Body Art – Pros and Cons of Getting a Tattoo

Tattoos are a form of self expression. (Photo courtesy of David Kitchenham, morgueFile)Self expression comes in many flavors these days. Getting a tattoo is a popular way to show off your own sense of style, your favorite things, or even a spontaneous element that enters your life. But, before you set aside a certain section of your skin and get a tattoo, make sure you know all the important issues surrounding these permanent pieces of art.

Many adolescents begin counting down the days to their 18th birthdays – not so they can vote – but so they can get a long-awaited tattoo emblazoned on their body. A carefully selected tattoo offers insight into the individual bearing it.

But should you personally get a tattoo? Ultimately, you are the judge of that. If you are under 18 years of age, your parents have the final say – but even if you are 18 or older, consulting close friends and family members in the decision-making process can also prove helpful.

The Benefits of Getting a Tattoo

Tattoos are available in countless colors or simple black, and designs span far beyond the realm of the imagination. If you can draw it, or create it, a tattoo artist can most likely reproduce it on your body. Words and phrases, pictures, objects, and abstract designs are just a few of the many possibilities. If you can’t quite make up your mind, they’ve got books with literally thousands of options for the perfect tattoo to suit you.

Tattoos often give their wearers a sense of reckless abandon and a somewhat safe sense of rebellion. They make a statement without taking the physical appearance to the very edge. Getting a tattoo can serve as a bonding experience between friends or a coming of age for a growing individual.

Symbolism runs deep in many tattoos. Chinese letters and other hieroglyphs are among the most popular designs in some circles. Occasionally, an individual may choose to create a symbolic design of which only he or she knows the true meaning. Cartoon characters and military insignias also reign among the favorites. Selecting from these and innumerable other tattoo designs allows for a satisfying sense of self expression.

Risks and Cons of Getting a Tattoo…

Holiday Nail Designs for Beginners

Pretty nails make a great eye catcher, as well as a handy ice breaker, at holiday parties and social events. Well manicured hands show that you pay special attention to the details, and they often set you apart as a desirable mate. While getting your nails professionally manicured isn’t getting any cheaper, your options in at-home manicures are endless.

Why not be artistic and learn a few tricks of the trade for yourself?

Gather some colorful nail polish shades, a base coat, a topcoat, some glitter polish and iridescent coats, decals and appliqués, and miniature paintbrushes (or lacking those, pointed toothpicks), and prepare for some creative fun! Don’t forget some paper towels, nail polish remover for boo-boos, cotton balls and a piece of cardboard to use as a pallet if you wish to blend colors.

Valentine’s Day Designs:

Whether you’ve lined up the perfect date with your sometimes sweetie or you’re winging it with your longtime love, Valentine’s Day is a wonderful excuse to sport beautiful nails. Apply fake tips if you wish, for a more daring look, or paint your natural nails for a comfortable look that can be as dramatic as you desire.

Gather shades of red, white and pink. Do a faux French manicure by painting the base coats pink and allowing them to dry, followed by painting the tips white and allowing those to dry. Add a special touch on your thumb or pinky by painting a tiny red heart. If you have any available, an appliqué or decal may dress the nails up a bit.

Paint a basic coat of pink or red followed by a shimmery topcoat or iridescent gloss.

On a solid backdrop, paint a few hearts for the occasion. Put someone special’s initials on them for a Valentine’s secret…!

St. Patrick’s Day Designs:

Tap into the luck of the Irish with some designs specially tailored for this holiday. Just think about how great your glimmery nails will look clutching your brimming beer stein at the local pub!

Paint your nails in basic shades of green or patterns using different green hues. Try to add texture or layered looks when appropriate.

Create a funky green and white French manicure by painting a green or white base coat and tips of the alternate color. If you wish, paint a shamrock or four-leaf clover on one or two special nails.

Paint nails green or white with clovers or shamrocks, or add themed appliqués or decals… or paint nails solid green and add a layer of gold glitter topcoat.

