Attention: Summer Bride Must Have!

The days leading up to the big day can cause stress to the delicate area under your eyes. You’re finalizing arrangements, checking over the guests RSVP’s, and forever looking for that “one last thing”. Skyn Iceland has created firming and cooling pads to firm, depuff, and tone under your eyes. They are the perfect pre makeup treatment and they work in just 10 minutes!

I was able to try these eye gels out for myself; and yes you should too! The Summer Bride would be hard pressed to find a product that works as efficiently as Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels for a quick “pick me up”.  Hydrolized elastin restores tone and firms while ginkgo biloba extract help improve bloodflow and reduce puffiness. You can feel these pads working as you’re wearing them.

They come in a package of eight so you may want to make use of them during those final weeks before the big day. And though he won’t admit it, your groom will love them too!

For even better results use the eye gels during the week before the big day and follow up with the Icelandic Relief Eye Cream. It gives you a continuous cooling feeling while keeping up the fight against puffiness. I will be keeping the pair handy!

 

Checkout http://www.SkynIceland.com for more information.

 

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G.E.A.R up for a Groom’s Grooming Lesson

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“Hair, teeth, hands, and feet,” was his response, “that’s all I have to work with!” The question: What is in that little bag you have in the bathroom?

That bag contained a hairbrush, a toothbrush, tweezers, and a straight razor. To my surprise it also contained nail clippers and a nail file. “Have you ever received a manicure?”  “No.” Needless to say, this man was happy that his girlfriend became a manicurist.

Since becoming a manicurist I have given many men their first “manEcure” and pedicure. Surprisingly, all of them seemed amazed at how much they enjoy the service, the improvement of their hands and feet, and the desire to make the services part of their regular maintenance. A gentleman’s manicure and pedicure makes a man feel good. Men don’t have to only enjoy a haircut and shave anymore. Even if they like the idea of having nice hands and feet, men are more likely to slack on the upkeep so I suggest they keep a few items handy for between services. G.E.A.R by Tweezerman has a great “Essential Grooming Kit” that is perfect for men. It has almost everything I suggest to my male clients to keep in the bathroom drawer. The kit contains a heavy-duty nail clipper and their new multi use tool that can be used for filing so there are no more jagged nails! You can also use the tool for cleaning under the nails, which should be done regularly for sanitary reasons. The same tool can be used to push back cuticles which will keep nails looking neat and clean. All of this is best done after a shower so that nails and cuticles are softer and easier to manage, and takes maybe 10-15 minutes per week. The kit also contains facial hair scissors so keeping mustaches and eyebrows neat between shaves and visits to the barber is at your fingertips. It may even let you extend the time between shaves.

 

The other thing the man should do is keep a pumice stone in the boudoir. G.E.A.R also has a double sided stone for rough and soft exfoliations: Perfect to fight those stereotypes of men having rough/dry feet and hopefully bring on some foot massage exchange!

For regular evening application I suggest getting a cuticle cream or oil such as Cuti-Cocktail or Cuti-Quench by Sparitual which can be used around finger and toe nails, and a great lip balm like Facial Fuel No Shine Moisturizing Lip Balm by Kiehl’s is great for kissable…I mean manly lips.

 

 

 

GEAR Essentials Kit

 

Lets Talk Fashion with British Bridal Designer – Kosibah’s Yemi Osunkoya

Even though it was almost 8 years ago, I remember vividly the excitement I felt when I decided to look for my dream wedding dress. The plan was to buy something off the rack, an elegant statement piece, one that people would ooh and aah and one that would take my groom’s breath away upon first sight. However, my dress was designed and made just for me, my first haute couture experience.

Shall we fast-forward 8 years as I walk into Kosibah to meet with the owner Yemi Osunkoya. Yemi is an impressive man, tall and charming yet eloquent in his approach. As he guides me through his journey, his labor of love shines through when he describes to me his journey of how he came to be one of the foremost British black haute couture bridal designers, still standing for 23 years. I ask if there is any significance with the name Kosibah. It turns out to be a derivation of his mother’s name. She was born on a Sunday and named Cosiba; he changed the spelling to make it a little more user friendly yet different and Kosibah was born.

