Category: Beauty

The Downside of Spray Tans

Posted on Apr 23, 2014 by No Comments

I love the healthy glow of a tan, and spray tans offer the look without the sun damage. The thing no one told me about was the smell. It stinks and you can’t shower for 24 hours following the treatment. Even the spray tans that are scent-free have a faint odor of DHA.

The other downside is the sticky feeling. Your skin doesn’t feel clean, because it’s not.

The appealing thing about spray tans is that you escape the risk of sun damage and skin cancer, or so I thought. Now I learn that the DHA, the active chemical used in spray tans, also has the potential to cause genetic alterations and DNA damage and can increase the risk of cancer according to a report by ABC News.

While DHA is used in all self tanners, the problem with spray tanning is the fumes. I read an article that said Kate Middleton use to get spray tans before events, but had given them up during her pregnancy because the fumes could affect her baby. Even Snooki has given up her spray tans.

It’s hard not to inadvertently breathe in some of the fumes. This allows the DHA to enter the bloodstream, and this is where the risk lies. The studies cited by ABC did not involve human testing, so it’s not totally cut and dried, but it is enough to make me rethink spray tanning.

DHA was approved back in 1977 for external use, but now with spray tanning the FDA says, “The use of DHA in ‘tanning’ booths as an all-over spray has not been approved by the FDA, since safety data to support this use has not been submitted to the agency for review and evaluation.”

For now they recommend we ask that measures be taken to protect our eyes and mucous membranes. Instead, I think I’m going to forgo the tan for now.

Photo credits: Frank Kovalchek

Link Round-up: DIY Spring Projects, Easter Ideas, and More

Posted on Apr 15, 2014 by 6 Comments

Today’s link round-up has some cute DIY spring projects, Easter basket ideas, and more.

Designed Décor shared a delicious strawberry pretzel surprise.

Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic stepped out of her nail polish comfort zone to show us some gorgeous new colors.

Chocolate and Sunshine shared some ideas for Easter baskets for adults.

Kenarry showed us some fun ways to color Easter eggs.

link ru colorful kitchen clock

A Beautiful Mess taught us how to make a colorful kitchen clock.

Crafts Unleashed created the cutest spring mason jar DIY lamp.

I Love to Create showed us how to make floral puffy paint Easter eggs.

Photo credit: Designed Décor and A Beautiful Mess

The Full Beauty Project Is a Little Weird to Me

Posted on Apr 11, 2014 by 1 Comment

You get used to seeing photographs of naked and nearly naked emaciated models in magazines; you get used to seeing images of thin, young women with fake breasts that look like they were carefully glued on with Super Glue, but would you ever get used to seeing images of morbidly obese women naked or in sexy lingerie?

Photographer Yossi Loloi has created a series of images that he has dubbed, The Full Beauty Project. Photographing extremely large women in seductive, suggestive poses he is definitely getting attention.

He began in 2006 with the idea of challenging society’s accepted idea of beauty, sexiness, and what the female body should look like. The models are all between 350 and 600 pounds, certainly not beautiful or sexy by the current standards in the United State, if anywhere.

Some people think it’s fabulous that someone is forcing us to reconsider our ideas of what is attractive and others feel that he is glorifying a potentially dangerous medical condition.

I spent some time going through the images and really looking at them. The women’s faces, their eyes, and the emotions they were portraying. I noticed that I was trying to overlook the rolls and dents that their fat created so I began to focus on the entire image as much as I could.

I don’t like seeing super-skinny, size 00 models. It isn’t healthy, it isn’t attractive, and it isn’t realistic. In the same way, I don’t like seeing these incredibly obese women naked.

I love pinups, I always have enjoyed the artwork, the beauty of the women, and the faint naughtiness of them, especially those from the 1930s and 1940s. As an artist, the human body doesn’t phase me one bit. In this case, to be honest, I don’t think it’s attractive, cute, sexy, or anything but sad.

I try to see people as individuals and to get to know them as a person and not just as a fat person, a skinny person, a black person, or a white person. It is the mind, emotions, and personality that I am intrigued by. However, if I am going to look at an image and be asked to make an evaluation based on the image, there is no way I am going to love images of super-sized women (or men, for that matter). It isn’t attractive and no amount of being OK with who you are will make it attractive to most people.

There are many nude images that seek to show the beauty of the human body, its lines and shadows, and its uniqueness, but these do not ask the viewer to see the bodies in a certain way. They are to be appreciated for what they are.

Loloi’s images forces the viewer to make a decision about whether or not the women are beautiful by attempting to make them sexual and provocative. To me, it comes across as very demeaning, tawdry, and a mockery in many ways.

Newsweek says that fashion needs to give a nod to reality because the average American woman is a size 14. I don’t see these images doing that at all. They are as extreme as the anorexic models in magazines.