Easter Designs:

Easter is one of those holidays where family members like to get together for supper and sweet treats. Show off your pretty nails with a delicate manicure just in time for spring!

Paint nails all the same shade of a pretty pastel color. Add appliqués or decals if desired.

If you are feeling extra creative, paint a bunny or a chick on your thumb or pinky.

Paint nails in alternating pastel shades or do a French manicure with two pastel colors.

Memorial Day, Fourth of July or Labor Day Designs…

Moisturize from Head to Toe… Winter Tips for Smooth Skin

Flaky, dry skin…red, chapped lips…scaly alligator legs…. From winter’s frosty bite outside to heated homes and hot blasts from hairdryers, one’s skin puts up with a lot when the colder months roll in. Moisturize for a smooth, beautiful visage…
During the chillier months of the year, you may notice the skin on your face becomes especially dry in some places. To fend off flaky skin, massage a little bit of moisturizer into your face. Use it as needed, but try to work moisturizing into your daily skincare routine. Cleanse, exfoliate, tone and moisturize your way to healthy, glowing skin!

If you haven’t yet picked out a moisturizer to suit your skin, some normal, unscented lotion will do in the meantime, but use this with caution if you have exceptionally sensitive skin. Johnson & Johnson makes a wonderful moisturizer, Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer. This product contains salicylic acid, which works to fight acne while skin conditioners keep your skin soft and smooth.

Enjoy sweet and fruity flavors of lip-gloss and Chap Stick to keep your lips kissably soft. Some lip balm contains sunscreen for added protection from the elements. Try to keep a tube of lip balm with you at all times incase the wind and chill start beating up on your sexy smile.

Moisturize for soft and supple skin…
While dryness and peeling on the face becomes apparent immediately, dry skin on other parts of the body may not be so obvious. One thing women should watch out for is dry skin on the undersides of the breasts. Friction caused by bras and the onset of the winter weather makes the skin more susceptible to peeling and dryness.

To combat this undesirable dryness, select a body lotion that you like and warm it up by rubbing a small amount between your hands. Smooth the lotion over the dry parts of your chest to prevent the dry areas from becoming worse. Just before bedtime and just after getting out of the shower are great times to moisturize!

Moisturize for sleek, sexy legs…
Just like your face and chest, your legs become more susceptible to dryness in the winter, too. A great way to keep your legs silky smooth – invest in some shaving cream with extra moisturizer added. If you can bear it, also consider shaving less frequently. If your legs will be safely tucked inside pants all day, you might be better off shaving your legs when you have time to moisturize them after your shower.

After you get out of the shower and whenever you think of it, slather on your favorite lotion from your thighs to your toes, paying special attention to your knees, shins, ankles and heels. Many people experience cracked skin on the bottoms of their feet from excessive dryness. You can ward this off with lotion formulated for extra dry skin. As you are caring for your lower limbs, take special care to treat your elbows, which often become dry this time of year as well.

The backs of your arms may also need some special attention, and don’t forget about your hands! If you do a lot of housework – especially washing dishes – your hands may crack easily. Keep a small bottle of hand lotion with you at all times so you can treat problem areas before they get worse. Treat your skin daily with a moisturizing cream or lotion and you should have smooth, flawless skin no matter what the weather’s like!

Hot Hairstyles in Five Minutes or LESS!

We all go through it. From the yucky super-humid days when nothing we do with our hair will possibly look right to the rainy Mondays when we just don’t care, to the eve of our hot date when we go through eight hairstyles before opting to just let the hair run wild, sometimes a “bad hair day” can very easily become a “bad hair week” without fair warning. The weather may be rainy and humid all week long, the hairstylist may have chopped our locks entirely the wrong way, but despite our dismay, life does go on.

Check out the scenarios below for a quick fix on unruly hair, flat hair, whatever hair.

Scenario #1 – Business Boo-Boo Fixer Upper
It’s not even 8:30 in the morning and things couldn’t be much worse. You slept through your alarm and you’ve got a major business presentation in 35 minutes. After taking the fastest shower of your life, you’ve got five minutes to throw on your makeup and do something with your wet hair. Think fast!