'Odile''Odette'

Image courtesy of Damien Lovegrove                            Image courtesy of Alakija Studios

I wanted to know more about this important designer, so I delved into his background and how he came to be a designer. He explains that the compromise he made with his parents when he told them he wanted to be a designer it would be for that reason he would go to university. “If I could have gone to university to study fashion design in Nigeria, I would have done so, but there wasn’t any university offering fashion design courses at that time. So I decided to study textile design because I thought fashion and textiles go hand in hand and it could always come in useful afterwards. So when I came to England, I didn’t want to go through another 4 years of fashion school; I just wanted to learn how to sew, how to draft a pattern, how to cut fabric and other practical skills relevant to creating clothes because I could already design and was pretty good at sketching out my design ideas.” In London he attended a private fashion school called the Paris Academy School of Fashion. It’s closed now, but there he was taught old-school couture: “where you take 26 very precise body measurements from your client, you then develop a body block, from the body block you make a pattern draft and then you do a fitting on your client with a mockup/prototype of the garment you are making in toile; there’s usually some slight fitting issues that are flagged up at this stage because everyone’s body is different so I don’t deal in dress sizes, I deal in body measurements for each individual.”

'Ekatarina'

Image courtesy of Kosibah

After starting his business in casual wear, he very quickly realized his methods of production were not viable and would be both too expensive and labor intensive. His business organically evolved into bridal and special occasion wear because of the way he wanted to make his dresses. “I can create whatever my client wants. The unifying factor in all my dresses is the figure enhancing aspect of them, so regardless of whether I’m using kente, or I’m using ankara or I’m using lace, or I’m using duchess satin, it’s the same couture process I use but it’s all client led.”

Kosibah Real Bride Hadiza
Image courtesy of  Kosibah

Ladies, finally a designer that cares about women with curves! Yemi goes on to explain, “they obviously come to me because they’ve seen something I’ve done. I sit down with them, I look at them physically to see what would fit because that’s my basic ethos. I ask myself what can I do for this person in front of me to flatter them and make them look their best? Sometimes we minimize certain body areas and sometimes we enhance other body parts.” As a woman with curves, I begin to smile and Yemi smiles back in acknowledgment that I like his style!

Kente-Oke BridesmaidMother of the Bride Lady Boateng and Yemi
Images courtesy of Kosibah

Dressing his bride is a service he offers because after working for months on a dress, he wants to see the dress in the right setting and wants to ensure it looks exactly the way he designed the piece. A client who he met through Instagram flew him to Abuja to the wedding to dress her. Ladies, you can bring the designer to you! Yemi is not only a 21st century designer but he is engaged with social media and recognizes how powerful a marketing tool it is for his product. He understands the power of Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, “learning the etiquette of the social platforms he uses” he now has clients he would not have met under normal circumstances.

Kosibah Real Bride TemiKosibah Real Bride Chinyelu I

Images courtesy of Kosibah

I asked Yemi whom would he consider as his ideal client. He explains, “she is a full-figured woman because anybody that is a size 14 or under, people might just assume she’s got great body.” A full-figured woman that wears one of his dresses should expect a significant amount of body sculpting in order to make more of an impact. If you’re not sample sized, it might be more difficult to just get something off the peg which is where getting something bespoke might be your priority. Because of “the quality of the fabric, embellishments that I use in my dresses and the line and the silhouette of the finished gown, I want it to always scream class and grace.” I ask him if he could dress any bride, or create a bespoke dress, who or what would that be? Yemi immediately responds, “if Oprah ever decides that she wants to marry Stedman, she should come and knock on my door, and I will create the most amazing dress for her because she has the perfect figure I’d like to get my hands … ’cause she has an hourglass figure.” I smile and tell him we’ll have to get that message across the pond to Oprah.

Check out Yemi at the following:

http://www.kosibah.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/YemiKosibah
http://www.twitter.com/yemikosibah
http://uk.linkedin.com/in/yemiosunkoya
http://www.yemikosibah.com

 

Michelle Lowe is the travel editor for World Bride Magazine and is based in London, UK.

