Archive for the ‘JA guide’ Category

image courtesy twitterNew Year’s has come and gone, and weight loss is on the brain for many. In the past few months I’ve had conversations with many male friends about their desire to shed a few pounds and get back in shape. So here’s an article just for you, guys! I’m going to provide some recommendations that’ll help you on your journey to a better body.

1. Read the How to Look Like Hrithik Roshan guide

The most popular post on Jolie Asie, the How to Look Like Hrithik Roshan guide gives you everything you need to know about this super fit Bollywood hero’s diet and exercise routine, including some tips from Hrithik himself. Read it, get inspired, and try applying some of his advice to your own daily routine.


Weight loss is 90% diet, 10% exercise. The key here is PORTION CONTROL. You can have any and all of the delicious, sinful foods you love– but in moderation. Your portion sizes simply must shrink if you want to lose extra poundage. Learn to serve yourself less at meals (but don’t starve yourself or diet! You’ll just rebound!).

image couirtesy google imagesMeat portions should be no larger than the size of your fist (and lean meats or fish are best). Have dessert, but in very, very small quantities, and not necessarily every day. Same goes for drinks. Eat until you are satisfied (80% fullness), not until you are stuffed.

Consume more fruits and vegetables to promote satiety (feeling full). Drink plenty of water throughout the day for this purpose as well. Dehydration from lack of water can lead you to feeling drained, and you may try and make up for this by eating more than you would otherwise. You don’t need to live off of salads; you just need to eat what you normally eat in less quantity. Try to avoid eating out too much, as restaurant foods are typically highly caloric and most folks tend to overeat when they’re out. Ask for your food to be wrapped to-go so you can split one large meal into two or three.

image courtesy google imagesYou must avoid late night snacking. Don’t eat any additional meals after dinner, no matter how late you’re up (this goes for Saturday night after-party munchies and pizzas as well). If you are up late working and must snack, choose healthy options like fruit (apples will work wonders for keeping you awake!), nuts (excellent for keeping blood sugars stable), or lean protein (e.g. sliced deli turkey).

Watch how much alcohol you’re drinking. Alcohol weight usually goes straight to the jawline and face, and it’s almost instantly distinguishable. Limit your alcohol intake if you want to lose weight and regain a chiseled look. Avoid calorie-rich beer, sugary drinks, and sodas as a general rule.

image courtesy google images

3. Work out

Exercise is important not only for a healthy life but also for a toned figure. You will lose the excess weight through portion control, but you’ll build a better body through exercise. Do what you enjoy– sports, running, lifting, swimming. However, while it’s important to consume enough protein in your diet (via eggs, meat, protein shakes, etc.), do NOT overcompensate. Working out does not give you a free pass to overeat (or eat junk), no matter how much you burned. Also– you don’t need steroids or pills to develop a great figure, only time and dedication.

image  courtesy google images

4. Sleep

Make sure you’re getting enough sleep! That is: 7-8 hours a night. The body needs time to repair from daily wears and tears at night, and a well-rest body is a healthy body. A cup of tea or coffee every day will keep your energy levels up, which can motivate you to hit the gym or spend a few minutes in the kitchen whipping up a nutritious dinner.

That’s really all it takes! Just do it! Good luck!

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image courtesy google images

I’ve had requests from readers to write a post about how to get ride of acne, cure whiteheads and prevent blackheads, and generally promote even-toned, pimple-free skin. If you’ve struggled with acne, like many of us have, you know it’s a frustrating, mind-boggling, and seemingly never-ending process.

Bumps and zits are not just a problem for puberty-stricken teenagers– they’re following us from our teens into our twenties, thirties and beyond. While there is no magic cure for everyone, there are a number of potential causes and useful cures you should be aware of if you are fighting breakouts.

