Dec 27, 2012

Top 3 short hair styles for the New Year


Is there anything more chic than a short ‘do? While it’s true that It takes a bold woman to rock a short hair style, short cuts are perfect for the texture of African American hair. And celebrities like Amber Rose, Halle Berry and Tia Mowry are living proof that mini tresses are just as feminine as cascading locks.

When you’re ready to go short, here are three great styles for black women.

1. Buzz Cut
While women of other ethnicities might have a hard time pulling off a buzz cut, the stronger and denser texture of African American hair makes this a can-do ‘do for women of color. A buzz cut calls attention to striking facial features.

This style, sported by celebs like Solange Knowles and Amber Rose, is ultra-low-maintenance, with no need for straightening or shaping.

2. Pixie Cut
Like a buzz cut, pixies highlight facial features, but they also add volume and height to the hair due to asymmetrical layers. There is some prep-work needed to keep this style, but it’s relatively low-fuss. Just apply gel or wax to create flip tips like Halle Berry and Malinda Williams.

3. Razor Cuts with Long Bangs
Razor cuts, done curly or sleek-straight, are top styles for this season. The key to pull off a razor cut is to choose the most flattering length. Tiny corkscrews tend to become shorter when trimmed, so let your stylist know the length you want before she starts cutting.

Dec 25, 2012

Get the Perfect Holiday Party Look

‘Tis the Season to look festive. If you want a look that you can wear to any holiday function no matter the print or color of your dress. Try a holiday shimmer eye and make them pop with extensions. Here is how to get the look:
The Shimmer

  • Use a shimmery cream (try MAC - Shimmerene glitter cream) or if you have a powder shimmer you can mix the shadow with a small amount of water. The water will help create a dense metallic pigment that's not too soft.
  • Apply shimmery shadow above the iris in your eye and on the inner corner of the eye. This will open up the eye, lighten up what is usually a dark area of the lid, and helps eyes pop in photos.
  • If you do go with the shimmery eye, don't go overboard with the shimmer. Apply shimmer to no more than 2 places. For example, shimmer your eyelids and your cheekbones but don't also add a batch of shimmer to your d├ęcolletage (collar bone).
Eyelash Extensions
  • Get a pair of lashes that match your natural lash color. If the lash is wider than your eye, trim one side of it lash by lash.  After applying glue pick the lashes up with tweezers and bring it as close to your natural lash line as possible. They should be longer towards the outer corner of the eye then make sure there is barely any gap between your real eye lashes and the fake. 
  • Many salons now offer semi-permanent eyelash extensions. These are applied to the individual lash and usually last 2-4 weeks (depending on glue and application). Make sure you get an experienced esthetician and ask for references.

Dec 20, 2012

Treat skin allergies with these natural remedies

Skin allergies are most commonly caused when something you’re allergic to, such as a certain fabric, soap, lotion or perfume, touches your skin.

While most skin allergies clear up on their own with time, the itching, burning and irritation they cause is annoying, and the scratching often leads to a secondary infection, so here are few natural remedies to help you get rid of allergic rashes and treat the related symptoms.

#1. Wash the affected area with chamomile or green tea
The chamomile herb has anti-inflammatory properties that help to prevent the release of histamine, the chemical that causes itching, swelling, and redness. On the downside, chamomile can produce its own allergic reaction, so you’ll first want to test a small amount on an isolated area such as your forearm. 

You can also opt for green tea. While it doesn’t boast the anti-histamine properties of chamomile, green tea does have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to relieve itching and reduce infections.

How to do it: Submerge a tea bag in water for about 3 minutes. Wring out excess water and place bag in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to cool. Place bag directly on affected area.

#2. Take an oatmeal bath
Oatmeal is one of the best body rash treatments due to its calming and soothing properties.

How to do it: Place a handful of rolled oats in a blender or food grinder. Add the powder in a warm (not hot) bath and soak in the solution for at least 20 minutes.

#3. Use a banana peel
The antioxidants and potassium in banana peels can help reduce inflammation and irritation associated with skin allergies.

How to do it: This one couldn’t be simpler. Just peel the banana and place the inside of the peel against your skin.

#4. Apply a mixture of cod liver oil and vitamin E
Oil from the liver of the codfish contains large amounts of Vitamins A, D and omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin E has strong antioxidant properties that are effective in treating skin inflammation. When combined, these nutrients can provide relief to dryness, swelling and itchiness related to skin allergy rashes.

How to do it: Combine cod liver oil and vitamin E gel into a mixture, then rub this mixture directly on your skin rash using cotton balls.

#5. Try poppy and lime
In tropical counties, poppy seeds are often used to treat dry, itchy skin because of their high linoleic acid content. Ground to a paste with lime juice, poppy seeds are an effective remedy for the dry itch.

How to do it: Crush one tablespoon of poppy seeds, mix with one teaspoon of water and one teaspoon of lime juice and apply to affected area.

#6. Treat infected skin with tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has strong antiseptic properties that work wonders on skin rashes, infections and related swelling. Keep in mind that tea tree oil has potent medicinal qualities and may not agree with everyone’s skin. If you have very sensitive skin, be sure to spot-test before generally applying tea tree oil.

How to do it: Apply the oil directly to the affected area with a piece of natural cotton, several times a day.