Friday, 8 July 2011

'Dracula therapy'

With vampires enjoying unprecedented popularity thanks to series like True Blood and Vampire Diaries and movies like Twilight, here's something only the 'fan'glers out there might appreciate. 

There's a new, alternate therapy to Botox doing the rounds among anti-aging experts internationally - called the Dracula Therapy, no less - that promises younger looking skin using facial injections formulated from your own blood! 

The Dracula Therapy, introduced in London nearly two years ago by French cosmetic doctor Daniel Sister, has increasingly gained popularity in the West for knocking off the years in a natural way. Also called S3 or Stimulated Self Serum skin therapy, it heals scars and makes dry, wrinkled and lacklustre skin look and feel younger without the use of synthetic fillers or painful lasers or peels. 

This is how the therapy works: The doctor draws four vials of your blood, and separates it into red blood cells, the clear serum and the platelets. Then vitamins and amino acids are added and the serum is injected into your face. Supposedly, the injections can heal scars and renew skin through DNA repair. The idea has been inspired by a similar treatment conducted for decades by dentists using a patient's serum to regenerate receding gums. "I thought, if serum therapy was good enough for bones and soft tissue like gums, then it could do even better in the skin," said Dr Sister to an international publication. 

Step by Step Manicure

Step by Step Manicure - What Do You Need ?

Nail wipes which are lint free are best because they don’t leave behind cotton hairs on the nail, but if you can’t get them use cosmetic pads; but be careful because they will leave behind cotton hairs.

  • Towel
  • Nail Cleanser (acetone free nail polish remover will do if you have no nail cleanser)
  • File
  • Cuticle cream remover
  • Bowl and soapy water with some lavender to aid relaxation
  • Nail brush
  • Orange stick or cuticle pusher
  • step by step manicure
  • Cuticle nippers
  • Exfoliation cream/lotion
  • Hand cream
  • Acetone free nail polish remover
  • Base coat nail polish
  • Coloured nail polish
  • Top coat
  • Nail Oil
  • A lamp so you can see the detail

Step by Step Manicure - Lets Begin

  • Remove any polish from the nail by soaking nail swab in acetone free nail polish, place swab on the nail and leave for 10 seconds to soften polish, and sweep down towards free edge of nail. Repeat until all the nail polish is removed. If there are stubborn areas around the cuticle or underneath the free edge, take a baby bud and soak it in nail polish remover.
  • Filing - Never saw back and forth across the free edge with your file as it can disrupt the nail plate layers and lead to splitting and peeling. File your nails by either rounding them off or squaring them. Round them off by taking the file first up one side and then the other from the outside corner to the centre of the nail plate. Finish by rounding the top. Square the nail by taking the file straight across the top of the free nail edge, if you prefer. You can give the corners just a little roundness so they don’t look quite as severe this way. To seal the free edge, use the 3-way buffer: black to refine, white to semi-shine and grey to finish. This will prevent the jaggy bits occurring !
  • hand treatment
  • Cuticle Attention – using a quality cuticle softener, apply to the cuticles.
  • Soaking and Relaxing - Place hands into a bowl with warm soapy water and a few drops of lavender : it’s time to relax for 5 minutes. Depending on the cuticle softener you are using it’s usual for a chemical reaction to take place between the soapy water and the cuticle softener to speed up the process of softening the cuticles.
  • Remove your hands. Dip your nail brush into the bowl and brush underneath your nails just to make sure they are clean. Now you can throw the water away and dry your hands with the towel.
  • Cuticle Work - Using the orange stick or cuticle pusher push your cuticles back. Don’t be too aggressive here as you don’t want to damage the nail matrix (bed). All you want to do is push any cuticle away from the nail plate. Take the cuticle clippers and cut any hang nails - these are the jaggy bits that can be loose at the side of the nail - the bits you just can’t resist biting off ! If there are none, don’t be tempted to cut skin !

