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Archive for the ‘ Beauty ’ Category

Reinvent Your Eyes With Drama This Autumn

Cara Delevingne with this season's smokey eyes (Image: blacklockbeauty.com)

Cara Delevingne with this season’s smokey eyes (Image: blacklockbeauty.com)

Eyes are the windows of your soul. They convey thoughts, feelings and attitude. Eye contact is a component of non-verbal communication and maintaining efficient eye contact is an interpersonal skill vital for effective communication.

Sometimes people avoid looking directly at someone due to shyness and nervousness.
Your eyes might be in need of a mini make-over to boost your confidence and self-esteem.

From subtle glamorous eyes to statement dramatic eyes, the choice is yours. So how do you get the look? Continue reading

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Five Tips For Maintaining Excellent Skincare

beauty

Beautiful skin is a timeless, classic trend. Magazines manifest the art of beauty by showcasing model’s with idyllic skin. Hectic social life, stressful work-load and unpredictable weather can take it’s toll on your skin. Diminish autumn blues by being attentive to your skin- care needs.

Here’s the must have secret tips for flawless skin. Continue reading

How To Be Miss Photo Perfectionist

camera

Summer is in full-flight mode . Sun, Sea and Sand but don’t forget the ever so important camera.

A picture paints a thousand words . With my tips, you will no longer be camera-shy. Looking your best in front of the camera will be so simple.

Tip 1  Practice, practice, practice.  Get a friend or family member to take photos of you. Learn to relax in front of the camera. The best photos are often the one’s where you forget the camera is even focused on you.

Tip 2  Prepare well for your photos. Look after your skin by drinking lots of water and getting plenty of sleep. cleanse , tone and moisturise.

Tip 3 Visit your dentist. For that sizzling, irresistible smile, get your teeth whitened professionally. It can make a huge difference to your photos. You will be thanking me, when compliments come your way. Pick up most magazines, and you will spot the top celebrities with snow-white teeth. Continue reading

Failing Eyesight Helps Irish Woman Spearhead Vintage Fashion Range

vintadefinita

When it comes to beautiful clothing, exquisite style and excellent quality are perfect partners.  And the team at vintage-style clothing label – Vinta Definita – have an innate understanding of this. By adding the finishing touches to their very first collection, the Dublin-based brand has designed the perfect antidote to fast fashion. Their gorgeous capsule collection has been created by drawing inspiration from the grace and style of the 1930, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. And each garment has been created – in limited runs and often by hand – using exclusive, high quality fabrics from Italy, France and Spain.  These are luxurious investment pieces that make a strong statement about the women who choose to wear them. “Luxury is a concept with multiple definitions,” says Annushka O’Neill, Creative Director at Vinta Definita. “For us, luxury means beautifully made clothing with an emphasis on exquisite craftsmanship and exclusivity of design. For our customers, luxury is the sense of integrity that comes from sourcing fewer but higher quality garments.” Despite their Irish roots, the fledgling firm has a truly international flavour with their sights firmly set on the stars.  “Our textile designer is English, our pattern maker is Polish, our garments are made in Portugal and the face of our brand – Diana Morozova – is a Russian actress,” says Annushka O’Neill.  And O’Neill commissioned award-winning Russian photographer, Taya Nevskaya, to shoot the brand’s first look book. “Taya’s work has appeared in Cosmopolitan,” says O’Neill, “and that was good enough for us!”. Continue reading

How To: Get Healthier Looking Hair

hairLong, short, thick or thin, curly or straight, having glistening, healthy hair can really enliven a person’s face and look. It cannot be denied that we ladies spend a copious amount of time, energy and money on our hair, it only makes sense that we get it looking radiant and strong. Below are some tips to help you improve and maintain your hair.

Avoid too much bleaching and over dying of your hair. Regular bleaching can cause the hair to become frizzy, rough and dry with a straw like texture. The more you bleach the worse the condition gets. However, if you’re reading this and you have already bleached your hair and are looking for ways to help improve the condition, have no fear I have a few tips. Having bleached hair myself I find that putting oil(Olive oil, Sunflower Oil, Coconut Oil etc.) in my hair over night in a towel and then washing it out the next morning really helps improve the condition of your hair. And the best part is it’s all natural! Your hair will soak up the oil over night, and your will get an intense conditioning.

Eating a protein rich diet can encourage and promote hair growth as protein is an important component of your hair. Protein is found in many food like eggs, dark green vegetables, fish, lean beef and especially tofu. Our bodies constantly recycle protein but it is essential that we constantly replace it.

