Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Flatter Ab Foods

Losing those inches off your waist line can be pretty difficult. You have probably heard about different foods you can eat to reduce that belly fat like salmon, avocados, and nuts. Those are all great for you, but check out these new foods to try.

1. Coconut Oil. Lets be honest, coconut oil is good for everything. It keeps your hair soft, and shiny, and your skin nice and moisturized but it does other wonders for your body. Coconut oil when eaten daily, can help reduce your waist line! It contains lauric acid, which your body burns quickly to produce energy. You can eat a tablespoon a day and use it to replace vegetable oil in cooking.

2. Red or Purple Produce. By snacking on things like grapes, tomatoes, and eggplant, over time you will gain less belly fat then those who snack on green, yellow or orange fruits and veggies.  This doesn't mean you should stop eating those, it just means limit your snacking on them.

3. Vinegar. By including one ounce of vinegar into your daily routine, you can help reduce your belly fat. Vinegar contains acetic acid which helps stimulate the enzymes that burn fat. Try adding apple cider vinegar to your water or a salad to get the burning process going.

4. Whole Grains. People who eat whole grains like brown rice have less belly fat then those who eat the white grain. Making the switch to having 3 servings of whole grain a day helps with appetite control and the fiber in them helps to discourage fat storage in your belly.

5. Beans. Beans contain tons of fiber, especially lentils, black and lima beans. Eating 10 grams of fiber a day can significantly help reduce your rate of gaining belly fat. So you can eat 1 cup of only those types of beans a day and get over 10 grams of fiber.

6. Chia Seeds. Chia seeds are the wonder seed. They have protein and fiber, as well as a fatty acid that you might not know about called ALA. What is does is it helps keep fat away from your organs in your abdominal area. They expand in liquid, so you can use them in anything. Eat 1 tablespoon of them a day.

7. Cinnamon. The active ingredient in cinnamon is cinnamaldehyde. What that does is it helps to burn fatty tissue. Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon into your diet everyday. It will help reduce your belly fat in one month.
8. Turmeric. Known as an Indian spice that has a lot of bold flavor. It helps pull out the sugar in your body, and burn it for energy instead of becoming fat. Use 1 teaspoon into one of your flavorful dishes. You won't really notice the taste but you will notice the difference in your energy levels.

9. Dark Chocolate. Dark chocolate is the best type of chocolate for you. If it is 70% or higher of cacao dark chocolate, it will help reduce stress hormones. Stress hormones can cause people to gain weight. Eat a one ounce serving a day to help reduce stress and hit that sweet tooth craving.

Snacking isn't always bad for you, especially if it includes one of these things. Try them out for a month and see if you notice a difference around your mid-section or in your energy levels.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

How To Properly Apply Self Tanner

Everyone has seen that one person who obviously has self tanner on and it looks a little funny. You can usually tell because not all areas of the body are evenly coated, some might not even be covered at all. Or the worst, it turned out kind of orange. If you are looking for that summer glow and are more of a DIY person, then here are some steps to show you how to apply self tanner and have it looking great.

1. First start by exfoliating your entire body. This will remove any dead skin, so you have an even slate to start with. If you have any dry areas such as knees or elbows, apply a moisturizer after exfoliation. You want you skin to be moisturized so the tanner takes properly. Drier skin has a harder time fully taking the color.

2. If you are using a gradual tanner, stick to once or twice a week. Using it too often will make it turn weird colors and its meant to darken over time not immediately.

3. Don't shave after you used self tanner. Shaving removes hair but it also tends to remove the top layer of skin. Doing this will leave you patchy. Shave a few hours before apply the tanner and then wait 48 hours or so till you shave again. This gives the product plenty of time to fully soak in.

4. Using too much. If you are applying a full tanner, you can do it every 10-14 days. Anything more than that is too often and will leave you either too dark or turn you orange.