I believe that women need to accept and love their bodies with all of the imperfections that increase with age and experience, but that doesn’t mean that we should accept unhealthy weights or try to force society to see obesity as beautiful. Am I being too judgmental here?

photo credit: Tobyotter via photopin cc

Link Round-up: Citrus Scrub, Bunny Quesadilla, and Warm Weather

Posted on Apr 10, 2014 by 3 Comments

Today’s link round-up is all about enjoying the spring and warm weather that’s right around the corner.

Mommypotamus taught us how to make a citrus body scrub.

How About Cookie made a fun, fruity little oatmeal breakfast that looks like an owl.

Cincy Shopper taught us how to make your own version of Starbucks’ passion tea lemonade.

link ru easter quesadilla

Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons made an adorable Easter Bunny quesadilla dinner.

A Beautiful Mess whipped up the perfect summertime concoction: toasted coconut margaritas.

Crafts Unleashed showed us how to make a spring burlap wreath.

Create Craft Love inspired us with some DIY polka dot shoes.

Photo credit: Mommypotamus and Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons

Corset Diet Is Really Not a Diet

Posted on Apr 10, 2014 by 2 Comments

What is being called the corset diet is all the rage. Women are squeezing into these tight fitting under garments in hopes of getting a smaller waistline.

This extreme slimming trend has nothing to do with diet, other than the fact that you may eat less when your insides are all squished and compressed. It reminds me of scenes from 100 years ago when women held on to the bedpost while someone tightened the corset for an unrealistic hourglass figure.

I’ve never had a small waistline for my size. It’s one of those elusive, “I wish I had…” kind of things. So when I saw there was a diet that can take 3-6 inches off your waist I was interested, until I saw that it really wasn’t a diet after all. It’s really corset training, and it’s even done under the care of a doctor!

Women who are tired of trying and failing to get a smaller waist through dieting and exercise are turning to “corset training.” One woman I saw interviewed actually said her goal is to have a “tiny waistline like a Barbie doll.” She already had a 26″ waist but was going for 23″ and her doctor said that it is a realistic goal. Makes me wonder what she’s paying for his help.

Wearing a corset is a way to “train” your waist to be smaller without exercise or diet. It compresses the bottom ribs up and in which makes the space between your ribs and hips look smaller. It makes me think of when I take off my wedding ring and how my finger is thinner beneath it because I wear it all the time.

I just can’t imagine wearing a corset all the time, though. However, I bet it could make you uncomfortable enough to eat less so maybe in a way it could be diet.

Photo credits: din_bastet

Link Round-up: DIY Beauty Tips, Easter Treats, Energy Bites, and More

Posted on Apr 8, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has DIY foundation and gel manicures, an Easter treat, energy bites, and more.

Mommypotamus taught us how to make foundation powder.

How About Cookie talks about the tools you need to create bento boxes.

A Beautiful Mess taught us how to do your own gel manicure at home.

link ru reeses sunflower pops

Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons showed us how to make adorable Reese’s peanut butter cup sunflower pops.

I Should Be Mopping the Floor whipped up some peanut butter and oatmeal energy bites.

Melly Sews showed us how to put together a dry erase placemat to keep the kids entertained.

Honestly WTF taught us how to create a jeweled paracord bracelet.

Photo credit: Mommypotamus and Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons

Minding the Gap: The New Face of Eating Disorders

Posted on Apr 4, 2014 by No Comments

I am anorexic. I say ‘am’ like an alcoholic says ‘am’, I don’t believe you ever get over it; you just overcome it. I suppose it’s like pulling dandelions out of the lawn — it may look like you have them all but eventually one is going to pop up somewhere.

I am not underweight. In fact, truth be known, I am struggling with 15 pounds that is stuck to me like super glue. It’s not even 15 pound above my desired weight but 15 pounds above what the chart says my top weight should be.

When I look in the mirror I contemplate taking up the lifestyle again. Just for a little while, I tell myself, just until I lose this weight. I have lost 35 pounds but because my thyroid was removed it took four years. I used to be able to do that in a month.

Anorexia Should Not Be Our Legacy

I always prevail over anorexia because I have three daughters and two granddaughters. It has been my goal to raise girls that are confident in their unique beauty, strive to maintain a healthy weight but don’t obsess over it, and are comfortable in their own skin. So far, so good.

Maybe I am too sensitive because of all of that, but my frustration with advertisers, brands, television, movies, and everything else is almost too much to handle. I love the Mindy Project because the actress is normal and attractive!

The girls in magazines are skinny, skinny, and skinny in an unhealthy way. The trend is to be thin enough that there is a discernible gap between your thighs. More space is better. That mentality is straight from the pages of the Idiots Guide to Anorexia, or would be if there was such a book. Hopefully there never will be.

Do you know how minuscule you have to be in order to achieve that gap?