Step by Step Manicure - Exfoliation and Massage

    Exfoliation - At this stage you may wish to give your hands an exfoliation. Squeeze a small amount onto the backs of your hand and spread before gentle massaging exfoliation for about one minute. Now wash and dry your hands. Relax with Massage - We are nearly finished, so first you must massage some hand cream into your hands. Why not use an aromatherapy oil and give yourself a nice relaxing massage. It’s brilliant for the circulation.

Step by Step Manicure - Hot Paraffin Wax

Paraffin Wax Manicure If your hands are dry and in need of moisture you could apply a hot paraffin wax treatment.

Step by Step Manicure - Prepare to Polish

Wash - Before applying polish, ensure your nails are free of hand cream or oil. Wash and dry the nails using a small damp face cloth. Cleanse the nail plate with nail cleanser just to make sure all oil and cream residue are gone. Enamel will not adhere to oil or cream, so this is really important. If there are ridges on the nail you may wish to use a three wayperfect polishbuffer. Just as explained previously, use the black side, then the white side before finishing with the gray side. This will leave the nail looking naturally shiny.
Step by Step Manicure - Perfect Nail Polish You will require
  • Base Coat – protects the nail from discolouration
  • Coloured Polish – this is a personal choice
  • Top Coat – gives a shiny finish and also seal colour and ensure it lasts longer
Make sure your nail polish is fresh. It should be thin and easy to apply.
Before opening, mix the polish in the bottle by turning it upside down and rolling it between your palms. Don’t shake the bottle as this will produce bubbles.
Step 1. First, apply a thin layer of base coat and leave for one minute.
Step 2. Next, apply two thin layers of colour and leave for one minute between each coat (some colours may require a third coat).
Step 3. Finally, apply a thin layer of top coat and leave to dry.

Applying Polish - make sure your brush is not overloaded with nail polish. Do this by dipping the brush into the nail polish and then wipe on the neck of the bottle with one side of the brush until you have only a little polish left on the brush on the side you didn’t wipe.
First stroke polish down the centre of the nail plate and then down either side. Three strokes in all. Leave a tiny gap at your cuticle and skin. Remember skin and cuticle contain oil which enamels cannot adhere to.
The secret to perfect polish is to apply thin layers and leave as much time as possible to dry between each layer.
If you leave the nails to dry for about 5 minutes you can then apply creative solar oil to help dry the nail quicker and also to ensure any little touches to the nail in the first vital drying hour will slide off rather than smudge.
Beware - nail polish takes a good hour to dry and harden properly.

How to apply acrylic nails easily

It is not the easiest things to be taught, but, with a little patience, you will learn the art perfectly.  At first it could take you as long as 3 hours to put on a full set of acrylics but as you gain experience youshould be able to complete a full set in an hour and a half;  some experienced people will be able to do them in an hour.
  With a little practise and patience you could be earning money from the art of acrylic nails or you may simply want to save money by doing them on yourself.
What Do You Need?how to apply acrylic nails
  • Acetone
  • Non-acetone nail polish remover
  • Nail files and white filing block
  • Acrylic clipper
  • Artificial nail tips: find a size that fits your nail, if this is not possible find one that is closest and file it down
  • Liquid Acrylic
  • Powdered acrylic (white and clear)
  • Acrylic brush: to apply the acrylic to your nail
  • Dampen dish: to hold the acrylic liquid in
  • Nail oil: to moisturize your nail after you apply your acrylic nail

How To Apply Acrylic Nails Preparation

Prepare the nails by filing down the natural nail so they are very short and then push the cuticles back.
Remove all previous traces of polish and acrylic with a non-acetone nail polish remover.
Take the white filing block and buff over the entire nail so that it’s a bit rough.  Not too much though.

How To Apply Acrylic Nails and Match Your Own Nails

Natural nails come in all different shapes and sizes, some nails are more rounded and some are flatter, acrylic nails are no different and should be matched as closely as possible to the natural nail.
    1. Take your acrylic nail tips and match each nail tip to each individual nail.  They should be an exact fit: if you can’t get them just right, take one that is a little too wide and file down the sides so it fits. 2. Place your acrylics on your work station in an order that you know which nail they have been matched to ie your thumb first, then your index finger etc.

