The Best Necklines to Flatter Your Shoulders

Fashion necklinesWide shoulders? Narrow shoulders? Get the scoop on which necklines work for you from Amy E. Goodman, author of Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time.

If your shoulders are:
WIDE
Wear tailored sweetheart neckline or U-neck to draw attention to décolletage.
Toss boat neck, scoop neck, thick straps, and wide lapels.

NARROW
Wear sleeveless, puffy sleeves, wide collars, and wide scoop necks.
Toss raglan sweaters, crew necks, dropped sleeves, spaghetti straps, and halters.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy E. Goodman, author of Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time (Copyright © 2011 by Little Professor Productions, LLC, and The Stonesong Press, LLC), is a frequent contributor to the Today show, as well as The View, Good Morning America, The Early Show, CNN, and Movie & a Makeover, among others. A former correspondent and editor for InStyle and senior editor for All You, she is currently an editor at large for Southern Living and fashion trend director for Timex. She lives with her husband and two young children in Washington, D.C.

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The Basic Dress Every Woman Needs

It’s a V-neck, semi-fitted dress, worn with a bold necklace or statement earrings, a bracelet, and heels. Here are eight more details to look for — and 10 to avoid — when shopping for the dress. From Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time, by Amy E. Goodman.

Wear: A V-neck, semifitted dress, worn with a bold necklace or statement earrings, a bracelet, and heels.

  • Shoulder straps or fabric that rests naturally on your shoulders
  • Armholes that fit — no gaping, no constricting
  • A zipper that zips easily. Holding your breath? Size up
  • Seams that lie flat on shoulders, sides, and butt
  • A style that tastefully shows some skin in your décolleté to balance a curvy body
  • Fabric that drapes smoothly, showing off curves without being taut
  • Monochrome color scheme, which is almost always slimming
  • Patterns proportional to your body size. If you’re petite, go for smaller prints; for larger frames, try bigger prints

Toss: A visually detailed dress with busy pattern panels is never a basic choice.

  • Beyond busy prints
  • Horizontal stripes (unless you’re curve-less)
  • Shoulder fabric or straps that dig
  • Unflatteringly stiff fabrics
  • Roomy, shapeless dresses that no longer fit
  • A dress with sky-high shoulder pads
  • Shirt dresses with buttons that pop at the chest
  • Overly appliquéd styles with sequins, paillettes, rhinestones, rosettes, beading, crystals, pom poms, fringe, and shells that visually or actually weigh you down
  • Strapless styles if you have broad shoulders
  • Muu-muus

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy E. Goodman, author of Wear This, Toss That!: Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time (Copyright © 2011 by Little Professor Productions, LLC, and The Stonesong Press, LLC), is a frequent contributor to the Today show, as well as The View, Good Morning America, The Early Show, CNN, and Movie & a Makeover, among others. A former correspondent and editor for InStyle and senior editor for All You, she is currently an editor at large for Southern Living and fashion trend director for Timex. She lives with her husband and two young children in Washington, D.C.

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A Cheat Sheet: The Best Brands and Styles of Jeans for Real Women

There is now more figure-flattering denim available than ever before — are you overwhelmed by the options? This breakdown will help you narrow your search for the perfect pair. From Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time, by Amy E. Goodman.

Citizens of Humanity
KELLY Bootcut – slick denim
AVA Straight-legAccess Hollywood voted this the best straight-leg jean in 2009.
AVEDON Super Stretch Skinny; Avedon Slick Skinny Leg and the Stirrup Skinny Leg — uses their exclusive 818 Super Stretch denim with 35 percent stretchability, standard five-pocket. It’s a jean that wears like a legging and is super soft; 8-inch front rise, 30-inch inseam, 11-inch leg opening. Also available in a stirrup.

Tips and Where to Buy: Creative director Jerome Dahan sews side seams at an angle, not straight, for a slimming effect. Available at www.citizensofhumanity.com

CJ By Cookie Johnson
Debuted with five styles, all with generous rises. Three examples:
FAITH (straight-leg) 9-inch rise, 34-inch inseam, 14-inch leg opening.
TRUTH (high-waist, wide-leg) 10.5-inch rise, 24-inch leg opening, 34.5-inch inseam.
GLORY (pleated jean) 9.25-inch rise, 13-inch leg opening, 23.5-inch inseam.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdales, http://cjbycookiejohnson.com

GAP
1969 CURVY JEANS with boot-cut leg opening — offer a little extra room in the hips, thighs, and seat with a “contoured waistband” that sucks in the hips. Choose ankle, regular, or long inseam.

