Author Archives: Our Fashion Avenue

Men: – How To Give Yourself A Facial At Home.

 

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No longer the sole reserve of the fairer sex, increasing numbers of men are realizing that even the toughest of skin requires a little TLC now and again. According to research by Mintel, last year 20 per cent of fellas treated themselves to a professional skincare treatment – but if you’re still not ready to step into the spa, or are trying to save money for your summer wardrobe updates, all is not lost.

Step One: Cleanse

“Skin damage from shaving routines can’t be fixed with soap and water so, really, men probably need facials more than women thanks to their coarser skin and larger pores,” says facialist Jordan Samuel Pacitti. This means cleansing your skin to rid it of any residual gunk is vital to achieving salon-level results.

“Lightly rub with cleansing cream, and leave it on your skin for at least two minutes to give it chance to dissolve any dirt and oil. Then wipe your face – gently – with cotton wool.”

Step Two: Exfoliate

“Exfoliation clears out and refines the skin’s surface, so it’s important not to scrimp on this step,” muses Pacitti. “To remove deep-seated dirt and dry skin, moisten with warm water and gently massage some facial scrub onto your face, avoiding the delicate area around your eyes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Just don’t scrub too hard or do it too frequently or you will damage your epidermis.”

Step Three: Steam

Anyone who follows Dr Pimple Popper on Instagram will know the best bit of any facial is the ‘extractions’ (the process of clearing a clogged pore by manual or mechanical means). To do them properly at home, you’re going to need to get steamy. This will help with the pain of removing spots, blackheads and whiteheads – which shouldn’t be underestimated.

“The majority of women have an understanding that a certain amount of pain comes with beauty [treatments], waxing or whatever. And then come the men – guys who can play football, who can lift refrigerators – and they’re cringing, whimpering. I’ve had crying in my room. I’m totally serious,” says aesthetician Hillary Sklar.

“Steam will loosen any build-up, go grab a 5X mirror, and place a bowl of boiling water in front of you. Then, lean over the bowl and cover your head with a towel so that the steam will reach your face, and stay in that position for about five minutes. You should then be able to pinch out any blemishes with minimal pain.”

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Step Four: Mask

“The years and unhealthy living remove the moisture from your skin,” says Hollywood facialist Su-Man Hsu. “A mask helps to put it back.”

Masks are available from a variety of grooming brands at various price points, but the most important thing is to pick one that is formulated for your skin type. “If you have an oily face, go for an exfoliating or clay-based mask, and for dry skin, opt for an intensive moisturizing one. Then ensure you follow the instructions to the letter” according to the experts at Natura Bisse.

Step Five: Close Your Pores

Once the mask is done with, remove it with warm water. Your pores will be open after this, so to prevent dirt from entering, you need to close them back up again.

“To do this, simply splash your face with cold water, concentrating on your nose and wherever you’ve got large pores, then dry your skin by gently dabbing with a soft flannel,” say the experts at skincare gurus Natura Bissé.

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Step Six: Tone Up

Although it’s often the step that’s skipped, toner shouldn’t be ignored – it’s the key to refreshing your skin and getting rid of oil. “Apply a toner on areas prone to acne and blemishes,” says Sklar. “The only exception is if you have very dry skin, as they will make your skin [even] drier.”

Step Seven: Eyes

The most common reason men visit skincare specialists is to reduce dark circles and puffiness from under the eyes. “Treating your eye bags can be as important as the rest of the treatment,” says Pacitti. “Apply a generous amount of eye cream or gel on the areas surrounding your eyes and rub it in gently using a circular motion.”

Step Eight: Moisturize

After the previous seven steps, your face will be crying out for moisture. “The most vital step is moisturizer as this is essential to keeping your skin soft, supple and even throughout the years,” say Natura Bisse’s experts.

“After a facial, opt for something with more weight to it than your usual moisturizer, and be sure to let it soak in naturally.”

Lipstick (Part 3)

Ingredients

Lipstick Story image for lipstick ingredients from Rackedcontains wax, oils, antioxidants and emollients. Wax provides the structure to the solid lipstick. Lipsticks may be made from several waxes such as beeswax, ozokerite and candelilla wax. Because of its high melting point, Carnauba wax is a key ingredient in terms of strengthening the lipstick. Various oils and fats are used in lipsticks, such as olive oil, mineral oil, cocoa butter, lanolin, and petrolatum. Lead and other trace metals are also found in many lipsticks. It is impossible to know whether these metals are in the lipstick by looking at the ingredient list because they are not an intentional ingredient added, but rather, an unintentional contaminant.

