Manic Manicure!

We give you tips on how to deal with an all-wrong manicure!

It’s your day of leisure. You decide to treat yourself to some serious pampering, starting with a blissful manicure. You turn on the television, sink into a comfy chair and start with your nails. After a while you have a look at your artwork – oops! One of your nails look as if it has been a meal to a rodent, and another one is shaped (or unshaped) to resemble something between a square and a round. Dirty, unkempt and shapeless nails will often spoil your entire look, even if you are dressed in your hottest couture. But don’t panic! You don’t have to wait for the nail to grow and gain back its shape and lost glory, as you can go in for the various nail quick fixes available.
Check this out…

Nail Extensions
If your manicure has cut the length of your nails short, it’s nail extension to your rescue. In this process, artificial but real-looking nails are chosen according to the width of your own nail. They are glued onto your natural nail, and then cut to the length of your choice. Then the skilled professional will file the nails into perfection and apply a color or gloss of your choice on them. And the best bet is that – it’s the easiest, and the cheapest way to get long and glamorous nails in e jiffy!

Acrylic nail extension can give you sturdy and healthy looking nails. An acrylic solution is applied at the base of your nail, on the area where the artificial one is bonded with your natural one. Once the artificial nail is bonded, a gel with thick viscosity is applied all over the nail. This gel is usually set under UV light. Silk wrap method provides long lasting results. A thin lightweight linen is applied to the base of the bonded nail. Apart from silk, wraps in linen or fiberglass are also common. You can go in for ‘refills’ once your nail grows, to conceal the gap between the base of the base of the nail and the extension. This will help you maintain your extended nails longer while giving it a natural look. You could also go in for ‘buff and polish’, where the nails are buffed back to shape and polished to give back its finish.

Nail Art
Flaunt nails of different lengths and colors! Sport artificial nails with wild and creative designs. It’s a rage, since it offers a variety of multi-dimensional and multi-colored designs. Mood for an extra sparkle? Then opt for stick-on diamantes and crystals. Give it a protective layer of clear topcoat. What better way to hide your flawed nail?

Nail Tattoo
A tattoo on your nails is fun and trendy! It will also take off the attention from your shapeless blunder. They are temporary and of the stick-on variety to be applied over your nail, more or less like the ‘bindi’.

Always make sure that you go to a skilled nail expert to give you that perfect manicure. You could also go in to nail spas and indulge in different treatments available exclusively for your fingers.

When giving yourself a manicure at home remember…
* Always file your nails only in one direction.
* Use a non-acetone nail polish remover.
* Make sure you don’t peel your skin and cuticle off in the wrong direction.
* Use clean manicure set.
* Apply a clear nail polish as a top coat or sealer. This will minimize chipping or cracking of the nail.

by Eva Pavithran; Femina mgz

Humidity & Your Hair

Is our sticky head dragging your mane down?
Here’s how to keep your locks in check

Dry, Frizzy Hair
Hair that is moisture deficient can be dry and frizzy. Humidity makes it more unmanageable and harder to control.

* Condition all over, focusing on hair ends, which are driest. Leave-in conditioners and twice-weekly hair masks are recommended.
* Finger-dry roots instead of blow-drying to avoid overheating. Velcro curlers are a good alternative to curling tongs if you want to achieve waves without heat.
* Use a lightweight detangling spray.
* Smooth a little de-frizzing emulsion or gloss serum over dry hair to tame it.
* Subject hair to direct intense heat without protection. This includes the sun, so pick products with UV filters.
* Apply too much styling products like gel or mousse as chemical build-up requires more washing than is healthy.
* Vigorously rub hair dry with a towel as it aggravates frizz. Always pat hair dry gently.

expert Advice
“Use a deep cleansing or purifying shampoo for frizzy hair once a week to thoroughly remove all residual products like glosses or serums. This prevents build-up, which can cause a bacterial infection within the scalp.”
- Janise Kok, art director from Toni & Guy.

Greasy Hair
Caused by over-active sebaceous glands, oily hair quickly becomes flat, lifeless and clumpy, making styling difficult.

