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While we’re all still donning woolly jumpers and bobble hats, now that Christmas is out of the way we can begin to look forward to the warmer weather and what we’ll be wearing in the year ahead.

If 2014 owes you a new wardrobe, here’s what you should be spending your cash on to look good in spring/summer.

cropjacket

Cropped Jackets

The 90s are back, so be prepared to go all Fresh Prince of Bel Air this spring. Cropped jackets – the boxier the better – will pick up where boyfriend blazers left off to provide a little bit of warmth in the chilly spring shade.

shorts

Bermuda shorts

Continuing on the 90s theme, Bermuda shorts, for men and women, have also been revived. The more outrageous the colour and design here, the better.

Logos

Statement logos, preferably of the music variety, on jumpers and t-shirts will continue to prove popular in male and female fashion. If you were a teenager in the 90s, now is a good time to see if you still have that Nirvana t-shirt.

pleat

Button-up shirts

The button-up shirt or collared blouse has been rolled out by Alexander Wang and Nina Ricci of late, with the option of wearing it in any way you think looks cool.

Sporty chic

Perfect for city-types that are used to dashing from office meeting to social engagement, sporty chic brings movement and comfort to formal fashion, with tennis skirts and silhouettes proving the perfect all-day wear.

Pleats

Something that was barely acceptable in the 1990s and totally outlawed in the 2000s is about to become a huge trend for fashionistas everywhere. Pleats, in a wide range of unconventional designs, will feature heavily on skirts, blouses and, of course, trousers. However, you must not – under any circumstances – try to resurrect pleats from your youth, or the youth of your parent’s.

With many women celebrating their curves rather than trying to diet or hide their bodies away, now is the perfect time to find figure-enhancing clothing that flatters voluptuous body types.

Forget shapeless oversized T-shirts and baggy jogging bottoms – these may hide some imperfections but also make larger women look shapeless. The key to flaunting killer curves is to accent body shape with the right wardrobe.

Loosen Up

Clothes that fit too tightly do not flatter. Pick trouser sizes that fit and fasten well, ensuring that they reach heels. Dark trousers that flare a little at the bottom with similarly colored shoes or boots and a couple of inches of heel make the legs look long and shapely.

Ensure that skirts and dresses fit comfortably over the hips and bottom to prevent them from riding up and accentuating any bulges. Well-fitting clothes actually make the body look slimmer so choose the correct size.

Invest In Shape Enhancing Underwear

Many of the more curvaceous celebrities appreciate the value of underwear that contains supportive panels. To smooth bumps and tummy rolls, wear shapewear that holds in problem areas. With a selection of underwear items to smooth bottoms, tummies or even full body suits, shape wear will discreetly support and hide to make outer clothing sit beautifully.

Flaunt Those Curves

Choosing clothing tailored at the waist will enhance hourglass shapes. Apple-shaped bodies benefit from fitted clothes with empire waists. Hip-hugging clothes flatter pear shapes and draw attention to the neck and shoulders.

Asian beauty, with dark hair and eyes and golden yellow or olive skin, requires makeup that accentuates the colouring rather than creating a mask effect. It is vital to choose the correct makeup and as many brands of foundation contain pink undertones rather than yellow, it is advisable to shop around. Thankfully, some of the larger companies are beginning to recognise the need for makeup to suit different skin tones and are bringing out new ranges.

Sun protection is vital for Asian skin. As it possesses more melanin than Caucasian skin, it requires protection to prevent discolouration.

Here is some makeup advice for those with this unique colouring.

  • Foundation.  Look for a shade with yellow or olive undertones. Try using a primer first, which can correct undertones before foundation application. Alternatively, use mineral makeup, which gives a flawless finish and can be applied only to the areas that require it. It is free of preservatives and does not cause spots.

 

  • Contouring with bronzers, blushers, and highlighters can create a sense of balance to a face that is very round or very wide set eyes. Use a dark shade of bronzer to the hollows of the cheeks and a highlighter to the top of the cheekbones before applying a blusher as usual. Emphasize the inner corner of the eye with a darker colour and blend outwards to create the illusion of the eyes being closer together.

  • Asian eyes can take a variety of eye shadow shades from pinks and greens to gold and cream. For a basic but eye enhancing look apply a light pearl to the brow bone area, soft gold to the inner lid and a dark coffee to the crease, blending well. Line eyes with liquid liner and curl lashes before applying mascara.

  • Avoid light brown lipsticks and instead choose corals, plums, mauves, and bright to deep reds. Glosses or cream lipsticks look best.

With peak bone mass being reached around the age of thirty, building up healthy strong bones during younger years is of huge importance. Factors affecting bone health include diet, smoking and alcohol consumption, family history, and body weight.

The following steps will increase bone buildup and density and ensure that bones remain healthy and strong in later years.

