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Pollution is the buzzword in skincare for 2016, thanks to new research into exactly what it does to your skin. It's not all doom and smoggy gloom though, as it's easy to protect yourself with the latest air defences.

So, why is everyone talking about pollution?

Clearly nobody ever thought dirty air was great for skin, but now we know exactly why it can add years on to you. A quick science fact — air pollution is made up of particles that love latching onto your face. Some bind to the fats in your skin, while others are tiny enough to slip in through your pores.

Icky, admittedly. But how bad can a bit of mucky air be?

Very. First of all, pollution attacks the skin barrier; so your first line of defence is breached. Moisture drains away and skin gets dry and rough. A weakened barrier also leaves you wide open to skin allergies, so you can suddenly react to products you've used for years.

Is pollution actually going to make me look old?

Skincare routine and diet to remove everyday toxin (Getty Image)

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Afraid so. Pollutant particles trigger free radicals, which cause the same sort of ageing that too much sun can lead to. It's not just a case of early onset wrinkles either. "There's a link between air pollution and pigmentation spots on the forehead and cheeks, which previously were thought to be caused solely by the sun," says pollution expert Dr Jean Krutman.

I don't live in a city. So I'm okay, right?

Obviously the more polluted the air you breathe, the greater the ill effects. However, research shows 90 per cent of people living in built-up areas are breathing polluted air. It doesn't just come from gridlocked traffic or factory fumes either. For instance, cigarette smoke (including the passive variety) is packed with pollutant particles. Plus, research is now looking at indoor sources of air pollution, from stoves and fireplaces to foam insulation and even computer printers!

Sun and smog — double trouble

SPF itself won't protect you from pollution, but skipping it will make the UV damage worse. Why? Well, UV and air toxins work as a kind of skin supervillain tag team, which means a combination of sun exposure and a polluted environment causes more damage than the two things individually. In short, wear SPF all year round.

Boost your air defences with these beauty wonders

You can fight back effects of pollution by tweaking your beauty regime:


Step one has to be shifting pollutant particles that sit on your skin's surface or lodge in follicles. Sonic cleansing brushes remove more dirt than manual cleaning.


Getting shot of the dead, dulling, polluted cells on your skin surface is another must. Go for a product that's gentle enough to use at least three times a week.


We've moved beyond the cliche of a mud pack and cucumber slices — high-tech masks are huge for 2016. Defending masques not only boost the skin barrier while it's on the face, but also blocks receptors that pollutants normally lock onto in between treatments.

Up the anti

Anti-oxidants are vital for neutralising the free radical carnage unleashed by pollution. Wear a day cream packed with antioxidant vitamins, and add in a vitamin C serum. As well as being a potent antioxidant, it helps curb and even reverse age spots triggered by pollution.

Block it

Foundation blocks the amount of pollutant particles that can latch on and penetrate into your skin.


نوشته شده در چهارشنبه 23 دی 1394 ساعت 11:20 توسط : عنوان وبلاگ | دسته : | 109 بازدید
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  • Having a fringe gives your hairstyle that edge and takes years off your face.

    But one inconvenience that comes with having a fringe is the need to get it trimmed every now and then, especially if your hairdresser charges a bomb to do it. However, with the right equipment and a little practice, you can trim your own fringe. Here's how...

    1. Get the right equipment: Don't make the mistake of using nail or kitchen scissors to trim your fringe. You'll need haircutting shears, along with a comb.

    2. Style your hair first: Style your hair and your fringe as you normally would so that you trim your fringe to suit your hairstyle.

    3. Separate your fringe from the rest of your hair: Do this by clipping up all your hair, except for your fringe. This way, you won't cut into the rest of your hair by accident.

    Here’s how to trim your own fringe


    4. Start the actual trim: Pull your fringe down in front of your face and make sure it's even. Insert the comb under your fringe and pull it down till where you want to cut your fringe. Then, position your scissors in such a way that they're pointing upwards, perpendicular to the line of your fringe. Cut into your fringe, starting in the centre, and working your way outwards till you reach the middle of your eyebrows. Work on the outer sides of your fringe by inserting your comb under those areas and holding your scissors at a 45-degree angle and then start to trim.

    5. Check to see if your fringe is even: Move your fringe around with your fingertips to check whether it's even and is the way you want it to be.


    - Do not wet your fringe when you're trimming it. This is because wet hair is longer than dry hair, which means you could end up cutting your fringe too short when it's wet.

    - Do not cut straight across your fringe as this will give it a more severe and less natural look.


    نوشته شده در دوشنبه 21 دی 1394 ساعت 11:39 توسط : عنوان وبلاگ | دسته : | 107 بازدید
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  • It’s that time of summer when those who haven’t yet been on holiday feel hard done by, and those who have been away feel ... not much better. When we go shopping for new jeans, what we really want are new legs. And when we book a holiday, what we’re hoping to buy is a positive new mindset, a healthier lifestyle, an improved relationship.

    Post-holiday blues aren’t caused by plummeting vitamin D levels, but by the sad recognition that we’ve returned home a little bit sunkissed, perhaps, but ultimately unchanged. It’s buyer’s remorse.

    In 2002, Alain de Botton published The Art of Travel, boldly asserting that if we don’t enjoy our summer holidays, it’s all our fault. We fail to ask ourselves what we really want from a journey, and are therefore easy prey for the glossy brochures ushering us to a destination, and didactic guidebooks that guilt-trip us into traipsing joylessly around museums when we’re there. “We are inundated with advice on where to travel to; we hear little of why and how we should go,” de Botton wrote.

