Headscarf : African woman’s crown of beauty

The wearing of scarfs by women is an old tradition in the African and other cultural settings. African’s indeed take pride in their scarfs and headgears, and for them they are indeed a crown of beauty.

In Ghana,'duku' is the Akan name given to headscarf. It is mostly tied around the head with a knot at the back, front or the side.

Whichever way it is tied, it has a name and meaning. Mostly during funerals and church service, the headgear is tied at the front or back.

Before the 19th century

Since the late nineteenth century and even today, the wearing of scarfs has been a fashion among elderly women mostly above the age of 50.

Previously, younger women only wore scarfs based on their religious orientation, but today, the wearing of headscarf has become a fashion among both the young and the old.

As fashion, Ghanaians use the ‘Wodasobo’, literally translated as ‘you are still wearing it’. The headscarf can be tied to send messages to a rival or someone you are quarrelling with when tied to the side. One of such messages, by the Akans, is “Yennfii Ta”, loosely translated as ‘We won’t mind anyone’.

Ghanaians also tie the headgear with the traditional Kente or any peace of cloth.

Headscarfs for churches and funerals are mostly worn with moderate style. However, headscarfs for engagement or wedding ceremonies and other social events, such as birthdays or farewell parties, are worn in grand style.

One of the commonest headgears is the ‘gele’ which originated from Nigeria and has now drawn the attention of most Africans. It is a most important part of the traditional outfit among many Nigerians, Ghanaians and other people.

Moment of creativity

The process of wrapping or tying the ‘gele’ is a moment of creativity and lots of work for the arms. Therefore, some people trade in already tied ‘gele’ which is sold on the market, to earn income.

It has formal and informal versions and varies from simple draped clothing to fully tailored ensembles.

The way a ‘gele’ is tied indicates a woman’s marital status.

A ‘gele’ with the end leaning to the right indicates a woman is married and the one with the end leaning to the left indicates a woman is single.The length of the ‘gele’ can range from eight inches? wide and 54 inches long.

Some women also tie their ‘gele’ in advance and it is placed on the head like a crown and held in place with some hairpins.

For some women, the perfect way of announcing their presence during occasions is with the long, stiff and crispy-styled Switzerland, Damask or Asooke fabrics, used for the ‘gele’.

The ‘gele’ is described according to how it is tied. Some of them are known as Satellite dish, calabash, pot or a frying pan, a basin or a bucket of water, a food basket or a mortar and mushroom.

Herero headgear

In Namibia, the Ova Herero tribe also has a spectacular headgear known as the Herero headgear. The headgear has the shape of a cow horn symbolising the livelihood of the Ova Herero people who are herdsmen.

The scarf is worn with traditional costume known as the Victorian style, which is a long-flowing dress.

The Hereros take pride in their cattle business because it is their main source of livelihood, hence the culture of Herero requires the women to wear scarf in the shape of cow horns.

The scarf is made of the same material from the dress, and just like the ‘gele’, it is supported on the head with pins and clips for it to stand firm on the head.

Another tribe in Namibia known as the Damara also has a similar headgear, but smaller in shape and does not require a lot of work, since it is usually wrapped before being worn.

The Damara women also have traditional clothing colours which are green, white and blue representing peace and unity among all Damara-speaking people.

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This Is The Perfect Exfoliator For The Lazy Girl Who Wants Great Skin

Say hello to the low-maintenance (and cheap) exfoliator. If you can’t be bothered with buying a slightly different grainy scrub for each body part, or polishing your entire body until your skin comes off like scales, the Australian-designed Le Edge full body exfoliating tool is a one-product-fits-all exfoliating device.

Le Edge is described as a handheld ergonomic tool that removes dry layers of skin:

“The Le Edge tool has a patented ‘higher than surgical grade’ stainless steel gentle edge that removes the top layer of dead skin revealing the younger vibrant living skin beneath.”

A stainless steel edge might sound a lot scarier than using a pumice stone or loofah, but it is actually gentle enough that it can be used on your entire body, including your face.

Le Edge Face

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In addition to dry, flaky skin, Le Edge is designed to remove oil, dirt and pollutants. It removes ingrown hairs and it naturally helps to reduce the size of your pores, while restoring your skin’s texture. Sweet.

