3 Smart Travel Tips

Learn how to look your best for travel photographs, select clothing for travel, and save space when packing for wrinkle-free clothes, from Eva Scrivo, author of Eva Scrivo on Beauty: The Tools, the Techniques, and Insider Knowledge Every Woman Needs to Be Her Most Beautiful, Confident Self.

Look your best for photographs
Unlike photographs taken at events such as weddings or reunions, pictures from a vacation usually do not capture us looking our best. Yet we show them off for years to come. If you know you will be photographed at a special destination or a picturesque spot, make sure that your clothing does not clash with the backdrop. During my trip to India, on the day I visited the Taj Mahal I wore a cream-colored top and scarf that I knew would look great in the photo with the surroundings. This may sound like compulsive planning, but being photographed at one of the wonders of the world is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I knew that I was going to have those photos forever. You will be thankful for years to come by making sure that at times like these you are wearing something flattering and your hair and makeup look good.

Smart packing tip 1: How to select clothing for travel
Plan ahead and lay out your wardrobe on the bed to begin the “editing” process. I place my shoes on the floor near my potential outfits so that I can mix and match and see how everything works together. Omit items that you can do without to avoid overpacking. Think about ways to maximize what you have by pairing things and layering them, which should allow you to pack even less. For instance, bring a cardigan that can work with a skirt, pants, and a dress. Select a blouse that is versatile enough to go with the pants and the skirts you are bringing. And choose a pair of shoes that look good with all your outfits. Always pack flats for walking and heels for going out to dinner.

Smart packing tip 2: The space-saving, wrinkle-free packing solution
Because I often travel for work, I have gotten packing down to a science. Here is the most effective way to fit more items into carry-on luggage and ensure that they will not be wrinkled upon arrival. Instead of folding each garment, lay them out on top of each other and roll them into one large, compact parcel. Start with one article of clothing and smooth it out on a flat surface. Be sure to smooth away any wrinkles with your hands, since creases will lock into the fabric once it is packed. Place another piece of clothing on top of that one and smooth it out, and so on, stacking them like pancakes until you have assembled a nice flat stack. Fold in the sleeves on top of the pile and carefully roll the entire stack inward, as if it were a yoga mat, into one big roll. Your shoes (tucked in shoe bags) should be placed around the perimeter of your suitcase, with the roll of clothes in the middle. Compress it with your hands before closing the bag. Upon arrival, you will be surprised at how smooth your clothes have remained.

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Home Beauty Remedies That Really Work

Thirteen favorite do-it-yourself beauty treatments that are both easy and inexpensive, from actress and Dancing with the Stars alumna Lisa Rinna, author of Rinnavation: Getting Your Best Life Ever