    Fourteen years later sees a revised edition, The New Art of Travel, because, although much has changed — with an explosion in travel apps and online reviews and recommendations — one thing hasn’t: we are still terrible at working out what we want from a holiday.

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    “The past decade has seen great logistical leaps in how we plan our holidays, from vetting hotels on TripAdvisor, choosing properties on Airbnb and booking cheap flights ourselves,” de Botton says. You would imagine that this would result in perfectly-tailored, fulfilling experiences.

    “But it hasn’t,” he insists. “The definition of a holiday has remained static: two weeks in the sun, an ‘escape’ from everyday life, and a chance to rest.” There’s nothing wrong with this; it sounds perfectly nice. “But it’s striking that our definition of travel remains so very limited,” he observes.

    De Botton’s answer, as ever, is that more thought is needed. We’ve all experienced travel that goes wrong, “where the beach holiday doesn’t entirely deliver on its underlying promise of calm, where we get a little bored at the museum, where our relationship isn’t revived by the apparently romantic coastline”. De Botton observes that we need to consider the sort of personal journey we want to embark upon, too.

    The ideal scenario would be a string of “psychotherapeutic travel agencies”, but in their absence he handily provides a “psychological atlas”: sample holiday prescriptions that address specific wants and needs in our daily lives.

    “There are some places that could help with shyness and others with anxiety,” he says. “Some might be good for reducing egoism and others for helping us to think more clearly about our careers.”

    It’s an intoxicating concept, so I volunteered to be a test subject for this “psychological atlas”. Together we assessed my potential ailments, running a swift check-up on my levels of anxiety and stress and the status of my relationship.

    Eventually we came to a diagnosis: I’m worried about what the future holds. My husband’s ongoing job-hunt as a second-career gardener could take us anywhere, we’re between homes, my beloved immediate family are living in places as far-flung as Vanuatu, Zambia and California, and at this point in my 30s, I feel I should be “building” something, but I don’t know what.

    Alain’s prescription: an Airbnb stay in Detroit. According to de Botton, Airbnb “accidentally brings us closer to what we really crave from travel, and that’s closeness to a culture, closeness to new people, full immersion in a new way of life”. But why Detroit? An industrial boomtown that became an economic disaster zone and lost a quarter of its population in a decade doesn’t seem like a good place for a holiday.

    On the contrary, says de Botton, where better to ponder the concept of impermanence, to come to terms with the fact that I have no idea what the next five years will bring? “The overwhelming tone of the world is upbeat, cheerful, optimistic — yet there can be something comforting about a sight or experience that confirms our most morbid, innermost thoughts,” he says.

    In fact, several weeks later, as I cycle through its semi-deserted streets in front of derelict mansions and theatres, Detroit does a lot more for my soul than this. The city is on the up. Entrepreneurs, artists, musicians and cash-strapped young people are converting neglected buildings into studios, co-working spaces, social enterprises and cafes.

    In the big, shiny, successful cities such as London, Paris, New York and LA, young people and new businesses are being suffocated by high rent and financial woes. In Detroit, they can afford their dreams. I return home after a week feeling as if I’ve been bathed in bright-eyed optimism. It really was just what I needed.

    Not all the destinations within Alain’s “psychological atlas” are as far from a conventional summer holiday as Detroit. For anxiety, he prescribes a traditional beach holiday in Rhodes. More interesting is his cure for shyness: an awkward encounter at a corner-shop in Yokohama. Travel, says de Botton, “has the power to make us a touch braver”.

    He admits that this is intended more to guide us into a new way of thinking about our holidays than to be taken literally; the destinations are representative of experiences that have proved transformative to him and his friends. In The New Art of Travel he simply tries to get us to understand why we may be less moved by the Colosseum than the bookshelf in our Airbnb apartment.

    If you’re feeling underwhelmed by your summer, the consolations of de Botton’s philosophy will last longer than your tan

    — The Sunday Telegraph


    Alain de Botton’s “psychological atlas” has a destination cure for every modern malaise:

    For anxiety

    Pefkos Beach, Rhodes, Greece.

    For dissatasfaction

    Comuna 13, San Javier, Medellin, Colombia.

    For inhibition

    Corner Shop, Yokohama, Kanagawa-Ken, Japan.

    For thinking

    Capri Hotel, Changi Airport, Singapore.

    For relationships

    Cafe de Zaak, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

    For stress

    The Western Desert, Australia.

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    نوشته شده در جمعه 18 دی 1394 ساعت 10:25 توسط : عنوان وبلاگ | دسته : | 111 بازدید
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  • The first sign that I could use more organization in the new year is that I am late for a consult on how to achieve more organization in the new year. It’s 8:50 a.m., and I am sprinting toward the coffee shop two blocks away from my apartment in an effort to make it back by 9:00 sharp, when a professional organizer is set to arrive. The second sign is that before I open the door to my closet, I preface it with, “Please don’t judge me, but . . .”

    Suffice it to say, I know a thing or two about hoarding. So before heading into another year with all my same-old, I set out to clean my closet once and for all—or at least until next season—and decide to consult multiple experts along the way to find out exactly how to tackle this daunting project. Here, seven key points to keep in mind before you unleash your own editing powers on that wardrobe of yours.

