Fashion blog – Aussie Fashion Blog

Fashion that is evocative of sun, fun & life!


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Homemade facial & body scrubs- Exfoliates to help your skin wake up for spring!

spring2

Spring is finally here and by here I mean Adelaide, Australia. As I put my knitwear away and unpack my shorts, I know I need a good exfoliation to be truly spring ready. Winter is awesome for bad skin as you can layer up and look chic. I treat my winters as therapy time for my skin where I massage them with warm almond oil and seal them in copious amounts of vitamin E moisturiser.

Spring ushers in shorts, sexy tops and flirty dresses, so no escape for dull, flaky skin. So what’s my secret to spring ready smooth skin? Exfoliation!

egypt

Exfoliation has its roots in ancient history with women in Japan rubbing rice bran on their face to keep skin smooth and bright. The anti-inflammatory properties of rice seeds and bran made them an excellent cleanser and softener. The Ebers Papyrus mentions the use of powdered alabaster, sea salt and honey by early Egyptians to keep the skin perfect! The Greeks invented the first body scrub when they oiled and then scrubbed their skin with sand.

Exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface making it an ideal solution for dry flaky skin conditions. It is a safe procedure as long as you remember to be gentle and not to use harsh abrasives that can injure your skin. Once a week is quite sufficient to achieve that smooth soft glowing skin you have been dreaming of.

There are two types of exfoliation manual (scrubs) and chemical (enzymes from fruit). Chemical scrubs use fruit enzymes along with moisturising emollients like honey and yoghurt.  These rely on the enzymes to slog off the dead cells instead of the abrasive action of scrubs, its gentler and ideal for sensitive skin. The only down side being their preparation time, storage (fridge), need to be left on for about 5 mins and that they need to be used up before they spoil. Personally, I prefer manual scrubs since I can have it ready in my bathroom and don’t have to worry about an expiry date.

health Homemade scrubs:

Honey has anti-bacterial and rehydrating properties so a dab of it in anything is a good thing.url

Olive oil is great both inside and out! Known to keep cancer and heart disease at bay by incorporating it in your cooking. It’s an excellent moisturiser and makes a good base for scrubs.

Baking Soda or sodium bicarbonate is a versatile product and completely harmless. Make it into a paste rub it in round circular motions and rinse off, its gentle enough for everyday use.

 Sugar & Olive Oil facial scrub

Mix normal white sugar with enough olive oil to make a paste. Add a dab of honey for extra moisturising effect.

sea-salt1 Fragrant sea salt body scrub

Two parts sea salt with one part olive oil, add a few drops of your favourite essence (tea tree oil, lavender oil, lemon oil or try vanilla) and your heavenly body scrub is ready.

If you’re heading out to the beach, rub a little sea sand over your feet and wash off with seawater. The most natural sea salt exfoliate available and it’s free.

In fact washed sea sand mixed with olive oil is an excellent body scrub.

 Anti-ageing tip:

You won’t be 21 forever, how you protect your skin today will define how you look tomorrow. Using sunscreen keeps the wrinkles at bay and when you’re 50 you will swear by those empty tubs of sunscreen!

Lastly, smile and unleash the inner diva within! 


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Happy MakeupLicious! Forever-Young makeup tutorial.

The art of applying makeup is one of the oldest traits of civilized groups of people and according to Dr. Richard Russell there is a science in the art of applying makeup.  An assistant professor of Psychology at Gettysburg College, he has deduced that a face appears female due to facial contrast and application of makeup enhances this contrast making one appear more attractive. Female skin tone is also lighter than male skin tone, which supports the use of foundation that evens out skin tone and in some case makes the skin appear lighter.

face

Plucking of eyebrows, applying eye shadow, eyeliner and mascara darkens the eyes and lashes. Lipstick and lip liners darken the lips giving the face an immediate feminine appeal and thus making it more attractive. Rouge/blush applied artfully on the cheeks give a healthy rosy cheek look.

As part of our ‘Happy MakeupLicious’ series, we are starting a sequence of posts on the art of applying makeup like a pro. Our featured writer is Muskaan Ahuja, a gorgeous Certified Professional Make Up Artist and Special Effects from ESMOD University Dubai.

Muskaan Ahuja

Forever Young makeup tutorial.

