Beauties of the Month: Maria Valverde, Yael Groveland, & Katia Winter

Maria Valverde

Maria Valverde

Yael Grobglas

Katia Winter

Essential oil of the Month: Ylang Ylang – The Aphrodisiac!

C. odorata is a fast-growing tree of the custard-apple family Annonaceae. The flower is drooping, long-stalked, with six narrow, greenish-yellow (rarely pink) petals, rather like a sea star in appearance, and yields a highly fragrant essential oil. The name ylang-ylang is derived from Tagalog, either from the word ilang, meaning “wilderness”, alluding to its natural habitat, or the word ilang-ilan, meaning “rare”, suggestive of its exceptionally unique scent.It is native to the Philippines and Indonesia and is commonly grown in Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Comoros Islands.

Scent of ylang ylang: The fragrance is intensely sweet, heady, floral, and slightly spicy, with a narcissus or bananalike overtone.

The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. It is believed to relieve high blood pressure, normalize sebum secretion for skin problems, help you to sleep, and is considered to be an aphrodisiac. It is used to sharpen the senses and to temper depression, fear, anger, and jealousy. For Chakra work, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is said to help balance the Sacral and Solar Plexus Chakras.  The oil from ylang-ylang is widely used in perfumery for oriental or floral themed perfumes (such as Chanel No. 5).

Ylang Ylang I, II and III:  Ylang Ylang Extra Oil is typically distilled from the flower  via steam for a short duration of time before the essential oil is collected. After oil classified as Ylang Ylang Extra is collected, the distillation process then continues. After a period of time, the distillation process is stopped and the resulting oil is then again collected. That oil is then referred to as Ylang Ylang I. The process repeats, resulting in Ylang Ylang II and Ylang Ylang III. The duration between distillations and the details can vary between distillers. The distillations are generally referred to as fractions and are typically used within fragrancing and perfumery applications.

Blends well with:  Bergamot, chamomile, clary sage, clove, eucalyptus lemon, ginger, grapefruit, jasmine, lemon, litsea cubeba, mandarin, neroli, opopanax, orange, palmarosa, patchouli, peru balsam, petitgrain, rose, rosewood, sandalwood, tuberose, vetiver


In Indonesia, ylang-ylang flowers are spread on the bed of newlywed couples. In the Philippines, its flowers, together with the flowers of the sampaguita, are strung into a necklace (lei) and worn by women and used to adorn religious images.

Ylang-ylang’s essential oil makes up 29% of the Comoros’ annual export (1998).

Ylang-ylang is a common flavoring in Madagascar for ice cream.





Essential Oil should not be applied directly to the skin but in carrier oils, putting the oils directly on the skin is too harsh due to their concentrated form. Add a few drops of Celery Seed essential oil to the carrier oil.

If you are pregnant, receiving cancer treatment,or have a weakened immune system the use of essential oils is not recommended!

While essential oil will not go rancid, carrier oils can. Store your carrier oils in a cool, dry, and dark place.


While I’ve attempted to use credible sources for information, this is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If there is a disparity between the information presented within this blog and the advice given by your medical professional, please follow the medical professional’s advice as he/she will know you and your medical circumstances.

Why Dermatologists & Plastic Surgeons Are Not the Only Doctors That Help You Look Better!

When you are broken out, are looking to get a littte work done or get something removed a Dermatologist or a Plastic surgeon is who you would go to.  However they are not the only doctors that can help you look better! Maybe not in the most direct manner, but sometimes they are the better choice.

For example: you have weight or excessive hair problems; an Endocrinologist or Gynecologist

A Podiatrist for pretty feet

Trouble sleeping a Neurologist can help – beauty sleep anyone?

A Dentist can do wonders

Any doctor if you are feeling unwell, when you are not feeling well it affects your appearance


Beauty Quote!

All About Freckles!

Freckles are found on people worldwide, and some people have more than others. Freckles come from genetic predisposition and exposure to sunlight.


They are clusters of concentrated melanin which are most often visible on people with a fair complexion. A freckle is also called an ephelis. Freckles do not have an increased number of melanin producing cells (melanocytes), but instead have cells that overproduce melanin granules changing the coloration of the skin. This also causes the different skin tones among humans.