How To Apply Acrylic Nails Using Glue

how to apply acrylic nails
1.Apply a tiny drop of glue onto the tip (from the bottom to the little indentation) and dunk it onto a tissue to get rid of any excess glue.
2. Have a bowl of acetone prepared just in case you misplace a tip, so then it can be soaked off and you can start again.
3. Place the artificial nail tip onto the tip of thenatural nail where the smile line is and ease back until the indentation is hitting the natural nail.  Hold down until the glue sets, this just takes a few seconds.  It’s very important that no air bubbles form under the tips as this weakens the nail and can cause a fungal infection. 
If any air bubbles form, the tip will have to be removed and applied again.  
4. Adjust the tip length to suit your personal requirements using a nail tip clipper.
5. File them to shape. At this stage you don’t need to be too fussy as you will have to file them again at the end.

How To Apply Acrylic Nails Smile Line

First we do the white smile line of the nail just like a French polish.
    1. Pour a little acrylic into a dampen dish;  it has a very strong smell so make sure there is plenty ventilation in the room.  This stuff can give you headaches, so beware. how to apply acrylic nails2. Tip – don’t overload your brush with product otherwise you will make the acrylic nail far too thick and will end up having to do a lot of filing at the end. 3. Open the white acrylic powder.  Dip your brush into theacrylic liquid and then wipe both sides onto a paper towel to make sure any residue is removed.  Re-dip your brush into the acrylic liquid and wipe both sides again on the side of the dampen dish.  You don’t want to overload your brush withacrylic liquid.   The idea is the more liquid on your brush the more powder it will soak up.  Practice will tell you how much you require. 4. Now dip the tip of your brush into the powder and you will find that a little ball of product will form. 5. Apply this ball on the edge of the nail tip. 6. Spread over the smile line quickly with the flatter part of your brush.  It should be spread right to the corners.  Work quickly and perfect the smile line so it has a nice curve just like the natural nail.

    How To Apply Acrylic Nails Using Clear Acrylic

    how to apply acrylic nails
      1. Close your white acrylic powder and open up your clear acrylic powder and dip your brush into the acrylic liquidfirst and then the powder, just as above, except this time trail the product ball along the powder after the ball has formed. 2. Apply the ball of product onto the middle part of the nail, being careful not to touch the cuticle area as this may weaken the nail. 3. Repeat the above procedure again on the cuticle area, being very careful not to touch the cuticles as this may weaken the nail and it will start to lift.

    Finish Off

    how to apply acrylic nails
      1. The acrylic takes about 10 minutes to set and dry.  By the time you have finished both hands you will be ready to go backto the first finger nail you applied.  File the acrylic so that you take any bumps out with a grit nail file and shape them to look natural.  Smooth the nail with a white buffing block and then wash your hands to remove any dust and filings. It is worth taking time over this part for the perfect finish. 2. To finish, apply cuticle oil and use your three way buffer to shine.
    After Care - Cuticle oil should be applied every day to the acrylics to keep them supple and flexible, as this will decrease possible cracks appearing.

Acrylic nails??

Fond of acrylic nails? We tell you why it is not a good idea... 

Chewed nails look ugly and disgraceful. But you can't help the habit of chewing on your nails? 

Acrylic nails could be your only saving grace. The advantage of using acrylic nails could very well be that they don't peel, chip or crack and one can keep our preferred length without having to worry about filing them or waiting for weeks for nails to grow to the desired length. When done properly acrylic nails can look very elegant and although they don't have any major side-effects, one does run some risks by often turning to this quick-fix for chewed, hideous looking nails. 

