- A tailor’s work should be practically undetectable. I found one common alteration that can separate the good from the mediocre. No matter what size you are, often there is a gap at the center back waist of pants. Having this taken in will make the pants fit perceptibly better.A good tailor will remove the waistband, take in the pants and the waistband separately, then re-attach the two pieces. A mediocre one will just take darts in the back without removing the waistband, creating bulky lumps that never lay flat and can feel like your have rocks against your skin.
- A botched hem ruins the look of a garment. The new hem should be stitched the same way as the original hem. Jeans and casual pants can have straight stitched hems (you can see a row of stitches on the outside). Trousers, dresses, and skirts usually have what are called blind stitch hems (these can be done by hand or machine and you can’t see the stitches on the outside). A new hem should never be done without removing the original hem first.
- Not all tailors are equal. Some are artists who have a feel for how a garment should fit and the knowledge to make that happen. I’ve tried 4 tailors since I moved to my current town 2 years ago. The best one, by a mile, is Anna. She’s a fit wizard, who also makes custom gowns and suits for some of her clients.
- Ask how long it will take. If the wait is unusually long you might want to look elsewhere. You don’t want to lose a season’s wear just waiting for your coat to be taken in.
- Ask how much before you leave your items. Most tailors have a list of standard alterations and prices. You usually get what you pay for, but there’s no guarantee that the most expensive tailor will be the best one-that you have to gauge for yourself.
For the hardest working hands in town, the beauty part is harder yet.
by Ellen Stern and Nancy Weber
A hand gesture is worth a thousand words. Our hands can show our age, tell our story and flaunt our personality. Love, hate, and happiness can be conveyed with a caress, flick, or wave of our hands. They’re such handy tools; we should take better care of them!
Washing dishes or using other strong cleaning solutions with our bare hands can undermine the richest, most emollient hand cream. The properties that make soaps cut grease and dissolve dirt also make them hard on our skin.
Skin has a pH of between 4 and 6.5 making it slightly acidic. Soaps like dish-washing liquid and even hand soaps are alkaline, which makes them hard on the skin. The pH number is a measure of acidity. Pure water is neutral with a pH of about 7. Solutions with less than 7 are considered acidic and greater than 7 are alkaline. A soap with a pH 8 is ten times more alkaline than one with a pH 7 and a pH 9 soap is ten times harsher than a pH 8 making a pH 10 a thousand times more alkaline than pH 7.
A brand can claim to have added ingredients that soften skin but a high pH can counter all the skin softeners in the world. The pH number does not have to be listed on the label and usually isn’t. To find the best quality mildest hand and dish soaps use Skin Deep to search for options with as low a pH number as you can find.
The best way to take care of the hands is to protect them on a daily basis:
- Wear gloves when using dish soap or cleaning agents and when gardening, sanding or painting.
- Wear a high SPF sunscreen on your hands (especially the backs) every day, even in winter and on cloudy days.
- Wear gloves when it’s cold.
- Use lotion on your hands after you wash them, and right before bed.
- Use your facial exfoliator and night cream on your hands once a week.
What’ HOT now, besides the summer sun? Flashionista’s NEW Summer 2011 Trend Ebook! We take a look at what’s happening in the stores and on the street and put together a focused look at what to wear now.
PJs With a Higher Purpose
Nitesweatz are made of moisture wicking fabric. The sexy thermo-regulating collection keeps bodies comfortable and cool as temperatures rise. To get 40% off use Coupon Code: Fashion40
Offer good until May 7, 2011.
Age-Defying Beauty Sleep
The Plum Design Vanity Pillow can be adjusted to comfortably cradle the head and provide real beauty sleep by protecting skin from wrinkles caused by squashing the face against a pillow.
To get 10% off, use Coupon Code: Plum10.
The scent of lavender is a natural treatment for insomnia. Inhaling it produces a calming, soothing, and sedative effect that relieves anxiety and induces sleep. The Wreath Lady’s Ally Wreath is made of air-dried lavender.
Shipping is free until May 15.
Aging can render eyebrows practically invisible or turn them into bushy face shrubbery. Because of the prominent place they hold on your face, changing them can dramatically change the way you look. A little attention can make a big difference.
Have your brows shaped by a pro. They’re like exclamation points on a face. Creating the perfect arch in just the right spot is hard to do yourself and mistakes are hard to hide. Once you know what they should look like it is possible to maintain the shape yourself.
Blend graying brows. Like the gray hair on the scalp, gray brows can be a challenge to cover. Use a tinted brow gel available at almost any cosmetic counter. Have one of the make-up professionals show you how to use it before leaving the store.
DON’T overdo the plucking, waxing or threading. Brows can be fickle, sometimes they grow back and sometimes they don’t.
Don’t use a stencil. Natural looking brows are made up of separate hairs, so stenciling on a solid streak of color is going to create an odd unnatural, even comedic effect.
Find your ideal shape. Brows should have a natural arch and that particular arch shape can vary depending on your face. Your perfect share will instantly ‘lift’ your whole face. Skinny brows will age you and fading brows will make your face look washed out.
In the video tutorial above, the instructor shows you how to determine where to put the arch. Note the dramatic difference in the way her face looks before and after doing her brows. Even though the video is 6 minutes long, it won’t take you that long once you know what you’re doing.“>