Freckles can be found on anyone no matter their genetic background; however, the number of freckles is genetic and is related to the presence of the melanocortin-1 receptor MC1R gene variant. The formation of freckles is triggered by exposure to sunlight. The exposure to UV-B radiation activates melanocytes to increase melanin production, which can cause freckles to become darker and more visible.

Freckles are predominantly found on the face, although they may appear on any skin exposed to the sun, such as arms or shoulders. Heavily distributed concentrations of melanin may cause freckles to multiply and cover an entire area of skin, such as the face.

Freckles are not a skin disorder, but people with freckles generally have a lower concentration of photo protective melanin, and are therefore more susceptible to the harmful effects of UV radiation.


A Freckle in History:

Earlier, up to the beginning of the 20th century freckled people were referred to the lower class. Ladies from the upper class tried to conceal hateful dark spots on their skin. They hid out from the UV-rays under umbrellas and veils, but if insidious UV left its track on their skin, they did their best to lighten them.

Women In Early America: Struggle Survival and Freedom In a New World.

From the excerpt: “A clear, pale complexion was highly priced in colonial America. The following was taken from an 18th century book of beauty advice (Beauties Treasury; or the Ladies Vade Mecum):

A Cure For Freckles

  • Two drams honey of roses
  • Two drams oil of tartar
  • Mix with rye meal and spread on a cloth. Place over your face, breasts, or hands overnight. In the morning, rinse away with lemon juice

The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) Found a bottle of freckle cream that may have been on Amelia Earhart’s final journey with her

♦ According to legend, the first redhead was Prince Idon of Mu who, upon discovering Atlantis, was imprinted with the island’s stunning red sunset and leaves in the form of red hair and freckles so future generations would be reminded of Atlantis’ first sunset.

♦ The Irish Redhead Convention has a contest for most freckles per square inch

♦ Freckle patterns have been used to identify people in court cases

(image from

(image from

image from

♦ It seems that Chanel was the first company to market a product designed to create faux freckles. Released in 1995, Le Crayon Rousseur was “part of Chanel’s effort to gain a high-fashion profile,” according to Chanel’s then market development manager Timothy Walcot, who added that “the `little girl’ look is quite in. This is intended as a bit of fun.” The instructions that came with the pencil recommended that it be used to “emphasize a light tan” as well.

♦ Lancome had a Freckle Crayon as part of their summer 2003 collection.  The mind behind the pencil, then artistic director Ross Burton, declared that “freckles are a symbol of freedom“.

Beauties of the Month: Margot Robbie, Alicia Vikander, Lea Seydoux, Felicity Jones, Karen Gillian, Zoe Kazan, Yaya DaCosta, & Song Hye-kyo

Margot Robbie

Alicia Vikander

Lea Seydoux

Felicity Jones

Karen Gillian

Zoe Kazan

Yaya DaCosta

Song Hye-kyo

Do You Really Know How to Shampoo & Condition Your Hair?


I’m sure you are thinking,


“I know how to wash my own hair, I’ve been doing it since I was a child.”



Experts say that many hair problems occur because people don’t know how to wash their hair properly.

An estimated one in three people don’t use a shower attachment to wet and rinse their hair, relying instead on dunking it under the bathwater or pouring over a few jugs of water. To work effectively, most modern haircare formulations need plenty of water to remove the dirt and release the conditioning agents.

How often should you wash your hair?

Advice differs between daily and twice a week. The sensible solution is that if it’s looking good, don’t change your routine. If it isn’t and you are washing it every three days or so, try washing it daily in a gentle shampoo and always follow with a suitable conditioner. If you wash it every day and are disappointed, first of all try different products, then less frequent washing, starting with alternate days.

Many people believe their hair gets used to one product and will benefit from frequent changes. This is, in fact, true, says trichologist and biochemist Dr Hugh Rushton (is a pioneer in the treatment of hair loss)– particularly with some of the newer polymer volumising products. So do switch every once and a while.