Tom Ford Says There is Power in Aroma

Hey Fellas! Want to know how to get a woman’s attention without speaking or even exchanging looks? It’s all about the aroma! A nice smelling cologne has the power to bring the strongest to attention. A nice cologne is a must-have for any man, especially for that man  that still wants to keep Ms. Right’s attention. Tom Ford has an abundance of fragrances that will suit any man’s taste and natural pheromones. Whether you’re an outdoors type of guy or always suited for the office, there is a fragrance with your name on it.

Cheap cologne will do completely the opposite or will have that same woman running the complete opposite direction of you. Any woman worth keeping will appreciate a man’s fine fragrance. Neimanmarcus.com features all the flavors to meet your desires.

For my Modern Man…

Tom Ford is a fragrance that screams luxury and is for our refined gentleman who prides himself in seduction and sophistication. The wood fragrance combines sensuality and modern influences, creating exactly what a scent catering to a man should be.

For my Rebel…

Limited edition Tom Ford Extreme is for the man who marches to the beat of his own drum. This Beauty Award 2010 nominee reflects any man with impeccable style.  The fragrance is blended with Persian lemons, Black Italian figs and Patchouli. This fragrance is an icon for masculinity.

For my Simple Guy…

If cologne is not for you don’t sweat it! Neroli Portofino is a fresh body spray designed specifically for you. It features crisp citrus oils, fresh waters and hints of floral. Leaving you feeling fresh, clean and desirable. This scent is lighter but vibrant and will leave you feeling confident.

Commodity Goods: A Fragrance Shopping Experience For The 21st Century

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It is said that smell is the sense most strongly tied to memory, and while humans may forget a date or a name, we never forget a smell. How true have you found this to be in life? For myself, it has proven to be an unwavering fact that my mind cannot forget a smell. From my grandmother’s hugs (a miscellany of Nantucket Briar powder and Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds) to the sweet smell of ripe strawberry patches from my childhood in Germany, everything dear to me is cataloged by smell. Given this information, it would come as no surprise that I am obsessed with fragrance.

I’m not one of your average Macy’s, box-set, run-of-the-mill fragrance shoppers. I tend to gravitate toward more “niche” fragrance experiences like Creed, Annick Goutal, Diptyque, Bond No.9, Jo Malone, and Tom Ford. Be it ostentatious in price, or bargain basement, a unique smell is what I’m looking for. I’d recently run out of my “every day” scent, Dark Amber & Ginger Lily by Jo Malone, and was in the market to try something new. Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have my “every day” fragrances… and then I have my “special occasion” fragrances… and Jo Malone has been my “every day” fragrance house of choice for a while.  On any normal occasion, I’d take a stroll down Bleecker Street to visit Jo Malone and Diptyque, and try out a few samplers. HOWEVER, it is New York City, in the middle of summer, so getting on the disgustingly sticky subway and bumping into sweaty tourists was not even remotely interesting to me. There had to be a better way.

A few days later, while on Instagram, I was noseying around on the #fragrance hashtag and came across a picture of these tiny little cylinders lined-up in a macron box. On first glance, I almost mistook them for chic cigarettes! Further reading led me to the Instagram page of Commodity Goods, where I started on a  journey that has made me re-think the way I shop for fragrance.

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Commodity Goods describes itself as “an online scent tailoring service,” allowing you to create a scent profile on their website, test a sample of the fragrances at home, and then order the full-size versions of the ones you love. How awesome is this? No more walking through a headache-inducing conundrum of fragrance misting, coffee beans, screaming children, and aggressive sales people only to take home a generic-smelling fragrance that 4,567,895 other people also own. No thanks. Commodity Goods was luring me in with their promise of being able to experience a custom shopping experience right from the comfort of my Snuggie, and I took the bait.

A few days later, I received my package of fragrances… 10 for men, 10 for women. Now, I know you’re asking me why I ordered the women’s kit, and my answer is simple: Smell is neuter.  I don’t assign a gender to smells… never have. I truly believe that one should wear whatever makes one feel confident and at peace, but enough of my personal politics. I opened my kits and got down to the business of smelling! Now, with each “set” of fragrances comes a scorecard of sorts. As you smell, you use the hearts next to each fragrance to indicate how much you love it. Each day I wore two fragrances… one from the men’s collection in the morning, and one from the women’s collection in the evening… that way I could truly experience how they reacted with my body chemistry.

