absolute style beauty and spirit

Welcome! Put Your Best Face and Body Forward


Mark your calendars! Vancouver Fashion Week returns March 18th – March 24th. The 6-day event is touted as the fashion mecca for the most innovative designers. Style inspiration from international award-winning fashion designers from over 30 countries. VFW expects more than 20,000 fashion enthusiasts; including celebrities, stylists, models, industry insiders, trend-setters, media, buyers, and aspiring designers.

Photos courtesy of VFW.


VFW starts the week off with a gala that is not to be missed. The main events begin on Wednesday, March 19th. Tickets for the six day fashion feast are $30.00 for double show passes to $300.00 for all-access passes.

Jamal Abdourahman Vancouver Fashion Weeks founder and producer states ” We are so excited to showcase more than 80 designers from 30 countries this upcoming fall/winter season. ” We strive to identify undiscovered designers by providing an accessible and internationally reputable platform for designers to showcase their work.”

A partial list of this fall/winter 2014 season designers include:

Argentinian designer Gabriel Lage

Peruvian designer Noe Bernacelli

Peruvian designer Evolét- by Jercy Gutierrez

Korean designer Soojin Lee

Vancouver-based designer Stephanie Hung of Nina Tan

London-based designers Nadia Mustafa and Zehra Mustafa of Nadia + Zehra

Other confirmed designers come from Brazil, Japan, Portugal, Demark, United Kingdom, Australia, and Zanzibar.


About Vancouver Fashion Week

Vancouver Fashion Week is a bi-annual event that will take place at the Chinese Cultural Center at 50 East Pender in Vancouver. With 80 international designers and more than 20,000 attendees, VFW brings designers, buyers, and media together to celebrate creativity and new trends in fashion.

VFW’s media partners include: BC Living, NICHE Magazine, and L’Officiel Ukraine. VFW’s exclusive Ukrainian partner, L’Offciel will provide live coverage from the runway. As a part of the L’Officiel family, L’Officiel Ukraine features opulent topics such as personalities, fashion, art, and lifestyle while elevating the image of Ukraine on the international stage.

Other sponsors include Hasselblad, Fashion Seoul, Shopstyle Canada, and many more. For more information, please visit VanFashionWeek.com. Like us on Facebook.com and join the conversation on Twitter.com.


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Turn your passion for natural skincare, spa products and loungewear into your own business with Seriluna. The Seriluna business plan is simply based on the “social selling” model of direct sales, similar to the stylish Stella & Dot jewelry company. However, instead of selling jewelry, sell the gift of wellness and beauty to stressed out and overworked women who are seeking more balance, relaxation and beauty in a fun, congenial, cozy, spa -like environment. How do I start?


If you’re social, interested in wellness and skincare, love helping others, and want a career with the flexibility to fit your lifestyle and schedule, then Seriluna could be the perfect fit for you. As a Seriluna Skincare & Spa Consultant, you’ll make an impact on the lives of others by providing much needed stress relief as well as helping your friends and family avoid the toxins in standard, store-bought skin care products. Plus, you’ll be able to work from your home on your own schedule, while making money doing what you love.

Simply go to www.seriluna.com and select “Join Us.” Then choose either the Basic or Deluxe Seriluna starter kit ( the Deluxe kit contains a broader line of products). The kits contain everything you need to get your business off the ground including full-size product samples, brochures, order forms, and other valuable promotional materials. You’ll even get your very own ecommerce website to share with your contacts. You could be an overnight ecommerce mogul!

Why work with Seriluna?


Be a part of an exciting ground floor lucrative business opportunity.

· You’ll have flexible hours—you design your own schedule.

· Earn generous commissions between 30% and 40% on your sales.

· Earn residual income as your team grows and flourishes.

· Promote your business with a personal website that we will set up for you—enjoy up to three months free, and after only $10.00 per month.

· Direct your clients to your personal website, as well as use it to enter orders, order additional samples, and supplies.

· There is no inventory to stock and manage and no credit card fees to pay.

· Seriluna will be there every step of the way to support and help you set up your business.

· Choose from our comprehensive starter kits that allow you to launch your own business within days for as little as $99.00 or $199.00.

· Fast-Start Bonuses are an incentive to jumpstart your earnings right away!

 Please visit Seriluna.com for more information.




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Anti-aging pill being developed

Published: Sept. 29, 2012 at 3:48PM  http://www.upi.com/Science_News

LONDON, Sept. 29 (UPI) — A British doctor says anti-aging drugs that can lower the risk of diseases such as cancer and dementia, as well as wrinkles, will soon be available.