How to wash your hair

  • Wet hair in the warmest water your scalp can stand. Run your fingers threw your hair to allow the water to touch your scalp.
  • Apply about a teaspoon of shampoo – less for short hair, more for really long. Using more shampoo than you need won’t result in cleaner hair. Always apply from the palm of your hand, so you can judge the amount. In soft water areas, or if you have a water softener, you won’t need so much.
  • Use the pads of your fingers, not your nails, to massage shampoo into the scalp, then work through to the ends of the hair – massaging, rather than rubbing, to avoid tangles.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • Repeat the whole process if you don’t wash it daily.
  • Squeeze out the extra moisture with your hands before you apply conditioner. Massage conditioner onto your hair (especially the ends, not your scalp) and leave on for the recommended time. Comb conditioner threw with a wide tooth comb.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • Blot hair dry with a towel – don’t rub or wring hair as it is at its weakest when wet. Use a second towel to wrap around your hair; leave it on for a few minutes to absorb excess moisture.

Mie-nai osharé – Unseen or Hidden Beauty!

This is a Japanese concept:

Mie-nai osharé

It roughly translates to “unseen or hidden beauty.”
Its ever-present in daily life. The idea is that beauty does not have to be displayed to be appreciated. It is also in ‘the act of.’

For example, when a Japanese lady dresses up she will carefully pick not only the right outerwear, but also what she wears below it – not for public display, but just for herself. She is not out to put up a show. She simply cares for herself and her femininity, for her own sake.

This is the “unseen or hidden beauty.” Natural poise and self confidence follows. True beauty radiates, exhibited or not. She is feminine inside and out, and radiates with the beauty and assured dignity which comes from not being fake.

Road Art: When the Banal is Made Into Art!















Facial Symmetry And Picture Manipulation!

Published: October 9, 2008
A computer model can come up with the ideal you, but you may prefer your “before” image.

Lars Klove for The New York Times, manipulation by Tommer Leyvand

BEFORE AND AFTER Martina Eckstut, left, and the image produced by a “beautification engine.” More Photos >

IS the woman pictured on the right more attractive than the woman on the left? Do her wider-set eyes, the longer distance between her hairline and the bridge of the nose, and the rounder shape of her face make her more beautiful?


Before and After

Slide Show

Before and After

 The photograph on the right was doctored by the “beautification engine” of a new computer program that uses a mathematical formula to alter the original form into a theoretically more attractive version, while maintaining what programmers call an “unmistakable similarity” to the original.

The software program, developed by computer scientists in Israel, is based on the responses of 68 men and women, age 25 to 40, from Israel and Germany, who viewed photographs of white male and female faces and picked the most attractive ones.

Scientists took the data and applied an algorithm involving 234 measurements between facial features, including the distances between lips and chin, the forehead and the eyes, or between the eyes.

Essentially, they trained a computer to determine, for each individual face, the most attractive set of distances and then choose the ideal closest to the original face. Unlike other research with formulas for facial attractiveness, this program does not produce one ideal for a feature, say a certain eye width or chin length.

They ran the photographs of 92 women and 33 men through the engine, creating before and after shots — essentially, a computer-generated version of hot or not. Changes were made only to the geometry of the faces; unlike the digital retouching done for fashion magazines, wrinkles were not smoothed and hair color was not changed.

The research, published in the August proceedings of Siggraph, an annual conference on computer graphics, is one of the latest studies in a growing field that merges beauty and science, a subject that has drawn mounting interest in academia in the last decade.

Studies have shown that there is surprising agreement about what makes a face attractive. Symmetry is at the core, along with youthfulness; clarity or smoothness of skin; and vivid color, say, in the eyes and hair. There is little dissent among people of different cultures, ethnicities, races, ages and gender.

Yet, like the many other attempts to use objective principles or even mathematical formulas to define beauty, this software program raises what psychologists, philosophers and feminists say are complex, even disturbing, questions about the perception of beauty and a beauty ideal.

To what extent is beauty quantifiable? Does a supposedly scientific definition merely reflect the ideal of the moment, built from the images of pop culture and the news media?

“How can they prove it?” said Lois W. Banner, a historian who has studied changing beauty standards, referring to scientific efforts to define attractiveness. “They are never going to locate it on a gene. They are never going to get away from the cultural influence.”

Tommer Leyvand, who developed the “beautification” software with three others at Tel Aviv University and who works in development for Microsoft in Redmond, Wash., said the goal was not to argue that the altered faces are more beautiful than the originals. Instead, he said, it was to tackle the challenge of altering a face according to agreed-upon standards of attractiveness, while producing a result that left the face completely recognizable, rather than the product of cosmetic surgery or digital retouching.

“This tool shows in the most simple fashion how easy it is to manipulate photographs and make people more attractive,” Mr. Leyvand said. “But the difference is so subtle that it just shows how insignificant it is. We’re talking about a few inches maybe and a slightly changed perception.”