Tips and Wear to Buy: Available at www.gap.com

HUDSON
CANONBURY Five-Pocket Bootcut — double-button waistband and classic boot-cut fit. 19-inch leg opening, 34½-inch inseam.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.hudsonjeans.com

J BRAND
SCARLETT Curvy Fit Bootcut — fuller in the thigh and high hip, with a contoured waistband that eliminates any waist gap so many women with curves encounter. 18-inch leg opening, 34-inch inseam, 12.5-ounce stretch denim.

Tips and Where to Buy: J Brand is known for a slimmer fit in the leg, dark washes, clean back pockets and jeans without embellishments. Available at www.jbrandjeans.com

JOE’S JEANS
THE HONEY – famous for its fit on voluptuous women. The waistband is “clinched” or cinched in the rear to fit curvy women in the thighs and hips, and particularly their bottoms, so no back gap. 18¾-inch leg opening.
THE SKINNY HONEY — 12½-inch leg opening.
THE MUSE — high waist that lands just below the belly button to hold in the tummy. A “lower than usual high waist” and subtle pockets to “stop any undesirable extra curves that many highwaist fits present.” Boot-cut leg with 19-inch leg opening, 34-inch inseam, 9-inch rise.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.joesjeans.com

LEVI STRAUSS & CO.
TOTALLY SLIMMING Boot-cut Jeans — these best-sellers, made with high-stretch denim, feature a built-in tummy control panel for an ultimate slim look.
TOTALLY SHAPING Jeans – feature high-stretch denim and built-in tummy control panel, with a backside engineered to flatter the booty.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at Kmart (www.kmart.com), Wal-mart (www.walmart.com), and www.levi.com

LUCKY BRAND
RILEY SLOUCHY SKINNY Jeans — a cross between a boyfriend jean and a skinny jean that Lucky Brand dubs the “liberated skinny.” Flatters the curvier figure because of the rise, pocket placement, and general silhouette, with a relaxed fit through the hips and thighs. 32-inch regular inseam.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.luckybrand.com

PAIGE PREMIUM DENIM
MONTECITO — generous in the thighs and derrière, a tailored boot cut that still achieves a slim leg. 8-inch rise, 34-inch inseam, 18-inch leg opening.
HIDDEN HILLS Carbon High-Rise Bootcut — a higher rise and a double-button waistband add support in the waist. 9-inch rise, 34-inch inseam, 20-inch leg opening.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.paigepremiumdenim.com and www.paigeusa.com.

7 FOR ALL MANKIND
JOSEPHINA Skinny Boyfriend Jeans — slightly roomy in the thigh but tapered in the leg. 7-inch front rise, 11.5-inch back rise, 11.5-ounce stretch Italian denim, 2 percent spandex.
GINGER PANT in lightweight Mercer – this brand’s widest trouser skims over thighs to a wide leg opening. 8-inch front rise, 12-inch back rise.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.7forallmankind.com

SERFONTAINE
SWEETHEART JEANS -- a popular, classic style with special stretch fabric and a curved yoke (waistband) on the backside to flatter derrières. Strategically placed pockets do double duty: flatter curvy bottoms and give the illusion of curves for the straighter woman.
Serfontaine uses a patented bio-stretch technology (a four-way stretch fabric) so the styles are exceptionally flattering no matter what your body type.

Available in Sweetheart boot-cut legs (7.5-inch front rise, 16- inch leg opening) and drainpipe legs (straight but not skinny; 7.5-inch front rise and 13-inch leg opening).

Tips and Where to Buy: In U.S. stores, the Serfontaine body-scanning machine enables shoppers to have their bodies scanned and get jeans and size recommendations that best fit their specific body types; custom-made jeans can be ordered based on the scans. For stores, www.serfontaine.com.

TRUE RELIGION
BECKY Boot-Cut Jeans — one of True Religion’s core cuts, comes in a variety of styles, embellishments, and washes. 8-inch front rise, 13-inch back rise, 18-inch leg opening.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.truereligionbrandjeans.com.