Linda Partridge, a geneticist at University College London, told The Daily Telegraph drugs tackle the cause of those diseases — age itself.

“One obvious approach in trying to deal with the very rapidly increasing incidence of age-related diseases is to tackle the underlying aging process itself, because it is the major risk factor,” Partridge said.

Because the treatments tackle aging of the body itself, they could also preserve other traits, such as muscle strength, hearing and the condition of the skin, Partridge said.

However, living forever is not the goal of the drug, Partridge said.

“We are not talking about immortality, we are trying to get rid of that period of ill health that people get toward the end of their lives, to hold off age-related disease for longer,” she said. “I think it will come in gradually, I hope in my lifetime.”

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A black and white issue

This article is written by Poppy Brady on September 16, 2012.  It was originally posted at: http://www.voice-online.co.uk
Less than four per cent of images in dermatology databases involve patients with darker skin.

CONCERNS: Less than four per cent of images in dermatology databases involve patients with darker skin

THE CREATION of a groundbreaking database to help diagnose skin conditions on darker skinned is being pioneered by staff at the University of Birmingham.

An alarming number of diseases in dark skin people are being missed or misdiagnosed simply because image banks used by doctors and dermatologists across the UK are predominantly made up of images of white skins.

Dr June Jones, a senior lecturer in biomedical ethics at the university, has joined forces with the Channel 4 health awareness show Embarrassing Bodies to encourage more people from ethnic backgrounds to upload images of skin conditions on to the programme’s website.

According to Dr Jones, less than four per cent of images in dermatology databases used by medics currently involve patients with darker skin – and this could prove fatal if serious conditions are missed.


“I am passionate about equal health care for everyone but at the moment we are not equipped to offer this as image banks are not truly diverse, so many people are at a disadvantage” Dr Jones, who is also college lead in religious and cultural diversity explained.

“For example a condition like ringworm can look completely different on white skin, as the skin reddens, making the condition clearly visible.”

“Doctors and medical students have little opportunity to learn about how skin conditions in people with darker skin tones, which means there can be a delay or a mistake in diagnosis.”

She attributed financial constraint as the primary factor. “There is no overt racist factor in all this. I think it’s a result of financial cuts over the years, for example hospitals losing medical photographers who were able to record vital medical conditions. Since the West Midlands has one of the most ethnically diverse populations it’s really important that we lead the way here and train our doctors to provide equitable health care for all,” she added.

Interestingly, three volunteers with varying degrees of skin colour were ‘made up’ by the university’s medical effects artist Julia Hyland, of the History of Medical Unit to present with examples of ringworm, a meningitis rash and melanoma, a skin cancer.

All the trainee medics spotted conditions on the white skinned volunteer quickly and easily, but had trouble diagnosing those on dark skin. An example of ringworm was dismissed as ‘dry skin’ while most of the students completely missed a cancerous mole on the volunteer’s ear.


This was all filmed for Embarrassing Bodies, a TV series which aims to raise health awareness and de-stigmatise embarrassing medical conditions.
Dr Jones added: “Thankfully skin cancers are less common on darker skins, but sadly the outcome can be far more serious if it is simply not spotted early enough. Missing or misdiagnosing conditions is potentially fatal.”

She said she was keen to connect with community groups in the West Midlands to spread the word about the importance of the public contributing to the database and welcomed the chance to talk to groups.

Full instructions on how to upload an image are given on the Embarrassing Bodies website and are checked by a consultant dermatologist.

Ideally, people who submit examples should have had the condition already diagnosed by their doctor.

Any group wishing to talk with Dr Jones can contact her by email: j.jones.1@bham. ac.uk
For further details visit: http://www.livefromtheclinic.channel4.com/case-videos/lftc2e2skindatabase

Posted on: 16/09/2012 10:13 AM
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Schick Quattro For Women brings back the Nostalgic game MASH!

Mansion, Apartment, Shack, or House? Remember the nostalgic game MASH from your childhood? Schick® Quattro for Women® has brought it back!

Schick® Quattro for Women®, the first brand to design an innovative, high-performance, four blade razor for women, has partnered again with Alloy Entertainment for season two of the hit web series Dating Rules From My Future Self (https://www.facebook.com/DatingRules)! As Dating Rules From My Future Self gives its lead characters dating advice from themselves ten years ahead.