Buckle up and let’s go for an anti-acne ride!

image courtesy google imagesHormones: By my estimate, it’s more than likely your acne is caused by hormonal imbalances. A great option to consider for re-balancing your hormone levels is low-dose birth control pills (e.g. ortho tricyclin). You’ll need to talk to your doctor about this, but hormonal birth control is a very common treatment for mild to moderate acne. I highly recommend considering this option, as it can be a very effective solution. Additional benefits of the pill include milder, less painful periods and plumper breasts; possible negative side effects include depressive symptoms in the first few months of use and possible water retention or weight gain.

image courtesy gourmet sleuth

Soy: Soy can be an unsuspected culprit behind your greatest skin woes. My recommendation, after having both positive and very negative experiences with soy milk consumption over the course of many years, is to avoid soy. I do not recommend consuming soy products (e.g. soy milk, tofu, veggie burgers) if you have acne– particularly if you find that you are sensitive to the estrogenic effects of soy. Hormonal swings related to soy consumption lead to breakouts and/or painful, heavy periods. The idea is to keep your hormones at a normal, regulated level (which can be done with the help of hormonal birth control); consuming estrogenic foods (soy) will cause your hormone levels to be inconsistent from one day to the next, which can result in acne.

Unfortunately for us, soy crops up even in the least-suspected of places (chewing gum, chocolate, salad dressings, hair detangling sprays, and more), so if you’re trying to be extra cautious, you’re going to have to start reading ingredient labels. I put conscious avoidance of soy so high on this list because it is a primary suspect in the “acne is a modern disease” argument. Our ancestors didn’t have to dodge estrogenic soy lecithin in their chewing gum. Our ancestors didn’t have chewing gum. Just a thought.

image courtesy google images

Diet and exercise: This one is a no-brainer and has already been discussed in great detail on Jolie Asie. Eat healthily, consume as little sugar and alcohol as you reasonably can, exercise in moderation, drink plenty of water. Consume a daily multivitamin and fish oil capsules (rich in Omega-3). Make sure that none of the foods you are consuming are giving you an allergic reaction in the form of acne (i.e. do you have a gluten allergy? Or a dairy allergy?). The manifestation of acne is a way for your largest organ– your skin– to tell you that something internal’s maybe not quite right.

Also, building on the previous point, avoid dairy and meat products that have been produced from animals that are being fed growth hormones. If you are trying to minimize traces of hormones in your cow’s milk, choose skim milk over full-fat milk (hormones reside in fat).

image courtesy google images

Skincare products: I think we tend to place too much importance on the impact our skin care products will have (for better or for worse) on our skin. Seek skin health from within, not from without. However– be sure that you’re not using products that are causing or aggravating your skin problems. Be wary of allergens (e.g. essential oils), overly drying ingredients or formulations (e.g. bar soaps, alcohol-based toners), and unnecessary chemicals (e.g. fragrances). Opt for physical sunblocks (with zinc oxide) as opposed to chemical sunscreens. Also avoid parabens, phthalates, and sulfates when possible. And of course, wash your skin thoroughly morning and night, taking care to remove all traces of makeup every time.

image courtesy google imagesFor those with blocked or clogged pores, an over-the-counter product with a small dosage of retinol (Vitamin A), benozyl peroxide, or a BHA (a beta-hydroxy acid like salicylic acid) may help with healthy cell regeneration and exfoliation. Exfoliate your body regularly with an exfoliating scrub or loofah to prevent a buildup of dead skin cells (which can lead to bacne, or dark spots on the upper back).

A note on prescription medications from dermatologists: it’s my personal opinion that these medicines are too harsh on the skin and do not actually address the “cause” of acne, only the “symptoms”. They may provide an outwardly visible cure,  if you’re lucky, but I’m skeptical about the reasoning behind them and have some concerns about potential side effects, the least of which would be very dry skin and increased sun sensitivity. However! If all else has failed you and you trust your dermatologist to make the right decision for your skin, there’s no reason you shouldn’t consider this route as a viable option.

image courtesy beauty ology

Makeup products: Same rules apply for makeup. Additionally, wash your makeup brushes often with a makeup brush cleanser or baby shampoo. Be aware of whether or not your makeup has chemical sunscreens and/or fragrances in it, as these can cause breakouts in some. When possible, choose makeup that is hygienically packaged (i.e. in a squeeze or pump bottle as opposed to a pot).

image courtesy web md

Be aware of what’s coming in contact with your skin: Don’t. Touch. Your. Face. Like ever. The dirt, oil, and bacteria on your hands will be getting rubbed onto your skin.

Another important one, often forgotten or overlooked: wash your pillow case frequently. I like to rotate my pillow every night so as to use a fresh corner of the pillow when I sleep. Dead skin cells and grease can accumulate on the pillow case, and you could end up smooshing your face into all that for eight hours every night. Keep it clean!