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As to be expected, some of the fragrances I really loved, and others I was indifferent to… but none of them were bad, which is impressive when you have a collection of 20 different fragrances! Getting to sample unique smells like “cloth” and “wool” and “mimosa” was stimulating and challenged my notions of what I thought these things could smell like. For instance, book smells EXACTLY like a book… but shouldn’t books smell musky and  dank? How were they able to perfectly capture the smell of a book, yet make it attractive to our nose? I don’t know, but it is freaking genius.

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After experiencing all 20 fragrances, the highlights for me were:

MEN’S
[ ] Cane
[ ] Whisky
[ ] Gin

WOMEN’S
[ ] Paper
[ ] Mimosa
[ ] Dew

In fact, I found myself mixing them! The combination of Cane + Whisky is very dark and sensual and masculine. I felt like Joe Manganiello chopping down a tree or something when I mixed those two together. Something about them really compliments each other. Same for Paper + Mimosa; they come together for such a fresh smell that made me feel like a groomed gentleman of cultured tastes.

Everything about my Commodity Goods scent tailoring experience was exceptional… from the design of the website, to the amount in the sample tubes, to the quality of the fragrances. Nothing was short of exceeding my expectations. I think that their collaborating with a French fragrance house that has been developing scents for 160 years shows in the product that arrives at your door. In trying to find an “every day” scent, I have managed to stumble upon a revolutionary idea that suits the lifestyles and the tastes of this generation. Commodity Goods has made my “every day” a special day.

 

PRICING:

[1] Men’s or Women’s 10-fragrance “Fitting Kit” = $9.00 USD*
(*the $9.00 is reimbursed to you if you spend $50+ within 30 days, making the kit FREE if you place an order.)

[2] 10ml roller = $24.00 USD for the 1st bottle, then $12.00 for each additional bottle.

[3] 100ml bottle = $108.00 USD

Visit Commodity Goods [HERE]
Follow them on Instagram [HERE]
Become their fan on Facebook [HERE]
Pin them on Pinterest [HERE]
Tweet them on Twitter [HERE]

Victor Amos
Editor At Large

*This article was originally published on ProBeautyBlog.com, and is hosted here with the author’s permission.

Let’s talk bikini

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You have a few friends who do it. Your spouse has brought it up a few times. You have considered it but you really don’t know why it’s so desirable, why you should do it, or even what to ask for.

 

Back in 2000 Carrie discovered the Brazilian Bikini Wax and proclaimed, “I feel like walking sex!”  Tee of Suite Tee in New York says, “I have a client that told me every time she gets a fresh wax, she feels like calling someone up to have sex.” But getting your bikini line waxed has definitely become about self-confidence and self-maintenance, too.  Of course bikini waxing was going on before Carrie publicized it. I mean, hey, Samantha is the one that put her onto it.

But here we are in 2014 and many women are still trying to figure out why, what, and how?

Women are not getting a bikini wax because they are in a relationship anymore. Many women do it because they feel confident after they receive one. The process of waxing is a great way to exfoliate your skin and prevent any razor bumps and burns. Skin and hair is baby smooth when waxed. One of the best things about waxing is once you do it you don’t have to think about it again for one month.

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Now that you have decided to remove the hair “down there” what do you want? There are a few choices you have. The least you can do is the Bikini Line, also known as a cleanup, is all hair removed outside of the panty line, usually 2 to 3 fingers outside of the panty edge.

The next option can be tricky; most salons have different names for it. I call it the “Teeny Bikini.” That is when you are waxed a bit more inward of the panty line, approximately a finger’s width on each side and 1 to 2 fingers width off the top.

My favorite option is what I call the “Faux Brazilian.” The Faux Brazilian is the Bikini Line wax plus all of the hair off the labia and the option of removing hair between the butt cheeks. This service is good for those that like the feeling of a Brazilian but don’t want the “little girl look.” It is also good for women that are prone to ingrown hairs.

The last and definitely the least is the Brazilian (also known as the Hollywood) wax. That is the removal of all hair, the possibility of leaving a landing strip (a 1-2” rectangle of hair on the pelvis), including removing the hair from between the butt cheeks. This is probably the most popular among women from 20 to 50 years old.