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A Cheat Sheet: The Best Brands and Styles of Jeans for Real Women

There is now more figure-flattering denim available than ever before — are you overwhelmed by the options? This breakdown will help you narrow your search for the perfect pair. From Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time, by Amy E. Goodman.

Citizens of Humanity
KELLY Bootcut – slick denim
AVA Straight-legAccess Hollywood voted this the best straight-leg jean in 2009.
AVEDON Super Stretch Skinny; Avedon Slick Skinny Leg and the Stirrup Skinny Leg — uses their exclusive 818 Super Stretch denim with 35 percent stretchability, standard five-pocket. It’s a jean that wears like a legging and is super soft; 8-inch front rise, 30-inch inseam, 11-inch leg opening. Also available in a stirrup.

Tips and Where to Buy: Creative director Jerome Dahan sews side seams at an angle, not straight, for a slimming effect. Available at www.citizensofhumanity.com

CJ By Cookie Johnson
Debuted with five styles, all with generous rises. Three examples:
FAITH (straight-leg) 9-inch rise, 34-inch inseam, 14-inch leg opening.
TRUTH (high-waist, wide-leg) 10.5-inch rise, 24-inch leg opening, 34.5-inch inseam.
GLORY (pleated jean) 9.25-inch rise, 13-inch leg opening, 23.5-inch inseam.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdales, http://cjbycookiejohnson.com

GAP
1969 CURVY JEANS with boot-cut leg opening — offer a little extra room in the hips, thighs, and seat with a “contoured waistband” that sucks in the hips. Choose ankle, regular, or long inseam.

Tips and Wear to Buy: Available at www.gap.com

HUDSON
CANONBURY Five-Pocket Bootcut — double-button waistband and classic boot-cut fit. 19-inch leg opening, 34½-inch inseam.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.hudsonjeans.com

J BRAND
SCARLETT Curvy Fit Bootcut — fuller in the thigh and high hip, with a contoured waistband that eliminates any waist gap so many women with curves encounter. 18-inch leg opening, 34-inch inseam, 12.5-ounce stretch denim.

Tips and Where to Buy: J Brand is known for a slimmer fit in the leg, dark washes, clean back pockets and jeans without embellishments. Available at www.jbrandjeans.com

JOE’S JEANS
THE HONEY – famous for its fit on voluptuous women. The waistband is “clinched” or cinched in the rear to fit curvy women in the thighs and hips, and particularly their bottoms, so no back gap. 18¾-inch leg opening.
THE SKINNY HONEY — 12½-inch leg opening.
THE MUSE — high waist that lands just below the belly button to hold in the tummy. A “lower than usual high waist” and subtle pockets to “stop any undesirable extra curves that many highwaist fits present.” Boot-cut leg with 19-inch leg opening, 34-inch inseam, 9-inch rise.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.joesjeans.com

LEVI STRAUSS & CO.
TOTALLY SLIMMING Boot-cut Jeans — these best-sellers, made with high-stretch denim, feature a built-in tummy control panel for an ultimate slim look.
TOTALLY SHAPING Jeans – feature high-stretch denim and built-in tummy control panel, with a backside engineered to flatter the booty.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at Kmart (www.kmart.com), Wal-mart (www.walmart.com), and www.levi.com

LUCKY BRAND
RILEY SLOUCHY SKINNY Jeans — a cross between a boyfriend jean and a skinny jean that Lucky Brand dubs the “liberated skinny.” Flatters the curvier figure because of the rise, pocket placement, and general silhouette, with a relaxed fit through the hips and thighs. 32-inch regular inseam.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.luckybrand.com

PAIGE PREMIUM DENIM
MONTECITO — generous in the thighs and derrière, a tailored boot cut that still achieves a slim leg. 8-inch rise, 34-inch inseam, 18-inch leg opening.
HIDDEN HILLS Carbon High-Rise Bootcut — a higher rise and a double-button waistband add support in the waist. 9-inch rise, 34-inch inseam, 20-inch leg opening.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.paigepremiumdenim.com and www.paigeusa.com.

