Category: Beauty

The Angelina Effect Is Real

Posted on Oct 8, 2015 by No Comments

When Angelina Jolie had her breasts removed in 2013 because she tested positive for a mutation in the BRCA1 gene, it was inspirational to some and controversial to others.

But no matter what side of the issue you might fall on, there is something being called the “Angelina Effect” that has taken place as a result of Jolie’s choice – an increased women’s awareness of reconstructive breast surgery options.

While this effect has been a matter of speculation until now, a new study from Austria confirms that it is real.

The new study from Austria looked scientifically at the impact of Jolie’s actions.

Researchers found that after Jolie’s announcement, 92.6 percent of women in the study said they knew that breast reconstruction was an option after a mastectomy which was up from 88.9 percent in the same poll conducted the month before the announcement was made. These polls were conducted online, and each one included 1,000 Austrian women.

Dr. David Lumenta, an assistant professor of plastic surgery at the Medical University of Graz in Austria and lead researcher on the study, said in a statement, “This is the first prospective report to prove the media’s effect on the healthcare-related issue of breast cancer among the general public.”

The same study showed the largest increase (up 57.6 percent) in awareness regarding the use of a woman’s own fat tissue in breast reconstruction as opposed to synthetic breast implants, and another large impact on awareness dealt with knowing that breast reconstruction surgery could be conducted at the same time as the breast removal surgery up 40.5 percent from the first poll.

Along with comparing this information, researches added questions to the second survey to gather more detail regarding the impact of media coverage on the participants. One-fifth of participants admitted that Jolie’s media coverage forced them to “deal more intensively with the topic of breast cancer.”

Other retrospective studies have been conducted, and one 2014 United Kingdom study looking at the “Angelina Effect” found the demand for genetic testing for breast cancer nearly doubled, and women asking about risk-reducing mastectomies also went up.

Here in the U.S. another 2014 study found that while 75 percent of Americans knew about Jolie’s announcement and surgery, less than 10 percent of respondents totally understood how the BRCA gene affected her risk for the disease.

Lumenta admits that it is important for doctors to consider the effects of media coverage on their patients saying, “Since individual choice will become a driving force for patient-centered decision-making in the future, cancer specialists should be aware of public opinion when consulting patients with breast cancer.”

Photo credits: wikimedia

What Nail Colors Are Hot this Fall?

Posted on Oct 2, 2015 by No Comments

Fall is here and with it new shades of nail colors are hitting the fashion scene. Gone are the sheer nudes we wore this spring, replaced with a whole palette of colors ranging from bright and sassy to dark and moody.


Among the fashion colors this fall, metallic options like Butter London Nail Lacquer, Jin Soon Nail Lacquer, Essie Nail Polish, and Nars Polish offer warm bronzes, cool chromes, gold and silver.

And this fall, fashion is breaking the rule that says gold doesn’t go with silver. In fact, at the recent European Arthur Premiere, Katy Perry mixed her metallics.

She wore a silver manicure, gold eye shadow on her lower lash line, and gold rings on her ring finger! If you’re ready to try this, to make it work, don’t overdo it on either color. To create a silver and gold smoky eye check out PopSugar’s how-to.

Nail polis

Olive green perfect for military style.

Dark and Moody Color Palette

If you’re looking for colors to complement your fall wardrobe, you’ll find plenty of dark moody colors like plum and ruby, or shades like olive green for a military-ish look or even dark navy.

Heads up though if your nails are short – a dark color can tend to make your nails look even shorter. The way to avoid this is to not cover the entire nail with polish. Don’t paint to the very side of your nails and it will give the illusion of an elongated nail.

Something Lighter

The fun thing about this fall’s nail colors is there’s variety. On the lighter side, OPI offers a host of soft shades, bright colors like That’s Berry Daring, Tal the Cows Come Home, Green-wich village and plenty more.

If this is the kind of color palette you’re thinking of wearing this fall, check out the website for ideas.

I love it that fashion isn’t trying to pigeon-hole color choices to one type this fall. After all, think about how boring it would be if all the leaves changed to be the same color palette.