Avoid over styling and regular use of heating products such as hair straighteners, hair dryers, curlers etc. Over use can cause the hair to dry out, break and become damaged. I find that drying my hair naturally gives a softer, sleeker and healthier result than blow drying. However, if you simply cannot live without your straightener or hair dryer than buying a product that reduces heat damage is a fantastic idea. The product I use is John Frieda’s FRIZZ-EASE® Daily Nourishment Leave- In conditioning Spray. It’s a fortifying leave in conditioner with lots of vitamins that helps revitalize dry, damaged hair. I find it works excellently and you can even spray it on straight after straightening your hair if it goes extremely frizzy after the straightening, it dampens the hair and gets rid of the dreaded dry frizz look.

One last piece of advice I can give you is to get a proper night’s sleep. A good night’s sleep will help to regulate the body’s natural hormone levels which promote good overall health. When the body is healthy and thriving, your hair is also. Sleep helps reduce mental and physical stress on your body, which will again encourage growth.

As they say, You only get out what you put in, so proper maintenance of your hair is very important to keep you looking beautiful and radiant.

More than 55,000 Men and Women Seek To End Page 3 Tradition

British feminist Lucy Anne Holmes has launched a campaign entitled “No More Page 3” which is aimed at Britain’s greatest selling newspaper The Sun and the publications now 42 year long tradition of “Page 3 Girls.” For those of you who don’t already know what exactly this tradition involves  (I can’t imagine there are many of you)  let me enlighten you, a page 3 girl is a girl who bares her breasts in what is always the largest image of a female included in the entire paper.

Despite numerous attempts to bring to an end this truly retrogressive tradition which originally began in November of 1970 not one has been successful, however, with the launch of this latest campaign perhaps all that will change? Certainly this petition and the letter Lucy Holmes drafted to Dominic Monahan, editor of The Sun, in which she politely requests that the publication stop showing “the naked breasts of a young woman in your widely- read ‘family’ newspaper” has captured the attention and imagination of both the British and Irish public like no other.  The number of signatures received has already reached a whopping total of 55,064 – a number which continues to rise as I type! Contributing to the campaigns success is of course social media. Within days of its being launched a whole flurry of support had been expressed by both men and women via sites such as Twitter and Facebook with comments ranging from the concise but hardhitting “Because women contribute to society in many ways that do not involve a mans erection” to the poignant “Because I want my daughter to grow up in a world that respects her for ALL she is, instead of treating her like meat”

One particularly honest male journalist by the name of Mike Delwiche actually took to British publication Grazia in order to discuss his reasons for turning his back on Page 3 and joining the petitioners. According to Delwiche he first discovered Page 3 models at the age of 11 and even though looking at these young girls and becoming aroused by them made him feel, in his own words, “dirty” he continued to buy these papers with the sole intention of ogling these women and their naked breasts. Continuing he explains that the guilt seemed worth it at the time because he enjoyed “the feeling of power over the models on the page, always willing and available when the girls I knew in real life seemed so alien and unobtainable.” After a while, however, Delwiche noticed his attitude toward women and the way he would interact with them changing and not for the better. Girls, he says became little more than sex objects something he merely thought he wanted to look at and touch. He could no longer think of a woman as a person but rather as a “walking pair of breasts.” Naturally these changes worried Delwiche but he was not inspired to change his ways until the day a female friend he truly cared for explained that Page 3 made her “feel cheap” and like “a piece of meat.” Thanks to this man’s honesty and indeed his courage I think we can all understand why women across the world take offence to such images especially when they are repeatedly served up alongside breakfast in the daily newspaper. Ultimately, this is a tradition which conditions men (and women in fact) to view females as sex objects.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and so naturally there are those individuals who simply do not agree with this campaign. The Huffington Post’s Rita Pal for instance believes that this petition is just another attempt by feminists to further emasculate men in a world where they have already “ripped out their masculinity.” Hrmmm…! Not only that but the journalist believes that in fighting to bring to an end this obviously sexist tradition women are essentially fighting to “control the biological and sexual imperative of men.” At one point Pal even calls petitioners “prudes.” Well there’s one I haven’t heard before and don’t you just love how Pal has conveniently forgotten that men in their thousands have also signed this petition? Another argument the journalist makes is this; “every man over the age of consent has seen a naked woman in or out of their bed” here she really shows her ignorance by ignoring the fact that The Sun is in fact a family newspaper and that regardless of what those over the age of consent have or have not seen children in the UK and Ireland are constantly coming across these images in newspapers left behind on buses, or strewn on the kitchen counter of their homes.