And the best part is that you don’t need to buy any special scrubs. So you can save some money, and help save the planet too. Le Edge is to be used on wet skin, ideally while you’re in the shower. You just run the device along your skin and it removes all the dry, scaly bits. Think of it like shaving, but without the need for shaving cream, and with an “edge”, as opposed to a traditional blade.

The Le Edge has many uses, but the best one would be using it before applying fake tan, for a streak-free finish. How many of us can really be bothered to thoroughly scrub every pore before we apply self tan? That would be no one. The Le Edge is also recommended for using a few days before waxing, to loosen ingrown hairs. Simiarly, it makes a good pre-shave treatment for guys.

And I did mention it was cheap. You can buy the Le Edge on Amazon for only $8.59, which is the equivalent of one foot scrub. While the Le Edge might sound like a weird beauty invention, it is the easiest and most mess-free exfoliator I have come across, and at less than $10, it may even convince the laziest of girls to exfoliate–at least once in a blue moon.

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Ways to Embrace Your Natural Glow

Face it: summer is almost halfway over. If you haven’t quite achieved that summer tan you’ve been looking for, now is not the time to give in to tanning beds or — almost just as bad — self-tanning products. You may think you’re doing your skin a favor by faking a bake with bronzing lotions and creams, but the sad truth is, you’re not. While it may not cause cancer the same way UV rays would, self-tanning products can really dry out your skin, leaving you with a “tan” that not only looks artificial, but makes you look wrinkly and dry, too.

Besides, aren’t we over looking super, super tan, anyways? The Emma Stones and Kristen Stewarts of the world are proving that having a paler complexion beats the hell out of an orange mystic tan. In my eyes, the most important thing when it comes to our skin is to achieve that all natural glow, not some crispy, rust-colored facade that either fades over time or worse, stains our clothes and furniture.

So, what’s the solution? How does one exchange bad, fake tans for a natural glow? Here are five simple ways to be positively radiant all year round.


Getting rid of of that layer of dry, dead skin will help expose your younger looking complexion underneath. This is especially important as you grow older. In your twenties, your skin sheds naturally every month or so, but as you grow older, your skin doesn’t shed cells as quickly as it used to. Use a gentle exfoliating product or a natural alternative (brown sugar, lemon, honey) to help your skin glow and look as young as possible.


Keeping your skin hydrated is one of the essential ways to get your skin glowing. Whether you use a store-bought moisturizer or at-home product like olive oil, make sure you’re slathering it all over your skin daily. Don’t forget your hands, neck and feet!


Hot showers may feel good and open your pores, but it can strip your skin of its moisture and wash away its natural oils. Avoid this by taking quick, cool showers isntead. Not only will it help reduce swelling in your skin, but it’ll result in a nice, healthy glow.


There’s no question that vitamins are crucial for fighting aging skin. There’s no end to what they can do: Vitamin C helps brighten your complexion and reduces the amount of sun spots; Vitamin A helps reduce wrinkles, remove dark spots and smooth out rough skin; Vitamin B3 can help reduce redness;last, but not least, vitamin E can help your skin say soft and smooth. You can take your vitamins in pill form or opt for skin products reinforced with these nutrients — take your pick. Plus, eating healthy fruits and veggies help, too.


If the air conditioner is leaving your skin dry and itchy at night, run a humidifier at night to keep the air moist.


It’s a glowing celebrity’s favorite answer to the age-old “how do you get such flawless skin?” question: Water, water, water. Drinking eight glasses of water a day and eating nutrient-rich fruit and vegetables will flush out toxins in your body and help you get that highly sought-after glow.


If you’re not feeling “glowy” enough, that’s totally fine. That’s what bronzers are for. The most important thing to remember is to find one that looks most natural. Look for a bronzer that matches your skin tone the best. It’s also a good idea to avoid bronzers with shimmer or shine — matte bronzers will give you the realest-looking glow.