Lipsticks get their colors from a variety of pigments and lake dyes including, but not limited to bromo acid, D&C Red No. 21, Calcium Lake such as D&C Red 7 and D&C Red 34, and D&C Orange No. 17. Pink lipsticks are made by mixing white titanium dioxide and red shades. Both organic and inorganic pigments are employed.

Matte lipsticks contain more filling agents like silica but do not have many emollients. Creme lipsticks contain more waxes than oils. Sheer and long lasting lipsticks contain more oil, while long lasting lipsticks also contain silicone oil, which seals the colors to the wearer’s lips. Glossy lipstick contain more oil to give a shiny finish to the lips. Shimmery or frost lipstick may contain mica, silica, and synthetic pearl particles, such as bismuth oxychloride, to give them a glittery or shimmering shine.

Story image for lipstick ingredients from Good Herald

Lipstick is made from grinding and heating ingredients. Then heated waxes are added to the mix for texture. Oils and lanolin are added for specific formula requirements. Afterwards, the hot liquid is poured onto a metal mold. The mixture is then chilled. Once they have hardened, they are heated in flame for half a second to create a shiny finish and to remove imperfections.

Lead Traces

In 2007, a study by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released a report called “A Poison Kiss” that tested 33 popular brands of lipstick for its lead content. The study found that 61 percent of lipsticks contained lead with levels up to 0.65 parts per million (ppm). The study done by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics brought about public knowledge and put pressure on the FDA to conduct their own studies using a specialized testing method. In 2009, the FDA released a follow-up study to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ report and found lead in all 20 samples tested. The lead levels ranged from 0.09 to 3.06 ppm. The highest lead levels in the 2009 FDA study were in lipsticks made by Cover Girl, L’Oreal, and Revlon.

In 2010, the FDA conducted an expanded survey on its previous study, which broadened the testing to 400 lipsticks that were available on the U.S. market at the time. This study was done by Frontier Global Sciences, Inc. using the same testing method as 2009. This study found an average of 1.11 ppm compared to the 1.07 ppm average in the 2009 study. The maximum lead level found was 7.19 ppm in Maybelline’s Color Sensational 125 – Pink Petal. This is over two times the maximum limit found in the 2009 study.

Lead is not listed as an ingredient in lipstick, but trace amounts can be found in the mineral based additives. Lead is naturally occurring in soil, water, and air. This means that lead can find its way into the raw ingredients used in lipstick color additives. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics made a list of chemicals for concern, which can contain toxic chemicals such as lead. While only trace amounts of lead are ingested from lipstick, lead accumulates in the body, which can lead to lead poisoning. The most common users of lipstick are teens and adult women. A study done by the University of California – Berkley found that women applied lipstick anywhere from two to fourteen times a day. This translates to up to 87 milligrams of product ingestion per day. Lead ingestion is particularly concerning for pregnant women because lead can enter the fetus from the mother. The FDA is the regulating body of cosmetic safety under the FD&C Act. Cosmetics regulated by the FD&C Act do not need to be approved for pre-market sale, but pre-market approval is required for the color additives used in lipsticks. Currently the FDA has not set an acceptable lead limit level for lipsticks specifically, but it has set specifications for lead in the color additives used in lipstick. The FDA’s maximum lead limit level is 20 parts per million in cosmetics; however since lipstick is absorbed through the skin and only ingested in very small quantities, the FDA does not “consider the lead levels we found in the lipsticks to be a safety concern”. The CDC, on the other hand, reports that there is no safe blood level for lead, and that even low levels of lead affect IQ, the ability to pay attention, and academic achievement. The effects of lead exposure are not able to be corrected.

Lipstick (Part 2)

Lipstick Trends

Throughout the early 20th century, lipstick came in a limited number of shades. Dark red was one of the most popular shade throughout the 19th and 20th century. Dark red lipstick was popular in the 1920s. Flappers wore lipstick to symbolize their independence. Lipstick was worn around the lips to form a “Cupid’s bow,” inspired by actress Clara Bow. At that time, it was acceptable to apply lipstick in public and during lunch, but never at dinner. In the early 1930s, Elizabeth Arden began to introduce different lipstick colors. She inspired other companies to create a variety of lipstick shades. In the 1930s, lipstick was seen as symbol of adult sexuality. Teenage girls believed that lipstick was a symbol of womanhood. Adults saw it as an act of rebellion. Many Americans, especially immigrants, did not accept teenage girls wearing lipstick. A study in 1937 survey revealed that over 50% of teenage girls fought with their parents over lipstick.

