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Pre Valentine’s Day Beauty Tips and Tricks to Set the Romance Meter to RED

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If you’ve got a new boyfriend, a hot date, or a tried-and-true love, Valentine’s Day is almost like Christmas. You daydream about the sappy possibilities for this most romantic of holidays like a little kid anticipating the gifts waiting under the Christmas tree. Will your beloved send you flowers at work? Will you find one of those oversized teddy bears and a heart shaped box of assorted chocolates waiting on your doorstep? Will he take you to dinner? A concert? A romantic moonlit picnic? Will you get the kiss of your dreams at the end of the night? Take a second to sit back and picture your fantasy Valentine’s day date, and don’t hold back all the cheesy details. Now, in your mind’s eye, how do you look when you greet your beau on Valentine’s Day? Maybe you’re a vision of classic beauty, all soft curls and glittery eyes. Or you’re edgy and vampy in dark lipstick and leather. Whatever the concept, we have some tips that will help you prep your desired look for the occasion and help your V-Day fantasies come true.


Image: Tropicalserentyspa.com

As you probably know, a canvas of fresh, bump-free skin is the best way to achieve the makeup look of your dreams. Right now, we’re absolutely obsessing over the healing powers of ginger, which is a life saver for eradicating acne scars, reducing wrinkles, and even soothing untimely pimples. Guess what, you don’t have to break the bank for this fix. DIY masks might be a little extra effort, but you probably already have many of the ingredients in your kitchen. Besides, a little extra effort is worth it for the most romantic of holidays. Here’s the recipe for an at-home ginger face mask that will give you the skin you’ve always dreamed of, just in time for your Valentine’s date.


Image: review168

The perfect perfume is extra important on Valentine’s Day. It’s a fool proof way to entice your man to lean in just a bit closer, and linger next to you for just a bit longer. Maybe you already have a signature scent or maybe you’ve been thinking of trying out something new. Take Valentine’s Day as the excuse you’ve been waiting for to buy a new perfume or cologne. Mist your perfume (don’t douse it) just around your wrists and hair– you’ll give off little, tantalizing whiffs of the scent as you move, leaving him gasping for more.


While there’s really no wrong way to do your hair for Valentine’s Day, there are a few mistakes that could really ruin your evening. First off, if the style you’re planning relies heavily on hairspray, save that look for another day. Valentine’s is about romance, sure, but it’s also about touching, closeness and intimacy. No one wants to go in to stroke your hair only to run their hand through a crunchy lump of gunky, hair sprayed curls, no matter how visually appealing. In addition, any hair style that requires you to stay still for long periods of time to stay coiffed could really put a damper on your fun and should not be attempted on Valentine’s. For these reasons, we recommend simple sleek ponytails which can be easily fixed and retied if need be, or classic straightened hair for your date.


As with hair, nails that impede your ability to touch, move, and enjoy should be avoided like the plague on Valentine’s Day. Instead of gluing on long acrylics, which look glamorous but are not conducive to actually using your hands, go short and polished. But short and polished doesn’t mean boring! The color and design is where you can really have fun. You don’t have to adhere to the Valentine’s theme of reds and pinks, though you certainly can if you like. Dark blue or purple is unexpected and fun. How about flecks of glitter, dark, rich tones, matte or metallic nails? The choice is yours.


For the all-important Valentine’s Day kiss, white teeth are not only recommended, they are a necessity. This step requires a bit of advance planning, depending on how dazzling you want your smile to be. You can either opt for some classic whitening strips, or try a professional home whitening system to really show off those pearly whites.

Now you’re ready for that all important Valentine date, or you could choose to pamper yourself and stay in with your favorite movie crush! Ahh, bliss!

Images: Johnny Depp and Richard Gere

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National Self Love Day - 13th of February

There are so many days dedicated to our adoration for others: Mother’s and Father’s Day, Sibling Day and of course the ultimate day of love and affection, Valentine’s Day. With the 14th of February just around the corner, some people might feel left out, especially if they are currently single, or just too stressed trying to find the perfect present for their significant other to enjoy their day. While trying to spoil our loved ones, we often forget that there’s another special someone who deserves some pampering too: our own self. The 13th of February, also known as ’National Self Love Day’ gives us the perfect reason to finally treat ourselves. In this article I’ll give you a few ideas on how to show some love to this special You.

