Hair Extension Methods, Which One Is Right for You?

Hair extensions are perfect for transforming and enhancing a woman’s beauty to that of a goddess. As a hair stylist, I’ve tried different types of extensions, and it can be quite confusing choosing a system that is suitable for you. There are so many factors to take into consideration, and it is best to know the different methods because not all hair extensions work for everyone; the results are determined on the type of extensions and the methods used to apply them. But with lots of options out there, how do you figure out what method is right for you?

Below are the hair extension methods, advantages and disadvantages from someone who has tried them all.

Sew-in:

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Sewn-in hair extensions are perfect for those with thick, coarse or curly hair that’s able to handle them.  They are cost-effective, easy to maintain and also stress-free to remove. Your hair is plaited tightly into braids to build a foundation for the hair extensions to be sewn and attached using a thread and needle. Not all hair types can withstand the stress from the braiding, so this method is not for everybody; most often there is a need to have the hair retightened which requires serious upkeep and salon visits throughout the four months of its durability.

Advantages:

· Most appropriate for thick hair.

· You can use silicone-based or oil  hair products

· There is no need to use glue or heat when applying.

Disadvantages:

· This method can take some hours to fix up.

· Unless regularly washed, the extensions can get dirty causing health problems.

· Due to the tight nature of the application, the extensions can be painful afterwards.

· This method has limited options to style hair

Clip-ins

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Clip-ins are hair wefts that are attached to a clip. They come in many different sizes so they can be placed around the head and are ideal to use when you need an instant hair fix and can easily be removed. This method takes a short amount of time to fix and can add length and volume. Clip-ins can be washed and styled just like your hair.

Clip-in extensions are ideal if you use don’t use hair extensions every day.

Advantages

· With clip-ins, you can fix and remove them as you like.

· You can quickly change your style or hair color often.

· You can easily fix it yourself, no need going to a professional stylist.

Disadvantages

· This method of hair extensions are not ideal for fine hair because the clips might be too heavy to wear.

· Clip-in extensions must be detached before bedtime as they cannot be fixed to your hair for long periods of time.

· Only with proper maintenance and care can clip-in hair extensions last long

Micro link

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Micro links also known as micro locks or beads are gentle to fix and easy to remove. This is a process where your hair strands are pulled through microbeads or locks with a strand of extension and fastened shut with hair extension pliers.

This method doesn’t use heat or glue when applying. However, you should avoid using conditioner near the bead to prevent slipping of the hair extension.  This method lasts about four to six months so you will have to come in every couple of months to retighten your hair extensions. If you want to dye your hair extensions and use heat styling applications, this is probably the best option.

Advantages

· No glue or heat is used to fix the hair, and this method of hair extension is durable and can be used for six months.

· It is reusable

· Hair extensions that have fallen off can easily be reattached in some minutes to an hour by a professional stylist.

Disadvantages:

· This method does not work well with thin hair because the beads and locks might be visible.

· It takes within 2-5 hours to fix which is time-consuming.

· Microlinks can be noticeable or slip off if they are not appropriately placed

· There’s a tendency to experience itchy scalp or discomfort after application.

· This method can cause hair damage and breakage if done wrongly with someone other than a qualified hair technician.

Tape-in

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Tape-in is the most popular method of hair extensions that if correctly applied and cared produces incredible results with the added advantage of reusing it many times over.

Tape-ins takes a short amount of time to install the extensions and can add more volume and thickness. The hair extensions are applied with a heated appliance that heats up a thin strip of glue that is on the hair weft, and your hair is put between two wefts and fastened to create a seal. This hair extension method although costly can be used for up to 6 months without any serious maintenance work although you can choose to have them removed and reinstalled every six to eight weeks.

You also have to be careful using oils or heavy conditioners because that can cause your hair extensions to slip off.

Advantages:

· This method of hair extension is suitable for Suitable for thin, fine hair as they are practically flat and unnoticeable.

· Tape-in is the easiest and fastest as it takes from 30-60 minutes depending on the length and volume of application.