No matter which look you go for, the one thing that sure this fall is that manicures walking the fall runways have paved the way for personal preference to rule!

Photo credits: picturemonsterniten’s channel, amazon

Have Your Favorite Comfort Foods Turned You Into a Food Addict?

Posted on Sep 30, 2015 by No Comments

When you think of comfort foods, what do you picture in your mind? Truthfully, when I’m stressed it will probably be something chocolate, or something salty, or a little of both. Or it could be something creamy and loaded with carbs, but I digress.

The reason I bring it up is that we eat these foods often because on some level we want to feel good…or better. But according to some recent animal studies, it looks like we might be doing the exact opposite.

Animal studies have found that a diet high in fat, sugar and processed foods leads to higher rates of anxiety and depression, and a recent University of Michigan study shows that highly processed foods or foods with refined carbohydrates (white flour and/or sugar) may even trigger addictive-like eating behavior. They labeled french fries, chocolate and pizza among the most addictive.

On one level, those findings bring a sense of relief, because that means it is the food’s fault when I get in a cycle of eating such foods. On another level, it explains the very behavior that sometimes makes me feel like such a failure in my quest for eating healthier.

For this study, individuals with “symptoms” of food addiction or higher body mass indexes, related that they had bigger problems with highly processed foods.

Researchers suggest this is because some people may be particularly sensitive to the possible “rewarding” properties of these foods. This reminds me of how some of us can have a glass of wine or two without a problem while alcoholics have to stay away from alcohol all together.

Erica Schulte, a U-M psychology doctoral student and the study’s lead author said, “This is a first step towards identifying specific foods, and properties of foods, which can trigger this addictive response. This could help change the way we approach obesity treatment. It may not be a simple matter of ‘cutting back’ on certain foods, but rather, adopting methods used to curtail smoking, drinking and drug use.”

Trigger foods aren’t the same for every person, but I think most of us know what they are in our own lives. If this study is right, that would mean giving those foods up for good!

Photo credits: Extremely Me

What About Collagen Supplements – Do They Work?

Posted on Sep 28, 2015 by No Comments

Getting older sure has its complexities. Hormonal shifts help us gain weight in different places and loss of collagen helps skin start to sag, lips to thin, and to put it in a nutshell, makes us look old!

I hadn’t really realized the fact that lips get thinner until I watched some of my favorite actors age. Harrison Ford (73) and Patrick Stewart (75) never had really full lips, and now with age their lips have become almost nonexistent.

This happens because collagen is the main structural protein found in our connective tissues. I’ve heard it described as scaffolding. It is found in our bones, muscles, and in the tissues of our organs. What keeps us looking young is a combination of collagen, keratin, and elastin which work together to give our skin the elasticity, structure and strength that gives us a young appearance.

When we are younger, our body naturally produces collagen, but production gradually is interrupted as part of the natural aging process.

As for women, we produce less collagen than men to begin with and then we lose it at a rate of around one percent a year. So by the time we see our 50th birthday, we have basically lost about half of the collagen from our skin. That explains a lot.

Along with the effects of natural aging on collagen, sun exposure, nutrition, cigarette smoke, recreational drugs, and exposure to other toxins all decrease collagen. As a result, we start to notice wrinkles and even sagging as our skin loses its natural elasticity and firmness. Loss of collagen can even affect our bones.

That leaves us with the question of what we can do about it. Collagen supplements promise to restore our youth but there is little evidence that these beauty supplements do what they claim. That’s because when collagen is ingested, it’s broken down in the digestive tract into individual amino acids.

The best thing to do is to take steps to reduce collagen degradation with a proper sun care regimen. Other lifestyle changes to help protect what collagen supplies you still have include getting enough sleep and avoiding cigarette smoke.

Plus a nutritious diet rich in antioxidants is important to collagen production. For instance, tomatoes, grapefruit, and watermelon contain the powerful antioxidant lycopene which helps prevent collagen degeneration.