You don’t need to undergo expensive and not to mention painful laser surgery to get a facelift or a youthful glow. A few clever makeup tricks will have you looking years younger and beautiful in 5 simple steps.

Muskaan has charted 5 simple steps to incorporate into your daily makeup routine that will have you glowing with confidence.

Step 1:  A good foundation.

Skin is the largest organ of your body and the one most prone to ageing as it is constantly battles harsh weather, chemicals and pollutants while it protecting your body. It deserves your care and respect. Fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, irregularity of pigmentation (age spots), and dryness are the tell tale signs of aging. Good genes are a major factor for youthful skin, however good lifestyle choices and makeup can help minimise the harsh effects of time.

Choosing a good foundation is the fundamental step in the art of makeup.

A good foundation has the following characteristics:

  • A light coverage formula: heavy foundations tend to make skin sag. A light formula spreads smoothly with out clumping and is gentle on the delicate facial skin.
  • Evens out your skin tone: Foundation should match your skin tone and mask age spots giving the appearance of youth.
  • Spreads smoothly instead of just filling up fine lines. If your foundation tends to fill up fine lines you will end up with skin that looks wrinkled. You need to experiment to find one that smoothens out your skin and tackles the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Addresses your skin’s specific needs. A dry skin looks aged and dull. A good foundation that moisturises without caking is what you should lookout for. If your skin is oily you need to find a foundation that isn’t oil based. If you have combination skin, oily T zone and dry rest of the area, you might need to experiment with perhaps two types of foundation. Needless to say money spent on good high quality foundation is worth it.
  • Ensuring that your foundation has a built in SPF of at least 15-20 will protect your skin from further harmful affects of the sun.

Step 1

 

Step 2- CONCEAL AND REVEAL

  • Pick a concealer two shades lighter than your foundation.
  • Place three dots under the eye where the shadows are.
  • Gently pat product into skin, working it into the inner corners, which tend to darken with age.
  • This will mask the dark circles and tell tale signs of a hectic life.

Step 2

Step 3 – OPEN YOUR EYES.

  •  Dust some shadow in a taupe or stone colour over the lid.
  • Apply a highlighting formula under the arch to give the appearance of a mini brow ‘lift’.
  • Finally apply two coats of mascara to top lashes.
  • If you use an eyelash curler you will want to curl your lashes before you apply your mascara.

Step 3

Step 4 – LET THE CHEEKS GLOW

  • Applying blusher to the apples of the cheeks gives skin a younger glow.
  • Cream formulas give skin a dewy look, but you’ll need to touch up throughout the day, as they aren’t very long lasting.
  • As most skin tends to dry out with age, cream blushers are a good choice and are best-applied using fingertips.

Step 4

Step 5 – PLUMP UP YOUR POUT

  • Unfortunately, lips tend to thin with age.
  • Counteract this with a lip-plumping formula.
  • They contain a special plant complex that boosts hyaluronic acid production, instantly restoring the plumpness.

Step 5

Lastly,

A Smile is the best make-up you can wear every day. 🙂

Happy MakeupLicious!!

Tina

Muskaan Ahuja (AKA Tina) Dubai based MUA

 

Visit my page:  http://www.facebook.com/MuskaanAhujaTinaMua

 

Professional Make-up and Special effects Artist.

 

Email: tin_195656@hotmail.com / TahujaMUA@gmail.com

Tel: +971 55 99585856


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Plus size fashion: Saluting the Plus size fashion divas!

Plus size diva

Plus size diva

I just got chastised, by a plus size friend on the blogosphere. Apparently I don’t know what I am talking about. Only a ‘Fatshion’ blogger knows what its like and has the right to comment on plus size fashion.  In case you are wondering (I know I was), fat is not used in a negative context meaning something to be shed or loathed but an acceptance of being real and perfectly normal.

Plus size shopping is hard; the concept of just waltzing in a mall and picking an outfit in your size is apparently unheard of. The entire fashion industry is tailored (literally) for size 18 and below. So what do you do when you are a size 24? The few brands that do cater to plus size fashion have limited styles and work from the standpoint that if you are a plus size you are definitely 9 feet tall. So what do you do when you are short and fat? Love vintage or retro or basically have a personal style? What about if you are plus size and pregnant? Try finding clothes that fit a plus size with an hour glass figure, apparently if you are that big you are not allowed to have a tiny waist!?