Last but certainly not least Pal makes the argument that these images actually promote a healthy body image for women the world over. At this point I would like to draw attention to the fact that out of all the thousands of women who have modelled for Page 3 since 1972 only 4 of them have been black. Typically the women The Sun serves up for consumption are all white, slim and able bodied. So, just how may I ask does this publication promote a healthy body image when it sticks so rigidly to a pre-defined notion of beauty that lacks any kind of diversity? Honestly, Pals arguments are good ones, really they are, I mean clearly women should feel confident in their sexuality and clearly men have every right to their sexuality, but in relation to this particular situation these arguments are completely irrelevant don’t you agree? You have to admit that women saying they find these images degrading and that they would rather not be confronted with them on a daily basis hardly qualifies as an attempt at castration. And here I was thinking us feminists were supposed to be the completely unreasonable ones who blew every little thing out of proportion in order to make a point!

Of course this campaign also raises issues within the feminist community. Certainly there are those feminists who consider Page 3, glamour modelling of any sort, stripping and even prostitution to be the ultimate celebration of female sexuality and truly believe that these activities send a message to women everywhere to stand up and be confident in their bodies. Typically these individuals also believe that it is patronizing to think of glamour models etc as victims (in fact there are those who feel it is the “right” of a glamour model to exploit the desire/weakness of mean everywhere in return for monetary reward) However, I would argue that these images do not reflect the full and complex sexuality of women and that they, in fact, fail to even come close to representing female sexuality in all its true glory. This, I believe, is one of the main reasons why women are signing in their thousands.

I am fully aware of what I am opening myself up to in writing this article. As Joan Smith pointed out 23 years ago, opponents of Page 3 are doomed to be accused of “motives of envy and prudery… particularly if they are women.” (Hello Rita Pal!) Already I and many other campaigners have come up against sarcastic comments and questions such as “Are you also planning to campaign against all classical art featuring naked women?” The answer, dear readers, is no. I simply believe that there is a time and a place for baring ones breasts and the daily newspaper is not it. I am not, as some would have you believe, here to shut down all instances of sexual expression I am simply reiterating a point once made by British comedian Jennifer Saunders “tits aren’t news.”

To sign this petition and lend your support to Lucy Holmes – a woman who by the way has already received such a torrent of abuse simply for standing up for what she believes in that she has had to contact the police on numerous occasions – simply click here.

By Kerrie Mitchell.

Alternative Beauty, An Interview With An Irish “Steampunk” Model

Black Swan on a photo-shoot in St Annes Park Dublin, Photographer Joanne Pasternak

Tall, curvaceous and very beautiful it’s not surprising that Irish Model Black Swan Persona works on the international arena. And although she has the looks and height to carry off beauty and fashion photo-shoots she loves to represent the more unusual form of beauty “Steampunk”.   

 How long have you been modeling and how did you get it into it? I’ve been modeling for about five years now. In my teens, I participated in two Degas-inspired shoots for an exhibition with my ballet school, and that gave me a taste of what modeling was like. An artist friend, Piotr Harmsden, introduced me to a photographer he knew. He thought I had ‘something’ and asked to photograph me. I enjoyed the experience so much that I decided to give modeling a try. I’m shooting and being published now more than ever, which is fantastic.

How did you get into the Steampunk side of things and is it something you are personally interested in? I have always been drawn to more theatrical styles, and have long been interested in the Victorian era; the costumes, the literature, and the visual art. I started to hear the term ‘Steampunk’ mentioned in the Dublin alternative scene. My friend Harmsden was very into it, and could regularly been seen in a top hat and tails with a pair of goggles. I decided to look further into Steampunk fashion online, and was really taken with it how imaginative it was. Harmsden has since passed away, so it’s also nice to pay tribute to his style too.

Describe in your own words what Steampunk is and why you think people are fascinated with it! ‘Steampunk’ refers to clothing, literature, music, and visual art inspired by the time in history when steam power was used, combined with futuristic elements. Sometimes people get it confused with Dieselpunk. Steampunk clothing is generally Victorian or Wild West in style, embellished with cogs, keys, pocket watches, and goggles. Because of the sub-cultural nature of Steampunk, everyone can interpret it their own way. It’s such a remarkable style that it’s really captured peoples’ imaginations.

If someone wanted to get into the same kind of modeling as you do what would your tips be? Every aspiring alternative model has to start at the bottom and work their way up. You can’t expect to appear in magazines and work with the best photographers right off the bat. You have to build up experience before that can happen. This can mean doing your own makeup and styling, and shooting more basic concepts with photographers who are starting out themselves. The more experience models gets, the more accomplished they become, and the more photographers will seek them out for shoots.