Same goes for your hair– wash it regularly and (like the rule for skincare and makeup products) be sure your shampoo does not contain skin-irritating ingredients. Evidence your hair products may be breaking you out are pimples along the forehead (hairline) or jawline.

image courtesy google imagesConsider environmental factors: If you live in a very dry or cold climate, use a humidifier in your bedroom at night to prevent your skin from becoming too dry. Try and avoid taking too hot showers, as these can also dry out your skin. Be sure to select a cleanser that is not too drying and a moisturizer that can stand up to harsh winter weather or arid summers.

On the flipside, if you tend to have oily skin or live in a humid climate, do not try and dry out your skin too thoroughly, or else you might exacerbate the problem. Use a light, oil-free moisturizer– don’t skip out on it. Combination skin can be oily in the T-zone and dry around the corners of the mouth. Dry skin can bring on acne because the skin starts to overproduce sebum to make up for the dryness, which can lead to clogged pores.

image courtesy google images

Keep calm and carry on: Don’t freak out about your skin condition. Stress will only make it worse. Try and solve the problem in a meditated, well-paced, and thoughtful way. It’s tempting to grab your blackhead extractor and go crazy with it on a late night. Believe me, girls. I’ve been there. It doesn’t help. Relax, go through each of these steps, and do what you can to keep the stress levels low and the hormone levels in balance. “Do no harm” to your skin by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping your skin clean.

image courtesy google imagesAlso– don’t spend another dejected and envious minute starting at photos of celebrities and their impossibly perfect skin. Don’t forget these celebs are wearing professionally-applied makeup and that the movies they’re in are filmed in very careful lighting, and the photos they appear in are usually Photoshopped!

In general, cameras have a way of glazing over blemishes and imperfections– most photos and videos simply do not pick up on things that can be seen with the naked eye, so don’t trust what you see in the media (or on Facebook!) as being a 100% accurate representation of reality, no matter how close the camera is to the woman’s face.

Most importantly, stay positive! It will get better with time and care! In the meantime– a good concealer is your best friend. 🙂 Good luck!

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I’m so very excited to give you guys this wonderful post on applying false eyelashes by my friend Erin.  She’s briefly guest blogged for us before, providing a critique of Penelope Cruz’ makeup at Cannes, and will hopefully continue to guest blog for us in the future!  Erin is one of the loveliest and most makeup-savvy people I know, and I can’t think of a better person to teach our readers about false eyelashes.  So without further ado, here’s Erin!

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I’m excited to be a guest blogger on Jolie Asie, and write about my area of makeup pseudo-expertise: false eyelashes. I started playing with false eyelashes almost 6 years ago, and I have plenty to share from my various failures and successes!

The “Do”s and “Don’t”s of Falsies

Do: adjust strip lashes to the natural length of your lash line

It is rare that the fake eyelashes you buy are the perfect size for your eyes.  Once you open your falsies, hold them up to your eye and measure them against your natural lash line.  Your falsies should be the same length as your natural lash line, so where your lash line stops is where you need to trim.

Don’t: use your eyelash curler on the falsies

The lashes are already curled at a good angle. Plus the curler will have a more intense effect on falsies than on real lashes, and once you curl you won’t be able to reverse it.

Do: use dark tone eyelash glue

The alternative ‘clear’ option sounds like a good thing, but it tends to turn eyeliner into a patchy gray mess.  This option by Duo is inexpensive and works very well!

Don’t: leave for an event or party without tucking your tube of glue into your bag

Nothing is worse than fake eyelashes starting to come off halfway through a party.  You won’t be able to take them off without looking like part of your eyeliner is missing, so it’s a good idea to bring a way to touch up your work.

Do: take time removing your lashes

I have tried a lot of makeup removers, and my favorite is Clinique’s eye makeup remover.  I suggest pressing a cotton pad over each eye for about 30 seconds to loosen up the glue before you carefully pull off the eyelash strip.  After this you’ll need to gently remove glue that was left behind on your lash line.

Don’t: cut the tips off of the falsies to make them shorter

Falsies are tapered at the ends to look natural, and by cutting off the tips you’ll end up with stubby coarse eyelashes!

Do: ask someone you trust to be honest with you how they look

It might take several different pairs and strategies before you find the best way for you to wear false eyelashes, so make sure you have someone to tell you when it isn’t working.