* Skip roots and scalp when you condition your hair as it’ll make it even more limp.
* Use shampoos and conditioners formulated for oily scalps. Stay away from creamy or heavy shampoos, conditioners and waxes.
* Apply a dry shampoo (with starch) in the day to absorb sebum if your scalp is excessively greasy.
* Wash your hair with hot water as oil glands will become more active. Lukewarm or cool water is best.
* Over-massage or use nails to scratch scalp while washing as oil glands are stimulated by massage. Same goes for brushing so try a comb instead.
* Apply shine-enhancing styling products like gloss serums.

expert advice
“Just like you need moisturizer for oily skin, apply a moisturizer for scalp like Kerastase Fluide Purifiant to regulate oil production and clarify the scalp. Depriving scalp of moisture will only make glands overcompensate and produce more sebum.”
- Adeline Ho, trainer from Kerastase.

Fine, Limp Hair
Lifeless hair makes for difficult styling since locks quickly deflate, especially at the crown.

* Brush dry hair and scalp before washing to remove excess build-up, which flattens hair.
* Pick layered hairstyles for extra volume. One-length styles tend to look flat.
* Use a volumising hair care regime ranging from shampoo to styling products.
* Apply styling products on damp hair before blow-drying. Doing so on dry hair will weight it down instead.
* Apply waxes or gels directly onto roots or you won’t get any volume
* Run fingers through hair too much as it distributes natural oils from the scalp and makes hair limp.
* Pile on styling products since some may contain ingredients that are weighty. Less is more for fine hair.

expert advice
“Spritz a little Phytovolume Actif hair spray to damp roots prior to styling. It guarantees all-day voluminous hair and is a secret weapon with Hollywood celebs.”
- Lynn Tan, managing director for Phyto in Singapore.

Porous Hair
Porous hair doesn’t absorb or retain moisture readily. Making it dry and prone to breakage or split ends. Chemical processes can also cause porous hair.

* Blow-dry on warm, not hot, and avoid exposing hair to heat once it’s fully dry or you’ll cause further damage or breakage.
* Apply serum from mid-length to tips immediately on towel-dried hair as damp hair has a higher absorption rate.
* Select products with a higher concentration of nutrients like amino acids to strengthen hair structure.
* Forget to do a hair treatment following any chemical processing such as coloring, perming or straightening.
* Subject hair to direct sun exposure. Either wear a hat or apply leave-in UV protection.
* Treat hair with any hot oil treatment unless it’s made from natural ingredients. Hair will be coated so much that moisture won’t be able to penetrate hair shafts.

expert advice
“I highly recommend leave-in or protein-rich conditioners for nourishing and softening chemically-weakened porous hair. Pick one that has UV filters for sun protection.”
- Evande Loh, international director of Shunji Matsuo.

By Allyson Klass

Massage Your Way to Great Sex

9 bedroom massage techniques that can ignite the fire in your man

Cat Stroking
Position yourself at your partner’s side near his buttocks or sit astride him. Place your left palm at the base of his neck and stroke down his back slowly and gently. As your left hand reaches his buttocks, lift off and repeat with the other hand.

Buttock Knuckling
Place your loose fists, knuckles down on his buttocks and vibrate gently. Make sure you move your fists over his entire buttocks. This technique disperses toxins and ensures all sexual arousal points have been massaged.

Buttock Kneading
Using light pressure, continue to make small circular movements with your thumbs from the crease of the buttocks in a straight line up to his lower back.

Buttock Plucking
Place both palms on his buttocks. Gently grab small section of his flesh between your thumbs and fingers and let them slip through your hands.

Feather Touching
Using the lightest touch, slowly trail your fingertips, in overlapping motion, down the highly sensitive skin on the underside of his arms, inner thighs and the back of his neck. Then, simultaneously stroke your fingers down the back of his neck in overlapping motions.

Whisper Caressing
Soft caressing is profoundly relaxing, especially on the face and jaw. Proceed to tenderly stroke the left side of his face simultaneously with your hands, followed by his right side.

Brow Soothing
Place each thumb on the start of both his eyebrows. Using gentle but firm pressure, glide your thumbs outwards and press down for five seconds at intermittent points along each brow until you reach the tips.

Ear Smoothing
With your thumbs and index fingers holding his ear, massage all over in a circular fashion slowly and firmly. Move on to his earlobes and gently pull them downwards.