    Cleanse Your Way to Better Karma

    If you get cold feet before the big cleanse, that’s normal. I am riddled with pre-closet-cleanse anxiety in the week leading up to the purge. These were things I liked enough to buy, once. What if I have another chance to wear that Marc by Marc Jacobs dress? What if I finally discover how to style that Moschino blouse? I don’t have the answers, so I call Karyn Starr, a stylist and cofounder of the aesthetic consulting firm White-Starr. “In order for the new you to come in, you have to get rid of something,” she says. “If it’s not serving you, it can serve someone else. It’s like good fashion karma.” So the next time you buy something new, consider giving away an item to maintain your pared-down closet and up your fashion karma.

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    Even Professionals Need Professional Help

    As a Vogue.com writer, it’s reassuring to me when Starr debunks the myth that the sorts of fashion professionals who work in the industry do not face the same closet-cleansing problems that plague most other people. “You can be a fashion designer or a writer and still not be good at editing [your own closet],” she says, adding, “Every writer needs an editor.” Nor is it indicative of your fashion sense, or lack thereof. “I have a lot of clients with amazing taste and incredible style.” It can be hard to limit your options, not to mention find a pal with an opinion you trust and the patience to take on the task. That’s when a closet-cleanse professional can swoop in and be like the “brutally honest” bestie you never had.

    Pass the Edit Test With Flying Colors

    Immediately following an in-home consult with Maria Kontovas, a professional organizer from Neat Method, I place an order for 100 slimline hangers and 40 slimline hanger clips. Far from an impulse purchase, I carefully contemplate the range of available shades in what feels like a long-term investment: Black? No. I hear those rub off on lighter colors. Pink? No. The vision for my newly cleansed closet is more grown-up. Seafoam green? Yes! I recall Vogue.com Managing Editor Alexandra Macon once touting, “They make me feel at peace.” A cohesive closet starts with matching hangers, and the color sets the tone. But before you get hung up on rehanging, first do it by garment type, then within each section by season with lighter fabrics followed by heavier, as well as by color of the rainbow (ROY G BIV) with white at the beginning, black at the end, and arranged from lightest to darkest. It’s like merchandising your own closet.

    Put Your Style in Single File

    While the majority of the focus is placed on the closet, my dresser is also in need of some TLC. I have had my fair share of mornings sifting through tissue tees and toothpick jeans when I just could not find what had to be there. The solution, I learned, is simple: Instead of folding and stacking, Kontovas taught me how to maximize my drawer space by incorporating a technique known as filing. You fold the garment according to the depth of the drawer before lining it up vertically like a file folder. This approach allows you to locate every item at a glance, without making a mess or, worse, wrinkles.

    A Detox Is Best Served in Small Doses

    A streamlined closet isn’t built in a day. Detoxing, according to Starr, is best done in three- to four-hour sessions. “That’s when everybody caps out,” Starr tells me. But you should start with the section that will be the most difficult to cleanse, as that’s when you will have the most energy. With this in mind, I kick off my own detox in the dress section, trying on one after the other until they have all been evaluated by fit and condition and placed in one of four labeled piles: Keep, Toss, Donate, or Maybe. The Maybes, Starr explains, are the head-scratchers when you can’t make up your mind. Starr suggests coming back to the Maybes at the end, that way you can still be efficient and every item you aren’t sure of still gets a second look.

    You Lived, You Loved, Now Let the Garment Go

    It isn’t long into detox day one before I come across a beloved strapless dress with gold zipper detailing. I remember buying it in college after my first big breakup because it looked infinitely better than the way I felt at the time, only now it’s a bit too snug to zip up comfortably. Before I swear off carbs and dust off my all-but-forgotten stationary bike, I remember Starr dismissing garments that do more harm than good with an anecdote. “I understand that it’s vintage YSL, and I know it fit you one day when you were breakup skinny. But it’s not serving you now. It’s just negative energy.”

    The Shoe Fits, but That Doesn’t Mean You Should Wear It

    On day two of my detox, I unearth a tangerine Alice + Olivia bubble dress I wore to my sister’s wedding rehearsal dinner in the summer of 2009. The dress still fits, but something is just off. “You’re like, ‘Wait, why did this look so amazing on me when I was 30 and at 35 it just doesn’t work—it just doesn’t look chic anymore?’ ” Starr explains. “It doesn’t mean it didn’t look good on you five years ago. You had your moment in that silhouette, in that look, and it was a great moment, but the moment’s gone.” The dress will mean something someday—only to someone else.


    نوشته شده در چهارشنبه 16 دی 1394 ساعت 11:16 توسط : عنوان وبلاگ | دسته : | 106 بازدید
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  • The man bun, the masculine variation of the female version, is a growing trend, with many Western and Indian celebrities rocking the trend. In fact, some style analysts have identified it as the most happening trend of the year passing by.

    Shah Rukh Khan, Shahid Kapoor and Farhan Akthar have carried off the dapper hairstyle with élan and the top knot has now become an acceptable hairstyle and is often paired with a beard. The hair is scraped straight back from the forehead and tied into a little bun just below the crown with the rest left hanging loose. Of course, there are twists to the style and a man bun is best suited for men with long, thick and wavy hair. Male models, dancers, choreographers and film personalities seem to favour this look for the casual feel it provides.

    Sachin Kademada, a Bengalaru-based model, is a fan of this look and has sported it on numerous occasions. He wanted to grow his hair since his school days but it was only possible after he enrolled for a professional course.