5. When getting coverage on your hands and feet, apply it to the hands and smooth it to the fingers and same for the feet. This will give a more even coverage.

6. To get the most natural looking results, use gloves.

7. To keep your hands from washing off, avoid washing your hands for at least 1 hour after applying tanner. The longer you can wait, the better.

8. Always do a patch test first. This will allow you to see what color it turns to so you can decide if the color is right for you.

9. Make sure you rub moisturizer into your hairline. If you don't, one of two things will happen. You will either have a dark circle around your hairline or a light circle where nothing it. Just use a little lotion to keep this from happening.

10. Never skip an area. This will make it obvious that your tan is fake. Make sure you cover your ears, upper lip, hands, feet and neck. Use a mirror to double check your coverage.

11. Avoid using the same products on your face and your body. They make different formula's because the body ones tend to be heavier and will clog your pores and the face ones are lighter to help prevent that.

12. Don't sweat your tan off. Nothing looks worse then watching your tan slowly sweat and run down your body. To keep your tan strong, apply baby powder to your armpits, chest and any other areas your sweat a lot in. This will help you avoid a streaky, blotchy, mess of a color.

13. Always moisturize daily. Keeping your skin moist is the key to making your tan look fresh and to keep it lasting longer.

Its summer time so try out this tips next time you apply your self tanner! I am sure you will notice a big difference in how it goes on and looks.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Know Your Sunscreen

Protecting yourself from UVA and UVB rays is extremely important, especially now that its warm out and most people are going to be spending a ton of time outside. If you do not use sunscreen it will lead to premature aging, skin spots, and possibly even skin cancer. Here are some things you need to know and some products with SPF in them that you may want to try.

1. Never Skip. Put applying sunscreen into your daily routine. Whether it is actual sunscreen or a moisturizer with SPF in it, be sure to apply it every day. Any time you forget, that is aging your skin by creating fine lines and wrinkles. 

2. SPF 30. Every day before you leave, make sure you apply an SPF of 30. That is the daily recommendation by the American Academy of Dermatology. Use a nickel sized amount for your face, so you get optimal coverage. Most people tend to use less then that.  

3. Chemical & Physical. There are 2 different types of sunscreens chemical and physical. Chemical absorbs into your skin, which can take up to 30mins to fully soak in. This one is great to apply at work on your break so your skin has time to fully soak it in. Physical immediately starts protecting your skin as soon as it is applied. This is great if you are at the beach or outdoors and need to reapply. You should apply sunscreen when outdoors every 2 hours.

4. Nothing Is Completely Water Proof. Even if you use waterproof sunscreen, it doesn't last. Once you are out of the water, you should put it on again. Even if you are just running errands, the sunscreen can sweat off. Apply every 2 hours.

5. Roll on SPF. They make a balm or roll on SPF that is great for applying to your face, ears, neck and lips. This are areas that you might not think about burning but they do, and it hurts.

6. Spray Sunscreen. The spray versions are a quick and easy way to apply sunscreen. Make sure you rub it in and spray every where. When you don't rub it in properly, it can lead to a disaster.

7. BB or CC cream. BB and CC creams are tinted foundations that you apply to your face and neck. They also have moisturizer and SPF in them. This is great if you are going to an outdoor event. They give even coverage, and a smooth, even skin tone. 

Be sure to always protect your skin from the sun, don't forget your SPF.


Friday, May 20, 2016

How You Are Accidentally Damaging Your Hair

For most people, their hair is everything to them. You cannot fathom the thought of something happening to it. Did you know there are every day things you could be doing to hurt your hair? Well there are! Here are some things you are doing to damage your hair and how you can fix it.

1. Sleeping With Wet Hair.
Your hair is the most fragile when wet. When you go to sleep with wet hair, the tossing and turning through out the night can cause breakage. To prevent this you can shower earlier in the evening about two hours or more before you go to bed so your hair can air dry mostly. Another option is investing in a satin pillow case. Satin pillow cases are smoother so they minimize friction. 