Remembering back to your childhood days, think about what your mother used to do for you when you needed to look nice for school. Be it picture day or another special occasion, chances are you’ve got a special hair trick up your sleeve that you’ve completely forgotten! Mine happens to be your plain old run of the mill braid. Separate your hair into three sections, alternately pulling one over the other until you’ve created an attractive plait in no time! For a special feminine touch, leave out a tiny strand of hair at your crown, near your ear or at the nape of your neck. (To save time, turn your curling iron on prior to braiding your hair.) Create a loose curl here or there to add an elegant element to your professional-looking style.

Scenario #2 – Last-Minute Lovely Locks
Whether it’s a first date with a new hottie or a special occasion with your long-term beau, looking like the gorgeous bombshell you are is nonnegotiable! But looking fabulous doesn’t have to take an eternity… Rely on a few quick and easy hair care tips to get you going.

For a seductive look, rely on a daring hairstyle that nicely displays a bare neck. Invite sweet kisses on your soft skin by sweeping your hair up into a makeshift French twist with a set of ornate chopsticks or a delicate, pretty hairpin. Even if your hair is still wet, it should be responsive to these facile styles. And while wearing hair up can be completely tantalizing, setting free your flowing locks might just ignite some wild desire in your date. Tame your tresses with a gentle anti-frizz product that won’t sticky your hair or leave a visible residue. For naturally curly babes, rub some gel or a small amount of styling product between your hands and scrunch your curls into submission.

Scenario #3 – Tiresome Tresses Crave Revitalization
Sick of the same old ponytail? Tired of – yawn – everlasting straight hair? Mix things up a bit by adding some fancy accents to your inventory! Invest in some colorful hair scarves, headbands, crab claw clips, hairpins, chopsticks and other fun hair accessories. You can get a nice selection of hair goodies at the dollar store, grocery store, drugstore and countless other venues.

By spending only $10 or $15, you can completely revamp your hair without going to any great coloring or styling lengths. Pick out a few neat items and use them from time to time instead of battling your hair into submission with styling products and appliances. Don’t have time to blow dry your mane? Fret not! Merely twist your hair up and clip it to your head with one of your new fashion accessories! When all else fails, get comfy. Throw on a pair of jeans, your favorite hooded sweatshirt and a hat!

Ten-Minute Revitalization for Your Hair

Don’t let winter’s chilly bite get you down! Even though the weather can be frightful, your hair can still be quite delightful, as long as you give it the special care and attention it deserves. As the temperature drops outside, you’ll have to be extra careful not to expose your wet hair to the elements, especially when the temperature is below freezing.

If you want to beat the frizzies, you can try a number of styling products and special shampoos and conditioners to give your hair a silky sheen. To combat coarse hairs you’ll want to soften your hair, and to defend against dryness you’ll want to lock in some moisture. To accomplish all of these goals and more, try a moisturizing hair masque!

Treat your tresses to a spa-like makeover, sans scissors. Set aside some time for yourself, whether an extra two minutes in the shower for a quickie hair masque or go all out with a professional or homemade remedy out of the shower. If you opt for the latter, don’t forget to keep a shower cap or some plastic wrap and a towel handy. If you opt for the former, merely set aside between two and ten minutes for the conditioning treatment to seep into your hair.

While products typically recommend that you allow a certain span of time for the product to soak into your hair, I’ve found that keeping the product in your hair for even just a few moments still produces positive results. Many deep conditioning treatments suggest that consumers apply these treatments to their tresses a maximum of once every two weeks, so using a less potent treatment every once in a while may also benefit hair.

Even if you’ve never applied a deep conditioning masque to your hair, it’s nothing to be afraid of, and something you should try at least once. Honestly, my first time using a hair masque came about completely by accident. I thought I’d picked up a facial masque at the store and upon returning home, I learned of my folly. Too lazy to take the product back and exchange it for the one I’d wanted in the first place, I decided to give the hair masque treatment a go. Much to my delight, the potion did improve the condition of my hair – on the first try!

