~ Check these hard to see spots for melanoma ~

Checking yourself for irregular moles or other odd spots is a great way of being proactive but it’s important to know that skin cancer can be stealthy. Even if you have a handle on what to look for, suspicious moles aren’t always in plain sight and many tuck into covert, hard-to-see spots of the body. In honor of National Skin Cancer Awareness Month this May, the skin experts at Dermalogica and the International Dermal Institute have uncovered six spots to screen regularly.

·         Eyelids. Five to ten percent of skin cancers are found here. Look for unusual spots.
·         Between the toes. Fifty percent of patients diagnosed with melanoma of the feet die within five years.
·         Ears. Often a neglected SPF spot! Check behind and on top of each ear for warning signs.
·         Scalp and neck. These areas have the highest risk of melanoma-specific mortality.
·         Lips and mouth. If you have a cold or canker sore that won’t heal, visit a dermatologist or dentist.
·         Nail beds. Check here between manicures (always remove your nail polish first).

To help ensure your skin is protected daily, use an SPF moisturizer like Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF50 or prep skin with SkinPerfect Primer SPF30 before applying makeup. A Dermalogica skin therapist can always help to find a sun protection solution that best addresses your unique skin needs or help to spot suspicious skin cancer signs.

~ Losing weight after 40 ~

There is a quote often attributed to French actress Catherine Deneuve, who reportedly said, "After a certain age, you have to choose between your fanny and your face."  Here's what she meant: Many of the things you do in the name of staying in shape—counting calories,  fat grams, logging hours at the gym; begin to do a number on your face as you close in on 40. You start to lose facial volume, which can cause eyes to look slightly sunken, cheeks to hollow out, and skin to lose its firmness and elasticity. Maintaining a low body mass index (BMI) exacerbates the problem because fat is the very thing that helps plump out lines and wrinkles. Dr. John Zannis is a board certified plastic surgeon in New Bern, North Carolina who says that this often repeated adage is no longer true thanks to plastic surgery.
Where on your body you tend to gain the most weight, whether it's around the middle or more on the hips and thighs, is the result of your genes and particular physiology. However, the more weight you gain, the more you're going to see it in your face, regardless of whether the rest of you is an apple or pear shape.
"When you lose weight, the face is often the first place that shows it," says Dr. Zannis. "The fat pads under the eyes go first, and then you see it above the smile and down to the chin, then the cheeks." At the same time, gravity comes into play, and the elastin and collagen fibers that allow skin to stretch and spring back weaken, causing skin to sag.”
Plastic Surgery Solutions with Dermal Fillers Can:
Plump thin lips
Enhance shallow contours
Soften facial creases and wrinkles
Improve the appearance of recessed scars
Dermal fillers can be very helpful in those with early signs of aging.
Fat injections
Some patients may want to consider fat injections, which uses fat harvested from the patient's own body which can then be re-injected to enhance facial fullness, fill creases or build up shallow contours.
How fat injections are administered
 Fat injection requires a more extensive procedure than “off-the-shelf” soft tissue fillers. A “donor area” must be determined (such as the abdomen or buttocks) and liposuction is used to extract the fat. The suctioned fat can then be transferred to the face, as a graft. The grafted fat then has to redevelop a blood supply in order to survive.
Areas of the face Affected by Weight Loss
The Eyes- After weight loss the eyes can appear sunken if the cheekbones have hollowed. If this is the case Dr. Zannis recommends injections of Restylane into the tear troughs under the eyes.
Nose: Believe it or not, even your nose can appear slimmer
after significant weight loss.  If this is not a look that is desirable, Dr. Zannis can perform a non-surgical nose job using Juvederm Ultra XC to plump area where volume has been lost.
Cheekbones- While many women are happy to have more pronounced cheekbones, for some, the weight loss can take it too far and cause loss of prominence in the cheek area. Although the “chipmunk cheek look” of too much filler is not attractive, there are subtle ways to add volume to the cheeks which include a long-lasting volumizing filler like Juvederm or Voluma.
Chin- When some women are carrying around excess weight it can show under the chin. Losing weight can erase a double chin if one is lucky, or it can simply cause loose skin.  If that is the case, Dr. Zannis uses a neck lifting procedure.
Lips- Restylane Silk, Juvederm, or dermabrasion can be used to sand down and smooth out fine lines
Nasolabial Folds- These are the creases that run from the nose down to the lips. With weight loss, the folds lose volume and more pronounced creases can be visible. To plump these lines Dr. Zannis uses injects of Juvederm.
The good news is, that with minimally invasive plastic surgery procedures women can keep both their face and their fanny looking youthful.