·  A very safe method of extension that doesn’t cause breakage or hair damage.

· You can reuse your hair extensions using this method provided the extensions are taken care of properly.

Disadvantages:

· You have to wait 48 hours before washing your hair as the weft needs some time to stick properly to your hair.

· Avoid oil or silicon-based products as they can easily cause the extensions to slip off if applied on the adhesive.

Fusion

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Fusion extensions are one of the more costly extensions and are ideal for people looking to add more volume and length while they have hair extensions. This is done using keratin bonds and a heating appliance.  The hair stylist uses the heating tool to melt the keratin glue, and then your hair is placed and fastened between the melted keratin. To allow the natural movement of your hair, the bonds are fixed close to the root of your hair.

It takes about two to three hours to have a complete head of extensions and these can last about four months.

Advantages

· This method of hair extensions is suitable for coarse, thick hair.

· They are very natural looking

· Durable and can last up to 6 months with proper care and maintenance

Disadvantages:

· Fusion takes longer time for applications, with an average time between 2-5 hours.

· Requires heat to install the hair extensions which can be risky for both your hair and the stylist’s hands

· Not reusable.

· Can cause itchy scalp or discomfort a few weeks after fixing an extension.

· Must be done by a professional hair technician to avoid hair breakage or damage.

Above are some of the most popular methods of hair extension available, which hair extension method have you tried? Which one is most suitable for your hair?

Fall Fitness Fashion Ideas

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The arrival of the fall season ushers in cooler weather, cozy evenings indoors, the luscious scent of pumpkin spice, and more. As the days begin to grow shorter, and evenings become cooler, you may find yourself less motivated to want to leave the comfort of home to work out. However, simple active wear style tips will help keep you comfy and warm, allowing you to power through your workout despite colder temperatures.

 

From the fitness studio to the streets

 

Athleisure is a simple, versatile and relaxed approach to fall fashion. The ever-popular yoga-inspired looks of leggings and comfy pullovers are multipurpose enough to take any look from the gym to the streets with the addition of simple accessories. A stylish scarf can easily dress up any simple pullover or sweatshirt. Not the mention, adding a shawl or pashmina to your athleisure outfit will provide extra warmth on those cool fall days. A cute pair of shades or a set of bangle bracelets will also help pull off an effortless athleisure look.

 

Layer up

 

As the summer transitions into autumn, so too should your wardrobe. Just because your cute sun dresses and tank tops are hibernating in the back of your closet doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on your style. Athleisure allows you to create a layered look which is easy to change up and tweak depending on your style preferences. For example, you could wear a colorful mesh workout tank underneath a flowy yoga shrug pullover. Layering various athleisure items allows you to mix and match different pieces to create a signature fitness look.

 

Keep it simple

 

Minimalism in fashion is very much on trend. Monochromatic looks either in a black, white, or various shade of grey give off an uncomplicated, easy vibe. Pulling off a monochromatic look is simple when including various fabrics and textures. Black mesh-insert leggings show off a bit of skin while keeping your legs warm. Pair a chunky cable knit sweater along with sporty sneakers in a similar black shade to pull off a harmonious unicolor look.

 

Experiment and expand your style

 

As athleisure has become a staple in the fashion world, many clothing brands now design and manufacture athletic-inspired clothing items in various sizes, fabrics, colors, and designs that appeal to everyone. These days, you will be sure to find everything from yoga pants, sports bras, sweatshirts, and sneakers that will appeal to your style and preference. As athleisure articles are fairly easy to come by, feel free to experiment with new colors, cuts, and designs. For instance, if you find yourself always gravitating towards black leggings, take a fun fashion risk and try out leggings in a fall-appropriate hue such as burgundy or deep navy. Chances are, you will be thoroughly delighted with a little extra (pumpkin) spice to your autumn athleisure wardrobe.

