All posts in How To

How to: Volumize Fine Hair

Struggling with flat, lifeless dull hair can be a point of frustration for many women – especially when hair products claiming to “pump up” your hair’s volume only weigh down your tresses further. To make matters worse, hair seems to only flatten more throughout the day – save for those high humidity situations when your locks twist themselves into a heap of frizz. Luckily, there are a few easy methods to add height and shape to thin, finely textured hair.

Shampoo less. If your first reaction is “Eww!” then you’re definitely not alone. We’re conditioned (no pun intended) to believe we must wash our hair every single day. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Shampooing too often strips your hair of natural oils and leaves it flat and dry. Instead, shampoo every other day. If you really feel that your hair needs some clarifying in between washes, wash with conditioner. This will give your hair a soft, touchable feeling without that dreaded product build-up.

Use a tourmaline round bush to blow dry. Blowing out your hair immediately after you shower will add instant body, and tourmaline brushes like the iTech Magnetic Bristle Brush ($12 – $22) add additional shine. For best results, attach a diffuser to the end of your blow dryer. Clip all of your hair on top of your head and blow dry in small sections starting with the bottom layers.

Tease lightly. Many people instantly recoil at the mere mention of teasing, but it’s actually extremely effective and will not necessarily cause any damage as long as you condition regularly. Pull up sections of your hair around the crown of your head and backcomb underneath using a teasing comb or small brush. Then, use a soft-bristled brush to smooth out the layer on top. For added staying power, spray a mist of hairspray at the roots and blow dry for 15 to 20 seconds. This simple trick should provide you with sexy volume that lasts all day.

3 Adults Acne Fighting Tips

As adolescents, we expect to endure acne. For a pubescent teenager, a few mild to moderate break outs are mortifying, but usually anticipated. Hormones are hormones after all, and topical medications can only do so much when your body is growing and changing at lightning speed. The only thing that pulled us through those tumultuous days of early adolescence was the ray of hope that, one glorious day, we would become adults and the years of attempted zit hiding would come to an end.

For a lucky few, the bouts of black heads, pimples and unsightly blemishes ended right around high school graduation. However, for many of us, the battle rages on.  Eventually, it becomes a two-front war as we fight both wrinkles and acne simultaneously.  The good news is that the melee does not have to last forever. If you’re one of the millions of people suffering from adult acne, consider a few of the following tips:

Relax. One of the most common causes of acne is stress – and these days it seems people are more stressed than ever. From work to school, finances to family, stressors are all around us. As we stress, our adrenal glands begin working overtime, and this leads to zigzagging hormone levels. An increase in hormone production leads to an increase in oil production, and this cases acne. However, by exercising regularly, meditating or utilizing other stress coping techniques, you can improve your health as well as reduce acne breakouts.

Change Your Skin Care. If you experience regular acne breakouts, you may want to consider investing in a different skin care line. Not all age-appropriate skin care systems tackle every issue, and you may need something with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to fight those pesky blemishes. Additionally, if you under- or over-moisturize your skin, then you’re messing with natural oil production which is another common cause of acne.

Speak with a Doctor. Painful cystic acne (the kind which develops deep below the skin’s surface) is a common concern for many adults, and may not be treatable with over the counter or topical medications. Speak with a dermatologist about other options, such as a prescription drug. Additionally, what you think is acne may actually be another issue that your healthcare professional could quickly identify, diagnose and treat.

Above all, don’t lose hope. Suffering from adult acne can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, but you’re certainly not alone. By trying the above tips, you may be able to kick your zits once and for all.

How To: Dress for a Date

Let’s go back to square one with some tips and advice on what to wear on a first, second, or third date.

Dating fashion is sometimes another world, but the key is to dress-like and be yourself. If you normally do not wear two inch stiletto heels, do not feel like you have to wear them on a date. Dating can be stressful, but hopefully with these tips and dos and don’ts, your outfit will be one less thing to worry about.

Dress for the date circumstances. 
If you’re going mini-golfing or on a picnic, a faux fur jacket or your Manolo’s might not be the perfect things to adorn. A cute pair of denim or a lovely knit sweater paired with boots or wedges would be perfect for a date like this.

There is a fine line between form fitting and too tight.
 You want to feel confident and sexy, so wear something flattering to your body type. The question that many women ask, in regards to a date or just going out of the house, is how much is too much skin. It’s hard to differentiate between what is the right and wrong answer, as many have different opinions about this question. Remember, he should be paying more attention to your face and the conversation versus your anatomy.

A do is to wear your favorite color or a color that looks good on your skin.
 Also consider wearing a favorite piece of jewelry. Combining these two will make you feel confident, which will become apparent throughout the date. Feeling and looking comfortable is a must. The more relaxed you are, the better you will feel.

Do not wear a pound of makeup. 
Wear the same amount of makeup you wear on a day-to-day basis. Do not feel you need to do something different to your makeup to grab his attention. He wants to see you for you. If your date is in the evening, maybe try a darker lip color. Avoid anything you don’t feel confident in.

Do not look like a walking advertisement. Wearing too many designers or high-end things make intimidate the guy or give him the impression you’re high maintenance. Keep it simple with the labels. Besides, chances are he won’t know the difference between Forever 21 and True Religion denim.

My personal favorite date outfit is one of my favorite dresses paired with some tights, flats and a cardigan or blazer. This look is perfect for an afternoon or early dinner date.

Remember, the best thing you can wear on a date is a smile, good attitude and confidence. Also, make sure you have your girlfriend on speed dial to save you if the date isn’t going so hot. Works like a charm every time.

How To: Sort out Your Handbag

Is your handbag a cluttered mess? Sort it out! You should only carry necessities and leave the rest at home.

Make sure you have your wallet. In it should be everything you need, such as money, credit cards, store cards, bus pass, ID etc. Usually items such as money, etc. are best stored in a wallet, although keychains with a small wallet or billfold attached also work well.

2 Take your mobile phone with you in your bag or your pocket (assuming you want to carry it around with you.

Remember your keys. For your house, car, locker, garage…they are essential and you want to be able to find them easily, so sometimes getting a large or bright keychain helps.

Only bring the essential makeup. This is lipgloss, and maybe lipstick. It is not necessary to carry your whole make up bag around with you.

Carry mints or chewing gum at all times. You never know when you might need fresh breath!

Be prepared for allergy season or just a sad movie with some tissues.

7 Keep one maxi-pad or tampon in case of emergencies.

Have some aspirin on hand for those headaches.

9 Have a small flash light – in case you can’t see or find your way late at night. Some lights will clip on to your keychain.

10 Think about carrying a Swiss Army Knife or jacknife. Knives just aren’t for the boys any more. Some (like Miss A Kits) are made just for women and include attachments like tweezers, a mini perfume vial, a bottle opener, etc. It’s great for opening packages. (Beware, though, about bringing these through metal detectors and the like.)

11 Grab a pen and a small notepad. Since you never know when you’ll need to get someone’s email or phone number…