~ How to stop hating your own body image ~

Psychologists use the term 'body image' to describe our internalized sense of what we look like. This can be thought of as a mental representation or map of our body, against which we judge our external appearance. For most of us, there is a relatively good match between what we think we look like (subjective appearance) and how we appear to other people (objective appearance). Dr. Sanam Hafeez is a Manhattan neuropsychologist. She says that, “To some extent our body image is idealized (based on how we would like to look). It is also based on a mirror image of our actual appearance. Other people see animated or moving images, whereas we view our own image mainly through photographs or mirrors where our expression is still. Body image also changes as we get older.”  As a woman Dr. Hafeez understands the perils that gals fall into in our Instagram, Facebook and Photoshop society.  
The following are some tips from Dr. Hafeez on how to love yourself more
1.    Forget the diet hype. People who constantly diet have a higher risk of developing eating disorders, are more likely to binge eat and cause a domino effect of physical and mental health issues that include depression, irritability, anxiety, digestive problems and metabolic syndrome. Looking and feeling good are common sense. Eating right, regular exercise and sleeping are your weight control keys to success!
2.    Put body image in perspective. Instead of spending so much time obsessing over your outer self – consider focusing your attention on education, hobbies and socializing with your friends. Keeping your mind engaged will help you notice others with the same interests. Working to get fit and healthy is an admirable goal but it should never consume your life.
3.    Know your body and accept it. Perhaps you inherited your mother’s larger hips or your father’s height and broad shoulders. Our genetics are a strange cocktail that are unique to every person and learning to love your body is the first step in working with your particular body size and shape. Having the same size and weight goals of a person six inches shorter or taller than you is unrealistic and setting yourself up for failure. You may be the same height as a friend who is a perfect size six but may have a much larger build. Don’t diet to fit anyone else’s expectations. It is YOUR  body, YOUR  health and you are the only one who has the right to dictate what is “right” for you.
4.    Celebrities are not “average” people! Remember that most celebrities are paid based on how they look on camera. They have an entire team of people who make sure they eat right, exercise and take care of their skin and hair. When they become pregnant or go through a tough time, they have a team of people who helps them drop the weight fast and get back to “camera weight” without the distractions the average person has. Many celebrities have spoken out about suffering for years with eating disorders, emotional problems and drug addiction to maintain their public image.
5.    Focus on what you have the power to change. Rather than spending your energy on wishing you were taller, redirect your focus on something you can change, like toning up with a yoga or pilates class, or honing one of your talents. Then celebrate with a new handbag.
6.    Surround yourself with beauty. Creating a beautiful environment at home or in your workspace will provide a greater sensual experience, which is what we all crave. Keep fresh flowers on your desk or table, add some silk pillows to your sofa, play your favorite music while cooking dinner, and drink mineral water out of a nice wine glass!!
7.    Ask for help if you need it. Surround yourself with positive people who lift you up – who contribute to your happiness – and look to them when you falter in your goals. Whether you need help sticking to a healthy eating plan, a buddy to workout with, a personal trainer to show you how to do the exercise that is right for you or someone to discuss emotional issues with – ask.

~ America's favorite colors ~

The release below details a newly launched study that reveals the favorite colors of specific U.S. states and bigger cities based on home decor purchases.


Some surprising results: 

• Strong regional differences

• Dismal ranking of red – wiped off the map

• High ranking of neutral colors: black, gray, white

• Popularity of pink: top in five major cities  

• Warm colors left in the cold by cool & neutral ones

Blue states wipe Red off the map in study revealing America’s Favorite Colors 

Spoonflower.com reveals top color in each state 

America’s true colors are not red, white and blue, after all, but blue, black and gray, according to a new study ranking the U.S.’s favorite colors based on home décor purchases. 

There are also strong regional differences in color preferences, reveals the study conducted by Spoonflower- www.spoonflower.com - which allows customers to design, print and sell their own fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap. California and the West buy black décor most; the South likes gray; the rest of America prefers blue. 

A few results:

The top six colors nationally are blue, black, gray, pink, white and green. 

The study’s surprise findings for color experts include: the dismal ranking of red, in just seventh place; the high ranking of neutral colors, with black, gray and white all in the national top five; and the popularity of pink, which ranks fourth national ly and is the most bought color in no less than five major U.S. cities. 

The study reveals the most popular color in every state and 74 U.S. cities, based on data from nearly 200,000 purchases on Spoonflower over two years.  Blue is the top color in 41 states and just over half the cities, while red ranks top in none of either. 

“Blue states have wiped red off the map”, says Allison Polish, President of Spoonflower. 

Black, however, ranks top in a block of five neighboring Western states (California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming), while gray does so in a swathe of three adjacent Southern states (Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma), plus North Dakota.

