• Sunday, December 27, 2009

    Tips for Beautiful Eyelashes

    Long, luscious, thick eyelashes are always in style. Most of us, however, were not fortunate enough to be born with such beautiful eyelashes. Thankfully, the cosmetic industry is here to help! Whatever your need, there is a mascara out there for you. Short lashes? Try a lengthening mascara. Thin lashes? Try a thickening mascara. Straight lashes? Try a curling mascara. All three? Try a volumizing mascara. Which one is the best choice for you? Here are a few tips to help you decide.

    Decide between normal wear, water resistant, and waterproof

    Mascaras are formulated from wax, pigments and resins which are then dissolved in either water, petroleum jelly, or a combination of both. As the water or petroleum evaporates, it leaves behind the wax to help make your lashes look thicker, longer, or both. Formulas made from water are, by their nature, not waterproof, so they smear and run easier. Mascaras made of petroleum are waterproof, but can be clumpy-looking and difficult to remove. Water resistant, which combines both water and petroleum, offers a nice balance between the two. However, if you're a crier at weddings, you may want to go ahead and wear waterproof for such an occasion!

    Don't buy more help than you need
    If you have long lashes, but they're thin, don't buy mascara with a lengthening agent. When lashes clump or get that weird spider-looking effect, it's usually because there are more agents in the mascara than the lashes need. Volumizing mascara is tempting, but avoid it unless your lashes truly are short and thin. This will also save you a little money at the register. A general rule is the more things a mascara can cure, the more expensive it is.

    Learn how to curl or thicken your lashes without the extra agents
    To get great curl on your lashes, take your eyelash curler and place it at the root of your lashes. Hold firmly for ten seconds and release. If your lashes are stick straight, you can move up slightly away from the roots, repeating the curl. Do this until the ends of your lashes. With a curved mascara wand, hold the wand so the brush looks like a rainbow. Brush the roots of your lashes back and forth a couple of times (a similar motion to brushing your teeth), before sweeping through to the tips. Not only will this help curl your lashes, it will also help thicken them. Want those thick, Red Carpet lashes? Quickly apply ten thin coats of mascara (yes, ten!). If you let it dry between coats, you'll ruin the effect and have clumps. Quick strokes are the key.

    Choose the right color
    Basic rule of thumb: black lengthens, brown thickens. A fun look that will both thicken and lengthen your lashes is a process called minking. To mink your lashes, apply a coat of brown mascara. After that layer has dried, apply black mascara just to the tips of your lashes. Your lashes will look thick at the roots and phenomenally long at the tips.

    Use eye make-up remover
    Even if your mascara is not waterproof, using regular soap or facial cleaners can wreak havoc on your eyelashes. If it requires a lot of scrubbing to get the mascara off, you run the risk of pulling out lashes. Losing eyelashes at every washing is not something a thickening mascara can help you with. Fight the problem at its source. The best eye make-up remover will be oil-free, using a saline or silicone base, preferably both, that will gently wash away even waterproof mascara. Never scrub at your lashes. Gently rub away the mascara with a soft cloth or cotton balls.

    Toss your mascara every three months
    Even if you've only used the tube once, throw out your mascara every three months. Mascara tubes are breeding grounds for lots of microbial infections and eye mites. Three months is the longest shelf life any tube of mascara has. If you notice that your mascara is clumpy in the tube or smells odd, throw it out. Never, ever let someone else use your mascara. It's the quickest way to spread an eye infection.

    Source: K. Pantinas

    Sunday, December 6, 2009

    Gratitude and charity

    After a year of financial disaster and getting myself back on track, the following article from Smart Women Guides really touched me. While I am on the way back from horrendous economic times, there are those who are not as fortunate.

    As a result of my recent experience and the fabulous new job which involves community service and helping others, I can relate to being grateful for everything I have been blessed with and plan on joining the ranks of those doing what they can to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate . . . I was one of them.

    By the way, Smart Women Guides is an excellent blog to follow . . .

    "It’s the color of the season, the color of an open heart, and the new black - gratitude.

    Never before in my life have I felt such an outpouring of gratefulness, generosity, and caring as I have witnessed over the last several weeks. Don’t know if I was just wearing the right clothes, or smelled just so, but I have had the pleasure of seeing some amazing things first hand. And, I feel glad from it.

    Everywhere around us, we witness the world. Some of it can seem frightening. If you listen to the general attention monger media, you might conclude that we should all be in a constant state of fear.

    But here’s the deal - fear is a state of mind, not an automatic reaction. When we open our eyes to beauty and miracles, we see that instead. Call me a rose-colored glasses wearing optimist, but hope and forward looking visioning feels better to experience. It gives me more strength of spirit to face the issues that need addressing and to take action. Fear cripples - hope and love uplift. Fear is a choice and it is not my choice today.

    In honor of this elation and well…gratitude I feel for the wondrous and hopeful things I see around me, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite causes. If you have one you love, please list it in comments below so we can all know about the good work they are doing and how we can help.

    Kiva.org - Microlending site: For as little as $25 you can provide much needed credit assistance to deserving entrepreneurs worldwide. Most entrepreneurs who use microlending are women.

    RoomToRead.org - Literacy program started by ex-Microsoft executive, John Wood, that builds libraries throughout the developing world. Room to Read’s programs have reached more than three million children so far and hopes to improve literacy for ten million children by 2020.

    WomenForWomen.org - Women for Women International provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency.

    Charity: Water - Almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean drinking water. That’s one in eight of us. charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 100% of public donations directly fund water projects.

    We have the power within ourselves to create a world of peace, understanding, tolerance, and health. Thank you to everyone who is working toward this vision - know that many of us stand in gratitude for what you do.

    Together, we are stronger!"

    Vicki Flaugher, CEO

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