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To receive the best possible experience you want to make sure you are waxed with a high quality hard wax. I prefer Cirepil by Perron Rigot. You also want to make sure that the location you choose is very sanitary. Be sure they have a “no double dipping” policy, use gloves, all surfaces are clean, and there is no visible trash. Be sure they are offering a service that is up to your standards and feel free to ask questions.

Tashawna Hundley aka Tee Hundley, Suite Tee is a celebrity expert in the waxing industry, with an extensive portfolio as a celebrity manicurist in the New York area.

Grooming the Groom for the Big Day

There are few days in the average man’s life where he will be photographed by more cameras than a Kardashian leaving a posh hotel: your wedding day is one of those days. Too many times, I’ve seen a groom get an immaculate haircut, looking amazing from the scalp up, yet completely neglect the rest of his face. I’m talking dark circles around the eye, untrimmed nose and brow hair, redness and pimples, jagged nails—the works! Fellas, listen, your wedding pictures are FOREVER. It would be in your best interest to look like a perfectly coiffed gentleman for these pictures that will hover on your coffee table for the rest of your life. Lucky for you, I have assembled a list of 4 items that you can use to prepare for the big day, helping you sort out the little details that are often overlooked by the groom.

[1] Exfoliating

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I cannot begin to tell you how important maintaining your skin is. It is the largest organ on your body, and it is not shy about telling on you! A great way to improve the texture and complexion of your skin is by exfoliating. I recommend the Foreo LUNA for Men. The LUNA for Men is a facial cleansing device that sends sonic pulsations through its silicone tips, pulling up dirt and softening the skin. This device is essential for all the shavers out there, as it helps prevent ingrown hairs and razor burn. The best part is that it requires essentially no maintenance, as one charge gives you 450 cycle of use, and the silicone head never needs replacing!

Foreo LUNA for Men
www.Foreo.com
$199.00 USD

 

[2] Hydrating

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Ask any beauty-obsessed woman that you know and she will tell you that serums are the secret to life. Serums are perfect for grooms who are looking for a low-maintenance, yet effective, way of getting antioxidants and moisture in one fell swoop! A great option is the M-61 Hydraboost Hydrating Vitamin B5 Peptide Serum. The Hydraboost serum contains Vitamin B5, which acts as a humectant, drawing moisture from the atmosphere into the skin. The serum also contains tamarind, which helps to firm the skin, and aloe & centella asiatics which calm irritations (it’s perfect for applying after a shave!). Best of all, the serum is oil-free, which makes it perfect for those of you who are prone to breakouts, or who have oily skin.

M-61 Hydraboost Hydrating Vitamin B5 Peptide Serum
www.m61labs.com
$78.00 USD

 

[3] Shaving

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Getting a close shave is harder than one may think. We are constantly having to try new devices that promise to give us faces as smooth as a baby’s backside, but few seem to deliver. “Enter stage left”: Gillette Fusion ProGlide with Flexball Technology. The Flexball Technology is new to Gillette’s razor design and is a feature I have been waiting for my entire life! Because of the special pivot-and-swivel design of the cartridge head, the razor is able to glide both vertically AND horizontally across the contours of your face. This provides a smooth and close shave that I have not been able to get from any other drugstore razor ever in life.

Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor with Flexball Technology
www.Gillette.com
$13.00 USD

 

(4) Concealing

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I’m sorry to kill your fantasy that all men are perfect, but we aren’t. Every single man that you see on TV, from ESPN to Food Network has on a full face of makeup! Surprising, huh? Well, it’s true. Those boyish-Clooney-esq complexions are easy for you to achieve if you have an open mind. The use of a little concealer, in moderation, can give you a cleaner and more polished look for your wedding photographs. My favorite concealer for men is the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. The NARS concealer is perfect for men because it doesn’t require multiple steps. For most concealer, you have to use a brush, apply the concealer, blend it out, then set with powder. This NARS one takes out all of those steps. You simply swipe it where needed, tap it with your ring finger a few times to blend it, then you’re DONE! The concealer formula does not need to be powdered, and it stays in place all day! The best part is that it comes in 10 shades, so, literally, EVERY man is able to find a shade that suits him.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
www.NARSCosmetics.com
$29.00 USD