Schick® Quattro for Women® wants to give you a chance to see into your romantic future with the interactive dating-themed game “Dare to MASH” on the brand’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/schickquattroforwomen).

Find out your romantic fate! And as a bonus, now through August 25th everyone that plays instantly receives a coupon for a future Schick Quattro for Women purchase! We would love for you to join in and share this news with your fans.

Like Schick Quattro for Women on Facebook to play or follow us on Twitter (@QuattroforWomen Hashtag: #DaretoMASH).


Photos and information provided by Lippee Taylor.



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HSN Beauty Report: Guest Host, Sarah McNamara, Gives the Scoop on All Things Beautiful

Sarah McNamara, founder of Miracle Skin Transformer will be guest hosting on HSN tonight, discussing her most buzzed about beauty innovations: Miracle Skin Transformer Face SPF20 and Miracle Skin Transformer Treat & Conceal.


Photo and information provided by Crier New York.

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Do Pheromones Play a Role in Our Sex Lives?

This Article was written by Adam Hadhazy, and appeared first at www.scientificamerican.com on February 13, 2012

Humans might use a nuanced concoction of chemicals even more complex than formal pheromones to attract potential mates

Love might be in the air on Valentine’s Day, metaphorically speaking. But scientists have long debated whether love—or, at least, sexual attraction—is literally in the air, in the form of chemicals called pheromones.

Creatures from mice to moths send out these chemical signals to entice mates. And if advertisements about pheromone-laden fragrances are to be believed, one might conclude that humans also exchange molecular come-hithers.

Still, after decades of research, the story in humans is not quite so clear. Rather than positing that single, pheromone-esque compounds strike us like Cupid’s arrow, investigators now suggest that a suite of chemicals emitted from our bodies subliminally sways potential partnerings. Smell, it seems, plays an underappreciated role in romance and other human affairs.

“We’ve just started to understand that there is communication below the level of consciousness,” says Bettina Pause, a psychologist at Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf (H.H.U.),who has been studying pheromones and human social olfaction       for15 years. “My guess is that a lot of our communication is influenced by chemosignals.”

Photo insert: Animal Attraction?: Researchers are uncovering how humans might use subliminal smells to sniff out a mate–among other purposes. Image: iStockphoto/1001nights

Parsing pheromones
Animals, plants and even bacteria produce pheromones. These precise cocktails of compounds trigger various reactions in fellow members of a species—not all of which are sexual. Pheromonal messages can range from the competitive, such as the “stink fights” of male lemurs, to the collaborative, such as ants laying down chemical trails to food sources.

The term “pheromone” itself came about in 1959 with the identification of bombykol, a powerful aphrodisiac secreted by female silk moths that can work over kilometers of distance. “The males are enormously sensitive to it,” says Tristram Wyatt, a zoologist at the University of Oxford. “Just a very few molecules are enough to get the male to fly to the female.”

Nothing quite so obvious is happening with people. But the scientific search for human pheromones is still in the early stages. The first steps have focused on areas of the body that already omit noticeable odors—in particular our gland-filled armpits. “Early on it was discovered that there’s some action there,” says Charles Wysocki, an olfactory neuroscientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center.

Some of the first evidence for subtle smell cueing came from reports that women who lived in close quarters, such as those in college dorms, ended up with synchronized menstrual cycles. Subsequent research has shown that armpit sweat—from females or males—when placed on women’s upper lip, can modify cycle time. But a putative pheromone behind this time-of-the-month alignment has not been isolated, Wysocki says, and subsequent work has poked statistical holes in the initial findings.

In nature, pheromones that induce gradual physiological changes of this kind are dubbed “primers.” Those that cause a behavioral response—such as with the smitten male silk moths—are called “releasers.” In humans, the most salient example for a releaser pheromone does not involve sex but rather its product: newborn babies, who seem to be guided to a mother’s breast by scent. “Newborns will move in the direction of the odor source,” Wysocki says. Research published last year pointed to secretions from the areolar gland “bumps” on mother’s nipples as the source of the behavior-modifying, odorous molecules that cue a baby to find its food source.

Other results over the years have hinted at pheromones altering adults’ moods. Odors given off by the breasts of breast-feeding women, for example, can render childless females downright randy—although a particular chemical messenger remains unidentified. H.H.U.’s Pause, meanwhile, has demonstrated that humans can sense alarm scents in anxious or fearful people’s perspiration. Yet more studies with sweat have explored the strongest isolated candidate so far for a human pheromone, known as androstadienone, which derives from the male hormone testosterone. The presence of this compound has been reported to make women feel more relaxed. Wysocki and his colleagues are currently seeking National Institutes of Health grants to find out just what the “magic bullet—or bullets—are in male body odor” that elicit female responses, he says. They also hope to study whether female odors can similarly influence male mood and hormonal activity.