Start your day right

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Even if you can’t get rid of your responsibilities for the day, you can still start it right. Enjoy your favourite coffee or tea and cook up a warm and hearty breakfast. If you’re in a hurry, you can take a quick trip to your favourite coffee shop or bakery to get that creamy latte and chocolate croissant. It’s your day, you deserve it.

Take that compliment

Take that compliment

A colleague in the office tells you how much they love your outfit? Don’t just shrug it off and say ’Oh I just threw it on in a hurry.’ Smile and say thank you instead. Acknowledging something you did right is a great way to finally give some credit to yourself.

Pamper yourself

image via vogue.co.uk

You’re used to taking a quick shower after work? Not today. Fill your bathtub with warm water and enjoy the bath bomb or shower gel you’ve been keeping for a special occasion. There are tonnes of face and hair masks available, both D.I.Y. and store-bought, for you to enjoy. Light a scented candle, put your favourite song on and let an evening (or day) of pampering begin! Apply your masks, pop in your favourite Pearly Whites teeth whitening strips and leave the bathroom as a completely renewed person. If you feel like you need more, you can always head over to your hairdresser to freshen up those roots and ends, or to a spa to receive a full body treatment. The ways you treat yourself are completely up to you! There’s no such thing as ’too much’ today, so go and do everything possible to show yourself some love!

Enjoy yourself, by yourself

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That book you haven’t gotten around to read? Pick it up and start reading! That new film in the cinema that you’ve been putting off watching because all your friends are too busy? Go and watch it alone! There’s absolutely no shame in enjoying ourselves without other people. Even if having a good time includes watching cute puppy videos on YouTube, just do it! All the little things that make you happy are worth spending time on.

Do something that boosts your mood

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Exercising might not be the first thing that comes to our mind when thinking about a day dedicated to just ourselves. Why do it then? Even a little jog, walk or just dancing around to your favourite songs can boost your mood significantly. Moving around a bit is one of the best ways for your body to release endorphins and to uplift your mood. Eating chocolate and laughing at the silly puppy videos mentioned above are very effective ways as well, so just pick an activity and start feeling happy!

Appreciate the little things

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That baby smiling at you on the subway or that dog running up to you at the park are things worth being happy about. So is that incredibly funny joke your friend told you or the phone call from your parents. It might seem weird to think about these things on a day completely dedicated to yourself, but appreciation towards you life results in a content mind and a happy you!

Acknowledge your strengths

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Unfortunately we often focus on our negative qualities. We beat up ourselves for messing up at work or not quite looking the way we’d like to. Today is for letting go of all the negatives and acknowledging the positives. You might hate your thighs, but today is not the day to think about that stuff! Those legs make it possible for you to walk every single day or run for miles without stopping. Your loud laugh or crooked smile are all in fact super cute and cheerful and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them. You might think messing up once is the end of the world, but just stop and think about your achievements. You’re awesome and there’s nothing stopping you, especially today!

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The Gift of Beauty that will last past the Wedding Day

If you’re going to a wedding, you’re probably wondering how to choose the perfect gift for the happy couple. Wedding guests generally give homewares like toasters or blenders, or they buy something off a registry. But when our nearest and dearest tie the knot, we prefer to gift them with something a touch more personal. Beauty gifts are a great supplement to gifts off a registry, and they’re super fun to give and receive. To give you some ideas, we’ve rounded up some of the best beauty gifts to bring a beauty-obsessed bride, to keep her gorgeous as she begins this new chapter in her life and after all the confetti has been cleared away.

1. Emergency Beauty Kit

As the couple is probably preparing to head out on their honeymoon, an emergency beauty kit that the bride can throw into her carry on bag, or take with her in her purse wherever she goes, will be a much appreciated token. We’re sure you’ve seen these emergency beauty kits, which include essentials like tweezers, nail clippers, mini sewing kits, bobby pins, deodorant wipes and more that quickly remedy any unexpected beauty problem that may pop up. This gift is super handy, yet most women don’t think about how much they need an emergency beauty kit until after the beauty problem arises, making it the perfect gift for the bride who loves to plan ahead.

