Bathing Beauty

Tips for a Spa Bath At Home

There’s nothing more deeply satisfying than an old fashioned soak in the tub to relax your body and mind. A hot bath is so healing and restorative that spas the world over offer their own ultra-pampering versions. From creating an environment you can really drift in, to immersing yourself in the right water temperature, here’s how the pros would turn an ordinary home bath into a luxurious spa-worthy soak.
 
Get Ready
Gather everything you will need before running the bathwater, so you won’t have to get out of a warm tub mid soak or run around looking for a robe afterwards. Include candles, flowers, your music, a hydrating drink, bath products and après bath lotions and oils. Adjust the lighting, turn off your phone, and then hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign.
 
Fill the Tub
The perfect water temperature may not be as hot as you think. Experts suggest a comfortable 92-100 degrees. It turns out that dipping your big toe into the tub to test the water isn’t as efficient as using the inside of your wrist. Expect to stay in at least 15-20 minutes to get the full effects of the bath.  After that it’s up to you and your skin.  If your skin is dry or you start pruning up you might want to exit your bath sooner than later.
If the tub is small, dip washcloths into the bathwater to cover unsubmerged knees or feet and allow the heat and bubbles to do their job more efficiently. 

The Clean Break
It’s not uncommon to be a bit antsy right after getting into the tub. A small towel spritzed with relaxing lavender essential oil placed behind your neck will help. Gentle stretches, music, a few deep breaths, closing your eyes—even floating a child’s rubber duckie— will also pass the time until you are able to fully relax.
If the weather is hot, or you tend to be uncomfortable in warm water, put a moistened wash cloth in a bowl of ice within reach to cool your brow if needed and soak some more.
 
Get Out and Glow
Don’t towel dry completely when you exit the bath.  Damp skin soaks up moisturizer best. And, if you can allow yourself extra time afterwards, reach for a warm fluffy robe, and rest in an easy chair, before you go on with your day or night.
 

Get Healthy from the Inside Out

How Your Skin Can Warn You About Heart Dangers

A healthy heart gives you more beautiful, younger looking skin. But the opposite is true as well, because unhealthy-looking, inflamed skin can be a telltale sign of possible heart problems.
 
Two of our skin’s most tormenting conditions—eczema and psoriasis—aren’t just cosmetic nuisances, although the itchy, scaly, red patches can look bad, especially on the face. These rashy outbreaks are evidence of an overactive immune system and recent research shows that they may be a red flag for increased heart-disease risk.
 
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is the milder and more common of the two conditions. It’s linked to higher cholesterol and higher blood pressure, which in turn are connected to increased heart attack and stroke risk.
 
Like eczema, psoriasis is an autoimmune condition and, disturbingly, indicates that a person afflicted with it has up to three times the heart-attack risk of a person without it. People with psoriasis have dry, itchy, scaly red patches that in some cases grow into thickened skin lesions called plaques.
 
Both skin problems are due to an overactive inflammatory response by the body’s immune system. Simply put, the immune system mistakenly treats the skin like an unwelcome outsider and attacks it. It’s that chronic inflammation throughout the body that damages the circulatory system and ultimately harms the heart.
 
But there is some good news: A skin-healthy diet is also a heart-healthy diet. By eating to reduce inflammation and making healthier lifestyle choices, you can improve your health inside and out.
 
(Of course, any time you have a persistent mystery rash, you should see a dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment, but eating right is one way you can help yourself.)
 
Start by cutting back on foods that foster inflammation, including:
  • saturated fats (from butter, cheese, cream, red meat)
  • fried foods
  • heavily processed food (e.g., fast food, frozen dinners, snack foods)
  • salt
  • sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners
Instead, get more of your nutrition from whole foods, such as:
  • beans
  • soy products (soy milk, tofu)
  • whole grains (bulgur, brown rice, oatmeal)
  • nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts)
  • fresh vegetables (especially dark greens, such as broccoli, kale and spinach)
  • fresh fruit (especially berries)
  • olive oil
  • lean protein (specifically, salmon)
 If you have any kind of autoimmune condition, omega-3 fatty acids are especially beneficial because they calm inflammatory reactions. Omega-3s are a type of fat that your body needs, but can’t make on its own and must get from food. The best food sources are salmon, tuna and sardines, but if you don’t like fish or are a vegetarian, you can also find them in soy, walnuts, flaxseed and chia seeds.
 

Beauty Rituals

Take the Quiz!

Since ancient times women from around the world have gone through extraordinary lengths to reach the next level of beauty. Women have passed down their daily beauty rituals for generations, updating and creating new ones along the way. What is your daily beauty ritual? Take this fun quiz to see if you can guess correctly these beauty secrets and then share with us your beauty ritual at the end!
 
 

Runway Looks

Makeup Trends from 2016 Fashion Week

With the Fashion Weeks of London, Paris and Milan all behind us, now is a great time to review what’s on point this season. And there’s plenty to talk about. What can we learn about everyday hair and makeup from the European runways? Let’s take a closer look!
 
You do you
London in particular was a study in opposites, proving that now, more than ever, a cookie cutter look is not going to get you noticed. Instead, find the style that works for you, just keep it modern and fresh. That doesn’t mean rolling out in looks from five years ago, but it does mean you can feel comfortable working within your wheelhouse. Take note of polar opposites Naomi Campbell and Rosie Huntington Whitley, both of whom made a splash in London. Naomi went full blown bombshell with seventies-style glamour curls and bright red nails. Whitley, on the other hand, was all sleek blonde and pale makeup. 
 
Meanwhile in Milan, there was one common theme.
 
Go big or go home
From hair to lipstick to accessories, bold was the order of the day for the Italian fashion capital. Big hair (waves, curls, you name it!), statement lips (bold and bright or bold and dark!) and outwardly girl statement accessories (the shades and embellishments had it!) all experienced a grown up makeover, making them fashion forward but accessible. The bottom line: this is not a time to tread lightly. The fashion of the moment dictates that whether you go monochromatic with your makeup or unleash your natural curls, you need to make a statement!
 
One easy way to do that?
 
Feed your feline…
Eye that is. Heavy lining was all over the runways this season. From Cavalli to Versace to Fendi and even Lagerfeld (whose playful, geometric styles were said to have taken inspiration from Burning man), the cat eyes had it and you can too. A subdued feline flair is appropriate for daytime while more elaborate cat eyes can replace statement jewelry for a high impact evening look. All it takes is a peek around the internet and you’ll find a style you can emulate. Meow, ladies!
 
And finally…
 
Embrace your dark side
Whether in London, Milan or especially Paris, looks this year seemed to embrace a harder edge than we’ve seen in a while. From the pale faces, dark hair and deeply hued lips that gave Louis Vuitton a futuristic goth vibe to St. Laurent, where lined eyes, bright lips and black leather brought a feminine face to the punk rock aesthetic, to Givenchy’s so-called biker chic, aggressiveness was the order of the day… The message: don’t be afraid to put an edge on it. Bold is sexy.

 
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