Also, you are penalised for seeking out plus size fashion by being charged exorbitant amounts, not mention the fact that the designs are inspired by what granny used to wear.  Stylish shoes that fit are non-existent and there is a conception that plus size women don’t need hosiery??!!

What was I thinking when I wrote a post on how to be a plus size fashion diva? Did I think that plus size women have no sense of fashion and no sense of style? Except for the positive body image message, I apparently scored very low on all other counts. To that I say my humble apologies! It just hit home what an international conspiracy there is against curvy women.

To all the plus size women who overcome all these hurdles and still rock it, I salute you!  You gals are true divas, your constant vigil for stylish outfits, your online scavenger hunts, your years of experimentation and dedication to fashion is truly inspiring!

I end with a comment that made me smile, “Offcourse we are in shape, round is a shape!”

 


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Body image, does yours make you mirror-phobic?

Woman in satin dress holding mirror

 

I was driving past a billboard on the freeway which caught my attention, enough to warrant a post. It was an advert placed by a gym and it read, ‘Invest in your body after all you can’t trade it in.’ I liked the notion that your body needs investment, in terms of time and energy to keep it healthy and well lets face it, you will be in it for as long as you live. A body, for me is an extension of my soul, a canvas if you please for my personality. Not the other way around.
So you can imagine how shocked I was when a charming woman with the most gorgeous hazel eyes and luscious curly locks seemed so self-conscious and uncomfortable. The reason, she was over weight and found the checkout lanes in the supermarket a little narrow for her comfort.
Now, I do encourage healthy living and if weight posses a health issue by all means I encourage you to diet and exercise. I recommend loosing excess pounds, in a healthy manner, but not your confidence and especially not your smile! So what if you’re lugging around a few excess kilos, cellulite, jelly belly, or whatever else seems to invert your smile.
No, I am not a size zero nor do I have a perfect body, but I know enough to not let it define me as a person. I have been there, down that road where my self-esteem was inversely proportional to my weight. I have struggled to shed 23 kilos and I am still struggling to loose that last 7 kilos to attain my healthy weight. Over the years that I have spent trying to achieve that milestone, I have learnt a lot mostly from mistakes; that beauty has nothing to do with what’s on the outside and everything to do with the inside.
A strong healthy body is more beneficial than a skinny malnourished one. As a mum of three, I need all the energy I can get and I learnt very early that strict diets that aim at rapid weight loss are an absolute no, no. I learnt to eat healthy as opposed to eating less. How were my kids, two of them girls, going to develop good eating habits when I didn’t mirror that philosophy? How could I nurture self-confidant young women if I was constantly berating myself over my excess weight? Unhealthy diets make you prone to illness and as a mum, that wasn’t an option.
Motherhood forcefully knocked some sense into me and I hope to spread the word, to aim for a healthy body as opposed to a skinny one. The media is to be blamed for showing extremely slender women as the epitome of beauty. My advice, go to an art gallery and look at how famous artists thought history depicted the goddess of beauty, Venus. Botticelli, Giorgione,

 

Vintage Postcard ~ Chubby Baby

Vintage Postcard ~ Chubby Baby (Photo credit: chicks57)

 

Cabanel, Moore etc. have drawn a very curvaceous and a very realistic woman. She did not have unrealistic breasts or skinny thighs, her bones did not jut out and she did not have a ripped abb. What every artist’s impression of Venus did have in common was her subtle sexy demure that came from an acknowledgement that she is beautiful; her body merely represented her conviction. Yes, men find confidant women sexy!
So next time you step out, lift your head, flash that gorgeous smile and KNOW that you are beautiful. When you see yourself in the mirror don’t smash it or cringe, try to see the beauty within. Be your own number one fan and see how everyone joins your fan club.