7 FOR ALL MANKIND
JOSEPHINA Skinny Boyfriend Jeans — slightly roomy in the thigh but tapered in the leg. 7-inch front rise, 11.5-inch back rise, 11.5-ounce stretch Italian denim, 2 percent spandex.
GINGER PANT in lightweight Mercer – this brand’s widest trouser skims over thighs to a wide leg opening. 8-inch front rise, 12-inch back rise.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.7forallmankind.com

SERFONTAINE
SWEETHEART JEANS -- a popular, classic style with special stretch fabric and a curved yoke (waistband) on the backside to flatter derrières. Strategically placed pockets do double duty: flatter curvy bottoms and give the illusion of curves for the straighter woman.
Serfontaine uses a patented bio-stretch technology (a four-way stretch fabric) so the styles are exceptionally flattering no matter what your body type.

Available in Sweetheart boot-cut legs (7.5-inch front rise, 16- inch leg opening) and drainpipe legs (straight but not skinny; 7.5-inch front rise and 13-inch leg opening).

Tips and Where to Buy: In U.S. stores, the Serfontaine body-scanning machine enables shoppers to have their bodies scanned and get jeans and size recommendations that best fit their specific body types; custom-made jeans can be ordered based on the scans. For stores, www.serfontaine.com.

TRUE RELIGION
BECKY Boot-Cut Jeans — one of True Religion’s core cuts, comes in a variety of styles, embellishments, and washes. 8-inch front rise, 13-inch back rise, 18-inch leg opening.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.truereligionbrandjeans.com.

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When to Toss Your Makeup

Makeup, like food, has expiration dates. Bacteria can build up and can lead, in the worst case, to rashes and infections. From Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time, by Amy E. Goodman.

Here’s a tip: Place a small sticker on the product and write the month and year (such as 4/2011) you open it. Better yet, calculate the date it expires and write that down. And if anything has a strange odor or is starting to separate, crackle, or clump, just toss it!

How Long Should You Keep It?

Makeup
Concealer — 1 year
Foundation — 1–1½ years
Facial powder — 2 years
Blush, Powder — 2 years
Blush, Cream — 1 year
Bronzer — 2 years
Pencil Eyeliner — 2 years
Liquid Eyeliner — 3 months
Eye Shadow, Powder — 2 years
Eye Shadow, Cream — 1 year
Mascara — 3 months
Brow Liner or Powder — 2 years
Lipstick — 2 years
Lip Gloss — 1 ½ –2 years
Lip Liner — up to 3 years, if pencil
Makeup Brushes — wash every 3 months with a brush cleanser
Nail Polish — 2 years

Skincare Products
Cleanser — 1 year
Moisturizers — 1 year
Eye Cream — 1 year
Sunscreen — 1 year
Makeup Primer — 6 months–1 year
Lip Balm — 1 year
Exfoliators — 6-9 months
Anti-aging Masques & Treatments — 6 months–1 year

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy E. Goodman, author of Wear This, Toss That!: Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time (Copyright © 2011 by Little Professor Productions, LLC, and The Stonesong Press, LLC), is a frequent contributor to the Today show, as well as The View, Good Morning America, The Early Show, CNN, and Movie & a Makeover, among others. A former correspondent and editor for InStyle and senior editor for All You, she is currently an editor at large for Southern Living and fashion trend director for Timex. She lives with her husband and two young children in Washington, D.C.

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3 Foolproof Tips for Choosing the Right Bag

If the sheer volume of styles and shapes of bags confounds you, follow these three simple guidelines from Amy E. Goodman, author of Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time.

1. Your bag shape and body shape shouldn’t match. If you’re tall and thin, consider an unstructured, slouchy bag. If you’re round and curvy, get a structured style. Think opposite for a beautiful balance. And if you’re average all around, lucky you — you can sport any style. Be sure to try your bag on in front of a mirror. It’s a must.

2. The bag should hit your assets. If you have hips, make sure the bag hits above or below but not at your hip. If you are busty, the bag should hit below the bust. If you are petite, your bag should go no lower than the waist or you’ll appear to be all bag and no body! Tall? Celebrate your stature with a long bag that hits just below the hip.