Falsie Fails

For your entertainment, I’ve compiled a set of falsie failures:

Oh the bottom lash falsies, probably a “don’t” in their own right, but see how the inner corner is detached from the lash line — strive to avoid that mistake.

Before I noticed this in pictures, I probably did it a few times! Notice one set is pointing forward and the other one is going straight up — YIKES.

This otherwise decent lash application is marred by bad eyeliner— keep your line neat and straight!

OK now for some wins


Both of these applications are placed well and surrounded by simple make-up to create a “natural” falsie look.


In my opinion the pairs for sale by MAC and Makeup Forever are nice, but not really necessary when there are so many less expensive and completely comparable products. You’ll almost never find the luxury lashes in make-up artist kits, it’s usually good old Ardell.

My favorites:

Sonia Kashuk for Target

Select Forever21 styles – they have better options in the store than online.  Look for more natural looking sets like the one below.

Ardell Demi Wispies – Ardell products are available at most drugstores, but for the best selection try Sally’s Beauty Supply stores or Ulta!

Ardell 110’s

If your eyes are on the smaller side (like mine), I recommend looking for demi eyelashes, which are a bit shorter and more natural looking.  The most subtle and natural way to wear fake eyelashes is individuals or clusters.  This is a slow process, and these are harder to reuse, but I think it’s totally worth it for a big night or if strip lashes are too much for your eyes.

Ardell Duralash Flare


I’ll share the application process that works for me.  I think that there are several good ways to put on lashes — just remember the dos and don’ts!

  1. Apply face makeup as needed and eyeshadow as desired
  2. Line upper rims and lash line with black eyeliner (brown if you’re using brown lashes)
  3. Curl eyelashes, and use one coat of mascara
  4. Enhance your bottom lashes so they aren’t invisible from the side — try a bottom lash mascara like Clinique Bottom Lash mascara!
  5. Bend the eyelashes gently, moving them back and forth to keep their semi-circle shape (this helps prevent corner fly-aways!)
  6. Put dark eyelash glue on the strip, making sure that each end is covered and wait for about 10 seconds before applying
  7. Start at the inner corner of the eye, and hold the strip in place with a finger
  8. Slowly push the strip against your lash line until the end of your lash line
  9. Press the strip down with fingers on the inner and outer corners for 5-10 seconds to make sure it stays in place
  10. Use you finger to lightly push up on the falsie and blend your natural lashes in.
  11. After the glue is dry, I usually go over the lash strip with black eyeliner at the end of the process, to make sure both sides look even and as natural as possible.

If you’re looking for more guidance, I recommend this Youtube video by Kandee Johnson:

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Thanks for a great post Erin!  If you have any specific questions for our false eyelash guru feel free to email them to us and we’ll make sure she gets them!

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I can think of few places where it’s harder to  be beautiful than on a plane.  And, to be honest, if my flight is over 10 hours long I’m never really concerned about how I look.  I just want to survive the flight, be comfortable, and not have my skin break out.  Over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at flying and when reader Sarah asked about beauty tips for the plane, I decided to whip up this fun little guide!

Keep in mind this guide is mostly for if you are going on a long flight.  If you’re going on a short flight, you should probably do the same things you usually do (clothes, makeup, hair, etc.) so you can do something fun right after you land without wasting time changing and putting on makeup.  Just remember to keep well hydrated and moisturized!

Before you go to the airport:

– Moisturize your entire body.  After your take a shower, slather on lotion.  Plane air is incredibly dry, so protect your skin before hand.

– Drink lots of liquids.  There should always be water available to you on a plane, but it’s pretty hard to drink enough water on a plane, so make sure you board the plane well hydrated.

– Dress comfortably.  Yoga pants, leggings, and sweatpants are your friends!  Comfortable jeans are good options too.  Also, remember that airplanes are usually very cold, so wear a couple layers (ex: a t-shirt with a cardigan over it).

Bring in your carry-on:

– a little spray bottle filled with your toner/a little Evian spray bottle/wet wipes for face (just make sure your bottle 100 ml. or less): these products will help you freshen up on the plane and keep your skin moist and hydrated.

– a travel-sized face lotion (also 100 ml. or less.  P.S. 100 ml = 3.4 oz): keeping your skin fresh and moisturized is especially important on a plane because the air is incredibly dry and constantly recirculated throughout the plane.