In the mid-1940s, several teen books and magazines stressed that men prefer a natural look over a made-up look. Books and magazines also warned girls that wearing cosmetics could ruin their chances of popularity and a career. The implication of these articles was that lipstick and rouge were for teen girls who acted very provocatively with men. Despite the increased use of cosmetics, it was still associated with prostitution. Teen girls were discouraged from wearing cosmetics for fear that they would be mistaken for “loose” girls or prostitutes.

By the 1950s, movie actresses Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor helped bring back dark red lips. A 1951 survey revealed that two-thirds of teenage girls wore lipstick. In 1950 chemist Hazel Bishop formed a company, Hazel Bishop Inc., to promote her invention of long-lasting, non-smearing ‘kissproof’ lipstick (“stays on you… not on him”), which quickly gained acceptance. At the end of the 1950s, a cosmetic company named Gala introduced pale shimmery lipstick. Later, Max Factor created a popular lipstick color called Strawberry Meringue. Lipstick manufacturers began creating lipsticks in lavender, pale pink, white, and peach. Since parents generally frowned on teen girls wearing red lipstick, some teen girls began wearing pink and peach lipsticks, which became a trend. White or nearly white lipstick was popular in the 1960s. Rock groups such as the Ronettes and the Shirelles popularized white lipstick. Girls would apply white lipstick over pink lipstick or place under-eye concealer on their lips. During that time, many lipsticks were either matte, sheer, or slightly shiny. In the 1960s, lipstick was associated with femininity. Women who did not wear lipstick were suspected of mental illness or lesbianism. In the 1970s, a number of cosmetic companies introduced lipsticks in more unusual colors such as iridescent light blue (Kanebo), frosted lime green (Conga Lime by Revlon), and silver sparkled navy blue (Metallic Grandma by Biba). M•A•C cosmetics continues to release limited edition and highly collectible lipsticks in a wide range of colors and finishes, including unusual hues of violets, blues, and greens. Black lipstick became popular in the late 1970s and into the 1990s. In the 1950s, black lipstick had been worn by actresses starring in horror films. It became popular again due in part to punk and goth subcultures.

In the mid-1980s, so-called mood lipstick were sold to adults by mainstream cosmetic companies. This type of lipstick changes colors after it is applied, based on changes in skin’s pH that supposedly reflect the wearer’s mood. By the 1990s, lipstick colors became semi-matte. Shades of brown were very popular. These shades were inspired by several shows such as “Friends”. In the late 1990s and into the 21st century, pearl shades became very popular. Lipsticks were no longer matte or semi-matte, they were shiny and contained several interference pearls.

In 2012, bright bold lip colors became trendy again with saturated colors such as hot pink, neon, and orange. In 2014 and early 2015 nude lipsticks were coming up to be incredibly popular. These lipsticks follow the general trend where “less is more”. Examples of celebrities promoting this trend are Paris Hilton and Gigi Gorgeous. In late 2015 and 2016 liquid lipstick, which applies like a gloss but dries matte, became popularized with brands such as Anastasia Beverly Hills. Its most common form comes in a tube, applied with an applicator wand. Lipstick also has many variations including lip balms, glosses, crayons, pencils, liners, and stains. Balms and glosses tend to be more translucent and not as dark or vibrant.

Lipstick (Part 1)

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Lipstick is a cosmetic product containing pigments, oils, waxes, and emollients that apply color, texture, and protection to the lips. Many colors and types of lipstick exist. As with most other types of makeup, lipstick is typically, but not exclusively, worn by women. Some lipsticks are also lip balms, to add color and hydration.