  • Ensure that there is plenty of calcium in the diet. Dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, sardines, and almonds all provide good sources of calcium.
  • Eat a balanced diet with fruit and vegetables, grains and pulses, and plenty of dairy products. Lean meat and fish provide healthy protein as do eggs, nuts and natural yoghurts.
  • Soluble fiber such as oats, beans, fruit, and vegetables produce organic acids in the intestine, which helps to absorb calcium.
  • Some sun exposure is essential for the uptake of Vitamin D, essential for healthy bones. If Vitamin D is lacking, look for fortified foods, which contain a healthy RDA to promote health.
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight will minimize joint problems and prevent fragile bones.
  • Weight-bearing exercise such as walking, running, and tennis is important for the building of strong bones and slow bone loss.
  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Tobacco can contribute towards bone weakening whilst overindulging in alcohol can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Some medication including cancer treatments and anti-seizure medication can affect bone health. Any concerns should be discussed with a doctor who may suggest bone health monitoring or taking a bone maintenance medication.

Damage to hair is caused by several factors. Lack of correct nutrients, overuse of heat styling products and chemical damage are the usual culprits. For healthy hair, eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains for minerals and nuts and seeds for minerals and vitamins. Lean protein is essential for iron and of course drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

However, what if the damage has already been done? Well, revising eating habits will help in the long term, as will careful brushing and combing, cutting down on shampooing and restricting use of hot styling irons and hairdryers. Regular trims and not bleaching or dyeing hair will eventually allow hair to grow healthily. In the meantime, there are some quick fixes, which will help with hair damage.

  • Look for a deep conditioner containing keratin, labelled for dry or damaged hair. Leave it on for around ten minutes and do this twice a week for the first couple of weeks then continue once a week. Try not to wash hair daily, as it will be stripped of oil and appear even drier than before.

 

  • Try soaking the hair in olive oil or coconut oil, and then wrap hair in a hot damp towel. Using two towels and alternating as each one cools down over an hour will give the most damaged hair the chance to benefit from this treatment. Some find it beneficial to leave the oil on overnight, sleeping in a shower cap or turban. Wash the oil out with a gentle shampoo and comb with a wide toothed comb.

 

  • Cutting off damaged hair is really the only way to repair it and then maintain the new healthy hair with regular trims. Thankfully, there are clip in fringes and hair extensions for those who really cannot bear the thought of short hair. For those with a sense of adventure, there are some wonderful pixie cuts, which are hugely fashionable at the moment.

The idea of having permanent eye makeup seems like a good one. No more smudges or streaks, no more rushing to put on makeup before a night out and the comforting thought of always looking good at any time of the day. However, is having permanent eye makeup a good idea or not? Here are the pros and cons.

 Cons

  • Permanent eye makeup is tattooing under a different name. It can be used to simulate eyeliner, eyebrows and add colour to the eyelids. As with tattoos, the more dramatic colours last far longer than natural colours. Therefore, a natural look may need to be touched up, especially if the individual is exposed to the sun regularly.
  • Results may be undesirable. Common complaints are of the colour being too dark or uneven. To remove a mistake may involve expensive pigment lightening techniques or complete removal involving laser resurfacing, dermabrasion, or a surgical procedure.
  • There may be adverse effects such as allergies to the pigments, scar formation, blistering, and infection.
  • Think carefully about the effects of the ageing process. This procedure is long term. Will it look as good in twenty years? Will it suit an older woman? Moreover, will natural skin sagging cause the tattooed area to droop?

Pros

  • Permanent eye makeup is time saving and does not smear or smudge. Sporty women and swimmers would find permanent makeup a real boon.
  • If administered correctly it can enhance the eyebrows and make them appear natural, ideal for those who have thin or no eyebrows.
  • It is an ideal solution for those who wish to wear makeup but are allergic to conventional makeup.

It would appear that some thought would be required before making the decision whether to have permanent eye makeup applied. A reputable clinic should be found with qualified staff. Allergy tests would be advisable before commencing with the procedure. Seeking expert advice on the type of makeup applied, colour and effect would be sensible before making a commitment.

 

There are times in life when we do not feel good. Everyday life comes with worry and stress. Making ends meet, illness, a job we hate or simply being surrounded by negative people. No wonder many of us wake up in the morning and dread the day ahead. Moreover, the big black cloud we carry over our head through the day often infects others so by evening simply everybody feels rotten.

It is not easy to remain positive but there are simple ways to feel a little better. And a little better can eventually result in feeling good. Try some of these small steps that may result in a more positive attitude and from there, the uphill struggle towards feeling good suddenly becomes a smooth and level path.

• No health worries? Then rejoice because there are many who would love to wake feeling healthy. Picture yourself unable to walk or use your hands. Close your eyes and imagine a world of darkness. Life really could be a lot harder, couldn’t it?

• Take 20 minutes out of the day for a walk and really look at the surroundings. Find something beautiful, even in a concrete jungle. If you live in the countryside, this gets even better. Look at the birds, the hills, and the fields. Nature has provided so much beauty; it is impossible to ignore it. We spend so much of our lives rushing around that we become blind to the beauty of our world.

• Make a gesture of kindness, whether it is picking up something that has been dropped or sending an unexpected gift to someone who is also struggling with life. Kindness reaps rewards and the act of giving or helping makes us feel a better person.