Office Outfits You Need To Help Fight The Heat This Summer

It’s summer, and it is hot. Unfortunately for many, the heat that comes with the summer months doesn’t mean lounging around the pool or the beach in swimwear, lapping up the sun. Instead, the majority of people are still holed up in the office working those long hours that should only be enforced in the winter months. Unfortunately, having to work means that most people have to dress up in their professional attire, causing the heat to affect you further. However, there are some amazing summer work outfits out there that can make you feel as though you are lying in the sun rather than typing away at the computer. Have a look at some of these cute summer outfits that will help you withstand heat.
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Mid Length Skirt

A loose skirt on a summer’s day allows for the maximum airflow needed, while the mid length allows you to avoid sweaty thighs sticking the seat you have been stuck on for what feels like forever. High waisted skirts allow for you to keep that professional look in the office, whilst ensuring you look glam when you leave. For the perfect style to match your flair, You can find a range of professional summer skirts to match to your desire and style. Match your new skirt with a plain black or white tee, and you will have the perfect summer office look.

 

Capri Pants

Most people think of their parents when Capri pants are mentioned, but really, this style can be perfect for the office. The wide leg prevents the stickiness that comes with skin tight clothing, while the length, once again, offers maximum airflow when it is too hot (it is all about airflow in summer!). Capri pants may be considered casual wear in some circles, but brands such as Alfred Dunner and American Apparel provide the perfect combination of comfort and professionalism when looking to purchase a pair of capri’s for the office. Matching these pants with a nice blouse and a pair of heels can dress the outfit up further and ensure you are the envy of the office.

 

Floral Dress

It’s not summer if you don’t don that floral dress. For the perfect office attire where you still look chic, a floral dress is all you need. Match this with a pair of ballet flats, or even a pair of heels and you will have the perfect outfit for your summer day at work. For style inspiration and for the perfect dress and ways to wear florals there are so many options sure to fit your budget. The floral print will help you forget you are working away, whilst always ensuring you look wonderful for any after work drinks that may take place.

 

There are so many options on ways to spruce up your summer work attire, while still looking glam, chic and being the envy of the office. These are just a few tips to give you inspiration, but there are so many other ideas out there to help you accessorise your summer outfit perfectly. Just have a play around with your favourite styles and accessories to see what suits you best.  

How to Save Money Shopping for Diamonds Online

How to Save Money Shopping for Diamonds Online

 

Most people think buying diamonds online may be too risky as they are not able to actually see it themselves. There are a lot of reputable diamond stores online offering the best prices as opposed to land based jewelry shops. Reputable jewelers provide images and or sometimes videos of their diamonds with a precise descriptions and certifications.

 

One thing that makes online diamonds advantageous is the availability of a wide selection. People looking for a specific variant or those who would like to acquire a certain carat and size can easily search for what they like. It is also easy to compare credible merchants and the quality of diamonds they offer that fit within your budget.

 

How You Can Save Money on Your Diamond Purchase Online

As with any purchase you do online, it is best to go for respectable merchants and those who have good reviews. These are often the most credible sources of authentic diamonds and something that will give value for your money.

 

Before committing to any transaction, here are some pointers you should consider to save money on your online diamond purchase:

 

  1. Know the vendor before any purchase. This has to be the most important advice you can get before committing yourself to any transaction. Learn how long the company has been in the business and check reviews about the company. Also understand how the merchant provides secure transactions to avoid any possible issues in the future. Check how the diamonds are shipped and what policies do they have in case of returns.
  2. Learn to distinguish between carat and size. This is one common misconception of people who want to buy a diamond. Most people assume that carat correlates to the size of the stone. Diamonds can have a thick girdle or a broad pavilion with the table and crown being small. A diamond’s cut influences its weight and it can be better if you understand all these aspects before getting your hands on a deal.
  3. Wait for markdown prices. Most jewelry merchants have sales events to attract customers. When you are shopping for diamonds online, it is best to check for sales discounts during holidays and special public events such as Mother’s Day, Valentines, and even Christmas. These are the common times when jewelers lower their prices to get people to visit their sites and generate more revenue.
  4. Understand that carat affects the price. Carat price always adds up to the overall price of your diamond. Most people a diamond with a point something value is better than those with a little difference. The problem is that with that little carat increase also adds to the overall value of the diamond. So, choosing a .97 instead of a 1.00 carat would save you more. It is something that only an appraiser can tell the difference.
  5. Go for online stores which offer multi-item discounts. There are online stores that offer this advantage for people who buy several items. Getting your diamond ring along with other jewelries can lessen the total amount of your entire purchase. Buying more than one item usually is better as there are extra discounts.