Head Stroking
Stroke the hair and massage the head to induce calmness. To end your routine, rake your fingers through his hair, then with your fingertips, gently massage the scalp in circular motions.

before you begin…
Take note of these 10 essential preparation steps

* Give yourself plenty of time, so allocate the least two hours.
* Unplug everything that could distract you, such as handphones and clocks. If you have kids, send them to a friend or relative’s place.
* To prevent other interruptions, lock the door and place a ‘Do not disturb’ sign on it.
* Set the stage for romance with soft music. Put a couple of CDs into the changes so you don’t have to stop and put on a new one.
* Illuminate the room with sensual lighting, such as candles. Turn off glaring overhead lights and drape sheer fabrics over floor lamps.
* Prepare a cup of water or herbal drink for quick hydration.
* Use rolled towels as his neck and knee pillows.
* Take a long hot shower or bath together.
* Burn suitable essential oils in an aromatherapy burner.
* Since massage oils stain most fabrics, spread an old (but clean) flat sheet over your bed or massage surface.

Create Your Own Scent of Love
To create your very own aromatic massage oil, you need to use a scent-free base oil, such as sweet almond, coconut or olive oil. Add to the base oil a few drops of essential oils of jasmine, rose, geranium, rosewood, sandalwood or ylang ylang, which all possess a warming and enveloping quality. To add a note of spice or a stimulating edge to your blend, add either black pepper or frankincense essential oil.

By Yanni Tan

Pore Over This

Clogged and enlarged pores are a no-no for smooth flawless skin. Mary Lim offers some solutions.

Our tropical climate is a bane to skin. The combination of heat and humidity encourages sebum production, which makes us prone to clogged and enlarged pores. Dermatologists and aesthetic physicians reveal that open pores are a major concern among many patients. Unless you plan to move to cooler climes, dealing with open pores must be part of your regular skincare regime.

Dr Calvin Chan, director of Calvin Chan Aesthetic & Laser Clinic, says: “There is no permanent cure for enlarged pores. We can use over-the-counter products and/or clinic treatments to help achieve a temporary reduction but the effects last only as long as treatment is maintained.”

Why do pores become enlarged?

For starters, pores are a natural part of the skin. They mark the openings of sebaceous glands, which secrete sebum, an oily substance which protects the skin and prevents it from becoming dry and brittle.

In warmer climates, sebaceous glands become overactive. As such, pores expand to accommodate the increased amount of sebum released by the glands. This is why open pores are usually found in oily parts of the face, like the T-zone, says Dr Alvin Wong, managing partner at SkinLab Medical Spa.

Larger pore size is also often associated with thicker skin, which tends to be hereditary. However, Dr Chan says the condition can also arise from lifestyle choices such as excessive sun exposure. “The sun causes the epidermis to thicken, so a rim of cells collects around the pores. Eventually, these rings exaggerate pore diameter.”

Open pores also indicate poor skin grooming or lax exfoliation (ideally, exfoliate twice a week). As surface oil and dead skin cells accumulate around the edges, pores appear bigger than they actually are, adds Dr Chan. The condition is compounded by blackheads, which result when dead skin cells, oil and bacteria choke pores, expanding and making them more visible.

Maintaining your skin
While clinical treatments yield quicker results, both doctors say skincare products play an important role in regular maintenance.

It is essential to pick the right product for your skin type. Marjorie Lee, training manager at Estee Lauder, says: “It’s all about through cleansing. When pores are clogged, they appear larger and skin looks less refined. For instance, those with oily skin should look for products with salicylic acid because it helps unclog pores and removes embedded impurities and trapped oil.

Picking good skincare products to minimize the appearance of enlarged pores means reading the ingredient label or asking questions. Dr Chan suggests looking out for these ingredients in over-the-counter products:

* Azelaic Acid – Helps skin fight against bacteria.
* Retinol – Improves skin texture and reduces pore visibility.
* Aha or Alpha Hydroxy Acid – Boosts skin exfoliation to allow for deeper penetration of other skin treatments.
* Beta Hydroxy Acid – (another term for salicylic acid). Derived from willow bark, wintergreen leaves and sweet birch bark to remove cellular debris and clean put pores.

SimplyHer mgz

Wardrobe Wisdom for Women

The simple fact is that in and out of the business world, people are judged on their wardrobe

Dressing for success is not a new concept. The clothing you wear can have an adverse affect on your career. Women have a particularly hard time – with more business clothing options, comes more opportunities to make fashion mistakes. As Dolly Parton said, “It cost a lot to look this cheap.”

Perceived Image is Everything
The image you present should make your prospects and clients feel comfortable with who you are. Often you will be working in their offices, interfacing with their company personnel.