• Smile at a stranger. Smiling is infectious so see how far it can be spread.

• Spend time with people whom it feels good to be around. Life is too short to waste on negative people and their attitude can bring us down. Positive and supportive friends can lift us up with their enthusiasm.

 

From the moment Kate Middleton donned a blue Issa silk designer dress to announce the news of her engagement, the world heaved a huge sigh of relief. Since we lost Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997, there hasn’t been a female figure in the Royal family to make a fashion statement. Kate has taken on the almost impossible challenge of stepping into Diana’s (designer) shoes and has provided us with a new Princess of style and elegance.

Combining High Street pieces with designer clothing, Kate has her own sophisticated, elegant but modern take on fashion with the preppy equestrian look one would expect from a member of the Royal family. She looks as good in jeans and a cable knit jumper as she does in more formal clothing and whether her hair is loose or elaborately styled, she exudes an air of sophistication.

Her personal style has influenced designers to create wrapped and draped jersey dresses and blazers with nipped in waists. Kate embraced the trend of brightly coloured skinny jeans in 2012 and thousands copied her as she teamed them with flat ballerina style shoes and cropped cable knit jumpers. Kate displayed another 2012 fashion success, the peplum waisted jacket, when she helped Queen Elizabeth to take part in the Diamond Jubilee festivities. Her teal belted peplum skirt suit by L.K. Bennett was accessorised with black pumps and a James Lock hat.

In May 2012, she became a celebrity to watch, fashion wise, as she attended a concert at the Royal Albert Hall wearing a teal lace-backed Jenny Packham gown and Jimmy Choos. With her hair swept into a smooth chignon, Kate looked every inch a princess.

We recently heard the news of a Royal pregnancy and wait with anticipation to see what Kate considers to be suitable maternity clothing. With her latest friend being Victoria Beckham it would appear that there might be some VB designer maternity wear in the offing.

Drinking alcohol is depicted as being glamorous by TV programmes and films. Sipping cocktails in exotic surroundings is something many of us wish we could do. Yet the cold hard facts are that those tasty cocktails can damage the liver and kidneys, dehydrate the body, damage eyesight, and shrink the brain. Alcohol is also held responsible for diabetes and impotence, and can cause us to become obese.

Alcohol also destroys our looks. By damaging our insides, it takes its toll on the outside. Here are some effects alcohol can have on health resulting in a loss of beauty.

  1. Alcohol accelerates the ageing process. By forcing the kidneys to work harder, it leaves the organs parched. And this includes our skin. Our skin begins to wrinkle more and loses its healthy glow.
  2. Alcohol can worsen skin issues. It can cause rosacea, which causes reddening of the skin and pustules on the nose and cheeks. Alcohol causes tiny blood vessels to burst and when they are close to the skin this leaves a trail of red broken capillaries. Psoriasis is another skin condition worsened by alcohol.
  3. Alcohol causes bloating leaving the face puffy and swollen.  Because the body is being dehydrated, it stores water and food causing the tissues to swell.
  4. Alcohol irritates the tiny blood vessels in the eyes, which enlarge and cause a bloodshot appearance. Excessive drinking depletes the body of nutrients essential to the maintenance of eye health, which can eventually lead to impaired eyesight.
  5. Alcohol also dehydrates the hair making it brittle and prone to split ends. It can also leave the body zinc deficient, which may result in hair loss.

Chronic drinkers are damaging their health and looks. Those who drink occasionally can reduce the effects by drinking water in between cocktails, make sure that they are not drinking on an empty stomach and use a heavy moisturiser before going to bed.

 

1. The spring of 2012 saw denim making a huge comeback with pastel-coloured and bright skinny jeans being the most popular. After Kate Middleton was seen wearing a raspberry pair of skinnies whilst walking her new spaniel, sales shot through the roof. Winter saw the style of jeans remain popular but more earthy tones of brown, burgundy, and plum were worn to indicate the change of season. Teamed with flat shoes or canvas deck shoes, coloured skinny jeans were the most popular piece of casual clothing to be worn last year.

2. Peplum styles have been around for a couple of years but once again, it was Kate Middleton who drew the public eye to the style after wearing a peplum skirt suit during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Peplums now come on casual dresses as well as evening gowns and became bigger and bolder over 2012.

3. Brogues were one of the hottest shoe trends of 2012 and teamed with the popular coloured skinny jeans they became the epitome of casual chic. Moreover, with the long wet British summer, coloured Wellingtons became an essential women’s fashion statement, seen at every festival and outdoor event in the summer of 2012.

4. The TV series ‘Mad Men’ inspired a nostalgic revival of retro fashion with figure hugging dresses and skirt suits with a 1950s and 60s feel. Designers like Vivien of Holloway became hugely popular with the glamorous take on reproduction clothing and teamed with hats and gloves, women everywhere sported an air of elegant chic.

5. Clutch bags, big enough for every woman’s needs were the ultimate accessory for the 2012 retro revival but gave way to a larger bag trend over winter 2012. Animal prints became fashionable again and celebrities were seen with matching snakeskin shoes and bags just in time for the festive party season.

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