Hair Makeover Hack: Hair Extensions

When a woman does something pretty drastic to her hair, people are quick to assume that she has just recently gone through a terrible, life-changing event. Sure, you take it out on your tresses when Mr. Right all of a sudden turns into Mr. Scum, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, you simply want to shake things up by changing the way you look. And how easier can it be to do that, than by doing something different to your hair?
Gone are the days when your only options for a hairstyle change were chopping your virgin hair off, coloring it all red, or getting a frizzy perm- or doing all of the above all at the same time!
Now you can turn to human hair extensions for help. They’re made of natural human hair, so they’re as close to the real thing as possible.  They come in different colors, lengths, and textures- straight or wavy. You can finally make changes to your hair, and not be stuck with a bad hairstyle for what seems like eternity.
There are a lot of clip in hair extensions to choose from, whether you’re going out on a fancy date, or simply having casual brunch with a few friends. This one looks really sexy yet classy:
Tape in hair extensions should do the trick when you want to change your look in an instant.  This one in light golden brown is simply stunning.
So the next time somebody breaks your heart and leaves you wanting to shave your head, think again. Get a hair extension instead, and look like the goddess you were meant to be.

Styling Tips for Busy Moms Who Want to Look Classy

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Moms are not just caregivers to their children but also their role models. Being a mom is not an easy task as it requires loads of responsibilities in managing the house, taking care of the kids and their demands and caring for the spouse, and that often leaves us feeling and looking messy or overworked.

When going out, moms have numerous commitments like attending their kid’s school events, meeting clients if they run a business or meeting their boss or friends for lunch, which all call for a decent look.

Studies have proven that looking your best to make a good first impression makes one more persuasive, confident and successful. While being a role model isn’t just about the looks, the way you present yourself does have an effect on the way your growing children view you as to them the world often is how it seems.

Yet achieving a classy look on a tight schedule is possible as looking beautiful can be achieved through organization, and for moms, if they make a little effort to apply the following tips.

  1. Unclutter the unnecessary. Having many unworn clothes in your closet is just a nuisance that you don’t want as it comes in the way of you looking classy and stylish. Instead, rid yourself of those things which you haven’t worn in the past year. The clothes that you should have in your closet should be season appropriate, of good quality and condition and with a great fitting. It’s even better if they go with other clothes that you have. It’s all about quality over quantity.

 

  1. Don’t run after trends. Contrary to popular beliefs, trends are less stylish than classic pieces. Yes, they can be fashionable, but often they are made for women who look young and college going. If you feel that latest trends go with your personality and you are able to actually correctly pull them off then go for it, but if you desire a more mature, expensive and elegant look, leave them for your teenage daughter.

 

  1. Wear the right pants. Be it denim, formal trousers or any fabric, for mothers, a high rise pant where the button sits at the navel with a flat front, will work the best. It will help conceal any bulgy love handles or tummy while lifting the butt and making the legs look longer. Skinny and cigarette styles are the best! Anything paired with sleek pants will look sharp, even if it’s a tank top, as compared to slouchy sweats.

 

  1. Say no to sloppy shoes. Moms are always seen in ugly wide sandals, flimsy flip flops or dirty sneakers, but this look is not going to make you look classy. Wearing shoes takes no time at all, so just buy some chic looking oxfords, pretty ballet flats or stylish sandals with nice details.

 

 

  1. Make uniforms. Divide your main activities into two or three sections and the kind of outfits they demand like semi-formal, formal and glamorous. Then designate clothes to each style according to the activity. A uniform should work on most occasions and will save you ample time once you organize that way. Also do the same with your accessories like hats, scarfs, jewelry, shoes and handbags.