Early history

Ancient Americas oldest manual from the 13th century “The Grolier Codex” shows two Mayan woman wearing lipstick. Ancient Sumerian men and women were possibly the first to invent and wear lipstick, about 5,000 years ago. They crushed gemstones and used them to decorate their faces, mainly on the lips and around the eyes. Also Egyptians like Cleopatra crushed bugs to create a color of red on their lips. Around 3000 BC to 1500 BC, women in the ancient Indus Valley Civilization applied red tinted lipstick to their lips for face decoration. Ancient Egyptians wore lipstick to show social status rather than gender. They extracted the red dye from fucus-algin, 0.01% iodine, and some bromine mannite, but this dye resulted in serious illness. Lipsticks with shimmering effects were initially made using a pearlescent substance found in fish scales.

During the Islamic Gold Age the notable Andalusian cosmetologist Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi (Abulcasis) invented solid lipsticks, which were perfumed sticks rolled and pressed in special molds, and he described them in his Al-Tasrif. In Australia, Aboriginal girls would paint their mouths red with ocher for puberty rituals.

United Kingdom

Lip coloring started to gain some popularity in 16th-century England. During the time of Queen Elizabeth I bright red lips and a stark white face became fashionable. At that time, lipstick was made from a blend of beeswax and red stains from plants. Only upper class women and male actors wore makeup.

Throughout most of the 19th century the obvious use of cosmetics was not considered acceptable in Britain for respectable women, and it was associated with marginalized groups such as actors and prostitutes. It was considered brazen and uncouth to wear makeup. In the 1850s, reports were being published warning women of the dangers of using lead and vermilion in cosmetics applied to the face. By the end of the 19th century, Guerlain, a French cosmetic company, began to manufacture lipstick. The first commercial lipstick had been invented in 1884, by perfumers in Paris, France. It was covered in silk paper and made from deer tallow, castor oil, and beeswax. Prior to this, lipstick had been created at home. Complete acceptance of the undisguised use of cosmetics in England appears to have arrived for the fashionable Londoner at least by 1921.

In the 19th century, lipstick was colored with carmine dye. Carmine dye was extracted from cochineal, scale insects native to Mexico and Central America which live on cactus plants. Cochineal insects produce carminic acid to deter predation by other insects. Carminic acid, which forms 17% to 24% of the weight of the dried insects, can be extracted from the insect’s body and eggs. Mixed with aluminum or calcium salts it makes carmine dye (also known as cochineal)

This lipstick did not come in a tube; it was applied with a brush. Carmine dye was expensive and the look of carmine colored lipstick was considered unnatural and theatrical, so lipstick was frowned upon for everyday wear. Only actors and actresses could get away with wearing lipstick. In 1880, few stage actresses wore lipstick in public. The famous actress, Sarah Bernhardt, began wearing lipstick and rouge in public. Before the late 19th century, women only applied makeup at home. Bernhardt often applied carmine dye to her lips in public.

In the early 1890s, Carmine was mixed with an oil and wax base. The mixture gave a natural look and it was more acceptable among women. At that time, lipstick was not sold in screw up metal tube; it was sold in paper tubes, tinted papers, or in small pots. The Sears Roebuck catalog first offered rouge for lips and cheeks by the late 1890s. By 1912 fashionable American women had come to consider lipstick acceptable, though an article in the New York Times advised on the need to apply it cautiously.

By 1915, lipstick was sold in cylinder metal containers, which had been invented by Maurice Levy. Women had to slide a tiny lever at the side of the tube with the edge of their fingernail to move the lipstick up to the top of the case, although lipsticks in push-up metal containers had been available in Europe since 1911. In 1923, the first swivel-up tube was patented by James Bruce Mason Jr. in Nashville, Tennessee. As women started to wear lipstick for photographs, photography made lipstick acceptable among women. Elizabeth Arden and Estee Lauder began selling lipstick in their salons.

During the Second World War, metal lipstick tubes were replaced by plastic and paper tubes. Lipstick was scarce during that time because some of the essential ingredients of lipstick, petroleum and castor oil, were unavailable. World War II allowed women to work in engineering and scientific research, and in the late 1940s, Hazel Bishop, an organic chemist in New York and New Jersey, created the first long lasting lipstick, called No-Smear lipstick. With the help of Raymond Specter, an advertiser, Bishop’s lipstick business thrived. Another form of lip color, a wax-free, semi-permanent liquid formula, was invented in the 1990s by the Lip-Ink International company. Other companies have imitated the idea, putting out their own versions of long-lasting “lip stain” or “liquid lip color.”