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5 desi tips to get gorgeous naturally

When it comes to health, having some kind of exercise routine as a part of your life is essential. But what people forget is that what you eat is just as important. But have you ever wondered how your kitchen can provide you with more than just nutrition. As a yoga exponent, I often understand that while practicing yoga might be important, my kitchen offers me a number of opportunities to improve my health quotient. Here are five things that you can use from your kitchen to help you become healthier:

Tip#1: Make your own ghee: This way you know there are no additives, fragrance, artificial colouring or additives in it. Since it’s home-made, you can rely on the fact that your ghee is free of preservatives and has been made hygienically.

Tip#2: Once you make the ghee, use it to make your own kajal: Homemade kajal is recommended in Ayurveda. Most people I know use kajal more than any other cosmetic. The advantage of making it yourself, is that you know it won’t harm your eyes (in fact, according to Ayurveda, will keep your eyes clean, make your eyesight better and make your eye lashes longer) or cause any allergies. Again, you’ll know that there are absolutely no preservatives in the product and that it’s been made hygienically. I started making my own kajal two years ago. At first I felt it was a cumbersome process, but I soon realized it’s actually very simple. Here is how you can make it:

woman in kitchen

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Soak a medium size piece of cotton in mustard oil overnight. You can also use ghee, camphor or almond oil.

The next morning make a wick using this cotton ball. You can choose to put ajwain and neem inside the wick.

Take a diya (I used an earthenware diya. You can use a silver or copper vessel if you don’t have one handy)

Cover the flame with a bowl and let the soot on the inside of the bowl.

Once the wick has burned out, collect the soot in a small box.

You can apply this powder on the inner surface of your eyes either with your finger or use a small brush to apply it. The best part about this kajal is that it is smudge proof and great for the eyes.

Tip#3: Use besan and haldi once a week to cleanse your skin: If you use it consistently for a few months you’ll start noticing your skin becoming clearer and healthier. Just remember to go easy on the haldi. The idea is to cleanse and not to colour. I generally use this mixture over a weekend, when I’m sure I’ll have the time for a leisurely bath. Put some besan in a cup and add just a pinch of turmeric. You can choose either rose water or milk to make a paste of this. Mix it well, and apply this on your face. Allow it to stay till it dries out and then wash it off, gently scrubbing as you go.

Tip#4: Massage your face with fresh malai: Packed with immense potential to moisturise even the most dried out parts of skin, malai has been known for ages as the best all-natural moisturiser. All you need to do is apply it on your face and leave it on for about 20 minutes and then wash it off. Nothing beats the glow you get after you have used it. While you’re at it, you may want to use the malai on your elbows and heels as well! Better than any moisturiser in the market and 100% natural!

Tip#5: Look no further than your kitchen for hair products: Use locally sourced edible oil (like mustard or coconut oil) on your hair. Cosmetics aisles are filled with great smelling oils in pretty bottles. These oils promise many benefits as well. However, look at the ingredients list on these bottles and give a thought to the purity of the product. When it comes to your body (internal and external) go for the wholesome and pure option. Is the oil in that pretty bottle good enough to eat? Probably not.Then it’s not good enough for your luscious tresses.

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A makeup masterclass with Lorde's makeup artist Amber D

Lorde's makeup artist, Amber D, shared stories and tips in Auckland this week, giving guests behind-the-scenes access to the glamour and grind of life on the road.

Alongside celebrity meetings, including watching Beyonce and Jay Z embrace Lorde, she joked that the American mega star followed her performance at the Grammy's by again "opening for Lorde," at the Brits.

Constant travel had its funny sides with makeup touch-ups before flights landed bemusing the mostly middle-aged men who populated business class who often didn't know who the 17-year-old chart-topper was. Amber D also said dealing with a teenaged attention span meant her makeups were becoming ever quicker. She had to contend with a bobbing head, distracted by Instagram and the likes, meaning precise eyeliner application might end up accidentally extending into a cat's eye. "'You will be Amy Winehouse soon', I say."

The pair also joke about the label Lorde is sometimes landed with, due to her liking for wearing black and purple lips.

"I always call her teen goth and she hates it, cos she isn't really." But wearing black lace Tom Ford at the Brits she certainly channelled the "perfect goth" with a darker than normal lip, however, contrary to some reports it wasn't black and she never used white face paint, it was just that Ella Yelich-O'Connor was naturally pale.

