Archive Monthly Archives: June 2017

Your Best Eyebrows in 3 Simple Steps

Your eyebrows express so much.

Your eyebrows say a lot about you and when it comes to caring for them, it’s all about enhancing their natural shape and keeping them well groomed. No matter what kind of natural eyebrow shape you have—thin and wispy, thick and bushy or anywhere in between––waxing, tweezing and threading will be part of your routine.

So, get ready to impress and express your beauty with this quick guide to achieve the perfect eyebrows.


Any time you exfoliate your face, take a few extra seconds to exfoliate the skin under your eyebrows. Dead skin tends to build up underneath and around your eyebrow hairs. Gently rub your fingers in a circular motion around both brows and rinse. When you follow exfoliation up with moisturizer, it softens the eyebrows and primes them for grooming.

Know Your Eyebrow Shape

An esthetician can help you define and enhance your eyebrow shape. Then you can keep the shape up yourself in between appointments. Here are a few things to consider when shaping your eyebrows yourself:

– First things first, comb eyebrows straight up using a brow comb or brush so you can see where they may need to be filled in. Start combing from the front of the brow, near your nose, and work out towards the ends.

– Determine where your inner eyebrow starts. This can be done by holding a ruler vertical to your face and aligning it with the outer most edge of your nose and the inner corner of your eye. Mark that spot with an eyebrow pencil so you know where your brow should begin. Your best brow usually aligns with the inner tear duct.

– Determine the arch of your eyebrow. This is usually slightly right of the center of your brow. Mark that with an eyebrow pencil so you know where your eyebrow should be at its highest point.

– Mark your eyebrow end point with the help of your straight edge. Make a line with your straight edge going from the bottom of your nose to the outer corner of your eye.

– Decide the thickness that you want by marking your eyebrow pencil in a line just underneath the fullest part of your brow. You can decide the shape you’d like with this line.

– Once you’ve marked your eyebrow shape, you are ready to remove excess hair with your chosen method of hair removal. Waxing, tweezing and threading are the most common methods for keeping eyebrows in shape.

Keeping Your Eyebrows Looking Fresh

Once you’re happy with the overall look of your eyebrows, here are three things you can do yourself in between eyebrow appointments:

• Trimming and Tweezing

This is a quick way to keep your brows looking well-groomed. If they require heavy tweezing, follow the steps above to determine the best brow shape for you and then tweeze away. A good tip is to shape your brows after a shower when your hair follicles are more open and hairs come out more easily.

To keep eyebrow hairs in place, brush the brows upward with an eyebrow brush and trim any hairs that are too long with small scissors. For really unruly brows, consider investing in clear mascara to keep your eyebrows neat all day.

• Tinting

This technique helps create an eyebrow with depth. Choose from a powder, which is applied with an eyebrow brush, or a tinted gel, which is applied like mascara. Use careful strokes, following the natural direction of the eyebrow hairs.

• Filling in Bare Spots

The idea here is to create the illusion of individual eyebrow hairs, not a solid dark splotch. Using a thin eyebrow pencil in a color closely matching your eyebrows, re-draw the borders just around the inner 1/3 portion of each eyebrow. Draw slightly within the hairline so that it’s not obvious. Using the same pencil, identify the bare spots and apply feathery strokes going in the direction of the eyebrow hairs. This is essential to avoid looking like you have dark splotches on your eyebrows.

Eyebrows can be a beautiful frame for your eyes, if they’re well groomed. So, invest a little time to keep them looking fresh. It might take a little practice but the results will be well worth it.

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6 Tips to Start Your Family Fitness Journey Today

Make fitness fun for the whole family.

There’s no better time than now to get started on a family fitness journey and raise healthy, active kids.

If you’re looking to make healthier choices for your children and teach them how to make healthier choices for themselves, here are six essential tips to help you get started.

Consult Your Child’s Physician

Talk to your child’s pediatrician about what kind of fitness is right for them. Going from a low level of activity to an active lifestyle can be a shock to their system. All changes in physical activity should be gradual.