There are three areas of professional presence – Visual, Vocal and Verbal. They are the communication signals we send to other people. The visual is what we look at (ie: dress, body language and facial expression). The vocal is your voice. The verbal is the words you choose.

What is most interesting is that these three signals are far from equally weighted. The visual component has the most initial impact. Think of it as the packaging. Would you buy a bar of soap that has the wrapper torn?

Here are guidelines for women putting together their professional wardrobe.
* Never wear low cut or sexy garments or anything too frilly or girlish.
* Check stockings for runs and hide slip and bra straps.
* Avoid designer labels that show.
* Limit jewelry; nothing noisy or dangling.
* Polished nails should be freshly polished, not chipped. Avoid overly long nails.
* Keep lipstick blotted and limit make-up and perfume.
* Make sure you have no visible facial hairs.
* Keep your clothing clean and well-pressed.
* Make sure that your clothes fit. If your body changes, so should the clothes.
* Keep your shoes polished and make sure the heels and soles are in good condition.
* Wear clean eyeglasses; never wear sun-glasses or tinted glasses indoors.

The Basic Styles
* The skirt suit or pantsuit – This should be the mainstay of your business professional wardrobe. A suit with a single-breasted jacket is more formal and more conservative than one with a double-breasted jacket. A double-breasted jacket should always be buttoned. The jacket, skirt and pants shouldn’t be mixed with other outfits.
* One-or two-piece dress – Can be worn alone or with a jacket.

Color Wheel
The best color for suits, jackets, skirts are Black, Bright blue, Navy, Taupe, Grey, Burgundy, Brown and Red (for jackets). Pastel color can be appropriate in warm climates, however they often lack power.

* For blouses, best color are Red, Turquoise, Emerald green, Fuchsia, White, Off-white, Pink, Burgundy, Beige, Tan and Grey.
* For dresses, go for Grey, Navy, Burgundy, Beige, camel, Tan, Red, Pink or rose.
* Shoes should come in color of Black, Navy, Burgundy and Taupe. Avoid red, pink, rose, yellow and white.
* Scarves should tie the out together so select color from the suit or dress.

Watch The Accessories
* Belts – They should be leather and should co-ordinate with your shoes.
* Shoes – Go for classic leather pumps. Shoes should be darker than the color of your hemline. Two-inch heels are recommended. Avoid sandals.
* Scarves – Silk (100 percents) is the only choice. Other fabrics do not knot or tie as well.
* Hosiery – You can’t go wrong with neutral or flesh-toned. Do not wear dark stockings with light shoes.
* Jewelry – Don’t overdo your jewelry. Limit rings to one per hand. Wear the best watch you can afford. Pearls add elegance to any business suit.
* Handbag/Briefcase – Leather is preferred. Best colors are black, brown and burgundy. Women can carry either a hard-sided or a soft-sided briefcase.
* Avoid designer labels on the outside of accessories or clothing.

Basic of Business Casual
Many companies today have “dress-down” and business casual days. As an outside professional visiting the firm, this does not necessarily apply to you. Unless you are requested to wear business casual attire, come dressed professionally. You are representing yourself as well as your company.

Business casual clothing can be broken down into two primary areas – “Classic Casual” and “Smart Casual”. Classic Casual is a step down from “business professional”; the clothing is still structured.

Acceptable Classic Casual
* Sweaters and jackets
* Shells and blouses
* Skirts
* Slacks
* Stockings
* Closed-toe shoes

“Smart Casual” is a step down from Classic Casual, where the jacket is gone and fabrics can be soften and less structured.

Acceptable Smart Casual
* Long skirts and slacks
* Boots
* Stockings and closed-toe shoes
* Collared golf shirts
* Sweaters and sweater sets
* Some denim (no jeans)

Weekend Wear
Appropriate business casual clothing for women typically don’t include the items listed below, which I refer to as “dress down” or “weekend wear”. This may vary, however, based on corporate guidelines, climate and type of job. For off-site meetings and “resort ware,” the guidelines are more relaxed. However, always remember that it is still business.

* T-shirts and sleeveless tops
* Jeans
* Sandals and sneakers
* Shorts
* Torn clothing of any type
* Sun dresses
* Leggings or other tights
* Sweatpants and sweatshirts
* Cropped clothing
* Anything showing too much skin

Before You Buy
Before you make a purchase, ask yourself these six questions. If you are in doubt, don’t buy the item. You want to buy clothes that look good and feel goon on.