– a lip balm or chapstick: lips tend to get very dry while on a plane, so don’t forget to bring your favorite chapstick or lip balm with you!  My personal favorites are Aquaphor Healing Ointment and L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Lip Balm Stick.

– a large scarf: you can use this to keep your neck warm or as a makeshift blanket!  I always bring a scarf on a plane for a little extra warmth.

– a toothbrush and mini tube of toothpaste: I always brush my teeth on a plane.  It makes me feel infinitely more fresh and clean.

Plane travel “do’s”:

– drink lots of water.  There should always be water available in the little kitchen area where the stewardesses keep the food carts.  If not, don’t hesitate to ask for water!  It should always be available to you (except during takeoff and landing).

– try to relax as much as possible.  Listen to soothing music or put in a pair of earplugs to relax and forget where you are.  Try and get some sleep.  If you can’t sleep, still try and get some relaxation by shutting your eyes or using an eye mask.

– stretch and move around.  If there’s no turbulence and you’re allowed to get out of your seat, get up and walk some where.  Maybe go to the bathroom or go get a drink of water.  Also, try and do some simple stretches.  This will get your blood flowing and keep your body from getting stiff and achy.  If you aren’t allowed out of your seat, do some arm stretches while sitting down.

– freshen up.  When you’re feeling particularly gross or haggard, go to the bathroom and freshen up!  (Make sure you’re allowed out of your seat at the time).  Splash some water on your face and use the toner/spray/wet wipes to clean any travel grime off your face.  Then lotion up.  Moisturize any dry patches of skin on your body as well.  Also, if you brought a toothbrush, brush your teeth to feel extra refreshed!

Plane travel “don’t’s”:

– don’t wear a lot of makeup (or any at all).  Trust me, I’ve worn makeup on long flights before and it’s always a mistake.  You don’t get to freshen up and your makeup invariably becomes a mess by the time you land, making you look worse than you would have without makeup.  Also, your skin is more easily irritated on a plane because of the recirculated air and overall dryness.  A fresh and clean face has less chance of being negatively affected by plane circumstances.

– don’t drink alcohol.  I know a lot of people like to drink on planes to fall asleep, but don’t do it.  Alcohol dehydrates you and that’s the very last thing you want.

– don’t wear a heavy fragrance.  You (and everyone around you) will thank me.  On a long flight, a heavy fragrance (no matter how much you love it) will end up irritating your senses.  If you want to wear a fragrance, wear a gentle, relaxing scent like lavander.

Finally, stay positive.  No matter how much time drags on, your flight will land!  Try not to get too frazzled or stressed.  Relax and entertain yourself.  That way you’ll be refreshed and ready to enjoy your trip when you land!

P.S. if you’re packing, check out my post on what travel bags!

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Navigating the world of vitamins and supplements can be confusing. Here’s my advice for the vitamins you should be including in your daily routine for healthier, softer, and smoother skin and hair!

If you are not already including vitamins in your health regimen, I strongly advise you start. While eating a healthy diet can provide much of the nutrients you need for the day, we are not always able to get our necessary servings of fruits, vegetables and proteins in on an exacting basis. A daily multivitamin can help fill in the gaps. I recommend One A Day Women’s Multivitamins. It’s specially formulated for women to include the needed amounts of calcium and Vitamin D; it also includes Vitamins A, C, copper, and iron, among other nutrients, to support healthy skin. I take my One A Day at night after dinner. Because it has iron, do not take it on an empty stomach!

For added benefits, I include a Vitamin B-Complex with Vitamin C supplement in the morning. The B vitamins are very important for reducing inflammation, acne, and other skin disorders. It is also great for metabolism and an incredible energy booster. It is so effective at providing energy, in fact, that if I take it later in the day (afternoon or evening), I’ll be up at night, wide awake as an owl!

The added Vitamin C is wonderful for immune support; its anti-oxidant powers are crucial for glowing, bright skin. Vitamin C is also important for building and supporting collagen.

Perhaps the most significant member of my medicine cabinet is fish oil. Since I started taking fish oil- one capsule in the morning, another at night- my skin and hair have improved wonderfully.

My hair, once coarse and prone to split-ends despite copious conditioning and care, is now soft, completely frizz-free, and super healthy! I often don’t even need to use conditioner, it’s that smooth! My skin, which would suffer from the cold and harsh winters from incredibly dryness, now is completely moisturized from within. Even moisturizer is barely necessary for me. I would recommend fish oil for absolutely anyone who has dry skin or dry hair to transform themselves to radiant goodness!