When they approach their 30s often models are considered too old, what is your opinion and what is your plan for your future? I’m in my mid-twenties so I have a few years to go before I need to think about that! The mainstream modeling industry is obsessed with youth, yet models like Kate Moss continue to be successful after thirty. Claudia Schiffer is over forty years old, still models, and looks fantastic. In the alternative industry, pin-up model Masuimi Max is in her mid-thirties and is more successful than ever. If models look after themselves, there is no need to stop.

What is your attitude towards the restrictions on looks, size etc the fashion industry makes and do you think that a more realistic version of beauty should be shown more? The fashion industry places these extreme restrictions on models because what they are aiming for is perfection. That’s how they keep the industry elite. But their idea of beauty is not the only one. The alternative industry is made up of every kind of beauty you can think of; every size, shape, height, or age is included. There are models with imperfections like scars, even amputated limbs, all representing their own brand of beauty. I don’t want to write off the fashion industry because it certainly produces some exquisite images. However, its exclusive nature alienates many models whose unique beauty would remain unseen if that was the only option.

You studied history of Art and Literature, so you obviously have beauty and brains, why did you pick those subjects? I have always been an avid reader and creative writer. I really enjoy literary criticism and academic writing also, so it was a perfect fit for me. I got my Masters from the school of English at Trinity College Dublin, and was undertaking a PhD there, which I have since deferred. My favourite genre is the Decadent literature of the fin de siècle/Victorian era. I briefly studied art history, and I was particularly interested in the Symbolist movement, which occurred around the same time. So that era means a lot to me across the board.

Being smart as a model is going against the stereotype, how do people you work with deal with that? Does it make it easier or harder? Being intelligent is very much the opposite of what most people expect of a model. It’s nice to disprove that assumption, without waving your accomplishments in people’s faces. In all honesty, the majority of artists I work with are smart people, and we respect each others’ intelligence.

You have a tattoo on your wrist, they are normally not liked in the world of modeling but in “alternative” beauty often a feature, why do you think that is? Do you have any others? I have three tattoos, which is not many at all. I have a black swan surrounded by a halo on my left wrist and a Latin phrase on my right wrist. I four interconnected black swans on my lower back. They are the Children of Lir, but done in black to tie-in with my name. In terms of modeling, it seems that high-fashion models are obliged to remain blank canvasses for the various designers who hire them to sell their clothing. Alternative models are freer to project their own personalities in each shoot, and that includes having tattoos, but they are certainly not a prerequisite. You will see internationally-known alternative models, like Sabina Kelley or Raquel Reed, who are heavily tattooed, and others, like Miss Mosh or Ulorin Vex, who have none at all. The main thing is that we have to freedom to express ourselves that way if we decide we want to.
Where would you go to listen to music, dance and have a good night out in Dublin? No matter where in the world I travel to, I still think that Dublin nightlife is the best! Favourite haunts of mine include The Grand Social, The Twisted Pepper, Whelan’s, and 4 Dame Lane is always good for cocktails!

Do you have a  Personal motto? It would have to be the Latin phrase that I have tattooed on my wrist- ‘luctor et emergo,’ which means ‘I struggle and emerge.’ It has always been relevant to my life, and will be in the future I’m sure!

Steampunk an international phenomenon:

Steampunk definition: Steam standing for the use of alternative and retro-technology (steam engines) and punk describing the rebellion against society and the way history went.

Originating in the early 1980s the term Steampunk was first coined 1987 by American science-fiction/fantasy author K.W. Jeter. In a letter to si-fi magazine Locus he used the term “Steampunk” to separate the kind of stories he and his friends Blaylock and Power were writing and publishing from the general fantasy and science fiction novels.

Today Steampunk has created a whole array of art, music and fashion that follows it’s own, loose, set of rules and inspires many to step outside of what is conventional and live an alternative lifestyle.

Steampunk art and fashion use a lot of brass, wood, iron, leather and visible machinery, big cogs and wheels balancing function and form against each other. This love of gadgets and industrial design is reflected in the music, which is a combination of dance/world music and industrial sounds.

But Steampunk reaches even further than that; Bioshock II is a perfect example of a computer game using steampunk story-lines and imagery. Warehouse 13, the successful TV Series, and the movies Sherlock Holmes have not only popularised steampunk, but also made it more mainstream.

But Steampunt is more than just a fashion/visual statement.  The idea behind steampunk is that everything should have a use or be beautiful and that you should be committed to self-sufficiency and creativity of the individual.  This means that supporting small local businesses, respecting handmade and crafted items and a love of art are at the very core of the steampunk movement.

Steampunk is a backlash to the Industrial Revolution, when the Arts and Crafts movement favoured the skilled work or human hands over mass-produced items.  To a time when Victorian designer William Morris said “have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’.

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