Create a Routine

The best way to start your family fitness journey is to create a schedule of activities for two days per week. Plan activities such as hikes, bike rides or indoor/outdoor sports to make them feel less like a chore and more like fun. The more you involve your kids in the planning process, the more enthusiastic they’ll be about the change.

Embrace Technology

If you have children that rely on computers, phones and tablets, you might face a rebellion if you try to swap gadgets for family fitness time. Instead, you can embrace technology and ease them into an active lifestyle with fitness games and challenges. There are many dance, fitness and activity games available that combine technology with simple tasks that motivate kids to get active.

Go Back to Basics

Remember how much fun it was to play a simple game of catch with your friends when you were younger? As you move towards more traditional fitness-based activities, focus on coordination and body awareness moves. Kids have developing nervous systems and will benefit from engaging their motor skills. Related activities include kicking, catching and hopping.

Be Smart about Weight Training

There are differing opinions on the age at which children should start lifting weights, and it’s a decision that should be discussed with your child’s physician. As an alternative, body weight exercises are a great way for kids to build strength. I started lifting weights at the age of 15 and I am raising my children to have fun with squats, push-ups and other body weight exercises until they are well into their teens.

Lead by Example

The greatest gift you can give your children is to lead by example and practice healthy habits. Try popping in a fitness DVD or follow a fitness routine on the computer to set an example. If your young children want to join in, you should let them. Just make sure they stay away from potentially dangerous equipment like weight machines and treadmills.

We can all make healthier choices to lead our children down an active lifestyle path. If you keep the activity fun, you can set them up for a lifetime of being active. However, if you do it with force, they may build a negative opinion of exercise forever. The above tips are ones I use successfully with my own family, but make sure to experiment with different activities so you can find the ones that your whole family will enjoy doing together.

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4 Summertime Food Safety Tips

Make sure to cook food thoroughly
when barbecuing

Don’t spoil your summertime fun with the chance of getting sick from contaminated food. Here are some tips for maintaining food safety during warm weather.

Nothing says summer quite like backyard barbecues, picnics and camping. But nothing spoils a picnic more quickly than unwelcome guests—and I’m not talking about party crashers. These other unwelcome guests come in the form of food-borne bacteria, which can multiply quickly in hot summertime temperatures and make your picnic foods risky to eat.

The bacteria in foods that can make you sick grow quickly at room temperature, and even faster when the thermometer climbs to 90 degrees F (32C) or so. Keeping foods cold discourages the bacteria from growing, and cooking foods destroys them. So, the most basic rule is this: keep hot foods hot, and keep cold foods cold.
Here are four tips for proper food handling during those warm weather months:

Pack Your Cooler the Smart Way

If you’re going to carry raw meat to grill at the park or your campsite, pack your cooler carefully. Season or marinate the meat and put it in a tightly sealed plastic container or zippered plastic food storage bag, then keep it separated from any foods that are ready-to-eat in your cooler. You don’t want any of those raw meat juices dripping onto your fruits, veggies and side dishes. And pack your cooler with plenty of ice or ice packs, so that everything stays nice and cold.

Don’t Let the Outside Fool You

When it’s time to serve foods from the grill, check thick foods like bone-in chicken pieces to make sure they’re cooked all the way through before serving. Sometimes they cook quickly on the outside, but they’re still raw or undercooked in the middle. If you have a few hours before it’s time to grill, you can also partially cook chicken pieces in the microwave, then drop them in a zippered plastic bag with the marinade and refrigerate. Since the chicken is partially cooked, it takes less time to finish it on the grill; it tends to cook more evenly and it’s less likely to be dry.

Don’t Double-Dip

Once your fish, meat or poultry comes off the grill, it might be tempting to dunk it back in the marinade—but don’t. Since the marinade was in contact with raw or undercooked meat, it could harbor some harmful bacteria that could cause illness.