    Sachin Kademada, Model

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    He says, “It has been four years since I have cut my hair and I like to wear my hair in a bun; in fact, I got modeling offers because of this look. Maintaining long tresses is difficult because it needs to be oiled regularly and conditioned and in summers, I need to take special care and use shikakai.”

    Confidence is a major factor as far as carrying off a man bun is concerned as Mumbai-based model and actor Rahul Dev points out. “I think the man bun is a cool look; women are taking something from men and men are taking something from women, so it’s all good! I have never sported the style though my brother is a huge fan of the man bun. Anything

    that suits you, be it long or short hair, is good and I am against the whole male-female distinction. Be it clothes, hair, accessories — in the end it is about pulling it off. It is about your personality and confidence levels; you can carry off anything with panache and with style if you have the personality for it.”

    Actor Sajid Yahiya loves experimenting with his thick hair and the man bun is a favourite. He says, “I got inspired seeing the man bun featured in magazines and since I have a pointed face, I thought the look suits me! Thick and long hair is required to achieve that perfect bun and most of my friends compliment me for the look. I find it to be very comfortable and easy to maintain and I use a black rubber band to complete the look.”

    So what does renowned hair expert Ambika Pillai think of the man bun? She says, “I think it’s a cool look. If women can tie their hair back so can the men.” Does it harm the hair? “Only if it is pulled too tightly for a long period of time, the hairline starts to recede.”


    نوشته شده در دوشنبه 14 دی 1394 ساعت 11:02 توسط : عنوان وبلاگ | دسته : | 95 بازدید
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  • Anastacia drinks so much water, she thinks she is like a ''camel''.

    The 47-year-old singer made sure she had water at the top of her rider when she was globe-trotting around the world for her 80-day tour earlier this year because she can easily drink a countless amount of fluid in one sitting.

    Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, she said: ''My tour rider pretty much consisted of water but we're talking like 10 litre bottles that I drink because I'm an absolute camel. I love water. Off stage I can do a full litre or a litre-and-a-half in one shot. I can bong my water.''


    The 'I'm Outta Love' hitmaker - who underwent a double mastectomy in 2013 after being diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time - also likes to make sure she's getting her five a day by requesting raw vegetables and hummus.

    She added: ''I also have raw vegetables and hummus because I can always use that as a snack.''

    However, the blonde beauty - who has a low immune system due to her battle with the chronic condition Crohn's Disease - won't dip into her hummus unless it's in a sealed packet so she can make sure it's fresh and in date.

    She explained: ''I ask for the hummus in the container because that's where I get a little germy. I'm like, 'You give me hummus in the container because I want to make sure it's not hummus that's been prepared to be on the shelf for 12 years.' ''


    نوشته شده در چهارشنبه 9 دی 1394 ساعت 11:36 توسط : عنوان وبلاگ | دسته : | 100 بازدید
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  • Two weeks ago, I wrote the Cut’s first cover story, on Tracey “Africa” Norman, a pioneering black trans woman whose modeling career in the 1970s and early 1980s was cut short when she was outed, she believes, at an Essence magazine photo shoot. Over the course of reporting, I reached out to Susan L. Taylor, the editor Tracey Norman remembers working with at Essence, for comment on multiple occasions. My co-writer, Aaron Wong, also tried to contact to Ms. Taylor months earlier and got no reply.

    Once the piece was published, Ms. Taylor, now the founder and CEO of the National CARES Mentoring Program, reached out to the Cut and I spoke to her about her recollection of the situation — in which Ms. Norman says Ms. Taylor shut down a photo shoot in 1980 upon learning her secret, and never published the pictures. The next day, Ms. Norman said her agency stopped having work for her, but no one ever explicitly confronted her. This isn’t meant to be an exercise in blame. The events that led to the end of Tracey Norman’s career took place some 35 years ago, and even the clearest of memories can be refracted by time. Even if we could find the photographs in question, and most of the people at the shoot weren’t deceased, and we could locate the principals of Norman’s long-disbanded agency, chances are, we’d still never quite know what happened that day. What we do know is that Tracey Norman forged a successful career in an industry that did not react kindly to discovering that she was a transgender woman. We stand by her and are proud to have printed her story.

    We wanted to talk about your recollection of Tracey Norman and of that time.

    I was saddened to read about the fear and the pain that Tracey had been living with. I was also deeply hurt to read that she believed that I had anything to do with causing it when the opposite is true. Tracey came to model at Essence and I loved working with her, and I elevated her career. That’s what we did. Because she was a rarity, a real find for me — I was fashion and beauty editor at the time. She represented pure African beauty, which at the time was not easily found in the industry. Agencies just did not find women who looked like Tracey.

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    Do you remember what year it was?

    It was 40 years ago! I don’t remember the year, but I know I worked with her. I became editor-in-chief of the magazine in ’81 in February, and I worked with her, absolutely, in the 1970s and perhaps 1980s, but after I was editor-in-chief I wouldn’t be in the studio for fashion or beauty shoots.

    You told me in a previous exchange that you knew Tracey was transgender. When did you know that?

    We didn’t have a term for it. But you couldn’t be around Tracey and not suspect it. My team says they knew. I’m telling you I suspected it. I mean, Tracey has big, broad, beautiful shoulders, large feet, you know, really large hands. We featured her primarily in beauty pages. All the editors say, “We knew she was a man.” They dressed her. They taped and pinned clothing to fit her so that we could present her to the audience. The clothes didn’t fit her body easily.