2. Blow-drying Your Hair When Its Soaking Wet. 
When you blow-dry your hair when its completely wet without towel drying it or putting any products into it you are allowing the heat to constantly be on your hair. This in return will cause the hair to be dryer, more frizzy and you will get more split ends. When you 1st get out of the shower, ring your hair out so you get rid of as much excess water as possible, then brush your hair through. You can put it in a towel for a few minutes to ring out more water before applying your products. You should apply a serum for frizz and that has a heat protector in it. It is also good to apply a leave in treatment at this time. Then rough dry your hair about 75-80% of the way before round brushing. It will keep your arms from tiring out easily.

3. Over Flat Ironing.
When you flat iron your hair make sure it is 100% dry. Then apply a heat protecting serum of spray to your hair other wise you are going to damage your hair. Then straighten, never more than 7-10 times per a section, especially if you have it on high heat, you do not want to burn your hair off.

4. Brushing From The Top To The Bottom.
Knots start at the bottom of your hair, so when you brush your hair from top to bottom, you are just ripping at the knots or you could be making them bigger. If your hair gets knotty easily, then try spraying a leave-in conditioner on your hair to help the brush get through easier. Start at the bottom and work your way up the hair shaft. Once you have all the knots out, you will be able to brush your hair from scalp to ends.

5. Wearing Hair Up All The Time.
Wearing your hair up can put a lot of strain on the hair strands. It causes tension in the hair which can lead to breakage, especially in the crown and around the hair line. If you have noticed some thinning in that area, it could be from wearing your hair up and so tight. Try wearing your hair down more or if you do put it up, add a little oil to loosen the strands up and do not wear your hair so tight.

6. Over Doing The Dry Shampoo.
I am sure some of you are HUGE fans of dry shampoo just like I am. I live with it in my hair. The only problem with it is that you can't constantly use it every day. It will clog up the hair follicles on your head and dull your hair color. So if your about to go on day 3 of using dry shampoo, it is probably time to wash it with shampoo and conditioner. Your hair and scalp will thank you.

7. Using The Wrong Conditioner. 
Don't get me wrong, your hair needs conditioner especially if you over color your hair. But your hair may be getting too much protein. Putting protein in your hair is great, but over time too much can damage your hair. Try to avoid using the ones that say strengthening and switch to the moisturizing ones. 

When using shampoo, conditioner, and hair products please avoid buying them from a drug store or grocery store. These products are not always what they say they are. It is best to use what your hair stylist recommends for you and purchase it from them. When you use the right stuff, you will actually not have to use as much as you would if you use the wrong stuff. Pay the extra money. Believe me, its well worth it, and your hair will thank you.


MSN Article: 8 Ways You Are Accidentally Damaging Your Hair
from PureWow

Friday, May 6, 2016

Losing Weight & Keeping It Off

Losing weight is about a mindset and a plan. You have to want it to happen and be logical about the outcome. This is a complete lifestyle change, and not just a diet. Diet's are temporary solutions, and changing your lifestyle is a long term solution. This lifestyle change does not just happen over night. Here are some tips to help you get started on the weight loss journey and get you to help keep the weight off long term.

1. Avoid Cleanses. Cleanses reduce your muscle mass, and slow down your metabolism which will cause you to regain the weight after the cleanse. 

2. Don't Over Cut Calories. Cutting calories is a good thing but not when you cut too much. If you cut calories too low you will slow down your metabolism which will effect your body's ability to gain muscle and burn fat. Your body will essentially go into starvation mode and try to store any calories you intake. Talk to your doctor or a dietitian about getting the right amount of calories daily for your age and height. 


3. Cook At Home. Cooking at home allows you to be in complete charge about what you are putting in your body. You can read labels, measure out portions, and know exactly what you are eating. Eating at restaurants, will just give you lots of foods that are processed, prepackaged, and high in sodium. Eating at home will also help you save money in the long run. 