“The popularity of blue doesn’t surprise me”, says Ethel Rompilla, professor of color theory at New York School of Interior Design, and author, with Stefan Steil, of a new online course, on Color for Interiors. “The reason for the universal popularity of blue, say color theorists, is likely the connect ion to sky and sea. There's nothing more uplifting than a clear blue sky on a sunny day.” 

What does surprise Rompilla is both the low ranking of red and the high ranking of so many neutral colors, like black, gray and white. “The latter may be because as color becomes more popular, the relief of neutrals is more needed.”  

The traditional favorites of her own students, in informal surveys Rompilla has conducted over the years, have been blue, closely followed by red and green. “But more recently red and green have given way to other colors.” 

Rompilla, however, is less surprised that gray is most popular in the South and black in the West. “My guess is that it may relate to the architecture, furniture and interiors, which are generally more traditional – hence graceful – in the South, while in the West homes can be more contemporary. In the latter case, the geometric scale and lack of decorative details may better support the boldness of black.”  

California is the largest “black décor” state, while both Los Angeles, its largest city, and Sacramento, its capital, are both black décor towns. 

San Francisco and Oakland, however, are both blue décor towns, as are New York, Washington DC, Miami, Houston and Dallas, among just over half (55%) of major U.S. cities – 41 of 74 in Spoonflower’s study. 18 cities (13%) buy black décor most; seven (5%), including Chicago and Boston, buy gray most, while pink ranks top in five (4%) cities – Detroit, El Paso, Indianapolis, Long Beach, Phoenix. 

Who knew? “I’ve always found pink to be controversial,” says Ethel Rompilla, surprised that pink ranks as high as fourth nationally. “People either love it or hate it. Although times are changing, it still is perceived as a feminine color.” 

White ranks top in two cities and green in one (Charleston). 

None, however, of the three main “warm colors” – red, yellow, orange – rank top in either a single state or city, or among Spoonflower’s top six colors nationally. They come instead a lowly seventh, eighth and ninth respectively in the national rankings and account between them for barely 8.5% of Spoonflower purchases.  

“Not only have blue states wiped red ones off the map” says Allison Polish, “but cool (blue, green) and neutral (black, gray, white) colors have left warm ones in the cold.”  

Spoonflower’s map of America’s true colors + the top color in every state 

METHODOLOGY: Spoonflower crunched the data from nearly 200,000 purchases of custom fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap by its customers over a two-year period and organized them under 15 color categories. It then weighted the scores by first identifying the number of customers buying a particular color in any given state or city and then dividing that number by the total number of Spoonflower customers in that state or city. That gave a bet ter measure of the popularity for each color in any city or state and so identified the most popular/most purchased color in each state and city. 

ABOUT SPOONFLOWER: Spoonflower (www.spoonflower.com) lets users design, print and sell their own fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap. Founded in 2008, it was the world's first web-based service for custom fabric creation and has become the world’s largest community of independent fabric designers. With over 350,000 designs for fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap, and more added every day, the Spoonflower Marketplace is also the world’s largest design collection of its kind. Making things with Spoonflower is the subject of a new title from Abrams Books, The Spoonflower Handbook: A DIY Guide to Designing Fabric, Wallpaper & Gift Wrap with 30+ Projects. For more information visitwww.Spoonflower.com/welcome

~ Secret to gorgeous hair ~

Warmer weather is just around the corner, and there's no better time to upgrade your look with a fuller, shinier head of hair. Instead of getting hair extensions (which are expensive, can break your hair and permanently damage your scalp), try the Kardashian approved secret to gorgeous hair:

HAIRFINITY® is a supplement formulated to nourish the hair from the INSIDE out to promote longer, thicker and more vibrant hair

A true innovation in hair care, HAIRFINITY®'s exclusive CAPILSANA™ COMPLEX delivers a unique blend of Hydrolyzed Collagen, MSM, and Silica that provide 18 Amino Acids that build the essential protein for hair strength, hair elasticity and a healthy scalp.

Clinical studies have shown HAIRFINITY® is proven to increase the hair growth rate and reduce the average numbers of hairs shed in a 30-day period – helping you grow luscious locks just in time for Spring.

Created by Brock Beauty, HAIRFINITY® is a clinically proven dietary supplement that utilizes Biotin and vitamins to promote healthy hair growth and prevent breakage and hair loss. HAIRFINITY® Hair Vitamins are formulated with hair specific nutrients to nourish your hair from the INSIDE OUT and promote faster growing, longer, thicker, stronger hair, and more vibrant hair. Its EXCLUSIVE CAPILSANA™ COMPLEX delivers a unique cocktail blend of Hydrolyzed Collagen, MSM, and Silica that provide 18 Amino Acids to build the essential proteins for hair strength. Celebrity fans include Kim KardashianKhloe KardashianNicki Minaj, Taraji P. Henson and more.
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