 


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Nail art: style signature of a fashion diva!

nail extensions with nail art

nail extensions with nail art (Photo credit: nailsbylisa)

Manicure

Manicure (Photo credit: trec_lit)

Day 19: Galaxy Nails

Day 19: Galaxy Nails (Photo credit: NailsandNoms)

Beautifully decorated nails are the ultimate fashion statement, a hallmark of a true Fashionista. For those of you who have read my pervious posts, you are quite aware that my fashion philosophy is simple; discover your unique personal style. Don’t be a mannequin for other people’s fashion ideas but create your own style. Confidence is the one must have accessory of every woman (read my pervious post)and nothing oozes confidence like your own personal style.
Nail art according to me is the ultimate form of personal expression. Nothing spells character like painted nails that are a work of art. The combinations are endless with your imagination being the limit, from pale one tone simple polish, to elegant nail art, or eye-catching colours and even bold nail art using feathers etc.
The only tip I can offer is, practice makes perfect, there really is no substitute to dedication, time and effort. For quick DIY salon quality nail art the only option is nail wraps and nail stickers.
Nail wraps need to be heated for 3 seconds using a hair dryer and you need to snip off excess and trim the edge with a file.
Nail stickers can be peeled and stuck directly to clean dry polished nails. A topcoat does the job of sealing it.

cindy.shot for sch project =)

cindy.shot for sch project =) (Photo credit: starapon)

Manicure

Manicure (Photo credit: kodomut)

Feather

Feather (Photo credit: Katt Claws)

Manicure

Manicure (Photo credit: firexbrat)

nail extensions with nail art

nail extensions with nail art (Photo credit: nailsbylisa)

Nail polishes

Nail polishes (Photo credit: The Style PA)

How long your style creations last will depend on the quality of products used and the stresses you subject your nails to. Washing dishes in hot water, swimming in the ocean, etc. can greatly shorten the life of your nail art.
Simple tricks for an instant diva style.

Nail art

Nail art (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nail Art in Vietnam

#1 Use tape to create patterns and shapes.
Cut a pattern (heart, square, triangle etc.) out of the tape and then tape it around your nail. Apply a different colour nail polish over this, peel the tape and you should have a clear image of your pattern on your nail. Apply topcoat and you are done. Using strips of tape or sticker you can create various patterns.

# 2 Two tone polish
Painting your nails with two different colours of polish is easy and gives a very stylish look. Using toothpicks or hairpins with the rounded edges you can create dots. You can either cover your nails with dots or just the corners.
For more complex nail art you can Google tube videos where talented nail technicians share their secrets but be prepared to arm yourself with a professional nail art kit.
Quick drying tips:
#1 Use a dry fast topcoat.
The Internet is abounding with tips raging form hilarious (soaking nails in ice cold water for 5 mins!) to positively ridiculous (sticking your fingers in the freezer!), nothing works better or safer than a dry fast topcoat.
If passing the time is your concern since we all know how entertaining sitting with your hands and feet in front of you can be, here are some ideas.
#1 Paint your nails just before you sit on your computer, works if you prefer short nails. We spend at least ½ hour if not more surfing the web, checking posts on FB, reading my blog…
#2 Set your self up with your favourite music (not the kind that makes you jump up and touch everything) and lie down and relax. Get a little sun in the garden or watch a movie.
Warning: nail art is addictive! Once unleashed there is no stoping the nail art diva within you! I would love to hear and see your creations!
full house nail art


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Curly hair- Sexy and you know it!

imgres-6This post is for Rhema who requested a few hairstyles for curly hair.

First of all the golden rule for curly hair is to condition it, religiously, the more coarse the texture, more frequently should you treat it to a nourishing rich conditioning treatment. A homemade oil blend that I personally use is what I have found works best.

½ part coconut oil

¼ part Olive oil

¼ part Castor oil (castor oil doesn’t smell too good but it is so richly nourishing, it is nature’s best kept secret!)

Heat this, low flame, extremely well, the oils need to blend. Let it cool and when bearable to touch apply it whilst warm onto your scalp, massaging well, then apply to the ends and finally massage the rest of your hair. Make sure that every strand is well oiled. Depending on how badly damaged your hair is your hair will absorb the oil. Leave it for at least an hour, best if left overnight (remember to cover your pillow with an old towel and avoid silk pyjamas), wash as normal and condition.

Towel dry, gently, just squeezing (do not wring) it gently between a well absorbent towel. Run a very, very wide comb, bottom to top, gently to remove any tangles. If your hair is brittle or badly damaged you might want to untangle it when you condition you hair after shampooing. Then rinse the conditioner without disturbing your hair, let it fall in front of you while you run water over it.