4. Drink Tea. Tea is a great for your body, as long as its not full of sugar. Try drinking green, black or white tea. These are full of antioxidants and help to increase fat burning.


5. Eat Healthy Fats & Proteins. This was something I did not know. You are supposed to eat half your body weight in grams of protein a day. So that's 50 grams for every 100 pounds, and I can guarantee that most people do not reach that in a day. Eating this will help keep your metabolism up and helps you to maintain healthy muscle. Also try to eat lots of non starchy veggies as snacks like celery, broccoli and carrots.

6. Avoid Over Eating. People eat for all sorts of reasons and not always because your hungry. People turn to food as a comfort if they are stressed, depressed, happy, tired or even bored. Stop and ask yourself if you are actually hungry before you go to eat. If you are not, try to channel that feeling by doing something else. You can go to the gym or for a walk, or even pick up a hobby to keep your brain occupied so you do not reach for food.

7.  When Eating Out Plan Ahead. Look at the menu for the place you are going, and chose healthier options (unless this is your cheat day/meal then enjoy a little something.) Chose something baked or grilled vs fried. Avoid red meats, sauces, pastas and ask for dressings on the side. Asking for dressing on the side allows you to be in control of how much you are putting on, and so you are not just eating empty calories.

8. Eat Fruits & Starchy Veggies For Carbs. When eating carbs, always go for the healthier carb vs eating white bread and pasta. Veggies and fruit have lower calories, and are better for you because they don't have all the fillers. Pair it with a protein so you avoid blood sugar spikes, because blood sugar spikes increase fat storage and nobody wants that.


9. Reduce Salt. I am not saying to completely cut out salt because your body does need it but switch to low sodium options. Most people take in more than 2,500mg of sodium a day! Avoid prepackaged foods because that is where most of the sodium comes from. Having to much sodium increases water retention.

10. Handle Cravings. To handle your cravings, you do not have to completely cut out things you want. You can reduce the amount you have so it one or two fun size chocolate bars instead of a regular sized bar. You can also try to find a healthier alternative that tastes just as good and hits the spot.


11. Avoid Alcohol (As Much As Possible). Not only is it loaded with carbs and sugar, it is also a depressant. It can alter your mood and slow down your motivation. It is also an appetite inducer to some people, so you end up eating empty calories. If you must drink, drop down the amount. Go from a day to one every other day or to just the weekends. You will notice a difference in yourself and your kidney's will thank you.

12. Walk. Walking is a easy exercise that allows you to relax and clear your head. If you are not very active, start by going on a 10 minute walk 2-3 times a week the slowly increase the time and/or the number of days a week you go.

13. Avoid Skipping Meals. I know this from experience, do not skip meals. Skipping breakfast especially slows down your metabolism for the entire day and makes you eat more at night. By having 3 basic meals a day in slightly smaller portions and a few healthy snacks throughout the day, you will notice a difference in your energy levels and you will eat less in each sitting.

14. Resistance Training. Doing resistance training helps build muscle and burn fat. Squats, planks, and push-ups are all exercises that can be done. 

15. Portion Control. Allow yourself to have foods you would normally eat, but cut 1/4 of the serving. Less calories and you still are allowing yourself to eat something you want.

16. Journal. Keep a journal or food diary of everything you eat for that day and the exercise you do. You can do this by writing it down, using one of those fitness watches to monitor movement or download an app to your phone. The apps work great especially paired with one of the fitness watches so you can constantly track your every move.

17. Drink Water. To help maintain a healthy weight, drink half your body weight in ounces of water a day. It helps to keep you hydrated and aid in digestion which in return will help your metabolism increase which helps you lose weight.


18. Buy A Scale & Use It. Weighing yourself is a great motivator and helps you see the results even though you might not see them on your body yet. To get the most accurate readings ever day, step in the scale at the same time every day. Remember your weight can go up a few pounds do to extra sodium the day before or from your period so don't be alarmed if this happens as long as it goes down in a day or two. 