  • To lighten age spots, mix the juice of 1 lemon, 1 lime, 2 tablespoons of honey, and 2 ounces of plain yogurt together in a bowl. Yogurt contains a natural bleaching property. Rub the mixture into each spot, including sun-damaged cleavage. Do this several times before you need to attend a big event, and your skin will look even and gorgeous.
  • To make my absolute favorite face tightener and pore minimizer, beat 1 egg white to a froth. Apply the foamy liquid to your entire face, focusing on problem areas around the jaw, eyes, and forehead. Let it dry completely (about ten minutes), then gently rinse and pat dry.
  • To combat under-eye bags — there are many tried-and-true remedies for this problem — try placing cucumber slices, raw potato slices, moistened tea bags, or chilled spoons over each eye. Leave them on for ten minutes or so, then check your results. Repeat until bags disappear.
  • To reduce puffiness around the eyes: Preparation H is an old tried-and-true prescription for shrinking eye puffiness. It works, but some people find the ointment greasy and/or are put off by its smell (or just the idea of it). I am one of those people. Someone told me to try Tucks pads, and guess what? They work just as well as Preparation H and are odor and grease-free. You can use them on your neck, jaw line, or forehead — any place that needs quick tightening.
  • To make a fantastic moisturizing mask, mash up an avocado and apply it to your face. You’ll look scary while it’s on, but after removing it with warm water you’ll see that it works.
  • To make my excellent exfoliator, mix a few tablespoons of sugar with a few tablespoons of olive oil or water, if you have acne-prone skin. Gently massage the mixture all over your face. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
  • To make a gentle exfoliator, make a paste of baking soda and water and rub the mixture all over your skin. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry.
  • To make a clay mask – which is great for pulling toxins out of your skin — some facialists use (I kid you not) 100 percent clay kitty litter. (I told you I’d try anything!) It contains the same ingredients that are in the expensive clay masks. Make a paste of the clay by mixing it with water, and apply to your skin. Let it sit until it hardens, and then rinse with warm water and pat dry.
  • To make your own collagen booster, mash 1 cooked carrot with 1 avocado, then add 1/2 cup heavy cream and blend. Apply the cream to your face and neck and leave it on for fifteen minutes. Then rinse with cool water. The beta-carotene in the carrot, the vitamin E in the avocado, and the calcium in the heavy cream combine to boost collagen levels, lighten age spots, and improve overall skin tone. Do this once a week for a month and your face will glow.
  • To use oils to your advantage: coconut oil is a miracle moisturizer on dry hair, nails, feet, you name it. Olive oil is a legendary Mediterranean beauty secret for supple, soft skin — rub it on your skin, your feet, and your nails. To condition and repair damaged hair, combine 1/2 cup of olive oil and 2 to 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary and let it sit overnight. The next day, remove the rosemary, and massage the oil into your hair; let it soak in for ten to fifteen minutes, and rinse with warm water. Then shampoo to get rid of the oil residue. Sesame oil is another great all-over body moisturizer. Neutrogena makes a body oil that is super light and smells heavenly; apply it to damp skin after you shower for a smooth, subtle sheen that also accentuates muscle tone and enhances a tan. Right before I step onto the red carpet, I like to rub a little lavender oil on my arms and legs. It smells great, and it makes my skin soft and silky.
  • To make a lip exfoliator — you should try to exfoliate your lips once a week to get rid of dead skin and plump them up — mix a paste of honey and sugar and rub the mixture on your lips. Then use a toothbrush to slough off the dead skin.
  • To make an instant lip plumper, simply rub cinnamon on your lips. It’s that easy.
  • To make my ultra hand moisturizer, blend 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon of honey, 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 2 drops of lemon essential oil. Use it every time you wash your hands and your hands will be silky smooth in no time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lisa Rinna, author of Rinnavation: Getting Your Best Life Ever (Copyright © 2009 by Lisa Rinna), is an award-winning actress and television host, best known for her roles on Days of Our Lives and Melrose Place, as well as her co-hosting duties on Soap Talk, her appearances on Dancing with the Stars, and her red-carpet interviews on the TV Guide Network. She is the creator of a line of dance-themed exercise DVDs called Lisa Rinna Dance Body Beautiful, and she runs her own successful boutique, Belle Gray, with her husband, actor Harry Hamlin, with whom she has two daughters, Delilah and Amelia.

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Fish Oil, A Real Magic Bullet for Radiant Skin

Supplements can be controversial, but as Kat James, the author of The Truth About Beauty, found, fish oil is one nutrient you can count on for real results for healthy skin and hair.

OMEGA FATS AND BEAUTY: A LOVE STORY
My very first, leap-of-faith, life-saving supplement regimen included fish oil, which — combined with alpha-lipoic acid and milk thistle — not only healed my sick liver (food couldn’t do it, as I had already been eating the healthiest way I could) but also completely transformed my skin and my moods. This was back at the dawn of the nineties, more than a decade before fish oil became known to the general public. Today, there are hundreds of studies on omega-3 oils showing dramatic reductions in everything from anger and anxiety to depression, from risk of sudden heart attack to insulin resistance, and from joint inflammation to bone loss and much more.