Depending on your hair texture, you might want to condition it with a hairstyling product (depending on you hair texture you will need to experiment with a curl enhancer or volumiser with varying strengths of hold, use sparingly) before you blow dry it, something that works on you, this will help hold the curls and protect your hair (wet hair is more prone to damage). Remember to crunch up your hair; bend your head forward, letting your hair fall in front of you. Take lumps of hair into open palms and then moving upward toward the roots crunch them. Do this to your entire head of hair. Blow-dry your hair with the large extension designed for curly hair, called a diffuser. Use it at its lowest setting for both air and heat; this will prevent frizzy hair on the surface of the individual curls.

Work from the back of your head to the front, bottom to top. If you have long hair clump it in a circular motion from the ends to the roots into the diffuser, else just hold it above your hair. Resist the urge to run your fingers through your hair, you will ruin your curls, just use your fingers to flick your hair at the scalp. Don’t blow dry for too long, your hair should be a little damp.hair 1855

When your hair is completely dry, grease you fingers with a little (very minute amount) hair cream and run though you hair to release curls and to bind them into locks, twirling the locks around your fingers. Practice makes perfect, and once you begin to understand you hair and how it behaves you can alter this technique to suit your hair type.

Now for some Fashionista hairstyles!

With curly hair, it’s not about your face shape as much as your forehead size. If you have a broad forehead you need to decide if you want it covered or emphasized. Experiment with both looks and see what suits you best.

If you want it covered, going in for curly bangs, works best.

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If you want it emphasized, pulling back your hair, leaving a little bump and just a single beautiful curly lock, works gorgeously.

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The second factor to consider is the type of curls, do you have thin, tight curls or loose round curls. Needless to say, finer hair tends to form small tight curls and thicker hair tends to form big round curls. Either way curls look best, when well conditioned and clumped into individual curls, which is why running a fine comb through curly hair is a bad idea as it ends up giving it a bushy appearance.

Be mentally prepared to invest a little time and effort into getting that Diva look, remember the old adage no pain no gain? When I had my long tresses permed, just bending forward blow-drying my hair was painful, but the end result was well worth the effort.

Before you go in for a hair cut, study your hair, most hairstylist are not well versed with curly hair, unless you go to a specialist saloon, so do you homework. You need to understand your hair, when cropped does it spring tightly going shorter or is it unaffected? When short does it defy gravity? Is it more manageable when long or does it get tangled causing you grief? Does it get too heavy if it’s long (giving you a headache)?

Your answers to these questions will help you decide which hairstyle is best, long or short. Once you have that figured you need to find a style that compliments your personality. A romantic look, well kept professional look or like me do you prefer the wild child look?

Personally I prefer long tresses just for the sheer variety of hairstyles you can experiment with.

Short styles:

imgres-10 imgres-7  imgres

You can straighten just a few strands in the front and styling them into a soft wave, leaving the rest curly. If you want your hair to behave you could use pins designed to hold curly hair, to give a more defined appearance. Pinning the locks behind the ears higher up exposing your ear which could display  gorgeous earings, whilst highlighting your slender neck?

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Long hairstyles:

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For a more romantic appeal try twisting strands into a crown frame letting the rest just fall over your shoulder.

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Headpieces, ribbons, even braided hair can be used to hold and style.

If your hair isn’t too thick, you could use a hair band to create a  gorgeous cascading effect.

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A wild child look, according to me never goes out of fashion!

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Highlights look amazing on curly hair so go for it!

I hope you found this article informative, let me know about your style experiments!

PS. all these images were googled (free) and I hope I haven’t infringed on anyone’s copyright!


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Hairstyles and everything you need to know about it!

imgres-15 imgres-14 imgres-13

imgres-11 imgres-10 imgres-9 imgres-7 imgres-6 imgres-5 imgres-3 imgres-2 imgres-1 imgresThere is enough information floating around regarding face shapes and what hairstyles suit best. Here is a different perspective, from someone who has experimented with knee length, to short crops and everything in between. I have had my hair permed, straightened, coloured orange, red, brown, and purple. Trust me when I tell you that I have learned a thing or two regarding hairstyles.