The nose knows
Although the nitty-gritty of their dispersal remains obscure, pheromonal detection mechanisms are becoming clearer. Scientists have long thought that a specialized structure in animals‘ noses, called a vomeronasal organ (VNO), detects pheromones. The problem with that theory when applied to humans, however, is that the tiny VNO duct behind each of our nostrils is not always present, plus the genes for its receptors seem to be inoperative. But as it turns out, regular mammalian nasal tissue seems to be able to pick up pheromones just fine—at least in some animals. For example, sows, upon smelling a pheromone in boars’ saliva, assume a mating stance, even if researchers plug the pigs’ VNOs. In humans, a 2011 study showed that when volunteers were exposed to androstadienone, all their brains showed a reaction, even if they lacked VNOs or had their VNOs blocked. “The VNO need not be the pheromone-sensing organ,” Wysocki says. “The olfactory system can be the input.”

Other work suggests that less familiar inputs might exist for a human pheromonal network. Investigations continue into a possible pheromone nerve, known as cranial nerve 0, or the terminal nerve. [For more about the terminal nerve, read “Sex and the Secret Nerve,” by Douglas Fields, in Scientific American MIND, February/March 2007.] Initially discovered in sharks in 1878 and humans in 1913, this pair of nerves runs from the nose directly into the brain in front of cranial nerve 1, the olfactory nerve (the traditional first of a dozen recognized cranial nerves). Animal research points to important sexual, pheromonal roles for the terminal nerve. Hamsters with severed terminal nerves fail to mate, and when male zebra fish get an electrical zap to theirs, the fish ejaculate. In humans, just what part the terminal nerve might have for adults remains sketchy, Wysocki says. It does have one clear purpose, however: During fetal development, the terminal nerve works as a pathway for certain sex hormones to migrate into the brain crucial for later development during puberty.

Whether or not pheromones initially affect sexual attraction, other research has indicated that humans might be using a different set of subtle smell cues to help select our mates. Variation in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), an important set of immune system genes, imbues each of us with a unique “odorprint,” like a fingerprint. “With the exception of identical twins, no two individuals are likely to have the same odorprint,” Wysocki says. In nature, the sexual union of unlike MHCs yields offspring with more diverse and thus more robust immune systems. Instinct may also guide us in this manner: Previous research has revealed that human females preferred the musk of sweaty T-shirts worn by men with suitably different MHC genes.

Because scores, if not hundreds, of unidentified odorants comprise an odorprint, Oxford’s Wyatt has argued that it cannot be considered a pheromone in the classic sense. Evidently, the complex cloud of aromas we emit needs a lot more parsing before science closes the book on pheromones. The olfactory cues of many insects remain better understood than our possible covert realm of social and sexual chemistry. “The real problem,” Wyatt says, “is simply a lack of knowledge so far as humans are concerned.” Wysocki agrees: “There’s no good literature in the biomedical field to support that sexual-attractant pheromones exist,” he says. “But that is not to say they aren’t out there. I think we have to go in with an open mind.

Until more is known, then, those on Valentine’s Day dates should probably just follow their noses.

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Gentle Winter Skincare

Whether you’re gearing up for a vacation in the sun or heading to a local holiday party, Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Oil Controlling Towelettes and Pore Perfecting Toner are the perfect companions! The gentle yet effective formula is great for removing makeup, dirt, and impurities without stripping your skin. For under $5 at drugstores, it’s no wonder Dickinson’s is the all-natural, skincare choice for celebrities like Rachel Zoe, Liv Tyler, and the cast of “Glee”.


Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Oil Controlling Towelettes

Check out some ways to fit Dickinson’s into your winter beauty routine:

Party Hopping: Toss an individually packaged towelette into your clutch for on-the-go touch ups this New Year’s Eve.

Hangover Helper: Store a box of towelettes in your night stand for those nights when you’re too tired to wash your face.

 Cold Weather Cure: Pour Dickinson’s Pore Perfecting Toner into a microwave safe bowl and heat for a minute. Drench a wash cloth into the bowl and drape over your face for a DIY beauty treatment.