Ensure that you get your nails done from a certified nail bar. We often use nails as tools to open lids of containers or to pry off something. If you put your nails through such gruelling tasks, the acrylic will rise creating a space between itself and the natural nail. This space is the perfect breeding ground for fungal infections. So use your nails with tender, loving care. 

Chemical residues in acrylic nails can trigger allergies, redness, swelling and pain in nails in some people. Using acrylic nails continuously for over two-three weeks can be harsh on your natural nails. Natural nails might peel because a layer of the natural nail is removed when the acrylic nail is removed. This can leave the natural nail brittle as well as form ridges on the surface.

Too much Deodrants not Good...

You are constantly bombarded by deodorant advertisements on the television, who claim that their almost magical olfactory love potion will make you irresistible to the opposite sex. And in the lure of this claim, some of you just can't wait to get your hands on that deospray. And as a result, you must have sprayed yourself with it from head to toe. Also, summer's here in full swing with soaring temperatures, humidity, profuse sweating and sweat odour. And in the bid to avoid smelling like a skunk in this climate, many people are in the habit of dousing themselves and soaking their clothes with deodorants. As a by-product of this habit, you may be doing a public service to the olfactory senses of those around you. But little did you know that you might be harming your skin? Read on to find out how... 

Why are they harmful? 
There's no denying that deodorants help to neutralise or block body odour. Also, the fact that antiperspirants usually contain aluminum compounds which block the sweat glands and reduce the amount of sweat produced. And if there is no sweat, bacteria cannot act on proteins in the body to produce odour. 

Dermatologist Dr Sunita More warns about the unpleasant effects of these products. "Most of these products contain aluminium and parabens which mimic the female hormone - estrogen and act on breast tissue, so individuals with family history of breast cancer should avoid their use. Similarly, those with kidney problems should avoid antiperspirants containing aluminium, However, deodourants are preferred over anti-perspirants as they do not block the function of sweat glands." says she. 

Antiperspirants generally contain aluminium-based compounds which help to reduce sweat or the heavy use can clog sweat glands. Sweat glands discharge the waste from our body as sweat and if the waste is not being discharged from the body, it is unhealthy. Cosmetologist Dr Abhijit Desai says, "Deodorants cause irritation (because of alcohol) and redness which leads to itching and eventually slight pigmentation of the underarm area. The harmful effects of anti-perspirants are similar to those of deodorants but they are more due to intolerance to aluminium compounds in antiperspirants that can lead to conditions like contact dermatitis and allergy." 

What about deodourant sticks? 
In case you are wondering about the big dent your wallet is going to have, for you will have shelled out the big bucks on branded perfumes, don't fret. There is some reason to rejoice. Dermatologist Shreyas Kamath says, "Deodorant sticks are better than sprays. Sprays contain more chemicals for long lasting fragrance, which has a deeper impact on our skin than the sticks. The sticks are made with mild chemicals and generally does not harm the skin." 

Alcohol-free sprays are ideal 
There are certain deodorants that claim to be alcohol free and are ideal for use in comparison to alcohol-based ones, as they have very less chances of causing irritation and allergies. Also they are gentle on the skin and don't cause dryness. Dr Kamath opines that non-alcoholic deodorants are free from aluminium based compounds. They are skin-friendly deodorants. Many dermatologists recommend their patients to use non-alcoholic deodorants which are a bit costly, but does not affect the skin. 

Beware of cheap duplicates
Most of us sigh at the price tags of branded perfumes, and some of us get tempted to buy cheap duplicates sold at roadside stalls in various bustling shopping areas. You may be saving a whopping load of money doing so but you'll be subjecting your skin to a whopping load of damage too. That is because they can give rise to severe allergies and pigmentation of skin. Dr More cautions, "Do not go in for cheap, duplicate products as these can be extremely harmful as the chemical content is virtually unknown and unregulated by any reputed drug authority." 

