The Future Of Mobile Shopping

We spend so much time out of our days browsing sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook to look for shopping inspiration, except for the sad part where you fall in love with an item, you can’t have it. It’s like window shopping at the mall with an empty wallet. What if I tell you there exists an app that will revolutionize mobile shopping and have the serious potential to change the way we shop and interact with designer brands? This app is called ‘Spring’. Imagine Stacy Bendet takes a picture of a coat she designed, or Victoria Beckham posts a picture of a pair of skinny jeans, and you are able to purchase it with a touch of your fingertip right there on your phone – no need to run to the mall, or spend time browsing the internet for pricing and availability. Yeah… bad news for impulse shoppers!

Here’s how the app works: Download the app, update your profile with a credit card and shipping information, and start following the brands you like. You will then see brand-generated images in the feed of your app. The main difference between Spring and sites like Instagram or Pinterest is that every product featured in your feed is available to purchase immediately, and you can shop directly through the app. You can also “heart” your favorite items to save them for later. Looking for shoes? The app offers ways to shop by category, instead of designer name. Brands that have signed on with ‘Spring’ can select what to feature for sale in the app each day, anything from a sale item or a limited edition item. After filling out credit card and shipping information just one time within the app, the only thing the shoppers have to do is a touch of a button. So far, 450 major brands have signed on, including Alice + Olivia, Jason Wu, Levi’s, Rebecca Minkoff and countless others. The list will only grow bigger.

This startup team has built a solid foundation by raising 7.5 million in funding. They also have big time investors such as luxury magnates like Bernard Arnault and Lew Frankfort as big time backers.

Spring focuses on fast and easy shopping experience for shoppers, and direct brand-to-user communication for retailers, making this app a heaven for fashion lovers, a dream for retailers, but a complete nightmare for our bank accounts.

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How safe is your cosmetics?

Take  a moment to stop and think about your daily beauty regime. The lipstick you put on this morning, the moisturizer you use at night, the hairspray you use to style your hair, even the sunscreen that’s suppose to protect your skin. Have you ever thought for a second that the beauty products you slap on your skin can cause adverse effects? It is estimated that the average woman uses up to 12 personal care products per day, resulting in exposure to more than 120 chemicals. Many of these chemicals are linked to cancer, birth defects, allergies, and other health related issues. These beauty products often contain hidden carcinogens that are not listed on labels, such as formaldehyde and 1,4-Dioxane. What’s even scarier is that these chemical can be found in children’s bath products.

When walking down the beauty isle, most people tend to look for words such as “all-natural” and “sulfate free” plastered on the packaging. We blindly trust that these products are safer to use. But what do they actually mean? This is a lot more complex than just black and white.

For example, parabens are a group of substances that are used as preservatives in cosmetics. The EU banned five different parabens, but several of the most commonly used parabens have been deemed safe.  So while a product saying “paraben free” might make you feel more comfortable, another product containing parabens might not actually be unsafe.  In fact, according to former cosmetic formulator, Perry Romanowski, parabens can actually make a product safer.

Certain alcohols, such as isopropyl alcohol or isopropanol, methyl alcohol or methanol, butyl alcohol or butanol, ethyl alcohol or ethanol, should definitely be avoided. A general rule to follow is to avoid chemicals ending in ‘anol’.

In addition to certain alcohols, sulfates, the ingredients in shampoo that causes it to lather, should be avoided. They are particularly controversial. Studies show that ingredients such as sodium laureth sulphate, oleth, and myreth, all test positive for 1,4-Dioxane, a proven cancer-causing petrochemical. When shopping, try to avoid sulfates that end in ‘eth’.

While the chemicals in cosmetics make us look, feel and smell better, these chemicals are considered hormone disruptors. Hormone disruptors can affect how estrogen and other hormones act in the body, by blocking them or mimicking them, which throws off the body’s hormonal balance. Next time you are making a trip to your local beauty store, do some research on the ingredients listed on the products and try your best to avoid the chemical/alcohol listed in this article.

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photo credit: Female Fatal

4 Meals For Healthy Mind & Body

These 4 tasty meals below will give your mood a boost, improve your love life, and help you burn fat effortlessly. You can thank us later!

1. Salmon Sandwich 

Pan-seared salmon with walnut-and-spinach pesto on whole-grain roll with radicchio.

Salmon is a great source of mood-boosting omega-3 DHA fatty acids, and spinach is full of magnesium, which has a relaxing effect and helps lower blood pressure. walnuts are a natural source of melatonin that can help you sleep better.

 

2. Mediterranean Detox Salad

Watercress, artichokes, celery, red onion, and feta tossed with cucumber vinaigrette.

Cukes are loaded with vitamin C and caffeic acid, which combats swelling. Watercress and artichokes both have diuretic properties to help you beat the bloat, and artichokes are also a natural source of the soluble fiber inulin. The sodium and potassium in celery help bring your fluids back into balance.