New Year’s Resolution: We all know the side effects of working out without removing makeup. Store a box of towelettes in your gym bag or locker to remove makeup in a cinch or freshen up post-Pilates.


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Are You on Santa’s Naughty or Nice list?

Miracle Skin Transformer and Hydroxatone teamed up to tailor the perfect holiday gift giveaway for everyone – whether you’re feeling naughty or nice! Follow and Tweet at @MiracleSkin and @Hydroxatone saying why you want to with the naughty or nice gift set and using the ##nngiveaway hashtag.

Four lucky winners will be notified via Twitter after 11:59pm on December 31st .

Here is what you can win!

Good Luck!

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Hispanics still lagging in sun-safe behaviors

By Genevra Pittman

NEW YORK | Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:31pm EDT

(Reuters Health) – Hispanics shouldn’t assume their darker skin means they can’t get skin cancer, and they should make sure to protect themselves when they’re out in the sun, according to a new report.

In a survey, researchers found Hispanic adults who had lived in the U.S. for longer and had better knowledge of English were more likely to wear sunscreen, as were those with more education and those who talked to their friends and family about health.

But the same people might still not cover up with long-sleeve shirts and pants or seek out shady spots for sun protection — putting them at risk for melanoma, a deadly skin cancer, researchers reported today in the Archives of Dermatology.

There’s a “misunderstanding” among some parts of the population that they’re not at risk for skin cancer, said dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, from the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, D.C.

But that “is absolutely unequivocally untrue,” she told Reuters Health.

“All skin types, regardless of how much color you have to your skin, can get skin cancer,” said Tanzi, who was not involved in the new study.

According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 70,000 Americans will get melanoma in 2011. Nearly 8,800 will die of the disease, which is several times more common in whites than in blacks, Asians, or Hispanics.

For the new work, researchers led by Valentina Andreeva at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles analyzed data from a phone survey sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.

That survey, conducted in 2005, asked close to 500 Hispanic participants how often they wore sunscreen or practiced other “sun-safe” behaviors and included questions about their physical health, education, and connections with friends and family.

The surveys also assessed how comfortable participants were with the English language and asked them how long they had been living in the United States.

Out of 496 respondents, 15 percent said they always used sunscreen, compared to about 39 percent who never did. More participants — about 26 percent — said they always stayed in the shade outside on sunny days, and 13 percent always wore long-sleeve shirts, said Andreeva, now at University of Paris XIII in France.

Hispanics who had been in the U.S. for longer or had a greater grasp of English were more likely to use sunscreen, but less likely to wear long-sleeve clothes for sun protection compared to newer immigrants or those who mostly spoke Spanish.

People with more education and those who talked to friends about health said they used sunscreen more often than others. But they also didn’t wear more sun-protective clothing and weren’t any more likely to seek out shade on sunny days.

The researchers noted that some Hispanics may be particularly at risk of skin cancer, including men who have outdoor jobs with lots of sun exposure.

“Both physicians and Hispanic patients feel that these kinds of health behaviors don’t really apply to them because their (cancer) rates are so much lower,” Andreeva told Reuters Health.

While Hispanics have a lower skin cancer risk than whites, she said, when they do get cancer it’s typically caught later on, at a more dangerous stage. That, combined with the growing Hispanic population in the U.S., makes skin protection for this group especially important, she added.

Overall, though, the researchers note that no ethnic group currently meets the sun-protection guidelines.

Tanzi said doctors need to make sure to educate their patients about the risks of sun exposure, even if they assume that everybody knows those risks by now. And researchers need to figure out how to tap into Hispanic social networks to get that message out to people who might not regularly visit a doctor.

Dr. Arturo Dominguez, a dermatologist at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas who wrote a commentary on the study, said it’s important to remember that Hispanics vary widely in their culture, income, and the color of their skin.

While Hispanics who have been in the U.S. for a while might benefit from print and TV campaigns on sun safety, for newer immigrants “those strategies to increase awareness of skin cancer and sun-safe behavior are going to have to focus on those techniques that are used within their own home countries,” such as training lay health workers to share information within communities, he told Reuters Health.

A research letter in the same journal found that blacks may also underestimate their risk of skin cancer and not wear sunscreen, even those who have had severe sunburns. Dr. Pamela Summers of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and colleagues found that among all races, women and those with more education and a higher income were more likely to report using sunscreen.

“Everyone needs to practice sun safety,” said Tanzi. “No one is immune.”

SOURCE: bit.ly/e5SbUW Archives of Dermatology, online July 18, 2011.

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