 

  1. Find your signature pick me up. It’s important that every lady has a signature that she always goes to, to primp up her look. It could be a favorite hairstyle, deep colored lipstick, a fresh perfume or a sassy piece of jewelry. For older moms, empowering handbags, pearls, elegant sunglasses and a sleek manicure could be that perfect go to. Whatever it is, your signature pick me up is sure to put a smile on your face when you leave the house.

 

Since it’s a new year, it’s not too late to have some real fashion resolutions that would help you become a new you. The kind of you that is confident and proud to be herself. The kind of you that can go from being a mom of two to a street stunner in quality dressing with just a swish of her hair.

 

Author Bio

Judy Robinson is an enthusiastic blogger who spends her entire day writing quality blogs. She is a passionate reader and loves to share quality content prevalent on the web with her friends and followers. Her forte is Fashion, Fitness and lifestyle, keeping a keen eye on latest trends in those industries. For more updates follow her on Twitter @judyrobinson

Diamonds Are Everyone’s Best Friend

You probably already know that famous Marilyn song from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes that states diamonds are girl’s best friend. But in fact, they are the perfect gift for everyone in your life male, female, young, old traditional or trendy. Read on to find out more, and to get some insight into what sort of diamonds to pick for that special person you are buying for.

 

Good for women

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Of course, women love to receive a diamond as a gift, but why is that? Well, first of all, they are rare and beautiful. So they a are a good way of demonstrating how much you value having them in your life.

They can also be cut in a variety of different styles from a square cushion cut, to a princess cut, and even novelty shapes like hearts. This means that you can usually find a shape that will suit the lady that you are buying for down to the ground. Which is important when you are buying such an expensive gift.

Then there are so many uses for diamonds in jewelry too. They aren’t just the most popular stone in engagement rings, but they also look dazzling in drop earrings, perfect for someone that attends a lot of formal parties.

Or what about a diamond set brooch for an older female relative, to commemorate a birthday? You can even get them in different animal forms which are spot on if Aunt Mabel is really into cats and the like.

Or if you are planning on going the whole hog what about a diamond set necklace? I’m not talking a single solitaire on a chain here. Although these can look both lovely and stylish. But large stones set in such a way to show off their flawless brilliance.

Pieces like this aren’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination! But they are gorgeous and can be treated as a considerable investment for the future as well as just an item of jewelry.

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The there is the classic diamond tennis bracelet. Although I not sure how many folks actually wear these for knocking a few balls over the net? What I do know is that they make a stunning gift that will be truly appreciated by any lady lucky enough to receive them.

Of course, diamonds are expensive, but you will be pleased to know that they not only come in different shapes but also in different sizes, measured in karats. Which means that not only can you usually find one that will make a stunning gift for the special lady in your life, but is also well suited to your price range.

Good for men

 

Diamond jewelry is also an excellent gift for the man in your life. Don’t be fooled, diamonds are beautiful, but they are not always delicate and feminine. In fact, small stones mounted in chunky rings like the ones for sale at frostnyc.com are very masculine and can make the perfect gift for the man’s man that like to dress well.

Of course, rings aren’t the only type of diamond jewelry that is suitable for that special guy in your life. So if they aren’t a big ring wearer, why not get them a watch with diamonds installed in the face or even a tie pin for wearing with their best suit?

 

For the young and trendy

 

Diamonds have been around for ages as fashionable stones, so that means that there is a whole industry set up around them, with its own traditions and styles. But not all diamond jewelry follows tradition.

In fact, there are some very avant-garde pieces, made in angular designs, and even including unpolished diamonds that make a fantastic statement. Which may well be a spot-on a gift for the younger or trendier person in your life.

 

Good as a keepsake gift

 

Something else that diamonds are particularly valued for is their ability to endure. They are, in fact, one of the hardest substances on earth.

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Their enduring quality is much more that a practical benefit, though. It is also symbolic of enduring love and care. Which means a diamond a great keepsake gift for a child’s birthday, a wedding anniversary, or a marriage proposal.