3. Consider your bag’s main functions. Will you wear it to work? Are you a mom on the go? Do you need a bag to carry you through a weekend or simply to hold a compact, lipstick, and ID for a special evening out? Do you dig pockets or just one main compartment? The answer to these questions will determine the size, style, and durability of your bag. A small crystal clutch won’t likely hold a work file.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy E. Goodman, author of Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time (Copyright © 2011 by Little Professor Productions, LLC, and The Stonesong Press, LLC), is a frequent contributor to the Today show, as well as The View, Good Morning America, The Early Show, CNN, and Movie & a Makeover, among others. A former correspondent and editor for InStyle and senior editor for All You, she is currently an editor at large for Southern Living and fashion trend director for Timex. She lives with her husband and two young children in Washington, D.C.

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Handbag

5 Must-Have Jeans (and 4 You Should Toss)

Still searching for the perfect pair of jeans? Get expert advice on the most flattering — and unflattering — styles from Amy E. Goodman, author of Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time.

Must Haves

  • Fitted, boot-cut jeans in a dark denim wash that nicely frames your booty and legs, paired with high heels
  • Trouser denim pants, perfect for a casual or artistic workplace environment
  • Skinny jeans for under fuller sweaters and blousy tops
  • Cropped denim for warmer months
  • Jeggings (jean leggings)

Raising the Bar
Enter your measurements and style preferences at www.mytruefit.com, and find jean options across brands that best match your body. Experts suggest looking for jeans with at least 2 percent stretch.

Shape Saver
Like to wear your denim with heels and flats? Bristols 6 Hem Tape for Denim is super sticky save-me double-stick tape, allowing you to give jeans a temporary hem for whichever shoe you choose ($12, bristols6.com).

Best Bets
Cookie Johnson (Magic Johnson’s wife) was sick of not getting jeans on past her knees. Her denim line, CJ by Cookie Johnson, offers jean cuts with curvy women in mind: stretch, dark washes, and higher rise in rear. Nordstrom, $141 and up; www.nordstrom.com.

Shape Saver
Have a pancake butt? Look for back pockets placed high on your rear to give you an instant derrière lift and curve. And keep the pockets clean.

Match Point
Wide-legged, dark denim trousers are fast becoming office staples and a save-me for women who love wearing jeans to work. Isaac Mizrahi for Liz Claiborne and Nicole by Nicole Miller offer stunning options.

Toss: Oversized, formless denim that is cut too short, in a high rise and a light wash that doesn’t flatter thighs.

Other Must Lose

  • Stovepipe jeans if you have curves
  • Acid wash jeans
  • Super tight jeans that create butt wrinkles under cheeks — too tight!

Behind the Seams
Distressed, stonewashed, faded, and whiskered jeans (all techniques to make the jeans look worn) can make legs wider when the special effects are positioned at the hips and thighs. If these are problem areas, opt for darker washes with consistent color. I size up when it comes to darker denim because darker jeans have less stretch.

Outsourcing
Going up a jean size to fit your thighs and butt commonly results in the drafty “back gap” at the waist that no amount of belting can correct. Have a tailor do the easy work of taking in the waist.

Age Alert
“How low can you go” is not a motto for low-rise jeans as you mature. While still flaunting your assets, make sure jeans fully cover your butt, lower back, and tummy. Brands such as Paige Premium Denim and 7 For All Mankind offer ample options.

Insourcing
Did you know that jeans fade with every wash? To preserve pigment, turn jeans inside out before washing in cold water. Check the label to see if tumble dry on low heat is recommended; otherwise, hang dry.

Ditch It
Tapered denim shows off calves and legs but also makes hips appear twice as wide. Very few can wear skinny stovepipe jeans (which are cut narrow from knee to ankle). Save this style for boyish figures with no hips.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy E. Goodman, author of Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time (Copyright © 2011 by Little Professor Productions, LLC, and The Stonesong Press, LLC), is a frequent contributor to the Today show, as well as The View, Good Morning America, The Early Show, CNN, and Movie & a Makeover, among others. A former correspondent and editor for InStyle and senior editor for All You, she is currently an editor at large for Southern Living and fashion trend director for Timex. She lives with her husband and two young children in Washington, D.C.

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Do-It-Yourself Pest Control

Stop ants, cockroaches, aphids, and other pests from invading your counters, cabinets, and plants. And do it the safe, earth-friendly way with these insect repellent tips from Linda Cobb, author of Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean.