She suggests natural remedies to keep oneself odour-free by sharing the following tips: 
- Include plenty of greens and salads in your diet 
- Avoid red meat and other poultry preparations during summers 
- Keep yourself well hydrated 
- Wear loose, cotton clothes which allow the skin to breathe freely 

Tomato for clear skin

Not only do tomatoes taste great but they also keep the skin healthy. It is necessary to consume tomatoes as they have lycopene, which is an antioxidant and hence works as a sunscreen from within. These antioxidants make tomato an anti-aging product as they help in fighting cellular damage and reddening of skin. It is recommended to have at least 16 milligrams of lycopene per day as they reduce the number of free radicals in the body and also help to retain the moisture in people who are used to sitting in air-conditioned environs. You don't need to spend your hard-earned money on expensive cosmetic treatments if you follow these simple steps to get healthy-looking skin:

Big pores? Shrink Them 
Big pores provide easy access to dirt and grime thus increasing the chances of infecting the pore. Take a tablespoon of fresh tomato juice. Add two to four drops of fresh lime juice to this. Use a cotton ball to apply this mixture on your face. Massage it in circular motions. Leave it on for about 15 minutes and then wash off with cool water. Regular application will shrink pores greatly.

Acne healing 
The acidity in tomatoes helps in reducing and clearing up your acne. Vitamin A and vitamin C are commonly found in a lot of acne medicines and tomatoes are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K. If you have mild acne, cut a tomato in half and apply the inside on your face. For severe acne mash a fresh tomato and use the pulp as a pack on the face. Leave it on for an hour. Rinse it off and moisturise. Do this on a regular basis or as many times as you can. Your acne is bound to dry off soon.

If you have oily skin and struggle to keep your face from shining like a fried papad, tomato is the solution to your agony. Crush a fresh tomato and strain it. Make a little cucumber juice and add it to the tomato juice. Apply this juice with a cotton ball daily to control excessive oiliness and acne.

Good to eat, great to clean 
A tomato and avocado mask works wonders on combination skin. This is because tomato works as an astringent as well as a blackhead and oil-reducing agent while avocados have an antiseptic and moisturising effect. A pack of mashed tomatoes and avocados help in soothing and cleansing combination skin (oily and dry), as they are rich in vitamin A, C and E. Apply this pack and wash off after 20 o 30 minutes with lukewarm water.

Burns no more 
Summer is fast approaching and with harsh summer comes burnt, inflamed skin. A lot of people's skin gets sunburnt, raw and itchy due to exposure to the sun. Crush half a tomato and mix it with two tablespoons of plain yogurt. Apply this concoction on face, neck, hands and feet. Wash it off after 20 minutes. Tomato cools the skin and neutralises the surface while yogurt gives it a much needed protein boost while leaving it soft and supple.

Glowing skin 
Mix honey with tomato juice until you get a thick paste. Apply this mixture and wash off after 15 minutes for smooth and glowing skin.

Why your face looks taut?

With the level of pollution going up, the only way to protect your skin is to keep it clean and hydrated and use regular face packs. 

Different skin types need to be cared for differently and same is the case for a face pack. But there are a few things that you should know about face packs before blindly applying them: 

- The first thing that you should know is that any face pack kept on your skin for more than 20 minutes will cause skin to stretch. This results in open pores, sagging skin and also wrinkles. So ladies, please do not go overboard with the pack. 

- The second most important thing that you should keep in mind is that you should apply a pack on alternate days. This is because daily scrubbing results in erosion of the surface of the skin making it dry and devoid of moisture. This may also result in breakouts. 

- Going near heat with the face pack on, results in chemical reaction in the products that go in your face pack. This leaves the skin dark, patchy and with open pores. 

- After washing out the face pack and scrubbing do not forget to apply a little ice on the face. This is because after scrubbing, the skin pores usually open up. Ice helps to close those pores and avoid skin disorders. Rubbing ice also acts in toning the skin. 

- You should preferably remove the face pack when it is partially wet. This prevents the face pack from being harsh on the skin. 

- A lot of us do the mistake of applying the pack near the eye area. This should be avoided completely since the skin around the eye is very sensitive and thin.