Wrap Up Your Bad Hair Days

When you’re in a beauty rut, it’s a little like looking in your closet and seeing absolutely nothing to wear. Sure, you have the bones to create a killer look — a bold liner here, a bottle of texture spray there — but sometimes you just need a boost of inspiration. You need to fix your bad hair.

During those occasions where your strands are stressing you out, or your updo is looking like a don’t, is there a better way to combat the bad hair day blues than with a head wrap? (Answer: no). An eloquently-tied scarf isn’t just a simple way to add a bold touch to your outfit — you’re also able to give your tresses a break from heat styling and products, too. Talk about a win-win!
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bad hair

Net-a-Porter Brings It-Girl Brand Ganni to the States

With a new collection called “Stop and Smell the Roses.”

If you feel like you’ve been hearing about the brand Ganni a lot lately, it’s not in your head. Beloved by editors and Instagram It-Girls alike, the Copenhagen-based brand offers up affordable on-trend options with a signature Scandinavian touch.

Today the brand joins forces with Net-a-Porter for an exclusive capsule collection, “Stop and Smell the Roses,” we predict you’ll be wearing all summer. Made up of 12 pieces that each feature a lovely rose print, the breezy dresses, lace bodysuits, t-shirts, and more seamlessly fit with what you already have in your closet. “Net-A-Porter is such an institution of Britishness, and so I felt it was natural to work with roses for the collection as they have a very English aesthetic,” says Ditte Reffstrup, the creative director of Ganni. “I wanted to do something really feminine and soft. And in these days where everything is so busy I think it’s nice to remind people to stop and smell the roses.”

And when you contrast these delicate pieces with ones that offer a bit of edge, we’re sure you’ll get stopped and asked where you got that Ganni.

How Your Prostate Changes With Age

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Prostate Changes Throughout The Years

As the human body ages, there are changes to the male
reproductive system. Unlike women who experience a sudden change in fertility,
men experience reproductive changes over time. Growing older can effect such
things as urinary function and output. Although there is no way to prevent prostate
changes from occurring, early and proper treatment for other health conditions
can help detect any abnormal growth changes that can interfere with the
enjoyment of life.

The prostate is a small gland found in the male reproductive
system responsible for the production of semen. By the time a man is in his
20’s, his prostate is the size of a walnut. In his 40’s, the prostate has grown
to the size of an apricot. 20 years later at 60 years of age, the prostate
grows to the size of a lemon. As the prostate continues to enlarge over time it
pushes against the bladder and urethra. This pressure can cause urinary
function difficulties associated with prostatitis. Prostatitis is the swelling
of the prostate that can lead to a bacterial infection. Pressure placed on the
urethra due to inflammation can be associated with many symptoms that include:

Burning or stinging when passing urine Pain in the groin Trouble
passing urine Small urine output, despite feeling a strong urge to go Flu like
symptoms Sexual dysfunction Low sex drive

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With the prostate gradually increasing in size over time, many
men experience sexual dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is a condition that
results in an inability to achieve and maintain an erection. This condition can
last for years or a lifetime. Although erectile dysfunction can be caused by
other underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, it is often a result of
an enlarged prostate. With pain and pressure put on the groin because of
prostatitis, men can experience ejaculatory problems due to an inflamed
prostate putting pressure against the urethra.Benign prostatic hyperplasia
(BPH) is another condition in which the prostate is enlarged due to the growth
of abnormal cells. BPH shares many symptoms with prostatitis like trouble
urinating, but it can lead to more serious complications. If abnormal cells
have grown to where it restricts the bladder from fully emptying, urine can
backflow causing bladder and kidney infections. Over time if BPH is not treated
properly the flow of urine can be blocked completely leading to kidney failure.
In some cases of prostate growth, abnormal cells can be cancerous. As a man
ages the likelihood of developing prostate cancer increases. Men in their 40’s
have a 1 in 10,000 chance of being diagnosed with cancer. By the time a man is
in his 60’s, the likelihood of being diagnosed increases to 1 in 15 men according
to Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

While the symptoms of prostate cancer can develop slowly, a
man’s risk of being diagnosed increases with age. Abnormal cellular growth
often increases inflammation of the prostate, causing a variety of symptoms
form urinary problems to erectile dysfunction. Although symptoms can worsen
with age causing bacterial infections and inflammation due to prostatitis and
benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), conditions with the prostate are treatable,
but not preventable.