Follow the 2-2-4 Rule

When it comes to leftovers, an easy way to remember food storage guidelines is simple: two hours, two inches, four days. These numbers make up the “2-2-4 rule.”
Two hours is how long foods can safely stay at room temperature after you’ve taken them out of the oven or off the grill. In the case of cold foods, that’s how long they can safely stay out of the refrigerator or cooler. But there’s an exception to this rule: the limit drops to just an hour if the outdoor temperature is 90 degrees F (32C) or higher. Once the time limit is reached, the food should be refrigerated or frozen. So, if you’re away from home, be sure to pack up your food and place it back in the cooler with your ice packs to keep them at a safe temperature.

The two inch rule means that you should store leftover foods in shallow containers—no more than two inches deep—so they can cool down evenly and quickly. If containers are too deep, it takes too long for the food in the middle to cool down.

The last rule says that you should use your refrigerated leftovers within four days. Otherwise, you should toss them out. But picnic leftovers are pretty tasty, so chances are that they’ll be long gone before then.

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Men’s Skincare: Here are the Facts

Men need a cleansing skincare routine, too.

Here are some things to pay attention to when it comes to a daily skin care regimen just for men.

Make no mistake: men need to care for their skin as much, if not more, than women. However, men and women have different types of skin with different needs. Here are some factors to consider when determining the best skincare regimen for you.

Thick or Thin Skinned?

How thick a person’s skin is depends on many factors, including their sex, age and the area of the skin in question. For example, skin on the eyelids is very thin, while skin on the palms is very thick. On average, a man’s skin is approximately 25% thicker than a woman’s. This is primarily due to testosterone. Men’s skin will gradually thin with age, while the thickness of woman’s skin remains steady until around the age of 50 when it will also start to thin, especially after menopause. Because men have thicker skin, they also tend to have more elastin and collagen than women, making their resistance to the signs of aging greater than women’s. Unfortunately, women show the signs of aging faster than men, and they are much more vulnerable to the damaging UVA rays of the sun.

Oil Slick or Dry as a Desert?

Because men have thicker skin, they also have more sebum-producing glands. Women’s oil production starts to decrease a lot sooner than men’s, on average by about 20 years. It’s these natural oils that help to protect the skin, keeping it feeling softer and smoother. So, while a woman may experience more skin dryness, men may experience larger pores and be prone to more blackheads and whiteheads. Women also experience increased skin dryness during menopause.

Rough and Tumble or Baby Smooth?

When it comes to skin texture, men have skin that’s rougher, primarily due to the fact that the outer protective layer of their skin is thicker. Throw in differences in hormones, oil and sweat production, facial hair and shaving, and there are inevitably textural differences. Men tend to have acne that lasts longer; they experience more skin irritation and suffer from a condition called rhinophyma, which is only found in males with extreme cases of rosacea.

Shaving: Super Sensitive or Ultra Resilient?

Because most men shave, they’re prone to shaving bumps, ingrown hairs and skin sensitivities, primarily brought on by daily shaving. Shaving damages the hydrolipidic film on the surface of the skin, which erodes the skin’s natural lubrication and protection. Shaving can also cause nicks and scrapes on the skin, allowing for a man’s skin to become more sensitive and easily irritated than a woman’s.

So, what should every man do when it comes to his daily skincare regimen?
    Use a Facial Cleanser

    You may have gotten used to using regular bar soap, but that isn’t doing your skin any good. Bar soaps can contain harsh detergents and deodorizers that aren’t meant for the face. They can also disrupt your skin’s pH balance and strip it of beneficial oils. Choose a facial cleanser that can target excess oil, thoroughly remove dirt, oil, sweat, debris and provide much needed hydration. Look for formulas that do not contain sulfates or parabens, but do contain antioxidant vitamins and Aloe vera for added hydration.

    Start Exfoliating

    Due to the thickness of a man’s skin, exfoliation is necessary and can be done more frequently than a woman. Scrub away that dead skin buildup on a regular basis, which will help clear out your pores and ease the frequency of white and blackheads.