The Lorde look three ways, on models Rhiannon, Amberly and Kendall at the M.A.C x Lorde master class. Picture / Janetta Mackay

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The international fashion for wearing a darker purple or red toned lip definitely has a lot to do with Lorde, says Amber D. Sales of dark lipsticks are up. "We, at M.A.C call it the Lorde effect."

"It's so crazy at the shows in the States, might be about 5000 people in the crowd and half of them will be wearing a dark lip."

Amber D, who is on secondment from her job as M.A.C senior artist for Oceania to tour with Lorde, explained that the basic Lorde look had evolved in their nine months together. She showed three versions on models. At the heart of all the looks is luminous skin, with the aim of the teen not looking overly made-up.

As with all artistry there's plenty of layering going on. For the Grammys, where Lorde appeared with witchy black fingers, Amber D explained that she simply painted black nail polish onto her fingertips over a gel polish and then after the performance removed the polish, leaving the gel, so Lorde's manicured hands could wrap prettily around the two awards she collected.

Asked by Viva if Lorde was likely to break out into a new look, Amber D said having established a signature style with dark lips for shows they would stick with that, albeit always varying colours a little.

When off Lorde duty, Ella Yelich-O'Connor generally did not wear a lot of makeup and was confident at applying her own basic everyday standby of Mineralize powder, and a little eyeliner. Lip-wise she had even been playing with a peachy orange shade for fun.


Prep step: Skin preparation is vital for making makeup seem minimal while guaranteeing it goes the distance. On a clean face and over lip balm and eye cream, apply primer before foundation.

M.A.C x Lorde eyeliner and lipstick, $40 each, available in stores from June 27.

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Amber D uses M.A.C Lightful Softening Lotion (a toner), Prep n Prime Vibrancy Eye to smooth the eye contour area and moisturising Lip Conditioner. For a luminous base she mixes Strobe Lotion with Natural Radiance Primer in Pink.

Face base: Foundation is applied lightly as needed, with a brush to polish over skin, followed by concealer to any facial areas requiring extra attention. Then a highlighter is used to brighten around the eyes, on the bridge of the nose and in the lip bow. Translucent loose powder is used sparingly on the T-zone, with a compact powder added if more coverage is needed, especially to disguise any breakouts. Coverage is greater for concerts and requires extra attention to blending for high-definition television appearances. A touch of blush adds a little colour and contour to cheeks.

Amber uses Mineralize Moisture Fluid Foundation (in the very light shade NC15), with a 188 brush, followed by Prep n Prime Highlighter in Radiant Rose and a professional concealer palette with six shades, then Prep n Prime Loose Powder and sometime also Mineralize Skin Finish, with So Sweet So Easy cream blush.

Eyes: Lorde's strong brows require little attention, other than a little gap filling and grooming.

Amber uses Penultimate Brow Pencil in Brown and Brow Set in Clear.

The standby eye base shade is a taupe tone that brings out her pale blue eyes. A cream shadow is used because it dries to a crease-proof finish and powder or even glitter can be layered over it. The base is taken a little under her wide-set eyes to help centre them. Sometimes a little jet-milled metallic powder shadow is applied to the centre of the lid for a slight wet-look shine, or a touch of pink highlighter. A fine tip liner is pressed into the lash line to create the impression of denser black lashes and sometimes extended for a subtle cat eye effect. A curler ensures lashes are lifted and then subtle mascara is applied.

Amber used Paint Pot in Groundwork as her regular eye base, then mixes up the accent shades, before applying Rapid Black Penultimate Black Liner and Everyday Extended Play mascara.

Lips: A deep purple toned pencil is the usual base to give depth to lipstick, even if the final colour varies from red to near black. Apply all over the lip and then sharpen the edge outline before applying lipstick with a wide flat concealer-style brush because this is quicker than fine one.

For performance, a little powder sets the lipstick, a trick that can be tried at home, but never apply directly to the lips as this will go gluggy and show. The trick is to take a single ply of tissue paper, and press the powder through this onto lips to create a matte effect.

Amber uses Vino lip pencil and favours the new Pure Heroine lipstick, which she says is shade between her other standbys: the more matte brighter purple Heroine and the darker Cyber shade. Ella especially likes Pure Heroine because its texture allows it to be pressed into lips as stain.