1) Does the garment fit? Check to see if it’s too tight or too large. Don’t buy “your size”. Buy the size that fits.
2) Can you sit down and not have the buttons pull in front?
3) Did you use a three-way mirror to check front, back and side views?
4) Will you be able to wear the garment often?
5) Does if complete your wardrobe?
6) Does the garment look good?

By Marjorie Brody, MA, CSP, CMC

Low-Down on Korean Food

No repast is complete without an adequate understanding of the characteristics and subtleties that the cuisine underscores. So here’s the low-down on Korean food.

The Art of Seasoning
What instills Korean cuisine with its distinctive spicy and sour taste? Stalwart seasonings include garlic, vinegar, ginger, soy sauce, green onion, sesame oil, red pepper powder and fermented soybean paste. The use of seasonings is considered an intricate art, and condiments and spices are dexterously combined to obtain a harmonious blend of flavours.

These seasonings and spices are also called “medicinal inspiration”, a term coined by staunch aficionados who believe that the use of seasonings renders Korean cuisine with therapeutic touches. This amalgamation of “pungent” flavourings has, nonetheless, scored in enhancing the taste of Korean cuisine, infusing it with a distinct taste that is almost similar yet different from its neighbor Japan.

In The Pink of Health
Ever wonder why South Koreans are in the pink of health? According to local survey, South Koreans eat more vegetables per capita annually as compared to any other people. This can be largely attributed to their love for komchi, the nation’s staple side dish of which the main variety is pickled Chinese cabbages.

In addition, vegetable salad, stuffed leaves and seasoned vegetables from seasonal produces form an integral part of the Korean dietary regime. With a diet primarily compared of vegetables, it is little wonder why Koreans are able to relish as much food as they desire without tipping the scales in the wrong direction!

Old-Time Favorites
Tickle your palate with these perennial Korean favorites.

* Bulgogi
One of the most popular dishes in Korea, Bulgogi literally means “fire beef,” but is generally translated as “Korean barbecue”. Thin, tender slices of beef are marinated in a sauce made with soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, green onions and other seasonings, and then cooked over a hot charcoal grill at your table.

* Kalbi Gui
This dish of marinated beef or pork ribs, roasted over hot coals right at your table, would offers one of the world’s most sublime dining experiences. Foreign visitors much enamored to know that restaurants that specialize in Bulgogi also serve good Kalbi.

* Naengmyon
Literally translated as “cold noodles”, this refreshing summer speciality boasts very thin, chewy buckwheat noodles served with chopped scallions, shredded radish and sesame seeds – all bathed in cold beef broth. Hot mustard and vinegar are added to spice up the mild and sweet taste of the soup.

* Shinsollo
When you dine at a typical Korean restaurant, one of the main courses could be Shinsollo (Angel’s Brazier), which is a sumptuous mixture of meat, fish, vegetables, ginko nuts and bean curd. These ingredients are jumbled together and left to simmer in beef broth over a charcoal brazier at the table.

* Sollongtang
Sollongtang is rice beef noodle soup seasoned with sesame seeds, salt, pepper, scallion and sesame oil. It is generally served wit rice as the main meal, accompanied by various side dishes such as kimchi.

* Samgyetang

Samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup) is a dish that goes down well with health-conscious Koreans, especially during the hot summer months. The chicken – stuffed with ginseng, jujubes, glutinous rice and garlic – is widely believed to restore one’s health and spirit.

Check Out They Popular Brews
Koreans are said to also consume more alcohol per capita than anywhere else in the world.

* Soju
Just as beer is de rigueur to Germans, so is Soju to Koreans. Being the national liquor guzzled by all, drinking Soju in the company of friends and business associates provides a way for them to socialize and get to know others better.

* Makkoli

This is an unrefined alcoholic drink made of sweet rice with a milky appearance. It is found in most convenience stores for a dollar.

* Dong dong ju
Another traditional alcoholic sweet rice drink with a milky appearance. The alcoholic beverage is generally consumed in a more traditional, rustic establishment and served out of a large bowl into a separate cup with a ladle.

* Maekju
Maekju is another perennial favorite throughout South Korea. It is available in two domestic brands – Crown and OB. It’s a heavenly accompaniment to many of the spicy Korean dishes.

Herbs to the Rescue - Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine uses a lot of herbs.