Many herbs and naturally occurring ingredients can positively impact hair’s condition. Try a product like John Frieda Kelp Help deep conditioning masque. The product usually sells for between five and seven dollars and it relies on the protein-rich sea kelp to renew and revitalize hair, leaving it soft, silky, shiny and smooth. This restorative hair treatment also works to repair damaged and dehydrated hair with a smart blend of algae and sea kelp. By penetrating dry, coarse or damaged hair, these components restore hair’s strength and natural glow. The directions instruct that the solution should be massaged into wet hair post-shampoo and left on for ten minutes, though other products may differ in their instructions.

To find a product that is best suited for your hair, you may have to sample a few different brands. Visit your local drugstore and check out the entire hair products aisle for the best selection, or consult your hairstylist. For less than $10, you can restore your hair’s vitality in ten minutes or fewer. Why face a costly trip to the salon? Give your hair the boost it needs with a leave-in or rinse out deep conditioning treatment that you can easily do at home while you shower or as you relax at night. Forget about imprisoning your tresses in a ponytail all day. Don’t let frizz and dryness control your hair….Take charge and let your lovely locks shine!

Secrets to smooth, sexy legs

Many men can’t resist a sleek and sexy set of legs. From short and sassy miniskirts boasting miles of gorgeous legs to long, silky skirts subtly showing off beautiful legs through tasteful slits – fashion is your friend when it comes to accentuating your wheels. To emphasize your legs with very minor adaptations to your normal cleansing and beauty routines, read on for a few quick tips to bring out and maintain a sexy look for your legs.
Don’t rush when you shave. Nothing ruins a super-close shave like nicks from a hurried shave. Hastily shaving your legs may cause the razor to snag your skin and remove tiny chunks at a time, especially around your knees, ankles and the thin areas of flesh on your shins. To combat nicks from shaving too quickly, rinse away the blood before exiting the shower, blot with a tissue or toilet paper and apply a tiny corner of tissue to your wound. Allow it to dry the blood and decide whether the cut necessitates a bandage.

Moisturize! Shine adds a whole new dimension to smooth legs. A fragrant lotion creates softness and newly applied lotion creates a nice glow that draws attention to your silky legs.

Use a loofah pad to exfoliate and buff out imperfections. Sometimes tiny blemishes caused by ingrown hairs or minor skin conditions render legs to be not as smooth as they once were. By gently exfoliating at least once or twice a week, your legs can be healthy, soft and blemish-free with very little effort. If you aren’t sure what a loofah pad looks like, visit the beauty aisle of your local drugstore, supermarket or superstore. They typically have a beige-colored surface on one side and a terrycloth type surface on the other. These items usually only cost a dollar or two, and they’re well worth the investment!

Try a vitamin-rich body scrub. While exfoliating with the loofah pad provides a great scrubbing motion, indulging in a luxurious body scrub is as good for the senses and the spirit as it is for the body. The nutrients contained in the scrub potion nourish the skin and welcome healthier cells to replace the dead skin cells shed through exfoliation. Don’t just scrub away old cells – promote new ones!

Exercise! While the aesthetic elements mentioned above will truly lend themselves to the overall condition of your legs, these products and practices won’t do a thing for your muscle tone and body mass. To keep your legs in swimsuit shape all year long, consider engaging in regular exercise several times a week. Get into a good habit of running, walking or jogging, bike riding, stair climbing or doing simple exercises like leg-lifts. Even the smallest amount of exercise can be beneficial to your body as you build your way up to longer routines.

Tips to Keep Your Nails Strong and Sexy

When you write down your shopping list, as you punch a phone number into your cell, while you wash dishes, do the ironing, clean the windows, or do one hundred other things that women do on any given day – do you take notice of the condition of your nails?

Our hands are such an integral part of our daily lives, and constantly, we risk their health and strength, often without even noticing, because of the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day activities. Take a few moments each day, or at least a few times a week, to monitor the condition of your nails – the color, the texture, the appearance of ridges or white marks.

