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You’re getting married! To keep it fun and easygoing, follow the advice below from brides and grooms to take the stress out of the planning and executing of your big day. Here are five secrets people say they wish they knew before their wedding:

Get A Professional (If You Can Afford It)
It’s a stress reliever and time saver. But if a wedding planner is not in your budget, choose a neutral, calm friend to be your main helper. Avoid having family members do this job, especially the mother and father of the bride and groom. Ask this person if they have the time and energy to assist you in all things such as dress fittings, visiting venues, and coordinating hotel suggestions for out-of-town guests.

Don’t Stop Dating
The most easygoing engagements happen to couples that remain connected and positive. Carve out time for just the two of you. Do fun or relaxing things that aren’t related to the wedding every weekend, no matter what. Do not allow the wedding to take over your lives, or you will be stressed out by the time it arrives.

Be Firm with Your Family and Friends
Use clear, direct statements to convey information, especially to family members and close friends. Let them know their level of involvement ASAP, and consider keeping it minimal. Just be kind when sharing this information. You want to make sure they know how much you appreciate their help—even if it’s staying far, far away from the wedding planning.

Keep Everything Simple
The less you have to plan and keep track of, the less stressed you may become. Weigh your dream wedding with how much you want to stress. For some of us, that might mean eloping. For others, it might mean cutting the guest list from 450 to 250. Consider having friends help with certain areas of the wedding planning. Your friend who is a chef can oversee the menu to your tastes. Your friend who is crafty might love coming up with awesome favors or centerpieces. You get the idea. Don’t let the details distract you from your happiness.

Know What You Want
Sit down with your soon-to-be husband and each of you come up with one to three words that you want to describe your wedding and engagement. That way you’ll have something to really aim toward. MYNEWSHUB

The right pair of shoes can make all the difference when it comes to completing a look. Candace Bergen has said that no matter what one’s wardrobe costs, if paired with quality shoes, everything looks high quality. She makes a very sound point. As long as the clothes fit well and hair and make-up is done, the shoes can really take the entire look to the next level.

With all of that in mind, here are my ten essential shoes every woman should have in order to be stylishly pulled together no matter what the occasion. Feel free to share what your essentials are as well.

1. Ballet Flats (nude, black, bright colour or print)

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This versatile footwear combines two major ‘Dos’: fashion and function. Not only they are comfortable and won’t cut your heel, they are effortless enough to be worn on casual outings and chic enough for the office.

2. Brown Hue Sandal

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Perfect to wear with ankle jeans, a skirt or a dress, these sandals ensure comfort and flexibility every fast-paced walker would amputate their left arm for.

3. Classic Black Pump (pointed or round toe)

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A black pump is perfect for work with a wrap dress, sheath, suit or trousers. Pointed toes tend to elongate your leg, but either will do depending upon your outfit. Nine West offers classic styles at very reasonable prices, but if you’re able to invest in a pair of Christian Louboutins by all means you must add them to your wardrobe.

4. Nude Heels

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A treasure to be had. Whether with jeans, a dress of any colour, or an outfit of any colour, this is the pump you want to make sure you have in your closet. Choose a round toe or peep-toe, that will instantly give you an illusion of sexy, longer legs.

5. Espadrilles

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Another shoe that is fun for our hot weather, adds height without the wobble and is capable of being paired with capris, shorts or a dress.

6. Kitten Heels

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The height these shoes provide is perfect for those days when you know and want to look feminine, yet have tired feet from wearing sky-high heels all week. These add a flirty height without defying gravity.

7. Evening Heels 

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Going out is the opportunity to be exactly who you are without any rules, so let your shoes begin the fun. Choose a classic black sandal or a something more conversational.MYNEWSHUB

It’s the skincare step that’s worth the extra time in the morning. Smoothing on a treatment lotion is an Asian beauty ritual that’s gaining traction in all parts of the World, and it has a host of complexion- boosting benefits – from restoring clarity to treating the signs of ageing.

Spring water is lightweight, concentrated formulas that penetrate quickly into skin to address various concerns.

But don’t shelve your serum just yet – these lotions or essences are designed to prepare your complexion for your repair serum. When combined, these formulas will penetrate skin faster and deeper for even more moisture benefits.