    She says she lost a lot of weight and was down to model size at least by the end of the '70s.

    When she came into Essence?

    Not the first shoot, but definitely by the last one.

    I don’t know the last or the first. I knew that she was a favorite model and she came to us, as she reported herself, being “thick.” She was a big girl, and we loved her! So to have this be said about Essence at the time and me specifically is devastating. The truth that I want Tracey to know, and this is so important, is that she was totally safe with us at Essence. No one could have outed her to me. I always suspected she was genetically male. I accepted her as she presented herself, as an exquisitely beautiful black woman. Now, this is 40 years later, but I think someone that she went to school with in Newark told me that they knew her as a boy. I think.

    So you remember this person from Newark coming in and telling you that he’d known Tracey as a boy?

    Not coming in. I think somebody said to me that they went to high school with her and knew her when she was a boy. And this came to me as I was thinking about this over the last few days. I think that someone shared that with me, that they knew her from Newark. I’m not absolutely sure. But what I am absolutely sure of is this: I have never shut down one single shoot in 37 years. You know, in 1980, Essence hardly had the budget to shut down a shoot and discard the film. I suspected she was male, my team said they knew, and we honored her. And we sought to hire her into the '80s and she was not available. I just learned that a few days ago. I’m also sure, Jada, that I never called a modeling agency and threatened to sue them. How could I sue anybody about what I suspected? I mean, why would I sue a modeling agency? A lot of this I think comes from a fear that she had of being outed, and circumstances that might have taken place around that that created scenarios that just aren’t true. And I would love to be able to say that to her: “You were in a place where you were honored, not shunned.”

    Do you remember that final shoot?

    None of us remember. We have so many shoots. That’s what we do. We produced all the fashion and beauty pages for Essence.

    Did you know about other trans models at the time?

    Not trans models, but she wasn’t the only transgender person in the industry who we worked with. There was a makeup artist who was transgender, worked with the magazine a lot, through the '80s and '90s, traveled the world with us. You couldn’t have seen Tracey and been with her and just immediately not known that she was a male.

    Were there conversations you’d have as a team about her being genetically male?

    Absolutely. We said, “She’s a man.” And then what? We moved on. We said the same thing about the makeup artist who worked with us. You said it once, maybe you said it twice. “I suspect.” We kept booking her.

    But there’s a difference between a makeup artist who’s behind the scenes and a model you’re featuring in photographs in the magazine.

    Absolutely. But it didn’t matter. She was so beautiful, and as I said, she was so rare. My commitment to the audience that I served was to try to find the most exquisite representation of the breadth of black beauty. There are models who will tell you, “I didn’t have a modeling career and Susan Taylor saw me in a restaurant and asked me if I wanted to be in the pages of Essence.” We had women who were on the cover of the magazine who did not come from modeling agencies. Because the agencies at the time had one very narrow representation of African-American women’s beauty, so we had to search for black women, girls on Broadway, [some who were] probably a size 14. We were longing to find women who weren’t, you know, skinny girls. Chocolate women with Nubian features, so the readers could see themselves. And she represented that.

    If you knew that Tracey was male, did you have to openly defend your decision to shoot her?

    No. She wasn’t so evidently male. She looked like a woman.

    Would Essence have faced repercussions from advertisers if it had come out you were shooting a trans woman?

    Not advertisers, but our readership probably would have taken issue. I’m telling you, Essence has a long history of publishing the writings of and elevating women living with the stigma of AIDS. We were the first women’s magazine to publish a story about AIDS. So we’ve always been very progressive. And while it’s not the same as women who were transgender, giving lesbians a voice in the magazine meant losing readers. But it didn’t stop us.

    Was there a sense that if word got out that Tracey was trans you’d lose readership?

    We never thought about it. Had I thought about that, I might have approached it differently. But I didn’t think about that. We didn’t have a term for it. And we weren’t absolutely sure. But I can tell you that she was safe at Essence, safe with me. What was so interesting to me, when I think about the overwhelming fear that she described living with, it explained her shyness and her quietness. I think that when you believe something, when you’re fearful — the fear of being discovered created this perception for her. She didn’t know she was safe. And I think that those misperceptions can easily cause us to look at circumstances differently and look for evidence, even, to support that belief.

    Do you have any idea why then after this shoot she never worked for her agency or Essence again?

    We tried to book her. The editors told me just days ago that we tried to book her. When they went back to book her in the 1980s, they could not find her. I said, “Maybe that’s when she went to Europe.”

    Her recollection is that she went into her agency, Zoli, the next day and suddenly they didn’t have work for her and essentially dropped her.

    That had nothing to do with Essence. I can tell you that. Zoli, they got no call from me, or anybody at Essence.

    Did you hear anything about the rest of the industry shunning her?

    Not a single thing.

    What would you say was the atmosphere toward transgender women at the time, particularly in the African-American community?

    We knew nothing of it. We didn’t have a term for it. It wasn’t anything that was spoken about, discussed. But I know that had a transgender woman put a story forth to us, or if a reporter said that they wanted to do a story on a transgender woman, I know that as editor-in-chief I would’ve been receptive to it. Absolutely, positively.

    Okay, but even if you subtract from the equation that Essence had anything to do with her outing, somehow her truth became widely known and her career stopped. The industry reaction to her truth was the proof that it would have stopped her career, that an out trans woman could not be a working model at that time.

    Something had to have happened somewhere else, maybe at that moment.