2. Beautiful Blue Nail Polish

Image: Bestproducts.com

As the rhyme goes, every bride needs something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue to ensure good luck on her big day. With a gift of gorgeous blue nail polish, you’ll knock out two birds with one stone. As nail polish trends come and go with the seasons, the one you gift should be appropriate for the time of year and should provide a good match to the bride’s honeymoon attire. You’ll check all of these boxes if you gift an assortment of cute shades. Be warned with this one, as nail polishes are pretty inexpensive, it may be a good idea to supplement a gift of nail polish with a bigger gift from our list.

3. Teeth Whitening Kit

With all the smiling the blushing bride will be doing on her wedding day and in the following months and years, she’ll want to keep her smile pearly and magnificent. You’ll help her eliminate all those costly, irritating trips to the dentist by gifting her with an at-home teeth whitening kit. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, and it’s something she surely doesn’t already have at home. Pearly Whites Australia offers a home LED whitening system which will add that lovely white gleam to the bride’s smile. Another option is whitening strips, like these coconut and charcoal ones.

4. Makeup Palettes

If there’s one thing every woman covets, it’s a top of the line makeup palette. Offerings like the Naked Eyeshadow Palette by Urban Decay have gained cult-like followings among makeup lovers. Now, there are palettes for bronzers and highlighters too! Palettes include a variety of shades, tones, and hues for all skin tones and occasions. Ask your friend what her most-wanted palette is and take a trip to your local beauty store to pick it up. This is one unexpected gift which will be cherished by any bride. The bride will surely thank you for this one!

5. Lip Care Kit

What’s the first thing every couple does after they pronounce the magic words “I Do?” Plant a huge “Just Married” smooch on their lover, of course! High end lip exfoliant, moisturizing balm, and lip plumper will come in handy for their first kiss as man and wife, so you may even want to give the bride this present before the ceremony. If you can’t find a moment to do so amid all the pre-wedding chaos, never fear. Lip care kits are a complete necessity for after the ceremony too, especially if it’s a fall or winter wedding.

6. A Year-Long Subscription Box

Subscription boxes are the gift that keeps on giving. They are an amazing gift for the bride who is obsessed with beauty trends and loves finding new makeup brands and fun products.

Here’s how it works: popular subscription boxes like BirchBox and FabFitFun deliver a monthly box full of goodies from mascara to macaroons, right to your door. Buying the blushing bride a subscription box is a way to give her many thoughtful, heartfelt gifts, and because of the huge variety there is no risk that she won’t love the present. Also, many box services offer monthly payments, making them a more affordable choice than an expensive present you have to pay for all at once.

7. Fragrance Set

It’s always nice to have a little variety in your perfume collection, but splurging on multiple perfumes often seems extravagant and irresponsible to purchase for oneself. Their extravagance is precisely what makes them the perfect present with which to celebrate the big wedding day. You can curate an assortment of the bride’s favorite designer perfumes and artfully arrange them in a basket filled with tissue paper to create your own, customized fragrance sampler kit. Otherwise, you can buy a prepackaged kit from one of the heavy-hitting perfume brands.

So there you have it - 6 fab gift ideas to keep the blushing bride beautiful long past her wedding day.

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The Bride to Be’s One Year Guide to Planning a Wedding

Many women foster hopes of a dream wedding, with everything planned to a fine detail in their head long before there’s even a spouse to exchange vows with. Having concrete ideas of what you want can be surprisingly hard to put into practice if you don’t give yourself the time to do it, or have a set plan and schedule for pulling it together. The complications involved in organising an event grows along with the size of it, so to help you with this goal, we present our Bride’s One Year Guide to Planning a Wedding.

1 Year Out From the Wedding

This is the time when guests should now be officially invited, which means any last-minute trimming of the guest list has to be tackled. Painful but often necessary, the fear of offending a distant relative or friend must be weighed against the stress of budget blowout. A wedding bonbonniere sent in the mail to those you cannot manage to invite might help those who can’t come - either of their own volition or due to space – feel part of the event.

Research suitable vendors for the event, with a firm grasp on available budget for each one and trying to find reviews where possible. Using vendors that are partnered suppliers to your venue may save money and stress, but could also limit choice, and even possibly be more expensive. Now is the time to explore your options so you can make solid decisions in the next several months.