Here are our picks of the best bottled beauties:

SPLURGE:

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Estee Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion, (RM 366.20)
Using fingertips to press this lotion into your skin releases a nutrient and peptide complex that helps strengthen barrier function, even tone and soften skin.

Biotherm Life Plankton Essence, (RM 254.70)
This aims to clarify skin and fade fine lines after eight days of use. Essences are concentrated, so dispense just two to three drops and apply post-cleanse.

La Mer The Treatment Lotion, (RM 414) 
This luxe liquid forms a silky veil over skin to infuse moisture and improve texture. Skin feels immediately plumper after applying, but don’t stop there – follow with your serum for more effective ingredient absorption.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, (RM 589)
One of the first essences, this has achieved cult status thanks to its pitera-rich formula that works to boost radiance, rebalance and replenish. Skin appears brighter and more luminous with each use.

SAVE:

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Bio-Essence Hydra SPA Energy Refreshing Toning Lotion (RM29.90)

This toner that not only hydrates & nourishes your skin but also facilitates full absorption of skincare products and helps control oil secretion and refine pores. It cools and refreshes skin by replenishing and locking in skin moisture, further cleanses residues inside the pores and balances skin’s PH level.

Evian Facial Spray (RM 17.90)

Famous for their beauty savvy, French women know the secret to good skin. Evian supplies the vital moisture skin so desperately needs to look soft, supple, healthy, and young looking. Just spritz on freshly-cleansed or tired skin to rehydrate and deliver the perfect balance of minerals skin demands.

Avene Thermal Spring Water Gel (RM87)

The unique form of Avène Thermal Spring Water instantly cools and soothes post-procedure and hypersensitive skin. Three single-dose ampoules manufactured and packaged in a sterile environment, it is clinically proven to significantly decreases pain, burning and other skin discomforts.

Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Moisturizing Lotion (RM41.80)

Enriched with 3 types of Hyaluronic Acid to deeply moisturize skin and help to preserve its optimum moisture balance, this facial lotion replenishes and locks-in moisture for complete hydration. The result? Skin feels significantly soft and supple. Use twice daily after cleansing; apply a 20-cent coin sized dollop on palm and gently pat on skin. MYNEWSHUB

Text: SARA KHALID

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re looking for a man who’s tall, dark, and handsome, a Hans Isaac-lookalike if you will; you might want to shift your gaze down a few centimetres.

It turns out, short guys may make better partners – and if you marry one, your relationship is more likely to last, according to New York University research.

For the study, two NYU sociologists examined data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics – which has been collecting info on 5,000 families for almost 50 years – to determine how a man’s height impacts his relationships.

They found that shorter men (about 160cm or shorter) were less likely to marry than their more vertical counterparts, but they were 32 percent less likely to divorce. Why? Researchers aren’t exactly sure, but they believe that short men may just make better mates.

Case in point: the study found that they do a greater share of housework compared to tall and even average-height guys. The average short guy performs 8 hours and 28 minutes of housework a week – compared to just 7 hours 38 minutes for average-height guys, and 7 hours 30 minutes for tall men.

As far as the researchers are concerned, the taller a guy is, the more he thinks he’s “above” those duties.

And contrary to the completely false short-guys-aren’t-powerful stigma, according to the study, short men are also more likely to bring home the bucks than the taller guys. And that’s just the icing on the cake.MYNEWSHUB

Text: SARA KHALID

Waking up with puffy eyes can be really frustrating when you have a big day ahead. Puffy eyes are one of the most common beauty problems where the eyes begin to swell due to different factors. Some of the reasons behind puffy eyes are too much crying, too much physical stress, recovering from a major surgery, genetics, dermatitis, and hormonal changes in the body, change in weather, sinus, hangovers, bad diet, and lack of sleep or some kind of allergic reaction.

Nobody wants to have puffy eyes as it can make one look tired and ill. But there is nothing to worry about as you can easily take care of them with some simple easy natural remedies.

1. Cucumber

This is an age old remedy. Get a cucumber from your refrigerator and slice it up. Keep two circular slices on your eyes for around 10 minutes while you rest. Cucumbers have high water content, which in turn help to reduce swelling around your tired eyes. Chilled cucumber not only relieves puffy and tired eyes, but also helps to brighten up the delicate skin around your eyes.