INSECT REPELLENT
When using insect sprays, especially those containing deet, try spraying clothes instead of skin — it’s much safer, especially for children.

OR TRY VINEGAR
A wonderful substitute for insect repellent is white vinegar. Apply it liberally to the skin with a cotton ball. Bugs hate the way you taste and the smell of the vinegar disappears once it dries. Great for kids!

ANTS

For ants on the counter, wipe the counter down with undiluted white vinegar.

To prevent ants from coming in the house or getting into cupboards, sprinkle dried mint or red pepper where they are entering the house and in the cupboards. To get rid of anthills, pour 3 gallons of boiling water down them. This is best done when the ants are active and near the surface. Do not do this close to flowers or they will die, too.

Another way to kill ants is to mix a combination of 50 percent borax and 50 percent confectioners’ sugar. Place this on cardboard or a piece of board near the anthill. The ants are attracted by the sugar and carry the fatal borax/sugar combination back to the nest to feed the queen and other ants. Soon all are dead. A note of caution: Do not place this where children or pets may ingest this mixture. Borax is found in the laundry aisle at the grocery store as a laundry additive, not as a pesticide.

APHIDS

Mix nonfat dry milk with water according to the directions on the box, then put in a spray bottle and apply it to the leaves of your plants. As the milk dries, the aphids get stuck in the milky residue and die. You can rinse the plants from time to time with the hose. This will not harm your plants and offers an inexpensive solution to a big problem.

APHIDS AND SPIDERS

Wash off the plant with a mild solution of dishwashing liquid and water. Try a ratio of 1/2 teaspoon dishwashing liquid to 1 quart water. Flush leaves, including undersides, with the solution. Do not rinse off.

APHIDS AND WHITEFLIES
These bugs are attracted to bright yellow and can be trapped by placing a yellow board or other yellow objects such as yellow poster board, oleo lids, or sticks painted yellow, coated with heavy motor oil, petroleum jelly, or Tack-Trap® near susceptible plants. Recoat when the traps dry out.

APHIDS ON ROSES
Use 1 1/2  teaspoons of baking soda per pint of water and apply every seven days. This method is user-, earth-, and child-friendly.

COCKROACHES
To keep cockroaches out of the cupboards, place some bay leaves on the shelves.

Kill cockroaches with a mixture of 1/3 borax, 1/3 cornmeal, 1/3 flour, and a dash of powdered sugar. Sprinkle this in crevices under sinks and vanities where cockroaches love to hide. Remember, keep this away from children and animals.

You can also try this formula for cockroaches: Mix powdered boric acid with sugar and powdered nondairy creamer. I use a mixture of 50 percent boric acid to 25 percent each sugar and creamer. This is inexpensive and relatively safe, but it should be kept away from children and pets. Sprinkle the mixture in all the dark, warm places that cockroaches love — under sinks and stoves, behind refrigerators, in cabinets and closets, and so on. The roaches will walk through the powder and then clean themselves, much the way a cat preens. Once they ingest the powder they die.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Previously the owner of a cleaning and disaster-restoration business in Michigan, dealing with the aftermath of fires and floods, Linda Cobb, author of Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean (Copyright © 1998 by Linda Cobb), started sharing her cleaning tips in a local newspaper column. After moving to Phoenix she became a weekly guest on Good Morning Arizona — then the product endorsements and requests for appearances started rolling in. A featured guest on radio and television shows across the country, Linda Cobb lives in Phoenix with her husband.

MORE ARTICLES BY THE AUTHOR

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8 Essential Foods for Gorgeous Skin

Acai is the new pomegranate, and goji berry is the new blueberry! Who can keep track of all of the “super skin foods” touted in magazines? And honestly, who needs to? Here, Dr. Ellen Marmur reveals the top eight everyday food elements, from antioxidants to zinc, that will help optimize your skin’s health.  From Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman’s Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

As popular as the “super skin foods” topic may be in magazines, there’s not much sound scientific evidence behind all of it yet. Scientists are studying the effects of many foods and vitamins on the health of the skin, but strong studies are still pretty scarce. Even so, there are things you can eat that definitely benefit the skin in particular, and deficiencies of certain nutrients is damaging. A lack of protein can lead to poor wound healing and hair loss, and a fat deficiency can bring on dry skin and brittle hair and nails. A lack of vitamin C can cause scurvy (yes, even in this day and age!), which leads to spongy gums and bleeding hair follicles, among other awful skin conditions. So don’t be caught short of the nutrients your skin needs in your diet, but don’t make yourself crazy either. It’s really not too difficult to incorporate essential food elements into your daily meals.