For most faces, the software made subtle changes, with the person’s essence and character largely intact. In the case of the woman pictured on the front page of this section, the changes were more striking, probably because her features, Mr. Leyvand said, do appear more ethnic than many of the other women and men he photographed. (The researchers have not yet created a program that would be designed with what they call a beauty estimator for nonwhite racial and ethnic groups.)

The woman, Martina Eckstut, 25, an account executive for Kay Unger New York/Phoebe Couture, volunteered to be photographed for this article and have her image beautified by Mr. Leyvand’s computer program. She said she was struck by how different she looked in the second shot.

“I think the after picture looks great, but it doesn’t really look like me at all,” she said in an e-mail message. “My entire bone structure, face shape and eye size is different, and my lip color looks changed as well.”

She added, “I would like to keep my original face.”

While several psychological studies over the last few decades also suggest that perceptions of beauty and attractiveness tend to be universal, critics of that work say it is debatable whether a person’s beauty is actually enhanced by such changes. Character can be lost. A blandness can set in. The quirky may become plain.

When Mr. Leyvand put a photograph of Brigitte Bardot through his program, her full and puckered lips were deflated, and the world-famous beauty seemed less striking — less like herself.

(By contrast, the before and after shots of the actor James Franco were almost indistinguishable, suggesting his classically handsome face is already pretty perfect.)

After viewing the before and after photographs of anonymous subjects in Mr. Leyvand’s research paper, Dr. Banner, who is a professor of history at the University of Southern California, said the original faces were more attractive.

“Irregular beauty is the real beauty,” said Dr. Banner, adding that such attempts to measure beauty are driven culturally by sameness, making everyone look alike.

For centuries, philosophers and scientists have tried to define a universal ideal of beauty. St. Augustine said beauty was synonymous with geometric form and balance, according to Nancy Etcoff, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School and the author of “Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty.” Aristotle defined beauty, in part, as “order and symmetry and definiteness.”

Artists and architects since the Renaissance — and more recently, plastic surgeons — have tried to quantify beauty using the theory of the golden ratio, which holds that there is an ideal relationship between two measurements that can be expressed as a mathematical constant. Da Vinci, Dalí and Mondrian all are said to have used the golden ratio in their art.

“The first reaction we have to faces will be based on face symmetry, health, averageness,” said Alexander Nehamas, a philosopher and professor of the humanities and comparative literature at Princeton, who has written about beauty. “But we never see a face like that in real life. We see faces in connection with people expressing emotions and ideas, all those aspects of the face are essential to our deciding whether a face or a person is beautiful.”

He added: “Lauren Hutton’s face is asymmetrical. One eye is below the other, her teeth have a gap. But it’s not just her face, it’s everything about her.”

Mr. Leyvand suggested there were practical applications for his software, including advertisements, films and animation. He also said he had heard from plastic surgeons interested in the software. That did not surprise those who have studied the history of beauty.

“We have always had a huge industry to make people look better,” Dr. Etcoff said. “Everyone wants to look better. And we keep taking it further and further to all these images that have been doctored. There is a whole generation of girls growing up who think it’s normal not to look the way they really look.”


CT Esthetic:

Anaface is a software program that can supposedly measure facial symmetry. If you google Anaface many celebrity images have been inputted. Angelina Jolie, Tyra Banks, and Megan Fox are examples. Tyra scored a 8.96 out of 10, according to the Anaface software, because her face has “good horizontal symmetry” and her ratio of nose length to ear length is nearly ideal. Jolie came in at a close second with a beauty score of 8.11 out of 10; claiming that her mouth is too wide for her nose. Fox with a 7.82  the distance between Fox’s eyes is too small, and that her nose is too wide for her mouth. I think that most men would disagree with the scores. Anaface doesn’t tell your what the formula is that they measure by — it’s proprietary (of course!)

I admit I gave Anaface a try and guess what, I’m not a perfect score of “10”!

“Your face is too narrow/too long.”

“Your mouth is too wide for your nose.”


I’m keeping my score to myself. It did give my ego a healthy boost, but it could of easily have gone the other way.

I find the little imperfections in people unique and endearing! A gap in between tooth or a tooth overlap and a slightly larger mouth like Angelina’s.




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