2. Water

Water is wonderful for your skin and definitely for your eyes. Rinse your face with cold water several times a day. The cool water will soothe your tired and puffy eyes. Cold water constricts the blood vessels, and this in turn reduces swelling. At the same time, drink around 10 glasses of water everyday to keep your body well hydrated. A hydrated body equals less bloating, swelling and puffiness. When your body is not well-hydrated, the cells tend to retain water thus making eyes look puffy.

3. Tea

Tea contains antioxidants that work wonders for tired eyes. Many brands capitalize on its benefits, such as Elizabeth Arden and Origins, but you don’t have to shell out the extra buck to reap its goodness. Tea goes a long way in lessening swelling and puffiness. It has anti-irritant properties that helps soothe tired eyes. Take freshly-extracted tea bags and chill them inside the refrigerator for at least half an hour. Once they are cooled, place them on your eyelids and massage the extra liquid from the teabags around the dark circles. The result will amaze you!

4. Milk

Did you know that cold milk could be a miracle treatment for your eyes? Dunk cotton wool in ice-cold organic raw milk and place them on your closed eyes. Wait for five minutes and then wash your eyes with cool water. Not only will your eyes look fresh, the dark circles around your eyes will also fade to some extent.

5. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera contains vitamins and antioxidants that can do away with puffy and tired looking eyes. Try using pure and freshly extracted aloe vera gel around your eyes and within minutes, the puffiness would decrease. Aloe vera helps to improve circulation of blood. Just one thing: try not to get the residue into the eyes at it will sting and irritate.MYNEWSHUB

Text: SARA KHALID

Often called ‘liquid gold’, argan oil is an organic product extracted from the kernels of the argan tree, which is native to Morocco. It is extremely rich in beneficial nutrients including fatty acids and vitamin E. Its properties make it particularly beneficial for the hair and skin, which makes it a popular cosmetic choice for many celebrities. It’s not just for the rich and famous, though – anyone can reap the argan oil benefits for their body. Here are some of its most common uses.

arganoil_benefitsA testimony shows significant transformation after two weeks of argan oil application; skin is noticeably smoother and lifted.

1. Skin Moisturiser

Argan oil is most commonly used as a skin moisturiser to hydrate and soften skin. With its high vitamin E and fatty acid content, argan oil is the ideal product to give skin a natural boost. It absorbs easily and is non-greasy and non-irritating, which makes it a great natural moisturiser.

It is easy to use all over the body, including the face and neck. Simply smooth a few drops into your skin using gentle rubbing motions, as you would any face and body lotion.

2. Hair Conditioner

Proven to make hair softer, silkier and shinier. It is the ideal hair conditioner, and it can even help to treat split ends and tame frizzy hair. Using argan oil to condition your hair is extremely easy. It comes in several types of applications and products and has so many ways to use it for different results that we decided to write an in-depth guide to using Argan oil for hair.

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3. Sleek and Shine Styling

Due to its ability to tame frizz and give hair shine, argan oil is also commonly used as a styling agent. It makes hair more manageable and adds a healthy, attractive shine to any hair style. This is an ideal step to add to your daily routine after blow-drying. Rub a few drops of argan oil over your palms and then comb your fingers through your hair to apply.

4. Anti-Ageing

Not only does argan oil act as an effective moisturiser, it can also give skin a youthful glow and reduce the visibility of wrinkles. Its anti-oxidant effect makes argan oil the ideal anti-aging product. It restores elasticity and leaves skin feeling plumper and softer.

The best way to apply argan oil for the most prominent anti-aging effects is to massage a few drops into your face and neck before bed. It acts as a moisturiser and anti-ager all in one.

5. Dry Skin Conditions

People suffering from dry skin or conditions such as eczema which can leave skin raw, flaky and itchy will benefit immensely from argan oil. The vitamin E and fatty acids in argan oil are excellent for repairing damaged skin and providing it with nutrients which will prevent further dryness and irritation. Argan oil also contains ingredients which soothe skin. Applying a small amount of oil directly to afflicted skin and massaging in gently can provide relief and encourage healing.

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6. Acne

Where many oils and moisturisers can exacerbate skin conditions such as acne, argan oil actually soothes afflicted skin and promotes healing. Acne is often the result of oily skin. Since argan oil is non-greasy, it helps to balance skin by providing natural moisture. Argan oil also contains anti-oxidants which help to heal damaged skin cells and reduce inflammation.