Fish oil is also a popular supplement for acne-sufferers; it can regulate the production of oil in the skin to achieve a healthy balance, clearing up pore blockage and regulating combination skin.

Do you take vitamins and supplements? Let us know your results!

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The process of buying a watch, like buying anything else, depends on tons of factors: style, price preference, trends, and of course a good bit of luck.  Watches take on further complexity when you take into account 1) the sheer volume of watch options in the world and 2) the fact that most people want to purchase a watch that will last and that they’ll like for many years to come.

While I am, by no means, an expert on watches, I recently went through the process of picking out a watch for myself – a watch that I know will last me many years to come.  I did loads of research (it sounds like a drag, but I actually love doing shopping research) and learned a lot about watches.  I also learned that there is a lot more to learn (isn’t that always the case?).  So, I decided to write this guide.  It’s not for watch aficionados who, no doubt, know much more than me.  This guide is for beginners, people buying a watch for the first time or needing to purchase a new one but don’t know too much about the watch world.

Basic Terminology

Battery Powered Quartz Watch: This is your basic battery powered watch that comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes, colors, prices, brands, etc.

Mechanical Watch: A watch that uses a mechanical mechanism to measure the passage of time instead of a battery (i.e. a watch that you wind).  Mechanical watches are priced higher than battery-operated watches and are usually only made by high-end watch makers.

Automatic Watch: A type of mechanical watch that winds itself based on the natural movement of the wearer’s arm.  Automatic mechanical watches are the most finely-crafted and highly-priced watches on the market.

Analog: Watch that shows time using hour and minute hands as opposed to a digital readout.

Bezel: Ring that surrounds the face of the watch.  This is oftentimes decorative.

Chronograph: Watch that includes a built-in stopwatch function.

Crystal: The transparant cover of a watch face.  It can be made of crystal, synthetic sapphire, or plastic.  High-end luxury watches use sapphire crystal, which is highly resistant to scratches.

Watch Shapes

There are four basic watch shapes: pictured L to R Rotunde (round), Tank (rectangular), Tonneau (barrel shaped), and Square.

Brief Tier Breakdown

Watches are broken down into many price tiers; here’s a very basic breakdown of those tiers:

Tier 1: High-End Luxury:  These watches are for true watch lovers and collectors, ranging in price from $5,000 to millions.  Brands include A Lange and Sohne, Alain Silberstein, Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Breguet, Franck Muller, JLC, Parmigiani, Patek Phillipe, Ulysse Nardin, Vacheron Constantin, and more.  If you’re looking for one of these watches, I’m sure your knowledge is above that of my own.

Tier 2: Luxury: These are your recognizable luxury watches, Rolex, Cartier, Breitling, Omega, etc.  These watches (like high-end luxury watches) will last you a lifetime and have value as vintage pieces.  Prices range from $1,000 -$20,000.

Tier 3: Pseudo-Luxury:  These are also recognizable and beautiful watches, just slightly less value-holding than luxury pieces.  Brands like Raymond Weil, Tag Heuer, Longines, and Baume & Mercier.  Prices range from $500-$4,000.

Tier 4: Basic Luxury Watches: These watches are beautiful, durable pieces but may not last you a lifetime.  Brands include Movado, Epos, and Oris.  Prices stay below $1000 usually.  Also in this tier are fashion watches.  These are watches made by fashion brands like Gucci, Burberry, Marc Jacobs, instead of traditional watch-making brands.  They’re less reliable than watches from traditional brands, but they’re quite stylish and certainly not low quality.

Tier 5: Quality Traditional Watches:  These aren’t considered “luxury” but they’re well-made by well-known watchmakers with a tradition in watch creation.  Brands include Bulova, Seiko, Citizens, Casio, Swatch, and Timex.  These watches will range from $100 to $400, but you can often find great deals on them.  They’ll tell your time for a long time!

Tier 6: Basic Watches:  These watches are decorative and functional, but they’re not meant for the long haul.  Still with prices running around $50, you can afford to switch them up often!  Popular brands include Anne Klein, Kenneth Cole, Nixon, etc.