Top Substances in Food That Optimize Skin Health
>>> Vitamins C and E
Vitamin C is found in: Oranges, lemons, grapefruit, papaya, and tomatoes

Vitamin E is found in: Sweet potatoes, nuts, olive oil, sunflower seeds, avocados, broccoli, and leafy green vegetables

What they do for skin: These antioxidant vitamins fight oxidation damage in skin cells’ DNA. Because they are key elements in the structural proteins in the body, they are important to the integrity of the blood vessels and hair follicles. They’re required for the formation of collagen, and medical studies have found that they decrease wrinkling of the skin. Vitamin E reduces inflammation and helps wound healing. Vitamin C enhances the immune response.

>>> Vitamin A
It’s found in: Fish oil, salmon, carrots, dairy products, spinach, and broccoli

What it does for skin: Since it promotes normal keratinization (the turnover of skin cells), it helps with conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Without it, skin becomes extremely dry and dull. It’s important to note that if you use a synthetic retinoid (a derivative of vitamin A) on your skin, you may need to stop vitamin A supplementation, since too much of this vitamin can lead to hair loss and liver dysfunction.

>>> Protein
It’s found in: Meat, eggs, grains, sunflower seeds, dairy products, fish, legumes like beans and peas, and nuts such as walnuts and pecans

What it does for skin: Protein is a component of all the cells in the body and a building block of skin tissue. Proteins are broken down into amino acids, the building blocks of new proteins for the body’s constant reconstruction job. They are like Legos, coming in different shapes, sizes, and types that help construct collagen or create lubricating ceramide in the skin. It’s a perfect economy, with the amino acids being recycled into new proteins on a supply-and-demand basis.

>>> Zinc
It’s found in: Turkey, almonds, Brazil nuts, and wheat germ

What it does for skin: This anti-inflammatory mineral calms irritation in the epidermis and helps to heal acne and treat rosacea. It also facilitates cell regeneration.

>>> Biotin
It’s found in: Egg yolks, brewer’s yeast, bananas, lentils, cauliflower, and salmon

What it does for skin: This B vitamin strengthens skin, hair, and nails. (A deficiency is extremely rare because bacteria in your intestines make all the biotin you need.) A deficit can lead to hair loss or dermatitis (itchy, scaly skin). Some people swear by biotin supplements to strengthen brittle nails, but studies haven’t proven that it’s beneficial for anyone who’s not deficient in the vitamin.

>>> Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Omega-6 is found in: Seeds, nuts, eggs, and sunflower and soybean oil (which are in lots of snack foods, such as crackers, cookies, and cereals)

Omega-3 is found in: Cold-water fish such as salmon and sardines, flaxseed oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and almonds

What they do for skin: These essential fatty acids support skin health, improve nerve and vascular function, and act as antioxidants. Omega-3 has strong anti-inflammatory properties and may calm skin conditions such as rosacea or eczema and minimize redness. It also boosts immune system functioning. Some nutritional studies have shown that omega-3 may protect against squamous cell skin cancers and decrease sunburn response. Studies have shown that diets rich in the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid are associated with less skin dryness and thinning. But it’s important to note that these fatty acids must be balanced in the body. For example, too much omega-6 and linoleic acid can cause an inflammatory response in the body, while omega-3 minimizes it. Because of the prevalence of omega-6 in processed snack foods, it’s believed that we are getting an abundance of them and not enough omega-3. And studies have shown that too much omega-6 can increase the risk of everything from high blood pressure to dementia and depression. The key is balancing your intake of the two.

>>> Monounsaturated Fats
They’re found in: Olive oil, canola oil, and avocados

What they do for skin: These healthy fats help to maintain the water level in the epidermis and supply the ceramides and fats that keep the bricks and mortar of the skin healthy and intact. This translates into less itchy, healthy-looking, glowing skin.