    Skip the Aftershave

    Most post-shave products contain alcohol, hence the burning and stinging effect when applied to the skin. It’s time to ditch those irritating products because they just aren’t healthy for your skin. They can cause dead skin cell buildup, which causes hair strands to get trapped in the skin, leading to ingrown hairs and irritation. Invest in an antioxidant-rich facial skin toner that is alcohol-free to help soothe the skin post-shaving. No more stinging and burning for sure.

    Apply Sunscreen

    Applying sunscreen every day before going outdoors is especially important for men. Men tend to spend more time outdoors than women and are more exposed to environmental factors. There’s also a greater risk of incidental sun exposure just from walking the dog, doing a bit of yard work or simply driving a car (the sun’s rays can penetrate through glass). So, men should always apply a moisturizer containing SPF 30 sunscreen to help fend off the signs of aging.

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Want to Build Muscle? It Takes More Than Just Protein

Eat high-quality carbs to build muscles.

Protein is important for building muscle, but other nutrients play an important role as well.

If you were to ask most people what it takes to build muscle, they’d probably say that you just need to eat protein, protein and more protein. Protein is important, to be sure. After all, your muscles are made of protein, and your body requires adequate protein in the diet in order to have the building blocks it needs to build up muscle mass. But protein alone won’t do. You need to pay attention to the rest of your diet as well.

Essential Nutrients to Build Muscle

A lot of men who are trying to bulk up are also trying to lose body fat at the same time. But sometimes the approaches they use to meet those goals are at odds with each other. They’ll take in plenty of protein, which, when coupled with a strength training routine, should lead to more lean mass. But they may also cut their total calories back too far in an effort to get “shredded.”

That can be a problem. If you cut your calories too much, some of the protein that you eat is going to be burned for fuel, rather than being used to support muscle development. So, to effectively build muscle mass, you want to ensure that you have enough calories to support your activity, and the right balance of nutrients, too.


    Many bodybuilders see carbs as the enemy, and that can be a mistake. Yes, highly refined carbohydrates and sweets hardly do the body good. But the right carbohydrates found in whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables help to fuel activity, including working muscles. Without adequate carbohydrate to fuel your exercise, some of the protein you’re eating might get burned for fuel. So, to avoid “burning the candle at both ends,” make sure to include enough high-quality carbs in your diet.


    Dietary fat is sometimes underappreciated by some athletes. Like carbs, fats may have an undeserved bad reputation. Small amounts of the right kinds of fats are really important. That’s because certain fatty acids, the building blocks of dietary fats, are essential because the body can’t make them. Fatty acids are a vital structural component of every cell membrane, including muscle cells. The body relies on fat to fuel moderate intensity, longer-term exercise. That’s just the type of exercise that might be coupled with a strength-training regimen to build mass and lose body fat. Focus on the “good” sources, like nuts, seeds, fish, olive oil and avocado.


    Eating the right amount of protein is important for stimulating muscle development, and so is the timing of protein intake. The process of muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is stimulated by strength training activity. But it’s also stimulated when you eat protein. This is one reason that strength-training athletes should aim to spread their protein intake fairly evenly over meals and snacks throughout the day. MPS is greater under these conditions than it is under a more typical pattern in which little protein is consumed in the morning, a bit more at lunch and then a large amount at dinner. And a bedtime snack containing about 25g of protein can help to stimulate MPS during the night.

Both plant and animal sources provide the necessary building blocks for MPS. “Fast-digesting” proteins are high in the amino acid leucine, found in a range of both plant and animal proteins. This includes soy, poultry, fish, nuts, seeds and beans, all of which stimulate MPS. And more slowly digested proteins, such as egg and milk proteins, may help to prolong the MPS process.

At this point, there’s nothing to suggest that “fast” proteins are better than “slow” proteins, or vice versa. What’s more important to know is that protein needs can be met from both plant and animal sources. With careful planning and attention to total intake, even vegetarians or vegans can consume enough protein to support muscle development.

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