 

Can get vintage for retro people

 

Another reason to consider a diamond as a gift option is that there is now a roaring trade is secondhand or vintage jewelry.

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You can buy vintage items either on the internet or in a brick and mortar shop, and they make the best presents for folks that have a more vintage or retro style like the girls rocking it over at the rockinsocialite.com

 

Let’s Colour! These Bright, Bold Styles Will Look Gorgeous On Any Child

Flickr Photo: Walter
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As the days gradually lengthen, sunny spells grow longer and there’s a little less bite in the morning air.  Our thoughts then turn towards spring. What’s amazing is that kid’s fashion can be classic yet innovative at the same time. Lightweight jumpers, trousers, and t-shirts remain structurally similar, but the fabrics, materials, and colors are completely different to winter. No matter where you live, when spring arrives it brings sunshine, laughter, and lots of outdoor playtime.

Bold Prints

We’re seeing a definite re-emergence of Native American, and Navajo-style prints, geometrics and even bead and feather trims. Kids love the laid back, happy hippie throwback look and will be clamouring to wear cotton tees, bright shorts and bohemian colors like canary yellow, jungle green and sky blue. Tassels, fringing, and embroidery, will also be big on shoes, sandals and even jackets. Think festival fun for little ones but don’t overdo it, a little coat embellishment or a pair of cute feather print shorts is fine but nothing too in your face or messy.

Distressed Denim

The ripped, faded and acid washed look has even filtered down into children’s clothing so your kids will be begging you for cutoff shorts come summer. Double denim also looks awesome on children, think jeans with patches on, checked shirts and sun hats plus child size leather jackets, made from softer tans and with minimal buttons and zips. Look out for a rise in kids boots too in materials like velvet, suede, leather and lace as well as smaller kids versions of the infamous Doc Marten shoe.

Ladylike Lace

Prepare for girly glam to truly take off this year with layers of lace, ribbons and even tulle on girls dresses. Think ballet dancer, movie star and even fairy princess and you’ll be along the right lines. Florals, including leaf, petal and 3D flower patterns are going to be massive all year long, so these beautiful giggle moon dresses are all bang on trend. Cream, white and even blue lace is going to be everywhere, with delicate trousers, dresses and even tops featuring lace, pearl and flower motifs. By summer, color popping maxi dresses, multi layered skirts, and even rainbow sandals are going be on every little girl’s wish list.

Prep School

Most schools in America don’t require students to wear a uniform but thanks to the rising popularity of England’s young royals, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte, the demand for posh, private school style play clothes has become huge. Look out for tailored boys blazers, smart shirts, and Oxford loafers as well as adorable pinafores, cashmere cardigans, and fancy top/skirt combos. While your kids may happily carry satchels, or want to wear tights we think they’ll probably draw the line at ties!

Casual Athletic

Again, thanks to the growing demand for tailored adult sportswear that can be worn to work, dinner and even the gym athletic kids wear is very in vogue right now. While t-shirts, shorts, and tennis dresses are all classic styles, designers are now mixing up modern twists using color blocking, stripes and squares, sequins and bold shades to add flair. Expect to see the shops packed with kids hoodies, basketball shoes and soccer jackets come April.

 

 

Flickr Photo: THOR

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Beauty Essentials: Can’t Live Without Them

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Here is a list of all the beauty essentials that every girl needs.

 

Cleanser

Getting the right cleanser can change your life drastically! They don’t just clean your face and remove dirt from your pores; they also prevent you from having spots in the future!

Exfoliator

Exfoliators are great for really getting into those stubborn areas. They remove dead skin which is very good for keeping your skin looking fresh and soft.

Moisturiser

A good moisture should be applied every day, morning and night. It softens the skin, and there are many out there for all different skin types so there is no excuse not to use it!

Eye Cream

Eye cream is another form of moisturiser, but it focuses solely on the eye area. They can reduce redness, dark under eyes and replenish any damaged skin you may have.