On the beauty front, the skin, weight loss, and hair benefits of fish oil and omega-3s has now been confirmed in dozens of published studies, showing significant improvement in nearly all major skin diseases involving inflammation, including eczema, psoriasis, and even sunburn. More recent studies confirm that fish oil protects against UV radiation, reducing the skin’s responses to both UVA (blistering) and UVB (redness) radiation. The anti-aging and even damage reversing effect from fish oil was confirmed in a study published in the Journal of Lipid Research.

The effect on my own skin from fish oil was nothing short of amazing. Within a couple of months of starting this regimen, my skin literally “forgot” that it had been continually irritated, prone to horrible rashes on my eyes and chin, and unquenchably dry all my life. It forgot that it needed heavy-duty lotions in order not to crawl with discomfort after every bath and shower. The space between my brows, the crannies on the sides of my nose, and my legs all failed to attend to their constant scaling. Dryness and inflammation had “left the building” along with my need for body moisturizers. I almost forgot to remember these things as they ended, but I’ll never forget what it was like to take for granted that I would have those problems for the rest of my life and then learn I was wrong.

My hair was transformed dramatically from my fish oil regimen, too. It went from being super-brittle, coarse, and dull to being glossy and silky, enabling me to grow it out long (and have it actually grow downward instead of outward) for the first time since my childhood. Beyond the fact that hair is a biological appendage of the skin (which is why people with oily skin have oily hair, and people with dry skin have dry hair), there are other possible explanations for fish oil’s effects on the hair. Hair health is particularly vulnerable to hormone imbalances and compromised circulation (many hair loss remedies focus on that). Stress is another cause for changes in the hair (alopecia areata, or temporary, nonhereditary hair loss, is caused by stress or trauma). Because omega-3s and fish oil have been proven to increase circulation, reduce the impact of stress, and help balance hormone activity, they offer proven benefit in each of these important contributors to hair health.

FISH VS. FLAX OIL
Several studies have compared the actions of fish oil to plant-based omega-3 oils and have found that fish oil supplementation more effectively raises the body’s levels of EPA and DHA (the components responsible for most of the documented health benefits). Getting EPA and DHA from flax oil requires a conversion by the body, which many people do not efficiently make. Still, flax is better than not supplementing with omega-3s at all (so strict vegans might be able to get all their omega-3s from flax, but might also be biologically challenged in converting it to anti-inflammatory compounds). Molecularly distilled fish oils are the gold standard in supplementation recommended by more and more mainstream, as well as alternative, MDs. Avoid cheap drug store brands. Ironically, getting all your fish oil from fish could give you unwanted outcomes unless you are careful about avoiding mercury, as high mercury levels not only contribute to heart problems but are also known to cause hair loss.

I have taken fish oil for nearly two decades now, with few interruptions. And those interruptions are valuable reminders of what it was like to live in both the physical and emotional discomfort in my own skin. Fish oil is unquestionable proof that real “magic bullets” sometimes do exist.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nationally renowned beauty and holistic health expert Kat James, author of The Truth About Beauty: Transform Your Looks And Your Life From The Inside Out (Copyright © 2007 by Kat James), transformed her body and skin beyond recognition after a twelve-year eating disorder and the resulting liver disease nearly took her life. Through her book, national health columns, public television special, lectures, and acclaimed Total Transformation® programs, she has helped millions to mastermind their own healing transformations using science and strategy rather than suffering or extreme measures. James came to know the inside of the beauty industry from her many years as one of the most quoted experts and cosmetics-company spokespersons of the 1990s, and now offers a rare new perspective on enlightened, holistic self-transformation. Her advice has appeared in nearly every major women’s and national health magazine, including Vogue and O, The Oprah Magazine, as well as on the Today show. She is founder of www.informedbeauty.com and creator of Total Transformation® programs. Her clients have included celebrities such as Kate Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker and world-class athletes.

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