Along with all of this, be sure to take care of your skin. Include regular exfoliation with a gentle exfoliator scrub and use skincare products which offer antioxidant properties like retinol (vitamin A derivative) also known as Retin-A which helps stop collagen degradation resulting from UV exposure and is said to boost collagen production.

This is my next step and I’d love to hear from others who have tried it.

Photo credits: pixabay

Lack of Sleep Takes a Toll on Your Mind, Body, and Mood

Posted on Sep 23, 2015 by No Comments

A panel of experts put together by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend 7 hours of sleep a night for adults.

That’s supposed to be the minimum amount of hours of shut eye we get in. Unfortunately, there are many of us who don’t get that much sleep ever much less on a regular basis.

According to stats, 30 to 35 percent of us experience brief symptoms of insomnia, 15 to 20 percent have short-term insomnia disorder, which lasts less than 3 months and 10 percent of us have a chronic insomnia disorder (trouble sleeping at least three times a week) for at least three months.

Insomnia is common enough that many of us chalk it up as being the new normal, but we shouldn’t accept it that way because it can really affect the rest of our life. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consider it a public health epidemic.

Side effects related to a regular lack of sleep go beyond crankiness and moodiness. Too little sleep can double your risk of a heart attack and can even increase your chances of developing congestive heart failure. It can also be responsible for weight gain because your metabolism slows down.

Research shows that getting only 4 house of sleep for 6 nights in a row can impair glucose tolerance, which is a sign of pre-diabetes. A regular lack of sleep like this can also compromise your immune system making it difficult to fight off infections.

Along with all of this it can affect how we look, painting dark circles under our eyes, defining fine lines and wrinkles and making them more noticeable.

Plus there’s the effect on our minds. Making it harder to concentrate which can lead to headaches. Lack of sleep can also increase the potential of mood swings.

This leads to the question of what can you do? If you’ve tried remedies but have found no relief it’s time to talk with your healthcare provider. Treatments can include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which deals with changing attitudes, behaviors and beliefs that impact your sleep negatively.

Talk to your doctor about this and other options and get back on the road to a regular good night’s sleep. You’ll feel like a new person.

Photo credits: wikipedia

Kate Middleton Back to Work in Style

Posted on Sep 18, 2015 by No Comments

The Duchess of Cambridge officially ended her maternity leave this past Thursday when she showed up at the Anna Freud Centre in London in her first solo engagement since Princess Charlotte was born in May.

She looked tanned, relaxed, and sported the new fringe (bangs) everyone’s been talking about. She wore the same hairstyle a couple of years ago, and it suits her well, giving her a youthful updated look.

Kate Middleton Fringe
Her reason for the visit to the Anna Freud Centre was to learn more about how the Centre is helping change mental health care for children and young people.

She looked stunning in her black and white $1,944 Ralph Lauren belted shirtdress, and a light breeze played with Kate’s trendy new fringe as she greeted Michael Samuel, chairman of the trustees of the Anna Freud Centre.

The shirtdress showed off her slender waistline and is described on the Ralph Lauren website as the “Silk Austin Shirtdress” with a “supremely flattering fit.” In my opinion, it looked even better on Kate that on the Ralph Lauren model.

The Anna Freud Centre was Kate’s choice, and sources suggest it’s an interesting one that will set the tone of her work in the coming months as she explores mental health issues in children and emphasizes the importance of early intervention and a coordinated effort with family and in-school mental health services.

In his speech to her and other assembled guests, Michael Samuel, chairman of Trustees, said, “Your continued support on this very important issue will be an invaluable ingredient towards making the real and urgent progress which is necessary in this area.”

According to aides, the Duchess was looking forward to getting back to a limited program of engagements after enjoying the summer break with her two children Prince George (2 years), and Princess Charlotte (four months).

Photo credits: Andrew New A1

What the Heck Is a Thigh Brow?

Posted on Sep 16, 2015 by No Comments

Today, with the Internet, trends come at us faster than waves in a hurricane. This includes what people are calling body trends. It doesn’t mean it’s a lasting trend but more of a style or craze that somehow takes hold at least for a short time.