Here are some of the popular ones consumed today.

* Ginseng
It’s known as China’s most important qi tonic. There are three primary types of ginseng:

1. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) helps boost energy levels, cools the body and relieves “heatiness”. It improves the appetite and helps in replenishing body fluids.

2. Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng) is refuted as being the warmest in the ginseng family. It helps restore energy, reduces blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and aids the body to adapt to its environment.

3. Chinese ginseng is known to warm and strengthen the body’s qi. It also works as an energy booster and prevents tiredness.

* Cordeceps
It helps strengthen the qi and regulates the respiratory and kidney systems. This herb helps calm the mind and boost the immune system. Cordeceps is supposed to increase the number of the Natural Killer Cells, which are responsible for the body defense against viruses and bacteria. Some trials show that the fungus works effectively in the leukemia stricken individuals.


Improving sexual function in men and increasing libido by stimulating the production of sex hormones. Cordeceps may also be a means for fighting female infertility.

* Chrysanthemum (Ju Hua)
Ju Hua makes for a popular choice in cooling tea. It helps to disperse wind and heat, alleviate colds of feverish conditions. It also helps reduce high blood pressure.

Chrysanthemum (Ju Hua)

* Wolfberry (Gou Qi Zi)
It helps nourish the blood and in lowering blood cholesterol levels. The berries are also combined with Ju Hua as a remedy for liver deficiency and as wash for poor eyesight or eyestrain.

Wolfberry (Gou Qi Zi)

* Dang Gui or Chinese angelica
It is known as a gynaecological tonic, ideal for deficient blood syndromes that may lead to menstrual irregularities. It invigorates blood circulation and relieves period pains.

Dang Gui or Chinese angelica

Sources: Practical Chinese Medicine by Penelope Ody and Eu Yan Sang brochures

Speed Cleaning: Five Steps to a Tidy Kitchen

One peril of Turkey Day togetherness: Friends or Family will be all over your kitchen eyeballing the cook space. To make sure they have nothing to tsk-tsk about, follow this fast routine.

1. Clear the Counter
Cooking is your kitchen’s top priority right now. SO stash mail, school schedules, and that rarely used juicer elsewhere. (Just don’t lose any bill in the process). Then pull out the trash can and toss bags or boxes of unwanted edibles sitting out. Squirt cleaner (Mr. Clean Multi-Surfaces has done well in GHRI tests) around what’s left on the counter – canisters, the toaster. Wipe and let dry.

2. Purge the Fridge
Pull the trash can over and dump lingering leftovers, spoiled food, and open bottles of condiments, like grill marinade from last summer. You could remove all the glass shelves and bins and wash them – or leave them put until January, when the feasting season is over, and give them a fast once-over with a wet cloth or sponge. Don’t forget fingerprints and splatters on the door front and handle. A fresh box of baking soda absorbs odors, too.

3. Skip the Oven
If it's Turkey Week already and you haven’t run the self-cleaning cycle, now is not the time to commit to this hours-long task. Spot-clean dead-giveaway grime-stovetop spills, grease on the door handle or inside the glass door–with your sponge and a dash of baking soda (it’ll rinse off easier than a sudsy cleaner).

4. Think Sink
Stop pretending you’re going to rinse those dishes piling up on the counter, and load them in the dishwasher (or if not, at least stack them neatly in the sink). Run some water over drippy detergent bottles, then stick those pot scrubbers, and rubber gloves under the sink. When all has been relocated, run a sponge around the bowl of the basin and over the faucet if you’ve splattered water in your speediness.

5. Mop Stop
Before collapsing onto the sofa, use a sweeper with disposable cloths, like Swiffer, to pick up crumbs, dust, and hair from the floor. Pro tip: Keep a damp paper towel in one hand to zap stains so you don’t have to stop as you go. Throw the used Swiffer sheet and towel in your trash bin. And look – there’s the company.

By Carolyn Forte

Organizing: Beside Table

Easy Solution for Smart Living

Been awhile since you’ve seen the top of your nightstand? You’d rest easier (and get to the bathroom at night without tripping over the piles that have migrated to the floor) if you cleared the clutter, keeping only what you need each evening. So lose the laptop, jewelry, coins, nail polish bottles, and colony of water glasses. Once the surface is in view, protect it with a piece of glass cut to fit. And don’t feel you have to share with your partner: You should each have your own table (at a comfortable height) and lamp.