Finishing touch: Once the makeup is done, a little more highlighter is applied for extra luminosity, across the highest point of the cheekbone and the bridge of the nose and bow of lip.

Amber uses Pearl Cream Colour Base and sometimes sparingly adds a little Silver Dust loose powder highlighter blended out from the centre of the same areas.

Wondering How To Get Rid Of Dark Under Arms? Try These 3 Natural Remedies

I’ve been shaving under my arms for almost two decades and the Dove commercials are correct. I treat my underarms like shit; I don’t exfoliate, I shave dry, and I certainly don’t take any precautions for things like UV radiation or harmful rays from the sun. One would think I hated my underarms, but in my defense, I feel as if I have such a large area of body to cover in my beauty regimen that clearly something has to suffer. My underarms may be the part of my body that I pay the least attention to, but it’s also the part of my body that is less likely to be seen by the public…or so I thought.

I’m sure you feel me on this example: You shower and get dressed, only to find out that it’s going to be a tad bit hotter than you expected. So, you ditch that shirt you’re sure to get sweat stains in for a tank top. Then, of course, you grab a razor to quickly dry shave before running out the door. On one of these days, I caught my reflection and thought to myself, “Wait…I definitely shaved today, right” Right. It’s just the dark coloring of my underarms from years of shaving and never moisturizing that has given my pits a darker color than the rest of my body. The worst part? The darkness will only deepen with time making it harder to fix.

Turns out, although more prominent in darker skinned ladies, the dark underarm drama is not just specific to skin color. Loads of shavers out there are starting to fear that they’ll have to stop hailing cabs or limit elaborate dance moves if they don’t get that underarm game under control. Even Beyonce is no stranger to the dark underarm plague! Fortunately, I’ve got it covered now and these natural remedies will def up your confidence on the dance floor this summer.

Lemon Juice & Raw Honey

Mmmm, lemons. They freshen up tap water, act as a natural skin toner for your face, get rid of hiccups AND lighten underarms like a BOSS. Each day, take a lemon wedge and rub onto your underarms before bathing. Afterwards, use equal parts raw honey and lemon juice to put under your arms. The raw honey is great at eliminating dark spots and is an antibacterial that has a natural pH level of about 4.5 — something your underarms will thank you for in the long run by getting smoother. Add a moisturizer after you’ve rinsed your paste off to protect your underarms from UV radiation and keep that dryness at bay.


It seems that whenever I need one potato, I end up buying a dozen potatoes only to find them months later growing horrifying eyes all over their once clear skin. Fortunately, these potatoes that I’ve discovered in the back of my cabinet don’t have to go in the trash. Instead, slice those bad boys open for clear underarm skin. I recommend slicing the potato thick and rubbing directly under your arms daily — ones that are a little juicy works best, since potato juice is a natural skin lightener. Who’da thunk. Potatoes brighten dull skin and increase skin’s elasticity for smooth even skin tones. Do this daily for maximum results. Be sure to apply a moisturizer when you are taking your pits out into the world or you’ll be slicing potatoes for nothing.

Baking Soda

Now, this is my personal favorite method. I exfoliate my bikini line with baking soda to keep razor burn at an ultimate low, and it works to lighten underarms as well by removing dead skin cells.

Ready to start treating your underarms like real skin? Check out some great DIY natural deodorants on Wellness Mama’s website; don’t be scurred, nature can kill even the most advanced body odor!

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Do women who wear make-up appear more trustworthy?

Women who wear make-up are regarded as more competent and professional. It’s because we instinctively associate a blemish-free face with a trustworthy person.

CLOTHES may make the man, but make-up can make or break a woman.

Psychologist Dr Arnaud Aubert says applying ‘war paint’ in the morning can make women more trustworthy.

No wonder that six out of ten women say they wouldn’t go to work without it, according to a survey by Superdrug.

“Make-up is a potent tool in influencing social judgements about the wearer,” says Dr Aubert, an experimental psychologist and associate professor at the department of neurosciences at the Université François-Rabelais in France.

“When you first meet someone, the brain focuses on the central part of the face, which is the main source of non-verbal communication.