 

3. Libido-Boosting Stir-Fry

Skirt steak stir-fried with bell peppers, asparagus, ginger, soy sauce, lime juice, and brown rice, and topped with cashews.

Asparagus will provide you with the vitamin E, helping your body pump out estrogen and testosterone. While zinc in beef will give you a testosterone boost, which is key to a healthy female libido. Cashews have long been considered a natural aphrodisiac.

 

4. Blackberry-Banana Slim-Down Smoothie

Banana and blackberries blended with light coconut milk, low-fat yogurt, and a touch of lemon zest and honey.

Bananas contain resistant starch (RS), a carb that acts like fiber and also helps you feel full and slim down. The oil in coconut fruit can help you shed those extra belly fat, while yogurt is a great source of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a fatty acid that fights off fat.

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Photo Credit: Healthy Food House

The ‘Freckle’ Effect

The newest beauty trend for Fall 2014 isn’t lipstick, eyeshadow or the way we do our eyebrows. If you have been watching the shows during fashion week, you might have noticed that many designer houses are going for the makeup-free, radiant, fresh look for the models. In order to create a more natural and youthful glow to their skin, a number of makeup artists, including Stila’s Global Executive Director of Creative Artistry Sarah Lucero, actually added freckles as part of their look, drawing freckles on all the female and male models. Freckles can instantly make your complexion look fresh, as if you are wearing no foundation. Even though freckles are something women like to cover up, if done right, freckles can actually hide your age, making you appear younger and more youthful. Think about Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen and Olivia Munn, these ladies are always embracing their freckles and whose skin is adorably speckled. At Lucero’s suggestion, it is best to create the freckle effect with a brow product. Pick a shade that’s a lighter hue than your hair, or you may use two colors to make it appear more natural. Light and medium brown work on those with fair to medium skin and hair, medium and dark brown look best on warmer skin tones. Simply tap the pen around your face, almost bouncing it across your nose and cheeks, try not to make the spots too perfect, oddly shaped freckles will look more natural.

 

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Photo credits: Reflection Agency Blog

Chic In Denim

With the weather starting to cool down, here are some inspiring ways to wear your denim jackets this season.

1. Drape your favorite oversized jean jacket over a neutral sweater, pair the look with shorts or skirt. Throw on a pair of dark stockings with high heel booties.

2. Match your denim jacket with a graphic top and sleek skinny jeans for a sporty vibe.

3. Try wearing your denim by layering it under a black blazer and buttoning it at the collar.

4. Pair a distressed jean jacket with a comfortable black dress and match the look with a pair of sneakers for a casual daytime look.

5. Wear a bright, printed skirt with a causal top, then throw on your denim jacket for a bold yet balanced outfit.

Tips: Scrunch up the sleeves of your jacket to show off your bracelets or watch.

Own a double-breasted denim jacket? Try belting it for an updated and slimming look.

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Photo Credits: AsiaMs.net

Over The Rainbow

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Summer is flying by so quickly, how is it August already? Take advantage of the remaining Summer month and experiment with color. Join the spectrum and have fun with all the colors of the rainbow!

One bag, two styles

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Two way backpacks are an excellent choice for your busy off-duty days. Not only are they functional, but you can easily switch your look according to the occasions. From sporty, casual to instant glam. Not to mention, backpacks are this season’s coolest carryall. Whichever style you choose, we promise you will look equally chic.

Mix and Match Fashion Guide

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1. The Base
The base is the foundation of your outfit. These pieces are called hard pieces. They can be a suit, a pair of pants, a dress or a pair of jeans. They are usually neutral in color and timeless, for example, black, grey, beige and white. The base pieces you purchase should be dependent on your work environment and personal preferences. You may choose to own more dresses than suits.

2. The Accent
Accent pieces are what you will wear with your base pieces. They are usually tops, blouses, cardigans that you can wear underneath your suits, or jackets. Your accents can be mix between color and neutral shades. The beauty of a more neutral base is that any color you can wear with black, you can also wear with any other neutral shade. A navy suit gets more wear because it can be worn with a colorful top while burgundy gets a facelift when paired with camel.

3. The Pop
Pop pieces are jewelry, scarves, bags, shoes and belts. The pop is usually purchased last to coordinate the rest of your wardrobe. You don’t have to purchase pop colors in the exact same shades in your capsule, you can also think of tonal colors and universal shades, like green and yellow which can add some subtle pops to an outfit. My personal favorite is a pair of tan heels, they are an excellent color for work-to-play piece. They also elongate your legs and are ultra-classy. Lastly, I also recommend that you purchase pop pieces in gold and silver, just to have on hand in a pinch.

Fabulous In Flamingo

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In the fashion world, flamingos are the new cats. The long-legged pink bird has taken flight as the new favorite. The flamingo print is popping up on everything from dresses, statement heels to scarves. The print is fun, adorable and perfect for warm weather months. This is the new must have prints for Summer.