1. Divide and Conquer
Your home probably already has one junk drawer, don’t let the handy storage in your nightstand become another. Inexpensive dividers will make your pared-down sleep-time supplies (reading glasses, earplugs, lip balm, a journal) easy to find – even in the dark.

2. Light Right
Two illuminating ways to get more restful sleep: invest in a plug-in dimmer switch (available at hardware stores for about $12) to control brightness, and position your lamp so you don’t have to strain to turn it off from the bed.

3. Hang in There
Use vertical space by mounting a café curtain rod onto the side of the nightstand for holding magazines and catalogs. Chances are you’ll read (and recycle) them faster if they’re nearby and not in stacks.

4. Soft Landing
Start your morning off on the right foot by placing an area rug next to your bed. The cushy floor covering will be welcome on winter mornings. A pair of fuzzy slippers won’t hurt either.

Secret Olives Oil

Origins’ natural Kitchen
Ordinary food, fruit and herbs with extraordinary healing powers.

First used by ancient Egyptians as cosmetics, olive oil was a crucial ingredient in perfumes, cosmetics and ointments. This is because its lipid structure is like skin, so it’s easily absorbed without irritation.

Aside from its amazing powers to smooth and soften skin, olive oil has regenerating anti-ageing powers on skin tissue and is able to regulate its natural moisturizing system. There’s also a large proportion of polyphenols, and vitamins A, D, E and K, which make it an excellent treatment for skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and eczema.

Home remedy
Massage a few tablespoons of olive oil into scalp and hair. Cover hair with a shower cap or cling wrap, leave on for 20 minutes, then shampoo as usual. This help repair split ends, prevents dandruff and makes your hair shiny, silky and lustrous.

Run out of eye makeup remover? Dab a little olive oil on a cotton swab and smear away. It even removes waterproof mascara.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautions while following instructions on the recipes from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.

Balancing on Weight

“We need to focus a little less on the numbers – weight per se – and more on the behaviors that are most important, like being physically active and eating healthy foods.”

Say you‘re physically fit, 5’5” and 140 pounds. According to dietary guidelines, you’re well within the healthy weight range for your height. But if you’ve heard about the widely publicized Harvard Medical School study of body weight and health risks, you may be wondering if you need to diet. By the standards of that study, you’re about 20 pounds over the optimal weight and have a higher risk than thinner women of developing cancer and heart disease.

In this study of 115.000 women, the authors found that the women least likely to die prematurely were those who had never smoked and weighed 15 percent less than the average American woman (or about 119 pounds, if you’re 5’5”). Other studies have linked obesity to increased health risks, but this one seemed to say that even average weight women should worry.

A closer look at the stuffy reveals that there is little cause for alarm. The increased risk was quite small until a woman was heavier than average (around 165 pounds, if you’re 5’5”). And experts point out that the study did not emphasize the women’s diet and exercise patterns, which may be more important to health than what you weigh.

“We are all genetically different, and some of us are thinner than others,” says Tim Byers, M.D., professor of preventive medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, who wrote the editorial that accompanied the study. “If you’re eating a good diet and you’re physically active, you’re going to define your own [healthy] weight,” says Dr. Byers. “We need to focus a little less on the numbers – weight per se – and more on the behaviors that are most important, like being physically active and eating healthy foods.”

If you’re not genetically lean, trying to get down to rail thinness is unrealistic and possibly in healthy because you’d have to diet stringently or exercise to an extreme to maintain that lower weight.

Glamour mgz

Soy Lowers Cholesterol

Should you be eating more?

Recent news reports on soy have touted its cholesterol-lowering powers and the possibility that it might help prevent breast cancer.


Before you stack your fridge with bricks of tofu, here’s what you should know:

The analysis of several studies on soy protein recently published by researchers at the University of Kentucky in Lexington found that a diet rich in soy protein brought about dramatic reductions in cholesterol. But the main beneficiaries were individuals who started out with very high cholesterol levels – a group that includes relatively few your women. Studies of the effects of a soy-rich died on preventing breast cancer are underway, but experts are still unsure just how beneficial it will prove to be.

Tempe is a fermented soy bean product originally made by Central Javanese people - Indonesia

Soy milk

Soy products, like tofu and soy milk, are excellent sources of protein; some are also rich in calcium. Adding tofu to stir-fry or using soy milk in recipes is an easy way to incorporate it into your diet. But don’t feel you have to eat it. “Soy protein isn’t magic – it’s one more weapon in the arsenal of better health,” says registered dietitian Gail Levey.

