muscle cells, with an average age of 15 years old, are the adults at the party.

Your workouts will cause the protein in your muscles to break down and build up much faster than it does in ordinary circumstances. In fact, when you work out with the goal of becoming more awesome than you are now, the entire point is to get that protein to turn over. But it only helps if you end up with more than you had when you started.

There are two ways to do that. The first, and by far the easiest, is to eat more protein than you currently do. Protein, all by itself, is anabolic. It wants to be stored in your muscles. The second is to work out in a way that disrupts your muscles and forces them to respond by getting bigger and stronger.

The combination of a diet rich in high-quality protein (like this whey protein powder from the Men’s Health store) and a great strength-training program is the oldest, best, and only non-pharmaceutical way to reach that goal. This article will show you how much protein you need to eat, and when.

Part 1: How Much

A 2007 study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that muscle size increases 0.2 percent per day during the first 20 days of a strength-training program. That growth is over and above the high rate of muscle-protein breakdown that’s occurring simultaneously.

This explains why the guy who’s just starting out, or returning from a layoff, needs more protein than the weight-room warrior who’s been training for years without a break, and who is at or near his genetic ceiling for strength and size. But it’s the beginner who’s least likely to worry about his diet, and most at risk of not getting as much protein as he needs.

How much is that? A good target is .73 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. For a guy who weighs 180 pounds, a day’s worth would be about 130 grams.

Part 2: How Often

Protein synthesis is the process that takes the protein from food and turns it into muscle tissue. As Men’s Health nutrition advisor Mike Roussell, Ph.D., explains, protein synthesis is like a lamp. It’s either on or off. With 20 to 25 grams of high-quality protein, it’s on. More protein won’t improve the response, just as applying more force to a light switch can’t make the room brighter.

Here’s why it matters:

Most of us tend to backload our daily protein intake. We’ll have a low-protein, high-carb breakfast (a bowl of cereal with milk), a moderate-protein lunch (a turkey sandwich), and a high-protein dinner, featuring a large piece of meat or fish. But a 2014 study in the Journal of Nutritionshowed that you turn more of the protein from your meals into muscle tissue when you distribute protein evenly at each meal.

In the study, protein synthesis was 25 percent higher in subjects who ate 30 grams of protein in each of three daily meals, compared to those who ate the same total amount but had most of it at dinner.

A recent study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that subjects who got at least 20 grams of protein six times a day lost body fat and increased lean mass, with or without training. They were given a protein supplement within an hour of waking up, no more than two hours before going to bed, and every three hours in between.

Six meals may be excessive. But you probably want at least three protein-rich meals a day, especially in the early stages of a new training program. Protein synthesis will peak about 16 hours post-workout, and will remain elevated for up to 48 hours. Protein breakdown will also be higher for 24 hours.

What this means for you is that every meal counts. If you’re working out three or four times a week, your body will in effect be in the process of building new muscle every hour of every day, and also breaking down muscle at a higher rate at least half the time.

Part 3: Pre- and Post-Workout

For consistent, long-term lifters, protein synthesis will peak much earlier—about four hours post-workout—and return to baseline levels faster. So the protein you eat immediately before and after your workout becomes more important.

In a 2012 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the researchers compiled data from multiple studies looking at protein and strength training. They found that those who used protein supplements gained 2 extra pounds of muscle over 12 weeks, compared to those who didn’t. For experienced lifters, they concluded that pre- and/or post-workout protein supplements are required to achieve maximum results.

The “window of opportunity,” when your muscles are most receptive to protein, appears to be about four to six hours, according to a 2013 study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Ideally, you want a protein-rich meal two to three hours before training, and another within an hour or two after you finish.

Those who work out in the morning before breakfast have a narrower window. Protein synthesis slows down by about 15 to 30 percent while you’re sleeping, according to Dietary Protein and Resistance Exercise, a textbook published in 2012. So if you work out before eating, you want a post-workout meal as soon as possible.

Part 4: Best Protein Sources

Different types of food contain different combinations of amino acids—the building blocks of protein. Leucine is by far the most important of the 20 amino acids for creating muscle. It takes an estimated 2 to 3 grams of leucine to get the maximum anabolic effect from a meal.

Just about any normal-size serving of meat or poultry will contain at least 2 grams of leucine. (A serving size is roughly the size of your palm.) Three eggs, two glasses of milk, a piece of fish, or a cup of yogurt will give you about 1.5 grams. A cup of cottage cheese or scoop of whey protein (25 grams) will give you close to 3 grams.

Among plant foods, soy has the most leucine. A cup of soybeans has 2.3 grams. Beans and lentils are the next-best sources, with 1.2 to 1.4 grams per cup. A quarter-cup serving of nuts or flaxseeds will have about 0.5 grams.

Part 5: Carbs and Fat

If you were reading this article 10 years ago, it would tell you to eat carbs but avoid fat in your pre- and post-workout meals. The idea is that carbs before training will provide an easily accessible source of energy, while carbs afterwards will not only help replenish that energy, but also help generate insulin, a hormone that pushes nutrients into storage—in this case, escorting protein to your muscle cells. Fat, on the other hand, would be slower to digest, and blunt the responses of key hormones.