19. Reduce Stress, Increase Sleep. Stress takes a toll on peoples bodies in different ways, some times it is weight gain. Stress can be caused by a lack of sleep, so try to eliminate out all distractions and get 7-8 hours of sleep at night. This will reduce the ghrelin in your system which in return will also stop suppressing the leptin in hormone which causes you to not feel hungry. 

Exercising is important in weight loss but the saying you are what you eat is really true. Healthy lifestyles are primarily 80% food and 20% exercise. So getting your eating under control will help boost your energy, which will make you more active and in return you will start exercising more. Its all a cycle that you have to get on and motivate yourself while doing it. Sometimes its hard to get healthy by yourself, so get your spouse, a parent, a sibling or a friend to do it with you so you can motivate each other. Set goals that are attainable, and celebrate when you get them. Good Luck!


Articles Used:
 The 10 Rules of Weight Loss That Lasts
Shape January/February Issue 2016

MSN Health & Fitness Article (unknown name, cannot find it)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

How To Have The Ultimate Brows

Your eyebrows are the basic outline of your face and are meant to enhance your features. Having bad eyebrows can really put a damper on your self confidence and the way others perceive you. Follow these steps to get the best brows possible.  And also learn somethings that you could be doing to ruin your perfect brows.

The Perfect Brow Kit
Brow Gel- makes thin eyebrows appear thicker.
Brow Pencil- to fill in your brows. powder finishes are better.
Brow Conditioner- used to help thicken the thinner areas of your brows. (avoid applying to the whole brow. it will only make thick spots longer.)
Tweezers- to tweeze those random stray hairs.

The Right Shape For You
Just like a haircut, there are certain brow shapes that look best on certain face shapes. You want the arch of your brow to start at the outer edge of the pupil. The rest depends on the face shape.

Square Face. 
Square face means strong jawline. To distract from this, have a more bold, thick brow. Fill in your brows and let them be a bit thicker to pull the focus away from your jaw.

Round Face.
To counteract the roundness of your face, have sharp, angular brows. You want your brows to have lots of structure to them.

Long Face.
Avoid extending your brows up and avoid high arches. Instead to make your face appear shorter, make your eyebrows longer. You want your brows to extend just past the corners of your eyes. If it is thin, then use a light powder to fill in this area.

Heart Face.
Avoid heavy aches, sharp points and heavy filled in brows.  You want to keep a soft arch that hugs your brow bone. This will deter from the pointed chin.

Filling In Your Brows (The Right Way)
1. Fill In Bald Spots. Use a shade 2 shades lighter then your brow color and make short, angled strokes in the direction of the hair growth. Avoid drawing outside of your natural brow shape, it will look funny. For best results, use 2 different pencil colors one slightly lighter then your hair and one slightly darker for a more natural affect. Use lighter color from the start to the arch and the darker color from the arch to the tail.

2. Bulk Them Up. As long as you do not have thin eyebrows, you can use a tinted brow gel. Sweep in the opposite direction of hair growth, and then use whats left to sweep in the direction of the hair growth. Cover both sides makes them appear fuller.

3. Apply Powder. Use a small, brush with powder over the pencil. The powder should be in between the color of your skin and the hair color for more natural results. it will also blend the pigments.

4. Sweep. Use a brush to sweep upward and remove any excess product and soften any harsh lines.

5. Never Tweeze Gray. By tweezing gray hairs, you are just changing your brow shape and creating thin spots. See a professional and have them dye it for you. They make special dye for your lashes and brows. It is great and lasts for quite some time.

6. Fake Higher Arches. Use a highlighter or cream shadow above and below our brow that is one shade lighter then your foundation to create the illusion of a higher arch. Use your finger to blend the product until it is gone.