Beauty Aids in the Kitchen

No time to visit your facialist?
Let nature come to the rescue with these simple beautifiers

Use only the pulp or juice of fresh fruits.

Packed with nutritious oils and amino acids, avocados are naturally rich moisturizers for dry skin or hair. They also make very nourishing masks for ageing skin.
Recipe to try
Apply mashed avocado to face and leave for 20 minutes. Or, mix mashed avocado with a little olive oil and massage into hair. Leave for 20 minutes before rinsing.
For really dry skin, add double cream or 2 tbsp of honey to avocado for a face mask.

The cooling, astringent properties of cucumber reduce inflammation and hydrate dry, itchy skin. Good for calming sunburnt skin.
Recipe to try
To tighten skin, juice a cucumber, apply onto face, leave until dry, then rinse. For toning action, add chopped mint and whisked egg white, and leave on face for 20 minutes.
A slice of cold cucumber placed over the eye reduced puffiness and tiredness.

Egg whites have a tightening effect and improve skin tone so they make a great tired-face reviver for oily skin and a good mask for dry and ageing skin. Yolks nourish skin.
Recipe to try
For a nourishing face mask, mix 1 egg with 1 tsp honey and leave for 20 minutes.
For a pre-party mini facelift to plump up your face, simply smooth egg white over face and wash off when dry. Leaves skin taut.

Softening and soothing, honey is an ideal facial mask as it removes dead skin cells. A good anti-irritant too, so it’s ideal for sensitive skin.
Recipe to try
Massage honey into skin with fingers, working it into a ‘lather’ using warm water, then rinse. To use as an exfoliant, mix 2 tsp of sugar with 1 tbsp of honey and rub over face.
Add 1 tsp honey to four cups water. Pour over conditioned hair for shine.

A natural, powerful astringent, the fruit acids in lemons cleanse and tone, perfect for oily and combination skin, and will give a nice glow.
Recipe to try
For a fabulous toner, dilute lemon juice with a little water. Put in a pump bottle and leave in the fridge. Spray and wipe over face as a toner.
To remove blemishes, rub a slice of lemon on your face, leave it overnight, then wash with cold water in the morning.

It softens skin and is deal for soothing sensitive or sun-damage skin.
Recipe to try
Blend 1 cup of yogurt with half a cup of oatmeal and apply to the skin for 10 minutes, before rinsing. Reduces irritation, inflammation or sunburn.
Oats can also be used as a body scrub. Just add water to make a paste and scrub on to body during your shower.

Olive oil (read Secret Olive Oil)
The vitamins in olive oil have a cell-renewing effect and nourish and protect skin, giving it all-round beauty properties.
Recipe to try
For a moisturizing hair mask to add gloss and sheen, mix half a cup of warm olive oil with 10 drops of lavender essential oil. Apply to hair, wrap in a towel for 20 minutes and shampoo out.
For brittle nails and dry hands, warm a little olive oil and soak your hands and nails for 10 minutes, apply gloves and go to bed. They will be oh-so-soft in the morning.

An enzyme called papain, most abundant in the flesh of the unripe papaya, acts as an excellent milk exfoliant to deeply cleanse skin and get rid of dead skin cells.
Recipe to try
Mix 1 large fresh papaya with 1 cup of camomile infusion and water. Apply to face for 10minutes, before rinsing.
Dab nose and chin with papaya juice to remove blackheads.

Truly cleansing, the fruit acid in tomato gives it a gentle peeling action on the face – great for oily skins. Leaves skin clean, fresh and tight.
Recipe to try
Pulp tomato and strain it to get juice. Add an equal amount of milk. Keep in the fridge. Apply to face with cotton wool twice a day and leave for 10 minutes.
To cleanse oily skin, cut a tomato in half and rub both halves on face in a circular motion. Let it dry, the rinse.

With powerful anti-bacterial properties, salt helps draw out impurities. It exfoliates dry, flaky skin, leaving it smooth and glowing.
Recipe to try
Mix sea salt with almond oil and rub in circular motions into thighs and bottom to exfoliate. Leaves skin renewed, fresh and soft.
Mix 1 tbsp salt with warm water, put in a pump bottle. Spritz hair before roller application to help curls last.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautions while following instructions on the recipes from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.