“Within milliseconds, the brain processes facial cues, and forms social inferences, such as whether the person is trustworthy or untrustworthy.

“Flaws distract the brain’s attention; the more flaws [a person has], the less attention the observer pays to their facial expressions, decreasing the quality of non-verbal communication.

“So correcting these flaws with make-up doesn’t just improve your general appearance, it can actually enhance a person’s social assessment of you too,” says Dr Aubert.

The inverted triangle shape connecting the eyes and mouth has been dubbed ‘the social triangle’, and Dr Aubert’s theory certainly gives new urgency to powdering one’s nose.

But he’s not the first to find that beauty is in the eye of beholder.

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Nor are today’s beauty junkies the first to try and trick the brain into thinking they’re better-looking — ancient Egyptians believed cosmetics to be so powerful that they used kohl eyeliner to ward off evil spirits.

One 2006 study, by Buckinghamshire New University, in Britain, showed that women who wear make-up are perceived as healthier, more confident and better-employed than those without.

Another 2011 study, by Harvard University, conducted in conjunction with Procter and Gamble, also learned that lip-stick can make you more likeable.

“We found that cosmetics have a significant impact on how attractive a face appears, but also on how likeable, trustworthy and competent they appear,” said Nancy Etcoff, lead author and assistant clinical professor of psychology at the university.

“When flashed quickly, every cosmetic look significantly increased how attractive, competent, likeable and trustworthy the faces appeared to the same faces without make-up.

“When people could look at the faces for as long as they wanted to, all make-up looks increased competence and attractiveness once again.”

Even Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive 2013, actress Scarlett Johansson, doesn’t have the barefaced cheek to go au natural.

“Day to day, I’ll use concealer, blush, eyeliner and mascara, and I carry foundation with me,” she said.

Pop star Katy Perry goes one step further by sleeping in her slap: “I don’t really feel pretty ever without make-up, and so I would have to sleep with make-up on,” she said.

When it comes to putting your best face forward, however, more is not always more, according to Liz Dwyer, of the Beauty Bootcamp, in Dublin.

Scouse brow (painted eyebrows), and tide marks are just two of the beauty blunders that draw attention to your social triangle for all the wrong reasons, she says.

“There’s no doubt that make-up can help make a better first impression.”

“But a lot of girls don’t know what to do with it. Eight out of ten teenagers I come across now, I just want to scrub their faces. Most have gorgeous, youthful skin, yet they feel compelled to hide it beneath a vat of mismatched foundation.

“Foundation is meant to unify the skin, not camouflage all your features.”

Indeed, when Kim Kardashian shared the secret to her flawless complexion — contouring her face with layers of pale concealer — with fans on Twitter recently, her make-up looked like it had been applied with a trowel rather than a brush.

Dr Aubert agrees: “Make-up can be a very potent tool, but it has to be used properly.

“While make-up can help make a better first impression, ‘inappropriate’ make-up — make-up which does not match the social context — can have the opposite effect.

“The amount of make-up is not a problem, per se, but women who wear more make-up send more intense social cues, and risk inducing prejudice if their make-up does not fit the situation.”

Despite being Photoshopped to perfection in Versace’s spring 2014 ad campaign, Lady Gaga still says beauty is only skin deep: “Whether I’m wearing lots of make-up or no make-up, I’m the same person inside.”

For the 40% of women who prefer to go fresh-faced, less can still impress, says leadership and charisma coach, Jonathan Dowling:

“While genetic blemishes are beyond our control, many other things are not,” he says.

“A sincere smile — one of those great, broad smiles where even the eyes crinkle — is one of the most effective ways of creating a powerful first impression on strangers. Good eye contact is another way.

“Looking someone directly in the eye, when they speak to you, and vice versa, projects confidence, but don’t stare at them either.

“A good rule of thumb is to hold eye contact two-thirds of the time, and then follow the person’s gestures, or shift your gaze to their mouth the rest of the time.”

And if you buy just one colour, then make it red.

“Studies show that we perceive people who are wearing red, or even just standing beside a red wall, as more attractive and confident,” says Dowling, of Interpersonal impACT.