Brow Mistakes 

1. Keep Products Off Your Brows. Any liquid product like lotion or moisturizer can soak into the hair follicle and can cause the hair to fall out as well as prevent new hair growth. If you wouldn't put in on your scalp then avoid putting it on your brows.

2. Use The Right Mirror. Use duller lighting to tweeze your brows. It will keep things in a better perspective. Avoid magnifying mirrors. They over amplify the area which will cause you to lose perspective and over pluck.

3. Do Not Over Trim. Trimming brows should be minimal to keep them even and neatly shaped. You just need to trim the long, straggly ones. Length keeps them fuller, otherwise they can become choppy and uneven.

4. Start Your Brows Right. Look at yourself in the mirror. Where do your brows start? If they are inline with your nostrils, they are too far apart. This will actually make your eyes and nose seem wider. They should start at the bridge of your nose. It can help to slim the look of your nose, and make wide eyes look closer together.

5. Avoid Too Much Brows. Avoid over using pencils and avoid using pencils that are more than 1 shade darker than your brow color. By doing this you will enhance your eyes not distract from them and avoid the over filled in look.

6. Good Brow Pencil. Use a wax pencil to hold the hair in place. An angled pencil with a light formula will give a more natural look. Again make the shade is the right one for you.

Getting the perfect brows is not an easy thing to do especially if you are trying to do it on yourself. Skip the hasle. Brow bars are becoming extremely popular. Google brow bars in your area and go get your brows done by a professional. Use these tips for up keep and to recreate the looks at home! Have a great day and even greater brows.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tips To Getting A Better Nights Sleep

We all have those nights where you are tossing and turning all night long so it seems like you slept for maybe a total of 2 hours. This is fine if it happens every once in a while but when it starts to become a reacquiring thing, it might be time to reevaluate some things. Here are some tips on things you can do to help get a better nights sleep.

1. Get On A Schedule.
Now this doesn't mean you have to go to bed and wake up at exactly the same time every day but get close. Start by going to bed at the time you normally start to feel tired at. This will start you on a normal time to fall asleep at. When you wake up in the morning, if it is on your own terms (no sudden awakenings) then this is your body's way of saying you have had enough rest. If you wake up from your alarm clock and you still feel tried and groggy, you may want to set an earlier bed time. Also, if you tend to take naps, limit them to 20 minutes or less. It will make falling asleep easier rather than harder.

2. Controlling Light Exposure. 
You want to get as much light exposure during the day and the least amount at night. This helps to keep your days and nights separate. During the day, enjoy the natural sunlight as much as possible. Whether it is going for walks, opening curtains or just going for a drive to help make you feel more alert. During the night, limit your lighting. When its time for bed, eliminate any light you can, it makes your brain think its time to sleep then.

3. Exercise Regularly.
People who exercise regularly will have a higher metabolism and more energy throughout the day. Any amount of exercise will help, but it takes time for you to see results. It is better to exercise in the morning or afternoon because your body takes time to calm down after an exercise. It is best to exercise 3 hours or early before you plan on going to bed. 

4. Eating & Drinking Right.
Eating and drinking right before bed can keep you up at night. Avoid eating anything heavy for 2 hours before you plan on going to sleep. You should also try cutting down on caffeine, not drinking alcohol before bed, and avoid drinking too many liquids before bed. It will make you have to get up more in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Some good snacks to have before bed that will help you sleep are turkey, bananas, granola with milk or yogurt, and whole grain or low sugar cereal.

5.  Get Massages.
Massages not only relax your muscles and mind but they promote overall health for your body. By getting a massage once a month, you will relieve any stress and tension that you place onto your body which makes it harder to relax. It will help to relax and clear your head so there are less thoughts to keep you up at night. After a massage, your body will be more energized and clear so you will be able to accomplish more. You can visit us at Aphrodite Spa & Salon to start receiving massages.

Try out some of these tips to help get your sleep back to where it needs to be. It won't happen right away and you may need some extra help but it is more a shot.