Friday, June 5, 2009

Tie fashion tips

A respectable selection of ties is an investment no one likes to take lightly – and nor should you. Your ties are a central part of your wardrobe, and should be treated with a level of care befitting their importance. Caring for your tie does not by necessity have to be expensive or tedious; most often, simply knowing tips and tricks such as how to store a tie and how to remove wrinkles can greatly extend the life of your ties.

Putting On and Taking Off Your Ties

Whether you are tying or untying a tie, it is important to do the task with the utmost care. Ties, especially silk ties, have a fairly fragile shape. Pulling too hard on one end of the tie can result in stretched fabric, buckled stitches, and a misshapen appearance.

Wearing Your Ties

No matter how much you like a tie, it is important to give it time to “rest” between uses. Wearing a tie for too many days in a row can deepen the wrinkles and creases caused by normal wear, making it more difficult to remove them. Although the most conscientious tie-wearer allows his ties to rest after each and every use, two days in a row is the absolute maximum for repetitive tie wearing.

Storing Your Ties

Although many people store ties by hanging them over a tie rack, this is not the best way to store your ties. When hung for a long period of time or beneath the weight of several or more ties, creases can develop, detracting from the appearance and function of your ties. Instead, store your ties in loose rolls by rolling each tie around your hand; this method of storing will prevent wrinkles from forming. If a tie has wrinkles in it from being worn, you can hang it for a couple of days to help the wrinkles fall out, but don’t forget to roll it up and put it away afterward! Most importantly, never store your ties with the knots still in them.

Traveling with Your Ties

If the way a tie is stored is so critical for maintaining its appearance, how should you care for your ties while traveling? Rolling your tie is still the best way to store it, as a tie folded flat in a suitcase may emerge with unsightly creases. Pack each rolled tie inside a sock – but make sure it is clean, as you don’t want your ties to end up smelling like feet!

Getting Rid of Wrinkles

Wrinkles can ruin a tie’s appearance. Thankfully, if wrinkles do develop, you have several options for removing them. Hanging a tie in the bathroom while you shower or holding it above a boiling pot of water are two cheap and easy ways to steam wrinkles out of your tie. However, be careful not to allow your tie to get wet, as water can ruin the shape and appearance of a tie – particularly a silk tie.

Another way to steam a tie is to buy a hand steamer. Some tie manufacturers recommend that you steam out the wrinkles with a hand steamer every couple of months, in order to preserve a like-new appearance.

You can also iron your ties – but be sure to cover each one with a cotton cloth first, never letting the iron touch the tie directly. Ironing a tie or having it professionally pressed are two very controversial methods of removing wrinkles. Many tie connoisseurs complain that these methods flatten out the rolled edges in a tie. However, other tie-wearers – and some manufacturers – recommend these methods as the most sure-fire way to care for your ties. As the choice may be one of personal preference, you may want to consult the manufacturer’s care instructions and/or test the method (or the cleaner) out on a less favored tie.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dry Skin

Most of us experience dry skin at some point in our life. Although some of us are born with a tendency to dryness, it's possible to experience a temporary bout due to a change in the weather, pregnancy, stress or ill-health. Simply sitting in an overheated environment can leave skin sapped of moisture. The best way to cope is with gentle, nourishing products that will leave skin feeling hydrated and comfortable again.

How you know if you have dry skin
The most telling signs of dry skin are a feeling of tightness 10 to 15 minutes after washing, having dull or rough, red, flaky or scaly skin, having fine lines, and there being no visible shine, even by the end of the day. The skin can look thin and papery and is also prone to broken veins.

What causes dry skin?
Dry skin is caused by a low level of sebum production. It is exacerbated by wind, extremes of temperature and air-conditioning. As we age, the condition often worsens because sebum production naturally slows down and the skin becomes thinner (which allows moisture to escape more easily). Look at your diet, too. A lack of essential fatty acids (EFAs) can cause skin to become papery and dry. If you have a hot bath and the skin on your body still feels dry after an application of body lotion, you might not have enough EFAs in your diet.

Balance skin from within
Eating a balanced diet and, if necessary, taking appropriate supplements, is a vital part of creating a healthy complexion. Bear in mind that it takes a good three weeks for newly formed cells to reach the skin's surface, so it takes time for lasting results to show. Vitamins A, C and E, selenium and zinc are essential antioxidants that help to enhance collagen repair and generally promote skin healing. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) can also have a positive effect on skin as they form a barrier that prevents moisture loss that helps combat dryness, fine lines and wrinkles.

What to avoid if you have dry skin
Dry skin needs ultra-gentle care. Treat it well and it won't give you cause for concern. Avoid:
Harsh cleansing Washcloths, hot water, dry saunas and skincare products containing soap can dry and irritate the skin.
Extreme weather The wind and sun can both lead to dryness and even chapping. Indoors, be wary of air-conditioning and overheating.
Granular exfoliants Irregularly shaped grains (made from peach stones or sand) are too rough and can cause broken blood vessels.
Astringent toners Alcohol tends to overstrip the skin.
Clay masks Clay and mud products soak up oil and leave skin drier.

The best skincare routine for dry skin
Although dry skin can become temporarily oilier in hot weather (just switch your moisturiser to a slightly lighter one), it will usually benefit from the following care:
Use a gentle lotion or cream cleanser that can be rinsed or tissued off. Foaming gel cleansers are too drying.
If you want to use a toner, choose an extremely gentle one (such as rosewater).
Look for a moisturising lotion or cream containing hyaluronic acid (which helps your regular moisturiser attract more moisture into your skin), jojoba oil or shea butter. Apply it to damp skin for better absorption, then gently rub it in for increased penetration.
If you have dry skin, only use scrubs made with smooth, synthetic grains to buff away dead skin cells. If you prefer chemical exfoliators, look for beta hydroxy acid (BHA) products, as they are gentler than alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) products. Exfoliate no more than twice a week.
Rich, nourishing night creams can work overnight to quench parched skin.
As an occasional treat, try a moisturising mask that doesn't set on the skin. Look for nourishing ingredients such as vitamin E or collagen.

Tie fashion tips 2

Protecting Your Tie from Spills and Stains

Nothing is more devastating than spilling on a favorite tie. However, stains and spills can be easy to remove if your tie has been treated with a special chemical that prevents liquids from soaking quickly into the fabric. Some ties come pre-treated; for those that don’t, fabric protection spray is available from many menswear retailers.

Cleaning Your Tie

No matter how carefully you maintain your ties, there will a come a time when they will need to be cleaned. Dry cleaners can be a touchy subject with tie-lovers, as many dislike having their ties pressed, but many menswear manufacturers recommend it as a method for caring for their ties. If you opt for dry cleaning, be sure to choose a cleaner who specializes in dry cleaning ties, particularly if you need to have a stain removed – you will be better pleased with the results if your tie is handled by someone who knows what he or she is doing.

Prolonging the Life of Your Tie

Caring for your tie could be compared to performing preventative maintenance on your car or your house: how you care for your tie now will directly affect the amount of life you get out of it. With just a little special attention, a tie’s like-new appearance and feel can be maintained for weeks, months, or even years. Protect your investment and prolong the enjoyment you get out of each tie!