Skeletal Models

Models are now 00 and 0. If you start pushing up to a size four or six you are getting into chubbyland. They hardly eat anything, never mind all of the hoopla about not eating slowing down your metabolism. Take a look at this diary of someone skinny in the fashion business and look at what they ate all day. I estimated amounts and punched the days food choices into my handy dandy calorie counter.

This is what I listed —

  • 6 oz white wine
  • 12 oz red wine
  • 1 oz Camembert Cheese
  • 3 olives
  • 6 crackers

Do you want to know how many calories for the day that comes to? 624 calories, six-hundred-twenty-four tiny little calories to maintain a full grown human being. Guess what? If you have a venti pumpkin spice latte (510 calories) and a plain bagel (270 calories) at Starbucks you have take in roughly 154 more calories than she did all day long.

Our Perception of Beauty Becomes Flawed

As much as we like to think we are mature, independent women, the truth is that those super-skinny models are held up to be the standard by which beauty is defined and deep down most, if not all, of us want to be considered beautiful by society.

Our daughters and granddaughters want to be considered beautiful, too. So women look at the gap between models thighs with frustration mixed with envy, and our daughters follow our lead.

Men aren’t the ones holding us to a certain standard, we’re doing it to ourselves because we accept that anorexic, starving women are the best of the best and we want to get as close as we can.

In a First World Country there should be no such thing as size 00 except in crochet hooks. We need models that are pretty and healthy and have a look that is attainable, and we aren’t going to get them as long as we worship beauty at the altar of anorexia.

Just my opinion.

photo credit: @yakobusan Jakob Montrasio 孟亚柯 via photopin cc

Jessica Simpson Slips Back into Her Daisy Dukes

Posted on Apr 2, 2014 by 1 Comment

Jessica Simpson played Daisy Duke in the 2005 Dukes of Hazard. That scene in the bar with those legs is etched into the memory of tons of guys as well as girls who could only wish they looked like that. To say she was famous for her figure is an understatement.

When you think about it, that’s a hard thing to live up to, because when you’re weight changes the public can be rather unforgiving.

I’ll never forget seeing her on TV at a football game in which her then boyfriend, Tony Romo of the Cowboys, was playing. Somehow Simpson became the scapegoat for the worst game of his life. Fans were ugly and some started talking about her weight. She wasn’t “fat” but she wasn’t Daisy Duke.

Can you imagine trying to live up to that image?

Life moved on for her and when she became pregnant with her daughter Maxwell her weight skyrocketed. When she stepped on the scales at her first Weight Watcher’s meeting she couldn’t believe how much she had gained.

Just about the time she started to drop some of that weight, she found out she was pregnant with her son. She stayed more active during her second pregnancy and only gained half the weight she had gained with her first pregnancy.

Since the birth of her son, we’ve all seen a slimming Jessica on the Weight Watcher’s commercials. She’s reached her goal weight, and I for one am happy for her. She is a real person, but in her case she is still compared to her Daisy Duke role of a decade ago.

No matter who you are, there’s a difference in how you look at 23 versus 33! And having kids does make changes to your figure. However, with all that, she was caught out and about in a pair of Daisy Dukes last weekend, and her legs look great! Way to go Jessica!

Photo credits: Joshua Trend

Beauty Products that May Cause Cancer!

Posted on Mar 28, 2014 by 5 Comments

Over the weekend, one of the news segments warned about parabens in our makeup and skincare products causing cancer. Parabens? I looked it up and found this isn’t a new issue.

Parabens are relatively inexpensive preservatives used to prevent the growth of microbes in our cosmetics. The concern is that they can be absorbed through the skin (also through the blood and digestive system as they are added to some foods, too). This, added to the fact that parabens have been found in biopsies from breast tumors at about the same rate they are found in such products is a big red flag.

It seems at every turn there’s another warning about things causing cancer, and part of me wants to run to the all natural solution. You know; back to the good old days, but what does that mean? Have I ever lived in the good old days when it comes to these kinds of issues?

The most common parabens found in cosmetics include the following chemicals: ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben. They are often included in personal care products which are made using significant amounts of water like lotions, shampoos, conditioners, facials, and other products.

One of the biggest concerns is that parabens disrupt hormone function, which is also linked to increased risk of breast cancer. Parabens mimic estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors on cells. They also boost gene expression which is usually controlled by estradiol (a form of estrogen). These genes are responsible for the growth and multiplication of human breast tumor cells in cellular studies.

So as I listened to the doctor talking about these things on the news, her vocabulary and ability to communicate the concerns impressed me. She explained the research and then concluded with the fact that the risk is minimal when these products are used in small amounts. It reminded me of the joke about saliva causing cancer but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time.

While I’ve just heard about parabens, this controversy is not new. Companies are coming up with preservative-free products, but they have a shorter shelf life. In the meantime, I have to decide once again what to do based on the information I have.

Photo credits: sanberdoo