Hair Truth #1:
Don’t copy a celebrity or a friend with a great hairdo. Their hairstyle looks best on THEM, copy them only if you are the same face shape, size, personality and most importantly the same hair type as them.
That is the sad truth that even some hair stylists don’t tell you, each “look” can be carried only by a particular hair type, not to mention other factors like, quantity and texture.
Irrespective what any hair expert has told you, every hair is unique, for example limp hair. Hair that is limp might be so just because it’s too long; the weight drags it. Cut the same limp hair shorter and you might notice a bounce or a natural wave, it will even look a lot healthier. If you have (I envy you, if you do) a full head of limp hair it will behave very differently from someone who has scanty hair that is also limp.
Factors like pregnancy, medication, illness, the kind of stress and strain (colouring, blow-drying, straightening, perming etc.) also affect you hair condition and will change with altering the factors that affect them. Example: eating healthy, going off a particular medication, post pregnancy etc.

Hair Truth #2:
Each person has a unique hair cycle and hair length. Each strand of hair has a life cycle; it grows a certain length and then falls off. Pregnancy and some medication that alter your hormonal levels can change this cycle. Hormonal changes in pregnancy tend to extend the life cycle of hair, meaning they tend to live longer, giving an appearance of a thicker head of hair. Post delivery, the hormones are back to normal and all that extended life is abruptly cut short, resulting in massive hair loss.
Find out your natural length of hair, mine is until my knees but I have a friend whose hair never grows beyond her shoulder. Why is this important? Because it will help you choose your hairstyle, for example if you have shoulder length hair you might want to consider going in for extensions if you love that romantic tousled look.

Hair Truth #3:
There is no prefect hairstyle that you can roll out of bed and still look glam. Everyone has bad hair days and then some really bad hair days. If you choose a style that is closest to your natural style (poker straight or curly), chances are you will spend less time trying to get it to behave the way you want it to.
There are a lot of factors that affect hairstyles, apart form the above points, weather also affects you hairstyle. Humidity kills any blow dry or styling like curling or straightening, high temperatures makes you sweat and depending on how much your scalp sweats (yes, you have sweat glands on your scalp) you can find your hair turning greasy, ruining you look. Intense sunlight can even bleach your hair. Living in a dusty or polluted environment can also turn your hair dry, brittle and lack lustre. Basically the dust/pollutants stick to your hair, the more you condition your hair the more it sticks! Drive with the windows down for an hour and feel your hair; you’ll know what I mean.

The fundamental truth to a good hairstyle is to know your hair type, which can change depending on diet, physical condition and environment. When I had orange hair, I found it amusing how my ‘look’ changed when I was in broad daylight (looked like my head was on fire-absolutely loved it!) as opposed to when I was indoors. It changed tone depending on what I wore and the backdrop, I stayed away from orange walls and green shirts! I even had to change my makeup, had to go with one that had less orange pigments in it. I had to trim my thick black eyebrows very thin, etc.

The bottom line is, you need to experiment and find a style that is convenient to your lifestyle, flatters you body shape and suits you hair type. Yes, your body shape contributes greatly to your hair style, which might seem odd, since you only focus on your head. The truth is, your hairstyle can take years off your face and kilos of your waist, IF chosen correctly and the inverse is also true.
Personally, with my style experiments I found that long, slightly curled locks that fell across my face and covered most of my shoulders and back, gave me a slimmer look. As I was 90 kilos when pregnant, the soft curls that fell across my shoulders took the focus away from my bugle and centred it on shiny, dark curls. For a more styled look, I would straighten my hair and let it fall across my face, creating an illusion of slimming length, hiding my double chin and puffy face. Here are few photos, to illustrate, let me know if it worked or didn’t.

me


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Stretch marks an emblem of shame? I say wear it with pride, it’s your badge of honour!

shore line or stretch marks

shore line or stretch marks?

Now, before you skip to the comments post to ‘advise’ me of the best shrinks in town, I already have quite a few friends who already are shrinks (stop nodding your head!), hear me out or rather read my post.

We, women, get stretch marks for all sorts of reasons, pregnancy is a major cause but so is weight loss.  There are so many women who shrink from a size 20 to a size 12; don’t you think that will leave a few silvery lines on one’s body? As a mother of three I can assure you that my belly looks like a very intricate Mayan symbol that has been etched onto my skin! What was once ripped and taut, now is super soft and a little (just a smidge) jelly like! Now that I have shrunk from my pregnancy weight of 90 kilos, I can assure you those silver streaks are not just on my belly. My husband very loving used to call me a baby whale! No, he wasn’t being mean, it was because my one year old while he was in his bath tub and playing with his ‘bath books’ saw a picture of a big blue whale with a giant smile and pointed to it screaming, “Mommy!”