>>> Antioxidants
They’re found in: Blueberries, green tea, red kidney beans, olive oil, artichokes, pomegranates, dark chocolate, and red wine

What they do for skin: These are indeed the superheroes of the nutrient family. We’ve heard a lot about how antioxidants extinguish the dangerous free radicals (the toxic oxygen molecules that can be by-products of cell renewal and are also generated by pollution and sun damage). The polyphenol antioxidants in green tea have also been shown to help prevent certain skin cancers and protect skin against sunburns. Antioxidants found in red wine and green tea are being studied for their possible cancer-fighting potential, but so far the results aren’t conclusive. There have been studies that strongly showed that the antioxidants in green tea (among them epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG) protect the DNA in skin cells from UV-induced damage.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ellen Marmur, MD, author of Simple Skin Beauty (Copyright © 2009 by Dr. Ellen Marmur), is the Chief of Dermatologic and Cosmetic Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical center in New York City and specializes in skin cancer surgery, cosmetic surgery, and women’s health dermatology. She lives in Manhattan with her family.

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7 Tips for Great Hair Color

Coloring your hair can give a 3-D effect that makes your hair look fuller, playing with the depth of the tone and the contrast. Here are tips for getting great hair color from Best in Beauty: An Ultimate Guide to Make Up and Skincare Techniques, Tools, and Products by Riku Campo.

How important is the collaboration between the hairstylist and the colorist?
The chemistry and vision of the two must be complementary for the best effect. The cut creates shape and movement; color provides dimension.

What is the difference between semipermanent color and permanent color?
The difference is the size of the color molecule and how it enters the hair shaft. Semipermanent color molecules are larger in size than permanent and usually need heat to open the hair in order to allow the molecule to enter because there is no ammonia release from a developer.

How do I know which hair color will suit me?

Hair color is picked for many different reasons. The number one reason is to cover gray hair. There is actually no such thing as gray hair. Individual hairs are white, not gray; it’s the background that makes them appear gray.

Colorists call this the client’s base color. The base color is picked to suit the skin color and age of the client. For dimension on a base color, colorists do lowlights and highlights, usually in the same tonal family as the base color, for natural highs and lows that will give dimension to the color.

Why is it so important to use color shampoo and conditioner instead of regular ones?
Some shampoos and conditioners are specifically made for color-treated hair. They are formulated with gentler detergents that are more moisturizing, and they usually contain a sunscreen. Some shampoos and conditioners for color-treated hair include small amounts of color. This helps maintain the color for longer periods of time, especially for people who spend a lot of time in the sun.

How often should I see my colorist?

I recommend every four to six weeks for a touch-up. That’s about how long it takes the original color to show through. Roots that have grown out for four to six weeks are usually around 1/2 inch long. Highlight and lowlight touch-ups, if done right, can last as long as three or four months.

Can salt water and sun damage highlighted hair?

Highlights are usually put in by a discoloration process using either bleach or a high lift color, and we also carefully place tone into the highlights to balance the highlights with the base color. Without sunscreen protection, the sun will further bleach the hair and lift out the tone the colorist created. Salt water has a drying effect over time if the hair is not well washed and conditioned. Dry hair makes your color look faded and old.

Why doesn’t red color stay in hair well?
Red is the hardest color to lift out of the hair, and the hardest color to keep. The reason is the weight of the color molecule: the darker the color, the heavier the weight of the color molecule. Dark brown fades as well, but the weight of the color molecule is heavier, and thus it fades more slowly. Reds are lighter and thus fade quickly; blonde is the lightest and fades just as fast, but it doesn’t have the same intensity as red so it’s not as noticeable. When red is freshly done, it’s the most intense color. Reds are my personal favorites and the colors I enjoy doing the most.

The way to keep your red color longer is to get frequent touch-ups and use a shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair. Stay out of direct sun, and every once in a while get a color glaze. Color glazes are translucent colors that help seal color in and condition the hair. I love the shine and depth of color they bring to the hair.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Riku Campo, author of Best in Beauty: An Ultimate Guide to Make Up and Skincare Techniques, Tools, and Products, lives in Los Angeles, where he has established himself as the makeup go-to guy for some of today’s most celebrated models and entertainers. For more information visit www.rikucampo.com.

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