Applying a few drops of argan oil to skin afflicted by acne after cleansing and patting dry ensures that essential moisture and nutrients are introduced to clean, dry skin. Rubbing in gently and repeating twice daily can help clear up mild acne as well as balancing oily or dry skin.

7. Protection and Healing

The antioxidants in argan oil are generally beneficial for healing skin which is irritated, cracked, damaged or even burned. It is best used as a preventive for dry or sore skin, but it can also be used to speed up healing. Its properties include reducing inflammation, soothing pain and increasing healing rate.

Smoothing a few drops of argan oil into sore or damaged skin helps to speed up the healing process.

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8. Pregnancy

Stretch marks are an issue for many pregnant women, but argan oil is the ideal protection against stretch marks and sagging, puckered skin after birth. Argan oil increases the elasticity of skin due to its vitamin E content. Using a few drops of argan oil to rub into breasts, stomach, bottom and thighs during pregnancy will reduce the likelihood of developing unsightly stretch marks.

9. Foot, Hand and Nail Treatment

Argan oil’s softening properties are ideal for brittle nails, dry hands and cracked, hard skin on feet. It both moisturises and softens skin, leaving hands and feet supple and soft and nails strong and healthy. Try massaging a few drops of argan oil into cuticles, hands and feet before bed each night.

10. Lip Moisturiser

Especially in cold or dry weather, lips can easily become sore, dry and cracked. Argan oil is the ideal product to ensure lips stay plump, soft and supple. Rub a drop or two into dry lips as a balm – but be sure to wipe off any excess. MYNEWSHUB

Text: SARA KHALID

A recent Gallup poll revealed that when asked what age should women start having children, the most common answer was 25-years-old.

The response could be, in part, because this is the age when most people become more financially stable and are winding down their party years, but the actually ideal age for starting a family may shock you.

According to Gallup, some medical experts say the best age for a woman to have a child is in her late teens or early 20s because that is the ideal age range to conceive a healthy baby.

While in some less-developed countries teen (wedded) mothers are a common practice, some felt age is not a factor to have a child and even view conceiving a child very young in life is against women’s rights.

Contradicting from current Western thinking, which base the “readiness” age on financial stability, marital status and maturity level.

However, according to John Mirowsky, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin, the biological “best age” for a baby is clearly out of step, then, with what might be the sociological “best age.”  Many twentysomethings consider themselves way too scattered and irresponsible to have a child.

As Mirowsky put it, “Humans mature reproductively about a decade before Americans mature socially.”

In a study he conducted with 1890 mothers, definition of the “best age” in terms of the longest life expectancy for the mother, the optimum age is oldest of all, which is 34.

While having a first baby at age 34 might be fine, this other study suggests, what’s even more fine is to have a last baby before age 35. So no fret, more time then for the rest of us!

Text: SARA KHALID

 

Soon women could have a new weapon to fight the threat of sexual assault: nail polish.

A team of students at North Carolina State University has created a special type of nail polish that changes colour when exposed to date rape drugs like Rohypnol, Xanax and GHB.

The wearer simply dips a fingernail painted with the Undercover Colours polish into their drink to check it hasn’t been spiked with narcotics.

What started out at the start of August as a university project and a Facebook page with 75 followers is now a global media news story with a growing Facebook community of over 40,000 at last count.

According to a report by Yahoo! Lifestyle, the nail polish was developed by four Materials Science & Engineering majors. Branding their product as Undercover Colours, they said on their Facebook page that they hope their product “will be able to shift the fear from the victims to the perpetrators, creating a risk that they might actually start to get caught.”

“While date rape drugs are often used to facilitate sexual assault, very little science exists for their detection. Our goal is to invent technologies that empower women to protect themselves from this heinous and quietly pervasive crime.”

The Undercover Colours team cites a statistic that says 18 per cent of women in the US will experience sexual assault during their lifetime.The all-male students are now looking for funding for their project on UndercoverColours.com.