    If the shoot wasn’t shut down and the film discarded, do you have the pages from the magazine where they were published?

    We don’t remember the shoot. None of us do. We don’t remember the shoot that she’s describing. Go find that issue. If it happened and she was wrapped in gold cloth and we published it, I don’t think that she would say that. I don’t know what happened that day that she remembers that none of us do. The photographer would probably have the film. They archive everything.

    We don’t know who the photographer was because we don’t have the photographs.

    So that shoot was her last shoot and she doesn’t remember the photographer?

    No, she doesn’t remember.

    Where are the Zoli people?

    The agency is defunct.

    I know the agency is defunct. You know something? Somebody may have called her agency that day. It wasn’t from Essence.

    So let’s say someone else called Zoli, the fact that there was suddenly no work for her does seem to suggest that there wasn’t room for an out trans model at that time.

    I would say so. I would say that. That is why it’s hurtful to me, because we created a space that probably no other magazine — was she photographed by any other magazine? You’d be hard-pressed to find her in any other magazine at the time other than Essence. You would be hard-pressed to find any model who looked like her in any other magazine other than Essence at that time. It’s what made her so precious to us. Precious.

    She was photographed for catalogues, an Avon campaign, the Clairol campaign …

    I’m talking about magazines. Magazines, that’s where they find you for the campaigns.

    She mentions in the piece having run into you once maybe 15 years ago when she was the manager at Peter Fox Shoes. You said you don’t remember that. Do you remember ever seeing Tracey again?

    I don’t. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t. It was almost 40 years ago. I’ve had 100 lives since then. If I saw her, I would have embraced her. “Hi! How are you?” Would I have remembered her name? Maybe not. But certainly when I think about her now, I think about her fondly. There was such a sweetness about her. Shy, quiet, sweet, good model. Those are my memories.

    More than anything, what I would love is to have an opportunity to really speak with her face-to-face at some point. I hope that I could lift this pain from her heart and mind, because this is the antithesis of who I am.

    I can ask Tracey if she’d want to be in touch.

    Yeah. Give her my number. If she wants to call, I’d love to see her. I don’t want her having that in her heart about Essence, the team I worked with, and me. Something else happened during that time, you know, that made her believe what she believes. But no Essence shoot was shut down.

    We can talk on the phone, too, but I want to look in her eyes. I want to say, “You know what? If I had to be a sacrificial lamb in that story for her to recover herself and for a career to reemerge, let me be that for her.” Because being transgender is one of the most difficult spaces for anyone in this society to occupy.

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    نوشته شده در دوشنبه 7 دی 1394 ساعت 11:06 توسط : عنوان وبلاگ | دسته : | 110 بازدید
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  • We tracked down two skincare experts and quizzed them on the future of the industry.

    Pick up a magazine or switch on the TV and you're sure to find a brand new skincare launch beaming out at you. So many use quasi-scientific speak to back up their claims that it can be hard to know what works, or sometimes even what they're supposed to do. To help with this we spoke to two experts and asked what's worth buying into and where the hype is a step too far.

    "There has certainly been an increase in 'cell renewal' products, targeting middle-aged consumers, as well as lifestyle-type products, eg. BB creams and night creams, that form part of the consumer's daily skincare regime," Seena Seka, Skincare Specialist, Linco Care, told Cover Media. "One particular area that has recently entered the skincare sector is 'oxygen' cosmetic active products that effectively increase the oxygen content in the deeper skin layers, reducing the appearance of wrinkles on the skin."

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    Skin Repair expert Lorena Oberg recommends keeping an eye on lasers, which she believes will start to really take off before long. She sees them as the "new face lift", especially as when the technology progresses, she can see treatments taking place in clinics and with aestheticians rather than with doctors. Lasers can be used for a whole host of skincare issues, from tightening skin to helping with cellulite and acne scars or age spots.

    "I think we will move away from expensive lotions and potions, opting for simpler at home skincare regimes with the combination of lasers," she added, when quizzed on what the next big skincare trend will be. "Laser facials will become as popular as orthodox facials. People will be spending their money differently in the future."

    A little sceptical? Well let Seena sway you, as she wholeheartedly agrees with what Lorena suggested.

    "In the next five years I see the skin care sector moving towards a more cosme/tech level whereby retail outlets will shelve creams or lotions with a technology device in one pack to further enhance the condition of the skin," she suggested. "There are specialist clinics that can do it now, but I feel it's not long before it becomes mainstream."

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    نوشته شده در چهارشنبه 25 آذر 1394 ساعت 11:40 توسط : عنوان وبلاگ | دسته : | 113 بازدید
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  • After bemusing many with their semi-formal, formal and bridal-wear for women, it seemed like the natural next step for Muse to venture into menswear. Co-owned by designer Faryal Aftab, the brand recently launched its ‘Muse Man’ line, housing a limited number of formal outfits for men.

    “We decided to launch menswear because we were receiving so many requests from clients, including celebrities and stylists. Fawad Khan’s wife was one of the people who asked me to do this,” Aftab told The Express Tribune at the launch.

    ‘Muse Man’ comprised seven to eight designs, featuring the brand’s signature embellishments with a classic colour palette ranging from blue to grey to black. “Our offerings have prints of seahorses, clouds, galaxies and the solar system on them and are everything a man would feel comfortable wearing,” explained Aftab.