My loving and ever supportive husband fell on the floor laughing and the nickname stuck! Now, 23 kilos lighter I no longer bear any semblance to a whale but I assure you that, parts of my body look like the rippled shoreline of an exotic beach. I was contemplating buying a swimsuit to cover my belly, then I noticed my thighs, I then reached out for a sarong and then I stopped to just think.

English: Photograph of abdomen of a pregnant woman

English: Photograph of abdomen of a pregnant woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The marks on my belly remind me of the three most precious gifts that I have received from God. They remind me that for nine months at a time, I held life within me, it grew inside of me and I nurtured life itself. My stretch marks are my badge of honour, the proud symbol of a mother.

My stretch marks on my thighs remind me of the great battle I had waged with my weight and it was excruciating, I assure you. Every 100 Gms was fought off with a lot of sweat and pain, it is very painful to exercise after running around three kids all day and night long. It is my badge of pride, a badge that was earned for strong will power, after all chocolate fudge looks ten times more delicious when you have been off sugar for a month or worse a whole year, and it is a testament to my struggle.

So why should I be ashamed of it? My husband doesn’t mind, my family and friends look at it as a testament to my character and will power, a road map of my adventurous life. So why am I hiding it? Why am I hiding the one thing I can show off about without being conceited? Emblems of my successful battle against my bulge and my ordeal giving birth to three precious darlings are to be celebrated and not to be hidden out of a misplaced sense of shame.

I’m still wearing a swimsuit as I am a bit of a modest dresser but it’s not because I am ashamed of my marks. I think women shouldn’t be ashamed of their stretch marks, no more than a war veteran who bears a scar on his body from honourable wars well fought. Whether any war is ever honourable or well fought is a topic for another time!


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The one must have accessory for every plus-size woman- Confidence!

Ana Paula @ Plus Size Model :: nov2011

It’s all about the attitude, a confidant one goes a long way in getting you labelled as amazing! While every model/actress/artist, basically every woman, vies to be known as the most beautiful, very few are tapping the extremely accessible amazing. If you are anything like me, being known as an amazing woman is just as, if not better, than being known as a beautiful looking woman. Being known, as a beautiful woman is any day more flattering than a beautiful looking woman, because looks fade with time and not everyone agrees on what is beautiful, but your soul does not age, it only evolves.

Personality is what makes the guy you have a crush on, approach you and have a chat. Ever met someone who wasn’t the prettiest in the room but managed to have the maximum number of genuine friends, off course you have, that’s your best friend. She isn’t a hottie but she is the darling of your life, the one who makes you laugh and cries with you when you’re hurting and not necessarily in that order.

Personality doesn’t just get you admires or friends; they get you mates for life. A strong confidant personality is a major component, but often neglected, of being beautiful. Abraham Lincoln wasn’t the handsomest of men, in fact quite the contrary, neither was George Bernard Shaw, but both men in their respective fields, wowed and inspired millions and still do today. Look at spidey, until he was a gawky lanky teenager he was oblivious, gets bitten by a spider, learns to hang up side down without falling, starts oozing confidence and every chic has a secret crush on him!

Seriously, how many villains have you had a crush on, unless you have a thing for bad boys, not matter how handsome? Any admirers for Tom Felton? Alexander Ludwig? Tom Hiddleston? No, Heath Ledger doesn’t count, he totally rocked in A Knight’s tale and 10 things I hate About you, plus he had paint on as the joker, doesn’t count.

Confidence makes you comfortable in your own skin, which basically means the real you isn’t hiding behind some pieces of fabric but is free to shine to mesmerise. Remember Donna Noble from Dr. Who; she wasn’t the prettiest of Dr. Who companions but the most loved, why? Do you even have to ask? Personality, she is plus size but her confidence is refreshing and by the end of the season you are completely in love with her, she almost overshadows the ever-charming time traveling youthful Dr. Who.

Oprah winfrey, Queen Latifa, are few examples of women who are beautiful more for their personality than for their looks. When did being plus size mean that you fell in the ‘non good-looking’ category? Christina Schmidt is one of the most gorgeous women and yes she is plus size! There are many, many more examples of beautiful women but a strong, confidant women can make belly fat, cellulite and extra pounds all disappear. Now that’s the secret no one wants to let out, but I’m calling for a Fashion revolution, want to join me?