Similar statistics show that sexual assault is a big problem in Malaysia,too. According to an annual report published by UN Women, a total of 3- to 40 per cent of women have experienced some kind of sexual assault in her life, starting from the age 12 onwards.MYNEWSHUB

Text: SARA KHALID

Tongue scraping, nasal cleansing and eye palming are some of the hottest new treatments promising radiant skin and a gleaming smile. Only they’re not new. In fact, they’re ancient ayurvedic practices dating back more than 3,000 years. Why the resurgence now? From juice cleanses to meditation, holistic health and beauty ideas have become far more mainstream. And it doesn’t hurt that celebs like Oprah and Gwyneth have been known to sing their praises.

Now, it’s your turn to  experiment with these rituals and see if they help turn back time for your face and body.

Eye Palming

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In the age of tablets, smartphones and computers, it’s no wonder vision problems are on the rise—making the centuries-old practice of eye palming almost more relevant now. Heat and pressure from your hand can help rest the optic nerve and relieve tension in the muscles around the orbital bones.How to do it? Warm your hands by rubbing them together. Close your eyes and press the heel of each palm on the corresponding cheekbone, then cup your fingers over the eyelid. Breathe deeply and slowly in this position for five minutes.

Gandusha (Oil Pulling)

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A lot of gunk passes through your mouth—and we don’t just mean junk food: Lymph nodes located along the jaw, near the ears, and in the neck are responsible for filtering bacteria and toxins from the face, nasal cavity, and pharynx. Enter oil pulling: swishing oil around in your mouth to draw out impurities.
Many orthodontists believe that swishing breaks down bacteria and draws toxins out of the salivary glands, trapping them in the oil. Which means that, when you oil-pull, it can make it harder for bacteria and plaque to form. The result can be a brighter, whiter smile.
And it comes with extra perks: An inflammatory response in the mouth like gum disease could lead to having inflammatory responses such as heart disease or diabetes.
High levels of bacteria can accumulate in the mouth overnight (hello, morning breath!), so swish one tablespoon of organic oil around in your mouth for 10 minutes in the morning before brushing your teeth; spit into a toilet. Coconut oil is popular because of its sweet taste.

Jiva Sodhana (Tongue Scraping)

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While we sleep, bacteria gather on the surface of the tongue. Scraping the tongue has cumulative benefits: fresher breath, less plaque build-up, and healthier gums.
By unclogging the pores on the tongue, you may taste your food more and feel more satisfied—possibly curbing your appetite.
Use a metal scraper that spans the width of the tongue. Before brushing your teeth, but after oil pulling, gently glide the scraper from the back of the tongue to the tip, then along the sides; repeat a few times. Make sure to rinse the scraper between each swipe.

Padabhyanga (Foot Massage)

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Much like the tongue, our feet are linked to all the organs and hormones in the body via nerve endings, pressure points, and lymph nodes, according to ayurvedic teaching. In India, many devotees massage their feet with warm oil before going to bed each night to stimulate circulation and energy in the lower extremities. When done on a regular basis, we think foot massages can help reduce fatigue and improve sleep,two factors key to overall health and well-being.
Ayurvedic practitioners believe that the four major nerves in the feet connect directly to the eyes, so massaging feet in this manner is thought to help reduce stress from chronic headaches.
Before bed, clean your feet with warm water. While sitting down, rest one foot on the opposite thigh. Using brisk strokes, start massaging from the top of the foot; when you get to the toes, bend them up and down with your hand. Then firmly massage the bottom of the foot with your thumbs and the heel of your hand, using stronger pressure on the toes (many of the nerve endings in the foot are there). Focus the flow toward the toes, using circular motions.

Neti Pot (Nasal Cleansing)

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It looks like Aladdin’s lamp—and for people with sinus issues, allergies, or congestion, a neti pot can grant easier-breathing wishes just as well. Flushing salt water up one nostril and back out the other with this teapot can nix bacteria, germs, pollen, mucus, and everyday environmental irritants. And, it can be used as a preventive treatment, too. By flushing the mucous membranes, you can reduce the microbes and airborne pollutants before they cause trouble.
Since allergies can cause the tiny blood vessels around your eyes to become inflamed and press up against the skin, reducing allergens can stop dark circles from forming. Ayurvedic practitioners also say that irrigating the nose can reduce puffiness by moving around liquids pooled under the eyes.
Mix 3/4 cup warm distilled or filtered water, one teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda into the pot. Bend forward, lean your head to the left, and pour the water into the right nostril. Do it over the sink to catch the water that spills out of your left nostril. Repeat on the other side. MYNEWSHUB/Yahoo! Beauty