    On the inspiration behind the collection, Aftab stated, “I would imagine a dapper man going to a party at night wearing something attractive and completely different. This is why I put together this collection.” Mindful of the apprehension a man would face when wearing a heavily embellished outfit, she said she has kept the embellishments and colours understated so that whoever wears them feels comfortable.

    The price tag for Muse’s shirts ranges from Rs24,000 to Rs26,000. PHOTO: PUBLICITY


    The collection caters to men aged between 20 and 45. Tilting towards the steep side, the price tag for the shirts ranges from Rs24,000 to Rs26,000. But Aftab has devised the collection on the suave man of today, who “is stylish and allocates a budget for his shoes, pants and belts, and wants to look good overall.”

    Known for its clean cuts and unusual embellishments, Muse claims to be the only fashion label that always uses imported Italian and French fabric. “We purchase materials from the same outlets that Chanel, Valentino and Dior buy their cloth from. Plus, our menswear has been designed keeping international standards in mind,” stated Aftab.

    She revealed that the team behind the brand is gearing up to introduce a variety of pieces for men, such as trousers and ties. “We will gradually introduce more clothing because we want to do justice to each design. Currently, we have a lot on our plate with orders for women’s-wear and don’t want to do anything in a hurry,” she added.

    On whom she would imagine as the faces of Muse. Aftab said she has a long list but would imagine the likes of Adrian Brody, Justin Timberlake and Fawad Khan donning the brand’s outfits. The Muse Man collection is currently exhibited at the Galleria store in Lahore but will also be stocked in other cities, including Karachi, where the team is working towards opening a store.

    The design house espouses a strong brand identity with a heavy French influence since Aftab’s childhood was spent in France, which she frequently travels to. “On my mood board for this collection, I have drawn inspiration from pictures of French actor Louis Garel, a lizard made of crystals, a picture of beautiful shoes and a woman in a sheer shirt. We keep similar moods for our different collections so that they reflect our distinct style,” she said.


    نوشته شده در دوشنبه 23 آذر 1394 ساعت 12:27 توسط : عنوان وبلاگ | دسته : | 96 بازدید
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  • There is a new fitness apparel company on the market now that you can’t find in any stores (just yet), however, that hasn’t stopped the brand’s creator Megan Williams from turning her at-home North Carolina business into one of the most successful ones in America!

    Fit For A Belle aka FFAB was created by Williams after she noticed she was overweight and living an unhealthy lifestyle. Putting her energy into working out and starting her fitness apparel brand helped Williams get back on track to living healthy, and has since inspired thousands of women around the globe to find their passions, while keeping fit & looking good; With FFAB, Williams has made sure all her clothing is designed to fit any body type, which encourages women to live unapologetically as themselves.

    With all this in mind, Williams has turned her online-based business into one of the top in the country, and has attracted countless Hollywood celebrity fans including Jordin Sparks, Kristen Renton, Vivian Lamolli, Alyson Stoner and Roxy Sowlaty.

    We here at Examiner sat down exclusively with the young designer and entrepreneur to learn a bit more on her recent successes…

    Jeremy Meyer: How has your life changed since starting FFAB?

    Fit For A Belle


    Megan William: Since starting FFAB, my life has been a whirlwind!It’s amazing to see how much the brand has grown and developed since its inception. It seems like only yesterday that I was coming up with the ideas for my first few items and crossing my fingers that it would turn out well! Now, I look at the following it has and I feel so fortunate that the brand has brought so many strong, beautiful women together into what feels like a family! I’ve gotten to travel and to meet so many people, in person and through social media, whose stories have truly had an impact on me and motivate me to continue to be my best. It’s still incredibly surreal to see people wearing and supporting my brand all across the country and there are even some international Belles! As exciting as it is, the entire experience has been incredibly humbling and proof of how far a little motivation and imagination can take you!

    JM:How old are you these days, and does age really matter when it comes to running a successful company?

    MW: I’m twenty-five years old, which some might still consider a young age. In my opinion, your ability to accomplish any goal depends on your character as a person rather than the numerical stamp beside your name. There are people who have graduated from college at the age of ten and others who have climbed Mount Everest at the age of eighty. The success of any endeavor really comes from your mindset, how bad you want to accomplish it, and are you willing to put the work in to do so? FFAB is my passion and I made a decision when I began this journey to always take things in stride and keep pushing with my best foot forward.

    JM: How did you come up with the Fit For A Belle name and concept?

    MW: The concept for Fit For A Belle came from my own journey into exercise and fitness. When I first started out, I found myself wishing that there were exercise clothes that were more comfortable and not so catered to a singular body shape. I looked around and saw so many individuals of different shapes and sizes all working towards the same goal: to better themselves! I thought about how good I felt in clothes that fit me well and the beginnings of the idea for FFAB was born. I decided I would stray away from the beaten path; create something unique, and most importantly: something for everyone! The name started as a play on the word “barbell” and evolved organically from there. As time has gone on, I’ve come up with lots of fun ways to incorporate both the same and its abbreviation into so many fun words and sayings. What can I say? It’s FFABulous!

    What has been the hardest obstacle to overcome since creating your company?

    Honestly, the most challenging obstacle was overcoming a sense of self-doubt that I couldn’t help but feel due to the skepticism of others. As I was first starting out, when I told people I wanted to create this brand, I was met with a lot of hesitation and “You’re going to do what?” responses. People thought I was out of my mind. I was so nervous releasing my first items because I wanted them to be perfect and for people to respond well to them. The brand itself has evolved so much since then and now I’ve learned to ignore people’s negativity and stay true to myself, to the people who support the brand, and surround myself with those who want to see it succeed.