This was all based on the assumption that your body is a remedial student who needs you to keep things as simple as possible. Your body thinks it’s cute that you’re so concerned. Here’s what we now know:

  • Those of us with desk jobs, who sit for long hours before and/or after training, don’t need pre-workout carbs for energy. We have more than enough in reserve.
  • Unless you’re doing more than one exhausting workout a day, you have plenty of time to rebuild your energy supply. Your regularly scheduled meals should work just fine.
  • That said, there does seem to be a benefit to combining protein with carbs in a post-workout meal or supplement. It should result in slightly higher protein synthesis, according to Dietary Protein and Resistance Exercise.
  • As for fat, there doesn’t seem to be a cause for concern either way.

When you’re eating and training with the goal of looking better than you do now, total calories matter more than the specific composition of those calories, or the specific way you eat them. You can be lean and muscular with a low-carb or low-fat diet, and with different combinations of meals and snacks.

Putting It All Together

1. Guys who train for strength and size will get the best results with .73 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. That’s about 130 grams for a 180-pound lifter, and about 146 grams for a 200-pounder. This daily total will probably be the most significant factor in your quest to add muscle.

2. Protein synthesis is higher when you spread that protein among three or more meals, rather than having most of it in a single meal. Shoot for at least 20 grams of high-quality protein in each meal to active protein synthesis.

3.Strength workouts elevate protein synthesis for up to 48 hours in new lifters, or those returning after a layoff, and about 24 hours in those with more experience.

4. Since protein synthesis slows down during sleep, it’s a good idea to eat something soon after waking up.

5. The “window of opportunity” surrounding a workout is about four to six hours. If you have a protein-rich meal a couple of hours before a workout and another soon after, you’ll take full advantage.

6.Including carbs in your post-workout meal could improve your results.

The latest makeup for blue eyes and anti-ageing skincare infused with copper: Elsa McAlonan’s beauty upgrades

 

  • Elsa McAlonan gives her top beauty tips for spring beauty the week
  • Start the countdown to summer with the new bronzing makeup
  • Don’t be afraid to try blue eye make-up – it is one of the biggest trends

    Race you there!

    Start the countdown to summer with the new Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Color Collection. The limited edition products include a bronzing powder and a crayon highlighter to fake a post-holiday glow. My personal favourite is the Prismatic Eye Shadow Palette (£25, elizabetharden.co.uk) which has five summery shades of taupe and purple shadow, encased in a brightly patterned compact. You certainly won’t struggle to find it in your make-up bag.

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    What’s now & how to do it: Blue eyes

    Don’t be afraid to try blue eye make-up this spring – even if you haven’t worn the shade for decades. It is one of the biggest make-up trends this season. A slick of blue eyeliner is all it takes, but don’t be tempted to apply it inside the eye. Instead, draw along the upper lash line, softly smudging it into the lashes. Finish with lots of black mascara.

    Try Rimmel London Magnif’ Eyes (£6.99, Boots); Chameleon pencil (£19, charlottetilbury.com); or Sisley Phyto Eye Twist (£28, John Lewis).

 

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Instant grey cover-up

Cover grey hair in seconds with a new spray-on. The L’Oreal Paris Magic Retouch (£8.99, Boots) comes in light blonde, dark blonde, brown, dark brown and black. It works particularly well on darker hair like Eva Longoria’s, above, covering greys instantly.
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Can copper really turn back time?

Copper has been used in skincare products for centuries, thanks to its wound-healing properties. And now it has made a return to the beauty industry – in anti-ageing products.

Find copper in the new Elemis Biotec skincare, which claims to ‘wake-up’ the skin, helping it look radiant and smooth. The range includes Biotec Skin Energising Cleanser (£39.50) Day Cream (£75) and Night Cream (£85, all elemis.com). Copper is also in Perricone MD Blue Plasma Cleansing Treatment (£35, Space NK). It is a gentle cleanser that removes impurities from the skin and is an easy step to add to your routine as it doesn’t need to be rinsed off.

Or try a copper-infused moisturiser – Dermalogica Retinol Overnight Repair (£73, dermalogica.co.uk) which uses a copper and amino acid complex to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

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This works

Balance Me Tinted Wonder Eye Cream (£20, balanceme. co.uk ) is designed to cover and diminish dark shadows, firm the skin under eyes and reduce puffiness. Just what we need to treat dark circles after losing an hour’s sleep yesterday.

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Shameless indulgence

Tea isn’t something that springs to mind when thinking of scent. But Jo Malone has turned tea leaves into a luxurious cologne collection. The Rare Teas range costs a huge £240 for a 175ml bottle (jomalone.co.uk) and launches at the end of this week. They handpicked tea from Japan, China and the Himalayas and infused the scent from the leaves into the fragrance. The six-cologne collection includes Silver Needle Tea, with added rose and sage, Darjeeling Tea, with notes of freesia and jasmine, Jade Leaf Tea with pomelo and sesame, Oolong Tea with cocoa and tonka bean, Midnight Black Tea with oriental woody notes of vanilla and labdanum, and Golden Needle tea, paired with sandalwood, giving it a leathery, spicy aroma.

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