Shortlist the dresses that have caught your eye, or try to compile a list of required dress features, desired dress features that can be compromised, and budget available. This will help you easily and quickly screen dresses without being too sentimental about how lovely they appear in the model’s photo shoot! It may seem like there is just “the one perfect” dress, but the internet should quickly show you there’s options everywhere. Knuckle down and make your shortlist now to avoid the stress of choosing closer to the date.

In conjunction with choosing your dress, decide if you need to lose any weight for the occasion and make your weight loss plan. Choose a realistic goal and achievable diet plans you will be able to stick to for the year. Most importantly, don’t purchase a dress based on the weight you hope to be! Remember a dress can nearly always be made smaller – but it can’t be made bigger!

Decide whether you will use a registry, some other gift system or eschew gifts altogether. Guests often like to be told what is expected, and they like options! Make a couple of registries with different places, make sure to include items for all budgets, and if possible choose registries that allow guests to write in and “tick off” items they have purchased elsewhere.

6 Months to Go

This is the time when you would ideally like to have most of your vendors booked, explicitly informed of your choices and any down payments made. Your priority is securing that outcome; last minute changes are stressful, and the earlier a vendor is booked the more time you have to pay the balance or save up money to keep your cashflow steady.

Even services you could normally book with little time window, such as transportation and accommodation for the night, might prove to be difficult or expensive if you leave it to the last minute.

A checklist of the usual suspects includes:

  • Florist
  • Make-up Artist
  • Hair Stylist
  • Photographer
  • Ceremony Officiant
  • DJ/Musicians
  • Accommodation for yourself or guests you are responsible for
  • Caterer (if separate from venue)
  • Decorator (if separate from venue)
  • Chauffeur
  • Baker

This is the ideal window for prepping your skin to be at its very best. Facial treatments that provide the best results long-term, such as intensive masks, microdermabrasion, acid peels, and laser and light therapies should begin now. These can make the skin flare up or discolour initially, so make sure you leave plenty of time to have the treatment and let your skin settle back down. Teeth whitening can also begin now to ensure good, solid results with diy home whitening products. Delay getting hair extensions or foils until closer to the date.

Purchase or organize the hire of any equipment your venue will not provide, such as a wishing well, easels for floor plan or other announcements, guest book, cake stand, special cake knife, etc. Be sure to check what a venue provides as those that regularly host weddings may have these already available.

1 Month Left for Preparations!

If all has gone according to plan, this time should be for your final “touch-up” moments to ensure everything is perfect.

But in all likelihood, that will NOT be the case, and you’ll be rushing around to put out last-minute fires. At this stage, your ability to compromise will be tested once again, not by your spouse or your families, but by merciless reality; the weather looks like rain, the baker got part of your order wrong, or the venue wants you to finish the party early.

If you are receiving presents early from those who can’t attend, write out thank-you notes promptly even if you decide to delay to send them all together. The enjoyment of receiving the gift and memory of who got what will be more sincere if done immediately.

The stress and drama of these blows will only escalate unless you’re willing to take some of them on the chin, but to avoid having the wedding feel more like a trial then a celebration, make sure that you don’t compromise on yourself.

1 Week Left

You need “me time” now more than ever, both to ensure you’re looking your best and buffer you from the wedding craziness. This is the ideal time to get hair treatments and massages, but avoid any intensive skin treatments, as these can cause breakouts. Stick to a high-quality maintenance schedule and don’t give in to temptation to experiment. “Touch-ups” of your previous beauty treatments, such as hair dying or extensions, eyelash dying, eyebrow shaping or teeth whitening are advisable.

Even if you have quadruple-checked your hair and make-up appointments, take the time to practise putting on your best face yourself in case things go wrong. Besides, you will feel more bridal and confident looking wedding-worthy before the big event arrives.

1 Day to Go

On the eve of your wedding day, you may be staying at a hotel with your bridal party, or at home with your family. Hopefully all your lists and spreadsheets will be ticked off and double checked and you can spend the day finishing any final touches. Don’t be afraid to delegate any last minute follow up phone calls to vendors or photographers to your maid of honour. Have a bubble bath and relax, before getting to bed as early as you can. Of course with all the excitement it can be tempting to stay up chatting later than you should but you need that beauty sleep.

On the Day

The day you have been waiting for is finally here! Ensure you have a healthy breakfast before you start getting ready, it could be a while before you eat again and you certainly don’t want to be hungry when walking up the aisle. Check your bridesmaids have that bag of essentials on hand for any make up touch ups, and of course tissues for those tears of joy.