Make a greater effort to take good care of your nails, and you will be thrilled with the way they complement your wardrobe and your own personal style. Consider the following tips as a way to enhance the health and quality of your nails.

Great, Healthy Nails

Apply speed-dry nail polish when time is of the essence.

Drink lots of water. Keep your body hydrated everyday to maintain healthy nails.

Fortify your diet with FDA approved vitamins or supplements. Your fingernails count on you to be responsible with your health and your diet. Unless instructed otherwise by your physician, increase your daily doses of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, folic acid, protein, Vitamin B12, and zinc.

Touch up your manicure on a daily basis to prevent chips and cracks.

Your nails depend on you to maintain a healthy diet. Take in lots of healthy foods – especially those mentioned in our article: Diet and Care Tips for Healthy Nails.

Nail polish tips:

Finish with a clear topcoat to add gloss and sheen.

Start with a base coat to strengthen and protect the nails.

Store nail polish in the refrigerator to maintain a smooth consistency.

Try not to store nail polish in a room that becomes cold. The nail polish bottles may break without warning, leaving you with a big mess.

To avoid breaking nails or brittle nails:

Avoid using your nails as tools. This means no picking, scratching, digging, pinching, etc. You know who you are!

Increase the amount of calcium in your diet.

Use products containing alcohol, especially perfumed lotions, sparingly. These items can make nails prone to breaking.

Wear rubber gloves when you do chores that involve continual submersion in water or contact with harsh detergents or chemicals.

Hot Tips on Coloring Your Hair

There’s just something so sexy about being a woman. Buying new lingerie, donning a new look with a great makeover, trying out a new hairstyle or color…. We all need a change sometimes, and what better to change than the color of our hair?

Dyeing our hair a new shade shifts us into a new sense of being, gives us a new persona to assume and fulfill. We can be the boisterous blonde we never were, the seductive brunette, the electric redhead or the mysterious ebony-haired beauty. And with this exciting new shade also comes a stunning blast of self-confidence and invigoration.

Changing the color of our hair gives us freedom and a sense of renewal, even if the only thing different from yesterday to today is the color of the strands on our heads. Depending on your comfort levels, you can try at-home coloring kits or you can make an appointment with your stylist. Opt for highlights only or color your entire mane for the ultimate head-turning factor.


Tips and tricks:

Try to stick pretty close to your natural color if it is your first time. This way it won’t be the end of the world when your roots start growing in.

Also, you might consider a temporary washout color treatment if you are a beginner. This gives you the freedom and flexibility to remedy the situation if you don’t like the new color of your hair.

If you opt for do-it-yourself highlights, have a family member or a friend help you, if possible. It is always nice to have another set of eyes to guide you through things you cannot clearly see. Mirrors may be deceiving, so having someone there to help really could be the difference between an okay dye job and an excellent one.

Follow the instructions closely and thoroughly. No skipping steps. Test a small area of your hair as instructed, just to be sure you aren’t allergic to anything in the dye.

Leave your hair down as you color it and you will achieve a more even look. Pinning your hair on top of your head leaves more to chance.

Part hair into sections and apply color from roots to ends, starting near the temples. Double-check the instructions to be sure you are following them properly.

To prevent hair from dripping on your skin, apply a thin layer of moisturizer or petroleum jelly to the skin at your hairline. Most hair dyes will not drip, but in case they do, this makes cleanup so much easier!

If you want beautiful blonde tresses, consider seeing your stylist for best results. Dyeing darker hair into a lighter shade, especially blonde, can be a tricky task. Even if you’re an at-home hair dyeing professional, remember that it’s easier to do it right the first time than to cover up any boo-boos.

Athletic Hairstyles: Ponytails of a Different Color

Fun and flirty or professional and sophisticated, the ponytail is a timeless style appropriate for just about any occasion or event. Ponytails look absolutely adorable when worn by young girls and tots, but they also look chic and classy on mature women.

Continue reading Athletic Hairstyles: Ponytails of a Different Color