    In your personal view, what has been your biggest achievement with FFAB so far?

    It's so hard to pinpoint one moment that I would don my greatest achievement. There have been so many moments that have taken my breath away along this journey. From seeing someone wearing my apparel in public for the first time to the first major photo shoot we did that brought so many people together. It's just amazing to see all of the places FFAB has been and to think it started as a small dream in my mind not so terribly long ago. I think the most humbling moment I've experienced was standing in the gifting suite at the Teen Choice Awards. So many influential people surrounded me and they were complimenting my products, it was the kind of moment you never dare to let yourself dream about in the beginning and at that moment, it was my reality.

    JM: What do you think was the big "turning point" that brought on the FFAB success?

    MW: The turning point for FFAB was definitely when I made the decision to stay true to my vision of the brand. The first pieces I created were more logo based and although they were popular, I still wanted more flair. Some people told me to stick with what seemed to be working, but I knew FFAB had the potential to be so much more. I brought in more fits, more sassy sayings, and created things that I truly loved and could see myself in. Too often, people let fear of going against the norm hold them back and I never forget that I vowed to be different!

    JM: What new collections / designs are you working on?

    MW: At FFAB, we have been hard at work on our Winter line which features more designs catered toward colder weather; things like jumpsuits and sleeved apparel. The journey doesn’t pause just because it gets cold out! I am constantly listening to what my customers are saying about the brand and love hearing their opinions and input! Ideas for items are constantly on my mind. Some make it into actual production, while others are just for fun. I would call it work, but it just doesn’t seem that way when you have so much fun doing it!

    JM: Anything for men?

    MW: Yes, we haven’t forgotten about the men at Fit For A Belle! In the past we have released limited edition Fit For A Beast shirts and plan to create more options for men in the coming lines, so keep an eye out gentlemen!

    JM: What makes your clothing different than others?

    MW: FFAB was founded on the idea that everybody, and every body, is unique! It has always been my goal to create clothing that is comfortable and flattering for all women no matter their shape or size. Unfortunately, some fitness clothing companies forget that we are not all the same physically or necessarily in the same chapter of our fitness journeys. FFAB is about being able to find those pieces that will make you feel comfortable whether you are on day one, or day one hundred and one, of your journey! I’ve found that when women spend less time worrying about feeling physically insecure, a beautiful thing happens: we have more time to motivate a empower each other instead!

    JM: How often do you go to the gym these days?

    MW: Currently I am going to the gym for sixty minutes, four days a week. I split my time between weightlifting and cardio. Doing so is vital to your body and to the results you are aiming to achieve, a small fact that people tend to overlook. Instead of having a "No days off" mentality, as I once did, it's important to focus on how you spend your time in the gym rather than how many hours you spend there. You have to know yourself and what works for you. For me, going to the gym everyday placed an incredible amount of stress on my body which in turn became counterproductive. My health consultant, Shawn Bean, helps to keep me in line balancing work and play. Don't be ashamed to reach out for help! Trial and error taught me what worked for me and allowed me to reach a place where I can always be balanced while I'm lifting and while I'm living.

    JM: What do you hope your own personal story and clothing inspire others to do?

    MW: I hope my story inspires other people to follow their dreams. It might sound a little cliché, but it’s true! There is nothing worse than looking back and feeling regret over chances you didn’t take. I want my story to stand as a testament that if you aren’t truly happy with your life, you have the ability to change it. When I first started out, I had no clue what I was doing or where I would end up, but I knew I wanted to try. Let my story and my brand to be proof that you can live unapologetically as yourself and be proud of who you are! I hope that when people wear my products, they feel like the confident, beautiful individuals that they deserve to be and with that little extra boost, they are able to accomplish great things! I truly feel that my biggest success has not been the clothes themselves but the community of empowerment that has been organically created around the brand itself.

    JM: You have lots of celebrity fans... Is there any celeb you would love to meet and to wear your clothing?

    MW: It would be such an honor to meet Carrie Underwood and to see her rock some FFAB gear! She’s a personal favorite of mine because throughout her rise to fame she has never compromised who she is or what she stands for. She, in my opinion, is an example of class and strength, which is exactly what we encourage women to be at FFAB. I admire her because she knew what she wanted, took a chance, and is proof that your dreams can become your reality.

    JM: What is your advice to other young adults wanting to start their own fashion line / business?

    MW: The best advice I can give to someone wanting to begin in any endeavor is to have a clear vision of what you want your product or goal to be. Adapt but do not compromise that original ambition. People are capable of incredible things if they merely have the work ethic to match their dream. There are going to be days when you’re exhausted and overwhelmed, but those are the days that you need to step back and look how far you’ve come. When I see all of the places FFAB has been, I can’t help but be excited to work hard to see where it will go.

    JM: What is your ultimate goal?

    MW: My ultimate goal is to explore every aspect and potential for what FFAB can be as an entity. I hope to continue to grow not only the line itself, but the community surrounding it. In my wildest dreams, FFAB would be a household name not only for apparel but also as a fitness community where people can find positivity, acceptance, and motivation to push them forwards toward their own goals. Everyone deserves to be happy, to feel beautiful and confident, and as long as I continue to touch the lives of others, my journey continues!

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    نوشته شده در جمعه 20 آذر 1394 ساعت 11:43 توسط : عنوان وبلاگ | دسته : | 101 بازدید
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