Basic Steps to Successful Watch-Buying

Step 1: Decide on a price tier and preferred watch style/shape

Know what you want before you go to buy.  Do your research, try on different shapes, band types, materials, and brands.  Then set some basic parameters for yourself (ex: I want to purchase a Tank-shaped watch with a metal band in the pseudo-luxury or luxury price range).  After your parameters are set, you’ll have more direction (ex: Given my parameters, I’ll look at Cartier Tank and Longines DolceVita watches).

Step 2: Look at multiple retailers before making a purchase

Let’s say you decide you’re going to buy a Longines DolceVita watch.  Do not buy it at the first store you go to.  Check out a few different stores (say a Longines official store, a large department store watch department, a small family-owned jeweler, and online).  You never know when you’ll stumble upon a good deal.  Small family-owned jewelers oftentimes have better deals than official stores, and there are some reliable online retailers that offer great discounts.  Danqing’s Tip: check your local Costco for great deals on a variety of watches, including luxury brands.

Step 3: Check the watch you select thoroughly

Once you’ve chosen to buy a specific watch, check it over thoroughly.  Make sure you’re purchasing your watch from a reputable dealer.  Look for scratches and any wear and tear.  Ask for a new battery if you’re buying a battery-powered watch.

Ask these questions:

– Is my watch water resistant?  Up to how many meters?

– Does my watch have a warranty?  For how many years?  What are the warranty stipulations?

– Does my watch include any free services?  (Battery changes, cleaning, etc.)

Step 4: Make sure your watch is sized correctly

The salesperson should help you with this (and if you purchase a watch with a leather band, disregard this step) but make sure the watch is sized comfortably for you.  Then, enjoy your new purchase!

I hope this was helpful, and if any of you have your own tips to share please comment!

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My most favorite addition to my skincare arsenal has been my homemade, natural facial serum using essential oils. Instead of blowing money on expensive night creams full of chemicals, fragrance, and other junk whose names I can’t pronounce, I decided to tailor-make my own serum for my individual skin needs.

Making your own night serum to use as a moisturizer is wonderful for so many reasons: it’s cost-effective, it’s fresh, it’s all natural, it’s FULL of healthy vitamins and skin healing and protecting properties, and best of all, you can choose the ingredients!

Essential oils are sold in tiny little bottles; basically, they’re concentrated extracts of plants and herbs. Essential oils contain vitamins like A, C, and E along with the unique properties associated with the organic material. Different essential oils suit different skin types; for instance, frankincense and rose are brilliant for aging, mature skin, while tea tree and lavender are famous for treating acne-prone skin.

So how do you make an essential oil serum? It’s super easy.

Step 1: First, do a little Googling about essential oils (EO) that are appropriate for your skin type. There’s lots of resources around the internet to learn more about the EO that’s right for you; for starters, click here and here. Pick two essential oils you want to include in your serum.

What do I use? Helichrysum essential oil and carrot seed essential oil. After very thorough research I chose these two oils for my young, sensitive, slightly hormonal skin to heal it now and protect it from wrinkles in the future. I also chose these two oils to preserve my even skintone and a radiant glow.

After you’ve picked your two essential oils, choose a base carrier oil. This is the main oil you will add your drops of essential oil to; your base carrier oil makes up the bulk of your serum. I use almond oil, a gentle, protective oil that is not greasy, sinks in to my skin well, and provides me a healthy dose of vitamin E to boot.

Step 2: Now you’re ready to order your essential oils and base oil. I trust Ananda Apothecary for all my EO needs- they are reliable, fast, secure, and carry excellent quality materials! I also ordered from Ananda a cobalt-blue dropper bottle to store my EO serum in.

Step 3: When your EOs have arrived, use this formula to create your facial serum:

Keep your serum at a 2% dilution of essential oils (i.e. helichrysum and carrot seed) in the base oil (almond oil).

This means you will add 12 drops of essential oil total per ounce of base oil. So, 6 drops of helichrysum essential oil and 6 drops of carrot seed essential oil in one ounce of almond oil. Remember, with EOs, less is more- they are extremely potent. I like to store my EO bottles in a spare fridge and make the serum one ounce at a time for freshness.

I keep the serum in my vanity drawer. Do not store your serum where it can be hit by direct sunlight or exposed to too much heat or cold.

That’s all there is to it! Massage the serum into your skin after you’ve washed your face at night, and see the beautiful skin results! My skin absolutely loves my moisturizing serum and my skintone looks better than ever since I started using it!

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