Makeup Bag

Every girl should have a beauty supply case, (if they don’t already!) You are going to need somewhere to keep all your supplies safely together. Not only does this keep everything neatly together in one place, but it also protects your products from the outside world (like dust!)

Foundation

There are all sorts of foundations out there made for different skin colours and skin types. To find the right colour, you have to test them out on your face and neck. Don’t be embarrassed to do this in the middle of a shop – that’s what testers are there for.

Concealer

Concealer is used to cover up any dark, under eye circles. They usually come in a light, medium or dark shade.

Powder

Powders are used to set the face, so any foundation and concealer that you have put on – the (translucent) powder will go over that to hold it in place and keep it there all day.

Blush

Blush is applied to the apples of the cheeks to add that warmth to your face. They mostly come in powder form, but now there are also some cream blushes on the market.

Eyeshadow

Eyeshadows come in all sorts of colours nowadays; there isn’t a colour that doesn’t exist! They can either be in matte (which has no shine to it at all) or shimmer (that has glitter in), and there are also different textures too.

Eyeliner

This is used to line the top and bottom of the lash line. You can change the angle which will give the illusion that your eyes are a different shape. (Like cats eyes.)

Mascara

Mascara is put onto the lashes to make them darker, bolder, thicker and longer. (Depending on what kind of mascara you chose to buy.)

Brow Pencil

These are to fill and shape your brows however you want them. They come in a few different shades so choose one that best matches your natural eyebrow colour.

Lipstick

Lipstick comes in every colour you can think of – even blue! If you want a subtle look, go for a nice nude colour, and if you’re feeling daring, choose a bright red.

 

Coupons for Good: 3 Places to Shop That Give Back

Corporations have considerable weight and pull when it comes to their influence in their communities. They draw people into their stores, online or off, and generate large profits for their shareholders. What is sometimes less known is the fact that corporations also donate to charities. Donating is more than just a vehicle to reduce tax liability; it’s a way to create public good will and give a face to an otherwise faceless entity. Following are large corporations that give to charities while also offering coupons to help customers save money on the products they sell. They are not mutually exclusive, as corporations still give even when customers use coupons.

Saks Fifth Avenue

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Image via Flickr by Nicholas Eckhart

Saks Fifth Avenue donates to hundreds of charities on an annual basis and through various means. Its primary way of donating to charities is through its store credit card. Cardholders are given the option to pick a charity from a list provided in their charge statement. From there, Saks gives 5 percent of the purchases from a given month to the selected charity.

Another way Saks helps charities is by selling items that directly benefit charities through their sale. The corporation stocks merchandise that’s associated with a charity. When the item sells, the vendor donates a set amount from the sale to the stated charity.

Saks itself works with one charity a year in order to focus its efforts. Currently the corporation is working with the Water charity. Water provides clean drinking water to communities without access to safe and clean drinking water. One-hundred percent of all donations from Saks go directly to the charity.

Ann Taylor

This famous women’s clothing line donates money to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). In 2015, Ann Taylor raised $4.65 million for BCRF, and has donated over $26 million since 2005. The donated money goes directly to scientists who are actively engaged in research to fight breast cancer.

Ann Taylor raises money for the charity during annual donation drives through its Ann Taylor and LOVELOFT cards. The card costs $25 and gives the user 25 percent off their purchases for two months at Ann Taylor and LOFT stores. In turn, the corporation donates 90 percent of the purchase price to BCRF.

Williams-Sonoma

Williams-Sonoma is much more than a high-end cookware store. It gives back to the community through various charities that include St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, AIDS Walks in San Francisco, helping communities rebuild after a natural disaster, and through partnerships with its employees. Employees of Williams-Sonoma are encouraged to work with local charities. In turn, the corporation donates money to the local charities, directly affecting the community in a way that an overarching donation can’t. Williams-Sonoma feels strongly about corporate responsibility, and charity is just one of the ways it seeks to reach out to people from all walks of life.

These corporations focus on improving quality of life for individuals and communities around the world. They prove that they are more than just a profit center for shareholders by working on ways to help those who may have never heard of their brand.