Once you have had your hair and make-up done, and have put on that dream wedding dress, take a moment to breathe and remember what this important day is all about. It is a day of celebrating, uniting with the man you adore, and of forging a life and future together.

And now, to the final thing on your wedding to do list, marry the love of your life!

Image: http://www.jetfeteblog.com

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How to Get into a Positive Dental Care Routine

If you’re concerned about the health of your teeth, then you’re likely thinking about ways to improve your dental care routine. After all, just brushing your teeth might not be enough to ensure they stay healthy. Here are some tips to help you find your dental care groove, to help you take better care of your teeth and learn good oral health habits that will last a lifetime.

1. Find a toothpaste you love

If you hate your toothpaste, you will avoid using it. Even if you don’t hate the taste but aren’t thrilled with it, you could be creating a barrier to a good dental care routine. Buy a few little sample tubes or travel toothpastes and see which one leaves your mouth feeling the freshest. There are a larger variety of flavors on the market than you probably expect, so try them all! If you enjoy brushing your teeth, then you are more likely to do it consistently. Consumer Search has a helpful list of consumer reviewed toothpastes if you’d prefer to do some research before picking out a new toothpaste. The list even contains handy buttons you can click to place an amazon.com order for the products that sound best to you. That way you don’t even need to leave home to get a new toothpaste!

2. Get a cool toothbrush

While manual toothbrushes are good, they might not provide much incentive to brush your teeth. If you invest in a high-quality electric toothbrush, the chances that you will use it often will likely increase. When you invest in something, you want to make sure you get your money’s worth. Getting a sleek electric toothbrush can help you to be more excited about brushing. Electric toothbrushes also get the job done more effectively as WebMD discusses, “An electric toothbrush can cover a larger area faster, so you clean more surfaces in the same amount of time. When you brush by hand, you make about 300 strokes per minute. Compare that with the thousands -- in some cases tens of thousands -- of strokes per minute a power one makes.”

Image: Choice.com

3. Brush at the same time each day

Make brushing your teeth a habit by doing it at the same time every day. This will help you to develop a routine and stick to it. You need to make sure to brush your teeth every morning and at night before you go to bed. Another option if you work in an office, keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in your desk and brush after lunch. The more you keep up with the routine, the more it will become a normal part of your day. If you have trouble doing this, enlist a brushing buddy. It can be your spouse, kids, or sibling. Anyone you live with can join in the routine to help you make it a standard part of your day.

4. Find a dentist you like

A lot of people rank visiting the dentist as one of their least favorite things to do. This probably has a bit to do with the physical pain that is associated with dental treatments (just the sound of the drill makes some people cringe). Another factor that impacts how much people avoid the dentist is if they actually like their dentist. If you find a dentist with good skills and a winning personality, then you’ll be less likely to avoid going when you know you should. Finding a dentist you like will increase the chances that you will visit them to prevent dental problems instead of just going when there is something wrong. WebMD recommends doing a thorough search of dentists in your area, “Contact your local or state dental society. The ADA provides a list of local and state dental societies on its web site, www.ada.org.”

5. Keep floss on hand

If you ever think “I should start flossing” you’re right! You really should. Mouth Healthy explains, “The American Dental Association recommends cleaning between your teeth once a day. This is important because plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into calculus or tartar. Flossing may also help prevent gum disease and cavities.” But it’s hard to incorporate flossing into your routine unless you keep it around. The next time you go to the store, put it on your list and buy a pack or two. It’ll be harder to ignore if you have actually gone to the trouble of buying the dental floss. You can even splurge on some floss flavors that go beyond the standard waxed mint to encourage you to use the floss.

6. Keep your teeth white

Avoiding certain drinks like coffee and red wine, or foods that have are likely to stain your teeth and cause discoloration is a great way to help keep your teeth nice and white. To keep your smile even brighter you can also try over the counter whitening toothpastes or a home teeth whitening kit for added gleam.

Creating a positive dental care routine takes time and patience. Like anything, you need to be committed to the routine or it will fall by the wayside. Talk to your dentist to see if they have any suggestions on ways you can improve your oral hygiene and be sure to incorporate their suggestions into your daily routine.

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