For instance the fad known as the “thigh gap” refers to the space between a woman’s thighs when she is standing up with her knees touching. This became a coveted look amid teenage girls and a beauty ideal to strive for. Conversely, a girl who didn’t have a gap … well you know how that goes!

Another fairly new body shaming trend includes a test to see how pronounced a woman’s collarbone is. Coins are stacked and balanced on the collarbone and the more stacked the prettier? This trend is big in China, but it’s here in the U.S., too.

Now we have the thigh brow trend going on. When I first heard the term, well let’s just say I thought it included hair of some sort, and while I was relieved to find out it had nothing to do with hair it was another trend that will make some women feel their bodies just don’t measure up to beauty ideals.

Thigh brows, it turns out, is referring to the crease that results where the thigh meets the hip when you sit. It gets its name because it apparently looks like the shape of an eyebrow.

With all of these types of trends, we have young women taking pictures of themselves and sharing them on social media. The gap had photos focusing on the space between women’s legs, and now we have women kneeling or lifting their legs while wearing a swimsuit to create the much coveted crease.

It makes me wonder who comes up with these so called trends. For all we know it is some sicko who is thinking of ways to get women to take such photos and to post them!

Photo credits: wikimedia

Link Round-up: Nail Polish, Fall Decor, Snacks, and More

Posted on Sep 15, 2015 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has nail polish, fall décor, snacks, and more.

Strength and Sunshine shared a recipe for Italian chicken meatballs and sweet potato spaghetti.

Create Craft Love shared a DIY fall décor craft.

Small Green Kitchen shared a recipe for pumpkin hummus with sage and cranberries.

link ru nail polishes

A Beautiful Mess showed us some gorgeous holographic and iridescent nail polish colors.

Spoonful of Flavor showed a recipe for a key lime coconut ice cream float.

I Love to Create shared a DIY for a fox tea towel.

Cupcakes and Cashmere showed us how to make the most of a small space.

Photo credit: Strength and Sunshine and A Beautiful Mess

What You Think Can Affect Your Weight

Posted on Sep 7, 2015 by No Comments

With a large part of our population overweight or obese, trying to lose weight is often on our mind. We have to make a conscious effort to lose or maintain a healthy weight, but it often seems much harder that it should be.

A new study suggests that it may be because we are trying so hard to lose weight.

This research was published in the International Journal of Obesity and suggests that people who think they’re overweight are more likely to gain more weight than people who don’t think they are overweight.

When I first saw this it made sense on a personal level, because when I diet I tend to think about food more. I have to figure out what to eat next, how many calories or carbs are in a certain dish, etc. This is one of the reasons programs like Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig work. Your meals are already made so it lets you think less about what you’re having before it is time to eat.

For this particular study, researchers looked at data from three longitudinal studies comprised of 14,000 adults in the U.S. and U.K. This included: the U.S. National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, the U.K. National Child Development Study, and Midlife in the United States.

When they studied the participants’ perception of their body weight as adults – their perceptions did not always line up with reality – they found that people who thought they were overweight were more likely to overeat “due to stress.” The result was they gained weight.

So does this mean that dieting is stressful and leads to weight gain? The weight gain happened to those who perceived themselves to be overweight whether they were or not.

The study’s co-author, Jeffrey Hunger, told Yahoo Health that the findings surprised him since “there is this assumption that people need to see themselves as overweight in order to engage in weight maintenance behaviors.”

He thinks it makes sense, too, because the perception that you are overweight can have negative health effects that come with the stigma associated with being overweight. So even thinking you’re overweight can lead to becoming overweight. Talk about a catch 22!

Along with this bad news there is hope that we can break the cycle. Shenelle Edwards-Hampton, a clinical psychologist who specializes in weight management at Wake forest Baptist Medical Center, says that the first step is to “give yourself a break” and to “think more positively” regarding your body image by focusing on the things you’ve done well.

Don’t focus on the time you ate that half bag of chips. Instead remember all the times you’ve practiced self control! This can help stress eaters cope.

Photo credits: pixabay