“For men, the answer could be to wear a red tie, and for women red-tinted cosmetics.”

“Red lips will always make a more lasting impression than nude,” says celebrity make-up artist, Ken Boylan.

“But it has to be the right shade or it will make your teeth look yellow.

“Always try on more than one,” he says, “and when you find the right one, remember to smile.”

How to make the most of your looks

* “mismatched foundation can be very distracting,” says liz dwyer of beauty bootcamp. “the perfect foundation should disappear into your jawline. if you can see where it starts and finishes, it’s the wrong shade.”

* “hd [high definition] brows are a great way to frame your face,” says top makeup artist ken boylan, “your eyebrows should be as close to your hair colour as possible.”

* “when applying mascara, place the brush at the roots and give it a good wiggle before gliding it through the lashes,” says liz. “this makes lashes appear thicker and more defined.”

* “lip liner is a must to keep statement lipstick in place,” says ken. “add a little lip gloss over your lippie to help make thin lips look fuller.”

Waitresses Who Wear More Makeup Get Better Tips From Guys, But Women Tip Everyone Equally

In today’s supremely disappointing news for feminists, studies show that men leave higher tips for waitresses who wear more makeup. Some gender stereotypes just won’t die, will they?

According to Laura Shin in her two-part “Ultimate Guide to Living on Tips” at Forbes, wearing makeup comes with a serious payoff for female waitstaff.

Ladies, wear makeup. While the feminist in me hates to break this news, a study in France showed that 50% more men left tips if the waitress wore makeup, and the average amount was 26% higher. Another study, also in France, found that red lipstick, when compared to pink and brown shades or au naturale, brought in the bucks.

Shin also cited a 2012 study by Nicolas Guéguen and Céline Jacob of the Université de Bretagne-Sud, who found that red lipstick specifically has an effect on tips from men. The particular shade of red is of no consequence. Plus, it’s just guys with this percentage prejudice — female diners are not influenced to tip better or more frequently based on the makeup their waitresses wear.

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I commend Shin for providing a comprehensive guide to making a living wage from a restaurant job, and while I understand that she is simply presenting the unfortunate truth here, encouraging women to accept this as fact is an issue. Women should not have to live with the fact that they are held to a different physical standard than their male counterparts.

While we may assume that male servers are also tipped higher based on physical attractiveness, this may not be the case. According to “Predictors of Male and Female Severs’ Average Tip Earnings,” a study published in Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that ”physical attractiveness was a much better predictor of waitresses’ average tips than of waiters’ average tips.” In short, being pretty had a much greater impact on female tips.

Female waitstaff are notoriously objectified by men that they serve. In fact, women restaurant workers report sexual harassment at five times the rate of employees in other professions. Encouraging waitresses to wear makeup and lightly touch their customers for higher tips tells them that just being good at your job is not enough. You need to be sexually desirable and flirtatious as well. Equivalent suggestions are not given to men.

Even if good looking guys did receive significantly higher tips than less attractive men, there is still a double standard at play here. A woman, no matter how naturally beautiful, is expected to go above and beyond to enhance that beauty with makeup in order to increase her income. She is being asked to alter her appearance.

As Stylite’s Ashley Hoffman says, “People who live off their looks are accustomed to piling a boatload of makeup on, but the thing is, waitresses aren’t models or actresses. They’re not there for viewing pleasure. They serve food.”

Gender discrimination is a reality that female workers face in any profession, and we’re not saying that being a feminist requires tossing all your bold lippy in the trash. But what’s especially interesting about the correlation between tips and makeup is that, besides being gross, it’s counterintuitive. In fact, a report released earlier this week found, once again, that men much prefer a natural, barefaced look.

So why, if less is more, do men prefer their waitresses all gussied up? My guess would be that it feeds the fantasy. Female waitstaff are often treated like a side of entertainment that comes with your entree. If men expect to view waitresses the same way they view models in a Victoria’s Secret catalog, then of course they’ll place importance on attractiveness and makeup.

Until the day that I can insist to be served by a shirtless Channing Tatum lookalike, I maintain that we should tip all servers based on, you know, actual service and not gender, lipstick, or amount of carefully timed shoulder grazes administered throughout the meal.

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